- The collegium that appoints the Supreme Court judges consists of The Chief Justice of India and four senior-most judges. The seniority of judges, irrespective of the reiteration, is decided on the basis of date of induction in the Supreme Court. A judge who takes oath earlier becomes senior to another who takes oath later. Seniority of judges in the Supreme Court has been in news as the government has placed Justice K M Joseph last in seniority, after Justices Indira Banerjee and Vineet Saran, although the SC Collegium had recommended his name ahead of the other two. In cases where warrants for appointment of judges to Supreme Court are issued by the government on different dates, the seniority is automatically decided by virtue of the dates of swearing-in by the CJI. There is no stated rule, whether in the current Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) or the draft MoP that is under finalisation, to decide the seniority of judges whose warrants of appointment are issued on the same date. As the warrants are issued by the government in a sequence, the practice has been for the CJI to administer the oath in the same order. For example, the warrants for appointment of current CJI Misra and now retired Justice J Chelameswar were issued on the same day but, as Misra’s warrant was numbered above that of Justice Chelameswar, he was sworn in first. This ensured that he became CJI, deemed as senior to Justice Chelameswar. Source: The Indian Express.
- The HIV Sentinel Surveillance (HSS), a biennial study conducted by the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO). HSS provides essential information to understand the trends and dynamics of HIV epidemic among different risk groups in the country. It aids in refinement of strategies and prioritization of focus for prevention, care and treatment interventions under the National AIDS Control Programme (NACP). The 15th round of sentinel surveillance was conducted during 2016-17. Read more at: National AIDS Control Organisation. Also read: The Hindu.
- The tax buoyancy rate is the ratio of growth in tax revenues and growth in GVA in any particular year. A tax buoyancy of greater than 1 means that the tax revenues increase at a faster rate than the nominal GVA. Similarly, a tax buoyancy rate of less than 1 implies that the tax revenue growth is less than the underlying economic growth. In order to increase the tax-ratio, the tax buoyancy rate needs to be greater than 1. Government policies are an important determinant of the tax buoyancy rate. Specifically, tax rates, coverage and efficiency of tax administration influence tax buoyancy. Source: NITI Aayog Three Year Action Agenda.
- India has entered into a DTAA with all five mentioned above. DTAA with Mauritius, Singapore and Cyprus which recently amended. Read more at: NITI Aayog Three Year Action Agenda. Also read: PwC and PIB. A list of 85 countries with which India has DTAA with can be found at IndiaFilings.
- The government has set the goal of doubling farmers’ income by 2022-23 over that in 2015-16.
- The Planning Commission in 2012 constituted the Saumitra Chaudhuri Committee on Encouraging Investment in Supply Chains including Provision for Cold Storage for More Efficient Distribution of Farm Produce. The Committee indicated the cold storage requirement of 61.13 million MT. The existing capacity of cold storage is around 32 million MT in the country. Thus present gap is around 29 million MT (2014 data). As of March, 2017, there were 7645 cold storages with a capacity of 34.95 million MT in the country and a gap of around 27 million MT is still there. Sources: PIB & PIB.
- Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) launched a Centrally Sponsored Scheme – National Mission on Food Processing (NMFP) to be implemented through State / UT Governments during 12thFive Year Plan (2012-17). The scheme aimed at decentralization of implementation of the schemes, leading to substantial participation of State Governments/UTs. The State / UT Governments were given flexibility in implementing the schemes included in the NMFP based on the needs of local area. However, Government of India (GOI) has delinked the NMFP from Central Government support from the current financial year. State Governments may decide to continue (or not) NMFP scheme out of their increased resources resulting from the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission. Recently, the government has announced that it will soon launch a revamped National Mission on Food Processing called SAMPADA — or the Scheme for Agro-Marine Produce Processing and Development of Agro-Processing Clusters. Source: PIB and The Hindu.
- All the four constitute the primary objectives of NAM. The other two objectives are ‘One license for a trader valid across all markets in the State’ and Harmonisation of quality standards of agricultural produce and provision for assaying (quality testing) infrastructure in every market to enable informed bidding by buyers’. Read more at Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
- The Deputy Chairman is a constitutional position created under Article 89 of the Constitution, which specifies that Rajya Sabha shall choose one of its MPs to be the Deputy Chairman as often as the position becomes vacant. The office becomes vacant either by resignation or removal from office or when the Rajya Sabha member’s term gets over. Any Rajya Sabha MP can submit a motion proposing the name of a colleague for this constitutional position. The motion has to be seconded by another MP. Additionally, the member moving the motion has to submit a declaration signed by the MP whose name s/he is proposing stating that the MP is willing to serve as the Deputy Chairperson if elected. Each MP is allowed to move or second only one motion. Since 1952, there have been 19 elections for the post. On 14 of these occasions, there was no contest in the election. 1969 was the first time that two MPs were in contention for the position of the Deputy Chair. Violet Alva was the first woman Deputy Chairman. The Deputy Chair is the one position that is elected solely by members of Rajya Sabha. It is a critical position not just because s/he steps in when there is a vacancy in the office of Chairperson/Vice President but also because s/he plays a critical role in ensuring the smooth running of the House. Source: The Indian Express. Also read: Rajya Sabha Website.
- Holding the Executive to account for its use of public money is one the key roles of Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC), the “mother of all Parliamentary Committees”. It is the oldest of all House panels, with its origins in the Raj, and its job is to keep a vigil on the spending and performance of the government, to bring to light inefficiencies, wasteful expenditure, and indiscretion in the implementation of policies and programmes approved by Parliament, and to make recommendations to streamline the administration for efficient, speedy and economical implementation of policy. Source: The Indian Express.
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