Daily News Analysis

Daily News Analysis

United Nations Human Rights Council

Overview: At the 55th Human Rights Council of the United Nations, India exercised its 'Right to Reply' for a staunch response to Turkey and Pakistan for the mention of Jammu and Kashmir on the platform. About United Nations Human Rights Council: It is an intergovernmental body within the United Nations whose mission is to promote and protect human rights around the world. It

What is the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB)

Overview: In a coordinated operation at sea, the Indian Navy and the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) recently apprehended a suspicious vessel carrying almost 3300 Kgs of contraband. About Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB): The NCB was created in March 1986 in terms of Section 4(3) of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, which envisages a Central Authority for the purpos

What is Article 25 of the Indian Constitution?

Overview: The Kerala High Court recently observed that the fundamental right under Article 25 of the Constitution to enter a temple for worship does not give the right to any member of the Hindu community to perform the role of Archakas (priests). About Article 25 of Indian Constitution Article 25 says that all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right to freel

Good governance day

Context: Good Governance Day is being celebrated on the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on 25th December. Origin: 2014 Governance involves decision-making and effective implementation. Good Governance occurs when power is utilized responsibly to foster a nation's development. This concept dates back to ancient times, with figures like Chanakya discu

What Consumption Expenditure Survey Leaves Unanswered

Why in News? The release of the Household Consumption Expenditure Survey (HCES) for 2022-23 marks a significant milestone after a decade-long hiatus. The factsheet offers valuable insights into present patterns of household consumption, but decisive conclusions should not be made due to changes in methodology, survey design, and item coverage. Also, it is crucial to understand key takeawa

Maulana Azad Education Foundation (MAEF)

Overview The Ministry of Minority Affairs recently ordered the closure of the Maulana Azad Education Foundation (MAEF) About Maulana Azad Education Foundation (MAEF) MAEF was established on the occasion of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad's birth centenary celebrations. The Foundation is a voluntary, non-political, non-profit making social service organization. It was registered under th

Charting a path to disability inclusion in politics

Context: On December 21, the Election Commission of India released an advisory for political parties to follow disability-sensitive terminologies. About the guidelines: The advisory comprises 11 guidelines falling into three main categories: disability-inclusive communication, accessibility of information, and inclusion within party frameworks. Communication guidelines emphasize avoidin

Mukhyamantri Gramin Solar Street Light Scheme

The Mukhyamantri Gramin Solar Street Light Yojana is a scheme that aims to provide street lights in villages and cities in Bihar. The scheme is expected to be completed by March 2023 but not implemented in some areas till now.

Universal Basic Income (UBI)- Analysis

Universal Basic Income (UBI) can strengthen welfare architecture and unlock the nation’s latent demographic potential. UBI - It is an income support mechanism typically intended to reach all or a very large portion of the population regardless of their earnings or employment status. Objective- To provide enough to cover the basic cost of living and provide financial

Warm vaccine for COVID-19

Context: A team of scientists from IISc has completed pre-clinical trials and is now gearing up for human testing of the heat-tolerant Covid-19 vaccine About: The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) has developed a heat-tolerant vaccine called RS2 against COVID-19, which can be stored at high temperatures for extended periods of time, making it easier to transport and distribute to re

World Employment and Social Outlook

Context: Recently ILO has released its ‘World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends 2024’ report. Key findings: The International Labour Organisation (ILO) released the 'World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends 2024' report, indicating a projected increase in the global unemployment rate in 2024. Both joblessness and the jobs gap have fallen below pre-pandemic lev

International Education Day

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) declared January 24 as the International Day of Education in 2018. The day celebrates the role of education in peace and development and aims to raise awareness of the value and impact of quality education. In 2024, UNESCO is focusing on promoting anti-racist guidelines and addressing racism in textbooks with the th

Religious processions

The Supreme Court ruled that the concentration of a religious community in a particular area is not a valid reason to deny permission to another religious community to hold events or prayer meetings. The court also ruled that religious processions cannot be rejected based on religious grounds.

Idate Commission Report

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) stressed on the need for the implementation of the Idate Commission report. The Commission Headed by - Bhiku Ramji Idate. Setup by - The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. Constituted in - 2015, for a three-year temporary term. Purpose - For the empowerment of the Denotified Tribes (DNT), Semi Nomadic (SNT

Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit

Context: Prime Minister of India has inaugurated Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2024 at Mahatma Mandir, Gandhinagar. About: Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit, conceptualised in 2003 under the visionary leadership of the then Chief Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has today evolved as one of the most reputed global forums for business collaboration, knowledge sharing and strategic partnerships for

Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act

Context: Recently, after a record 1,111 NGOs got Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) nod in 2023, 30 get clearance in January. Situated in Delhi, a Buddhist monastic order originating from Taiwan has secured approval under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) of 2010, enabling them to access foreign funds. Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) The FCRA, e

Operation AMRITH

The Kerala Drug Control Department launched Operation Amrith (AMRITH - Anti Microbial Resistance Intervention for Total Health) recently. It is a strategy launched to combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The initiative aims to reduce the use of antibiotics by conducting surprise raids on retail medical shops to detect the sale of antibiotics with

EXERCISE ‘CYCLONE’

Exercise Cyclone is a joint military exercise between India and Egypt. The exercise aims to strengthen the bond between the two armies and develop bilateral military cooperation. The exercise focuses on desert operations and includes 3 phases.

Chabahar Port and INDIA relevance

India and Iran are set to hold talks to establish "long-term cooperation framework" on Chabahar port. Chabahar Port Chabahar is Iran’s first deepwater port and sits at the mouth of the Gulf of Oman. It is Iran's only oceanic port situated in Sistan and Baluchistan Province, on the Makran coast. It consists

Organ Transplantation

Context: A petitioner seeking a kidney transplant died waiting for permissions to come through. While there are stringent rules for organ transplantation, the court has said that timelines must be followed in the true spirit of the transplant law. Background: The Delhi High Court ruled on a plea from a retired Indian Air Force officer diagnosed with  kidney failure in 2017. By 2019

Modernization of Paradip Fishing Harbour

Context: Recently, the Union Minister laid the foundation stone for the Modernisation of Paradip Fishing Harbour. News: Paradip Fishing Harbour is poised for a transformation as the Central Government greenlights the Modernisation and Upgradation project, receiving 100% central financial assistance under the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY). The Paradip Port Authority

Wings India 2024

Wings India 2024 is a civil aviation event that took place at Begumpet Airport in Hyderabad, India. This event is organized by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, AAI, and FICCI. The event celebrated India's status as the world's third-largest domestic aviation market.

Atal Bhujal Yojna

Recently, the meeting for review of progress of Atal Bhujal Yojna was held at Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh. Atal Bhujal Yojna Atal Bhujal Yojana is a central sector scheme which was launched in 2019. Duration: Period of 5 years (2020-21 to 2024-25), Increased by 2 years in May, 2023. Objective: The major objective of the Scheme is to improve the management of grou

India-US trade policy

Context: India and the US are set to take up a number of sticky trade issues at the trade policy forum meet that begins today (January 12). Importance of Trade Policy Forum Meeting: The US is India's largest trade partner, and India heavily relies on US demand for export earnings. India aims to benefit from the US-led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) to counter

Boeing India Engineering and Technology Centre (BIETC)

Prime Minister inaugurated aircraft manufacturing giant Boeing’s largest investment facility outside the USA in Bengaluru recently. It aims to be a cornerstone for partnership with the vibrant startup, private and government ecosystem in the country. PM will also launch the Boeing Sukanya Program that aims to support the entry of more girl children from across I

Ministry of Finance Year Ender 2023: Department of Economic Affairs

The Year 2023 marks the beginning of ‘Amrit Kaal’ - the 25-year period beginning from the 75th anniversary of its independence on 15th August 2022, leading up to the centenary of its Independence, towards a futuristic, prosperous, inclusive and developed society, distinguished by a human-centric approach at its core. India continues to be one of the fastest-growing economies of

Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit- Kampala

The Non-Aligned Movement was formed during the Cold War as an organization of States that did not seek to formally align themselves with either the United States or the Soviet Union, but sought to remain independent or neutral. The basic concept for the group originated in 1955 during discussions that took place at the Asia-Africa Bandung Conference held in Indonesia. The fi

Alliance for Global Good- Gender Equity and Equality – WEF

Launch of “Alliance for Global Good- Gender Equity and Equality” by India at World Economic Forum, Annual Meeting Davos, 15-19 January, 2024 Shri Narendra Modi’s “Women-led Development” agenda resonates globally at the WEF 2024,  with committed support from WEF and over 10,000 businesses  worldwide WEF hails India’s inclusive and remarkable growt

Role of speaker

Context: The decision of the speaker of Maharashtra to recognise Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, who left the Uddhav Thackeray-led group, as the leader of the actual Shiv Sena is a disregard for the legislative procedure and regulations. The Speaker in a parliamentary democracy, particularly in India's Lok Sabha, holds a pivotal position in overseeing parliamentary proceedings. The essence of

Timor-Leste and Mozambique

Context: The Prime Minister held bilateral meetings with the President of Timor Leste and Mozambique, a day before the inauguration of the 10th edition of Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit. About Timor-Leste or East Timor: Situated in the eastern Lesser Sunda Islands at the southern extremity of the Malay Archipelago, Timor-Leste is an island country. Its capital a

Project BHISHM

BHISHM -Bharat Health Initiative for Sahyog, Hita and Maitri). It is a project that aims to provide immediate medical assistance during humanitarian crises or natural disasters. It is a joint project of the Indian Navy and the DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation). The project also includes the world's first indigenous portable hosp

IInvenTiv

The 2nd edition of the Ministry of Education’s flagship R&D Innovation Fair, IInvenTiv-2024 was inaugurated by Union Education Minister recently. It aims to showcase the holistic impact of the research and innovation carried out by the country's top higher education institutes.

Guidelines for Regulation of Coaching Center 2024

The Ministry of Education's Department of Higher Education recently introduced the "Guidelines for Registration and Regulation of Coaching Center 2024." Guidelines for Registration and Regulation of Coaching Center 2024 According to the guideline, a ‘coaching center’ includes a center established, run, or administered by any person to provide coaching f

Central Consumer Protection Authority

The Central Consumer Protection Authority issues notice to Amazon for sale of sweets under the misleading name of Shri Ram Mandir Ayodhya Prasad. The action has been initiated based on a representation made by the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) alleging that Amazon is engaging in deceptive trade practices involving the sale of sweets under the guise of 'Shri Ram Mandir Ay

Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2023

The Annual Status of Education Report 2023 has been published recently by Pratham, a civil society organisation. What is ASER? It is a nationwide citizen-led household survey that provides a snapshot of the status of children’s schooling and learning in rural India. Conducted by- Pratham, a non-governmental organisation. Launched- 2005 Published- It was conducte

Caste discrimination in prisons

Context: The Supreme Court on Wednesday said caste-based discrimination of prisoners, segregation of manual work among them according to caste-hierarchy and treatment of inmates from the denotified tribes as “habitual offenders” within the four walls of jails across India is a “very important issue” and needs to be addressed. The current status of Indian prisons is marke

International Court of Justice (ICJ)

South Africa has moved the International Court of Justice (ICJ), invoking the Genocide Convention, 1948, against Israel accusing it of committing genocide during its ongoing military campaign in Gaza. What is ICJ? World’s court- It is the principal judicial organ of United Nations it is the only principal organ of UN to be not located in New York.

