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1. Maharashtra’s Public Cloud Policy

Details

  • Government departments currently have their own data storage facilities, which will now be handled out to the private sector.

  • • Under the framework, government will make it mandatory for the data to be stored within the country.

  • • The state expects more investment through increase in the number of data centres and advantages like availability of uninterrupted power, presence of academia and talented human resources.

1.1. Operation Digital Board

About Operation Digital Board

  • It aims to introduce digitally enabled class rooms to act as a necessary instructional tool (e.g. smart board, audio-visual videos, education provider like Educomp, Tata Class Edge etc.) to improve the quality of education with interesting learning experience.

  • It will be launched with the involvement of the Central and State governments, Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) and community support.

2. Sfoorti App

  • Ministry of Railways has launched the Smart Freight Optimisation and Real Time Information (SFOORTI) Application

  • It helps freight managers plan traffic flows and optimize freight operations through Freight Operation Information System Map View, a Geographic Information System (GIS) based monitoring and management tool.

  • It can track both passenger and freight trains (loading and utilization) over Zones/Divisions/ Sections in single GIS View.

3. Gi Tag For Nilambur Teak

Details

  • It is also known as Malabar teak and the Mecca of Teak.

  • It is the first forest produce to get GI tag.

  • It is known for its durability, earthy colour and larger size.

  • It exhibits high resistance to fungal decay and shows antioxidant properties making it ideal for usage in construction purposes like Buckingham Palace, the Kabba building in Mecca, the Titanic etc.

  • It is also known for hydrophobicity and its oily nature.

  • Teak also has the highest capacity for carbon sequestration among trees in India.

4. Liveability Index

  • It ranks the cities in order of the quality of life offered by these 116 cities which includes 99 smart cities already identified, state capitals, and cities with 1 million-plus population

  • The index comprises of 79 parameters, including 57 Core Indicators and 22 Supporting Indicators, to measure various aspects determining the liveability of a city.

  • The index gives different weightage to 4 aspects – institutional (25%), social (25%), economic (5%), physical 

  • The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), in alliance with the IPSOS Research Private Limited and Athena Infonomics (India Pvt. Ltd.) are selected under World-Bank funded Capacity Building for Urban Development program for assessment.

5. Anniversary Of India's First Newspaper

5.1. Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2017

  • Bill proposes a Single Standing Tribunal (with multiple benches) instead of existing multiple tribunals, which shall consist of one Chairperson, one Vice-Chairperson and not more than six other Members.

  • While the term of office of the Chairperson is five year or till he attains the age of 70 years, whichever is earlier, the term of office of Vice Chairperson and other member of tribunal shall be co-terminus with the adjudication of the water dispute.

  • Bill also provides for the appointment of Assessors to provide technical support to the tribunal. They shall be appointed from amongst experts serving in the Central Water engineering Service not below the rank of Chief Engineer.

  • The total time period for adjudication of dispute has been fixed at maximum of four and half years. The decision of the Tribunal shall be final and binding with no requirement of publication in the official Gazette.

  • The Bill proposes to introduce mechanism to resolve the dispute amicably by negotiations, through a Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC) to be established by the Central Government consisting of relevant experts, before such dispute is referred to the tribunal.

  • The Bill provides for transparent data collection system at the national level for each river basin and for this purpose, an agency to maintain data-bank and information system shall be appointed or authorized by Central Government.It proposes a Single Standing Tribunal (with multiple benches) instead of existing multiple tribunals.

  • It provides for the appointment of Assessors to provide technical support to the tribunal. They shall be appointed from amongst experts serving in the Central Water engineering Service not below the rank of Chief Engineer.

  • It proposes to introduce mechanism to resolve the dispute amicably by negotiations, through a Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC) to be established by the Central Government.

  • It provides for transparent data collection system at the national level for each river basin and for this purpose, an agency to maintain data-bank and information system shall be appointed or authorized by Central Government. Scheduled Tribes

  • Article 366 defined scheduled tribes as "such tribes or tribal communities or parts of or groups within such tribes or tribal communities as are deemed under Article 342 to be Scheduled Tribes for the purposes of this constitution".

  • Article 342- The President may, with respect to any State or UT, after consultation with the Governor, specify the tribes or tribal communities or parts of or groups within tribes or tribal communities which shall, for the purposes of this constitution, is deemed to be scheduled tribes in relation to that state or Union Territory. It referred to the Helsinki Rules of 1966, which recognize equitable use of water by each basin State taking into consideration the geography and hydrology of the basin, the climate, past utilization of waters, economic and social needs, dependent population and availability of resources. It also refers to the Campione Rules in the context of the Cauvery dispute. These Rules hold that basin States would in their respective territories manage the waters of an international drainage basin in an equitable and reasonable manner.

