Current Affair-March 26, 2021

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CURRENT AFFAIRS

Parliament Proceedings

Context: Both Houses of Parliament were adjourned sine die nearly two weeks before schedule , MPs from States going to the polls had sought curtailment of the Budget session for campaigning.

The longest, Budget Session (1st session), starts towards the end of January, and concludes by the end of April or first week of May. The session has a recess so that Parliamentary Committees can discuss the budgetary proposals.The second session is the three-week Monsoon Session, which usually begins in July and finishes in August.Winter Session (3rd session), is held from November to December.  

Sessions of Parliament:

  • Article 85 of the Constitution specifies the summoning of  Parliament .
  • The power to convene a session of Parliament rests with the Government. The decision is taken by the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs which is formalised by the President, in whose name MPs are summoned to meet for a session.
  • India does not have a fixed parliamentary calendar. By convention (i.e. not provided by the Constitution), Parliament meets for three sessions in a year.

Summoning of Parliament:

Summoning is the process of calling all members of the Parliament to meet. The President summons each House of the Parliament from time to time. The gap between two sessions of the Parliament cannot exceed 6 months, which means the Parliament meets at least two times in one year.

Adjournment:

Adjournment suspends the sitting of the House which meets again at the time appointed for the next sitting. The postponement may be for a specified time such as hours, days or weeks.

Adjournment is done by presiding officer of the house.Prorogation is done by the President of India.

Adjournment sine die.

 If the meeting is terminated without any definite time/ date fixed for the next meeting, it is called Adjournment sine die.

Prorogation:

Prorogation is the end of a session. The time between the Prorogation and reassembly is called Recess. Prorogation is the end of session and not the dissolution of the house (in case of Lok Sabha, as Rajya Sabha does not dissolve).

Source: Indian Express

Ad-hoc Judges

  • A Bench led by Chief Justice of India Sharad A. Bobde said retired judges could be chosen on the basis of their expertise in a particular field of dispute and allowed to retire once the pendency in that zone of law was over.
  • Judges who had handled cer­tain disputes and fields of law for over 15 years could deal with them faster if brought back into harness as ad­hoc judges.
  • The court said the ap­pointment of ad­hoc judges would not be a threat to the services of other judges. “Ad­hoc judges will be treat­ ed as the junior most,”

Constitutional Provision

  1. Appointment of ad­hoc judg­es is provided for in the Constitution under Article 224A.
  2. Under the Article, the Chief Justice of a High Court for any State may at any time, with the previous con­ sent of the President, request any person who has held the office of judge of that court or of any other High consent to sit and act as a judge of the High Court for that State.
Source: The Hindu

National Human Rights Council (NHRC)

Context: NHRC took suomotu cognisance of a matter reported by the media and  issued notice to the Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police (DGP) over policemen allegedly framing an eatery owner in Etah district for a crime after they were asked to pay for the food they had.

About NHRC

  • NHRC of India is an independent statutory body.
  • It was established in 1993 as per provisions of Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993. The Act was amended in 2006 and 2019.

Composition of the Commission

  • The chairperson of NHRC is a retired chief justice of India or a judge of the Supreme Court.
  • They are appointed by the President on the recommendations of a six-member committee consisting of:
  1. Prime Minister (head)
  2. Speaker of the Lok Sabha
  3. Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha
  4. Leaders of the Opposition in both the Houses of Parliament
  5. Union Home Minister.
  • They hold office for a term of three years or until they attain the age of 70 years, whichever is earlier.

Functions and Powers of NHRC

  • To inquire into the violation of human rights either suomoto or after receiving a petition.
  • To intervene in any judicial proceedings involving any allegation of violation of human rights.
  • To visit jail or any other institution under the control of the State Government to see the living conditions of the inmates and to make recommendations thereon.
  • To review the safeguards provided under the constitution or any law for the protection of the human rights and can recommend appropriate remedial measures.
  • To undertake and promote research in the field of human rights.
  • It has the powers of a civil court and can grant interim relief.
  • It also has the authority to recommend payment of compensation or damages.
  • It submits its annual report to the President of India who causes it to be laid before each House of Parliament.
Source: The Hindu

National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development (NBFID)

  • The Rajya Sabha cleared the legislation to establish the National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development (NBFID).
  • The proposal for establishment of NBFID was announced in the Budget speech by Finance Minister Nirmala Sithara­man.
  • It is envisaged as the principal deve­lopment financial institution (DFIs) for infrastructure financing.

Opposition to bill

  • DFIs had already been tried, tested and rejected. The first such institution was set up in 1948. In 1991, Dr. Man­mohan Singh, as Finance Mi­nister, had set up the Narsimham committee, which came to the conclusion that the era of the DFIs was over.
  • Despite the government having a 26% stake in this bank, the Bill did not provide for an over­ sight mechanism.
  • Lacuna in protection provided to man­agement for the decisions it takes as an “act of good faith”,

Rationale by government

  • It is need of the hour and the need of the next 25 years. The infras­tructure that it planned to fund was not only roads but also social infrastructure like schools and hospitals.
  • It would be a professionally run body, with only the go­vernment appointing the Chairperson.
  • The Bill  sa­feguards, including the pro­vision that the NBFID had to furnish to the Centre and the RBI a copy of its balance­ sheet and accounts.
Source: The Hindu

New regulation on cryptocurrency holdings

  • The corporate affairs ministry has announced companies will have to disclose any holding or dealings in cryptocurrencies or virtual currencies in their financial statements filed with the Registrar of Companies.

About new regulation

  • Experts noted that the corporate affairs ministry may just be seeking disclosures from companies to get a record of the usage of cryptocurrencies after reports that some startups were paying some employees part of their salaries in cryptocurrencies.   All companies will now have to disclose in their statutory financial filings to the RoC any profit or loss on transactions involving cryptocurrency, the amount of cryptocurrency held on the reporting date, and any deposits or advances received from anyone for the purpose of investing in cryptocurrencies or virtual currencies.
  • The government’s new bill – Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021 — aims to prohibit all private cryptocurrencies while setting the stage to roll out the legal framework for an “official digital currency”. However, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said the Centre will take a calibrated approach to cryptocurrencies and will not close the window on experimentation with cryptocurrencies.
Source: Indian Express

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