Polity & Governance
- Congress seeks Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker post
- What constitutes a breach of legislature’s privilege?
- Central government security; who gets it?
Government Schemes & Policies
- SHG being geared up to prepare VPRP for integration with GPDP
- Censorship before a show
- Five Star Villages Scheme launched
- PM Matsya Sampada Yojana, e-Gopala App & several initiatives launched
- ‘SAROD-Ports’ launched
Defence & Security Issues
- India and Japan sign logistics agreement
- Govind Ballabh Pant’s 133rd anniversary
Science & Technology
- Report on NSTEDB
Key Facts for Prelims
- Project 17A
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Polity & Governance
Congress seeks Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker post
With the Rajya Sabha poised to elect the Deputy Chairman, the Congress renewed its campaign seeking the Deputy Speaker’s position in the Lok Sabha.
About the Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha:
- The Deputy Chairman is a constitutional position created under Article 89 of the Constitution.
- Article 89 specifies that Rajya Sabha shall choose one of its MPs to be the Deputy Chairman as often as the position becomes vacant.
- Tenure: 6 years
The Deputy Chairman vacates his office in any of the following cases:
- If he/ she ceases to be a member of the Rajya Sabha,
- If he/ she resigns by writing to the Chairman and
- If he is removed by a resolution passed by a majority of all the members of the Rajya Sabha.
- Such a resolution can be moved only after giving 14 days’ advance notice.
Role of the Deputy Chairman:
- He performs the duties of the Chairman’s office when it is vacant or when the Vice-President acts as President or discharges the functions of the President.
- He also acts as the Chairman when the latter is absent from the sitting of the House. In both the cases, he has all the powers of the Chairman.
- The Deputy Chairman is not subordinate to the Chair-man. He is directly responsible to the Rajya Sabha.
- While presiding over the House, he cannot vote in the first instance; he can only exercise a casting vote in the case of a tie.
- When a resolution for the removal of the Deputy Chairman is under consideration of the House, he cannot preside over a sitting of the House.
- When the Chairman presides over the House, the Deputy Chairman is like any other ordinary member of the House.
- He can speak in the House, participate in its proceedings and vote on any question before the House.
Salary and allowance:
- The salary and allowance of the Deputy Chairman is fixed by Parliament and are charged on the Consolidated Fund of India.
What constitutes a breach of legislature’s privilege?
A motion for breach of privilege was moved in the Maharashtra Assembly against Republic TV’s Managing Director.
What is legislature privilege?
- It refers to the right and immunity enjoyed by legislatures, in which legislators are granted protection against civil or criminal liability for actions done or statements made in the course of their legislative duties.
Which provisions of the Constitution protect the privileges of the legislature?
- Article 105 of the Constitution: The powers, privileges and immunities of either House of the Indian Parliament and of its Members and committees are laid down in Article 105.
- Article 194 deals with the powers, privileges and immunities of the State Legislatures, their Members and their committees.
What constitutes a breach of this privilege?
- While the Constitution has accorded special privileges and powers to parliamentarians and legislators to maintain the dignity and authority of the Houses, these powers and privileges are not codified.
- Thus, there are no clear, notified rules to decide what constitutes a breach of privilege, and the punishment it attracts.
- These are treated as breach of privilege:
- It is a breach of privilege and contempt of the House to make speeches or to print or publish libel reflecting on the character or proceedings of the House, or its Committees, or on any member of the House for or relating to his character or conduct as a legislator.
- Any act that:
- Obstructs or impedes either House of the state legislature in performing its functions, or
- Which obstructs or impedes any Member or officer of such House in the discharge of his duty, or
- Has a tendency, directly or indirectly, to produce such results is treated as breach of privilege.
What is the procedure to be followed in the legislature’s privilege?
- If the privilege and contempt are found prima facie, then the Speaker or Chairman will forward it to the Privileges Committee by following the due procedure.
- The Legislative Assembly Speaker or Legislative Council Chairman constitutes a Privileges Committee consisting of 15 members in the Assembly and 11 members in the Council.
- The members to the committee are nominated based on the party strength in the Houses.
What is the punishment?
- If the Committee finds the offender guilty of breach of privilege and contempt, it can recommend the punishment which can include:
- Communicating the displeasure of the state legislature to the offender,
- Summoning the offender before the House and giving a warning, and
- Even sending the offender to jail.
Central government security; who gets it?
Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut has been accorded Y-plus category of CRPF security by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in the wake of her spat with political leader and after she said she feared for her life.
Who can get central government protection?
- This protection is informally called “VIP security”, and it is generally given only to someone who holds a position of consequence either in the government or in civil society.
