Daily Prelims Notes 28 June 2022
- June 28, 2022
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
28 June 2022
Table Of Contents
- Schools poor in digital learning
- Yamuna ﬂoodplains
- National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG)
- Moosewala’s SYL music video removed from YouTube The SYL canal
- India joins G7, 4 others to protect free speech, ‘online and offline’
- The national anti-profiteering authority
- Russia’s debt default
- Social security code 2020
- Economic Calculation problem
- Expenditure department cautions against more steps burdening the fiscal health
- Hologram removed, grand canopy at India Gate readiesfor Bose statue
- Maharashtra Governor May Be Approached For Speaker’s Appointment, Then Assembly Floor Test
- Maharashtra CM strips all rebel ministers of portfolios
- What is SC’s ‘KihotoHollohan’ judgment, and why is it relevant in the context of the crisis in Maharashtra?
- Mukul roy resigns as PAC chairman
- TN asks AP to suspend supply krishna water
- Tribal Congress MLAs from state admit it is not easy to ignore Droupadi Murmu’s candidature.
- The Delhi High Court has sought a response from Delhi Police and a Muslim man ov- er a petition ﬁled by his wife seeking to declare a notice of ‘Talaq-e-Hasan’ sent to her as “void and unconstitutional”.
- Talaq-e-Hasan is a form of ‘triple talaq’ by which a Muslim man can divorce his wife by pronouncing ‘talaq’ at three separate intervals — the gap being least one month or one menstrual cycle.
- Justice Dinesh Kumar issued a notice to the Delhi Police on the woman’s petition to protect her from religious groups that permit and propagate such practices, and from those who are forcing her to accept Talaq-e-Hasan.
- The woman, in her plea, stated that even though she and her husband were in a relationship prior to their ‘love marriage’ in September 2020, her husband never stopped his parents from demanding dowry or expensive gifts again and again.
Domestic violence case
- She said as her husband and in-laws became more demanding, inﬂicting physical and mental torture. To avoid any action against him and his family, the husband took the route of Talaq-e-Hasan.
- Talaq-e- Hasan notice is not only “arbitrary, illegal and an abuse of law” but also a unilateral extrajudicial act, which directly infringes upon Articles 14, 15, 21, 25 of the Constitution.
- The woman contended that Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939, does not secure for her the protection from bigamy, which has been statutorily secured for other Indian wo- men belonging to other religions.
- Bigamous marriage has been made punishable among Christians by Christian Marriage Act, 1872, amongst Parsis by Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936, and amongst Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs and Jains by Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.
- “The legislature has failed to ensure the dignity and equality of women in general and Muslim women in particular, when it concerns matters of marriage, divorce and succession,” her plea said.
- The Performance Grading Index for Districts (PGI-D) for 2019-20 shows that schools across India performed poorly under the category of digital learning, which threw up the lowest scores compared to the other parameters which were considered while creating the index.
The Performance Grading Index for Districts (PGI-D)
- As India entered the pandemic year, students in around 61 per cent districts of the country had very little exposure to digital learning due to limited availability of computers, Internet facilities and teachers trained to handle technological tools in schools, according to a Ministry of Education report released.
- In the index, as many as 180 districts scored less than 10 per cent on digital learning, 146 districts scored 11 to 20 per cent, while 125 districts had scores between 21 and 30 per cent.
- Rajasthan’s Sikar is the top performer, followed by Jhunjhunu and Jaipur in the Union government’s index for performance of the school education system at the district level.
- Utkarsh’ category is for districts with score between 81-90%, followed by ‘Ati-Uttam’ (71-80%), ‘Uttam’ (61- 70%), ‘Prachesta-I’ (51-60%), ‘Prachesta-II’ (41-50%) and ‘Pracheshta III’ (31-40%).The lowest grade in PGI-D is called ‘Akanshi-3’ which is for scores up to 10% of the to- tal points.
- The report also underlines the clear rural-urban divide in the area of digital learning.
- The district-wise performance on digital learning was drawn up based on the number of schools with computers/laptops, Internet facility, student-to-computer ratio and percentage of teachers trained to use and teach through computers.
- The Centre had released the state-wise PGI index for the year 2019-20 in June 2021. Chandigarh and the states of Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Kerala were the best performers in the index.
- The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the changes required in our existing system in terms of the adoption of digital learning as part of mainstream learning to continue education at home.
