- Government proposes draft Act to replace UGC with Higher Education Commission
Union Minister of Human Resource Development, Prakash Javadekar on June 27, 2018 proposed a draft bill to repeal the University Grants Commission (UGC) and set up the Higher Education Commission of India (HECI), a move that aims to reform higher education in India.
The Act entitled ‘Higher Education Commission of India Act, 2018 (Repeal of University Grants Commission Act)’ revamps UGC Act, 1951 and its parent legislation completely. The HECI Act, 2018 is expected to be introduced in Parliament in the upcoming monsoon session.
- FSSAI proposes life imprisonment, Rs10 lakh fine for food adulteration
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) on June 26, 2018 recommended stringent punishment for those adulterating food products following the Supreme Court order. Now, those adulterating food products could face life imprisonment and penalty of up to Rs 10 lakh.
It suggested the creation of a ‘Food Safety and Nutrition Fund’ to support promotional and outreach activities among food businesses and consumers. It proposed setting up of the state food safety authorities to enforce the law in letter and spirit.
- NMCG approves setting up of community toilets, procurement of dustbins for Kumbh Mela 2019
The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) in its 13th Executive Committee Meeting on June 26, 2018 approved two projects – setting up of community toilets and procurement of dustbins for the upcoming Kumbh Mela 2019 in Allahabad.
The setting up of community toilets and procurement of dustbins will be done at an estimated cost of Rs 113 crore and Rs. 3.6 crore, respectively. The move is aimed at ensuring that the pollutants are not dumped into river Ganga.
- World’s largest multilateral naval exercise RIMPAC to begin in Hawaii
* The world’s largest multilateral naval exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) will begin on June 27, 2018 in Hawaii in the Western Pacific Ocean.
* The two-month long biennial exercise is likely to be attended by navies of 26 countries including India.
* Indian Naval Ship Sahyadri has already reached the Pearl Harbour in Hawaii to participate in the 26th edition of RIMPAC exercise.
* INS Sahyadri, commanded by Captain Shantanu Jha, is a state-of-the-art indigenously built guided missile stealth frigate which is a part of the Eastern Fleet under the Eastern Naval Command.
* India’s participation in the exercise provides a platform for increased interoperability and development of the common understanding of procedures for maritime security operations.
- Oxytocin formulations ban to come into effect from July 2018
* The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has restricted the manufacture of Oxytocin formulations to public sector for domestic use only from July 2018.
* It has also banned the import of Oxytocin and its formulations.
* No private manufacturer will be allowed to manufacture the drug for domestic use.
* Only Karnataka Antibiotics & Pharmaceuticals Ltd (KAPL), a public sector company, would be manufacturing this drug for domestic use.
* The Oxytocin formulations meant for domestic consumption will be supplied by KAPL to the registered hospitals and clinics in public and private sector directly.
* All the registered hospitals and clinics in public and the private sector in the country shall contact KAPL and place their orders with the company as the drug will not be available with retail chemists or any other manufacturer.
- Anant Barua appointed as whole-time member of SEBI
* The Union Government has appointed Anant Barua as whole-time member of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
* Barua is at present executive director in SEBI.
* He had taken charge as Executive Director of SEBI in May 2010.
* Prior to this assignment, he was legal adviser, Legal Affairs Department (LAD), SEBI. He had been working in LAD since 1992.
* He was on deputation to Central Bank of Bahrain as legal adviser and has also worked with National Fertilizers Ltd. (NFL), Industrial Finance Corporation of India (IFCI) and DCM Ltd.
* He is commerce graduate with LL.B from the University of Delhi.
- S Ramesh appointed as Chairman of CBIC
* The Union Government has appointed senior bureaucrat S Ramesh as Chairman of Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), the apex policy-making body for indirect taxes.
* He has been appointed as chairman of CBIC with the status of special secretary to the central government.
* He will succeed Vanaja N Sarna who retired on June 30, 2018.
* S Ramesh is 1981 batch officer of the Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise).
* Prior to this appointment, he was a member in CBIC, mandated with the responsibility of implementing the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
* CBIC is the nodal national agency responsible for administering Customs, GST, Central Excise, Service Tax & Narcotics in India.