Insights Daily Current Affairs, 09 December 2017

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Insights Daily Current Affairs, 09 December 2017


 

GS Paper 1:

Topic: Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues.

 

Adultery law

 

adultery law

Context:

Supreme court has issued a notice to the Centre on a public interest litigation challenging the constitutionality of IPC section 497 dealing with adultery, saying it appeared to be “archaic” and did not appear to be gender-neutral.

The court will examine two aspects of the penal provision:

  • One, why does Section 497 treat the man as the adulterer and the married woman as a victim?
  • Two, 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, a passive object without a mind of her own?

Background:

The court is hearing a petition challenging the constitutionality of Section 497 IPC read with Section 198(2) of the CrPC. The petition says, Section 497 IPC is unconstitutional as it discriminates against men and violates Article 14, 15 and 21.

Section 497 IPC says, “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 to the offence of rape, is guilty of the offence of adultery, and shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine, or with both. In such case the wife shall not be punishable as an abettor.”

Section 198(2) CrPC says that “… no person other than the husband of the woman shall be deemed to be aggrieved by any offence punishable under Section 497 or Section 498 of the said Code: Provided that in the absence of the husband, some person who had care of the woman on his behalf at the time when such offence was committed may, with the leave of the Court, make a complaint on his behalf.”

Way ahead:

Adultery is at best a violation of the terms of agreement between a married couple. The IPC version of criminalising adultery with five years imprisonment is just a more moderate version of the Islamic versions which see it as a grave offence that deserves barbaric punishments like stoning and lashing. Such laws serve as encouragement to peep into people’s bedrooms though only the husband can make a complaint. It is possible that common law jurists conceived an adultery law to prevent duels between the wronged husband and the lover or to give the husband a legal device to hit back at the wife and her lover.  Most countries in the West have decriminalized adultery. India should follow their example rather than split hairs over making it gender just.

 

Sources: the hindu.

 


 

GS Paper 2:

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health.

 

Trachoma

 

trachoma

Context:

The National Trachoma Survey Report (2014-17) has been released. India is now declared free from ‘infective trachoma’.

Highlights of the survey:

The survey findings indicate that the active trachoma infection has been eliminated among children in all the survey districts with overall prevalence of only 0.7%. This is much below the elimination criteria of infective trachoma as defined by the WHO- active trachoma is considered eliminated if the prevalence of active infection among children below 10 years is less than 5%.

The Survey results indicate that active trachoma is no longer a public health problem in India. India has now met the goal of trachoma elimination as specified by the WHO under its GET2020 program. This has been possible due to decades of inter-sectoral interventions and efforts that included provision of antibiotic eye drops, personal hygiene, availability of safe water, improved environmental sanitation, availability of surgical facilities for chronic trachoma, and a general improvement in the socio economic status in the country.

About Trachoma:

What is it? Trachoma is a chronic infective disease of the eye and is the leading cause of infective blindness globally. Trachoma is a disease of poor environmental and personal hygiene and inadequate access to water and sanitation.

It affects the conjunctiva under the eyelids. Repeated infections cause scarring leading to in-turning ofthe eyelashes and eyelids. This further causes damage to the cornea and blindness.

Affected states:

It is found affecting the population in certain pockets of the States of North India like Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Nicobar Islands. Trachoma infection of the eyes was the most important cause of blindness in India in 1950s and over 50% population was affected in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, and Uttar Pradesh. It was the most important cause of corneal blindness in India, affecting young children.

 

Sources: pib.

 


 

Topic: e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential.

 

MSME Sambandh

 

MSME-Sambandh

What is it?

It is a Public Procurement Portal launched recently by the government. The objective of the portal is to monitor the implementation of the Public Procurement from MSEs by Central Public Sector Enterprises.

With this app, the Micro and Small Enterprises would be able to access the information about the products being procured by CPSEs. Thus, it would help the MSEs in participating in the procurement process.

 

Background:

The Procurement Policy launched in 2012 mandates the Central Government Departments / CPSUs to procure necessarily from MSEs i.e. every Central Ministry / Department / PSU shall set an annual goal for procurement from the MSE sector at the beginning of the year, with the objective of achieving an overall procurement goal of minimum of 20% of the total annual purchases of the products or services produced or rendered by MSEs. By creating an online portal, the Ministries and the CPSEs can assess their performance.

 

Significance of MSME:

MSME sector generates more employment next only to Agriculture sector. 80% of jobs in industry is given by MSME with just 20% of investment.

 

Sources: pib.

 


 

Topic: e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential.

