Daily Prelims Notes 16 July 2020
- July 16, 2020
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: DPN
Table Of Contents
- Election Commission
- Disqualification under Anti Defection
- Judicial appointment
- Strategic Importance of Chabahar
- World and Indian population trends and implications
- Trade surplus
- Employees Provident Fund Organization
- BEPS and Equalization levy
- Country of origin
Election Commissioner Mr. Ashok Lavasa has been appointed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as vice-president
- The Election Commission is a permanent and an independent body established by the Constitution of India directly to ensure free and fair elections in the country.
- Article 324 of the Constitution provides that the power of superintendence, direction and control of elections to parliament, state legislatures, the office of president of India and the office of vice-president of India shall be vested in the election commission.
- Since its inception in 1950 and till 15 October 1989, the election commission functioned as a single member body consisting of the Chief Election Commissioner.
- On 16 October 1989, the president appointed two more election commissioners to cope with the increased work of the election commission on account of lowering of the voting age from 21 to 18 years.Thereafter, the Election Commission functioned as a multi member body consisting of three election commissioners.
- However,the two posts of election commissioners were abolished in January 1990 and the Election Commission was reverted to the earlier position.
- Again in October 1993, the president appointed two more election commissioners. Since then and till today, the Election Commission has been functioning as a multi-member body consisting of three election commissioners.
Article 324 of the Constitution has made the following provisions with regard to the composition of election commission:
- The Election Commission shall consist of the chief election commissioner and such number of other election commissioners, if any, as the president may from time to time fix.
- The appointment of the chief election commissioner and other election commissioners shall be made by the president.
- The conditions of service and tenure of office of the election commissioners and the regional commissioners shall be determined by the president.
- The chief election commissioner and the two other election commissioners have equal powers and receive equal salary, allowances and other perquisites, which are similar to those of a judge of the Supreme Court.
- In case of difference of opinion amongst the Chief Election Commissioner and/or two other election commissioners, the matter is decided by the Commission by majority.
- They hold office for a term of six years or until they attain the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
- They can resign at any time or can also be removed before the expiry of their term.
Article 324 of the Constitution has made the following provisions to safeguard and ensure the independent and impartial functioning of the Election Commission:
- The chief election commissioner is provided with the security of tenure. He cannot be removed from his office except in same manner and on the same grounds as a judge of the Supreme Court.
- The service conditions of the chief election commissioner cannot be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment.
- Any other election commissioner or a regional commissioner cannot be removed from office except on the recommendation of the chief election commissioner.
- Though the constitution has sought to safeguard and ensure the independence and impartiality of the Election Commission, some flaws can be noted, viz.,
- The Constitution has not prescribed the qualifications (legal, educational, administrative or judicial) of the members of the Election Commission.
- The Constitution has not specified the term of the members of the Election Commission.
- The Constitution has not debarred the retiring election commissioners from any further appointment by the government.
The notice has been served under the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution to 19 MLAs in Rajasthan assembly. The Congress in its complaint to the Speaker has accused the rebel MLAs of attempting to jump parties.
The Tenth Schedule contains the following provisions with respect to the disqualification of members of Parliament and the state legislatures on the ground of defection:
- Members of Political Parties: A member of a House belonging to any political party becomes disqualified for being a member of the House, (a) if he voluntarily gives up his membership of such political party; or (b) if he votes or abstains from voting in such House contrary to any direction issued by his political party without obtaining prior permission of such party and such act has not been condoned by the party within 15 days.
- Independent Members: An independent member of a House (elected without being set up as a candidate by any political party) becomes disqualified to remain a member of the House if he joins any political party after such election.
- Nominated Members: A nominated member of a House becomes disqualified for being a member of the House if he joins any political party after the expiry of six months from the date on which he takes his seat in the House.
- Any question regarding disqualification arising out of defection is to be decided by the presiding officer of the House.
- Originally, the act provided that the decision of the presiding officer is final and cannot be questioned in any court. However, in KihotoHollohan case (1993), the Supreme Court declared this provision as unconstitutional on the ground that it seeks to take away the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and the high courts.
- It held that the presiding officer, while deciding a question under the Tenth Schedule, function as a tribunal. Hence, his decision like that of any other tribunal, is subject to judicial review on the grounds of mala fides, perversity, etc.
- The presiding officer of a House is empowered to make rules to give effect to the provisions of the Tenth Schedule. All such rules must be placed before the House for 30 days. The House may approve or modify or disapprove them.
