Daily Prelims Notes 17 December 2021
- December 17, 2021
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
17 December 2021
Table Of Contents
- The Ordinance Raj
- Bullock Cart Races
- Cold Wave in Northwest India
- Election Commission of India
- Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC)
- Nuclear Reactors in Jaitapur
- Additional Judges to High Courts
Subject – Polity
Context – The frequent promulgation of ordinances is detrimental for a constitutional democracy.
- The ordinance-making power in the Constitution is not a necessary feature of the Westminster form of parliamentary democracy that India has adopted.
- It is a relic of the Government of India Act, 1935 that was nonetheless retained by the Constituent Assembly.
Separation of powers between the Legislature, Executive and Judiciary: In India, the central and state legislatures are responsible for law making, the central and state governments are responsible for the implementation of laws and the judiciary (Supreme Court, High Courts and lower courts) interprets these laws. However, there are several overlaps in the functions and powers of the three institutions. For example, the President has certain legislative and judicial functions and the legislature can delegate some of its functions to the executive in the form of subordinate legislation.
Ordinance making powers of the President Article 123 of the Constitution grants the President certain law making powers to promulgate Ordinances when either of the two Houses of Parliament is not in session and hence it is not possible to enact laws in the Parliament.
An Ordinance may relate to any subject that the Parliament has the power to legislate on. Conversely, it has the same limitations as the Parliament to legislate, given the distribution of powers between the Union, State and Concurrent Lists. Thus, the following limitations exist with regard to the Ordinance making power of the executive:
- Legislature is not in session: The President can only promulgate an Ordinance when either of the two Houses of Parliament is not in session.
- Immediate action is required: The President cannot promulgate an Ordinance unless he is satisfied that there are circumstances that require taking ‘immediate action’
- Parliamentary approval during session: Ordinances must be approved by Parliament within six weeks of reassembling or they shall cease to operate. They will also cease to operate in case resolutions disapproving the Ordinance are passed by both the Houses. Figure 1 shows the number of Ordinances that have been promulgated in India since 1990. The largest number of Ordinances was promulgated in 1993, and there has been a decline in the number of Ordinance promulgated since then. However, the past year has seen a rise in the number of Ordinances promulgated.
Ordinance making powers of the Governor Just as the President of India is constitutionally mandated to issue Ordinances under Article 123, the Governor of a state can issue Ordinances under Article 213, when the state legislative assembly (or either of the two Houses in states with bicameral legislatures) is not in session. The powers of the President and the Governor are broadly comparable with respect to Ordinance making. However, the Governor cannot issue an Ordinance without instructions from the President in three cases where the assent of the President would have been required to pass a similar Bill
|Supreme Court Cases||Judgement|
RC Cooper vs. Union of India,1970
|In RC Cooper vs. Union of India (1970) the Supreme Court, while examining the constitutionality of the Banking Companies (Acquisition of Undertakings) Ordinance, 1969 which sought to nationalise 14 of India’s largest commercial banks, held that the President’s decision could be challenged on the grounds that ‘immediate action’ was not required; and the Ordinance had been passed primarily to by-pass debate and discussion in the legislature.|
|38th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1975||Inserted a new clause (4) in Article 123 stating that the President’s satisfaction while promulgating an Ordinance was final and could not be questioned in any court on any ground.|
|44th Constitutional Amendment Act,1977||Deleted clause (4) inserted by the 38th CAA and therefore reopened the possibility for the judicial review of the President’s decision to promulgate an Ordinance.|
|AK Roy vs. Union of India, 1980||In AK Roy vs. Union of India (1982) while examining the constitutionality of the National Security Ordinance, 1980, which sought to provide for preventive detention in certain cases, the Court argued that the President’s Ordinance making power is not beyond the scope of judicial review. However, it did not explore the issue further as there was insufficient evidence before it and the Ordinance was replaced by an Act. It also pointed out the need to exercise judicial review over the President’s decision only when there were substantial grounds to challenge the decision, and not at “every casual and passing challenge”.|
