Q.1 Consider the following statements:
1. The First Session of the Indian National Congress was held in
2. The Second Session of the Indian National Congress was held
under the presidentship of Dadabhai Naoroji.
3. Both Indian National Congress and Muslim League held their
sessions at Lucknow in 1916 and concluded the Lucknow Pact.
Which of the statements given above is, are correct?
(a) 1 and 2
(b) 2 only
(c) 2 and 3
(d) 3 only
Q.2Which one of the following statements is correct?
(a) The Constituent Assembly of India was elected by the Provincial
Assemblies in the year 1946.
(b) Jawaharlal Nehru, M.A. Jinnah and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
were members of the Constituent Assembly of India.
(c) The First Session of the Constituent Assembly of India was held
in January, 1947.
(d) The Constitution of India was adopted on 26th January, 1950.
Q.3 Which one of the following statements correctly describes the
Fourth Schedule of the Constitution of India?
(a) It contains the scheme of the distribution of powers between the
Union and the States.
(b) It contains the languages listed in the Constitution.
(c) It contains the provisions regarding the administration of tribal
(d) It allocates seats in the Council of States.
CITIZENSHIP AMENDMENT ACT 2019
NEWS: Twenty-one people were injured when a protest at Seelampur in east Delhi against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the police action against students at Jamia Millia Islamia University in the capital turned violent on Tuesday.
Home Minister Amit Shah said on Tuesday that come what may, migrants from the minority communities in Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan would be granted citizenship, and the Opposition parties could protest all they wanted. The Citizenship (Amendment) Act would not be taken back, he said. The amendment to conduct the NRC was inserted in the Citizenship Act in 2004 when the Congress was in power, he said.
ABOUT CITIZENSHIP AMENDMENT ACT
WHAT DOES THE ACT CONTAINS?
The ACT seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955 by seeking to grant citizenship to undocumented non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan who came to India on or before December 31, 2014.
The ACT says the six non-Muslim communities “shall not be treated as illegal migrant” for violating provisions under Passport Act, 1920 or the Foreigners Act, 1946 that pertains to foreigners entering and staying in India illegally.
The ACT shall not apply to tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura as included in the sixth schedule of the Constitution and States of Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland protected by the Inner Line Permit (ILP).
ACT has reduce the time period required for naturalization from 11 years to 5 years for members of these communities.
A special meeting of the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Kashmir was not convened on Tuesday, diplomatic sources have confirmed. The meeting was sought by China to discuss India’s decision to end the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
“Kashmir will not be discussed at the Security Council. The issue has to be treated bilaterally [between India and Pakistan]. We have highlighted this several times recently,” a French diplomatic source told The Hindu.
The UNSC met on August 16 after China insisted on reviving the ‘India-Pakistan Question’ at the world body’s highest decision-making unit, where the issue had been dormant since it was discussed in December 1971.
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security.
The Security Council consists of fifteen members. Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, and the United States—serve as the body’s five permanent members. These permanent members can veto any substantive Security Council resolution, including those on the admission of new member states or candidates for Secretary-General.
The Security Council also has 10 non-permanent members, elected on a regional basis to serve two-year terms. The body’s presidency rotates monthly among its members.
Its powers include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of international sanctions, and the authorization of military action through Security Council resolutions;
It is the only UN body with the authority to issue binding resolutions to member states.
NATIONAL GREEN TRIBUNAL
Following a plea alleging illegal constructions by the DDA in a green belt near Mayapuri here, the NGT has directed authorities, including the forest department, to demarcate the forest area.
National Green Tribunal was formed under the National Green Tribunal Act of 2010. Act was enacted under the India’s constitutional provision of Article 21 which assures the citizens of India the right to healthy environment.
Tribunal has been created for effective and expeditious disposal of the cases relating to environmental protection and giving relief and compensation for damages to persons and property and for matters connected therewith and incidental thereto.
Tribunal is mandated to make endeavour for disposal of applications or appeals filing within 6 months of the filing of the same.
Chairman of the tribunal must be a serving or retired Chief Justice of a High Court or judge of the Supreme Court of India.
The tribunal shall not be bound by the procedure laid under the Code of Civil Procedure 1908 but shall be guided by the principles of natural justice.
