141ST IOC SESSION IN MUMBAI
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi revealed India’s ambition to host the Olympics in 2036.
- Indian government and the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) will form a joint committee.
- Tokyo and Paris were awarded the Olympics seven years before the Games were to be hosted.
- Brisbane was awarded the 2032 Games 11 years before the Games.
PASSENGER FERRY SERVICE TO SRI LANKA
- The Passenger ferry service starts from Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu to Kankesanthurai in Jaffna, Northern Sri Lanka.
- The name of the vessel is ‘Cheriyapani’.
The previous route:
- The Indo-Ceylon Express or Boat Mail ran between Chennai and Colombo via the Thoothukudi port from the early 1900s up until 1982.
- However, the civil war in Sri Lanka resulted in the halting of these services.
Attempts to restart:
- The resumption of ferry services has been on the cards after the war ended in 2009.
- A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) concerning passenger transportation by sea was signed in 2011 and a similar service was launched.
- However, it did not last for more than six months due to poor response.\Attempts were also made to establish services from Rameswaram to Talaimannar and Karaikal to Kankesanthurai.
- Potential impact of the new service
- By providing a transportation option, the ferry can amplify religious tourism in the coastal regions of both countries.
- From India, travellers can access significant religious sites in Colombo and the southern parts of Sri Lanka.
- Indian pilgrim centres such as Nagapattinam, Nagore, Velankanni, Thirunallar, and temple towns such as Thanjavur, Madurai, and Tiruchi are expected to see an influx of Lankan tourists.
- The initiative is aimed at bolstering bilateral ties, boosting tourism, and increasing people-to-people relations.
- It is expected to benefit local traders on both shores.
- Beyond religious tourism, the services would boost regional commerce and trade.
ELECTORAL BONDS SCHEME
Why is in news?
- Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud referred the challenge to the validity of the electoral bonds scheme to a five judge Constitution Bench.
- The court had received a plea to refer the case from the three-judge Bench to a larger Bench.
About Electoral bonds scheme:
- The electoral bonds system was introduced in 2017 by way of a Finance bill.
- It was implemented in 2018.
- They serve as a means for individuals and entities to make donations to registered political parties while maintaining donor anonymity.
- State Bank of India (SBI) issues the bonds in denominations of Rs 1,000, Rs 10,000, Rs 1 lakh, Rs 10 lakh, and Rs 1 crore.
- It is payable to the bearer on demand and interest-free.
- It can be purchased by Indian citizens or entities established in India.
- Can be bought individually or jointly with other individuals.
- It is valid for 15 calendar days from the date of issue.
- State Bank of India (SBI) is the authorized issuer.
- Electoral Bonds are issued through designated SBI branches.
- Only the political parties registered under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and have secured not less than 1% of the votes polled in the last general election to the House of the People or the Legislative Assembly, are eligible to receive electoral bonds.
Why is in news?
- Railway projects coming under the ambit of Section 11 of the Railways Act, 1989, have been exempted from the requirement of Environment and Coastal Regulatory Zone clearances.
- The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has informed that railway projects were exempted from prior environmental clearance.
- The terms of Section 11 of the Railway Act, 1989 overrides every other law in force.
What is a Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ)?
- It is a set of regulations aimed at managing and controlling activities along coastal areas to balance environmental conservation with developmental needs.
- These rules help protect coastal ecosystems and communities.
- Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) is responsible for formulating and implementing CRZ regulations in India.
MEDICAL TERMINATION OF PREGNANCY
Why is in news?
- The Supreme Court declined a married woman’s plea to medically terminate her 26-week pregnancy.
- The court said, it is averse to ordering doctors to “stop the heartbeat” of the foetus when medical reports say she will give birth to a “viable baby”.
- The Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud made it clear that the woman cannot claim an “absolute, overriding right” to abort, especially reports from have confirmed that the pregnancy was not a cause of immediate danger to her life or the foetus.
- Section 5 of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act prescribes medical termination only if it is necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman.
- The term ‘life’ used in this provision cannot be equated to the broader meaning in which ‘life’ is used in Article 21 of the Constitution.
- Article 21 upholds an individual’s fundamental right to a dignified, meaningful life.
- Section 5 uses ‘life’ in the context of a life-and-death situation.
- Section 5 allows abortion only if the pregnancy poses an actual, physical and immediate danger to a woman’s life and health.
- This is no longer a case of pro-life [life of the child] or pro-choice [reproductive autonomy of the woman.
About the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Amendment Act, 2021:
- The amendment raised the maximum gestational age at which a woman may obtain a medical abortion from 20 weeks under the MTP Act of 1971 to 24 weeks.
INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE ERADICATION OF POVERTY
- It is observed every year on October 17.
- It aims to raise awareness about the prevailing global issue of poverty.
- This year is the 31st anniversary of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
- The Theme of International Poverty Eradication Day 2023 is Decent Work and Social Protection: Putting dignity in practice for all.