Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE
- Article 370
- Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)
- Nirbhaya Fund
- Facts for Prelims
1 . Article 370
Context : A Constitution Bench, led by Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, will take up on July 11 a series of petitions challenging the dilution of Article 370 of the Constitution, which deprived Jammu and Kashmir of its special privileges and led to the bifurcation of the then State in 2019.
About the Case
- The Article 370 case has been pending in the Supreme Court for over two years. The case had not come up after a five-judge Bench refused to refer the petitions to a larger Bench in March 2020.
- The petitions have challenged a Presidential Order of August 5, 2019, which took away special status under Article 370 of J&K. The Article had accorded special rights and privileges to the people of J&K since 1954 in accordance with the Instrument of Accession.
- The special status was bestowed on J&K by incorporating Article 35A in the Constitution. Article 35A was incorporated by an order of President Rajendra Prasad in 1954 on the advice of the Jawaharlal Nehru Cabinet.
- Parliament was not consulted when the President incorporated Article 35A into the Constitution through a Presidential Order issued under Article 370.
- Following the abrogation, the Jammu and Kashmir (Reorganisation) Act of 2019 came into force and bifurcated the State into the Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh.
About Presidential Order – Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order 2019
- President Ram Nath Kovind issued a presidential order under Article 370 (1) of the Constitution. This clause enables the President to specify the matters which are applicable to Jammu and Kashmir.
- As it can be issued only with the Jammu and Kashmir government’s concurrence, the notification uses the words “with the concurrence of the Government of the State of Jammu and Kashmir”. This presumably means the Governor, who was administering the State under President’s Rule, has given his concurrence on behalf of the State government.
- The Order supersedes the 1954 Order. This effectively means that all the provisions that formed the basis of a separate “Constitution” for Jammu and Kashmir stand abrogated
- Presidential Order has extended all provisions of the Constitution to Jammu and Kashmir, including the chapter on Fundamental Rights.
- Therefore, the discriminatory provisions under Article 35A are now unconstitutional. The President may also withdraw Article 35A.
- The Indian Independence Act, 1947, divided British India, i.e., the territories under the direct administration of the British, into India and Pakistan.
- The 580-odd princely states that had signed subsidiary alliances with the British had their sovereignty restored to them, and were given the options of remaining independent, joining the Dominion of India, or joining the Dominion of Pakistan.
- Section 6(a) of the Act said joining either India or Pakistan would have to be through an Instrument of Accession. States could specify the terms on which they were joining one of the new dominions.
Instrument of Accession
- Instrument of Accession was like a treaty between two sovereign countries that had decided to work together. The maxim of pacta sunt servanda in international law, which governs contracts or treaties between states, asks that promises must be honoured.
- The Maharaja, the Hindu king of a Muslim-majority state, had initially wanted to stay independent. He signed the Instrument of Accession on October 26, 1947, after Afridi tribesmen and Pakistan Army regulars invaded the state, and India agreed to help only after he acceded. The Schedule appended to the Instrument of Accession gave the Indian Parliament power to legislate for Jammu and Kashmir on only defence, external affairs and communications.
- In Clause 5 of the Instrument of Accession, Hari Singh said that the terms of “my Instrument of Accession cannot be varied by any amendment of the Act or of The Indian Independence Act unless such amendment is accepted by me by an Instrument supplementary to this Instrument”. In Clause 7, he said: “Nothing in this Instrument shall be deemed to commit me in any way to acceptance of any future Constitution of India or to fetter my discretion to enter into arrangements with the Government of India under any such future Constitution.”
- Article 370 was a constitutional recognition of the conditions mentioned in the Instrument of Accession, and reflected the contractual rights and obligations of the two parties.
- The original draft of Article 370 was drawn up by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir.
- A modified version of the draft was passed in the Constituent Assembly of India on May 27, 1949.
- Article 370 was eventually drafted by Gopalaswami Ayyangar. Ayyangar was a minister without portfolio in the first Union Cabinet of India. He was also a former Diwan to Maharajah Hari Singh of Jammu and Kashmir
- On October 17, 1949, Article 370 was included in India’s Constitution by the Constituent Assembly.
- Article 370 of the Indian Constitution is a ‘temporary provision’ which grants special autonomous status to Jammu & Kashmir.
- Under Part XXI of the Constitution of India, which deals with “Temporary, Transitional and Special provisions”, the state of Jammu & Kashmir has been accorded special status under Article 370.
- All the provisions of the Constitution which are applicable to other states are not applicable to J&K.
- Article 370 alongwith Article 35 A let the J&K legislature decide the “permanent residents” of the State, prohibits a non-J&K resident from buying property in the State and ensures job reservation for its residents.
- Some critics of Article 370 have argued earlier that Kashmir joined India in 1947 without any conditions, and Article 370 unnecessarily gave it special status.
- However, the drafting of the Constitution ended on November 26, 1949 — Article 370 had been included before the Constitution was adopted.
Provisions of Article 370
- According to this article, except for defence, foreign affairs, finance and communications, Parliament needs the state government’s concurrence for applying all other laws.
