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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

Monthly DNA

03 Dec, 2022

26 Min Read

Same-sex Marriage under the Special Marriage Act, 1954

GS-I : Social issues Social inclusion

Same-sex Marriage under the Special Marriage Act, 1954

  • In response to a petition filed by two gay couples seeking recognition of same-sex marriage under the Special Marriage Act of 1954, the Supreme Court has served notice to the Indian Government and Attorney General.
  • A two-judge panel led by Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud issued the notice as a consequence of numerous petitions.
  • Same-sex marriage is not recognised, which amounts to discrimination that undermines the dignity and self-actualization of LGBTQ+ couples.

What are the petitioners' arguments?

  • Insofar as it discriminates against same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples, depriving same-sex couples of both legal rights and the social respect and status that come with marriage, the Act is in violation of the Constitution.
  • Any marriage between two people should be subject to the Special Marriage Act of 1954, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Otherwise, the Act should be deemed to be in violation of the Fundamental Rights to Equality and a Life of dignity since "it does not provide for the solemnization of marriage between same sex couple."
  • The Act ought to provide same-sex couples with the same level of protection as it does for inter-caste and inter-religious unions.
  • By simply decriminalising homosexuality, not enough progress has been made; LGBTQ+ people need equality in all areas of life, including the job, the family, and public spaces.
  • Currently, 7% to 8% of the nation's population identify as LGBTQ+.

Is Same-Sex Marriages Legal in India?

  • The Indian Constitution does not expressly recognise the right to marriage as a basic or Constitutional Right.
  • Although marriage is governed by a number of statutory laws, its recognition as a basic right only came about as a result of Supreme Court of India rulings. According to Article 141 of the Constitution, this pronouncement of law is obligatory on all courts in India.

What are the Supreme Court's opinions on same-sex unions?

  • Shafin Jahan v. Asokan K.M. and others (2018): Marriage as a Fundamental Right
  • While referring to Article 16 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Puttaswamy case, the SC held that the right to marry a person of one’s choice is integral to Article 21 of the Constitution.
  • According to Article 16(2) of the Indian Constitution, discrimination cannot be based only on a person's race, caste, sex, ancestry, place of birth, or domicile.
  • The freedom that the Constitution protects as a Fundamental Right, which is each person's right to make decisions that are important to their pursuit of happiness, is inextricably linked to the right to marry. The fundamental right guaranteed by the constitution is the freedom of religion and belief, including the choice to believe.
  • In Navjet Singh Johar and others v. Union of India in 2018, it was argued that the LGBTQ community was entitled to all constitutional rights.
  • LGBTQ individuals "are entitled, as all other citizens, to the full spectrum of Fundamental Rights, including the liberties protected by the Constitution," as well as to equal citizenship and "equal protection of the law," according to the Supreme Court.

About the Special Marriage Act (SMA)1954:

  • The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, the Muslim Marriage Act, 1954, or the Special Marriage Act, 1954 are the personal laws under which marriages in India may be registered.
  • The judiciary has a responsibility to make sure that both the husband and wife's rights are upheld.
  • Unaffected by the religion or belief practised by either partner, the Special Marriage Act, 1954 is an Act of the Parliament of India that provides for civil marriage for citizens of India and all Indian nationals abroad.
  • The Special Marriage Act, rather than personal laws, governs a marriage when it is solemnised in accordance with this law.

Features:

  • It enables the union of individuals with two various religious origins in the union of marriage.
  • It outlines the procedures for marriages where one or both partners are not Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, or Sikhs, as well as for marriages that are solemnised and registered.
  • Being a secular Act, it is crucial in releasing people from the constraints of conventional marriage.

Way Forward

  • The LGBT community needs an anti-discrimination law that gives them the freedom to forge fulfilling relationships and lives regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation and places the responsibility for change on the state and society rather than the person.
  • There is no question that same-sex couples planning to get married must be granted the fundamental right to marry a person of their choice once members of the LGBTQ community "are entitled to the full spectrum of constitutional rights." More than a dozen nations have made same-sex unions lawful.

Read Also: Status of Indian judiciary

Source: The Indian Express

Heat waves & India’s Cooling Sector

GS-I : Physical Geography Heat waves

Heat waves & India’s Cooling Sector

The World Bank recently published the report "Climate Investment Opportunities in India's Cooling Sector."

Highlights of the Report:

  • Heatwave exposure: From 2030 onwards, more than 160 to 200 million people in India could be exposed to a lethal heat wave each year.

