Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE
- Triple Talaq
- 3 D Printing
- Facts for Prelims
1 . Triple Talaq
Context: Five years after the Supreme Court invalidated instant triple talaq in August 2017, the women petitioners continue to live a life of half-divorcees.
About the Current Issue
- Technically still married, practically divorced, they enjoy no conjugal rights nor receive any regular maintenance from the estranged husbands.
- Practically abandoned, the women cannot remarry in the absence of a legally valid divorce.
- After the verdict, none of the men were visited by law enforcement bodies and told to take back their wives.
- Further, no arrests could be made for giving instant triple talaq as the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019 came into force long after pronouncement of instant talaq.
- A cloud of confusion hangs in the air as the women are uncertain of their eligibility for a fresh marriage.
- The top court invalidated instant triple talaq in the Shayara Bano versus the Union of India case while refraining from commenting on the state of their marriages directly.
What is Triple Talaq?
- Talaq-e-Biddat or Triple Talaq is a form of divorce that was practiced in Islam, whereby a Muslim man could divorce his wife by pronouncing talaq three times.
- The man need not cite any reason for the divorce and the wife need not be present at the time of pronouncement of talaq.
Demand for Banning Triple Talaq:
- To ban the evil practice of Triple Talaq was a demand from Muslim women for a very long time.
- ShayaraBano a woman from Uttarakhand, who suffered mental and physical torture by her husband and his family for not fulfilling their demand for dowry, was granted instant Triple Talaq by her husband through a letter, ending their 14-year marriage. Her husband also denied her the custody of her two children.
- ShayaraBano challenged this practice before the Supreme Court on the ground that the said practice is discriminatory and against dignity of women.
Supreme Court Verdict:
- Supreme Court found that the said practice of divorce to be manifestly arbitrary, in the sense that, the marital tie can be broken capriciously and whimsically by a Muslim husband withoutany attempt to reconcile to save the marriage.
- Supreme Court, in a majority judgment rendered set aside the practice of divorce by pronouncing instant Triple Talaq as violative of Article 14 of the Constitution.
- It vindicated the position taken by the Government that talaq-e-biddat is against constitutional morality, dignity of women and the principles of gender equality and also against gender equity guaranteed under the Constitution of India.
Demand for Reform:
- Even after the Supreme Court’s order declaring this practice as unconstitutional, practice of Triple Talaq continued.
- From the date of judgment of Supreme Court, i.e., from 22nd August, 2017 up to introduction of the Bill in Parliament, i.e., up to 28th December, 2017, there were reported around 100 instances of pronouncing of Triple Talaq in the country.
- Because there was no law to punish those who continued to practice ‘Triple Talaq’and to provide legal remedies to the victims of such practice, a need has arisen to make a law for effective implementation of the Supreme Court judgment.
- The commitment of the Government, led by Prime Minister, to give gender justice, gender dignity and gender equality to the Muslim women was a majorinitiative behind this reform.
- To give immediate effect to the verdict of the Supreme Court the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Ordinance, 2018 was promulgated in 2018 and two more Ordinances were promulgated thereafter.
- Lok Sabha passed the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill and the Rajya Sabha too passed it on 30th July, 2019.
- After receiving the assent of the President of India, The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019 came into force with retrospective effect from the 19th day of September, 2018 giving continued effect to the first Ordinance promulgated on 19th September, 2018.
Act & Provision for Imprisonment:
- The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019 declares the instant divorce granted by pronouncement of talaq three times as void and illegal.
- It provides for imprisonment for a term up to 3 years and fine to the husband who practiced instant Triple Talaq.
- Muslim woman, upon whom Talaq was pronounced also granted custody of children and subsistence allowance to be paid by the husband.
- Muslim women now have a legal protectionagainst the whimsical and irrationalpronouncement of Triple Talaq.
- The Act also works as deterrence for husbands whointend to divorce their wives in this manner.
- From various sources including State police authorities, several media reports show that there has been substantial reduction in the Triple Talaq cases due to legislative intervention.
- The Act will improve the existing conditions of Muslim women and will help them to come out of domestic violence and discrimination they are facing in the society.
- Abolishment of Triple Talaq has contributed to woman empowerment and has given them dignity in the society.
- The government has strengthened “self-reliance, self-respect and self-confidence” of the Muslim women of the country and protected their constitutional, fundamental and democratic rights by bringing the law against the Triple Talaq.
