GS Paper I- History and Geography of the World and Society.

Indian-Origin Man J.Y. Pillay Appointed Singapore’s Acting President.

Background-

  • J Y Pillay, an Indian-origin veteran civil servant, was  appointed as Singapore’s acting president on 1st September, 2017 until a new head of state is sworn in later this month.
  • Mr. Pillay, 83, took over from Tony Tan Keng Yam who completed a six-year term on 31st August, 2017.
  • Mr. Pillay, chairman of the Council of Presidential Advisers (CPA), will act as the president until after polling day on Septemeber 23 — or after nomination day on September 13, 2017  if a candidate is elected unopposed.

Highlights Of The Development–

  • When the office of President is vacant, the first in line to exercise its powers is the CPA chairman, followed by the Speaker of Parliament.
  • This is the first time the office has fallen vacant since the elected presidency was introduced in 1991, according to report.
  • Mr. Pillay is no stranger to exercising the powers of the president. He has been the acting president every time the president goes on an overseas trip.
  • He acted as president in May, 2017 when Tan made state visits to Europe.
  • Mr. Pillay has served for more than 60 such “stints” — the longest of which was 16 days in April and May of 2007, when then president S R Nathan visited Africa.
  • Three candidates of Malay origins are expected to stand for election for the president’s post is reserved this time for a minority group representation at the highest office of the land.

Sources- The Hindu.

GS Paper II- International Relations.

Donald Trump Nominates Kenneth Juster As New US Envoy To India.

Background

  • US President Donald Trump has sent Kenneth Ian Juster’s nomination to the US Senate for the next American ambassador to India.
  • A confirmation hearing of the Senate on his nomination is likely to be scheduled to be held soon.
  • Mr Juster, 62, played a key role in the Indo-US ties under the Bush Administration. He would replace Richard Verma as the top American diplomat to India if his name is confirmed.

Highlights Of The Development-

  • The position has been vacant since January 20, 2017 after Mr Verma put in his papers as Donald Trump took over as the US president.
  • Mr Juster served as the under secretary of commerce for industry and security from 2001 to 2005 and was also the deputy assistant to President Trump for the International Economic Affairs and Deputy Director of National Economic Council from January-June, 2017.
  • On 1st September, 2017, the president had announced his intent to nominate Kenneth Juster as his top envoy to India. The nomination was sent by him to the Senate on 5th September, 2017.
  • In the private sector, he has been a partner at the investment firm Warburg Pincus LLC, Executive Vice President at Salesforce.com, and senior partner at the law firm Arnold & Porter.
  • He has also served as Chairman of Harvard University’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, and as Vice Chairman of The Asia Foundation.
  • Juster holds a law degree from the Harvard Law School, a master’s degree in Public Policy from the John F Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, and a bachelor’s degree in Government from Harvard College.

Sources- NDTV.

GS Paper III- Security.

Nirmala Sitharaman 2nd Woman Defence Minister After Indira Gandhi.

Background

  • Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday, 7th September, 2017  took charge of the defence ministry, becoming the first full-time woman defence minister of the country.
  • She took charge in the presence of her predecessor Arun Jaitley who was given the additional charge of the key ministry in March, 2017 after Manohar Parrikar quit the union cabinet to become the chief minister of Goa.
  • Sitharaman was elevated to the cabinet rank on Sunday, 3rd September, 2017 and given the defence portfolio.

Highlights Of The Development-

  • Sitharaman became the first full-time woman defence minister and the second woman to take charge of the key portfolio. Indira Gandhi, as then prime minister, had also held the portfolio in the seventies: first in 1975 and again in 1980-82.
  • As the defence minister, Sitharaman will be a member of the crucial cabinet committee on Security whose members include the Prime Minister, the home minister, the external affairs minister and the finance minister.
  • Madurai-born Sitharaman, who was earlier minister of state for commerce, has a masters in economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and has worked for PwC, London and briefly with BBC World Service.
  • She joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2008, and was made a member of the national executive and was nominated as party spokesperson in 2010.
  • The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) will now have two women members after Sitharaman’s addition, the other being Sushma Swaraj. Prime Minister Modi leads the CCS with finance minister Arun Jaitely and home minister Rajnath Singh as other members.
  • On Sunday, 10th September, 2017, Sitharaman will travel to Goa to flag off the all-women sailing expedition. She will be accompanied by Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba.

 

Sources- Hindustantimes.