Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - July 25, 2018

Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation

Swachh Survekshan Grameen Launched in UP, Jharkhand and Maharashtra

WHAT

  • The Swachh Survekshan Grameen 2018 (SSG 2018) announced by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation on July 13th, 2018, was launched by three States this week.
  • Under the SSG 2018, an independent survey agency will conduct the survey in all districts from 1st to 31st August 2018, and the results will be announced in the form of a ranking of all districts and States on the basis of quantitative and qualitative sanitation (Swachhata) parameters.
  • The top performing States and Districts are expected to be awarded on 2nd October 2018.
  • The objective of SSG 2018 is to undertake a ranking of States and Districts on the basis of their performance attained on key quantitative and qualitative SBM-G parameters.
  • In the process, through a countrywide communication campaign, rural communities will be engaged in the improvement of the sanitation and cleanliness of their surrounding areas.
  • As part of Swachh Survekshan Grameen 6980 villages in 698 districts across India will be covered.
  • 34,000 public places namely schools, anganwadis, public health centres, haat/bazaars/religious places in these 6980 villages will be visited for survey.
  • Citizens’ feedback will be collected from over 50 lakh citizens on SBM related issues through direct interaction as well as online feedback.

Enlighten about Swachh Survekshan Gramin 2018

  • The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MDWS) intends to undertake “Swachh Survekshan Grameen2018” to provide national ranking of all districts of India on the basis quantitative and qualitative sanitation (Swachhata) parameters.
  • This ranking will be based on a comprehensive set of parameters including data from the SBM-G IMIS, district-level surveys of public places like schools, anganwadis, PHCs, haat bazaars, Panchayat and citizen’s perception of Swachhata and their recommendations for improvement of the program.

Bilateral Relations

PM’s Rwanda Visit - PM gifts cows to villagers at Rweru Model Village of Rwanda For Girinka scheme of African nation

WHAT

  • The Girinka (meaning ‘May you have a cow’) programme started in 2006 to provide one cow to every poor family for their nutritional and financial security
  • India and Rwanda on Monday signed eight agreements in an effort to bolster bilateral cooperation between the two countries.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi today gifted 200 cows to villagers who do not yet own a cow, under the Rwandan Government's Girinka Programme.

Enlighten about the Girinka Programme

  • The word Girinka can be translated as ‘may you have a cow’ and describes a centuries-old cultural practice in Rwanda whereby a cow was given by one person to another, as a sign of respect and gratitude.
  • Girinka was initiated by President Paul Kagame in response to the alarmingly high rate of childhood malnutrition and as a way to accelerate poverty reduction and integrate livestock and crop farming.
  • The program is based on the premise that providing a dairy cow to poor Girinka Programme transforms livelihoods, reconciles communities improving agricultural productivity through the use of manure as fertilizers which would lead to improving soil quality and reducing erosion through the planting of grasses and trees.

Parliament/ Bills/Amendments

National Council for Teacher Education (Amendment) Bill, 2017

WHAT

  • Passed by the Lok Sabha

WHY

  • To provide post-fact approval to those approved institutions which are funded by Centre or states, but do not have recognition.
  • The Bill amends National Council for Teacher Education (NCT Act, 1993.

Enlighten about the Bill

  • The Bill seeks to grant retrospective recognition to institutions that have been notice by central government, funded by Central Government or State/U government and but do not have recognition under the parent Act.
  • Beside these institutions must have offered teacher education courses on or after establishment of NCTE until academic year 2017-2018.
  • The Bill grants retrospective permission these institutions to start new course or training in teacher education to institutions.

Enlighten about National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE)

  • It is statutory body of Central Government set up under NCTE Act, 1993 1995 to formally oversee standards, procedures and processes in India education system.
  • NCTE plans and co-ordinates the development of teacher education system throughout the country (for both central as well as stat governments).
  • It also ensures the maintenance of norms and standards in the teacher education system.

Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill, 2017

WHAT

  • Lok Sabha has passed Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill, 2017

WHY

  • To reduce the number of cheque dishonour cases pending in courts.

Enlighten about the amendments

  • Lok Sabha has passed Negotiable Instrument (Amendment) Bill, 2017 to reduce the number of cheque dishonour cases pending in courts.
  • The bill amend Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 to primarily address issues of dishonour of cheques and deal with unnecessary delay in disposal of such cases.

