1 . A woman retains religious identity even if she marries outside her community – SC
- A woman does not mortgage herself to a man by marrying him, and she retains her identity, including her religious identity, even after she exercises her right to marry outside her community under the Special Marriage Act, Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra has observed.
- The 1954 Act is seen as a statutory alternative for couples who choose to retain their identity in an inter-religious marriage.
The comments came on the first day of hearing by the Constitution Bench on a petition from a Parsi woman, Goolrokh M. Gupta, who was barred by her community from offering prayers for her dead parents in the Tower of Silence for the sole reason that she married a Hindu under the Special Marriage Act.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE DECISION
- A decision in favour of the woman would uphold the fundamental right to religion, dignity and life and create a paradigm shift for women of the minority community.
- Article 372 (continuance of the existing laws) of the Constitution is subject to Article 13, which mandates that laws should not violate the fundamental rights of an individual.
- The petition is against the Gujarat High Court’s March 23, 2012 judgment which held that Goolrokh Adi Contractor ceased to be a Parsi as she had married Mahipal Gupta, a Hindu, under the Special Marriage Act.
2 . No change in India’s policy on Palestine – Government
- A day after U.S. President Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, India maintained a cautious stance saying its policy on Palestine is independent and not determined by any “third country”.
- India has traditionally supported an independent Palestine as part of a two-state solution.
- Mr. Trump’s statement came a week after India expressed support for “independent and viable Palestine” and participated in the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people.
- India supports all efforts to find an acceptable solution to all the pending issues including Jerusalem.
3 . Kumbh Mela an Intangible Cultural Heritage – UNESCO
- After ‘yoga’ and ‘Nouroz’, Kumbh Mela, the largest congregation of pilgrims on the planet, has been listed as an Intangible Cultural Heritage under UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation).
- The Intergovernment Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage under UNESCO has inscribed ‘Kumbh Mela’ on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity during its 12th session held at Jeju, South Korea from 4-9 December 2017.
- This inscription is the third in two years following the inscriptions of ‘Yoga’ and ‘Norouz’ on 1st December 2016 .
ABOUT INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE LIST
- UNESCO established its Lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage with the aim of ensuring better protection of important intangible cultural heritages worldwide and the awareness of their significance.
- This list is published by the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage and its members are elected by State parties meeting in UN General Assembly.
- Through a compendium of the different oral and intangible treasures of humankind worldwide, the program aims to draw attention to the importance of safeguarding intangible heritage, which UNESCO has identified as an essential component and as a repository of cultural diversity and of creative expression.
- The list was established in 2008 when the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage took effect.
- The programme compiles two lists.
- The longer Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity comprises cultural “practices and expressions [that] help demonstrate the diversity of this heritage and raise awareness about its importance.”
- The shorter List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding is composed of those cultural elements that concerned communities and countries consider require urgent measures to keep them alive.
4 . Misgivings about ‘bail-in’ provisions in FRDI Bill misplaced – Centre
- In an attempt to clear the air about bank deposit protection under the proposed Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance (FRDI) Bill 2017, the government said the provisions in the Bill did not adversely modify the existing protections granted to depositors at all.
- It added that the legislation would be far more depositor-friendly than those in other jurisdictions.
- The FRDI Bill will strengthen the system by adding a comprehensive resolution regime that will help ensure that, in the rare event of failure of a financial service provider, there is a system of quick, orderly and efficient resolution in favour of depositors.
- The provisions contained in the FRDI Bill, as introduced in the Parliament, do not modify present protections to the depositors adversely at all. They provide additional protections to the depositors in a more transparent manner.
- The clarification comes against the background of increasing criticism in the media and on social media of the perceived nature of the ‘bail-in’ clause, which allows a Resolution Corporation to cancel or modify the liabilities of a failing bank, something analysts have said could extend to bank deposits as well.
- The FRDI Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on August 10, 2017, and is currently under the consideration of the Joint Committee of Parliament.