16th Finance Commission- Article-280

Cabinet approves creation of 3 officer-level posts for 16th Finance Commission. Chairman – Arvind Panagariya Secretary – Ritvik Ranjanam Pandey 3 new posts – Created at the level of Joint Secretary i.e. 2 posts of Joint Secretary and 1 post of Economic Adviser who are required to assist the Commission in carrying out its functions. Functi

Right to Food

Recently, Indian government argued for people’s right to food in Supreme Court by supporting Genetically Modified (GM) crops as against the alleged environmental damage by it. Right to Food – It implies the right to food at appropriate nutritional levels and the quantum of relief to those in distress must meet those levels in order to ensure that this rig

Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO)

The Supreme Court, while dismissing a petition for quashing a complaint filed by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), has left a crucial question of law open i.e., whether SFIO are police officer(s) under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) It is a corporate fraud investigating agency set up by the Government of India. The SFIO

Bab el-Mandeb

Context: British maritime security agency UKMTO reported explosions late Tuesday near a cargo ship in the strategic Bab el-Mandeb Strait, which separates the Arabian Peninsula from the Horn of Africa. About Bab al-Mandab Strait It is a strait that connects the Red Sea (northwest) with the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean (southeast). It is located between Arabia (northeast) a

India and Nepal relations

Context: Nepal signed a long-term agreement for the export of 10,000 MW power to India in the next 10 years and an MoU for cooperation in renewable energy . Status of India-Nepal Relations: Defense Cooperation: - India supports Nepal Army in modernization through equipment, training, and joint military exercises. - The Gorkha regiments of the Indian Army recruit soldiers from Nepal

Global FinTech Forum

On the sidelines of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit, PM interacted with prominent business leaders in the Global FinTech Leadership Forum at GIFT city in Gujarat recently. The Global Fintech Forum is a space for shareholders, customers, and participants to share experiences and experiment.

Zero Defect, Zero Effect Scheme

Zero Defect Zero Effect (ZED) is a certification scheme for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). The scheme's goal is to improve the competitiveness and sustainability of MSMEs, and to help them become national and international champions. The ZED scheme has 3 levels of certification - Bronze, Silver, and Gold. The certification is based on parameters such as qua

Tenth Schedule of Indian Constitution

News? Speaker of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly has refused to disqualify 40 MLAs of the Eknath Shinde faction after recognising it as the real Shiv Sena. He also did not disqualify 14 MLAs of the Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray (UBT) group due to technical reasons under the Tenth Schedule. Anti Defection Law? The anti-defection law punishes individual Members of Parliame

New Ruling On Benami Law May Unearth Old Deals

Context: The Appellate Tribunal on Disputes in Benami Matters has ruled that “Held” used in the Benami Act 2016 also covers the proceeds of crime committed before 2016, and is currently being held or possessed by the beneficiary.  News: Tribunal Decision Regarding Benami Property: The tribunal has decreed that the possession of a Benami proper

South china sea

Context: China showcased on Thursday fighter jets firing missiles in the South China Sea, as it held rival military exercises with the United States in the hotly contested waters.The drills follow tense standoffs between Beijing and Manila in disputed reefs that saw vessels from the two countries collide and Chinese ships blast water cannon at Philippine boats. Significance of the South China S

Amrit Dharohar Capacity Building Scheme

Context: Ministry of Tourism conducted training in Bhitarkanika National Park, Odisha under Amrit Dharohar Capacity Building Scheme About the scheme: Under this initiative, IITTM, an autonomous body under MoT, in collaboration with MoEFCC will build the capacity of local community members around different Ramsar sites in order to strengthen nature tourism at these sites and provide altern

International Braille Day

Context: In commemoration of International Braille Day, various National institutions and Comprehensive Regional Centers under the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities organized extensive awareness programms focused on Braille literacy. About: International Braille Day is observed on 4th January annually to promote awareness regarding the significance of Braille as a com

National Sports and Adventure Awards 2023

The National Sports and Adventure Awards were established in 2002 to honor athletes who contribute to sports and continue to promote sports events after retirement. The 2023 awards included Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Awards-2023; Dronacharya Awards-2023; Arjuna Awards-2023; Dhyan Chand Awards-2023; Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Awards-2022; Rashtriya Khel Protsahan

Sports and Adventure Awards 2023

Recently, the President of India presided over a ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan to bestow the prestigious National Sports and Adventure Awards 2023.The awards are administered by the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, Government of India. Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award: India's highest sporting honor established in 1991-92. Named

National Sports Day

12th National Sports Daywas celebrated across India on 29 August.  Why is National Sports Day Celebrated? Objective: To commemorate the birth anniversary of hockey legend Major Dhyan Chand. First NSD: August 29, 2012. Significance: Encourages people of all ages to embrace physical fitness, regular exercise and a healthy lifestyle. Ser

19th Asian Games (of 2022, held in 2023)

The Asian Games is the biggest sports competition in Asia, held once every four years. The symbol for the Asian Games is the rising sun with interlocking rings. It is recognised by the International Olympic Committee. Background and Inauguration: After the Second World War, many Asian countries gained independence and the Indian International Olympic&n

World Anti-Doping Report 2022

Doping is the act of consuming artificial and often illegal substances to gain an advantage over others in sporting competitions (For example: anabolic steroids, human growth hormones, stimulants and diuretics). Doping products are often illegally produced, trafficked and distributed. As they are rarely approved for public use, their consumption is dangerous and poses a serious health

Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF)

Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) is the pool of funds generated by 5% Universal Service Levy that is charged upon all the telecom fund operators on their Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR). This fund is deposited in the Consolidated Fund of India and is dispatched on the approval of the Indian Parliament. The USOF comes under the Indian Telegraph Act 1885. The act was amended in 2003 to give

Year End Review of the Department of Sports

India achieves historic milestone at Asian Games held in Hangzhou, China clinching 107 Medals including 28 Gold Medals Historic triumph of the Indian contingent at the Asian Para Games with 111 Medals including 29 Gold Medals Exceptional performance of Indian Athletes at the World Athletic Championship India organized FIH Odisha Hockey Men's World Cup 2023, Bhubaneswar – Rourkel

6th Edition of Khelo India Youth Games

The 6th edition of Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG) is currently underway, happening from 19th January to 31st January 2024, across four cities in Tamil Nadu: Chennai, Trichy, Madurai, and Coimbatore. About: KIYG is a national-level, multi-disciplinary sports competition for school and college students in India. The games are held annually in January or Februar

World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) report

Context: UN report has revised India’s 2024 GDP growth forecast Key highlights: - The United Nations has revised India's GDP growth forecast for the year 2024 to 6.2%, down from the earlier estimate of 6.7%. - The revision is attributed to the projection of robust domestic demand and strong growth in the manufacturing and services sectors. - The larger South Asian region is

Free legal aid in India

Context: Supreme Court judge Justice BR Gavai has been nominated as the Chairman of the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee (SCLSC), replacing Justice Sanjiv Khanna – the seniormost judge of the top court after the Chief Justice of India (CJI). What is the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee: The Supreme Court Legal Services Committee, formed under Section 3A of the

Countries of Particular Concern

U.S. designates China, Pakistan and North Korea and some other countries as 'Countries of Particular Concern' recently. Countries of Particular Concern (CPC) are countries where the government engages in or tolerates “particularly severe” violations of religious freedom. The U.S. Department of State designates CPCs under the International Religious Freedom Act of

SHRESHTA - Education Policy and program

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) recently issued instructions for Residential Private Schools interested in joining SHRESHTA Scheme. About Scheme for Residential Education for Students in High Schools in Targeted Areas (SHRESHTA) The scheme aims to provide access to the best private residential schools for meritorious students from Scheduled Caste (SC) communities

Polygraph test

Context: Five of the six people arrested by the Delhi Police in connection with the Parliament security breach on December 13 last year gave their consent before a court here on Friday to undergo a polygraph test. About: A polygraph test is carried out on the assumption that physiological responses triggered when one is lying are different from what they otherwise would be. Rather than

Bangladesh

PM congratulates Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh for victory for 4th consecutive term recently. Sheikh Hasina's Awami League won almost 75% (222 out of 300) Parliamentary seats  of the seats in general election that was boycotted by the main opposition BNP and drew a low turnout.

PM's Awards for Excellence in Public Administration, 2023

Prime Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Public Administration 2023 restructed scheme & web portal launched recently. The award is to acknowledge, recognize and reward the extraordinary and innovative work done by Districts/ Organizations of the Central and State Governments. The Award Scheme restructured to recognize the performance of the District Colle

Bangladesh elections and India

Context: A stable, prosperous and friendly Bangladesh is in India’s best interests. This is why India will hope that incumbent Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina returns to power after the January 7 elections. Background: Bangladesh gained its independence in December 1971; since then, India Bangladesh Relations have been good. India was one of the first nations to recognize it and establish di

New Members of BRICS

Context: The five new candidates of BRICS formally became members on January 1, 2024. Introduction of New Members to BRICS: Expansion of BRICS: The inclusion of five new members, namely Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, marks a significant enlargement of the BRICS alliance. Argentina's Withdrawal: Argentina has opted to retract its initia

Mannhit App

The Union Health Minister and the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh jointly launched the Mannhit app recently. It is an initiative facilitating screening for mental health.

National Education Policy 2020

The new National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 is the first education policy of the 21st century in India, which replaces the previous National Policy on Education (NPE) 1986. The Ministry of Education formed a committee under Dr. K Kasturirangan, which outlined this new policy.  The National Education Policy 2020 proposes various reforms in school and higher educatio

Structured negotiation as a boost for disability rights

Context: Structured negotiation is an increasingly employed dispute resolution technique, offering a collaborative and solution-oriented approach as an alternative to litigation. Widely applicable, it has demonstrated remarkable effectiveness in settling disability rights cases, particularly in the United States. Success in Disability Rights: Particularly successful in resolving issues re

Maldives suspends three Deputy Ministers

Context: The Maldives government suspended three of its ministers- Mariyam Shiuna, Malsha and Hassan Zihan- for their ‘derogatory remarks on India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, following the latter's Lakshadweep visit. News: In retaliation more than 8,000 hotel bookings, as well as 2,500 flight tickets, have been cancelled after a Maldivian min

New Rules for Allocation of Symbols

Context: The Election Commission of India has brought in new rules for allocation of symbols to Registered Unrecognised Political Parties (RUPPs).  New rules: To qualify for the 'concession of common symbol allotment,' these parties must submit audited accounts for the past three financial years, expenditure statements from the last two elections, and the

The DART Book & Food Safety on Wheels (FSW)

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has recently released “The Detect Adulteration with Rapid Test (DART) Book” & Food Safety on Wheels (FSW). DART booklet is a compilation of common quick tests for detection of food adulterants by the citizens themselves so as to induce awareness among the consumers about food safety. A mobile food testing van calle

Civil Society and Associated issues

The anti-communal and progressive civic space is under the most serious attack by various restrictions in India. What are the issues faced by Civil Society Organisations (CSOs)? A free civic space is the space where CSOs can operate without undue interference from the state or other actors. India is a diverse and vibrant civil society but the constitutional freedom is under siege which

Interim Budget vs Vote-On-Account

An interim budget serves as a framework for managing provisional expenditures over a short duration, usually spanning a few months, until a new government takes office at the central level. An interim budget generally includes the current state of the economy, plan and non-plan expenditures and receipts, changes in tax rates, revised estimates of the curren

Bilateral Maritime Exercise –Ayutthaya

Recently, the maiden Bilateral Maritime Exercise -Ayutthaya’ between the Indian Navy (IN) and Royal Thai Navy (RTN) was conducted. Exercise Ayutthaya The IndIa-Thailand Bilateral Exercise is being named as ‘Ex-Ayutthaya’, which literally translates to ‘The Invincible One’ or ‘Undefeatable’.It symbolises the significance of two of the oldest citi

One District One Product Scheme

Context: The beneficiaries of Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra  thanked PM for One District One Product Scheme. About One District One Product Initiative (ODOP) The ODOP initiative is designed to stimulate economic growth at the district level by endorsing and branding a distinctive product from each district across the country. The fundamental idea is to harness the local potential,

PRASADAM

Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare inaugurates the country’s 1st Healthy & Hygienic Food Street, 'PRASADAM,' in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh. The street will serve traditional dishes made of coarse grains like rajgira, sanwa, kuttu, ragi, dal-baffle, and more.

