The current President of India’s term is set to expire in July 2022, which is also the date of the 16th Indian Presidential election to choose his successor.
About the Indian President: The Indian President is elected through an electoral college system in which votes are cast by national and state-level legislators.
The Election Commission (EC) of India conducts and supervises the elections.
The electoral college consists of all elected members of the Upper and Lower Houses of Parliament (Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha MPs), as well as elected members of state and union territory legislatures (MLAs).
Prior to voting, there is a nomination stage in which the candidate intending to run files the nomination along with a signed list of 50 proposers and 50 seconders.
These proposers and seconders can come from any of the electoral college members at the state and national levels.
The rule requiring 50 proposers and seconders was enacted after the EC observed, in 1974, that several candidates, many of whom had only a remote chance of winning, would file nominations to contest the polls.
An elector may not propose or second more than one candidate’s nomination.
Each vote cast by an MP or MLA is not counted as a single vote.
Each vote cast by a Rajya Sabha or Lok Sabha MP has a fixed value of 708.
Meanwhile, the vote value of each MLA varies from state to state based on a calculation that takes into account the population of the state in relation to the number of legislative Assembly members.
According to the Constitution (Eighty-fourth Amendment) Act 2001, the population of states is currently based on the figures from the 1971 Census. This will change when the results of the Census taken after 2026 are released.
The value of each MLA’s vote is calculated by dividing the State’s population by the number of MLAs in its legislative Assembly, and then dividing the result by 1000.
For example, Uttar Pradesh has the highest vote value for each of its MLAs, at 208. In Maharashtra, one MLA’s vote is worth 175, whereas in Arunachal Pradesh, it is only worth 8.
A nominated candidate does not win by a simple majority, but rather by accumulating a certain number of votes. During the counting process, the EC totals all valid votes cast by the electoral college via paper ballots, and the candidate must receive 50% of the total votes cast + 1.
Unlike in general elections, where electors vote for a single party’s candidate, electoral college voters write the names of candidates in the order of preference on the ballot paper.
The election of the President is conducted in accordance with the proportional representation system, with a single transferable vote and voting by secret ballot.
According to Article 61, the President may be removed from office before the end of his term only for violating the constitution.
However, the phrase “violation of the constitution” is not defined in the Constitution.
The impeachment procedure can be initiated by any house of parliament by laying charges against him.
The charges against the president must be signed by at least a quarter of the members of the House.
The impeachment resolution must be passed by a special majority (two-thirds) in the originating house.
It is then forwarded to the other house for consideration. The other house serves as the investigator’s steed. A select committee has been formed to look into the charges levelled against the president.
During the proceedings, the President of India has the right to be represented by authorised counsel. He has the option of defending himself or appointing a person/lawyer or the Attorney General of India to do so.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the continuation of the revamped Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan (RGSA) Centrally Sponsored Scheme for implementation from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2026.
The scheme now runs concurrently with the 15th Finance Commission period.
The scheme aims to strengthen the governance capabilities of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs).
Background: In 2018, the Cabinet approved the scheme for implementation from 2018-19 to 2021-22.
Panchayati Raj Ministry is in charge of implementation.
The main Central Components were Panchayat Incentivisation and the Mission Mode Project on e-Panchayat, as well as other activities at the Central level.
The State component primarily consists of Capacity Building and Training (CB&T) activities, institutional mechanisms for CB&T, and other limited-scale activities.
It aimed to improve the governance capabilities of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The key SDG principles of leaving no one behind, reaching the farthest first, and universal coverage, as well as gender equality, will be incorporated into the design of all capacity building interventions, including training, training modules, and materials.
Priority will be given to subjects of national importance, primarily under themes such as poverty eradication and improved village livelihoods.
The redesigned RGSA will include both central and state components. The scheme’s central components will be fully funded by the Government of India.
The funding pattern for State Components will be 60:40 between the Centre and the States, with the exception of the Northeast, Hilly States, and the Union Territory (UT) of J&K, where the Central and State share will be 90:10.
For other UTs, however, the Central share will be 100%.
Vision: It is an attempt to achieve “Sabka Sath, Sabka Gaon, Sabka Vikas.”
Socioeconomic Justice: Because panchayats are institutions closest to the grassroots and have representation from Schedule Castes, Schedule Tribes, and women, strengthening panchayats will promote equity and inclusiveness, as well as social justice and economic development for the community.
Improved Public Service Delivery: PRIs’ increased use of e-governance will aid in improving service delivery and transparency.
Developing PRI: It will create an institutional structure for PRI capacity building at the national, state, and district levels, complete with adequate human resources and infrastructure.
The approved RGSA scheme will assist over 2.78 lakh Rural Local Bodies.
The scheme will directly benefit approximately 60 lakh elected representatives, functionaries, and other stakeholders of rural local bodies, including traditional bodies, across the country.
Scale: This scheme will apply to all States and UTs in the country, as well as rural local government institutions in non-Part IX areas where Panchayats do not exist.
Karnataka is planning to provide eggs to schoolchildren as part of the Midday Meal Scheme (MDMS). MDMS is one of the world’s largest initiatives to improve school-age children’s nutrition through hot cooked meals.
However, the inclusion of eggs has frequently been a source of contention.
It is the world’s largest school feeding programme of its kind, serving students in government schools from Grades 1 to 8.
The primary goal of this scheme is to increase school enrollment.
Ministry of Education is the nodal ministry.
