What's New :
GS Mains Classes 2024, Morning Batch Starts: 12th June & Evening Batch Starts: 15th June

10th May 2023

Marriage: A Fundamental Right?

  • Recently, Supreme Court said that there is no fundamental right to marry under the Constitution, but the core aspects of marriage are safeguarded by constitutional values.

Key highlights:

  • Marriage postulates the right of individuals to cohabit; marriage accompanies with it the notion of existence of a family unit, which is directly owes its existence to Constitutional values.
  • Marriage has procreation very important ingredient, though equally we must be cognizant of the fact that validity or legality or social acceptance of marriage is not conditional only upon procreation for the reason that people may not want to have children.
  • They may not have the ability to have children or they may get married at an age they cannot have children.
  • The marriage is exclusionary of all others, “Two people who come together or cohabit are entitled to exclude everyone else from that area of marriage.”
  • The State has a legitimate interest in regulating marriage, according to constitution, “We must accept as a basic proposition that marriage is something which is entitled to Constitutional protection, it’s not just a statutory recognition.

Homosexual Marriage:

  • Navtej Singh Johar v. Union of India Case: SC struck down part of Section 377 stating that choosing a partner is every person’s Fundamental Right.
  • The choice of whom to partner, the ability to find fulfillment in sexual intimacies and the right not to be subjected to discriminatory behavior are intrinsic to the constitutional protection of sexual orientation.
  • Article 21 guarantees the right to life and liberty.
  • However, it only recognised an LGBTQIA+ person’s ‘right to love’, it did not recognize their ‘right to marry’.
  • Hindu Marriage Act (HMA): Personal affairs such as marriage and divorce are governed by laws specific to communities in India.
  • HMA applies to Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains, and all the sects of Hinduism. HMA does not distinguish between heterosexual and homosexual marriages.
  • Special Marriage Act: Section 4(c) of the Special Marriage Act, 1954, discriminates against same-sex couples. The provision only recognises marriage between a ‘male’ and a ‘female’.

Special Marriage Act (SMA), 1954

  • The Act is an Indian law that provides a legal framework for the marriage of people belonging to different religions or castes.
  • It governs a civil marriage where the state sanctions the marriage rather than the religion.
  • The Indian system, where both civil and religious marriages are recognised, is similar to the laws in the UK’s Marriage Act of 1949.
  • The applicability of the Act extends to the people of all faiths, including Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists, across India.
  • SMA grants same-sex marriage rights.
  • The heterosexual couples have a right to marry in accordance with their custom, personal law and religion - “that is the foundation of their right.”

Recognition of Marriage:

  • The Act provides for the registration of marriages, which gives legal recognition to the marriage and provides a number of legal benefits and protections to the couple, such as inheritance rights, succession rights, and social security benefits.
  • It forbids polygamy and declares a marriage null and void if either party had a spouse living at the time of the marriage or if either of them is incapable of giving a valid consent to the marriage due to unsoundness of mind.
  • Age Limit: The minimum age to get married under the SMA is 21 years for males and 18 years for females.

Differentiation from Personal Laws:

  • Personal laws, such as the Muslim Marriage Act of 1954 and the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955, compel either spouse to convert to the other's religion before marriage.
  • The SMA, on the other hand, allows marriage between interfaith or inter-caste couples without requiring them to give up their religious identity or convert.
  • However, according to the SMA, once married, an individual is considered severed from the family in terms of rights such as the right to inherit.

Inherent Rights:

  • Right to speak
  • Right to associate

Is an Article 21 granted the right to marriage?

  • The freedom of choice in marriage in accordance with law is an intrinsic part of Article 21 of the Constitution and “questions of faith” have no bearing on a person's freedom to choose a life partner which is the essence of personal liberty.

Minimising the threat from IEDs

  • Recently, an IED (improvised explosive device) killed 10 security personnel of the District Reserve Guard in Chattisgarh’s Dantewada area.

Key highlights:

  • The jawans were out on an anti-Maoist mission when they were ambushed.
  • Rigorous and regular implementation of various detection methods, such as metal detectors, ground-penetrating radar, and trained sniffer dogs, to locate and clear landmines and IEDs, is essential.
  • Legislative measures are required for mandatory addition of odoriferous chemicals and/or biosensors to explosives used in industry and mining etc. for their easy detection during transport. Likewise, legislative measures are required for stricter controls on manufacture, supply and sale of explosives and detonators.

