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 Exercise INDRA 2019

 

Paper: GS 3
Subject:  Internal Security
Topic: Challenges to internal security (external state and non-state actors)

 

Exercise INDRA 2019 a joint, tri services exercise between India and Russia will be conducted in India from 10 — 19 December 2019 simultaneously at Babina (near Jhansi), Pune, and Goa. The INDRA series of exercise began in 2003

The First joint Tri Services Exercise was conducted in 2017, It will be a historic occasion for two of the world’s greatest Armed Forces to join hands and successfully conduct an exercise of this magnitude with professionalism, to imbibe the best practices from each other, jointly evolve and drills to defeat the scourge of terror under the United Nation mandate.

 

BRICS remote Sensing Satellite Constellation

 

Paper: GS 3
Subject:  Science and Technology
Topic: Indigestion of technology and developing new technology.

 

The space agencies of BRICS nations have been negotiating a Framework Agreement to formalize the cooperation on building a ‘virtual constellation of remote sensing satellites’, made up of satellites contributed by BRICS space agencies. Technical aspects with respect to identifying the satellites and the ground stations for the initial virtual constellation were discussed by the Space Agencies.

The purpose of the proposed virtual constellation is to get access to satellite remote sensing data, which could be used by the individual BRICS nations for various applications including natural resources management and disaster management.

 

The Fifteenth Finance Commission submits its report for 2020-21 to the President of India

 

Paper: GS 2
Subject:  Polity and Governance
Topic: Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.

 

The XV Finance Commission was constituted by the President of India under Article 280 of the Constitution on 27 November 2017 to make recommendations for a period of five years from 1st April 2020 to 31 March 2025.  The Commission had  a wide ranging Terms of Reference contained in the Presidential Notification.

What are the functions of the Finance Commission?

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.

Who appoints the Finance Commission and what are the qualifications for Members?

The Finance Commission is appointed by the President under Article 280 of the Constitution.   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, and the four other members are selected from among persons who:

  • are, or have been, or are qualified to be appointed as Judges of a High Court; or
  • have special knowledge of the finances and accounts of Government; or
  • have had wide experience in financial matters and in administration; or
  • have special knowledge of economics

The recommendations of the Finance Commission are implemented as under:

Those to be implemented by an order of the President:

  • The recommendations relating to distribution of Union Taxes and Duties and Grants-in-aid fall in this category.
  • Those to be implemented by executive orders:
  • Other recommendations to be made by the Finance Commission, as per its Terms of Reference

When was the first Commission Constituted and how many Commissions have been Constituted so far?

The First Finance Commission was constituted vide Presidential Order dated 22.11.1951 under the chairmanship of Shri K.C. Neogy on 6th April, 1952.  Fifteenth Finance Commissions have been Constituted so far at intervals of every five years.

Why is there a need for a Finance Commission?

The Indian federal system allows for the division of power and responsibilities between the centre and states.  Correspondingly, the taxation powers are also broadly divided between the centre and states.  State legislatures may devolve some of their taxation powers to local bodies.

Formula used for distribution:

The share in central taxes is distributed among states based on a formula.  Previous Finance Commissions have considered various factors to determine the criteria such as the population and income needs of states, their area and infrastructure, etc.  Further, the weightage assigned to each criterion has varied with each Finance Commission.