Comprehensive News Analysis – 20 March 2017

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

POLITY AND CONSTITUTION

1. The heckler’s veto

2. Cabinet approves four GST Bills

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. N. Korea tests powerful rocket engine

2. U.S., China to work together on N. Korea ‘President Trump looks forward to enhancing understanding with Beijing’

C. GS3 Related:

INTERNAL SECURITY

1. Naga blockade in Manipur lifted

D. GS4 Related:
E. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn
F. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS
G. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
H. Archives

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Useful News Articles for UPSC Current Affairs

A. GS1 Related
Nothing here for today!!!


B. GS2 Related 

Category: POLITY AND CONSTITUTION

1. Why is the World Bank keen on resolving Indus divide?

What is heckler’s veto?

  • The heckler’s veto, according to legal scholars, is a process by which socially powerful groups can shut down critical or inconvenient speech by threatening public disorder or disturbance.
  • One of the ways in which the lower courts encourage the heckler’s veto is by granting an ex parte injunction against publication or broadcast of news.
  • For instance, there are about 45 cases of ex parte injunctions against news media organisations in Karnataka alone.

Examples:

  • The plight of artist M.F. Husain and of Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses, the forced exile from writing for Perumal Murugan, and the pulping of the earlier biography of the former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, J. Jayalalithaa, written by Vaasanthi are some of the cases where the threat to freedom of expression came from powerful sections who could use their proximity to administrative power and the lacunae in our judicial systems with a sense of entitlement and impunity.

Upholding freedom of expression

  • There are a number of Supreme Court judgments that have interpreted Article 19 of our Constitution, including the section dealing with ‘reasonable restrictions’, in a manner that upholds the principles of freedom of expression.
  • Basic unity amidst diversity notwithstanding, India is a land of cultural contrarieties, coexistence of many religions and anti-religions, rationalism and bigotry, primitive cults and materialist doctrines.
  • The compulsions of history and geography and the assault of modern science on retreating forces of medieval ways — a mosaic like tapestry of lovely and un-lovely strands — have made large and liberal tolerance of mutual criticism
  • Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, delivered in the F. Husain case a very sobering judgment: “A liberal tolerance of a different point of view causes no damage. It means only a greater self-restraint. Diversity in expression of views whether in writings, paintings or visual media encourages debate. A debate should never be shut out. ‘I am right’ does not necessarily imply ‘You are wrong’. Our culture breeds tolerance — both in thought and in actions.”

Article 19 of Constitution:
19. Protection of certain rights regarding freedom of speech etc

(1) All citizens shall have the right

(a) to freedom of speech and expression;

(b) to assemble peaceably and without arms;

(c) to form associations or unions;

(d) to move freely throughout the territory of India;

(e) to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India; and

(f) omitted

(g) to practise any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business

(2) Nothing in sub clause (a) of clause ( 1 ) shall affect the operation of any existing law, or prevent the State from making any law, in so far as such law imposes reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the right conferred by the said sub clause in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence

(3) Nothing in sub clause (b) of the said clause shall affect the operation of any existing law in so far as it imposes, or prevent the State from making any law imposing, in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India or public order, reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the right conferred by the said sub clause

(4) Nothing in sub clause (c) of the said clause shall affect the operation of any existing law in so far as it imposes, or prevent the State from making any law imposing, in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India or public order or morality, reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the right conferred by the said sub clause

(5) Nothing in sub clauses (d) and (e) of the said clause shall affect the operation of any existing law in so far as it imposes, or prevent the State from making any law imposing, reasonable restrictions on the exercise of any of the rights conferred by the said sub clauses either in the interests of the general public or for the protection of the interests of any Scheduled Tribe

(6) Nothing in sub clause (g) of the said clause shall affect the operation of any existing law in so far as it imposes, or prevent the State from making any law imposing, in the interests of the general public, reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the right conferred by the said sub clause, and, in particular, nothing in the said sub clause shall affect the operation of any existing law in so far as it relates to, or prevent the State from making any law relating to,

(i) the professional or technical qualifications necessary for practising any profession or carrying on any occupation, trade or business, or

(ii) the carrying on by the State, or by a corporation owned or controlled by the State, of any trade, business, industry or service, whether to the exclusion, complete or partial, of citizens or otherwise.

