DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS ANALYSIS
26th November 2021
|About the Practise of Whip
|Prelims & Mains
|Central Government ready to have a relook at the income criteria defined for the EWS Quota
|Prelims & Mains
|About the MGNREGA Bill
|Prelims & Mains
|About the Opposition Leader
|Prelims & Mains
|What amendments were brought in through the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Act, 2020
|Prelims & Mains
1 – ABOUT THE PRACTISE OF WHIP:
Parliament related issues:
- What is a whip exactly:
- Within the legislative assembly or house of parliament, a whip is a political party official who acts as the party’s “enforcer.”
- Whips are issued by a senior member of a party’s House contingent, known as the Chief Whip, who is assisted by additional Whips.
- The whip was introduced to India by the British parliamentary system.
- (Note: A whip is also a formal order compelling party members to be present for an important vote or to vote in a specified way in legislative parlance.)
- The purpose of whips is to:
- They go to great lengths to ensure that their colleagues show up for voting sessions and vote in accordance with their political party’s stated stance.
- If a legislator doesn’t obey a whip, here’s what happens:
- If a legislator disobeys the party whip, he or she may be disqualified unless the number of parliamentarians who oppose the whip equals 2/3rds of the party’s total strength in the house. Disqualification is decided by the Speaker of the House.
- Limitations of Whip:
- In certain instances, such as presidential elections, whips cannot order a Member of Parliament (MP) or Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) to vote a certain way.
- Three main types of whips or instructions are issued by the party.
- What are the various types of Whips:
- Members of a political party are notified of a vote via a single-line whip. If a member does not agree with the party’s position, they can vote no.
- The two-line whip is used to guarantee that all members of the House are present when voting takes place.
- A three-line whip is provided to members, telling them to vote in accordance with the party line.
- The decision of the Supreme Court in the Kihoto Holohan case on the issue of whipping:
- Courts should not intervene in disqualification procedures until the Speaker reaches a final judgement, according to the ruling.
- The courts’ power to look into disqualification cases was severely constrained.
- However, in this case, the High Court interfered at the notice stage of the disqualification proceedings.
- Source – The Hindu – 26/11/21 – Page 9
2 – CENTRAL GOVERNMENT READY TO HAVE A RELOOK AT THE INCOME CRITERIA DEFINED FOR THE EWS QUOTA:
Topic – Government Policies and Interventions
- Why is it making headlines:
- The Supreme Court has been notified that the Central Government is willing to revisit the Rs 8 lakh per year income criterion for the EWS Quota.
- The government’s technique for designating the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) and awarding a 10% quota in public sectors and educational institutions by imposing an annual income ceiling of Rs. 8 lakh was recently questioned by the Supreme Court (SC).
- The following is the EWS Quota:
- Articles 15 and 16 of the 103rd Constitution (Amendment) Act, 2019, were amended to implement the 10% EWS quota.
- Articles 15 (6) and 16 were inserted to the Constitution (6).
- It is for the Economically Weaker Sections’ economic reservation in jobs and educational institute admissions (EWS).
- It was enacted to assist those who had been left out of the 50 percent quota programme for Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs), and Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC).
- It allows the Centre and the states to give priority to persons from the poorest socioeconomic groups.
- Inequality is handled in the following ways:
- The 10% quota is progressive and has the potential to address educational and income inequality in India, as the economically disadvantaged have been denied entry to higher education and public jobs due to their financial inability.
- Recognize the Economic Backwards: There are many people and classes that are suffering from hunger and poverty outside of the backward classes.
- The proposed reservation, which would be implemented through a constitutional amendment, would grant official recognition to the poor of the higher castes.
- Reduced Caste-Based Discrimination: It will gradually remove the stigma associated with reservations, which has long been related to caste, and upper castes typically look down on persons who enter through reservations.
- There isn’t any data available:
- According to the EWS bill’s Statement of Object and Reason, the Economically Weaker Sections of Citizens have been primarily barred from attending higher educational institutions and public employment because of their financial inability to compete with those who are economically more privileged.
