Polity Current Affairs

Indian Polity and Constitution Current Affairs, Important for competitive Exams.

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Phase 1 conducted peacefully, more than 60% voter turnout 

The first phase of General Elections 2024 occurred on April 19, 2024.

  • Polling was conducted peacefully in 10 states/UTs to elect members for the 18th Lok Sabha.
  • A voter turnout of over 60% across states/UTs.
  • Polls for State Legislative Assemblies of Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh were also held.

Q: Which two states had polls for their State Legislative Assemblies during the first phase of elections?

a) Uttar Pradesh and Bihar
b) Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh
c) Gujarat and Maharashtra
d) Kerala and Tamil Nadu

Ans : b) Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh

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Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT)

Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) are the backbone of India’s electoral process conducted by Election Commission of India (ECI).

History, design, and significance of EVMs

  1. Introduction and Evolution:
    • EVMs were introduced as an alternative to paper ballots. The ballot papers were prone to fraudulent voting and booth capturing.
    • Developed and tested by the state-owned Electronics Corporation of India (ECIL) and Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) in the 1990s.
    • EVMs were gradually phased into Indian elections between 1998 and 2001.
  2. Design and Technology:
    • EVMs are standalone machines with secure manufacturing practices.
    • They are self-contained, battery-powered, and lack any networking capability.
    • EVMs do not have wireless or wired internet components, ensuring tamper-proof operation.
    • The M3 version includes the Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) system.
  3. Functionality and Security Features:
    • EVMs electronically limit the rate of casting votes to five per minute.
    • A security “lock-close” feature ensures integrity.
    • An electronic database stores “voting signatures and thumb impressions” to confirm voter identity.
  4. Advantages:
    • Reduced electoral fraud voting and booth capturing.
    • Fairer and more competitive elections.
  5. Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT):
    • VVPAT was introduced after court rulings, to provides transparency.
    • It allows voters to verify their vote through a printed paper trail.
    • EVMs and VVPATs are now used in every assembly and general election in India.
  6. Recent Developments:
    • In 2019, the Supreme Court ordered the use of VVPAT in every assembly constituency, verifying a small percentage of EVMs before certifying final results.

Q: What does VVPAT stand for in the context of EVMs?

A) Verified Voter Paper Authentication Technology
B) Voter-Verified Polling Accuracy Tracker
C) Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail
D) Verified Voting Process and Accountability Tool

Ans : C) Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail

Q: Which organization developed and tested EVMs in India during the 1990s?

A) Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL)
B) Electronics Corporation of India(ECIL) and Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL)
C) Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and Electronics Corporation of India(ECIL)
D) Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) and Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO)

Ans : B) Electronics Corporation of India(ECIL) and Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL)

Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) Read More »

Election Commission uploads Electoral Bonds data with Unique Numbers on its website

On March 21, 2024, the Election Commission released a dataset of electoral bonds, including their numbers, to help match purchasers with the political parties receiving the funds. The State Bank of India (SBI) was the only bank authorized to sell and redeem electoral bonds, which were issued starting from March 2018 until the scheme was declared null and void by the Supreme Court in February 2024.

  1. Megha Engineering & Infrastructures made the largest donation of approximately ₹600 crore to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) through electoral bonds, followed by other significant donors like Quik Supply Chain Management Ltd, the Vedanta Group, and the Bharti Group.
  2. The Vedanta Group was the largest donor to the Congress, contributing ₹125 crore, followed by other contributors like the Western UP Power Transmission Co, MKJ Enterprises, and the Yashoda Hospital Group.
  3. The BJP emerged as the biggest beneficiary of the electoral bond scheme, receiving ₹6,061 crore since April 2019, followed by the Trinamool Congress and the Congress.
  4. Future Gaming Group was the largest purchaser of electoral bonds, followed by Megha Engineering, and various political parties benefited from these bonds.
  5. Notable donors included Lakshmi Niwas Mittal, Rahul Bhatia, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, and Rajesh Agarwal.

Q: Which bank was authorized to sell and redeem electoral bonds?

a) HDFC Bank
b) ICICI Bank
c) State Bank of India (SBI)
d) Axis Bank

Ans : c) State Bank of India (SBI)

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Union Minister Kiren Rijiju Given the additional charge of Ministry Of Food Processing Industries

Union Minister Kiren Rijiju has been given an additional charge of the Ministry of Food Processing Industries.

Appointment follows, Rashtriya Lok Janshakti Party Chief Pashupati Kumar Paras resigned from the Union Cabinet on 19 March 2024.

Mr Rijiju is currently holding the charge of Ministry of Earth Sciences.

Q: Who has been given an additional charge of the Ministry of Food Processing Industries?

a) Dr S Jaishankar
b) Pashupati Kumar Paras
c) Kiren Rijiju
d) Amit Saha

Ans : c) Kiren Rijiju

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What are Electoral Bonds and its recent Development

Electoral Bonds are financial instruments that allow individuals and companies to make anonymous donations to political parties in India.

Key points about electoral bonds and recent developments:

  1. What Are Electoral Bonds?
    • Electoral bonds were introduced in 2018 by the Indian government as a means to promote transparency in political funding.
    • These bonds are like promissory notes that can be purchased from authorized banks in specific denominations.
    • The donor can then donate these bonds to a political party of their choice.
    • The identity of the donor remains confidential, ensuring privacy.
  2. Recent Developments:
    • Supreme Court Ruling: On February 15, 2024, a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court declared the electoral bonds scheme unconstitutional. The court found that the scheme lacked transparency and violated democratic principles.
    • Election Commission Data: The Election Commission (EC) has been releasing data related to electoral bonds. On March 15, 2024, the EC published the first detailed data on electoral bonds, sourced from the State Bank of India (SBI). 
    • Second List: On March 17, 2024, the EC uploaded a second list of electoral bond data. Notably, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) received the highest donation of ₹6,986.5 crore, followed by the Trinamool Congress (TMC) with ₹1,397 crore.

