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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 17th November 2022

  • IASbaba
  • November 17, 2022
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Corbett Tiger Reserve

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Environment and Ecology

Context: Recently instances of tiger deaths in the country became a blot on India’s tiger management records. A tigress strode into a busy marketplace in the district of Almora on the night of November 14, 2022. Then, in a move that has had many outraged across the country, the animal was shot with a service rifle used by forest department staff.

  • According to reports emerging from the area, the animal was aged 11-12 years. It had strayed into the Marchula Bazar area from the Kalagarh division of the Corbett Tiger Reserve.

 

About Corbett Tiger Reserve:

  • Corbett Tiger Reserveis an ideal home for many majestic animals like the Royal Bengal Tiger, Asiatic Elephant, Reptiles, Birds and many other wild animals.
  • The park was then named as the ‘Hailey National Park’ and was later renamed as ‘Corbett National Park’after James Edward Corbett the noted hunter turned conservationist of the area.
  • The area came under ‘Project Tiger’ in 1971 when Gov. of India launched this ambitious conservation project.
  • The total area of Tiger Reserve extends 1288.31 sq. kms spreading over three districts of Uttarakhand viz., Pauri, Nainital and AlmoraCorbett National Parkcovers an area of 521 sq. km and together with the neighboring Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary and Reserve Forest areas, forms the Corbett Tiger Reserve.
  • Geographically it is located between the Shiwalik Himalayas and the terai.
  • The park is an ideal home for many majestic animals like the Royal Bengal Tiger, Asiatic Elephant and many other wild animals. Due to healthy population of wild today, Corbett is one of best preserved parks with 164 numbers of tigers and over 600 elephants. Corbett survey reveals the highest density of population of tigers in the country at 20/100 square kilometers.
  • As per the recent the various habitat types of Corbett is occupied by Sal forests, Khair-Sisso forests, Mountains, Chaur, and rivers and streams that owes their distinct assemblage of plants.
  • According to botanical survey of India Corbett has 600 species of plants – trees, shrubs, ferns, grass, climbers, herbs and bamboos.

About National Board for Wildlife:

  • The National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) is constituted by the Central Government under Section 5 A of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 (WLPA).
  • WLPA provides for the Constitution of the National Board for Wildlife with the PM as its chairperson.
  • The National Board may, at its discretion, constitute a Standing Committee under sub-section (1) of Section 5B.
  • The Standing Committee shall consist of the Vice-Chairperson (Union Minister in charge of Forests and Wildlife) the Member Secretary and not more than ten members to be nominated by the Vice-Chairperson from amongst the members of the National Board.
  • The WLPA mandates that without the approval/recommendation of the NBWL, construction of tourist lodges, alteration of the boundaries of PAs, destruction or diversion of wildlife habitat and de-notification of Tiger Reserves, cannot be done.

The NBWL Standing Committee chaired by the Union Minister, Environment & Forests is duty bound to ensure compliance of the mandate’s statutory processes prescribed by the WLPA in letter and spirit.

Specific provisions in the WLPA include:

  • Sec 33 (a): No construction of commercial lodges, hotels… shall be undertaken except with the prior approval of the National Board
  • Sec 35(5): No alteration of the boundaries of a National Park except on a recommendation of the National Board;
  • Sec 35(6): No destruction, removal of wildlife or forest produce from a National Park or diversion of habitat unless State Government in consultation with the National Board authorizes the issue of such permit
  • Sec 38-O (g): Ensure Tiger Reserves and areas linking one protected area with another are not diverted for ecologically unsustainable uses except in public interest and with the approval of the National Board.
  • Sec 38-W(1) & (2): No alteration or denotification of Tiger Reserves without the approval of the National Board for Wildlife.

