9 PM Current Affairs Brief – August 24th, 2018

Download the compilation of all summaries of all the news articles here


Should Article 35A be scrapped?

Should Article 35A be scrapped?


  1. Different views on article 35A.

Important Analysis:

2. Article 35Aof the Indian Constitution is an article that empowers the Jammu and Kashmir state’s legislature to define “permanent residents” of the state and provide special rights and privileges to those permanent residents. Such laws granting special rights to permanent residents would not be deemed a violation of the fundamental rights of other citizens.

3. As per Instrument of Accession, J&K was an integral part of India signed by Maharaja Hari Singh in 1947.

4. However there is a long pending debate on the necessity of Article 35A.

5. Bhupendra Yadava politician in his view has expressed Article 35A should be scrapped because

  • Article 35A was added into the constitution through presidential order without constitution amendment laid down in Article 368.
  • Raises concern over exercise of power under Article 370(1) (d) to insert a new article in the constitution.
  • Article 35A has created a classification between Permanent and non-permanent citizen of J&K.
  • Non-Permanent citizen are treated as a second class citizen against the principal of equality.
  • Denial of basic rights to non-permanent citizen (e.g. employment under state and debarred from contesting election).
  • Women who marry outside sufferings more as her child cannot become permanent citizen and loses inheritance rights.
  • Discrimination against the refugees who migrated to J&K after partition. They are not listed in the “state subject”

6. According to him, Article 35A has its existence since long back and need alteration.

7. Alteration will not take away their basic rights but will bring more prosperity in investment and opportunities.

8. Manish Tiwari, a lawyer, is against the scrapping of Article 35A

9. He explained the reason why the Article 35A was not found in original constitution.

  • Maharaja Hari Singh was not certain about his decision after the partition plan announced on June 3, 1947.
  • Pakistan did not honor Standstill Agreement which was signed with both India and Pakistan on Aug 12, 1947.
  • When confronted with Pakistan, J&K signed Instrument of Accession on Oct 26, 1947.
  • Instrument of Accession gave India the power to make laws only on Defence, External Affairs, Communications, and ancillary matters.
  • Decision on Plebiscite still pending in United Nation.
  • As per Delhi agreement, under Article 5 of the constitution, person domicile of J&K was regarded as a citizen of India and gave power to state to make laws on special rights and privileges on state subject.
  • Fundamental rights of the Indian constitution could not be made applicable to J&K.

10. According to him striking down Article 35A will have implication on 1954 Presidential Order which may arouse further constitutional amendments.

11. Further development has participated in the debate when Prashant Bhushan has shared his views.

12. Prashant Bhushan, Advocate in Supreme Court said it is complicated to decide if Article 35A should be scrapped or not. According to him

  • Kashmir never acceded fully to India. Therefore, it is a quasi-sovereign State.
  • Article 35A came through Presidential order because center has limited rights under Instrument of Accession.

13. Article 35A is only a recognition of the conditional accession of J&K into India and the restrictions placed on both Parliament and the Constitution that the normal powers of Parliament to make laws will not apply to J&K.

14. It is Article 370 that restricted the application of certain provisions of the Constitution to J&K.

15. It is pursuant to Article 370 that Article 35A was inserted by way of the 1954 Presidential Order.

16. According to him Article 35 A protects the rights of the people whereas Article 370 protects and grants special status to J&K which place restriction on parliament and promote state autonomy.

17. He also points out that Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand have laws which say that no outsider can buy land.

18. According to him these laws are unconstitutional and violate two fundamental rights — the freedom to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India and the freedom to practise any profession, trade and business.

19. But because the accession of J&K was conditional therefore article 370 0r 35A cannot be challenged on the ground that it violates fundamental rights or the basic structure of the Constitution

20. According to him, it is for the J&K to decide, according to its laws, on the issue of discrimination against women with regard to property rights.

21. Although such a law is discriminatory according to the Indian Constitution, and is repugnant to the issue of gender equality.

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Get over the superpower syndrome

Get over the superpower syndrome


  1. T.P Sreenivasan, a former Indian diplomat has talked about controversy involved into acceptance of foreign assistance for Kerala disaster relief.

