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The Defence Ministry's rotational plan for selecting tableaux for the Republic Day parade. It addresses the issue of controversy over the selection process and highlights the importance of......

The Defence Ministry's rotational plan for selecting tableaux for the Republic Day parade. It addresses the issue of controversy over the selection process and highlights the importance of maintaining transparency and fairness.

  • The Defence Ministry has finalized a rotational plan for the Republic Day parade tableaux.

  • The plan aims to ensure that all States and Union Territories get a chance to display their tableaux within a three-year cycle.

  • The plan is a welcome step to avoid controversy over the selection of tableaux.

  • This year, tableaux of 16 States/Union Territories were selected for the parade, but Delhi, Punjab, Karnataka, and West Bengal cried foul for not being qualified.

  • Karnataka's Chief Minister claimed that seven proposals sent by the State were rejected by the Centre.

  • The new plan has been agreed to by 28 States and is aimed at giving everyone an equitable chance at participation.

  • The Defence Ministry has a screening mechanism for participants in the parade

  • A committee of distinguished persons screens proposals from States and organizations

  • The Ministry of Culture has empanelled 30 agencies for design and fabrication of tableaux

  • States/UTs were advised to engage these agencies following appropriate procedure

  • Allegations of discrimination with respect to proposals may or may not be unfounded

  • Selection process should be apolitical, transparent, and maintain standards

  • The new proposal suggests a rotational opportunity for each State/UT

  • Officials assert that the Government, Minister, or Secretary have no role in the selection process

  • The proposal aims to keep the festivities free from bickering.

The recent ruling by the Maharashtra Assembly Speaker on disqualification petitions filed by rival factions of the Shiv Sena. It highlights the issue of why the adjudicatory function under the anti-defection law should not be in the hands of Presiding Officers in the legislature.

  • Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar has ruled on the disqualification petitions filed by rival factions of the Shiv Sena.

  • The ruling states that there is no case to disqualify members of the Eknath Shinde faction or the Uddhav B. Thackeray (UBT) group.

  • The ruling is based on the finding that loyalists of Eknath Shinde constituted the 'real political party' when rival factions emerged.

  • The ruling contradicts the Supreme Court's verdict of May 11, 2023, which stated that the Governor was wrong in asking Uddhav Thackeray to undergo a floor test and that the Speaker was wrong in recognizing the Shinde faction's appointee as the party's whip.

  • The Speaker declared that Sunil Prabhu of the UBT faction 'ceased to be the duly authorized whip' from June 21, 2022, and that Bharat Gogawale of the Shinde group was "validly appointed" as the whip.

  • As a result, the Speaker found no reason to sustain the charge that the Shinde loyalists violated any whip, and there was no proof that the UBT group violated the other side's whip as no such whip was served on them.

  • The Uddhav Thackeray group may approach the Supreme Court again regarding the Speaker's ruling on the split in the Shiv Sena Legislature Party.

  • The Court had stated that no faction or group can argue that they constitute the original political party as a defense against disqualification on the ground of defection.

  • The Speaker has referred to the Shinde faction's overwhelming majority, while the Court had observed that the percentage of members in each faction is irrelevant to the determination of a defense to disqualification.

  • The Court had conceded that the Speaker may have to decide on which faction is the real party when adjudicating a question of defection.

  • The Speaker has utilized the Court's observations to determine which group is the real party.

  • As long as defection disputes are in the hands of Speakers, political considerations will cast a shadow on such rulings.

The changing dynamics of diplomacy in the age of social media and how it has impacted India's foreign policy. It highlights recent incidents where diplomatic crises were created and dealt with on social media platforms.

  • Journalism and diplomacy in the pre-Internet era was different, with limited communication options.

  • Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) officers and Ambassadors were only available on landline phones.

  • News had to be gathered by going to the MEA's External Publicity Division in Shastri Bhawan.

  • Major statements on foreign policy were printed and distributed on cyclostyled sheets.

  • The spokesperson would meet print journalists regularly to explain the government's position.

  • Diplomatic relations were discreet, and journalists had to rely on sources to confirm major events.

  • Today, diplomatic spats happen instantly and play out in real time worldwide.

  • The India-Maldives tussle this week was primarily conducted on social media.

  • Maldivian ministers made egregious social media posts about Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Indians in general.

  • The ministers were suspended by their government in response to the social media campaign in India.

  • The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) issued a tough statement and summoned the Maldives Ambassador to South Block.

  • An online #BoycottMaldives campaign was promoted by Indian travel companies and celebrities.

  • The outcome of the social media outrage may have done more damage to the bilateral relationship than anticipated.

  • The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has been reacting to statements made by non-officials on social media.

  • An Indian student in Europe posted a video showing posters criticizing Mr. Modi and the government outside a United Nations building.

  • The MEA summoned the Ambassador of the European country and issued a press note on social media in response to the video.

  • The MEA also responded directly to social media posts by a famous popstar and a teenage environmental activist criticizing the government's actions against protesting farmers.

  • The MEA referred to the interest of international celebrities in the protests as "vested" and "agenda-driven".

  • Journalists are often shown the power of social media on policy, with viral posts receiving more attention than questions asked at briefings.

  • It is important to separate the issues that affect India's foreign policy from non-issues and address them without allowing an internet storm to overtake diplomatic discourse.

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