Abhyaas Newsboard – September 2020
GK Newsboard September 2020
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Some Highlights of GK Newsboard September 2020
1. Assam Assembly Bill to Protect Heritage Sites
As per the latest update, Assam Assembly passes bill to protect to protect various heritage sites of the state.
The Assam Heritage (Tangible) Protection, Preservation, Conservation and Maintenance Bill, 2020 was passed by the
state assembly to protect, preserve and restore tangible heritage, which are currently not covered under any national
or state law.
The Bill was passed in the 4-day Assembly Session that commenced from 31st August 2020.
• Following the passage of the bill, State Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal termed as a ‘historic’ step towards
implementing the Clause 6 of Assam Accord. The bill has been drafted by by the Directorate of Archaeology, under
the guidance of State Cultural Affairs (Archeology) Minister Keshab Mahanta.
What is Clause 6 of Assam Accord?
• According to the Clause 6 of Assam Accord, the state government is empowered to take necessary steps to ensure
constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards, as may be appropriate, shall be provided to protect,
preserve and promote the culture, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people.
2. Bhagat Singh
113th birth anniversary celebrated on 28th September, 2020.
Born in September, 1907.
Gandhi’s influence: Initially, he supported Mahatma Gandhi and the Non-Cooperation Movement. However, when
Gandhi withdrew the movement in the wake of the Chauri Chaura incident, Bhagat Singh turned to revolutionary
Associations he was associated with:
• In 1924 in Kanpur, he became a member of the Hindustan Republican Association, started by Sachindranath Sanyal
a year earlier.
• In 1925, Bhagat Singh returned to Lahore and within the next year he and his colleagues started a militant youth
organisation called the Naujawan Bharat Sabha.
• In 1928, he was associated with the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA) along with Sukhdev,
Chandrashekhar Azad and others.
• Bhagat Singh and Sukhdev also organized the Lahore Students Union for open, legal work among the students.
3. Kesavananda Bharati Sripadagalvaru
Kesavananda Bharati, the man who lent his name to an iconic case as the petitioner, died on Sunday. The landmark
ruling in which the Supreme Court announced the basic structure doctrine was in the case of His Holiness Kesavananda
Bharati Sripadagalvaru and Ors v State of Kerala.
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He was the head seer of the Edneer Mutt in Kasaragod district of Kerala since 1961. He left his signature in one of
the significant rulings of the Supreme Court when he challenged the Kerala land reforms legislation in 1970. The
case was primarily about the extent of Parliament’s power to amend the Constitution.
• First, the court was reviewing a 1967 decision in Golaknath v State of Punjab which, reversing earlier verdicts,
had ruled that Parliament cannot amend fundamental rights.
• Second, the court was deciding the constitutional validity of several other amendments. Notably, the right to
property had been removed as a fundamental right, and Parliament had also given itself the power to amend any
part of the Constitution and passed a law that it cannot be reviewed by the courts.
• Politically, the case represented the fight for supremacy of Parliament led by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
4. Plea for ‘legal entity’ status to animals
The Supreme Court has agreed to examine a petition seeking “legal entity” status to the entire animal kingdom.
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The demand is to give animals a “legal personality”. This means bestowing on animals, by judicial direction, the
capacity to sue and be sued in courts of law. This mainly stems from SC’s interpretation of the right to life under
Article 21 of the Constitution, with the effect the word “life” includes “all forms of life, including animal life, which
are necessary for human life.”
• While referring to recent reported incidents of cruelty on animals in the country, the plea has said that such
incidents have enraged many and raised a question as to whether existing laws are sufficient enough to protect
animals from possible abuse and cruelty.
• It alleged the rights of animals exist only on paper due to their lack of implementation and enforcement.
• Besides, the plea said that legal status has been accorded to animals in two recent verdicts rendered by the
Punjab and Haryana High Court and the Uttarakhand High Court.
5. 10-member biodiversity council
The Jammu and Kashmir government on September 2, 2020 set up a 10-member biodiversity council to document
the biodiversity of the union territory. The council will maintain a Peoples Biodiversity Register (PBR) with the help
of representatives from local governance bodies.
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The biodiversity council will function in consultation with National Biodiversity Authority, as per an order issued by
General Administration Department (GAD). The process to maintain a Peoples Biodiversity Register will be initiated
in every Panchayat and municipal committee.
• A series of meetings are being organized in almost all Panchayats of Jammu and Kashmir for the same.
• Biodiversity Council-Composition
• The biodiversity council will comprise 10 members including five ex-officio members and five non-official members.
The council be headed by the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests of Jammu and Kashmir, Mohit Gera.
• Jammu and Kashmir’s Forest Research Institute Director will serve as the member secretary of the council. The
other members of the council will include the chief wildlife warden, a Forest Department representative and
6. Lifetime ban on convicted and charge sheeted MPs/ MLAs from contesting elections
The Supreme Court on September 10, 2020 sought centre’s stand on a plea seeking a lifetime ban on convicted
criminals contesting any elections.
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The apex court bench was headed by Justice NV Ramana, who is the next Chief Justice of India designate when SA
Bobde demits office.
The plea filed by BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay seeks a lifetime ban on convicted and chargesheeted MPs/ MLAs from
contesting elections. He also sought a similar ban on the entry of convicted criminals either in the judiciary or the
executive. The centre has been asked by the top court to respond to the plea within six weeks.
• The petition comes at a time when the Supreme Court is already dealing with a plea on expediting trials in all
serious cases involving elected leaders of both Houses.
SC to fast-track trials of sitting MPs/MLAs:
• The Supreme Court had earlier passed several orders to fast-track trials involving sitting MPs and MLAs facing
charges so that they can get a quick decision from the courts and contest elections after getting their name
cleared or face early conviction.
• However, the order does not cover candidates who want to contest elections for the first time. The fresh petition
has urged the court to pass orders that would prevent any convicted criminal from contesting elections.
7. The Parliament passed Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2020
The Parliament passed Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2020 on September 15, 2020 after it was approved by the Rajya
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The Lok Sabha had passed the bill earlier on March 17th. The bill seeks to amend the Aircraft Act, 1934 and covert
three existing regulatory bodies under the Civil Aviation Ministry including the Directorate General of Civil Aviation
(DGCA) into statutory bodies.
• The three regulatory bodies include the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, Aircraft Accidents Investigation
Bureau and the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security. The bill has proposed each of the bodies to be headed by a
Director General who will be appointed by the centre. Significance
• The Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2020 aims to enable the three regulatory Aviation bodies to become more effective,
which will, in turn, increase the level of security and safety in the aircraft operations of the nation.