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 1:
1. Sabarmati Ashram revamp.
GS Paper 2:
1. How are Rajya Sabha members punished for misconduct in the House?
2. Plea seeks internal polls in parties.
3. Centre proposes stricter regulations for CWC.
4. Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA).
5. Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).
Facts for Prelims:
1. China to build military base in Tajikistan.
2. World Gold Council.
3. Facebook changes parent company name to ‘Meta’.
GS Paper 1:
Topics Covered: The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.
Mahatma Gandhi’s great-grandson Tushar Gandhi has moved the Gujarat High Court against the Gujarat government’s ₹1,200-crore plan to redevelop Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad.
Issues with the project:
The redevelopment plan involves extending its area from five to 55 acres by relocating residents to nearby areas.
- Tusha Gandhi says, this plan is diametrically opposed to the personal wishes of Mahatma Gandhi.
- The project would lead to the reduction of the shrine and memorial of the freedom movement and turning the ashram into a commercial tourist attraction spot.
How does the government defend its move?
- The Gujarat government has maintained that it would not change or alter any building on the ashram campus. All heritage buildings would be restored as per Gandhian ethos.
- The government has also maintained that the proposal to redevelop the ashram was not aimed at a takeover but to redevelop it by expanding the areas and creating a minimum infrastructure.
About Sabarmati Ashram:
Mahatma Gandhi set up the ashram and lived there from 1917 to 1930.
- It was from his base here that Gandhi led the Dandi march also known as the Salt Satyagraha on 12 March 1930.
- Originally called the Satyagraha Ashram, reflecting the movement toward passive resistance launched by the Mahatma, the Ashram became home to the ideology that set India free.
Its role in freedom struggle:
- Experiments in living. farming, animal husbandry, cow breeding, Khadi and related constructive activities. For Gandhi freedom did not just mean no British rule, but freedom from social evils and freedom to live a satyagrahi lifestyle. He developed those in Sabarmati.
- Idea of Dignity in Labour: Intrinsic to the independence movement was upliftment of the masses. Campaigns for cleanliness became a part of the Gandhian idea of a new India and In Sabarmati Ashram both Gandhi Ji and Kasturbaji cleaned the Ashram themselves.
- Schools: While at the Ashram, Gandhi formed a school that focused on manual labour, agriculture, and literacy to advance his efforts for self-sufficiency. During the freedom struggle many Indian schools were opened as an alternate to British schools.
- Dandi March: From the Ashram, on 12 March 1930, Gandhi launched the famous Dandi march (with 78 companions) in protest of the British Salt Law.
- Home to leaders: Vinoba Bhave lived here as did Miraben.
Ashram’s relevance today:
The Ashram reminds us to be hopeful and optimistic. It tells us to not thwart the vision of the Mahatma even in the face of immense adversity. The Ashram embodies the true memory of Gandhi, his pure truth and his utmost humility as his way of life.
- The Ashram still personifies the ideals of truth and humility of a man who once lived there and lived for a nation and died for a nation. A man who wanted these high ideals to be held high always by a nation so great as India.
Did you know that on his return from South Africa, Gandhi’s first Ashram in India was established in the Kochrab area of Ahmedabad on 25 May 1915?
- About the Ashram.
- Its relevance today.
- Key events associated with the Ashram.
- Gandhi’s stay at the Ashram.
Comment on the role played by Sabarmati Ashram in India’s struggle for Independence and its significance today.
Sources: the Hindu.
GS Paper 2
Topics Covered: Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.
More than two months after eight Ministers, at a joint press conference, accused the Opposition of assaulting security officials on the last day of the monsoon session of Parliament, there has been no disciplinary action against anyone.
What’s the issue?
On August 11, during the passage of the contentious Insurance Bill, which 22 Opposition parties had demanded be sent to a select committee for further scrutiny, there was a physical tussle between the Opposition members and the security staff.
- The very next day, the eight Ministers accused the Opposition of “bringing anarchy from the streets to Parliament”.
- The Rajya Sabha Secretariat has already completed its internal examination and studied the precedents of action taken in similar cases.
Basis for punishment:
Chairman has the power to conduct smooth proceedings of the house.
If any rules are violated, the Chairman has the power to initiate disciplinary action.
- But the Rules of the House do not empower Parliament to inflict any punishment on its members other than suspension for creating disorder in the House.
Rule 256 of the Rajya Sabha’s Rules of Procedure:
Specifies the acts of misconduct:
- Under this, an MP can be suspended for disregarding the authority of the Chair or wilfully abusing the rules or obstructing the business of the house.
- However, the power to suspend an MP is vested in the house, not the chairman. The chairman only names the member, while the Parliamentary Affairs minister or any other minister moves the motion for suspending the member.
Procedure to be followed for suspension of Rajya Sabha MPs:
- The Chairman may “name a Member who disregards the authority of the Chair or abuses the rules of the Council by persistently and wilfully obstructing” business.
- In such a situation, the House may adopt a motion suspending the Member from the service of the House for a period not exceeding the remainder of the session.
- The House may, however, by another motion, terminate the suspension.
