14 October 2015



Saving the Sahitya Akademi  –    (Indian Polity)

  • Now fringe elements have come centre stage, with their narrow-minded interpretation of our great religion. And they have brought with them a sense of fear.
  • Why is Hinduism alive after so many millennia? Because it absorbs, it allows multiplicity of thought, of argument, of debate.


Uniform civil code need of the hour: Minister  –    (Indian Polity)

  • Union Law Minister Sadananda Gowda said on Tuesday that a uniform civil code (UCC) was the “need of the hour and in national interest” and “a step should be taken in that direction,” but added that the government would not move on the issue without due consultation and consensus, not just within the government but with all stakeholders.
  • The Minister spoke to The Hindu in response to the Supreme Court’s observation asking the government to make its position clear on ushering in the UCC within three weeks. The apex court was hearing a petition with regard to a divorce case involving a Christian couple.



Toll agency may challenge green tax  –    (Environment)

  • The Supreme Court’s order on Monday on levying an environment compensation charge on commercial vehicles entering Delhi may be challenged by the toll tax contractor who has been asked to collect it and set up infrastructure.
  • From November 1, commercial vehicles will be charged between Rs.700 and Rs.1,300 every time they enter the Capital and the amount collected will be used by the Delhi Government on projects to decongest the city and reduce pollution.



Is India softening stand on neighbours after pushback?  –    (International Relation)

  • In the first indication that the government is considering a softening of position after facing a pushback from Nepal and the Maldives, officials on Tuesday acknowledged that India “needs a balance” on the neighbourhood.
  • “We need to find ways of working with our neighbourhood by which they also feel their interests have been advanced and we also feel that our interests have been advanced.” In an explanation of India’s neighbourhood policy a senior official said, “If we have beliefs and interests and affinities, we need to abide by that. We can’t micromanage our neighbours, but we can’t ignore the issues either.”


A reflection of strained India-Pakistan relations   –    (International Relation)

  • The exchange between India and Pakistan on Monday’s incidents in Mumbai underlines the continued strain in ties between both countries since the cancellation of the National Security Adviser-level talks scheduled in New Delhi on August 23-24, and ceasefire violations that escalated despite a meeting between Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif in Ufa, Russia this July.
  • Last month, when the two PMs attended the same peacekeeping conference at the UN in New York, they held no talks at any level, and Mr. Modi and Mr. Sharif only managed a wave at each other.


President cancels event amid protests by Palestinian students   –    (International Relation)

  • President Pranab Mukherjee’s visit to Al Quds University here in Palestine met with protests by angry students forcing the President to cancel a school inauguration event even as violence continued in East Jerusalem.
  • Mr. Mukherjee went to the university to inaugurate a Centre for Excellence in Information Communication and Technology before wrapping up his Palestine visit, the first ever by an Indian President.



PM’s photo on ads: SC notice to Centre  –    (Indian Polity)

  • The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Centre to respond to a plea by an NGO challenging the publishing of Prime Minister’s photograph in government advertisements.
  • A Bench led by Justice Ranjan Gogoi issued notice to the government on a plea by the NGO, the Centre for Public Interest Litigation, seeking a judicial review of the court’s verdict exempting the Prime Minister from a ban on politicians’ photographs, including Chief Ministers, on government advertisements.


‘Dadri lynching was the last straw’  –    (Indian Polity)

  • Noted novelist Nayantara Sahgal has called upon academics and scholars to join the protest spearheaded by leading Sahitya Akademi awardees.
  • Her appeal goes beyond the confines of Sahitya Akademi writers as she urged people from other disciplines to join their protest — the who’s who includes, Punjabi writer Dalip Kaur Tiwana, who returned her Padma Shri on Tuesday.



Render sedition unconstitutional  –    (Indian Polity)

  • As per the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court under the Kedarnath judgment, a person can be charged with sedition only if there is incitement to violence in his speech or writing or an intention to create disorder.
  • Sedition, defined as “incitement to violence” or “disorder”, is a legislation meant to suppress the voice of Indian people and has no place in a 21st century democracy. The Supreme Court, being the protector of the fundamental rights of the citizens needs to declare the law unconstitutional.



India-Sweden tie-up for smart urbanisation  –   (International Relation)

  • India and Sweden have a long history of partnerships in various areas. Earlier this year, India and Sweden signed a Memorandum of Understanding on sustainable urban development.
  • This agreement means that our countries can cooperate on developing solutions in the field of sustainable urban development for the well-being of present and future generations.


Reversing the continental drift   –   (International Relation)

  • The India-Africa Forum Summit process, that began in 2008, is a much needed intergovernmental attempt to give direction and thrust to bilateral synergies.
  • The IAFS needs to better leverage two strong and as yet untapped assets: the vibrant Indian private sector and the Indian diaspora in Africa.



Dutch probe confirms MH17 was shot down using BUK missile   –   (International Relation)

  • Air crash investigators concluded on Tuesday that Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down by a missile fired from war-torn eastern Ukraine last year, killing all 298 people on board.
  • Even before the highly-anticipated release of the official report on the disaster by a Dutch-led investigation, Russian officials were disputing the findings which are sure to further degrade strained ties between Moscow and the West.



India bags third slot in global startup space  –    (Economics)

  • After the success in the IT services industries, India has now emerged as the youngest startup nation in the world with over 72 per cent of founders are less than 35 years old.
  • With the presence of more than 4,200 startups, the country has also become the third largest startup base worldwide. By registering a growth of 40 per cent over the last year, India has overtaken Israel to become the third largest startup base after the U.S. and the U.K.


Food inflation benign despite two straight years of weak monsoons  –    (Economics)

  • Despite back-to-back two years of weak monsoon rains, overall food price inflation in India has remained benign, and concentrated in just two commodities — onions and pulses.
  • Latest official data show food inflation that was under three per cent in July and August climbed to 4.3 per cent in September, largely due to high prices of onions and pulses.



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