SC questions CVC on overnight removal of Alok Verma as CBI Chief; reserves its order
The Supreme Court on December 6, 2018 reserved its order on the pleas filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Director Alok Verma and NGO Common Cause, challenging the decision of the Central Government to remove Verma as the CBI chief.
The bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph questioned the overnight decision to send the CBI's top two officials Alok Verma and Rakesh Asthana on leave after tolerating their fight since July 2018.
Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi asked the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), represented by Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta, that what prompted it to take an “overnight” decision to divest Alok Verma of his powers as CBI Director without consulting the Selection Committee.
Cabinet approves National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 6, 2018 approved the launching of National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NM-ICPS).
The mission addresses the ever-increasing technological requirements of the society and takes into account the international trends and roadmaps of leading countries for the next generation technologies. It will be launched by the Department of Science and Technology at an expected cost of Rs 3660 crore for a period of five years.
Cabinet approves Agriculture Export Policy 2018 to double farmer's income by 2022
The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on December 6, 2018 approved the Agriculture Export Policy 2018, which aims to double farmer's income by 2022.
The Agriculture Export Policy envisions to “harness export potential of Indian agriculture, through suitable policy instruments, to make India global power in agriculture and raise farmers’ income.”
The Cabinet has also approved the proposal for establishment of Monitoring Framework at Centre with Ministry of Commerce as the nodal Department with representation from various Ministries, agencies and representatives of concerned State Governments to oversee the implementation of the Policy.
Former Indian diplomat Preeti Saran elected to UN's Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
A former senior Indian diplomat, Preeti Saran was on December 6, 2018 elected unopposed to an Asia Pacific seat on the United Nation's Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR).
The UN's Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) elected Saran to the 18-member committee ‘CESCR’ for a four-year term beginning on January 1, 2019.
Saran will begin her term at CESCR after another former Indian diplomat Chandrashekhar Dasgupta completes his third term on the CESCR by the end of December 2018.
UN launches new framework to combat international terrorism
The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on December 6, 2018 launched a new framework titled ‘UN Global Counter-Terrorism Coordination Compact’ to combat international terrorism and coordinate efforts across the peace and security, humanitarian, human rights and sustainable development sectors.
The framework is an agreement between the UN chief, 36 organisational entities, the International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL) and the World Customs Organisation to better serve the needs of member states when it comes to tackling the scourge of international terrorism.
The new framework has been introduced keeping in mind the need to ensure full respect for international human rights standards and rule of law in countering terrorism.