2. Cabinet approves four GST Bills

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the following four GST related bills:

  1. The Central Goods and Services Tax Bill 2017 (The CGST Bill)
  2. The Integrated Goods and Services Tax Bill 2017 (The IGST Bill)
  3. The Union Territory Goods and Services Tax Bill 2017 (The UTGST Bill)
  4. The Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to the States) Bill 2017 (The Compensation Bill)

The above four Bills have been earlier approved by the GST Council after thorough, clause by clause, discussion over 12 meetings of the Council held in the last six months.

The CGST Bill makes provisions for levy and collection of tax on intra-state supply of goods or services for both by the Central Government.

On the other hand, IGST Bill makes provisions for levy and collection of tax on inter-state supply of goods or services or both by the Central Government.

The UTGST Bill makes provisions for levy on collection of tax on intra-UT supply of goods and services in the Union Territories without legislature.

Union Territory GST is akin to States Goods and Services Tax (SGST) which shall be levied and collected by the States/Union Territories on intra-state supply of goods or services or both.

The Compensation Bill provides for compensation to the states for loss of revenue arising on account of implementation of the goods and services tax for a period of five years as per section 18 of the Constitution (One Hundred and First Amendment) Act, 2016.

Background:  

The Government is committed to early introduction of GST, one of the biggest reforms, in the country as early as possible.  GST Council has decided 1st July as the date of commencement of GST.  The Finance Minister in his Budget Speech has mentioned that country-wide outreach efforts will be made to explain the provisions of GST to Trade and Industry.


Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. N. Korea tests powerful rocket engine

Key Points:

North Korea has tested a powerful new rocket engine

Rocket engines are easily re-purposed for use in missiles. Outside observers say that the nuclear-armed Pyongyang’s space programme is a fig leaf for weapons tests.

2 U.S., China to work together on N. Korea ‘President Trump looks forward to enhancing understanding with Beijing’

Why in news?

  • With warm words from Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson ended his first trip to Asia since taking office with an agreement to work together with China on North Korea and putting aside trickier issues.

Key Points:

  • China has been irritated at being repeatedly told by Washington to rein in North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes and the U.S. decision to base an advanced missile defence system in South Korea.
  • Beijing is also deeply suspicious of U.S. intentions towards self-ruled Taiwan, which China claims as its own, with the Trump administration crafting a big new arms package for the island that is bound to anger China. 
 
C. GS3 Related

Category: INTERNAL SECURITY

1. Naga blockade in Manipur lifted

Key Points:

  • The four-month economic blockade in Manipur, imposed by the United Naga Council (UNC), was lifted following the talks it had with the Union and the State governments.
  • The UNC had imposed the blockade in protest against the creation of seven new districts by the then Congress-led government “as it was in contravention to Greater Nagalim” envisaged by the group.
  • Tripartite talks succeeded in addressing the issues and the UNC has agreed to lift the economic blockade.
  • The government of Manipur took note of the grievances of the UNC, including that of them not being consulted while creating the new districts.
  • The government of Manipur will unconditionally release the arrested UNC leaders and all the cases related to economic blockade against the Naga tribal leaders and students’ leaders will be closed.
 
D. GS4 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

 
E. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn

 
F. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS 
BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGANISATIONS IN NEWS About the Article
   
 
G. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Which of the following are restrictions on the freedom of speech 
and expression as specified in the Indian constitution?
  1. Security of the state
  2. Public Order
  3. Morality
  4. Friendly relations with foreign states
  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1, 2 and 4
  4. All
See
Answer
 
Freedom of speech and expression is not absolute. There are 8 restrictions on the freedom of speech and expression. These are in respect of the sovereignty and integrity of the country. These restrictions are: Security of the state Friendly relations with foreign states Public Order Decency or morality Contempt of Court Defamation Incitement to offence Sovereignty and integrity of India.
Question 2: ‘Consider the following statements
  1. GST is a uniform indirect tax levied on goods and services across a country.
  2. Alcohol for human consumption has been exempted from the purview of GST.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. None
See
Answer
Question 3: Which of the below statements about GST is/are incorrect?

1. The CGST (Central GST) Bill makes provisions for levy and collection of tax on intra-state supply of goods or services for both by the Central Government.
2. The UTGST (UT GST) Bill makes provisions for levy on collection of tax on intra-UT supply of goods and services in the Union Territories without legislature.

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both
  4. None
See
Answer

 

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