CURRENT AFFAIRS – 02/09/2023

CURRENT AFFAIRS – 02/09/2023

CURRENT AFFAIRS – 02/09/2023

CURRENT AFFAIRS – 02/09/2023

Mangri Orang: An Unsung Hero

(General Studies- Paper I)

Assam’s unsung hero rediscovered on stage

Source : TH

On August 29, the North East Regional Centre (NERC) of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (INGCA) staged a play titled “Malati Mem”.

  • It was based on Mangri Orang’s life and her revolutionary spirit.

Key Highlights

  • Mangri Orang, an Adivasi with roots in central India, was referred to as “Malati Mem” by fellow plantation workers, with “Mem” being a shorter form of memsahib.
  • She is known for leading a fight against the proliferation of foreign liquor and opium during the colonial period in India.
  • In 1921, Mangri Orang was gunned down for her activism, making her the first female martyr of India’s freedom movement.
  • The play was part of an initiative to showcase the lives and contributions of northeastern icons on the national stage.

India’s first solar observatory mission Aditya-L1

(General Studies- Paper III)

India’s first solar observatory mission to be launched today

Source : TH

India’s first solar observatory mission, named Aditya-L1, is set to be launched onboard the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota at 11:50 am on a scheduled Saturday.

Key Highlights

  • Highly Eccentric Earth-Bound Orbit
    • Around 63 minutes after lift-off, satellite separation is anticipated as the PSLV will launch the Aditya-L1 spacecraft into a highly eccentric earth-bound orbit at approximately 12:53 pm.
  • One of the Longest ISRO Missions
    • This PSLV-C57/Aditya-L1 mission is considered one of the longest missions involving ISRO’s workhorse launch vehicle.
    • However, the longest PSLV mission to date remains the 2016 PSLV-C35 mission, which concluded two hours, 15 minutes, and 33 seconds after lift-off.
  • Aditya-L1’s Journey
    • Following launch, Aditya-L1 will remain in earth-bound orbits for 16 days, during which it will undergo five maneuvers to gain the necessary velocity for its journey.
    • Afterward, Aditya-L1 will undergo a Trans-Lagrangian1 insertion maneuver, commencing its 110-day trajectory toward the destination around the L1 Lagrange point.
      • L1 Lagrange point is a balanced gravitational location between the Earth and the Sun.
    • Aditya-L1 will remain approximately 1.5 million km away from the Earth, directed toward the Sun, which represents about 1% of the distance between the Earth and the Sun.
  • Studying the Solar Corona
    • The Aditya L-1 payloads are expected to provide crucial information to understand various solar phenomena, including coronal heating, coronal mass ejections, pre-flare and flare activities, dynamics of space weather, and more.
    • The satellite carries seven payloads, including
      • the Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC),
      • Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (SUIT),
      • Solar Low Energy X-ray Spectrometer (SoLEXS),
      • High Energy L1 Orbiting x-ray Spectrometer (HEL1OS),
      • Aditya Solar wind Particle Experiment (ASPEX),
      • Plasma Analyser Package for Aditya (PAPA), and
      • Advanced Tri-axial High Resolution Digital Magnetometers.
    • VELC, developed by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), Bengaluru, is the primary payload designed to study the solar corona and the dynamics of coronal mass ejections.
    • Aditya-L1’s placement in the halo orbit around the L1 point allows for continuous observation of the Sun without any occultation or eclipse, providing a significant advantage in observing solar activities continuously.
  • Tracking Solar Quakes
    • One of the mission’s objectives is to study solar quakes, which can lead to the ejection of energetic material from the Sun.
    • These ejected materials can travel at speeds of up to 3,000 km per hour and reach near-Earth space within 15 hours, posing potential risks to satellites and electronic systems.
    • Continuous observation of the Sun is crucial for monitoring solar activities and mitigating potential damage to satellites and electronic infrastructure.

