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GS 2 SC scraps NOTA option for RS polls A three-judge Bench, led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, held that the option is meant only for universal adult suffrage and direct elections and not elections held by the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote as done in the Rajya Sabha. SC plan to clean up politics The five-judge Constitution Bench, led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, suggested it could direct the Election Commission to insist that parties get new members to declare in an affidavit their criminal antecedents and publish them so that the “entire country knows how many criminals there are in a party.” Strengthening the federal link There must be recognition of the potential of State Finance Commissions in building regional equity Beyond words India and Pakistan must build on diplomatic courtesy to restore equilibrium to ties GS 3 Defining the Holocene Last month, India received the happy news that that one of the three newly designated geological ages of the Holocene Epoch was named after Meghalaya. Centre rules out total ban on firecrackers The Supreme Court was hearing a bunch of applications seeking a complete nationwide ban on the use, manufacture, licensing, sale, resale or distribution of firecrackers and sparklers of any kind in a bid to combat pollution on an emergency basis. Kerala flood lesson for Assam: experts The similarity is a network of dams in the “control of other States” surrounding both the States State seeks cess on SGST, increased borrowing limit The Kerala government is looking forward to imposition of a 10% cess on State GST and rise in its borrowing limit from the present 3% to 4.5% of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) to raise sufficient resources for the post-floods reconstruction challenges that Kerala faces. High science with low development Emphasising a space programme as an objective while failing to highlight the multiple failings of public policy in India makes a mockery of the democratic project, the principal object of which is the creation of enabling conditions for a valuable life. Clearing the path Ending human interference in the pathways of elephants is a conservation imperative, more so because the animals are then not forced to seek alternative routes that bring them into conflict with people ILO report flags wage inequality in India Real average daily wages in India almost doubled in the first two decades after economic reforms, but low pay and wage inequality remains a serious challenge to inclusive growth, the International Labour Organization warned in its India Wage Report published on Monday. Centre moots overseas UDAN The scheme is designed for State governments that are keen to promote air connectivity on international routes identified by them and for which they are willing to provide subsidy to airlines. IITs to cast net for foreign faculty The Human Resource Development Ministry will set the ball rolling on facilitating the recruitment of permanent foreign faculty in the Indian Institutes of Technology.