Comprehensive News Analysis - 16 May 2017

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:


1. Will come out with a law if triple talaq struck down: Centre to SC

B. GS2 Related:


1. Minority status only if trusts enrol on NITI site


1. Iran sets new terms for gas field award

2. Malware continues to wreak havoc

3. North Korea: new long-range missile can carry heavy nuke

C. GS3 Related:


1. Indian scientists unveil home-grown gold standard 

D. GS4 Related:
E. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn
F. Bills/Acts/Schemes/Orgs in News
G. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam
H. Archives


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Useful News Articles for UPSC Current Affairs

A. GS1 Related


1. Will come out with a law if triple talaq struck down: Centre to SC 

Context: triple talaq and polygamy.

In news:

  • The Centre promised to enact a new divorce law for Muslim men if the Supreme Court down all three forms of triple talaq- talaq-e-biddat, talaq hasan and talaq ahasan.
  • This was in response to the question -“So if we accept that giving unfettered rights to a husband is bad and we strike down triple talaq, then where will Muslim men go for divorce?” – asked by one of the judge.
  • All the tree forms of triple talaq are unilateral, extrajudicial and inequal.
  • “Constitutional morality” includes secularism, dignity and non-discrimination.

Attorney General’s contention:

  • Issues of Muslim marriage and divorce were separated from religion in Shariat Act way back in 1937.
  • Practices of marriage and divorce have been codified as “personal law” under Section 2 of the 1937 Act.
  • The Bench has to test them on the touchstone of the fundamental rights of gender equality, gender justice, gender discrimination, human rights, dignity under Articles 14, 15, 21 and 51A of the Constitution.
  • But once marriage and divorce is separated from religion, in this case under Section 2 of the 1937 Act, the practices of talaq no more enjoy the protection of Article 25 (freedom of religion) of the Constitution. So talaq is out of Article 25. Talaq has become ‘law’ under Article 13 and should be constitutionally moral.


B. GS2 Related

Category: POLITY

1. Minority status only if trusts enrol on NITI site

In news:

  • New Rule for Educational trusts and societies: If they want minority status, then they need to register as non-governmental organisation with the NITI Aayog(whether they are seeking government aid or not)
  • Requirements for enrollment: All petitioners are required to submit unique ID of the trust/society as given by the NITI Aayog portal NGO Darpan (it is not needed only in cases of institutions run by individuals)
  • Details such as PAN and Aadhaar of all trustees and office-bearers will be required

Why these requirements?

  • The registration with the NITI Aayog portal Darpan is likely to put all the financial transactions of the trust and its office-bearers under government scanner

What is the need of Minority Status?

  • Minority status permits schools and colleges to have a say in the reservation quantum and limits interference from the government


  • The government had last year made it mandatory for NGOs and voluntary organisations to register with the NITI Aayog portal to enable them to apply for grants from any Ministry
  • Since 2004, the commission has awarded minority status certificates to 12,954 schools and colleges in the country


1. Iran sets new terms for gas field award 

In news:                

  • Iran wants India to pay more than triple the gas price for award of the coveted Farzad-B natural gas block to ONGC Videsh (OVL).
  • Iran wants India to buy all of the natural gas to be produced from the Persian Gulf block at a price equivalent to the rate Qatar charges for selling liquefied natural gas (LNG) to India under a long-term deal.
  • Farzad-B was discovered by OVL in the Farsi block about 10 years ago.
  • Iran was initially unhappy with the $10 billion plan submitted by OVL for development of the 12.5 trillion cubic feet reserves in Farzad-B field and an accompanying plant to liquefy the gas for transportation in ships.

2. Malware continues to wreak havoc 

In news:

  • The worldwide “ransomware” cyberattack spread to thousands of moreMalware-ransomware computers as people logged in at work, disrupting business, schools, hospitals and daily life, though no new large-scale breakdowns were reported.
  • The full extent of the damage from the cyberattack felt in 150 countries was unclear and could worsen if more malicious variations of the online extortion scheme appear.
  • The initial attack, known as “WannaCry,” paralysed computers running factories, banks, government agencies and transport systems in scores of countries, including Russia, Ukraine, Brazil, Spain, India and Japan, among others. 

3. North Korea: new long-range missile can carry heavy nuke 

In news:

  • North Korea said the missile “Hwasong-12” , it launched over the weekend was a new type of “medium long-range” ballistic rocket that can carry a heavy nuclear warhead.
  • Kim Jong Un promised more nuclear and missile tests and warned that North Korean weapons could strike the U.S. mainland and Pacific holdings.
  • Each new nuclear test is part of the North’s attempt to build a nuclear-tipped long-range missile.
  • Kim said the North would stage more nuclear and missile tests in order to perfect nuclear bombs needed to deal with U.S. “nuclear blackmail.”