In Image: Aditya L1 onboard the PSLV-C57 the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.

About the Sun

  • The Sun is the star at the center of the solar system and is vital to life on Earth.
  • It is a massive, hot ball of glowing gas primarily composed of hydrogen (about 74%) and helium (about 24%), with trace amounts of other elements.
  • Diameter:
    • Approximately 1.39 million kilometers (864,000 miles), which is about 109 times the Earth’s diameter.
  • Mass:
    • Approximately 1.989 x 10^30 kilograms, which is about 333,000 times the Earth’s mass.
  • Energy Source:
    • The Sun’s immense energy comes from nuclear fusion occurring in its core.
    • Hydrogen atoms combine to form helium through a series of nuclear reactions.
    • This process releases a tremendous amount of energy in the form of light and heat.
  • Temperature:
    • The Sun’s core has a temperature of about 15 million degrees Celsius (27 million degrees Fahrenheit).
    • The surface temperature of the Sun, known as the photosphere, is around 5,500 degrees Celsius (9,932 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • Layers of the Sun:
    • The Sun has several distinct layers, including the core, radiative zone, convective zone, photosphere, chromosphere, and corona.
    • The core is the central region where nuclear fusion takes place.
    • The photosphere is the visible surface of the Sun, where sunlight is emitted.
    • The corona is the outermost layer, characterized by its extremely high temperatures and the emission of solar wind.

  • Solar Activity:
    • The Sun goes through an approximately 11-year cycle known as the solar cycle, marked by variations in solar activity.
    • Solar activity includes the formation of sunspots, solar flares, and coronal mass ejections (CMEs), which can impact Earth’s space environment.
  • Solar Wind:
    • The Sun continuously emits a stream of charged particles called the solar wind.
    • Solar wind interacts with the Earth’s magnetic field and can cause phenomena like auroras and geomagnetic storms.
  • Impact on Earth:
    • The Sun provides Earth with light and heat necessary for life.
    • It influences Earth’s climate and weather patterns.
    • Solar activity can disrupt satellite communications, power grids, and navigation systems.
  • Future Evolution:
    • In about 5 billion years, the Sun will exhaust its hydrogen fuel and evolve into a red giant star before eventually shedding its outer layers and becoming a white dwarf.

The Sun’s magnetic field

  • The Sun has a magnetic field that extends throughout its entire structure, from the core to the outermost layer, known as the corona.
  • Like a bar magnet, the Sun has north and south magnetic poles, but its magnetic field is not aligned along its rotational axis.
  • Instead, it is generated by the motion of charged particles (primarily plasma) in the Sun’s interior.
  • The Sun’s magnetic field experiences a complete reversal of polarity approximately every 11 years, corresponding to the solar cycle.
  • This means that the north and south magnetic poles switch places during each solar cycle.
  • Strong magnetic activity on the Sun’s surface results in the formation of sunspots and active regions.

