Important Committees you must Know Part I

By | February 11, 2021
Important Committees you must Know

Introduction

For the purpose of GK and most importantly, to prepare for a competition exam, you must possess an idea about important committees and commissions in India. The important committees and commission have been formulated out over the years by the government, government bodies, and other organizations with a particular aim to deal with specific situations or review any prior prevailing regulation in situ. These committees are formed by the central government or an autonomous body for a particular purpose and are headed by a chairperson who led the efforts towards formulation, recommendation, and task implementation of that purpose.

In this article, we have prepared the list of important committees you must know Part I. each of the below-mentioned committees has significant importance in the governance of the country and is crucial to know from the competition point of view.

List of the Important Committees

  1. Suresh Mathur Committee

Insurance sector regulator IRDA constituted a ten-member committee to be headed by IRDA Senior Joint Director Suresh Mathur, to look into a possibility of enhancing FDI in insurance intermediaries and third-party administrators. The committee was formed with a view to examine the issue of FDI in insurance intermediaries and TPAs and recommend further course of action. It has to study similar international practices and examine the possible extent to which FDI limit can be increased in intermediaries.[1]

  • Year of Establishment: 2014
  • Purpose: To suggest ways to enhance FDI in insurance intermediaries and TPAs.
  1. Anil Kaushal Committee

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has formed a 9-member committee chaired by its member, Anil Kaushal to examine the recommendations made by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on the pricing of spectrum in 800, 900 and 1,800 MHz bands to be allocated through an auction in the country’s interests as well as the service providers.[2]

  • Year of Establishment: 2013
  • Purpose: To examine the recommendations made by the TRAI on the pricing of spectrum
  1. Urjit Patel Committee

The expert committee, headed by Urjit R. Patel, Deputy Governor of the RBI, was appointed to examine the RBI monetary policy framework. The committee suggested that the apex bank adopt the new Consumer Price Index (CPI) to measure the nominal anchor for policy communication. It further noted that the inflation should be the nominal anchor for the monetary policy framework and the nominal anchor or the target for inflation should be set at 4% with a band of +/- 2% around it.[3]

  • Year of Establishment: 2014
  • Purpose: To examine the current monetary policy framework
  1. Bimal Jalan Committee

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), in consultation with the central government, had constituted a Committee, under the chairmanship of Dr Bimal Jalan to review the current economic capital framework, in November 2018.[4] The Committee observed that there is no internationally laid down risk capital framework for central banks and the RBI’s central banking economic capital, at 26.8% of its balance sheet, is the fifth largest amongst central banks.

  • Year of Establishment: 2018
  • Purpose: To review the current economic capital framework
  1. Damodaran Committee

The RBI constituted the Damodaran committee to look into customer services in banks rendered to retail and small customers, including pensioners and also to look into the system of grievance redressal mechanism prevalent in banks, its structure and efficacy and suggest measures for expeditious resolution of complaints. It recommended a five-time increase in the cap of insurance cover deposits in Indian banks to Rs. 5 lakh due to rising income levels and increasing size of individual bank deposits.[5]

  • Year of Establishment: 2011
  • Purpose: On improvement of customer services in banks.
  1. Parthasarthy Shome Committee

The Tax Administration Reform Commission (TARC), chaired by Dr. Parthasarthy Shome was established by the Government of India in 2013 via a notification.[6] The chief mandate of the commission was to review the application of tax laws and tax policies in India with respect to the global best practices and to suggest measures for reforms needed in tax administration in order to augment its effectiveness and efficiency.

  • Year of Establishment: 2013
  • Purpose: For Tax Administration Reform Commission (TARC), suggest a system to enforce better tax compliance.
  1. Arvind Mayaram Committee

The Union Government constituted a 4-member committee headed by Economic Affairs Secretary, Arvind Mayaram to give clear definitions to FDI and FII, with an aim to remove ambiguity over the two types of foreign investment.[7] Committee had recommended the merger of the FII and Qualified Foreign Investors (QFI) regimes under the new “Foreign Portfolio Investors” (FPI) regime. Investment by any single investor or investor group under FPI cannot exceed 10% of the equity of an Indian company, beyond which it will now be treated as FDI.

