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28-02-2023

12:00:AM

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Table of Contents


  • GS-2 Polity
    • Punjab govt moves Supreme Court over Governor’s refusal for state Budget session: What does the law say?
  • GS-3 Environment
    • Fossil fuels firms failed to curb methane emission: What IEA’s annual report say
  • Fact File
    • National Science Day 2023: The Raman Effect, which CV Raman won the Nobel for


Punjab govt moves Supreme Court over Governor’s refusal for state Budget session: What does the law say?

GS-2: Parliament and State legislatures—structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.

 

Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit has summoned the state Assembly for a budget session, according to Solicitor General Tushar Mehta who made the statement just before the Supreme Court was scheduled to hear a challenge by the Punjab government against Governor Purohit's refusal to summon the session. This legal challenge is now irrelevant, but it has raised questions about the powers of Governors with regard to assembly sessions.


 

The Dispute

  • In this dispute, Governor Purohit and AAP-led Punjab government are in a tussle.
  • The Governor has refused to approve the Punjab Cabinet's decision to summon a Budget session of Vidhan Sabha from March 3. He had earlier raised concerns about government appointments and asked Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann for an explanation within 15 days.
  • The Chief Minister refused to comply, stating that he was the head of a government elected by 3 crore people and threatened the Governor to seek legal advice on the matter.

 

Constitutional Conundrum: Can the Governor Refuse to Summon the Assembly?

  • According to the Constitution of India, the Governor is expected to act according to the aid and advice of the council of ministers, leaving little room for discretion.
  • Under Article 174 of the Constitution, the Governor is empowered to summon, prorogue or dissolve the House.
  • Article 163(1) establishes a council of Ministers to aid and advise the Governor in the exercise of his functions.
  • These provisions together leave minimal discretion with the Governor in summoning the House.
  • In the 2016 NabamRebia and Bamang Felix vs Deputy Speaker case, the Supreme Court ruled that the power to summon the House is not solely vested in the Governor.

 

What reasons did the Punjab Governor give for his refusal?

Art-167: Duties of the Chief Minister in providing information to the Governor

  • The provision mandates the Chief Minister to communicate decisions of the Council of Ministers to the Governor, furnish information, and submit matters for consideration if required by the Governor.
  • The Governor's questions to CM Mann on appointments fall under this provision

Governor's Independent Action on Summoning the House in certain instances   

  • For example, if the Chief Minister has lost the support of the House and their strength is debatable, in such cases, the Governor need not wait for the advice of the council of ministers to hold a floor test.

Article 174: The procedure for summoning the House

  • The council of ministersapproves the government's decision to convene the House.
  • The government writes to the Governor about the Cabinet's decision, which is then approved.

Article 175: The Governor's right to address and send messages to the House

  • The Governor may address the Legislative Assembly and require the attendance of members.
  • The Governor may send messages to the House, which the House must consider with all convenient dispatch.

Article 176: Governor's address to the House

  • The Governor has to address the house at the commencement of the first session after each general election and at the commencement of the first session of each year.
  • The government has to make a provision regulating the procedure of the House for the allotment of time for discussion of the matters referred to in such address.

 

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Fossil fuels firms failed to curb methane emission: What IEA’s annual report says

GS-3: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

 

The annual Methane Global Tracker report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) reveals that in 2022, fossil fuel companies discharged 120 million metric tonnes of methane into the atmosphere, which was marginally lower than the peak levels observed in 2019. Despite their commitments to identifying and repairing faulty infrastructure, these firms have made little progress in reducing their emissions.

The report indicates that implementing readily available technology could reduce 75% of methane emissions, costing less than 3% of the industry's net income in 2022. Methane cuts are a cost-effective way to limit global warming, but progress is slow, and emissions remain too high.


 

Key findings of the report

  • The energy sector contributes to 40% of methane emissions from human activities, as oil and natural gas companies release methane during natural gas flaring, venting, and leaks from equipment.
  • More than 260 billion cubic metres of natural gas, mostly methane, are wasted through flaring and leaks globally, but policies and implementation can bring 200 bcm of additional gas to markets.
  • Implementing well-known measures such as leak detection and repair programs and upgrading leaky equipment can reduce emissions in the oil and gas sector by over 75%, and 80% of the available options to curb methane release can be implemented by the fossil fuel industry at net zero cost.
  • Around 40% of methane emissions from oil and gas operations can be avoided at no net cost, based on average natural gas prices from 2017 to 2021.
  • Reducing 75% of natural gas wastage can lower global temperature rise by nearly 0.1 degree Celsius by mid-century, equivalent to immediately stopping greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles worldwide. However, fossil fuel companies have done little to address the problem.

 

How Methane Emissions Contribute to Climate Change

  • Methane is a greenhouse gas that is responsible for 30% of the warming since preindustrial times, second only to carbon dioxide.
  • According to a report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), methane is 80 times more potent at warming than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period.
  • Scientists have raised concerns about the increasing amount of methane in the atmosphere in recent years. In 2021, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NoAA) reported that atmospheric levels of methane increased by 17 parts per billion, surpassing the previous record set in 2020.
  • Although carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere longer than methane, methane is approximately 25 times more effective at trapping heat in the atmosphere and has a significant short-term impact on the rate of climate change.

 

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Fact File


National Science Day 2023: The Raman Effect, which CV Raman won the Nobel for

  • February 28 was designated as National Science Day by the Government of India in 1986 to honour the discovery of the "Raman Effect" announced on this day.
  • The theme for this year's National Science Day is "Global Science for Global Wellbeing".


Raman Effect

  • Physicist Sir CVRaman won the Nobel Prize in 1930 for his discovery known as the Raman Effect.
  • The Raman Effect is a phenomenon where a stream of light passing through a liquid scatters lightof a different color. This is due to a change in the wavelength of light caused by molecules deflecting the light beam.
  • Light can be reflected, refracted, or transmitted when interacting with an object and the energy change when light is scattered by particles.
  • The Raman Effect occurs when the energy change of light is influenced by the vibrations of the observed molecule or material, causing a shift in wavelength.

Significance of the discovery

  • CV Raman's discovery had implications beyond his original intentions and was significant for quantum theory.
  • The discovery led to the development of Raman spectroscopy, a nondestructive analytical tool used in chemistry for both organic and inorganic compounds.
  • With the invention of lasers, the uses of Raman spectroscopy have expanded greatly over time and has a wide range of applications, from non-invasive analysis of cultural objects to detecting drugs hidden in luggage at customs.


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