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. Election of Speaker.
2. Executive shows a trend to disrespect court orders.
3. Production Linked Scheme for Textiles.
4. Steps to monitor illegal liquor manufacturing in Bihar.
GS Paper 3:
1. RBI wants full ban on crypto, legal experts say it is too late.
2. GI tags.
Facts for Prelims:
1. New vaccines approved.
2. Centre declares Soya Meal as an Essential Commodity.
3. J&K real estate open to all.
GS Paper 2:
Topics Covered: Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.
Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government are locked in a tussle over the election of the Speaker of the Assembly.
What’s the issue now?
Following the Assembly elections of 2019, Nana Patole of the Congress was elected Speaker of the House. But the post fell vacant in February 2021, after Patole resigned and was subsequently appointed president of the state Congress.
- Thereafter, Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal Sitaram of the NCP conducted the proceedings in the Legislative Assembly. However, the post fell vacant due to internal differences among the parties in the coalition.
- Now, the government wants to hold the election through voice vote instead of a secret ballot (As per the latest amendments). But, the governor has questioned the constitutionality of this decision.
What amendments were made to the Rules last week?
Last week, the government moved a motion in the Assembly seeking amendments to Rules 6 (election of Assembly Speaker) and 7 (election of Deputy Assembly Speaker) by voice vote instead of a secret ballot. The amendments were proposed by the Rules Committee of the legislature.
- The amendments excluded the words “holding of the election” and included the words “to elect the Speaker on the recommendation of the Chief Minister” in Rule 6 of Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Rules.
- The amendments also replaced the provision of election of the Speaker by “secret ballot” with “voice vote”.
The Opposition has argued that the Rules cannot be amended in the absence of the Speaker.
What is the government’s position?
The government has argued that the amendments are in line with the Rules that are in practice in Lok Sabha, the Upper House of the state legislature, and in the Assemblies of a several others states.
- It has also said that the amendments would put an end to horse-trading.
- The government said it was within the powers of the legislature to amend the Rules.
Why is the approval of the Governor required to elect the Speaker of the Assembly?
The date for the Speaker’s election is notified by the Governor.
As per Rule 6 of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Rules, “The Governor shall fix a date for the holding of the election and the Secretary shall send to every member notice of the date so fixed.”
- Therefore, the election of the Speaker can take place only after the Governor fixes the date for it.
So what is the way forward now?
The situation is very odd. While Rule 6 mandates that the Governor should fix the date for the election, the amendment says that the Governor should fix the date on the advice on the CM. It is a conflict between two constitutional entities.
- Sources in the government said it would explore legal options to see whether the election of the Speaker could be held without the consent of the Governor. But the former Secretary of the House said it would be difficult to hold the election.
Know more about Speaker’s roles and functions here.
Did you know that the Constitution does not specify the process of holding these elections? That is left to the state legislatures. It also does not set a timeframe other than to say the elections should be held “as soon as may be”.
- Election of Speaker.
- Grounds for removal.
- Committees he is associated with.
Discuss the roles and functions of the Speaker.
Sources: Indian Express.
GS Paper 2:
Topics Covered: Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.
Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana recently said there is a growing tendency to disregard and even disrespect the Court orders by the executive which is supposed to assist and co-operate for the rule of law to prevail in the nation.
- Highlighting the challenges before the judiciary, the Chief Justice of India said a ‘non-cooperative executive’ is one of the concerns.
Need of the hour:
The executive needs to assist and co-operate for the rule of law to prevail in the nation. Unless the executive and legislation make sincere efforts to fill the judicial vacancies, appoint prosecutors, strengthen infrastructure, and make laws with a clear foresight and stakeholder analysis, the judiciary cannot be held responsible alone.
Significant role played by judiciary in nation-building:
- In the Kesavananda Bharti case, the Court for the first time expounded on its power to review amendments to the constitution.
- It was only through such an exposition that the 39th Amendment Act was struck down in the Indira Gandhi vs. Raj Narain case.
The power of judicial review:
The power of judicial review is often sought to be branded as judicial overreach. Such generalisations are misguided. The Constitution created three co-equal organs, and in this context, the judiciary has been given the role of reviewing the legality of steps taken by the other two organs. If the judiciary does not have the power of judicial review, then the functioning of democracy in this country would be unthinkable.
