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:
1. How does the Election Commission decide on party symbols?
2. Inner Line Permits.
3. Jal Jeevan Mission.
4. China-Taiwan relations.
5. UN Security Council.
GS Paper 3:
1. The Draft Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Amendment Rules, 2021.
Facts for Prelims:
1. National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
2. International Coffee Day 2021.
3. Gaming Disorder.
4. Brahmaputra heritage centre.
GS Paper 2:
Topics Covered: Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.
The Election Commission of India (ECI) has frozen the ‘Bungalow’ election symbol of the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), so that neither of the two factions of the party will be able to use it in the coming Assembly byelections for the Kusheshwar Asthan and Tarapur seats in Bihar.
This is not something new. Over the last few years, two other prominent cases of parties splitting, followed by a tussle over the election symbol, have been seen with regard to the Samajwadi Party (Cycle) and the AIADMK (Two leaves) in 2017.
As per the guidelines, to get a symbol allotted:
- A party/candidate has to provide a list of three symbols from the EC’s free symbols list at the time of filing nomination papers.
- Among them, one symbol is allotted to the party/candidate on a first-come-first-serve basis.
- When a recognised political party splits, the Election Commission takes the decision on assigning the symbol.
Powers of Election Commission:
The Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968 empowers the EC to recognise political parties and allot symbols.
- Under Paragraph 15 of the Order, it can decide disputes among rival groups or sections of a recognised political party staking claim to its name and symbol.
- The EC is also the only authority to decide issues on a dispute or a merger. The Supreme Court upheld its validity in Sadiq Ali and another vs. ECI in 1971.
How many types of symbols are there?
As per the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) (Amendment) Order, 2017, party symbols are either:
- Reserved: Eight national parties and 64 state parties across the country have “reserved” symbols.
- Free: The Election Commission also has a pool of nearly 200 “free” symbols that are allotted to the thousands of unrecognised regional parties that pop up before elections.
What are the Election Commission’s powers in a dispute over the election symbol when a party splits?
On the question of a split in a political party outside the legislature, Para 15 of the Symbols Order, 1968, states: “When the Commission is satisfied that there are rival sections or groups of a recognised political party each of whom claims to be that party the Commission may decide that one such rival section or group or none of such rival sections or groups is that recognised political party and the decision of the Commission shall be binding on all such rival sections or groups.”
- This applies to disputes in recognised national and state parties (like the LJP, in this case). For splits in registered but unrecognised parties, the EC usually advises the warring factions to resolve their differences internally or to approach the court.
Please note that before 1968, the EC issued notifications and executive orders under the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961.
Do you know the differences between a recognised National Political Party and a State Political Party? Reference: read this.
- Recognition of political parties.
- What are state parties and national parties?
- Benefits for recognized parties.
- Who assigns party symbols? What are the types?
- Who decides on issues related to merger of political parties?
- Article 226 is related to?
Discuss how are symbols allotted to political parties?
Sources: the Hindu.
GS Paper 2:
Topics Covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
In a bid to reopen the tourism sector, the Arunachal Pradesh government has decided to withdraw suspension on issuing ILP and Protected Area Permit to travellers as the COVID-19 situation in the northeastern State is “under control”.
It is a document required by non- natives to visit or stay in a state that is protected under the ILP system.
At present, four Northeastern states are covered, namely, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur and Nagaland. Inner line permit is also mandatory for entering into Lakshadweep.
- Both the duration of stay and the areas allowed to be accessed for any non native are determined by the ILP.
- The ILP is issued by the concerned state government and can be availed both by applying online or in person.
An ILP is only valid for domestic tourists.
The Inner Line Permit is an extension of the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act 1873.
After the British occupied the Northeast, the colonisers started exploiting the region and its resources for economic benefits.
- They first started tea plantations and oil industries in Brahmaputra Valley.
- The indigenous tribes living in the hill areas would regularly conduct raids into the plains to loot and plunder, marauding the tea gardens, oil rigs and trading posts set up by the British East India Company.
- It was in this context that the BEFR 1873 was promulgated.
Do you know the differences between an ILP and a Protected Area Permit (PAP)? Reference
Prelims link: Since ILP is frequently in News, concentrate on:
- Map based questions involving North- Eastern states.
- NE state and their international neighbours.
Analyse the issue of imposition of the ILP system in India’s northeastern states and the dilemma this system has posed to the Indian government.
Sources: the Hindu.
GS Paper 2:
Topics Covered: Conservation related issues.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a newly designed Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) mobile application on October 2, 2021, Gandhi Jayanti.
- The app would enable anyone to fund provision of tap water in rural parts of India.
About the Jal Jeevan Mission:
JJM envisages supply of 55 litres of water per person per day to every rural household through Functional Household Tap Connections (FHTC) by 2024.
It is under the Ministry of Jal Shakti.
- It was launched in 2019.
The mission ensures:
- Functionality of existing water supply systems and water connections.
- Water quality monitoring and testing as well as sustainable agriculture.
