16 July, 2019

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Finance Commission of India

GS-II Paper: Finance Commission of India


Cabinet approves extension of the term of the Fifteenth Finance Commission up to 30th November, 2019.

What is Finance Commission?

The Finance Commission is constituted by the President under article 280 of the Constitution, mainly to give its recommendations on distribution of tax revenues between the Union and the States and amongst the States themselves.

What are the functions of Finance Commission?

  • It is the duty of the Commission to make recommendations to the President as to.
  • The principles which should govern the grants-in-aid of the revenues of the States out of the Consolidated Fund of India.
  • The distribution between the Union and the States of the net proceeds of taxes which are to be, or may be, divided between them and the allocation between the States of the respective shares of such proceeds.
  • Any other matter referred to the Commission by the President in the interests of sound finance.

Who appoints the Finance Commission and what are the qualifications for Members?

The Finance Commission appointed by President under Art.280 of the Constitution. The Chairman of the Commission is selected from among persons who have had experience in public affairs, and the four other members are selected from among persons who:

  • Are qualified to be appointed as Judges of a High Court.
  • Have special knowledge of the finances and accounts of Government.
  • Have had wide experience in financial matters and in administration.
  • Have special knowledge of economics.

Recommendations of the Finance Commission are implemented as under:

Those to be implemented by an order of the President: The recommendations relating to distribution of Union Taxes and Duties and Grants-in-aid fall in this category. Those to be implemented by executive orders: Other recommendations to be made by the Finance Commission, as per its terms of Reference.

Why is there a need for a finance commission?

The Indian federal system allows for the division of power and responsibilities between the centre and states. Correspondingly, the taxation powers are also broadly divided between the centre and states. State legislatures may devolve some of their taxation powers to local bodies.

Source: The Hindu

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International Solar Alliance

GS-II Paper: International Solar Alliance


Palau has become the 76th country signatory country to join the International Solar Alliance.


The agreement of the International Solar Alliance was open for signature during the COP22 at Marrakech on November 15, 2016. The signatories of the agreement include India, France, Australia, UAE, UK, Japan amongst others.

About International Solar Alliance:

  • The International Solar Alliance (ISA) is an alliance of more than 122 countries initiated by India, most of them being sunshine countries, which lie either completely or partly between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, now extended to all members of UN.
  • The Paris Declaration establishes ISA as an alliance dedicated to the promotion of solar energy among its member countries.

Objectives: The ISA’s major objectives include global deployment of over 1,000GW of solar generation capacity and mobilisation of investment of over US$ 1000 billion into solar energy by 2030.

What it does? As an action-oriented organisation, the ISA brings together countries with rich solar potential to aggregate global demand, thereby reducing prices through bulk purchase, facilitating the deployment of existing solar technologies at scale, and promoting collaborative solar R&D and capacity building.

When it entered into force? When the ISA Framework Agreement entered into force on December 6th, 2017, ISA formally became a de-jure treaty based International Intergovernmental Organization, headquartered at Gurugram, India.

Source: The Hindu

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Internet Saathi programme

GS-III: Internet Saathi programme


Google and Tata Trusts are set to expand their ‘Internet Saathi’ digital literacy programme for rural women to villages in Punjab and Odisha.

Coverage: Currently, the programme has reach of 2.6 lakh villages across 18 states. On adding Punjab and Odisha the programme will now extend its reach to 20 states in India.

About Internet Saathi:

It is joint initiative of Google India and Tata Trusts.

It aims to facilitate digital literacy among women in rural India.

The programme aims to train Saathis in villages that can in turn help educate other women from their village in the use of the internet.

Significance of the initiative:

It has contributed towards bridging digital gender divide in rural India. Women trained under this initiative have started their own micro-business such as stitching, honeybee farming, and beauty parlours. Many under programme are also driving awareness for issues like girl child education, menstrual hygiene and more within their communities

Source: The Hindu

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