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Article 370 and 35(A) scrapped: What changed in Jammu and Kashmir?

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Article 370 and Article 35(A) which gives Jammu and Kashmir special status and a host of special rights have been effectively revoked by the Government of India. About of 351 lawmakers voted in favour of the motion, whereas 72 MPs opposed the proposal. Indian President Ram Nath Kovind signed the official notification-declared provisions of Article 370 inoperative and there will be two Lieutenant Governors. It was a bold and far-reaching decision one can take. The government also introduced a bill, The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, 2019, which will bifurcate the state into two Union territories:

  • Jammu and Kashmir (will have a legislature like Delhi and Puducherry), keeping internal security situation into mind,
  • Ladakh (will not have a legislature).

Home Minister Amit Shah said, responding to the debate in Lok Sabha, that revoking Article 370 is necessary as it undermines the parliament of India and it even does not reach Jammu and Kashmir. For a long time, Pakistan was using this to instigate separatism in the hearts of people of Jammu and Kashmir.

BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) strictly believes in norms: (One flag, one Constitution and one leader). Ek Nishan, Ek Vidhan Aur Ek Pradhan. And this proved when Article 370 was revoked and Article 35(A) scrapped.

This was the most unprecedented political moves in the country taken by Narendra Modi and undoubtedly will be debated for weeks.

What Article 370 is all about?

Article 370 comes under Part XXI of the Constitution. The provisions of Article 370 are in respect with “Temporary, Transitional and Special provisions granting special autonomous status to Jammu and Kashmir. The provision was drafted in 1947 by Sheikh Abdullah, the prime minister of J&K at that time appointed by Maharaja Hari Singh and Jawaharlal Nehru, which came into force on 1952.

According to the article, the union government require the state government’s concurrence to apply laws except in foreign affairs, defence, finance and communications. This means that Jammu and Kashmir’s residents live under a separate set of laws with respect to citizenship, fundamental rights, and ownership of property, as compared to other states of Indians.

What Article 35(A) is all about?

Article 35(A) comes under article 370, inserted via the Constitution (Application to J&K) Order, 1954. The article is also known as Permanent Residents Law which allows the state legislature to define the Jammu and Kashmir’s, permanent residents.

What will change in Jammu and Kashmir?

BasisBefore Article 370After Article 370
J&K Constitution scrappedJ&K was the only state to have a separate constitution in the country which grants special status and autonomy.The separate constitution ceases to exist.
Properties in J&KOnly J&K’s residents have the right to buy and sell properties in the state.Any Indian citizen will be able to buy and sell properties in J&K.
Separate flagUse to have two different flags- India and the state.No separate flag
Article 360Financial emergency not applicableThe financial emergency will be applicable
Right To Information (RTI)Was not applicableWill be applicable. No restriction on filing RTI.
Duration of Legislative AssemblyDuration of Legislative Assembly for 6 yearsAssembly duration in Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir will be for 5 years.
Union TerritoryJ&K was the state with special autonomous status.The state will be bifurcated with two union territories: J&K and Ladakh
LadakhWas a part of Jammu & KashmirWill be a separate Union Territory without a legislature.

 

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Who is Debbie Abraham and Why is she deported from India?

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Debbie Abraham is a British MP and Labor Party, leader. She is critical of the government’s decisions on Kashmir under Article 370. Yesterday her e-visa was revoked due to her involvement in anti-India activities. She had reached Delhi on a two-day visit. Harpreet Uppal, who accompanied her, told the news agency that her valid Indian visa was rejected by the authorities at the airport. Officials did not give any reason for the cancellation of Abraham’s visa, while the visa was valid until October 2020. At the same time, a Home Ministry official, on the condition of anonymity, said that Abraham did not have a valid visa to travel. Hence she was barred from entering India. She was put on the UK return flight from Delhi Airport. 

The British MP stated “When he came back he was very rude and aggressive shouting at me to ‘come with me’. I told him not to speak to me like that and was then taken to a cordoned-off area marked as a Deportee Cell. He then ordered me to sit down and I refused. I didn’t know what they might do or where else they may take me, so I wanted people to see me,”

Although she has justified in a twitter post that e-visa has been issued by the Indian Government.