  • Year of Establishment: 2013
  • Purpose: Provide clear definitions to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and Foreign Institutional Investment (FII).
  1. Shankaranand Committee (Joint Parliamentary Committee)

It is the first Joint Parliamentary Committee constituted by the Indian Parliament during the Rajiv Gandhi’s government regime. The committee was set up under the chairmanship of Congress leader B Shankaranand to probe into Bofors scandal and investigate the kickbacks allegations. The committee held 50 sittings and gave its report on April 26, 1988. Opposition parties boycotted the committee on the ground that it was packed with Congress members. The JPC report was tabled in the Parliament, but it was rejected by the Opposition.[8]

  • Year of Establishment: 1987
  • Purpose: To probe the Bofors scandal.
  1. Shah Nawaz Committee

In 1956, the government constituted a committee to look into the circumstances around Subhas Chandra Bose’s death with Shah Nawaz Khan as the head. The committee began its work in April 1956 and concluded four months later when two out of the three members (concluded that Bose had died in the airplane crash at Taihoku (Japanese for Taipei) in Formosa (now Taiwan), on 18 August 1945. They stated that his ashes were kept in Japan’s Renkoji Temple and should be reinstated to India.[9]

  • Year of Establishment: 1956
  • Purpose: To investigate the death of Subhash Chandra Bose.
  1. James Lyngdoh Committee

Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) appointed 6-member committee headed by former election commission J.M Lyndogh to give recommendations on student’s politics and student union elections.[10] The committee expressed strong observations about the need for organizational liberty and necessity of student-body elections and right of universities to decide the mode of election. The Lyngdoh committee recommendations designed to streamline the election process are broadly welcomed in the academic domain.

  • Year of Establishment: 2005
  • Purpose: Student politics and student-body elections in colleges.
  1. Thorat Committee

The Thorat Committee was set up by the Government of India in September 2006, to enquire into allegations of caste-based differential treatment of SC and ST students in the AIIMS campus. The committee’s report[11] exposed the horrors of caste-discrimination suffered at every level not only by the students but also by a handful of SC and ST faculties in the AIIMS Institute, which is considered one of the country’s premier educational institutions.

  • Year of Establishment: 2006
  • Purpose: Caste-based discrimination against students in AIIMS.
  1. K Raghavan Committee

Upon the Supreme Court order, MHRD set up a committee in 2006, headed by ex-CBI chief R.K Raghavan to submit its report on anti-ragging and suggest guidelines to control ragging. In its report 2007, the Raghavan Committee upheld ragging as an act of human right abuse and recommended the need for strong and uniform ragging law. Based on the committee recommendations[12], the Hon’ble Supreme Court ordered to ban ragging in colleges and universities.

  • Year of Establishment: 2006
  • Purpose: Ragging in colleges.
  1. M.S. Nachippan Committee

Shri E.M. Sudharsana Nachiappan Committee was set up to recommend reforms in the Higher Judiciary. The committee’s recommendation was of providing for reservation to SCs, STs and OBCs in the Higher Judiciary.[13]

  • Year of Establishment: 2007
  • Purpose: Reforms in the Higher judiciary
  1. Soli Sorabjee Committee

The central government set up the Police Act Drafting Committee under the chairmanship of Soli Sorabjee to draft a new model police law that could replace the Police Act, 1861. Soli Sorabjee committee was constituted after the Supreme Court’s judgment in Prakash Singh v. Union of India (2006) that raised various instances of abuse of power by the police and alleged that police personnel perform their duties in a politically partisan manner. In its judgment, the Supreme Court ordered the centre and states to set up authorities to lay down guidelines for police functioning, evaluate police performance, decide postings and transfers, and receive a complaint of police misconduct. The committee submitted the Model Police Act, 2006.[14]

  • Year of Establishment: 2005
  • Purpose: Police Reforms
  1. Ganguli Committee

The Ganguly Committee was set up to draft and review the course structure for full-time and distance education programmes in respect of health facility planning and healthcare engineering and management and submit the report to the Government. The Committee has recommended that the two courses be started in the country at the earliest: Master’s in Health Facility Planning & Designing and Masters in Healthcare Engineering Management.[15]

  • Year of Establishment: 2006
  • Purpose: Review of health facility planning and healthcare engineering and management
  1. Percy Mistry Committee

Centre appointed a High powered Expert Committee, headed by Percy Mistry to submit a report on making Mumbai as IFC. The committee in its report 2007 recommended that an International Financial Centre be ideated in Mumbai. This report’s recommendations largely drew on the fact that Mumbai already had a pool of professionals, institutions, banks, corporate headquarters, and markets.[16]

  • Year of Establishment: 2007
  • Purpose: Making Mumbai an IFC (International Financial Centre).
  1. T Thomas Committee

