Ireland Current Affairs - 2020

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Ireland becomes first country to constitutionally legalise same-sex marriage

Republic of Ireland on 23 May 2015 became first country in the world to constitutionally legalise same-sex marriage.

The referendum on this issue to amend country’s written constitution was passed with a resounding 62.1 per cent ‘Yes’. Off the total voter turnout of 60.5 per cent, 1,201,607 people voted in favour of same-sex marriage, while 734,300 voted against it.

Ireland has a written constitution which can only be amended by referendum. With this passage of same-sex marriage referendum, now Irish constitution gives equal status to marriage between two people of the same sex as compared to a marriage between a man and a woman.

Now in Ireleand same sex married persons will be recognised as a family and will be entitled to the constitutional protection and their rights.

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India becomes permanent member of Washington Accord

A long wait for India ended when the country became a permanent member of the Washington Accord, an esteemed international treaty on engineering studies and mobility of engineers across signatory countries including the US, the UK and Australia. Permanent membership reflects on the country’s stature in the technical education space. Until now, India has been just a provisional member since 2007.

The meeting of the International Engineering Alliance of WA member nations met in Wellington, New Zealand and gave India the signatory status to join the select group of nations who are permanent signatories to the Washington Accord (WA). This will ensure highest quality assurance standards to be implemented in our technical and engineering programmes and provide global mobility to our engineering graduates​. It will significantly enhance their employment opportunities around the world.

The Washington Accord:

It is an international accreditation treaty for professional engineering academic degrees, between the bodies responsible for accreditation in its signatory nations. Initially when the Washington Accord came into force in 1989, only 6 developed countries were its members.

As of 2014, the signatories are: Australia, Canada, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong China, India, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The accord acknowledges that there is significant uniformity of programs accredited by those signatories. Every signatory countries recognizes the graduates of accredited programs by every other signatory countries as having met the academic requirements for entry to the practice of engineering. Recognition of accredited programs is not retroactive but takes effect only from the date of admission of the country to signatory status.

The treaty covers undergraduate engineering degrees under Outcome-based education approach. The accord doesn’t take into account engineering technology and postgraduate programs, although some engineering technology programs are covered under the Sydney Accord and the Dublin Accord. Only qualifications granted after the signatory country or region became part of the Washington Accord are recognized. The pact is not directly responsible for the licensing or registration of Professional Engineers and Chartered Engineers, but it does cover the academic prerequisites that are part of the licensing processes in countries party to the accord.

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