1. MEHBOOBA , FAROOQ TALK ARTICLE 35 A
SOURCE – HINDU
RELEVANCE – GS MAINS – II . INDIAN CONSTITUTION HISTORICAL UNDERPINNING , EVOLUTION , FEATURES , AMENDMENTS , SIGNIFICANT PROVISIONS AND BASIC STRUCTURE
- Under pressure from her own Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to declare revocation of Article 35A as “a redline” for the ruling PDP-BJP coalition, J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday evening met Opposition National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah “to discuss the State’s special status”.
ARTICLE 35 A AND ITS SIGNIFICANCE
Article 35A of the Constitution of India,unknown to the public domain till recent times, has raked up an intense debate in the country. Political narrative has a paradigm shift.
WHAT IS ARTICLE 35 A ?
Article 35A of the constitution empowers J&K legislature to define state’s “permanent residents” and their special rights and privileges. It was added to the constitution through a presidential order of 1954 with the then J&K government’s concurrence
WHAT IS ITS SIGNIFICANCE TO J&K
- Through 1927 and 1932 notifications, Dogra ruler of the princely state of J&K, Maharaja Hari Singh imposed a law that defined state subjects and their rights. The law also regulated migrants to the state. J&K joined India through instrument of accession signed by its ruler Hari Singh in October 1947.
- After J&K’s accession, popular leader Sheikh Abdullah took over reins from Dogra ruler. In 1949, he negotiated J&K’s political relationship with New Delhi, which led to the inclusion of Article 370 in the Constitution.
- Article 370 guarantees special status to J&K,restricting Union’s legislative powers over three areas: defence, foreign affairs and communications.
- However, under the 1952 Delhi Agreement between Abdullah and Nehru, several provisions of the Constitution were extended to J&K via presidential order in 1954. Article 35A was inserted then.
- J&K’s Constitution was framed in 1956. It retained Maharaja’s definition of permanent residents: All persons born or settled within the state before 1911 or after having lawfully acquired immovable property resident in the state for not less than ten years prior to that date. All emigrants from Jammu and Kashmir, including those who migrated to Pakistan, are considered state subjects. The descendants of emigrants are considered state subjects for two generations.
- Permanent residents law prohibits non-permanent residents from permanent settlement in the state, acquiring immovable property, govt jobs, scholarships and aid.
- It was also interpreted as discriminatory against J&K women. It disqualified them from their state subject rights if they married non-permanent residents. But, in a landmark judgment in October 2002, J&K high court held that women married to non-permanent residents will not lose their rights. The children of such women don’t have succession rights.
WHY IS ARTICLE 35 A BEING DEBATED ?
- An NGO, We the Citizens, challenged 35A in SC in 2014 on grounds that it was not added to the Constitution through amendment under Article 368. It was never presented before Parliament, and came into effect immediately, the group argued.
- In another case in SC last month, two Kashmiri women argued that the state’s laws, flowing from 35A, had disenfranchised their children.
WHY ARE POLITICAL PARTIES & SEPARATISTS OPPOSED TO TINKERING WITH 35A?
Fear that it would lead to further erosion of J&K’s autonomy and trigger demographic change in Muslim majority valley. Political parties say Kashmir resolution lies in greater autonomy; separatists fan paranoia against possibility of Hindus ‘flooding’ the valley. However, in the last 70 years, demography of Kashmir Valley has remained unchanged even as Hindu majority in Jammu and Buddhists in Ladakh have rights to buy property and settle in the Valley.
2. J & K GETS A BREATHER ON MINORITIES COMMISSION ISSUE
SOURCE – HINDU
RELEVANCE – FUNCTIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE UNION AND THE STATES
- The Supreme Court on Tuesday gave the Centre and the Jammu and Kashmir government three months to decide on setting up a Minorities Commission in the State.
- The SC Bench expressed dissatisfaction with the State government’s affidavit, at one point even asking whether the aim was to make “fun of us”.
NEED FOR MINORITY COMMISSION IN J&K (OPINIONS OF SOME OF THE PIL’s FILED RECENTLY IN SC )
- According to the 2011 census, about 68.3 per cent of the state’s population are Muslims. Among the minorities, 28.4 per cent are Hindus, followed by Sikhs (1.9 per cent), Buddhists (0.9 per cent), and Christians (0.3 per cent).
- In Kashmir valley, about 96.4 per cent are Muslims, followed by Hindus (2.45 per cent), Sikhs (0.98 per cent) and others (0.17 per cent).