- Conjunctive use of conserved water.
- Drinking water source augmentation.
- Drinking water supply system, grey water treatment and its reuse.
It also encompasses:
- Prioritizing provision of FHTCs in quality affected areas, villages in drought prone and desert areas, Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY) villages, etc.
- Providing functional tap connection to Schools, Anganwadi centres, Gram Panchayat buildings, Health centres, wellness centres and community buildings.
- Technological interventions for removal of contaminants where water quality is an issue.
- The Mission is based on a community approach to water and includes extensive Information, Education and Communication as a key component of the mission.
- JJM looks to create a jan andolan for water, thereby making it everyone’s priority.
- The fund sharing pattern between the Centre and states is 90:10 for Himalayan and North-Eastern States, 50:50 for other states, and 100% for Union Territories.
As on date, tap water supply has been provided in 772,000 (76 per cent) schools and 748,000 (67.5 per cent) anganwadi centres.
Did you know that the JJM is managed by paani samitis to plan, implement, manage, operate and maintain village water supply systems? Reference: read this.
- Mission goal.
- Fund allocation.
Discuss the significance of the mission.
Sources: the Hindu.
GS Paper 2:
Topics Covered: India and its neighbourhood- relations.
Taiwan recently reported that 38 Chinese military jets flew into its defence air zone, claiming it as one of the biggest incursions by Beijing.
Recent clashes between China and Taiwan:
- China has increased diplomatic, economic and military pressure on Taiwan, whose residents overwhelmingly reject Beijing’s demand for political unification with the mainland.
- China has long blocked Taiwan from taking part in the UN and other international organizations and has stepped up such pressure since the election of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen in 2016.
Beijing considers Taiwan a province of China. Taiwan, on the other hand, considers itself to be a sovereign state. Relations between the two have historically been sour because of issues such as sovereignty, foreign relations and military build-up.
China has claimed Taiwan through its “one China” policy since the Chinese civil war forced the defeated Kuomintang, or Nationalist, to flee to the island in 1949 and has vowed to bring it under Beijing’s rule, by force if necessary.
- While Taiwan is self-governed and de facto independent, it has never formally declared independence from the mainland.
- Under the “one country, two systems” formula, Taiwan would have the right to run its own affairs; a similar arrangement is used in Hong Kong.
Presently, Taiwan is claimed by China, which refuses diplomatic relations with countries that recognise the region.
Indo- Taiwan relations:
- Although they do not have formal diplomatic ties, Taiwan and India have been cooperating in various fields.
- India has refused to endorse the “one-China” policy since 2010.
Which all regions are administered by China under the “one country, two systems” formula? Reference
- Location of Taiwan and its historical background.
- Regions being administered by China under One China policy.
- Is Taiwan represented at WHO and the United Nations?
- Countries in the South China Sea.
- Qing dynasty.
Write a note on India- Taiwan bilateral relations.
Sources: Indian Express.
GS Paper 2
Topics Covered: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.
North Korea has warned the UN Security Council against criticising the isolated country’s missile programme.
What’s the issue?
- North Korea has warned the UNSC about the consequences it will bring in the future in case it tries to encroach upon the sovereignty of North Korea.
- It has accused the UN body of a “double-dealing standard” because it doesn’t equally take issue with similar weapons tests by the U.S. and its allies.
After a six-month hiatus, North Korea resumed missile tests in September, launching newly developed missiles, including nuclear-capable weapons that place South Korea and Japan within their striking distances.
Under multiple UN Security Council resolutions, North Korea is banned from engaging in any ballistic missile activities as the country aims to mount nuclear weapons on its ballistic missiles.
- The United Nations Charter established six main organs of the United Nations, including the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
- The Security Council has the power to make decisions that member states are then obligated to implement under the Charter.
- Permanent and Non-Permanent Members: The UNSC is composed of 15 members, 5 permanent and 10 non-permanent.
- Each year, the General Assembly elects five non-permanent members for a two-year term.
About Security Council Presidency:
- The presidency of the Council is held by each of the members in turn for one month, following the English alphabetical order of the Member States names.
- It rotates among the 15 member-states of the council monthly.
- The head of the country’s delegation is known as the President of the United Nations Security Council.
- The president serves to coordinate actions of the council, decide policy disputes, and sometimes functions as a diplomat or intermediary between conflicting groups.
Proposed UNSC reforms:
Reform of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) encompasses five key issues: categories of membership, the question of the veto held by the five permanent members, regional representation, the size of an enlarged Council and its working methods, and the Security Council-General Assembly relationship.
Case for Permanent Membership of India in UNSC:
- India is the founding member of the UN.
- Most significantly, India has almost twice the number of peacekeepers deployed on the ground than by P5 countries.
- India is also the largest democracy and second-most populous country.
- India’s acquired status of a Nuclear Weapons State (NWS) in May 1998 also makes India a natural claimant as a permanent member similar to the existing permanent members who are all Nuclear Weapon States.
