Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
- Fight against fake news
The issue in news
At the fifth BRICS Media Forum, representatives of media organisations from BRICS have called for the member nations to work jointly to combat the spread of misinformation during the pandemic.
Suggestions to fight fake news:
- Rigorous fact-checking and investigation by well-trained teams of journalists.
- Specialised fact-checking organisations could be supplemented by technological solutions, with the deployment of technologies like AI.
- China’s Xinhua news agency came up with the idea of a BRICS Media Forum in 2015 to promote media cooperation.
The forum aims to:
- Establish an efficient coordination mechanism among BRICS media.
- Advance innovation-driven media development.
- Gather stronger momentum for the development of BRICS countries through exchange and pragmatic cooperation under the mechanism.
- The presidium is the decision-making body of the forum and holds a meeting regularly ahead of the opening of the forum.
Category: POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
- U.P’s conversion ordinance challenges SC orders
The issue in news
The Supreme Court has held that the Uttar Pradesh ordinance criminalising religious conversion via marriage breaks away from a series of Supreme Court judgments, which holds faith that the state and courts have no jurisdiction over an adult’s absolute right to choose a life partner. The choice of a life partner, whether by marriage or outside it, is part of an individual’s personhood and identity.
- Recently, the Uttar Pradesh government proposed an ordinance seeking to prohibit “unlawful” religious conversions.
- Intimacies of marriage lie within a core zone of privacy, which is inviolable, the court has said.
- It said “The absolute right of an individual to choose a life partner is not in the least affected by matters of faith”.
Hadiya case judgment:
- In the Hadiya case judgment, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud wrote that:
- The matters of dress and food, of ideas and ideologies, of love and partnership, are within the central aspects of identity.
- Neither the state nor the law can dictate a choice of partners or limit the free ability of every person to decide on these matters.
K.S. Puttuswamy judgment:
- In the K.S. Puttuswamy judgment or the ‘privacy’ judgment, a constitution bench said that: o The autonomy of the individual was the ability to make decisions in vital matters of concern to life.
- Any interference by the State in an adult’s right to love and marry has a chilling effect on freedoms.
Lata Singh case:
- Asserting that India is a free and democratic country, the Supreme Court in the Lata Singh case, said, “the Constitution will remain strong only if we accept the plurality and diversity of our culture”.
- Petition to hold polls where NOTA gets most votes
The issue in news
An advocate has moved the Supreme Court for a direction that fresh elections should be held in a constituency where NOTA (‘None of the above’ option) garnered the maximum number of votes.
Besides, none of the candidates who lost to NOTA should be allowed to contest the fresh polls.
- The petition argues that political parties chose candidates without consulting the voters, which was a truly undemocratic process.
- In turn, if the electorate has rejected these candidates by voting for NOTA, the petitioner asserted that the parties should accept that the voters have already made their discontent loud and clear.
- He opined that the right to reject and elect a new candidate will give power to the people to express their discontent. It would check corruption, criminalisation, casteism, communalism.
- He contended that the ‘right to reject’ was first proposed by the Law Commission in 1999.
- It also suggested that the candidates be declared elected only if they have obtained 50%+1 of the valid votes cast.
- Similarly, the Election Commission endorsed the ‘Right to Reject’, first in 2001 and then in 2004 in its Proposed Electoral Reforms.
- The ‘Background Paper on Electoral Reforms’, prepared by the Ministry of Law in 2010, had proposed that if a certain percentage of the vote was negative, then election result should be nullified and new election held.
NOTA (‘None of the above’ option)
- None Of The Above (NOTA) is a ballot option designed to allow the voter to indicate disapproval of all of the candidates in a voting system.
- It was introduced in India following the 2013 Supreme Court directive in the People’s Union for Civil Liberties v. Union of India judgment.
- However, NOTA in India does not provide for a ‘right to reject’.
- The candidate with the maximum votes wins the election irrespective of the number of NOTA votes polled.
- ‘Bank credit growth to stay slow in near term’
The issue in news
According to a report by Care Ratings, bank credit growth is likely to remain moderate in the near term.
- This is because the lenders will continue to remain risk-averse due to the pandemic-led uncertainty.
- Banks are also being selective in giving fresh loans due to asset quality concerns.
- Home loans also registered the lowest growth in the last five years. Despite banks offering various festive offers on home loans, individuals are not taking fresh loans.
- Bank credit consists of the total amount of combined funds that financial institutions advance to individuals or businesses.
- The increase in loans for the private sector, individuals, and public organisations is known as credit growth.
- When credit is increasing, consumers can borrow and spend more, also the business can borrow and invest.
- Increasing consumption and investment creates jobs and expands income and profits.
- Therefore, credit growth drives economic growth.