Daily Current Affairs: 21 October 2021

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE

Topics Covered

  1. Deputy Speaker
  2. We Protect Global Alliance
  3. Facts for Prelims
  4. Places in News

1 . Deputy Speaker


Context : Hardoi MLA Nitin Agrawal was on Monday elected Deputy Speaker of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, which has barely five months left in its tenure.

Background

  • Agrawal won on a Samajwadi Party (SP) ticket in 2017, but switched loyalty to the BJP along with his father, the multi-term MLA, former UP minister and former Rajya Sabha member Naresh Agrawal, in 2018.
  • In 2019, SP sought his disqualification from the Assembly under the anti-defection law. The petition remained pending until days before Monday’s election, when it was rejected by the Speaker.
  • Technically, Agrawal, who was elected Deputy Speaker with BJP support against an SP nominee, continues to be an SP member of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly.

What does the Constitution say about the Deputy Speaker?

  • Article 93 says: “The House of the People shall, as soon as may be, choose two members of the House to be respectively Speaker and Deputy Speaker thereof and, so often as the office of Speaker or Deputy Speaker becomes vacant, the House shall choose another member to be Speaker or Deputy Speaker, as the case may be.”
  • Article 178 contains the corresponding position for Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of a state.

Is it mandatory under the Constitution to have a Deputy Speaker?

  • According to Constitutional experts both Articles 93 and 178 use the words “shall” and “as soon as may be” — indicating that not only is the election of Speaker and Deputy Speaker mandatory, it must be held at the earliest

What are the time-frame and rules for the election of the Deputy Speaker?

  • According to the Constitution the election must be held as soon as possible.
  • The practice in both Lok Sabha and the state Legislative Assemblies has been to elect the Speaker during the (mostly short) first session of the new House — usually on the third day after oath-taking and affirmations take place over the first two days.
  • The election of the Deputy Speaker usually takes place in the second session, even though there is no bar on having this election too in the first session of the new Lok Sabha/Assembly. But the election of Deputy Speaker is generally not delayed beyond the second session without genuine and unavoidable constraints.
  • In Lok Sabha, the election of Deputy Speaker is governed by Rule 8 of The Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha. According to the Rule, the election “shall be held on such date as the Speaker may fix”, and the Deputy Speaker is elected once a motion proposing his name is carried. 
  • There are similar provisions in the State Legislative Assembly Rules.

Term

  • Once elected, the Deputy Speaker usually continues in office until the dissolution of the House.
  • Under Article 94 (Article 179 for state legislatures), the Speaker or Deputy Speaker “shall vacate his office if he ceases to be a member of the House of the People”.
  • They may also resign (to each other), or “may be removed from…office by a resolution of the House of the People passed by a majority of all the then members of the House”.

Do the powers of the Speaker extend to the Deputy Speaker as well?

  • Article 95(1) says: “While the office of Speaker is vacant, the duties of the office shall be performed by the Deputy Speaker”.
  • In general, the Deputy Speaker has the same powers as the Speaker when presiding over a sitting of the House. All references to the Speaker in the Rules are deemed to be references to the Deputy Speaker when he presides.
  • It has been repeatedly held that no appeal lies to the Speaker against a ruling given by the Deputy Speaker or any person presiding over a sitting of the House in the absence of the Speaker.

Does being Deputy Speaker protect an MP or MLA from the law of disqualification?

  • No — with one specific exemption.
  • Para 5 of the Tenth Schedule (commonly known as the anti-defection law) says that a person who has been elected Speaker/ Deputy Speaker shall not be disqualified if he, by reason of his election to that office, voluntarily gives up the membership of the political party to which he belonged immediately before such election — and does not, so long as he continues to hold such office thereafter, rejoin that political party or become a member of another political party.
  • This exemption applies to the Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman, Chairman/ Deputy Chairman of a state Legislative Council, and Speaker/ Deputy Speaker of a state Legislative Assembly as well.

2 . We Protect Global Alliance


Context: The Global Threat Assessment report 2021, by WeProtect Global Alliance, launched on Tuesday, said COVID-19 had contributed to a significant spike in child sexual exploitation and abuse online.

About

  • It is a global movement of more than 200 governments, private sector companies and civil society organisations working together to transform the global response to child sexual exploitation and abuse online.
  • The Alliance relaunched in 2020 as an independent organisation and is the combination of two initiatives:
    • The European Commission and US Department of Justice’s Global Alliance Against Child Sexual Abuse Online; and
    • WePROTECT, established by the UK Government as a global multi-stakeholder response to combating online child sexual abuse.

