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01 July Current Affairs

3 Million Houses will be Built under YSR Jagananna Colonies

In News:

The State Government of Andhra Pradesh will take up the construction of 3 Million (30 lakh) houses under the YSR Jagananna Colonies project after distributing the house sites to the beneficiaries on 8th July 2020. Jagananna Colonies is part of the State Government’s Navratnalu- Pedalandariki Illu (houses for all the poor) Program.

YSR Jagananna Colonies Project:

For the land acquisition of the colonies, the state government will bear around Rs 10,000 to Rs 11,000 crore. The house sites will be provided at Rs 1 to the selected white Ration Card beneficiaries. The total expenditure for the project including the share of the Central Government is estimated at RS 50,000 crore.

The project will be implemented in two phases with 15 lakh houses being constructed in each phase. Construction for the first phase will begin on 28th August this year while the second phase construction will begin from August 2021. All necessary facilities will be provided in the colonies such as water, connecting roads, electricity, etc. Each house will have a carpet area of 230 square feet. The cost of each house is estimated to be around Rs 1.80 lakh.

The State Government has set a target for completion of the project by 2024.

Lazarus Chakwera elected as New President of Malawi following Evidence of Irregularities in 2019 Elections

In News:

Presidential Elections of Malawi was conducted after the annulment of the results of the 2019 Presidential Elections by the Constitutional Court of Malawi earlier in the month of February 2020.

Details:

Lazarus Chakwera was elected as the new President of Malawi after winning 2,604,043 votes, which is 59.34 percent of the total valid votes. 2019 Presidential Election winner Peter Mutharika secured 39.92 percent of the total valid votes in the 2020 Presidential Elections.

This is the second incidence of Annulment of Election in the Africa Continent in the last 4 years, in August 2017 the Presidential Election of Kenya was annulled.

Background:

The 2019 Presidential Election was conducted on 21st May 2019 in which Peter Mutharika become the President of Malawi by securing the highest 38.57 percent of the total valid votes.

The election results were highly criticized by the opposition parties of Malawi and called the election as the Tipp-Ex election. Tip-Ex is a popular correction fluid. The opposition parties claimed that the correction fluid Tip-Ex was used for tampering the votes. Based on the allegations, the Constitutional Court of Malawi founded irregularities and evidence of vote tampering during the investigations.

This led to the annulment of the 2019 Presidential Election by the Constitutional Court on 3rd February 2020.

World Bank Group Approves USD 500 Million under STARS Program

In News:

The World Bank Group has announced that a loan of USD 500 million (approx Rs 3700 crore) was approved by its Board of Executives on 24th June 2020 for improving the quality and governance of school education system in India. The loan approved will benefit 10 million teachers and 250 million school students across 1.5 million schools in 6 states of India. The loan was approved as a part of the STARS Program. The 6 Indian States are Rajasthan, Odisha, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, and Maharashtra.

About the Loan:

The loan of USD 500 million will be sanctioned by the lending arm of the World Bank Group- International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. With a grace period of 5 years, the loan has a final maturity of 14.5 years. With USD 500 million, the World Billion Group has approved total financial assistance of more than USD 3 billion for improving the education system in the system.

STARS Program:

STARS stands for Strengthening Teaching-Learning and Results for States Program. Since 1994 the program has helped in establishing a long partnership between India and the World Bank. Through the program, the World Bank Group has provided greater flexibility to the vision of the Indian Government to provide ‘Education for All’. The Government of India has made significant strides in its vision over the years as the number of students going to school has increased to 248 million from 219 million between the 2004-05 to 2018-19 period.

The program will have a series of reform initiatives that will help in addressing the leaning outcome challenges that exist in the educational system in rural parts of the country.

National Statistics Day

In News:

To popularize the use of Statistics in everyday life, every year 29th June is celebrated as the National Statistics Day. The day 29th June was chosen to acknowledge the invaluable contributions made by Prof. Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis in establishing the National Statistical System. 29th June is the birth anniversary of Prof. P.C Mahalanobis.

Details:

National Statistics Day was celebrated first in the year 2007. World Statistics Day is celebrated on October 20th every year.

