CORE NOTES 19-07-2018
- Lok Sabha to debate TDP’s no-trust motion tomorrow
Article 75 of the Constitution says that the council of ministers shall be collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha. It means that the ministry stays in office so long as it enjoys confidence of the majority of the members of the Lok Sabha. In other words, the Lok Sabha can remove the ministry from office by passing a no-confidence motion. The motion needs the support of 50 members to be admitted. It need not state the reasons for its adoption in the Lok Sabha. It can be moved against the entire council of ministers only. It is moved for ascertaining the confidence of Lok Sabha in the council of ministers. If it is passed in the Lok Sabha, the council of ministers must resign from office.
- LS clears detention policy
Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009
The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act or Right to Education Act (RTE) is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted on 4 August 2009, which describes the modalities of the importance of free and compulsory education for children between the age of 6 to 14 years in India under Article 21A of the Indian Constitution. India became one of 135 countries to make education a fundamental right of every child when the act came into force on 1 April 2010.The title of the RTE Act incorporates the words ‘free and compulsory’. ‘Free education’ means that no child, other than a child who has been admitted by his or her parents to a school which is not supported by the appropriate Government, shall be liable to pay any kind of fee or charges or expenses which may prevent him or her from pursuing and completing elementary education. ‘Compulsory education’ casts an obligation on the appropriate Government and local authorities to provide and ensure admission, attendance and completion of elementary education by all children in the 6-14 age group. With this, India has moved forward to a rights based framework that casts a legal obligation on the Central and State Governments to implement this fundamental child right as enshrined in the Article 21A of the Constitution, in accordance with the provisions of the RTE Act.17.
What is this Act about?
The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 is about a child’s right to education. It ensures that all children get free education from class 1 to class 8. To achieve this, the Act lays down some duties for governments, schools, teachers and parents.
The Act also contains rules on pupil-teacher ratio, teacher vacancies, penalties for conducting screening tests and punishing children.
Does this Act apply to all children?
This Act only applies to children between the ages of 6 to 14. However, children who are more than 14 years old but have not been able to attend school till class 8, can get free education till class 8 under this Act.
How does this Act help children?
All children between the ages of 6 to 14 can get free education from class 1 to class 8, in a nearby government school or aided school. Children, who have never been to school or have dropped out, can get back to school. They will get admission in a class suitable to their age. Children, who are poor or underprivileged in some way, can get free education till class 8 in a private school (except the minority institutions). Children must be given admission in a school even if they don’t have documents like transfer certificate and age proof. Children cannot be forced to give tests for getting admission in a school. Children cannot be asked to leave school or be forced to repeat a class, till they complete class 8. It is illegal to beat up or harass a child.
Why is the word ‘compulsory’ used?
The word ‘compulsory’ means that it is compulsory for the government to give free education to all children. It does not mean it is compulsory for parents to send their children to school.
How can a child get free education in a private school?
Children from ‘disadvantaged groups’ and ‘weaker sections’ can get free education in a private school. These terms are explained below. Every private school has to keep 25% of its seats in class 1 for children from ‘disadvantaged groups’ and ‘weaker sections’. The school has to give free education to these children till class 8.
- Rocky summit
START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) was a bilateral treaty between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) on the reduction and limitation of strategic offensive arms. The treaty was signed on 31 July 1991 and entered into force on 5 December 1994. The treaty barred its signatories from deploying more than 6,000 nuclear warheads atop a total of 1,600 inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and bombers. START negotiated the largest and most complex arms control treaty in history, and its final implementation in late 2001 resulted in the removal of about 80 percent of all strategic nuclear weapons then in existence. Proposed by United States President Ronald Reagan, it was renamed START I after negotiations began on the second START treaty.
The START I treaty expired 5 December 2009. On 8 April 2010, the replacement New START treaty was signed in Prague by United States President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. Following ratification by the U.S. Senate and the Federal Assembly of Russia, it went into force on 26 January 2011. This Treaty was the first to provide tremendous reductions of American and Soviet/Russian strategic nuclear weapons
New START Treaty
The New START Treaty imposed even more limitations on the United States and Russia which reduced them to both significantly less strategic arms within seven years from when it enters into full force. Organized into three tiers, the new Treaty focusses on the Treaty itself, Protocol which contains additional rights and obligations regarding the Treaty provisions, and Technical Annexes to the protocol.
