News snippet

News 1: Solar Alliance approves funding mechanism

News 2: SC asks govt. to develop modules on drug abuse that can render as order

News 3: Centre increases minimum support price for rabi crops

News 4: Defence cooperation with different countries

News 5: ‘Court cannot issue direction to frame Universal Civil Code’

News 6: Japan seeks GI tag for nihonshu, an alcoholic beverage

News 7: Grazing animals key to long-term soil carbon stability: IISc study

News 10: NOAA Report about warming

News 11: Tipping points of global warming

News 12: Can Governor Khan dismiss a state minister?

Other important news:

  1. Booker Prize
  2. Counterfeit notes in circulation

News 1: Solar Alliance approves funding mechanism


Background:

  • To bolster investments in solar power projects, the International Solar Alliance (ISA), in its General Assembly meeting here on Tuesday, approved the ‘Solar Facility’, a payment guarantee mechanism expected to stimulate investments into solar projects through two financial components — a Solar Payment Guarantee Fund and Solar Insurance Fund.

Solar Facility

  • The thrust of the facility is to attract private capital to flow into “underserved markets” in Africa. The ISA would aim to crowdsource investments from various donors across the globe and proposed projects in Africa would be able to purchase payment guarantees or partial insurance premium from these funds, said a statement from the ISA.
  • ISA’s mission is to unlock US $1 trillion (₹80 lakh crore) of investments in solar power by 2030 while reducing cost of the technology and its financing.

International Solar Alliance:

Established: 2015 (It was conceptualized on the sidelines of the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held in Paris in 2015)

Headquarters: Gurugram

Members: 90 countries who have signed and ratified the ISA Framework Agreement (Countries that do not fall within the Tropics can join the alliance and enjoy all benefits as other members, with the exception of voting rights)

Type: Treaty based intergovernmental organization

  • The International Solar Alliance (ISA) is a treaty based inter-governmental organization working to create a global market system to tap the benefits of solar power and promote clean energy applications.
  • The ISA strives to develop and deploy cost-effective and transformational energy solutions powered by the sun to help member countries develop low-carbon growth trajectories, with particular focus on delivering impact in countries categorized as Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and the Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
  • The Paris Declaration that established the ISA states that the countries share the collective ambition to undertake innovative and concerted efforts to reduce the cost of finance and technology for deployment of solar generation assets.
  • The ISA aims to pave the way for future solar generation, storage and technologies for Member countries’ needs by mobilising over USD 1000 billion by 2030.
  • Achievement of ISA’s objectives will also strengthen the climate action in member countries, helping them fulfil the commitments expressed in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

Objective:

  • Parties hereby establish an International Solar Alliance (hereinafter referred to as the ISA), through which they will collectively address key common challenges to the scaling up of solar energy in line with their needs.
  • ISA’s vision to enable One World, One Sun, One Grid

Goals:

  • The ISA is guided by its ‘Towards 1000’ strategy which aims to mobilise USD 1,000 billion of investments in solar energy solutions by 2030, while delivering energy access to 1,000 million people using clean energy solutions and resulting in installation of 1,000 GW of solar energy capacity. This would help mitigate global solar emissions to the tune of 1,000 million tonnes of CO2 every year.

News 2: SC asks govt. to develop modules on drug abuse that can render as order


Background:

  • The Supreme Court on Tuesday highlighted that drug abuse had gripped society even as the government said elite departments such as the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Directorate of Revenue Intelligence were examining ways to plug loopholes and augment preventive mechanisms to counter the menace while examining a possible “narco-terror angle”.
  • “Drug menace is gripping society. We need you to think of some of the module, ideas which can translate as an order which we can pass to govern the entire situation,” Chief Justice of India U.U. Lalit, leading a Bench, addressed Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati, appearing for the Centre.

Distribution networks

  • The distribution networks had become more systematic, organised and widespread. Narcotics worth ₹30,000 crore had been seized in the past several months, he said. Mr. Alam also referred to the recent drug haul at the Mundra port and to reports by the Narcotics Control Bureau, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the Comptroller and Auditor General and even the the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, which showed that a “sizeable population” was addicted.
  • The suo motu case was taken up on the basis of letter from a citizen to the Supreme Court, highlighting the alarming increase in drug abuse, especially among school children and youth.
  • Several High Courts have in the past taken cognisance of the shadow cast by the drug mafia on society. In 2020, the Madras High Court had observed that drug abuse was one of the major triggers behind commission of heinous offence.
  • The Kerala High Court had directed the State government to establish campus police units in educational institutions. The Punjab and Haryana High Court has been for a time hearing a case on rampant drug problem in Punjab.