- This necessitated a need for a domain on digital learning in PGI-D, which is not there in state PGI.
Performance Grading Index
- The PGI is a tool to provide insights on the status of school education in States and UTs including key levers that drive their performance and critical areas for improvement.
- The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) carried out an anti-encroachment drive on a stretch of the Yamuna ﬂoodplains in the Sarai Kale Khan area.
Demolition drive on Yamuna ﬂoodplains
- People had encroached upon DDA land and constructed shanties while also carrying out agricultural work, which is prohibited.
Flood plain management and flood plain zoning
- The flood plain zoning is a concept central to flood plain management. This concept recognises the basic fact that the flood plain of a river is essentially its domain and any intrusion into or developmental activity therein must recognise the river’s ‘right of way’.
- Flood-plain zoning measures aim at demarcating zones or areas likely to be affected by floods of different magnitudes or frequencies and probability levels, and specify the types of permissible developments in these zones, so that whenever floods actually occur, the damage can be minimised, if not avoided.
- A model draft bill for flood plain zoning legislation was also circulated by the Union Government to all the States.
- This bill envisages zoning of flood plain of a river according to flood frequencies and defines the type of use of flood plain.
- The states of Manipur, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and erstwhile State of Jammu & Kashmir had enacted the legislation.
- National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) has also time to time advised all states in Ganga basin for demarcation, delineation and notification of river flood plains and removal of encroachment from river bed/floodplain of the river Ganga and its tributaries in adherence to the River Ganga (Rejuvenation, Protection and Management) Authorities Order, 2016.
- The Satluj Yamuna Link Canal is a proposed 214-kilometre-long canal connecting Sutlej and Yamuna rivers. It was planned in 1966 after the state of Haryana was carved out of Punjab.
- While the decision to share resources was taken, the terms on sharing waters of two rivers, Ravi and Beas, were left undecided.
- Punjab, however, was against sharing waters of the two rivers with neighbouring Haryana, citing riparian principles, which state that the owner of land adjacent to a water body has the right to use the water, besides arguing that it had no water to spare.
Context: India, along with G7 countries and four invited countries, Monday signed the ‘2022 Resilient Democracies Statement’ in which they committed to “guarding the freedom, independence and diversity of civil society actors
What they said in the statements?
- Democracies enable “open public debate, independent and pluralistic media” and the “free flow of information online and offline
- Democracies fostering legitimacy, transparency, responsibility and accountability for citizens and elected representatives alike
- Protecting the freedom of expression and opinion online and offline and ensuring a free and independent media landscape through our work with relevant international initiatives
- Ensuring an open, free, global, interoperable, reliable and secure internet.
- Increasing the cyber resilience of digital infrastructure, including by improving and sharing awareness of cyber threats and expanding cyber response cooperation.
- Countering hybrid threats, in particular information manipulation and interference, including disinformation.
- Cooperating to counter information manipulation, promote accurate information, and advocate for our shared democratic values worldwide.
- Promoting affordable access to diverse sources of reliable and trustworthy information and data, online and offline, including through a multi-stakeholder approach, and by strengthening digital skills and digital literacy.
- Enhancing transparency about the actions of online platforms to combat violent, extremist and inciting content online.
- Guarding the freedom, independence and diversity of civil society actors, speaking out against threats to civic space, and respecting freedom of association and peaceful assembly.
- Building resilience against malign foreign interference and acts of transnational repression that seek to undermine trust in government, society and media, reduce civic space and silence critical voices.
- Advancing programmes for the protection of human rights defenders and all those exposing corruption.
- The G4 nations comprising Brazil, Germany, India, and Japan are four countries which support each other’s bids for permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council.
- Formed in 2004
Basis for these demands:
- Each of these four countries have figured among the elected non-permanent members of the council since the UN’s establishment.
- Their economic and political influence has grown significantly in the last decades, reaching a scope comparable to the permanent members (P5)
Why in the news?
The national anti-profiteering authority has held cosmetics and personal care giant L’oreal guilty of not passing on the GST rate reduction (28% to 18% in November 2017) benefits to consumers and directed it to deposit the sum along with 18% interest in the consumer welfare fund.
- Half of the profiteered sum with interest would be deposited in the Central Consumer Welfare Fund, and the other half in the State where the supply was made.
- The authority has also directed the Directorate General Anti-Profiteering (DGAP) to conduct further investigations.
