Lok Sabha passes Appropriation Bill
The Lok Sabha has passed the Appropriation Bill 2020-21 that empowers the government to draw over ₹110 lakh crore from the Consolidated Fund of India for its working, as well as for the implementation of its programmes and schemes.
What is ‘Appropriation Bill’?
- Appropriation Bill gives power to the government to withdraw funds from the Consolidated Fund of India for meeting the expenditure during the financial year.
- Post the discussions on Budget proposals and the Voting on Demand for Grants, the government introduces the Appropriation Bill in the Lok Sabha.
- It is intended to give authority to the government to withdraw from the Consolidated Fund, the amounts so voted for meeting the expenditure during the financial year.
Constitutional Provisions –
- As per the Article 114 of the Constitution, the government can withdraw money from the Consolidated Fund only after receiving approval from Parliament.
- The government introduces the Appropriation Bill in the lower house of Parliament after discussions on Budget proposals and Voting on Demand for Grants.
- The Appropriation Bill is first passed by the Lok Sabha and then sent to the Rajya Sabha.
- The Rajya Sabha has the power to recommend any amendments in this Bill. However, it is the prerogative of the Lok Sabha to either accept or reject the recommendations made by the upper house of Parliament.
Central Sanskrit Universities Bill 2020
The Central Sanskrit Universities Bill, 2020 has been passed by the Parliament after it was passed by Rajya Sabha today. The Lok Sabha had already passed the Bill on 12th December 2019.
- This bill will convert (i) Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, New Delhi, (ii) Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth, New Delhi, and (iii) Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth, Tirupati into Central Sanskrit Universities.
- This is one of the landmark Bills passed by the Parliament which has fulfilled the aspirations and long standing wish of many Sanskrit lovers, scholars and Sanskrit speaking people in the country.
Features of the Bill –
- The Central University status awarded to these 3 Universities will enhance the status of these Universities and will give boost to Post Graduate, Doctoral and Post-doctoral education and Research in the field of Sanskrit and Shastraic education.
- This will pave way for many people from abroad to learn Sanskrit and Shastraic lore from these prestigious Central Sanskrit Universities in our country
- Now the universities will: (i) disseminate and advance knowledge for the promotion of Sanskrit, (ii) make special provisions for integrated courses in humanities, social sciences, and science, and (iii) train manpower for the overall development and preservation of Sanskrit and allied subjects.
- Powers and functions – These include: (i) prescribing courses of study and conducting training programmes, (ii) granting degrees, diplomas, and certificates, (iii) providing facilities through a distance education system, (iv) Conferring autonomous status on a college or an institution, (v) providing instructions for education in Sanskrit and allied subjects.
- Some of the authorities that the universities will have – A court, which will review the policies of the university and suggest measures for its development. An Executive Council, which will be the principal executive body. The 15-member council will include the Vice-Chancellor appointed by the Centre, who will be the chairperson. The council will, among other functions, create teaching and academic posts and their appointment, and manage the revenue and property of the university. An Academic and Activity Council, which will supervise academic policies. A Board of Studies, which will approve the subjects for research and recommend measures to improve standards of teaching.
- Like at all central universities, the President of India will be the Visitor of the central Sanskrit universities. He may appoint persons to review and inspect the functioning of the University. The Executive Council may take action based on the findings of the inspection.
Sir Creek dispute
At a recent global summit organised by a private news channel, Former Pakistan Minister recalled the plan for resolving the Sir Creek dispute.
About Sir Creek –
- Sir Creek is a 96-km strip of water disputed between India and Pakistan in the Rann of Kutch marshlands.
- Originally named Ban Ganga, Sir Creek is named after a British representative.
- The Creek opens up in the Arabian Sea and roughly divides the Kutch region of Gujarat from the Sindh province of Pakistan.
- Apart from strategic location, Sir Creek’s core importance is fishing resources. Sir Creek is considered to be among the largest fishing grounds in Asia.
- Another significant reason is the possible presence of great oil and gas concentration under the sea, which are currently unexploited thanks to the impending deadlock on the issue.
What is the dispute?
- The dispute lies in the interpretation of the maritime boundary line between Kutch and Sindh.
- Pakistan claims the entire creek as per paragraphs 9 and 10 of the Bombay Government Resolution of 1914 signed between then the Government of Sindh and Rao Maharaja of Kutch.
- But India claims that the boundary lies mid-channel as depicted in another map drawn in 1925, and implemented by the installation of mid-channel pillars back in 1924. India invokes the Thalweg Doctrine of International Maritime Law which states that river boundaries between two states may be divided by the mid-channel if the water-body is navigable.
Gaur back in Valmiki Reserve
According to report, Gaur has returned to Bihar’s Valmiki Reserve (VTR) due to an increase in grassland cover.
About Gaur –
- The Gaur also called Indian Bison is the largest extant bovine.
- It is native to South Asia and Southeast Asia.
- The local names of the Gaur are Seladang- Malaysia, Pyoung-Myanmar and Gayal or mithun-domesticated form of gaur.
- It is the state animal of Goa.
- Listed as Vulnerable under IUCN Red list.
- CITES-Appendix I
- Threats – Hunting for consumption, loss of suitable habitat, contract diseases transmitted by domestic cattle.
About Valmiki National Park –
- The Valmiki National Park, Tiger Reserve and Wildlife Sanctuary is located at the India-Nepal border in the West Champaran district of Bihar, India on the bank of river Gandak.
- It is the only National park in Bihar.
- Valmiki Tiger Reserve (VTR) is one of the natural virgin recesses in east India, situated in the North West corner of Bihar.
- The pristine forest and wilderness of VTR is an excellent example of Himalayan Terai landscape.