Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 28 March 2018

SSC CGL Current Affairs

Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 28 March 2018


Choice of consulting adults to love and marry is a Fundamental Right: SC

  • Coming down heavily on crimes committed in the name of honour, the Supreme Court upheld the choice of consenting adults to love and marry as a part of their fundamental rights.
  • The apex court said, “Honour killing guillotines individual liberty, freedom of choice and one’s own perception of choice.”
  • It issued a set of guidelines for authorities to safeguard young couples under threat for marrying outside their caste or religion.
  • It ridiculed the “elevated sense of honour” of elders, the collective and khap panchayats who rain horror on couples for choosing to marry outside their caste, clan or religion.
  • It termed the elders, presiding over murder in broad daylight, as “patriarchal monarchs” who believe they are the descendants of Caesar or Louis XIV.
  • The court compared honour killing to some of the harsh punishments prescribed in the Code of Hammurabi dating back to 1750 BC.
  • “The human rights of a daughter, brother, sister or son are not mortgaged to the so-called or so-understood honour of the family or clan or the collective... The act of honour killing puts the rule of law in a catastrophic crisis,” Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra observed in a 54-page judgment.
  • He was leading a three-judge Bench, comprising Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud.
  • The judgment came on a petition filed by NGO Shakti Vahini to curb honour crimes.
  • The court held that the consent of the family, community or clan is not necessary.
  • In a strongly worded condemnation of khap panchayats, which gang up against young couples to force their presence and dictate punishments, Chief Justice Misra said khaps feel their duty is sanctified and their action of punishing the hapless victims is inviolable.
  • Women are treated by the khaps as servile persons who have no desire for autonomy.
  • Their families are either silent spectators or active participants in their torture. “Masculine dominance becomes the sole governing factor of perceptive honour.”
  • These “feudalistic” entities have no compunction in committing crimes. The police turn a blind eye and the administration hardly questions them.
  • To highlight the terror inflicted on women, the Supreme Court gave a list of actions which trigger honour-based crimes.
  • They include loss of virginity outside marriage; unapproved relationships; refusing an arranged marriage; asking for divorce; demanding custody of children after divorce; causing scandal or gossip in the community; and even “falling victim to rape.”

Pressure on centre to continue: Tamil Nadu CM

  • The Centre was duty-bound to set up the Cauvery Management Board and the Cauvery Water Regulatory Authority within six weeks as per the direction of the Supreme Court and the State government continued to exert pressure on the Centre on the issue, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami said.
  • “Still there is time and I hope that the Centre will abide by the apex court direction,” Mr. Palaniswami said while speaking to press persons at Jalagandapuram.
  • Former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had waged a long battle through the Supreme Court to get the final order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal gazetted and the present regime had been mounting pressure on the Centre through all means for the setting up of the CMB and the Cauvery Water Regulatory Authority.
  • The pressure brought in by the State government could be understood from the fact that AIADMK MPs have been continuously disrupting the business of the Lok Sabha for the past many days to highlight their demands.
  • On the agitation against Sterlite expansion, Mr. Palaniswami said the unit was functioning in Thoothukudi for many years.
  • The company now planned to expand its operations. The issue was earlier taken to the court. The government will take a decision taking all these things into consideration.
  • On the opposition for the nod given for the neutrino project in Theni district, Mr. Palaniswami said that this issue too had been alive for the past many years.
  • The agitations were motivated to create trouble to the present regime, he charged.

Opposition parties talks and meets on Movement of impeachment on CJI

  • Some Opposition parties have revived the process of discussing the moving of an impeachment motion against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.
  • With just a few days remaining for the Budget session to get over, there is talk of moving such a motion before the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.
  • Officially though, the Congress played down talks of an impeachment motion. "As of now, there isn't much substance in these reports," said Randeep Singh Surjewala, chief spokesperson for the Congress party.
  • However, West Bengal CM and Trinamool Chief Mamata Banerjee said she would back such a move if this was supported by other parties.
  • “I cannot ignore what the four judges said at the press conference. But let other parties decide, Trinamool Congress will go with what others decide,” Ms. Banerjee said in a response to a question if her party would back such a motion.
  • Interestingly, her comments came on a day when Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan met her in Parliament.
  • To move an impeachment motion in the Rajya Sabha, the petition has to be signed by 50 MPs and Congress alone has 54 MPs.
  • Trinamool too has 12 MPs in the Upper House.
  • Although the Congress was ambivalent, senior lawyer and NCP Rajya Sabha MP Majeed Memon claimed it had taken the lead.