  • An inter-State river like Cauvery is a ‘national asset’, and no State can claim exclusive ownership of its waters or deprive other States of their equitable share.

 

Way forward

  • Considering the fact that ground water situation is compounding the water stress in the states it is important to set up a National Water Commission by subsuming Central Groundwater Board and Central Water Commission as recommended by Mihir Shah panel.

  • Institutional Model for inter-state water issues- The challenges of water-sharing in distress years remain because the country lacks institutional models for implementing inter-state river water awards. Thus, there is a need for a permanent mechanism to solve water disputes between states without seeking recourse to the judiciary.

  • Furthering discussions over the Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2017 may also help in streamlining the procedure for resolving such disputes.

  • Following 4Rs-There is a need to practice the concept of the 4Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recover) for water management in line to achieve goal 6 (Ensure access to water and sanitation for all) of the SDGs.

  • Following National Water Policy- Further the provisions given under the National Water Policy for rational use of water and conservation of water sources must be followed. Urban water management of cities like Bengaluru should incorporate conservation of wetlands that replenish ground water along with appropriate sewage treatment.

  • Other measures- Water disputes need to be depoliticized and not be made into emotional issues linked with regional pride. Further, there is a need for scientific management of crop patterns by bringing out policy measures that promote water efficient crops and varieties.

6. Tribal Sub Plan

Background

  • A comprehensive policy for development of Scheduled Tribes was prepared by an expert committee set up in 1972, which suggested Tribal Sub Plans (TSP) for scheduled Tribes in 1976 (5th Five Year Plan). The earlier approach for development intervention for SCs and STs relied solely upon “incidental” benefits flowing to them from various interventions by the government. TSPs were introduced in order to ensure direct “policy-driven” benefits.

  • i) Envisage fund allocation and channelizing the flow of outlays and benefits both in physical and financial terms

  • (ii) Ensuring socio-economic development through infrastructure development, educational activities, etc

  • (iii) Protection of STs against exploitation through legal and administrative support

 

Implementation issues-

  • (i) Inadequate allocation of funds as per the SC and ST population in the States,

  • (ii) Non-utilization of even the allocated funds,

  • (iii) Diversion of SCSP and TSP funds to other sectors at the end of the annual plan,

  • (iv) Implementation and administrative bottlenecks

  • (v) Improper delivery mechanism at the field level.

 

Measures to correct the inadequacies-

  • (i) Earmarking the funds according to population and developmental needs along with outcome-based budgeting

  • (ii) Ensuring timely release of funds and proper implementation with strict monitoring and review mechanism

  • (iii) Funds should be made non-divertible and non-lapsable.

6.1. Core Functions

  • The functions devolved by the state governments to the GP (Local government) are known as Core Functions. These are often mandated by law or sanctified by historical practices.

  • They include, inter alia, functions related to basic public sanitation, drinking water, internal connectivity, street lighting, maintenance of playgrounds, parks and aother commons, local taxation and generating own sources of revenue.

  • The accountability of the GP towards the citizen is very clear in such cases. Agency Functions

  • In terms of various centre and state government schemes the GPs perform agency functions like planning, selection of beneficiaries, execution of works, broad oversight and so on.

  • In such roles, the autonomy of the GP as a local government is restricted by the scheme guidelines.

  • The accountability towards the people or the higher tier of government in most such cases is quite diffused.

  • Non-lapsable pool for TSP fund - Presently, the funds at the end of the financial year were not being transferred into a non-lapsable pool that could be utilised later.

  • To remedy this, the committee recommended creation of a non lapsable pool for TSP fund.

  • Central nodal unit for overview- The guidelines detailing the process for an oversight had not been put out by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs. Also, the funds were released to non-tribal populated states along with tribal majority states which is in violation of TSP guidelines.

  • Thus, a central nodal unit should be created for oversight which will facilitate better co-ordination and efficient implementation of TSP through an online monitoring system.

  • Involvement of local community in the planning process- A CAG audit report (2015) had highlighted that plans for schemes were being formulated without specific consideration of tribal beneficiaries as required under TSP.