Bilateral Haj Agreement 2024

India signs Bilateral Haj Agreement 2024 with Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) recently. The Hajj is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the holiest city for Muslims.  It is one of the ‘five pillars’ of Islam.

Section 132 of the Income Tax Act, 1961

Context: Despite the affirmation of the right to privacy in the 2017 Puttaswamy judgment, concerns persist regarding Section 132 of the Income Tax Act, potentially infringing on citizens' fundamental rights. Understanding Section 132 of the Income Tax Act, 1961: Introduction and Historical Context: Introduced to replace the invalidated Taxation on Income (Investigation Commission) Act, 1

Prerana program

Context: Department of School Education & Literacy, Ministry of Education, Government of India has launched ‘Prerana: An Experiential Learning program’, aiming to offer a meaningful, unique, and inspiring experience to all participants, thereby empowering them with leadership qualities. About Prerana Program: The 'Prerana: An Experiential Learning Program' is an en

National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA)

National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) was set up as a registered society under the Societies Registration Act of 1860 on 2005 with a mandate of creating dope-free sports in India.

“PM-eBus Sewa”

Cabinet approves “PM-eBus Sewa” for augmenting city bus operations; priority to cities having no organized bus service 10,000 e-Buses to be deployed on PPP model in 169 cities; Infrastructure to be upgraded in 181 cities under Green Urban Mobility Initiatives Total estimated cost of the scheme to be Rs.57,613 crore Expected direct employment generation over 45,000 PM-eBus

India’s First Healthy & Hygienic Food Street

Context: Recently, the Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, inaugurated India’s first Healthy & Hygienic Food Street, ‘PRASADAM,’ at Neelkanth Van, Mahakal Lok, in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh.  Objectives of the Initiative: The primary goal of the Prasadam initiative is to establish a connection among people across the nation by providing access

Health Ministry Steps Up Fight Against Zoonotic Diseases

Context: As per the Union Health Ministry, 75% of new infectious diseases that have emerged over the past three decades have been zoonotic, and the Ministry is increasing its focus on zoonotic diseases. Zoonotic diseases They are the infections transmitted between humans and animals. These infections result from various pathogens, including viruses, bacteria, parasites, an

Maersk Hangzhou

Context: U.S. Navy helicopters sank three vessels operated by Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels that had attacked a container ship in the Red Sea, the military said on Sunday. News: The U.S. Navy’s actions came in response to a request for assistance from the ship. Maersk suspended the passage of vessels through the Bab al-Mandab Strait in the Red Sea for 48 hours. While

Bilkis Bano case

Context: The Supreme Court has struck down the Gujarat government’s remission orders that allowed the early release of 11 men convicted in the Bilkis Bano gangrape case of 2002. A Bench of Justices B V Nagarathna and Ujjal Bhuyan on Monday (January 8) said the Gujarat government’s August 10, 2022 decision to remit the convicts’ sentences was “illegal”. Ba

PM SVANidhi

Context: Union Minister of Housing & Urban Affairs inaugurated India’s first ‘Zero Waste Street Food Festival’ in Delhi ,highlighted the role of Prime Minister Street Vendor's AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi) Scheme in empowerment of street vendors. Key Features of PM-SVANidhi: - The PM-SVANidhi is a Central Sector Scheme, fully funded by the Ministry of Housing and Ur

Aadhar-linked pay becomes mandatory for MGNREGS workers

Context: From the New Year, all wages under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme must be paid through an Aadhaar-based payment system (ABPS), which requires workers’ Aadhaar details to be seeded to their job cards. Background:    The deadline for making Aadhaar-enabled Payment System (ABPS) mandatory, extended five times, concluded on D

SC Legal Services Committee

Supreme Court judge Justice BR Gavai has been nominated as the Chairman of the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee (SCLSC) recently. The SCLSC is a statutory body constituted under Section 3A of the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987. It gives free legal services to the poor, marginalized, and unprivileged.

Free Legal AID and Access to Justice

"Who are entitled to receive free legal aid? Assess the role of the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) in rendering free legal aid in India" important for PAPER-2 UPSC examination Mains.    Article 39-A of the Constitution in Directive Principle of State Policy mandates universal access to free legal aid, aiming to establish a legal framework that upholds jus

Guyana Venezuela dispute

Context: A British warship has arrived in Guyana amid rising tensions from a border dispute between the former British colony and Venezuela Factors Contributing to Tensions: Territorial Dispute: The primary cause of tension is the longstanding territorial dispute over the Essequibo region, a significant part of Guyana. Venezuela disputes the 1899 Arbitral Award that established the borde

Project ‘Veer Gatha’

The 3rd edition of Project ‘Veer Gatha’, a joint initiative of Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Education will take part in Republic Day celebrations. Project Veer Gatha is a project that was established in 2021 under the Gallantry Awards Portal (GAP). Aim – To disseminate the details of the bravery and sacrifice of the Gallantry Awardees (So

Pariksha Pe Charcha 2024

Pariksha Pe Charcha (PPC) is an annual event where Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacts with students, teachers, and parents. Students of Classes 6 to 12 are eligible to participate in this event. The event is part of the larger movement, 'Exam Warriors', which aims to create a stress-free environment for young people. PPC 2024 is the 7th ed

Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956

Recently the Kerala High Court ruled that a customer in a brothel can be charged under the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956. What is the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956? Human trafficking – Forced or illegal transfer of people for the purpose of labour or other illegal activities. Under Article 23 (1) of Indian constitution, trafficking in human beings or

PLI scheme

Context: The Production Linked Incentive (PLI) program for the automobile sector has been extended by one year through March 2028.  News: The extension of the original five-year scheme, initially covering the period from 2022-23 to 2026-27, will remain effective until 2027-28. This extension provides companies with additional time to capitalize on the Production-Linked Incenti

Operation Prosperity Guardian

Context: The US Secretary of State announced a joint maritime security initiative called Operation Prosperity Guardian to aid the safe movement of ships in the Red Sea. This follows missile and drone attacks by Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthis. About: Countries Involved: The U.K., Bahrain, Canada, France, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Seychelles, and Spain are participating. Joint Patr

Joint Military Exercise Desert Cyclone Between India and UAE

Context: The inaugural edition of joint military exercise ‘Desert Cyclone 2024’ involving India and the UAE is set to occur in Rajasthan from January 2 to January 15. About Desert Cyclone 2024 : Counter-Terrorism Operations:   - The focus of the joint exercise is on counter-terrorism operations, encompassing missions such as joint planning, opera

Shreshta scheme

Context: The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment recently highlighted the Scheme for Residential Education for Students in High Schools in Targeted Areas (SHRESHTA). Key Highlights of SHRESHTA: Objective: SHRESHTA aims to address the educational service gap in areas dominated by Scheduled Castes (SCs) by providing high-quality education, socio-economic upliftment, and overal

National Sickle Cell Anaemia Elimination Mission

Context: A significant milestone has been crossed by the Health Ministry. More than 1 crore people have been screened for Sickle Cell Disease under the National Sickle Cell Anaemia Elimination Mission. National Sickle Cell Anaemia Elimination Mission (NSCAEM): Objective: The NSCAEM is geared towards eradicating sickle cell anaemia from India by 2047, coinciding with the nation's 100th year

Clean energy target by Himachal Pradesh

The Himachal Pradesh government made 2 major decisions recently. All government offices have been prohibited from purchasing petrol or diesel vehicles since January 1. Simultaneously, under another scheme, people will be paid Rs 20,000 per month if they donate 3 bighas of land for the construction of a solar power plant. These decisions have been taken to make Himachal Prades

The Collegium system has failed India

Context: There are not enough judges at all levels of the judicial hierarchy to deal with the increased workload. The result is that there is little time to reflect on issues which can change the course of the nation’s march forward. The collegium system has also been in news for tussles between the judiciary and the executive and the slow pace of judicial appointments. About collegium sy

Reigniting the flame of India-Korea defence cooperation

Context: The recent diplomatic overture during the visit Chief of the Army Staff of India, in November 2023, to the Republic of Korea, signifies a critical juncture in the trajectory of India-Korea defence relations. While this visit fortified diplomatic ties, it also unveiled the challenges, necessitating meticulous consideration. Background: India and the Republic of Korea have witnessed subst

No sale of blood

The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) said that blood at hospitals or private banks and centres is “not for sale” but allowed for a “processing charge”. The revised guidelines said that processing fees can be charged for blood or blood components, which ranges from Rs 250 to Rs 1,550. The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation

New criminal codes

Context: Roll-out schedule of 3 new criminal codes will be notified by January 26 About: The three new criminal laws introduced in 2023 are: 1. Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS) Bill, 2023: This bill replaces the Indian Penal Code (IPC) of 1860 and aims to overhaul the criminal justice system in India 2. Bharatiya Sakshya (Second) Bill, 2023 (BSS): This bill replaces the Code of Criminal Procedure

Free Movement Regime to end at Myanmar border

Context: The Union government is all set to scrap the Free Movement Regime (FMR) along the Myanmar border. People living in border areas, who could cross over to India, will soon require visas, the official added. About: Free Movement Regime The Free Movement Regime (FMR) along the India-Myanmar border is a mutually agreed pact between India and Myanmar that allows tribes residing on eithe

State of the Judiciary report

Context: The recent report highlights the challenges faced by judiciary The key highlights of the State of the Judiciary report are: Nearly one-fifth of the district court complexes in the country lack separate toilets for women, according to a report published by the Centre for Research and Planning of the Supreme Court recently The report underscores the necessity of women-friendly toil

Aadhaar seeding

Context: With the government refusing to extend the deadline for Aadhaar details of workers under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) to  be seeded to their job cards beyond December 31, 2023, to enable payments through an Aadhaar-based payment system (ABPS), the system has now become mandatory. Aadhaar seeding It is the process of linking the 12-d

Kuppa Pumped Hydro Storage Project

NHPC Limited and Gujarat govt sign MoU for Rs.4,000 crore in the proposed 750 MW Kuppa Pumped Hydro Storage Project in Chhota Udaipur, Gujarat. It aims to utilize pumped hydro storage projects for energy storage and addressing. It is a part of “Vibrant Gujarat” initiative.

