1. Issues in Uniform Civil Code
UCC is one that would provide for one law for the entire country, applicable to all religious communities in their personal matters such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, adoption etc.
Article 44 of the Constitution lays down that the state shall endeavour to secure a UCC for the citizens throughout the territory of India.
|Civil code under art 44:
• Under the constitution, the power to legislate in respect of personal law, lies with both centre and state. Preservation of legal diversity seems to be a reason for inclusion of personal law in concurrent list.
• Had uniformity of personal law been a primary concern, power would have been solely vested in the parliament.
• The constitution makers have used the term “state shall endeavour” and not “endeavour by suitable legislation” which indicates that framers did not intend enactment of UCC by single legislation.
• While a state can attempt to bring UCC for its own state, it cannot do so for the entire country as only parliament has that power. Thus, different states enacting own UCC challenges the very idea of uniformity in the absence of an all India code.
- Common Code would enable uniform principles to be applied in respect of aspects such as marriage, divorce, succession etc. so that settled principles, safeguards and procedures can be laid down.
- It would help end gender discrimination on religious grounds.
- if and when the whole population will start following the same laws, chances are there that it would bring more peace in the living and reduce riots leading to harmony.
- A rational common and unified personal law will help eradicate many evil, unjust and irrational customs and traditions prevalent across the communities. For example, Law against Manual scavenging.
- UCC would make it easy to administer the huge population base of India.
- The demand for a uniform civil code has been framed in the context of communal politics. A large section of society sees it as majoritarianism under the garb of social reform.
- Diversity within religion: Hindus are not governed by a single law of marriage. Lack of uniformity also exists among Muslims and Christians.
- Cultural diversity: the constitution itself protects local customs of Nagaland, Mizoram and Meghalaya.
- Problem of implementation: Goa id governed by UCC but Hindus of goa are still governed by unreformed Shastric Hindu law on marriage, divorce etc along with Portuguese family and succession laws. Even progressive acts like special marriage act is not yet applicable.
- Merely passing UCC will not achieve gender equality. EG: The Hindu code bill took 14 years to be passed and that too not as a uniform act, but as 3 different laws.
- Article 25 of Indian constitution, that seeks to preserve the freedom to practise and propagate any religion gets into conflict with the concepts of equality enshrined under Article 14 of Indian Constitution.
- The constitution framers have used the term ‘uniform’ and not ‘common’ because common means one and the same in all situations while uniform means the same in similar conditions. Different people may have different laws but the laws within a particular community must be same. Such a classification is permissible under art 14.
- Formation of different committees of Muslims, Parsis, tribals etc to ensure a consultation-based reform process.
- A just code is more important than a simply uniform code.
2. Climate Smart Agriculture
In the backdrop of the 2070 carbon neutrality target set by India at the CoP26 in Glasgow, the Union Budget for 2022-23 has listed “climate action” and “energy transition” as one of the four priorities for the Amrit Kaal.
|The FAO describes the concept as follows:
“Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) is an approach that helps guide actions to transform agri-food systems towards green and climate-resilient practices. It aims to tackle three main objectives: sustainably increasing agricultural productivity and incomes; adapting and building resilience to climate change; and reducing and/or removing greenhouse gas emissions, where possible.
How agriculture contributes to climate change and issues with it:
- It contributes to 73% of the country’s methane emissions.
- Subsidies on urea, canal irrigation, MSP etc lead to skewed cropping patterns in favour of rice and wheat which emit methane.
- Paddy fields are anthropogenic sources of atmospheric nitrous oxide which is 270 times more powerful than CO2 in driving high temperatures.
- Emissions due to stubble burning, energy operations like harvesting etc. lead to huge emissions although unaccounted for in GHG inventory.
- Nitrous oxide emissions are also not reported in GHG inventory- 53% of Nitrous oxide emissions are an indirect product of organic and mineral nitrogen fertilisers.
- According to IMF, the world needs a carbon tax to reduce emissions. However, India does not have any such carbon price.
- Overexploitation of groundwater, especially in north-west, due to water intensive cropping patterns.
- Fertilisers rich in nitrogen pollute water and threaten the aquatic ecosystem.
- Clearing uncultivated land for farming can lead to the destruction of natural ecosystems, which may have a devastating effect on the local wildlife and biodiversity and the micro-climate.
- Chemical free natural farming along the ganga river.
- The budget 2022-23 provided post-harvest value addition, thereby enhancing domestic consumption, and branding millet products nationally and internationally.
- Rationalised and comprehensive scheme to increase domestic production of oilseeds will be implemented.
- The states will be encouraged to revise syllabi of agricultural universities so as to meet the needs of natural, zero-budget and organic farming, modern-day agriculture, value addition and management.
- The use of ‘Kisan Drones’ will be promoted for crop assessment, digitization of land records, spraying of insecticides, and nutrients.
- Micro irrigation technologies like drip irrigation is being promoted to reduce groundwater exploitation.
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