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The Supreme Court of India regarding the release of 11 men convicted for a heinous crime during the Gujarat pogrom in 2002. It highlights the role of the State government and the principles........

The Supreme Court of India regarding the release of 11 men convicted for a heinous crime during the Gujarat pogrom in 2002. It highlights the role of the State government and the principles that should guide the power to grant remission. Reading this article will help you understand the importance of the rule of law, the role of the judiciary, and the considerations involved in granting remission to convicts.

  • The Supreme Court of India has quashed the orders releasing 11 men convicted for the gang-rape and murder of a family during the Gujarat pogrom in 2002.

  • The men had been sentenced to life by a Sessions Court in Mumbai after the investigation was shifted to the Central Bureau of Investigation and the trial transferred to Mumbai.

  • The Bharatiya Janata Party government facilitated their premature release and they were garlanded by their supporters.

  • The Court has directed the men to return to prison within two weeks.

  • The verdict is based on the ground that Gujarat did not have jurisdiction to decide on granting remission to convicts sentenced in Maharashtra.

  • The Bench observed that the State of Gujarat was complicit in one of the convicts' petition for remission based on a defunct 1992 policy.

  • The Gujarat government had failed to seek review of a two-Bench judgment's order in May 2022, even though it was wrongly decided based on suppression of material facts.

  • The State government was guilty of usurpation of power by citing the Court direction as the reason for passing orders in favor of the convicts.

  • The ruling is a blow for the rule of law and faith in the judiciary

  • The power to grant remission should be fair and reasonable, based on relevant parameters

  • Release of life convicts should be individually considered, not part of an omnibus gesture

  • Remission policy should consider humanitarian considerations and scope for reform

  • None of the conditions for remission were met in this case.

The University Grants Commission's guidelines on inculcating human values and professional ethics in higher education institutions. It highlights the need for transparency, accountability, and integrity in decision-making processes.

  • The University Grants Commission (UGC) has issued a guideline called Mulya Pravah 2.0 to promote human values and professional ethics in higher education institutions.

  • The guideline aims to build value-based institutions by orienting individuals and institutions towards fundamental duties and constitutional values.

  • The guideline was triggered by a survey of human resource managers that highlighted unethical practices in organizations, such as favoritism, sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and lack of confidentiality.

  • The UGC must ensure that the provisions of Mulya Pravah are implemented effectively to curb corruption and violations of ethics and integrity.

  • The higher education regulator(s) should demonstrate zero tolerance towards corruption and act swiftly to address any form of malpractice in university administration.

  • Mulya Pravah 2.0 emphasizes the need for transparency in administration and decision-making in higher education institutions.

  • It aims to abolish discriminatory privileges and punish corruption.

  • The guideline encourages individuals at all levels to freely give their advice.

  • Higher education institutions are expected to uphold values such as integrity, accountability, inclusiveness, and respectfulness.

  • The guideline requires administration to act with accountability, transparency, fairness, and ethics.

  • Officers and staff are urged to refrain from misappropriating resources and accepting gifts that may affect their impartiality.

  • The issue of confidentiality is also addressed in the article.

  • The article discusses the issue of maintaining confidentiality of information in higher education institutions.

  • It suggests that these institutions should voluntarily disclose critical information and subject themselves to public scrutiny.

  • The article recommends that institutions should promptly upload agendas, proceedings, minutes of meetings, annual reports, and audited accounts in the public domain to deter malpractices and restore public confidence.

  • The article emphasizes the importance of teachers acting as role models and setting examples of good conduct, dress, speech, and behavior for students.

  • It mentions that teachers should abide by the provisions of their universities but does not address the issue of teachers' associations.

  • The article expects staff and student unions to support the administration in development activities and raise issues in a dignified manner, but also acknowledges that unions are pressure groups that protect the rights and interests of their members.

  • It suggests that it may be too much to expect unions to always take sides with the administration.

  • Higher education institutions should ensure that all stakeholders are allowed to participate in decision-making processes.

  • The guideline of Mulya Pravah 2.0 states that staff and student unions should raise issues in a dignified manner, but the lack of a clear definition may lead to misuse of this provision.

  • Associations and unions of teachers, staff, and students have often been banned or suspended, with their members accused of violating codes of conduct.

  • Provisions like these may cause more harm than good, as discordant voices can actually improve the quality and sustainability of decisions.

  • The author's views expressed in the article are personal.

Geographical Indications (GI) tags and their significance in preserving and promoting India's cultural heritage.

  • 17 products from six States/Union Territories received the Geographical Indications (GI) tag

  • The products range from handicrafts to agricultural products

  • A GI tag is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation due to that origin

  • Tirupati laddus and Nagpur oranges are examples of products with GI tags

  • Any trader's body, association, or organization can apply for a GI tag

  • Applicants need to prove the uniqueness of the item with historical records and a breakdown of the production process

  • GI tags are not limited to popular products and there are hundreds of GI tags across States

  • Raw materials for these products do not have to come from the region, except for agricultural tags

  • There are over 500 GI tags as of January 7, 2023.

  • GI tags can be given to products in 34 classes, including chemicals, foodstuff, handicrafts, musical instruments, firearms, and locomotives.

  • Handicrafts dominate the list of GI tags, with over half of them being given to products crafted by skilled artisans.

  • Tamil Nadu has the highest number of GI tags (61), followed by Uttar Pradesh (56), Karnataka (48), Kerala (39), and Maharashtra (35).

  • Coimbatore wet grinder has a GI tag under the "manufactured" category.

  • Banaras offers 11 unique crafts and agricultural items, including the famous Banarasi paan.

  • Mysuru has 10 unique items, including the special variety of jasmine and fragrant sandalwood soap.

  • Thanjavur has five GI tags, including paintings and bobblehead dolls.

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