InstaLinks help you think beyond the issue but relevant to the issue from UPSC prelims and Mains exam point of view. These linkages provided in this ‘hint’ format help you frame possible questions in your mind that might arise(or an examiner might imagine) from each current event. InstaLinks also connect every issue to their static or theoretical background. This helps you study a topic holistically and add new dimensions to every current event to help you think analytically.
Table of Contents:
GS Paper 2:
GS Paper 3:
Facts for Prelims:
1. Sea Guardian unarmed drones.
3. Bhutan establishes formal ties with Germany.
4. What is Constitution day?
GS Paper : 1
Topics Covered: Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.
Vijay Kumar Sinha is Bihar Assembly Speaker.
Speaker of the Lok Sabha:
The chairman or the Presiding Officer of Lok Sabha is called Speaker.
- Elected from all other members by simple majority.
Functions and Powers of Lok Sabha Speakers:
- Speaker of Lok Sabha is basically the head of the house and presides over the sittings of Parliament and controls its working.
- The constitution has tried to ensure the independence of Speaker by charging his salary on the consolidated Fund of India and the same is not subject to vote of Parliament.
- While debating or during general discussion on a bill, the members of the parliament have to address only to the Speaker.
- Whenever there is a joint sitting of both houses of Parliament (Lok Sabha & Rajya Sabha) the Speaker of the Lok Sabha presides over this meeting.
- The Speaker of Lok Sabha comes at sixth position in the Order of Precedence of Government of India.
- In the normal circumstances the Speaker does not casts his vote over any matter in Lok Sabha. But when ever there is a tie on votes between the ruling party and opposition, the Speaker at that time can exercise his vote.
- It is the Speaker who decides the agenda of various discussions.
- The speaker has the power to adjourn or suspend the house/meetings if the quorum is not met.
- The Speaker ensures the discipline and decorum of the house. If the speaker finds the behaviour and a member of Parliament is not good, he/she can punish the unruly members by suspending.
- The Speaker decides weather a bill brought to the house is a money bill or not. In the case Speaker decides some bill as a money bill, this decision can not be challenged.
- Speaker is the final and sole authority to allow different types of motions and resolutions such as No Confidence Motion, Motion of Adjournment, Censure Motion etc.
- The Speaker of Lok Sabha does not leave the office just after dissolution of the assembly. He continues to be in the office till the newly formed assembly takes its first meeting and elects the new Speaker.
The Speaker of Lok Sabha automatically disqualifies from his post if:
- he is no longer the Member of Parliament.
- if he tenders his resignation to the Deputy Speaker.
- if he holds the office of profit under central government or any state government.
- if he is of unsound mind and that too declared by the court of law.
- if he is declared undischarged insolvent.
- if he is no longer the citizen of India or voluntarily accepts the citizenship of any other country.
- if he is removed from the post of Speaker by passing a resolution by majority of the members of Lok Sabha. This is to note that during resolution for removal of Speaker, the Speaker is not in position to cast his vote even if there is tie.
Speaker and the Committees:
- The Committees of the House function under the overall direction of the Speaker. All such Committees are constituted by her or by the House.
- The Chairmen of all Parliamentary Committees are nominated by her.
- Any procedural problems in the functioning of the Committees are referred to her for directions.
- Committees like the Business Advisory Committee, the General Purposes Committee and the Rules Committee work directly under her Chairmanship.
- Election of Speaker.
- Grounds for removal.
- Committees he is associated with.
Discuss the roles and functions of the Speaker.
Sources: the Hindu.
Topics Covered: Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.
Recent Bombay High Court ruling:
- The Union government was within its powers to suspend the MPLAD scheme and divert such funds to combat Covid-19.
- Besides, this (Covid-19) is a disaster so the government will have to resort to Disaster Management Act. It is within its powers to invoke the Act.
What’s the issue?
The Union government had resorted to Disaster Management Act to suspend the member of Parliament local area development (MPLAD) scheme in April this year.
- A petition was filed against this in the Court.
About MPLAD scheme:
- Launched in December, 1993.
- Seeks to provide a mechanism for the Members of Parliament to recommend works of developmental nature for creation of durable community assets and for provision of basic facilities including community infrastructure, based on locally felt needs.
- The MPLADS is a Plan Scheme fully funded by Government of India.
- The annual MPLADS fund entitlement per MP constituency is Rs. 5 crore.
- MPs are to recommend every year, works costing at least 15 per cent of the MPLADS entitlement for the year for areas inhabited by Scheduled Caste population and 7.5 per cent for areas inhabited by S.T. population.
- In order to encourage trusts and societies for the betterment of tribal people, a ceiling of Rs. 75 lakh is stipulated for building assets by trusts and societies subject to conditions prescribed in the scheme guidelines.
Release of Funds:
- Funds are released in the form of grants in-aid directly to the district authorities.
- The funds released under the scheme are non-lapsable.
- The liability of funds not released in a particular year is carried forward to the subsequent years, subject to eligibility.
The MPs have a recommendatory role under the scheme.
- The district authority is empowered to examine the eligibility of works, sanction funds and select the implementing agencies, prioritise works, supervise overall execution, and monitor the scheme at the ground level.
- At least 10% of the projects under implementation in the district are to be inspected every year by the district authority.
Recommendation of works:
- The Lok Sabha Members can recommend works in their respective constituencies.
- The elected members of the Rajya Sabha can recommend works anywhere in the state from which they are elected.
- Nominated members of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha may select works for implementation anywhere in the country.
- How is MPLADS connected to Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana?
- Where can nominated MPs recommend their works?
- Is there any special focus on SC and ST Welfare?
- Difference between grants and loans?
- Implementing agencies.
