1) Public Accounts Committee (PAC): PAC of Karnataka State legislature has accused the government for irregularities in handling COVID- pandemic.
- PAC is the oldest Parliamentary Committee and was first constituted in 1921 in wake of Montague-Chelmsford Reforms.
- It is one of the three Financial Parliamentary committees, the other two are Estimates Committee and Committee on Public Undertakings.
- It consists of 22 Members – 15 Members from Lok Sabha and 7 Members from Rajya Sabha.
- It is constituted by Parliament each year for scrutinizing Appropriation Accounts of Government and reports of CAG of India thereon.
2) Section 27A of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act: The Govt said that it wants to keep Section 27A of NDPS Act open for interpretation and challenge later in court.
- Section 27A of NDPS Act 1985 prescribes the punishment for financing illicit traffic and harboring offenders
- NDPS Act was passed to prohibit manufacture, cultivation, possession, sale, purchase, transport, storage, or consumption of drugs without permission from appropriate authorities.
- All the offenses under NDPS Act are cognizable and non-bailable.
3) Sovereign Green Bonds (SGrBs): Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) will allow pension funds to invest in SGrBs.
- SGrBs were announced in the Union Budget 2022-23 and framework for SGrBs was issued by Ministry of Finance in 2022.
- Green bonds are bonds issued by any sovereign entity, inter-governmental groups or alliances and corporates with the aim that the proceeds of the bonds are utilised for projects classified as environmentally sustainable.
- Investors in these bonds do not bear project related risks.
4) Universal Postal Union (UPU): UPU has agreed to evaluate Unified Payments Interface (UPI) for cross border remittances using global postal network.
- UPU (HQ: Bern, Switzerland) was established in 1874. UPU is a specialized agency of UN with 192 member countries including India.
- Any non-member country of United Nations may become a UPU member provided that its request is approved by at least two-thirds of the member countries of the UPU.
- UPU aim is to establish international regulations for postal services and to promote cooperation in postal matters.
5) Henley Passport Index: Index lists the world’s passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa.
- It is released by Henley & Partners, a global leader in residence and citizenship planning.
- Key findings
- Singapore has replaced Japan for having the world’s most powerful passport, allowing visa-free entry to 192 global destinations.
- India ranked at 80th, allowing visa-free travel to 57 destinations.
- Indian passport holders need a visa to enter 177 destinations across the world.
6) Bura Chapori Wildlife Sanctuary: Violence erupted in Bura Chapori Wildlife Sanctuary, leaving 1 woman dead and 6 others, including 3 forest guards, injured.
- Bura Chapori Wildlife Sanctuary is geographically located on south bank of Brahmaputra in Sonitpur district of Assam.
- It is a part of Laokhowa wildlife sanctuary (centrally located Protected Area of Assam) and is a notified buffer of the Kaziranga Tiger reserve.
- It comprises of a mosaic of wet alluvial grassland, riparian and semi-evergreen forests dotted by wetland and river systems.
- Fauna: Great Indian one-horned rhinoceros, Tiger, Leopard, Bengal Florican, Black-necked Stork, Whistling Duck etc.