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When:
August 25, 2017 @ 10:00 am
2017-08-25T10:00:00+05:30
2017-08-25T10:15:00+05:30

NEWS

25 AUGUST 2017 

Sr. No.

Topic

News

1.        

GS II POLITY

Privacy is a fundamental right, declares SC12

2.        

GS II: POLITY

SC overrules Emergency-era habeas corpus verdict

3.        

GS II: POLITY

Worried SC calls for robust data protection regime.

4.        

GS II: POLITY

SC rips apart its 2014 ruling on Section 377

5.        

GS II: SOCIAL ISSUES

Women’s panel in Maharashtra looks at tracker system to tackle faltering sex ratio

6.        

GS III: ENVIRONMENT

The return of the Irrawaddy dolphin

7.

GS III: INFRASRUCTURE

Govt tweaks norms to boost UDAN scheme

8.

GS II: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

China slams India for road construction in Ladakh

9.

GS II: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

China agrees to tackle trade imbalance

10

GS III: ECONOMICS

Bright yellow Rs. 200 note hits market today

GS II POLITY

Privacy is a fundamental right, declares SC

  • In a unanimous verdict, a nine-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court on Thursday declared that privacy is intrinsic to life and liberty and an inherent part of the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution.
  • The court held that privacy is a natural right that inheres in human beings because they are human. The state does not bestow natural rights on citizens. Natural rights like privacy exist equally in all individuals, irrespective of class, strata, gender or orientation.
  • The Centre had argued against the recognition of privacy as a fundamental right. It had assured the court that privacy would be protected through parliamentary statutes.
  • The court chided the Centre for describing right to privacy as an “elitist construct.”
  • “The refrain that the poor need no civil and political rights and are concerned only with economic well-being has been utilised through history to wreak the most egregious violations of human rights. It is privacy, as an intrinsic and core feature of life and personal liberty, which enables individuals to stand up against a programme of forced sterilisation. It is the right to question, scrutinise, dissent which enables an informed citizenry to scrutinise the actions of government,” Justice Chandrachud said, addressing Mr. Venugopal’s arguments.
  • However, the court held that privacy is not an absolute right. The government can introduce a law which “intrudes” into privacy for public and legitimate state reasons. But a person can challenge this law in any of the constitutional courts of the land — the Supreme Court or the State High Courts — for violation of his fundamental right to privacy.

GS II: POLITY

SC overrules Emergency-era habeas corpus verdict

  • Over 40 years after the Supreme Court’s darkest hour when it said citizens have no right to life and liberty during the Emergency period, a nine-judge Bench condemned the decision in the infamous ADM Jabalpur case, or better known as the habeas corpus case, as “seriously flawed.”
  • The habeas corpus judgment in 1976 upheld the Congress government’s move to unlawfully detain citizens, including political rivals, during the Emergency years.
  • On Thursday, for the first time in Supreme Court’s history, a nine-judge Bench, led by Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar, officially condemned the Supreme Court’s majority opinion in the habeas corpus case.
  • The introduction of the National Human Rights Commission law, which recognises right to life as a human right and developments after ADM Jabalpur have also made it clear that the majority judgments are no longer good law and that Khanna, J.’s dissent is the correct version of the law”.
  • In his separate judgment, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul termed the judgment in the ADM Jabalpur case as “an aberration in the constitutional jurisprudence of our country.”
  • Justice Kaul said the majority opinion should be “buried ten fathom deep, with no chance of resurrection.”

GS II: POLITY

Worried SC calls for robust data protection regime.

  • The Supreme Court on Thursday urged the government to put in place a robust mechanism for data protection.
  • The court observed that the creation of a regime requires careful and sensitive balance between individual interest and legitimate concerns of the state. “The legitimate aims of the state would include for instance protecting national security, preventing and investigating crime, encouraging innovation and the spread of knowledge and preventing the dissipation of social welfare benefits,” the apex court observed.
  • The court said the introduction of a “carefully structured” data protection regime and its contours were matters policy matters to be considered by the Centre.
  • The court also took note of the Centre’s move to constitute a committee of experts led by former Supreme Court judge, Justice B.N. Srikrishna, on July 31, 2017 to identify “key data protection issues” and suggest a draft Data Protection Bill.
  • The Centre has undertaken in the court that the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology would work with the panel and hand over all necessary information to it within the next eight weeks, after which the latter will start its deliberations. The Committee is expected to submit its report expeditiously.
  • The government has already indicated in the court that the committee would be framing a data protection Bill similar to the “technology-neutral” draft Privacy Bill submitted by an earlier expert committee led by former Delhi High Court Chief Justice A.P. Shah to the Planning Commission of India in 2012. No steps were taken on the recommendations of the Justice Shah Committee.