Understanding associated terminologies

  • Sunspots:
    • Sunspots are dark, cooler regions on the Sun’s surface compared to their surrounding areas.
    • They appear as temporary blemishes on the Sun’s photosphere (visible surface) and are caused by intense magnetic activity.
    • Sunspots are cooler because strong magnetic fields inhibit convection and heat transport from the Sun’s interior to the surface.
    • They often occur in pairs or groups, with one spot having a positive magnetic polarity and the other a negative polarity.
    • Sunspots follow an approximately 11-year cycle known as the solar cycle, with their numbers waxing and waning over time.
    • Sunspots can influence space weather, affecting radio communication, satellite operations, and geomagnetic storms.
  • Solar Flares:
    • Solar flares are sudden, intense bursts of energy and radiation from the Sun’s surface.
    • They are associated with magnetic activity, typically occurring near sunspots or regions of strong magnetic fields.
    • Solar flares release various forms of energy, including X-rays, ultraviolet (UV) radiation, and energetic particles.
    • The energy emitted during a solar flare can disrupt radio signals, damage satellites, and pose a risk to astronauts in space.
    • Flares are classified based on their strength into categories such as C-class, M-class, and X-class, with X-class flares being the most powerful.
  • Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs):
    • Coronal mass ejections are massive bursts of solar wind and magnetic fields ejected from the Sun’s corona, or outermost layer.
    • They are often associated with solar flares and can occur near active regions on the Sun.
    • CMEs can release billions of tons of charged particles and magnetic energy into space.
    • When directed toward Earth, CMEs can cause geomagnetic storms, leading to disruptions in power grids, GPS signals, and communication systems.
    • They can also produce beautiful auroras (northern and southern lights) when they interact with Earth’s magnetosphere.
  • Solar Prominences:
    • Solar prominences are large, bright, and often loop-shaped features of hot plasma that extend from the Sun’s surface into its outer atmosphere (corona).
    • They are also associated with solar magnetic activity and can be visible during solar eclipses or with specialized solar telescopes.
  • Auroras (Northern and Southern Lights):
    • Auroras are colourful light displays in the Earth’s Polar Regions caused by charged particles from the Sun colliding with gases in the Earth’s atmosphere.
    • They are often seen as shimmering curtains or ribbons of light and are a result of solar wind interactions with Earth’s magnetosphere.

China’s economic slowdown, its ripple effect

(General Studies- Paper III)

China’s economic slowdown, its ripple effect

Source : TH

China is facing mixed reactions to its economic slowdown, with concerns about deflation and their global implications.

  • Premier Wen Jiabao had warned about the instability, imbalance, lack of coordination, and sustainability of China’s growth in 2007.

Key Highlights

  • In response to the global financial crisis in 2008, China invested heavily in infrastructure to maintain high growth rates.
  • However, underlying issues such as low consumption, regional inequality, and lack of social security were not addressed and were temporarily overshadowed by infrastructure investments.
  • Change in Leadership and Economic Strategies:
    • When Xi Jinping took power, China needed to transition away from the economic strategies that had sustained high growth rates.
    • The era of double-digit growth was coming to an end, leading to challenges in creating new jobs and sustaining income growth.
    • China’s economy experienced shifts, with cooling exports, rising labour costs due to wage increases, and concerns about overproduction in sectors like housing, energy, and construction.
    • Supply-side reforms aimed to address these issues but faced limitations.
  • Political Economy and Leadership Choices:
    • China’s economic challenges require political choices, as its political economy plays a significant role in decision-making.
    • Xi Jinping introduced the term “Disorderly expansion of capital” in 2020, emphasizing control over capitalist activities.
    • China’s promise to allow markets to play a greater role in resource allocation has seen rollbacks, and political interventions persist.
    • Efforts to reduce excessive saving and promote social security measures have been slow.
  • Economic Slowdown Factors:
    • China’s economic slowdown began earlier but was managed with government spending on urbanization projects.
    • The trade war with the United States and policies like “de-risking” and “China plus one” accelerated the slowdown.
    • China’s zero-COVID policy has also affected the economy, making people and companies more cautious with their cash.
  • Challenges with State-Owned Enterprises (SoEs):
    • SoEs pose challenges as they have assured contracts, political networks, and provide social security to workers.
    • Touching SoEs is politically sensitive, even though their operations need reform.
  • The Evergrande Crisis and Structural Issues:
    • The Evergrande crisis exposed China’s housing bubble and regulatory shortcomings.
    • Path-dependency, misregulation, and other structural issues impact the Chinese economy.
  • China’s Future Economic Prospects:
    • Despite challenges, China’s economy growing at 5% adds significant value due to its size compared to India’s projected 6.1% growth.
    • The economic situation may affect China’s perception of its rise and risk appetite in border disputes.

What is “De-risking” and “China plus one”?


