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Current Affairs 02 February 2024

  1. Rooftop solar scheme
  2. Focus on Health of girls aged 9-14
  3. Fiscal deficit target for FY25
  4.  NIA searches under way in Tamil Nadu
  5. Draft prepared to implement Uniform Civil Code
  6. Appointment of Chief Minister


Context:

Recently, the Finance Minister in her Budget speech announced that the people availing the government’s newly-announced rooftop solar scheme will be entitled to 300 units of free electricity every month and help them save up to Rs 18,000 annually.

  • As per the experts, the rooftop solarisation of one crore households could result in the installation of about 20-25 GW of new capacity.
  • A recent report from Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) showed that the nearly 25 crore households across the country had the potential to deploy 637 GW of solar energy on rooftops, though it would be unrealistic to tap it entirely.
    • It said about one fifth of this potential, about 118 GW of capacity, was certainly doable.
    • Households have so far accounted for a small proportion, about 20 per cent, of India’s installed rooftop solar capacity, with the bulk of it in the commercial and industrial sectors.  

Relevance:

GS II: Government policies and Intervention

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Pradhan Mantri Suryodaya Yojana
  2. Rooftop Solar Panels
  3. India’s current solar capacity
  4. Importance for expansion of solar energy in India:
  5. India’s solar policy
  6. How critical is solar power to India’s commitment to mitigate climate change?

About Pradhan Mantri Suryodaya Yojana

Aim:

  • To provide electricity to low and middle-income individuals through solar rooftop installations, along with offering additional income for surplus electricity generation.
  • The scheme seems to be a new attempt to help reach the target of 40 GW rooftop solar capacity.

Target:

  • Under the scheme, around 1 crore households will get rooftop solar.

Energy Self-reliance:

  • By installing rooftop solar systems, the scheme aims to decrease India’s dependency on traditional energy sources and move towards sustainable energy practices.
  • The scheme is in line with Atmanirbhar Bharat.

Market Implications:

  • The initiative is expected to benefit companies involved in solar panel installation and related infrastructure, potentially leading to long-term investment opportunities.

Implementation of the scheme:

  • Awareness Campaigns: To educate potential beneficiaries about the scheme and its benefits.
  • Collaboration with Local Bodies: Involving panchayats, municipalities, or local NGOs for effective reach.
  • Monitoring and Feedback: Ensuring the scheme’s effectiveness and making necessary adjustments.

Rooftop Solar Panels:

  • Definition: Rooftop solar panels are photovoltaic panels installed on a building’s roof, integrated into the main power supply system.

Benefits

  • Energy Consumption Reduction: Significantly reduces reliance on grid-connected electricity, leading to lower electricity costs for consumers.
  • Surplus Power Export: Excess solar power generated can be exported to the grid, providing monetary benefits to consumers based on prevailing regulations.

Government Initiatives

  • Rooftop Solar Programme (2014): Launched with the goal of achieving 40 GW cumulative installed capacity by 2022.
  • Deadline Extension: Due to unmet targets, the government extended the deadline to 2026.
  • Pradhan Mantri Suryodaya Yojana: Aimed at supporting the achievement of the 40 GW rooftop solar capacity target.

Current Landscape

  • While the initial target remains unfulfilled, government initiatives continue to drive the adoption of rooftop solar panels, contributing to India’s sustainable energy goals.

India’s current solar capacity:

  • Solar power has a major share in the country’s current renewable energy capacity, which stands at around 180 GW.
  • According to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’s website, solar power installed capacity in India has reached around 73.31 GW as of December 2023.
  • The rooftop solar installed capacity is around 11.08 GW as of December 2023.
  • In terms of total solar capacity, Rajasthan is at the top with 18.7 GW. Gujarat is at the second position with 10.5 GW. 
  • When it comes to rooftop solar capacity, Gujarat tops the list with 2.8 GW, followed by Maharashtra by 1.7 GW.

Importance for expansion of solar energy in India:

  • According to the latest World Energy Outlook by the International Energy Agency (IEA), India is expected to witness the largest energy demand growth of any country or region in the world over the next 30 years.
  • To meet this demand, the country would need a reliable source of energy and it can’t be just coal plants.
  • Although India has doubled down on its coal production in recent years, it also aims to reach 500 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030.
  • Therefore, it is essential to expand solar power capacity.

