SC says no to intense judicial review

Paper:

Mains: G.S. II Polity and Governance

Why in news?

The Supreme Court refused to treat the Central Vista project as a unique one requiring greater or heightened judicial review.

Key details

  • A majority view of the SC said the government was entitled to commit errors or achieve successes in policy matters without the interference of court as long as it follows constitutional principles.
  • It is not the court’s concern to inquire into the priorities of an elected government.
  • Judicial review never meant to step in to the mind of the government and thereby, examine validity of a decision.
  • Once the government decides to construct a nee space for its sitting or to construct a highway or water dam or school or university and follows the procedure prescribed under law, then the court cannot act as a multiplier of regulations and add it’s own notions.
  • Judicial review is defined as the doctrine under which executive and legislative actions are reviewed by the judiciary.
  • Even though we have in India the principle of separation of powers of the three arms of the State, namely, the executive, the legislative and the judiciary, the judiciary is vested with the power of review over actions of the other two arms.
  • Judicial review is considered a basic structure of the constitution


Two-day Asian Waterbird Census off to a flying start

Paper:

Mains: G.S. III Environment and Ecology

Why in news?

The two-day Asian Waterbird Census 2020 commenced in Andhra Pradesh under the aegis of the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS).

Key details

  • Asian waterbird census covers at least two dozen sites, including Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary, Killer lake.
  • The Asian Waterbird Census (AWC), an annual waterbird census by Wetlands International.
  • The census aims to collect information on an annual basis of the waterbird populations in the wetlands of the region during the non-breeding period of most species, as a basis for evaluation of sites and monitoring of populations and to monitor the status and condition of wetlands to encourage greater interest in waterbirds and wetlands amongst citizens.
  • AWC is also recognized as important annual activity to record wetlands & water birds status for conservation by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Govt of India as important part of the ministry’s National Action Plan for conservation of Migratory Birds and their habitats along the Central Asian Flyway.

PM inaugurates Kochi-Mangaluru LNG pipeline

Paper:

Mains: G.S. III Economy and infrastructure,

Why in news?

PM Narendra Modi said that as a part of efforts to make India a natural gas-based economy, 10,000 more CNG stations would be opened and several lakh PNG household connections given in the coming days.

Key details

  • The 450 km Kochi-Kootanad-Mangaluru LNG pipeline facility is part of government’s vision of one nation, one grid
  • The plan is to increase the share of natural gas in the energy sector from the present 6% to 15% by 2030.
  • Focus is being given in increasing production of ethanol to increase it’s content in petrol to 20% from the present 5%.
  • The pipeline will supply environment-friendly and affordable fuel in the form of piped natural gas (PNG) to households and compressed natural gas (CNG) to the transportation sector. It will also supply natural gas to commercial and industrial units across the districts along the pipeline.
  • Gail India has completed the final 540-metre treacherous stretch across the Chandragiri river in northern Kerala.
  • The Kochi-Koottanad-Bengaluru-Mangaluru Pipeline (KKBMPL) project was conceived in 2007.
  • Natural gas is a fossil fuel source consisting primarily of methane. It is the cleanest among all the available fossil fuels.
  • It is used as a feedstock in the manufacture of fertilizers, plastics and other commercially important organic chemicals as well as used as a fuel for electricity generation, heating purpose in industrial and commercial units.
  • Natural gas is also used for cooking in domestic households and a transportation fuel for vehicles.

Budget session likely from Jan 29, Budget on Feb 1

Paper:

Mains: G.S. II Polity and Governance

 Why in news?

The Budget session of Parliament is likely to begin from January 29 and the Union Budget will be presented on February 1.

Key details

  • The Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs (CCPA) decided to hold the first part of the session from January 29 to February 15, to be followed by another month long session from March 8.
  • The government is expected to face an aggressive opposition on issues like the economic slowdown, handling of COVID-19 pandemic, farmers protest, etc.
  • A session of the Indian Parliament is the time period during which a House meets almost every day continuously to transact business.
  • Article 85- The President can summon a session of Parliament “at such time and place as he thinks fit”.
  • Thus, a session can be called on the recommendation of the government, which decides its date and duration.
  • There are usually three sessions in a year.
  • They are the Budget Session (February to May); the Monsoon Session (July to September); and the Winter Session (November to December).


India seeing V-shaped GDP recovery: FinMin

Paper:

Mains: G.S. III Indian Economy

Why in news?

India has been witnessing a V-shaped recovery since June with gradual easing of restrictions on economic activities, said a Finance Ministry report.

Key details

  • The Monthly Economic Recovery for December by the Department of Economic Affairs noted that the impending vaccination is set to spur the momentum in economic activity globally.
  • The agricultural sector remains the bright spot of Indian economy, with healthy year on year growth of 2.9% in rabi season, accelerating tractor sales.
  • The year-on-year GDP contraction of 7.5 per cent in Q2 of 2020-21 underlies a quarter-on-quarter surge in GDP growth of 23 per cent. This V-shaped recovery, evident at the half-way stage of 2020-21, reflects the resilience and robustness of the Indian economy.
  • The finance ministry added that the fundamentals of the economy remain strong as gradual scaling back of lockdowns, along with the support of the Atmanirbhar Bharat Mission, has placed the economy firmly on the path to recovery.

  • The report said growth drivers for the Indian economy have been agriculture, followed by construction and manufacturing, and added that “services dependent on human mobility and contact will bide their time to reach pre-pandemic levels