IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs (Prelims + Mains
Focus)- 10th September 2018
Pardoning powers of President and Governor
Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II – Indian Polity
- Tamil Nadu Cabinet recommended to Governor that all seven life convicts in the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi assassination case be released under Article 161 of the Constitution.
Do you know?
- Article 72 deals with power of president to grant pardons, etc., and to suspend, remit or commute sentences in certain cases.
- Article 161 deals with power of governor to grant pardons, etc., and to suspend, remit or commute sentences in certain cases.
- The Governor of a State shall have the power to grant pardons, reprieves, respites or remissions of punishment or to suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person convicted of any offence against any law relating to a matter to which the executive power of the State extends.
Important value additions:
- Governor can only pardon in the cases which are related to state’s law not the central law.
- Governor can reduce the sentence or can completely pardon it. It is up to him but remember case must be within that state’s law.
- He doesn’t have any power if the offender has been awarded with the death sentence, whether by the state’s law or central law. If the capital punishment has been given then only president of India can pardon it however governor can delay it.
- Governor doesn’t have any power on the matters related to military rules like court-martial however president can pardon or alter them too.
2 irrigation facilities in Telangana get heritage tag
Part of: GS Prelims and Mains III – Agriculture and Irrigation; Infrastructure
- International Executive Council, the highest decision making body of International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID), at Saskatoon in Canada last month has accepted Telangana government’s nomination of 2 irrigation facilities in the ICID Register of Heritage Irrigation Structures.
- Names of the 2 irrigation facilities – Sadarmatt anicut across river Godavari in Nirmal district and Pedda Cheruvu in Kamareddy district. (over-century-old irrigation facilities)
Do you know?
- The anicut, which is English word for Telugu’s ana-katta, meaning a rainfall bund.
Animal in news: Endangered ‘Pondicherry shark’
- ‘Pondicherry shark’, an endangered species protected under the provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, was spotted in Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh.
- Known as ‘Pala Sora’ in the local parlance, the ‘Pondicherry Shark’ is on the verge of extinction even according to the conventional fishermen. Fishermen, however, are unaware of its conservation status which is on a par with the tiger.
- IUCN status: Critically Endangered.
- This is very rare Indo-West Pacific species.
Swami Vivekananda quotes
- 125th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s address to the Parliament of World Religions in 1893.
- Swami Vivekananda’s ideas of universal tolerance, compassion, and concern for the poor are as relevant today as they were during his lifetime.
Important quotes for exam –
- Arise awake and stop not till the goal is reached — Swami Vivekananda (This quote can be used in Ethics/Essay answers dealing with Hope/Corruption/Faith)
- One ounce of practice is worth twenty thousand tons of big talk (Swami Vivekananda – This quote can be used to conclude almost every essay).
- “It is impossible to think about the welfare of the world unless the condition of women is improved. It is impossible for a bird to fly on only one wing” – Swami Vivekananda. (On women empowerment)
- All nations have attained greatness by paying proper respect to women. That country and that nation which do not respect women have never become great, nor will ever be in future – Swami Vivekananda.
- “All the different religions are but applications of the one religions adapted to suite the requirements of different nations”. – Swami Vivekananda. (on Religion)
- “If in this hell of a world one can bring a little joy & peace even for a day into the heart of a single person, that much alone is true; this I have learnt after suffering all my life, all else is mere moonshine” – Swami Vivekananda (on serving Humanity)
SEBI reforms on FPIs
Part of: GS Prelims and Mains III – Indian Economy and associated issues
- Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) are currently allowed to invest up to 10% in a single listed Indian company.
- According to SEBI’s circular, their total investment in all the investee companies put together cannot exceed this limit.
- As of now, entity owning a majority stake in a fund is considered a beneficial owner (BO). A BO is one who directly or indirectly derives the benefits of ownership.
- However, according to SEBI’s recent circular, it said Resident Indians (RIs), Non Resident Indians (NRIs), Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) and Overseas Citizens of India (OCIs) cannot be the beneficial owner (BO) of a fund investing in India.
- In other words, SEBI asked FPIs to determine ownership based on both shareholding and control.
- SEBI-appointed panel has suggested a few amendments to the circular.
- The panel, headed by former RBI Deputy Governor H.R. Khan suggested NRIs, OCIs and RIs be allowed to manage foreign funds that invest in India subject to certain holding limits. Second, a single NRI, OCI or RI cannot hold more than 25% of the assets under management of the foreign fund and the aggregate holding of such entities has to be below 50%.
- The Centre had told SEBI that it need not use the BO definition laid down under Prevention of Money Laundering Act. SEBI has been asked to consult the Centre to evolve a more objective criteria for defining high-risk jurisdictions.
Part of: GS Mains II and III – Role of NGO in environment conservation; Pollution
- The Ocean Cleanup Project by the Dutch non-profit group, hopes to clean up half of the infamous garbage patch within five years (in Pacific ocean)
TOPIC: General Studies 2
- Bilateral agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
- Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora
2+2 = ? (Analysis of India US equation)
- Recently, 2+2 meeting held in New Delhi between External and Defence ministers of India on one side and their respective counterpart secretaries on the other side from US.
- There are some positive outcomes of the meeting, but also there are many negative takeaways also.
- The India-U.S. defence relationship has been given a significant boost with the three agreements signed after the inaugural 2+2 Dialogue in Delhi: the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA), “hotlines” between the Defence and Foreign Ministers of both countries, and the first tri-services military exercises between the two countries.
