Daily Current Affairs for 8th May 2020

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Construction of Rath Yatra chariots allowed

Syllabus linkage: General Studies-I : Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society.

Sub-topic: The salient aspects of Art Forms, literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times

Why in News:

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has allowed the construction of chariots for the annual Rath Yatra at Jagannath Puri in Odisha which is expected to be held on June 23 this year.

Rath Yatra: 

  • Ratha Jatra also referred to as Ratha Yatra or Chariot festival particularly refers to the annual Rathajatra in Odisha, Jharkhand, West Bengal and other East Indian states.
  • It is particularly the Odia festival that involve a public procession with a chariot with deities Jagannath (Vishnu avatar), Balabhadra (his brother), Subhadra (his sister) and Sudarshana Chakra (his weapon) on a ratha, a wooden deula-shaped chariot.
  • The Ratha-Jatra is also termed as the Shri Gundicha jatra.
  • The most significant ritual associated with the Ratha-jatra is the chhera pahara.
  • During the festival, the Gajapati King wears the outfit of a sweeper and sweeps all around the deities and chariots in the Chera Pahara(sweeping with water) ritual.
  • The Gajapati King cleanses the road before the chariots with a gold-handled broom and sprinkles sandalwood water and powder with utmost devotion.
  • As per the custom, although the Gajapati King has been considered the most exalted person in the Kalingan kingdom, he still renders the menial service to Jagannath.
  • This ritual signified that under the lordship of Jagannath, there is no distinction between the powerful sovereign Gajapati King and the humblest devotee.

U.S. pat for India’s role in Afghanistan

Syllabus Linkage: GS II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations.


  • Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

Why in News:

The U.S. recognises India’s “constructive contribution” to Afghanistan, said U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad.


US-Taliban Deal: The US-Taliban signed a peace agreement that addresses following main issues:

  • Cease-fireNegotiators agreed to a temporary reduction in violence and a lasting cease-fire among U.S., Taliban, and Afghan forces will be part of intra-Afghan negotiations.
  • Withdrawal of foreign forcesThe United States agreed to reduce its number of troops in the country from roughly 12,000 to 8,600 within 135 days.
  • Sanctions removal: UN sanctions on Taliban leaders to be removed by three months Thus creating prerequisite for intra-Afghan dialogue.
  • Intra-Afghan negotiations: Taliban indicated that talks are possible, with afghan government promoting intra negotiations.
  • Counterterrorism assurances. The Taliban’s assurance that Afghanistan will not be used by any of its members, other individuals, or terrorist groups to threaten the security of the United States and its allies.
  • Prisoner release:  The joint declaration says up to 5,000 imprisoned Taliban and up to 1,000 prisoners from “the other side” held by Taliban “should be released”.

Impact on India:

  • Any kind of internal instability in Afghanistan creates larger competition among Pakistan, Russia, India and Iran for influence in Kabul.
  • The decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan can have immediate impact on India as New Delhi is a strong supporter of the Afghan government and has given $3 billion to develop infrastructure and promote business in Afghanistan since 2001.
  • The main goal of New Delhi is to minimize Pakistan’s influence and prevent Afghanistan from becoming a safe haven for anti-India militants.

Surge in domestic violence: WHO

Syllabus linkages: General Studies-I: Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society.

Sub-topic: Salient features of Indian Society, Role of women and the problems

Why in news:

  • The UN agency for sexual and reproductive health (UNFPA) has estimated that there would be 31 million more cases of domestic violence worldwide if lockdowns continue for another six months.
  • According to the world health organisation, domestic violence increases in times of crisis, and is exacerbated due to restrictions and containment measures put in place.

Domestic violence:

  • The term ‘domestic violence’ (DV) is used in many countries to refer to intimate partner violence (IPV), but it also encompasses child or elder abuse, or abuse by any member of a household.
  • According to the World Health Organisation, one in every three women across the globe experience physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner or sexual violence by any perpetrators in their lifetime.

Domestic Violence in India.

NFHS 2006 report on domestic sexual violence:

  • Sexual violence lowest against women in the 15-19 age groups.
  • Women with 10 years of education experienced sharply less sexual violence, compared to women with less education.
  • 85% of women who suffered sexual violence, in or outside of marriage, never sought help, and only 1% reported it to the police.

Laws and policies

  • Domestic Violence law:Domestic violence is currently defined in India by ‘Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act of 2005(PWDVA)’.
  • The PWDVA, which is a civil law, includes physical, emotional, sexual, verbal, and economic abuse as domestic violence.
  • Section 498A was introduced to protect women from Domestic Violence.
    • Under Indian law, marital rape is not a crime, except during the period of marital separation of the partners.
    • Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) considers forced sex in marriages as a crime only when the wife is below 15.

Way Forward:

  • Disseminate informationabout gender-based violence.
  • Increase resourcing for NGOs that respond to domestic violence and aid
  • Encourage the equitable sharingof domestic tasks at home.
  • Ensure women’s timely accessto necessary and comprehensive sexual & reproductive health services during the crisis, such as maternal health services, safe abortion etc.

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