Supreme Court Dismisses Appeal To Legalise Same-Sex Marriage
India’s Supreme Court recently made a significant decision, declining an appeal to legalize same-sex marriages in the country, dealing a blow to LGBTQ rights in one of the world’s most populous nations. The ruling, announced on Tuesday, followed arguments presented in April and May and involved a panel of five justices, with three of them concluding that the matter should be addressed by the parliament rather than the judiciary.
A Parliamentary Perspective
In a noteworthy move, Chief Justice Dhananjaya Yeshwant Chandrachud emphasized that issues like same-sex marriage should be within the domain of the parliament, highlighting the court’s commitment to steering clear of policy matters. Chandrachud acknowledged the importance of providing legal protections to same-sex unions, stating that denying them benefits and services granted to heterosexual couples infringes on their fundamental rights. He argued that the right to choose a life partner is a core element of one’s right to life and liberty under Article 21 of India’s constitution.
Acknowledging Fundamental Rights
Chandrachud’s emphasis on the importance of recognizing same-sex unions as fundamental to an individual’s pursuit of happiness and life choices is a significant step toward acknowledging LGBTQ rights as a part of India’s democratic values. The recognition of LGBTQ relationships as legitimate and deserving of legal protection is a fundamental aspect of ensuring equality for all.
Protection Against Discrimination
In addition to recognizing the importance of legal protections, Chandrachud also called for measures to prevent discrimination against LGBTQ individuals. This includes the establishment of hotlines and safe houses for vulnerable members of the LGBTQ community. Furthermore, he advocated for ending medical procedures aimed at changing gender identity or sexual orientation, underscoring the importance of respecting the right to self-determination.
The Aftermath and LGBTQ Community’s Response
Tuesday’s ruling marks a significant moment in the ongoing struggle for LGBTQ rights in India. The LGBTQ community, along with activists like Nitin Jain, expressed their disappointment with the judgment. Jain highlighted the demand for the recognition of same-sex marriages and noted that the court’s decision has effectively maintained the status quo. This decision is perceived by many as an abdication of the court’s responsibility to uphold the principles of justice and equality.
Challenges Faced by the LGBTQ Community
The ruling is a reminder that despite the decriminalization of homosexuality in India since 2018, LGBTQ individuals still face discrimination in various aspects of their lives. Traditional values continue to exert influence in the country’s political landscape, making it challenging for LGBTQ rights to gain full acceptance and protection. With a right-wing government in place and openly expressed opposition to LGBTQ rights from some political figures, the road ahead remains uncertain for India’s LGBTQ community.
World Health Summit 2023: India’s Participation And Key Themes
observation of International & National Health Days and the use of print, electronic, and social media, are employed to increase public awareness about NCDs and promote a healthy lifestyle.
Role of Digital Health Technologies
Dr. Pawar emphasized the role of technology in improving the last mile delivery of healthcare services, particularly in the management and prevention of NCDs:
National NCD Portal: This portal is used for the prevention, control, screening, and management of common NCDs. It captures primary-level information at public health facilities for individual-wise screening and treatment compliance. It also features a Single Longitudinal Health Record for each individual in the cloud, identified by a Unique Health ID (ABHA ID), ensuring data availability and care continuity.
A Global Collaborative Approach
Dr. Pawar concluded by reiterating India’s dedicated commitment to preventing and controlling NCDs. She expressed deep appreciation for global efforts in this crucial domain and emphasized the interconnectedness of global health. In the spirit of ‘One Earth, One Health,’ India underscored the need for nations to collaborate and share successes, advocating for a collective approach to address the challenges posed by NCDs. This collaborative effort reflects the broader ethics of unity and shared responsibility for the well-being of our global community.
NSDC and Coca-Cola India Launch ‘Super Power Retailer Program’ to Empower Retailers
In a significant move to empower the retailer community in the states of Odisha and Uttar Pradesh, the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), operating under the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE), has joined forces with Coca-Cola India. Together, they have announced the launch of the ‘Super Power Retailer Program’ under the Skill India Mission, with its pilot phase initiated in Odisha. This collaborative initiative seeks to provide essential training to retailers, equipping them to expand their businesses and enhance consumer experiences, ultimately strengthening India’s economy.
The ‘Super Power Retailer Program’ marks a crucial step toward uplifting and empowering retailers in Odisha and Uttar Pradesh. Through this collaborative effort between NSDC and Coca-Cola India, retailers will gain the skills and knowledge required to thrive in the competitive retail sector. This initiative is not only a milestone in Skill India’s mission but also a significant contribution to India’s economic growth by strengthening its workforce and supporting small and micro retailers in their business endeavors.
