Important Current Affairs
The National Handloom Day is observed on 7th August every year. To mark the occasion, the nation holds a function at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi. The function will be presided by the Union Minister of Textiles and Women and Child Development, Smriti Zubin Irani. The Day is observed at Weavers’ Service Centres in different States.
Odisha's rich tradition:
The main events are to be held in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. Bhubaneswar has been chosen for its rich tradition of Handlooms.
The Day aims to honour the Indian handloom weavers and also highlight India's handloom industry. It also aims to empower women and girls as they are the majority total weavers population of India. The day focuses on the contribution of handloom to the socio economic development of the country. It seeks to increase the income of weavers.
Former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, 67 years old, passed away on 6th August. She suffered a cardiac arrest and passed away at AIIMS. She underwent a kidney transplant in 2016.
Sushma Swaraj Career:
Sushma Swaraj was educated at Sanatan Dharma College in Ambala Cantonment. She earned a bachelor's degree with majors in Sanskrit and Political Science. She studied law at Punjab University, Chandigarh.
Swaraj's political career started at her age of 25 in 1977. She became the youngest cabinet minister in Haryana in 1977. She served as the 5th Chief Minister of Delhi from 13th October to 3rd December 1998. She was a seven-time Member of Parliament. She served as MLA for three terms.
Sushma Swaraj won from Vidisha constituency in Madhya Pradesh for a second term in 2014. Swaraj took charge as Foreign Minister on 26th May, 2014. After Indira Gandhi, she was the second woman to hold the External Affairs Ministry. She was popularly known as the People’s Minister. She introduced a new sensitivity and sensibility in the functioning of the External Affairs Ministry.
Context: Union Government has approved Rs 4,900 crore Kosi-Mechi Interlinking project for interlinking of Kosi and Mechi rivers of Bihar. This is the second major river interlinking project in the country to be approved by Central Government after the Ken-Betwa project in Madhya Pradesh.
Need and significance:
The Rajasthan State Legislative Assembly passed the Rajasthan Protection from Lynching Bill, 2019. The Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shanti Dhariwal introduced the Bill in the State Assembly. The Bill aims to provide stricter punishment to curb such Lynching incidents.
Rajasthan is now the second State to have a dedicated law criminalising mob lynching as a special offence. The first state to have such law in addition to other offences under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) is Manipur.
The Bill was introduced after the recommendation by the Supreme Court in authorising the setting up of special courts, appointment of a dedicated nodal officer, and stipulating enhanced punishments.
The bill not only criminalises the acts of lynching but also provides legal aid, relief, compensation and rehabilitation.
Definition of Lynching as per the Bill:
Any act or series of acts of violence whether spontaneous or planned, by a mob on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth, language, dietary practices, sexual orientation, political affiliation and ethnicity falls under the category Lynching.
Provisions of the Bill:
♦ Bill makes the Mob Lynching offence cognizable, non-bailable and non-compoundable offences.
♦ It gives a punishment of life imprisonment and a penalty from Rs.1 lakh to Rs.5 lakh to those convicted in cases of mob lynching leading to victim's death.
♦ After 2014, 86% of mob lynching cases that were reported in the country are from Rajasthan. The Bill was proposed after considering peace in the state.
Lok Sabha passed the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019, which seeks to ban commercial surrogacy and allows only close relatives of infertile couples to volunteer for “ethical altruistic"reasons.
The bill and it is unfortunate that the country had emerged as a hub of commercial surrogacy in recent years. During the discussion on the bill.There are 2,000-3000 surrogacy clinics running illegally in India and a few thousand foreign couples resort to surrogacy practice within India, and the whole issue is thoroughly unregulated.
The concerning unethical practices, abandonment of children born out of surrogacy and exploitation of surrogate mothers.The minister cited the 228th report of the Law Commission recommended that the government enact a legislation to ensure that commercial surrogacy is banned in this country and there is only restrictive surrogacy.
Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019,
The bill also aims to constitute surrogacy boards at the national and state levels. The bill aims to allow ethical altruistic surrogacy for infertile Indian married couples, within the age group of 23-50 and 26-55 years for females and males, respectively. The bill, which was passed by a voice vote, also prohibits the sale and purchase of human embryos and gametes. The government has claimed that it will also prevent exploitation of surrogate mothers and children born through surrogacy.India emerged as a commercial destination for foreigners seeking surrogate mothers. There have been reports on unethical practices, exploitation of surrogate mothers, abandonment of children born out of surrogacy, and rackets involving intermediaries importing human embryos and gametes.Women’s rights activists have supported the passage of the bill.
The Rajya Sabha cleared the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill 2019 on 6 August. Union Home Minister Amit Shah presented the Bill after abrogation of the special status granted to J&K. The upper house also adopted resolutions to repeal Article 370 and Article 35A in J&K.
The Bill has been moved for consideration and passage in Lok Sabha on August 6, 2019. The lower house will also take up the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Bill 2019.
Provisions of the Bill:
♦ The Bill proposed the bifurcation of the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories namely Ladakh and Jammu-Kashmir.
♦ The bill has a provision of 10% reservation for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) among the general category (the upper caste).
Legislative powers of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir:
Role and powers of the Lieutenant Governor: