News in Bite Size

-R. Swetha, II B.A. English
-Revathy, II B.A. English

1.India’s Supreme Court decriminalised gay sex in a landmark ruling on 6September. The court heard petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Section 377 – a colonial-era law under which a same-sex relationship is an ‘unnatural offence’ punishable by a 10-year jail term. “Any discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation violates fundamental rights,” said Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, who headed the five-judge bench, which gave the ruling. Hundreds of LGBTQ campaigners, who had gathered outside the Supreme Court in New Delhi, broke into loud cheers as news of the ruling reached them.

2.Fuel prices have been witnessing a steep rise for the past few weeks and have breached the Rs.80 per litre mark. While the Opposition has blamed the Central Government for not doing enough to keep a check on prices, the latter has maintained that global crude oil prices and other international factors are causing a hike in prices of petroleum products. India is the third largest importer of crude oil and rising international oil prices are inflating domestic transport fuel costs.

3.The Asia Cup 2018, a cricket tournament exclusively for Asian teams, began on 15 September 2018 in the UAE. 6 teams including India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Hong Kong are participating in the tournament. As of 26 September, India has qualified into the finals. The finals will take place on the 28 September in Dubai.

4.In a landmark verdict, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutional validity of Aadhar.It has asked the Government of India to bring a robust law for protecting data and has also announced that the linking of Aadhar card with PAN card is mandatory. The Supreme Court also said that Aadhar cannot be made compulsory for opening of bank accounts, getting mobile connections or for school admissions.

5.The National Sports Awards for 2018 was held at theRashtrapati Bhavan on 25 September. Captain of the Indian cricket team Virat Kohli and world champion weightlifter Saikhom Mirabai Chanu received the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, the highest sporting award of the country. The President, Ram Nath Kovind also presented awards for best coaches under the Dronacharyaand Dhyan Chand Awards. 20 athletes were conferred with the Arjuna Award.

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