New Delhi is the principle place of sitting of the tribunal and Bhopal, Pune, Kolkatta and Chennai are other four places of sitting of the tribunal.
Present NGT Chairperson is Justice (Retired) Adarsh Kumar Goel.
CIC ORDER ON EVM
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday quashed an order of the Central Information Commission (CIC) which had held that EVMs fall within the definition of ‘information’ under the RTI Act.
Justice Jayant Nath passed the order on a plea by the Election Commission (EC) challenging the order of the CIC dated February 12 that held that EVM is an information under the RTI Act.
The EC had said that EVMs do not fall under the scope of the RTI Act, which is primarily concerned with documentary records and representative models.
The CIC had in February this year held that “the EVM which is available with the respondent [poll panel] in a material form and also as samples, as admitted by the respondent during the hearing, is an information under the RTI Act”.
ABOUT CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION
- CIC was established in 2005 by Central Government under provisions of Right to Information (RTI) Act (2005).
- The Chief Information Commissioner heads the Central Information Commission.
- The general superintendence, direction and management of affairs of Commission are vested in Chief Information Commissioner who is assisted by Information Commissioners.
- CIC hears appeals from information-seekers who have not been satisfied by the public authority, and also addresses major issues concerning the RTI Act.
- CIC submits annual report to Union government on the implementation of the provisions of RTI Act.
- The central government in turn places this report before each house of Parliament.
- APPOINTMENT: The Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners are appointed by the Presidenton the recommendation of a committee consisting of—
- The Prime Minister, who shall be the Chairperson of the committee.
- The Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha.
- A Union Cabinet Minister to be nominated by the Prime Minister.
- FUNCTIONS AND POWERS OF CIC
It can order inquiry into any matter if there are reasonable grounds.
- It can secure compliance of its decisions from the public authority.
- It can recommend steps to be taken for promoting such conformity, if public authority does not conform to provisions of RTI Act.
- It receives and inquire into a complaint from
- It examines any record which is under control of the public authority and which may be withheld from it on any grounds during the enquiry. While inquiring, it has powers of civil courtnd which may be withheld from it on any grounds during the enquiry. While inquiring, it has powers of civil court
NEWS: The Finance Ministers of non-Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled States are gearing up for a showdown at the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council meeting on Wednesday at the behest of Kerala to force the Centre wipe out the entire GST compensation due to the States.
He had written to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Seetharaman on Monday expressing his resentment on the Centre failing to include the compensation issue as a priority item on the Council meeting’s agenda. The financial situation of the States is precarious and hence it should be included as the second item, he had said.
ABOUT GST COUNCIL
GST council is a CONSITITUIONAL BODY. It has been formed under Article 279A of the Constitution.
For making recommendations to the Union and State Governments on issues related to the Goods and Service Tax.
GST Council is chaired by Union Finance Minister and other members are Union State Minister of Revenue or Finance and Minister in charge of Finance or Taxation in all other states.
DECISION MAKING POWER
- One third voting power: Centre
- Two Third Voting Power: States
- 75% support for taking any decision.
THREE CAPITALS FOR ANDHRA PRADESH
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Tuesday hinted that Andhra Pradesh could have three Capitals on the lines of the ones in the Republic of South Africa.
Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy spoke his mind, and advocated decentralised development of the State.
We can think in terms of having three capitals — legislative, executive and judicial. Visakhapatnam, which has infrastructure, can be considered for the executive capital without much investment, while Amaravati can be retained as the legislative capital and Kurnool can be considered for the judiciary capital.
The RSA has three capitals — Pretoria, the administrative Capital, Cape Town, a legislative capital, and Blomemfontein, the judicial capital.
2+2 MEETING OF INDIA AND US
NEWS: External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh sit down for the second “2+2” combined ministerial meeting with their U.S. counterparts, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defence Mark Esper, on Wednesday.
The 2+2 dialogue is the highest-level institutional mechanism between India and USA that brings together our perspectives on foreign policy, defence and strategic issues,
TOPICS TO BE DISCUSSED
Indo-Pacific strategy: As part of the larger Indo-Pacific focus, the evolving cooperation between the Quad grouping comprising India, Australia, Japan and the U.S. will also be discussed. While Washington has been pushing for greater military engagement, New Delhi has stated that it doesn’t see any military role for the grouping.
