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Insights Daily Current Affairs + PIB Summary – 10 December 2019


Table of contents:

GS Paper 2:

  1. Anglo- Indians in Lok Sabha and Assemblies.
  2. 6th Schedule of the Constitution.
  3. Human Development Index.
  4. Hong Kong marks half-year protest anniversary.
  5. WTO’s dispute settlement mechanism.

Facts for prelims:

  1. Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO).
  2. Green good deeds.


GS Paper 2:

Topics Covered:

Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

Anglo- Indians in Lok Sabha and Assemblies


What to study?

For Prelims: Who is an Anglo Indian and constitutional provisions with regard to their nominations.

For Mains: Issues over ending the reservation and what lies ahead?


Context: Anglo-Indians are unlikely to be nominated to Lok Sabha and state Assemblies from now on with the government recently introducing a bill to amend the Constitution seeking to not to extend the provision that is in place for the past 70 years but expires in January next year.


Article 334 has laid down provisions for reserving the seats for SCs and STs and nomination of Anglo-Indians to Lok Sabha and state Assemblies, which shall cease to be in effect on the 25 January 2020, if not extended further.

Meaning of Anglo Indians in India:

The term Anglo Indian is defined as per the article 366 (2) of the Indian constitution; “a person whose father or any of whose other male progenitors in the male line is or was of European descent but who is a native of India.”

Anglo Indians in Parliament and Legislative Assemblies:

Under article 331; the President of India is authorised to nominate 2 members of the Anglo Indian community if know member of this community is elected among the 543 members for the Lok Sabha.

In the same way the governor of the state is authorised to nominate 1 Anglo Indian in the lower house of the State Legislature (in case of under representation).
According to the 10th schedule of the Constitution, any Anglo-Indian member can take the membership of any party within 6 months of the nomination. After the membership; they are bound to the party whip and they have to work in the house according to the party’s agenda.


Sources: the Hindu.


Topics Covered:

  1. Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

6th Schedule of the Constitution

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: Overview of autonomous councils constituted under 6th schedule of the constitution, measures announced for the strengthening of these institutions.


Context: The centre has asserted that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 has been tweaked so that states where the Inner Line Permit (ILP) is applicable, and tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram that are notified under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution would be kept out of its purview.

What CAB exemption means for 6th Schedule areas?

The tweaked CAB states that areas under the Sixth Schedule are exempted from its purview, which means non-Muslim refugees from the three countries who are granted Indian citizenship will not have any land or trading rights in the autonomous regions.

This essentially means the refugees can neither reside or settle in the 10 autonomous districts, nor enjoy benefits extended to the tribals, even if they are provided with Indian citizenship.

Further, the laws made by Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) with the powers bestowed upon them by the Sixth Schedule will not be scrapped by the CAB.

What is 6th schedule?

Under Article 244, it deals with the administration of the tribal areas in the four northeastern states of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.

Passed by the Constituent Assembly in 1949, it seeks to safeguard the rights of tribal population through the formation of Autonomous District Councils (ADC).

Key provisions:

The governor is empowered to organise and re-organise the autonomous districts.

If there are different tribes in an autonomous district, the governor can divide the district into several autonomous regions.

Composition: Each autonomous district has a district council consisting of 30 members, of whom four are nominated by the governor and the remaining 26 are elected on the basis of adult franchise.

Term: The elected members hold office for a term of five years (unless the council is dissolved earlier) and nominated members hold office during the pleasure of the governor.

Each autonomous region also has a separate regional council.

Powers of councils: The district and regional councils administer the areas under their jurisdiction. They can make laws on certain specified matters like land, forests, canal water, shifting cultivation, village administration, inheritance of property, marriage and divorce, social customs and so on. But all such laws require the assent of the governor.

Village councils: The district and regional councils within their territorial jurisdictions can constitute village councils or courts for trial of suits and cases between the tribes. They hear appeals from them. The jurisdiction of high court over these suits and cases is specified by the governor.

Powers and functions: The district council can establish, construct or manage primary schools, dispensaries, markets, ferries, fisheries, roads and so on in the district. It can also make regulations for the control of money lending and trading by non-tribals. But, such regulations require the assent of the governor. The district and regional councils are empowered to assess and collect land revenue and to impose certain specified taxes.

