13th December Current Affairs
December 13, 2021
15th December Current Affairs
December 15, 2021
Show all

14th December Current Affairs

Privilege Motion

(GS-II: Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these)

In News:

Two Trinamool Congress MPs and three of the Congress have moved a privilege motion against former Chief Justice of India and Rajya Sabha member Ranjan Gogoi over his remarks that he attended the House when he felt like doing so.

Since he joined the House in March 2020, Mr. Gogoi, a nominated member, has attended proceedings only six times.

What do rules say?

According to the rules, a member should attend at least one day during the session and if not, the member should apply for leave which has to be sanctioned by the House.

What’s the issue now?

During a recent interview to the NDTV, Ranjan Gogoi was asked about his attendance in Parliament. The former CJI had cited Covid curbs and discomfort with the lack of social distancing and seating arrangements.

The motion says the statements constitute a breach and undermine the dignity of the House.

What are Parliamentary Privileges?

Parliamentary Privileges are certain rights and immunities enjoyed by members of Parliament, individually and collectively, so that they can “effectively discharge their functions”.

Article 105 of the Constitution expressly mentions two privileges, that is, freedom of speech in Parliament and right of publication of its proceedings.

Apart from the privileges as specified in the Constitution, the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, provides for freedom from arrest and detention of members under civil process during the continuance of the meeting of the House or of a committee thereof and forty days before its commencement and forty days after its conclusion.

Motion against breaches:

When any of these rights and immunities are disregarded, the offence is called a breach of privilege and is punishable under law of Parliament.

A notice is moved in the form of a motion by any member of either House against those being held guilty of breach of privilege.

Role of the Speaker/Rajya Sabha (RS) Chairperson:

The Speaker/RS chairperson is the first level of scrutiny of a privilege motion.

The Speaker/Chair can decide on the privilege motion himself or herself or refer it to the privileges committee of Parliament.

If the Speaker/Chair gives consent under relevant rules, the member concerned is given an opportunity to make a short statement.

Applicability:

The Constitution also extends the parliamentary privileges to those persons who are entitled to speak and take part in the proceedings of a House of Parliament or any of its committees. These include the Attorney General of India.

The parliamentary privileges do not extend to the President who is also an integral part of the Parliament. Article 361 of the Constitution provides for privileges for the President.

Inflation targeting

(GS-III: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment)

In News:

India’s retail inflation hardened for the second month in a row in November, touching 4.91% from 4.48% recorded in October, with urban parts experiencing a sharper rise in prices at a pace of 5.54% and vegetable prices jumping 7.45% from the previous month.

Concern:

This suggests that upward price pressures persist, owing to the rise in input and commodity costs, as reflected in the wholesale price inflation touching a five-month high of 12.54% in October. This will affect inflation targeting by the RBI.

What is inflation targeting?

It is a central banking policy that revolves around adjusting monetary policy to achieve a specified annual rate of inflation.

The principle of inflation targeting is based on the belief that long-term economic growth is best achieved by maintaining price stability, and price stability is achieved by controlling inflation.

Inflation Targeting Framework:

Now there is a flexible inflation targeting framework in India (after the 2016 amendment to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Act, 1934).

Who sets the inflation target in India?

The amended RBI Act provides for the inflation target to be set by the Government of India, in consultation with the Reserve Bank, once every five years.

Current Inflation Target:

The Central Government has notified 4 per cent Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation as the target for the period from August 5, 2016, to March 31, 2021, with the upper tolerance limit of 6 per cent and the lower tolerance limit of 2 per cent.

Inflation targeting

(GS-III: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment)

In News:

India’s retail inflation hardened for the second month in a row in November, touching 4.91% from 4.48% recorded in October, with urban parts experiencing a sharper rise in prices at a pace of 5.54% and vegetable prices jumping 7.45% from the previous month.

Concern:

This suggests that upward price pressures persist, owing to the rise in input and commodity costs, as reflected in the wholesale price inflation touching a five-month high of 12.54% in October. This will affect inflation targeting by the RBI.

What is inflation targeting?

It is a central banking policy that revolves around adjusting monetary policy to achieve a specified annual rate of inflation.

