Civil Services of India 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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Sunil Arora appointed as new Chief Election Commissioner

President Ram Nath Kovind appointed senior IAS officer Sunil Arora as the new Chief Election Commissioner (CEC). He will be the 23rd CEC and shall succeed OP Rawat who retires in December 2018. He will have nearly two-and-a-half-year tenure as CEC and  General Election 2019 will be conducted under his stewardship.

Sunil Arora

He is 1980-batch IAS officer of the Rajasthan cadre. Prior to this appointment, he was Election Commissioner since September 2017. At centre he has served as skill development secretary before was appointed as top bureaucrat in Information & Broadcasting Ministry. He also has worked in ministries and departments such as Finance, Textiles and Planning Commission and was also CMD of Indian Airlines for five years. In his home state, he was one of the most trusted officers of Vasundhara Raje during her earlier term as Rajasthan Chief Minister. He was her principal secretary from 2005 to 2008. He had retired from service in April 2016, following which he was appointed as advisor to Prasar Bharti and then as director general & CEO of Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs.

Election Commission of India (ECI)

It is permanent and independent constitutional body established directly by Constitution of India under Article 324 to ensure fair and fair elections in the country.

Composition: It is multi-member body and currently has three members including Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and two election commissioners (ECs). They all are appointed by the President.

Service conditions and tenure of office CEC and ECs: They are determined by an act of parliament titled The Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners (Conditions of Service) Act, 1991. They hold office for term of six years or until they attain age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.

Powers CEC and ECs: They have equal power and receive equal salary, allowances and other perquisites, which are similar to judge of Supreme Court. In case of difference of opinion amongst CEC and Election Commissioner, matter is decided by Commission by majority.

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