Important Analysis

2. According to him, debate over acceptance of foreign assistance is an unnecessary distraction.

3. Foreign financial contribution will not meet even a fraction of cost involved into rebuilding Kerala.

4. Also, assistance from bilateral and multilateral arrangement will take time.

5. According to author refusing the acceptance of 700 Cr from UAE may impact bilateral relation between both countries.

6. This policy of non-acceptance of foreign aid was adopted in 2004 when UPA government refused to seek any external assistance in the wake of  Tsunami claiming world the strength to withstand against calamities.

7. Main Argument against acceptance of foreign assistance

  • Dream for Superpower and Permanent member of United Nations.
  • In the name of foreign assistance, they may spy on us and involve into internal affairs and decision making (e.g. Google and Facebook know more about us than we do and can influence our national priorities and interest)
  • India do not want any physical presence of highly paid UN workers as they might destroy the morale of Indian relief worker.

8. According to author this policy of India was not very fruitful as it has failed to get the membership even in NSG and APEC.

9. Although, India were able to secure place in Australia group and Wassenaar arrangement.

10. According to his view India can take the help from United Nation (UN) or Red Cross.

11. UN can provide India, a better technological assistance, share best international practices for reconstruction and relief.

12. The need of an hour is to take all assistance either from UN or foreign countries but rebuild Kerala.

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Accepting help

Accepting help


  1. Controversies over taking voluntary assistance from other countries in the wake of keraladisaster.

Important facts:

2. There is an indication, India may refuse to accept the voluntary financial assistance from other countries for Kerala flood rehabilitation work.

3. UAE and Maldives has offered the financial assistance of 700 Cr and 35 Lakhs respectively.

4. Pakistan has also extended hand to offer assistance voluntary.

5. However, MEA said India is in a position to meet the requirement of Kerala flood rehabilitation and refused to accept aid

6. This is according to NDMP (National Disaster Management Plan)

7. As per NDMP plan 2016, India government cannot appeal for foreign assistance, however, it can accept voluntary help offered by other countries in a goodwill gesture for disaster victims.

8. However, there seems to be a lack of clarity over existing policy of regarding accepting money from overseas in Prime Minister or Chief Minister Relief fund.

9. Author says UPA government in 2004 Tsunami disaster has refused to take any help from other nation for a false pride which has affected the large number of countries in Indian Ocean region.

10. Refusal to accept UAE assistance is not as simple as it seems because 80 % Malayalis in the Gulf are Indians. There may be negative impact on bilateral ties between the countries.

11. In current context we also need to check if refusing to take any helpin the past has become a convention in contrast with NDMP guidelines/written documents.

12. Author suggests India should focus on welfare of masses looking for disaster relief.Taking help should be treated as offering help which India does.

13. However, offers of aid from other countries must be scrutinized to ensure there is no compromise with national security.

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Centre wants Supreme Court to get tough with FB, YouTube

Centre wants Supreme Court to get tough with FB, YouTube


  1. Center to take strict action to curb circulation of videos of sexual violence.

Important facts:

2. Government has shown concern over inadequate efforts taken by Internet giant like Facebook and YouTube to curb circulation of videos of sexual violence against women and children.

3. Thus government want “stricter directions” to these service providers from the Supreme Court

4. Direction seeks to reduce the time taken to remove the inappropriate content from these websites to 10 hours from existing 36 hours

5. Particularly government focusing on videos related to child pornography and rape.

6. Government wants service provider (e.g. Facebook) should employ an agency for identification and removal of content and include Monitoring tool.

7. Major concern of the government is tracing the origin of unlawful data.

8. However despite of Supreme Court order, the compliance by the service providers to provide data was mediocre.

9. Recently intermediaries WhatsApp has refused to provide certain data with law enforcement agencies to identify the origin of fake news.

10. Currently, on the issue of assistance to law enforcement agencies on identification of offender, the response is often delayed and Meta data of end to end communication is not provided.

11. Government has provided list of over 500 words in English and Hindi to service providers to issue warning message when end user try to search videos of sexually violence.

