Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 22 July 2022

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 22 July 2022


15th President of India 

  • Former Jharkhand Governor and National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate DroupadiMurmu was elected the 15th President of India, the first tribal woman to be elected to the position and the youngest as well.
  • After four rounds of polling, Ms. Murmu received 2,824 votes of 6,76,803 value while Mr. Sinha received 1,877 votes or 3,80,177 value. 
  • She received 64.03% of total valid votes polled, much more than what was openly declared in her support and pointing to the fact there had been a lot of cross-voting in Ms. Murmu's favour from the Opposition ranks.


  • Ms. Murmu, who had been a former Governor of Jharkhand, hails from the Santhal tribe and was born in the district of Mayurbhanj.
  • She was graduating and teaching in Odisha before entering electoral politics at the local body level and later being elected MLA and serving as a Minister in the Biju Janata Dal-BJP coalition government from 2000 to 2004.
  • She remained an MLA till 2009, representing Rairangpur in Odisha, a town that burst into celebrations since her name was announced as a candidate for the post of President of India. 


Women have rights to safe abortion

  • Denying an unmarried woman the right to a safe abortion violates her personal autonomy and freedom, the Supreme Court held in an order.


  • A Bench led by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud was hearing the appeal of a woman who wanted to abort her 24-week pregnancy after her relationship failed and her partner left her.
  • The lower court had taken an “unduly restrictive view” that her plea for a safe abortion was not covered under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act as the pregnancy arose from a consensual relationship outside wedlock.
  • Chastising the lower court, the Bench said live-in relationships had already been recognised by the Supreme Court. There were a significant number of people in social mainstream who see no wrong in engaging in pre-marital sex.
  • The law could not be used to quench “notions of social morality” and unduly interfere in their personal autonomy and bodily integrity.
  • The court noted that an amendment to the Act in 2021 had substituted the term ‘husband’ with ‘partner’, a clear signal that the law covered unmarried women within its ambit.


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Nord Stream Pipeline

  • Russia restoredcritical gas supplies to Europe through Germany viathe Nord Stream pipeline after 10 days of maintenance,but uncertainty lingered over whether the Kremlinwould still trigger an energycrisis on the continent thiswinter.

Key highlights: 

  • Germany, which is heavilydependent on Russian gas,had feared that Moscowwould not reopen the pipeline after the scheduledwork and accused Moscowof using energy as a“weapon”.
  • The showdown cameamid the worst tensions inseveral years over Russia’sinvasion of Ukraine. Germany believes Russia is squeezing supplies in retaliation forWestern sanctions over thewar.
  • Enduring German reliance on Russian gas coupled with alarming signals from Moscow has turned upthe pressure on Europe’s topeconomy. 
  • A total shutdownof imports or a sharp reduction in the flow from east towest could have a catastrophic effect, shutting factories and forcing households to turn down the heat.
  • Even the resumption of40% of supplies would be insufficient to ward off energyshortages in Europe thiswinter.
  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said onWednesday that a halt insupplies could slash Germany’s gross domestic productthis year by 1.5%.

Mutual Recognition of Academic Qualification

  • India and the UK sign MoU on Mutual Recognition of Academic Qualification to facilitate student mobility and academic collaboration between HEIs.


  • In May 2021, during the Virtual Summit between Prime Ministers of India and UK, a comprehensive Roadmap to 2030 was adopted for an enhanced bilateral cooperation between the two countries. Both sides also agreed to a new Enhanced Trade Partnership. 
  • Education forms an important pillar of this roadmap. In light of India’s National Education Policy 2020 (NEP 2020), the two sides agreed to expand educational by agreeing to a mutual recognition of academic qualifications.



Government allows opium production and processing to private players

  • India has opened up the highly regulated sector of producing and processing opium to private players.
  • Bajaj Healthcare has become the first company to win tenders for producing concentrated poppy straw that is used to derive alkaloids that are the active pharmaceutical ingredient in pain medication and cough syrups.


  • India has been growing poppy at least since the 15th century, as per historical records. The British East India Company assumed monopoly on the cultivation of poppy when the Mughal Empire was on the decline, and the entire trade was brought under government control by 1873.
  • After India gained independence, the cultivation and trade of opium passed on to the Indian government, with the activity being controlled by The Opium Act, 1857, The Opium Act, 1878, and The Dangerous Drugs Act, 1930. 
  • At present, the cultivation and processing of poppy and opium is controlled by the provisions of The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act and Rules.
  • Process of growing and processing opium in India:
  • Due to the potential for illicit trade and risk of addiction, the cultivation of opium poppy is strictly regulated in the country, with the crops being allowed to be sown only in tracts of land notified by the central government in 22 districts in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan.



Indian Antarctic Bill 2022

  • The Lok Sabha deferred the consideration and passing of The Indian Antarctic Bill, 2022, as the Opposition benches were empty due to the ongoing protests by the Congress members outside of Parliament over the Enforcement Directorate’s summoning of their party president Sonia Gandhi for questioning.


  • The Indian Antarctica Bill, 2022, introduced in Lok Sabha April 1, 2022.
  • The bill seeks to give effect to the Antarctic Treaty, the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources and the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty.  
  • India’s scientific expedition to Antarctica began in 1981. The country has two stations—Maitri and Bharati.
  • The bill seeks to protect the Antarctic environment and regulate activities in the region, including the governance of the stations. 
  • It prohibits certain activities in Antarctica, including nuclear explosions and disposal of radioactive wastes. 
  • It also restricts the introduction of non-sterile soil and the discharge of garbage, plastic, or other substances into the sea.


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