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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 28th JULY 2020

  • IASbaba
  • July 28, 2020
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(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


Rajasthan crisis: Constitution on governor’s power 

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II – Polity – Constitution, Governor, C-S Relations 

Context: 

Rajasthan Governor told the state government that an assembly session can be called at a short notice but with certain conditions –  

  • Giving a 21-day notice for the session 
  • Live broadcast of the floor test, if it is held 
  • Social distancing in the assembly 

From exam perspective, we should know the following – 

  1. Who has the powers to summon the House? 
  2. What the law says about a governor’s power to summon, prorogue or dissolve an assembly? 
  3. What has the Supreme Court said in the past about the Governor’s power to summon the House? 
  4. Constituent Assembly Debate on the issue 

Who has the powers to summon the House? 

  • It is the Governor acting on the aid and advice of the cabinet.  

What the law says about a governor’s power to summon, prorogue or dissolve an assembly? 

There are two provisions in the Constitution that deal with a governor’s power to summon, prorogue and dissolve an assembly. 

  1. Under Article 174, a governor shall summon the House at a time and place, as she or he thinks fit. Article 174 (2) (a) says a governor may from “time to time” prorogue the House and 174 (2) (b) allows her or him to dissolve the Legislative Assembly. 
  2. Article 163 says the governor shall exercise her or his functions with the aid and advice of the council of ministers. But it also adds that she or he would not need their advice if the Constitution requires her or him to carry out any function at her/his discretion. 

Usually, the two Articles — 174 and 163 — are read together to outline the governor’s powers in summoning, proroguing or dissolving the House. 

Article 163(1) essentially limits any discretionary power of the Governor only to cases where the Constitution expressly specifies that the Governor must act on his own and apply an independent mind. 

What has the Supreme Court said in the past about the Governor’s power to summon the House? 

  • A 2016 verdict of the Supreme Court in the Nabam Rebia case had expressly stated that a “governor can summon, prorogue and dissolve the House, only on the aid and advice of the council of ministers”. 
  • But the court clarified that if the governor had reasons to believe that the chief minister and her or his council of ministers have lost the confidence of the House, a floor test could be ordered. 

Rajasthan case:  

  • Chief Minister has said that he has the “confidence of the House”. Hence, the governor is bound by their (council of ministers) advice to convene the legislative assembly. 

Constituent Assembly Debate on Article 174 

  • The then draft had three clauses in the provision. The first two clauses were similar to the ones mentioned in Article 174 in the present form. 
  • The third clause allowed the governor to exercise her or his discretion to summon, prorogue and dissolve the assembly. 
  • During the Constituent Assembly debate, it was submitted that there was no reason why the governor, in her or his discretion, should be permitted to summon or dissolve the House, when no such discretionary power was being extended to the President (with regard to summoning and dissolution of the Parliament). 
  • Later B.R. Ambedkar moved to omit clause 3, as the same was inconsistent with the scheme of a “constitutional” governor. 

Delhi government launches job portal: Rozgaar Bazaar 

Part of: GS Mains II and III – Government schemes and initiatives; Economy – Growth and Development; Employment 

About: 

  • Delhi government launched a job portal – ‘Rozgaar Bazaar’ 

Benefits: 

  • Helps to revive economy 
  • Intends to bridge the gap between potential employers and employees 
  • Helps to those who lost their jobs and businesses due to the novel coronavirus pandemic and successive lockdowns 

Application – We can cite above initiative ‘Rozgaar Bazaar’ and also ‘Mukhya Mantri Ghar Ghar Ration Yojana’ which we read recently as examples or case studies of good governance and affirmative government measures, which other states can also implement or follow. 


SOFI 2020 Report on Food Security

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains I and II – Poverty/Health; Social/Welfare issues; Food Security 

About: 

  • State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI) is a join report issued annually by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, UNICEF, the World Food Programme and the World Health Organization. 
  • It presents the latest estimates on food insecurity, hunger and malnutrition at the global and regional levels. 

SOFI 2020 Report highlights: 

  • The 2020 edition continues to signal that significant challenges remain in the fight against food insecurity and malnutrition in all its forms. 
  • A nutrient­-adequate diet costs $2.12  a day 
  • A healthy diet costs more than $4.07 a day 
  • $1.90 a day is the international poverty line threshold 
  • The world is not on track to meet the goal of zero hunger by 2030. 
  • Hundreds of millions of people in India above the international poverty line of $1.90 purchasing power parity (PPP) per person per day cannot afford a healthy or nutritious diet. 

Place in news: Sudan’s Darfur region

Ethnic community/tribe in news: Masalit community

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains I and II – Map based; Human Geography; International Affairs 

Why in news? 

