Daily current affairs for IAS upsc

General Studies-02

‘Cooling off’ period in Hindu divorce can go: SC


Hindu couples who have mutually agreed to separate need not wait anymore for the mandatory “cooling off” period of six months before divorce, the Supreme Court held on Tuesday.

What is cool off period:

  • Earlier,when a couple moves a court of law for divorce under the Hindu Marriage Act, they have to wait for a minimum period of six months.
  • Divorce by mutual consent was introduced as an amendment to the Hindu Marriage Act in 1976.
  • The waiting period under Section 13B was mandated to prevent couples from taking any hasty decision to end their marriage.

Important aspects of verdict:

  • The court held that the waiting period should be done away with in cases where there is no way to save the marriage and all efforts at mediation and conciliation have run their course; where parties have genuinely settled their differences including alimony, custody of child, etc, between themselves; and already a year and a half has passed since their first motion for separation.
  • The application for waiver of waiting period can be filed in court within a week of their first motion for separation.
  • The proceedings can be done through video-conferencing.

Kerala priest freed 1 year after his kidnap in Yemen.

Nb:Its not much important as such.


  • Father Tom Uzhunnalil, a priest from Kottayam in Kerala who was kidnapped by Yemeni militants from a charity home in Aden, has been released, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj announced.

Beyond News:

  • MEA proclaimed efforts from government towards the release. But MEA declined to add any details of the priest’s release or condition at present.
  • Official statement from the Omani government said that the priest was recovering in Muscat after being rescued, as per the request of the Vatican.

General Studies-03

[Op Ed]Slow creep

  • This is all about the issues of daily petrol price variation scheme.

Daily petrol price hike analysis

It says that:

  • Normally there are anger & criticism to government when petrol & diesel price hikes.
  • But in new scheme,Even though Petrol and diesel prices are increasing slowly over the last three months it is getting un noticed.
  • he price of petrol in Delhi, for instance, has cumulatively increased by almost Rs. 5 since the introduction of the daily pricing policy on June 16 this year.
  • Daily pricing is now being seen by many as a ploy to increase prices while allowing the government to escape any political backlash.

Some facts to prove the idea:

  • Based on average cost of gasoline and foreign exchange rate, it costs Rs 28.75 to produce a liter of petrol at refineries. But it reach customers above Rs.70
  • In 2012, when India purchased a barrel of crude for around $120, a litre of petrol was sold at around Rs. 65 in retail fuel stations.
  • Today, when the Indian crude basket price has dropped to around $50, the retail price of petrol is well over the Rs. 70 mark.

In fact, about half the price paid by the Indian end-consumer for petrol goes towards paying these taxes.

Who is actually benefited:

  • The government’s excise duty collection, for instance, has more than doubled during the period 2014-17, from Rs. 99,184 crore to Rs. 2,42,691 crore.
  • This suggests quite clearly that the government, not the consumer, has been the biggest beneficiary of lower crude oil prices since 2014.

Time for course correction


  • About a week ago, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) released the estimates of the gross domestic product (GDP) for the first quarter (April-June) of 2017-18.

Important statistics:

The numbers showed that in Q1 of 2017-18, GDP grew by 5.7%.

Gross value added (GVA) at basic prices grew by 5.6%.

Whichever measure you take, the growth rate has fallen below 6%.

In the corresponding quarter of the previous year, GDP grew at 7.9% and GVA at 7.6%.

What accounts for the decline in growth rate by almost 2 percentage points?

  1. Demonetization must have had a negative impact.
  2. The destocking of goods which might have happened prior to the introduction of goods and services tax (GST) must have also had a negative impact.

However, it might be inappropriate to attribute the entire decline of 2 percentage points to the two factors.

  • The most disappointing aspect of the first quarter numbers is the steep fall in the growth rate of manufacturing to 1.2%.
  • Because of the good monsoon, agriculture will do better.
  • Since agricultural growth rate last year was also good, the increase may not be that much.

An alliance on track


Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Ahmedabad this week.

Beyond News:

  • The bilateral agenda will range from issues of maritime security to nuclear energy and trade.
  • The centrepiece of their summitry will be the inauguration of India’s first high-speed rail corridor from Mumbai to Ahmedabad, to be developed using Japanese technology and financing.
  • The image of the platypus-snouted blue and white Shinkansen streaking past a snow-topped Mount Fuji has become as synonymous with Japan as sushi.


  • Since October 1964, when the first bullet trains collapsed the time it took to cover the 552 km between Tokyo and the commercial centre of Osaka to four hours (today it is down to 2 hours, 22 minutes).
  • The Shinkansen has emerged as the symbol of Japan’s post-World War II ascent to economic superpowerdom.
  • It encapsulates the archipelago’s engineering might and almost preternatural standards of safety and punctuality.
  • Japan’s Shinkansen have carried over 10 billion passengers to date, without a single accident or casualty and an average delay of less than one minute.

Significance for japan:

  • The Mumbai-Ahmedabad contract has been hard-won.
  • It entails a loan worth $12 billion, at 0.1% interest, to be paid back over 50 years, taking care of over 80% of the project’s estimated costs.
  • Japan will also supplement the financing with a generous package of technical assistance and training.

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