6th August 2018 : Daily Current Affairs - UPSC CSE/IAS and State PSC

This page contains "6th August 2018" current affairs analysis from different newspapers and magazines like The Hindu, Indian express, PIB and Yojna.

Quality and relevance are two key features considered while writing the content, all the topics are based on the pattern of previously asked questions in exams like UPSC CSE, IAS, State PCS, SSC, Banks PO and likewise competitive exams.

National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) to get constitutional status

Lok Sabha has recently passed, "123rd Constitutional amendment Bill" that will provide "Constitutional status" to "National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC)".

What is 123rd Constitutional amendment Bill ?

At present the NCBC can only recommend inclusion and exclusion of castes from the OBC list and the level of income that cuts off the "creamy layer" among these castes from the benefits of reservation.

Following the passage of "123rd Constitutional amendment Bill" from both houses of the parliament and receiving of president accent, National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) will be included in the list of constitutional bodies, this will enable the NCBC to enforce the safeguards provided to the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBCs) and solve their grievances.

The bill empowers NCBC to inquire into complaints of deprivation of rights and safeguards, and provide the commission the powers of a civil court to try a suit, summon anyone, require documents to be produced, and receive evidence on affidavit.

Article 338 of the Constitution

Article 338 of the Constitution provides for a "Special Officer" for the SCs and STs to investigate all matters relating to the safeguards available to them under the Constitution.

In current scenario, Article 338 of the Constitution also enables the "National Commission of Scheduled Castes", to addressed the grievances of the OBCs. It also says, once a commission decides who they are; SC/STs shall be construed as including references to OBCs as well.

The mandates of SC Commission were extended in 1990, when OBC reservations becoming a reality, these functions of SC Commission pertaining to OBCs will now be transferred to the new NCBC.

Way forward
People belonging to the OBCs will now be able to approach "National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC)" for addressal of their grievances related to non-implementation of reservations, economic grievances, violence, etc.
Discuss: National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) to get constitutional status

What is Article 35A of Indian Constitution ?

The supreme court of India has recently taken up the issue of "Article 35A" to decide, "Whether or not to refer the issue to the Constitution Bench", few NGOs has filed petitions to challenge the validity of both Article 35A and Article 370.

The Supreme Court will decide the issue of unconstitutionality of "Article 35A", as the article was added to the constitution on a presidential order without consulting the parliament.

What is Article 35A

Article 35A of Indian Constitution deals with granting of special status to Jammu and Kashmir, the article was added to the constitution in 1954 through a Presidential Order issued under Article 370 (1)(d).

The Parliament was not consulted when Article 35A was incorporated into the Constitution, despite the fact that Article 368(i) of the Constitution mandates that only the Parliament can amend the Constitution.

Article 35A empowers the J&K State Legislature to decide upon "permanent residents" of the state and grant such residents special rights and privileges with respect to State public sector jobs, acquisition of property within the State, scholarships and other public aid and welfare programmes.

Moreover the provisions also mandates that, any act of the J&K's State legislature coming under the ambit of Article 35A, can not be challenged for violating the Indian Constitution or any other law of the land.

Is Article 35A unconstitutional ?

People who challenges the validity of both Article 35A and Article 370, argues that Constituent Assembly was consisting of 4 members from J&K state, still they never accorded any special status in the Constitution.

Article 370 was added at that time as a "temporary provision" to strengthen democracy and help bring normalcy in that State, Article 370 was not intended to be used as a tool to bring permanent amendments like Article 35A, hence Article 35A is unconstitutional.

Moreover the article was added as a constitutional amendment on presidential order without consulting the parliament, despite the fact that Article 368 (i) of the Constitution mandates that only the Parliament can amend the Constitution. However Article 370 (1)(d) empowers the president to to make certain "exceptions and modifications" to the Constitution for the benefit of "State subjects" of Jammu and Kashmir.

Article 35 A, violates fundamental rights provided under Articles 14, 19 and 21 of the constitution by provides special status to a class of Indian citizens and restricts citizens from other states from getting employment or buying property within J&K.
Discuss: What is Article 35A of Indian Constitution ?

HAL's Light Combat Aircraft project to hand over to the Indian Air Force (IAF)

In a bid to prevent time and cost overruns on the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) project, the government has decided to hand over Bengaluru division of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to the Indian Air Force.