 

E-Courts Project

 

e-courts

Context:

The e Committee, of the Supreme Court of India in association with the Department of Justice (DoJ) of the Government of India recently held a National Conference on e- courts project in New Delhi. The Conference focused on the progress, sharing of best practices, experiences, important issues and emerging challenges under the Project.

 

About the e- courts project:

What is it?

The eCourts Mission Mode Project (Phase I 2010-15; Phase II 2015-19) is a national eGovernance project for ICT enablement of district and subordinate courts of the country.

Implementation: It is being implemented by the Government of India with a total outlay of 1670 crores (Phase II).

The major objectives of the Project are to make whole judicial system ICT enabled by putting in place adequate and modern hardware and connectivity; automation of workflow management in all courts; electronic movement of records from taluka/trial to appeal courts; installation of video conferencing (VC) facility and recording of witness through Video Conferencing.

Specific targets set under the Project include: computerization of all the courts (around 20400) and DLSA and TLSC; WAN and cloud connectivity in 3500 court complexes; full Installation and use of Video Conferencing facility at 3000 Court Complexes and 1150 prisons; charting out key identified citizen services like electronic filing, daily orders, delivery of decrees, online case status in all the district courts etc.

 

Sources: pib.

 


 

Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

 

Ajeya Warrior 2017

 

ajeya 2017

What is it?

Ajeya Warrior is a joint exercise between the Indian Army and Royal British Army. The Exercise is held once in two years, alternatively in India and the UK. The 3rd edition of this joint military exercise is being held in Rajasthan.

The aim of the Exercise is “to build and promote positive military relations between Indian and UK Army and to enhance their ability and interoperability to undertake joint tactical level operations in Counter Insurgency/Counter Terrorism Environment under United Nations Charter”. The exercise further focuses on enhancing and exchanging skills and experience between the Indian Army and the Royal British Army.

 

Sources: the hindu.

 


 

GS Paper 3:

Topic: infrastructure.

 

Asian Development Bank (ADB)

 

adb loan to karnataka roads

Context:

Asian Development Bank (ADB) will fund highway upgradation project in Karnataka for which it has approved a loan of USD 346 million. This is ADB’s second funding to Karnakata, whose per capita income is higher than the national average and has lower unemployment and poverty rates.

The project will see construction of planned pedestrian, installation of women-friendly elements including bus shelters, marked crossings, footpaths and proper signage, among others. The project will also carry out a road safety survey to identify critical accident spots across the state highways and carry out measures to improve these.

 

About ADB:

What is it?

It is a regional development bank established on 22 August 1966 and is headquartered in Philippines. It aims to facilitate economic development of countries in Asia. It also aims for an Asia and Pacific free from poverty.

The bank admits the members of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP, formerly known as the United Nations Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East) and non-regional developed countries.

Voting:

ADB was modeled closely on the World Bank, and has a similar weighted voting system where votes are distributed in proportion with member’s capital subscriptions.

Board of Governors:

  • It is the highest policy-making body of the bank.
  • It is composed of one representative from each member state.
  • The Board of Governors also elect the bank’s President who is the chairperson of the Board of Directors and manages ADB.
  • The Alternate Board of Governors are nominated by Board of Governors of ADB’s 67 to represent them at the Annual Meeting that meets formally once year to be held in a member country.

Loans:

It offers both Hard Loans and Soft loans. The ADB offers “hard” loans from ordinary capital resources (OCR) on commercial terms, and the Asian Development Fund (ADF) affiliated with the ADB extends “soft” loans from special fund resources with concessional conditions.

 

Sources: the hindu.

 


 

Facts for Prelims:

 

  • Burial urn, pots unearthed in Pallavaram:

A six-foot-high burial urn, mudhumakkal thazhi, made of clay, and pieces of pots have been unearthed at Old Pallavaram in Chennai. The artefacts are estimated to be around 2,000 years old.

 

  • World’s oldest eye:

Researchers have unearthed what they believe to be the “oldest eye” in a 530-million-year-old fossil of an extinct sea creature. The fossil of Schmidtiellus reetae, which includes an early form of the eye seen in many of modern animals, including crabs, bees and dragonflies, was discovered in Estonia.

Schmidtiellus reetae had a primitive form of compound eye — an optical organ that consists of arrays of tiny visual cells, called ommatidia, similar to those of present-day bees. Although the species had poor vision compared with many modern animals, it could identify predators and obstacles in its path. Its eye consisted of approximately 100 ommatidia, and did not have a lens, like the modern compound eyes, probably because the primitive species lacked parts of the shell needed for lens formation.