The programme was first implemented for disadvantaged children in Madras Municipal Corporation in 1925. In 1995, the union government piloted a centrally sponsored scheme for children in Classes 1–5.
MDMS had been upgraded to Class 8 by October 2007.
In 2021, the programme will be renamed PM Poshan Shakti Nirman or PM Poshan.
The scheme covers 11.80 crore children from Classes 1 to 8. (age group 6 to 14).
Legal Entitlement: The National Food Security Act (NFSA) of 2013 makes it a legal entitlement for all school-aged children in primary and upper primary classes.
The Supreme Court’s decision in People’s Union of Civil Liberties vs Union of India and Others reaffirmed this (2001).
Dietary choices are a hotly debated topic in India due to caste rigidities, religious conservatism, and regional differences.
As a result, despite numerous scientific studies, including those commissioned by state governments, demonstrating the benefits of providing eggs to children, many states have been hesitant to include eggs on the school lunch menu.
Corrupt Practices: There have been reports of plain chapatis being served with salt, water being mixed into milk, food poisoning, and so on.
Because food is central to the caste system, many schools require children to sit separately based on their caste status.
Malnutrition is a threat. According to the National Family Health Survey-5, several states have reversed course and reported worsening levels of child malnutrition.
India is home to roughly 30% of the world’s stunted children and nearly 50% of severely malnourished children under the age of five.
According to the recently released Global Nutrition Report (GNR, 2021), India has made no progress in reducing anaemia and childhood wasting.
Over half of Indian women between the ages of 15 and 49 are anaemic.
Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2021: India has slipped to 101st place out of 116 countries in the Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2021, down from 94th place in 2020.
Interventions to improve maternal height and education must be implemented years before those girls and young women become mothers.
The fight against stunting has frequently focused on improving nutrition for young children, but nutritionists have long argued that maternal health and well-being is the key to reducing stunting in their offspring.
Expanding and Improving School Meals in MDMS: Expansion and improvement of school meals are required for intergenerational payoffs. Because girls in India finish school, marry, and have children in a matter of years, school-based interventions can be extremely beneficial.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) decided in its latest bi-monthly monetary policy review to prioritise inflation over growth, maintain its accommodative stance while gradually withdrawing it, and other measures.
The RBI has decided to prioritise inflation over growth by sucking money out of the system over a multi-year period.
It has decided to maintain its accommodating stance while focusing on the withdrawal of its accommodation stance, which has been in place since 2019.
The RBI’s accommodative stance indicates the central bank’s willingness to expand the money supply and lower interest rates.
The RBI has decided to keep the repo rate unchanged at 4% for the eleventh time in a row.
The marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the bank rate remain at 4.25 percent.
The RBI also introduced a 3.75 percent Standing Deposit Facility (SDF) to help with liquidity management.
The RBI has thus restored the LAF corridor, with SDF at 3.75 percent and MSF at 4.25 percent.
The Fixed Reverse Repo Rate has been maintained at 3.35 percent, and it, along with SDF, will provide flexibility to the RBI’s liquidity management.
Following the rise in crude oil and commodity prices, as well as the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the RBI has reduced its growth forecast for fiscal 2022-23 to 7.2 percent from 7.8 percent previously projected.
While Russia’s war will not directly affect India, it may impede India’s economic recovery through elevated commodity prices and global spill-over channels.
Other risks to the outlook include financial market volatility caused by monetary policy normalisation in advanced economies,
Renewed Covid-19 infections in some major countries, as well as increased supply-side disruptions and long-term shortages of critical inputs such as semiconductors and chips.
The RBI has also raised its retail inflation forecast for 2022-23 from 4.5 percent to 5.7 percent.
The increase in international crude prices since the end of February poses a significant upside risk to inflation, both directly and indirectly.
Sharp increases in domestic pump prices could lead to widespread second-round price pressures.
A combination of high international commodity prices and increased logistical disruptions could raise input costs in agriculture, manufacturing, and services.
Their impact on retail prices necessitates ongoing monitoring and proactive supply management.
The Union Minister of Commerce and Industry conducted a thorough review of the National Industrial Corridor Development Program’s progress.
The National Industrial Corridor Development Programme is a pan-India initiative involving the development of ‘plug and play’ infrastructure aimed at boosting the country’s manufacturing ecosystem.
It is India’s most ambitious infrastructure programme, with the goal of transforming new industrial cities into “Smart Cities” and bringing next-generation technologies together across infrastructure sectors.
Over the last few years, the government has expanded the National Corridor Network to 11 integrated industrial and economic corridors, with 32 projects to be developed in four phases.
These 11 Corridors, which are part of the National Infrastructure Pipeline, will provide connectivity to all of the country’s key economic nodes.
PM GatiShakti’s overall framework is being used to develop the National Industrial Corridor projects.
[PM GatiShakti is the National Master Plan for providing systematic, multi-modal connectivity to various economic zones in order to facilitate the movement of people, goods, and services.]
Implementation – Following the establishment of the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) in 2007, a trust fund was established to carry out project development and implementation activities.
As the DMIC Trust’s mandate was expanded to include other industrial corridors in India, it was renamed the National Industrial Corridor Development and Implementation Trust (NICDIT) in 2016.
DMIC Development Corporation Ltd (DMICDC), a Special Purpose Vehicle, was established in 2008 as DMIC’s project development agency and knowledge partner for DMIC Trust.
In addition, the DMICDC was renamed National Industrial Corridor Development Corporation Limited in 2020. (NICDC).