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: 07-08-2018
General Studies-II : Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.
Three-judge SC Bench to hear Article 35A issue
Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra on Monday orally observed that the Supreme Court will consider whether Article 35A, giving special status to the State and people of Jammu and Kashmir, is violative of the basic structure of the Constitution.
Basic structure is a collective term coined by a 13-judge Bench in the historic Keshavananda Bharati case to include a catena of fundamental rights, including right to equality, non-discrimination, liberty, life and dignity, enshrined and preserved in the Constitution.
Article 35A gives the Jammu and Kashmir Legislature complete authority to decide the ‘permanent residents’ of the State and grant them special rights and privileges in State public sector jobs, acquisition of property within the State, scholarships and other public welfare programmes.
The provision mandates that no act of the State legislature, under the ambit of Article 35A, could be challenged for violating the Constitution or any other law of the land.
Life was affected in the Kashmir Valley for the second day on Monday following the shut down called by separatists over the challenge to Article 35(A) in the Supreme Court. Offices, educational institutions and business centres remained closed
The major regional parties have urged the Centre to safeguard the special status of Jammu & Kashmir.
Source: The Hindu
General Studies-II : Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
Three northeastern States emerge as new HIV hotspots
The good news is that there has been a steady decline in the number of HIV cases in India.
The bad news is that Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura have emerged as the new hotspots for HIV, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
In response to a question in the Lok Sabha on Friday, the Ministry attributed the reason for the rise in the incidence of HIV in the three northeastern States to the high-risk behaviour of Injecting Drug Users (IDUs), and unsafe sexual practices.
In four sites in Mizoram and one in Tripura, HIV prevalence was higher among IDUs, which for the rest of the country is 6.3%
HIV prevalence among female sex workers was higher at four sites — two in Tripura and one each in Mizoram and Meghlaya. At one site of Mizoram’s Aizwal district, the prevalence of HIV was as high as 24.68%, compared with 1.6% for other sites in the country.
In the case of pregnant women visiting ante-natal clinics (ANC), six centres in Mizoram, two in Meghalaya and one in Tripura recorded HIV prevalence of more than 1%, compared with HIV prevalence of 0.28% among pregnant women visiting ANCs in other places in India surveyed in December 2017.
The HIV Sentinel Surveillance (HSS), a biennial study conducted by the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), is one of the largest regular studies in the world dealing with HIV in high risk groups of the population.
The HSS had referred that HIV prevalence in the context of ANCs in the northeastern States of Mizoram (1.19%), Nagaland (0.82%), Meghalaya (0.73%), Tripura (0.56%) and Manipur (0.47%) were among the highest.
In terms of persons living with HIV (PLHIV) who are on Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART), Dr. Panda said that almost 12.28 lakh people are covered under ART. According to him, the target is to bring 90% of the 21 lakh people living with the HIV infection in India under ART.
In terms of PLHIV who are on ART, Maharashtra has the highest number (with 2.03 lakh persons) followed by A.P.(1.78 lakh ) and Karnataka (1.58 lakh persons).
Source: The Hindu
General Studies-II : Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.
Rajya Sabha gives nod for NCBC Bill
The Bill extending constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) was cleared unanimously by the Rajya Sabha on Monday. The Lok Sabha had passed the proposed law on August 2 with more than a two-thirds majority.
Several Opposition members, however, recommended that the government should make public the caste census findings, based on which the reservation policy should be formulated.
Replying to the debate on the Bill, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawar Chand Gehlot said the law would help the Other Backward Classes (OBC) get justice.
Acceding to the recommendation of Opposition members, he said the Commission would have female representation.
The Minister also assured the House that the NCBC would not encroach upon the rights of State governments as they would have their own backward classes commissions.
He said States had their own lists of OBC castes, while the Centre had a separate one and that the NCBC would make recommendations only to the Centre.
Stating that the Bill was long overdue, Mr. Yadav said in several States, even 27% reservation for OBCs had not been implemented.
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.
Bill for death in rape cases cleared
A Bill awarding a maximum sentence of death to those convicted for raping girls below 12 years of age was passed by Parliament on Thursday, with the Rajya Sabha approving the proposed law by voice vote. The Lok Sabha had cleared it on July 30.
It replaces the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance that was promulgated on April 21, following a public outrage over the rape and murder of a minor girl in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua and the rape of a minor from Unnao in Uttar Pradesh.
The amendments have been made to the Indian Penal Code, the Criminal Procedure Code, Evidence Act and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.
Accordingly, the minimum sentence in cases of rape of women has been increased from seven to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment.
In cases involving girls below 16 years, the minimum punishment has gone up from 10 to 20 years, which is extendable to life imprisonment.
The law also provides for speedy investigations and trial. The probe has to be completed within two months.
The deadline for completion of trial in all rape cases will also be two months, while a six-month limit has been set for disposal of appeals.
There will be no provision for anticipatory bail for a person accused of rape or gang-rape of an under-16 girl.
Source: The Hindu
Other Issues in News:
LS passes SC/ST amendment Bill
The Lok Sabha on Monday passed the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2018, to bypass the recent ruling of the Supreme Court laying down procedures for arrests under the Act. The Bill will now go to the Upper House.
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