IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 18th July 2019
(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)
Kulbhushan Jadhav case and ICJ ruling
Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II – India and its neighbourhood- relations; India and Pakistan relations
- The International Court of Justice ruled that Pakistan should “review and reconsider” Kulbhushan Jadhav’s conviction and death sentence.
- ICJ also ruled that Pakistan should give the Indian government consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav.
Do you know?
- Jadhav, a retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of “espionage and terrorism” after a closed trial in April 2017.
- His sentencing evoked a sharp reaction in India.
- India moved the ICJ in the same year for the “egregious violation” of the provisions of the Vienna Convention by Pakistan by repeatedly denying New Delhi consular access to the 48-year-old Indian national.
Important Value Additions:
- ICJ is the “principled judicial organ of the United Nations” (ICJ, 1945), and is based at the Hague in the Netherlands.
- Statute of the International Court of Justice, which is an integral part of the United Nations Charter established the ICJ.
- The ICJ is made up of 15 jurists from different countries (elected to nine-year terms by Permanent members of the UNSC) and no two judges at any given time may be from the same country. The court’s composition is static but generally includes jurists from a variety of cultures.
- The function of the ICJ is to resolve disputes between sovereign states.
Karnataka crisis: What’s a ‘whip’, and what does it do?
Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II – Indian Polity; Parliament – Whip
- Amid a looming trust vote in the Karnataka Assembly, former chief minister Siddaramaiah appealed to postpone the motion of confidence as the Supreme Court’s decision did not shed light on his rights to issue a whip.
What is a whip?
- A whip in parliamentary parlance is a written order that party members be present for an important vote, or that they vote only in a particular way.
- The term is derived from the old British practice of “whipping in” lawmakers to follow the party line.
- In India all parties can issue a whip to their members.
- Parties appoint a senior member from among their House contingents to issue whips — this member is called a Chief Whip, and he/she is assisted by additional Whips.
Do you know?
- The office of ‘whip’, on the other hand, is mentioned neither in the Constitution of India nor in the Rules of the House nor in a Parliamentary Statute. It is based on the conventions of the parliamentary government.
- Every political party, whether ruling or Opposition has its own whip in the Parliament. He is appointed by the political party to serve as an assistant floor leader.
- He is charged with the responsibility of ensuring the attendance of his party members in large numbers and securing their support in favour of or against a particular issue.
- He regulates and monitors their behaviour in the Parliament. The members are supposed to follow the directives given by the whip. Otherwise, disciplinary action can be taken.
Kinds of whips
A whip can be classified into three types, based on the number of times it has been underlined.
- A one-line whip, which is underlined once, is issued by the party to inform its members of an important vote in the pipeline, so that a quorum can be established. (A quorum is the minimum number of legislators that need to be present do that a vote can be held.)
- A one-line whip allows the legislators to abstain from voting if they decide to go against the party line. However, they cannot, under any circumstance, vote against the party.
- A two-line whip, which is underlined twice, demands that party members be present in the House at the time of voting.
- Abstention from voting, in this case, invites more scrutiny from party’s high command as compared to a one-line whip.
- A three-line whip, which is underlined thrice, is the gravest of the whips.
- This places the party members under an obligation to toe the party line and is usually employed when critical bills are tabled in the House or during a motion of no-confidence.
What happens if a legislator does not follow the whip?
- Defying a three-line whip can not only lead to expulsion of the member from the party, but also risk his/her membership in the House.
- Under the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution of India, the Speaker of the House can disqualify a member who goes against the party line under the anti-defection law.
- The only exception is when more than one-third members decide to vote against the directive.
Bimal Jalan committee on RBI’s economic capital framework (ECF)
Part of: GS Prelims and Mains III – Indian Economy and issues related to it; RBI
- Bimal Jalan panel was formed to address the issue of RBI reserves, one of the sticking points between the central bank and the government.
- The expert panel to suggest how the central bank should handle its reserves and whether it can transfer its surplus to the government.
