Current Affairs Assam – April 2018

Current Affairs Assam – April 2018

( Covers all important Assam Current Affairs & GK topics for the month of April 2018 )

April 19

Law Commission favours simultaneous elections

A draft White Paper released by the Law Commission of India headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice (retd.) B.S. Chauhan, recommends holding of simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and the Assemblies, possibly in 2019. It suggests amending the Constitution to realise this objective.

In a public notice annexed to the draft, the commission, which is the government’s highest law advisory body, said the White Paper would be circulated to “constitutional experts, academia, political parties, bureaucrats, students, etc.” Opinions and suggestions should come in by May 8, 2018.

The commission says simultaneous elections were held in the country during the first two decades after Independence up to 1967. Dissolution of certain Assemblies in 1968 and 1969 followed by the dissolution of the Lok Sabha led to the “disruption of the conduct of simultaneous elections.”

The panel refers to a January 2017 working paper of the NITI Aayog on simultaneous elections. The White Paper contains a series of “possible recommendations” of the commission.

The first among these is that “simultaneous elections may be restored in the nation by amending the Constitution, Representation of the People Act of 1951 and the Rules of Procedure of the Lok Sabha and Assemblies.”

It recommends that in 2019, the election could be held in phases. In the first phase, it says, elections to the legislatures which are scheduled to go for polls synchronous with the Lok Sabha in 2019 could be held together. The rest of the States could go to elections in proximity with the Lok Sabha elections of 2024.

Citing no-confidence motion and premature dissolution of House as major roadblocks to simultaneous elections, the commission says the parties which introduce the no-confidence motion should simultaneously give a suggestion for an alternative government.

The commission says the Centre should get the Constitutional amendments, if agreed upon, to be ratified by all the States so as to avoid any challenge to them.

It also says that the Prime Minister/Chief Minister should be “elected” to lead by the full House like the Lok Sabha Speaker.

FACTFILE – Law Commission of India

  • Law Commission of India is an executive body established by an order of the Government of India.
  • Its major function is to work for legal reform. Its membership primarily comprises legal experts, who are entrusted a mandate by the Government. The Commission is established for a fixed tenure and works as an advisory body to the Ministry of Law and Justice.
  • The first Law Commission was established during the British Raj era in 1834 by the Charter Act of 1833. After that, three more Commissions were established in pre-independent India.
  • The first Law Commission of independent India was established in 1955 for a three-year term. Since then, twenty more Commissions have been established.
  • The present 21st Law Commission was established in 2015, and has tenure to 2018. The terms of reference of the Law Commission include the review and repeal of obsolete laws, the examination of existing laws & the revision of central Acts of general importance.
  • Justice Balbir Singh Chauhan, a former judge of the Supreme Court was appointed Chairman of the 21st Law Commission on 10 March.
  • One of the key issues pending before the Law Commission is a call on amending the Indian Penal Code (IPC) amid allegations of abuse and arbitrary use of the law.

India-Wiesbaden Conference 2018 held in New Delhi

The Ministry of External Affairs organized the India-Wiesbaden Conference 2018 with the Government of Germany and the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) in New-Delhi.

The title of India-Wiesbaden Conference is ‘Securing Global Supply Chains through Government-Industry Partnerships towards Effective Implementation of UNSC Resolution 1540’. Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) was the industry partner for this event.

FACTFILE – The Wiesbaden Process

  • The Wiesbaden Process was initiated by Government of Germany in 2012 to strengthen implementation of UNSC Resolution 1540 through Government-Industry partnerships.
  • Representatives from Government and Industry of 39 countries, as well as experts from UNSC 1540 Committee and UN Office for Disarmament Affairs had participated in the conference.
  • The Conference provided opportunity to participants to share experiences on their export control systems and identify legal and technical assistance, action plans & challenges in national implementation of UNSC 1540.

FACTFILE – UN Security Council Resolution 1540 (2004)

  • It establishes legally binding obligations on all states to adopt and enforce appropriate and effective measures to prevent to proliferation to non-state actors of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and their delivery systems.
  • It requires states to implement appropriate laws and effective measures to prevent non-state actors such as terrorists, from obtaining access to weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
  • India has established legally backed robust export control system to implement UNSC 1540 as part of its long standing commitment to international non-proliferation.

Bihar has highest rate of crime against SC/STs

According to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), Bihar has the highest rate of crimes against Schedule Caste/Schedule Tribe population.

  • As per NCRB data, crime against SC/ST is lowest in West Bengal.
  • Madhya Pradesh reported the highest rate of crime (43.4%) against SCs specifically, while West Bengal had the lowest at 6%.
  • Rajasthan reported the highest rate of crime (12.9%) against STs specifically, while West Bengal had the lowest at 1.6%.

Since 2014, crimes against SCs have increased by 1% overall with a sharp rise of 5.5% occurring in 2016. On the other hand, crimes against STs since 2014 have decreased by 3.8% overall with a significant drop of 8 percent in 2015.

