IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


21st November, 2019


Centre plans NRC exercise all over the country: Amit Shah

Government said that the process of creating a National Register of Citizens (NRC) will be undertaken across India.



Government reply in Rajya Sabha:

-       The NRC has no provision to exclude any person of any religion. All Indian citizens will be included irrespective of their religion.

-       It is just a process to get everyone on the NRC and will be repeated in Assam too.

-       People whose names have not figured in the draft list of Assam NRC, have the right to go to the Tribunal.

-       Although, Assam had asked the Centre to reject the updated final NRC in the State.NRC in Assam was a culmination of the Assam Accord signed in 1985.

About Citizenship Amendment bill:

-       Refugees – Hindu, Buddhists, Jains, Christians, Sikhs and Parsis — who left Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan due to religious atrocities will be given citizenship through citizenship amendment bill.

Criticism of NRC and citizenship amendment bill:

-       It would be catastrophic for the social fabric and future of India as a secular, democratic republic.

-       It  can causes enormous human suffering and separation of families.

-       If Citizenship Amendment Bill is passed, it will marginalise the minorities as they have to prove their citizenship based on documents.

-       It will go against the idea of equal citizenship and secularism.

-       Conducting NRC against in Assam will be in defiance to Supreme Court.

-       There is still no clarity on what the end results mean for the 19 lakh plus people who find themselves outside the NRC.

-       NRC to full country is against the right to equality and equal protection before the law as enshrined in Article 14 of the Constitution.

Issue of Cut-Off date:

-       Under Article 6 of the Constitution, the cut-off date for migration to India from Pakistan is July 19, 1948 whereas in Assam, that borders Bangladesh, it is March 24, 1971. Thus, the problem persist for cut-off date.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/centre-plans-nrc-exercise-all-over-the-country-amit-shah/article30032609.ece

No Aadhaar-Social media link plan

The government has no proposal to link Aadhaar with social media accounts of individuals.

Government comments:

-       As a matter of policy and by design, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) precluded itself from aggregating information arising from the use of Aadhaar, tracking and profiling individuals.

-       In the current year (till October 31, 2019), 3,433 URLs were blocked on social media platforms for objectionable contents.

-       Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000, empowers Government to block any information generated, transmitted, received, stored or hosted in any computer resource in the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/no-aadhaar-social-media-link-plan/article30032506.ece\

U.S. ready to sell naval guns for $1 bn

The Trump administration has notified to the U.S. Congress its determination to sell $1 billion worth of naval guns to India for use against warships, anti-aircraft and shore bombardment.

About the guns:

-       13 MK-45 5inch/62 caliber (MOD 4) naval guns and related equipment will be sold at an estimated cost of $1.0210 billion.

-       It will be manufactured by BAE Systems Land and Armaments.

Utility of the weapon:

-       Improve India’s capability to meet current and future threats from enemy weapon systems.

-       Provide the capability to conduct anti-surface warfare and anti-air defence missions.

-       Enhance interoperability with U.S. and other allied force.

-       Use the enhanced capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defence.


-       India has become one of the few countries that the U.S. decided to sell its latest version (Mod 4) of its naval guns.

-       The U.S. has also determined to sell these to a few other allies and friends including Britain and Canada.


Govt. to sell off its entire stake in BPCL, 4 other PSUs

Decisions of the cabinet:

-       Sell its entire 53.29% stake in Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited.

-       Sell its entire 63.75% stake in the Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) and will cede management control.

-       Sell its 30.8% stake in the Container Corporation of India (CONCOR) and hand over management control.

-       Sell its entire 74.23% stake in THDCIL and its 100% stake in the North Eastern Electric Power Corporation to NTPC Ltd. and also cede control.

Reasons behind disinvestment:

-       Resources unlocked by the strategic disinvestment of these CPSEs would be used to finance the social sector/developmental programmes of the Government.

-       The unlocked resources would form part of the budget and the usage would come to scrutiny of the public.

-       Strategic buyer/acquirer may bring in new management/technology/investment for the growth of these companies.

-       The government has set a disinvestment target of Rs. 1.05 lakh crore for the current financial year. So far, it has managed to collect only Rs. 17,364.26 crore.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/cabinet-nod-to-reduce-govt-stake-in-bpcl-concor-sci/article30032604.ece

Nod for Industrial Relations Code Bill

The Union Cabinet approved the Industrial Relations Code Bill, 2019, which aims to bring together and simplify provisions of three laws covering trade unions, industrial employment and disputes.


-       Fixed term employment : Fixed term workers would continue to be employed seasonally, but they would be treated at par with regular workers when it comes to providing benefits.

-       Setting up a two-member tribunal for industrial disputes.

-       Give flexibility for exit provisions, related to retrenchment.

Other Cabinet Decisions:

New Toll Model:

-       Approved amendments proposed by the National Highways Authority of India to the Toll Operate Transfer (TOT) model of public funded National Highway projects already operational.

-       Around 75 operational NH projects have been identified for potential monetisation using the TOT Model, and bundled into 10 separate bids.

-       Generated corpus will be used for developing, operating and managing new highways.

-       Toll Operate Transfer (TOT) modelto make it more attractive for private investors. It is part of the government’s efforts to monetize public infrastructure and build new assets.

-       Under TOT, the highest bidder wins the rights to operate and maintain operating road assets for 30 years, with rights to toll revenues from these assets until then. This model is more attractive for investors as they don’t have to build an infrastructure project from scratch.

Curbing Onion Price:

-       The Cabinet has approved the Food and Consumer Affairs Ministry’s proposal to import 1.2 lakh tonnes of onions.

-       This was an “open-ended” proposal, which would give the Centre flexibility to acquire as much of the kitchen staple as is necessary — up to 1.2 lakh tonnes.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/nod-for-industrial-relations-code-bill/article30032584.ece


Detentions made in national interest: Centre

Government Comments on Kashmir:

-       Normalcy had been restored in Jammu and Kashmir.

-       Not a single person had been killed in police firing since the legislation relating to Article 370 had been passed by Parliament.

-       In national interest, from time to time, different persons have been arrested.Total of 5,161 persons had been detained as part of preventive arrests.

-       Government offices and courts were fully functioning now, with 36,192 cases having been heard and orders delivered in 500 cases.

-       An advisory board under the Public Safety Act has been constituted to release people on review.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/detentions-made-in-national-interest-centre/article30032533.ece


Ministers are liable for public remarks’

Supreme Court is examining whether further “reasonable restrictions” should be imposed on the right to free speech of government Ministers to protect the fundamental right to dignity and life of ordinary citizens.

Petitioner’s arguments:

-       Every government Minister is individually liable for the remarks he or she makes in public.

-       The Minister concerned should not hold a portfolio in which he/she have conflict of interest. Minister mustshow adherence to the Constitutional principles of his office.

-       Public faith in the system and in the institution is at stake.

-       People do not take the law into their own hands because they trust the system.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/ministers-are-liable-for-public-remarks/article30032495.ece

Congress targets PMO over ‘bribery bonds’, seeks details

Congress called the electoral bonds a “political extortion”. It targeted government for effecting changes to the electoral bond scheme despite opposition from the Reserve Bank of India and the Election Commission of India.

Congress Arguments:

-       The Finance Ministry opened additional payment windows (period when these bonds can be purchased and given to political parties) after being asked by the PMO.

-       The whole scheme rests on three premises: the donor’s identity is completely hidden, the political party doesn’t have to declare the name of the donor and there is no limit to how much a donor can pay a political party.

-       Government must disclose donor information, and place this information before Parliament.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/congress-targets-pmo-over-bribery-bonds-seeks-details/article30032519.ece