Taking a ‘Far East’ turn to deepen a friendship

Context Some 48 years ago, when the U.S. and British Navies tried to threaten Indian security during the India-Pakistan war in 1971, the Soviet Union dispatched nuclear-armed flotilla from its Pacific Fleet in support of India. Ever since then, the city of Vladivostok, located in Russia’s Far East, has had Read More …

Henley Passport Index 2018

Context The latest Henley Passport Index ranks India at 86, down five places from 81 in 2018. The index ranks passports based on their power and mobility. Last year, an Indian passport holder had visa-free access to 60 countries; this year, it has access to 58. Henley Passport Index 2019 Read More …

Sacrificing liberty for national security

Context The amendments to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), 1967 empowers the Central government to name any individual a terrorist if it believes him or her to be so. Background of UAPA UAPA was passed by the Indira Gandhi government to deal with the secessionist Dravidian movement. During the Read More …

Explained: How an Indian citizen is defined

Context In the run-up to the publication of the final National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, citizenship has become the most talked about topic in the country. The Assam government has been taking various steps in relation to those who will be left out of the NRC, while the Supreme Court Read More …

Why is delimitation for Jammu and Kashmir in the news now?

Delimitation of Jammu and Kashmir’s Lok Sabha seats is governed by the Indian Constitution, but delimitation of its Assembly seats (until special status was abrogated recently) was governed separately by the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution and Jammu and Kashmir Representation of the People Act, 1957. As far as delimitation of Read More …

Explained: Delimitation of Constituencies

Context Since the bifurcation of J&K State into the Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh, delimitation of their electoral constituencies has been inevitable. While the government has not formally notified the Election Commission yet, the EC has held “internal discussions” on the J&K Reorganization Act, 2019, particularly its provisions on Read More …

The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill 2019

Context The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill 2019, which proposes to ban commercial surrogacy, was passed by Lok Sabha on August 5. The Bill was introduced by the Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Harsh Vardhan, in the House on July 15. Advertising What is commercial surrogacy? Surrogacy is defined as the Read More …

How the number and size of districts vary from state to state?

Context Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami announced that Vellore district would be trifurcated to create two more districts, Ranipet and Tirupattur. In January and July this year, the Tamil Nadu government had created three new districts, and the latest move will take the total number of districts to 37. The Read More …

Madhya Pradesh may get a second House. Why do some states have Vidhan Parishads?

Context The Congress government in Madhya Pradesh has moved to create a Legislative Council for the state, in keeping with the promise in its manifesto ahead of the 2018 Assembly elections. Not all states have two Houses. Which are the ones that do, and why is a second House needed? Read More …

Who are BASIC, the climate change alliance whose meeting India just attended?

Context The BASIC countries — a grouping of Brazil, South Africa, India and China — held their 28th Ministerial meeting on Climate Change between August 14 and August 16 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. India was represented by Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar, who underlined the Read More …