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September 26, 2017

PM launches ‘Saubhagya’ plan for household electrification

  • The government will bear the expected Rs. 16,000 crore cost of giving electricity connections to the four crore households in the country under the ‘Saubhagya’ scheme.

Uneven rain may dip farm output

  • The uneven distribution of monsoon will impact output of kharif, or summer crop, according to data released by the Union Agriculture Ministry on Monday.
  • Among food grains, rice will see a drop of 1.91 million tonnes from the previous year as the estimates suggest 94.48 million tonnes of rice production.
  • Pulses, a staple Indian diet that is highly sensitive to supplies, too will see a marginal drop of 70,000 tonnes. Estimates put the pulse production at 8.61 million tonnes for 2017-18.
  • Production of coarse cereals too might decrease to 31.49 million tonnes. Maize production is pegged at 18.73 million tonnes
  • However, sugarcane production for 2017-18 will go up. That should be sweet news for consumers.

Consent key factor in defining sexual assault, says Delhi HC

  • The High Court discusses the various “models” of sexual consent in the modern world. The debate is part of an 82-page judgment which acquits film-maker Mahmood Farooqui in a rape case giving him the benefit of the doubt that he might have misread the ‘no’ of the woman as a ‘yes’.
  • In normal parlance, consent would mean voluntary agreement of a woman to engage in sexual activity without being abused or exploited by coercion or threats, Justice Ashutosh Kumar, who authored the verdict, observes.

‘Affirmative model’

  • The consent can be revoked any moment. “Thus, sexual consent would be the key factor in defining sexual assault as any sexual activity without consent would be rape,” the judgment says.
  • On the “various models of sexual consent”, the judge starts with the “traditional and the most accepted” one, which is the “affirmative model” where a “yes is yes and no is no.”
  • But the judgment goes on to tackle a situation where a woman’s affirmative consent or positive denial is not asserted, but conveyed in an “underlying/dormant” fashion, leading to a “ confusion in the mind of the other.” The court says there are “differences between how men and women initiate and reciprocate sexual consent.”

Gender equality

  • “The normal construct is that man is the initiator of sexual interaction. He performs the active part whereas a woman is, by and large, non-verbal. Thus, gender relations influence sexual consent,” Justice Kumar notes. But this may not be true in the case of modern society where gender equality is the “buzzword”, Justice Kumar adds.