The Supreme Court in 2007 took suo moto cognizance of various instances where there was a large scale of destruction of public and private properties and set up a committee headed by former apex court judge Justice K T Thomas. The committee was set up to look into ways of enhancing the effectiveness of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, 1984. The Thomas Committee recommended reversing the burden of proof against protesters.[17]

  • Year of Establishment: 2007
  • Purpose: To look into ways of enhancing the effectiveness of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act.
  1. K. Pillai Committee

Vide the Ministry of Home Affairs’ order dated 26th February 2014, an expert committee was set up under the chairmanship of Shri G.K. Pillai, former Union Home Secretary to study and examine the demand of a separate state of Bodoland, which will be carved out from Assam. The demand for a separate Bodoland has identified following the decision of the government to form a new Telangana State.[18]

  • Year of Establishment: 2014
  • Purpose: To study and examine the demand of a separate State of Bodoland
  1. P. Bezbaruah Committee

The Ministry of Home Affairs constituted a Committee in February 2014 under the Chairmanship of Shri M.P. Bezbaruah, Member, North-Eastern Council 2014 after Nido Tania’s death 19-year-old student from Arunachal Pradesh. It was to look into concerns of the persons hailing from the North-Eastern states who are living in different parts of the country, especially the Metropolitan areas. The committee was also asked to suggest remedial measures which the government of India could implement.[19]

  • Year of Establishment: 2014
  • Purpose: To look into the various kinds of concerns of the persons hailing from the N-E States.
  1. Sachar Committee

In March 2005, the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had constituted a seven-member High-Level Committee headed by former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court Rajinder Sachar to study the social, economic and educational condition of Muslims in India.

The committee submitted its report in 2006 highlighting issues faced by the Muslim community and their representation in Indian public life and presented its suggestions on how to remove impediments those preventing Indian Muslims from fully participating in the economic, political, and social mainstream of Indian life. The report was the first of its kind to reveal the “backwardness” of Indian Muslims, concluding that the conditions facing Indian Muslims were below that of SCs and STs.[20]

  • Year of Establishment: 2005
  • Purpose: To prepare a report on the latest social, economic and educational conditions of the Muslims in India.
  1. Sudha Kaul Committee

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, vide notification dated 30th April 2010, constituted a Committee chaired by Dr Sudha Kaul.[21] The committee consists of members representing persons with disabilities, NGO’s and experts from the disability sector, to draft new legislation to replace the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 (“PwD Act”). The Committee was advised to ensure that the New Law should be in harmonisation with the UNCRPD and to in view of the provisions of the constitution and other laws.

  • Year of Establishment: 2010
  • Purpose: To consider various suggestions and views and to draft a Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2011
  1. Pitroda Committee

The government-appointed Pitroda Expert Committee was set up to chart a future for public radio and television Indian broadcaster Prasar Bharati. The Committee recommended amendments to the Prasar Bharati Act, 1990 to give “effective freedom to the public broadcaster with administrative and financial powers.”It further said a funding mechanism should be developed for Prasar Bharati to address the need for autonomy with financial accountability.[22]

  • Year of Establishment: 2013
  • Purpose: To review the institutional framework of Prasar Bharati.
  1. Mukul Mudgal Committee

Mudgal Committee is a 4-member committee, headed by former HC judge Mukul Mudgal to conduct an independent inquiry into the corruption allegations against BCCI chief N. Srinivasan’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan for being indulged in betting and spot-fixing in 2013 Indian Premier League matches and the involvement of players.[23]

  • Year of Establishment: 2014
  • Purpose: To examine the IPL spot-fixing scandal
  1. Bilal Nazaki Committee

The Central Government set up this High Powered Committee, chaired by Justice (Retd.) Bilal Nazaki, former Chief Justice of the Orissa High Court, to review the functioning of the Hajj Committee of India (HCOI), and its constituent States/Union Territories’ Hajj Committees. The committee was also asked to consider the suggestions or grievances made by those Committees to improve their performance and make the Hajj pilgrimage an efficient and smooth process.[24]

  • Year of Establishment: 2013
  • Purpose: To review the functioning of the Hajj Committee of India
  1. Amitabh Kundu Committee

Post Sachar Evaluation Committee, another committee was set up under Amitabh Kundu’s chairmanship to create anti-discrimination law for Muslims on the lines of SC/ ST Law. The committee submitted its recommendations both at the level of policy and in the context of specific programmes to promote India’s Muslim minority’s welfare and recommended formulation and enactment of a comprehensive Anti-Discrimination Legislation to prohibit discrimination based on disability, sex, caste, religion and other criteria.[25]

