Current Affairs – January, 2015

Latest Current Affairs January, 2015 with Current Affairs, news summary on current events of National and International importance of January, 2015 for Banking, SSC, CLAT, UPSC, State PCS, IBPS, Railways and other Competitive Examinations.

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Shanta Kumar Committee on Restructuring of FCI submits report to PM

The High Level Committee (HLC) for Restructuring of Food Corporation of India (FCI) chaired by Shanta Kumar has submitted its report to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Some Recommendations of Shanta Kumar Committee

On procurement related issues:  

  • FCI should hand over all procurement operations of wheat, paddy and rice to Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Punjab as they have sufficient experience and reasonable infrastructure for procurement.
  • FCI procurement should focus on eastern belt, where farmers do not get minimum support price.

On stocking and movement related issues:

  • FCI should outsource its stocking operations to various agencies such as Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC), State Warehousing Corporation (SWC), Private Sector under Private Entrepreneur Guarantee (PEG) scheme.
  • It should be done on competitive bidding basis, inviting various stakeholders and creating competition to bring down costs of storage.
  • Movement of grains should be containerized in order to reduce transit losses. While, railways should have faster turn-around-time by having more mechanized facilities.

NFSA and PDS related issues

  • Restructuring the National Food Security Act (NFSA) by virtually diluting its scope and coverage from 67 per cent of population to about 40 per cent population.
  • In order to curtail leakages in PDS, government should defer implementation of NFSA in states that have not done end to end computerization.

End to end computerization:

  • It recommends end to end computerization of the entire food management system, starting from procurement from farmers, to stocking, movement and finally distribution through PDS.
  • It will help for real time basis monitoring in order to curb leakages.


In August 2014, Union government had set up 8 members High Level Committee (HLC) on FCI restructuring. It was restructuring chaired by Shanta Kumar.

Other members are: FCI Chairman-cum-Managing Director C Viswanath, Electronic and IT Secretary Ram Sewak Sharma, Former Chairman of Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) Ashok Gulati, Chief Secretaries of Punjab and Chhattisgarh; and Academicians G Raghuram and Gunmadi Nancharaiah of IIM-Ahmedabad.

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Thailand impeaches former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra

Thailand’s military-appointed legislature has voted to impeach former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

She was impeached for her role in overseeing a government rice subsidy program that lost billions of dollars.

More than three-fifths i.e. 190 legislatures voted against Yingluck in the legislature of 220 members. It should be noted that, for this impeachment more than three-fifths votes of the legislatures was required.

Most members of the legislature who voted against her are part of the military or political opponents her government and past governments allied with her brother Thaksin Shinawatra (former Prime Minister who was ousted in a 2006 coup).

This impeachment means she will be banned from politics for five years.

While, Thailand’s military government is also planning to indict criminal charges on her for negligence related to losses and alleged corruption in the rice scheme. If she is convicted, she could face 10 years in jail.

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