It was organised by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and hosted by Department of Atomic Energy and Gandhinagar-based Institute of Plasma Research.
Fusion Energy Conference (FEC 2018): The 27th IAEA Fusion Energy Conference (FEC 2018) aims to provide a forum for the discussion of key physics and technology issues as well as innovative concepts of direct relevance to the use of nuclear fusion as a source of energy.
The scientific scope of FEC 2018 is intended to reflect the priorities of this new era in fusion energy research.
With the participation of international organizations such as the ITER Organization and the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom), as well as the collaboration of more than forty countries and several research institutes, including those working on smaller plasma devices, it is expected that this conference will, like previous conferences in the series, serve to identify possibilities and means for continuous and effective international collaboration in this area.
About IAEA: The IAEA is the world’s centre for cooperation in the nuclear field. It was set up as the world’s “Atoms for Peace” organization in 1957 within the United Nations family. The Agency works with its Member States and multiple partners worldwide to promote the safe, secure and peaceful use of nuclear technologies.
It seeks to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and to inhibit its use for any military purpose, including nuclear weapons. IAEA reports to both the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council. The IAEA has its headquarters in Vienna, Austria.
The IAEA serves as an intergovernmental forum for scientific and technical cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear technology and nuclear power worldwide.
Board of Governors: 22 member states (must represent a stipulated geographic diversity) — elected by the General Conference (11 members every year) – 2 year term. At least 10 member states — nominated by the outgoing Board. Board members each receive one vote.
Recommendations to the General Conference on IAEA activities and budget. Responsible for publishing IAEA standards. Responsible for making most of the policy of the IAEA. Appoints the Director General subject to General Conference approval.
General Conference: 169 member states — one vote per member. Forum for debate on current issues and policies. Meets once a year. Approve the actions and budgets passed on from the Board of Governors. Approves the nominee for Director General.
The meeting approved 19 new projects, including a programme to protect freshwater resources in Bahrain. Environmentalists had argued the Gulf nation should pay for the project itself using money it made from its vast reserves of oil and gas.
About GCF: The GCF was set up in 2010 under the UNFCCC’s financial mechanism to channel funding from developed countries to developing countries to allow them to mitigate climate change and also adapt to disruptions arising from a changing climate. It was central to the Paris climate agreement signed in 2015, that the world’s largest historical emitter.
How it helps? The Green Climate Fund will support projects, programmes, policies and other activities in developing country Parties using thematic funding windows. It is intended to be the centrepiece of efforts to raise Climate Finance of $100 billion a year by 2020.
The Fund will promote the paradigm shift towards low-emission and climate-resilient development pathways by providing support to developing countries to limit or reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to the impacts of climate change, taking into account the needs of those developing countries particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.
The Fund will strive to maximize the impact of its funding for adaptation and mitigation, and seek a balance between the two, while promoting environmental, social, economic and development co-benefits and taking a gender-sensitive approach.
Who will govern the Fund? The Fund is governed and supervised by a Board that will have full responsibility for funding decisions and that receives the guidance of the COP. The Fund is accountable to, and functions under the guidance of, the COP.
Background: Toluene is one of the petrochemical wastes that get released without treatment from industries such as refineries, paint, textile, paper and rubber. Toluene has been reported to cause serious health problems to aquatic life, and studies point that it has genotoxic and carcinogenic effects on human beings.
Acinetobacter Junii: The bacteria were isolated from the soil samples, identified and studied for their toluene-degrading abilities.
These bacteria change the morphology of toluene to remove its toxicity. The degradation is found to be general aerobic (in presence of oxygen) biodegradation. The bacteria use up this toluene as their carbon source in the presence of oxygen.
Context: US-based writer Sujatha Gidla has won 2018 Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize for her debut book “Ants Among Elephants: An Untouchable Family and the Making of Modern India”.
About Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize: The Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize is funded by the Shakti Bhatt Foundation. It was set up in 2008 in memory of young writer and editor Shakti Bhatti. It honours first-time writers from Indian sub-continent for their outstanding work of fiction or non-fiction. It carries cash prize of Rs. 2 lakh.
Context: India’s longest river bridge with total length of 19.3 kilometers will be built on Brahmaputra river in Assam.
Key facts: This bridge will connect Dhubri of Assam to Fulbarani of Meghalaya. This bridge will reduce the distance between these two places by 203 kms. At present, India’s largest river bridge is Dhola-Sadia bridge, its length is 9.15 kilometers.
Japanese Finance Agency (JICA) has approved the loan for this project as part of road infrastructure improvement package in the north-east after assessing the economic benefit of the big project.
Two northeastern states of Assam and Meghalaya will be connected by NH127B with the help of this bridge.
Context: India and US have agreed to elevate their bilateral ‘Cope India’ air exercise to trilateral format by including Japan. The next edition of this exercise is scheduled to be held in December 2018.
About Cope India: It is series of international Air Force exercises between Indian Air Force (IAF) and United States Air Force conducted on and over Indian soil. The first such exercise was conducted at IAF air force station in Gwalior from February 2004.
Air pollution is a serious health issue in the country especially in the northern parts during winter seasons. The air pollution in the northern region is attributed to dust, burning of crops in certain states, burning of garbage construction and prevailing climatic conditions. This air pollution has serious impacts on the health of children aged people and people suffering from respiratory ailments. Diwali which is a festival of lights falls during the same period. As a matter of practice people have been celebrating Diwali by bursting crackers. Crackers contains combustible chemicals that include potassium chlorate powdered aluminum, magnesium, salts of barium, copper, sodium, lithium, strontium etc. and emits smoke on combustion of these chemicals along with sound. This smoke and sound has health impacts on children, aged people and also animal and birds. Apart from these compounds large amount of waste is also generated after bursting of crackers. Keeping in view the above detrimental effects and also the importance of the festival, Ministry has initiated a “Harit–Diwali” campaign.
This campaign was initiated in 2017-18 wherein large number of school children especially from eco-clubs participated and took pledge to minimize bursting of crackers and also discouraged the neighborhood and their friends from bursting of crackers. During this intensive campaign, the children were advised to celebrate Diwali in an environment-friendly manner by gifting plant sapling to their relatives and friends along with sweets, undertake cleaning of houses, neighbourhoods, schools, collect old books and unused notebooks gift to needy children, donate old warm clothing, blankets to night-shelters and other homeless people. The children were encouraged to light up their houses and their schools with candles and diyas. The above campaign was extremely successful and the air quality had not deteriorated post Diwali in 2017 unlike what was experienced in 2016.
On the above lines, the Ministry has initiated the similar campaign, but this year the campaign has been extended Pan-India. The “Harit Diwali-Swasth Diwali” campaign is now merged with “Green Good Deed” movement that has been initiated as a social mobilization for conservation and protection of environment. The Ministry encourages all schools and colleges to be part of this campaign.
(1) Every State Authority or District Authority or the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee or every High Court Legal Services Committee or, as the case may be, Taluk Legal Services Committee may organise Lok Adalats at such intervals and places and for exercising such jurisdiction and for such areas as it thinks fit.
(2) Every Lok Adalat organised for an area shall consist of such number of :-
(a) Serving or retired judicial officers and
(b) Other persons,of the area as may be specified by the State Authority or the District Authority or the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee or the High Court Legal Services Committee, or as the case may be, the Taluk Legal Services Committee, organising such Lok Adalats.
(3) The experience and qualifications of other persons referred to in clause (b) of sub-section (2) for Lok Adalats organised by the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee shall be such as may be prescribed by the Central Government in consultation with the Chief Justice of India.
(4) The experience and qualifications of other persons referred to in clause (b) of sub-section (2) for Lok Adalats other than referred to in sub-section (3) shall be such as may be prescribed by the State Government in consultation with the Chief Justice of the High Court.