Drug Abuse:

  • Drug abuse or substance abuse refers to the use of certain chemicals for the purpose of creating pleasurable effects on the brain. 

Causes of drug use

Drugs of abuse are usually psychoactive drugs that are used by people for various different reasons which may include:

  • Curiosity and peer pressure, especially among school children and young adults
  • The use of prescription drugs that were originally intended to target pain relief may have turned into recreational use and become addictive
  • Chemicals may be used as part of religious practices or rituals
  • Recreational purposes
  • As a means of obtaining creative inspiration

Efforts by Government:

Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyan:

  •  Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan (NMBA) has been launched for 272 Districts across 32 State/Union Territories that have been identified as the most vulnerable in terms of usage of drugs in the country.
  • These vulnerable districts were identified on the basis of findings from the Comprehensive National Survey and the inputs provided by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB)

Objectives:

  • Awareness generation programmes
  • Focus on higher educational Institutions, university campuses and schools
  • Reaching out to the Community and identifying dependent population
  • Focus on counselling and treatment facilities in hospitals and rehabilitation centres that have been geo-tagged
  • Capacity building programmes for service providers

Institutions:

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment supports organizations that work for preventive education & awareness generation on substance abuse, capacity building, treatment and rehabilitation. These organizations are:

  • Integrated Rehabilitation Center For Addicts (IRCAs): are de-addiction centres with inpatient facilities of counselling and treatment for drug dependent persons
  • Community Peer Led Intervention (CPLI): work with the community supported by youth volunteers for early preventive education, especially for vulnerable adolescents and youth in the community
  • Outreach And Drop In Centres (ODIC): provide facilities of screening, assessment and counselling along with providing referral & linkage to treatment and rehabilitation services for drug dependents
  • GEO Location: Ministry supported institutions providing Drug addiction counseling, treatment and rehabilitation and other facilities have been Geo-tagged to make their services accessible and easier to locate

News 3: Centre increases minimum support price for rabi crops


Background:

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs announced an increase of 2% to 9% in the Minimum Support Prices (MSP) for six mandated rabi crops for this season. The sowing of the six crops has started.

Minimum Support Price:

  • Minimum Support Price (MSP) is a form of market intervention by the Government of India to insure agricultural producers against any sharp fall in farm prices. The minimum support prices are announced by the Government of India at the beginning of the sowing season for certain crops on the basis of the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP). 
  • The major objectives are to support the farmers from distress sales and to procure food grains for public distribution. In case the market price for the commodity falls below the announced minimum price due to bumper production and glut in the market, government agencies purchase the entire quantity offered by the farmers at the announced minimum price.

Determinants of MSP:

While recommending price policy of various commodities under its mandate, the Commission keeps in mind the various Terms of Reference (ToR) given to CACP in 2009. Accordingly, it analyzes

1) demand and supply;

2) cost of production;

3) price trends in the market, both domestic and international;

4) inter-crop price parity;

5) terms of trade between agriculture and non-agriculture;

6) a minimum of 50 percent as the margin over cost of production; and

7) likely implications of MSP on consumers of that product.

It may be noted that cost of production is an important factor that goes as an input in determination of MSP, but it is certainly not the only factor that determines MSP.

Commision for Agricultural Costs & Prices

  • Established: 1965
  • Type: Attached office of Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ welfare
  • Mandate:It is mandated to recommend minimum support prices (MSPs) to incentivize the cultivators to adopt modern technology, and raise productivity and overall grain production in line with the emerging demand patterns in the country.
  • MSP for major agricultural products are fixed by the government, each year, after taking into account the recommendations of the Commission.
  • As of now, CACP recommends MSPs of 23 commodities, which comprise 7 cereals (paddy, wheat, maize, sorghum, pearl millet, barley and ragi), 5 pulses (gram, tur, moong, urad, lentil), 7 oilseeds (groundnut, rapeseed-mustard, soyabean, seasmum, sunflower, safflower, nigerseed), and 4 commercial crops (copra, sugarcane, cotton and raw jute).
  • CACP submits its recommendations to the government in the form of Price Policy Reports every year, separately for five groups of commodities namely Kharif crops, Rabi crops, Sugarcane, Raw Jute and Copra

News 4: Defence cooperation with different countries


India – UK defence cooperation:

  • Defence industry organisations from India and the U.K. have decided to create a new Defence Industry Joint Working Group (JWG) for more effective cooperation, according to the U.K. High Commission.
  • The U.K. recently issued its first Open General Export License in the Indo-Pacific region to India, shortening delivery times for defence procurement. U.K. industry is already integrating Indian defence suppliers into their global supply chain.

India Africa Defence dialogue:

  • India does not believe in a hierarchical world order where a few countries are considered superior to others, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said, addressing the 2nd India-Africa Defence Dialogue (IADD) at the DefExpo 2022.
  • He invited African countries to explore Indian defence equipment and technologies, stating that India has emerged as a leading defence exporter in recent years. “
  • Africa, South East Asia and Middle East have emerged as major focus areas as India looks to emerge as a major global arms exporter.
  • Stating that peace, security and development are inter-related, he said security is essential for enabling development in the region.
  • The IADD adopted a ‘Gandhinagar declaration’ as an outcome document. It proposes to enhance cooperation in the field of training in all areas of mutual interest by increasing training slots and deputation of training teams, empowerment and capability building of the defence forces of Africa, participation in exercises and humanitarian assistance during natural disasters, the Defence Ministry said in a statement.
  • Mr. Singh termed India and African countries as important stakeholders in ensuring a safe and secure maritime environment, especially in the Indian Ocean Region while reiterating India’s support to Africa to deal with challenges of conflict, terrorism and violent extremism.

News 5: ‘Court cannot issue direction to frame Universal Civil Code’


Background:

  • Citizens belonging to different religions and denominations follow different property and matrimonial laws which is an “affront to the nation’s unity”, the government said in the Supreme Court.
  • Article 44 (Uniform Civil Code) divests religion from social relations and personal law, it maintained.
  • The preliminary submissions are part of recent affidavits filed by the Union Law Ministry to petitions, which was filed by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, seeking directions from the top court to the government to remove “anomalies” and frame uniform divorce law and uniform guidelines for adoption and guardianship of children.
  • The government said the power to make laws is exclusively that of the legislature. The court cannot give a “mandamus to Parliament to make certain laws”. “This is a matter of policy for the elected representatives of the people to decide and no direction in this regard can be issued by the court. It is for the legislature to enact or not enact a piece of legislation,” the Ministry said. It added Mr. Upadhyay’s petition was not maintainable.

Article 44 of Directive Principles of State Policy:

  • The State shall endeavour to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India.

What will Uniform Civil Code do?

  • The UCC aims to provide protection to vulnerable sections as envisaged by Ambedkar including women and religious minorities, while also promoting nationalistic fervour through unity.
  • When enacted the code will work to simplify laws that are segregated at present on the basis of religious beliefs like the Hindu code bill, Shariat law, and others. 
  • The code will simplify the complex laws around marriage ceremonies, inheritance, succession, adoptions making them one for all.  The same civil law will then be applicable to all citizens irrespective of their faith.

Why is Article 44 important?

  • The objective of Article 44 of the Directive Principles in the Indian Constitution was to address the discrimination against vulnerable groups and harmonise diverse cultural groups across the country.
  • Dr. B R Ambedkar, while formulating the Constitution had said that a UCC is desirable but for the moment it should remain voluntary, and thus the Article 35 of the draft Constitution was added as a part of the Directive Principles of the State Policy in part IV of the Constitution of India as Article 44.
  • It was incorporated in the Constitution as an aspect that would be fulfilled when the nation would be ready to accept it and the social acceptance to the UCC could be made.
  • Ambedkar in his speech in the Constituent Assembly had said, “No one need be apprehensive that if the State has the power, the State will immediately proceed to execute…that power in a manner may be found to be objectionable by the Muslims or by the Christians or by any other community. I think it would be a mad government if it did so.”

News 6: Japan seeks GI tag for nihonshu, an alcoholic beverage


Background:

  • The Embassy of Japan, New Delhi, has filed an application seeking Geographical Indication (GI) tag for nihonshu/Japanese sake, an alcoholic beverage.
  • It is learnt that this is the first time a product from Japan has filed for a tag at the Geographical Indication Registry in Chennai.

Nihonshu:

  • According to details provided in the filing, in Japan, nihonshu is regarded as a special and valuable beverage made from fermenting rice. People traditionally drink nihonshu on special occasions, such as festivals, weddings or funerals, but it is also consumed on a daily basis.
  • Thus, it is an integral part of the lifestyle and culture in Japan. The sake market (almost all are nihonshu) is the second largest brewed liquor (such as beer) market in Japan.

