Why the President’s Address matters?
For Prelims: Difference between Money Bill and Finance Bill.
For Mains: Structure, Organization and Functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary—Ministries and Departments of the Government; Pressure Groups and Formal/Informal Associations and their Role in the Polity.
Context of News:
- The Budget Session of Parliament will begin today with President is all set to address joint sitting of both the Houses.
Difference between Money Bill and Finance Bill:
|BASIS FOR COMPARISON
|A bill is said to be money bill which exclusively deals with the matters prescribed in article 110 of the constitution.
|All the bills, which deals with the provisions concerning revenue and expenditure.
|Lok Sabha only.
|Category A bills are introduced in Lok Sabha while Category B bills can be introduced in any of the two houses.
|Prior approval of President or Government is required.
|Prior approval of President is required.
|Certified by the Speaker of the Lok Sabha.
|Not certified by the Speaker.
|The power of Rajya Sabha is restricted.
|Both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha has equal powers.
|No provision of joint sitting.
|Provisions are there regarding joint sitting of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
Constitutional Provisions of Joint Sitting Addresses by President:
- All executive power is vested in the President of India. The Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister aids and advises the President who exercises his powers in accordance with such advice.
- Article 87 of the constitution provides two instances when the President specially addresses both Houses of Parliament.
- The President of India addresses both the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha at the beginning of the first Session after each general election when the reconstituted lower house meets for the first time.
- The President also addresses both the houses at the beginning of the first session of each year.
- Article 108 of the Indian Constitution of India provides for Joint sitting of both the Houses. The joint sitting of the Parliament is called by the President and is presided over by the Speaker or, in his absence, by the Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha or in his absence, the Deputy-Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.
- Apart from this, the joint sitting of both the houses is also held to resolve the deadlock over the passing of key legislation. Not all bills can be referred to a joint sitting of Parliament. There are two exceptions.
- Money bill under Article 110.
- Constitutional amendment bill under Article 368.
Are there parallels in other countries?
- Similar provisions exist in other democracies. In the United States, it is referred to as the “State of the Union”. The phrase comes from an article in the US Constitution which specifies that the President, “from time to time give to Congress information of the State of the Union and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.
- In the United Kingdom, it is referred to as the Queen’s Speech and is part of the ceremony to mark the formal start of the parliamentary year. But the two systems are different. In the American system, the President has the option of simply sending his written speech to Congress instead of personally going to deliver it.
- India’s Model:
- President is the Head of State but not of the executive. He represents the nation but does not rule the nation. He is the symbol of the nation. His place in the administration is that of a ceremonial device of a seal by which the nation’s decisions are made known. The Constitution binds the President and the Governor to act on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers of the Union and state governments respectively, on a majority of issues. Therefore, the speech that the President or the Governor reads before the legislature is the viewpoint of the government and is prepared by it.
If the President disagrees with the text of the speech, are they still bound to read it?
- As the President’s speech follows the convention of the British system, where it contains legislative and policy proposals that the government intends to initiate. The speech also recaps the government’s accomplishment in the previous years. The contents of the speech are put together by aggregating inputs from various ministries of the government. So, President/Governor is bound to deliver what speech is being put forward by the government in the power.
- The President or a Governor cannot refuse to perform the constitutional duty of delivering an address to the legislature. But there can be situations when they deviate from the text of the speech prepared by the government. So far, there have been no instances of President doing so. But there has been an occasion when a Governor skipped a portion of the address to the Assembly. In 1969, the Governor of West Bengal skipped two paragraphs of the address prepared by the United Front government.
- The issue was then debated in Parliament. The Opposition was critical of the Governor’s conduct and moved a motion disapproving of his actions and calling them against the letter and spirit of the Constitution.
- After the President or Governor delivers the address, a debate takes place not only on the contents of the address but also the broad issues of governance in the country. This then paves the way for discussion on the Budget.