- The NAA noted that the company was only required to maintain the base price of the items and change the GST rates from 28% to 18% in its billing software. But it increased the base price while maintaining the same selling price.
- The NAA also held that increase in grammage is not in any way equivalent or akin to commensurate reduction in prices.
- It also rejected the company’s contention of passing on higher benefits on some items to make up for the others, saying that it is not allowed under the law.
The National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA)
- It is a statutory body under Section 171 of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act 2017
- The National Anti-profiteering Authority shall be headed by a senior officer of the level of a Secretary to the Government of India and shall have four technical members from the Centre and/or the States.
- Other than the Chairperson, it comprises four Technical members, a Standing Committee, Screening Committees in every State and the Directorate General of Safeguards in the Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBEC).
- Powers and functions of the authority:
- The Authority’s core function is to ensure that the commensurate benefits of the reduction in GST rates on goods and services done by the GST Council and of the Input tax credit are passed on to the recipients by way of commensurate reduction in the prices by the suppliers.
- The Authority’s main function is to ensure that the registered suppliers under GST law are not profiteering by charging higher prices from recipients in the name of GST.
- The legal mandate of NAA is to examine and check such profiteering activities and recommend punitive actions including cancellation of Registration.
- In the event the National Anti-profiteering Authority confirms the necessity of applying anti-profiteering measures, it has the power to order the business concerned to reduce its prices or return the undue benefit availed along with interest to the recipient of the goods or services.
- If the undue benefit cannot be passed on to the recipient, it can be ordered to be deposited in the Consumer Welfare Fund.
- In extreme cases the National Anti-profiteering Authority can impose a penalty on the defaulting business entity and even order the cancellation of its registration under GST.
- The anti-profiteering mechanism is a three-stage process. There is a state-level screening committee for local complaints and a standing committee for national-level complaints. Then, there is an investigation by the directorate general of anti-profiteering and a probe by the decision-making body, the NAA.
- Suo moto action:
- The NAA can take note of any instance of anti-profiteering even without a complaint from a citizen.
- This can be done because the chairman of the NAA is also a civilian and s/he can also take cognizance of such acts.
- Even mock purchases can be made by NAA officers to check a trader’s invoice for any profiteering activity.
- The orders of the NAA can be appealed against only in the high court.
Why in the news?
The White House said on Monday that Russia had defaulted on its international bonds for the first time since the Bolshevik revolution, as sweeping sanctions amid Moscow’s war on Ukraine have effectively cut the country off from the global financial system.
- Russia kept on paying on its Eurobonds in foreign currency
- Yet its dollar and euro coupon transfers (forex coupon payment) made did not reach investors.
- The non-receipt of money by investors did not occur because of lack of payment but due to the third-party (foreign financial intermediaries) payment delays.
- Debt obligations would be considered fulfilled once a rouble payment equal to the forex amount due was made. Bondholders would need to open an account at a Russian bank to receive such a payment.
- The Group of Seven major Western powers banned transactions with Russia’s central bank and froze its assets held in their jurisdictions, worth about $300bn, after Russia invaded Ukraine in February.
A coupon or coupon payment is the annual interest rate paid on a bond, expressed as a percentage of the face value and paid from issue date until maturity. Coupons are usually referred to in terms of the coupon rate (the sum of coupons paid in a year divided by the face value of the bond in question).It is also referred to as the coupon rate, coupon percent rate and nominal yield.
For example, a $1,000 bond with a coupon of 7% pays $70 a year. Typically these interest payments will be semiannual, meaning the investor will receive $35 twice a year. Because bonds can be traded before they mature, causing their market value to fluctuate, the current yield (often referred to simply as the yield) will usually diverge from the bond’s coupon or nominal yield. For example, at issue, the $1,000 bond described above yields 7%; that is, its current and nominal yields are both 7%. If the bond later trades for $900, the current yield rises to 7.8% ($70 ÷ $900). The coupon rate, however, does not change, since it is a function of the annual payments and the face value, both of which are constant.
When these coupon payments are made in foreign currencies, it is known as the forex coupon payment.
Why in the news?
According to the NitiAyog’s report- “India’s Booming Gig and Platform Economy” India’s gig workforce will increase by 67 per cent to 2.35 crore by 2029-30 from 77 lakh in 2020-21. It has also suggested a number of steps for both the private sector and government to take care of the interests of this segment.
