WORLD NEWS UPSC Key—17th November, 2023: Role of Governor, Voice of...

UPSC Key—17th November, 2023: Role of Governor, Voice of Global South Summit and Press Council of India


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TN Governor returns 10 Bills, state govt calls special session


Preliminary Examination: Indian Polity and Governance-Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.

Mains Examination: 

• General Studies II: Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.

• General Studies II: Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein

Key Points to Ponder:

• What’s the ongoing story- Days after the Supreme Court expressed “serious concern” about Governors not acting on Bills, Tamil Nadu Governor R N Ravi on Thursday returned 10 pending Bills to the state government. The DMK-led government, which has had public disagreements with Ravi several times over the past year, has called a special Assembly session on Saturday.

Festive offer

• Tamil Nadu Governor R N Ravi on returned 10 pending Bills to the state government-What now?

• The DMK-led government has called a special Assembly session-What are the options available with the government?

• For Your Information-Speaker M Appavu said these Bills would be taken up during the special Assembly session and there would be no discussions on the Supreme Court’s observations, Governor or President. The special session will be held under Assembly Rule 26. Once the Assembly passes these Bills again, the Governor is bound to approve them. Appavu cited the examples of the Bill prohibiting online gambling and the draft legislation on the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), which were also initially returned by the Governor.
The Tamil Nadu government filed an affidavit against the Governor on October 31, accusing him of neglecting constitutional duties and deliberately hindering governance. The writ petition alleges not only significant delays in legislation and crucial appointments but also a “systemic undermining” of the state’s elected machinery, asserting that the situation is leading to a “constitutional deadlock”. Apart from Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Punjab recently moved the top court against their Governors for allegedly sitting on pending Bills. Telangana filed a similar affidavit in the Supreme Court against its Governor in March.

• Ruling on Punjab’s petition, the Supreme Court on November 10 said something that is applicable to all governors in the state in general. Can you recall what exactly the Supreme Court said?

• “Cannot be oblivious to the fact that they are not elected representatives of the people”-Discuss

• Why have Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Punjab moved to the Supreme Court against their governors?

• What is the current conflict between the governor and the government in Tamil Nadu?

• “The standoff between the Tamil Nadu government and R N Ravi highlights a significant constitutional dilemma about the role and powers of the Governor”-Elaborate

• Why the state government would approach the Supreme Court?

• What is the standard legislative procedure in state legislature?

• How Bills are passed in state assembly?

• What is role of governor in legislative procedure in state legislature?

• Every bill, after it is passed by the assembly or by both the Houses in case of a bicameral legislature, is presented to the governor for his assent. There are four alternatives before the governor-what are they?

• If the governor gives his assent to the bill, then what happens with the bill?

• If the governor withholds his assent to the bill, then what happens?

• Can the Governor withholds the Bills indefinitely?

• What is happening in Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Kerela?

• What Tamil Nadu Governor doing with the bills?

• The governor enjoys only a suspensive veto-What is suspensive veto?

• How powerful is a Governor?

• Office of Governor-know the historical background

• Why has the Governor’s role and powers recently become a matter of contention?

• What is the relationship between the Governor and the state government?

• Various attempts were made to understand the role of the governor to strengthening centre-state relations-Can you name those committees and their recommendations?

• Administrative Reforms Commission of 1968, the Rajamanar Committee of 1969, the Sarkaria commission of 1988 and Punchhi Commission-What were their recommendations in the context of role of Governor?

• The Sarkaria Commission, set up in 1983 to look into Centre-state relations, proposed certain points for the
selection of Governors-Know them in detail

• What Punchhi Committee, constituted in 2007 on Centre-state relations said on selection the Governor?

• The Punchhi Committee recommended deleting the “Doctrine of Pleasure” from the Constitution-What is “Doctrine of Pleasure”?

• What Supreme Court of India said about the Governor’s role?

• How things changed after the S.R. Bommai case ,1994?

Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:

📍Explained: Governor’s powers, friction with states, and why this happens often

📍The 360° UPSC Debate | Does India really need state Governors?

Previous Year Prelims Questions Based on same theme:

📍Which one of the following suggested that the Governor should be an eminent person from outside the State and should be a detached figure without intense political links or should not have taken part in politics in the recent past? (Please refer Prelims 2019 GS question Paper for complete question)
📍Which of the following are the discretionary powers given to the Governor of a State? (Please refer Prelims 2014 GS question Paper for complete question)
1. Sending a report to the President of India for imposing the President’s rule
2. Appointing the Ministers
3. Reserving certain bills passed by the State Legislature for consideration of the President of India
4. Making the rules to conduct the business of the State Government


India to host 2nd Voice of Global South Summit today


Preliminary Examination: Current events of national and international importance.

Mains Examination: General Studies II: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

Key Points to Ponder:

• What’s the ongoing story-India will host the 2nd Voice of Global South Summit Friday in a virtual format, in what will be the second time since January this year. The second summit will start with an Inaugural Leaders’ Session chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the morning.

• What is Voice of Global South Summit?

• What happened in the first Voice of Global South Summit?

• What is the rationale behind Voice of Global South Summit?

• What is the theme of 2nd Voice of Global South Summit?

• What is considered the Global South?

• Which countries are in Global South?

• The term ‘Global South’ is more related to geography or to the economies of the countries?

• What is the Global South known for?

• What are the differences between global north and global south?

• For Your Information-The idea behind the summit is that India will work to ensure that inputs generated from partner countries in the Voice of Global South Summit deliberations will be pushed forward at the G20 summit which will be hosted by India later this year. India’s ongoing Presidency of the G20, officials said, provides a special and strong opportunity for countries whose voice often goes unheard.

• “Respond, Recognise, Respect, Reform”-Analyse

• For Your Information-The Ministry of External Affairs said that India had hosted the inaugural Voice of Global South Summit (VOGSS) on 12-13 January 2023 virtually. This unique initiative brought together 125 countries of the Global South to share their perspectives and priorities on a common platform.
Throughout its G20 Presidency, the MEA said India has “worked to ensure that the concerns of the Global South receive due cognisance and that the priorities of the Global South were duly factored in finding solutions to the most pressing global challenges”.
“The 2nd summit would focus on sharing with countries of the Global South the key outcomes achieved in various G20 meetings over the course of India’s Presidency. The challenges posed by global developments are also likely to be discussed. Further, the summit will serve as a platform to discuss ways to sustain the momentum generated towards our common aspiration of a more inclusive, representative and progressive world order,” it said.
According to MEA, the 2nd summit will be structured into 10 sessions, the inaugural and concluding sessions would be at Head of State / Government level, and hosted by PM Modi. The theme of the Inaugural Leaders’ Session is “Together, for Everyone’s Growth, with Everyone’s Trust” and that of the Concluding Leaders’ Session is “Global South: Together for One Future”.
In addition, there will be eight Ministerial Sessions, with the following themes: Foreign Ministers’ Session on “India & the Global South: Emerging Together for a Better Future”, Education Ministers’ Session on “Making Human Resources Future Ready”, Finance Ministers’ Session on “Financing People-Centric Development”, Environment Ministers’ Session on “Sustainable Solutions for Climate Resilience and Climate Finance”.
It will also include Foreign Ministers’ Session on “Global South and One Development”, Energy Ministers’ Session on “Affordable & Inclusive Energy Transition for Sustainable Development”, Health Ministers’ Session on “Solutions from the Global South for One Health” and Commerce / Trade Ministers’ Session on “Global South & Resilient Supply Chains”.
The eight ministerial sessions will include two Foreign Ministers’ Sessions; one Ministerial session each of Education, Finance, Environment, Energy, Health & Commerce Ministers and a Concluding Leaders’ Session in the evening.
The theme for the first Voice of Global South Summit was “Unity of Voice, Unity of Purpose” and had a total of 10 sessions, and sought to seek inputs from the Global South for the agenda of ‘Bharat G20 Summit’.

Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:

📍Express View on G20 and Global South: Right place, right time

Time for PCI to not show teeth, but to bite, says Dhankhar


Preliminary Examination: Current events of national and international importance.

Mains Examination: General Studies II: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Key Points to Ponder:

• What’s the ongoing story- Advocating “quick action” against those deliberately spreading fake news, Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar on Thursday said it was not “the time to show teeth but a time to bite”. He was addressing a National Press Day event organised by the Press Council of India (PCI) in New Delhi.

• Why National Press Day is celebrated?

• What is the role of press in a society?

• Press Council of India-Know role and functions

• For Your Information-The Press Council of India (PCI), a statutory autonomous body, has been set up under the Press Council Act, 1978, mainly to preserve the freedom of the press and improve the standards of newspapers and news agencies in the country. PCI considers complaints filed ‘by the press’ concerning curtailment of press freedom, physical assault/attack on journalists etc.

• What is ‘freedom of press’?

• Why is freedom of the press important?

• What are the three key features of the freedom of press?

• What is freedom of press in India?

• Why Media is called as the Fourth Pillar of Democracy?

• How Media is regulated in India?

• What are the Loopholes in Media Regulation in India?

• World Press Freedom index-Know key details

• Who publishes World Press Freedom index?

• Performance of India in World Press Freedom index-know in detail

Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:

📍How to strengthen regulatory systems for media being considered: Prakash Javadekar


New IT platform to track medicines end-to-end


Preliminary Examination: Current events of national and international importance.

Mains Examination: General Studies II: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Key Points to Ponder:

• What’s the ongoing story- The integrated IT platform that apex drug regulator the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization has been working on to bring in transparency and uniformity in all its processes — and create confidence in domestic and international markets — will be able to track products right from the stage of procuring raw material, to supply chain, and finally patterns of consumption categorised by quantity, area, and season. Apart from manufacturers, distributors and retailers will also need to upload their invoices on the portal for this end-to-end tracking to become possible.

• “The idea to create a integrated IT platform bring in transparency and uniformity in all its processes”-What is this integrated IT platform for?

• Why there is a urgent need to improve the regulatory framework in Drug Regulation?

• How medicines and drugs are regulated in India?

• For Your Information-The brainstorming session in February brought all stakeholders together to discuss ways to improve the regulatory framework after a series of incidents came to light where Indian manufactured syrups were found to be contaminated and were even linked to deaths of children in the Gambia and Uzbekistan. At the same meeting, it was decided that the global standard for good manufacturing practices will be made mandatory for all Indian companies. The government has already asked around 8,000 smaller companies that do not comply with it to do so.
Another important function of the portal will be to share information about spurious and not of standard quality medicines with state regulators to tackle the problem of the movement of these drugs across state boundaries. Investigations and prosecution launches will also be done through the portal in such cases. It will also help track all types of court cases for prosecution and convictions.
The platform will bring online activities that are still done physically like periodic safety updates, show cause notices, adverse event reporting and post approval changes. The portal will help improve inspections by assigning inspectors at random to various sites in a masked manner, randomised allocation of work such as processing applications for licenses and approvals, and assigning QR codes to samples collected and reports to allow verification at every stage of the process. It will also automatically generate officials’ performance reports.
The portal will create searchable registries of manufacturers, marketeers, retailers, pharmacies, and even subject matter experts.
The portal will have separate dashboards for separate stakeholders, allowing them access to custom reports on a need to know basis. One of the portal’s requirements is to have enough parameters to make the data searchable.
The online platform will need to be compatible with other government portals such as the Government e-Marketplace, Bureau of Indian Standards and Clinical Trial Registry. It will also also have a provision to sign documents using authentication mechanisms like OTP, Aadhaar, PAN card, and DigiLocker.