|T Venkata Reddy vs. State of Andhra Pradesh, 1985||In T Venkata Reddy vs. State of Andhra Pradesh (1985), while deliberating on the promulgation of the Andhra Pradesh Abolition of Posts of Part-time Village Officers Ordinance, 1984 which abolished certain village level posts, the Court reiterated that the Ordinance making power of the President and the Governor was a legislative power, comparable to the legislative power of the Parliament and state legislatures respectively. This implies that the motives behind the exercise of this power cannot be questioned, just as is the case with legislation by the Parliament and state legislatures.|
|DC Wadhwa vs. State of Bihar, 1987||t was argued in DC Wadhwa vs. State of Bihar (1987) the legislative power of the executive to promulgate Ordinances is to be used in exceptional circumstances and not as a substitute for the law making power of the legislature. Here, the court was examining a case where a state government (under the authority of the Governor) continued to re-promulgate ordinances, that is, it repeatedly issued new Ordinances to replace the old ones, instead of laying them before the state legislature. A total of 259 Ordinances were re-promulgated, some of them for as long as 14 years. The Supreme Court argued that if Ordinance making was made a usual practice, creating an ‘Ordinance raj’ the courts could strike down re-promulgated Ordinances.|
Subject – Art and Culture
Context – Supreme Court allows bullock cart races in Maharashtra
|Bullock Cart Race||State|
|Bail GadiShariat / Shankarpat||Maharashtra|
|Balda di daud||Punjab|
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960
- The legislative intent of the Act is to “prevent the infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering on animals”.
- The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) was established in 1962 under Section 4 of the Act.
- This Act provides for punishment for causing unnecessary cruelty and suffering to animals. The Act defines animals and different forms of animals.
- It provides the guidelines relating to experimentation on animals for scientific purposes.
- The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Care and Maintenance of Case Property Animals) Rules, 2017 has been framed under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
- The Rules allow a Magistrate to forfeit the cattle of an owner facing trial under the Act.
- The authorities can further give such animals for “adoption”.
Subject – Geography
Context – IMD has predicted a cold wave in Northwest India
- The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted a cold wave in parts of Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh over the next few days.
- A western disturbance as a cyclonic circulation lies over north Pakistan and adjoining Jammu and Kashmir, according to an IMD bulletin.
- Western disturbances are storms that originate in the Mediterranean region and bring winter rainfall to northwest India.
- In this gap of five to six days, the IMD expects strong north-westerly and westerly cold winds over north India.
- The minimum temperature is likely to fall by 2 to 4 degree Celsius in these places over the next few days, going by the forecast.
What is a cold wave?
- The IMD records a cold wave when the minimum temperature is equal to or less than 10 degree Celsius at a weather station in the plains, and is 4.5 degrees to 6.4 degrees below the normal temperature for that period.
- A cold wave may also be recorded at a station in the plains when the minimum temperature is less than or equal to 4 degree Celsius.
- For hilly regions, a cold wave is declared when the minimum temperature is less than or equal to 0 degree Celsius and the minimum temperature is 4.5 degrees to 6.4 degrees below the normal.
- The ‘normal’ temperature is calculated for every five days by taking the average temperature for these days over the past 30 years.
- The IMD defines a cold wave qualitatively as “a condition of air temperature which becomes fatal to the human body when exposed.”
- The IMD also has an ‘impact matrix’ for cold waves – when cold wave conditions persist in isolated areas for more than two days, the impact matrix indicates that the cold is tolerable but “a mild health concern for vulnerable people (infants, pregnant women, elderly, people with chronic diseases etc.
- In ‘severe’ cold wave conditions, where the minimum temperature is less than or equal to 10 degree Celsius, and departs from the normal by 6.5 degrees or more, or if cold wave conditions persist for four days or more, the IMD’s impact matrix indicates an increased likelihood of illnesses like flu, due to prolonged exposure to the cold.
Why do cold waves occur?