Discussions on global challenges, including U.S. policy in Iran and Afghanistan
On the defence front, the two sides are expected to sign the Industrial Security Annex (ISA) and review steps being taken to operationalise the foundational agreement Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA), which was signed during the previous 2+2 talks.
The ISA is crucial for U.S. companies bidding for big ticket Indian deals to partner with the Indian private industry, especially the multi-billion dollar deal for 114 fighter jets.
In addition, there are several big ticket defence deals in the works, the progress of which will be reviewed. These include the 24 Lockheed Martin MH-60R Multi-Role helicopters worth $2.4bn and 13 BAE Systems- built 127 mm MK-45 Naval gun systems, among others.
NEWS: The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on Tuesday successfully conducted two BrahMos supersonic cruise missile tests , one each from land and air platforms.
BrahMos is a joint venture between India and Russia and named after Brahmaputra river in India and Moscowa river in Russia.
It is capable of being launched from land, sea, sub sea, and air against surface and sea based targets.
The development trials of an anti shipping variant began in 2003 and combat trials began in 2005.
The land and sea variants of BrahMos are already operational with the Army and Navy and air launched version is under development.
BrahMos is the fastest cruise missile in the world.
FIRST EDITORIAL: THE GENERAL IN TROUBLE
ISSUE: DEATH SENTENCE TO GENERAL PERVEZ MUSHARRAF
Mr. Musharraf, who captured power through a bloodless coup in 1999, was found guilty, under Article 6, of high treason for declaring a state of emergency in 2007.
The court, in a 2-1 verdict, stated that Mr. Musharraf was guilty of violating and subverting the Constitution and gave him the highest punishment under the High Treason (Punishment) Act of 1973.
Mr. Musharraf, currently in Dubai, can appeal. If the Supreme Court upholds the death penalty, he could still seek presidential pardon.
While the legal battle can continue, what is clear is that the ruling is a setback to the military and the government.
This is the first time in Pakistan’s history that a military chief has been found guilty of treason and given the death sentence.
In a country that has seen coups and was ruled directly by the military for over three decades in total, it is not easy to stand up to the interests of the establishment. Still, that is what the judiciary is doing in recent days.
Judgement could act as a legal deterrent against any military intervention in civilian affairs. It also strengthens the judiciary as an institution further, redrawing the institutional equilibrium in Pakistan’s power dynamics.
What Mr. Musharraf’s fate should be is up to the higher courts to decide. But the spirit of the special court’s judgment is to hold the men in uniform accountable for their actions and enforce the primacy of the Constitution. That is good news for democracy.
LEAD ARTICLE: TIME TO DEFEND INDIA’S SECULARISM
ISSUE: CRITICISM OF THE CITIZENSHIP AMENDMENT ACT 2019
Against common citizenship
Citizenship (Amendment) Act is against the letter and spirit of our Constitution.
Articles 5 to 11 of the Constitution deal with citizenship, and the Citizenship Act, 1955, lays down criteria for citizenship based on birth, descent, registration, naturalisation, and citizenship by incorporation of territory.
By setting new criteria, the Citizenship (Amendment) Act goes against the premise of common citizenship regardless of differences of caste, creed, gender, ethnicity and culture.
Further, Article 14 of the Constitution lays down that the “State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India”. It bears emphasis that Article 14 applies not only to citizens but to “all persons within the territory of India”.
Violative of rights
Citizenship (Amendment) Act is divisive, deeply discriminatory and violative of human rights.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Act attempts to create and deepen communal division and social polarisation in the country. The Act gives eligibility for citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan who entered India on or before December 31, 2014, and specifically excludes Muslims from that list. In granting citizenship on the basis of religion, it discriminates against Muslims and rejects the basic concept of secularism.
Our final point, that the agenda of Hindutva and its ultimate goal of establishing a “Hindu Nation” underlie the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, is well established both by past experience and the present actions of the BJP-Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
SECOND ARTICLE: BEARING THE BURNT OF THE SLACK LAWS
ISSUE: TWEAKING OF LABOUR LAWS ON SAFETY AND MINIMUM WAGE
India’s labour laws are often projected as cumbersome, a hindrance to employment generation, and, thus, intrinsically “anti labour”. Even though these laws are available for few organized sector workers.
