Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2023

Aug 08, 2023

Current Affair 1:
Parliament Passes Delhi Services Bill (GNCTD Amendment Bill)


It was passed recently by Parliament.

The Bill has significant changes from the Ordinance promulgated by the Centre on May 19 a week after the Supreme Court ruled that the Delhi Government has power over the administration and control of civil servants except in matters relating to public order, police and land.

A key provision of the Ordinance, which held that the Delhi Legislative Assembly (and consequently the Delhi Government) will not have powers over Entry 41 of List II of the 7th Schedule of the Constitution, which relates to services. Also, Section 3A nullified the effect of the Supreme Court.

Key features of Bill include:

National Capital Civil Services Authority

The Bill establishes the National Capital Civil Service Authority to recommend to the Lieutenant Governor (LG) of Delhi: (i) transfers and postings, (ii) matters related to vigilance, (iii) disciplinary proceedings, and (iv) prosecution sanctions of Group A officers of All India Services (except Indian Police Service), and officers of Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar, Lakshadweep, Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli (Civil) Services.  Officers serving in connection with the subjects of police, public order, and land will not come under the Authority’s purview.

The Authority will consist of the: (i) Chief Minister of Delhi as Chairperson, (ii) Principal Home Secretary of Delhi as Member Secretary, and (iii) Chief Secretary of the Delhi government as member. 

Powers of the Lieutenant Governor

It expands the discretionary role of the LG by giving him powers to approve the recommendations of the Authority, or return them for reconsideration.  The LG’s decision will be final in the case of a difference of opinion between him and the Authority.  Additionally, the LG has sole discretion over all his functions under the Bill.

Appointments and conditions of service

The Union Public Service Commission will recommend appointments for Group A and B gazetted posts.  Appointments to Group B and Group C non-gazetted posts will be recommended by the Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board. 

Group A includes senior management roles, Group B includes middle management roles, and Group C includes clerical assistance roles.  The central government may make rules to provide for tenure of office, qualification, salaries, powers and functions, transfer, and suspension of officers of the Delhi government.

Disposal of matters by Ministers

A Minister of the Delhi government may issue standing orders for disposal of matters brought to his attention.  The order should be issued in consultation with the concerned Department Secretary.  Certain matters must be submitted to the LG, through the Chief Minister and the Chief Secretary, for his opinion prior to issuing any orders.  These include proposals affecting: (i) the peace and tranquillity of Delhi, (ii) relations between the Delhi government and the central government, Supreme Court, or any state government, (iii) summoning, prorogation, and dissolution of the Legislative Assembly, and (iv) matters where the LG is to give an order in his sole discretion.

Power to appoint:

Under the Bill, the power to appoint authorities, boards, commissions, statutory bodies, or office bearers will lie with: (i) the President for any law of Parliament, and (ii) the LG for any law of Delhi legislature, based on the recommendation of the Authority.

Duties of Secretaries:

Additionally, the concerned Department Secretary must bring certain matters to the notice of the LG, the Chief Minister, and the Chief Secretary.  These include matters which may bring the Delhi Government into controversy with the central or any state government, the Supreme Court, or High Court of Delhi.

Key Issues and Analysis

  1. Conferring powers over the transfer and posting of officers to the Authority may break the triple chain of accountability that links the civil services, ministers, the legislature and citizens.  This may violate the principle of parliamentary democracy, which is a part of the basic structure doctrine.
  2. The LG has been granted sole discretion in several matters including when the Legislative Assembly will convene.  This implies that the Chief Minister may be unable to convene a session needed for essential government business.
  3. Department secretaries will bring certain matters directly to the LG, Chief Minister and the Chief Secretary, without consulting the concerned minister.   This may go against the collective responsibility of the Cabinet, as the concerned ministers cannot provide his inputs.

Current Affair 2:
Revamped Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan (RGSA)


Read the background.

Not its “Revamped”. From 2022 to 2026. Read introduction:

RGSA is proposed to be implemented as a core Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS).

It is under Ministry of Panchayati Raj.

Current Affair 3:
The National Nursing and Midwifery Commission Bill, 2023


These bills are not very important, but then you cannot ignore them. UPSC is touching the untouched part.

It was passed recently in Parliament.

It repeals the Indian Nursing Council Act, 1947.  The Bill provides for the regulation and maintenance of standards of education and services for nursing and midwifery professionals. 

