Insights Daily Current Events, 04 July 2015
57 MLAs want motion against Lokayukta
The pressure on Karnataka Lokayukta Y. Bhaskar Rao to quit has increased further with 57 MLAs seeking permission from the Speaker to move a motion in the Assembly for initiating the process of his removal from the office.
- Bhaskar Rao is caught in row over an alleged bribery scandal involving his son.
- The Opposition parties are also seeking the recourse under Section 6 of the Karnataka Lokayukta Act, 1984, relating to the process for removal of a Lokayukta or Upalokayukta for “proved misbehaviour or incompetency.
How Lokayukta can be removed?
- Under the the Karnataka Lokayukta Act, 1984, the Lokayukta can be removed by an order of the Governor after an address by each House of the legislature, supported by not less than two thirds of the members of that house present and voting.
- The investigation for proof of misbehaviour or incapacity of Lokayukta has to be done as provided in the Judges (Inquiry) Act, 1968, by a three-member committee, comprising two judges and a jurist.
- The procedure is similar to that for impeachment of a High Court or Supreme Court judge, except that the Karnataka Lokayukta Act, 1984, uses the word “removal”, instead of impeachment.
Who is Lokayukta?
As per the Lokayukta act, Lokayukta means the person appointed as the Lokayukta (Note: the institution and the head of the institution have the same name), who either held the office of a Judge of the Supreme Court of India or that of the Chief Justice of a High Court in any states of India.
Appointment: The Lokayukta is appointed by the Governor of Karnataka on advice of Chief Minister of Karnataka in consultation with the Chief Justice of the High Court of Karnataka, the Chairman of Karnataka Legislative Council, the Speaker of Karnataka Legislative Assembly, the Leader of the Opposition in the Karnataka Legislative Council and the Leader of the Opposition in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly.
Powers: The Lokayukta has the power to investigate Chief Minister, all other Ministers and Members of the State Legislature and all state government employees.
Sources: The Hindu, Wiki, lokayukta.
BLACK MONEY RULES NOTIFIED
The Union government has notified the rules under the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act.
Details of the Notified Rules:
- All deposits made in an undisclosed overseas bank account since opening will be clubbed while assets like immovable property, shares and jewellery will be valued at fair market price for levy of tax and penalty under the new black money law.
- All overseas income and assets, including the ones voluntarily declared within the 90-day compliance window ending September 30, will be valued in rupee terms.
- The fair market value of assets like bullion, jewellery or precious stone, immovable property, drawings, paintings, archaeological collections, and sculptures or work of art, will be “its cost of acquisition” or the price that the asset “shall ordinarily fetch if sold in the open market on the valuation date”, whichever is higher.
- As per the rules, for shares and securities, the fair market value will be the higher of the cost of acquisition or average of the lowest and highest price on the date of valuation.
- The rules also provide a formula for calculating the fair market value of an unquoted equity shares and provided a methodology for calculating the interest of a person in a partnership firm, association of persons or Limited Liability Partnership (LLP).
- The rules also say that in case the person disclosing foreign income does not have a PAN, he or she would be required to apply for it.
Sources: The Hindu.
KERALA’S RESPONSE SOUGHT
The Supreme Court has sought Kerala’s response to Tamil Nadu’s petition that the security of the Mullaperiyar dam be handed over to the CISF.
- The Tamil Nadu government had on February 20 moved the apex court seeking deployment of CISF for protection of Mullaperiyar dam in Kerala.
Mullaperiyar Dam- Quick facts:
- It is a masonry gravity dam on the Periyar River in Kerala.
- It is located 881 m (2,890 ft) above mean sea level, on the Cardamom Hills of the Western Ghats in Thekkady, Idukki District of Kerala.
- It was constructed between 1887 and 1895 by John Pennycuick to divert water eastwards to the Madras Presidency area (present-day Tamil Nadu).
- The Periyar National Park in Thekkady is located around the dam’s reservoir.
- The dam is located in Kerala on the river Periyar, but is operated and maintained by Tamil Nadu state.
Sources: The Hindu, Wiki.
Loss of polar bear habitat is imminent, warns study
A recent U.S. government report shows that about a third of the world’s polar bears could be in imminent danger from greenhouse gas emissions in as soon as a decade. A report by the U.S. Geological Survey said scientific models don’t bode well for polar bear populations across the world.
Important observations made by the report:
- Greenhouse gases are blamed for the climate warming that’s reducing polar bears’ summer sea ice habitat.
- Polar bears use sea ice for feeding, mating and giving birth. When the ice retreats in the summer, polar bears are forced to the land. The report says that the land-based food would not help bears adapt to the loss of sea ice.
Polar Bear- Basic Facts:
- It is a carnivorous bear whose native range lies largely within the Arctic Circle, encompassing the Arctic Ocean, its surrounding seas and surrounding land masses.
- Their scientific name means “maritime bear”.