- The Centre is generally reluctant to liberally give protection to individuals, and a large number of even “important people” whose lives have been found to have been in danger, are provided security by state police, based on assessments of the threat made by the state government concerned.
- The level of security is decided by the MHA, based on inputs received from intelligence agencies which include the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW).
- The agencies mostly provide a subjective measure of the threat to life or injury to a person from terrorists or any other group. The information can include intercepts of phone conversations, human intelligence, or a credible analysis of an open threat.
- Certain individuals, by reason of positions they hold in government, are automatically entitled to security cover.
- They include the Prime Minister and his immediate family.
- The Home Minister and officials such as the National Security Advisor.
Various levels of protection
- There are broadly six categories of security cover: X, Y, Y-plus, Z, Z-plus, and SPG (Special Protection Group).
- While the SPG is meant only for the PM and his immediate family, other protection categories can be provided to anyone about whom the Centre or state governments have inputs of a threat.
- The number of personnel guarding the protectee differ from category to category.
- The X category on average entails just one gunman protecting the individual. Most basic level of protection.
- The Y category has one gunman for mobile security, and one (plus four on rotation) for static security.
- Y-plus has two gunmen (plus four on rotation) for mobile security, and one (plus four on rotation) for residence security.
- Z has six gunmen for mobile security and two (plus 8) for residence security.
- Z-plus protectees have 10 security personnel for mobile security, and two (plus 8) for residence security.
Government Schemes & Policies
SHG being geared up to prepare VPRP for integration with GPDP
Self Help Groups across the country being geared up to prepare the Village Poverty Reduction Plan for integration with the Gram Panchayat Development Plans.
Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP):
- In 2015, the Fourteenth Finance Commission grants were devolved to Gram Panchayats that provided them with an enormous opportunity to plan for their development themselves.
- GPDP is an annual plan of each panchayat where the villagers would decide where the money should be spent.
- Since then, local bodies, across the country are expected to prepare Gram Panchayat Development Plans.
- GPDP planning process has to be based on full convergence with Schemes of all related Central Ministries / Line Departments related to 29 subjects enlisted in the Eleventh Schedule of the Constitution.
- GPDP campaign will be an intensive and structured exercise for planning at Gram Sabha level through convergence between Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) and concerned Line Departments of the State.
- GPDP is conducted from 2nd October to 31st December, every year across the country, under the People’s Plan Campaign (PPC).
- Ministry of Panchayati Raj and Ministry of Rural Development, has mandated Self Help Groups under Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) to participate in the annual GPDP planning process and prepare the Village Poverty Reduction Plan (VPRP).
Village Poverty Reduction Plan (VPRP):
- VPRP is a comprehensive demand plan prepared by the Self Help Group (SHG) network and their federations for projecting their demands and local area development which needs to be integrated with the Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP).
- The VPRP is presented in the Gram Sabha meetings from Oct. to Dec. every year.
- It is an integral component of the convergence effort between the DAY-NRLM and Panchayati Raj Institutions.
Objectives of VPRP:
- Prepare a comprehensive and an inclusive demand plan of the community for local development
- Facilitate an interface between the SHG federation and Panchayati Raj institutions for development of demand plan
- Strengthen the community based organisations and their leadership for active participation in poverty reduction activities
Components of VPRP:
- Social inclusion – plan for inclusion of vulnerable people/household into SHGs under NRLM
- Entitlement – demand for various schemes such as MGNREGS, SBM, NSAP, PMAY, Ujjwala, Ration card etc.
- Livelihoods – specific demand for enhancing livelihood through developing agriculture, animal husbandry, production and service enterprises and skilled training for placement etc.
- Public Goods and Services – demand for necessary basic infrastructure, for renovation of the existing infrastructure and for better service delivery
- Resource Development – demand for protection and development of natural resources like land, water, forest and other locally available resources
- Social Development – plans prepared for addressing specific social development issues of a village under the low cost no cost component of GPDP
- Article 243G of the Constitution intended to empower the Gram Panchayats (GPs) by enabling the State Governments to devolve powers and authority in respect of all 29 Subjects listed in the Eleventh Schedule for local planning and implementation of schemes for economic development and social justice.
To know about the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM), kindly visit the link given below:[Ref: PIB]
Censorship before a show
Different courts recently gave conflicting rulings involving the broadcast of two shows- a programme on Sudarshan TV and the Netflix documentary Bad Boy Billionaires.
- Supreme Court refused to stay the broadcast, while the Delhi High Court Bench granted an interim injunction restraining the telecast.
Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act, 1995:
- Section 5 of the act prescribes that “no person shall transmit or re-transmit through a cable service any programme unless such programme is in conformity with the prescribed programme code.
- Section 19 gives the power to prohibit a broadcast in the public interest if the programme is “likely to promote, on grounds of religion, race, language, caste or community or any other ground whatsoever, disharmony or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will between different religious, racial, linguistic or regional groups or castes or communities or which is likely to disturb the public tranquillity”.
What is prior restraint?
- Prior restraint is prohibiting the exercise of free speech before it can take place.
- Imposition of pre-censorship or prior restraint on speech is a violation of the fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression enshrined in Article 19 (1) (a) of the Constitution.
- Any restrictions imposed on this right have to be found under Article 19(2) of the Constitution, which lists out “reasonable restrictions” that include interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, security of the state, public order, and incitement to an offence.
- Any legislation that imposes a prior restraint on speech usually has the burden to show that the reason for such restraint can be found under Article 19(2). It is generally allowed only in exceptional circumstances.
- The idea is that speech can be restricted only when judged on its actual content and not pre-emptively based on perceptions of what it could be.
- The court has adopted the “proximity” test to determine if public order would be affected to allow prior restraint- the state is required to demonstrate a proximate link between public order and the speech.
Five Star Villages Scheme launched
The Department of Posts has launched a scheme called Five Star Villages, to ensure universal coverage of flagship postal schemes in rural areas of the country.
About the scheme
- The scheme seeks to bridge the gaps in public awareness and reach of postal products and services, especially in interior villages.
- All postal products and services will be made available and marketed and publicized at village level under this scheme.
- Branch offices will function as one-stop shop to cater all post office – related needs of villagers.
- The scheme is being launched on pilot basis in Maharashtra. To begin with, two rural districts / areas for each region have been identified.
- Village will get star status on the basis of attendance of universal coverage of schemes from the list.
- If a village completes three schemes, then that village get three-star status and so on.
Schemes covered under the Five Star scheme include:
Scheme Implementation Team
- The scheme will be implemented by a team of five Gramin Dak Sevaks who will be assigned a village for marketing of all products, savings and insurance schemes of the Department of Posts.
- This team will be headed by the Branch Post Master of the concerned Branch Office.
- Mail overseer will keep personal watch on progress of team on daily basis.
- The teams will be led and monitored by concerned Divisional Head, Assistant Superintendents Posts and Inspector Posts.
PM Matsya Sampada Yojana, e-Gopala App & several initiatives launched
Prime Minister digitally launched the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) on 10th September.
Also launched e-Gopala App, a comprehensive breed improvement marketplace and information portal for direct use of farmers and several other initiatives in the fisheries and animal husbandry sectors.
Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY)
- The PMMSY is a flagship scheme for focused and sustainable development of fisheries sector for its implementation during a period of 5 years from FY 2020-21 to FY 2024-25 in all States/Union Territories.
- It was launched as a part of AatmaNirbhar Bharat Package.
- From the highest ever in the fisheries sector, i.e. Rs. 20,050 crores; about Rs 12340 crores is proposed for beneficiary-oriented activities in Marine, Inland fisheries and Aquaculture and about Rs 7710 crores investment for Fisheries Infrastructure.
- It will establish a robust fisheries management framework and fishers’ welfare.
- PMMSY is designed to address critical gaps in fish production and productivity, quality, technology, post-harvest infrastructure and management, modernization and strengthening of value chain, traceability.
- Enhancing fish production by an additional 70 lakh tonnes by 2024-25.
- Increasing fisheries export earnings to Rs.1,00,000 crores by 2024-25D
- Doubling of incomes of fishers and fish farmers.
- Reducing post-harvest losses from 20-25% to about 10%.
- Generation of additional 55 lakhs direct and indirect gainful employment opportunities in fisheries sector and allied activities.
- Aimed to consolidate the achievements of Blue Revolution Scheme:
- Fishing vessel insurance, support for new/up-gradation of fishing vessels/boats, Bio-toilets, Aquaculture in saline/alkaline areas, Sagar Mitras, FFPOs/Cs, Nucleus Breeding Centres, Fisheries and Aquaculture start-ups, Incubators, Integrated Aqua parks, Integrated coastal fishing villages development, Aquatic Laboratories Network and Extension Services, Traceability, Certification and Accreditation, RAS, Biofloc & Cage Culture, E-Trading/Marketing, Fisheries Management Plans, etc.
- Adopting ‘Cluster or Area based approaches’ and creation of Fisheries clusters through backward and forward linkages.
- Employment generation activities such as seaweed and ornamental fish cultivation.