Were any tactical mistakes made?

  • The quintessential dilemma for security forces is that they are dealing with an enemy who is faceless, unidentifiable and hidden among the people.
  • Wedded to upholding the law of the land and protecting its people, security personnel can open fire only in self-defence, not on apprehension.
  • In all such scenarios, particularly in landmine/IED ambushes, the reaction or the response time available for what is called “Immediate Action (IA) or Counter Ambush drill” is a few seconds, and that too, if a few of the security personnel are lucky enough to survive the initial IED ambush.
  • Hence, all standard operating systems and procedures, technological measures etc. are directed towards identification and detection of IEDs/landmines and to avoid being caught in them.

How can errors be minimised?

  • The first thing that must be kept in mind is to avoid travel by vehicle.
  • The safest mode of travel is on foot in a region where left-wing extremism is active.
  • Studies show that over 60% of casualties/fatalities in Maoist territories are because of vehicles ambushed in landmines/IEDs, as also seen in the recent Chhattisgarh incident.
  • Routine operations like area domination, cordon-and-search, and long range patrolling, ambush-cum-patrolling and so forth should only be undertaken on foot.
  • The security forces are expected to take civilian or State Road Transport Corporation buses.
  • To avoid easy identification, they must travel with civilians in mufti with weapons carefully concealed.

How can a region be made safe for travel?

  • The detection methods, such as metal detectors, ground-penetrating radar, and trained sniffer dogs, to locate and clear landmines and IEDs, are essential.
  • Road opening parties play an important role in detection of ambushes.
  • Aerial surveillance carried out through drones and road opening parties equipped with UGVs (Unmanned Ground Vehicles), can not only detect the presence of terrorists to carry out operations but also pick tell-tale signs of a likely ambush like piles of rock and mud bags, dugout portions on the sides of the roads, and absence of people or movement of other vehicles.
  • Based on the above inputs, areas known or suspected to contain landmines or IEDs can be mapped and contingency plans prepared for them.
  • This includes establishing safe routes, setting up checkpoints, and creating evacuation plans as part of both preventive and mitigation measures.

What about Intelligence inputs?

  • While it is important to gather actionable intelligence, due to enormous risks of reprisals by terrorists, locals usually do not divulge information for money alone.
  • Relationships have to be cultivated and goodwill generated among the local population on a long-term basis beyond and above transactional levels.
  • This requires patience, commitment, empathy and integrity on the part of security forces, which is sometimes lacking.

Measures that need to be undertaken:

  • Several measures need to be undertaken at the government level, both at the Centre and States.
    • These include collaboration with international organisations, NGOs, and other countries to share information, resources, and best practices for landmine and IED prevention, detection, and clearance; implementation and enforcement of national and international laws, policies, and regulations aimed at preventing the use, production, and trade of landmines and IEDs.
    • Legislative measures are required for mandatory addition of odoriferous chemicals and/or biosensors to explosives used in industry and mining etc.
    • The efforts of both the Government of India and the State governments, and to provide

Fitch Rating: India’s growth prospects

  • Recently, the Fitch Ratings affirmed India’s long-term foreign-currency issuer default rating at ‘BBB-‘with a stable outlook, backed by strong growth prospects.

Key highlights:

  • India’s rating reflects strengths from a robust growth outlook compared with peers and resilient external finances, which have supported India in navigating the large external shocks over the past year.
  • A ‘BBB’ rating indicates that expectations of default risk are currently low.
  • The capacity for payment of financial commitments is considered adequate, but adverse business or economic conditions are more likely to impair this capacity.
  • India’s growth prospects have brightened as the private sector appears poised for stronger investment growth following the improvement of corporate and bank balance sheets in the past few years, supported by the government’s infrastructure drive.
  • India will be one of the fastest-growing Fitch-rated sovereigns globally at 6 per cent in the fiscal 2024, supported by resilient investment prospects.