12. Implementation of easy reporting mechanism is the need of an hour.

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Why history matters so much

Why history matters so much


  1. Krishna Kumar, former director of the NCERT, discussed the importance of history as a school subject.

Important facts:

2. The subject was also discussed at the recently held conference in Kolkata.

3. The  author provides  reasons for importance of studying history in schools:

  • It moulds the outlook of young generation.
  • Create public ethos and influence culture.
  • It shapes the perceptions of young because children are impressionable .
  • Textbooks are viewed as officially approved documents.
  • Publicly shared past imparts a collective memory and identity.
  • It is important is shaping the larger political ethos of the country remains undiminished.
  • Children depend on adults to learn about the past, that is what makes history the most challenging schools subject.

4. The author also discussed the reasons, why history does not receive much importance it deserves:

  • The History cannot compete with Science subjects that shapes and control education today.
  • The History syllabus and textbooks have political controversy in India.

5. The author also said that no country in the world is immune to debates about the past and the way it is presented to school children. For example:

  • America’s discomfort with Hiroshima and Britain’s discomfort with Gandhi continued to be reflected in their school syllabi.

6. The new history textbooks brought out by the NCERT from 2006 onwards, survived the change of government.

7. They represent the spirit of the National Curriculum Framework, 2005.

8. In most States, the use of history to build collective memory and identity continues.

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India to grow at 7.5% in 2018, 2019: Moody’s

India to grow at 7.5% in 2018, 2019: Moody’s


  1. According to Moody’s Investor Service, India is likely to grow at 7.5% in 2018 and 2019.

Important facts:

2. Moody pointed out the following facts in its Global Macro Outlook for 2018-19:-

  • Indian economy is largely resilient to higher oil prices.
  • Energy prices will raise inflation temporarily.
  • However, growth remains intact as it is supported by strong urban and rural demand and improved activity.
  • Growth prospects for G-20 economies stood at 3.3% in 2018 and 3.1% in 2019.
  • The advanced economies will grow 2.3% in 2018 and 2% in 2019.
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‘EPFO data not the right gauge of employment level’

‘EPFO data not the right gauge of employment level’


  1. Recently, the EPFP revised down the net enrolment numbers for the period from Sep 2017 to May 2018.



2. EPFO is a good indicator for formal employment as well as changes in employment.

3. Recently, EPFO pointed out decline in net enrolment numbers.

4. However, decline does not imply a decrease in formal sector employment in the country.

5. The data provided by EPFO had certain drawbacks:

  • According to a former member of the Planning Commission, there is lack of clarity in the methodology followed by EPFO.
  • People atthe bottom of the pyramid get low wages and have been outside the EPFO net.
  • It is not clear what happens when a person changes jobs .
  • Enterprises may not have registered at all.
  • The GST regime created a certain incentive for many small enterprises to register themselves on the GST network. No new job is being created.
  • The estimate may include temporary employee whose contributions may not be continuous for the entire year.
  • It does not make clear whether the additions are to the total number of members or to the number of active members.
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Another step in the battle against leprosy

Another step in the battle against leprosy


  1. Prior to medical advancement, large Central and State Laws discriminate against leprosy patients.

Important facts:

2. Now, the disease is completely curable by modern medicines like multi-drug therapy.

3. The Personal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018, seeks to make a start in amending these statutes.  Some of the key features of the Bill are given below.

  • It attempts to end the discrimination against leprosy persons in various central laws such as:
  1. The Divorce Act, 1869;
  2. The Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939;
  3. The Special Marriage Act, 1954;
  4. The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955;
  5. The Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act of 1956.
  • The Bill eliminates leprosy as a ground for dissolution of marriage or divorce.
  • The amendments introduced in the Bill omit the provisions which stigmatize and discriminate against leprosy-affected persons.
  • The Bill is meant to provide for the integration of leprosy patients into the mainstream.

4. The provisions of the Bill are in line with the UN General Assembly Resolution of 2010 on the ‘Elimination of discrimination against persons affected by leprosy and their family members’.

5. India has signed and ratified the Resolution.

6. The proposed Bill alsofollows a National Human Rights Commission recommendation to introduce amendments in personal laws and other statutes.

7. The Law Commission of India, in its 256th Report, Eliminating discrimination against persons affected by leprosy’, had also recommended removing the . discriminatory provisions in various statutes against leprosy patients.

8. The Rajya Sabha Committee on Petitions, in its 131st Report on ‘Petition praying for integration and empowerment of leprosy-affected persons’, had examined various statutes to clean the discriminatory provisions in prevalent statutes.

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