Insights Daily Current Events, 14 August 2015
Centre’s reply sought on PIL challenging CVC, VC appointment
The Supreme Court has asked the Centre to respond on a public interest petition challenging the recent appointment of Chief Vigilance Commissioner K.V. Chaudhary and Vigilance Commissioner T.M. Bhasin.
- The petition was filed by Common Cause, an NGO.
- The petition has alleged that appointments were not made in a transparent manner, and the appointments were arbitrary, illegal and in violation of the principle of institutional integrity.
- The petition has also alleged that the government did not place the names of short-listed candidates in public domain.
- Both CVC and VC were appointed in June, 2015.
Basic facts: Central Vigilance Commission:
- It was created via executive resolution (based on the recommendations of Santhanam committee) in 1964 but was conferred with statutory status in 2003.
- It is the apex vigilance institution.
- Presently, the body consists of central vigilance commissioner along with 2 vigilance commissioners.
- They are appointed by the President of India on the recommendations of a committee consisting of Prime Minister, Union Home Minister and Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha (if there is no LoP then the leader of the single largest Opposition party in the Lok Sabha).
- Their term is 4 years or 65 years, whichever is earlier.
- It submits its report to the President of India.
- The Central Vigilance Commissioner or any Vigilance Commissioner can be removed from his office only by order of the President on the ground of proved misbehavior or incapacity after the Supreme Court, on a reference made to it by the President, has, on inquiry, reported that the Central Vigilance Commissioner or any Vigilance Commissioner, as the case may be, ought to be removed.
- CVC is an advisory body.
Sources: The Hindu, Wiki.
As U.S. changes tack, India redraws UNSC bid
The U.S. has joined Russia and China in their blocking of any large-scale reforms of the UN security council and rejection of veto power to new members. Despite facing unexpected opposition from the U.S. to its bid for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council, India plans to make a go of it.
- In letters to the U.N.’s special committee in charge of inter-governmental negotiations in July, Russia and China had made it clear that they are not in favour any large-scale reforms of the U.N.’s prized P-5 (permanent five) structure that gives them and the U.S., the U.K. and France a special status on all international issues. However, the U.K. and France support India’s position.
- N. reform will be decided by the General Assembly, where each country has one equal vote. India will need the support of at least 129, or two-thirds, of the 193 member-states to get a permanent seat in the security council.
If, however, one of the P-5 countries — for instance, China — decides to veto a resolution to accept the document, India’s hopes for a permanent seat in the near future will be in danger.
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security.
- Its powers include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of international sanctions, and the authorization of military action through Security Council resolutions.
- It is the only UN body with the authority to issue binding resolutions to member states.
Why was it created?
Like the UN as a whole, the Security Council was created following World War II to address the failings of another international organization, the League of Nations, in maintaining world peace.
- The Security Council consists of fifteen members. Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, and the United States—serve as the body’s five permanent members. These permanent members can veto any substantive Security Council resolution, including those on the admission of new member states or candidates for Secretary-General.
- The Security Council also has 10 non-permanent members, elected on a regional basis to serve two-year terms. The body’s presidency rotates monthly among its members.
India and UNSC:
- India was among the founding members of United Nations.
- It is the second largest and a one of the largest constant contributor of troops to United Nations Peacekeeping missions.
- Today, India has over 8,500 peacekeepers in the field, more than twice as many as the UN’s five big powers combined.
- India, since long time, has been demanding expansion of UNSC and its inclusion as permanent member in it. It has been a member of UNSC for 7 terms and a member of G-77 and G-4, so permanent membership is a logical extension.
Sources: The Hindu, un.org, Wiki.
Centre may extend incentives for surrender of old diesel vehicles
The Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari recently said that the government is considering giving incentives of up to Rs 1.5 lakh on the surrender of diesel vehicles that were over 10 years old.
- This announcement comes a day after the National Green Tribunal upheld its ban on diesel vehicles older than a decade in the national capital region.