Sources in the government said, “It is the prerogative of the country to grant a visa or e-visa to any person, to cancel it or to cancel its application. Her e-business visa was canceled by the government on 14 February 2020, in view of activities against India’s interests. Abraham was also informed by the government about the cancellation of his visa. ”

The politics heated over it as one of the Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi supported sending Debbie Abraham back from the airport. Singhvi tweeted on Tuesday – “It was necessary to stop Debbie from coming to India because she works as a representative of Pakistan, not an MP.” She is associated with the Government of Pakistan and the ISI. It is necessary to thwart attempts to attack India’s autonomy.

 Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on the other hand given a statement “that it is being said on behalf of the British MP that he had a valid visa, yet he was not allowed to enter India”. They believe that this has happened because of their views on Kashmir.

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor further said that I think it is unfortunate. By not allowing such people to enter India, we will be considered a country with a narrow mind and intolerant, which is not right for our country, there is diversity in our country. We have the ability to tolerate negative attitudes of people coming from outside.

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After 17-years-of-long legal battle women get equal rights at the Indian army breaking the stereotype 

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The Supreme Court said in an important decision on Monday that all those women officers who want to opt for this option should be given a permanent commission in the army within three months. The court termed the Centre’s plea as citing physical abilities and social norms behind not giving women command posts. The judgment was delivered by a bench of Justice DY Chandrachud

After this decision of the Supreme Court, now women in the army have got equal rights with male officers. Till now only male soldiers who served in the Army for 14 years in the Short Service Commission (SSC) were getting the option of permanent commission, but women did not have this right. Although, Women officers in the Air Force and Navy are getting a permanent commission.

What really occurred?

in 2003, Babita Punia was the first woman lawyer to petition the Delhi High Court in this case. After that, nine women officers filed separate petitions in the High Court till 2009 on the same issue. In 2010, the Delhi High Court ruled on these petitions and ordered permanent commission of women in the army. The High Court had said, “It is clarified that all those women officers who have not reached the age of retirement should be given permanent commission.” They should also be given benefits like promotions. We are not doing women any favors, we are giving them their constitutional rights. ”

What evoked the situation?

Nine years after the High Court’s decision, in February 2019, the government made a policy of giving permanent commission to women officers in 10 departments of the army but said that only women officers who have been in service since March 2019 will get the benefit. In this way, those women were deprived of permanent commission, who fought a long legal battle on this issue. The Center had filed a petition in the Supreme Court, arguing that male soldiers would not be ready to take orders from female officers.

Three most important things about the decision of the Supreme Court which has been made today 

Permanent Commission: All women officers under Short Service Commission will be entitled to permanent commission. The Supreme Court has said that women officers who have served less than 14 years and above under the Short Service Commission should be given the chance of permanent commission.

Combat Role: The Supreme Court has left the decision on the government and the army to give Combat Roll to women. The Supreme Court said, ‘Deployment of women in the combat roles directly involved in the war is a matter of policy. The Delhi High Court also said the same. So the government will have to think about it.

Command posting: The Supreme Court has said, ‘It is absurd to completely ban women officers from not giving a command posting in the Army and is against the right to equal. Women should get the right to command posting. Command posting means posting leading a unit, corps or command.

 Strict comments of Supreme Court told Center to be preferential and asked to change the mindset

Unique decisions of the Center: The Supreme Court said, ‘The policy decisions of the Central Government regarding the deployment of women officers have been very unique. After the High Court’s decision, the Center should have given permanent commission to women in the army. The Center has shown bias by not giving permanent commission to women officers.

Disturbing arguments: Due to physical limitations and social norms, the Center’s plea of ​​not giving permanent commission to women officers is disturbing. Such pleas cannot be accepted at all.

Need to change mentality: Women officers should be given permanent commission in the Army. In the past, women officers have shown bravery for the country. Even after 70 years of British rule, the government needs to change the mindset to end gender discrimination in the armed forces.

Humiliation of women and the army: Doubting not only the women but also the army, will be an insult to the abilities of women regarding achievements and roles in the army.

The Center did not pay heed to the verdict: In 2010, the Delhi High Court allowed a permanent commission for women officers. 2 September 2011 The Supreme Court also made it clear that the High Court’s decision will not have stayed. Despite this, the Center did not implement it for a decade and did not listen to the decisions of the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court.

Advocate Meenakshi Lekhi, who has pleaded on behalf of women officers in this case, said – this is a brilliant decision of the court. The court has implemented a permanent commission and reprimanded the authorities for not wanting to implement it. Army Lieutenant Colonel Seema Singh said that this is a progressive and historic decision. This will give women a chance to compete.

People on the internet are celebrating the Supreme Court’s verdict on the position of female officers in the army. 

 

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PM flags off “Kashi Mahakal Express” from Varanasi.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday flagged off the third private train operated by Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) between Varanasi and Indore. PM flagged off Kashi Mahakal Express via video conferencing from Varanasi. Till now IRCTC has already successfully launched two Private trains i.e Tejas Express trains on New Delhi-Lucknow and Mumbai-Ahmedabad routes.

The new Kashi Mahakal Express will connect three places — Jyotirlinga-Omkareshwar (near Indore in Madhya Pradesh), Mahakaleshwar (Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh) and Kashi Vishwanath (Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh). The private train will also connect industrial and educational hub of Indore, and Bhopal.

Varanasi-Indore Kashi Mahakal Express will depart from Varanasi at 3:15 pm every Sunday and will reach Indore at 9:40 am the next day. Indore-Varanasi Express will depart from Indore at 10:55 am every Monday and reach Varanasi at 5:00 am the next day. The train will halt at Ujjain, Sant Hirdaram Nagar, Bina, Jhansi, Kanpur and Allahabad stations in both directions.

Like the previous IRCTC private trains, the Kashi Mahakal Express will also follow a dynamic fare structure. One-way journey from Varanasi to Indore in Kashi Mahakal Express will cost Rs 1,951 inclusive of four meals. It is worth mentioning that the Indore-Varanasi Kashi Mahakal Express will be the first private train that will run overnight and for a comfortable long-distance journey, the train will feature a host of facilities.

IRCTC will serve vegetarian food onboard. Passengers will enjoy housekeeping services, on-board security services and bedrolls. Passengers will also get complimentary insurance of Rs 10 lakh.

The train will have an advance reservation period of 120 days and will only have general and foreign tourist quota. The current booking will be available to the passengers on the platform after preparation of first chart, four hours to five minutes before the scheduled departure of the train.

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India, Portugal Signed 14 agreements to boost cooperation

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India and Portugal on Friday exchanged 14 agreements and understandings in a number of key areas, including maritime, intellectual property rights, aerospace and scientific research, as President Ram Nath Kovind hosted his Portuguese counterpart.
Kovind received Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on his first state visit to India.

Kovind said “Portugal-India relations are very special and the two countries enjoy 500 years of shared history”. “The two countries are closely tied together through Goa and Mumbai, through our culture, language and kinship,” he said.

Kovind thanked Portugal for extending its support for the commemoration of Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary.

The president said the “India-Portugal bilateral agenda has expanded several folds. The two countries are collaborating in science and technology, defence, education, innovation and start-up, water and environment among other things”.

Calling terrorism a grave threat to the entire world, Kovind said, “We should deepen our cooperation further to defeat and destroy this global menace.”

India told a high-level event on peacekeeping that working in partnerships is key to successful peacekeeping, underlining that professional competence of those engaged in all aspects of this global enterprise cannot be substituted or compromised.
India along with Portugal, Senegal, Uruguay and Vietnam co-hosted the high-level event Improving peacekeeping performance: A year since UNSCR 2436′ initiated by the US here Friday.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres thanked the US and the event’s co-hosts, India, Portugal, Senegal, Uruguay and Vietnam, for convening the event and for their support to United Nations peacekeeping operations.

India believes that even while broad participation in peacekeeping is important to enhance global solidarity, there can be no substitute for professional competence of those engaged in all aspects of this global enterprise, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin said in his address at the event. Working in partnerships is key to successful peacekeeping.

