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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 11 March 2021

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. 

current affairs, current events, current gk, insights ias current affairs, upsc ias current affairs

 

Table of Contents:

GS Paper 2:

1. The Chief Minister: Appointment, Power, Function and Position.

2. No-trust vote.

3. National Capital Territory Bill.

4. Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Nidhi.

5. What does Biden’s peace plan mean for Afghanistan?

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Telecom licensing conditions amended.

2. Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995.

3. Delhi HC seeks response on petition against new IT Rules.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Country’s biggest floating solar power plant.

2. INS Karanj.

 


GS Paper  :  2


 

Topics Covered: Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.

The Chief Minister: Appointment, Power, Function and Position:


Context:

Tirath Singh Rawat is new CM of Uttarakhand.

Appointment:

The Chief Minister is appointed by the governor.

  • Article 163 of the Constitution provides that there shall be a Council of Ministers with the Chief Minister at its hand to aid and advise the governor.

Who can be a Chief Minister?

After general election to the State Legislative Assembly, the party or coalition group which secures majority in this House, elects its leader and communicates his name to the Governor. The Governor then formally appoints him as the Chief Minister and asks him to form his Council of Ministers.

  • When no party gets a clear majority in the State Legislative Assembly, the Governor normally asks the leader of the single largest party to form the government.

Tenure:

Theoretically, the Chief Minister holds office during the pleasure of the Governor. However, in actual practice the Chief Minister remains in office so long as he continues to be the leader of the majority in the State Legislative Assembly.

  • The Governor can dismiss him in case he loses his majority support.
  • The State Legislative Assembly can also remove him by passing a vote of no-confidence against him.

Powers and Functions of the Chief Minister:

  • To Aid and Advice the Governor.
  • The Chief Minister is at the Head of the Council of Ministers.
  • He is the Leader of the House.
  • He has to communicate to the Governor all the decisions of the council of ministers relating to the administration of the states.
  • All the policies are announced by him on the floor of the house.
  • He recommends dissolution of legislative assembly to the Governor.
  • He advises the Governor regarding summoning, proroguing the sessions of State Legislative Assembly from time to time.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Who can be a Chief Minister?
  2. Role of Governor in appointing a Chief Minister.
  3. Council of Ministers.
  4. Powers.
  5. Functions.
  6. Tenure.

Mains Link:

Discuss the roles and functions of a Chief Minister.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

No-trust vote:


Context:

The no-confidence motion moved by the Congress against the Bharatiya Janata Party-Jannayak Janta Party coalition government in Haryana has been defeated by 55 votes to 32.

What is a No-Confidence Motion?

A Council of Ministers is collectively responsible to the Legislative Assembly and it remains in office till it enjoys the confidence of majority.

  • Therefore, a motion of no-confidence is moved to remove the council of ministers and to remove the government from the office.

Constitutional provisions:

According to the Article 75 of the Indian Constitution, council of ministers shall be collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha and as per Article 164, the council of ministers shall be collectively responsible to the Legislative Assembly of the State.

  • Lok Sabha/Legislative Assembly can remove the ministry from the office by passing a no-confidence motion.
  • Lok Sabha Rule 198 specifies the procedure for a motion of no-confidence.

What is the procedure to move a No-Confidence Motion?

Against the Government, a motion of No-Confidence Motion can be introduced only in the Lok Sabha under rule 198.

There should be a minimum of 50 members to accept the motion. If not, then the motion fails. Before 10 am, any member may provide written notice.

  • The motion of no-confidence is read by the Speaker within the House and asks all those favouring the motion to rise.
  • If 50 MPS are there in favour then the Speaker could allot a date for discussing the motion. But this has to be done within 10 days.
  • Then, the motion is put to vote and can be conducted through Voice Vote, Division of Votes or other means.
  • If the government loses a confidence motion or if the no-confidence motion is accepted by the majority then the government has to resign.

What are the conditions related to no-confidence motion?

  • It can be moved only in the Lok Sabha or state assembly as the case may be. It cannot be moved in the Rajya Sabha or state legislative council.
  • The no-confidence motion is moved against the entire Council of Ministers and not individual ministers or private members.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is a no-confidence motion?
  2. Who can move it?
  3. Procedure to be followed?
  4. Can it be introduced in Rajya Sabha?
  5. Majority needed to pass the no-confidence motion.
  6. Article 75 is related to?
  7. Article 164.
  8. Difference between censure motion and no confidence motion.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

National Capital Territory Bill:


Context:

The Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed the National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

Key Provisions:

  • It seeks to regularise unauthorised colonies that existed in the National Capital Territory of Delhi as on June 1, 2014, and had seen development up to 50% as on January 1, 2015.
  • It amended the National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second Act, 2011.
  • The bill would give protection to unauthorised colonies from sealing till December 31, 2023.