- Thus the state’s residents live under a separate set of laws, including those related to citizenship, ownership of property, and fundamental rights, as compared to other Indians.
- As a result of this provision, Indian citizens from other states cannot purchase land or property in Jammu & Kashmir.
- Under Article 370, the Centre has no power to declare financial emergency under Article 360 in the state.
- It can declare emergency in the state only in case of war or external aggression. The Union government can therefore cannot declare emergency on grounds of internal disturbance or imminent danger unless it is made at the request or with the concurrence of the state government.
- Article 370, in its sub-clause (3), has itself laid down that Article 370 can cease to operate by way of a presidential order but a recommendation of the ‘Constituent Assembly’ shall have to be placed before him.
Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954 / Article 35A
- The Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954, lists the Articles and provisions that apply to J&K.
- Further, the President also listed a set of exceptions under Article 35A of the Constitution (this Article does not figure in the text of the Constitution of India, but figures only in the J&K’s Constitution). While the 1954 presidential order constituted a founding legal document for Jammu and Kashmir
- Article 35 is followed by Article 36 — but appears in Appendix I.
- Article 35A empowers the Jammu and Kashmir legislature to define the permanent residents of the state, and their special rights and privileges.
How it was incorporated in the Constitution
- Article 35A was incorporated into the Constitution in 1954 by an order of the then President Rajendra Prasad on the advice of the Jawaharlal Nehru Cabinet.
- The Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order of 1954 followed the 1952 Delhi Agreement entered into between Nehru and the then Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Sheikh Abdullah, which extended Indian citizenship to the ‘State subjects’ of Jammu and Kashmir.
- The Presidential Order was issued under Article 370 (1) (d) of the Constitution. This provision allows the President to make certain “exceptions and modifications” to the Constitution for the benefit of ‘State subjects’ of Jammu and Kashmir.
- So Article 35A was added to the Constitution as a testimony of the special consideration the Indian government accorded to the ‘permanent residents’ of Jammu and Kashmir.
2 . Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)
Context : The formation of a “more representative” and multipolar world order is in the global interest, leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation said at a virtual Summit chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 4.
- The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is a permanent intergovernmental international organisation founded in 2001 in Shanghai (China) by the Republic of Kazakhstan, the People’s Republic of China, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan, and the Republic of Uzbekistan.
- The SCO’s main goals are as follows: strengthening mutual trust and neighbourliness among the member states; promoting their effective cooperation in politics, trade, the economy, research, technology and culture, as well as in education, energy, transport, tourism, environmental protection, and other areas; making joint efforts to maintain and ensure peace, security and stability in the region; and moving towards the establishment of a democratic, fair and rational new international political and economic order.
- The Heads of State Council (HSC) is the supreme decision-making body in the SCO.
- The SCO Heads of Government Council (HGC) meets once a year to discuss the organisation’s multilateral cooperation strategy and priority areas, to resolve current important economic and other cooperation issues, and also to approve the organisation’s annual budget.
- The SCO’s official languages are Russian and Chinese.
- SCO comprises eight member states, namely the Republic of India, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the People’s Republic of China, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan, and the Republic of Uzbekistan;
- SCO counts four observer states, namely the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Republic of Belarus, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Mongolia;
- SCO has six dialogue partners, namely the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Armenia, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, the Republic of Turkey, and the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.
Regional Anti Terrorist Structure
- Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS), headquartered in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, is a permanent organ of the SCO which serves to promote cooperation of member states against the three evils of terrorism, separatism and extremism.
- The Head of RATS is elected to a three-year term. Each member state also sends a permanent representative to RATS
Details of the Summit
- The grouping’s decided to induct Iran as its ninth and latest member was one of a number of agreements signed at the summit. However, India, who hosted the summit for the first time, refused to join other members on paragraphs relating to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in the joint statement, and stayed out of a joint statement on SCO Economic Development Strategy 2030, indicating a lack of consensus in the grouping.
- The SCO grouping now comprises China, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
- The agreements signed include the New Delhi Declaration, outlining areas of cooperation between SCO countries; a joint statement on countering radicalisation; and one on digital transformation, where India offered to share expertise on digital payment interfaces such as UPI.
- In a reference to sanctions on Russia and Iran by the U.S. and European countries, SCO members jointly criticised non-UN sanctions as “incompatible with the principles of international law”, which have a “negative impact” on other countries.
- SCO members also agreed to explore the use of “national currencies” for payments within the grouping, which would circumvent international dollar-based payments.
- Declaration noted that only “interested member states” signed the economic strategy statement, while leaving India out of the paragraphs supporting China’s BRI. India opposes the BRI over its inclusion of projects in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
3 . Nirbhaya Fund
Context : The Centre has decided to help build infrastructure in border areas to combat child trafficking and help in rehabilitation and protection of victims. As part of this initiative, the Women and Child Development Ministry will provide financial assistance to States and Union Territories (UT) along the border areas to set up homes for the protection and rehabilitation of trafficking victims from neighbouring countries. Till now, the Women and Child Development Ministry has been providing financial assistance to all States and Union Territories under the Nirbhaya Fund to set up and strengthen Anti Human Trafficking Units (AHTU) in every district of the country. Funding has also been provided for setting up these units in border guarding forces such as BSF and SSB.
