UPSC Exam: Comprehensive News Analysis – February 03

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS1 Related
B. GS2 Related
POLITY
1. Is Jallikattu and Bullock cart race a cultural Right?
2. A Court Of Equals
3. The opaque 1%
INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS/BILATERAL RELATIONS
1. Maldives ex-leader Mohamed Nasheed to contest elections
EDUCATION
1. War on 'Education Mafia'
ECONOMY
1. Twin Trade Centre
2. Lower minimum employment rule
D. GS4 Related
E. Prelims Fact
F. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
G. UPSC Mains Practice Questions 

A. GS1 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

B. GS2 Related

Category: POLITY

1. Is Jallikattu and Bullock cart race a cultural Right?

Context

  • The Supreme Court referred to a Constitution Bench to decide whether the people of Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra can conserve jallikattu and bullock-cart races as their cultural right and demand their protection under Article 29 (1) of the Constitution.

In 2014, in the A. Nagaraja judgment, the Supreme Court held jallikattu as cruelty to bulls.

Article 29

  • Article 29 (1) is a fundamental right guaranteed under Part III of the Constitution to protect the educational and cultural rights of citizens.
  • Though commonly used to protect the interests of minorities, Article 29 (1) mandates that “any section of the citizens residing in the territory of India or any part thereof having a distinct language, script or culture of its own shall have the right to conserve the same”.

Attorney General K.K. Venugopal referred to the Supreme Court decision in the Ahmedabad St. Xavier’s College Society case, in which it was pointed out that the scope of Article 29 (1) does not necessarily confine itself to the cultural rights of minorities but may well include the majority.

What should the bench consider?

  • The Constitution Bench would also look into whether the 2017 jallikattu and bullock cart races laws of Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra actually subserve the objective of “prevention” of cruelty to animals under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960.
  • The Bench will also have to say whether the laws are really in consonance with the basic tenets of the 1960 Act.
  • Finally, the Bench would examine if the new laws are “relatable” to Article 48 of the Constitution, which says it is an endeavour of the State to organise agri- culture and animal hus- bandry on scientic lines.

The laws under challenge — The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Tamil Nadu Amendment) Act of 2017 and Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Conduct of Jallikattu) Rules of 2017. The PETA petition contends that the 2017 Jallikattu Act and Rules violate the five internationally recognised freedoms — the freedom from hunger, malnutrition and thirst; freedom from fear and distress; freedom from physical and thermal discomfort; freedom from pain, injury and disease; and freedom to express normal patterns of behaviour.

Implications

  • If Jallikattu is upheld by the Constitution Bench as a cultural right and part of the “collective culture” of the people of Tamil Nadu under Article 29 (1), provisions of other laws which undermine jallikattu may run the risk of being struck down.

2. A Court Of Equals

  • The present controversy over the powers of the chief justice, to constitute the benches of the respective courts has more than one dimension.
  • The constitution of benches is an administrative matter and should be the privilege of the chief justice as the administrative head of the court despite seeing him as is one among equals. It is his administrative function.
  • The power to constitute the benches, also indirectly implies the power to shape justice and law.
  • But the function of the court is to deliver justice, and in our country, the function of the high court and the SC is also to lay down the law for the state and the country respectively. The chief justice is the administrative head of the respective court, but not its judicial head.
  • In US Supreme Court, all its nine judges sit together and decide all the matters.
  • In India’s high courts and the SC discharge their function through the benches, and whether it is the chief justice’s bench or other benches, the justice delivered, and the law laid down by them, is of equal weight and equally binding.
  • The present controversy focuses on the importance and consequences of the power to constitute benches as it is liable to be abused.
  • If a chief justice is so inclined, he may pack the benches by judges who will uphold a particular view. The rule of law will then mean the rule of one man’s view.
  • The autocratic use of power to constitute benches has deleterious effects for democracy. It may result in one man’s view as the law of the land.
  • The power must be shared with at least the next four senior-most judges, when political and sensitive cases are decided.

