Must Read News Articles – March 28, 2019

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GS 2

Electoral bonds will affect transparency, EC tells SC

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has told the Supreme Court that electoral bonds, contrary to government claims, wreck transparency in political funding.

In 2018, Official Secrets Act invoked in five cases

As per the latest data available with the National Crime Records Bureau, the number of cases registered under the OSA was 11, 9 and 30 in 2014, 2015 and 2016 respectively. Since its inception, the OSA has not been amended even once.

SC for as few tribunals as possible

Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on Wednesday said the numerous tribunals, once meant to lighten the burden of high courts across the country, have now become virtually non-functional, crippled by a chronic lack of infrastructure, manpower and an irregular appointment mechanism.

Slow on sanitation

Public understanding of the science of managing septic tanks continues to be poor, and the availability of cheap labour to clean these structures has slowed efforts to develop technologies that can safely remove and transport the waste.

A blow against Article 370

The constitutional relationship between J&K and the Indian Union has been the subject of numerous discussions in recent times. This has rekindled the long-standing debate on the continued relevance of Article 370.

A deal at last?

The Naga Framework Agreement is back in the news after the Centre’s main interlocutor in Nagaland, R.N. Ravi, visited the State to tie up loose ends before a final deal is sealed.

Temple and state

The constitutional wall that separates the state from religion has continuously shifted. Recently, in the landmark cases of Shayara Bano (2017) and Indian Young Lawyers Association (2018), which dealt with triple talaq and women’s entry into the Sabarimala temple, respectively, the Supreme Court looked at the balance between religious freedoms and fundamental rights.

Parties can skip record of donations, says EC

The amendment to the RP Act allows political parties to skip recording donations received by them through electoral bonds in their contribution reports to the ECI.

GS 3

Successful anti-satellite missile test puts India in elite club

In an incremental advance, India on Wednesday successfully conducted an Anti-Satellite (ASAT) missile test, named Mission Shakti, becoming the fourth country in the world to demonstrate the capability to shoot down satellites in orbit. So far, only the United States, Russia and China have this prowess.

Anti-sat weapons date back to Cold War

The development of such systems has a long history — fuelled by the Cold War between the United States and the former Soviet Union — with a waxing or waning of funding. There are different kinds of systems — those that can be launched from the ground or those vaulted from planes.

India reassures global community after test

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said India believes in peaceful use of the common outer space that belongs to humanity. “India is not in violation of any international law or treaty to which it is a party or any national obligation,” stated the MEA, answering a set of questions after DRDO scientists carried out an A-SAT test.

What we need is a commons manifesto

How India handles land use change will decide whether it can improve lives without warming the world

India in pact to ease U.S. firms’ compliance

India and the U.S. signed an inter-government agreement for the automatic exchange of country-by-country (CbC) reports, which will reduce the compliance burden for Indian subsidiary companies of U.S. parent companies.

‘Deposits ordinance does not cover gold schemes’

The Centre’s recent ordinance banning unregulated monthly deposit schemes will not affect the ongoing monthly schemes operated by jewellery and chit fund firms, said tax practitioners.

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