Daily Current Affairs for UPSC Civil Services Exam – 16 July 2021

In Today’s News:

  1. Anti-Defection Law.
  2. AI-powered Grievance management app launched.
  3. PRASHAD scheme.

1. Anti-Defection Law

News Summary

Notice has been issued to 3 MP’s by the Lok Sabha Secretariat under the Anti-Defection Law.

Prelims GS – Polity

Anti-Defection Law:
  • Anti-Defection law contains provisions regarding disqualification on grounds of defection.
  • It is available in the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution of India.
  • This was brought through the 52nd Amendment Act, 1985.

Mini Insights

Mains GS2 – Polity

(Note: Some of the points here are directly taken from the Constitution of India book for conveying the exact meaning)

Anti-Defection Law and Features:
Conditions for Disqualification:
  • A member of a House belonging to any political party shall be disqualified for being a member of the House—
    (a) if he has voluntarily given up his membership of such political party; or
    (b) if he votes or abstains from voting in such House contrary to any direction issued by the political party to which he belongs or by any person or authority authorized by it in this behalf, without obtaining, in either case, the prior permission of such political party, person or authority and such voting or abstention has not been condoned by such political party, person or authority within fifteen days from the date of such voting or abstention.
  • An elected member of a House who has been elected as such otherwise than as a candidate set up by any political party shall be disqualified for being a member of the House if he joins any political party after such election.
  • i.e. An independent candidate after elections, if he joins any political party he will be disqualified.
  • nominated member of a House shall be disqualified for being a member of the House if he joins any political party after the expiry of six months from the date on which he takes his seat after complying with the requirements of article 99 or, as the case may be, article 188.
Decision on questions as to disqualification on ground of defection:
  • If any question arises as to whether a member of a House has become subject to disqualification under this Schedule, the question shall be referred for the decision of the Chairman or, as the case may be, the Speaker of such House and his decision shall be final.
  • However, this decision is subject to judicial review. (Kihoto Hollohon case 1993 judgment)
Some cases where disqualification on the ground of defection will not apply:
  • If the merger of the original party to which a member belongs happens with another party, then those members who go out of the original party and join another party will not be disqualified. But in that case, the merger will be considered only when two-thirds or above of the members of the party have agreed to such a merger.
  • If a person has been elected as the Presiding officer of the house and if he voluntarily gives up the membership of his political party, he will not be disqualified.  And if he rejoins the political party after he ceases to hold the office of Presiding officer of house, then also he will not be disqualified.

Click here to view the official Constitution of India document to know more about Anti-Defection Law in the Tenth schedule.

Significance of Anti-Defection Law:
  • This helps in ensuring political stability as the members won’t jump from one party to another after being elected as a member of the Houses from one party.
  • This will help in enhancing the governance mechanism and ensures the political accountability of members of the Houses to the people.
  • It promotes party discipline among the members of the party as they need to vote according to the Whip’s order.
  • It ensures that candidates elected with party support and on the basis of party manifestoes remain loyal to the party policies.
Limitation of Anti-Defection Law:
  • Interferes with the member’s freedom of speech and expression by curbing dissent against party policies.

To understand more about the intent and impact of Anti-Defection law, visit the official PRS website.

2. AI-powered Grievance Management app launched

News summary

Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh launched an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered grievance management application in New Delhi on July 15, 2021, developed by the Ministry of Defence with the help of IIT-Kanpur.

Mini Insights

Mains GS2 – Good Governance/e-Governance

Significance of AI-powered Grievance Management application:
  • This is the first AI-based system developed to improve grievance redressal in the Government.
  • The AI tool developed as part of the initiative has the capability to understand the content of the complaint based on the contents therein.
  • Based on the meaning of the complaint, it can categorize complaints of different categories even when keywords normally used for such search are not present in the complaint.
  • It enables geographical analysis of complaints in a category including analysis of whether the complaint was adequately addressed or not by the concerned office.
  • Easy user-friendly search enables users to formulate their own queries/categories depending on management requirements and seek performance results based on the query.
  • This AI-powered application will automatically handle and analyze the complaints of the people and would reduce human intervention, save time and bring more transparency to their disposal.
  • This project is the first of its kind initiative of the Government for using AI, data science, and Machine Learning techniques in grievance redressal.

Click here to view the Courtesy: PIB release.

3. PRASHAD scheme

News Summary

Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated various development projects in Varanasi which includes tourist Facilitation Centre under the Project “Development of Varanasi Under PRASHAD Scheme – Phase II” and operation of Cruise Boat from Assi Ghat to RajGhat under the Project “Development of River Cruise in Varanasi under PRASHAD Scheme”.

Prelims GS – Governance

  • The National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation And Spiritual Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASHAD) is a Central Sector Scheme fully financed by the Government of India launched by the Ministry of Tourism in the year 2014-15.
  • The objective of the PRASHAD scheme is the integrated development of identified pilgrimage and heritage destinations.
  • The scheme is aimed at infrastructure development such as entry points (Road, Rail and Water Transport), last-mile connectivity, basic tourism facilities like Information/ Interpretation Centers, ATM/ Money exchange, eco-friendly modes of transport, area Lighting and illumination with renewable sources of energy, parking, drinking water, toilets, cloakroom, waiting rooms, first aid centers, craft bazaars /haats/ souvenir shops/ cafeteria, rain shelters, Telecom facilities, internet connectivity, etc.

Click here to view the official PIB release.





Click here for Daily current affairs for the UPSC exams on other dates.