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Current affairs- July 23, 2016

Solar Power Tree
Union Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, recently launched the ‘Solar Power Tree’.
Who developed it?
It has been developed by the CSIR-Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CSIR-CMERI), a constituent laboratory of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

Facebook Internet drone ‘Aquila’ passes first full-scale test
Facebook has completed its first successful test of its solar-powered Aquila drone, being developed to deliver internet service to remote areas of the world. The test flight represents a major milestone for Facebook’s efforts to bring the internet to underserved locations of the planet.

Parliamentary panel approves debt recovery law with changes
Suggesting some changes to the proposed debt recovery law, a Parliamentary panel has submitted its report on the bill which seeks to expedite disposal of over 70,000 pending cases involving more than Rs 5 lakh crore.
  • The Joint Parliamentary Committee has proposed amendments, ranging from definitions to several terms such as company, financial lease, and secured creditor, to the Enforcement of Security Interest and Recovery of Debts Laws and Miscellaneous Provisions (Amendment) Bill.
  • The Bill seeks to facilitate expeditious disposal of debt recovery applications. There are around 70,000 cases are pending in Debt Recovery Tribunals involving more than Rs 5 lakh crore.

India ranks 110th on Sustainable Development index
India has ranked a low 110 out of 149 nations assessed on where they stand with regard to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, according to a new sustainable development index.

Two Committees announced by Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation:
Two Committees announced by Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation on July 22, 2016.
1. Ganga Act
Justice Shri Girdhar Malviya (Retd.) is the Chairman of the committee. The Committee has been asked to prepare a Draft Act on Ganga ensuring wholesomeness of the River.The tenure of the Committee would be for a period of three months which may be extended by another three months

2.Desiltation of river Ganga from Bhimgauda (Uttarakhand) to Farakka (West Bengal):
Shri Madhav Chitale (Expert Member, NGRBA) has been appointed as Chairman of the committee. The committee has also been asked to establish difference between desilting and sand mining and also to establish need for desilting for ecology and e-flow of the river Ganga. The tenure of the committee would be for a period of three months.

7th Extension to Land bill:
The Joint Committee on the contentious Land Bill or the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Bill, 2015 got a seventh extension and a new chairman, keeping the Bill alive.
  • BJP Lok Sabha member Ganesh Singh has been appointed the new chairperson of the committee after his predecessor S.S. Ahluwalia was made Minister early this month. 
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