TABLE OF CONTENTS
A. GS1 Related B. GS2 Related Polity 1. Ex-SC judges could soon be appointed NHRC chiefs 2. All parties need to be on board for simultaneous polls: Election Commission International Affairs/Bilateral Relations 1. Rex Tillerson may club India, Pak for visit 2. Navigating a Changing World Health Issues 1. Health ministry approves new tuberculosis drug C. GS3 Related Environmental Science and Ecology 1. 16 balsam species found in 5 years in Arunachal 2. Odisha hikes compensation for deaths caused by wild animals Agriculture 1. From Plate to Plough: What Gujarat did yesterday D. GS4 Related E. Prelims Fact F. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions G. UPSC Mains Practice Questions
A. GS1 Related
Nothing here for Today!!!
B. GS2 Related
- Appointment of National Human Rights Commission chiefs.
- The Home Ministry has moved the Cabinet to amend the recruitment process of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
- Key Changes:
- Retired Supreme Court judge could also be considered for the Chairperson’s position, currently reserved for former Chief Justices of the Supreme Court.
- Similarly an amendment for appointment of members is also being considered. The members could be picked from a pool of retired Chief Justices of High Courts. Currently, a serving or retired SC judge is considered.
- The State Human Rights Commissions are also expected to see a change in the appointment procedure. Retired High Court judges could also be considered for the post of State Human Rights Commission chairperson, which is currently held by retired Chief Justices of High Courts.
- Key Fact:
- The NHRC was constituted under the Protection of Human Rights Act in 1993. The Act was last amended in 2006.
- The Commission consists of a chairperson, one member who is or has been a Judge of the Supreme Court, one member who is or has been the Chief Justice of a High Court and two members to be appointed from among persons having knowledge of, or practical experience in, matters relating to human rights.
- The chairperson and members are appointed by the President on recommendations from a six-member committee chaired by the Prime Minister.
- What next?
- Once the Cabinet approves them, an amendment to the Protection of Human Rights Act would have to be ratified by Parliament.
- Simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly polls.
- The Election Commission opinion:
- All political parties need to be brought on board before such an exercise is carried out.
- Simultaneous elections will give enough time for incumbent government to formulate policies and implement programmes continuously for a longer time without interruptions caused by imposition of model code of conduct.
- Conducting the polls together would be possible only when necessary changes in the Constitution and Representation of the People Act are carried out.
- Situation at present:
- Existing legal and constitutional provisions mandates that elections are to be held within six months ahead of the end of the term of a State Assembly or the Lok Sabha.
- Requirements to hold simultaneous polls:
- Requirement of 24 lakh each Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) Machines.
- Two sets of EVMs — one for Lok Sabha and another for the Assembly polls.
- The Niti Aayog’s “Three Year Action Agenda, 2017-18 to 2019-20” report:
- The Niti Aayog has also favoured conducting synchronised two-phase Lok Sabha and Assembly elections from 2024 in “national interest”.
- All elections in India should happen in a free, fair and synchronised manner to ensure minimum “campaign mode” disruption to governance.
- U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is expected to visit India “later in October”.
- Tillerson will become the fourth senior U.S. official to visit New Delhi after the Trump Administration took over.
- Tillerson is expected to travel to both India and Pakistan on the same visit, indicating a sharp shift from precedent.
- Previously: During the Bush and Obama administrations, U.S. officials had avoided clubbing visits to New Delhi and Islamabad because of India’s sensitivities over a “hyphenation” of the U.S.’s relations with India and Pakistan.
New Afghan policy:
- The U.S. Secretary of State’s visit to India is likely to highlight growing ties between New Delhi and Washington, and growing cooperation between them on Afghanistan.