What are the concerns now?
- There is usually no impact assessment or basic scrutiny of constitutionality before passing of legislation. The minimum that is expected while drafting laws is that they abide by settled Constitutional principles. They must also think of providing effective remedies for issues that may arise out of the law. But these principles seemingly are being ignored. This directly results in the clogging of courts.
- At times, there are also concerted campaigns in print and social media against judges if parties do not get a favourable order.
- Rising number of media trials: New media tools have the enormous amplifying ability but appear to be incapable of distinguishing between right and wrong, good and bad and the real and fake.
Need of the hour:
- There is a requirement for domain expertise in the judiciary. We need judges and lawyers with an understanding of developments across various fields.
- It is necessary to have continued judicial training from technical experts. Legal education needs to keep pace with the times and constantly update their curricula.
- The judiciary needs a tailor-made platform to meet the requirements such as virtual hearings.
What is Judicial Review?
Judicial review is the power of Judiciary to review any act or order of Legislative and Executive wings and to pronounce upon the constitutional validity when challenged by the affected person.
Judicial review present in India:
- The power of Judicial Review comes from the Constitution of India itself (Articles 13, 32, 136, 142 and 147 of the Constitution).
- The power of judicial review is evoked to protect and enforce the fundamental rights guaranteed in Part III of the Constitution.
- Article 13 of the Constitution prohibits the Parliament and the state legislatures from making laws that “may take away or abridge the fundamental rights” guaranteed to the citizens of the country.
- The provisions of Article 13 ensure the protection of the fundamental rights and consider any law “inconsistent with or in derogation of the fundamental rights” as void.
- What is JR?
- Articles 13, 21 and 32.
What is Judicial Review in the Indian Context? Discuss.
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 Textiles has said that it will accept applications from January 1 for the Production Linked Scheme for Textiles announced in September this year.
About the Scheme:
The Government had launched the Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for the textiles sector worth Rs 10,683 crore.
- This is part of a larger PLI scheme for 13 sectors, with a total budgetary outlay of 1.97 lakh crore.
- Any person or company willing to invest a minimum of Rs 300 crore in plant, machinery, equipment and civil works (excluding land and administrative building cost) to produce products of MMF fabrics, garments and products of technical textiles will be eligible to participate in the first part of the scheme.
- Investors willing to spend a minimum of Rs 100 crore under the same conditions shall be eligible to apply in the second part of the scheme.
- Under PLI, the Centre will subsidise eligible manufacturers by paying incentives on incremental production.
- Companies investing over Rs 300 crore in plant, machinery, equipment and civil works to produce the identified products will get an incentive of 15 percent of their turnover, which needs to be Rs 600 crore in the third year.
- The companies investing between Rs 100 crore and Rs 300 crore will also be eligible to receive duty refunds and incentives (lower than 15 percent of their turnover).
- The government expects to achieve “fresh investment of over Rs 19,000 crore and a cumulative turnover of more than Rs 3 lakh crore”.
The PLI scheme will provide an immense boost to domestic manufacturing, and prepare the industry for making a big impact in global markets in sync with the spirit of Atmanirbhar Bharat. It will also help attract more investment into this sector.
Two-thirds of international trade in textiles is of man-made and technical textiles. This scheme has been approved so India can also contribute to the ecosystem of fabrics and garments made of MMF.
Did you know that the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) had, in 2020, approved the setting up of a National Technical Textiles Mission at a total outlay of ₹1,480 Crore. Know details about the scheme here.
- What are technical textiles?
- Production linked incentive scheme- when was it announced?
- Incentives under the scheme is available to?
- What kind of investments will be considered?
- Duration of the scheme.
- Who will implement it?
Discuss the significance of technical textiles.
Sources: the Hindu.
GS Paper 2:
Topics Covered: Government policies and issues arising out of their implementation.
Bihar government has been undertaking various measures to monitor illegal liquor manufacturing in the state. Some of these measures include:
- Usage of drones.
- Appointment of judicial officers as presiding officers in the State’s 74 special courts to hear cases involving the violation of prohibition laws.
