IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


18th September, 2019


NGOs substantially financed by govt come under RTI Act: Supreme Court

Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) that are “substantially financed, directly or indirectly”, by government funds will fall within the ambit of “public authority” under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005 Supreme Court ruled that.

Court Observations:

-       RTI Act was enacted with the purpose of bringing transparency in public dealings and probity in public life.

-       If NGOs or other bodies get substantial finance from the government, they should come under the RTI act.

-       Court defined substantial as a large portion, it does not mean 50% financing.

-       Court observed whether an NGO or body is substantially financed by the government is a question of fact, which has to be determined on facts of each case.

-       These NGOs will have to maintain records as provided under the Act, and every citizen will have the right to get information from them.

-       Substantial financing can be from both direct and indirect source. For example, if a land in a city is given free of cost or on heavy discount to hospitals, educational institutions or such other body, this would be considered as substantial financing.

Impact of the Verdict:

-       It will bring transparency and accountability in the working of private sector especially educational and health institutions.

-       It would help in preventing corruption, enabling decision-making in public interest and strengthening governance in these institutions.

-       Clean governance will allow more investments from individuals leading to strengthening of these institutions.

-       Private sector main motive is Profit making, this ruling would increase their societal contribution by aligning them with public interest.

-       It would help in protecting the national interest as a report by Intelligence bureau had pointed out of loss to the tune of 1% of GDP due to activism of civil society on stake.

-       Bringing under RTI will slow the decision- making and bring red-tapism in the functioning of these institutions.

-       It may increase the administrative cost leading to increased burden on the users.

-       Private Sector relies on efficiency and effectiveness, RTI may weaken it.

-       It can be used by competitors to harass an efficient player and malign its public image.

Reference: https://indianexpress.com/article/india/ngos-substantially-financed-by-govt-come-under-rti-act-supreme-court-6004732/



Uttar Pradesh: Dalit youth killed, ailing mother dead, accused says ‘did it for honour’



 Abhishank Pal (23), was killed by family members of Shivani Gupta, with whom he was reportedly in a relationship with, in what police said was an honour killing.

Honour Killing:

Honour killings are acts of vengeance, usually death, committed by male family members against female family members, in response to a belief that the women have offended a familys honour and have brought shame to family unit.

Reasons behind Honor Killing:

-       Refusing to enter into an arranged marriage.

-       Being the victim of sexual assault.

-       Seeking a divorce even from an abusive husband or (allegedly) committing adultery.

-       The mere perception that a woman has behaved in a way that "dishonours" her family is sufficient to trigger an attack on her life.

In Haryana, Rajasthan and Delhi region, almost hundred young men and women are killed on the orders "khap panchayat".

Societal Causes behind Honour Killing:

-       There is a strong correlation between Honour killings and illiteracy rates.

-       Men often use Honour killings to assert their dominant patriarchal status. Women in the family may support the practice in order to preserve the Honour of other female family members and to preserve their chances of getting married in the community. It is a kind of purge or purification.

-       Some claim that the practice goes back to ancient motivations based on anxieties about reproductive power. Women, who were considered by the tribe to be a factory for making men, were forced through "Honour" killings to obey the man’s family planning and not to reproduce outside of the tribe or the extended family.

-       In a society where marriages are arranged by fathers and money is exchanged, a woman’s desire to choose her own husband is a financial problem, one that can be "translated" in terms of Honour.

Existing Penalties under Penal Code:

-       Sections 299-304: Penalises any person guilty of murder and culpable homicide not amounting to murder.  The punishment for murder is life sentence or death and fine.

-       Section 307: Penalises attempt to murder with imprisonment for up to 10 years and a fine.  If a person is hurt, the penalty can extend to life imprisonment.

-       Section 308: Penalises attempt to commit culpable homicide by imprisonment for up to 3 years or with fine or with both.

-       Section 120A and B: Penalises any person who is a party to a criminal conspiracy.

Supreme Court Observations:

In the case of Shakti Vahini, the Supreme Court of India had given various guidelines to prevent honour killing. These guidelines of the Court are as under:

-        There will be fast-track courts for fighting against honour killing cases.

-        The disposal of the cases can be expected within 6 months.

-        Immediate FIR against Khap Panchayat if they order any diktat against any couple.

-        There will be a provision of safe houses for the couples by the government, along with security, if needed.

-        DM/SP will supervise the safe houses.

-        The safe houses will cater young bachelor-bachelorette couples along with married couples whose relationship is being opposed by Khap.

Guidelines to prevent Khap incidents:

-       All the governments should find out districts, villages where incidents of honour killing have been reported in the past.

-       The governments should also identify villages with the presence of Khap Panchayats in the last five years.

-       Advisories must be issued to the superintendents of police and the police departments by the home department of the concerned states in order to be extra vigilant when an inter-caste marriage under their jurisdiction occurs.

-       If any harm is caused to the couple or their family members, the khap will be criminally liable.

-       The police must inform Panchayats that holding Khap meetings is illegal.

-       To prevent meetings of Khap, police will invoke provisions of law, invoking prohibitory orders under section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

-       Police can also arrest participants of Khap assembly under Section 151 CRPC, if needed.

Reference: https://indianexpress.com/article/india/up-dalit-youth-killed-ailing-mother-dead-accused-says-did-it-for-honour-6004520/

Explained: Uniform Civil code — the debate, the status

Last week, while hearing a matter relating to properties of a Goan, the Supreme Court described Goa as a “shining example” with a Uniform Civil Code, observed that the founders of the Constitution had “hoped and expected” a Uniform Civil Code for India but there has been no attempt at framing one.

Uniform Civil Code:

-       A Uniform Civil Code is one that would provide for one law for the entire country, applicable to all religious communities in their personal matters such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, adoption etc.

-       Article 44 of the Constitution lays down that the state shall endeavour to secure a Uniform Civil Code for the citizens throughout the territory of India.

-       Article 44 is one of the directive principles. These, as defined in Article 37, are not justiciable (not enforceable by any court) but the principles laid down therein are fundamental in governance.

Status of Uniform Code in India:

-       Indian laws do follow a uniform code in most civil matters – Indian Contract Act, Civil Procedure Code, Sale of Goods Act, Transfer of Property Act, Partnership Act, Evidence Act etc.

-       States, however, have made hundreds of amendments and therefore in certain matters, there is diversity even under these secular civil laws.

Arguments against Uniform Civil Code:

-       If the framers of the Constitution had intended to have a Uniform Civil Code, they would have given exclusive jurisdiction to Parliament in respect of personal laws, by including this subject in the Union List.

-       Last year, the Law Commission concluded that a Uniform Civil Code is neither feasible nor desirable.

-       All Hindus of the country are not governed by one law, nor are all Muslims or all Christians. Not only British legal traditions, even those of the Portuguese and the French remain operative in some parts.

-       In Jammu and Kashmir until August 5, 2019, local Hindu law statutes differed from central enactments.

-       In the Northeast, there are more than 200 tribes with their own varied customary laws.

-       The Constitution itself protects local customs in Nagaland, Meghalaya and Mizoram.

-       In the Constituent assembly debate, Uniform Civil Code was made less important than freedom of religion.

-       According to some scholars,Secular state should not interfere with the personal law of people.

-       In a diverse country like India, there can never be uniformity of personal laws.

-       It would be unwise to enact Uniform Civil Code ignoring strong opposition from any community.

Reference: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-uniform-civil-code-the-debate-the-status-6004396/


Global Climate Strike on Friday, several Indian cities to hold protests

-       The Global Climate Strike is a worldwide event wherein people will take time off work and 'strike' to press for action to mitigate climate change.

-       About 13 cities in India, including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Kochi, Allahabad and Calicut are hosting ‘climate strikes’ between September 20 and September 27.

