Q.1 Who among the following was not member of the States Reorganization Commission?
- Fazal Ali
- K M Pannikar
- H N Kunzru
- B P Dhar
Q.2 Famous Lightning Conductor Theory related to formation of Indian National Congress was given by
- Lala Lajpat Rai
- A O Hume
- R P Dutt
- Gopal Krishna Gokhale
Q.3The term Cabinet is mentioned in which of the following articles
- Article 74
- Article 75
- Article 352
- Not mentioned in the Constitution
CITIZENSHIP AMENDMENT BILL 2019
NEWS: The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill got the assent of President Ram Nath Kovind, a late night notification said on Thursday, even as violent protests against it continued in several districts in the Brahmaputra Valley. An indefinite curfew was imposed in Guwahati, Dibrugarh and Tezpur.
Two persons were killed in firing by security forces in Guwahati.
WHAT DOES THE BILL CONTAINS?
The Bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955 by seeking to grant citizenship to undocumented non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan who came to India on or before December 31, 2014.
The purpose of the Bill says that it will enable acquisition of Indian citizenship by persons who were forced to seek shelter in India due to persecution or fear of it on grounds of religion and will extend the facility to the class of persons presently facing hardships and difficulties in acquiring citizenship.
The Bill says the six non-Muslim communities “shall not be treated as illegal migrant” for violating provisions under Passport Act, 1920 or the Foreigners Act, 1946 that pertains to foreigners entering and staying in India illegally.
The Bill shall not apply to tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura as included in the sixth schedule of the Constitution and States of Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland protected by the Inner Line Permit (ILP).
Citizens of other States require ILP to visit the three States as per the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873.
INDEX OF INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION
Industrial activity contracted for the third consecutive month in October by 3.8%, driven by a fall in activity across sectors, according to official data released on Thursday.
Separate data showed that retail inflation had surged to a 40-month high of 5.54% in November, driven by rising food inflation.
The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) had contracted by 4.3% in September and 1.1% in August.
Growth in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) accelerated in November for the fourth consecutive month. It stood at 4.62% in October.
- The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) is an index which details out the growth of mining (14.373%), electricity (7.994%) and manufacturing (77.633%) sectors.
- The all India IIP is a composite indicator that measures the short-term changes in the volume of production of a basket of industrial products during a given period with respect to that in a chosen base period.
- It is compiled and published monthly by the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) six weeks after the reference month ends.
- The eight core industries comprise 40.27% of IIP. Eight Core Industries are: Coal, Crude oil, Natural Gas, Refinery products, fertilizers, steel, cement and electricity.
- Base year for IIP is 2011-12.
ABOUT CONSUMER PRICE INDEX
Consumer Price Index expresses the current prices of basket of goods and
services in terms of prices during the same period in a previous year to
show the effect of inflation on purchasing power.
RETAIL INFLATION IS MEASURED BY CPI
Consumer Price Index released at National Level are:
- CPI for Industrial Workers (Released by Ministry of Labor and Employment)
- CPI for Agricultural Labors and Rural Labors (Released by the Ministry of
Labor and Employment) and
- CPI (Rural/ Urban/ Combined) (Released by
CSO under Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation).
RBI uses the CPI released by CSO to measure inflation.
Base year for the CPI is 2011-2012.
CAG AUDIT ON PM UJJAWALA YOJANA
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, in a report on the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY), has highlighted the risk of diversion of domestic LPG cylinders for commercial use, as 1.98 lakh beneficiaries had an average annual consumption of more than 12 cylinders.
The CAG said this level of consumption seemed improbable in view of the BPL (below poverty line) status of such beneficiaries.
The CAG said laxity in identification of beneficiaries was noticed as 9,897 connections were issued against Abridged Household List Temporary Identification Numbers (AHL TINs), where names of all family members and the beneficiary were blank in the Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC)-2011 list.
It also exposed a mismatch in the name of 12.46 lakh beneficiaries between the PMUY database and SECC-2011 data. The CAG, on field visits, also found that connections were given to “unintended” persons.
The audit also highlighted the delay of more than 365 days in the installation of 4.35 lakh connections against the stipulated time period of seven days.
- Article 148 provides for the independent office of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India.
- He is the head of the Indian Audit and Accounts Department, guardian of the public purse and controls the entire financial system of the country at both levels – Centre and State.
- Dr B R Ambedkar said that CAG shall be the most important officer under the Constitution of India.
- APPOINTMENT: CAG is appointed by PRESIDENT by a warrant under his hand and seal.
