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Learn
editorial h i n g n e w
note Somet
e v e r y d a y

THE POWER OF SELF-DISCIPLINE

Just like you need oxygen and food to live, you need self-discipline to achieve your goals. Whatever be that goal: - whether
losing weight or achieving major goal of the lifetime (for e.g. success in UPSC for an aspirant) ,requires self-discipline.

For a student, self-discipline is to learn new things on daily basis, and the cumulative effect of daily sustained learning
will naturally be seen in the examination. It basically requires toughness with oneself so as to overcome deviations and
desires. This tough love with yourself is actually the greatest gift to yourself because it is due to self-discipline only that you
can make your life meaningful and rewarding.

Self-discipline makes the entire difference between winning and losing. But, despite the overwhelming consensus on its
value, it is hard to go through a day without seeing examples where people simply refuse to discipline themselves. For e.g.
people know that being overweight is bad, yet they cannot resist high calorie food and thus the ranks of the obese continue to climb.
This happen because people often rely on excuses which become biggest hurdle when it comes to achieving goals; they
always look like the easiest thing to do, but in the long run they are going to hurt you.

The positive side is that anyone can become self-disciplined, as it is a skill and not a trait, so it can be developed and
inculcated in daily behaviour. The rough side is that it cannot be obtained overnight; you need to work on it every day.
Just like a muscle, you have to train it every day to make it stronger.

If you are looking to take control of your habits and choices, here are some powerful things you can do to master self-
discipline, and to live a happier life.
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ü Acknowledge your shortcomings, whatever they may be.


First:
ü Often people either try to pretend their vulnerabilities don’t exist or cover up any pitfalls in
Know your
their lives.
weaknesses
ü So own up your flaws, pen them properly and paste them as daily reminder.

ü Set yourself up for success by removing bad influences.


Second: ü The fewer distractions you have, the more focused you will be on accomplishing your goals.
Remove ü If you want to improve your productivity at work, then remove common temptations, such as
temptations turn off social media notifications and silence your cell phone, which eat up lots of time. Reply
to them only once in a day. Note: Just reply!

Third: ü To achieve self-discipline, you must have a clear vision of what you hope to accomplish. You
Set clear goals must also have an understanding of what success means to you.
and execution ü Figure out who you are and what you want to become.
plan ü A clear plan outlines each step you must take in order to reach your goals.

ü We aren’t born with self-discipline--it’s a learned behavior. And just like any other skill, it
Fourth: requires daily practice and repetition.
Diligence ü The effort and focus that self-discipline requires can be draining. So work on building your
self-discipline through daily diligence.

Fifth: ü Break your goal into small, doable steps. Instead of trying to change everything at once,
Start with baby focus on doing one thing consistently and master self-discipline with that goal in mind.
steps ü Take baby steps. Eventually, when you’re ready, you can add more goals to your list.

ü If you believe you have a limited amount of willpower, you probably won’t sur pass those
Sixth:
limits.
Augment
ü Remove subconscious obstacles and truly believe you can do it, then you will give yourself
willpower
an extra boost of motivation toward making those goals a reality.

Seventh: ü Have a back-up plan in case of some off days which may result from social engagements.
Tackling ü Try to create an overall schedule which has space for absorbing occasional deviations.
occasional ü You will also save energy by not having to make a sudden decisio n based on your emotional
deviations state.

ü Even with all of our best intentions and well-laid plans, we sometimes fall short. It happens.
You will have ups and downs, great successes and dismal failures. The key is to keep moving
Eighth: forward.
Forgive yourself ü If you stumble, acknowledge what caused it and move on. Don’t let yourself get wrapped up
and move in guilt, anger or frustration, because these emotions will only drag you further down and
forward impede future progress.
ü Learn from your missteps and forgive yourself. Then get your head back in the game and
refocus on your goals.

Adopt the above steps for a happier life!


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focus
CRITICAL NOTES FOR THE PREPARATION OF GENERAL STUDIES PAPERS

Chairperson and Managing Director (CMD) : Dear Students,


Mr. V.P. Gupta
Chief Executive Officer : Abhishek Gupta
FOCUS is the Study Circle's monthly publication of contemporary issues
Executive Editor : Ritesh Kumar Singh
and current affairs analysis. It is in fact a collective effort, by experienced
Editorial Team : Ritesh Kumar Singh, Gajanan Dwivedi,
Naweed Akhter, Sanjeev Kumar Pandey, Vikas Chauhan,
educators in varied themes, of identifying current affairs in light of the
Ankur Sharma, Jasmine Sokhi, M Burhanuddin, Vrinda UPSC syllabus, supplementing them with background information,
Gupta, Maharshi Sharma, Mangal Singh, Nagendra Pratap
explaining their related dimensions, lending them a generalist viewpoint
Singh, Pradip Singh, Mehaq Rao, Basava Uppin,
Shubhangi Sharma and thus producing critical notes for the preparation of General Studies'
Design and Production : Rohit Rajput, Deepti Gupta syllabus.

The purpose of Focus is to expound the applied nature of


The publication, as the name suggests, focuses solely on issues which are
General Studies to Civil Services aspirants thereby making
them aware of the real demand of UPSC exam. relevant to the factual as well as applied aspects of the General Studies'
syllabus. That is how Focus covers all anticipated issues and themes for the
The sources relied for selection and analysis of issues are:
upcoming Civil Services Examination (CSE).
1. The Hindu, The Hindu (Sunday)
2. The Indian Express
3. The Times of India Features
4. Asian Age
5. The Tribune Part One | Current Affairs Analysis
6. The Economic Times
7. Hindu Business Line n This month edition covers analysis of news from the
8. Frontline immediately preceding month.
9. Economic and Political Weekly
10. World Focus n All news/issues are categorized and clubbed syllabus-wise
11. BBC (International Relations, Polity & Governance, Science & Technology,
12. Yojana
13. Kurukshetra
Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude and so on) for efficient study.
n Background information has been added to provide context.
n Related and Additional information-dimensions have been
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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Part ONE GOOGLE TO TRACK ONLINE POLITICAL ADVERTISEMENTS


#Election #Electoral Reforms 25

Current Affairs Analysis CIC ASKS FOR DISCLOSURE ON EXPENSE ON MPLADS


FUND #Statutory Body #Scheme #Governance 27
RELEVANCE OF NITI AAYOG

02 #Statutory Body #Governance 28


DRAFT BILL FOR GANGA PROTECTION
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS #Bill #Environment #Governance 31
# GS Paper (Prelims) & GS Paper II (Main) ORDINANCE ON TRIPLE TALAQ 32
BIMSTEC SUMMIT DOORSTEP DELIVERY OF SERVICES 33
# International Organisation 02 HOME SECRETARY REPORT ON LYNCHING 34
2 + 2 DIALOGUE NATIONAL TRUST CENTRE FOR M2M DEVICES 34
# Bilateral relationship 06 PROHIBITION ON SALE OR DISTRIBUTION OF FDC DRUGS 35
G4 # International Grouping 08 NOTA FOR RAJYA SABHA GOES 35
US CONFLICT WITH ICC CHIEF JUSTICE RANJAN GOGOI 36
# World Politics 09
INDIA-PAKISTAN TALKS
# Bilateral relations 11
MALDIVES ELECTIONS AND INDIAN CONCERNS
37
# Bilateral relations 12 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
US WITHDRAWAL FROM AFGHANISTAN
# GS Paper (Prelims) & GS Paper III (Main)
# World Affairs 13
AVIATION INDUSTRY
NAFTA TREATY AND USMC AGREEMENT 14
#Sector in Focus (Lead coverage) 37
CASPIAN SEA AGREEMENT 14
PRADHAN MANTRI ANNADATA AAY SANRAKSHAN
UNRWA 15 ABHIYAN # Agriculture #MSP 39
INDIAN FOREIGN POLICY: CONFRONTING THE 21ST MEASURES TO CHECK RUPEE DEPRECIATION
CENTURY # Diplomacy # Exchange Rate Management 41
(Courtesy: Amb (Retd) Rajiv Bhatia, Ministry of External Affairs) 15
NATIONAL DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS POLICY
IDLIB AND HAMA, SYRIA 19 # Telecommunication 43
CHAGOS ISLAND 20 MOVE: INDIA’S FIRST EVER GLOBAL MOBILITY SUMMIT
# Summit 44
MERGER OF BANKS

21 # Banking 46
CO-ORIGINATION OF LOANS
CONSTITUTION, POLITY AND GOVERNANCE # RBI # Banking 49
# GS Paper (Prelims) & GS Paper II (Main) SEBI’S CIRCULAR ON FPI INVESTMENT FOR NRIS
ELECTORAL REFORMS UNDER CONSIDERA-TION # Investment #Capital Market 50
#Election #Electoral Reforms 21
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INDIA POSTS PAYMENT BANK NORMS ON MANAGEMENT OF SEVERE ACUTE


# Banking #Financial Inclusion 52 MALNUTRITION APPROVED # Health 78
UNDP’s HUMAN DEVELOPMENT INDEX 2018
INDIA ENERGY EFFICIENCY SCALE-UP PROGRAMME
# Development # Human Capital 80
# Power Sector # Energy Efficiency 54
FIRST EXPERT COMMITTEE REPORT ON TRIBAL HEALTH IN
EXPLAINED: IL&FS CRISIS
INDIA #Right to Health # Tribal welfare 80
# NBFC 55
AB-PMJAY 82
FUTURE OF JOBS REPORT
SOCIAL AUDIT FOR CONSTRUCTION WORKERS 83
# International Report 58
DIRECTIONS ON LEPROSY 83
DAMOCLES 60
PAY INCREASE FOR THE ASHA AND ANGANWADI
OPEN MARKET OPERATIONS 60
WORKERS 84
DAM IMPROVEMENT PROJECT 61
HUMAN CAPITAL SCORE 84
SMALL SAVINGS SCHEME 61
CHILD MORTALITY 84
STATE DISASTER RESPONSE FUND 62
MUDRA LOANS 62
NRI BONDS 63 86
MASALA BONDS 63
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
FOREX RESERVES 64
# GS Paper (Prelims) & GS Paper III (Main)
TAPI PIPELINE 64
MICRODOT TECHNOLOGY 86
INDIA TO ATTRACT CHINESE TOURISTS 65
TRIM 16 86
CAPITAL STRUCTURE 65
STAPHYLOCOCCUS EPIDERMIDIS 87
SECURITIES TRANSACTION TAX (STT) 66
VC11184 87
COSMOSAZTEC-1 88
SPACE ELEVATOR 88
67 AFRICAN SWINE FEVER 89
DIRECT AIR CAPTURE (DAC) 90
SOCIETY AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
DNA APTAMER 90
# GS Paper I & GS Paper II (Main)
ORGANIC SOLAR CELL 91
NATIONAL SEX OFFENDERS’ REGISTRY
NAVLEKHA PROJECT 92
# Social Justice # Safety 67
INDIAN NATIONAL SCIENCE ACADEMY 92
DRAFT CHARTER OF PATIENT’S RIGHTS
DRONE POLICY
# Right to Health 15
# SCIENCE & TECH
ATAL RANKING OF INSTITUTIONS ON INNOVATION
(Courtesy: The Hindu) 92
ACHIEVEMENTS (ARIIA) # Higher Education # Innovation 70
PROGRAMME FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENT
ASSESSMENT(PISA) #Education 71 95
LEPTOSPIROSIS
#Health 72
GEOGRAPHY, ENVIRONMENT, BIODIVERSITY &
INDIA’S HEALTH REPORT CARD DISASTER MANAGEMENT
# Health 73 # GS Paper (Prelims) and GS Paper I & III(Main)
HIV/AIDS ACT NOTIFIED WHAT ARE CHALLENGES OF SHALE GAS EXPLORATION?
# Health 76 #Pollution #Environment 95
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WHAT IS MARINE HEATWAVE GATKA 112


#Environment #Disaster Management 96 KAILASA TEMPLE: ROCK CUT TEMPLE AT ELLORA 113
KERALA FLOODS
#Disaster Management #Environment 99
WHAT IS GREEN AGRICULTURAL PROJECT?
#Agriculture #Environment 99 115
POLLUTION DISTURBS MONSOON
#Climate #Monsoon 100
SECURITY
# GS Paper III (Main)
HORNBILL
BIMSTEC MILEX – 2018
#Ecology #Conservation 101
#Military exercise #International organisation 115
BROW ANTLERED DEER
SMART FENCING
#Ecology #Conservation 102
#Border Management 116
MUDUMALAI NATIONAL PARK 102
SUGICAL STRIKE DAY
BELLANDUR LAKE 103
# Military commemoration 117
STANDARD PROJECT STORM 103
MILITARY EXERCISES
DIVISEEMA ISLAND 103
# Security 117
OYSTERS TRACK POLLUTION 104
HERITAGE TAG FOR TWO IRRIGATION FACILITIES 104
PONDICHERRY SHARK 105
INTERNATIONAL WHALING COMMISSION 105 119
PAKAL DUL AND LOWER KALNAL H.E.P. 105 MISCELLANEOUS
KERALA: RETHINKING DISASTER MANAGEMENT 106
U.S. OPEN 2018 119
FIFA AWARDS 120
RAJIV GANDHI KHEL RATNA AWARD 120

107 THE MEDALS TALLY IS NOT THE ONLY WAY TO ASCERTAIN


WHETHER OR NOT INDIA IS A SPORTING NATION
HISTORY, HERITAGE & CULTURE By: Manisha Malhotra, Asian Games silver medallist in tennis

# GS Paper (Prelims) & GS Paper I (Main) (courtesy: The Hindu) 121

SCULPTURAL TRADITIONS IN ANCIENT INDIA REBEL SULTANS


# Heritage & Culture # Medieval India 107 # Books and Authors 122

AJMER DARGAH
# Heritage & Culture # Medieval India 109
BATHUKAMMA 110
123
GAJAPAYANA FESTIVAL 110
ARANMULA VALLAMKALI ETHICS, INTEGRITY & APTITUDE
(Snake Boat Race) 111 # GS Paper IV (Main)
MONGMONG FESTIVAL 111
DO WE REALLY CARE? 123
GOTMAR FESTIVAL 111
AVOIDING INDIFFERENCE 124
BAGWAL FESTIVAL 111
DEVELOP EMPATHY 125
RAFUGARS 112
NEED FOR PARTICIPATION AND INCLUSION 126
BUDHAMAL FESTIVAL 112
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BECOME GENDER-SENSITIVE, EVOLVE AND INVOLVE 128 NAWEED AKHTER


WHAT IS THE SOLUTION? 129 EDITORIAL TEAM & EDUCATOR-DAILY NEWS SIMPLIFIED
135
VERDICT 1: AADHAAR 135
131 VERDICT 2: SABARIMALA 141

GLOSSARY VERDICT 3: CREAMY LAYER FOR SC/ST 145


VERDICT 4: SECTION 377 IPC
# Terms
I AM WHAT I AM, SO TAKE ME AS I AM 148
BANK RATE
(# Economy) 131
CAPITAL ACCOUNT
(# Economy) 131 152
CURRENCY DEPOSIT RATIO
(# Economy) 131 LEAD ESSAYS
EXCHANGE RATE IS NATIONAL INTEGRATION AN ELUSIVE GOAL?
(# Economy) 131 RAVISH GERA, EX-STUDENT, RAU’S IAS 152
GROSS DOMESTIC SAVING
(#Economy) 132
MARKET CAPITALIZATION
(# Economy) 132
Part Three
LEMON LAW
(# Economy) 133
practiCe ZONE
MICRO-ECONOMICS
(#Economy) 133
156
NON- PERFORMING ASSETS
(# Business) 133 MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTIONS (MCQS)
NATURE DEFICIT DISORDER
for Prelims GS Paper – I
(# Society) 133

164
Part TWO ESSAY TYPE QUESTIONS
CONTRIBUTORS ZONE for Mains GS Papers – I, II & III

185
135
CASE STUDIES
LEAD ARTICLES for Mains GS Paper IV: Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude
S.C.JUDGEMENTS: SIMPLIFIED
#Polity and Governance
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Part ONE

Current
affairs
analysis
logical . simple . targeted
analysis & explanation
of all relevant news of the month
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INTERRNATIIONALL RELLATIONS
# GGS Paper (PPrelims) & GS Paper I I (Main)

The 4
4th BIMSTEC
C Summit was
w held in Kathmandu
K u, Nepal. The
e theme
of the summit was:
w ‘Toward
ds a Peacefu
ul, Prospero
ous and Susstainable
BIMSTEC
B C SUMM MIT
Bay o
of Bengal Re
egion’.
# Intternationaal Organisaation
Let u
us further un
nderstand about
a Bay off Bengal Inittiative for M
Multi-
Secto
oral Techniccal and Econ
nomic Coopeeration (BIMMSTEC).

PRINCIIPLES OF EN
NGAGEMENT
T

• BIMSTEC me
ember reaffirrmed that ge
eographical
contiguity, abundant
a nattural and hum
man
resources, rich historical linkages and
d cultural
heritage pre
esent great potentials for cooperation
and thereby
y build the Ba
ay of Bengal R
Region as
peaceful, prosperous and sustainable
e.
• They also re
eaffirmed the
e principles e nshrined in
the 1997 Ba
angkok Decla
aration and
reemphasize
e that cooperation within
n BIMSTEC
will be based
d on respect for the princciples of
sovereign equality, territorrial integrity, a
and political
independencce, non-interfeerence in interrnal affairs,
peaceful co-eexistence and mutual benef
efit.
• They also re
esolved to lev
verage on BIM
MSTEC’s
unique posittion as a brid
dge linking S
South and
Southeast Asia.
A

IN
NSTITUTION
NAL REFORM
MS AT 4TH SU
UMMIT

• BIMSTEC member ccountries deccided to explo


ore the possibility of esta
ablishing a BIIMSTEC Deve
elopment
BIM
MSTEC Fund (B
BDF).
Development • It may have volunttary contributions from
m the Member States, which
w will be utilized for research
Fund and pla
anning of BIM
MSTEC and fiinancing of projects,
p grammes and other activvities as agre
prog eed upon
by BIMS
STEC Membe
er States.

• BIMSTEC member ccountries agreed to enhan


nce the instittutional capa
acity of the B IMSTEC Secretariat in
BIM
MSTEC Dhaka,, Bangladesh
h through fin
nancial and human resources.
Sec
cretariat • This wo
ould enable it to coordin
nate, monitorr and facilita
ate implemen
ntation of BIIMSTEC activvities and
program
mmes.

Enhanced BIMSTEC has


h been critiiqued for low
w visibility in internationa
al affairs and therefore to
o increase the stature

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International Relations

Visibility of BIMSTEC in international, the member countries would forge common positions on issues of common
interest and seeking group recognition in various multilateral organizations, institutions and processes.

• BIMSTEC earlier had 14 priority areas (listed below) and each priority area has a lead country for its
effective implementation. However, during the recent Summit, BIMSTEC has now further added
Mountain Economy and Blue Economy as future priority areas.
Priority
• However, Thailand has proposed for Reprioritization of BIMSTEC Pillars of Cooperation wherein
Areas
there would be streamlining of priority areas to five pillars.
• This is intended to focus on those priority areas that have the potential for immediate cooperation
among members.

SECTORAL REVIEW OF PRIORITY AREAS UNDER RESPECTIVE LEAD COUNTRY

Poverty BIMSTEC member countries would eradicate poverty in the Bay of Bengal Region by 2030 in line with
Alleviation (under the effective implementation of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the BIMSTEC
Nepal) Poverty Plan of Action.

• BIMSTEC member countries would expedite their efforts to conclude the BIMSTEC Coastal
Transport &
Shipping Agreement and the BIMSTEC Motor Vehicle Agreement as early as possible.
Communications
• They would ensure the early adoption of the draft BIMSTEC Master Plan on Transport
(under India)
Connectivity which has prepared in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank.

• BIMSTEC member countries intend for the early conclusion of negotiation with regards to:
Trade &
 BIMSTEC Free Trade Area (FTA) agreement;
Investment (under
 Agreement on Trade in Goods;
Bangladesh)
 Agreement on Customs Cooperation.

• BIMSTEC member countries have agreed to conclude the signing and ratification of:
 BIMSTEC Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters;
 BIMSTEC Convention on Cooperation in Combating International Terrorism, Transnational
Organized Crime and Illicit Drug Trafficking;
They also reaffirmed that:
Counter
Terrorism &  There can be no justification whatsoever for any act of terrorism;

Transnational  Fight against terrorism should also identify and hold accountable States and non-State entities
Crime that encourage, support or finance terrorism, provide sanctuaries to terrorists and terror groups

(under India) and falsely extol their virtues


 Need to devise a comprehensive approach to prevent financing of terrorists and terrorist actions
from territories under their control, blocking recruitment and cross-border movement of
terrorists, countering radicalization, countering misuse of internet for purposes of terrorism and
dismantling terrorist safe havens.
Note: Further, refer to the BIMSTEC Military Drill in Security section of this edition.

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International Relations

Environment &
BIMSTEC member countries would encourage closer cooperation in disaster management through
Disaster
sharing of information, including early warning system, adoption of preventive measures,
Management
rehabilitation and capacity building in the Bay of Bengal Region.
(under India)

BIMSTEC member countries reaffirmed their commitments to operationalize the Paris Agreement,
Climate Change
in accordance with principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities
(under Bangladesh)
(CBDR & RC), taking into account different national circumstances and equity.

• BIMSTEC member countries signed a MoU on BIMSTEC Grid Interconnection wherein they
would take measures to initiate harmonization of technical, planning and operational standards
Energy for removing barriers to grid interconnections among BIMSTEC member countries.
(under Myanmar) • They would also ensure early operationalization of the BIMSTEC Energy Centre in order to
strengthen energy cooperation and provide uninterrupted and affordable power supply in the
region.

• BIMSTEC member countries signed a Memorandum of Association on the Establishment of


Technology (under BIMSTEC Technology Transfer Facility in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka) • This intends to enhance cooperation for development, access and sharing of affordable
technologies among the member countries.

BIMSTEC member countries reaffirmed to deepen cooperation in:


 Farm machinery and harvest management;
Agriculture (under
 Attainment of food and nutritional security;
Myanmar)
 Preservation and promotion of traditional farming & linking with modern farming;
 Facilitate agricultural trade.

Fisheries BIMSTEC member countries reaffirmed to cooperate in marine resources ad further agreed to aid
(under Thailand) landlocked Member States to benefit from inland fisheries.

• BIMSTEC member countries reaffirmed their commitment:


 To cooperate in combating non-communicable diseases and trans-national public health issues
Public Health including HIV and AIDS, malaria, dengue, tuberculosis, viral influenza-including avian and swine
(under Thailand) influenza and other emerging public health threats;
 To cooperate in traditional medicine through exchange of information, sharing of experience and
training of personnel.

• BIMSTEC member countries would ensure for the formation of BIMSTEC forums for
P2P Contacts parliamentarians, universities, academia, research institutes, cultural organizations and media
(under Thailand) community.
• It would on similar lines as BIMSTEC Network of Policy Think Tanks (BNPTT).

Cultural
BIMSTEC member countries underscored the importance of Buddhism as a connecting thread in the
Cooperation
region and remain committed to establishing a Buddhist Circuit.
(under Bhutan)

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International Relations

• BIMSTEC member countries have reaffirmed their commitment for:


 Building on the past initiative of "Plan of Action for Tourism Development and Promotion for the
Tourism
BIMSTEC Region” which was adopted in 2005
(under India)
 Developing and promoting Buddhist Tourist Circuit, Temple Tourist Circuit, ancient cities trail, eco-
tourism and medical tourism.

NEW ADDITIONS

BIMSTEC member countries underscored the necessity of making concrete efforts to ensure the:

Mountain  Conservation of mountain ecosystems;


Economy  Promoting mountain economies in BIMSTEC countries;
 Form a Action Plan to enhance cooperation in Mountain Economy.

BIMSTEC member countries would develop an action plan on blue economy, keeping in mind the special
Blue Economy
needs and circumstances of the landlocked Member States.

BIMSTEC AND INDIA

Factors have driven India’s interests in the BIMSTEC are:


• BIMSTEC serves as a bridge between South Asia and South East Asia and links India's Act East
policy and Neighbourhood First policy.
• India’s growing economic aspirations is expected be served by BIMSTEC wherein it provides a
yearning to link with South East Asian economies.

Advantages • Alternative to SAARC roadblock due to Pakistan: India’s growing intent for improving regional
governance in South Asia is being halted due SAARC's stagnation, and BIMSTEC thereby can be
expected to serve this purpose such as showcased in BRICS-BIMSTEC meet during BRICS summit in
Goa in 2016.
• BIMSTEC can serve to showcase a constructive agenda to counter Chinese investments, and
instead follow best practices for connectivity projects based on recognised international norms for
South Asia and South East Asia.

Concerns for India that can emerge with regards to BIMSTEC are:
• SAARC was criticized as being dominated by India, which can also happen with BIMSTEC.
• Progress of BIMSTEC suffer from lack of political consensus among members showcased during the
recent BIMSTEC military drill.
• Initiatives under BIMSTEC continue to suffer from lack of funding.
Disadvantages
• The continued lack of completion of trilateral highway that has the ability to link the members of
BIMSTEC is still under-construction.
• India’s engagement with South East Asia is driven mainly through ASEAN, apart from Mekong-Ganga
Cooperation & BIMSTEC grouping. Therefore BIMSTEC as an international grouping becomes de-
prioritised as means of engagement with South East Asian countries.

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International Relations

The inaugural 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue was held between India and the United
States, with India represented by:
2+2 (2) - External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala
DIALOGUE Sitharaman And US represented by: (2) - Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and
# Bilateral Secretary of Defence James Mattis.

relationship India currently has a similar 2+2 Secretarial Dialogue with Japan and Australia. The
Secretarial Dialogue is held between the Foreign and Defence Secretaries of India
with the respective foreign and defence secretaries of Japan or Australia.

PRINCIPLES OF ENGAGEMENT

• India and the United States are sovereign democracies founded on the values of freedom, justice and commitment to
the rule of law and thereby consider each other as strategic partners.
• Both countries recognize each other as major and independent stakeholders in world affairs and are therefore are
committed to work together on regional and global issues to lead global efforts to promote peace, prosperity, and
security.

DEFENCE COOPERATION

• The United States had earlier designated India as a Major Defence Partner (MDP) which intends to
strengthen defence and security coordination and cooperation with easier access to higher qualitative
levels of technology and equipment offered by the United States to India.
MDP and
• In pursuit of MDP, US also designated India as Strategic Trade Authorization-1( STA-1) partner,
STA-1
third in Asia after Japan and South Korea. This authorises the export, re-export and in-country transfer
of specific sensitive defence technologies and dual use technologies to destinations that the US
regards as low risk.

• India and the United States signed Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement
(COMCASA), one of the four foundational defence agreements of the United States.
• India & US have already signed two US foundational agreements:
 General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) which intends for sharing of
Foundational
intelligence information.
Defence
Agreement  Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) provides militaries of both nations
access to each other’s military facilities, however the access is not automatic or obligatory and
primarily for the purpose of re-fueling and replenishment.
• While the remaining agreement to be signed is: Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA)
which would facilitate exchange of geospatial information.

• COMCASA is an Indian-specific version of US Communication Interoperability and Security


Memorandum Agreement (CISMOA). This agreement would facilitate transfer of encrypted
communications systems and for India to access high tech US hardware such armed drones. It would
COMCASA
allow the Indian armed forces to fully exploit the capability of the military platforms procured from the
US, especially for the Navy in the Indian Ocean region.
• Under this agreement, India will get access to Combined Enterprise Regional Information Exchange

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System (CENTRIXS) which is the secure communication system network of the US.
• Navy ships with CENTRIXS systems on board can communicate securely with the U.S. Navy and
therefore can allow the naval assets Indian navy has purchased from US to get wider situational
picture of the Indian Ocean region. This is because US has large number of ships and aircraft deployed
in the region.

• There is a concern that the U.S. Navy would then have access to India’s own secure communication
network and also that this information can then be shared by US to its allies such as Pakistan.
Concerns However, it has been clarified that Data acquired through such systems cannot be disclosed or
with transferred to any person or entity without India’s consent.
COMCASA • In addition, there is a concern that any purchase by India of American communication equipment
would tie India into a reliance upon U.S.-driven military-security-intelligence grid and therefore may
compromise India’s defence strategic autonomy.