The National Green Tribunal had, in April 2015, banned all diesel vehicles over ten years old from plying in Delhi and the National Capital Region and also cracked the whip on rampant construction activity adding dust to the air. The Supreme Court had said that diesel vehicles are major source of pollution in the ambient air quality.
Sources: The Hindu, Wiki.
Gas subsidy transfer scheme enters Guinness Book: Government
The Direct Benefit Transfer on LPG (DBTL), or Pahal Scheme has been recognised by Guinness Book of World Records as the largest cash transfer programme in the world.
- The scheme was launched all over the country from January 1, 2015 with a view to cut diversion and subsidised fuel being consumed by unintended segments like restaurants and other commercial establishments.
Pratyaksh Hanstantrit Labh (PaHaL) aims to reduce diversion and eliminate duplicate or bogus LPG connections. Under PaHaL, LPG cylinders are sold at market rates and entitled consumers get the subsidy directly into their bank accounts. This is done either through an Aadhaar linkage or a bank account linkage.
- The scheme has witnessed massive enrolment in a short span of time.
- The scheme will cover over 15.3 crore consumers across 676 districts of the country.
- It has also has put in place various mechanisms to simplify enrolment and enhance consumer convenience, and thus, only 1.09 lakh complaints have been received so far, which constitute a mere 0.1% of the transactions. Over 85% of the complaints have been resolved.
- The success of the scheme is a result of an intensive Information Education Campaign comprising advertising through various means, direct reaching out to consumers, and dealer level campaigns.
- DBTL is designed to ensure that the benefit meant for the genuine domestic customer reaches them directly and is not diverted. By this process public money will be saved.
Sources: PIB, BS.
Dr. M. Veerappa Moily awarded with Saraswati Samman for 2014
President Pranab Mukherjee recently presented the 24th Saraswati Samman for 2014 to Congress leader M.Veerappa Moily for his epic “Sri Ramayana Mahanveshanam” written in Kannada.
- Shri Ramayana Mahanveshnam is poetry of 43,000 lines based on the original epic of Ramayana by Valmiki. Divided into five volumes, the poem ‘Ramayana Mahanveshanam’ was first published in 2007 in Kannada and has been translated into English, Hindi, Telugu and Tamil.
- This work explores the principles of Rama story from a secularist and contemporary point of view. This retells and interprets many familiar incidents of Ramayana with the perception of present day scenario.
- In 2010, Moily was also awarded Moortidevi Award of Bhartiya Jnanpith Trust for this very work.
About the Award:
- Saraswati Sammaan is given annually for the extraordinary literary works written in any 22 Indian languages (prose or poetry).
- It was instituted by the K.K. Birla Foundation in 1991.
- The award carries a purse of Rs. 10 lakh, citation and a plaque.
Sources: The Hindu, TOI.
Insights Secure Prelims 2015
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With reference to the Central Vigilance Commission, consider the following statements:
- It was conferred with statutory status in 2003.
- It submits its report to the President of India.
- Chief Vigilance Commissioner and Vigilance Commissioners are appointed by the Union Government.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?Correct
Explanation: Chief Vigilance Commissioner and Vigilance Commissioners are appointed by the appointed by the President of India on the recommendations of a committee consisting of Prime Minister, Union Home Minister and Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha (if there is no LoP then the leader of the single largest Opposition party in the Lok Sabha).Incorrect
Explanation: Chief Vigilance Commissioner and Vigilance Commissioners are appointed by the appointed by the President of India on the recommendations of a committee consisting of Prime Minister, Union Home Minister and Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha (if there is no LoP then the leader of the single largest Opposition party in the Lok Sabha).
The five permanent members of the UNSC include:
- The United Kingdom
Choose the correct answer from below options:Correct
Consider the following statements regarding the Pratyaksh Hanstantrit Labh (PaHaL) Scheme:
- Under the Scheme, only the BPL card holders will get the subsidy directly into their bank accounts.
- Only Aadhaar card holders are eligible under the Scheme.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?