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November 18, 2020
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November 20, 2020
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19th November Current Affairs

Imposition of Article 356

In News:

West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar recently made serious allegations about the law and order situation in the state.

Details:

The remarks prompted speculation about imposition of Article 356 in the State where Assembly polls are scheduled next year.

Challenges highlighted:

The political killings, targeted killings and violence are a cause of great concern.

The greater challenge to democracy in the state is that the police and administration, those in the premier services, the IAS and IPS, are politicised.

Some of them are working as full-time political workers, as political foot soldiers, totally abandoning their roles.

What is President’s Rule in the Indian context?

Article 356 of the Constitution of India gives President of India the power to suspend state government and impose President’s rule of any state in the country “if he is satisfied that a situation has arisen in which the government of the state cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution”.

It is also known as ‘State Emergency’ or ‘Constitutional Emergency’.

Implications:

Upon the imposition of this rule, there would be no Council of Ministers.

The state will fall under the direct control of the Union government, and the Governor will continue to head the proceedings, representing the President of India.

Parliamentary Approval and Duration:

A proclamation imposing President’s Rule must be approved by both the Houses of Parliament within two months from the date of its issue.

The approval takes place through simple majority in either House, that is, a majority of the members of the House present and voting.

Initially valid for six months, the President’s Rule can be extended for a maximum period of three years with the approval of the Parliament, every six months.

Report of the Governor:

Under Article 356, President’s Rule is imposed if the President, upon receipt of the report from the Governor of the State or otherwise, is satisfied that a situation has arisen in which the government of the State cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.

Revocation:

A proclamation of President’s Rule may be revoked by the President at any time by a subsequent proclamation.

Such a proclamation does not require parliamentary approval.

Central Vigilance Commission

In News:

CVC has decided to receive through email, from November 1 onwards, all vigilance clearance proposals for the Board level, all-India and Central services officials for appointment, empanelment, promotion and other related issues. No hard copies of documents will be accepted.

About CVC:

It is the apex vigilance institution created via executive resolution (based on the recommendations of Santhanam committee) in 1964 but was conferred with statutory status in 2003.

It submits its report to the President of India.

The CVC is not controlled by any Ministry/Department. It is an independent body which is only responsible to the Parliament.

Composition:

Consists of central vigilance commissioner along with 2 vigilance commissioners.

Appointment:

They are appointed by the President of India on the recommendations of a committee consisting of Prime Minister, Union Home Minister and Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha (if there is no LoP then the leader of the single largest Opposition party in the Lok Sabha).

Term:

Their term is 4 years or 65 years, whichever is earlier.

Removal:

The Central Vigilance Commissioner or any Vigilance Commissioner can be removed from his office only by order of the President on the ground of proved misbehavior or incapacity after the Supreme Court, on a reference made to it by the President, has, on inquiry, reported that the Central Vigilance Commissioner or any Vigilance Commissioner, as the case may be, ought to be removed.

LAC situation critical: former MP

In News:

Thupstan Chhewang, former BJP MP from Ladakh, has said:

Chinese troops have further transgressed into Indian territory and occupied positions in Finger 2 and 3 of the north bank of Pangong Tso (lake).

Indian soldiers were living in tents and it was not adequate for them in sub-zero conditions.

Why there is a dispute here?

The Line of Actual Control (LAC) – the line that separates Indian and Chinese troops since 1962 – generally runs along the land except for the width of Pangong Tso. Here, it runs through water.

Both sides have marked their areas announcing which side belongs to which country.

India controls about 45 km stretch of the Pangong Tso and China the rest.

The lake is divided into sections called fingers:

There are eight of them in contention here. India and China have different understanding of where the LAC passes through.

India has maintained that the LAC passes through Finger 8, which has been the site of the final military post of China.

India has been patrolling the area – mostly on foot because of the nature of the terrain – up to Finger 8. But Indian forces have not had active control beyond Finger 4.

China, on the other hand, says the LAC passes through Finger 2. It has been patrolling up to Finger 4- mostly in light vehicles, and at times up to Finger 2.

Why China wants to encroach areas alongside Pangong Tso?

Pangong Tso is strategically crucial as it is very close to Chusul Valley, which was one of the battlefronts between India and China during the 1962 war.

China also does not want India to boost its infrastructure anywhere near the LAC. China fears it threatens its occupation of Aksai Chin and Lhasa-Kashgar highway.

Any threat to this highway also puts Chinese rather imperialist plans in Pakistan-occupied territories in Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir, and beyond in Pakistan.

About Pangong Tso:

Pangong Tso literally translates into a “conclave lake”.

Situated at over 14,000 feet, the Lake is about 135 km long.

It is formed from Tethys geosyncline.

The Karakoram Mountain range ends at the north bank of Pangong Tso. Its southern bank too has high broken mountains sloping towards Spangur Lake in the south.

Mandatory Packaging in Jute Materials

In News:

Cabinet approves Extension of Norms for Mandatory Packaging in Jute Materials.

Details:

Now, 100% of the foodgrains and 20% of the sugar shall be mandatorily packed in diversified jute bags.

Benefits:

Nearly 3.7 lakh workers and several lakh farm families are dependent for their livelihood on the jute sectors.

This decision will give an impetus to the diversification of the jute industry.

It will also benefit farmers and workers located in the Eastern and North Eastern regions of the country.

Background:

Under the Jute Packaging Materials (Compulsory use in Packing Commodities) Act, 1987, the Government is required to consider and provide for the compulsory use of jute packaging material in the supply and distribution of certain commodities in the interest of production of raw jute and jute packaging material and of persons engaged in the production thereof.

About Jute:

Known as the ‘golden fibre’, jute is one of the longest and most used natural fibre for various textile applications.

It thrives in tropical lowland areas with humidity of 60% to 90%. Jute is a rain-fed crop with little need for fertilizer or pesticides.

India is the world’s largest producer of raw jute and jute goods.

The cultivation of jute in India is mainly confined to the eastern region of the country.

The first jute mill was established at Rishra (Bengal – now in West Bengal), on the river Hooghly near Calcutta in the year 1855, by Mr. George Aclend.

In 1959, the first power driven weaving factory was set up.