Productivity is declining:

  • Due to heat stress-related productivity decline, approximately 34 million Indians will lose their jobs.
  • Demand for cooling: According to a World Bank report, cooling demand is expected to be eight times higher by 2037 than it is now.
  • In this scenario, India must deploy alternative and innovative energy-efficient technologies to keep spaces cool.

The Importance of India's Cooling Sector:

  • In addition to significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating 3.7 million jobs, India's Cooling Sector could provide a $1.6 trillion investment opportunity by 2040.
  • According to the report, with the demand for cooling increases, there will be a demand for a new air conditioner every 15 seconds.
  • This demand is expected to result in a 435% increase in annual greenhouse gas emissions over the next two decades.
  • As a result, there is a need to transition to a more energy-efficient path, which could result in a significant reduction in expected CO2 levels.

Report recommendations

2019 India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP):

The report proposes a road map to support the India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP) 2019 by investing in three major sectors:

  • Cold chains, and building construction
  • Refrigerants.
  • Techniques for climate-responsive cooling:
  • Adopting climate-responsive cooling techniques as a standard practice in both private and government-funded constructions can help to ensure that those at the bottom of the economic ladder are not disproportionately affected by rising temperatures.
  • According to the report, India's Affordable Housing Program for the poor, the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), can implement such changes on a large scale.

District cooling policy:

  • It also proposed enacting a district cooling policy that could result in 20-30% less power consumption than the most efficient conventional cooling solutions.
  • District cooling technologies use a central plant to generate chilled water, which is then distributed to multiple buildings via underground insulated pipes.
  • Individual building cooling costs are reduced as a result.
  • Aside from that, guidelines for local and city-wide urban cooling measures such as cool roofs should be considered.
  • Closing gaps in cold chain distribution networks: The report recommends closing gaps in cold chain distribution networks to reduce rising food and pharmaceutical waste during transportation due to higher temperatures.
  • Investing in pre-cooling and refrigerated transportation can help reduce food waste by 76% and carbon emissions by 16%.
  • Lowering the global warming footprint: Improvements in the servicing, maintenance, and disposal of hydrochlorofluorocarbon-using equipment, as well as a shift to alternative options with a lower global warming footprint, are also recommended.

What exactly is a Heat Wave?

  • It is a period of unusually high temperatures, exceeding the normal maximum temperature for the summer season.
  • It usually occurs between March and June, but in rare cases, it can last until July.
  • Extreme temperatures and the resulting atmospheric conditions have a negative impact on people living in these areas because they cause physiological stress, which can lead to death.
  • In India, there is a criterion for declaring heat waves.
  • A heat wave is declared when the maximum temperature at a station is 40°C or higher for Plains and 30°C or higher for Hilly regions.
  • Heat Wave Departure from Normal: The temperature ranges from 4.50°C to 6.40°C.
  • Heat Wave Based on Actual Maximum Temperature: When the actual maximum temperature is 45 degrees Celsius.
  • Severe Heat Wave: When the actual maximum temperature exceeds 47 degrees Celsius.
  • If at least two stations in a Meteorological subdivision met the above criteria for at least two consecutive days and it was declared on the second day.

Causes of Increasing Heat Waves:

Extreme temperatures are becoming more common around the world as a result of both local and global factors.

  • Scientists have demonstrated how greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions exacerbate ocean temperatures, resulting in rising temperatures.
  • Anthropogenic GHG emissions in the form of burning of fossil fuel, mining, thermal power plants, deforestation, rising population, etc are to blame for the current weather disaster
  • Most importantly, heatwaves and wildfires are 'unimaginable' in the absence of human-caused climate change.

Way Forward

  • The right combination of policy actions and public investments can assist in leveraging large-scale private investment in this sector.
  • India's cooling strategy has the potential to save lives and livelihoods while also reducing carbon emissions and positioning India as a global hub for green cooling manufacturing.

Source: The Hindu

Delimitation exercise of J&K

GS-II : Governance Delimitation

Delimitation exercise of J&K

The Supreme Court recently questioned petitioners about their decision not to challenge the constitutionality of a specific provision in the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act.

More on the news:

  • A provision in the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, which gives the Delimitation Commission the authority to "carry out" the re-adjustment of constituencies in the Union Territory formed after the repeal of Article 370 in the erstwhile State, was in question.

Who has the authority to conduct delimitation?

  • The petitioners claimed that Sections 60 and 61 of the 2019 Act, which defined the role of the Election Commission of India (ECI) in constituency delimitation, were in conflict with Section 62.
  • The petitioners contended that only the ECI was authorized to conduct the delimitation exercise under Section 60 of the J&K Reorganisation Act.
  • Census is being considered:
  • They also argued before the Bench that Article 170 of the Constitution prohibited delimitation based on the 2011 census.
  • It had to happen on the basis of the 2001 census or wait until the first census after 2026.