- Interventions for quality brood, seed and feed, special focus on species diversification, critical infrastructure, marketing networks etc.
- e-Gopala App is a comprehensive breed improvement marketplace and information portal for direct use of farmers.
- At present, no digital platform is available in the country for farmers managing livestock including buying and selling of disease free germplasm in all forms. (semen, embryos, etc.)
- No availability of quality breeding services (artificial Insemination, veterinary first aid, vaccination, treatment etc.) and guiding farmers for animal nutrition, treatment of animals using appropriate veterinary medicine.
- There is no mechanism to send alerts (on due date for vaccination, pregnancy diagnosis, calving etc.) and inform farmers about various government schemes and campaigns in the area.
- The e-Gopala App will provide solutions to farmers on all these aspects.
- Semen Station with state of the art facilities was inaugurated which has been established under Rashtriya Gokul Mission. This is one of the largest semen stations in the government sector.
- IVF lab established at Animal Sciences University, Patna under Rashtriya Gokul Mission. A total of 30 ETT and IVF laboratories are being set up across the country through 100% grant in aid.
- Fish Brood Bank at Sitamarhi and Aquatic Disease Referral Laboratory at Kishanganj was established.
Rashtriya Gokul Mission
- The RGM was launched in December 2014 on an outlay of ₹500 crores (2014-15 to 2016-2017) for developing and conserving indigenous breeds through selective breeding and genetically upgrading ‘nondescript’ bovine population.
- RGM is managed by the Department of Animal Health and Husbandry (DAHD).
- The RGM doesn’t address the issue of cattle past their reproductive or useful age.
- Scheme is implemented on 100% grant-in-aid basis.
- RGM is being implemented through “State Implementing Agencies (SIA) viz Livestock Development Boards.
- All Agencies having a role in indigenous cattle development are “Participating Agencies” like CFSPTI (Central Frozen Semen Production and Training Institute), CCBFs (Conservation and Promotion of Indigenous Cow Breeds), Universities, NGO’s and Cooperative Societies.
- Development and conservation of indigenous breeds.
- Breed improvement programme for indigenous cattle breeds to improve their genetic makeup and Increase the stock.
- Enhancement of milk production and productivity.
- Upgradation of nondescript cattle using elite indigenous breeds like Gir, Sahiwal, Rathi, Deoni, Tharparkar, Red Sindhi.
- Distribution of disease free high genetic merit bulls for natural service.
- To create e-market portal for bovine germplasm for connecting breeders and farmers.
- To increase trade of livestock and livestock products by meeting out sanitary and phyto sanitary (SPS) issues.
- To arrange quality Artificial Insemination (AI) services at farmers’ doorstep.
Components of the Scheme
- Establishment of Village level Integrated Indigenous Cattle Centres viz “Gokul Gram”.
- Establishment of Field Performance Recording (FPR) in the breeding tract.
- Assistance to Institutions which are repositories of best germplasm.
- Implementation of Pedigree Selection Programme for the Indigenous Breeds with large population.
- Establishment of Breeder’s Societies: Gopalan Sangh.
- Incentive to farmers maintaining elite animals of indigenous breeds.
- Heifer rearing
Ministry of Shipping launched ‘SAROD-Ports’ (Society for Affordable Redressal of Disputes – Ports) through virtual ceremony.
- It will become the pivotal mechanism of ummeed (hope), vishwas(trust) and nyaya (justice) in the Port sector of India.
- SAROD-Ports is established under Societies Registration Act, 1860.
- SAROD-Ports consists members from Indian Ports Association (IPA) and Indian Private Ports and Terminals Association (IPTTA).
- ‘SAROD-Ports’ is similar to provision available in Highway Sector in the form of SAROD-Roads constituted by NHAI.
- Affordable and timely resolution of disputes in fair manner while saving huge amount of legal expenditure and time.
- Enrichment of Dispute Resolution Mechanism with the panel of technical experts as arbitrators.
- SAROD-Ports will advise and assist in settlement of disputes through arbitrations in the maritime sector, including ports and shipping sector in Major Port Trusts, Non-major Ports, including private ports, jetties, terminals and harbors.
- It will also cover disputes between granting authority and Licensee/Concessionaire /Contractor.
- Also the disputes between Licensee/Concessionaire and their contractors arising out of and during the course of execution of various contracts.
- SAROD-Ports will inspire confidence in the private players and will ensure right kind of environment for our partners.
- It will promote ease of doing business in the maritime sector because of the fast, timely, cost effective and robust dispute resolution mechanism.
