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16th May Current Affairs

Anglo-Indian quota

(GS-II: Indian Constitution and historical underpinnings)

In News:

The Delhi High Court has ordered the Centre to file its submissions in response to a petition seeking restoration of Anglo-Indian representation by nomination in Parliament.

Details:

The court observed that the provision for Anglo-Indian representation by nomination in Lok Sabha was introduced to give community members assurance that they would be protected and heard when they returned.

What’s the issue?

The court was hearing a petition challenging the Constitutional (One Hundred and Fourth Amendment) Act, 2019.

The amendment removed the nomination-based representation of the Anglo-Indian community in Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies.

How has the centre justified its stand on the removal of this provision?

The community has merged within the Indian population with time. Besides, the constitutional scheme itself is that they are for a limited period of time. It cannot continue indefinitely.

Arguments against the removal of this provision:

The number of Anglo-Indian community members is not accurately reflected in the 2011 Census, on which the then Law Minister relied while tabling the amendment Bill in Parliament.

So, this breaches the constitutional promise to a ‘minority within a minority’ and could virtually become the trigger for systematic cultural-political annihilation of the Anglo-Indian community in the short to medium term.

Constitutional Provisions:

Article 334 has laid down provisions for reserving the seats for SCs and STs and nomination of Anglo-Indians to Lok Sabha and state Assemblies, which shall cease to be in effect on the 25 January 2020, if not extended further.

Meaning of Anglo Indians in India:

The term Anglo Indian is defined as per the article 366 (2) of the Indian constitution; “a person whose father or any of whose other male progenitors in the male line is or was of European descent but who is a native of India.”

Anglo Indians in Parliament and Legislative Assemblies:

Under article 331; the President of India is authorised to nominate 2 members of the Anglo Indian communityif know member of this community is elected among the 543 members for the Lok Sabha.

In the same way the governor of the state is authorised to nominate 1 Anglo Indian in the lower house of the State Legislature (in case of under representation).

According to the 10th schedule of the Constitution, any Anglo-Indian member can take the membership of any party within 6 months of the nomination. After the membership; they are bound to the party whip and they have to work in the house according to the party’s agenda.

Pick-and-choose Indo-Pacific economic framework

(GS-II: Effects of policies of developed nations)

In News:

The United States sees India’s participation in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) as “very important”.

Therefore, Washington is designing the framework to prioritise “flexibility and inclusion”.

Under this, participating countries can join IPEF without necessarily joining all the four pillars of the framework — a pick-and-choose arrangement that could make India more open to coming on board.

About IPEF:

Announced in 2021, the IPEF aims to set regional standards for cooperation, and includes the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states.

The Framework is the Biden administration’s answer to questions about the United States’ economic commitment to the vital Indo-Pacific region.

IPEF is created to encourage regional economies to “decouple” from the Chinese market by leading them to alternative supply chains.

The IPEF will consist of four “pillars” of work:

Fair and resilient trade (encompassing seven subtopics, including labor, environmental, and digital standards).

Supply chain resilience.

Infrastructure, clean energy, and decarbonization.

Tax and anti-corruption.

Strategic significance of Indo-Pacific region for India:

Strategic significance: The Indo-Pacific is a multipolar region that accounts for over half of global GDP and population.

Mineral Resources: Maritime regions have also become important storage areas for essential resources such as fish stocks, minerals, and offshore oil and gas.

Economic Growth: The Indo-Pacific area accounts for approximately 60% of world GDP, making it the most important contributor to global growth.

Commerce: Many of the world’s most important choke points for global trade are located in this region, including the Straits of Malacca, which are crucial for global economic growth.

Space debris

(GS-III: Awareness in space)

In News:

Space Debris from the re-entry of the Chang Zheng 3B serial Y86 — China’s orbital launch vehicle, us suspected to have fallen at various places in Gujarat.

What is Chang Zheng 3B serial Y86, from where the debris is suspected to have fallen?

Chang Zheng 3B, commonly known as CZ 3B, is China’s orbital launch vehicle, similar to India’s GSLV or PSLV.

The third stage, which releases the satellite at the required orbit following which it remains in sub-orbital flight, remains outside the purview of being controlled by human intervention and ultimately re-enters earth.

It is this third stage of the Long March 3B Y 86 rocket launch that is now suspected to have re-entered earth, leading to debris falling in Gujarat.

What is space debris?

Space debris can include natural space debris such as meteoroids, or man-made ones which can include defunct spacecrafts and satellites, stages of rockets which have launched payloads, dead satellites, satellite explosions and collisions.

Amount of space debris in space:

The real amount of space debris is said to be between 500,000 and one million pieces as current sensor technology cannot detect smaller objects.

They all travel at speeds of up to 17,500 mph (28,162 kmph) fast enough for a relatively small piece of orbital debris to damage a satellite or a spacecraft.

Technologies that can tackle the problem in future are:

Nasa’s Space Debris Sensor orbits the Earth on the International Space Station. REMOVEdebris, satellite contain two cubesats that will release simulated space debris so that it can then demonstrate several ways of retrieving them.

Deorbit mission: There are two emerging technologies being developed under what’s known as the e.Deorbit mission to grasp the wayward space junk, or to catch it.

Other technologies include moving objects with a powerful laser beam. It is important to start doing that soon, current scientific estimates predict that without active debris removal, certain orbits will become unusable over the coming decades.

Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban (PMAY-U)

(GS-II: Population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies)

In News:

The Centre has committed Rs 2.01 lakh crore for the PMAY-U, of which Rs 1.18 lakh crore has been released and Rs 1.10 lakh crore has been spent.

21 crore houses have been sanctioned under the scheme so far.

About PMAY- Urban:

Launched by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (MoHUPA) in Mission mode in 2015.

It envisions provision of Housing for All by 2022, when the Nation completes 75 years of its Independence.

The Mission seeks to address the housing requirement of urban poor including slum dwellers through following programme verticals:

Slum rehabilitation of Slum Dwellers with participation of private developers using land as a resource.

Promotion of Affordable Housing for weaker sections through credit linked subsidy.

Affordable Housing in Partnership with Public & Private sectors.

Subsidy for beneficiary-led individual house construction /enhancement.

Credit linked subsidy component will be implemented as a Central Sector Scheme while other three components will be implemented as Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS).

Ownership of houses:

Houses are to be allotted in the name of adult female members or in joint name and all houses to have toilet facility, drinking water and power supply. Preference is given to persons with disabilities, ST/ SC/ OBCs, minorities and transgender.