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11- AUGUST - 2016




The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) announced that it will house India’s first repository on tigers, under its new Tiger Cell.

The Tiger Cell was inaugurated on 6 August 2016. It will be funded by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), a statutory body under the Environment Ministry.

The Dehradun-based WII has about 23000 images of tigers, which will be maintained by the Tiger Cell.

Key highlights of the Tiger Cell

The Tiger Cell will assist in population assessment of tigers, law enforcement, wildlife forensics, infrastructural development and mitigation, smart patrolling and advisory role in policy formulation.

If a tiger skin is recovered at a place, then a properly maintained database can be used to check where the tiger might have come from.

When a project needs environmental clearance, the spatial data can be used to overlay the project plan on the maps and check whether the project will interfere with wildlife habitats that must not be disturbed.

• Y.V. Jhala, a wildlife scientist at the WII, will head the Tiger Cell.

About Wildlife Institute of India

The Wildlife Institute of India is an autonomous institution under the Union Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate change.

WII carries out wildlife research in areas of study like biodiversity, endangered species, wildlife policy, wildlife management, wildlife forensics, spatial modeling, ecodevelopment, habitat ecology and climate change.

The founder of WII was V. B. Saharia.

The first Director was Hemendra Singh Panwar who remained the director from 1985 to 1994.

The institute is based in Dehradun. It is located in Chandrabani.


American swimmer Katie Ledecky set a new world record to fetch gold in the women's 400 metres freestyle at the Rio Olympics.

Ledecky clocked 3 minutes 56.46 seconds to beat Britain's Jazmin Carlin who clocked 4 minutes 01.23 seconds at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium, Rio de Janeiro. America's Leah Smith clocked 4 minutes 01.92 seconds to grab the bronze.

With this win, Ledecky broke her previous record she set in 2014 by almost two seconds.

About Katie Ledecky

Born on 17 March 1997, Katie Ledecky is an American competition swimmer.

She is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and nine-time world champion.

She is the current world-record holder in the 400-meter, 800-meter and 1500-meter freestyle (long course).

She also holds the fastest times in the 500-yard, 1000-yard, and 1650-yard freestyle events.

She made her international debut at the 2012 Summer Olympics as a 15-year-old in which she won gold in the 800-meter freestyle in the second fastest performance ever.

During her career, she has broken twelve world records.

She earned her Swimming World's World Swimmer of the Year and the American Swimmer of the Year awards in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

She won the FINA Swimmer of the Year Award in 2013.

Her seven individual gold medals at the World Aquatics Championships is a record in women's swimming.

In 2016, she was the youngest person on Time magazine's Time 100 list.


Rajya Sabha passed the Mental Health Care Bill, 2013. The Bill repeals the Mental Health Act, 1987.

The upper house passed the bill with record 134 amendments.

The Bill provides for mental health care and services for persons with mental illness. It also has a provision to protect, promote and fulfill the rights of such persons during delivery of mental healthcare and services.

Features of the Mental Health Care Bill, 2013

Rights of persons with mental illness

• It states that every person shall have the right to access mental health care and treatment from services run or funded by the government. The right to access mental health care includes affordable, good quality of and easy access to services.

• Persons with mental illness also have the right to equality of treatment, protection from inhuman and degrading treatment, free legal services, and access to their medical records, and complain regarding deficiencies in provision of mental health care.

Advance Directive

• It provides right to a mentally-ill person to make an advance directive that states how he wants to be treated for the illness during a mental health situation and who his nominated representative shall be.

• This advance directive has to be certified by a medical practitioner or registered with the Mental Health Board.

• If a mental health professional/relative/care-giver does not wish to follow the directive while treating the person, he can make an application to the Mental Health Board to review/alter/cancel the advance directive.

Central and State Mental Health Authority: It call for administrative bodies to

• Register, supervise and maintain a register of all mental health establishments

• Develop quality and service provision norms for such establishments

• Maintain a register of mental health professionals

• Train law enforcement officials and mental health professionals on the provisions of the Act

• Receive complaints about deficiencies in provision of services

• Advise the government on matters relating to mental health

Mental Health Establishments

• It states that every mental health establishment should be registered with the relevant Central or State Mental Health Authority. For being registered, the establishment will have to fulfill various criteria prescribed in the Bill.

• It specifies the process to be followed for admission, treatment and discharge of mentally ill individuals.

• It leaves the decision of admission in the mental health establishment to the person with the mental illness except in case where he/she is unable to make an independent decisions or conditions exist to make a supported admission unavoidable.

Mental Health Review Commission and Board

The commission will be a quasi-judicial body that will periodically review the use of and procedure for making advance directives and advice the government on protection of the rights of mentally ill persons. It with the concurrence of the state governments, constitute Mental Health Review Boards in the districts of a state. Powers conferred to the board includes

• Register, review/alter/cancel an advance directive

• Appoint a nominated representative

• Adjudicate complaints regarding deficiencies in care and services

• Receive and decide application from a person with mental illness/his nominated representative/any other interested person against the decision of medical officer or psychiatrists in charge of a mental health establishment.

Decriminalising suicide and prohibiting electro-convulsive therapy

A person who attempts suicide shall be presumed to be suffering from mental illness at that time and will not be punished under the Indian Penal Code. Electro-convulsive therapy is allowed only with the use of muscle relaxants and anaesthesia. The therapy is prohibited for minors.

