- GST collections cross Rs. 95,000 cr. in Sept.
- International Day of Non-Violence on October 2
- SC: Overtime Wages should not be denied to labourers during Pandemic.
- India, Myanmar review bilateral ties
- No decision yet on Australia’s participation in Malabar drills
GST collections cross Rs. 95,000 cr. in Sept.
Why in news?
The goods and services tax (GST) collections for September are likely to cross Rs 95,000 crore for the first time this fiscal year.
GST collections had been sliding after January 2020, when nearly Rs. 1.11 lakh crore came in. March, by the end of which the national lockdown was imposed, recorded GST inflows of Rs. 97,597 crore.
International Day of Non-Violence on October 2
Why in news?
The International Day of Non-Violence is observed on 2 October, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi.
According to General Assembly resolution of 15 June 2007, which established the commemoration, the International Day is an occasion to “disseminate the message of non-violence, including through education and public awareness”. The resolution reaffirms “the universal relevance of the principle of non-violence” and the desire “to secure a culture of peace, tolerance, understanding and non-violence”.
Definition of Non-Violence
The principle of non-violence — also known as non-violent resistance — rejects the use of physical violence in order to achieve social or political change. Often described as “the politics of ordinary people”, this form of social struggle has been adopted by mass populations all over the world in campaigns for social justice.
One key tenet of the theory of non-violence is that the power of rulers depends on the consent of the population, and non-violence therefore seeks to undermine such power through withdrawal of the consent and cooperation of the populace.
There are three main categories of non-violence action:
- protest and persuasion, including marches and vigils;
- non-cooperation; and
- non-violent intervention, such as blockades and occupations.
International day of Non-Violence: Mahatma Gandhi’s quote on non-violence (Ahimsa) (To be used in Essay)
- “Ahimsa is the strongest force known”
- “Ahimsa means infinite love, which again means infinite capacity for suffering”
- “Ahimsa is not a matter of mere dialectics: it transcends it”
- “Ahimsa is an attribute of the brave. Cowardice and ahimsa don’t go together any more than water and fire”
- “Ahimsa and love are one and the same thing”
- “Ahimsa and Truth are so intertwined that it is practically impossible to disentangle and separate them”
- “Ahimsa is my God, and Truth is my God”
- “Truth and ahimsa will never be destroyed”
- “The removal of untouchability is one of the highest expressions of ahimsa”
- “Whatever strength the masses have is due entirely to ahimsa, however imperfect or defective its practice might have been”
- “The scriptures of Christians, Mussalmans and Hindus are all replete with the teaching of ahimsa”
SC: Overtime Wages should not be denied to labourers during Pandemic.
Why in news?
The verdict dealt with blanket notifications issued by the Gujarat government denying factory workers overtime wages during the lockdown period from April to July. It did this by invoking its powers of declaring a public emergency under Section 5 of the Factories Act.
The State cannot declare the economic slowdown caused by the pandemic a “public emergency”to curtail the rights of people, the Supreme Court said
The pandemic had not resulted in an ‘internal disturbance’ of a nature that posed a ‘grave emergency’ whereby the security of India was threatened.
SC observed that the sweeping powers of the State to declare a public emergency could only be wielded in case of “threat to the security of India or a part of the territory must be caused by war, external aggression or an internal disturbance”.
Emergency powers’ use
The emergency powers under Article 352 of the Constitution had been only used thrice before.
During the Chinese aggression in 1962, when hostilities broke out with Pakistan in 1971 and in 1975 when the Indira Gandhi government declared that a “grave emergency exists whereby the security of India is threatened by ‘internal disturbance’.”
The court said the post Emergency days saw the enactment of the 44th Amendment to the Constitution, which mandated that “internal disturbance” should reach the stage of “armed rebellion” threatening national security in order to declare a state of public emergency.
The sharp economic decline posed no such threat, the court concluded.
It used its extraordinary powers under Article 142 of the Constitution to direct the payment of overtime wages to all eligible factory workers.
Extraordinary powers under Article 142:
- Article 142 of Constitution of India deals with Enforcement of decrees and orders of the Supreme Court. It states that the Apex Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction may pass such decree or make such order as is necessary for doing “complete justice” in any case pending before it.
- Such orders of the Supreme Court are enforceable throughout the territory of India as prescribed by any law made by Parliament or order of the President of India.
- From Article 142, the Supreme Court derives overarching powers to perform the functions of Executive and legislative in order to bring about complete justice.
- In this pursuit, Article 142 is supplemented by the Articles 32 (Right to constitutional remedies), Article 141 (The law declared by the Supreme Court shall be binding on all courts within the territory of India) and Article 136 (Special Leave petition).
- This is often termed as judicial activism.
