CURRENT AFFAIRS 06-11-2021
- All India Judicial Services (AIJS)
- SBI Report on Shrinking of India’s Informal
- India’s climate commitments are bold, but the challenge
- Pakal Dul Hydro Electric Project
- Salem Nanjundaiah Subba Rao
1. All India Judicial Services (AIJS)
#GS2- Polity and Governance
- The Centre will try again to reach an agreement on judicial services.
In depth information
- The Law Commission proposed the All India Judicial Services (AIJS) in the 1950s.
- The creation of an AIJS, a national-level recruiting process for district judges modelled after the Union Public Service Commission, has been on the table for more than a decade.
- A statute could be needed to create an all-India judicial service that would use an entrance exam to appoint officers for subordinate courts.
Provisions of the Constitution
- States’ power: The states have the power to appoint judges to the lower courts, according to the Constitution.
- Currently, states conduct their own exams in response to vacancies.
- Article 312 of the Constitution was amended with the 42nd amendment in 1976, which incorporated the AIJS provision. However, a statute would be required to settle on its broad features.
- The Constitution’s Articles 124 and 217 dealt with the nomination of judges of the higher courts.
- The President of India will appoint judges following “consultation” with the Chief Justice of India (CJI) and other justices, according to these articles.
- The word “consulting” is essential since the Supreme Court decided in the so-called Second Judges case in 1993 that the CJI must agree to all judge appointments, a concept known as “concurrence.”
- The collegium system was established as a result of this, in which the three most senior Supreme Court judges determined who would be a high court or Supreme Court judge.
- Article 312 of the Indian Constitution, which deals with ‘All-India Services,’ stipulates that Parliament may, among other things, allow for the establishment of one or more all-India services, such as an all-India judicial service, that is shared by the Union and the states.
- Article 312 further states that such a service may be established if the Rajya Sabha declares that it is “necessary or expedient in the national interest” “by resolution approved by not less than two-thirds of the members present and voting.”
- Strengthen the overall justice delivery system: The All India Judicial Service, particularly at the district and subordinate court levels, is critical to the overall justice delivery system.
- Vacancies: The change was made solely to ensure that positions were filled as soon as possible.
- Fresh legal talent: Through an all-India merit selection method, the All India Judicial Service (AIJS) will be able to induct adequately qualified fresh legal talent.
- It would generate a pool of skilled lawyers who could subsequently join the higher judiciary, which would include 25 high courts and the Supreme Court.
- Social inclusion: It will also address the issue of social inclusion by allowing marginalised and disadvantaged groups in society to be adequately represented.
- Reducing the number of cases pending: According to data from earlier this year, the lower judiciary, which includes district and subordinate courts, has a backlog of 3.8 crore cases, accounting for the majority of the more than 4.4 crore cases pending across the Indian judiciary.
- Judge-to-population ratio: In India, there are around 19 judges per 10 lakh inhabitants, despite the Law Commission’s recommendation that it be at least 50.
- All of this speaks to the urgent need to fill vacancies quickly and increase recruitment to the lower judiciary, for which the Centre has long advocated the establishment of the AIJS.
- A centralised recruitment process is considered as an affront to federalism and an incursion on the powers provided to states by the Constitution.
- Fail to Meet Particular Issues: Several states have complained that central recruitment will be unable to address the unique challenges that each state may have.
- Reservations based on caste, as well as reservations for rural candidates or linguistic minority in the state, might be diluted in a central test.
- Separation of Powers Opposition: The opposition is based on the constitutional notion of separation of powers as well.
- A central test might allow the government a foot in the door when it comes to district judge appointments, reducing the influence of the High Courts in the process.
- Failure to Solve Structural Issues: The establishment of AIJS will do nothing to address the structural problems that plague the lower judiciary.
The Supreme Court’s Position:
- In the case of All India Judges’ Association v. Union of India, the Supreme Court (SC) ordered the Centre to establish an AIJS in 1992.
- However, in a 1993 reversal of the decision, the court allowed the Centre to take the lead on the problem.
- In 2017, the Supreme Court took suo motu notice of the issue of district judge appointment and proposed a Central Selection Mechanism.
- The AIJS has been marketed as a remedy to judge vacancies, a lack of marginalised representation on the bench, and the inability to attract the best candidate. Many of these problems have been misdiagnosed, as this primer has showed.