- Prohibition and Registration Department, over 3.5 lakh people have been arrested under the law since April 2016. Hundreds of policemen and other officials too have either been suspended or are facing a departmental inquiry.
What are the main grounds raised against prohibition of liquor and in favour of prohibition?
- The right of privacy is violated, which was given voice by the Supreme Court in 2017 in Puttaswamy judgment. The Right is associated with the citizens’ right to eat and drink as per their choice.
- Ground of manifest arbitrariness: The law grants health permits and temporary permits to out-of-state tourists. The petition says there are no intelligible differences in the classes thus being created by the state on who gets to drink and who does not and violates the Right to Equality under Article 14 of the Constitution.
The following arguments indicate that such ban is the need of the hour:
- The Constitution places a responsibility on all state governments to “at least contain, if not curtail, consumption of alcohol” (Article 47).
- Strict state regulation is imperative to discourage regular and excessive consumption of alcohol.
- Alcohol denudes family resources and reserves and leaves women and children as its most vulnerable victims. A social stigma at least as far as the family unit is concerned is still attached to the consumption of alcohol.
- Vulnerable persons, either because of age or proclivity towards intoxication or as a feature of peer pressure, more often than not, succumb to this temptation.
Prohibition in Other States:
Alcohol prohibition is in force in the states of Gujarat, Mizoram, Nagaland and the union territory of Lakshadweep.
Related Constitutional Provisions:
State Subject: Alcohol is a subject in the State list under the seventh schedule of the Indian Constitution.
Article 47: The Directive Principle in the Constitution of India states that “The state shall undertake rules to bring about prohibition of the consumption except for medicinal purposes of intoxicating drinks and of drugs which are injurious to health”.
Do you remember the Doctrine of Reasonable Classification? Read Here(Briefly).
- Key Provisions.
- Other states that have banned sale of alcohol.
Discuss the Concerns associated with Gujarat Prohibition Act, 1949.
Sources: the Hindu.
GS Paper 3:
Topics Covered: IT and related issues.
RBI wants full ban on crypto, legal experts say it is too late:
On Christmas Eve in 2013, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had issued a note cautioning Indians about financial, legal and security risks of cryptocurrency. It came four years after the world’s first cryptocurrency, bitcoin, was launched. Eight years later, the central bank’s opposition to crypto has only become stronger.
- Earlier this month, the RBI told its board that a ‘complete ban’ on crypto was needed as partial restrictions won’t work.
Private cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, which are unregulated, mined through a complex process and have highly volatile prices, are under the regulatory gaze in India despite their proliferation as an asset class.
Present status of Cryptocurrencies in India:
- An inter-ministerial panel on cryptocurrency has recommended that all private cryptocurrencies, except any virtual currencies issued by state, will be prohibited in India.
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has also raised concerns on the cryptocurrencies traded in the market and conveyed them to the Centre.
- Back in March 2020, the Supreme Court had allowed banks and financial institutions to reinstate services related to cryptocurrencies by setting aside the RBI’s 2018 circular that had prohibited them (Based on the ground of “proportionality”).
What are Cryptocurrencies?
Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank.
Examples: Bitcoin, Ethereum etc.
Why is the RBI against the use of cryptocurrencies?
- Sovereign guarantee: Cryptocurrencies pose risks to consumers. They do not have any sovereign guarantee and hence are not legal tender.
- Market volatility: Their speculative nature also makes them highly volatile. For instance, the value of Bitcoin fell from USD 20,000 in December 2017 to USD 3,800 in November 2018.
- Risk in security: A user loses access to their cryptocurrency if they lose their private key (unlike traditional digital banking accounts, this password cannot be reset).
- Malware threats: In some cases, these private keys are stored by technical service providers (cryptocurrency exchanges or wallets), which are prone to malware or hacking.
- Money laundering.
SC Garg Committee recommendations (2019):
- Ban anybody who mines, hold, transact or deal with cryptocurrencies in any form.
- It recommend a jail term of one to 10 years for exchange or trading in digital currency.
- It proposed a monetary penalty of up to three times the loss caused to the exchequer or gains made by the cryptocurrency user whichever is higher.
