Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2021

Nov 09, 2021

Current Affair 1:
"Logistics Ease Across Different States" (LEADS) 2021


First of all, read introduction form the original document.

The LEADS 2021 report has ranked States and UTs based on the efficiency of their both EXIM and Domestic Logistics ecosystem. Gujarat has got the 1st Rank among States and Delhi has got the 1st Rank among UTs as per the 2021 LEADS report.

Suggestive initiatives for States and UTs:

States and UTs have an essential role to play in bringing down overall logistics costs by having an enabling policy, regulatory and institutional mechanism in place for the logistics sector. The reduction in logistics cost impacts all the three major sectors of economic activity agriculture, manufacturing, and services.

The key initiatives are discussed below – Thoda mains perspective se h. Read once.

Current Affair 2:
Global Resilience Index Initiative (GRII)


A global coalition of 10 organisations launched the Global Resilience Index Initiative (GRII) November 9, 2021 to build a universal model for assessing resilience to climate risks.

The mission of the GRII is to address the data emergency that is contributing to the climate crisis by helping sectors across the global economy quantify the value of building climate resilience and the costs of doing nothing.

It will enable asset owners to compare portfolio risks across geographies and hazards, as well as helping countries to prioritise national adaptation investments.

The coalition behind the GRII is seeking to achieve two initial goals:

  • Offer global open reference risk data using metrics built on insurance risk modelling principles;
  • Provide shared standards and facilities applicable to a wide range of uses, including corporate climate risk disclosure, national adaptation planning and reporting, and the planning of pre-arranged humanitarian finance.

Why I circled first one?

The Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) is an international coalition of countries, United Nations (UN) agencies, multilateral development banks, the private sector, and academic institutions, that aims to promote disaster-resilient infrastructure.

It was launched by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit in September 2019

Current Affair 3:
Zika Virus


Zika virus is a mosquito-borne flavivirus that was first identified in Uganda in 1947 in monkeys. It was later identified in humans in 1952 in Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania.

Current Affair 4:
Referendums and The Indian Constitution


Very important article for Prelims and Mains both. You won’t find anywhere. Please read.

Earlier this month, Russia voted on an important referendum that brought significant changes to its Constitution. The Russians decided to grant President Putin the option of leading the country until the year 2036, by limiting a President's Rule to two six-year terms in total rather than two consecutive terms. They also voted to effectively ban same-sex marriages in the country

What is the difference between direct and indirect democracy?

Majority of democratic nations across the world, follow the system of an indirect democracy, wherein the citizens elect their representatives, who in turn make laws, determine policies and carry on administrative work. On the other hand, in some countries citizens directly take part in the administration of the country, decide on policy issues and make laws as well. This form is called a direct democracy and a referendum is a facet/means of it. In a referendum, the citizens are called to vote in person (rather than through their elected representatives) on a policy decision to be taken by the government (for instance, United Kingdom's decision to leave the European Union) or an amendment to their Constitution. Several nations have incorporated provisions for referendums in their Constitution.

Here we will discuss the position of referendums in India, starting from the discussions in the Constituent Assembly.

1. Constituent Assembly and Referendums

The Constituent Assembly while debating upon the provisions of the Constitution, witnessed a lengthy discussion on the position of a referendum. We will not go in detail, just we will see statements put up by leaders during discussion.

  1. Dr. Rajendra Prasad (President of the Assembly) responded to this demand, by stating that any discussions on a referendum would be futile, since there is no provision for one in the Constitution
  2. Dr. Ambedkar cited the examples of the Irish Constitution, Swiss Constitution and the Australian Constitution, to argue that a referendum involves an elaborate and difficult procedure and hence, has not been included in our Constitution.
  3. Shri Brajeshwar Prasad during debate in Assembly advocated for referendums. Vey important for you people if you want to write something supporting referendum. Read below.

2. Independent India and Referendums

The Constitution as adopted by the Constituent Assembly, did not have any provisions for a referendum. However, the nation witnessed referendums on five key occasions.

  1. First, during the incorporation of Chandernagore within the territory of India
  2. Incorporation of princely state of Junagadh, wherein the citizens voted to accede to India rather than Pakistan in the year 1948
  3. Pondicherry (a former French territory) voting to join the Indian Union in the year 1954.
  4. Incorporation of Goa, Daman and Diu. It should be noted that the government did not call the this exercise a 'referendum' but an Opinion Poll. However, in effect it was a referendum.
  5. The last referendum happened in the year 1975, wherein the inhabitants of Sikkim decided on their merger with India

Note: It should be noted that while the Constitution does not allow for referendums, the tribal areas in the states of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram, recognised under the Sixth Schedule have incorporated provisions allowing referendums in election matters [For instance, United Khasi Jaintia Hills Autonomous District (Appointment and Succession of Chief and Headman) Act, 1959]. These areas have been given such autonomy so as to protect their distinct culture.

3. Demand for Re-instating Referendums in the Constitution of India

The Union government passed the infamous 42nd Amendment [Constitution (Forty Second Amendment) Act, 1976 that gave unbridled powers to the Parliament. Therefore, when a new Union government came to power in the year 1977, it tried its best to undo the wrongs of the past.

Law Minister Shanti Bhushan was keen on granting additional protection to the provisions of fundamental rights and introduced a provision in the 44th Amendment that fundamental rights could be amended only through a referendum. He introduced a provision stating that wherever an amendment affected the basic features of the Constitution i.e. secularism, democracy, fundamental rights, free and fair elections, independence of the judiciary etc., the final call on it would be taken through a referendum.

Ultimately, the provisions on referendum were defeated in the Rajya Sabha and the 44th Amendment Bill was sent back to the Lok Sabha with changes. Arguably, this became the first instance in India's parliamentary history, wherein a Constitution Amendment Bill passed by the Lok Sabha was changed and returned by the Rajya Sabha. The issue of incorporating referendums in the Constitution, was put to rest.

Concluding Remarks-

  1. The Constitution of India is silent on a referendum, therefore theoretically a referendum is neither allowed nor prohibited.
  2. A country like India does not need a referendum. The periodical elections conducted, act as the referendum where people express their views at large.
  3. Constitutional expert Shri Subhash Kashyap has rightly remarked that, every election is a referendum on the basis of agenda, policy, programme and ideologies of the parties concerned. In his opinion, referendum in India shall carry the risk of stifling the voice of minorities. Even the Courts will be hesitant to interfere, knowing that the law in question is backed by the sovereign i.e. the people of India.



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