Prime Minister Current Affairs - 2019

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SPG (Amendment) Bill passed in Parliament

The SPG amendment bill says that when the SPG cover is withdrawn from a former Prime Minister, the cover also stands withdrawn from his or her family members. The bill was passed in the parliament on December 3, 2019. The bill aimed at amending the Special Protection Group act, 1988.

Amendment Key Features

The act states that the SPG cover will be provided to the Prime Minister and his family members residing with him at his residence. It also states that the cover will be provided to the former Prime Ministers and their family members for 5 years after he ceases to hold office. The bill points that if the cover is withdrawn from the former Prime Minister, it will stand withdrawn for their family members as well.

SPG

The Special Protection Group is the highest security that was set up in 1985 to protect the Prime Minister of India. It was established after the assassination of PM Indira Gandhi by her own bodyguards in 1984. Though the act was constituted to provide security cover to the Prime Minister, it was amended in 1991 to provide security cover to former PMs.

The President of India does not come under SPG cover due to low threat. He is protected by the Indian Army’s President Bodyguard Regiment.

Economic Advisory Council to PM reconstituted under Bibek Debroy

Government of India has reconstituted Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) under existing Chairman Bibek Debroy. The reconstitution is for a period of two years, with effect from 26 September 2019.

Key Highlights

Along with Chairman Bibek Debroy, Ratan P Watal will also continue as Member Secretary of the reconstituted EAC-PM. Apart from these two full-time members, EAC-PM will have 2 part-time members as against 3 in outgoing panel.

While Ashima Goel continues to be one of part-time members and Sajjid Chinoy (Chief India economist at J.P. Morgan) has been roped in as the new member. The economists Rathin Roy and Shamika Ravi, who were the two existing part-time members, have been dropped in reconstituted EAC-PM.

Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM)

It is an independent body constituted to advise the government (especially prime minister) on economic and related issues.

EAC-PM advises PM Modi on macroeconomic issues and other matters referred to it by PM himself. So far the suggestions made by the EAC-PM to PM on economic matters have not been made public.

The Council submitted papers on issues such as employment, macroeconomic situation and growth to Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).