How did it begin?

-       It began with a regular protest by a Swedish school-going girl to highlight the impact of Climate change.

-       Later, a people’s movement named Fridays for Future was formed, where students participated in similar protests in their own communities and organised school climate strikes.

-       The climate strikes in September will be the third in a series of strikes held in 2019.

-       The first Global Climate Strike witnessed over 2,000 protests in around 125 countries, while the second strike mobilised people from over 130 nations.

Reference: https://indianexpress.com/article/india/global-climate-strike-on-friday-several-indian-cities-to-hold-protests-6003519/



India to achieve USD 26 Billion Defence Industry by 2025: RakshaMantri

RakshaMantri has said the Government is committed to work towards achieving a USD 26 billion Defence industry by 2025.

-       Defence sector has been identified as one of the most prominent sectors under “Make in India” Initiative to realize USD 5 Trillion Economy by 2024.

-       This will also provide employment to about 2-3 million people.

-       Government has brought reforms to make productive defence eco-system.


-       Simplification of procedures for Defence Exports has resulted in export of Rs 10,745 Crores in 2018-19.

-       There are nine Defence Public Sector Units, 41 ordinance factories, 50 dedicated R & D labs and many other establishments are included in defence industrial base.

-       Government has simplified industry licensing process, increased the FDI cap to promote Defence exports.

-       Defence offset policy has been streamlined and government owned trial and testing facility has been provided to private sector.

-       Two Defence industrial corridors have been launched in Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh.

-       Under the “Make” procedure, till date 40 industry development proposals have been given in principle approval.

-       Defence Procurement Procedure was revised in 2016 to stimulate the growth of domestic Defence industry. A new category ‘Buy {Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured’)} was introduced to promote indigenous design and development of Defence equipments.

-       Recently most of the capital procurement approvals by the Defence Acquisition Council were given under indigenous development and production.

-       Strategic partnership model has been introduced in Defence Procurement Procedure to ensure that private sector manufactures big-ticket items like Fighter Aircraft, Helicopters, Submarines and armoured vehicles.

-       Innovation for Defence Excellence (IDEX) has been launched to promote innovation and technology development. 

-       A road map has been prepared to promote Artificial Intelligence in national security to make India a significant power in Defence AI.

-       A new Transfer of Technology (ToT) policy is under process that will pave the path of transferring DRDO developed technologies to the industry.

-       A new policy on the use of DRDO patents by the industry is under consideration to promote and motivate Defence industry for innovation.

Status and Challenges in Make in India defence:

-       India despite having the fifth largest defence budget in the world procures 60% of its weapon systems from foreign markets while Pakistan has sold more weapon systems to foreign customers than India.

-       Capital expenditure is available for committed buying and no further buying can be done.

-       The decision-making bodies need greater autonomy and authority. There is an urgent need of a permanent arbitration committee, which can settle disputes expeditiously.

-       Lack of an institutional capacity and capability to take defence agreement to its logical conclusion.

Reference: The Pib


Why oil shocks don’t bother India as much now

The last time crude oil prices rose as sharply in a single day as they did on Monday was during the 1990-91 Gulf crisis. Apart from triggering a balance of payments crisis that led to the reforms of 1991, the crisis also left India with oil reserves for just three days at one point.Today, India can survive for more than two months without importing oil.


-       Forex reserve of $430 billion puts India in great situation.

-       Indian refineries keep inventories of 60 days.

-       Strategic petroleum reserves (SPRs): These are underground oil storage infrastructure. The oil in the three facilities already built can help meet 10 days of crude requirement and the two planned ones can hold supply of about 12 more days.So, once completed, the country will have crude oil storage capacity to last for 82 days.

-       Strategic Oil reserves are in Padur, Karnataka, Mangalore and Vishakhapatnam. New ones are being build at Chandikhol in Odisha and Padur.

-       Government has signed deal with foreign companies to store the oil in these reserves.

Source: Timestop10