- Pakistan allows import of cotton and sugar from India
- New butterfly species
- Plea in SC against uniform civil law on divorce and alimony
- Indo-Korean Friendship Park Inaugurated
- UP govt organizes ‘banana festival’ in Kushinagar
Pakistan allows import of cotton and sugar from India
Context: Partially reversing a two-year-old decision to suspend all trade with India, Pakistan would allow the import of cotton and sugar from across the border.
- The decision follows the Line of Control (LoC) ceasefire announced by India and Pakistan in February, and a number of moves seen as part of a larger dialogue process to de-freeze ties.
High demand for cotton and cotton yarn
- The decision was driven by rising prices and Pakistani industry’s need for the specific products.
- They have allowed the import of sugar, but in the rest of the world too, sugar prices are high because of which imports are not possible.
- But in India, the prices of sugar are much less as compared to Pakistan, so we have decided to reopen sugar trade with India.
- There was also high demand for cotton and cotton yarn from India, especially from Pakistani Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) due to increased textile exports but a reduced crop in 2020.
- The decision to cancel trade was taken by the Pakistan government on August 9, 2019, days after the government amended Article 370 and reorganised Jammu and Kashmir.
- India’s Ministry of External Affairs did not respond to the development, nor did it respond to questions on whether it was considering any complementary steps.
- While India had not banned trade with Pakistan, it suspended cross-LoC trade and withdrew Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to Pakistan in the wake of the Pulwama attack in February 2019.
- The move by Pakistan, which follows the granting of sports related visas by India after a gap of three years, scheduling a much-delayed meeting of the Indus Water Commissioners in Delhi in March, peace at the LoC after more than 5,000 ceasefire violations last year, as well as the exchange of salutary messages between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and PM Khan, has raised hopes for further measures.
- The decision by Pakistan to allow trade in the selected items will gradually lead to restoration of normalcy in India-Pakistan trade.
- It will help Pakistan’s domestic manufacturers to reduce their cost of production, which had increased because of the trade ban from India.
- The garment manufacturing industry in Pakistan will be a key beneficiary while it is also going to benefit manufacturers and exporters in India along with the stakeholders in trade, like truckers and service staff, in Punjab.
New butterfly species
Context: A group of lepidopterists have added a species to the expanding list of butterflies in India.
- The discovery of the species Nacaduba sinhala ramaswamii Sadasivan, 2021 in the Agasthyamalais in the Western Ghats a decade ago has now found place in the Journal of Threatened Taxa.
The Nacaduba genus
- The new taxon of Lycaenid butterflies belong to the Nacaduba genus.
- Line Blues are small butterflies belonging to the subfamily Lycaenidae and their distribution ranges from India and Sri Lanka to the whole of southeastern Asia, Australia and Samoa.
- It is the first time that a butterfly species was discovered by an all-Indian research team from the Western Ghats.
Plea in SC against uniform civil law on divorce and alimony
Context:A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court against the “blatant attempt” to take away the fundamental right of Muslim women to practise their religion, in the guise of providing a “uniform law” across all faiths.
- The Petitioner has asked the Supreme Court to hear her before deciding whether a uniform civil law for divorce, maintenance and alimony will leave Muslim women like her better-off.
- In 2020 December, the Supreme Court agreed to examine an advocate’s plea for a single law covering divorce, maintenance and alimony for all religions.
- The advocate had argued that laws governing them in certain religions discriminate and marginalised women.
- The Petitioner represents women who follow the Islamic faith, who married according to the Muslim rites and traditions, and is a recipient of the rights and entitlements provided to her.
- Islamic law allows Muslim women like her “such rights that may not be available under other marital laws”.
- The advocate’s petition was a “deliberate attempt to interfere with the cultural and customary practices and usages that enjoy the protection of Articles 25 and 26 of the Constitution”.
- Muslim marriage is contractual in nature and as such the parties to it are allowed to impose conditions for regulating their matrimonial relations.
- Such conditions can be imposed before the marriage or at the time of the marriage or even after the marriage.
- An avenue for resolution of matrimonial disputes through mediation is also provided for under Islamic matrimonial jurisprudence.
Indo-Korean Friendship Park Inaugurated
- India’s First Indo-Korean Friendship Park was jointly inaugurated at Delhi Cantonment by Hon’ble Raksha Mantri, Shri Rajnath Singh, and Hon’ble Minister of National Defence, Republic of Korea Mr Suh Wook.
- The park has been developed in joint consultation with the Ministry of Defence, the Government of India, the Indian Army, the Delhi Cantonment Board, the Embassy of Korea and the Korean War Veterans Association of India.
- Besides being a symbol of strong India-South Korea friendly relations, this park will also act as a monument to India’s contributions as part of 21 countries that participated in the Korean war 1950-53, under the aegis of the United Nations.
UP govt organizes ‘banana festival’ in Kushinagar
- Uttar Pradesh government was organised a ‘Banana Festival’ in Kushinagar, which has witnessed the participation of at least 35 farmers and entrepreneurs. The state government had in 2018 organised the One District One Product (ODOP) scheme to promote traditional enterprise.
- Noting the good cultivation of bananas in Kushinagar, products in the district made from banana fibre were selected in the ODOP scheme.
- At least 4,000 farmers are linked to banana cultivation and after inclusion in the ODOP scheme, around 500 people are employed in its processing. There are three banana fibre processing units in the district and the construction of a Common Facility Centre (CFC) is also planned.