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Insights Daily Current Events, 13 April 2015

Insights Daily Current Events, 13 April 2015

Three in a row for Sania-Hingis

Sania Mirza has created history by becoming the first woman tennis player from India to achieve the world No. 1 ranking in doubles after her stupendous title win at the WTA Family Circle Cup with partner Martina Hingis here.

Quick facts:

  • Sania and Hingis have already become the world No. 1 team in the Race to Singapore, the season-finale, where the top eight teams will compete at the end of year.
  • Before Sania, only Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhuapthi had achieved the top ranking when they dominated the men’s doubles circuit in the last 1990s.
  • It is Sania’s third successive title with Hingis and the pair has been unbeaten since joining forces in March 2015. They won the title in Indian Wells, their first tournament together, and followed it up with a victory at Miami.

Sources: The Hindu.


Rajasthan gears up to prevent child marriages on Akshaya Tritiya

The Rajasthan government has asked its health workers and paramedical staff and non-governmental organizations to prevent child marriages on Akshaya Tritiya, which falls on April 21, and Peepal Purnima on May 4.


On these days, considered auspicious, a large number of child marriages take place nationwide, especially in rural Rajasthan.

Details of a Survey:

  • According to the Annual Health Survey for 2012-13, over 14% of the girls were married while they were still below the legal age of 18 in the State. However, this in itself, is an improvement from the 1998-2002 Family Health Survey-111 figures of 65% of the girls being married before the legal age.
  • In rural areas of the State, 18% of the girls are married before the legal age, compared with just 5% in urban areas.
  • Across the state there are wide variations in the prevalence of child marriages.

A massive campaign is under way to drive home the point that besides parents and guests, all those involved in child marriages like priests, tent-house owners, cooks and band-owners could be booked under the Child Marriage Restraint Act, 2006.

Akshaya Tritiya, also known as Akha Teej, is a holy day for Hindus and Jains. It falls on the third Tithi (lunar day) of Bright Half (Shukla Paksha) of the pan-Indian month of Vaishakha and one of the four most important days for Hindus. It is an auspicious day of the birthday of Lord Parasurama who is the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. On this day Veda Vyas and Lord Ganesha began to write Mahabharata. In Jain and Hindu calendars, some days of the month are absent in counting and some days (tithi in lunar calendars) come extra, but Akshay tritiya is one day which is never “absent” from the lunar calendar.

The day is considered auspicious for starting new ventures. The legend is that any venture initiated on the auspicious day of Akshaya Tritiya continues to grow and bring prosperity. Hence, new ventures, like starting a business, construction, etc. is performed on Akshaya Tritiya.

Sources: The Hindu, Wiki.


Election Commission sets up committee to allow migrants to vote

The Election Commission has set up a committee of senior officers to consider whether electoral laws can be changed to empower voters who have migrated to other States within the country.


A relaxation of this law would prove beneficial to cadre-based parties in keeping their vote bank intact, especially in States such as Kerala and Tamil Nadu where many youths are migrating to other States for jobs.


  • Recently, the government had given green light to NRIs to cast their votes from abroad.
  • EC is considering whether inter-State migrant voters could retain their names on the electoral rolls of their native places, and also, if they could cast their votes through mechanisms such as postal ballot.

Present situation:

Under the present law, a person can be enrolled only at the place he is residing. A migrant has to get himself enrolled in the new place.


  • The Supreme Court in January, 2015 had issued a notice to the Election Commission on a plea made by UAE-based doctor, demanding electoral reforms to allow inter-State migrants the voting privileges like postal ballot, which is accorded to government servants.
  • The petition has sought the same voting privileges accorded to government servants under Section 20(8) (d) of the Representation of the People Act, 1950, read with Section 60(b) of the Representation of the People Act 1951, which allowed them to vote via postal ballot upon the consent of the Election Commission.
  • Replying to the affidavit, EC has said that the committee was set up despite scepticism about the need to amend the Representation of the People Act. The commission said a person who migrated can be considered “ordinarily resident” in his new place even without owning or possessing a house there. It said the law was reasonable as it is now.

Sources: The Hindu.


Curbs on Governors’ outstation visits

The Union Home Ministry has notified a new set of rules to regulate official visits of Governors outside their States, mandating prior permission from the President and putting a cap of 73 days in a year as duration of such visits.

  • Now, all outstation visits of Governors will require prior approval of the President. Any communication on this will have to be forwarded to the President’s Secretariat at least seven days in advance.
  • The copies of all communications seeking approval of the President for visits should be sent to the Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary and the Union Home Minister.
  • The Governor shall invariably obtain clearance under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act and political clearance before undertaking any foreign visit.

During extraordinary circumstances:

  • Even under emergency or extraordinary circumstances, the Governor cannot undertake visits without intimating the President’s Secretariat.
  • In case of emergent or extraordinary circumstances, if it is not possible to obtain permission then, intimation can be sent. The intimation shall contain details of the circumstances and the compelling reasons why it was not possible to obtain prior permission.

Regarding Private visits:

  • The Governors have to seek permission from the President for private visits within India at least two weeks in advance, except under exceptional circumstances.
  • Communications pertaining to private visits abroad have to be made at least six weeks in advance.
  • Except under extraordinary circumstances, the Governors cannot undertake any outstation visit without prior approval. In case of visits due to extraordinary circumstances, the Governors have to intimate the President’s Secretariat as soon as the programme is finalised, providing details of the compelling reasons it was not possible to obtain permission. Once the schedule for the visit is approved, it cannot ordinarily be revised.

Sources: The Hindu.


Gandhi Statue unveiled

Prime Minister of India recently unveiled a bust of Mahatma Gandhi in Hannover, Germany.

Sources: The Hindu.


NCBC likely to get statutory powers soon, says its chairman

The Chairman of the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) recently said that the commission will soon get statutory powers on par with the National Commissions for SCs and STs.

  • Investing constitutional powers will authorise the Commission to question the lapses in the implementation of 27% reservation to OBCs.
  • The present commission had also made the central public sector undertakings to implement the creamy layer provisions.


National Commission for Backward Classes is statutory body established in August 1993, under the provisions of National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993.

  • The commission was the outcome of the direction of the Supreme Court in the Mandal case judgement.
  • The commission has five members: a Chairperson who is or has been a judge of the Supreme Court or of a High Court; a social scientist; two persons, who have special knowledge in matters relating to backward classes; and a Member-Secretary, who is or has been an officer of the Central Government in the rank of a Secretary to the Government of India. Their term is of Three years.
  • The commission considers inclusions in and exclusions from the lists of communities notified as backward for the purpose of job reservations and tenders the needful advice to the Central Government.

Sources: The Hindu, Wiki.

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