National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST)
(GS-II: mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections)
The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes has been dysfunctional for the last four years and has not delivered a single report to Parliament, a parliamentary committee has said in a recent report.
The pending reports include:
A study by the Commission of the impact of the Indira Sagar Polavaram Project in Andhra Pradesh on the tribal population.
A special report on rehabilitation and resettlement of displaced tribals because of the Rourkela Steel Plant.
Challenges/issues associated with the functioning of NCST:
Manpower and budgetary shortage.
Less number of applicants as the eligibility bar is set too high.
Its rate of pendency of resolution of complaints and cases that it receives is also close to 50 per cent.
NCST was established by amending Article 338 and inserting a new Article 338A in the Constitution through the Constitution (89th Amendment) Act, 2003.
By this amendment, the erstwhile National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes was replaced by two separate Commissions namely- (i) the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC), and (ii) the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST).
Composition: The term of office of Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and each member is three years from the date of assumption of charge.
The Chairperson has been given the rank of Union Cabinet Minister and the Vice-Chairperson that of a Minister of State and other Members have the ranks of a Secretary to the Government of India.
They are appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal.
At least one member should be a woman.
The Chairperson, the Vice-Chairperson and the other Members hold office for a term of 3 years.
The members are not eligible for appointment for more than two terms.
Powers: NCST is empowered to investigate and monitor matters relating to safeguards provided for STs under the Constitution or under other laws or under Govt. order. The Commission is also authorized to inquire into specific complaints relating to rights and safeguards of STs and to participate and advise in the Planning Process relating to socio-economic development of STs and to evaluate the progress of their development under the Union and States.
Report: The commission submits its report to the President annually on the working of safeguards and measures required for effective implementation of Programmers/ Schemes relating to welfare and socio-economic development of STs.
Treaty of the High Seas
(GS-II: Important International Institutions)
The fourth meeting of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC-4) was held in New York to conclude a draft of the instrument on the conservation and sustainable use of marine Biological diversity in areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ).
The IGC-4 is convened under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
About BBNJ Treaty:
The “BBNJ Treaty”, also known as the “Treaty of the High Seas”, is an international agreement on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction, currently under negotiation at the United Nations.
This new instrument is being developed within the framework of the UNCLOS, the main international agreement governing human activities at sea.
It will achieve a more holistic management of high seas activities, which should better balance the conservation and sustainable use of marine resources.
BBNJ encompasses the high seas, beyond the exclusive economic zones or national waters of countries.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), these areas account for “almost half of the Earth’s surface”.
These areas are hardly regulated and also least understood or explored for its biodiversity – only 1% of these areas are under protection.
The negotiated agreement has five aspects:
Row over the Shivaji statue in Telangana’s Bodhan town
(GS-I: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues)
Section 144 has been imposed in Bodhan town in Telangana after protests turned violent over the installation of a statue of Chhatrapati.
Born at Shivner in 1627.
Father: Shahji Bhonsle.
Mother: Jija Bai.
Inherited the jagir of Poona from his father in 1637.
Achievements of Chhatrapati Shivaji:
He first conquered Raigarh, Kondana and Torna from the ruler of Bijapur.
After the death of his guardian, Dadaji Kondadev in 1647, Shivaji assumed full charge of his jagir.
He captured Javli from a Maratha chief, Chanda Rao More. This made him the master of Mavala region.
In 1657, he attacked the Bijapur kingdom and captured a number of hill forts in the Konkan region.
The Sultan of Bijapur sent Afzal Khan against Shivaji. But Afzal Khan was murdered by Shivaji in 1659 in a daring manner.
Military Conquests of Shivaji:
Shivaji’s military conquests made him a legendary figure in the Maratha region. The Mughal emperor Aurangazeb was anxiously watching the rise of Maratha power under Shivaji.
Aurangzeb sent the Mughal governor of the Deccan, Shaista Khan, against Shivaji. Shivaji suffered a defeat at the hands of the Mughal forces and lost Poona.
But Shivaji once again made a bold attack on Shaista Khan’s military camp at Poona in 1663, killed his son and wounded Khan.
In 1664, Shivaji attacked Surat, the chief port of the Mughals and plundered it.
A second attempt was made by Aurangzeb to defeat Shivaji by sending Raja Jai Singh of Amber. He succeeded in besieging the fort of Purander.
Treaty of Purander 1665:
According to the treaty, Shivaji had to surrender 23 forts to the Mughals out of 35 forts held by him.
The remaining 12 forts were to be left to Shivaji on condition of service and loyalty to Mughal empire.
On the other hand, the Mughals recognized the right of Shivaji to hold certain parts of the Bijapur kingdom.
Renewed war against Mughals:
Surat was plundered by him for the second time in 1670.
He also captured all his lost territories by his conquests.
In 1674 Shivaji crowned himself at Raigarh and assumed the title Chatrapathi.
He laid the foundations of a sound system of administration. The king was the pivot of the government. He was assisted by a council of ministers called Ashtapradhan.
Peshwa – Finance and general administration. Later he became the prime minister.
Sar-i-Naubat or Senapati – Military commander, an honorary post.
Amatya – Accountant General.
Waqenavis – Intelligence, posts and household affairs.
Sachiv – Correspondence.
Sumanta – Master of ceremonies.
Nyayadish – Justice.
Panditarao – Charities and religious administration.
Lands were measured by using the measuring rod called kathi. Lands were also classified into three categories – paddy fields, garden lands and hilly tracks.
Taxes: Chauth and sardeshmukhi were the taxes collected not in the Maratha kingdom but in the neighbouring territories of the Mughal empire or Deccan sultanates.
Chauth was one fourth of the land revenue paid to the Marathas in order to avoid the Maratha raids.
Sardeshmukhi was an additional levy of ten percent on those lands which the Marathas claimed hereditary rights.
Shivaji was a man of military genius and his army was well organized:
There were two divisions in the Maratha cavalry:
In the infantry, the Mavli foot soldiers played an important role.