One: provision for bail: While the proposed law will remain “non-bailable” offence, the accused can approach a magistrate even before the trial to seek bail. Under a non-bailable offence, bail cannot be granted by police at the police station. A provision has been added to allow the magistrate to grant bail ‘after hearing the wife’. “But the offence of instant triple talaq under the proposed law remains non-bailable. The magistrate would ensure that bail is granted only after the husband agrees to grant compensation to the wife as provided in the bill. The quantum of compensation will be decided by the magistrate, as per the bill.
Two- check misuse: Another amendment makes it clear that the police would lodge FIR only if approached by the victim (wife), her blood relations or people who become her relatives by virtue of her marriage. This would settle fears that even a neighbour can file FIR as is the cases in any cognisable offence. This would check misuse.
Third- A compoundable offence: The third amendment makes the offence of instant triple talaq “compoundable”. Now, a magistrate can use his powers to settle the dispute between a husband and his wife. Under a compoundable offence, both parties have the liberty of withdrawing the case. However, the jail term for a Muslim man who resorts to triple talaq remains three years and only a magistrate, and not a local police officer, can release the accused on bail.
What did the original Bill include? If a Muslim man resorts to triple talaq then he will face a jail term of three years, as instant triple talaq will now be considered a non-bailable, cognisable offence. Opting for triple talaq could also attract fine and the amount would be the magistrate’s call who would be hearing the case. A Muslim wife can also approach a magistrate and ask for subsistence allowance for herself and her minor children. A victim of triple talaq can seek the custody of her minor children from the magistrate who will take the final decision on the issue. Only Jammu and Kashmir will be out of the ambit of the proposed law.
What is instant triple talaq? There are three forms of talaq (divorce) in Islam: Ahsan, Hasan and Talaq-e-Biddat (triple or instant talaq). Ahsan and Hasan are revocable but Biddat is irrevocable. Biddat is considered sinful but is permissible in Islamic law. It has been banned in more than 20 Muslim countries, including Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Key features of the Bill are: Arbitration Council of India: The Bill seeks to establish an independent body called the Arbitration Council of India (ACI) for the promotion of arbitration, mediation, conciliation and other alternative dispute redressal mechanisms.
Its functions include: (i) framing policies for grading arbitral institutions and accrediting arbitrators, (ii) making policies for the establishment, operation and maintenance of uniform professional standards for all alternate dispute redressal matters, and (iii) maintaining a depository of arbitral awards (judgments) made in India and abroad.
Composition of the ACI: The ACI will consist of a Chairperson who is either: (i) a Judge of the Supreme Court; or (ii) a Judge of a High Court; or (iii) Chief Justice of a High Court; or (iv) an eminent person with expert knowledge in conduct of arbitration. Other members will include an eminent arbitration practitioner, an academician with experience in arbitration, and government appointees.
Appointment of arbitrators: Under the 1996 Act, parties were free to appoint arbitrators. In case of disagreement on an appointment, the parties could request the Supreme Court, or the concerned High Court, or any person or institution designated by such Court, to appoint an arbitrator.
Role of courts: Under the Bill, the Supreme Court and High Courts may now designate arbitral institutions, which parties can approach for the appointment of arbitrators. For international commercial arbitration, appointments will be made by the institution designated by the Supreme Court. For domestic arbitration, appointments will be made by the institution designated by the concerned High Court. In case there are no arbitral institutions available, the Chief Justice of the concerned High Court may maintain a panel of arbitrators to perform the functions of the arbitral institutions. An application for appointment of an arbitrator is required to be disposed of within 30 days.
Relaxation of time limits: Under the 1996 Act, arbitral tribunals are required to make their award within a period of 12 months for all arbitration proceedings. The Bill proposed to remove this time restriction for international commercial arbitrations.
Completion of written submissions: Currently, there is no time limit to file written submissions before an arbitral tribunal. The Bill requires that the written claim and the defence to the claim in an arbitration proceeding, should be completed within six months of the appointment of the arbitrators.
Confidentiality of proceedings: The Bill provides that all details of arbitration proceedings will be kept confidential except for the details of the arbitral award in certain circumstances. Disclosure of the arbitral award will only be made where it is necessary for implementing or enforcing the award.
What is Arbitration? Arbitration is a settlement of dispute between two parties to a contract by a neutral third party i.e. the arbitrator without resorting to court action. The process can be tailored to suit parties’ particular needs.
Arbitrators can be chosen for their expertise. It is confidential and can be speedier and cheaper than court. There are limited grounds of appeal. Arbitral awards are binding and enforceable through courts.
Significance of ADR: It is felt that a reliable and responsive alternative dispute resolution system is essential for rapidly developing countries like India. While business disputes need speedy resolution, litigation is the least favoured method for that. The Indian judicial system is marred by delays because of which businesses suffer as disputes are not resolved in a reasonable time period. Therefore, need for alternative dispute resolution processes like negotiation, mediation conciliation and arbitration is felt from time to time.
What is Beijing accused of? Human rights groups including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have submitted reports to the UN committee documenting claims of mass imprisonment, in camps where inmates are forced to swear loyalty to China’s President Xi Jinping. The World Uyghur Congress said in its report that detainees are held indefinitely without charge, and forced to shout Communist Party slogans. It said they are poorly fed, and reports of torture are widespread. Most inmates have never been charged with a crime, it is claimed, and do not receive legal representation. China is said to carry out the detentions under the guise of combating religious extremism.
Reasons for unrest: Over the decades, waves of Han Chinese migrants arrived in the region, displacing Uighurs from their traditional lands and fueling tensions. Xinjiang is now home to more than eight million Han Chinese, up from 220,000 in 1949, and 10 million Uighurs. The newcomers take most of the new jobs, and unemployment among Uighurs is high. They complain of discrimination and harsh treatment by security forces, despite official promises of equal rights and ethnic harmony.
Why is China concerned about the Uighurs? Beijing says Uighur groups want to establish an independent state and, because of the Uighurs’ cultural ties to their neighbours, leaders fear that elements in places like Pakistan may back a separatist movement in Xinjiang.
How it works? The bank has deployed highly secure iris powered micro ATM tablets which are STQC certified and UIDAI compliant registered devices with completely integrated iris sensors. Micro ATMs completely eliminate the requirement of debit cards, passwords, PINs, and user IDs, and empower consumers to avail banking services using only their Aadhaar numbers and biometrics (iris scan/fingerprint scan).
Significance: This service, which requires a customer to scan their iris on a tablet, will boost the bank’s financial inclusion efforts by making Aadhaar authentication process hassle-free and offering easier access to digital banking for consumers especially in the rural parts of the country.
Significance of iris technology: Iris scan technology is completely contactless and provides up to 98.2% authentication success rate (as per study conducted by the International Centre for Biometric Research) and offers an edge over other prevalent biometric modes.
What are radio galaxies? Radio galaxies are very rare objects in the universe. They are colossal galaxies with a supermassive black hole in their centre that actively accretes gas and dust from its surroundings. This activity initiates the launch of high-energy jet streams, which are capable of accelerating charged particles around the supermassive black hole to almost the speed of light. The discovery of such galaxies at extremely large distances is important for our understanding of the formation and evolution of galaxies.
About GMRT: The Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT), located near Pune in India, is an array of thirty fully steerable parabolic radio telescopes of 45 metre diameter, observing at metre wavelengths. It is operated by the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics, a part of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai.
At the time it was built, it was the world’s largest interferometric array offering a baseline of up to 25 kilometres (16 mi). One of the aims for the telescope during its development was to search for the highly redshifted 21-cm line radiation from primordial neutral hydrogen clouds in order to determine the epoch of galaxy formation in the universe.
Swadesh Darshan scheme is one of the flagship scheme of Ministry of tourism for development of thematic circuits in the country in a planned and prioritised manner.
The project under inauguration was sanctioned by the Ministry of Tourism in September 2015 for Rs.72.30 Crores.
The project covers two sites i.e. Kangla Fort and Khongjom. Kangla Fort is one of the most important historic and archaeological site of Manipur located in the heart of the Imphal city.
It served as the seat of Manipur’s power till 1891. Kangla has a special place in the hearts and minds of the people of Manipur.
The old Govindajee Temple, outer and inner moat and other relics are perfect reflections of the rich art and architectural heritage of Manipur.
Development of Tourism in North Eastern Region is prime area of focus for the Ministry of Tourism. The Ministry is carrying out an array of activities for development and promotion of tourism in the region.
Grameen Vidyutikaran (GARV) app to help citizens track rural electrification under Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) )
‘Saubhagya’ Web-Portal – a Platform for transparently monitoring Universal Household Electrification – was launched on 16th Nov, 2017.
GARV – II App, launched on 20th December 2016, hosts the data in respect of about 6 lakh villages, with more than 15 lakh habitations having 17 crore people, that has been mapped for tracking progress on household electrification in each of the habitations of these villages.
UDAY portal gives current status of implementation of the Ujjwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana(UDAY) scheme in the country i.e. State wise Financial and Operational performance parameters including bonds issued, reduction in AT&C losses, tariff revision, smart metering, feeder segregation and other energy efficiency initiatives.
VIDYUT PRAVAH app created to provide real time information of electricity price and availability (http://www.vidyutpravah.in/)
Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA) app to keep track of LED distribution under the Domestic Efficient Lighting Program (DELP)
URJA (Urban Jyoti Abhiyaan) MobileApp - the Consumer Dashboard of the URJA App, launched on 16.06.16, provides for Urban Power Distribution Sector to enhance Consumer Connect, Project Monitoring of Urban Distribution Sector projects and providing information on the monthly performance on parameters like Consumer complaints redressal, Release of New service connection, Average number of interruptions faced by consumer, Number of consumers making e-payments, Energy lost / power theft i.e. AT&C loss.
HELPLINE NUMBER: 1912 to enable consumers to lodge complaints regarding power outages .
URJA MITRA App: power consumers across the nation would have prior intimation of expected duration and cause of scheduled power outages and post fault intimation of unscheduled power outages duration in real time.
E-Tarang app is for monitoring the real time status of Transmission System.
E-Trans app is a platform for better price discovery in respect of Inter State Transmission projects to be awarded through tariff based competitive bidding (TBCB) process.
‘DEEP (Discovery of Efficient Electricity Price) e-Bidding’ portal - the Portal will provide a common e-bidding platform with e-reverse auction facility to facilitate nation-wide power procurement through a wider network so as to bring uniformity and transparency in the process of power procurement.
BEE Star Label – BEE has developed a mobile app for Standards and Labeling Program (S&L) for consumers, which is linked with S&L database of BEE and provides a platform to receive real-time feedback from consumers and other stakeholders. On this portal, manufacturers can file online application to obtain star rating of their products.
It is located in Hyderabad at the Laboratory for the Conservation of Endangered Species (LaCONES), a research wing of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB).
Key facts: The state-of-the-art bank is equipped with sophisticated equipment to preserve the genetic resources that could be utilised to virtually resurrect an animal species in case it goes extinct. The bank that contains genetic resources of about 250 wildlife species. The Genetic Resource Bank will store genetic material of Indian species. It will also help in protecting India’s biodiversity and environment.
Achievements of Laboratory for the Conservation of Endangered Species (LaCONES): It is India’s only research facility engaged in conservation and preservation of wildlife and its resources. It was established in 1998 with the help of Central Zoo Authority of India, CSIR and the government of Andhra Pradesh.
LaCONES has helped the Mouse Deer Conservation Breeding Centre at Nehru Zoological Park to increase the population of mouse deer in Telangana forests. Amrabad forest, for instance, ran out of mouse deer and through the efforts of LaCONES, the animal is now reintroduced in Amrabad Tiger Reserve. Earlier, LaCONES has developed universal DNA based marker for identification of wild animals from parts and remains. It has a DNA banking of more than 250 species of mammals, birds and reptiles.
About the mission: What is it? NASA’s historic Parker Solar Probe mission will revolutionize our understanding of the sun, where changing conditions can propagate out into the solar system, affecting Earth and other worlds. Parker Solar Probe will travel through the sun’s atmosphere, closer to the surface than any spacecraft before it, facing brutal heat and radiation conditions — and ultimately providing humanity with the closest-ever observations of a star.
Journey: In order to unlock the mysteries of the sun’s atmosphere, Parker Solar Probe will use Venus’ gravity during seven flybys over nearly seven years to gradually bring its orbit closer to the sun. The spacecraft will fly through the sun’s atmosphere as close as 3.9 million miles to our star’s surface, well within the orbit of Mercury and more than seven times closer than any spacecraft has come before.
Goals: The primary science goals for the mission are to trace how energy and heat move through the solar corona and to explore what accelerates the solar wind as well as solar energetic particles.
Parker Solar Probe has three detailed science objectives: Trace the flow of energy that heats and accelerates the solar corona and solar wind. Determine the structure and dynamics of the plasma and magnetic fields at the sources of the solar wind. Explore mechanisms that accelerate and transport energetic particles.
Why study corona? The corona is hotter than the surface of the sun. The corona gives rise to the solar wind, a continuous flow of charged particles that permeates the solar system. Unpredictable solar winds cause disturbances in our planet’s magnetic field and can play havoc with communications technology on Earth. Nasa hopes the findings will enable scientists to forecast changes in Earth’s space environment.
Why do we study the sun and the solar wind? The sun is the only star we can study up close. By studying this star we live with, we learn more about stars throughout the universe. The sun is a source of light and heat for life on Earth. The more we know about it, the more we can understand how life on Earth developed. The sun also affects Earth in less familiar ways.
It is the source of the solar wind; a flow of ionized gases from the sun that streams past Earth at speeds of more than 500 km per second (a million miles per hour). Disturbances in the solar wind shake Earth’s magnetic field and pump energy into the radiation belts, part of a set of changes in near-Earth space known as space weather.
Space weather can change the orbits of satellites, shorten their lifetimes, or interfere with onboard electronics. The more we learn about what causes space weather – and how to predict it – the more we can protect the satellites we depend on. The solar wind also fills up much of the solar system, dominating the space environment far past Earth. As we send spacecraft and astronauts further and further from home, we must understand this space environment just as early seafarers needed to understand the ocean.