Supreme Court Legal Services Committee (SCLSC)

Recently, Department of Justice have announced nomination of Supreme Court judge Justice BR Gavai as the Chairman of the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee (SCLSC). Constituted under - Section 3A the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 which states that the Central Authority (NALSA) shall constitute the committee. Legal Services Authorities Act was constituted i

Road Accidents and New HIT and RUN Law

Transporters and commercial drivers from States like Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, and Punjab have staged protests against the recent legislation concerning hit-and-run incidents. Road Accidents in India in 2022 India witnessed a year-on-year increase of 12% in road accidents and 9.4% in fatalities in the same year while there is

Ministry of Fisheries and Animal Husbandry-Year review

The Ministry was carved from the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare in 2019. Departments Department of Fisheries Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying Department of Fisheries Fisheries sector plays an important role in the Indian economy as it contributes to the national income, exports, food and nutritional security as well as employment gen

Poor, middle-class, wealthy — more Indians than ever before are leaving the country

Context: The Indian government has been facing issues related to the migration of its citizens, particularly to the United States, as desperate Indians seek better livelihoods and opportunities abroad. Background: India has a significant diaspora, with over 29 million Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) and Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) residing outside the country. The Indian diaspora is the worl

Argentina Withdraws From BRICS

Context: The newly elected far-right President of Argentina, Javier Milei, pulled out of plans to join the BRICS bloc. Argentina was set to join on January 1, 2024. Reasons for withdrawal: The decision to join BRICS had been taken by the previous administration, and the new dispensation was reviewing such policies. Milei cited China's communist ideology as a p

India Pakistan Exchange list of Nuclear Installations

Context: India and Pakistan exchanged the list of nuclear installations, covered under the Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear Installations and Facilities. About: India and Pakistan have a history of exchanging lists of their nuclear installations under a bilateral pact that prohibits the two sides from attacking each other's atomic facilities. This agreemen

Matarbari Port

Context: India is considering proposals to connect Bangladesh’s Matarbari Port to Northeastern States. About: Matarbari Port is a deep-sea port under construction at Matarbari in Maheshkhali Upazila of Cox's Bazar District, Bangladesh. Some key details about the port include: - Type of harbor: Artificial - Construction started in 2011 - Located near the Bay of Bengal

PRERANA program

Prerana is a week-long residential program for 20 selected students (10 boys and 10 girls) of class IX to XII, aimed at empowering them with leadership qualities. Ministry – Ministry of Education. Prerana program will run from a Vernacular School, established in 1888, in one of the oldest living cities of India, Vadnagar, in Gujarat. The curriculum of Prerana Schoo

India closing in on lithium-deal with Argentina, tapping Australia and Chile

Context: India is on the verge of finalizing a deal to acquire exploration and development rights for five lithium blocks in Argentina. The agreement is set to be formalized between Khanij Bidesh India Ltd. (KABIL) and CAMYEN, a state-owned mining and energy company in Argentina. About Lithium: Properties: Lithium, denoted by the symbol Li and atomic number 3, is classified as a ch

SVAMITVA Scheme

SVAMITVA Scheme wins Best Innovation Award for Innovation Sandbox presentation during Public Policy Dialogues–2024 at Indian School of Business, Hyderabad. Initiative by - It is a collaborative effort of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, State Panchayati Raj Departments, State Revenue Departments and Survey of India. Launch - It is a Central Sector Scheme, launched in the year

Extension of Bharatmala Phase 1

Context: Phase 1 of the Bharatmala project deadline has been extended by six years, to FY 2027-28.  News: Project Initiation: The first phase of Bharatmala, unveiled in 2017, aimed for completion by 2022. Estimated Cost Approval: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) sanctioned the initial phase with an estimated cost of Rs 5.35 trillion. Cost Overrun: The Public Inves

Red Sea Trouble and INDIA

Recent attacks on commercial ships near the Red Sea amidst the ongoing Gaza war impacts India’s global trade. What is Red sea? The Red Sea is a narrow inland sea between Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. The nearly 2,000-km Red Sea connects the Mediterranean Sea with the Indian Ocean via the narrow Suez Canal (since 1869). It is connected to the Arabian Sea an

Illegal migration

Context: The farming crisis is forcing youths to take to illegal migration. The people affected by distress in their homeland seek opportunities in the developed world despite the enormous risks during their journeys. The recent episode of the forced return of 303 Indians who were detained at a French airport is suspected to be another such instance, or worse, trafficking. B

82nd session of Indian History Congress

Context: The 82nd Session of Indian History Congress(IHC) began at Kakatiya University in Warangal. News: Kakatiya University is set to host the Indian History Congress (IHC) after a hiatus of 30 years. The IHC is an annual two-day conference scheduled to commence on December 28 and conclude on December 30. The conference will feature discussion panels covering var

Govt extends export benefits under RoDTEP scheme to ecommerce exporters

Context: The government announced the extension of export benefits under the RoDTEP scheme for ecommerce exports through post or couriers. News: The RoDTEP scheme, implemented three years ago, involves the refund of non-creditable central, state, and local levies embedded in exporters' inputs. Currently, e-commerce exporters are excluded from RoDTEP benefits. The Commerce Ministry

Kochi-Lakshadweep Islands Submarine Optical Fiber Connection

PM Inaugurates Kochi-Lakshadweep Islands Submarine Optical Fiber Connection and dedicates Low Temperature Thermal Desalination (LTTD) plant at Kadmat recently Kochi-Lakshadweep Islands Submarine Optical Fiber connection will lead to faster Internet for the people of Lakshadweep. The project is funded by Universal Services Obligation Fund (USOF), Department of Telecommunications.

Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment-Year review

The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment has its origin from the erstwhile Ministry of Welfare. Two departments have been under the Ministry Department of Social Justice and Empowerment (Samajik Nyaya and Adhikarita Vibhag) Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan) The Ministry is entrusted with the welfare, social justice and em

Jal Jeevan Mission

Context: Making substantial progress towards the government's ambitious Jal Jeevan Mission, approximately 72 per cent of rural households now have access to tap water connections, according to official data. About: Launched in 2019, the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) aims to provide 55 litres of water per person per day to every rural household through Functional Household Tap Connections (

Amrit Bharat Express

Context: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will flag off the first two Amrit Bharat Express trains tomorrow, December 30 from the temple town ‘Ayodhya’. Railway officials said these trains are equipped with the latest technology to ensure that passengers do not feel any jerk at any point of the journey. About: The Amrit Bharat Express, previously known as Vande Sadharan,

Press and periodicals Bill 2023

Context: Seeking to repeal the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867, the Bill contains a unique provision disallowing persons convicted of terrorist acts or unlawful activities, or those who have acted against state security, from publishing periodicals. Background: Key features of Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867 The Press and Registration of Books (PRB) Act 1867 is resp

Women’s Reservation Bill 2023

Context: In a special session of Parliament in September, after a wait of nearly three decades, the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam was passed, making possible a more women-friendly House. It envisaged reservation of one-third of the seats in Lok Sabha and state assemblies for women. After presidential assent on September 29, it became law. Background: Initiation During Atal Bihari Vajpaye

Amendment of Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 2021

The Union government has now amended the Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules of 2021. It is to allow women government servants and pensioners to nominate their children for receiving family pension over their spouse. Conditions – At the time of the women’s death, any proceedings for divorce, domestic violence, or dowry demands happen to be pending against the said spouse

Ayushman Bhav Campaign

Context: In a significant milestone, more than 5 crore ABHA accounts have been created during the ongoing Ayushman Bhava campaign. In addition, a total of 4,44,92,564 Ayushman cards have been generated and 1,15,923 Ayushman Sabha organized. About the campaign Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Goal:  Ayushman Bhava follows a collaborative, multi-ministerial approach. Aligned with the mo

Qatar court drops death penalty for 8 Indians

Context: In a first but important step bringing relief to the families of eight former Indian Navy personnel on the death row in Qatar, the appellate court there commuted the death sentence Thursday. The commutation of the death sentence is the first legal win for New Delhi, almost a year-and-half after the detention and arrest of the former Indian Navy personnel in Qatar. Backgr

Supreme Court Judgments in 2023

The Supreme Court has delivered several landmark judgments in 2023. S.No Name of the Case Judgement 1 Vivek Narayan Sharma v. Union of India Upheld the decision taken by the Union Government to demonetise currency notes of Rs. 500 and Rs.1000 denominations and held that it satisfies the te

Global Nuclear Order and Geopolitics

The Global Nuclear Order refers to the international system, agreements, norms, and structures that govern and regulate the use, possession, proliferation, and control of nuclear weapons and nuclear energy worldwide. It encompasses a complex network of treaties, agreements, and norms that have evolved over time to manage the risks associated with nuclear weapons and promote nuclear stability, n

Water Governance

Water Governance poses one of the biggest challenges in modern-day India that looks out for definitive solutions. Every place and every community have their unique stories and problems associated with water, wherein the governance addresses complications of the governor than the benefits of the governed. How this scare water resource is to be allocated? How to generate livelih

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare – YEAR REVIEW

The Ministry is charged with health policy in India, which is also responsible for all government programs relating to family planning in India. Departments Department of Health and Family Welfare Department of Health Research Union Minister- Mansukh L. Mandaviya Health Missions National Health Mission (NHM) – It was launched in 2005 to provide accessible, affor

Seperate Toilets for women in district courts

Nearly 1/5th of the district courts in India lack separate toilets for women, according to a report published by the Centre for Research and Planning of the Supreme Court recently. The Centre for Research and Planning will serve as a bridge between academic research, legal and judicial education and the judicial systems.

PM Vishwakarma

Jammu and Kashmir has become the first Union Territory (UT) to implement the PM VishwakarmaYojana (PMVY) recently. It is an initiative that aims to empower and enhance the skills of the craftsman community (Vishwakarmas). 18 traditional trades will be covered in the first instance under PM Vishwakarma.