MUST READ:  WLPA

Source:  DownToEarth

Previous Year Questions

Q.1) With reference to Indian laws about wildlife protection, consider the following statements :

  1. Wild animals are the sole property of the government.
  2. When a wild animal is declared protected, such animal is entitled for equal protection whether it is found in protected areas or outside.
  3. Apprehension of a protected wild animal becoming a danger to human life is sufficient ground for its capture or killing.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct? (2022)

  1. 1 and 2
  2. 2 only
  3. 1 and 3
  4. 3 only

Q.2) Which of the following Protected Areas are located in Cauvery basin? (2021)

  1. Nagarhole National Park
  2. Papikonda National Park
  3. Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve
  4. Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 3 and 4 only
  3. 1, 3 and 4 only
  4. 1, 2, 3 and 4

Global Shield Financing Facility

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Environment

Context: Recently the World Bank Group has announced a Global Shield Financing Facility to help developing countries access more financing for recovery from natural disasters and climate shocks.

About Global Shield Financing Facility Initiative:

  • The Global Shield Against Climate Risks initiative was launched at the 27th Conference of Parties (COP27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.
  • The Global Shield Financing Facility will channel grants to developing countries through World Bank projects or through projects prepared by other participating partners, including UN agencies and multilateral development banks.
  • It will also work closely with key stakeholders, such as civil society organizations, risk pools, private sector and humanitarian partners.
  • Pakistan, Bangladesh, Costa Rica, Fiji, Senegal, Philippines and Ghana will be the first to receive assistance under this initiative.
  • The initial contributions for this initiative are provided Germany, Denmark, Ireland and Canada.

About V20 Countries:

  • The Vulnerable Twenty (V20) Group was established with the inaugural meeting of the V20 Ministers of Finance of the Climate Vulnerable Forum chaired by H.E. Cesar V. Purisima, Secretary of Finance of the Philippines, on 08 October 2015 at Lima, Peru in conjunction with the 2015 Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund.
  • The call to create the V20 originated from the Climate Vulnerable Forum’s Costa Rica Action Plan (2013-2015) in a major effort to strengthen economic and financial responses to climate change.
  • It foresaw a high-level policy dialogue pertaining to action on climate change and the promotion of climate resilient and low emission development with full competence for addressing economic and financial issues beyond the remit of any one organization.
  • The V20 is a bloc consists of countries most threatened by climate change including’s members are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Barbados, Bhutan, Costa Rica, East Timor, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Kiribati, Madagascar, the Maldives, Nepal, the Philippines, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Tanzania, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Vietnam.

MUST READ: G7

Source: DownToEarth

Previous Year Question

Q.1) “Climate Action Tracker” which monitors the emission reduction pledges of different countries is a :  (2022)

  1. Database created by coalition of research organisations
  2. Wing of “International Panel of Climate Change”
  3. Committee under “United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
  4. Agency promoted and financed by United Nations Environment Programme and World Bank

Q.2) Consider the following statements:

  1. The Climate Group is an international non-profit organisation that drives climate action by building large networks and runs them.
  2. The International Energy Agency in partnership with the Climate Group launched a global initiative “EP100”.
  3. EP100 brings together leading companies committed to driving innovation in energy efficiency and increasing competitiveness while delivering on emission reduction goals.
  4. Some Indian companies are members of EP100.
  5. The International Energy Agency is the Secretariat to the “Under2 Coalition”.

Which of the statements given above are correct?   (2022)

  1. 1,2, 4 and 5
  2. 1,3 and 4 only
  3. 2,3 and 5 only
  4. 1,2, 3, 4 and 5

Birsa Munda

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – History

In news: On the birth anniversary of tribal leader Birsa Munda, the Centre marked the second Janjatiya Gaurav Divas to celebrate the contributions of tribal communities to Indian culture.

  • President Droupadi Murmu, India’s first tribal woman president, visited the birthplace of ‘Bhagwan’ Birsa Munda and paid floral tributes.
  • The statue of Alluri Sitharama Raju was inaugurated by the Prime Minister this year.

