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29 AUGUST 2022

. No. Topic Name Prelims/Mains
1.    Deflection of MLAs Prelims & Mains
2.    Floods in India Prelims & Mains
3.    Independence of Judiciary Prelims & Mains
4.    National Security Advisor Prelims Specific Topic

1 – Deflection of MLAs:


Topic – Election related issues

  • What is the definition of anti-defection?
  • Individual Members of Parliament (MPs)/MLAs who desert from one party to another are subject to the anti-defection law.
  • In 1985, it was added to the Constitution as the Tenth Schedule.
  • Its goal was to keep governments stable by deterring MPs from switching parties.
  • The Anti-Defection Act, often known as the Tenth Schedule, was included into the Constitution through the 52nd Amendment Act of 1985.
  • It specifies the conditions under which elected members might be disqualified for defecting to another political party.
  • After the federal elections of 1967, it was a reaction to the toppling of many state administrations by party-hopping MLAs.
  • It does, however, allow a group of MPs/MLAs to join (i.e. combine with) another political party without incurring the defection penalty. It also makes no distinction between political parties that encourage or accept defecting legislators.
  • A’merger’ was defined by the 1985 Act as a ‘defection’ by one-third of a political party’s elected members.
  • However, the 91st Constitutional Amendment Act of 2003 amended this, requiring at least two-thirds of a party’s members to be in favour of a “merger” for it to be legal.
  • Members who are disqualified under the law can run for a seat in the House from any political party.
  • Questions of disqualification based on defection are addressed to the Chairman or Speaker of such House for a decision, which is subject to ‘judicial review.’
  • However, the statute does not provide a deadline for the presiding officer to make a decision in a defection case.
  • What are the Disqualification Grounds?
  • If an elected MLA resigns from a political party on his own volition.
  • If he votes or abstains from voting in that House without first receiving authorization from his political party or anybody authorised to do so.
  • His abstention from voting should not be excused by his party or the authorised person within 15 days of the incident as a condition of his disqualification.
  • If a member who was elected independently joins a political party.
  • If a nominated member joins a political party after the six-month period has expired.
  • What are the drawbacks of anti-defection legislation?
  • Representative and Parliamentary Democracy are Undermined: Following the enactment of the Anti-defection law, an MP or MLA must blindly follow the party’s instructions and has no freedom to vote their conscience.
  • The chain of accountability has been broken by the Anti-Defection Law, which holds MPs solely accountable to their political party.
  • Speaker’s Role in Anti-Defection Proceedings: The law is unclear on the timeline for action by the House Chairperson or Speaker in anti-defection cases.
  • Some instances take six months, while others can take up to three years. After the term has ended, some cases are disposed of.
  • The anti-defection statute created an exception for anti-defection judgements as a result of the 91st amendment.
  • The amendment, on the other hand, does not recognise a’split’ in a legislature party, but rather a’merger.’
  • Defection is the subversion of election mandates by legislators who are elected on one party’s ticket but then find it more convenient to switch to another due to the temptation of cabinet slots or financial benefits.
  • Affects Government Functioning: In the 1960s, the iconic “Aaya Ram, Gaya Ram” slogan was coined in response to a steady stream of lawmaker defections.
  • The defection causes insecurity in the government and has a negative impact on the administration.
  • Promote Horse Trading: Defection encourages politicians to trade horses, which is plainly against the democratic mandate.
  • Only allows wholesale defection:
  • Defection at the wholesale level is permitted, but not at the retail level. To close the gaps, amendments are required.
  • He expressed worry that while a politician may leave a party, he or she should not be awarded a position in the new one.
  • What are the various suggestions for the Anti-defection Law?
  • The Election Commission has proposed that it be the deciding authority in cases of defection.
  • Others have suggested that defection petitions should be heard by the President and Governors.
  • The Supreme Court has recommended that Parliament establish an independent panel, led by a retired judge from the higher judiciary, to determine defection cases quickly and fairly.
  • Some pundits have stated that the law has failed and that it should be repealed. Former Vice President Hamid Ansari has claimed that it only applies in no-confidence motions to rescue governments.
  • Next Steps
  • The issue stems from attempts to find a legal solution to what is fundamentally a political issue.
  • If government stability is a concern as a result of party defections, the solution is for parties to strengthen their internal structures.
  • In India, there is a pressing need for law that oversees political parties. A bill like this would make political parties subject to the Right to Information Act (RTI), promote intra-party democracy, and so on.
  • To limit the anti-defection law’s negative impact on representative democracy, the law’s scope can be limited to only those laws where the defeat of government can lead to a loss of trust.