- Jalan panel to submit its report soon.
- The government has been insisting that the central bank hand over its surplus reserves amid a shortfall in revenue collections.
- Access to the funds will allow finance minister to meet deficit targets, infuse capital into weak banks to boost lending and fund welfare programmes.
- Therefore, the Jalan panel was set up to decide whether RBI is holding provisions, reserves and buffers in surplus of the required levels.
Ebola outbreak a global health emergency: WHO
- World Health Organization declared the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo a public health emergency of international concern.
- Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal illness in humans.
- The Ebola virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission.
- The Ebola virus causes an acute, serious illness which is often fatal if untreated.
- There are currently no licensed Ebola vaccines but 2 potential candidates are undergoing evaluation.
Dam Safety Bill
Part of: GS Mains II and III – Government schemes and policies; Disaster Management
- The Centre is set to introduce the Dam Safety Bill, 2019.
- The Bill aims to put in place a systematic procedure to ensure that India’s 5,600 dams are made and maintained safely.
- The Bill provides for establishment of a National Dam Safety Authority as a regulatory body to implement the policy.
- The Bill lays the onus of the dam safety on the dam owner and provides for penal provisions for wilful “commission and omission of certain acts.”
National Medical Commission Bill
Part of: GS Mains II – Health sector; Education reforms; Government schemes and policies
- Centre plans to introduce the National Medical Commission Bill (NMC Bill) and repeal the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956.
- NMC Bill was first introduced in Parliament in December 2017 and had provoked widespread protests over a proposal for bridge courses to allow AYUSH practitioners to prescribe allopathic medicines. However, the 2017 bill lapsed with the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha.
- The current Bill proposes to convert the final year MBBS examination into a licentiate exam, which will be a requirement for doctors to practise medicine.
- The examination, to be called the National Exit Test (NEXT), will also be used for entrance into post-graduate medical courses, and act as a screening test for foreign medical graduates.
Person in news: Hafiz Saeed
- Pakistan recently arrested Hafiz Saeed, the alleged mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack that killed 166 people.
- Hafiz Saeed has been declared a global terrorist by the U.S. and the UN
- He is currently held in terror financing case.
Dibang Multipurpose Project in Arunachal Pradesh
- Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved the ₹1,600-crore pre-investment expenditure for the Dibang Multipurpose Project in Arunachal Pradesh, India’s largest hydropower project.
- Dibang River is a tributary of the Brahmaputra that originated and flows through the Mishmi Hills & northeast India from the state of Arunachal Pradesh.
TOPIC: General studies 2
- Role of UNSC; International organization
- International Relations
- India and the World
India’s agenda as an UNSC member
- India secured UNSC non-permanent membership for 2021-22 with support from Asia-Pacific group including Pakistan and China.
- Each year the 193-member UN General Assembly (UNGA) elects five non-permanent members for a two-year term at the high-table.
- India has been at the forefront of the years-long effort to reform the security council saying it rightly deserves a place as a permanent member of the council, which, in its current form, does not represent the geopolitical realities of the 21st Century.
- Currently, the world is in a greater state of disorder than at any time since the end of World War II.
- Fear, populism, polarisation, and ultra-nationalism have become the basis of politics in many countries.
- The benign and supportive international system that followed the Cold War has disappeared.
- India finds itself in a troubled region between West and East Asia – a region with insurgencies, terrorism, human and narcotics trafficking, and great power rivalries (ranging from turmoil in Gulf, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Daesh), Iraq and Syria issue to Afghanistan’s peace process).
- India also faces issues in Asia such as strategic mistrust or misperception, unresolved borders and territorial disputes, the absence of a pan-Asia security architecture, and competition over energy and strategic minerals.
Role of UNSC:
- Prime function of the UNSC should be to maintain international peace and security.
- It should also focus on shared goals, especially international social and economic cooperation.
- Try to bring coordination between 193 sovereign member nations.
To this end, the permanent members (P-5) as also other UN members must consider it worth their while to reform the Council.
