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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: 11-09-2018

National News

General Studies-II : Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.


Clemency question

Why in news?

  • The release of life convicts should be settled on legal principles alone

  • After failing to get the seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case released by exercising its statutory power to remit life sentences, the AIADMK government in Tamil Nadu has taken recourse to a possible constitutional remedy.

  • It has decided to invoke the Governor’s clemency power under Article 161 of the Constitution.

  • The earlier attempt in 2014 to remit the sentences under the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure was stayed by the Supreme Court, which ultimately held that the Centre had primacy in according remission to life convicts in a case that involves consultation between the Centre and the State.

  • The Centre formally declined to concur with the State’s proposal in April 2018, saying it would “set a very dangerous precedent and lead to international ramifications”.

  • There is no doubt that the sovereign clemency power vested in the President and the Governor is quite wide, but the Supreme Court has in the past cautioned against its use for political considerations.

  • Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit will now have to take a call on the advice of the State’s Council of Ministers and decide whether he is bound by it.

  • The moot question is whether he will pause to consider the Centre’s opinion against releasing those involved in a “diabolical plot” hatched by “a highly organised foreign terrorist organisation” and either reject the proposal or seek its reconsideration.

  • In either case, he will be mindful of the fact that his decision will be subject to judicial review.


  • The Tamil Nadu government believes there is no legal bar on the convicts getting the benefit of Article 161, even though the mercy petitions of some of them have been rejected by both the Governor and the President.

  • But the issue has thrown up a number of questions that relate to process. For instance, what happens to the four Sri Lankan nationals among the convicts?

  • Will they remain in India or be repatriated? Also, shouldn’t there be a case-by-case evaluation for releasing those sentenced for life?

  • An omnibus order of release clearly will not address the particularities in each case, or evaluate the gravity of their role in the crime and the effect on society of releasing them.

  • In principle, the idea that convicts who have suffered prolonged incarceration require compassion cannot be faulted.

  • The idea of locking away a person for life, without so much as a sliver of hope of freedom, is not in keeping with the ideals of a truly modern society.

  • However, it is impossible to ignore the impact of such a decision on capital punishment.

Way Forward:

  • When lifelong imprisonment is regarded as a humane alternative to capital punishment, releasing life convicts may only strengthen the demand for the imposition of the death penalty — which would be retrograde.

  • Although there are many political considerations behind the move to release the convicts, this case must be decided on the basis of legal principles alone.

Source: The Hindu



General Studies-II : Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.


Delhi launches doorstep delivery of govt. Services


  • After months of planning, the Delhi government on Monday launched its ambitious project to deliver public services at the doorstep of residents.

  • From driving licences to marriage certificates, Delhiites can now apply for 40 government documents to be delivered at their homes for a fee of ₹50 per service.

  • The applicant would have to call 1076 and fix an appointment with a mobile sahayak, who will go to their home and help with filling forms, payment of fees and collection of documents.

  • The mobile sahayak would then submit the documents at the government office concerned, which would post the certificate or licence once issued.

Source: The Hindu


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


RBI intervenes as rupee breaches 72.5 to dollar


  • Currency among worst performers in emerging markets; widening current account deficit weighs, more rate hikes may be on the cards

  • The rupee breached 72.5 a dollar on Monday and touched all-time low of 72.67 intraday as the current account deficit widened to five- year high in the first quarter of the current financial year, to $15.8 billion or 2.4%, of the GDP.

  • Following media reports quoting unnamed Finance Ministry officials that steps would be taken to arrest the fall in the currency, including deposit schemes for non-resident Indians along with central bank intervention, the rupee strengthened to 72.18 but again lost steam during the end of the trading session.

  • Currency dealers said the central bank is not intervening aggressively as before. In June, the RBI had sold more than $6 billion in the spot market. The data for July and August are yet to be released by the central bank.

  • Rupee was the worst performer among emerging market currencies in Asia, depreciating about 13% this financial year amid limited intervention by the central bank. In September, rupee has depreciated 1.7% so far against the dollar.

  • According to dealers, investors are concerned over economies that are expected to experience worsening balance of payments position.

  • Bond yields spiked over fears of further rate hike as the yield on 10-year benchmark government bonds rose 13 bps to close the day at 8.16%. RBI had hiked interest rates by 50 bps since June this year over inflation concerns.

  • Moody’s Investors Service warned that a sustained weakening of the rupee would be credit-negative for its rated Indian companies.


Source: The Hindu


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