- According to the rules made so, the presiding officer can take up a defection case only when he receives a complaint from a member of the House. Before taking the final decision, he must give the member (against whom the complaint has been made) a chance to submit his explanation. He may also refer the matter to the committee of privileges for inquiry. Hence, defection has no immediate and automatic effect.
- A whip is a directive from the party that binds party members of a House to obey the line of the party.
- Though the office of whip is not officially recognised in the standing orders, there has been a long tradition to give them a place in the Parliamentary form of government.
- The whip plays a crucial role in ensuring the smooth and efficient conduct of business on the floor of the House.
- The whip is an MP drawn from the party that is in power and also from the party that sits on the opposition bench. They are vital in maintaining the links between the internal organisation of party inside the Parliament.
- It is also the duty of the chief whip to maintain discipline of the party on the floor of the House. Besides, he is responsible for keeping MPs, especially Ministers, informed of opinion in the party on the moods of individual members.
- If an MP violates his party’s whip, he faces expulsion from the House under the Anti-Defection Act.
SC Collegium decided to make additional Judges of 3 High Courts permanent
- The method of appointment of the Chief Justice of India, SC and HC judges was laid down in the Constitution.
- The Constitution stated that the President shall make these appointments after consulting with the Chief Justice of India and other SC and HC judges as he considers necessary.
- Between the years 1982-1999, the issue of method of appointment of judges was examined and reinterpreted by the Supreme Court.
- Since then, a collegium, consisting of the Chief Justice of India and 4 other senior most SC judges, made recommendations for persons to be appointed as SC and HC judges, to the President.
Iran has dropped India from Chabahar port project.
- Chabahar is located strategically offMakran coast in the Gulf of Oman at the southern end of Persian Gulf and Iran’s closest and best access point to the Indian Ocean.
- It is far away from Iran’s other major port of Bandar Abbas that currently handles the bulk of its transshipments but is constrained due to capacity and inability to berth large ships.
- In contrast, Chabahar is an oceanic port and capable of handling much larger vessels. Developing it and utilising its true potential is in Iranian interest as that will reduce the distance. When linked with the Iranian railway network, it will connect the port with the rest of Iran.
- The development of Chabahar-Zahedan railway line and its development has provided an opportunity to Iran to initiate developmental projects in the region since it enjoys exemptions from the new round of the US. sanctions that were obtained due to Indian pressure and leverage with the USA, due it being the preferred port of transit for goods destined for Afghanistan for providing relief and humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan.
- The impetus to the development of the port came in May 2016 when India, Iran and Afghanistan signed a key trilateral deal, known as the Chabahar Agreement, to establish a strategic India-Iran-Afghanistan Trilateral Agreement on Transport and Transit Corridors to facilitate trade with Afghanistan, Central Asia, Russia and Europe for utilizing Chabahar port as a hub, giving a boost to Indian access to Afghanistan and creating the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC).
Subject: Science and tech
COVID vaccines mRNA-1273 ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 are currently in human trials.
- Vaccines contain the same germs that cause disease. (For example, measles vaccine contains measles virus)
- But they have been either killed or weakened to the point that they don’t make people sick. Some vaccines contain only a part of the disease germ.
- A vaccine stimulates immune system to produce antibodies, exactly like it would if an individual exposed to the disease.
- After getting vaccinated, people develop immunity to that disease, without having to get the disease first.
- This is what makes vaccines such powerful medicine. Unlike most medicines, which treat or cure diseases, vaccines prevent them.
A new analysis published in The Lancet has projected about world population and its trends.
- World population will peak much earlier than previously estimated. It projects the peak at 9.73 billion in 2064, which is 36 years earlier than the 11 billion peak projected for 2100 by last year’s UN report World Population Prospects.
- For India, the report projects a peak population of 1.6 billion in 2048, up from 1.38 billion in 2017. By 2100, the population is projected to decline by 32% to 1.09 billion.
- The paper suggests that continued trends in female educational attainment and access to contraception will hasten declines in fertility and slow population growth.
- For a generation to exactly replace itself, the replacement-level total fertility rate (TFR) is taken to be 2.1, representing the average number of children a woman would need to have. I
- In the study, the global TFR is predicted to steadily decline from 2.37 in 2017 to 1.66 in 2100.
For the first time since 2002, India’s merchandise trade balance turned surplus of $790 million in June
- This is a rare occurrence because since 1976-77, there has not been a single year when India did not incur a substantial merchandise trade deficit.
