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20th June Current Affairs

Election Commission wants people to run from one seat

(GS-II: Appointment to various constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various constitutional bodies)

In News:

The Election Commission has made a fresh push for amending the law to bar people from contesting more than one seat.

Details:

It said that if it cannot be done, then a hefty fine should be imposed on those vacating one of the constituencies and forcing a bypoll.

The Legislative Department is the nodal agency in the government to deal with issues related to the EC.

Background:

As per Section 33(7) of the RPA (Representation of the People Act), 1951, one candidate can contest from a maximum of two constituencies.

Issues:

One-Act Negates another: Since no Candidate can represent two Constituencies, the idea of this system appears to be illogical and ironic.

By-election Strains Public Exchequer: After sacrificing one of the Constituencies, a by-election is automatically triggered immediately after the general election.

Voters Lose Interest: Repeated elections are not only unnecessary and costly, but they will also cause voters to lose interest in the electoral process.

Recommendations of the Election Commission:

The Election Commission recommended amending Section 33(7) to allow one candidate to contest from only one seat. It has done so in 2004, 2010, 2016 and 2018.

A system should be devised wherein if a candidate contested from two constituencies and won both, then he or she would bear the financial burden of conducting the subsequent by-election in one of the constituencies.

What west Seti Power Project can mean for India-Nepal ties

(GS-II: India and neighbourhood- relations)

In News:

India will be taking over an ambitious hydropower project in Nepal West Seti nearly four years after China withdrew from it, ending a six-year engagement between 2012 and 2018.

Details:

India’s National Hydro Power Corporation has already begun preliminary engagement of the site in far-western Nepal following Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Lumbini

West Seti project:

The proposed 750-megawatt West Seti Hydropower Project is to be built on the Seti river in far-western Nepal.

West Seti and Seti river, a joint project, has the capacity to generate 1200 MW of electricity.

India-Nepal power relations:

Mahakali treaty was signed in1995 to produce 6480 MW.

Upper Karnali project

900 MW Arun Three projects in eastern Nepal’s SankhuwaSabha.

A major revamp for Bank Board Bureau

(GS-III: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilisation of resources, growth, development and employment)

In News:

The finance ministry is working to expand and relaunch the Banks Board Bureau (BBB) by bringing in more representatives from the insurance sector.

Revamp plan:

Add new member

Empower: Finance ministry wants to legally empower the body to recommend candidates for public sector insurers and accelerate top-level hiring at all state-run financial institutions.

Restructure: BBB’s name and mandate will be changed. The proposed entity will recommend candidates for appointments to senior management-level posts in state-run banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions.

Why the need for revamping:-

Delhi HC order: Delhi high court last year observed that the bureau was not a competent body to recommend appointments at PSU general insurers, and held that circulars enabling BBB to select general managers and directors of PSU insurers were not legally valid.

Slow recruitment process: Despite the BBB’s good work, recruitment to a higher level has been slow. Also, BBB’s extended two-year term ended, and new recruitments can restart only when a new body is in place.

About BBB:

It was set up in February 2016 as an autonomous body– based on the recommendations of the RBI-appointed Nayak Committee.

It was part of the Indradhanush Plan.

It will make recommendations for the appointment of whole-time directors as well as non-executive chairpersons of Public Sector Banks (PSBs) and state-owned financial institutions.

The Ministry of Finance takes the final decision on the appointments in consultation with the Prime Minister’s Office.

Composition:

Banks Board Bureau comprises the Chairman, three ex-officio members i.e Secretary, Department of Public Enterprises, Secretary of the Department of Financial Services and Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, and five expert members, two of which are from the private sector.

India and Bangladesh should work on river management

(GS-II: India and neighbourhood- relations)

In News:

At the seventh round of the India-Bangladesh Joint Consultative Commission, External Affairs Minister extended India’s assistance in the management of the annual flood in Bangladesh.

Details:

Collaborations agreed on: Artificial Intelligence, startups, fintech and cybersecurity.

Joint Statement: Two countries remain focused on the “importance of safe, speedy, and sustainable return of forcibly displaced persons from Rakhine State Myanmar, currently being sheltered by Bangladesh”.

Reasons for recent floods in Bangladesh:

Climate Change

Skewed Rainfall Pattern:80% of the precipitation takes place in the monsoon months from June to September

Trans-National Rivers from India example: Bharmaputra, Teesta etc.

Unplanned Development