The Hindu NOTES – 09th Dec 2017(Daily News Paper Analysis)

📰 THE HINDU NEWSPAPER– DAILY  Hindu Current Affairs Analysis 09th Dec 2017



Date:- 09-Dec, 2017

Archive



📰 Plea for VVIP cars to display registration number (POLITY)

In news:

  • The Delhi High Court asked the Centre and the city government to place before it the rules on the use of the State Emblem of India on cars of constitutional authorities and dignitaries, such as the President, instead of registration numbers.

Petition:

  • NGO Nyayabhoomi claimed that the practice of displaying the State Emblem, instead of the registration numbers, makes the cars conspicuous and the dignitaries become easy targets for terrorists and anyone with malicious intent.
  • “The practice of replacing the registration mark with the State Emblem of India, instead of displaying them both is arbitrary and symptomatic of the desire to rule rather than to serve,” the petition alleged.
  • The NGO referred to an RTI response by the Ministry of External Affairs saying that none of the 14 cars maintained by its Protocol Division was registered.
  • It sought directions to the Delhi government and the Delhi Police to seize the cars used by the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Vice-President, Raj Niwas and Protocol Division of the Ministry of External Affairs for not being registered under the Motor Vehicles Act.
  • It also claimed that the Rashtrapati Bhavan refused to give details of the registration numbers of its cars on the ground that disclosure of this information would endanger the security of the State and life and physical safety of the President.
  • It said that a person meeting with an accident involving such a car cannot bring any claim against it due to the absence of any identification mark.

📰 Prepare detailed plan for Taj conservation, SC tells U.P. (ENVIRONMENT)

  • Noting that temporary steps conceived in haste to conserve the Taj Mahal will only be counter-productive, the Supreme Court directed the Uttar Pradesh government to prepare a comprehensive plan which will secure the world heritage site for the next century or more.
  • The Bench asked it to include experts in evolving a plan that will protect the Taj Trapezium Zone, spread over six districts of U.P. and Bharatpur in Rajasthan, from the ill-effects of polluting gases and deforestation.
  • The court asked the State government to consult historians, experts in planning and architecture and cultural studies, members of civil society and the noted PIL petitioner-advocate M.C. Mehta, who has been fighting in the Supreme Court for the cause of the Taj Mahal since 1985.

📰 Adultery law weighted in favour of men: Supreme Court (Polity)

Meaning of Adultery: voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and a person who is not their spouse.

In news:

Petition:

  • Drop adultery as a criminal offence from the statute book.
  • The petition challenges the validity of Section 198 (1) and (2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure which deems that only a husband can be an aggrieved party in offences against marriage like adultery and only he can go to court.

Supreme Court observations:

  • The dusty Victorian provision of adultery in the Indian Penal Code treats a married woman as her husband’s “subordinate.”
  • Time has come when the society must realise that a woman is equal to a man in every respect.

Section 497:

  • 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.”

Court to examine two provisions:

  1. Why does Section 497 treat the man as the adulterer and the married woman as a victim.
  2. The offence of adultery ceases the moment it is established that the husband connived or consented to the adulterous act. So, is a married woman the “property” of her husband or a passive object without a mind of her own?

Key facts:

  • The apex court had earlier on three separate occasions, in 1954, 1985 and 1988, upheld the constitutionality of Section 497.

📰 SC’s re-visit of adultery law signals a paradigm shift in the court’s sensibility (Polity)

Context:

  • The decision of the Supreme Court to re-examine the offence of adultery is prima facie an admission that the court has consistently gone wrong in denying that the colonial penal provision is actually “male chauvinism” disguised as a beneficial legislation for women.

1985 judgment:

Supreme Court’s observation:

  • Section 497 (adultery) of the Indian Penal Code is a “flagrant instance of gender discrimination, legislative despotism and male chauvinism.”

Arguments put forward:

  • Section 497 is a kind of “romantic paternalism,” which stemmed from the assumption that women, like chattels, are the property of men.
  • Section 497 gave husbands the exclusive right as an aggrieved party to prosecute the adulterer in a case involving his wife, a similar right has not been conferred on a wife to prosecute the woman with whom her husband has committed adultery.

Wife has no right to prosecute her husband:

  • The provision does not confer any right on the wife to prosecute her husband for adultery. The law also does not take into account cases where the husband has sexual relations with an unmarried woman. Thus, the provision deems that “husbands have a free licence under the law to have extra-marital relationships with unmarried women.”

 Yusuf Abdul Aziz case

  • Judgment: wife could always initiate civil action against her unfaithful husband. The court agreed that “a man seducing the wife of another” was the most seen and felt evil in society.
  • The protection from prosecution given to women under Section 497 is in tune with Article 15 (3) of the Constitution. Article 15 (3) allows the legislature to make “special provisions” which are “beneficial” for women and children.

1988 case:

  • In 1988,V. Revathi versus Union of India, the Supreme Court had denied gender discrimination in the fact that only the adulterer-man is punished and not the wife who consensually entered into the adulterous relationship.