About Munda tribe:

  • Inhabited the Chota Nagpur region of today’s Jharkhand.
  • The British introduced a feudal zamindari system, destroying the tribal “Khuntkatti” agrarian and land ownership system that was more community-based.
  • The Raj brought in outsiders like moneylenders and contractors, as well as feudal landlords to aid them.
  • With the impact of British rule and activities of Christian missionaries, many tribals became critical of the British and missionaries’ presence.

About Birsa Munda:

  • Born in 1875 in Ulihatu village in the Khunti district of Jharkhand.
  • Received his early education under the guidance of his teacher Jaipal Nag
  • Converted to Christianity in order to join the German Mission school but opted out of the school later.
  • From 1886 to 1890, he spent a large amount of time in Chaibasa, which was close to the centre of the Sardari agitation.
  • The Sardars’ activities had a strong impact on him and he became a part of the anti-missionary and anti-government programmes.
  • He soon emerged as a tribal leader who brought people together on fighting for these issues.
  • He became a God-like figure, leading the faith of ‘Birsait’ which was joined by members of the Munda and Oraon communities to challenge British conversion activities.
  • On March 3, 1900, Munda was arrested by the British police while he was sleeping with his tribal guerilla army at Jamkopai forest in Chakradharpur and died in Ranchi jail due to an illness on June 9, 1900, at the young age of 25.

 

His Contributions:

  • In 1899, he started the Ulgulan movement which involved the use of weapons and guerrilla warfare to drive out foreigners.
  • Encouraged by Birsa Munda, the tribals refused to follow colonial laws and paying rent and challenged religious practices to fight against superstition
  • Due to this, Birsa Munda began to be known as ‘Bhagwan’ (God) and ‘Dharati Aba’ (Father of the earth) by his followers.
  • He played a significant role in mobilising the tribal community against the British.
  • Birsa Munda’s struggle led to the passing of the Chotanagpur Tenancy Act in 1908 which restricted passing of land from the tribal people to non-tribals.

Source: Indian Express

Previous Year Question

Q1.) With reference to the history of India, Ulgulan or the Great Tumult is the description of which of the following events? (2020)

  1. The Revolt of 1857
  2. The Mappila Rebellion of 1921
  3. The Indigo Revolt of 1859-60
  4. Birsa Munda’s Revolt of 1899-1900

Q.2) With reference to India, the terms ‘Halbi, Ho and Kui’ pertain to (2021)

  1. Dance forms of Northwest India
  2. Musical instruments
  3. Pre-historic cave paint
  4. Tribal languages

Entry of females in Indian Navy

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Current Affairs

In News: The Union government informed the Delhi High Court that entry of female candidates in certain branches has been permitted at par with male candidates.

About the change:

  • The Indian Navy is now recruiting female candidates at par with male candidates.
  • This is through Indian Navy University Entry Scheme.
  • Certain branches covered are – executive branch general service (X) cadre, IT and technical branch engineering and electrical branch.
  • The plea alleged that the said discrimination on grounds of gender is a violation of the right to equality (Article 14), the right not to be discriminated on the ground of sex (Article 15), equality of opportunity in the matters of public employment (Article 16), fundamental right to practice any profession and occupation (Article 19 1 (g)) and human rights of women.

Source: Indian Express


PM’s gifts at G20 meet

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Art & Culture

In News: At the G20 summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi gifted heads of states curated craft pieces from Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, the two states he visited recently for election rallies.

  • Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni  – Patan Patola Scarf
  • UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak – Mata Ni Pachedi
  • Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese –Pithora paintings
  • US President Joe Biden – miniature paintings from Kangra
  • Indonesian President Joko Widodo – Kinnauri shawl and silver bowl from Surat
  • Leaders of France, Germany and Singapore – Agate bowls from Kutch

Patan Patola Scarf:

  • It is a colourful dupatta woven in the northern part of Gujarat
  • It was encased in a decorative sadeli box, a wooden craft native to Surat.
  • The double ikat scarf can be worn on both sides.
  • The motifs weaved on scarf were inspired from the Rani Ki Vav, a stepwell in Patan, built in the 11th century AD.