- COMCASA is the third of four “foundational”, or enabling agreements signed by India after more than a decade of negotiations, and is perceived as an inevitable consequence of the large amount of U.S. defence hardware it has been purchasing.
- This will increase, going forward, given the U.S. decision to include India in the top tier of countries entitled to Strategic Trade Authorisation (STA-1).
- Apart from the defence agreements, both sides said in a joint statement that they had discussed trade issues, cooperation on fighting terrorism, advancing “a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific region” and promoting sustainable “debt-financing” in the region.
- The last two points are clearly aimed at Beijing’s role in the South China Sea and the Belt and Road Initiative projects, respectively.
- India did not receive a clear-cut assurance of its GSP (Generalised System of Preferences) status being restored, or of waivers on steel and aluminium tariffs imposed by Washington.
- Instead, U.S. officials said clearly that they expect India to increase imports of American oil and gas as well as aircraft in order to wipe out the trade surplus India enjoys.
- It is unclear whether the Centre has acquiesced to this blatantly anti-free market demand, but its silence on the matter is disturbing.
- The U.S.’s other demand, to “zero out” oil imports from Iran by November, is simply unreasonable. It would hurt India dearly not only because of costs at a time when the dollar is strengthening and fuel prices are going up, but also in terms of its substantial engagement with Iran.
- No public statement was made on what the U.S. will do on India’s investment in the Chabahar port once its full sanctions kick in on November 4.
- American officials also gave no firm commitment in their statements that India will receive a waiver to purchase Russian hardware, beginning with the S-400 missile system.
- While signing agreements the U.S. has pursued for years, India appears to have taken a leap of faith on its own concerns, expecting that the Trump administration will come through on waiving sanctions and being more flexible on trade issues.
- Delhi must work with Washington in the next few months to ensure that the benefits from the 2+2 dialogue don’t add up only on the other side.
Connecting the dots:
- Critically analyse the India US relations and concerns related to it.
TOPIC: General Studies 2
- Important Functions and responsibilities of the government
- Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
- Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability
Bail over jail
The power of arrest is an extraordinary one, conferred on the police to be employed with discretion and deliberation, not as a tool of oppression and harassment at the hands of prosecuting authorities or the government of the day.
Arrests: Provisions and observations
- The Supreme Court has emphasised that arrests should never be a reflexive response to an allegation of an offence, or even its commission.
- The law that empowers the police to arrest people without warrants (Section 41 of the CrPC) is reasonably stringent, demanding that some conditions be met, including that such arrests be carried out to prevent commission of further offences, tampering of evidence, and influencing of witnesses.
- The Supreme Court noted in Arnesh Kumar v. State of Bihar (2014), arbitary use of power to arrest, affects the liberty of citizens and which can ‘bring humiliation… and cast scars forever’.
Examples of questionable arrests
- Recently, Tamil Nadu has attracted attention in this connection, particularly for the heavy-handed treatment of those opposing the Chennai-Salem eight-lane highway project.
- Tamil Nadu was witness to another example recently, when a student was arrested and remanded to 15 days judicial custody (before eventually being let off on bail) for political sloganeering on an aircraft.
- The recent and shocking arrests of activists, over their alleged links to Maoists, have focussed attention on the severe restrictions on bail when booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
- In most cases arrests without warrant follow a dishearteningly familiar course, with the accused sent to custody after the police oppose bail.
- In this prosecutorial ecosystem, jail succeeds in trumping bail almost every time and magistrates, who are empowered to refuse remand and grant bail, continue to issue orders mechanically.
- The dilemmas over maintaining the right balance between individual liberty and the interests of society invariably become more acute when the charges against the accused, well-established or otherwise, are serious.
- Under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, the prosecution has 180 days to file a charge sheet, a period during which bail is routinely denied.
- After the charge sheet is filed, bail is extremely difficult to secure, dependent as it is on the accused establishing his or her innocence, a reversal of the usual burden of proof.
- If the Supreme Court decides that justice will be secured only by its intervention in the case, it will probably be forced to invoke its extraordinary powers under Article 142 of the Constitution, another reminder of the need to break the customary chain of arrest, custody and remand.
- The chain of arrest, custody, and remand must be linked only by due process.
- Provisions of arrest without warrant must be used ethically and in a more just ways.
Connecting the dots:
- Arbitrary arrests without warrant are becoming a political tool to silent thee dissent. Critically comment.
(TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE)
Model questions: (You can now post your answers in comment section)
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Q.1) Consider the following statements
- The Governor can pardon a death sentence prescribed by a state law.
- The power to pardon is to be exercised by the President on the advice of the Union Cabinet.
- The President cannot pardon sentences inflicted by court martial.
Which of the above statement[s] is/are incorrect?
- 1 only
- 2 only
- 1 and 3
- 1 and 2
Q.2) Sadarmatt anicut, which recently got heritage tag by the International Executive Council, the highest decision making body of International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) is over –
- River Godavari
- River Krishna
- River Sabarmati
- River Siang
Q.3) Article 142 is news often. The Article is associated with –
- Special Leave Petition of Supreme Court
- Advisory jurisdiction of Supreme Court
- Enforcement of orders of Supreme Court
- Review of judgments by Supreme Court
Q.4) Which of the following is correctly matched?
- Hambantota – Sri Lanka
- Chabahar – Afghanisatn
- Duqm – Iran
Select the correct code:
- 1 Only
- 3 Only
- 1 and 2
- 2 and 3
Bail over jail: on due process
Cloudy forecast: on climate change
Why not Dalit?
Absence on the bench
Jobs, lost and found