NABARD approved Rs 14,690 crore funding to Rajasthan

National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has extended total credit support of Rs 14,690 crore to Rajasthan.

Rajasthan is one of the biggest beneficiaries under the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) of NABARD, under which NABARD gave concessional loan of Rs 1,851.29 crore to the state government.

Among major infrastructure projects bank sanctioned 10 irrigation projects, construction of 1614 roads and 2 rural drinking water supply projects.

FACTFILE – Rural Infrastructure Development Fund

  • Government of India created the RIDF in NABARD in 1995-96, with an initial corpus of Rs.2,000 crore.
  • With the allocation of 25,000 crore for 2017-18 under RIDF XXIII, the cumulative allocation has reached Rs.2,92,500 crore, including Rs. 18,500 crore under Bharat Nirman.
  • Eligible Activities – At present, there are 36 eligible activities under RIDF as approved by GoI. (Annexure I). The eligible activities are classified under three broad categories i.e. Agriculture and related sector, Social sector, Rural connectivity
  • The purpose of RIDF is to promote innovation in rural & agricultural sector through viable means
  • Under the RIDF scheme Rs. 51,283 crore have been sanctioned for 2,44,651 projects covering irrigation, rural roads and bridges, health and education, soil conservation, water schemes etc

Eligible Institutions –

  • State Governments / Union Territories
  • State Owned Corporations / State Govt. Undertakings
  • State Govt. Sponsored / Supported Organisations
  • Panchayat Raj Institutions/Self Help Groups (SHGs)/ NGOs { provided the projects are submitted through the nodal department of State Government (i.e Finance Department) }

April 20

Commerce Ministry Launches Digital Platform for MSME Exporters

Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu launched the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) GlobalLinker platform for MSME exporters in New Delhi.

This move is aimed at assisting the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) engaged in exports. This initiative will help in expanding India’s multi-focused export strategy and also aid in connecting art and artisans to the market.

FIEO GlobalLinker is setup with a view to make the business growth of SMEs simpler, more profitable and enjoyable. It is a growing global network currently comprising over 140,000 SME firms, who are seeking business collaboration and growth opportunities through the use of their electronic business card and digital profiles created on the platform. FIEO is available free of cost and it offers exporters a range of features and benefits.

FACTFILE – Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO)

  • FIEO is a trade promotion organisation in India, jointly established in 1965 by the Ministry of Commerce of the Government of India and private trade and industry.
  • The organisation is responsible for representing and assisting Indian entrepreneurs and exporters in foreign markets.

India Skills Kerala 2018 to be organized in Kochi

Kerala will host the India Skills Kerala 2018 in Kochi, as part of the World Skills India 2018. The main purpose of this event is to identify and train talents to get medals at the World Skills Competition Kazan 2019.

The activities for the event will be headed by Kerala Academy for Skills Excellence (KASE), the State Skill Development Mission (SSDM) and Industrial Training Department under the Department of Labour and Skills.

India Skills Kerala 2018 is an avenue provided to the youngsters in the State to reveal their vocational skills. It also aims at creating awareness and generating interest among the public.

Vice-Venkaiah Naidu launched ‘Atal Amrit Abhiyan’ scheme in Guwahati

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu launched a health scheme of the Assam government named Atal Amrit Abhiyan in Guwahati in the presence of Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal as well as Finance, Health and Education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.

Atal Amrit Abhiyan health scheme offers free medical care of up to 2 lakh rupees for every individual from Below Poverty Line (BPL) and Above Poverty Line (APL) families.

FACTFILE – Atal Amrit Abhiyan health scheme

  • The state government has earmarked 400 crore rupees for the scheme in the financial year 2018-19.
  • The cashless scheme Atal Amrit Abhiyan will cover 92 percent of the state’s population with annual income below 5 lakh rupees.
  • Cashless cards will be provided to eligible individuals to avail treatment for as many as 437 diseases under six categories at most major hospitals across the country.
  • The six categories are cardiovascular diseases, kidney diseases, cancer, neo-natal diseases, neurological conditions and burns.

Dilip Chenoy appointed as FICCI Secretary General

Dilip Chenoy has been appointed as the Secretary-General of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). He replaced Sanjaya Baru.

Dilip Chenoy was working as Director General of industry body, FICCI. Prior to this he was working as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) for almost five years, from May 2010 till October 2015.

As the Director General of Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) from 2004 till 2010, Chenoy was one of most influential voices in the auto industry. He also had a brief stint with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).


  • The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) is an association of business organisations in India.
  • Established in 1927, on the advice of Mahatma Gandhi by GD Birla and Purushottam Das Thakurdas.
  • It is the largest, oldest and the apex business organisation in India.
  • It is a non-government, not-for-profit organisation.
  • FICCI draws its membership from the corporate sector, both private and public, including SMEs and MNCs.
  • The chamber has an indirect membership of over 2,500,000 companies from various regional chambers of commerce.
  • It is involved in sector specific business building, and business promotion and networking.
  • It is headquartered in the national capital New Delhi and has presence in 12 states in India and 8 countries across the world.