Uttarakhand Current Affairs - 2019
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The Supreme Court has censured the Uttarakhand High Court for framing a scheme to regularise hundreds of casual workers engaged by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) under the Ministry of Defence in the construction of roads for Char Dham Yatra pilgrimage.
What was the Issue?
- A case was filed in the Uttarakhand High Court by unions representing the casual workers, including the All India Trade Union Congress against the centre alleging that the Centre had not regularised the labourers though they had worked for BRO for years.
- Disposing of the petition the Uttarakhand High Court itself framed a scheme to regularise the services of the casual labourers and granted them benefits similar to those of regular employees under the labour law.
Observations made by the Supreme Court
- It is the sole prerogative of the government to frame schemes and courts should stay out of governance.
- High Court has failed to see that it is not the function of the courts to frame any scheme but it is the sole prerogative of the government to do it.
- All that the High Court could have done is exercising of its the extraordinary power under Article 226 of the Constitution to direct the government to consider framing an appropriate scheme.
Article 226 empowers the High Court’s to issue, to any person or authority, including the government directions, orders or writs, including writs in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto, certiorari or any of them.
Tags: Article 226 • Border Roads Organisation • BRO • certiorari • Char Dham Yatra pilgrimage • habeas corpus • mandamus • Ministry of Defence • prohibition • quo warranto • Supreme Court • Uttarakhand • Uttarakhand High Court
Department of Science and Technology has decided to commission a study to assess the climate risks faced by States in India. This decision comes in the backdrop of completion of vulnerability study across 12 Himalayan States.
Vulnerability Study by the Himalayan States
The study was undertaken in the 12 Himalayan states viz. Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir. The vulnerability was measured on a scale 0-1 with 1 indicating the highest possible level of vulnerability. The study indicates that:
- Assam and Mizoram with a vulnerability score of 0.72 and 0.71 topped the vulnerability index.
- Sikkim with the score of 0.42 was relatively less vulnerable.
- The scores of other states are Jammu & Kashmir (0.62), Manipur (0.59), Meghalaya and West Bengal (both 0.58), Nagaland (0.57), Himachal Pradesh and Tripura (0.51 both), Arunachal Pradesh (0.47) and Uttarakhand (0.45).
- Assam is highly vulnerable to climate change because of factors like low per capita income, deforestation, a large number of marginal farmers, least area under irrigation, lack of alternative sources of income and high rates of poverty.
- The report finds that low per capita income, low open forest area per 1,000 households and lack of irrigation coverage as the most important drivers of vulnerability in Himalayan states.
- Other indicators include the percentage of area under slope, yield variability of food grains, forest cover, irrigation cover and access to healthcare.
- In Arunachal Pradesh, the key factors are low female literacy and a high percentage of population above BPL.
- In Nagaland, the key issues are the loss of forest cover, steep slope and high yield variability.
The vulnerability score was calculated based on eight parameters such as percentage of area in districts under forests, yield variability of food grain, population density, female literacy rate, infant mortality rate, percentage of population below poverty line (BPL), average man-days under MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act), and the area under slope > 30%.
Tags: Arunachal Pradesh • Assam • Climate Vulnerability Index • Department of Science and Technology • Himachal Pradesh • Himalayan States • Jammu and Kashmir • Manipur • Meghalaya • MGNREGA • Mizoram • Nagaland • Sikkim • Tripura • Uttarakhand • West Bengal