• India and United States would begin negotiations on an Industrial Security Annex (ISA) that would
support closer defence industry cooperation and collaboration.
• Moreover, both countries would encourage and prioritize co-production and co-development projects
Defence
through the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI), and to pursue other avenues of
Innovation
defence innovation cooperation.
Cooperation
• In this regard, both countries signed a Memorandum of Intent between the U.S. Defence Innovation
Unit (DIU) and the Indian Defence Innovation Organization – Innovation for Defence Excellence
(DIO-iDEX).

• India and the United States have agreed to create a new, tri-services exercise, meaning which would
include the Army, Navy and Airforce of both countries. Both countries would also increase exchanges
Military
between the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) and the Indian Navy to deepen their
Exercise
maritime cooperation in the western Indian Ocean.
Note: INDRA-2017 was the first tri-service exercise that India has conducted. It was with Russia.

India and United States launched a bilateral dialogue on designation of terrorists in 2017, which intends
Against for strengthening cooperation and action against terrorist groups, including Al-Qa’ida, ISIS, Lashkar-e-
Terrorism Tayyiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Hizb-ul Mujahideen, the Haqqani Network, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, D-
Company, and their affiliates.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS COOPERATION

• United States has ensured support for India led Comprehensive Convention on International
Terrorism (CCIT) in United Nations, that will advance and strengthen the framework for global
cooperation and reinforce the message that no cause or grievance justifies terrorism.
Against
• Both countries denounced any use of terrorist proxies in South Asia, and asserted for Pakistan to
Terrorism
ensure that the territory under its control is not used to launch terrorist attacks on other countries.
• Both countries asserted for Pakistan to bring to justice expeditiously the perpetrators of the Mumbai,
Pathankot, Uri, and other cross-border terrorist attacks.

Indo-Pacific • India and United States have reaffirmed their committed to work together and in concert with other

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Region partners toward advancing a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.
• This cooperation would be based on:
 Recognition of ASEAN centrality;
 Respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of other countries;
 Rule of law based on international laws and agreements;
 Freedom of navigation and overflight;
• Both countries emphasized their commitment to work collectively with other partner countries to
support transparent, responsible, and sustainable debt financing practices in infrastructure
development, which is seen in-context as being against the current Belt Road Initiative of China.

• India and United States reaffirmed their commitment for united, sovereign, democratic, inclusive, stable,
prosperous, and peaceful Afghanistan.
Afghanistan • Both countries expressed support for an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process.
• The United States also acknowledged India’s longstanding and ongoing contributions of economic
assistance to Afghanistan and also welcomed India’s enhanced role in Afghanistan.

• United States reaffirmed its continuous support to India’s accession to the Nuclear Suppliers Group,
Export
membership to which is being opposed by China.
Control
• India currently is a member of the Australia Group, the Wassenaar Arrangement, and the Missile
Groups
Technology Control Regime.

G4 G-4 consists of India, Japan, Brazil and Germany and they met on the sidelines of
# International the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, USA.

Grouping Let us understand about the G4 and the highlights of the meet.

THINGS TO KNOW

• G4 is a group consisting of India, Japan, Germany and Brazil, for whom the primary aim is the reform of
UNSC and the attainment of a permanent seat for its member(s).
What is the • The group has insisted on an expansion of both permanent and non-permanent members and an
G4? improvement in the working method of UNSC.
• The four nations have declared their candidature for a permanent seat within an expanded UNSC
and, have supported the candidature of each other for the same position.

• The current composition of UNSC reflects the post-World War II global reality, and there is need for the
UNSC to reflect a Post-Cold War global scenario. Wherein countries such as Germany, India and others
Reason for
have increased their stake in the global security architecture and would require to be represented as
Reform in
such.
UNSC
• Global challenges have changed to encompass non-traditional military threats and therefore, there is
a need for a structural change in UNSC to also combat such threats.

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• The developing countries and major contributors to the United Nations need to be accommodated in
UNSC to ensure a legitimate and representative Council.

• The formation of the G4 led to formation of the ‘Coffee Club’ or ‘Uniting for Consensus’. It is a group of
nations that are selectively opposed to the four members due to regional rivalry. Wherein as members,
Pakistan opposes India’s candidature, Argentina opposes Brazil’s candidature, and similar for others.
• Similarly, it includes countries that consider the expansion of UNSC as un-necessary and argue that it will
not lead to improvement in global governance.
Opposition
• This form of opposition extends to P5, wherein China opposes Japan’s candidature, Russia opposes
to G4
Germany’s candidature, while they are supportive of another member. The P5 nations have also used
the ‘Coffee Club’ and its members to engage and stall G4’s agenda.
• The African Union has formed the ‘Ezulwini Consensus’, wherein they have argued for UNSC expansion
to be based on regional representation rather than on individual merit of a nation. The G4 has also not
been able to reach a common position with African Union.

• The four nations have reemphasized on the need to initiate text-based negotiations. The current
deliberation on UNSC reform has been conducted in form of informal discussions in the UN. By having
text-based negotiations, there would be formalization of the reform process of UNSC.
G4 Meet
• G4 expressed support for reflecting the African Common Position as contained in the Ezulwini
Consensus and reiterated their support for Africa’s representation in both the permanent and non-
permanent membership of a reformed and expanded Security Council.

USA has recently threatened to impose sanctions against the


US CONFLICT WITH International Criminal Court for it proposal to prosecute American
for their conduct in the War in Afghanistan.
ICC
Let us first understand about the ICC and then understand its
# World Politics current conflict with USA, African countries and India’s position with
regards to the ICC.

THINGS TO UNDERSTAND

• The International Criminal Court is a permanent international court established to investigate,


prosecute and try individuals accused of crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes
and the crime of aggression. Headquartered at The Hague, Netherlands.
Background • The international criminal court was established by the treaty known as the Rome Statute of the
International Criminal Court. The ICC prosecutes individuals, not groups or States.
• The court has no retrospective jurisdiction – only crimes committed after the Rome Statute came
into force i.e., 1st July, 2002 will be under its purview.

• A State that is member to the Rome Statute is placed within the jurisdiction of the ICC.
Jurisdiction • ICC may exercise its jurisdiction in situations where the alleged perpetrator is a national of a
member State or when the crime was committed in the territory of a member State.

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• A State not party to the Statute may decide to accept the jurisdiction of the ICC. Moreover, the
United Nations Security Council (UNSC) can also refer a situation to the ICC.
• There is no eligibility clause as to who can send a complaint to the ICC, and is therefore open to
individuals, groups, and States. But, referrals can be made either by a State Party to the Rome
Statute or by the UNSC. The selection of cases for investigation is for the Prosecutor at ICC to decide
based on the rules laid within the Rome Statute.

• The Rome Statute was negotiated within the UN, but it created an independent judicial body
distinct from the UN.
Link between • ICC is not an office or agency of the United Nations. However, the Rome Statute allows the UNSC
ICC and UN to refer specific situations to the Court that are outside the jurisdiction of ICC.
• Note: The International Court of Justice is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations,
and is different from the International Criminal Court.

• The ICC does not replace national criminal justice systems and primary priority is given to national
ICC and
judicial system for criminal prosecution of the perpetrators.
National
• The ICC can investigate and prosecute individuals if it considers that the State concerned does not,
Judicial System
cannot or is unwilling to do so.

CONFLICTS WITH INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT

• There have been reports that the ICC may proceed with opening an investigation into alleged war crimes
committed by U.S. service members and intelligence professionals during the war in Afghanistan.
• The ICC prosecutor has requested to initiate an investigation into what is considered as American War
crimes in Afghanistan such as alleged detainee abuse.
• Afghanistan is a State Party of the ICC and therefore Court has jurisdiction over any War crimes
committed on the territory of Afghanistan by US after 1st May, 2003.
USA • However, Afghanistan has not asked for this investigation and the ICC Prosecutor has decided to open
the investigation on her own authority. The Rome Statute requires the Prosecutor to seek authorization
from the judges of the Court, which is currently awaited and we will have to wait and see on how that
moves forward.
• US, which is not a member of the ICC, has threatened tough action against the International Criminal
Court should it try to prosecute Americans for alleged war crimes during the war in Afghanistan, such as
sanctions against ICC judges, prosecutor, etc.

• The ICC has been accused of Anti-Africa bias as the Court has disproportionately focussed on Africa. The
entire matters investigated by ICC till 2016 involved African nations and all the individuals indicted by the
court have been Africans.
African • South Africa, Gambia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and several other African nations have threatened to leave
Nations the ICC for anti-Africa bias of the ICC, wherein Burundi became the first country to leave ICC in 2017.
• African leaders have argued that the ICC has overlooked the war crimes committed by western nations in
Iraq, Libya, and Afghanistan and is targeting weaker nations of Africa.
• The ICC has denied any bias, and counters with the view that majority cases involving African nationals

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have either been referred by the country affected or by the UNSC.

• India has neither signed nor ratified the Rome Statute on the International Criminal Court (ICC).
• India considers the inherent jurisdiction of the ICC as a violation of a nation’s sovereignty. Therefore,
India has insisted for having an ‘opt-in’ provision whereby a country could accept the jurisdiction of the
ICC by declaration, specified to an issue and time period.
India
• India is resistant to accepting the inherent jurisdiction of the ICC as it would be seen as being superior to
Indian judicial system.
• India remains hesitant towards the ICC as it can be used with political motives against India with regard to
Kashmir and in other matters of India’s internal affairs.

NEWS IN TRANSITION

INDIA-PAKISTAN TALKS
# Bilateral relations
• In 2015, the CBD began between India and Pakistan which ensured that:
 Comprehensive – Both countries would discuss several issues of interest to both countries such as
trade, Kashmir, Sir Creek, cross-border terrorism, etc. wherein prior to CBD, Pakistan used to insist
Comprehensive only moving forward on talks on any issue after the Kashmir issue has been resolved.
Bilateral  Bilateral – The talks would be between only India and Pakistan and there would be no 3rd party
Dialogue interference in talks, wherein prior to CBD, Pakistan used to insist on having the US or China or UN
or other countries and international organisations as mediators in India-Pakistan talks.
• However, CBD was halted after the Pathankot terrorist attack in 2016 wherein India had asserted
that talks with Pakistan and terrorism from Pakistan cannot go together.

• In September, 2018, the new government under Imran Khan proposed talks with India during the
sidelines of the UN General Assembly session being held during the same month.
Recent talks
• India denied the proposal to engage in talks with Pakistan by asserting that talks and terrorism
proposal
cannot go together wherein Pakistan recently issued stamps that glorified the terrorist Burhan Wani
and Pakistan continued to engage in cross-border terrorism in Jammu & Kashmir.

CONCERNS WITH INDIA-PAKISTAN TALKS

• False starts: India has on many occasions engaged with the a new government in Pakistan with peace overtures,
however each peace initiative has led a major crisis in relationship afterwards, such as the Kargil War after the Lahore
visit of Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
• Control of Deep State: Deep State in Pakistan mainly refers to the control of Pakistani army and ISI over political
executive, judiciary and bureaucracy of Pakistan. It is considered that it controls almost every single aspect of political

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activity in Pakistan and is considered anti-India. This deep state also played a significant role in Imran Khan’s victory
and therefore over the years, the Deep State may maintain its stranglehold on the new government.
• Wait and Watch: India may also step back and provide greater scope for new government to strengthen the existing
democratic order and thereby enhance the constituency for peace in Pakistan.
• Engage global community: India is undertaking steps to encourage the rest of the democratic world to advance and
defend democracy in Pakistan and halt its cross-border terrorism policy towards India.
Finally, India-Pakistan relations are susceptible to cycles of changes from talks to hostility and vice-versa such as the
Lahore Summit and Kargil War, Agra Summit and Parliament attack stand-off, CBD and Pathankot attack, etc., and
therefore India-Pakistan talks or lack of it should be considered as transitory in nature.

MALDIVES Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, the opposition leader in Maldives defeated


the current President of Maldives Abdulla Yameen in election result
ELECTIONS AND announced in September, 2018. Maldives under Abdulla Yameen
INDIAN CONCERNS had undergone political volatility in the past years which had raised
various concerns for India, which were:
# Bilateral relations

• Maldives signed its first country-specific Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China in 2017 and thereby
becoming China’s 2nd FTA in South Asia after Pakistan. It raised concerns that it will deepen the debt
Enhanced trap to China, wherein more than 70% of Maldives’ foreign debt is owed to China.
Chinese • There has growing trend of Chinese companies and individuals acquiring land in Maldives. The land
presence grab is seen in excess of what East India Company had acquired during the colonial period in Maldives.
This land grab has raised concern of Maldives being increasingly falling into an economic neo-colonial
influence of China.

• The Supreme Court of Maldives ordered for the release of several opposition leaders in 2018 that
were arrested and jailed by current President Yameen government. It included former President
Nasheed.
Declaration
• Subsequently, the parliament of Maldives (Majlis) and the Supreme Court were shut down and several
of Emergency
opposition leaders such as former president Gayoom were arrested by President Yameen
government.
• President Yameen declared emergency in Maldives.

• There is a growing presence of ISIS/Daesh in Maldives and has been seen with growing influence of
Saudi philosophy of Wahhabis.
Growing
• Maldives has one of the highest per-capita Daesh fighters.
radicalisation
• Moreover, due to the continuous defeat of Daesh, these fighters have been returning to Maldives and
pose a threat to security of India, Sri Lanka and Maldives.

Indian • India continued to assert that the President Yameen government lift the emergency and allow for a
dilemma free and transparent functioning of the Maldives parliament and judiciary.

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• In addition, India has asserted for Maldives to continue follow ‘India First’ policy thereby ensuring that
Maldives does not become a client state of China and therefore India should ensure its strategic
stronghold in Maldives.

Finally, the change in political executive in Maldives has been welcomed by India however it has to be seen on how the
current political transformation to Ibrahim Mohamed Solih ensures changes with regards to concerns from Maldives for
India.

US WITHDRAWAL It has been a year since U.S. President Donald Trump unveiled his new
Afghanistan policy and this policy asserted for US withdrawal however
FROM do not provide a timeline for when the withdrawal may occur. There
has been demand from several sections within US for expedited US
AFGHANISTAN withdrawal from Afghanistan however there are various concerns in
# World Affairs India for any such speculated US withdrawal. These concerns are:

1. Pakistan continues to maintain major influence in Afghanistan due to reliance of US on Pakistan for movement of
supply to US troops in Afghanistan, control over Afghanistan’s economic trade and Pakistan’s continued maintenance
of links with Afghan Taliban, Haqqani network and other groups in Afghanistan. This continues to raise concerns for
India that Afghanistan may fall back into becoming a Pakistan’s proxy.
2. India has been major supporter of the Afghan government and the formation of democracy in Afghan. However there
has major recent spate of terrorist attacks by Taliban in Ghazni, Farah, etc. which shows growing influence of
Taliban and loss of control of Afghan government and any hasty withdrawal of US would further de-stabilise and
weaken the Afghan government.
3. There has been a growing conflict between ISIS/Daesh and Taliban for influence in Afghanistan after the defeat of
ISIS in Iraq and major parts of Syria. This has raised concerns of further radicalisation in Afghan and shifting of conflict
for ISIS from West Asia to South Asia.
4. All major players in Afghanistan such as US, Russia, China and Pakistan intend to engage in talks with Taliban and this
engagement would form a distinction between a ‘good Taliban’ and bad Taliban. This has been opposed by India
wherein India considers the whole of Taliban as a terrorist organisation and there cannot be any distinction between
good terrorists and bad terrorists.
5. US has been unable to target terrorists and terrorist organisations in Pakistan and US exit plan from Afghanistan has
no contingency plan to control terrorism emanating from Pakistan.
Finally, the US withdrawal from Afghanistan has been a constant intention of US government both under Barack Obama
and Donald Trump, wherein the only difference is that under Donald Trump administration, a timeline of withdrawal is not
being provided. The complete withdrawal of US from Afghanistan is therefore yet to be announced and seen.

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Inter national Relations


R

NEWS SSNIPPETTS
(Prelim
ms)

IN NEWS: North
h American F
Free Trade Agreement
A (N
NAFTA) is a trrade pact thaat was signed
d in 1992
tha
at gradually e
eliminated m
most tariffs and other trade barriers on
o products and servicess passing
bettween the Un
nited States,, Canada, an
nd Mexico.
In August
A 2018,, Mexico and
d the United States annou
unced that th
hey had com
me to terms o
on a new
trad
de agreemen
nt that prese
erved much of of significant changes.
o NAFTA butt introduced a number o
Sim
milarly, Canad mber, 2018 also agreed to join the ne
da in Septem ew trade acccord, which w
was then
bra
anded as the United Stattes-Mexico-C
Canada Agre
eement (USM
MCA).
Mo
ost of the agrreement, which still required approva
al from each country’s leggislatures, w
will not go
NA
AFTA Tre
eaty o effect until 2020.
into
an
nd USMC
C  International Importance
e

Ag
greemen
nt • The re-nego
otiations of N
NAFTA treaty to USMCA showcases
s the changess in global economic
order being
g under taken
n by US Pres
sident Donald
d Trump such as the US withdrawal ffrom TPP
agreement, e
etc.
• US Presiden
nt Donald Trump intende
ed for the re
e-negotiation
n of the provvisions of th
he NAFTA
treaty with C
Canada and Mexico wherrein the US administratio
a n considered
d that the ag
greement
led to manu
ufacturing job
bs being shiffted from US to Mexico that provided
d cheaper lab
bour and
similarly, Ca nadian comp
panies were able to accesss the biggerr markets of US while Canada did
not contain the same large marketts for US co
ompanies to equally tap
p, thereby le
eading to
Canada haviing a trade su
urplus over US.
U

IN NEWS: The ffive Caspian Sea littoral – Azerbaijan,,


Iran, Kazakhs tan, Russia
a and Turkmenistan –
sign nvention on the Legal Status of the
ned the Con e
Casspian Sea in A
Aktau, Kazakhstan.
The
e convention
n gave the liittorals juris
sdiction overr
waters extendi
ding up to 1
15 nautical miles (nm),,
fish
hing rightss over an
n additiona
al 10 nm,,
CA
ASPIAN SEA
S
con
nstruction off pipelines w
with conditio
ons and non--
AG
GREEMENT dep
ployment of m
military vesssels from non
n-littoral cou
untries.
The
e Convention
n did not rea
ach a settlement on the precise
p formu
ula for allocaating the sea bed and
its mineral and
d hydrocarbo
on deposits which has to
t be decide
ed by the litttoral countrries on a
bila
ateral basis

 International Importance
e
• The conventtion signalled
d an end to a two-decade long dispute
e over the Ca
aspian’s lega
al status,
i.e., whethe
er it is a sea
a or a lake? It chose to treat
t the Casspian’s surfaace as a sea however

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International Relations

which raises the concern that if the Caspian were to be considered a sea, it would become
governed by international maritime law, especially the United Nations Convention on the Law
of the Sea (UNCLOS). That, in turn, would give outside powers access to these waters, which the
littoral states want to share only amongst themselves.
• The convention provides for India to negotiate with Iran and Pakistan for cross-border pipeline
from the Caspian Sea.

IN NEWS: The United States in September, 2018 had announced an end to all form of funding to
United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. This is after
the United States in March, 2018 had decided to reduce more than half of its planned funding to
the UNRWA.
This initially had been a response due to the negative resolution in UN General Assembly with
regard to the decision of US to shift its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Several countries
UNRWA including India announced to fulfil the deficit that may occur for UNRWA after the US withdrawal
in funding.

 International Importance
UNRWA was formed after the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict by the United Nations General Assembly
Resolution. Its main objective is to carry out direct relief and works programmes for Palestine
refugees. As there has been no permanent solution to the Palestine refugee problem, the UN
General Assembly has continuously renewed UNRWA's mandate..

VIEWPOINT

INDIAN FOREIGN POLICY: CONFRONTING THE 21ST CENTURY


# Diplomacy
(Courtesy: Amb (Retd) Rajiv Bhatia, Ministry of External Affairs)

What is foreign policy? What is so special about the 21st century?

Now, to the first question. Foreign policy is the sum total of policies, statements, diplomatic initiatives and other measures by
a state to promote and protect its national interest. It involves a nation’s entire set of external relations covering various
domains – political, diplomatic, defence, security, economic, cultural and others. Every country, including India, manages its
relationships in the bilateral, sub-regional, regional and multilateral fora, bearing in mind that an enlightened – not brutal or
naked – pursuit of interests, based on mutual give and take, alone can ensure a stable, orderly, peaceful and prosperous
world.

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India, in particular, is perceived as a benign power by most of its partners. It is a nation dedicated to values dear to it,
including its belief in the dictum – ‘The World is a Family’, even as it goes about preserving all its fundamental interests in
the world, in a realistic and pragmatic manner.

International Scene

The second question concerns the uniqueness, if any, of the 21st century. To begin with, it is special to you i.e. for this
audience with an average of 20 years. It is crystal clear that for the next 60 years and more, you will grow, work and
prosper, through this century and savour its sunset phase. Hence, the youth has a clear stake in ensuring that it is a
century of orderly change, peace and prosperity for all. Is it heading in that direction?

The 18th and 19th centuries belonged to Europe. With the success of the Industrial Revolution that began in the mid-
18th century in Great Britain, European nations modernized production methods and manufacturing processes, captured
foreign markets and sources of raw materials, and spread their power and influence across Asia, Africa and beyond,
through the instrumentality of imperialism and colonialism. The 20th century witnessed the emergence of the US as a
great power that decisively tilted the balance both in the first and second world wars, emerging eventually as the
unchallenged leader of the Western alliance after 1945. Its camp won the Cold War. The US enjoyed its unique unipolar
moment in the 1990s and for a while more. Scholars now debate whether the 21st century will belong to Asia, Afro-Asia,
China, India or to some other combination of nations. Signs in the first 18 years have been mixed and confusing. In this
backdrop, it is desirable to pinpoint some of the key challenges that the world community faces today, which are likely to
continue in the coming decades. These, in my view, are:

 Rise of protectionism, threatening globalization  Rising Africa?

 Unconventional foreign policy of the US – "America First”  Oceanic challenges

 Fissures in Western alliance  International terrorism

 Rise of China  Climate change

 Strengthening Russia-China ties  International governance reform stalled

 Deteriorating West-Russia relations  Sustainable Development Goals

 A new power play in Asia  Fourth industrial revolution

The study of international relations helps us to comprehend the drivers, dynamics and repercussions of each of the
above-mentioned challenges as well as their inter-play. An accurate and continuous appreciation of this kind is crucial for
us to decipher India's foreign policy – its philosophy, rationale, goals and impact. The foreign policy is not foreign, but
central to the country’s interests when the phenomenon of globalization in the realm of economy, technology,
communication and mind space has lowered the barriers of separation and shrunk geography.

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International Relations

India in World Affairs

India has never viewed itself as a mere South Asian power. Starting with its independence in August 1947 (and, in fact,
even from an earlier period), India perceived itself as charged with a broader global mission and larger international
responsibility. This self-perception and the commitment to safeguard the nation’s independence in world affairs led India's
leaders to fashion the policy of Non-Alignment. It was an idealistic mindset and yet a prudent strategy that helped India
safeguard its interests through the decades of the Cold war when much of the world was divided into American and Soviet
camps.

In the post-Cold War decade, India's rise has been there for everyone to see. It is part of Asia’s rise that has been marked
and dominated by the rise of China (which began its economic liberalization programme a generation before us.) India
now is an eminent Asian power with a broad and expanding worldview. It is not content to be a balancing power or ‘a
swing state’; it has the ambition to be a leading power. As its economic strength, military power and technological prowess
grow further, it will move closer to its goal to be a Great Power, hopefully by the middle of this century. The aim of our
foreign policy is to secure that goal in a manner that is beneficial to the world at large.

The story of the evolution of India's foreign policy is a long one. The policy traversed through many phases: Non-
Alignment from the times of Jawaharlal Nehru till Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and even later; the calibrated restructuring
and adaptation to the Cold War situation under PV Narasimha Rao and Atal Bihari Vajpayee; consolidation and stress on
strategic autonomy under Manmohan Singh; and now to the creative strategy of Multi-alignment, stamped by diplomatic
resilience, unprecedented dynamism and purposeful pro-activism under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Major Powers

Three of India's most important external relationships are US, China and Russia. In the Cold War era, India's Non-
Alignment was perceived to be tilted in favour of the Soviet Union. However, even in that period endeavours were made to
re-orient and improve US-India relations, although the two nations remained ‘estranged democracies.’ After our nuclear
tests in 1998, the relationship touched a new nadir as the US and other countries imposed sanctions on India. But this was
turned into an opportunity by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government which launched a strategic conversation and initiative
to re-build relations with the US. Subsequent governments built on it, and the present government has especially made a
huge effort in this connection at the highest political level. The recently concluded 2+2 Dialogue between India's external
affairs minister and defence minister and their US counterparts resulted in strengthening defence and security
partnership, deepening mutual understanding and cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, and cementing people-to-people ties.

China-India relations have been marked by a triad of competition, cooperation and contestation for long. After a
period of tensions and public differences on a range of issues, the year 2018 witnessed a steady improvement in this
relationship, following the informal summit between PM Modi and President Xi Jinping in Wuhan in April. Its gains have
been consolidated in subsequent months.

Russia, on the other hand, has been a traditionally steadfast friend and a reliable strategic partner. Geopolitical changes
brought this equation under stress, too. However, the Indian PM’s informal summit with President Putin in Sochi in May
2018 proved to be a positive step towards enhancing mutual trust and cooperation. External Affairs Minister Sushma
Swaraj visited Moscow last week to carry forward the process.

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International Relations

President Ram Nath Kovind, while on a visit to Greece in June this year, observed: "Europe is irreplaceable in India’s
determination to achieve the goals it has set itself.” Europe – both the European Union (EU) and the non-EU member-
states of Central and Eastern Europe – are considered important – but in varying degrees. While the India-EU relationship
has fluctuated in recent years, India's cooperation with the key European countries – Germany, France and UK –
haswitnessed consolidation and expansion.

Immediate Neighbours

As it began its tenure in May 2014, the Modi government launched its "Neighbourhood First” policy, geared to improve
and strengthen relations with all our neighbours in South Asia , ranging from Afghanistan and Pakistan to Bangladesh and
Myanmar and from Nepal and Bhutan to Sri Lanka. Dynamics of regional diplomacy and inter-state relations are moulded
by the facts of geography, history, national mindsets and competition among external powers. In this context, India's
endeavours to promote regional cooperation through various institutions such as SAARC, BIMSTEC and BBIN should also
be discussed.

Extended Neighbourhood

This includes a large circle starting from Central Asia, moving leftwards to West Asia , down to the Indian Ocean and then
to the Indo-Pacific region which extends, in its narrowest form, from India to Japan and Australia. Relations with Central
Asia are managed through bilateral diplomacy as well as through India's recently gained membership of SCO. West Asia is
a major source of energy supplies, home to seven million Indians, and a source of billions of dollars in remittances. It is an
unstable and turbulent region that requires deft handling so that India safely navigates through multiple faultlines and
intra-regional tensions, protecting its vital interests and contributing to peace and stability in West Asia.

The Indo-Pacific is a central theatre where global geopolitical competition is in full play today, with India having
assumed an important role. In his seminal address at the Shangri-La Dialogue in June 2018, PM Modi spelt out New Delhi’s
vision of "a free, open and inclusive” region which "embraces us all in a common pursuit of progress and prosperity.” He
also spoke of our concept of regional connectivity which should be based on a few fundamental norms including good
governance, viability and sustainability. Japan serves as a very significant strategic partner of India in the Indo-Pacific.
India-Japan relationship is viewed as the cornerstone of our Act East Policy. The growing cooperation with ASEAN states
too is a highly important element in our diplomatic matrix.

Africa and Latin America

India is seriously interested in both the continents, but at present greater diplomatic attention is accorded to the former
i.e. Africa. India's political visibility on the African continent has gone up markedly. Development cooperation is on the rise.

Endeavours are underway to accelerate the growth of trade and investment cooperation through bilateral, trilateral and
regional mechanisms. India Inc. has been particularly active in Latin America to increase its footprint there.

