15 July, 2022 Daily Current Affairs THE EXAMS MADE SIMPLE

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Prelims Objective Practices Questions

(I.) With reference to Balance of Payments, which of the following constitutes/constitute the Current Account? (2014)
1. Balance of trade
2. Foreign assets
3. Balance of invisibles
4. Special Drawing Rights
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3
(c) 1 and 3
(d) 1, 2 and 4

(II.) Consider the following actions which the Government can take: (2011)
1. Devaluing the domestic currency.
2. Reduction in the export subsidy.
3. Adopting suitable policies which attract greater FDI and more funds from FIIs.
Which of the above action/actions can help in reducing the current account deficit?
(a) 1 and 2
(b) 2 and 3
(c) 3 only
(d) 1 and 3

(III.) Protection against Double Jeopardy is a

a) Judicial convention
b) Fundamental Right
c) Provision under CrPC
d) Constitutional right (other than Part III)

(IV.) The Directive Principles resemble the ‘Instrument of Instructions’ enumerated in the
a) Montague Chelmsford Act 1919
b) Nehru Report, 1928
c) Government of India Act of 1935
d) Objectives Resolution, 1946

(V.) Which one of the following Directive Principles was not originally provided in the Constitution of India?
a) Uniform civil code for the citizens
b) Safeguard forests and wild life
c) Organization of agriculture and animal husbandry
d) Organization of village panchayats

The 42nd Amendment Act of 1976 added four new Directive Principles to the original list. They require the State:-
(i) To secure opportunities for healthy development of children (Article 39).
(ii) To promote equal justice and to provide free legal aid to the poor (Article 39 A).
(iii) To take steps to secure the participation of workers in the management of industries (Article 43 A).
(iv) To protect and improve the environment and to safeguard forests and wild life (Article 48 A)

Question of the Day

*//. Discuss the different dimensions of Global Gender Gap Index. Where does India stands globally in these dimensions and what is its way forward?