- India is the undisputed leader of the Third world countries, as reflected by its leadership role in Non-Aligned Movement and G-77 grouping.
Have you heard about the “coffee club”, which is an informal grouping comprising 40-odd members? What are its objectives? Reference
Did you know that India had assumed the rotating Presidency of the United Nations Security Council for the month of August?
- This is India’s tenth tenure.
- This is also India’s first presidency in the UNSC during its 2021-22 tenure as a non-permanent member of the UNSC.
- About UNSC.
- About the UNSC Presidency.
- About the UN Charter.
Discuss the need for reforms in UNSC.
Sources: the Hindu.
GS Paper 3
Topics Covered: Infrastructure- energy.
The Draft Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Amendment Rules, 2021 were recently published September 30, 2021.
- Please note that the draft amendment introduces some key additions and revisions to the Electricity (Rights of Consumer) Rules, 2020.
Overview of the new rules:
- Distribution licencees should ensure 24×7 uninterrupted power supply to all consumers so that there is no requirement of running Diesel Generating (DG) sets.
- The electricity regulatory commission could consider a separate reliability charge for the distribution company, if it required funds for investment in infrastructure.
- The state electricity regulatory commission should also make a provision of penalty in case the standards laid down are not met by the distribution company.
These rules serve to “empower” consumers with rights that would allow them to access continuous supply of quality, reliable electricity.
The following areas are covered under the rules:
- Rights of consumers and Obligations of Distribution licensees;
- release of new connection and modification in existing connection;
- metering arrangement;
- billing and payment;
- disconnection and reconnection;
- reliability of supply;
- consumer as ‘prosumer’;
- standards of performance of licensee;
- compensation mechanism;
- call centre for consumer services;
- grievance redressal mechanism.
- States will have to implement these rules and discoms will be held more accountable for issues like delays in providing and renewing connections of electricity.
- They are also obligated to provide round-the-clock electricity to consumers, as per the Ministry of Power.
- To ensure compliance, the government will apply penalties that will be credited to the consumer’s account.
- There are certain exceptions to these rules, especially where use for agricultural purposes is concerned.
Electricity is a Concurrent List (Seventh Schedule) subject and the central government has the authority and the power to make laws on it.
- Electricity under 7th schedule.
- Subjects under seventh Schedule.
- What happens when a State’s law is in conflict with Centre’s law.
Discuss the significance of the rules.
Sources: down to earth.
Facts for Prelims:
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation:
Canada marked its first ever National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30 to honour the lost children and survivors of the country’s indigenous residential schools, their families and communities.
- The aim of the holiday is to educate and remind the citizens of the history of indigenous children and remember their suffering.
- All citizens were encouraged to wear the colour orange to highlight how indigenous children were robbed of their culture and freedoms.
How did the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation holiday come into being?
Earlier this year, hundreds of unmarked burial sites of indigenous students, belonging to 215 children of the Kamloops Indian Residential school from Canada’s British Columbia were discovered. This caused a national outrage in the country and prompted Indigenous groups to call for a nationwide search for such mass graves.
- Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) had after this concluded that such Residential Schools were “a systematic, government- sponsored attempt to destroy Aboriginal cultures and languages and to assimilate Aboriginal peoples so that they no longer existed as distinct peoples.” It further equated the operation and aim of such schools to a “cultural genocide.”
Later, calls to action to honour the lost lives were delivered. Then, the Canadian Parliament legally approved this federal holiday.
International Coffee Day 2021:
Celebrated on October 1.
Objective: To identify the plight of the farmers of coffee beans and expressing our love for the aromatic drink.
First initiated in Japan, it was officially declared as International Coffee Day in 2015.
Significance of the day: International Coffee Organisation, set up in 1963 in London, first declared International Coffee day on October 1, 2015. Since then, this day is celebrated all over the world.
Gaming disorder is defined in the 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) as a pattern of gaming behavior (“digital-gaming” or “video-gaming”) characterized by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.
WHO released the 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) in mid-2018.
What is ICD?
The International Classification of Diseases (ICD) is the basis for identification of health trends and statistics globally and the international standard for reporting diseases and health conditions.
- It is used by medical practitioners around the world to diagnose conditions and by researchers to categorize conditions.
- The inclusion of a disorder in ICD is a consideration which countries take into account when planning public health strategies and monitoring trends of disorders.
Brahmaputra heritage centre:
The Brahmaputra River Heritage Centre has been set up in a nearly 150-year-old bungalow in Guwahati, Assam.
The bungalow used to be the 17th century military office of the Ahom rulers.
It was called Barphukanar Tila, meaning Barphukan’s Hillock.
- Barpukhan was a post equivalent to Governor General created by Ahom king Pratap Simha or Susengpha (1603-1641).
- The hillock by the Brahmaputra, mentioned in ancient scriptures as Mandrachal, was from where Ahom General Lachit Barpukhan launched the Battle of Saraighat in March 1671 to inflict the most crushing defeat on the Mughals.
- Saraighat is regarded as the “greatest naval battle ever fought in a river”.
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