• What is the role of Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO)?

• What and who is Drugs Controller General of India?

• Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) and Drugs Controller General of India-Connect the dots

Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:

📍How India’s drug regulatory regime can ensure greater credibility for our pharma industry


India, EU close to settling $600-mn WTO dispute


Preliminary Examination: Current events of national and international importance.

Main Examination: General Studies II: Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.

Key Points to Ponder:

• What’s the ongoing story-India is close to resolving its most contentious trade dispute, involving information communications technology (ICT) products, with its second largest trade partner, the European Union (EU), a senior government official said.

This comes on the heels of India settling all seven trade disputes at the World Trade Organization (WTO) with its largest trade partner, the US.

• Why Brussels had dragged New Delhi to the WTO’s dispute settlement mechanism in 2019?

• The dispute assumes significance-Know why?

• What is WTO dispute settlement system?

• What is the problem with the WTO Appellate Body?

• For Your Information-The Appellate Body, set up in 1995, is the standing committee that presides over appeals against judgments passed in trade-related disputes brought by WTO members.
With over 500 international disputes brought to the WTO and over 350 rulings issued since 1995, the organisation’s dispute settlement mechanism is one of the most active in the world, and the Appellate Body is the highest authority in these matters.
The WTO’s dispute settlement procedure is seen as being vital to ensuring smooth international trade flows. The Appellate Body has so far issued 152 reports. The reports, once adopted by the WTO’s disputes settlement body, are final and binding on the parties.
There is now great uncertainty over the dispute settlement process. Once the body becomes non-functional, countries may be compelled to implement rulings by the panel even if they feel that gross errors have been committed.
Should such a country refuse to comply with the order of the panel on the ground that it has no avenue for appeal, it will run the risk of facing arbitration proceedings initiated by the other party in the dispute. This does not bode well for India, which is facing a rising number of dispute cases, especially on agricultural products. In the last few months alone, four cases have been brought to the WTO against India’s alleged support measures for its sugar and sugarcane producers.

• Which panel helps the dispute settlement body of WTO?

• The current dispute settlement system was created as part of the WTO Agreement during the Uruguay Round-True or False?

• What are the functions, objectives and key features of the dispute settlement system?

• The dispute settlement panel of the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled that India’s imposition of tariffs on mobile phones and electronic components violates its commitment under the Information Technology (IT) Act-Discuss

• For Your Information-In 2019, the EU had challenged the import duty of 7.5 per cent – later increased to 15 per cent – levied by India in 2017 on a wide range of IT products, such as mobile phones and components, as well as integrated circuits, to curb imports and step up domestic production. Japan and Taiwan filed similar complaints later that year. Later, India raised the duty to 20 per cent despite opposition from a number of the trade organisation’s members. India is a signatory to the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) which came into effect in July 1997 and accounts for more than 95 per cent of the world trade in products such as computers, telecom equipment, semiconductors and scientific instruments. As part of a signatory to the agreement, India is required to eliminate tariffs on these products.

• What Is a Tariff?

• Imposition of tariffs on mobile phones and electronic components-how it impacts?

• Why Government Imposed Tariffs?

• What is difference between tariff and quota?

Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:

📍India to appeal WTO panel ruling on ICT import tariffs; ‘limited’ PLI impact


India and the US-China truce


Preliminary Examination: Current events of national and international importance.

Mains Examination: General Studies II: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s Interest

Key Points to Ponder:

• What’s the ongoing story-As the leaders of the United States and China try and arrest the steady downslide in bilateral relations, India has little reason to worry about a structural shift in the most consequential great power relationship in the world today.

Since the variations in the US-China relationship affect all major powers and regions, there has been global interest in this week’s summit between the US President Joe Biden and the Chinese leader Xi Jinping in San Francisco on the margins of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit.

