14 January, 2021 - Daily Current Affairs Analysis & MCQs - The Daily News Simplified from The Hindu

  • India US relations (International relations)
  • Constitutional validity of Farms Laws - (Polity & Governance)
  • FATF Reference - (International relations)
  • Question for the day (Economy)

Prelims Quiz

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    UPSC Current Affairs: A strong India would act as ‘counterbalance’ to China: U.S.| Page 13

    UPSC Syllabus: Mains – GS Paper II – International Relations

    Sub Theme: U.S. strategic framework for the Indo-Pacific |UPSC

    Context: US administration has declassified a document on the U.S. strategic framework for the Indo-Pacific’ from 2018.

    Outlines objectives and strategies with regard to China, North Korea, India and other countries in the Indo-Pacific region.

    PYQ

    “What introduces friction into the ties between India and the United States is that Washington is still unable to find for India a position in its global strategy, which would satisfy India’s National self- esteem and ambitions” Explain with suitable examples. (15) - 2019

    Key Highlights -

    • Maintaining “S. strategic primacy” in the region and promoting a “liberal economic order” while stopping China from establishing “illiberal spheres of influence” is the U.S.’s first national security challenge.
    • The other two challenges are ensuring that North Korea does not threaten the U.S. and advancing U.S. economic leadership globally.
    • With regard to India, one of the ‘desired end states’ of the U.S.’s strategy is for the U.S. to be India’s preferred partner on security issues and for the two countries to “cooperate to preserve maritime security and counter Chinese influence” in South Asia, Southeast Asia and other regions of “mutual concern”.
    • The U.S. aims to help India become a net security provider in the region, solidify a lasting strategic partnership with India “underpinned by a strong Indian military able to effectively collaborate with” the U.S and its regional partners.
    • These objectives it plans to achieve via enhanced defence cooperation and interoperability; working with India “toward domestic economic reform” and greater leadership roles for India in the East Asia Summit and ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus.
    • support to India via military, diplomatic and intelligence channels “to help address continental challenges such as the border dispute with China and access to water, including the Brahmaputra and other rivers facing diversion by China.”

    Common Principles

    • The peaceful resolution of disputes and the transparent infrastructure-debt practices (a reference to alternatives to financing by China’s Belt Road Initiative, which has led to untenable debt positions in borrowing countries), as per the strategy.
    • The U.S. aims to support India’s “Act East” policy and “its aspiration to be a leading global power, highlighting its compatibility with the U.S., Japanese and Australian vision” of the Indo-Pacific.
    • A strong India, in cooperation with like-minded countries, would act as a counterbalance to China,” is one of the underlying assumptions of the strategy, which expects Chinese military, economic and diplomatic influence will continue to increase in the short term.
    • China aims to dissolve U.S. alliances and partnerships across the region. China will exploit vacuums and opportunities created by these diminished bonds.
    • On Russia, it says the country will “remain a marginal player” in the region relative to the U.S., China and India.
    • On North Korea, a stated U.S. objective is to, “Convince the Kim regime that the only path to its survival is to relinquish its nuclear weapons.”

     

    UPSC Current Affairs: Farm laws, their constitutional validity, and hope | Page 06

    UPSC Syllabus: Mains – GS Paper II – Polity & Governance

    Sub Theme: Voice voting in the parliament| UPSC

    Recently, the Supreme Court stayed the implementation of contentious farm acts. It has also set up an expert committee to look into the grievances of the farmers. The Supreme Court is yet to examine the constitutional validity of the laws. In spite of this, the decision of the supreme court to stay the implementation of the farm acts is a clear case of judicial overreach and violates the principle of separation of powers.

    In this regard, this article highlights as to why the passage of the farm acts can be challenged on the grounds on violation of rules of the house as well as the Constitution.

    Rules of the house

    All decisions in Parliament are taken by voting by MPs. Voice voting is the preferred method of decision making by Indian Parliament. MPs in favour of a decision call out “Ayes” and those opposed say “Noes”. The Speaker then takes a call on which voices were louder and conveys the decision of the House. The rules of procedure of Lok Sabha do not mandate recording of votes of MPs for every decision taken. 

    However, Individual MPs can demand for division of votes (recording of Individual votes). In such a case, the chair of the House is required to call for the division of the votes. Further, the division of votes is mandated for a set of motions which require a special majority of the house to be passed. For example, constitutional amendment bills have to be passed by a majority of the total membership of that House and by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of the House “present and voting”.

    What happened during the passage of Farm Acts in the Rajya Sabha?

    Violation of Rules of House: During the discussion on the Farm acts, there was disorder in the Rajya Sabha. Some of the opposition MPs had demanded for the division of votes. However, in spite of such a demand, the chair of the Rajya Sabha did not call for division of votes. The chair declared the passage of the farm acts based upon the Voice vote. This was in clear violation of Rules of the house.

    Violation of Constitutional Provision: Article 100 says that all questions at any sitting of either House shall be determined by a majority of votes of the members present and voting. Majority cannot be determined through voice vote. Voice vote has been adopted for the sake of convenience based upon the assumption that the Government enjoys the majority in the house. At the same time, if any of the MP calls for the division of votes, the chair is required to do so.

    Since this was not done and the Bills were all passed by voice vote, there is a violation of the rules as well as the Constitution.

    Options before the Judiciary

    Article 122 of the Constitution protects the proceedings of the House from judicial review. However, the Supreme Court in Raja Ram Pal’s case had clarified that the proceedings can be challenged on substantive grounds like violation of the Constitutional provisions. The Farm Bills were passed in the Rajya Sabha in violation of Article 100 of the Constitution and hence can be challenged in the Supreme Court on that ground.

    Options before the Supreme Court:

    Article 107 provides that Bill shall not be deemed to have been passed unless it has been agreed to by both Houses. There was clear violation of Article 100 during the passage of Farm acts in Rajya Sabha and hence the SC can strike the farm acts as null and void.

    Invalidate the proceedings of the Rajya Sabha and send the three ‘Acts’ back to that House for further proceedings in accordance with the constitutional provisions.

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