Prelims Booster

11th March – Prelims Booster


Defying of whips

Deputy Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and 10 other AIADMK MLAs have been asked to reply to notices issues by Speaker of the Legislative Assembly on why action should not be initiated against them for defying the whip.

What is a ‘whip’?

  • The concept of the whip was inherited from colonial British rule.
  • It is used in parliamentary parlance often for floor management by political parties in the legislature.
  • A whip is a written order that political party issue to its members for being present for an important vote, or that they vote only in a particular way. The term is derived from the old British practice of “whipping in” lawmakers to follow the party line.
  • They are vital in maintaining the links between the internal organisation of the party inside the Parliament. A whip is also an important office-bearer of the party in the Parliament.
  • In India, all parties can issue a whip to their members. Parties appoint a senior member from among their House contingents to issue whips. This member is called a Chief Whip, and he/she is assisted by additional Whips.
  • Constitutional status – The office of ‘whip’, is mentioned neither in the Constitution of India nor in the Rules of the House nor in a Parliamentary Statute. It is based on the conventions of the parliamentary government.
  • Non-applicability of Whip – There are some cases such as Presidential elections where whips cannot direct a Member of Parliament (MP) or Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) on whom to vote.
  • If an MP violates his party’s whip, he faces expulsion from the House under the Anti Defection Act. The only exception is when more than a third of legislators vote against a directive, effectively splitting the party.

CPCB notifies contaminated sites

There are 128 sites in India contaminated by toxic and hazardous substances, according to a March update by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

Details –

West Bengal led the list with 27 sites followed by Odisha at 23. Including those, there are 324 sites that may be contaminated, with 196 still awaiting an investigation and confirmation.

About CPCB –

  • The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) of India is a statutory organisation under the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change.
  • Established in 1974 under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act and later entrusted with functions and responsibilities under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.
  • It coordinates the activities of the State Pollution Control Boards by providing technical assistance and guidance and also resolves disputes among them.
  • It advises the Central and State Governments on matters related to prevention, improvement and control of Air and Water pollution.

Oil plunges as producers begin price war

Oil prices have recently crashed suffering their biggest daily rout since the 1991 Gulf War, after the collapse of an OPEC+ supply agreement that now threatens to overwhelm the world with oil, inciting panic throughout the energy sector.

Why the prices have crashed?

After failing to come to an agreement to cut supply, Saudi Arabia and Russia have pledged to ramp up production, which could quickly flood global markets with oil at a time when demand has already weakened substantially.

What is OPEC?

  • The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is a permanent, intergovernmental Organisation (of 14 nations), created at the Baghdad Conference on September 10–14, 1960, by Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.
  • OPEC’s objective is to coordinate and unify petroleum policies among Member Countries, in order to secure fair and stable prices for petroleum producers; an efficient, economic and regular supply of petroleum to consuming nations; and a fair return on capital to those investing in the industry.
  • As of September 2018, the OPEC accounted for an estimated 44 percent of global oil production and 81.5 percent of the world’s “proven” oil reserves, giving OPEC a major influence on global oil prices that were previously determined by the so-called “Seven Sisters” grouping of multinational oil companies.
  • It is headquartered in Vienna, Austria.

What is OPEC+?

OPEC+ refers to the alliance of crude producers, who have been undertaking corrections in supply in the oil markets since 2017. OPEC plus countries include Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Brunei, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Oman, Russia, South Sudan and Sudan.

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