Daily News Analysis 16 and 17 July 2023

Daily News Analysis 16 and 17 July 2023

Table of Contents


  1. Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification (Representation of People Act)

Facts for Prelims

  1. India\’s only ape species, Hoolock Gibbon
  2. Cicada Species

Rahul Gandhi Disqualification under Section 8(3) of the Representation of People Act



  1. Rahul Gandhi, Congress MP, was convicted in a defamation case by a Surat court for his remarks made at a pre-election rally in 2019.
  2. He was sentenced to two years in jail but was granted bail and allowed to appeal the judgment.
  3. Under Section 8(3) of the Representation of People Act, Rahul Gandhi is disqualified from the Lok Sabha due to his conviction.

Key Points:

Conviction and Disqualification:

  1. Rahul Gandhi was disqualified from the Lok Sabha after being convicted in a defamation case.
  2. Section 8(3) of the Representation of People Act specifies that a conviction resulting in a sentence of at least two years leads to disqualification.
  3. His disqualification will remain until his conviction is stayed by a higher court.

Duration of Disqualification:

  1. As per Section 8 of the Act, Rahul Gandhi is disqualified for a cumulative period of eight years, including the two-year jail term.
  2. The disqualification lasts for six years from the date of release after imprisonment.

Disqualification Provisions:

  1. The Representation of People Act, 1951, includes provisions for disqualification of legislators in criminal cases.
  2. Section 8(3) outlines specific offences that require a minimum sentence of two years for disqualification.
  3. Section 8(4) states that disqualification does not take effect until the appeal against the decision is decided by the appellate court, with a time limit of three months.

Disqualification Criteria under the Constitution:

  1. Article 102 of the Constitution provides five circumstances for disqualification of a Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha member, including disqualification by law.
  2. The Tenth Schedule of the Constitution also allows for disqualification due to defection or political desertion.

Similar Case: P.P. Mohammad Faisal:

  1. Another sitting Lok Sabha MP, P.P. Mohammad Faisal, was also disqualified after being convicted in a criminal case.
  2. The Kerala High Court stayed Faisal\’s conviction, but the Election Commission announced bypolls in his constituency.
  3. The Supreme Court stayed the EC\’s order, and the Union Law Ministry recommended Faisal\’s reinstatement, pending the Lok Sabha Speaker\’s approval.

Concerns over Conservation of India\’s Hoolock Gibbon



  1. The hoolock gibbon, India\’s only ape species, was a topic of concern at a recent global event on gibbons held in China.
  2. Gibbons, the smallest and fastest apes, inhabit tropical and subtropical forests in Southeast Asia.
  3. The hoolock gibbon is unique to India\’s northeast and is one of 20 gibbon species worldwide.


Key Points:

Endangered Status:

  1. The hoolock gibbon population in India is estimated to be around 12,000 individuals.
  2. All 20 species of gibbons, including the hoolock gibbon, are at a high risk of extinction.
  3. Gibbon populations have significantly declined since 1900, with only small populations remaining in tropical rainforests.

Clarification of Species:

  1. Earlier beliefs suggested two species of hoolock gibbons in India: the eastern hoolock gibbon (Hoolock leuconedys) and the western hoolock gibbon (Hoolock hoolock).
  2. A study led by the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in 2021 used genetic analysis to confirm that there is only one species of ape in India.
  3. Previous research differentiating the eastern hoolock gibbon based on coat color was debunked.

Genetic Analysis Findings:

  1. The CCMB study revealed that the western hoolock gibbon and the assumed eastern hoolock gibbon diverged 1.48 million years ago.
  2. The study estimated that gibbons diverged from a common ancestor around 8.38 million years ago.

Conservation Status and Legal Protection:

  1. The Red List maintained by the International Union for Conservation of Nature categorizes the western hoolock gibbon as endangered and the eastern hoolock gibbon as vulnerable.
  2. Both the western and eastern hoolock gibbons are listed on Schedule 1 of the Indian (Wildlife) Protection Act 1972, which provides legal protection.

Indian Identity for a Common Cicada Species



  1. The commonly found cicada species in South India, previously mistaken for Purana tigrina of Malaysian origin, has been identified as a distinct species named Purana cheeveeda.
  2. The Association for Advancement in Entomology corrected the taxonomic identification based on differences in morphological characteristics.
  3. Cicadas are insects known for their loud songs and spend most of their lives underground.


Key Points:

Taxonomic Correction:

  1. The cicada species previously mistaken for Purana tigrina has been named Purana cheeveeda, after its Malayalam name, Cheeveedu.
  2. The taxonomic correction excludes the Malaysian species from the cicada fauna of South India.
  3. Characteristics of Cicadas:
  4. Cicadas spend most of their lives underground and emerge for a short period to mate.
  5. They are herbivores, living in the soil and feeding on tree roots for several years, ranging from 3 to 17 years depending on the species.
  6. Male cicadas produce loud songs by vibrating membranes on their abdomen to attract females for mating.

Cicada Emergence:

  1. Periodical cicadas, such as Brood IX in the United States, emerge after spending 17 years underground.
  2. The emergence of cicadas is a unique natural phenomenon that occurs periodically in specific regions.

Damage and Benefits:

  1. Cicadas can cause significant damage to ornamental and hardwood trees, especially newly planted fruit and ornamental trees.
  2. However, they are mostly beneficial, pruning mature trees and aerating the soil.
  3. After their short adult lifespan, their bodies provide a source of nitrogen for growing trees.

Cicada Diversity and Threats:

  1. India and Bangladesh have the highest diversity of cicadas in the world, followed by China.
  2. Large-scale deforestation, conversion of natural forests into human settlements and agricultural fields, and forest fires threaten cicada populations.
  3. Unregulated capturing and killing of cicadas for consumption pose a significant threat to their survival.

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