SC stays ban on Mumbai dance bars – (Indian Polity)
- The Supreme Court on Thursday ushered dance back into beer parlours and hotels in Mumbai by staying the operation of a Maharashtra law banning it, agreeing with the contention that there are alternatives to a ban on dance performances to ensure the safety of women.
- But the court gave a free hand to the authorities to crack down on these performances if they are found to be “remotely expressive of any kind of obscenity in any manner.”
Bar-coding norm may hit 1,000 pharma firms – (Economics)
- The battle for access to affordable Indian generic drugs has a new threat: bar-coding.
- Pharmaceutical companies in India are expected to comply with mandatory bar-coding of medicine strips, as per directives of the Commerce Ministry. From October 1, the medicine strips and containers will be expected to have a “parent-child” relationship.
Modi set to travel 60,000 km in 30 days – (International Relation)
- From London to Kuala Lumpur and back to Paris and Moscow,
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi will embark on a series of foreign visits once the crucial Bihar elections are out of the way.
- The External Affairs Ministry is gearing up for a string of high-profile bilateral meetings in November and December. If all the visits being discussed fructify, Mr. Modi will clock more than 60,000 km in fewer than 30 days, possibly a record even for the well-travelled Prime Minister, who has already visited 27 countries in his tenure, some of them twice.
‘Self-sufficiency in missile tech. in 5 years’ – (Defence)
- Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has announced the Ministry’s target to achieve self-sufficiency in indigenous development of missile technology in the coming five years, which was the dream of the former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.
- An exercise would be undertaken in the next five years, for identifying the requirements of the armed forces, improving production capabilities, conducting technical feasibility studies, and filling gaps wherever they are.
Govt. cannot insist on Aadhaar: SC – (Governance)
- Noting that the authorities cannot insist on a citizen to produce his Aadhaar card, the Supreme Court on Thursday extended the voluntary use of the card to the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), all types of pension schemes, employee provident fund and the Prime Minister’s Jan Dhan Yojana.
- A Constitution Bench led by Chief Justice of India H.L. Dattu said use of the Aadhaar card was purely voluntary and not mandatory. With this, the Supreme Court modified an August 11 order issued by its three-judge Bench restricting Aadhaar use to only PDS and LPG (cooking gas) distribution.
2G charges fabricated by Sibal, says Jaitley – (Governance)
- Reacting to the CBI Special Judge’s observation that the charge sheet against former Telecom Secretary Shyamal Ghosh in a case relating to spectrum user charges fixation was “filed for extraneous reasons”,
- Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said the charge sheet was filed at the behest of former Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal of the Congress.
Ban likely on NRIs having kids through surrogacy – (Governance)
- A blanket ban may be imposed soon on NRIs, PIOs and foreigners having children through surrogacy in India with the Health Ministry and the National Commission for Women on Thursday proposing it as part of a new legislation.
Mainstreaming a nuclear Pakistan – (International Relation)
- It is better for the international community to be in the know of Pakistan’s nuclear programme than having absolutely no clue about what it is doing with its nuclear technology.
- India should offer conditional support to a civilian nuclear deal between the U.S. and Pakistan while insisting that Islamabad signs the ‘No-first-use treaty’ and clamps down on home-grown terror. It is in India’s interest to ensure that Pakistan’s nukes are under international supervision.
Take the cue from the President – (Governance)
- In those moments when questions emerge about the fragility of the state’s constitutional principles — over what has transpired since the Dadri lynching and the killing of Kannada scholar M.M. Kalburgi, for example — it is incumbent on high constitutional functionaries to rise to the occasion and seek to answer them.
- These incidents have triggered a response from India’s intellectuals who have earned recognition, with a string of litterateurs returning their Sahitya Akademi awards, concerned about the silence of the august body over rising intolerance.
Breaking the bonds of rural poverty – (International Relation)
- Today, on World Food Day, the world has a lot to celebrate. As a global community, we’ve made real progress in fighting global hunger and poverty in recent decades. A majority of the countries monitored by the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation — 72 out of the 129 — have achieved the Millennium Development Goal target of halving the prevalence of undernourishment in their populations by 2015.
- Meanwhile, the share of people in developing regions who live in extreme poverty has come down significantly, too — from 43 per cent in 1990 to 17 per cent this year.
Tying up innovation in legal knots – (International Relation)
- Software patents not only restrict technological progress and encourage monopolisation, but also massively enhance costs through the creation of patent thickets.
- New Zealand and Germany have already moved to reconfigure their patent regimes and abolish software patents.
U.S. troops to stay in Afghanistan – (International Relation)
- The United States will halt its military withdrawal from Afghanistan and instead keep thousands of troops in the country through the end of his term in 2017, President Barack Obama announced on Thursday, prolonging the U.S. role in a war that has now stretched on for 14 years.
- In a brief statement from the Roosevelt Room in the White House, Obama said he did not support the idea of “endless war” but was convinced that a prolonged U.S. presence in Afghanistan was vital to that country’s future and to the national security of the United States.
‘Rs.2,000-cr fund to push financial inclusion’ – (Economics)
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday announced merger of two funds to create a new Financial Inclusion Fund with a corpus of Rs.2,000 crore to support developmental and promotional activities’ for expanding reach of banking services.
- After completion of initial five years, the RBI said it had now been decided to merge both the Financial Inclusion Fund and Financial Inclusion Technology Fund into a single Financial Inclusion Fund (FIF).
Exports fall by a fourth in September – (Economics)
- India’s exports of goods shrank by nearly a quarter in September from a year ago, falling for a 10th straight month and threatening Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s goal of boosting economic growth through manufacturing.
- India’s economy, Asia’s third largest, is mostly driven by domestic demand, but the country has still felt the effects of China’s slowdown. Exports have dropped and consumer and industrial demand for imports has weakened.