  • Over 60 people were massacred in Sudan’s Darfur region. 
  • About 500 armed men targeted the Masalit community in west Darfur’s Masteri town.  
  • Conflict between the nation’s dominant Arab rulers and the African ethnic communities demanding greater autonomy. 

Link: Sudan-Darfur  

Map activity – Locate the following 

  1. Khartoum, capital of Sudan 
  2. Darfur 
  3. Red Sea 
  4. Bordering countries  

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II – Role of international organizations 

About: 

  • OCHA is a United Nations (U.N.) body 
  • It was established in 1991 to strengthen the international response to complex emergencies and natural disasters  
  • It is the successor to the Office of the United Nations Disaster Relief Coordinator (UNDRO) 
  • OCHA’s mandate was subsequently broadened to include coordinating humanitarian response, policy development and humanitarian advocacy 
  • OCHA organized the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Turkey.  
  • It is a sitting observer in the United Nations Development Group. 
  • The headquarters is based in two locations (New York and Geneva) 

Place in news: Strait of Hormuz

Part of: GS Prelims – Geography – Map based  

About: 

  • It is a strait between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. 
  • It provides the only sea passage from the Persian Gulf to the open ocean and is one of the world’s most strategically important choke points. 
  • On the north coast lies Iran, and on the south coast the United Arab Emirates and Musandam, an exclave of Oman. 

Link: Strait of Hormuz 


Place in news: Okavango Delta, Botswana 

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains I and III – Geography – Map based; Conservation  

Why in news? 

  • In the past two months, hundreds of elephants have died mysteriously in Botswana’s Okavango Delta. 
  • The cause of the deaths is yet to be established. However, poaching has been ruled out since the dead elephants were found with tusks. 
  • Several live elephants appeared to have been weak, lethargic and skeletal, with some showing signs of disorientation, difficulty in walking or limping. 

About Okavango Delta 

  • It is one of the very few major interior delta systems that do not flow into a sea or ocean. 
  • This delta comprises permanent marshlands and seasonally flooded plains. 
  • The delta covers part of Kalahari Desert and owes its existence to the Okavango (Kavango) River. 
  • It is home to some of the world’s most endangered species of large mammal, such as the cheetah, white rhinoceros, black rhinoceros, African wild dog and lion. 

Link: Botswana 

About Botswana:  

  • It is a landlocked country in Southern Africa.  
  • Its 70% territory is covered by Kalahari Desert. 
  • Botswana has the world’s largest elephant population, estimated to be around 130,000. 
  • It is Africa’s oldest continuous democracy. 

Protected Area in news: Nagarjunasagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve (NSTR) 

Part of: Prelims – Conservation; Protected Areas 

About: 

  • Tiger numbers increase in Nagarjunasagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve (NSTR) 
  • NSTR is the largest Tiger Reserve in India 
  • The reserve spreads over five districts, Kurnool District, Prakasam District, Guntur District, Nalgonda District and Mahbubnagar district across Andhra Pradesh and Telangana 
  • India accounts for 75% of world’s tiger population 

Miscellaneous 

“Operation Breathing Space” 

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II – India and Israel ties; International Relations 

  • Israeli team, led by a “high ranking” research and development (R&D) defence official and DRDO to develop rapid testing for COVID­19. 
  • The tests that the Israeli teams will be conducting trials for include an audio test, a breath test, thermal testing, and a polyamino test which seeks to isolate proteins related to COVID­19. 

India-Bangladesh: Concern over Ram temple construction 

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II – India and its neighbourhood relations 

In news: 

  • Bangladesh Foreign Minister flags concerns over cross-­border fallout of Ram temple construction. 
  • He cautioned that the Ram temple construction on the site of the Babri mosque though an internal matter of India, will have an emotional impact on the people of Bangladesh 
  • It can fracture beautiful and deep relationship both the countries enjoy. 

Measures needed to re-ignite economy 

Part of: GS Mains III – Measures by RBI; Economy – Growth and Development  

Context: 

RBI Governor tagged 5 areas to spur progress – 

  1. Targeted infrastructure push (mega infrastructure projects such as north-­south and east-­west expressway, high­speed rail corridors) 
  2. Farm 
  3. Renewables 
  4. Information & communication technology (ICT)­ start-­ups and  
  5. value supply chains 

He pointed out that harnessing the potential in these could propel India to a leadership position in the league of nations. 


Justice delayed is justice denied 

Part of: GS Mains II – Governance; Judicial reforms 

Key facts: 

  • As many as 77 cases filed in the 1950s are still pending. 
  • Volume of pending cases have increased with every decade. 
  • Out of the nearly 3 crore cases pending, 2.6 crores were filed after 2010. 
  • 9 states have more than 10 lakh pending cases. 

