DAILY MAINS NEWSLETTER FOR UPSC | 02 APR 2021 | RaghukulCS

Daily Mains Newsletter For UPSC
| RaghukulCS

02 APRIL 2021

Index

Mains Value Addition

Mains Analysis

Topic No

Topic Name

Source

1

An Act of colourable legislation

The Hindu

2

Net zero and climate injustice.

Indian Express

3

Our second Covid test

Indian Express

Mains Value Addition

An Unmoving Target

Syllabus –

 GS 3: Economy

Analysis: –

  • In the initial phases of the COVID-19 pandemic in India, retail inflation, as measured by the consumer price index, had surged owing to supply side disruptions stemming from the imposition of the national lockdown.
  • With inflation staying above the upper threshold of the RBI’s inflation targeting framework for most of this period, constraining the ability of the monetary policy committee to ease interest rates further, there was a growing clamour for relooking at the inflation targeting framework.
  • The proposals advocated ranged from shifting from headline to core inflation as the nominal anchor of monetary policy, relaxing the upper threshold of the framework, and incorporating other variables explicitly in the framework.
  • The inflation target of the monetary policy framework has been kept unchanged at 4 plus/minus 2 per cent for the coming five-year period till March 31, 2026.
  • Changing the inflation targeting framework may have sounded like an attractive proposition now but it would have created considerable uncertainty over the stance of monetary policy.

A Health Warning on Land

Syllabus – 

GS 2: Government Policy

Analysis:

  • For a significant section of the rural poor, land is both an asset and a source of livelihood.
  • Many informal jobs in the urban centres were lost as the economy was hit by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.
  • The resulting reverse migration placed greater demands on household resources in rural areas.
  • The government of India’s Digital India Land Records Modernisation Programme (DI-LRMP) scheme is the most recent effort in this regard.
  • The dismal state of land records is due to the failure of the Indian administration to evolve from British-era land policies.
  • In addition, land record regulations and policies vary widely across Indian states/union territories.
  • NCAER made a pioneering effort in this direction by launching NCAER Land Records and Services Index (N-LRSI) in 2020.
  • Despite the pandemic, states/UTs made rigorous efforts over the course of a year to make improvements in various parameters of the index.
  • These improvements are clearly captured in the N-LRSI 2021 findings, the extent of which can be gauged by Bihar’s jump from the 23rd to 8th position in the index by making substantial progress in the digitisation of maps, textual records and registration process.

Despite the Covid challenges, Indian Railways closed the FY 2020-21 with record freight loading.

Syllabus –

 GS 3: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railway etc.

Analysis:

  • Despite the Covid challenges, Indian Railways closed the FY 2020-21 with record freight loading.
  • In the closing month of this fiscal year 2020-21, Indian Railways surpassed the last year’s loading that is 1232.63 compared to last year’s 1209.32 which shows the growth of 1.93%.
  • In this period, Indian Railways earned Rs. 117386.0 crores from freight loading. It is 3% higher than the last year’s earning from Freight which was Rs. 113897.20 Crores for the same period.
  • Indian Railways has maintained the momentum of highest ever loading in consecutive 07 respective months from September, 2020 to March, 2021.

INSPIRE Faculty fellow modifying tiny dots for fabricating optical materials useful for optical sensors, light-emitting purposes, energy conversion & composites

Syllabus – 

GS 3: Science and Tech

Analysis:

  • Satyapriya Bhandari, from the Department of Chemistry, University of North Bengal, West Bengal, is fascinated by tiny nanoscale crystals which, when hit by ultraviolet light, emits light of multiple colours.
  • This recipient of the INSPIRE Faculty fellowship instituted by the Department of Science & Technology, Govt. of India is using chemical reactions to modify the surface of these nanoscale crystals called quantum dots (QDs) for fabricating optical materials that can have sustainable applications in optical sensors, light-emitting usages, composites and fluorescent biological labels.
  • Chemically modifying the surface of QDs can be an innovative pathway to alter their optical features and making newer optical materials, which are useful for fabricating white light-emitting (WLE) materials, ratiometric sensors for detecting disease responsive molecules or environmental pollutants, photocatalysts (for H2 production) and imaging of cancerous cells.

Mains Analysis

An Act of colourable legislation

Why in News: –

Enactment of the Places of Worship Act, 1991 in its current format damages the liberty of belief, faith and worship to all.

Syllabus:-

GS 2: Secularism.
  • Public interest litigation (PIL) in the Supreme Court (WP(C) 619 of 2020, was filed earlier but notice was issued later vide order of the Supreme Court dated March 26, 2021).
  • It challenged Sections 3 and 4 of the Places of Worship Act, 1991 being unconstitutional, void ab initio, and against the Basic Structure of the Constitution of India.

