1. SIMULTANEOUSLY BE A MEMBER OF BOTH HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT (OR A STATE LEGISLATURE)
News: Bhagwant Mann, Chief Minister–designate of Punjab, resigned his seat in the Lok Sabha on Monday as he has been elected in the Assembly polls in Punjab and is set to be sworn in as Chief Minister on March 16.
These MPs must vacate one of their seats — because under the Constitution, an individual cannot simultaneously be a member of both Houses of Parliament (or a state legislature), or both Parliament and a state legislature, or represent more than one seat in a House.
If a person is elected simultaneously to both Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha, and if he has not yet taken his seat in either House, he can choose, within 10 days from the later of the dates on which he is chosen to those Houses, the House of which he would like to be a member. [Article 101(1) of the Constitution read with Section 68(1) of The Representation of the People Act, 1951]
The member must intimate his choice in writing to the Secretary to the Election Commission of India (ECI) within the 10-day window, failing which his seat in Rajya Sabha will fall vacant at the end of this period. [Sec 68(2), RPA 1951]. The choice, once intimated, is final. [Sec 68(3), RPA, 1951]
No such option is, however, available to a person who is already a member of one House and has contested the election for membership of the other House.
So, if a sitting Rajya Sabha member contests and wins a Lok Sabha election, his seat in the Upper House becomes automatically vacant on the date he is declared elected to Lok Sabha.
The same applies to a Lok Sabha member who contests an election to Rajya Sabha. [Sec 69 read with Sec 67A, RPA 1951].
Under Sec 33(7) of RPA, 1951, an individual can contest from two parliamentary constituencies but, if elected from both, he has to resign one seat within 14 days of the declaration of the result, failing which both his seats shall fall vacant. [Sec 70, RPA, 1951 read with Rule 91 of the Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961]
Under Article 101(2) of the Constitution (read with Rule 2 of the Prohibition of Simultaneous Membership Rules, 1950, made by the President under this Article) members of state legislatures who have been elected to Lok Sabha must resign their seats within 14 days “from the date of publication in the Gazette of India or in the Official Gazette of the State, whichever is later, of the declaration that he has been so chosen”, failing which their seats in Lok Sabha shall automatically fall vacant.
2. INDO – TIBETAN BORDER POLICE
News: An officer of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) was killed and two jawans suffered injuries in two separate incidents of IED blasts triggered by the Maoists in Chhattisgarh’s Narayanpur district.
About Indo – Tibetan Border Police:
The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) is India’s primary border patrol organization for its border with Tibet Autonomous Region. It is one of the five Central Armed Police Forces of India, raised on 24 October 1962, under the CRPF Act, in the wake of the Sino-Indian War of 1962.
In September 1996, the Parliament of India enacted the “Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force Act, 1992” to “provide for the constitution and regulation” of the ITBP “for ensuring the security of the borders of India and for matters connected therewith”.
The first head of the ITBP, designated Inspector General, was Balbir Singh, a police officer previously belonging to the Intelligence Bureau.
The ITBP, which started with 4 battalions, has, since restructuring in 1978, undergone expansion to a force of 60 Battalions with 15 Sectors and 05 Frontiers as of 2018 with a sanctioned strength of 89,432.
ITBP is a multi-dimensional force which primarily has 5 functions:
Vigil on the northern borders, detection and prevention of border violations, and promotion of the sense of security among the local populace.
Check illegal immigration and trans-border smuggling.
Provide security to sensitive installations and threatened VIPs
Restore and preserve order in any area in the event of a disturbance.
To maintain peace.
Presently, battalions of ITBP are deployed on border guard duties from Karakoram Pass in Ladakh to Diphu La in Arunachal Pradesh, covering 3,488 km of the India-China border.
3. MATERNAL MORTALITY RATE
News: The maternal mortality ratio (MMR) of India has declined by 10 points, says a special bulletin released by the Registrar-General of India. It has declined from 113 in 2016-18 to 103 in 2017-19, an 8.8% decline.
About Maternal Mortality Rate:
The maternal mortality ratio is a key performance indicator (KPI) for efforts to improve the health and safety of mothers before, during, and after childbirth per country worldwide.
Often referred to as MMR, it is the annual number of female deaths per 100,000 live births from any cause related to or aggravated by pregnancy or its management (excluding accidental or incidental causes).
It is not to be confused with the maternal mortality rate, which is the number of maternal deaths (direct and indirect) in a given period per 100,000 women of reproductive age during the same time period.
4. STRATEGIC PETROLEUM RESERVE
News: India will take ‘appropriate’ steps to calm the rise in oil prices, triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the junior oil Minister said on Monday, indicating the country could release more oil from national stocks if required.
About Strategic Petroleum Reserve:
Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Limited (ISPRL) is an Indian company responsible for maintaining the country’s strategic petroleum reserves.
ISPRL is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Oil Industry Development Board (OIDB), which functions under the administrative control of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
ISPRL maintains an emergency fuel store of total 5.33 MMT (million metric tons) or 36.92 million barrels (5.870 million cubic metres) of strategic crude oil enough to provide 9.5 days of consumption Strategic crude oil storages are at three underground locations in Mangalore, Visakhapatnam and Padur (Udupi, Karnataka).
All these are located on the east and west coasts of India which are readily accessible to the refineries.
These strategic storages are in addition to the existing storages of crude oil and petroleum products with the oil companies and serve in response to external supply disruptions.
Indian refiners maintain 64.5 days of crude storage, so India has overall reserve oil storage of 74 days.