Chairman Current Affairs - 2019

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Arvind Saxena appointed as Chairman of Union Public Service Commission

President Ram Nath Kovind has appointed Arvind Saxena as Chairman of Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), which conducts examination to select bureaucrats, diplomats and police officers. He will have tenure till August 7, 2020, when he attains the age of 65 years. Prior to this appointment, he was working as acting Chairman of UPSC since June 2018. He had joined UPSC as member in May 2015. Prior to joining the UPSC, he was working as director of the Aviation Research Centre (ARC).

Arvind Saxena

He was student of civil engineering from Delhi College of Engineering and holds M.Tech in systems management from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi. He was selected for civil services and joined Indian Postal Service in 1978. In 1988, he started working at Cabinet Secretariat, where he specialised in study of strategic developments in neighbouring countries. He has served in different countries and in states of Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. He is recipient of awards for meritorious services (2005) and distinguished services (2012).

Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)

UPSC is constitutional body which conducts the prestigious civil services examination to select IAS, IFS and IPS officers among others. It has been established under Article 315 of the Constitution and consists of Chairman and ten Members appointed and removed by President.

The chairman and members of the Commission hold office for a term if six years or until they attain the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier. It conducts the prestigious civil services examination to select officers of Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and Indian Police Service (IPS) among others.

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Bangladesh elected IORA Chairman for 2021-23

Bangladesh was elected as Vice Chairman of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) for the period of 2019-21 and eventually as IORA Chairman for 2021-23 at 18th IORA Council of Ministers’ Meeting held in Durban, South Africa. The Current Chair is South Africa and Vice Chair is UAE.

Key Facts

As per practice, IORA is led by Chair and Vice Chair on behalf of member States. The stint of posts is two years. When incumbent Vice Chair UAE will take post of Chair in 2019, Bangladesh will assume Vice Chairmanship. After completion of two years of vice chairmanship, Bangladesh will become Chairman of IORA for first time in October 2021.

Outcomes 18th IORA Council of Ministers’ Meeting

  • Maldives was accepted as 22nd Member of IORA (with India’s backing). Myanmar membership proposal was not approved due to lack of consensus (mainly opposed by South Africa).
  • Bangladesh will host 3rd IORA Blue Economy Ministerial Conference in Dhaka in September 2019. It be the first ever IORA Ministerial level Conference to be organized by Bangladesh.
  • Two outcome documents were adopted namely ‘Declaration on commemoration of Nelson Mandela’ and eThekwini Communique.
  • These documents are expected to enhance co-operation among 22 member states and contribute more in ensuring a peaceful, stable and sustainable Indian Ocean.

Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA)

IORA formerly known as t Indian Ocean Rim Initiative and Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC) is international organisation consisting of coastal states bordering Indian Ocean. It is based on the principles of Open Regionalism for strengthening Economic Cooperation particularly on Trade Facilitation and Investment, Promotion as well as Social Development of the region.

It is regional forum, tripartite in nature, bringing together representatives of Government, Business and Academia, for promoting co-operation and closer interaction among them. It was established in March 1997. Its coordinating secretariat (headquarter) is in Ebene Cyber City, Mauritius. The apex body of IORA is the Council of (Foreign) Ministers (COM).

Membership: It comprises 22 member states (including recently inducted Maldives) and 7 dialogue partners (China, Egypt, France, Germany, Japan, United Kingdom and United States), Indian Ocean Tourism Organisation and Indian Ocean Research Group have observer status. (Members in Map)

Objectives of IORA

  • Promote sustainable growth and balanced development of the region and member states
  • Focus on those areas of economic cooperation which provide maximum opportunities for development, shared interest and mutual benefits.
  • Promote liberalisation, remove impediments and lower barriers towards freer and enhanced flow of goods, services, investment, and technology within Indian Ocean rim.

Six priority areas of IORA

  • Maritime security,
  • Trade and investment facilitation,
  • Fisheries management,
  • Disaster risk reduction,
  • Academic and scientific cooperation
  • Tourism promotion and cultural exchanges.

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