Ban on Heavy Metals in Firecrackers: Supreme Court has banned the use of following 5 harmful heavy metals in firecrackers. The heavy metals are lithium, antimony, mercury, arsenic and lead. The task of ban has been given to Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation – PESO in collaboration with Central Pollution Control Board – CPCB. Lithium is a metal used to impart red colour to fireworks. Antimony is used to create glitter effects. Lead oxide provides a special crackling effect which, if inhaled, in high concentration can cause damage the central nervous system.
e-RaKAM Portal: The Union Government has launched e-Rashtriya Kisan Agri Mandi (e-RaKAM) portal to provide a platform for farmers to sell agricultural produce. e-RaKAM is a first of its kind initiative that leverages technology to connect farmers from the smallest villages to the biggest markets of the world through internet.
Proxy voting allowed for NRIs: The Union Cabinet has cleared a proposal to extend proxy voting to Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) and overseas Indians. Currently, only service personnel are permitted to vote through proxy. To make proxy voting for NRIs a reality, government is going to introduce bill to amend the Representation of People Act.