Daily Prelims Notes 29 July 2020
- July 29, 2020
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN
Table Of Contents
- Election timing and Election Commission
- Delimitation Exercise
- Business Advisory Committee
- Status of Tiger
- Public good
- Australian bush fire
1. Election timing and Election Commission
The Election Commission of India has made reply asserting that all decisions on the conduct and timing of elections are its sole remit, in respone to Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor’s speech over elections.
- The EC, before coming out with the election dates, takes relevant factors into consideration.
- These include the topography, weather, sensitivities arising out of regional and local festivities in the area(s) where the election is to take place.
- 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 multimember 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.
Delimitation committee is appointed for Jammu and Kashmir
- Delimitation literally means the act or process of fixing limits or boundaries of territorial constituencies in a country or a province having a legislative body.
- Under Article 82 of the Constitution, the Parliament by law enacts a Delimitation Act after every census.
- The Delimitation Commission is appointed by the President of India and works in collaboration with the Election Commission of India
- Retired Supreme Court judge
- Chief Election Commissioner
- Respective State Election Commissioners
- To determine the number and boundaries of constituencies to make population of all constituencies nearly equal.
- To identify seats reserved for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, wherever their population is relatively large.
- In case of difference of opinion among members of the Commission, the opinion of the majority prevails.
- The Delimitation Commission in India is a high power body whose orders have the force of law and cannot be called in question before any court.
- Delimitation Commissions have been set up four times — 1952, 1963, 1973 and 2002 under the Acts of 1952, 1962, 1972 and 2002.
- The present delimitation of constituencies has been done on the basis of 2001 census figures under the provisions of Delimitation Act, 2002.
- Notwithstanding the above, the Constitution of India was specifically amended in 2002 not to have delimitation of constituencies till the first census after 2026.
3. Business Advisory Committee
Rajasthan state government in its fresh recommendation to governor has refused to mention whether it is seeking a trust vote. The government has said that the agenda of the House has to be decided by the Business Advisory Committee (BAC).
- The Business Advisory Committee of LokSabha consists of 15 members including the Speaker who is the ex-officio Chairperson.
- The members are nominated by the Speaker.
- In practice, a new Committee after being nominated by the Speaker is constituted and assumes office in the first week of June every year.
- Casual vacancies are filled by nomination of new members for the unexpired term of the Committee.
- The Committee generally meets at the beginning of each Session and thereafter as and when necessary.
- Almost all sections of the House are represented on the Committee.
- The function of the Committee is to recommend the time that should be allotted for the discussion of such government legislative and other business as the Speaker, in consultation with the Leader of the House, may direct to be referred to the Committee.
- The Committee, on its own initiative, may also recommend to the Government to bring forward particular subjects for discussion in the House and recommend allocation of time for such discussions.
- The decisions reached by the Committee are always unanimous in character and representative of the collective view of the House.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has ordered Oil India Limited (OIL) to deposit ₹25 crore with the administration of eastern Assam’s Tinsukia district for environmental damage due to the fire in Baghjan well.
The well is close to the Maguri-Motapung wetland, which is within the eco-sensitive zone of the fragile Dibru-Saikhowa National Park.
- It is a specialized body set up under the National Green Tribunal Act (2010) for effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources.
- With the establishment of the NGT, India became the third country in the world to set up a specialised environmental tribunal, only after Australia and New Zealand, and the first developing country to do so.
- NGT is mandated to make disposal of applications or appeals finally within 6 months of filing of the same.
- Structure of NGT
The Tribunal comprises of the Chairperson, the Judicial Members and Expert Members. They shall hold office for term of five years and are not eligible for reappointment. The Chairperson is appointed by the Central Government in consultation with Chief Justice of India (CJI)
- Powers & Jurisdiction
The Tribunal has jurisdiction over all civil cases involving substantial question relating to environment. The Tribunal is not bound by the procedure laid down under the Code of Civil Procedure 1908, but shall be guided by principles of ‘natural justice’.
- The NGT deals with civil cases under the seven laws related to the environment, these include:
- The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974,
- The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act, 1977,
- The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980,
- The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981,
- The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986,
- The Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991 and
- The Biological Diversity Act, 2002.
- Two important acts – Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 have been kept out of NGT’s jurisdiction.
Union Ministry for Environment, Forests and Climate Change has released the detailed Status of Tigers Report 2018on occasion of International Tiger Day celebrated on July 29.
- Tigers were observed to be increasing at a rate of 6 per cent per annum in India from 2006 to 2018.
- There were nine tiger reserves when Project Tiger started in 1973. Now, India has 50 tiger reserves. Seventy per cent of the world’s tigers are in India and the conservation effort has been a huge success.
- While tiger populations remain stable in the country, the report warns that with the populations being confined to small Protected Areas, some of which have habitat corridors that permit tiger movement between them, “most of the corridor habitats in India are not protected areas, and are degrading due to unsustainable human use and developmental projects”.
- Tiger occupancy has increased in Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh. The former also registered a substantial increase in tiger population, and along with Karnataka, ranks highest in tiger numbers.
- The Northeast has, meanwhile, suffered losses in population.
- The population in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Odisha too have seen a decline in the number of tigers
- The largest contiguous tiger population in the world of about 724 tigers was found in the Western Ghats (Nagarhole-Bandipur-Wayanad-Mudumalai- Satyamangalam-BRT block).
International Tiger Day
International Tiger Day was established in 2010 at Saint Petersburg Tiger Summit in Russia to raise awareness about the decline of wild tiger numbers, leaving them in the brink of extinction and to encourage the work of Tiger conservation.
6. Public good
- A public good has two key characteristics: it is nonexcludable and nonrivalrous.
- Non-excludable means that it is costly or impossible for one user to exclude others from using a good.
- Non-rivalrous means that when one person uses a good, it does not prevent others from using it.
- Examples of public goods are education, infrastructure, flood control systems, knowledge, fresh air, national security, official statistics, etc.
Nearly three billion animals were killed or displaced during Australia’s devastating bushfires of the past year.
- Bushfires are a routine occurrence in the country, but this bushfire season is believed to be the worst and has started even before the beginning of the Southern Hemisphere summer.
- Australia, where the summer starts around October, is known to be the most fire-prone of all continents.
- This is mainly because Australia is also the driest inhabited continent.Almost 70% of its area comprises arid or semi-arid land, with average annual rainfall less than 350 mm.
- Prolonged Drought: The three years between 2017 and 2019 were the driest 36-month period ever in the New South Wales (a state of Australia).
- 2019 happened to be the warmest and driest year for the country since 1900.
- Positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD): In 2019, the problem has been compounded by the presence of one of the strongest-ever positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) events. Positive IOD events are often associated with a more severe fire season for South-east Australia.
- Rare stratospheric warming over Antarctica: Temperatures were 30°C to 40°C higher than normal in the region 10 to 50 km from Earth’s surface — another extraordinary weather event that could have contributed to the unusual heat and dryness in Australia.
- Link with climate change: Experts say climate change has worsened the scope and impact of natural disasters such as fires and floods. Weather conditions are growing more extreme, and for years, the fires have been starting earlier in the season and spreading with greater intensity.