As per the Union Health and Family Welfare Minister J P Nadda around 6 to 7 percent of the country's population suffered from some kind of mental illnesses, while 1 to 2 percent suffer from acute mental disease.


The Bill is based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities that was ratified in 2007. The Convention requires the laws of the country to align with the Convention.

The new Bill was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on 19 August 2013 as the existing Act does not adequately protect the rights of persons with mental illness nor promote their access to mental health care.


Former RBI Deputy Governor Anand Sinha was appointed to the Board of IDFC Bank. Sinha will join Bank as an Additional Director in the category of Independent Director on the board with effect from 1 August 2016.

His appointment came after Vinod Rai resigned after serving on the board for a year. Rai is a former Comptroller and Auditor General of India who served as a Nominee Director representing IDFC Limited on the board of IDFC Bank.

However, Rai will still continue to be non-executive independent chairman of IDFC Limited.

About Anand Sinha

• Sinha, in his earlier appointment with the Central Bank, was overseeing the final licence to new universal banks that included IDFC Bank and Bandhan Bank.

• In his role as the Deputy Governor of RBI, he was in-charge of regulation of commercial banks, Non-Banking Financial Companies, Urban Cooperative Banks and Information Technology, among others.

• He was also the RBI's Nominee Director on the boards of Dena Bank, Allahabad Bank, Bank of Baroda, Indian Overseas Bank, Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation etc.


Dinesh Kumar Khara was appointed Managing Director (MD) of State Bank of India (SBI).

The Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) has appointed Khara for a period of three years, extendable by two years after review of his performance.

At present, Khara is working as MD and Chief Executive Officer of SBI Funds Management Pvt Ltd.

On the other hand, Ashok Kumar Garg and Raj Kamal Verma have been appointed as Executive Director (ED) of Bank of Baroda and Union Bank of India respectively. Gopal Murli Bhagat and Himanshu Joshi have been appointed as ED of Corporation Bank and Oriental Bank of Commerce respectively.

About State Bank of India

State Bank of India is an Indian multinational, public sector banking and financial services company.

It is a government-owned corporation.

Its headquarters is located in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

As of 2014-15, it had assets of 310 billion US dollar.

It is ranked 232nd on the Fortune Global 500 list of the world's biggest corporations as of 2016.

It is one of the Big Four banks of India, along with ICICI Bank, Bank of Baroda and Punjab National Bank.

SBI’s roots lie in the first decade of the 19th century, when the Bank of Calcutta, later renamed the Bank of Bengal, was established on 2 June 1806. The Bank of Bengal was one of three Presidency banks, the other two being the Bank of Bombay, incorporated on 15 April 1840, and the Bank of Madras, which was incorporated on 1 July 1843.

The Presidency banks merged on 27 January 1921, and the re-organised banking entity took as its name Imperial Bank of India.

On 1 July 1955, the Imperial Bank of India became the State Bank of India.


Irom Chanu Sharmila, the Iron Lady of Manipur, ended her 16-year-long hunger strike outside the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences in Imphal, Manipur.

Sharmila, 44, has been fed through nasal tube since November 2000. Moreover, she spent most of her time in judicial custody in a hospital in Imphal.

Moments after ending the fast, Sharmila announced that she wants to be the Chief Minister of Manipur, so that she may bring some positive changes in the state. As per her, democracy is not available in the state.

The Iron Lady of Manipur went on a hunger-strike at the age of 28 following a massacre in Imphal in which 10 persons were killed. Her primary demand was repealing of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) of 1958 from her state.

Irom Chanu Sharmila

• Born on 14 March 1972, the Iron Lady of Manipur is also known as "Mengoubi" ("the fair one").

• She is a civil rights activist, political activist. She is also a poet.

• She began her hunger-strike, the world's longest hunger strike till date, on 2 November 2000 by refusing food and water for more than 500 weeks.

• On International Women’s Day 2014, she was voted the top woman icon of India by MSN Poll.

• Amnesty International has declared her as a Prisoner of Conscience.

Awards and Honours conferred on the Iron Lady includes

• In 2007, she was awarded the 2007 Gwangju Prize for Human Rights. She shared the award with Lenin Raghuvanshi of People's Vigilance Committee on Human Rights, a northeastern Indian human rights organisation. The Gwangju Prize is given to "an outstanding person or group, active in the promotion and advocacy of Peace, Democracy and Human Rights".

• In 2009, she was awarded the first Mayillama Award of the Mayilamma Foundation "for achievement of her nonviolent struggle in Manipur".

• In 2010, she won a lifetime achievement award from the Asian Human Rights Commission.

• In 2010, she also won the Rabindranath Tagore Peace Prize of the Indian Institute of Planning and Management, which came with a cash award of 5100000 rupees.

• She also won the Sarva Gunah Sampannah "Award for Peace and Harmony" from the Signature Training Centre.

Supreme Court on AFSPA 1958

Sharmila ended her fast a month after the Supreme Court questioned the immunity enjoyed by the security personnel under the AFSPA 1958 against criminal action for acts committed in disturbed areas. In its judgement on 8 July 2016, the apex court said that there was no concept of absolute immunity from trial by a criminal court if an Army man had committed an offence.

While being sympathetic to the pressures that security forces face in conflict zones, the apex court also removed any ambiguity on the need to investigate allegations of extra-judicial killings.

This end of hunger strike also coincides with the 70th anniversary of the Quit India Movement, which is a symbolic day of remembrance for India’s struggle for freedom against British colonizers.



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Last Updated on Friday, 12 August 2016 04:26