  • Year of Establishment: 2013
  • Purpose: To create anti-discrimination law for Muslims on the lines of SC/ ST Law.
  1. Nachiket Mor Committee

In 2013, Raghuram Rajan formed an expert committee, Committee on Comprehensive Financial Services for Small Businesses and Low-Income Households (commonly known as the Nachiket Mor Committee) to study various aspects of financial inclusion in India. The panel recommended the formation of a new category of banks called payment bank, to reach people and small businesses that don’t have access to banking services. These banks would have low entry requirements, and existing banks would be allowed to form subsidiaries under this category.[26]

  • Year of Establishment: 2013
  • Purpose: Comprehensive financial services for small business and low-income households
  1. J. Nayak Committee

The P J Nayak Committee or officially the Committee to Review Governance of Boards of Banks in India was set up by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to review the governance of the board of banks in India.[27] The Committee was set up in January 2014 with an aim to review the regulatory compliance requirements and issues pertinent to the functioning and governance of boards of banks in the country to evaluate what can be rationalized, to examine fit and proper criteria for directors, including their tenure and where requirements need to be enhanced.

  • Year of Establishment: 2014
  • Purpose: To review the governance of boards of banks
  1. Fali S. Nariman Committee

In 2007, the Supreme Court took suo moto cognizance on the issue of public and private properties’ destruction and set up a committee, headed by a senior advocate Fali Nariman to suggest changes to the law. The recommendations of this committee dealt with extracting damages for destruction to which court accepted them and ruled that the rioters should be made strictly liable and compensation must be collected for the damage done.[28]

  • Year of Establishment: 2007
  • Purpose: Accountability and damages with regard to the destruction of public property.
  1. Satwant Reddy Committee

This Inter-Ministerial Committee headed by Satwant Reddy was constituted on 10th February 2004 to assist the Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals (DCPC), for suggesting measures to be adopted in the context of data protection provisions. The aim was to review laws relating to the registration of pharmaceutical drugs and clinical trials, so the committee recommended strict five years and three years of data exclusivity protection in agro-chemicals and Traditional Medicines.

The most important observation made by the committee was in relation to the urgent need for data exclusivity for agro-chemicals compared to pharma products.[29]

  • Year of Establishment: 2007
  • Purpose: Review of laws relating to the registration of pharmaceutical drugs and clinical trials.
  1. Raghuram C. Rajan Committee

The Raghuram Rajan Committee was constituted by the Government of India in 2007 for proposing the next generation of financial sector reforms in India. The mandate of the committee was to take an overall view of the sector in making recommendations, highlighting links between needed reforms while offering a consistent underlying approach. The committee report[30] mainly concentrates on bank credit channels (BC) consisting of banks and financial institutions.

  • Year of Establishment: 2007
  • Purpose: Financial sector reforms.
  1. Shah Commission

On 23 April 1966, acting on the recommendation of the Hukam Singh Committee, the Indian government set up the Shah Commission under the chairmanship of Justice J. C. Shah, to divide and set up the boundaries of Punjab and Haryana giving consideration to the language spoken by the people. In its report[31], the then districts of Hisar, Mahendragarh, Gurgaon, Rohtak, and Karnal were to be a part of the new state of Haryana. Further, the Tehsils of Jind (district Sangrur), Narwana (district Sangrur), Naraingarh, Ambala and Jagadhri were also to be included.

  • Year of Establishment: 1966
  • Purpose: Re-organization of Punjab and Haryana.
  1. Tarkunde Committee

In 1974, Jaya Prakash Narayan on behalf of the Citizen’s for Democracy appointed a Tarkunde committee to look into the Election commission’s composition and other electoral reforms. The committee recommended that the election commission should be a 3-member body, and the minimum age for voting should be 18-years.[32]

  • Year of Establishment: 1974
  • Purpose: To look into the composition of the Election Commission and other electoral reform
  1. Dinesh Goswami Committee

On January 9, 1990, the then Prime Minister V.P Singh appointed a committee on electoral reforms headed by Law Minister, Mr Dinesh Goswami. The committee, among other recommendations, emphasized on State assistance (Govt. funding) in elections and recommended that the State assistance should only be in kind and not in cash, e.g. provision of the prescribed quantity of fuel or petrol to vehicles used by candidates, the supply of additional copies of electoral rolls etc.[33]

  • Year of Establishment: 1990
  • Purpose: Electoral reforms.
  1. V.K. Rao Committee

