9 PM Current Affairs Brief – February 12, 2019
Download the compilation of all summaries of all the news articles here
Rajasthan to scrap education criterion
- The Rajasthan Assembly has passed Rajasthan Panchayati Raj (Amendment) Bill, 2019 and the Rajasthan Municipality (Amendment) Bill, 2019 by voice-vote. Voice vote is a voting method in which a group vote is taken on a topic or motion by responding orally.
- The bills seek to abolish the condition of a minimum educational qualification to contest for Panchayat and urban local body elections.
- The education criteria introduced by the previous Rajasthan government stipulated a) minimum Class X education for contesting zila parishad, panchayat samiti and municipal elections b) minimum class 8 qualification for a general category candidate contesting Sarpanch elections and c) minimum class 5 qualification for a SC/ST candidate contesting Sarpanch elections.
Bill to counter exploitation by NRI spouses
- External Affairs Minister has introduced the Registration of Marriage of Non-Resident Indian Bill, 2019 in Rajya Sabha. The bill aims to offer more protection against exploitation of Indian women by their NRI spouses.
- The bill envisages compulsory registration of marriages by Non-Resident Indians within 30 days of marriage.
- The bill also seeks to amend the Passports Act 1967 to allow for the cancellation of passport or travel document of NRI in case non-registration of marriages. The Passports Act is the legislation that guides issue and cancellation of passports and travel documents.
- It calls for amendment to the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 to empower the Courts for issuance of summons, warrants to NRIs. CrPc is the main legislation on procedure for administration of criminal law in India.
- Several reports of women trapped in fraudulent marriages and harassed by NRI spouses have necessitated the introduction of the bill.
Indian H1B visa–holders rally outside White House demanding immigration law reforms
- Indians on H-1B visas gathered in front of the White House to protest on the issue of Green Card and H4 visa.
- Firstly, they called for the elimination of a huge backlog and country wise quota in issuance of Green card and Secondly for the inclusion of childrens of H-1B visa holders into DACA since they will lose their H4 visa status once they turn 21 years old.
- The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.Dependents of H-1B visa holders get H-4 visas.
- While Green Card gives you the status of a permanent resident along with legal rights to work in USA.
- Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals(DACA) is a policy that allows children of undocumented immigrants that were brought to the United States while they were minors protection from deportation.
60% children adopted in India between 2015 and 2018 are girls
- According to government data, female children comprise almost 60% of all in-country adoptions and 69% of all inter-country adoptions between 2015 and 2018. This is contradicting to sex ratio in India.
- According to Central Adoption Resource Authority- the apex regulator of in-country and inter-country adoptions – the trend is a reflection of declining gender bias in India.
- According to latest data from Civil Registration System, India’s sex ratio at birth – or the number of girl children born for every 1,000 boys – was 877 in 2016
NRC verification to begin on Thursday
- The process of verifying the documents of applicants who were excluded from the published list of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) will begin from February 14, 2019. The Supreme Court has notified that the NRC authorities should publish the final list on July 31, 2019.
- The National Register of Citizens (NRC) is a register which contains the name of all citizens of India. It was prepared in 1951.
- The process of NRC update only in Assam has been taken up as per a Supreme Court order in 2013. The update is being carried out under the Citizenship Act, 1955, and according to rules framed in the Assam Accord, 1985.
- Assam Accord is a Memorandum of Settlement (MoS) signed between representatives of the Government of India and the leaders of the Assam Movement- a movement against illegal immigrants in Assam. As per the accord, there has to be a separate NRC for Assam.
- Citizenship Act, 1955- dealing with acquisition and loss of citizenship in India- was amended in 1985 to incorporate Section 6A. This section fixes March 25, 1971 as the cut-off date for granting citizenship to Bangladeshi migrants in Assam.