India’s solar policy:

  • Since 2011, India’s solar sector has grown at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 59% from 0.5GW in 2011 to 55GW in 2021.

National Solar Mission (NSM):

  • The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM), also known as the National Solar Mission (NSM), which commenced in January 2010, marked the first time the government focussed on promoting and developing solar power in India.
  • Under the scheme, the total installed capacity target was set as 20GW by 2022.
  • In 2015, the target was revised to 100GW and in August 2021, the government set a solar target of 300GW by 2030.
  • India currently ranks fifth after China, U.S., Japan and Germany in terms of installed solar power capacity.
  • As of December 2021, the cumulative solar installed capacity of India is 55GW, which is roughly half the renewable energy (RE) capacity (excluding large hydro power) and 14% of the overall power generation capacity of India.
  • Within the 55GW, grid-connected utility-scale projects contribute 77% and the rest comes from grid-connected rooftop and off-grid projects.

Grid-Connected Rooftop Solar Scheme (Phase II):

  • In a rooftop or small solar photovoltaic (SPV) system that is connected to the grid, the power conditioning unit converts the DC power generated by the SPV panel to AC electricity, which is then delivered to the grid.
  • The scheme aimed to achieve a cumulative installed capacity of 40,000 megawatts (MW) or  40 gigawatts (GW) by 2022.
  • However, this target couldn’t be achieved. As a result, the government extended the deadline from 2022 to 2026. 

Major objective of the programme includes:

  • To promote the grid-connected SPV rooftop and small SPV power generating plants among the residential, community, institutional, industrial and commercial establishments.
  • To mitigate the dependence on fossil fuel based electricity generation and encourage environment-friendly Solar electricity generation.
  • To create an enabling environment for investment in the solar energy sector by the private sector, state government and the individuals.
  • To create an enabling environment for the supply of solar power from rooftop and small plants to the grid.
  • This scheme is being implemented in the state by distribution companies (DISCOMs).
  • Under this scheme the Ministry is providing a 40% subsidy for the first 3 kW and 20% subsidy beyond 3 kW and upto 10 kW of solar panel capacity.
  • The residential consumer has to pay the cost of rooftop solar plant by reducing the subsidy amount given by the Ministry as per the prescribed rate to the vendor.

How critical is solar power to India’s commitment to mitigate climate change?

  • Solar power is a major prong of India’s commitment to address global warming according to the terms of the Paris Agreement, as well as achieving net zero, or no net carbon emissions, by 2070.
  • Prime Minister at the United Nations Conference of Parties meeting in Glasgow, in November 2021, said India would be reaching a non-fossil fuel energy capacity of 500 GW by 2030 and meet half its energy requirements via renewable energy by 2030.
  • To boost the renewable energy installation drive in the long term, the Centre in 2020 set a target of 450GW of RE-based installed capacity to be achieved by 2030, within which the target for solar was 300GW.
  • Given the challenge of integrating variable renewable energy into the grid, most of the RE capacity installed in the latter half of this decade is likely to be based on wind solar hybrid (WSH), RE-plus-storage and round-the-clock RE projects rather than traditional solar/wind projects, according to the report.
  • On the current trajectory, the report finds, India’s solar target of 300GW by 2030 will be off the mark by about 86GW, or nearly a third.

-Source: The Indian Express, The Hindu



Context:

The Government proposes to promote vaccination of girls aged 9-14 for prevention of cervical cancer and tackle malnutrition among women in its latest Budget speech.

Relevance:

GS II: Health, GS III- Science and Technology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Steps to promote Health of girls aged 9-14
  2. Mechanisms Existing in India for Children
  3. Government Schemes related to girl Child
  4. About Cervavac
  5. About Cervical cancer

Steps to promote Health of girls aged 9-14:

  • The Government, as a step towards focussing on the health of young girls will actively promote vaccination of girls aged 9-14 for prevention of cervical cancer.
  • Inclusion of the Vaccine, Cervavac in the country’s immunization programme will potentially lower the cost of the drug.
  • The government also announced extension of the flagship Ayushman Bharat health insurance scheme to all ASHA and Anganwadi workers and helpers, besides upgrading and strengthening the POSHAN scheme.
    • The Centre announced upgrading Anganwadi centres under the Saksham Anganwadi Scheme and expediting of Poshan 2.0 for improvement of nutrition delivery, early childhood care and development.
    • The scheme is targeted at tackling malnutrition challenges among children, adolescent girls, pregnant women and lactating mothers.
  • The Centre also announced that the newly-defined U-Win platform for managing immunization and intensified efforts for Mission Indradhanush will be rolled out expeditiously.