Sweden moves a step closer to NATO membership after Turkey's parliamentary committee gives approval

Context: Sweden’s NATO bid had been stalled amid opposition from Turkiye and Hungary A crucial committee in the Turkish Parliament, on December 26, granted approval for Sweden's NATO membership bid after facing delays. The approval comes amid obstacles posed by Turkey and Hungary against Sweden's NATO accession. The Turkish parliament's foreign affairs committee gav

How the PM JANMAN scheme can help Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups

BACKGROUND: The Union Cabinet granted approval on November 29 for the Pradhan Mantri Janjati Adivasi Nyaya Maha Abhiyan (PM JANMAN). This initiative is designed to furnish households and habitations belonging to Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG) with fundamental amenities, including secure housing, clean drinking water, sanitation facilities, enhanced access to education, health, and nu

India must strengthen ties with Vietnam

Background: India set up its Consul General's office in Hanoi in 1956, while Vietnam established its diplomatic mission in 1972. During the Vietnam War, India supported Vietnam against U.S. intervention, despite the strain it caused in Indo-U.S. relations. The ties were reinforced in the early 1990s when India launched its "Look East Policy," focusing on economic integration and poli

Growth charts — WHO standards versus India crafted

Background: Child undernutrition has been a persistent issue in India, and its determinants are diverse, encompassing factors such as food intake, dietary diversity, health, sanitation, women's status, and the overarching context of poverty. The primary measures for childhood undernutrition, including stunting (chronic undernutrition) and wasting (acute undernutrition), rely on anthropometric

Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM)

Context: Recently, the Ministry of Rural Development signed a MoU with Reliance Retail’s JioMart, to onboard  Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM’s) SHGs. News: The Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with JioMart, a venture of Reliance Retail, as part of its initiatives

Genocide Convention, 1948

South Africa has moved the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to declare that the Israel was in breach of its obligations under the 1948 Genocide Convention. The convention was officially called as the UN’s Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. It is an instrument of international law that codified for the first time the crime of genocide i

Red Sea attacks, Panama Canal drought: How trouble at two shipping choke points could impact global trade

Background: The Red Sea attacks have been carried out by Yemen-based Houthi rebels, who have been in a civil war with the Yemeni government for about a decade. They say the attacks are to protest Israel’s military offensive in Gaza. Shipping via the Panama Canal has dropped by over 50% due to drought conditions at the 51-mile stretch. Due to the shortage of water, shi

Is India ‘losing’ South Asia? That’s not the question

Background: South Asia is a diverse and complex region with historical rivalries, cultural differences, and varying developmental levels.The region is witnessing a dynamic shift in power balances, with new players like China and regional assertiveness from countries like Bangladesh.India faces domestic challenges that can impact its foreign policy priorities and regional lea

Muslim League Jammu Kashmir (Masarat Alam faction)’/MLJK-MA

Context: The Government of India has declared ‘Muslim League Jammu Kashmir (Masarat Alam faction)’/MLJK-MA as an 'Unlawful Association' under Section 3(1) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) 1967. About Muslim League Jammu Kashmir Led by Masarat Alam, the successor of the late Syed Ali Shah Geelani and incumbent Hurriyat Conference chairman, the Muslim L

One off-key conduct by in-laws cannot be called cruelty under Section 498A: Supreme Court

Context: The apex court was hearing the appeal of a woman who was accused by her newly-wed sister-in-law of using foul language and dumping the latter’s belongings in the dustbin The Issue: The Supreme Court of India ruled that a single instance of bad behavior, including using foul language and disposing of another's belongings, does not amount to "cruelty" under Section 49

Russian oil import at 8-month low in October as discount falls, OPEC share up

Context:  According to an analysis of India’s official trade data by The Indian Express, Russia’s share in India’s oil imports (by volume) in October was 31.9 per cent, down from 34.8 per cent in September. News: Russian Share Decline: Russia's share in India's oil imports dropped to 31.9% in October, an eight-month low.This decline continued for four consec

India, Russia ink pacts on construction of future power units of Kudankulam nuclear plant

Context: External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, who is on a five-day visit to Russia, made the announcement after his "comprehensive and productive" meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Denis Manturov on the bilateral economic cooperation during which they witnessed signing of agreements on nuclear power and in areas of medicines, pharmaceutical substances and medical devices. Ku

All-Girls Sainik School

Defence Minister recently inaugurated the Samvid Gurukulam Girls Sainik School, the 1st all-girls Sainik School, at Vrindavan in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh. Sainik Schools are residential schools that provide public school education with a military bias. They are affiliated with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and are supported by Central and State funding.

EXERCISE ‘DESERT CYCLONE’

1st edition of Exercise Desert Cyclone held recently in Rajasthan. It is a Joint Military Exercise between India & UAE. Aim – To focus on enhancing interoperability and sharing best practices in Urban Operations.

THE PIR PANJAL CHALLENGE

BACKGROUND: While the Kashmir region, Impact of Article 370 Abrogation: Abrogation has reduced support for separatism in Kashmir, pushing terrorists towards Poonch-Rajouri. Troop Redeployment Concerns: Shifting troops to other sectors, like Ladakh, might weaken optimal deployment in Poonch-Rajouri. HQ Northern Command needs to balance redeployment with ensuring adequate sec

UNHCR thanks India for taking care of 142 Rohingyas intercepted in Andaman

CONTEXT: The boat left from Bangladesh around 14-15 days ago and was on its way to Indonesia. Those onboard included 47 women and 59 minors News: UNHCR expressed gratitude to Indian authorities in Andaman and Nicobar Islands for taking care of 142 Rohingya refugees. The refugees' boat was intercepted by coastal security agencies near Shaheed Dweep after leaving Bangladesh 14-15 day

Regulatory mismatch in services sector challenge for India-UK FTA: Official

CONTEXT: On the issue of movement of professionals, the official said that immigration debate and the ongoing FTA discussions in services are completely different things. Lack of regulatory alignment with global standards in the service sector and resistance to foreign competition are obstacles to India's efforts to strike deals with global services leaders like the European Union and the U

Chairman of Finance Commission

Centre appoints former NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Arvind Panagariya as Chairman of 16th Finance Commission recently. The Finance Commission of India is a constitutional body that allocates revenues between the central and state governments. It was established in 1951 by the President of India under Article 280 of the Indian Constitution.

Project PRAYAS to help Indian youth migrate abroad

Context: Recently, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) launched Project PRAYAS to help Indian workers and students migrate in a secure, orderly, and regular manner. PRAYAS Project PRAYAS, which stands for Promoting Regular Assisted Migration for Youth and Skilled Professionals, was initiated in collaboration with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). It represents one

National Cooperative Dairy Federation of India (NCDFI)

National Cooperative Dairy Federation of India (NCDFI) was registered on 1970 under the Bombay Cooperative Societies Act (VII of 1925). Headquarters - New Delhi. NCDFI is an apex body of cooperative dairies. Members - NCDFI members include federal dairy cooperatives of states and union territories.

Tehreek-e-Hurriyat

The Ministry of Home Affairs has officially declared ‘Tehreek-e-Hurriyat (TeH)' as an 'unlawful association' for the next 5 years under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Tehreek-e-Hurriyat Jammu Wa Kashmir is a separatist political party in Jammu and Kashmir, India founded by Syed Ali Shah Geelani.

NEEDED REFORMS TO SPECIAL AND LOCAL LAWS

Why in the News? The bills proposing reforms criminal laws such as Indian Penal Code (IPC), Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and Indian Evidence Act (IEA) have been tabled in the Parliament. But the proposed bills do not suggest any reforms in critical offences and procedures that are encompassed within the Special and Local Laws (SLLs). Special and Local Laws (SLLs): Nearly,

NEED FOR AN EXPENDITURE CAP ON FREEBIES

What is a freebie? Freebies refers to transfer of goods or services to people without any payment and may contain an element of allurement of voters for electoral benefits or/and acts as a positive step towards inclusive economic growth. Status of Freebie culture in India: The expenditure of State Governments on subsidies has grown from 11.2% to 12.9% during 2020-21 and 2021-22.

THE OLD MIDDLE-EAST WILL NOT BE BACK

Why in the News? Israel has launched intense airstrikes in Gaza after the territory's militant rulers carried out an unprecedented attack on Israel killing thousands and abducting hundreds of people as captives. “Old Middle East” will not be back: Though terror attack by Hamas on Israel can have an impact on the rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Israel, it shall be

THE BRI AT 10, SOME HITS, MANY MISSES

Why in the News? The Third Belt and Road Initiative for International Cooperation was convened in Beijing, China and marked the 10th year of anniversary of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s signature initiative. The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI): It was perceived as a gateway for China to transition from a regional power with global influence to a global power with comprehensi

REFERENDUM

    It is a direct vote by the electorate on a proposal, law, or political issue where voters of a country exercise direct democracy. This is in contrast to an issue being voted on by a representative.  The referendum can deal with adoption of a new policy or specific law or be only advisory. Other methos of us

THE NATIONAL COMPANY LAW TRIBUNAL (NCLT)

NCLT has been constituted by the central govt. under section 408 of the Companies Act, 2013. The body was established based on the recommendation of the V. Balakrishna Eradi committee on law relating to the insolvency and the winding up of companies It is a quasi-judicial body that adjudicates issues relating to Indian companies. The body deals with all proceedings under th

DEMOLISHING THE FRAME FROM OUTSIDE THE CONSTITUTION

Why in the News? The Delhi Police arrested two persons of news portal NewsClick by invoking the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act on the charges of Accessing funds from pro-China elements  Coverage of events such as the farmers’ protests in 2020-21, that undermined the internal security of India. The line set by “basic structure doctrine” has been crossed

CENTRALISED PROCUREMENT AS A POWERFUL HEALTH IDEA

Why in the News? A recent paper titled “A National Cancer Grid pooled procurement initiative, India”, demonstrates the viability of idea of the centralised procurement of pharmaceuticals. Need for a Centralised procurement system: Pooled buyer model for drug procurement can address issues such as Price efficiency as they can conduct direct negotiations wi

A LOOMING INVASION: IMPLICATIONS FOR GAZA, HAMAS, PALESTINIAN CAUSE

  Why in the News? Israel issued a new warning to Palestinians to leave northern Gaza and offered a three-hour window for evacuation to southern Gaza, ahead of a launch of ground invasion against the Palestinian militant group Hamas.     What will be the implications of an Israeli ground invasion for Gaza and Israel? The Gaza Strip is a very narrow strip of

A FERRY FROM TAMIL NADU TO JAFFNA, ONCE AGAIN

    Why in the News? Recently, 50 people boarded a ferry, Cheriyapani, from Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu to cross the Palk Strait and travel to Kankesanthurai in Jaffna, Sri Lanka. The ferry from Tamil Nadu to Jaffna: The maritime service which was begun in the early 1900s, was discontinued in the 1980s due to ethnic strife in Sri Lanka. Both the

TRANSFER OF HIGH COURT JUDGES

The Supreme Court (SC) collegium has recommended transfer of 24 judges across various High courts in spite of requests for reconsideration of the move. Article 222 of the Constitution: Deals with transfer of a Judge (including Chief Justice) from one High Court to any other High Court. The proposal for transfer of a High Court Judge originates from the Chief Justice of India, who have a

UN-THE LAWS OF WAR

    Why in the News? Hamas, a Palestine-based terrorist group launched a surprise attack on Israel, killing hundreds of civilians and taking many as hostage which witnessed retaliatory attack from Israel triggering a war. What are the laws of war? The UN Charter spells out under what conditions or when can countries use force in their international rela

THE UN APPROVED KENYA-LED SECURITY MISSION TO HAITI

THE UN APPROVED KENYA-LED SECURITY MISSION TO HAITI     Why in the News? Haiti approached the United Nations seeking urgent help to combat deadly gang violence in the country, which has been responded by sending a foreign security mission to combat the spiralling violence in the country. UNSC approved foreign security mission: The United Nations Security Coun

FORMATION OF ISRAEL

Why in the News?                                               In the ongoing Israel-Palestine dispute, the Israeli military has ordered thousands of civilians to leave Gaza City as it prepares for a possible ground offensive. Anti-semitism and Zionism: Acco

INDIA NEEDS MORE DOCTORS

Demand-supply gap in medical field: There are gaps in doctor availability to patient ratio in India which can be partly attributed to The demand for doctors exceeds supply in large parts of India. The demand for medical education also exceeds the number (supply) of seats. The expansion of supply side has been inadequate: Between 2010-11 to 2023, UG seats have nearly tr