The next phase of the LCA project, development of the MK2 variant and the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) has started to take shape.

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), a state owned company is tasked with manufacturing and assemble a range of aircraft and helicopters. HAL is facing criticism for lack of professionalism in project execution and time & cost overruns.

The IAF constituted the first LCA squadron with just two aircraft in 2016 and development of Tejas and the Tejas-Mk 1A with specific enhancements has been delayed.

What is Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) project ?

Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) project was started in 1983, it's very first aircraft flight came in the year 2001. So far HAL and IAF has signed two contracts:

1) Signed on March 31, 2006, for providing 20 aircraft in the Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) configuration by December 2011.
2) Signed on December 23, 2010, for providing 20 aircraft in the Final Operational Clearance (FOC) configuration by 2016.

Another order of 83 jets in the Mk 1A configuration is aso in process from Indian Air Force.

In a separate move three institutions: 1) Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), 2) Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) and 3) Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE), currently under the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) can be brought under the direct control of IAF.

Three Mirage squadrons, three Mig-29 squadrons and six Jaguar squadrons are to be replaced by squadrons of the LCA-Mk2, the target is to have the first squadron ready by 2028.
Discuss: HAL's Light Combat Aircraft project to hand over to the Indian Air Force (IAF)

"Bidder Information Management System" and "Bhoomi Rashi-PFMS Linkage Portal"

In a bid to expediting pre construction processes relating to bidding and land acquisition, "Ministry of Road Transport & Highways" launched two IT initiatives "Bidder Information Management System (BIMS)" and "Bhoomi Rashi-PFMS linkage portal".

What is Bidder Information Management System(BIMS) ?

BIMS portal will, streamline and enhance transparency and objectivity in the process of pre-qualification of bidders for EPC Mode of contracts for National Highway works .

BIMS has a database of information about bidders related to basic details, civil works experience, cash accruals and network and annual turnover etc.

The portal will make technical evaluation of bidders much easier with the help of already stored data in the portal. BIMS will be used by technical information agencies of the Ministry for maintenance of civil works of contractors and for online technical evaluation of civil works bids.

Under the initiative it will be bidders responsibility to ensure that their latest details are available on the BIMS portal. The project is aimed at accelerating project implementation by reducing the procurement time.

Central Public Procurement Portal (CPPP) and BIMS will work in a conjunction to ensure transparent bids for EPC mode civil works floated by the Ministry.

What is Bhoomi Rashi ?

Bhoomi Rashi, collectively developed by Ministry of Road Transport & Highways" and "NIC" will have the entire revenue data of the country including 6.4 lakh villages.

Entire land acquisition process starting from submission of draft notification by the State Government to its approval by the Minister of State for RT&H and publication in e-Gazette, is online.

Bhoomi Rashi is dedicated to expedite the entire process of Land Acquisition including the publication of notifications, so far 9000 land acquisition notifications has been issued using the portal.

What is Public Financial Management System (PFMS) ?

Public Financial Management System (PFMS) is a web based online portal, developed by Office of Controller General of Accounts (CGA), the portal helps in providing a real time, reliable and meaningful information to various stakeholders.

The information received from PFMS, a Digital India initiative of GoI; helps the stakeholders to take effective decision.

Integration of "Public Financial Management System (PFMS)" with "Bhoomi Rashi"

The integration between "Public Financial Management System (PFMS)" and "Bhoomi Rashi" will simplify the process of facilitating payment related to land acquisition.

After the integration all the beneficiaries will get their payment as a compensation for land acquisition directly through the Bhoomi Rashi system.

Annual Awards for Excellence in National Highways Projects

Annual Awards for Excellence in National Highways Projects, was also announced at the occasion, the award will be given to contractors who are performing exceptionally.

The award will be presented every year starting 2018, across five categories:

1) Excellence in Construction Management.
2) Excellence in Operation & Maintenance.
3) Best Toll Plaza.
4) Safe Highway.
5) Innovation in Design or Construction Technology.

Multiple rounds of rigorous assessment is involved in the process of selecting the performers, nominations will be received through an online portal, companies can upload project information and documents specific to the award category.
Discuss: "Bidder Information Management System" and "Bhoomi Rashi-PFMS Linkage Portal"

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