Daily Current Affairs for UPSC Civil Services Exam – 25 July 2021

In Today’s News:

  1. 97th Constitution Amendment Act.
  2. Surveillance laws in India.
  3. Elephant electrocution.

1. 97th Constitution Amendment Act

News Summary

Recent Supreme Court verdict has struck down a part of the 97th Constitution Amendment Act.

Prelims GS – Polity

Cooperative Societies:
  • Part IX B refers to the Cooperative Societies.
  • Part IX B was inserted through the 97th Constitution Amendment act,2011.
  • Articles 243ZH to 243ZT cover Cooperative Societies.
  • Cooperative societies come under Entry 32 of the State List in the Seventh Schedule.
  • The Amendment proposed to create a framework for the functioning of Cooperative societies.
  • The main idea behind this amendment was to empower Parliament to frame laws for Cooperative Societies that function across many states(Multi-State Cooperatives) and also to empower State Legislatures to frame laws for all other cooperative societies.
Recent verdict and background:
  • The Gujarat High Court has struck down Part IX B because the amendment was not ratified by 50% of the State Legislatures as the amendment tries to make changes in the State List subject on which only State Legislatures have law-making powers and the Gujarat High Court also mentioned that the Part IXB violated the basic structure of the Constitution as it was in breach of federal principles.
  • The Union Government’s argued that no subject was changed from State List to Union List or Concurrent List and didn’t require ratification by the state legislatures.
  • But the Supreme Court rejected the argument saying that the amendment impacted the State’s legislative power and would hence amount to a change that would require ratification by the Assemblies.
Current Status of 97th Amendment Act 2011:
  • 97th Amendment Act 2011 added the words “or cooperative societies” to Article 19(1)(c) of the Constitution to expand the fundamental right to form associations or unions to cover cooperative societies too.
  • A ‘Directive Principle’ through Article 43B was also added through this amendment, which says: “The State shall endeavor to promote voluntary formation, autonomous functioning, democratic control and professional management of cooperative societies.”
  • These clauses are not disturbed.
  • Aligning with the Supreme Court’s judgment, Part IXB dealing with cooperative societies may survive only with reference to multi-State societies.

2. Surveillance laws in India

News Summary

As the Pegasus spyware has become a talk of the town, surveillance laws in India that check to prevent abuse of surveillance procedures are discussed.

Prelims GS – E-Governance

Some important Surveillance laws in India:
  • Section 5(2) of The Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 allows for the Government to intercept any message or class of messages in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign states or public order or for preventing incitement to the commission of an offense.
  • Hon’ble Supreme Court in K.S. Puttaswamy vs Union of India verdict of 2017 further said that means adopted for surveillance needed to be proportional to the need for surveillance, and procedures to check any abuse of surveillance also should be in place.
  • Section 69 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 deals with electronic surveillance.
  • Section 69 of the IT Act 2000 has given the power to the Government to issue directions for interception or monitoring or decryption of any information through any computer resource in the interest of the sovereignty or integrity of India, defense of India, security of the State, friendly relations with foreign states or public order or for preventing incitement to the commission of any cognizable offense.

3. Elephant electrocution

News Summary

An elephant was electrocuted in Odisha in the Hindol Range of the Dhenkanal Forest Division after it had come into contact with live electric wire.

Prelims GS – Environment

Project Elephant:
  • PROJECT ELEPHANT was launched by the Government of India in the year 1992 as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme with the following objectives:
    • 1. To protect elephants, their habitat & corridors
    • 2. To address issues of man-animal conflict
    • 3. Welfare of captive elephants
  • The Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change provides financial and technical support to major elephant range states in the country through Project Elephant.

Click here to view the official website.

Mini Insights

Mains GS3 – Environment

Measures taken for the Reduction of Elephant deaths :
  • A Permanent Coordination Committee was constituted between the Ministry of Railways (Railway Board) and the MoEFCC for preventing elephant deaths in train accidents.
  • Vegetation is cleared along railway tracks so that a clear view can be established for Loco pilots which will help in the reduction of accidents of elephants.
  • Signage boards were installed at places where elephants’ presence is high to alert the loco pilots.
  • Underpasses or overpasses were set up for the safe passage of elephants.
  • Regular patrolling of vulnerable stretches of railway tracks by the frontline staff of the Forest Department and wildlife watchers are among other initiatives the Ministry has undertaken.
  • Plan BEE” was deployed by Indian Railways to keep the elephants off the railway tracks. It involves setting up devices near tracks, which emit the ‘buzzing’ sound of bees, saving elephants from train accidents.





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