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Note:  The following Current affairs has been selected from AIR, PIB, PRS, BBC, The Hindu, IDSA (Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses), Live mint, Indian Express, Quora.com, Hindustan Times, Telegraph, The Times , WTO, New Indian express , The Guardian and is highly recommended for UPSC Prelims and Mains Examination


News Analysis:10-01-2018

National News

General Studies-II : Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary

Playing of national anthem in cinema halls made optional

The Supreme Court on Tuesday modified its November 30, 2016 interim order and made it optional for cinema halls to play the 52-second national anthem before every show.

Description: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article22403093.ece/alternates/FREE_660/THJVNANTHEM


  • A Bench, led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, clarified that it is not mandatory to play the anthem before screenings in cinemas.
  • It left the choice of whether to play the anthem or not to the discretion of individual cinema hall owners.
  • However, if the anthem is played, patrons in the hall are bound to show respect by standing up.
  • The court clarified that the exception granted to disabled persons from standing up during the anthem “shall remain in force on all occasions”.
  • The modification will be in place till the Union government takes a final decision on the recommendations of a 12-member high-profile inter-ministerial committee regarding the occasions, circumstances and events for the solemn rendering of the anthem.
  • The ministerial panel will examine whether any amendments are necessary to the Prevention of Insult to National Honour Act of 1971 to expand or specify the meaning of “respect” to the national anthem.


Source:The Hindu


General Studies-II : Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary

Question of equality

The time has come to undo the judicial wrong done to homosexual individuals in 2013, when the Supreme Court upheld the validity of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalises gay sex.

Description: Image result for section 377



  • A reconsideration of the flawed verdict in Suresh Kumar Koushal  is now in prospect.
  • A three-judge Bench has opened up an opportunity to reconsider that verdict, which came to the disturbing conclusion that the LGBT community was just a “minuscule fraction” of the population and also ruled that those having sexual intercourse “against the order of nature” constituted a separate class on which the law could validly impose penal sanctions.
  • A curative petition against the earlier judgment, the latest order is on a fresh petition challenging Section 377.
  •  It draws from the observations in the nine-judge Bench judgment in the ‘right to privacy’ case.
  • The majority observed in Justice K.S. Puttaswamy v. Union of India that “equality demands that the sexual orientation of each individual in society must be protected on an even platform.
  • The right to privacy and the protection of sexual orientation lie at the core of the fundamental rights guaranteed by Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution.”
  • The Bench has rightly observed that social morality changes from age to age, that “the morality that public perceives, the Constitution may not conceive of,” and that what is “natural to one may not be natural to another”.
  • Ever since the court, in National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India (2014), concerning the rights of transgender persons, questioned the Koushal reasoning, there has been a body of jurisprudence that sees gender identity and sexual orientation as an aspect of privacy, personal freedom and dignity.


Way Forward:

  • The court must not confine itself to the issue of privacy, but also address the discrimination inherent in Section 377 on the basis of sexual orientation.
  • The formulation in Koushal  that constitutional protection is not available to a tiny fraction of the population can be overturned only on the touchstone of Article 14, which protects the right to equality.



Source:The Hindu



General Studies-II : Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary

No viable alternative to hanging, Centre tells court

Description: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article22407561.ece/alternates/FREE_660/th10cityhangcol


  • There is no viable method at present other than hanging to execute condemned prisoners.
  •  Lethal injections are unworkable and often fail, the Centre told the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
  • The government was responding to a query from the court on alternative modes of execution.
  • The court had previously said a condemned convict should die in peace and not in pain. A human being is entitled to dignity even in death.
  • Issuing notice, the court had asked the government to consider the the “dynamic progress” made in modern science to adopt painless methods of causing death.


Source:The Hindu

General Studies-II : Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure

Cauvery verdict in four weeks, says SC


  • The Supreme Court on Tuesday indicated that it would deliver within a month its verdict on the decades old Cauvery water dispute between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, saying enough confusion had been created on it for over two decades.
  • The court said any forum could touch the matter relating to the Cauvery basin only after it gave its verdict in four weeks.
  • A three-judge Bench had reserved its verdict on the appeals filed by Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala against the 2007 award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal on sharing of water, after a marathon hearing on September 20.


Source:The Hindu



General Studies-III : Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.


Is TeamIndus’s lunar bid off?

  • An Indian space startup’s dream of landing a rover on Moon in March may have got dashed.
  • The launch contract of TeamIndus with ISRO’s business arm Antrix Corporation has reportedly been cancelled.

Description: Image result for team indus

Reasons :

  • Lot of challenges for [TeamIndus] both in terms of technology and their constraint in getting the funds they require for it. It is not easy to bridge the gap of building the technology capability needed for an activity such as this.
  • Many approvals were also due from the Central government as nations are accountable for space missions under the UN space law.


Source:The Hindu

International News:


General Studies-II : India and its neighborhood- relations.


Delhi, Male set to reboot bilateral ties

Description: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article22406389.ece/alternates/FREE_660/09TH-THGRP-YAMEEN


  • In a sign of a possible thaw in India-Maldives ties, Maldivian Foreign Minister Mohamed Asim will arrive in Delhi on Wednesday to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday.
  • This is part of an effort to increase the visibility in bilateral ties
  • While there is no specific agenda for the visit, we expect close bilateral consultations
  • It is the first since the Maldives and China signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in November 2017.
  • India had indicated its displeasure at the speed with which the FTA was passed in the Maldivian parliament, followed by President Yameen’s state visit to Beijing.
  • Male is the only SAARC capital Mr. Modi has not visited since he took office, having cancelled a planned visit in March 2015 over the Yameen government’s crackdown on political protests, putting a strain on bilateral ties.
  • Meanwhile, an official invitation last year by New Delhi to former President Mohammed Nasheed, who faces a jail term in the Maldives, had further widened the perceived rift.


Source:The Hindu

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