Geographical Indicator tag:

  • A geographical indication (GI) is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. In order to function as a GI, a sign must identify a product as originating in a given place.
  • A geographical indication right enables those who have the right to use the indication to prevent its use by a third party whose product does not conform to the applicable standards.
  • India, as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), enacted the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration & Protection)Act, 1999 has come into force with effect from 15th September 2003.

What type of products are covered under Geographical Indications?

  • Geographical indications are typically used for agricultural products, foodstuffs, wine and spirit drinks, handicrafts, and industrial products.

Geographical Indication protection period:

  • Geographical indications registered as collective and certification marks are generally protected for renewable ten-year periods.

News 7: Grazing animals key to long-term soil carbon stability: IISc study


Background:

  • A study carried out by researchers at the Centre for Ecological Sciences (CES) and the Divecha Centre for Climate Change (DCCC), IISc, has revealed that grazing animals hold the key to long-term soil carbon stability.

Importance of grazing animals in maintaining soil carbon stability:

  • The 16-year-long study carried out by CES and DCCC researchers states that large mammalian herbivores like the Yak and Ibex play a crucial role in stabilising the pool of soil carbon in grazing ecosystems such as the Spiti region in the Himalayas.
  • Experimental removal of grazing by herbivores from such ecosystems was found to increase the fluctuations in the level of soil carbon, which can have negative consequences for the global carbon cycle.
  • According to the study, since soil contains more carbon than all plants and the atmosphere combined, it is important to ensure its persistence. When plants and animals die, dead organic matter remains in the soil for a long duration before microbes break it down and release carbon into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide.
  • “The soil pool is a reliable sink for trapping carbon. Maintaining stable levels of carbon in the soil is therefore key to offsetting the effects of climate change, ” said Sumanta Bagchi, associate professor at CES and senior author of the study.
  • A key factor underlying the carbon level fluctuations was nitrogen. Depending on the soil conditions, nitrogen can either stabilise or destabilise the carbon pool. Grazing by herbivores, however, changes their interactions in ways that tip the balance in favour of the former, the researchers found, stated IISc.

Soil carbon:

  • Soil organic carbon is a measureable component of soil organic matter. Organic matter makes up just 2–10% of most soil’s mass and has an important role in the physical, chemical and biological function of agricultural soils.
  • Soil organic carbon (the carbon stored in soil organic matter) is crucial to soil health, fertility and ecosystem services, including food production – making its preservation and restoration essential for sustainable development.

Impact of soil organic carbon loss:

  • The degradation of one third of the world’s soils has released up to 78 Gt of carbon into the atmosphere. Further damage to soil carbon stocks through poor land management would hamper efforts to limit global temperature rise this century and so avoid increased floods, droughts and other negative climate change impacts.
  • As the climate changes, it is likely that more carbon will be lost to the atmosphere than be sequestered into the soil, resulting in a land carbon–climate feedback loop that could further accelerate climate change.
  • Of particular concern are hotspots such as peatlands, permafrost and grasslands, which contain the highest amount of soil organic carbon.
  • Soils with high carbon content are likely to be more productive and better able to filter and purify water. Soil organic carbon plays a big role in climate change, presenting both a threat and an opportunity to help meet the targets of the Paris Agreement.

News 8: NOAA Report about warming


Background:

  • This year’s September was the fifth warmest in 143 years, with the recorded global average temperature rising by 0.88 degree Celsius over the 20th century average, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said in its latest report.
  • With this, the US-based NOAA confirmed that 2022 could feature among the 10 warmest years ever recorded on Earth.
  • Higher than normal temperatures were recorded over Africa, north America, southern Asia, Atlantic, and northern South America regions. Near normal or cooler temperatures were recorded over Europe, northern Asia, most parts of India, and southeastern Pacific Ocean, the NOAA report said.
  • This was mainly due to above average rainfall over northern and southern Asia, Australia, central Europe, Caribbean islands and southeastern US.
  • Last month, the sea-ice extent coverage dropped to the eighth lowest ever. The Arctic sea ice now cover 5.95 lakh square miles below the 1981-2010 average, whereas the Antarctica sea ice is 1.90 lakh square miles below average.

News 9: Tipping points of global warming


Background:

  • While the world is worried about restricting global warming to within 1.5 degree or 2 degree Celsius, a new study has found that even the current level of average global temperatures — about 1.1 degree Celsius higher than preindustrial times — is enough to trigger catastrophic changes in several climatic systems.
  • The study, published recently in Science journal, has warned that the thresholds for many of these systems could be crossed at the current levels of warming, setting off self-perpetuating changes that could put living beings at serious risk.

