16Th July 2018 : Daily Current Affairs - UPSC CSE/IAS and State PSC

This page contains "16Th July 2018" current affairs analysis from different newspapers and magazines like The Hindu, Indian express, PIB and Yojna.

Quality and relevance are two key features considered while writing the content, all the topics are based on the pattern of previously asked questions in exams like UPSC CSE, IAS, State PCS, SSC, Banks PO and likewise competitive exams.

Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC)

Why in news ?
The Supreme Court refused to adjourn a proposed hearing on a batch of petitions challenging its verdict of 2013 that had re-criminalised consensual carnal sex between two adults.

What is Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code

Chapter XVI, Section 377 of IPC referring to "unnatural offences" was introduced in 1861, during the British rule of India.

Section 377 refers to "unnatural offences" and mandates that whoever voluntarily has carnal inter course against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 10 years, and shall also be liable to pay a fine.

Offences under Section 377 with respect to sex between consenting adults were decriminalised by the High Court of Delhi on July 2009. But the judgement was overturned by the Supreme Court of India on 11 December 2013, holding that amending or repealing Section 377 should be a matter left to Parliament, not the judiciary.

On February 2016, during the final hearing of the petitions filled by the Naz Foundation and others, a three member bench headed by CJI said petitions submitted will be reviewed afresh by a five-member constitutional bench.

On August 2017, SC stated that protection of sexual orientation lies at the core of the fundamental rights and that the rights of the LGBT population are real and founded on constitutional doctrine.

Not only "anal penetration" but sexual acts such as "fellatio" may be punishable under this act.

On December 2013, Supreme Court, virtually denied the LGBT community the right of choice and sexual orientation while upheld the criminalisation of gay sex and dismissed the LGBT community as a negligible part of the population.

In Aug, 2017, the fight against Section 377 got a major boost when a nine-judge Bench of the Supreme Court held that "the right to privacy" is a fundamental right intrinsic to life and liberty.

172nd Law Commission Report had recommended the deletion of Section 377.

June 2018, A person's choice of a partner is a fundamental right, and it can include same-sex partner, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud.
Discuss: Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC)

Institutions of Eminence (IoE) scheme

Centre has recently announced 6 universities in the list of Institutions of Eminence (IoE). There were three categories under which institutions could apply: the public institutions, the already existing private institutions and the greenfield institutions.

1) Public institutions : 1) Indian Institutes of Technology, Mumbai 2) Indian Institutes of Technology, Delhi, 3) Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru.
2) Already existing private institutions: 4) Manipal Academy of Higher Education, 5) BITS, Pilani
3) Greenfield institutions: 6) Jio Institute of the Reliance Foundation.

The Centre is planning to offer the coveted status to 10 government and 10 private institutions, to enable them to break into the world's top 500 in a decade and into the top 100 after that.

As per MHRD, A Letter of intent (LoI) will be issued to greenfield category's institutions requiring them to start academic operations within three years for the IoE (institute of eminence) status to become operational. If their progress was not satisfactory, the empowered committee could recommend the cancellation of the status.

Benefits for Institutions of Eminence (IoE)

Institutions having coveted status will get following benefits:

1) The "coveted status" will enable selected universities to be free from regulations of the AICTE, UGC, or the Higher Education Commission of India (UGC).
2) Institutions will be able to admit 30% foreign students with no restrictions on fees charged from them and can hire foreign faculty up to 25% of the total faculty.
3) Listed institutions will be able to enter into academic collaborations with the top 500 global universities without UGC approval.
4) These Institutions will have full flexibility in evolving curricula and syllabi.
5) 10 public institutions out of total 20 (10 Public + 10 Private) will get assistance of up to 1000 crore rupees over five years.

An empowered committee headed by former Chief Election Commissioner N. Gopalaswami has recommended these institutions. Institutions not listed in this list of 6, can apply again till the committee finalises 10 public and 10 private institutions.

IISc was ranked first in the all-India NIRF rankings of the Centre in 2018, this list of Institutions of Eminence (IoE), is not a replica of all-India NIRF rankings. IIT Madras, ranked second could by NIRF could not place a place in the list yet.
Discuss: Institutions of Eminence (IoE) scheme

National Human Rights Commission of India (NHRC)

National Human Rights Commission of India (NHRC), an autonomous body was established by "Protection of Human Rights Ordinance" on 12 October 1993. The NHRC is the National Human Rights Commission of India, getting statutory basis by the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 (TPHRA).

National Human Rights Commission is a quasi-judicial and statutory body but not a constitutional body. A Quasi-judicial body is a organisation which have powers similar to that of the law imposing bodies but they are not courts. These bodies help in reducing the burden of the courts and their action may be appealed to a court of law.

NHRC is tasked with protection and promotion of human rights as "rights relating to life, liberty, equality and dignity of the individual" guaranteed by the Constitution, protection of provisions defined in Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 (TPHRA) and to protect and promote human rights embodied in the International Covenants.

A State Government may constitute a "State Human Rights Commission" to perform the functions assigned to it and to exercise the powers conferred upon it. So far 25 states of India have constituted "State Human Rights Commission".

Functions of NHRC

According to "Protection of Human Rights Act" NHRC is mandated to perform following functions:

1) To inquire into negligence or violation of human rights by a public servent or the government of India.
2) To intervene in court proceeding to safeguards human rights provisions provided by constitution or any other law and to recommend measures for their effective implementation.
3) To provide recommendations for effective implementation of international treaties and instruments related to human rights.
4) Promote human rights awareness through publications, media, seminars and other means to educate various sections of society about the available safeguards against violation.
5) Promote research in the field of Human Rights and to encourage the efforts of NGOs and institutions working in the field.
6) To perform such other function as may be required to protect human rights including requisitioning any public record or copy from any court or office.

Composition of NHRC

NHRC consists of a "Chairperson", who should be a retired Chief Justice of India, a person who has been a judge of the Supreme Court of India, a person who has been the Chief Justice of a High Court, two members having knowledge or experience in matters relating to human rights, for persons to serve as ex officio members of the commission consisting of the chairpersons of four National Commissions 1) Scheduled Castes, 2) Scheduled Tribes, 3)Women and 4) Minorities.
Discuss: National Human Rights Commission of India (NHRC)

World Customs Organisation

India is been selected as the vice-chair (regional head) of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) for a period of two years till June 2020. Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) in partnership with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has organised an event to mark the assumption of vice chair.

What is World Customs Organisation ?

The World Customs Organisation (WCO) headquartered in Brussels, Belgium is an intergovernmental organisation tasked with the development of international conventions, instruments, and tools on topics such as:

1) Commodity classification and valuation.
2) Rules of origin.
3) Collection of customs and revenue and customs enforcement.
4) Supply chain security.
5) International trade facilitation.
6) Combating counterfeiting in support of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).
7) Drugs and illegal weapons enforcement and trading.
8) Customs reforms and modernization.

The organisation has divided its membership into six regions. Each of the regions is represented by an elected vice-chairperson to the WCO council.

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