Public Accounts Committee (PAC)
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament has decided its agenda for the following year.
Because a consensus could not be built, the subject of vaccine production and distribution was not accepted as one of the agendas of the PAC for this year.
As per the panel’s rules, no subject can be deliberated upon till there is a consensus among all members.
The PAC is formed every year with a strength of not more than 22 members of which 15 are from Lok Sabha and 7 from Rajya Sabha.
The term of office of the members is one year.
The Chairman is appointed by the Speaker of Lok Sabha. Since 1967, the chairman of the committee is selected from the opposition.
Its chief function is to examine the audit report of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) after it is laid in the Parliament.
It is the oldest of all House panels. The Committee on Public Accounts was first set up in 1921 in the wake of the Montague-Chelmsford Reforms.
Limitations of the Public Accounts Committee:
Broadly, it cannot intervene in the questions of policy.
It can keep a tab on the expenses only after they are incurred. It has no power to limit expenses.
It cannot intervene in matters of day-to-day administration.
Any recommendation that the committee makes is only advisory. They can be ignored by the ministries.
It is not vested with the power of disallowance of expenditures by the departments.
Being only an executive body; it cannot issue an order. Only the Parliament can take a final decision on its findings.
WHO Global Tuberculosis Programme
A virtual high-level event on ‘Global Drive to Scale up TB Prevention’ was recently organized by WHO Global Tuberculosis Programme.
The purpose of this special high-level event was to discuss key actions needed at the global and country-level to scale up TB prevention strategies and drive progress towards achieving the 2022 UN High-Level Meeting target on TB preventive treatment.
What is TB?
TB is an infectious disease caused by the bacillus Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
It typically affects the lungs (pulmonary TB) but can also affect other sites.
The disease is spread when people who are sick with pulmonary TB expel bacteria into the air, for example by coughing.
India’s efforts in this regard:
India is aggressively implementing its fully-funded National Strategic Plan to End TB.
In the last few years, 50 million people have been treated.
India seeks to achieve national scale-up of TB preventive treatment (TPT).
It also seeks to achieve the UN High-Level Meeting (UNHLM) targets of 40 million persons started on TB treatment and 30 million on TPT globally in the remaining 18 months.
Sub-national Certification of States and Districts instituted in 2020- The initiative marks districts/States-UTs on “Progress towards TB Free Status” under different categories measured with graded milestones of decline in TB incidence.
India’s Annual TB Report 2020:
20.04 lakh notified TB patients in 2019 in India, which is a 14% increase from 2018.
Reduction in the number of missing cases to 2.9 lakh cases as against more than 10 lakhs in 2017.
Private sector notifications increased by 35% with 6.78 lakh TB patients notified.
Proportion of children diagnosed with TB increased to 8% in 2019 compared to 6% in 2018.
Provision of HIV testing for all notified TB patients increased from 67% in 2018 to 81% in 2019.
Expansion of treatment services has resulted in a 12% improvement in the treatment success rate of notified patients. For 2019, it is 81% compared to 69% in 2018.
ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus)
8th ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM) Plus was held recently
It is being hosted by Brunei as it is the chair of the ASEAN grouping this year.
About ADMM- Plus:
Consistent with the ADMM guiding principles of open and outward looking, the 2nd ADMM in Singapore in 2007 adopted the Concept Paper to establish the ADMM-Plus.
The ADMM-Plus is a platform for ASEAN and its eight Dialogue Partners to strengthen security and defence cooperation for peace, stability, and development in the region.
Eight Dialogue Partners are Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Russia and the USA (collectively referred to as the “Plus Countries”).
It aims to promote mutual trust and confidence between defence establishments through greater dialogue and transparency.
Agreed five areas of practical cooperation under this mechanism are:
Maritime security, counter-terrorism, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, peacekeeping operations and military medicine.
In 2013, a new priority area of humanitarian mine action was agreed.
Chennai–Kanyakumari Industrial Corridor (CKIC)
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India have signed a $484 million loan to improve transport connectivity and facilitate industrial development in the Chennai–Kanyakumari Industrial Corridor (CKIC) in the state of Tamil Nadu.
CKIC is part of India’s East Coast Economic Corridor (ECEC), which stretches from West Bengal to Tamil Nadu.
What is an industrial corridor?
An industrial corridor is basically a corridor consisting of multi-modal transport services that would pass through the states as main arteries.
Industrial corridors offer effective integration between industry and infrastructure, leading to overall economic and social development.
Industrial corridors constitute world-class infrastructure, such as:
Significance of Industrial corridors:
Enhanced connectivity of industrial hubs with hinterland and ports will particularly help increase the participation of Indian manufacturing in global production networks and global value chains, thereby creating jobs along the corridor.
Following eleven industrial corridor projects have been identified and approved for development by the Government of India:
The development of these eleven industrial corridor projects will be implemented through the National Industrial Corridor Development and Implementation Trust (NICDIT).