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Mandatory Hindi goes out of Draft Education Policy

Paper : General Studies 2

Why in news?

  • The clause recommending mandatory teaching of Hindi in all schools was dropped in a new draft National Education Policy released by the MHRD
  • The policy retains the recommendation to introduce a three-language formula from class I
  • The change was brought in due to the strong protests put in by the non-Hindi speaking states and their representatives.


To read a detailed analysis of the Draft Education Policy , see current affairs of June 3


CAT can exercise same powers as a High Court in respect to contempt proceedings

Paper : General Studies 2

Why in news?

  • Delhi High Court held that the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) can exercise the same jurisdiction and powers as a high court in respect of its contempt proceedings.
  • CAT has framed the Contempt of Courts Rules, 1992 which provide the procedure for initiation of criminal contempt and suo motu contempt proceedings.


What is the Central Administrative Tribunal?

  • Article 323-A of Indian constitution deals with Administrative Tribunals where Article 323-B deals with tribunals for other matters. Thus, the Central Administrative Tribunal has been established under Article 323 A.
  • Article 323A: Provides for the establishment of Administrative Tribunals for adjudication or trial of disputes and complaints with respect to recruitment, conditions of service of persons appointed to public services and other allied matters.
  • The CAT exercises original jurisdiction in relation to recruitment and all service matters of public servants covered by it.
  • Its jurisdiction extends to the all-India services, the Central Civil services, civil posts under the Centre and civilian employees of defence services. However, the members of the defence forces, officers and servants of the Supreme Court and the secretarial staff of the Parliament are not covered by it.
  • The CAT is a multi-member body consisting of a Chairman and members (Currently 65). They are drawn from both judicial and administrative streams and are appointed by the President for a term of five years or until the age of 65 (in the case of Chairman) and 62 (for members) whichever is earlier.
  • It is not bound by the procedure laid down in the Civil Procedure Code of 1908 but is guided by the principles of natural justice.
  • Appeals against the orders of the CAT shall lie before the division bench of the concerned high court.



Ajit Doval reappointed as National Security Advisor (NSA)

Paper : General Studies 2, General Studies 3

Why in news?

Ajit Doval was appointed as the National Security advisor and also accorded a Cabinet rank in the table of precedence.


Who is the National Security Advisor?

  • The National Security Advisor is a non-statutory position created to advise the Prime Minister of India on national and international security policy.
  • The NSA serves at the discretion of the Prime Minister of India.
  • The National Security Adviser (NSA) is tasked with regularly advising the Prime Minister of India on all matters relating to internal and external threats and opportunities to India, and oversees strategic and sensitive issues on behalf of the Prime Minister. The NSA of India also serves as the Prime Minister’s Special Interlocutor with China as well as the envoy to Pakistan and Israel on security affairs.
  • He has the powers to receive intelligence reports from intelligence agencies such as R&AW and IB
  • He is the chief executive of the National Security Council (NSC) and the head of the Strategic Policy Group (SPG) under the NSC framework



UdChalo travel portal launched

Paper : Prelims Specific

Why in news?

  • The UdChalo travel portal was launched to cater to the personal travel of the military and paramilitary forces personnel by aggregating defence fares and getting exclusive discounts.
  • The Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre, Mohali has joined hands with UdChalo with an aim to empower the disabled military veterans.



Anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests

Paper : Prelims Specific

Why in news?

June 4 marks the 30th anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown in Beijing when Chinese troops fired on peaceful protesters drawing global condemnation.


What were the Tiananmen Square protests?

  • From April 1989 people from across China gathered in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square to mourn the death of the liberal Communist Party leader Hu Yaobang and share their frustrations about the slow pace of promised reform.
  • The gathering turned into peaceful protests which spread across the provinces of China as demonstrators, mainly students, began to call for an end to official corruption and for political and economic reform.
  • This week marks the 30th anniversary of the massacre of hundreds if not thousands of unarmed peaceful pro-democracy protesters in Beijing and the arrest of tens of thousands of demonstrators in cities across China.
  • The protesters, based in Tiananmen Square in central Beijing, were peacefully calling for political and economic reform. In response, the Chinese authorities responded with overwhelming force to repress the demonstrations.
  • Military units were brought in and unarmed protesters and onlookers were killed en masse. The Chinese government has never acknowledged the true events surrounding the Tiananmen massacre. It remains a contentious topic in China, with authorities banning all mention of the protest even today.



RBI Committee on Digital Payments gives recommendations

Paper : General Studies 3

Why in news?

A committee headed by Nandan Nilekani, which was appointed by the RBI, had submitted its suggestions on promoting digital payments to Governor Shaktikanta Das last month.


What are the recommendations?

  • The panel has suggested that there should be no convenience fee on payments made to government agencies by customers and recommended that payment systems use machine-driven, online dispute resolution systems to handle complaints.
  • The committee recommends that the RBI and the government put in place an appropriate mechanism to monitor the digital payment systems and make aggregated information based on blocks, and PIN code, available to all players on a monthly basis, so that they can make the necessary adjustments.
  • It has also recommended elimination of charges, round-the-clock RTGS and NEFT facility, and duty-free import of point-of-sales machines.
  • The committee had recommended that the Interchange on card payments be reduced by 15 basis points (0.15 per cent) as this will increase the incentive for acquirers to sign up merchants.
  • It further said that keeping in mind that digital transactions result in larger balances with the bank, customers must be allowed to initiate and accept a reasonable number of digital payment transactions with no charges.
  • Enhancing features of ATMs merely from cash dispenser to support the gamut of banking facilities including cash Deposit, bills payment, funds transfer, tax deposits, mobile recharge in addition to customer support and grievance reporting so as to act as a complete Digital facilitation point, is another key suggestion.
  • It has also made a case for internationalisation plan for Indian payment systems such as RuPay and BHIM UPI to ease remittances into India, and to help Indian travellers make payments abroad.
  • The panel has also suggested the government should continue the current scheme to refund the Merchant Discount Rate (MDR) for small value transactions (under Rs 2,000) beyond December 2019 for another two years.
  • The Committee recommends large scale usage of common and interoperable mobility cards by public across different transit options.