Mechanisms Existing in India for Children

Constitutional Provisions

• Article 15(3): State can make special provisions for betterment of children.

• Article 21 A: State to provide free and compulsory education of all children in the age group of six to fourteen years

• Article 23: Right to being protected from being trafficked and forced into bonded labour

• Article 24: Prohibition of employment of children below the age of 14 years of age in factories

• Article 45: The state to provide early childhood care and education for all children until they complete the age of six years

Legislations Related to Children

• Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986

• The Pre-conception & Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act, 1994

(PCPNDT Act, 1994)

• Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015- It provides for strengthened provisions for both children in need of care and protection and children in conflict with law.

• Protection of Children from Sexual offences Act, 2012: It deals with sexual offences against persons below 18 years of age, who are deemed as children.

• The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006

• The Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoption, 1993

Government Schemes related to girl Child:

Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls (SABLA)

Empowerment of adolescent girls has multiple dimensions, and requires a multi-sectoral response. SABLA is a comprehensively conceived scheme which involves inputs from key sectors of health, education and employment, each of which addresses needs fundamental to the holistic growth of an adolescent girl.

Its intended beneficiaries are adolescent girls of 11–18 years old under all ICDS projects in selected 200 districts in all states/UTs in the country

Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme

Objectives

To improve the nutritional and health status of children in the age-group 0-6 years;

• To lay the foundation for proper psychological, physical and social development of the child;

• To reduce the incidence of mortality, morbidity, malnutrition and school dropout;

• To enhance the capability of the mother to look after the normal health and nutritional needs of the child through proper nutrition and health education.

Beneficiaries

Children in the age group of 0-6 years

• Pregnant women and Lactating mothers

Other Schemes Related to Girl Child

• The Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao (BBBP) Scheme has been introduced in October, 2014 to address the issue of declining Child Sex Ratio (CSR)

• ‘Sukanya Samriddhi Yojna’ is a small deposit scheme for girl child, launched as a part of the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ campaign, which would fetch an interest rate of 9.1 per cent and provide income tax rebate.

• Girls’ Hostel Scheme in Educationally Backward Blocks is being implemented from 2009-10 to set up a 100- bedded Girls’ Hostel in each of 3479 Educationally Backward Blocks (EBBs) in the country.

 Udaan is an initiative of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to enable girl students to soar to higher education from schools, and to eventually take various leadership roles in future.

About Cervavac:

  • Cervavac is India’s first quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccine (qHPV) vaccine, and intended to protect women against cervical cancer.
  • Experts see this as a real opportunity to eliminate cervical cancer, and have expressed the hope that it will be rolled out in national HPV vaccination strategies, and be available a cost more affordable than existing vaccines.
  • The vaccine is based on VLP (virus like particles), similar to the hepatitis B vaccine, and provides protection by generating antibodies against the HPV virus’s L1 protein.
  • Experts have expressed hope that the DGCI approval will allow the government to procure enough HPV vaccines at a special price to vaccinate nearly 50 million girls aged 9–14 years in India who are waiting to receive the vaccine.
  • This will be a huge step to accelerate cervical cancer elimination in India and globally, a statement from IARC-WHO has said.

About Cervical cancer:

  • Cervical cancer is preventable, but kills one woman every eight minutes in the country.
  • It is preventable as long as it is detected early and managed effectively.
  • Cervical cancer is a common sexually transmitted infection.
  • Long-lasting infection with certain types of HPV is the main cause of cervical cancer.
  • Worldwide, cervical cancer is the second most common cancer type and the second most common cause of cancer death in women of reproductive age (15–44).
  • India accounts for about a fifth of the global burden, with 1.23 lakh cases and around 67,000 deaths per year according to the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC-WHO).

