News Feed 26-July ‘2016

SC for Minimum Qualification Marks to Become a Judge

  • Supreme Court declared that for selection of a judge, there has to be a minimum qualification and refused to consider a petition that sought a lesser qualification benchmark for Scheduled Caste (SC) candidates in the Haryana Judicial Service Exam.
  • The top court was of the view that there should be minimum qualification marks for being a judge.
  • The committee headed by Chief Justice T.S. Thakur and Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud said that, “For selecting a judge, there has to be a minimum qualification. There has to be a benchmark, just because one is a Scheduled Caste, the same cannot be done away with.”
  • The petitioner who filed the case was NGO Volunteers for Social Justice which had challenged the verdict of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to keep 45 per cent as the qualification mark for SC candidates. The same standard was prescribed for Backward Caste candidates as well.
  • The NGO had challenged the Punjab and Haryana High Court decision to keep 45 per cent as the qualification marks for SC candidates which was also for Backward Caste candidates. The High Court had dismissed the plea of the NGO.


U.S., India may sign logistics pact

  • Taking a step forward in the India-U.S. defense dialogue, senior U.S. defense officials are visiting India during which the logistics pact, the text for which has already been finalized, is in spotlight in addition to high technology collaboration.
  • According to official reports, U.S. Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology & Logistics Frank Kendall will be in India on a three-day visit.
  • While the focus will be on the evolving high technology and co-development projects under the Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI), the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Understanding (LEMOA), a logistics accord facilitating the exchange of fuel and supplies at each other’s facilities, could be signed.


SC, Stand OBC candidates require 50% for eligibility in NET

  • The HRD ministry has announced that the candidates belonging to categories such as SC, ST and OBC and have secured at least 50% marks in Master’s degree from any recognized institutions are entitled for appearing in the National Eligibility Test (NET). This news was shared by Minister of State in the HRD Mahendra Nath Pandey in a written reply in Lok Sabha.
  • University Grants Commission (UGC) has informed that the candidates belonging to the Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs) and Other Backward Classes (OBCs) categories, who have secured at least 50% marks (without rounding off) in Master’s degree or equivalent examination from universities or institutions, recognized by UGC, are eligible for appearing in NET.
  • The UGC (Minimum qualifications for appointment of teachers and other academic staff in universities and colleges and measures for the maintenance of standards in higher education) (4th Amendment), Regulations, 2016 prescribe 5% relaxation in minimum eligibility marks of 55% marks for candidates belonging to SC, ST and OBC categories for direct recruitment to teaching positions.


National Health Policy: Cabinet note proposes assured services to all

  • Pitching for “assured health services to all”, the Union Health Ministry has prepared a note on the draft National Health Policy which is expected to be taken up by the Cabinet next month.
  • The proposed National Health Policy, which has been pending for the past two years, aims to provide assured health services to people as an “entitlement”.
  • According to a senior official belonging to the health ministry, “The Cabinet note has been prepared. It is with the Health Minister. As soon as it is signed, it will be sent to the Union Cabinet”.
  • He said, the Cabinet note does not talk about making health a “fundamental right” as it will have “legal consequences”, but talks about assured health services.
  • The Ministry is also learnt have held numerous rounds of discussions with various stakeholders, including various government departments and States.
  • The representative said the draft National Health Policy had earlier stated that health will be a fundamental right but in the present note, the government has proposed “assured services” as entitlement.
  • Under the draft National Health Policy, 2015, it was proposed that the Centre will endorse a National Health Rights Act, which will guarantee health as a fundamental right and whose denial will be “justiciable”.

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