Mata Ni Pachedi:

  • It is a sacred textile piece made by nomadic communities (Vagharis) in Gujarat.
  • It has a central figure of the female deity.
  • The sacred textile also includes references to the religious epics and images showing Lord Krishna or Rama.

Pithora Paintings:

  • Pithora paintings are a ritualistic tribal folk art by the Rathwa artisans from Chhota Udaipur in Gujarat.
  • They are based on the cave paintings that tribal people used to make, reflecting their social, cultural and mythological life and beliefs.
  • These paintings resemble the aboriginal dot paintings of the indigenous communities of Australia.

Others:

  • Agate bowls from Kutchh: The semi-precious stone is found in underground mines of Rajpipla and Ratanpur in riverbeds, and extracted to produce a variety of ornamental objects.
  • Miniature painting from Kangra: It is based on the theme of love as a means of devotion.
  • Kinnauri Shawl: The design on this specific piece shows influences from Central Asia and Tibet
  • Silver bowl from Surat

Source Indian Express

Previous Year Question

Q1.) Kalamkari painting refers to (2015)

  1. a hand-painted cotton textile in South India
  2. a handmade drawing on bamboo handicrafts in North-East India
  3. a block-painted woollen cloth in Western Himalayan region of India
  4. a hand-painted decorative silk cloth in North-Western India

Red-crowned Roofed Turtle

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Environment

In News: India has put forward a proposal to better protect red-crowned roofed turtle under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

  • Other countries have proposals to include hippopotamus, straw-headed bulbul, red-crowned roofed turtle and African elephant to Appendix I and to include requiem and hammerhead sharks in Appendix II.
  • The 19th Conference of the Parties to CITES began in Panama. Previous conferences were held in Paris (in 2018) and Melbourne (in 2019).

About CITES:

  • CITES is an agreement regulating the movement across international borders of certain wild animal and plant species.
  • It has three appendices:-
  • First – for species currently threatened with extinction
  • Second –for species not necessarily threatened with extinction but demands intervention to keep a check on trade and avoid its utilisation that may threaten their survival.
  • Third – when a specific country wants to regulate trade in a given species.

Red-crowned Roofed Turtle (Batagur kachuga):

  • The turtle is native to India and Bangladesh and is at a high risk of extinction.
  • IUCN Red List status: Critically Endangered
  • Freshwater reptile species
  • Threats like habitat loss due to pollution and hydrological projects specific in the Gangal lowlands of northern India and Bangladesh, overharvesting the animal for illegal consumption and illegal international trade.
  • Over 11,000 tortoises and freshwater turtles have been seized in India from 2009-2019, found a study by TRAFFIC, a global NGO working on trade in wild animals and plants and their conservation.

Source: Down to Earth

Previous Year Question

Q.1) With reference to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which of the following statements is/are correct? (2015)

  1. IUCN is an organ of the United Nations and CITES is an international agreement between governments.
  2. IUCN runs thousands of field projects around the world to better manage natural environments.
  3. CITES is legally binding on the States that have joined it, but this Convention does not take the place of national laws.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

India – Israel Relations

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Syllabus

  • Mains – GS 2 (International Relations)

Context: India and Israel established full diplomatic relations in 1992 and since then the bilateral relationship between the two countries has blossomed at the economic, military, agricultural and political levels.

Diplomatic Relations:

  • India officially recognised Israel in 1950. Soon after, Israel established an immigration office in Bombay which was later converted into a Trade Office and subsequently a Consulate.
  • However full diplomatic relations were established only in 1992 and Embassies were opened.

