government has compulsorily retired 12 senior Indian Revenue Service
(income tax) officers under Rule 56 (j) of Fundamental Rules. The decision
has been taken in the backdrop of charges of corruption, extortion and
professional misconduct against them.
Central government employees are governed by the ‘fundamental rules (FR)’
and the Central Civil Services (CCS) rules and compulsory retirement is a
provision in both of them.
2016, the government had compulsorily retired 33 officials of the Revenue
Services under Rule 56 (j) of CCS (Pension) Rules.
Rule 56(j) of Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 1972 provides for
periodical review of performance of government servants with a view to
ascertain whether they should be retained in service or retired from
service in the public interest
a view to a) revamp the higher education system in India, b) create
world-class multidisciplinary higher education institutions across the
country, and c) increase Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) to at least 50% by
2035; the Draft National Education Policy (NEP) has put forward
arrange of recommendations.
draft policy has advocated breaking the “rigid boundaries of disciplines”
in higher education and moving towards broad-based, flexible learning. To
achieve this, it has recommended that institutions offering single streams
(such as technical education) should be phased out, and all universities
and colleges should aim to become multidisciplinary by 2030.
draft policy has mooted for reintroduction of the four-year undergraduate
programme in Liberal Arts Science Education (LASE) with multiple exit options,
and scrapping of the MPhil programme. It has also proposed establishing a
small number of new liberal arts universities, modelled after Ivy League
schools of USA, in the next five years.
NEP has recommended an increase in the number of off-shore campuses of
Indian institutions. Further, it has proposed to permit the world’s top
200 institutions to set up branches in India, with a new law to regulate
the latter’s entry and operation.
draft policy has recommended that a National Research Foundation (NRF)
should be established. NRF will be mandated with creating a conducive
ecosystem for research through funding and mentoring. The proposed NRF
should be set up by an Act of Parliament as an autonomous institution and
with an annual grant of Rs 20,000 crore.
draft has further proposed a common regulatory regime for the entire
higher education sector. Further regulation, provision of education,
funding, accreditation and standard setting should be separated, and not
be performed by the same institution or institutional hierarchy.
has also proposed a setting up a National Education Technology Forum. This
will be a group of education leaders and government officials who will
discuss and advise on how to strengthen educational technology, and Centres
of Excellence in Educational Technology in prominent institutions.
draft has also provided guidelines for teacher’s education. It has
recommended that the four- year integrated BEd. should, by 2030, become
the minimal degree qualification for school teachers. Further, all
pre-service teacher education programmes will be offered only in
Sanghatana, a farmers’ body in Maharashtra, has organised a “civil
disobedience” movement where they sowed unapproved Genetically Modified
seeds of cotton and brinjal as mark of protest against the central
government’s indecisiveness in approving the next generation of
genetically modified (GM) cotton.
repeated outbreak of pink bollworm infestation on cotton crops despite
farmers using BG-2, Monsanto’s second generational insecticidal technology
for cotton has been blamed by the farmers’ body on Indian government’s ban
on testing further enhanced version of the seed.
which has a monopoly of Bt Cotton seeds in India, had in 2013 moved an
application with the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee seeking
approval for the third generation variety of the seed. However, in 2016,
it withdrew its application owing to several regulatory issues.
modified crops are plants in which the genetic material (DNA) has been
altered in a way that does not occur naturally by mating and/or natural
recombination. The only GM crop permitted for cultivation in India by the
Central Government is Bt cotton.
Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) is apex body under Ministry of
Environment, Forests and Climate Change for regulating manufacturing, use,
import, export and storage of hazardous microorganisms or genetically
engineered organisms (GMOs) and cells in the country.
the first-ever World Food Safety Day (7th June)
celebration organised by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India
(FSSAI), Union Health Minister has advocated “zero food wastage” campaign
in restaurants. He has suggested restaurants to donate excess food and
turn wet waste into compost.
wastage is a major concern in India where millions are subjected to
poverty, hunger and malnutrition. The UN estimates that nearly 40% of the
food produced in India is wasted or lost. Food wastage happens at every
stage— from harvesting, transporting and processing to packaging and
Health Minister has also acknowledged the Eat Right Movement’ of FSSAI.
