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News in Short

News in Short - 11-December-2020

Maharashtra cabinet approves death punishment for crimes against women

Date: 11 December 2020 Tags: Bills & Laws
  • The Maharashtra state cabinet has approved two draft bills that propose death penalty for heinous cases of rape, acid attack and child abuse.
  • The bills also have provisions to increase the quantum of punishment, including life term, cover new categories of crimes, and propose a mechanism for speedy trials.
  • The two bills, which will be tabled in the winter session of the state legislature next week as part of the Shakti Act, are the Maharashtra Shakti Criminal Law (Maharashtra Amendment) Act 2020 and the Special Court and Machinery for Implementation of Maharashtra Shakti Criminal Law 2020.
  • Drafted on the lines of the Disha Act framed by Andhra Pradesh, they seek to amend relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Criminal Procedural Code (CrPC) and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.

Dance pioneer Astad Deboo dies

Date: 11 December 2020 Tags: Obituaries
  • Contemporary Indian dancer Astad Deboo, renowned for marrying Kathak and Kathakali into a unique form, passed away in Mumbai. He was 73.
  • His innovative style of Indian dance may have raised some eyebrows in the 1970s and 80s, but the 1990s saw people embrace this new idiom.
  • With a dance career spanning half a century, he had performed in over 70 countries, including solo, group, and collaborative choreography with artistes, at home and abroad.
  • Deboo also forayed into other art disciplines, like films, choreographing for directors such as Mani Ratnam, Vishal Bhardwaj, and legendary painter M F Hussain's 'Meenaxi: A Tale of Three Cities'.

Cabinet approves setting up of public Wi-Fi networks (PM-WANI)

Date: 11 December 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • The Union Cabinet has given its approval to set up Public Wi-fi Access Network Interface called ‘PM-WANI’ to boost broadband connectivity.
  • The proposal by Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for setting up of public wi-fi networks by Public Data Office Aggregators (PDOAs) will be done by setting up Public Data Offices (PDOs).
  • PM-WANI (Wi-Fi Access Network Interface) will enable the development of a network of easily accessible public WiFi hotspots spread across the country.
  • PM-WANI seeks to bring public Wi-Fi hotspot revolution in India. Users will be able to conveniently access WiFi at public places and make payments through mobile apps.
  • PM-WANI eco-system will be operated by PDOs, PDOAs, app providers and central registries. A PDO will establish, maintain, and operate only WANI compliant Wi-Fi Access Points and deliver broadband services to subscribers.

Government withholds Serum institute and Bharat Biotech vaccine applications

Date: 11 December 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • The Subject Expert Committee (SEC) on emergency use authorisation of Covid-19 vaccine has said the Serum Institute of India (SII) and Bharat Biotech need to submit more data on their Covid-19 vaccine candidates before they can be granted emergency use authorisation in India.
  • The SEC recommended that Bharat Biotech should present the safety and efficacy data from the ongoing phase 3 clinical trial in the country for further consideration.
  • While the SEC does not have the authority to approve a vaccine, its views are important as it gives recommendations to the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI).
  • In India, the Serum Institute of India is manufacturing Covishield, the Covid-19 vaccine that is being developed by Oxford University and drug manufacturer AstraZeneca. Meanwhile, Bharat Biotech is developing an indigenous Covid-19 vaccine named Covaxin

Karnataka passes anti-cow slaughter bill

Date: 11 December 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • The controversial Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill, 2020, was passed in the Legislative Assembly amid protests by the Opposition.
  • The bill, known as Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill-2020' was passed unopposed as Congress members staged a walkout in protest of the bill. The bill seeks a complete ban on the slaughter of cows in the state and proposes stringent punishments to those held for smuggling, illegal transportation, atrocities on cows, and slaughtering them.
  • Some of the other important provisions of the bill include setting up of special courts for the speedy trial of the accused, setting up goshala or cattle sheds for the livestock, imparting more power to local police for conducting random checks, to name a few.