Key Players Present at the Announcement
The formal announcement of this pivotal partnership was made in the presence of notable dignitaries:
Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister for Education and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship
Ved Mani Tiwari, Chief Operating Officer (COO), NSDC
Sanket Ray, President, Coca-Cola India & Southwest Asia
Empowering Retailers for Economic Growth:
The Super Power Retailer Program is designed to empower retailers and plays a vital role in the Skill India Mission’s efforts to bolster the workforce and contribute to India’s economic growth. The program focuses on enhancing the capacity and capabilities of retailers in the modern retailing sector. Its primary objectives include:
1. Training Small and Micro Retailers:
Equipping small and micro retailers with knowledge and skills that help them understand consumer behaviors and preferences. Providing retailers with the necessary skills, tools, and techniques to thrive in the ever-evolving retail landscape and promoting best practices.
2. Industry-Specific Skills:
Offering industry-specific training in areas such as customer management, inventory and stock management, financial management, and more.
Tailoring training to meet the specific needs of retailers, making them proficient and knowledgeable in their field.
The Super Power Retailer Program will provide a comprehensive 14-hour training experience:
Two hours of classroom sessions for in-person learning.
Twelve hours of digital training, accessible through an app-based Learning Management System (LMS) on mobile and handheld devices.
Multimedia approach, combining videos, texts, and experienced trainers to facilitate effective learning.
Participants will receive a certificate upon the successful completion of classroom, online training, and assessment modules.
Under this partnership, NSDC will extend its support to Coca-Cola India in various ways:
Expanding the program’s reach on Skill India Digital (SID) by creating and refining training content aligned with industry-specific skill requirements.
Facilitating the recruitment of trainers for program implementation.
Ensuring a seamless learning experience by providing the necessary training infrastructure.
69th National Film Awards 2023 Conferred by President Droupadi Murmu
On 17 October, President Droupadi Murmu will confer the 69th National Film Awards 2023 at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi. These awards, initially delayed due to the pandemic, are finally set to honor outstanding achievements in Indian cinema.
August Announcement of Winners
In August of this year, the names of the award winners were officially revealed, building excitement within the film industry and among movie enthusiasts.
Best Actor: Allu Arjun
Allu Arjun secured the Best Actor award for his role in the film “Pushpa: The Rise,” showcasing his exceptional talent and performance.
Best Actresses: Alia Bhatt and Kriti Sanon
Alia Bhatt and Kriti Sanon shared the spotlight as they were jointly awarded the Best Actress title for their outstanding performances in “Gangubai Kathiawadi” and “Mimi,” respectively.
Best Feature Film: “Rocketry: The Nambi Effect”
The film “Rocketry: The Nambi Effect” received the prestigious award for Best Feature Film, recognizing its excellence in storytelling and production.
Best Film on National Integration: “The Kashmir Files”
A significant win went to “The Kashmir Files,” which was honored with the Nargis Dutt Award for Best Film on National Integration, highlighting its contribution to the cinematic portrayal of India’s social fabric.
Victory for “Sardar Udham”
Shoojit Sircar’s historical drama “Sardar Udham” had a remarkable presence at the awards, securing multiple accolades:
– Best Hindi Film: “Sardar Udham” was named the Best Hindi Film, recognizing its exceptional contribution to Indian cinema.
– Best Cinematography: Avik Mukhopadhyay’s exceptional cinematography in the film earned him the Best Cinematography award.
– Best Audiography: Sinoy Joseph was acknowledged for his remarkable work in sound design and awarded the Best Audiography title.
– Best Production Design: The creative team behind “Sardar Udham” was recognized, with Dmitrii Malich and Mansi Dhruv Mehta receiving the Best Production Design award.
– Best Costume Design: Veera Kapur Ee’s contribution to the film’s visual aesthetics was celebrated, and she was presented with the Best Costume Design award.
APAAR ID Registration, Benefits, and Download
The Ministry of Education and Government of India has initiated the APAAR ID, known as the “One Nation One Student ID Card.” This groundbreaking program aims to digitally centralize academic data, including degrees, scholarships, rewards, and other credits for students. In this article, we will provide you with detailed information about the benefits of the APAAR ID and how to download it from the official website.
The One Nation One Student ID Card, APAAR ID, is a significant step towards a more organized and accessible academic experience for students in India. By registering and downloading your APAAR ID, you can unlock various benefits and conveniently store your academic records. With thousands of institutes and millions of students already benefiting from this program, it’s a promising development in the education sector.
APAAR ID Registration Form
Government Initiatives: Explore how the Government of India and the Ministry of Education continue to introduce initiatives that benefit citizens. Registration Process: Understand the significance of completing the APAAR ID registration and how to download the card for use.
APAAR Card: One Nation One ID Card Registration
Digital Student ID: Learn about the APAAR Card, a digital ID card for students in India, whether they attend private or government schools or colleges. Main Objectives: Explore the key objectives of the APAAR Card program, such as collecting academic data and academic credits in one place. Unique Identifier: Understand how the card includes a unique 12-digit APAAR number for each student.
ABC Card PDF Download
The Academic Bank of Credits was launched following discussions in the National Education Policy (NEP). Under this portal, all students can register and avail of the benefits provided by the ABC Card. The following instructions explain the ABC Card PDF download process. After downloading the APAAR Card PDF @ abc.gov.in, it’s important to verify the details mentioned on it, such as name, APAAR ID, QR code, and others. Currently, thousands of institutes and two crore students have registered online for the ABC Card or APAAR ID Card.
