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Indian polity Current affairs 2019

Following the current events and news in the area of Indian polity is very important for the general studies paper in the UPSC exam. In recent times questions are set on only those topics that have made news. Regular study of Indian polity from NCERT books or otherwise is no longer required. The idea is to follow the current affairs news related to Indian polity and understand the Indian polity behind those issues. This is true for all levels of teh IAS exam - prelims, mains and also the interview.




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Current Affairs in Indian polity - Feburary 2020

The Union Cabinet: The Union Council of Ministers exercises executive authority in the Republic of India. It consists of senior ministers, called 'cabinet ministers', junior ministers, called 'ministers of state' and, rarely, deputy ministers. A smaller executive body called the Union Cabinet is the supreme decision-making body in India. It is led by the Prime Minister.

Recently, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi got its approval to the official amendments in the National Commission for Homoeopathy Bill 2019 for amending the Homoeopathy Central Council (HCC) Act, 1973. Currently, the Bill is pending in Rajya Sabha.

The amendments will ensure necessary regulatory reforms in the field of Homoeopathy education, enable transparency and accountability for protecting the interest of the general public and the National Commission will promote the availability of affordable healthcare services in all parts of the country.

Homoeopathy Central Council (HCC) Act, 1973: The Homoeopathy Central Council (HCC) Act, 1973 was enacted for constitution of a Central Council of Homoeopathy for regulation of education and practice of Homoeopathy, for maintenance of Central Register of Homoeopathy and for matters connected therewith. This Act has been modeled on the pattern of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956. The broad functions, constitution, regulation making powers are identical to those of the Medical Council of India. While the Act provides a solid foundation for the growth of medical education and practice in Homoeopathy, but various bottlenecks in the functioning of Council have been experienced, which has resulted in serious detrimental effects on medical education as well as delivery of quality Homoeopathy healthcare services.

Union Cabinet: Recently, the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020 drafted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to amend the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971. The amended bill proposes to extend the upper limit for abortion in India to 24 weeks from 20 weeks. The Bill is set to be introduced in the ensuing session of the Parliament.

The Union Cabinet: The Union Council of Ministers exercises executive authority in the Republic of India. It consists of senior ministers, called 'cabinet ministers', junior ministers, called 'ministers of state' and, rarely, deputy ministers. A smaller executive body called the Union Cabinet is the supreme decision-making body in India. It is led by the Prime Minister.

Recently, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi got its approval to the official amendments in the National Commission for Homoeopathy Bill 2019 for amending the Homoeopathy Central Council (HCC) Act, 1973. Currently, the Bill is pending in Rajya Sabha.

The amendments will ensure necessary regulatory reforms in the field of Homoeopathy education, enable transparency and accountability for protecting the interest of the general public and the National Commission will promote the availability of affordable healthcare services in all parts of the country.

Homoeopathy Central Council (HCC) Act, 1973: The Homoeopathy Central Council (HCC) Act, 1973 was enacted for constitution of a Central Council of Homoeopathy for regulation of education and practice of Homoeopathy, for maintenance of Central Register of Homoeopathy and for matters connected therewith. This Act has been modeled on the pattern of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956. The broad functions, constitution, regulation making powers are identical to those of the Medical Council of India. While the Act provides a solid foundation for the growth of medical education and practice in Homoeopathy, but various bottlenecks in the functioning of Council have been experienced, which has resulted in serious detrimental effects on medical education as well as delivery of quality Homoeopathy healthcare services.

Union Cabinet: Recently, the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020 drafted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to amend the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971. The amended bill proposes to extend the upper limit for abortion in India to 24 weeks from 20 weeks. The Bill is set to be introduced in the ensuing session of the Parliament.

The main aim of the proposed amendments in the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Bill is to increase access of women to safe abortion services and taking into account the advances in medical technology. It will also ensure dignity, autonomy, confidentiality and justice for women who need to terminate their pregnancy.

The main aim of the proposed amendments in the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Bill is to increase access of women to safe abortion services and taking into account the advances in medical technology. It will also ensure dignity, autonomy, confidentiality and justice for women who need to terminate their pregnancy.

Gram Nyayalayas: Gram Nyayalayas are village courts which were established for speedy and easy access to the justice system in the rural areas across the country at their door steps. The main aim of the judicial body is to provide inexpensive justice in rural areas.

For the establishment of Gram Nyayalayas Parliament enacted Gram Nyayalayas Act, 2008. The Act came into force from 2 October 2009. As per the ACt, a Gram Nyayalaya can have jurisdiction over an area specified by a notification by the State Government in consultation with the respective High Court. As specified in the First, Second and Third schedule of the Act, Gram Nyayalayas have both civil and criminal jurisdiction over the offences and nature of suits. Gram Nyayalayas have to follow special procedures in civil matters, in a manner it deems just and reasonable in the interest of justice and can also allow for conciliation of the dispute and settlement of the same in the first instance.

Recently, The Supreme Court of India has directed the state governments to issue notifications establishing “Gram Nyayalayas” within 4 weeks. The apex court of India has also asked the High Courts to accelerate consultation with department concerned on the matter.

A bench headed by Justice N V Ramana took into account the fact that several States have issued notifications for establishing “Gram Nyayalayas” but the only ones in Kerala, Maharashtra and Rajasthan are functioning. The bench also noted that the States of Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Telangana, West Bengal, Uttarakhand and Odisha have not yet filed their affidavits in compliance with the earlier directions issued by it.

At present, only 208 Gram Nyayalayas are functioning as against 2,500 required to function according to the 12th five-year plan.

Union Cabinet: The Union Council of Ministers exercises executive authority in the Republic of India. It consists of senior ministers, called 'cabinet ministers', junior ministers called 'ministers of state' and, rarely, deputy ministers. It is led by the Prime Minister. A smaller executive body called the Union Cabinet is the supreme decision-making body in India. The prime minister and ministers of the rank of cabinet minister can only be the members of the Union Cabinet in accordance with Article 75.

Recently, the Union Cabinet gave its approval to bring cooperative banks under the regulatory mechanism of Reserve Bank of India. The cabinet on 5 february 2020 approved amendments to the Banking Regulation Act thus allowing multi-state cooperative banks to come under the regulation of the RBI. The announcement was made by Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadkar after a cabinet meeting. This move aims to ensure greater accountability and transparency in the functioning of Cooperative Banks and also to prevent crisis situations that Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative Bank faced.

The cabinet has also approved the IIIT Laws Amendment Bill 2020. According to the bill, 5 IIITs in Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model at Surat, Bhagalpur, Bhopal, Agartala, and Raichur are to be declared as institutions of national importance. Now, at present the number of Institutions of National importance has gone upto 25.

The Union Cabinet: The Union Council of Ministers exercises executive authority in the Republic of India. It consists of senior ministers, called 'cabinet ministers', junior ministers called 'ministers of state' and, rarely, deputy ministers. It is led by the Prime Minister. A smaller executive body called the Union Cabinet is the supreme decision-making body in India. The prime minister and ministers of the rank of cabinet minister can only be the members of the Union Cabinet in accordance with Article 75.

The approvals given by the Union Cabinet recently are:-

Vivad Se Vishwas bill, 2020: The Vivad Se Vishwas bill which aims to provide for resolution of disputed direct taxes, was introduced in the Lok Sabha on February 5 by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman during the Budget 2020-21. The vivad se vishwas scheme is similar to the 'Indirect Tax, Sabka Vishwas' scheme, which was introduced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman during her maiden budget presentation in 2019.

Recently, the Union Cabinet approved to make the required changes in the Direct Tax Vivad se Vishwas Bill, 2020. The bill has been amended to increase its scope to cover litigations pending in various debt recovery tribunals (DRTs).

Pesticide Management Bill 2020: Union Cabinet has approved the Pesticide Management Bill 2020. The bill seeks to regulate the sale of pesticides and provide compensation to farmers in case of losses due to spurious pesticides. It also seeks to promote organic pesticides. The main aim of the bill is to replace the Insecticides Act, 1968. The bill seeks to advertise standards by supplying information regarding the pesticides available in the market in a digital format.

Most of the pesticides that are used in India are hazardous according to the classifications of the World health Organization (WHO). Only 40% of the pesticides are registered while 60% is unregistered and are very harmful.

Major Ports Authority Bill 2020: The cabinet has given its approval to Major Ports Authority Bill 2020 that will be introduced in Parliament to replace the existing regulations under a 1963 law. The Bill seeks to enhance overall efficiencies of the ports was cleared by the Cabinet. Shipping Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said that there have been many changes in the way ports are operated since the 1960 and public-private partnership (PPP) model was also being used so the bill will provide dispute resolution mechanism and the 12 major ports in the country will have more autonomy to make decisions.

India's 12 major ports are, Deendayal (erstwhile Kandla), Mumbai, JNPT, Marmugao, New Mangalore, Cochin, Chennai, Kamarajar (earlier Ennore), Paradip and Kolkata (including Haldia), and V O Chidambarnar, Visakhapatnam.

Cabinet Approval: The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its in principle approval for capital infusion for three Public Sector General Insurance Companies, namely, Oriental Insurance Company Limited (OICL), United India Insurance Company Limited (UIICL) and National Insurance Company Limited (NICL). The Cabinet has allowed a capital infusion of 2,500 crore rupees in three Public Sector General Insurance Companies. The decision has been taken in the wake of the critical financial position and breach of regulatory solvency requirements of these companies to meet the solvency ratio criteria of IRDA (Insurance Regulatory Development Authority).

