U.S. certified Pakistan government's operation against LeT and JeM for Kerry-Lugar Bill
- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry certified the Pakistan government's action against Lashkar-e-Taiba(LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad(JeM).The authorisation is likely to spark outrage in India. Mr. Kerry will visit India on 11 January for Vibrant Gujarat summit, ahead of President Barack Obama's visit on January 24.
- Despite the fact that founder of both LeT and JeM - Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar respectively, have held public rallies in Pakistan, the U.S. Secretary of State has signed off on a certification that the Pakistan government has prevented al-Qaeda, the Taliban and other associated terror groups such as LeT and JeM from operating in the territory of Pakistan for the year.
Why Pakistan need certification and what is Kerry-Lugar Bill ?
Pakistan need certification as it is a precondition of Kerry-Lugar Bill for disbursement of $ 1.5 billion per year for civilian aid to the Pakistan from U.S.
Kerry Lugar Bill - The Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act of 2009 passed by U.S. legislature in 2010. It authorises the release of $1.5 billion civilian aid per year to Pakistan from the period of 2010 to 2014. It was proposed by Senators John Kerry and Richard Lugar. According to Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act,2009, there are some limitations to the assistance -
The government of Pakistan during the preceding financial year must demonstrate a sustained commitment to :
- Ceasing support to terror groups.
- Preventing al-Qaeda, the Taliban and associated terrorist groups, such as LeT and JeM from operating in Pakistan and carrying cross-border attacks.
- Strengthening counter-terrorism and anti-money laundering laws.
This year's grant of $532 million to Pakistan will be disbursed shortly. Significantly, the Kerry-Lugar Bill lapsed in September,2014 but only half of the $7.5 billion outlay(an amount of money spent on something) has been disbursed(payed out) so far. However, U.S. aid ignores LeT and JeM rallies and Mumbai bomb-blast mastermind Lakhvi bail.
Smart card soon for unorganised sector workers
- Every worker in the unorganised sector may soon be issued a smart card with unique identification number for accessing social schemes and benefits.
- The portable benefit card will be issued under Unorganised Workers Social Security Act, 2009.
- On December 25, the Gujarat C.M. has launched such a card,"U-WIN," in the state, and announced that benefits under various social security schemes will be routed to the registered workers through this card.
Queries pending as CIC post stays vacant
- For the good governance, transparency and access to information are a prerequisites. But there are 36,000 queries pending at the Central Information Commission, which has been functioning without Central Information Commissioner after the retirement of previous chief Shri Rajiv Mathur on 22 August, 2014.
- Department of Personnel & Training has said 203 people, including all 7 serving Information Commissioners have applied for the post.
NJAC legislation may not come into force immediately
- The National Judicial Appointments Commission Bill, accompanied together with 121st Constitution Amendment Bill which is 99th Constitutional Amendment, had just been passed by Parliament and sent to State legislatures for ratification.
- In spite of getting the assent from President, the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) may not come into force immediately.
- According to Ministry of Law and Justice official, the first and foremost thing the government will have to do to implement the act is to select 2 eminent persons as members of the Commission.
- One of the eminent persons is required to be nominated from the SC, ST, OBC, Minority Category or be a woman.
- The eminent person will be nominated for three years and will not be renominated.
- The NJAC will scrap the 20-year-old collegium system, by which judges appoint judges to higher judiciary.
- The Commission will comprise the Chief Justice of India, two-seniormost apex court judges, two eminent persons and the Law Minister.
- Two eminent person will be nominated by members of the committee consisting of the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India and the Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the Lok Sabha, or in the absence of LoP, the leader of the single largest opposition party.
- The National Judicial Appointments Commission Act provides for the procedure to be followed by the NJAC for recommending persons to be appointed as judges of the Supreme Court, Chief Justice of India and the judges of the 24 high courts.