THE INDIAN OCEAN RIM ASSOCIATION

THE INDIAN OCEAN RIM ASSOCIATION     Why in the News? Recently, the Indian Ocean Rim Association’s (IORA) Council of Ministers (COM) was held in Colombo under the banner theme of ‘Reinforcing Indian Ocean Identity’. What is the IORA and how was it formed? IORA was formed in 1997 as Indian Ocean Region-Association for Regional Cooperatio

SILK ROADS AT A CROSSROADS-OBOR

SILK ROADS AT A CROSSROADS-OBOR Why in the News? The Belt and road Initiative of China has marked its 10-year anniversary and is set to host more than a dozen world leaders in Beijing including Russian President Vladimir Putin in the third Belt and Road Forum. The BRI plan as per China’s White paper: It is committed to the concept of open, green and clean cooperation with 

Australia’s Indigenous Voice Referendum

Why in the News? Australians will vote in a referendum to be held soon, to decide whether the country’s indigenous peoples should be formally consulted in making laws. Who are the ‘First Peoples of Australia’? ‘First Peoples of Australia’ or  ‘aboriginal’, refers to the indigenous inhabitants of the continent. They are people who

India and Maldives ties

  Why in the News? The recent Maldives Presidential election led to winning of Mohamed Muizzu who has been known for his Anti-India Campaign in Maldives. India’s footprints in Maldives: They are deep-rooted, both historically and in contemporary relations in spite of changes caused due to change in leadership in Maldives.  India as the closest neighbour:

A WAR THAT ENDS THE SAUDI-ISRAEL ‘NORMALISATION’ PROCESS

Why in the News? The lethal attacks by Hamas on Israel have overturned the latter’s efforts, supported by the US, to promote a normalisation of relations with Arab states. At the UNGA, Israel’s Prime Minister showcased two maps: one depicted an isolated Israel in 1948 The other showed Arab neighbours that currently had peace agreements with Israel — Egypt, Sudan, th

Curative petition

What is Curative petition It acts the last resort for a petitioner for protection from the compensation of injustice in the court after the review petition is dismissed or has been exhausted. It is a judicial innovation by the Supreme Court of India in Rupa Ashok Hurra vs. Ashok Hurra and Anr. (2002) case. Such petitions are considered to cure gross miscarriage of just

Hamas and its supporters are ‘beyond belief’

Why in the News? The recent attack of Hamas on Israel which has led to flaring up of a full-fledged war, has been condoned by some while condemned by other countries. The War’s effect on the Palestinian cause Views of many European observers: The Hamas attack on Israel is considered wrong and indefensible. However, Hamas launched the attack as consequence o

Bihar’s caste census to promote better social justice

Caste Census in Bihar CATEGORY PERCENTAGE Backward Classes 27.13% Extremely Backward Classes 36% Schedule Castes 19.65% Schedule Tribes 1.68% Unreserved categories 15.2% Why in the News? The data of caste-based survey known as the Bihar Jaati Adharit Ganana, conducted by Bihar gove

Hamas and Israel

Hamas and Israel     Why in the News? The ongoing battle of Israel-Palestine is seen as unprecedented one since the establishment of Israel in May 1948 and comes exactly 14 months after the truce that ended the brief confrontation between Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in 2022. Who are Hamas? The First Intifada (1987-93) is a Palestinian uprisi

UN Security Council (UNSC) reform

    Why in the News? The recently ongoing General Assembly session of the UNSC saw voices for reform of the institution dominated by the political strategies of only five countries can called for reforms of the council.   Call for UNSC reform: It was announced that the Security Council reform must be accomplished in time for the 50th anniversary of t

India and the Palestinians

    Why in the News? India has expressed support to Israel stating that “people of India stand in solidarity with Israel in this difficult hour”, soon after the Hamas attack on Israel. Why was India’s diplomatic policy leaned towards Palestine in the initial years? India voted against UN Resolution 181 (II) in 1947, which partitioned M

Concerns about govt.’s fact check unit

Concerns about govt.’s fact check unit     Why in the News? Recently, the Bombay High Court has reserved its verdict relating to challenging of the constitutionality of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Amendment Rules, 2023 (IT Rules). IT Rules, 2023: The Rules permit a Fact Check Unit (FCU) of the

Operation Ajay

Operation Ajay     It is an ongoing operation conducted by the Indian Armed Forces to evacuate Indian citizens from Israel & palestine in the 2023 Israel–Hamas war. The government will bring back its citizens through special chartered flights. The Indian Navy shall be mobilised if need arises. Around 18,000 Indians are in Israel

The Maldives, the evolution of a democracy

The Maldives, the evolution of a democracy     Why in the News? The Maldives, South Asia’s smallest nation-state, held its latest Presidential election successfully, indicating that democracy is thriving and free and fair election has enhanced the country’s international prestige. Five men, shared future: President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom (1978 to 20

Hamas attack: Israel-Saudi deal as target

Hamas attack: Israel-Saudi deal as target     Why in the News? Hamas, the Palestinian militant group launched a surprise attack on Israel, which triggered the latter to officially declare war against the former in the Gaza strip. Reasons for the Hamas attack: To disrupt or destroy ongoing negotiations for the normalisation of ties between Israel and Saudi Ara

Use of Draconian laws & Law Enforcement agencies

Use of Draconian laws & Law Enforcement agencies     Why in the News? Recently, a media outlet called NewsClick has been booked under UAPA, the anti-terror law for allegations of receiving funds from organisation which are is an arm of the Chinese propaganda machinery.  Considerations for the use of draconian law by the enforcement agencies: The

India’s Condemnation of Hamas Attack

India’s Condemnation of Hamas Attack     Why in the News? Indian government has unambiguously condemned the terror attack and expressed its solidarity with Israel. Indian policy on the Middle East in the recent years: Establishment of full diplomatic relations with Israel. India has aligned its position closer to the realities on the ground. 

THE HAMAS ATTACK CAN SHAKE THE WEST ASIAN GEOSTRATEGIC ARCHITECTURE

THE HAMAS ATTACK CAN SHAKE THE WEST ASIAN GEOSTRATEGIC ARCHITECTURE     Why in the News? The Hamas operation Toofan Al-Aqsa (Al-Aqsa Flood) on Israel has led to launch of retaliatory full-fledged attacks on Gaza by the latter on a war-mode. Key takeaways: From a military perspective, Israel is not under an existential threat because it can push back Hama

THE YOM KIPPUR WAR

THE YOM KIPPUR WAR     Why in the News? The Yom Kippur war or the Ramadan war which started 50 years and reset equations in the Middle East forever is compared to the current attack of Hamas on Israel. Why is the current violence being compared with the Yom Kippur war? The current attack by Hamas has been the deadliest attack on Israel killing 400 Israelis so

DIGITAL  INDIA  ACT TO SHAPE INDIA’S CYBER LANDSCAPE

DIGITAL  INDIA  ACT TO SHAPE INDIA’S CYBER LANDSCAPE     Why in the News? The Digital India Act 2023 (DIA) has been recently announced by the government to establish a future-ready legal framework for the country’s growing digital ecosystem. Digital India Act 2023 (DIA): It seeks to replace the two-decade-old Information Technology Act o

Hamas’ surprise attack on Israel

Hamas’ surprise attack on Israel   Why in the News? Israel witnessed the largest attack from Gaza, the tiny Palestinian enclave, resulting in one of the worst security crises in 50 years. News in Detail: A highly coordinated attack on Israel that involved Hamas militants infiltrating Israeli cities, hitting military bases and killing and taking hostage soldiers

Aligning higher education with the United Nations SDGs

Aligning higher education with the United Nations SDGs NEP 2020 and SDGs: SDGs are a matter of urgency that requires actions by all countries, both developed and developing, to end poverty and other socio-economic and environmental problems. It requires aligning of strategies that will improve the standard of life and education, reduce inequality, and harness economic growth. The SDG

Press Freedom in India

Press, the fourth pillar of democracy: India’s rank at the World Press Freedom index (published by Reporters Without Borders) has been continually declining which now stands at 161 out of 180 (In 2014, it was at 140; in 2022, it was at 150). freedom of the press is considered a part of the freedom of speech and expression guaranteed by Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution. However,

TRAI can’t regulate OTT platforms

TRAI can’t regulate OTT platforms Why in the News? India’s telecom appellate panel has held that Over the top (OTT) platforms like Hotstar are not in the jurisdiction of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). This was passed as an interim order by the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT). They shall be governed by the Information Tech

The Money Bill issue

The Money Bill issue Why in the News? The Supreme Court has constituted a 7-judge bench to hear a challenge to the Centre’s use of money bills for passing important laws. What is a money bill issue? The plea was filed for challenging set of amendments to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). A three-judge bench upheld the PMLA and the vast powers of the ED in 2022,

Freebies ahead of polls

Freebies ahead of polls Why in the News? A PIL has been filed at the Supreme Court alleging that tax payers’ money are misused by the governments of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh to lure voters which amounts to bribery under the law, ahead of the state elections. Distribution of irrational freebies is analogous to the offences of bribery and undue influence under Section 171B and

OIML Certificates

OIML Certificates     India (Legal Metrology Division, Department of Consumer Affairs) has become one among the 13 countries in the world to become an OIML certificate-issuing authority. OIML stands for International Organisation of Legal Metrology, established in 1955 with headquartered in Paris. OIML is an international standard-setting body that develops m

Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and India

Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and India Why in the News? The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh is called one of the “frozen conflicts” of the world. Azerbaijan launched an offensive on Sep 19 and within 24 hours, declared victory over the separatist province of Nagorno-Karabakh. The ethnic Armenian enclave is said to dissolve on January 1, 2024.