- President addressing the parliament is not only the deliberations of government’s achievements but also talk about what we have to do in the future as well to lead our country on the path of progress and development.
Traumatised Kashmiri children
For Mains: Government Policies and Interventions for Development in various sectors and Issues arising out of their Design and Implementation
Context of News:
- Post Decision to abrogate article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir, situation in J&K has been fragile since then.
- Along with lack of basic necessity of life there is also huge gap in demand and supply of basic service mechanism.eg Health, education, transportation.
- Every third child in districts known for hot bed of Militancy of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), has a clinically diagnosable mental disorder, said a survey published in the Community Mental Health Journal earlier last year.
- Around 1.8 million adults in Kashmir Valley — 45% of its population — showed symptoms of mental illness in 2015.
Dilution of Childhood Paradise:
- Ever since this decision of abrogation of special status of J &K, traumatization has been on the rise among children especially and has got magnified, as chronicled in many reports.
- Media has reported illegal detention of scores of children, many of them whisked away at midnight by law enforcement officers with no record of their arrests, making it difficult to trace them.
- Kashmir’s children have become pawns in a political game where the government wants to punish those protesting against its authority. Such destruction of educational infrastructure, in addition to the unlawful detentions, leaves a lifelong impact on children, perpetuating a cycle of trauma, fear and bitterness.
- The right to education of children in Kashmir is also hampered by the use of schools for military purposes. The presence of security forces in schools can increase the risk of them being attacked, and the long-term occupation of schools can increase dropouts and lower student enrolment and teacher recruitment.
- Use of schools by security forces “violates the spirit and letter of the [Right to Education Act] because it actively disrupts access to education and makes schools vulnerable to attacks.
- Children and adolescents who could access mental health services, were reporting all kinds of abuse (physical, sexual and emotional) and nightly raids by security forces — as corroborated through reports from other members of our group who had visited villages and towns in different districts — which had created an atmosphere of terror and panic amongst young people and their families. They shared experiences of paralysing fear, acute anxiety, panic attacks, depressive-dissociative symptoms, post traumatic symptoms, suicidal tendencies and severe anger outbursts.
Steps Taken by Government for children of Jammu & Kashmir:
- Udaan is a Special Industry Initiative for Jammu & Kashmir in the nature of partnership between the corporates of India and Ministry of Home Affairs and implemented by National Skill Development Corporation. The programme aims to provide skills training and enhance the employability of unemployed youth of J&K.
- Indian Army’s initiative Operation Sadbhavna, to take 20 schoolboys from Jammu Kashmir on Indian Military Academy to make them feel the working of the Army and motivating young children’s to endeavor new avenues in their life.
- Save the Children and social welfare department worked on a comparative analysis of national and state acts and presented the findings to the state government.
- Training provided to police personnel and NGOs and training of all district social welfare officers.
- Experiences of such violent aggression and abuse can cause deep, destructive trauma that may take generations to heal. The damage is particularly severe if the very people who are supposed to protect you become perpetrators. The manifestations may take various forms: From complete psychological breakdown to an extreme numbing of emotions and lack of empathy. The current spate of violence by the state has not only caused extreme suffering and a plethora of mental health disorders of unprecedented proportions, it has also manifested in the seething anger, acute polarisation and paranoia, a complete lack of trust and hardening of attitude towards the Indian state.
- Such repetitive, violent trauma in endemic war zones can be deeply damaging for the community, especially children and adolescents, who could be scarred for life, and pass on their fear and anger to generations that follow. They don’t need to be tutored or indoctrinated to form extreme attitudes and prejudices.
- There are lots of questions that must be in everyone’s mind right from politician to the responsible civic society member’s; who is responsible for the radicalisation of Kashmiri youth, who will bear this burden and help them, heal? Who will pay the price for the consequences of this terrible oppression and violence on the children of Kashmir? Are we ever going to treat them as our own children? Especially in such fragile environment that remains to be seen.