Terms of suspension:
- The maximum period of suspension is for the remainder of the session.
- Suspended members cannot enter the chamber or attend the meetings of the committees.
- He will not be eligible to give notice for discussion or submission.
- He loses the right to get a reply to his questions.
Appointment of the special committee:
- These ad-hoc committees are appointed only to investigate serious misconduct by MPs outside the house.
- These are usually appointed when the misconduct is very severe and the house is deciding to expel the member.
- No special committee is required to go into what happens before the eyes of the presiding officer in the House. As per the rules of the House, they need to be dealt with then and there.
Do you know the differences in powers of Speaker and Chairman of Rajya Sabha with regard to suspension of MPs? Reference: read this.
- Power to suspend MPs vs powers to revoke suspension.
- Difference in procedures followed by Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha in this regard.
- Appeals with regard to election of MPs.
- Rules in this regard.
The solution to unruly behaviour of MPs in Parliament has to be long-term and consistent with democratic values. Comment.
Sources: the Hindu.
GS Paper 2
Topics Covered: Separation of powers.
The Delhi High Court has asked the Election Commission to respond to a petition seeking to formulate and notify a model procedure for internal elections of all political parties.
- The High Court order came on a petition urging the Election Commission to make internal polls mandatory for all parties who wish to register themselves under Section 29-A of the Representation of the People Act.
Need for internal polls in parties:
The EC had in 1996 issued a letter to all recognised national and state political parties as well as registered unrecognised parties stating that various provisions relating to the organisational elections were not being followed by them and called upon them to follow their respective constitutions relating to said elections scrupulously.
Despite this there was a lack of regulatory oversight by the EC of the internal elections in political parties.
Present challenges and Concerns:
- Internal elections of most parties “are often an eyewash for established political families within the said parties to continue to retain power as the top leadership of said party”.
- Lack of transparency and internal democracy in political parties are often reflected in similar non-democratic governance models when said political parties come to power.
A total of 2,598 political parties are registered in the country with their own distinct symbol provided by the commission.
Implications of the move:
The timing of the petition is significant, given the internal turmoil in Congress over affairs in Rajasthan and Punjab, and internal elections deferred due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Know more about the registration of political parties. Reference: read this.
- Registration of Political Parties.
- Recognised vs Unrecognised political parties.
- State vs National parties.
- Benefits for recognised political parties.
- Who is a star campaigner?
- Article 324 of the Indian Constitution.
- Section 29A of RPA 1951.
Discuss the need for intra party elections.
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.
The Ministry of Women and Child Development has proposed the draft amendments to Juvenile Justice Model Rules, 2016.
- This follows the passage of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) (JJ) Amendment Bill, 2021, in Parliament.
As per the proposed amendments:
- Individuals who receive foreign aid in their personal capacity or as members of an organisation will not be eligible for the membership of Child Welfare Committees (CWCs).
- The central adoption agency CARA will be empowered to issue No Objection Certificates (NOC) for adoptions by NRIs and OCIs.
- The District Magistrates have been further empowered under the Act to ensure its smooth implementation, as well as garner synergized efforts in favour of children in distress conditions.
- It means that DMs and ADMs will monitor the functioning of various agencies under the JJ Act in every district- including the Child Welfare Committees, the Juvenile Justice Boards, the District Child Protection Units and the Special Juvenile Protection Units.
- The DM will also carry out background checks of CWC members, who are usually social welfare activists, including educational qualifications, as there is no such provision currently.
- The DMs are also to check possible criminal backgrounds to ensure that no cases of child abuse or child sexual abuse are found against any member before they are appointed.
- The CWCs are also to report regularly to the DMs on their activities in the districts.
- Serious offences will also include offences for which maximum punishment is imprisonment of more than seven years, and minimum punishment is not prescribed or is less than seven years.
- Instead of the court, the District Magistrate (including Additional District Magistrate) will now issue adoption orders.
Child Welfare Committees:
As per the Section 27(1) of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 (JJ Act), Child Welfare Committees (CWCs) are to be constituted by State Government by notification in the Official Gazette for every district, for exercising the powers and to discharge the duties conferred on such Committees in relation to children in need of care and protection under JJ Act, 2015.
Composition of the committees: The Committee shall consist of a Chairperson, and four other members as the State Government may think fit to appoint, of whom atleast one shall be a woman and another, an expert on the matters concerning children.
Eligibility conditions: As per Rule of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Model Rules, 2016 framed under JJ Act, 2015 Chairperson and the members shall be above the age of thirty-five years and shall have a minimum of seven years of experience of working with children in the field of education, health, or welfare activities, or should be a practicing professional with a degree in child psychology or psychiatry or social work or sociology or human development or in the field of law or a retired judicial officer.
The primary responsibility of execution of the Act and Rules lies with the State/UTs.
The Act was introduced and passed in Parliament in 2015 to replace the Juvenile Delinquency Law and the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children Act) 2000.
- It allowed the trial of juveniles in conflict with law in the age group of 16-18 years as adults, in cases where the crimes were to be determined.
- The nature of the crime, and whether the juvenile should be tried as a minor or a child, was to be determined by a Juvenile Justice Board.