Q: What are electoral bonds?

A. Bonds issued by political parties to raise funds
B. Financial instruments for anonymous political donations
C. Bonds used for government infrastructure projects
D. Bonds that allow citizens to vote in elections

Ans : B. Financial instruments for anonymous political donations

Q: What recent development led to the Supreme Court declaring the electoral bonds scheme unconstitutional?

A. Release of detailed data by the Election Commission
B. A Constitution Bench ruling on February 15, 2024
C. Introduction of a new electoral bond denomination
D. State Bank of India’s involvement in the scheme

Ans : B. A Constitution Bench ruling on February 15, 2024

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Lok Sabha Polls in 7 Phases from April 19, counting on June 4th, 2024

Lok Sabha elections will be held in seven phases starting from April 19th, with counting on June 4th. On 16 March 2024, Election Commission announced the poll schedule for General Election 2024 and assembly polls in four states.

  1. Assembly polls for Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, and Odisha were also scheduled.
  2. Model Code of Conduct came into force with the announcement of the poll schedule.
  3. Measures to ensure smooth conduct of elections, including facilitating voting for elderly and disabled persons, dealing with criminal cases against candidates, and availability of EVMs and VVPATs.
  4. Detail Notification : Download ECI full Notification PDF

Q: Who is the present Chief Election Commissioner of India ?

a) Rajiv Kumar
b) Sunil Arora
c) Om Prakash Rawat
d) Nasim Zaidi

Ans : a) Rajiv Kumar

Lok Sabha Polls in 7 Phases from April 19, counting on June 4th, 2024 Read More »

One Nation One Election report submitted to President Droupadi Murmu

A High-Level Committee, chaired by former President Ram Nath Kovind, submitted a report on “One Nation One Election” to President Droupadi Murmu in New Delhi on 14 March 2024 .

This report, which comprises 18,626 pages and took 191 days of extensive consultations with stakeholders and experts, is considered crucial for Aspirational India according to the Law and Justice Ministry.

The submission ceremony was attended by various dignitaries including Union Home Minister Amit Shah and former Chairman of the 15th Finance Commission NK Singh.

Q: What is the concept of “One Nation One Election”?

a) A campaign to promote unity among political parties
b) A proposal for simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies
c) A national holiday for voting across all states
d) A constitutional amendment to limit the number of political parties allowed to contest elections

Ans : b) A proposal for simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies

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Govt announces implementation of Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA)

On March 11, 2024, the Indian government made an announcement regarding the implementation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA). This development comes four years after the contentious law was initially passed, and it has significant implications for certain categories of migrants in India.

Here are the key points related to the implementation of the CAA:

  1. Purpose of CAA:
    • The CAA aims to provide citizenship to undocumented non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan who entered India before December 31, 2014.
    • The law specifically targets persecuted minorities from these countries, including Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis, and Christians.
  2. Rules Issued:
    • With the issuance of the CAA rules, the Modi government will now begin granting Indian nationality to the eligible non-Muslim migrants from the three countries.
    • The rules enable these individuals to apply for Indian citizenship through a completely online mode, facilitated by a dedicated web portal.
  3. Background:
    • The CAA was passed in December 2019 and received presidential assent. However, widespread protests erupted across various parts of the country against its provisions.
    • Until now, the law could not be fully implemented because the rules had not been officially notified.
    • The Citizenship (Amendment) Rules, 2024 now pave the way for eligible migrants to seek Indian citizenship.

Q: What was the purpose of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA)?

A) To provide citizenship to all migrants from neighboring countries
B) To grant Indian nationality to non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan
C) To promote religious diversity in India
D) To restrict immigration from specific countries

Answer: B) To grant Indian nationality to non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan

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Three new Criminal Laws to become effective from July 1

The Centre announced that the provisions of three significant laws – Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, 2023, Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, 2023, and Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam, 2023 – will become effective on July 1, 2024.

  • The Home Ministry conveyed this information through a gazette notification.
  • These laws were passed by Parliament in December 2023.
  • Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, 2023, Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, 2023, and Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam, 2023 are slated to replace the Indian Penal Code of 1860, the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1898, and the Indian Evidence Act of 1872.

Q: When will the provisions of Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, 2023, Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, 2023, and Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam, 2023 come into force?

a) July 1, 2023
b) July 1, 2024
c) January 1, 2023
d) December 31, 2023

Ans : b) July 1, 2024

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Prime Minister Modi Reaffirmed as World’s Most Popular Leader

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi tops global leader approval ratings with 78%.
  • Survey conducted by US-based agency Morning Consult unveils Modi’s popularity.
  • Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador secures second place with 65% approval rating.
  • Argentina President Javier Milei ranks third with a 63% approval rating.
  • US President Joe Biden is positioned 11th among world leaders.
  • Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ranks 17th.
  • UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is placed 20th.
  • Survey data collected from January 30 to February 5.

Question: Who emerged as the most popular global leader with a 78% approval rating by Morning Consult 2024?
a) President of Mexico
b) Prime Minister Narendra Modi
c) President of Argentina
d) US President Joe Biden

  • Correct answer: b) Prime Minister Narendra Modi

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