Daily Current Affairs
25 February 2021

1) Puducherry: Cabinet gives nod for President’s Rule

GS 2

Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure

 

ABOUT:

  1. The Union Cabinet recently approved a proposal by the Home Ministry to dissolve the Puducherry Assembly and impose President’s Rule in the Union Territory.
  2. The decision came days after the Congress-led government in the Union Territory lost power during a vote of confidence.

 

PRESIDENT's RULE:

  1. President's rule is the suspension of state government and imposition of direct Union government rule in a state.
  2. Under Article 356 of the Constitution of India, in the event that a state government is unable to function according to Constitutional provisions, the Union government can take direct control of the state machinery.
  3. Subsequently, executive authority is exercised through the centrally appointed governor, who has the authority to appoint other administrators to assist them.
  4. The administrators are usually nonpartisan retired civil servants.
  5. Chhattisgarh and Telangana are the only states where the President's rule has not been imposed so far.

 

Ground for PRESIDENT's RULE:

  1. Article 356 of the Constitution of India is “based on Section 93 of the government of India act 1935” the failure of the constitutional machinery on two ground:
  2. If the President receives a report from the state’s Governor or otherwise is convinced or satisfied that the state’s situation is such that the state government cannot carry on the governance according to the provisions of the Constitution.
  3. President’s Rule can be imposed if any state fails to comply with all directions given by the Union on matters it is empowered to

 

VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE:

  1. A motion of no confidence, or a vote of no confidence, or no confidence motion, is a statement or vote about whether a person in a position of responsibility (government, managerial, etc.) is no longer deemed fit to hold that position, perhaps because they are inadequate in some aspect, are failing to carry out obligations, or are making decisions that other members feel as being detrimental.
  2. As a parliamentary motion, it demonstrates to the head of state that the elected parliament no longer has confidence in (one or more members of) the appointed government.

 

NORM:

  1. Government said the decision was taken as no party came forward to stake claim to form the government following the resignation of Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy.
  2. Subsequently, Lieutenant-Governor recommended President’s Rule.
  3. After the President’s assent, the Assembly will get dissolved... Further steps for administrative work will be taken soon.

 

Source- The Hindu

 

2) ‘Propose bilateral green deal to U.S.’

GS 2

Bilateral agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

 

ABOUT:

  1. CEO of Council on Energy Environment and Water (CEEW) says India needs to proactively negotiate a bilateral climate agreement with the U.S.
  2. CEO suggests that hill States such as Uttarakhand be given a concrete plan to transition from reliance on large hydropower plants for energy.

 

U.S. RE-ENTERING THE PARIS CLIMATE AGREEMENT:

  1. This is an opportunity for India to be proactive and propose a bilateral deal, where the U.S. and India can work more closely on climate change.
  2. The focus should be on what can be achieved in the near-term. There will be pressure on India to give a plan on when it will achieve Net Zero (when a country’s carbon dioxide emissions are balanced by the amount locked back in).
  3. However, India must have an agreement on say the use of hydrogen, and form a Green Hydrogen Alliance.
  4. The U.S. will predictably try to nudge, cajole other countries into raising ambition (in the form of greater emission targets, for example) but India shouldn’t be swayed by emotion.
  5. India can use this opportunity to ask the U.S. to raise ambition, given that it has been out of the agreement for four years. We can ask for concrete targets, finance, technology.

 

UPCOMING UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE OF PARTIES (COP26) IN GLASGOW, SCOTLAND:

  1. COP 26 will be a very significant event though probably not as much as the conference in Paris (in 2015). The reason for its importance is because it’s coming in a year after the pandemic began.
  2. It will reveal if the world’s recovery has been a green one and [if] we are building a world that is better.
  3.  COP26 will likely be about the mechanisms, especially financial ones, to operationalise plans.

 

FUTURE FOR HYDROPOWER?

