Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2022

Mar 24, 2022

Current Affair 1:
Can't Women Serve Liquor in Bars? Constitutional Analysis of Legal Restrictions


Exactly a week after International Women's Day, the Excise Department of Kerala registered a case against the Manager of a bar in Kochi for deputing three Russian women as bartenders during its launch party. The matter reached the excise officials after a video of the women bartending in style took social media by storm. Although the officials cited certain irregularities in the bar's stock register, the Manager was primarily booked for employing women at the bar, violating the Kerala Foreign Liquor Rules.

Laws that prohibit women from being employees in bars undoubtedly qualify as gender discrimination which is expressly interdicted under Article 16(2) of the Constitution. Apart from this, such laws go against other Fundamental Rights guaranteed under the Constitution such as Articles 14, 15, 19 and 21. Yet the following rules remained in force until very recently:

  • Section 30 of the Punjab Excise Act, 1914 prohibited employment of any man under the age of 25 years or any woman in any part of such premises in which liquor or intoxicating drug is consumed by the public. The Supreme Court in 2007 through the decision of Anuj Garg & Ors vs Hotel Association of India & Ors rendered the provision unconstitutional.
  • Similarly, the Licensing and Performance for Public Amusement including Cabaret Performance, Melas and Tamashas Rules, 1960 framed under the Maharashtra Police Act, 1951 imposed a gender cap on the number of women or men who can perform in orchestras and bands in licenced bars. The Apex Court in Hotel Priya, A Proprietorship v. State of Maharashtra & Ors recently disapproved of this condition and struck it down as ultra vires the Constitution.
  • An amendment to the Kerala Foreign Liquor Rules in 2013 brought in a new rule, Rule 27A, prohibiting women from being employed "in any capacity for serving liquor on the licensed premises. Within a year of its enactment, the Kerala High Court through Dhanyamol v. State of Kerala declared that the impugned Rule was violative of Articles 14, 15 and 16 and thereby proclaimed it unconstitutional.

However, despite this decision, Rule 27A is still in force. It is under this provision that the Excise officials booked the manager for employing Russian women in his bar.

As such, the hospitality industry continues to shut its doors at women simply by virtue of gender differentiation. The laws have aggravated the scepticism and resistance towards female bartenders who were gradually becoming the changing face of the industry. The question that now arises is - why? Now question becomes of Mains. We will see later.

Current Affair 2:
What are the various relief & welfare measures announced since 1990 for the Kashmiri Pandits & other migrants?


According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, targeted attacks by the militants against civilians in the initial phases of the terrorist violence in Jammu & Kashmir forced a vast majority of Kashmiri Pandits and a sizeable number of Sikhs and other Hindus and a few Muslims to migrate from the Valley in 1990 and thereafter.

As per the data from the Government of Jammu & Kashmir presented in the Lok Sabha in response to a question on the number of Kashmiri Pandit families who migrated from the valley since 1990 revealed that a total of 44,684 Kashmiri Migrant families were registered with the Office of the Relief and Rehabilitation Commissioner (Migrants), Jammu, comprising of 1,54,712 individuals. This data was provided in February 2022. About 90% of the registered families were Hindu Migrant Families, according to a response in the Rajya Sabha from July 2021. According to another Lok Sabha response from 2020, a total of 64,951 Kashmiri Pandit families, who left the Kashmir Valley in the 1990s were residing in Jammu (43,618), Delhi (19,338) and other states (1,995).


1990 – Broad Relief measures were announced

1989-90 was the period when the unrest in Kashmir was witnessed, with families being forced to leave their houses. In 1990, the Government of Jammu & Kashmir after registering Kashmiri Migrant Families provided them financial assistance of Rs. 250 per family along with free ration. This cash assistance has been enhanced from time to time.

1997 – Act to prevent distress sale of property by migrants

The Jammu & Kashmir Migrant Immovable Property (Preservation, Protection & Restraint on Distress Sales) Act, 1997 was enacted by the State Government to prevent distress sale of immovable property by the migrants.

2003 – Committee to address problems of Kashmiri Pandits

The then Prime Minister announced that a committee would be set up for addressing the problems of Kashmiri Pandits. He also announced the construction of 500 new tenements worth Rs.10 crores. A sanction of Rs. 5 crores for the improvement of the facilities in camps was also announced.

2004 – Prime Minister’s Reconstruction Program (PMRP)

Under Prime Minister’s Reconstruction Program (PMRP), a sanction was given for the construction of 5,248 two-room sets including allied facilities like Community Halls, Higher Secondary Schools, Prime Health Centres, Water Supply, Electric Supply, hospital, Road & Drainage, STP plant, Parks etc. It involved a budget outlay of Rs. 24,000 crores.

2008 – Comprehensive Package

A comprehensive package of Rs 1,618.4 crores was announced in 2008 for the return and rehabilitation of the Kashmiri Migrants for the following:

  1. Financial assistance for purchase/construction/repair/renovation of houses
  2. Construction of transit accommodation
  3. Continuation of Cash Relief
  4. Student Scholarships
  5. Provision of 3000 State Government jobs
  6. Assistance to agriculture & horticulture including waiver of interest on unpaid loans

An Apex Advisory Committee was formed in 2009 under the Chairmanship of the revenue minister of the erstwhile state to oversee the effective implementation of the package.

2015 – Another Package

The government of India approved another package in 2015 for providing additional 3,000 state government jobs to the Kashmiri Migrants and for constructing about 6,000 transit accommodations in the Kashmir Valley for State Government Kashmiri Migrant employees. Apart from this, the Government sanctioned Rs. 29 crores for the repair and maintenance of the assets created under the previous packages.

2021 – Launch of portal to address Grievances

The Government of Jammu & Kashmir launched portals (https://kashmirmigrantsip.jk.gov.in/ & http://www.jkmigrantrelief.nic.in/ ) to address the grievances of Kashmiri Migrants and to address the grievances related to Kashmiri migrants’ immovable properties in the Union Territory.

Current Affair 3:
Forum of the Election Management Bodies of South Asia (FEMBoSA)



Forum of the Election Management Bodies of South Asia (FEMBoSA) was established at the 3rd Conference of Heads of Election Management Bodies (EMBs) of SAARC Countries in 2012.

The Forum has eight Member Election Management Bodies from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Election Commission of Bhutan is the current Chair of the Forum.

Current Affair 4:
Coal Import by Power Sector Decreased


The details of coal imported by coal based power plants during the last five years and current year is given below:-

Due to increased availability of coal on account of policy measures taken to increase domestic coal production, total coal import declined from 248.54 MT in 2019-20 to 215.25 MT in 2020-21. Further, during April 2021-January 2022, coal import has further decreased to the level of 173.32 MT as compared to 180.56 MT during the corresponding period of previous year.

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