DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS (UPSC) |22 Jan 2021| RaghukulCS

Removal of Speaker/Deputy Speaker

Context: Kerala Assembly rejected the motion to remove Speaker

Topic in syllabus: Prelims – Polity

Removal of Speaker/Deputy Speaker:

•           Speaker/Deputy Speaker may be removed from his office by a resolution passed by a majority of all the then members of the Assembly.

•           Provided that no resolution shall be moved unless at least fourteen days’ notice has been given to move the resolution:

•           While any resolution for the removal of the Speaker from his office is under consideration, the Speaker, or while any resolution for the removal of the Deputy Speaker from his office is under consideration, the Deputy Speaker, shall not, though he is present, preside the house.

•           The Speaker will have the right to speak in, and otherwise to take part in the proceedings of, the Assembly while any resolution for his removal from office is under consideration in the Assembly.

Removal of speaker of the Loksabha:

•           Speaker can be removed by the Lok Sabha by a resolution passed by more than 50% of total strength of the house as per Articles 96.

•           Under sections 7 and 8 of Representation of the People Act, 1951, Speaker can be removed on getting disqualified for being Lok Sabha member.

•           When courts uphold the unconstitutional act of the speaker for wrong certification of a bill as money bill, It is applicable for disqualification of speaker’s Lok Sabha membership under Representation of the People Act, 1951.

•           But the omissions in the procedure committed by the speaker in the Lok Sabha cannot be challenged in court of law according to Article 122.

(What is the procedure to remove speaker/deputy speaker of Loksabha/Legislative assembly?)

Sensex

Context: Domestic stock markets on Thursday touched fresh record highs as Sensex scaled 50,000 for the first time ever.

Topic in syllabus: Prelims – Economy

What is Sensex & Nifty?

•           The Sensex is the India’s benchmark stock index.

•           It was created in 1986 and it represents 30 of the largest and well-capitalized stocks on the BSE.

•           Analysts and investors utilise it to observe the India’s economy and the development and decline of particular industries.

•           NIFTY is a market index introduced by the National Stock Exchange.

•           It is a blend of two words – National Stock Exchange and Fifty coined by NSE on 21st April 1996.

•           It is a benchmark based index and also the flagship of NSE, which showcases the top 50 equity stocks traded in the stock exchange out of a total of 1600 stocks.

How SENSEX crossed 50,000? (Reasons)

•           Domestic stock markets got an additional boost from positive global event after Joe Biden took charge at the US president. Investors all over the world are hopeful about the fresh stimulus announcement.

•           Reliance is now closer to acquiring the Future’s retail assets — a step that would help it gain a good advantage over Amazon in the battle for retail dominance in India.

•           Improvement in economic activity and development on the vaccine front are also two key reasons.

•           Most firms are expected to perform even better in the next quarter with rising economic activity.

o          Hence they have added a massive boost to the stock market.

•           There are over-optimistic expectations from the Budget-2021.

(What is Sensex & Nifty? | How SENSEX crossed 50,000? | Reasons behind boost to sensex)

Important news in short

•           Facebook official Ajit Mohan told the Supreme Court that he has right to remain silent and not be compelled by the Peace and Harmony Committee of the Delhi Legislative Assembly to be part of a “politically polarised debate” on the Delhi riots last year.

•           China said its construction of a village across the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Arunachal Pradesh was “beyond reproach” because it had “never recognised” Arunachal.

•           The Chief of the Army Staff General Naravane said that considering the quick pace of defence modernization being undertaken by India’s adversaries, the country was lagging behind slightly. The continued heavy dependence of the armed forces on imports needed to be addressed through indigenous capability development, but we cannot afford to have “operational voids when the enemy is at the gates”, he said.

Editorial Analysis

(The Hindu & The Indian Express)

Getting it wrong on India’s level of agricultural support

Source: The Hindu

Written by: Sachin Kumar Sharma (Associate Professor at the Centre for WTO Studies,

Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, Delhi) &AdeetDobhal (Research Fellow at the Centre for WTO Studies)

Topic in syllabus: Economy, Agriculture (GS-3)

Analysis about: This editorial talks about pitfalls and limitations in methodology of OECD to measure the agricultural support.

