Daily Current Affairs : 20th November 2021

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE

Topics Covered

  1. Repeal of Farm Laws
  2. Uniform Civil Code
  3. Facts for Prelims

1 . Repeal of Farm Laws

Context : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday announced the repeal of the three contentious farm laws, assuring farmer groups protesting against them for the past year that the legislative process for the withdrawal would be completed in the winter session of Parliament.


  • The Centre last year introduced three Bills on food and agriculture reform in the Lok Sabha.
  • The legislations replaced the ordinances promulgated during the lockdown and it was aimed at bringing about changes to the marketing and storage of farm produce and agri commodities outside registered markets, as well as the facilitation of contract farming.
  • The bills are
    • The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill,
    • The Farmers Empowerment and Protection Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill
    • The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020
  • Farmer organisations were protesting against these legislations

The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill,

  • The Farming Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) bill, 2020 aims to open up agricultural marketing outside notified mandis for farmers, and also remove barriers to inter-State trade.
  • According to the industry sources 60% of agricultural trade already takes place outside the mandis through unregulated sales.
  • By legalising and facilitating such sales, the farmers will benefit, rather than middlemen.
  • Not all States have been on board with these reforms, especially as State governments will not be allowed to levy fees on these sales.

The Farmers Empowerment and Protection Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill

  • It is aimed at facilitating contract farming, where a private buyer contracts to purchase a crop at a certain price at the beginning of a season, transferring the risk of market unpredictability from the farmer to the corporate sponsor.
  • The ordinance will empower farmers for engaging with processors, wholesalers, aggregators,wholesalers, large retailers, exporters etc., on a level playing field without any fear of exploitation. It will transfer the risk of market unpredictability from the farmer to the sponsor and also enable the farmer to access modern technology and better inputs. It will reduce cost of marketing and improve income of farmers.
  • This Ordinance will act as a catalyst to attract private sector investment for building supply chains for supply of Indian farm produce to global markets. Farmers will get access to technology and advice for high value agriculture and get ready market for such produce.
  • Farmers will engage in direct marketing thereby eliminating intermediaries resulting in full realization of price. Farmers have been provided adequate protection. Sale, lease or mortgage of farmers’ land is totally prohibited and farmers’ land is also protected against any recovery. Effective dispute resolution mechanism has been provided for with clear time lines for redressal.

The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020

  • The Essential Commodities Act, 1955 empowers the central government to designate certain commodities (such as food items, fertilizers, and petroleum products) as essential commodities.  The central government may regulate or prohibit the production, supply, distribution, trade, and commerce of such essential commodities.  The Ordinance provides that the central government may regulate the supply of certain food items including cereals, pulses, potatoes, onions, edible oilseeds, and oils, only under extraordinary circumstances.   These include: (i) war, (ii) famine, (iii) extraordinary price rise and (iv) natural calamity of grave nature.
  • Stock limit: The Ordinance requires that imposition of any stock limit on agricultural produce must be based on price rise.  A stock limit may be imposed only if there is: (i) a 100% increase in retail price of horticultural produce; and (ii) a 50% increase in the retail price of non-perishable agricultural food items.   The increase will be calculated over the price prevailing immediately preceding twelve months, or the average retail price of the last five years, whichever is lower.

Repeal of the Bill

  • Repealing a law is one of the ways to nullify a law. A law is reversed when Parliament thinks there is no longer a need for the law to exist.
  • Legislation can also have a “sunset” clause, a particular date after which they cease to exist. For example, the anti-terror legislation Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act 1987, commonly known as TADA, had a sunset clause, and was allowed to lapse in 1995.
  • For laws that do not have a sunset clause, Parliament has to pass another legislation to repeal the law.


  • Article 245 of the Constitution gives Parliament the power to make laws for the whole or any part of India, and state legislatures the power to make laws for the state. Parliament draws its power to repeal a law from the same provision.
  • A law can be repealed either in its entirety, in part, or even just to the extent that it is in contravention of other laws.
  • Laws can be repealed in two ways — either through an ordinance, or through legislation.
  • In case an ordinance is used, it would need to be replaced by a law passed by Parliament within six months. If the ordinance lapses because it is not approved by Parliament, the repealed law can be revived.
  • The government can also bring legislation to repeal the farm laws. It will have to be passed by both Houses of Parliament, and receive the President’s assent before it comes into effect. All three farm laws can be repealed through a single legislation. Usually, Bills titled Repealing and Amendment are introduced for this purpose.
  • The Narendra Modi government has passed six Repealing and Amendment Acts since it came to power in 2014, in order to repeal over 1,428 statutes that are obsolete

2 . Uniform Civil Code

Context : Stating that the Uniform Civil Code “is a necessity and mandatorily required today,” the Allahabad High Court has called upon the Central Government to forthwith initiate the process for its implementation.

About the News

  • Court made the observations while hearing a bunch of 17 petitions filed by inter-faith couples, seeking protection of their life, liberty and privacy guaranteed under Article 21, to live independently as man and woman without the interference of the their family or others.
  • Noting that there has been a steep rise in inter-community, inter-caste and interfaith marriages and relationships, which has exploded specially in the last few decades, the court said that since 1950 the society has considerably evolved and the relationships, be it interfaith, inter-culture, coupled with the rise in the number of single women requires a comprehensive Family Code which is in conformity with the changing times.
  • According to the Judgement UCC “cannot be made ‘purely voluntary’ as was observed by Dr. B.R Ambedkar 75 years back, in view of the apprehension and fear expressed by the members of the minority community,
  • The Court directed the Centre to consider the constitution of a committee or commission for implementing the mandate of Article 44, as directed by the Supreme Court

