Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2024

Jan 31, 2024

Current Affair 1:
What is the legal dispute over AMU’s minority status?


Basic introduction:

Being recognised constitutionally as an “Institution of National Importance” under Entry 63 of List I, AMU is the only one of the two educational institutions (the other being Benaras Hindu University) which has been bestowed this title. Founded in 1920 through the AMU Act, the university's founding history can be considered in three phases :

(1) from 1870-1877, the genesis of the idea of setting up a university for the Muslim community came into the picture, the Muhammadin Anglo-Oriental (MAO) college was established;

(2) 1877-1910 the Muslim community rallied to convert the MAO and the government under pressure agreed to convert the college and

(3) 1910-1920, where the founders of the Muslim university actively engaged and succeeded in their desire to convert and incorporate the MAO into the present AMU.

The Aligarh Muslim University Act, 1920 (AMU Act) was passed to incorporate the MAO college and the Muslim University Association into AMU.

Long-standing debate on AMU’s minority status:

AMU’s minority status has been caught in a legal battle since 1967 when, in S. Azeez Basha And Anr vs Union Of India, a five-judge constitution bench had held that since AMU was a central university, it cannot be considered a minority institution.

However, the university regained its minority status with the enactment of the AMU (Amendment) Act by Parliament in 1981.


Three key changes were brought in to the legislation, firstly, Section 2(1) of the 1981 Act redefined the expressed “University” to mean an Institution “ Established by the Muslims of India”; secondly, Section 5 of the Amendment Act was modified to include “ Educational and Cultural Advancement of Muslims in India” within the foundational purposes of the Institution; and thirdly, removal of the term “ Establish and” from the Preamble of the 1920 Act.

These changes had the effect of giving minority status to the AMU, diluting the judgment in Azeez Basha.

Subsequently, in January 2006, the Allahabad high court nullified the provision of the 1981 law that conferred minority status upon the university.

Consequently, in 2006, the Union of India and the University appealed to the SC. However, in 2016, the UOI withdrew from the appeal, refusing to acknowledge the University’s minority status. The University is now pursuing the case alone.

What constitutes ‘minority character’?

Article 30(1) in Part III of the Constitution empowers all religious and linguistic minorities with a fundamental right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.

Clause 2 ensures that the State maintains ‘equality of treatment’ in granting aid to all educational institutions, irrespective of their minority status. This includes educational institutions at all levels, from primary schools to professional education.

Notably, these institutions enjoy exemptions from the implementation of SC, ST, and OBC reservations in both admissions and employment. Additionally, they can reserve up to 50% of seats for students from their community and exercise greater control over employees compared to other institutions. In the T.M.A Pai Foundation (2002) case, the SC clarified that a ‘minority’ is to be determined by the concerned State’s demography, not the national population.v

Current Affair 2:
What is Disease X?



News: Recently, the World Health Organisation (WHO) emphasised the urgent need for global preparedness against a potential new pandemic, referred to as 'Disease X'.

Disease X is the name given by scientists and the World Health Organization to an unknown pathogen that could emerge in future and cause a serious international epidemic or pandemic. In February 2018, Disease X was included in the WHO’s updated Blueprint list of diseases for which investing in research and development should be an international priority.

Does Disease X really exist? And could Disease X kill you?

Disease X itself is hypothetical: it does not exist. But the concept of Disease X describes a very real and growing threat to human health – and one the world must prepare better to respond to. The most recent Disease X to emerge was the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.

Will Disease X happen? And when is Disease X coming?

No-one can predict where or when the next Disease X will emerge. What is certain, however, is that a future Disease X is out there and will, at some point, spill over from animals into people and begin to spread in a disease outbreak.

Current Affair 3:
India-Myanmar Kaladan Project



Piloted and funded by the Ministry of External Affairs and first approved in 2008, the project is aimed at boosting trade and commerce between India and Myanmar and easing access to other South Asian countries. Once ready, it will also provide a strategic alternate link connecting the landlocked northeastern states to the rest of India and easing the pressure on the existing narrow Siliguri corridor.

Developed by the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) — an autonomous organisation under the Union shipping ministry.

It will connect the the eastern Indian seaport of Kolkata with Sittwe seaport in Rakhine State, Myanmar by sea. In Myanmar, it will then link Sittwe seaport to Paletwa in Chin State via the Kaladan river boat route, and then from Paletwa by road to Mizoram state in Northeast India.

Current Affair 4:
Grantham Inscriptions



A team of archaeologists recently discovered two stone inscriptions of ‘Grantham’ and Tamil dating 11th and 16th centuries respectively at Pazhnchervazhi village near Kangayam.

Grantha is an important historical script that was once used to write Sanskrit throughout South East Asia and greater Tamil Nadu.

The word Grantha denotes in Sanskrit ‘a literary work’. Evidently, the script used for writing the Sanskrit works obtained the same name.


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