Taken together, the exemptions provided to smaller industrial and commercial establishments from furnishing proof of their compliance with statutory labour laws, as well as labour law amendments aimed at diluting the authority of the labour inspectorate, have greatly enhanced the power of employers across the board.
The “private power” of employers to unilaterally fix wages, extract overtime, manage leaves, determine compensation, etc. has substantially increased with the steady withdrawal of the state from regulation of labour-capital relations that exist in myriad workplaces.
Like it or not, promotion of the self-certification system, the continuous weakening of the labour inspectorate by successive governments and persistent dilution of labour laws pose uncomfortable questions, especially when we recognise the intense exploitation of labour by employers, who to stay competitive, consistently push down labour costs by circumventing labour rights.
How can employers, who often tend to violate labour rights, themselves become law enforcers/certifiers in the new framework of deregulated industrial relations?
The brutal reality is that workers contribute their sweat and blood in the making of this economy, and in return the economy gives them a pittance. How many more workers’ lives have to go up in flames before our conscience is awakened?
LEAD ARTICLE: LEFT TO THE WHIMS OF EXECUTIVE
ISSUE: CRITICISM OF THE CITIZENSHIP AMENDMENT ACT
The first question that arises is whether the targeted exclusion of certain classes of migrants from the rigours of immigration law, based in part on their religious identity, can be done through notifications and Standard Operating Procedures. Does this mean that a future notification can altogether drop the religious persecution requirement and offer a blanket exemption to everyone except Muslims?
The classes of beneficiaries of the 2019 Act who will pursue registration and not naturalisation is also left to the decision of the executive (through Rules yet to be notified).
Neither the Act nor the 2015 notifications tell us how, by whom, and under what guidelines people’s claims to a religious identity, and to fleeing a certain religious persecution, will be determined.
The Citizenship Amendment Act is a mere skeleton, whose flesh and blood is left to be dictated by executive action. To decide the membership of a polity through mere executive action is a dangerous path to walk — and one that Indians must be alarmed by.
SECOND ARTICLE: FISH IN TROUBLED WATERS
ISSUE: INTRODUCTION OF INVASIVE ALIEN SPECIES
Climate change and unprecedented floods resulting from cloud bursts have facilitated the introduction of aquatic invasive alien species into new habitats in India. This phenomenon threatens ecosystems, habitats and native species.
Recently, a study by Biju Kumar and others from the Department of Aquatic Biology and Fisheries, University of Kerala, revealed the role of the 2018 floods in introducing the most dangerous fish species into Kerala’s wetlands.
India is endowed with 2,319 species of finfish. Studies from several parts of the country show that the diversity of freshwater fish is depleting at an alarming pace due to the invasion of commercially important and ornamental exotic fish species. Many native species, especially Indian major carps in various riverine systems, have been affected because of the invasion of exotic fish species such as Nile tilapia, African catfish, Thai pangus and common carp.
WHY THIS IS BAD?
Researchers say that during heavy floods, invasive alien fishes which are illegally farmed in fragile systems, including domestic aquarium tanks, ponds, lakes and abandoned quarries, effortlessly escape from captivity and enter nearby wetlands.
After a while, they slowly begin to wipe out local diversity and the economy by altering the functions of the ecosystem.
WHAT COULD BE DONE?
It is time to draft a policy in consultation with experts. The State government would also do well to establish a unique research centre to address this issue.
PROBLEMS OF CAPF
A Rajya Sabha committee has objected to the overuse of the Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) for rigorous internal security and election-related duties to the extent that even the reserved battalions are deployed not giving them enough time for rest and recuperation.
LACK OF PROMOTION OPPORTUNITIES
To boost the morale of the CAPFs, the committee insisted on limiting deputation of officers from the IPS and the armed forces to CAPFs at 25% and the CAPFs cadres should be given an opportunity to become the Director General of respective forces.
The committee insisted on paying paramilitary service pay to the CAPF on par with the defence forces personnel.
The committee noted that the defence forces personnel are being paid Military Service Pay in view of the risk to life and social and family isolation and argued that the CAPF also deserves similar incentive in the form of Paramilitary Service Pay as they also face similar risks and isolation. Noting the response of the MHA that the 7th Pay Commission and the Committee on Allowance did not agree to such special pay, the committee insisted on doing the needful
Referring to suicides in the CAPFs, the committee urged the Ministry to put in place an institutional mechanism with representatives of the MHA, the Bureau of Police Research and Development, heads of various forces and experts in public health, mental health, psychology and psychiatry to address the issue.