- TENURE: HE holds office for a period of 6 years or 65 years of age whichever is earlier. He can resign any time by addressing his resignation letter to the President.
- REMOVAL: He can be removed from his office by President in the same manner and on the same grounds as a judge of the Supreme Court. In other words he can be removed by the President on the resolution passed by both the Houses of Parliament with SPECIAL MAJORITY , either on the ground of PROVED MISBEHAVIOUR OR INCAPACITY.
- INDEPENDENCE: Constitution has made following provisions for securing the Independence of CAG:
- Security of Tenure. He does not hold office during the pleasure of the President, though he may be appointed by him.
- He is not ELIGIBLE FOR FURTHER OFFICE either under Government of India or of any state after he ceases to hold office.
- His salary is equal to that of judge of the Supreme Court and is determined by the Parliament.
- Neither his salary nor his right to leave of absence, pension or retirement age can be altered to his disadvantage after his appointment.
- The administrative expenses of the office of CAG including all salaries, allowances and pension of persons serving in that office are CHARGED UP ON THE CONSOLIDATED FUND OF INDIA. Thus they are not subject to VOTE OF PARLIAMENT.
- The CAG submits three reports to the President– Audit Report on Appropriation Accounts, Audit Report on Finance Accounts and Audit Reports on Public Undertakings. The President lays these reports before both the houses of Parliament. After this the Public Accounts Committee examines them and reports its findings to the Parliament.
ABOUT PRADHAN MANTRI UJJAWALA YOJANA
Ministry/Department : Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas
Objective: To reduce health hazards of indoor pollution by providing free LPG connections to Women from BPL Households
Tagline : Swachh Indhan, Behtar Jeevan
- 8 Crore (Earlier target was 5 Crore) LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) connections topoor households will be provided
- The scheme provides free LPG connection with financial assistance of Rs. 1600/- per connection to an adult woman member of all poor families. (Earlier only BPL family identified through Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) data were eligible)
- With the expansion of the PMUY scheme, all the poor households can avail the benefit from PMUY and it will not be mandatory to be part of the Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) list or the seven identified categories under the programme to be eligible for the scheme.
- Eligible households will be identified in consultation with state governments and Union territories.
- The scheme will be implemented by 2020. (Older target was to be achieved by 2019).
- Consumers will have the option to purchase gas stove and refills on EMI
- Because burning wood/coal is leading to rising pulmonary, cataract and heart diseases
- According to health experts, the smoke released in the burning process contains hazardous gases like carbon monoxide, particulate matter, etc. Unclean cooking fuels are the main source of indoor air pollution that causes non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer
- Generally, poor women are victims of these toxic gases. They have no alternative and thus they are forced to use them
FIRST EDITORIAL: AN EXONERATION ON CLEAN CHIT TO MODI
ISSUE: CLEAN CHIT GIVEN BY NANAVATI-MEHTA COMMISSION TO MODI
WHY WAS THIS COMMISSION APPOINTED?
The G.T. Nanavati-A.H. Mehta Commission, constituted to probe the horrific burning of the Sabarmati Express train at Godhra in 2002, and the deadly communal carnage that followed
WHAT COMMISSION HAS FOUND?
Commission has given clean chit to PM Narendra Modi
Commission panel says there was no orchestrated violence anywhere, and that no organisation or party was involved.
Joint Commissioner of Police M.K. Tandon, under whose jurisdiction 177 people were killed in incidents at Gulbarg Society, Naroda Patiya and Naroda Gam, is indicted for failing to appreciate the gravity of the situation.
The issue was never about direct involvement or instigation, but rather about culpable inaction, and his moral and political failure to take responsibility for the lawlessness that consumed the lives of over a thousand people and the mayhem unleashed by perceived supporters of the ruling party under his watch.
It would have been unrealistic to expect that the probe would unearth any new evidence to establish a conspiracy at the highest level of the State government. However, what is somewhat disconcerting is that the panel says there was no orchestrated violence anywhere, and that no organisation or party was involved. This flies in the face of convictions obtained in trial courts against political functionaries, including former BJP Minister Maya Kodnani.
It is disappointing, but not surprising, that the panel dismisses the testimony of three IPS officers on police complicity or inaction, as false, and questions the work of NGOs working for the victims.
Commission has performed well in doing the job such commissions are appointed for managing the public perception.
LEAD ARTICLE: IN THE NAME OF MAJORITY
ISSUE: CITIZENSHIP AMENDMENT BILL 2019
WHAT DOES THE BILL CONTAINS?