  • The inputs/ suggestions of local tribal community should be sought before finalising the plan for implementation of any programme under TSP. Other Recommendations

  • All TSP ministries or departments should set up their own dedicated nodal units for effective monitoring of TSP at the implementation stage.

  • Imposition of penalty upon erring officials and penalising the non compliant states or districts.

  • There needs to be a real time information sharing system along with proper collection of data at the grass root level which would require the state and district level units to work in tandem with central unit.

7. Human Resource For Gram Panchayats ​

Background

  • The implementation of RD programmes can be significantly improved if human resources at the Gram Panchayat (GP), Intermediate Panchayat and District Panchayat level are organized in such a way as to become accountable to panchayats and available to support individual beneficiaries & SHGs.

  • The functions performed by the GPs can broadly be classified into two categories- Core Functions (not linked to specific schemes) and Agency Functions (for the implementation and overseeing of the schemes &programmes for RD).

  • After independence India followed community development approach for rural development where the central government played a key role in Human Resources (HR) structure, training, etc.

  • With the introduction of new generation RD programmes scheme specific staff was provided for the delivery of the programmes at various levels. Due to this, GPs are performing more and more of agency roles which are expected to further increase.

  • Further, the 14th Finance Commission has recommended the massive inclusion of untied grants to GPs which has substantially increased their role and responsibility but their supervision over HR is uneven across states.

  • Thus, there is a need to strengthen the human resource available to GPs for organizational and programme efficiency because without strengthening the core capacity of the GP, its performance in carrying out agency function will not improve.  

  • Social Accountability Since, HR alone cannot automatically ensure improved performance unless complemented by appropriate accountability mechanisms, the committee has examined the need for social accountability and made following recommendations:

  • Strengthening of Gram Sabha

  • Participatory Planning and Budgeting

  • Pro-active Disclosures Right to Delivery of Services and Citizens’ Charter

  • Social Audit of Panchayats Concerns related to HR at GP level

  • Non-accountability- Personnel at GP level are in most cases not accountable to the GP and the Gram Sabha (GS), although they deliver crucial services like education, health and livelihood generation at that level.

  • Lack of Capabilities- Their capabilities are not built over a period of time to enable them to assume other responsibilities or multi-task.

  • Lack of horizontal and vertical convergence of action at the GP level and vertical integration is not ensured because of different departments and schemes under which they are appointed with specific mandates.

  • Lack of oversight- There is poor oversight to check if the existing rules are being violated. Dependence on employees is high if elected functionaries in Panchayats, especially GPs, lack administrative experience. This can lead to exploitation of the situation by the staff or collusion between elected functionaries and officials.

  • Variation across states- Wide variation across States in terms of engagement - qualification and mode of recruitment, duration, remuneration, travel allowances and other conditions for similar cadres. Also, there is no HR policy in majority of the States.

  • Variation in Remuneration- There is no additional remuneration paid by other departments for additional work. This variation leads to migration of employees from one State to another; sometimes between one scheme to another.

  • Recommendations of the Committee Overall, according to the committee, the autonomy to take decisions within the framework of implementation while keeping in mind local priorities, bottom up flow of feedback and suggestions, room for innovation, incentivizing good performers, etc. all contributes towards improved performance by the grass root level staff. Further, programme efficiency can be augmented by convergence of resources and services, both horizontal and vertical. The specific recommendations made are

7.1. In terms of Human Resources utilization

  • There has to be a more systematic policy based approach to human resources with clear norms for staffing, recruitment, remuneration, career advancement and following competency based capacity building.

  • GPs could converge with the human resources of different departments. For diversifying works under MGNREGS, the human resources of various line departments could be formally used. Information & Technology-

  • The existing Gram Rozgar Sewak (GRS) should be formally trained as Bare Foot Technicians to carry out essential engineering functions, including those related to water supply and sanitation.

  • All employees should mandatorily possess knowledge of using computers for their work.

  • On the IT front, Panchayats be encouraged to use ICT like transaction based software, adopt double entry system of accounting; universalize the SECURE software, upgrade the PES to support transaction at the GP level, etc.

  • Funding- MoRD, MoPR and MDWS would jointly ensure that the funds earmarked for administrative costs are untied from the schemes and freedom given to the States to spend them for HR related costs at the GP and IP level.

7.2 Gram Panchayats and SHGs & NGOs-

  • Human resources of SHG network could be utilized by the GP in the form of activity groups trained to carry out particular tasks and in the form of trained Community Resource Persons (CRPs) from amongst the SHGs for performing specific functions and increasing participation during GSs.

