Current Affairs 2017 - June

Germany legalises Same-Sex Marriage

Germany has legalised same-sex marriage in line with a host of other European countries. German lawmakers had voted 393 for- and 226 against legalising same-sex marriage.

Salient Facts

Since 2001 Germany permits same-sex couples to enter into civil partnerships but do not grant them full marital rights which include the possibility to jointly adopt children.

The new law can enter into force after receiving the nod from the upper house of Parliament and the President, though those are formalities.

Though Chancellor Angela Merkel had voted against the measure, she had allowed her party members to vote as per their conscience. The move has to be seen in the light of upcoming September 24 general elections in Germany. This bill is one of the very last to be introduced in parliament before the September general elections. In her 12 years as Chancellor, Merkel has steered her party clear of conservative orthodoxy. She has been credited for speeding up Germany’s exit from nuclear power and ending military conscription.

Many European countries have a same-sex marriage law. In the countries like Norway, Sweden, Denmark (excluding the Faroe Islands), Finland, Iceland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Luxembourg, France, the UK (except Northern Ireland and Jersey), and the Republic of Ireland civil marriages are legally recognised. But in Austria and Italy, only civil partnerships are permitted.

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ADB commits USD 10 billion to support development of States in India

The Asian Development Bank has committed USD 10 billion to support infrastructure building and to cater to the immediate development needs of less-developed States in India. This has been stated by ADB President Takehiko Nakao during his 3-day visit to India.

Salient Highlights

The ADB president has said that the bank is ready to meet immediate critical infrastructure needs of less developed states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and Chhattisgarh over a period of five years.

ADB has also assured its support to relatively lesser developed states in the area of power, transport, urban development, and health services.

ADB’s President has also in-principle accepted India’s suggestion of setting up a regional hub in New Delhi to cater to the needs of the South Asia region.

As per the estimates of ADB, India is expected to grow by 7.4% in the current financial year and 7.6% in 2018-19.

ADB

ADB is multilateral lending agency based in Manila, Philippines. It was established on 19 December 1966. It aims to reduce poverty in Asia and the Pacific region through inclusive environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. It provides finance to both sovereign countries as well as to the private parties. It provides hard loans to middle-income countries and soft loans to poorer countries.

ADB has 67 members – 48 from the Asia-Pacific region including India and is collectively owned by these 67 members. The non-Asia Pacific region members are only developed countries. Most of the ADB’s lending is concentrated in five operational areas viz. Education; Environment, Climate Change & Disaster Management; Finance Sector Development; Regional Cooperation & Integration; and Private sector lending.

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