The report broadly classifies gig workers into platform and non-platform based workers.
- Platform gig workers are those whose work is based on online software applications or digital platforms.
- Non-platform gig workers are generally casual wage workers and own-account workers in the conventional sectors, working part-time or full time.
- It has asked the government to ensure universal coverage of platform workers through the Code on Social Security.
- It has further asked to bridge skill gaps by carrying out periodic assessments and partnering with platform businesses for onboarding skilled women and persons with disabilities (PwDs).
- It also suggested reaching out to “unbanked and underbanked women and PwDs” through fintech services.
- The think tank has created a framework RAISE, for operationalising the Code on Social Security (CoSS), 2020.
- It also recommended introducing a ‘Platform India initiative’ on the lines of the ‘Startup India initiative’.
Social Security Code 2020:
- The SS Code 2020 subsumes nine regulations relating to social security, retirement and employee benefits.
- The central government can apply the Code to any establishment (subject to size-threshold).
- The definition of ‘employees’ will include contractual labour, gig workers, platform workers, labour from construction sites and most importantly interstate migrant labour. Thus, the Code has widened coverage by including the unorganised sector, fixed term employees and gig workers, platform workers, inter-state migrant workers etc. For the first time, provisions of social security will also be extended to agricultural workers also.
- Registration is a prerequisite for universal coverage and to avail social security, an informal worker must register herself on the specified online portal to be developed by the central government.
- It aims to establish a National Database and Registration-With the aim of making a national database for unorganised sector workers, registration of all these workers would be done on an online portal and this registration would be done on the basis of Self certification through a simple procedure.All records and returns have to be maintained electronically.
- The code provides for the establishment of a national and various state-level boards for administering schemes for unorganised sector workers.
- The National Social Security Board may also act as the Board for the purposes of welfare of gig workers and platform workers and can recommend and monitor schemes for gig workers and platform workers.
- There is uniformity in determining wages for the purpose of social security benefits.
- It has provided a wide definition for wage.
- Specific exclusions with ceilings have been provided for discouraging inappropriate structuring of salaries to minimise social security benefits.
- Consultative Approach has been brought in a facilitating approach by the authorities. Unlike the existing role of inspectors, the Code provides for an enhanced role of inspector-cum-facilitator whereby employers can look for support and advice to enhance compliances.
- To enable that demand for human resources is met and to monitor employment information, career centres will be established.
- Any failure to deposit employees’ contributions not only attracts a penalty of Rs. 1,00,000, but also imprisonment of one to three years. In case of repeat offence, the penalties and prosecution is severe, and no compounding is permitted for repeated offences.
- Schemes for gig workers and platform workers will be funded through contributions from the central government, state governments and aggregators.
- Any contribution from aggregators may be at a rate between 1-2 percent of the annual turnover of the aggregators.
- However, such contributions cannot exceed 5 percent of the amount paid or payable by an aggregator to gig workers and platform workers.
- Also known as the socialist calculation debate.
- It refers to an important academic debate on the question of whether centrally planned economies can allocate scarce resources efficiently.
- The debate was between the Austrian school economists Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek on the one side and socialist economists Oscar Lange and Abba Lerner on the other in the first half of the twentieth century.
Austrian school argument:
- The resources in any economy are scarce when compared to the unlimited desires of human beings. So, these limited resources need to be allocated towards the most urgent needs of society in order to maximise social welfare.
- For example- timber can be allocated for literally thousands of different uses, some a lot more urgent than others.
- In a market economy the resource owners sell their resources to whoever is ready to pay the highest price, they thus ensure that the resource is allocated to those who need it the most.
- Mises and Hayek argued that in the absence of prices(in a centrally planned economies) which act as crucial signals to producers in a market economy, central planners would be unable to allocate resources.
The socialist argument:
- The market economy was not essential for the rational allocation of resources.
- They argued that a central planning board can allocate resources according to a plan that takes into account the genuine needs of society.
They further noting the importance of price as a signal-argued that a socialist economy can use the market mechanism to allocate resources even when all resources are owned by the state
The expenditure department in the finance ministry has cautioned against extension of the free ration scheme beyond September or reduction in any major tax rates. The country’s fiscal health is already under stress due to additional subsidies on fertilisers, cooking gas and reduction in excise duty on auto fuels and any further relief poses serious adverse fiscal consequences.
