News: Just a day before the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act of 2019 was passed, Ladakh enjoyed a classical three-tier administrative system. The Autonomous Hill Development Councils of Leh and Kargil read along with the framework of J&K’s special status and its bicameral legislative system gave Ladakh autonomy and participatory democracy. This also kept the interests of the tribal majority population of Ladakh secure.
About Union Territory:
A union territory is a type of administrative division in the Republic of India. Unlike the states of India, which have their own governments, union territories are federal territories governed, in part or in whole, by the Union Government of India.
There are currently eight union territories of India.
When the Constitution of India was adopted in 1949, the Indian federal structure included:
Part C states, which were chief commissioners’ provinces and some princely states, each governed by a chief commissioner appointed by the President of India. The ten Part C states were Ajmer, Bhopal, Bilaspur, Coorg, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Cutch, Manipur, Tripura and Vindhya Pradesh.
One Part D state (Andaman and Nicobar Islands) administered by a lieutenant governor appointed by the central government.
After the States Reorganisation Act, 1956, Part C and Part D states were combined into a single category of “Union territory”. Due to various other reorganisations, only 6 union territories remained:
By early 1970s, Manipur, Tripura, and Himachal Pradesh had become full-fledged states, and Chandigarh became a union territory. Another three (Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu and Puducherry) were formed from acquired territories that formerly belonged to non-British colonial powers (Portuguese India and French India, respectively).
In August 2019, the Parliament of India passed Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019. The act contains provisions to reconstitute the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories, one to be eponymously called Jammu and Kashmir, and the other Ladakh on 31 October 2019.
In November 2019, the Government of India introduced legislation to merge the union territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu into a single union territory to be known as Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu.
2. GOVT. DISAGREES WITH INDIA’S RANK IN WORLD PRESS FREEDOM INDEX
News: The Centre does not agree with the conclusions drawn by Reporters Without Borders about press freedom in India for various reasons, including very low sample size and little or no weightage to the fundamentals of democracy, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry told the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
About Press Freedom Index:
The Press Freedom Index is an annual ranking of countries compiled and published by Reporters Without Borders since 2002 based upon the organisation’s own assessment of the countries’ press freedom records in the previous year.
It intends to reflect the degree of freedom that journalists, news organisations, and netizens have in each country, and the efforts made by authorities to respect this freedom.
Reporters Without Borders is careful to note that the index only deals with press freedom and does not measure the quality of journalism in the countries it assesses, nor does it look at human rights violations in general.
The report is partly based on a questionnaire using seven general criteria: pluralism (measures the degree of representation of opinions in the media space), media independence, environment and self-censorship, legislative framework, transparency, infrastructure, and abuses.
The questionnaire takes account of the legal framework for the media (including penalties for press offences, the existence of a state monopoly for certain kinds of media and how the media are regulated) and the level of independence of the public media. It also includes violations of the free flow of information on the Internet.
3. 22 DIED WHILE CLEANING SEWERS IN 2021
News: The Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry on Tuesday informed the Lok Sabha that 22 people had died while cleaning sewers and septic tanks in 2021 so far.
About Cleaning Sewers:
Sewers are underground pipes that take away dirty water and human waste from homes, offices and many other places.
The sewers lead to sewage treatment plants that remove the harmful and unwanted parts, returning clean water to the environment.
Many rules and regulations exist for how clean the final discharge (effluent) must be.
Cleaning crews use special trucks and tools to help keep the sewers clear of grease, tree roots, and other blockages.
More rural areas may have septic systems where sewers do not yet exist. In many urban areas, street gutters to carry rainwater are combined with sewers.