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Daily Current Affairs – 2020

Topic: For Prelims and Mains

One Nation One Election

Why in News?

The Prime Minister of India has recently advocated for ‘One Nation, One Election’ &  ‘One Voter List’  for Lok Sabha, Vidhan Sabha and other elections at the 80th All India Presiding Officers Conference.

What is ‘One Nation, One Election’?

It refers to holding elections to Lok Sabha, State Legislative Assemblies, Panchayats and Urban local bodies simultaneously, once in five year.

Challenges posed by frequent elections:

  1. Massive expenditure.
  2. Policy paralysis that results from the imposition of the Model Code of Conductduring election time.
  3. Impact on delivery of essential services.
  4. Burden on crucial manpowerthat is deployed during election time.
  5. Puts pressure on political parties,especially smaller ones, as elections are becoming increasingly expensive.

Advantages:

  • Help keep a check on the poll expenses,party expenses, etc. and also save public money.
  • Reduce the burdenon administrative setup and security forces.
  • Ensure timely implementationof the government policies and also ensure that the administrative machinery is engaged in developmental activities rather than electioneering.
  • Solve the problem of governanceon the part of the politicians who are ruling.
  • It is generally seen that for short term political gains from a particular assembly election, ruling politicians avoid taking a harsh long term decision which can ultimately help the country in the long run.
  • Provide more time to all the stakeholderse. political parties,Election Commission of India (ECI), paramilitary forces, civilians for the preparation of elections once in five years.

 Challenges:

  • The synchronisation is a major problem considering the traditions and conventions that India’s Parliamentary system
  • The government is accountable to the Lower House and it is possible that the government can fall before completing its term and the moment the government falls, there has to be an election.
  • It is difficult to convince and bring together all the political partieson the idea.
  • For holding simultaneous elections, the requirements for Electronic Voting Machines(EVMs) and the Voter Verified Paper Audit Trails (VVPATs) will double as the ECI has to provide two sets (one for election to the Legislative Assembly and second for that to the Lok Sabha).
  • There will also be an additional requirement of the polling staff and for better security arrangements.

Impact on Regional parties:

There is always a tendency for voters to vote the same party in power in the state and at the Centre in case the Lok Sabha polls and the state elections are held together.

 For simultaneous elections to be implemented, Changes to be made in Constitution and Legislations:

  1. Article 83 which deals with the duration of Houses of Parliament need an amendment.
  2. Article 85 (on dissolution of Lok Sabha by the president).
  3. Article 172 (relating to the duration of state legislatures).

The Representation of People Act, 1951 Act would have to be amended to build in provisions for stability of tenure for both parliament and assemblies.

This should include the following crucial elements:

  1. Restructuring the powers and functions of the ECI to facilitate procedures required for simultaneous elections
  1. A definition of simultaneous election can be added to section 2 of the 1951 act.

 Way forward:

India held the elections for the assembly as well as the Lok Sabha from 1951-52 to till 1967. As such, therefore, there are no disagreements on adequacy and efficacy of the idea.

  • Elections are held at different places every few months and it hampers the developmental work. Therefore, it’s a must to have a deep study and deliberation on the idea in order to prevent the impact of the model code of conducton development works every few months.
  • There needs to be a consensus on whether the country needs one nation, one poll or not.
  • All political parties should at least cooperate in debating this issue, once the debate starts, the public opinion can be taken into consideration. India being a mature democracy, can then follow the outcome of the debate.

Fact for Prelims :

 MQ9B Sea Guardian:

News: Indian Navy has inducted two American unarmed drones.

Facts:

Sea Guardian: It is the maritime variant of the Predator MQ9 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).

  • It has a maximum endurance of 40 hours and a maximum flying altitude of 40,000 feet.
  • Applications: It can be used in operations such as Anti-Surface and Anti Submarine Warfare, Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief, Search and Rescue among others.

Booker Prize 2020:

  • Scottish writer Douglas Stuart has been awarded the Booker Prize of the year 2020 for his debut and famous novel, Shuggie Bain.
  • Shaggy Bain’s story is based on the background of his hometown Glasgow.
  • Booker Prize is the leading English language literary award.
  • The award is given annually to a single book translated into English or English and published in the United Kingdom or Ireland.

 

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