ABC Bank Registration By Digilocker
ABC Bank Account: Learn about the ongoing ABC Bank registration through Digilocker. Account Setup: Find out how to set up an account using your mobile number, select university details, academic qualifications, and more. APAAR Card Issuance: Understand the process of APAAR Card issuance and how to download it for various services.
Guide for APAAR ID Registration Online @ abc.gov.in
Registration Steps: Follow the detailed instructions for completing APAAR ID registration online on the abc.gov.in website. Mobile and Aadhar Card: Understand the role of your mobile number and Aadhar card number in the registration process. Selecting School or University: Learn how to choose your school or university and specify your class or course. Card Generation: Find out how to submit the form and generate your APAAR ID Card online for collecting academic credits.
SC refers electoral bond case to 5-judge Constitution Bench
The Supreme Court decided to refer a group of petitions challenging the electoral bond scheme for political party funding to a five-judge Constitution bench. The bench, led by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud, received an urgent application requesting a conclusive judgment. The matter is set to be heard on October 30.
What are Electoral Bonds?
Electoral bonds are introduced as an alternative to providing cash donations to political parties. This change aims to make political funding more transparent and accountable.
Urgent Referral: The Supreme Court received an urgent application requesting a larger bench to provide a conclusive judgment on the validity of the electoral bond scheme.
Date of Hearing: The matter is scheduled for a hearing on October 30, which was the previously fixed date for the hearing.
Previous Submissions: Earlier, lawyer Prashant Bhushan had emphasized the need for adjudication before the scheme’s implementation in the 2024 general elections. The court had decided to conduct a final hearing based on these submissions.
Pending PILs: There are four Public Interest Litigations (PILs) pending on this issue, indicating the public interest and concern regarding the electoral bond scheme.
Concerns Raised: One of the PIL petitioners had stated in March that a substantial amount, totaling Rs 12,000 crore, had been paid to political parties through electoral bonds. Furthermore, it was noted that a significant portion of this amount had been directed to a major political party, raising concerns about fairness and transparency.
Justice Siddharth Mridul appointed as the chief justice of Manipur High Court
Justice Siddharth Mridul was appointed as the chief justice of Manipur High Court three months after the Supreme Court Collegium recommendation. On October 9, the Centre had notified the Supreme Court that the appointment of a new chief justice of Manipur High Court will be issued ‘shortly’, stating that the file has been cleared and the rest of the process will follow soon.
Supreme Court Collegium Recommendation
The top court collegium headed by Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud had on July 5 recommended the appointment of Delhi High Court judge Justice Siddharth Mridul as the chief justice of the Manipur High Court, amid the ethnic turmoil in the border state. The SC was hearing two petitions filed by the Advocates Association, Bengaluru, and another by an NGO seeking contempt of court proceedings against the Centre for alleged delay in deciding on the recommendations of the Supreme Court Collegium in the matter of appointment and transfer of judges.
On September 27, the Supreme Court had expressed concerns at the collegium recommendations remaining pending with the Central Government. The bench led by Justice SK Kaul told Attorney General for India R Venkataramani that the proposal for appointment of Chief Justice of a “sensitive” High Court (alluding to the Manipur High Court) is also among the pending resolutions. Last week, Attorney General informed the Court that the notification for Justice Mridul’s appointment as Manipur HC CJ will be issued soon.
In a related development, the Supreme Court collegium last week recommended the transfer of Justice MV Muralidaran, who is presently the Acting Chief Justice of the Manipur High Court, to Calcutta High Court.
Poland pro-EU Opposition tipped to win Parliament polls
Poland’s recent parliamentary elections marked a significant turning point, ending eight years of populist rule by the Law and Justice (PiS) party. The liberal opposition, led by former EU chief Donald Tusk, emerged victorious, promising a fresh era for the nation.
Women’s Rights at the Forefront
One of the pivotal issues in the elections was women’s rights, especially concerning Poland’s strict abortion laws.
Tusk’s promise to liberalize these laws mobilized a significant number of women voters.
For the first time, more women than men turned out to vote, with a remarkable 73.7% of women participating.
Promises of Change
Tusk’s Civic Coalition, along with potential allies Third Way and Left, is set to secure a majority in the 460-seat parliament.
This outcome signifies a potential shift towards more liberal policies, including improved relations with the European Union and a promise to unblock frozen EU funds.
Caution Amidst Optimism
While many celebrated the opposition’s victory, some voters remained cautious.
Questions linger about how the new government will act, especially considering potential challenges from President Andrzej Duda, a PiS ally. Despite the opposition’s win, the political landscape remains uncertain.
Poland’s role in supporting Ukraine on the international stage has been closely watched.
The election outcome could impact aid to Ukraine, as Poland, historically a strong supporter, faces internal debates about its assistance programs and the acceptance of Ukrainian refugees.