  • NGOs could support GPs - in the local planning process, identification of beneficiaries, conduct of surveys and studies, improving social accountability, community mobilization for paying taxes and fees, claims and legal matters under FRA and PESA, conflict resolution, forging alliances between the GP and other institutions. 10  

  • Prison Manual (2016) It aims at bringing in basic uniformity in laws, rules and regulations governing the administration of prisons and the management of prisoners all over the country. Key revisions in the manual include-

  • Access to free legal service Additional provisions for women prisoners Rights of prisoners sentenced to death

  • Modernization and prison computerization

  • Focus on after care services Provisions for children of women prisoners

  • Organisational uniformity and increased focus on prison correctional staff

  • Inspection of Prisons, etc.

  • Difficult to supervise-The prisons have 53,009 officials to take care of 4,19,623 inmates which amounts to one official per eight inmates leading to problems of ineffective monitoring.

  • Clashes between inmates-Rampant violence and other criminal activities inside the jails as a result of excessive crowding.

  • Poor attention to reforming convicts-functioning of prisons also becomes order-oriented, there is limited attention on correctional facilities and reform.

  • Social stigma- Many prisoners lose their family neighbourhood and community ties and livelihoods. Moreover, prison time attaches social stigma to them as individuals and as community members. Reform Measures

  • Prison manual 2016, needs to be adhered to.

  • As directed by the SC, the idea of Open Prisons must be further examined and implemented by the government.

  • For better monitoring, the Prison monitors should regularly visit jails, listen to prisoners’ grievances, identify areas of concern, and seek resolution. CCTV cameras also need to be installed in all prisons to improve surveillance.

  • Establishing an independent mechanism for timely and effective investigation of cases of custodial torture and for the rehabilitation and compensation for victims as investigation by police itself may be biased.

  • Reforming UTRCs by inclusion of Jail Superintendents and members from civil society in the UTR Committees. Along with this a standard operating procedure (SOP) for the functioning of the UTR Committees also needs to be framed to make their functioning more transparent.

7.3. Following law commission recommendations like

  • Under trials who have completed one-third of the maximum sentence for offences up to seven years be released on bail. Those who are awaiting trial for offences punishable with imprisonment of more than seven years should be bailed out if they have completed one-half of their sentences.

  • Amending the bail provisions in the Criminal Procedure Code with emphasis on the early release on bail of under trials. (268th report 2017)

  • Comprehensive anti-torture legislation on lines of Draft anti torture legislation (suggested by 273rd report).

  • Draft National Policy on Prison Reforms and Correctional Administration, 2007 recommended-

  • Introduction of a provision for aftercare and rehabilitation services and the appointment of officers to provide legal aid for prisoners.

  • It further envisaged establishment of a Research and Development wing, and financial assistance to non-governmental organizations working for the rehabilitation of prisoners.

  • Community-based alternatives to imprisonment for offenders convicted for relatively minor offences.

  • All India Committee on Jail Reforms (also known as Justice Mulla Committee) suggested setting up of a National Prison Commission as a continuing body to bring about modernization of prisons in India. Lodging of under trials in jails should be reduced to bare minimum and they should be kept separate from the convicted prisoners.

8. Appointment To High Court Judiciary

Details

  • The SC bench rejected a petition (challenging the appointment of two judges as Additional judges of Rajasthan HC, filed on the basis of previous SC judgments ) stating that –

  • Retired judicial officers can be appointed as HC judges under

  • Article 217(2)(a) as it did not make it mandatory that the appointee in question should be holding a judicial office at the time when the notification of appointment was issued.  

  • Article 217 - Deals with the appointment and conditions of the office of a Judge of a High Court (1) Every Judge of a High Court shall be appointed by the President … and shall hold office, in the case of an additional or acting Judge, as provided in Article 224, and in any other case, until he attains the age of sixty two years. (2) A person shall not be qualified for appointment as a Judge of a High Court unless he is a citizen of India and

  • (a) Has for at least ten years held a judicial office in the territory of India; or

  • (b) Has for at least ten years been an advocate of a High Court or of two or more such Courts in succession. Article 224- Deals with appointment of additional and acting Judges

  • (1) Additional Judges Any temporary increase in the business of High Court or by reason of arrears of work… the President may appoint duly qualified persons to be additional Judges of the Court for such period not exceeding two years as he may specify.