Research on tipping points of global warming:

  • The discussion on climate tipping points is not new, and several studies in the past 15 years have identified different tipping points such as the disintegration of Greenland ice sheet, a spontaneous reduction in Amazon forest cover, melting of glaciers, or softening of the permanently frozen grounds in the polar regions that have large amounts of carbon trapped in them.

Tipping points at work

  • Rising temperatures are causing largescale changes in these climatic systems. Glacial melt, thinning of Arctic ice, rise in sea-levels are all well-documented and visible changes. However, it is still possible, at least theoretically, to arrest these changes, or even reverse them over time. But once the tipping points are crossed, this possibility no longer exists. It is like the dam burst moment.
  • The process of change becomes self-perpetuating. It feeds into itself and accelerates the process. What is worse, it also feeds into and accelerates other linked processes.

Greenland ice sheet issue:

  • The Greenland ice sheet, which is already melting, is a good example to illustrate this process. As it melts, the height of the ice sheet gradually reduces. In the process, a larger part of it gets exposed to warmer air.
  • That is because air is warmer at lower altitudes than at higher altitudes. The exposure to warmer air expedites the process of melting.
  • Once the tipping point is crossed, this becomes a self-sustaining and cyclic system. The system does not reverse even if the global temperatures stop rising.

Amazon forests:

  • Similar is the case with Amazon forests. These play a very important role in causing rains in the region. If deforestation continues unabated, there would be fewer and fewer trees, which would reduce rainfall, causing further stress on the trees. Once again, it develops into a self-perpetuating process.

Permafrost:

  • Several areas of the world remain frozen throughout the year. These are known as permafrost. Because they have remained in this state for centuries, they hold large amounts of carbon — from plants and animals that died and decomposed over the years — trapped in them.
  • It is estimated that the permafrost layers hold as much as 1,700 billion tonnes of carbon, mainly in the form of carbon dioxide and methane. In comparison, the global emissions of carbon in a year are in the range of 40 billion tonnes.
  • The softening or melting of permafrost layers is already releasing some carbon into the atmosphere. This release of carbon is adding to the warming, which in turn is expediting the process of softening of permafrost layers. This too has a tipping point beyond which it would become a self-perpetuating cycle.

New findings

  • But more recent information, including those presented by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), suggest that most of these tipping points would be crossed between 1 and 2 degree Celsius temperature rise.
  • The latest study has presented evidence to suggest that some of these tipping points could be met even at the current levels of warming. It has shown that the present 1.1 degree Celsius warming was within the lower end of temperature ranges for at least five tipping points.
  • It means that these self-perpetuating changes could possibly have already begun. For warming between 1.5 degree and 2 degree Celsius, six tipping points become “likely” and four more become “possible”, the study has said..

Policy response

  • The findings of this study are expected to further amplify the voices asking for increase in efforts to restrict global warming. The sixth assessment report of the IPCC released earlier this year had said that global emissions of greenhouse gases needed to peak by 2025, and reduce by 43 per cent from current levels by 2030, if the 1.5 degree Celsius target was to be achieved. With the current level of efforts, the world is on the path to become more than 2 degree warmer by the year 2100.
  • However, it is unlikely that countries would significantly increase the ambition of their climate action in the next few years. If anything, the progress is only likely to slow down because of the impacts of the Ukraine war on the energy supply chains across the world.

News 10: Can Governor Khan dismiss a state minister?


Background:

  • Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, who is locked in a standoff with the elected government on a range of issues including appointments to the state-run Kerala University, on Monday threatened to sack ministers who “lowered the dignity” of his office.
  • A statement on Khan’s official Twitter handle said: “The CM and Council of Ministers have every right to advise the Governor. But statements of individual ministers that lower the dignity of the office of the Governor, can invite action including withdrawal of pleasure.”
  • There has been no occasion so far of a Governor unilaterally removing a minister from the government.

What role does the Governor play in the parliamentary system?

  • The position, role, powers, and conditions of office of the Governor are described in Articles 153-161 of the Constitution. The position of Governor is similar to that of the President at the Union.
  • He is at the head of the state’s executive power, and barring some matters, acts on the advice of the council of ministers, which is responsible, in accordance with the parliamentary system, to the state legislature.
  • The Governor is appointed by the President (on the advice of the central government) and, therefore, acts as the vital link between the Union and the state governments.
  • The post was envisaged as being apolitical; however, the role of Governors has been a contentious issue in Centre-state relations for decades.
  • The Governor enjoys certain powers such as giving or withholding assent to a Bill passed by the state legislature or determining the time needed for a party to prove its majority — or which party must be called first to do so, generally after in a hung Assembly — which have been weaponised by successive central governments against the political opposition.

