Competitive Exams: Current Affairs 2011: National Highlights

National Highlights

Polity and Governance

Public Accounts committee (procedure)

  • According to procedure a minister cannot appear before it.

  • Secretary or HOD of PSU appears on behalf of department/ministry.

  • PM Dr. Singh offered to appear before it

January 25 to be National Voters Day

January 25 will hereafter be celebrated as National Voters Day. The date marks the foundation day of the Election

Commission of India. On that day, young voters, who attain the age of 18 years on January 1, will be given Electors

Photo Identity Cards (EPIC).

Participation of the youth in the political process was rather low. The youths involvement has to be increased.

New ECI division to tackle paid news, money power

The Election Commission of India now has a very senior Income Tax Department official heading its poll expenditure monitoring wing to check the practice of paid news and other abuses of money power in elections.

Now only six national parties in India

The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), which was earlier considered a national party, will henceforth be only a recognised

State level party in Bihar, Jharkhand and Manipur. Its recognition in Nagaland has been withdrawn in view of its poor performance in the 2008 Assembly election there.

Now, the six recognised national parties are the Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Communist Party of

India (CPI), the CPI (M), the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Nationalist Congress Party.

National party

For getting national party status, a political party should have recognition in at least four States.

State Party:

If and only if Condition A or B is, fulfilled A

  1. Condition A: Has been engaged in political activity for a continuous period of five years; and has won in last general election

    1. 1/25 seats in the House of the People or

    2. 1/30 seats in the Legislative Assembly of that State.

  2. Condition B: Total number of valid votes polled by party is in last general election not less than six per cent of the total number of valid votes.

Benefits: A State party is entitled to exclusive allotment of its reserved symbol to its candidates in the States where it is recognised, and a candidate of a national Party can use the reserved symbol throughout India.

Leader of Opposition

A political party is officially accorded the status of an opposition party in Lok Sabha, only if it secures at least 10 percent of the seats.

Why in News

RJD Legislature Party leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui will be the Leader of Opposition though the RJD fell short of two seats in its strength in the House for obtaining the post (total = 243, 10% = 24.3 RJD = 22).

Bihar scraps MLA fund: First state in India to do away with MLALAD scheme.

  • The Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLAD) was launched by the Government of India on 23rd December, 1993, to enable Members of Parliament to recommend works of developmental nature with emphasis on the creation of durable community assets based on the locally felt needs to be taken up in their Constituencies/States. Initially the MPLADS was under the control of the Ministry of Rural Development. The subject relating to the MPLADS was transferred to the Ministry of Statistics and Programme implementation in October, 1994.

  • Current fund allocation since from 1998 − 99 is Rs. 2crore.

  • The government is planning to increase it to Rs. 5 crore per annum.

  • Various committees and commissions have recommended to abolish it.

  • The latest NABCONS report says it is the best scheme. NABARD Consultancy Services (Nabcons) is a whollyowned subsidiary of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD)

  • States also started MLALAD fund on the lines of MPLAD.

  • Bihar is the first state in India to do away with MLALAD scheme. Interlocutors for Kashmir talks Journalist Dilip Padgaonkar, Information Commissioner M M Ansari and academic Radha Kumar are the other interlocutors appointed by the Union Home Ministry. Prasar Bharati CEO BS Lalli has been suspended by President for corruption charges. Removal proceedings on. Removal: According to the Prasar Bharati Act, the chairman or a member can only be removed by an order of the President on grounds of misbehaviour, after which the Supreme Court holds an inquiry. Appointment: President on recommendation of a committee headed by vice-president.

  • Prasar Bharati Corporation, is the public service broadcaster in the country, with All India Radio and Doordarshan as its two constituents.

  • It came into existence on 23 November 1997, with a mandate to organise and conduct public broadcasting services to inform, educate and entertain people and to ensure balanced development of broadcasting on radio and television.

  • Board is currently headed by Mrinal Pande.

Removal of High Courte judge

A Parliamentary Inquiry Committee has held Justice Soumitra Sen of the Calcutta High Court guilty of misconduct tantamount to misbehaviour, warranting his removal as a judge.

The Committee was headed by Justice B. Sudershan Reddy of the Supreme Court.

Orissa is now Odisha and Oriya is now Odia.

The proposed change will require an amendment to the first and eighth schedule of the Constitution.

Lok Sabha has passed the Orissa (Alteration of Name) bill.

Vigeye

Project Vigeye (Vigilance Eye) is a citizen-centric initiative, wherein citizens join hands with the Central Vigilance

Commission in fighting corruption in India.

It is the platform through which vigilance information flows freely through common public, the government agencies and the vigilance commission, making it possible to achieve a step jump in improving the corruption index of the nation.

The important features of Project Vigeye are:

  • Citizens have multiple channels (website/mobile application) to air their grievances and complaints to CVC

  • The entire complaint processing is done online, in digital form, enabling fast and accurate processing of complaints.

  • The concerned CVO will interact with the complainant directly to take it forward

  • Status of the complaint is communicated back to the complainant-the communication loop becomes complete

  • 77 Passport Seva Kendras next year

National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS)

The Union Cabinet today approved the proposal of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare to declare National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore as an Institute of national Importance on the lines of All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh and Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research, Puducherry. This will facilitate NIMHANS to develop patterns of teaching, with the flexibility to device new courses, constantly evolving syllabi. The Institute will be able to take up new courses that are required and are not currently part of the MCI approved courses.

NCDC to become apex institute

The National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Delhi formerly known as the National Institute of Communicable

Diseases (NICD) is all set to become the apex institute for communicable diseases on a par with the Centers for

Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, US

Established in 1909 as Central Bureau of Malaria at Kasauli in Himachal Pradesh, the institute was renamed Malaria

Survey of India in 1927. It was shifted to Delhi in 1938 and renamed as the NICD in 1963 and in July 2009 as NCDC.

The institute has not undergone any upgrade for decades and as such sometimes falls short of fulfilling its growing mandate to address to address emerging and re-emerging diseases.

Bachelor of Rural Health Care course

The latest edition of The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal carries an article on the proposed initiative which says that whether or not the government succeeds, it should be praised for the innovative solution.

Courtesy: The Hindu and Times of India