- Because the government hasn’t offered any evidence to back up this assertion, it’s only a wild guess or a theory at this point.
- A nine-judge Constitution court imposed a 50% reservation level in the Indira Sawhney case in 1992.
- The EWS allotment exceeds this limit even without taking this concern into consideration.
- Criteria that aren’t set in stone:
- The government’s criteria for evaluating eligibility for this reservation are vague and lack evidence or research to back them up.
- Even the Supreme Court questioned whether the government took into account each state’s GDP per capita when setting the monetary ceiling for EWS reservations.
- State per capita income varies widely, according to statistics: Goa has the highest per capita income of almost Rs. 4 lakh, while Bihar has the lowest at Rs. 40,000.
- Next Steps:
- With the exception of the EWS, reservation has a detrimental impact on all categories because it decreases the competitive pool available to them. Given that applications from the EWS are already overrepresented in higher education institutions, it does not appear to be empirically warranted.
- It is past time for the Indian political class to abandon its habit of constantly expanding the scope of reservation in order to gain electoral advantage, and to recognise that it is not a panacea for all problems.
- Rather of imposing reservations based on a variety of reasons, the government should focus on the quality of education and other effective social upliftment efforts. It should instil an entrepreneurial spirit in them, transforming them from job-seekers to job-givers.
- Source – The Hindu – 26/11/21 – Page 1
3 – ABOUT THE MGNREGA BILL:
Topic – Government Policies and Interventions
- Why is it making headlines:
- Halfway through the fiscal year, the MGNREGA, the government’s largest rural employment scheme, ran out of money. This means that unless states employ their own funds, payments to MGNREGA workers and material expenses will be postponed.
- In order to accurately reflect the flow of funds to various demographic groups on the ground, the government created a category-based salary payment system for SC, ST, and others, which will take effect in the current fiscal year (2021-22).
- About MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act):
- The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, formerly known as the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, was passed in 2005 with the purpose of increasing employment and social security in India.
- The scheme is a demand-driven pay employment scheme sponsored by the Ministry of Rural Development.
- In a rural location, every adult household member with a job card is eligible for a job under the scheme.
- Under the system, adult members who volunteer for unskilled physical labour will earn 100 days of guaranteed paid employment in a fiscal year.
- It covers all of India’s districts, with the exception of those with a 100% urban population.
- In rural areas that have been notified of a drought or natural disaster, there is also a provision for an additional 50 days of unskilled wage work.
- Section 3(4) of the MGNREGA empowers governments to set aside funds from their own budgets to offer additional days beyond the Act’s deadline.
- MGNREGA’s Issues:
- Exceptionally Low Wage Rates:
- MNREGA salary rates are currently lower than the state minimum wage for agriculture in at least 17 of the 21 major states. The salary disparity is between 23% and 33% of the minimum wage.
- The average daily wage for general agricultural labourers in 2017 was Rs. 264.05 for men and Rs. 205.32 for women, according to data from the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO).
- Because of the extremely low salary rates, workers have lost interest in working on MGNREGA projects, allowing contractors and intermediaries to assume control locally.
- Insufficient funding:
- Due to a lack of funds, state administrations are unable to meet the demand for MGNREGA jobs.
- Delay in Wage Payment:
- Most states have failed to pay wages within the MGNREGA’s 15-day deadline. Workers are also not compensated if their paychecks are not paid on time.
- As a result, the system has evolved into a demand-driven model, and workers have begun to lose interest in working under it.
- In a 2016 judgement, the Supreme Court referred to unpaid MGNREGA wages as “a clear constitutional breach perpetrated by the State” and “a modern sort of beggar.”
- The Ineffectiveness of PRI’s Role: Grame panchayats are unable to implement the act effectively and efficiently due to their lack of autonomy.
- Unfinished Projects in Large Numbers:
- The completion of MGNREGA projects has been delayed, and project inspections have been sporadic. There is also a difficulty with work quality and asset development under MGNREGA.
- Fabrication of job cards:
- The use of phoney work cards raises a number of concerns, including the inclusion of fictitious names, missing data, and delays in employment card entry.