Pro of Article 142
For upholding citizens’ rights and implementing constitutional principles when the executive and legislature fails to do so.
Sets out a system of check and balance and controls to the other branches of the government.
- In Vishakha v State of Rajasthan case, Supreme Court laid down the guidelines to protect a woman from sexual harassment at its workplace
- Bandhua Mukti Morcha Case Court gave its landmark judgment on bonded labour system of India
- In Olga Tellis Case where Right to livelihood was declared part and parcel of the right to life.
Cons of Article 142:
- Judiciary cant be held accountable for its decisions.
- It creates slippery slope of Judicial overreach.
- Repeated use of Art 142 can diminish the faith of the people in the integrity, quality, and efficiency of the government.
India, Myanmar review bilateral ties
Why in news?
India and Myanmar on Thursday carried out a comprehensive review of their multi-faceted relationship that is underpinned by deepening cooperation in areas of trade and investment, power, energy and healthcare.
Myanmar is one of India’s strategic neighbours and shares a 1,640-km-long border with a number of northeastern states including militancy-hit Nagaland and Manipur.
In the talks, the MEA said the foreign secretary reiterated the priority India attaches to its partnership with Myanmar in accordance with its ‘Neighborhood First’ and ‘Act East’ policies.
Both sides reviewed the entire gamut of relations, including border cooperation and upgradation of border infrastructure, status of India’s ongoing development projects in Myanmar, trade and investment ties, power and energy cooperation, consular matters and cultural cooperation
India’s investment In Myanmar
The Government of India is highly involved in several projects in Myanmar. These includes:
- Upgradation of the 160 km. long Tamu-Kalewa-Kalemyo road.
- Construction and up-gradation of the Rhi-Tiddim Road.
- Kaladan Multimodal Transport Project and Sitwe port.
- ADSL project for high-speed data links in 32 Myanmar cities. It has been completed by TCIL.
- ONGC Videsh Ltd. (OVL), GAIL, and ESSAR are participants of energy sector in Myanmar.
- M/s RITES is developing the rail transportation system and supplying the railway coaches and locos.
Majority of pulses requirement of India comes from Myanmar whose 60 per cent of total global supply is made to India.
HOW TO IMPROVE BORDER TRADE
There is a plea to include items like mango, bicycles and its parts, life saving drugs, cosmetics, fertilizers, imitation jewellery, textiles and pan-masala in the list of the trade agreement.
There is demand for transport subsidies and more facilities to importers and exporters especially those dealing with Myanmar. There should be creation of special economic zone to facilitate the bilateral trade.
There is also demand that Indian government should introduce International bus service linking Moreh with Mandalay.
India and Myanmar are also part of the BIMST-EC, a regional body comprising Bay of Bengal nations.
BIMST-EC stands for Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Thailand- Economic Cooperation.
The conclusion of Free Trade Agreement among BIMST-EC nations is a pressing demand to facilitate hassle free trade flow among its member countries.
No decision yet on Australia’s participation in Malabar drills
Why in news?
The inclusion of Australia in the Malabar Exercise — the trilateral naval exercises between India, the U.S. and Japan — was still being discussed
India has been reluctant to include Australia in the Malabar naval exercises, which include three of the four Quad members.
A militarisation of the Quad could be viewed by China as a strategy to contain it, not something India has wanted to do.
Highlights regarding the “Quad”:
- Australia’s request has been pending for four years, to join the annual Malabar exercises with India, the U.S. and Japan.
- China’s poses fierce opposition to the militarisation of a coalition seen as a counter to its claims in the Pacific and inroads in the Indian Ocean.
- At the Shangri-La Dialogue, Indian Prime Minister had said that India sees the Indo-Pacific as a “geographical concept”, not a “strategy or a club of limited members”.
- India is the only country in the Quad that shares a land boundary with China, and the militarisation of the Quad will not help India deal with that threat.
- Unlike the U.S., Japan and Australia, which are tied by military alliances, India is a member of other strategic forums, such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation with China, Russia and Central Asia, BRICS and RIC, which appear to be at cross purposes with a Quad alliance.
History of formation of Quad:
- Quad was originally born in an instant: from the crisis that followed the tsunami in 2004.
- Within days of the disaster, India had mobilised an impressive fleet, and demonstrated to the world that it would not just manage its own rescue effort in Tamil Nadu and the Andaman and Nicobar islands but could also provide assistance to its maritime neighbours: Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Indonesia.
- The humanitarian and disaster relief effort was coordinated in the next few weeks with three other naval powers engaged in the rescue effort: the U.S., Australia and Japan.
- It is an annual exercise between the navies of India, Japan, and the U.S. held alternately in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
- It began in 1992 as a bilateral exercise between India and the U.S.
- Then it got permanently expanded into a trilateral format with the inclusion of Japan in 2015.