- Improvement in trade balance has been driven mainly by a sharper decline in imports. This is a warning sign for the economy as the decline in imports, especially in merchandise goods, points towards a contraction of demand in the real economy
Several board members have flagged concerns about the inadequate sharing of information about the Fund’s investments and delays in approval for the interest rate for 2019-20
- EPFO is one of the World’s largest Social Security Organisations in terms of clientele and the volume of financial transactions undertaken.
- The Employees’ Provident Fund came into existence with the promulgation of the Employees’ Provident Funds Ordinance on the 15th November, 1951. It was replaced by the Employees’ Provident Funds Act, 1952.
- The Act and Schemes framed there under are administered by a tri-partite Board known as the Central Board of Trustees, Employees’ Provident Fund,consisting of representatives of Government (Both Central and State), Employers, and Employees.
- The Central Board of Trusteesadministers a contributory provident fund, pension scheme and an insurance scheme for the workforce engaged in the organized sector in India.
- The EPFO is under the administrative control of Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India
- The Board operates three schemes – EPF Scheme 1952, Pension Scheme 1995 (EPS) and Insurance Scheme 1976 (EDLI).
- Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation has a vision to reposition itself as a world class Social Security Organisation providing futuristic services meeting the growing requirements of all categories of its stakeholders. EPFO Vision 2030 envisages:
- Universal Social Security Coverage on mandatory basis by way of Provident Fund, Pension and Life Insurance for all workers of the country
- Online Services for all EPFO benefits with State-of-the-Art Technology
- Implementation of policies for a benefit structure with adequate support level of social security
India recently decided to impose digital services taxes on non-resident e-commerce companies.
Base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) refers to tax planning strategies used by multinational enterprises that exploit gaps and mismatches in tax rules to avoid paying tax. Developing countries’ higher reliance on corporate income tax means they suffer from BEPS disproportionately.
Equalization Levy was introduced in India in 2016-2017, with the intention of taxing the digital transactions i.e. the income accruing to foreign e-commerce companies from India.
- Equalization Levy is a direct tax, which is withheld at the time of payment by the service recipient.
- The two conditions to be met to be liable to equalization levy:
- The payment should be made to a non-resident service provider;
- The annual payment made to one service provider exceeds Rs. 1, 00,000 in one financial year.
- The following services covered:
- Online advertisement
- Any provision for digital advertising space or facilities/ service for the purpose of online advertisement;
- Currently the applicable rate of tax is 6% of the gross consideration to be paid.
Amazon India has made it mandatory for sellers on its platform to disclose the ‘country of origin’ of new and existing product listings by August 10.
- The development comes at a time when the government is negotiating with e-commerce companies to ensure that all products listed on their apps and websites carry the country of origin tag.
- The move is being viewed as part of India’s strategy to curb foreign imports.
- Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) had asked e-commerce companies to display the country of origin of all new listings on their platform by August 1 and for all legacy listings by October 1.
Eco-Development Committees in Nilgiris biosphere reserve are restoring native Shola habitats in places overrun with invasive species.
- Cestrum nocturnum plants have encroached on native Shola habitats and do not allow any native flora to thrive.
- The Cestrum plants, unless completely removed with their roots, will keep sprouting and keep taking over Shola and native grasslands.
- The Toda tribes are also growing their own saplings and have set up a nursery which will have more than 7,000 saplings of native Shola trees ready to be planted in the landscape in the coming years.
- The Shola forests of South India derive their name from the Tamil word solai, which means a ‘tropical rain forest’.
- Classified as ‘Southern Montane Wet Temperate Forest’ by experts Harry George Champion and SK Seth, the Sholas are found in the upper reaches of the Nilgiris, Anamalais, Palni hills, Kalakadu, Mundanthurai and Kanyakumari in the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
- These forests are found sheltered in valleys with sufficient moisture and proper drainage, at an altitude of more than 1,500 metres. The upper reaches are covered with grasslands, known as Shola grasslands.
- The vegetation that grows in Shola forests is evergreen. The trees are stunted and have many branches. Their rounded and dense canopies appear in different colours.
- Generally, the leaves are small in size and leathery.
- Red-coloured young leaves turning into different colours on maturity is a prominent characteristic of the Shola forests.
- Epiphytes like lichens, ferns and bryophytes usually grow on the trees.
- Sholas play a major role in conserving water supply of the Nilgiris’ streams. Sholas thus act as ‘overhead water tanks’.