Existing vaccines

  • Two vaccines licensed globally are available in India — a quadrivalent vaccine (Gardasil, from Merck) and a bivalent vaccine (Cervarix, from GlaxoSmithKline).
  • Although HPV vaccination was introduced in 2008, it has yet to be included in the national immunisation programme.

-Source: Livemint, The Indian Express



Context:

According to the experts, the Budget 2024-25 lowers fiscal deficit target to boost the investor Confidence. The government has set its fiscal deficit target for FY25 at 5.1% of GDP.

Relevance:

GS-3 Indian Economy

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Fiscal deficit target for FY25
  2. What is fiscal deficit?

Fiscal deficit target for FY25:

  • The Indian government will lower its debt level and the fiscal deficit is to be cut to 5.1% of gross domestic product in FY25, from 5.9% in FY24.
  • The finance minister also said the fiscal deficit estimate for FY24 has been revised to 5.8% of GDP, from the 5.9% estimated earlier for the financial year.
  • Boost Investments:
    • The assurance from the government will help investors’ confidence.
    • It will improve fiscal stability as the move will ensure that sovereign yields are range-bound.

   Centre’s fiscal consolidation strategy:

  • The use of technology in tax administration
    • Information-driven voluntary compliance,
    • Greater formalisation of the economy,
    • Expanding the scope of taxes deducted or collected at source,
    • Growing tax base, and economic growth

What is fiscal deficit?

  • It is the difference between the Revenue Receipts plus Non-debt Capital Receipts (NDCR) and the total expenditure.
  • In other words, fiscal deficit is a result of the government’s total expenditures exceeding the revenue that it generates, excluding money from borrowings.
  • A significant fiscal deficit can lead to a higher national debt and increased costs related to debt servicing.
    • This can adversely affect the economy, potentially devaluing the national currency and hindering private sector investments.

What is the significance of fiscal deficit?

  • In the economy, there is a limited pool of investible savings. These savings are used by financial institutions like banks to lend to private businesses (both big and small) and the governments (Centre and state).
  • If the fiscal deficit ratio is too high, it implies that there is a lesser amount of money left in the market for private entrepreneurs and businesses to borrow.
  • Lesser amount of this money, in turn, leads to higher rates of interest charged on such lending.
  • So, simply put, a higher fiscal deficit means higher borrowing by the government, which, in turn, mean higher interest rates in the economy.
  • A high fiscal deficit and higher interest rates would also mean that the efforts of the Reserve Bank of India to reduce interest rates are undone.

-Source: Livemint



Context:

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) recently launched simultaneous searches at the premises of several Naam Tamilar Katchi (NTK) functionaries for their alleged links with foreign-based cadres and sympathisers of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a proscribed organisation.

Relevance:

GS II- Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article

  1. What is the NIA?
  2. When did the NIA come into being?
  3. What are the scheduled offences?
  4. How wide is NIA’s jurisdiction?

What is the NIA?

  • It is a central agency mandated to investigate all the offences affecting the sovereignty, security and integrity of India, friendly relations with foreign states, and the offences under the statutory laws enacted to implement international treaties, agreements, conventions and resolutions of the United Nations, its agencies and other international organisations.
  • These include terror acts and their possible links with crimes like smuggling of arms, drugs and fake Indian currency and infiltration from across the borders.
  • The agency has the power to search, seize, arrest and prosecute those involved in such offences.
  • Headquartered in Delhi, the NIA has its branches in Hyderabad, Guwahati, Kochi, Lucknow, Mumbai, Kolkata, Raipur, Jammu, Chandigarh, Ranchi, Chennai, Imphal, Bengaluru and Patna.

When did the NIA come into being?

  • In the wake of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack in November 2008, which shocked the entire world, the then United Progressive Alliance government decided to establish the NIA.
  • In December 2008, former Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram introduced the National Investigation Agency Bill.
  • The Home Minister had then said the agency would deal with only eight laws mentioned in the schedule and that a balance had been struck between the right of the State and duties of the Central government to investigate the more important cases.
  • The Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.
  • The agency came into existence on December 31, 2008, and started its functioning in 2009.
  • Till date, the NIA has registered 447 cases.

What are the scheduled offences?

