#GS2 #Governance

  • The ordinance on unlawful religious conversions, promulgated by the Uttar Pradesh government last year, has not been sent to the Centre for examination, according to a reply from the Union Home Ministry to a query under the Right to Information Act (RTI).
  • The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) examines bills passed by States that are repugnant to Central laws before they get the President’s assent to become a law. 

Doctrine of Repugnancy

  • Repugnancy refers to the conflict between two pieces of legislation which when applied to the same facts produce different results. 
  • Repugnancy arises when the provisions of two laws are so inconsistent and irreconcilable that it is impossible to do one without disobeying the other.
  • According to Article 254 of the Indian Constitution, if a conflict arises between a central and a state legislation, then the central law will prevail. i.e., if both the Parliament and the state legislature make a law upon a matter in the Concurrent List and the laws are such that they are irreconcilable, then the law made by the Parliament shall prevail.
  • If any provision of a state law is repugnant to a provision in a law made by the Parliament, which the Parliament is competent to enact, or with any existing law regarding any matter in the Concurrent List, then the Parliamentary law would prevail over the State law. It will be of no importance whether the Parliamentary law was enacted before or after the State law. To the extent of repugnancy, the State law will be void.
  • In M. Karunanidhi v. Union of India, the Supreme Court held that, where the provisions of a Central Act and a State Act in the Concurrent list are fully inconsistent and absolutely irreconcilable, the Central Act will prevail and the State Act will become void in view of the repugnancy.

Legislative Subjects List

  • Under Article 246, legislative power is divided among Union and the states. 
  • The Seventh Schedule of the Indian constitution defines distribution of power in three lists:
  1. Union List
  2. State List
  3. Concurrent List
  • Union List: Powers to make laws on any of the subjects in the Union List. Parliament has exclusive jurisdiction in these subjects.
  1. It consists of the matters of national importance and the matters which require uniformity of legislation across the country.
  2. 98 subjects are included in Union list: defence, banking, foreign affairs, currency, atomic energy, insurance, communication, inter-state trade and commerce, census, audit etc comes under the Union list.
  • State List: Powers to make laws with respect to any of the matters mentioned in the State List lies with the state legislature. But these powers can be taken away during emergency. 
  1. It mostly contains subjects related to regional and local importance and the matters which permit diversity of interest.
  2. 59 subjects are given in the state list: public order, police, public health and sanitation, agriculture, prisons, local government, fisheries, markets, theaters, gambling are some of them.
  • Concurrent List: Parliament and state legislature both can make laws in connection to any of the subjects given in the Concurrent List.
  1. Matters on which uniformity of legislation throughout the country is desirable but not essential are placed here. 
  2. Presently 52 subjects like criminal law and procedure, civil procedure, marriage and divorce, population control and family planning, electricity, labour welfare, economic and social planning, drugs, newspapers, books and printing press are mentioned in the concurrent list. 
  • Five subjects from the State List have been moved to the Concurrent List under the 42nd Amendment Act of 1976. The subjects transferred are education, forests, weights and measures, protection of wild animals and birds, and administration of justice; constitution and organisation of all courts except the Supreme Court and the High Courts.

Other Features:

  • Residuary power lies with the Central government. It means the matters which are not mentioned in any of the three lists, the power to make those laws lies with the Parliament.
  • The jurisdiction to make laws in any part of the Indian Territory (not included in a state) lies with the Parliament. Even though that subject is one which is mentioned in the State List, the Parliament is the authority in such cases.



India’s overdependence on China

#GS2 #InternationalRelations

  • China still remains the largest source of critical imports for India, from mobile phone components to pharmaceutical ingredients.  
  • India is working on a multipronged strategy to reduce this reliance, which is a bigger concern than the imbalance in trade. 

Trade dependency

  • At present, India exports plenty of raw materials and intermediate products from China.
  • India also imports finished products and key intermediates like active pharmaceutical ingredients are also from China. If China were to stop the APIs for penicillin, we would not be able to produce it in this country.
  • In terms of capital goods, Indian manufacturing sector is very much dependent on supplies from China, machineries being the prime among them. Electrical machinery, semiconductor driven machinery etc. are examples.
  • Fertilizers, which is crucial for our economy and food security comes from China.
  • Plenty of limited value consumer goods, have flooded the Indian market to a large extent. 
  • If India and China’s trade stops, China would only have 3% of its and not even 1% of its imports at stake. But India on the other hand will lose 5% of exports and 14% of imports.

