17th Lok Sabha Current Affairs - 2019

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Virendra Kumar: Pro-tem Speaker of 17th Lok Sabha

The Bharatiya Janta Party’s (BJP) Member of Parliament (MP) from Madhya Pradesh Dr Virendra Kumar will be the Pro-tem Speaker of 17th Lok Sabha.

Key Highlights

  • The 65 year old Virendra Kumar, is a seven-term MP. He won the 17th Lok Sabha election from Tikamgarh Lok Sabha constituency. Tikamgarh is one of the 29 parliamentary constituencies in Madhya Pradesh. He served as Minister of State (MoS) in previous Narendra Modi government (2014-2019).
  • The 1st all-party meet will be convened on 16 June 2019, before the 1st session of 17th Lok Sabha that will be held from 17 June to 26 July 2019.
  • Function: As Pro-tem Speaker, he will preside over the 1st sitting of newly constituted Lok Sabha, administer the oath of office to newly elected MPs, and also oversee the election of LS Speaker.
  • In the first week of session of 17th Lok Sabha, the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker to Lok Sabha will be elected.

About Pro-tem Speaker

  • The word Pro-tem is a Latin phrase which in English means ‘for the time being’ of ‘temporary’. Thus a Pro-tem Speaker performs the duties of office of Speaker from commencement of 1st sitting of newly constituted Lok Sabha till the election of the Speaker. This is because Speaker of last Lok Sabha vacates his office before the 1st meeting of newly elected Lok Sabha.
  • The Article 94 of constitution states that previous Speaker must resign immediately before 1st sitting of the new Lok Sabha.
  • Article 93 of constitution states that, a Speaker and Deputy Speaker to Lower House of Parliament must be elected in 1st sitting of Lok Sabha.
  • The appointment of Pro tem speaker is a convention and there is no provision mentioned in the Constitution for this position.
  • President appoints and administes the oath of a member of Lok Sabha as Pro-tem Speaker. By convention a seniormost Lok Sabha member is usually is selected.
  • A Pro-tem Speaker has powers same as a Lok Sabha Speaker. His main duty is to administer oath to newly elected members of parliament and election of new Speaker.
  • The office of Pro-tem Speaker ceases to operate once new Speaker is elected by members.

Centre reconstitutes 8 key Cabinet Committees

Prime Minister Narendra Modi led NDA government which stormed back into power for a second term at Centre after recently concluded 17th Lok Sabha eletion, reconstituted eight key cabinet committees. He also reconstituted six previous Cabinet sub-committees and formed two new ones to deal with job creation and economic growth.

Key Highlights

In newly-constituted eight cabinet committees, Home Minister Amit Shah is part of all cabinet committees while P M Modi is part of six committees, excluding Cabinet Committee on Accommodation and Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs.

The eight committees reconstituted includes-

  1. Appointments Committee of Cabinet– includes P M Modi and Amit Shah.
  2. Cabinet Committee on Accommodation– includes Amit Shah, Nitin Gadkari (Minister of Road Transport and Highways), Nirmala Sitharaman (Finance Minister and Minister of Corporate Affairs), and Piyush Goyal (Railway Minister and Mniister of Commerce & Industry).

Special invitees to Cabinet Committee on Accommodation– includes Jitendra Singh, Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State (I/C) of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

  1. Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs – includes PM Modi (as chairman) and other member are Amit Shah, Nitin Gadkari, Nirmala Sitharaman, Piyush Goyal, Rajnath Singh (Defence Minister), Ravi Shankar Prasad (Minister of Communications and Information Technology), Harsimrat Kaur Badal (Minister of Food Processing Industries), D.V.Sadananda Gowda (Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers), Narendra Singh Tomar (Minister of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare), Dr. Subrahamanayam Jaishankar (Minister of External Affairs), and Dharmendra Pradhan (Petroleum, Natural Gas Minister).
  2. Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs- includes Shah, Sitharaman, Tomar, RS Prasad, Ramvilas Paswan (Consumer Affairs Minister), Thawar Chand Gehlot (Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment), Prakash Javadekar (Environment Minister) and Prahlad Joshi (Minister of Parliamentary Affairs).

Special invitees to Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs­– includes Ministers of State (MoS) Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal and V Muraleedharan.

  1. Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs– includes P M Modi, Amit Shah, Nitin Gadkari, Sitharaman, Ramvilas Paswan, Narendra Singh Tomar, RS Prasad, Harsimrat Kaur, Piyush Goyal, Harsh Vardhan (Health Minister), Arvind Ganpat Sawant (Heavy Industries and Public Enterprise Minister) and Prahlad Joshi.
  2. Cabinet Committee on Security– It is considered to be the most significant panel, includes the Prime Minister Modi, Rajnath, Shah, Sitharaman and Jaishankar.
  3. Cabinet Committee on Investment Growth– P M Modi, Amit Shah, Nitin Gadkari, Nirmala Sitharaman and Piyush Goyal.
  4. Cabinet Committee on Employment and Skill Development– includes P M Modi, Amit Shah, Nirmala Sitharaman, Piyush Goyal, Narendra Singh Tomar, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ (HRD Minister), Dharmendra Pradhan, Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey (Minister of Skill development and Entrepreneurship), Santosh Kumar Gangwar (Minister of State (I/C) Labour and Employment) and Hardeep Singh Puri.

Special invitees to Cabinet Committee on Employment and Skill Development– includes Union Ministers Nitin Gadkari, Prahlad Singh Patel, Smriti Zubin Irani, and Harsimrat Kaur Badal.