G.V.K Rao Committee was set up by the Planning Commission in 1985, to look into the Administrative Arrangement for Rural Development and Poverty Alleviation Programmes. It was appointed to address weaknesses of PRIs, recommended that the block development office (BDO) should assume broad powers for planning, implementing and monitoring rural development programmes.[34]

  • Year of establishment: 1985
  • Purpose: Administrative Arrangement for Rural Development and Poverty Alleviation Programmes.
  1. Butler Committee

The Indian States Committee is also known as Butler Committee was appointed in 1927, under Sir Harcourt Butler’s chairmanship to investigate the clarify the relationship between the paramount power, i.e. between the Indian States and the British. The aim was to settle the extent of the sovereignty of the paramount power.[35]

  • Year of establishment: 1927
  • Purpose: To define the relationship between the Indian States & the crown

[1] Official IRDAI website, Available Here

[2] Available at Live Mint

[3] Available at Mrunal.org

[4] Available at Journals of India

[5] Available at GK Today

[6] Tax Administration Reform Commission (TARC), Available Here

[7] Report of the Dr Arvind Mayaram Committee On rationalizing FDI, Available Here

[8] Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC), Report Available Here

[9] Report of Shah Nawaz Committee, Available Here

[10] Lyngdoh committee recommendations, Available Here

[11] Thorat Committee Report on AIIMS, Available Here

[12] Raghavan Committee Report on Anti-Ragging, Available Here

[13] https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1690334/.

[14]https://www.prsindia.org/policy/discussionpapers/policereformsindia#:~:text=The%20central%20government%20set%20up,all%20the%20states%20in%202006..

[15] https://eparlib.nic.in/bitstream/123456789/544902/1/44633.pdf.

[16]https://www.prsindia.org/sites/default/files/bill_files/bill128_20070621128_Report_of_the_High_Powered_Expert_Committee_Percy_Mistry.pdf.

[17] https://www.drishtiias.com/daily-updates/daily-news-analysis/destruction-of-public-property.

[18] https://www.jagranjosh.com/current-affairs/government-constituted-an-expert-committee-to-study-demand-for-bodoland-state-1393559525-1.

[19]http://14.139.60.153/bitstream/123456789/10168/1/Report%20of%20the%20Committee%20under%20the%20Chairmanship%20of%20Shri%20M.P.Bezbaruah%20to%20Look%20into%20the%20Concerns%20of%20the%20People%20of%20the%20North%20East%20Living%20in%20Other%20Parts%20of%20the%20Country..pdf.

[20]https://www.prsindia.org/administrator/uploads/general/1242304423~~Summary%20of%20Sachar%20Committee%20Report.pdf.

[21] https://www.prsindia.org/uploads/media/Person%20with%20Disabilities/Legislative%20Brief%20%20-%20Disabilities%202014.pdf.

[22] https://www.drm.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Sam-Pitroda-Report-on-Prasar-Bharati-2014-02-06.pdf.

[23] https://www.thehindu.com/multimedia/archive/01750/JUSTICE_MUDGAL_IPL_1750743a.pdf.

[24] https://www.netindian.in/news/national/govt-sets-committee-review-functioning-hajj-committee-india.

[25] https://twocircles.net/2014dec04/1417692480.html.

[26] https://www.gktoday.in/gk/nachiket-mor-committee-recommendations/.

[27] https://rbidocs.rbi.org.in/rdocs/PublicationReport/Pdfs/BCF090514FR.pdf.

[28] https://www.drishtiias.com/daily-updates/daily-news-analysis/destruction-of-public-property.

[29] https://chemicals.nic.in/sites/default/files/DPBooklet.pdf.

[30] https://faculty.iima.ac.in/~jrvarma/reports/Raghuram-Rajan/cfsr_all.pdf.

[31] https://indianculture.gov.in/report-punjab-boundary-commission.

[32] https://www.gktoday.in/gk/election-reforms-committees-in-india/.

[33]https://adrindia.org/sites/default/files/Dinesh%20Goswami%20Report%20on%20Electoral%20Reforms.pdf.

[34]http://14.139.60.153/bitstream/123456789/390/1/ReportREPORT%20OF%20THE%20COMMITTEE%20ON%20ADMINISTRATIVE%20ARRANGEMENTS%20FOR%20RURAL%20DEVELOPMENT%20AND%20POVERTY%20ALLEVIATION%20PROGRAMMES.pdf.

[35] https://www.jagranjosh.com/general-knowledge/butler-committee-1446456763-1.


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