The Global Threat Assessment report 2021,

  • The findings show that in the past two years, the reporting of child sexual exploitation and online abuse has reached its highest level. ‘COVID-19 created a ‘perfect storm’ of conditions that fuelled a rise in child sexual exploitation and abuse across the globe.
  • The rise in child ‘self-generated’ sexual material is another trend that challenges the existing response, with the Internet Watch Foundation observing a 77% increase in child ‘self-generated’ sexual material from 2019 to 2020.
  • Transgender/non-binary, LGBQ+ and/or disabled were more likely to experience online sexual harms during childhood.
  • The report calls for prioritising prevention activities against abuse, creating safe online environments for children, besides calling on all with a role to protect children to work together to dramatically improve the response.

3 . Fact for prelims


India Energy forum

  • India energy forum represents energy sector as a whole. Established in October 2001, the Forum has acquired a unique status as a spokesman of total energy sector.
  • Most major public and private sector organizations in Power, Oil and Gas, Coal and Renewable Energy have become its members.
  • These include NTPC, NHPC, Power Grid Corporation, Power Finance Corporation, Tata Power, Reliance Energy, PTC Ltd., Alstom Power India Ltd, ONGC, Indian Oil, Coal India, Neyveli Lignite Corpn., Vestas RRB, Bhilwara Group and about 60 well known energy experts.
  • Mission
    • To help evolve a National Energy Policy
    • To develop a sustainable and competitive energy sector in India
    • To promote a favourable regulatory framework for the development of the energy sector
    • To establish standards, for reliability and safety within the sector
    • To ensure an equitable deal for consumers, producers and the utilities
    • To encourage efficient and eco-friendly development and use of energy

India Energy Forum by CERAWeek 

  • It is an annual energy conference organized by the information and insights company IHS Markit in Houston, Texas.
  • The conference provides a platform for discussion on a range of energy-related topics.
  • In 1983, Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA) was founded in Cambridge.
  • Each year, CERA clients gathered for a few days in Houston, Texas to attend the executive conference where they gained insight into the energy future while connecting with their peers.
  • Over time, the program was expanded to five days of informative sessions and networking opportunities—and named CERAWeek.

4 . Places in News


Tawang

  • It is one of India’s most strategic districts and a sacred hub for Buddhists.
  • This district is situated in western most part of Arunachal Pradesh. It is bounded by Tibet (China) to the north, Bhutan to the south-west and Sela ranges separated from West Kament district in the east.
  • The name of Tawang is believed to have derived its name from the grandiose of Tawang Monastery perched on the edge of the ridge running along the western part of Tawang township. The popular interpretation is that the name “Tawang” was given by his holiness the Mera Lama Lodre Gyatso.
  • “TA” means Horse and “Wang” means Chosen.
  • The inhabitants of this district are all of Monpa tribe. The Monpa belongs to the Mongoloid stock. 
  • The Tawang Monastery is one the most important elements in the social and religious life of the Monpa. The Monpas are Buddhist by religion and religious beliefs and practices are centered round the Tawang Monastery.
  • Two major festivals namely “DUNGYUR”and “TORGYA” festival are celebrated in the premises of the Tawang Monastery.
  • Losar festival is also one of the major festivals of Monpa people, which is celebrated in the last part of February and early part of March every year to commemorate the “New Year”.

Black Sea

  • Black Sea is a large inland sea situated at the southeastern extremity of Europe.
  • It is bordered by Ukraine to the north, Russia to the northeast, Georgia to the east, Turkey to the south, and Bulgaria and Romania to the west.
Black Sea
  • The Crimean Peninsula thrusts into the Black Sea from the north, and just to its east the narrow Kerch Strait links the sea to the smaller Sea of Azov.
  • To scientists, the Black Sea is a remarkable feature because its lower levels are, to all intents and purposes, almost biologically dead—not because of pollution but because of continued weak ventilation of the deep layers.
  • The Black Sea ultimately drains into the Mediterranean Sea, via the Turkish Straits and the Aegean Sea.

Tigray region

  • Tigray Region, officially the National Regional State of Tigray, is the northernmost regional state in Ethiopia.
  • The Tigray Region is the homeland of the Tigrayan, Irob and Kunama peoples.
  • Tigray is also known as Region 1 according to the federal constitution. Its capital and largest city is Mekelle.
  • The war in Africa’s second-most populous country has ground on for nearly a year between Ethiopian and allied forces and the Tigray ones who long dominated the national government before a falling-out with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize winner.

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