- The Union Cabinet has approved amendments in the Model Concession Agreement (MCA) in January,2018 which envisaged constitution SAROD-PORTS as dispute resolution mechanism for PPP Projects in the Major Ports.
Model Concession Agreement
- Model Concession Agreement is the core of public private partnership projects in India.
- It sets regulatory framework to implement PPP (Public Private Projects) in India.
- There are MCAs for national highways, urban rail transit system, state highways and ports.
Defence & Security Issues
India and Japan sign logistics agreement
India and Japan signed a logistics agreement that will allow the Armed Forces of both sides to coordinate closely in services and supplies.
- The agreement on ‘Reciprocal Provision Supplies and Services’ will increase interoperability between the Armed Forces of India and Japan and assist in maintaining regional security.
- The agreement establishes the enabling framework for closer cooperation between the Armed Forces of India and Japan in reciprocal provision of supplies and services while engaged in bilateral training activities, United Nations Peacekeeping Operations, Humanitarian International Relief and other mutually agreed activities.
- It will help both sides coordinate on medical requirements, supplies, maintenance, airlifting and communication.
- The agreement is mainly aimed at greater maritime cooperation and can dramatically upgrade India-Japan naval exercises as the participants are expected to share maritime facilities for mutual benefit.
- The agreement is being interpreted as a coming together of Japan and India as the current tense situation with Chinese forces at the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh.
- In June, the Indian Navy carried out a maritime exercise with the Japanese navy as part of efforts to bolster military cooperation.
Govind Ballabh Pant’s 133rd anniversary
133rd birth anniversary of Govind Ballabh Pant was observed on 10th September, 2020.
Govind Ballabh Pant
- Born on September 10, 1887, Pant became the first Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh in 1950.
- He later served as the Minister of Home Affairs from 1955 till his death in1961. As Home Minister, he played a key role in the re-organisation of States along linguistic lines and in establishing Hindi as the official language of India.
- Pant also served as the Chief Minister of United Provinces from 1937 to 1939, before India gained independence.
- He actively took part in the Non-cooperation movement, the Civil Disobedience movement and the Satyagraha movement and as a result was imprisoned several times.
- For his services towards the nation, he was honored with the India’s highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratnain in 1957.
Science & Technology
Report on NSTEDB
A report on the journey of the National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB) in catalyzing innovation was launched by the Secretary Department of Science and Technology.
Highlights of the report:
- The report mentions the nurturing of 3,681 startups under incubation through the network of 153 Incubators created by DST.
- In last five years, the cumulative direct employment generation of 61,138 and Rs 27,262 crores of economic wealth creation.
- The report indicates a fivefold increase in investments raised by the seed supported startups as a follow on funding from angels, venture capitals, and other stakeholders with significant valuation gains.
National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB):
- NSTEDB was established in 1982 by the Government of India under the aegis of Department of Science & Technology.
- It is an institutional mechanism to help promote knowledge driven and technology intensive enterprises.
- Aim: to convert “job-seekers” into “job-generators” through Science & Technology (S&T) interventions.
- To promote and develop high-end entrepreneurship for S&T manpower as well as self-employment by utilising S&T infrastructure and by using S&T methods.
- To facilitate and conduct various informational services relating to promotion of entrepreneurship.
- To network agencies of the support system, academic institutions and Research & Development (R&D) organisations to foster entrepreneurship and self-employing using S&T with special focus on backward areas as well.
- To act as a policy advisory body with regard to entrepreneurship.
- A program named National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovation (NIDHI-) initiated by NSTEDB.
To know more about the National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovation (NIDHI), kindly visit the link given below:[Ref: PIB]
Key Facts For Prelims
India-Angola first joint Commission meeting was held recently in which the Indian side offered to share its expertise to support the Angolan Government’s economic diversification plans
Location of the Angola:
- Angola is a country on the west coast of Southern Africa.
- It is the seventh-largest country in Africa.
- Capital and largest city of Angola is Luanda.
- It is bordered by:
- Namibia to the south,
- Congo to the north,
- Zambia to the east,
- Atlantic Ocean to the west.
- The Project 17A-class frigate is a follow-on of the Project 17 Shivalik-class frigate for the Indian Navy.
- A total of seven ships will be built at Mazagon Dock and GRSE, the construction of the first ship started in 2017 and the first ship is expected to delivered by 2022. It has been named ‘Nilgiri’.
- The Indian Navy plans to have all the seven Project 17A class ships in service by 2025-27.
- The main advanced stealth features of P-17A pertain to smaller Radar cross-section of the ship achieved through the use of special super structure shape which reduces radar wave reflections.