  • The list includes the Explosive Substances Act, Atomic Energy Act, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, Anti-Hijacking Act, Suppression of Unlawful Acts against Safety of Civil Aviation Act, SAARC Convention (Suppression of Terrorism) Act, Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against Safety of Maritime Navigation and Fixed Platforms on Continental Shelf Act, Weapons of Mass Destruction and their Delivery Systems (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Act and relevant offences under the Indian Penal Code, Arms Act and the Information Technology Act.
  • In September 2020, the Centre empowered the NIA to also probe offences under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act that are connected to terror cases.

How wide is NIA’s jurisdiction?

The law under which the agency operates extends to the whole of India and also applies to Indian citizens outside the country; persons in the service of the government wherever they are posted; persons on ships and aircraft registered in India wherever they may be; persons who commit a scheduled offence beyond India against the Indian citizen or affecting the interest of India.

How does the NIA take up a probe?

  • As provided under Section 6 of the Act, State governments can refer the cases pertaining to the scheduled offences registered at any police station to the Central government (Union Home Ministry) for NIA investigation.
  • After assessing the details made available, the Centre can then direct the agency to take over the case.
  • State governments are required to extend all assistance to the NIA.
  • Even when the Central government is of the opinion that a scheduled offence has been committed which is required to be investigated under the Act, it may, suo motu, direct the agency to take up/over the probe.
  • Where the Central government finds that a scheduled offence has been committed at any place outside India to which this Act extends, it can also direct the NIA to register the case and take up investigation.
  • While investigating any scheduled offence, the agency can also investigate any other offence which the accused is alleged to have committed if the offence is connected to the scheduled offence.

-Source: The Hindu



Context:

Shayara Bano, the woman who petitioned triple talaq case in Supreme Court called the UCC bill ‘beneficial’ for women of the Muslim community.

  • The committee that was formed to prepare the draft for implementing the Uniform Civil Code will submit the draft on February 2.

Relevance:

GS II- Polity

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is Uniform Civil Code (UCC)?
  2. Positive aspects of Uniform Civil Code include
  3. Challenges in Implementing Uniform Civil Code Include
  4. Does India not already have a UCC for civil matters?
  5. How does the idea of UCC relate to the Fundamental Right to religion?

What is Uniform Civil Code (UCC)?

  • The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in India proposes to replace the personal laws based on the scriptures and customs of each major religious community in the country with a common set governing every citizen.
  • The constitution has a provision for Uniform Civil Code in Article 44 as a Directive Principle of State Policy which states that “The State shall endeavor to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India.”

Article 44 is one of the Directive Principles of State Policy. These, as defined in Article 37, are not justiciable (not enforceable by any court) but the principles laid down therein are fundamental in governance.

Fundamental Rights are enforceable in a court of law. While Article 44 uses the words “state shall endeavour”, other Articles in the ‘Directive Principles’ chapter use words such as “in particular strive”; “shall in particular direct its policy”; “shall be obligation of the state” etc.

Article 43 mentions “state shall endeavour by suitable legislation”, while the phrase “by suitable legislation” is absent in Article 44. All this implies that the duty of the state is greater in other directive principles than in Article 44.

Positive aspects of Uniform Civil Code include

  • UCC will divest religion from social relations and personal laws and will ensure equality in terms of justice to both men and women regardless of the faith they practice.
  • There will be uniform laws for all Indians with regard to marriage, inheritance, divorce etc.
  • It will help in improving the condition of women in India as Indian society is mostly patriarchal
  • Informal bodies like caste panchayats give judgements based on traditional laws. UCC will ensure that legal laws are followed rather than traditional laws.
  • It can help in reducing instances of vote bank politics. If all religions are covered under same laws, politicians will have less to offer to communities in exchange of their vote.

Challenges in Implementing Uniform Civil Code Include

  • Implementation of UCC might interfere with the principle of secularism, particularly with the provisions of Articles 25 and 26, which guarantee freedom relating to religious practices.
  • Conservatism by religious groups, which resist such changes as it interferes with their religious practices.
  • It is difficult for the government to come up with a uniform law that is accepted by all religious communities. All religious groups- whether majority or minority have to support the change in personal laws.
  • Drafting of UCC is another obstacle. There is no consensus regarding whether it should be a blend of personal laws or should be a new law adhering to the constitutional mandate.

Does India not already have a uniform code in civil matters?