Report says the economy would impact:

  • Increase in Inflation: However, elevated inflation causes high interest rates and subdued global demand, along with fading pandemic-induced pent-up demand, will slow growth from our FY23 estimate of 7 per cent before rebounding to 6.7 per cent by FY25.
  • Economic Recovery: The sustained improvements in asset quality and profitability have led to a strengthening of bank balance sheets on the back of the economic recovery, which has created headroom to absorb risks as pandemic-related forbearance measures continue to unwind in FY24.
  • Headline Inflation: The expects headline inflation to decline, but remain near the upper end of the Reserve Bank of India’s 2-6 per cent target band, averaging 5.8 per cent in FY24 from 6.7 per cent last year. The RBI has projected CPI inflation to be at 5.2 per cent for FY24.
  • Core inflation: The core inflation pressure appears to be abating, falling to 5.7 per cent in March, its lowest since July 2021.
  • Deficit: It expects the general government deficit (excluding divestments) to narrow to a still-high 8.8 per cent of GDP in FY24 from 9.2 per cent in FY23.
  • Current Account Deficit: The rating agency has cut its estimate of the FY23 current account deficit to 2.3 per cent of GDP from 3.3 per cent in its December review. For FY24, it forecast a current account deficit of 1.9 per cent.

Illness-Detecting Mask

  • Recently, The Illness-detecting mask with sensor have developed by BITS-Pilani Hyderabad.

Key highlights:

About: Face Mask

  • That a face mask can protect against COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases is well established.
  • Now, it can also be used as a non-invasive device to check one’s health as has been successfully demonstrated by researchers at the Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS), Microfluids and Nanoelectronics (MMNE) Lab on at the BITS-Pilani Hyderabad campus.
  • A Kirigami-based stretchable, flexible Laser induced Graphene (LIG) a 3-D carbon nanomaterial, for real-time attachments with surgical masks.
  • LIG is a widely used material for monitoring vital physiological signs such as breath rate (BR) or respiratory rate (RR), body temperature, pulse rate, and blood oxygen saturation.
  • Monitoring breath rate is considered as a parameter to detect diseases like cardiac arrest, asthma, pneumonia, pulmonary edema, and of course, COVID-19.
  • Researchers used the sensor attached to a gas mask to analyse the breath pattern of the subject seated on a chair by validating the change in resistance during inhalation and exhalation.
  • The rate of breathing generally varies based on age until and unless the person is diseased. Fitness of a person can be determined by Breath Index or simply, by measuring RR and DR.
  • The product is customisable and can be used to develop various sizes and patterns of ‘Kirigami’ (Japanese art of paper cutting giving a 3D element) based structures for patients across age groups and demographics. The sensor can be placed over the mouth and nose without causing any irritation while ensuring stable working.

Application of Mask:

    • Healthcare
    • Disease diagnosis
    • E-skin
  • The sensor has potential in wearable/flexible healthcare technology owing to its high sensitivity, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness.
  • And, it could help in the early detection of illnesses like heart disease, bronchitis, asthma, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), sleep apnea syndrome (SAS), and lung cancer, thereby saving many lives, he explained.
  • The sensor could be used in a wide range of settings, such as fabric masks, surgical masks, oxygen masks, etc., making it suitable for evaluating symptoms of COVID-19 and other respiratory ailments.
  • The project was carried out under the aegis of Department of Science & Technology- Biomedical Device and Technology Development (BDTD) and has been accepted for publication in ‘IEEE Sensors Journal’.

Reserve Bank of India’s gold reserves

  • The central banks around the world purchased a record 1,136 tonnes of gold.

Key highlights:

  • The Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) gold reserves touched 794.64 metric tonnes in fiscal 2023, an increase of nearly 5 per cent over fiscal 2022, when it held 760.42 metric tonnes of gold.
  • The RBI has been adding gold to its reserves, which is considered a safer, secure, and liquid asset, to safeguard its returns amid global uncertainty and a rising inflation scenario.

How much gold has RBI bought?

  • The report on Management of Foreign Exchange Reserves: The RBI said 437.22 tonnes of gold is held overseas in safe custody with the Bank of England and the Bank of International Settlements (BIS), and 301.10 tonnes of gold is held domestically.
  • Currently, the country’s total foreign exchange reserves stood at $578.449 billion, and gold reserves were pegged at $45.2 billion.
  • In value terms (USD), the share of gold in the total foreign exchange reserves increased from about 7 per cent at the end of March 2022 to about 7.81 per cent at the end of March 2023.

