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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: 08-02-2018

National News


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

Khap menace

Image result for khap panchayat


  • Each time the Supreme Court feels impelled to remind khap panchayats and the society at large that they have no business interfering in the life choices of individuals regarding marriage and love, it is an implicit commentary on our times.
  • The frequency with which one hears the court’s warnings against groups and individuals obstructing inter-faith or inter-caste relationships reaffirms the fact that the social milieu continues to be under the sway of the medieval-minded.
  • The court’s latest observations that khap panchayats should not act as though they are conscience-keepers of society and that no one should interfere in relationships between adults came while it was hearing a writ petition seeking a ban on such community organisations and guidelines to put an end to “honour killings”.
  • In 2011, the highest court termed such khaps “kangaroo courts”, declared them illegal and wanted them stamped out ruthlessly.
  • Similar observations were made in other cases too, some of them in the context of “honour killings”.
  • It is a grave misfortune that parents and self-appointed guardians of social mores continue to use coercion and harassment, and even resort to murderous violence, as a means to enforce their exclusionary and feudal prejudices.
  • Is one more extreme indication of families choosing the penal consequences of violence over the perceived dishonour caused by an inter-religious relationship.
  • While the popular narrative situates community pride as a source of unconscionable violence in rural India, such murders are a reality in cities and among educated and presumably socially advanced sections too.
  • The other dimension is that these khap organisations in north India seek to enforce age-old taboos such as the prohibition on sagothra marriages among Hindus.
  • Their grouse is that the present law on Hindu marriage allows sapinda relationships up to a particular degree; they would prefer a limitless bar on any degree of such relationship in lineal ascendancy, which would prevent any marriage with one presumed to be descended from an ancestor belonging to the same gothra.
  • Such views can only be eradicated with a change in social attitudes.


Way Forward:

  • The Law Commission in 2012 prepared a draft bill to prohibit interference in marriage alliances.
  • Key provisions that seek to address the problem of khap panchayats in this draft say such informal groups would be treated as an ‘unlawful assembly’ and decisions that amount to harassment, social boycott, discrimination or incitement to violence should be punishable with a minimum sentence.
  • Whether the solution is social transformation or legislative change, high-handed mediation or interference should brook no sympathy.



Source-The Hindu


General Studies-II : Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.


Ujjwala Yojana to benefit eight crore women now

pradhanmantri ujwel yojna


  • The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the increase in the target for the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, meant to provide cooking-gas connections to rural women, to eight crore from the earlier five crore. The deadline for achieving the target is 2020.
  • The Cabinet also approved an additional allocation for the scheme of ₹4,800 crore.

Source-The Hindu,PIB

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

Goa’s iron ore exports to grind to a halt



  • The Opposition in Goa on Wednesday demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, holding him entirely responsible for the cancellation of 88 renewed mining leases in the State by the Supreme Court.
  • Judiciary must be “very cautious and circumspect” in diluting or setting aside an economic policy of the government, the Supreme Court observed on Wednesday.
  • Any economic policy in violation of Article 39(b), which mandates the distribution of “material resources of the community” to subserve common good, and Article 14, the fundamental right to equality, will be liable to challenge and judicial review, the court held.
  • The court made the observations after quashing the Goa government’s policy to grant a second renewal of 88 mining leases with retrospective effect.



Source-The Hindu

General Studies-III : Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.


RBI keeps repo rate unchanged at 6%



  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Wednesday held the policy repo rate at 6% as the central bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) raised the estimate for fourth-quarter inflation and flagged concerns about the future outlook for price gains.
  • Five of the six members of the RBI’s MPC voted in favour of keeping the benchmark interest rate unchanged for the third consecutive meeting
  • Domestic pump prices of petrol and diesel rose sharply in January, reflecting lagged pass-through of the past increases in international crude oil prices
  • The RBI had in December projected inflation to range between 4.3-4.7% for second half of the current financial year.
  • The central bank also projected retail inflation in the range of 5.1-5.6% for the first half of 2018-19, while assuming a normal monsoon — effectively ruling out any rate reduction in the near future
  • The MPC has a mandate to ensure inflation remains in a band between 2% and 6%.
  • For the second half of the next fiscal, inflation is projected at 4.5-4.6%, with ‘risks tilted to the upside’.
  • Among the upside risks to inflation, the MPC noted that pick-up in global growth could exert further pressure on crude oil, with the higher minimum support price to farmers, announced in the Budget, adding to the uncertainty.
  • However, the exact impact of higher MSP on inflation could not be fully assessed at this stage, the RBI said.
  • The proposed increase in customs duty on a number of items and fiscal slippage could also impinge on inflation outlook, the RBI added.
  • Fiscal slippage this year, fiscal slippage next year compared to what the market expected and what the target was and then a postponement of the medium term adjustment even further.


Source-The Hindu


General Studies-III : Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment Disaster and disaster management.


Second shipwreck, Goliath grouper fish found near Vizag



  • In what could catapult Visakhapatnam into a top scuba diving destination in the world, a second shipwreck with a critically endangered species of Goliath grouper was discovered by a team of experienced divers and diving instructors on Monday in the sea off Bheemunipatnam, 45 km from the city.
  • This comes a month after a century-old shipwreck was unearthed in the region. The latest find is said to be located at 23 metres below the sea surface and is a much larger one spread over 180 metres.
  • But what makes Monday’s discovery even more special is the spotting of the extremely rare species of Goliath grouper fish, considered to be the keystone species of an ecosystem.
  • This fish is entirely protected from harvest in the U.S. and is recognised as a critically endangered species by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature).
  • It is an extremely rare sight because of its dwindling numbers worldwide.
  •  Divers flock to Florida to see these amazing creatures.

Source-The Hindu

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