The Hindu Newspaper Analysis for UPSC
The Hindu Newspaper Analysis 24 January 2023
- Amid the running battle between the Executive and the Judiciary over judicial appointments, Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju on Tuesday said it was a matter of “grave concern” that the Supreme Court Collegium put certain portions of sensitive reports of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) in public domain.
- Intelligence agency officials, who work in a secret manner, will “think twice” in future if their reports are made public, Mr. Rijiju told presspersons on the sidelines of a Law Ministry event.
- He, however, stressed that matters of appointments were an administrative matter, and government functionaries commenting on issues such as the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) did not amount to lowering the dignity of the Judiciary.
Q) Consider the following statements: (2019)
- The 44th Amendment to the Constitution of India introduced an Article placing the election of the Prime Minister beyond judicial review.
- The Supreme Court of India struck down the 99th Amendment to the Constitution of India as being violative of the independence of judiciary.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
- 1 only
- 2 only
- Both 1 and 2
- Neither 1 nor 2
- It was the 39th amendment to the Constitution, in 1975, through which the Parliament introduced an Article removing the authority of the Supreme Court to adjudicate petitions regarding elections of the President, Vice-President, Prime Minister and Speaker of the Lok Sabha. Instead, a body constituted by Parliament would be vested with the power to resolve such election disputes. Hence, statement 1 is not correct.
- The 99th Constitutional Amendment Act provided for the National Judicial Appointments Commission, which would replace the collegium system followed for the appointment of the Judges of the Supreme Court and High Court. The Act was struck down by the Supreme Court as it impinged upon the principles of ‘independence of the judiciary’ as well as ‘separation of powers’. Hence, statement 2 is correct.
- Hundreds of vulnerable Olive Ridley turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) have washed ashore along the coastline between Kakinada and Antarvedi in the Godavari region of Andhra Pradesh during the ongoing annual breeding season on the east coast.
- The effluents being released from the aqua ponds along the coastline and the discharges from the pipelines of the onshore oil exploration facilities are blamed for the mass mortality of the turtles.
- The Olive ridley turtles are the smallest and most abundant of all sea turtles found in the world.
- These turtles are carnivores and get their name from their olive-coloured carapace.
- They are best known for their unique mass nesting called Arribada, where thousands of females come together on the same beach to lay eggs.
- Vulnerable in IUCN
- They are found in warm waters of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans.
- The Odisha’s Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary is known as the world’s largest rookery (colony of breeding animals) of sea turtles.
- The raging controversy over the very meaning of ‘We the People’, after the speech made by the Vice-President of India and Chairman, Rajya Sabha, Jagdeep Dhankhar at the 83rd all India conference of presiding officers’ in Jaipur, Rajasthan, on January 11, needs a closer look. With its particular reference to the judiciary, Mr. Dhankhar’s speech was of the view that ‘We the People’ essentially gives primacy to elected members of Parliament and the State legislatures.
- The Speaker of Lok Sabha supported Mr. Dhankar’s view that the separation of powers (as enshrined in the Constitution) gives this primacy. Expatiating on this theme, Mr. Dhankhar implied that the separation of powers does not equate the three pillars of democracy: Parliament, judiciary and the executive. In his view (although he did not explicitly say this), as the judiciary and the executive are appointed and not elected directly by the people, they are inferior.
- The Constitution does not define ‘people’. Its concern is about citizens and not any group or a particular institution.
- To identify representatives in the legislature to be the sole representatives of the people is a travesty.
- In the United States, the President has the power to appoint judges, although this should be endorsed by Congress. But the President is directly elected by the people and has prerogatives in several issues which do not apply to a parliamentary democracy.
- In the case of the United Kingdom, it is run by time-honoured conventions and laws passed by the House of Commons. It does not have a written Constitution which gives judicial review.
- In India too, the first two Speakers, G.V. Mavalankar and M. Ananthasayanam Ayyangar and later Neelam Sanjiva Reddy resigned from the ruling party to give the entire Parliament a sense of impartiality in ensuring a proper place for minority parties.