- It received impetus after the 2012 Delhi gangrape in which one of the accused was just short of 18 years, and was therefore tried as a juvenile.
- The Act streamlined adoption procedures for orphans, abandoned and surrendered children and the existing Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) has been given the status of a statutory body to enable it to perform its function more effectively.
Do you know about “The Beijing Rules”? Read Here ( Know only in brief )
- About CARA.
- About Juvenile Justice Boards.
- Provisions of the 2015 Juvenile Justice Act.
- Recent Amendments.
- What are Child Welfare Committed.
Discuss the need for reforms in Juvenile Justice Act of 2015.
Sources: the Hindu.
GS Paper 2
Topics Covered: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
India and the European Union (EU) are set to resume negotiations for a Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) by December.
- Negotiators are still “quite far apart” due to what Europe perceives as India’s “protectionist stance”.
- Besides, Make in India programme has been accelerated by the COVID-19 crisis and recent pronouncements that India wants to go ‘Self reliant’ has added to the situation.
India- EU trade:
- Trade with India formed under 3% of the E.U.’s global trade, which is “far below” what was expected of the relationship.
- Conversely, the E.U. is India’s largest trading partner and investor, and accounts for 11% of India’s global trade.
- In June 2007, India and the EU began negotiations on a broad-based Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) in Brussels, Belgium.
- These negotiations are pursuant to the commitment made by political leaders at the 7th India-EU Summit held in Helsinki on 13th October 2006 to move towards negotiations for a broad-based trade and investment agreement on the basis of the report of India-EU High Level Technical Group.
- India and the EU expect to promote bilateral trade by removing barriers to trade in goods and services and investment across all sectors of the economy.
- Both parties believe that a comprehensive and ambitious agreement that is consistent with WTO rules and principles would open new markets and would expand opportunities for Indian and EU businesses.
What’s the issue now?
Negotiations have been languishing since 2013 when the talks collapsed over certain demands from the EU such as greater market access for automobiles, wine and spirits, and further opening up of the financial services sector such as banking, insurance and e-commerce.
- The EU also wanted labour, environment and government procurement to be included in the talks.
India’s demand for easier work visa and study visa norms as well as data secure status, that would make it easier for European companies to outsource business to India, were also not received enthusiastically by the EU countries.
- BTIA- overview.
- What is Brexit?
- EU vs Eurozone.
- South Asia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA).
- India-ASEAN Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA).
- India-Korea Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).
Sources: the Hindu.
GS Paper 2
Topics Covered: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
Key lawmakers continue to voice their support for a sanctions waiver for India for its purchase of the S-400 missile defence system from Russia.
What’s the issue?
India is likely to begin taking delivery of the S-400 in November, potentially activating U.S. sanctions under a 2017 law, Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).
What is CAATSA, and how did the S-400 deal fall foul of this Act?
- Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA)‘s core objective is to counter Iran, Russia and North Korea through punitive measures.
- Enacted in 2017.
- Includes sanctions against countries that engage in significant transactions with Russia’s defence and intelligence sectors.
What sanctions will be imposed?
- prohibition on loans to the sanctioned person.
- prohibition of Export-Import bank assistance for exports to sanctioned persons.
- prohibition on procurement by United States Government to procure goods or services from the sanctioned person.
- denial of visas to persons closely associated with the sanctioned person.
The S-400 Triumf is a mobile, surface-to-air missile system (SAM) designed by Russia.
- It is the most dangerous operationally deployed modern long-range SAM (MLR SAM) in the world, considered much ahead of the US-developed Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system (THAAD).
Do you know about the foundational agreements? There are three agreements called foundational agreements. Reference: read this.
- CAATSA is associated with?
- Powers of US president under CAATSA.
- Types of sanctions that can be imposed.
- Significant defence deals between India and Russia.
- Overview of Iran Nuclear deal.
Discuss the features and significance of CAATSA.
Sources: the Hindu.
Facts for Prelims:
China to build military base in Tajikistan:
- China will take full control of a military base in Tajikistan near the Afghan border that it has been quietly operating and will also build a new base for the Tajik Government.
- The new base would be owned by Tajikistan’s Rapid Reaction Group or special forces, and financed by China for a cost of $10 million.
- It will be located in the eastern Gorno-Badakhshan autonomous province near the Pamir mountains, and Chinese troops will not be stationed there.
- Russia and India are among countries that already have a military presence in bases in Tajikistan.
- The base, once full control has been transferred, will become only the second known overseas Chinese security facility, after Djibouti near the Horn of Africa.
World Gold Council:
- It is the market development organisation for the gold industry.
- It works across all parts of the industry, from gold mining to investment, and their aim is to stimulate and sustain demand for gold.
- It is an association whose members comprise the world’s leading gold mining companies.
- It helps to support its members to mine in a responsible way and developed the Conflict Free Gold Standard.
- Headquartered in the UK, they have offices in India, China, Singapore, Japan and the United States.
Facebook changes parent company name to ‘Meta’:
- The parent company’s name is being changed to “Meta” to represent a future beyond just its troubled social network.
- Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp will keep their names under the rebranding.
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