Daily Prelims Newsletter for upsc 12 May 2022

Daily Prelims Newsletter For UPSC
| RaghukulCS

12 May 2022-Thrusday

Table Of Contents

Table of Contents

Today is National Technology Day.

Why is this newsworthy?

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).

What is the significance of National Technology Day?

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 President's Pardoning Power

Why is this newsworthy?

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.

What is the power of pardoning?

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.

What is the Difference Between President and Governor Pardoning Powers?

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.

Term Definitions

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.

Local Governments

Why is this newsworthy?

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.

What is the term “local government”?


Local self-government refers to the administration of local issues by local bodies chosen by the people.

  • Both rural and urban government are included in local self-government.
  • It is the government’s third level.
  • Panchayats in rural areas and municipalities in urban areas are the two types of local government in use.
  • Panchayati Raj Institution (PRI) is an Indian system of local self-government for rural areas.
  • The PRI was established by the 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act of 1992 to promote democracy at the grassroots level and to oversee the country’s rural development.
  • This act created a new Part-IX to the Indian Constitution. ‘The Panchayats’ is the title of this section, which contains provisions from Articles 243 to 243 O.
  • A new Eleventh Schedule to the Constitution was also added by the act. The panchayats have 29 functional items on this calendar. It is about Article 243-G.
  • PRI has been in operation for 30 years under its current shape and organisation. However, more work remains to be done to further decentralise and enhance democracy at the local level.
  • Urban Local Governments: Urban Local Governments were created to facilitate democratic decentralisation.
  • Municipal Corporation, Municipality, Notified Area Committee, Town Area Committee, Cantonment Board, township, port trust, and special purpose agency are the eight types of urban local governments in India.
  • The following three Ministries are responsible for ‘urban local government’ at the federal level.
  • In 1985, the Ministry of Urban Development was established as a separate ministry (now Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs).
  • Cantonment boards are administered by the Ministry of Defense.
  • In the case of Union Territories, the Ministry of Home Affairs is responsible.
  • In 1992, the P.V. Narsimha Rao government passed the 74th Amendment Act, which dealt with urban local government. It went into effect on June 1, 1993.
  • Part IX-A was added, which contains provisions from sections 243-P through 243-ZG.
  • The Constitution’s 12th Schedule was added. It relates with Article 243 W and contains 18 municipal functional components.

What are the Highlights of the 73rd Amendment to the Constitution?

Provisions that must be made:
Gram Sabhas’ structure;
  • At the Zila, Block, and Village levels, a three-tier Panchayati Raj structure is being created;
  • Direct elections will be held for almost all positions at all levels.
  • Elections to Panchayati Raj institutions must be held at least once every two years.
  • Indirect elections should be used to fill Chairman positions at the Zila and Block levels.
  • There should be reservation of seats in Panchayats for Scheduled Castes/ Scheduled Tribes in proportion to their population,
  • and for women in Panchayats up to one-third seats;
  • State Election Commissions should be established in each State to conduct elections to Panchayati Raj institutions;
  • Panchayati Raj institutions should be dissolved every five years, and new elections should be held within six months;
  • Giving members of the Central and State legislatures voting rights in these bodies; providing reservations for backward classes; and
  • Financial powers in relation to taxes, charge fees, and other matters should be granted to Panchayati Raj institutions, and attempts should be taken to establish Panchayats autonomous entities.

What are the Highlights of the 74th Amendment Act?

  • In small, large, and very large urban regions, nagar panchayats, municipal councils, and municipal corporations are established.
  • Seats in urban local bodies reserved for Scheduled Castes / Scheduled Tribes in proportion to their population;
  • Reservation of up to one-third of seats for women;
  • Elections to urban local self-governing organisations will be conducted by the State Election Commission, which was established to conduct elections in Panchayati raj bodies (see 73rd Amendment).
  • The State Finance Commission, which was established to examine into the financial affairs of panchayati raj bodies, also looks into the financial affairs of local self-government bodies.
  • The term of urban municipal self-governing bodies is set at five years, with new elections held within six months if they are dissolved early.

Giving members of the Union and State Legislatures voting rights in these entities on a voluntary basis;

Reserving seats for backward classes;
  • granting financial authority over taxes, charges, tolls, and other fees;
  • Making municipal entities independent and delegating authority to them to undertake part or all of the responsibilities listed in the Twelfth Schedule, which was introduced to the Constitution through this Act, and/or to construct economic development plans.

Other’s News

Tomato Flu

Following the discovery of “tomato flu” cases in Kerala, Tamil Nadu has increased border surveillance.

  • Tomato flu, often known as fever, is a viral infection. The flu is named from the red blisters that it generates.
  • Children under the age of five are affected by the fever.
  • Red rashes, skin irritation, and dehydration are all symptoms.
  • Tiredness, joint pain, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, coughing, sneezing, runny nose, high temperature, and body ache are among the symptoms.
  • It may also change the colour of the legs and hands in some situations.
  • Tomato fever is contagious, just like other types of illness.
  • If someone becomes sick with this flu, they should be isolated since it can transmit quickly from one person to another.
  • Preventing youngsters from scratching the blisters created by the virus is critical. Rest and hygiene are also recommended.
  • Tomato flu is a self-limiting illness for which there is no specific treatment.
  • If supportive care is provided, the symptoms will resolve on their own over time.
  • Dehydration could also be avoided by increasing fluid consumption.

Conjugal Rights

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.

Conjugal Rights –

 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.

When it comes to sado masochistic sex,
  • The Court stated that evidence of injury on a partner do not always indicate non-consensual sex because injuries can be a sign of ‘passion’ in the “period of sexual emancipation.”
  • Conjugal Expectancy – In a marriage, conjugal expectation is a two-way street in which consent is granted as part of spousal intimacy, even if the desire to engage is not present.
  • If every such case were treated as marital rape, the only way for partners in a marriage to survive would be to create a detailed written agreement outlining the steps to be followed for courtship or mating, or to create a detailed evidentiary record of every act of intimacy and/or sexual harassment.
  • By having a third party act as a witness – none of which is good for the institution of marriage’s survival.
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