Prelims Sure Shot
Indigenous bugs help tackle invasive pest
Why in news
- Three indigenous bugs including two types of ladybird have been reported to control the woolly whitefly – Caribbean-origin enemy of Indian fruit farmers.
- These native predators for the natural control of the woolly whiteflies are found to be the biological weapons against the pest and have been reported to control the pest by devouring them.
- Two of these indigenous predators were ladybird beetles of the Coccinellidae family and one was the green lacewing fly from the Neuroptera order.
- According to the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), pests damage 30-35% of crops in the country annually. Among the newest of the 118 exotic pests troubling farmers in India, particularly fruit growers, is the woolly whitefly.
- This whitefly (Aleurothrixus floccosus) is invasive and polyphagous, meaning a creature that feeds on various kinds of food.
- In 2019, ICAR’s National Bureau of Agricultural Insect Resources had reported the spread of woolly whiteflies through transportation of infested seedlings.
Karunanidhi on Autonomy Demand
Tamil Nadu Chief Master, Mr. M. Karunanidhi said that states should have more powers to initiate action for economic development without reducing the strength of the Centre.
- A Centre-State Relations Inquiry Committee was set up by the Tamil Nadu state government in September 1969 under the Chairmanship of Dr. P.V. Rajamanar to consider important questions on federalism.
- The Committee in its report recommended the setting up of the Inter-State Council and recommended that any decision of national importance or which may affect one or more States should be taken by the Union Government only after consultation with the Inter-State Council.
- The committee favoured the vesting of the residuary power of legislation taxation in the state legislature. The recommendations were ignored by the union government.
Nature of Indian federal structure
- Due to the centralising tendency of Indian federalism, K C Wheare referred to Indian federalism as “Quasi federal”. Other constitutional experts describe it as,“federation without federalism” and “a Union of Unequal States”, particularly the way it has evolved over the years.
- Features of Indian Federation that reflects a Centralising Tendency
Inequitable Division of Power
- The division of powers is in favour of the Centre and highly inequitable from that of a true federation.
- The Union List contains more numbers and important subjects (like defence, currency, external affairs, citizenship, and railways) than the State List.
- The Centre has overriding authority over the Concurrent List and the residuary powers have also been left with the Centre.
No Territorial Integrity with States
- The Parliament can by unilateral action change the area, boundaries or name of any state (Article 3 of Indian constitution).
- Indian federalism is described as an indestructible union of destructive states.
Flexibility of the Constitution
- The Constitution of India embodies not only the powers of the Centre but also those of the states. The bulk of the Constitution can be amended by the unilateral action of the Parliament and the power to initiate an amendment to the Constitution lies only with the Centre.
- During an emergency, the Central government becomes all-powerful and the states go into the total control of the Centre. It converts the federal structure into a unitary one without a formal amendment of the Constitution.
Appointment of Governor
- The governor is the head of the state but is appointed by the President. He holds office during the pleasure of the President.
- In this capacity, he/she acts as an agent of the Centre.
Integrated Constitutional Offices
- Indian constitution provides for an integrated audit machinery (such as CAG), election commission (such as ECI) and states have no control over these offices.
- Also, features like Single Citizenship, Integrated Judiciary and All India Services also signifies centralising tilt.
Inter state council
- The Inter-State Council is a non-permanent constitutional body set up by a presidential order on the basis of provisions in Article 263 of the Constitution of India. The body was formed by a presidential order dated 28 May 1990 on recommendation of Sarkaria
Inter-State Council Composition
- Prime Minister acts as the chairman of the council.
Members of Inter-State Council
- Union Ministers of Cabinet rank in the Union
- Council of Ministers nominated by the Prime Minister.
- Chief Ministers of all states.
- Chief Ministers of Union Territories having a Legislative Assembly and Administrators of UTs not having a Legislative Assembly
Functions of Inter-State Council
- Inquiring and advising upon disputes which may have emerged between the States:
- Investigating and discussing subjects in which the States or the Union has a common interest.
- Making suggestions on any such subject, for the better coordination of policy and action with respect to that subject.
Why in News
- Recently, the Ministry of Shipping reviewed the development of the country’s first trans-shipment hub – Kochi International Container Trans-shipment Terminal (ICTT).
- ICTT is locally known as the Vallarpadam Terminal.
- It is a terminal at a port which handles containers, stores them temporarily and transfers them to other ships for the onward destination.
- It basically acts as a switching point for cargo carried by deep-sea vessels operating on trans-continental trade routes.
- It is a part of the Cochin Port in Kochi, It is located on Vallarpadam Island.
- It was built with an investment of about Rs. 3,200 crore, shared by the government and the Dubai-government-owned entity (Dubai Ports World).
- It was opened in February 2011 and can handle cargo up to one million TEUs (Twenty-foot equivalent units) per annum.
- It is proposed to be a leading trans-shipment hub of South Asia. This is because of its:
- Proximity to International sea routes.
- Location with respect to all Indian feeder (secondary/smaller) ports.
- Proximity to key hinterland markets of India.
- Large infrastructure to manage large ships and capacity to scale it up as per requirement.
- It will cut India’s dependence on neighboring hub ports such as Colombo in Sri Lanka, Jebel Ali in Dubai and Port Klang in Malaysia to send and receive container cargo, thus saving time and cost for exporters and importers.
- It is in line with the Prime Minister’s vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat. It will ensure that Indian cargo trans-ship through an Indian Port. Further, the Indian ocean is one of the most critical maritime transportation links in the world.
- It will facilitate the setting up of port based industries and their allied facilities such as Container Freight Station, Island Container Depots, etc. in Kerala which will generate additional employment opportunities.
Melghat Tiger Reserve
Why in News
The Chief Minister of Maharashtra has requested the Union government for considering an alternative alignment for the Akola-Khandwa rail line that passes through the Melghat Tiger Reserve.
- It lies in Melghat Forests of Amravati district in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra bordering Madhya Pradesh in the North and East. It is a part of the Satpura-Maikal
- It is spread over an area of 2768.52 sq km. It is among the first nine places in the country designated as tiger reserves in 1973-74.
- Project Tiger was launched in 1973. It was the first Tiger Reserve to be declared in the State of Maharashtra.
Protected Areas within the Reserve:
- It consists of Gugamal National Park, Wan, Ambawarba and Narnala sanctuaries.
- It is the Deccan trap and underlying rock is basalt in one form or another. It has various species of mammals including Tiger, Leopard, Sloth bear, Gaur, etc.
- The forests are of deciduous nature and have been classified as ‘dry deciduous forests’. Most prominent is
- It forms a very important catchment to Tapi river The Korku tribe adds to the cultural diversity of the Reserve.
Other Tiger Reserves in Maharashtra: