• The Election Commission had reduced the public notice period for new political parties seeking registration from 30 days to seven days due to the delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
• The relaxation in notice period would remain in force till the last dates of nomination for the Assam, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry and West Bengal elections.
• According to guidelines, the applicants are supposed to publish the proposed name of their party in two national and local daily newspapers each on two days, seeking objections, if any, within 30 days.
Registration of political parties:
• Registration of Political parties is governed by the provisions of Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
• A party seeking registration with the Election Commission has to submit an application to the Commission within the said period following the date of its formation as per guidelines prescribed by the Election Commission of India in exercise of the powers conferred by Article 324 of the Commission of India and Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
To be eligible for a ‘National Political Party of India:
• It secures at least six percent of the valid votes polled in any four or more states, at a general election to the House of the People or, to the State Legislative Assembly.
• In addition, it wins at least four seats in the House of the People from any State or States.
• It wins at least two percent seats in the House of the People (i.e., 11 seats in the existing House having 543 members), and these members are elected from at least three different States.
To be eligible for a State Political Party:
• It secures at least six percent of the valid votes polled in the State at a general election, either to the House of the People or to the Legislative Assembly of the State concerned
• In addition, it wins at least two seats in the Legislative Assembly of the State concerned.
• It wins at least three percent (3%) of the total number of seats in the Legislative Assembly of the State, or at least three seats in the Assembly, whichever is more.
• If a party is recognized as a State Party’, it is entitled for exclusive allotment of its reserved symbol to the candidates set up by it in the State in which it is so recognized.
• If a party is recognized as a `National Party’ it is entitled for exclusive allotment of its reserved symbol to the candidates set up by it throughout India.
• Recognized `State’ and `National’ parties need only one proposer for filing the nomination and are also entitled for two sets of electoral rolls free of cost at the time of revision of rolls and their candidates get one copy of electoral roll free of cost during General Elections.
• They also get broadcast/telecast facilities over Akashvani/Doordarshan during general elections.
• The travel expenses of star campaigners are not to be accounted for in the election expense accounts of candidates of their party.
• Recently, the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) issued an advertisement seeking applications “from talented and motivated Indian nationals willing to contribute towards nation building” for three posts of Joint Secretary and 27 of Director in central government Departments.
• These individuals, who would make a “lateral entry” into the government secretariat, would be contracted for three to five years.
• These posts were “unreserved”, meaning were no quotas for SCs, STs and OBCs.
What is ‘lateral entry’ into government?
• This provision was recommended by NITI Aayog, in its three-year Action Agenda.
• The induction of personnel will take place at the middle and senior management levels in the central government.
• These ‘lateral entrants’ would be part of the central secretariat which in the normal course has only career bureaucrats from the All India Services/ Central Civil Services.
Need for and significance:
• Lateral entrants have specialized knowledge and expertise in the domain area.
• This meets the twin objectives of bringing in fresh talent as well as augmenting the availability of manpower.
• It provides stakeholders such as the private sector and non-profits an opportunity to participate in governance process.
• It will help in bringing change in organization culture in Government sector culture.
• There is no reservation in these appointments.
• They are seen as back doors for a political party to bring its own people openly.
• In 2013, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) proclaimed 3 March as UN World Wildlife Day to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants.
• This was the day of signature of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1973.
• The UNGA resolution also designated the CITES Secretariat as the facilitator for the global observance of World Wildlife Day.
• Theme this year: “Forests and Livelihoods: Sustaining People and Planet”.
• The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is an international regulatory treaty between 183 party states.
• This was formed in 1973 and regulates the international trade in over 35,000 wild species of plants and animals.
• The focus of the convention is not solely on the protection of species.
• It also promotes controlled trade that is not detrimental to the sustainability of wild species.
How does CITES work?
• The convention works primarily through a system of classification and licensing.
• Wild species are categorized in Appendices I to III.
• This often reflects species’ threat status on the Red List of the IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species first created in 1964.
• Appendix I prohibits trade in species classified as highly endangered.
• Appendix II allows trade under very specific conditions.
• This requires exporting countries obtain a permit, but not the importing country.
• Appendix III species require only a certificate of origin to be traded.
• National CITES management authorities may issue permits once scientific authorities show non-detriment findings.
• CITES is legally binding on state parties to the convention, which are obliged to adopt their own domestic legislation to implement its goals.