• Why the variations in the US-China relationship affect all major powers and regions?

• “There are always concerns in India about a ‘G-2’ or a Sino-American collaboration in Asia”-How far you agree with the given statement?

• What is the purpose of the San Francisco Summit?

• What are the key takeaways from the San Francisco Summit?

• India and US-China Meet-Connect the dots

• For Your Information- The two countries have resumed military-to-military communications, which China had ended after then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan last year. China agreed to crack down on the manufacture and export of Fentanyl, a deadly drug and adulterant in narcotics. The leaders reportedly also spoke about the conflict in Palestine and on the Taiwan question and the meeting also showcased other fundamental differences between the two countries. By all accounts, the US has managed to bring China to the table while giving relatively little in return — trade and military restrictions, for example, have not been withdrawn. Over the last decade or so, the US has also made strategic gains and cemented partnerships in Asia — through the Quad, AUKUS and deepening of ties with old allies like Japan. The meeting could be seen as a confidence-building measure between two powers locked in a proxy conflict. For New Delhi, the most pressing concern is China’s wooing of American business. Speaking to corporate leaders after he met with Biden, Xi said: “The door of China-US relations cannot be closed again now that it’s open… We need to build more bridges and pave more roads.” The statement is one of China’s many recent overtures to US and global capital, including at the Global Financial Leaders Summit in Hong Kong earlier this month. This is not surprising given that corporate America has traditionally been a champion of China. Recently, though, geopolitical tensions, unreasonable Covid restrictions and a slowing Chinese economy have dented much of that faith: In 2023, US business’s optimism about China fell to its lowest since 1999, according to the American Chamber of Commerce. It is estimated that the Indian economy could greatly benefit from a potential flight of capital and investment from China. However, Xi’s outreach shows that Beijing is willing to set aside some of its political rhetoric for the sake of business. India, then, must continue to firm up its diplomatic and strategic ties with the US, even as it does more to become a more attractive investment destination.

Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:

📍Joe Biden meets with Xi Jinping, says US, China militaries ‘back to clear, direct communication’

‘Crime’ of adultery: What SC ruled and why


Preliminary Examination: Current events of national and international importance.

Mains Examination: General Studies II: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Key Points to Ponder:

• What’s the ongoing story-The Parliamentary Committee on Home Affairs has suggested that adultery should be re-instituted as a crime in the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS), 2023, the proposed law to replace the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860.

The Parliamentary Committee adopted reports on the three Bills meant to replace the IPC, The Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), 1973, and The Indian Evidence Act, 1872, last week.
The panel headed by BJP Rajya Sabha member Brij Lal, which examined the Bills after they were introduced in Parliament this August, suggested more than 50 changes and flagged several errors in them.

• What is the legal position on adultery now?

• Do You Know-Until 2018, the IPC contained Section 497, which defined adultery as a criminal offence that attracted up to five years in prison, or a fine, or both. However, only men could be punished under Section 497, not women. The section read:
“Whoever has sexual intercourse with a person who is and whom he knows or has reason to believe to be the wife of another man, without the consent or connivance of that man, such sexual intercourse not amounting to the offence of rape, is guilty of the offence of adultery… In such case the wife shall not be punishable as an abettor.”
This was contrary to both the common understanding and the dictionary definition of adultery, which is simply voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person, man or woman, and someone other than that person’s current spouse or partner.
In Joseph Shine vs Union Of India (September 27, 2018), a five-judge Bench of the Supreme Court led by then Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra, and comprising current CJI D Y Chandrachud, and Justices A M Khanwilkar, R F Nariman, and Indu Malhotra, unanimously struck down Section 497 of the IPC on grounds that included discrimination.

• What has the House Committee recommended?

• So what is the problem with this?

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• Can the Supreme Court’s decision in this case be undone?

Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:

📍Criminal law Bills: Centre to work on suggested changes

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