15 July, 2021 - Daily Current Affairs Analysis & MCQs - The Daily News Simplified from The Hindu
- Weekly Answer writing
- Prelims MCQs elearn
- Two-child policy and Right to reproductive freedom (Policy & Governance)
- Livestock sector (Economy)
- Section 66 A of the IT act - unconstitutional (Polity & Governance)
- Question for the Day
UPSC Current Affairs: Making welfare conditional is a stamp of coercion | Page
UPSC Syllabus: Prelims: Polity & Governance | Mains: GS Paper II – Polity & Governance
Sub Theme: Fundamental right| Reproductive rights | Two child policies
Context: Uttar Pradesh government recently released the draft population Policy. The policy seeks to provide not only a series of incentives to families that adhere to a two-child norm, but also intends on disentitling families that breach the norm from benefits and subsidies. This is seen as a coercive step which is likely to impact the most vulnerable sections of the society. Further such a policy also restricts the right to reproductive freedom recognised by Supreme Court as an extension to Right to privacy in the famous Puttaswamy judgement 2017.
So let us understand
Why is making Welfare benefits conditional upon Family planning goes against internationally accepted practices and also the Right to reproductive freedom.
UP govt. objective – The State’s ecological and economic resources are limited. Unless population growth is regulated, the State will be unable to guarantee the provision of basic rights to all citizens.
Incentives for those adopting two - Child policy: Two increments during their service, subsidy towards the purchase of a house, maternity, or paternity leave, with full salary and allowances, as the case may be, for up to 12 months, and free health care and insurance coverage for the spouse.
Disincentives for those not following the Policy: Such person will be debarred from securing the benefit of any government-sponsored welfare scheme and will be disqualified from applying to any State government job. Existing government employees who infringe the rule will be denied the benefit of promotion. And last, transgressing individuals will be prohibited from contesting elections to local authorities and bodies.
Is demographic target the only way ? Central Government in Supreme court had said that “international experience shows that any coercion to have a certain number of children is counter-productive and leads to demographic distortions”. India was committed to its obligations under international law, including the principles contained in the International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action, 1994. Under this programme the nations pledged that they would look beyond demographic targets and focus instead on guaranteeing a right to reproductive freedom.
Right to reproductive freedom: In Suchita Srivastava & Anr vs Chandigarh Administration (2009), the Court found that a woman’s freedom to make reproductive decisions is an integral facet of the right to personal liberty guaranteed by Article 21. “It is important,” the Court wrote, “to recognise that reproductive choices can be exercised to procreate as well as to abstain from procreating”. This right was further endorsed as an extension to Right to privacy under the Puttaswamy Judgement. Right to privacy provides for decisional autonomy which provides liberty over intimate personal choices such as those governing reproduction.
Further Right to procreation was an important constituent of “the privacy of the home.
Restrictions on Right to privacy
- Any restriction placed on the right must conform to a doctrine of proportionality.
- The state must show us that the objective of its law is founded on a legitimate governmental aim.
- It should be established that there are no alternative and less intrusive measures available to achieve the same objective.
- There exists a rational connection between the limitation imposed and the aims of the statute.
- In pursuing public interest, it is essential that governments ensure that individual liberties are encroached upon to the lowest degree possible.
Issues with the UP population bill
- The proposed law will fail the doctrine of proportionality.
- Central govt. has already accepted that there are several alternative, less-intrusive means available to regulate population.
- It might lead to sex determination before the birth.
- Male child preference might lead to abortions of girl foetus.
- In Devika Biswas vs Union of India (2016), the Supreme Court pointed out that sterilisation camps invariably have a disparate impact on minorities and other vulnerable groups.
UPSC Current Affairs: Rs 9800 crore support for livestock development | Page 09
UPSC Syllabus: Prelims: Animal Husbandry | Mains: GS Paper III – Agriculture
Sub Theme: Issues related to Animal Husbandry | Livestock | UPSC
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has recently approved implementation of special livestock sector package amounting to Rs.9800 crores over the 5 years.
The Special Livestock sector package has been formed by merging different schemes of the Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying into 3 different categories related to Dairy Development, Livestock health and Infrastructure development.
The Topic of Livestock sector is directly related to syllabus of GS Paper III- Allied sector of Agriculture. In this regard, let us take this opportunity to holistically cover the Livestock Sector from the perspective of Mains Exam.
