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Table of Contents:

GS Paper 2:

1. Grounds for divorce under Hindu law.

2. Eat Right Mela.


GS Paper 3:

1. Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority (PPV&FR).


Facts for Prelims:

1. Tibetan Gazelles.

2. Typhoon Phanfone.

3. Nari Shakti Puraskar.


GS Paper  : 2

Topics Covered: Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.

Grounds for divorce under Hindu law.

What to study?

For Prelims: What is “irretrievable breakdown of marriage”? Article 142.

For Mains: Concerns and Issues surrounding, need for UCC.

Context: Last week, the Supreme Court used extraordinary powers under Article 142 of the Constitution to grant divorce in a case of “irretrievable breakdown of marriage”.

What is “irretrievable breakdown of marriage”?

The situation that exists when either or both spouses are no longer able or willing to live with each other, thereby destroying their husband and wife relationship with no hope of resumption of spousal duties.

Currently, Hindu marriage law does not include “irretrievable breakdown of marriage” as a ground for divorce. However, the apex court in a number of cases has provided the said relief using its extraordinary powers that allow it to do “complete justice”.

What are the grounds for divorce under Hindu Law?

The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, lays down the law for divorce, which applies to Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, and Sikhs.

  1. Under Section 13 of the Act, the grounds for divorce include: “voluntary sexual intercourse with any person other than his or her spouse”; “cruelty”; desertion “for a continuous period of not less than two years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition”; “ceas(ing) to be a Hindu by conversion to another religion”; and being “incurably of unsound mind”.
  2. In addition, Section 13B provides for “divorce by mutual consent”.
  3. Section 27 of The Special Marriage Act, 1954 provides the grounds for grant of divorce in the case of marriages solemnised under that Act.

However, neither of the two Acts provide for “irretrievable breakdown of marriage” as a ground for divorce.

What’s the case now?

Recently, divorce was granted on the ground of irretrievable breakdown of marriage by the Supreme Court (Under Article 142), after examining various judicial pronouncements. It has been noted that such powers are exercised in rare cases, in view of the absence of legislation in this behalf, where it is found that a marriage is totally unworkable, emotionally dead, beyond salvage and has broken down irretrievably.

In the present case, the court said that it believed that “not only is the continuity of this marriage fruitless, but it is causing further emotional trauma and disturbance to both the parties”, and “the sooner this comes to an end, the better it would be, for both the parties”.

Article 142:

Article 142 “provide(s) a unique power to the Supreme Court, to do “complete justice” between the parties, i.e., where at times law or statute may not provide a remedy, the Court can extend itself to put a quietus to a dispute in a manner which would befit the facts of the case.

Suggestions made by the Law Commission:

The Law Commission of India has twice recommended that “irretrievable breakdown” of marriage be included as a new ground for granting divorce to Hindus under the provisions of the Hindu Marriage Act and the Special Marriage Act.

Sources: the Hindu.


Topics Covered:Development processes and the development industry the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.

What is Eat Right Mela?

What to study?

For Prelims: Key features of the movement, what are TPCs, need for a limit.

For Mains: Significance and the need for staying healthy, government measures to keep the country healthy and raise awareness about it.

Context: Recently, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare inaugurated the 2nd edition of Eat Right Mela in New Delhi.

What is ‘Eat Right India’ movement?

Launched by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).

Aim: to usher in a ‘new food culture’ by nudging businesses and consumers to adopt safe, healthy and sustainable food practices and habits.

What is Eat Right Mela?

As part of the Eat Right India movement, the ‘Eat Right Mela’ was conceived to engage, excite and enable citizens to eat right through an info-tainment model. Eat Right Melas have been envisioned for massive outreach to build awareness on safe food and healthy diets through an interactive and informative model.

Measures in place:

  • FSSAI has put in place robust regulatory measures under three major pillars: Eat Safe, Eat Health and Eat Sustainably for the programme.
  • FSSAI has prescribed a limit for Total Polar Compounds (TPC) at 25% in cooking oil to avoid the harmful effects of reused cooking oil.

Significance of the campaign:

The country is in need of a movement on preventive health for all in the backdrop of the increasing burden of non-communicable diseases including diabetes, hypertension and heart diseases, widespread deficiencies of vitamins and minerals and rampant food-borne illnesses.

The Eat Right India movement acts as a crucial preventive healthcare measure to trigger social and behavioural change through a judicious mix of regulatory measures, combined with soft interventions for ensuring awareness and capacity building of food businesses and citizens alike.

Sources: the Hindu.


GS Paper  : 3

Topics Covered: IPR related issues.

Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority (PPV&FR)

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: Key features of the act and the need for protection of farmers’ rights.

