Have a question?
Message sent Close



11 MAY 2022

. No. Topic Name Prelims/Mains
1.    Protests in Sri Lanka Prelims & Mains
2.    Sedition Law Prelims & Mains
3.    Criminalization of Marital Rape Prelims & Mains
4.    Foreign Contribution Regulation Act Prelims Specific Topic
5.    About the Exchange Rate Prelims Specific Topic


1 – Protests in Sri Lanka: 


International Relations

  • Context:
  • Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, recently announced his resignation.
  • In the past, as the island’s economic problems worsened, his supporters brutally beat nonviolent anti-government protesters.
  • The resignation of Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has been accepted, according to a gazette declaration.
  • As a result, the Sri Lankan Cabinet was dissolved, as required by the country’s constitution.
  • Protests in Sri Lanka:
  • The current economic and political issues in Sri Lanka have gotten worse. In Colombo, a large number of Sri Lankans are protesting against the administration.
  • Three people killed outside the city in the subsequent battles, while at least 150 others were injured in Colombo.
  • Amarakeerthi Athukorala, a government MP, allegedly shot two persons and then himself after being surrounded by a mob in the neighbouring Gampaha district.
  • The President’s brother and Finance Minister, Basil Rajapaksa, was sacked.
  • The Economic Crisis in Sri Lanka:
  • Due to diminishing foreign reserves, Sri Lanka is undergoing a serious economic crisis, resulting in shortages of petrol, food, medication, cement, and other essential supplies.
  • Long lines for petrol, cooking gas, essentials in short supply, and long power outages have been plaguing the people for months.
  • Last week, considerable public outcry in Sri Lanka led nationwide protests and the declaration of a state of emergency by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
  • The Main Causes of Sri Lanka’s Economic Crisis:
  • Foreign reserve shortage: Previous governments’ economic mismanagement has depleted Sri Lanka’s foreign reserves by 70%, leaving only $2.31 billion after debt payments of nearly $4 billion.
  • Sri Lanka’s reliance on imports for basic commodities such as sugar, pulses, and cereals exacerbates the island nation’s economic predicament, since it lacks the requisite foreign reserves to pay its import expenditures.
  • The pandemic effect:
  • The COVID-19 pandemic, which triggered the current crisis, depleted the island nation’s strong reliance on tourism and remittances.
  • The loss of visitors from three major countries: India, Russia, and the United Kingdom, has hurt tourism, which accounts for about 10% of Sri Lanka’s GDP.
  • The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has resulted in significant price increases in crude oil, sunflower oil, and wheat.
  • Crude oil prices skyrocketed to a 14-year high of over $125 per barrel at the height of the crisis.
  • Under a $500 million line of credit that had been committed, India had to step in and furnish 40,000 MT of petroleum. India has supplied over 2,00,000 MT of petroleum in the recent 50 days.
  • Agribusiness crisis:
  • The Rajapaksa government’s decision last year to ban all chemical fertilisers in attempt to make agriculture completely organic had a severe impact on the country’s farm production, particularly in rice and sugar production, causing the decision to be reversed.
  • According to government estimates, FDI totaled $548 million in 2020, down from $793 million and $1.6 billion in 2019 and 2018, respectively.
  • Source – The Hindu

2 – Sedition Law:


