National Current Affairs - 2019

Latest India Current Affairs and Current Affairs related to Government policy, polity and administration in India. India’s National Current Affairs updates for 2018.

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Plea for Lifting Ban on Muslim Women’s Entry into Mosques in SC

The Supreme Court on Tuesday admitted for consideration a plea by a couple to lift the ban on Muslim women’s entry into mosques across the country.

Based on the plea by a Pune-based Muslim couple the Supreme Court has issued a notice to the Centre, the Waqf  Board and the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB).

What are the arguments made by the Petitioner?

  • Banning the entry of women into Mosques violates Articles 14 (Equality), 15 (Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth), 21 (Protection of life and personal liberty), 25 (Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion) and 29 (Protection of interests of minorities) of the Constitution.
  • Bar on Muslim women entry to mosques was violative of Article 44 of the Constitution of India, which encourages the State to secure a Uniform Civil Code for all citizens, by eliminating discrepancies between various personal laws currently in force in the country.
  • The petition also laid emphasis on the apex court’s Sabarimala verdict where the Supreme Court had lifted the ban on entry of women into Kerala’s Sabarimala temple stating “Religion cannot be used as cover to deny rights of worship to women and it is also against human dignity. Prohibition on women is due to non-religious reasons and it is a grim shadow of discrimination going on for centuries”.

Accepting the petition the Supreme Court had said that “We are only hearing you, and maybe will hear you in the future, because of Sabarimala Judgment.”

Current Situation

At present women are allowed to offer prayers at mosques under the Jamaat-e-Islami and Mujahid denominations and women are barred from mosques under the predominant Sunni faction. Even in mosques where women are allowed, there are separate entrances and enclosures for worship for men and women.

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IMD Predicts near Normal Southwest Monsoon Season Rainfall for 2019

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicts near-normal monsoon, at 96% of long period average. IMD in its first stage operational forecast for the southwest monsoon season (June to September) rainfall has made the following predictions:

  • The South-west monsoon seasonal (June to September) rainfall over the country as a whole is likely to be near normal.
  • The monsoon seasonal (June to September) rainfall is likely to be 96% of the Long Period Average (LPA) with a model error of 5%.
  • The LPA of the season rainfall over the country as a whole for the period 1951-2000 was 89 cm.
  • Even though weak El Nino conditions are likely to prevail during the monsoon season its intensity is expected to be reduced in the later part of the season.

IMD will issue the second stage Monsoon-2019 Forecast during the first week of June 2019.

Monsoon Predictions

Monsoon Predictions are made using a set of algorithms and climate models, both analytical and numerical. Monsoon Mission, an initiative launched by the Ministry of Earth Sciences in 2017 has two state-of-the-art dynamical prediction systems for short range to medium, extended range and seasonal forecasts.

Meteorologists keep a track on five important parameters that can dictate the fate of India monsoon:

  • The gradient in the sea surface temperatures between the North Atlantic and North Pacific Oceans.
  • The sea surface temperature over the Equatorial Indian Ocean.
  • Sea-level pressure in East Asia.
  • Air temperature of the land surface in Northwest Europe.
  • The heat content over Equatorial Pacific measured by its warm water volume.

Studies have proposed including various other indicators, such as surface pressure over the Arabian Sea, in such forecasting models to eliminate biases and to make the predictions accurate.

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