Prelims 2021

14th October 2020 Daily Current Flash Cards

Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP); Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989; Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2018; Djibouti Code of Conduct; Mangrove adaptions; What is legislature privilege?
By IASToppers
October 14, 2020




Name the implementing agency of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) for Delhi & NCR.

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EPCA (Environment Pollution Control Authority) in pursuance of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.

Enrich Your Learning:

Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP):

  • In pursuant to the Supreme Court’s order of 2016 in  Mehta vs. Union of Indiacase regarding air quality in National Capital Region of Delhi, a Graded Response Action Plan was prepared for implementation under different Air Quality Index (AQI).
  • Started in 2017 in Delhi and NCR, GRAP defines the measures to taken based on air quality on the basis of PM 2.5 (Particulate Matter of size 2.5 micrometers) and PM 10in the atmosphere.
  • Based on the air quality the grades have been classified as Severe+ or Emergency, Severe, Very Poor and Moderate poor.
  • The focus of GRAP has been limited to the Delhi and National Capital Region (NCR).

How it works?

  • GRAP works only as an emergency measure.
  • It does not include action by various state governments to be taken throughout the year to tackle industrial, vehicular and combustion emissions.
  • Under this plan, emergency measures are automatically enforced in NCR if level of PM2.5 breaches 300 micrograms per cubic meter(µgm/m3) and PM10 levels stay above 500 (µgm/m3) for two consecutive days.

Measures announced:





What is the procedure to be followed in the legislature’s privilege in India?

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  • 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 Committeeconsisting 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.

Enrich Your Learning:

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 194deals 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 conductas 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 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.




Define the Breathing roots of Mangrove adaptions.

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Mangrove root system to take up oxygen from the atmosphere, so mangrove species have specialized above ground roots called breathing roots or pneumatophores.

Enrich Your Learning:

Mangrove adaptions:

Mangrove environment is highly dynamic and harsh and mangrove species are variously adapted to cope with these environmental conditions.

Breathing roots: 

  • Underground tissue of any plant requires oxygen for respiration and in mangrove environment, oxygen in soil is very limited or nil. This necessitates mangrove root system to take up oxygen from the atmosphere.
  • For this purpose, mangrove species have specialized above ground roots called breathing roots or pneumatophores.
  • In some species, these roots are pencil sized and peg like whereas in some other species they look like a knee. These roots have numerous pores through which oxygen enters into the underground tissues.
  • In some plants buttress roots function as breathing roots and also provide mechanical support to the tree.

Silt roots: 

  • In some mangrove species, roots diverge from stems and branches and penetrate the soil some distance away from the main stem as in the case of banyan trees.
  • Because of their appearance and because they provide the main physical support to these they are called as stilt roots.
  • These roots also have many pores through which atmospheric oxygen enters into the roots.


  • Saline water, unconsolidated saline soil with little or no oxygen is not a conducive environment for seeds to germinate and establish. To overcome this, mangrove species have unique way of reproduction, which is generally known as vivipary.
  • In this method of reproduction, seeds germinate and develop into seedlings while the seeds are still attached to the parent tree. These seedlings are normally called as propagules and they photosynthesize while still attached to the mother tree.
  • The parent tree supplies water and necessary nutrients. They are buoyant and float in the water for some time before rooting themselves on suitable soil.




What do you know about the Djibouti Code of Conduct?

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Answer & Enrich Your Learning:

Djibouti Code of Conduct:

Why in news?

  • India has joined the Djibouti Code of Conduct(DCOC), a grouping on maritime matters aimed at countering piracy as an observer.


  • To combat piracy and enhance maritime security in the Indian Ocean region.

About Djibouti Code of Conduct:

  • The DCOC was adopted in 2009, by the representatives of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Maldives, Seychelles, Somalia, Tanzania and Yemen.
  • Comoros, Egypt, Eritrea, Jordan, Mauritius, Mozambique, Oman, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sudan and United Arab Emirates signed on later, taking the total members to 20.
  • It aims to repress piracyand armed robbery against ships in the western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden.
  • The 18 member states are located in areas adjoining the Red SeaGulf of Adenand the east coast of Africa and include island nations in the Indian Ocean.
  • Besides India, the other observers in the grouping are Japan, Norway, the UK and the US.


