• Something about a ‘runoff poll
    • Today’s Hindu carries a headline saying “Runoff poll in East Timor peaceful”.
    • What exactly is a runoff poll?
    • Wikipedia says:
      • Runoff voting can refer to:
      • Two-round system - a voting system used to elect a single winner, whereby only two candidates from the first round continue to the second round
      • Instant-runoff voting - an electoral system whereby voters rank the candidates in order of preference
      • Exhaustive ballot - a voting system whereby rounds of voting continue after each elimination until one candidate achieves a majority
    • In the East Timor context, it was necessitated because the April Presidential elections did not throw up any winner with the mandatory minimum percentage of votes required to get elected. A person with the largest percentage of votes polled will not be elected in such a system.
    • Nobel peace prize winner Jose Ramos-Horta who is currently the Prime Minister of this small nation is tipped to win the elections this time round. Interestingly the outgoing President Mr. Xanana Gusmao will be running for the post of Prime Minister.
  • A very good example of corporate social responsibility
    • Unilever, the Anglo-Dutch MNC (widely known in India as Hindustan Lever Limited – HLL) has directed that all its ad campaigns shall use models that have a BMI (Body Mass Index) varying between 18.5 and 25. This is because they don’t want to promote an anorexic culture and don’t want to be seen as promoting thin models.
    • BMI incidentally is a person’s weight in kgs divided by his height in meters squared.
    • ASCI – Advertising Standards Council of India is also in the process of thrashing out a new set of guidelines to regulating advertising especially for food and beverages.
  • Cannes Film Festival
    • The annual cinema festival is going to be held from May 16 to 27.
  • A very innovative CDM (Clean Development Mechanism) project from World Bank
    • BiCF – World Bank’s BioCarbon Fund, signed an ERPA (Emission Reduction Purchase Agreement) that will enable small and marginal farmers in Orissa and Andhra Pradesh to earn additional revenue through carbon credits by afforesting their degraded lands.
    • The project has been developed by JK Paper (Rayagada, Orissa based company) and Veda Macs (Vanitha empowerment and advancement mutually aided cooperative society) of Hyderabad. JK paper will supply planting material and enter into buy-back contracts with farmers for timber harvest.
    • BiCF will purchase 276,000 tCO2e (tonnes of Carbon dioxide equvivalent) between 2008 and 2017.
  • FDI in real estate
    • Press Note 2 of 2005 governs this FDI.
  • Some issues that came up for consideration before the Supreme Court in deciding the OBC quota case:
    • Whether reservation per se would violate the right to equality.
    • Whether providing reservation was valid and how long could it continue.
    • Whether reservation could be provided by removing the creamy layer.
    • Whether economic criterion should determine backwardness irrespective of caste considerations.


Nikhil Pavan Kalyan said...

What is the true ambit and scope of Articles 15 (4) and 15 (5)? Whether the tests of interpretation of Articles 15 (4) and 15 (5) and Article 16 (4) are the same? Whether the concept of socially advanced persons/sections or creamy layer of castes/communities formulated in the Indra Sawhney (Mandal) case for exclusion from reservation in appointments or posts under Article 16 (4) is applicable in relation to reservation in education including higher education and admission for seats in educational institutions under Articles 15 (4) and 15 (5) and what are the parameters and limits of judicial review of a law enacted by Parliament?

these are also some other issues on OBC Quote

ramkyc said...

Yes Kalyan, you are absolutely right.

Some more issues that got articulated include:

1. Whether depriving non-minority institutions of the protection of Article 19(1)(g) -- while excluding minority institutions from Article 15(5) -- is inconsistent with the principles of secularism and thereby violative of the basic structure of the Constitution?

2. Whether exclusion of minority institutions from Article 15(5) violates Articles 14 and 15(1)?

3. What is the meaning of the term "special provisions" in Articles 15(4) and 15(5)? Does it include "quotas" by reservation of seats, especially in higher educational institutions and professional and technical education?

4. Whether a rational policy of affirmative action is absent? And if so, whether affirmative action in favour of Socially and Educationally backward classes is discriminatory and unconstitutional?

5. Whether reservation based solely or principally on the basis of caste is impermissible under Article 15?

6. Whether caste based reservations are inherently divisive and incompatible with the unity and integrity of the nation?

7. Do the government's method, manner and extent of identifying and compensating beneficiaries of special provisions perpetuate caste?

8. Whether the reservation policy of the state, which lacks a continuous review mechanism is violative of Articles 14, 15, 21 and 29(2)?

It would do us all a lot of good, if we can articulate our own views on each and every one of these issues and post them here.