News: Group Captain Abhinandan Varthaman, who was held captive for three days by Pakistan after he chased and downed a Pakistani fighter jet in 2019, was awarded Vir Chakra, the third highest wartime gallantry award, by President Ram Nath Kovind.
About Ashoka Chakra:
The Ashoka Chakra (alternative spelling: Ashok Chakra) is India’s highest peacetime military decoration awarded for valour, courageous action or self-sacrifice away from the battlefield.
It is the peacetime equivalent of the Param Vir Chakra (PVC), and is awarded for the “most conspicuous bravery or some daring or pre-eminent valour or self-sacrifice” other than in the face of the enemy. The decoration may be awarded either to military or civilian personnel.
Naik Narbahadur Thapa, Havildar Bachittar Singh and Flight Lieutenant Suhas Biswas were the first recipients of the Ashoka Chakra. Subsequent awards of the Ashoka Chakra are recognized by a bar to the medal ribbon.
About Kirti Chakra:
The Kirti Chakra is an Indian military decoration awarded for valour, courageous action or self-sacrifice away from the field of battle. It may be awarded to civilians as well as military personnel, including posthumous awards.
It is the peacetime equivalent of the Maha Vir Chakra.
It is second in order of precedence of peacetime gallantry awards, comes after Ashoka Chakra and before Shaurya Chakra.
Before 1967, the award was known as the Ashoka Chakra, Class II.
Established as the “Ashoka Chakra, Class II” by the President of India, 4 January 1952 (with effect from 15 August 1947).
Personnel Eligible: The following categories of personnel shall be eligible for the Chakra:
Officers, men and women of all ranks of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force, of any of the Reserve Forces, of the Territorial Army, Militia and of any other lawfully constituted Armed Forces.
Members of the Nursing Services of the Armed Forces.
Civilian citizens of either sex in all walks of life and members of Police Forces including Central Para-Military Forces and Railway Protection Force.
Conditions of Eligibility: The medal is awarded for conspicuous gallantry otherwise than in the face of the enemy. The decoration may be awarded posthumously. Monetary Allowance. Rs. 1050/- pm and each bar to the decoration will carry the same amount of monetary allowance as admissible to the original award with effect from 01.02.1999.
About Shaurya Chakra:
The Shaurya Chakra is an Indian military decoration awarded for valour, courageous action or self-sacrifice while not engaged in direct action with the enemy.
It may be awarded to civilians as well as military personnel, sometimes posthumously.
It is third in order of precedence of peacetime gallantry awards and comes after the Ashoka Chakra and the Kirti Chakra.
Since July 1999, it also being given to Civilians of either gender in all walks of life, other than members of Police Forces and of recognized Fire Services.
About Vir Chakra:
Vir Chakra is an Indian wartime military bravery award presented for acts of conspicuous gallantry in the presence of the enemy on the battlefield and is third in precedence in wartime gallantry awards and comes after the Param Vir Chakra and Maha Vir Chakra.
It was established by the President of India on 26 January 1950 (with effect from 15 August 1947).
The statutes were amended on 12 January 1952 to readjust the order of wearing as new decorations were established.
It replaced the British Distinguished Service Cross (DSC), Military Cross (MC) and Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC).
News: The Bombay High Court on Monday deferred the hearing of a defamation suit filed by a local BJP leader in a magistrate court against former Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
About Defamation law in India:
Article 19 of the Constitution grants various freedoms to its citizens. However, Article 19(2) has imposed reasonable exemption to freedom of speech and expression granted under Article 19(1)(a). Contempt of court, defamation and incitement to an offence are some exceptions.
Defamation is an offence under both the civil and criminal law.
In civil law, defamation is punishable under the Law of Torts by imposing punishment in the form of damages to be awarded to the claimant.
Under the Criminal law, Defamation is a bailable, non-cognizable offence and compoundable offence. Hence a policeman may arrest only with an arrest warrant issued by a magistrate.
The Indian Penal Code punishes the offence with a simple imprisonment up to two years, or with fine, or both.
The statements made, need to be false and it must be made without the consent of the alleged defamed person. Monetary compensation can be claimed from the defendant for defamation. There are certain requirements for successful defamation suit. They are:
The presence of a defamatory statement is required. Defamatory content is one calculated to injure the reputation of a person or a class of persons by exposing them to hatred, contempt or ridicule. The test whether it damages reputation has to be calculated from the eyes of a common man and his comprehension of the matter.
Secondly, the statements must purport to a person or a class of persons. General statements like all “politicians are corrupt” is too broad and no specific politician can gain compensation for the same.
It must be published either in oral or written form. Unless the content is made available to a third person, there can be no defamation. Where a letter is sent in a language unknown to the recipient, he needs a third person to read it to him. If any defaming statement is made in it, it will constitute defamation even if it was sent as a private letter, since the aid of a third person was needed to read it.
Once all these conditions are satisfied, a successful defamation suit subsists. The defendant can plead defenses that
The statement published was true,
Fair comments made with public interest based on true incidents,
Certain persons are vested with the privilege to make statements even if they are defamatory, example judicial proceedings and members of parliament.
If the defendant fails to substantiate his act, the suit is successful.
It is nothing but a defamation for which simple imprisonment may be awarded. Under a criminal suit, intention to defame is necessary. The allegation should be made with malice intent to defame another or at least the knowledge that the publication is likely to defame another is essential. It has to be proved beyond reasonable doubt that the act was being done to lower the reputation of another.