Theme of National Statistics Day 2020:

SDG- 3 (Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages) & SDG- 5 (Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls)

Aim of the Day:

The day is being celebrated to sensitize the citizens of the country as to how Statistics helps in shaping and framing policies. Statistics helps us in presenting a result much effectively through correct analyses and the proper methods for collecting the data.

Prof. P C Mahalanobis:

Recipient of Padma Vibhushan in 1968 Prof P.C Mahalanobis’s contribution in the field of Statistics is recognized all over the world. He served as the Chairman of the United Nations Sub Commission on Statistical Sampling from 1947 to 1951.

In 1931, Prof. P C Mahalanobis founded the ISI-Indian Statistical Institute (ISI formally registered in April 1932). Post Independence, a comprehensive socio-economic national sample survey was designed and planned by ISI, for this survey-the National Sample Survey (NSS) was established by him in the year 1950. To date, for the collection of sample surveys in the country, NSS is the premier agency of the Indian Government.

Review Petition

In News:

The Supreme Court has refused to review its 2018 judgment which decriminalised adultery.

What had the Court ruled then?

The original judgment was by a Constitution Bench led by then chief justice Dipak Misra who found that Section 497 (adultery) of the Indian Penal Code cannot “command” married couples to remain loyal to each other for the fear of penal punishment.

Two individuals may part if one cheats, but to attach criminality to infidelity is going too far.

The court had reasoned that there was no data whatsoever to support claims that abolition of adultery as a crime would result in “chaos in sexual morality” or an increase of divorce.

Why Court struck down Section 497?

Section 497 perpetuates subordinate status of women, denies dignity, sexual autonomy, and is based on gender stereotypes. Section 497 based on women as chattel, seeks to control sexuality of woman, hits the autonomy and dignity of woman.

It also violates rights guaranteed under Articles 14 and 21.

Past Supreme Court judgements on adultery:

The adultery law had come up in court thrice in the past — in 1954, in 1985, and in 1988.

In 1954, the SC rejected that Section 497 violated the right to equality.

In 1985, it said that women didn’t need to be included in the law as a party which can make complaints.

In 1988, the Supreme Court said that the adultery law was a “shield rather than a sword”.

What is a review petition and when can it be filed?

Under Article 137, the Supreme Court has the power to review any of its judgments or orders.

Scope for review:

When a review takes place, the law is that it is allowed not to take fresh stock of the case but to correct grave errors that have resulted in the miscarriage of justice.

The court has the power to review its rulings to correct a “patent error” and not “minor mistakes of inconsequential import”.

In a 1975 ruling, Justice Krishna Iyer said a review can be accepted “only where a glaring omission or patent mistake or like grave error has crept in earlier by judicial fallibility”.

In a 2013 ruling, the Supreme Court has laid down three grounds for seeking a review of a verdict it has delivered:

The discovery of new and important matter or evidence which, after the exercise of due diligence, was not within the knowledge of the petitioner or could not be produced by him.

Mistake or error apparent on the face of the record.

Any other sufficient reason. It means a reason that is analogous to the other two grounds.

In 2013 Union of India v. Sandur Manganese & Iron Ores Ltd) case, the court laid down nine principles on when a review is maintainable.

Who can file a review petition?

As per the Civil Procedure Code and the Supreme Court Rules, any person aggrieved by a ruling can seek a review. However, the court exercises its discretion to allow a review petition only when it shows the grounds for seeking the review.

Time- period within which a review petition should be filed?

As per 1996 rules framed by the Supreme Court:

A review petition must be filed within 30 days of the date of judgment or order. While a judgment is the final decision in a case, an order is an interim ruling that is subject to its final verdict.

In certain circumstances, the court can condone a delay in filing the review petition if the petitioner can establish strong reasons that justify the delay.

The procedure to be followed:

The rules state that review petitions would ordinarily be entertained without oral arguments by lawyers. It is heard “through circulation” by the judges in their chambers.

Review petitions are also heard, as far as practicable, by the same combination of judges who delivered the order or judgment that is sought to be reviewed.

If a judge has retired or is unavailable, a replacement is made keeping in mind the seniority of judges.

In exceptional cases, the court allows an oral hearing. In a 2014 case, the Supreme Court held that review petitions in all death penalty cases will be heard in open court by a Bench of three judges.

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