Ad Hoc Committee Current Affairs - 2020

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GoM constituted to fast track revival plan of BSNL

On December 27, 2019, GoI constituted a 7-member group of ministers to fast track the implementation of revival plan of BSNL and MTNL. The revival plan includes allocation of 4G spectrum and asset monetization. Earlier, GoI approved the revival plan of merging BSNL and MTNL.

Highlights

The seven-member group of ministers include Defence Minister Raj Nath Singh, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, Finance minister Nirmala Sitaraman, Home Minister Amit Shah, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal.

The crucial elements of the revival plan include workforce, business viability, monetization, issue of bonds and 4G spectrum allotment. GoI allocated Rs 69,000 crores for reviving BSNL and MTNL. Both the entities have been reporting losses over a decade.

Group of ministers

Group of ministers are appointed by the GoI under Transaction of Business Rules, 1961. According to para 6 (4) of the rules, Ad hoc committees of ministers including GoM sha;; be appointed by standing committee of cabinet, cabinet or by the PM. The GoM do not have decision making powers. They investigate and report to the cabinet. On the other hand, Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) can make decisions. They are also formed by GoI.

In 2014, EGoM was dissolved and the changes are still under process.

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India selected as Chair of Ad Hoc Committee of Kimberley Certification Scheme

India was selected as Chair of Ad Hoc Committee on Review & Reforms to look into various issues pertaining to the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPSC) at recently held KP Plenary Session in Brisbane, Australia.

Angola will be the Vice Chair of this Adhoc Committee and will work with India and other members of Committee on reform issues related to changes in core document, expansion of scope of KP.

India was appointed as the Kimberly Process (KP) Vice Chair for 2018 & Chair for 2019 in the last plenary of KP held in Dubai in November, 2016. The EU will be KP Chair for 2018.

Kimberley Process

Kimberley Process is joint initiative of governments, industry and civil societies to stem flow of ‘conflict diamonds’, rough diamonds used by rebel groups to finance wars against legitimate governments. It is also described in United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions. India is one of the founding members of KPCS. At present, KPCS has 54 members representing 81 countries including EU with 28 members.

The KPCS came into effect from 1 January, 2003 through a United Nations General Assembly Resolution. It outlines the rules that govern trade in rough diamonds. It has evolved into effective mechanism for stopping trade in conflict diamonds. It sets minimum requirements that each participant must meet. In India, the scheme is administered through Department of Commerce under aegis of the Union Commerce and Industry Ministry.

Conflict diamonds

Conflict diamonds or blood diamonds are the rough diamonds used by rebel movements in the third world countries especially in Africa to finance (civil) wars with an aim to topple legitimate governments. The KPCS completely bans import and export of rough diamonds without certification.

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