Society related issues: Supreme Court dismisses plea to make rape a gender-neutral offence(The Hindu) The judges on the Bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra reacted with different questions, all voicing an opinion that it is up to Parliament to gauge the changed social circumstances, and may be revamp the colonial penal code. Linkbetween sanitation, stunting questioned(The Hindu) Stunting among children, or low height for age, is common in developing countries with poor sanitation. Scientists hypothesise that this is because open defecation and unclean water expose children to faecal bugs. Even if these pathogens do not cause diarrhoea, they inflame a child’s gut and hamper the food absorption Health scheme will be well-funded: Nadda(The Hindu) Calling it ‘historic’, ‘bold’ and ‘committed to the common man’, Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda welcomed Budget 2018, which had seen an 11.5% increase in the allocation for the health sector. Get cracking: on implementing 'Modicare' (The Hindu Editorial) The Centre must draw up an implementation roadmap for the new health scheme
International relations: Exiled former President of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed promises to contest elections again(The Hindu) Mohamed Nasheed, the exiled former President of the Maldives, said on Friday he hoped to contest presidential polls this year, following a surprise Supreme Court ruling that ordered his immediate release. Forging a new nuclear deal (The Hindu Opinion) The India-U.S. civil nuclear agreement is obsolete. In reviving it, India must heed the new global realities Indian Constitution and Polity: Supreme Court refers jallikattu challenge to Constitution Bench(The Hindu) The Supreme Court on Friday referred to a Constitution Bench to decide whether the people of Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra can conserve jallikattu and bullock-cart races as their cultural right and demand their protection under Article 29 (1) of the Constitution. FCRA amendment in finance Bill to help BJP, Congress escape scrutiny(The Hindu) The EC has no role in this as the law only states what is a violation and the Commission has no powers to act in case of violation. The government is expected to act under other laws. SC admits CPI(M)’s plea against electoral bonds(The Hindu) The Supreme Court on Friday admitted a petition filed by the CPI(M) and party general secretary Sitaram Yechury to strike down the government’s Electoral Bond Scheme 2018 and amendments in the Finance Act, 2017, which allows for “unlimited donations from individuals and foreign companies to political parties without any record of the sources of funding”. Bhutan opens its consulate in Guwahati/(The Hindu) Bhutan on Friday became the second country after Bangladesh to open a consulate in Guwahati.
Scorpene submarine programme makes progress(The Hindu) The second Scorpene submarine Khanderi is expected to complete sea trials by the middle of this year, while the fourth and the fifth submarines, under construction at Mazagon Dock Limited, Mumbai, are expected to be assembled later this year. The third submarine Karanj was launched into water early this week. Economy: Foolproof e-way bill urged after deferment(The Hindu) A day after the Centre deferred February 1 rollout of the e-way bill in the wake of ‘technological glitches’ that left trucks stranded for hours across the country, transporters urged the Centre to fix all issues before introducing the measure. Lower minimum employment rule to spur jobs: leather sector(The Hindu) The leather industry has welcomed the Budget proposal to cut the minimum period of employment. Environment: Dust mitigation plan must for firms(The Hindu) The Environment Ministry has made it mandatory for companies seeking environment clearance to ensure that they put in place a dust mitigation plan. TRAI calls for affordable broadband access(The Hindu) The new National Telecom Policy should aim at enabling wireless broadband access at affordable prices to 90% of the population while attracting investments worth $100 billion by 2022, telecom regulator TRAI said on Friday. Centre's plan may boost farmers' solar power use(The Hindu) The Centre has announced a ₹1.4 lakh-crore scheme for promoting decentralized solar power production of up to 28,250 MW to help farmers, according to R. K. Singh, Minister of State for Power and New and Renewable Energy. Tulsi and ashvagandha to purify Neknampur Lake in Hyderabad(The Hindu) From a distance, it might appear as if hyacinth has consumed the Neknampur Lake in Hyderabad city. But a closer inspection will reveal that there is more to the water body than meets the eye. Gently floating on the surface is an artificial ‘island’ made of meticulously chosen plant species.
Yesterday’s current affairs material by Forum IAS
7 PM Editorial: Ayushman Bharat programme: a game changer 9 PM Current affairs brief: 10 PM Current affairs MCQs