Prelims Objective Practices Question
(I.) Consider the following statements regarding Election Commission of India.
1. Governor of a state is constitutionally bound to provide support staff to the Election commission, if required.
2. It conducts election to the office of Vice president of India.
3. An Election commissioner can be removed from his office without the recommendation of chief election commissioner.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
a) 2 only
b) 1, 2
c) 2, 3
d) 1, 3
(II.) Consider the following statements regarding the Preamble to the Constitution of India.
1. The expression ‘Unity and Integrity of the Nation’ is there in the preamble since the beginning of the Constitution.
2. Equality of Status and Equality of opportunity find mention in the preamble.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
a) 1 only
b) 2 only
c) Both 1 and 2
d) Neither 1 nor 2
(III.) Which one of the following Fundamental rights was described by Dr. B. R. Ambedkar as ‘the heart and soul of the Constitution’?
a) Right to equality
b) Right to freedom of Religion
c) Right to free speech and expression
d) Right to Constitutional remedies
Prelims Specific Facts
NEWS-1 SC upholds powers of arrest, raid under PMLA
- The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the core amendments made to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), which gives the government and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) virtually unbridled powers of summons, arrest, and raids, and makes bail nearly impossible while shifting the burden of proof of innocence on to the accused rather than the prosecution.
- The top court called the PMLA a law against the “scourge of money laundering” and not a hatchet wield ed against rival politicians and dissenters.
- The package, which has a cash component of 43,964 crore and a non-cash component of 1.2 lakh crore spread over four years, will include administrative allotment of 4G spectrum worth *44,993 crore. In addition, Bharat Broadband Network Ltd (BBNL) that was set up to implement project, will be merged with BSNL.
- Google brings in ‘Street View’ to India after two earlier failed attempts by firm.
- Google on Wednesday announced the launch of its popular ‘Street View’ feature in India – after failing to bring the experience to India at least twice in the past decade, following security concerns raised by government agencies over collection of data.
- The India launch marks the first time in the world that Street View, which allows users to view panoramic and street-level 360-degree views of a particular place.
- The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) emphasises the principle of universality and inviolability of child rights and recognises the tone of urgency in all the child related policies of the country. For the Commission, protection of all children in the 0 to 18 years age group is of equal importance. Thus, policies define priority actions for the most vulnerable children.
- The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) is a statutory body established in 2007 under an act of Parliament, the Commissions for Protection of Child Rights (CPCR) Act, 2005. In this article, you can read all about the NCPCR, its functions and importance in relation to child rights in the country.
- The NCPCR is a body that works towards achieving a child rights-centric approach in all the laws, programmes, policies and administrative mechanisms in India. It functions under the Ministry of Women & Child Development of the central government.
- It strives to ensure that all laws and policies in the country are in consonance with the rights of children as emphasised by the Indian Constitution as well as with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
- A child is defined as any person between the ages of 0 and 18 years.
- The Commission acknowledges the universality and inviolability of child rights.
- It focuses on children that form a part of the most vulnerable sections of society.
- The Commission sees every right of the child as equally important and hence, does not grade the rights according to importance.
Editorial of the Day
The poor state of India’s fiscal federalism
- A degree of centralisation in fiscal power was required to ad dress the concerns of socio-economic and regional disparities, he felt. This asymmetric federalism, inherent to the Constitution, was only accelerated and mutually reinforced with political centralisation since 2014, making the Union Government extractive rather than enabling. While States lost their capacity to generate revenue by surrendering their rights in the wake of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, their expenditure pattern too was distorted by the Union’s intrusion, particularly through its centrally sponsored schemes.
- To be sure, India was never truly federal – it was a ‘holding together federalism’ in contrast to the ‘coming together federalism,’ in which smaller independent entities come together to form a federation (as in the United States of America). In fact, the Government of India Act 1935 was more federal in nature than the Constitution adopted on January 26, 1950 as the first offered more power to its provincial governments.
- The ability of States to finance current expenditures from their own revenues has declined from 69% in 1955-56 to less than 38% in 2019 20. While the expenditure of the States has been shooting up, their revenues did not. They still spend 60% of the expenditure in the country 85% in education and 82% in health. Since States cannot raise tax revenue because of cur tailed indirect tax rights – subsumed in GST, except for petroleum products, electricity and alcohol the revenue has been stagnant at 6% of GDP in the past decade.
- Even the increased share of devolution, mooted by the Fourteenth Finance Commission, from 32% to 42%, was subverted by raising non-divisivecess and surcharges that go directly into the Union kitty.
- Besides these, States are forced to pay differential interest – about 10% against 7% – by the Union for market borrowings. It is not just that States are also losing due to gross fiscal mismanagement – in creased surplus cash in balance of States that is money borrowed at higher interest rates – the Reserve Bank of India, when there is a surplus in the treasury, typically in vests it in short treasury bills is sued by the Union at lower interest rate.
- Similarly, why should the State share the expenditure of a scheme on the Union list? For instance, health is on the State list, so why should the Union thrust this scheme onto States; even on those that are better per forming such as Tamil Nadu and Kerala? It only impedes States from charting their own autonomous path of development.