(MAINS FOCUS)


INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS/ SECURITY 

Topic: General Studies 2

  •  India and its neighborhood- relations 
  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation. 

India-Sri Lanka relations: Modern tools, age-old wisdom

Context: Need for revitalizing and reinvigorating the bilateral relationship in post-COVID world 

A brief background  

  • Indo-Srilankan ties is steeped in myth and legend, and influenced by religious, cultural and social affinities.  
  • The relationship between India and Sri Lanka is more than 2,500 years old with free exchange of ideas, trade and intellectual discourse. 
  • The advent of Buddhism to Sri Lanka during the time of Emperor Ashoka was the result of cross-border discourse 
  • Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka, to this day, contain shrines for Hindu deities 
  • The colonial expansion of European maritime nations reshaped the Sri Lankan economy.  
  • Labour from south India was brought to Sri Lanka to work in plantations which in post-independence era created tensions with indigenous communities and continues to persist till date 
  • The Indian freedom struggle had its influence on Sri Lanka as well. There was cross-border support for the revival of culture, tradition, local languages, spiritual practices and philosophies, and education. 
  • Both countries transformed into modern nations with constitutional and institutionalised governance under colonial rule. 
  • The nearly three-decade long armed conflict between the Sri Lankan forces and the LTTE came to an end in May 2009. During the course of the conflict, India supported the right of the Sri Lankan Government, much to the anger of Srilankan Tamils 
  • Trade between the two countries grew particularly rapidly after the India-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement which came into force in March 2000 

Importance of Sri Lanka to India 

  • Geopolitical Significance: Sri Lanka’s location in the Indian Ocean region as an island State has been of strategic geopolitical relevance to India’s maritime interests in region 
  • Defence & Security Cooperation: India and Sri Lanka conducts joint Military ( ‘Mitra Shakti’) and Naval exercise (SLINEX). This increases synergy between both militaries thus safeguarding the common interest of countries 
  • Economic importance: Sri Lanka is one of India’s largest trading partners among the SAARC countries. India in turn is Sri Lanka’s largest trade partner globally. 
  • Collaboration at multilateral fora: Sri Lanka is a member of regional groupings like BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) and SAARC in which India plays a leading role. 
  • Containing China: Among others, freedom of navigation in the Indo-Pacific together with a rules-based international order and peaceful settlement of disputes are of common interest, which is threatened by increasing presence of China in the subcontinent 

Concerns in the relationship 

  • Growing Closeness with China: Sri Lanka has long been in India’s geopolitical orbit, but its relationship with China has strengthened in recent years Ex: Hambantota port built by China; participation in BRI; arms supplies etc 
  • Unresolved Tamil Issues: The rehabilitation of Tamils displaced by Sri Lankan civil war and provision of autonomy to Northern & Eastern Sri Lanka where Indian Origin Tamils are in majority, has not progressed at the required pace 
  • Fear of Protectionism: Policies and thinking are becoming communally exclusive, localised and inward-looking. 
  • Asymmetry in relationship: There is asymmetric in terms of geographic size, population, military and economic power, on the one hand, and social indicators and geographical location, on the other.  
  • Trade Balance in favour of India: Exports from India to Sri Lanka in 2018 were US$ 4.16billion, while exports from Sri Lanka to India are US$ 767 million. Sri Lanka wants to reduce this imbalance and wants greater access to Indian markets 

Way Ahead  

  • While avoiding advocacy of zero sum solutions on crucial issues, both countries must seek to harmonise strategic and other interests in line with common values and socioeconomic compulsions. 
  • Sri Lanka can encourage Indian entrepreneurs to make Colombo another business hub for them, as logistical capacities are improving in Sri Lanka 
  • Integrating the two economies but with special and differential treatment for Sri Lanka due to economic asymmetries needs to be fast-tracked 
  • Engagement of legislatures is also essential for promoting multiparty support. 

Conclusion 

With many countries receding into cocoons due to the pandemic, this is an opportunity for both countries to focus on the renewal and revitalisation of partnerships. 

Connecting the dots:

  • Belt & Road Initiative 
  • String of Pearls Theory 

DISASTER MANAGEMENT/ GOVERNANCE/ ECONOMY 

Topic: General Studies 2 and 3

  • Disaster and disaster management. 
  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation. 

Need for climate-resilient infrastructure

Context: The recent Assam floods has caused large scale damage which makes policy makers rethink about infrastructural development 

According to Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), the deluge has destroyed 2,323 villages, 110,000 hectares of crop area, disrupted transport and communication networks, healthcare systems, affecting over 2.49 million people 

Are floods in Assam State recurring in nature? 

  • Yes, it has now become an annual phenomenon, every year intense rainfall during the monsoon season cause the Brahmaputra River to overflow causing massive devastation to downstream states. 

