24 December, 2020 - Daily Current Affairs Analysis & MCQs - The Daily News Simplified from The Hindu

  • PTS announcement
  • Mains Question Assignment from DNS
  • Melting away - Data point (Physical Geography)
  • Trump rejects wasteful COVID-19 aid Bill (Polity & Governance)
  • Cairn Energy wins arbitration award (reference) - (Polity & Governance)
  • Cabinet nod for 100% FDI in DTH service (reference) - (Polity & Governance)
  • Question for the day (Polity & Governance)

Prelims Quiz


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    UPSC Current Affairs: Melting away - Data point | Page 7

    UPSC Syllabus: | Mains – GS Paper 1 – Geography  |

    Sub Theme:| Meting of Polar Ice  | UPSC


    Relevant questions of previous year

    • Why is India taking keen interest in resources of Arctic Region? [2018]
    • What are the economic significances of discovery of oil in Arctic Sea and its possible environmental consequences? [2015]
    • How does the cryosphere affect global climate? [2017]


    UPSC Current Affairs:Trump rejects ‘wasteful’ COVID-19 aid Bill| Page 14

    UPSC Syllabus: | Prelims – Polity | GS Mains Paper II – Polity

    Sub Theme: Comparison of Indian and American president

    Context:  President of USA

    • The power of the Executive Branch is vested in the President of the United States, who also acts as head of state and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.
    • The President is responsible for implementing and enforcing the laws written by Congress and, to that end, appoints the heads of the federal agencies, including the Cabinet.
    • The President is both the head of state and head of government of the United States of America, and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.
    • The President has the power either to sign legislation into law or to veto bills enacted by Congress, although Congress may override a veto with a two-thirds vote of both houses.
    • The Executive Branch conducts diplomacy with other nations, and the President has the power to negotiate and sign treaties, which also must be ratified by two-thirds of the Senate.
    • The President can issue executive orders, which direct executive officers or clarify and further existing laws.
    • The President also has unlimited power to extend pardons and clemencies for federal crimes, except in cases of impeachment.
    • With these powers come several responsibilities, among them a constitutional requirement to “from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.”

    Comparison of Indian and American president -

    The parliamentary system of government is the one in which the executive is responsible to the legislature for its policies and acts. The presidential system of government, on the other hand, is one in which the executive is not responsible to the legislature for its policies and acts, and is constitutionally independent of the legislature in respect of its term of office.

    Head of the State –

    • The American President is both the head of the State and the head of government. As the head of State, he occupies a ceremonial position. As the head of government, he leads the executive organ of government.
    • While Indian president is the nominal executive (de jure executive or titular executive) ,while the Prime Minister is the real executive (de facto executive)
    • Thus, the President is head of the State, while the Prime Minister is head of the government.

    Term of Office

    • The American President is elected by an electoral college for a fixed tenure of four years an he can seek re-election only once. While the Indian President is elected for a term of 5 years and he can seek re-election any number of times.

    Responsibility to Legislature

    • The American President and his secretaries are not responsible to the Congress for their acts. They neither possess membership in the Congress nor attend its sessions.
    • The doctrine of separation of powers is the basis of the American presidential system. The legislative, executive and judicial powers of the government are separated and vested in the three independent organs of the government
    • While in India the Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister is collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha as per Article 74 of the Constitution.

    Veto Power

    The veto power enjoyed by the executive in modern states can be classified into the following four types:

    1. Absolute veto, that is, withholding of assent to the bill passed by the legislature.
    2. Qualified veto, which can be overridden by the legislature with a higher majority.
    3. Suspensive veto, which can be over ridden by the legislature with an ordinary majority.
    4. Pocket veto, that is, taking no action on the bill passed by the legislature.
    • Of the above four, the President of India is vested with three—absolute veto, suspensive veto and pocket veto
    • There is no qualified veto in the case of Indian President; it is possessed by the American Preside
    • The American President has the power either to sign legislation into law or to veto bills enacted by Congress, although Congress may override a veto with a two-thirds vote of both houses.
    • Article 111 in India’s Constitution governs the Veto powers of the President. It states that “When a Bill has been passed by the Houses of Parliament, it shall be presented to the President, and the President shall declare-

    either that he assents to the Bill, or

    that he withholds assent therefrom

    • The subsequent provision moderates this discretion: The President may return the Bill “as soon as possible” to the Houses with a message to reconsider it.
    • However, if the Houses enact the Bill with or without amendments and present it to the President for assent, “the President shall not withhold assent therefrom”

    Suspensive Veto

    • The President exercises this veto when he returns a bill for reconsideration of the Parliament.
    • However, if the bill is passed again by the Parliament with or without amendments and again presented to the President, it is obligatory for the President to give his assent to the bill.
    • This means that the presidential veto is overridden by a re-passage of the bill by the same ordinary majority (and not a higher majority as required in USA).

    Pocket Veto

    • In this case, the President neither ratifies nor rejects nor returns the bill, but simply keeps the bill pending for an indefinite period
    • This power of the President not to take any action (either positive or negative) on the bill is known as the pocket veto
    • The President can exercise this veto power as the Constitution does not prescribe any time- limit within which he has to take the decision with respect to a bill presented to him for his assent.
    • In USA, on the other hand, the President has to return the bill for reconsideration within 10 days. Hence, it is remarked that the pocket of the Indian President is bigger than that of the American President.
    • It should be noted here that the President has no veto power in respect of a Constitutional Amendment Bill. The 24th Constitutional Amendment Act of 1971 made it obligatory for the President to give his assent to a Constitutional Amendment Bill.

    Use of veto powers by Indian Presidents

    • Suspensive Veto – Officially used once by President APJ Abdul Kalam in case of Office of Profit Bill.
    • Pocket Veto – Used once by President Zail Singh in case of Indian Post Office (Amendment) Bill in 1986.
    • Absolute Veto - In 1954, by President Dr. Rajendra Prasad in case of PEPSU Appropriation Bill. The PEPSU appropriation Bill was passed by the Parliament during the President’s rule it he state of PEPSU (Patiala and East Punjab States Union). In 1991, by President R. Venkataraman in case of Salary, Amendments and Pension of Members of Parliament (Amendment) Bill. This Bill was passed on the last day before the Lok Sabha was dissolved and introduced without seeking prior recommendation from the President of India.

    State bills

    • Certain state bills need the previous consent of the president and he possess absolute veto power with respect to some types of state bills. The US President doenot have such powers.
    • Dissolution of the legislature
    • The Indian President can dissolve the lower House while the US President does not have such powers.