Animal husbandry output constitutes about 30 percent of the country’s agricultural output. Women constitute 70 per cent of the labour force in livestock sector as against 35 per cent in crop farming. Further, most of the livestock is concentrated in dry land areas and with small and marginal farmers. Hence, development of animal husbandry is considered to be more egalitarian and inclusive.
Importance of Livestock in Rural Economy:
- Source of Subsidiary Income
- Milk, meat and eggs are an important source of animal protein to the members of the livestock owners.
- Social Security: The families especially the landless which own animals are better placed than those who do not.
- Agriculture: The farmers, depend upon bullocks for ploughing, carting and transport of both inputs and outputs.
- Dung: In rural areas dung is used for several purposes which include fuel (Dung cakes), fertilizers (farmyard manure), and plastering materials (poor man’s cement)
Constraints and Challenges:
- Shortage of Feed and fodder (only 4% of land categorized as Pastureland)
- Frequent occurrence of deadly diseases such as Foot and Mouth Diseases
- Underdeveloped Livestock markets
- Livestock extension grossly neglected
- Lack of International processing Standards hindering export of meat
- Poor coverage of livestock insurance
- Poor coverage of Artificial Insemination
Expand Coverage of Artificial Insemination (AI): E PashuHaat portal has to be expanded to connect breeders with farmers and necessary information about availability of quality bovine germplasm should be
Address Shortage of Male Germplasm/Breeding Bulls by identifying more high genetic merit bulls
Address Acute Shortage of feed and fodders by effectively implementing National Livestock Mission (NLM)
Skilled Human Resource Development to enhance extension service
Development of Dairy Entrepreneurs by providing cheaper access to credit, handholding support etc.
Effective implementation of Rashtriya Gokul Mission and Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog for development and conservation of indigenous bovine breeds
Organizing farmers into FPOs and focus on diversification towards low-cholesterol ghee, low fat butter, flavoured milks, ice-creams etc.
Promotion of Contract farming: Contract farming in Poultry sector and Dairy sector have been successful in some of the states such as Punjab. For example, NESTLE’s association with the farmers in the Punjab for the procurement of milk has been responsible for socio-economic transformation. There is a need to adopt such models across India.
UPSC Current Affairs: Drop cases filed under Section 66A: Centre | Page 09
UPSC Syllabus: Prelims: Polity & Governance | Mains: GS Paper II – Polity & Governance
Sub Theme: Disabling unconstitutional provisions| Section 66A of IT Act | Navtej Singh Johar
- The Union Home Ministry asked the States and the Union Territories to withdraw immediately the cases registered under the repealed Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, days after the Supreme Court expressed shock that it was being invoked even six years after it struck down the legislation.
- The Supreme Court found it “distressing”, “shocking” and terrible” that the provision was still being used to book people, though the court held it as unconstitutional and a violation of free speech in the Shreya Singhal judgment authored by Justice Rohinton F. Nariman on March 24, 2015.
What was Section 66A of the IT Act?
- Section 66A defined the punishment for sending “offensive” messages through a computer or any other communication device like a mobile phone or a tablet.
- A conviction could fetch a maximum of three years in jail and a fine.
What was the problem with that?
- The vagueness about what is “offensive”. The word has a very wide connotation, and is open to distinctive, varied interpretations. It is subjective, and what may be innocuous for one person, may lead to a complaint from someone else and, consequently, an arrest under Section 66A if the police prima facie accepts the latter person’s view.
How frequently has 66A been used?
- Most cases of arrest were reported in 2012. Jadavpur University professor Ambikesh Mahapatra was arrested for forwarding caricatures on Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Facebook.
- Activist Aseem Trivedi was arrested for drawing cartoons lampooning Parliament and the Constitution to depict their ineffectiveness. Air India employee Mayank Sharma and K V Rao from Mumbai were arrested for allegedly posting offensive comments against politicians on their Facebook group.
How was it annulled?
- One of the PILs was filed by Shreya Singhal, then a 21-year-old law student in Delhi. She challenged Section 66A arguing that it curbed freedom of speech and expression and violated fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution.
- Her petition contended that the law was “vague”, “ambiguous” and subject to “wanton abuse” as it conferred subjective powers on the police to interpret Section 66A of the IT Act.
- The Supreme Court bench of Justices J Chelameswar and Rohinton F Nariman agreed with the contention holding that Section 66A created an offence on the basis of undefined actions such as causing “inconvenience, danger, obstruction and insult”.
- The Supreme Court held that these actions were not mentioned as exceptions granted under Article 19 and did not qualify for reasonable restrictions mentioned in the Constitution.