UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS-DAILY CAPSULE-AUG 26 2017

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Daily current affairs for IAS upsc

Privacy ruling to have bearing on beef ban cases: SC{Rights Issues}

Nb: Hindu Limited this issue to a sentence,This is from Indian express.

News:

  • A day after a nine-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that right to privacy is a fundamental right, a two-judge bench of the court observed that the privacy ruling will have a bearing on the Maharashtra beef ban case pending before it.

Beyond news:

  • “The judgment will have some bearing on these cases,” the bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan remarked while hearing cross-appeals against the Bombay High Court order decriminalising possession of beef in case the animal was slaughtered outside the state even as it upheld the ban on slaughtering of milch cattle.
  • Some voluntary groups, as well as the State of Maharashtra, have challenged the High Court order.
  • The challenge raised by the Maharashtra government is pending before a different bench of the court.
  • Senior counsel C U Singh, who appeared for some of the petitioners who have challenged the prohibition, referred to the nine-judge bench verdict on privacy as a fundamental right.
  • Senior counsel Indira Jaising, who also appeared for these petitioners, said the privacy judgment protected one’s right to eat food of their choice.

The Constitution, refreshed {Rights Issues}

Source: Hindu

News:

When delivering the 12th Justice K.T. Desai Memorial Lecture on dissenting judgments in Mumbai last year, Justice Rohinton F. Nariman described the great dissenters on the Supreme Court of the 1950s and 1960s as persons who had chiselled and added meaning to the Constitution’s fundamental rights.

Beyond News:

  • Now, on August 24, Justice Nariman and eight of his colleagues, who heard arguments in Justice K.S. Puttaswamy (Retd) v. Union of India , have brought to life the brooding spirit of three such dissents.
  • In doing so, they have not only consigned some of the court’s most regressive judgments to the dust heap of history, but have also delivered a rousing affirmation of the critical place that the right to privacy enjoys in the penumbra of liberties that the Constitution guarantees.

Target Section 377 {Rights Issues}

Source :Hindu

Issue:

  • Same-gender sex remains a crime in the country due to a flagrant judicial mistake committed by the Supreme Court in 2013.The time has come to undo it.

Go beyond these:

  • Ever since the constitutional validity of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code was upheld in Suresh Kumar Koushal (2013), the correctness of the retrograde verdict has come under doubt twice.
  • The latest criticism from the court is strident and explicit. While declaring that the right to privacy is a fundamental right and an inherent component of human liberty and dignity, the nine-judge Bench has observed that the rationale behind the Koushal judgment is flawed and unsustainable.
  • It has said the rights of LGBT persons are real rights founded on sound constitutional doctrine and not “so-called rights” as the earlier Bench had described them disdainfully.
  • The astounding claim made in Koushal that there was no need to challenge Section 377 because the LGBT community constitutes only a minuscule minority has been completely discredited.
  • It was unreasonable to advance the view that constitutional protection is available to a group based on its size.
  • Yet, in a show of uncharacteristic reticence and contrary to the history of the evolution of constitutional jurisprudence, the earlier Bench had suggested that the provision can be diluted only through the legislative route.
  • This week’s ruling on privacy rights contains a clear enunciation of the constitutional basis for protection of rights based on sexual orientation.

RBI to boost printing of Rs. 200 notes {Banking Sector}

Source: Hindu

News:

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Friday said production of the newly-circulated Rs. 200 note is being ramped up by currency printing presses and will be made available in adequate quantities.

Beyond these:

  • RBI started circulating the Rs. 200 note from some of its offices and banks from Friday.
  • “The production of these notes is being ramped up by the currency printing presses, and over time as more notes are printed, it will be distributed across the country through the banking channels and will be available for public in adequate quantity,” .
  • “These notes are available only through select RBI offices and banks as is normal when a new denomination of notes is introduced and the supply increases gradually,” RBI said.
  • While the notes are available from some bank branches, it will take some time before it is available through ATMs.

How we define Assam’s flood problem {Disaster Management}

Source: Indian express

Assam flood image

Issue:

  • Floods have not always been a “problem” for Assam. For centuries, the region has relied on the annual flooding and recession of the Brahmaputra and its tributaries for the productivity of its agriculture and other non-farm activities that sustain rural livelihoods.