- Triple Talaq cases have dropped by 82%within one year of passing of the Act.
- “Muslim Women Rights Day” was observed across the country on 1st August 2021to celebrate the enactment of the law against Triple Talaq.
2 . 3 D Printing
Context: Researchers from Hyderabad have 3D-printed a cornea and transplanted it into a rabbit’s eye.
- A team of clinicians and scientists from the LV Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI), Hyderabad, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Hyderabad, and Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) collaborated to develop the 3D-printed cornea from the human donor corneal tissue.
- While corneal substitutes are being actively researched throughout the world, they are either animal-based or synthetic. The Hyderabad-based team said that their product is completely natural, contains no synthetic components, and is free of animal residues.
- It is developed indigenously through government and philanthropic funding. Research was funded by a grant from the Department of Biotechnology and the translational work leading up to clinical trials in patients will be funded through a grant from Sree Padmavathi Venkateswara Foundation, Vijayawada.
- Corneal damage is the leading cause of blindness worldwide with more than 1.5 million new cases of corneal blindness reported every year.
- Due to wide gap between the demand and supply of donor corneal tissue worldwide, and lack of adequate eye banking networks, less than 5% of new cases every year are treated by corneal transplantations.
- This can be a ground-breaking and disruptive innovation in treating diseases like corneal scarring or Keratoconus.
- It is the first 3-D printed human cornea that is suitable for transplantation.
- The bio-ink used to make this 3D printed cornea can be sight-saving for army personnel at the site of injury to seal the corneal perforation.
- It can prevent infection during war-related injuries or in a remote area with no tertiary eye care facility.
About 3 D Printing
- 3D printing (sometimes referred to as Additive Manufacturing (AM)) is the computer-controlled sequential layering of materials to create three-dimensional shapes. It is particularly useful for prototyping and for the manufacture of geometrically complex components. It was first developed in the 1980s, but at that time it was a difficult and expensive operation and so had few applications.
- 3 D printing systems developed for the construction industry are referred to as ‘construction 3D printers’. A 3D digital model of the item is created, either by computer-aided design (CAD) or using a 3D scanner.
- The printer then reads the design and lays down successive layers of printing medium (this can be a liquid, powder, or sheet material) which are joined or fused to create the item. The process can be slow, but it enables almost any shape to be created.
- There are four core uses of 3D printing in the medical field that are associated with recent innovations: creating tissues and organoids, surgical tools, patient-specific surgical models and custom-made prosthetics.
- One of the many types of 3D printing that is used in the medical device field is bioprinting. Rather than printing using plastic or metal, bioprinters use a computer-guided pipette to layer living cells, referred to as bio-ink, on top of one another to create artificial living tissue in a laboratory.
- These tissue constructs or organoids can be used for medical research as they mimic organs on a miniature scale. They are also being trialled as cheaper alternatives to human organ transplants.
Application of 3D printing
|Aerospace ||3D printing is used across the aerospace (and astrospace) industry due to the ability to create light, yet geometrically complex parts, such as blisks. Rather than building a part from several components, 3D printing allows for an item to be created as one whole component, reducing lead times and material wastage.|
|Automotive ||The automotive industry has embraced 3D printing due to the inherent weight and cost reductions. It also allows for rapid prototyping of new or bespoke parts for test or small-scale manufacture. For example, if a particular part is no longer available, it can be produced as part of a small, bespoke run, including the manufacture of spare parts.|
|Medical ||The medical sector has found uses for 3D printing in the creation of made-to-measure implants and devices. For example, hearing aids can be created quickly from a digital file that is matched to a scan of the patient’s body. 3D printing can also reduce costs and production times.|
|Rail ||The rail industry has found a number of applications for 3D printing, including the creation of customised parts, such as arm rests for drivers and housing covers for train couplings. Bespoke parts are just one application for the rail industry, which has also used the process to repair worn rails.|
|Robotics ||The speed of manufacture, design freedom, and ease of design customisation make 3D printing perfectly suited to the robotics industry. This includes work to create bespoke exoskeletons and agile robots with improved agility and efficiency.|
Advantages of 3D printing:
- Bespoke, cost-effective creation of complex geometries:
- This technology allows for the easy creation of bespoke geometric parts where added complexity comes at no extra cost.
- In some instances, 3D printing is cheaper than subtractive production methods as no extra material is used.
