Given below are the daily current affairs for 22nd Jan 2021. You can take the daily current affairs quiz here for free.
- POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
- INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
Kerala Assembly rejects motion to remove Speaker
The Kerala Assembly has rejected a motion moved by the Opposition seeking the removal of Speaker P. Sreeramakrishnan alleging his role in the diplomatic channel gold smuggling case and reckless expenditure in the various activities by the Legislature Secretariat.
Removal of the Speaker:
- The Speaker may, at any time, resign from Office by writing under his/her hand to the Deputy Speaker.
- The Speaker can be removed from Office only on a resolution of the House passed by an effective majority.
- Note that during resolution for removal of Speaker, the Speaker is not in a position to cast his vote even if there is a tie.
- Such a resolution has to satisfy some conditions:
- It should be specific with respect to the charges and it should not contain arguments, inferences, ironical expressions, imputations or defamatory statements, etc.
- Not only these, but discussions should also be confined to charges referred to in the resolution.
- It is also mandatory to give a minimum of 14 days’ notice of the intention to move the resolution.
- This refers to a majority of more than 50% of the effective strength of the House.
- For example, in the Lok Sabha, out of the total strength of 545, suppose 5 are vacant seats. This means, the effective strength of the House is (545 – 5) = 540. In this case, the effective majority is 270.
- In the Constitution, an effective majority is mentioned as “all the then members”.
- Instances where an effective majority is needed:
- Removal of the Chairman (Vice President of India), Deputy Chairman in the Rajya Sabha (Article 67(b)).
- Removal of the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha and the State Legislatures.
Mercy plea of Rajiv case convict
Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit has told the Supreme Court that a decision on the mercy petition of AG Perarivalan- a convict serving a life sentence for the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, will be taken within four weeks.
What’s the issue?
The petition has been pending with the Governor since December 30, 2015.
- Citing inaction on part of the Governor in deciding on his clemency plea moved under Article 161 of the Constitution, Perarivalan has come to Supreme Court for passing necessary directions.
What is Article 161?
Article 161 gives the Governor the “power to grant pardons, reprieves, respites or remissions of punishment or to suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person convicted of any offence against any law relating to a matter to which the executive power of the state extends”.
Article 72 v. Article 161:
The scope of the pardoning power of the President under Article 72 is wider than the pardoning power of the Governor under Article 161.
The power differs in the following two ways:
- The power of the President to grant pardon extends in cases where the punishment or sentence is by a Court Martial but Article 161 does not provide any such power to the Governor.
- The President can grant pardon in all cases where the sentence given is sentence of death but pardoning power of Governor does not extend to death sentence cases.
Significance of pardoning powers:
- The pardoning power of Executive is very significant as it corrects the errors of judiciary. It eliminates the effect of conviction without addressing the defendant’s guilt or innocence.
- Pardon may substantially help in saving an innocent person from being punished due to miscarriage of justice or in cases of doubtful conviction.
- The object of pardoning power is to correct possible judicial errors, for no human system of judicial administration can be free from imperfections.
Some Defence imports inevitable: Army chief
The Chief of the Army Staff, General Manoj Naravane said that considering the quick pace of defence modernisation being undertaken by India’s adversaries, the country was lagging behind slightly.
- He said that while continued heavy dependence of the armed forces on imports needed to be addressed through indigenous capability development, India cannot afford to have operational voids when the enemy is at the gates.
- He pointed out that indigenous development alone cannot fill the existing and operational voids due to lack of niche technology and manufacturing capability. And that external dependence on weapons and ammunition created vulnerabilities in times of crisis.
- He asserted that the events of the past year had brought to the fore the vulnerability of global supply chains.
- 2020 was a unique year with twin challenges to India with the COVID-19 pandemic and the belligerence on the northern borders.
- He called for greater flexibility in the interpretation of the procurement process to speed up the process.
- “The need of the hour today is not just a Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA), to fight the modern day war. A Revolution in Bureaucratic Affairs (RBA) is also required to fast track relevant and future capability development,” he pointed out.
- Seventy-five percent of the Army’s Priority-1 projects in the 13th Army Plan, costing over Rs 1.5 lakh crore are marked for Make in India programmes
The three wings of the Indian armed forces will be holding a massive joint military exercise ‘Excercise Kavach’.
About Exercise Kavach:
- The exercise would involve participation of Indian Army, Indian Air Force and Indian Navy.
- It will be conducted under the aegis of Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC), which is the only Joint Forces Command of the country.