Defence Cooperation:

  • India imports critical defence technologies from Israel. There are regular exchanges between the armed forces.
  • In February 2014, India and Israel signed three important agreements on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, Cooperation in Homeland Security, and Protection of Classified Material.
  • There is cooperation on security issues, including a Joint Working Group on Counter-Terrorism.
  • Indian armed forces use Israeli Phalcon AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control Systems), Heron drones to Barak anti-missile defence systems.
  • The Indian military deployed an Israeli-developed comprehensive integrated border management system (CIBMS) along its border with Pakistan in August 2017.
  • At the 15th Joint Working Group (JWG 2021) meeting on Bilateral Defence Cooperation, countries agreed to form a Task Force to formulate a comprehensive Ten-Year Roadmap to identify new areas of cooperation.

Economic and Commercial Relations:

  • The bilateral merchandise trade grew from USD 200 million in 1992 to USD 6.35 billion (excluding defence) during the period 2021-2022, with the balance of trade being in India’s favour.
  • India is Israel’s third-largest trade partner in Asia and seventh largest globally.
  • Israeli companies have been instrumental in transferring technology to India in areas like renewable energy, telecom, water technologies. Many of them have also set up R&D centres in India.
  • India is also in dialogue with Israel for concluding a Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
  • Major exports from India to Israel include precious stones and metals, chemical products, textiles and textile articles, etc.

Cooperation in Agriculture:

  • Under a comprehensive Work Plan for cooperation in agriculture signed on 10 May 2006, bilateral projects are implemented through MASHAV (Centre for International Cooperation of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and CINADCO (Centre for International Agricultural Development Cooperation of Israel’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development).
  • A three year joint work program has been signed between the two countries in 2021 for development in agriculture cooperation.
    • It is aimed at establishing Centres of Excellence, intensifying value chains and encouraging private investment.
  • Israeli drip irrigation technologies and products are now widely used in India. Some Israeli companies and experts are providing expertise to manage and improve dairy farming in India through their expertise in high milk yield.

Science and  Technology:

  • The two countries have established a Joint Committee on Science and Technology, established under the Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement signed in 1993.
  • India-Israel Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund (I4F) has been set up to secure cooperation between the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, and the Israel Innovation Authority, Government of Israel to promote, facilitate and support joint industrial R&D projects.
  • It will address the challenges in the agreed ‘Focus Sectors’.
  • Israel has also offered to assist with India’s Clean Ganga Mission by providing its expertise in water management to address water scarcity.

Energy:

  • Tamar and Levianthan gas fields off the coast of Israel were explored recently and India has been one of the first countries to bid for an exploration license in order to extract and import natural gas from the fields.
  • India’s ONGC Videsh, Bharat Petro Resources, Indian Oil and Oil India were awarded an exploration license by the Israeli government, a clear sign of the ongoing diversification in ties between the two countries.

Indian Diaspora:

  • There are approximately 85,000 Jews of Indian-origin in Israel (with at least one Indian parent), who are all Israeli passport holders.
  • The main waves of immigration into Israel from India took place in the fifties and sixties. The majority is from Maharashtra (Bene Israelis) and relatively smaller numbers from Kerala (Cochini Jews) and Kolkata (Baghdadi Jews).
  • In recent years some Indian Jews from North Eastern states of India (Bnei Menashe) have been immigrating to Israel.

Reasons for Evolving Engagement:

Both countries have come a long way from policy of estrangement to engagement primarily because of:

  • Kashmir question: West Asian countries have strongly supported Pakistan on Kashmir issue so Israel came across as the natural partner.
  • Abraham Accord: Signed in 2020 amongst USA, Israel and UAE to normalise the relations between Israel and the west Asian countries.
    • Subsequently, Bahrain, Jordan joined too. The engagement process is still on.
  • Oslo Accords: The 2 state solution was tried to be achieved with both parties Israel and Palestine signing two subsequent accords in 1993 and 1995 respectively.
    • With direct parties in the conflict coming to peace, India has shed its inhibition of having increasing cooperation with Israel.
  • India’s defence requirement: With the fall of Soviet Russia, it was an imperative for India to diversify its armament supplies. In doing so it found Israel as a natural partner.