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB), passed in both Houses this week, promises to give the protection of citizenship to non-Muslims who fled to India to escape religious persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
EVOLUTION OF THIS BILL
This bill represents the tendency towards jus sanguinis in the citizenship law in India, which commenced in 1986, became definitive in 2003, and has reached its culmination in the contemporary moment. In 2003, the insertion of the category ‘illegal migrants’ in the provision of citizenship by birth became the hinge from which the NRC and the CAB later emerged.
The Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and issue of National Identity Cards) Rules of 2003 made the registration of all citizens of India, issue of national identity cards, the maintenance of a national population register, and the establishment of an NRC by the Central government compulsory.
Author highlights that the claim that the CAB does not violate the Constitution is reflective of the recommendations of the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC). The JPC was advised by constitutional experts to use a broader category, ‘persecuted minorities’, to protect the Bill from the charge of violating the right to equality in Article 14.
PROBLEMS WITH THIS BILL
The problem with the CAB is that it does not include all communities that suffered religious persecution, and explicitly excludes Muslims who suffered persecution in the specified countries and other non-Muslim majority countries like Myanmar.
GRANTS CITIZENSHIP ON THE BASIS OF RELIGION: Author highlights that this ideal of religion-based citizenship is not shared by majority of Indians.
In addition, such a view is alien to the constitutional consensus which emerged in 1950, embodying the idea of a people who committed themselves — and those governing on their behalf — to a constitutional order.
It can only be hoped that the judiciary and civil society are able to restore constitutional and democratic politics through an exercise of counter-majoritarian power in a context where electoral gains have determined political choices.
126TH CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT BILL
Parliament on Thursday passed a Constitutional amendment giving a 10-year extension to reservations for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the Lok Sabha and the State Assemblies and ending the provision for nomination of two Anglo-Indians.
The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Sixth Amendment) Bill, 2019, was passed unanimously by the Rajya Sabha, two days after it was passed by the Lok Sabha. All 163 members present voted to pass the amendment, after a heated exchange between the ruling party and the Opposition.
The Bill extended the reservation for SCs and STs in the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies, which was due to end on January 25, 2020, for 10 years, the seventh such 10-year extension given since the Constitution was enacted in 1950. However, the Bill also ended the provision for nomination of Anglo-Indians to.
332. Reservation of seats for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the Legislative Assemblies of the States
Russia’s only aircraft carrier suffered a massive fire on Thursday that killed one crew member, injured 11 people and significantly damaged the ship.
The fire on the Admiral Kuznetsov broke out during welding work at a shipyard in the Arctic port of Murmansk and spread quickly through the carrier’s internal compartments. The ship’s crew and emergency teams spent the day battling the blaze.
INCREASE IN DOMESTIC AIR PASSENGERS
Growth in domestic air passenger traffic returned to double-digit figures for the first time this year in November, as Indian carriers altogether saw an 11% growth in passenger demand last month compared with the same month last year, as per DGCA’s monthly data.
Airlines ferried 129.47 lakh passengers last month compared with 116.45 lakh passengers in November 2018.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is the regulatory body for civil aviation under the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
The DGCA is responsible for implementing, controlling, and supervising airworthiness standards, safety operations, crew training in India.
This directorate investigates aviation accidents and incidents.
FUNCTIONS OF DGCA
- Registration of civil aircraft
- Certification of airports
- Licensing of pilots, aircraft maintenance engineers, air traffic controllers and flight engineers, and conducting examinations and checks for that purpose
- Carrying out amendments to the Aircraft Act, the Aircraft Rules and the Civil Aviation Requirements for complying with the amendments to ICAO Annexes, and initiating proposals for amendment to any other Act or for passing a new Act in order to give effect to an international Convention or amendment to an existing convention.
- Formulation of standards of airworthiness for civil aircraft registered in India and grant of certificates of airworthiness to such aircraft
- Conducting investigation into incidents and serious incidents involving aircraft upto 2250 kg AUW and taking accident prevention measures, including formulation of implementation of Safety Aviation Management Programmes
Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (IOCL) and Oil India Limited (OIL) are in the race to buy Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited’s (BPCL’s) 61.65% stake in Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL), according to sources in the know of the development.
The strategic sale of the government’s 53.39% stake in BPCL would be done without NRL, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said last month. Hence, the government has to first demerge NRL from BPCL.
ABOUT REFINERIES IN INDIA:-
There are two types of refineries in India:
(a) field basedand
(b) market based.
Digboi is an example of field based and Barauni is an example of market based refinery.