Introduction:
  • The resent issue between the farmers protesting farm laws and the government has stareted an interesting debate regarding the level of agricultural support.
  • Many reports, based on data by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), have said that the support provided to Indian agriculture is negative, and, therefore, net taxed.
  • The support provided by the Central and State governments through their federal and sub federal schemes is well documented.
Basics: What is negative market support?
  • A negative market support means, instead of farmers receiving some positive amount of money from the government or from consumers through government policy (such as price support) farmers actually earn less than if they could freely sell their produce in the global economy.
How did OECD estimate the Indian support to the farmers?
  • The OECD estimates the support to the farmers in terms of producer support estimates (PSE), which have two elements: market price support and budgetary payments.
  • According to the OECD methodology, the market price support of a commodity is calculated by multiplying its total production with the gap between the domestic price and international prices in a year.
  • Total market support for India is calculated by adding the agricultural commodities market price support of the such as wheat, rice, cotton, milk, etc.
  • The OECD has estimated that Indian farmers received negative support of minus ₹2.36lakh crore and minus ₹1.62 lakh crore in 2010 and 2019.

What are the pitfalls in the OECD’s methodology?

  • Despite the overall negative support, the expenditure of the Central and State governments on

agriculture has increased since 2000.

  • Expenditure on the Pradhan MantriKisanSammannNidhi, or PM-¬KISAN, the National Food Security

Mission, crop insurance, input subsidies such as fertilizer and electricity, are some of the measures covered under the 2019 OECD estimates. Still, the expenditure related to the operation of minimum support price and general services is not covered by it.

  • This methodology assumes that if there is no government intervention in the agriculture market,

then the domestic and international price of a product will converge, & there will be no gap in prices.

  • But even if the government does not implement any programme, the gap can still exist due to domestic and international factors.

What are the consequences of the OECD methodology?

  • Support for that product would be negative, if the domestic price for a product is less than its international price.
  • On account of the relative movement of domestic and international prices, a negative market price support for a product in one year can turn into huge positive support in another year.(You are reading this article on RaghukulCS.com)

o          Even if in a particular year, the government does not provide any additional support compared to a previous year, the level of support calculated by the OECD can change. This will arise if there is a change in either the gap between the domestic price and international price for a commodity, or its production, in the two years.

  • Given the difficulty in prediction of the inherent data, the total support can move from huge negative to huge positive.

o          It is possible that support to Indian farmers in the near future becomes one of the biggest in the world due to pitfalls in the OECD methodology. This might set alarm bells ringing, particularly in the developed countries, which may extensively question India’s support measures.

The way forward:

  • Rather than being swayed by the OECD numbers, farmers, policymakers, and other stakeholders need to understand the pitfalls and limitations in the methodology. This will help in providing a more correct perception of the level of support to agriculture in India.

Are courts encroaching on the powers of the executive?

Source: The Hindu

Interview: AnujBhuwania, (Professor at the Jindal Global Law School, is the author of ‘Courting the People: Public Interest Litigation in Post-Emergency India’) &ArunThiruvengadam, (Professor of Law at Azim Premji

University, Bengaluru, is the author of ‘The Constitution of India: A Contextual Analysis’)

Topic in syllabus: Polity – separation of powers, Judiciary (GS-3)

Analysis about: This interview talks about how courts are increasingly intervening in matters without providing sound legal reasoning

Intervention of the court in the farm laws:

  • Actually nobody asked the court to intervene in this particular manner, to break the deadlock between farmers and the government. As the court itself noted in its order, there are three sets of petitions but none of the petition ask the court to negotiate between the two parties.
  • SC has decided that it can do better than the government and appointed its own committee. The court gave the precedent of the Maratha reservation case in which it had issued a stay, but in that instance, the stay was given on constitutional grounds.

o          Here SC does not take up any such constitutional issues though these issues have been pleaded before the court by the farmers’ associations.

  • How the court is going away from legal reasons?

o          Courts are competent to issue any stay order on parliamentary laws, but they need to give legal reasons. When you look at the reasoning given by the court, the court says, “We are also of the view that a stay of implementation of all the three farm laws for the present may assuage the hurt feelings of the farmers and encourage them to come to the negotiating table with confidence and good faith.” Now, this is a strange reason and arguably not a good legal reason.

o          To issue a stay, courts usually state the legal and constitutional arguments which make them

take the view that the law, on its face, raises a question of constitutional violation.

o          That’s why some commentators have asked whether the court is looking at administrative concerns rather than legal.

