Karnataka Cabinet panel to study promotions for SCs and STs

Image: Karnataka Cabinet panel to study promotions for SCs and STs
Image Source: ToI

The Karnataka Cabinet on Wednesday decided to setup a Cabinet sub-committee to study the recent SC order that struck down reservation in promotion for the Scheduled Caste and the Scheduled Tribe employees.

The State has had reservation in promotions for SC, ST employees since 1978 – 15% for SCs and 3% for STs – which has been struck down by the SC. The State has already filed a review petition challenging the order.

The issue has political implications in poll-bound Karnataka, with Dalit groups demanding that the government find ways to circumvent the order.

What was the SC judgement?

On February 9, the SC declared the Karnataka Determination of Seniority of the Government Servants Promoted on the Basis of Reservation Act invalid to the extent it accorded consequential seniority to SC and ST employees in public offices without carrying out the requisite exercise under Article 16(4A). The Supreme Court in M. Nagaraj’s case of 2006 as well held that the State must demonstrate backwardness, inadequacy of representation and maintenance of efficiency before providing reservation in promotion under Article 16(4).

The SC added that if the state has not conducted the requisite exercise under Article 16(4A), the judicially evolved ‘catch-up’ rule will fully apply to control the extent of reservation.

What is consequential seniority?

Consequential Seniority in laymen terms means the seniority attained as a consequence of promotion. Suppose A and B are on the same post at a given point of time, but A is 2 years senior than B. B get promoted earlier than A due to his SC status. Now when A will get promotion to the post that B got promoted to earlier, B will be senior to A by the number of years after which A got the promotion to the same post. This despite the fact that initially A was senior than B.

What is the judicially evolved ‘catch-up’ rule?

The ‘catch-up’ rule was explained in the Nagaraj judgement, holding that if a senior general candidate was promoted after SC and ST candidates, he would gain his seniority on promotion in relation to the juniors who had been promoted against reserved vacancies.



The Hindu Newspaper (You can download the newspaper for free through a link given on this page – UPSC Aspirants Forum).



Odisha plans development for tribal areas

Image: Special Development Councils for tribals in Odisha
Image Source: tribestourorissa.com

The Odisha Cabinet on Wednesday decided to establish Special Development Councils for nine tribal dominated districts in Odisha. These councils will take up cultural, educational and economic development in harmony with the unique identity and ethos of the people.

The formation of these councils is significant as many small tribal groups do not get represented directly in higher decision making in a democratic system based on majority.

The councils will have representation from every tribe present in the district and will have decision making powers and financial resources to preserve, promote and develop their unique socio-cultural identities and their economic capacities.

Odisha government will be spending a total of Rs. 175.50 crore per annum and cover each block under these councils.

Tribals in Odisha constitute 22% of the State’s population and nearly 10% of the nation’s tribal population. Of the 62 distinct STs in the State, 13 belong to the particularly vulnerable tribal groups.

Tribal Areas in India and the Constitutional Provisions related to them:

Image: Special Development Councils for tribals in Orissa

Article 244 in Part X of the Constitution envisages special system of administration for certain areas designated as ‘scheduled areas’ and ‘tribal areas’.

The Sixth Schedule of the Constitution deals with the administration of the tribal areas in the four northeastern states of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram. It contains special provisions for the administration of tribal areas in the above mentioned four northeastern states.

The rationality behind this special arrangement for them is that they have not assimilated much the life and ways of the other people in these four states. The tribal people in other parts of India have more or less adopted the culture of the majority of the people in whose midst they live.

These areas are, therefore, treated differently by the Constitution of India and sizeable amount of autonomy has been given to these people for self-government.



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Indian Polity by Laxmikanth.

Privacy is a fundamental but wholly qualified right

Supreme Court of India image

The Centre on Wednesday told the SC that privacy was indeed a fundamental right, but a “wholly qualified” one.

