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Current Affairs: 22nd January 2015

Category : All, Current Affairs · by Jan 23rd, 2015

1- Economist Bibek Debroy takes over as member of NITI Aayog

Economist Bibek Debroy takes over as member of NITI Aayog

Bibek Debroy

Economist Bibek Debroy has taken over as the full-time member of National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog.

Bibek Debroy

He has been working as a professor at the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi. Previously he has worked as Director of the Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Contemporary Studies and as a Consultant in Finance Ministry in various capacities. He was also the Chairman of High Powered Committee of the restructuring on Railways. He has been associated with a number of prestigious institutes in the field of academics. It includes Presidency College Kolkata Delhi School of Economics Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, the National Council of Applied Economic Research, Trinity College, Cambridge, and institute for South Asian Studies , Singapore. He has authored several books, papers and articles on Economic issues. He also has authored a ten-volume unabridged English translation of the Hindu epic the Mahabharata.

Background

Earlier on 5 January 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had appointed Bibek Debroy along with Scientist V K Saraswat as full time member of NITI Aayog.

2- Kerala’s Periyar tiger reserve wins NTCA biennial award

Kerala’s Periyar tiger reserve wins NTCA biennial awardPeriyar Tiger Reserve located in Kerala has won the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) biennial award for encouraging local public participation in managing the reserve. Public participation in managing the Periyar Tiger Reserve India Eco-Development project (IEDP): People’s participation started in the reserve in December 1996 by establishing India Eco-Development project (IEDP). It was a community-based eco-tourism initiative, which promoted tourism activities which helped visitors. It also promoted pepper growing in this region and marketing it.

Periyar Foundation:

Later in 2006, reserve set up the Periyar Foundation which was a model for other reserves in biodiversity conservation and community participation in managing natural resources. It involved 75 communities living around the reserve, including tribal people. There are around 19 different eco-tourism programmes apart from village eco-development programmes for public participation in managing the reserve

3- Union Budget Session will begin on February 23

The Budget Session of Parliament will begin on 23 February 2015. Railway Budget will be presented on 26 February, while Economic Survey on 27 February. It will be first full-year General Budget of the NDA government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It will be presented on 28 February 2015. These dates were announced by the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs that met under the chairmanship of Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu.

Some facts

Budget is a statement of the estimates receipts and expenditure of Union Government in a financial year. Constitutional provisions of Budget are mentioned Article 112. It should be noted that word Budget is not mentioned in Constitution rather it is referred as ‘Annual Financial Statement’. Budget is presented in two parts namely: The Railway Budget and the General Budget.

Railway Budget: It is estimates of receipts and expenditure of Ministry of Railways only .

General Budget: It is estimates  of receipts and expenditure of all Ministries of Union Government.

4- Microsoft unveils virtual assistant Cortana for Windows handsets

Technology giant Microsoft has unveiled virtual assistant- Cortana for Windows Phone handsets. Cortana is female voice-controlled application. It uses Microsofts search engine Bing and data stored on the handsets to make personalised recommendations and carry out tasks. It is named after AI system in the firm’s Halo video game franchise. Initially, it will be made available in US, then in UK and China and finally other markets as part of a wider Windows Phone 8.1 system software update. It should be noted that Apple and Google already offer comparable facilities on their iOS and Android platforms.

5- Supreme Court bars N Srinivasan from contesting BCCI elections

Supreme Court bars N Srinivasan from contesting BCCI electionsSupreme Court bars N Srinivasan from contesting BCCI elections

N Srinivasan

Supreme Court (SC) has barred Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President-in-exile N Srinivasan, from contesting any BCCI election on grounds of conflict of interest. This judgment was given by two-member SC bench of Justices T S Thakur and F M I Khalifulla.

SC judgment in case BCCI elections

It struck down the Amendment in the BCCI rules that allowed Srinivasan to own IPL team. It mentioned the Amendment is bad as conflict of interest in cricket leads to great confusion. No one who has commercial interest including N Srinivasan shall be eligible for any post in the BCCI and so he is disqualified on the ground of commercial interest. The Bench directed BCCI to hold fresh elections of office bearers within six weeks. The SC bench also held that charges against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) team official Gurunath Meiyappan (son in law of Srinivasan) and Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra stands proved in the 2013 IPL betting scam. However, charges against Srinivasan were not proved. Along with judgment, SC also set up a judges committee under a former Chief Justice of India to decide on the punishment in the 2013 IPL betting scam.

6- Prof Kaptan Singh Solanki sworn-in as governor of Punjab

Prof Kaptan Singh Solanki sworn-in as governor of Punjab

Prof Kaptan Singh Solanki sworn-in as governor of Punjab

Haryana governor Prof Kaptan Singh Solanki took over the additional charge of Governor of Punjab. He will be 34th governor of Punjab. He was administered the oath of office by Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court Shiavax Jal Vazifdar at Punjab Raj Bhavan in Chandigarh. He was given the additional charge of Punjab after the tenure of then governor Shivraj V Patil  retired on 21 January 2015 after his tenure came to an end.

Constitutional provisions of Governor Article 153: It says that there shall be Governor for each state. But 7th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1956 facilitated the appointment of the same person as a governor for two or more states.

Article 156: Governor is appointed by President and hold office during the pleasure of President. It should be also noted that this article also mentions tenure of Governor. In this regard it says that Governor shall hold office for the term of 5 years from date he enters office.

7- Union Government launches Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao campaign

Union Government has launched ambitious Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao(BBBP) campaign to save and empower girl child. The scheme was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Panipat in Haryana.

Why Haryana was chosen to launch Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao campaign?

Haryana was chosen to launch the nation-wide Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao initiative because of the skewed sex ratio in the state. It has one of the lowest Child Sex Ratio in country which stands at 879 girls per 1,000 boys as against the national child sex ratio of 918 girls per 1000 boys.

Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao (BBBP) campaign

It aims to spread awareness about the declining trend of Child Sex Ratio in the country.

Objective: To prevent gender biased sex selective elimination by strict enforcement of laws with stringent punishment to violators.  The Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD), is the nodal agency for the implementation of the scheme. While, Centre has provided initial corpus of 100 crore rupees for it. It will be implemented in 100 districts of the country, including 12 districts of Haryana. In this regard, union government will try to ensure access and availability of essential requirements related to nutrition, health-care, education, protection and elimination of discrimination of girl child. This scheme will also generate awareness and improve the efficiency of delivery of welfare services meant for women.

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