Law commission: The Law Commission of India is a non-statutory body constituted by the Government of India from time to time. The government constitutes law commission from time to time as per the requirement. The Commission was originally constituted in 1955 and is re-constituted every three years. It works as an advisory body to the Ministry of Law and Justice.

The First Law Commission of Independent India was established in 1955 under the Chairmanship of the then Attorney-General of India, M. C. Setalvad. Since then, twenty one more Commissions have been established.

The first such Commission before the independence of India was established in 1834 under the Charter Act of 1833 under the Chairmanship of Lord Macaulay.

Recently, on February 19, 2020,the Union Cabinet under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved 22nd Law Commission of India for a period of three years from the date of publication of the Order of Constitution in the Official Gazette.

The tenure of the 21st Law Commission of India was up in 2015 upto August 31, 2018 under Justice (Retd.) BS Chauhan.

The 22nd Law Commission will consist of a full-time Chairperson, 4 full-time Members (including Member-Secretary), Secretary, Department of Legal Affairs as ex-officio Member, Secretary, Legislative Department as ex officio Member and not more than five part-time Members.

The functions of the commission is -

*To identify laws that shall be repealed immediately.

*To examine the existing laws in the light of Directive Principles of State Policy(DPSP) and suggest ways of improvement.

*To respond to requests made by other countries in framing their legal system.

*To make measures that shall help to serve the poor legally.

*To revise the Central Acts of general importance so as to simplify them and remove anomalies, ambiguities, and inequities.

*To undertake research in law and review of existing laws in India for making reforms therein and enacting new legislations.

ART: It refers to the Assisted Reproductive Technologies. The ART is used infertility treatment. This is the only application routine, used for reproductive technology. Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), including In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF), is a way for a multitude of persons suffering from infertility.

ART has grown by leaps and bounds in the last few years. As, India has one of the highest growths in the ART centers and the number of ART cycles performed every year there are unethical practices that need to be brought under legislation.

Recently, on February 18, 2020, the Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi approved a historic Bill for the welfare of Women in the Country – the Assisted Reproductive Technology Regulation Bill 2020. The move came after the introduction of the Surrogacy Regulation Bill 2020 in Parliament and the approval of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Amendment Bill 2020.

The Bill proposes establishment of a national registry and registration authority for all clinics and medical professionals serving in the field. The bill also proposes to establish a central data base of banks and clinics all over the country. Severe punishment will be given to people who practice sex selection, sale of human embryos, running agencies or organizations for such unlawful practices.

Current Affairs in Indian polity - January 2020

Union Cabinet: The Union Cabinet approved the Atal Bhujal Yojana (ABY) on December 24, 2019. It is a Central Sector Scheme which has a total outlay of 6,000 cr rupees for sustainable management of ground water resources.  This scheme is being implemented in identified states like – Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh. These states have been selected according to the level of groundwater exploitation and degradation. 

ABY: It refers to Atal Bhujal Yojana (Atal Jal). The scheme aims to promote active participation of the communities in various activities such as formation of water user associations, monitoring and disseminating ground  water data, water budgeting, preparation and implementation of gram panchayat-wise water security plans and information, education and communication (IEC) activities related to sustainable ground water management.

Indian Railways: It is one of the world's largest railway network consists of freight, passengers, tourist, Suburban rail systems, toy train and luxury trains. IR has 4,337 operating railway stations, operates on a multi-gauge network of broad, meter and narrow gauges. It was founded on 16 April 1853.

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved a transformational organisational restructuring of the Indian Railways. The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved a transformational organizational restructuring of the Indian Railways. This historic reform seeks to go a long way in achieving Government's vision of making Indian Railways the growth engine of India's vikas yatra.

The reforms include the unification of eight Group A services of the Railways into a Central Service called Indian Railway Management Service (/RMS). It is expected to end departmentalism, promote smooth working and expedite decision-making. Railway Board will be headed by Chairman Railway Board (CRB). The re-organized board will have one Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and four members along with a few independent members.

Assam Cabinet:   The Assam Cabinet has approved to make Assamese language the state language of Assam. This will exclude BTAD (Bodoland Territorial Administrative Districts), Barak Valley and Hill districts of Assam. Assamese language will be made compulsory in all the school of Assam too. The cabinet proposal targets at fulfilling the demands of the Assamese speaking majority in the Brahmaputra Valley in the wake of rising insecurities among the people after the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) was passed in both Houses of the Parliament earlier this month.

Article 345: Article 345 of the Indian Constitution says that subject to provisions of Article 346 and 347, the State Legislature might adopt one or more languages to be used as official languages.

Article 346: As per Article 346, the states are authorized to decide on the language of communications amongst them after the approval of the Central Government.

Article 347: Under this article, special provisions are provided to language spoken in a section of population. The President of India shall assent on the usage of the language is sees it is necessary.

The state cabinet also decided to bring a new bill securing the land rights for the indigenous people. As per the new bill, only indigenous people could sell or buy land from another indigenous citizen.

CRPF: It refers to Central Reserve Police Force. The CRPF is India's largest Central Armed Police Force. It functions under the authority of the Ministry of Home Affairs of the Government of India. The CRPF's primary role lies in assisting the State/Union Territories in police operations to maintain law and order and counter insurgency. It came into existence as the Crown Representative's Police on 27 July 1939. After Indian Independence, it became the Central Reserve Police Force on enactment of the CRPF Act on 28 December 1949. It is headquartered in New Delhi. Central Reserve Police Force of India's largest Central Armed Police Force is considered to be the World's largest Paramilitary Force.

CRPF have played a prominent role in combating terror and militancy. CRPF personnel played prominent role in eliminating terror from Punjab and militancy from Tripura in the year 1980 and 1990. The supreme sacrifices made by about 2184 CRPF personnel for internal security duties including at the war theatres with China in October,1959 and with Pakistan at Sardar Post, Kutch in Gujarat in 1965. CRPF bagged 75 bravery medals which is the highest for any force.

Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s commitment for the welfare of paramilitary forces who have made supreme sacrifices for the nation, Union Home Minister Amit Shah laid the foundation stone of the Directorate General Building of CRPF in New Delhi on 30 December 2020. He also launched a new logo, Garud, for those engaged in providing security to the common man and VIPs.

The new building which will be built at a cost of Rs 280 crore will have all modern facilities and green amenities, besides effective control and command system with modern training modules for 3.5 lakh strong force to enhance their operational capability. Home Ministry has not only created 35000 new posts for CRPF but also various initiatives for the welfare of family members of CRPF is also being considered.

PPRTMS: It refers to the Political Parties Registration Tracking Management System. It is an online tracking system which will allow political parties to track their applications for registration with the Election Commission of India (ECI) on a real-time basis.

The salient features of PPRTMS is that the applicant, who is applying for a political party registration from 1st January, 2020 will be able to track the progress of his/her application and will get status updates through SMS and e-mail. The registration of political parties is governed by the provisions of Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.

Under this Section, a party seeking registration has to submit an application to the Commission within a period of 30 days following the date of its formation as per guidelines prescribed by the Election Commission of India. The commission checks whether the party satisfies the criteria governed by section 29A of Representation of People Act, 1951.

The Election Commission of India launched an online tracking system- Political Parties Registration Tracking Management System (PPRTMS). The new guidelines came into effect from January 1, 2020.

Election Commission Of India: It is an autonomous constitutional authority responsible for administering Union and State election processes in India. The body administers elections to the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, State Legislative Assemblies in India, and the offices of the President and Vice President in the country. It was founded in 20 January 1950. It is headquartered in New Delhi.

FTSCs: It refers to Fast Track Special Courts. FTSCs were established in Indian in the year 2000 with an aim to clear the long pending Sessions and other lower judicial cases. Under the direction of the Supreme Court of India in Suo Moto Writ Petition (Criminal) number 01/2019 dated 25.07.2019, 389 courts out of 1023 courts, have been set up exclusively for POSCO Act. Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2018 was also enacted for more stringent provisions relating to sexual offences.

The Central Government has started a Scheme to set up 1023 Fast Track Special Courts (FTSCs) across the country. FTSCs is being setup under the National Mission for Safety of Women (NMSW) scheme. It is being setup to clear the cases under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

According to the Law Ministry, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Chandigarh, Haryana Maharashtra, Manipur, NCT of Delhi, Nagaland, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, UT of Chandigarh, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh have agreed to setup FTSCs. Mizoram, Sikkim, Meghalaya, UTs of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh and Puducherry are yet to join. Currently, there are 581 fast track courts in the country that are functional.

Cabinet: The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has been apprised of information about the amendments moved to the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019 as passed by the Rajya Sabha.

The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was approved by the Cabinet in its meeting held on 24th June, 2019 for re-introduction in the Lok Sabha. The amended Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was passed by the Parliament on August 5, 2019 after being passed by both Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha.

Amendments will ensure concurrence of the State Governments while formulating National Transport Policy and making schemes for national, multimodal and inter-state transportation of goods and passengers by the Central Government.

The Union Cabinet: The Union Council of Ministers exercises executive authority in the Republic of India. It consists of senior ministers, called 'cabinet ministers', junior ministers, called 'ministers of state' and, rarely, deputy ministers. It is led by the Prime Minister. A smaller executive body called the Union Cabinet is the supreme decision-making body in India. Only the prime minister and ministers of the rank of cabinet minister are members of Union Cabinet in accordance with Article 75.

Recently, on 11 January 2019, the Union Cabinet approved the promulgation of the ordinance for amendment in the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) (MMDR) Act, 1957 and the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015. Amendments to these two Acts approved by the Cabinet aims to ease the auction of coal mines allow Foreign direct investment (FDI) and enhance ease of doing business.

