Lingayats may soon move court to secure separate religion status
The contentious issue of according minority religion status to Lingayats is set to resurface with many leaders of the community deciding to pursue their demand in court.
A majority of Lingayat mutts and organisations have banded together to move the Karnataka high court against what they called the Centre’s “inaction” to the proposal to recognise Veerashaiva-Lingayats as a religious minority.
In March 2018, the panel recommended minority religion status to Veershaiva Lingayats and the government promptly forwarded its report to the Centre.
The Centre, in its letter to the state government in December 2018, said it may not be possible to accede to the request, saying Lingayats were classified as Hindus even in the first census in 1871. The Centre also pointed out that several Scheduled Castes identified with the community like Madar Lingayats, may lose their status as SCs and be deprived of reservation benefits should Lingayats get the minority tag.
EU triggered dispute mechanism on Iran Nuclear deal
European Countries namely Britain, France, and Germany pressured Iran to stop its violations of the nuclear deal. The EU countries stressed to resolve differences through talks on the United Nations sanctions.
The three countries rejected Iran’s justification for violating the deal because the U.S. broke the agreement by withdrawing in 2018. EU has charged Iran over transgressions that could ultimately lead to the reimposition of UN sanctions and triggered the deal’s dispute mechanism.
Japan topped the 2020 Henley Passport Index
Henley Passport Index 2020 was launched recently by Henley & Partners. India ranked 84th in the index. Japan has the world’s strongest passport. The index was based on the data collected from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
In the index, around 199 different passports and 227 different travel destinations were considered.
It is based on the number of destinations their holders can access without a visa.
Japan has been holding the top rank positions for the past 3 years. As per the report, the citizens can access 191 destinations without the necessity of obtaining a visa in advance.
Top 5 ranking countries:
♦ Japan ranked first
♦ Singapore ranked second
♦ Germany and South Korea shared third
♦ Finland and Italy shared fourth
♦ Denmark, Luxembourg and Spain fifth position
UN lowers India’s growth forecast for FY20 to 5.7%
United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2020 has lowered its GDP growth estimate for India to 5.7 per cent in the current fiscal (from 7.6 per cent forecast in WESP 2019) and lowered its forecast for the next fiscal to 6.6 per cent (from 7.4 percent earlier).
It has also forecast a growth rate of 6.3 percent for the fiscal beginning in 2021.
According to the UN study, one in five countries will see per capita income stagnate or decline this year, but listed India among few countries where the per capita GDP growth rate could exceed 4 percent level in 2020
Raisina Dialogue 2020 Highlights
Raisina Dialogue 2020 was held from 14-16 January 2020. The inaugural session of the dialogue was addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar attended the dialogue. This dialogue is India’s annual global conference on geopolitics and geo-economics. The fifth edition of the Raisina Dialogue was held in New Delhi.
The Conference was organized by Observer Research Foundation in collaboration with the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India.
The dialogue aims to discover solutions, identify opportunities and provide stability to a century that has witnessed an eventful two decades. The Raisina Dialogue 2020 is titled Navigating the Alpha Century.
Raisina Dialogue was initiated in 2016. It is a multilateral conference which is organized to address the most challenging issues facing the global community. The dialogue is held every year in Delhi. It discusses cooperation on a wide range of pertinent international policy matters. It explores prospects and opportunities for Asian integration and Asia’s integration with the larger world.
Government mandates hallmarking of gold jewellery
The government has notified that it is to mandate hallmarking of gold jewellery and artefacts with effect from 15 January 2021. The jewellers have been given time for the implementation of this notification. Jewellers who violate this will be punished under the provisions of the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 2016.
The notification state that only registered jewellers will be allowed to sell the hallmarked gold articles through certified sales outlets.
As per the notifications, the registered jewellers will be allowed to sell jewellery and artefacts only in three grades of gold, 14, 18 and 22 carat, instead of ten grades earlier.
India achieved complete phase out of ozone depleting chemicals
India has successfully achieved the complete phase-out of Hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC)-141 b. HCFC-141b is not produced in India and all the domestic requirements are met through imports. The government announced the prohibition of the import of HCFC-141 b and has completely phased out the important ozone-depleting chemical.
It is a chemical used by foam manufacturing enterprises and one of the most potent ozone-depleting chemicals after Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).
HCFC-141 b is used mainly as a blowing agent in the production of rigid polyurethane (PU) foams.
India has decided to make provide environment-friendly and energy-efficient technologies and phase out Ozone Depleting Substances (ODSs).
India is one of the few countries globally and a pioneer in some cases in the use of technologies, which are non-Ozone Depleting and have a low Global Warming Potential (GWP).
One Nation, One Ration Card scheme to be implemented by 1 June
The One Nation, One Ration Card scheme will be implemented by 1 June 2020 in India. The announcement was made by the Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on 20 January. Earlier, the scheme was announced to be launched by 30 June 2020.
One Nation, One Ration Card scheme:
Under the scheme, the beneficiaries can avail of the benefits across the country using the same ration card.
The scheme allows the portability of food security benefits across India, that is, poor migrant workers can buy subsidized rice and wheat from any ration shop in the country.
This will overcome the issue when one person moe from one place to the other across India. When a person migrates, it takes around 2-3 months to get a ration card. A person’s identity will be ensured on the basis of Aadhaar authentication and validated data.
On 1 January 2020, the facility was started in 12 states in India.
Under this facility, the beneficiaries of the public distribution system (PDS) of these states can get their share of rations in any of the 12 states in which they are residing.
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