📰 India gets admission into Wassenaar Arrangement (BILATERAL RELATIONS)

Key Points:

  • The Ministry of External Affairs welcomed the decision of the Wassenaar Arrangement to admit India as the 42nd member of the organisation which aims to regulate trade and use of dual use technology.
  • Importance :
    • India will get access to high technology, which will help address the demands of Indian space and defence sectors.
    • It will also boost New Delhi’s chances of joining the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
Basic Information:

Wassenaar Arrangement:

  • The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies, commonly known as the Wassenaar Arrangement, is a multilateral export control regime (MECR) with 41 participating states.
  • The Wassenaar Arrangement was established to contribute to regional and international security and stability by promoting transparency and greater responsibility in transfers of conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies, thus preventing destabilizing accumulations.
  • Participating states seek, through their national policies, to ensure that transfers of these items do not contribute to the development or enhancement of military capabilities which undermine these goals, and are not diverted to support such capabilities.
  • Every six months member countries exchange information on deliveries of conventional arms to non-Wassenaar members that fall under eight broad weapons categories: battle tanks, armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs), large-caliber artillery, military aircraft, military helicopters, warships, missiles or missile systems, and small arms and light weapons.

Admission requires states to:

  • Be a producer or exporter of arms or sensitive industrial equipment
  • Maintain non-proliferation policies and appropriate national policies, including adherence to:
    • Non-proliferation policies, such as (where applicable) the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the Missile Technology Control Regime, and the Australia Group
    • Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Biological Weapons Convention, the Chemical Weapons Convention and, where applicable, START I (including the Lisbon Protocol)
  • Maintain fully effective export controls
  • The People’s Republic of China and Israel are not members, but they have aligned their export controls with Wassenaar lists, and are significant arms exporters. The Arrangement is open on a global and non-discriminatory basis to prospective adherents that comply with the agreed criteria
  • Admission of new members requires the consensus of all members.

📰 Pharma sector bats for quality medicine (ECONOMY)

Context:

  • The captains of the Indian pharmaceutical industry have stressed on the need to achieve high quality standards to enable India partake a large part of the global pharmaceutical market.
  • The emphasis comes in the wake of multiple negative actions taken by the USFDA against products and facilities of Indian drugmakers in the recent times.

Key points:

  • India should build on its strengths to improvise exports and both the Union and State governments must develop a proactive approach in building better quality compliance.
  • The approach towards quality compliance should be a priority and treated with utmost importance with a bottom-up strategy.
  • A distinction should be made between adherence and compliance, with a focus on the former when it comes to on-ground implementation, they said.
  • The MSME sector contributes to about 70% of manufacturing volume but the lack of quality management has caused hindrance in their development, and all industry players are aware that the cost of failure is astounding.
  • The craving for quality is high because it is vital to capture the global market.

Key stats:

  • The Indian pharmaceuticals market is the third largest in volume which is about 20% of the total market-share, and thirteenth largest in terms of value which is 1.4% of the Global Pharmaceutical Industry as per a report by Equity Master.
  • India is the largest provider of generic drugs globally with the Indian generics accounting for 20% of global exports in terms of volume. The major sales of the pharmaceutical products come from US, EU and Japan.
  • India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF) report:
    • The Indian pharma industry, which is expected to grow by more than 15% per annum between 2015 and 2020, will outperform the global pharma industry, which is set to grow at an annual rate of 5% between the same periods.
    • The market is expected to grow to US$ 55 billion by 2020, thereby emerging as the sixth largest pharmaceutical market globally by absolute size, as per the report.

📰 Britain, EU reach breakthrough Brexit deal (International)

  • Britain and the European Union reached a historic deal on Brexit divorce terms that allows them to open up talks on a future relationship after the split.
  • Prime Minister Theresa May rushed to Brussels for talks with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to reach the breakthrough.
  • The European Commission announced that it “recommends sufficient progress” had been made by Britain on separation issues, including the Irish border, Britain’s divorce bill, and citizens’ rights.
  • But EU President Donald Tusk — who will recommend to leaders at a summit next week to open trade and transition talks — warned that the toughest task was to come. “Let us remember that the most difficult challenge is still ahead. We all know that breaking up is hard but breaking up and building a new relation is much harder,” Mr. Tusk said.
  • Negotiators worked through the night to seal an agreement after the EU set a deadline of 10 December 2017.
  • Ms. May said the key part of the agreement was to ensure there would be no return of checkpoints on the frontier between British-ruled Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland after Britain leaves on March 29, 2019.
  • The deal commits both sides to respect the 1998 Good Friday agreement, which ended decades of violence between nationalists who want a united Ireland and Northern Ireland unionists loyal to Britain.
  • On its divorce bill, previously the most contentious issue, Britain agreed to pay a settlement amounting to between €45-55 billion.
  • Concerning the welfare and social rights of some three million European citizens living in the U.K. after Brexit, as part of the deal, Britain agreed to protect them with a mechanism to give EU citizens recourse to the EU’s top court if they feel they are being treated unfairly.
  • It has taken a year and a half since Britain’s June 2016 Brexit referendum to settle divorce terms.

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