Governance & Politics Current Affairs - 2019

Latest India Current Affairs and Current Affairs related to Government policy, polity and administration in India. India’s National Current Affairs updates for 2019.

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India to train 1,000 civil servants of Maldives over next 5 years

India’s leading civil services training institution, National Center for Good Governance (NCGG) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Maldives Civil Services Commission for capacity building (training) of 1,000 civil servants of Maldives over next five years. This agreement was signed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Male (Maldives capital).

Key Highlights

  • Background: In April 2019, NCGG had trained 28 Maldives civil servants, thus this successful engagement encouraged two countries to enter into an agreement and take their capacity building collaboration forward. Other than Maldives, NCCG had also successfully conducted training programmes for civil servants of Bangladesh, Myanmar and Gambia.
  • Expenses: All expenses of training programme will be borne by Union Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
  • Nodal Agency: As per the MoU, NCGG will be nodal institution for designing and implementation of customised training modules that will be undertaken during training, and it must take into account all requirements of Maldives Civil Services Commission.
  • Training Areas: The training programme areas will include: public policy and governance, public administration, information technology (IT), e-governance and service delivery, agro-based practices, best practices in fisheries in coastal areas, urban development and planning, self-help group (SHG) initiatives, ethics in administration and challenges in implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • Selection: Maldives will nominate suitable civil servants in senior/executive/middle management levels as per the agreed timelines.
  • Civil Services Training Institute, a subsidiary of Maldives Civil Services Commission, will get the required assistance from NCGG, for developing training programmes and materials and also for organising exchange of experts as needed by Commission.

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Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha given three months extension

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has extended service of Cabinet Secretary Pradeep Kumar Sinha for a further period of three months.

This was third extension given to IAS officer Sinha, whose tenure was increased by one-year each in 2017 and 2018. This exceeds term of four year cap for total term of Cabinet Secretary mandated under All India Services (Death-Cum-Retirement-Benefits) Rules, 1958. However, to allow extension of PK Sinha’s beyond four year term Government has amended these rules.

New Rules

It has inserted subrule 1A under rule 16 of All India Services (Death-Cum-Retirement-Benefits) Rules, 1958. It provides that Central Government may in public interest give an extension in service for a further period, not exceeding three months, beyond the period of four years to the Cabinet Secretary.

About Cabinet Secretariat

  • It functions directly under the Prime Minister. It is allocated business under Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961. It provides Secretarial assistance to Cabinet and Cabinet Committees and Rules of Business. Cabinet Secretary is administrative head of Cabinet Secretariat.
  • Functions: (i) It is responsible for administration of Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961 and Government of India (Transaction of Business) Rules, 1961. Thus, it facilitates smooth transaction of business in Ministries/ Departments. (ii) It also assists in decision-making in Government by ensuring Inter-ministerial coordination, irons out differences amongst Ministries/Departments and evolving consensus. (iii) It manages major crisis situations in the country.
  • Cabinet Secretary: He is administrative head of Cabinet Secretariat. He is also ex-officio Chairman of Civil Services Board. He is the top-most executive official and senior-most civil servant (mainly for IAS cadre) of the Government of India.
  • N R Pillai was the first cabinet secretary of independent India and served from February 6, 1950 to May 13, 1953.
  • Y N Sukthankar had served as cabinet secretary for longest duration from May 14, 1953 to July 31, 1957.

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