  • Definition: De-risking refers to a strategy aimed at reducing or mitigating risks associated with overdependence on a single market, source, or supply chain.
  • Context: China recognized that relying heavily on a single market, particularly export-oriented growth driven by Western countries, made its economy vulnerable to external shocks and trade disputes.
  • Implementation: To de-risk its economy, China has actively sought to diversify its trade partners and markets.

China plus One:

  • Definition: The “China plus one” strategy involves companies, especially manufacturers, diversifying their production and supply chain operations by adding at least one alternative location to their existing operations in China.
  • Context: Rising labour costs, supply chain disruptions, and concerns about overreliance on China prompted companies to seek alternative manufacturing and production bases.
  • Implementation: Companies implementing the “China plus one” strategy identify and invest in additional locations outside China, often in nearby countries with lower lab or costs or other favourable conditions.

The Evergrande Crisis

The Evergrande Crisis, also known as the Evergrande Group Crisis, is a financial and economic crisis centeredaround China Evergrande Group, one of China’s largest and most indebted real estate developers.

  • Evergrande accumulated a massive debt load, estimated to be over $300 billion, as it aggressively acquired land and expanded its real estate projects.
  • In 2020, concerns about Evergrande’s ability to meet its financial obligations began to surface.
  • The company struggled to make interest payments on its bonds, and it faced increasing pressure to repay suppliers and contractors.

National Mission for Clean Ganga- After Seven Years

(General Studies- Paper III)

Seven years on, mission to clean the Ganga remains a work in progress

Source : TH

The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) in India, launched with a budget of ₹20,000 crore, has made slow progress in installing sewage treatment plants (STPs).

  • Currently, the NMCG has STPs capable of treating only 20% of the estimated sewage generated in the five major states along the GangaRiver.
  • This capacity is expected to increase to about 33% by 2024 and reach 60% by December 2026, according to NMCG officials.

Key Highlights

  • Sewage Generation Estimates and Treatment Plans
    • The estimate of sewage generated in the five states (Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, and West Bengal) along the Ganges river is approximately 11,765 million liters per day (MLD) based on a report submitted to the National Green Tribunal.
    • NMCG plans to set up additional STPs capable of treating around 7,000 MLD of sewage by 2026.
    • States are also expected to establish additional sewage treatment capacity through their initiatives and with support from other Union government programs.
  • Objectives of the Namami Ganga Mission
    • The primary goal of the Namami Ganga mission is to prevent untreated sewage from flowing into the Ganges river.
    • The 11,765 MLD estimate is dynamic and includes sewage generated within the state, whether or not it flows into the river.
    • It is based on expected population trends.
  • Progress in STP Installation
    • Projects related to setting up STPs and sewerage networks account for 80% of the overall project outlay of the Namami Ganga mission.
    • As of July 2023, STPs with a total capacity of 2,665 MLD have been commissioned and are operational.
    • Progress was slower in the early years of the mission due to issues like land acquisition problems and the need for revisions in Detailed Project Reports.
    • Uttarakhand has the most STPs (36), followed by Uttar Pradesh (35), and West Bengal (11).
  • Funding and Investment
    • While the Namami Ganga mission has a budget of ₹20,000 crore, in-principle approval for projects worth ₹37,396 crore has been granted.
    • As of June 2023, only ₹14,745 crore has been released to states for infrastructure work under the mission.
  • Improved Water Quality and Biodiversity
    • Water quality in the GangaRiver has improved and now falls within the prescribed limits of primary bathing water quality, according to NMCG.
    • One indicator of improved water quality is the increase in the dolphin population, both adult and juvenile, from 2,000 to about 4,000.
    • Dolphins are appearing in new stretches of the river and its tributaries.
    • Fishermen have reported increased sightings of Indian carp, a species that thrives in clean water.
  • Developing a Water Quality Index
    • NMCG is working on developing a water quality index, similar to the air quality index, to better communicate river water quality to the public.