  • (2) Acting Judge Absence of or inability to perform duties by any Judge of a HC other than the Chief Justice the President may appoint a duly qualified person to act as a Judge of that Court until the permanent Judge has resumed his duties

  • (3) No person appointed as an additional or acting Judge of a High Court shall hold office after attaining the age of sixty two years. Article 224 A- Appointment of retired Judges at sittings of High Courts (Ad-hoc Judges) by the Chief Justice of HC for any State with the previous consent of the President.

  • Provisions for Witness Protection in India- In India there is no separate legislation regarding witness protection. These provisions are stated in different legislations. Furthermore, these laws are not effective to ensure the safety of the witnesses or his /her relatives. Some of the are-

  • Section 151 and 152 of the Evidence Act.

  • Section 17 of the National Investigation Agency Act, 2008.

  • Additional Judges of High Courts may also be appointed for tenure of less than 2 years (in context of Article 224) even if the pendency is more than 2 years as was disputed in S.P. Gupta v. Union of India case.

  • Along with this it was held that the process of appointing HC judges needs to be done expeditiously. Issues with delayed appointments of Additional Judges

  • It defeats the purpose of Art 224(1) along with frustrating the hopes and trust of litigants facing delays due to lack of judicial capacity.

  • Judicial officers get a chance for elevation (appointment as HC judges) when only a few years of service are left and undue delays on part of executive further reduces their tenures and sometimes their chances of elevation.

What may be done?

  • Definite timelines may be drawn for each stage of the appointment process, so that the process is accomplished within a time-bound manner.

  • More transparency in the matters of appointment may further unveil the causes behind delays.

  • Faster finalization of Memorandum of Procedure for the appointment of judges in the higher judiciary through proper consultations between executive and judiciary.

  • Physical infrastructure needs to be expanded and the necessary support staff be provided to de-clog the system.

  • Other Measures: Reducing government litigation, compulsory use of mediation and other alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, simplifying procedures, recommending precise capacity reinforcements and use of technology.

9. Witness Protection In India

9.1. Importance of witness protection

  • Witnesses are the eyes and ears of the justice system. When a witness to an offence is threatened, killed or harassed, it is not only the witness who is threatened, but also the fundamental right of a citizen to a free and a fair trial is vindicated.

  • The edifice of administration of justice is based upon witnesses coming forward and deposing without fear or favour, without intimidation or allurements in Witness Protection Bill 2015 - The proposed Bill seeks to ensure the protection of witness by formulation of witness protection programme and constituting National Witness Protection Council and State Witness Protection Councils to ensure its implementation  constitution of a "witness protection cell" to prepare a report for the trial court to examine and grant protection to the witness referred as "protectee" after being admitted in the programme;

  • providing safeguards to ensure protection of Identity of witness;

  • providing transfer of cases out of original Jurisdiction to ensure that the witness can depose freely;

  • providing stringent punishment to the persons contravening the provisions and against false testimonies; court of law. If witnesses are deposing under fear or intimidation or for favour or allurement, the foundation of administration of justice not only gets weakened, but it may even get obliterated.

  • This has been a big reason behind lower rates of conviction in the country. For instance, victims and witnesses of serious crimes are particularly at risk when the perpetrator is powerful, influential, or rich and the victims or witnesses belong to a socially or economically marginalized community. Challenges in witness protection

  • Overlap in jurisdiction- Police and public order are State Subjects under the seventh Schedule to the Constitution, while the criminal law and criminal procedure are under concurrent list, hence the overlap in jurisdiction creates problem in coming up with a concrete witness protection policy.

  • Issues with policing system like Lack of independence and accountability affect their ability to provide protection to witnesses. Police force is highly understaffed, there are only 136 police men per one lakh population which is way below the standards of developed countries.

  • Balancing witness protection and rights of accused- Anonymity of witness in many cases is crucial for their protection but section 327 of the Code of Criminal Procedure classifies the significance of an open trial given the right of the accused in knowing who is giving statement against him are very essential, principally if he has to defend and secure himself against such testimony.

  • Corruption in Administration- The other major problem is that of deep rooted corruption in the administration and judiciary. Witness protection program cannot function properly with such an inefficient supervision.

  • Funding: The witness protection programme would incur huge expenditures which shall be paid by the states. Lack of a fund can contribute to delays in witness protection orders, especially when it requires infrastructure such as installation of CCTV cameras and others. Views of different commissions/Recent Developments in India The subject has been addressed by several committees and commissions in past. For example

  • Law Commission in its various reports has made several recommendations for witness protection like making adequate arrangement for Witness Identity Protection vs Rights of accused the Justice Malimath Committee on Reforms of Criminal Justice System called for a witness protection law on the lines of the laws in USA and other countries.

