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Elevation of judges to the Supreme Court

Paper : General Studies 2

Why in news?

  • Despite reservations expressed by the Centre, the Supreme Court Collegium has reiterated its decision to recommend Justices Aniruddha Bose and A S Bopanna as judges of the top court.
  • The five-member Collegium headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi also decided to recommend the names of Justices Bhushan R Gavai and Surya Kant for elevation to the Supreme Court.
  • Should all four be elevated, the Supreme Court, currently functioning with 27 judges, will have its sanctioned strength of 31.

 

For more details on appointments of judges to the Supreme Court, read current affairs of May 8, 2019.

 

SC considers release of foreigners in detention centres in Assam

Paper : General Studies 2

Why in news?

  • The Supreme Court on Thursday said that foreigners who could not be deported to their parent country could not be held forever in Assam’s detention centres and that it was not averse to ordering their release provided there was a way to ensure that they will be available whenever needed by the authorities.
  • The court asked advocate Prashant Bhushan, whom it had appointed as amicus curiae, and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to suggest how this could be ensured.
  • Bhushan referred to an affidavit filed by the state which suggested making the detenues wear radio collar devices them providing surety from two Indian nationals along with an amount of Rs 1 lakh.
  • Bhushan suggested that a cut-off period of six months could be set for deportation, failing which a foreigner could be released on fulfilling the conditions.
  • The court is hearing a PIL highlighting the plight of foreigners in the state’s detention centres.

 

Who are illegal immigrants?

An ”illegal migrant” as defined in section 2(1)(b) of the Citizenship Act, 1955 is a foreigner who entered India :

 

  1. without a valid passport or other prescribed travel documents : or
  2. with a valid passport or other prescribed travel documents but remains in India beyond the permitted period of time.

 

What is deportation?

  • Deportation means to force someone to leave a country, especially someone who has no legal right to be there or who has broken the law
  • The issue of deportation is in the news in relation to the National Register of Citizens being prepared in Assam that seeks to identify foreigners/ immigrants that have been living in the state illegally.
  • In order to wean out cases of illegal migration from Bangladesh and other adjoining areas, NRC updation was carried out under The Citizenship Act, 1955, and according to rules framed in the Assam Accord.

 

What is the National Register of Citizens?

The National Register of Citizens (NRC) is the list of Indian citizens of Assam. It was prepared in 1951, following the census of 1951. For a person’s name to be included in the updated NRC list of 2018, he/ she will have to furnish:

  • Existence of name in the legacy data: The legacy data is the collective list of the NRC data of 1951 and the electoral rolls up to midnight of 24 March 1971.
  • Proving linkage with the person whose name appears in the legacy data.

 

British PM repeats deep regret over Jallianwala Bagh but there is still no apology

Paper : General Studies 1, General Studies 2

Why in news?

  • At a Vaisakhi reception at Downing Street in London, UK Prime Minister Theresa May reiterated the government’s deep regret over the Jallianwala Bagh massacre while stopping short of issuing a formal apology.
  • May called the incident one of the worst outrages in the whole of UK history.

 

About the Jallianwala Bagh Incident

  • Following the call for the Rowlatt Satyagraha on 6 April, 1919 there had been several protests all over India, including Punjab.
  • Two popular Congress leaders Satya Pal and Saifuddin Kitchlew were arrested.
  • Protest was very intense when the act came into effect and the army was called in Punjab to tackle the situation. Martial law was declared
  • On the day of the festival of Baisakhi on 13th April 1919 in Jallianwala Bagh, a public garden in Amritsar, a crowd of non-violent protestors had gathered. Also, among the crowd were pilgrims who had come to celebrate Baisakhi.
  • General Dyer came there with his troops and blocked the only narrow entrance to the garden.
  • Then, without warning, he ordered his troops to fire at the unarmed crowd which included children as well.
  • The indiscriminate firing went on for about 10 minutes which resulted in the deaths of at least 1000 people and injured more than 1500 people.
  • This year marked the 100th anniversary of this brutal incident.

 

India – China sign protocol for export of its chilli meal

Paper : General Studies 2, General Studies 3

Why in news?

