PRESS INFORMATION BUREAU (PIB) IAS UPSC – 23rd November to 27th November – 2020
71st Constitution Day
(Topic: Indian Constitution)
Constitution Day also known as ‘Samvidhan Divas’ is celebrated in our country on 26th November every year, to commemorate the adoption of the Constitution of India.
By: The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment
Objective: The aim is to publicize the glorious and rich composite culture and diversity of our nation. Further, it aims to create awareness of Fundamental Duties as enshrined in the Indian Constitution. As citizens of our great nation, we believe firmly in Gandhian thought that ‘The true source of rights is duty. If we all discharge our duties, rights will not be far to seek’ and as said by Sardar Patel, ‘Every Indian should forget that he is a Rajput, a Sikh, or a Jaat. He must remember that he is an Indian and he has every right in his country but with certain duties’.
- On December 6, 1949 the Constitution Assembly was formed and its first meeting was held on December 9. Rajendra Prasad was appointed its President and H C Mukherjee its vice-chairman.
- On August 29, 1947, the drafting committee appointed Ambedkar as its chairman and six other members — Munshi N Gopalaswami Ayyangar, Khaitan, Mitter, Muhammed Sadulla, Alladi Krishnaswamy Iyer.
- The members of the Constituent Assembly signed two hand-written copies of the document (one each in Hindi and English) on January 24, 1950.
- On November 26, 1949, the Constitution of India was adopted by the Assembly.
- On January 26, 1950, the Constitution was enforced.
- The words ‘secular’ and ‘socialist’ were added to the preamble post the emergency in 1976.
- When the Constitution was adopted in the year 1949, there were no provisions regarding Fundamental Duties to the Citizens though there was a Part III for Fundamental Rights. The Fundamental Duties of citizens were added to the Constitution by the 42nd Amendment in 1976, upon the recommendations of the Swaran Singh Committee that was constituted by the Government. The Committee suggested that steps needed to be taken to ensure that the individual did not overlook his duties while in exercise of his Fundamental Rights.
India’s constitution is the longest written constitution in the world containing 395 Articles, 22 Parts and 12 Schedules. It took around 2 years, 11 months and 17 days to complete the Constitution.
At the beginning of each part of the Constitution, Nandalal Bose has depicted a phase or scene from India’s national experience and history.
After the Constitution was passed, the historic session of the Constituent Assembly ended with the singing of the National Anthem “Jana-gana-mana adhinayaka Jai Hey, Bharat Bhagya Vidhata,” by Purnima Banerjee, a veteran freedom fighter and sister of the late freedom fighter, Aruna Asaf Ali.
People of India are the ultimate custodians of the Constitution. It is in them that sovereignty vests and it is in their name that the Constitution was adopted. The Constitution empowers the citizen, but the citizen too empowers the Constitution – by following it, by adhering to it, by protecting it, and by persevering to make it more meaningful with words and deeds. The Constitution is nobody’s preserve – and it is everybody’s preserve.
The Preamble to the Constitution of India
“WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens:
JUSTICE, social, economic and political;
LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;
EQUALITY of status and of opportunity;
and to promote among them all
FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation;
IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this twenty-sixth day of November, 1949, do HEREBY ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION.”
The Constitution of India declares India a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic, assuring its citizen’s justice, equality and liberty and endeavours to promote fraternity.
Some of the shaping factors of the Constitution:
- British colonial rule and the Freedom struggle: The oppression leading to the enhanced importance of the rights of citizens like civil liberties (freedom of speech), etc., and through the freedom struggle has shaped the vision of the constitution.
- INC session of Karachi’s resolution on Fundamental rights and National economic programme and other similar events.
- British governance Acts for India: Starting from the Regulating Act of 1773 till the Indian Independence Act of 1947, especially Government of India Act of 1935
- International events: French revolution (Republic, ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity), Russian revolution (ideals of justice), etc., has led to the increased importance and expansion of rights.
