[Social News Wrap] No, no, no: Supreme Court takes on triple talaq, and other major announcements in social sector

26th Aug 2017
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In the last one week, important conversations were discussed through major announcements in the country. Over the days that follow, we intend to keep up the momentum discussing stories that captured India’s freedom struggle as we close our month-long campaign that celebrated #IndiaAt70.

A week after honoring seven decades of India’s Independence, the SocialStory team is back to underlining the important issues.

Legislative empowerment

In the last one week, the nation observed two major announcements with triple talaq and right to privacy making headlines. The Supreme Court struck down instant triple talaq terming it "unconstitutional", "arbitrary" and "not part of Islam”. The announcement gathered widespread views. Activists, politicians, clerics, celebrities, political outfits and NGOs hailed the Supreme Court verdict on the controversial instant divorce among the Muslim community. While the government, women rights activists and political parties appreciated the apex court's constitutional bench order banning instant divorce by a 3:2 verdict, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) said the court's order also underlined that a community's personal laws cannot be interfered with.

Credits: Youtube

While this announcement was yet to subside, the Supreme Court on August 24 declared 'right to privacy' as a fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution, a ruling that could have a bearing on the case related to Aadhaar that has been made mandatory in various services. In a unanimous verdict, a nine-judge Constitution bench observed that privacy was protected as an intrinsic part of life and personal liberty and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution. The verdict can have far-reaching impact, including on the apex court's earlier judgment re-criminalizing homosexuality. There were six judgements written by the nine judges but all of them held that right to privacy was a fundamental right.

Sustainability

In a bid to ease the access to LED bulbs, tubelights and energy efficient fans, as many as 55,000 petrol pumps across India will distribute them through ‘permanent counters’. An agreement has been signed between three PSUs (IOC, BPCL and HCL) and will take three months to roll out across the country in a phased manner.

Besides, a few innovations in the field of healthcare and sustainability opened up newer ways to solve the growing concerns. Delhi Metro has opened a facility to recycle the waste produced during its demolition and construction work. A plant in Rohini in North Delhi will manufacture green products like aggregates, manufactured sand, concrete bricks, tiles, paver-blocks and kerb stones.

Credits: Indian Express

Himachal Pradesh has set up biodiversity management committees initially in 366 gram panchayats in biodiversity-rich Chamba, Kullu, Shimla, Sirmaur, Kinnaur and Lahaul-Spiti districts under a United Nations project. Focus has been placed on capacity-building of stakeholders by organising training and awareness workshops. So far, about 150 awareness and training programmes have been organised to empower villagers.

During the review of Soil Health Cards and Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that soil health cards should be printed in the local dialect of the area and technology should be used to enable soil testing through hand-held devices. The Prime Minister said that appropriate checks should be undertaken for variation, both within a sampling grid, and across different soil testing labs as it would help ensure quality in the reports.

Research & Development

In other news, the country entered into an agreement with International Vaccine Institute (IVI) in South Korea, under which it has committed an annual contribution of $5,00,000 for vaccine research and development. The MoU was signed between the Indian Council of Medical Research and the IVI. The partnership will promote further collaborative research activities and training programmes between India and IVI, and will ensure the latter achieves its goal of improving health outcomes for the world's poor by improving vaccine access.

To deal with unprecedented layoffs and unjust treatment, IT professionals from two cosmopolitan cities in India have decided to form a trade union. About 100 employees came together to form ‘Forum for IT Employees', in Tamil Nadu and in Bengaluru, and nearly 200 people took part in the foundation conference, which took place at the YMCA ground in Koramangala to address the frequent layoffs in MNCs.

 Issues that matter

In the wake of the death of manual scavengers, Delhi Social Welfare Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam announced a blanket ban on manual cleaning of sewers and warned that anyone found violating the rule will be booked under culpable homicide.

It was decided in the meeting that no person will be allowed to go inside the gutter for sewer cleaning under any circumstances. There will be a complete ban on it. We will also put up hoardings in this regard, Gautam told reporters.

Recognising the grand win of 73 medals at the Special Olympics World Winter Games, Lions Club International and Special Olympics Bharat launched a national partnership, Mission Inclusion Bharat — a platform for inclusive sports programmes — on August 21. The partnership aims to service and support programmes for individuals with intellectual disabilities as part of a multilateral commitment to forge full social inclusion. The differently-abled athletes who lack the basic infrastructure welcomed this move.

To bolster childcare allowance for women with disabilities, the Centre has increased the monthly childcare allowance from Rs 1,500 to Rs 3,000. As per the Seventh Central Pay Commission, this increase aims at acknowledging the difficulties that arise when a physically-challenged mother gives birth to a child.

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