The Hindu Newspaper Analysis for UPSC
- The Centre, in an affidavit in the Supreme Court, has frowned upon same-sex marriage while invoking the “accepted view” that a marriage between a biological man and woman is a “holy union, a sacrament and a sanskar” in India.
- “The institution of marriage has a sanctity attached to it and in major parts of the country, it is regarded as a sacrament, a holy union, and a sanskar. In our country, despite statutory recognition of the relationship of marriage between a biological man and a biological woman, marriage necessarily depends upon age-old customs, rituals, practices, cultural ethos and societal values,” said the 56-page affidavit filed on Sunday. Any “deviation” from this “statutorily, religiously and socially” accepted norm in “human relationship” can only happen through the legislature and not the Supreme Court, the government said.
- The affidavit came in response to the court’s decision to examine petitions to allow solemnisation of same-sex marriage under the Special Marriage Act, 1954, which provides a civil form of marriage for couples who cannot marry under their personal law.
- “Parliament has designed and framed the marriage laws in the country, which are governed by the personal laws and codified laws relatable to customs of various religious communities, to recognise only the union of a man and a woman to be capable of legal sanction, and thereby claim legal and statutory rights and consequences. Any interference with the same would cause a complete havoc with the delicate balance of personal laws in the country and in accepted societal values,” the government said.
- The government said the court had only decriminalised sexual intercourse between same-sex persons in its 2018 judgment in Navtej Singh Johar, and not legitimised this “conduct”.
- Navtej Singh Johar (decriminalising Section 377 of IPC) (2018) and K S Puttaswamy (right to privacy) (2017)
- Consequently, and while applauding the heroism of the Ukraine people, serious attempts are being made across Europe, — this includes France, Germany and the United Kingdom — on how to bring about an end to the war.
- First, notwithstanding the generous supply of state-of-the-art weapons from the United States, Europe is painfully aware that it remains entirely at the mercy of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the U.S. today.
- Second, in the realm of economics, Europe is hurting, and the prospect of a prolonged stalemate and a war without end appears highly daunting.
- The Ukraine adventure or misadventure is, however, helping the U.S. to erase images of its retreat from Afghanistan which had greatly hollowed out the reputation of the U.S. as a world power. This has since fuelled new ambitions in U.S. and western minds.
- For its part, China is preparing for all eventualities. The language being used by China today is among the harshest and most direct in recent times.
- All wars start with a misreading, or misunderstanding, of the intentions of the other side. The U.S.’s success in assisting Ukraine to withstand the Russian offensive and, incidentally undermining Russia’s image of being a kind of super power in Europe, appears to be encouraging the U.S. and certain other western powers to redefine the global power equation and seek a return to the post-1945 period in world affairs. After Europe, the target appears to be China.
What is NATO?
- North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is a military alliance established by the North Atlantic Treaty (also called the Washington Treaty) of April, 1949, by the United States, Canada, and several Western European nations to provide collective security against the Soviet Union.
- There are currently 30 member states.
- Its original members were Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
- Joining the original signatories were Greece and Turkey (1952), West Germany (1955, from 1990 as Germany), Spain (1982), the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland (1999), Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia (2004), Albania and Croatia (2009), Montenegro (2017), and North Macedonia (2020).
- Headquarters: Brussels, Belgium.
- Headquarters of Allied Command Operations: Mons, Belgium.
- More than four years ago, the Supreme Court of India decriminalised adultery in its landmark judgment, Joseph Shine versus Union of India (September 2018). It held Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code (on adultery) along with Section 198 of the Criminal Procedure Code to be unconstitutional on the premise that these provisions were violative of Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution of India.
- Aggrieved by the order concerning its implementation in the armed forces, the Union of India sought clarification from the Court saying that any promiscuous or adulterous acts should be allowed to be governed by the relevant sections of the Army Act, the Air Force Act and the Navy Act being special legislations by the virtue of Article 33 of the Constitution.
- Under Article 33, Parliament has powers to restrict or abrogate the fundamental rights of certain categories of persons, including members of the armed forces to ensure the proper discharge of their duties and the maintenance of discipline among them.
- Recently, the Supreme Court has ruled that armed forces can take action against their officers for adulterous acts, while stating the decriminalization of adultery does not apply to Armed Forces.
What is Adultery?
- The act of adultery is a voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and someone other than that person’s current spouse or partner.
Section 497 of the IPC:
- It mandates that whoever has sexual intercourse with the wife of another man, without the consent or connivance of that man, such sexual intercourse not amounting the offence of rape is guilty of the offence of adultery and shall be punished.
- The law does not punish his wife, since it presumes that only a man can seduce a woman into a sexual act, and that it is the husband who has suffered due to the sexual relationship of his wife, carried out without his consent. At the same time, the wife is not protected from similar behaviour committed by her husband.