- Indian philosophy and thinkers: Like Gandhi’s philosophy leading to the self-government institutions i.e, PRI (article 40 under DPSP), etc. Nehru report of 1928, the first attempt in drafting the Constitutional scheme indigenously had most of the present document’s ideals like fundamental rights, responsible government at the centre and in states, etc.
Thus, the Constitution is a gradually evolved document over a period of time and was carefully articulated by the constituent assembly.
Quotes by President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind
- In a democratic system, the medium of dialogue is the best medium for not allowing the debate to become a dispute.
- In a parliamentary democracy, the opposition also has an important role along with the ruling party, and, therefore harmony, cooperation and meaningful deliberation between the two is necessary. It is responsibility of Presiding Officers to provide congenial atmosphere for a healthy debate to the peoples’ representatives in the House and to encourage courteous dialogue and discussion.
- Fairness and justice is the bedrock of our parliamentary democratic system. The Chair of the Speaker of the House symbolizes both – dignity and duty. It demands sincerity and sense of justice. It also symbolizes impartiality, righteousness and fairness and it is expected from Presiding Officers that their conduct is inspired by these lofty ideals.
- Parliament and Legislative Assemblies are the cornerstone of our parliamentary system. They have an important responsibility to work for a better future of our countrymen. In the last few decades, expectations, aspirations and awareness of the general public have been on the rise. Therefore, the role and responsibilities of Parliament and Legislatures have come into focus even more. Peoples’ representatives are expected to remain true to the principles of democracy. The biggest challenge before democratic institutions and peoples’ representatives is to live up to the expectations of the people.
- The democratic system is eventually governed by the supreme goal of peoples’ welfare, especially the upliftment of the poor, backward and the deprived sections of our society and the progress of the country.
Quotes by Vice President of India and Chairman of Rajya Sabha Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu
- Decency, Decorum and Dignity of the temples of democracy will be upheld only through adherence to the other three ‘Ds’ namely, Debate, Discuss and Decide
- None of the three organs of the ‘State’ can claim to be supreme as only the Constitution is supreme and the legislature, the executive and the judiciary are bound to work within the respective domains as defined in the Constitution.
- Referring to the Presiding Officers as the ‘high priests of temples of democracy’, urged them to ensure the sanctity of these temples. Stating that legislatures are the cornerstone of democracy that provide the basis for the actions of both the executive and the judiciary, Shri Naidu referred to the public opinion turning against the law making bodies and the legislators over the years. He noted that frequent disruptions, conduct of legislators both within and outside the chambers of the Houses, rising number of law makers with criminal background, rising money power in elections, flaunting of power by legislators are some of the reasons for this negative perception.
- Caste, Cash and Criminality replacing Conduct, Character and Calibre as the criteria for selection of candidates has been eroding the stature of legislators and their members. Shri Naidu urged the political parties to introspect about the present state of affairs to enhance the standing of legislatures and legislators and also to ensure disruption free functioning of legislatures.
27 E-Lok Adalats organized in 15 States
The global pandemic has fundamentally changed the way in which the Legal Services Institutions function. To facilitate access to justice amidst the constraints placed by Covid-19 and various public health guidelines, the Legal Services Authorities have ingeniously integrated technology into its conventional methods of justice delivery.
Online Lok Adalat popularly known as E -Lok Adalat is one such innovation of Legal Services Institutions where technology has been used to its maximum advantage and has become a platform to deliver justice at the doorstep of people. E- Lok Adalats are also cost effective as it eliminates the need for organisational expenses.
In the period of turbulence caused by the pandemic, Legal Services Authorities creatively adapted to the new normal and moved Lok Adalat to the virtual platform. From June, 2020 to October 2020 –
- 27 E-Lok Adalats have been organized in 15 States wherein 4.83 lakh cases were taken up and 2.51 lakh cases disposed of resulting in settlement of Rs 1409 cr.
- Further, during November 2020, E-Lok Adalats have been organized in the States of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Telangana so far wherein 16,651 cases were taken up and 12,686 disposed of resulting in settlement of Rs 107.4 cr.