There are seven Central Armed Police Forces which functions under the aegis of Ministry of Home Affairs.
- CRPF( Central Reserve Police Force) : 1939: New Delhi
- CISF (Central Industrial Security Force): 1969: New Delhi
- ITBP (Indo Tibetan Border Police): 1962: New Delhi
- SSB (Shashtra Seema Bal): 1963: New Delhi
- Assam Rifles(Oldest Paramilitary 1835): Shillong
- National Security Guard : 1984: New Delhi
- Border Security Force : 1965: New Delhi
NATIONAL BROADBAND MISSION
NEWS: The government on Tuesday announced a new ‘mission’ aimed at providing broadband access to all villages by 2022, entailing an investment of around ₹7 lakh crore from various stakeholders.
The National Broadband Mission will facilitate universal and equitable access to broadband services across the country, especially in rural and remote areas.
Under the mission, the government plans to lay incremental 30 lakh route km of optical fibre cable, while also increasing tower density from 0.42 to 1 tower per thousand of population by 2024.
AIM OF THE MISSION
Fast-track growth of digital communications infrastructure,
Bridge the digital divide,
Facilitate digital empowerment and inclusion, and
Provide affordable and universal access of broadband for all
GLOBAL REFUGEE FORUM
NEWS:Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has presented falsehoods at the Global Refugee Forum meeting in Geneva, India stated on Tuesday. The External Affairs Ministry said Mr. Khan’s comments about the Muslim citizens in India were “gratuitous”, and urged Pakistan to stop persecution of the minority communities in the country.
Speaking at the World Refugee Forum in Geneva on Tuesday, Mr. Khan had criticised India for the developments in Kashmir and for the Citizenship Amendment Act.
ABOUT GLOBAL REFUGEE FORUM
First Global Refugee Forum held in Geneva,Switzerland.
Forum was jointly hosted by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and UN Refugee Agency and the government of Switzerland.
AIM: to debate and discuss the response of the world’s countries to the global refugee situation.
NEWS: In a major relief for telcos, particularly Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Tuesday deferred implementation of zero-interconnect usage charge regime by a year, besides kick-starting a consultation on the need to fix minimum tariff for mobile calls and data.
For wireless to wireless domestic calls, termination charge would continue to remain as ₹0.06 per minute up to December 31, 2020…From January 1, 2021 onwards the termination charge for wireless to wireless domestic calls shall be zero
- Established in 1997
- Established by an Act of Parliament, called the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997
- TRAI is an independent regulator of Telecom Business in India.
- Aims to regulate telecom services, including fixation/revision of tariffs for telecom services which were earlier vested in the Central Government.
- Its mission is to create and nurture conditions for growth of telecommunications in India to enable country to have leading role in emerging global information society.
- It also provides fair and transparent environment that promotes level playing field and facilitates fair competition in the market.
- It also regularly issues orders and directions on various subjects such as tariffs, quality of service, interconnections, Direct To Home (DTH) services and mobile number portability.
- TRAI also fixes or revises the tariffs for telecom services in India.
NEWS: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is set to join other downbeat analysts and cut the growth estimate for India “significantly,” its India-born chief economist Gita Gopinath said on Tuesday.
A fall in consumption, lack of private investments and sluggish exports are being blamed for a slower GDP growth which slid to a six-year low of 4.5% in September.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an organization of 189 member countries, each of which has representation on the IMF’s executive board in proportion to its financial importance, so that the most powerful countries in the global economy have the most voting power.
- Foster global monetary cooperation
- Secure financial stability
- Facilitate international trade
- Promote high employment and sustainable economic growth
- And reduce poverty around the world
- The IMF, also known as the Fund, was conceived at a UN conference in Bretton Woods,New Hampshire, United States, in July 1944.
India’s voting rights in IMF: 2.6%
IMF Head: Kristalina Georgieva
IMPORTANT PUBLICATION OF THE IMF
- World Economic Outlook
- Global Financial Stability Report
- Fiscal Monitor