Daily Current Affairs for 29th August 2022

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The One Nation One Fertilizer scheme

GS Paper 2: Government Policies and Interventions for Development in various sectors and Issues arising out of their Design and Implementation.
Important For:
Prelims Exam: One Nation one fertilizer Scheme and Government’s role in Fertilizers
Why in News
The Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers announced to implement One Nation One Fertiliser by introducing a “Single Brand for Fertilisers and Logo” under the fertiliser subsidy scheme named “Pradhanmantri Bhartiya Janurvarak Pariyojna” (PMBJP).

What is the Scheme?

• There will be a single brand name for UREA, DAP, MOP and NPK etc. —- BHARAT UREA, BHARAT DAP, BHARAT MOP and BHARAT NPK etc. respectively for all Fertiliser Companies, State Trading Entities (STEs) and Fertiliser Marketing Entities (FMEs)”.
• A logo indicating Fertiliser subsidy scheme namely Pradhanmantri Bhartiya Janurvarak Pariyojna will be used on said fertiliser bags”.
• Under the new “One Nation One Fertiliser” scheme, companies are allowed to display their name, brand, logo and other relevant product information only on one-third space of their bags.
• On the remaining two-thirds space, the “Bharat” brand and Pradhanmantri Bharatiya Jan Urvarak Pariyojana logo will have to be shown.
• The Government gives a huge subsidy on these products which is more than maximum retail price, therefore, subsidy schemes will also be mentioned on the bag.

Benefits of the scheme

• A single brand name will help in the reduction of freight charges due to stopping of crisscross movement of fertilizers,
• Reducing the transit time
• Ensuring the availability of fertilizers throughout the year irrespective of brand preferences.
• It will also stop the diversion of urea for industrial purposes.
• Mentioning the subsidy schemes on the bag will create awareness among the farmers.
How the government subsidizes and controls the Fertilizers?
• The maximum retail price of urea is currently fixed by the government, which compensates companies for the higher cost of manufacturing or imports incurred by them.
• The MRPs of non-urea fertilisers are, on paper, decontrolled. But companies cannot avail of subsidy if they sell at MRPs higher than that informally indicated by the government.
• Apart from subsidizing and deciding at what price companies can sell, the government also decides where they can sell through the Fertiliser (Movement) Control Order, 1973.
o Under this, the department of fertilisers draws an agreed monthly supply plan on all subsidised fertilisers in consultation with manufacturers and importers.

Rationale behind the scheme

When the government is spending vast sums of money on fertiliser subsidy (the bill is likely to cross Rs 200,000 crore in 2022-23), plus deciding where and at what price companies can sell, it would obviously want to take credit and send that message to farmers.

Possible drawbacks of the scheme
A couple of issues are immediately apparent:

How the Chief Justice of India is appointed

GS Paper 2: Structure, Organization and Functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary
Important For:
Prelims exam: Appointment of CJI
Mains Exam: Collegium System and its criticism
Why in News
Justice Uday Umesh Lalit was sworn in as the 49th Chief Justice of India.

Who can become the Chief Justice of India?

Following are the criteria for being appointed as the Chief justice of India:
• He/she must be an Indian citizen, the person must
• have been for at least five years a Judge of a High Court or of two or more such Courts in succession or
• have been for at least ten years an advocate of a High Court or of two or more such Courts in succession, or
• must be, in the opinion of the President, a distinguished jurist.
** Conventionally, the senior most judge of the Supreme court is appointed as CJI

Who appoints the CJI?

• The Chief Justice of India and the other judges of the Supreme Court are appointed by the President under Article 124 of the Indian Constitution.
• It is mentioned in Article 124 that appointment by the President is to be done “after consultation” with judges of the Supreme Court, as the President may “deem necessary”.
The tenure of a CJI (SC Judge) is until they attain the age of 65 years, while High Court judges retire at 62 years.

System of the appointment

• The more than two decades-old collegium system is followed in the appointment of judges.
• While the government can also raise objections, usually the collegium’s will prevails.
• The term “collegium” is not mentioned in the constitution, which only speaks of consultation by the President.
• The Supreme Court Collegium is headed by the Chief Justice of India and comprises 4 other senior-most judges of the SC.

Evolution of Collegium system

• The constituent assembly adopted a consultative process of appointing judges to make sure that judges are not affected by political influence.
• It avoided legislative interference as well as providing a veto to the Chief Justice.
• Instead, it vested in the President the power to make appointments and transfer judges between high courts.
• The President (normally act on the advice of the council of ministers) was however needed to consult certain authorities such as the CJI or CJ of the High Court).
First Judges Case, 1981
• The Supreme Court in the First Judges Case, 1981 ruled that the word “Consultation” could not be interpreted to mean “concurrence” = CJI’s opinion is not binding on the executive.
• The Executive could depart from the CJI’s opinion only in exceptional situations and any such decision could be subject to judicial review.

Second Judges Case, 1993

• The SC in Second Judges Case, 1993 overruled its earlier decisions.
• It now held that Consultation meant concurrence and that the CJI’s opinion enjoys supremacy = binding on the executive.
• This decision was justified by the court claiming that the CJI could be the best option to know and assess the worth of candidates.
• However, the CJI has to formulate the opinion only via a body of senior judges that the court described as the ‘collegium’.

Third Judges Case, 1998

• The SC in the third judges case, 1998 clarified that the collegium would consist of
o CJI and 4 senior-most judges in case of appointments to the Supreme Court.
o CJI and 2 senior-most judges in case of appointments to the High Court.[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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