1)Where the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill does not apply :-
The government is set to introduce the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB), 2019, which proposes to make it easier for certain categories of migrants to become eligible for Indian citizenship. In the revised version of CAB, the Centre has exempted certain areas in the Northeast, where the Bill has been facing protests.
In effect, it exempts the whole of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram, almost the whole of Meghalaya, and parts of Assam and Tripura, but keeps all of Manipur under its ambit. (To address Manipur’s concerns, the government is expected to announce special provisions).
Why are three states totally exempted?
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) states: “Nothing in this section shall apply to tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram or Tripura as included in the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution and the area covered under ‘The Inter Line’ notified under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873.”
The Inner Line Permit (ILP) system prevails in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram. In Nagaland, Dimapur town is not under ILP as of now.
What is ILP:- ILP is a special permit that citizens from other parts of India require to enter the three states. It can be obtained after applying online or physically, and specifies dates of travel and areas which the ILP holder can travel to.
History of ILP:- When the regime was introduced under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act of 1873, the objective was to protect the Crown’s own commercial interests by preventing “British subjects” (Indians) from trading within these regions. In 1950, the Indian government replaced “British subjects” with “Citizen of India”, to address local concerns about protecting their interests.
SIXTH SCHEDULE:- Sixth Schedule of the Constitution, described in Articles 244(2) and 275(1), relates to special provisions in administration of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram and provides special powers for Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) in these states. ADCs have powers to enact laws in areas under their jurisdiction on a variety of subjects, with the objective of ensuring development of tribal areas and boosting self-governance by tribal communities.
Why has Manipur been an exception to both these kinds of regimes(Sixth schedule and ILP)?
Manipur, like Tripura, was a princely state. When they joined the Indian Union (both in 1949; they became full-fledged states in 1972), they were out of the scheme of the Sixth Schedule. Though it was recommended three times to include Manipur in Sixth Schedule but it was never done.
2)Explained: Creamy layer principle in SC, ST quota for promotion: judgments, appeals:-
What was the case about?
In Jarnail Singh vs Lachhmi Narain Gupta (2018), the court dealt with a batch of appeals relating to two reference orders, first by a two-judge Bench and then by a three-judge Bench, on the correctness of the Supreme Court’s judgment in M Nagaraj & Others vs Union of India (2006).
The Nagaraj case, in turn, had arisen out of a challenge to the validity of four Constitution amendments, which the court eventually upheld.
What were these 4 amendments :-
77th Amendment: It introduced Clause 4A to the Constitution, empowering the state to make provisions for reservation in matters of promotion to SC/ST employees if the state feels they are not adequately represented.
81st Amendment: It introduced Clause 4B, which says unfilled SC/ST quota of a particular year, when carried forward to the next year, will be treated separately and not clubbed with the regular vacancies of that year to find out whether the total quota has breached the 50% limit set by the Supreme Court.
82nd Amendment: It inserted a proviso at the end of Article 335 to enable the state to make any provision for SC/STs “for relaxation in qualifying marks in any examination or lowering the standards of evaluation, for reservation in matters of promotion to any class or classes of services or posts in connection with the affairs of the Union or of a State”.
Article 335 of the Constitution relates to claims of SCs and STs to services and posts. It reads: “The claims of the members of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes shall be taken into consideration, consistently with the maintenance of efficiency of administration, in the making of appointments to services and posts in connection with the affairs of the Union or of a State.”
85th Amendment: It said reservation in promotion can be applied with consequential seniority for the SC/ST employee.
What was Said in Nagraj Case :- It is made clear that even if the State has compelling reasons, as stated above, the State will have to see that its reservation provision does not lead to excessiveness so as to breach the ceiling-limit of 50% or obliterate the creamy layer or extend the reservation indefinitely”. In other words, the court extended the creamy layer principle to SCs and STs too.
What happened in the subsequent Jarnail Singh case?
The Centre argued that the Nagaraj judgment needed to be revisited for two reasons. Firstly, asking states “to collect quantifiable data showing backwardness is contrary to the nine-Judge Bench in Indra Sawhney v Union of India where it was held that Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes are the most backward among backward classes and it is, therefore, presumed that once they are contained in the Presidential List under Articles 341 and 342 of the Constitution of India, there is no question of showing backwardness of the SCs and STs all over again”.
Secondly, the creamy layer concept has not been applied in the Indra Sawhney case to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes; the Nagaraj judgment, according to the government, “has misread” the Indra Sawhney judgment to apply the concept to the SCs and STs.
What was the Court Judgement :-
Five-judge Constitution Bench comprising then Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices Kurian Joseph, R F Nariman, S K Kaul and Indu Malhotra refused to refer the Nagaraj verdict to a larger bench. However, it held as “invalid” the requirement laid down by the Nagaraj verdict that states should collect quantifiable data on the backwardness of SCs and STs in granting quota in promotions, but said they will have to back it with data to show their inadequate representation in the cadre. It said that the creamy layer principle — of excluding the affluent among these communities from availing the benefit —will apply.
What happens now?
The Centre, while praying that the 2018 judgment be referred to a larger Bench, has referred once again to the 1992 Indra Sawhney judgment, submitting that the Supreme Court then did not apply the creamy layer concept to SCs and STs. The Bench has said it will hear the matter after two weeks.
3) Editorial :Small and inclusive
Issue :- New approach to granting licences to small finance and payment banks
What has happened:- RBI has now issued the final guidelines for licensing small and Payment banks.
New guidelines :- The bar has been raised for new entrants in terms of higher capital requirements — Rs 200 crore now from Rs 100 crore earlier — besides stiffer prudential norms on a continuing basis and a mandatory requirement to list after three years when the net worth tops Rs 500 crore.
Way foreword :- The experience of the last two decades has shown that a competitive banking system can help foster a more inclusive financial sector. Small finance banks could well occupy the space being gradually vacated by some of the bigger banks and complement them too in segments such as micro and small businesses and the informal sector.