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Bye-Elections to the Legislative Assembly in the State of Karnataka  2019

 

Bye-election is held to choose a member of the Lok Sabha or that of state legislature “to replace a previous member who has resigned suddenly or died. At times certain seats may fall vacant because the members have become seats falling vacant in this manner are also filled through bye-elections. A member elected in a bye-election holds membership only for the unexpired term of the house.

First India-Japan 2+2 Foreign and Defence Ministerial Meeting

 

  • The Ministers reiterated their commitment to advancing bilateral security cooperation based on the 2008 Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation and the 2009 Action Plan to advance Security Cooperation
  • Recalling that the two sides had a shared vision of a free, open, inclusive and rules-based Indo-Pacific region in which the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity are ensured, and all countries enjoy freedom of navigation and overflight, the Ministers emphasized that further strengthening of bilateral cooperation was in mutual interest of both countries and would also help in furthering the cause of the peace, security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • This upgradation was followed after an agreement was reached between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during 13th India-Japan Annual Summit held in Japan in October 2018.
  • A ‘two plus two dialogue’ is a term — adopted in foreign parleys — used for installation of a dialogue mechanism between two countries’ defence and external affairs ministries. To put it simply, ‘two plus two dialogue’ is an expression used to indicate that two appointed ministers from each country, the ministers of defence and external affairs in this case, will meet up to discuss the two countries’ strategic and security interests. The goal is to establish a diplomatic, yet fruitful, conversation between the two countries’ respective heads of defence and external affairs.

 

Compulsory implementation of FASTag from 15th December 2019

 

Implications:

The objective is to remove bottlenecks and capture all toll electronically.

All 560-odd plazas under the control of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will collect toll without human intervention, and vehicles need not stop to pay toll.

 

How does FASTag work?

 

The device employs Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology for payments directly from the prepaid or savings account linked to it.

It is affixed on the windscreen, so the vehicle can drive through plazas without stopping.

It is valid for five years, and can be recharged as and when required.

The payment method is a part of the National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC) programme. The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) collects the payments.

 

Why do we need this scheme?

 

  • According to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), these devices will make passing through tolls considerably smoother since drivers will no longer have to carry cash or stop to make a transaction.
  • Cameras at toll booths will take photos of passengers in a vehicle, which will be useful for the Ministry of Home Affairs as there will be a record of a vehicle’s movement.

CAMPA Funds

 

  • The CAF Act was passed by the centre in 2016 and the related rules were notified in 2018.
  • The CAF Act was enacted to manage the funds collected for compensatory afforestation which till then was managed by ad hoc Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA).
    • Compensatory afforestationmeans that every time forest land is diverted for non-forest purposes such as mining or industry, the user agency pays for planting forests over an equal area of non-forest land, or when such land is not available, twice the area of degraded forest land.
  • As per the rules, 90% of the CAF money is to be given to the states while 10% is to be retained by the Centre.
  • The funds can be used fortreatment of catchment areas, assisted natural generation, forest management, wildlife protection and management, relocation of villages from protected areas, managing human-wildlife conflicts, training and awareness generation, supply of wood saving devices and allied activities.