History of issue:

  • Following a visit to Assam in 1921, M.K. Gandhi spoke of the “relatively happy” lives of the Assamese. “Their land does not require much cultivation,”.

Current scenario:

  • Even today, the pervasive sight during the monsoons of bamboo fishing nets and traps fixed on water bodies and submerged agricultural lands makes even the casual visitor aware of the significant role that floods play in rural livelihoods.
  • During this year’s floods, the media has paid attention to the large number of animals — including rhinos and lesser known endangered species like hog deer and sambar deer — that have tragically perished.
  • But without Kaziranga’s annual rejuvenation by floods when the park is closed to tourists, the landscape and its unique wildlife will not survive.
  • No remedy can put at risk the integrity of the dynamic system that connects the Brahmaputra with its alluvial floodplains where Kaziranga is located, and which explains its unique biodiversity.
  • Floods are events of nature. But they are not “natural disasters”. Whether a natural event becomes a disaster depends on when and where it occurs. Floods affect the natural and built environments differently.
  • The same flood event can be damaging in a heavily built environment but a boon in a natural environment.

Particularly in assam:

  • In Assam, the perception of floods as a “problem” is a 20th century phenomenon. British colonial administrators did not think of protection against floods in the 19th century.
  • But they were beginning to eye the low-lying areas of the floodplains of the Brahmaputra as a significant source of potential revenue: As “wastelands”, the vocabulary they used to give away large tracts of land to European tea planters.
  • But unlike those lands, these so-called “wastelands” close to the river were not suited for growing tea.

Curtailing the legislature {Constitutional issues}

Source: Indian express

News:

  • Ever since the late Justice P.N. Bhagwati entertained the first Public Interest Litigation case in the Supreme Court in 1979, and the higher courts began to extend their powers of judicial review to oversee the executive actions of the central and state governments, there has been a simmering conflict between the legislature and the judiciary.

Beyond these:

  • In the past two weeks, Delhi High Court has passed two successive orders which, if not challenged by the legislature, could make it deeply discomfited.
  • The threat has arisen out of a seemingly trivial issue that should never even have come before a court of law.
  • The torrential rains in Delhi in July had caused drains to overflow and spread filth and disease over large parts of the city.
  • The outbreak of gastro-intestinal diseases and dengue fever that followed led to the filing of a petition to the Delhi government to examine the causes and remedy them.
  • This matter was taken up by the petitions committee of the state assembly which asked for a full report from the executive on the state of the drains in the city.
  • In the report, the principal PWD secretary gave lists of drains that had been fully desilted and repaired, and those which were in various stages of repair.

Caste in new moulds {Governance}

  • The Union cabinet’s decision to set up a commission to explore the creation of subcategories in the central list of the Other Backward Classes is a move in the right direction.
  • It is in step with the proposals submitted by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, the National Commission for Backward Classes and a Parliamentary Standing Committee towards addressing grievances among OBCs regarding reservations in central government jobs and educational institutions.
  • Many state OBC lists have subcategories and the system has, by and large, worked. Besides, there are no legal restrictions towards creating subcategories in the OBC list:
  • The Indira Sawhney judgment (1992) states there is no constitutional bar to further classification of OBCs on degrees of social and educational backwardness.

Beyond good and evil {Ethics}

Source: Indian express

  • As a culture, India has no sense of morality. We have never focused on morals and ethics in this country.
  • There is a strong sense of morality in Western countries — they do not always adhere to it, but that’s another matter.
  • In India, by contrast, we always saw morality as constricting human consciousness.
  • We did not want to structure our lives — as well as behavior — around morality; we also did not want morality to govern our relations with the world.A sense of morality makes a person repetitive in thought and action. Such a person will obviously not get anywhere.
  • So, in India, we took the risk of raising human consciousness. A large segment of the population has invested itself to raise human consciousness — not to teach morality. It is a far riskier path, but it is ultimately the only way to work with humanity.
  • If you impose morality on people, they will find ways to circumvent their guilt.They will make offerings to temples — or other places of worship — but also continue doing things that make them feel guilty.
  • Religion today has largely become like this.
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