This led a nine-judge Constitutional Bench headed by Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar to sum up Attorney General K.K. Venugopal’s submission – Right to Privacy is a fundamental right. But not every aspect of it (privacy) is a fundamental right. It depends on a case-to-case basis. Mr. Venugopal agreed to the court’s interpretation of the government’s stand.

On July 18, the five-judge SC Bench which was to deal with pleas challenging the validity of the Aadhar scheme and the right to privacy attached to it, referred the question whether ‘Right to Privacy’ is a constitutional right to a larger nine-judges Bench of the SC.

The Centre cited the SC judgement of 1954 (M.P. Sharma judgement) and 1962 (Kharak Singh judgement) – where it (the SC) held that the ‘Right to Privacy’ was not a fundamental right –in front of the five-judge Bench of the SC after which the Bench referred the question to a larger nine-judge Bench.

The hearing is to continue on Thursday.

Earlier position of the SC on ‘Right to Privacy’

The SC in various judgements have declared that the Right to Privacy is a part of Article 21 of the Constitution. Article 21 guarantees the fundamental right to life and liberty.

At the same time, the SC in the 1954 M.P. Sharma judgement and the 1962 Kharak Singh judgement have held that the Right to Privacy is not the fundamental right.

It is to correctly interpret the Constitution that the five-judge SC Bench, on July 18, referred the question whether the Right to Privacy is a fundamental right or not to a larger nine-judge bench.


Reference (s):

The Hindu (You can download the newspaper for free from a link given on this FB page – UPSC Aspirants Forum)

India rejects OIC move on vigilantism

Image: India rejects OIC move on vigilantism
Image Source: Times of India

India on Tuesday strongly rejected the resolutions of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) that had expressed concern about the recent attacks on people by cow-vigilante groups. An official statement from the Ministry of External Affairs stated that the resolution adopted at the Organisation’s latest foreign ministers’ meeting were “factually incorrect”.

The MEA statement pointed that the OIC, during its 44th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers, has again adopted certain resolutions which contain factually incorrect and misleading references to matters internal to India, including the Indian state of J&K, which is an integral part of India.

The MEA added that the OIC has no locus standi (the right or capacity to bring an action) on India’s internal affairs. We strongly advise the OIC to refrain from making such references in future.

About Organisation of Islamic Cooperation:

Image: Lofo of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation

Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is an international organisation founded in 1969, consisting of 57 members, to represent a “collective voice of the Muslim world”. It works to safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony.

The OIC has permanent delegations to the UN and the EU.



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HC judge wants Vande Mataram sung in Tamil Nadu


Image: HC judge wants Vande Mataram sung in Tamil Nadu
Image Source: The Hindu

A Madras HC judge on Tuesday ordered Vande Mataram to be played and sung in all schools, colleges, universities and other educational institutions in TN at least once a week – preferably on Monday or Friday. Justice Muralidaran also directed that the song be played and sung in all government offices and institutions, private companies, factories and industries at least once a month.

The judge passed the order while disposing of a writ petition filed by a teacher-aspirant, K. Veeramani, who had approached the court to ascertain the language in Vande Mataram was originally written by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay – Bengali or Sanskrit.

The petitioner had said in his answer to a question in the Teacher Eligibility Test, 2013, that the song was written in Bengali, while the Teachers Recruitment Board (TRB) denied him one mark contending that it was written in Sanskrit.

While directing the TRB to award him one mark, Justice Muralidaran also ordered the playing and singing of the song.

About Vande Mataram song:

Image: Vande Mataram Song
Image Source: Jagaran Josh

Vande Mataram is a poem composed by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay in 1870s, which he included in his 1881 novel Anandamath. The first two verses of the song were adopted as the national song of India in 1947 when India became independent though it had inspired independence movement for the past five decades.