Exceptions: The acts of Parliament or the state legislature do not apply to autonomous districts and autonomous regions or apply with specified modifications and exceptions.

The governor can appoint a commission to examine and report on any matter relating to the administration of the autonomous districts or regions. He may dissolve a district or regional council on the recommendation of the commission.

Related- 125th amendment bill:

It seeks to increase the financial and executive powers of the 10 Autonomous Councils in the Sixth Schedule areas of the northeastern region.

The amendments provide for elected village municipal councils, ensuring democracy at the grassroot level.

  • The village councils will be empowered toprepare plans for economic development and social justice including those related to agriculture, land improvement, implementation of land reforms, minor irrigation, water management, animal husbandry, rural electrification, small scale industries and social forestry.
  • The Finance Commission will be mandated to recommend devolution of financial resources to them.
  • The Autonomous Councils now depend on grants from Central ministries and the State government for specific projects. At least one-third of the seats will be reserved for women in the village and municipal councils in the Sixth Schedule areas of Assam, Mizoram and Tripura after the amendment is approved.


Sources: the Hindu.


Topics Covered:

Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources, issues relating to poverty and hunger.

Human Development Index

What to study?

For Prelims: Key findings, about HDI.

For Mains: Challenges, concerns and ways to address them.


Context: UNDP has released the annual HDI 2019 report.

  • The focus of the 2019 Report is on ‘Inequality in Human Development’.

India’s position:

  • India’s rank- 129. Last year’s rank- 130.
  • Despite lifting 271 million people out of poverty between 2005-15, India still remains home to 28% (364 million) of the world’s poor.
  • Between 1990 and 2018, India’s HDI value increased by 50 per cent (from 0.431 to 0.647), which places it above the average for countries in the medium human development group (0.634) and above the average for other South Asian countries (0.642).
  • This means that in the last three decades, life expectancy at birth in India increased by 11.6 years, whereas the average number of schooling years increased by 3.5 years. Per capita incomes increased 250 times.
  • India is only marginally better than the South Asian average on the Gender Development Index (0.829 vs 0.828), and ranks at a low 122 (of 162) countries on the 2018 Gender Inequality Index.

India’s neighbours:

Sri Lanka (71) and China (85),

Bhutan (134), Bangladesh (135), Myanmar (145), Nepal (147), Pakistan (152) and Afghanistan (170).

Global scenario:

  • Norway, Switzerland, Ireland occupied the top three positions in that order.
  • Globally, there are 1.3 billion poor people.
  • Around 661 million of these poor people live in Asia and the Pacific.
  • South Asia constitutes 41% of the world’s poor.

Changing nature of inequality:

  • As the number of people coming out of poverty is increasing, the world is veering towards another type of poverty.
  • The old inequalities were based on access to health services and education whereas the next generation of poverty is based on technology, education and climate.

What is HDI?

Published by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), it is a statistical tool used to measure a country’s overall achievement in its social and economic dimensions. The social and economic dimensions of a country are based on the health of people, their level of education attainment and their standard of living.

It is part of the Human Development Report.

The other indices that form the part of the 2019 Report are:

  1. Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index (IHDI),
  2. Gender Development Index (GDI),
  3. Gender Inequality Index (GII) and
  4. Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI).

HDI measures average achievement of a country in three basic dimensions of human development:

  1. A long and healthy life.
  2. Access to knowledge.
  3. A decent standard of living.

Sources: the Hindu.


Topics Covered:

Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

Hong Kong marks half-year protest anniversary

What to study?

For prelims: Geographical and political position of Hong Kong.

For mains: Controversy over the extradition bill, concerns expressed, key features of the bill and what needs to be done?


Context: Hong Kong recently marked half-year protest anniversary with huge rally.


  • Semi-autonomous Hong Kong has been battered by increasingly violent demonstrations in the starkest challenge the city has presented to Beijing since its 1997 handover from Britain.
  • Millions have hit the streets in protests fuelled by years of growing fears that authoritarian China is stamping out the city’s liberties.
  • The last fortnight has seen a marked drop in street battles and protester vandalism after the landslide win by pro-democracy candidates.

How is Hong Kong ruled?

Rules under One Country Two Systems approach.