Prelims Specific Facts

NEWS-1 Fiscal deficit reined in, CAD a concern
  • Components For Calculating Fiscal Deficit
  • The fiscal deficit calculations are based on two components :
    • Revenue or income component:-
      • The combination of revenue incurred from taxes imposed by the center and the income yielded from the non-tax variables leads to the income components.
      • Corporation tax, customs duties, excise duties, GST, and others are included in taxable income.
      • On the other hand, the interest receipts, outsourcing of grants in aid, dividends, and gains, receipts from Union Territories etc are included under non-taxable income.
    • Expenditure component or expense components:-
      • Funds for several works, including payments of, pensions, emoluments, salaries, generating assets, development, health, and various other areas are provided by the government according to the budget and these lead to forming the expenditure component.
  • Financing of Fiscal Deficit :-
    • The Fiscal Deficit is financed in a number of ways. Some notable ways are:-
    • Internally borrowings from a commercial bank
    • Borrowing from external sources like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other governments, etc.,
    • By printing new currency
    • Borrowing funds from the Central Bank against its securities.
  • Calculation of fiscal deficit :-
    • The fiscal deficit can be calculated by marking out the difference between the total income and the total expenditure by the government.
    • The total income of the government is calculated by including all taxes, non-debt capital receipts, and other ways of revenue except for borrowings.
  • To calculate the fiscal deficit:-
    • Fiscal Deficit = (Revenue Expenditure + Capital Expenditure) – (Revenue Receipts + Capital Receipts)
    • In the simplified form the formula reads out as:
    • Fiscal Deficit = Total expenditure — Total receipts excluding borrowings.
  • Most of the economies around the globe, including India, run under a fiscal deficit, which means the expenditure by the government is more than its income.
  • What is the Current Account Deficit?
    • A current account deficit occurs when the total value of goods and services a country imports exceeds the total value of goods and services it exports.
    • The balance of exports and imports of goods is referred to as the trade balance. Trade Balance is a part of ‘Current Account Balance’.
NEWS-2 No nod for contempt case against ex-judge
  • The Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, lays down the law on contempt of court. Section 15 of the legislation describes the procedure on how a case for contempt of court can be initiated.
  • In the case of the Supreme Court, the Attorney General or the Solicitor General, and in the case of High Courts, the Advocate General, may bring in a motion before the court for initiating a case of criminal contempt.
  • However, if the motion is brought by any other person, the consent in writing of the Attorney General or the Advocate General is required.
  • But why does the Attorney General have to grant consent?
    • The procedure in cases of criminal contempt of court, which means the publication of material that scandalises or lowers the dignity of the court or prejudices or interferes with the proceedings of the court, the consent of the Attorney General is required under the law.
  • The objective behind requiring the consent of the Attorney General before taking cognizance of a complaint is to save the time of the court.
NEWS-3 Fundamental duties
  • In 1976, the Congress Party set up the Sardar Swaran Singh Committee to make recommendations about fundamental duties, the need and necessity of which was felt during the operation of the internal emergency (1975–1977). The committee recommended the inclusion of a separate separate chapter on fundamental duties in the Constitution. It stressed that the citizens should become conscious that in addition to the enjoyment of rights, they also have certain duties to perform as well.
  • The Congress Government at Centre accepted these recommendations and enacted the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act in 1976. This amendment added a new part, namely, Part IVA to the Constitution.
  • This new part consists of only one Article, that is, Article 51A which for the first time specified a code of ten fundamental duties of the citizens. The ruling Congress party declared the non-inclusion of fundamental duties in the Constitution as a historical mistake and claimed that what the framers of the Constitution failed to do was being done now.
  • Though the Swaran Singh Committee suggested the incorporation of eight Fundamental Duties in the Constitution, the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act (1976) included ten Fundamental Duties.
  • Interestingly, certain recommendations of the Committee were not accepted by the Congress Party and hence, not incorporated in the Constitution. These include:
    • 1.​The Parliament may provide for the imposition of such penalty or punishment as may be considered appropriate for any non-compliance with or refusal to observe any of the duties.
    • 2.​No law imposing such penalty or punishment shall be called in question in any court on the ground of infringement of any of Fundamental Rights or on the ground of repugnancy to any other provision of the Constitution.
    • 3.​Duty to pay taxes should also be a Fundamental Duty of the citizens.
NEWS-4 India to give land for I2U2 backed food parks
  • India will provide “appropriate land” for “food parks” across the country that will be built in collaboration with Israel, the United States and the United Arab Emirates. The plan for the “integrated food parks” was announced in a joint statement after the leaders of the 12U2 grouping – India, Israel, the UAE and the U.S. held a summit on Thursday. The leaders said they would bring in private capital for specific projects in the fields of water, energy, transportation, health, space and food security.
  • India will “facilitate farmers’ integration into the food parks. In his comments at the event, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “Right from the first summit held today, 12U2 has established a positive agenda.”
  • The food parks aimed at cutting down “food waste and spoilage”
NEWS-5 U.S. vows to use all means to stop Iran nuclear bomb
  • The U.S. and Israel signed a new security pact on Thurs day reinforcing their common front against Iran, as President Joe Biden pledged to use “all” American power to stop the Islamic republic from acquiring nuclear weapons.
  • The Jerusalem Declaration on joint security was inked by Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Biden, as the U.S. leader was making his first trip to West Asia as President.
  • It commits the United States to “never to allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon”, stating that it “is prepared to use all elements of its national power to ensure that outcome”.

