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Polity & governance

Article 370 of the Constitution 

Why in news?

  • Government brings Resolution to Repeal Article 370 of the Constitution.

About the news:

  • The Government moved a resolution which would repeal the provisions under Article 370 of the Constitution of India, which granted a special status to the state of J&K.
  • The provisions of Article 370 would cease to exist from the date President of India issues a notification in this regard, after the recommendation of the Parliament.
  • Consequently, the Constitution of India would get applicable to J&K, on par with other states/UTs of the country.

Article 370:

  • Article 370 accords special status to Jammu and Kashmir in many respects - giving the central government authority only over external affairs, finance, defence and communication.
 
  • Article 370 relates to "temporary provisions with respect to the State of Jammu and Kashmir" and limits "the power of Parliament to make laws for" the state to a specified list of subjects.

Article 35(A):

  • Article 35A allows the state legislature to define the Jammu and Kashmir's permanent residents. The article had been inserted via the Constitution (Application to J&K) Order, 1954. It was issued by the then President Rajendra Prasad under Article 370 on PM Nehru's advice. 
  • The state's Constitution, at the time of its adoption in 1956, defined a permanent resident as someone who was a state subject on May 14, 1954, or who has been a resident for 10 years, and has lawfully acquired immovable property. 

Jammu Kashmir and the Constitution 1947-2019:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Section 3 of Article 370:

  • Under article 370(3), there is a provision that President, on recommendation of the Parliament, has the power to amend or cease the implementation of article 370, through a public notification. 
  • Article 370(3) -"Notwithstanding anything in the foregoing provisions of this article, the President may, by public notification, declare that this article shall cease to be operative or shall be operative only with such exceptions and modifications and from such date as he may specify"

What will happen to J&K now?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jammu and Kashmir (Reorganisation) Bill, 2019:

  • The Jammu and Kashmir (Reorganisation) Bill, 2019 making Jammu & Kashmir a Union territory with a Legislative Assembly, along with Union Territory status to Ladakh without a Legislative Assembly.
  • Further, the Jammu & Kashmir Reservation (2ndAmendment) Bill, 2019 to amend the Jammu & Kashmir Reservation Act 2004 was also introduced.
  • This bill seeks to extend the 10% quota to economically weaker sections of society in J&K in jobs and educational institutions.
Surrogacy regulation Bill 

Why in news?

  • Surrogacy regulation Bill passed in Lok Sabha.

About the Bill:

  • It seeks to ban commercial surrogacy and provides for constituting a National Surrogacy Board, State Surrogacy Boards, and the appointment of appropriate authorities for the regulation of the practice and process of surrogacy.
  • The Bill is aimed at ending the exploitation of women who are lending their womb for surrogacy, and protecting the rights of children born through this.
  • The Bill will also look after the interests of the couple that opt for surrogacy, ensuring that there are laws protecting them against exploitation by clinics that are carrying this out as a business.
  • The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill regulates altruistic surrogacy and prohibits commercial surrogacy. It defines surrogacy as a practice where a woman gives birth to a child for an eligible couple and agrees to hand over the child to them after the birth.
  • The Bill allows altruistic surrogacy, which involves a surrogacy arrangement where the monetary reward only involves medical expenses and insurance coverage for the surrogate mother.
  • The Bill seeks to allow only altruistic surrogacy by infertile Indian couples from a "close relative", while prohibiting foreigners, NRIs and PIOs from commissioning surrogacy in the country.Even singles, homosexuals and live-in couples cannot apply for surrogacy. 
  • Only Indian couples who are legally married for at least five years and possess a certificate from a doctor stating that they are medically unfit to produce a child can opt for surrogacy, according to the provisions of the Bill. Besides, couples who already have children will also not be allowed to opt for surrogacy. 
  • Commercial surrogacy is prohibited under the Bill.
  • According to the Bill, women within the age group of 23 years to 50 years and men aged between 26 and 55 years will be eligible to go in for surrogacy. The child, thus born, will be deemed to be the legal offspring of the intended couple. Also, a woman can be a surrogate only once in her lifetime.

Surrogacy:

  • Surrogacy is a method or agreement whereby a woman agrees to carry a pregnancy for another person or persons, who will become the new-born child's parent(s) after birth.
 
Competition Commission of India 

Why in news?

  • Competition Commission of India imposes penalty on SAAR IT Resources Private Limited and others

Competition Commission of India:

  • Competition Commission of India is a statutory body of the Government of India responsible for enforcing The Competition Act, 2002 throughout India and to prevent activities that have an appreciable adverse effect on competition in India.
  • This commission was preceded by Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission.
  • The Competition Commission of India consists of a Chairperson and Three members.
  • These members are appointed by the Central Government.
  • The commission was established through Competition Act, 2002.
  • It is the duty of the Commission to eliminate practices having adverse effect on competition, promote and sustain competition, protect the interests of consumers and ensure freedom of trade in the markets of India.

Vision:

  • To promote and sustain an enabling competition culture through engagement and enforcement that would inspire businesses to be fair, competitive and innovative; enhance consumer welfare; and support economic growth.

Mission:

  • Competition Commission of India aims to establish a robust competitive environment through:
  • Proactive engagement with all stakeholders, including consumers, industry, government and international jurisdictions.
  • Being a knowledge intensive organization with high competence level.
  • Professionalism, transparency, resolve and wisdom in enforcement.

