CAO The Hindu NOTES – 10th July, 2018 (Daily News Paper Current Affairs Analysis)
Date:- 10th July 2018
SC to hear pleas to scrap Section 377
Why In News:
- A Constitution Bench will begin to re-visit its December 2013 verdict of the Supreme Court which upheld the criminalisation of gay sex and dismissed the LGBT community as a negligible part of the population while virtually denying them the right of choice and sexual orientation.
- The five-judge Bench — headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and comprising Justices R.F. Nariman, A.M. Khanwilkar, D.Y. Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra — will examine petitions claiming that the 2013 judgment was wrong.
IMPORTANT POINTS TO KNOW ABOUT SECTION 377
- After the apex court had set aside the Delhi High Court’s 2009 judgment — decriminalising sex between consenting adults of the same sex by holding as “illegal” Section 377 of IPC — review petitions were filed, and on their dismissal, curative petitions were filed by the affected parties for the re-examination of the original verdict.
- During the pendency of the curative petitions, the plea was made that an open court hearing should be granted and after the apex court agreed to it, several fresh writ petitions were filed seeking to decriminalise Section 377.
- The petitions against Section 377, an archaic law from 1860, have been filed by 32 individuals, according to India Today, including celebrities, IITians and LGBT activists such as Bharatnatyam dancer Navtej Johar, culture expert Aman Nath, restaurateurs Ritu Dalmia and Ayesha Kapur, media person Sunil Mehra, hotelier Keshav Suri, the Naz Foundation and others.
- Naz Foundation was the first one to file a petition against Section 377 in December 2001 in the Delhi High Court. In its verdict on 2 July, 2009, the court decriminalised homosexuality and said that no adult would be prosecuted for indulging in consensual sex in private with another adult irrespective of the gender. However, the Supreme Court overturned the Delhi High Court verdict in the Suresh Kumar Koushal versus Naz Foundation and otherscase in 2013.
- The new petitions will now be challenging the apex court’s verdict in 2013. The petitioners argue that Section 377 destroys an individual’s choiceand sexual orientation, and cannot be seen as a reasonable restriction under the law. However, LGBT activists and members of the community found the Supreme Court’s verdict categorising sexual orientation as a fundamental right under Right to Privacy a catalyst of change.
- Homosexuality is not a disorder, says Indian Psychiatric Society Ahead of the crucial hearing, the Indian Psychiatric Society declared that “homosexuality is not a psychiatric disorder”. In a statement published online, the group said that homosexuality is a normal variant of human sexuality, like heterosexuality and bisexuality. “There is no scientific evidence that sexual orientation can be altered by any treatment and that such attempts may, in fact, lead to low self-esteem and stigmatisation of the person,” read the statement.
- The association further extended its support for decriminalising homosexuality.
Modi, S. Korean PM inaugurate “world’s largest mobile manufacturing plant” in Noida
Why In News:
Samsung India aims to double annual mobile production capacity by 2020
All you need to know:
- The facility will be officially inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and and South Korean President Moon Jae-in on July 9.
- Consumer electronics major, Samsung, has put the name of Noida in Uttar Pradesh on the top of the world map by housing the biggest mobile manufacturing facility in the northern Indian city. The South Korean conglomerate has opened the unit at Sector 81.
- The facility will be officially inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and South Korean President Moon Jae-in on July 9.
Here are some interesting facts about the newly-set up facility:
- In June last year, the electronics giant announced a Rs 4,915-crore investment plan to expand the Noida facility. In a year’s time, the new facility is ready for production, which the double output for the company.
- The company currently manufactures 67 million smartphones in India. With the new plant coming into operation, it is expected to manufacture nearly 120 million mobile devices.
- The facility is expected to double Samsung’s production capacity of consumer electronics like refrigerators and flat panel TVs, further consolidating the company’s leadership in the segment.
- At present, India attributes to 10 percent of overall production capacity of Samsung. Through this plant, Samsung aims to take it to 50 percent over the next three years.
- President and CEO of Samsung India, HC Hong, said that a bigger manufacturing plant would help the company cater to the growing demand for Samsung products across the country.
- The new facility will reduce the time its goods take to reach markets, Tarun Pathak, Associate Director at Counterpoint Research told news agency IANS.
- Samsung is expected to create 15,000 jobs through the new manufacturing unit.
- The Prime Minister noted that India now ranks second, globally, in the manufacture of mobile phones, with the number of mobile phone manufacturing factories rising from just 2 to 120, in about four years’ time, creating 4 lakh direct employment opportunities.
SC says it is ready to go live, Centre moots a TV channel
Why In News:
- This will be an extension of the open court system, says Chief Justice Misra
- The Supreme Court said on Monday that it is ready to go live on camera while the government mooted a separate TV channel for live-streaming court proceedings.
- A three-judge Bench of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud said a livestream is only an extension of the ‘open court’ system, where the public can walk in and watch court proceedings.