Key features of the Bill are:

National Nursing and Midwifery Commission: The Bill provides for the constitution of the National Nursing and Midwifery Commission.  It will consist of 29 members.  The chairperson should have a postgraduate degree in nursing and midwifery and have at least 20 years of field experience. 


Functions of Commission:

Functions of the Commission include: (i) framing policies and regulating standards for nursing and midwifery education, (ii) providing a uniform process for admission into nursing and midwifery institutions, (iii) regulating nursing and midwifery institutions, and (iv) providing standards for faculty in teaching institutions.

Autonomous boards:

The Bill provides for the constitution of three autonomous boards under the supervision of the National Commission. These are:

  1. the Nursing and Midwifery Undergraduate and Postgraduate Education Board, to regulate education and examination at undergraduate and postgraduate levels;
  2. the Nursing and Midwifery Assessment and Rating Board, to provide the framework for assessing and rating nursing and midwifery institutions; and
  3.  the Nursing and Midwifery Ethics and Registration Board, to regulate professional conduct and promote ethics in the profession.

State Nursing and Midwifery Commissions: Every state government must constitute a State Nursing and Midwifery Commission where no such Commission exists under state law.  It will consist of 10 members. The members will include representatives from the health department, from any nursing or midwifery college of the state, and nursing and midwifery professionals.

Functions of the State Commission include: (i) enforcing professional conduct, code of ethics and etiquette, (ii) maintaining state registers for registered professionals, (iii) issuing certificates of specialisation, and (iv) providing for skill-based examination.  Appeals against decisions taken by state commissions may be filed with the Ethics and Registration Board.  Decisions taken by the Board will be binding on the State Commission unless a second appeal is filed with the National Commission.

Establishment of nursing or midwifery institutions: Permission of the Assessment and Rating Board would be needed to establish a new nursing and midwifery institution, increase the number of seats, or start any new postgraduate course.

Practicing as a professional: The Ethics and Registration Board will maintain an online Indian Nurses and Midwives’ Register, containing the details and qualifications of professionals and associates.   Individuals must be enrolled in the National or State Register to practice nursing or midwifery as qualified professional.  Failure to comply may result in imprisonment of up to one year, a fine of up to five lakh rupees, or both.





Current Affair 4:
Chandrayaan-3 and Russia’s Luna-25 rocket


Interesting news:

Almost a month after India’s Chandrayaan-3 was sent to the moon on 14 July, Russia launched its own moon-landing rocket. But the Russian Luna-25 is expected to land on the moon on 21 August, two before Chandrayaan, even though the latter reached the lunar orbit on 5 August, much before Luna-25 was even launched. Luna-25 is a lunar lander, which is also scheduled to land near the lunar South Pole.

The answer lies not exactly in engineering, but more in fuel. As a result, India is able to save costs to a great degree when compared to similar missions.

The situation is reminiscent of the 2013-2014 Martian launch season, when Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO’s) Mangalyaan launched on 5 November, 2013, and reached Mars orbit on 24 September, 2014, while NASA’s Atlas V (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution or MAVEN) launched on 18 November, 2013, and entered Martian orbit on 21 September, 2014.

Raising orbits

When launching anything to space, every single gram of both payload and rocket affects the amount of fuel it needs to carry.

Indian launch vehicles such as PSLV (Mangalyaan), GSLV, and LVM3 (Chandrayaan-2, 3) are much smaller in size and volume than Atlas V or Russian space agency Roscosmos’s Soyuz (Luna missions).

Atlas V can carry 18,850 kg to low earth orbit (LEO) and 8,900 to a geosynchronous orbit (GTO or geostationary orbit). By comparison, PSLV, which carried Mangalyaan, can lift 3,800 kg to LEO and 1,200 kg to GTO.

While Atlas V had the ability to fly directly to Mars, the PSLV had to undergo a series of orbit raising manoeuvres around earth. This conserves fuel by utilising earth’s gravity to increase height, thus, climbing higher and higher in subsequent orbits, eventually reaching high enough to break away from earth’s gravity.

This is the reason why MAVEN reached Martian orbit earlier, despite launching after Mangalyaan, which took 10 days to raise its orbit and break away to Mars on 30 November. By contrast, MAVEN exited earth orbit immediately upon launch on 18 November, shooting towards Mars at a higher speed than Mangalyaan.

This is like what is happening to Luna-25 and Chandrayaan-3, but at the other end of the journey.

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