On National Technology Day, the Prime Minister expressed his “thanks” to scientists for their “efforts” that led to the “successful Pokhran tests in 1998.” (11th May).
About: The day was originally marked on May 11, 1999, to honour Indian scientists and engineers for their scientific and technological achievements. Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee gave the day its name.
Every year, the Technology Development Board of India (a statutory organisation under the Ministry of Science and Technology) honours persons who have made significant contributions to science and technology in India with the National Award.
‘Integrated Approach in Science and Technology for a Sustainable Future’ is the theme this year.
It is the 11th of May, 1998, when India successfully tested nuclear weapons in Pokhran.
In the Pokhran-II, also known as Operation Shakti, India successfully test-fired its Shakti-1 nuclear missile.
The nuclear missile was tested at the Pokhran Test Range in Rajasthan by the Indian Army. Following Pokhran-I, codenamed Operation Smiling Buddha, in May 1974, this was the second test.
On the same day, India successfully tested the Trishul Missile (a short-range surface-to-air missile) and flew the first indigenous aircraft, the ‘Hansa – 3’.
The Supreme Court has criticised the Centre’s contention that the President had “exclusive powers” to decide whether or not to pardon Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination convict before reserving the case for decision.
President: About: According to Article 72 of the Constitution, the President has the authority to give pardons, reprieves, respites, or remissions of punishment, as well as to suspend, remit, or commute the sentence of any individual convicted of any crime for which the sentence is a death sentence.
The President’s pardon power cannot be exercised independently of the government.
The Supreme Court has held in various occasions that while ruling on mercy petitions, the President must follow the recommendation of the Council of Ministers.
Maru Ram vs. Union of India in 1980 and Dhananjoy Chatterjee vs. State of West Bengal in 1994 are two examples.
Rashtrapati Bhawan sends the mercy petition to the Home Ministry for consultation with the Cabinet.
The Ministry then sends it to the appropriate state government, which responds with a recommendation on behalf of the Council of Ministers.
Although the President is obliged by the Cabinet’s advice, Article 74 (1) gives him the authority to return it for reconsideration once. If the Council of Ministers rejects any changes, the President is forced to adopt them.
The Governor of India has pardoning powers under Article 161.
The President’s pardoning power under Article 72 is broader than the Governor’s pardoning power under Article 161, which differs in the following two ways:
Court Martial: The President’s power to give pardon applies to cases where the punishment or sentence is imposed by a Court Martial, however the Governor does not have this power under Article 161.
Death sentence: The President has the right to issue pardon in all situations where the penalty is death, however the Governor’s pardoning power does not extend to death sentence cases.
The sentence and conviction are both removed, and the criminal is fully free of all sentences, punishments, and disqualifications.
Commutation refers to the exchange of one form of punishment for a less severe one. A death sentence, for example, could be reduced to harsh imprisonment, which could then be commuted to simple imprisonment.
It refers to shortening the length of a sentence without altering its nature. For example, a two-year sentence of rigorous imprisonment could be reduced to one year of rigorous imprisonment.
It refers to the imposition of a lighter sentence in place of one that was initially imposed owing to a unique circumstance, such as a convict’s physical impairment or a woman offender’s pregnancy.
Reprieve: It refers to a temporary stay of execution of a punishment (particularly a death sentence). Its goal is to provide the offender enough time to petition the President for a pardon or commutation.
The Supreme Court recently ruled that state election commissions across the country cannot skip out on their constitutionally mandated polling of Local Bodies every five years.
Election commissions cannot cite reasons such as continuing delimitation or the construction of new wards to postpone elections that were due or even overdue.
Apart from a “staggering” 23,000 rural local bodies, the court observed that elections had not been held in 321 urban local bodies in Madhya Pradesh since 2019-2020.
Local self-government refers to the administration of local issues by local bodies chosen by the people.
Giving members of the Union and State Legislatures voting rights in these entities on a voluntary basis;
Following the discovery of “tomato flu” cases in Kerala, Tamil Nadu has increased border surveillance.
The Delhi High Court has refused to knock down the provision for marital rape.
The Centre’s concern that criminalising marital rape might destabilise the institution of marriage is “valid,” it stated.
Criminalizing marital rape could require spouses to write a thorough agreement before having sex or request a third party to participate as a witness.
It wasn’t a rape, but it was an abuse – Forced sexual intercourse between a husband and wife, according to the Court, cannot be considered rape.
It can be classified as sexual abuse in the worst-case scenario, as the definition of “cruelty” in Section 3 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence (DV) Act, 2005 demonstrates.
Domestic violence is defined under Section 3 of the Domestic Violence Act of 2005, which covers physical, sexual, verbal, and emotional abuse.
These are the legal rights that each spouse in a marriage has, particularly in regards to sexual relations.
The Hindu Marriage Act of 1955, Section 9, provides for the restitution of conjugal rights.
It states that if either the husband or the wife withdraws from the other’s company without reasonable cause, the aggrieved party may petition the court for recovery of conjugal rights.
Both couples have recourse, and withholding of sex by either spouse is viewed as cruelty, and hence can be used as a basis for divorce.