About Lok Adalats
- Organised by Legal Services Authorities, Lok Adalats (State as well as National) are an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mode wherein pre-litigation and pending cases in the courts are disposed on the basis of amicable settlement without any expense on the part of litigants.
- It is free of cost and expeditious method of bringing litigating parties on the same side and saving them from the rigours of trial under adversarial system of adjudication which is generally perceived to be time consuming, complex and costly.
- Lok Adalats are also instrumental in reducing the burden on arrears of the court disposal of long pending litigation between the parties.
Significance of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR’s)
- Reduce workload on the courts given that today about 3.3 crore cases are pending in Indian courts (National Judicial Data Grid data).
- Speedy disposal of cases thus timely justice by avoiding procedural delays associated with formal court system and thus fulfil fundamental right of speedy trial part of Article 21.
- Access to justice is improved as cost and time of litigation comes down thus duty of providing free legal aid to poor is met (39A).
- Saves common man from complex and adverse judicial process.
- ADR process offers confidentiality. Help preserve important social relationships for disputants especially in civil matters like divorce.
- To promote governance. Ex: Administrative Tribunals, National Company Law Tribunal, National Green Tribunal and others.
Issues related to ADR’s-
- Lack of manpower
- Lack of experts
- Arbitrary procedure
- Appeals to regular courts
Launch of National Portal for Transgender Persons
(Topic: Government policies and schemes)
- Has been developed within 2 months of Notification of Transgender Persons (Protectionof Rights) Rules, 2020
- Would help a transgender person in applying for a Certificate and Identity card digitally from anywhere in the country.
- The most important benefit is that it helps the transgender person to get the I-Card without any physical interface and without having to visit any office.
- Through the Portal, they can monitor the status of their application that ensures transparency in the process. The issuing authorities are also under strict timelines to process the applications and issue certificates and identity cards without any necessary delays.
- Once the Certificate and I-card are issued, the applicant can download them from the Portal itself. In case of delay or rejection, the applicant has the options to submit grievances through the Portal which are forwarded to the concerned person and will be resolved at the earliest.
Inauguration of Garima Greh: A Shelter Home for Transgender Persons
- Will be run in association with Lakshya Trust, a Community based organisation entirely run by the Transgenders.
- The purpose of the Shelter Home is to provide shelter to Transgender persons, with basic amenities like shelter, food, medical care and recreational facilities.
- Besides, it will provide support for the capacity-building/skill development of persons in the Community, which will enable them to lead a life of dignity and respect.
The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019
It came into effect on 10th January 2020 which is the first concrete step towards ensuring welfare of Transgender persons.
- To implement the provisions of the Act the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment issued the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Rules, 2020 which have been notified in the Gazzette of India.
- The Rules ensure that comprehensive welfare measures reach the Transgender Community and help them come into the mainstream of the Society.
- The right to self-perceived gender identity and the procedure to issue the Transgender certificate and Identity card has been defined in the Rules.
- The process has been made smooth and hassle free to ensure that Transgender persons are able to attain their self-perceived identity card without any inconvenience.
National Council for Transgender Persons constituted
- National Council for Transgender Persons has been recently constituted.
- Ministry: The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
- Council’s chairperson: The Social Justice Minister.
- Officials from some other Ministries.
- Five nominated members from the transgender community.
- Associated Act: Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019.
- Advising the central government on the formulation of policies, with respect to transgender persons
- Monitoring and evaluating the impact of policies
- Reviewing and coordinating the activities of all the departments
- Redressing grievances of transgender persons
- Performing other functions as prescribed by the Centre.
UNDP and Invest India launch the SDG Investor Map for India
(Topic: Policies and interventions)
UNDP and Invest India have launched the SDG Investor Map for India, laying out 18 Investment Opportunities Areas (IOAs) in six critical SDG enabling sectors, that can help India push the needle forward on Sustainable Development.
With the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the financing gap for the SDGs in India has only widened further and decades of development progress is nearly on the verge of reversal. Investing in the SDGs at this point is crucial to ‘Building Back Better’ and making the economy and our societies more resilient and sustainable. Enhanced productivity, technology adoption and increased inclusion are all critical factors that this map uses to identify the most attractive sectors for investors.
