Current Affairs India Notes - 04th July 2013

40 per cent of global population online

While India inches towards 13 per cent Internet penetration with roughly 160 million users, nearly 40 per cent of the global population or 2.7 billion people are already online in 2013, according to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

Cabinet cleared Food Bill Ordinance

Despite political opposition, the Union government decided to issue an ordinance to give the two-thirds of the population the right to get 5 kg of grain every month at subsidised rates of Rs.1-3 a kg. Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a proposal to promulgate an ordinance on the National Food Security Bill that seeks to give legal rights to 67 per cent of the population over subsidised grains every month. 

The beneficiaries will be identified by the States, which will also implement the programme under the Targeted Public Distribution Scheme. The ordinance will guarantee 5 kg of rice or wheat or millets a beneficiary a month at a discounted rate of Rs. 3, Rs. 2 and Re. 1 respectively. However, 2.43 crore Antyodaya Anna Yojna (poorest of the poor) beneficiaries will continue to get their legal entitlement of 35 kg a household a month.

CBI to have functional autonomy

The Union government on Wednesday informed the Supreme Court that the CBI will be given functional autonomy and its Director and other officers will be appointed by a committee comprising the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and the Chief Justice of India or a judge nominated by him. A significant feature is the setting up of an Accountability Commission by the President. It will have three retired Supreme Court or High Court judges as whole time members and the seniormost among them will be designated as the chairperson. 

The Central Vigilance Commissioner will be the ex-officio member of the Commission, whose members will hold office for three years. The Commission will have the power to entertain and inquire into allegations of misbehaviour, incapacity, impropriety or irregularity on the part of an officer or an employee of the CBI either on a complaint or on a reference from the Centre.

Mandela’s health in perilous condition

Nelson Mandela is in a “perilous” condition on life support in hospital. The bleak assessment of the anti-apartheid icon’s health came in papers submitted by his relatives on June 28 as part of legal efforts to retrieve the remains of three of Mr. Mandela’s children.