Former CAG Vinod Rai has stressed that there is a need for selection of CAG under a collegium system on the lines of the selection process employed for Election Commissioners, Information Commissioners and Vigilance Commissioners. This will ensure transparency in the selection process, according to him. He also stated that the powers of the CAG are substantial and sufficient for performance of duties.
The current system for selecting the CAG is opaque. It is an entirely internal process, where some names reach the Prime Minister, who chooses one amongst them and recommends it to the President, who makes the appointment. There is no prescribed process for selection or fixed job description or necessary criteria to determine eligibility.
The SC is currently hearing a PIL challenging the appointment of Shashi Kant Sharma as the CAG, and asking the Court to frame guidelines for selection of the CAG. The Centre has, however, refused to change the selection process, stating that it was the domain of the executive and not the judiciary.
In September 2014, Bamiyan has been given the honour of being the SAARC Cultural Capital for the year 2015-16. This was agreed upon at the SAARC Culture Ministers Conference, which also designated Dhaka as the cultural capital for the year 2016-17. Also, the year 2016-17 is to be the SAARC Year of Cultural Heritage. These developments are part of the efforts aimed at strengthening cultural ties among SAARC nations.
India will contribute $10 mn to the UN Secretary-General’s Fund for Ebola, and an additional $2 mn is being allocated towards purchase of protective gear to tackle the virus, which has been declared a threat to international peace and security by the UNSC.
The outbreak of the Ebola virus in Africa earlier this year has worsened since, with a death toll of more than 2,000 persons. Certain areas in Sierra Leone have been quarantined to restrict the spread of the virus. The virus has caused widespread panic in the African continent withsome countries attempting to place restrictions on travel. The UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response is being put in place to formulate an effective response mechanism.