Source – The Indian Express

2 – Floods in India:


Topic – Disaster Management

  • Factors contributing to higher floods:
  • Natural Causes are one of the factors contributing to the increase in floods.
  • Climate Change: Rainfall intensity, duration, and frequency are expected to increase in the future, according to the International Panel on Climate Change.
  • Climate change is also increasing the frequency of cyclonic circulations and cloud bursts that generate flash floods.
  • Rainfall Pattern with a Slant: The monsoon season, which runs from June to September, sees 80% of the precipitation. During this season, the rivers transport a large amount of silt from the catchments.
  • Floods are caused by these factors, as well as rivers’ insufficient carrying capacity, drainage congestion, and riverbank erosion.
  • Trans-National Rivers: The fact that some of the rivers inflicting damage in India (such as the Brahmaputra and several tributaries of the Ganga) originate in neighbouring nations adds another layer of complexity to the situation.
  • Floods in northern India are also caused by an abrupt change in geography from high mountains to plain plains.
  • Earthquakes: According to the National Disaster Management Authority’s (NDMA) Earthquake Disaster Risk Index (EDRI), roughly 56 percent of India is prone to moderate to catastrophic earthquakes.
  • Because many of India’s river basins are located in earthquake-prone zones, the river’s flow is unstable, resulting in flooding.
  • Human Factors:
  • Unplanned Development: Floods are being exacerbated by unplanned development, encroachment in riparian zones, failure of flood control systems, unplanned reservoir operations, insufficient drainage infrastructure, deforestation, land use change, and sedimentation in river beds.
  • The river breaches the embankments and destroys habitations along the banks and on the sandbars when it rains heavily.
  • Flooding in cities and towns is a recent phenomena brought on by an increase in the frequency of severe rainfall in a short period of time.
  • The cause is indiscriminate encroachment of streams and wetlands, insufficient drain capacity, and a lack of drainage infrastructure upkeep.
  • Aside from that, poor waste management is worsening the situation by clogging drains, canals, and lakes, and poorly designed road developments are interrupting flood flows.
  • Pre-Disaster Planning Ignorance: The focus of disaster management has mostly been on post-flood recovery and relief throughout history.
  • There aren’t enough gauging stations in many reservoirs and hydroelectric facilities to measure flood levels, which is a key component in flood prediction and forecasting.
  • Flood Management Plan for the Future:
  • A comprehensive flood control plan, including disaster preparedness, is required. This may necessitate bolstering the following:
  • Mapping of flood hotspots on a local and regional scale.
  • To minimise overflowing and erosion, riparian zones must be managed and regulated.
  • River flood modelling is used to prepare for events such as reservoir breaches and dam emergency releases.
  • Flood early warning systems will benefit from advanced techniques such as mapping based on satellite data and Geographic Information Systems.
  • Watershed Management Requires an Integrated Strategy: Watershed management requires an integrated approach. Hard technical solutions and ecologically sustainable soft solutions are frequently used in these techniques.
  • Hard Solutions: It entails the construction of civil engineering structures such as dams, culverts, and dykes, as well as the expansion and depth of river channels and diversion channels, in order to store and redirect water and increase the time it takes for water to arrive downstream.
  • Ecological Soft Solutions: Restoration and management of riparian zones, as well as afforestation along river channels, have resulted in the retention of rainwater and a reduction in river flow.
  • An integrated approach to flood management necessitates a thorough grasp of the monsoon patterns that rivers like the Ganga and its tributaries exhibit.
  • Prioritizing Buffers, Flexibility, and Adaptability: This includes assessing dam and canal safety requirements, re-constructing them with greater safety factors, constructing new intermediate storages, and implementing dynamic reservoir management.
  • Reducing Disaster Risk Reduction: The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction must be implemented effectively in order to reduce disaster vulnerability.
  • Putting an emphasis on urban flood management: Given that the problem of urban flooding is becoming more severe and losses are increasing year after year.
  • The issue of urban flooding requires special attention, and proper execution of the NDMA guidelines on Urban Flooding 2016 is a must.

