THE HINDU EDITORIAL : APRIL 20, 2018
THE HINDU EDITORIAL : APRIL 20, 2018
a) Under scrutiny: On BCCI status
There is little surprise in the Law Commission of India recommendation that the Board of Control for Cricket in India be brought under the purview of the Right to Information Act. Over the years, the popular expectation that India’s cash-rich and commercially successful apex cricket body will have to make itself more transparent and accountable has been rising. While the BCCI is a private body that needs no financial help from the government, it is being increasingly recognised that it performs significant public functions. Even though a five-judge Bench of the Supreme Court in 2005 held by a 3-2 majority that the BCCI could not be termed an instrumentality of the ‘State’ under Article 12 of the Constitution, subsequent developments have ensured that the public character of its functioning is widely recognised. In recent years, especially against the backdrop of the betting scandal that hit the Indian Premier League tournament a few years ago, the view that the cricket board is functioning in an opaque manner and not entirely in the game’s interest has gained ground. The Supreme Court’s intervention led to the constitution of the Justice R.M. Lodha Committee, which recommended sweeping reforms in the board’s structure and the rules governing its administration. Many believe that implementing these reforms at both national and State levels would impart greater transparency in its functioning and lead to an overhaul of cricket administration in the country. The apex court also reaffirmed the public character of the BCCI’s functions.
The Lodha Committee recommended that the board be treated as a public authority under the RTI Act, and the Supreme Court wanted the Law Commission to examine this suggestion. The Central Information Commission favoured the idea. The Union government has on different occasions maintained that the BCCI is a ‘national sports federation’ and, therefore, an entity that falls under the RTI Act’s ambit. However, the BCCI is not one of the national federations listed on the website of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. Summing up its reasoning, the Law Commission has taken into account “the monopolistic nature of the power exercised by BCCI, the de facto recognition afforded by the Government, the impact of the Board’s actions/decisions on the fundamental rights of the players, umpires and the citizenry in general” to argue that the BCCI’s functions are public in nature. The board gets no financial help directly, but the commission has argued that the tax and duty exemptions and land concessions it got would amount to indirect financing by the state. A relevant question may be whether its autonomy would suffer as a result of being brought under the RTI. It is unlikely: other national federations are under the RTI and there is no reason to believe it would be any different for the BCCI. In fact, as a complement to the structural revamp, it may redound to the game’s interest.
b) Defensive shuffle: On BJP reaction to Kathua
In its reaction to the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua, the BJP seems motivated by a need to strike a balance between protecting its political constituency in Jammu and addressing the public outrage countrywide. Two of its Ministers in the Mehbooba Mufti government — Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga — had participated in a rally organised by the Hindu Ekta Manch in support of the accused in the case, but the BJP was slow to act against them. Under pressure from Ms. Mufti, they were asked to submit their resignations, but the BJP made it seem to be part of a larger exercise of a shuffle in the Cabinet. Even when their continuance in the Cabinet became untenable, the BJP was intent on protecting the two from any shadow of guilt. Soon after the two Ministers handed in their resignations, the party asked all its nine Ministers to step down, apparently to bring in new faces. Clearly, the BJP is hoping to present one narrative to the Jammu region, and quite another to Kashmir and the rest of India. While promising justice to the rape victims, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had nothing to say about his own party’s attempts to obstruct the course of justice in Kathua. The resignations ensured the continuance of the government, but the episode has cast harsh, unflattering light on the utter incongruity of the alliance.
Neither the People’s Democratic Party nor the BJP wants to end their coalition over this issue; however, the two parties serve very different political constituencies, both demographically and geographically. What brought them together was not some shared political objectives, but the PDP’s interest in keeping the National Conference out, and the BJP’s in keeping the Congress out. The alliance was born of short-term electoral expediency rather than any long-term political strategy. After the death of Mufti Mohammed Sayeed in January 2016, the alliance came under new strains with Ms. Mufti attempting to adopt a more independent line, one that was in consonance with feedback from the cadre. But just as the two parties cannot fight the elections on the same electoral plank, they cannot afford to let go of their stakes in this government, for fear of conceding political space to their principal rivals. Closer to the next Assembly election in 2020, the alliance is likely to come under greater strain as the benefits of continuing in government will be outweighed by the risks of approaching an election together. Another similarly contentious issue closer to 2020 might not see the PDP and the BJP so eager to reach a compromise.
Meaning: The scope of the influence or concerns of something.
Example: “Such a case might be within the purview of the legislation”
Meaning: Lie behind or beyond; serve as a background to.
Example: “The rolling hills that backdropped our camp”
Meaning: An action or event regarded as morally or legally wrong and causing general public outrage.
Example: “A bribery scandal involving one of his key supporters”
Synonyms: Impropriety, Misconduct.
Meaning: Not able to be seen through; not transparent.
Example: “Bottles filled with a pale opaque liquid”
Synonyms: Hazy, Misty.
Meaning: The action or process of intervening.
Example: “A high degree of state intervention in the economy”
Synonyms: Involvement, Intercession.
Meaning: Make changes in (something, especially an institution or practice) in order to improve it.
Example: “The Bill will reform the tax system”
Synonyms: Ameliorate, Refine.
Meaning: Make (information) known.
Example: “The teachers imparted a great deal of knowledge to their pupils”
Synonyms: Convey, Transmit.
Meaning: Analyse and improve (a system).
Example: “Moves to overhaul the income tax system”
Meaning: State again strongly.
Example: “The prime minister reaffirmed his commitment to the agreement”
Meaning: Preferred or recommended.
Example: “She was his favoured candidate”
Meaning: The scope, extent, or bounds of something.
Example: “A full discussion of this complex issue was beyond the ambit of one book”
12) De facto
Meaning: Existing or holding a specified position in fact but not necessarily by legal right.
Example: “A de facto one-party system”
Synonyms: Actual, Existing.
Meaning: Provide or supply (an opportunity or facility).
Example: “The rooftop terrace affords beautiful views”
Synonyms: Provide, Supply.
Meaning: (In some sports) an official who watches a game or match closely to enforce the rules and arbitrate on matters arising from the play.
Example: “He could be seen regularly umpiring for the club”
Synonyms: Referee, Linesman.
Meaning: The citizens of a place regarded collectively.
Example: “The legal obligations of the citizenry”
Meaning: The action of freeing or state of being free from an obligation or liability imposed on others.
Example: “Vehicles that may qualify for exemption from tax”
Synonyms: Immunity, Exception.
Meaning: A thing that is granted, especially in response to demands.
Example: “The government was unwilling to make any further concessions”
Synonyms: Compromise, Adjustment.
Meaning: An act of improving the form, structure, or appearance of something.
Example: “The brand was given a $1 million revamp”
Meaning: Contribute greatly to (a person’s credit or honour).
Example: “His latest diplomatic effort will redound to his credit”
Meaning: An extremely strong reaction of anger, shock, or indignation.
Example: “Her voice trembled with outrage”
Synonyms: Rage, Disapproval.
Meaning: A person or group of people who are charged with or on trial for a crime.
Example: “The accused was ordered to stand trial on a number of charges”
Meaning: (Especially of a position or view) not able to be maintained or defended against attack or objection.
Example: “This argument is clearly untenable”
Synonyms: Indefensible, Undefendable.
Meaning: Determined to do (something).
Example: “The government was intent on achieving greater efficiency”
Synonyms: Determined, Insistent.
Meaning: The fact of having committed a specified or implied offence or crime.
Example: “It is the duty of the prosecution to prove the prisoner’s guilt”
25) Step down
Meaning: Withdraw or resign from an important position or office.
Example: “He stepped down as party leader”
Meaning: As far as one knows or can see.
Example: “The child nodded, apparently content with the promise”
Synonyms: Seemingly, Evidently.
Meaning: Block (an opening, path, road, etc.); be or get in the way of.
Example: “She was obstructing the entrance”
Meaning: Not flattering.
Example: “The reviews of the book were very unflattering”
Synonyms: Unfavourable, Uncomplimentary.
Meaning: Complete; Absolute.
Example: “Charlotte stared at her in utter amazement”
Synonyms: Complete, Total.
Meaning: The state of being incongruous; incompatibility.
Example: “The incongruity of his fleshy face and skinny body disturbed her”
Synonyms: Dissonance, Incompatibility.
Meaning: A temporary alliance for combined action, especially of political parties forming a government.
Example: “A coalition between Liberals and Conservatives”
Synonyms: Alliance, Union.
Meaning: Relating to the structure of populations.
Example: “The demographic trend is towards an older population”
Meaning: Based on or derived from the physical features of an area.
Example: “The geographical distribution of plants”
Meaning: The quality of being convenient and practical despite possibly being improper or immoral; convenience.
Example: “An act of political expediency”
Synonyms: Convenience, Advantage.
Meaning: Force (a part of one’s body or oneself) to make an unusually great effort.
Example: “I stopped and listened, straining my ears for any sound”
Meaning: Agreement or compatibility between opinions or actions.
Example: “Consonance between conservation measures and existing agricultural practice”
Synonyms: Agreement, Concord.
Meaning: A fundamental point of a political or other programme.
Example: “The central plank of the bill is the curb on industrial polluters”
Meaning: Surrender or yield (a possession, right, or privilege).
Example: “In 475 the emperor conceded the Auvergne to Euric”
Synonyms: Surrender, Yield.
Meaning: Be heavier, greater, or more significant than.
Example: “The advantages greatly outweigh the disadvantages”
Meaning: Causing or likely to cause an argument; controversial.
Example: “A contentious issue”
Synonyms: Controversial, Disputable.
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