- The Saudi-Iran reconciliation in a China-brokered agreement reflects the new reality in West Asia where old rivals are warming up to each other and Beijing is increasingly willing to play a bigger role at a time when the U.S., the region’s traditional great power, is preoccupied with challenges elsewhere.
- The enmity between Iran, a Shia-majority theocracy, and Saudi Arabia, a Sunni-majority absolute monarchy, has been one of the dominant drivers of conflicts in the region.
- In 2020, the UAE was among the first Arab countries to normalise ties with Israel in a quarter century. The following years saw the Arab world and Israel, faced with the common Iran challenge, deepening their cooperation, despite Israel’s brutal occupation of Palestine territory.
- As the U.S. has deprioritised West Asia — it is now heavily focused on Ukraine and countering China’s Indo-Pacific influence — its allies in West Asia have started looking out for solutions for what they see as America’s diminishing security guarantees.
- The term Desakota is an Indonesian usage to designate the formation of rural-urban continuum.
- In India, Kerala is well known for the rural-urban continuum in the coastal plain. This was noted even by Moroccan traveller Ibn Batuta in the 14th century.
- In 30 years, technology and economic globalisation have increased mobility of resources and people, and enhanced inter- and intra-country connectivity.
- Discussions on social and economic development and environmental issues and their inter-linkages are not complete without acknowledging the rural-urban continuum.
- The Ministry of Science and Technology initiated the Purple Revolution or Lavender Revolution in 2016 through the Aroma Mission of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
- It aims to promote the indigenous aromatic crop-based agro-economy by shifting from foreign aromatics to homegrown kinds.
- First-time producers were offered free lavender seedlings as part of the goal, and those who had previously produced lavender were paid Rs. 5-6 per plant.
- The CSIR-Aroma Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine (IIIM)’s Initiative have begun lavender cultivation in the Ramban district of Jammu and Kashmir.
- Lavender farming is done in nearly all of Jammu and Kashmir’s 20 districts.
- All upcoming housing societies and commercial complexes in the country will soon have to mandatorily ensure net-zero waste and have their liquid discharge treated, as part of the Union government’s push for reforming and modernising the sewage disposal system.
- Achieving net-zero waste means reducing, reusing and recovering waste streams (sludge) to convert them to valuable resources so that zero solid waste is sent to landfills.
- The Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry will send a directive, likely by March-end, to all State governments to incorporate the net-zero requirement in the building bylaws and ensure implementation, a senior official in the Ministry said.
- The directives are part of the government’s effort to implement the manhole to machine-hole scheme to eradicate manual scavenging.
- In her Budget speech for 2023-24, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that all cities and towns would be enabled for 100% transition of sewers and septic tanks from manhole to machine-hole mode.
- Experts believe a mechanised sewage system, coupled with the mandatory zero net waste clause for housing and commercial complexes, was important for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
- The United Nations SDG 6.3 aims at “halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increase recycling and safe reuse globally” by 2030. India currently generates 72,368 million litres of urban wastewater a day, of which only 28% is treated, show the Ministry data from 2023.
Q) WINS Awards 2023, which was recently seen in the news, is an initiative of which union Ministry?
- Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs
- Ministry of Power
- Ministry of Jal Shakti
- None of these
WINS अवार्ड्स 2023, जो हाल ही में खबरों में रहा, किस केंद्रीय मंत्रालय की पहल है?
- आवास और शहरी मामलों के मंत्रालय
- बिजली मंत्रालय
- जल शक्ति मंत्रालय
- इनमें से कोई नहीं
Recently, to highlight the impact of women in sanitation and waste management, the Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs announced the ‘Women Icons Leading Swachhata’ (WINS) Awards 2023.
- The WINS Awards 2023 aims to recognize celebrate and disseminate inspiring and exemplary initiatives in urban sanitation and waste management by women-led organizations and individual women.
- Applications for the Awards are open to Self-Help Groups (SHGs), Micro-enterprises, Non-Government Organisations, Startups and Individual Women Leaders/Swachhata champions.
- Applications will be considered under the thematic areas of Management of Community/Public Toilets Septic Tanks, Cleaning Services Treatment Facilities (Used Water/Septage), Municipal Water collection and /or Transportation, Operation of Material Recovery Facilities and Others.
- States & Cities will publicize details of WINS Awards 2023 via their website, portals, and social media.
- Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) will evaluate entries & nominate up to 5 applicants to the State via the Swachhatam portal.
- At the national level, the MoHUA team will set up a Jury to evaluate the applications and select winners in each category.
- Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
Q) Consider the following statements regarding the Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha:
- Deputy Speaker is elected by the Lok Sabha itself from amongst its members.