About National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG)

The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) is a comprehensive and ambitious initiative by the Government of India aimed at cleaning and rejuvenating the Gangariver.

  • Launch and Objectives:
    • The NMCG was launched on 20th May 2015, as a key initiative under the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA).
    • The primary objective of the mission is to ensure the comprehensive and sustainable rejuvenation of the Gangariver.
    • Key objectives include reducing pollution, conserving the river’s biodiversity, and promoting sustainable water resource management.
  • Budget and Funding:
    • The mission was launched with an initial budget of ₹20,000 crore (approximately $2.7 billion).
    • The government has committed significant financial resources to support projects and activities under the NMCG.
  • Components and Initiatives: The NMCG encompasses various components and initiatives to achieve its objectives:
    • Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs): Installation and upgradation of STPs to treat sewage and wastewater before discharge into the river.
    • Riverfront Development: Improvement of riverbanks and development of riverfront areas to enhance aesthetics and promote tourism.
    • Biodiversity Conservation: Initiatives to protect and restore the Ganga’s rich biodiversity, including the iconic Ganga river dolphin.
    • Industrial Effluent Control: Regulation of industrial effluents to minimize pollution.
    • Solid Waste Management: Implementation of solid waste management systems to prevent litter and waste from entering the river.
    • Public Awareness and Community Participation: Engaging communities and raising awareness about the importance of Ganga’s cleanliness.
    • Water Quality Monitoring: Regular monitoring of water quality parameters to track improvements.
  • Implementation:
    • Implementation of the NMCG involves coordination between central and state governments, local bodies, and various stakeholders.
    • The program includes the establishment of project management units (PMUs) and the engagement of experts and agencies to execute projects effectively.

Note: Namami Gange is officially known as the “Namami Gange Programme” and is part of the larger National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG).

NMCG: Background and Structure    

  • NMCG was registered as a society on August 12, 2011, under the Societies Registration Act of 1860.
  • It initially served as the implementation arm of the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA), established under the Environment (Protection) Act of 1986.
  • NGRBA was dissolved on October 7, 2016.
  • This dissolution was a result of the constitution of the National Council for Rejuvenation, Protection, and Management of River Ganga, commonly referred to as the National Ganga Council.
  • Five-Tier Structure: The structure of NMCG involves a five-tier system at the national, state, and district levels:
    • National Ganga Council: Chaired by the Prime Minister of India.
    • Empowered Task Force (ETF): Chaired by the Union Minister of Jal Shakti (Department of Water Resources, River Development, and Ganga Rejuvenation).
    • National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG): At the national level.
    • State Ganga Committees: At the state level.
    • District Ganga Committees: In specified districts abutting river Ganga and its tributaries.
  • Two-Tier Management Structure:NMCG has a two-tier management structure, consisting of:
    • Governing Council: Headed by the Director General (DG) of NMCG.
    • Executive Committee: Also headed by the DG, NMCG.
      • The Executive Committee has the authority to approve projects up to Rs. 1000 crore.

Children from void, voidable marriages entitled to parents’ share in ancestral property: SC

(General Studies- Paper II)

Children from void marriages entitled to parents’ share in property, says SC

Source : TH

The Supreme Court of India, in a recent ruling, has held that a child born of a void or voidable marriage can inherit the parent’s share in a joint Hindu family property governed by the Mitakshara law.

  • However, such a child is not entitled to rights in or to the property of any other person in the family.

