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Essential Defence Services Bill-2021

  • Vaid's ICS, Lucknow
  • 26, Jul 2021
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Topic: GS-III: Internal Security Challenges, GS-II: Polity and Governance (Government Policies and Interventions)

Why in News?

Recently, the Minister of State for Defence introduced the Essential Defence Services Bill in the Lok Sabha.

What is the Essential Defence Services Bill?

  • Essentially, the Essential Defence Services Bill is aimed at preventing the staff of the government-owned ordnance factories from going on a strike.
  • It will amend the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 to include essential defence services under public utility services.
  • The Bill introduced recently, mentioned that that it is meant to “provide for the maintenance of essential defence services so as to secure the security of nation and the life and property of public at large”.

What does the new bill allow the government to do?

  • The Government can declare any service as an essential defence service if its cessation would affect the:
  • Production of defence equipment or goods.
  • Operation or maintenance of industrial establishments or units engaged in such production.
  • Repair or maintenance of products connected with defence.
  • Government may prohibit strikes, lock-outs, and lay-offs in units engaged in essential defence services.
  • It may issue such an order, if necessary, in the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India, security of any state, public order, public, decency and morality.

Understanding Strikes and the punishments in this context:

  • Strikes are defined as a cessation of work by a body of persons acting together and they may include:
  • Mass leaves, coordinated refusals of any number of persons to work, Refusal to work overtime where it is absolutely necessary for essential services to continue, or any other such activity that disrupts work in essential services (in this case, defence).
  • Employers violating the prohibition order through illegal lock-outs or lay-offs will be punished with up to one year imprisonment or Rs 10,000 fine, or both.
  • Persons commencing or participating in illegal strikes – Up to one year imprisonment or Rs 10,000 fine, or both.
  • Persons instigating, inciting, or taking actions to continue illegal strikes, or knowingly supplying money for such purposes- Up to two years imprisonment or Rs 15,000 fine, or both.

Facts for Prelims:

PDS 70:

Scientists for the first time have spotted a moon-forming region around a planet beyond our solar system – a Jupiter-like world surrounded by a disc of gas and dust massive enough that it could spawn three moons the size of the one orbiting Earth.

  • The researchers used the ALMA observatory in Chile’s Atacama desert to detect the disc of swirling material accumulating around one of two newborn planets seen orbiting a young star called PDS 70, located 370 light years from Earth.
  • A light year is the distance light travels in a year, about 5 trillion km.
  • More than 4,400 planets have been discovered outside our solar system, called
  • No circumplanetary discs had been found until now because all the known exoplanets resided in “mature” – fully developed – solar systems, except the two infant gas planets orbiting PDS 70.
  • The orange-coloured star PDS 70, roughly the same mass as our Sun, is about 5 million years old.
  • The two planets are even younger. Both planets are similar (although larger) to Jupiter, a gas giant. It was around one of the two planets, called PDS 70c, that a moon-forming disc was observed.