|GS-II||TRIPLE TALAQ Analysis||Governance|
|Territory Swap with Bhutan: CHINA||International Relations|
|GS-III||Zero Hunger by 2030: UN Report||Economic Issues|
|Study: Punjab’s law plays ‘minimal role’ in spiking Delhi’s pollution|
|PT Pointer||Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) procedure|
|Important GS Topics||Uniform Civil Code||Governance|
Zero Hunger by 2030: UN Report
GS-Paper-3 Economic development (PT-MIANS)
According to a study titled State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World, hunger and malnutrition is increasing around the world. In this scenario, achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (2) of ‘Zero Hunger’ by 2030 will be very difficult.
The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World is the most authoritative global study tracking progress towards ending hunger and malnutrition.
**It is produced jointly by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, the International Fund for Agriculture (IFAD), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Steep Rise: The study estimates that almost 690 million people went hungry in 2019 – up by 10 million from 2018, and by nearly 60 million in five years (2014-2019).
Hunger is an uncomfortable or painful physical sensation caused by insufficient consumption of dietary energy. For decades, FAO has used the prevalence of undernourishment indicator to estimate the extent of hunger in the world, thus “hunger” may also be referred to as undernourishment.
Chronic Hunger: There has been no change in the hunger trend since 2000, After steadily diminishing for decades, chronic hunger slowly began to rise in 2014 and continues to do so.
Regional Hotspots: Asia remains home to the greatest number of hunger (381 million). Africa is second (250 million), followed by Latin America and the Caribbean (combined 48 million).
Rate of Hunger: The rate of undernourishment (hunger) in Africa is double compared to Asia and it is expected that by 2030, Africa will be home to more than half of the world’s chronically hungry.
Impact of Covid-19: The Covid-19 pandemic could also push over 130 million more people into chronic hunger by the end of 2020.
Reasons: High costs and low affordability was the main reason behind the hunger.
Affordability: The study estimates that 3 billion people or more cannot afford a healthy diet.
In sub-Saharan Africa and southern Asia, this is the case for 57% of the population.
The key reason behind malnutrition is the high cost of nutritious foods and the low affordability of healthy diets for vast numbers of families.
According to the study, a healthy diet costs far more than USD 1.90/day, which is the international poverty threshold.
It puts the price of even the least expensive healthy diet at five times the price of filling stomachs with starch only.
Impact on Children: According to the study, in 2019, nearly a third of children under five (191 million) were stunted (too short) or wasted (too thin). Another 38 million under-fives were overweight.
Shifting of Diet: A global switch to healthy diets would help check the backslide into hunger while delivering enormous savings. Shift to a healthy diet will reduce the health costs associated with unhealthy diets. The diet related social cost of greenhouse gas emissions, estimated at USD 1.7 trillion, could also be cut by up to three-quarters by 2030.
Transform Food Systems: The transformation of food systems will not only reduce the cost of nutritious foods but also increase the affordability of healthy diets.
The study calls on governments:
This study is the reminder that such a huge percentage of humanity is still going hungry and should be a wake up call for the government in particular and society in general. Innovative strategies such as shifting towards Smart Food is the need of the hour, which is highly nutritious and will certainly help to reduce hunger.
Study: Punjab’s law plays ‘minimal role’ in spiking Delhi’s pollution
The replacement valve is delivered via one of several access methods:
GS-PAPER-2 Governance – DPSP (PT-MAINS)
A Uniform Civil Code means that all sections of the society irrespective of their religion shall be treated equally according to a national civil code, which shall be applicable to all uniformly.
They cover areas like- Marriage, divorce, maintenance, inheritance, adoption and succession of the property. It is based on the premise that there is no connection between religion and law in modern civilization.
Historical perspective – The debate for a uniform civil code dates back to the colonial period in India.
So while criminal laws were codified and became common for the whole country, personal laws continue to be governed by separate codes for different communities.
Some of the reforms of this period were:-
The Hindu code bill -The bill was drafted by Dr.B R Ambedkar to reform Hindu laws, which legalized divorce, opposed polygamy, gave rights of inheritance to daughters. Amidst intense opposition of the code, a diluted version was passed via four different laws.
Succession Act-The Hindu Succession Act, 1956, originally did not give daughters inheritance rights in ancestral property. They could only ask for a right to sustenance from a joint Hindu family. But this disparity was removed by an amendment to the Act on September 9, 2005
The Hindu Marriage Act
Minority and Guardianship Act
Adoptions and Maintenance Act
Special Marriage Act:
Shah Bano case (1985):-
A 73-year-old woman called Shah Bano was divorced by her husband using triple talaq (saying “I divorce thee” three times) and was denied maintenance. She approached the courts and the District Court and the High Court ruled in her favour. This led to her husband appealing to the Supreme Court saying that he had fulfilled all his obligations under Islamic law.
