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March 19, 2021
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18th March Current Affairs

No-trust vote

In News:

The no-confidence motion moved by the Congress against the Bharatiya Janata Party-Jannayak Janta Party coalition government in Haryana has been defeated by 55 votes to 32.

What is a No-Confidence Motion?

A Council of Ministers is collectively responsible to the Legislative Assembly and it remains in office till it enjoys the confidence of majority.

Therefore, a motion of no-confidence is moved to remove the council of ministers and to remove the government from the office.

Constitutional provisions:

According to the Article 75 of the Indian Constitution, council of ministers shall be collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha and as per Article 164, the council of ministers shall be collectively responsible to the Legislative Assembly of the State.

Lok Sabha/Legislative Assembly can remove the ministry from the office by passing a no-confidence motion.

Lok Sabha Rule 198 specifies the procedure for a motion of no-confidence.

What is the procedure to move a No-Confidence Motion?

Against the Government, a motion of No-Confidence Motion can be introduced only in the Lok Sabha under rule 198.

There should be a minimum of 50 members to accept the motion. If not, then the motion fails. Before 10 am, any member may provide written notice.

  • The motion of no-confidence is read by the Speaker within the House and asks all those favouring the motion to rise.
  • If 50 MPS are there in favour then the Speaker could allot a date for discussing the motion. But this has to be done within 10 days.
  • Then, the motion is put to vote and can be conducted through Voice Vote, Division of Votes or other means.
  • If the government loses a confidence motion or if the no-confidence motion is accepted by the majority then the government has to resign.

What are the conditions related to no-confidence motion?

It can be moved only in the Lok Sabha or state assembly as the case may be. It cannot be moved in the Rajya Sabha or state legislative council.

The no-confidence motion is moved against the entire Council of Ministers and not individual ministers or private members.

National Capital Territory Bill

In News:

The Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed the National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

Key Provisions:

It seeks to regularise unauthorised colonies that existed in the National Capital Territory of Delhi as on June 1, 2014, and had seen development up to 50% as on January 1, 2015.

It amended the National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second Act, 2011.

The bill would give protection to unauthorised colonies from sealing till December 31, 2023.

Background:

The 2011 Act was valid till December 31, 2020. The 2011 Act provided for the regularisation of the unauthorised colonies that existed in the national capital as on March 31, 2002 and where construction took place till June 1, 2014.

Need for:

Large number of people living in unauthorised colonies in Delhi are not receiving proper amenities and this Bill provided ownership rights to those living in these colonies. It would facilitate access to institutional credit and also improve the basic amenities.

Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Nidhi

In News:

Union Cabinet has approved the creation of Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Nidhi (PMSSN).

About the fund:

It will be a single non-lapsable reserve fund for share of Health from the proceeds of Health and Education Cess.

The accruals into the PMSSN will be utilised for the flagship schemes of the Health Ministry including Ayushmann Bharat–Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) and National Health Mission and Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) and also disaster preparedness, and responses during health emergencies.

In any financial year, the expenditure on such schemes of the Health Ministry would be initially incurred from the PMSSN and thereafter, from Gross Budgetary Support (GBS).

Significance:

The major benefit will be enhanced access to universal and affordable health care through availability of earmarked resources, while ensuring that the amount does not lapse at the end of financial year.

What does Biden’s peace plan mean for Afghanistan?

In News:

The Joe Biden administration has proposed a new peace plan to the Afghan government and the Taliban, seeking to bring violence to a halt.

What’s there in the American proposal?

It has proposed a UN-led conference of representatives of Russia, China, Pakistan, Iran, India and the U.S. “to discuss a unified approach to support peace in Afghanistan”.

It seeks to accelerate talks between the Afghan leadership and the Taliban.

It urges both sides to reach a consensus on Afghanistan’s future constitutional and governing arrangements; find a road map to a new “inclusive government”; and agree on the terms of a “permanent and comprehensive ceasefire”.

Need for intervention:

According to the agreement the U.S. signed with the Taliban in February 2020, American troops are set to leave Afghanistan by May 1. The Taliban and the Afghan government started peace talks in Doha in September last year but reached no breakthrough.

The Biden administration is concerned about the slow pace of the talks. The U.S. assessment is that if American troops are pulled out of Afghanistan, the Taliban would make quick gains.

Besides, Taliban have already taken over much of the country’s hinterlands and are breathing down the neck of its cities.

India’s position on Taliban:

For New Delhi, which has protested being left out of regional formulations in the past both in the original Moscow process, and in the United Nation’s April 2020 “6+2+1” that included Afghanistan’s “immediate neighbours” only, the U.S.’s suggestion is a relief.

Previously, India refused to recognise the Taliban regime of 1996-2001 and rather supported the ‘Northern Alliance’ in fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan.

India has long held the position of dealing only with the elected government in Kabul, and has always considered the Taliban a terrorist organisation backed by Pakistan.

India supports an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled peace process.

Need for reconsideration:

India’s refusal to engage with Taliban will give Pakistan a free hand to use it as a proxy in India’s internal matters.

Given India’s regional and global positions, it is appropriate for India to engage with all the key players in Afghanistan, not only in terms of the government but also in terms of political forces, society and the Afghan body politics.

India’s position on non-engagement with Taliban has reduced its role in international diplomatic efforts.

Way ahead for India:

India should now upgrade its channels of communication with the Taliban.

  • India’s engagement should be conditional on Taliban joining the mainstream politics.
  • India should not give legitimacy to a government in exile (Taliban’s political office is based in Doha) in its own neighbourhood.