- Of the 18 IOAs identified, 10 are already mature investable areas that have seen robust Private Equity and Venture Capital activity, and feature companies that have been able to unlock scale and demonstrate profitability. The remaining eight IOAs are emerging opportunities, which have seen traction from early-stage investors.
- The map has also identified eight White Spaces, which have seen investor interest and have the potential to grow into IOAs within a 5-6-year horizon. However, these require further policy support and private sector participation to mature into commercially attractive IOAs.
- Nearly 50% of the shortlisted IOAs have historical investments that have yielded IRRs in excess of 20%.
- 84% of the IOAs have investment timeframes ranging from the short term (less than 5 years) to the medium-term (between 5- 15 years).
The observations from the map present a strong case for investing in SDG enabling sectors and IOAs, bridging the gap between high-level development targets and the need for commercially viable returns. Moreover, investing in the SDGs is crucial to ‘Building Back Better’ from COVID-19 and enhancing India’s resilience to future threats. Investing in opportunities that enhance employment and employability, push forward the inclusion of underserved communities and leverage technology will be of essence to India as it grapples with the challenges of a post-COVID economy.
83% of the identified IOAs address job creation and industrialization needs, 70% focus on inclusive business models and 50% leverage digital technologies to deliver commercial returns and impact at scale.
Notable IOAs include ‘Online Supplementary Education for K12’ (Education), ‘Tech-Enabled Remote Care Services’ (Healthcare), ‘Digital Platforms to service input/output needs of farmers to enable easy access to markets’ (Agriculture) and ‘Access to credit by Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and Low-Income Groups especially through digital platforms for Income Generating Purposes’ (Financial Services).
By mapping the overlaps and gaps between public sector priorities and private sector interest, the SDG Investor Map lays out pathways that can bring together private-sector investment and public sector support for 6 SDG-enabling sectors including Education, Healthcare, Agriculture & Allied Activities, Financial Services, Renewable Energy & Alternatives and Sustainable Environment. These sectors and the IOAs within them were selected through a rigorous analytical process that included extensive consultations with a number of major domestic and international investors, government stakeholders and think-tanks. This ensured that the Map’s findings were truly reflective of market sentiment.
India and Finland sign MOU for developing cooperation in the field of environmental protection and biodiversity conservation
(Topic: Agreements of India with other countries)
The MoU is a platform to
- Further advance Indian and Finnish partnership and support
- Exchange best practices in areas like prevention of Air and water pollution
- Waste management
- Promotion of circular economy, low-carbon solutions and sustainable management of natural resources including forests
- Climate change
- Conservation of Marine and Coastal Resources
The MoU also provides the possibility to have joint projects in areas of mutual interest. The MoU will strengthen technological, scientific and management capabilities and develop bilateral cooperation in the field of environmental protection and biodiversity conservation on the basis of equality, reciprocity and mutual benefit with due respect to promotion of sustainable development.
India has achieved its voluntary target of reducing emissions intensity of its GDP by 21% over 2005 levels, by 2020 and is poised to achieve 35% reduction well before the target year of 2030.
As part of its Nationally Determined Contributions submitted under the Paris Agreement , India has taken three quantitative climate change goals viz.
- Reduction in the emissions intensity of Gross Domestic Product by 33 to 35 percent by 2030 from 2005 level
- Achieving about 40 percent cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel based energy resources by 2030
- Creating an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030
Prelims oriented News
Lok Virasat: A festival of films on folk art and painting by Films Division
National Organ Donation Day: 27 November
- With 12,666 organs transplanted in 2019, ranked third in the world as per data available on the WHO Global Observatory on Donation and Transplantation (GODT) website.
- Tamil Nadu has been adjudged the best in organ donation in the country for the sixth consecutive year.
However, organ donations have always been abysmally low in India. According to estimates, only 0.65 donations per million population take place in the country, compared to 35 in Spain and 26 in the US. A major reason for this shortage is the lack of awareness among people about the process of donation.
