GS 2: Polity & IR : 17/11/18
Govt. mulling over lifting ban on student elections
- After nearly three decades, the State government is mulling over the possibility of reintroducing student elections, which have been banned in Karnataka since the 1989-90 academic year.
- At that time, student unions were seen as being responsible for perpetuating caste-based violence in higher education institutions.
- While student organisations exist in colleges, members are not elected. Their role is limited to expressing protests against policy decisions taken by the universities and the Higher Education Department.
- It was only in 2016 that student representatives were appointed to Bangalore University’s academic council.
- The move to reintroduce student elections has received mixed response from students and academics. While the students’ wings of different political parties have welcomed the move, academics have expressed opposition.
- There are concerns that political ideology will take precedence over education.
Singapore backs India in patrol of Malacca Straits
- Singapore strongly support India’s deep engagement with the ASEAN member-States’ participation in patrols along the Straits of Malacca with Singapore, and look forward to the inaugural conduct of the trilateral maritime exercise with Thailand in the Andaman Sea.
BASIC nations push for ‘climate finance’
- Ahead of the United Nations Conference of Parties (COP) , Environment Ministers and top climate change negotiators from Brazil, South Africa, China and India (BASIC) convened in Delhi and the countries — as a group — would continue to push for developed countries on their earlier commitment to providing $100 billion annually from 2020.
- So far only a fraction of these monies have actually been provided.
- This year’s edition of the COP — the 24th such meeting — will see representatives from at least 190 countries, think-tanks, and activists converge in Katowice, Poland from December 2 to 14 to try to agree on a Rule Book that will specify how countries will agree to take forward commitments taken at the 21st COP in Paris in 2015.
- At that meeting, countries had agreed to take steps to limit global warming to 2C below pre-industrial levels.
- A key aspect to make this possible is climate finance, but countries so far aren’t agreed on what constitutes climate finance: do investments made by private companies in developed countries in new green technology count? Does improving efficiency in a thermal plant count?
- Ministers reiterated that public finance is the fulcrum of enhanced climate ambition by developing countries and urged developed countries to fulfil their climate finance commitments.
‘Cases under SC/ST Act not false’
· Police, prosecution to blame for high rate of acquittals, Centre tells Supreme Court.
- The high rate of acquittals seen under the Scheduled Castes Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act of 1989 is not because the cases are false or malafide. It is because of the failure of the police and the prosecution to render justice to a section of society which has suffered social stigma, poverty and humiliation for centuries, the Centre told the Supreme Court.
- The government was explaining its decision to enact the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2018.
- The 2018 Act nullified a March 20 judgment of the Supreme Court, which allowed anticipatory bail to those booked for committing atrocities against SCs and STs. The original 1989 Act barred anticipatory bail.
- The apex court verdict saw a huge backlash across the country. Several persons died in protests and crores worth of property was destroyed. The government reacted by filing a review petition in the Supreme Court and subsequently amended the 1989 Act back into its original form.
- In August, several petitions were filed challenging the 2018 amendments. The Supreme Court, however, refused to stay the implementation of the amendments.
Row over RBI defaulter list persists
- A Right to Information (RTI) appeal against the RBI’s refusal to disclose a list of wilful defaulters has exposed the fault lines within the Central Information Commission.