Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:
International Relations [Paper-I]: India’s Foreign Policy, International Organisations, International Treaties and Forums, their structure and mandate
- India will host the 19th Council of Heads of Government of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in 2020.
- This will be the first such high level meeting of the eight-member grouping to be organised by India after its admission to the bloc in 2017.
- 18th meeting of Council of Heads and Governments of the SCO countries was held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan (November, 2019).
- It is a Eurasian political, economic and military organisation, which was founded in Shanghai by the leaders of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan in the year 2001.
- It is a permanent intergovernmental international organization.
- SCO Charter was signed in 2002, and entered into force in 2003.
- SCO holds two types of annual summits namely Council of Heads of States and Summits Heads of Governments.
- Heads of State Council (HSC) is the supreme decision-making body in the SCO.
- Heads of Government Council (HGC) meets once a year to discuss the organisation’s multilateral cooperation strategy and priority areas, to resolve current important economic and other cooperation issues, and also to approve the organisation’s annual budget.
- SCO’s official languages are Russian and Chinese.
Main Goals of SCO
- Strengthening mutual trust and neighbourliness among the member states
- Promoting effective cooperation in politics, trade, the economy, research, technology and culture, as well as in education, energy, transport, tourism, environmental protection, and other areas
- Making joint efforts to maintain and ensure peace, security and stability in the region
- Moving towards the establishment of a democratic, fair and rational new international political and economic order
- SCO Secretariat based in Beijing
- Executive Committee of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) based in Tashkent
- SCO has high economic potential because 40% of the world’s population lives in its countries.
- They produce an aggregate GDP of more than $18 trillion, which is more than the 22% of the global GDP. By 2025, it is expected to reach 38-40%.
- SCO is seen as an eastern counter-balance to NATO.
- It has a strategically important role in Asia due to its geographical significance which enables it to control the Central Asia and limit the American influence in region.
Importance of SCO membership for India
- It will allow India to push effective action in combating terrorism and on issues related to security.
- India through RATS can improve its counterterrorism abilities by working toward intelligence sharing, law enforcement and developing best practices and technologies.
- Since India is an energy deficient country with increasing demands for energy, SCO provides it with an opportunity to meet its energy requirements through regional diplomacy.
- It provides direct access to Central Asia which will help the country in overcoming the barriers in flourishing of trade between India and Central Asia.
- It is a platform for India to simultaneously engage with its traditional friend Russia as well as its rivals, China and Pakistan.
POLITY & GOVERNANCE
Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:
Indian Constitution [Paper-I]: Indian Constitution and its salient features, Functions and Responsibilities of the Union and the States, Parliament and State Legislatures, Issues and challenges pertaining to Federal Structure
- President Ram Nath Kovind approved a proclamation imposing President’s Rule in Maharashtra, following a recommendation from Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari.
- Prior to that, Union Cabinet, led by Prime Minister approved the recommendation of Governor to the President to issue the proclamation under Article 356(1) of the Constitution.
- While recommending President’s Rule, Governor noted that a situation has arisen when the formation of a stable government is not possible even 15 days after the election results had been declared.
How President’s Rule is imposed?
It is imposed through the invocation of Article 356 of the Constitution by the President on the advice of the Union Council of Ministers.
- Once the President’s Rule has been imposed on a state, the elected state government will be temporarily dissolved.
- The Governor, who is appointed by the government at the Centre, will replace the Chief Minister as the chief executive of the State.
- The state will fall under the direct control of the Union government, and the Governor will continue to be head the proceedings, representing the President of India.
- The imposition of the President’s rule requires the sanction of both the houses of Parliament by simple majority.
- If approved, it can go on for a period of six months.
- However, the imposition cannot be extended for more than three years, and needs to be brought before the two houses every six months for approval.
Grounds to impose President’s Rule
- Breakdown of Constitutional Machinery in the State.
- Failure of the state to comply with or to give effect to any direction given by centre.
