Leader of Opposition:
The Congress has demanded the post of Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha both as the second largest party in the Lok Sabha and as leader of the United Progressive Alliance which had 92 seats.
Leader of the Opposition is the leader of the largest party that has not less than a tenth of the total strength of the House. The total strength of the Lok Sabha is 545, so any party that has 55 members can get the post. The Congress, which is the second largest party in the House after the BJP, has only 52 members, which is three short of the figure.
The Salary and Allowances of Leaders of Opposition in Parliament Act, 1977 only says that the largest Opposition party should get the post. ―Leader of the Opposition‖ is the ―Leader in that House of the party in opposition to the Government having the greatest numerical strength and recognised as such by the Chairman of the Council of States or the Speaker of the House of the People, as the case may be,‖ says the Act.
Until 1977, there were no emoluments and perks attached to the position of LoP. There is no provision in the Constitution or even in the Lok Sabha Rules of Procedure in regard to the recognition of the LoP. Right from the first Lok Sabha, the practice has been to recognise the leader of the largest party in Opposition as the LoP provided that party has a strength that is enough to constitute the quorum for a sitting of the House, or one-tenth of the total membership of the House — at present that comes to 55 members.
Since there is no constitutional provision, the 1977 law does not provide for the requirement of 55 members as an essential pre-requisite. As it all depends on the Speaker‘s directions and discretion. The simple way out is to substitute ‗pre-poll alliance‘ for ‗party‘ or say ‗party or pre-poll alliance‘. In any case, pre-poll alliances are a fact of our political life and are already being extended credibility and legitimacy in the matter of the President and Governors deciding on who to call first for forming the government in cases where no party secures a clear majority support in the House.
Article 341: There was commotion regarding the decision of UP government to shift 17 OBC castes to SC list. The same was held to be against the Constitution by Union Minister as under Article 341 sub-clause (2) of the Constitution, the power to make changes in the SC list rested with Parliament.
Articles 341 and 342 of the Constitution of India define as to who would be Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes with respect to any State or Union Territory. Article 341 (1) states that the President may with respect to any State or Union Territory and where it is a State after consultation with the Governor thereof, by public notification specify the castes, races or tribes or .parts of or groups within castes, races or tribes which shall for the purposes of this Constitution be deemed to be Scheduled Castes in relation to that State or Union Territory, as the case may be.
Article 341 (2) states that the Parliament may by law include in or exclude from the list of Scheduled Castes specified in a notification issued under clause of any caste, race or tribe or part of or group within any caste, race or tribe, but save as aforesaid a notification issued under the said clause shall not be varied by any subsequent notification.
Department of Public Enterprises and CPSEs: Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) is the nodal Department for Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) but there is no CPSE under its direct administrative control. The CPSEs function under various Ministries/ Departments of Govt. of India.
As per Section-135 of Companies Act, 2013, CSR activities are undertaken by the CPSEs on the recommendations of their CSR Committee and with the approval of Boards of respective CPSEs. All CPSEs qualifying for CSR expenditure are mandated to implement CSR activities/ projects as indicated in Schedule-VII of the Companies Act, 2013 and in pursuance of their CSR policy by following the procedure as notified by Ministry of Corporate Affairs in Companies (CSR Policy) Rules, 2014.
Statistics‘ Day: The Government has been celebrating the Statistics Day, to popularize the use of Statistics in everyday life and sensitize the public as to how Statistics helps in shaping and framing policies. It has been designated as one of the Special Days to be celebrated at the national level and is celebrated on the birth anniversary of Prof. P C Mahalanobis, on 29th June, in recognition of his invaluable contribution in establishing the National Statistical System.
Every year, Statistics Day is celebrated with a theme of current national importance,that runs for a year by way of several workshops and seminars, aimed at bringing about improvements in the selected area. The theme of Statistics Day, 2019 is ―Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)‖. The theme has been chosen for intensive and focused discussions towards filling the data gaps and improvement of timelines/quality in SDGs.
Education Quality Upgradation and Inclusion Programme (EQUIP): In accordance with the decision of the Prime Minister for finalizing a five-year vision plan for each Ministry, the Department of Higher Education of HRD Ministry has finalized and released a five-year vision plan named Education Quality Upgradation and Inclusion Programme (EQUIP).
10 Expert Groups drawn from senior academicians, administrators and industrialists, have suggested more than 50 initiatives that would transform the higher education sector completely. The Groups have set the following goals for higher education sector:
1. Double the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education and resolve the geographically and socially skewed access to higher education institutions in India
2. Upgrade the quality of education to global standards
3. Position at least 50 Indian institutions among the top-1000 global universities
4. Introduce governance reforms in higher education for well-administered campuses
5. Accreditation of all institutions as an assurance of quality
6. Promote Research & Innovation ecosystems for positioning India in the Top-3 countries in the world in matters of knowledge creation
7. Double the employability of the students passing out of higher education
8. Harness education technology for expanding the reach and improving pedagogy
9. Promote India as a global study destination
10. Achieve a quantum increase in investment in higher education New Policy for Women Empowerment: The Ministry of Women and Child Development has prepared the draft National Policy for Women after considering suggestions/comments received from stakeholders. The Draft envisions a society in which, women attain their full potential and are able to participate as equal partners in all spheres of life.
The draft policy addresses the diverse needs of women through identified priority areas : (i) Health including food security and nutrition, (ii) Education, (iii) Economy (including agriculture industry, labour, employment, NRI women, soft power, service sector, science and technology), Violence against women, (iv) Governance and decision making (v) Violence Against Women (vi) Enabling environment (including housing, shelter and infrastructure, drinking water and sanitation, media and culture, sports and social security) (vii) Environment and climate change.
Establishment of National Council for Vocational Education and Training: The Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) has notified a non-statutory regulatory body, the National Council for Vocational Education and Training (NCVET), through a Government Notification dated 05.12.2018. The NCVET will merge the functions of National Council for Vocational Training (NCVT) and National Skill Development Agency (NSDA) and will regulate the functioning of entities engaged in vocational education and training, both long-term and short-term, and establish minimum standards for the functioning of such entities.
The primary functions of NCVET will include – recognition and regulation of awarding bodies, assessment bodies and skill related information providers; approval of qualifications developed by awarding bodies and Sector Skill Councils (SSCs); indirect regulation of vocational training institutes through awarding bodies and assessment agencies; research and information dissemination; grievance redressal.