Rapid Fire Current Affairs | 15 Sep 2023

Bhoj Wetland

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) recently ordered the MP state govt to stop the operation of cruise vessels as well as other motor-propelled boats in the Bhoj wetland on account of the drastic damage being done to water bodies.

  • The Bhoj Wetland, also known as Bhopal Lake is a designated Ramsar site and hence, a wetland of international importance (Ramsar Convention 1971).
  • It consists of two contiguous human-made reservoirs -
    • "Upper Lake" - created in the 11th century by construction of an earthen dam across the Kolans River.
    • “Lower Lake” - constructed ~200 years ago, largely from leakage from the Upper lake. It is surrounded by the city of Bhopal.

Read More: National Green Tribunal (NGT), Wetlands in India, Ramsar Convention 1971 (Infographic)

Foreigners’ Tribunals

Recently, the Assam state government disclosed that since 2001, a total of 3,100 people have been declared and convicted as foreigners by tribunals in Assam and have been deported. These people were declared non-citizens by Foreigners’ Tribunals (FTs).

  • Steps against people with doubtful citizenship are taken according to the Foreigners’ Act of 1946, the Foreigners (Tribunal) Order of 1964 and notifications issued by the Centre from time to time.
  • FTs are quasi-judicial bodies to whom an individual can represent his/her case if their name does not figure in the final National Register of Citizens (NRC). Only FTs are empowered to declare a person as a foreigner.
    • The FTs judge their citizenship on the basis of documents provided or the lack of them.

Read More: Foreigners Tribunals, Citizenship of India

South Korea and Quad

South Korea has expressed its will to join the Quad grouping and now the decision of expansion rests with the latter.

  • Currently, Quad is a grouping of India, Australia, the US, and Japan formed on a common ground of democratic values of the countries. It aims to ensure and support a “free, open and prosperous” Indo-Pacific region.
  • On the bilateral front, India and South Korea are negotiating expansion of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) (in place since 2010).

Read More: Quad, India-South Korea Relations

Expansion of PM Ujjawala Yojana

The Union Cabinet has recently approved the extension of Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) for release of 75 lakh LPG connections over 3 years from FY 23-24 to FY 25-26 increasing the total number of beneficiaries to 10.35 crore.

Initiatives to expand LPG coverage:

  • PAHAL (Pratyaksh Hastantarit Labh): To reduce "ghost" accounts and illegal use of household cylinders for commercial purposes, the LPG cylinders were not sold at subsidised price and rather at market price.
    • The applicable subsidy was directly transferred to the individual's bank account electronically.
  • GIVE IT UP: Instead of removing subsidies forcefully, people were encouraged to voluntarily surrender their subsidies which helped redirect the funds to those who genuinely needed assistance in acquiring LPG cylinders.

Read More: Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana