Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 31 JULY 2019
Supreme court claims too much reservation may impact equality of opportunity
- The Supreme Court on Tuesday orally remarked that excessive quota
may impact the right to equal opportunity guaranteed under the Constitution.
- The Bench is examining whether to refer to a Constitution Bench a
batch of petitions challenging the validity of a constitutional amendment
providing 10% economic quota in government jobs and educational
- Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan made a strong pitch for referring
the issue to a Constitution Bench. He argued that economic reservation
violated the 50% reservation ceiling limit fixed by a nine-judge Bench in
the IndraSawhney case. Further, the 1992 judgment had barred reservation
solely on economic criterion.
- In a 6:3 majority verdict, the Supreme Court, in the IndraSawhney
case, had held that “a backward class cannot be determined only and
exclusively with reference to economic criterion. It may be a consideration
or basis along with and in addition to social backwardness, but it can never
be the sole criterion.”
Triple talaq bills passed in Parliament
- Parliament has passed the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on
Marriage) Bill, 2019 or Triple Talaq bill, with the RajyaSabha approving it
last evening. 99 members voted in favour of the bill while 84 against it.
The LokSabha has already passed the bill.
- The bill seeks to declare the practice of instant Triple Talaq as
void and illegal and makes it a cognizable offence. It also provides
allowance to women victims and their dependent children. The offence is made
compoundable with the permission of the Magistrate at the instance of the
married Muslim woman upon whom talaq is pronounced.
- The RajyaSabha also rejected the Opposition’s resolution referring
the bill to Select Committee for further scrutiny. Parties, including
Congress, DMK, TMC, Left and NCP voted against the bill while JD(U), AIADMK,
TDP, TRS and BSP staged a walkout and did not participate in voting.
- Replying to the debate on the bill, Law Minister Ravi Shankar
Prasad said, it has been brought to protect the rights of Muslim women and
not to target any particular community. He said, the offence has been made
compoundable and bailable.
CAG submits first ever audit report on GST
- The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), in its first ever audit
of the Goods and Services Tax, has said the government had failed to try out
the system before its rollout, leading to inadequate compliance mechanisms,
and lower tax revenues. The report was tabled in Parliament on Tuesday.
- The report pointed out that the keystone of the tax system, the
invoice matching system, had not yet been put in place even two years after
the GST rollout. It added that compliance in terms of the number of returns
filed had been falling month after month, and that the government had not
been following the rules set out regarding the transfer of revenue to the
- “The complexity of the return mechanism and the technical glitches
resulted in rollback of invoice-matching, rendering the system prone to ITC
[Input Tax Credit] frauds,” the CAG said. “Without invoice matching and auto
generation of refunds, assessments, etc. on the whole, the envisaged GST tax
compliance system is non-functional.”
- The CAG said the extent of the changes that have to now be
undertaken, as well as the suspension of key aspects of the GST system such
as the invoice matching mechanism, show that there was inadequate
coordination between the Department of Revenue, the Central Board of
Indirect Taxes and Customs and the GST Network, “as well as failure to try
out the system adequately before roll out”.
Atal innovation mission launches community innovation programme
- NITI Aayog's flagship initiative, the Atal Innovation Mission
(AIM) will launch a new programme for Community Innovation in New Delhi
today. The new initiative aims to encourage the spirit of innovation in the
- It will be jointly inaugurated by Union Ministers Ramesh
PokhriyalNishank and DharmendraPradhan. Speaking about it, AIM Mission
Director, R Ramanan, said, the purpose of the programme is to make
innovation eco-system socially inclusive as well as to ensure equitable
distribution of infrastructure for innovation across the country.
- He stressed that the new programme has been specifically designed
for underserved, unserved regions of Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, Smart
Cities, Aspirational districts, North-East, Jammu and Kashmir as well as
rural and tribal regions of the country.
UN warns of humanitarian crisis in Syria
- The U.N. humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock urged the Security
Council yesterday to take action to end the "bloody onslaught" in Syria's
last opposition-held stronghold, warning that continued violence could
create the worst humanitarian disaster of the 21st century.
- Mr Lowcock told council members they have ignored previous pleas
to stop the bombing and shelling in Idlib province by Syrian and Russian
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
Study reveals shark fisheries declining in India
- India is one of the world's largest shark fishing nations and
Maharashtra and Gujarat together contribute more than 50% of the harvest.
But recently there has been a drop in the size of the sharks and their
numbers. This has affected the fisheries sector and traders.
- A new study by researchers from India, Australia and UAE has tried
to identify the local drivers of this decline.
- Overfishing is one of the main reasons. The study published in May
in Ambio adds that in India there is a high domestic demand for shark meat.
“This study helped break the common perception that the sharks are caught
for fin and exported. We found that for most of the fisherfolk, sharks were
a non-target catch and was just an additional income. Few fishermen told us
that they have sold large sharks for even ₹30,000 to ₹50,000,” says
- In 2013, The Ministry of Environment & Forests had brought out a
policy called “Fins Naturally Attached” to prevent finning of sharks. But
this did not bring about a major impact as there was still demand for whole
- Also, the Indian Wildlife Act of 1972 has proved inadequate in
protecting this species. Due to various efforts by the Government, only the
whale shark numbers have made a revival.
- The paper adds that the Indian Wildlife Act needs an urgent
revival so that all endangered and critically endangered species in our
waters get the required attention.