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TOPIC : GS 2 Parliament and State Legislatures—Structure, Functioning, Conduct of Business, Powers & Privileges and Issues Arising out of these.

Dormant Parliament, fading business

What is the news?

The gradual deterioration in Parliament‘s functioning has to be stopped if it is to fulfill its constitutional mandate

  • Budget session of 2020 was curtailed ahead of lockdown imposed following the novel coronavirus pandemic , a short 18 –days monsoon session ended after 10 days as several members of parliament and staff got affected by COVID-19  and the winter session got cancelled
  • As result the fiscal year 2020-21 saw the lok Sabha sitting for 34 days and Rajya Sabha 33 days the lowest ever

No Bill Scrutiny

  • Absence of careful scrutiny of bills , 13 bills were introduced not even one was referred to parliamentary committee for examination
  • Many high impact bills were introduced and passed within a few days. The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi ( Amendment ) Bill , 2021 which is the bill to change the governance mechanism of Delhi from Chief minister to Lieutenant Governor was passed by both houses
  • The Mines and Minerals ( Development and Regulation) Amendment bill , 2021 amends the Mines and Minerals act 1957 to remove end- use restriction on mines and ease conditions for captive mines was also passed
  • The National Bank for Financing Infrastructure Development ( NaBFID) bill 2021 to create a new government infrastructure finance institution and permit private ones in this sector was passed within three days of introduction
  • This create a new government infrastructure finance institution and permit private ones in this sector was passed within 3 days of introduction
  • The Insurance (amendment) Bill, 2021 the bill to increase the limit of foreign direct investments in the insurance companies from 49% to 74% also took just a week between introduction and passing by both houses.
  • In all 13 bills were introduced in this session, eight of them were passed within the session. This quick work should be read as sign of abdication by parliament of its duty to scrutinize bills , rather than efficiency

Consulting House Panels

  • It also highlights the decline in the efficacy of commitees.
  • The percentage of bills referred to committee declined from 60% and 71% in 14th loksabha and 15th loksabha respectively to 27% in the 16th loksabha and just 11% in the current one
  • Parliamentary committee have often done a stellar job. For example , the committee that examined the Insolvency and Bankruptcy code suggested many changes to make the code work better , and which were incorporated
  • Similarly amendments to motor vehicles act were based on recommendations of the committee

Money bill classification

  • Last few years have seen the dubious practice if marking bills as ‘Money Bills’ and getting them past the Rajya sabha
  • Some section of Aadhaar act were read down by supreme court of India due to this procedure
  • The finance bills , over the last few years have contained several unconnected items such as restructuring of tribunals , introduction of electoral bonds and amendments to foreign contribution act
  • Similarly , this year to the finance bill has made major amendment to Life insurance corporation act 1956
  • As this money bill, the Rajya Sabha cannot make any amendments and has only recommendatory powers.
  • Some of the earlier acts , including the Aadhaar act and finance act have been referred to a constitution bench of the supreme court

Missing Deputy speaker

  • Article 93 of the constitution states that ‘ The house of panel shall , as soon as may be , choose two members of the house to be respectively speaker and deputy speaker ‘
  • Usually the deputy speaker is elected within a couple of months of formation of a new loksabha with expection in 1998 -99 , when it took 269 days to do so .
  • By the time of 2 years elapsed without the election of deputy speaker . This showed up starkly this session when speaker absence

Way forward

Parliamentary has the central role in our democracy as the representation body that checks the work of the government with all constructional mandate. It is also expected to examine all legislative proposals in detail, understand their nuances and implication of the provisions and decide in appropriate way

Mains question

Parliament needs to ensure sufficiency scrutiny over the proposals and actions of the government. Examine

Sources: https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/dormant-parliament-fading-business/article34173052.ece

TOPIC : GS 3 Disaster and Disaster Management.

Deadly trail

What is the news?

The Mumbai hospital fire shows that India needs to make public safety an absolute term

  • Blaze that engulfed a private COVID-19 hospital in Mumbai Bhandpur area comes as reminder
  • The tragedy focuses attention on the failure to make fire safety a systematic imperative in public building
  • Fire may be accident , but the idea protocols is to prevent if from having a devastating effect on lives and property
  • Supreme court took suo motu cognizance of the incident and issued directions , one of which was to task an officer with fire safety for each COVID – 19 hospital

Way forward

  • The national disaster management guidelines of 2016 issued by the NDMA address these characteristics with recommendations on infrastructural and systematic improvements
  • Yet it is clear that even some of the basic recommendations on infrastructural , such as the availability of open space to move patients in an emergency are beyond the scope of legacy building created
  • The feasibility is for experts to assess the quality of infrastructure , specially electrical installations , ensuring the retrofitting of structure with flame retardant materials
  • Recurring infernos should also convince states that they must create scientifically designed public health facilities that meets the needs of populous cities reversing the policy of leaving this crucial function largely to for profit entities

Mains question

Bring out guidelines of NDMA guidelines to address disaster management

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/deadly-trail-the-hindu-editorial-on-mumbai-covid-19-hospital-fire/article34173043.ece

PRELIMS PUNCHERS

  1. Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure

The Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) is an international coalition of countries, United Nations (UN) agencies, multilateral development banks, the private sector, and academic institutions, that aims to promote disaster-resilient infrastructure. Its objective is to promote research and knowledge sharing in the fields of infrastructure risk management, standards, financing, and recovery mechanisms. It was launched by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit in September 2019.