What has led to this situation?
Recent decisions on continuation of PMGKAY, the huge increase in fertiliser subsidy burden (both urea & non-urea), re-introduction of subsidy on cooking gas, reduction of excise duty on petrol & diesel and customs duty on various products have created a serious fiscal situation. The budgeted fiscal deficit at 6.4% of GDP was itself extremely high by historical standards, and deterioration therein poses a risk of serious adverse consequences
he Department of Expenditure is the nodal Department for overseeing the public financial management system in the Central Government and matters connected with state finances. It is responsible for the implementation of the recommendations of the Finance Commission and Central Pay Commission, monitoring of audit comments/ observations, preparation of Central Government Accounts. It further assists central Ministries/ Departments in controlling the costs and prices of public services, reviewing system and procedure to optimize outputs and outcomes of public expenditure. The principal activities of the Department include overseeing the expenditure management in the central Ministries/ Departments through the interface with the Financial Advisers and the administration of the Financial Rules/ Regulations/ Orders, pre-sanction appraisal of major schemes/ projects, handling bulk of the central budgetary resources transferred to State.
The business allocated to the Department of Expenditure is carried out through its Personnel &Establishment Division, Public Finance (States) and Public Finance (Central) Divisions, Office of Controller General of Accounts, Office of Chief Adviser Cost, and Central Pension Accounting Office.
The Department also has under its administrative control the National Institute of Financial Management (NIFM), Faridabad, which is an autonomous body.
Subhas Chandra Bose
- Subhas Chandra Bose was born on 23rd January 1897, in Cuttack, Orissa Division, Bengal Province, to PrabhavatiDutt Bose and Janakinath Bose.
- He was highly influenced by Vivekananda’s teachings and considered him as his spiritual Guru. His political mentor was Chittaranjan Das.
- In 1921, Bose took over the editorship of the newspaper ‘Forward’, founded by ChittaranjanDas’sSwaraj Party.
- In 1923, Bose was elected the President of the All India Youth Congress and also the Secretary of Bengal State Congress.
- He was also sent to prison in Mandalay in 1925 due to his connections with revolutionary movements where he contracted Tuberculosis.
- Bose took over as the elected President of Indian National Congress in 1938 (Haripur) and stood for unqualified Swaraj (self-governance) and the use of force against the British which then combated against Mahatma Gandhi and his views.
- Bose was re-elected in 1939 (Tripuri) but soon resigned from the presidency and formed the All India Forward Bloc, a faction within the Congress which aimed at consolidating the political left.
- He died on 18th August 1945, in a plane crash in Japanese-ruled Formosa (now Taiwan).
Contribution to Freedom Struggle
- Association with C.R Das: He was associated with C.R. Das’ political endeavour, and was also jailed along with him. When C.R. Das was elected Mayor of Calcutta Cooperation, he nominated Bose as the chief executive. He was arrested for his political activities in 1924.
- Trade union movements: He organised youth and promoted trade union movements. In 1930, he was elected Mayor of Calcutta, the same year he was elected the President of AITUC.
- Association with congress: He stood for unqualified swaraj (independence), and opposed Motilal Nehru Report which spoke for dominion status for India.
- He actively participated in the Salt Satyagraha of 1930 and vehemently opposed the suspension of Civil Disobedience Movement and signing of the Gandhi-Irwin Pact in 1931.
- In the 1930s, he was closely associated with left politics in Congress along with Jawaharlal Nehru and M.N. Roy.
- Because of the endeavour of the left group, the congress passed very far reaching radical resolutions in Karachi in 1931 which declared the main Congress aim as socialization of means of production besides guaranteeing fundamental rights.
- Congress presidentship: Bose won the congress presidential elections at Haripura in 1938.
- Next year at Tripuri, he again won the presidential elections against Gandhi’s candidate PattabhiSitarammayya.
- Due to ideological differences with Gandhi, Bose left congress and found a new party, ‘the Forward Bloc’.
- The purpose was to consolidate the political left and major support base in his home state Bengal.
- Civil disobedience movement: When World War II began, he was again imprisoned for participation in civil disobedience and was put under house arrest.
- Bose manages to escape to Berlin by way of Peshawar and Afghanistan. He reached Japan and from there to Burma and organised the Indian National Army to fight the british and liberate India with the help of Japan.
