IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


18th November, 2019


Gotabaya wins in presidential poll

Gotabaya Rajapaksa, opposition candidate in Sri Lanka’s presidential election, emerged as a winner, securing 52.25 % of the mandate and marking the return of the Rajapaksa family to power.

Election results:

-       Mr. Rajapaksa beat the government’s candidate Sajith Premadasa — who got nearly 42% of the vote share.

-       The Tamil and Muslim minorities in the northern and eastern districts had voted decisively for Mr. Premadasa.

-       He received votes from Sinhala Majority areas.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/gotabaya-rajapaksa-wins-in-sri-lanka-presidential-poll/article30002633.ece


SC discusses ‘voluntary code of conduct’ for Cabinet Ministers

A Constitution Bench of Supreme Court is hearing arguments on whether Cabinet Ministers at both the Central and State levels should have a “voluntary model code of conduct” which addresses their private and public activities.


-       The court is examining if additional restrictions should be put on public functionaries’ right to free speech and expression.


-       SC has taken a consistent stand in the past against invocation of any further restrictions on free speech of citizens, and public men are no exception.

-       They have asked the court to direct the government to frame the code of conduct for Cabinet Ministers, with the Cabinet head ensuring a collective responsibility for the activities of the individual Ministers.

-       The code of conduct should reflect constitutional morality and values of good governance.

-       The acts of the persons holding public offices can be thus, subjected to better and meaningful public scrutiny.

-       There is no code, which addresses the private and public activities of the Ministers in general.

Union Ministry of Home Affairs already has a code of conduct for Ministers, which is essentially concerned with financial discipline.

About Code of Conduct:

The Code of Conduct for MPs sets out the standards of behaviour expected of Members of Parliament as they carry out their work. The Code also contains the rules concerning the additional income, gifts and personal interests that must be declared by MPs

Need for the Code of Conduct:

-       The politicians representing their constituencies in the Parliament have repeatedly brought ill repute to the institution with their incivility.

-       Creating ruckus in the Parliament, making unacceptable remarks and disrupting House proceedings are some of the major allegations they face.

-       Tenure of some of the politicians is also fraught with severe charges of impropriety.

-       It has been long since a parliamentary panel had recommended a 14-point code of conduct that outlines what is expected from the politicians.

Key Points under code of Conduct:

-       Prohibit MPs from misusing their power, privileges and immunities.

-       An MP should avoid conflict between a private and a public interest.

-       No parliamentarian should be allowed to vote on those questions in the House, in which he/she has a stake.

-       Amend the Constitution to ensure a minimum of 110 days of sitting in a legislature having more than 100 members, and 90-50 days of sitting in Houses with less than 100 members depending on the size of the State involved.

-       The filing by legislators of a statement of income, assets and liabilities, and an indication of changes in these figures over time.

-       Punishment of members by admonition, reprimand, censure or withdrawal from the House in case of violations or breach of the code of conduct.

-       Automatic suspension from the House of any member involved in offences of grave misconduct.



Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/sc-discusses-voluntary-code-of-conduct-for-cabinet-ministers/article30002562.ece


Muslim law board to file review plea against Ayodhya verdict

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has declined the five acres of land allotted to Muslims in Ayodhya and decided to file a review petition against the Supreme Court verdict in the Babri Masjid-Ram Janma bhoomi case.

Reasons behind decisions:

-       Mosques “are essential for the religious practice of Muslims”.

-       Building the same mosque at some other site in situations like this is also not permissible as per Islamic Law.

-       The five-acre land, as directed in the present judgment, will neither balance equity nor repair the damage caused in the country.

-       The matter was not about a mosque but “rights to a land” and justice.

-       There were “apparent errors in the verdict.”

-       There were several self-contradictory points in the verdict of the Supreme Court, on several points it was also beyond comprehension, and prima facie appears to be inappropriate.

-       It was proven that Muslims had possession of the Babri Masjid from 1857 to 1949 and also offered namaz there,” So, on what basis was the land of the mosque given to Ram Lalla?

-       While using Article 142, the judges did not consider that the exchange or transfer of masjid land was barred under Sections 104-A and 51(1) of the Waqf Act.

-       Rejecting the land would not amount to contempt as the directions of the apex court were to the Central government and not to the Muslim community.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/muslim-law-board-to-file-review-plea-against-ayodhya-verdict/article30002631.ece

The false allure of English-medium schooling

The Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy government in Andhra Pradesh is set to make all government elementary schools ‘English-medium’ from the next academic year.

Reasons behind this move:

-       There is a belief that English-medium schooling can guarantee good jobs.

-       Economically constrained families are shifting their children from free government schools to private English-medium schools. It is to try to reverse this trend (which also poses a threat to government teaching jobs).

-       Many State governments have made at least some of their schools English-medium or started English-medium sections. It is continuation of the same policy.

-       Marginalised communities perceive it as a tool for emancipation from downtrodden conditions.

-       It is a politically win-win move, as voters also want the same.

-       English medium will help in global job opportunities thus enhancing employabilities of the children.

-       It will help in putting social equity arguments by the government that rich people children go to English Medium so why not poor people children go to same school.

Downside of the English Medium Schools:

-       Several studies points that children who get early education in their mother tongue learn better than those who start school in a new language.

-       A new language in the early school years, especially one that is not used outside school, can become a barrier to learning.

-       Teachers in such schools will not be English fluent. The vast majority of them have had their entire education in their mother tongue or the State language, and have spent their working lives teaching in that language. This move will handicap the teachers, making the best of them resentful, and the disinterested even more so.

-       English medium schools are portrayed as panacea for all socio-economic realities. However, pass outs from such schools have a grip neither on their mother tongue nor on English. This sort of ‘English-medium education’ is neither making education more equitable nor closing the social gap.

Way Forward:

-       Government should focus on the children’s natural receptiveness to new languages by teaching English as a language.

-       Investing in modern language-teaching education (not short-term training) for English-language schoolteachers is essential.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-opinion/the-false-allure-of-english-medium-schooling/article30002524.ece

Marriage not ‘good enough’ to quash rape FIR: Delhi HC

The High Court has ruled that the offence of rape falls under the category of “heinous and serious crime” which cannot be quashed even if the parties have settled their dispute or got married.

Impact of Ruling:

-       32,559 cases of rape reported across the country in 2017, in one-third or 10,553 cases the victim and offender were friends, online friends, and live-in partners or separated husbands.

-       The verdict annuls all the medium of settlements among known people.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/marriage-not-good-enough-to-quash-rape-fir-delhi-hc/article30003726.ece