Context: A document which food and beverages giant PepsiCo India cited to support its charges against Gujarat potato farmers earlier this year is being revised by the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights Authority (PPV&FRA), following complaints from major farmers groups.

What’s the issue?

The Frequently Asked Questions or FAQ document had claimed that “only small and marginal farmers involved in subsistence farming” are eligible to claim rights under the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights (PPV&FR) Act, 2001. The FAQ also said these rights are not for “commercial farmers” and are only meant for “small scale” use.

  • PepsiCo has used the same argument in an ongoing case at the Authority over its registered potato variety used for Lays chips. The company has also cited the FAQ document to justify dragging more than nine farmers to court in 2018 for growing and selling its registered variety.
  • The company faced product boycotts and major protests across the political spectrum for slapping a ₹4.2 crore lawsuit against four farmers, and ultimately withdrew all cases after government intervention just before Lok Sabha elections in May 2019.

The Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights (PPV&FR) Act, 2001:

  • Enacted by India in 2001 adopting sui generis system.
  • It is in conformity with International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV), 1978.
  • The legislation recognizes the contributions of both commercial plant breeders and farmers in plant breeding activity and also provides to implement TRIPs in a way that supports the specific socio-economic interests of all the stakeholders including private, public sectors and research institutions, as well as resource-constrained farmers.

Objectives of the PPV & FR Act, 2001:

  1. To establish an effective system for the protection of plant varieties, the rights of farmers and plant breeders and to encourage the development of new varieties of plants.
  2. To recognize and protect the rights of farmers in respect of their contributions made at any time in conserving, improving and making available plant genetic resources for the development of new plant varieties.
  3. To accelerate agricultural development in the country, protect plant breeders’ rights; stimulate investment for research and development both in public & private sector for the development new of plant varieties.
  4. Facilitate the growth of seed industry in the country which will ensure the availability of high-quality seeds and planting material to the farmers.

Rights under the Act:

Breeders’ Rights: Breeders will have exclusive rights to produce, sell, market, distribute, import or export the protected variety. Breeder can appoint agent/ licensee and may exercise for civil remedy in case of infringement of rights.

Researchers’ Rights: Researcher can use any of the registered variety under the Act for conducting experiment or research. This includes the use of a variety as an initial source of variety for the purpose of developing another variety but repeated use needs prior permission of the registered breeder.

Farmers’ Rights:

  1. A farmer who has evolved or developed a new variety is entitled for registration and protection in like manner as a breeder of a variety;
  2. Farmers variety can also be registered as an extant variety;
  3. A farmer can save, use, sow, re-sow, exchange, share or sell his farm produce including seed of a variety protected under the PPV&FR Act, 2001 in the same manner as he was entitled before the coming into force of this Act provided farmer shall not be entitled to sell branded seed of a variety protected under the PPV&FR Act, 2001;
  4. Farmers are eligible for recognition and rewards for the conservation of Plant Genetic Resources of land races and wild relatives of economic plants;
  5. There is also a provision for compensation to the farmers for non-performance of variety under Section 39 (2) of the Act, 2001 and
  6. Farmer shall not be liable to pay any fee in any proceeding before the Authority or Registrar or the Tribunal or the High Court under the Act.

Sources: the Hindu.


Facts for Prelims:

In News- Tibetan Gazelles:

  • Also known as the Goa (Procapra picticaudata).
  • A species of antelope that inhabits the Tibetan plateau.
  • IUCN Status- Near Threatened.
  • Their fur lacks an undercoat, consisting of long guard hairs only, and is notably thicker in winter.
  • They are almost restricted to the Chinese provinces of Gansu, Xinjiang, Tibet, Qinghai, and Sichuan, with tiny populations in the Ladakh and Sikkim regions of India.


Typhoon Phanfone:

  • It is a typhoon that lashed the central Philippines recently.
  • It is known as Ursula in the local language in the Philippines.

A typhoon is a mature tropical cyclone that develops between 180° and 100°E in the Northern Hemisphere. This region is referred to as the Northwestern Pacific Basin, and is the most active tropical cyclone basin on Earth, accounting for almost one-third of the world’s annual tropical cyclones.


In News- Nari Shakti Puraskar:

  • To acknowledge Women’s achievements, the Government of India confers Nari Shakti Puraskars on eminent women and institutions in recognition of their service towards the cause of women empowerment.
  • The Awards were initiated in the year 1999.
  • The Ministry of Women and Child Development announces these national level awards for eminent women, organisations and institutions.
  • The Nari Shakti Puraskar carries a cash award of Rs.1 Lakh and a certificate for individuals and institutions.

Note: The remaining articles of today’s current events will be covered tomorrow.