Laws enacted by the Indian Parliament

  • Context:
  • The Supreme Court inquired on Tuesday if the government will push states to put charges under IPC Section 124A, which deals with sedition, on hold till the agreed procedure is completed, in response to the Centre’s request for extra time to assess and re-examine the provision.
  • The administration has lately asked more time to respond in writing to petitions challenging the constitutionality of Indian Penal Code Section 124A, which deals with sedition.
  • The Chief Justice of India (CJI) questioned why a colonial law used against Mahatma Gandhi and Bal Gangadhar Tilak had persisted in the law book after 75 years of freedom.
  • Sedition, or Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code, is prone to government abuse, according to the Chief Justice.
  • What does the term “sedition” mean?
  • Background knowledge:
  • In 17th-century England, sedition laws were enacted because MPs believed that only positive government beliefs should be allowed to exist because negative opinions were destructive to the government and monarchy.
  • The statute was drafted in 1837 by British historian and politician Thomas Macaulay, but when the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was adopted in 1860, it was inexplicably removed.
  • In 1870, an amendment proposed by Sir James Stephen recognised the need for a separate section to deal with the infraction and included Section 124A.
  • Sedition is now a criminal under Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
  • Sedition Law Today:
  • “Any person who, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection against the government established by law in India,” according to Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code.
  • All feelings of antagonism and disloyalty are included in disaffection. Under this section, comments that do not provoke or attempt to incite anger, derision, or disdain are not considered offensive.
  • The following are the consequences for sedition:
  • It’s a non-bailable offence, and the sentence under Section 124A can range from three to life in prison, plus a fine.
  • It is illegal for someone accused under this act to work for the government.
  • They are unable to travel without their passports and are required to appear in court if they are summoned.
  • What Is the Meaning of the Sedition Law and What Are the Issues?
  • Significance:
  • Reasonable Limitations:
  • The Indian constitution provides that suitable constraints (under Article 19(2)) on this right (Freedom of Speech and Expression) can always be imposed to guarantee that it is practised responsibly and equally by all citizens.
  • The government uses the Sedition Act to combat anti-national, separatist, and terrorist elements.
  • Maintaining State Stability: It helps to keep the elected government safe from violent and unlawful overthrow attempts. The existence of a legally established government is a requirement for the stability of the state.
  • Issues:
  • Relic from the colonial era: Colonial officials used sedition to arrest dissidents of British policies.
  • Liberation warriors including as Lokmanya Tilak, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Bhagat Singh, and others were convicted of “seditious” speeches, writings, and activities while under British administration.
  • As a result, the sedition statute’s broad use dates back to the colonial period.
  • Sedition should not be incorporated in the Constitution, according to the Constituent Assembly. Members were concerned that it would limit freedom of opinion and speech.
  • They suggested that the sedition legislation may be used to limit people’s constitutionally guaranteed right to demonstrate.
  • Ignoring the decision of the Supreme Court:
  • The Supreme Court limited the concept of sedition in the 1962 case of Kedar Nath Singh vs. State of Bihar to “acts involving the intent or tendency to cause uproar, disturbance of law and order, or incitement to violence.”
  • As a result, accusing academics, attorneys, social activists, and students of sedition is a violation of the Supreme Court’s mission.
  • Democratic Principles India is rapidly being depicted as an elected autocracy due to the callous and intentional usage of sedition law.
  • What has lately occurred?
  • After many sedition FIRs were filed against them for allegedly tweeting and circulating false news, the Supreme Court (SC) spared a political leader and six notable journalists from jail in February 2021.
  • The Supreme Court emphasised the necessity of defining the limits of sedition while defending two Telugu (language) press outlets from intimidation by the Andhra Pradesh government in June 2021.
  • In July 2021, a petition was filed with the Supreme Court, demanding that the Sedition Law be revisited.
  • “A statute criminalising expression based on unconstitutionally vague definitions of ‘disaffection toward Government,’ etc. is an unreasonable restriction on the fundamental right to free expression guaranteed under Article 19 (1)(a) and causes constitutionally impermissible ‘Chilling Effect,'” the court concluded.
  • Steps to Follow:
  • Anti-national, separatist, and terrorist elements can be prosecuted under Section 124A of the IPC. Dissent and government criticism, on the other hand, are essential components of a healthy democracy’s public debate. They should not be made with the intention of inciting opposition.
  • Higher courts should utilise their supervisory powers to teach magistrates and police officers on constitutional free speech guarantees.
  • The definition of sedition should be narrowed to include only issues relating to India’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
  • Civil society must take the lead in raising awareness about the arbitrary application of Sedition law.
  • Source – The Hindu

3 – Criminalization of Marital Rape:


Women Empowerment

  • Context:
  • After rejecting the Centre’s request for more time to respond to the petitions, the court postponed its ruling on February 21.
  • The Centre told the court that its written position from 2017 should not be regarded definitive since it wanted to consult with stakeholders first. On the other hand, the division bench comprising Justices Rajiv Shakdher and C Hari Shankar noted that it could not “leave the case dangling like this” and advised the government to continue its consultation process.
  • Background:
  • The patriarchal rhetoric in society has provided the foundation for rape prosecution “marriage immunity.”
  • According to this idea, a husband cannot be held accountable for rape committed against his legitimate wife since she has given herself up to her husband in this way through mutual matrimonial consent and contract, which she cannot reverse.
  • As a result of the second wave of feminism, Australia became the first common law country to enact laws, and several Scandinavian and European countries followed suit, making rape in marriage a criminal offence.
  • Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code, also known as the “marital rape exemption,” exempts a man’s violent sexual intercourse with his own wife from the offence of rape if the wife is over the age of 15.
  • Marital Rape Problems:
  • Against the Basic Rights of Women: Women’s fundamental rights to equality, freedom of expression, and, most significantly, life and personal liberty are all violated by this exemption provision.
  • It also takes away women’s autonomy over their bodies.
  • The Legal System’s Present Situation: Some of the reasons for India’s low prosecution rates in incidents of marital rape include:
  • Due to societal conditioning and legal ignorance, crime reporting is low.
  • The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data was gathered in an ad hoc manner.
  • Settlements are struck outside of court due to the lengthy legal process and the absence of admissible proof.
  • Justice J. S. Verma Committee’s Recommendation:
  • The Justice J. S. Verma Committee was established in the aftermath of the horrific Nirbhaya gang rape in 2012.
  • While some of its proposals were included in the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act of 2013, others, such as marital rape, were not.
  • Position of Government: Marriage Institution Distancing Effect: The government has previously said that criminalising marital rape would jeopardise marriage and violate people’s right to privacy.
  • Misuse of Legal Provisions: Harassment of a married woman by her husband and in-laws under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code and the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 is on the rise.
  • Making marital rape a crime might make pestering husbands a lot simpler.
  • Steps to Follow:
  • Making marital rape illegal will definitely be a symbolic step in a multi-stakeholder approach.
  • A sentencing committee comprising of medical specialists, family counsellors, judges, and police might be constituted based on numerous considerations such as the couple’s sexual history, physical and psychological harm to the victim.
  • Changing Behaviour: Legislative reform should be accompanied by public education campaigns that inform the public (citizens, police, judges, and medical personnel) about the importance of consent, timely medical care and rehabilitation, skill development, and employment in assisting victims’ economic independence.
  • Source – The Hindu

