Insights Daily Current Affairs, 26 October 2016
Paper 2 Topic: Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.
T.N. opposes Centre’s stand on tribunal
Tamil Nadu has opposed the Centre’s view on the role of tribunal in inter-state river water disputes.
What has the Tamil Nadu said?
According to the Tamil Nadu state government, the position taken by the Centre that the Supreme Court has no power to judicially review the Cauvery tribunal’s 2007 award is tantamount to giving the tribunal “absolute, uncontrolled, uncanalised and unguided judicial power which negates the rule of law.”
The Centre had opposed the Supreme Court hearing appeals filed by Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala against the tribunal decision. According to the Centre, the Supreme Court was barred under Article 262 (3) and provisions of the Inter-State Water Disputes Act, 1956 from entertaining appeals under Article 136 against the Cauvery tribunal’s award.
What the law says?
Article 262, dealing with the adjudication of disputes relating to waters of inter-state rivers or river valleys, says:
- Parliament may by law provide for the adjudication of any dispute or complaint with respect to the use, distribution or control of the waters of, or in, any inter-state river or river valley.
- Notwithstanding anything in this constitution, parliament may by law provide that neither the Supreme Court nor any other court shall exercise jurisdiction in respect of any such dispute or complaint as is referred to in clause (1).
Pursuant to the power conferred by the Constitution (article 262), Parliament has enacted the Inter-State Water Disputes Act, 1956. Key features include:
- A State Government which has a water dispute with another State Government may request the Central Government to refer the dispute to a tribunal for adjudication.
- The Central Government, if it is of opinion that the dispute cannot be settled by negotiation, shall refer the dispute to a Tribunal.
- The Tribunal’s composition is laid down in the Act. It consists of a Chairman and two other members, nominated by the Chief Justice of India from among persons who, at the time of such nomination, are Judges of the Supreme Court.
- The Tribunal can appoint assessors to advise it in the proceedings before it.
- On the reference being made by the Central Government, the Tribunal investigates the matter and makes its report, embodying its decision. The decision is to be published and is to be final and binding on the parties.
- Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and other courts in respect of the dispute referred to the Tribunal is barred.
- The Central Government may frame a scheme, providing for all matters necessary to give effect to the decision of the Tribunal. The scheme may, inter alia, provide for establishing an authority for implementing (section 6A).
Article 136: Special Leave Petitions are heard by the Supreme Court under Article 136(1) of the constitution. This provision enables the Supreme Court to grant “special leave to appeal from any judgment, decree, determination, sentence or order in any cause or matter passed or made by any court or tribunal in the territory of India”.
Sources: the hindu.
Paper 1 Topic: Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.
National tribal carnival
The first National Tribal Carnival was recently inaugurated in New Delhi. The carnival seeks to promote a sense of inclusiveness among the tribals.
- Main purpose of the carnival is to promote a sense of inclusiveness among the tribals.
- About 1,600 tribal artists and around 8,000 tribal delegates from across the country took part in the carnival.
- Besides, eminent tribal personalities who have excelled in various fields like sports, arts and culture, literature, academics and medicine were also invited.
- The underlying idea is to preserve and promote various facets of the tribal life relating to culture, tradition, customs and their skills, and to expose it to the general public with a view to utilise the potential for overall holistic development of the Scheduled Tribes.
- Activities like displaying documents on traditional socio-culture aspects, exhibition of art/artifacts, cultural performances, demonstration of skills like sports, paintings, traditional healing practices, etc. were part of the event.
- There were workshops on issues like implementation of Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 (PESA), its benefit to tribal community and its drawbacks, implication and reservation of Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006, in politics and recruitment.
Paper 1 Topic: Effects of globalization on Indian society.
India moves up one place on ease of doing business rankings
India has moved one rank up to the 130th position in the World Bank’s ‘ease of doing business’ ranking for 2017. The index was released as part of the World Bank’s annual report Doing Business 2017: Equal Opportunity for All.
- Word Bank Doing Business reports, introduced in 2004, review business regulations and their enforcement across countries —190 this year. The latest edition takes into account developments in one year up until June 1, 2016.
- New Zealand has replaced Singapore as the easiest place for doing business.
- New Zealand is followed by Singapore, Denmark, Hong Kong, South Korea and Norway.
- Performance of BRICS nations: Brazil-123, Russia-40, South Africa-74 and China-78.
While the government’s focus on improving India’s ranking and an overhaul of the Companies Act came in for praise in the report, labour laws were flagged for creating economic distortions. India’s overall score improved marginally to 55.27 as it climbed up the rankings for providing electricity connections, enforcing contracts through commercial divisions in Bombay and Delhi high courts, easier rules for trading across borders and making Employee’s Social Insurance Corporation payments.
Sources: the hindu.
Paper 1 Topic: Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.
Workplace gender gaps persist: WEF
The World Economic Forum (WEF) has placed India at 87 in 2016 Global Gender Gap Report. The report measured gender parity through four indices: health, education, economy and politics.
Highlights of the report:
- The 11th edition of the WEF’s report said the global gender gap is widening and it will take at least 170 years for women to earn as much as men and for them participate equally in the workforce.
- WEF has called for urgent action, saying that progress on the gender equality front was actually slowing down and even reversing in some countries – last year it had predicted these changes would take 118 years.
- While differences in access to education are reducing, researchers found that that the gap in income and employment has widened over the past four years – it currently stands at 59%.
- According to the report, the average pay gap for women around the world is nearly half of what men earn, and most of them work longer hours when unpaid labour is factored in. Moreover, women are less likely to be given senior roles in organisations or be retained in the workforce after having children.
- The best performing countries on the list were Iceland, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Rwanda. The poorest were Yemen, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iran. The United States stood at 73rd while the United Kingdom was ranked 20th.
Performance of India:
- India is ranked 142 on the “health and survival” parameter in the survey of the differences between the genders in 144 countries.
- India is ranked a dismal 136th on economic participation and opportunity, and 113th on educational attainment.
- The only index on which India fared well was political participation – it came in at 9th in the world.
Sources: the hindu.
Facts for Prelims
Club Des Chefs Des Chefs:
- It is the most exclusive group of chefs from around the world. The group recently paid a visit to PM Modi. The group that is in India, consists of chefs to heads of 16 countries.
- The group calls itself Club Des Chefs Des Chefs which translates to Club of the presidential chefs across the globe. The club is having its annual general assembly in India.
- The group of chefs head the most exclusive kitchens from around the world such as those in the White House and Buckingham Palace. The Chefs feed the world’s most powerful and influential people in the world.
- It’s an exclusive club because one can be part of it only if one is a chef to a head of state.
Mitra Shakti 2016:
- It is the fourth edition of the India-Sri Lanka Joint Military Exercise.
- It is being conducted at Sinha Regimental Centre in Ambepussa, Sri Lanka.
- The main focus of this edition of the joint exercise is to enhance inter-operability while carrying out Counter Insurgency (CI)/Counter Terrorism (CT) operations under the United Nations Mandate.
- The previous exercise with the Sri Lankan Army was successfully conducted in the month of September 2015 at Pune in India.
Man Booker Prize 2016:
- Paul Beatty has become the first US author to win the Man Booker Prize for his novel “The Sellout”.
- The Man Booker Prize is the world’s most prestigious English-language literary award.
- It was launched in 1969 and presented by the Man Group.
- The winner of the Man Booker receives £52,500, ($64,100, 59,000 euros).
- It was only opened to non-Commonwealth authors from 2013 — a decision that was highly controversial in Britain.