Assembly has its rights: Kerala CM
‘States must implement CAA’
GS Paper II
Topic: Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, significant provisions and basic structure.
Mains: linking the NRC-NPR
What’s the News?
- Some State governments like Kerala, West Bengal had announced that they would not implement the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).
- A petition was filed against Kerala chief minister after the Kerala Assembly passed a resolution asking the Centre to withdraw the amended citizenship law.
- Petition seeks to initiate breach of privileges and contempt proceedings against a Chief Minister.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB), 2016:
- With this, the government plans to change the definition of illegal migrants. The Bill, introduced in the Lok Sabha on July 15, 2016, seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955 to provide citizenship to illegal migrants, from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, who are of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi or Christian extraction. However, the Act doesn’t have a provision for Muslim sects like Shias and Ahmediyas who also face persecution in Pakistan.
- The Bill also seeks to reduce the requirement of 11 years of continuous stay in the country to six years to obtain citizenship by naturalisation.
The NRC-NPR link:
- The compilation of the NPR is a preliminary step towards preparing the NRC. On the basis of the NPR, the local register of Indian citizens will be finalised after due verification. This is the procedure set out under the “Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules 2003”.
- So, from April 1, 2020 onwards, the National Register of Citizens process will begin with house to house enumeration for the National Population Register.
- The game plan of the ruling party is to create a communal division in States such as West Bengal is absolutely clear. On the one hand, it claims that the NRC process will eliminate all those who are “Muslim infiltrators” from Bangladesh.
- On the other hand, by amending the Citizenship Act, Hindu migrants who have come from across the border over the decades will be given citizenship.
Prerogative of States:
- The work in the NPR gets halted since it is the State government which provides personnel for the enumeration and verification process. Kerala and West Bengal have announced that they are suspending the NPR process in their States.
- Other State Governments should also do so. If the Central Government stands by the announcement that the NRC process has not begun, then it should withdraw the July 31, 2019 notification for the updation of the NPR.
- The Parliament of India could make laws on subjects under the Union List which included citizenship, as per Clause 2 of Article 245 of the Constitution.
- Article 245 (clause 2) states that no law made by Parliament shall be deemed to be invalid on the ground that it would have extra-territorial operation.
- Nation-wide NRC coupled with the proposed CAB would further change the character of the Indian Republic.
- India may no longer be a de facto Hindu Rashtra, but, to some extent, a de jure Hindu Rashtra with legally sanctioned religion-based exclusions effected without changing the Constitution.
- It is now for the courts to decide whether some of these changes will stand the test of constitutionality or not.
MAIN PRIVILEGES OF PARLIAMENT:
- Freedom of speech in Parliament
- Immunity to a member from any proceedings in any court in respect of anything said or any vote given by him in Parliament or any Committees thereof.
- Immunity to a person from proceedings in any court in respect of the publication by or under the authority of either House of Parliament of any report, paper, votes or Proceedings.
- Prohibition on the courts to inquire into proceedings of Parliament.
- Freedom from arrest of Members in civil cases during the continuance of the session of the House and forty days before its commencement and days after its conclusion.
- Right of the House to receive immediate information of the arrest, detention, conviction, imprisonment arid release of Member.
- Prohibition of arrest and service of legal process within the precincts of the House without obtaining the permission of the Chairman/Speaker.
- Prohibition of disclosure of the proceeding or decision’s of a secret sitting of the House.
- Members or Officers of the House cannot give evidence or produce documents in courts of law, relating to the proceedings of the House without the permission of the House.
- Members or Officers of the House cannot attend as a witness before the other House or a Committee thereof or before a House of State Legislature or a Committee thereof without the permission of the House and they cannot be compelled to do so without their consent.
- All Parliamentary Committees are empowered to send for persons, papers and records relevant for the purposes of the inquiry by a Committee. A witness may be summoned by a Parliamentary Committee who may be required to produce such documents as are required for the use of a Committee.
- The evidence tendered before a Parliamentary Committee and its report and proceedings cannot be disclosed or published by anyone until these have been laid on the Table of the House.
In addition to the above-mentioned privileges and immunities, each House also enjoys certain consequential powers necessary for the protection of its privileges and immunities. These powers are as follows: –
- to commit persons, whether they are Member or not, for breach of privilege or contempt of the House;
- to compel the attendance of witnesses and to send for papers and records;
- to regulate its own procedure and the conduct of its business;
- to prohibit the publication of its debates and proceedings;
- To exclude strangers from the House.
Gaganyaan, Chandrayaan-3 in mission mode, says ISRO
GS Paper III
Topic: Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
Mains: Locational advantage of Thoothukudi
What’s the News?
Four pilots from the Indian Air Force (IAF) will leave for Russia this month to receive training as astronauts of Gaganyaan, the first Indian crewed flight to space.
- It was announced by the government in August 2018, is the ₹10,000-crore Indian human space flight scheduled for 2022.
- It is designed to have 3-7 crew members spend 3-7 days in space in a 400-km orbit. However it was not known yet how many astronauts would finally travel to space.
- The first of the two pre Gaganyaan flights with a humanoid will be launched this year-end along with some of the six shortlisted microgravity experiments.
- ISRO has also quietly begun work on another soft landing mission to the moon with most of the same features of Chandrayaan-2 and almost on the back of the failure of the latter’s lander on the lunar surface.
- The launch of the nearly ₹600-crore Chandrayaan-3 is targeted for the end of this year or early 2021.
- It will be almost a repetition of the July 2019 Chandrayaan-2 mission in the configuration of spacecraft, the landing spot on the moon and the experiments to be conducted on the lunar surface.
- The third mission was ISRO’s bid to realise for itself the difficult technology of soft-landing on another planetary body. The agency is undertaking it as the landing module of the second mission crashed barely five minutes before it was to have landed on the lunar surface.
- The Tamil Nadu government has started acquiring 2,300 acres of land in Thoothukudi district for ISRO’s second launch port.
- Currently satellites are launched from the Sriharikota launch centre in Andhra Pradesh.
Locational advantage of Thoothukudi:
- Proximity to seashore:
Thoothukudi’s proximity to the seashore makes it ideal for “straight southward” launches. From Sriharikota, such southward bound launches are not possible as the rockets have to fly around Sri Lanka. The fact that rockets will be able to have a straight trajectory from Thoothukudi will also allow them to carry heavier payloads.
- Proximity to equator:
A rocket launch site should be on the east coast and near the equator. And Thoothukudi district satisfies that condition.
- Logistical ease:
Instead of transporting the second and fourth stages to Sriharikota from Mahendragiri, it would be easier to shift them to the launch pad if it is built in Kulasekarapattinam, which is around 100 km away.