11 Aug 2021: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

August 11th, 2021, CNA:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. LS clears Bill restoring States’ rights to specify OBC groups
2. Parties get 48 hours to publish candidates’ criminal records
3. HC nod must to close cases against lawmakers
C. GS 3 Related
INTERNAL SECURITY
1. NE border disputes have killed 157 people since 1979, says rights group
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. Choppy waters: On global maritime security
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. Undermining justice
F. Prelims Facts
1. Home Ministry flags illegal migration
G. Tidbits
1. Price pressures to smoothen out in coming months: Ministry
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

2. Parties get 48 hours to publish candidates’ criminal records

Background:

February 2020 judgment of the Supreme Court:

  • Over the last few years, there has been an alarming increase in the incidence of criminals in politics.

For detailed information on the issue of criminalization of politics, refer to the following article:

UPSC Comprehensive News Analysis of 10th July 2020

  • Based on the reasoning that rapid criminalisation of politics cannot be arrested by merely disqualifying tainted legislators but should involve cleansing of the political parties, the Supreme Court had ordered political parties to publish the entire criminal history of their candidates along with the reasons that provoked them to field suspected criminals over decent people.
  • The information had to be also published in a local and a national newspaper, as well as the parties’ social media handles, including Twitter and Facebook.
  • The political parties had to submit compliance reports with the Election Commission of India within 72 hours or risk contempt of court action.

For more information on this judgement, refer to the following article:

UPSC Comprehensive News Analysis of 14th Feb 2020

Details:

  • The Supreme Court has imposed fines on major political parties, for failing to confer with its February 2020 judgment in the 2020 Bihar Assembly elections.
  • The court held that the concerned parties had subverted the verdict by either publishing inadequate information about their candidates’ criminal antecedents or by printing them in obscure newspapers. The Supreme Court held that the concerned political parties were trying to cover up from voters the criminal past of the candidates they had fielded.

Modifications in the February 2020 judgment:

  • In order to make the right of information of a voter more effective, the court has ordered certain modifications in its February judgment.
    • The Election Commission of India has been ordered to launch a dedicated mobile app for voters to get details of the criminal history of the candidates.
    • The Election Commission of India has also been ordered to form a separate cell to monitor political parties on their compliance with the court’s judgment.

3. HC nod must to close cases against lawmakers

Background:

Concerns with respect to trial and prosecution of criminal politicians:

  • Various State governments have used power vested under Section 321 CrPC to withdraw criminal cases pending against sitting MP/MLA.
  • Government investigation agencies have delayed filing affidavits or have filed sketchy affidavits about their cases against sitting and former MPs and MLAs. This makes it easy for the accused MP/MLA to delay/evade judicial scrutiny.

Details:

  • The use of government power and influence to shield criminal politicians brings to question the government’s resolve to bring criminal politicians to justice and this does not augur well for a democracy where the rule of law is paramount.
  • Lamenting the lack of government commitment towards the speedy trial and prosecution of criminal politicians, the three-judge Bench led by the Chief Justice of India has come up with a list of recommendations in this direction.
    • A criminal case against an MP or MLA can be withdrawn only after getting the consent of the State High Court concerned.
    • The SC has suggested the formation of a Special Bench to monitor the progress of investigation and trial of criminal cases involving politicians.
    • To ensure expeditious disposal of pending cases, a freeze on the transfer of judicial officers trying criminal cases against MPs and MLAs has been ordered.
    • Virtual court facilities to be improved to allow the adoption of video conferencing facilities to examine witnesses. This will allow for the speedy disposal of cases.

Category: POLITY AND GOVERNANCE

1. Undermining justice

The article talks about the vacancies in courts, tribunals.

Issue:

  • In the recent past, the Supreme Court has voiced concern over the Government’s lackadaisical attitude towards the large number of vacancies in High Courts and tribunals.
  • The Supreme Court lashed out against the central government over long delays in the appointment of judges to High Courts.
  • Furthermore, Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana confronted the Government with a list of 240 vacancies in various tribunals.
    • Many tribunals lack presiding officers and recommendations made by selection committees have not been acted upon.

This topic has been covered in  Aug 7th, 2021 CNA.

Concerns:

Vacancies in Tribunals:

  • The jurisdiction previously exercised by High Courts is now being exercised by the tribunals. The failure to adjudicate or dispose of disputes in these fields would amount to a denial of justice to the parties.
  • Concerns have been raised on independent functioning of tribunals being undermined by repeatedly framing rules that seek to provide for greater executive control over the tenure, emoluments and conditions of service of those heading the tribunals.
  • The primary reasons why certain kinds of disputes were allocated to the tribunals was specialisation, domain expertise and relatively quicker adjudication.
    • These purposes are lost as the tribunals have become nearly dysfunctional through a large number of vacancies.
  • Besides, the Union government has been reluctant to create a national body for overseeing the work related to the appointment of members on tribunals as well as the appraisal of their functioning.

