Current Affairs – December, 2013

Latest Current Affairs December, 2013 with Current Affairs, news summary on current events of National and International importance of December, 2013 for Banking, SSC, CLAT, UPSC, State PCS, IBPS, Railways and other Competitive Examinations.

PDF Compilation of these updates can be downloaded from This Link

Cabinet approves constitutional status for JAC

The Union Cabinet approved constitutional status to a proposed Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC), for the appointment and transfer of judges to the higher judiciary. In other words, the cabinet approved a constitution amendment bill to make the appointment /transfer of judges more transparent. The status ensures that the composition of the commission cannot be altered through an ordinary legislation and it would require an amendment in the Constitution to do so.

Presently, the composition of the proposed panel is defined in the JAC Bill, 2013 which was introduced along with a separate constitutional amendment bill in Rajya Sabha during the monsoon session. There were demands that the composition as well as the functions of the proposed JAC must be mentioned in the Constitution as a precaution against future changes.

The JAC Bill defines the establishment of the proposed body to recommend appointment and transfer of judges of the Supreme Court and the high courts. Excerpts of the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) Bill, 2013 –

  • The new Article 124 A of the Constitution will define the composition of the JAC and Article 124 B will define its functions.
  • The JAC will be headed by the CJI and have five other members, including the Law Minister and two eminent persons.
  • To appoint the two eminent persons for the appointments commission would be done by the collegium that will include the Prime Minister of India, the Leader of Opposition and the Chief Justice of India.
  • Functions viz. recommending names for appointment as judges of the Supreme Court, Chief Justices of High Courts and judges of High Courts; recommending transfer of Chief Justices of High Courts and judges of High Courts, etc. 

Note: A parliamentary standing committee which examined the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) Bill, 2013 also made a similar recommendation.

Himachal High court bans on food in plastic packs

The Himachal Pradesh High Court banned on the sale of potato chips, wafers and all junk food items packaged in plastic and non-biodegradable material from January 26, 2014. It directed the government to strictly enforce the ban on non-essential food items. The ban will not cover plastic drinking water bottles.

The court vacated its stay on a notification issued by the Department of Science, Technology and Environment on June 26, 2013, to impose a ban on sale, storage, entry, supply and manufacture of these items in the state. 

As per the court order, the government has to ensure that

  • From March 31, milk and milk products, edible oils/fats, fruits, vegetables and meat products will be manufactured, transported, sold, packaged and distributed as per the Food Safety & Standards (Packaging & Labeling) Regulation, 2011.
  • No person is permitted to start or continue any food business without obtaining the required license.
  • Edible oils/fats are packed in tin containers and not plastic bottles or pouches.
  • The appointment of a Food Commissioner in four weeks.
  • All the municipal authorities in the state have to manage the plastic waste by undertaking Waste audit from beginning of the year.