- Work Must Be Available: The Government Must Ensure Work Is Available: The government must ensure that job is available regardless of demand.
- The government should expand the programme, putting a greater emphasis on value addition and boosting the number of community asset projects.
- Increasing the Scheme’s Effectiveness:
- It is necessary to improve coordination between government ministries, as well as the mechanism for distributing and measuring work.
- This has been one of the most successful charity programmes in recent years, helping the poor in rural areas. Government officials, on the other hand, must take the initiative and not block the strategy’s implementation.
- Wage Disparity Between Men and Women:
- There are some wage differences between men and women that need to be addressed. Women in the industry earn 22.24 percent less than their male counterparts on average.
- Source – The Hindu 26/11/21 – Page 1
4 – ABOUT THE OPPOSITION LEADER
Topic – Parliament related issues
- Who is the Leader of the Opposition:
- With at least one-tenth of the total number of seats in the parliament, the LOP is the leader of the largest party.
- It is defined as a legislative office by the Salaries and Allowances of Leaders of Opposition in Parliament Act of 1977.
- The significance of the post:
- LoP is the abbreviation for “shadow Prime Minister.”
- She or he is expected to be ready to take over if the government falls apart.
- The LoP is also critical in bringing the opposition’s policy and legislative efforts together and making them more successful.
- The LoP is essential for maintaining bipartisanship and impartiality in nominations to institutions that promote accountability and transparency, such as the CVC, CBI, CIC, Lokpal, and others.
- What modifications are required:
- A crisis occurs when no opposition party wins 55 or more seats.
- In such instances, the speaker should grant the opposition’s numerically largest party the right to have a leader recognised as the opposition’s leader.
- Furthermore, the 10% language is in conflict with the 1977 law ‘the salary and allowances of leaders of opposition in Parliament Act,’ which only specifies that the largest opposition party should be selected to the position.
- Source – The Hindu – 26/11/21 – Page Number 9
5 – WHAT AMENDMENTS WERE BROUGHT IN THROUGH THE BANKING REGULATION (AMENDMENT) ACT, 2020:
Topic – Economy related issues
- The Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2020 was passed by the Lok Sabha last year.
- The measure overturns a June 26, 2020 ordinance that had the same effect.
- The Amendment’s Purpose is to:
- The bill proposes to alter the Banking Regulation Act of 1949.
- With this new Bill, the central government seeks to bring cooperative banks under the Reserve Bank of India’s authority (RBI).
- Major changes include:
- Cooperative banks will henceforth be subject to the same provisions that apply to banks. Cooperative banks will be subject to the Reserve Bank of India’s enhanced governance and sound banking standards as a result of this (RBI).
- As a result of the adjustments, the RBI will be allowed to carry out a bank amalgamation scheme without putting it on hold.
- It will help the central bank design a strategy to protect the public’s, banking system’s, and account holders’ interests in the bank’s and banking companies’ excellent administration without disrupting banking functions.
- With the central bank’s approval, cooperative banks can also generate funds through public and private equity and preference stock offers, as well as unsecured debentures.
- However, the following alterations will not be made:
- Affect the current jurisdiction of state registrars of cooperative organisations under state law.
- Do not use the terms “bank,” “banker,” or “banking” when applying to Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) or co-operative societies whose principal aim and activity is to offer long-term financing for agricultural growth.
- What was the justification for this amendment:
- This was deemed necessary following the recent Punjab & Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank crisis.
- Cooperative banks have 8.6 lakh account members with a total deposit of around 5 lakh crore.
- In addition, urban cooperative banks have reported almost 1,000 cases of fraud worth over Rs 220 crore in the last five fiscal years.
- Currently, cooperative banks are governed as follows:
- Cooperative banks are currently overseen by the Registrar of Cooperative Societies and the Reserve Bank of India.
- The RBI is in charge of regulatory functions such as cash reserve and capital sufficiency, while the registrar of cooperative societies is in charge of incorporation, registration, management, audit, board supersession, and liquidation.
- Source – 26/11/21 – Page Number 5