What should be done? 

  • India needs to come up with a multipronged strategy to reduce this dependence, ranging from the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme to boost domestic manufacturing. 
  • India’s foreign missions should also focus to find alternatives to China, and make use of free trade agreements (FTAs) with other trading partners.
  • COVID 19 has accelerated this process. India shared with its foreign missions lists of items critically dependent on China, following which the missions linked up with suppliers in their countries.
  • China still remained the biggest source of India’s imports, but imports last year fell 10.8%, the lowest since 016. Two-way trade in 2020 reached $87.6 billion, down by 5.6%, while the trade deficit declined to a five year low of $45.8 billion.
  • Although India had made improvements in Ease of Doing Business, offering attractive terms to foreign investors, it attracted little investments. 
  • We should now analyse the pattern of FDI inflows into China and India and make improvements accordingly. 
  • The policies should look at every dimension to address the varied factors that go into making attracting investments work. 



Tropical cyclones

#GS1 #Geography

  • Tropical cyclones across the globe, except Atlantic hurricanes, are moving closer to land in recent decades, a new study found. 
  • Tropical cyclones generally have been moving westward by about 30 kilometres per decade since 1982, putting them closer to land and making them more dangerous, a study published in Science said. 
  • Each decade since the 1980s, an additional two cyclones have come within 200 kilometres of land. 
  • Researchers do not quite know why this is happening, but it adds to other ominous trends in cyclone activity.
  • Unlike other areas, the Atlantic hurricane basin didn’t show any significant westward shift.
  • The reason behind this is assumed to be because the Atlantic hurricane zone is more closely surrounded by continents. 

Tropical Cyclones

  • Tropical cyclones are violent storms that originate over oceans in tropical areas. 
  • One of the most devastating natural calamities in the world, they wreck havoc in the coastal areas by bringing violent storms, heavy rainfall and storm surges.
  • Tropical cyclones originate and intensify over warm tropical oceans. 
  • Certain conditions are required for the formation and intensification of tropical storms: 
    • Vast sea surface with temperature above 27° C.
    • Small variations in the vertical wind speed.
    • Coriolis force.
    • A pre-existing weak low- pressure area / low-level-cyclonic circulation.
    • Upper divergence above the sea level system.



Tilt to Saturn’s rotation axis

#GS3 #Science&Technology

  • Scientists from CNRS, Sorbonne University and the University of Pisa have reported that the tilt of the rotation axis of the gas giant Saturn may in fact be caused by its moons. 
  • The current tilt of Saturn's rotation axis is caused by the migration of its satellites, and especially by that of its largest moon, Titan.
  • Recent observations have shown that Titan and the other moons are gradually moving away from Saturn much faster than astronomers had previously estimated.
  • Researchers concluded that this process affects the inclination of Saturn's rotation axis: as its satellites move further away, the planet tilts more and more.



Green tax

#GS3 #Environment&Ecology

  • Union Transport Minister has announced his Ministry’s approval of a ‘green tax’ on vehicles of specified vintage, as a means of dissuading people from using polluting vehicles.

Differential Taxation

  • The policy provides exemptions for tractors, harvesters and tillers used in farms, hybrid, electric, ethanol, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) powered vehicles, and a lower green tax for public transport vehicles such as buses. 
  • A higher additional 50% of road tax is proposed for vehicles in highly polluted cities, as well as differential tax based on fuel and vehicle type, such as diesel. 
  • Vehicles of government departments and public sector units that are older than 15 years are to be deregistered and scrapped.


  • The major pollutants like carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx), photochemical oxidants, lead (Pb), particulate matter (PM) etc. can adverse effects like reduced visibility, cancers, respiratory and cardiovascular ailments, increased mortality, morbidity and impaired pulmonary function.
  • In Accordance with "Polluter Pays Principle": It is the commonly accepted practice that those who produce pollution should bear the costs of managing it to prevent damage to human health or the environment.
  • For example, a factory that produces a potentially poisonous substance as a byproduct of its activities is usually held responsible for its safe disposal. Similarly Green tax is to be paid by the owners of pollution causing vehicles.
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