  1. It was only two years ago that large hydropower projects (above 25 MW) started to be considered as renewable energy.
  2. India should be going back to the earlier definition where only the smaller hydropower plants were considered renewable energy.
  3. In future, India has to think if hydropower can compete with solar-plus-storage and it’s very much possible that the latter will be cheaper than a new hydropower plant.
  4. On the other hand, even smaller hydropower plants are in fragile ecosystems and will still be a challenge.
  5. The per-unit cost of solar power falling. However, we are nowhere close to an inflection point of solar power becoming a much bigger component of our energy mix.
  6. There are three additional drivers: financial, technological and new markets. India can still shave off a few paise from improving financial contracts and the implementing of them.
  7. The solar rooftop market is relatively untapped. There are also solar irrigation pumps, urban microgrids, etc. These are niche markets not being exploited at all.
  8. We must be able to offer our market as a test bed for new batteries and storage technologies, like we are doing with vaccines.
  9. We’ve developed one vaccine here but we are the factory for the other vaccine, and that makes us relevant to the global market.

 

Source- The Hindu

 

3) Rajasthan budgets for universal health; Right to Health soon

GS 2

Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health

 

ABOUT:

  1. In the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, Rajasthan Chief Minister recently announced a Universal Health Coverage with an allocation of Rs 3,500 crore in the upcoming financial year as part of measures to reinforce health infrastructure in the state as well as to ensure that healthcare is more accessible to its citizens.
  2. CM also announced the Rajasthan Model of Public Health’ (RMPH), wherein a Right to Health Bill will be brought, and that the state will take measures towards Preventive Care, Primary Care and Curative Care as envisioned by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

 

DETAILS:

  1. As part of the RMPH, and under the Universal Health Coverage plan, every family will get a Rs 5 lakh health cover.
  2. Those covered under Ayushman Bharat – Mahatma Gandhi Rajasthan Swasthya Bima Yojana (AB-MGRSBY) as well as contract workers, and small and marginal farmers will be eligible for free, while others can avail this scheme through 50 percent cost of insurance premium (about Rs 850/year) at government and private hospitals for cashless treatment of up to Rs 5 lakh per year.
  3. As for the Right to Health Bill – details of which are still being finalised – officials said it sought to guarantee quality healthcare to all citizens, without any “catastrophic” out of pocket financial burden on them.
  4. As per one of the drafts, the state hopes to ensure that no person is forced to pay any kind of fee or charge which may prevent the person from seeking complete medical care.

 

OTHER MEASURES:

  1. Other measures include ensuring primary healthcare services within three kilometres or 30 minutes walking distance to each citizen, primary care within 12 kilometres, and so on.
  2. The Bill also lays emphasis on rights of patients, especially their consent, and of service providers.
  3. Consent is expected to be made a “prerequisite” for any healthcare proposed for a person, and providers may have to keep patient records up to two years, and provide them to a patient upon request.
  4. The government also plans to introduce a mechanism for grievance redressal within the healthcare services at every block and district level, hoping to adopt a congenial approach through Swasthya Jan Sunwai.
  5. The Bill may also include enhancing per capita budget to about Rs 3,000 annually. However, the government has not made any budgetary allocation for the Bill.
  6. As part of reinforcing the state’s health infrastructure, CMt also announced nursing colleges at 25 district headquarters – with the other eight already having one – while Public Health Colleges are to be established in all seven divisional headquarters.
  7. The CM also announced an increase in number of free tests under Mukhyamantri Nishulk Jaanch Yojna (MNJY).
  8. The CM said that going by the Covid-19 experience, the state will set up an Institute of Tropical Medicine and Virology in Jaipur while an Institute of Cardiology will also be set up in the city at a cost of Rs 50 crore.
  9. Among other things, the CM also announced the constitution of a Hospital Management Cadre.

 

Source- Indian Express

 

4) Former NCBC chief: Without caste census, OBC sub-categorisation not scientific

GS 2

Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability

 

ABOUT:

  1. Questioning the idea of sub-categorisation of the Other Backward Classes (OBCs), former chairman of the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) Justice Vangala Eswaraiah says without a caste census, this exercise could perpetuate injustice.
  2. He terms the sub-categorisation, which is likely to be proposed by the Commission headed by Justice G Rohini, as “un-scientific, atrocious and illegal”.