If it’s a recurring event, what steps are taken by government to reduce its impact? 

  • Government has invested heavily in forecast technologies, designed & implemented large-scale disaster evacuation strategies and come up SOPS for effective relief operations  
  • All these efforts by government in collaboration with Civil Society have been able to save lives, but not enough to face future challenges. 
  • The report ‘Assessment of Climate Change over the Indian Region’ has warned that a projected rise in average temperature is likely to exacerbate such disasters with greater intensity and frequency, but India is unprepared for it 
  • The vulnerability of India’s critical infrastructure to climate extremes would not only undermine development gains but also have severe implications for its ecosystems, economic productivity, energy and food security, and public health. 

Did You Know? 

  • Cyclone Amphan caused an estimated infrastructure damage of $13 billion in West Bengal, 1.6 times the overall economic loss caused by super cyclone Fani in 2019.  
  • Kerala’s total recovery need due to the damage caused by 2018 floods was more than Rs 310 billion.  
  • Mumbai suffered a loss of Rs 1.8 billion due to monsoon floods between 2005 and 2015. 
  • In the last 20 years, India has incurred a loss of $80 billion to climate disasters. 

Way Ahead – Comprehensive policy framework for climate- resilient infrastructure  

  1. India’s development policies do not lay any explicit focus on effective integration of climate resilience concerns in infrastructure building. 
  2. A comprehensive policy framework for climate resilient infrastructure could significantly reduce the socio-economic vulnerabilities by anticipating, preparing for, and adapting to changing climate conditions.  
  3. An aggressive strategy to integrate climate resilience in all aspects of infrastructure development from planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance. 
  4. India’s critical infrastructure must be built to withstand, respond to, and recover rapidly from the disruptions they cause. 
  5. The national government’s flagship schemes for infrastructure development such as the AMRUT, the Smart Cities Mission, or Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojna (PMAY) should put greater emphasis on climate resilient standards adoption.  
  6. National Action Plan for Climate Change (NAPCC) mandates local governments to include climate adaptation and mitigation strategies into their development projects. This has to implemented in spirit at ground level 
  7. Adherence to the provisions of The Model Building Bye-laws 2016 that provides for risk classification of buildings and climate-resilient construction 
  8. Majority of states do not maintain an up-to-date record of critical infrastructure such as housing, water systems, transport network, etc. that could inform proper land use planning. States should update such data with urgency 
  9. There is a need to strengthen the technical capacity for climate modelling and projection.  
  10. India should collectively mobilise its existing institutional climate capabilities for predicting disasters. This would include ISRO, NRSA and IMD to create comprehensive map that could guide the design, plan and delivery on resilient infrastructure building. 

Importance of climate resilient infrastructure 

  • Investing in climate resilient infrastructure at an unprecedented scale would yield the triple dividend of  
  • Saving lives and livelihoods, 
  • Minimising economic loss and  
  • Ensuring efficient allocation of resources for development. 

Conclusion 

As extreme events are becoming the ‘new normal’ in an increasingly climate-constrained world, India’s critical infrastructure must be built to withstand, respond to, and recover rapidly from the disruptions they cause 

Connecting the dots:

  • Sustainable Developmental Goals 

(TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE)


Model questions: (You can now post your answers in comment section)

Note: 

  • Correct answers of today’s questions will be provided in next day’s DNA section. Kindly refer to it and update your answers. 
  • Comments Up-voted by IASbaba are also the “correct answers”.

Q.1) Which of the following provisions of the Constitution that deals with the relationship between the governor and the Chief Minister is incorrect? 

  1. The Chief Minister shall be appointed by the governor and other ministers shall be appointed by the governor on the advice of the Chief Minister. 
  2. The chief minister of Delhi is appointed by the lt. governor. 
  3. The ministers shall hold office during the pleasure of the governor. 
  4. The Chief Minister advises the governor with regard to the summoning and proroguing of the sessions of the state legislature. 

Q.2) Which article of the Indian Constitution mentions that the chief minister shall be appointed by Governor?

  1.  Article 174 
  2.  Article 164 
  3.  Article 163 
  4. Article 168 

Q.3) State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI) report is released by –

  1. FAO and UN organizations 
  2. WB and WHO
  3. WHO and IMF
  4. WB and FAO

Q.4) Okavango Delta is located in –

  1. South Africa 
  2. Sudan 
  3. Botswana 
  4. Darfur 

Q.5) Nagarjunasagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve (NSTR) is located in –

  1. Karnataka 
  2. Kerala 
  3. Tamil Nadu
  4. Andhra Pradesh 

ANSWERS FOR 27th July 2020 TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE (TYK)

1  D 
2  A 
3  D 
4  B 
5  A 
6  A 

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