- Article 356 has been widely criticised for giving provisions for the party/coalition in the Centre to misuse democratic powers for political gains.
- BR Ambedkar called the Article as ‘the death letter of Indian Constitution‘.
- The opposition parties running governments in various states were dissolved by those at the Centre by making use of this provision.
[Source: The Hindu, Indian Express]
Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:
Environment [Paper-II]: Issues and concerns related to environment, its legal aspects, policies and treaties for the protection of environment at the National and the International level
Why in News?
Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) is undertaking a mass cleanliness-cum-awareness drive in 50 identified beaches under the “Swachh – Nirmal Tat Abhiyaan”, from 11th -17th November, 2019.
News in Detail
- The identified beaches are in 10 coastal States/Union Territories (UTs) namely Gujarat, Daman & Diu, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh, and Odisha.
- The beaches have been identified after the consultation with the States/UTs.
- The cleaning drives in all beaches are being undertaken, involving school/college students of Eco-clubs, district administration, institutions, volunteers, local communities and other stakeholders.
- For beach cleaning activities, which will be a duration of two hours on daily basis, a minimum of one Kilometre stretch of the beach shall be identified.
- Beach sand cleaning machines shall also be deployed at about identified 15 beaches.
- The collected waste will be processed as per extant Waste Management Rules, 2016.
- Environment Education Division of the Environment Ministry and Society of Integrated Coastal Management (SICOM) under the aegis of this Ministry will be responsible for the overall coordination for the drive in 50 beaches.
- On completion of the drive, best three beaches will be suitably awarded along with a Certificate of Appreciation for all the participating Eco-clubs.
FACTS OF THE DAY
550TH BIRTH ANNIVERSARY OF GURU NANAK DEV
- 550th birth anniversary of the first Sikh guru and founder of Sikhism Guru Nanak Dev was celebrated on 12th November, 2019.
- Guru Nanak Dev was born on the full moon day of Kartik month or Kartik Poornima in 1469.
- He was born in a village called Rai Bhoi di Talwandi, presently popular as Nankana Sahib, near Lahore in Pakistan.
- Guru Nanak Jayanti, also known as Gurupurab, is considered one of the holiest festivals of the Sikh community.
- A three-day festival, Gurupurab celebrations begin with Prabhat Pheris (early morning processions) at the gurudwaras and then proceed to the localities with Sikh devotees singing hymns.
- It is led by Panj Pyaras or Nagarkirtan (the five beloved ones), who carry the Sikh flag, known as the Nishan Sahib and the palanquin of Guru Granth Sahib.
- Gatka, a special type of martial art is performed by the people on this occasion with a sword.
NATIONAL EDUCATION DAY
- National Education Day is observed every year in India on 11th November.
- The day commemorates the Birth Anniversary of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, the first Education Minister of Independent India.
- He was born on November 11, 1888 in Mecca.
- In 1912, he began a weekly Urdu newspaper called the “Al-Hilal”.
- He was the youngest president of Indian National Congress. At the age of 35, he presided over the special Delhi session of the Congress in 1923.
- He was died of a stroke on February 22, 1958.
- After his death, he was awarded India’s highest civilian honour, Bharat Ratna in 1992 for his immense contributions to the nation.
SRI LANKA CRIMINALISED OFFENCES RELATED TO MATCH-FIXING
- Sri Lanka has become the first South Asian nation to criminalise several offences related to match-fixing as its parliament passed a bill labelled “Prevention of Offences Related to Sports“.
- If a person is found guilty of committing an offence related to corruption in sports, then he may find himself jailed for a term up to 10 years and he will also be required to pay various fines.
- The legislation not only seeks to punish any person related to a sport who is directly involved in fixing, but also those who provide inside information.
- Curators who prepare surfaces to suit betting operators or the match officials who deliberately misapply the rules for money can also face a jail term if found guilty.
- The bill also criminalises “acts of omission“, which includes failure to report corrupt approaches.