In today’s section of the UPSC daily news we’re looking at recent developments and current affairs for UPSC students, around the Citizenship Amendment Act, the telecom overdues being heard by the Supreme Court, a possible beginning for better Indo-Pak relations and the devastating fallouts of the practice of Jallikattu.
34,000 Bru refugees to be settled in Tripura
34,000 internally displaced people of the Bru / Reang community, the second-largest ethnic group in Mizoram will now be settled in Tripura.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah supervised a quadipartite (four party) pact between the Ministry of Home Affairs, the governments of Tripura and Mizoram and leaders from the community to action this agreement.
Centre has sanctioned a Rs 600 crore resettlement package for the Brus as well.
The Reangs or Brus faced violent clashes in Mamith, Mizoram in 1997, when they demand for an autonomous concil. The demand was opposed by Mizo groups, leading to ethnic tensions and an exodus from the state.
The Bru community refugees have been living in tents in Tripura ever since then. There have been multiple attempts to better their conditions before this move, but they have not helped get the community a permanent solution.
In 2008, there was an agreement and a resettlement package to get the refugees to go back to their home state, but it was not successful. Only 328 families decided to go back, while the rest stayed, fearing violence.
Amit Shah has credited PM Narendra Modi for restarting negotiations and ensuring that the displaced people get permanent settlement in Tripura. The state’s erstwhile royal is donating 35 acres of land for these people. Funds to buy more land will be given by Centre and state jointly.
People would receive the following as aid:
- One-time assistance of Rs. 4 lakh as fixed deposit
- A 40/30 feet plot of land
- Rs. 5,000/month for the next two years,
Iv) free ration and Rs. 1.5 lakh to build houses
SC decides - Telcos have to pay overdue bills
A 3-judge bench of the Supreme Court dismissed petitions by telecom companies, including Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea to review an Oct 2019 judgement, which had asked them to pay due bills of Rs 1.47 lakh crore to the government.
The bench (Justice Arun Mishra, Abdul S Nazeer and MR Shah) has rejected pleas for an open court hearing and review.
The Department of Telecom had levied a recovery of the said amount on an adjusted gross revenue of Rs 92,000 crore. This was contested by these companies in court. On Oct 24, the Supreme Court had upheld the bill saying, the sector has benefitted immensely from liberal policies between 2004 and 2015 and should pay for it. Instead, they’re trying to make excuses so that they don’t need pay the licence fee.
Last year’s financial figures showed these companies post significant losses, after adjusting the overdue payments. Hikes in customer plans may occur as a result of the order, as these companies would try to raise funds to pay these dues.
Punjab govt to move anti-CAA resolution
Joining other states which are standing against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the Punjab assembly will see an ‘official resolution’ to repeal the Act on January 17, on the second day of a special assembly session.
The government has posted this as one of the items of business in a list released by the Punjab Vidhan Sabha. The matter has been moved by a state minister. The non-BJP state government had decided to go by the will of the house on the joint issues of the CAA, the National Register of Citizens and the National Population Register.
This will make Punjab join the anti-CAA quarry with West Bengal, Kerala, Rajasthan and Maharashtra. West Bengal has also decided not to attend MHA meetings over the CAA to show its stance against the law.
India to invite Pakistan PM for SCO summit
New Delhi is inviting Pak PM Imran Khan for the Shanghai cooperation organization when it will host the event later this year. This will be Imran Khan’s first visit to India after taking over as the Pakistani PM.
India is all set to host the heads of government summit this year. As per the procedure of SCO, all 8 members, 4 observer states and other international dialogue partners will be invited.
SCO is a China led economic and security bloc to which both India and Pakistan were admitted in 2017. This time, India is hosting it in October.
The Pakistani PM has yet not confirmed his attendence as tensions between India and Pakistan have been running high after the Pulwama, Balakote and Uri attacks.
The two countries have already fought two of their three full scale wars over Kashmir. The removal of Article 370 from the state by India has also led to resentment from Pakistan and the escalation of the Kashmir issue again in after the abrogation Pakistan is showing its resentment again in the international community.
If Khan does not attend the meeting, then the Pakistani foreign minister would come in his stead. Normally, however, this meeting is conducted annually at Prime Ministerial level with focus on multilateral trade and economic cooperation.
Jallikattu kicks off amid fanfare in Tamil Nadu,over 35 injured
Jallikattu, a 4-day-long harvest event during Pongal in Tamil Nadu, has begun with a huge ruckus, as the crowds enjoyed the spectacle of thousands of charging bulls. It has also led to over 35 injuries so far.
Jallikattu, a bull taming sport involves aggressive confrontation between cattle and humans. It is very popular in the state, though considered cruel. It had also been banned by the Supreme Court in 2014, though the ban was later reversed.
The sport involves men clad in green jerseys trying to tame droves of bulls in a show of masculinity. A huge crowd of people enjoy the spectacle from the Caadivaasal (an entrance through which the bull emerges ).
In 2014, the Animal Welfare Board of India had filed a case in Supreme Court for an immediate ban on the sport because of the cruelty to animals and the threat to the public safety. On May 7, 2014 Supreme Court struck down the state law and banned it.
When the Supreme court had banned the sport in 2014, there was a massive protest for continuous 15 days. Following this, the government of Tamil Nadu and central government had to step in to reverse the bar.
The event sees a large audience, including foreigners and children. It is held every year till January 31 and more than 2,000 bulls participate each year. It is an exercise in logistics and a question on the kind of culturally sanctioned practices which still exist in the country. Often, the states leaves ancient cultural practices as they are and simply adds rules for better organisation and regulation.
All The Best To All The UPSC 2020 Aspirants !