Source – The Indian Express

3 – Independence of Judiciary:


Topic – Judiciary related issues

  • What is the definition of judicial independence?
  • A fair and impartial judicial system is one that can make decisions without intervention from the executive or legislative branches.
  • Mentioned in the Constitution’s Basic Structure:
  • The constitution guarantees judicial independence, which was reinforced by the Kesavananda Bharati (1973) judgement.
  • Separation of powers principle:
  • Under accordance with Article 13, the judiciary holds the executive and legislative branches in check.
  • Separation of powers between the executive and the judiciary (Article 50)
  • Provisions that ensure the independence of the judiciary:
  • Judges remain in office until they attain the age of 65 in the case of Supreme Court judges (Art. 124(2)) and 62 in the case of High Court judges (Art. 217(1)).
  • Judges cannot be removed from office until the President issues an order, and only then on the basis of demonstrated misbehaviour and incapacity.
  • A majority of the total membership of each House of Parliament must also vote in favour of the motion.
  • A majority of at least two-thirds of the members of the house present and voting is also required.
  • Because it is so difficult, there has never been a case of a Supreme Court or High Court judge being removed under this rule.
  • Judges’ Salaries and Allowances: Judges are self-contained because their salaries and allowances are set and not subject to legislative approval.
  • Supreme Court’s Powers and Jurisdiction: Parliament can only expand the Supreme Court’s powers and jurisdiction, not limit them.
  • In civil disputes, Parliament has the power to change the monetary cap for Supreme Court appeals.
  • Punishment for Contempt: The Supreme Court and the High Court both have the authority to punish someone for contempt.
  • The Supreme Court has the power to punish for contempt of itself, according to Article 129.
  • Similarly, Art. 215 stipulates that every High Court has the authority to punish for contempt of itself.
  • Separation of the Judiciary and the Executive: Article 50 of the Constitution mandates that the state take steps to separate the judiciary and the executive in the state’s public services.
  • Why Independent judiciary is required:
  • The welfare state: This country’s constitutional courts have allowed social democracy to flourish.
  • The Indian judiciary’s nature is defined by its full independence and the essential fearlessness in the face of adversity.
  • Uphold the Constitution: The ability of the judiciary to uphold the Constitution maintains its flawless integrity.
  • The enormous faith that the general public has in the judiciary as a final resort of hope.
  • In a political democracy, there are checks and balances:
  • A strong justice delivery system at the local level ensures the state’s smooth operation.
  • People-centered accountability:
  • To uphold accountability as a democratic norm.
  • Through judicial review and judicial activism, it helps to hold the administration and legislature accountable to the people.
  • The written constitution is regarded as the supreme law of the state, and it necessitates some authority to interpret it without prejudice or self-interest.
  • Individual rights protection: India’s independent nation inherited a profoundly fractured society from its colonial past.
  • The huge difference between the haves and the have-nots persists.
  • Only an impartial and independent judge can protect an individual’s rights without fear or favour.
  • Preventing autocracy: Without an independent court, we shall have a dictatorship in which the administration may do whatever it wants.
  • Concerns about Judicial Independence:
  • Judge appointment opacity: India’s judges are chosen by a “Collegium” of judges.
  • When appointing judges, the Collegium takes the government’s opinion into account, but the judiciary makes the final decision.
  • Their choices are made behind closed doors, and the lack of transparency in the process has long been a problem.
  • Roaster System: The Court’s interior workings are opaque, limiting independent decision-making.
  • As the Court’s senior-most judge, the Chief Justice of India controls how cases are assigned to justices and benches of judges.
  • Some Supreme Court judges have publicly criticised the court’s opacity and case-allocation practises.
  • Many difficulties with the method have been raised by critics, including the assignment of politically sensitive cases to favourable judges.
  • Nepotism, Favoritism, and Political Bias: Judges who have favours or relationships with senior Supreme Court or Executive Branch judges are frequently elevated to or assigned to more favourable positions.
  • Judicial overreach: Because there is no system of checks and balances in place, the Supreme Court has the power to overrule the legislative and the courts.
  • Next Steps:
  • Judicial independence ensures public trust in the institution as a last resort, where justice will be served regardless of opposition or influence.
  • People have a high level of faith and confidence in the court to provide justice in the event of executive misbehaviour.
  • If executive influence in judicial procedures is allowed, as well as judicial bias against the executive, the later paragraph and confidence will be meaningless.

