19 May 2022: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

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CNA 19 May 2022:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. The confusion over the status of the Assam NRC
POLITY
1. Supreme Court frees Perarivalan
C. GS 3 Related
DISASTER MANAGEMENT
1. India’s vulnerability to drought
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
POLITY
1. Delimitation fallout needs no political forecasting
2. The ‘Roe’ draft ruling could affect other civil rights
F. Prelims Facts
1. P-8I maritime aircraft
G. Tidbits
1. Indigenous anti-ship missile test-fired
2. SC allows OBC quota for M.P. local body polls
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions
FIP Magazine

Category: POLITY

1. Supreme Court frees Perarivalan

Syllabus: Constitution of India – evolution, features, significant provisions and basic structure.

Prelims: Articles 142, 72 and 161 of the Constitution

Mains: Significance of Article 142 and the Supreme Court’s judgement in Perarivalan’s case

Context

The Supreme Court used its extraordinary powers under Article 142 of the Constitution and directed the release of A.G. Perarivalan in Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination case.

Background

Rajiv Gandhi Assassination Case Perarivalan

Image source: The Hindu

For a detailed background of the issue refer to the following article:

UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis dated 5th May 2022

Details

  • The Supreme Court bench in its judgment acknowledged Perarivalan’s long incarceration for over 30 years to order his release. 
  • Earlier, the court had commuted his death penalty to a life sentence for murder in 2014 and had observed that the apex constitutional authorities like the President and the Governor must exercise their clemency powers under Articles 72 and 161, respectively, within the “bounds of constitutional discipline” and in an “expeditious manner”.
  • Saying that the Governor’s non-exercise of power under Article 161 of the Constitution was not immune from judicial review, the SC bench held that the Governor’s delay in the Perarivalan’s pardon decision has compelled the court to use its extraordinary constitutional powers under Article 142.

Article 142 of the Constitution

  • Article 142 was introduced to uphold the interests of justice.
  • Article 142 provides an extraordinary authority to the Supreme Court, to do “complete justice” at times when the law or statute fails to provide a remedy. 
    • In such situations, the Court can end the dispute in a manner that would fit the facts of the case.
  • According to Article 142, “The Supreme Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction may pass such as is necessary for doing complete justice in any cause or matter pending before it, and any decree so passed or orders so made shall be enforceable throughout the territory of India in such manner as may be prescribed by or under any law made by Parliament and, until provision in that behalf is so made, in such manner as the President may by order prescribe.”
  • It also provides that “the Supreme Court shall have all and every power to make any order for the purpose of securing the attendance of any person, the discovery or production of any documents, or the investigation or punishment of any contempt of itself”.
  • Article 142 supplements the powers already conferred upon the Supreme Court under the Constitution to guarantee that justice is done and in doing so the Court is not restrained by lack of jurisdiction or authority of law.

The Supreme Court’s views

  • The court ruled that the Tamil Nadu Council of Ministers’ advice tendered in 2018 to pardon Perarivalan was binding on the Governor under Article 161 of the Constitution and the Governor did not have the authority to forward the pardon plea to the President after holding it for years.
  • SC rejected the Centre’s argument that the President alone had the power to grant pardon in a case under Section 302 (murder) of the IPC and not the Governor.
    • The court said that such exclusive powers to the President would make Article 161 a “dead letter” and would create an extraordinary situation whereby pardons granted by Governors in murder cases for the past 70 years would be made invalid.
  • Referring to the judgment in the Union of India vs Sriharan 2015 case, the court said that Section 432(7)(a) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) gave primacy to the Union and not the States when the case was tried under a law to which the executive power of the Union extended to and helps that the “exercise of executive clemency” was “vested in the President or the Governor”.

Read more about the Pardoning Powers of the President (Article 72).

Nut Graf
By the use of extraordinary powers conferred to it under Article 142 of the Constitution, the Supreme Court has ordered the release of Perarivalan thus reiterating that delays in the decisions on pardon pleas by the Governor will not be entertained by the Courts. The decision has gained significance as it has upheld the values of state autonomy and federalism.

2. The ‘Roe’ draft ruling could affect other civil rights

Syllabus: Comparison of the Indian Constitutional Scheme with that of Other Countries.