Background:

  • The 2011 Act was valid till December 31, 2020. The 2011 Act provided for the regularisation of the unauthorised colonies that existed in the national capital as on March 31, 2002 and where construction took place till June 1, 2014.

Need for:

Large number of people living in unauthorised colonies in Delhi are not receiving proper amenities and this Bill provided ownership rights to those living in these colonies. It would facilitate access to institutional credit and also improve the basic amenities.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Articles 239A vs 239AA.
  2. Powers of Delhi Government vs LG.
  3. How administration of Delhi is different from administration of other states having a legislature?
  4. When did Delhi get a legislature?
  5. How is Delhi LG appointed?
  6. Key features of the new Bill.

Mains Link:

Write a note on the Constitution (Sixty-ninth Amendment) Act, 1991.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Issues related to Health.

Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Nidhi:


Context:

Union Cabinet has approved the creation of Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Nidhi (PMSSN).

About the fund:

  • It will be a single non-lapsable reserve fund for share of Health from the proceeds of Health and Education Cess.
  • The accruals into the PMSSN will be utilised for the flagship schemes of the Health Ministry including Ayushmann Bharat–Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) and National Health Mission and Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) and also disaster preparedness, and responses during health emergencies.
  • In any financial year, the expenditure on such schemes of the Health Ministry would be initially incurred from the PMSSN and thereafter, from Gross Budgetary Support (GBS).

Significance:

The major benefit will be enhanced access to universal and affordable health care through availability of earmarked resources, while ensuring that the amount does not lapse at the end of financial year.

Sources: PIB.

 

Topics Covered: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

What does Biden’s peace plan mean for Afghanistan?


Context:

The Joe Biden administration has proposed a new peace plan to the Afghan government and the Taliban, seeking to bring violence to a halt.

What’s there in the American proposal?

  1. It has proposed a UN-led conference of representatives of Russia, China, Pakistan, Iran, India and the U.S. “to discuss a unified approach to support peace in Afghanistan”.
  2. It seeks to accelerate talks between the Afghan leadership and the Taliban.
  3. It urges both sides to reach a consensus on Afghanistan’s future constitutional and governing arrangements; find a road map to a new “inclusive government”; and agree on the terms of a “permanent and comprehensive ceasefire”.

Need for intervention:

According to the agreement the U.S. signed with the Taliban in February 2020, American troops are set to leave Afghanistan by May 1. The Taliban and the Afghan government started peace talks in Doha in September last year but reached no breakthrough.

  • The Biden administration is concerned about the slow pace of the talks. The U.S. assessment is that if American troops are pulled out of Afghanistan, the Taliban would make quick gains.
  • Besides, Taliban have already taken over much of the country’s hinterlands and are breathing down the neck of its cities.

India’s position on Taliban:

For New Delhi, which has protested being left out of regional formulations in the past both in the original Moscow process, and in the United Nation’s April 2020 “6+2+1” that included Afghanistan’s “immediate neighbours” only, the U.S.’s suggestion is a relief.

  • Previously, India refused to recognise the Taliban regime of 1996-2001 and rather supported the ‘Northern Alliance’ in fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan.
  • India has long held the position of dealing only with the elected government in Kabul, and has always considered the Taliban a terrorist organisation backed by Pakistan.
  • India supports an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled peace process.

Need for reconsideration:

India’s refusal to engage with Taliban will give Pakistan a free hand to use it as a proxy in India’s internal matters.

  • Given India’s regional and global positions, it is appropriate for India to engage with all the key players in Afghanistan, not only in terms of the government but also in terms of political forces, society and the Afghan body politics.
  • India’s position on non-engagement with Taliban has reduced its role in international diplomatic efforts.

Way ahead for India:

India should now upgrade its channels of communication with the Taliban.

  • India’s engagement should be conditional on Taliban joining the mainstream politics.
  • India should not give legitimacy to a government in exile (Taliban’s political office is based in Doha) in its own neighbourhood.

Sources: the Hindu.

 


GS Paper  :  3


 

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.

Telecom licensing conditions amended:


Context:

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has amended licensing conditions for telecom companies.

Highlights:

  1. The norms include defence and national security as parameters in purchase of telecom equipment for trusted sources.
  2. Starting June 15, telcos can use telecom products only from trusted sources in its network.
  3. Telcos must take permission from the designated authority if they plan to upgrade their existing network using telecom equipment that has not been designated as trusted product.
  4. National Cyber Security Coordinator has been made the designated authority for deciding on the list of trusted and non-trusted telecom equipment source and products.
  5. NCSC’s decisions will be made based on approval of a committee headed by the deputy National Security Advisor (NSA). The committee will also have members from other departments and ministries, and independent experts as well as two members from the industry.