Not even a single data breach in 7 years: UIDAI to SC

  • There has not been a single breach in the past seven years in the Central Identities Data Repository (CIDR) that stores and manages data for the country’s Aadhaar project, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey told the Supreme Court.
  • On the second day of his powerpoint presentation, Mr. Pandey submitted that UIDAI did not “collect emotions, likes/dislikes or pull out data” of individuals.
  • For UIDAI, authentication of Aadhaar details was “purpose-blind.” It had no aggregate record of the purpose, location or details of data of Aadhaar holders.
  • Mr. Pandey said “other organisations reveal Aadhaar numbers in the public domain” and this was often mistaken as breach from the Aadhaar database.
  • He said he had been telling these organisations that “wherever you display Aadhaar numbers in public domain, display only the last four digits... but there are a lot of people who have to get to that mentality.”
  • Sharing demographic Aadhaar details like name, gender, date of birth and place would require the consent of the district judge.
  • Data may be highly secure in the CIDR, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud observed. But was it safe in the hands of authentication user agencies, which also included private entities?
  • “There is no point securing the CIDR unless the private operators are equally secured... for this a robust law is required,” Justice Chandrachud said.
  • He wanted to know whether private operators could sell sensitive customer information as commercially viable data even before they biometrically signed in to ensure traceability and non-repudiation.
  • Mr. Pandey said the authentication process was done through the UIDAI software and any unauthorised sharing of personal information at the time of enrolment or authentication would make a person liable to imprisonment for three years under Section 37 of the Aadhaar Act.
  • He said technology was challenged everyday and the UIDAI was constantly engaged in improving the safeguards.
  • He said the UIDAI was working closely with the Justice Sri Krishna Committee on the data protection law.

Police and DM to provide safe houses for couples facing khap panchayat ire: SC

  • The district magistrate or police chief have to provide couples, who risk the wrath of khap panchayats, not only with logistics and protection at their wedding but also a “safe house” to stay during the first year of marriage.
  • This is among the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court to be implemented in six weeks.
  • The safe house, located in the same district or elsewhere, can accommodate the couple for a nominal charge.
  • State governments have to establish safe houses in district headquarters.
  • But before the district magistrate or the police chief take the couple under their official protection, they have to assess whether the “bachelor-bachelorette are capable adults.”
  • The safe houses would function under the direct supervision of the jurisdictional District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police.
  • In a strongly worded condemnation of khap panchayats, which gang up against young couples to force their presence and dictate punishments, Chief Justice Misra said khaps feel their duty is sanctified and their action of punishing the hapless victims is inviolable.
  • Women are treated by the khaps as servile persons who have no desire for autonomy. Their families are either silent spectators or active participants in their torture.
  • “Masculine dominance becomes the sole governing factor of perceptive honour.”
  • These “feudalistic” entities have no compunction in committing crimes, the court said.
  • The court gave a list of actions which trigger honour-based crimes: loss of virginity outside marriage; unapproved relationships; refusing an arranged marriage; divorce; demanding custody of children; scandal; and “falling victim to rape”.

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7 Russian diplomats expelled by NATO

  • NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said that the alliance was expelling seven Russian diplomats to show that Moscow faces “costs and consequences” over a nerve agent attack on a former spy in Britain.
  • Mr. Stoltenberg announced that the maximum size of the Russian mission to NATO would also be slashed by a third, from 30 to 20, as part of international measures to punish Russia over the poisoning of Sergei Skripal.
  • “I have today withdrawn the accreditation of seven staff of the Russian mission to NATO. I will also deny the pending accreditation request for three others,” Mr. Stoltenberg told a news conference at NATO headquarters.
  • “This sends a clear message to Russia that there are costs and consequences for its unacceptable and dangerous pattern of behaviour,” Mr. Stoltenberg added.
  • Twenty-four countries — including 17 member-states of the European Union — have expelled more than 100 Russian diplomats over the attempted attack on Mr. Skripal on March 4.
  • Mr. Stoltenberg said Russia had “underestimated the unity of NATO allies”, adding that the mass expulsions would have a material impact on Russian operations.
  • “The practical implication is that Russia will have a reduced capability to do intelligence work in NATO countries and in those countries they are expelled from,” Mr. Stoltenberg said.
  • But Mr. Stoltenberg, who said earlier this month he did not want a new Cold War with Moscow, said the alliance planned to continue its “dual-track approach of strong defence and openness to dialogue” with Russia.
  • A number of countries, including the United States, said the Russian diplomats they were throwing out were actually undeclared spies.
  • Relations between NATO and Russia were already at a low ebb over Moscow’s annexation of Crimea and its role in the Ukraine and Syria conflicts.


GST collection in Feb decline marginally

  • Goods and Services Tax collections for February declined marginally to Rs. 85,174 crore, according to official data released.
  • “The last date for filing of GSTR-3B return for the month of February 2018 was March 20, 2018,” the government said in a release.
  • “The total revenue received under GST for the month of February 2018 (received in February/March up to March 26) has been Rs. 85,174 crore.”
  • The government’s GST collections had stood at Rs. 86,318 crore in January.
  • So far, about 1.05 crore taxpayers have been registered under GST till March 25, according to the Centre.
  • Of these, 18.17 lakhcome under the composition scheme and have to file returns every quarter. The rest of the 86.37 lakh taxpayers are required to file monthly returns.
  • As of March 25, 59.51 lakh GSTR-3B returns had been filed for February, accounting for 69% of those required to file monthly returns.
  • “The next big hope for the government would be the introduction of e-waybills with effect from April 1, which may provide a boost to GST collections,” Abhishek Jain, tax partner at EY India said.

RBI resumes talks in the run-up to monetary policy

  • After a gap of about one-and-a-half years, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has resumed the process of holding consultative meetings with industry groups and banks in the run-up to the monetary policy.
  • RBI Governor Urjit Patel and the deputy governors met representatives of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and are scheduled to meet bankers in the coming days.
  • The RBI’s six member monetary policy committee (MPC) will hold its first bimonthly policy review of the new fiscal year on April 4-5.
  • Bankers said the RBI had faced a lot of criticism for a perceived lack of communication since Dr. Patel assumed charge in September 2016. The aim of restarting the consultative process could be to address such perceptions, bankers said on condition of anonymity.
  • Earlier, the consultative meetings used to take place before the April and October monetary policy reviews.
  • “There are enough indications that the green shoots of recovery are gathering traction in the economy and a policy action by the RBI which could refurbish business sentiment, support domestic demand and trigger the turn of investment cycle is very much needed,” CII president Shobana Kamineni said after the meeting.
  • CII has ‘strongly’ recommended reintroduction of the letters of undertaking (LoUs), which were banned by the RBI in the wake of the $2 billion scam at Punjab National Bank.
  • CII said the ban on LoUs — used in trade finance — was hurting genuine importers as their borrowing costs had increased.
  • The industry lobby group also called for maintaining the ‘status quo’ on policy interest rates.

India to be in lead position in implementing 5G: Telecom Secretary

  • India wants to take a lead position in adopting 5G technology and will prepare the roadmap for it by June, said Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan.
  • “A high-level forum on 5G, which includes global experts, industry experts, IITs, IISc, has already commenced work and done a fair amount of deliberation. By June, India will have full roadmap ready on this,” Ms. Sundararajan said at a COAI event on catalysing 5G launch in the country.
  • The forum was deliberating on the vision, goals and 5G roadmap, and would also look at related areas of spectrum policy, regulatory regime and pilot programmes, she added.
  • The merger proposal of Vodafone India and Idea Cellular was in the final stages of getting DoT approval, the Telecom Secretary said, replying to query on the sidelines of the event.
  • Pointing out that the merger proposal had already received the nod from the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), Ms. Sundararajan said, “FDI approvals are involved and also liberalisation of licences. There are a number of clearances involved. We are in the process of expediting it.”
  • The merger, once completed, will create the largest telecom operator in the country.
  • The two companies had last week named Balesh Sharma as the CEO of the merged entity.

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