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Inter national Relations


R

Mu
ultilateral Fo
ora

Ind
dia accords co
onsiderable importance tto the UN an
nd its role at the
t UN. It has been a lead
der in the po
olitical, econo
omic and
pea
acekeeping domains
d of the
t UN. Indiia is committed to seeking reform of the UN, esspecially its SSecurity Cou
uncil and
incclusion of Ind
dia in it as pa
art of its dem
mocratisation and expansion. Our prin
ncipled fight against interrnational terrrorism is
d at the UN, the relevant agencies an
carrried forward nd through dialogue with our strategic partners o
others. Finallyy, India's
me
embership of a host of multilateral organisation
ns from G20 to WTO, BR
RICS and IORA, among o
others, is uttilized to
pro
omote our na
ational intere
est.

WORLD
W G
GEOGRAP
PHY IN CONTEXXT
# Pol itical G eographhy

 ID
DLIB AND
D HAMA,, SYRIA
• Idlib formss the last stronghold of tthe rebel forrces in
Syria and there is atttempt to fo
orm a conssensus
among Pre
esident Assad of Syria, R
Russia, Turke
ey and
Iran on ho
ow to deal with
w the reb
bel forces in Idlib,
wherein th
his consensu
us has to allso ensure tthat it
would also
o not be opp
posed by US
S, Israel and Saudi
Arabia.
• This prolonged conflicct has led to
o a humaniitarian
crisis in Idllib, which has also sprea d to neighbo
ouring
region of Hama.
H There
e has been a major outfllow of
refugees from
f Idlib and
a neighbo
ouring areass into
Turkey and
d Lebanon. The
T United N
Nations Office for
the Coord
dination of Humanitarrian Affairss (UN
OCHA) h
has been involved in
n ensuring
g the
minimisatio
on of the
e conflict evolving to a
humanitarian crisis as seen similarr in the confflict in
Yemen.

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Inter national Relations


R

 CHAG
GOS ISLA
AND
• UK had splitt the Chagos archipelago from Maurittius
before its in
ndependence
e in 1968. Theereafter, UK had
leased Dieg
go Garcia to the United SStates and the US
had formed
d its Indian Ocean militaryy base.
• A resolution
n introduced by Mauritiuss was adopte
ed by the
UN Generall Assembly which
w had askked the ICJ to
o give its
advisory opinion on whe
ether or not tthe UK was vviolating
internationa
al law by carv
ving Chagos o
out from Ma
auritius.
India voted
d in favour of
o the resolu
ution.
• India is in th
he process off attempting to convince
Mauritius to
o publicly offe
er a long-term
m lease to th
he US
for Diego Garcia, if Maurritian sovere ignty was resstored.
India intend
ds for continu
ued presencee of US in the
e Indian
Ocean regio
on to balance
e the growingg presence of China
in the region.
• India in Sep
ptember, 2018 has backed
d Mauritius o
over its
claim on the
e disputed Ch
hagos island s in ICJ saying its
decolonisattion was incomplete as lo ng as the ato
olls were
under Britissh control.

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CONSTITUTION, POLITY AND GOVERNANCE


# GS Paper (Prelims) & GS Paper II (Main)

The Supreme Court of India, in the matter of “Public Interest Foundation &
Others V. Union of India & Another’s” directed the Law Commission of India to
make suggestions on two specific issues (i) curbing criminalization of politics and
ELECTORAL needed law reforms, and (ii) impact and consequences of candidates filing false
REFORMS affidavits and needed law reforms to check such practice.
In light of the judgment, the Commission worked specifically on these two
UNDER areas and, after series of discussions, followed by a National Consultation on
CONSIDERA- these issues submitted its 244th Report titled “Electoral Disqualifications” on
24th February 2014 to the Government of India. After the submission of Report
TION No.244, the Commission circulated another questionnaire to all registered
national and State political parties to seek their views. Hence, the Commission
#Election undertook an extensive study to suggest electoral reforms, held various
#Electoral Reforms rounds of discussions with the stakeholders and analysed in-depth the issues
involved. After detailed deliberations, the Commission came up with its
recommendations in Report No.255, titled “Electoral Reforms”.

1. ELECTION FINANCE REFORM

• Financial superiority translates into electoral advantage and so richer candidates and parties have a
greater chance of winning elections. This also increases illegal and corrupt practices by candidates and
political parties.
• This puts other candidates on a lower footing and denies them a fair opportunity to fight elections on
Problem
equal grounds.
• Use of money encourages widespread prevalence of unaccounted money, bribery and quid pro quo
corruption which involves business groups who then expects a high return on their investment through
suitable policies and preferable treatment as kickbacks.

SUGGESTIONS MADE BY LAW COMMISSION REPORT 255

The Law Commission has proposed wide ranging reforms on the issue of candidate expenditure limits; disclosure
obligations of individual candidates and political parties; and penalties imposable on political parties; as well as examining
the issue of state funding of elections.

Change in
It regulates the election expenses incurred or authorized by candidates or their election agents. It
Section 77 of
currently extends from the date of nomination to the date of declaration of results. This period should
Representation
be extended by amending section 77(1) to apply from the date of notification of the elections to
of People Act,
the date of declaration of results.
1951 (RPA)

Amendment of Section 182(1) authorises the Board of Directors to pass the resolution authorizing the contribution

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Section 182(1) from the company’s funds to a political party. The Commission has suggested for passing of resolution
of Companies of political funding through company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM).
Act, 2013

• The existing disclosure obligations of individual candidates are limited to maintaining an account of
electoral expenses under sections 77 and 78, RPA. The Commission has proposed a new section
77A which require candidates or their election agents to maintain an account and disclose the
particulars including names, addresses and PAN card numbers of donors and amounts contributed
of
a. any individual contribution received by them from any person or company, not being a Government
company.
b. any contribution by the political party to the candidate from the date of notification of elections,
which have to be made by the party by a crossed account payee cheque or draft or bank transfer.
• Political parties should be required to maintain and submit annual accounts to the Election
Other Commission of India every financial year. Such accounts must be duly audited by a qualified and
obligations practicing chartered accountant from a panel of accountants maintained by the Comptroller and
Auditor General.
• Replacing Section 29C of RPA (Every political party to declare donations in excess of Rs. 20,000
received from any person or companies with Section 29D which requires all political parties to -
a. Mandatorily disclose all contributions in excess of Rs. 20,000.
b. Include aggregate contributions from a single donor amounting to Rs. 20,000 within its scope
c. Disclose the names, addresses and PAN card numbers (if applicable) of the donors along with the
amount of each donation above Rs. 20,000.
Note: The government this year, introduced the concept of Electoral Bonds but has not incorporated the
suggestions made by Law Commission.

• Adding Section 29E in RPA which shall require the ECI to make available publicly all the contribution
reports submitted by all political parties under section 29D on its website or on file on payment of
prescribed fee.
• The disqualification of a candidate for a failure to lodge an account of election expenses and
contributions reports under section 77 and proposed section 77A should be extended from the
current three-year period up to a five-year period, so that a defaulting candidate may be
Other
ineligible to contest at least the next elections.
suggestions
• A new section 29H should be inserted penalising parties that contravene the stipulations of section
29B, RPA and section 182 of the Companies Act, 2013 in terms of accepting contributions from
impermissible donors, by levying a penalty of five times the amount so accepted.
• A new section 29I shall be added to RPA which provides for “Regulation of Electoral Trusts”. It
shall provide detailing provisions pertaining to their entitlement to accept contributions, disclosure
obligations and penal provisions.

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2. DECRIMINALISATION OF POLITICS
The Decriminalisation of politics means prevention of people having a criminal background or those involved in criminal
offences to enter into political arena. Section 8 of Representation of People Act 1951 provides for disqualifications to stand
for election in case of conviction of certain grounds. Thus, to prevent criminalisation of politics, it was necessary to know
about such people involved in criminal cases so as to prevent them from entering the political arena.
The Supreme Court in the latest judgment in Public Interest Foundation and Others v Union of India and Another’s has asked
the Parliament to enact a strong law to restrain citizens facing trials for serious criminal offences from standing in
elections in India.

SUPREME COURT’S DIRECTIVES TO PARLIAMENT

1. It has directed political parties to publish online pending criminal cases of their candidates.
2. Each contesting candidate shall fill up the form as provided by the Election Commission and form must contain all
particulars.
3. It shall state in bold letters with regards to the criminal cases pending against the candidate.
4. If a candidate is contesting an election on the ticket of a particular party, he/she is required to inform the party about
the criminal cases pending against him/her.
5. The concerned political party shall be obligated to put up on its website the aforesaid information pertaining to
candidates having criminal antecedents.
6. The candidate as well as the related political party shall issue a declaration in newspaper and through the electronic
medium about any pending criminal cases or criminal past.

EARLIER SUPREME COURT JUDGMENTS

Union of India vs. Association for Supreme Court in Ramesh Public Interest Foundation and Ors. Vs.
Democratic reforms and Another, 2002 Dalal vs. Union of India, 2005 Union of India

The S.C. directed the Election Commission The S.C. held that a sitting The S.C. requested the Law Commission
to call for information on affidavit under Member of Parliament (MP) or to expedite recommendation on the
Article 324 on criminal background Member of State Legislature following issue:
including:- (MLA) shall also be subject to • Whether disqualification should be
 previous conviction, disqualification from contesting triggered upon conviction or upon
elections if he is convicted and framing of charges by the court or
 acquittal or discharge along with fine;
sentenced to not less than 2 upon the presentation of the report
 declaration of assets of the candidate
years of imprisonment by court by the Investigating Officer.
and his/her spouse along with number
of law. These judgments
of dependents; • Whether filing of false affidavits under
effectively disallowed people
Section 125A of the Representation of
 liabilities including debts owed to any having criminal background to
the People Act, 1951 (RPA) should be a
financial institution or otherwise; and enter political field.
ground for disqualification.
 educational qualification of the
candidate.

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SUGGESTIONS ON DISQUALIFICATION BY LAW COMMISSION REPORT 244

• Law Commission of India in its 244th Report did not favour electoral disqualification at the stage of filing of the
police report it can be easily misused against rival political parties.
• However, the Law Commission did favour electoral disqualification at the stage of framing of charges with adequate
legal safeguard.
• Thus, even Law Commission in its report has suggested measures to curb criminalisation of politics which will further
help in cleaning our electoral process.

3. AGAINST REPEATED PROPAGANDA IN ELECTION

The Election Commission of India has moved Supreme Court against the decision of Delhi High Court regarding
disqualification of candidate on grounds of paid news.

SUBMISSION BY ELECTION COMMISSION

• Election Commission of India in a submission to Supreme Court has stated that repeated publication of propaganda
lauding the achievements of a candidate in an election amounts to “paid news”.
• The Commission also said that such propaganda cannot be claimed as part of fundamental right to freedom of
speech and expression by such politicians.
• In this aspect, the Election Commission has asked Supreme Court to declare whether such motivated propaganda
amounts to paid news if
 such news is widely circulated in daily newspapers;
 covers statements issued by or in the name of candidate;
 if such statements amounts to self-eulogizing about one’s past records and achievements; and
 results in direct appeal for votes.
• The Commission further observed that If such motivated propaganda is allowed in the garb of free speech during the
election period, candidates with a strong network of connections and undefined relationships will exploit their sphere
of influence in society and will have the unequal advantage of encashing such silent services.
• Election Commission’s National Level Committee on Paid News found that five newspapers, with a wide circulation, had
published 42 news items that were “biased and one-sided and aimed at furthering the prospects of a candidate and
certain news fitted the category of paid news.

SUGGESTIONS ON PAID NEWS BY LAW COMMISSION REPORT 255

• The Commission stated that the issue of paid news and political advertisements should be regulated by including it
as an offence under Representation of People Act, 1951.
• Offence of Paid news include an electoral offence of “paying for news” / “receiving payment for news” to enhance a
candidate’s prospects for elections. The Commission also called for disqualification of such candidate in election.
• In order to curb the practice of disguised political advertisement, disclosure provisions should be made mandatory for
all forms of media.
• As per the Law Commission, the purpose of disclosure is two fold
 To help the public identify the nature of the content (paid content or editorial content).

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 To keep the track of transactions between the candidates and the media. Thus, a new section 127C should be inserted
in the RPA to deal with the non-disclosure of interests in political advertising. The ECI can regulate the specifics of the
disclosure required.

Election Commission of India is planning to take help from Google


GOOGLE TO TRACK to keep an eye on online digital advertising during elections
especially during the last 48 hours prior to polling when prohibitory
ONLINE POLITICAL orders are in place. This will not only help in regulating electoral
ADVERTISEMENTS expense on digital marketing in the last forty eight hours but will
also help Returning Officers in calculating the election expenditure
#Election #Electoral Reforms of individual candidates and political parties.

INTERACTION OF MEMBERS OF GOOGLE WITH MEMBERS OF ELECTION COMMISSION (EC)

• In this aspect, representatives of Google met members of Election Commission and also members of
Umesh Sinha Committee as the committee was established to suggest changes in section 126 of
Representation of People Act, 1951.
Interaction • As soon as someone is declared a candidate for any election, all the money spent by the person for
campaigning will be added as election expenditure.
• The Commission has also asked the candidates to declare their official social media accounts as it will
aid the Commission in tracking expense on digital advertising.

• Develop a mechanism which will ensure pre-certification of political advertisements.


How does
• Enable it to share the expenditure details incurred on Google platforms with the Election Commission of
Google
India.
intend to
help • This would enable Google to ask prospective clients, whenever an order is placed, whether they have
been pre-certified by the Election Commission’s Media Certification and Monitoring Committees.

• Election Commission in a circular dated 3rd January, 2017 has issued guidelines for dealing with
candidate’s advertisements on TV/Cable channels/newspapers owned by political parties or their
functionaries’/office bearers during elections.
Guideline • The Commission has directed that if the candidates or their sponsoring parties utilize TV/Cable
by Election Channel/Newspaper owned by them for promoting the electoral prospects of the candidate, the
Commission expenses for the same must be disclosed in their Election Expenditure Statement made to the Election
Commission.
• The Media Certification and Monitoring Committees shall keep a close watch on the contents
telecast on channels.

PROHIBITION DURING LAST 48 HOURS PRIOR TO POLLING

Section 126 of RPA, 1951 - Prohibition of public meetings during period of forty-eight hours ending with hour fixed for
conclusion of poll:
(1) No person shall
(a) convene, hold, attend, join or address any public meeting or procession in connection with an election; or

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(b) display to the public any election matter by means of cinematograph, television or other similar apparatus; or
(c) propagate any election matter to the public by holding, or by arranging the holding of, any musical concert or any
theatrical performance or any other entertainment or amusement with a view to attracting the members of the
public thereto, in any polling area during the period of forty-eight hours ending with the hour fixed for the conclusion
of the poll for any election in that polling area.
(2) Any person who contravenes the provisions of sub-section (1) shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term
which may extend to two years or with fine, or with both.
(3) In this section, the expression “election matter” means any matter intended or calculated to influence or affect the
result of an election.]

ABOUT UMESH SINHA COMMITTEE

• The Election Commission (EC) has set up a 14-member committee under the Chairmanship of
Umesh Sinha Umesh Sinha to suggest changes to Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
Committee • Section 126 prohibits poll campaign in the last 48 hours leading to voting, in the wake of media
expansion.

• Study and examine section 126 and other relevant provisions of Representation of People Act, 1951
to identify gaps/difficulties in order to regulate the violation of the provisions particularly during the
last 48 hours prior to polling.

Terms of • Examine the type, category or growth of communication technology or media platforms and
Umesh Sinha difficulties in regulating these media platforms during multi-phase elections.
Committee • Understanding the impact of new media platforms and social media during the prohibitory period
of 48 hours.
• Examine the present provisions of Model Code of Conduct related to the abovementioned issues
and suggest suitable modifications.

Meetings of
• Representatives of Google met Umesh Sinha Committee to understand the expansion and diversity
Google
of media platforms and also how Google intends to inform the Commission on such digital ads
representative
especially in the last 48 hours before election.
with Umesh
• Google also assured the Committee that it would set up a mechanism for sharing information on
Sinha
the cost of the political advertisements. This information can be utilised by Returning Officers as
Committee
they can calculate the election expenditure of individual candidates.
members

Q. To enhance the quality of democracy in India the Election Commission of India has proposed electoral
reforms in 2016. What are the suggested reforms and how far are they significant to make democracy successful?
(UPSC GS Paper II - 2017)

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Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) in an order has
CIC ASKS FOR asked the government to disclose on its website the
DISCLOSURE ON EXPENSE details of works undertaken under the Members of
Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) in
ON MPLADS FUND every constituency. CIC has also asked the Lok Sabha
#Statutory Body #Scheme Speaker and the Rajya Sabha Chairman to draft a legal
framework to ensure transparency and disclosure of
#Governance MPLADS funds in every district.

ABOUT MPLADS FUND

• The Members of Parliament Local Area Development Division is entrusted with the responsibility of
implementation of Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS).
• MPLADS allot Rs. 5 crore per year to each Member of Parliament (MP) to be spent on projects of
their choice in their constituency. Under the scheme, each MP can suggest to the District
MPLADS Fund
Collector for work to be done under the scheme.
• The scheme is funded and administered through the Union Ministry of Statistics and
Programme Implementation (MoSPI). Projects are to be recommended to and implemented by
the district-level administration.

• The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) has issued guidelines for the
implementation of the scheme.
• MPLADS is essentially for development works and creation of durable community assets. Member
of Parliament long with district authorities are responsible for the implementation of the scheme.
• To achieve the goals of Swachh Bharat, district authorities have been instructed to construct
How is MPLADS requisite number of toilets along with infrastructure developments of school/educational
fund utilised in institutions under MPLADS.
development • Even installation of rain water harvesting system both for water storage and ground water
work? recharging in government buildings and public places like school, colleges, hospitals, community
centres, etc have been made permissible under MPLADS.
• Construction of shelters for imparting training for skill development has been included in the list
of eligible works under MPLADS.
• In the wake of Accessible India Campaign (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyaan), assets created under
MPLADS must be made friendly to persons with disabilities wherever feasible.

WHAT HAPPENED?

• The petitioner sought details of work done and amount spent in their Lok Sabha constituency by their Member of
Parliament under Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) fund under Right to Information
(RTI).
• But the petitioners did not get any details on amount spent on work done in their constituency either from the district
administration or from the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI).
• The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) replied that it releases MPLADS fund but it does not
maintain constituency-wise and work-wise records.

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CIC ACTION

• As per the Information Commissioner, MoSPI was receiving utilisation certificates from district authority,
but did not upload any utilisation details on its website.
• The Commissioner also said that the district authority tried to conceal the information and did not
CIC communicate any stage of development, work done or beneficiaries which were benefitted from the
opinion scheme. This also amounted to denial of right to information.
• CIC has also directed the ministry to publish MP-wise, constituency-wise and work-wise details procured
from the district administration and ensure its publication in public domain by both local administration
and the ministry.

All MPs and parties are required to present the Public and Parliament with a comprehensive report on –
 the number of applications received for their constituency,
 works recommended,
 works rejected with reasons,
 progress of works and details of beneficiaries,
CIC order The framework should prohibit and prevent MPs using the funds for their private works, or diverting them
to private trusts or to their own relatives.
District administrations must provide regular information
 On the basis of work,
 MP-wise and year-wise details on progress needs to be compiled by the MoSPI and shall be made
available to the public.

Central Information Commissioner (CIC) has asked the Lok Sabha Speaker and the Rajya Sabha Chairman to
come out with a legal framework to –

Legal  Ensure proper implementation of MPLADS fund


framework  Hold parliamentarians and political parties accountable for their obligations under the scheme to prevent
irregularities in its spending.
 Make transparency a legal obligation.

The Prime Minister of India in his inaugural independence day speech in 2014
announced the replacement of erstwhile Planning Commission with that of new
body namely ‘The National Institution for Transforming India (NITI)’. The Prime
RELEVANCE Minister believed that the nation needed new institutions to address the
OF NITI contemporary realities faced by India which was not addressed adequately by
the erstwhile Planning Commission.
AAYOG In his speech, he highlighted that NITI Aayog will provide equal opportunity to
#Statutory Body all states and union territories in India which had not been the case earlier.
Thus, The National Institution for Transforming India, also called NITI Aayog,
#Governance was formed via a resolution of the Union Cabinet on January 1, 2015. In this
analysis, let us learn and understand about NITI Aayog and the role it is
envisaged to play in a developing modern India.

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THINGS TO KNOW

• NITI Aayog is the premier policy ‘Think Tank’ of the Government of India, providing both directional and
policy inputs. While designing strategic and long term policies and programmes for the Government of
India, NITI Aayog also provides relevant technical advice to the Centre and States.
• Creation of NITI Aayog reflects an important evolutionary change from the past as NITI Aayog acts as
the quintessential platform of the Government of India to bring States to act together in national
interest and thereby fostering the idea of Cooperative Federalism.
• At the core of NITI Aayog’s creation are two hubs
1. Team India Hub and
About NITI 2. Knowledge and Innovation Hub.
Aayog
• Team India Hub leads the engagement of states with the Central government, while the Knowledge and
Innovation Hub builds NITI’s think-tank capabilities. These hubs reflect the two key tasks of the Aayog.
• NITI Aayog is also developing itself as a State of the Art Resource Centre, with the necessary resources,
knowledge and skills, that will enable it to
 act with speed,
 promote research and innovation,
 provide strategic policy vision for the government, and
 deal with contingent issues

• NITI Aayog comprise of the following members:


 Chairperson of NITI Aayog – Prime Minister of India.
Constitution
 Vice-Chairperson,
of NITI
 Four Full Time Members, and
Aayog
 A Chief Executive Officer
• NITI Aayog also comprise of Ex-officio members and special invitees.

• Paragraph 13 (b) of the resolution which provided for creation of NITI Aayog, also provided for
Governing constituting a Governing Council comprising the Chief Ministers of all the States and Union Territories
Council of with Legislatures and Lt. Governors of other Union Territories.
NITI Aayog • Governing Council also consists of the Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Full Time Members and Special
Invitees of NITI Aayog.

VISION AND AIMS

• To evolve a shared vision of national development priorities sectors and strategies with the active involvement of
States in the light of national objectives.

• To foster cooperative federalism through structured support initiatives and mechanisms with the States on a
continuous basis, recognizing that strong States make a strong nation.

• To develop mechanisms to formulate credible plans at the village level and aggregate these progressively at higher
levels of government.

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Governance
• To ensure, on areas that are specifically referred to it, that the interests of national security are incorporated in
economic strategy and policy.

• To pay special attention to the sections of our society that may be at risk of not benefiting adequately from
economic progress.

• To design strategic and long term policy and programme frameworks and initiatives, and monitor their progress
and their efficacy. The lessons learnt through monitoring and feedback will be used for making innovative
improvements, including necessary mid-course corrections.

• To provide advice and encourage partnerships between key stakeholders and national and international like-
minded Think tanks, as well as educational and policy research institutions.

• To create a knowledge, innovation and entrepreneurial support system through a collaborative community of
national and international experts, practitioners and other partners.

• To offer a platform for resolution of inter-sectoral and inter departmental issues in order to accelerate the
implementation of the development agenda.

• To maintain a state-of-the-art Resource Centre, be a repository of research on good governance and best practices
in sustainable and equitable development as well as help their dissemination to stake-holders.

• To actively monitor and evaluate the implementation of programmes and initiatives, including the identification
of the needed resources so as to strengthen the probability of success and scope of delivery.

• To focus on technology upgradation and capacity building for implementation of programmes and initiatives and
to undertake other activities as may be necessary in order to further the execution of the national development
agenda.

RESEARCH, INNOVATION AND REPORTS

• NITI Aayog has undertaken research and published various reports which touch every aspect of
governance and promotes sustainable and inclusive development across dimensions.

• Regular brainstorming sessions with key stakeholders across industries helps them in strategizing key
component of governance and also take initiative in different fields such as artificial intelligence, water
conservation measures, key performance indicators for districts, Three Year Action Agenda for both
Union and states to chart new course of developments.
Research
undertaken • NITI Aayog also promotes Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) including Self-Employment and Talent

by NITI Utilization (SETU) with an aim to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Aayog on • Objective of AIM is to serve as a platform for promotion of world-class Innovation Hubs, Grand
Governance Challenges, Start-up businesses and other self-employment activities, particularly in technology driven
areas.

• The Atal Innovation Mission shall have two core functions:

1. Entrepreneurship promotion through Self-Employment and Talent Utilization, wherein innovators


would be supported and mentored to become successful entrepreneurs.

2. Innovation promotion: to provide a platform where innovative ideas are generated.

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• Atal Innovation Mission is establishing Atal Tinkering Laboratories (ATLs) in schools across India with a
vision to ‘Cultivate one Million children in India as Neoteric Innovators’.

• NITI Aayog has established a Development Monitoring and Evaluation Office which collects data on the
performance of various Ministries on a real-time basis. The data are then used at the highest
policymaking levels to establish accountability and improve performance.

• This performance- and outcome-based real-time monitoring and evaluation of government work can
have a significant impact on improving the efficiency of governance.

• Some of the important Reports and Publications of NITI Aayog includes

 Aspirational Districts Baseline Ranking, March 2018

 Composite Water Management Index - June 2018

 Task Force on Biomass

 Discussion Paper on National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence

 Moving Forward Together: Enabling Shared Mobility in India

Report and  Goods on the Move: Efficiency & Sustainability in Indian Logistics
Publications  Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEVs): Towards a Policy Framework, 2018

 A Summary Report Contributing to Sustainable Development in the Indian Himalayan Region

 Transforming India's Gold Market

 Digital Payments - Trends, Issues and Opportunities

 Breathe: An Action Plan for Combating Air Pollution - Consultation Paper

 Deliberations of the Task Force on Roadmap for India on Solar & Wind Energy beyond 13th Plan

 Report on India's Renewable Electricity Roadmap 2030-full report

The Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga


DRAFT BILL FOR Rejuvenation has prepared a Draft Bill with an aim to clean river Ganga.
The bill addresses the critical issues pertaining to River Ganga on its
GANGA cleanliness and un-interrupted flow and provides corresponding penalty
PROTECTION provisions. The Bill also captures various judgments on the River Ganga
including Supreme Court, various High Courts and the National Green
#Bill #Environment Tribunal. The Bill is proposed to be developed as a model bill to
#Governance preserve, conserve and manage different rivers and it would likely to be
the role model for development of other rivers of the Country.

VIEWPOINT OF THE SUPREME COURT (S.C.)

• The Ministry of Water of Resources River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation had constituted a
Drafting committee under Chairmanship of Justice Giridhar Malviya in July 2016.
of the Bill • The aim of the committee was to prepare Draft Act on National River Ganga for ensuring wholesomeness
and Cleanliness and un-interrupted flow.

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Constituti0n, Polity and
Governance
• The committee submitted the Draft National River Ganga (Rejuvenation, Protection and Management) Bill,
2017 to the Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation in April 2017.

• Subsequently, a four-member panel was set up by the government to examine the Draft Bill submitted by
the Committee. The Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation finally has
approved the revised version of the Bill.

 The Bill aims to constitute a National Ganga Council and a National Ganga Rejuvenation Authority to
enforce the law and protect the river which flows over 2500 km.

 The Bill provides for constituting Ganga Protection Corps (GPC) as an armed force “constituted and
maintained” by the Central government. GPC will follow Code of Criminal Procedure.

 Members of GPC have the right to arrest and detain if they have reason to believe that any person has
committed an offence punishable under this Act and can take such person in custody to the nearest police
station
Important
 The personnels to implement the Bill shall be provided by the Ministry of Home Affairs and will be
Features
deployed by National Ganga Rejuvenation Authority.

The following activities have been declared as a cognizable offence under the Draft Bill:

 construction activities causing obstruction in the river;

 withdrawal of ground water for industrial or commercial consumption from the land fronting the river and
its tributaries;

 commercial fishing or aqua culture in the river and its tributaries;

 discharging untreated or treated sewage into the river.

• Commercial fishing or aqua culture activities in the Ganga and any of its tributaries shall be punishable
with imprisonment for two years or a fine of Rs 2 lakh or both.