What should India aim to do?
Studies and reports predict that – by 2050, China will be the world’s number one economic power, followed by India. UNSC permanent seat will come India’s way more by invitation and less by self-canvassing.
As a non-permanent member of UNSC, India’s objectives should be –
- to help build a stable and secure external environment
- to promote regional and global security
- to promote growth and its own people’s prosperity
- to promote a rule-based world order
- to emerge as a partner of choice for developing and developed countries alike
India must leverage this latest opportunity to project itself as a responsible nation.
Agenda as a member of UNSC
Increase financial contribution
- India will have to increase its financial contribution, as the apportionment of UN expenses for each of the P-5 countries is significantly larger than that for India.
- Although India has been a leading provider of peacekeepers, its assessed contribution to UN peacekeeping operations is minuscule.
Provide effective leadership
- At a time when there is a deficit of international leadership on global issues, especially on security, migrant movement, poverty, and climate change, India has an opportunity to promote well-balanced, common solutions.
Responsibility to Protect
- India must help guide the Council away from the perils of invoking the principles of humanitarian interventionism or ‘Responsibility to Protect’.
Work towards rules-based global order
- Given the fragile and complex international system, which can become even more unpredictable and conflictual, India should work towards a rules-based global order. Sustainable development and promoting peoples’ welfare should become its new drivers.
- India should push to ensure that the UNSC Sanctions Committee targets all those individuals and entities warranting sanctions.
- Having good relations with all the great powers, India must lead the way by pursuing inclusion, the rule of law, constitutionalism, and rational internationalism.
- India should once again become a consensus-builder, instead of the outlier it has progressively become.
- It should find a harmonised response for dealing with global problems of climate change, disarmament, terrorism, trade, and development.
- A rules-based international order helps rather than hinders India.
- India will be a rich country in the future and will acquire greater military muscle, but its people will remain relatively poor.
- India is a great nation, but not a great power.
- India cannot stride the global stage with confidence in the absence of stable relations with its neighbours.
- Besides whatever else is done within the UN and the UNSC, India must lift its game in South Asia and its larger neighbourhood.
- India must prepare for this contingency, but, at the same time, it must champion a return to the older rules-based global order.
Connecting the dots:
- What do you understand by the term or concept – “Rules-Based International Order”? Also discuss the challenges to the rules-based international order and its impact on India.
- India is a great nation, but not a great power. Do you agree? Elucidate your opinion.
- Does the composition and rights in the Security Council represent 21st century world dynamics? Critically examine.
- Why is the permanent membership in UNSC so important for India? Do you think India’s claim to permanent membership is valid? Elucidate.
(TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE)
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Q.1) Consider the following statements about ‘International Court of Justice (ICJ)’
- Statute of the International Court of Justice, which is an integral part of the United Nations Charter established the ICJ
- It is composed of fifteen judges elected to nine-year terms by Permanent members of the UNSC
Select the correct statements
- 1 Only
- 2 Only
- Both 1 and 2
- Neither 1 nor 2
Q.2) The office of the ‘Whip’ is mentioned in:
- Constitution of India
- Rules of the House
- In a separate Parliamentary Statute
Q.3) Based on the conventions of Parliamentary government, we have an office of ‘Whip’ in Indian parliament. Every political party has its own whip. What is the function of a ‘whip’?
- He is responsible for ensuring the attendance of his political party members.
- He decides the agenda of his party on the floor of the parliament.
- He ensures the support of his party members in favour or against a particular issue.
Select the code from following:
- 1 and 2
- 2 and 3
- 1 and 3
- All of the above
Q.4) Zoonoses are infectious diseases of animals (usually vertebrates) that can naturally be transmitted to humans. Which of the following are zoonoses?
- Ebola virus disease
- Bird flu
- Swine influenza
- Zika fever
Select the correct answer using the codes given below:
- 1, 2 and 3 only
- 2 and 3 only
- 2, 3 and 4 only
- All the above
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