- He gave famous slogans ‘Jai Hind’ and ‘DilliChalo’. He died in a plane crash before realising his dreams.
- Bose founded the free India centre in Berlin and created the Indian Legion out of the Indian prisoners of war who had previously fought for the British in North Africa prior to their capture by Axis forces.
- In Europe, Bose sought help from Hitler and Mussolini for the liberation of India.
- In Germany, he was attached to the special bureau for India which was responsible for the broadcasting on the German sponsored Azad Hind Radio.
- On this radio, Bose on 6th July 1944, addressed Mahatma Gandhi as the ‘Father of the Nation’.
Indian National Army:
- He reached Japanese-controlled Singapore from Germany in July 1943, issued from there his famous call, ‘Delhi Chalo’, and announced the formation of the Azad Hind Government and the Indian National Army on 21st October 1943.
- The INA was first formed under Mohan Singh and Japanese Major Iwaichi Fujiwara and comprised Indian prisoners of war of the British-Indian Army captured by Japan in the Malayan (present-day Malaysia) campaign and at Singapore.
- The INA included both, the Indian prisoners of war from Singapore and Indian civilians in South-East Asia. It’s strength grew to 50,000.
- The INA fought allied forces in 1944 inside the borders of India in Imphal and in Burma.
- However, with the fall of Rangoon, Azad Hind Government ceased to be an effective political entity.
- In November 1945 a British move to put the INA men on trial immediately sparked massive demonstration all over the country.
- Impact: The I.N.A. experience created the wave of disaffection in the British Indian army during the 1945-46, which culminated in the great Bombay naval strike of February 1946 and was one of the most decisive reasons behind the British decision to make a quick withdrawal.
- Composition of I.N.A: The I.N.A. was essentially non-communal, with Muslims quite prominent among its officers and ranks, and it also introduced the innovation of a women’s detachment named after the Rani of Jhansi.
- Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari could be approached for appointment of the state’s legislative Assembly Speaker within 48 hours. There is also a possibility of Protem Speaker being appointed. After this, the Governor may call the Assembly session for the floor test.
- Under Article 175(2) of the Constitution of India the Governor has the power to summon the House and call for a floor test to prove the government has a majority.
Why Maharashtra assembly without a speaker ?
- Nana Patole stepped down from the Speaker’s post after he was appointed as the chief of the state unit of the Congress.
- With Nana Patole’s resignation from Speaker, there was a need to fill this position. In the Winter Session last year, amendments were made by the rules committee to the election of the Speaker, with the government fixing the date for election as 28 December.
- The changes in the rules were pertaining to the date of election and the manner in selecting the Speaker.
- As per Rule 6 of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Rules, “The Governor shall fix a date for the holding of the election and the Secretary shall send to every member notice of the date so fixed.”
- However, the amendment meant that the date of election of the Speaker was to be notified by the Governor on the recommendation of the chief minister, rather than the Governor announcing the same.
- Also, the “secret ballot” system for election was replaced with an “open” voting system, under which the Speaker could be chosen by a “show of hands or voice vote”.
- However, the BJP opposed these changes, accusing the MVA of running the “most insecure government.
- The Office of the Speaker of Legislative Assembly is a constitutional one.
- Under Article 178 of the Indian Constitution every Legislative Assembly of a State shall, choose one of its Members as Speaker.
- An official statement said the portfolios of the rebel ministers led by cabinet member Shinde, who are camping in Guwahati, have been handed over to other ministers in the Thackeray-led government for ease of administration.
- It is the Chief Minister who allots the portfolio of the ministers. The chief minister can also change whenever necessary any such portfolios. He also presides over the Council of Ministers and the Union Cabinet. S/he has the authority to select and dismiss members of the cabinet. The Prime Minister designates posts to the members within the government.
Context: the top court gave the 16 rebel Shiv Sena MLAs until July 12 to respond to the disqualification notice issued by the Deputy Speaker
What does the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution say?
- It was inserted in the Constitution by the Constitution (Fifty-Second Amendment) Act, 1985
- It provides for the disqualification of Members of Parliament and state legislatures who defect
- A member of a House belonging to any political party shall be disqualified from being a member of the House
- if he has voluntarily given up his membership of such political party
- if he votes or abstains from voting in such House contrary to any direction issued by the political party without obtaining prior permission
- If any question arises as to whether a member of a House has become subject to disqualification under this Schedule, the question shall be referred for the decision of the Chairman or the Speaker of such House and his decision shall be final
What is the 2/3rds rule in anti-defection law?