Several myths associated with organ donations also hamper the process in India, along with fears of disfigurement, non-acceptance of brain death, religious beliefs and migrant workers not having relatives on site to give consent. Several people are also under immense pressure from family members who are against organ donations.
- The National Organ Transplant Programme (NOTP) provides financial grants for establishing ROTTOs and SOTTOs, to develop new and upgrade existing retrieval and transplant centres, to set up regional and State biomaterial centres and to provide immunosuppressive therapy to Below Poverty Line (BPL) patients who have undergone organ transplantation in a Government hospital.
- Further, financial support is also provided for hiring of transplant coordinators by hospitals and for maintenance of brainstem dead donors, when at least one organ is shared with a Government hospital.
India Climate Change Knowledge Portal launched
- Single point information source on Climate Action – provides information on the different climate initiatives taken by various Line Ministries enabling users to access updated status on these initiatives.
- The portal captures sector-wise adaptation and mitigation actions that are being taken by the various line Ministries in one place including updated information on their implementation.
- The knowledge portal will help in disseminating knowledge among citizens about all the major steps Government is taking at both national and international levels to address climate change issues.
- The eight major components included in the knowledge portal are:
- India’s Climate Profile
- National Policy Framework
- India’s NDC goals
- Adaptation Actions
- Mitigation Actions
- Bilateral and Multilateral Cooperation
- International Climate Negotiations
- Reports & Publications
India has practically achieved its Pre-2020 Climate Action targets and said though historically India is not responsible for emissions
NIVAR: Deep Depression intensifies into a Cyclonic Storm “NIVAR” over southwest Bay of Bengal
- Cyclones are low-pressure systems that form over warm tropical waters, with gale force winds near the centre.
- The winds can extend hundreds of kilometres (miles) from the eye of the storm.
- Cyclones can unleash catastrophic storm surges — tsunami-like flooding — when they make landfall.
- The term “storm surge” refers to rising seas whipped up by a storm, creating a wall of water several metres higher than the normal tide level
- The tropical cyclone season in the Bay of Bengal and neighbouring Arabian Sea has two peaks around May and November, according to the World Meteorological Organisation.
The scheme for Creation of Infrastructure for Agro-Processing Cluster (APC) has been approved under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana
- To incentivize the setting up of agro processing clusters in the country
- This scheme aims at development of modern infrastructure to encourage entrepreneurs to set up food processing units based on cluster approach.
- These clusters will help in reducing the wastage of the surplus produce and add value to the horticultural / agricultural produce which will result in increase of income of the farmers and create employment at the local level.
Inauguration of a Mega Food Park in Punjab: It is expected to benefit about 25000 farmers and likely to generate employment of about 5000 persons.
A 10,000 crore fund has been created under Aatmanirbhar Bharat, for development of food processing sector which will benefit farmers and create employment opportunities. Till date, 37 MFPs have been sanctioned and 20 have already started functioning.
3rd Global Renewable Energy Investment Meeting and Expo (RE-Invest 2020):
- Theme: Innovations for Sustainable Energy Transition
- A 3-day conference on renewables and future energy choices, and an exhibition of manufacturers, developers, investors and innovators
- Aims to accelerate the worldwide effort to scale up development and deployment of renewable energy and connect the global investment community with Indian energy stakeholders.
- It aims to build upon the success of the first two editions held in 2015 and 2018 and provide an international forum for investment promotion in renewable energy.
Cabinet approves Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of Physical Culture and Sport among BRICS Countries
- Cooperation in the field of sports among the five countries will help in expanding knowledge and expertise in the area of sports science, sports medicine, coaching techniques etc, which would result in improvement in performance of our sportspersons in international tournaments and strengthening of bilateral relations with BRICS member countries.
- Benefits arising from cooperation in the field of sports among the five countries would be equally applicable to all sportspersons irrespective of their caste, creed, region, religion and gender.
Union Minister of Education inaugurates 46 online ATAL Faculty Development Programmes (FDPs) organised by AICTE
- To train teachers of higher education institutions associated with All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) in thrust and emerging areas in technology. The FDPs will be conducted in 22 Indian states.
