GS 2 SC decriminalises homosexuality In a landmark judgment on Thursday, a five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court decriminalised homosexuality, with a prayer to the LGBTQ community (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer) to forgive history for subjecting it to “brutal” suppression. India signs landmark defence pact with U.S. India and the United States on Thursday sealed the landmark Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) that will lead to a new generation of bilateral military partnership. Odisha House nod for Legislative Council A resolution seeking creation of a Legislative Council in Odisha was passed in the State Assembly on Thursday. For all that we may become The Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra, began his judgment by saying, “I am what I am.” There is no doubt that queer people in India have never had a chance to fully be ourselves, to believe and know what our own possibilities are. Sexual equality affirmed The verdict has brushed aside religious opposition to the expansion of human rights. The right to love The court has overruled Koushal and upheld homosexuals’ right to have intimate relations with people of their choice, their inherent right to privacy and dignity and the freedom to live without fear. Is Punjab’s proposed blasphemy law retrograde? The Punjab Cabinet has decided to introduce in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) a new Section (295AA) which states, “Whoever causes injury, damage or sacrilege to Sri Guru Granth Sahib, Srimad Bhagwad Gita, Holy Quran and Holy Bible with the intention to hurt the religious feelings of the people, shall be punishable with imprisonment for life.” Pieces of land As South Africa debates contentious legislative proposals on land redistribution, few see any risk of Zimbabwe-style violent farm seizures of the 1990s in Africa’s most industrialised country. For a world free of chemical weapons The Chemical Weapons Convention Act was enacted in 2000 to give effect to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction signed by the government on January 14, 1993 India’s interests secured in new pact: officials The COMCASA will allow the U.S. to transfer specialised equipment for encrypted communications for U.S.-origin platforms like C-17, C-130 and P-8I aircraft. It comes into force immediately and is valid for 10 years. Sources said a person-in-charge will be specially designated in U.S. Central Command for coordination between India and the U.S. on this. U.S. wants to cut its trade deficit The U.S. wants “free, fair and reciprocal” trade and has conveyed to India that the American trade deficit with Delhi has “to be rectified.” Attending the ‘2 +2 dialogue’ the visiting U.S. Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo, said trade barriers for American companies in India have to “be reduced.” Kim Jong-un demands ‘goodwill measures’ as Koreas set summit for Sept. 18-20 North Korean leader Kim Jong-un reaffirmed his commitment to a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula and to the suspension of all future long-range missile tests, while also expressing faith in an increasingly embattled President Donald Trump’s efforts to settle a nuclear impasse, South Korean officials and the North’s official media said on Thursday. GS 3 ‘Industry must lift PSLV output’ The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) wants industry to raise its engagement with the country’s space programme by helping drive production of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicles (PSLVs) that ISRO needs to meet its fast expanding launch schedule in the coming years, Chairman K.Sivan said. Ending TB On September 26, the UN General Assembly will, for the first time, address TB in a High-Level Meeting and likely release a Political Declaration, endorsed by all member nations, to galvanise investment and action to meet the global target of eliminating TB worldwide by 2035. EVs, CNG vehicles don’t need permits Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said that no permits would be required for vehicles running on alternative fuel, including CNG, ethanol and EVs, a move that is expected to boost the demand for such vehicles in the country.