1 . SIMULTANEOUS POLLS FEASIBLE – EC
SOURCE – HINDU
RELEVANCE – GS MAINS II
- Favouring simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly polls, the Election Commission recently said all political parties need to be brought on board before such an exercise was carried out.
- The Election Commission said that it has always been of the view that simultaneous elections will give enough time to the incumbent government to formulate policies and implement programmes continuously for a longer time without interruptions caused by the imposition of the model code of conduct.
- However the step would be possible only when necessary changes were carried out in the Constitution and the Representation of the People Act.
- Existing legal and constitutional provisions mandate that elections are to be held within six months ahead of the end of the term of an Assembly or the Lok Sabha, however the Commission may conduct such elections after six months after constitutional and legal changes are made.
MERITS AND DEMERITS OF SIMULTANEOUS ELECTIONS
- Conducting parliamentary elections, Assembly elections and local body polls at a large scale each year in India is a costly and tiresome exercise which consumes a lot of resources.
- Due to elections each year, key leaders holding posts in government are tied up for months in campaigning across the country leaving the functioning of their government to the hands of the bureaucracy.
- Moral code of conduct also restricts a lot of economic activity and that leads to a financial dent on the economy.
- Massive expenses are borne to conduct Lok Sabha elections and then equal, if not more, are spent as combined exercise of Assembly and local body polls.
- Simultaneous poll exercise would nullify the expenses for multiple elections and at the cost of a single national elections.
- It also gives four uninterrupted years for the government to work on the issues of the public, taking out one year for campaigning again.
- A similar kind of election is held in US as well for the Presidential elections and the Congressional elections. Though the state elections are held separately, still it is a step ahead to where we stand.
- The only issue is when the government falls in between its five-year term. New elections elect governments to a fresh five-year term and thus will break the simultaneous system. For it to work, a change in legislation will be required.
2 . CHINA TELLS INDIA TO OBEY THE 1890 UK – CHINA TREATY
SOURCE – HINDU
RELEVANCE – GS MAINS PAPER II
- Doklam and the Sikkim stretch of the border between India and China came back into focus on Sunday as Beijing asked India to respect the historical treaty that defined the boundary between the two nations in that area.
- China’s statement calling on India to “face the facts” came a day after Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made her maiden visit to the Nathu La post.
- China on Sunday referred to the 1890 UK-China treaty, which it claimed demarcated the Sikkim sector of the Sino-Indian border, as it urged New Delhi to abide by its provisions.
3 .THREE LANGUAGE FORMULA TO BE REVISED
SOURCE – HINDU
RELEVANCE – GS PRELIMS
- Foreign languages such as German and French may not be part of the three-language formula in schools from the next academic session.
- The Union Human Resource Development Ministry is believed to have communicated to the Central Board of Secondary Education that students keen on learning a foreign language should opt for it as the fourth or fifth language.
- According to the proposal languages which are listed in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution should be taught under the three-language formula, while languages which are ‘purely foreign’ should be taught as a ‘fourth language’ as an elective subject.
- Under the National Education Policy, the three-language formula means students in Hindi-speaking States should learn a modern Indian language, apart from Hindi and English, and in other States, Hindi, the regional language and English.
4 . VAJRA SCHEME GOT 260 APPLICATIONS
SOURCE – HINDU
RELEVANCE – GS PRELIMS & GS MAINS II & GS MAINS III
- Nearly 260 global scientists filed applications for the government’s Visiting Advanced Joint Research (VAJRA) Faculty scheme.
- 70 applicants would be shortlisted for the programme by the end of this month.
- Launched on 22nd June 2017 by the Department of Science and Technology (DST).
- The initiative would boost research work and lead to newer, cutting edge technologies.
- Under this scheme, scientists or senior researchers abroad – of Indian origin or otherwise – can collaborate with faculties here.
- Under the scheme, foreign researchers would receive endowments at par with those in their own countries.
- The endowments for faculties would be US $15,000 in the first month of residency and US $10,000, for the remaining months.
- He said that the broad areas of research like energy, health, advance material and others would be promoted under the scheme.