UPSC Civil Services Daily Current Affairs 12th February 2022
Topics for the day :
- Quad meet focuses on IndoPaci?c ties
- Do not spread things to a larger level, SC observes on hijab row
- IIP growth slowed to 0.4% in December
- Speaker rejects plea
- Navy’s Milan to bring together 46 countries
- Chinese troops entered Indian territory, drove away herders, alleges local official
Quad meet focuses on IndoPaci?c ties
- Calling for justice for the 26/ 11 terror attacks in Mumbai (2008) and the Pathankot airbase attack (2016) for the first time,the Foreign Ministers of Australia, India, Japan and the U.S. said the Quad was already cooperating on sharing intelligence on threats in the IndoPacific region
More about the meet :
- The group of Ministers, held their fourth Quad Ministerial meeting in Melbourne
- They resolved to
- speed up delivery of more than a billion COVID19 vaccines to be manufactured in India
- hold a special meet on climate change this year
- step up efforts to ensure maritime security in the region
- The statement also made a veiled reference to China’s actions in the South and East China seas, reaffirming commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific
- However divisions appeared in their stand on global developments such as Russia- NATO tensions over Ukraine and sanctions against Myanmar’s military, as External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar expressed an independent line. While USA supports independent sanctions on Myanmar,India does not.
- The statement called for a return to democracy in Myanmar, and also condemned North Korea’s recent ballistic missile tests.
Criticism of the meet : The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson called the Quad mechanism “only a tool to contain China”
What is the QUAD :
- In 2007, then PM of Japan, Shinzo Abe, formalised the alliance as the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue
- In 2017, with the rising threat of China, the four countries revived the Quad broadening the objectives to establish a rules-based international order
What are the challenges?
- Quad is not structured like a typical multilateral organisation and lacks a secretariat and any permanent decision-making body
- Although exercises such as Malabar naval exercise are conducted, Quad does not include provisions for collective defence unlike NATO
- China opposed the formation of Quad and has branded it an emerging “Asian NATO”
Do not spread things to a larger level, SC observes on hijab row
- The Supreme Court on Friday said it will protect the constitutional rights of petitioners and intervene at an “appropriate time” even as it cautioned against the “spreading” of the controversy triggered by the hijab ban in Karnataka classrooms to a “national level”
- On February 5, the Karnataka government passed an order exercising its powers under Section 133(2) of the Karnataka Education Act, 1983
- The directive specifies that a headscarf is not part of the uniform and thus women were stopped from entering the campuses
- Karnataka High Court is hearing a clutch of petitions challenging the government order banning the hijab in government educational institutions
- As an interim order the HC held that students should not wear hijab, saffron shawls or use any religious flags while attending classes in Karnataka colleges which have a prescribed uniform, till the Court decides the case relating to ban on hijab in certain government colleges
- Wearing a hijab is an expression protected under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution which guarantees the right to freedom of speech and expression.
- Constitutionally, a right under Article 19(1)(a) can only be limited on the “reasonable restrictions” mentioned in Article 19(2) and these include sovereignty and integrity of India, friendly relations with foreign states, public order, decency or morality or in relation to contempt of courts, defamation or incitement to an offence.
- Student silently wearing a hijab/headscarf and attending class cannot in any manner be said to be a practice that disturbs “public order”
- Ban on headscarves violates the fundamental right to equality since other religious markers, such as a turban worn by a Sikh, are not explicitly prohibited.
IIP growth slowed to 0.4% in December
- India’s industrial recovery slowed sharply in December, with factory output growing just 0.4% year on year and manufacturing shrinking 0.1%
More on IIP :
- The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) is an index that shows the growth rates in different industries of the economy.
- It is compiled and published monthly by the Central Statistical Organization (CSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
- IIP is a composite indicator that measures the growth rate of industry groups classified under sectors, such as Mining, Manufacturing, and Electricity.
- Base Year for IIP is 2011-2012
- The eight core industries of India represent about 40% of the weight of items that are included in the IIP these are Electricity, crude oil, coal, cement, steel, refinery products, natural gas, and fertilizers.
- The relative weights of these three sectors are 78% (manufacturing), 14% (mining) and 8% (electricity)
Speaker rejects plea:
- West Bengal Assembly Speaker on Friday rejected a petition by a legislator seeking disqualification of members on the grounds that they defected
Role of speaker of lok sabha:
- Interpretation: He/She is the final interpreter of the provisions of the Constitution of India, the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of Lok Sabha and the parliamentary precedents, within the House.