Image: HC judge wants Vande Mataram sung in TN

It played a crucial role in the Indian independence movement, first sung in a political context by Rabindranath Tagore at the 1896 session of the Indian National Congress. It became a popular marching song for political activism and Indian freedom movement in 1905.



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Opposition seeks scrutiny of Banking Regulation

Image: Arun Jaitley responding in Lok Sabha
Image Source: LSTV

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley introduced the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2017, in the Lok Sabha on Monday. The Bill seeks to authorise the RBI to resolve the problem of stressed assets, even as the Opposition demanded that it be sent to a standing committee for scrutiny.

The Bill seeks to amend the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, and replace the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Ordinance promulgated in May. It allows the RBI to open an insolvency resolution process in respect of specific stressed assets.

Some opposition member opposed the Bill and opined that giving such power to RBI will switch its attention from macro-economic issues to micro-economic issues and render the bank management useless. The opposition is demanding the Bill to be examined by the Standing Committee before being laid on the table for discussion.

What will the new Bill do?

The Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill 2017 will amend The Banking Regulation Act 1949, giving the government power to authorise the RBI to issue directions to banks in order to initiate insolvency resolution in case of a default.

Under the provisions of the Bill, the government can also authorise the RBI to issue directions to banks with regard to resolution of stressed assets and appoint authorities or committees to advise the banking companies on stressed asset resolution.

Before the Bill was introduced in the Parliament, the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Ordinance amended the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 in the same way. Ordinances, however, have to be approved by the Parliament within six weeks of session following the introduction.

Apart from empowering RBI in the above-mentioned ways, the Bill will also give RBI the authority to refer NPA cases to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board. The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board provides for a time-bound resolution of defaults and stressed assets, either by restructuring a loan or liquidating the borrower’s assets.

The RBI in June identified 12 defaulters all over the country, who accounted for 25% of all bad loans in the banking system and is currently focusing on resolving their cases. Some cases like Essar Steel and Bhushan Steel have already been referred to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board.




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SC ready to revisit Lodha reforms

Supreme Court of India image

Over a year after backing the reforms framed by high profile Justice Lodha Committee to usher in transparency in the cricket administration, the SC on Monday said it was ready to revisit, if not modify, some key recommendations of the panel.

Recommendations of the Lodha panel which may come under scrutiny are:

  • Policy of “One State, One Vote”; Justice Deepak, who was heading the Bench, said the policy may not be a good idea in this country and hence, he would like to revisit the policy.
  • Policy of capping the number of members in the senior selection committee at three, all of them to be former Test players.

The Bench said it would hear the BCCI, the State cricket associations and member bodies in an effort to make the game of cricket run perfectly in the country.

Meanwhile, the Bench exhorted the BCCI and its members to meet on July 26, as scheduled, and implement the Lodha reforms as regards all issues other than the ones flagged for further debate in court.

The court then recorded that it would take stock of the minutes of the July 26 meeting in a hearing on August 18 and see how much of the Lodha reforms have been agreed to by the BCCI members. The Bench would then post the case for September 5, on which date, the stage would be open for further discussion on possible modifications in the Lodha recommendations.

About Lodha Reforms:

Image: Justice Loadha
Image Source: HindustanTimes

For detailed timeline and extensive coverage of the Lodha Committee recommendations and the steps taken thereafter, click here.

The committee headed by justice (retd) RM Lodha was appointed by the apex court in 2015 in the wake of a sport-fixing scandal in IPL, the biggest crisis to hit the cash-rich sports body in the country. The three-member panel submitted its report on the functioning of the BCCI to the SC on January 4, 2016.

Key recommendations provided for separate governing body for the BCCI and the IPL, no minister or government servant should be appointed as the office bearer of the BCCI, no office bearer can continue to hold its post for consecutive terms and cannot hold two posts at the same time as well. It also provided for the policy of ‘One State, One Vote’.

On July 18, the SC upheld all the recommendations of the Lodha Committee and gave a deadline of four to six months to the SC to implement all the reforms.



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