- Polar bears hunt their preferred food of seals from the edge of sea ice, often living off fat reserves when no sea ice is present.
- The polar bear is classified as a vulnerable species, with eight of the nineteen polar bear subpopulations in decline.
- The World Conservation Union (IUCN) estimates that there are between 20,000-25,000 polar bears in the world.
Sources: The Hindu, Wiki.
BSNL launches ‘mobile wallet’
State-run operator BSNL recently launched a pre-paid card linked mobile wallet service which would allow its customers to transfer money, pay for services as well as withdraw cash of up to Rs. 1 lakh.
- The wallet service, Speed Pay, allows a customer to load money even if he does not have a bank account.
- The money loaded in the mobile wallet can be transferred to a bank account and even withdrawn at bank branches or BSNL outlets.
- Loading money into wallet from a bank account is an option. BSNL customers, who don’t have bank accounts, can also load money by visiting any BSNL retail outlet and asking the retailer to recharge their mobile wallet account and pay for various services.
- The service has been launched in partnership with IT company Pyro.
Sources: The Hindu.
Govt releases socio-economic and caste census for better policy-making
The union government recently released socio-economic and caste census (SECC) 2011.
- This is the first paperless census conducted on hand-held electronic devices by the government.
Details of the Census:
- According to the census, there are a total number of 24.39 crore households in the country, of which 17.91 crore live in villages. Of these, 10.69 crore households are considered as deprived.
- The census says that 23.52% rural families have no literate adult above 25 years, suggesting a poor state of education among rural masses.
- The census indicates that one out of three families living in villages is landless and depends on manual labour for livelihood. The deprivation data reveal that 5.37 crore (29.97%) households in rural areas are landless deriving a major part of their income from manual labour.
- As many as 2.37 crore (13.25%) families in villages live in houses of one room with ‘kaccha’ walls and roof.
- 53%, or 3.86 crore, families living in villages belong to SC/ST categories.
- 6% of all rural households in the country pay income tax.
- As for sources of income, 9.16 crore households (51.14%) depend on manual casual labour followed by cultivation (30.10%).
- 5 crore (14.01%) rural families are dependent on income from other sources which include government service, private sector and PSUs.
- 08 lakh households fall back on ragpicking while 6.68 lakh depend on begging and charity alms.
- Transgenders comprise 0.1% of India’s rural population. Andaman & Nicobar islands, West Bengal, Gujarat, Odisha and Mizoram have the highest proportions of transgenders.
- 6% of rural Indians were unmarried, 40% are currently married and 3.5% are divorced.
- Daman and Diu lead the country in the proportion of their rural population that has remained unmarried — at 55.9%, this is far higher than the national average. Chandigarh, on the other hand, has only 23.2% of its population that has never married.
The rural development ministry has taken a decision to use the SECC data in all its programmes.
Data on Literacy:
- The Socio Economic and Caste Census 2011 (SECC) has found that 36% of the 884 million people in rural India are illiterate. This is higher than the 32% recorded by the Census of India 2011.
- Of the 64% literate rural Indians, a more than a fifth have not even completed primary school. The SECC also found that only 5.4% of rural India has completed high school with a mere 3.4% having graduated from college.
- This poor state of rural education is reflected in the fact that 23.5% of rural households had no adults above the age of 25 who are literate – one of the categories of deprivation measured by the SECC.
- The performance within States is hugely varied, with an alarming 47.6% of rural Rajasthanis remaining illiterate, compared to 9.3% in Lakshadweep and 11.4% in Kerala.
- Delhi performs the best when it comes to percentage of its rural population that has completed graduate studies – at 9.6%, its performance is almost thrice as good as the national average.
Sources: The Hindu, TOI.
Know Your College (KYC)
“Know Your College” is a portal developed by the Ministry of Human Resource Development which is aimed at helping the students make an informed decision on the choice of college and the courses.
- This portal covers almost 10,500 colleges which conduct about 14,000 programs in Technical Education and 35000 colleges conducting at least 20,000 programs in Non-Technical education.
- It is a repository of information pertaining to colleges and information related to its faculty, labs, library, infrastructure, and availability of hostel facilities etc.
- Students are also encouraged to send their complaints on discrepancies of information provided by colleges through this portal.
- This portal is being maintained by AICTE. This portal also acts as a single stop destination for students for making an informed choice.
Insights Secure Prelims 2015
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Consider the following statements regarding the Mullaperiyar Dam:
- It is a masonry gravity dam.
- The dam is operated and maintained by Tamil Nadu state.
- It is constructed on the Periyar River in Kerala.
Which of the above statements are correct?Correct
Sabarmati River flows through which of the following states?
Choose the correct answer using the codes below:Correct
Identify the region based on the following information:
- It is an American country in the southwest point of South America.
- It lies between the Andes Mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west.
- Calbuco, an Active Volcano, is situated here.
Choose the correct answer using the codes below:Correct