Impact on Chinese companies:

The move could potentially make it more difficult for Chinese telecom equipment vendors like Huawei and ZTE to supply equipment to Indian telecom players in the future.

National Cyber Security Coordinator:

  • In 2014, the Prime Minister’s Office created the position of the National Cyber Security Coordinator.
  • The NCSC office coordinates with different agencies at the national level for cyber security matters.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C).
  2. National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC).
  3. CERT- In.
  4. Cyber Swachhta Kendras.
  5. About NCSC.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Internal security related issues.

Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995:


Context:

The Karnataka High Court has ordered issue of notices to the Centre and the State government and 70 media platforms, including newspapers, on a petition seeking a direction to the authorities to take steps to safeguard the right to privacy of individuals and ensure that media outlets don’t invade the privacy of individuals by breaching law.

What has the Court said?

Any broadcast in the media, governed by the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995, should be strictly in conformity with the terms of “Programme Code” defined under this Act.

  • The media platforms also include TV channels, online news portals, news agencies, social networking and micro-blogging service providers, such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

About the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995:

  • The law prescribes imprisonment up to two years or fine up to ₹1,000 or both for the first offence, and imprisonment up to five years and with fine up to ₹5,000 if any media governed under the CTN Act violates the provisions and the “Programme Code”.
  • The code, which contains an elaborate list of don’ts for cable TV channels, states that no programme should be aired that contains anything obscene, defamatory, false, and suggests innuendos and half-truths.

Challenges in implementation of the law:

Section 20 of the Cable TV Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995, states that the government can regulate or prohibit the transmission or retransmission of any programme that it feels is not in conformity with the Programme and Advertising Code, which oversees television content in India.

  • However, there is no body to pre-certify content for TV. The Electronic Media Monitoring Centre (EMMC), under the I&B Ministry, monitors the content telecast on private TV channels to check if they adhere to the Programme and Advertising Code.
  • Specific complaints on code violations are looked into by an inter-ministerial committee (IMC).

Role of tv channels:

As per Rule 6 of the Cable TV Network Rules, it is also the responsibility of the channel to ensure its programmes are not violative of the programme code.

  • Sub-section ‘c’ of Rule 6 specifically mentions that programmes that contain attacks on religions or communities or visuals or words contemptuous of religious groups or which promote communal attitudes should not be carried in the cable service.

Need for these measures:

Airing of sensitive video footages may be a total disregard to a person’s right to privacy under Article 21 of the Constitution”.

With private lives of the citizens being splattered over the media be it through social networking sites or spy cameras, protection is needed so that citizens can function in a way they want to and not think of others before their actions.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

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.

Delhi HC seeks response on petition against new IT Rules:


Context:

The Delhi High Court has sought a response from the Centre on a petition challenging the new IT (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, claiming it seeks to regulate online news portals by imposing government oversight and a vaguely worded ‘Code of Ethics’.

What’s the issue?

The new IT Rules laid down a separate ‘Code of Ethics’ for the two kinds of publishers — publishers of news and current affairs content, and publishers of online curated content.

  • However, the parent (IT) Act does not recognise digital news media as a separate category of entities and does not seek to subject them or their content to any set of special regulations.
  • The content to be regulated by the parent Act, as offences, was limited to sexually explicit material, child pornography, showing private parts of individuals, cyber terrorism, etc. to be prosecuted and tried by normal courts.

Concerns:

It said the new IT Rules had “profound and serious harms for digital news media” and was destructive of their rights.

  • The new rules violated Article 19(1)(a) (freedom of speech and expression).
  • It also deprived the intermediaries of their “safe-harbour protections” under Section 79 of the IT Act.

Background:

The IT Rules, 2021, introduced two distinct sets of regulations — one, due diligence norms to be followed by ‘intermediaries’ and two, ‘Code of Ethics’ ought to be adhered to by ‘publishers’, along with a three-tier compliance mechanism.

Sources: the Hindu.

 


Facts for Prelims:


Country’s biggest floating solar power plant:

The country’s biggest floating solar power plant till date, by generation capacity, is being developed by the NTPC in the reservoir of its thermal plant at Ramagundam in Peddapalli district, Telangana.

It is set to be commissioned by May-June next.

Generation Capacity:  100 megawatts.

INS Karanj:

  • It is the third Scorpene class conventional diesel-electric submarine.
  • It was inducted into Indian Navy recently.


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