• Construction of permanent structure for residential, commercial and residential purposes in the active
Penalty & flood plain area of Ganga will be punishable with a two-year imprisonment or fine up to Rs 50 lakh or both.
Fine • The Bill prohibits establishing or taking any steps to set up any industrial or residential or commercial
premises or structure which may result in discharge of any sewage or trade effluent into the Ganga by any
person or Municipal Authority. Such a move shall be punishable with imprisonment of five-year prison
term or a fine of Rs 50,000 per day or both.

NEWS Snippets
ORDINANCE IN NEWS: The Union Cabinet has approved an Ordinance that has made the pronouncement of
divorce by instant triple talaq (talaq-e-biddat) by Muslim men to their wives a criminal offence and
ON TRIPLE attracts a maximum jail term for 3 years.
TALAQ • In August 2017, the Supreme Court in the case of Shayara Bano v. Union of India and

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Others had famously banned Instant Triple Talaq as a form of divorce and had asked the
Central Government to enact a law on the subject.
• The Central Government on the directions of Supreme Court has enacted The Women
(Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017.
• The 2017 Bill declared pronouncement of divorce by instant triple talaq by married Muslim
men to their wife as a cognizable and non-bailable criminal offence.
• The 2017 Bill was passed by Lok Sabha but is still pending in Rajya Sabha due to lack of
consensus on the bill.
• Now the ordinance.
Non-bailable Offence
• Pronouncing instant triple talaq continues to be a non-bailable criminal offence.
• The offence of instant triple talaq has also been “compoundable” - a provision that allows
the wife to withdraw a complaint or approach the magistrate for a dispute settlement.
• The new Bill incorporates certain safeguards including a provision where a magistrate may
grant bail to the husband after hearing the wife. This provision will leave open the possibility
of the marriage continuing by allowing bail and settlement.
• Police can register First Information Report (FIR) only on complaints filed by the wife (who is
the victim), her blood relations or her relatives by virtue of her marriage.
• Non-relatives or neighbours cannot lodge a complaint under the proposed law.
Note: When a person is accused of non-bailable offence, then in such case, bail can only be granted by
the Court and not by any police officer. Application for bail has to be made in Court in such cases of
non-bailable offence.

IN NEWS: The Delhi government has launched a project to deliver public services at doorsteps of
citizens. Residents of Delhi can now apply for roughly 40 documents which shall be delivered at
home from 8 am to 10 pm for a fee of Rs. 50 per service.

• VFS Global, one of the biggest visa and passport service providers in the world, has been given
the contract to run the project for three years.
• The documents can be driving licence, marriage registration, ration card, birth certificate, caste
certificate, water connection etc.
DOORSTEP
• The applicant can call at 1076 and fix an appointment with a mobile sahayak, who will visit
DELIVERY OF people’s home and help with filling forms, payment of fees and collection of documents.
SERVICES • The mobile sahayak would then submit the documents at the government office concerned
which shall post the relevant documents at the postal address as provided by the citizens.
• Once the document sought by the customer is ready, it will be sent to their house/office via
Speed Post. The status of application can be tracked online through unique IDs.
Possible benefits
• It will save time of citizens as they do not have to go to government offices to get these
important documents.

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Constituti0n, Polity and
Governance
• It will reduce cases of corruption as citizens at times have to shell out more money to get
important government documents.
• It will add accountability of the government employees. This will also help in improving their
productivity at work.

• Four Member Committee of secretaries headed by Home Secretary was formed to look into
the incidents of mob violence and lynchings and submit recommendations on ways to tackle
the challenge.
• The committee has submitted its report to the Group of Ministers (GoM), headed by the Home
Minister who will now examine the recommendations of this panel.
• Besides Home Secretary Sri Rajiv Gauba, the committee also included the Secretary of
HOME Justice, secretary of Legal Affairs, Secretary of the Legislative Department and Secretary of
Social Justice and Empowerment.
SECRETARY
• The Committee was constituted in wake of Supreme Court judgment where the Court directed
REPORT ON the Centre to draft strong legislation to make lynching a separate offence and also to take
LYNCHING preventive measures to control the spread of fake messages on social media platforms, after a
series of mob lynching incidents took place.
Caption: “Apart from the directions we have given hereinbefore and what we have expressed, we think
it appropriate to recommend to the legislature, that is, the Parliament, to create a separate offence for
lynching and provide adequate punishment for the same We have said so as a special law in this field
would instil a sense of fear for law amongst the people who involve themselves in such kinds of
activities.”.

IN NEWS: Telecom Commission has approved constituting a National Trust Centre to certify
devices and applications for machine-to-machine communication.

• The Commission has also decided to form an apex body for this technology segment and its
members will include representatives from other regulatory authorities like National Highways
Authority of India and Central Electricity Regulatory Commission.
• Note: Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications forms the basis for automated information
NATIONAL exchange between machines. It can impact various industries like smart cities and grids,
transportation systems and healthcare, among others.
TRUST
• Telecom Engineering Centre (TEC) and Standardisation Testing and Quality Certification (STQC)
CENTRE FOR will spell out the detailed security parameters for registration of M2M devices.
M2M DEVICES • Those devices operating in unlicensed spectrum but using wide area networks will come
under the category of licensing and there will be a new authorisation called UL – Universal
Licence M2M for such devices.
• Note: Telecom Commission is the highest decision making body of the Telecom Department. It is
responsible for:
1. Formulating the policy of Department of Telecommunications for approval of the Government;
2. Preparing the budget for the Department of Telecommunications for each financial year and

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Constituti0n, Polity and
Governance
getting it approved by the Government; &
3. Implementation of Government's policy in all matters concerning telecommunication.

IN NEWS: The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has prohibited the manufacture for sale, sale
or distribution for human use of 328 Fixed Dose Combinations (FDCs) with immediate effect.

• The Ministry has also restricted the manufacture, sale or distribution of six FDCs subject to
certain conditions where it has to justify the therapeutic use of ingredients used in the drug.
• Popular drugs which have been banned are saridon, panderm, gluconom PG, Taxim AZ etc.
• Earlier, the Central Government had prohibited the manufacture for sale, sale and distribution
for human use of 344 FDCs under section 26 A of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940.
PROHIBITION Subsequently, the Government had prohibited five more FDCs in addition to the 344 under the
ON SALE OR same provisions.
• However, the matter was contested by the affected manufacturers in various High Courts and
DISTRIBUTION
the Supreme Court of India.
OF FDC • In compliance with the directions given by the Supreme Court of India in its judgment in
DRUGS December, 2017, the matter was examined by India’s drug advisory body - Drugs Technical
Advisory Board constituted under section 5 of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940.
• The Board furnished its report to the Central Government where it recommended that there
is no therapeutic justification for the ingredients contained in 328 FDCs and that these
FDCs may involve risk to human beings.
• The Board recommended that it is necessary to prohibit the manufacture, sale or distribution
of these FDCs under section 26 A of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 in the larger public
interest considering their health.

IN NEWS: Three Judge Bench of Supreme Court of India has scrapped the use of None of the
Above (NOTA) option in Rajya Sabha polls.

• A Bench, led by Chief Justice of India held that the NOTA option is meant only for universal
adult suffrage and direct elections.
• NOTA did not apply to polls held by the system of proportional representation by means
NOTA FOR of the single transferable vote as done in the Rajya Sabha.
RAJYA SABHA • Election Commission of India in a notification ordered the Returning Officers for Rajya Sabha

GOES and legislative council elections to make sure that the column of NOTA is not published in the
ballot papers.
• Elections to Rajya Sabha and State Legislative Council follow a proportional representation
system based on the single transferable vote, unlike the general elections to the Lok Sabha,
which are conducted with secret ballots (or votes) and based on the first-past-the-post
principle.

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Consttituti0n, P olity and
Governannce
The President o
of India has a stice Ranjan Gogoi as the 46th Chief Ju
appointed Jus ustice of India
a (CJI). He
has assumed t he office of C
Chief Justice on 3rd Octob
ber, 2018 aftter the retireement of the previous
Ch
hief Justice, Ju
ustice Dipak Misra. Justice Misra had on Septemb
ber 4 recomm
mended justiice Gogoi
as his successo
or as per esta
ablished practice of naming the senio
or-most judgee after the C
CJI for the
po
ost. Justice Go
ogoi will have tenure of a little over 13 months an
nd would rettire on November 17,
2019. Justice R
Ranjan Gogoi was among
g the four ju
udges including Justice K
Kurien Joseph
h, Justice
Ch
helameshwarr and Justice Madan B. Lokur who ca
alled a press conference in January 2
2018 and
CH
HIEF JUST
TICE criticised Chieff Justice Misrra on various issues, esp
pecially the manner
m of aallocation of cases to
cerrtain benche
es.
RA
ANJAN
GO
OGOI
Ab
bout Justice Ranjan Gogo
oi
Bo
orn on 18th N
November, 19
954, Justice Gogoi
G was en
nrolled as an advocate in 1978. He pra
actised in
the
e Guwahati H
High Court on nal, taxation and compan
n constitution He was appointed as a
ny matters. H
Permanent Jud
dge of the Gu
uwahati High
h Court on 28
8th February
y, 2001. On 99th Septemb
ber, 2010,
he was transfe
erred to the Punjab & Haryana High Court. He was
w appointeed as Chief JJustice of
Punjab & Haryyana High C
Court on 12th February, 2011. He was
w appointeed as a Judg
ge of the
Supreme Courtt of India on 23rd April, 20
012.

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ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
# GS Paper (Prelims) & GS Paper III (Main)

AVIATION INDUSTRY
(Lead coverage)
#Sector in Focus
The economic foundation of a country can be strengthened by bringing in modernisation in its transport system
in which air transport plays a decisive role. Due to its inter-linkages with other sectors in the economy, the air
transportation can bring with it tremendous direct and indirect benefits to the economies in which it operates.
An efficient national civil aviation infrastructure and efficiently run airlines have the potential of bringing down
transport costs, promoting commerce, expanding culture and communications, and ultimately drawing people
together.
The Indian civil aviation industry has come a long way since its introduction in 1912. The civil aviation industry in
India has emerged as one of the fastest growing industries in the country during the last three years. India is
currently considered the third largest domestic civil aviation market in the world. However, the industry is
facing multi-faceted challenges because of which concerns have been raised over the future growth prospects
of the Industry.
In this aspect, the Civil Aviation Industry becomes our sector in Focus for this month.

THINGS TO UNDERSTAND

History of Civil Aviation Industry Growth of Civil Aviation Industry


• A passenger flight operated between Karachi and Delhi
• According to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation,
started the era of civil aviation in India in the year 1912.
India’s air passenger traffic has grown by at least 16%
• In 1932, JRD Tata founded Tata Airline, the first Indian
annually over the past decade. In 2000-01, it stood at
airline. In early 1948, Government of India established a
a 14 million passengers which has now increased to
joint stock company, Air India International Ltd in
140 million passengers in 2017.
collaboration with Air India (earlier Tata Airline).
• Further, India is set to become 3rd largest aviation
• Later, the government established the Indian Airlines
market by 2020
Corporation (IAC) to cater to domestic air travel passengers
and Air India International (AI) for international air travel • Until 2013, Airport Authority of India (AAI) was the
passengers. Further, Air Corporation Act 1953 ensured only major player involved in developing and
that IAC and AI had a monopoly over the Indian skies. upgrading airports in India. Post liberalization, private
• In April 1990, the Government adopted open-sky policy sector participation in the sector has been increasing.
and allowed air taxi- operators to operate flights from any
• Further, the aviation market in India has seen the
airport thus ending the monopoly of IA and AI in the air
entry of large number of private sector carriers, which
transport services. Private operators were allowed to
now account for the major share of passenger traffic
provide air transport services.
in India.
• Further, recently the government has approved foreign

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Economic Development

direct investment (FDI) up to 100 percent through the • According to data released by the Department of
automatic FDI route in the domestic air transport services Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), FDI inflows in
sector. India’s air transport sector (including air freight)
reached US$ 1,600 million between April 2000 and
June 2018.

GROWTH DRIVERS

DEMAND SIDE FACTORS SUPPLY SIDE FACTORS

• Increase in per-capita • Entry of low cost air transport


Income due to Economic • Increased FDI inflows
Growth.
• Favorable Government policies such as UDAN Scheme and Nabh Nirman Scheme.
• Increase in Domestic and
• Growing private sector participation through the PPP route.
Foreign travellers.
• India’s aviation industry is expected to witness Rs 1 lakh crore worth of investments in
• Increase in International
the next five years.
Trade.
• India plans to increase the number of airports to 250 by 2030 to cater to growing
demand.

GOVERNMENT’S POLICY SUPPORT

UDAN (“Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik” )


National Civil Aviation Policy 2016 Nabh Nirman Scheme
Scheme

• This is the first time since • It is the Government’s initiative to • This scheme envisages
independence that an integrated Civil make air travel to India’s tier II and expanding airport capacity more
Aviation Policy has been brought out. tier III cities affordable to the than five times to handle a
The centre-piece of the policy is to people. billion trips a year.
make regional air connectivity a • The idea is to put smaller cities and • It constitutes investments to be
reality. remote regions on the aviation made in airport upgrade by both
• The policy aims to take flying to the map, by getting domestic airlines to the private sector and the state-
masses by making it affordable and ply more regional routes. Under the owned Airports Authority of
convenient, establish an integrated scheme, the Government offers India (AAI) in the due course of
eco-system which will lead to incentives to airlines to flag off time.
significant growth of the civil aviation new flights to neglected smaller
sector. cities and towns.
• The policy is very comprehensive,
covering 22 areas of the Civil Aviation
sector.

CHALLENGES BEFORE THE AVIATION INDUSTRY

The Indian Aviation Industry is facing multiple challenges due to which the aggregate loss of the aviation sector is expected
to reach Rs 3,600 crore in 2018-19 up from around Rs 2,500 crore in 2017-18.

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Economic Development

• Government intervention for aviation industry is higher compared to any other industry. The Indian
aviation Industry is very competitive, but the industry is burdened with over regulation.
Government
• The high regulations in aviation are mostly concerned with international routes. The flying rights over
Intervention
another country’s territory do not lie in the hands of the airline company; rather it depends on the
political relation and bilateral treaty between two or more countries.

• Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) prices in India are higher than the global market due to higher
domestic taxes.
• The Centre charges 14% excise duty on ATF. The states levy their own sales tax that can go as high as
Rising Fuel 29% leading to higher cost of ATF.
Prices • The industry’s operational cost component is dominated by the cost of the ATF where in it accounts
for almost 45% of the operational expenses.
• A 10% increase in fuel price would push up costs by at least 4%, thus affecting the financial health of
an airline business.

• Presently capacity limitations are there at many airports like Delhi and Mumbai airports.
Overcrowding leads to a huge wastage of fuel.
Congestion • It is estimated that if a flight hang around in the sky for an additional half an hour due to delay in
allocation of landing slot, it can consume between 25 to 30 percent extra fuel thereby increasing the
operational cost of the airline.

High Airport The airport charges payable at the International airports are higher than those payable at the airports
(aeronautical) nominated as Domestic airports or domestic flights leading to higher operational costs of aviation
Charges companies.

WAY FORWARD

• India’s status as the fastest growing aviation market in the world creates tremendous opportunities.
• As discussed, the Indian Aviation industry has been growing quite rapidly and is set to become the world's 3rd largest
civil aviation market by the end of 2020.
• This bodes well for the overall growth of Indian Economy. Further, the various policy initiatives taken by the
government such as "UDAN', "NABH NIRMAN" etc. would make air travel more affordable, inclusive and bring about
balanced Regional development.
• However, the government has to take note of the various problems faced by the Aviation Industry and must take
corrective steps in order to create a conducive ecosystem for the overall growth and development of the sector.

PRADHAN MANTRI The Union Cabinet has approved a new Umbrella Scheme “Pradhan
Mantri Annadata Aay SanraksHan Abhiyan’ (PM-AASHA).The scheme
ANNADATA AAY is aimed at ensuring remunerative prices to the farmers for their
SANRAKSHAN produce.
This is an important step taken by Govt. of India to protect the
ABHIYAN farmers’ income which is expected to go a long way towards the
# Agriculture #MSP welfare of farmers.

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Economic Development

RATIONALE FOR THE SCHEME

• Government has already increased the MSP of kharif crops by following the principle of 1.5 times the cost of
production.
• Increasing MSP is not adequate and it is more important that farmers should get full benefit of the announced MSP.
• For this, it is essential that if price of the agriculture produce market is less than MSP, then in that case State
Government and Central Government should purchase either at MSP or work in a manner to provide MSP for the
farmers through some other mechanism.

MINIMUM SUPPORT PRICE

• Minimum Support Price (MSP) is a form of market intervention by the Government of India to insure agricultural
producers against any sharp fall in farm prices.
• The minimum support prices are announced by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) at the beginning
of the sowing season for certain crops on the basis of the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural
Costs and Prices (CACP).
• Minimum support prices are currently announced for 24 commodities including seven cereals (paddy, wheat, barley,
jowar, bajra, maize and ragi); five pulses (gram, arhar/tur, moong, urad and lentil); eight oilseeds (groundnut,
rapeseed/mustard, toria, soyabean, sunflower seed, sesamum, safflower seed and nigerseed); copra, raw cotton, raw
jute and virginia flu cured (VFC) tobacco.

COMPONENTS OF THE SCHEME

The new Umbrella Scheme includes the mechanism of ensuring remunerative prices to the farmers and is comprised of:

Private Procurement &


Price Support Scheme( PSS) Price Deficiency Payment Scheme (PDPS)
Stockist Scheme (PPPS)

• Under the Price Support Scheme • Under Price Deficiency Payment Scheme • Under this scheme, the
(PSS), physical procurement of (PDPS), it is proposed to cover all oilseeds states have the option to
pulses, oilseeds and Copra will be for which MSP is notified. It comes into rope in private sector for
done by Central Nodal Agencies picture when the MSP falls below the the procurement of
with proactive role of State market price. oilseeds when the MSP
governments. • This scheme does not involve any falls below the market
• It is also decided that in addition to physical procurement of crops. price. It would be
NAFED, Food Cooperation of implemented on a pilot
• In this direct payment of the difference
India (FCI) will take up PSS basis in selected
between the MSP and the selling price
operations in states /districts. district/APMCs.
will be made to pre-registered farmers.
• The procurement expenditure and • The selected private agency
• All payment will be done directly into
losses due to procurement will be shall procure the
registered bank account of the farmer.
borne by Central Government as commodity at MSP from
per norms. the farmers.

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WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

• Presently, the government declares MSP for 24 crops and Fair and remunerative prices (FRP) for sugarcane. However,
the MSP is successful only for rice and wheat which are procured by FCI for distribution through the network of PDS.
• Even though, the MSP is declared for pulses and oilseeds, the procurement of these commodities is not done
proactively leading to agricultural distress among the farmers.
• Hence, pulses and oilseeds deserve priority and the government must provide better price support operations for
them.

Key focus points (Prelims): PM-AASHA and its Components; Minimum Support Price (MSP)

The Rupee has lost about 12% of its value since the beginning of the year
and is currently the worst-performing currency in Asia. In order to check
MEASURES TO further depreciation in the value of Rupee, the government has announced
CHECK RUPEE a list of measures. According to the government, these measures would
help in stabilisation of Rupee and also address the burgeoning Current
DEPRECIATION Account Deficit (CAD).
# Exchange Rate The main rationale behind the government’s measures is to attract more
foreign inflows into India in order to check the Rupee Depreciation.
Management Let us understand as to what measures have been announced by the
Government.

GOVERNMENT MEASURES IN DETAIL

Concept of External Commercial Borrowings (ECBs)


• ECB is basically a loan availed by either Indian Government or Private Sector from outside India.
Most of these loans are provided by foreign commercial banks and other institutions.
• Post 1991 Reforms, ECBs have emerged a major form of foreign capital inflows into India along with
FDI and FPI.
Earlier Restriction: The Indian companies were allowed to avail ECBs with a minimum maturity
Easing of
period of 3 years.
Norms for
Measures taken: To permit manufacturing companies to avail of External Commercial Borrowings
ECBs
(ECBs) up to $50 million with a minimum maturity period of one year.
Impact of the new measure
• The rate of interest on the three year maturity period loans was higher which led to higher cost of
borrowing.
• The new measure will enable the private sector companies to avail loans at cheaper rate since the
interest rate on loans of maturity period of one year is lesser.

Earlier Restriction
Hedging The Reserve Bank of India had earlier issued a circular stating that the borrowers tapping External
Condition for Commercial Borrowings (ECBs) will be required to cover the principal as well as the interest through
ECBs financial hedges.

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What hedging means?


• A hedge is an investment that protects the finances from a risky situation which may arise in future.
• Hedging helps to reduce the impact of risk from the future changes which may adversely impact the
asset value. It is a kind of an insurance that can mitigate the impact of risk.
Measure Announced: Mandatory ECB hedging conditions for infrastructure loans will be reviewed.
Impact: Due to hedging costs, the cost of borrowing for the Indian companies was higher. Now,
companies will be able to raise dollar loans more comfortably.

Earlier Restrictions Imposed on FPI investment in Corporate Bonds:


• Investments by an FPI not to exceed 50% of the issue size: Investments by a single FPI as well as by
all “related FPIs” taken together shall not exceed 50% of any single issue of corporate bond.
• Exposure to a single corporate not to exceed 20% of FPI’s corporate bond portfolio: Investments
FPI Exposure made by an FPI in corporate bonds of an Indian company as well as related entities of such
Limit company shall not exceed 20% of the total corporate bond portfolio of the FPI
Measure Announced: The Government will review the exposure limit in order to promote FPI
inflows in Corporate Bonds in India.
Impact: The new measure will raise the FPI investment limit in corporate bonds, thus leading to
higher FPI Inflows.

Masala Bonds: Masala Bond is a rupee denominated bond issued by an Indian entity in foreign market
where in the interest payment and principal amount is expressed in rupees. (For more details refer to
News Snippets at the end of the section)
Earlier Restriction:
• The Income-tax Act provides for tax at the rate of 5% on interest paid on rupee denominated bonds
Withholding
which are issued by Indian companies to its borrowers.
Tax for Masala
• This tax amount was required to be deducted by the company before paying the interest to the
Bonds
borrowers and hence was referred to as withholding tax.
Measure Announced: Exception to masala bonds from withholding tax for issuances up to March
31, 2019
Impact: Removing withholding tax of 5% on interest rates means investors would no longer be
needed to bear the burden on tax thus making the Masala Bonds more attractive.

• Measure: Removing restriction on Indian banks’ market-making in masala bonds, including


underwriting of masala bonds.
Banks as
• Impact: Indian companies can now go to local branches of Indian banks to manage masala bond
Market Makers
issuances. Earlier, they had to use foreign stock exchanges and contact foreign banks for the issue
of Masala Bonds.

WAY FORWARD

• The Government’s initiative to control the Rupee Depreciation is a welcome step. These 5 measures would promote
more foreign inflows into India, thus giving boost to the Indian Currency.

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• However, these ad-hoc steps to contain the problem should not be seen as long term solution. There is a need to shift
focus to more fundamental reasons for the decline in the value of Rupee.
• We need to boost our export competitiveness in order to promote more foreign inflows. Further, there is a need to
reduce our reliance on import of crude oil by giving boost to renewable energy.
Key focus points (Prelims): External Commercial Borrowings; Masala Bonds; FPI Investment

Digital infrastructure and services are increasingly emerging as the key


enablers and critical determinants of a country’s growth and well-being. With
NATIONAL significantly advanced capabilities in both telecommunications and software,
DIGITAL India stands poised to benefit from harnessing the new digital technologies

COMMUNICA and platforms.


Hence, in order to unleash the benefits of digital telecommunication, the
TIONS POLICY Union Cabinet has recently approved the National Digital Communications
# Telecommunication Policy 2018.
In this aspect, let us look at the few highlights of the new policy.

IMPORTANCE OF DIGITAL TELECOMMUNICATION IN INDIA

• With over a billion mobile phones and half a billion internet users, India’s mobile data consumption is already the
highest in the world.
• Over 200 million Indians regularly use social media and in the last year alone, over 200 million Indians took to mobile
banking and digital payments. At the current pace, it is estimated that India’s digital economy has the potential to reach
one trillion USD by 2025.
• It has been broadly estimated that a 10% increase in broadband penetration in a country could potentially lead to an
over 1% increase in GDP. However, studies in India estimate that the impact could be significantly higher for the
country, given the increased productivity and efficiency gains that are likely to accrue to the economy.

ABOUT THE SURVEY

• As the present world has entered the era of modern technological advancements in the Telecom
Sector such as 5G, (Internet of Things) loT etc., a need was being felt to introduce a 'customer focused'
and 'application driven' policy for the Indian Telecom Sector.
• The new National Digital Communications Policy - 2018 has been formulated in place of the existing
Need for the
National Telecom Policy-2012 in order to cater to the modern needs of the digital communications
New Policy
sector of India.
• The objective of this policy is to lay out a policy and principles framework that will enable
creation of a vibrant competitive telecom market to strengthen India’s long term competitiveness
and serve the needs of our aspiring nation.

The key objectives of the policy are:


Objectives  Broadband for all;
 Creating four million additional jobs in the Digital Communications sector;

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 Enhancing the contribution of the Digital Communications sector to 8% of India's GDP from 6% in
2017;
 Propelling India to the Top 50 Nations in the ICT Development Index of ITU from 134 in 2017;
 Ensuring Digital Sovereignty.
These objectives are expected to be achieved by 2022.

• Provide universal broadband connectivity at 50 Mbps to every citizen;


• Provide 1 Gbps connectivity to all Gram Panchayats by 2020 and 10 Gbps by 2022; (BharatNet project)
• Ensure connectivity to all uncovered areas;
Features
• Attract investments of USD 100 billion in the Digital Communications Sector;
• Establish a comprehensive data protection regime for digital communications that safeguards the
privacy of individuals.

The policy advocates:-


• Establishment of a National Digital Grid by creating a National Fibre Authority;
Strategy
• Creating a collaborative institutional mechanism between Centre, States and Local Bodies.
• Removal of barriers to approvals.

• Connect India: Creating Robust Digital Communications Infrastructure


• Propel India: Enabling Next Generation Technologies and Services through Investments, Innovation
Sub-Missions
and IPR generation.
• Secure India: Ensuring Safety and Security of Digital Communications

Key Focus Points (Prelims): Highlights about National Digital Communications Policy 2018

The world is now in the middle of a new mobility revolution. Mobility is a


key driver of the economy. Better mobility reduces the burden of travel and
MOVE: INDIA’S
transportation and can boost economic growth. It is already a major
FIRST EVER employer and can create the next generation of jobs.
GLOBAL In a rapidly transforming mobility paradigm, India has some inherent
strengths and comparative advantages.
MOBILITY
In order to take advantage of these inherent strengths and advantages,
SUMMIT Government of India has organised the "First Ever Global Mobility Summit:
# Summit Move".
In this context, let's understand details about this global summit.

DETAILS

• This summit was organized by NITI Aayog in collaboration with various ministries and industry
About the
partners.
Summit
• It is first of its kind, with over 2200 participants from across the world including leaders from the

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government, industry, research organizations, academia, think tanks and civil society.

• The summit aims to revolutionise the way people travel in India, along with making mobility more
connected, shared and seamless.

Objectives • It aims to bring together and engage with key stakeholders within the rapidly transforming global
mobility landscape and to evolve a public interest framework for a shared, connected, zero emission
and inclusive mobility agenda for the future.

• Mobility has been key to the progress of humanity. The world is now in the middle of a new mobility
revolution.

• It is a key driver of the economy and is central to urbanization.

• It is critical to preserving our planet. Road transport accounts for one fifth of global Carbon dioxide
Importance
emissions. This threatens to choke cities and raise global temperatures.
of Mobility
• Creating a mobility eco-system that is in sync with nature is the need of the hour. Mobility is the next
frontier in our fight against Climate Change.

• Better mobility can provide for better jobs, smarter infrastructure, and improve the quality of life. Thus,
the mobility sector impacts larger public outcome

• The future of mobility in India is based on 7 C’s – Common, Connected, Convenient, Congestion-free,
Charged, Clean and Cutting-edge.

 Common: Public Transport must be the cornerstone of our mobility initiatives.

 Connected mobility implies integration of geographies as well as modes of transport. The internet-
enabled Connected Sharing Economy is emerging as the fulcrum of mobility.

