- G7 (Group of Seven)
- Central Vigilance Commission
Recently, the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry participated in the G7 (Group of Seven) Trade Ministers Meeting in Osaka, Japan.
GS II: International Relations
Dimensions of the Article:
- Key Highlights of the Meeting
- About G7
Key Highlights of the Meeting
Enhancing Supply Chain Resilience
- India presented suggestions for enhancing supply chain resilience.
- Emphasized the vulnerabilities exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic and geopolitical events in existing supply chains, which led to increased commodity prices and global inflation.
Collaborative Regulatory Framework
- Urged governments to collaborate on a regulatory framework to facilitate the movement of supply chains and cross-border trade.
Global Value Chains Framework
- Referenced the Generic Framework for Mapping of Global Value Chains from the New Delhi Declaration of the G20 to help member countries identify risks and enhance trade resilience.
- Encouraged public-private partnerships, investment in critical infrastructure, and innovation and digitalization of supply chains.
Free Trade Agreement (FTA)
- Reviewed the progress of negotiations for a proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the UK, now in its final stages.
- Addressed differences on issues like Rules of Origin and services sector in the FTA negotiations.
Rules of Origin
- Discussed the significance of Rules of Origin in determining the national source of products, affecting duties and restrictions.
UK’s FTA Objectives
- The UK aimed for a significant reduction in import duties on goods like scotch whiskey, automobiles, lamb meat, chocolates, and confectionery items.
- Sought more opportunities for UK services in Indian markets, especially in telecommunications, legal, and financial services.
Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement (TEPA)
- Discussed the progress of the Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement with European Free Trade Association (EFTA) member countries, including Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein.
- G7 stands for Group of Seven, which is an international intergovernmental economic organization consisting of seven member countries.
- The member countries are the United States, Canada, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, and the United Kingdom.
- As of 2022, G7 countries make up 10% of the world’s population, 31% of the global GDP, and 21% of global carbon dioxide emissions.
- G7 was founded in 1975 as the G6, consisting of the six richest countries in the world at that time.
- Canada joined the group in 1976, and the group became known as the G7.
- The group meets annually to discuss global economic issues and make decisions that can affect the global economy.
- The main objectives of G7 are to promote economic growth and stability, enhance international trade, and coordinate policies on economic issues among the member countries.
- The group also focuses on addressing global challenges such as climate change, cybersecurity, and geopolitical tensions.
Meetings and decisions:
- G7 leaders meet annually at the G7 Summit to discuss global economic issues and coordinate policies.
- Decisions made by the G7 can have a significant impact on the global economy and international relations.
- The G7 also collaborates with other international organizations such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
- The G7 has been criticized for being too exclusive, as it only includes the richest countries in the world and does not represent the interests of developing nations.
- Critics also argue that decisions made by the G7 can have negative consequences for developing countries and can perpetuate global economic inequality.
The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) is observing the Vigilance Awareness Week 2023 from 30th October to 5th November, 2023, centered around the theme “Say no to corruption; commit to the Nation.”
GS II: Polity and Governance
Dimensions of the Article:
- About Central Vigilance Commission
- Functions of CVC
- Removal of members (according to CVC Act)
- Criticism – Limited Powers of CVC
About Central Vigilance Commission
- Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) is an apex Indian governmental body created in 1964.
- CVC was set up based on the recommendations of the Committee on Prevention of Corruption, headed by Shri K. Santhanam, to advise and guide Central Government agencies in the field of vigilance.
- 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 may have the investigation done through the CBI or Chief Vigilance Officers (CVO) in government offices.
- 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 , 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.
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.
Composition of Central Vigilance Commission
The CVC is comprised of 3 members:
- A Central Vigilance Commissioner (Chairperson)
- Up to Two Vigilance Commissioners (Members)
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
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.