02 November, 2019
12 Min Read
|GS-III||CMIE Report on unemployment||Economic Issues|
|Air Pollution in Delhi|
|Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), 1958||Miscellaneous|
Syllabus subtopic: Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country, different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers.
News: Work on the mega Polavaram irrigation project was recently resumed by the new contractor, Hyderabad-based Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Ltd.
Prelims focus: Key facts on Polavaram project.
Mains focus: Significance and issues associated with the project.
Context: Work on the mega Polavaram irrigation project was recently resumed by the new contractor, Hyderabad-based Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Ltd.
About the Polavaram project:
Source: The Hindu
Syllabus subtopic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment
News: The Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) has released a report on Unemployment in India.
Prelims focus: Key findings of the report.
Mains focus: Concerns, reasons for rise in unemployment, challenges ahead and steps to be taken to address them.
Most of the decline in employment has happened due to the fall in the number of workers in agriculture and a sharp fall in the absolute number of female workers- Roughly 37 million workers left agriculture in the last six years. During the same time, 25 million women workers were out of the workforce.
While the trend of workers moving out of agriculture is seen since 2004-05 and is welcome, it also points to the rising vulnerability of farm production.
No doubt, the problem is not new and even earlier governments are to be blamed for the mess that the economy is in. Unfortunately, blaming the data or earlier governments does not make people who are looking for jobs vanish from the country. Stagnant wages and jobless growth are not just indicators of a weakening economy, but also a recipe for political instability and a crisis in the countryside. The least that is expected of the government is an acknowledgement of the extent of the problem and then try to address it.
Steps to be taken:
Falling manufacturing employment and decelerating construction employment growth are bad news for the economy.
To sustain the growth of income, improve standard of living, and to reduce poverty, employment opportunities in manufacturing and construction (although a transitory sector) is necessary.
Source: The Hindu
Syllabus subtopic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment
News: EPCA declares public health emergency in Delhi-NCR.
Prelim focus: GRAP and key features, about EPCA
Mains focus: Concerns over rising pollution levels, challenges and ways to address them, need for a permanent solution.
AQI entered the “severe plus” or “emergency” category.
An AQI between 0-50 is considered ‘good’, 51-100 ‘satisfactory’, 101-200 ‘moderate’, 201-300 ‘poor’, 301-400 ‘very poor’ and 401-500 ‘severe’. Above 500 falls in the ‘severe-plus emergency’ category.
Measures announced under GRAP- Severe+ or Emergency- (PM 2.5 over 300 µg/cubic metre or PM10 over 500 µg/cu. m. for 48+ hours):
Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP):
Has it been helpful?
To address this menace, we need a permanent solution which might include the following:
About Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA):
Source: The Hindu
Syllabus subtopic: Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism
The Cabinet Secretariat has notified rules reasserting the Union Home Ministry as the authority that would decide on the imposition of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) in the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
Prelims and Mains focus:
AFSPA- features, draconian provisions, misuses and need for review.
What qualifies for a “disturbed area” and who has the power to declare it?
Origin of AFSPA
The Act came into force in the context of increasing violence in the North eastern States decades ago, which the State governments found difficult to control. The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Bill was passed by both the Houses of Parliament and it was approved by the President on September 11, 1958. It became known as the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958.
Special powers given to army officials
Role of the judiciary
There were questions about the constitutionality of AFSPA, given that law and order is a state subject. The Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of AFSPA in a 1998 judgement (Naga People’s Movement of Human Rights v. Union of India).
In this judgement, the Supreme Court arrived at certain conclusions including:
(a) a suo motu declaration can be made by the Central government, however, it is desirable that the state government should be consulted by the central government before making the declaration;
(b) AFSPA does not confer arbitrary powers to declare an area as a ‘disturbed area’;
(c) the declaration has to be for a limited duration and there should be a periodic review of the declaration 6 months have expired;
(d) while exercising the powers conferred upon him by AFSPA, the authorised officer should use minimal force necessary for effective action,
(e) the authorised officer should strictly follow the ‘Dos and Don’ts’ issued by the army.
Has there been any review of the Act?
On November 19, 2004, the Central government appointed committee headed by Justice B P Jeevan Reddy made the following recommendations: (a) AFSPA should be repealed and appropriate provisions should be inserted in the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967; (b) The Unlawful Activities Act should be modified to clearly specify the powers of the armed forces and paramilitary forces and (c) grievance cells should be set up in each district where the armed forces are deployed.
The 5th report of the Second Administrative Reforms Commission on public order has also recommended the repeal of the AFSPA.
These recommendations have not been implemented.
Source: The Hindu
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