 

Places of Worship Act, 1991

  • It was Passed by P V Narasimha Rao-led government in 1991
  • Section 3:- bans the conversion of a place of worship or even a section of it into a place of worship of a different religious denomination or of a different segment of the same religious denomination.
  • Section 4(2):- all suits, appeals or other proceedings regarding converting the character of a place of worship (that were pending on 15th August, 1947) will come to end when the Act commences and no fresh proceedings can be filed.
  • However, legal proceedings can be initiated if the change of status took place after the cut-off date of 15th August, 1947 (after enactment of the Act).
  • Section 5:- nothing in the Act shall apply to any suit, appeal or other proceedings relating to the said place or place of worship, i.e. the Ram-Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid situated in Ayodhya, in the State of Uttar Pradesh.

Act violates secularism.

  • The cut-off date of 15th August, 1947 is “arbitrary, irrational and retrospective” and prohibits Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, and Sikhs from approaching courts to “reclaim” their places of worship which were “invaded” and “encroached” upon by “fundamentalist barbaric invaders”.
  • Centre has no power to legislate on “pilgrimages” or “burial grounds” which is under the state list.

Concern Over this Act:

  1. The pith and substance of the Act of 1991 is that it is ultra vires the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution since it bars the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and furthermore nullifies the Fundamental Right(s) guaranteed by the Constitution of India as elucidated in Article 32 of “enforcement of fundamental rights” which cannot be suspended except as otherwise stated in the Constitution.
  2. SC, on various instances, ruled that the jurisdiction conferred on the SCunder Article 32 and on the High Courts under Article 226 of the Constitution that “the power of judicial review being an integral part of the basic structure of the Constitution, no Act of Parliament can exclude or curtail the powers of the Constitutional Courts with regard to the enforcement of fundamental rights”
  3. The Act of 1991, is appropriately called an Act of colourable legislation. As the Courts have held, “you cannot do indirectly which you are prohibited from doing directly”
  4. The Preamble in the Constitution gives prominent importance to liberty of belief, faith and worship to all citizens, and the same is sought to be weakened and effectively nullified or severely damaged by the enactment of the Act of 1991 in its current format.
  5. The intent of the Act of 1991 under Section 5, i.e. exception extended to the “Ram-Janmbhoomi matter” identifies the need and importance of resolution of such a controversy and settling long on-going disputes before the courts. But such an exception should be made for other two matters of dispute stated above.

Way Forward: –

  • The Supreme Court under Article 142 of the Constitution can pass any order to carry out for doing complete justice being in the public interest, while upholding the Constitution of India.
  • Hence, by the doctrine of casus omissus, the Supreme Court can in an appropriate case before it order that the number of exceptions in Section 5 of the Places of Worship Act, 1991, be three as an alternative solution.

Question: –

‘Communalism arises either due to power struggle or relative deprivation.’ Discuss in the light of recent controversy of Places of Worship Act 1991.

Net zero and climate injustice.

Why in News: –

Recent push of developed nations for net zero emissions by 2050 as panacea for the climate change evils started debates surrounding it.

Syllabus: –

GS 3: Conservation, Environmental Pollution & Degradation

 

What is Climate Justice?

  • It is to ensure fair & equitable distribution of resources to all sections of society & to pass on planet in a sustainable condition to future generations.
  • According to UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation), there are three main injustices of climate change: Those first and most affected by the impacts of climate change, are within the majority world (developing nations).
  • These nations produce far less carbon emissions and are least able to contribute to climate change mitigation.
  • While the big polluting countries of the minority world are not contributing enough (UNESCO, 2010).
  • However, the injustices of climate change do not simply stop there. Within the minority world countries, Governmental policies to mitigate climate change such as an emissions trading scheme or a carbon tax, can have negative impacts on those already experiencing poverty.
  • This can be seen through higher utility prices and the subsequent flow on of increased costs of living (Garnaut, 2008).

Need for Climate Justice:

  • The historical differences in contribution to climate change.
  • Variations in the Technological, Economical & Societal capabilities.
  • Uneven distribution & utilization of resources across nations.
  • Inorder to ensure balanced growth opportunities for late runners.
  • The link between climate change and environmental justice
  • Mary AnnaïseHeglar, a climate justice essayist and former writer-in-residence at the Earth Institute, asserts that climate change is actually the product of racism. “It started with conquest, genocides, slavery, and colonialism,” she wrote. “That is the moment when White men’s relationship with living things became extractive and disharmonious. Everything was for the taking; everything was for sale.
  • The fossil fuel industry was literally built on the backs and over the graves of Indigenous people around the globe, as they were forced off their land and either slaughtered or subjugated — from the Arab world to Africa, from Asia to the Americas. Again, it was no accident.”

Examples of climate Injustice: –

Cancer Alley

An 85-mile stretch along the Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Louisiana, hosts the densest concentration of petrochemical companies in the U.S. There have been so many cases of cancer and death in the area that it became known as “Cancer Alley.”

Flint, MI

In 2014, the city of Flint, MI, whose population is 56.6 percent Black, decided to draw its drinking water from the polluted Flint River in order to save money until a new pipeline from Lake Huron could be built. Previously the city had brought in treated drinking water from Detroit. Because the river had been used by industry as an illegal waste dump for many years, the water was corrosive, but officials failed to treat it.

