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Current Affairs- 10 August 2018

NATION

Opposition loses the battle for RS Deputy Chairman
  • NDA candidate and JD(U) MP Harivansh was elected the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha defeating Opposition candidate and Congress MP B.K. Hariprasad.
  • The final tally of votes showed 125 for Mr. Harivansh and 101 for Mr. Hariprasad. 
  • This is the first significant victory scored by the ruling NDA in the Rajya Sabha, where the Opposition is in a majority, and could pave the way for an assertive BJP. With 73 MPs, the BJP is now the largest party in the House.
Nod for three changes to triple talaq Bill
  • The Union Cabinet approved three crucial amendments to the triple talaq Bill, including a provision for bail to an accused before the start of trial.
  • These three provisions to the Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill, which makes instant triple talaq illegal and imposes a jail term of up to three years, provide additional safeguards from the Act being misused.
  • While the proposed law will remain “non-bailable” — the police cannot grant bail at the police station — the accused can approach a magistrate for bail even before trial. Senior Law Ministry officials, however, added that the magistrate would ensure bail only after the husband agrees to pay compensation to the wife as provided in the bill.
  • Another provision is with regard to making the process of registering FIRs more stringent.  Any husband giving triple talaq instantaneously and breaking the marriage…the FIR will become cognisable if and only if when FIR is filed by victim wife, or the blood relations or relations by marriage. Therefore, any outside agency or neighbour initiating this is ruled out.
  • The third amendment makes the offence of instant triple talaq “compoundable”. Now, a magistrate can use his powers to settle the dispute between a husband and his wife. Under a compoundable offence, both parties have the liberty of withdrawing the case.
Criminals in politics leave SC anguished
  • “Something has to be done to keep criminals at bay and prevent them from contesting elections,” Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra said on Thursday, voicing the Supreme Court’s anguish at the helplessness of society to prevent criminalisation of politics at the very entry-point.
  • But at the same time, the Supreme Court said it could not legislate for Parliament. “The court declares the law, the Parliament makes the law,” Justice Rohinton Nariman observed.
  • Under the Representation of the People Act, only convicted lawmakers are disqualified, not those accused.
  • Attorney-General K.K. Venugopal submitted that fast track courts to try accused politicians were “the only solution”. Mr. Venugopal said charges in such cases are kept pending for long as witnesses don’t testify as the Whistleblowers Protection Act, which protects informers, is too weak to protect them or their families from repercussions.
RS passes amendments to SC/ST Act 
  • The Rajya Sabha on Thursday unanimously cleared the amendments to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, overturning a March 2018 Supreme Court judgment pertaining to safeguard against the arrests under the Act.
  • The amendments provide that no preliminary enquiry will be required for registration of an FIR against any person under the Act; and the investigating officer will not require approval for arrests, if necessary. 
  • The provision of anticipatory bail as allowed by the Supreme Court has also been done away with.
  • The amendments include a timeline of two months for completing the investigations and filing a chargesheet after registering the FIR. The cases are to be disposed of within two months of filing the chargesheet.
RS passes National Sports University Bill
  • The National Sports University Bill and the Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill were passed in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday. 
  • The National Sports University Bill, for setting up of a National Sports University in Manipur to promote education in areas of sports sciences, technology, management and coaching, was discussed and passed. 
  • The Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, as cleared by the Lok Sabha, was passed by voice vote. It provides for replacement of the Central Council of Homoeopathy with a board of governors.
Cabinet extends PMGSY
  • The government on Thursday approved the continuation of the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) beyond the 12th five year plan period.
  • The decision taken by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs would help in connecting 38,412 habitations at an estimated cost of ₹84, 934 crore.
Rekha Sharma is Chairperson of NCW
  • NCW member Rekha Sharma, 54, who stoked a controversy by suggesting abolition of confessions in churches, has been appointed as the Chairperson of the National Commission for Women.
ECOMONY

UAE top source of inward remittances in 2016-17: RBI
  • The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has emerged as the top source of inward remittances, while Kerala has received the maximum funds sent from abroad, according to the Reserve Bank of India’s survey of inward remittances for 2016-17.
  • UAE’s share in total remittances was 26.9%, followed by the United States (22.9%), Saudi Arabia (11.6%), Qatar (6.5%) and Kuwait (5.5%).
  • According to the survey, 82% of the total remittances received by India originated from eight countries — UAE, the U.S., Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, the United Kingdom and Malaysia.
  • Among destinations, Kerala has the highest share with 19%, followed by Maharashtra (16.7%), Karnataka (15%), Tamil Nadu (8%) and Delhi (5.9%).
  • The rupee drawing arrangement (RDA) is the most popular channel of remittances which accounts for 75.2% of remittances, followed by SWIFT (19.5%), direct transfers (3.4%) and cheques and drafts (1.9%).
  • Private banks got the lions share in total remittances with 74.1%, while public sector banks share was 17.3% and the remaining with foreign banks.