Mains- Comparison between Indian and U.S. constitutions.

Background:

  • In December 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court took up a case against a law that banned abortions after 15 weeks. In the leaked first draft of the court’s majority decision in the case, there are indications of an adverse ruling against abortion rights.
    • The major line of thought seems to be the argument that the Constitution makes no mention of abortion and the abortion right, which is not mentioned in the Constitution, is part of a right to privacy, which is also not mentioned. The court also notes that abortion rights were never a part of the country’s history and tradition and were non-essential to ordered liberty.
  • This marks a sharp turnaround for the U.S. Supreme Court which had earlier in 1973 held it unconstitutional for states to ban or restrict abortions and had reaffirmed this view in another case in 1992.

Concerns:

  • If constitutionally protected women’s rights could face revocation, the rights of gay and lesbian people could also face invalidation.
    • Arguments could be made stating that gay and lesbian people have neither the fundamental right to privacy nor liberty protections in the Constitution because their rights have no place in the history and tradition of the country.
    • Notably, the U.S. Constitution has no explicit mention of “privacy”, “sexual orientation”, “gay”, “lesbian”, or “gay rights”.
Nut Graf
The signs of invalidation of abortion rights in the U.S. and the presence of a conservative supermajority in the U.S. Supreme Court could result in the rights of gay and lesbian people also facing invalidation.

F. Prelims Facts

1. P-8I maritime aircraft

Syllabus: GS-3, Security; Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.

Prelims: Navy’s P-8I maritime patrol aircraft

Context

The Defence Minister undertook a sortie on a Navy P-8I maritime patrol aircraft.

P-8I maritime aircraft

  • The aircraft is manufactured by Boeing. 
  • The aircraft is designed for long-range anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASuW), and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions.
    • It is also used for low altitude, humanitarian, and search and rescue missions.
  • The aircraft has two variants — the P-8I, which is developed for the Indian Navy, and the P-8A Poseidon, which is deployed by the US Navy, the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force, the Royal Australian Air Force, and the Royal Norwegian Air Force.
  • The P-8I can fly as high as 41,000 feet, and has a short transit time, which reduces the size of the Area of Probability when searching for submarines or search and rescue survivors. 
  • The aircraft has two engines, and is about 40 metres long, with a wingspan of 37.64 metres. The aircraft weighs about 85,000 kg and has a top speed of 789 km/hour. It requires a crew of nine, and has a range of 1,200+ nautical miles, with 4 hours on station, which means about 2,222 km.
  • The induction of P-8I aircraft in 2013 has significantly enhanced the Indian Navy’s persistent surveillance operations in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
  • The P-8I’s advanced sensors such as multi-mode radars, electronic intelligence system, sonobuoys, electro-optic, infrared camera and advanced weapons provide the Indian Navy with a very potent platform with significant capability to deter and destroy.
  • The aircraft has been deployed along the International Border, the Line of Control and the Line of Actual Control.

G. Tidbits

1. Indigenous anti-ship missile test-fired

  • An indigenously developed naval anti-ship missile was successfully test-fired for the first time from a naval helicopter from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Chandipur off the Odisha coast.
  • It is the first indigenous air-launched anti-ship missile system for the Indian Navy.
  • The test was carried out from a Seaking-42B helicopter.

2. SC allows OBC quota for M.P. local body polls

  • The Supreme Court directed the implementation of reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBC) in local body polls to be held in Madhya Pradesh.
  • The Court permitted the State Election Commission to notify the programme for the local bodies in view of the delimitation notification and the report submitted by the Backward Classes Commission.
  • A Court modified its previous order and directed the State Election Commission to notify the election programme for over 20,000 urban and panchayat local bodies in the State within two weeks, without waiting for the completion of the ‘triple test’ exercise and further delimitation prior to the polls.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Which of the following statements best describes the SRIJAN Portal? 
(Level – Difficult)
  1. An online portal that provides access to defence items that can be taken up for indigenization.
  2. An online job portal for senior citizens, developed by the union government.
  3. A Central IT-based Education Loan portal to provide student finance services to those belonging to the Economically Backward Classes.
  4. An online portal for meeting the pension sanction and disbursement requirements for Armed Forces.
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: a

Explanation: 