Key Highlights

  • Clarification on Marriage Types
    • The court clarified that a “voidable marriage” is one that is made invalid by the husband or wife through a decree, whereas a “void marriage” is invalid from the very beginning.
  • Mitakshara Law of Succession
    • The Mitakshara law of succession governs Hindu Undivided Families in most of India, except for West Bengal and Assam.
  • Determining Inheritance Share
    • To inherit a parent’s share in ancestral property, the court suggests conducting a “notional partition” of the ancestral property.
    • This involves calculating how much of the property the deceased parent would have received immediately before their death.
    • Once the share of the deceased parent in the property is determined through the notional partition, their heirs, including children born of void or voidable marriages, become entitled to their portions of the share.
  • Legitimacy Under Hindu Marriage Act
    • The court noted that Section 16 of the Hindu Marriage Act has conferred legitimacy to children born out of void or voidable marriages.
    • Section 16(3) specifies that children from such marriages have a right to their parents’ property.
  • Equal Inheritance Rights
    • The court emphasized that children from void or voidable marriages fall within the scope of “legitimate kinship” under the Hindu Succession Act, granting them equal inheritance rights alongside children born of valid marriages.
  • Background and Precedent
    • This ruling comes after a Division Bench of the Supreme Court refused to follow past precedents in 2011 and championed the rights of children born out of illegitimate marriages, emphasizing their right to inherit property from their parents.
    • The Division Bench clarified that these rights were limited to the property of the parents and did not extend to other relatives.
  • Significance of the Ruling
    • The Supreme Court’s decision has significant implications for inheritance rights and property division within Hindu families, especially in cases involving void or voidable marriages.
    • It aligns the law with changing social norms and recognizes the rights of children born in such relationships.

What is “void” or “voidable” marriage?

A “void” or “voidable” marriage refers to specific legal statuses of a marriage in which there are significant legal defects or irregularities that can affect the marriage’s validity.

  • Void Marriage:
    • A void marriage is one that is considered null and void from its inception, meaning it is treated as if the marriage never existed in the eyes of the law.
    • It is typically invalidated due to fundamental legal issues or prohibited relationships.
    • Common reasons for a marriage to be void include bigamy (marrying someone while already married to another person), prohibited degrees of relationship (e.g., marrying a close blood relative), or if one or both parties were already married at the time of the marriage.
    • In a void marriage, neither party acquires any legal rights or obligations arising from the marriage.
  • Voidable Marriage:
    • A voidable marriage is a marriage that is initially valid but possesses certain legal flaws or irregularities that allow one or both parties to challenge its validity.
    • Unlike a void marriage, a voidable marriage remains valid unless one of the parties chooses to have it annulled or invalidated by a court.
    • Common reasons for a marriage to be voidable include fraud, impotence, non-consensual marriage (when a party was forced into the marriage), or lack of mental capacity to give informed consent at the time of the marriage.

About Mitakshara School of Hindu Law

  • The Mitakshara School of Hindu Law, particularly the Mitakshara Law of Succession, is one of the major schools of thought that governs inheritance and property rights among Hindu families in India.
  • It primarily pertains to the inheritance of ancestral or joint family property and is followed by Hindus in most parts of India, except for West Bengal and Assam, where the Dayabhaga School of Hindu Law is predominantly practiced.

Centre forms panel for simultaneous polls to Lok Sabha and State Assemblies

(General Studies- Paper II)

Govt. panel to study simultaneous polls to Assemblies, LS

Govt. panel to study simultaneous polls

Source : TH

The Indian government has announced the formation of a committee, headed by former President Ram NathKovind, to investigate the feasibility of conducting simultaneous elections for state assemblies and the Lok Sabha (the lower house of India’s parliament).

  • While the committee has been constituted, no official notification detailing its members or terms of reference has been released yet.