- Book of World Records, London acknowledges the training of over one lakh people in 1,000 programs under ‘FDP’ as a world record
- The main objective of ATAL Academy is to provide quality technical education in the country and to promote research and entrepreneurship through training in various emerging fields. IITs, IIITs, NITs CU and research labs are organizing these ATAL FDPs
Cabinet approves the Memorandum of Understanding between the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) and the Vereniging van Register controllers (VRC), the Netherlands
The MoU would help instrengthening and development of the Accounting, Financial and Audit Knowledge Base between the Netherlands and India.
Implementation strategy and Targets:
- ICAI and VRC will work together to hold and conduct Technical Events, Seminars, Conferences in the Netherlands;
- To establish possible co-operation in respect of Member Management, Professional Ethics, Technical Research, Continuing Professional Education; Professional Accountancy Training, Education and Examinations, as well as the Institutional Capacity Building of the Accountancy profession;
- To offer short term professional courses in the domain of Accounting, Finance, Information Technology and Audit in the Netherlands;
- To discuss potential emerging developments in form of Students and Faculty Exchange programmes;
- Share available unrestricted information concerning the accountancy profession in India and the Netherlands and internationally when required.
The engagement between the premier Institutes of both the countries would help to generate greater employment opportunities for Indian Chartered Accountants and also greater remittances back to India.
ICAI has a strong membership base of over 1500 members in the European region and around 80 members in the Netherlands. The contemplated MoU, for providing assistance to VRC, the Netherlands, shall benefit the ICAl members in the region and would provide an additional impetus to prospects of the ICAI members to get professional opportunitiesin the Netherlands.
Extension of Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme through ECLGS 2.0 for the 26 sectors identified by the Kamath Committee and the healthcare sector
Under ECLGS 2.0 entities with outstanding credit above Rs. 50 crore and not exceeding Rs. 500 crore as on 29.2.2020, which were less than or equal to 30 days past due as on 29.2.2020 are eligible. These entities/borrower accounts shall be eligible for additional funding up to 20 per cent (which could be fund based or non-fund based or both) of their total outstanding credit (fund based only) as a collateral free Guaranteed Emergency Credit Line (GECL), which would be fully guaranteed by National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company Limited (NCGTC). The loans provided under ECLGS 2.0 will have a 5-year tenor, with a 12-month moratorium on repayment of principal.
The modified Scheme while providing an incentive to Member Lending Institutions (MLIs) to enable availability of additional funding facility to the eligible borrowers, both MSMEs/business enterprises and identified sectors that supports MSMEs, will go a long way in contributing to economic revival, protecting jobs, and create conducive environment for employment generation.
BIS standards revised for two wheeler helmets
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has issued the ‘Helmet for riders of Two Wheelers Motor Vehicles (Quality Control ) Order, 2020.’Protective Helmets for Two Wheeler Riders have been included under compulsory BIS certification and the publication of the Quality Control Order.
- As per the recommendations of the Committee, the BIS has revised specifications through which it is expected to make lighter helmets. With good competition in the Indian markets and with numerous helmet manufacturers, now it is expected that the competition would enable for good quality and lighter helmets demand.
- The total number of two-wheelers being manufactured in India annually is nearly 1.7 crore.
- QCO would mean that only BIS certified two wheeler helmets would be manufactured and sold in the Country for two wheelers. This would help in avoiding sale of low quality two wheeler helmets in the Country which would in turn help in protecting citizens involved in two wheeler accidents from fatal injuries.
‘Martyrdom Day’ of Guru Teg Bahadur
The ninth Sikh Guru, Guru Teg Bahadur dedicated his life to the betterment of humankind and to promote a sense of unity, service and fraternity in the society. He worked to alleviate the sufferings of the people and fought against oppression. For this reason, Guru Teg Bahadur is aptly called ‘Hind Di Chadar’.
- Celebrated after: Lachit Borphukan
- He was an outstanding leader and strategist, who played a pivotal role in protecting the unique culture of Assam.
- He also worked extensively towards empowering the poor and downtrodden.