Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 24 JANUARY 2019
New Supreme court guidelines to notch up urgent cases automatically
- The Supreme Court is drafting new guidelines that would help
ensure that urgent cases automatically come up before a Bench for hearing
within four days of their being filed, obviating the need for lawyers to
appear before the Chief Justice of India to orally mention their cases for
- Chief Justice of India RanjanGogoi on Wednesday informed the
crowded courtroom that new norms had been settled by which urgent cases
would automatically come up before a Bench for hearing.
- The CJI added that if such cases did not come up for hearing, the
lawyers concerned could make a mention before the Registrar to have their
- Oral mentioning is a convention by which lawyers circumvent the
long-winded filing procedures and make a direct appeal to the CJI, who is
the court’s administrative head and master of the roster, for early hearing.
- The CJI takes a call on the spot, whether the case deserves to be
heard out-of-turn. This would mean pushing other cases off the list. The CJI
has often complained about how cases that were orally represented by a
lawyer during mentioning, did not turn out to be as urgent.
- Justice Gogoi has repeatedly advised the Bar to be circumspect
about orally mentioning cases, and to be careful that only absolutely urgent
cases are brought before him.
- He reminded lawyers that the court cannot be seen to be wasting
time when hundreds of death penalty cases are waiting for years to be heard.
- The usual sight of lawyers crowding the courtroom of the Chief
Justice of India in the mornings to orally mention their cases for urgent
listing may soon become passe.
Centre set to strengthen autonomous councils in the north east
- The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a constitutional amendment
to increase the financial and executive powers of the 10 autonomous councils
in the Sixth Schedule areas of the northeast.
- The amendment would impact a population of about 1 croretribals
living in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram, according to the Centre.
- The Finance Commission would be mandated to recommend devolution
of financial resources to the councils, the government said in an official
- Till now, the autonomous councils have depended on grants from
Central Ministries and the State governments for specific projects.
- As per the proposed amendment, at least one third of the seats
would be reserved for women in the village and municipal councils in the
Sixth Schedule areas of Assam, Mizoram and Tripura.
- The proposed amendments provide for elected village municipal
councils, ensuring democracy at the grass-roots level. The State Election
Commissions would hold elections to the autonomous councils, village and
municipal councils in the areas of Assam, Mizoram and Tripura.
Centre to set up new GSTAT bench in New Delhi
- The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the creation of a National
Bench of the Goods and Services Tax Appellate Tribunal (GSTAT), which would
serve as the forum of second appeals to do with the applicability of GST,
and will also be the first common forum of dispute resolution between the
Centre and the States.
- The National Bench of the Appellate Tribunal, to be situated in
New Delhi, will be presided over by its president. It will consist of a
technical member from the Centre and a representative of the States.
- Chapter XVIII of the CGST Act provides for an appeal and review
mechanism for dispute resolution under the GST regime. Section 109 of this
chapter empowers the Centre to constitute, on the recommendation of the GST
Council, an appellate tribunal for hearing appeals against the orders passed
by the Appellate Authority.
- The government, it is learnt, was initially planning an appellate
tribunal in each State. However, the idea was discarded in favour of one at
the national level following the experience with the various state-level
advance ruling authorities, which often gave conflicting judgments.
- Being a common forum, GST Appellate Tribunal will ensure that
there is uniformity in redressal of disputes arising under GST, and
therefore, in implementation of GST across the country.
Inter state trading through E-NAM portal begins
- The e-NAM platform has reached an inflection point by initiation
of inter-state trade in January 2019. The start of online inter-state trade
through the e-NAM portal this month is a landmark achievement in e-NAM
history and its strengthening in future will definitely add a new chapter to
Agricultural marketing in the Indian context.
- The e-NAM platform is a pan-India electronic trading (e-trading)
portal to network the existing physical regulated wholesale market (known as
APMC market) through a virtual platform to create a unified national market
for agricultural commodities.
