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24th May 2023 – current affairs

Telangana – AP water disputes 

Context :
  • Even nine years after the bifurcation of the combined State, the lingering disagreement over theKrishna River’s water distribution between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana remains unsolved.

Origin of the Krishna water dispute:

  • The dispute dates back to the formation of Andhra Pradesh inNovember, 1956.
  • Four senior leaders from different regions of Andhra, including the Rayalaseema Region and the Telangana region, signed aGentlemen’s Agreement on February 20, 1956.
  • However, the focus of the combined dispensation with respect to irrigation facilities was on Andhra, which already had systems developed by the British at the cost of in-basin drought-prone areas in Telangana.
  • KWDT-I:In 1969, the Bachawat Tribunal (KWDT-I) was constituted to settle the dispute around water share among the riparian States of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
    • The Tribunal allocated 811 tmcft dependable water to Andhra Pradesh and the Andhra Pradesh government later apportioned it in the 512:299 tmcft ratio between Andhra and Telangana.
  • However, this was not followed through, leading to discontent among the people.
  • Telangana had repeatedly reiterated how it had been meted out with injustice in Andhra Pradesh when it came to the matter of distributing water resources.

Water sharing after the bifurcation:

  • The Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014 had no mention of water shares.
  • At a meeting convened by the then Ministry of Water Resources in 2015, the two States agreed to share water in the 34:66 (Telangana:A.P.) ratio.
  • However, the KRMB continued the same ratio year after year in spite of Telangana’s opposition.
  • In October 2020, Telangana raised its voice for an equal share and refused to continue the existing arrangement. The river Board has referred the matter to theMinistry of Jal Shakti (MoJS).

States claim:

  • Telangana has been asking the Centre to finalise water shares, citing treaties and agreements.
  • It is entitled for at least a 70% share in the allocation of 811 tmcft, while Andhra Pradesh has been diverting 300 tmcft water to areas outside the basin.
  • Andhra Pradesh is also claiming a higher share of water to protect command areas.

Stand of the Centre :

  • The Centre has convened two meetings of theApex Council of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh in 2016 and 2020 without making any attempt to resolve the issue.
  • Telangana has withdrawn its petition in the Supreme Court, but the Centre has been sitting over the issue for over two years.


Governments power on Ordinance 

Context :
  • Recently, the central government promulgated an Ordinance that Aam Aadmi Party government of Delhi has control over the transfer and posting of officials in the National Capital Territory (NCT), except with regard to public order, police, and land.

Key highlights:

  • TheOrdinance promulgated by the President of India gave the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi power over services and established a “National Capital Civil Service Authority” consisting of the Chief Minister and two senior IAS officials.

Ordinance in Constitution –

  • Article 123:Under Article 123 of the Constitution (“Power of President to promulgate Ordinances during recess of Parliament”), “if at any time, except when both Houses of Parliament are in session, the President is satisfied that circumstances exist which render it necessary for him to take immediate action, he may promulgate such Ordinances as the circumstances appear to him to require.”
  • Ordinance:An Ordinance “shall have the same force and effect as an Act of Parliament”. But the government is required to bring an Ordinance before Parliament for ratification – and failure to do so will lead to its lapsing “at the expiration of six weeks from the reassembly of Parliament”.
    • TheOrdinance may lapse earlier if the President withdraws it – or if both Houses pass resolutions disapproving it.
      • Lost majority: Rejection of an Ordinance would, however, imply the government has lost majority.
      • Also, if an Ordinance makes a law that Parliament is not competent to enact under the Constitution, it shall be considered void.
    • Power of President:Since the President acts on the advice of the Council of Ministers, it is in effect the government that decides to bring the Ordinance.
      • The President may return the recommendation of the Cabinet once if she feels it warrants reconsideration; if it is sent back (with or without reconsideration), she has to promulgate it.
    • Powers of the Governor:Article 213 deals with the broadly analogous powers of the Governor to promulgate/ withdraw an Ordinance when the state legislature is not in session.
    • Validity:An Ordinance is valid for six weeks, or 42 days, from the date on which the next session starts.
      • If the two Houses start their sessions on different dates, the later date will be considered, say the explanations inArticles 123 and 213.

Supreme Court: Re-promulgation of Ordinance –

  • Krishna Kumar Singh and Another v. State of Bihar:If, for whatever reason, an Ordinance lapses, the only option for the government is to reissue or repromulgate it.
    • In 2017, the Supreme Court examined a case where the state of Bihar re-promulgated an Ordinance several times without placing it before the legislature.
  • The Supreme Court held that theGovernor’s power to issue an Ordinance is an emergency power, and that repeated re-promulgations without bringing the Ordinance to the legislature would usurp the legislatures function and be unconstitutional.
  • This was in violation of theSC judgment in Dr D C Wadhwa and Ors v. State of Bihar and Ors (1986).
  • A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court headed by then CJI P N Bhagwati held that an Ordinance promulgated by the Governor to meet an emergent situation shall cease to be in operation at the expiration of six weeks from the reassembly of the Legislature.
  • If the government wishes for theOrdinance to continue in force beyond the six-week period, it “has to go before the Legislature”, which is the constitutional authority entrusted with law-making functions.


EU’s carbon border adjustment mechanism 

Context :

Recently, the co-legislators at the European Commission signed the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM).

Key Highlights:

  • The regulation will put a fair price on carbon emitted during the production of carbon intensive goods entering the EU and encourage cleaner industrial production in non-EU countries.
  • Importers will start paying the financial levy from 2026.

About: Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM)

The European Green Deal is a plan to reduce carbon emissions by 55% by 2030 and become a climate neutral continent by 2050.

It aims to avert ‘carbon leakage’, where EU manufacturers move carbon-intensive production to countries outside the region with less stringent climate policies.

Importers in the EU would have to buy carbon certificates corresponding to the payable carbon price of the import had the product been produced in the continent.

The Commission would be responsible for reviewing and verifying declarations and managing the central platform for the sale of CBAM certificates.

Importers would have to annually declare the quantity and embedded emissions in the goods imported into the region in the preceding year.


  • The CBAM would be introduced in parallel with the phasing out of the allocation of free allowances given out under theEU Emissions Trading System (ETS).
  • TheETS had set a cap on the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that can be released from industrial installations in certain sectors, but some allowances were given out for free to prevent carbon leakage.
  • The EU concluded that this dampened the incentive to invest in greener production, so an import-based tariff was proposed.

Why are countries worried?

  • CBAM would initially apply to imports of certain goods and precursors whose production is carbon-intensive and at risk of ‘leakage’.
  • Eventually, it would capture more than half of the emissions in ETS covered sectors.
  • India, Brazil and South Africa would be most affected, while Mozambique would be the least-developing country.
  • India’s exports in the five segments represented less than 2% of the total exports to the EU between 2019 and 2021, but its long-term effects can be severe due to the EU being India’s third largest trade partner and its projected growth trajectories.

The two sides have agreed to intensify their engagement on carbon border measures.