Aadhaar-related problems in distribution of rations and benefits

The Supreme Court recently asked the Centre to respond to allegations made in a PIL by a Dalit woman from Jharkhand that 3 crore ration cards have been cancelled in the country because of the insistence on Aadhaar linkage and biometric authentication, and that this has resulted in the denial of foodgrains to poor citizens, which in turn has caused starvation deaths including that of the petitioner’s 11-year-old daughter. Poor Internet in remote areas was also flagged as an issue. The Supreme Court said ...
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15th April- Himachal Day: The day when the state of Himachal Pradesh came into existence

Himachal day is celebrated on April 15th every year. It was on this day in 1948 that Himachal Pradesh was created as a province of India. History of Himachal Day Following independence from Britain in 1947, the Chief Commissioner's Province of Himachal Pradesh was created on April 15th 1948 as a result of the integration of 30 petty princely states (including feudal princes and zaildars) in the promontories of the western Himalayas. Most of the areas of Himachal Pradesh were ...
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Freedom of Navigation Operations, US’s 7th Fleet and India’s EEZ

The US Navy announced that the USS John Paul Jones from its 7th Fleet had “asserted navigational rights and freedoms approximately 130 nautical miles west of Lakshadweep Islands, inside India’s exclusive economic zone, without requesting India’s prior consent, consistent with international law”. It said “India requires prior consent for military exercises or maneuvers in its exclusive economic zone or continental shelf, a claim inconsistent with international law”, and the “freedom of navigation operation (“FONOP”) upheld the rights, freedoms, and lawful uses ...
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Why the Rupee is among biggest losers over the past few weeks

The Indian Rupee hit a nine-month low of 75.4 against the US Dollar on Tuesday and has lost nearly 4.2 per cent over the last three weeks — one of the biggest losers among the emerging market currencies. The Rupee came under severe pressure over the last three weeks in line with the sharp rise in Covid-19 cases and RBI’s announcement, last week, to maintain fairly accommodative monetary policy and that it will inject liquidity through the Government Securities Acquisition Programme (G-SAP) programme — ...
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‘refugees’ and ‘illegal immigrants’, : India’s stance

Last week, the Supreme Court appeared to accept the Centre’s contention that the Rohingya people in India are illegal immigrants when it refused to order the release of 300 members of the community, most of who are in a detention camp in Jammu, and others in Delhi. It said they should be deported according to procedures under the Foreigners Act, 1946. Illegal immigrant vs refugee Under the 1951 UN Convention on the Status of Refugees and the subsequent 1967 Protocol, the word ...
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New findings about Antarctica’s ‘Doomsday Glacier’

The melting of Antarctica’s Thwaites Glacier – also called the “Doomsday Glacier”– has long been a cause of concern because of its high potential of speeding up the global sea level rise happening due to climate change. Researchers at Sweden’s University of Gothenburg are now saying that fears related to Thwaites’s melting are worse than previously thought, owing to the supply of warm water flowing underneath at a rate underestimated in the past. What is the glacier and why is ...
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G-SAP: Securities acquisition plan for market boost

Keeping policy rates unchanged, the Reserve Bank of India on Wednesday sought to quell the concerns of market participants over rising bond yields. Reiterating the RBI’s commitment to maintaining the current accommodative policy stance until the economy is back on track, the Governor enthused the markets with a new programme — Government Securities Acquisition Programme (G-SAP) — through which it will purchase government securities worth Rs 1 lakh crore in the first quarter of FY22. The RBI also announced that ...
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Concept of net-zero and India’s standpoint

The US President’s Special Envoy on Climate, is currently on a three-day visit to India trying to rekindle a climate change partnership that had been all but put on hold during the four years of the Donald Trump administration. The immediate purpose of the visit is to exchange notes ahead of the virtual Climate Leaders’ Summit convened by US President Joe Biden on April 22-23 where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is one of the invitees. This is Biden’s first big international ...
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Pre-pack: Insolvency resolution option for MSMEs

The central government has promulgated an ordinance allowing the use of pre-packs as an insolvency resolution mechanism for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) with defaults up to Rs 1 crore, under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. The move comes soon after the end of a one-year suspension of insolvency initiation imposed by the government in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. The government had last year also increased the minimum default threshold for insolvency proceedings from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1 crore. What ...
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Detention despite bail: Why District Magistrates love the NSA

A close scrutiny of the orders by District Magistrates invoking the National Security Act shows why the draconian law is so readily invoked. For, the NSA empowers the state to detain a person without a formal charge and without trial. Under the NSA, a person is taken into custody to prevent him or her from acting in any manner prejudicial to “the security of the state” or for “maintenance of the public order.” It is an administrative order passed either ...
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