Recent Developments:

  • UNGA Resolution, 2017: India voted against the recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel.
  • UNHRC Resolution, 2018: India voted in favour of a resolution condemning use of israeli forces against the Palestinians.
  • UNHRC Resolution, 2021: India abstained from voting in a resolution intended to set up a permanent commission to probe human rights violations in Gaza, West Bank and Palestine.
  • Despite India voting against Israel in the UN or abstaining from voting in favour of Israel, both countries have levelled up their engagement since 1992.
  • Pegasus row: It is spyware software manufactured by a private Israeli company. The news of Pegasus being used in India created a public uproar.
  • Geo-strategic experts are of the view that the row won’t affect the India-Israel relationship as it’s the consenting governments who buy the software for their internal and external security.

Way Forward:

  • India and Israel need to overcome the vulnerability of their religious extremist neighbours and work productively on global issues like climate change, water scarcity, population explosion and food scarcity.
  • A more aggressive and proactive Middle Eastern policy is the need of the hour for India to reap the maximum benefit of the geopolitical realignments gradually being brought in by the Abraham Accords.
  • P2P contact: Despite increasing bonhomie between the two states, the people to people contact still lacks. Increased citizens engagement will give further depth to the relations between the two countries.
  • Bigger trade volumes: Though the trade volumes between the two countries have been increasing year on year, still it’s much below its potential level. FTA should be executed soon and the trade basket must expand.

Though Israel comes across as a natural partner, India should also be concerned about the human rights issues in Palestine. So far, India has been able to balance its geostrategic needs and international morality.

Source: Indian Express


Supreme Court on Religious Conversion

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Syllabus

  • Mains – GS 2 (Governance)

Context: Recently While hearing a PIL on religious conversion, the Supreme Court said that “forced” religious conversions are “very dangerous” and may “ultimately affect the security of the nation as well as the freedom of religion and conscience of the citizens”.

  • Mass conversions in independent India, though rare, have been acts of protest against social discrimination.
  • The conversion of BR Ambedkar and over three lakh followers, mostly Dalits, to Buddhism in 1956.
  • In 1982 Meenakshipuram conversions, when 180 Dalit families in a Tamil Nadu village embraced Islam, were acts of political revolt.

The Supreme Court views on the Issue:

  • The bench urged the government to “make their stand clear and file counter on what steps can be taken by Union and/or others to curb such forced conversion, maybe by force, allurement or fraudulent means”.
  • When the court singles out the issue for its attention, asks what action the government proposes to take, it implies both that “forced” religious conversions are a significant problem and that existing laws are insufficient to deal with it.
  • Article 25 of the Constitution says “all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practise and propagate religion”.
  • But at least 10 states have legislated anti-conversion laws, beginning in the 1960s.
  • The claim is that legal safeguards, including IPC provisions, have failed to stop religious conversions through “coercion”, “intimidation”, “allurement”, “threats”. However, these are loosely worded terms prone to misinterpretation.
  • The current context of the conversion debate appears to be missionary activity in tribal areas and inter-religious marriages, labelled as “love jihad”.

About Anti Conversion Laws:

  • Princely states headed by Hindu royal families were the first to introduce laws restricting religious conversions during the British colonial era, especially during the latter half of the 1930s and 1940s.
  • Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh passed anti-conversion laws that outlaw religious conversion solely for the purpose of marriage.
  • Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religious Ordinance, 2020 also requires a 60-days-notice. However, it also requires the Magistrate to conduct police inquiry to ascertain the real intention behind the conversion
  • Under the Madhya Pradesh law, the burden of proving that the conversion was done in a legitimate fashion lies with the person converted.
    • Under the law, any marriage where a husband or wife has converted (even consensually) will be declared null and void unless prior notice is given to the state government.
  • Recent Karnataka law says any person intending to convert to another religion after the law comes into force will have to notify the district magistrate two months in advance.

Judicial pronouncements on such laws:

  • Salamat Ansari- Priyanka Kharwar case of Allahabad High Court 2020: The right to choose a partner or live with a person of choice was part of a citizen’s fundamental right to life and liberty (Article 21).
  • Hadiya Case: Matters of dress and of food, of ideas and ideologies, of love and partnership, are within the central aspects of identity. Neither state nor the law can dictate a choice of partners or limit the free ability of every person decide on these matters
  • S. Puttuswamy case: The autonomy of the individual is the ability to make decisions in vital matters of concern to life. Any interference by the state in an adult’s right to love and marry has a “chilling effect” on freedoms. Intimacies of marriages exist within a core zone of privacy, which is inviolable.
  • The Uttarakhand HC, in November 2017, held that conversions for the sake of marriage “a sham” and urged the government to enact the law against such conversions. This became the basis for the Uttarakhand Freedom of Religion Act, 2018.
  • Sarala Mudgal case: The court had held that the religious conversion into Islam by a person from non-Islamic faith is not valid if the conversion is done for the purpose of polygamy.

Way Forward:

  • Anti-conversion laws must be backed by a concrete study on the ground-realty of forced conversions. At the same time, it is the duty of the state to enable and facilitate inter-faith/inter-caste marriages.
  • State while enacting anti-conversion laws should also respect their Freedom to get convert and should not put any vague or ambiguous provisions for the person who wanted to convert of his own will.

Article 18 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights mentions everyone has the right to freedom of religion including changing their faith. Since it is a state subject, the Centre can frame a model law like Model law on contract farming etc.

Source: Indian Express


Appointment of VCs in State Universities

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Syllabus

  • Mains – GS 1 Education, GS 2 Governance

In News: Two recent judgments of the Supreme Court of India on the appointment of vice chancellors (VC) in State universities in violation of the regulations of the University Grants Commission (UGC) are significant in the context of higher education in a federal country such as India.

Context:

  • Education is a subject on the Concurrent list. Hence, both the Union and the State can legislate on the matter.
  • A VC is appointed by the Chancellor under the relevant (State) University Act, but the Supreme Court has brought in Article 254 of the Constitution to rule that if provisions of the State law are repugnant to the provisions of the Union law, the State law will become void.
  • Article 254 (1) states, “If any provision of a law made by the Legislature of a State is repugnant to any provision of a law made by Parliament, or to any provision of an existing law with respect to one of the matters enumerated in the Concurrent List, then, subject to the provisions of clause ( 2 ), the law made by Parliament shall prevail and the law made by the Legislature of the State shall, to the extent of the repugnancy, be void.”

The Judgements:

  • Framed by the Supreme Court, current issue is about whether the appointment of VCs should be made as per the UGC Regulations or the provisions of the State University Act.
  • The Supreme Court quashed the appointment of Vice-Chancellors in the following two cases because they were against UGC regulations (Union Government).
  • The Court declared State law was repugnant to the UGC regulations and the appointment under the State law had become void ab initio.
  • In Gambhirdan K. Gadhvi vs The State of Gujarat(2022) on the ground – search committee did not form a panel for the appointment of VC, and, therefore, was not in accordance with the UGC Regulations of 2018.
  • In Professor (Dr) Sreejith P.S vs Dr. Rajasree M.S. (2022) on the ground – search committee recommended only one name, which is against the UGC Regulations.
  • This decision of the Supreme Court triggered resignation of 11 VCs of other universities of the Kerela on the ground that their appointments too had become void after the Supreme Court’s judgment.

