1) Article 103: If any question arises as to whether a member of either House of Parliament has become subject to any of the disqualifications mentioned in clause (1) of article 102, the question shall be referred for the decision of the President and his decision shall be final.
- Before giving any decision on any such question, the President shall obtain the opinion of the Election Commission and shall act according to such opinion.
- Under Article 102 (1) and Article 191 (1) of the Constitution, an MP or an MLA (or an MLC) is barred from holding any office of profit under the central or state government.
2) TV Somanatha committee: With demand growing for the old pension system (OPS) with assured benefits, the Centre announced to set up a committee headed by finance secretary TV Somanathan to explore ways to salvage pension reforms, by treading a middle path between the fiscally-imprudent OPS and the reform-oriented National Pension System (NPS).
3) Power of Siberia: It is a massive 3000km gas pipeline linking one of the most remote parts of Russia with a far-flung region of China.
- Under this pipeline project, Russia will deliver 1 trillion cubic meters of natural gas to China over the next 30 years. The pipeline will pass through the deltas of the Yangtze and Amur rivers of China. It is the first cross-border gas pipeline between Russia and China.
4) Section 8 of the Representation of The People Act (RPA) 1951: It deals with disqualification for conviction of offences.
- Disqualification is triggered for conviction under certain offences listed in Section 8(1). Section 8(1) includes certain specific offences such as promoting enmity between two groups, bribery and undue influence or personation at an election. Defamation does not fall under this list.
- Section 8(3) of the RPA mandates that an MP can be disqualified if convicted and sentenced to not less than two years of imprisonment.
- As per Section 8(4) of the RPA the disqualification takes effect only after three months have elapsed from the date of conviction. Within that period, the convicted lawmaker could have filed an appeal against the sentence before a higher court.
- However, this provision was struck down as “unconstitutional” in the SC’s landmark 2013 ruling in ‘Lily Thomas v Union of India’. Simply filing an appeal will not be enough but the convicted MP must secure a specific order of stay against the conviction of the trial court. In 2018, in ‘Lok Prahari v Union of India’ case, the SC clarified that the disqualification will not operate from the date of the stay of conviction by the appellate court.
5) MARBURG VIRUS: A highly virulent disease causing haemorrhagic fever, it has a fatality ratio of up to 88% and is of the same family as the virus that causes Ebola virus disease i.e family Filoviridae.
- It is endemic in arid woodlands of equatorial Africa. Fruit bats of the Pteropodidae Family are the key carriers of the disease. It typically infects humans following prolonged exposure to mines or caves inhabited by Rousettus bat colonies.
- Human-to-human transmission takes place through direct contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people.
- There are no approved vaccinesor antiviral treatments for the virus yet.
- It was first detected in 1967 after simultaneous outbreaks in Marburg and Frankfurt in Germany; and in Belgrade, Serbia. Since then, there have been 12 major outbreaks.