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Current Affairs – 21-12-2017

1. ANTI-SMOG GUN

Anti-smog gun will be vital in fighting smog through precipitation scavenging. The anti-smog gun or the fog-cannon consists of a cylindrical drum with a tank that stores water, along with a high-velocity fan that blows out tiny water droplets when water is pumped through it. These droplets form a mist of water that clings on to pollutants and washes it down, imitating rain.

“Precipitation scavenging” — a method through which airborne pollutants are attached to precipitation elements and deposited on the surface of the earth. It is not a long-term solution, (water cannons) are effective, but have limits. Tough restrictions on emissions are still the best way to control air pollution for the long term. The idea is that it should be used at times of extreme smog.

2. EASIER TO ACQUIRE LAND FOR NATIONAL SECURITY, DEFENCE

Lok Sabha passed a bill to make it easier for the government to acquire immovable property for “national security and defence purpose” by changing the rules for payment of compensation.

  • The Requisitioning and Acquisition of Immovable Property (Amendment) Bill 2017 amends the original 1952 Act to allow the Centre to reissue the acquisition notice in case the property’s owner wants to be given a hearing. As per the amendment, the compensation rates that will be payable will be fixed at the date of publication of the first notice in addition to an interest.
  • The amended bill is aimed at addressing cases where the property owner is able, after prolonged litigation, to get the acquisition notice quashed in the court so as to be given a hearing. “This may cause astronomical hike in the quantum of compensation because of the inevitable appreciation of the market value of the property between the original date of publication of notice of acquisition and the present date of publication of the same, pursuant to the orders of the courts,” the bill states.
  • For such instances, the amended bill provides that the government need not pay compensation at the current market rate as is applicable on the date of issuing the fresh notice. The bill “enables the central government to reissue the notice of acquisition to the owner or such other person interested in the property, for the purpose of giving an opportunity of being heard”. The bill will also be effective with retrospective effect from March 14, 1952, the date of the enactment of the Act.

3. TEJAS- LIGHT COMBAT AIRCRAFT

  • The LCA Tejas is an Indian single-seat, single-jet engine, multi-role light fighter developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
  • Its design is highly manoeuvrable, with a tailless, compound delta wing configuration. It came from the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) programme, which began in the 1980s to replace India’s ageing MiG-21 fighters. Later, the LCA was officially named “Tejas”, meaning “Radiant”.
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