Key Highlights

  • Background and Importance
    • Prime Minister’s Advocacy: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been advocating for simultaneous elections to reduce the frequent disruptions caused by multiple elections, both in terms of human resources and developmental progress.
  • Constitutional Amendments Needed:
    • Implementing simultaneous elections would require at least five constitutional amendments, affecting various articles related to the duration of Houses of Parliament and state legislatures, dissolution of legislatures, and the imposition of President’s Rule in states.
  • Consultation and Examination:
    • A parliamentary panel had previously examined the issue and sought input from stakeholders, including the Election Commission of India.
    • Now, the matter has been referred to the Law Commission to develop a practical roadmap and framework for simultaneous elections.
  • Implications and Challenges
    • Resource Requirements: Conducting simultaneous elections would necessitate a significant increase in electronic voting machines (EVMs) and paper-trail machines, adding to the logistical challenges.
    • Coordination: Coordinating elections across the country, considering the diversity of states, their individual political calendars, and the unique challenges each state presents, would be a complex task.
    • Political Consensus: Achieving political consensus among various parties on constitutional amendments and the practical implementation of simultaneous elections is crucial.
    • It remains to be seen how different political groups will respond to this proposal.

The move toward simultaneous elections aims to streamline the electoral process and minimize disruptions caused by frequent elections, but it faces several practical and political challenges.

Special session of Parliament: How it will work

(General Studies- Paper II)

Source : The Indian Express

On August 31, Pralhad Joshi, the Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, announced that a “special session” of Parliament would be held from September 18 to 22.

What is a ‘special session’?

  • Background on Parliament Sessions
    • India’s Parliament has no fixed calendar for its sittings.
    • A 1955 committee proposed a parliamentary session timetable, but it was never implemented.
    • The government decides when Parliament meets, with the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs making these decisions.
    • The Constitution specifies that there should not be more than a six-month gap between two parliamentary sessions.
  • Who decides when Parliament meets?
    • The government, specifically the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs, is responsible for deciding when and for how long Parliament meets.
    • The Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs consists of ten Ministers, which may include individuals holding key portfolios such as Defence, Home, Finance, Agriculture, Tribal Affairs, Parliamentary Affairs, and Information and Broadcasting.
    • Additionally, the Law Minister and the Minister of State for External Affairs are special invitees to this Committee.
    • Once the Committee makes decisions regarding the parliamentary session, the President of India is informed, and they subsequently summon Members of Parliament for the session.
  • Constitutional Provisions:
    • The Indian Constitution specifies that there should not be a gap of more than six months between two parliamentary sessions.
    • This provision was inherited from the Government of India Act of 1935, which was in place during British colonial rule.
    • The Act allowed the British Governor General to convene a session of the central legislature at their discretion, with the requirement that the gap between two sessions should not exceed 12 months.
    • B. R. Ambedkar, one of the key architects of the Indian Constitution, explained that the primary purpose of summoning the central assembly (parliament) was to collect taxes, and holding sessions only once a year served to avoid scrutiny by the legislature.
    • During the drafting of the Indian Constitution by the Constituent Assembly, the gap between sessions was reduced to six months, in contrast to the once-a-year meetings under colonial rule.
  • Ambedkar’s Stance
    • B.R. Ambedkar believed that independent India’s government would convene regular parliamentary sessions.
    • He did not support the idea of Parliament meeting throughout the year or presiding officers having the authority to convene sessions.
    • Ambedkar feared that frequent and lengthy sessions would lead to legislative fatigue.
  • Frequency of Parliament Sessions
    • Before independence, the central assembly met for around 60 days a year, which increased to 120 days a year in the first two decades after independence.
    • However, since then, the number of sitting days has declined.
    • Between 2002 and 2021, Lok Sabha averaged 67 working days.
    • State legislatures have also seen a decline in sitting days.
  • Recommendations for Increased Sitting Days
    • Various committees and commissions have recommended that Parliament should meet for more than 100 days.
    • Individual MPs have introduced private member Bills to increase sitting days.
    • Naresh Gujral’s 2017 private member Bill suggested Parliament should meet for four sessions a year, including a special session for urgent matters.
  • Special Sessions and Emergency Provisions
    • The term “special session” is not used in the Constitution but refers to sessions convened for specific occasions.
    • Special sessions can have limited proceedings without features like the question hour.
    • Article 352 of the Constitution mentions a “special sitting of the House” in the context of proclaiming emergencies.