Current Affairs Analysis

2nd January 2016 Current Affairs Analysis

By IT's Current Affairs Analysis Team
January 02, 2016



Polity & Governance

  • Shyam Benegal to head panel to revamp Censor Board


  • Committee set up to Review Wage Structure of Gramin Dak Sevaks
  • Expert Panel warns against ‘Swiss Challenge’ route

Also in News

  • 2015 Sangita Kalanidhi award conferred to Carnatic vocalist Sanjay Subrahmanyam

Polity & Governance

Shyam Benegal to head panel to revamp Censor Board

The Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry has constituted a committee, headed by the film-maker Shyam Benegal, to suggest measures to help Central Board of Film Certification members understand the nuances of film certification.

  • Ministry tasked the Mr. Benegal committee with recommending broad guidelines and procedures under the Cinematograph Act for the benefit of the chairperson and members of the screening committee.
  • The committee is expected to submit its recommendations within two months.
  • The committee would also look into the CBFC’s staffing pattern so as to recommend a framework for efficient, transparent and user-friendly services.
  • The other members are Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Piyush Pandey, Bhawana Somaaya and Nina Lath Gupta. Sanjay Murthy, Joint Secretary (Films), Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, is member-convener.

About the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC):

The Central Board of Film Certification (often referred to as the Censor Board) is a statutory censorship and classification body under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India.

  • It is tasked with “regulating the public exhibition of films under the provisions of the Cinematograph Act 1952“.
  • It assigns certifications to films, television shows, television ads, and publications for exhibition, sale or hire in India.
  • Films can be publicly exhibited in India only after they are certified by the Board.
  • The Board consists of non-official members and a Chairman (all of whom are appointed by Central Government) and functions with headquarters at Mumbai.
  • The members of the panels are nominated by Central Government by drawing people from different walks of life for a period of 2 years.
  • At present films are certified under 4 categories
  1. U: Unrestricted Public Exhibition
  2. UA: Unrestricted Public Exhibition – but with a word of caution that Parental discretion required for children below 12 years
  3. A: Restricted to adults
  4. S: Restricted to any special class of persons

[Courtesy: Hindu, Wiki, cbfcindia]




Committee set up to Review Wage Structure of Gramin Dak Sevaks

A one man Committee to examine the wage structure, service conditions, etc. of the Gramin Dak Sevaks in the Department of Posts has been constituted by the Government of India.

  • Kamlesh Chandra, a retired member of Postal Services Board, will constitute the committee.

Terms of reference of the committee:

  • To examine the system of Branch Post Offices, engagement conditions and the existing structure of wage and enrolments paid to the Gramin Dak Sevaks and recommend necessary changes;
  • To review the existing facilities/welfare measures provided to the Gramin Dak Sevaks and suggest necessary changes;
  • To review the existing Services Discharge Benefits Scheme/other social security benefits for the Gramin Dak Sevaks and suggest necessary changes;
  • To examine and suggest any changes in the method of engagement, minimum qualification for engagement as Gramin Dak Sevaks and their conduct and disciplinary rules, particularly keeping in view the proposed induction of technology in the Rural Post Offices.

About Gramin Dak Sevaks (GDS):

  • They are extra-departmental agents recruited by the Department of Posts (DoP) to serve in rural areas.
  • The Department of Post has 2.6 lakh Gramin Dak Sevaks.
  • All these GDSs will come under the purview of GDS Committee.

[Courtesy: PIB]

Expert Panel warns against ‘Swiss Challenge’ route

An expert committee has warned the government against using ‘Swiss Challenge’ approach for infrastructure investments.

  • In its report on ‘Revisiting and Revitalising the PPP model of infrastructure development, the panel led by the former Finance Secretary, Vijay Kelkar, had discouraged the government from following the ‘Swiss Challenge’ model of auctioning infrastructure projects.

Incidentally, the Centre had already approved the use of this model for redeveloping 400 railway stations.


  • India plans to build 18,637 km expressways in a phased manner by 2022 under an official Master Plan for the National Expressway Network. An express highway is a controlled-access highway, generally six-lane or more, where entrance and exit are controlled by the use of slip roads.
  • The Union government has identified building 16 Greenfield expressways at present. However, some of the projects put on priority are not being bid using the ‘Swiss Challenge’ route.
  • As per the master plan, the government was keen on taking the ‘Swiss Challenge’ route to find bidders for building around 19,000 km expressways as it is a difficult task to find builders to develop Greenfield expressways.


According to the panel, Swiss Challenge approaches bring information asymmetries in the procurement process and result in lack of transparency and in the fair and equal treatment of potential bidders in the procurement process.

What is ‘Swiss challenge’ approach?

  • Swiss challenge method is a process of giving contracts. Any person with credentials can submit a development proposal to the government.
  • That proposal will be made online and a second person can give suggestions to improve and beat that proposal.
  • It is a method where third parties make offers (challenges) for a project within a designated period to avoid exaggerated project costs.

[Courtesy: Hindu, Wiki]

Also in News

2015 Sangita Kalanidhi award conferred to Carnatic vocalist Sanjay Subrahmanyam

Carnatic vocalist from India, Sanjay Subrahmanyam has been conferred with the prestigious 2015 Sangita Kalanidhi award.

  • For his outstanding achievements in Carnatic music, Sanjay was bestowed with the prestigious award by the renowned Mathematician, Manjul Bhargava at 89th annual conference of the Madras Music Academy in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

About Sanjay Subrahmanyan:

  • He has been the subject to a documentary film on his life, titled ‘Aaraar aasaippadaar’
  • He is an ‘A Top’ Grade artist in All India Radio (AIR)

About the award:

  • The Sangita Kalanidhi is the highest honour given to Carnatic musicians in India.
  • Not only singers, but instrumentalists of Carnatic music also receive the award.
  • The award was initially not named Sangita Kalanidhi, it was given the name only in 1942.

[Courtesy: Hindu, IT]

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