The amendments in the laws will not only open up new areas of growth in the coal and mining sector but also offer unexplored and partially explored coal blocks for mining through prospecting license-cum-mining lease (PL-cum-ML).

The ordinance democratizes the coal industry and makes it attractive for merchant mining companies, including multinationals to look at India.

It will allow Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the coal mining sector by removing the restriction and eligibility criteria for participation.

Section 11A of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act provides that the central government can auction coal and lignite mining licenses only to companies engaged in iron and steel, power and coal washing sectors. It will enable any India-registered company to invest in the coal mining sector and develop coal blocks provided that the companies must have prior experience of mining in India to bid for the blocks.

Large investment in mining is expected to create jobs and set off demand in critical sectors such as mining equipment and heavy commercial vehicles.

It will allow successful bidder/allottee to utilize mined coal in any of the plant of its subsidiary or holding company as restrictions of end use has been dropped.

ECI: It stands for the Election Commission of India. The ECI is an autonomous constitutional authority responsible for administering Union and State election processes in India. The body administers elections to the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, State Legislative Assemblies in India, and the offices of the President and Vice President in the country. It was founded in 25 January 1950. The current Election Commissioner is Shri Ashok Lavasa and the Chief Election Commissioner is Sh. Sunil Arora.

Recently, on 14th January 2020, the Election Commission of India organized a Briefing Meeting for Observers to be deployed for the forthcoming NCT of Delhi Legislative Assembly Elections, for which schedule was announced on 6th January, 2020. Poll date for the single phased election for Delhi's 70 constituencies is February 8, 2020 and Counting will be held on February 11, 2020. More than 150 officers drawn from IAS, IPS and also from Indian Revenue Service and other Central Services were called for the General, Police and Expenditure Observers briefing today. Adequate number of officers would be deployed on actual duty.

ECI Observers: They are appointed under the powers conferred on it by Section 20B of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and the plenary powers available to the Commission under the Constitution of India. They work under the superintendence, control and discipline of the Commission for the period from their appointment till the completion of the process of election. Statutory powers were provided to the Observers to watch the conduct of elections and especially in respect of counting of votes after the amendment of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 in August 1996 under which new Section 20B was added.

Andhra Pradesh Assembly: The Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly (APLA) is the lower house of the Andhra Pradesh Legislature. The Legislative Assembly consists of 175 members which are elected by adult universal suffrage under the first-past-the-post system. The Andhra Legislative Assembly was constituted after the formation of Andhra State on October 1, 1953.

Recently, on January 20, 2020, Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly passed a bill proposing three capitals, The bill proposed the development of Amaravati, Visakhapatnam and Kurnool as the legislative, executive and judicial capitals of the state respectively. The cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Jaganmohan Reddy had earlier passed the Capital Region Development Authority Repeal Bill 2020 and the AP Decentralization and Inclusive Development of all Regions Bill 2020, in this regard. The Bill also provides for dividing the State into various zones. It aims to establish zonal planning and development boards.

The current YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) government's objective is to bring about a comprehensive, parallel and decentralized development in the state which in turn will bring about "balanced and inclusive growth" of Andhra Pradesh.

Supreme Court of India: The Supreme Court of India is the highest judicial court under the Constitution of India, the highest constitutional court, with the power of judicial review. It has extensive powers in the form of original, appellate and advisory jurisdictions. It is regarded as the most powerful government institution in India. It consists of the Chief Justice of India and a maximum number of 34 judges. It was established 82 years ago, on 1st October 1937 as Federal Court of India. On the 28th of January 1950 it was renamed as the Supreme Court of India. The current Chief Justice of India (CJI) is Sharad Arvind Bobde.

The Supreme Court of India has set up a panel to firm up a draft legislation to give legal sanctity to disputes settled through mediation, which would then be sent to the government as a suggestion from the apex court. The panel is headed by mediator Niranjan Bhat and the other members of the panel who are appointed by the Mediation and Project Conciliation Committee (MCPC) of the Supreme Court, includes Justice K Kanan, former ASGs AS Chandok and PS Narsimha, senior advocates Sriram Panchu and JP Singh, and senior mediators Susheela S, Sadhna Ramchandran, Laila Ollapally, and Anil Xavier.

Parliament: The Parliament of India is the supreme legislative body of the Republic of India. It is a bicameral legislature composed of the President of India and the two houses: the Rajya Sabha (Council of States) and the Lok Sabha (House of the People). The current leader of the Rajya Sabha is Thawar Chand Gehlot and the Vice President of India Venkaiah Naidu is the ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, who presides over its sessions. The current leader of the Lok Sabha is Narendra Modi and the Speaker is Om Birla.

Recently, The Supreme Court, in the interest of more fairness in the procedure said that the Parliament should think over having an independent and permanent body to decide disqualification petitions against MPs and MLAs, instead of the Speaker retaining exclusive powers. A three-judge bench, headed by Justice Rohinton F Nariman suggested that Parliament revisit the rationale in giving exclusive powers to the Speaker in deciding disqualification petitions.

Union Cabinet: It consists of senior ministers, called 'cabinet ministers', junior ministers, called 'ministers of state' and, rarely, deputy ministers. It is led by the Prime Minister. The Union Council of Ministers exercises executive authority in the Republic of India.

Recently, the Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the extension of the term of the Commission to examine the issue of Sub-categorization of Other Backward Classes, by six months that is up to 31.7.2020. The commission was appointed in 2017 with an initial time frame of 12 weeks. This is the 8th extension given to the commission.

The Cabinet has also approved an addition to the terms of reference of the commission, which will now also study various entries in the 'Central list of OBCs and recommend correction of any repetitions, ambiguities, inconsistencies and errors of spelling or transcription.'