Critically examine whether MPLADS has helped in bridging the gaps in provisioning of public services?
Sources: Times of India.
Topics Covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
The Uttar Pradesh government has extended the Essential Services Maintenance Act in the State, banning strikes in all departments and corporations under it for a period of another six months.
About ESMA, 1968:
The Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) is an act of Parliament of India.
Objective: It was established to ensure the delivery of certain services, which if obstructed would affect the normal life of the people.
These include services like public transport (bus services), health services (doctors and hospitals).
- ESMA gives police right to arrest without a warrant anybody violating the Act’s provisions.
The ESMA is a law made by the Parliament of India under List No. 33 in Concurrent List of 7th Schedule of Constitution of India.
- Although it is a very powerful law, its execution rests entirely on the discretion of the State government. Each state in the union of India, hence has a separate state Essential Services Maintenance Act with slight variations from the central law in its provisions. This freedom is accorded by the central law itself.
- Implementation of the law.
- Key provisions.
- Key subjects in the concurrent list.
Discuss the issues associated with the implementation of the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA).
Sources: the Hindu.
GS Paper : 3
Topics Covered: Storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers.
Mega Food Park inaugurated in Punjab.
About Mega Food Parks scheme:
Ministry of Food Processing Industries is implementing Mega Food Park Scheme in the country since 2008.
It aims at providing a mechanism to link agricultural production to the market by bringing together farmers, processors and retailers.
- Significance: These food parks give a major boost to the food processing sector by adding value and reducing food wastage at each stage of the supply chain with particular focus on perishables.
- Funding: A maximum grant of Rs 50 crore is given for setting up a MFP, in minimum 50 acres of contiguous land with only 50% contribution to the total project cost.
Implemented by a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) which is a Body Corporate registered under the Companies Act.
State Government, State Government entities and Cooperatives are not required to form a separate SPV for implementation of Mega Food Park project.
- Subject to fulfillment of the conditions of the Scheme Guidelines, the funds are released to the SPVs.
- Functional Mega Food Parks in India.
- First Mega Food Park.
- Which ministry administers the scheme.
- Mizoram’s first mega food park.
- Funding under the scheme.
Write a note on the significance of Mega Food Parks scheme.
Topics Covered: Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention.
The J&K administration had extended the ban on 3G-4G mobile internet excluding two districts of Ganderbal and Udhampur.
- Recently, the Standing Committee on Information and Technology met to discuss on the issue.
What’s the issue?
The main question that the committee posed was about the status of the Internet shutdown.
- As per the Supreme Court judgment in the Anuradha Bhasin case, Internet services cannot be suspended indefinitely.
- Following the orders, the Central government amended the Telecom Suspension Rules 2017 to insert Rule 2A, which specifies that an Internet shutdown order can remain in operation for a maximum period of 15 days.
Supreme Court’s verdict:
- The Court said that all restrictive orders under Section 144 of CrPC and suspension of internet services in Jammu and Kashmir have to be reviewed by the administration.
- The Court also laid down a framework of how the Internet can be suspended, and what rights and legal recourses a citizen has when it is suspended.
Observations made by the Court:
On internet restrictions:
- Right to internet is a fundamental right (subject to reasonable restrictions) included in the freedom of expression under Article 19 of the Indian Constitution.
- Restrictions on fundamental rights could not be in exercise of arbitrary powers. These freedoms could only be restricted as a last resort if “relevant factors” have been considered and no other options are there.
- Suspension of internet services indefinitely is also a violation of telecom rules.
What procedure does the government follow to suspend Internet services?
Before 2017, Internet suspension orders were issued under section 14 of the CrPC.
In 2017, the central government notified the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Service) Rules under the Telegraph Act to govern suspension of Internet.
- These Rules derive their powers from Section 5(2) of the Indian Telegraph Act, which talks about interception of messages in the “interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India”.
Despite the 2017 rules, the government has often used the broad powers under Section 144.
Sources: the Hindu.
Facts for Prelims:
MQ-9B Sea Guardian unarmed drones:
The Indian Navy has inducted two MQ-9B Sea Guardian unarmed drones procured from the U.S. on lease.
- The drone has a maximum endurance of 40 hours and a maximum flying altitude of 40,000 feet.
- It has a 3600 maritime surveillance radar and an optional multimode maritime surface search radar.
- The recently released Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) 2020 has introduced an option for leasing military platforms.
France is keen on joining the India-Australia bilateral naval exercise AUSINDEX.
- AUSINDEX (Australia India Exercise) is a bilateral maritime exercise between Indian Navy and Royal Australian Navy.
Bhutan establishes formal ties with Germany:
Bhutan has announced that it had established diplomatic relations with Germany, increasing the restricted number of capitals that Thimphu has formal ties with to 53 states and the EU.
This is the kingdom’s first diplomatic foray in seven years.
Since 1949, when Bhutan first signed a friendship agreement with India, which kept the two countries closely engaged on all foreign policy issues, Bhutan has been historically cautious about establishing ties with other countries.
- Until 2007, when Bhutan conducted its first election, it had formal relations with just 22 countries, mostly donor countries such as Japan, Australia and several Nordic countries. It also made a firm decision not to open ties with any of the permanent five members of the UN Security Council, despite many requests from them and in particular from the U.S. and China.
- After the election of Prime Minister Jigme Thinley in 2008, however, the Bhutanese government rapidly increased its diplomatic forays, signing agreements with 31 countries in five years.
What is Constitution day?
Constitution day which is also known as the Samvidhan Divas is celebrated every year on November 26 to mark the day on which the Constitution of India was adopted. While the adoption of the Constitution took place on November 26, 1949, it came into effect on January 26, 1950.