  • India signed a protocol for the export of chilli meal to China, as part of a move to promote “more balanced trade” between the two Asian countries.
  • The decision was part of a meeting held between Indian Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan and Chinese General Administration of Customs Vice Minister Li Guo where the two nations agreed to resolve market access issues “expeditiously”.
  • This is the eighth agricultural product since 2003 for which India and China have signed a protocol for trade.

 

India to add 3 million tech jobs by 2023

Paper : General Studies 3

Why in news?

  • Indian Staffing Federation (ISF) has said that the Indian tech industry will add another 3 million jobs in the next five years.
  • This will increase the number of people working in the tech industry to 7 million.
  • New jobs will come up in areas such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, internet of things, data science, analytics, big data, blockchain and augmented reality.

 

Bank credit grows 13.2% in FY 19

Paper : General Studies 3

 

Why in news?

  • Bank credit grew by 13.2% in financial year 2018-19 as compared to 10.3% in the previous financial year, mainly aided by loans to services and retail sector.
  • Banks typically tend to push for more loan disbursement and also try to get more deposits ahead of the end of a financial year to shore up their balance sheet and meet year-end targets. This could have pushed up the credit statistics
  • Banks have also benefited from the liquidity crunch that non-banking financial companies are facing following the IL&FS crisis.
  • Banks have been pushing loans to the corporate sector at a slower pace after sharp rise in bad loans, mostly in sectors like infrastructure, power, and iron and steel.

 

Why is credit growth important?

  • Credit leads to an increase in spending, thus increasing income levels in the economy. This in turn leads to higher GDP (gross domestic product) and thereby faster productivity growth.
  • If credit is used to purchase productive resources, it helps in economic growth and adds to income. Credit further leads to the creation of debt cycles.
  • Thus, credit growth is directly linked to economic growth.

 

What is the IL&FS crisis?

  • IL&FS, is a ‘shadow bank’ or a non-banking financial company that provides services similar to traditional commercial banks.
  • IL&FS defaulted on payments and failed to service its commercial papers (CP) on due date—which means the company has run out of cash or it is facing a liquidity crunch.
  • The company piled up too much debt to be paid back in the short-term while revenues from its assets are skewed towards the longer term.
  • IL&FS sits atop a web of 169 subsidiaries, associates, and joint-venture companies.
  • The company’s default spells trouble for its investors, which include banks, insurance companies, and mutual funds all of whom have invested in large amounts in the company.

 

15th Finance Commission to reconcile data

Paper : General Studies 2, General Studies 3

 

Why in news?

  • The 15th Finance Commission will be reconciling data among CAG, RBI and other sources amid serious concerns over the credibility of macro data including GST collections
  • The 15th Finance Commission is headed by N.K. Singh

 

What is the Finance Commission?

  • Constitutional body setup under Article 280 of the Constitution
  • Members are appointed by the President.
  • The body is constituted every 5 years or in a time period as the President deems necessary.

It is the duty of the Commission to make recommendations to the President as to:

  1. the distribution between the Union and the States of the net proceeds of taxes which are to be, or may be, divided between them and the allocation between the States of the respective shares of such proceeds;
  2. the principles which should govern the grants-in-aid of the revenues of the States out of the Consolidated Fund of India;
  3. the measures needed to augment the Consolidated Fund of a State to supplement the resources of the Panchayats and Municipalities in the State on the basis of the recommendations made by the Finance Commission of the State;
  4. any other matter referred to the Commission by the President in the interests of sound finance.

 

  • The Commission determines its procedure and have such powers in the performance of their functions as Parliament may by law confer on them.
  • As per the provisions contained in the Finance Commission [Miscellaneous Provisions] Act, 1951 and The Finance Commission (Salaries & Allowances) Rules, 1951, the Chairman of the Commission is selected from among persons who have had experience in public affairs. It consists of four other members as well.
  • Article 281 says that President shall cause every recommendation made by the Finance Commission under the provisions of this Constitution together with an explanatory memorandum as to the action taken thereon to be laid before each House of Parliament.