23, August 2017

1.NITI Aayog to launch “Mentor India” Campaign
Source: PIB

NITI Aayog will launch the Mentor India Campaign, a strategic nation building initiative to engage leaders who can guide and mentor students at more than 900 Atal Tinkering Labs, established across the country as a part of the Atal Innovation Mission.

  • Mentor India is aimed at maximizing the impact of Atal Tinkering Labs, possibly the biggest disruption in formal education globally.
  • The idea is to engage leaders who will nurture and guide students in the Atal Tinkering Labs.
  • These labs are non-prescriptive by nature, and mentors are expected to be enablers rather than instructors.

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2. SC on instant triple talaq – A historic 3:2 majority judgment
Source: The Hindu

Supreme Court has declared discriminatory practice of instant triple talaq as unconstitutional .It has sent out a clear message that personal law can no longer be privileged over fundamental rights.

A historic 3:2 majority judgment, delivered by a multi-faith Constitution Bench, set aside instant talaq as a “manifestly arbitrary” practice not protected by Article 25 (freedom of religion) of the Constitution.

Majority and Minority Judgement

About triple talaq

  • Triple talaq is a form of Islamic divorcethat was practised by Muslims in India.
  • It allowed any Muslim man to legally divorce his wife by stating the word talaq(the Arabic word for “divorce”) three times in verbal, written, or more recently electronic form.
  • It has been a subject of controversy and debates within the country, raising the issues of justice, gender equality, human rights and secularism

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3.Trump offers India a role in Afghanistan
Source: The Hindu

New U.S. strategy for South Asia unveiled by President Donald Trump

  • It commits troops in Afghanistan for an open-ended period of time.
  • Policy sets stage for a new wave of U.S. offensive against Islamist forces in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
  • America would no longer tolerate Pakistan’s policy of harbouring terrorists.

Describing India as “a key security and economic partner of the United States,” the President said America would further “develop its strategic partnership with India — the world’s largest democracy.”

  • Trump urged India to play a larger role in providing economic and development assistance to the war-torn Afghanistan.
  • Put forward a proposal for India playing a bigger role in the war-torn country to its trade surplus with the United States.

India is the ninth biggest trading partner of the U.S. and India had a trade surplus of around $26 billion with the U.S. in goods trade alone last year.

India welcomed U.S. President Donald Trump’s new policy on Afghanistan and said his move would help target “safe havens” of terrorism in South Asia.

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4.Nasikabatrachus bhupathi, a frog with the face of a pig
Source: The Hindu

Indian scientists have discovered a new species of frog that has a snout-shaped nose, just like a pig’s.The soiled-dwelling species, discovered by scientists from the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad, has been named after the Indian herpetologist Bhupathy.

Location: Bhupathy’s purple frog inhabits the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats, near the Srivilliputhur Grizzled Giant Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu.

Evidence in favor of continental drift theory

  • The discovery is significant as it constitutes additional evidence in favour of the theory of continental drift.
  • The Purple frog is an inhabitant of Seychelles, and the discovery of Bhupathy’s purple frog in India suggests that the Indian subcontinent was part of the ancient landmass of Gondwana before splitting from Seychelles 65 million years ago.

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5.‘Uranium sale talks at advanced stage’
Source: The Hindu

Discussions are at a ‘well-advanced’ stage for Australia’s uranium sale to India, to fuel nuclear power plants in the energy-starved developing nation, according to an Australian government body’s top official.

Dismissing allegations that uranium supply was facing ‘delays’ due to the Australian coal mining sector ‘lobbying’ to protect its interests, the official, however, said coal exports will not slow down any time soon from Australia for use in India’s thermal power stations.

Of the world’s proven estimated uranium reserves (5,404,000 tonnes), 31% are held in Australia (1,673,000 tonnes)

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