(5) A Lok Adalat shall have jurisdiction to determine and to arrive at a compromise or settlement between the parties to a dispute in respect of :-
(i) Any case pending before or (ii) Any matter which is falling within the jurisdiction of, and is not brought before, any court for which the Lok Adalat is organised. Provided that the Lok Adalat shall have no jurisdiction in respect of any case or matter relating to an offence not compoundable under any law.
Section 20. Cognizance of Cases by Lok Adalats
(1) Where in any case referred to in clause (i) of sub-section (5) of Section 19-(i)
(i) (a) The parties thereof agree or
(i) (b) One of the parties thereof makes an application to the court, for referring the case to the Lok Adalat for settlement and if such court is prima facie satisfied that there are chances of such settlement or
(ii) The court is satisfied that the matter is an appropriate one to be taken cognizance of by the Lok Adalat, the court shall refer the case to the Lok Adalat: Provided that no case shall be referred to the Lok Adalat under sub-clause (b) of clause ( i) or clause (ii) by such court except after giving a reasonable opportunity of being heard to the parties.
(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, the Authority or Committee organising the Lok Adalat under sub-section (1) of Section 19 may, on receipt of an application from any, one of the parties to any matter referred to in clause (ii) of sub-section (5) of Section 19 that such matter needs to be determined by a Lok Adalat, refer such matter to the Lok Adalat, for determination; Provided that no matter shall be referred to the Lok Adalat except after giving a reasonable opportunity of being heard to the other party.
(3) Where any case is referred to a Lok Adalat under sub-section (1) or where a reference has been made to it under sub-section (2), the Lok Adalat shall proceed to dispose of the case or matter and arrive at a compromise or settlement between the parties.
(4) Every Lok Adalat shall, while determining any reference before it under this Act, act with utmost expedition to arrive at a compromise or settlement between the parties and shall be guided by the principles of justice equity, fair play and other legal principles.
(5) Where no award is made by the Lok Adalat on the ground that no compromise or settlement could be arrived at between the parties, the record of the case shall be returned by it to the court, from which the reference has been received under sub-section (1) for disposal in accordance with law.
(6) Where no award is made by the Lok Adalat on the ground that no compromise or settlement could be arrived at between the parties, in a matter referred to in sub-section (2), that Lok Adalat shall advice the parties to seek remedy in a court.
(7) Where the record of the case is returned under sub-section (5) to the court, such court shall proceed to deal such reference under sub-section (1).
Section 21. Award of Lok Adalat (1) Every award of the Lok Adalat shall be deemed to be a decree of a civil court or, as the case may be, an order of any other court and where a compromise or settlement has been arrived at, by a Lok Adalat in a case referred to under sub-section (1) of Section 20, the court-fee paid in such case shall be refunded in the manner provided under the Court Fees Act, 1870 (7 of 1870).
(2) Every award made by a Lok Adalat shall be final and binding on all the parties to the dispute, and no appeal shall lie to any court against the award.
Section 22. Powers of Lok Adalat or Permanent Lok Adalat (1) The Lok Adalat shall, for the purposes of holding any determination under this Act, have the same powers as are vested in a civil court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908), while trying a suit in respect of the following matters, namely:-
(a) The summoning and enforcing the attendance of any witness and examining him on oath. (b) The discovery and production of any document. (c) The reception of evidence on affidavits. (d) The requisitioning of any public record or document or copy of such record or document from any court or office and (e) Such other matters as may be prescribed.
Without prejudice to the generality of the powers contained in sub-section (1), every Lok Adalat shall have the requisite powers to specify its own procedure for the determination of any dispute coming before it.
All proceedings before a Lok Adalat shall be deemed to be judicial proceedings within the meaning of Sections 193, 219 and 228 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) and every Lok Adalat shall be deemed to be a civil court for the purpose of Section 195 and Chapter XXVI of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973(2 of 1974).