- Affordable start-up costs:
- Since no moulds are required, the costs associated with this manufacturing process are relatively low.
- The cost of a part is directly related to the amount of material used, the time taken to build the part and any post processing that may be required.
- Completely customisable:
- Because the process is based upon computer aided designs (CAD), any product alterations are easy to make without impacting the manufacturing cost.
- Ideal for rapid prototyping:
- Because the technology allows for small batches and in-house production, this process is ideal for prototyping, which means that products can be created faster than with more traditional manufacturing techniques, and without the reliance on external supply chains.
- Allows for the creation of parts with specific properties:
- Although plastics and metals are the most common materials used in 3D printing, there is also scope for creating parts from specially tailored materials with desired properties. So, for example, parts can be created with high heat resistance, water repellency or higher strengths for specific applications.
Disadvantages of 3D printing
- Can have a lower strength than with traditional manufacture:
- While some parts, such as those made from metal, have excellent mechanical properties, many other 3D printed parts are more brittle than those created by traditional manufacturing techniques.
- This is because the parts are built up layer-by-layer, which reduces the strength by between 10 and 50%.
- Increased cost at high volume:
- Large production runs are more expensive with 3D printing as economies of scale do not impact this process as they do with other traditional methods.
- Estimates suggest that when making a direct comparison for identical parts, 3D printing is less cost effective than CNC machining or injection moulding in excess of 100 units, provided the parts can be manufactured by conventional means.
- Limitations in accuracy:
- The accuracy of a printed part depends on the type of machine and/or process used.
- Some desktop printers have lower tolerances than other printers, meaning that the final parts may slightly differ from the designs.
- While this can be fixed with post-processing, it must be considered that 3D printed parts may not always be exact.
- Post-processing requirements:
- Most 3D printed parts require some form of post-processing. This may be sanding or smoothing to create a required finish, the removal of support struts which allow the materials to be built up into the designated shape, heat treatment to achieve specific material properties or final machining.
- As 3D printing technology continues to improve it could democratise the manufacture of goods.
- With printers becoming faster, they will be able to work on larger scale production projects, while lowering the cost of 3D printing will help its use spread outside of industrial uses and into homes, schools and other settings.
3 . Facts for Prelims
Context: India’s economy can cope with a current account deficit (CAD) of 2.5-3% of GDP without facing an external sector crisis according to RBI Deputy Governor.
About Current Account Deficit
- Current Account Deficit (CAD) is the shortfall between the money received by selling products to other countries and the money spent to buy goods and services from other nations.
- If the value of goods and services we import exceeds the value of those we export, the country is said to be in a deficit, and the difference in the two values is CAD.
- The current account includes net income, including interest and dividends, and transfers, like foreign aid.
- A current account deficit indicates that a country is importing more than it is exporting.
- Emerging economies often run surpluses, and developed countries tend to run deficits.
- A current account deficit is not always detrimental to a nation’s economy—external debt may be used to finance lucrative investments.
- India’s current account position is largely on the deficit side because of the country’s dependence on imports of major items.
- When a country runs a current account deficit, it is building up liabilities to the rest of the world that are financed by flows in the financial account.
- Whether a country should run a current account deficit depends on the extent of its foreign liabilities (its external debt) and on whether the borrowing will finance investment with a higher marginal product than the interest rate (or rate of return) the country has to pay on its foreign liabilities.
Context: Recently, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) instituted a framework for regulating the digital lending landscape in the country due to concerns such as unbridled engagement of third parties, mis-selling, breach of data privacy, unfair business conduct, charging of exorbitant interest rates, and unethical recovery practices bothering consumer confidence and said that they had to be mitigated.
About digital lending
- Digital Lending involves lending through web platforms or mobile apps, utilizing technology for authentication and credit evaluation.
- It utilises automated technologies and algorithms for decision making customer acquisition, disbursements, and recovery.
- Need: Over 190 million Indian adults do not have any kind of bank account thereby representing a huge opportunity.
- Over the years, the digital lending market in India has significantly expanded.
- The value of digital lending rose from USD 33 billion in FY15 to USD 150 billion in FY20 and is projected to reach USD 350 billion by FY23.
- Lowers costs and ensures speedy disbursal.
- Make quicker and more accurate decisions by shifting from an analysis of individuals to an analysis of patterns and trends.
- Digitization of the lending process brings several benefits for banks, including better decisions, improved customer experience, and significant cost savings.