Current Affairs in Indian polity - September 2019

  • ECI :It is the Election Commission of India (ECI). Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora announced the elections dates for the Assembly elections in Maharashtra and Haryana. The elections in both the states will be held on 21st October 2019 and counting will be held on the 24th of October 2019. The term of the Maharashtra assembly and Haryana assembly ends on November 9th and November 2nd respectively. Model Code of Conduct (MCC) will now come into force, following which the current state governments will not be able to roll out last minute schemes.
  • Karnataka Bypolls 2019 :: The bypolls to 15 Karnataka seats, which the Election Commission will be held on December 5, according to a new notification issued. The counting will take place on December 9. As per the new schedule, the nomination process will restart on November 11 as per the new schedule and November 21 will be the last date of withdrawing from the polls.
  • Dantewada Assembly by-poll :Congress' Devti Karma won the bypoll for the seat, reserved for Scheduled Tribes, by a margin of 11,192 votes, a poll official said. Devti Karma is the wife of senior Congress leader Mahendra Karma who was killed in the Jhiram Valley Maoist attack in 2013. Opposition BJP's Ojaswi Mandavi stood second with 38,836 votes and Communist Party of India (CPI) candidate Bhimsen Mandavi stood third 7,664 votes.Voting was held on September 23.
  • Public Safety Act (PSA) :It is the Public Safety Act, 1978 of Jammu and Kashmir. It is a defensive detention law that allows taking a person into custody to prevent him or her from acting in any matter that is prejudicial to “the security of the state or the maintenance of the public order”. As per the definition, preventive detention is meant to be protective, not punitive. When government authorities slap the PSA on an individual they give this broad definition as the most common ground for detention. Any person can be booked under PSA when an administrative order passed either by Divisional Commissioner (DC) or the District Magistrate (DM). Any detention under this act can’t be made under the order by police based on specific allegations or for a specific violation of laws. Former Jammu-Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah has been booked under the Public Safety Act (PSA) on September 16. He had been kept under house arrest since the revocation of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. A similar act called the National Security Act (NSA) is used by the other state governments for preventive detention.
  • Corporate Tax :It is also called corporation tax or company tax, it is a direct tax imposed by a jurisdiction on the income or capital of corporations or analogous legal entities. The corporate tax was slashed to enhance domestic manufacturing and Make in India scheme. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at the GST Council meet in Panjim, Goa on September 20, 2019, announced that the Government has decided to bring down corporate tax for domestic, new manufacturing companies. She also announced that the Government has proposed to slash the corporate tax rates for domestic companies and for new local manufacturing companies through an ordinance. She said that the tax concessions would bring investments in Make in India, boost employment and economic activity, leading to more revenue. The Finance Minister further added that companies could go for lower tax rate after the expiry of tax holidays and concessions that they are availing now and any new investment in manufacturing that are incorporated on or after October 1, 2019 will pay 15 % base tax rate.
  • Supreme Court :It is the highest judicial court and the final court of appeal under the Constitution of India. The Centre appointed four new judges to the Supreme Court. With the appointments, the total strength of judges is now 34 at the apex court. It is the highest ever till date. The newly appointed judges who took oath of office in a simple function in courtroom are - Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi administered oath of office and secrecy to justices Krishna Murari, S Ravindra Bhat, V Ramasubramanian and Hrishikesh Roy. The Supreme Court Collegium had recommended their names to the government last month. The Supreme Court vacancies had increased its judicial strength from 31 to 34 (including Chief Justice of India) following the enactment of Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Bill of 2019 into law. From among the newly appointed judges one of them will replace the vacancy following retirement of SC Justice A.M. Sapre. Originally, according to Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Act, 1956, the maximum numbers of judges (excluding the chief Justice of India) was 10. It was increased to 13 by Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Amendment Act, 1960, and then to 17 in 1977. The working strength of the Supreme Court was, however, restricted to 15 judges by the cabinet (excluding the CJI) till the end of 1979. But the restriction was withdrawn at the request of the chief justice of India. Later, in 1986, the total strength of the Supreme Court was increased to 25 excluding Chief Justice of India. Then again in 1986, the total strength of the top court was increased to 25 (excluding CJI). Later, the Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Amendment Act, 2009 further augmented the strength of SC from 25 to 30.
  • E-cigarette Ban:The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the Promulgation of the Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes (production, manufacture, import, export, transport, sale, distribution, storage and advertisement) Ordinance, 2019. This has been approved taking into account the overall interest of public health as envisaged under Article 47 of the Constitution of India. The decision has been taken to prohibit e-cigarettes including all forms of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems [ENDS), Heat Not Burn Products, e-Hookah and the like devices to help protect population, especially the youth and children, from the risk of addiction. The current decision has come on the back of an advisory issued by the Government in 2018 to all States to consider banning e-cigarettes. 16 States and 1 UT have already banned e cigarettes in their jurisdictions. Any manufacturing, production, import, export, transport, distribution or advertisement (including online advertisement), sale (including online sale) of e-cigarettes shall be a punishable offence.It is an electronic-cigarettes that are battery-operated devices. They produce aerosol by heating a solution containing nicotine, which is the addictive substance in combustible cigarettes. These include all forms of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems, Heat Not Burn Products, e-Hookah and the like devices. As these novel products come in multiple flavours with attractive appearances the youth as well as children have started getting addicted to it and has aquired epidemic proportions in developed countries also.
  • Article 371: It is a law providing special status to six North East states. The 68th Plenary session of the North Eastern Council (NEC) was held in Guwahati on September 8 and 9. At a meeting with governors and chief ministers of the eight northeastern states as part of the North Eastern Council in Guwahati, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday upheld the fact that the region was pivotal to India's growth story and that the Centre would not tamper with Article 371, dispelling fears that the special status of the north-eastern states would be scrapped, following the abrogation of Article 370 in Kashmir, last month. Shah also reviewed the situation in the state in the wake of the publication of the final National Register of Citizens (NRC).
  • NEC: North Eastern Council(NEC) was constituted as a statutory advisory body under the NEC Act,1971. The eight States of Northeast India are members of the council with their respective Chief Ministers and Governors representing them. The council functions under the Ministry of Home Affairs of the Government of India. Union Home Minister is ex-officio Chairman of the Council and the Vice Chairman is the Minister of State (Independent Charge),Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region(DoNER). The Council was initially set up as an advisory body but now sanctioned as a Regional planning body since 2002.The council while formulating a regional plan for North Eastern states shall give priority to the schemes and projects benefiting two or more states provided that in the case of Sikkim, the Council shall formulate specific projects and schemes for that State.
  • The two Union Territories:Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh will have a common high court, Jammu and Kashmir High Court. The information was shared by the State Judicial Academy's Director Rajeev Gupta on September 8, 2019. He said that 108 Central Laws would be applicable for the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. He also said that 164 state laws would be repealed and 166 state laws will continue to be applicable. Under the centre’s announcement after revoking of Article 370, the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir will have a legislative Assembly, while the Union Territory of Ladakh will come under the direct control of the Union Government. Some laws will change, the existing law procedure for practice in the high court will remain the same.
  • The two Union Territories:Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh will have a common high court, Jammu and Kashmir High Court. The information was shared by the State Judicial Academy's Director Rajeev Gupta on September 8, 2019. He said that 108 Central Laws would be applicable for the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. He also said that 164 state laws would be repealed and 166 state laws will continue to be applicable.
  • 5 new governors appointed, Kalraj Mishra goes to Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu BJP chief is Telangana governor: President Ram Nath Kovind today appointed four new Governors and shifted Kalraj Mishra from Himachal Pradesh to Rajasthan. Mishra, 78, will succeed former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh, who completed his five-year tenure as the Governor of Rajasthan. Former Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya, 72, has been appointed Governor of Himachal Pradesh, replacing Kalraj Mishra. Former Union Minister Arif Mohammed Khan will be the Kerala Governor in place of former Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam. BJP’s Tamil Nadu state chief Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan will be the Governor of Telangana, a post currently held by ESL Narasimhan. Former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Bhagat Singh Koshyari will be the new Governor of Maharashtra in place of Vidyasagar Rao. The appointments will take place from the dates they assume charge.
  • 01 September 2019: The West Bengal State Assembly passed West Bengal (Prevention of Lynching) Bill, 2019. The Bill aims to prevent and punish mob assaults and lynching. The state government mentioned that the Bill was passed as the Centre has failed to take the initiative. The Bill was passed by a voice vote. The Bill aims to prevent the spreading of hatred or incidents of mob lynching. The State describes lynching as social malice. The State also urged the Centre and other State governments to bring similar legislation.
  • Provisions of the Bill:The bill was passed after several cases in which the people were beaten to death over rumors of cattle smuggling and child theft. This offense will carry the punishment of a jail term for three years to life imprisonment. In case of assault leading to injury, the penalty includes a fine of a minimum of Rs.1 lakh to a maximum of Rs.3 lakh. The Bill defined terms such as lynching and mob. The Bill said that the West Bengal Lynching Compensation Scheme may be framed under this Act.
  • ‘Jai Bheem Mukhyamantri Yojana’:Ahead of assembly elections, the Delhi government on Tuesday extended the benefits under its 'Jai Bhim Mukhyamantri Yojana', which provides financial aid for coaching to students from Scheduled Castes (SC), to Other Backward Classes (OBC) and economically weaker sections It includes other backward class and general category students in its ‘Jai Bheem Mukhyamantri Yojana’, and enhance financial assistance from ₹40,000 to ₹1 lakh for coaching for various competitive exams. This scheme is only for the scheduled caste category students under which financial assistance of up to ₹40,000 would be provided.The move comes at a time when only a few months are left for the scheduled Delhi Assembly elections to be held early next year.According to Mr. Kejriwal, a civil service aspirant will be provided financial assistance upto ₹1 lakh for 12-month coaching.An applicant whose annual family income is less than ₹8 lakh will be able to avail the scheme, he added.
  • Aayush Centres :The Central government has set a target of setting up 12,500 Ayush centres across India. The announcement was made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Yoga Award Ceremony held in New Delhi. He also said that the Centre will open 1.5 lakh health, wellness centres. The prime minister also pitched for linking technology with tradition in the practise of Ayush medicine. In its first, 4000 Ayush centres will be set up in 2019. Government is also making efforts to bring in more professionals in the field of Ayush and necessary steps are being taken to that effect. Centre also plans to create a homogenous system by creating an Ayush grid on the lines of one nation, one tax, and one nation, one mobility card.
  • International Relations :Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami signed three agreements for collaboration in the healthcare sector on his first day of his UK tour. The Chief Minister is on the first leg of his three-nation tour which he set out for on Wednesday. According to reports, of the three agreements, two were Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) and one was Statement of Intent. While one MoU was signed between the government of Tamil Nadu and International Skills Development Corporation, to develop the skills of the healthcare staff in the state, another MoU was between the government of Tamil Nadu and the King’s College London. King’s College London is looking to establish a branch of the college in Tamil Nadu. The Chief Minister, flanked by Tamil Nadu’s Health Minister C Vijayabaskar and Health Secretary Dr Beela Rajesh, also signed a Statement of Intent with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to improve the standards to control the spread of communicable diseases like malaria and dengue. The delegation also visited the Emergency Operations Centre of the London ambulance service, NHS and its call centres to study the model of emergency response and dispatch of ambulances in London. The aim is to replicate the model in Tamil Nadu.
  • Rajya Sabha passes National Institute of Design (Amendment) Bill, 2019:Rajya Sabha has passed National Institute of Design (Amendment) Bill, 2019. Now it has to be passed by Lok Sabha. The Bill seeks to amend National Institute of Design Act, 2014, which declares National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad as an institution of national importance. It seeks to declare four National Institutes of Design (NID) in Andhra Pradesh (Amaravati), Assam (Jorhat), Madhya Pradesh (Bhopal) and Haryana (Kurukshera) as institutions of national importance as these institutes are registered as Societies under Societies Registration Act, 1860 and do not have power to grant degrees or diplomas. Once these four institutions are declared of national importance, they will be granted the power to grant degrees and diplomas. This step taken by the Government will not only help to produce highly skilled manpower in design sector but also create job opportunities, both direct and indirect. It will also provide sustainable design interventions for handloom, crafts, rural technology, small, medium (SMEs) and large scale enterprises (LSEs) nd outreach programmes for capacity, capability and institution building.
  • Lok Sabha passes Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019:Lok Sabha passed Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019 which seeks to prohibit discrimination against transgender persons, including in matters of employment. This bill that lays emphasis on educating, skilling and making transgenders employable was moved by Union Minister for State for Social Justice and Empowerment Kishan Pal Gurjar. This bill prohibits discrimination on the grounds of education, healthcare, employment, access to, or enjoyment of goods, facilities opportunities available to public. A transgender person can make an appliction to District Magistrate (DM) for a certificate of identity, indicating gender as ‘transgender’. National Council for Transgender persons (NCT): NCT chaired by Union Minister for Social Justice, apart from redressing grievances of transgender person, will advise central government as well as monitor impact of policies with respect to transgender persons. A transgender, ss a person or individual whose gender does not match gender assigned at birth. It includes trans-men and trans-women, persons with intersex variation (means a person who at birth shows variation in his/her primary sexual characteristics, external genitalia, chromosomes, or hormones from normative standard of male/female body), gender-queers, and persons with socio-cultural identities, such as kinnar and hijra. Though maximaum demands of the transgender community have been included in the Bill but the prejudice of the people regarding transgender have to be changed then only the Bills passed for them will be effective.
  • Indian Policy :The Sagarmala is a series of projects to leverage the country’s coastline and inland waterways to drive industrial development. It was originally mooted by the Vajpayee government in 2003 as the waterways equivalent of the Golden Quadrilateral. Sagarmala, integrated with the development of inland waterways, is expected to reduce cost and time for transporting goods, benefiting industries and export/import trade. The Sagarmala Programme is an initiative by the government of India to enhance the performance of the country's logistics sector. The programme envisages unlocking the potential of waterways and the coastline to minimize infrastructural investments required to meet these targets. It entails investing ₹8.5 trillion (equivalent to ₹8.9 trillion, US$130 billion or €120 billion in 2018) to set up new mega ports, modernizing India's existing ports, developing of 14 Coastal Economic Zones (CEZs) and Coastal Employment Units, enhancing port connectivity via road, rail, multi-modal logistics parks, pipelines & waterways and promoting coastal community development, with the aim of boosting merchandise exports by US$110 billion and generating around 10,000,000 direct and indirect jobs. The Sagarmala Programme is the flagship programme of the Ministry of Shipping to promote port-led development in the country by exploiting India’s 7,500 km long coastline, 14,500 km of potentially navigable waterways and its strategic location on key international maritime trade routes. Sagarmala aims to modernize India's Ports so that port-led development can be augmented and coastlines can be developed to contribute to India's growth. It also aims at "transforming the existing Ports into modern world-class Ports and integrate the development of the Ports, the Industrial clusters and hinterland and efficient evacuation systems through road, rail, inland and coastal waterways resulting in Ports becoming the drivers of economic activity in coastal areas. To implement this, State governments would set up State Sagarmala committees, headed by the chief minister or the minister in charge of ports. At the central level, a Sagarmala Development Company (SDC) will be set upto provide equity support to assist various special purpose vehicles (SPVs) set up for various projects.