- However, with court proceedings beamed live on air, litigants, law students and the public can watch them as they happen.
Spared from travel:
- Chief Justice Misra said a livestream would help litigants follow the proceedings in their case and also assess their lawyers’ performance. People from far-flung States such as Tamil Nadu and Kerala do not have to travel all the way to the national capital for a day’s hearing.
- Attorney-General K.K. Venugopal proposed a dedicated channel like the Rajya Sabha TV and the Lok Sabha TV for the Supreme Court. He agreed that a livestream would keep a check on lawyers’ conduct inside the courtrooms. With the entire country watching them, there would be fewer interruptions, raised voices and adjournments from the lawyers. Mr. Venugopal compared the scene inside the courtroom to the sober atmosphere in the British courts, where proceedings are live-streamed.
- He, however, expressed reservations about live-streaming cases involving national security concerns, matrimonial disputes and rape cases. A public viewing of marital dispute and rape case proceedings would seriously affect justice and amount to a violation of the fundamental right to privacy.
- Senior advocate Indira Jaising, who filed the petition in the court in person, cautioned that agreements with broadcasters should be on a non-commercial basis.
- No one should profit from the arrangement. She also submitted that there should be no unauthorised reproduction. The Bench asked Mr. Venugopal to address it on the issue of framing guidelines for live-streaming proceedings. The next hearing is scheduled for July 23.
- Jaising said citizens have the right to information and matters of constitutional and national importance can be live-streamed. If livestream of the top court’s proceedings is not possible, alternatively the video recording should be allowed, she argued.
Seven new wasp species discovered in the Amazon forests
Why In News:
- Researchers have discovered seven new wasp species belonging to the genus Clistopyga from Peru, Venezuela and Colombia.
- The Amazon rainforests continue to throw up surprises, and this time it’s a slightly scary one.
- An international team of researchers have discovered seven new wasp species belonging to the genus Clistopyga from Peru, Venezuela and Colombia. A recent report published in Zootaxadescribes their morphology, such as colouration, wing size and other distinct features.
- The most notable among them is Clistopyga crassicaudata, named after its distinctly thickened ovipositor. The ovipositor is a tube-like organ present in many insects that helps in laying eggs and also in injecting venom. “What makes it [Clistopyga crassicaudata] especially interesting, is the size of the ovipositor.
- It is the only species of the species-group with a strongly widened ovipositor (apically),” said Ilari E. Sääksjärvi, Professor in Biodiversity Research at the University of Turku, Finland.
- The researchers say that these new species could be parasitoid wasps, which lay their eggs near a host, which the larvae then feeds on and, eventually, kills.
- “The biology of these seven new species is really unknown but other species of this genus, and other genera of Ichneumonidaelay their eggs into spiders or egg-sacs,” explained Dr. Santiago Bordera from the University of Alicante, Spain, in an email to The Hindu.
- The female wasps inject venom into spiders, paralyse them, and then lay their eggs on them. The hatching larvae feed on the paralysed spiders and their eggs.
- The other new species include kalima, C. pancheiand C. taironae, named in honour of Kalimas, Panches and Toiranas, indigenous tribe groups of Colombo. Another species was named C. nigriventri, indicating its entirely black body, and another C. splendida because of its multicoloured body.
- The seventh species, which has white and brown body, was named isayae in honour of the wife of Francisco Díaz, one of the authors of the paper.
Don’t blame it on WhatsApp: on rumours and lynch mobs
Why In News:
- WhatsApp cannot and should not perform the duties of a democratically elected government.
- A ‘serial killer’ painted in a luminescent green is on the loose and travels in the pockets of more than 200 million people in India. As per public commentary, it is WhatsApp that has caused the loss of more than 20 lives in the past two months alone in the country.
- Rumours on WhatsApp that there are child kidnappers and cattle traders roaming around have led to mob lynchings. Such rumours are posited as incontrovertible facts.
- A debate has been framed around the growing use of technology by the “ignorant” masses and the responsibilities of a technology platform.
- This is a shallow understanding that distracts us from the harder, vexing questions on the sectarian discourse set by our political leadership, a deepening divide that is damaging fraternity within society, and the structural reforms necessary to restore law and order.
- We are made to believe that in the age of social media, facts have become fungible. There is little distinction left for many between established media outlets and websites that incessantly broadcast propaganda and hate speech.
- A messaging application such as WhatsApp, with a large user base and an ability to instantly and widely share information, has been arraigned as a co-conspirator to these tragedies.
- It is easy to get swept in this wave of social panic and draw neat narratives which ignore factual complexity. Hence, before we delve into the technology aspect, it is important to take a step back and examine three facts and the existing narrative.
- This is important as many public policy responses that are being suggested will ultimately weaken the features of encryption that promote privacy, and may even bring in forms of pre-censorship on justifications of security.