Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - September 28, 2018

Cabinet Decisions

MoU between India and Uzbekistan on cooperation for establishment of Uzbek-Indian Free Pharmaceutical Zone in the Andijan region of Uzbekistan


  • The Union Cabinet has approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Uzbekistan for establishment of the Uzbek-Indian Free Pharmaceutical Zone in the Andijan Region of Uzbekistan.
  • The MoU will be signed during the visit of President of Uzbekistan to India on 1st October 2018.

Connect to the context

  • The MoU will create an enabling framework of cooperation for setting up an Uzbek-Indian Free Pharmaceuticals Zone in Andijan region of Uzbekistan.
  • It will also facilitate Indian pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical companies to invest in and establish production facilities in the Uzbek-Indian Free Pharma Zone of Andijan for manufacture of Pharmaceutical Products.

Focus Article

Cabinet approves National Digital Communications Policy-2018

Connect to the highlights

  • To connect, propel and secure India
  • Universal broadband connectivity at 50 Mbps to every citizen
  • Provide 1 Gbps connectivity to all Gram Panchayats
  • Ensure connectivity to all uncovered areas
  • Attract investments of USD 100 Billion in the Digital Communications Sector


  • The Union Cabinet has approved the National Digital Communications Policy-2018 (NDCP-2018) and re-designation of the Telecom Commission as the "Digital Communications Commission”.

Connect to NDCP -2018

  • The NDCP-2018 envisions supporting India's transition to a digitally empowered economy and society by fulfilling the information and communications needs of citizens and enterprises by establishment of a ubiquitous, resilient and affordable digital communications infrastructure and services.
  • The ‘Customer focused’ and ‘application driven’ NDCP-2018 shall lead to new ideas and innovations, after the launch of advanced technology such as 5G, IOT, M2M, etc. which shall govern the telecom sector of India.

Connect to the Objectives

  • Broadband for all
  • Creating four million additional jobs in the Digital Communications sector
  • Enhancing the contribution of the Digital Communications sector to 8% of India's GDP from ~ 6% in 2017
  • Propelling India to the Top 50 Nations in the ICT Development Index of ITU from 134 in 2017
  • Enhancing India's contribution to Global Value Chains; and
  • Ensuring Digital Sovereignty.
  • These objectives are to be achieved by 2022.

Connect to the policy aims to

  • Provide universal broadband connectivity at 50 Mbps to every citizen;
  • Provide 1 Gbps connectivity to all Gram Panchayats by 2020 and 10 Gbps by 2022;
  • Ensure connectivity to all uncovered areas;
  • Attract investments of USD 100 billion in the Digital Communications Sector;
  • Train one million manpower for building New Age Skill;
  • Expand IoT ecosystem to 5 billion connected devices;
  • Establish a comprehensive data protection regime for digital communications that safeguards the privacy, autonomy and choice of individuals
  • Facilitate India's effective participation in the global digital economy;
  • Enforce accountability through appropriate institutional mechanisms to assure citizens of safe and
  • Secure digital communications infrastructure and services.

The policy advocates

  • Establishment of a National Digital Grid by creating a National Fibre Authority;
  • Establishing Common Service Ducts and utility corridors in all new city and highway road projects;
  • Creating a collaborative institutional mechanism between Centre, States and Local Bodies for Common Rights of Way, standardization of costs and timelines;
  • Removal of barriers to approvals; and
  • Facilitating development of Open Access Next Generation Networks.


Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) Working group meeting on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (27 – 28 september 2018)


  • IONS Working Group (IWG) on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR)
  • The 3rd meeting is scheduled at Headquarters Eastern Naval Command, Vishakhapatnam from 27 to 28 September 2018.

Connect to IONS

  • The 21st century’s first significant international maritime security initiative launched in February 2008, provides a forum for discussion of regional maritime issues and promotes friendly relationships among member nations.
  • It presently has 24 members and eight observer navies.
  • Participants from the IWG member nations including Australia, Bangladesh, France, India, Indonesia, Iran, Oman and Thailand, will be participating in the two day event.


