20 Jul, 2020
59 Min Read
|GS-I||Assam’s Flood and Management||Human Geography|
|Earthquakes management||Human Geography|
|GS-II||Remission to Convicts by States||Indian Polity|
|Anti Defection Law and Issues||Indian Polity|
|Global Multidimensional Poverty Index 2020|
|GS-III||Zonal Master Plan for the Bhagirathi Eco-Sensitive Zone|
|Legacy waste: Brahmapuram Dumping Site|
|Basmati and GI tag||Economic Issues|
|Dr. Anil Kakodkar Committee|
|PT Pointer||ASPIRE Portal for Automotive Industry||Economic Issues|
|Nehru Memorial Museum & Library (NMML)||Art and Culture|
|Important GS Topics||Anti-defection||Indian Polity|
GS-PAPER -1 Geography – Flood Management
The recent flood in Assam has led to heavy casualties, displacement of people and animals and destruction of property and the environment. It has also led to the inundation of 80% of the area of Kaziranga National Park.
The reason behind Floods:
Floods in Kaziranga’s Ecosystem:
Frequent Floods: Earlier, a big flood would come once in ten years, now they come every other year.
NH-37: When the flood water hits a certain level, the animal moves towards safer, higher ground in the Karbi Anglong hills. However, they have to cross NH-37 which cuts across the park, which leads to the killing of animals in road accidents. Animals are also killed by poachers who take advantage of their vulnerability.
Human-animal Conflict: Animals also move towards villages in floods, this leads to human-animal conflict.
Steps taken during Floods:
In the absence of long-term alternatives, the government has to invest in strong, durable embankments to ensure that the situation does not deteriorate every year. Kaziranga, with its rich grassland habitats, has a primary role to play in supporting the wildlife populations.
Emphasis needs to be put on securing animal corridors and ensuring a safe passage to the Karbi hills. Need for a landscape-scale conservation approach that recognises the value of the Karbi Anglong hills. The highlands of Karbi Anglong, where the animals take refuge, are the lifeline of the park during the floods.
GS-Paper-1 Geography- Earthquake (PT)
According to a recently published study, researchers have developed a new way to improve the prediction of earthquakes.
Vibrations from an earthquake are categorised as P (primary) and S (secondary) waves. They travel through the Earth in different ways and at different speeds. They can be detected and analysed.
Earthquakes usually occur along faults (fractures between rocks which can range from a few millimetres to thousands of kilometres). When two blocks of earth slip past one another, seismic waves are generated in a short span of time and earthquakes occur. The waves travel to the surface causing destruction and are difficult to predict, making it challenging to save lives.
Scientists have attempted to recreate the faults and their sliding in laboratories to try and understand the conditions in them during earthquakes.
However, the actual conditions are so complex that it is difficult to recreate them with full accuracy which makes the prediction of earthquakes difficult.
GS-paper-2 President and its power (PT-MAINS)
Recently, the Supreme Court of India referred to a seven-judge bench the issue of whether states can grant the benefit of remission to convicts under the Constitution by laying down a common policy.
Pardoning Power of President and Governor
Punishment or sentence for an offence against a Union Law,
Punishment or sentence is by a court-martial (military court), and
Punishment is a Death sentence.
The pardoning power of the Governor extends to the sentence of any person convicted of any offence against any State law. The Governor cannot pardon the death sentence and sentence of a Court Martial. The scope of the pardoning power of the President under Article 72 is wider than the pardoning power of the Governor under Article 161.
Anti Defection Law and Issues
GS-paper-2 Polity (PT-MAINS)
Recently, the 19 rebel MLAs of Rajasthan's ruling party (Congress) have filed a petition before the High Court challenging the disqualification notices issued to them by the Assembly Speaker under Anti Defection Law.
The disqualification notice was issued on MLAs’ absence from successive Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meetings and a “conspiracy to bring down the government”.