CDRI’s initial focus is on developing disaster-resilience in ecological, social, and economic infrastructure. It aims to achieve substantial changes in member countries’ policy frameworks and future infrastructure investments, along with a major decrease in the economic losses suffered due to disasters.

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=1586051

  1. Sundarbans

The Sundarbans is a mangrove area in the delta formed by the confluence of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna Rivers in the Bay of Bengal. It spans from the Hooghly River in India’s state of West Bengal to the Baleswar River in Bangladesh. It comprises closed and open mangrove forests, land used for agricultural purpose, mudflats and barren land, and is intersected by multiple tidal streams and channels.

Four protected areas in the Sunderbans are enlisted as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, viz. Sundarbans National Park, Sundarbans West, Sundarbans South and Sundarbans East Wildlife Sanctuaries. Despite these protections, the Indian Sundarbans were considered endangered in a 2020 assessment under the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems framework. The area is known for the Bengal tiger, as well as numerous fauna including species of birds, spotted deer, crocodiles and snakes. The fertile soils of the delta have been subject to intensive human use for centuries, and the eco region has been mostly converted to intensive agriculture, with few enclaves of forest remaining.

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/sunderbans-home-to-428-species-of-birds-records-zsi/article33651099.ece

  1. Eritrea

It is a northeast African country on the Red Sea coast. It shares borders with Ethiopia, Sudan and Djibouti. The capital city, Asmara, is known for its Italian colonial buildings, like St. Joseph’s Cathedral, as well as art deco structures. Italian, Egyptian and Turkish architecture in Massawa reflect the port city’s colorful history. Notable buildings here include St. Mariam Cathedral and the Imperial Palace.

The nation has a total area of approximately 117,600 km and includes the Dahlak Archipelago and several of the Hanish Islands. Eritrea can be split into three Eco regions. To the east of the highlands are the hot, arid coastal plains stretching down to the southeast of the country. The cooler, more fertile highlands, reaching up to 3000 m, have a different habitat. Habitats here vary from the sub-tropical rainforest at Filfil Solomona to the precipitous cliffs and canyons of the southern highlands

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/eritrea-will-pull-out-troops-from-tigray-ethiopian-pm/article34172674.ece

  1. Madhuca diplostemon

It is a species of flowering plant in the family Sapotaceae, endemic to India. It is a threatened tree species of the Western Ghats whose original specimens were collected in 1835, and it was considered extinct for 184 years until a single living specimen was discovered in a sacred grove in Kollam district, when scientists at the Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute (JNTBGRI) identified the tree as Madhuca diplostemon rather than the common attilippa (Madhuca neriifolia).

The lone mature tree was located at the Koonayil Ayiravilli Siva temple at Paravur, Kollam, and Kerala. Surveys in other sacred groves in Kollam district failed to find another tree of the species. Since the species is represented by only one specimen in a single locality, it is eligible to be categorized as ‘Critically Endangered’ by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature)

Source :      https://www.globalias.in/blog

PRELIMS QUESTION

  1. Consider the following statement regarding Eritrea
  2. It is a northeast African country on the Red coast.
  3. It shares borders with UAE, Somalia and Djibouti.

Select the correct statement using code given below.

(a). 1only       (b) 2 only

(c).Both       (d). None of  above

Answer: A

It is a northeast African country on the Red Sea coast. It shares borders with Ethiopia, Sudan and Djibouti. The capital city, Asmara, is known for its Italian colonial buildings, like St. Joseph’s Cathedral, as well as art deco structures. Italian, Egyptian and Turkish architecture in Massawa reflect the port city’s colorful history. Notable buildings here include St. Mariam Cathedral and the Imperial Palace

  1. Consider the following statement regarding Madhuca diplostemon
  2. It is a threatened tree species of the Eastern Ghats
  3. It is eligible to be categorized as ‘ Endangered’ by the IUCN

Select the correct statement using code given below.

(a). 1only       (b) 2 only

(c).Both       (d). None of  above

Answer: D

It is a species of flowering plant in the family Sapotaceae, endemic to India. It is a threatened tree species of the Western Ghats whose original specimens were collected in 1835, and it was considered extinct for 184 years until a single living specimen was discovered in a sacred grove in Kollam district, when scientists at the Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute (JNTBGRI) identified the tree as Madhuca diplostemon rather than the common attilippa (Madhuca neriifolia).

The lone mature tree was located at the Koonayil Ayiravilli Siva temple at Paravur, Kollam, and Kerala. Surveys in other sacred groves in Kollam district failed to find another tree of the species. Since the species is represented by only one specimen in a single locality, it is eligible to be categorized as ‘Critically Endangered’ by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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