Section 499 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 defines defamation and its exceptions. Words or signs imputed intending to harm or with the knowledge that such imputation will cause harm. It may amount to defamation if anything is imputed against a deceased person, if such imputation would harm the reputation had the person been alive. The class of persons shall include company or associations. It is no defamation unless the alleged defamatory statement either directly or indirectly lowers the moral or intellectual character or his respect of his caste or his calling in the estimation of others.
Persons who make defamatory statements are exempted from punishments if they fall in one of the ten exceptions provided in Section 499. They are: –
Attribution of any truth made for public good. Truth is seldom defense unless made for a public good.
Any opinion made in good faith regarding the conduct of a public servant in the discharge of his public functions.
Any opinion made in good faith respecting the conduct of any person which relates to a public question.
Publication of true reports of the proceedings of the Courts or the result of the proceedings is not a defamation.
Any opinion made in good faith regarding the merits of any civil or criminal case decided by the Court of Justice, or the conduct of any person as a party, witness or agent to that case and no further.
Opinions made about the merits of any performance which its author has submitted to the judgement of the public, or about the author is not defamation if made in good faith.
Censures passed by persons neither having authority over another either conferred by a law or from a lawful contract in good faith is nor defamation. Censure is formal statement of severe disapproval.
Accusation of offence to any person having lawful authority over the alleged person in good faith is an exception to defamation. Complaints about servants to masters and children to parents are examples to the exception.
Statements made about the character are not defamation if it is made in order to protect the interests of the person making it, or any other person, or for the public good.
Cautions conveyed to one person against another are not defamation if it is intended for the good of the conveyed person, or any other, or for public good.
Section 500 of the Code punishes defamation if it does not fall within the above said exceptions with simple imprisonment which may extend to two years, or fine, or both. The Indian Penal Code punishes printing or engraving matter known to be defamatory or sale of such printed or engraved substance containing defamatory matter about any person in the same manner of punishing defamation.
News: Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Monday said his country will not seek dominance over Southeast Asia or bully its smaller neighbours, amid ongoing friction over the South China Sea.
ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) is an economic union comprising 10 member states in Southeast Asia, which promotes intergovernmental cooperation and facilitates economic, political, security, military, educational, and socio – cultural integration between its members and other countries in Asia.
ASEAN’s primary objective was to accelerate economic growth and through that social progress and cultural development.
A secondary objective was to promote regional peace and stability based on the rule of law and the principle of United Nations charter. With some of the fastest growing economies in the world, ASEAN has broadened its objective beyond the economic and social spheres.
In 2003, ASEAN moved along the path of the European Union by agreeing to establish an ASEAN community comprising three pillars: the ASEAN security community, the ASEAN economic community, and the ASEAN socio-cultural community.
The ten stalks of rice in the ASEAN flag and insignia represent the ten southeast Asian countries bound together in solidarity.
ASEAN also regularly engages other countries in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.
A major partner of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, ASEAN maintains a global network of alliances and dialogue partners and is considered by many as a global powerhouse, the central union for cooperation in Asia-Pacific, and a prominent and influential organization.
It is involved in numerous international affairs, and hosts diplomatic missions throughout the world.
ASEAN was preceded by an organisation formed on 31 July 1961 called the Association of Southeast Asia (ASA), a group consisting of Thailand, the Philippines, and the Federation of Malaya.
ASEAN itself was created on 8 August 1967, when the foreign ministers of five countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand, signed the ASEAN Declaration or the Bangkok Declaration.
Map of South – East Asia:
4. STRATEGIC PETROLEUM RESERVE (INDIA)
News: India is working on ways to release crude oil from its strategic storages in tandem with other major economies to dampen prices.
About Strategic Petroleum Reserve (India):
Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Limited (ISPRL) is an Indian company responsible for maintaining the country’s strategic petroleum reserves.
ISPRL is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Oil Industry Development Board (OIDB), which functions under the administrative control of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
ISPRL maintains an emergency fuel store of total 5.33 MMT (million metric tons) or 36.92 million barrels (5.870 million cubic metres) of strategic crude oil enough to provide 9.5 days of consumption.
Strategic crude oil storages are at three underground locations in Mangalore, Visakhapatnam and Padur (Udupi, Karnataka). All these are located on the east and west coasts of India which are readily accessible to the refineries.
These strategic storages are in addition to the existing storages of crude oil and petroleum products with the oil companies and serve in response to external supply disruptions.
Indian refiners maintain 64.5 days of crude storage, so India has overall reserve oil storage of 74 days.
About International Energy Agency:
The International Energy Agency is a Paris-based autonomous intergovernmental organisation established in the framework of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 1974 in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis.
The IEA was initially dedicated to responding to physical disruptions in the supply of oil, as well as serving as an information source on statistics about the international oil market and other energy sectors.
It is best known for the publication of its annual World Energy Outlook.
In the decades since, its role has expanded to cover the entire global energy system, encompassing traditional energy sources such as oil, gas, and coal as well as cleaner and faster growing ones such as solar PV, wind power and biofuels.
Today the IEA acts as a policy adviser to its member states, as well as major emerging economies such as Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and South Africa to support energy security and advance the clean energy transition worldwide.
Only OECD member states can become members of the IEA. In 2014, Estonia joined the IEA and became its 29th member.
IEA member countries are required to maintain total oil stock levels equivalent to at least 90 days of the previous year’s net imports.