Rebel MLAs Arguments:
In their writ petition, citing violation of their freedom of speech and expression the legislators argued that they had neither given up their membership of the House nor did their failure to attend the two CLP meetings render them liable for disqualification on the ground of defection.
Therefore they challenged Clause 2(1)(a) of the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution, and the validity of the Rajasthan Assembly Members (Disqualification on the Grounds of Changing Party) Rules, 1989.
Clause 2(1)(a) of the Tenth Schedule states that a member may be disqualified “if he has voluntarily given up his membership” of a political party.
They also contended that they could not be disqualified merely for disagreeing with the decisions and policies of some leaders outside the Assembly.
Supreme Court's Ruling: The Supreme Court in the Kihoto Hollohan versus Zachillu and Others, 1992 has said that judicial review cannot be available at a stage prior to the making of a decision by the Speaker/Chairman.
Nor would interference be permissible at an interlocutory stage of the proceedings. The only exception for any interlocutory interference (decree or judgment) being cases of interlocutory disqualifications or suspensions which may have grave, immediate and irreversible repercussions and consequences. Therefore, Constitutional courts cannot judicially review disqualification proceedings under the Tenth Schedule (anti-defection law) of the Constitution until the Speaker or Chairman makes a final decision on merits.
Reason for Limited Role of Courts: The Bench explained that the reason for limiting the role of courts in ongoing defection proceedings is that the office of the Speaker is held in the highest respect and esteem in parliamentary traditions.
Judicial Review: It had said that even the scope of judicial review against an order of a Speaker or Chairman in anti-defection proceedings would be confined to jurisdictional errors, that is infirmities based on violation of constitutional mandate, mala fide actions and non-compliance with rules of natural justice.
Disqualification under the Tenth Schedule
Exceptions to the Disqualification on the Ground of Defection
Powers of Speaker with regard to Anti-Defection Law
Global Multidimensional Poverty Index 2020
GS-Paper-2 I.O UNDP (PT-MAINS)
Recently, Global Multidimensional Poverty Index 2020 was released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative (OPHI). The data of the index is based on the study of poverty trends in 75 countries.
Multidimensional Poverty Index
The index with its information on both the level and composition of poverty – provides the data needed to pinpoint where and how poverty manifests itself. Therefore, it will incite action in solidarity with the poor, so that nations like India can ‘build better’. Reflecting progress before the coronavirus pandemic, it suggests that the progress is at risk and stake-holders need to look beyond income to tackle poverty in all its forms. Hence, there is a need to take action to redress the rise of under-nutrition and children leaving school.
Zonal Master Plan for the Bhagirathi Eco-Sensitive Zone
GS-Paper-3 Environment (PT-MAINS)
Recently, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has approved the Zonal Master Plan for the Bhagirathi Eco-Sensitive Zone to pave the way for faster execution of Char Dham Road Project.
Background: In 2012, the MoEF&CC issued a gazette notification declaring the watershed area along the stretch of river Bhagirathi, covering 4,179.59 sq km from Gaumukh to Uttarkashi, an Eco-Sensitive Zone (ESZ). ESZs are the ecologically important areas designated to be protected from industrial pollution and unregulated development under the Environment Protection Act of 1986.
The 2012 notification was issued keeping in view the requirements of the local people without affecting their rights and privileges and also ensuring eco-friendly development for their livelihood security. It sought to protect the entire fragile Himalayan region by restricting hydropower projects of over 2 MW, riverbed mining and change of land use.
However, it was amended in 2018 following Uttarakhand government’s objection that the notification was ‘anti-development.’ The 2018 amendment approved land use change to meet the local needs including civic amenities and other infrastructure development in larger public interest and national security with the prior approval of State Government with due study of environmental impacts. It also allowed cutting of hills in eco-sensitive areas with proper study and construction on steep slopes in exceptional cases for the benefit of the community.
Zonal Master Plan (ZMP):
Char Dham Road Project:
The Char Dham project proposes to provide all-weather connectivity to Yamunotri, Gangotri, Badrinath and Kedarnath, and has 53 projects of 826 km length, involving an investment of Rs. 12,000 crore. Bhagirathi is the source stream of Ganga. It emanates from Gangotri glacier at Gaumukh at an elevation of 3,892 m.