As per the policy, the Hong Kong and Macau Special Administrative Regions, both former colonies, can have different economic and political systems from that of mainland China, while being part of the People’s Republic of China.

  • Hong Kong returned to Chinese control on July 1, 1997, and Macau’s sovereignty was transferred on December 20, 1999.
  • Both regions became Special Administrative Regions of China.
  • The regions would have their own currencies, economic and legal systems, but defence and diplomacy would be decided by Beijing.
  • Their mini-Constitutions would remain valid for 50 years — till 2047 for Hong Kong and 2049 for Macau. It is unclear what will happen after this term.


Sources: the Hindu.


Topics Covered:

Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.


WTO’s dispute settlement mechanism

What to study?

For prelims: WTOs dispute settlement mechanism- objectives, how it operates?

For mains: issues associated and the need for reforms.


Context: The World Trade Organization’s (WTO’s) dispute settlement mechanism is on the brink of collapsing. Of the three members currently on the seven-member body, the terms of two has ended.

What’s the issue now?

The dispute settlement mechanism requires at least three members to function, and world trade is about to enter a phase in which there will be no official resolution for many international disputes — potentially creating the circumstances for a free-for-all.

Who is to be blamed for the situation?

  • Over the last couple of years, the membership of the body has dwindled to (the present) three persons (instead of the required seven) as the United States has blocked the appointments of new members, and the reappointments of members who had completed their four-year tenures.
  • The US believes the WTO is biased against it, and has criticised it for being “unfair”. The administration of President Donald Trump has, therefore, taken the decision to starve the body of personnel and to disregard its authority — imposing new tariffs on not just China, but also American allies such as Canada, Europe, and Japan.

What is the WTO’s Appellate Body, and why is it important?

The Appellate Body, set up in 1995, is a standing committee of seven members that presides over appeals against judgments passed in trade-related disputes brought by WTO members.

Who can approach?

  • Countries involved in a dispute over measures purported to break a WTO agreement or obligation can approach the Appellate Body if they feel the report of the panel set up to examine the issue needs to be reviewed on points of law. Existing evidence is not re-examined; legal interpretations are reviewed.
  • The Appellate Body can uphold, modify, or reverse the legal findings of the panel that heard the dispute. Countries on either or both sides of the dispute can appeal.


The WTO’s dispute settlement procedure is seen as being vital to ensuring smooth international trade flows. The Appellate Body has so far issued 152 reports. The reports, once adopted by the WTO’s disputes settlement body, are final and binding on the parties.

So, what is the problem in the WTO Appellate Body?

Over the last two years, the membership of the body has dwindled to just three persons instead of the required seven.

The understaffed appeals body has been unable to stick to its 2-3 month deadline for appeals filed in the last few years, and the backlog of cases has prevented it from initiating proceedings in appeals that have been filed in the last year.

With the Appellate Body unable to review new applications, there is already great uncertainty over the WTO’s dispute settlement process.

  • If the body is declared non-functional, countries may be compelled to implement rulings by the panel even if they feel that gross errors have been committed.
  • Should such a country refuse to comply with the order of the panel on the ground that it has no avenue for appeal, it will run the risk of facing arbitration proceedings initiated by the other party in the dispute.

Sources: the Hindu.


Facts for prelims:

Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO):

What is it? It is a fraud investigating agency. It is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India. The SFIO is involved in major fraud probes and is the co-ordinating agency with the Income Tax and CBI.

Composition: It is a multi-disciplinary organization having experts from financial sector, capital market, accountancy, forensic audit, taxation, law, information technology, company law, customs and investigation. These experts have been taken from various organizations like banks, Securities and Exchange Board of India, Comptroller and Auditor General and concerned organizations and departments of the Government.


Green good deeds:

  • The campaign has been launched by the Environment Ministry.
  • Aim: To sensitise the people and students, in particular, about climate change and global warming. The objective of the campaign is to restore and return the clean and green environment to the next generation.
  • The Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change had drawn up a list of over 500 Green Good Deeds and asked people to alter their behaviour to Green Good Behaviour to fulfil their Green Social Responsibility.
  • These small positive actions to be performed by individuals or organisations to strengthen the cause of environmental protection, were put on a mobile application named “Dr Harsh Vardhan App”.