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Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2022

Jul 26, 2022

Current Affair 1:
Voting Rights of Prisoners(elected representatives)

 

On June 17, the Bombay High Court came up with a judgement rejecting the plea filed by two of the sitting Maharashtra legislative assembly members, wherein it denied to grant relief by disallowing the members to vote in the elections for Maharashtra Legislative Council, which were being conducted on 20th June.

The impugned judgement has to be analysed in light of Section 62(5) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. It says:

The term 'election' is defined under Section 2(1)(d) of the act, wherein elections to the upper house of the parliament i.e., Rajya Sabha and the Legislative Council of the states are also included within the ambit of the term election for the purpose of this act.

This signifies that when section 62(5) is read with section 2(1)(d), the obvious is that the members of Lok Sabha and the Legislative Assemblies of different states are barred from voting for elections to the seats of Rajya Sabha and the Legislative Council of the concerned states respectively.\

Constitutional Status of The Right to Vote

Prima facie, on a literal interpretation of Part III of the Constitution of India, which talks about fundamental rights, there is no explicit mentioning of the right to vote under this part.

The principle of adult suffrage is enshrined under Article 326 of the constitution of India wherein the right to be registered as a voter for elections to the House of the People and to the Legislative Assembly of their respective states has been conferred upon every Indian citizen, who is not less than eighteen years of age, subject to disqualification either under the constitution or under any other appropriate legislative statute.

Some important judgement:

In People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) vs Union of India, the Supreme Court recognised the constitutional status of the right to vote.

This was further reiterated in Rajbala vs State of Haryana wherein it was clarified that adult suffrage or the right to vote and right to contest elections are not merely statutory rights but they are certainly constitutional rights, if not understood to be fundamental rights

However, when we look at how the judgment of PUCL was interpreted in Kuldeep Nayar vs Union of India, we find that the court was hesitant in extending constitutional status to the right to vote. Though, it didn't overrule the PUCL judgment, a rider was added that right to vote has a constitutional status only to the extent that it leads to right to have a free and fair election.

Now, an important statement:

Democracy and free and fair elections are a part of the basic structure of the constitution and for elections to be a free and fair exercise, a guarantee to right to vote to those who constitute the electorate is a necessary precondition.

However, even if the right to vote becomes a part of the basic structure or be upheld as a fundamental right under Article 19(1), the same cannot become an absolute right as article 19(2) itself provides scope for imposing certain reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the rights guaranteed under article 19(1). Even further, article 326 confers power upon the legislature to impose certain restrictions on the ground of non-residence, unsoundness of mind, crime or corrupt or illegal practice.

In an election, where the elected representatives are directly elected by the people, voters cast their votes in an individual capacity and their vote represents their will. But in an election for the members of Rajya Sabha and the Legislative Council, people express their preferences through their elected representatives. These elected representatives when exercise their right to vote, they vote not just in their personal capacity but they reflect the will and aspirations of general masses.

Current Affair 2:
New Plastics Economy Global Commitment

 

Launched in October 2018 by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the UN Environment Programme, the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment unites businesses, governments, and other organisations from around the world behind a common vision of a circular economy for plastic, in which it never becomes waste or pollution.

The Global Commitment brings together over 500 signatories that are determined to start building a circular economy for plastics. Signatory governments and businesses representing 20% of all plastic packaging produced globally have committed to change how we produce, use, and reuse plastic in line with these 3 principles of a circular economy for plastics:

Under the Global Commitment, UNEP is leading the engagement with government signatories.

Current Affair 3:
DIKSHA (Digital Infrastructure for Knowledge Sharing)

 

It is a national platform for school education, an initiative of National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT), under the aegis of the Ministry of Education.

DIKSHA can be accessed by learners and teachers across the country and currently supports 36 Indian languages.

Each State/UT leverages the DIKSHA platform in its own way, as it has the freedom and choice to use the varied capabilities and solutions of the platform to design and run programs for teachers, learners and administrators.

DIKSHA policies and tools make it possible for the education ecosystem (educationist, experts, organisations, institutions - government, autonomous institutions, non-govt and private organisations) to participate, contribute and leverage a common platform to achieve learning goals at scale for the country.

Under the PM eVidya initiative of the GoI, which was declared as part of the Atma Nirbhar Bharat, DIKSHA has been declared as ‘One Nation, One Digital Platform’.

On DIKSHA, 35 states and UTs have their own vertical along with those of NCERT, CBSE and NIOS. DIKSHA usage statistics as on date 14.07.2022 are as under:

Current Affair 4:
Raising and Accelerating MSME Performance (RAMP)

 

RAMP is a World Bank assisted Central Sector Scheme of Rs. 6062 crores in which Rs. 3750 is loan from the World Bank and rest is funded by Govt. of India. It is a 5-year scheme starting from 2022-23.

The scheme aims at:

  1. Strengthening institutions and governance at the Centre and State level
  2. Improving Centre-State linkages and partnerships
  3. Improving access of MSMEs to market and credit,
  4. Technology upgradation
  5. Addressing issues of delayed payments
  6. Greening of MSMEs

RAMP programme, through enhanced collaboration with States, will be a job-enabler, market promoter, finance facilitator, and will support vulnerable sections and greening initiatives.

RAMP will complement the Atma Nirbhar Bharat mission by fostering innovation and enhancement in industry standards, practices and provide the necessary technological inputs to the MSMEs to make them competitive and self-reliant, enhancing exports, substituting imports, and promoting domestic manufacturing.

RAMP has been formulated and proposed by the Government of India for strengthening MSMEs in line with the recommendations made by U K Sinha Committee, KV Kamath Committee and Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (PMEAC).

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