Pakistan and China agree to extend CPEC to Afghanistan



  • Pakistan, China and Afghanistan have agreed to forge closer economic ties by extending the Beijing-backed China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to Afghanistan to fully harness the country’s potential as a hub for regional connectivity.

Key highlights:

  • The 5th China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue held recently, where they decided to underlined the need to prevent any group from using their territories for terror activities against any nation.

Bilateral ties between Israel and India

  • Recently, the government of Israel and government of India have decided to focus on expansion of bilateral ties in key areas such as trade, investment, defence and agriculture.

Key highlights:

  • The main pillars of our Strategic Partnership - Agriculture, Water, Defence & Security - are taking our ties forward.
  • Cooperation between the countries in field of: High tech, Digital and innovation, Connectivity, Mobility tourism, Finance and Health
  • The Indian government acknowledged advances in I2U2 and multinational cooperation.

Green Crosshairs: Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism

  • The European Union (EU) proposes to introduce a framework for levying a carbon tax on imports of products that rely on non-green or sub-optimally sustainable processes and where carbon emissions are deemed to have not been adequately priced.

Key highlights:

  • A multi-pronged counter is warranted to tackle the European Union’s carbon tax plans.
  • This Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) will begin with an import monitoring mechanism and culminate in the levy of duties as determined from January 2026.
  • The CBAM will ensure its climate objectives are not undermined by carbon-intensive imports and spur cleaner production in the rest of the world.
  • This poses a significant threat to some of India’s biggest exports to the trading bloc, including iron ore and steel, with carbon levies estimated to range from 19.8% to 52.7%.

Army uniform for officers of Brigadier rank

  • The Indian Army decided to adopt common uniform for officers of Brigadier rank and above.

Key highlights:

  • The move aims to promote and strengthen a common identity and approach in service matters among the force’s senior leadership, moving beyond the boundaries of regimentation.
  • The Army has decided to adopt a common uniform for officers of the Brigadier rank and above irrespective of the parent cadre and appointment, in a move aimed at promoting and strengthening a common identity and approach in service matters among the force’s senior leadership, moving beyond the boundaries of regimentation.
  • The decision was taken after detailed deliberations during the recently concluded Army Commanders’ Conference and extensive consultations with all stakeholders.
  • The change entails that the headgear, shoulder rank badges, gorget patches (worn on collars), belts and shoes of senior officers of flag rank (Brigadier and above) will now be standardised and common.
  • Flag-rank officers will now not wear any lanyard.
  • At present, different types of uniforms and accoutrements have specific associations to the respective arms, regiments and services in the Army.
  • However, in the Army, officers of the rank of Brigadier and above have completed appointments where they commanded units or battalions and are mostly posted at headquarters or other establishments of the Army where officers from all Arms and Services work together.




Given the large migrant population in Karnataka, Lokniti-Centre for the Study of Developing Societies conducted a study among the migrant voters of Bengaluru to find out their voting patterns.

Apprehensions of workers

  • Unable to Vote: Many migrant workers were not able to adequately exercise their political voting rights; they found it difficult to travel home for every election.
  • Apprehension of registering: Migrant workers are often apprehensive about registering themselves as voters in any other State apart from their home State. This is due to various reasons such as frequent changes in residence, fear of losing property in their home State, and their inability or unwillingness to bring their families with them as well. 
  • Safety issues: Only 5% of the families are living with the migrant workers. This is primarily because many localities are not safe for women

Migrant Voting

  • Remote Voting Machines (RVMs): The Election Commission of India (ECI)’s proposal for introducing RVMs seeks to extend voting facilities to such migrant workers who find it difficult to travel to their native place to vote, and thus prevent the loss of votes.
  • Migrant support: While there was little awareness among the migrant workers about the ECI’s proposal to introduce RVMs, 80% of them supported the proposal when they were told about it.
  • Issue with RVM: There are issues about the trustworthiness of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs). There is lack of dialogue and transparency with the RVMs.
You must be logged in to get greater insights.


QUIZ - 10th May 2023
GS Classes 2024 Optional Foundation Optional Q&A mains test series 2023 mains classes 2023 UPSC Study Material

Verifying, please be patient.

Enquire Now