Mobile Application “ Jan Dhan Darshak” launched Mobile App to Provide Guidance to the Common People in Locating a Financial Service Touch Point at a Given Location in the Country


  • Department of Financial Services (DFS), Ministry of Finance and National Informatics Centre (NIC) has jointly developed a mobile app called Jan Dhan Darshak as a part of financial inclusion (FI) initiative .
  • This app will act as a guide for the common people in locating a financial service touch point at a given location in the country.

Connect to the app

  • Jan Dhan Darshak app will be in a unique position to provide a citizen centric platform for locating financial service touch points across all providers such as banks, post office, CSC, etc.
  • These services could be availed as per the needs and convenience of the common people.
  • While over 5 lakh FI touch points (Bank branches, ATMs, Post Offices) have been mapped on this App, approx. 1.35 lakh Bank Mitras would be on-boarded by 01.12.2018.


Atal Bimit Vyakti Kalyan Yojna


  • The ESI Corporation has approved ‘ATAL BIMIT VYAKTI KALYAN YOJNA’ for Insured Persons (IP) covered under the Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948.
  • This scheme is a relief payable in cash directly to the Bank Account in case of unemployment and while they search for new engagement.
  • The cash benefit given to the unemployed persons searching for new employment will be 25 percent of his average earning of 90 days.

Internal Security

MHA merges police forces in six Union Territories Non-IPS officers could be posted in any UT and will be at the direct disposal of Home Ministry


  • The Ministry of Home Affairs has notified new rules amalgamating police forces in six Union Territories.

Connect to the new rules

  • The rules effectively mean that officers, who are not direct IPS recruits, could be posted in any of the six UTs and will be at the disposal of the MHA.
  • The National Capital Territory of Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Chandigarh (Police Service) Rules, 2018, was notified on September 25.
  • A central pool allowing inter-transferability would also ensure that local police personnel do not fall prey to serving vested interests in their home services and ensure that they don’t become complacent


Boost to SC/ST quota in promotions

What’s the present context

  • A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court modified a 2006 judgment requiring the State to show quantifiable data to prove the “backwardness” of a Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe community in order to provide quota in promotion in public employment.
  • This gives a huge fillip for the government’s efforts to provide “accelerated promotion with consequential seniority” for Scheduled Castes/ Scheduled Tribes (SC/ST) members in government services.

The 2006 judgement (M.Nagraj case) and Indira Sawhney case

  • M. Nagaraj judgment of another five-judge Constitution Bench in 2006 was directly contrary to the nine-judge Bench verdict in the Indira Sawhney case.
  • In the Indira Sawhney case, the Supreme Court had held that the “test or requirement of social and educational backwardness cannot be applied to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, who indubitably fall within the expression ‘backward class of citizens’

Supreme Court Decisions

Adultery no longer a crime as Supreme Court strikes down Section 497 SC says adultery law that only punished a married man for consensual relations is unconstitutional


  • The Supreme Court ruled for equality with a Constitution bench unanimously striking down as unconstitutional the adultery law that only punished a married man for having consensual relations while exempting the woman from punishment.

Connect to the verdict

  • The court found section 497 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, which governs adultery to be “arbitrary and violative of Article 14 (right to equality) of the Constitution”.
  • The provision imposes culpability on the person who has sexual intercourse with a woman who is, and whom he knows or has reason to believe to be, the wife of another man, without the consent or connivance of the husband.
  • Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra, who led the five-judge Constitution bench that also included Justices D.Y. Chandrachud, Indu Malhotra, A.M. Khanwilkar and R.F. Nariman, upheld the tenets of privacy in the marital sphere.
  • Criminalizing adultery would amount to “immense intrusion into the extreme privacy of the matrimonial sphere” and is “unlikely to establish commitment”, the chief justice said.
  • The 158-year-old provision was also quashed upon examination of its underlying patriarchal notion that conceives of women as property and thus the need to realign the law.