  • SRIJAN is the Ministry of Defence’s portal which acts as a one-stop-shop online portal that provides access to the vendors to take up items that can be taken up for indigenization.
  • On this portal, DPSUs/OFB/SHQs can display the items that they have been importing or are going to import which the Indian Industry can design, develop and manufacture as per their capability or through joint ventures with OEMs.
  • The concerned DPSUs (defence PSUs)/OFB (Ordnance Factory Board)/SHQs (Service Headquarters), based on their requirement of the items and their guidelines & procedures will interact with the Indian industry for indigenization.
Q2. Which of the given statements about the State of Inequality in India Report is/are 
incorrect? (Level – Medium)
  1. The report was commissioned by Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister and prepared by the National Sample Survey Office.
  2. The report looks at income distribution, labour market dynamics, health, education and household characteristics as key areas that influence the nature and experience of inequality.
  3. It uses data derived from various rounds of the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS), National Family and Health Survey (NFHS) and Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE+).

Options:

  1. 1 only
  2. 1, 2 and 3
  3. 2 and 3 only
  4. None of the above
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: a

Explanation: 

  • Statement 1 is not correct, The State of Inequality in India Report was released by the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister and the report has been compiled by the Institute for Competitiveness.
  • Statement 2 is correct, The report compiles information on inequities across sectors like health, education, household characteristics and the labour market.
  • Statement 3 is correct, Data given by the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS), National Family Health Survey and UDISE+ are utilised by the report. 
Q3. Which of the given pairs is/are not correctly matched? (Level – Medium)

       Tunnel                                  Location

  1. Atal Road Tunnel           Himachal Pradesh
  2. Sela Tunnel                              Sikkim
  3. Syama Tunnel                    Maharashtra

Options:

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. None of the above
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: b

Explanation: 

  • Atal Tunnel is a highway tunnel built under the Rohtang Pass in the eastern Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas on the Leh-Manali Highway in Himachal Pradesh.
  • Sela Tunnel is being constructed which will provide all-weather connectivity between Guwahati in Assam and Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Syama Tunnel also known as Chenani-Nashri Tunnel or Patnitop Tunnel became the longest road tunnel project in India when opened for traffic in April 2017. The tunnel is located in Udhampur in Jammu and Kashmir.
Q4. Consider the following statements with respect to Denisovans: 
(Level – Difficult)
  1. They are an extinct species or subspecies of archaic humans in the genus Homo.
  2. They are known to have coexisted with Neanderthals in some regions.
  3. They are the smallest fully-grown dinosaur to be ever found.

Which of the given statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 and 2 only 
  2. 1 only
  3. 3 only
  4. None of the above
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: a

Explanation: 

  • Statement 1 is correct, The Denisovans are an extinct species or subspecies of archaic humans in the genus Homo that ranged across Asia during the Lower and Middle Paleolithic Ages. 
  • Statement 2 is correct, Nuclear DNA indicates close affinities of Denisovans with Neanderthals and they are known to have coexisted with them in some regions.
  • Statement 3 is not correct, Denisovans are not related to dinosaurs.
Q5. Among the following organisms, which one does not belong to the class of the 
other three? (Level – Medium) [UPSC 2014]
  1. Crab
  2. Mite
  3. Scorpion
  4. Spider
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: a

Explanation: 

  • Mite, Scorpion and Spiders belong to the Arachnids class.
    • Arachnida is a class of joint-legged invertebrate animals.
    • All arachnids have eight legs, and unlike insects, they don’t have antennae. 
  • Crabs belong to the Crustacean class.
    • Crustaceans are generally aquatic and differ from other arthropods in having two pairs of appendages (antennules and antennae) in front of the mouth and paired appendages near the mouth that function as jaws.
    • Crabs, Lobsters, Shrimps, and Wood Lice are among the best-known crustaceans.

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. Why have the successive governments at the centre delayed the delimitation of Lok Sabha seats in India for over half a decade? What problems has this delay led to? (250 words; 15 marks) (GS II – Polity)
  2. Assess the problem of desertification as being faced by nations worldwide. What steps have been taken to combat this problem in India? (250 words; 15 marks) (GS III – Environment)

Read the previous CNA here.

CNA 19 May 2022:- Download PDF Here

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