Delimitation panel for J&K, northeastern states set up
The government has constituted a Delimitation Commission, to be headed by former Supreme Court judge Ranjana Prakash Desai, to redraw Lok Sabha and assembly constituencies of the Union Territory Jammu and Kashmirand the northeastern states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland.
The Commission will delimit the constituencies of Jammu and Kashmir in accordance with the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, and of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland in accordance with the provisions of the Delimitation Act, 2002.
What is Delimitation?
Delimitation literally means the act or process of fixing limits or boundaries of territorial constituencies in a country to represent changes in population.
How delimitation is carried out?
- Under Article 82, the Parliament enacts a Delimitation Act after every Census.
- Under Article 170, States also get divided into territorial constituencies as per Delimitation Act after every Census.
- Once the Act is in force, the Union government sets up a Delimitation Commission.
- The first delimitation exercise was carried out by the President (with the help of the Election Commission) in 1950-51.
- The Delimitation Commission Act was enacted in 1952.
- Delimitation Commissions have been set up four times — 1952, 1963, 1973 and 2002 under the Acts of 1952, 1962, 1972 and 2002.
- There was no delimitation after the 1981 and 1991 Censuses.
Delimitation Commission –
- The Delimitation Commission is appointed by the President of India and works in collaboration with the Election Commission of India.
- Composition: Retired Supreme Court judge, Chief Election Commissioner, Respective State Election Commissioners.
- To determine the number and boundaries of constituencies to make population of all constituencies nearly equal.
- To identify seats reserved for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, wherever their population is relatively large.
- In case of difference of opinion among members of the Commission, the opinion of the majority prevails.
- The Delimitation Commission in India is a high power body whose orders have the force of law and cannot be called in question before any court.
India joins Indian Ocean Commission
India has been approved as an observer state for a five-nation grouping in the Western Indian Ocean, which includes Madagascar, Comoros, Seychelles, Mauritius and French Reunion.
With the decision, India will join China, which was made an observer in 2016, as well as the “International Organisation of the Francophonie” or the 54-nation French-speaking collective, the European Union (EU) and Malta, which were all admitted in 2017.
About Indian Ocean Commission –
- It is an intergovernmental organisation created in 1982.
- It was institutionalised in 1984 by the Victoria Agreement in Seychelles.
- The Commission is composed of five African Indian Ocean nations – Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Reunion Islands (French territory), and Seychelles.
- COI’s principal mission is to strengthen the ties of friendship between the countries and to be a platform of solidarity for the entire population of the African Indian Ocean region.
- The Commission has a Secretariat which is located in Mauritius and headed by a Secretary General.
- The Commission has four observers — China, EU, Malta and International Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF).
Lok Sabha passes Mines and Mineral Laws (Amendment) Bill
The Lok Sabha gave its nod to the Mines and Mineral Laws (Amendment) Bill recently.
- The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act (1957) regulates the overall mining sector in India.
- The Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015 provides for the auction and allocation of mines whose allocation was cancelled by the Supreme Court in 2014. Schedule I of the Act provides a list of all such mines.
- Schedule II and III are sub-classes of the mines listed in the Schedule I.
- Schedule II mines are those where production had already started then, and Schedule III mines are ones that had been earmarked for a specified end-use.
- Currently, companies acquiring Schedule II and Schedule III coal mines through auctions can use the coal produced only for specified end-uses such as power generation and steel production.
- The Bill removes this restriction on the use of coal mined by such companies.
- Companies will be allowed to carry on coal mining operation for own consumption, sale or for any other purposes, as may be specified by the central government.
- The Bill clarifies that the companies need not possess any prior coal mining experience in India in order to participate in the auction of coal and lignite blocks.
- Further, the competitive bidding process for auction of coal and lignite blocks will not apply to mines considered for allotment to: (i) a government company or its joint venture for own consumption, sale or any other specified purpose; and (ii) a company that has been awarded a power project on the basis of a competitive bid for tariff.
What is Mac-Binding? – Explained
According to a recent order issued by the government, Internet has been restored in Jammu and Kashmir, but the connectivity will be made available “with mac-binding”.
What is Mac-binding?
- Every device has a Media Access Control (MAC) address, a hardware identification number that is unique to it.
- While accessing the Internet, every device is assigned an IP address.
- Mac-binding essentially means binding together the MAC and IP addresses, so that all requests from that IP address are served only by the computer having that particular MAC address.
- In effect, it means that if the IP address or the MAC address changes, the device can no longer access the Internet.
- Therefore, the monitoring authorities can trace the specific system from which a particular online activity was carried out.