India Current Affairs [Gov. & Politics]

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

Maharashtra declares drought-like condition in 14,708 villages

Maharashtra Government has declared drought-like condition in 14,708 villages of the state’s total 43,000 villages.

This means the drought covers 34% of the state and these villages have receive inadequate rainfall in monsoon season 2015 leading to decrease in Kharif production.

The drought like condition was announced by a state Cabinet Sub-Committee headed by State Agriculture Minister Eknath Khadse in Mumbai.

As a relief measure, the committee has decided to waive off college and school fees of students residing in these villages. Electricity bills of farmers using agricultural pumps also has been subsidised by one third of the total amount.

This is the second successive year Maharashtra has faced drought like condition in state. In fact, state has experienced three such natural calamities in the last four years.

Region wise Drought conditions

  • Marathwada region: It has been worst-hit with a drought-like condition as it has been declared in every single village of this central region. Around 8,522 villages in the region have been impacted due to this natural calamity and accounts for 58% of the drought area in the state.
  • North Maharashtra region: It includes Nashik and Jalgaon districts of state. In this region follows 4,869 villages impacted and accounts for 33% of the drought area.
  • Konkan region: It has not a single village affected by the calamity and has region experienced a plentiful monsoon this year.

Supreme Court declares NJAC unconstitutional

Supreme Court has declared National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act, 2014 and 99th Constitutional Amendment Act, 2014 unconstitutional and void.

Ruling in this regard was given by five-judge Constitutional Bench of SC headed by Justice J S Khehar on a petition were filed by Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association (SCAORA) and others.

SC bench has held that Collegium system will remain operative which was established by its earlier ruling of in 1993 for the appointment of judges to the higher judiciary.

The petitions had challenged the new law on the selection and appointment of judges mentioning that it is unconstitutional and aimed at hurting the independence of judiciary.

Backgroud

  • The parliament had unanimously passed the NJAC Act, 2014 and the 99th Constitutional Amendment Act. Both acts were meant to replace the two-decade old collegium system of judges appointing judges in higher judiciary.
  • These Acts were passed in order to bring transparency in appointment of Judges and give executive i.e. elected public representatives a role in the appointment process.
  • The Constitutional Amendment Act was then ratified by 20 State Assemblies and had received the Presidential assent on 31 December 2014 and became effective from April 2015.
  • Composition: The NJAC was supposed to have 6 members, three from Judiciary comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) as its Chairperson and ex officio member and 2 other senior most judges of SC. While, other three members were Union Minister of Law and Justice (ex-officio) and 2 eminent persons.