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IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs – 13th October, 2015

  • October 13, 2015
  • 8
IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs Analysis, IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs October 2015, National, Science and Technology, UPSC
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IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs – 13th October, 2015

 

NATIONAL

 

NOTE: A comprehensive article on ‘CAPITAL PUNISHMENT/DEATH PENALTY’ is covered in IASbaba’s Monthly Magazine (September), 2015

 

TOPIC:  General Studies 2

  • Constitution, Polity – Directive Principles of State Policy(DPSP)
  • Governance and Social Justice

 

Uniform civil code : Need of the hour

  • A bench of Supreme Court Justices Vikramjit Sen and Shiva Kirti Singhsc-min questioned the government about its mandate on framing the Uniform Civil Code so that all religions are regulated by the same yardsticks in matters of law.
  • The question of uniform civil code came in the light of the bench hearing a petition, challenging the legal provision that compels Christian couples to wait for at least two years for divorce, whereas this period of separation is one year for other religions.

Why uniform civil code is in news now?

  • Christians file for divorce under Section 10A (1) of the Divorce Act, which states that a petition for dissolution of marriage by mutual consent can be presented before a court only after a judicial separation of two years.
  • However, the period of separation is one year in other statutes such as the Special Marriage Act, the Hindu Marriage Act and the Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act.
  • The court observed this Section 10A (1) lacked rationaleand it is violates Articles 14 (right to equality) and 21 (right to life and liberty).

 

What is uniform civil code?

  • Article 44 of the Constitution of India declares that “The State shall endeavour to secure for the citizens a Uniform Civil Code throughout the territory of India.”
  • A uniform civil code administers the same set of secular civil laws to govern all people irrespective of their religion, caste and tribe.
  • This supersedes the right of citizens to be governed under different personal laws based on their religion or caste or tribe. Such codes are in place in most modern nations.

Need for uniform civil code :

  • India is a land of diversities with several religions. The oldest part of Indian legal system is the personal laws governing the Hindus and the Muslims.
  • Many personal Laws like, The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, The Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936, Sharia law pose a contradiction.
  • One important thing is Article 15 would seem to make personal law unconstitutional.
  • Article 15 requires non-discrimination based on “sex”, whereas Muslim Personal Law favours the man in many cases, especially in the issue of divorce and in the issue of polygamy.
  • And also the personal laws violate Article 14 and 21 , which gurantees right to equality and individual liberty respectively.
  • Personal laws are inconsistent with morality and human rights as well.

The GOAN model:

  • Goa is the only state in India which has enforced Uniform Civil Code for all citizens.
  • The Portuguese Civil Code that remains in force even today which was introduced in the 19th century in Goa and wasn’t replaced after liberation.
  • The Uniform civil code in Goa is a progressive law that allows equal division of income and property regardless of gender between husband and wife and also between children.
  • Every birth, death and marriage has to be compulsorily registered.
  • Muslims that have their marriages registered in Goa cannot take more than one wife or divorce by pronouncing “talak” thrice.

 

Way Forward:

In order to promote the spirit of uniformity of laws and accomplish the objectives enshrined in Art.44 of the Constitution, the following suggestions need immediate consideration

  • A progressive and broadminded outlook is needed among the people to understand the spirit of such code. For this, education, awareness and sensitisation programmes must be taken up.
  • The Uniform Civil Code should act in the best interest of all the religions.
  • A committee of eminent jurists should be considered to maintain uniformity and care must be taken not to hurt the sentiments of any particular community.

Connecting the dots:

  • Critically examine the increasing need for uniform civil code in India.
  • Uniform civil code is the need of the hour in order to ensure unity and integrity of the nation as enshrined in preamble of our constitution. Substantiate.
  • Critically examine the various factors inhibiting the implementation of uniform civil code in India.