Current Affairs in Indian polity - July 2019

  • Bharatmala Project: It relates to HighWay construction. Bharatmala Project is the second largest highways construction project in the country since NHDP, under which almost 50,000 km of highway roads were targeted across the country. Bharatmala will look to improve connectivity particularly on economic corridors, border areas and far flung areas with an aim of quicker movement of cargo and boosting exports.The Government of India recently approved Phase-I of Bharatmala Pariyojana with financial outlay of Rs 5,35,000 crore to develop 24,800 km Highways along with 10,000 km residual NHDP stretches over a period of five years.
  • 15th July 2019: It is the day on which commemorating World Youth Skills Day and celebrating 4th Anniversary of the Skill India Mission, the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship announced launch of “Kaushal Yuva Samwaad” (A Youth Dialogue). Kaushal Yuva Samwaad is aimed at creating an open dialogue with the youth across all skill training centres to hear their views, ideas, opportunities and recommendations which could help the Ministry in scaling the existing programs and improve overall efficiency of its projects. Kaushal Yuva Samwaad is being organized across all Skill India training centres, namely, Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras (PMKK), Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs), Polytechnics, Institutes under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), Jan Shikshan Sansthans, DDU-GKY Centres and other fee-based training centres across the country.
  • The Union Budget 2019 Highlights related to Rural India are: Electricity and clean cooking facility to all willing rural families by 2022. A robust fisheries management framework through Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) to be established by the Department of Fisheries. Target of connecting the eligible and feasible habitations advanced from 2022 to 2019 with 97% of such habitations already being provided with all weather connectivity. 1,25,000 kilometers of road length to be upgraded over the next five years under PMGSY III. Scheme for Promotion of Innovation, Rural Industry and Entrepreneurship’ (ASPIRE) consolidated. 10,000 new Farmer Producer Organizations to be formed, to ensure economies of scale for farmers. Zero Budget Farming in which few states’ farmers are already being trained to be replicated in other states. Jal Jeevan Mission to achieve Har Ghar Jal (piped water supply) to all rural households by 2024. Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) fund can be used Jal Shakti Abhiyan. Universal Obligation Fund under a PPP arrangement to be utilized for speeding up Bharat-Net.
  • Central Welfare Database of citizens: It will be created by merging different data maintained by separate Ministries and departments — which can be tapped for enhancing ease of living for citizens, particularly the poor. Governments can create data as a public good within the legal framework of data privacy. Care must also be taken not to impose the “elite’s preference of privacy on the poor, who care for a better quality of living the most.” Private sector may be granted access to select database for a fee. The datasets talked about include administrative data such as birth and death records, pensions, tax records, marriage records; survey data such as census data, national sample survey data; transactions data such as e-national agriculture market data, UPI data, institutional data and public hospital data on patients. The governments already has a rich repository of administrative, survey, institutional and transactions data about citizens, but these data were scattered across numerous government bodies. Merging these distinct datasets would generate multiple benefits with the applications being limitless. The government could utilise the information embedded in these distinct datasets to enhance ease of living for citizens, enable truly evidence-based policy, improve targeting in welfare schemes, uncover unmet needs, integrate fragmented markets, bring greater accountability in public services and generate greater citizen participation in governance, etc.
  • Water: Is the commodity for which the Finance Minister recently promised a blueprint this year for developing “water grids” on the line of power grids in the country to push the government’s ‘One Nation, One Grid’ concept. National Grid is the high-voltage electric power transmission network in mainland India, connecting power stations and major substations and ensuring that electricity generated anywhere in mainland India can be used to satisfy demand elsewhere.
  • 12:The number of members will be there in the government-appointed Board of Governors (BoG) which will monitor the medical education of India after the Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, 2019. It will replace the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Second Ordinance, 2019. The bill will safeguard transparency, accountability, and quality in the governance of medical education in the country. The Bill supersedes the Medical Council of India (MCI) for a period of 2 years with effect from September 26, 2018 and vests its powers in a government-appointed Board of Governors (BoG), which would have 12 members instead of 7.
  • Building Team India with Jan Bhagidari: Minimum Government Maximum Governance. Achieving green Mother Earth and Blue Skies through a pollution-free India. Making Digital India reach every sector of the economy. Launching Gaganyan, Chandrayan, other Space and Satellite programmes. Building physical and social infrastructure. These are the major points of the 10-point Vision for the decade as per the Union Budget 2019-20.
  • Major points of the 10-point Vision for the decade as per the Union Budget 2019-20:Water, water management, clean rivers. Blue Economy.Self-sufficiency and export of food-grains, pulses, oilseeds, fruits and vegetables. Achieving a healthy society via Ayushman Bharat, well-nourished women & children, safety of citizens. Emphasis on MSMEs, Start-ups, defence manufacturing, automobiles, electronics, fabs and batteries, and medical devices under Make in India. These are the major points of the 10-point Vision for the decade as per the Union Budget 2019-20.
  • Achievements during 2014-19 as per the Union Budget 2019:1 trillion dollar added to Indian economy over last 5 years (compared to over 55 years taken to reach the first trillion dollar).India is now the 6th largest economy in the world, compared to 11th largest five years ago. Indian economy is globally the 3rd largest in Purchasing Power Parity (PPP).Strident commitment to fiscal discipline and a rejuvenated Centre-State dynamic provided during 2014-19.Structural reforms in indirect taxation, bankruptcy and real estate carried out. Average amount spent on food security per year almost doubled during 2014-19 compared to 2009-14.Patents issued more than trebled in 2017-18 as against the number in 2014.
  • Steps for Women Empowerment announced in the Union Budget 2019:Women SHG interest subvention program proposed to be expanded to all districts; Overdraft of Rs. 5,000 to be allowed for every verified women SHG member having a Jan Dhan Bank Account; One woman per SHG to be eligible for a loan up to Rs. 1 lakh under MUDRA Scheme.
  • PM-SYM:It stands for Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-Dhan Yojana PM-SYM is a voluntary and contributory pension scheme that will engage as many as 42 crore workers in the unorganised sector. Benefits: Minimum Assured Pension: Each subscriber under the scheme will receive minimum assured pension of Rs 3000 per month after attaining the age of 60 years. In case of death during receipt of pension: If the subscriber dies during the receipt of pension, his or her spouse will be entitled to receive 50 percent of the pension as family pension. This family pension is applicable only to spouse. In case of death before the age of 60 years: If a beneficiary has given regular contribution and dies before attaining the age of 60 years, his or her spouse will be entitled to continue the scheme subsequently by payment of regular contribution or may even exit the scheme. The subscriber is required to contribute the prescribed contribution amount from the age of joining the scheme till the age of 60 years. The subscriber can contribute to the PM-SYM through ‘auto-debit’ facility from his or her savings bank account or from his or her Jan- Dhan account.Under the PM-SYM, the prescribed age-specific contribution by the beneficiary and the matching contribution by the Central Government will be made on a ‘50:50 basis’.
  • Seva Bhoj Yojana: It is the name of the scheme launched by Union Ministry of Culture – a scheme to reimburse central share of CGST and IGST on food, prasad, langar or bhandara offered by religious and charitable institutions. Eligibility: The charitable religious institutions including temples, gurudwara, mosque, church, dharmik ashram, dargah, monasteries, which fulfill the following criteria are eligible for the grant: The institutions that have been in existence for at least five years before applying for financial assistance/grant. The institutions that serve free food to at least 5000 people in a month. The institutions covered under Section 10(23BBA) of the Income Tax Act or those registered as Society under Societies Registration Act (XXI of 1860) or as a Public Trust under any law for the time being in force of statuary religious bodies constituted under any Act or institutions registered under Section 12AA of Income Tax Act.
  • Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga:It is a gas pipeline project which aims to provide piped cooking gas to residents of Varanasi and later to millions of people in states like Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Odisha. According to GAIL, with the Urja Ganga project, 20 lakh households will get PNG connections. GAIL has built a network of trunk pipelines covering the length of around 11,000 km. With Urja Ganga project, this number will further increase by 2540 km.
  • NSAP: It stands for National Social Assistance Programme is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme under the Ministry of Rural Development. It came into effect from 15th August,1995. It represents a significant step towards the fulfilment of the DPSP in Article 41 of the Constitution. In particular, Article 41 of the Constitution of India directs the State to provide public assistance to its citizens in case of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement and in other cases of undeserved want within the limit of its economic capacity and development. It aims to provide financial assistance to the elderly, widows and persons with disabilities in the form of social pensions. It currently covers more than three crore people who are below the poverty line (BPL), including about 80 lakh widows, 10 lakh disabled and 2.2 crore elderly.
