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The Hindu Newspaper Analysis 18 February 2023

The Hindu Newspaper Analysis for UPSC

The Hindu Newspaper Analysis 16 February 2023

Election Symbols

  • About:
    • The Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968 empowers the EC to recognise political parties and allot symbols.
    • Under Paragraph 15 of the Order, it can decide disputes among rival groups or sections of a recognised political party staking claim to its name and symbol.

 The Hindu Editorial Today

    • The legal status of Paragraph 15 :
      • Under Paragraph 15, the EC is the only authority to decide issues on a dispute or a merger. The Supreme Court upheld its validity in Sadiq Ali and another vs. ECI in 1971.
      • As per the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) (Amendment) Order, 2017, party symbols are either:
      • Reserved: Eight national parties and 64 state parties across the country have “reserved” symbols.
      • Free: The Election Commission also has a pool of nearly 200 “free” symbols that are allotted to the thousands of unrecognised regional parties that pop up before elections.
    • Allocation of Symbols to Political Parties:
      • As per the guidelines, to get a symbol allotted:
      • A party/candidate has to provide a list of three symbols from the EC’s free symbols list at the time of filing nomination papers.
      • Among them, one symbol is allotted to the party/candidate on a first-come-first-serve basis.
      • When a recognised political party splits, the Election Commission decides on assigning the symbol.

  • The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has imposed a fine of ₹2,232 crore on the Delhi government for damage caused to the environment due to improper solid and liquid waste management.
  • It has also constituted a panel under Lieutenant-Governor V.K. Saxena to monitor the Capital’s solid waste management.

About NGT:

  • Established on 18th October, 2010 under the National Green Tribunal Act 2010.
  • Established for effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources.
  • New Delhi is the Principal Place of Sitting of the Tribunal and Bhopal, Pune, Kolkata and Chennai shall be the other four places of sitting of the Tribunal.
  • The Tribunal is not bound by the procedure laid down under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, but shall be guided by principles of natural justice.
  • NGT is mandated to make disposal of applications or appeals finally within 6 months of filing of the same.


  • Sanctioned strength: The act allows for up to 40 members (20 expert members and 20 judicial members).
  • Chairman: Is the administrative head of the tribunal, also serves as a judicial member and is required to be a serving or retired Chief Justice of a High Court or a judge of the Supreme Court of India.
  • The NGT deals with civil cases under the seven laws related to the environment, these include:
    • The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974,
    • The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act, 1977,
    • The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980,
    • The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981,
    • The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986,
    • The Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991 and
    • The Biological Diversity Act, 2002.

  • This year, severe cuts in various social security and welfare schemes such as food security and the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), have undermined the already precarious lives of large numbers of poor people in India.
  • Since 2007, social security pensions being given by the central government under the centrally sponsored National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP), have remained frozen at an appallingly low sum of ₹200 for the elderly and ₹300 per month for widows and persons with disabilities.
  • In addition, only those who appear on the obsolete and discredited Below Poverty Line (BPL) lists prepared as in Census 2001 are given pensions.


  • NSAP stands for National Social Assistance Programme.
  • NSAP was launched on 15th August, 1995.
  • The National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) represents a significant step towards the fulfillment of the Directive Principles .
  • In particular, Article 41 of the Constitution of India directs the State to provide public assistance to its citizens in case of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement and in other cases of undeserved want within the limit of its economic capacity and development.

  • This was even clearer during the pandemic, when thousands of migrant workers who left urban areas due to the lockdowns took up work under the MGNREGS in rural areas where demand for the menial but arduous work peaked.
  • There is of course the case that the scheme has still not transcended into creating more useful assets beyond roads and irrigation canals and requires broadbasing and better implementation.
  • Such a reading can be justifiably made if the reduced allocation for the scheme in the Union Budget, from 2.14% of overall outlay in FY23 to 1.33% in FY24, is considered.
  • Union Rural Development Minister Giriraj Singh has now said that the Act should be amended to change the contribution of funds from 100% by the government to a 60-40 split between the Centre and the States in order to make States “more vigilant regarding corruption”. But this will only lead to further complications in funding. There has been a shrinking in the States’ share of taxes following GST and the financial stresses during the pandemic.

  • On the eve of World Pangolin Day observed on February 18, a not-for-profit organisation working on the international trade of animals and plants, has brought out a fact sheet reporting that 1,203 pangolins have been found in illegal wildlife trade in India from 2018 to 2022.
  • India is home to two species: the Indian Pangolin, found across the subcontinent; and the Chinese Pangolin, found across a larger area in south Asia.
  • Bihar, West Bengal, and Assam see the presence of both.
  • Both species are included under India’s Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act that could result in a jail term for those hunting animals listed here.
    • Insectivore- Pangolins are nocturnal, and their diet consists of mainly ants and termites, which they capture using their long tongues.
  • Conservation Status:
    • Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: Schedule I
    • IUCN Red List: Endangered
      • Chinese Pangolin is ‘critically endangered’
    • CITES: Appendix I

  • Russia, China and South Africa are set to begin naval drills off South Africa’s Indian Ocean coast on Friday in a demonstration of the three countries’ close ties amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and China’s tense relationship with the West.
  • The 10 days of exercises, named Mosi II, will coincide with the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24.
  • A Russian frigate, the Admiral Gorshkov, arrived in Cape Town earlier this week. It is said to be armed with the Zircon hypersonic missiles, a weapon that Russia says can penetrate any missile defences. It will test-fire a Zircon missile during the drills.

  • Even though the global slowdown in 2023 may be milder than anticipated earlier, the trajectory still remains unpredictable, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) officials observed in a bulletin article on the ‘State of the Economy’, adding, however, that India’s economy would likely decouple from the rest of the world.
  • In India, domestic consumption and investment would benefit from stronger prospects for agricultural and allied activities, strengthening business and consumer confidence, and strong credit growth, the officials led by Deputy Governor Michael D. Patra wrote in the RBI Bulletin.
  • “Supply responses and cost conditions are poised to improve even though inflation witnessed a rebound in January. The Union Budget 2023-24’s emphasis on capital expenditure is expected to crowd-in private investment, strengthen job creation and demand, and raise India’s potential growth,” they asserted.
  • According to the officials, India would decouple from macroeconomic projections of current vintage and also from the rest of the world.

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The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has imposed a fine of how much on the Delhi government for damage caused to the environment

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has imposed a fine of ₹2,232 crore on the Delhi government for damage caused to the environment due to improper solid and liquid waste management.

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