Today Current Affairs: 1st September 2022 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc
Table of Contents
Mikhail Gorbachev, the former Soviet leader who brought the Cold War to a peaceful end, has died aged 91.
- Mikhail Gorbachev (1931 – 2022) was a Russian and Soviet politician who served as the last leader of the Soviet Union.
- As the country’s head of state from 1988 to 1991, he served as Chairman of the Supreme Soviet from 1989 to 1990 and President of the Soviet Union from 1990 until the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.
- Ideologically, Gorbachev initially adhered to Marxism–Leninism, but he moved towards social democracy by the early 1990s.
- Gorbachev believed significant reform was necessary, particularly after the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.
- He withdrew from the Soviet–Afghan War and embarked on summits with United States president Ronald Reagan to limit nuclear weapons and end the Cold War.
- Domestically, his policy of glasnost (“openness”) allowed for enhanced freedom of speech and press, while his perestroika (“restructuring”) sought to decentralize economic decision-making to improve efficiency.
- The recipient of a wide range of awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize, he was widely praised for his pivotal role in ending the Cold War.
Muslim Personal Law Practices:
A five-judge Constitution Bench on Tuesday impleaded the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the National Commission of Women (NCW) and the National Commission of Minorities as parties in a batch of petitions challenging the Muslim Personal Law practices such as polygamy and nikah halala.
- The Supreme Court also issued notice in a separate petition in the batch, which said the personal law practices violated Section 494 of the Indian Penal Code.
- The section makes “marrying again during lifetime of husband or wife” an offence punishable with imprisonment up to seven years and fine.
- The case will be listed after the Dasara holidays.
- Petitioners argue that polygamy and nikah halala (bar against remarriage with divorced husband without an intervening marriage with another man) are unconstitutional.
Special Marriage Act, 1954:
The Supreme Court dismissed a writ petition challenging the Constitutional validity of certain provisions of the Special Marriage Act, 1954 under which couples seek refuge for inter-faith and inter-caste marriages.
- The petition challenged the Constitutional validity of certain provisions of the SMA, calling it violative of the right to privacy guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.
- It is because these provisions require couples to give notice 30 days before the date of marriage inviting objections from the public.
- These provisions contravene Article 14 on right to equality as well as Article 15 on prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste and sex as these requirements are absent in personal laws..
Special Marriage Act (SMA), 1954:
- Marriages in India can be registered under the respective personal laws Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, Muslim Marriage Act, 1954, or under the Special Marriage Act, 1954.
- It is the duty of the Judiciary to ensure that the rights of both the husband and wife are protected.
- The Special Marriage Act, 1954 is an Act of the Parliament of India with provision for civil marriage for people of India and all Indian nationals in foreign countries, irrespective of religion or faith followed by either party.
- When a person solemnises marriage under this law, then the marriage is not governed by personal laws but by the Special Marriage Act.
- Allows people from two different religious backgrounds to come together in the bond of marriage.
- Lays down the procedure for both solemnization and registration of marriage, where either of the husband or wife or both are not Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, or Sikhs.
- Being a secular Act, it plays a key role in liberating individuals from traditional requirements of marriage.
There are wide disparities in the pace of price rise experienced by consumers across the country, with a dozen States clocking an average inflation of less than 6% and another 12 States averaging more than 7% through 2022 so far.
- Headline inflation measured by the Consumer Price Index has averaged 6.8% in the first seven months of 2022, well above the 6% upper tolerance threshold set by policy makers.
- However, consumers in Telangana, West Bengal and Sikkim faced the steepest spike in prices, with their combined retail inflation for rural and urban areas averaging 8.32%, 8.06%, and 8.01%, respectively.
- Smaller States such as Manipur, Goa and Meghalaya have had an average inflation of less than 4% through this period, at 1.07%, 3.66%, and 3.84%, respectively.
Countries in middle-east and north Africa are racing to develop chemicals to get rain drops out of the cloud.
- Cloud seeding is a type of weather modification that aims to change the amount or type of precipitation that falls from clouds by dispersing substances (such as silver iodide, potassium iodide and dry ice (solid carbon dioxide) and liquid propane) into the air that serve as cloud condensation or ice nuclei.
- It improves a cloud’s ability to produce rain or snow, supplements the rainwater supplyand cleans the atmosphere by introducing tiny ice nuclei into certain types of subfreezing clouds. These nuclei provide a base for snowflakes to form.
- So far, experts haven’t found any harmful effects of cloud seeding with silver iodide on the environment. But Silver iodide can be toxic to aquatic life.
- The concentration of silver in a storm from cloud seeding is far below the accepted limit of 50 micrograms per litre.
- In India, cloud seeding operations were conducted during the years 1983, 1984–87,1993-94 by Tamil Nadu Govt due to severe drought. In the years 2003 and 2004 Karnataka government initiated cloud seeding.
Union government is planning to set up a national regulator PAREKH (Performance Assessment, Review and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development) for achieving a benchmark framework to assess students at the secondary and higher secondary level.
- PARAKH, is also part of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.
- PAREKH is a proposed regulator, which will act as a constituent unit of the NCERT, and will also be tasked with holding periodic learning outcome tests like the National Achievement Survey (NAS) and State Achievement Surveys.
- Its team will consist of leading assessment experts with a deep understanding of the education system in India and internationally.
- It will eventually become the national single-window source for all assessment-related information and expertise, with a mandate to support learning assessment in all forms, both nationally and where applicable, internationally
- Setting norms, standards and guidelines for student assessment and evaluation for all recognized school boards of India.
- It will encourage and help school boards to shift their assessment patterns towards meeting the skill requirements of the 21st century
- It will bring uniformity across the state and central boards which currently follow different standards of evaluation, leading to wide disparities in scores.
- The benchmark assessment framework will seek to put an end to the emphasis on rote learning, as envisaged by the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.
Delhi Police has become the first police force in the country to make collection of forensic evidence mandatory in crimes punishable by more than six years.
- The order was issued hours after Union Home Minister Amit Shah visited the Police Headquarters here.
- Since Delhi is a Union Territory, its police force is under the administrative control of the Ministry of Home Affairs.
- The order comes following a push by Mr. Shah who had said the government was going to overhaul the British-era Indian Penal Code and one of the changes being considered was making collection of forensic evidence compulsory in criminal cases punishable by more than six years.
- “The era of third degree torture is over. Custodial torture has roots in colonial India.
- Conviction of criminals can be achieved based on forensic evidence that is irrefutable,” Mr. Shah had said.
United Nations General Assembly:
The President of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), praised India for its contributions to the global body.
- He described India as a “source of pride” not only for South Asia but for all peace-loving democracies.
- India was 1st country to raise Apartheid issue at UN.
- More than 2 lakh troops to 49 UN peacekeeping missions.
- India (in 2007) was the 1st country to deploy all women contingent to UN mission in Liberia.
- He acknowledged the crucial role India played during the Covid-19 pandemic.
- India not only recovered from the disease itself but even assisted several other countries and acted as a “pharmacy of the world”.
- UNCTAD: India was instrumental in setting up of UNCTAD (1964)
- India drafted Comprehensive Convention on international Terrorism.
- India is collaborating with G4 and L69 countries on reform and expansion of UN security council.
United Nations General Assembly (UNGA):
- The General Assembly is the main deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the UN.
- The President of the General Assembly is elected each year by assembly to serve a one-year term of office.