Four important aspects can be ascertained from the above text of the preamble
- Source of authority of the constitution: It derives its authority from the people of India
- Nature of Indian state: It declares India to be a sovereign, socialistic, secular democratic and republican polity
- Objectives of the constitution: It specifies justice, liberty, equality and fraternity as the objectives
- Date of adoption: Nov 26th, 1949
- Keshavananda Bharati case in 1973; the SC held that Preamble is part of the constitution. This opinion was further clarified by the SC in LIC of India case (1995)
- The preamble has been amended only once. That is- 42nd constitutional amendment act, 1976 when three new terms were added- Socialist, secular and integrity
- National Tourism Day (January 25)
- The government of India has always felt that the promotion of India’s tourism will only be effective when different Ministries at the Union level and States work in cohesion by combining their domain expertise.
- Moving ahead on this, the Ministry of Tourism declaration of “Visit India Year 2023” aims to promote various tourism products and destinations to increase India’s share in the global tourism market.
- Travelling to India is not just a tourism experience. It is an avenue to find oneself. India has always been a popular destination for travellers exploring spiritual enlightenment and self-discovery.
- On the eternally rough road of India-Pakistan ties, any offer of talks, like the one made by Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif last week, is cause for equal measure of excitement and cynicism.
- Economically, Pakistan is in imminent danger of a debt default, and is being held together by assurances of support from the UAE, Saudi Arabia and China, as well as hopes that its IMF bailout package will come through with the adoption of more austerity measures.
- There is more to the timing of Mr. Sharif’s words; as India prepares to host the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit this summer, invitations are going out to ensure participation by Pakistan for the major meetings, and a more cordial relationship will ensure a smoother ride.
- “Ma’am, may I please go to the toilet?” or “Can I go play outside?” are usually innocuous requests by most schoolchildren. But for children with disability/disabilities (CWD), these are difficult tasks, due to the higher care needed to complete the actions. These actions become tougher in schools which do not have accessible spaces and other guiding infrastructure to get there safely.
- A UNESCO 2019 report mentioned that CWD comprise 1.7% of the total child population in India (Census 2011). As they are faced with physical, institutional, socioeconomic and communication barriers from an early age, more than 70% of five-year-olds with disabilities in India have never attended any educational institution, the report said.
- To motivate all children to meaningfully participate in all indoor and outdoor activities without barriers or limitations, the school ecosystem has to be made safe, accessible, and reliable.
- Article 21A of the Constitution and the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 outline the fundamental right to education and the right to have free and compulsory education for children aged 6-14 years.
- India ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Aligning with this commitment, the government launched the Accessible India Campaign (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan) in 2015.
- This includes awareness and sensitisation programmes for children, parents, and caregivers; training trainers for upskilling of school faculty and special educators and providing access to updated teaching toolkits and materials; technical training for local government departments; and a co-learning platform for knowledge-sharing between all.
- Additionally, five principles — equitability, usability and durability, affordability, cultural adaptability, and aesthetic appeal — should be embedded from the planning to implementation to evaluation stages of providing infrastructure services in schools.
- The Centre has approved the implementation of Ken-Betwa river link project, one of the links under peninsular rivers component with an estimated cost of Rs 44,605 crore.
- As part of the Ken-Betwa Link Project (KBLP), excess water will be transported from the Ken river in MP to the Betwa river in UP to feed the drought-prone Bundelkhand region.
- The region is divided into two states: Lalitpur, Mahoba, Jhansi, and Banda districts in UP and Chhatarpur, Panna, and Tikamgarh, districts in MP.
- The project includes the construction of a 77-meter-tall, 2-kilometre-wide Dhaudhan dam and a 230-kilometre canal.
Ken and Betwa Rivers
- Ken and Betwa rivers originate in MP and are the tributaries of Yamuna.
- Ken meets with Yamuna in Banda district of UP and with Betwa in Hamirpur district of UP.
- Rajghat, Paricha and Matatila dams are over Betwa river.
- Ken River passes through Panna tiger reserve.