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July 11-20 2013 Current Affairs

Ireland Ireland passes legislation allowing Selective Abortion

After intense two-day debate, the Irish Parliament passed a watered-down legislation allowing abortion under limited circumstances. The Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013, Ireland: The Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013 would permit abortion if the mothers life is in danger. It would also extend to women who are deemed suicidal if refused abortion. Background: It can be recalled that due to lack of such provisions Savita Halappanavar, a young Indian dentist, died in an Irish hospital last October after being refused abortion despite apparent risk to her life. An inquiry found that she could have been saved if doctors had agreed to her request for termination. The incident was followed by widespread outrage and protest. Tag Savita Halappanavar, Ireland Abortion Bill

Voting

Survey to study voter behavior in LS elections in Tamil Nadu

The Election Commission of India will conduct KABP (Knowledge, Attitude, Behaviour and Practice of Voters) Baseline Survey in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in all the 39 Lok Sabha constituencies of Tamil Nadu. The survey which will be conducted by the State Elections Department will seek to determine what motivates electors to exercise their franchise and what deters them. Tag KABP Survey, Voting patterns

Person in News

Amar Bose, founder of Bose Corporation, passes away

Amar Gopal Bose (83), Indian-American founder, Chairman and academic behind the revolutionary sound systems of Bose Corporation, passed away in Wayland, Massachusetts. Tag Amar Bose, Bose Corporation

Polity

Supreme Court says Persons in lawful custody not entitled to vote/contest elections

Upholding a 2004 judgement of Patna High court, the Supreme Court has held that persons in lawful custody whether convicted in a criminal case or otherwise cannot contest polls. However, the ruling does not apply to those on bail. Background: The Chief Election Commissioner and others had filed a appeals against a Patna High Court judgement that in 2004 had held that when a person in custody is disqualified from voting he or she must be disqualified from contesting in elections too. Calling the High Courts decision right the apex court held that a person who has no right to vote by virtue of the provisions of Section 62 (5) of the Representation of the People Act 1951 is not an elector and is therefore not qualified to contest the election to the House of the People or the Legislative Assembly of a State. Besides, the court said A right to vote is a statutory right, the Law gives it, the Law takes it away. Persons convicted of crime are kept away from elections to the Legislature, whether to State Legislature or Parliament and all other public elections. The Law temporarily takes away the power of such persons to participate in elections. To vote is a statutory right. It is a privilege to vote, which privilege may be taken away. In that case, the elector would not be qualified, even if his name is

on the electoral rolls. Tag Electoral reforms

Telecom

ITU: 40% of global population is online

As per the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), nearly 40% of the global population or 2.7 billion people are already online in 2013 while India still stands far with around 13% Internet penetration with roughly 160 million users. As per ITU: The percentage of people online in developing and developed world is 31% and 77% respectively. Europe, with 75% Internet penetration, is the region with the highest Internet penetration rate. The US, with 61% penetration, is positioned at the second spot amongst regions. Africa has nearly 16% of its citizens online only half the penetration rate of Asia-Pacific, where one out of every three (33%) citizens has access to the Internet. More men than women have access to the Internet, but the distinction is not sharp. Globally, 37% of all women are online, compared with 41% of all men. The gender gap is more marked in the developing

world, where 16% less women than men use the Internet, compared with only 2% less women than men in the developed world. 41% or nearly 750 million households are connected to the Net by 2013. Tag Internet Penetration

Irans Gas Offer to India Energy Diplomacy India is thinking over Irans offer of Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) in the energy sector, including one for developing the prolific Farzad B gasfield in the Farsi block of the Persian Gulf. This is the first time since the 1979 Islamic Revolution that Iran has offered three Indian oil companies ONGC Videsh Limited, Oil India Limited and Indian Oil Corporation PSCs at a time of diminishing crude purchases by India. The offer marks a departure from Irans earlier practice of offering Indian companies 15% fixed returns under a buy-back arrangement with the national oil company of Iran and also indicates towards Irans intention of improving ties with India. The PSCs offer the Indian companies a guaranteed share of production. However, India would have to

analyse the advantages and disadvantages before accepting the offer, because of the sanctions the U.S. and the European Union imposed on Iran, primarily aiming its oil industry, to pressurize Tehran to give up its nuclear programme. Tag India-Iran, Energy Import

Person in News

Zubin Mehta to get Tagore Award

Zubin Mehta, western classical music conductor of Indian-Parsi origin, will be felicitated with the Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony. A four-member jury led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and comprising Chief Justice of India Justice Altamas Kabir, Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and former Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi unanimously selected Mr. Mehta to be the second recipient of the awards 2013 instalment in recognition of his outstanding contribution to cultural harmony. Tag Zubin Mehta, Tagore Award

Person in News

Pran, veteran actor, passes away

Veteran Bollywood actor Pran, whose menacing eyes and powerful screen presence intimidated heroes and heroines for decades, passed away. He was 93. The ailing thespian, who acted in more than 300 films in a five-decade career, was recently honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award. Born Pran Kishan Sikand into a Punjabi family in Delhi, Mr. Pran was credited with enhancing the importance of the villain in Bollywood at a time when the bad guy was very much one-dimensional. In 2001, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan, Indias third highest civilian award. Tag Pran

Environment Dow, Monsanto ordered to pay Agent Orange victims South Koreas highest court upheld a ruling, ordering two U.S. Agent Orange makers to compensate 39 Vietnam War veterans in one of the countrys most prominent lawsuits. The Supreme Court (SC) recognised the epidemiological correlation between the toxic defoliant and skin diseases for the first time, saying the 39 victims should

receive a total of 466 million won ($415,000) from Dow Chemical and Monsanto. The veterans had complained that Agent Orange was responsible for their severe skin diseases. Tag Agent Orange