- Hindus in Jammu and Kashmir are unable to benefit from central and state welfare schemes for minorities.
- In the absence of a minority commission, the benefits exclusively meant for the minority communities including crores worth aid are being given away to a certain community, which is the majority Muslim community, in an illegal and arbitrary manner.
- The Union government indirectly recognises Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Christians of Jammu and Kashmir as “minorities”.
- This is in spite of the fact that the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992, is not applicable to J&K – and thus the recognition of Muslims as “minorities” is whimsical and illegal.
- Constitutional guarantees under Article 29 and 30 (rights of minorities) are no guarantees at all in Jammu and Kashmir due to the government’s failure to identify religious and linguistic minorities and declare them as notified minorities.
VIEW OF J&K GOVERNMENT
- It is opposed to creation of a minority commission in the state.
- It is for the concerned state/union territory to set up a minority commission in their respective state/union territory.
- Law is well settled on the issue that the apex court cannot direct the government to legislate on a particular subject. It is for the state legislature to consider in its wisdom as to which laws are required to be made considering the circumstances prevailing in the state.
3. 100% MONSOON QUOTA THIS YEAR – IMD
SOURCE – HINDU
RELEVANCE – GS PRELIMS
- Reiterating its forecast from June, the India Meteorological Department has said India will get ‘normal’ rain during the remaining months of the monsoon season.
- India is likely to get 100% of its annual monsoon quota of 89 cm, a slight increase over the 98% forecast by the agency in June.
RAINFALL IN INDIA
- Averages of rainfall received between 1951 and 2001 (50 years) are termed as the Long Period Average or LPA and are considered as normal. This is computed to be 89cm.
- Annually, India receives about 116cm of rainfall, out of which 89cm is received during the 4 month monsoon season (June-September).
- In a normal monsoon year, not all parts of the country get normal rainfall. Rainfall is not evenly distributed across the country.
- In fact, even during a year of excess rainfall some areas may experience drought. Similarly, some areas may experience very good rainfall despite an overall bad monsoon.
- The calculated 89cm of rainfall in a normal monsoon season is called as the ‘area weighted average’. It simply means the amount of rainfall collected throughout the country during the 4 month monsoon period would fill a tank of 89cm height spread over the entire area of the country.
- About 70 per cent of times the ‘normal’ monsoon rainfall is experienced.
- Even in extreme drought years, rainfall never went below 70 per cent of ‘normal’. For example, in1918 which is often labeled as the worst drought of the last century in terms of its geographical spread, only 26% rainfall deficiency was recorded.
- Similarly, in 2009 the country experienced 22% below normal rainfall. Last year, the country faced 14% deficiency and in the previous year 12% deficiency.
- The monsoon gets affected by the interactions of a variety of land and ocean phenomena.
- During the late 19th century, IMD predicted monsoon based only on an assessment of the amount of snow cover over the Eurasian region with lesser snow cover meaning a better monsoon.
- In 1980s, the IMD used 16 predictors to make its forecast. Later it was realized that 16 predictors was too many.
- The models were refined and for the April forecast the IMD has used five predictors. Those 5 predictors are-temperature difference between surface temperatures in the North Pacific and North Atlantic oceans; surface temperature of the Indian Ocean near the equator; mean sea level pressure in the Pacific Ocean near East Asia; land temperatures over northwest Europe; and the volume of warm water in the equatorial Pacific Ocean.
4. KERALA , HARYANA TOP SANITATION SURVEY
SOURCE – HINDU
RELEVANCE – GS MAINS – II . ISSUES RELATING TO DEVELOPMENT AND MANAGEMENT OF SOCIAL SECTOR OR SERVICES
- The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation on Tuesday released the findings of the survey of 1.4 lakh rural households, undertaken by the Quality Council of India (QCI) between May and June this year.
- The survey, covering 4626 villages across all States and Union territories, claimed that 62.45% of the households had access to a toilet.
- The survey also pointed that 91.29% of the people who had access to a toilet also used it, indicating a change in sanitation behaviour.
- Almost all rural households in Kerala and Haryana had access to a toilet while Bihar fared the worst.
- Northeastern States of Sikkim, Manipur and Nagaland were top performers with 95% rural households covered by toilets. And so were the Himalayan States of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand with over 90% toilet coverage of the rural houses.
- In Bihar, only 30% of the rural households had access to toilets while Uttar Pradesh was marginally better at 37%.