Editorial of the Day

The great omission in the draft disability policy
  • The Department of Empowerment of Person with Disabilities (DOEPWD) recently re leased the draft of the national policy for persons with disabilities (“Policy”) public comments have been invited till July 15, 2022. The necessity for a new policy which replaces the 2006 policy was felt be cause of multiple factors such as India’s signing of the United Nations Convention on Rights of Per sons with Disabilities; enactment of a new disability legislation (Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016) which increased the number of disabilities from seven conditions to 21 and being a party to the Incheon Strategy for Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities, 2013-2022 (“Incheon commitment”). The last was prepared under the aegis of the Unit ed Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) which identifies 10 goals for Asia-Pacific countries to ensure the inclusion and the empowerment of persons with dis abilities and conformity with the Sustainable Development Goals 2030.
  • These commitments have changed the discourse around dis ability by shifting the focus from the individual to society, i.e., from a medical model of disability to a social or human rights model of disability.
  • In furtherance of this commitment, the policy document high lights a detailed commitment to education, health, skill development and employment, sports and culture, social security, accessibility and other institutional mechanisms. However, a glaring omission is the absence of any commitment to the political uplift of persons with disabilities.
  • About political participation
    • Article 29 of the Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities mandates that state parties should “ensure that persons with disabilities can effectively and fully participate in political and public life on an equal basis with others, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
    • The exclusion of disabled people from the political space hap pens at all levels of the political process in the country, and in different ways. For instance, the inaccessibility of the voting process, barriers to participation in party politics or a lack of representation at the local, State or national levels have all aggravated the marginalisation of the disabled.
  • Ground realities, no data
    • Section 11 of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act prescribes that “The Election Commission of India and the State Election Com missions shall ensure that all polling stations are accessible to per sons with disabilities and all materials related to the electoral process are easily understandable by and accessible to them”. Although this mandate has been in existence for a few years, the disabled people still report accessibility issues before and on election day.
    • Political parties in India still do not find the disabled as the large electorate to specifically address their needs.
    • The lack of live aggregate data on the exact number of the disabled people in every constituency only furthers their marginalisation. The lack of accessible space for party meetings, inaccessible transport for campaigning or an attitudinal barrier among voters and party leaders can be termed as contributing factors. Thus, we seldom see disability being high lighted in the manifestos of parties.
  • Inadequate representation
    • Representation plays an imperative role in furthering the interests of the marginalised community. Our Constitution makers recognised this when they provided for reservation for Scheduled Caste/ Scheduled Tribes in the legislature. Disabled people are not re presented enough at all three levels of governance. The response to a right to information filing by this writer to the Parliamentary Affairs Ministry showed that the Government does not maintain data on the disability aspect of members. The first visually disabled Member of Parliament in independent India, Sadhan Gupta, hardly finds mention in our political or disability discourse.
    • Few States have begun the initiative at local levels to in crease participation. For instance, Chhattisgarh started the initiative of nominating at least one disabled person in each panchayat.
  • ‘Make the right real’
    • The goal of the policy document of inclusiveness and empowerment cannot be achieved with out political inclusion. The policy can follow a four-pronged approach: building the capacity of disabled people’s organisations and ’empowering their members through training in the electoral system, government structure, and basic organisational and advocacy skills’; the creation, amendment or removal of legal and regulatory frameworks by lawmakers and election bodies to encourage the political participation of the disabled; inclusion of civil societies to ‘conduct domestic election observation or voter education campaigns’; and a framework for political parties to ‘conduct a meaningful outreach to persons with disabilities when creating election campaign strategies and developing policy positions’.

