General Election to the Legislative Assemblies of Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Puducherry
Election Commission of India on 26 Feb 2021 announced the schedule for 2021 General Elections to State Legislative Assemblies of Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Puducherry. The Election Commission of India (ECI) is committed to conduct free, fair, participative, accessible, inclusive and safe election to the Legislative Assemblies of Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Puducherry before the cessation of its term, in exercise of the authority and powers conferred upon under Article 324 of the Constitution of India and Representation of the People Act, 1951.
About Article 324
Article 324 of the Constitution provides that the power of superintendence, direction and control of elections to parliament, state legislatures, the office of president of India and the office of vice-president of India shall be vested in the election commission.
Representation of the People Act, 1951
The Representation of the People Act, 1951 is an act of Parliament of India to provide for the conduct of election of the Houses of Parliament and to the House or Houses of the Legislature of each State, the qualifications and disqualifications for membership of those Houses. It was introduced in Parliament by law minister Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. The Act was enacted by the provisional parliament under Article 327 of Indian Constitution, before the first general election.
Union Education Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' chaired the 54th Meeting of the Council of Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) on 22 Jan 2021 through online medium. These are the fallowing recommendation at 54th meeting of IIT Council.
Group-2: Grooming distinguished academics for directorship of IITs
Group-3: Reform and restructuring of the Academic Senate
Group-4: Innovative funding mechanisms
About Council of Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs)
Council of Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) are governed by the Institutes of Technology Act, 1961, which has declared them as Institutes of National Importance and lays down their powers, duties, and framework for governance. The Institutes of Technology Act, 1961 lists twenty-three institutes. Each IIT is autonomous, linked to the others through a common council (IIT Council), which oversees their administration.
The IIT Council comprises the minister-in-charge of technical education in the Union Government (as Chairman), three Members of Parliament, the Chairmen of all IITs, the Directors of all IITs, the Chairman of the University Grants Commission, the Director General of CSIR, the Chairman of IISc, the Director of IISc, the Joint Council Secretary of Ministry of Human Resource and Development, and three appointees each of the Union Government, AICTE.
Lok Sabha : Passed
Raja Sabha : Passed
President of India : Still pending with president of India
The Major Port Authorities Bill, 2020 was introduced in Lok Sabha by the Minister of State for Shipping, Mr. Mansukh Mandaviya, on March 12, 2020. The Bill seeks to provide for regulation, operation and planning of major ports in India and provide greater autonomy to these ports. It seeks to replace the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963. Key features of the Bill include:
Application: The Bill will apply to the major ports of Chennai, Cochin, Jawaharlal Nehru Port, Kandla, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Mangalore, Mormugao, Paradip, V.O. Chidambaranar, and Vishakhapatnam.
Major Port Authorities Board: Under the 1963 Act, all major ports are managed by the respective Board of Port Trusts that have members appointed by the central government. The Bill provides for the creation of a Board for each major port. These Boards will replace the existing Port Trusts.
Composition of Board: The Board will comprise of a Chairperson and a deputy Chairperson, both of whom will be appointed by the central government on the recommendation of a selection committee. Further, it will include one member each from (i) the respective state governments, (ii) the Railways Ministry, (iii) the Defence Ministry, and (iv) the Customs Department. The Board will also include two to four independent members, and two members representing the interests of the employees of the Major Port Authority.
Fixing of rates: Currently, the Tariff Authority for Major Ports, established under the 1963 Act, fixes the scale of rates for assets and services available at ports. Under the Bill, the Board or committees appointed by the Board will determine these rates for assets and services available at ports.
They may determine rates for:
(i) services that will be performed at ports,
(ii) the access to and usage of the port assets, and
Such fixing of rates under the provisions of the Competition Act, 2002.
Financial powers of the Board: Under the 1963 Act, the Board has to seek prior sanction of the central government to raise any loan. Under the Bill, to meet its capital and working expenditure requirements, the Board may raise loans from any: (i) scheduled bank or financial institution within India, or (ii) any financial institution outside India that is compliant with all the laws. However, for loans above 50% of its capital reserves, the Board will require prior sanction of the central government.
The Finance Commission is a constitutional body formed by the President of India to give suggestions on centre-state financial relations. The 15th Finance Commission (Chairman: Mr. N. K. Singh) submitted final report with recommendations for the 2021-26 period was tabled in Parliament on February 1, 2021. Key recommendations in the report for 2021-26 include:
Share of states in central taxes
The share of states in the central taxes for the 2021-26 period is recommended to be 41%. This is less than the 42% share recommended by the 14th Finance Commission for 2015-20 period. The adjustment of 1% is to provide for the newly formed union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh from the resources of the centre.
Criteria for devolution to state
The Finance Commission uses certain criteria when deciding the devolution to states. The 15th Finance Commission used the following criteria while determining the share of states:
About Finance Commission of India(FCI)
Established : 1951
Govt Body Type : Constitutional Body
The Government of India, with the approval President of India, ha constitutes Finance Commission in pursuance of article 280 of the Constitution, read with the provisions of the Finance Commission Act, 1951