Minister of State 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.

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Ajit Doval reappointed as National Security Adviser

Ajit Doval is reappointed as National Security Advisor (NSA) of India for another five year tenure. In recognition of his earlier contribution in the national security domain, he has also been elevated to rank of Cabinet Minister for this term. During his first term 2014-2019 NSA was given rank of Minister of State (MoS).

About Ajit Doval

  • He is a 1968-batch IPS officer. For over 33 years he worked as an intelligence officer during which he served in North East, Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab.
  • The 74 year old Doval had also done several key diplomatic assignments in Pakistan and the United Kingdom (UK).
  • He headed the Intelligence Bureau’s (IB) operations wing for over a decade including serving as Director of Intelligence Bureau (IB) from July 2004 to January 2005.
  • Post retirement, he founded Vivekananda International Foundation, a public policy think tank headquartered in New Delhi.
  • In May 2014, he was appointed as India’s fifth NSA. Under his supervision, Surgical strike was conducted in September 2016 (aftermath of Uri terror attack) and Balakot airstrike was conducted in February 2019 (aftermath of suicide attack on CRPF convey).

About National Security Advisor (NSA)

  • NSA is the chief adviser to the prime minister of India on national and international security policy matters. He serves at the discretion of Prime Minister of India.
  • NSA is now seen as the most powerful bureaucrat in the Government of India.
  • This post was created in 1998 by then government of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Since then either an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) or the Indian Police Service (IPS) serves the post. Senior IFS officer Brajesh Mishra was India’s first NSA (in office from November 1998-May 2004).
  • NSA presides over the National Security Council (NSC). NSC was established in 1998. It is an executive government agency that oversees India’s political, economic, energy and security issues of strategic concern. It is a three-tiered organization comprising of Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC), Strategic Policy Group (SPG) and National Security Advisory Board (NSAB).

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