Article 164(1) says state “Ministers shall hold office during the pleasure of the Governor”. Does this mean the Governor can sack a minister?

  • This is the provision that the Kerala Governor was seemingly alluding to. Former secretary general of Lok Sabha PDT Achary said: “Article 164(1) deals with the appointment of the Chief Minister and other ministers. While the Governor does not have to seek anyone’s advice while appointing the Chief Minister, he can appoint a minister only on the recommendation of the Chief Minister. The Governor has no power to pick anyone he chooses to make a minister. He can appoint a minister only on the advice of the Chief Minister.”
  • In Shamsher Singh & Anr vs State Of Punjab (1974), a seven-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court said: “We declare the law of this branch of our Constitution to be that the President and Governor, custodians of all executive and other powers under various Articles, shall, by virtue of these provisions, exercise their formal constitutional powers only upon and in accordance with the advice of their Ministers save in a few well known exceptional situations.”
  • These situations could arise if the Prime Minister or Chief Minister cease to command majority in the House, the government loses majority but refuses to quit office, and for “the dissolution of the House where an appeal to the country is necessitous”.
  • But even in the third scenario, the Head of State (President or Governor) “should avoid getting involved in politics and must be advised by his Prime Minister (Chief Minister) who will eventually take the responsibility for the step,” the court ruled.
  • In Nabam Rebia And Etc. vs Deputy Speaker And Ors (2016) the Supreme Court cited the observations of B R Ambedkar: “The Governor under the Constitution has no function which he can discharge by himself; no functions at all. While he has no functions, he has certain duties to perform, and I think the House will do well to bear in mind this distinction.”
  • Achary said that if indeed a minister lowers the dignity of the Governor or his office, as Khan’s office has alleged, Raj Bhavan can ask the Chief Minister to inquire. “If it is found that the minister has defamed or disrespected the Governor, he/ she can ask the Chief Minister to drop the minister,” Achary said.

So what does the “pleasure” of the Governor mean?

  • Achary said this does not mean the Governor has the right to dismiss the Chief Minister or ministers at will. “The Governor can have his pleasure as long as the government enjoys majority in the House. The Governor can withdraw his pleasure only when the government loses majority but refuses to quit. Then he withdraws the pleasure and dismisses it,” Achary said.
  • Also, he said, “Without the advice of the Chief Minister, a Governor can neither appoint nor dismiss a minister. That’s the constitutional position.”

What attempts have been made to address concerns over the alleged partisan role played by Governors?

  • The National Commission To Review the Working of the Constitution appointed by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government in 2000 recommended significant changes in the selection of Governors.
  • The Commission suggested that the “Governor of a State should be appointed by the President, after consultation with the Chief Minister of that State.
  • “Normally the five year term should be adhered to and removal or transfer of the Governor should be by following a similar procedure as for appointment i.e., after consultation with the Chief Minister of the concerned State.”
  • The Sarkaria Commission, set up in 1983 to look into Centre-state relations, proposed that the Vice President of India and Speaker of Lok Sabha should be consulted by the Prime Minister in the selection of Governors.
  • The Justice Madan Mohan Punchhi Committee, constituted in 2007 on Centre-state relations, proposed in its report submitted in March 2010 that a committee comprising the Prime Minister, Home Minister, Vice President, Speaker, and the concerned Chief Minister should choose the Governor.
  • The Punchhi Committee recommended deleting the “Doctrine of Pleasure” from the Constitution, but backed the right of the Governor to sanction the prosecution of ministers against the advice of the state government. It also argued for a provision for impeachment of the Governor by the state legislature.

Other important news


Booker Prize:

  • Sri Lankan author Shehan Karunatilaka has been named the winner of the 2022 Booker Prize for his second novel The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida, described by the judges as a whodunnit and a race against time, full of ghosts, gags and deep humanity.

Counterfeit notes in circulation:


 

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  • Darknet

    Definition:

    Darknet, also known as dark web or darknet market, refers to the part of the internet that is not indexed or accessible through traditional search engines. It is a network of private and encrypted websites that cannot be accessed through regular web browsers and requires special software and configuration to access.

    The darknet is often associated with illegal activities such as drug trafficking, weapon sales, and hacking services, although not all sites on the darknet are illegal.

    Examples:

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