  • Government had also brought Witness Protection Bill 2015, however it has not been passed yet. Conclusion The first step in developing a witness protection law is to acknowledge that witness protection is a duty of States. India needs to tackle the problem of witnesses turning hostile due to intimidation through various steps including

  • Witnesses may be given protection before, during and/or after the trial. A model similar to the Delhi model of Witness Protection may be developed for the whole country.

  • India should develop an effective legislation for witness protection involving police, government and judiciary. Government should implement the necessary Acts, legal aspects would be looked by the judiciary and police should execute them.

9.2. Delhi Witness Protection Scheme

  • Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA) passes protection orders in each case after evaluating the threat.

  • The Commissioner of Police is responsible for the overall implementation of the witness protection orders.

  • Protection measures can include armed police protection, regular patrolling around witnesses’ house, installing closed-circuit television cameras, and relocation.  

  • Transparency International It is a global civil society organization leading the fight against corruption. It is based in Berlin, Germany. It also publishes.

  • Global Corruption Barometer. Bodies approved for closure- Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi (RAN) was set up as a registered society to provide financial medical assistance to poor patients receiving treatment in designated central government hospitals. JansankhyaSthirataKosh (JSK) was set up with a corpus grant of Rs. 100 crores in the year 2003 to raise awareness for population stabilization strategies.

10. RATIONALIZATION OF AUTONOMOUS BODIES

10.1. Details

  • Government had constituted an Expenditure Management Commission (EMC) in 2014 to look into various aspects of expenditure reforms to be undertaken by the Government. It was mandated with the task of suggesting an overhaul for reducing the food, fertilizer and oil subsidies and other ways of controlling India’s fiscal deficit.

  • Based on the recommendations of EMC, NITI Aayog undertook a review of the 19 Autonomous Bodies under the DoHFW and submitted the Interim Report of the Committee for the Review of Autonomous Bodies (headed by Ratan Watal).

  • The main concern of the Government is that Autonomous Bodies are required to be reviewed and rationalized with a view to improve their outcomes, effectiveness and efficiency.

10.2. Niti Forum For Northeast

More about the news

  • Task assigned to the forum- Identifying various constraints in the way of accelerated, inclusive and sustainable economic growth of the eight states of the north-eastern region (NER) of India and recommend suitable interventions for the same. It will also review the development works in the NE.

  • It may examine and address any other issues which are of importance but not specifically spelt out in its Terms of Reference.

  • Constitution- It will be co-chaired by the Vice-Chairman of NITI Aayog and Minister of State, Ministry of Development of North-eastern Region (MDoNER).

  • The chief secretaries of all the eight states of the NER will be members of the forum. It will also have representations from various ministries.

11. Corruption Perception Index 2017

11.1. About Corruption Perception Index

  • The index ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and businesspeople on a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean.

  • The latest Index is an analysis on the relationship between corruption and freedom of the press, association and expression.

11.2. Findings of the Report

  • The index has found that more than two-third of the countries have scored below 50 with an average score of 43.

  • India ranked 81st with a score of 40. The list was topped by New Zealand and Somalia ranking lowest.

  • Among the neighboring countries, Pakistan was ranked at the 117th place with a score of 32, Bangladesh at 143th (score of 28), Myanmar at 130th (score 30), Sri Lanka 91st (score 38), Bhutan 26th (score 67) and China 77th (score 41).

  • Sub-Saharan Africa and Eastern Europe and Central Asia are the regions with worst performance. The report also found that the countries with least protection for press and NGOs tend to have the worst rates of corruption.

12. Blue Aadhaar

What is it?

  • It will not include child’s biometric information. The first biometric update is required at the age of 5 while the second biometric update is required at the age of 15 and it will be linked to the parents’ UID.

  • Although it is not mandatory for children below 5 years to get an Aadhaar however it will be useful for attending educational programmes and availing government scholarships.

13. App For Mps To Track Development

More about the App

  • It will provide an integrated platform for data on infrastructure and social indices for each constituency. It is expected to provide district-wise information to the MP on his/her constituency and help him or her take better decisions related to MPLAD funds and also other Central Scheme. It will be monitored by PMO and is in line with Digital India initiative. In the next phase, it will be extended to include state schemes, and bring district magistrates and members of legislative assemblies on same platform.

Febrauary Indian Polity and Constitution

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