Daily Prelims Notes 9 October 2022
- October 9, 2022
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
9 October 2022
Table Of Contents
- Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT)
- Election Commission frozen the Shiv Sena’s symbol
- CJI Lalit sets a frenetic pace in Supreme Court
Subject : International relations
Recently, the road-and-rail bridge linking Russia and the Crimean Peninsula was damaged in a powerful blast.
- The 19-km (12-mile) Crimea Bridge over the Kerch Strait is the only direct link between the transport network of Russia and the Crimean Thus,hitting a crucial supply route for Russian forces in Ukraine.
- The bridge was a flagship project for Russian President Vladimir Putin which was opened in 2018.
- Crimea is a peninsula in Eastern Europe, on the northern coast of the Black Sea.
- The peninsula is almost entirely surrounded by the Black Sea and the smaller Sea of Azov.
- The Isthmus of Perekop connects the peninsula to Kherson Oblast in mainland Ukraine.
- To the east, the Crimean Bridge spans the Strait of Kerch andlink the peninsula with Krasnodar Krai in Russia.
- The Arabat Spit, located to the northeast, is a narrow strip of land that separates the Sivash lagoons from the Sea of Azov.
- After the disintegration of USSR Crimea was transferred to Ukraine on the 300th anniversary of the Pereyaslav Treaty in 1954.
- After Ukrainian independence in 1991 the central government and Crimea clashed, culminating in Ukraine forcibly bringing Crimea under control.
- The Soviet fleet in Crimea was also in contention but a 1997 treaty allowed Russia to continue basing its fleet in Sevastopol.
- In 2014 pro-Russians seized control, organized a disputed referendum supporting Russian annexation.
- This was followed by a Russian military intervention in Crimea that took place in the aftermath of the 2014 Ukrainian revolution and was part of wider unrest across southern and eastern Ukraine.
- Following the annexation two agreement was signed between the two country:
- Minsk I: Ukraine and the Russian-backed separatists agreed a 12-point ceasefire deal in the capital of Belarus in September
- Its provisions included prisoner exchanges, deliveries of humanitarian aid and the withdrawal of heavy weapons.
- The agreement quickly broke down, with violations by both sides.
- Minsk II: In 2015, an open conflict was averted after the ‘Minsk II’ peace agreement was signed, under the mediation of France and Germany.
- It was designed to end the fighting in the rebel regions and hand over the border to Ukraine’s national troops.
- It was signed by Representatives of Russia, Ukraine, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the leaders of two pro-Russian separatist regions.
- A petition was admitted by Mumbai based activist AkshayBajad in the Supreme Court last month that called for the introduction of technology to allow visually challenged voters to verify their votes.
- It suggested that image text to speech (ITTS) conversion software be added to the electronic voting machines (EVM) and voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) units used for elections.
What is VVPAT:
Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail is an independent system consisting of two parts, namely,VVPAT Printer and VVPAT Status Display Unit (VSDU) attached with the Electronic Voting Machines that allows the voters to verify that their votes are cast as intended.
- When a vote is cast, a slip is printed containing the serial number, name and symbol of the candidate and remains exposed through a transparent window for 7 seconds.
- Thereafter, this printed slip gets automatically cut and falls in sealed drop box of the VVPAT.
Facts related to VVPAT:
- VVPATs with EVMs were used for the first time in a bye-election from Noksen (ST) assembly constituency of Nagaland in 2013.
- VVPAT -fitted EVMs were used in entire Goa assembly elections of 2017 which was also the first time that VVPAT with EVM was used in the entire state.
- VVPAT was used in the general election of 2019 in all the 543 constituencies for the first time.
- VVPAT runs on a power pack (Battery) of 15 volts.
Rules related to VVPAT.
- The use of VVPATs falls under Rule 49A of the Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961, which provides that every EVM shall have a control unit and a balloting unit.
- Recently the Election Commission of India (ECI) froze the well known ‘bow and arrow’ election symbol of the Shiv Sena until the competing claims for recognition by the two rival factions is decided.
- This has been done to place both the group on same level for the purposes of the current bye-elections,
- The two groups shall be allotted different symbols as they may choose from the list of free symbols.
Source of ECI power with respect to symbol allotment:
- The Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968 empowers the Election Commission to recognise political parties and allot symbols.
- Under Paragraph 15 of the Order, it can decide disputes among rival groups or sections of a recognised political party staking claim to its name and symbol.