The movement was launched in 2018. It is built on two broad pillars of
‘Eat Healthy’ and ‘Eat Safe’.
is a collaborative move with stakeholders—on both the demand and supply
side—coming together. On the demand side, the movement focuses on
empowering citizens to make right food choices.
the supply side, it has encouraged food industry to reformulate their
products (voluntarily reduce salt, sugar and saturated fat in packaged
food products), provide better nutritional information to consumers and
make investments in healthy food.
has welcomed Indian Prime Minister proposal for a global conference to
tackle the threat of terrorism.France said that the fight against terror
is at the heart of its priorities.
has also invited India to the upcoming G7 summit.France will chair the G7
summit in 2019 with the theme of combating inequality.
Group of 7(G7) is a group consisting of Canada,France,Germany,
Italy,Japan,United Kingdom and the United States.The European Union is
also represented within the G7.
countries are the seven major advanced economies as reported by the
International Monetary Fund.The G7 is actually an informal grouping whose
summits typically focus on large issues of global economy and governance.
is not the first time India will be present at G7 summit.India was also
invited in the 2005 summit.Further,G-20 is seen as the more representative
body when compared to G7 as emerging economies like India and China are
not part of the G7.
and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has released a discussion paper for
informant mechanism related to insider trading wherein whistleblowers
could get monetary reward of up to Rs 1 crore.
trading is defined in the SEBI (Prohibition of Insider Trading)
Regulations, 2015 to mean trading of securities while in possession of
unpublished price sensitive information(UPSI).
usually indulge in insider trading through a proxy to whom the relevant
information is communicated.Direct evidence of such communication is
seldom available,thus detection and prosecution of insider trading remains
has proposed that entities that come forward with insider trading
information will have to disclose the source of information and give an
undertaking that such information has not been sourced from any regulator.
SEBI has also proposed that if such information leads to a final order by
SEBI with a minimum disgorgement of ₹5 crore then a monetary award of 10%
of the money collected by SEBI subject to a cap of ₹1 crore can be given
to the informant.
reward will be paid from the Investor Protection and Education Fund
(IPEF).SEBI has also planned to establish an Office of Informant
Protection which will be independent of the investigation and inspection
wings of the regulatory body.
Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is the regulator for the securities
market in India.It was established in 1988 and given statutory powers in
1992 through the SEBI Act,1992.
United Arab Emirates (UAE) has adopted the National Strategy for
Strategy aims to make the UAE a world leader in quality of life through a
number of strategic objectives and initiatives.
Strategy is based on a national framework of three main levels which are
(a)individuals (b)society and (c)country.
strategy aims to promote an integrated concept of well-being thus
supporting the vision of the UAE Vision 2021 and the UAE Centennial 2071.
first National Well-being Observatory will also be established as part of
the strategy in order to (a)support policy-making (b)monitor a number of
indicators (c)submit regular reports (d)propose training programmes for
government employees and (e)launching of the academy of well being for
strategy has 14 components and nine strategic objectives which include
enhancing people’s wellbeing by promoting healthy and active
lifestyles,promoting good mental health and adopting positive thinking.
Indian and French air forces has decided to carry out a mega air exercise
called as Garudabeginning July 1 in France.
air exercise will take place two months after Indian and French navies had
carried out a naval warfare exercise called as Varuna in
the Arabian Sea as well as in Djibouti on the Horn of Africa.
exercise will provide an opportunity for Sukhoi 30 fighter jets of the
Indian Air Force(IAF) to engage in dogfights with France’s Rafale
multirole aircraft in simulated scenarios.
will also allow IAF pilots to have a closer look at the Rafale jets being
operated by the French Air Force.India had signed a deal with France in
2016 to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets.The first Rafale jet is scheduled to be
delivered in September,2019.
and France defence and security cooperation has been on an upswing in the
last few years.In 2018,two countries had inked a strategic pact providing
for the use of each others military facility including opening naval bases
and France have been also carrying out discussions on the possibility of
launching a tri-services military exercise between the armed forces of the
to Traffic Index 2018,Mumbai has been ranked as the most traffic-congested
city in the world for the second consecutive year.
Index 2018 is published by TomTom,an Amsterdam based company that offers
traffic solutions by using location technology to collect traffic
information.The index ranks 403 cities across 56 countries, including 13
study defines congestion in terms of the additional time taken to reach a
destination as opposed to when the road would have been clear of traffic.
study ranks Delhi at fourth place while Bogota(Colombia) is ranked second
and Lima (Peru) is ranked at third place.
study says that Mumbai’s 2018 congestion level of 65% which means that the
extra travel time is 65% more than an average trip would take during
uncongested conditions.For Delhi,by the same yardstick,the extra travel
time is 58% more.
study also says that nearly 75% of the cities which were part of the 2018
index had increased or stable congestion levels between 2017 and 2018 with
only 90 cities showing measurable decreases.
