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Home » THE HINDU, PIB CURRENT AFFAIRS 8 JAN 2019

THE HINDU, PIB CURRENT AFFAIRS 8 JAN 2019

Note:  The following Current affairs has been selected from AIR, PIB, PRS, BBC, The Hindu, IDSA (Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses), Live mint, Indian Express, Quora.com, Hindustan Times, Telegraph, The Times , WTO, New Indian express , The Guardian and is highly recommended for UPSC Prelims and Mains Examination

 

News Analysis: 08-01-2019

National News

General Studies-II : Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

 

Centre plans 10% quota for the poor

  • The Union Cabinet on Monday approved a Constitution Amendment Bill to provide 10% reservation to the economically backward sections in the general category, a senior government official said.

  • The Bill will also cover those from the Muslim, Sikh, Christian, Buddhist and other minority communities.

  • The quota will be over and above the existing 50% reservation to the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and the Other Backward Classes (OBC).

  • The decision, which comes ahead of the general election in April-May, was taken at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

  • The specific details of the Bill were not available as there was no word from the government after the meeting. A press briefing scheduled for the evening was cancelled. The reservation is for those castes that now do not avail themselves of quota in any category.

  • The government is likely to introduce the Bill in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, the last working day of the winter session.

  • Articles 15 and 16 of the Constitution will have to be amended for the implementation of the decision, the Minister said.

  • A nine-judge Constitutional Bench of the Supreme Court had, in the Indira Sawhney case, capped reservation at 50%.

  • The court had ruled on November 16, 1992, that “clause (4) of Article 16 of the Constitution speaks of adequate representation and not proportionate representation” and “relaxation can be done in extraordinary situations and while doing so, extreme caution has to be exercised and a special case made out.”

  • The Indira Sawhney judgment declared 50% quota as the rule unless extraordinary situations “inherent in the great diversity of this country and the people” happen. Even then, extreme caution is to be exercised and a special case should be made out.

  • It categorically held that “a backward class cannot be determined only and exclusively with reference to economic criterion.”

  • The court observed that the “unreserved category itself is a class” and economic criteria was too fluctuating a basis for providing quota.

  • A proposed law, which got Cabinet approval on Monday, to provide 10% reservation for upper castes (or the unreserved category) exclusively with reference to their economic backwardness may run into rough weather if challenged in the Supreme Court.

  • According to the 2011 Census, the population of the country was 1.21 billion. The population of the Scheduled Castes was 201.4 million and that of the Scheduled Tribes stood at 104.3 million.

  • Reacting to the decision, the Congress said it agreed with the principle of helping the poor in getting access to education and jobs but questioned the Modi government’s intent.

Source: The Hindu


 

General Studies-II : Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

 

Death traps

  • The Meghalaya government must urgently ensure that all illegal mines are shut down

  • The tardy response of the Centre and the State of Meghalaya to the plight of at least 15 workers trapped in a rat-hole coal mine since mid-December has exposed the extraordinary indifference in government to labour welfare and the law.

  • Two workers have been found dead in a second mine in the East Jaintia Hills district.

  • The primary responsibility for the operation of illegal mines lies with the State government, and it should be called to account for ignoring the directions of the National Green Tribunal to close them and levy punitive royalties on those that extracted the coal.

  • Several appeals are before the Supreme Court in connection with a ban ordered by the Tribunal on rat-hole mining and the transport of already mined coal.

  • It should be possible at least now to put an end to it. The Meghalaya government has been evasive on the issue of the continued operation of the illegal mines, in spite of the adverse findings of the Justice B.P. Katoki committee appointed by the NGT.

  • It avoided taking action even after a similar mine-flooding accident that claimed 15 lives in 2012 in South Garo Hills, and the subsequent ban.

  • Although the NGT has ordered the State to deposit ₹100 crore with the Central Pollution Control Board for environmental restoration in the wake of the recent disaster at Ksan in East Jaintia Hills, the first-order priority is to close the rat-hole mines.

  • It is the responsibility of the Centre and the State to rehabilitate the workers from impoverished communities, reportedly including some child labourers, who are ready to undertake the risky labour because of the higher-than-average wages paid.

  • This should not be difficult, considering that the value of extracted coal stored in Meghalaya was officially estimated at over ₹3,078 crore four years ago, and mineral resources should be treated as state property.

  • The scale is high: as interpreted from satellite images and reported by the Katoki panel, it could be of the order of 24,000 mines, many of them illegal.

  • If illegal mines continue to operate in flagrant violation of rules under the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, the responsibility lies with the State government. Chief Minister Conrad Sangma has said a ban on coal mining is not the solution, given the economic conditions in the region.

  • Yet, the State government has done little to implement reforms and diversify employment away from dirty mining under primitive conditions over the years, in spite of judicial orders.

  • In fact, authorities in Shillong continue to ignore such directions, as the accident at the Lumthari mine in East Jaintia Hills shows.

  • As recently as in December, Parliament was informed that 22 States had constituted a task force to review illegal mining and act on it, but Meghalaya does not figure in that list. A clean-up is overdue.

Source: The Hindu






 

General Studies-II : Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

 

Leprosy is no longer a ground for divorce

  • The Lok Sabha on Monday passed a Bill seeking to remove leprosy as a ground for divorce, stating that this was a “discriminatory” provision for a disease that is now curable.

  • The Bill has sought to amend five Acts — the Divorce Act, 1869, the Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act, 1939, the Special Marriage Act, 1954, the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, and the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956 — on provisions related to marriage, divorce, and separation of Hindu and Muslim couples.

  • Each of these Acts prescribe leprosy as a ground for seeking divorce or separation from the spouse. The Bill cleared on Monday removes this as a ground for divorce or separation.

Source: The Hindu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

General Studies-II : Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

 

Centre okays Citizenship Bill

  • The Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on the contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016 recommended that the Assam government should help settle migrants “especially in places which are not densely populated, thus, causing lesser impact on the demographic changes and providing succour to the indigenous Assamese people”.

  • The Bill paves the way to grant citizenship to six religious minorities — Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Parsis, Christians and Buddhists — from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who came to India before 2014.

  • There has been a strong resistance to the Bill in the BJP-ruled Assam as it would pave the way for giving citizenship, mostly to illegal Hindu migrants from Bangladesh, in Assam who came after March 1971, in violation of the Assam Accord of 1985.

  • The Union Cabinet cleared the redrafted Citizenship Amendment Bill on Monday, and it is likely to be tabled in Parliament on Tuesday.

  • The Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) expressed its concern before the committee.

 

Source: The Hindu


 

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