Legacy waste: Brahmapuram Dumping Site
GS-PAPER-3 Environment: Solid waste
Recently, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has issued an order pertaining to the case of legacy waste (old municipal solid waste) piling up at the Kochi Corporation’s Brahmapuram dumpsite.
The NGT Judgement:
Municipal Solid Waste Management
Dealing with the legacy of neglect which has resulted in garbage heaps having built at dumpsites that were meant for waste processing and landfills.
Remediation of waste will help in unlocking the land occupied by waste sites which then can be used for setting up of biodiversity parks/buffer zones. Some parts can even be monetized. Further, protecting the environment is a constitutional mandate. Kochi needs to learn from success stories of urban local bodies like Thiruvananthapuram corporation, which is bigger in terms of population but is effectively managing waste with hundreds of Thumboormuzhy bins, material recovery centres and a mobile application.
India is the only producer of premium Basmati and it has been grown from time immemorial in the Indo-Gangetic Plains (IGP) area of India and 18 districts of Pakistan’s Punjab. It had been a tough battle for the country to protect Basmati name from the encroachment of various nations which all came out with their own versions of Basmati.
Claims and Efforts Made by Madhya Pradesh:
High Level Safety Review Committee (Railways)
Recommendations of the Committee are listed below:
GS-PAPER-3 Economy (PT-MAINS)
The International Centre of Automotive Technology (ICAT) is developing a technology platform for the automotive industry called ASPIRE - Automotive Solutions Portal for Industry, Research and Education.
The Portal is expected to help in developing a strong and self-reliant automotive industry in India which is in tune with the vision of Make in India and Atmanirbhar vision of the Government of India.
The Portal is being developed in line with the initiative by the Department of Heavy Industry (DHI) under the Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises. DHI has taken an initiative to promote innovation and to develop the related ecosystem.
Objective: To enhance the technological capability of the Indian automotive sector through the exchange of knowledge & expertise, in order to make them self-reliant and to facilitate the growth of the automobile sector and overall socio-economic progress of the country.
Functioning: It will facilitate the Indian auto industry, R&D institutions and academia (colleges & universities) to come together for R&D, technology development, shop floor/quality/warranty issue resolution, and expert opinions on issues involving technology advancements. The portal will also host grand challenges in line with the need of the industry as will be identified from time to time, for the development of key automotive technologies.
International Centre for Automotive Technology
GS-Paper-2 Governance (PT-MAINS)
The Tenth Schedule, technicalities and also the Anti-Defection Law would be cited during the crisis. Ultimately the matter could also end up in the Supreme Court.
What is the anti-defection law?
The Tenth Schedule was inserted in the Constitution in 1985 by the 52nd Amendment Act.
The law applies to both Parliament and state assemblies.
If a member of a house belonging to a political party:
Exceptions under the law:
Legislators may change their party without the risk of disqualification in certain circumstances.
The decision of the Presiding Officer is subject to judicial review:
The law initially stated that the decision of the Presiding Officer is not subject to judicial review. This condition was struck down by the Supreme Court in 1992, thereby allowing appeals against the Presiding Officer’s decision in the High Court and Supreme Court. However, it held that there may not be any judicial intervention until the Presiding Officer gives his order.
Advantages of anti-defection law:
Various Recommendations to overcome the challenges posed by the law:
A member voluntarily gives up the membership of his political party
A member abstains from voting or votes contrary to the party whip in a motion of vote of confidence or motion of no-confidence. Political parties could issue whips only when the government was in danger.
Provisions which exempt splits and mergers from disqualification to be deleted.
Pre-poll electoral fronts should be treated as political parties under anti-defection
Political parties should limit the issuance of whips to instances only when the government is in danger.
Decisions under the Tenth Schedule should be made by the President/ Governor on the binding advice of the Election Commission.
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