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14TH & 15TH SEPTEMBER DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS COMPILATION FOR UPSC PRELIMS

UPSC PRELIMS& MAINS

14TH SEPTEMBER,2020:

QUESTION HOUR:

  • The first hour of every parliamentary sitting is termed as Question hour.  
  • It is mentioned in the Rules of Procedure of the House.  
  • It is during Question hour that the members ask questions and the ministers usually give answers. 

Significance:  

  • The questions that MPs ask are designed to elicit information and trigger suitable action by ministries.  
  • Over the last 70 years, MPs have successfully used this parliamentary device to shine a light on government functioning.  
  • Their questions have exposed financial irregularities and brought data and information regarding government functioning to the public domain.  
  • With the broadcasting of Question Hour since 1991, Question Hour has become one of the most visible aspects of parliamentary functioning.

ZERO HOUR:

  •  Zero Hour is the time when Members of Parliament (MPs) can raise Issues of Urgent Public Importance. 
    •  The Zero Hour starts at 12 noon immediately following the Question Hour.  
  • For raising matters during the Zero Hour, MPs must give the notice before 10 am to the Speaker/Chairman on the day of the sitting.
  •  The notice must state the subject they wish to raise in the House.  
  • However, Speaker, Lok Sabha/Chairman, Rajya Sabha may allow or decline a Member to raise a matter of importance. 
  • ‘Zero Hour’ is not mentioned in the Rules of Procedure. It is an Indian parliamentary innovation.  
  • Thus, it is an informal device available to MPs to raise matters without any notice 10 days in advance.  
  • This is because, generally, the matters are of public importance and such matters cannot wait for 10 days.

15TH SEPTEMBER,2020:

CONTEMPT OF COURT:

  • Contempt of Court refers to the offence of showing disrespect to the dignity or authority of a court.
  • The objective for contempt is stated to be to safeguard the interests of the public if the authority of the Court is denigrated and public confidence in the administration of justice is weakened or eroded.
  • The Supreme Court and High Courts derive their contempt powers from the Constitution.
  • The Contempt of Court Act, 1971, outlines the procedure in relation to investigation and punishment for contempt.
  • The Act divides contempt into civil and criminal contempt.Civil contempt refers to the willful disobedience of an order of any court.
    • Criminal contempt includes any act or publication which:
      • Scandalises the court,
      • Prejudices any judicial proceeding
      • Interferes with the administration of justice in any other manner.
  • ‘Scandalising the Court’ broadly refers to statements or publications which have the effect of undermining public confidence in the judiciary.

Inflation:  

  • Inflation refers to the rise in the prices of most goods and services of daily or common use, such as food, clothing, housing, recreation, transport, consumer staples, etc.  
  • Inflation measures the average price change in a basket of commodities and services over time.  
  • Inflation is indicative of the decrease in the purchasing power of a unit of a country’s currency. 
  • This could ultimately lead to a deceleration in economic growth.
  •  However, a moderate level of inflation is required in the economy to ensure that production is promoted.  
  • In India, inflation is primarily measured by two main indices — WPI (Wholesale Price Index) and CPI (Consumer Price Index) which measure wholesale and retail-level price changes, respectively. 

Consumer Price Index:  

  • It measures price changes from the perspective of a retail buyer. It is released by the National Statistical Office (NSO).  
  • The CPI calculates the difference in the price of commodities and services such as food, medical care, education, electronics etc, which Indian consumers buy for use.  
  • The CPI has several sub-groups including food and beverages, fuel and light, housing and clothing, bedding and footwear.  
  • Four types of CPI are as follows: 
    • CPI for Industrial Workers (IW). 
    • CPI for Agricultural Labourer (AL). 
    • CPI for Rural Labourer (RL). 
    • CPI (Rural/Urban/Combined). 

Of these, the first three are compiled by the Labour Bureau in the Ministry of Labour and Employment. 

  • Fourth is compiled by the National Statistical Office (NSO) in the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.  
  • Base Year for CPI is 2012.  
  • The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) uses CPI data to control inflation.

 Wholesale Price Index:  

  • It measures the changes in the prices of goods sold and traded in bulk by wholesale businesses to other businesses.  
  • Published by the Office of Economic Adviser, Ministry of Commerce and Industry.  
  • It is the most widely used inflation indicator in India.  
  • Major criticism for this index is that the general public does not buy products at wholesale price.  
  • The base year of All-India WPI has been revised from 2004-05 to 2011-12 in 2017. 

CPI vs. WPI:

  •  WPI, tracks inflation at the producer level and CPI captures changes in prices levels at the consumer level.  
  • WPI does not capture changes in the prices of services, which CPI does. 
  •  In April 2014, the RBI had adopted the CPI as its key measure of inflation.

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