Enlighten about Negotiable Instrument

  • It refers to any legal documents like cheques, promissory notes, bill of exchange etc which promises to pay bearer or holder of instrument or person whose name is written on instrument specific amount of money either o demand or after specified time i.e. on some future date.
  • The Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 defence promissory notes, bills of exchange an cheques.
  • It also specifies penalties for bouncing of cheques and other violations with respect to such negotiable instruments.

Enlighten about the Features of Bill

  • Interim compensation: The Bill inserts new Section 143 A in parent Act to allow court trying offence related to cheque bouncing to direct drawer (person who writes cheque) to pay interim compensation to complainant.
  • The compensation may be paid under certain circumstances, including where drawer pleads not guilty of accusation.
  • It will not exceed 20% of cheque amount and will be paid by drawer within 60 days of trial court’s order to pa such compensation.
  • Deposit in case of appeal: The Bill inserts another new Section 148-A in the parent act specifying that if drawer convicted in cheque bouncing case file appeal, appellate court may direct him to deposit minimum of 20% offense to compensation awarded by trial court during conviction.
  • This amount will be addition to any interim compensation paid by drawer during earlier trail proceedings.
  • Returning interim compensation: In case drawer is acquitted during trial or by appellate court, then court will direct complainant to return interior compensation (or deposit in case of an appeal case), along with interest. Th amount will be repaid within 60 days of court’s order.

Lok Sabha passes anti-graft amendment Bill It provides for jail terms to public officials taking bribes and those offering illegal gratification

What

  • The Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2018 that seeks to punish bribe-givers and bribe-takers.
  • The Bill provides for jail terms of three to seven years, besides fine, to those convicted of taking bribes and those offering illegal gratification.
  • The Bill also extends the ambit of public servants who will be protected by the provision of a prior government sanction for prosecution.
  • There is also a provision now to get prior permission for starting an investigation and that has prompted many to say that the law has been “diluted” from its original draft.
  • The Bill, cleared by the Rajya Sabha last week, was passed unanimously by the Lower House after debating for nearly four hours.

Enlighten about the bill

  • Safeguards had been provided to ensure that honest officers were not intimidated by false complaints.
  • In a departure from the earlier anti-corruption law, the current law makes a distinction between “collusive bribe givers” and those who are “coerced.” In such cases, the Bill seeks to protect those who report the matter within seven days.

Lokpal

Present Context

  • The Supreme Court stated that the government’s stand on completing the appointment of the Lokpal, an ombudsman to protect the common man from corruption in public service and power centres, is “wholly unsatisfactory.”
  • Government said it is a “complicated” process.

Selection Committee meet to set up a Search Committee

  • The Selection Committee, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, met on July 19 on the choice of a Search Committee for the Lokpal.
  • This Search Committee would prepare a panel of names.
  • The Selection Committee discussed that the Search Committee would comprise seven persons, including the Chairperson.
  • These persons have to be from expertise as diverse as anti-corruption policy, public administration, insurance, banking, law and management.
  • Besides, 50% of them should be drawn from the SC/ST category, the OBCs, the minorities and women.

Enlighten about Lokpal

  • A Lokpal is an anti-corruption authority or ombudsman who represents the public interest.
  • The concept of an ombudsman is borrowed from Sweden.
  • The Lokpal has jurisdiction over all Members of Parliament and central government employees in cases of corruption.
  • The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act was passed in 2013 with amendments in parliament, following the Jan Lokpal movement led by Anna Hazare.
  • The Lokpal is responsible for enquiring into corruption charges at the national level while the Lokayukta performs the same function at the state level.
  • As of July 2018, and ever since the related Act of Parliament was passed in India, The Indian Government is yet to appoint a Lokpal.

Way forward

  • Government failed to appoint a Lokpal
  • Despite an April 2017 judgment by the Supreme Court, said the court should now take over and appoint the Lokpal.
  • The government is just dragging their feet. Court should start the procedure of appointing a search committee [to short-list the candidates for the Lokpal
  • Let the Supreme Court give names and let the court appoint a Lokpal

Sources – The Hindu , PIB , Business Standard