National People’s Party (NPP) has been recognised as a national party. It
is the 8th party to get national party recognition-after-
Congress, BJP, BSP, NCP, CPI, CPI (M) and Trinamool Congress. NPP is the
first political party from north-east to get national party status.
Election Commission lists political parties as a) “national party”, b)
“state party” or c) “registered (unrecognised) party”. The conditions for
being listed as a national or a state party are specified under the
Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968.
recognition as a national party, a political party has fulfil
any of the following conditions- a) a 6% vote share in the last Assembly
polls in each of any four states, as well as four seats in the last Lok
Sabha polls; or b) 2% of all Lok Sabha seats in the last such election,
with MPs elected from at least three states; or c) recognition as a state
party in at least four states
recognition as a state party, a political party has to fulfil
any of the following conditions: a) At General Elections or Legislative
Assembly elections, the party has won 3% of seats in the legislative
assembly of the State (subject to a minimum of 3 seats) or b) At a Lok
Sabha General Elections, the party has won 1 Lok sabha seat for every 25
Lok Sabha seat allotted for the State, or c) At a General Election to Lok
Sabha or Legislative Assembly , the party has polled minimum of 6% of
votes in a State and in addition it has won 1 Lok Sabha or 2
Legislative Assembly seats or d) At a General Election to Lok Sabha or
Legislative Assembly, the party has polled 8% of votes in a State.
recognition as a national or state party gives the right to certain
privileges like allocation of the party symbols, provision of time for
political broadcasts on the state-owned television and radio stations and
access to electoral rolls.
and state political parties are also entitled to nominate “Star
Campaigners” during General Elections. A recognized National or State
party can have a maximum of 40 “Star campaigners” and a registered
un-recognised party can nominate a maximum of 20 ‘Star Campaigners”.
national or state party loses its status if it fails to fulfil any of the
conditions for two successive Assembly and two successive Lok Sabha
Prime Minister has said that Malaysia has the right not to extradite Dr
Zakir Naik if he is not going to be accorded justice.
Enforcement Directorate (ED) had earlier charged Zakir Naik with
laundering INR193 crore in illicit funds. ED I now preparing to secure a
non-bailable warrant against Naik.
the warrant is issued, ED would send petition to the International
Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) for a red notice to member
countries, including Malaysia. Further, it would approach Malaysian
authorities to extradite Naik to India under the two countries’ extradition
INTERPOL is an international organization that facilitates worldwide
police cooperation. An Interpol red notice is a request to locate and
provisionally arrest someone pending extradition. It is issued at the
request of a member country of INTERPOL or an international tribunal based
on a valid national arrest warrant.
is the formal process of one state surrendering an individual to another
state for prosecution or punishment for crimes committed in the requesting
India, the extradition of a fugitive (accused or convicted) is governed by
the Extradition Act, 1962. The extradition of a fugitive depends upon the
treaties/conventions/arrangements entered into by India with other
countries. India and Malaysia had signed an extradition treaty in 2010
Kong has been erupted by protests as thousands of people are protesting
against the changes made in the extradition bill.
changes made in the extradition bill would allow suspects accused of
crimes such as murder and rape to be extradited to mainland China to face
law will also allow Hong Kong to hand over to China individuals accused of
crimes in Taiwan and Macau.Taiwan has a tense relationship with
China.Further,Macau like Hong Kong is a Chinese special administrative
region with significant autonomy.
government has said that the proposed amendments would plug loopholes that
allow the city to be used by criminals.It has assured that courts in Hong
Kong would make the final decision on extradition and individuals accused
of political and religious offences would not be extradited.
of the bill have said that the chief executive who is not elected but
chosen by an election committee accountable to China would have the
authority to decide any request on extradition.
Kong’s courts would have the opportunity to review any decision but they
would not be allowed to inquire into the quality of justice the accused
would receive or whether they were guilty of the alleged offence.
Kong currently has bilateral extradition treaties with 20 countries
including the UK, the US and Singapore.However,the amendments put forward
by the government are being framed as a way to enable the sending of
suspected offenders to China with which the Hong Kong has no formal
extradition agreement on a case-by-case or one-off basis.
