Contents:

  1. INCREASING LOK SABHA SEATS TO 1000
  2. COP 25 – MADRID
  3. LACUNAE IN DATA PROTECTION BILL
  4. RESERVATIONS TO ANGLO INDIANS
  5. SUCCESS STORY OF RTI

INCREASING LOK SABHA SEATS TO 1000

Why in News?

  • Former President Prananb Mukherjee spoke about raising the number of Lok Sabha constituencies to 1,000 from the existing 543 and for a corresponding increase in the Rajya Sabha’s strength, arguing that India has a “disproportionately large size” of electorate for elected representatives.
  • Present numbers are based on 1971 census (when our population 55 crore less than half of the current 133.9 crores)

Background

Last time the Strength of Lok Sabha was revised in 1977.

There is a freeze in the number of seats through the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Clause in 2003 – the population has been defined to mean population as per the 1971 Census, until the first Census taken after 2001, and another 84th Amendment to postpone it further to 2026.

This was done to promote states implement and adapt Family Planning Measures without the fear of having their representation reduced.

Extra information

Article 81 of the Constitution provides that the Lok Sabha (House of People) shall consist of not more than 550 elected members of whom not more than 20 will represent Union territories.

Article 81 also states that the number of Lok Sabha seats allotted to a state would be such that the ratio between that number and the population of the state is, as far as possible, the same for all states.

Article 331 of the Constitution provides for the President to nominate up to 2 Anglo-Indians if he/she feels the community id inadequately represented.

COP 25 – MADRID

The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) scientists, whose research helps the international community decide on actions to reduce greenhouse gas

emissions, are worried that even under the most optimistic scenarios, human health, livelihoods, biodiversity and food systems face a serious threat from climate change.

It’s expected that, there will be 3.2 degree avg. temperature rise by the end of century, instead of 1.5 degree mandated by IPCC

Kyoto protocol will end in 2021, and katowice rule book will be operationalised and All countries need to provide INDC by 2020

What is alarming for countries with a long coastline, including India, is that local sea level anomalies that occurred once in a century may become annual events, due to the projected global mean sea level rise over the 21st century

WHY CLIMATE ACTION?

According to the 2019 WMO Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have reached another new record high.

(UNEP) has warned, in its 2019 Emissions Gap Report, that greenhouse gas emissions reductions of 7.6 per cent per year from 2020 to 2030 are needed to meet the internationally agreed goal of a 1.5°C

Results of COP 25

  1. NO market system to trade in carbon credits earned through reductions in emissions [carbon credits]could be established.
  2. Could not build the consensus on the path to achieve the Aim 100 billion $ every year from 2020

LACUNAE IN DATA PROTECTION BILL

Highlights

Ministry:  Electronics and Information Technology

Highlights of the Bill

  • The Bill regulates the processing of personal data of individuals (data principals) by government and private entities (data fiduciaries) incorporated in India and abroad. 
    • Processing is allowed if the individual gives consent and by the State for providing benefits.
    • In case of not able to give consent Eg. medical emergency,  
  • Owner of data can seek access to their data which is stored with the fiduciary. 
     
  • The fiduciary has certain obligations towards the individual while processing their data, such as notifying them of the nature and purposes of data processing.
     
  • The Bill allows exemptions for certain kinds of data processing, such as processing in the interest of national security, for legal proceedings, or for journalistic purposes.
     
  • The Bill requires that a serving copy of personal data be stored within the territory of India.  
    • Central government can declare some personal data as, critical personal data must be stored and processed solely within the country.
    • Classifies sensitive personal data which includes passwords, sexual orientation, genetic data, caste or tribe, political and religious belief – such personal sensitive data can be processed only with the consent of individual.
  • A national-level Data Protection Authority (DPA) is set up under the Bill to supervise and regulate data fiduciaries.

DPA will be headed by a chairperson and have not more than six whole ­time members

Key Issues and Analysis

  • The data fiduciary needs to inform the DPA of a data breach if it is likely to harm the individual.  
  • The Bill allows exemptions for purposes such as journalism, research, or legal proceedings. It could be questioned if these meet the standards of necessity and proportionality required for infringements to an individual’s right to privacy.
  • The State is not required to seek the individual’s consent while providing benefits or services.  It is unclear why this exemption is not limited only to welfare services of the State, as proposed in the Justice Srikrishna Committee Report.
     
  • The Bill mandates storage of a copy of personal data within India to expedite law enforcement’s access to data.  This purpose may not be served in some cases, such as when the fiduciary is registered as an entity in a foreign country.
     
  • It could be questioned why the DPA can exercise powers, such as arresting and detaining violators of the law in prison, without approval or order of a court
  • Members of the DPA will be selected by the select committee wholly nominated by the government.

RESERVATIONS TO ANGLO INDIANS

Nomination of seats for Anglo ­Indians in the Lok Sabha was a testament to the fair ­minded and forward ­looking vision of the founding fathers of the Republic, whose Understanding of how to build a successful democracy has rather uniquely stood the test of time.

  • The decision not to renew this provision was based on the view that the community is doing well and does not need these political reservations.

Arguments against the view are :

  • Census data are not available (as Anglo-Indians are no longer identified as a separate category in the Census survey).
  • The government-commissioned Ministry of Minority Affairs (MoMA) report (2013) on the situation of Anglo-Indians and experience and evidence of those working on the ground with members of the community tell a different story.
  • The MoMA report observes that the major challenges and problems faced by people of the community are related to identity crisis, lack of employment, educational backwardness, lack of proper facilities and cultural erosion.

Prelims bits:

  • Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was the Chairman of the Constituent Assembly “Advisory Committee on Fundamental Rights, Minorities and Tribal and Excluded Areas” and was directly responsible for the granting of special concessions to the Anglo-Indian community.

SUCCESS STORY OF RTI

Machine generated alternative text:Rising requests The number of RTI requests and the backlog of unprocessed queries have been rising in the recent years. However, the share of queries answered has remained stable while rejection rates have come down Requests rejected as a % of total queries (right axis) RTI requests answered as a % of total queries (right axis) 20,000m 10,000m 5, 0001 Number Of RTls (opening balance + requests received that year) 75 50 25

ISSUES WITH RTI

  • “There is the serious problem of people filing RTI requests with malafide intentions, people set up by rivals” the CJI said.
  • CJI said there was a need to curb misuse of the law and put in place guidelines to check the locus standi of RTI applicants and put a “filter” on the kind of requests made under the Act.
  • The RTI Act had become a tool for criminal intimidation by people
  • Such a fear of abuse has created panic among officials

 Background

  • The Right to Information (Amendment) Bill 2019 was passed in Parliament on July 22.
  • RTI has been instrumental in uncovering a list of major scams.
  • The success of the Act earned it the fourth place among 111 countries in the annual rating of similar empowering laws across the world in the year 2016.
  • Some of the Major Scams and Anomalies exposed by the RTI Act: Adarsh Society Scam, 2G Scam, Commonwealth Games Scam and so on.
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