 

CASTE CENSUS:

  1. Justice Eswaraiah says if the government wants to sub-categorise the OBCs in order to give them justice, it should either publicise the data of Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC)-2011 or it should conduct a caste census.
  2. This comes days after current NCBC Chairman said the panel was in favour of dividing the OBCs into four sub-categories, in line with what the Justice G Rohini Commission, which was constituted to examine the sub-categorisation of the OBCs, is likely to propose.

 

WHY THE NEED FOR SUB-CATEGORIES?

  1. OBCs are granted 27 percent reservation in jobs and education under the central government.
  2. The debate about the sub-categorisation of OBCs arose out of the perception that only a few affluent communities among the over 2,600 included in the central list of OBCs have secured a major part of this reservation.
  3. The argument for this sub-categorisation is that it would ensure “equitable distribution” of representation among all OBC communities.

 

UNSCIENTIFIC, UNCONSTITUTIONAL AND ILLEGAL:

  1. Justice Eswaraiah, a former Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh High Court, was appointed chairman of the NCBC in 2013 by the UPA government and held the post till 2016.
  2. Justice says that without the SECC data, it will not be possible to scientifically sub-categorise or take up the revision of the caste and communities to exclude existing castes or include other deserving castes.”
  3. Government has conducted SECC-2011 after spending thousands of crores but hasn't published it and only publish it selectively? To sub-categorize the castes and communities the publication of SECC is a must.
  4. He says what the Justice Rohini Commission is doing is all “unscientific, unconstitutional and illegal”.
  5. With this sub-categorisation, “some justice will be done, but it will not be complete justice.
  6. Injustice will perpetuate, continue and there will be hue and cry among the backward classes.
  7. It is not scientific and it is atrocious and it is illegal thing. Its an eyewash.

 

Source- Indian Express

 

5) Tribals seek forest rights, officials cite core are a rule

GS 2

mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections

 

ABOUT:

  1. THOUSANDS OF tribals living in villages located in the core areas of Sitanadi Udanti Tiger Reserve are demanding that their Community Forest Resource rights be recognised.
  2. Despite the Congress-led Chhattisgarh government’s promise of recognition of community resource rights, these villagers are facing bureaucratic hurdles, largely based on interpretation of law.
  3. Recently, residents of one of the villages, Bahigaon asked for a special gram sabha to facilitate the recognition of Community Forest Resource rights provided under the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006.

 

WHAT THE LAW SAYS ABOUT THE RIGHTS?

  1. Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, has been enacted to recognize and vest the miner forest product rights and occupation of forest land in forest dwelling Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers.
  2. SECTION 3 (1) (i) of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 gives right to protect, regenerate or conserve or manage any community forest resource which the tribals have been traditionally protecting and conserving for sustainable use.
  3. For recognition of Community Forest Resource rights, traditional boundary of a tribal village is recognised, empowering the gram sabha of the village to take decisions on protection, regeneration, conservation and management of the forest and its produce.

 

GRIEVANCE:

  1. A zila panchayat member said, “The district authorities are telling us that our rights can’t be recognised as we are in the core areas. The forest officials say the rights do not apply in the core areas, which is against the Act.”
  2. Residents of more than 10 villages are trying to get their resource rights on the forest around them from authorities of the tiger reserve and district authorities of Dhamtari and Gariaband.
  3. Local officials said the villagers’ community rights should be discussed only when they move out of the core areas.
  4. In the core areas, even grazing is not allowed. The villages want the resource rights so that they can get roads and other amenities that can’t be built inside the core area.

 

DELAY:

  1. The fact has come to light that in Critical Wildlife Habitat/Tiger Reserve, due to some reasons, recognition of Forest Rights are getting delayed.
  2. According to the Act’s Section 4(1), notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, and subject to the provisions of this Act, the Central Government hereby recognises and vests forest rights under Section 3(1) of the same Act.
  3. Giving community resource rights there seems difficult as the management of such areas need to be done by skilled people.
  4. The Act states that rights of tribals be recognised in any type of forested area.
  5. Officials think they can manage the forests better than the tribals who have spent generations inside the forest. It shows lack of trust, but tribals are involved and employed by department for the upkeep of the forests.

 

Source- Indian Express