The government's reaction:

  • The government has responded by stating that there are two alternative mechanisms for delimitation of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • While Sections 60-61 granted the ECI the authority to determine delimitation, Sections 62(2) and 62(3) granted the Delimitation Commission the authority to carry out delimitation.

Regarding the Delimitation of J&K

  • Delimitation is the act of redrawing the boundaries of an Assembly or Lok Sabha seat to reflect changes in population over time.
  • The role of the Delimitation Commission: This exercise is carried out by a Delimitation Commission, whose orders have legal force and cannot be challenged in court.

J&K Delimitation Exercises:

Prior to the J&K Reorganization Act:

  • The former J&K state had 111 seats.
  • There are 46 seats in Kashmir, 37 in Jammu, and four in Ladakh, plus 24 reserved for Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
  • When Ladakh was established as a Union Territory, J&K was left with 107 seats, including the 24 for the People's Republic of Kashmir.
  • The Reorganisation Act increased the number of seats to 114, with 90 reserved for Jammu and Kashmir in addition to the 24 reserved for PoK.
  • The delimitation of parliamentary constituencies in the former state was governed by the Indian Constitution, while that of Assembly seats was carried out by the then-state government under the Jammu and Kashmir Representation of the People Act, 1957.
  • Following the enactment of the J&K Reorganization Act, the delimitation of Lok Sabha and Assembly seats in the newly created Union Territory would be in accordance with the provisions of the Indian Constitution.
  • On March 6, 2020, the government established the Delimitation Commission, led by retired Supreme Court judge Ranjana Prakash Desai, with the goal of completing delimitation in J&K within a year.
  • The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill proposes increasing the number of Assembly seats in J&K from 107 to 114, which is expected to benefit the Jammu region.

Delimitation Commission Recommendation for J&K:

  • Redrawing of constituencies: The Delimitation Commission has recommended seven additional constituencies:
  • 6 for Jammu
  • 1 for Kashmir
  • Jammu Division will now have 43 seats, up from 37 previously, and Kashmir Valley will have 47 seats, up from 46 previously.

Major Recommendations:

  • Reorganization of Parliamentary constituencies so that each Lok Sabha seat has 18 Assembly constituencies, bringing the total number of assembly constituencies to 90.
  • Reservation of nine Assembly seats for Scheduled Tribes, six in Jammu and three in Kashmir.
  • Eliminating the regional distinction between Jammu and Kashmir and treating it as a single entity.
  • Anantnag in Kashmir has been merged with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu to form Anantnag-Rajouri as a single Parliamentary constituency.
  • Kashmiri Migrants: The Commission has recommended that at least two members of the Kashmiri Migrant (Kashmiri Hindu) community be appointed to the Legislative Assembly.
  • It has also suggested that the Centre consider giving displaced persons from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir who migrated to Jammu after Partition representation in the J&K Legislative Assembly.
  • Tribes Scheduled: The Commission has set aside nine Assembly seats for Scheduled Tribes. Six of these are in the Anantnag parliamentary constituency, including Poonch and Rajouri, which have the highest ST population.

About Delimitation Commission:

  • The Delimitation Commission in India is a powerful body whose decisions have legal force.
  • Its orders are not subject to challenge in any court.
  • These orders will take effect on a date to be determined by the President of India.
  • Copies of its orders are laid before the House of the People and the State Legislative Assembly concerned, but no changes are permitted.

Provisions of the Constitution:

  • Article 82: This gives Parliament the authority to pass a Delimitation Act following each Census.
  • Article 170: After each census, the states are divided into territorial constituencies based on the Delimitation Act.

Functions:

  • To determine the number and boundaries of constituencies in such a way that, to the greatest extent possible, the population of all seats is the same.
  • Identifying seats reserved for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in areas with a large population.
  • When members of the Commission disagree, the will of the majority takes precedence.

Composition:

  • The President of India appoints the following members to the Delimitation Commission:
  • Former Supreme Court justice
  • Chief Electoral Officer
  • State Election Commissioners

Source: The Hindu

Periodic Labour Force Survey 2022

GS-III : Economic Issues Unemployment

Periodic Labour Force Survey 2022

  • The Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) was just released by the National Statistical Office (NSO).
  • In metropolitan areas, the unemployment rate decreased from 9.8% in July-September 2021 to 7.2% in July-September 2022.

What are the main conclusions of the PLFS (July–September 2022)?