The Competition Act:

  • The Competition Act, 2002, as amended by the Competition (Amendment) Act, 2007, follows the philosophy of modern competition laws.
  • The Act prohibits anti-competitive agreements, abuse of dominant position by enterprises and regulates combinations (acquisition, acquiring of control and M&A), which causes or likely to cause an appreciable adverse effect on competition within India.

Environment

Kosi-Mechi river interlining project

 Why in news?

  • Centre approves Rs 4,900-crore project to link Kosi, Mechi Rivers.

About the news:

  • Kosi-Mechi river interlining project, providing a major lease of life to Bihar’s Seemanchal region. 
 
  • It is the second major river interlinking project in the country to be approved after the Ken-Betwa project in Madhya Pradesh.
  • The project is aimed at alleviating hardships of the people resulting from the floods and has the potential to usher in a green revolution in Seemanchal region.
  • The interlinking project envisages diversion of part of surplus water of Kosi river through existing Hanuman Nagar barrage to the Mahananda basin.
  • Mechi is an important tributary of Mahananda River.
  • Its basin however remains mostly deficient in providing adequate water for irrigation. 
  • It will not only relieve large swathes of north Bihar from the menace of recurring floods but also provide irrigation for a whooping over 2.14 lakh hectares of command areas spread across the districts of Araria, Kishanganj, Purnia and Katihar in north Bihar.

Related Information Plus:

Ken-Betwa River Interlinking Project:

  • Ken-Betwa River Interlinking Project is India’s first interstate river interlinking project which aims to connect the rivers Ken in Madhya Pradesh and Betwa in Uttar Pradesh.
  • Through the project the government aims to transfer surplus water from the Ken River in MP to Betwa in UP to irrigates the drought-prone Bundelkhand region spread across the two states.
  • The project will also generate 78 MW of power.

Environmental Concern:

  • The KBRL project will submerge a part of panna tiger reserve.
  • To compensate for the loss of area in panna tiger reserve the government will integrate Nauradehi, Rani Durgavati and Ranipur wildlife sanctuaries with Panna Tiger Reserve.

Science & technology

BS- VI Norms

Why in news?

  • Armoured and Specialised Vehicles of Armed/ Paramilitary Forces Exempted from BS-VI Emission Norms that will come into Force in April 2020.

BS- VI Norms:

  • Bharat Stage norms are the automotive emission normswhich the automotive manufacturers have to comply to sell their vehicles in India.
  • These norms are applicable to all two wheelers, three wheelers, four wheelers and construction equipment vehicles.
  • To curb growing menace of air pollution through the vehicles emission, the Government of India has decided to leapfrog from the exiting BS – IV norms to the BS- VI, thereby skipping the BS – V norms, and to implement the BS – VI norms with effect from 1st April 2020.
  • The Environment Ministry is responsible for deciding the fuel standard in the country. The Central Pollution Control Board implements these standards.
  • The BS regulations are based on the European emission standards.
 
  • Only those vehicles will be sold and registered in India from 1st April 2020 onwards, which comply to these norms. The norms are stringent and at par with global standards.

Difference between BS-IV and the new BS-VI:

  • The major difference in standards between the existing BS-IV and the new BS-VI auto fuel norms is the presence of sulphur.
  • The newly introduced fuel is estimated to reduce the amount of sulphur released by 80%, from 50 parts per million to 10 ppm.
  • As per the analysts, the emission of NOx (nitrogen oxides) from diesel cars is also expected to reduce by nearly 70% and 25% from cars with petrol engines.
  • In BS-VI fuel, the volume of PM 2.5 ranges from 20 to 40 micrograms per cubic metre whereas in BS-IV fuel it is up to 120 micrograms per cubic metre.

Related Information Plus:

BS norms:

  • Bharat Stage emission standards, introduced in 2000, are emission standards that have been set up the Central government to regulate the output of air pollutants from internal combustion engine equipment, including motor vehicles.
  • The different norms are brought into force in accordance with the timeline and standards set up by the Central Pollution Control Board which comes under the Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change.
  • The Bharat Stage norms are based on European regulations. 

Current Affairs Capsules:

Mob lynching and honour killing
  • The Rajasthan Assembly passed two separate Bills against mob lynching and honour killing.
  • Honour killing will be punishable with death sentence, those convicted of lynching will be punished with life imprisonment and a fine of up to Rs. 5 lakh.

Map Aided Programme

 PASSES OF UTTARAKHAND
  • Rupin Pass | 4,690 metersThe route of this trek follows the river Rupin upstream. One can witness the Garhwali culture as well as the Kinnauri culture in either side of the pass.
  • Nalgan Pass | 4,500 metersAnother one of the passes connecting Garhwal to Kinnaur, Nalgan pass is a rarely traversed route quite close to Rupin pass.
  • Borasu Pass | 5,360 metersBorasu Pass connects Har ki Dun to Kinnaur. One gets to cross crevasse ridden glaciers and steep rocky patches to reach the pass.
  • Bali Pass | 4,900 metersA pass between Har ki Dun and Yamunotri, Bali Pass provides magnificent views in the Ruinsara valley. The entire south face of Swargarohini group is visible in this trek.
  • Lamkhaga Pass | 5,300 metersOne of the most difficult of the passes between Kinnaur and Garhwal, Lamkhaga pass offers some breathtaking landscapes on both sides

PREVIOUS YEAR QUESTION

  1. Which one of the following pairs is correctly matched?

 

Geographical

Feature

 

Region

A

Abyssinian Plateau

:

Arabia

B

Atlas Mountains

:

North-Western Africa

C

Guiana Highlands

:

South-Western Africa

D

Okavango Basin

:

Patagonia