The Office of the Speaker: India vs the US

The Office of the Speaker: India vs the US     Why in the News? The U.S. House of Representatives Speaker, Republican Kevin McCarthy was voted out from his position in the lower chamber of Congress by hardliners within his party. The rarely used procedural tool known as a “motion to vacate” was used to abruptly end Mr. McCarthy’s tenure as

Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana

Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana     It was launched by the Government of India in 2016 to provide free LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) connections to women from below-poverty-line households. The objective of the scheme was to make clean cooking fuel such as LPG available to the rural and deprived households and discourage usage of traditional cooking fuels. Use of tr

The triumph of Vachathi over a hostile state

The triumph of Vachathi over a hostile state     Why in the News? The Madras High Court’s judgment recently upheld the human rights of the people of Vachathi in Tamil Nadu by recognising that coordinated and large-scale repression by uniformed forces cannot take place without orders from the top levels of the government. What was the issue? Vachath

Relationship between India and Taliban-ruled Afghanistan

Relationship between India and Taliban-ruled Afghanistan   Why in the News? Recently, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan announced the closure of the Embassy of Afghanistan in Delhi. The Embassy of Afghanistan has cited some reasons for the move that includes: Lack of cooperation from the Government of India  Lack of resourc

International Criminal Court (ICC)

International Criminal Court (ICC)   ICC is an intergovernmental organization and international tribunal having headquarters at The Hague, Netherlands. It is the first and only permanent international court with jurisdiction to prosecute  individuals for the international crimes of genocide crimes ag

Pension Scheme

Pension Scheme   The Old Pension Scheme: It is a retirement scheme approved by the central government that provides monthly pension to the beneficiaries till the end of their life service.  The amount of pension released monthly shall be equal to half of the last drawn salary by an individual before retirement. Also called as Defined Contribution scheme. In

OIML Certificates

OIML Certificates     India (Legal Metrology Division, Department of Consumer Affairs) has become one among the 13 countries in the world to become an OIML certificate-issuing authority. OIML stands for International Organisation of Legal Metrology, established in 1955 with headquartered in Paris. OIML is an international standard-setting body that develops m

The narrative of development and populism

The narrative of development and populism   Why in the News? With election is round the corner in many states, and the General elections to be held in 2024, many developmental schemes and promises are given by various political parties. Development and populism: In the election-bound State of Madhya Pradesh, the Prime Minister laid the foundation stone of projects wo

Criminal law Bills and a hollow decolonisation

Criminal law Bills and a hollow decolonisation   Why in the News? Three criminal law Bills were introduced in the Parliament in 2022, after an earlier attempt of setting up the Committee for Reforms in Criminal Law in 2020. Colonisation: It is a process of oppression where the colonised become vehicles for the supreme colonial power to fulfil its desires. The colon

Counting deaths in India’s prisons

Counting deaths in India’s prisons Why in the News? As per the Supreme Court Committee on Prison Reforms, suicide was found to be the leading cause of ‘unnatural’ deaths (deaths other than ageing or illnesses) among Indian prisoners. Uttar Pradesh recorded the highest number of suicides between 2017 and 2021. The no. of custodial deaths has seen a steady rise since

Constitutional Ideas of Gandhi and Ambedkar

Constitutional Ideas of Gandhi and Ambedkar   Hind Swaraj: Gandhi’s constitutional ideas Mahatma Gandhi presented an indigenous account of what the Constitution would look like in 1908. Without decolonising the Constitution, India may become independent but would not have swaraj.  Ousting British from India can lead to establishment of a new democratic gover

India’s statistical performance on the global stage                     

India’s statistical performance on the global stage                        Why in the News? India has been recently elected to the United Nations Statistical Commission which has raised the need to focus on India’s own official statistical system. India&rsq

Using Aadhaar in Welfare Schemes

Using Aadhaar in Welfare Schemes   Why in the News? Recently, the international credit rating agency Moody’s Investor Service released a report, ‘Decentralised Finance and Digital Assets’, which pointed out security and privacy vulnerabilities posed by centralised ID systems like Aadhaar. The report advocated for decentralised digital identity s

Asia’s disputed waters

Asia’s disputed waters Why in the News? Recently, Philippines removed barriers placed by Chinese vessels at the entrance to a lagoon off the Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea (SCS). The Chinese Coast Guard ships placed a 30om long barrier to prevent the entry of boats from the Philippines. This became the latest in long-running tensions in the South China Sea.

“Moscow Format” meeting

“Moscow Format” meeting India attended the nine-nation “Moscow Format” meeting, in the Russian city of Kazan. The meet was attended by Russia, India, China, Iran, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey were invited guests at the event.  The Moscow format: A di

Push for more women, this time in the police

Push for more women, this time in the police     Reservation, actual availability in the police: Through horizontal reservation policy present in many states, 30% or 33% of the vacant posts (of direct recruitment) can be filled up by women in the police forces. Horizontal reservation — if the minimum reserved vacant posts are not filled up in eac

Pakistan bomb blasts

Pakistan bomb blasts Why in the News? A recent bomb blast has killed at least 53 people and injured over 70 in a suicide blast in Pakistan’s Balochistan province, marking it as the deadliest terror attack in Pakistan since 2018. Balochistan remains a problem province for Pak: Balochistan is the largest Pakistani province which is sparsely populated and impoverished, compared t

Age of Consent

Age of Consent     The age of consent is the minimum age at which an individual is considered legally old enough to consent to participation in sexual activity. The current age of consent in India is 18 years. Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act criminalises all sexual activity by children under 18. Prosecution for statutory rape o

Maldives Election and India

Maldives Election and India     Why in the News? Maldives is set to face the second round of Presidential election very soon, after no candidate secured more than 50% of the votes in the first round on September 9. Maldives Election: Maldives’ electoral system is similar to France, where the winner has to secure more than 50% of votes. If no one cross

Reservation can help women to improve their economic prospects

Reservation can help women to improve their economic prospects     Why in the News? The Women Reservation Bill, 2023 was recently passed by the Parliament with a near unanimous support of all members of the Parliament, providing a third of parliamentary and assembly seats for women. Statistics of Women representation in politics in India: India has one of the

MGNREGA: the shrinking safety net

MGNREGA: the shrinking safety net     Why in the news? The budget estimate of MNREGA dropped from Rs 98,000 crore in FY 2022 to Rs 60,000 crore in 2023, that has led to shrinking of safety net to MGNREGA workers. MNREGA as a safety net: It has the participation of 26 crore workers under the scheme acting as a key driver of alleviating poverty in rural India.

India needs comprehensive sexuality education

Why in the news? Recently, a man and his son were booked under the POCSO Act for sexually abusing a five-year-old girl for over six months.  National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB): It has reported that 51,863 cases were reported under the POCSO Act in 2021, of which 64% were of sexual assault.   Problems due to lack of proper sex education: The first se

French vs. Indian Secularism

French vs. Indian Secularism     Why in the News? The wearing of abaya dresses (a dress worn by Muslim women) in school is planned to be banned by the French authorities stating that it violated France’s strict secular laws in education.  Women have long been banned from wearing the hijab. A 2004 law banned “the wearing of signs or outfit

At Delhi summit, demonstrate climate leadership

At Delhi summit, demonstrate climate leadership     Why in the News? The G-20 summit to be held in New Delhi is a crucial moment to show leadership ahead of the UN Secretary General’s Climate Ambition Summit and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change COP28, on cutting back of emissions and fossil fuel use. G20 countries and the world’

Article 35A

Article 35A     It empowers the Jammu and Kashmir Legislature to define “permanent residents” of the State and provide them special privileges and rights.  It was added to the Constitution through a presidential order, i.e., The Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954 under Article 370. The privileges included:

India’s Rohingya refugee children are not criminals

  Why in the News? Recently, tear gas shells were used in an enclosed space in a Rohingyas refugee detention or holding centre in Jammu and there are allegations that the explosion led to death of an infant. It reflects the poor treatment of Rohingya refugees who are living in harsh conditions in the detention camps. It has been 6 years since Rohingyas fled from M

Need for Review of Basic Structure Doctrine

    Why in the News? Recently, former CJI and present Rajya Sahbha MP Ranjan Gogoi held that the “Basic Structure Doctrine” has “a very debatable jurisprudential basis”, raising a question of its review. Evolution of Basic Structure doctrine: Shankari Prasad case (1951) The constitutional validity of the 1st amendment to the

PM Vishwakarma Yojana

    Why in the News? The Union Govt. has called on a meeting with states and bank officials to discuss the implementation of PM Vishwakarma scheme. Vishwakarma Yojana: The scheme seeks to support traditional artisans and craftsmen which is to be implemented under three ministries: Ministry of MSME Ministry of Skill development Ministry of Finance

B20 Summit

B20 Summit     The Business 20 (B20) is an event which is part of the G20 Summit which is meant to express common views from the international business community. The main purpose is to develop recommendations and issue relevant commitments from the business leaders and business organizations to deal with present issues. B20 are gathered in 12 working groups which

Rethink the emerging dynamics of India’s fiscal federalism

Rethink the emerging dynamics of India’s fiscal federalism     Indian Federalism: A ‘holding together federation’ with a built-in unitary bias. Dual Polity: Separate independent Govts at Centre & States. Written Constitution: Powers of Centre & States clearly marked out in the form a written book. Division of Powers: Powers

What is the care protocol for babies in India?

What is the care protocol for babies in India?     Why in the News? Recently, a former British nurse Lucy Letby was sentenced to life in prison after being held guilty in the worst child serial killer case in the history of the U.K. Letby was convicted of murdering 7 babies and trying to kill 6 others between June 2015 and

BRICS Expansion

BRICS Expansion   Why in the News? Recently at the 15th BRICS summit, the five-member grouping of BRICS decided to expand by the inclusion of 6 more countries in a move to strengthen its claim of being a ‘voice of the Global South’. BRICS: BRICS consists of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. In the Johannesburg Summit, BRICS has agreed to

At G20, agreeing to agree

At G20, agreeing to agree     Why in the news? With the leaders’ meeting approaching at the G20, India has its proposal for arriving at a convergence to address the most-pressing global problems. Probable areas of convergence: India’s proposal on LiFE, adopting a lifestyle that protects the environment Sharing of digital public infrastructure

India-Greece Relationship

India-Greece Relationship     Why in the News? India and Greece recently agreed to upgrade their bilateral ties to the level of strategic partnership. News in detail: Collaboration in the field of defence industry and military links. Conclude an agreement on migration mobility to Smoothen movement of skilled population of both sides. Promote cultu

The new discourse of the Global South

The new discourse of the Global South     Why in the News? The BRICS nations have emphasized on the construct of “Global South” as PM Modi emphasized that the former can act as a platform “for discussing and deliberating on issues of concern for the entire Global South”. General definition:   A developed c

India’s G-20 opportunity for an African Renaissance

India’s G-20 opportunity for an African Renaissance      Why in the News? South Africa is raising its demands on multilateral fora such as BRICS, G-20 and the UNGA in recent times, acting as an atypical representative of the Black continent with 54 countries- over a quarter of population of the “Global South”. Challenges and disruptors of the

The real purpose of the medical college

The real purpose of the medical college Why in the News? Recently, a surgical instrument left behind in the patient’s stomach was found after her having suffered with pain for almost a year, a case of medical negligence in one of the leading medical colleges in Kerala. Growing need to examine contribution of medical colleges in a public health perspective: The case o

Should the CJI be part of the committee selecting the CEC?

Should the CJI be part of the committee selecting the CEC? Why in the News? The Rajya Sabha has introduced the Chief Election commissioner and other Election Commissioners (Appointment, conditions of service and Term of office) Bill, 2023 seeking to dilute the SC verdict on composition of the Selection committee. Appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and other Election Comm

India-China LAC

India-China LAC Why in the News? Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping have agreed to intensify efforts for expeditious disengagement and de-escalation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh. Disengagement along the LAC: 19th round of India-China military talks outcome: There is a possibility for limited disenga

Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI)

Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI)     IRDAI cuts minimum capital requirement for foreign reinsurance branches from Rs 100 crore to Rs 50 crores with the provision to repatriate any excess assigned capital. The move is intended to Increase the overall capacity of the reinsurance sector to accommodate growing demand and manage

Needed, a well-crafted social security net for all

Needed, a well-crafted social security net for all India’s social security system: Periodic Labour Force Survey Annual Report 2021-22: About 53% of all of the salaried workforce does not have any social security benefits in India. They have no access to a provident fund (PF), pension, and health care and disability insurance. Only 1.9% of the poorest 20% of Ind

The U.K.-India relationship is alive with opportunity

The U.K.-India relationship is alive with opportunity     Why in the News? UK has launched ‘Alive with Opportunity’, a marketing campaign that showcases the deep bond between India and UK and to build on the continuous exchange of people, ideas and culture. ‘Alive with Opportunity’ campaign: It is a £1.5 million marketing campai

What are the amendments to the Pakistan Army Act?