3. The opaque 1%

  • A recent study ‘Indian income inequality dynamics (1922-2014): From British Raj to Billionaire Raj?’ was published on World Inequality Day.
  • Presented new estimates of the distribution of national income in India, from 1922, when the income tax was introduced, up to 2014.
  • The share of national income increasing to the top 1 per cent Indians went up from 6 per cent in the early Eighties to nearly 22 per cent today, a level comparable to the 20th-century inequality peak observed in the 1930s, during the British Raj.
  • It is clear that much work still needs to be done by researchers, official statistical institutions and policymakers to better measure income and consumption inequality in India.
  • Official data to measure economic inequality in India and many other countries relies essentially on household surveys, which in fact has well-known limitations: Surveys do not provide an accurate representation of income levels among the richest.
  • Tax data covers all taxpayers at the very top of the income distribution, whereas household surveys generally do not cover at all the richest individuals.
  • It was actually shown that the richest tend to largely underreport their incomes in surveys.
  • On the contrary, tax data leads to more precise answers.
  • Non-compliance and tax evasion is a reality in India and other countries. This means that tax data should be treated as a lower bound to inequality levels, rather than an upper bound.

Facts:

  • In a country like India, tax data covers only a small portion of individuals (the richest 7 per cent adults in 2013-14).
  • To track inequality among the entire population (that is not only the top 1 per cent but also the bottom 50 per cent or the middle 40 per cent), it is thus necessary to combine tax data and household surveys.
  • world project, seek to ensure that inequality estimates are consistent with national accounts, meaning that income growth rates for different groups of the population are consistent with average income growth rates discussed in public debates and comparable across countries.
  • Reasons why these new income inequality estimates for India should not be trusted?
  • Firstly, there is a relatively large difference between these numbers and previous estimates published by Abhijit V. Banerjee and Piketty in 2005.
  • Secondly, the author claims that new Indian income inequality numbers do not conform to any known model of savings behaviour and as such cannot be right.
  • These theoretical models, do not properly account for the complex dynamics of socio-economic inequality.
  • Models are extremely useful to assess and generalise empirical research findings. But they should not be taken for granted.
  • By comparing artificially low consumption levels among the richest (obtained from household surveys), with more reliable income levels from WID.world, the top 10 per cent richest make up 100 per cent of India’s savings in 2011.
  • At the moment, there is, unfortunately, no consistent source of information to obtain consumption levels among the richest in India.
  • There is no doubt that measuring income and consumption inequality is a difficult enterprise, particularly in India where low data quality and availability raise a problem of democratic accountability, independently of the level of inequality observed.
  • Without increased transparency, it will be impossible for Indian society to have an informed democratic debate about rising inequality.

 

Category: INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS/BILATERAL RELATIONS

1. Maldives ex-leader Mohamed Nasheed to contest elections

Context

  • Supreme Court cleared him of terrorism charges and said his trial in 2015 was “politically motivated”.
  • The court also ordered the immediate release of other opposition leaders, sparking demonstrations as crowds of supporters celebrated the ruling.

Background

  • Mr Nasheed, who is currently in Sri Lanka, was the island’s first democratically elected leader.
  • The country has seen political unrest since he was convicted in 2015. His conviction and 13-year sentence was internationally condemned, and he was given political asylum in the UK.
  • The Indian Ocean nation has been independent from Britain for 53 years, during which time it was ruled for decades autocratically by then President Maumoon Abdul Gayhoom.
  • It became a multi-party democracy in 2008, but since President Yameen took power in 2013 it has faced questions over freedom of speech, the detention of opponents and the independence of the judiciary.