GS II: POLITY

SC rips apart its 2014 ruling on Section 377

  • The nine-judge Bench of the Supreme Court on Thursday ripped apart its own judgment of 2014 upholding Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalises consensual sexual acts of adults in private.
  • The Bench observed that the chilling effect of Section 377 “poses a grave danger to the unhindered fulfilment of one’s sexual orientation, as an element of privacy and dignity.”
  • In separate judgments, the Constitution Bench, led by Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar, concluded that the 2014 verdict by a two-judge Bench of the apex court pandered to a “majoritarian” view to deny turn down the LGBT community their inherent fundamental rights of life, personal liberty, equality and gender discrimination.
  • The 2014 judgment’s view that “a miniscule fraction of the country’s population constitutes lesbians, gays, bisexuals or transgenders” was not a sustainable basis to deny the right to privacy, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud observed in his judgment.

GS II: SOCIAL ISSUES

Women’s panel in Maharashtra looks at tracker system to tackle faltering sex ratio

  • The Maharashtra State Commission for Women (MSCW) on Wednesday organised a meeting of stake-holders to discuss the faltering male-female sex ratio in the State even as a debate on implementing the Indore-model of Active Tracker System had participants continuing to express diverse views.
  • The meet had representatives from various organisations like the Indian Medical Association, women’s rights organisations, radiologists and gynaecologists from across the State, and bureaucrats with expertise in the field. The meet started by addressing the issue of female foeticide and infanticide.
  • A survey conducted in Ratnagiri, Raigad, Pune, Osmanabad, Yavatmal, Nanded, Parbhani, and Nandurbar has shown a declining trend of sex ratio. A look at new birth registrations shows that the State sex ratio, which stood at 960 in 2015, has dropped below 900. Mumbai has a sex ratio of 933.
  • The meeting further assumes significance given that the State Health Minister Deepak Sawant has already said that a tracker may not serve as a solution to the declining sex ratio. The State government is in the process of appointing a special officer to monitor implementation of the Pre Conception and Pre Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act in Maharashtra.
  • Those backing an Active Tracker System pointed to a pilot study conducted in Indore, where active trackers were installed in sonography machines in 2014. “Indore has showed a stabilised sex ratio as opposed to Maharashtra. From 904, the sex ratio of the city has risen to 940 in 2016, as per data from 164 hospitals, in which trackers have been installed,” said Dr. Majusha Patil, deputy chief of the MSCW.
  • The Active Tracker monitors sonography test of each pregnant woman in a clinic along with whether a sex determination test has been carried out. A radiologist or gynaecologist has to fill the online form for each patient, and the data is tracked by the Collector’s office.
  • This system refers to video recording of the whole sonorgraphic process capturing the visuals of the patient through the process. This system has seen a recent ban in the city of Gwalior as it records the whole sonorgraphic process, making it simpler to determine the sex of the foetus for the medical hackers by recording it. Other than that it is also said to be violating the pregnant lady’s privacy.
  • The Indian Medical Association also backed the doctors
  • The MSCW however, is not giving up easily and plans to discuss this issue again soon.

GS III: ENVIRONMENT

The return of the Irrawaddy dolphin

  • The first sighting of the endangered Irrawaddy dolphins in the Rambha sector of Chilika lake in three decades has brought much cheer to nature lovers.
  • The rare sighting of the endangered mammal earlier this week is a result of the Chilika Development Authority’s (CDA) removing illegal prawn enclosures from the vast lake waters leading to unhindered movement of the dolphins.
  • The World Wide Fund for Nature representatives managed to capture photographs of the dolphins.
  • “The dolphins did not have free movement due to the presence of prawn enclosures. Their prey base had also been squeezed. They stopped coming to Rambha in recent decades. Rambha sector is one of extreme ends of Chilika. It was a very satisfying moment to spot them. If the dolphins can travel up to Rambha, their habitat will only get better in the coming days,” said Mr. Nanda.
  • In a massive eviction drive, the CDA cleared almost 4,000 hectare of encroachment from the Ganjam district portion of the lake alone. Substantial enclosures detected in the lake at Khordha district jurisdiction were also weeded out.
  • Satellite imageries found 14,590 hectare of the lagoon under manmade gheries (enclosures) for illegal prawn cultivation. The CDA is likely to start eviction in Puri district from next week.
  • According to the CDA, Chilika is the natural abode of the highly endangered Irrawaddy dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris).
  • The total population of these animals in the world is estimated to be less than 7,500. Of these, the highest — 6,400 — was reported from Bangladesh.
  • The population in Chilika is considered to be the highest single lagoonal population.
  • Chilika had registered a marginal drop in population of Irrawaddy dolphins from 144 in 2015 to 134 this year. Dolphins are usually seen in Satapada sector of the lake.
  • Dolphins had been under stress in Chilika due to unregulated boating by tourists as well as illegal prawn enclosures.
  • Now, with enclosures being weeded out, the primary hurdle for dolphin movement has been taken care of. The enforcement of boating regulation as per the CDA will also be made stricter
  • Chilika, known for its exquisite natural beauty, attracts many tourists because of its dolphin population.