Faulty Conclusion:

  • The Court’s conclusion that the provisions of the State University Acts are repugnant to the UGC regulations under Article 254 is faulty.
  • First, repugnancy under Article 254 relates to a State law and a substantive law made by Parliament. Repugnancy can arise only between the provisions of the University Acts and the UGC Act, and not the regulations of the UGC.
  • Article 254 impliedly excludes rules, regulations, etc.
  • Rules and regulations are made by subordinate authorities like UGC
  • The term ‘Law’ does not contain rules, regulations, etc.
  • Second, the rules and regulations made by the subordinate authority, though laid in Parliament, do not go through the same process as a law.
  • do not require the approval of Parliament.
  • have an inferior status as compared to an Act.
  • Third, the Constitution does not, in general terms, define the term law.
  • The inclusive definition of law given in Article 13(2) is applicable only to that Article.
  • Fourth, the regulations made by a subordinate authority of the Union overriding a law made by a State legislature will amount to a violation of federal principles and a negation of the concurrent legislative power granted to the State by the Constitution.
  • Finally, the UGC Regulations on the appointment of VCs are outside the scope of the main provisions of the UGC Act as none of its provisions refers to the appointment of VCs.

Suggestions:

  • Regulations are not independent legislations. They should be within the scope of the parent Act as otherwise they will be ultra vires the Act.
  • A perusal of Section 26 of the UGC Act, which empowers the UGC to make regulations, would show that the appointment of a VC is not a matter on which the UGC can make regulations. So, the UGC’s legal authority to make mandatory regulations on the appointment of VCs of State universities needs to be re-examined urgently.
  • Article 254 needs to be analysed in depth before reaching such conclusions.
  • Such an analysis would make it clear that a State law can be repugnant only to the central Act, and not the regulations and rules made there under.
  • The right of States to manage university education must be preserved under the federal spirit.
  • Reconciliation of provisions must be made by the court even when there is repugnancy.

Way forward:

  • The Supreme Court held in S. Satyapal Reddy vs Govt. Of A.P. (1994) that “the court has to make every attempt to reconcile the provisions of the apparently conflicting laws and the court would endeavour to give harmonious construction… The proper test would be whether effect can be given to the provisions of both the laws or whether both the laws can stand together”.
  • When this is done in most of the cases, there would be no need to strike down a State law on the ground of repugnancy.

Source ORF Online


Baba’s Explainer – Climate Change and Global Health

Climate Change and Global Health

Syllabus

  • GS-2: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests
  • GS-3: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation

Context: A recent report by Lancet, has traced in detail the intimate link between changing weather events and their impact on the health of people.

  • The 2022 Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change: Health at the Mercy of Fossil Fuels points out that the world’s reliance on fossil fuels increases the risk of disease, food insecurity and other illnesses related to heat.

Read Complete Details on Climate Change and Global Health


Daily Practice MCQs

Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) Who among the following was/were associated with the introduction of Chotanagpur Tenancy Act 1908 in India during the British rule?

  1. Johannes Baptist Hoffman
  2. Birsa Munda
  3. Lala Lajpat Rai

Which of the following statements are correct?

  1. 2 only
  2. 1 and 2 only
  3. 2 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Q.2) With reference to the agrarian practices in India, the ” Khuntkatti” belongs to

  1. Chuars of Midnapore
  2. Bhils of Western Ghats
  3. Mundas of Chotanagpur
  4. Santhals of Rajmahal hills

Q.3) With reference to India’s biodiversity, consider the following statements:

  1. Jim Corbett Tiger reserve spreads across two districts only.
  2. Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 provides for the Constitution of the National Board for Wildlife with the PM as its chairperson.
  3. Jim Corbett Tiger reserve included in the Project Tiger.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

  1. 1 2 and 3
  2. 1 and 2 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 2 and 3 only

Comment the answers to the above questions in the comment section below!!

ANSWERS FOR ’17th November 2022 – Daily Practice MCQs’ will be updated along with tomorrow’s Daily Current Affairs.st


ANSWERS FOR 16th November – Daily Practice MCQs

Answers- Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) – a

Q.2) – d

Q.3) – b

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