- The date of election of the Deputy Speaker is fixed by the President.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
- 1 only
- 2 only
- Both 1 and 2
- Neither 1 nor 2
लोकसभा के उपाध्यक्ष के संबंध में निम्नलिखित कथनों पर विचार करें:
- उपाध्यक्ष का चुनाव लोकसभा स्वयं अपने सदस्यों में से करती है।
- डिप्टी स्पीकर के चुनाव की तिथि राष्ट्रपति द्वारा तय की जाती है।
ऊपर दिए गए कथनों में से कौन सा/से सही है/हैं?
- केवल 1
- केवल 2
- 1 और 2 दोनों
- न तो 1 और न ही 2
About Deputy Speaker:
- Constitutional Provision w.r.t. Office of Deputy Speaker:
- Article 93 of the Constitution says that the House of the People (Lok Sabha) shall choose two members of the House to be, respectively, Speaker and Deputy Speaker.
- The article also says that when the office of Speaker/Deputy Speaker becomes vacant, the House shall choose another member to be Speaker or Deputy Speaker.
- Election of Deputy Speaker:
- Like the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker is also elected by the Lok Sabha itself from amongst its members.
- He is elected after the election of the Speaker has taken place.
- The date of election of the Deputy Speaker is fixed by the Speaker.
Q) Madhav National Park, recently seen in the news, lies in which state?
- Uttar Pradesh
- Madhya Pradesh
हाल ही में खबरों में रहा माधव राष्ट्रीय उद्यान किस राज्य में स्थित है?
- A राजस्थान
- उत्तर प्रदेश
- मध्य प्रदेश
About Madhav National Park:
- It is situated near Shivpuri town in Shivpuri District, which lies in the northwest region of Madhya Pradesh.
- It lies on the northern fringe of the Central Highlands of India, forming a part of the Upper Vindhyan Hills intermixed with plateaus and valley sections.
- It was named after Madho Rao Scindia, the Maharaja of Gwalior belonging to the Scindia dynasty of the Marathas.
- The Park was the hunting ground of Mughal emperors and Maharaja of Gwalior.
- It got the status of a National Park in 1958.
- The Sakhya and Madhav Sagar lakes are two of the most critical zones of the park and are always surrounded by animals and birds seeking relief from the heat.
Q) With reference to the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), consider the following statements:
- It was established by signing the Bangkok Declaration.
- All member countries of this organization share a border with the Bay of Bengal.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
- 1 only
- 2 only
- Both 1 and 2
- Neither 1 nor 2
बहु-क्षेत्रीय तकनीकी और आर्थिक सहयोग के लिए बंगाल की खाड़ी पहल (BIMSTEC) के संदर्भ में निम्नलिखित कथनों पर विचार करें:
- इसकी स्थापना बैंकाक घोषणा पर हस्ताक्षर करके की गई थी।
- इस संगठन के सभी सदस्य देश बंगाल की खाड़ी के साथ सीमा साझा करते हैं।
उपरोक्त कथनों में से कौन-सा/से सही है/हैं?
- केवल 1
- केवल 2
- 1 और 2 दोनों
- न तो 1 और न ही 2
Recently, the Minister of State for External Affairs participated in the 19th The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Ministerial Meeting virtually from Bangkok.
- It is a regional organization that was established on 06 June 1997 with the signing of the Bangkok Declaration.
- Member countries: Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal.
- The Chairmanship of BIMSTEC rotates according to the alphabetical order of the English names of the Member States.
- During the Third BIMSTEC Summit, the Secretariat was established in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
- All member countries of this organization do not share a border with the Bay of Bengal.
Q) Kinzhal Missile is a nuclear-capable ballistic missile belonging to which one of the following countries?
किंजल मिसाइल एक परमाणु-सक्षम बैलिस्टिक मिसाइल है, जो निम्नलिखित देशों में से एक से संबंधित है?
Russia recently fired hypersonic Kinzhal missiles as part of a massive wave of strikes on Ukraine.
About Kinzhal Missile:
- The Kh-47M2, nicknamed “Kinzhal” (Dagger), is a nuclear-capable, Russian air-launched ballistic missile.
- It was one of six “next generation” weapons unveiled by Russian President Putin during a speech in March 2018.
- The Kinzhal can reach speeds of up to Mach 10 (12,350 km/hr).
- It can carry both conventional and nuclear warheads with a payload of up to 480 kg and a thermonuclear option with a 10-50 kt warhead.
- It has a reported range of 1,500-2,000 km.
- The Kinzhal has a length of 8 m, a body diameter of 1 m, and a launch weight of approximately 4,300 kg.
- It is designed to be launched from MiG-31 fighter jets at altitudes of about 18 km (59,000 ft).
- This missile maneuvers during all stages of its flight to overcome hostile air defense systems.