  • The member states cooperate in countering piracy and armed robberyon the high seas.
  • They promote the implementation of relevant UN Security Council resolutions.
  • They also cooperate in the investigation, arrest and prosecution of persons suspected of having committed acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships, the interdiction and seizure of suspect ships, the rescue of ships and people subject to piracy and armed robbery, and the conduct of joint operations.


  • The development comes at a time when India is shoring up its position in the Indian Oceanand nearby waters as part of its overall Indo-Pacific policy.
  • India has signed reciprocal military logistics support agreementswith Australia and Japan this year to increase interoperability with the navies of those countries.




Name the nodal union ministry to enforce the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

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Answer: Ministry of Social Justice

Enrich Your Learning:

Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989:

Why in news?

  • The Gujarat High Court has held that the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act has supremacy over the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, as the caste of a child cannot override or prejudice his or her security and well-being.

Key Features of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989:

  • The SC/ST Act was enacted in 1989. The objective of the SC/ST Act is to deliver justice to marginalised through proactive efforts, giving them a life of dignity, self-esteem and a life without fear, violence or suppression from the dominant castes.
  • The SC/ST Act lists 22 offences relating to various patterns or behaviours inflicting criminal offences and breaking the self-respect and esteem of the scheduled castes and tribes community.
  • This includes denial of economic, democratic and social rights, discrimination, exploitation and abuse of the legal process.
  • According to the SC/ST Act, the protection is provided from social disabilities such as denial of access to certain places and to use customary passage, personal atrocities like forceful drinking or eating of inedible food sexual exploitation, injury etc, atrocities affecting properties, malicious prosecution, political disabilities and economic exploitation.
  • For speedy trial, the SC/ST Act provides for a Court of Session to be a Special Court to try offences under this Act in each district.

Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2018:

  • The Supreme Court has upheld the constitutional validity of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2018.
  • The Amendment Act nullified the Court’s 20th March, 2018 judgment which had diluted the stringent provisions of the original Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

What is the issue?

  • The Supreme Court had itself earlier recalled the March 20 judgment on October 1, 2019 in a review petition filed by the government.
  • It had said it was wrong on the part of the March 20 judgment to treat all SC/ST community members as “a liar or crook”.
  • It was against basic human dignity.
  • The March 20 judgment had diluted the original 1989 legislation, saying they were using its provisions to file false criminal complaints against innocent persons.

March 20 Judgement:

  • In the March 20, 2018 verdict, the two-judge Supreme Court bench had taken note of the rampant misuse of the stringent SC/ST Act against government servants and private individuals.
  • Supreme Court in a verdict given on 20 March, 2018 held that:
  1. No arrest had to be made without prior permissionfrom an official of the rank SP or SSP.
  2. Allows anticipatory bail, if prime facie it is found that the complaint is misusing the law.
  • Thisinstigated a huge uproar and protests in the nation and now SC on pressure from government has reversed the 2018 ruling and upheld initial provisions of the law.
  • SC withdrew the ruling on ground that it was presumed that Dalits/ Tribals may misuse the law and this was contrary to legislative intent.

Status Quo:

The status quo was restored which says: (SC/ST Act 1989)

  1. Preliminary inquiry shall not be required for registration of an FIR against any person.
  2. Investigating officers shall not require approval for arrest.
  3. No anticipatory bail to the accused person.

Salient Features of the Amendment Act, 2018:

  • It added Section 18Ato the original Act. It delineates specific crimes against Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes as atrocities and describes strategies and prescribes punishments to counter these acts.
  • It identifies what acts constitute “atrocities” and all offences listed in the Act are cognizable.
  • The police can arrest the offender without a warrant and start an investigation into the case without taking any orders from the court.
  • The Act calls upon all the states to convert an existing sessions court in each district into a Special Court to try cases registered under it and provides for the appointment of Public Prosecutors/Special Public Prosecutors for conducting cases in special courts.
  • It creates provisions for states to declare areas with high levels of caste violence to be “atrocity-prone” and to appoint qualified officers to monitor and maintain law and order.
  • It provides for the punishment for wilful neglect of duties by non-SC/ST public servants.
  • It is implemented by the State Governments and Union Territory Administrations, which are provided due central assistance.
Prelims 2021 Daily Current Flash Cards 2020

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