Daily PT Capsule Mar 30

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

Jat quota bill passed by Haryana assembly

The Haryana Assembly passed the Haryana Backward Classes (Reservation in Services and Admission in Educational Institutions) Bill, 2016, to provide reservation for Jats and five other communities in government jobs and education.

The Bill proposed to give reservation to Jats and five other castes -Jat Sikhs, Rors, Bishnois, Tyagis and Mulla Jat/Muslim Jat – by constituting a new classification Block ‘C’ in the Backward Classes category.

A government release said the Bill provides for an increase in the percentage of reservation in the Schedule I, II and III for Class I and II posts for BC ‘A’, BC ‘B’ and BC ‘C’ from 10 per cent, five per cent and five per cent to 11 per cent, six per cent and six per cent respectively.

The Bill states that notwithstanding anything contained in it, the government may provide horizontal reservation for such category or categories of persons within the Backward Classes, as it may deem necessary from time to time.

A request would also be made to the Central government to include this Act in the 9th Schedule of the Constitution.

Analysis

What will happen to the reservation for existing backward classes? – The new bill not only provides reservation to the new castes but also increased the benefits to the existing ones in Backward Category I & II.

What is the 9th Schedule? – To ensure that agrarian reform legislation did not run into heavy weather, the legislature amended the Constitution in the year 1951 which inserted Ninth Schedule. Article 31-B was inserted by the First Constitutional (Amendment) Act 1951 to shield the laws placed within it.

Thus Article 31-B of the Constitution of India ensured that any law in the Ninth Schedule could not be challenged in courts and Government can rationalize its programme of social engineering by reforming land and agrarian laws. In other words laws under Ninth Schedule are beyond the purview of judicial review even though they violate fundamental rights enshrined under part III of the Constitution.

The other feature of Article 31-B is that it is retrospective in nature that is when a statute is declared unconstitutional by a court and later it is included in the Ninth Schedule, it is to be considered as having been in that Schedule from its commencement. Thus it provides blanket protection to all laws under the Schedule.

But on January 11 2007 a 9 Judge Constitutional Bench of the Supreme Court held that All amendments to the Constitution made on or after 24th April 1973 by which the Ninth Schedule is amended by inclusion of various laws therein shall have to be tested on the touchstone of the basic or essential features of the Constitution as reflected in Article 21 read with Article 14, Article 19, and the principle underlying them.

To put it differently even though an Act is put in the Ninth Schedule by a Constitutional Amendment, its provision would be open to attack on the ground that they destroy or damage the basic structure if the fundamental right or rights is/are taken away or abrogated pertains or pertain to the basic structure.

Source: TheHindu, LegalServiceIndia

 

HC orders floor test in Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand High Court on 29th March ruled that fresh voting must take place on March 31 to allow current chief minister Harish Rawat to prove his majority. On the day “the vote of confidence will be put to a floor test”.

On March 18, the BJP, the Opposition party, along with nine Congress MLAs, voted against the Appropriation Bill in the House. While Mr. Rawat said the Bill was “constitutionally” passed, the BJP’s central leadership accused Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal of showing the Bill as “passed” when a majority of the 67 MLAs present had voted against it. Thereafter, Governor K.K. Paul asked Mr. Rawat to prove his majority on March 28. But President’s Rule was imposed on the State on March 27.

The Uttarakhand High Court’s order directing the State Assembly to hold a floor test to ascertain the majority of ousted Chief Minister Harish Rawat is perhaps the rarest instance of such an interim relief being granted while the legislature is under suspended animation.

In effect, the order temporarily revives the Assembly for one day for the sole purpose of conducting the trust vote, and may even appear to be a partial stay on the Proclamation imposing President’s rule – to the extent that it orders the convening of a suspended House.

Analysis

What is the importance of floor test? – In the S. R. Bommai v. Union of India 1994 judgment  Supreme court  laid down guidelines for fair imposition of Art 356.  It has mentioned that the majority enjoyed by the Council of Ministers shall be tested on the floor of the House.

Source: TheHindu

 

Nod by center for 100% FDI in e-commerce retail

The government on 29th March allowed 100 percent FDI in e-commerce marketplace model under automatic route.  The press note issued by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion essentially says  that 100% FDI under automatic route is permitted in marketplace model of e-commerce and FDI is not permitted in inventory based model of e-commerce.

The notification also provides some definitions. E-commerce means buying and selling of goods and services including digital products over digital and electronic network.

Inventory-based model of e-commerce means an e-commerce activity where inventory of goods and services is owned by e-commerce entity and is sold to the consumers directly.

Marketplace model of e-commerce means providing of an information technology platform by an e-commerce entity on a digital & electronic network to act as a facilitator between buyer and seller.

Analysis

Is this a big move? – E-commerce companies are already operating market place model and most of them have significant foreign investment. The government has just formalised the foreign investment in e-commerce and is continuing with the policy not permitting these companies to sell directly to the consumer.

The big change on the FDI policy front would have been allowing FDI in inventory model. That is what Amazon has been lobbying with the government for. The global giant had earlier said that it wants to do a hybrid model of both remaining as a platform and also sell directly to consumer.

Source: Firstpost, TheHindu

 

Center to go slow on draft Fisheries Policy

The central government had circulated the draft National Marine Fisheries Policy but owing to protests from farmers it has decided to go slow on legalizing the final version.

The policy has been drafted without including representatives from fishing organisations in the eight-member experts’ committee.

The Centre had earlier designated the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) as the nodal agency to finalise the draft.

The committee, after drafting the policy, launched an exercise to hold consultation with stakeholders at Visakhapatnam, Kochi, Mumbai, and Chennai last year.

Although the members faced strong opposition at the meeting held last month, they pointed out that the policy was mainly meant to usher in Blue Revolution and improve the livelihood conditions of fishers.

The proposals to allow foreign trawlers and the silence on carving out a separate Ministry for fisheries, granting ST status and agriculture status to the fishery industry, social security for small and medium fishermen, introduction of pension and ban on bottom trawling have angered fishermen across the country.

Analysis

What are the suggestions of draft policy? – National Policy on Marine Fisheries 2016 (NPMF)  says that “Commercial port development is one of the causes for erosion and accretion along Indian Coasts. This is a matter of utmost importance affecting fisher livelihoods. Fishermen’s opinion may be taken before such projects are launched in future,”

The draft also underscored the need for an alternative mechanism to the Letter of Permit (LoP) Scheme in the deep sea fishing sector,  and stated that the scheme did not have “the expected impact in the inclusive development” of the sector. Suggesting an alternative to the controversial LoP scheme, the draft stood for providing skill enhancement support to stakeholders, modernisation of existing indigenous deep sea going vessels and new indigenous vessels. The draft  policy also mooted strong  Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) regime.

The LoP scheme that allowed joint ventures involving foreign fishing vessels, apparently introduced to enhance the capabilities of Indian fishers and to help them learn technology of foreign industrial fishing in deep sea operations, had been widely criticised by experts and fisher organisations alike.

The draft policy urged the government to control and regulate proliferation of fish meal plants which is a matter of grave concern as it can lead to overfishing of low value fish and bycatch.

More features of NPMF 2016

  1. Control and regulate fish meal plants
  2. Strengthen MCS in a phased manner using conventional tools, space technology and IT tools
  3. Promote mariculture but watch out for social and environmental impacts
  4. Diversification of seafood products, quality enhancement, traceability of seafood and eco-labelling
  5. Bring in legislations to regulate fisheries in the EEZ
  6. Strong regional cooperation among nations in management and sustainable utilisation of resources

Source: The Indian Express, TheHindu

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