He stressed that guidelines require that the Peacekeeping Capability Readiness System (PCRS) should be the sole mechanism for the selection of a military or police unit for deployment.

A diversity in terms of deployment needs is understandable, and some variations are inevitable. However, choices and selections need to be made from within the same spectrum of options, he said, adding that those not part of the PCRS are best avoided.

Akbaruddin also highlighted that in selection, units without caveats should have precedence over units pledged with caveats, as these will not tie down the hands of Force Commander in operational decisions.

In short, we need to have a selection policy’ that is a natural extension of the PCRS to ensure that the most ready, capable, well-equipped and willing contingents are selected for deployment, he said.

He also stressed on the need for instances of under-performance to be assessed, saying such assessment needs to examine whether there were units available at higher levels in PCRS that were overlooked during selection; whether caveats have impacted performance; whether poor performance is due to lack of resources, including equipment; or whether the mandate, including guidelines, were not clear, resulting in unsatisfactory implementation.

Honest assessment and feedback is essential to have an effective accountability system. Assessing performance without determining accountability will leave us open to repeating errors, he said.

India is among the largest troop contributors to UN peacekeeping. India has co-deployed troops from Kazakhstan as part of its battalion in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon.

In partnership with the US, India also co-hosts the UN Peacekeeping Course for African Partners (UNPCAP), with special focus on capacity building in peacekeeping. India and the US have also deployed a joint Mobile Training Team (MTT) to Zambia for conducting training in peacekeeping.
Addressing the event, Guterres said “performance is a collective responsibility of all those involved in peacekeeping. This responsibility starts with the Security Council, and the adequate defining of mandates”.

Performance is also the responsibility of Member States as troop and police contributors, host governments, members of the General Assembly, as financial contributors and providers of capacity-building support.

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NCW Takes Suo Moto Cognizance After Girls Stripped To Check Period Status

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In Gujarat in a girls hostel located in Bhuj, 68 girls were allegedly asked to strip naked to prove their menstruation status after authorities found a sanitary pad in the garden area on campus. The took Suo moto cognizance of the incident was taken by the National Commission for Women(NCW).

This shameful activity was conducted by the principal Rita Raniga and teachers of Sahjanand Girls’ Institute which is run by Swaminarayan Temple followers. The issue arose when a soiled sanitary napkin was found in the garden outside the hostel on Monday. Suspecting one of the students who live in the hostel must have thrown out of the window the hostel authority wanted to find the culprit who violated the menstrual cycle norms of the college.

This was informed to principal Raniga who summoned all the students to the common room to give a severe lecture about the incident and about Swaminarayan sect rules asking the culprit to declare themselves. Two girls did come forward but the principal suspected foul play and checked every student one by one in the washroom in front of four female teachers and the principal herself.

In the statement of a student, it was some sheer mental torture leaving them with no words to describe it. According to another student, these women were interrupted during class and asked to reveal who was on periods after which they forced the people to go through the check-test. In the words of another student, this was routine happening.

The NCW has planned to step in with setting up an enquiry team to look into the matter. NCW has also written to the trustee and principal of Sahjanand Girls’ Institute to give an explanation for the occurrence of such a shameful incident. The chief of Delhi Commission for Women called the whole incident sick and cheap online with a link to the story. Though denied by the trustees, the college is said to mandate graduate students to stay in the hostel and if they do want to attend court hearings they should leave the hostel after signing a declaration denying anything that happened to them.

Authorities of Kutch University have been informed were a five-member team including Darshna Dholakia the vice-chancellor in charge and two other senior female professors visited the college. The students were asked to forget the incident by the college trustee Pravin Pindoria saying that the teachers might have enforced the sect rules a bit strict but the girls should follow as they were already informed of the rules.

Some of these rules involve girls with periods will stay in the basement area and not hostel rooms. They are not allowed to socialize or enter the kitchen or place of worship. They have to keep separate items including utensils and clean all of them after the period is over. What’s worse as girls on their periods are supposed to sit in the last bench of the classrooms.

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