The principle of inflation targeting is based on the belief that long-term economic growth is best achieved by maintaining price stability, and price stability is achieved by controlling inflation.

Inflation Targeting Framework:

Now there is a flexible inflation targeting framework in India (after the 2016 amendment to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Act, 1934).

Who sets the inflation target in India?

The amended RBI Act provides for the inflation target to be set by the Government of India, in consultation with the Reserve Bank, once every five years.

Current Inflation Target:

The Central Government has notified 4 per cent Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation as the target for the period from August 5, 2016, to March 31, 2021, with the upper tolerance limit of 6 per cent and the lower tolerance limit of 2 per cent.

Alluri Sitaram Raju and the Rampa Rebellion

(GS-I: Modern History and historical events)

In News:

Director SS Rajamouli is all set for the release of his upcoming period drama titled Roudram Ranam Rudhiram which is officially titled RRR.

Set in the 1920s, RRR is said to be a fictional story based on the lives of tribal freedom fighters Alluri Sitarama Raju and Komaram Bheem.

About Alluri Sitaram Raju:

In 1922, Indian revolutionary Alluri Sitaram Raju led the Rampa Rebellion against the British raj for their imposition of the 1882 Madras Forest Act, which severely restricted the free movement of the tribal community within their own forests.

Under the implications of this Act, the community was unable to fully carry out the traditional Podu agricultural system, which involved shifting cultivation.

The armed struggle came to a violent end in 1924, when Raju was captured by police forces, tied to a tree, and shot by a firing squad. His heroics resulted in him being titled manyam veerudu, or ‘the hero of the jungle’.

About Kinaram Bheem:

Born in Telangana’s Adilabad district in 1901, Bheem was a member of the Gond community and grew up in the populated forests of the Chanda and Ballalpur kingdoms.

Komaram Bheem had escaped from prison to a tea plantation in Assam. Here, he heard about the rebellion being led by Alluri, and found a new sense of inspiration to protect the Gond tribe to which he belonged.

Rampa Rebellion:

The Rampa Rebellion of 1922, also known as the Manyam Rebellion, was a tribal uprising, led by Alluri Sitarama Raju in Godavari Agency of Madras Presidency, British India. It began in August 1922 and lasted until the capture and killing of Raju in May 1924.

Collegium System

(GS-II: Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies)

In News:

The government has said that there was a call from within the judiciary and parliamentarians to change the collegium system for appointment of judges.

Details:

A draft memorandum of procedure for bringing transparency and accountability to the system was submitted by the Government to the Supreme Court, and it was pending.

Who appoints judges to the SC?

In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (2) of Article 124 of the Constitution of India, the appointments are made by the President of India.

The names are recommended by the Collegium.

Eligibility to become a Supreme Court judge:

The norms relating to the eligibility has been envisaged in the Article 124 of the Indian Constitution.

To become a judge of the Supreme court, an individual should be an Indian citizen.

In terms of age, a person should not exceed 65 years of age.

The person should serve as a judge of one high court or more (continuously), for at least five years or the person should be an advocate in the High court for at least 10 years or a distinguished jurist.

Collegium System:

It is the system of appointment and transfer of judges that has evolved through judgments of the SC, and not by an Act of Parliament or by a provision of the Constitution.

The SC collegium is headed by the CJI and comprises four other senior most judges of the court.

A HC collegium is led by its Chief Justice and four other senior most judges of that court.

Is the collegium’s recommendation final and binding?

The collegium sends its final recommendation to the President of India for approval. The President can either accept it or reject it. In the case it is rejected, the recommendation comes back to the collegium. If the collegium reiterates its recommendation to the President, then he/she is bound by that recommendation.

Common criticism made against the Collegium system:

  • Opaqueness and a lack of transparency.
  • Scope for nepotism.
  • Embroilment in public controversies.
  • Overlooks several talented junior judges and advocates.

Reforms needed:

  • A transparent and participatory procedure, preferably by an independent broad-based constitutional body guaranteeing judicial primacy but not judicial exclusivity.
  • It should ensure independence, reflect diversity, demonstrate professional competence and integrity.
  • Instead of selecting the number of judges required against a certain number of vacancies, the collegium must provide a panel of possible names to the President to appointment in order of preference and other valid criteria.