 Convenient mobility means safe, affordable and accessible for all sections of the society. This includes
India’s
the elderly, the women and the specially abled.
Vision for
 Congestion free mobility is critical to check the economic and environment costs of congestion.
Mobility
Hence, there should be emphasis on ending bottlenecks of networks.

 Charged mobility is to drive investments across the value chain from batteries to smart charging to
Electric Vehicle manufacturing.

 Clean Mobility powered by Clean Energy is our most powerful weapon in our fight against Climate
Change. This means a pollution-free clean drive, leading to clean air and better living standards.

 Cutting-edge: Need to promote innovation in the mobility sector.

Key Focus Points (Prelims): Global Mobility Summit; India’s vision for Mobility

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Econnomic Deveelopment

The bankiing sector has played a key role


e in advanc
cing and su
ustaining ecconomic
growth in India. Howe
ever, in the recent
r past,, the banks have been ffacing multii-faceted
challengess such as hig
gh NPAs, po
oor governa
ance of Publlic Sector ba
anks etc. which has
taken a toll on the enttire banking
g Structure.
o tide over tthese problems, the go
In order to overnment had
h earlier mooted the
e idea of
MERGER Consolidattion of Ban
nks under the
t Indradh
hanush Misssion. Takingg this forward, the
OF governme nt has rece
ently decided to merge 3 Public Se
ector Banks-- Dena Bank
k, Vijaya
bank and B
Bank of Baroda.
B
BANKS
The merge
er of 3 bank
ks will be the
e First-ever three-way consolidatio
c on of banks in India,
# Banking with a com
mbined business of Rs. 14.82
1 lakh crore, making it India’s TThird Largesst Bank.
The conso lidation will help create a strong globally
g com
mpetitive ba
ank with eco
onomies
nd enable re
of scale an ealisation off wide-ranging synergies.
In this asp ect, lets ana
alyse the various facets
s of the merg
ger such as Background
d,
Rationale, Benefits, ch hallenges ettc.

THIN
NGS TO UND
DERSTAND

• The suggestion off consolidatio


on among PSBs has been quite old.
• mmittee Rep
Narasimhan Com port in 1991 (NC-I),recomm
mended a three tier bankking structure
e in India
Background ugh establish ment of thre
throu nks with intternational presence, e ight to ten national
ee large ban
bank
ks and a large
e number off regional an
nd local banks.
• The PJ
P Nayak Co ance of Public Sector Baanks (PSBs) had also
ommittee on improving the governa

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Economic Development

recommended for merger of PSBs.


• Earlier in August 2017, the Union Cabinet had given in-principle approval for Public Sector Banks to
amalgamate through an Alternative Mechanism (AM) in August 2017.

• An Alternative Mechanism for consolidation of the Public Sector Banks (PSBs) has been constituted
under the Chairmanship of the Union Minister of Finance.
Alternative
• The proposals received from banks for in-principle approval to formulate schemes of amalgamation
Mechanism
will be placed before the Alternative Mechanism.
• Alternative Mechanism may also direct banks to examine proposals for amalgamation.

• The proposal must start from the Boards of Banks.

Framework for • The proposals received from Banks for in-principle approval to formulate schemes of amalgamation
Consolidation shall be placed before the Alternative Mechanism (AM).
of Public • After in-principle approval, the Banks will take steps in accordance with law and SEBI’s requirements.
Sector Bank • The final scheme will be notified by Central Government in consultation with the Reserve Bank of
India.

NEED FOR CONSOLIDATION OF BANKS

Fragmented Banking Need to build capacity to meet credit Need for larger capital base to manage
Structure in India demand NPAs

• Indian banking sector is highly • India needs to have global sized banks • Public Sector Banks (PSBs) which form
fragmented, especially in that can support the investment needs approximately 72% of the Indian banking
comparison with other key of economy and sustain economic system are among the most affected by
economies. growth. the high non-performing asset (NPA)
• Additionally, most of the PSBs • To meet the growing credit demand of problem at present.
in India are competing within the economy, the Public Sector Banks • This has further resulted into a
themselves; most of them have need to be well capitalized and need to slowdown of credit growth in our
same business models and enhance their capacity to lend to larger economy, thereby reducing private
compete in the same segments companies and larger projects. investment and our potential economic
as well as same geographies. • Consolidation of Public Sector Banks growth.
• Thus, there is a huge scope of into 4 or 5 banks would create larger • There are suggestions that a
consolidation in this sector banks with capacity to fund larger size consolidation of PSBs can help them
projects of economic importance. manage the challenge of NPAs more
effectively.

• It is based on the rationale of merger of weak Bank with the strong bank.
• Presently, Dena Bank has the highest net NPA ratio among the three banks, lowest capital adequacy
Reasons for
ratio and the only bank among the three having negative return on assets.
the Present
Merger • Further, Dena Bank has also been placed under the Prompt Corrective Action Framework (PCA) of
the RBI.
• It is expected that merger of Dena Bank with the other two banks will greatly benefit the Public Sector

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Economic Development

Banks.

Some of the strengths of the envisaged amalgamated entity are:


 Net NPA ratio at 5.71% significantly better than PSB average (12.13%)
 Cost to income ratio of the combined entity at 48.94% better than the PSB average of 53.92%
 Capital Adequacy Ratio (CRAR) at 12.25% is significantly above the regulatory norm and stronger
amalgamated bank will be better positioned to tap capital markets
 Significant cost benefits from synergies: Larger distribution network will reduce operating and
Significance distribution costs with benefits for the amalgamated bank, its customers and their subsidiaries
of this Merger  Dena Bank’s strength in MSME will further augment the strength of the other two to position the
amalgamated bank for being an MSME Udyamimitra.
 Global network strength of Bank of Baroda will be leveraged to enable customers of Dena Bank and
Vijaya Bank to have global access.
 Access improvement through amalgamation of networks.
 Wider range of products and services through leveraging of bank subsidiaries and leveraging of a
larger network for offering more value-added non-banking services and products.

RISKS AND CHALLENGES

Systemic Risk Human Resource Integration Customer Retention

• It has been argued that a failure of a • One of the most challenging • The other challenge is customer
very large bank may have adverse problems which could hinder the retention. SBI’s recent merger
impact on the economy as witnessed consolidation process would be in with its associate banks saw
during the financial crisis of 2008. terms of human resource customers of associate banks
• The 2008 crisis highlighted that integration and management as opting to move their business to
presence of large financial institutions many employees would fear job rival lenders as result of a lack of
pose systemic risk to the economy and loss and disparities in the form of comfort in banking with the
such institutions are "too big to fail". regional allegiances, benefits, larger parent.
reduced promotional avenues, • The merged entity from the latest
• Further, in event of any such crisis in
new culture, etc. proposal will likely face a
future, the onus would lie on the
government to bail out the institutions, • Already, there has been opposition challenge in retaining customers
thus posing a moral hazard. from the All India Bank Employees’ particularly that of Vijaya Bank,
Association (ALBEA) with respect which is dominant in south India.
to this merger.

WAY FORWARD

• While there are clearly benefits in this merger, it is important to note that the merger is not the panacea to remove all
the economic ills of the Public Sector banks (PSBs).
• It is being argued that such mergers only push problems below the carpet, as the fundamental challenges are not
being addressed. If such governance issues afflicting the PSBs are not addressed, merging two or three public sector
banks may not change the architecture.

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• There is urgent need for the government to implement the recommendations of PJ Nayak Committee to strengthen
the governance of the Public Sector Banks. The PSBs have to be given enhanced autonomy along with their
accountability.
• Further, consolidation of the weak banks is not going to serve any purpose. Even the merger of weak entity with a
strong one has to be such that the merged entity is able to absorb the shock within a reasonable period of time and is
able to capitalize on the new strength and reap the benefits in the medium to long term.
• Thus, the merged entity would have to address all the challenges and risks within a short period of time after its
opening to be viable in the long term.

Key focus points (Prelims): Alternative Mechanism (AM); Prompt corrective Action (PCA); PJ Nayak Committee

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has recently issued guidelines to


CO-ORIGINATION banks and non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) for co-origination
of loans to the priority sector. This would lead to higher credit flows
OF LOANS towards the priority sector lending including MSMEs.
# RBI # Banking In this aspect, let’s understand the Concept, Rationale and benefits of
Co-origination of loans along with the new norms declared by the RBI.

THINGS TO KNOW

• The Co-origination framework seeks to bring the strengths of two sectors i.e. banks and micro-
finance institutions (MFIs)/non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) together.
• Under this framework, all scheduled commercial banks may join hands with Non-Banking
Concept of
Financial Companies (NBFCs)/MFIs for extending loans for the priority sector.
Co-
• The co-origination arrangement entails joint contribution of credit by both lenders. It also involves
origination
sharing of risks and rewards between the banks and the NBFCs for ensuring appropriate alignment of
of Loans
respective business objectives, as per their mutual agreement.
• It is expected that such a blending would not only increase flow of credit to priority sectors but also
bring down the cost of credit for the sector substantially.

• Banks have enough resources, but they lack the understanding of the ground level and last mile reach.
Additionally, the structural problems from which our banking system is suffering currently are unlikely
to be sorted out soon.
• In contrast, NBFCs and MFIs lack adequate resources, but they are more familiar with local conditions
Rationale
and better informed about business viability and credit worthiness of local individuals and business
enterprises and their repayment capabilities.
• So, combining the strengths of these two sectors can certainly be an ideal structure to address the
credit concerns of the MSME sector.

RBI NORMS FOR CO-ORIGINATION OF LOANS

• Minimum 20% of the credit risk by way of direct exposure shall be on NBFC’s books till maturity and
Sharing of Risk
the balance will be on bank’s books.
and Rewards
• The NBFC shall give an undertaking to the bank that its contribution towards the loan amount is not

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Economic Development

funded out of borrowing from the co-originating bank or any other group company of the partner
bank.

NBFC would have the flexibility to price their part of the exposure, while bank shall price its part of the
Interest Rate
exposure in a manner found fit as per their respective risk appetite/ assessment of the borrower.

Common The Bank and the NBFC shall open an escrow type common account for pooling respective loan
Account contributions for disbursal as well as to appropriate loan repayments from borrowers.

Monitoring Both lenders shall create the framework for day to day monitoring and recovery of the loan, as mutually
and Recovery agreed upon.

Key Focus Points (Prelims): Concept of Co-origination of Loans; RBI Norms

The circular issued by the SEBI in April 2018 imposed certain restrictions
SEBI’S CIRCULAR on the Foreign Portfolio Investments (FPIs) by the NRIs in India. This led
ON FPI to concerns that the circular would discourage FPIs into India. A lobby of
institutional investors, known as Asset Managers Roundtable of India
INVESTMENT (AMRI) has warned that it would lead to outflow of $75bn of FPIs from
India.
FOR NRIs In order to address these concerns, SEBI had appointed a high level task
# Investment #Capital force under the leadership of HR Khan.
In this context, let’s understand about the SEBI’s Circular and why it led
Market to controversy related to FPIs.

BASIC ASPECTS RELATED TO FPI

• Foreign Portfolio Investment (FPI) is investment by foreign entities in various financial instruments such
What is FPI? as Shares, bonds etc. which are being traded on the stock exchanges.
• Basically, the FPI is aimed at making profits by investing in a company through buying of shares.

• According to the guidelines issued by the Government, any investment by non-residents which is less
than or equal to 10% of capital in a company is portfolio investment. Whereas, the investment of
Difference above 10% is treated as Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
between FDI • FDI leads to both ownership and management control of a company, while FPI provides for only
and FPI ownership in accordance with the shareholding.
• The FPI investment is considered to be short term investment as compared to Foreign Direct
Investment (FDI).

 Category I (Low Risk) which includes Government and entities like Foreign Central banks, Sovereign
wealth Funds, Multilateral Organizations, etc.
 Category II (Moderate Risk) which would include regulated entities such as banks, Pension Funds,
Categories
Insurance Companies, Mutual Funds, Investment Trusts, Asset Management Companies.
of FPI
 Category III (High Risk) which would include all other FPIs not eligible to be included in the above two
categories.
• NRIs generally invest through Category II FPI funds and are mandated to keep their shareholding in

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such funds below 50 percent.

ABOUT SEBI’S CIRCULAR

NRIs and resident Indians not permitted to be beneficial owners of a FPI:


• It is categorically stated in the circular that NRIs or Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) or resident Indians
cannot be a beneficial owner (BO) of an FPI.
Identification of Beneficial Owner (BO):
• Beneficial Owner (BO) is the natural person or persons who ultimately owns or controls an FPI
and is identified in accordance with Rules formulated under Prevention of Money-laundering Act.
What does
• The threshold for identification of BOs is 25% in case of company and 15% in case of partnership firm,
the Circular
trust etc.
state?
• In respect of FPIs coming from “high risk jurisdictions” as identified by SEBI, lower threshold of 10%
would be used for the identification of Beneficial Owner (BO).
• In case if the BO cannot be identified based on threshold, the senior managing official of the FPI would
be treated as BO.
Deadline for the FPIs: FPIs are given time of six months from the date of the circular to change their
structure or close their existing position in Indian securities market.

Regime prior to the Circular:


What were • Entities owned by Non-Resident Indians (NRIs)/ Resident Indians (RIs) could be registered as non-
the previous investing FPIs for the purpose of acting as an investment manager for other FPIs (i.e. investing FPIs).
guidelines? • It means that the FPIs owned by NRIs/RIs (Non-investing FPIs) could manage funds of other FPIs
(Investing FPIs). However, non-investing FPIs are not allowed to make investment of their own funds.

What were • FPIs have invested more than USD 450 billion in India.
the • Out of this, USD 75 billion is managed by Overseas Citizens of India (OCIs), Persons of Indian Origin
concerns (PIOs) and Non-Resident Indians (NRIs).
with this • The restriction on NRIs/OCIs on being beneficial owners (BOs) of FPIs has led to concerns that it would
circular? lead to outflow of FPIs from India.

 RELATED INFORMATION: HR KHAN COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS

• There was no legal compulsion for SEBI to adopt the definition of Beneficial Owner as provided under
Identification
the rules framed under Prevention of Money Laundering Act,2005 (PMLA)
of Beneficial
• The BO criteria under PMLA may be made applicable only for the purpose of KYC and not as eligibility
Owner (BO)
criteria for FPIs, including those having NRIs/OCIs/ Resident Indians (RIs) as their constituent.

• The NRIs/OCIs/RIs may be allowed to be constituents of FPIs subject to the following conditions:
Eligibility for
• Single NRI/ OCI/ RI holding is below 25% of the Assets Under Management (AUM) in the FPI
NRI/OCI
• Aggregate NRI/ OCI/ RI holdings is below 50% of Assets Under Management (AUM) in the FPI
investment
through FPI • However, there should be no restriction on NRIs / OCIs / RIs investment managers to be in control of
the FPI provided any of the following conditions is satisfied:

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Economic Development

 The investment manager entity of the FPI is appropriately regulated in its home jurisdiction and
registers itself with SEBI as a non-investing FPI, or
 The investment manager is incorporated or setup under Indian laws and appropriately registered
with SEBI, or
 Where such FPIs are ‘offshore funds’ as approved by SEBI
NOTE: The limit recommended by the committee is based on Assets Under Management and not
based on ownership.
Assets under management (AUM) includes:
• Capital raised from investors;
• Capital belonging to the owners of the fund management firm.
For example, if owners contribute $5bn of their own capital to the fund and raise additional $10 bn from
investors, their AUM is $15 bn

Key focus points (Prelims): HR Khan Committee; SEBI’s Circular

The World Bank has identified financial Inclusion as one of the enablers
INDIA POSTS for achieving sustainable development goals (SDGs). Access to financial
services plays a critical role in ensuring inclusive growth and in helping
PAYMENT BANK government deliver services to their people.
# Banking #Financial In this aspect, the launch of India Posts Payment bank (IPPB) by the
Inclusion government gains immense significance. So, let’s understand the concept
of Payment Bank and how the opening of IPPB would benefit the people.

ABOUT PAYMENT BANKS

• A payment bank is a differentiated bank introduced by RBI on the basis of recommendations of


What are Nachiket Mor Committee on Financial Inclusion.
Payment • They are similar to other banks but operate on a smaller scale without involving any credit risk.
Banks? • In simple words, it can carry out most banking operations but cannot advance loans or issue credit
cards. However, it can accept demand deposits (up to Rs 1 lakh).

Objectives of The objectives of setting up of payments banks is to further financial inclusion by providing (i) small
Payment savings accounts and (ii) payments/remittance services to migrant labour workforce, low income
banks households, small businesses, other unorganized sector entities and other users.

• Existing non-bank Pre-paid Payment Instrument (PPI) issuers;


• other entities such as individuals / professionals;
Eligible • Non-Banking Finance Companies (NBFCs),
Promoters • Corporate Business Correspondents(BCs),
• Mobile telephone companies, super-market chains, companies, real sector cooperatives; that are
owned and controlled by residents; and

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Economic Development

• Public sector entities may apply to set up payments banks.

Capital
The minimum paid-up equity capital for payments banks shall be Rs. 100 crore.
Requirements

• Acceptance of demand deposits up to Rs. 100,000 per individual customer.


Scope of
• Issuance of ATM/debit cards. Payments banks, however, cannot issue credit cards.
Activities
• Payments and remittance services through various channels.

• The payments bank cannot undertake lending activities.


• It will be required to invest minimum 75 per cent of its deposits in Statutory Liquidity Ratio(SLR)
Deployment
eligible Government securities/treasury bills with maturity up to one year
of funds
• Maximum 25 per cent in current and time/fixed deposits with other scheduled commercial banks for
operational purposes and liquidity management.

ABOUT INDIA POSTS PAYMENT BANK (IPPB)

India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) was setup under the Department of Posts, Ministry of Communication
Ownership
with 100% equity owned by Government of India with the main goal to promote financial inclusion.

• It will offer three types of savings accounts—regular, digital and basic—at an interest rate of 4% per
annum.
• It will provide doorstep banking facility at a charge of Rs 15-35 per transaction. The limit for doorstep
banking is Rs 10,000.
Other Services which are provided include:
• DEPOSITS : Savings A/C and Current A/C
Services
• MONEY TRANSFER
Provided
• DIRECT BENEFITS TRANSFERS : MGNREGA, Scholarships, Social Welfare benefits and other Government
Subsidies
• THIRD PARTY PRODUCTS (in alliance with other banks): Loans, Insurance, Post Office Savings schemes
• BILL & UTILITY PAYMENTS: Mobile, DTH, Electricity, Water etc
• ENTERPRISE AND MERCHANT PAYMENTS: Digital payment for e-commerce delivery, small merchants/
kirana stores, offline payments.

• The Post offices in India have much wider reach due to its vast network of 1.55 lakh post offices as
compared to just 48,000 rural bank branches.
• However, the Post offices in India are losing relevance due to mobile intrusion. Hence, it is considered
Advantages as right time to make optimum use of vast network of post offices by enabling them to work as Banks.
of IPPB over
• The other advantages are highlighted as below:
traditional
Accessibility:
banks
• IPPB will be leveraging the vast postal network of nearly 1.55 lakh post offices and 3.0 lakh postal
employees in every district, town and village of the country to serve its customers.
• It would provide fillip to the financial inclusion in India.

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Approachability:
• With IPPB, banking at doorstep would no longer remain a mere slogan, but it would soon become
reality.
• This would greatly advantage the senior citizens, women and differently abled.
Digital Ecosystem:
• The government's proposal of transferring subsidies and other benefits through IPPB would lead to
transparency, remove corruption and leakages and contributes to a less-cash economy.
• Provides customers with the ability to transact without cash through digital channels and enable small
businesses to accept digital payments

USE OF QR CARD- A NEW WAY FORWARD

• IPPB does away with ATM and debit cards. Instead, it would issue new QR (Quick-Response) cards which
work on biometric authentication and not on passwords or PINs.
What is QR
• A QR card contains a barcode that can be used to identify details of the account holders.
Card?
• The barcode could be read through a smartphone or micro-ATMs, which can be carried by postmen or
Grameen Dak sevaks.

• QR card transactions can be done through postmen, post offices or Grameen Dak Sevaks (GDS).
Where the
• IPPB is also trying to ensure that QR card would be used for the transactions done through small
QR card can
merchants and kirana stores.
be used?
• However, it does not work at ATMs.

 The transactions through the QR card can be done only through bio-metric authentication, thus adding
Why the QR an additional layer of security.
card is
 Ensures door step delivery of cash by the Postmen.
considered
 It does not require the account holder to remember the account number or the pin.
better than
ATM/Debit  The QR card is also cheaper. The advantage lies not just in the cost of manufacturing a QR card as
Card? compared to a chip-based debit card but also in the cost of machines to make such transactions.
 A QR card can be scanned easily through a smartphone app without the need of a point-of-sale (PoS)
machine.

Key focus points (Prelims): Payment Banks; IPPB; QR Card

INDIA ENERGY The World bank has decided to extend $ 300 million loan to Energy
EFFICIENCY SCALE- efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) for the India Energy Efficiency Scale-up
programme.
UP PROGRAMME The funding will scale-up the deployment of energy saving measures
# Power Sector # Energy in residential and public sectors, strengthen EESL’s institutional
capacity, and enhance its access to commercial financing.
Efficiency

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THINGS TO UNDERSTAND

The loan amount under this program would be used by EESL for the following:
Components Ujala Scheme (Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All) :
of India • The main objective is to promote efficient lighting, enhance awareness on using efficient
Energy equipment which reduce electricity bills and help preserve environment.
Efficiency • Under the scheme, 20W LED tube lights and BEE 5-star rated energy efficient fans are also distributed
Scale-up to the consumers.
programme Street Lighting National Program (SLNP):The Government aims to replace conventional street lights
with energy efficient LED lights.

• Efficient use of energy is the fastest, cheapest and cleanest way to meet India’s rising energy
What would demand and power the nation’s growth. Energy efficiency would enable us to realise national
be the goals on energy security, energy access and climate change.
benefits of • The investments under the program are expected to avoid lifetime greenhouse gas emissions of 170
this million tons of CO2, and contribute to avoiding an estimated 10 GW of additional generation
Program? capacity.
• This would be over 50 percent of the National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency target of 19.6
GW indicated in India’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Accord.

 RELATED INFORMATION: ENERGY EFFICIENCY SERVICES LIMITED (EESL)

• Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) is an energy service company (ESCO) of the Government of India and is the
world's largest public ESCO.
• It is a joint venture of state-owned NTPC Limited, Power Finance Corporation, Rural Electrification Corporation and
POWERGRID.
• Programs implemented by EESL include:
 Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All(UJALA)
 Street Lighting National Programme (SLNP)
 Atal Jyoti Yojana (AJAY): This program seeks to illuminate dark regions across five states through solar power. The
areas that face less than 50% grid connectivity in Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, and Odisha will be
illuminated with solar LED street lights.

Key focus points (Prelims): Key focus points (Prelims):Energy Efficiency Scale-up Program; Energy Efficiency Services Limited
(EESL);Ujala Scheme; Atal Jyoti Yojana

EXPLAINED: The cash crunch and default of loans by Infrastructure Leasing and Financial
Services (IL&FS), a major infrastructure finance and construction company, has
IL&FS led to concerns about risks in the entire non-banking financial sector.
India’s top 15 non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) have together lost over Rs
CRISIS 75,000 crore on the stock market due to fears of a financial crunch in the sector.
# NBFC In this aspect, let us understand the entire gamut of the issue.

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Econnomic Deveelopment

THIN
NGS TO UND
DERSTAND

• NBFC
Cs raise fund s mainly by issuing comm
mercial pape
ers and also borrow from
m banks.
Commercial pape
er is a unsecu
ured instrum
ment issued in the form of
o a promisso
ory note with
h
maximum validityy of one yearr.
• The cost
c of borro
owing for the
e NBFCs was so far less as
a interest ra
ate on the co
ommercial pa
aper was
lower.
• The IL&FS
I funds long-term projects, of ov
ver 10 years, and hence it must ideaally be depen
ndent on
long term borrow
wings to fund its projects.
• ever, most o
Howe of its borrow
wings are raiised through
h the issue of
o commerccial papers w
which are
shortt term borrow
wings.
Wh
hat’s the
issue? • This has led to assset liability
y gap. It mea
ans that the earnings
e from
m its assets ssuch as infrasstructure
proje
ects is long tterm income
e that would accrue to th
he company
y after 10-15 years due tto longer
gesta
ation period of the projeccts. However, the liability
y i.e. the loan d by the company has
ns borrowed
to be
e paid within short period
d of time, say 1 year.
• This problem hass further acccentuated be
ecause short--term interesst rates on ccommercial p
papers in
India
a increased ssharply in th
he recent tim
mes due to liquidity crun
nch which in
ncreased the
e cost of
borro
owing for the
e NBFCs.
• Hencce, due to liq uidity crunch
h and higherr cost of borrrowing, the NBFCs
N have b
been unable to repay
back their previou
us loans.
• IL&Fss has a total consolidated
d debt of Rs 1 lakh crore and it has already defaullted on its re
epayment

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Econnomic Deveelopment

of co
ommercial pa
aper.

• Bank
ks and mutua
al funds are m
main sources
s of funding for
f housing finance comp
panies and otther non-
bank
king finance companies. While banks contribute 40%
4 of the funding,
f muttual funds co
ontribute
Ho
ow will it 30%. Market estim
mates suggesst mutual fun
nds have around Rs 2,000
0 crore expossure to IL&FS
S.
afffect the
• Thus, the default on the loans by the NBF
FCs would in turn adverse
ely impact th
he entire ban
nking and
financial
Mutu
ual Fund indu
ustry in India.
sys
stem?
• It is to
t be noted that the ban
nks in India are
a already facing
f the brrunt of NPA C
Crisis and he
ence, the
prese
ent NBFC crissis would furrther worsen the situation
n.

• The RBI
R has rece ntly undertaken open ma
arket operatiions by purc
chasing G-Se
ecs from the banks in
order to infuse liq
quidity worth
h Rs 10,000 crores into the
e Economy.
Ste
eps taken by
y • her, it has all owed the ba
Furth anks to take into account additional 2%
2 of their deeposits (i. e ttotal 15%
RBI of de
eposits) unde
er the mand
datory SLR re f the calculation of Liq uidity Coverage ratio
equirement for
(LCR)).

THIN
NGS TO UND
DERSTAND

• A failure to adeq uately monittor and contrrol liquidity risk


r led to the
e Great Fina
ancial Crisiss in 2008.
To im
mprove the b
banks' short-term resilien
nce to liquiditty shocks, th mmittee on Banking
he Basel Com
Supe
ervision (BCB
BS) introduce
ed the LCR as
s part of the Basel III postt-crisis reform
ms.
• The LCR is desig
gned to ensu
ure that bank quality liquid assets
ks hold a suffficient reserrve of high-q
(HQL
LA) to allow tthem to survive a period of
o significantt liquidity stre
ess lasting 300 calendar da
ays.
Concept of
• HQLA
A are cash o r assets thatt can be conv
verted into ca
ash quickly th
hrough saless (or by being
g pledged
Liq
quidity
as co
ollateral) with
h no significant loss of value.
Cov
verage Ratio
o
(LC
CR) • The LCR
L requiress internationally active ba
anks to hold a stock of HQLA at least as large as e
expected
total net cash outtflows over th
he stress perriod.

• Total net cash o


outflows are defined as the
t total expected cash outflows
o min us the total e
expected
cash inflows arisi ng in the stre
ess scenario.

• Earlie
er, the RBI had allowed
d the banks to take into
o account 13% of theirr deposits under the
Recent RBI mand
datory SLR re
equirement ffor the calculation of Liqu
uidity Coverag
ge Ratio (LCR
R)
Cirrcular • It has now allowe
ed the bankss to take into
o account additional 2% of
o their depo
osits (i. e tota
al 15% of
depo
osits) under tthe mandatory SLR requirrement for th
he calculation
n of LCR.

• Following the fun


nd crunch trig
ggered by the
e crisis at infrrastructure financier IL&FFS at the beg
ginning of
the month,
m rates on short-terrm papers ro
ose by more than
t 100 bpss (basis pointts) with mutu
ual funds
Rationale
beco
oming relucta
ant to lend to
o the non-ban
nking finance
e companies.
• The recent
r circula
ar of the RBI is aimed at in
ncreased the
e liquidity in the
t economyy.