What are the amendments to the Pakistan Army Act? Why in the News? Recently, an amendment was passed in Pakistan senate to amend the Pakistan Army Act, 1952. The new amendments proposed in the Bill: A new clause 1A in Section 8 of the Pakistan Army Act, 1952 has been added to expanded the ambit of the Army Act. Upon this addition, civilians working in entities affiliated wit

Right to Information (RTI) Act

Right to Information (RTI) Act     Why in the News? Recently, Hundreds of RTI applications and their responses from Union public authorities have been missing from the RTIOnline website. The Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005: The law empowers Indian citizens to seek information from a Public Authority. Thus, it makes the Government and its functionaries

The Cauvery-water sharing issue

Why in the News? The Tamil Nadu (TN) government has sought the Supreme Court’s intervention to make Karnataka (KA) release 24,000 cubic feet per second (cusecs) from its reservoirs immediately and also direct the latter to release 36.76 TMC as per Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT)’s final award of February 2007 that was modified by the SC in 2018.   News in Deta

Animals’ rights to Live without fear

Why in the News? The Madras High Court has ordered relocation of 495 families of Thengumarahada village within the eastern boundary of the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) draw special attention to the right of animals to live free from fear and distress.   News in Detail: The court ordered the total compensation amount of ₹74.25 crore be released from the Compensatory Afforesta

Reimagining the role of state universities in science education

    Why in the News?                            On the backdrop of third-anniversary of the National Education Policy  (NEP) 2020 with laudable efforts in advancing skill-based education and practical learning, the science education and training at State-affiliated colleges and universities has be

Murmansk port

    Murmansk port is the main northern gateway of Russia and a transshipment hub, located about 2,000 km northwest of Moscow. Recently, India accounts for 35% of cargo handled by Murmansk port constituting the maximum share of cargo handled by the port this year, Turkey and China were among other countries served by the Murmansk port with a share of 34% and 19%

New Bills for holistic revamp of Criminal laws

Why in the news? Three new bills have been introduced in the Lok Sabha seeking to replace the colonial era laws – the Indian Penal Code, Criminal Code of Procedure and the Indian Evidence Act.   News in Detail: An Expert committee was formed in May 2020 to undertake public consultations and make recommendations to the Government regarding the reform of criminal laws in In

The Organized Crime Plaguing Ecuador

Why in the News? The Presidential candidate of Ecuador, Fernando Villavicencio famously called enemy of drug cartels was assassinated allegedly by organized gangs linked to narco-trafficking in India.   News in Detail: Ecuador is a relatively peaceful country with 18 million population in south America. Located between the major producers of cocaine- Colombia and Peru, it is

G20 Finance Track

Why in the News? The Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman asked the global community to coordinate on restructuring the debt of Vulnerable low-and middle-income countries in the G20 Finance Track Seminar. G20 Finance Track: One of the two tracks of the G20 Summit (the other being Sherpa Track) focuses on global macroeconomic issues such as, Monitoring of global economic ri

National Human Rights Commission of India

Why in the news? The Supreme Court (SC) observed that the National Human Rights commission (NHRC) of India acted like a ‘Super Election Commission of India’ in a matter related to the West Bengal (WB) Poll Violence. The NHRC appointed a ‘special human rights observer’ to gather information regarding the incidents of violence during Panchayat elections conducted in

Transfer of High court judges

The Supreme Court (SC) collegium has recommended transfer of 24 judges across various High courts in spite of requests for reconsideration of the move. Article 222 of the Constitution: Deals with transfer of a Judge (including Chief Justice) from one High Court to any other High Court. The proposal for transfer of a High Court Judge originates from the Chief

The Chief Election commissioner and other Election Commissioners Bill, 2023

Why in the News? The Rajya Sabha has introduced the Chief Election commissioner and other Election Commissioners (Appointment, conditions of service and Term of office) Bill, 2023 seeking to dilute the SC verdict on composition of the Selection committee. Appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and other Election Commissioners (ECs): Constitutional Provision: Article 324

Demand for restoration of Old Pension Scheme

Demand for restoration of Old Pension Scheme Why in the News? Thousands of Central govt. and Central PSU employees staged a protest rally in Delhi seeking for the restoration of the Old Pension Scheme.   The Old Pension Scheme: It is a retirement scheme approved by the central government that provides monthly pension to the beneficiaries till the end of their life servi

Cluster Bomb use

Cluster Bomb use Why in the News? The US has decided to send cluster munitions or cluster bombs as a part of the new military aid package to Ukraine for its war efforts against Russia. Cluster bombs: Cluster munitions or cluster bombs are weapons that Releases multiple explosive submunitions/ bomblets into the air. Explodes as soon as they hit the ground and kills and inj

Jeddah Conference on the Russia-Ukraine War

Jeddah Conference on the Russia-Ukraine War Why in the News? The Jeddah conference on the Ukraine war was held in Saudi Arabia recently to formulate a peace plan in the crisis-ridden region. Jeddah conference: It was attended by more than 42 countries excluding Russia, which was not invited for the conference. The main aim of the conference was to build a consensus among major pow

Human Rights violation in India

Human Rights violation in India Why in the News? Ro Khanna, a high-powered delegation of US member of Congress to raise human rights issues during his visit to India for the Independence Day on August 15. Human Rights Violations in India as per the Human Rights Watch: Jammu and Kashmir Imposition of Public Safety Act led to detention of hundreds of people without trial for u

Parliamentary privileges

Parliamentary privileges Why in the News? The leader of Opposition was suspended from the Lok Sabha for alleged misconduct and the matter is referred to the Privileges committee for investigation. Parliamentary Privileges: Parliamentary Privileges are certain rights and immunities enjoyed by the Members of the Parliament to enable them to function effectively in their legislative ro

No-Confidence Motion

No-Confidence Motion Article 75 of the Constitution - Council of Ministers shall be collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha. This means that the ministry stays in office as long as it enjoys the confidence of the lower house. This effectively gives power to the Lok Sabha to remove the ministry from the office by passing No-confidence motion. Therefore, it has been used as a tool for

G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group

G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group   The Action Plan is guided by the political declaration of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGASS) against corruption. The ACWG focuses on promotion of international cooperation in the areas of Asset recovery Law enforcement cooperation Information-sharing Technology Denial of safe haven/entry The ACWG also seeks to

China’s worldview, its postulates and a reality check

China’s worldview, its postulates and a reality check China’s worldviews: China’s growth is driven by a multitude of factors Acceleration by technology Economic strength Demographic potential Beijing’s one of the underlying principles include, ‘changes unseen in a century’, that lays

Higher judiciary suffers from Diversity-deficit

Higher judiciary suffers from Diversity-deficit Why in the news? A Parliamentary committee report has reported that the higher judiciary suffers from diversity deficit as the representation of SCs, STs, OBCs, women and minorities are below the desired levels. Observations of the Parliamentary Committee report: A declining trend has been observed in the rep

Quad’s Malabar Drill

Quad’s Malabar Drill Why in the News? The ten-day Malabar series of naval exercises featuring navies of the QUAD group is set to be conducted from Aug 11-21, 2023. Quad’s Malabar drill, 2023: Australia’s Royal Australian Navy is set to host the drill for the first time. This year’s naval exercise shall focus on Interoperability- with air, sea and undersea s

Basic Structure doctrine

Basic Structure doctrine Why in the News? The former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court remarked that the Idea of Basic structure Doctrine has a ‘debatable jurisprudential basis’. Evolution of Basic Structure doctrine: Shankari Prasad case (1951) The constitutional validity of the 1st amendment to the constitution that curtailed the fundamental right (FR) of Righ

PM SHRI schools

PM SHRI schools PM Schools for Rising India (PM SHRI) is a centrally sponsored scheme to be implemented by Government of India over a period of 5 years (2022-23 to 2026-27). The framework aims to develop more than 14500 PM SHRI Schools managed by Central government/State/UT Government/local bodies. Its implementation shall help in building an equitable, inclusive, and plural soc

Topic: Abrogation of Article 370

Why in news? The Supreme Court is set to test the constitutionality of repeal of Article 340 in 2018. What is Article 370? Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), a princely state during British rule, wanted to remain as an independent state post-independence. But, Raja Hari Singh, the ruler of J&K had to sign the Instrument of Accession with India following Pakistan's invasion agai

Economic Community of West African Nations (ECOWAS)

A regional political and Economic union of 15 West African nations established in 1975 with the signing of Treaty of Lagos. The goal of ECOWAS is to achieve  "collective self-sufficiency" " for its member states by creating a single large trade bloc by building a full economic and trading union. It also serves as a Peacekeeping force in the region includin

Anti-Defection Law

Anti-Defection Law The Tenth Schedule was inserted in the Constitution in 1985 by the 52nd Amendment Act (Rajeev Gandhi Government). It lays down the process by which legislators may be disqualified on grounds of defection by the Presiding Officer of a legislature based on a petition by any other member of the House. The law applies to both Parliament and s

Quiet Diplomacy Could Ease South China Sea Tensions

Quiet Diplomacy Could Ease South China Sea Tensions What is Quiet Diplomacy? “Quiet diplomacy” refers to one state’s efforts to influence the behavior of another state through discreet negotiations or actions. Quiet diplomacy operates behind the scenes and may rely on back channeling rather than on public talks. It may also involve deal making and strategic partne

INDO-FRANCE RELATIONS

INDO-FRANCE RELATIONS Convergence of Indo-pacific strategies of India and France France is a resident power in the Indian ocean with 2.7sq million km EEZ France has deployed forces in the islands of Indian ocean and Djibouti 2018 partnership on ' Joint strategic vision of cooperation in the Indian ocean Region' - Mutual access to each other's military facilities. &#

Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana

The Department of Fisheries intends to speed up the pace of implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) as it enters its fourth year of operation. The Department of Fisheries, which is a part of the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairy, created the "Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY)" programme to expand India's fisheries

India-Egypt Relations

The visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Egypt demonstrates the expanding cooperation between the two nations and their attempts to deepen their bilateral ties. Highlight of visit For the first time since 1997, the prime minister of India visited Egypt to discuss their bilateral ties. An important development in the bilateral relationship between India and Egypt was t

Chapter 4: Basics of Healthy Lifestyle

Understanding and Choosing Food Groups A diet high in fruits, vegetables, fibre, phytonutrients, fermented foods, protein, and good fats. Limit your intake of carbohydrates, sugar, salt, and trans fats. The half plate rule is a simple guide to help you get there. Rule of Half-Plate Pre-plate your food at all times. So that you can see exactly what you are eating, place everyth

Chapter 9: Use of Technology in Urban Planning

The process of developing and designing open space, urban areas, and the built environment is known as urban planning. Urban planners may employ technology to improve their processes and create better places for people to live and work. Using cloud technologies, urban planners can create a database to obtain information on specific metropolitan areas. Cloud computing technologies can also b

National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC)

NCBC was initially constituted by the Central Government by the National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993, under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. It has been accorded constitutional status through “The Constitution (One Hundred and Second Amendment) Act, 2018”, whereby Article 338B has been inserted, forming a Commission for the socially and educationally b

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ACQ IAS
ACQ IAS