Explainer of the Day

1. The debate around the Forest Conservation Rules
  • What are the Forest Conservation Rules?
    • The Forest Conservation Rules deal with the implementation of the Forest Conservation Act (FCA), 1980. They prescribe the procedure to be followed for forest land to be diverted for non-forestry uses such as road construction, highway development,railway lines, and mining.
    • The broad aims of the Forest Conservation Act are to protect forest and wildlife, put brakes on State governments’ attempts to hive off forest land for commercial projects and striving to increase the area under forests.
    • For forest land beyond five hectares, approval for diverting land must be given by the Central government. This is via a specially constituted committee, called the Forest Advisory Committee (FAC).
    • This committee examines whether the user agency, or those who have requested forest land, have made a convincing case for the upheaval of that specific parcel of land, whether they have a plan in place to ensure that the ensuing damage – from felling of trees in that area, denuding the local landscape will be minimal and the said piece of land doesn’t cause damage to wildlife habitat.
    • Once the FAC is convinced and approves (or rejects a proposal), it is forwarded to the concerned State government where the land is located, who then has to ensure that provisions of the Forest Right Act, 2006, a separate Act that protects the rights of forest dwellers and tribals over their land, are complied with.
    • The FAC approval also means that the future users of the land must provide compensatory land for afforestation as well as pay the net present value (ranging between 10-15 lakh per hectare.)
  • The rules make a provision for private parties to cultivate plantations and sell them as land to companies who need to meet compensatory forestation targets.
  • This, according to the government, will help India increase forest cover as well as solve the problems of the States of not finding land within their jurisdiction for compensatory purposes. While this has invited its own controversy, the latest point of contention is the absence of wording, in the updated Forest Conservation Rules, of what happens to tribals and forest-dwelling communities whose land would be hived off.
  • The new rules formally codify this and say that a project, once approved by the FAC, will then be passed on to the State authorities who will collect the compensatory fund and land, and process it for final approval.
  • Only in passing, is it mentioned that the States will ensure “settlement” of Forest Rights Acts applicable. This, many forestry experts say, doesn’t automatically imply the consent of the resident tribals and forest dwellers.
2. How to grease the wheels of justice
  • The Chief Justice of India has the historic opportunity to make this happen. At present, despite good intentions, the nation’s judiciary is hurtling towards a disaster and needs immediate attention. A measure of the justice delivery system is the pendency of cases in courts across the country.
  • More than 40% of cases are decided after three years in India, while in many other countries less than 1% of cases are decided after three years. If India does not act decisively and quickly, this percentage will keep increasing. The rich, the powerful and the wrongdoers have a field day by getting their cases expedited or delayed as they wish. The increase in corruption and crime is a direct fallout of the sluggish justice delivery system. This severely impacts the poor and marginalised. For them, the judicial process itself becomes a punishment. Data show that about 70% of prisoners in India are undertrials and are mostly poor citizens.
  • Filling vacancies
    • Two measures can be implemented within two years to tackle this issue. First, reduce the pendency of cases by filling sanctioned judicial positions. Analysis shows that between 2006 and 2019, the average increase in pendency was less than 2% per year whereas the average vacancy in sanctioned judicial positions was about 21%. If the sanctioned positions had been filled, pendency of cases would have gone down each year.
    • The nation neither needs 70,000 judges, as claimed by former Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur, nor does it need to double the present number of judges. It needs to add about 20% of judges. This is in line with the sanctioned strength. This figure has been endorsed by Justice B.N. Srikrishna, Justice R.C. Chavan and 100 IIT alumni. The responsibility of selecting judges is largely with the judiciary itself. The responsibility of appointments in the subordinate judiciary lies with the State governments and their respective High Courts. The responsibility of ensuring near-zero vacancies should be with the Chief Justices of the High Courts and the Chief Justice of India and they should be held accountable for the same.
  • Use of technology
    • The second is to improve working with the use of technology. The e-Committee of the Supreme Court has been in existence since 2005. It has made three outstanding recommendations which are not being followed. One, computer algorithms should decide on case listing, case allocation and adjournments with only a 5% override given to judges. It said all rational reasons and limits should be put on adjournments; case listing should give main weightage to ‘first in, first out’; and case allocation should take into account logical criteria. This would be a big step in reducing arbitrariness and the unfair advantage that the powerful enjoy.
    • Two, the courts should focus on e-filing. The e-Committee made detailed SOPs on how petitions and affidavits can be filed and payment of fees can be done electronically without lawyers or litigants having to travel to the courts or use paper.
    • Three, it focused on virtual hearings. COVID-19 prompted the courts to adopt virtual hearings. However, virtual hearings were held only in some cases while physical hearings were held in most. In pre-COVID-19 years, the increase in the pendency of cases in all courts used to be about 5.7 lakh cases a year. In 2020 alone, it increased to an astonishing 51 lakh.
    • All the courts in the country must switch to a hybrid virtual mode immediately and start disposing cases.
  • If all this is done, India’s judicial system can rank among the top 10 countries of the world. These changes would make India the preferred nation for international investments and also fulfill the fundamental right to speedy justice of citizens

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