  • Unemployment Ratio: The percentage of unemployed people among those who are eligible for employment is referred to as the unemployment ratio.
  • 6.6% of males and 9.4% of women were unemployed (compared to 9.3% and 11.6% in July-September 2021).
  • Worker-Population Ratio (WPR): The WPR is the proportion of the population that is employed.
  • In urban areas, the WPR for people 15 and older was 44.5% (down from 42.3% in July–September 2021).
  • In comparison to 66.6% and 17.6% in 2021, the WPR for males was 68.6% and 19.7% for women.
  • The labour force participation rate (LFPR), for those aged 15 years and over who live in urban areas, is the proportion of the population that is employed, actively looking for work, or otherwise available for employment.
  • It grew to 47.9% from 46.9% during July and September of 2021.
  • The LFPR for men was 73.4%, and for women it was 21.7% (compared to 73.5% and 19.9% from July to September 2021).

About The Periodic Labor Force Survey:

  • The Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) was introduced in April 2017 by the National Statistical Office (NSO), Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation, in recognition of the significance of the availability of labour force data at increasingly frequent time intervals.
  • The two main goals of PLFS are as follows:
  • To calculate the important employment and unemployment indicators (i.e., worker population ratio, labour force participation rate, and unemployment rate) over a short period of time (i.e., three months) for urban regions exclusively in the Current Weekly Status (CWS).
  • to annually estimate employment and unemployment data in both urban and rural areas under Usual Status and CWS.

What Is Unemployment?

  • When someone who is actively looking for work is unable to find employment, they are said to be unemployed.
  • The rate of unemployment is frequently used to gauge the state of the economy.

NSO bases its definitions of employment and unemployment on an individual's activity status as described below:

  • Working, or "Employed," means participating in economic activities.
  • unemployed, available or looking for work.
  • The first two make up the labour force, while the unemployment rate is the proportion of workers that are unemployed.
  • The unemployment rate is equal to 100 divided by the number of unemployed workers.

What Kinds of Unemployment Are There?

Disguised Unemployment

  • A condition known as "disguised unemployment" occurs when more people are working than are actually required.
  • It is largely found in India's unorganised and agricultural sectors.
  • Unemployment that happens only during specific times of the year is known as seasonal unemployment.
  • Indian farm workers seldom ever have consistent employment throughout the year.

Structural unemployment

  • It is a type of unemployment caused by a skill gap between the market's available workers and the jobs they are qualified for.
  • Due to their inadequate education levels and lack of necessary skills, a large number of people in India struggle to find employment.

Cyclic Unemployment

  • As a result of the business cycle, there is cyclical unemployment, which rises during recessions and diminishes with economic expansion.
  • In India, cyclical unemployment rates are minuscule. It is mostly a phenomenon in capitalist economies.

Technological unemployment:

  • It is the loss of jobs as a result of technological advancements.
  • According to World Bank data from 2016, 69% more jobs in India were expected to be endangered by automation than the previous year.

Frictional Unemployment:

  • The term "frictional unemployment," sometimes known as "search unemployment," describes the period of time between jobs while an individual is looking for a new position or changing jobs.
  • In other words, because an employee needs time to look for a new job or transition from one position to another, frictional unemployment results from this inevitable time delay.
  • People who work informally, without official job contracts, and without any legal protection are said to be in vulnerable employment.
  • Since no records of their employment are ever kept, these people are considered to be "unemployed."
  • One of the primary categories of unemployment in India is this one.

What are the main reasons behind India's unemployment?

  • Social Factors: The caste system is widely used in India. In some places, people of certain castes are not allowed to work.
  • There will be a large number of people in large joint families with significant businesses who do not work and are dependent on the combined income of the family.
  • Rapid Population Growth: In India, the ongoing population growth has been a major issue.
  • It is a significant contributor to unemployment.
  • Agriculture still accounts for a large portion of employment in India, at close to 50%.
  • However, India's agricultural sector remains undeveloped.
  • Additionally, it offers temporary work.
  • Fall of Cottage and Small Industries: Cottage and Small Industries were negatively impacted by industrial expansion.
  • Many craftspeople lost their jobs as cottage industries' output started to decline.
  • Labor Immobility: India has a low rate of labour mobility. People don't travel far for employment since they are attached to their families.
  • Low mobility is also caused by elements like language, religion, and climate.
  • Defects in the Educational System: In the capitalist world, employment have evolved into highly specialised fields, but India's educational system does not offer the appropriate specialisation and training for these positions.
  • As a result, a lot of people who want to work are unable to get employment due to a lack of skills.

Source: The Hindu

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