Explained Current Affairs

Fact Box: Vice Presidential Election

Incumbent Vice President Hamid Ansari’s term comes to an end on August 10, 2017. Election Commission of India (EC) has issued a notification, the process of filing nominations for the vice presidential election.

About office of Vice President

The officer of Vice-President is second highest public office in India. He has second rank in the order of precedence. Practically, office of Vice President has been created to provide political continuity of the Indian state. His main function is in the form of ex-officio Chairman of Rajya Sabha. He works as acting president when president is not available.

Eligibility

As per article 66, the candidate contesting for election of Vice-President of India should be citizen of India, completed age of 35 years and must be qualified to become a member of Rajya Sabha. He must not hold an office for profit. A candidate’s nomination paper needs to be subscribed by at least 20 electors as proposers and at least another 20 electors as seconders.

Note: Presidential candidate should be qualified to become a member of Lok Sabha, Vice-presidential candidate should be qualified to become a member of Rajya Sabha.

Election

Like Presidential election, Vice Presidential election is also indirect and is held via system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote. The electoral college of Vice President includes elected by elected members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. Unlike in Presidential election, MLAs or MLCs from state assemblies have no role to play in Vice Presidential election.

Term and removal

The term of office of the Vice President is five years. The term may end earlier by resignation which should be addressed to the President. The term may also terminate earlier by removal. There no impeachment process to remove Vice President.

The Vice President can be removed by a resolution passed by the members of the Rajya Sabha. To move such resolution, a 14 days’ notice is to be given. Such a resolution, though passed by the Rajya Sabha only, but must be agreeable to the Lok Sabha.

Functions of Vice President

Vice President is the ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. However, during the period when he acts as the officiating President of India, he shall not act as chairman of the Rajya Sabha and shall not be entitled to the salary or allowances payable to the chairman of the Rajya Sabha.

According to Article 65, in case the President is unable to discharge his duties for reasons such as illness, resignation, removal, death or otherwise, the Vice President shall carry out functions of the President. In such case, he will be entitled for the salary, allowance and all privileges of the President.

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Fact Box: India-China Border Dispute

Indian and Chinese troops are facing off once again in Sikkim at Doko-La (or Donglong, as the Chinese call it), which lies at the tri-junction of India, China and Bhutan. There have been growing tensions between India and China. The current confrontation, however, shows signs of escalating. Both countries have upped the ante and deployed around 3,000 troops each in the tri-junction.

The Doklam area has huge strategic significance for both India and China. It close to proximity of sensitive Chicken’s Neck, or the Siliguri Corridor, which is an extremely narrow stretch of land that connects the north-eastern region to the rest of India.  Here is background of India-China Border dispute

India-China Border Dispute

India shares total boundary of around 3,488 km with China (second largest after Bangladesh). The Sino-Indian border is generally divided into three sectors namely: Western sector, Middle sector, and Eastern sector. 5 states viz. Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh share border with China.

Western Sector

In the western sector, India shares about 2152 km long border with China. It is between Jammu and Kashmir and Xinjiang Province of China. In this sector, there is territorial dispute over Aksai Chin. Both countries went to war in 1962 over disputed territory of Aksai Chin. India claims it as part of Kashmir, while China claims it is part of Xinjiang.

The dispute over Aksai Chin can be traced back to the failure of the British Empire to clearly demarcate a legal border between China and its Indian colony. During the time of British rule in India, two borders between India and China were proposed Johnson’s Line and McDonald Line.

The Johnson’s line (proposed in 1865) shows Aksai Chin in Jammu and Kashmir i.e. under India’s control whereas McDonald Line (proposed in 1893) places it under China’s control. India considers Johnson Line as correct, rightful national border with China, while on the other hand, China considers the McDonald Line as the correct border with India.

At present, Line of Actual Control (LAC) is the line separating Indian areas of Jammu and Kashmir from Aksai Chin. It is concurrent with the Chinese Aksai Chin claim line.

Middle sector

In this sector, India shares about 625 km long boundary with China which runs along the watershed from Ladakh to Nepal. The states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand touch this border with Tibet (China) in this sector. Both sides do not have much disagreement over border in this area.

Eastern Sector

In this sector, India shares 1,140 km long boundary with China. It runs from the eastern limit of Bhutan to a point near the Talu Pass at the trijunction of Tibet, India and Myanmar. This boundary line is called McMahon Line. The boundary was established along the Himalayan crest of the northern watershed of the Brahmaputra, except where the Kemang, Subansiri, Dihang and Lohit rivers break through that watershed.

China considers the McMahon Line illegal and unacceptable claiming that Tibetans representatives who had sign the 1914 Convention held in Shimla which delineated the Mc Mahon line on the map were not having rights to do so.

Present mechanism to resolve border issue

India and China in 2003 had appointed Special Representatives to discuss the boundary question. In 2005, both sides had agreed on political parameters and guiding principles for a boundary settlement, will form the basis of the final settlement. So far 19 rounds of Special Representative Talks on the border have taken place (the latest was in April 2016).

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