- Shri Suresh N. Patel takes oath as Vigilance Commissioner
- Natural product-based Alzheimer inhibitor
- India looking to capture significant share of world trade
SHRI SURESH N. PATEL TAKES OATH AS VIGILANCE COMMISSIONER
Focus: GS-II Polity, Governance, Prelims
Why in news?
Shri Suresh N. Patel took oath as Vigilance Commissioner on 29th April 2020.
Central Vigilance Commission (CVC)
- Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) is an apex Indian governmental body created in 1964 to address governmental corruption.
- The CVC became a Statutory Body with the enactment of CVC Act, 2003.
- The CVC is an independent body, free of control from any executive authority, (It is NOT controlled by any ministry or department).
- The CVC is responsible only to the Parliament.
- The CVC is NOT an investigating agency. The CVC either gets the investigation done through the CBI or through chief vigilance officers (CVO) in government offices.
Functions of CVC
- The CVC monitors all vigilance activity under the Central Government
- It advises various authorities in Central Government organizations in planning, executing, reviewing and reforming their vigilance work.
- The CVC recommends appropriate action on complaints on corruption or misuse of power.
- Lokpal, Central Government or Whistle blowers can approach the CVC regarding complaints.
- The CVC – Under Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 – can inquire into offences reported against certain categories of Public Servants. (However, remember, CVC is NOT an Investigating agency).
- The Annual Report of the CVC not only gives the details of the work done by it but also brings out the system failures which leads to corruption in various Departments/Organisations, system improvements, various preventive measures and cases in which the Commission’s advises were ignored etc.
Criticism – Limited Powers of CVC
- CVC is treated as an advisory body only as Central Government Departments are free to either accept or reject CVC’s advice in corruption cases.
- The Commission has no jurisdiction over private individuals and organisations of the State Governments.
- The CVC is left with no power to register criminal case.
- The CVC cannot direct the CBI to initiate inquiries against any officer of the level of Joint Secretary and above. Hence, CVC neither has the resources nor the power to take action on complaints of corruption.
- Appointments to CVC are indirectly under the control of Govt of India. Although, the leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha is a member of the committee that selects the CVC Members – the committee just considers the candidates that are put up before it, and these candidates are decided by the Government.
- CVC is a very small set up with a sanctioned staff strength of 299, which is supposed to check corruption in more than 1500 central government departments and ministries.
Composition of CVC
The CVC is comprised of 3 members:
- A Central Vigilance Commissioner – Chairperson;
- Not more than two Vigilance Commissioners – Members.
- President of India appoints CVC members by warrant under his hand and seal.
- The Oath of office is administered by the President.
- A three-member committee made of – The Prime Minister, The Home Minister and The Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha – Makes the Recommendation for appointment of Vigilance Commissioners.
- The Vigilance Commissioners are appointed for a term of Four years OR until they attain 65 years of age (whichever is earlier).
- On retirement – they are NOT eligible for reappointment in any central or state government agency.
Removal of members (according to CVC Act)
The Central Vigilance Commissioner or any Vigilance Commissioner can be removed from his office only by order of the President on the ground of proved misbehavior or incapacity after the Supreme Court reports that the officer ought to be removed after inquiry, on a reference made to it by the President.
Also, a member can be removed if the member:
- Is Adjudged as an insolvent
- Is convicted of an offence that involves moral turpitude according to Central Government
- Engages in Office of profit outside the duties of his office
- Is declared unfit by reason of infirmity of mind or body, by the President
- Participates / Concerned / Interested to Participate – in any way in the profit / in any benefit – in any contract or agreement made by or on behalf of the Government of India
NATURAL PRODUCT-BASED ALZHEIMER INHIBITOR
Focus: GS-III Science and Technology, Prelims
Why in news?
JNCASR scientists have modified the structure of Berberine, a natural and cheap product similar to curcumin, available commercially, into Ber-D to use as an Alzheimer’s inhibitor.
- Berberine is poorly soluble and toxic to cells, so they had to modify berberine to Ber-D, which is a soluble (aqueous), antioxidant.
- Ber-D was found to be a multifunctional inhibitor of multifaceted amyloid toxicity of Alzheimer’s disease.
- The multifunctional attributes make Ber-D a promising candidate for developing effective therapeutics to treat multifaceted toxicity of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Alzheimer’s disease is a chronic neurodegenerative disease that usually starts slowly and gradually worsens over time.
- It is the cause of 60–70% of cases of dementia.
- The most common early symptom is difficulty in remembering recent events.
- The cause of Alzheimer’s disease is poorly understood, about 70% of the risk is believed to be inherited from a person’s parents, with many genes usually involved.
- Other risk factors include a history of head injuries, depression, and hypertension.
- No treatments stop or reverse its progression, though some may temporarily improve symptoms.
INDIA LOOKING TO CAPTURE SIGNIFICANT SHARE OF WORLD TRADE
Focus: GS-III Indian Economy
Why in news?
Minister of Commerce and Industry & Railways held Video Conference discussions with the Export Promotion Councils (EPCs) of the country.
Highlights of the discussions
- The Exporters were called upon to identify their strengths, potentials and competitive advantages in specific sectors, and focus on harnessing them in the world markets.
- In the post-Covid era, there is going to be perceptible change in the global supply-chains, and Indian industrialists and exporters should be looking to capture significant share in the world trade.
- The Government will be a pro-active supporter and facilitator in their efforts, and the Indian Missions abroad can play an important role in that.
- Incentives can be given, but they have to be justified, reasonable, and WTO-compliant.
- The Ministry is working on identifying the specific sectors which can be taken forward in the immediate future for the Exports purpose.
- India is going to have an excellent Rabi harvest this season, and there are reports that there is shortage of food items in several countries – this seems to be a good opportunity for export of agricultural and processed food items.