Democracy Current Affairs - 2020

Resolution to be moved in Rajya Sabha to remove the word “Socialism” in the Constitution

The ruling party (BJP) member of Rajya Sabha Shri Rakesh Sinha has issued a notice to the Chairman to permit to move a resolution. The resolution aims to drop the word “Socialist” in the Constitution.

Highlights

The resolution claims that the world socialism is redundant in the current scenario. It has to be dropped to create space for economic thinking. The Preamble of Constitution declares India to be sovereign, secular, socialist and democratic republic.

The resolution claims that word was included without enough debate in the Parliament as it was introduced during emergency.

42nd amendment of the Constitution

The words “Socialist” and “Secular” were included in the 42nd amendment of the Constitution. The amendment was passed during the emergency period. The amendment attempted to reduce the powers of Supreme Court. It laid down fundamental duties of Indian Citizens. The amendment brought in several changes for it was addressed as “Mini-constitution”.

The amendment gave Parliament powers amend the constitution without judicial review. IT also changed the preamble of the constitution. The description of India in the preamble as “Sovereign Democratic Republic” was changed to “Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic”. It also changed “unity of the nation” to “unity and integrity of the nation”.

Can Preamble be amended?

Yes.

However, till 1973, the Supreme Court also held that Preamble shall not be amended as it is not a part of the Constitution.

In 1973, Keshvananda Bharti Case, the Supreme Court pronounced that Preamble is a part of the Constitution and Parliament has full rights to amend the Preamble.

Democracy Index released: India ranks 51; Slips 10 positions

On January 22, 2020, the Economic Intelligence Unit released Democracy Index for the year 2019. The index was topped by Norway. Norway was followed by Iceland and Sweden at second and third positions respectively. India was pushed to 51st rank slipping 10 positions as compared to its previous ranking

Highlights

According to the report, the slippage of India’s ranking was mainly due to the protests of Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC) and abrogation of special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

Report on Kashmir

With respect to the Kashmir issue of Abrogation of Article 370, the report says that certain acts of government over the issue led to the decline in the country’s ranking. It includes deployment of large troops in Jammu and Kashmir region, restricting internet access and also placing local leaders under house arrest.

Report on NRC

The report said that the citizenship registration exercise excluded 1.9 million people from the final list. Also, the majority of the population excluded were Muslims. This has enraged large Muslim population and has stoked protests in various parts of the country.

History of India’s Index

The democratic indices are awarded over a score of 10. Since the launch of the Index in 2006, India has obtained the lowest score of 6.9 this time in 2019. In 2018, India obtained 7.23. India’s highest score was 7.91 in 2014 and has declined since then. However, India’s scores have always remained above global average. This year, the global average was 5.44.