- ‘Adultery, homosexuality not acceptable in Army.
- Chief General Bipin Rawat said that Adultery and homosexuality have been not be allowed in the army inspite these are decriminalised in the country by the Supreme Court.
Adultery Sec. 497 of IPC
- Recently the Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional the 158-year-old Section 497 of IPC+ that punished a married man for the offence of adultery if he had sexual relations with a married woman “without the consent or connivance of her husband.
What is Adultery law in Indian?
- Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code was a section dealing with adultery.
- Under this law a woman cannot be punished for the offence of adultery.
- Only a man who has consensual sexual intercourse with the wife of another man without his consent can be punished under this offence in India.
- If someone “lives in adultery”, the partner can file for divorce.
Reasons given by Honorable SC
- The Supreme Court called the law unconstitutional because it “treats a husband as the master.”
- The Offence of adultery treats women as chattel, dents their dignity.
- The court tested Section 497 on the touchstone of constitutional provisions dealing with right to equality and guarantees against arbitrariness and discrimination.
- Adultery could continue to be a ground for aggrieved spouses to seek divorce from their adulterous partners.
- If one of the spouses committed suicide because of the adulterous nature of her/his partner, then the culprit could be proceeded against for the criminal offence of abetting.
Homosexuality: Section 377 of IPC
- This year the Supreme Court unanimously decriminalised part of the 158-year-old colonial law under Section 377 of the IPC that banned consensual unnatural sex between adults.
- After this verdict the LGBT stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community enjoys the same rights as other citizens under the Constitution.
- India Ranks 79th, Japan Tops List Of Most Powerful Passports: Report
- According to the Henley Passport Index, which periodically measures the access each country’s travel document affords, India jumped two positions from 81st in 2018 to 79th this year.
- Japan retained its top spot as the world’s most travel-friendly passport due to the document’s access to 190 countries.
- Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nepal ranked further low at 104, 102 and 94 respectively.
- China jumped almost 20 places in just two years, from 85th in 2017 to 69th this year.
- The Henley Passport Index is based on data provided by the International Air Transport Authority (IATA) and covers 199 passports and 227 travel destinations.
- Centre aims for 20% cut in air pollution by 2024
- The Centre has launched a programme to reduce particulate matter (PM) pollution by 20-30% in at least 102 cities by 2024.
- The National Clean Air Programme (NCAP), which was formally unveiled is envisaged as a scheme to provide the States and the Centre with a framework to combat air pollution.
Roadmap of NCAP
- NCAP, cities have been given a specified number of days to implement specific measures such as “ensuring roads are pothole-free to improve traffic flow and thereby reduce dust” (within 60 days) or “ensuring strict action against unauthorised brick kilns” (within 30 days).
- It doesn’t specify an exact date for when these obligations kick in.
- The NCAP will be a mid-term, five-year action plan with 2019 as the first year.
- After five years, there will be a review of the progress.
- This is not a pan-India, but a city-specific programme.
- According to the World Health Organisation’s database on air pollution over the years has listed Tier I and Tier II Indian cities as some of the most polluted places in the world.
- In 2018, 14 of the world’s 15 most polluted cities were in India.
- A study in the journal Lancet ranked India as No.1 on premature mortality and deaths from air pollution.
- According to a report by the environment ministry, Bejing achieved a 40% reduction in 5 years, Mexico city a 73% reduction over 25 years, and Santiago, Chile, a 61% decline over 22 years.
- In Delhi, there was an 8% reduction in annual PM levels from 2016
- West Bengal govt pulls out of PM Modi’s Ayushman Bharat health scheme.
- Bengal Chief Minister announced that her state will withdraw from the Ayushman Bharat health scheme.
Reasons for withdrawal from the Scheme
- Bengal CM told alleged that PM took undue credit for a project, 40 per cent of which, the West Bengal government was funding in the state.
- The Bengal CM said that if the Centre wants to run the Ayushman Bharat health scheme, they will have to pay the full amount.
Ayushman Bharat Yojana
- The Ayushman Bharat project was announced by PM Modi in September 2018. The scheme aims to provide a basic health coverage of up to Rs 5 lakh for 10 crore economically backward families.
- This initiative has been designed on the lines as to meet SDG and its underlining commitment, which is “leave no one behind”.
- Ayushman Bharat aims to undertake path breaking interventions to holistically address health (covering prevention, promotion and ambulatory care), at primary, secondary and tertiary level.
- Ayushman Bharat adopts a continuum of care approach, comprising of two inter-related components, which are –
- Establishment of Health and Wellness Centres
- Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY)
- Establishment of Health and Wellness Centres–
- The first component, pertains to creation of 1,50,000 Health and Wellness Centres which will bring health care closer to the homes of the people.
- These centres will provide Comprehensive Primary Health Care (CPHC), covering both maternal and child health services and non-communicable diseases, including free essential drugs and diagnostic services.
- Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY) –
- PM-JAY is one significant step towards achievement of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and Sustainable Development Goal – 3 (SDG3).
- It aims to provide health protection cover to poor and vulnerable families against financial risk arising out of catastrophic health episodes.
- States’ approval not needed for quota Bill
- Recently the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty Fourth Amendment) Bill of 2019 providing up to 10% reservation for economically weaker sections of the society.
- The proviso to Article 368 (power of Parliament to amend the Constitution and procedure thereof) holds that an amendment to a fundamental right coming under Part III of the Constitution need not be ratified by the Legislatures of one-half of the States.
- So, this Bill may be notified by the Central government as soon as it gets the assent from the President.
Right to equality
- The Bill, passed by both the Houses of the Parliament, adds new clauses to Articles 15 and 16 of the Constitution.
- Both the Articles come under the part of ‘Fundamental Rights’ in the text of the Constitution.
- The new clause (6) to Article 15 allows the government to carve reservation for the economically weaker sections of the society in higher educational institutions, including private ones, whether they are aided or not by the State.
- Minority educational institutions are exempted.
- Likewise, the new clause (6) to Article 16 provides for quota for economically-deprived sections in the initial appointment in government services.
Note: The proviso to Article 368 makes it clear that when a Constitution amendment of a fundamental right is in question, the Bill concerned need not be sent to the States’ Legislative Assemblies for ratification.
- This was a part of the Constitution, as framed by them in 1949 and 1950.
- Only Constitution amendments which affect the Centre-State relations or division of powers in a federal structure require subsequent ratification by the States’ Legislatures before the Presidential assent.
- The Constitution does not provide for economic reservation.
- The Indira Sawhney judgment has capped the reservation limit to 50%.
- Now, the new Bill increases reservation to 60%.
- Cabinet approves MoU on Maritime issues between India and Denmark
- The Union Cabinet has approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Maritime issues between India and Denmark.
- Signing of the MoU will pave way for both countries for exploration of areas for bilateral collaboration:
- facilitating cross-border cooperation and investments between the maritime sectors of India and Denmark.
- enabling both the countries to exchange expertise, publications, information, data and statistics to improve mutual capabilities for ensuring quality shipping;
- cooperation in the field of green maritime technology and shipbuilding, granting the Indian Register of Shipping (IRS) the status of Recognized Organization (RO), cooperation in the fields of maritime training and education;
- research and development for sustained cooperation in the field of merchant shipping and maritime transport related matters; and
- It will also further extend and deepen the cooperation on the opportunities of mutual benefits to both the countries, at both bilateral and international level.
- Denmark is one of the important trading partners with India.
- Major Danish exports to India include medicinal/ pharmaceutical goods, power generation machinery; industrial machinery, metal ores, organic chemicals, etc.
- Major Indian exports to Denmark include apparels, textiles/ fabrics/ yarns, road vehicles and components, metal goods, iron and steel, footwear and travel goods.
- In order to boost the bilateral trade between the two countries and to ensure cooperation and coordination in the maritime sector, it is proposed to enter into a bilateral MoU with Denmark.
- Cabinet approves MoU between India and France on technical bilateral cooperation in the field of new and renewable energy
- The Union Cabinet has been approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and France on technical bilateral cooperation in the field of new and renewable energy.
- India and France aim to establish the basis for a cooperative institutional relationship to encourage and promote technical bilateral cooperation on new and renewable issues on the basis of mutual benefit, equality and reciprocity.
- The technical cooperation will cover joint research working groups, pilot projects, capacity building programs, study tour, case studies and the sharing of experience/expertise.
- The MoU will help in strengthening bilateral cooperation between India and France.
8.Cabinet approves Bilateral Swap Arrangement between India and Japan
- The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal for entering into an Agreement for Bilateral Swap Arrangement (BSA) between India and Japan and authorizing the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to sign the Agreement for Bilateral Swap Arrangement between the RBI and the Bank of Japan for a maximum amount of USD 75 billion.
- The swap arrangement is an agreement between India and Japan to essentially exchange and re-exchange a maximum amount of USD 75 Billion for domestic currency, for the purpose of maintaining an appropriate level of balance of payments for meeting short-term deficiency in foreign exchange.
- The BSA is a very good example of mutual cooperation between India and Japan for strategic objective of assisting each other in times of difficulty and for restoring international confidence.
- This facility will enable the agreed amount of Capital being available to India on tap for use. Also, with this arrangement in place, prospects of Indian companies would improve in tapping foreign capital as there would be greater confidence in stability of country’s exchange rate.
- Availability of such swap line to tide over difficulties arising out of Balance of Payment (BOP) would deter speculative attacks on the domestic currency and greatly enhance the RBI’s ability to manage exchange rate volatility.
Note: The arrangement is another milestone in mutual economic cooperation and special strategic and global partnership between India and Japan.