Society related issues:
Protecting marriages across castes (The Hindu)
Eight years after the National Commission for Women (NCW) proposed a special law to punish honour killings incited by khap panchayats, the Supreme Court has said that adults are free to marry persons of their own choice and hurting couples, or summoning them before clan members, groups, or a khap, is “absolutely illegal”.
Budget may increase health ooutlay by 11% (The Hindu)
India is poised to raise its public health spending by 11% in the annual budget next month, after rejecting the health minister’s demand for a much bigger increase to ramp up disease control, according to government sources and documents.
The rise of China is a major disruption, Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar said on Thursday, in comments that mirrored those made by U.S. Pacific Commander (PACOM) Admiral Harry Harris.
Tibetan leader cautions India (The Hindu)
India should be worried about China’s continued military build up in Doklam, said Lobsang Sangay, president of the Central Tibetan Administration in India. Dr. Sangay made his observations on the Doklam issue while announcing the upcoming events to mark the 60th anniversary of the arrival of the Dalai Lama and Tibetans in India.
Modi to visit Palestine in February (The Hindu)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to travel to the Palestinian capital of Ramallah on February 10, a diplomatic source has confirmed. The visit to the Palestinian territory is likely to be part of Prime Minister Modi’s outreach to the Arab world in the second week of February, during which he will hold a meeting with the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Failures of inference (The Hindu Opinion)
Liberalism is complicit in generating the crisis of contemporary populism
Indian Constitution and Polity:
The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed the notifications and orders passed by certain States to prohibit the exhibition of the Censor Board certified movie, Padmaavat, saying the court’s “conscience is shocked” that the States have guillotined creative rights.
CJI , four judges meet again (The Hindu)
Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra met with his four senior-most colleagues on Thursday in a second round of discussions of the issues raised by them at a press conference on January 12.
Electoral bonds will not solve all problems pertaining to transparency in political funding, Chief Election Commissioner A K Joti said today, but hoped that it will be a step in the “right direction”.
An unprecedented event took place on January 12 when the four senior-most judges of the Supreme Court, after the Chief Justice of India (CJI), held a press conference, issued a statement, and also answered questions from the media. Justice J. Chelameswar, at whose residence the press conference was held, said that the judges were “left with no choice” other than to communicate to the nation the many “less than desirable things” that have happened “in the last few months”.
Duel duty (The Hindu Editorial)
The state cannot choose between protecting freedom of expression and preserving law and order. It has a duty to do both. This is the core message of the Supreme Court order staying the notifications and decisions of four States to prohibit the screening of the film Padmaavat, and directing them to ensure that law and order is maintained during its exhibition.
Bitcoins rally may be over (The Hindu)
Bitcoin, the popular digital currency whose meteoric rise in price last year surprised many of its critics, has lost almost half its market value in just the last month. The price of bitcoin dropped from its lifetime high of over $19,300 in mid-December to below $9,300 on Wednesday and has since been trading in a volatile manner around the $10,000 mark.
GST rates on 29 goods, 53 services cut (The Hindu)
The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council has reduced the rates on 29 goods and 53 categories of services, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said following the Council’s meeting on Thursday.
Aadhaar contradicts the role of the state (The Hindu)
The Aadhaar scheme contradicts the role of the state as the custodian of the citizens’ fundamental right of privacy. A duty is cast on the government and its agencies to protect the citizen’s crucial personal data from commercial exploitation by private corporates, petitioners challenging the scheme submitted in the Supreme Court on Thursday.
Disaster warning system for Odisha by March (The Hindu)
The Early Warning Dissemination System (EWDS), a project that aims at establishing a fool-proof communication system to disseminate disaster warning up to the community level, is expected to be commissioned by this March.
2017 was the second or third warmest year (The Hindu)
Last year was the second or third warmest on record behind 2016, and the hottest without an extra dose of heat caused by an El Niño event in the Pacific Ocean, the United Nations (UN) said on Thursday.
India will set up a $350 million fund to finance solar projects, Power Minister R.K. Singh said, as the country steps up efforts to achieve its ambitious target of adding 175 gigawatts (GW) in renewable energy by 2022.
Yesterday’s current affairs material by Forum IAS