Union Home Ministry Current Affairs - 2019

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India to offer e-Tourist Visa fee based on tourist footfall

India will introduce a flexible e-tourist visa regime for more than 160 countries based on tourist footfall. As per this the e-tourist visa fee would be higher for peak season of July to March and a considerably lower fee during lean period of April to June. The objective behind the move is to encourage foreign tourists to visit India.

Both the Union Home Ministry and Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) have given approval to the flexible e-tourist visa regime.

Key Highlights

Fee for e-visa with a validity of 30 days to 5 years ranges between $10 and $80.

There will be no visa fee for tourists from belonging to Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC), which consists of 14 Pacific Island nations namely- Cook Islands, Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Niue Island, Samoa, Fiji, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands and Tonga. Visa fee will also be exempted for tourist from Mauritius, Uruguay, Myanamar, Indonesia, Jamaica, Seychelles and South Africa and Argentina.

Tourists from all countries to which India has extended e-visa facility will pay $10 for 30 day e-visa during lean season and will have to pay $25 during peak period. Tourists from these nations will have to pay $40 for 1-year e-visa and $80 for 5-year e-visa validity.

For Sri Lanka, Japan and Singapore, the 30-day lean period visa fee is suggested to cost $10, and for peak season 30-day visa and for 1-year and 5-year e-visa fee is $25.

All CAPF personnel will now retire at a uniform age of 60 years: Govt

As per a recent order issued by Union Home Ministry, all Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) personnel will now retire at a uniform age of 60 years instead of 57 years for certain rank of officials. All these forces come under ambit of Union Home Ministry and are deployed across India to render a variety of internal security duties including border guarding, counterterrorism, anti-Naxal operations, and maintenance of law and order.

Home Ministry Order

The order issued by Home Ministry has corrected anomaly where CAPF personnel between ranks of Constable to Commandant in 4 forces- Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Border Security Force (BSF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) superannuated at age of 57, instead of 60. While officers from rank of Deputy Inspector General upto top-most rank of Director General in these 4 forces retired after attaining age of 60.

Present Scenario:

Those personnel who have retired at 57 years in between court order and Home Ministry directive will now have two options-

  1. either to join service after returning all pensionary benefits (or)
  2. straightaway get all pension benefits as due to them as on completion of 60 years of service.

While those CAPF personnel who had retired and approached court for clarification or were granted stay will be deemed as ‘not superannuated’ and will continue their service till 60 years of age.

Background

According to existing policy, all personnel in Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and Assam Rifles (AR) retire at age of 60. However, in CRPF, ITBP, SSB and BSF personnel from ranks of constable to commandant retire at age of 57, while those above them superannuate at age of 60.

Delhi HC Order: This development of uniform age pertains to a January order given by High Court of Delhi, where it had called current policy of different age of superannuation in these 4 forces (CRPF, BSF, ITBP, SSB) as ‘discriminatory and unconstitutional’ and said such difference creates two classes in uniformed forces. Recent order issued by Home Ministry direct all forces to comply with court order and amend provisions of rules.

NOTE

Five forces namely, CISF, CRPF, BSF, ITBP and SSB which come under Union Home Ministry were earlier considered paramilitary forces, but from March 2011 have been reclassified as Central Armed Police Forces to avoid confusion.

Also ‘Paramilitary forces’ in India has not been defined officially or in any acts, however they are currently used to refer-

  1. Assam Rifles (AR): It under administrative control of Ministry of Home Affairs but operational control under Indian Army.
  2. Special Frontier Force (SFF)