24 May 2018: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS1 Related
B. GS2 Related
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. China wants Pakistan to relocate Saeed
2. Maldives a challenge, says Navy chief
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. Nod for mobile towers in Naxal-hit States
C. GS3 Related
SECURITY
1. ULFA says it can check illegal migration from Bangladesh
D. GS4 Related
E. Editorials
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. Do we need the office of the Governor
F. Prelims Fact
G. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
H. UPSC Mains Practice Questions 

A. GS1 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

B. GS2 Related

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. China wants Pakistan to relocate Saeed

 

  • China has asked Pakistan to explore ways of relocating Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed to a West Asian country in response to mounting international pressure to act against him for his links with terror groups.
  • Chinese President Xi Jinping suggested this course of action — allowing Saeed to live a quiet life in a West Asian country — to Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on the sidelines of the Boao Forum in China last month.
  • The JuD has been accusing the government of taking action against Saeed at the instance of the U.S. and India.
  • Pakistani authorities last year put him under house arrest for almost nine months but were forced to release him on the orders of the Lahore High Court.
  • The government also scuttled attempts by the JuD to enter the political arena by forming a political party, Milli Muslim League (MML).
  • The Interior Ministry refused to give clearance to the MML and the Election Commission did not register it as a party.
  • Saeed, who has been declared a global terrorist by the United Nations, the U.S. and India, carries a reward of $5 million on his head for his alleged involvement in the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
  • Earlier this year, the JuD was put on the list of banned organisations just before the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) meeting in Paris.
  • Following the meeting, it was decided to put Pakistan on the grey list for its failure to prevent terror financing.
  • In January this year, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan issued a circular to all companies barring them from donating money to those entities put on the UNSC sanctioned list.
  • The government also tabled a Bill to formalise the ban on the JuD but it has not been passed so far.
  • The JuD was reported by Indonesia after the authorities detected some money channelled through the country by the outfit.
  • Indonesia notified the FATF.
  • A Presidential Ordinance was issued to freeze all assets of Saeed, linked to the JuD and its charity arm, Falah-i-Insaaniyat Foundation.
  • Interestingly, the JuD was not put in Schedule 1 of the Anti Terrorism Act under which the leaders of a banned organisation must be arrested.
  • Another clue that the JuD and the FIF were not banned as claimed by the government is the list of banned organisations by the National Counter Terrorism Authority.
  • On the ground, the Punjab government took the JuD’s madrasas and health facilities in Rawalpindi.
  • The provincial government also issued a notification barring collection of donations by the JuD and the FIF.

Indonesian alert

  • The JuD has a network of over 150 ambulances, six hospitals, 60 schools and scores of madrasas across Punjab and the Pakistan-administered Kashmir and northern areas.

2. Maldives a challenge, says Navy chief

Category: POLITY AND GOVERNANCE

1. Nod for mobile towers in Naxal-hit States

 

  • The Union Cabinet sanctioned the installation of 4,072 mobile phone towers in 10 Left Wing Extremism-affected States to improve connectivity.
  • In the first phase, which was completed two years ago, 2,329 towers were installed in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
  • The new plan is aimed at providing voice as well as Internet services to security forces and citizens in 96 districts. The first phase offered 2G services, and the second phase will have 3G and 4G services.
  • The operational expenses will be part of the project cost. The expenses are expected to be borne by the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) of the Department of Telecommunications.
  • The USOF is aimed at giving the people in the rural and remote areas widespread and non-discriminatory access to quality information and communications technology services at affordable prices.

What is Universal Service Obligation Fund?

  • Here the idea is to provide universal access to telecom services, i.e., focus on providing telecom services to rural and remote areas at affordable and reasonable prices.
  • A fund exclusively for meeting the above objectives, created under department of telecommunications, Ministry of communication and information technology.
  • It is a non-lapsable fund, unspent amount under target financial year does not lapse, accrues for next years’ spending.
  • All credits to the fund require parliamentary approval and it has a statutory support under Indian Telegraph (amendment) act 2003.

What are the activities undertaken?

  • Installation of village public telephones in every revenue village of 1991 census and additional revenue village of 2001 census.
  • Provision of rural community telephones at next stage.
  • Provision of household telephones in rural areas.
  • Creation of Infrastructure for mobile services in remote, rural areas.
  • Provision of broadband in villages in a phased manner.
  • Induction of new technologies like national optic fiber network in rural areas.
  • For all the above activities a service provider gets grants from the USOF like a subsidy.
  • The service provider is usually chosen through a bidding process on the least quoted subsidy support basis (minimum subsidy maximum service).
  • Through a Universal service levy- at 5% of adjusted gross revenue of all telecom service providers.
  • Exception- pure value-added service providers like the internet, voice mail, e-mail no need to contribute.
  • Also, some quantum of funds to come through central govt. grants.
  • Specialty in this scheme is that it also does some allocation under gender budgeting, for providing services to women, like broadband access to women SHGs.

C. GS3 Related

Category: SECURITY

1. ULFA says it can check illegal migration from Bangladesh

 

  • The United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) wants to do what the Border Security Force has allegedly failed to — check illegal migration to Assam through the Bangladesh border.
  • The outfit proposed the raising of an unarmed battalion comprising ULFA cadres to form a second line of defence along the border. The ULFA claims to have about 2,000 members in ceasefire mode.
  • The peace talks that began in 2010 would lead to the disbanding of the ULFA after a few issues are sorted out.
  • These include withdrawal of cases registered against the outfit’s members ever since it was formed in 1979 to fight for Assam’s sovereignty, Scheduled Tribe status for six ethnic communities and ensuring land rights for Assam’s indigenous people.
  • The outfit had in 2011 submitted demands to the Centre seeking amendment to the Constitution for protecting the rights and identity of the indigenous people. The demand has gained currency after protests over the Centre’s bid to push the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill of 2016.
  • The peace deal with ULFA is expected to be sealed before the 2019 polls but Centre is reportedly keen on inking it soon to isolate the Paresh Baruah-led ULFA (Independent).

ULFA

  • The United Liberation Front of Assam is a separatist outfit operating in Assam, North East India for the Indigenous Assamese people. 
  • It seeks to establish a sovereign Assam with an armed struggle in the Assam conflict.
  • The government of India banned the organisation in 1990 citing it as a terrorist organisation, while the United States Department of State lists it under other groups of concern.
  • In 2011, there was a major crackdown on the ULFA in Bangladesh, which greatly assisted the government of India in bringing ULFA leaders to talks.
  • In January 2010, ULFA softened its stance and dropped demands for independence as a condition for talks with the Government of India.
  • On 3 September 2011, a tripartite agreement for Suspension of Operations (SoO) against ULFA was signed between the Indian government, the Assam government and the ULFA.

D. GS4 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

E. Editorials

Category: POLITY AND GOVERNANCE

1. Do we need the office of the Governor

  • To understand why we don’t, it is important to understand its origins in the colonial regime

The Governors of states of India

  • The governors and lieutenant-governors/administrators of the states and union territories of India have similar powers and functions at the state level as that of the President of India at Union level.
  • Governors exist in the states while lieutenant-governors exist in union territories and in the National Capital Territory of Delhi.
  • The governor acts as the nominal head whereas the real power lies with the chief ministers of the states and their councils of ministers.

Qualifications

Article 157 and Article 158 of the Constitution of India specify eligibility requirements for the post of governor. They are as follows:

A governor must:

  1. Be a citizen of India.
  2. Be at least 35 years of age.
  3. Not be a member of either house of the parliament or house of the state legislature.
  4. Not hold any other office of profit.

Functions

  • The primary function of the governor is to preserve, protect and defend the constitution and the law as incorporated in his/her oath of office under Article 159 of the Indian constitution in the administration of the State affairs.
  • All his/her actions, recommendations and supervisory powers (Article 167c, Article 200, Article 213, Article 355, etc.) over the executive and legislative entities of a State shall be used to implement the provisions of the Constitution.

Powers

 The governor has many different types of powers:

  1. Executive powers related to administration, appointments and removals,
  2. Legislative powers related to lawmaking and the state legislature, that is Vidhan Sabha or Vidhan Parishad,
  3. Discretionary powers to be carried out according to the discretion of the governor

Why in news

  • Among all the players who strutted and fretted across the stage during the recently concluded Karnataka elections, it is the Governor of the State, Vajubhai Vala, who emerged with least credit to his name.
  • His decision to first invite the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to take a stab at forming the government was perhaps a legitimate exercise of his constitutional discretion (albeit without any recorded reasons for ignoring the post-poll Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) alliance’s claims to having an absolute majority).
  • However, the invitation was extended at 9 p.m., and the swearing-in fixed for 9.30 a.m. the next day, ostensibly to ward off any judicial challenges, and present a fait accompli.
  • His decision to grant B.S. Yeddyurappa 15 days to prove his majority, when the latter himself asked for only a week, was troubling enough for the Supreme Court to intervene and order an immediate floor test.
  • So was his appointment of BJP MLA K.G. Bopaiah as Pro Tem Speaker to conduct the floor test, when the latter had been castigated by the Supreme Court in 2011 for partisan conduct (although this time the Court chose not to intervene).
  • Each of the Governor’s actions was taken in that uncertain grey area of “discretion” — partisan enough to skew the process in favour of the BJP, but not illegal enough to warrant judicial intervention.

Short-term options

  • In the aftermath, some have called upon the Governor to resign; others have suggested that the post of the Governor be reserved for non-political appointees; and still others have urged the Supreme Court to lay down the law on how the Governor ought to act when an election yields a fractured verdict.
  • All of these, however, are patchwork solutions that miss the point: the flaw lies not with the identity of the individual who occupies the post, but in the design of the Constitution itself.
  • If we want to put an end to the continuous misuse of the Raj Bhavan for partisan political ends in a manner that threatens both federalism and democracy, we have to rethink the role of the Governor in the constitutional scheme.

Background of colonial regime

  • It is important to understand the origins of the office in the colonial British regime.
  • Through the course of the early 20th century, the Indian nationalist movement managed to extract gradual and incremental reforms towards responsible government from the British rulers.
  • These reforms culminated in the Government of India Act, 1935 which established provincial legislative assemblies elected from a limited franchise.
  • However, in order to ensure that overriding power remained with the British, the Act retained the post of Governor (a holdover from the old, “diarchy” system), and vested him with “special responsibilities” that, in essence, allowed for intervention at will.
  • Despite the nationalist movement’s bitter experience with Governors over almost three decades, the Constituent Assembly (CA) choose to retain the post, and continue to vest it with discretionary power.
  • During CA debates, it was pointed out that the Articles dealing with the powers of the Governor were almost verbatim reproductions of the 1935 Act.
  • Defenders of the office raised two broad arguments:
  1. That there was a dearth of competent legislators in the States;
  2. That a certain amount of centralisation of power was necessary in a nascent state such as India.
  • Concerned members of the CA were assured that the Governor would remain only a constitutional post, and would have no power to interfere in the day-to-day administration of the State.
  • However, when a particularly prescient concern about the Governor’s powers to “form the first Ministry” and call upon “anyone, whether he has a big majority or a substantial minority”, this was brushed aside by saying that a no-confidence motion could soon resolve such issues.

A constitutional ‘choke point’

  • The CA debates around the office of the Governor reveal an important point.
  • The Constitution was the culmination of the democratic aspirations of the people, and its major pillars — universal adult suffrage, the parliamentary system, fundamental rights — are all expressions of those aspirations.
  • But there were also moments where the framers lacked the courage of their convictions.
  • If granting universal adult suffrage at one stroke was a leap of faith, then at other places, driven by concerns about maintaining national integrity and preventing disintegration in the teeth of the trauma of Partition, the framers pulled up short.
  • They were committed to federalism — but not too much federalism, for fear of secession;
  • They were committed to popular democracy, but also wanted to retain some manner of control, lest democracy unleash the kinds of passions that would trigger its own destruction.
  • The office of the Governor represented one such “choke point” in the Constitution (ordinances and emergencies are others), where federalism and the popular will were to be kept in check from above, if the occasion ever arose.

Example

  • Soon after the first general elections, the State of Madras went to the polls in 1952. In a 375-member Assembly, the United Democratic Front (UDF), a coalition of parties, held 166 seats. The Congress finished with 152.
  • The Governor, Sri Prakasa, ignored the UDF’s claim to form the government, and instead invited the Congress, which did form the government with Rajaji as Chief Minister, after engineering several splits and defections (including through offers of cabinet posts).
  • The civil rights lawyer, K.G. Kannabiran, writes that “on this act of impropriety Rajaji became the chief minister of the first Congress government after Independence.
  • fears had come true, and the justification was eerily similar: the UDF’s communist orientation rendered it ineligible to govern (no matter how the people voted), and it was incumbent upon the government to ensure an orderly government. And so it has been ever thus.

Context

  • The purpose of this history is not to draw an equivalence between 1952 and 2018, or to suggest that the sins of the past justify sinning in the present.
  • It is to demonstrate that the post of the Governor, by constitutional design, acts as a check upon both federalism and popular democracy.
  • And even though the framers insisted that it was only a “constitutional post”, Karnataka has just been the most recent example demonstrating that the Governor has enough discretion to skew the political process in the direction that the Central government desires.

Specify the rules

  • Perhaps we are not in a position to judge the wisdom of the framers’ choice in 1950, when they were driven by imperatives we can no longer assess.
  • But we are certainly in a position to judge the wisdom of continuing with this in 2018: the idea of the Governor standing as a bulwark against secessionism, or providing legislative expertise to States otherwise starved of it, are no longer valid justifications.
  • On the other hand, the Governor’s interference with the democratic process is both real and continuing.
  • As history shows, the solution is not to tinker around the edges, or hope that the courts will come to our rescue.
  • It is to ask whether the constitutional “choke point” of the Governor serves any valid purpose in 2018 — and if not, whether it should continue to exist.
  • Would it not be better, for example, to clearly specify the rules governing government-formation in the Constitution itself, and reduce swearing-in to a purely ceremonial action, to be performed by the Chief Justice of the relevant High Court.

F. Prelims Fact

Nothing here for today!!!

G. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam

Question 1. Consider the following statements about Boao Forum for Asia (BFA):
  1. It is regarded as China’s equivalent of the World Economic Forum.
  2. The Forum is committed to promoting regional economic integration and bringing Asian countries even closer to their development goals.

Select the correct answer using the codes given:

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. None of the above

See

Answer
Question 2. Consider the following statements about Natural Capital:
  1. It can cover entire ecosystems such as fisheries and forests, besides other hidden and overlooked services such as regeneration of soil, nitrogen fixation, nutrient recycling, pollination and the overall hydrological cycle.
  2. GDP estimates often exclude the variations in natural capital by assuming them to be constant and indestructible.

Select the correct answer using the codes given:

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. None of the above

See

Answer
Question 3. Consider the following statements about Universal Service Obligation Fund:
  1. USO is to provide universal access to telecom services, i.e., focus on providing telecom services to rural and remote areas at affordable and reasonable prices.
  2. All credits to the fund require parliamentary approval and it has a statutory support under Indian Telegraph (amendment) act 2003.

Select the correct answer using the codes given:

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. None of the above

See

Answer
Question 4. Consider the following statements about Muthi Hala Bidai ritual:
  1. This ritual is performed by Tiwa tribesmen prepare in Karbi Anglong district of Assam.
  2. Muthi Hala Bidai ritual is to worship nature by making replicas of wild animals and birds.

Select the correct answer using the codes given:

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. None of the above

See

Answer

H. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

 General Studies II
  1. The present Maldivian government is inclined towards China. Discuss the challenges faced by India in dealing with Maldivian crisis.

  2. Governor has enough discretion to skew the political process in the direction that the Central government desires. Critically Examine.

 

Also, check previous Daily News Analysis

 

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