- Cold waves usually occur from mid-December to the end of February.
- The cold waves depend on weather systems and wind patterns from the middle latitudes, that is from Europe or West Asia, since the winds from these regions bring cold weather.
- According to the IMD, the factors that bring cold waves to India include the movement of cold air masses brought about by upper-level winds. They can be triggered by strong westerly winds approaching northwest India and transporting cold air towards the southeast direction.
- Build-up of an extended area of relatively high pressure over northwest Asia can also bring cold waves.
Subject – Polity
Context – CEC ‘Interacted’ With PMO after Unusual Govt Note Demanding His Presence at Meeting: Report
- The Commission’s interactions with the government on election issues usually remain limited to its administrative ministry; the law ministry or, if security forces need to be arranged for a certain election, the home ministry.
- The Election Commission of India is an autonomous constitutional authority responsible for administering Union and State election processes in India.
- The body administers elections to the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, and State Legislative Assemblies in India, and the offices of the President and Vice President in the country.
- Part XV of the Indian constitution deals with elections, and establishes a commission for these matters.
- Article 324 to 329 of the constitution deals with powers, function, tenure, eligibility, etc of the commission and the member
Structure of the commission
- The commission consists of one Chief Election Commissioner and two Election Commissioners.
- The secretariat of the commission is located in New Delhi.
- At the state level election commission is helped by Chief Electoral Officer who is an IAS rank Officer.
- The President appoints Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners.
- They have a fixed tenure of six years, or up to the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
- They enjoy the same status and receive salary and perks as available to Judges of the Supreme Court of India.
- The Chief Election Commissioner can be removed from office only through a process of removal similar to that of a Supreme Court judge for by Parliament.
Procedure of Removal
- Judges of High Courts and Supreme Court, CEC, Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) may be removed from office through a motion adopted by Parliament on grounds of ‘Proven misbehaviour or incapacity’.
- Removal requires special majority of 2/3rd members present and voting supported by more than 50% of the total strength of the house.
- The Constitution does not use the word ‘impeachment’, for the removal of the judges, CAG, CEC.
- The term ‘Impeachment’ is only used for removing the President which requires the special majority of 2/3rd members of the total strength of both the houses which is not used elsewhere.
- Election Commission of India superintendents, direct and control the entire process of conducting elections to Parliament and Legislature of every State and to the offices of President and Vice-President of India.
- The most important function of the commission is to decide the election schedules for the conduct of periodic and timely elections, whether general or bye-elections.
- It prepares electoral roll, issues Electronic Photo Identity Card (EPIC).
- It decides on the location polling stations, assignment of voters to the polling stations, location of counting centres, arrangements to be made in and around polling stations and counting centres and all allied matters.
- It grants recognition to political parties & allot election symbols to them along with settling disputes related to it.
- The Commission also has advisory jurisdiction in the matter of post election disqualification of sitting members of Parliament and State Legislatures.
- It issues the Model Code of Conduct in election for political parties and candidates so that the no one indulges in unfair practice or there is no arbitrary abuse of powers by those in power.
- It sets limits of campaign expenditure per candidate to all the political parties, and also monitors the same.
Prime Minister’s Office (PMO)
- The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) consists of the immediate staff of the Prime Minister of India, as well as multiple levels of support staff reporting to the Prime Minister.
- The PMO is headed by the Principal Secretary
- The PMO was originally called the Prime Minister’s Secretariat until 1977, when it was renamed during the Morarji Desai administration
- It got the status of department under Allocation of Business rules 1961. This staff agency is mainly concerned with providing assistance in decision making at top level of government of India. But even though its importance it is accorded as extra constitutional body.
- Principal functions of the PMO:
- To deal with all references which under the rules of business have to come to the PM
- To help the PM in the discharge of his overall responsibilities as the Chief Executive like liaison with the Union Ministries and the State govts on matters which the PM may be interested.
- To help the PM in the discharge of his responsibilities as the Chairman of Planning Commission.