  • Indian laws do follow a uniform code in most civil matters — Indian Contract Act, Civil Procedure Code, Sale of Goods Act, Transfer of Property Act, Partnership Act, Evidence Act, etc.
  • States, however, have made hundreds of amendments and, therefore, in certain matters, there is diversity even under these secular civil laws. Recently, several states refused to be governed by the uniform Motor Vehicles Act, 2019.
  • If the framers of the Constitution had intended to have a Uniform Civil Code, they would have given exclusive jurisdiction to Parliament in respect of personal laws, by including this subject in the Union List. But “personal laws” are mentioned in the Concurrent List.
  • In 2020, the Law Commission concluded that a Uniform Civil Code is neither feasible nor desirable.

How does the idea of a Uniform Civil Code relate to the fundamental right to religion?

  • Article 25 lays down an individual’s fundamental right to religion; Article 26(b) upholds the right of each religious denomination or any section thereof to “manage its own affairs in matters of religion”; Article 29 defines the right to conserve distinctive culture. An individual’s freedom of religion under Article 25 is subject to “public order, health, morality” and other provisions relating to fundamental rights, but a group’s freedom under Article 26 has not been subjected to other fundamental rights.
  • In the Constituent Assembly, there was division on the issue of putting Uniform Civil Code in the fundamental rights chapter.
  • The matter was settled by a vote. By a 5:4 majority, the fundamental rights sub-committee headed by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel held that the provision was outside the scope of Fundamental Rights and therefore the Uniform Civil Code was made less important than freedom of religion.

-Source: The Hindu, Indian Express



Context:

Jharkhand Mukti Morcha’s (JMM) Champai Soren took oath as the new Chief Minister of Jharkhand on February 2.

Relevance:

GS Paper 2: Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers.

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Key Points
  2. Understanding the position of the Chief Minister
  3. Regarding Appointment of the Chief Minister
  4. Constitution assumes CM as a legislator

Key Points:

  • The appointment came after the resignation and arrest of the JMM leader and former chief minister Hemant Soren in connection with an alleged land scam case.  
  • Champai Soren, along with 43 legislators, met the Governor of Jharkhand, staking a claim to form the government in the state.
  • Soon, the Governor invited Soren to form the government in the state.
    • He has been mandated to demonstrate his majority in a floor test, which will be held within the next 10 days.
    • Of the total 81 assembly members, a party needs 41 to form a majority.

Understanding the position of the Chief Minister

  • The position of the Chief Minister at the state level is analogous to the position of the Prime Minister at the Centre and the governor is the nominal executive authority (de jure executive) and the Chief Minister is the real executive authority (de facto executive).
  • Article 163 of the Constitution says that there shall be a Council of Ministers in the states with the Chief Minister at the head to aid and advise the Governor in exercise his functions, except those which are required to be done by the Governor on his/her discretion.
  • The council of Ministers formulates the policy of the Government and implements it practically.

Regarding Appointment of the Chief Minister

  • Article 164 only says that the Chief Minister shall be appointed by the governor. However, the Constitution does not contain any specific procedure for the selection and appointment of the Chief Minister and Article 164 does NOT imply that the governor is free to appoint anyone as the Chief Minister.
  • A Minister who for any period of six consecutive months is not a member of the Legislature of the State, at the expiration of that period ceases to be a Minister. (Article 164)
  • A person who is not a member of the state legislature can be appointed as Chief Minister for six months, within which time, he should be elected to the state legislature, failing which he ceases to be the Chief Minister.

Constitution assumes CM as a legislator

  • We have a parliamentary democracy, which essentially means that whoever has the confidence of the majority of the members of the Lok Sabha, in the case of the Centre, will be the Prime Minister.
  • Article 164 (2): The Council of Ministers shall be collectively responsible to the Legislative Assembly of the State.
  • It also requires that all Ministers should be a Member of Parliament (MP) or get elected within six months. Anybody who is a Minister and is not an MP for six months automatically stands to be disqualified from the administration.
  • Article 164 (4): A Minister who for any period of six consecutive months is not a member of the Legislature of the State shall at the expiration of that period cease to be a Minister.
  • Hence, the Constitution visualises the Chief Minister as being elected by the members of the House of their own free will and it assumes that the Chief Minister is a member. However, there is a party high command, especially in the case of national parties, which decides who will become the Chief Minister.

-Source: The Hindu


 

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