Vacancies in High Courts:

  • The vacancies in High Courts are as high as 455, in 2021.
  • A two-judge Bench has noted that the delay in making appointments to the High Courts is adversely affecting the adjudication of high-stake commercial disputes.
  • The Centre’s long delay to act on the recommendations of the Collegium and appoint judges to High Courts has left the courts with minimal judicial strength and has adversely affected the early adjudication of important cases.
  • There is little clarity on what is causing the delay for appointments in the higher judiciary. It could be a:
    • Dispute over the memorandum of procedure. The appointment of the judges to the high courts is governed by Article 217 of the Constitution. In addition to the constitutional provisions, the process of appointments outlined in the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) is a lengthy one.
    • The desire of the executive to subject the Collegium recommendations to its own political scrutiny.

Conclusion:

The government must realise that early adjudication of commercial disputes is a necessity for which there has to be an adequate number of judges. The delay in judicial appointments and appointments to the tribunals is causing great harm to India’s justice delivery system.

F. Prelims Facts

1. Home Ministry flags illegal migration

  • India is not a signatory to the 1951 UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol thereon.
  • All foreign nationals (including refuge seekers) are governed by the provisions contained in the Foreigners Act, 1946; the Registration of Foreigners Act, 1939; the Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920 and the Citizenship Act, 1955, and rules and orders made thereunder.
  • Foreign nationals who enter the country without valid travel documents are treated as illegal migrants.

G. Tidbits

1. Price pressures to smoothen out in coming months: Ministry

  • In the monthly economic report for July, the Department of Economic Affairs has attributed the recent inflation to adverse supply shocks due to the pandemic and elevated international commodity prices.
  • It expects inflation pressures to decrease in the coming months.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Consider the following statements with respect to International Seabed Authority (ISA):
  1. It is an autonomous international organization established under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
  2. It makes binding recommendations to coastal States on matters related to the establishment of outer limits of the continental shelf extending beyond 200 nautical miles from the baselines.
  3. All mineral-related activities in the international seabed area beyond the limits of national jurisdiction are regulated by ISA.
  4. ISA is committed to contributing to the timely and effective implementation of SDG-6 in particular.

Which of the given statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 1, 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 4 only
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • The International Seabed Authority (ISA) based in Kingston, Jamaica is an intergovernmental body established by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
  • It was established to organize, regulate and control all mineral-related activities in the international seabed area beyond the limits of national jurisdiction.
  • The Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf deals with the establishment of the outer limits of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles. Under the UNCLOS, the coastal State shall establish the outer limits of its continental shelf where it extends beyond 200 M on the basis of the recommendation of the Commission.
  • ISA is committed to contributing to the timely and effective implementation of the SDGs, in particular, SDG14 to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
Q2. Global Environment Facility functions as a financial mechanism for which of the 
following convention/s?
  1. Minamata Convention on Mercury
  2. Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
  3. United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD)
  4. United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
  5. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

Options:

  1. 3, 4 and 5 only
  2. 5 only
  3. 1, 2 and 5 only
  4. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: d

Explanation:

  • The GEF serves as a “financial mechanism” to five conventions: Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), and Minamata Convention on Mercury.
Q3. He started a movement in the Bihar and Jharkhand belt in the 19th century under British 
colonial rule. As a result of his struggle, the Chotanagpur Tenancy Act was passed in 1908.  
He is also known as ‘Dharti Abba’.

The tribal leader being talked about is:

  1. Kanhu Murmu
  2. Birsa Munda
  3. Tirut Singh
  4. Bar-Manik
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • Bisra Munda was a tribal freedom fighter hailing from the Munda tribe. He was also known as ‘Dharti Abba’ or the Earth Father.
  • He was a spearhead behind the Millenarian movement that arose in the Bihar and Jharkhand belt in the early 19th century under British colonial rule.
  • Birsa started a movement called ‘Ulgulan’, or ‘The Great Tumult’. His struggle against the exploitation and discrimination against tribals led to a big hit against the British government in the form of the Chotanagpur Tenancy Act being passed in 1908. The act restricted the passing on of land from the tribal people to non-tribals.
Q4. Which of these mountain passes is/are located in Ladakh?
  1. Zoji La
  2. Nathu La
  3. Bomdi La
  4. Muling La

Option:

  1. 1 and 4 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 only
  4. 1, 3 and 4
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • Nathu La: Sikkim
  • Bomdi La: Arunachal Pradesh
  • Muling La: Uttarakhand
Q5. “Momentum for Change: Climate Neutral Now” is an initiative launched by: (UPSC-2018)
  1. The Intergovernmental Panel on climate change
  2. The UNEP Secretariat
  3. The UNFCCC Secretariat
  4. The World Meteorological Organization
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • The UNFCCC Secretariat launched its Climate Neutral Now initiative in 2015. The following year, the secretariat launched a new pillar under its Momentum for Change initiative focused on Climate Neutral Now, as part of larger efforts to showcase successful climate action around the world.

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. ‘To change 50% reservation limit is to have a society which is not founded on equality but based on caste rule’. Critically analyse. (10 marks, 150 words) (GS paper 2/Polity and Governance)
  2. UNCLOS is almost universally lauded for laying down laws and rules whose wide acceptance it is believed has greatly reduced the number, frequency and potential for inter-state conflicts that would otherwise have taken place. Comment. (10 marks, 150 words) (GS Paper 2/International Relations)

Read the previous CNA here.

August 11th, 2021, CNA:- Download PDF Here

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