How SC & HC is not taking constitutional challenges & doing away some responsibilities?

  • In India, almost every political issue gets translated into legal terms, and there’s nothing very wrong with that. The problem with regard to the court is not just a problem of commission but also a problem of omission.

o          There are issues central to Indian politics such as the change to Article 370, the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, reservation quotas for economically weaker sections, electoral bonds, and, more recently, the so-called ‘love jihad’ laws which are all extremely politically controversial. The court has shown no urgency in hearing any of them and has refused to pass a stay order in all of these cases.

o          However, the court has very much intervened in matters that are extremely controversial, the most recent obvious example being in the Ayodhya case, if it is determined to do so. The court is actually abdicating its constitutional responsibility of judicial review. At the same time, it’s acting in usurpation of executive and legislative powers, stepping ahead the standard areas of judicial behaviour.

  • In the initial period it was a more conservative court and then over the time it became more radical. But even if you look at the so called conservative period and the big ticket political issues that came its way such as land reforms, reservations, the use of Article 356, bank nationalisation, privy purses etc., these are all issues on which the court actually adjudicated very promptly.

o          The court didn’t shy away from giving its opinion. But what we’re seeing recently is the court is very reluctant to take up constitutional challenges and issues.

Are there any positive interventions by the court?
  • The NavtejJohar case (Navtej Singh Johar v. Union of India) which relates to the question of the

LGBTQ community and specifically on the question of decriminalisation of Section 377. This is an issue

that the courts grappled with for a fairly long time.

o          We know that LGBTQ populations in any human population are going to be a fairly small number.

o          After a long struggle and considerable back and forth, the court finally decriminalised same sex relations in 2018.

o          (But, even if we take the NavtejJohar case as an exemplary instance, it was preceded by the Kaushal v. Naz judgment, where the court dismissed the LGBTQ community as a minuscule minority. The court has not been particularly interested in performing any counter majoritarian role for a long time now.)

What must be the role of the court? (Conclusion)

  • The court must be the highly institutionalised body.
  • There must be the reasons & some grounds to its decisions.
  • The process of the court must include who it hears and how it hears but also how it decides in terms of its reasoning.
Privacy and surveillance
Source: The Hindu

Topic in syllabus: Polity – Right to privacy, Governance (GS-2)

Analysis about: This editorial talks about pitfalls and limitations in methodology of OECD to measure the agricultural support.

Introduction:
  • Following a retreat of its users from its messaging service, which promise more privacy options, the, WhatsApp, to apps such as Signal and Telegram Facebook owned service might have been forced to

postpone the date for users to accept its new privacy policy terms to May 15.

  • Facebook Inc., which also owns Instagram, has sought to integrate the offerings from WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook, with the former acting also as a tool that secures payments for services and ads posted on the latter two applications, beyond its primary use as a messaging service.
What is the reason behind the integration of these digital products & services by Facebook?
  • This integration of three large consumption products is a means to monetise their everyday use by consumers.
  • Facebook’s revenue model utilises data on its platform to allow advertisers to target ads towards users, the algorithms would benefit from the WhatsApp data as well.
What is the way forward to tackle the issue of privacy?
  • The responsibility is also on the Indian government to quickly take up the legislation for data protection, that aligns with the recommendations of the Srikrishna Committee, which tried to address concerns of online data privacy in line with the 2018 Puttaswamy judgment.
  • The 2019 draft Bill proposed by the government diluted some of the provisions, for example, by limiting data localisation in proposing that only sensitive personal data needed to be copied in the country, and not all personal data as mandated by the committee.
  • But data localisation as proposed by the committee may not necessarily lead to better data privacy, because it carries the possibility of domestic surveillance of Indian citizens.
  • Privacy is better addressed by better security tools and stronger contractual conditions on data sharing.
  • The proposed Bill has some of these features, similar to Europe’s Data Protection law, but it also requires stronger checks on state surveillance.
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