 

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

 

TOPIC:  General Studies 3-  Space Technology

 

‘Fundamental’ Existence: Neutrino

 

Background:

  • Neutrinos, proposed by Swiss scientist Wolfgang Pauli in 1930, are elements similar to that of electron but carry no electric charge and are massless. They are tiny electrically neutral elementary particles, second only to ‘photon’ in terms of their abundance in nature (1000 billion passing through us/second)
  • There are three flavours of Neutrinos- ve, v? and v? and are segregated on the basis of different masses (ordering unknown). Neutrinos, electrons and quarks are the basic building blocks yet to be divided further and thus, calls for an understanding and researching on their properties.
  • These small particles have the ability to throw up a whirlpool of knowledge and explanations regarding the basic laws of Physics, origin of the Universe, the energy production in stars, dark energy and dark matter.

 

India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO) detector:

  • The multi-institutional project will re-establish and forward India’s aspirations towards a non-accelerator based high energy and reclaim its global leadership in initiating research to understand the element.
  • India has made its leadership visible earlier when our physicists had used Kolar Gold Field Lab to detect atmospheric neutrinos.
  • The observatory is set to be established under a rocky mountain in the region of Bodi West Hills of the district of Theni in Tamil Nadu and will host the 50,000 tonnes weighing Magnetized Iron Calorimeter (ICAL), the largest in the world. This depth will play an instrumental role in enabling an environment that will be neutrino-less to carry out further research in the field.

Concerns:

Violation of Federal Principles: No sanctions obtained from the State Government of Kerala wherein the tunnel will exist

Infrastructural Concerns:

  • Cracks need to be avoided and thus, digging wells, irrigation tunnels, mining, etc. should be completely banned and strict regulations should be followed
  • Impact on Dams: Explosion induced seismicity and radioactive contamination of water can cause damage to the infrastructure, crop damage as well as loss of livelihood.

 

Health:

  • Can be caused by Beam Misdirection-if emerges through schools and public places
  • The drilling during the cave making will generate dust (size: nanometre) which will contaminate the farmlands, water sources, quality of air; paving way for major health concerns.

Radioactive ‘menace’:

  • Storage of high level radioactive waste from nuclear sites/power plants
  • Fast speed of travelling of the radiation-contamination

War & Peace:

Neutrino, as a weapon, is yet to be discussed considering all aspects-societal as well as ethical

Clarification on Concerns:

Health:

  • Neutrinos are not at all harmful because of their non-reacting nature with solids and interaction between neutrino and the human body is nil/once in a lifetime. Therefore, the beams will have no side-effects.
  • Particle detectorscan be used to detect the photons in positron emission tomography (PET) which is used to identify cancerous tumours.

War & Peace:

It can be a harbinger of peace by keeping a tab on ‘stores of plutonium’ and to monitor nuclear reactors to detect pilferage, if any, by the anti-social elements

Energy:

  • Will help us tap our mineral and oil deposits
  • As waves, Neutrinos tend to change their flavour as well leading us to more awareness regarding geological defects and towards a breakthrough in early warning systems
  • Geo-neutrinos are radioactive decay of uranium, thorium and potassium in the Earth’s crust, which can be employed to detect early disturbances and vibrations produced by earthquakes

 

Data Transmission:

  • Since Neutrinos possess the ability to travel right through the Earth, ‘round the earth’ model of communication systems for data transmission can be employed successfully
  • Also, this technology once developed will be free of transmission losses (no reaction with atoms in their path) and will be the most trusted way to communicate with possible extra-terrestrial life forms on different planets

Criticisms:

  • Leadership in Science cannot be achieved by establishing a neutrino observatory. History of the impact of spin-off’s have not always, been a positive story. Skewed allocation of resources has increased the vulnerabilities manifold with major investments in elite universities, ignoring the research work undertaken in other universities.
  • Allocation of resources and capital towards development and maintenance of public resources cannot be put at stake.

IASbaba’s Views:

  • Neutrinos encompasses access to a vast pool of knowledge which when exploited positively, can help us answer the mystery that surround us as well as help in formulating a kind of synergy between human and the natural world.
  • Also, a society has to take care of the essentials first and then move ahead to satiate the intellectual quest but not at the cost of sacrificing the basic necessities of life, that is central to many. Better ‘research culture’, symmetrical usage and allocation of funds as well as effective utilization of funds; is the answer to the need for the balancing act towards a better future.

Connecting the Dots:

  • What are Neutrinos and why do they matter to us?
  • What are the sources of Neutrinos and its application?

 

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