Comprehensive News Analysis - 27 February 2017

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. What exactly is a money bill?

2. Ways of sharing

3. Protecting the rights of tribals

4. Need for a credible regulatory body for medical devices

C. GS3 Related:

1. Ministry of UD to push dense urban growth along mass transit corridors for better living experience

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

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Useful News Articles for UPSC Current Affairs

 

A. GS1 Related

Nothing here for today!!!


B. GS2 Related
Topic: Constitution – Article 110; Right to Privacy; Judicial review

Key Points:

  • The writ petition filed, under Article 32, against Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial & Other Subsidies, Benefits & Services) Act, 2016 will get the final hearing by Supreme Court next month. Aadhaar Act was introduced and passed as a Money bill last year and the legality of the procedure was put in to question.
  • Article 110 defines a Money bill as that which, broadly, deals with taxation, government receipts and expenditure, government borrowings, guarantees and any matter incidental to these affairs. But Aadhaar Act has several other provisions, including the creation of a framework for maintaining a central database of biometric information collected from citizens.
  • If any question arises whether a Bill is a Money Bill or not, the decision of the Speaker of the Lok Sabha is deemed final under Article 110 (3). Also, Article 122 prohibits the courts from questioning the validity of proceedings in parliament on the ground of any alleged irregularity of procedure.
  • In Raja Ram pal vs Hon’ble Speaker of Lok Sabha case, SC was of the view that proceedings of the legislature were immune from questioning by courts in the case of procedural irregularity but not in the case of illegality. Though in a more recent judgment in Mohd. Saeed Siddiqui v. State of UP (2014), SC opined that a Speaker’s decision to classify a draft statute as a money Bill, is not judicially reviewable, even if the classification was incorrect.
  • Moreover, infringement of Right to Privacy (implicit under Article 21) of the citizens has been questioned. As Aadhar Act permits the creation of a database of not only biometric information but also various other private data, without so much as bothering about safeguards that need to be installed to ensure their security.
2. Ways of sharing
 Category: International Relations
Topic: India and Its Neighborhood
 

Key Points:

  • India has allowed its border roads in Mizoram and Tripura to be used by Bangladeshi forces, during the meeting of Home Ministry and security officials in Dhaka, working on closer border management cooperation.
  • This came as a step to further abridge the trust deficit between India and Bangladesh, after the landmark Land Boundary Agreement of 2015.
  • In April, during Ms. Hasina’s visit to India, there are speculations about other agreements like defence partnership agreement, movement on the Teesta water-sharing agreement, ganga water barrage project, other energy and connectivity projects.
  • For these agreements to be worked out, Centre has to ring up various stakeholders (affected Indian States) like West Bengal (Teesta water), Bihar (Farakka barrage) etc.
  • Strengthening of relations with neighboring countries like this is the way forward to peaceful co-existence.
Topic: Bilateral investment treaties; Tribal rights

Key Points:

  • Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority (RAKIA), an Emirati investor, initiated an Investment treaty arbitration (ITA) claim against India under the India-UAE Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT), seeking compensation of $44.71 million. This claim arose after a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Andhra Pradesh and RAKIA to supply bauxite to Anrak Aluminum Limited was cancelled, allegedly due to the concerns of the tribal population in those areas.
  • But this threat of ITA against the state may compel it to refrain from implementing tribal rights in the development project area.
  • A recent report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples recognizes three main reasons for the serious impact that foreign investments have on the rights of indigenous people: failure to adequately address human rights issues of tribal people in BITs; the perceived threat of ITA for enforcement of investor protection; and exclusion of indigenous people from the policymaking process.