- Machine learning provides lenders with a variety of ancillary leverage points, such as -Enhanced operational effectiveness, Improved precision, simplified compliance, and Effective analysis of large volumes of data.
Context: As the country gears up for the 75th anniversary of Independence, the walls of the Gadgil Wada, witness to period of freedom struggle, stand tall in Pune.
About Gadgil Wada
- It was built by Congressman and freedom fighter Kakasaheb Gadgil in 1932.
- In Gadgil Wada, Pune had its momentous tryst with the freedom struggle through Kakasaheb Gadgil, who had purchased the plot of land where the structure was built in 1932.
- The highlight of the Wada is a 500-sq. ft courtyard in the centre, which was once always occupied by freedom fighters plotting and planning their next moves
- In 1942, after Congress Working Committee (CWC) members were released from Ahmednagar Jail, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhai Patel, Maulana Azad and others chose this place to deliberate over the future course of the freedom struggle.
- Gadgil Wada was where plans for the reconstitution of the socialist Rashtra Seva Dal took place in the early 1940s, with socialists like S.M. Joshi, N.G. Gore, Shirubhau Limaye and Kakasaheb in the lead.
- Today, the Wada is 90 years old, and it is the 75th anniversary of India’s Independence.
Pritilata wadedar, Bina Das Matangini Hazra
Context: West Bengal State Archives brought to life the memory of less-known freedom fighters in a series of I-Day exhibitions. A special section was dedicated to women revolutionaries such as Pritilata (Waddedar), Bina Das and Matangini Hazra.
About Pritilata (Waddedar)
- Pritilata Waddedar, born in a middle-class family in Chittagong, excelled in her academic endeavours, earning awards and scholarships.
- During her student days, she came to be associated with women spearheading the semi-revolutionary groups.
- She also became a member of a revolutionary group, Deepali Sangha (a rebellion organization established by Leela Nag – the advocate of women’s education, where combat training was imparted to women).
- Pritilata, while pursuing studies at Bethune College, Calcutta, encountered revolutionaries like Kalpana Dutta and Nalini Pal.
- She worked under the leadership of Surya Sen (an influential Indian independence leader).
- Surya Sen planned an attack in Chittagong. He formed a group of some 40 revolutionaries for the attack on Pahartali European Club – symbolizing British supremacy. Pritilata led the attack along with fellow revolutionaries. hereafter, a fierce gun battle ensued. She was shot in the leg and upon realizing her imminent arrest, she sacrificed her life for the Motherland by consuming a cyanide capsule from her pocket.
- She was only 21 years old when she died fighting for the cause of nation
About Bina Das
- Bina Das was an Indian revolutionary and nationalist from West Bengal.
- She was born to social worker and educationist parents, who were deeply involved in the Brahmo Samaj and the freedom struggle.
- Das was a member of Chhatri Sangha, a semi-revolutionary organisation for women in Kolkata.
- On 6 February 1932, she attempted to assassinate Bengal Governor Stanley Jackson, in the Convocation Hall of the University of Calcutta. The revolver was supplied by another freedom fighter Kamala Das Gupta. She fired five shots but failed and was sentenced to nine years of rigorous imprisonment.
- After her early release in 1939, Das joined the Congress party.
- In 1942, she participated in the Quit India movement and was imprisoned again from 1942 to 1945.
- From 1946 to 1947, she was a member of the Bengal Provincial Legislative Assembly and, from 1947 to 1951, of the West Bengal Legislative Assembly.
- In her own memoir, translated from Bengali by Dhira Dhar, Das mentions how deeply “Subhas babu” was inspired by her father and was a regular visitor to her parent’s home.
- Matangini Hazra was an Indian revolutionary who participated in the Indian independence movement until she was shot dead by the British Indian police in front of the Tamluk Police Station on 29 September 1942.
- She was affectionately known as Gandhi Buri, Bengali for old lady Gandhi.
- Matangini led one procession from the north of the criminal court building; even after the firing commenced, she continued to advance with the tri-colour flag, leaving all the volunteers behind.
- She continued marching despite wounds to the forehead and both hands.
- As she was repeatedly shot, she kept chanting Vande Mataram.
- She died with the flag of the Indian National Congress held high and still flying.
- The parallel Tamluk government incited open rebellion by praising her “martyrdom for her country” and was able to function for two more years, until it was disbanded in 1944, at Gandhi’s request.