Key
K focus po
oints (Prelim
ms): Commerccial Paper; Assset-Liability Mismatch;
M Ope
en Market Opeerations; Liquuidity Coveragge ratio
(LCR)

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Economic Development

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is interacting with socio-economic and


demographic factors to create a perfect storm of business model change in all
FUTURE OF industries. This would lead to major disruptions to labour markets. New
categories of jobs will emerge, partly or wholly displacing others. The skill sets
JOBS required in both old and new occupations will change in most industries and
REPORT transform how and where people work.
# International In this aspect, the Future of Jobs Report released by World Economic Forum
Report seeks to provide specific information on the magnitude of these changes
brought due to technological advancement.
Let's understand the key findings of the Report.

TRANSFORMATION IN THE GLOBAL LABOUR FORCE

• As the Fourth Industrial Revolution unfolds, companies are seeking to harness new and emerging technologies in
order to reach higher levels of efficiency of production and to expand into new markets.
• The technological breakthroughs rapidly shift the frontier between the work tasks performed by humans and those
performed by machines.
• Due to which, global labour markets are undergoing major transformations.
• These transformations, if managed wisely, could lead to a new age of good work, good jobs and improved quality of life
for all, but if managed poorly, pose the risk of widening skills gaps, greater inequality and broader polarization.

KEY HIGHLIGHTS OF THE REPORT

Four specific technological advances-high-speed mobile internet; artificial intelligence; widespread


Drivers of change adoption of big data analytics; and cloud technology are set to dominate the 2018–2022 period as
drivers positively affecting business growth.

Accelerated
By 2022, according to the investment intentions of companies surveyed for this report, 85% of
technology
respondents are likely to have expanded their adoption of technological advancements.
adoption

Changing • By 2022, employers surveyed for this report expect that they will have significantly modified how
geography of they produce and distribute by changing the composition of their value chain and nearly half of
production, them expect to have modified their geographical base of operations.
distribution and • When determining job location decisions, companies overwhelmingly prioritize the availability of
value chains skilled local talent as their foremost consideration.

• Nearly 50% of companies expect that automation will lead to some reduction in their full-
Changing
time workforce by 2022, based on the job profiles of their employee base today.
employment
• However, firms are expected to extend their workforce to new productivity-enhancing roles, and
types
more than a quarter expect automation to lead to the creation of new roles in their enterprise.

• By 2022, no less than 54% of all employees will require significant reskilling and up skilling.
A reskilling
• Skills continuing to grow in prominence by 2022 include analytical thinking and innovation as well
imperative
as active learning and learning strategies.

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WAY FORWARD

• New technologies can drive business growth, job creation and demand for specialist skills but they can also lead to loss
of jobs when certain tasks become obsolete or automated.
• The findings of this report suggest the need for a comprehensive ‘augmentation strategy’. Under this strategy, rather
than narrowly focusing on automation-based labour cost savings, it takes into account the broader range of activities
that can be accomplished by human workers, often in complement to technology, when they are freed of the need to
perform routinized, repetitive tasks and better able to use their distinctively human talents.
• Thus the workers will need to have the appropriate skills enabling them to thrive in the workplace of the future and the
ability to continue to retrain throughout their lives.
• Finally, policy-makers will need to play a fundamental role in helping those who are displaced repurpose their skills or
retrain to acquire new skills and to invest heavily in the development of future workforces by tackling improvements to
education and training systems, as well as updating labour policy to match the realities of the Fourth Industrial
Revolution.

NEWS Snippets

IN NEWS: The currencies of the emerging economies have come under immense pressure due
to dollar outflows from their countries. In this aspect, a new gauge known as Damocles has
been released by Nomura (Japanese financial holding company) in order to assess the risk faced
by the currencies of the emerging economies.

• The Damocles index summarises macroeconomic and financial variables into a single
measure to assess an economy’s vulnerability to a currency crisis.
• It is based on eight key indicators which help strike a balance between false signals and
real crisis signals to assess the risk of an exchange rate crisis up to 12 months in advance.
DAMOCLES • A score above 100 suggests a country is vulnerable to an exchange rate crisis in the next
12 months, while a reading above 150 signals that a crisis could erupt at any time.
• Nomura has assessed the risk of exchange rate crisis for 30 emerging market economies
noted that seven countries are at the risk of exchange rate crisis with scores over 100: Sri
Lanka, South Africa, Argentina, Pakistan, Egypt, Turkey and Ukraine.
• The report stated that the CPI inflation has moderated in India and RBI has sufficient forex
reserves buffer to counter Rupee depreciation. Hence, it has given India a score of 25, which
is not a cause for worry.

IN NEWS: The Reserve Bank of India has announced that it will conduct open market
OPEN operations (OMOs) to purchase G-Secs to infuse liquidity worth Rs 10,000 crore into the

MARKET economy.

Rationale:
OPERATIONS
• The decision is based on an assessment of prevailing liquidity conditions. The NBFCs such

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as IL&FS have defaulted on their loans due to shortage in the liquidity.


• Hence, the RBI intends to inject money in order to enhance liquidity in the economy.
Understanding OMOs
• OMOs are the market operations conducted by the RBI by way of sale/ purchase of G-Secs
to/ from the market with an objective to adjust the rupee liquidity conditions in the market.
• When the RBI feels that there is excess liquidity in the market, it resorts to sale of securities
thereby sucking out the rupee liquidity.
• Similarly, when the liquidity conditions are tight, RBI may buy securities from the market,
thereby releasing liquidity into the market.

IN NEWS: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the Revised Cost Estimate
of Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) at the revised cost of Rs 3466 crore
with the financial assistance of the World Bank to improve safety and operational performance
of 198 Dams.
• Initially the project was a six-year Project which commenced on 18th April, 2012 with a
scheduled closing on 30th June, 2018.

DAM • The CCEA gave its ex-post facto approval for two-year time extension from 1st July, 2018 to
30th June, 2020.
IMPROVEM- • DRIP envisages following objectives: -

ENT PROJECT  Component-I: - Rehabilitation of Dam and its Appurtenant Structures,


 Component-II: - Institutional Strengthening and
 Component-Ill: - Project Management.
• The Scheme envisages comprehensive rehabilitation of 198 existing dam projects located in
seven states of India.
• The project will improve the safety and operational performance of selected existing dams
and mitigate risks to ensure safety of downstream population and property.

IN NEWS: The government has hiked interest rate on small savings schemes. Small Saving
schemes have been always an important source of household savings in India.

• Small savings instruments can be classified under three heads. These are:
 Postal deposits
SMALL
 Savings certificates [(National Small Savings Certificate VIII (NSC) and Kisan Vikas Patra
SAVINGS (KVP)]; and

SCHEME  Social security schemes [(public provident fund (PPF) and Senior Citizens ‘Savings Scheme
(SCSS)].
• A “National Small Savings Fund” (NSSF) in the Public Account of India has been established.
All small savings collections are credited to this Fund.
• In 2016, the Government notified that instead of annual resetting of interest rates, the

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interest rates would be reset every quarter based on the G-Sec yields of the previous three
months.
• With interest rates falling during the last few quarters, the small savings accounts offered
lower returns than earlier.
• The increase in interest rates will benefit the small investors and push the investment rates
in the country.

IN NEWS: The Government of India has taken an important decision to enhance its
contribution in the State Disaster Response fund (SDRF) from 75% to 90%.

• Under the Disaster Management Act 2005, a financial mechanism has been set up by way of
National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) at national level and State Disaster Response Fund
(SDRF) at state level to meet the rescue and relief expenditure during any notified disaster.
STATE • SDRF has been constituted in each State in which Centre, so far, had been contributing 75%

DISASTER for General Category States and 90% for Special Category States of hilly regions every year.
• The Government of India approves the annual allocation to SDRF based on the
RESPONSE recommendations of successive Finance Commission.

FUND • SDRF is a resource available to the States to meet the expenses of relief operations of
immediate nature, for a range of specified disasters. At any point, the State Government
has fair amount of funds available under the SDRF.
• In case of any natural calamity beyond the coping capacity of a State, additional financial
assistance, as per norms, is provided by the Central Government from NDRF, in which 100%
funding is by the Central Government.

IN NEWS: In his report to Parliament recently, Former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan stated
that so far NPA problem has been attributed to corporate debt. However, he cautioned the
government to focus on the next crisis- Credit risk associated with Mudra Loans.

• The Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana (PMMY) is a scheme launched by the Union
Government in 2015 for providing loans up to Rs. 10 lakhs to the non-corporate, non-farm
small/micro enterprises.
• Under PMMY, all banks are required to lend to non-farm sector income generating activities
MUDRA below Rs.10 lakhs. These loans are classified as MUDRA loans under PMMY.

LOANS • For implementing the Scheme, government has set up a new institution named, MUDRA
(Micro Units Development & Refinance Agency Ltd.), for development and refinancing
activities relating to micro units. MUDRA provides refinance to all banks seeking refinancing
of small business loans given under PMMY.MUDRA also acts as a regulator for all the MFIs.
• A total of Rs 6 lakh crore had been disbursed to 12 crore beneficiaries under the Mudra
scheme since its inception in 2015.
• Raghuram Rajan has highlighted that the banks have the culture of meeting targets by
rushing through due process. Credit targets are sometimes achieved by abandoning

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appropriate due diligence, creating the environment for future NPAs.


• Further, the MUDRA Loans are unsecured i.e. it does not require collateral and in most of
the cases, the asset which is being purchased through loans itself acts as a collateral.
• Due to these reasons, Raghuram Rajan has highlighted that the banking sector has to now
focus on recovering its loans given under PMMY.

IN NEWS: The sharp slide in the value of the rupee has led to speculation that the RBI might
opt to issue NRI bonds worth $30-35 billion in order to help attract dollar investment into the
country.

• NRI Bonds are bonds issued by the Reserve Bank of India to non-resident Indians who are
interested in investing their money in India. Since these bonds offer higher returns than
other similar investments, they can be used as a tool to attract capital Inflows into India
particularly when the value of Rupee is declining rapidly.
• The rupee’s fall of 13.7% since the beginning of the year has been caused by two factors. On
the one hand, FPIs have been moving out of India’s capital markets. On the other, Indian
NRI BONDS exports have been losing demand, while imports of commodities like crude oil have risen
significantly. Both these factors have combined to cause an increase in the demand for the
dollar, thus leading to the fall in the value of the rupee.
• Thus, the idea behind NRI Bonds is to attract dollar inflows into India so as to reduce the
pressure on Indian Rupee. It is preferred mode of investment as NRI get higher rate of
interest then their domestic foreign bank.
• The NRI Bonds were earlier issued thrice in India- Resurgent India Bond (RIB) in 1998, India
Millennium Deposit (IMD) in 2001, foreign currency non-resident deposits (FCNR-B) in
2013.In all three cases, issuance of NRI bonds was successful in curbing the rupee fall.

IN NEWS: The Government has decided to provide for exception to masala bonds from
withholding tax for issuances up to March 31, 2019 in order to check Rupee Depreciation.

• Masala bond is a term used to refer to a financial instrument through which Indian entities
can raise money from overseas markets in terms of rupee, not foreign currency.
• These are Indian rupee denominated bonds issued in offshore capital markets.
• The rupee denominated bond is an attempt to shield issuers from currency risk and instead
MASALA transfer the risk to investors buying these bonds.

BONDS For Example:


• Consider a traditional foreign currency bond worth $100 issued by an Indian company with
an interest rate of 5% for a period of 5 years in 2010. Here, it is the responsibility of the
Indian company to pay back $105 after 5 years i.e. in 2015.
• If value of rupee depreciates from $1= Rs 60 (2010) to $1= Rs 75 (2015) during the 5 years,
then the Indian company would be required to pay back more money.
• In the above case, the Indian company would have got Rs 6000 ($100) through issue of

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Economic Development

bond in 2010. But, due to rupee depreciation, it would be required to pay back Rs 7500
($100) as the principal amount along with the extra 5% rate of interest.
• Hence, in case of traditional foreign currency bond, the currency risk falls on the Indian
Company.
• However, since the masala bonds are issued and redeemed in terms of Rupee, the currency
risk is transferred to the investor.
• The first Masala bond was issued by the International Finance Corporation (part of World
Bank Group) in November 2014 when it raised 1,000 crore bond to fund infrastructure
projects in India.
• In July 2016, HDFC raised 3,000 crore rupees from Masala bonds and thereby became the
first Indian company to issue masala bonds.

IN NEWS: India's foreign exchange reserves fell by $1 billion to $400 billion in the first week of
September 2018 due to a decline in foreign currency assets and gold reserves.

The Forex reserves in India comprises of Foreign Currency assets (FCAs), Special Drawing Rights
(SDRs) and Gold. Presently, India has the world’s 8th largest Forex reserves in the world
(excluding gold).
Foreign Currency Assets (FCAs)
• This is the largest component of the Forex Reserves consisting of US dollar and other major
global currencies such as Euro, Pound, yen etc.
• Additionally, it also comprises investments in US Treasury bonds, bonds of other selected
governments, deposits with foreign central and commercial banks.

FOREX • Even though, Foreign Currency Assets (FCA) are maintained in major currencies, the foreign
exchange reserves are denominated and expressed in US dollar terms.
RESERVES Gold
• Gold accounts for around 5% of the total Forex reserves in India. The Gold is held by the RBI
with the intention to serve as a guarantee to redeem promises to pay depositors, note
holders (paper money) etc.
Special Drawing Rights (SDRs):
• The SDR was created by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as an international reserve
asset in the year 1969 to supplement its member countries' official reserves. The SDR is a
basket of 5 currencies- Dollar, Euro, Pound, Yen and Yuan.
• The SDR is neither a currency nor a claim on the IMF. Rather, it is a potential claim on the
freely usable currencies of IMF members. SDRs can be exchanged for these currencies.
• The SDR value in terms of the U.S. dollar is determined daily by the IMF.

IN NEWS: India has sought re-negotiation of the natural gas price which it plans to procure
TAPI PIPELINE through a proposed $10 billion Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline.

• The Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline is a 1,814km trans-country

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Economic Development

natural gas pipeline running between four countries.


• The TAPI pipeline will begin in Galkynysh gas field in Turkmenistan and traverse Afghanistan
to reach Pakistan and India.
• It will cross the cities of Herat and Kandahar in Afghanistan, Quetta and Multan in Pakistan
and finally reach the Indian town of Fazilka, which is located on the Pakistan-India border in
the state of Punjab.
• The plan for the TAPI project was originally conceived in the 1990s to generate revenue
from Turkmenistan’s gas reserves.
• An inter-governmental agreement (IGA) was signed in 2010 by the heads of four member
nations.
• The four nations had in 2013 signed a gas sale purchase agreement (GSPA) that bench-
marked the price of natural gas that Turkmenistan is to export at 55% of the prevailing
crude oil price.
• Indian Government has sought re-negotiation in the natural gas price due to slump in the
global energy markets.

IN NEWS: India’s Tourism Minister K J Alphons said the government would make efforts to
increase the number of Chinese tourists visiting India.

• According to United Nations' World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), China’s outbound


tourists now accounts for 10 percent of the total of global tourists.

INDIA TO • Figures from the Ministry of Tourism show that 2.50 lakh Chinese tourists travelled to India
in 2016, accounting for less than 3% of all foreign tourist arrivals that year.
ATTRACT • In India, China is at ninth place among source countries of foreign tourists. Bangladesh and

CHINESE the US head the list, each accounting for about 15% of foreign tourist arrivals in 2016
• If the UNWTO and Tourism Ministry figures were seen in the context of each other, it would
TOURISTS imply that India’s 2.50 lakh Chinese visitors in 2016 represented one out of every 540
Chinese tourists who travelled abroad that year.
• It is in this aspect; the Indian government would make efforts to increase the number of
Chinese tourists. This would give a boost to tourism industry in India and more importantly,
improve cultural exchanges and people-to-people contact between the two countries.

• Capital Structure refers to how a company uses debt and equity in different proportions to
finance its operations. Some firms might finance most of their operations through the use
CAPITAL of debt while others may be completely financed through equity capital provided by the
owners.
STRUCTURE
• A firm with a relatively high proportion of debt financing its operations is generally
considered to be riskier than one that is financed primarily through equity.

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Econnomic Deveelopment

• STT is le
evied on pu
urchase or sale of securities that are listed on the Indian stock
es. This would include sha
exchange ares, bonds, derivatives or
o mutual fun
nds units.
• Securitiess transaction
n tax (STT) was
w introduce
ed in India to
o curb tax avvoidance on
n capital
gains. Ea om sale of stocks and
arlier, many investors usually did nott declare their profits fro
SE
ECURITIIES avoided p
paying capita
al gains tax.
TR
RANSAC
CT- • As a res ult, the gove uld tax only those profitts that had been declarred, thus
ernment cou
resulting in loss of re
evenue to the
e governmen
nt. Thus, in orrder to contrrol the tax avvoidance,
IO
ON TAX (STT) the Gove
ernment intro
oduced STT.
• This tax iis payable wh
henever the investor buy
ys or sells a share
s and geets added to the price
of the sh
hare at the tim
me of the tra
ansaction. Sin
nce brokers have
h to auto matically add
d this tax
to the tra
ansaction price, there is no
n way to avo
oid it.

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SOOCIETTY ANND SOOCIAL JUSTTICE


# GS Papper I & GS P aper III (Maain)

NA
ATIONA AL SEX
OFFENDERS’ The Nationa al Databasee on Sexual Offenders
O (N
NDSO) has b been launch
hed
recently by the Union Home
H Ministry. The Reggistry will ha
ave names a
and
REGISTRY bout 4.4 lakh people co
details of ab onvicted for various sexxual offences across
# Social Justice
J # the country y.

Safety

• The Nation
nal Sex Offfenders Reg istry will have
names, p
photographs
s, residen
ntial addre
ess,
fingerprints,, DNA samples, and P
PAN
and Aadhaar numbers of persons convicted on
charges of rape, gang rape, offen
nces related to
Protection of
o Children from Sexua
al Offences A
Act,
and stalking
g from 2005 onwards.
o

• The databasse will be maintained an


nd administe
ered
by the National Crime Records Burreau, which will
also track whether
w the State
S police a
are updating the
records on time.
t

• It is the first-of-its-kin
f nd national sex offenders’
registry laun
nched in Ind
dia, making India the niinth
country in th
he world to have
h such a rregistry.

• The registry
y details will not be availa
able for gene
eral
public but only to law enforcemen
nt agencies for
effectively trracking and investigating
i g cases of sex
xual
offences, unlike in the
e US where
e the datab
base
maintained by the FBII can be acccessed by the
public.

• The name of
o a sexual offender
o will reflect in ND
DSO
as soon ass he is conv
victed, and his details are
entered into a prison database an
nywhere in the
country.

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Society and Social Justice

OTHER PROVISIONS

• The state prisons will also update the data on appeals against a conviction.

• Thus an accused can be tracked until an acquittal on appeal.

• The data of convicts under NDSO will be stored under various categories:

- ‘Low danger’ category: data of convicts under this category will be stored for 15 years.

- ‘Moderate danger’ data of convicts under this category will be stored for 25 years.

- Habitual offenders, violent criminals, convicts in gang rapes and custodial rapes: data of convicts under this category
will be stored for a lifetime

The database however will not have the details of juvenile convict.

OTHER INITIATIVES BY THE GOVERNMENT

Cyber Crime Prevention Against Women and Children


National Mission for the Safety of Women
(CCPWC)

• The government also launched another portal, the Cyber Crime


Prevention Against Women and Children (CCPWC), to help
citizens anonymously report complaints pertaining to child Recently, the government also set up a National

pornography, child sexual abuse material, or other sexually Mission for the Safety of Women, to undertake

explicit material involving rapes and gang rapes. specified actions, including setting up Special Fast
Track Courts, strengthening forensic facilities,
• The portal can be accessed at “cybercrime.gov.in” and it allow
appointing additional public prosecutors, and
complainants to upload the objectionable content.
providing appropriate medical and rehabilitation
• The complaints will be handled by the respective state police
facilities to victims.
authorities.

• If a victim or complainant wants, he or she can track the report.

SIGNIFICANCE OF SUCH INITIATIVES

• Sex offenders’ registry and cybercrime.gov.in will help in strengthening security of women and children.
• With the launch of this database, the Government hopes to convey that the safety of women and children is its top
priority.

• This will not only aid the victims/complainants but also help the civil society organisations and responsible citizens to
anonymously report such complaints.

• The complaints registered through this portal will be handled by police authorities of respective State/UTs.
• There are other features, such as a victim or complainant can track his/her report by opting for ‘report and track’
option using his/her mobile number.

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The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, has recently released
DRAFT CHARTER the draft Charter of Patient’s Rights which has been prepared by the
National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). The charter lists out 17
OF PATIENT’S basic rights of patients in India and has been put up on the Health
RIGHTS Ministry’s website for comments and suggestions. The Ministry plans to
implement the Charter of Patients’ Rights through State governments for
# Right to Health provision of proper health care by clinical establishments.

NEED FOR THE CHARTER

• Despite being one of the largest economies in the world, India still struggles when it comes to the healthcare sector.
• India which is a growing hub of medical tourism lacks a universal policy of patient rights, as there is no consolidated
document on patients’ rights that can be followed in the country uniformly.
• Further, Right to Health is a Fundamental Right read into Article 21 of the Constitution, therefore it is imperative
that some comprehensive guidelines should be there to make all clinical establishments in the country to fall in life to
secure the right of the citizens.
• The Charter will act as guidance document for the Union Government and State Governments to formulate concrete
mechanisms so that Patients’ Rights are given adequate protection and operational mechanisms are set up to make
these rights functional and enforceable by law.
• The Charter assumes significance as India does not have a dedicated regulator like other countries. Existing regulations
do not focus much on the interest of patients and current healthcare delivery systems are not efficient.

• It has been prepared by the National Human Rights Commission


• Although some States have adopted the National Clinical Establishments Act 2010 and certain others
have enacted their own State-level legislation to regulate hospitals, there is no consolidated document
on patients’ rights that can be followed by all States uniformly.
• The proposed Charter draws upon all the existing relevant provisions, inspired by international
About the
conventions and guided by national laws, with the objective of consolidating these into a single
charter
document, thereby making them publicly known in a coherent manner.
• The Health Ministry intends to implement the Charter through State governments thereby putting the
onus on state governments to make adequate changes to their system of governance.
• In addition to stipulating rights of the patients, the Charter also puts certain responsibilities on the
patients which they must adhere to.

• The charter pens downs 17 basic rights for the citizens. Some of them are -
1. Right to Information regarding their illness, diagnosis, proposed investigation and possible
complications.
The basic
2. Right to emergency medical care .
rights of
3. Right to Informed consent before any potentially hazardous risky test/treatments.
the
patients 4. Right to confidentiality, human dignity and privacy:
5. Right to the second opinion from an appropriate clinician of patients’ or caregivers’ choice.
6. Right to non-discrimination: Every patient has the right to receive treatment without any discrimination
based on his or her illnesses or conditions, including HIV status or other health condition, religion, caste,

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Society and Social Justice

ethnicity or sexual orientation.


7. Right to choose alternative treatment options, if available.
8. Right to protection for patients involved in clinical trials.
9. Right to take discharge of the patient, or receive the body of deceased from the hospital.

ATAL RANKING OF To promote culture of innovation and research in the higher


education institutions of the country, the Ministry of Human
INSTITUTIONS ON Resource Development (MHRD), has introduced the ‘Atal
INNOVATION Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARIIA)’ to
systematically rank education institutions and universities
ACHIEVEMENTS (ARIIA) primarily on their base output and other globally used
# Higher Education # Innovation innovation related indicators.

THINGS TO KNOW

• All recognized Indian Higher Education institutions are eligible to participate in the ranking.
• ARIIA will rank educational institutions as per their innovation related, output based on major
indicators and parameters used globally.
About the
• ARIIA will also use some parameters which are India-specific considering the present scenario and
ARIIA
status of higher education in the country.
• The ARIIA will work parallel to the National Institutional Ranking Framework which ranks
institutions based on research capabilities.

• The ARIIA parameters are primarily organised into five broad heads which are further sub divided into
suitable sub-heads.
• Each of the five main parameters has a certain weightage assigned to it; the sub-heads also have
appropriate weight distribution
• The five parameters are:
Parameters 1. Budget expenses and revenue generated through innovation and entrepreneurship: 20%
of Ranking
2. Advance centres and entrepreneurial support system: 10%
3. Idea to entrepreneurship: 54%
4. Development of innovation ecosystems: 10%
5. Innovative solutions for improving governance: 6%
• In order to ensure transparency, ARIIA has provisions for third-party verification.

• For India to emerge as a global innovation hub, the youth of the country, especially in higher education
institutions (HEIs) need to play a crucial role to create a sustainable innovation ecosystem. Hence, all
Why is ARIIA HEIs should have a comprehensive and functional mechanism to convert research into innovations.
useful? • The rankings will encourage every college to have an innovation cell to serve the purpose.
• The ranking will certainly inspire Indian institutions to reorient their mind-set and build ecosystems to
encourage high quality research, innovation and entrepreneurship.

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Society and Social Justice

• Moreover, ARIIA will set tone and direction for institutions for future development for making them
globally competitive and in forefront of innovation
• Further, India was ranked 57th in the Global Innovation Index (GII) rankings, 2018 which is released by
World Intellectual Property Organisation, recently.
• Although India has improved in GII ranking from 81 in 2015 to 57 in 2018 to hold a top position in the
central and south Asia region, it is far behind China which was placed at 17th rank.
• Thus, ARIIA will lead India on a path to improve its innovation and global standing accordingly.

PROGRAMME FOR The Union Ministry for Human Resource Development has officially
INTERNATIONAL decided that India will participate in the 2021 edition of the PISA- an

STUDENT international assessment of student ability conducted by Organisation


for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), after boycotting
ASSESSMENT(PISA) it for more 9 years.
#Education
THINGS TO KNOW

• PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment), is an international study conducted by the
Organisation for Economic Cooperation Development (OECD) every three years since 2000, to evaluate
education systems worldwide.
• PISA assesses the competencies of 15-year-old students on key knowledge and skills essential for full
participation in modern societies.
What is
• A key aspect of PISA is the application of knowledge in real-life contexts rather than the mere ability
PISA?
of students to reproduce the knowledge.
• PISA assesses the quality of education systems across the world by evaluating students in three core
domain areas of science, mathematics and reading.
• Every three years, one core domain area is tested in detail in every cycle.
• The major domain in PISA 2018 is reading.

• PISA provides internationally comparable parameters of knowledge and skills, which can be used to
compare educational systems across the countries.
Significance
• This will help countries to identify their strengths and problem areas in education sector which can be
of PISA
used to improve the systems.
• It will also help in knowledge-sharing of best practices among policy makers of participant countries.

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WHY DID INDIA BO


OYCOTT PISA
A?

• Since its ince


eption , India
a has particip
pated in PISA only once in 2009 edition
n.
• 400 schools from Tamil Nadu
N and Him
machal Pradesh participa
ated in PISA, 2009.
2
• d 72nd amon
India ranked ng the 74 part
rticipating cou
untries on re
eading domaiin which was the core dom
main in 2009
9.
• On accountt of poor performance in
n the rankin
ngs, India bo
oycotted PISA
A in 2012 an
nd 2015, staating ‘out of context’
questions ass the justifica
ation for poo r show.
• A committee
e which was set up in 201
16 to review the decision
n of boycottin
ng PISA, recommended th
hat India sho
ould take
part in its ne
ext edition.
• Finally, the HRD
H Ministry
y has approve
ed the decisiion to participate in the PISA,
P 2021 an
nd will dispattch a team off officers
to Paris this year to nego
otiate India’s terms of parrticipation in 2021 with OE
ECD.
• ment has nominated scho
The Governm ools of Chandigarh for pa
articipation in
n PISA, 2021.

T
There has bbeen a spurt in the number of lepto ospirosis casses in flood hit
LEP
PTOSPIR
ROSIS K
Kerala. Already, the sta
ate is prone to the lepto
ospirosis, noow the floodds have
a
augmented the inciden nce of the disease this year
y with thee Kerala
#Health g
governmentt having to issue
i alert for
f five districts.

T
THINGS TO KNOW
K

Leptospirossis, also call ed as ‘rat ffever’, is a zoonotic dissease caused


d by pathoggenic bacterria called
About
‘Leptospira
a’ and is tran smitted from
m animals to humans. Hu
uman to-hum only very
man transmisssion occurs o
lep
ptospirosis
rarely.

• Cattle, buffaloes,
b horrses, sheep, g
goat, pigs, do
ogs and rodents are comm
mon carriers of the diseasse.
Sou
urce • Rodentss are the prim
mary source o
of infection to human beiings when they come in ccontact with tthe urine
of infectted rodents.

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• Leptospirosis is endemic in tropical and subtropical areas with high rainfall.


• Most human cases have been reported from India, Indonesia, Thailand and Sri Lanka during the rainy
Occurrence season.
• Annual seasonal outbreaks occur in various parts of India during rainy season.
• it could turn to Epidemic level following natural disasters such as cyclones and floods

• In the initial phase of disease after the incubation period of the pathogen, a mild, influenza-like illness
may occur with symptoms like high fever, headache, chills, abdominal pain and rashes.
• A severe form of leptospirosis, is called Weil’s disease, characterized by jaundice, renal failure,
Symptoms
haemorrhage.
• The next stage of the disease can cause meningitis.
• Final stages include pulmonary haemorrhage with respiratory failure.

• Oral administration of doxycycline once every week can give short-term protection in high-risk
environments as a preventive step.
Treatment • Further during initial phase antibiotic doxycycline or penicillin may be administered to treat the
symptoms.
• Dialysis may be required if kidneys are affected.

PROGRAMME FOR PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF LEPTOSPIROSIS

• Leptospirosis is public health problem in Gujarat, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra & Andaman and
frequent outbreaks of leptospirosis are reported from these states.
• Since the disease is easily treatable and the mortality is preventable if detected and treated early, the government
initiated the Programme for Prevention and Control of Leptospirosis in 2015.
• The Programme is being implemented in six endemic states as mentioned above.
• The strategy includes-
o Strengthening of diagnostics laboratories for early diagnosis.
o Strengthening of patient management facilities.
o Trained manpower development.
o Strengthening of inter sectoral coordination.
o Create awareness in general community.

INDIA’S The Global Burden of Disease Study has recently released reports on the
prevalence of cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, diabetes and
HEALTH cancers amongst the various states in India. These reports which talk about
the burden of these diseases and their variation across states in India , are
REPORT CARD part of the India State-level Disease Burden Initiative which was started under
# Health the GBD and were published in the medical journal The Lancet Global Health.

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THIN
NGS TO UND
DERSTAND

• The Global Burden off Disease Study (GBD) is a comprehen


nsive regiona
al and global research pro
ogram of
disease burden
b that a sability from major diseasses, injuries, aand risk factors.
assesses morrtality and dis
• It capture
es data for th
han 300 dise
eases and injjuries in 195
5 countries, by
b age and ssex, from 199
90 to the
GBD present, allowing
a com
mparisons ove ps, and among population
er time, across age group n
• GBD is a collaboration
c n of research
hers from 130
0 countries.
• It is base
ed out of th
he Institute
e for Health
h Metrics and Evaluatiion (IHME) at the Univversity of
Washingtton and fund
ded by the Bill and Melin
nda Gates Fo
oundation.

• The India State-level D


Disease Burd
den Initiative was launche
ed in October 2015, as a part of the G
GBD with
support from
f the Min istry of Healtth and Family
y Welfare of the
t Governm
ment of India..
• It is a collaborative efffort between
n the Indian Council of Medical
M Resea
arch, Public H
Health Found
dation of
India, Insstitute for H
Health Metriccs and Evaluation, and experts and
d stakeholdeers from ab
bout 100
About institution
ns across Ind
dia.

Ind
dia State- • In Novem
mber, 2017 th
hey released a comprehe
ensive reportt titled ‘India: Health of tthe Nation’s states’ in
level which the disease burd
ey provided d e in the country on the b asis of data available
den profile of every state
Disease
D from 1990-2016.
Burden
B • While sta
ate-level tre
ends for some importa
ant health indicators ha
ave been aavailable in India, a
In
nitiative ensive assesssment of the diseases causing the most
comprehe m premature deaths aand disabilityy in each
state, the
e risk factorss responsible
e for this burrden, and the
eir time tren
nds were nott available in
n a single
standardiized framewo
ork.
• These will help in fine tuning the d
data driven health policy.
• mber, they re
In Septem eleased reporrts on 4 majo
or health riskss in a cross-sstate comparrison format.

• DALY is a globally recog


gnised disea
ase burden estimate calculated on the basis off the numbe
er of produc
ctive life
years cut sh
hort by disease
• One DALY can
c be thoug
ght of as one
e lost year o
of "healthy" life.
• The sum of these DALYss across the p
population, o
or the burden
n of disease, can be thought of as a m
measuremen
nt of the
gap betwee
en current health
h statu s and an ide
eal health situation whe
ere the entire
e population lives to an a
advanced
age, free of disease and disability.

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Societty and Soc ial Justicee

• DALYs for a disease or health


h condiition are callculated as the
t sum of the Years of Life Lost (YLLL) due to prremature
mortality in the population and the Years Lost d
due to Disability (YLD) forr people living with the h
health condition or its
consequencces.

Cardiovasscular diseasses contributted to 28% of


o total deatths and 14 % of total DA
ALYs in India
a in 2016,
Cardiovascular compared
d with 15% a
and 6.9%, resspectively, in 1990.
dis
seases and • Ischem
mic heart dis ease burden
n in India in 2016 was 34%
% of the globa
al burden, wiith Kerala top
pping the
the
eir risk list folllowed by Pu njab, Tamil N
Nadu and Ma
aharashtra
fac
ctors • Death
hs due to carrdiovascular diseases in India increassed from 1.3
3 million in 11990 to 2.8 m
million in
2016.

• India’ss diabetes b
burden has more than doubled
betwe nd 2016, witth the total number of
een 1990 an
om 26 million to 65 million
cases going up fro n.
• ue to diabete
The death rate du es increased by 131 per
cent.
• The prevalence
p off diabetes in
n adults abov
ve 20 years
Dia
abetes and
increa
ased from 5.5
5 per cent in 1990 to 7.7 per
p cent in 20
016.
its risk factorss
• The disability-adju
usted life yea d in India byy 39.6 per cent — the
ars (DALY) rate for diabettes increased
highesst increase a mong major non-commu
unicable disea
ases.
• The prevalence in
n 2016 was highest in Tamil
T Nadu, Kerala
K and Delhi
D d by Punjab and Goa
followed
and Karnataka.
• The most
m importa
ant risk facto
or for diabetes in India was overwe
eight. Otherr risk factorss include
tobaccco use, occup
pational expo
osure to seco
ond-hand sm
moke, low phy
ysical activityy and alcohol use.

• India has
h 18% of the world’s population but 32% off the
global burden of re
espiratory disseases.
• Chronic respiratoryy diseases w
were responsible for 10.9% of
the total deaths and e total DALYs in India in 20
d 6.4% of the 016.
• Pollutio
on was the biggest con
ntributor to the respira
atory
disease
e burden. Ab
bout 33.6% o
of COPD (chronic obstructive
Respiratory
pulmon
nary disease
e) could be
e attributed to ambientt air
Dis
seases and
pollutio
on, 25.8% to
o household
d air pollution and 21%
% to
its risk factorss
smokin
ng.
• Rajasthan and Utttar Pradesh a
are hotspots
s of not just lung
afflictio
ons but also b
bear a heavyy burden of heart
h disease
e and
diabete
es.
• The Na
ational Healtth Policy of IIndia 2017 re
ecommends that
ble diseases, including chrronic respiraatory diseases, should
prematture mortalitty from non-ccommunicab
be redu
uced by 25% by 2022.

Cancer and itss • India has manage


ed to bring d
down cases of cervical and oesophag
geal cancer, but the inc
crease in

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Society and Social Justice

risk Factors breast, liver and lung cancer have contributed to a steep rise in cancer cases in the country.
• The estimated number of incident cancer cases in India increased to almost 10.7 lakhs in 2016.
• 43% of all lung cancer cases in India is due to air pollution
• Breast cancer incidence has gone up by 39.1% from 1990 to 2016 and is the most common cancer
among women in India, accounting for the largest crude incidence rate and prevalence of any cancer
type.
• The study also found that Kerala accounted for the highest incidence of cancer, followed by Mizoram,
Haryana and Delhi.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued a notification for bringing the
HIV/AIDS Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome

ACT (Prevention and Control) Act, 2017 in force from 10th September, 2018.
The Act, safeguards the rights of people living with HIV and affected by HIV. The
NOTIFIED provisions of the Act address HIV-related discrimination, strengthen the existing
# Health programme by bringing in legal accountability, and establish formal mechanisms
for inquiring into complaints and redressing grievances

NEED FOR THE ACT

• India has the third largest HIV-infected population with an estimated 2 million people, hence the Act was required for
the prevention and control of the spread of HIV/AIDS.
• India aims to decrease new infections by 75% between 2010 and 2020 and eliminate AIDS by 2030.
• The percentage of patients receiving anti-retroviral therapy (ART) treatment currently stands at a mere 25.82% as
against the global percentage of 41%, according to the 2015 Global Burden of Diseases (GBD). The Act makes its
compulsory for the government to provide ART treatment to people infected with HIV/AIDS
• There was a need to protect and secure human rights of persons affected by the said virus and syndrome and further
provide for effective care, support and treatment for HIV/AIDS.
• India is a signatory to the Declaration of Commitment on Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune
Deficiency Syndrome (2001), which was adopted by the United Nations to secure a global commitment to enhancing
coordination and intensification of national, regional and international efforts to combat it in a comprehensive
manner.

PROVISIONS OF THE ACT

• The Act mandates the central and state governments to provide anti-retroviral therapy (ART) and
manage opportunistic infections (infections that take advantage of weakness in the immune system
Role of
and occur frequently) in persons infected with HIV/AIDS.
governments
• It also prohibits specific acts of discrimination by the state, or any other person, against HIV-positive
people, or those living with such people.

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Society and Social Justice

• The Act provides for penal provisions for any discriminatory action practiced against a person with
HIV/AIDS and breach of confidentiality.
Non- • The protection mandated under the Act extends to the fields of employment, healthcare services,
discrimination educational services, public facilities, property rights, holding public office, and insurance.
• It also makes provisions for confidentiality of HIV-related information and makes it necessary to get
informed consent for undertaking HIV tests, medical treatment and research.

• An ombudsman shall be appointed by each state government to inquire into complaints related to
Provides for
the violation of the Act and the provision of various health care services.
an
• The ombudsman shall also submit a report to the state government every six months mentioning the
Ombudsman
number and nature of complaints received and the actions taken.

• Provisions related to guardianship are also given under the Act.


• A person between the age of 12 to 18 years who has sufficient maturity in understanding and
Provisions
managing the affairs of his HIV or AIDS affected family shall be competent to act as a guardian of
related to
another sibling below 18 years of age.
guardianship
• The guardianship will apply in matters relating to admission to educational establishments, operating
bank accounts, managing property, care and treatment, amongst others.

• Cases relating to HIV positive persons shall be disposed off by the court on a priority basis.
• In any legal proceeding where an HIV infected or affected person is a party, the court may order that
such proceedings be conducted (a) by suppressing the identity of the person, (b) in camera, and (c) to
Role of courts
restrain any person from publishing information that discloses the identity of the applicant.
• When passing any order with regard to a maintenance application filed by an HIV infected or affected
person, the court shall consider the medical expenses incurred by the applicant.

 RELATED INFORMATION: NATIONAL AIDS CONTROL ORGANISATION (NACO) REPORT

• India has approximately 21.40 lakh people living with HIV-AIDs


• Characteristic of the HIV epidemic in India - national prevalence and incidence remains low, but the epidemic is high in
some geographical regions and population groups
• New infections in 2017 in Arunachal Pradesh increased by 65 per cent, in Assam by 37 per cent, Mizoram by 18 per
cent, Meghalaya by 10 per cent and Uttarakhand by 4 per cent.
• With 3.30 lakh people living with HIV-AIDS, Maharashtra has the highest number, contributing 15 per cent of the
country’s total.
• At 2.04 per cent, Mizoram had the highest adult HIV prevalence, followed by Manipur at 1.43 per cent and Nagaland at
1.15 per cent.
• Around 69,11,000 people died of AIDS-related causes in 2017
• The report showed that India’s progress in dealing with the AIDS epidemic has been satisfactory, but sounded a note of
caution.

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NORMS ON MANAGEMENT
The National Technical Board on Nutrition has approved
OF SEVERE ACUTE guidelines for nutritional management of children with
Severe Acute Malnutrition( SAM) as proposed by the
MALNUTRITION APPROVED Ministry of Women and Child Development.
# Health
SEVERE ACUTE MALNUTRITION (SAM)

• SAM is the most extreme and visible form of undernutrition.


• Children with severe acute malnutrition have very low weight for their height and severe muscle wasting, i.e. low mass
of the muscle.
• They may also have nutritional oedema – characterized by swollen feet, face and limbs.
• About two thirds of these children live in Asia and almost one third live in Africa.
• Severe acute malnutrition is a major cause of death in children under 5.
• There are over 93.4 lakh children suffering from severe acute malnutrition in India, as per the National Family Health
Survey (NFHS) 4.

THINGS TO KNOW

• India stands at 100 out of 119 countries in the World Hunger Index ranking of 2017.
• Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Bihar have high incidences of malnutrition in children.
• Children who are affected by severe acute malnutrition need special treatment, as food alone cannot
tackle the problem. This guideline is important to tackle the menace of undernutrition in children in the
Need for
country.
norms
• Article 47 of the Indian Constitution provides that it is the “duty of the State to raise the level of nutrition
and the standard of living and to improve public health”.
• One of the Sustainable Development Goals, 2030 is to eradicate all forms of nutrition.
• This policy is separate from the revised guidelines for supplementary nutrition.

• The guidelines aim to tackle severe acute malnourishment in children under the Integrated Child
Development Services (ICDS) scheme, which is primarily designed to bridge the gap between the
Recommended Dietary Allowance and the Average Daily Intake.
• The government had, till now, only put in place guidelines for the hospitalization of severely wasted
children who develop medical complications.
What do
• But the new measures are part of the community-based health management of such children.
the
As per the guidelines –
guidelines
stipulate? 1. The Anganwadi workers and auxillary nurse midwives (ANMs) will identify severely wasted children
and segregate them from those who have oedema or medical complications. Children having medical
treatment will be sent to the nearest health facility or nutrition rehabilitation centres.
2. The remaining children will be enrolled into “community based management”, which includes
provision of nutrition, continuous monitoring of growth, administration of antibiotics and micro-
nutrients as well as counselling sessions and imparting of nutrition and health education.

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Societty and Soc ial Justicee

3. Anganwadi workers will provid


de
modified morning snacks, h
hot
cooked meals
m and takke home ratio
on
for SAM children. Su
uch food shall
be prepa
ared freshly and served at
the centrralised kitche
en/ anganwa
adi
centres. Locally ava ilable cerea
als,
pulses, green leafy vvegetables an
nd
tubers, viitamin C rich
h fruits, as well
as fresh milk and 3
3-4 eggs eve
ery
week hav
ve also been prescribed.
4. Such foo
od shall b
be served to
children in the age g roup of 3 to
o6
years.
5. The gove
ernment hass also revise
ed
the meth
hod to be use
ed to measu
ure
wasting and advise
ed calculatin
ng
weight ba
ased on the h
height of children instead of the mid-u
upper arm cirrcumferencee.

UNDP’S
U S HUMA AN India climbed one spot to 130 out of 1 89 countrie
es in the
DEVELO OPMEN NT INDEX, an developm
latest 2018 huma ment rankin
ngs released
d by the
d Nations Developmentt Programm
United me (UNDP).
201
18 # Devellopment #HHuman Capittal
HDI

• HDI is a composite measurement tto rank coun


ntries on
the level of "human
" deve
elopment".

• The statisticc is compose


ed of three d
dimensions, n
namely –
life expecttancy, education, and standard o
of living
collected att the nation
nal level usin
ng a predettermined
formula.

• The originss of the HDI


H are fou
und in the Human
Developmen
nt Reportss of the United Nations
Developmen
nt Programm
me (UNDP).

• These were devised and launched byy Pakistani Ecconomist


Mahbubul in 1990 with the purpose
e of shifting tthe focus
of develop
pment econ
nomics from
m national income
accounting to
t people cen
ntred policiess.

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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE REPORT

Top
Norway, Switzerland, Australia, Ireland and Germany lead the ranking.
performers

Worst
Niger, Central African Republic, South Sudan, Chad and Burundi have the lowest scores.
performers

Increase in HDI value:


• India’s Human Development Index (HDI) value for 2017 (2018 ranking)is 0.640, which put the country
in the medium human development category.
• Between 1990 and 2017, India’s HDI value has increased from 0.427 to 0.640, an increase of nearly
50%.
• Within South Asia, India’s HDI value is above the average of 0.638 for the region, with Bangladesh
and Pakistan -- countries with similar population size -- being ranked 136 and 150, respectively.
• Between 1990 and 2017, India’s life expectancy at birth increased by nearly 11 years.
• India’s Gross National Income (GNI) per capita also increased by a staggering 266.6% between 1990
India
and 2017.
Wide inequalities:
• As much as 26.8% of India’s HDI value is lost on account of inequalities. Thus, inequality remains a
challenge for India.
• One key source of inequality within countries is the gap in opportunities, achievements and
empowerment between women and men.
• Still, India performs better than its neighbours Bangladesh and Pakistan, ranking 127 out 160
countries on the Gender Inequality Index. South Asia has the widest gap between men and women
in HDI at 16.3%.

FIRST EXPERT An expert committee, jointly constituted by the Ministry of Health and
Family Welfare and Ministry of Tribal Affairs in 2013, to comprehensively
COMMITTEE asses Tribal health in the country shows that tribal populations in the
REPORT ON country were lagging on almost every health parameter.

TRIBAL HEALTH Titled as ‘Tribal health in India - Bridging the gap and a roadmap for the
future’, the report showed that while malnutrition and communicable
IN INDIA diseases like malaria and tuberculosis continue to be rampant, non-
communicable diseases like diabetes, hypertension and cancer as well as
#Right to Health #
mental health problems, especially addiction, have increased among
Tribal welfare tribes.

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FINDIINGS OF THE REPORTS

• At 14.7 per cent of the total tribal p


population in
n the country
y, Madhya Pradesh has the
t highest n
number of tribals —
more than 1.5 crore. Maharashtra ha
as about 1 cro
ore, Odisha and
a Rajasthan have 90 lak
kh each.
• The committtee identified ten specia l health prob
blems that affect the trib
bes disproporrtionately - m
malaria, pre
evalence
of malnutriition, child mortality,
m m
maternal hea
alth, lack of family plan
nning, addicttion, sickle ccell disease,, animal
bites and ac
ccidents, he
ealth illiteraccy and deterioration of children’s health
h in ash
hramshalas.
• Overall 40.6
6 % of the ST
T populatio n lived belo
ow poverty line
l as again
nst 20.5 % off the non-trib
bal populatio
on in the
country.
• Only 10.7 % of the triba
al population
n has accesss to tap wate
er as against 28.5 % of no
on-Scheduled
d Tribes and
• Nearly 74.7 % of tribal people
p contiinue to defe
ecate in the open.
o
• Life expecta
ancy among
gst tribals w
was 63.9 yearrs, while it wa
as 67 years fo
or the genera
al population
n.
• The infant mortality
m ra
ate amongstt tribal popu
ulations, according to the
e fourth National Family Health Surve
ey (2015-
16) was 44.4
4 per 1000 liv
ve births, sig
gnificantly hig
gher than the
e national av
verage of 34.

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• The sex ratio of the tribal population at 990 females per 1,000 males, is higher than the national average of 933
females per 1,000 males, but the child sex ratio has declined from 972 in 2001 to 957 in 2011.
• The disease pattern amongst the tribal communities living in the north-eastern region was found to be slightly
different from those in other parts of the country. They reported higher incidences of non-communicable diseases,
cancer, mental health problems, drug abuse, consumption of tobacco and alcohol, and also higher rates of HIV/AIDS
and malaria.
• Despite the high reliance of the tribal people on the public health care system in Scheduled Areas, it continues to be
characterized by low output, low quality, and low outcome delivery system, often targeting wrong priorities.

RECOMMENDATIONS

• The government should focus 70 per cent of its resources for tribal health on provision of primary care in tribal areas.
• All frontline health workers and health care institutions should be given specific coverage targets for STs and all tribals
should be provided with a ST health card to help them avail health insurance and other facilities.
• Also, restructuring and strengthening of the public health care system should be the highest priority for the ministry of
health and family welfare both at the centre and in the states.

NEWS Snippets
IN NEWS: The Prime Minister of India launched the health assurance scheme: Ayushman
Bharat - Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana at Ranchi, Jharkhand.

• Ayushman Bharat is a progression towards promotive, preventive, curative, palliative and


rehabilitative aspects of Universal Healthcare.
• It adopts a continuum of care approach, comprising of two inter-related components-
• Creation of 1,50,000 Health and Wellness Centres which will bring health care closer to
the homes of the people. These centres will provide Comprehensive Primary Health Care
(CPHC), covering both maternal and child health services and non-communicable diseases,
including free essential drugs and diagnostic services.
• The first Health and Wellness Centre was launched by the Prime Minister at Jangla, Bijapur,
AB-PMJAY Chhatisgarh on 14th April 2018.
• The second component is the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) which
provides health protection cover to poor and vulnerable families for secondary and
tertiary care.
• With the Srikrishna Committee report and the Supreme Court judgment on Aadhaar having
brought the issue of data privacy to the forefront, the PMJAY has become the first health
programme in the country to have its own data privacy policy.
• The National Health Agency, the implementing authority of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya
Yojana (PMJAY), has also put in place 100 controls including authentication, authorisation,
passwords, firewalls and data encryption to protect the data of the estimated 50 crore
beneficiaries.

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IN NEWS: Social audit pilot projects to check if construction worker welfare boards are
registering workers and giving them benefits, and also to weed out non-workers registered
illegally, have begun in Rajasthan and Delhi.

• The Labour Ministry has also issued the draft framework for the social audit on
implementation of the Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of
SOCIAL AUDIT Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996 (BOCW), in accordance with the
Supreme Court’s orders.
FOR
• The construction industry is India’s second largest employer, with estimates suggesting that
CONSTRUCT- there are between five and seven crore workers in the sector, of whom less than half are
ION WORKERS registered.
• The social audit team will also find workers who have not registered and try to find the
reasons that prevented them from doing so.
• In March, the Supreme Court noted that the Centre and States had “flouted with impunity”
previous directions to implement the BOCW and directed that social audits be conducted to
hold the government accountable.

IN NEWS: The Supreme Court has come out with slew of directions to end discrimination
against leprosy-afflicted persons.

The directions are –


• Carry out periodic national surveys to determine the prevalence rate.
• Centre and states to pro-actively plan and formulate a comprehensive community-based
rehabilitation scheme which shall cater to all basic facilities and needs of the leprosy-
afflicted persons and their families.
• Treatment of leprosy should be integrated into general health care, which will usher in a
no-isolation method in general wards and OPD services.
• Activities of the National Leprosy Eradication Programme (NLEP) be given wide publicity.
DIRECTIONS ON • It asked the authorities to “discontinue” using “frightening images” of people afflicted with
LEPROSY leprosy in the awareness programmes and instead use “positive images of cured persons
sharing their experiences of being cured of leprosy.
• Centre and states to ensure that drugs for management of leprosy and its complications,
including the MDT drugs, are available free of cost and that they do not go out of stock in
Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and other public health facilities.
• The government to explore the possibility of including leprosy education in school
curricula.
• Give due attention to ensure that leprosy-afflicted are issued BPL cards so that they can
avail the benefits under Antyodaya Anna Yojana scheme.
• The court also told the Centre to consider framing separate rules for assessing the disability
quotient of leprosy-afflicted persons for the purpose of issuing disability certificate to them.

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IN NEWS: GoI has announced an increase in the remuneration for Accredited Social Health
Activists (ASHA) and anganwadi workers.

PAY INCREASE • Accredited social health activists (ASHAs) are community health workers instituted by the
government of India's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) as a part of the
FOR THE ASHA National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).
AND • The performance-based incentives given to ASHAs have been doubled.

ANGANWADI • They will also be provided free insurance cover under the Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima
Yojana and the Prime Minister Suraksha BimaYojana.
WORKERS • Similarly, anganwadi workers will receive an enhanced honorarium, which has gone up
from ₹3,000 to ₹4,500 and workers at mini-anganwadis will receive ₹ 3,500 instead of
₹2,200. Anganwadi helpers will get ₹2,250 instead of ₹1,500.

IN NEWS: India ranked 158th in the world in the first ever human capital score according to a
study by Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation.

• Human capital refers to the attributes of a population that contribute to economic


productivity.
• The Human capital score is computed by Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at the
behest of World Bank as a part of its study, ‘Measuring human capital: a systematic analysis
of 195 countries and territories, 1990–2016’.
• This is first ever scientific study ranking the countries for their levels of human capital by
ranking their investments in education and health care.
HUMAN • Besides the study shows that there is a direct association between investments in
CAPITAL SCORE education and health and improved human capital and GDP.
• India got its rank on the basis of having seven years of expected human capital which is
measured as the number of years a person can be expected to work in the years of peak
productivity, taking into account life expectancy, functional health, years of schooling and
learning.
• According to National health profile 2018, India’s public health expenditure is among the
lowest in the world at 1.02 percent of GDP against the stated target of 2.5 percent of GDP
of the National Health Policy 2017.
• Further public spending on education is 2.7 percent of GDP in 2017-18, compared to 3.3
percent in China.

IN NEWS: According to UN Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation, about 6.3 million
children under the age of 15 died in 2017 out of which 5.4 million died under the age of 5.
CHILD
• According to Global Health Estimates of WHO, about 75% of children and young adolescents
MORTALITY aged 0−14 are dying from communicable, perinatal and nutritional conditions.
• Further the probability of dying was highest within the first 28 days of life.

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• Low-income: poorer households tend to have higher mortality rates.


• Air pollution leads to higher mortality levels among children.
• Further infectious diseases, highly prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa are also majorly
contributing to child mortality.
• Based on the current trends, 56 million children under age 5 will die from 2018 to 2030, half
of them new-borns.
• SDG 3.2 aims to end preventable deaths of new-borns and children under 5 years of age by
2030, but about half of the countries would achieve the SDG targets on child mortality by
only after 2050.
• The United Nations Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UN IGME),was
established in 2004 and includes members from UNICEF, WHO, the World Bank Group and
United Nations Population Division.
• UN IGME provides neonatal, infant and under-five mortality estimates every year.

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SCIEENCE & TECHNOOLOGYY


# GGS Paper (PPrelims) & GS Paper II I (Main)

NEWS SSnippetts
IN NEWS: Prrevention off vehicle the
eft
In order to ccurb vehicular theft, the governme
ent is planning to notifyy a new stan
ndard for
obile industrry based on Microdot technology.
the automo

• Microdott Technologyy is a proce


ess of spray
ying thousa
ands of miccroscopic do
ots onto
vehicles o
or other asse
ets in order to provide a unique iden
ntification.
• Each Miccrodot carries this unique identification which is registered to the owne
er, but is
not visibl e to the nake
ed eye.
• Counterfe
feiting is virtu
ually impossib
ble due the covert
c securitty measures in every micrrodot.
• All microd
dotted assetts are logged onto a database and this informatio n is used to track the
MICRODO
OT rightful o
owner of an a
asset.
TE
ECHNOLO
OGY • Microdotts are virtuallly impossible to remove
e which mak
kes them onee of the besst vehicle
security m
measures. It becomes ‘DN
NA of the vehicle’.

IN NEWS: Trreatment off neurodege


enerative dis
sease
A team of re
esearchers from the Cell Biology
B and Infectious
I Disseases Unit aat the Institu
ute of Life
Sciences, Bh
hubaneswar h
have identifie
ed that activa
ation of a pa
articular prottein (TRIM 16
6) can be
used for the
e treatment of neurodeg
generative disease such as
a Alzheime
er’s, Parkinsson’s and
TR
RIM 16 amyotrophiic lateral scllerosis.