- As per the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) (Amendment) Order, 2017, there are two types of party symbols
- Reserved:-Eight national parties and 64 state parties across the country have reserved symbols.
- Free: The Election Commission also has a pool of nearly 200 free symbols that are allotted to the thousands of unrecognized regional parties that pop up before elections
How ECI Decides:
- When there is split in a political party outside the legislature, then by Para 15 of the Symbols Order, 1968, when the Commission is satisfied that there are rival sections or groups of a recognised political party each of whom claims to be that party, then the Commission may decide that one such rival section or group or none of such rival sections or groups is that recognised political party. The decision of the Commission shall be binding on all such rival sections or groups.
- For splits in registered but unrecognized parties, the EC usually advises the warring factions to resolve their differences internally or to approach the court.
- In 1997 a new rule was introduced by ECI under which the splinter group of the party other than the group that got the party symbol had to register itself as a separate party, and could lay claim to national or state party status only on the basis of its performance in state or central elections after registration.
What used to happen before 1968:
- Before 1968, the EC issued notifications and executive orders under the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961.
- The first case decided under the 1968 Order was the Congress split of 1969.The party splitted into the Old Congress led by Nijalingappa and the New Congress led by Indira.
The Old Congress retained the party symbol of a pair of bullocks carrying a yoke; the breakaway faction was given the symbol of a cow with its calf.
Context: The nomadic communities of J&K have been offered smart cards and free transport to aid their biannual migration
For centuries, Jammu and Kashmir’s nomadic community, known as Gujjars and Bakerwals, have undertaken arduous journeys on foot as part of their seasonal migration to find better pastures for their livestock.
They often lose cattle and, on occasion, family members to accidents and hardships along the way. However, technological solutions and transport services have been offered this year to help them cover long distances in less time and more safely
What is transhumance?
- Transhumance is a form of pastoralism or nomadism organized around the migration of livestock between mountain pastures in warm seasons and lower altitudes the rest of the year.
- Most people who practice transhumance also practice some form of crop cultivation and some kind of permanent settlement seasonally.
- These are practiced mostly in mountains, highlands, or other areas that are too cold to be inhabited and utilized for grazing except in summer.
Context: Chief Justice Lalit had promised that there would be at least one Constitution Bench presiding in court every day. The court’s formation of Constitution Benches had almost come to a stop during the pandemic days.
The Constitution Benches have taken up sensitive issues such as the legality of the Citizenship Amendment Act, increasing the compensation to Bhopal gas tragedy victims, validity of the demonetisation policy, the constitutionality of the economically weaker sections quota, protection of Jallikattu as a cultural right, the Maharashtra political crisis, the dispute between the Delhi government and the Lieutenant Governor over the control of the civil services in the capital, the declaration of Muslims as a socially and educationally backward community, the setting up of regional Benches of the Supreme Court, a challenge to polygamy and the Bohra community’s right to excommunicate dissidents, among others.
A constitution bench consists of at least five or more judges of the court which is set up to decide substantial questions of law with regard to the interpretation of the constitution in a case.
The provision for a Constitution bench has been provided in the Constitution of India under Article 143. It is the Chief Justice of India who is constitutionally authorized to constitute a constitution bench and refer cases to it.
Constitution benches are set up when the following circumstances exist:
1) When a case involves a substantial question of law pertaining to the interpretation of the Constitution [Article 145(3)]. Article 145(3) provides, “The minimum number of Judges who are to sit for the purpose of deciding any case involving a substantial question of law as to the interpretation of this Constitution or for the purpose of hearing any reference under Article 143 shall be five.”
2) When President of India has sought the Supreme Court’s opinion on a question of fact or law under Article 143 of the Constitution. Article 143 of the Constitution provides for Advisory jurisdiction to the Supreme Court of India. As per the provision, the President of India has the power to address questions to the Supreme Court, which he deems important for public welfare. The Supreme Court upon reference advises the President by answering the query. However, such referral advice by the apex court is not binding on the President, nor is it ‘law declared by the Supreme Court’.
3) When two or more three-judge benches of the Supreme Court have delivered conflicting judgments on the same point of law, necessitating a definite understanding and interpretation of the law by a larger bench.
Previously the Constitution benches are set up on ad hoc basis as and when the above-mentioned conditions exist.
Most of the landmark cases, such as AK Gopalan v. State of Madras, Kesavananda Bharati v. State of Kerala, etc., in which the court settled the law by some degree of finality were decided by the Constitution benches.