4 – Foreign Contribution Regulation Act:

Prelims Specific Topic

  • Context:
  • On Tuesday, the CBI conducted searches at 40 locations around the country as part of a statewide drive on alleged corruption in the Ministry of Home Affairs’ Foreigners Division (MHA). Six MHA officials are reportedly being investigated for allegedly bribing NGOs in exchange for approval.
  • According to a CBI spokesperson, the searches were conducted in Delhi, Rajasthan, Chennai, Hyderabad, Coimbatore, and Mysuru, among other places, “to nab representatives of NGOs, middlemen, and public servants of the Ministry of Home Affairs’ Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) division for committing violations of FCRA provisions and facilitating illegal clearances in exchange for bribes.”
  • The Foreign Contribution Regulation Act of 2010 (FCRA) has the following provisions:
  • The Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, which is implemented by the Ministry of Home Affairs, governs individual foreign funding in India.
  • Individuals are free to accept foreign contributions without the MHA’s permission.
  • The highest amount of foreign contributions that can be received, however, is Rs. 25,000.
  • The Act ensures that recipients of international donations stick to the declared purpose for which they were given.
  • The Act requires organisations to register every five years.
  • Foreign contributions to registered non-governmental organisations (NGOs) can be made for five main reasons: social, educational, religious, economic, and cultural.
  • Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act of 2020 Amendment:
  • Accepting contributions from other countries is prohibited: Employees of the government are prohibited from accepting foreign contributions under the Act.
  • A public servant is someone who works for the government or is paid or compensated by the government for fulfilling a public function.
  • Transfer of foreign contributions:
  • The Act makes it illegal to send foreign contributions to people who aren’t registered to take them.
  • An Aadhaar number is required as an identifying document for all office bearers, directors, or key functionaries of a person receiving a foreign donation under the Act.
  • According to the Act, foreign donations must be received exclusively in an account designated by the bank as an FCRA account in such State Bank of India, New Delhi branches.
  • Reduced use of foreign contributions for administrative purposes: The Act stipulates that administrative costs shall not exceed 20% of total foreign money received. In FCRA 2010, the restriction was set at 50%.
  • Certificate surrender: The Act allows a person to give their registration certificate to the national government.
  • Issues Concerning the Fair Credit Reporting Act:
  • The FCRA regulates the receipt of funding from non-Indian sources by Indian NGOs. It is illegal to accept foreign money “for any acts detrimental to the national interest.”
  • The government also has the ability to deny approval if it believes the donation to the NGO will hurt “public interest” or “state economic interest,” according to the Act.
  • However, no clear definition of “public interest” exists.
  • The limitations under the FCRA have important ramifications for the Constitution’s free expression and association rights in Articles 19(1)(a) and 19(1)(c).
  • The right to free expression is injured in two ways:
  • Allowing only certain political organisations to receive foreign funding while barring others can lead to government bias.
  • NGOs must tread carefully when criticising the regime, since too much criticism could jeopardise their existence.
  • FCRA guidelines can silence critical voices by finding them to be against the public interest. As a result of this chilling effect on free speech, self-censorship may emerge.
  • In Shreya Singhal v. Union of India, the Supreme Court of India (SC) struck down Section 66A of the Information Technology Act in a case that was identical to this one (2015). The Supreme Court decided that the Act might be used to stifle free speech.
  • Furthermore, because the right to freedom of association is included in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 20), any violation of it is a violation of human rights.
  • In April 2016, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Peaceful Assembly and Association conducted a legal analysis of the FCRA, 2010.
  • Limits imposed under the FCRA in the name of “public interest” and “economic interest” were found to breach the “legitimate restrictions” test, according to the court.
  • The language were overly unclear, allowing the state far too much discretion in interpreting the clause.
  • Though it is critical to control corrupt NGOs in this situation, terms like “public interest” must be defined clearly.
  • Steps to Follow:
  • Excessive restriction of foreign contributions could stymie the work of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that help execute government programmes at the grassroots level. They fill in the gaps created by the government’s failure to carry out its responsibilities.
  • The regulation should not hinder cross-national resource sharing, which is vital to the functioning of a global society, unless there is reason to believe the funds are being used to support unlawful conduct.
  • Source – The Hindu