C. GS3 Related

Category: ECONOMY

1. Indian scientists unveil home-grown gold standard 

In news:

  • India now has its own standard bar of gold that is 99.99% pure and can be used to verify the purity of gold sold in shops
  • Despite India being one of the largest markets for gold, goldsmiths so far depended on imported reference gold bars to check the purity of their biscuits, coins and jewellery


  • Bharatiya Nirdeshak Dravya (BND 4201), the bar, weighing 20gm and with the dimensions of a ‘Parle-G’ biscuit (in the words of a scientists associated with its development), will mean that Indian jewellers will no longer need to import gold bars to check the purity of ornaments
  • Last November, the India Government Mint (IGM), a unit of Security Printing and Minting Corp of India Ltd, signed an agreement with the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and CSIR-National Physical Laboratory (NPL) to develop the first gold standard

Role of the stakeholders:

  • The NPL is the repository of standard units — such as the kilogram, the second, the centimetre — in India and provides calibration services
  • While the bars will be made by the IGM, technical aspects such as measurement would be done by the BARC and certifying the purity of the bars would be the responsibility of the NPL
  • The Department produces Standard Gold Bars of standard fineness and purity of 10g, 50g, 100g, 500g & 1000g denominations

Importance to India

  • Development of this reference material indigenously will add to the Make in India campaign and will save foreign exchange as well as minimise dependency on foreign countries


D. GS4 Related

Nothing here for Today


   PIB Articles                  Editorials Roundup


E. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn

Prelims worthy factual information

Vienna Convention on Consular Relations

  • The Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963 is an international treaty that defines a framework for consular relations between independent states.
  • A consul normally operates out of an embassy in another country, and performs two functions: (1) protecting in the host country the interests of their countrymen, and (2) furthering the commercial and economic relations between the two states.
  • While a consul is not a diplomat,[citation needed] they work out of the same premises, and under this treaty they are afforded most of the same privileges, including a variation of diplomatic immunity called consular immunity.
  • Key Provisions:
    • Article 5. Thirteen functions of a consul are listed, including protecting in the receiving state the interests of the sending state and its nationals, as well as developing the commercial, economic, cultural, and scientific relations between the two states.
    • Article 23. The host nation may at any time and for any reason declare a particular member of the consular staff to be persona non grata. The sending state must recall this person within a reasonable period of time, or otherwise this person may lose their consular immunity.
    • Article 31. The host nation may not enter the consular premises, and must protect the premises from intrusion or damage.
    • Article 35. Freedom of communication between the consul and their home country must be preserved. A consular bag must never be opened. A consular courier must never be detained.
    • Article 36. Foreign nationals who are arrested or detained be given notice “without delay” of their right to have their embassy or consulate notified of that arrest. If the detained foreign national so requests, the police must fax that notice to the embassy or consulate, which can then check up on the person. The notice to the consulate can be as simple as a fax, giving the person’s name, the place of arrest, and, if possible, something about the reason for the arrest or detention.


F. Bills/Acts/Schemes/Orgs in News

Article in News

About the article

Article 13. Laws inconsistent with or in derogation of the fundamental rights

(1) All laws in force in the territory of India immediately before the commencement of this Constitution, in so far as they are inconsistent with the provisions of this Part, shall, to the extent of such inconsistency, be void

(2) The State shall not make any law which takes away or abridges the rights conferred by this Part and any law made in contravention of this clause shall, to the extent of the contravention, be void

(3) In this article, unless the context otherwise requires law includes any Ordinance, order, bye law, rule, regulation, notification, custom or usages having in the territory of India the force of law; laws in force includes laws passed or made by Legislature or other competent authority in the territory of India before the commencement of this Constitution and not previously repealed, notwithstanding that any such law or any part thereof may not be then in operation either at all or in particular areas

(4) Nothing in this article shall apply to any amendment of this Constitution made under Article 368

Article 14.

Equality before law The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.

Article 21.

Protection of life and personal liberty No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law

Article 51A.

Fundamental duties It shall be the duty of every citizen of India (a) to abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the national Flag and the National Anthem;

(b) to cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom;

(c) to uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India;

(d) to defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so;

(e) to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities; to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women;

(f) to value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture;

(g) to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life, and to have compassion for living creatures;

(h) to develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform;

(i) to safeguard public property and to abjure violence;

(j) to strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavour and achievement


G. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam
Question 1: The average annual temperature of a meteorological station is 26 degree Celsius, 
its average rainfall is 63in and its average annual temperature is 9 degree Celsius. The station in 
question is
  1. Allahabad
  2. Cherrapunji
  3. Chennai
  4. Kolkata
Question 2: Life expectancy is the highest in the world in
  1. Canada
  2. Germany
  3. Japan
  4. Norway
Question 3: Which one of the following is produced during the formation of photochemical smog
  1. Hydrocarbon
  2. Nitrogen oxide
  3. Ozone
  4. Methane
Question 4: Epiphytes are plants which depends on other plants for
  1. Food
  2. Mechanical Support
  3. Shade
  4. Water
Question 5: Ergotism is due to consumption of
  1. Contaminated grains
  2. Rotting vegetables
  3. Contaminated water
  4. Safe cooked food

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