List of major oil refineries in India
BHARAT BOND ETF
The public issue of Bharat Bond ETF, the country’s first corporate bond exchange-traded fund aimed at retail investors, opened on Thursday.
The ETF will invest only in AAA-rated bonds of public sector companies.
The ETF, which is an initiative of the Government of India through the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM), will be managed by Edelweiss Asset Management Company.
WHAT IS ETF?
Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) are mutual funds listed and traded on stock exchanges like shares.
The ETF will comprise a basket of bonds issued by the CPSEs, CPSUs, CPFIs, and other government organisations and all will be initially AAA-rated bonds.
The unit size of the bond has been kept at just ₹1,000 so that retail investors can invest
Each ETF will have a fixed maturity date and initially they will be issued in two series, of three years and 10 years.
To create an additional source of funding for Central Public Sector Undertakings (CPSUs), Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs), Central Public Financial Institutions (CPFIs), and other government organisations.
A ten-member working group has been constituted by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) to suggest segment-wise ways and means to improve loss prevention and loss minimisation in the general insurance industry.
The working group is also expected to evaluate current practices followed by the insurance industry in the area of loss prevention and loss minimisation.
The group, given three months to submit its report, will also give recommendations for promoting research, education and services in the area. IRDAI Member (Non-Life) T. L. Alamelu will chair the group.
It is an autonomous and apex body which has the responsibility to regulate and control the Insurance sector in India.
Insurance Regulatory Development Authority (IRDA) was established after the recommendations of Malhotra Committee report of 1994.
Thus Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) Act, 1991 was enacted and the IRDA received the status of a statutory body in 2000 by the Indian Parliament.
Initially, IRDA was set up as an autonomous body headquartered at New Delhi.
The headquarters of IRDA was later on shifted to Hyderabad, Telangana in 2001.
The Government of India appoints the Chairman and other members of the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority (IRDA).
The responsibilities of IRDA includes making and implementing regulatory rules, guidelines, and classifications along with the developmental and promotional role. IRDA is expected to facilitate the economic growth of the market, protect the interests of policyholders and facilitate a healthy growth of the Insurance sector.
Composition of the authority of the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority (IRDA)
The Section 4 of the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority (IRDA) Act, 1999 specifies the composition of authority which consists of 10 member team appointed by the government of India which includes.
- One chairman
- Five whole time members
- Four part time members
Duties powers and functions of the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority (IRDA)
The Insurance Regulatory Development Authority (IRDA) is an autonomous and apex regulatory authority of the Government of India. The section 14 of IRDA Act, 1999 lays down the powers, functions, and duties of the IRDA.
- It has the responsibility and power to issue a certificate of registration to the applicant and renew, modify, withdraw, cancel or suspend any of such registrations.
- To protect the interest of policyholders in matters of assigning the policy, insurable interest, surrender value of the policy, nomination given by the policyholders, settling of the insurance claims and other terms of the insurance contract.
- To specify the required qualifications, practical training and the code of conduct for the intermediaries or the agents and insurance intermediaries.
- To specify the code of conduct for the loss assessors and the surveyors.
- To promote efficiency and effectiveness in the insurance business.
- To promote and regulate the professional organisations which are interconnected with the insurance and reinsurance sectors.
- To levy fees and charges which are essential to carry out the purposes of this IRDA act.
- To call for information from, undertake inspection of, and conduct inquiries and investigations along with the audit of insurers, intermediaries and the organisations connected with the insurance businesses.
- To control and regulate the rates, advantages, terms, and conditions offered by the insurers dealing with the general insurance business not controlled by the Tariff Advisory Committee under section 64U of insurance act, 1938.
- To specify the manner of maintenance of books of account and the statement of accounts rendered by the insurers and the insurance intermediaries.
- To ensure the regulation of financial investment of funds done by the insurance companies.
- To regulate the process of maintaining the margin of solvency.
- To adjudicate the disputes arising between the insurance companies and insurance intermediaries etc.
- To supervise the functioning and working of the Tariff Advisory Committee.
- To specify the percentage of the premium income of the insurer for financing the schemes for the promotion and regulation of professional organisations.
- To specify the percentage of life insurance and general insurance businesses to be undertaken by any insurer in the social sector and rural areas.
- To exercise any other power which may be prescribed.
V P SIRPURKAR COMMISSION: The Supreme Court on Thursday set up an inquiry commission led by its former judge, Justice V.S. Sirpurkar, to probe the circumstances of the police ‘encounter’ killing of four persons accused in the gang-rape and murder of a veterinarian in Hyderabad.