Source – The Hindu

4 – National Security Advisor:

Prelims Specific Topic

What is the NSA’s current role?

  • The National Security Agency (NSA) served as a significant adviser to the government on long-term strategic concerns.
  • The National Security Agency (NSA) had little say in day-to-day security problems.
  • However, the NSA has become a powerful figure in recent years as a result of his position in the Prime Minister’s Office.
  • Despite the fact that the position has no constitutional backing, this remains the situation.
  • The NSA’s responsibilities have been significantly increased.
  • Even though the NSAB’s position has been reduced, he now chairs the Defence Strategy Group, which is responsible for military planning.
  • In addition, the chairmanship of the Joint Intelligence Committee has been reduced.
  • The NSA is also the Chairman of the NCA’s Executive Council.
  • In essence, intelligence inputs and security assessments will be processed at the NSA level for the political leadership.
  • What is the current source of concern?
  • In this regard, the poor response to the 2008 Mumbai terror assault should be acknowledged.
  • In this circumstance, impromptu decisions were made, and no single person could handle such a wide range of rapidly changing events.
  • Given this, the increased reliance on the NSA, which is only an advisor, poses severe concerns.
  • If he makes a mistake, it’s unclear who will be held responsible.
  • There may also be no possibility for dissenting viewpoints to be expressed.
  • It is therefore necessary for the government to recognise that even the most centralised of states cannot afford to have a single channel for the flow of such vital information.
  • About National Security Council (NSC):
  • It is a body that advises the president on national security issues.
  • The National Security Council of India is a three-tiered agency that monitors critical political, economic, energy, and security problems in India.
  • The National Security Counsel (NSA) oversees the NSC and serves as the prime minister’s top advisor. Ajit Doval is the current National Security Advisor.
  • It was established in 1998 and is responsible for all aspects of national security.
  • The Strategic Policy Group (SPG), the National Security Advisory Board (NSAB), and the National Security Council Secretariat make up the three-tier organisation of the National Security Council.
  • The Cabinet Secretary chairs the SPG, which is the primary platform for inter-ministerial coordination and integration of pertinent information.
  • The NSAB conducts long-term analysis and offers viewpoints on national security matters.
  • Function: It is part of the Prime Minister of India’s executive office, mediating between the executive branch of the government and the intelligence agencies and advising leadership on intelligence and security problems.
  • Members: It is made up of the Ministers of Home Affairs, Defence, External Affairs, and Finance.

Source – The Indian Express



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