The Supreme Court ruled in her favour in 1985 under the “maintenance of wives, children and parents” provision (Section 125) of the All India Criminal Code, which applied to all citizens irrespective of religion. Further, It recommended that a uniform civil code be set up.
Facts about the case:
Impact – After this historic decision, nationwide discussions, meetings and agitations were held. The then government under pressure passed The Muslim Women’s (Right to protection on divorce ) Act (MWA) in 1986, which made Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code inapplicable to Muslim women.
The Constitution of India on the Uniform Civil Code
Part IV, Article 44 of the Constitution states that “The State shall endeavour to secure the citizen a Uniform Civil Code throughout the territory of India”.
However, Article 37 of the Constitution itself makes it clear the DPSP “shall not be enforceable by any court”. Nevertheless, they are “fundamental in the governance of the country”. This indicates that although our constitution itself believes that a Uniform Civil Code should be implemented in some manner, it does not make this implementation mandatory.
Last week, while hearing a matter relating to properties of a Goan, the Supreme Court described Goa as a “shining example” with a Uniform Civil Code, observed that the founders of the Constitution had “hoped and expected” a Uniform Civil Code for India but there has been no attempt at framing one.
Goa Civil Code
Goa is the only Indian state to have a UCC in the form of common family law. The Portuguese Civil Code that remains in force even today was introduced in the 19th century in Goa and wasn’t replaced after its liberation.
However, the code has certain drawbacks and is not strictly a uniform code. For example, Hindu men have the right to bigamy under specific circumstances mentioned in Codes of Usages and Customs of Gentile Hindus of Goa (if the wife fails to deliver a child by the age of 25, or if she fails to deliver a male child by the age of 30). For other communities, the law prohibits polygamy.
Uniform Civil Code and Arguments For & Against
Arguments in favour of the Uniform Civil Code:
Does India not already have a uniform code in civil matters?
Indian laws do follow a uniform code in most civil matters – Indian Contract Act, Civil Procedure Code, Sale of Goods Act, Transfer of Property Act, Partnership Act, Evidence Act etc. States, however, have made hundreds of amendments and therefore in certain matters, there is diversity even under these secular civil laws. Recently, several states refused to be governed by the uniform Motor Vehicles Act, 2019.
If the framers of the Constitution had intended to have a Uniform Civil Code, they would have given exclusive jurisdiction to Parliament in respect of personal laws, by including this subject in the Union List. But “personal laws” are mentioned in the Concurrent List.
Last year, the Law Commission concluded that a Uniform Civil Code is neither feasible nor desirable.
Why is UCC may not desirable at this point?
Secularism cannot contradict the plurality prevalent in the country. Besides, cultural diversity cannot be compromised to the extent that our urge for uniformity itself becomes a reason for threat to the territorial integrity of the nation.
The term ‘secularism’ has meaning only if it assures the expression of any form of difference. This diversity, both religious and regional, should not get subsumed under the louder voice of the majority. At the same time, discriminatory practices within a religion should not hide behind the cloak of that faith to gain legitimacy.
How does the idea of a Uniform Civil Code relate to the fundamental right to religion?
Article 25 lays down an individual’s fundamental right to religion; Article 26(b) upholds the right of each religious denomination or any section thereof to “manage its own affairs in matters of religion”; Article 29 defines the right to conserve distinctive culture.
An individual’s freedom of religion under Article 25 is subject to “public order, health, morality” and other provisions relating to fundamental rights, but a group’s freedom under Article 26 has not been subjected to other fundamental rights
In the Constituent Assembly, there was division on the issue of putting Uniform Civil Code in the fundamental rights chapter. The matter was settled by a vote. By a 5:4 majority, the fundamental rights sub-committee headed by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel held that the provision was outside the scope of fundamental rights and therefore the Uniform Civil Code was made less important than freedom of religion.
What is needed now?
Need of the hour is the codification of all personal laws so that prejudices and stereotypes in every one of them would come to light and can be tested on the anvil of fundamental rights of the Constitution. By codification of different personal laws, one can arrive at certain universal principles that prioritise equity rather than imposition of a Uniform Code, which would discourage many from using the law altogether, given that matters of marriage and divorce can also be settled extra-judicially.
Suggestions for Implementing a Uniform Civil Code:
To realize the goals of the DPSP and to maintain the uniformity of laws, the following suggestions need immediate consideration:
The Way Forward for UCC: Gradual Change
India has a unique blend of codified personal laws of Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Parsis. There exists no uniform family-related law in a single statute book for all Indians which is acceptable to all religious communities who co-exist in India. However, a majority of them believe that UCC is definitely desirable and would go a long way in strengthening and consolidating the Indian nationhood. The differences of opinion are on its timing and the manner in which it should be realized.
Instead of using it as an emotive issue to gain political advantage, political and intellectual leaders should try to evolve a consensus. The question is not of minority protection, or even of national unity, it is simply one of treating each human person with dignity, something which personal laws have so far failed to do.
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