Daily Current Affairs 3rd January, 2017
SC extends judicial review powers
- In a blow to Ordinance Raj, a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court has widened the boundaries of judicial review to the extent that it can now examine whether the President or the State Governor was spurred by an “oblique motive” to bypass the legislature and promulgate an ordinance.
- Judicial Review refers to the power of the judiciary to interpret the constitution and to declare any such law or order of the legislature and executive void, if it finds them in conflict the Constitution of India.
Seeking votes on religious basis a corrupt act: SC
- The Supreme Court has ruled that an election could be annulled if candidates seek votes in the name of their religion or that of their voters.
- The apex court’s view has enlarged the scope of the Representation of People Act 1951.
- The Court ruled that “religion, race, caste, community or language would not be allowed to play any role in the electoral process”and that election of a candidate would be declared null and void if an appeal is made to seek votes on these considerations.
- The latest ruling is now significant in the sense that any attempt to canvass for votes on the ground of religion or other such parochial identities – either of the candidate’s or on behalf of his agents or groups or his opponents – would invite the provisions of the Representation of People Act.
- The ruling can potentially overturn the rules of the game for electoral politics in India, where traditionally parties have not hesitated to employ religion, caste and ethnicity to woo voters. Greater clarity will emerge once the Election Commission, which is to implement the decision, spells out the ground rules.
Restaurants billing ‘service charges’ in addition to taxes is optional
- The Department of Consumer Affairs has clarified that service charges billed by restaurants are optional and it is up to the customers to pay it. The department said arbitrary levy of this sum in lieu of tips amounts to an unfair trade practice.
- The department has asked state governments to sensitise hotels and restaurants and advise them to display at appropriate places on their premises that service charges are discretionary/voluntary and can be waived if a consumer is dissatisfied with the services.
- The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 provides that a trade practice which, for the purpose of promoting the sale, use or the supply of any goods or for the provision of any service, adopts any unfair method or deceptive practice, is to be treated as an unfair trade practice and that a consumer can make a complaint to the appropriate consumer forum established under the Act against such unfair trade practices.
India 3rd among nations offering highest salaries to expats
- India has ranked third among the countries offering the highest average annual salary to expatriates, according to HSBC Holdings data.
- Notably, Switzerland offers an average salary of $188,275 a year to expats, the highest in the world and almost twice the global average.
- Further, the best employment packages, including health benefits, are found in Middle East countries like Bahrain.
Andhra Pradesh Government launches NTR Arogya Raksha Scheme
- Andhra Pradesh Government has launched NTR Arogya Raksha Scheme to provide the medical treatment to the people below Above Poverty Line (APL) at Rs. 1200 premium per annum.
SCIENCE AND TECH
PM inaugurate Indian Science Congress at Tirupati
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurate the five-day annual Indian Science Congress at the Sri Venkateswara University.
PERSONS IN NEWS
Birth Anniversary of Savitribai Phule: 3 January
- Hailed as the country’s first woman teacher, Savitribai Phule was also a social worker and a poet. Born on January 3, 1831, in Maharashtra’s Naigaon.
- 2017 marks her 186th birth year. Savitribai Phule is credited with laying the foundation of education opportunities for women in India and played a major role in improving women’s rights in the country during the British Raj.
- Many of her poems were against discrimination and spoke about the need to get educated. She campaigned against untouchability, Sati tradition, child marriage and other social evils most of her life.
- Along with her husband, Jyotirao Phule, she played a major role in the struggle for women’s rights in India during the British Raj. Together they founded the first all-women’s school at Bhide Wada in Pune in 1848 and she became the country’s first woman teacher and headmistress. In her honour, University of Pune was renamed Savitribai Phule University in 2014.
- Google remembers her on her 186th birthday with a doodle. It’s a colourful doodle with Savitribai Phule embracing women, symbolising her efforts to empower and educate them.
David R. Syiemlieh appointed new UPSC chairman
- President Pranab Mukherjee has appointed Prof David R Syiemlieh as the Chairman of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) as per Article 316 of Constitution.
- He will take over from Alka Sirohi and shall remain the head of the organisation till his retirement on January 21, 2018 or till further orders
SC sacks BCCI President Anurag Thakur and Secretary Ajay Shirke
- The Supreme Court has sacked Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Anurag Thakur and BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke after they failed to implement the reforms recommended by the Justice Lodha committee.
- The apex court held that Mr. Thakur and Mr. Shirke are unfit to continue at helm of BCCI for their obstructionist attitude and their incapacityto make affiliated State associations fall in line with Lodha committee.