  • Atal Bimit Vyakti Kalyan Yojna:It aims to financially support those who lost their jobs or rendered jobless for whatsoever reasons due to changing employment pattern. The Employee’s State Insurance (ESI) has approved this scheme for Insured Persons (IP) covered under the Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948. Its beneficiaries will be insured persons covered under Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948 for period of two years continuously. Under the scheme, relief will be payable in cash directly to bank account of insured persons in case of unemployment. This financial assistance will be given to insured persons even while they search for new engagement. Beneficiary insured workers will be paid money, from their own contribution towards ESI scheme, in cash through bank account transfer. Under this scheme, workers will be able to draw 47% of their total contributions towards ESIC after remaining unemployed for at least three months from date of leaving their previous jobs. They can choose to receive the cash at one go or in instalments. It will be applicable to all factories and establishments employing at least 10 workers.
  • PMRPY:It stands for Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana is to promote employment generation. The scheme was announced in the Budget for 2016-17. The scheme is being implemented by the Ministry of Labour and Employment. Under the scheme employers would be provided an incentive for enhancing employment by reimbursement of the 8.33% EPS contribution made by the employer in respect of new employment. The PMRPY scheme is targeted for workers earning wages up to Rs. 15,000/- per month.
  • The Lok Sabha has passed the National Investigation Agency (Amendment) Bill 2019. Key features of the Bill: The Bill amends the NIA Act, 2008 and provides for a national-level agency to investigate and prosecute offences listed in a schedule (scheduled offences). It allows for the creation of Special Courts for the trial of scheduled offences which include offences under Acts such as the Atomic Energy Act, 1962, and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967. As per the Bill, the NIA will now have the power to investigate the following offences, in addition: (i) human trafficking, (ii) offences related to counterfeit currency or bank notes, (iii) manufacture or sale of prohibited arms, (iv) cyber-terrorism, and (v) offences under the Explosive Substances Act, 1908. Jurisdiction: The officers of the NIA have the same powers as other police officers in relation to the investigation of such offences, across India. In addition, officers of the NIA will have the power to investigate scheduled offences committed outside India, subject to international treaties and domestic laws of other countries.
  • Rajasthan High Court:It resolved to censure the salutations “My Lord” and “Your Lordship” from courtroom protocol – a practice that has been inherited from British rule. As the words “My Lord” and “Your Lordship” are relics of a Colonial past, it is proposed to incorporate the above rule showing respectful attitude to the Court.
  • 12:The number of beaches in India which have been selected by the Union Environment Ministry to vie for a ‘Blue Flag’ certification, an international recognition conferred on beaches that meet certain criteria of cleanliness and environmental propriety. These beaches are at Shivrajpur (Gujarat), Bhogave (Maharashtra), Ghoghla (Diu), Miramar (Goa), Kasarkod and Padubidri (Karnataka), Kappad (Kerala), Eden (Puducherry), Mahabalipuram (Tamil Nadu), Rushikonda (Andhra Pradesh), Golden (Odisha), and Radhanagar (Andaman & Nicobar Islands). The Blue Flag Programme for beaches and marinas is run by the international, non-governmental, non-profit organisation FEE (the Foundation for Environmental Education).It started in France in 1985 and has been implemented in Europe since 1987, and in areas outside Europe since 2001, when South Africa joined. Japan and South Korea are the only countries in South and south-eastern Asia to have Blue Flag beaches. Spain tops the list with 566 such beaches; Greece and France follow with 515 and 395, respectively. There are nearly 33 criteria that must be met to qualify for a Blue Flag certification, such as the water meeting certain quality standards, having waste disposal facilities, being disabled- friendly, have first aid equipment, and no access to pets in the main areas of the beach. Some criteria are voluntary and some compulsory.
  • The 10th Schedule of the Constitution:This is also known as the Anti-defection Act. The Tenth Schedule was inserted in the Constitution in 1985 by the 52nd Amendment Act. It lays down the process by which legislators may be disqualified on grounds of defection by the Presiding Officer of a legislature based on a petition by any other member of the House. The decision on question as to disqualification on ground of defection is referred to the Chairman or the Speaker of such House, and his decision is final. The law applies to both Parliament and state assemblies.
  • NSDF:It stands for National Skill Development Fund was incorporated on 23rd December, 2008 as a trust under the Indian Trust Act, 1882. It is fully owned by the Government, to act as a receptacle for financial contributions from Governmental sources, bilateral/ multilateral and other agencies and other private sector donors who would prefer to provide funds through the Government. Its main objective is to enhance, stimulate and develop the skills of Indian youth force by various sector specific programmes.
  • Six:The number of Public Libraries which are there under administrative control of Ministry of Culture namely National Library, Kolkata, Central Reference Library, Kolkata, Central Secretariat Library, New Delhi, Delhi Public Library, Delhi, Khuda Bakhsh Oriental Public Library, Patna and Rampur Raza Library, Rampur.Public libraries function under the administrative control of the respective State/UT library authority.
  • PMBJP:Stands for Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana’ is a campaign launched by the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Govt. Of India, to provide quality medicines at affordable prices to the masses through special kendra’s known as Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Kendra. Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI) is the implementing agency of PMBJP. BPPI (Bureau of Pharma Public Sector Undertakings of India) has been established under the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Govt. of India, with the support of all the CPSUs.
  • Lashay:It stands for Labour room Quality improvement Initiative which is an initiative of Government of India to improve quality of care in labour room and maternity operation theatres in public health facilities. Lashya is a multipronged approach focused at Intrapartum and immediate postpartum period. The aim is to reduce preventable maternal and new-born mortality, morbidity and stillbirths associated with the care around delivery in Labour room and Maternity Operation Theatre and ensure respectful maternity care.
  • A whip:In parliamentary parlance is a written order that party members be present for an important vote, or that they vote only in a particular way A one-line whip, underlined once, is usually issued to inform party members of a vote, and allows them to abstain in case they decide not to follow the party line. A two-line whip directs them to be present during the vote. A three-line whip is the strongest, employed on important occasions such as the second reading of a Bill or a no-confidence motion, and places an obligation on members to toe the party line. A whip in parliamentary parlance is a written order that party members be present for an important vote, or that they vote only in a particular way. The term is derived from the old British practice of “whipping in” lawmakers to follow the party line. In India all parties can issue a whip to their members. Parties appoint a senior member from among their House contingents to issue whips — this member is called a Chief Whip, and he/she is assisted by additional Whips.
  • Parliament:It recently passed the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019 criminalising triple talaq. This will replace the 1986 Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act. Key provisions of the Bill: The Bill makes all declaration of talaq, including in written or electronic form, to be void (i.e. not enforceable in law) and illegal. It defines talaq as talaq-e-biddat or any other similar form of talaq pronounced by a Muslim man resulting in instant and irrevocable divorce. The Bill makes declaration of talaq a cognizable offence, attracting up to three years’ imprisonment with a fine.
  • The Lok Sabha:It has passed the Consumer Protection Bill 2019, which seeks to give enhanced protection to interests of consumers and timely settlement of their grievances. A consumer is defined as a person who buys any good or avails a service for a consideration. It does not include a person who obtains a good for resale or a good or service for commercial purpose. It covers transactions through all modes including offline, and online through electronic means, teleshopping, multi-level marketing or direct selling. Rights of consumers: Six consumer rights have been defined in the Bill, including the right to: (i) be protected against marketing of goods and services which are hazardous to life and property; (ii) be informed of the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard and price of goods or services; (iii) be assured of access to a variety of goods or services at competitive prices; and (iv) seek redressal against unfair or restrictive trade practices.
  • Didi Ke Bolo:This campaign has been launched in West Bengal to address the public grievances and other social issues. Under the initiative, every citizen of West Bengal can directly contact chief minister. People can reach out to her by calling on a specific number. Main objective of this campaign is to improve citizen’s participation and engagement by providing a platform. By this campaign every citizen can share suggestion and problems for required actions.