 

Category: EDUCATION

1. War on ‘Education Mafia’

  • Uttar Pradesh Govt is all set to clamp down on cheating in exams by taking help from the Special Task Force and local intelligence agencies
  • The objective is “copying-free examinations” and preventing the education mafia from doing mischief

Details

  • The government has made it mandatory for examination centres to have CCTV cameras
  • The government has made its stand clear — no unfair means would be tolerated and anyone found copying or promoting it would be dealt with strictly.

Measures Taken

  • The measures to prevent cheating include frisking students before they enter the examination halls, dividing centres in sectors, appointing administrative officers as sector magistrates and issuing prohibitory orders within 100 metres of the centre.

 

C. GS3 Related

Category: ECONOMY

1. Twin Trade Centre

  • The Assam government inked a deal with the National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC) for setting up a 65-storey twin tower trade centre in earthquake-prone Guwahati.
  • The twin tower with in-house arrangement would boost business in the State, which aspired to be a hub of trade between India and the bloc of Southeast Asian nations in pursuance of Delhi’s Act East Policy
  • Building would be using green technology as well as reflecting the rich natural heritage and culture of Assam.
  • The 65-storey project has been receiving mixed reactions since Assam falls in Zone 5, a high-risk earthquake category.

Advantage Assam

  • ‘Advantage Assam’- the Assam Global Investors’ Summit scheduled during 03-04 February 2018, is the largest ever investment promotion and facilitation initiative by the Government of Assam.
  • The Summit aims at highlighting the state’s geostrategic advantages offered to investors by Assam.
  • The event shall showcase the manufacturing prowess and the opportunities offered by the state in terms of export-oriented manufacturing and services to growing economies viz. ASEAN and BBN countries.

2. Lower minimum employment rule

Context

  • Budget proposes to cut the minimum period of employment.

Details

  • The new norms mandate 150 days as the minimum period of employment in the footwear and leather industry, as has been the case for the apparel sector. Earlier, it was 240 days.
  • The Centre has made these changes along with certain amendments to Employment Provident Fund Act to encourage employment of more women.

 

D. GS4 Related

Nothing here for Today!!!

E. Prelims Fact

  1. Great Firewall

China tightly controls the Internet through a censor- ship system known as the “Great Firewall” and closely monitors social media net- works for sensitive content.

 

F. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam

Question 1. Sela Pass is located in which of the State?
  1. Himachal Pradesh
  2. Uttarakhand
  3. Sikkim
  4. Arunachal Pradesh

See

Answer

 

 

Question 2.Consider the following about allotment of Budget to MEA
  1. India’s annual financial allocation to Nepal for 2018-19 has nearly doubled
  2. SAARC countries like Bhutan and Myanmar has also increased Substantially

Select the incorrect answer using the code given below.

  1. Only I
  2. Only II
  3. Both are correct
  4. None of them is correct

See

Answer

 

 

Question 3. Amyloid beta is linked to which Disease?
  1. Diabetes
  2. Measles
  3. Alzheimer
  4. Zika

See

Answer

 

Question 4. With reference to bamboo, consider the following statements
  1. Bamboo is classified as a Tree
  2. National Bamboo Mission with 50:50 contribution between center and stateSelect the incorrect answer using the code given below.
    1. Only 1
    2. Only 2
    3. Both are correct
    4. None of them is correct

See

Answer

 

Question 5. Operation Green in Budget is related to 
  1. An infrastructure corridor along the Western Ghats
  2. An operation to Plant trees in the highway to reduce Air Pollution
  3. A Program for rejuvenating all rivers by stopping all development programs around them
  4. It is essentially a price fixation scheme that aims to ensure farmers are given the right price for their produce.

See

Answer

G. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

GS Paper II
  1. The Political Culture in Maldives has moved from Colonialism to Autocracy, Democracy to Stamping of Opposition. Analyze.
  2. Should Rape laws be Gender Neutral? Critically Comment.

 

 

GS Paper IV
  1. If civil servants have empathy nothing else matter, if they don’t have empathy again nothing else matters. Discuss.

 

Also, check previous Daily News Analysis

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