Maximum residue limit
Context: Amid reports that several samples of basmati rice contained the residue of certain pesticides above the maximum residue level (MRL), a potential constraint in its export, the Punjab government has decided to ban the use of 10 of these formulations for 60 days.
About Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs)
- A maximum residue limit (MRL) is the highest level of pesticide residue that is legally tolerated in or on food or feed when pesticides are applied correctly in accordance with Good Agricultural Practice.
- The MRL is not a toxicological parameter, but rather a trading standard set by national and international authorities (e.g. Codex Alimentarius) to ensure that residues are controlled in the world food trade.
- The amounts of residues found in food must be safe for consumers and must be as low as possible.
- The MRL is determined by a small-scale farm study in which the pesticide under test is applied to the particular crop, the appropriate withdrawal period is allowed (i.e. the time necessary between application of pesticide and harvest), the crop is harvested, and residues determined. The residue level is the MRL. If a residue level exceeds the MRL the crop has not been grown according to Good Agricultural Practice and the product is not permitted to be sold, imported or exported.
Context: Russia has pulled out of the Indian Navy’s tender for the construction of six advanced submarines under Project-75I and has informed that it cannot meet the terms and conditions for the ₹40,000 crore project.
- In June 1999, the Cabinet Committee on Security approved a plan for the Indian Navy to induct indigenously build and induct submarines by 2030.
- It was broken down into two phases — the P-75 and P-75I.
- First phase of P-75: Signed in 2005, India and France signed a $3.75 billion contract for building six Scorpene class submarines.
- The executing company on the Indian side was Mazgaon Docks Ltd, and on the French side, it was DCNS, which is now called Naval Group. The first submarine under the project was commissioned in December 2017. Subsequently, the other five have been built and in April, INS Vagsheer was launched and would be commissioned by 2023.
- The P-75I phase: It envisages the construction of six conventional submarines with better sensors and weapons and the Air Independent Propulsion System (AIP).
- They are a planned class of diesel-electric submarines, which are to be built for the Indian Navy. The Defence Acquisition Council cleared the project in 2019 under the strategic partnership model.
- As per the plan, an Indian shipyard was selected by the government, which would nominate the foreign original equipment manufacturer (OEM).
- The Ministry of Defence then appointed a high-powered committee to assess the eight Indian shipyards and select the eligible ones for the project. After much deliberation, it was decided that state-run Mazgaon Dockyard Limited and Larsen and Toubro would be the chosen ‘Selected Partner’.
- Besides the Naval Group, there were four companies, that were part of the bidding, including Russia’s Rosoboronexport, Germany’s Thyssenkrupp, Spain’s Navantia and South Korea’s Daewoo.
- The French firm pulled out of the project as it could not meet the conditions of the Request for Proposal (RFI) put out by the Indian Navy
Air Independent Propulsion System (AIP)
- AIP technology allows a conventional submarine to remain submerged for much longer than ordinary diesel-electric submarines.
- Currently, all conventional submarines have to surface to recharge the batteries that allow the boat to function underwater.
- However, AIP permits a submarine to remain underwater for more than a fortnight, compared to two-three days for diesel-powered boats.
- India wants the AIP technology, as none of its current ships has it while Both Pakistan and China have AIP-equipped submarines.
Context: India has millions of orphans but there are only 2,430 children available for adoption while the number of parents desiring to adopt is growing rapidly. To address this, a Parliamentary panel has recommended district-level surveys to proactively identify orphaned and abandoned children. According to a report, there were 27,939 prospective parents registered with the Child Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) as of December 2021, up from nearly 18,000 in 2017.
About Child Adoption Resource Authority (CARA)
- Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) is a statutory body of the Ministry of Women & Child Development, Government of India.
- It functions as the nodal body for the adoption of Indian children and is mandated to monitor and regulate in-country and inter-country adoptions.
- CARA is designated as the Central Authority to deal with inter-country adoptions in accordance with the provisions of the Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoption, 1993, ratified by Government of India in 2003.
- CARA primarily deals with the adoption of orphan, abandoned and surrendered children through its associated /recognised adoption agencies.
“Panch Pran” (five resolves)
- The five pledges are
- Resolve for a developed India
- Removing any trace of the colonial mindset
- Taking pride in our legacy
- Our strength of unity, and
- Fulfilling the duties of citizens with honesty.