Art & Culture
- Sexual Harassment Charges against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi
- All You Need to know about Electoral Bonds
- Electoral Bonds controversy
- NaMo TV controversy
- General Elections 2019
- RBI Governor bats for a Permanent Status to Finance Commission
- PM Modi’s Mission Shakti Speech & Model Code of Conduct
- Sadhvi Pragya Thakur’s latest Controversy
- Rafale deal document controversy
- Should SC Judges be under RTI ambit?
- Supreme Court Judgement on Tainted Candidates
- VVPAT verification
Governance & Social Justice
- Candida Auris : Drug- resistant fungi
- Candida auris infection
- Healthcare System for India, Difference in USA & European healthcare model?
- Lateral Entry in Civil Services explained
- Model policy for Women in Police
- NIRF India Rankings 2019 declared
- Quality Assurance Scheme
- Sex on false promise of marriage is rape
- Survey 2019 Ambitions Beyond Growth report by UNESCAP
- World Health Statistics Overview 2019 report on Life Expectancy
- World Press Freedom Index 2019
- Supreme Court compensation order on Bilkis Bano case
- WHO guidelines on physical activity for children under 5 years of age
- Global Talent Competitive Index 2019
- Algeria Political Crisis
- EU’s new Copyright Law, Will it change Web Worldwide?
- India Pakistan Kartarpur Corridor Talks
- India to Become NATO Ally?
- Japan Starts a New Era
- Julian Assange Arrested
- Sudan Political Crisis
- Trump designates Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran
- United Nations Has to Pay India $38 Million
- US labels Revolutionary Guard of Iran a terror organisation
- US Mexico border wall controversy
- Why is UAE Important for India?
- Why is Chile Important for India?
- India Pakistan Conflict De-escalation Mechanisms
- India suspends cross LoC trade with Pakistan
- What is Arab Spring 2.0?
- India to stop buying Oil from Iran
- Trump withdraws from UN arms treaty
- Asian Development Outlook 2019
- China’s growth after slowdown
- Foreign Investment in India
- India’s 20th Livestock Census
- India’s transition to Renewable Energy from conventional sources
- Indian Army Builds The Longest Bridge of India Over Indus In Leh
- India Energy Modelling Forum by NITI Aayog & USAID
- National Common Mobility Card launched
- Rise and fall of Private Airlines in India
- Rise in Global Crude Oil prices & weakening Rupee
- Slowdown in Industrial Growth & rising Inflation
- Supreme Court order on EPFO
- Supreme Court quashes RBI’s 12 February Circular on NPA
- What are Junk Bonds?
- What is Fixed Maturity Plans?
- What is GDP deflator? Is it more comprehensive compared to WPI and CPI?
- What is Trader’s Credit Card Scheme?
- What is Wholesale Price Index?
- 1st Bimonthly Monetary Policy review – April 2019
- National Rubber Policy 2019
- Sensex hits 7 months high, History & Functions of Bombay Stock Exchange
- Supreme Court orders RBI on RTI
- What is Dedollarisation?
- Asian Tea Alliance
- Pepsico vs Farmers Issue
Defence & Security
Science & Technology
- Dhanush Artillery Guns
- Combat Casualty Drugs
- The Indian Museum of the Earth (TIME)
- EMISAT Satellite Launched
- Faster Adoption & Manufacturing of Hybrid & Electric
- First Ever Image of a Black Hole
- India to Buy MH60 Romeo Helicopters
- Nepal and Sri Lanka Launch Their First Satellites Raavana 1 & NepaliSat-1
- Nirbhay Missile Successfully Tested
- High Bacteriophages in Ganga River
- Army invokes Emergency Powers for Missile Deal
- Cell Based Meat
- INS Imphal Guided Missile Destroyer
- Draft Indian Forest Act 2019
- Gujarat Fishermen’s victory in US Supreme Court
- Humpback Mahseer Fish included in Critically Endangered list by IUCN
- India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP)
- Jammu & Kashmir Environment Issues
- Madras High Court order on Chennai Salem Highway
- Monkey declared Vermin in Himachal Pradesh
- Neelakurinji Flower under Severe Threat
- Solar eWaste
- Special Postal Stamp on Ice Stupas released
- State of Global Climate report 2018
- What is Green Finance Ecosystem?
- Wind turbines are impacting ecology in Western Ghats
- All about Wild Food Plants
Spice of the Month
- GS 2 || Polity || Political Dynamics || Elections
Why in news?
- The Election Commission concluded that Prime Minister’s address to the nation on the successful test-firing of an anti-satellite missile did not violate the model code of conduct.
- PM Announcement: Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced through a nationally televised address the demonstration of India’s capability to bring down an operational satellite.
- Mission Shakti: India shot down one of its satellites in space with an anti-satellite missile to demonstrate this complex capability, Prime Minister announced, making it only the fourth country to have used such a weapon.
- Declaring India has established itself as a global space power after the success of the operation ‘Mission Shakti’, Prime Minister said the missile hit a live satellite flying in a Low Earth Orbit after it traversed a distance of almost 300 km from earth within three minutes of its launch.
- Opposition parties had accused the Prime Minister of violating the Model Code by touting the demonstration of the anti-satellite (ASAT) missile test as a significant achievement of the ruling BJP.
- CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury had formally complained to the EC.
- There were questions about the timing of the test as well as the manner of announcement as the country is in election mode.
- Part VII of the Code covering the “party in power” prohibits advertisements at the cost of the public exchequer to further the prospects of the party in power.
- It says “… the misuse of official mass media during the election period for partisan coverage of political news and publicity regarding achievements with a view to furthering the prospects of the party in power shall be scrupulously avoided.”
Election Commission’s decision
- A five-member committee formed by the EC concluded that the relevant provision was not attracted in this case.
- The committee’s finding that there was no “misuse of official mass media” as Doordarshan and AIR took the feed from a news agency, and more than 60 channels did the same, is rooted in the letter of the code, not its spirit.
Is the argument valid?
- As a landmark achievement in defence research, it deserved a public pronouncement at a high level.
- Even then, letting the DRDO explain the achievement first would have served the purpose.
- Prime Minister’s action in making the announcement himself, rather than letting the DRDO, the agency involved, do so violates the bar on “furthering the prospects” of the ruling party by the nature of the publicity given to the achievement.
- Moreover, the practice of using a private agency to record the announcement and asking it to share the feed , obliquely serves the purpose of generating publicity through the official media.
- As the legal maxim goes, what cannot be done directly cannot be done indirectly either.
- Given these, the commission’s conclusion remains a narrow technical view as it is a thin line that divides the idea of making a high-level declaration of a defence capability from using it for electoral advantage.
Model Code of Conduct (MCC)
- MCC is a set of guidelines issued by the Election Commission of India for conduct of political parties and candidates during elections mainly with respect to speeches, polling day, polling booths, portfolios, election manifestos, processions and general conduct.
- These set of norms has been evolved with the consensus of political parties who have consented to abide by the principles embodied in the said code in its letter and spirit.
- The Model Code of Conduct comes into force immediately on announcement of the election schedule by the commission for the need of ensuring free and fair elections.
- Its main purpose is to ensure that ruling parties, at the Centre and in the States, do not misuse their position of advantage to gain an unfair edge. It is designed to avert practices which are deemed corrupt under model code of conduct.
- For example, politicians should not make hate speeches, putting one community against another or make promises about new projects that may sway a voter.
- The Election Commission of India, which once enjoyed high trust is now facing a credibility crisis. Comment.