Daily PT Capsule Feb 23

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Daily PT Capsule UPSC Civil Services
Daily PT Capsule UPSC Civil Services

Reservation issue starts to flare up in rest of India

The demand for reservation by Jats in Haryana has led to a revival of regional demands of reservation in various parts of the country.

Maratha community in Maharashtra is has intensified its demand for reservation. Local leaders with organizations like the Sambhaji Brigade, have been preparing for the ‘future agitation’ which can escalate in the next two months.

On a similar lines Rajput organisations in Rajasthan have decided to launch a nation-wide agitation if their demands for reservation remain unmet.

The Patidar community in Gujarat is also gearing up to revive their ongoing protests which were suppressed by the Gujarat government. More than 350 members of the Patel community are on fast demanding release of Patel members who have been jailed, and seeking quotas.

Analysis

In 1979, the Mandal Commission was established to assess the situation of the socially and educationally backward. The commission didn’t have exact figures for a sub-caste, known as the Other Backward Class (OBC), and used the 1931 census data to estimate the OBC population at 52%.

In 1980, the commission submitted a report, and recommended changes to the existing quotas, increasing them from 27% to 49.5%. The report was implemented in 1990 amid a great deal of controversy.

Now more communities are demanding inclusion in the OBC category citing reasons of being left behind in public sphere.

Source: TheHindu, LegalServiceIndia

UK’s EU referendum

UK Prime Minister David Cameron has announced a referendum on whether Britain should remain in the European Union to be held on Thursday 23 June, 2016.

The topic of referendum that has been proposed by the electoral commission and accepted by UK parliament is “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?”

British, Irish and Commonwealth citizens over 18 who are resident in the UK, along with UK nationals who have lived overseas for less than 15 years are eligible to vote.

Mr. Cameron has also negotiated to a package of changes in case UK votes to remain in the EU. This package includes migrant welfare payments, some limits on free movement, sovereignty clause and protection for the city of London.

Analysis

What is a Referendum? –  A referendum (synonymous with plebiscite – or a vote on a ballot question) is a direct vote in which an entire electorate is asked to vote on a particular proposal. This may result in the adoption of a new law or decision of importance.

What is the status of Britain in EU?  – The European Union – often known as the EU – is an economic and political partnership involving 28 European countries. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and the European Economic Community (EEC), formed in 1951 and 1958, respectively. In the intervening years, the community and its successors have grown in size by the accession of new member states and in power by the addition of policy areas to its remit. The Maastricht Treaty established the European Union under its current name in 1993 and introduced European citizenship.

The UK is an EU member but doesn’t subscribe to the EU’s common-borders policy or borderless free movement, described by the Schengen agreement. The U.K. is also not part of the euro. Since 2007, the U.K. has had an opt-out of Europe’s Charter of Fundamental Rights, allowing U.K. courts to define basic human rights without reference to European law.

Source: BBC, Wikipedia

 

Nepal PM’s visit to normalise ties

Nepal’s Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli visited India on a six-day trip. The trip is focused on normalising ties with India which went downhill since last year owing to issues related to constitution formation of Nepal.

The two sides signed nine agreements including the one on utilisation of Indian grant of USD 250 million to Nepal for post-earthquake reconstruction and another on improving the road infrastructure in Nepal’s Terai region bordering India.

The deals are expected to foster improved relations between the two countries,that share open borders, through cultural cooperation, transit between Nepal and Bagladesh through Kakarbitta-Banglabandh corridor, operationalisation of Vishakapatnam port and rail transport to and from Vishakapatnam.

Analysis

India Nepal relations took a sour turn after Nepal promulgated a constitution that did not accommodate the aspirations of the Madhesi and Tharu population that lie close to the Indian border. Protests broke out among the groups, which live primarily in Nepal’s southern plains and have close cultural and linguistic ties across the border with India. As a result of the instability in Nepal, Indian trucks carrying critical supplies to Nepal, including fuel, food, and medicine, among other goods, refused to cross the border, resulting a de facto economic blockade.

The Madheshis and Tharus were sidelined in the entire constitution making process due to prevailing distrust towards them among the mainstream political parties. The delimitation of the state in seven federal provinces resulted in reducing the Madhesi and Tharu population to a minority in each state.

 

Nepal Constitution

Source: TheDiplomat, IDSA

 

Union Budget Session Begins

Union Budget session begins on 23 February 2016 with the President’s address. President addressed both the houses on important issues.

Asserting that the government is fully committed to firmly dealing with all challenges concerning the security of the country, the President said terrorism is a global threat and strong counter-terrorism measures are necessary worldwide to eradicate it.

The President also said the country must ensure that the poor and deprived are truly empowered to take advantage of opportunities to improve their lives.

The Government is setting up a national online agriculture market platform to connect 585 regulated wholesale markets to ensure fair remunerative prices for the farmers, the President said.

Important Bills for consideration are mentioned in the table below.

Bills for budget session

Source: TheHindu, PRS

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