- The act allows a group of MP/MLAs to join (i.e. merge with) another political party without inviting the penalty for defection. And it does not penalise political parties for encouraging or accepting defecting legislators
- As per the 1985 Act, a ‘defection’ by one-third of the elected members of a political party was considered a ‘merger’
- But the 91st Constitutional Amendment Act, 2003, changed this and now at least two-thirds of the members of a party have to be in favour of a “merger” for it to have validity in the eyes of the law
What did the Supreme Court rule in ‘KihotoHollohan’?
- The principal question before the Supreme Court in the case was whether the powerful role given to the Speaker violated the doctrine of basic structure
- The petitioners in ‘KihotoHollohan’ argued whether it was fair that the Speaker should have such broad powers, given that there is always a reasonable likelihood of bias
- The majority judgment authored that The Speakers/Chairmen hold a pivotal position in the scheme of Parliamentary democracy and are guardians of the rights and privileges of the House
- They are expected to and do take far reaching decisions in the Parliamentary democracy.
- Vestiture of power to adjudicate questions under the Tenth Schedule in them should not be considered exceptionable
- The judgment said that the Schedule’s provisions were “salutory and intended to strengthen the fabric of Indian Parliamentary democracy by curbing unprincipled and unethical political defections
- Public Accounts Committee was introduced in 1921 after its first mention in the Government of India Act, 1919 also called Montford Reforms. It is existing in the Indian Constitution since then.
- PAC is one of the parliamentary committees that examine the annual audit reports of CAG which the President lays before the Parliament of India. Those three reports submitted by CAG are:
- Audit report on appropriation accounts
- Audit report on finance accounts
- Audit report on public undertakings
- The Public Accounts Committee examines public expenditure.
- That public expenditure is not only examined from a legal and formal point of view to discover technical irregularities but also from the point of view of the economy, prudence, wisdom, and propriety.
- The sole purpose to do this is to bring out cases of waste, loss, corruption, extravagance, inefficiency, and nugatory expenses.
- Election of Members -By Parliament every year with proportional representation by means of a single transferable vote (A minister cannot be elected)
- Members – 22. Out of 22 members, 15 are elected from Lok Sabha (Lower House) and 7 members are elected from Rajya Sabha (Upper House.)
- Term of office – one year
- Chairman – Speaker appoints him/her from amongst the members, invariably from the Opposition Party since 1967.
- Its limitation – It can keep a tab on the expenses only after they are incurred. It has no power to limit expenses.
- The Krishna is the second largest east flowing river of the Peninsula.
- The Krishna Basin extends over Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra and Karnataka having a total area of ~2.6 lakh Sq.km.
- It is bounded by Balaghat range on the north, by the Eastern Ghats on the south and the east and by the Western Ghats on the west.
- The Krishna River rises from the Western Ghats near Jor village of Satara district of Maharashtra at an altitude of 1,337 m just north of Mahabaleshwar.
- The total length of river from origin to its outfall into the Bay of Bengal is 1,400 km.
- The major part of basin is covered with agricultural land accounting to 75.86% of the total area.
- The Krishna forms a large delta with a shoreline of about 120 km. The Krishna delta appears to merge with that formed by the Godavari and extends about 35 km into the sea.
About Krishna River Water Dispute:
- Telangana and Andhra Pradesh share stretches of the Krishna and the Godavari and own their tributaries.
- Both states have proposed several new projects without getting clearance from the river boards, the Central Water Commission and the Apex Council, as mandated by the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014.
- Andhra Pradesh alleges that Telangana has been drawing Krishna water from four projects — Jurala, Srisailam, NagarjunaSagar, and Pulichintala — for hydropower generation without approvals from the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB), an autonomous body that was set up after the bifurcation of the state, to manage and regulate the waters in the Krishna basin.
- Telangana made it clear that it would not recognize Pothireddypadu project, which it alleges is being illegally constructed by the Andhra Pradesh government on Krishna river without any environmental clearances or allocation of even a drop of water to the project or any permission from the Green Tribunal.