Background of UCC

  • The Lex Loci Report of October 1840- It stressed the importance and necessity of uniformity in the codification of Indian law, relating to crimes, evidence and contract. But, it also recommended that personal laws of Hindus and Muslims should be kept outside such codification.
  • The Queen’s 1859 Proclamation- It promised absolute non-interference in religious matters.
  • So while criminal laws were codified and became common for the whole country, personal laws continue to be governed by separate codes for different communities.
  • Post independence UCC was included under Directive Principle of State Policy

About Uniform Civil Code

  • It is the idea that all citizens, irrespective of faith, should be governed by the same set of laws in ‘personal’ affairs such as marriage, divorce, succession and inheritance, and adoption. Currently, each religion has its own set of personal laws.
  • Article 44 of the Constitution says, “The State shall endeavour to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India.” It is a Directive Principle of State Policy, not mandatory, but a directive towards a desirable end.
  • Personal Laws include : Marriage,Divorce, Adoption, Inheritance, Succession & Maintenance

Argument for Uniform Civil Code

  • The inconsistency in personal laws has been challenged on the touchstone of Article 14, which ensures the right to equality. Litigants have contended that their right to equality is endangered by personal laws that put them at a disadvantage.
  • A uniform civil code will help in integrating India more than it has ever been since independence. A lot of the animosity is caused by preferential treatment by the law of certain religious communities and this can be avoided by a uniform civil code.
  • A uniform civil code means that all citizens of India have to follow the same laws whether they are Hindus or Muslims or Christians or Sikhs this will promote secularism
  • It can also reduce vote bank politics
  • It would address the discrimination against vulnerable groups and harmonise diverse cultural practices.
  • A uniform civil code will also help in improving the condition of women in India. 

Challenges in implementation

  • A move against Secularism : Secular character of India has been identified as part of the basic structure of the Constitution, and Article 25 guarantees the freedom to practise, profess and propagate any religion and UCC is seen as invasion into the secular character
  • Infringement of personal religious laws : A strong argument which goes against the implementation of the Uniform Civil Code is, the very idea of assimilating all the personal laws into a uniform code will infringe the constituents of personal laws of most of the minority religion. 
  • Authority to decide : How will the government decide what laws need to be reformed and what laws are good. It is necessary that govt formulate a code that is acceptable to all the communities.

Case Laws

  • The first prominent case founded was Shah Bano (1985) in this case husband gave an irrevocable talaq (divorce) to her which was his prerogative under Islamic law and took up the defence that since Shah Bano had ceased to be his wife and therefore he was under no obligation to provide maintenance for her as except prescribed under the Islamic law which was in total Rs. 5400. In this case Supreme Court ruled that a Muslim woman was entitled to alimony under the general provisions of the CrPC, like anybody else.
  • Following protests from Muslim leaders, Rajiv Gandhi’s government in 1986 got the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act passed in Parliament, which nullified the ruling. The Act allowed maintenance to a divorced woman only during the period of iddat, or for 90 days after divorce, according to provisions of Islamic law, but in stark contrast to general provisions under the CrPC.
  • In Daniel Latifi vs Union of India (2001), the Supreme Court upheld the Act in so far as it confined the time period of maintenance to the iddat period, but held that the quantum of maintenance must be “reasonable and fair”, and therefore, last her a lifetime. In effect, the verdict did a balancing act between the Shah Bano judgment and the 1986 law.
  • In Githa Hariharan vs RBI (1999), the top court adjudicated upon the constitutional validity of certain provisions of the Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956 and the Guardian Constitution and Wards Act, on a petition claiming they violated Articles 14 by treating the father as the natural guardian of a child under all circumstances. The court held that the interest of the child was paramount, and that the letter of law would not override this aspect. It ushered in the principle of equality in matters of guardianship for Hindus, making the child’s welfare the prime consideration.
  • The Supreme Court examined the aspect uniformity again in two cases in 2015. The first pertained to seeking the court’s recognition to the Ecclesiastical Court, which operates under the Canon Law for Catholic Christians and not under India’s civil laws. The apex court was upset — wondering angrily whether India would remain secular in the present circumstances, and calling for stamping out religions from civil laws. This case remains pending.
  • In the second case, the court dealt with the issue of guardianship of a Christian unwed mother without the consent of the child’s father. While ruling in the woman’s favour, it said: “It would be apposite for us to underscore that our Directive Principles envision the existence of a uniform civil code, but this remains an unaddressed constitutional expectation.”

Goa’s Civil Code

  • Recently 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.
  • A married person cannot sell the property without the consent of his/her spouse.
  • The parents cannot disinherit their children entirely. At least half of their property has to be passed on to the children compulsorily. This inherited property must be shared equally among the children.

3 . Facts for Prelims


  • Santhali, is the most widely spoken language of the Munda subfamily of the Austroasiatic languages, related to Ho and Mundari, spoken mainly in the Indian states of Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Mizoram, Odisha, Tripura and West Bengal
  •  It is a recognised regional language of India per the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution


  • HELINA is a Helicopter based NAG which is a third-generation fire and forget class anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) system mounted on the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH). The system can hit a target with a minimum range of 500 m and a maximum range of 7 km. The missile is guided by an Infrared Imaging Seeker (IIR), which makes it one of the most advanced Anti-Tank Weapons in the world.
  • The missile system has all-weather day and night capability. It can penetrate through the conventional armor and can also destroy the explosive reactive armor. The missile can engage targets both in direct hit mode as well as top attack mode. The Indian Air Force has asked for the feasibility of integrating the Helina on the soon-to-be inducted Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) which will add to the current weapon arsenal of the Indian Air Force.

Leave a comment

error: Content is protected !! Copying and sharing on Social media / websites will invite legal action