President for simultaneous Lok Sabha, Assembly polls

President Pranab Mukherjee said on January 25 that simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and the State assemblies could substantially reduce inconvenience in poll management and expenditure.
Details:
  • Speaking at the 7th National Voters’ Day event, the President said the reform was possible if the Election Commission (EC) took the initiative and the political parties arrived at a consensus to make necessary amendments to the Constitution.

Padma Awards 2017

The government announced Padma awards to citizens of the country in recognition of their distinguished contribution in various spheres.

T.N.’s new jallikattu law faces challenge in Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on January 25 agreed to hear a plea by the Animal Welfare Board of India, Compassion Unlimited Plus Action and animal rights activists to stay the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Tamil Nadu Amendment) Bill, 2017 passed by the State Assembly.
Petitioner’s arguments:
  • The challenge termed the amendment a “fraud” on the Constitution and a violation of a 2014 Supreme Court judgment, which had declared jallikattu as an “inherently cruel” event practised on bulls.

69% of political funds from unknown sources

The report of an analysis done by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) on the income of national parties was recently released.

Highlights of the report:
  • The total income of national and regional political parties between 2004-05 and 2014-15 stood at ₹11,367 crore, with the highest of ₹3,982 crore being the Congress’s share. However, 69% of the income of these parties was from unknown sources.

Govt launches Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana

The Union Cabinet has given its post-facto approval for the launch of the Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana 2017.
 
Key facts:
  • The scheme will be implemented through Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) during the current financial year.