- The joint military exercise will enhance the fine-tune joint war-fighting capabilities of the tri-services and SOPs towards enhancing operational synergy.
- During the exercise, the Army’s Amphibious Brigade, Special Forces of Navy, Armour/Mechanised components, naval ships comprising destroyers, ASW Corvettes and Landing Ships with ship-borne helicopters will be deployed.
- The IAF will display its firepower with Jaguar Maritime Strike and transport aircraft.
- The Indian Coast Guard will also be included in the large scale joint military exercise.
- The tri-services exercise involves synergised application of maritime surveillance assets, coordinated air and maritime strikes, air defence, submarine and landing operations.
- During the exercise, Army, Navy and Air Force would execute multi-domain, high-intensity offensive and defensive manoeuvres in the Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal and carry out amphibious landing operations, air landed operation, helicopters-borne insertion of Special Forces from sea culminating in tactical follow-on operations on land.
China defends new village in Arunachal Pradesh
China said that its construction of a village across the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Arunachal Pradesh was beyond reproach because it had never recognized Arunachal.
- The village was built between November 2019 and November 2020 and located a couple of kilometres across the LAC, beyond what India sees as the border separating Arunachal Pradesh and Tibet, on the banks of the Tsari Chu river in Upper Subansiri district in Arunachal.
- The site of the village is close to where China had attacked an Assam Rifles post in 1959, in what is known as the Longju incident.
- It is at least 2 km south of the McMahon Line, which China doesn’t recognise. After the 1962 war, India stopped patrolling the area.
- Another village built last year, called Pangda, was built 2-3 km inside what Bhutan sees as its territory, in another disputed area.
- India’s Ministry of External Affairs recently said that it was aware of the construction along the LAC.
- This followed a report showing satellite images of the village.
- Indian officials said this area has been under Chinese control since 1959.
- The construction appeared to be part of a programme by China to build what it calls “poverty alleviation” villages.
- The initiative was launched after a Tibet economic work conference in 2015.
- 600 villages have been built, of which around 100 are in border areas.
- There are about two dozen spots along the LAC in all sectors where India and China do not agree on its alignment.
- According to Indian officials, China had earlier built a permanent construction of military barracks in this area.
- Construction along the LAC is seen by analysts as China’s move to bolster claim to the area, and part of a broader recent push by China to build civilian settlements in disputed frontier areas.
- China has done this with Bhutan as well.
- China said that the two countries haven’t demarcated the border line of this area yet. So, India cannot accuse China of building a village on the Indian side.
- Also, China has refused to exchange maps showing its LAC perception in the eastern sector, leaving unclear the extent of its claims on what is under its control.
- While the government calls them poverty alleviation villages, some villages in border areas are very remote with little economic activity there, so they appear to have a strategic purpose.
AstroSat’s Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope
AstroSat’s Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope spots rare ultraviolet-bright stars in NGC 2808 in the Milky Way.
- NGC 2808 is a globular cluster in the Milky Way galaxy that is said to have at least five generations of stars.
- The old globular clusters referred to as ‘dinosaurs of the universe’, present excellent laboratories where astronomers can understand how stars evolve through various phases between their birth and death with spectacular ultraviolet images of the cluster from Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (UVIT).
- A globular cluster is a spherical collection of stars that orbits a galactic core. Such clusters are tightly bound by gravity.
Meghalaya, Manipur and Tripura celebrate their Statehood Day on 21 January.
Details about the formation of the three states:
- January 21, 2021 marks the 49th formation day of the north-eastern states of Meghalaya, Manipur and Tripura.
- The former princely states of Tripura and Manipur were blended into the Indian Union in October 1949 and became full states on January 21, 1972.
- Meghalaya, which was part of Assam, received its own full statehood under the North Eastern Region (Re-Organisation) Act, 1971.
- Before the north-eastern region turned into seven sisters with statehood of Tripura, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland, the regional composition of the North East comprised Assam plains from the old Assam Province, the hill districts, and the North Eastern Frontier Tracts (NEFT) of the North-Eastern borderland.
- Manipur and Tripura merged into India in 1949 (as Part C states) and were granted the status of Union Territories in 1956.
- Within Assam, Meghalaya was given the status of an autonomous state through the Assam Reorganisation (Meghalaya) Act 1969, according to the sixth schedule of the Indian Constitution.
- It was finally, in 1972 that Tripura, Meghalaya and Manipur were granted full statehood by the North East Reorganisation Act of 1971.
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