These limits were based on stringent analysis conducted by Department of Defense planners in support of the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review. These aggregate limits consists of 1,550 nuclear warheads which includes warheads on deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), warheads on deployed submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM), and even any deployed heavy bomber equipped for nuclear armaments. This is 74 percent fewer than the limit previously set in the 1991 Treaty and 30 percent fewer than the limit of the 2002 Moscow Treaty. Both parties will also be limited to a combined total of 800 deployed and non-deployed ICBM launchers, SLBM launchers, and heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments. There is also a separate limit of 700 deployed ICBMs, deployed SLBMs, and deployed heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments which is less than half the corresponding strategic nuclear delivery vehicle limit imposed in the previous Treaty. Although these new restrictions have been set, the new Treaty does not contain any limitations regarding the testing, development, or deployment of current or planned U.S. missile defense programs and low-range conventional strike capabilities.
The duration of the new Treaty is ten years and can be extended for a period of no more than five years at a time. It includes a standard withdrawal clause like most arms control agreements. The 2002 Moscow Treaty has been superseded by thus subsequent Treaty
New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) is a nuclear arms reduction treaty between the United States and the Russian Federation with the formal name of Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms. It was signed on 8 April 2010 in Prague, and, after ratification,entered into force on 5 February 2011. It is expected to last at least until 2021.
New START replaced the Treaty of Moscow (SORT), which was due to expire in December 2012. Its name is a follow-up to the START I treaty, which expired in December 2009, the proposed START II treaty, which never entered into force, and the START III treaty, for which negotiations were never concluded.
Under terms of the treaty, the number of strategic nuclear missile launchers will be reduced by half. A new inspection and verification regime will be established, replacing the SORT mechanism. It does not limit the number of operationally inactive stockpiled nuclear warheads that remain in the high thousands in both the Russian and American inventories.
- Restoring faith in EVMs
Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs):-
EVMs are electronic voting machines which provide the voter with a button for each choice and it is connected by a cable to an electronic ballot box. It consists of two units – control unit and balloting unit– which are connected by a 5-metre cable. The control unit is with the Election Commission appointed polling officer and the Balloting Unit is in the voting compartment into which the voter enters to cast his/her vote in secret by pressing the button against the name and symbol of the candidate of his/her choice. The EVM runs on a 6-volt single alkaline battery fitted in the control unit, and can even be used in areas that have no electricity.
Why did India replace paper ballots with Electronic Voting Machine?
Inherent problems of paper ballots – their printing, storage, and transportation involve huge expenditure, lakhs of ballot boxes need for each election and logistics issues with their safe storage between elections.
Using EVMs mean doing away with paper ballots, thus save paper and hence trees.
It makes the voting process very simple and easy.
EVMs, in the long run, are cost effective.
EVMs don’t require electricity and run on batteries.
EVMs are lighter and portable as compared to huge ballot boxes.
EVMs have made the vote counting process much faster, delivering results in hours as against manual counting of votes.
When were Electronic Voting Machines first used in elections?
EVMs were used on experimental basis for the first time in 16 Assembly Constituencies in the States of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and NCT of Delhi in 1998. In the Lok Sabha elections of 2004, the entire country voted using EVMs.
What is the latest controversy about Electronic Voting Machines?
The opposition parties have alleged that the EVMs have been tampered with in favour of the ruling party. This allegation is not new and both political parties and experts have repeatedly questioned the functioning of EVMs since its adoption.
Following are the ways the doubters allege EVMs can be tampered with:
Chips/components replaced with look-alikes that favour particular party.
To beat mock drills, manipulation programmed such that it kicks in only once when voting has been going on for a while. So mock poll shows correct results but final tally dodgy.
A chip with a Bluetooth link placed in an EVM controlled from a mobile phone.
EVMs can be rigged to switch votes between the candidates.
The voter can’t know whether the vote reported is same as vote the cast.
It is alleged that recorded vote may never be cast.
There is no reliable way to detect errors in the recording of votes.
Portable hardware devices can change vote records stored in the machines (can be carried out by local officials).
Physical seals on EVMs consist of stickers, string, and red wax is not difficult to tinker with.
Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT)
Following a PIL by Subramanian Swamy, Supreme Court asked EC to introduce VVPAT. VVPAT is a slip generated in a printer-like a machine attached to EVM and flashes voter’s choice of candidate and party. Generated slip is shown for a few seconds to the voter to cross check before it falls into a sealed drop box which can be opened during counting. Under VVPATs, initially, election results are announced based on the recording of votes given by EVMs. If the election results are disputed, then the votes recorded under Paper Trail System shall be counted and announced. If there is any discrepancy between the two results, then the result given by VVPAT will prevail over the EVMs. The Supreme Court has supported the EC endeavor to use VVPATs in a phased manner to usher in more transparency in voting. The Election Commission would need over 16 lakh paper trail machines, which dispel doubts about votes cast using EVMs, to cover all polling stations in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.