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15 November, 2019

13 Min Read

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Paper Topics Subject
GS-II Appointments to Judicial Tribunals
Sabarimala Case
Nadu Nedu programme
GS-III Atal Tinkering Labs (ATLs)
GS-II :
Appointments to Judicial Tribunals

Syllabus subtopic: Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.

 

News: The Supreme Court has passed an interim order that said the appointments to tribunals shall be on the basis of existing statutes and not the rules framed under the Finance Act of 2017.

 

Prelims focus: About tribunals and money bill.

Mains focus: Issues and controversies over the passage of this act.

 

Court’s interim order

  1. The government should reframe the rules and ordered that until then, the existing laws will govern the tribunals.
  2. The Ministry of law should conduct an impact study and submit report to the apex court.
  3. Validity of passage of Finance Act 2017 as Money Bill should be decided by a larger bench.

 

Issue

  • The Finance Act had given the Centre the power to govern appointments, removal and service conditions of the members of judicial tribunals like National Green Tribunal, Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, National Company Law Appellate Tribunal.
  • The petitioners had challenged the Finance Act, 2017, particularly Part XIV on various grounds. The Part XIV had repealed provisions relating to the administration of 26 Tribunals established under diverse central laws.
  • The central government was given the powers to frame rules by virtue of Section 184.
  • The challenge to the Finance Act, 2017, was on the grounds that it was passed as a Money Bill.
  • The petitioners had argued that the passage of the Finance Act in the form of a Money Bill amounted to a fraud on the Constitution since they can only be introduced in the Lok Sabha.

 

About Money bill

  • A money bill is defined by Article 110 of the Constitution, as a draft law that contains only provisions that deal with all or any of the matters listed therein. These comprise a set of seven features, broadly including items such as the imposition or regulation of a tax; the regulation of the borrowing of money by the Government of India; the withdrawal of money from the Consolidated Fund of India; and so forth.
  • In the event a proposed legislation contains other features, ones that are not merely incidental to the items specifically outlined, such a draft law cannot be classified as a money bill. Article 110 further clarifies that in cases where a dispute arises over whether a bill is a money bill or not, the Lok Sabha Speaker’s decision on the issue shall be considered final.

 

 

 

BASIS FOR COMPARISON

MONEY BILL

FINANCE BILL

Meaning

A bill is said to be money bill which exclusively deals with the matters prescribed in article 110 of the constitution.

All the bills, which deals with the provisions concerning revenue and expenditure.

Form

Government Bill

Ordinary Bill

Introduction

Lok Sabha only.

Category A bills are introduced in Lok Sabha while Category B bills can be introduced in any of the two houses.

 

Approval

Prior approval of President or Government is required.

Prior approval of President is required.

Certification

Certified by the Speaker of the Lok Sabha.

Not certified by the Speaker.

Rajya Sabha

The power of Rajya Sabha is restricted.

Both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha has equal powers.

Joint Sitting

No provision of joint sitting.

Provisions are there regarding joint sitting of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

 

 

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GS-II :
Sabarimala Case

Syllabus subtopic: Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

 

News: The Supreme Court has referred to a 7 judge- bench a clutch of review petitions challenging its September 2018 verdict allowing entry of women of all age groups into the Sabarimala temple.

 

Prelims focus: About the case and the Sabarimala temple

Mains focus: Concerns and challenges, and SC observations

Background:

  • The verdict was given by a 5- judge bench.
  • In 3:2 majority verdict, two judges stuck to their earlier stand of quashing the custom which barred entry of women between the ages of 10 and 50 years. 
    The split decision came on 65 petitions – 56 review petitions, four fresh writ petitions and five transfer pleas – which were filed after the apex court verdict of September 28, 2018 sparked violent protests in Kerala.

 

Observations made by the court:

  1. Restrictions on women in religious places are not limited to Sabarimala alone and are prevalent in other religions too. The issue of entry of women into mosques and Agiyari could also be taken by the larger bench.
  2. Both sections of the same religious group have a right to freely profess, practise and propagate their religious beliefs as being integral part of their religion by virtue of Article 25 of the Constitution of India.

Questions before the larger bench:

  1. Whether a court can probe if a practice is essential to a religion or should the question be left to the respective religious head?
  2. Should “essential religious practices” be afforded constitutional protection under Article 26 (freedom to manage religious affairs)?
  3. What is the “permissible extent” of judicial recognition a court should give to PILs filed by people who do not belong to the religion of which practices are under the scanner?

 

Constitutional vs Cultural dimensions:

The case has constitutional as well as cultural dimensions. Displaying great cultural sensitivity, a division Bench of the Kerala High Court had, back in 1991, pointed out that “age regulation” in Sabarimala is not unconstitutional. 

