March 20, 2023

Indian Polity And Governance

General Studies Paper 2 Context: The Union budget for 2022-23 allocated₹7,000 crore for the third phase of the e-courts project. The project is administered by the e-committee of India’s Supreme Court in partnership with the ministry of law and justice. About the E-court Project and E-committee The project has helped with easier availability of judgments and case progression updates online on the e-courts website. However, the achievements are not significant when compared to problems being faced by the project. What are the concerns with the project? Delay in Investments:A parliamentary standing committee in December 2022 acknowledged that no money was....Read More

General Studies Paper 2 Context: 2023 is the 30th anniversary of the passing of the 73rd and 74th Amendments. About 73rd and 74th Amendments The Amendments:  73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments were passed by Parliament in December 1992. The Acts came into force as the Constitution (73rd Amendment) Act, 1992 on April 24, 1993 and the Constitution (74th Amendment) Act, 1992 on June 1, 1993. Through these amendments, local self-governance was introduced in rural and urban India. Addition of Part IX & Part IXA: These amendments added two new parts to the Constitution, namely, 73rd Amendment added Part IX titled “The Panchayats”and 74th Amendment....Read More

General Studies Paper 2 Context: Parliament enacted the anti-defection law in 1985 to curb political defection. The promise of political stability provided by the law seems to be facing challenges, especially in the last five years. Objectives of anti-defection law: The first was to curb the act of defection by disqualifying the defecting member. The second was to protect political parties from instability. Frequent defections from even well organised political parties leave them weak. Indian democracy is based essentially on a party system. Stable parties are requirements of a stable democracy. How is the stability of parties the principal focus of the 10th schedule? It....Read More

General Studies Paper 2 Context: In the case of Anoop Baranwal v. Union of India, a five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that a powerful committee must choose the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and Election Commissioners. This committee has the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha, and the Chief Justice of India as members (ECs). What are the changes introduced by SC regarding selecting Election Commissioner?   There are just five Articles (324-329) in Part XV (Elections) of the Constitution which deals with CEC and ECs. The Constitution does not lay down a specific legislative process for the appointment of the CEC and ECs. Currently, the President makes the appointment on the advice of the Union Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister. The SC has now given the Opposition and the judiciary a say in the matter, ruling that the CEC and ECs must be appointed by the President on the advice of a committee comprising the PM, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, and the Chief Justice of India. Other observations made by SC in respect of the election commission are: Secured Tenure: The SC noted that the conditions of service of Election Commissioners, after appointment, should not be “varied to their disadvantage”. These directions hold that the tenures of the Election Commissioners should not be disturbed in any way. The Election Commission (Conditions of Service of Election Commissioners and Transaction of Business) Act, 1991 requires that the CEC and Election Commissioners must hold the post for a period of six years. Expenses from the Consolidated Fund of India: The court has made an appeal to the Parliament and the Union Government to set up a permanent secretariat which draws its expenses directly from the Consolidated Fund of India and not the government. What is the need for the change in selecting Election Commissioner? To uphold the constitution: Article 324(2) of the Constitution stipulated that the Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners shall be appointed by the President subject to the provisions of any law made on that behalf by Parliament. It may not have happened in the last 70 years. This change will help make the constitutional requirement....Read More

General Studies Paper 2 Context: The Supreme Court refused to hear a bail plea by the Deputy CM of Delhi in the excise policy case, as he had approached the court directly under Article 32 of the Constitution instead of first seeking remedy in the High Court under Section 482 of the CrPC. SC argued that though in previous cases petitions were entertained directly under Article 32,t those cases involved free speech issues while this case is about Prevention of Corruption act. What is the Background? Previously, Special CBI Judge had granted  Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI) custody of Deputy CM....Read More

General Studies Paper 2 Context: Recently the Election Commission of India recognized the party formed by a group of MLAs defecting from the state legislative assembly in Maharashtra as the original party. Anti-defection Law: Origin: Aaya Ram Gaya Ram was a phrase that became popular in Indian politics after a Haryana MLA Gaya Lal changed his party thrice within the same day in 1967. The anti-defection law was a response to the similar toppling of multiple state governments by party-hopping MLAs. Parliament added it to the Constitution in 1985. The Tenth Schedule was inserted in the Constitution by 52nd Amendment Act. It lays down the process by which....Read More

General Studies Paper 2 Context: Over three years after the present Lok Sabha first met, the position of Deputy Speaker still remains vacant. Presiding officers of Lok Sabha Speaker & Deputy Speaker: There are two presiding officers for the Lok Sabha, namely the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker, who are elected by the members of the House. Constitutional provisions: Under Article 93 of the Constitution, as soon as the House meets after the election these two presiding officers are elected one after the other. Article 178contains the corresponding position for Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of a state. Officers of Parliament:....Read More


General Studies Paper 2 Context: Recently, Union Finance Minister made it clear that the Centre will not consider demands for “special category status” for any state as the 14th Finance commission has clearly said no special status can be given. This comes as a blow to states like Odisha, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh which have been pushing for it for some years now. What is Special Category Status (SCS)? SCS is a classification given by the Centre to assist development of states that face geographical and socio-economic disadvantages. Constitution does not make a provision for SCS and this classification was later done on the recommendations....Read More

General Studies Paper 2 Context: Hearing a case related to the Maharashtra crisis in 2022 and whether a speaker facing a notice for his removal can disqualify MLAs in his assembly, the Supreme Court (SC)  on February 15, 2023 maintained that Speakers should be the first authority to decide on Earlier in 2016, the SC in the Nabam Rebia case had held that a Speaker or Deputy Speaker facing notice of removal cannot decide disqualification proceedings against legislators. What are the Debates over Discretion of the Speaker's Role? For the past three years, the All India Presiding Officer's Conference,chaired by  Lok Sabha....Read More

General Studies Paper 2 Context: The Supreme Court has issued notices on a petition highlighting the  vacant posts of Deputy Speakers  in Lok Sabha and five state assemblies for years. A Bench sought responses on a PIL that contends that not  electing a Deputy Speaker to the 17th (present) Lok Sabha, is “against the letter and spirit of the Constitution”. Constitutional provisions regarding Deputy Speaker: Article 93 of the Constitution of India establishes the post of the Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha and Articles 94-96 detail their appointment, removal, and powers. In the absence of the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker serves as the Speaker and....Read More

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