The Essential Defence Services Bill, 2021
⇒ Recently, Parliament passed the Essential Defence Services Bill, 2021.
The Bill seeks to replace the ordinance promulgated in June 2021. It allows the Central government to prohibit strikes, lock-outs, and lay-offs in units engaged in essential defence services.
The new Bill also amends the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 to include essential defence services under public utility services.
Essential Defence Services:
» Production of goods or equipment required for defence-related purposes
» Any establishment of the armed forces or connected with them or defence.
» In addition, the government may declare any service as an essential defence service if its cessation would affect the:
- Production of defence equipment or goods
- Operation or maintenance of industrial establishments or units engaged in such production
- Repair or maintenance of products connected with defence
Under the new Bill, a strike is defined as:
- It is defined as cessation of work by a body of persons acting together. The definition of strike includes slowdown of work, refusal to work overtime and mass casual leave.
Punishment for illegal lock-outs and lay-offs:
Employers violating the prohibition order through illegal lock-outs or lay-offs will be punished with up to one-year imprisonment or Rs 10,000 fine or both.
Punishment for illegal strikes:
- Persons initiating or participating in illegal strikes will be punished with up to one-year imprisonment or Rs 10,000 fine or both.
- Persons instigating, inciting, or taking actions to continue illegal strikes, or knowingly supplying money for such purposes, will be punished with up to two years imprisonment or Rs 15,000 fine, or both.
- All offences punishable under the Bill will be cognisable and non-bailable.
National Monetisation Pipeline
⇒ Recently, the union minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Smt Nirmala Sitharaman, launched the asset monetisation pipeline of Central ministries and public sector entities: ‘National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP)’ at New Delhi.
The pipeline has been developed by NITI Aayog, in consultation with infrastructure line ministries. It is based on the mandate for ‘Asset Monetisation’ under Union Budget 2021-22.
‘Water Plus’ certification to three cities in Andhra Pradesh
⇒ The Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) awarded ‘Water Plus’ certification to three cities in Andhra Pradesh.
The Water Plus certification has been awarded to cities under the Swachh Bharat Mission and Sawchh Survekshan assessment.
With this, Andhra Pradesh has become the only state in India to have more than one Water Plus city.
Three certified municipal corporations:
- Tirupati Municipal Corporation
- Vijayawada Municipal Corporation
- Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation
- Water plus certification is the next stage of ODF ++ given for liquid waste management.
New fund 'Ubharte Sitaare Fund' for MSMEs
⇒ Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman launched a new fund ‘Ubharte Sitaare Fund’ for Micro, Small and Medium enterprises (MSMEs), on 21 August 2021. The ”Ubharte Sitaare Fund” has been set up by Exim Bank and SIDBI.
The fund is expected to identify Indian enterprises with potential advantages by way of technology, products or processes along with export potential, but which are currently underperforming or unable to tap their latent potential to grow.
Addressing the launch, the union minister said that Micro, Small and Medium enterprises (MSMEs) are the backbone of the economy.
Sitharaman urged the state’s MSME Minister Sidharth Nath Singh to establish an MSME chamber in every district, and hold awareness programmes about the ”Ubharte Sitaare Fund” so that entrepreneurs working under the One District, One Product scheme can know about its benefits.
2021 World Junior Wrestling Championships (U20)
⇒ The 2021 World Junior Wrestling Championships (U20) was held in Ufa, Russia from 16 August to 22 August, 2021. It was the 44th edition of the World Junior Wrestling Championships.
At the Junior World Wrestling Championships 2021, Indian Men’s and Women’s contingent won a total of 11 medals including 4 Silvers.
- Ravinder Dahiya, in the 61kg category.
- Sanju Devi, in the 62kg category.
- Bhateri, in the 65kg category.
- Bipasha, in the 76kg category.
- Yash Tushir, in the 74kg category.
- Gourav Baliyan, in the 79kg category.
- Pruthviraj Patil, in the 92kg category.
- Deepak, in the 97kg category.
- Anirudh Kumar, in the 125kg category.
- Women’s freestyle:
- Simran Kaur, in the 50kg category.
- Sito, in the 55kg category.
World Water Week 2021
⇒ World Water Week 2021 was organised from 23 August to 27 August, 2021. World Water Week is an annual event organized since 1991.
The theme of World Water Week 2021 was “Building Resilience Faster”.
The World Water Week 2021 was organized by Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI).
This year, the event was held entirely online, in a new, digital format designed to ensure that people across the world can collaborate to find solutions to the most pressing water-related challenges.