The Hindu NOTES – 22nd Nov 2017(Daily News Paper Analysis)

📰 THE HINDU NEWSPAPER– DAILY  Hindu Current Affairs Analysis 22nd Nov 2017

Date:- 22-NOV, 2017


📰 Penal law soon on triple talaq

In news:

  • The Union government has set up a ministerial committee to frame a new law that would attract penal provisions in the case of use of triple talaq or talaq-e-biddat for divorce between Muslim couples, and will be bringing the new Bill in the winter session of Parliament.


  • The Supreme Court had, in August this year, in a majority judgement set aside the practice of talaq-e-biddat, an arbitrary and unilateral decision by a Muslim husband to end the marriage by utterance of the word talaq three times.
  • A senior government official said that the need for a new law was felt after it was found that divorce by way of talaq-e-biddat was taking place even after the SC judgment.
  • The Centre in its affidavit during the case before SC (Shayara Bano vs Union of India and others) had advocated the end of this practice.

📰 No need for privacy in court: Supreme Court

  • Judges have no need for privacy inside the courtrooms they preside in, Supreme Court judge, Justice A.K. Goel, said, giving the thumbs-up for audio and video recording of court proceedings.
  • Unlike the legislature, proceedings inside courtrooms have been a zealously guarded affair.
  • The to and fro between lawyers and judges, submissions made by the advocates and questions asked from the Bench have hitherto been beyond the eye of the camera or the ear of a recorder.
  • The court has expanded the scope of a petition filed by Pradyuman Bisht for installing CCTV cameras in criminal courts as a measure to ensure fair trials.
  • Signalling a paradigm shift, the Supreme Court Bench of Justices Goel and U.U. Lalit had, in August 2017 mooted the possibilities of having audio and video recordings of proceedings in the constitutional courts — the Supreme Court and the high courts.
  • This was a follow-up to their March 2017 order to have CCTVs installed inside courtrooms and at vantage points within court complexes in at least two districts across States and Union Territories.
  • The Bench had asked why the judiciary in India should be considered any different from the judges of other countries who do not consider recording of proceedings a violation of privacy of court proceedings.
  • The Bench has even mulled the possibility of recording tribunal proceedings.
  • We make it clear that the footage of the CCTV camera will not be available under the RTI and will not be supplied to anyone without permission of the High Court concerned.

📰 India pulls off a diplomatic coup, wins prized ICJ seat

In news:

  • India scored a major diplomatic victory as its nominee to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) Dalveer Bhandari was re-elected after the United Kingdom pulled out its candidate Christopher Greenwood before the 12th round of voting.
  • The U.K. chose to withdraw after it became clear that it would not win the contest in the General Assembly (GA) and it did not have adequate support in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for its attempts to derail the voting process itself.

Notable incident:

  • This is the first time in the 70-year history of the United Nations that the U.K. will not be on the ICJ; and this is the first time that one of the five permanent members of the UNSC lost out to an ordinary member in a race. and this is the first time that one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council lost out to an ordinary member in a race.
  • This is also the first time that one sitting member of the ICJ lost to another sitting member.

International Court of Justice:

  • The International Court of Justice is the primary judicial branch of the United Nations (UN). Seated in the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands, the court settles legal disputes submitted to it by states and provides advisory opinions on legal questions submitted to it by duly authorized international branches, agencies, and the UN General Assembly.
  • The ICJ is composed of fifteen judges elected to nine-year terms by the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council from a list of people nominated by the national groups in the Permanent Court of Arbitration.
  • The election process is set out in Articles 4–19 of the ICJ statute. Elections are staggered, with five judges elected every three years to ensure continuity within the court. Should a judge die in office, the practice has generally been to elect a judge in a special election to complete the term.

📰 India calls for stronger treaties to protect space assets

In news:

Stressing international cooperation in space as in all domains of global commons, Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar on Tuesday called for strengthening global treaties to protect space-based assets and prevent militarisation of outer space.

International cooperation is critical in the space domain as in other global commons. Our approach therefore goes beyond national considerations. In fact, it is not an exaggeration to state that international cooperation is today hard-wired into India’s space programme.