- To deal with Public relations side of the PMO.
- To provide PM assistance in the examination of cases submitted to him for an order under prescribed rules.
Subject – Defence and Security
Context – Government starts process to identify next CDS, Gen Naravane heads COSC
- The Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee is, in principle, the most senior and highest ranking officer of the Indian Armed Forces.
- The chairman heads the Chiefs of Staff Committee of the Ministry of Defence and is the principal military advisor to the president of the republic, the Minister of Defence and the prime minister.
- When the post of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) was established, its holder was also made the permanent chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee (CoSC).
- In the absence of the CDS, a temporary Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee may be appointed.
- Permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee will be a four-star officer, who will be equivalent to chiefs of army, airforce and navy.
- The Naresh Chandra Task Force, formed in May 2011 to review the national security management system, recommended the creation of permanent post of chairman, chiefs of staff committee (CoSC).
- Composition: CoSC is composed of:
- (a) Chief of the Army Staff (COAS);
- (b) Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS);
- (c) Chief of the Air Staff (CAS); and
- (d) Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (CIDS) (non-voting member).
- Scientific Adviser to the Minister of Defence is invited to attend whenever needed.
Subject – Science and Tech
Context – Govt: ‘In-principle’ nod for 6 nuclear reactors in Jaitapur
- The six nuclear power reactors, which will have a capacity of 1,650 MW each, will be set up with technical cooperation from France. It will be the country’s largest nuclear power generating site with a total capacity of 9,900 MW.
- The present installed nuclear power capacity in the country is 6,780 MW and the share of nuclear power in the total electricity generation in 2020-21 is about 3.1%.
- Nuclear power is clean and environment friendly, apart from having a “huge potential to ensure the country’s long-term energy security on a sustainable basis’’.
- The nuclear power plants have so far generated about 755 billion units of electricity, saving about 650 million Tons of CO2 emission.
To know about Nuclear power plants in India, please refer September 2021 DPN.
Subject – Polity
Context – Supreme Court Collegium drops judge who gave skin-to-skin order
- Additional judges to high courts are appointed either from the Bar directly or state judiciary under Article 224 (1) of the Constitution for a period not exceeding two years.
- Their retirement age is 62 years.
- Additional judge posts are constitutionally intended to deal with the “increased burden of the court” but are increasingly used as probationary periods for judges before they are promoted as permanent judges.
To know about Collegium System, please refer August 2021 DPN.
Subject – Agriculture
Context – Solution to stagnant prices, rising costs: Intercropping
- Intercropping is the practice of growing two or more crops in proximity.
- The most common goal of intercropping is to produce a greater yield on a given piece of land by making use of resources that would otherwise not be utilized by a single crop.
- Examples of intercropping strategies are planting a deep-rooted crop with a shallow-rooted crop, or planting a tall crop with a shorter crop that requires partial shade.
- Numerous types of intercropping, all of which vary the temporal and spatial mixture to some degree, have been identified: mixed intercropping, row cropping, relay cropping, etc.
- Mixed intercropping, as the name implies, is the most basic form in which the component crops are totally mixed in the available space.
- Row cropping involves the component crops arranged in alternate rows. Variations include alley cropping, where crops are grown in between rows of trees, and strip cropping, where multiple rows, or a strip, of one crop are alternated with multiple rows of another crop. A new version of this is to intercrop rows of solar photovoltaic modules with agriculture crops. This practice is called agrivoltaics.
- Temporal intercropping uses the practice of sowing a fast-growing crop with a slow-growing crop, so that the fast-growing crop is harvested before the slow-growing crop starts to mature.
- Further temporal separation is found in relay cropping, where the second crop is sown during the growth, often near the onset of reproductive development or fruiting, of the first crop, so that the first crop is harvested to make room for the full development of the second.
- Crop rotation is related, but is not intercropping, as the different types of crops are grown in a sequence of growing seasons rather than in a single season.
To know about Integrated Farming with Inter-Cropping, please refer October 2021 DPN.