About Nirbhaya Fund
- Nirbhaya Fund’ has been created to ensure dignity and safety of girl children and women.
- Nirbhaya Fund was set up with a corpus of Rs. 1000 Cr. during 2013-14. Further, an amount of Rs 1000 Cr. was provided in 2014-15 and for the financial years 2016-17 and 2017-18, an amount of Rs. 550 cr. (each financial year) was provided under the Nirbhaya Fund. The corpus transferred to the Public Account for the Nirbhaya fund upto 2017-18 is Rs. 3100 Cr.
- Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) is the nodal authority which can be approached by various Ministries/Departments with the proposals/schemes, to be funded from ‘Nirbhaya Fund’ targeted to strengthen the safety and security of women in the country.
- Ministry of WCD would appraise these schemes to decide their suitability to qualify for getting funds from the ‘Nirbhaya Fund’.
- Ministry of WCD shall forward the suitable proposals to Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) for necessary budgetary allocations in the respective Demands. DEA shall appraise the proposal on financial and other aspects to avoid any duplicity of schemes/Government efforts to strengthen safety and security of women in the country.
- Budget Division (DEA), with the approval of Finance Minister would approve the funding of schemes from the fund and would also be the nodal Ministry for any accretion into and withdrawal from the fund.
- The respective line Ministries/Departments shall take necessary action for approval of SFC/EFC/PIB and Cabinet for implementation of the scheme on the ground.
- Ministry of WCD shall be the nodal Ministry to review and monitor the progress of these schemes in conjunction with the line Ministries/Departments.
- Ministry of Women and Child Development is implementing three schemes under Nirbhaya Fund, namely, One Stop Centre (OSC), Women Helpline(WHL) and Mahila Police Volunteer.
4 . Facts for Prelims
- Greedflation refers to price inflation caused by corporate greed for high profits.
- Progressives in the United States have accused corporate greed as a major reason for the historically high price inflation in the U.S. since the pandemic.
- The proponents of the idea of greedflation argue that corporate profit margins have risen significantly since the pandemic even though the larger economy has struggled and that this has contributed to high inflation. They contend that the U.S. corporations have allegedly increased the prices of their goods by more than what was necessary to compensate for higher input costs caused by supply-chain bottlenecks.
- Proponents of the greedflation theory of inflation see this as a sign of increased market dominance by corporations, and have called for efforts to rein in market power of large corporations and some have even advocated for a ban on price hikes to prevent “profiteering”.
- Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that affects humans and animals.
- The disease is caused by a bacterium called Leptospira interrogans, or leptospira.
- It is a contagious disease in animals but is occasionally transmitted to humans in certain environmental conditions.
- The carriers of the disease can be either wild or domestic animals, including rodents, cattle, pigs, and dogs.
- The cycle of disease transmission begins with the shedding of leptospira, usually in the urine of infected animals.
- According to the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, infected animals can continue to excrete the bacteria into their surroundings for a few months, but sometimes up to several years.
- The bacteria can be transmitted to humans through cuts and abrasions of the skin, or through the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and mouth with water contaminated with the urine of infected animals. The WHO claims that the disease can also be transmitted through drinking water or ingestion of food contaminated with urine of infected animals, often rats. However, human-to-human transmission occurs very rarely.
- The severity of a leptospirosis infection ranges from a mild flu-like illness to being life-threatening. The infection can affect many organs, reflecting the systemic nature of the disease. This is also why the signs and symptoms of leptospirosis are often mistaken for other diseases.
Household Consumption Expenditure Survey
- The HCES is traditionally a quinquennial (recurring every five years) survey
- HCES is used to arrive at estimates of poverty levels as well as review key economic indicators like Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The results of the survey are also utilised for updating the consumption basket and for base revision of the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
- Field work for the survey that will, for the first time, involve three visits over a year to assess spending patterns
- The survey was last conducted in 2017-18 but its findings were not published, citing data quality concerns, so the last publicly available official estimates on consumer spending are from 2011-12.
- The Ministry of Women and Child Development is implementing a Centrally Sponsored Scheme “Mission Vatsalya” erstwhile Child Protection Services (CPS) Scheme, since 2009-10 for the welfare and rehabilitation of children.
- Prior to 2009-10, there were three schemes being implemented under the Ministry namely,
- Programme for Juvenile Justice for Children in need of care and protection, and Children in conflict with Law;
- Integrated Programme for street children; and
- Scheme for assistance to homes for children (Shishu Greh).
- All the three schemes were incorporated in a single centrally sponsored scheme called the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS). The ICPS was implemented by the Ministry since 2009-2010. The scheme was then renamed as “Child Protection Services” Scheme in 2017. The CPS Scheme has been now subsumed under Mission Vatsalya from 2021-22 onwards.