Krishna River Management Board:
- In exercise of the powers conferred under section 85 of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act, 2014, the Central Government constituted an autonomous KRMB for
- the administration,
- maintenance and
- operation of such projects,
- Section 84(1) of the ANDHRA PRADESH REORGANISATION ACT, the Central Government shall, on and from the appointed day, constitute an Apex Council for the supervision of the functioning of the Krishna River Management Board.
- The Apex Council shall consist of-
- Minister of Water Resources, Government of India-Chairperson;
- Chief Minister of State of Andhra Pradesh-Member;
- Chief Minister of State of Telangana-Member.
Inter-State Water Disputes
- Article 262 of the Constitution provides for the adjudication of inter-state water disputes.
- Under this, Parliament may by law provide for the adjudication of any dispute or complaint with respect to the use, distribution and control of waters of any inter-state river and river valley.
- Parliament may also provide that neither the Supreme Court nor any other court is to exercise jurisdiction in respect of any such dispute or complaint.
- The Parliament has enacted the two laws, the River Boards Act (1956) and the Inter-State Water Disputes Act (1956).
- The River Boards Act provides for the establishment of river boards by the Central government for the regulation and development of inter-state river and river valleys.
- A River Board is established on the request of state governments concerned to advise them.
- The Inter-State Water Disputes Act empowers the Central government to set up an ad hoc tribunal for the adjudication of a dispute between two or more states in relation to the waters of an inter-state river or river valley.
- The decision of the tribunal is final and binding on the parties to the dispute.
- Neither the Supreme Court nor any other court
- The Panchayat (Extension of the Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 or PESA, was enacted by the Centre to ensure self-governance through gram sabhas (village assemblies) for people living in scheduled areas.
- This particular act extends the provisions of Part IX to the Scheduled Areas of the country. PESA brought powers further down to the Gram Sabha level.
- It legally recognises the right of tribal communities, residents of the scheduled areas, to govern themselves through their own systems of self-government, and also acknowledges their traditional rights over natural resources.
- In pursuance of this objective, PESA empowers gram sabhas to play a key role in approving development plans and controlling all social sectors.
- This includes the processes and personnel who implement policies, exercising control over minor (non-timber) forest resources, minor water bodies and minor minerals, managing local markets, preventing land alienation and regulating intoxicants among other things.
- State governments were required to amend their respective Panchayat Raj Acts without making any law that would be inconsistent with the mandate of PESA.
- Six states have formed the PESA laws, and Chhattisgarh would become the seventh state if the rules are enacted.
Why are rules under PESA important? What topics will be covered?
- PESA rules enable the residents of scheduled areas to strengthen their village-level bodies by transferring power from the government to the gram sabha, a body of all the registered voters of the village.
- The powers of gram sabhas include maintenance of cultural identity and tradition, control over schemes affecting the tribals, and control over natural resources within the area of a village.
- The PESA Act thus enables gram sabhas to maintain a safety net over their rights and surroundings against external or internal conflicts. Without proper rules, its implementation is not possible as it is an exercise in decentralising the power from institutionalised structures, back to the village residents.
- The laws, once formed, will give gram sabhas the power to take decisions not only over their customs and traditionally managed resources, but also on the minerals being excavated from their areas.
- The rules state that the gram sabha will have to be kept informed by any and all agencies working in their village, and that the gram sabha has the power to approve or stop the work being done within the village limits.
- The rules also give power to the gram sabhas over management of resources over jal, jangal, zameen (water, forest and land), the three major demands of tribals; minor forest produce; mines and minerals; markets; and human resources.
- The gram sabha would have the powers to monitor and prohibit the manufacturing, transport, sale and consumption of intoxicants within their village limits.
- It also has a duty to maintain peace and resolve conflicts arising in the village, while protecting tribal customs and traditions, and encouraging customs like ghotul.
It has further provided that the Gram Sabha or Panchayats at appropriate level shall have the following powers:
- To be consulted on matters of land acquisition and resettlement.
- Grant prospecting license for mining lease for minor minerals and concessions for such activities.
- Planning and management of minor water bodies.
- The power to enforce prohibition or to regulate or restrict the sale and consumption of any intoxicant.
- The ownership of minor forest produces.
- The power to prevent alienation of land and to restore any unlawfully alienated land of a scheduled tribe.
- The power to manage village markets.
- The power to exercise control over money lending to scheduled tribes.
- While giving such wide-ranging powers to Gram Sabhas or Panchayats, PESA has further given an added responsibility to States that they may endow Panchayats