- He/She presides over a joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament
- Speaker can adjourn the House or suspend the meeting in absence one-tenth of the total strength of the House(quorum)
- Casting Vote: The speaker does not vote in the first instance but in the case of a tie; when the House is divided equally on any question, the Speaker is entitled to vote.
- Money Bill: He/She decides whether a bill is a money bill or not and his/her decision on this question is final.
- Disqualifying Members: It is the speaker who decides the questions of disqualification of a member of the Lok Sabha
- Speaker acts as the ex-officio chairman of the Indian Parliamentary Group (IPG) which is a link between the Parliament of India and the various parliaments of the world
- The Committees of the House are constituted by the speaker and function under the speaker’s overall direction
- The Speaker is the guardian of the rights and privileges of the House, its Committees and members
What is anti defection and Schedule 10 :
- The anti-defection law punishes individual Members of Parliament (MPs)/MLAs for leaving one party for another.
- Parliament added it to the Constitution as the Tenth Schedule in 1985. Its purpose was to bring stability to governments by discouraging legislators from changing parties.
Grounds for disqualification :
- If an elected member voluntarily gives up his membership of a political party
- If he votes or abstains from voting in such House contrary to any direction issued by his political party or anyone authorised to do so, without obtaining prior permission
- If any independently elected member joins any political party.
- If any nominated member joins any political party after the expiry of six months.
- His actions are condoned by his party or the authorised person within 15 days of such incident
- The 91st Constitutional Amendment Act, 2003, allows at least two-thirds of the members of a party to go for a “merger“
Issues with anti defection
- After enactment of the Anti-defection law, the MP or MLA has to follow the party’s direction blindly and has no freedom to vote their judgment
- Due to Anti-Defection law, the chain of accountability has been broken by making legislators accountable primarily to the political party.
- In many instances, the Speaker (usually from the ruling party) has delayed deciding on the disqualification
- The concept of a merger is allowed
- Defection is the subversion of electoral mandates by legislators who get elected on the ticket of one party but then find it convenient to shift to another
- Defection also promotes horse-trading of legislators.
Navy’s Milan to bring together 46 countries
- The Navy is set to hold the 12th President’s Fleet Review (PFR) on February 21 at Visakhapatnam
- Later it will hold the largest multilateral exercise in this region, Milan 2022, which will see participation of all major Navies including Quad countries, Russia and from West Asia amid tensions in Ukraine
More on the news :
- This year’s Milan will see the participation of all Quad countries, with the U.S. being invited for the first time
- It has several themes such as anti submarine warfare among others along with deliberations, including by subject matter experts.
- Navy will also be showcasing its Deep Submergence Rescue Vessel (DSRV) capabilities meant to rescue submarines in distress
About the exercise :
- It is a biennial, multilateral naval exercise which started in 1995 hosted by the Indian Navy
- It is held under the aegis of Eastern Naval Command
Chinese troops entered Indian territory, drove away herders, alleges local official
- CHINESE soldiers entered Indian territory on January 28 in Ladakh and stopped local people from grazing their herd in the area, a local official has alleged.
Recent Chinese actions along the border :
- China, recently renamed 15 places in Arunachal Pradesh and justifies the renaming as being done on the basis of its historical, cultural and administrative jurisdiction over the area.
- On January 1, 2022, China’s new land border law came into force, which provides the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) with full responsibility to take steps against “invasion, encroachment, infiltration, provocation” and safeguard Chinese territory
- China is constructing a bridge on the Pangong Tso lake which is claimed by India as its territory
Dispute along the LAC :
- The pangong Tso lake has regions known as fingers. There are eight of them in contention here along the LAC.
- India and China have different understanding of where the LAC passes through.
- India has maintained that the LAC passes through Finger 8, which has been the site of the final military post of China.
- India has been patrolling the area mostly on foot because of the nature of the terrain up to Finger 8. But Indian forces have not had active control beyond Finger 4.
- China, on the other hand, says the LAC passes through Finger 2. It has been patrolling up to Finger 4 mostly in light vehicles, and at times up to Finger 2.
Importance of pangong tso
- Pangong Tso is strategically crucial as it is very close to Chusul Valley, which was one of the battlefronts between India and China during the 1962 war.
- China also does not want India to boost its infrastructure anywhere near the LAC. China fears it threatens its occupation of Aksai Chin and Lhasa-Kashgar highway.
UPSC Civil Services Daily Current Affairs 12th February 2022
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