Over 200 treaties

In line with this, Dr. Jaishankar said India had more than 200 international cooperation agreements with more than 40 countries and international organisations, and called the maiden moon mission, Chandrayaan-I, a “successful example of international cooperation with international payloads”.

“The South Asia satellite is a matter of particular pride as it literally raises the heights to which we had taken our ‘neighbourhood first’ policy. In May, ISRO launched the communications satellite GSAT-9, also called SAARC satellite, meant to provide connectivity and disaster support to countries in South Asia.

The satellite cost around Rs. 235 crore and had a life span of 12 years.

📰  Govt. unveils draft of law to regulate space sector


  • Space Activities Bill, 2017.

In News:

  • The draft of the country’s first Space Law, stipulates licences for all space-related players and activities.
  • The draft also sets out penalties of ₹1 crore and above and jail terms for violations.
  • The proposed bill, also seeks to keep the government out of any liability arising out of harm that these commercial activities may cause — to people, environment, other countries or outer space.
  • The draft Bill defines objects, people and geography that will come under the future law.
  • The Centre will keep a registry of all space objects.

New body proposed

  • All persons or entities engaged in space will now need a licence
  • The government will form a new authorised body for the purpose of issuing license.
  • So far, the national space agency Indian Space Research Organisation’s major works have related to satellites, launchers and applications. These were governed by the Satellite Communication Policy, 2000; the Remote Sensing Data Policy, 2011; and international treaty obligations on outer space activities as mandated by the UN Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space or UNCOPUOS.

Why such a law is needed?

  • Increasing applications of Space-based solutions have meant an increased participation of private sector industry and startups.
  • Commercial opportunities in space activities and services, nationally and internationally, demand a higher order of participation by private sector agencies. This situation demands a necessary legal environment for orderly performance and growth of space sector.

📰 Oldest stars in our galaxy discovered

Artist’s concept of the Milky Way Galaxy. Credit: NASA JPL

In news:

Astronomers have discovered some of the oldest stars in our Milky Way galaxy by determining their locations and velocities. Just like humans, stars have a life span: birth, youth, adulthood, old age and death.Scientists at Georgia State University in the U.S. focussed on old or “senior citizen” stars, also known as cool subdwarfs, that are much older and cooler in temperature than the Sun.

This is farther than the traditional horizon for the region of space that is referred to as “the solar neighbourhood,” which is about 80 light years in radius. The reason my horizon is more distant is that there are not a lot of senior citizens [old stars] in our solar neighbourhood,”

The astronomers first observed the stars over many years with the 0.9 metre telescope.

They used a technique called astrometry to measure the stars’ positions and were able to determine the stars’ motions across the sky, their distances and whether or not each star had a hidden companion orbiting it.

Among the new subdwarfs, the researchers discovered two old binary stars, even though older stars are typically found to be alone, rather than in pairs.

📰 WTO: India resolute on food security

  • At the upcoming meeting of the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) highest decision-making body, India will not agree to severe restrictions on its right to give price subsidies to farmers through the Minimum Support Price (MSP) to procure grains from them for food security purposes, according to highly-placed official sources.
  • The WTO’s Ministerial Conference is slated to take place at Buenos Aires in Argentina in December 2017.
  • Currently, an interim mechanism called the ‘Peace Clause’ is in place, as per which WTO members had agreed not to challenge developing nations at the WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism if they breached the cap of the product-specific domestic support (which is 10% of the value of production).
  • The ‘Peace Clause’ is available to developing nations, including India, till a permanent solution is found to public stockholding for food security purposes.
  • However, the ‘Peace Clause’ is learnt to be difficult to invoke even in its current form because prior to using it, the country concerned will have to first admit that it ‘is breaching’ or ‘is about to breach’ the ceiling entitlement to give product-specific domestic support.
  • Also, the ‘Peace Clause’ can be used only for public stockholding programmes that have been in existence on the date at which it was agreed upon at the Bali Ministerial Conference in December 2013, and not for new programmes on public stockholding for food security purposes.


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