Kong was a British colony from 1841 until it was returned to China in
1997.Central to the handover was the agreement of the Basic Law,a mini
constitution that gives Hong Kong broad autonomy and sets out certain
the “one country, two systems” principle,Hong Kong has kept its judicial
independence, its own legislature, its economic system and the Hong Kong
dollar.Beijing retains control of foreign and defence affairs, and visas
or permits are required for travel between Hong Kong and the Chinese
Chairman of the Sashakt Committee has said the new RBI direction making
the Intercreditor Agreement (ICA) framework mandatory is a move in the
right direction for resolution of non-performing assets (NPAs or bad
Reserve Bank of India(RBI) has issued a revised prudential framework for
resolution of stressed assets.The revised circular was issued after
Supreme Court had declared the RBI’s February 12 circular on the
resolution of stressed loans as unconstitutional.
revised framework makes it mandatory for banks to enter into an ICA during
the review of the borrower account within 30 days from the date of first
default to any lender.
new framework also lays down some parameters to be included in the ICA
which includes majority decision-making by lenders holding 75% of the
total outstanding by value and 60% by number as well as protection of the
rights dissenting lenders.
Sashakt was proposed by a panel led by PNB chairman Sunil Mehta.The panel
recommended that bad loans of up to ₹ 50 crore will be managed at the bank
level with a deadline of 90 days.
bad loans of ₹ 50-500 crore,banks will enter an intercreditor agreement
authorizing the lead bank to implement a resolution plan in 180 days or
refer the asset to National Company Law Tribunal(NCLT).
loans above ₹ 500 crore,the panel recommended an independent asset
management company (AMC) supported by institutional funding through the
alternative investment fund (AIF)
Reserve Bank of India(RBI) has relaxed the norms for the Basic Savings
Bank Deposit(BSBD) accounts or popularly known as no-frills accounts.
BSBD account was designed as a savings account that will offer certain
minimum facilities,free of charge to the holders.Such accounts are
primarily aimed at enhancing financial inclusion among the economically
has allowed banks to provide cheque books and other facilities like
minimum four withdrawals to basic account holders.However,the banks cannot
ask the BSBD account holders to maintain any minimum balance in return of
is no need for a minimum balance even at the time of opening the account
and a customer is provided with an ATM-cum-debit card without any
fees.Deposit and withdrawal services are free of cost.Also,the bank cannot
levy charges for non-operation or activation of an inoperative account.
of BSBD accounts will not be eligible for opening any other savings bank
deposit accounts.RBI said if a customer has any other existing savings
bank deposit account in that bank, the customer will be required to close
it within 30 days from the date of opening a BSBD account.
Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) has proposed
to set up a ‘National Data Warehouse’.
national-level data warehouse works as a central repository of all
the statistical data collected various ministries,UTs and state
governments.This integrated data allows policy makers and researchers to
access data sets,its history and extract it across different groups.
warehouse will take the help of technology and use big data analytical
tools to improve the quality of macro-economic aggregates.
has also said that legislative framework will be established under which
the National Statistical Commission(NSC) may function with independence
and give holistic guidance for improving the national statistical system.
government has also decided to merge the National Sample Survey
Office(NSSO) with the Central Statistics Office(CSO) under the Ministry of
Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI).
objective of restructuring is to streamline and strengthen the present
nodal functions of the ministry and to bring in more synergy by
integrating its administrative functions within the ministry.
National Statistical Commission (NSC) of India is an autonomous body which
formed in July 2005.The objective of its commission is to reduce the
problems faced by statistical agencies in the country in relation to
collection of data.
Shanghai Cooperation Organisation(SCO) summit is scheduled to be held on
June 13-14 in Bishkek,Kyrgyzstan.
the summit,Indian Prime Minister is expected to meet Chinese President and
Russian President.Uzbekistan President is also scheduled to hold a
bilateral discussion with Indian PM.
issues that would be part of the discussion at the summit includes
(a)terrorism (b)Afghanistan (c)regional security (d)multilateral dialogue
and (e)global scenario.
and China will meet after the successful informal summit in 2018 at Wuhan
which was widely regarded as a milestone in the bilateral ties.
Wuhan summit was largely credited to have turned around the bilateral
relations which was affected by the Doklam standoff triggered by Chinese
troops attempts to build a road close to Indian border in an area also
claimed by Bhutan in 2017.
the Wuhan summit,both the countries had stepped up efforts to improve
relations on different spheres including the military-to-military ties.
Shanghai Cooperation Organisation,also known as the Shanghai Pact,is a
Eurasian political,economic,and military organisation.It was founded in
2001 by the leaders of China,Kazakhstan,Kyrgyzstan,Russia, Tajikistan and
from Uzbekistan,the other five countries have been a part of the Shanghai
5 since 1996.The cooperation was renamed to Shanghai Cooperation
Organisation after Uzbekistan joined the organisation in 2001.India and
Pakistan joined SCO as full members in 2017.