- Adultery no longer a criminal offence as SC strikes down Section 497 of IPC
- The Apex court said that Adultery can be a civil wrong and a ground for divorce but it cannot be a criminal offence.
- SC said Section 497 offends sexual freedom of women.
- Section 497 of the IPC, mandates that “Whoever has sexual intercourse with a person who is and whom he knows or has reason to believe to be the wife of another man, without the consent or connivance of that man, such sexual intercourse not amounting the offence of rape, is guilty of the offence of adultery and shall be punished.”
Source- The Hindu
- Supreme Court refuses to refer to 7-judge bench its 2006 verdict on SC/ST job promotion.
- The Supreme Court paved the way for grant of quota for promotions in the government jobs to SCs and STs, holding that the states were not required to “collect quantifiable data” reflecting the backwardness among these communities.
- The apex court clarified that there was no need to revisit its 12-year-old verdict in the M Nagaraj case.
- The bench said the conclusion arrived at in the Nagaraj case that the states have to collect quantifiable data showing backwardness of SCs and STs was “contrary” to the nine-judge bench judgment in the Indra Sawhney verdict of 1992, popularly known as Mandal Commission case.
- It said the whole object of the reservation was to see that backward classes of citizens move forward so that they may “march hand in hand with other citizens of India on an equal basis”.
- This will not be possible if only the creamy layer within that class, bag all the coveted jobs in the public sector and perpetuate themselves, leaving the rest of the class as backward as they always were.
- It is clear that when a court applies the creamy layer principle to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, it does not in any manner tinker with the Presidential List under Articles 341 or 342 (dealing with SC and ST) of the Constitution of India.
- M Nagaraj case said that the states were bound to provide quantifiable data on the backwardness of SC/ST, the facts about their inadequate representation in government jobs and the overall administrative efficiency, before providing them quota in promotions.
Source- The Hindu
- Cabinet approves National Digital Communication Policy
The new telecom policy has been formulated, in place of the existing National Telecom Policy-2012 and aims to facilitate India’s effective participation in the global digital economy.
National Digital Communication Policy 2018
- It aims to provide universal broadband connectivity at 50 megabits per second (MBPS) to every citizen.
- It will also provide one Gbps connectivity to all Gram Panchayats by 2020 and 10 Gbps by 2022.
- This estimated speed is much faster than the present speed being provided to Gram Panchayats and will enable fast Internet surfing and download of data.
- The policy advocates establishment of National Digital Grid by creating a National Fibre Authority.
- It also aims at expanding IoT ecosystem to 5 billion connected devices.
Internet of Things(IoT)
- The IoT is the network of physical devices, vehicles, home appliances, and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and connectivity.
- This enables these things to connect, collect and exchange data, creating opportunities for more direct integration of the physical world into computer-based systems.
- PM Narendra Modi awarded prestigious UN Champions of Earth Award.
- UN Environment has announced that Mr. Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron have been awarded in the Policy Leadership category, for their efforts regarding their International Solar Alliance.
United Nations Champions of Earth Award
- The United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) established Champions of the Earth in 2005.
- It is an annual awards programme to recognize outstanding environmental leaders from the public and private sectors, and from civil society.
- This awards programme is a successor to UNEP’s Global 500 Roll of Honour.
- Famous ‘Indra Jatra’ festival being celebrated in Kathmandu.
- The eight-day long annual festival is observed to worship Indra, the lord of rain and good harvest.
- It also marks the end of monsoon and beginning of harvest season and festivity.
- The chariot procession and mask dances are the main attraction of Indra Jatra.
- On the fourth day of the festival the chariot procession of living Goddess Kumari, Lord Ganesha and Lord Bhairav began from historic Basantapur Durbar Square.
- Nepal’s living Goddess Trishna Shakya made her first public appearance after she was appointed in September last year.
- India, United States form alliance in public and private sectors to combat the menace of tuberculosis.
- The formation of ‘USAID-India End TB Alliance’ was formally announced by the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
- The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is an independent agency of the United States federal government that is primarily responsible for administering civilian foreign aid and development assistance.
- Formed in November 3rd, 1961.
- Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
- Cabinet clears proposal to convert GSTN into the government-owned company
- It approved increasing the Government ownership in Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) and change in the existing structure with the transitional plan.
- There will be the acquisition of the entire 51 percent equity held by the Non-Government Institutions in GSTN equally by the Centre and the State Governments.
- Currently, the Centre and states together hold 49 percent stake in the GST Network, the company that provides IT backbone to the new indirect tax regime.
- The remaining 51 percent is held by five private financial institutions.
- The restructured GSTN, with 100 percent government ownership shall have equity structure between the Centre 50 percent and the States 50 percent.
- To allow the change in the existing composition of the Board of GSTN, the government inducted three directors from the Centre and the States and three other independent directors will be nominated by the Board of Directors.
- Besides, there are one Chairman and the CEO. Thus, the total number of Directors is 11.
- Goods and Service Tax Network (GSTN) is a one-stop solution for all indirect tax requirements.
- It is a Section 25, not for profit organization owned by the government and private players jointly.
- GSTN has been entrusted with the responsibility of building the Indirect Taxation platform for GST to help prepare, file, rectify returns and make payments of indirect tax liabilities.
- Successful Flight Test of Astra BVR Air-to-Air Missile.
- Astra, the indigenously developed Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM), was successfully test fired by the Indian Air Force from Su-30 aircraft, from Air Force Station, Kalaikunda.
- The missile successfully engaged a manoeuvring target with high precision meeting the mission objectives.
- In the series of trials held to date, Astra has been launched in the complete Su-30 flight envelope.
- Astra is the best in the class weapon system.
- Astra an all-weather beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile.
- Developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation.
- It is the first air-to-air missile developed by India.
- It features mid-course inertial guidance with terminal active radar homing.
- Astra is designed to be capable of engaging targets at varying range and altitudes allowing for engagement of both short-range targets at a distance of 20 km (12 mi) and long-range targets up to a distance of 80 km (50 mi).
- BRO provides humanitarian assistance to tourists stranded in Leh and Lahaul valley due to heavy snowfall
- Kullu district and Lahaul-Spiti were worst affected. Also due to heavy snowfall on Rohtang Pass, Lahaul and Spiti Valley have been cut off, which affected a large number of tourist who has gone to Leh and Lahaul Valley in Himachal Pradesh.
- Rohtang Pass is a high mountain pass on the eastern Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas around 51 km from Manali.
- It connects the Kullu Valley with the Lahaul and Spiti Valleys of Himachal Pradesh, India.
- The pass provides a natural divide between the Kullu Valley with a primarily Hindu culture (in the south), and the arid high-altitude Lahaul and Spiti valleys with a Buddhist culture (in the north).
- The pass lies on the watershed between the Chenab and Beas basins.
- On the southern side of this pass, the Beas River emerges from underground and flows southward and on its northern side, the Chandra River (flows from the eastern Himalayas), a source stream of the river Chenab, flows westward.
Border Road Organization (BRO)
- The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) develops and maintains road networks in India’s border areas and friendly neighboring countries.
- It is staffed by officers and troops drawn from the Indian Army’s Corps of Engineers, Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, Army Service Corps, Military Police, and army personnel on extra-regimental employment.
- Formed in 7th May, 1960.
- Under the Ministry of Defence
- Headquarters in New Delhi.
- Currently, the organization maintains operations in twenty-one states, one UT (Andaman and Nicobar Islands), and neighboring countries such as Afghanistan, Bhutan, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka.
- The BRO operates and maintains over 32,885 kilometers of roads and about 12,200 meters of permanent bridges in the country.
- Presently, BRO is also involved in the construction of a tunnel at the Rohtang pass which is estimated to be ready by 2019.
- Atal Bimit Vyakti Kalyan Yojna
Atal Bimit Vyakti Kalyan Yojna.
- It is the newly launched scheme of Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC).
- The ESI Corporation has approved ‘ATAL BIMIT VYAKTI KALYAN YOJNA’ for Insured Persons (IP) covered under the Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948.
- This scheme is a relief payable in cash directly to the Bank Account in case of unemployment and while they search for new engagement.
- The cash benefit given to the unemployed persons searching for new employment will be 25 percent of his average earning of 90 days.