GS III: INFRASRUCTURE

Govt tweaks norms to boost UDAN scheme  

  • The Civil Aviation Ministry announced increasing viability gap funding for helicopter operators, diluting exclusivity clause and relaxed other norms to facilitate more participation in its regional connectivity scheme, UDAN.
  • The government announced that all 13 passenger seats for helicopters will be considered for subsidy under the scheme.
  • States including, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, North Eastern region, Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep islands have been designated as priority areas. Airline operators flying from these priority areas will be allowed to operate 14 weekly departures as against the limit for seven weekly flights for other routes.
  • The Ministry also abolished the 150-km minimum distance required between two airports to be qualified for operations under the scheme.
  • It said airline operators may issue no-objection certificates to other airlines willing to operate on the same route.

GS II: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

China slams India for road construction in Ladakh

  • China slammed India for apparently building a new road in the Ladakh sector, but lavished praise on Pakistan as its key partner.
  • The move signals a sharper polarisation of Beijing’s ties in the subcontinent, following the Doklam crisis.
  • According to reports that India was building a road between Marsimik La to Hot Spring. The area is not far from the Pangong lake in Ladakh, where there was an unarmed clash between Indian and Chinese troops earlier this month.
  • The spokesperson also accused India of adopting a contradictory stance, in view of New Delhi’s objections to Chinese road construction in the Doklam plateau, which had triggered the face-off.
  • The foreign ministry also accused India of changing the status quo by stressing that the “western section of China- India boundary has not been delimited and two sides have agreed to uphold peace and tranquillity before the disputes are settled.”
  • China backed Pakistan as its partner in the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). China commended Pakistan on its role in Afghanistan.
  • The phone call followed U.S. President Donald Trump’s South Asia policy statement, where he had cited shortcomings in Pakistan’s counter-terrorism approach.

GS II: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

China agrees to tackle trade imbalanc

  • China has agreed to send a high-level official team led by Commerce Minister Zhong Shan by December-end to address the issue of growing trade imbalance with India.
  • The development could be termed a breakthrough for India which faces a ballooning goods trade deficit with its neighbour.
  • China — which was earlier dilly-dallying on a bilateral meeting on the issue despite India’s repeated requests — has now relented, official sources said.
  • This assumes significance as it comes amid reports of the possibility of the ongoing Doklam stand-off hurting bilateral trade ties.
  • The sources said China is keen to ensure that trade with India is not adversely affected by the.
  • On several occasions, New Delhi had pointed out to Beijing that many Indian products, including from agricultural and pharmaceutical sectors, were facing difficulties in getting access to the Chinese market and that this was among the main factors widening India’s goods trade deficit with China at a rapid pace — from just $1.1 billion in 2003-04 to a massive $51.1 billion in the last fiscal.
  • The sources said Beijing had agreed to address India’s concerns regarding China’s ‘Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures’ (regarding ‘application of food safety, and animal and plant health norms’) hurting Indian farm products exports to that country.
  • Chinese authorities have also decided to look into India’s request to remove the ‘curbs’ on Indian pharmaceutical companies/products — especially those having the approval of American, European and Japanese regulators.
  • Besides, Beijing would also soon take a call on removing the difficulties faced by the Indian IT/business process management sector in getting greater market access in China.
  • Meanwhile, RSS-affiliate Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) said it will intensify efforts for a “people’s movement” to ‘boycott’ Chinese goods imports.
  • Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told Rajya Sabha that: “Anti-dumping duty is in force on 93 products concerning imports from China, covering products in broad groups of chemicals and petrochemicals, products of steel and other metals, fibres and yarn, machinery items, rubber or plastic products, electric and electronic items and consumer goods. “In addition, 40 cases concerning imports from China have been initiated by Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties.”

GS III: ECONOMICS

Bright yellow Rs. 200 note hits market today

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will start pumping Rs. 200 notes into the system a bid to ease cash transactions and make the currency system more efficient.
  • The base colour of the Rs. 200 note will be bright yellow, RBI said in a statement on Thursday.
  • This is the second new denomination to be issued, after Rs. 2,000, since the demonetisation exercise in November.
  • According to currency experts, it is a standard practice to have 1, 2 and 5 series notes like Rs. 1, Rs. 2, and Rs. 5. Hence, there was a gap between Rs. 100 and Rs. 500.
  • Provision of the new denomination, therefore, would facilitate exchange, particularly for the common man who deals with denominations at the lower end according to RBI.
  • Bankers said ATMs may need to be re-calibrated to accommodate the new note, though no major disruption is expected.

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