In Sabarimala, the deity is worshipped in the form of Naishtika Brahmacharior- a celibate, as pointed out by the Kerala High Court.

The supporters of Temple ban say that:

  1. This particular deity system is Tantric in nature and not Vedic.
  2. In the Tantric system, the temple is not a prayer hall but an energy centre; the deity is not God who is omnipresent, but a source of energy (chaithanya) in a particular spiritual space. 
  3. Uniqueness is the soul of every temple. Lakhs of women congregate in Sabarimala every year. There is only one limitation: they should not be between 10 and 50, because of the specific nature of the Prathishta(idol) and the vow celibacy associated with the idol. 
  4. The restriction finds its source in the legend that the Sabarimala temple deity – Swami Ayyappa – is a ‘Naishtika Brahmachari’ – and should not be disturbed.

 

Why does preventing women’s entry to the temple discriminatory in nature?

Preventing women’s entry to the Sabarimala temple with an irrational and obsolete notion of “purity” clearly offends the equality clauses in the Constitution. In any civilised society, gender equality is to be treated as one of the core values. 

  • It denotes a patriarchal and partisan approach.
  • The entry prohibition takes away the woman’s right against discrimination guaranteed under Article 15(1) of the Constitution.
  • It curtails her religious freedom assured by Article 25(1).
  • Prohibition of women’s entry to the shrine solely on the basis of womanhood and the biological features associated with womanhood is derogatory to women, which Article 51A (e) aims to renounce.
  • The classification based on age is an act of discrimination based on sex.

 

Way ahead:

This issue raises serious questions about faith and practices of a religious denomination or sect. Therefore, it is time to evolve a judicial policy to do substantial and complete justice.

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GS-II :
Nadu Nedu programme

Syllabus subtopic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

 

News: ‘Nadu-Nedu’ programme has been launched in Andhra Pradesh. The programme seeks to transform government schools into vibrant and competitive institutions.

 

Prelims focus: About the programme.

Mains focus: Need for and significance of English education, challenges present and ways to address them.

 

Key features of the programme:

  • The aim is to transform all government schools with required infrastructure and up- gradation of skills besides setting up English labs.
  • It also seeks to provide basic amenities such as clean water, furniture, compound wall, toilets etc.
  • Teachers would be imparted training to effectively implement the decision to introduce English medium from Classes 1 to 6 in government schools from the next academic year.
  • The parent committees and locals would be involved to make it an inclusive system.

 

Criticisms:

A language war has erupted in Andhra Pradesh. In this age of rapid globalization, the detractors, primarily the Opposition, has argued that the state should stick to Telugu to protect itself from cultural degradation, else it would endanger the regional language’s survival.

 

Need for English education: Language is a means of communication. Today English is a global language, but our vernacular languages are where our thoughts form. At the same time, English is needed to reach out to people at a global level. 

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GS-III :
Atal Tinkering Labs (ATLs)

Syllabus subtopic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

 

News:  Atal Tinkering Lab Marathon is being organised by the Atal Tinkering Labs of Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) and the NITI Aayog in an effort to identify India’s best student innovators.

 

Prelims focus: AIM, ATL and their important features.

Mains focus: Various initiatives to promote innovation and their significance. 

 

Key facts:

  • It is a six-month-long nationwide challenge across six different thematic areas, namely, clean energy, water resources, waste management, healthcare, smart mobility and agriculture-tech.
  • This is open to all students under the age of 18 years.
  • Students of top 30 innovations will be trained on business and entrepreneurship skills, including intellectual property, effective communication, making an elevator pitch, etc.

 

About ATLs?

With a vision to ‘Cultivate one Million children in India as Neoteric Innovators’, Atal Innovation Mission is establishing Atal Tinkering Laboratories (ATLs) in schools across India.

Objective: The objective of this scheme is to foster curiosity, creativity and imagination in young minds; and inculcate skills such as design mindset, computational thinking, adaptive learning, physical computing etc.

Financial Support: AIM will provide grant-in-aid that includes a one-time establishment cost of Rs. 10 lakh and operational expenses of Rs. 10 lakh for a maximum period of 5 years to each ATL.

Eligibility: Schools (minimum Grade VI – X) managed by Government, local body or private trusts/society can set up ATL.

 

Significance of ATLs:

  • Atal Tinkering Labs have evolved as epicentres for imparting these ‘skills of the future’ through practical applications based on self-learning.
  • Bridging a crucial social divide, Atal Tinkering Labs provide equal opportunity to all children across the spectrum by working at the grassroot level, introducing children to the world of innovation and tinkering.

 

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