Legal and Constitutional provisions for Tribal rights

  • The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP), adopted in 2007, for which India voted, recognizes among other things indigenous peoples’ rights to self-determination, autonomy or self-governance, and their right against forcible displacement and relocation from their lands or territories without free, prior and informed consent.
  • International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention concerns Indigenous and Tribal Peoples is based on the “respect for the cultures and ways of life of indigenous peoples” and recognizes their “right to land and natural resources and to define their own priorities for development.”
  • Also, Constitution provides autonomy to tribal areas in matters of governance under the Fifth and Sixth Schedules. Supreme Court opined that the transfer of tribal land to private parties for mining was null and void under the Fifth Schedule.
  • Recognition of Forest Rights Act, 2006 protects the individual and community rights of tribal people in forest areas and their right to free and prior informed consent in event of their displacement and resettlement.
  • But Xaxa Committee report of 2014 highlighted that these legislations are regularly disregarded. Instead of ensuring that tribals are not ousted from the land to which they are historically and culturally connected, the state becomes more concerned about fulfilling contractual obligations towards the private investor.

The way forward

  • Include provisions relating to the protection of indigenous people in BITs.
  • Implementation of domestic legislations for the protection of the rights of tribals, where the state does not consider tribals as impediments in the development process.
  • Tribal people should be given representation even in investment policymaking.
Topic: Governance-Regulatory bodies

Key Points:

  • A regulatory body for credible standards-setting and certifying authority for stents and other medical devices is missing in India which thwarts the full extent of competition possible in stents and other medical devices.
  • A price cap that has been used by National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority on coronary stents is a blunt instrument in a sector that undergoes rapid technological evolution.

What can be done?

  • Institution of stiff, bankruptcy-threatening penalties for ethical violations on hospitals.
  • A market for insuring the risk of such violations.
  • Classification of stents into broad categories based on therapeutic efficacy, accompanied by strict certification of standards.

C. GS3 Related
Topic: Governance-Urban development

Key Points:

  • The Ministry of Urban development has formulated a ‘National Transit Oriented Development Policy’ which will be discussed with the States and Union Territories at a National Workshop on Urban Development.
  • Policy aims to bring better depth of understanding and a viable solution to many of the challenges like haphazard urban growth and sprawl, mobility, rapidly rising private vehicles on roads, pollution, housing choices etc by having co-ordination with the states and UT’s.
  • Transit Oriented Development (TOD) will be incentivized by the Ministry under two more initiatives viz., Metro Policy and Green Urban Mobility Scheme. TOD promotes integration of land use planning with transportation and infrastructure development which will be financed by channelizing a part of increases in property values resulting from investments in transit corridors through Betterment Levies and Value Capture Financing tools.
  • Promotion of Non-motorized Transport Infrastructure for walking and cycling to transport stations, development of street networks in the influence zone of transit corridors, multi-modal integration, effective first and last mile connectivity through feeder services to enable people access public transit in 5 to 10 minutes from home and work places is the goal of the program.
  • City densification will be promoted along mass transit corridors through vertical construction by substantially enhancing FARs (Floor Area Ratio).
  • Focus on Increased private sector participation will result in economic development and employment generation.
  • Mixed neighborhood development in the form of a range of housing choices including affordable housing and ensuring spaces for street vendors is the plan of implementation.
D. GS4 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance

G. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS

Bills/Acts/Schemes/Organisations In News Links to Refer
National Transit Oriented Development Policy Official Site
H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Which authority sets the price caps on medical devices in
India?

(a) National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority
b) National Medical Regulatory Authority
c) Medical council of India
d) Drug Regulatory Authority

Question 2: Consider the following statements:

1] Autonomy to tribal areas in matters of governance is provided under the Fifth Schedule only.
2] Tribal people have right to free and prior informed consent in event of their displacement and resettlement.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?
a) Both 1 and 2
b) Neither 1 nor 2
c) 1 Only
d) 2 Only
Question 3: Consider the following statements:

1] Land boundary agreement was signed between India and Bangladesh in 2011.

2] Bangladesh and India exchanged 162 adversely-held enclaves.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?
a) Both 1 and 2
b) Neither 1 nor 2
c) 1 Only
d) 2 Only
Question 4: Consider the following statements:

1] Lok Sabha cannot consider the amendments made by Rajya Sabha in a Money bill.

2] Constitution defines a money bill which deals with 7 provisions provided under Article 110 (1).

Which of the above statements is/are correct?
a) 1 Only
b) 2 Only
c) Both 1 and 2
d) Neither 1 nor 2

Check Your Answers

 

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