- Initially, trade on e-NAM started inside the individual e-NAM
mandi, with involvement of farmers and traders of that mandi. After
persuasive efforts by the Government of India, inter-mandi trade on e-NAM
platform started within the State. Now inter-mandi trade within e-NAM States
is happening in 10 States.
- Inter-State trade can take place in all 124 commodities promoted
on e-NAM platform which covers all major cereals, coarse cereals, pulses,
oilseeds, spices, flowers, minor forest produce etc. Now more States are
planning to start inter-State trade on e-NAM platform.
- To increase the network on online mandis, e-NAM project will be
expanded to other regulated markets. The Government plans to integrate
another 415 mandis by March 2020 with the e-NAM portal.
India – Kuwait sign cooperation agreement on recruitment of domestic workers
- The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister ShriNarendraModi has
approved the signing Memorandum of Understanding between India and Kuwait
for cooperation on the Recruitment of Domestic Workers.
- The MOU provides a structured framework for cooperation on
domestic workers related matters and provides strengthened safeguards for
Indian domestic workers including female workers deployed in Kuwait.
- The MOU is initially valid for a period of five years and
incorporates provision for automatic renewal.
- Under this MOU, a Joint Committee will be set up to follow up the
implementation of this MOU.The MOU will promote bilateral cooperation in
domestic workers related matters between the two countries.
- Around 3,00,000 Indian domestic workers deployed in Kuwait. This
includes around 90,000 female domestic workers.
India –Africa field training exercise to be held in Pune
- The final planning conference to work out the modalities for
Indian Africa Field Training Exercise (IAFTX)-2019 is being conducted at
Pune on 23-24 January 2019.
- Delegates from Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan, South
Africa, Tanzania, Namibia, Mozambique, Uganda, Niger & Zambia attended the
- Indian Africa Field Training Exercise (IAFTX)-2019 is scheduled to
be conducted at Aundh Military Station and College of Military Engineering,
Pune from 18 March to 27 March 2019.
- The joint training exercise is being conducted with more than a
dozen African countries & India. It aims at synergysing humanitarian mine
action and joint peace operations. The initial planning conference for the
exercise was held in December 2018.
- The IAFTX-2019 is a positive step towards growing political and
military ties with the member nations of African continent and will boost
the already strong strategic cooperation between the countries.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
ISRO set to launch C-44 satellite today
- The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch a
students' satellite Kalamsat and an imaging satellite Microsat-R from the
SatishDhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota today.
- The national space agency's workhorse rocket, PSLV C44, carrying
the satellites, is scheduled for liftoff at 11:27 pm. The countdown for the
launch began at 7:37 last evening and is progressing smoothly.
- Kalamsat is a payload developed by students and Chennai based
Space Kidz India for the first time. Talking to AIR News, Mission Director
of Kalamsat, Dr SrimathyKesan said: ISRO Chairman Dr K Sivan said, the
Microsat-R satellite is meant for the Defence Research and Development
Organisation (DRDO) purposes.
- "ISRO will be using the aluminium tank for the first time in the
fourth stage of the launch of PSLV C 44. This is to reduce the weight and
increase the mass in the four-stage engine expendable rocket with
alternating solid and liquid fuel.
- About 14 minutes into the flight the rocket would eject Microsat R
at an altitude of about 277 km. This would begin to function at an altitude
of 450 km in an hour and 40 minutes. The Kalam sat is a 10 cm cube
nanosatellite weighing about 1.2 kg and has a life span of about two months.
CWG gold medallist Sanjithachanu’s provisional ban lifted by IWF
- The International Weightlifting Federation(IWF) has revoked the
provisional suspension on weightlifter KhumukchamSanjitaChanu for a failed
dope test. IWF's legal counsel Eva Nyirfa said this in an e-mail sent to the
national federation and Sanjita.
- He also informed that the IWF Hearing Panel will render its
decision on the athlete's case in due course. This will be a major reprieve
for the two-time Commonwealth Games gold-medallist who has claimed
- The 25-year-old Sanjita, who had won a gold in the women's 53kg
category at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, had tested positive
for anabolic steroid testosterone.
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