5 – About the Exchange Rate:

Prelims Specific Topic

  • Context:
  • During intra-day trading on Monday, the Indian rupee hit an all-time low versus the US dollar of 77.6. At the time of printing, the dollar was worth 77.20 cents. The previous low was 76.9. When the US Federal Reserve raised interest rates on May 5, the rupee plummeted significantly from 76 to a dollar in just a few days.
  • Details of the Exchange Rate:
  • The exchange rate of a country’s currency is influenced by supply and demand in the worldwide foreign exchange market.
  • For example, the demand for the dollar against the Indian rupee impacts the rupee’s value in regard to the dollar. When demand for the dollar grows, so does its value, and the dollar climbs, while the Indian rupee depreciates.
  • The price of one currency in terms of another currency is known as the exchange rate. $1 equals 70, for example. To put it another way, one dollar costs $70.
  • This is also known as the Nominal Exchange Rate because it does not account for inflation or buying power in different nations.
  • The Foreign Exchange Market is a marketplace for trading currencies. Their dealers are authorised (forex) dealers (AD). They can be financial institutions or non-financial institutions. They must register with the RBI under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).
  • To make a profit in the interim, many dealers maintain separate pricing for buying and selling, such as ICICI: $1 buys for 67.95 dollars and sells for 72.76 dollars.
  • The GST rate on currency transaction services varies according to the amount of currency traded. (For example, if you trade $10,000 in foreign currency, only about $3,000 of it is subject to GST (18% of $3,000 = 540 GST tax).)
  • Tobin Tax Definition:
  • American economist James Tobin advocated a Tobin Tax of 0.1 percent to 0.5 percent on currency exchange transactions to discourage speculative trading and volatility in the International Financial Market. If 10 lakhs are exchanged, 0.1-0.5 percent = $1,000 to 5,000 should be levied as ‘tax,’ but because GST is considerably smaller, it can’t be called ‘Tobin Tax.’
  • India’s Exchange Rate Management Objectives:
  • To ensure that the rupee’s international value appropriately reflects the economic fundamentals of the Indian economy.
  • To ensure that exchange rate fluctuations are smooth and orderly by lowering exchange rate volatility.
  • Maintain sufficient foreign exchange reserves to respond to any external currency shocks.
  • To help remove market impediments so that a healthy foreign exchange market can develop.
  • To help avoid any destabilising or speculative behaviour in the foreign exchange market.
  • India’s exchange rate system has seen considerable modifications since independence. The pegged exchange rate system gave way to the present type of market determined currency rate after liberalisation in 1993.
  • Factors Affecting the Exchange Rate in India:
  • During moments of extreme exchange rate volatility, the Reserve Bank of India intervenes to keep the rate from spiralling out of control.
  • The RBI, for example, sells dollars when the Indian rupee depreciates too much, while buying dollars when the currency strengthens above a certain threshold.
  • Inflation rate: As inflation grows, so does demand for foreign cash, lowering the exchange rate of the national currency.
  • Increased petroleum oil inflation, for example, could increase demand for foreign currency, causing the Indian rupee to devalue.
  • The outflow and influx of foreign money are influenced by interest rates on government and corporate assets, among other things.
  • Higher government bond interest rates compared to other country FX markets may encourage foreign currency inflows, whereas lower interest rates may encourage foreign currency outflows. This has an effect on the value of the Indian rupee.
  • Because exports create foreign currency and imports entail foreign currency payments, both have an impact on the exchange rate.
  • As a result, when overall exports increase, the national currency appreciates, and when imports rise, the national currency depreciates.
  • Apart from the aforementioned factors, capital account inflows such as FDI, external commercial borrowings, foreign institutional investments, NRI deposits, tourism activities, and so on influence the Indian foreign currency market.
  • Source – The Indian Express


This will close in 0 seconds

This will close in 0 seconds

This will close in 0 seconds

This will close in 0 seconds