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Insights Daily Current Events, 24 July 2015

Insights Daily Current Events, 24 July 2015


A third of HC judges’ posts vacant, Lok Sabha told

The government recently said that one-third of all judges’ posts at the High Court level and over a fifth of posts at the subordinate court level are currently vacant in India. This was disclosed by the Union Law Minister in response to a question in Lok Sabha.


  • In the High Courts, 381 of 1017 positions are vacant.
  • The situation in the Chhattisgarh High Court is the worst, with nearly 60% of positions vacant, closely followed by the Allahabad High Court with over half of all sanctioned posts vacant.
  • At the subordinate judiciary level, over a fifth of all posts are vacant, with only 15,643 judges currently working as against a sanctioned strength of 20,214.
  • In Delhi, Gujarat and Bihar, over a third of all judges’ posts are vacant.
  • All levels taken together, India has 17 judges for every million

Why the government says?

Since the collegium system of appointing judges has ceased to exist with the passing of the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act, and a final Supreme Court verdict on the NJAC has been reserved, no action on the appointment of judges can be taken without court orders.

Article 217(1) says that Every Judge of a High Court shall be appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal after consultation with the Chief Justice of India, the Governor of the State, and, in the case of appointment of a Judge other than the chief Justice, the chief Justice of the High court.

Sources: The Hindu, Wiki.

Govt. proposes to strip RBI chief of veto power on monetary policy

The Union government has proposed to strip the Reserve Bank Governor’s veto vote on India’s monetary policy. The government has also proposed to grant itself the power to appoint four of the six members of the Monetary Policy Committee, whose remit will include decisions on setting interest rates to maintain inflation at the targeted level.

  • This was stated by the Union Finance Ministry in its recently released draft of the Indian Financial Code.
  • However, the Ministry has not stated this clearly. In the draft, it proposes that the Reserve Bank “Chairperson” shall head the committee, with no reference to the Governor. Hence, it is not clear from the draft if a re-designation is planned.


  • Under the revised draft, the non-government members of the committee are to be drawn from the Reserve Bank.
  • The Reserve Bank’s Board will nominate one of its executives as the fifth member of the committee. The Chairperson will nominate one of its employees as the sixth member.


  • The earlier draft, released by the Mininstry, had proposed to give the Governor the right to overrule the monetary policy committee decision. If the inflation target is not met, then the Reserve Bank will have to explain the reasons and propose remedial actions.
  • The present move comes in the wake of a severe breakdown of talks between the Centre and the Reserve Bank over amendments to the RBI Act, which Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had announced in his Budget speech. Seeing the Reserve Bank’s opposition to them, the Finance Minister had later dropped the proposed amendments from the Finance Bill.

Current position:

At present, the RBI governor consults a Technical Advisory Committee, but does not necessarily go by the majority opinion while deciding on the monetary policy stance.

Sources: The Hindu, RBI, ET.

SAARC satellite to cost Rs. 235 cr.

The government recently said that the launch of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) satellite has been pegged at an estimated Rs. 235 crore and the cost associated with the launch will be met by the country.


  • The satellite was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the SAARC summit in Nepal in November last year.
  • The objective of this project is to develop a satellite for the SAARC region that enables a full range of services to all our neighbours in the areas of telecommunications and broadcasting applications like television, DTH, tele-education and disaster management
  • The Indian Space Research Organisation will build the satellite with 12 Ku-band transponders and launch it using the Indian Geostationary Launch Vehicle Mk-II.

Sources: The Hindu, ET.

Meeting on Motor Vehicle Agreement

Recently, a meeting of the Secretaries of Transport of India, Myanmar and Thailand (IMT) was held in Bangkok, Thailand to reach consensus on signing and operationalising the IMT Motor Vehicle Agreement (MVA) which has been under negotiation since March 2015.

  • The text of the MVA was already finalized by the three countries in the Transport Secretaries meeting, held in June 2015 at Bengaluru, India and the meeting at Bangkok was primarily to discuss and finalize the Protocol of the IMT MVA.

Why such an agreement is necessary?

  • For closer regional economic cooperation and integration through enhanced regional connectivity by road.
  • To improve connectivity and people to people contact for furthering the shared goal of overall economic development.

About the Initiative:

  • This initiative is aimed at fostering better ties with neighbours and boosting trade and economy.
  • The initiative will establish road connectivity between South Asia and Southeast Asia, which will strengthen economic integration and cooperation between the two sub-regions and boost their collective economic progress and development.

The signing of the agreement and its implementation is planned by December 2015 and is expected to be operational in 2016, opening the way for movement of cargo and passengers (including personal vehicles) on the India-Myanmar-Thailand road corridor.

Sources: The Hindu, PIB.

Two Anglo-Indians nominated members of Lok Sabha

The President of India has nominated two Anglo-Indians as members of Lok Sabha.

  • They are: George Baker and Prof Richard Hay.
  • With the nomination of two members from Anglo-Indian community, the present strength of Lok Sabha has reached 545.

The maximum strength of the Lok Sabha envisaged by the Constitution of India is 552, which is made up by election of up to 530 members to represent the states, up to 20 members to represent the Union Territories and not more than two members of the Anglo-Indian Community to be nominated by the President of India, if, in his/her opinion, that community is not adequately represented in the House. Under the current laws, the strength of Lok Sabha is 545, including the two seats reserved for members of the Anglo-Indian community.

Who is an Anglo Indian?

According to the Constitution of India, a person from the Anglo-Indian community is defined as, “a person whose father or any of whose other male progenitors in the male line is or was of European descent; but who is domiciled within the territory of India, and is or was born within such territory of parents habitually resident therein and not established there for temporary purposes only.”

Basic facts:

  • The President of India nominates two members from this community as MPs in the Lok Sabha, when it is felt that the community is not represented.
  • The role of the Anglo-Indian MPs therefore, is primarily, to safeguard the community and its vibrant presence within the jurisdiction of India.
  • Like other MPs, the Anglo-Indian MPs vacate their office every five years before fresh elections are held to decide the next tenure of the Lok Sabha. It is permissible for the same MP from the Anglo-Indian community to be re-nominated to the Parliament in successive Parliamentary sessions.

Sources: PIB,

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