2. SBI Report on Shrinking of India’s Informal Economy
#GS3- Indian Economy & Related Issues
- According to the latest “Ecowrap” report from the State Bank of India, India’s informal economy has decreased to roughly 15-20% of official GDP, down from 52 percent three years ago.
Major Highlights of the Report in Detail
- Following the implementation of GST, greater digitalization, and demonetisation, India’s informal economy has decreased to roughly 15-20% of the official GDP, down from 52 percent three years ago, according to a report by the State Bank of India’s (SBI) economic research department.
- According to SBI Eco wrap, at least Rs 13 lakh crore has entered the official economy through various routes over the previous few years, including the current programme on the e-Shram platform.
- According to SBI predictions, the informal agriculture sector has declined from 97.1 percent of the industry’s GVA in 2017-18 to just 70 percent to 75 percent in 2020-21, owing to higher credit penetration via Kisan credit cards.
- The informal sector comprises of “own-account” or unorganised businesses that hire workers, with agriculture accounting for the largest share of such unorganised activity due to tiny and fragmented holdings.
What exactly is the informal economy?
- According to the International Labour Organization, the informal sector consists of a variety of economic units that are primarily owned, operated, and maintained by individuals, and which typically employ one or more employees on a continuous basis.
- These units are typically involved in the production of goods or services with the primary goal of providing employment and income to these individuals.
- Agricultural labourers, farmers, small business owners and employees, as well as self-employed businesses with no hired workers, all fall under this category.
- Even though India has experienced tremendous levels of economic growth over the last three decades, the informal sector still accounts for more than 80% of non-agricultural employment.
Issues raised by the SBI Report
- Numbers with flaws: According to some experts, the informal sector accounted for 42-44 percent of GDP, not 52 percent, and while formalisation has increased, the informal sector has not halved.
- Tax-to-GDP Ratio: In the case of high levels of formalisation, the tax-to-GDP ratio would have increased dramatically. It has, however, barely increased from roughly 16.5 percent to 17.5 percent.
Factors that Influence the Economy’s Formalization
- GST adoption: Once GST is in place, a paper trail will be created, and most businesses will be unable to operate unless they are part of the formal economy.
- Technology is being used to construct aggregation platforms for service providers such as Amazon, Flipkart, Uber, Ola, and others. These platforms not only help to create jobs, but they also help to formalise the economy.
- Demonetisation combined with the prohibition of cash transactions: Above a defined ceiling and other attempts to reduce the economy’s cash intensity have put the informal sector under strain, since they remove most of the arbitrage available to the sector’s operators. Rules are being developed to compel all units to pay salaries to workers through direct deposit into their bank accounts as nowadays no party in its supply chain wants to deal in big volumes of cash.
- Simplify tax administration: More often than tax rates, tax administration is recognised as a difficulty. Consider using a single tax for MSMEs to reduce the number of payments. Offer a variety of payment choices, such as one-time or instalment payments.
- Reforms to labour laws: These safeguard fundamental rights while making it simpler to hire, fire, and employ employees on flexible contracts.
3. India’s climate commitments are bold, but the challenge
- At the UNFCCC’s 26th Conference of Parties, India announced an increased climate action objective for itself.
In depth information
What are some of India’s new climate targets’ worries and challenges?
- One major concern for Indian policymakers in the future will be ensuring that growth is equitable and that the poor in the country do not lose their right to progress as a result of the new energy future. Other difficulties include:
- Issues with the renewable energy sector: Since the Paris Agreement in 2015, India’s renewable energy sector has grown rapidly, however there are significant scale issues.
- Increasing storage capacity, for example, to ensure that State discoms adhere to their agreements, or managing grid integration on favourable terms.
- Discom sector issues: India’s power distribution system is broken. The main problem is that state governments operate a complicated cross-subsidy system against a backdrop of fiscal restrictions, resulting in overdues. Discoms currently owe roughly Rs 66,000 crore in arrears.
- Infrastructure improvements: A RE-driven system will necessitate greater efficiency from the distribution infrastructure; the current system, in which around a fifth of the electricity is wasted, will not suffice.
- Coal phasing: India would face another problem in phasing out coal. To attain net-zero emissions by 2070, India’s coal consumption, particularly for power generation, would have to reduce by 99 percent by 2060.
What is the best course of action?