Current Affairs in Indian polity - June 2019

  • 14 days: It is the period in which one candidate if elected to 2 parliamentary seat has to vacate one seat. Under Sec 33(7) of RPA, 1951, an individual can contest from two parliamentary constituencies but, if elected from both, he has to resign one seat within 14 days of the declaration of the result, failing which both his seats shall fall vacant. [Sec 70, RPA, 1951 read with Rule 91 of the Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961]. Under Article 101(2) of the Constitution (read with Rule 2 of the Prohibition of Simultaneous Membership Rules, 1950, made by the President under this Article) members of state legislatures who have been elected to Lok Sabha must resign their seats within 14 days “from the date of publication in the Gazette of India or in the Official Gazette of the State, whichever is later, of the declaration that he has been so chosen”, failing which their seats in Lok Sabha shall automatically fall vacant.
  • CBI Raids:Consent of the state is required for raids in State by CBI. Unlike the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is governed by its own NIA Act and has jurisdiction across the country, the CBI is governed by the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act that makes consent of a state government mandatory for conducting investigation in that state. There are two kinds of consent: case-specific and general. It was in the news recently when reversing his predecessor’s orders, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has allowed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to go ahead with investigations and raids in the State without prior permission of the State government. The Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal governments, had last year, withdrawn “general consent” to the CBI for investigating cases in their respective states. The state governments said they had lost faith in the CBI in the backdrop of its internal turmoil marked by the open war among the agency’s top officers. They had also alleged that the Centre is using the CBI to unfairly target Opposition parties.
  • Hawa Aane De:It is the name of song launched by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change on air pollution. The song was launched in the national capital recently. The main aim is to spread awareness regarding protecting the environment. Secretary of Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change launched the song in the presence of actor Shekhar Suman and singer Shaan. World Environment Day is celebrated on June 05.
  • Union Environment Ministry:They on the eve of World Environment Day, has launched a people’s campaign called #SelfiewithSapling, urging people to advocate the cause on social media. Under the campaign, people have been urged to plant a sapling and post selfie with the planted sapling on social media. Every June 5th is World Environment Day. The World Environment Day is a part of the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) for creating awareness and action worldwide for the environment. The first World Environment Day was celebrated in 1973. The theme for 45th World Environment Day is Beat Air Pollution. It is the call for action to combat the global crisis for ‘fresh air’.
  • The Government of India, Government of Tamil Nadu (GoTN) and the World Bank:They recently signed a $287 million loan agreement for the Tamil Nadu Health System Reform Programme. The programme aims to improve the quality of health care, reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), and fill equity gaps in reproductive and child health services in Tamil Nadu. The programme supports interventions to strengthen institutional and state capacity to achieve results. The programme will promote population-based screening, treatment and follow-up for NCDs, and improve monitoring and evaluation. Patients will be equipped with knowledge and skills to self-manage their conditions. Another key aim of this programme is to reduce the equity gaps in reproductive and child health. Tamil Nadu ranks third among all Indian states in the NITI Aayog Health Index which is reflected in vastly improved health outcomes.
  • JSS:Which stands for Jan Shikshan Sansthans is the name of the scheme under which the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has decided to waive off fee for SC/ST candidates who join vocational training under this scheme. Formerly under the Ministry of Human Resources Development, Jan Shikshan Sansthan was transferred to the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship in 2018. Jan Shikshan Sansthans (JSS) were established to provide vocational training to non-literate, neo-literate, as well as school dropouts by identifying skills as would have a market in the region of their establishment. They were formerly known as Shramik Vidyapeeth.
  • PRC:Which stands for Population Research Centre has been established by The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) with the mandate to provide, inter alia, critical research-based inputs related to the Health and Family Welfare Programs and Policies at the national and state levels. Their main role is to undertake research projects relating to family planning, demographic research and biological studies & qualitative aspect of population control, with a view to gainfully utilize the feedback from these research studies for plan formulation, strategies and modifications of on- going schemes. Autonomous in their functioning, these PRCs are provided 100 per cent central assistance in the form of grant-in-aid on a year-to year basis.
  • Small Retailers Benefits:The Union Cabinet has approved a monthly pension scheme for small retail traders and shopkeepers. The scheme that offers pension coverage to the trading community will cover 3 crore small retail traders and shop keepers. Under the scheme all small shopkeepers, retail traders and self-employed persons are assured a minimum of Rs.3,000 monthly pension after attaining 60 years of age. All small shopkeepers, self-employed persons and retail traders aged between 18-40 years and with Goods and Service Tax (GST) turnover below Rs.1.5 crore can enrol for pension scheme. The scheme is based on self-declaration as no documents are required except bank account and Aadhaar Card. The Central Government will make matching contribution (same amount as subscriber contribution) i.e. equal amount as subsidy into subscriber’s pension account every month.
  • Jal Shakti :It is the name of the new Ministry created by Centre. It has been created by merger of Ministries of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation along with Drinking Water and Sanitation. The ministry will roll out government’s ambitious plans to provide piped water connections to every household in India by 2024. It will also address international and inter-states water disputes and the Namami Gange project which is the flagship initiative to clean the River Ganga, its tributaries and sub-tributaries. ‘Nal se Jal’ scheme to provide piped drinking water to every household will be a component of government’s Jal Jivan Mission.
  • Features of revised PM-KISAN scheme are:The revised Scheme is expected to cover around 2 crore more farmers, The coverage of PM-KISAN extended to around 14.5 crore beneficiaries, Vulnerable landholding farmer families, having cultivable land upto 2 hectares covered, Eligible farmers will be provided direct income support at the rate of Rs. 6,000 per year. This income support will be transferred directly into the bank accounts of beneficiary farmers, in three equal installments of Rs. 2,000 each.The complete expenditure of Rs 75000 crore for the scheme will borne by the Union Government in 2019-20. For the purpose of the calculation of the benefit, the Centre has defined a small and marginal landholder family as the one comprising of husband, wife and minor children up to 18 years of age, who collectively own cultivable land up to two hectare as per the land records of the concerned states.
  • Farmer’s benefit Schemes :Bhavantar Bhugtan Yojana in Madhya Pradesh is sought to provide relief to farmers by providing the differential between MSPs and market prices. The Rythu Bandhu scheme of the Telangana government provides ₹4,000 per acre for every season to all the farmers of the state. Similar initiatives have also been framed in Jharkhand and Odisha. In December 2018, Odisha launched the Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income augmentation (KALIA). KALIA is more complicated in design and implementation. It commits to give Rs 5,000 per SMF, twice a year, that is Rs 10,000 a year.
  • FICCI's :(Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry) economic outlook survey projected India's median GDP (Gross Domestic Product) 7.1% for FY20 and 7.2% for FY21. The survey was conducted among economists belonging to the industry, banking and financial services sectors of Survey for 2019-20: Minimum and maximum growth estimate stood at 6.8 per cent and 7.3 per cent. Wholesale Price Index (WPI) based inflation rate is projected at 3.1% in 2019-20.
  • Solar Capacity Targets :The Government had set a target of installing 100 GW of solar capacity by 2022 in the country. The Government had set a target of installing 60 GW of wind power capacity by 2022 in the country. A target of installing 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by the year 2022 has been set, which includes 100 GW from solar, 60 GW from wind, 10 GW from bio-power and 5 GW from small hydro power.
  • 5 : It is the number of Deputy Chief Ministers who have been appointed in Andhra Pradesh by Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy in a full 25-member Cabinet,one each from Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST), Backward Classes (BC), Minority and Kapu communities. The 5 Deputy CMs- Pamula Pushpa Sreevani, Pilli Subhash Chandra Bose, Alla Kali Krishna Srinivas, L Narayana Swamy and AmzathBashatook oath at a ceremony held near the State Secretariat in Velagapudi, Amravati on June 8, 2019.
  • 3rd June- 7th June 2019 :it is the period which was celebrated as The Financial Literacy Week 2019 by the Reserve Bank of India. It is an annual initiative by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to promote awareness on key topics through a focused campaign. The theme of Financial Literacy Week 2019 was ‘Farmers’ which focuses on how they can benefit by being a part of the formal banking system. The aim of initiative is to create awareness about financial products and services, good financial practices, going digital and consumer protection.
  • DSRO:it is the name of the new agency which will develop sophisticated weapon systems and technologies. It will enhance the capabilities of the armed forces to fight wars in space. The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently approved to set up the DSRO.The agency will consist of a team of scientists. They will work in close coordination with the tri-services integrated defence staff officers. It will provide research and development support to Defence Space Agency (DSA).
  • Union Environment Ministry:They on the eve of World Environment Day, has launched a people’s campaign called #SelfiewithSapling, urging people to advocate the cause on social media. Under the campaign, people have been urged to plant a sapling and post selfie with the planted sapling on social media. Every June 5th is World Environment Day. The World Environment Day is a part of the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) for creating awareness and action worldwide for the environment. The first World Environment Day was celebrated in 1973. The theme for 45th World Environment Day is Beat Air Pollution. It is the call for action to combat the global crisis for ‘fresh air’.
  • The Government of India, Government of Tamil Nadu (GoTN) and the World Bank:They recently signed a $287 million loan agreement for the Tamil Nadu Health System Reform Programme. The programme aims to improve the quality of health care, reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), and fill equity gaps in reproductive and child health services in Tamil Nadu. The programme supports interventions to strengthen institutional and state capacity to achieve results. The programme will promote population-based screening, treatment and follow-up for NCDs, and improve monitoring and evaluation. Patients will be equipped with knowledge and skills to self-manage their conditions. Another key aim of this programme is to reduce the equity gaps in reproductive and child health. Tamil Nadu ranks third among all Indian states in the NITI Aayog Health Index which is reflected in vastly improved health outcomes.
  • JSS:Which stands for Jan Shikshan Sansthans is the name of the scheme under which the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has decided to waive off fee for SC/ST candidates who join vocational training under this scheme. Formerly under the Ministry of Human Resources Development, Jan Shikshan Sansthan was transferred to the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship in 2018. Jan Shikshan Sansthans (JSS) were established to provide vocational training to non-literate, neo-literate, as well as school dropouts by identifying skills as would have a market in the region of their establishment. They were formerly known as Shramik Vidyapeeth.
  • PRC:Which stands for Population Research Centre has been established by The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) with the mandate to provide, inter alia, critical research-based inputs related to the Health and Family Welfare Programs and Policies at the national and state levels. Their main role is to undertake research projects relating to family planning, demographic research and biological studies & qualitative aspect of population control, with a view to gainfully utilize the feedback from these research studies for plan formulation, strategies and modifications of on- going schemes. Autonomous in their functioning, these PRCs are provided 100 per cent central assistance in the form of grant-in-aid on a year-to year basis.
  • Small Retailers Benefits:The Union Cabinet has approved a monthly pension scheme for small retail traders and shopkeepers. The scheme that offers pension coverage to the trading community will cover 3 crore small retail traders and shop keepers. Under the scheme all small shopkeepers, retail traders and self-employed persons are assured a minimum of Rs.3,000 monthly pension after attaining 60 years of age. All small shopkeepers, self-employed persons and retail traders aged between 18-40 years and with Goods and Service Tax (GST) turnover below Rs.1.5 crore can enrol for pension scheme. The scheme is based on self-declaration as no documents are required except bank account and Aadhaar Card. The Central Government will make matching contribution (same amount as subscriber contribution) i.e. equal amount as subsidy into subscriber’s pension account every month.
  • Jal Shakti :It is the name of the new Ministry created by Centre. It has been created by merger of Ministries of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation along with Drinking Water and Sanitation. The ministry will roll out government’s ambitious plans to provide piped water connections to every household in India by 2024. It will also address international and inter-states water disputes and the Namami Gange project which is the flagship initiative to clean the River Ganga, its tributaries and sub-tributaries. ‘Nal se Jal’ scheme to provide piped drinking water to every household will be a component of government’s Jal Jivan Mission.
  • Features of revised PM-KISAN scheme are:The revised Scheme is expected to cover around 2 crore more farmers, The coverage of PM-KISAN extended to around 14.5 crore beneficiaries, Vulnerable landholding farmer families, having cultivable land upto 2 hectares covered, Eligible farmers will be provided direct income support at the rate of Rs. 6,000 per year. This income support will be transferred directly into the bank accounts of beneficiary farmers, in three equal installments of Rs. 2,000 each.The complete expenditure of Rs 75000 crore for the scheme will borne by the Union Government in 2019-20. For the purpose of the calculation of the benefit, the Centre has defined a small and marginal landholder family as the one comprising of husband, wife and minor children up to 18 years of age, who collectively own cultivable land up to two hectare as per the land records of the concerned states.
  • Farmer’s benefit Schemes :Bhavantar Bhugtan Yojana in Madhya Pradesh is sought to provide relief to farmers by providing the differential between MSPs and market prices. The Rythu Bandhu scheme of the Telangana government provides ₹4,000 per acre for every season to all the farmers of the state. Similar initiatives have also been framed in Jharkhand and Odisha. In December 2018, Odisha launched the Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income augmentation (KALIA). KALIA is more complicated in design and implementation. It commits to give Rs 5,000 per SMF, twice a year, that is Rs 10,000 a year.
  • FICCI's :(Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry) economic outlook survey projected India's median GDP (Gross Domestic Product) 7.1% for FY20 and 7.2% for FY21. The survey was conducted among economists belonging to the industry, banking and financial services sectors of Survey for 2019-20: Minimum and maximum growth estimate stood at 6.8 per cent and 7.3 per cent. Wholesale Price Index (WPI) based inflation rate is projected at 3.1% in 2019-20.
  • Solar Capacity Targets :The Government had set a target of installing 100 GW of solar capacity by 2022 in the country. The Government had set a target of installing 60 GW of wind power capacity by 2022 in the country. A target of installing 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by the year 2022 has been set, which includes 100 GW from solar, 60 GW from wind, 10 GW from bio-power and 5 GW from small hydro power.
  • Dispute Resolution Committee : In a major decision to facilitate the solar and wind energy projects, the government has approved a proposal to set up a Dispute Resolution Committee to consider the unforeseen disputes between solar/wind power developers and SECI/NTPC, beyond contractual agreement. The move will give further fillip to the smooth implementation of solar/wind energy projects in India. It fulfils a long pending demand of the industry to resolve expeditiously, unforeseen disputes that may arise beyond the scope of Contractual Agreements. Solar and Wind Industry have been demanding setting up of Dispute Resolution Mechanism by MNRE for quite some time, to resolve expeditiously, unforeseen disputes that may arise beyond the scope of Contractual Agreements between solar power developers / wind power developers and SECI/ NTPC. A three-member Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC) will be set up with the approval of Hon’ble Minister (NRE), consisting of eminent persons of impeccable integrity. The upper age for the DRC members shall be 70 years.
  • Speaker of Lok Sabha :Is basically the head of the house and presides over the sittings of Parliament and controls it’s working. The salary of the Speaker is charged on the consolidated Fund of India and the same is not subject to vote of Parliament. While debating or during general discussion on a bill, the members of the parliament have to address only to the Speaker. Whenever there is a joint sitting of both houses of Parliament (Lok Sabha & Rajya Sabha) the Speaker of the Lok Sabha presides over this meeting. These are some of the Functions and Powers of Lok Sabha Speaker. The Speaker of Lok Sabha comes at sixth position in the Order of Precedence of Government of India. In the normal circumstances the Speaker does not casts his vote over any matter in Lok Sabha. But whenever there is a tie-on vote between the ruling party and opposition, the Speaker at that time can exercise his vote. The Speaker decides whether a bill brought to the house is a money bill or not. In the case Speaker decides some bill as a money bill, this decision cannot be challenged. Speaker is the final and sole authority to allow different types of motions and resolutions such as No Confidence Motion, Motion of Adjournment, Censure Motion etc.
  • PMBJP:It stands for Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana is a campaign launched by the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Govt. Of India, to provide quality medicines at affordable prices to the masses through special Kendra’s known as Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Kendra. Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Kendra (PMBJK) have been set up to provide generic drugs, which are available at lesser prices but are equivalent in quality and efficacy as expensive branded drugs. Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI) is the implementing agency of PMBJP.

