IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


14th September, 2019


Government has failed to bring in Uniform Civil Code, says Supreme Court

The Supreme Court said the nation has still not endeavoured to secure for its citizens a Uniform Civil Code. The founders had penned their hope that a uniform set of rules would replace the distinct personal laws of marriage, divorce, etc. based on customs of each religion.

Observation of Court :

- Hindu laws were codified in the year 1956, there has been no attempt to frame a Uniform Civil Code applicable to all citizens of the country.

- The Supreme Court hailed the State of Goa as a “shining example” where “uniform civil code applicable to all, regardless of religion except while protecting certain limited rights.

- Under this Code practised in Goa, a Muslim man whose marriage is registered in the State cannot practice polygamy, a married couple share property equally, pre-nuptial agreements are the order of the day and assets are divided equally between the man and woman on divorce.

Uniform Civil Code:

-,A generic set of governing laws for every citizen without taking into consideration the religion.

- Article 44 of the Constitution says that there should be a Uniform Civil Code.

- Such a code is meant to replace personal laws based on customs or religion with a common set of rules for all.

Ban on triple talaq a gateway for UCC:

- Two years ago, the top court had declared instant triple talaq (oral divorce practice some Muslims follow) unconstitutional. That paved the way for Parliament to pass a law this year making instant triple talaq a punishable act.

- In 2015, coming to the rescue of a Christian woman over guardianship of her child, it said that unwed mothers can become the only legal guardian of a child without the biological father’s permission.

- J&K high court judgment had in 2002 struck down a provision in law that said women of the state marrying outsiders would lose their permanent resident status.

- Article 44 was based on the premise that there was no necessary connection between religious and personal law in a civilised society.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/government-has-failed-to-bring-in-uniform-civil-code-says-supreme-court/article29412592.ece



118 new community radio stations to be set up: Prakash Javadekar

As many as 118 new community radio stations are in the process of being set up in various parts of the country, including in Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected districts, north-east and Jammu and Kashmir.

Importance of Community Radio Stations:

- Community radio is a great way to communicate with the public.

- It provides a platform to local artists.

- Enhance the last mile of outreach of the government.

- Play a significant role in dissemination of agriculture-related information, government schemes for people's welfare, weather forecast etc.

Community Radio Stations:

Community radios are small (low power) FM radio stations with a coverage area of around 10-15 km radius, depending on the geography of the area.

Reference: https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/new-community-radio-stations-prakash-javadekar-1598948-2019-09-14



Rajasthan launches information portal

In a pioneering step, the first-ever public information portal was launched in Rajasthan to provide information about government authorities and departments suo-motu to the public in the true spirit of the Right To Information Act.

- It will give information pertaining to 13 departments on a single platform.

- With different sections divided into districts, blocks and panchayats, the portal empowers the common people with access to useful information.

- People will need not file applications under the law to obtain information.

- Portal would eventually turn out to be an effective medium for “digital dialogue” with the people as well as a strong instrument for ensuring transparency in governance.

- State government's action has combined technology, justice and information.

- It would strengthen the spirit of the RTI Act and inspire other States to follow suit.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/rajasthan-launches-information-portal/article29411172.ece




New scientific social responsibility policy in the offing

India is going to be possibly the first country in the world to implement a Scientific Social Responsibility (SSR) Policy on the lines of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to encourage science and technology (S&T) institutions and individual scientists in the country to proactively engage in science outreach activities to connect science with the society.

Aim of the Policy:

- Harness latent potential of the scientific community for strengthening linkages between science and society.

- Make S&T ecosystem vibrant.

- Develop a mechanism for ensuring access to scientific knowledge.

- Transfer benefits of science to meet societal needs.

- Promote collaborations to identify problems and develop solutions.

- As most research are financed by taxpayers’ money, the scientific establishment has an ethical obligation of “giving back” to the society.

Policy provisions:

- This draft policy builds upon traditions of earlier policies (Scientific Policy Resolution 1958, Technology Policy Statement 1983, Science and Technology Policy 2003 and Science Technology and Innovation Policy 2013).

- Individual scientists or knowledge workers will be required to devote at least 10 person-days of SSR per year for exchanging scientific knowledge to society.

- Need to provide incentives for outreach activities with necessary budgetary support.

- Give credit to knowledge workers/scientists for individual SSR activities in their annual performance appraisal and evaluation.

- No institution would be allowed to outsource or sub-contract their SSR activities and projects.

Reference: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/science-technology/new-scientific-social-responsibility-policy-in-the-offing-66723