Climate Actions & UNFCCC:

  • The principles of equity & common but differentiated responsibilities & respective capabilities (CBDR-RC) based on historical responsibilities have been bedrock of climate actions of UNFCCC since 1992.
  • The 1997 Kyoto protocol was a historic turning point with legally binding targets for industrialised countries to reduce overall GHG emissions.
  • Paris Agreement was a forward march for global communities in climate justice sphere where
  • Developed countries pledged to take not only mitigation actions but also deliver & facilitate higher financial commitments & technological regime by 2025.
  • While developing countries agreed to take legal obligated domestic mitigation measures & reporting their National Determined Contributions (NDC).
  • But the idea of net zero emissions as panacea for climate change evils undermines the basic tenets of UNFCCC & Climate Actions achievements

India & Climate Justice:

  • At the Paris COP, with India’s articulation Climate Justice was inscribed in the preamble of the Paris agreement.
  • India has been forerunner in introducing Climate sensitivity in domestic policies such as Energy & housing for all, Health & Crop insurances etc that ensure climate justice to the vulnerable worst affected by climate change.
  • India became part of climate justice discourse due to its efforts to balance sustainable living & safety nets for poor.

The three aspects of Climate Justice:

  • Distributive Justice: Resources distribution based on Principles of Equality, Equity & Merit.
  • Global Carbon Space is an important resource of the climate change.
  • Despite responsible for large part build up in greenhouse gases by industrialization, Developed nations still continue to corner out larger carbon space for their luxurious consumption.
  • While historically, developing countries suffering disproportionately and now under obligation to cut down emissions emitting from basic needs.
  • According to Climate action tracker, climate actions undertaken by developed nations are incompatible with Paris Agreement goals, therefore they should focus on ensuring ambitious climate actions to ensure distributive justice.
  • Commutative Justice: Truly honouring past climate action commitments.
  • Even though second phase Kyoto protocol targets were inadequate & unambitious to meet UNFCCC objectives, but most developed nations backtracked & refused to take targets.
  • They even failed to meet their climate finance goal of mobilizing $100 billion by 2020 to support climate actions.
  • Fulfillments of the past commitments are critical precursor for enhancement of climate ambitions.
  • Corrective Justice: pertains to righting of wrongs.

Way Forward: –

  • Developed nations need to repay their climate debt by taking up greater mitigation responsibilities & providing finance & technology for safeguarding developing countries vulnerable & poor population.
  • Though developed nations believe that net zero emissions by 2050 is a positive breakthrough in the climate regime, but on the other front it is a step to evade historical responsibilities of developed & transfer burdens on developing.
  • It is high time for developing nations, that fought for enshrining principles of equity & CBDR-RC in Paris agreement, rising to the occasion & forcing developed nations to act responsibly.

Question: –

Climate injustice’ is a global problem. How will India be affected by climate injustice? How Himalayan and coastal states of India will be affected by climate change?

Our second Covid test

Why in News: –

Recent increase in COVID cases and death rate suggests that India is in second wave of COVID transmission.

Syllabus: –

 GS 2: Issues relating to Health, Education, and Human Resources
  • Steady fall of COVID cases after September 2020, created an environment of self-congratulatory and many echoed that India has acquired herd immunity.
  • But since jan 2021 COVID cases started rising due to
  • Ignoring experts warning of not to let down the guard of COVID guidelines.
  • Due to relaxation of international travel restrictions, some regions have reported double mutant strain.
  • Even though daily case counts rising, death rates are not rising suggesting virus less virulent or case management methods are efficient.

Response strategy: The Core Four

  • For Effective Containment of Transmission:
  • There is need to prevent & quickly detect new infections.
  • Not only detection of cases, but isolating suspected cases must be done effectively.
  • With political will & administrative skill, COVID protection guidelines have to be enforced strictly.
  • Mass congregation such as elections canvasing, religious gathering has to be avoided to large extent.
  • Civil society and public at large has to be motivated & mobilized to protect the society at large.
  • Testing alone will not help, if we do not adopt contract tracing & other public health measures.

Care of Infected persons:

  • Home care has shown better results than expected but it is the need of the hour to mobilise both private & public hospitals while upgrading district hospitals.
  • The learning’s & knowledge acquired from first wave should be used to reduce time lag in current stage.

Immunisation of Population:

  • Govt has to ramp up its COVID vaccination programme with an aim to vaccinate all persons above 35 years old by aug 15.
  • India must train & engage more vaccinators & create strong support base at private sector.
  • Trust building in Vaccine & Public health mandates has to be promoted at community level by clearing off misconceptions.
  • Protection of the Essential Functions of the Society.

Forward: –

  • Apart from overcoming the challenges posed by COVID, India should also look forward in tackling the structural vulnerabilities of the system.
  • Displaying determination and discipline is the need of the hour in a successful fight with COVID.
  • Currently, India is at the cross roads where while protecting public health at large, it would also need to chalk out a comprehensive & inclusive strategy promote & protect the social & economic vulnerabilities.

Questions: –

Apart from overcoming the challenges posed by COVID, India should also look forward in tackling the structural vulnerabilities of the system. Explain.

Started From 14 Mar 2021

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