- Reducing emissions from the transportation and industrial sectors: India will need to take more aggressive measures to cut emissions from the transportation and energy-intensive industrial sectors, including cement, iron and steel, non-metallic minerals, and chemicals.
- Strong public transportation: It would also need to increase the thermal efficiency of its dwellings and strengthen its public transportation in cities.
- Private sector investment: India’s installed renewable capacity, excluding hydro projects, is at 100 GW. Currently, the private sector owns around 48% of the capacity. Private investors would need an incentive to keep building capacity if India is to reach its 2030 ambitions.
- Reforming the power industry: Greater efforts in the broader power sector, in collaboration with state governments, will be required to meet higher expectations for future capacity in the renewable energy sector. Furthermore, to ensure a competitive tariff level, an all-party consensus is required. The political class in India must find common ground.
- Investment in the renewable energy sector: A five-fold increase in renewable capacity must be complemented by increased R&D spending by all stakeholders. Because China, the dominant player, cannot be relied upon, IP must be kept by Indian entities.
- No reliance on the West: When it comes to clean technology, India should not rely on the West. It is necessary to establish a fund for the incubation of ideas in this field. Vaccine disparity has demonstrated that global assistance is at best insecure.
- Nuclear energy: India must not overlook nuclear energy, an area in which it has made significant progress. Concentrating solely on renewables may result in higher electricity costs. Nuclear energy, like wind and solar, deserves to be promoted.
- Better coordination between state electricity boards is required so that utilities with excess power can compensate for the shortages of others. They’d also need to keep a reserve of traditional electricity on hand to deal with RE supply changes. All of this would necessitate technological and administrative improvements to the grid and traditional power plants.
4. Pakal Dul Hydro Electric Project
#GS3- Growth and development.
- The diversion of the Marusudar River for the Pakal Dul Hydroelectric Project was recently inaugurated by the Power Minister.
In depth information
- Pakal Dul Dam is a 167-meter concrete-face rock-fill dam (CFRD) proposed on the Marusadar River, a tributary of the Chenab River in J&K’s Kishtwar region.
- The dam’s main purpose is to generate hydroelectric power.
- Its subterranean power plant includes four units, each with a capacity of 250 MW (total 1000 MW).
- When completed, it will be the largest hydropower project in J&K, with a capacity of 1000 MW.
- It will be J&K’s first storage project.
- The cost of the project is split between the Government of India and the Government of J&K.
- It will benefit J&K greatly by supplying power and enhancing water availability during the lean season.
It is the Chenab River’s greatest tributary. The Nunkun Glacier in Warwan Valley is its source.
5. Salem Nanjundaiah Subba Rao
#GS1- Modern history
- Salem Nanjundaiah Subba Rao, a veteran Gandhian leader, died recently in Jaipur after a protracted illness.
In depth information
- Bengaluru is where he was born.
- He got into politics when he was 13 years old, when he was jailed for taking part in Quit India Day protests in 1942.
- Subba Rao afterwards became a member of the Seva Dal.
- Rao has ties to a number of leaders, including Jawaharlal Nehru and K. Kamaraj.
- Contributions: Bhaiji was his nickname.
- When Rao was 13 years old, he joined the Quit India Movement.
- He arrived to the Chambal valley with a message of peace after India gained independence and played a key role in the surrender of dacoits in 1972.
- On April 16, 1972, 572 dacoits from the Chambal valley, which stretches over Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh, put down their arms in front of Gandhi’s portrait in the Joura area of Madhya Pradesh’s Morena district.
- Rao constantly encouraged young people to help the country in any way they could. He was given the Padmashri Award by the Indian government.
- Since the days of the independence struggle, he has made a living from the fruit grown on his farm.
- In Joura, the veteran Gandhian built a Gandhi Sewa Ashram, which produces Khadi clothing and vermin-compost.
- By establishing Mahatma Gandhi Seva Ashram in Madhya Pradesh’s Morena area, the Gandhian leader is credited with retraining 654 dacoits.
- Subba Rao’s ‘Shramdaan’ (voluntary contribution of labour) activities and camps made him famous.
- Hundreds of youth camps were held in every state of India as well as many other nations around the world.
- The “Congress principles” of discipline and nonviolence were instilled in him.
- Subba Rao later distinguished the Congress Party from the Congress principles, which he grieved had disappeared from public life.