Current Affairs in Indian polity - May 2019

  • UAPA: It stands for the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. It was in the news recently after Bangladesh-based terror outfit — the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) — was banned by the Centre under this anti-terror law. This law is aimed at effective prevention of unlawful activities associations in India. Its main objective is to make powers available for dealing with activities directed against the integrity and sovereignty of India. The UAPA, framed in 1967, has been amended twice since: first in 2008 and then in 2012.
  • Article 83(2) of the Constitution: It is the Article under which completion of five years from the first day of its meeting amounts to dissolution of the Lower House. It was in the news recently after the Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi gave its approval to the Resolution advising the President to dissolve the Sixteenth Lok Sabha, which was constituted on 18.05. 2014.The Lower House can also be dissolved earlier by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister. It can also be dissolved if the President feels that no viable government can be formed after the resignation or fall of a regime.
  • SKM: Which stands for Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) President Prem Singh Tamang (Golay) was sworn in as the sixth chief minister of Sikkim during a public function at Paljor Stadium recently. Governor Ganga Prasad administered the oath of office and secrecy to Golay and his cabinet members. SKM had won 17 of the 32 seats in the recently-concluded assembly polls. It ended the 25 year-long rule of SDF led by five-term CM Pawan Chamling
  • PM-AASHA: Which stands for Annadata Aay Sanrakshan Abhiyan is the government’s flagship price support scheme.Greaves Cotton -it is the company which recently launched high-speed electric scooter Ampere Zeal that meets the specifications of the FAME-II policy of the government. Zeal will have a top speed of 55kmph and a range of 75km with charge time of 5.5 hours. Under FAME (Faster Adoption and manufacturing of Electric Vehicles in India) II benefit, Zeal would attract Rs. 18,000 subsidy per scooter.
  • NSIC: It recently signed MOU with Ministry of MSME which envisages provision of enhanced services by NSIC under its marketing, financial, technology and other support services schemes for MSMEs in the country. Under the scheme of National SC-ST Hub being implemented by NSIC on behalf of the Ministry of MSME, it will be a continued endeavour to provide assistance to SC/ST entrepreneurs through different interventions and various outreach activities with the overall objectives to increase their participation in public procurement. The National SC/ST Hub has been set up to provide professional support to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Entrepreneurs to fulfil the obligations under the Central Government Public Procurement Policy for Micro and Small Enterprises Order 2012, adopt applicable business practices and leverage the Stand-Up India initiative.
  • Operation Safed Sagar:It was undertaken by the Air Force jointly to flush out infiltrators in the Kargil sector along the Line of Control.
  • BJD: Which stands for Biju Janata Dal is the party whose President Naveen Patnaik took oath as the chief minister of Odisha for a fifth consecutive term, in Bhubaneswar recently. Odisha governor Ganeshi Lal administered the oath of office and secrecy to Patnaik. The BJD, which won 112 seats in the 147-member assembly in the recently concluded elections, held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha polls, has been in power in Odisha since 2000.
  • BIMSTEC: Which stands for Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation is the group whose leaders have been invited for the swearing-in ceremony on May 30, 2019 of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. With this move India has made a carefully calibrated diplomatic move that signals a major outreach to India’s neighbourhood from the Bay of Bengal to Central Asia, as well as the Indian diaspora across the world. BIMSTEC was formed in 1997, originally with Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Thailand, and later included Myanmar, Nepal and Bhutan. BIMSTEC, which now includes five countries from South Asia and two from ASEAN, is a bridge between South Asia and Southeast Asia. It includes all the major countries of South Asia, except Maldives, Afghanistan and Pakistan.