Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

IV. Pandit Shivkumar Sharma

UPSC Civil Services Daily Current Affairs 13th May 2022



Topics include :

Temporary suspension of charges under Section 124A of IPC

  • GS – 2 Polity & Governance

US abortion law and Indian scenario

  • GS – 2 Government policies and interventions

2022 Global Food Policy Report: Climate Change & Food Systems

  • GS – 3 Food Security

Pandit Shivkumar Sharma




Temporary suspension of charges under Section 124A of IPC

Context:The Supreme Court recently directed the Centre and states to temporarily suspend all pending trials, appeals, and proceedings with respect to the charge framed under Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which deals with the offence of sedition, till the central government completes the promised exercise to reconsider and re-examine the provision

What do Sedition mean?

Section 124A defines sedition as: “Whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards, the Government estab­lished by law shall be punished with im­prisonment for life, to which fine may be added…”

History of Indian Sedition law

Although Thomas Macaulay, who drafted the Indian Penal Code, had included the law on sedition, it was not added in the code enacted in 1860. Later in 1890, sedition was included as an offence under section 124A IPC through the Special Act XVII.

The provision of life time improsiment that amended in 1955 was extensively used to curb political dissent during the Independence movement.

Ram Nandan v. State of Uttar Pradesh (1959) declared that Section 124A of the IPC was primarily a tool for colonial masters to quell discontent in the country and declared the provision unconstitutional.
Kedarnath Singh v State of Bihar. the court said not all speech with “disaffection”, “hatred,” or “contempt” against the state, but only speech that is likely to incite “public disorder” would qualify as sedition.
Dr. Vinayak Binayak Sen v. State of Chhattisgarh (2011) the court held that a person can be convicted for sedition even if she is not the author of the seditious speech but has merely circulated it.
Arun Jaitley v State of Uttar Pradesh (2016) Court held that criticism of the judiciary or a court ruling would not amount to sedition.


Present scenario
  • The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a fresh challenge against the provision after a batch of petitions were filed.
  • The petitioners have argued that the restricted Kedar Nath definition of sedition can be addressed through several other laws, including stringent anti-terror laws such as the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.
  • The petitions were under matter of discussion in SC.


US abortion law and Indian scenario

Context: Recently, The United States Supreme Court has voted internally to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision that gave women the right of abortion in the country for almost 50 years.

India scenario

The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act (1971) provide the conditions under which abortion is allowed

  • Pregnancy can be terminated upon opinion of 1 doctor before 20 weeks are complete. If pregnancy is to be aborted before 24 weeks, it needs opinion of two doctors
  • A woman can abort the pregnancy if there is major threat to her life due to childbirth. A woman can also abort the pregnancy if it is found the child will be born with significance physical or mental disabilities.

In a historic move to provide universal access reproductive health services, India amended the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act 1971 to further empower women by providing comprehensive abortion care to all.

The provisions of Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Act 2021 include
  • Increasing the upper gestation limit from 20 to 24 weeks for special categories of women, including survivors of rape, victims of incest and other vulnerable women (differently abled women, minors, among others).
  • The opinion of one provider needed for the termination of pregnancy up to 20 weeks of gestation. Requirement of the opinion of two providers for the termination of pregnancy from 20-24 weeks of gestation.
  • Upper gestation limit to not apply in cases of substantial foetal abnormalities diagnosed by a Medical Board.
  • Confidentiality clause. The name and other particulars of a woman whose pregnancy has been terminated cannot be revealed except to a person authorised by law.
  •  Extended MTP services under the failure of contraceptive clause to unmarried women to provide access to safe abortion based on a woman’s choice, irrespective of marital status.

India’s goal in amending is to strengthen access to comprehensive abortion care without compromising dignity, autonomy, confidentiality, and justice for women who need safe and quality services.


2022 Global Food Policy Report: Climate Change & Food Systems

Context:International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) has released report on climate change and food systems.

Key takeaways of the report:
  • It highlights the urgency of accelerating innovation, reforming policies, resetting market incentives, and increasing financing for sustainable food systems transformation.
  • India’s food production could drop 16% and the number of those at risk for hunger could increase 23% by 2030 due to climate change
  • The number of Indians at risk from hunger in 2030 is expected to be 73.9 millionin 2030 and, if the effects of climate change were to be factored in, it would increase to 90.6 million. The aggregate food production index will, under similar conditions, drop from 1.6 to 1.5.
  • On a positive note, climate change will not impact the average calorie consumption of Indians and this is projected to remain roughly the same at 2,600 kcal per capita per day by 2030 even in a climate change scenario.
  • Meat production is projected to double in South Asia and West and Central Africa by 2030 and triple by 2050.
  • Globally, about 70 million more people will be at risk from hunger because of climate change, including more than 28 million in East and Southern Africa, the report added.
Way forward
  • Suitable policies have to ensured which can support the development and adoption of “disruptive” technologies by creating an enabling environment for climate change–related financing, innovation uptake, and integrated governance of natural resources.
  • Appropriate design of policies, institutions and governance systems at all scales can contribute to land-related adaptation and mitigation while facilitating the pursuit of climate-adaptive development pathways
  • Collaboration is needed from the local to international level
  • Change must be inclusive and have safeguards in place to protect vulnerable communities


Pandit Shivkumar Sharma


Recently, the legend of Santoor Pandit Shivkumar Sharma passed away at the age of 84.

Pandit Shivkumar Sharma

  • Born in Jammu, Pandit Shivkumar Sharma began learning santoor at the age of thirteen.
  • Sharma is credited with converting the santoor, which was mainly played in Kashmir, into a major instrument of Indian classical music.
  • Sharma was awarded the Sangeet NatakAkademi Award in 1986, the Padma Shriin 1991, and the Padma Bhushan in 2001.
  • As a music composer he collaborated with Indian flautist HariprasadChaurasia under the collaborative name Shiv–Hari and composed music for many Indian films including Faasle (1985), Chandni (1989), Lamhe (1991), and Darr (1993).


UPSC Civil Services Daily Current Affairs 13th May 2022

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