- However, the panel said that the government should keep an open mind on the potential issuance of cryptocurrencies by the Reserve Bank of India.
Have you heard about the IOTA Tangle? Reference:
- Various cryptocurrencies.
- Cryptocurrencies launched by various countries.
- What is Blockchain technology?
What are Cryptocurrencies? Why there is a need for regulation? Discuss.
Sources: Indian Express.
GS Paper 3:
Topics Covered: IP Related issues.
An application seeking Geographical Indication (GI) tag for the Arunachal Pradesh Apatani textile product has been filed by a firm, Zeet Zeero Producer Company Ltd.
- The Apatani weave comes from the Apatani tribe living at Ziro, the headquarters of Lower Subansiri district.
- The woven fabric of this tribe is known for its geometric and zigzag patterns and for its angular designs.
- The tribe predominantly weaves shawls known as jig-jiro, and jilan or jackets called supuntarii.
- The people use leaves and plant resources for organic dyeing of the cotton yarns in their traditional ways. And only women folk are engaged in weaving.
About GI tag:
A GI is primarily an agricultural, natural or a manufactured product (handicrafts and industrial goods) originating from a definite geographical territory.
- Typically, such a name conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness, which is essentially attributable to the place of its origin.
Once the GI protection is granted, no other producer can misuse the name to market similar products. It also provides comfort to customers about the authenticity of that product.
Who is a registered proprietor of a geographical indication?
- Any association of persons, producers, organisation or authority established by or under the law can be a registered proprietor.
- Their name should be entered in the Register of Geographical Indication as registered proprietor for the Geographical Indication applied for.
How long the registration of Geographical Indication is valid?
- The registration of a geographical indication is valid for a period of 10 years.
- It can be renewed from time to time for further period of 10 years each.
In India, Geographical Indications registration is administered by the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 which came into force with effect from September 2003. The first product in India to be accorded with GI tag was Darjeeling tea in the year 2004-05.
- What is GI tag?
- Who grants?
- GI products in India and their geographical locations.
- Other IPRs.
What is a Geographical Indication (GI) tag? Discuss it’s significance.
Sources: the Hindu.
Facts for Prelims:
New vaccines approved:
India has cleared two more covid vaccines and one pill.
- The two latest vaccines approved by drug regulator CDSCO are Corbevax and Covovax.
- CORBEVAX vaccine is India’s 1st indigenously developed RBD protein sub-unit vaccine against COVID19, Made by Hyderabad-based firm Biological-E.
- The Nanoparticle Vaccine, COVOVAX, will be manufactured by Pune-based firm Serum Institute of India.
- The anti-viral drug approved is Molnupiravir.
With this approval, the number of Covid vaccines which have received emergency use authorisation in the country has increased to eight.
- So far six COVID-19 vaccines — Serum Institute’s Covishield, Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, Zydus Cadila’s ZyCoV-D, Russia’s Sputnik V and the US-made Moderna and Johnson and Johnson — have received emergency use authorisation from the Indian drug regulator.
Centre declares Soya Meal as an Essential Commodity:
In a bid to cool down the domestic prices of Soya Meal, Government has notified order under the Essential Commodities Act to declare ‘Soya Meal’ as Essential Commodities under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955.
- This step is expected to stop any unfair practises (like hoarding, black marketing etc) in the market having the potential to hike the prices of soya meal.
Soybean meal is the most important protein source used to feed farm animals. It is also used for human consumption in some countries. Soybean meal is the by-product of the extraction of soybean oil.
J&K real estate open to all:
The Centre and the Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory governments, at the first ever ‘J&K Real Estate Conference’ held recently in Jammu, have decided to throw open local real estate for “second homes and summer homes” to all the citizens of the country, in a major push to attract investments from real estate bigwigs.
- Under the newly introduced Jammu and Kashmir Development Act, the term ‘being permanent resident of the State’ as a criterion has been ‘omitted’, paving the way for investors outside Jammu and Kashmir to invest in the Union Territory.
- As a result, any citizen of India can buy non-agriculture land in Jammu and Kashmir.
Articles to be covered tomorrow: