23 Sep 2022: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

Political Thinkers and Ideas 768x350

CNA 23 Sep 2022:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan conflict
C. GS 3 Related
INTERNAL SECURITY
1. Maoist Movement in Andhra-Odisha Boundary
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
GOVERNANCE
1. A census is not about counting sheep
POLITY
1. Should the Election Commission insist on inner-party elections?
F. Prelims Facts
1. The National Toy Action Plan
2. Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967 (UAPA)
G. Tidbits
1. Carbon Dating
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions
FIP Magazine

Category: POLITY

1. Should the Election Commission insist on inner-party elections?

Syllabus: Powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies

Prelims: About Political Parties in India and the Election Commission of India

Mains: The role of inner-party elections in enforcing internal democracy and various recommendations to improve inner-party democracy

Context

  • The Congress party is gearing up for elections for the post of the party president.
  • The Yuvajana Shramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP) elected the current Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh as the president of the party for life in July 2022 and the Election Commission of India (ECI) has rejected this idea of a “permanent president” as anti-democratic.

Political Parties in India

  • Despite India looking as if it is a party-led democracy or democracy based on political parties, the term “political party” was not mentioned or described in the original Constitution. 
  • The definition of a “political party” was introduced in the Constitution for the first time through the Anti-defection Law only in 1985. 
  • The Indian political parties are of different kinds:
    • A few of the parties are structured and are cadre-based organisations that operate with an ideological goal or a principle
    • A few others are loosely structured collections of individuals with varied opinions but functioning within an association that has core ideals
    • And a few others still reflect social or regional cleavages 
  • Moreover, all the rules and regulations in India are applicable more to candidates than to political parties.

Read more about – Political Parties in India

The need for inner-party elections

  • The increased fragmentation of India’s polity into a federalised and multi-party system has often led to the domination by certain charismatic individuals or their families due to the amount of influence they enjoy within the party or due to their financing structures. This necessitates the periodic conduction of inner party elections.
  • Further, internal elections are said to be the key to upward mobility from being controlled by strong individuals or political families.
  • In democratic countries, the ideals of democracy should be reflected at every level, and political parties which are a crucial pillar of democracy are also expected to operate in a democratic manner through formal and periodic elections for the posts of its office-bearers.
  • As most of the political parties in India lack homogeneity with respect to ideas and leadership, the internal elections, meetings and contests of ideas become more important to build consensus among the members of the party.

Can inner-party elections be mandated by ECI?

  • The courts in the past have observed that none of the provisions in Article 324 of the Constitution, or Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (RP Act) provides the power to ECI to regulate internal structures, organisations or elections of the party. 
  • Despite there being no law or any statutory powers, the ECI has constantly used the guidelines issued for the registration of parties under Section 29A of the RP Act to persuade the parties to conduct elections and to ensure that their leadership is renewed.
    • ECI in the past has ordered the conduct of organisational elections within the political parties through executive orders.
  • However, the ECI does not question the result or the procedure of the election followed by the parties and it just expects political parties to abide by their constitution, a copy of which is submitted to the ECI when the parties are registered. 
  • The registered political parties are mandated to inform the ECI about changes in their leadership and also submit a document about the cost incurred during elections and in the non-election period. However, there is no provision for action against non-compliance.

Recommendations to ensure inner-party democracy and better functioning of political parties

  • Rather than introducing new laws, there is a need for new and reinterpretation of the existing laws which accords more power to the ECI to enforce inner-party democracy.
  • Also, the ECI must come up with innovative methods to regulate political parties.
  • There have to be efforts to check the arbitrariness in electing certain individuals unopposed as getting elected unanimously is also considered a valid election.
  • Further, in 1999, the Law Commission Report recommended that the government must consider state funding of political parties as these political parties are currently involved in sourcing money from corporates or private individuals who most of the time expect something in return.

Nut graf: Most of the political parties in India have failed to follow their own constitutional norms due to the centralised nature of their internal structures and organisations. This is said to be a key challenge for the functioning of a democracy and hence there is a need for enforcing inner-party elections which ensures more democracy and accountability within political parties.

F. Prelims Facts

1. The National Toy Action Plan

Syllabus: Economy 

Prelims: Government Initiatives for Generating Employment

Context: The Union government has recently compiled a State-wise national repository of indigenous toys and shared this with all States as part of its special nutrition campaign. 

Background:

  • In 2020, Prime Minister Modi stressed the significance of toys in shaping a child’s thinking and offered a variety of suggestions to increase the manufacture of indigenous toys.
  • He recommended the use of toys as a pedagogical tool in all anganwadi centres and schools for the all-around growth and development of the children.
  • He proposed that young people be encouraged to develop original toy designs that may foster a sense of pride in the nation’s aims and accomplishments.
  • Also, the new national education policy incorporates play-based and activity-based education on a large scale.
  • In this regard, the Union Government has prepared a National Toy Action Plan involving 15 ministries with a view to making the domestic toy industry competitive.

Action Plan:

  • The  Department for Promotion of Industries and Internal Trade (DPIIT), under the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry, is working on a wide-ranging plan involving several ministries – from education to textiles to railways.
  • According to the action plan, the department of school education is working on the use of toys in learning.
  • It is using these local, indigenous toys in anganwadi centres for creating awareness and educating children and their families about healthy living and good nutritional practices.

2. Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967 (UAPA)

Syllabus: Institutional Framework to Tackle Challenge of Internal Security

Prelims: NIA, UAPA

Context: Recently,  the National Investigation Agency searched and raided 93 locations across the country and arrested at least 45 people linked to the Popular Front of India (PFI) organisation.

Introduction:

  • NIA and Enforcement Directorate (ED) raided several locations across the country and arrested at least 45 people linked to the PFI based on a court warrant dated September 20, 2022, to carry out the raids.
  • The NIA claimed that the PFI has been involved in “recruiting Muslim youth to proscribed organisations like ISIS” and PFI is accused of providing training to its members to carry out acts of terror.
  • In June 2022,  the ED filed complaints against the PFI  for covertly mobilising funds through well-organised networks in Gulf countries. It has attached Rs 68.62 lakh under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2022.

Popular Front of India:

  • PFI was formed as a successor to National Development Front (NDF) in 2006.
  • It acquired a multi-state dimension by merging with the National Development Front in Kerala, Manitha Neethi Pasarai in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka Forum for Dignity and other organisations.
  • The PFI, which emerged in the aftermath of the ban on the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), has projected itself as an organisation that fights for the rights of minorities, Dalits, and marginalised communities.
  • The PFI has itself never contested elections. 
  • The PFI does not maintain records of its members, and it has been difficult for law enforcement agencies to pin crimes on the organisation after making arrests.
  • In 2009, a political outfit named the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) evolved out of the PFI, with the aim of taking up the political issues of Muslims, Dalits, and other marginalised communities. The PFI is a key provider of ground workers for the SDPI’s political activities.
  • A large number of criminal cases have been registered by different states over the last few years against the PFI and its leaders and members for their involvement in many violent acts.

Read more on the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act

G. Tidbits

1. Carbon Dating

Context: Recently, the Varanasi district court issued notice to the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee on an application which sought carbon-dating of the disputed structure known to have been found inside the premises of the Gyanvapi mosque.  

Carbon Dating:

  • Carbon dating is one of archaeology’s mainstream methods for dating organic objects up to 50,000 years old. This method was developed by the American physicist Willard F. Libby in 1946.
  • This method is based on the idea of radiative decay of Carbon-14 isotopes over thousands of years. 
  • Radioactive molecules decay at a specific rate dependent on the atomic number and mass of the decaying atoms. This constant can be used to determine the approximate age of the decaying material through the ratio of radioactive isotopes to the estimated initial concentration of these isotopes at the time of the organism’s death. 
  • Scientists have concluded that very little change has occurred in the ratio of Carbon-12 to Carbon-14 isotopes in the atmosphere meaning that the relationship between these two should be very similar to how they remain today.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Consider the following statements with regards to the Telecom Regulatory 
Authority of India: (Level – Medium)
  1. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) was established by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997. 
  2. The TRAI Act was amended in 2000 which established a Telecommunications Dispute Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) to take over the adjudicatory and disputes functions from TRAI.
  3. The TRAI consists of a Chairperson, two whole-time members and two part-time members, all of whom are appointed by the Government of India.

Choose the correct code:

  1. 2 & 3 only
  2. 1 only
  3. 1 & 3 only
  4. All of the above
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: d

Explanation:

  • Statement 01 is correct, The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) was established with effect from February 20, 1997, by an Act of Parliament, called the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997 to regulate telecom services, including fixation/revision of tariffs for telecom services which were earlier vested in the Central Government.
  • Statement 02 is correct,  The TRAI Act was amended by an ordinance, effective from 24 January 2000, establishing a Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) to take over the adjudicatory and disputes functions from TRAI.
  • Statement 03 is correct,  TRAI consists of a  chairman, at least two full-time members and not more than two-part members, all appointed by the Union Government.
    • The members should have special knowledge of, or professional experience in telecom, industry, finance, accountancy, law, management and consumer affairs.
    • Only those senior or retired Government officers can be appointed as members who have served for at least three years as secretary/additional secretary to the Union or State Governments.
Q2. The ‘1098 helpline number’ in India is related to which of the following? 
(Level – Easy)
  1. Women rights
  2. Children helpline
  3. Minority welfare
  4. Tribals helpline
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • ‘1098 helpline number’ is a 24/7/365 free, emergency phone service for children in need of aid and assistance. 
  • A non-governmental organisation CHILDLINE India Foundation (CIF) is the nodal agency supported by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development responsible for setting up, managing and monitoring the CHILDLINE 1098 service all over the country. 
Q3. Consider the following statements with regards to Nikah Halala: (Level – Medium)
  1. In India, the Muslim Women’s Protection of Rights on Marriage, passed after the invalidation of triple talaq by the Supreme Court, is silent on nikah halala.
  2. The Koran allows a man to divorce his wife a maximum of two times.
  3. In Saudi Arabia, where divorces are on the rise, the number of halala cases is increasing drastically.

Choose the correct code:

  1. 1 & 2 only
  2. 2 & 3 only
  3. 1 & 3 only
  4. All of the above
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: a

Explanation:

  • Statement 01 is correct, Nikah halala is a Muslim personal law that requires a woman to marry and have physical relations with another man in order to return to her first husband. The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019 declares the instant divorce granted by the pronouncement of talaq three times as void and illegal. But the Act is silent on nikah halala which takes place as a consequence of triple talaq.
  • Statement 02 is correct, The holy book of Islam, the Koran contains numerous verses dealing with the issues of marriage, child-rearing, divorces, marital obligations, reconciliation between estranged couples and inheritance. The Koran allows a man to divorce his wife a maximum of two times. On both occasions, separated by at least one menstrual cycle. 
  • Statement 03 is incorrect, In Saudi Arabia, where divorces are on the rise, no cases of halala have been reported. No case has been reported from the UAE, Kuwait and Yemen either.
Q4. The Vineet Narain case of 1997 led to which of the following? (Level – Easy)
  1. Reforms in the CBI
  2. Restoration of judicial review powers of the High Courts
  3. Striking down of the EWS quota introduced by the Government
  4. Prohibition on Manual Scavenging in India
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: a

Explanation:

  • The 1997 judgement in the Vineet Narain vs Union of India case, popularly known as the Jain hawala case led to sweeping changes in the Central Bureau of Investigation.
  • The Supreme Court gave directions to fix the tenure of the CBI Director for two years and statutory status to the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC).
Q5. Which of the following adopted a law on data protection and privacy for its 
citizens known as 'General Data Protection Regulation' in April 2016 and started 
implementation of it from 25th May, 2018? (Level – Medium) (CSE Prelims-2019)
  1. Australia
  2. Canada
  3. The European Union
  4. The USA
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • The General Data Protection Regulation is a regulation in European Union law on data protection and privacy for the citizens of the EU and the European Economic Area (EEA).  
  • It also addresses the export of personal data outside the EU and EEA areas.

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. Critically evaluate the need for inner party democracy in India’s political system. (250 words; 15 marks) (GS-2 ; Polity)
  2. What are the reasons behind the recent clashes between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan? What interests does India have in the region? (250 words; 15 marks) (GS-2; International Relations)

Read the previous CNA here.

CNA 23 Sep 2022:- Download PDF Here

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