• The supe
erfamily of trripartite mo
otif-containin
ng (TRIM) prroteins has expanded du
uring the
evolution
n of vertebrattes.
• From thiss family, TRIM
M16 protein
n plays a role both in the formation off protein agg
gregates
and in th eir degradattion.

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• Protein a
aggregates are formed when
w the TRIM16 protein activates a particular p
pathway
(P62-NRF
F2), while prrotein aggreg
gates get de
egraded when TRIM16 eenhances a different
pathway (autophagy).
• Autopha
agy is a proccess of degra
ading the un
nwanted matterial to cleaan the cells a
and keep
them hea
althy. Thus it helps in trea
atment.
• It also he
elps in conta
aining cance
erous cell grrowth by kee
eping the cellls clean by rremoving
metabolicc waste accumulated inside cancerous cells.

IN NEWS
S: Problem
m of
Superbug
Researcherss in Australia have
discovered tthree variants of the
esistant super-bug,
multidrug-re
Staphylococccus epidermidis.

• It is a Gram-p
positive
bacteriu m.
• It is fou
und natura
ally on
human skin and most
common ly infectss the
ST
TAPHYLO
OC- elderly or patients who
have had prosthetic
OC
CCUS materialls implanted
d, such
EP
PIDERMIDIS as cath
heters and joint
replacem
ments.
• On impla
ants, it is known to
form bio
ofilms that g
grow on
these devvices.
• Although
h it is not usually
pathogen
nic yet patie
ents with compromised immune sysstems are aat risk of de
eveloping
infection,, mostly acq
quired in hos
spitals.
• Superbug
gs are the ressult of Antim
microbial res
sistance (AM
MR).
AMR is the a
ability of a m
microorganis
sm (like bacte
eria, viruses,, and some parasites) to
o stop an
antimicrobia
al (such as a
antibiotics, an
ntivirals and antimalarialss) from worrking againstt it. As a
result, stand
dard treatments become ineffective,
i in
nfections perrsist and mayy spread to others.

IN NEWS: Sttrategic Wea


apon Programme.
Hindustan S Shipyard Ltd. is building India’s first missile
m trackin
ng ship. With
h the inductio
on of this
VC
C11184 India will entter elite global club.
• The Ship is code named as VC11184 and will be
b in trial stag
ge. It will be d
duly named once it is
commiss ioned into se
ervices.

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Scieence & Tec hnology

• The purp
pose of the ship is to support the development
d t of India’s sstrategic wea
apon and
Indian Ba
allistic Missile
e Defence Pro
ogramme.
• It is simila
ar to Advanc
ced Technolo
ogy Vessel (A
ATV) programme of the Indian Navy.. ATV was
initiated iin 1974 to bu
uild a nuclearr-powered su
ubmarine.
• To be de
esigned by Vik Sandvik
k Design In
ndia (VSDI), Chennai. V
VSDI provide
es design
services ffor marine an
nd offshore industry.
• To be ppowered by two 9,000 kW combine ed diesel an
nd diesel (CO
ODAD) conffiguration
engines a
and three 120
00 kW auxilia
ary generatorrs.
• To be fittted with a p
primary X ban
nd and a seco
ondary S ban
nd Active Ele
ectronically Scanned
Array (AEESA) radar.

IN NEWS: M
Monster Gala
axy
Scientists h
have located
d a monster galaxy COS
SMOS-AzTEC
C-1, which iss 12.4 billio
on light-
years aw ay. The details are e observed
d by usinng Chile's Atacama Large
Millimeter//Submillime eter Array (ALMA)
( .
• Monster Galaxies are thought to o be the anncestors of the huge eelliptical galaxies in
today’s u
universe (for e.g. Milky Wa
ay) and pave
e the way for understan
nding the foormation
and evollution of succh galaxies.

CO
OSMOS- • A unique
e characteriistic of monster galaxies (or starburstt galaxies) is that they form stars
at a starttling pace, ffar higher tha
an the star fo
ormation in our galaxy.
AZ
ZTEC-1  ALM
MA
• Since a h igh and dry ssite is crucial to operation
ns of radiation at millimetter and subm
millimeter
waveleng gths so it hhas been co onstructed asa an astron nomical inteerferometer of radio
telescopees in the Ataccama Desert of northern n Chile.
• It is an in
nternational partnership among Euro
ope, the United States, C
Canada, Japa
an, South
Korea, Ta
aiwan, and Ch
hile.
• It is expe
ected to pro
ovide insightt on star birth during the
t early un
niverse and detailed
imaging of local starr and planett formation.

SP
PACE
EL
LEVATOR
R

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Science & Technology

IN NEWS: A new route to space


A Japanese team has developed a “space elevator” and has conducted a first trial by
blasting off a miniature version on satellites to test the technology.
• A space elevator is a type of planet-to-space transportation system. In this, the main
component would be a cable (also called a tether) anchored to the surface and extending
into space.
• The design would permit vehicles to travel along the cable from Earth, directly into
space or orbit, without the use of large rockets.
• It would consist of a cable with one end attached to the surface near the equator and the
other end in space beyond geostationary orbit (35,786 km altitude).
• Science: The competing forces of gravity, which is stronger at the lower end, and the
outward/upward centrifugal force, which is stronger at the upper end, would result in the
cable being held up, under tension, and stationary over a single position on Earth.
• With the tether deployed, climbers could repeatedly climb the tether to space by
mechanical means, releasing their cargo to orbit. Climbers could also descend the tether to
return cargo to the surface from orbit.
• To construct a space elevator on Earth the cable material would need to be both stronger
and lighter (have greater specific strength) than any known material.
• Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have been identified as possibly being able to meet the specific
strength requirements for an Earth space elevator.

IN NEWS: Disease in news


Recently, there was an outbreak of African Swine fever in China. United Nations issued a
caution that this disease may cross border and may cause infection in the neighbouring
countries which import pork from China.

• African swine fever virus (ASFV) is the cause of African Swine Fever which causes high
death rate in pigs and wild boars.
AFRICAN SWINE
• Haemorrhagic fever (Haemorrhage along with fever) is caused by this virus and ASFV is the
FEVER only known virus with double stranded DNA transmitted by arthropods.
• ASFV is endemic to sub-Saharan Africa and exists in the wild through a cycle of infection
between ticks and wild pigs, bushpigs, and warthogs.
• African swine fever poses no direct threat to humans but threatens to devastate pork
industry.
• There is no effective vaccine to protect pigs from the virus.

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Scieence & Tec hnology

IN NEWS: Fu
uel from Atm
mospheric Carbon Dioxide
Humanity iss using fossil fuels for ages and thiss has released millions of tonnes o
of carbon
DIIRECT AIR dioxide in th
he environme ce atmospheric Co2, a com
ent. To reduc mpany in Sw
witzerland, Cliimework,
has successffully impleme
ented capturre of carbon dioxide
d from the atmosph
here and seq
quester it
CA
APTURE (DAC) to calcium ca
arbonate roccks.

• Method: Direct air ca


apture (DAC) is suggested to capture CO2
C from thee atmosphere
e directly
and convvert it into so
omething whiich actually traps carbon dioxide with
h stability for example
solid carb
bonate rockss (Calcium Carbonate).
• This met hod can also
o be used to
o convert ca
aptured CO2
2 back to fu
uels through
h reverse
reaction a
and this proccess is terme
ed as air to fu
uel or A2F.
 Mecha
anism
1. First, am
mbient air is sucked in, passed
p over a thin plastic surface th
hat has a so
olution of
potassiu
um hydroxide.
2. Second, the potassiu
um carbonate
e so obtaine
ed is piped in
nto a reactorr containing calcium
hydroxid
de, to make p
pellets of calcium carbonate.
3. Third, th
he potassium
m hydroxide released
r in this
t reaction is re-circulatted for use. Now the
pellets arre heated, re
eleasing CO2
2 which can be
b sequesterred (as Climeeworks has d
done), or
can be m
mixed with h
hydrogen (H2, obtained separately through elecctrolysis of w
water), to
make a h
hydrocarbon fuel.

IN NEWS: Fi ghting TB
By using a ssmall single--stranded DNA molecule (DNA apta
amer) that sspecifically binds to a
single prote
ein (HupB) p
present in TB
B bacteria, My
ycobacterium
m tuberculossis (MTB), ressearchers
DN
NA APTA
AMER have been a
able to achievve 40-55% re
eduction in the bacteria’ss ability to en
nter into hum
man cells
and infect th
hem.

• HupB is a
an essential p
protein of TB bacteria and
d hence, it is a viable drugg target.
• HupB is a
associated w
with the DNA
A of the bactteria. Besidess facilitating entry into h
host cells,

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Scieence & Tec hnology

HupB als o helps the T


TB bacteria su
urvive variou
us stresses en
ncountered in
nside host ce
ells.
 Cure with Aptamer
• Aptamerss are single-sstranded DN
NA or RNA (sssDNA or ssR
RNA) molecu
ules. These m
molecules
bind to a specific targ
get molecule and are usua
ally created.
• Aptamerss assume a variety of sh
hapes due to
o their tende
ency to form
m helices and
d single-
stranded
d loops. Hen
nce, they are extremely versatile
v and bind targetss with high sselectivity
and spec ificity.

IN NEWS: O rganic solarr technology


y
ute of Sciencce Education and Researcch (IISER), Bh
Indian Institu hopal has deeveloped sola
ar cell using
Vitamin B12
2 derivative
e. The synthe
esized materrial absorbs light
l much liike porphyrin
n in natural
chlorophyll a
and it is chea
aper and morre flexible tha
an other orga
anic solar cellls.

ORGANIC
SO
OLAR CELL

• An organ
nic solar cell (also known as plastic sollar cell) is a type
t of photo
ovoltaic cell tthat utilizes
organic e
electronics ffor the absorrption of ligh
ht and charg
ge transportt to produce
e electricity
from sun
nlight by the
e photovolta
aic effect.
• An organ
nic solar cell iss made up off acceptor and donor ma
aterials.
• The dono
or absorbs light from solar radiatio
on and the harvested en
nergy is passsed to the
electrode
es with the he
elp of the acc
ceptor.
 By IISER
R, Bhopal
• The resea
archers synth
hesised the donor
d using an artificial aromatic ch
hemical (corrrole) which
has a sim
milar structure
e to the corrrin ring in vittamin B12.
• The artifi cially synthessised corrole
e absorbs ligh
ht much like porphyrin in
n natural chlo
orophyll.
• The reseaarchers enha
anced the pe
erformance of
o the solar cells by coatting them with different
solvents.

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Science & Technology

IN NEWS: For increasing news readership


Navlekha project has been initiated by the technology major Google. The objective of Navlekha
project is to empower offline newspapers and magazines in regional languages of India
by putting them online.

• Navlekha project is part of the new Next Billion Users Initiative.


NAVLEKHA • Next Billion Users is an initiative at Google that places an emphasis on making products
PROJECT specifically with emerging markets in mind.
• According to the study by Google, 50% Indians use mobile search daily but, the content is
primarily available in English and few other major Indian languages.
• Google claims that 90% of print publishers in India do not have websites yet, and it aims to
bring this number online.
• Google will provide expert help to set up a website for free.

IN NEWS: Lack of budgetary support


INSA has decided to dispense with facilities given to researchers who had won the
Young Scientist Award given by the Academy, citing lack of budgetary provisions from the
Department of Science and Technology (DST).

• It is the apex body of Indian scientists representing all branches of science and technology.
• It started as National Institute of Sciences of India in 1935 at Calcutta. The new name was
INDIAN
adopted in 1970.
NATIONAL  Major Objectives
SCIENCE • Promotion of scientific knowledge in India including its practical application to problems of
national welfare.
ACADEMY
• Coordination among Scientific Academies, Societies, Institutions, Govt. Scientific
Departments and Services.
• To act as a body of scientists of eminence for the promotion and safeguarding of the
interests of scientists in India and to present internationally the scientific work done in the
country.
• To promote and maintain liaison between Science and Humanities.

Viewpoint
DRONE POLICY
(Courtesy: The Hindu)

# Science & Tech


At Agroscope, the ‘Swiss centre of excellence for agricultural research’, in Nyon, Switzerland, agriculture scientists fly a
drone to study nitrogen level in leaves, not for a farm as a whole, but for each individual plant. The drone takes a large

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Science & Technology

number of images, which when fed into a computer model with data on soil condition, weather, time of the year and other
information helps analyse which plants are deficient in nitrogen, enabling farmers to add corrective fertilizer only where
necessary. Sensefly, a Swiss drone manufacturer, has customers around the world whose use of drones has resulted in
higher yield (more than 10% in observed case studies) and significantly lower usage of fertilizers and herbicides.

For a country with a population of over eight million, Switzerland has an enormous number of people interested in flying
drones and developing drone-based applications. Simon Johnson, the Vice-President of the Drone Industry Association
Switzerland, envisions the use of drones in public transport in the not too distant future, as well as setting up drone hubs
— mini airports, where drones carrying people and cargo can congregate.

Policy contradictions

While the rest of the world has been soaring ahead in making the futuristic promise of unmanned flying vehicles a more
immediate reality, India has largely been dragging its feet. Up until the end of August, flying a drone was mostly illegal
here. With the publication of the drone regulations recently, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has attempted to give some
structure to the development of drone infrastructure in India. While announcing the publication of these guidelines, Civil
Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu made two points, the contradictions of which also highlight India’s lack of clarity on what
it should do with drones. For one, he estimated the potential of the “drone market” in India to be $1 trillion. And in the
next breath he said India’s security environment necessitated extra precautions.

It is with such a heavy eye on the precautions that the regulations have been drafted, that flying a drone is a task wrapped
tightly in immense paperwork. The abbreviations themselves are more than a page long. India’s regulations separate
drones into five categories — nano, micro, small, medium and large. There is very little regulation for flying a nano up to
50 metres height, except for not flying near airports, military sites or in segregated airspace.

The paranoia kicks in from the micro category, starting with the application for a unique identification number (UIN) for
each drone, with a long list of documentation including security clearances from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in
several cases. Once the UIN is obtained, operators get to move to the next step — of having to apply for an Unmanned
Aircraft Operator Permit (UAOP), implying more forms, more annexures and more submissions. Even to fly a micro
drone below 200 ft, users have to intimate the local police station 24 hours prior. (One application requires that it be
submitted with seven copies.)

Manufacturers of drones as well as technologists and researchers making applications using drones have to test fly these
frequently, often several times a day. The structure of these regulations makes the possibility of a red tape-free flight very
slim.

With so many government authorities involved in allowing permission and keeping an eye, it is inevitable that operators
could be slapped easily with real and perceived violations. In an effort to make things slightly easy, the regulation provides
a list of identified areas for testing and demonstration. Flying drones in these areas comes with less paperwork. However,
the locations provided are so far from technology and development hubs that it is unclear how practical these will be. In
Karnataka, for example, the identified areas are Chitradurga, Coorg and Ganimangala village (which does not even appear
on Google maps), all of which are around 200 km from Bengaluru entailing nearly four hours of travel one way.

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Scieence & Tec hnology

Un
ntapped pote
ential

The
e security an
nd privacy risks of allow ing drones tto fly in an unregulated
u manner are high. It mayy be recalled
d that in
Aug
gust, a drone
e was used in
n an attack o
on Venezuelan President Nicolás
N Madu
uro during a public meetiing. Howeverr, if India
is to
t reach eve on of the $1 trillion pote
en the fractio ential that Mr.
M Prabhu se
ees, it needss to figure o
out a more b
balanced
ma ulation. The current rule
anner of regu es are a startt, but only in
n the sense that
t ee all droness from their previous
they fre
eal impact of drones will b
illegality. The re be in the man
ny applications they will be
b put to.

Agriculture iss just one such. They are likely to be the disaster prevention
p sy
ystems, rescu
ue operation leaders, and
d even
public transport prroviders in th
he not too disstant future.

n working on these app


Misssing out on arly enough will likely have serious repercussio
plications ea ons to India’’s future
com
mpetitivenesss in the field.

China’s drone economy


e — manufacturin
m ng and development — will
w be worth $9 billion in 2020, while tthe U.S’s com
mmercial
dro
one market iss expected to
o be $2.05 biillion by 2023
3 (Global Market Insights)). For India to
o compete aggainst these giants, it
alre
eady has a lo
ot of catching
g up to do. F iling a series of applicatio
ons in multiple copies and
d waiting forr various gove
ernment
dep
partments to
o respond is not
n the best w
way to get sttarted.

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GEOGGRAPHHY, EENVIRRONMENT, BIODDIVERRSITY &


DISAASTERR MANAGEEMENT
# GS PPaper (Pre lims) and GS
G Paper I & III (Main)

WH HAT ARE E The goveernment has s recently ap


pproved a fa ar-reaching policy that allows
CHHALLEN NGES OF F private a
and governmment players s to explore
e and exploitt unconventtional
hydrocarrbons (including shale gas)
g in contrract areas th
hat were primarily
SHA ALE GAS S allocated
d for extractting conventtional hydroocarbons. In n this line, th
he
EXPLORA ATION?? Directora
ate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH H) has issued d guideliness on
environmmental management du uring shale gas
g extractio on.
#Poollution #Ennvironmentt
A
ABOUT SHAL
LE GAS

• Shale refers to a sedime


entary
rock resulted fro
om compa
action
process of sm
mall old rocks
contain
ning mud an d minerals – such
as qu
uartz and calcite, trapped
beneath the earth ssurface.
Wh
hat?
• hale gas is the natura
The sh al gas
trapped
d within thesse shale rockss.
• It is one
e of the unco
onventional ttype of
g with coal bed
natural gas along
methan
ne, tight sandstones, and
methan
ne hydrates.

In this te
echnique, w
water along
g with
chemicals and sand are
e pumped in
nto the
well and a fracture or crack is deve
eloped
Exttraction
in the shale
s rock to release
e the
Pro
ocess
hydrocarbons trapp
ped in shale
om the shale into
formationss to flow fro
the well.

India has identified siix basins as areas


Sha
ale gas in for shale
e gas explloration: Ca
ambay
Ind
dia (Gujarat), Assam-Arakkan (North East),
Gondwana
a (Central India), K
Krishna

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Geography, Environment, Biodiversity
& Disaster Management
Godavari onshore (East Coast), Cauvery
onshore, and Indo-Gangetic basins.

THINGS TO UNDERSTAND

• The process of shale gas extraction is extremely water intensive and poses a daunting challenge
Why to India’s fresh water resources.
guidelines • Further the process of extraction causes pollution due to the disposal of flowback (produced) water.
are required? • In this line the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) has issued a guideline on environment
management during shale gas extraction.

• The guideline falters and states that these challenges will be dealt while granting environmental
clearances as per the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) process.
• The EIA process, however, does not differentiate between conventional and unconventional
hydrocarbons
• Despite acknowledging the enormity of water requirement for fracking activities, the DGH guideline
fails to give a general estimate of water requirement per unit of shale gas over the lifetime of a
Issues with shale well.
the new • A study has found that over a period of time, the usage of water dramatically increases for extracting
guideline the same amount of shale gas from a well.
• The DGH guideline states that a project proponent must “design and construct wells with proper
barriers to isolate and protect groundwater”, but misses out on broadly describing the nature or
properties of a barrier that can be considered ‘proper’ to isolate and protect the groundwater.
• The DGH guideline again touches upon the exclusive nature of the flowback water but neither
proposes any substantive treatment method nor recognises the increase in flowback water during
repeated extraction of shale gas from a well over a period of time.

• Implementation of the fracking processes without a consultative thought process, especially on ‘water
usage policy’, may result in larger issues including water stress, contamination of groundwater,
Way forward and related health hazards.
• Thus there is a need for an integrated approach which takes into account various aspects of water
pollution and conservation for shale gas extraction.

WHAT IS MARINE A marine heat wave is usually defined as a coherent area of extreme
HEATWAVE? warm sea surface temperature (SST) that persists for days to months.
MHWs have been observed in all major ocean basins over the recent
#Environment #Disaster decade.
Management

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Ge ography, EEnvironmeent, Biodiv ersity
& Dis aster Mannagement

KNOW MO
ORE

• The proce
esses leadin
ng to the bu
uild-up, pers
sistence and decay of a MHW are in general n
not well
understood.
• Extreme ocean
o tempe
eratures at tthe surface can
c be cause
ed by large and
a small-sccale oceanic forcing,
atmosphe
eric forcing or a combination of both, and the
e dominant mechanisms
m s also depend on the
Causes of location and season off occurrence.. For e.g.
MH
HWs  The 2011 MHW off the
e coast of W
Western Austtralia was ca
aused by pre
edominant La
a Niña cond
ditions in
2010/11 th
hat drove the
e relatively w
warm Leeuwin Current southward alo
ong the westt coast of Ausstralia.
 The north
heast Pacificc MHW from
m 2013 to 20
015 was attributed to strrong positivee sea level p
pressure
anomalie
es across the northeast Pa
acific that suppressed hea
at loss from the
t ocean to
o the atmosphere and
caused an
nomalous and
d multi-year persistent high sea surfacce temperatu
ures

• Biologicall impacts rrange from geographical species shifts and widespread changes in
n species
composition to harm
mful algal b
blooms, mas
ss stranding
g’s of mammals and m
mass morta
alities of
particular species. For e.g.
 The 2011 Western Au
ustralian MH
HW resulted in an entire regime shift of the temp erate reef eccosystem
including a reduction in abundan
nce of habitat-forming seaweeds,
s a subsequentt shift in community
Impact of
structure and
a a southw
ward distribu
ution shift in tropical
t fish communities
c s.
MH
HWs
 The warm
m blob in the
e northeast Pacific cause
ed increased mortality off sea lions, w
whales and ssea birds,
very low ocean prim ary productivity, an increase in wa
arm-water co
opepod speccies in the northern
Californian
n region, and
d novel species compositions.
 Another example
e is th
he MHW asso
ociated with the 2015/16
6 El Niño, wh
hich lead to tthe third ma
ass coral
bleaching
g event in re corded histo
ory with repo
orted bleachiing of over 90%
9 of the su
urveyed reeffs on the

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Ge ography, EEnvironmeent, Biodiv ersity
& Dis aster Mannagement
Great Barrrier Reef in 2
2016.

KE
ERALA FLOODS
F S Two studdies have thrown light on
o the facto
ors that led tto flood situ
uation
Kerala. O
One of them
m was conducted by the Central Wa ater Commisssion
#Disaster Managementt and anotther study was
w conductted by the professors frrom IIT
#Ennvironmentt Gandhinagar.

 STU
UDY 1: BY CE
ENTRAL WAT
TER COMMIS
SSION (CWC))

THIN
NGS TO UND
DERSTAND

1. Congesttion in the carrying capacity


of the Vembanad
V La
ake, the larg
gest lake
in Kerala, which co
ould only ab
bsorb a
fraction of the waterr that drained into it
from overflowing
o rivers mad
de the
Kerala floods starrker. This sseverely
inundated districts such as Kottayam
and Alla
apuzha.
2. High rainfall during
g Monsoon a
and lack
Fac
ctors of reservoirs in th e upper rea
aches of
the rive
ers that drrain into th
he lake,
worsene
ed the floodi ng.
3. About the
t Idukki dam the CW
WC has
said tha
at - Idukki da
am absorbed
d much of the runoff an
nd the outflo
ow from the dam was le
ess than
inflow during
d the inttense spell off rainfall. So, it did act as a flood cushion.
The rain
nfall runoff ge
enerated during these intense spells was so high that the floo
od moderatio
on effect
of the dams was resttrained.
pography of Kerala too ccontributed, with the tra
4. The top avel time of the
t runoff in the catchme
ent area
barely a couple of ho
ours long beffore the wate he reservoirs.
er reached th

• as suggested increasing the capacitty of the spiillway through which rivvers such as Pamba,
CWC ha
Manima
ala, Achenkovvil and Meen
nachil drain in
nto the lake and age through which the lake spills
a the barra
into the ocean.
Sug
ggestions
• To reduce the siltatio g should hav
on dredging wever, dredgging was not allowed
ve been carrried out. How
by CWC
in this are because itt lies in an ecco-sensitive zone.
z
• CWC has suggested a review of rrule curves of
o all large resservoirs in th
he state – to aascertain how much
hould be rele
water sh eased when rreservoirs rea
ach certain le
evels

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Geography, Environment, Biodiversity
& Disaster Management
 STUDY 2: BY IIT GANDHINAGAR
Factors: A combination of four factors led to extreme flooding across Kerala this year.

First Second Third Fourth

• The summer monsoon • Till August 21, the State • Kerala received 1634.5 mm The catchment areas of
rainfall in Kerala from witnessed few rainfall during the period May major reservoirs in the
May to August this year extreme rainfall 1 to August 7, which is more State received extreme
was 2,290 mm, which events covering almost than the average rainfall rainfall never before
was 53% above the entire State. (1619.37 mm) during the witnessed in the State.
normal. • These extreme rainfall summer monsoon period
• This makes 2018 events have very low (June-September).
Kerala’s third wettest probability of • As a result, six of the seven
year in the last 118 recurrence in any given major reservoirs in the State
years (1901-2018); 1924 year. had over 90% storage before
and 1961 were the August 8, well before Kerala
wettest years with about received the unprecedented
3,600 mm of annual extreme rainfall events.
rainfall.

• Further, the role of other factors, such as changes in how infrastructure has grown at the expense of vegetation
and drainage remains to be studied.
• The State-wide flooding shows that reservoirs can play a major role in improving or worsening the flood situation.

WHAT IS GREEN It is a project that has been started by the Ministry of


AGRICULTURAL PROJECT? Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (MoAFW) and the Food
and agriculture Organisation (FAO).
#Agriculture #Environment
THINGS TO UNDERSTAND

• It seeks to synergize biodiversity conservation, agriculture production and development in


sync with India's commitment to Convention on Biological Diversity.
Purpose • It envisages a transformation in Indian agriculture for global environmental benefits by addressing
land degradation, climate change mitigation, sustainable forest management, and
biodiversity conservation.

• It supports India’s National Biodiversity Action Plan (NBAP) by synergising biodiversity


conservation, agriculture production and development.
Methods of
• It promotes Biodiversity conservation as a part of traditional wisdom with the landscape
implementation
approach.
• This approach aims to restore traditional knowledge systems, such as the conservation of

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Geography, Environment, Biodiversity
& Disaster Management
common property resources.

Current It is being implemented in five landscapes adjoining Protected Areas/Biosphere Reserves: Madhya
Implementation Pradesh, Mizoram, Odisha, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand.

• Protecting traditional farming systems such as jhum (Shifting Cultvation) encouraged crop
diversity.
Examples of
• Strengthen role of small farmers especially women as agro diversity guardians by developing
Green
value chains for their indigenous crops such as traditional rice varieties in Odisha.
Agriculture
Project • Eradication of invasive alien species and mitigation of Man-animal conflicts in the fringes of
Protected Areas or animal corridors that occur over procurement of non-timber forest products
(NTFPs) such as in in Odisha and Uttarakhand.

Q. With reference to the circumstances in Indian agriculture, the concept of “Conservation Agriculture” assumes
significance. Which of the following fall under the Conservation Agriculture? (UPSC prelims – 2018)
1. Avoiding the monoculture practices
2. Adopting minimum tillage
3. Avoiding the cultivation of plantation crops
4. Using crop residues to cover soil surface
5. Adopting spatial and temporal crop sequencing/crop rotations
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
a) 1, 3 and 4
b) 2, 3, 4 and 5
c) 2, 4 and 5
d) 1, 2, 3 and 5

POLLUTION A recent study has found that increased emission of aerosol due
to pollution is leading to cooling effect of 1 degree C during
DISTURBS MONSOON Indian summers. This cooling has the potential to impact
#Climate #Monsoon monsoon behaviour.

THINGS TO KNOW

• The increased cooling is seen during the day, while the night time temperature is increasing.
This is leading to shrinking of diurnal temperature difference.
Observations
• Diurnal temperature difference is the difference in temperature of day and the night.
of the report
• The diurnal temperature difference drives the convection process (where water evaporates and
reaches the atmosphere as water vapour), and leads to development of clouds.

Impact of
• As diurnal temperature difference decreases, the lower layer of the atmosphere will reduce in
shrinking

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Ge ography, EEnvironmeent, Biodiv ersity
& Dis aster Mannagement
diu
urnal height and come closer to the
e earth’s surrface.
tem
mperature • This will
w cause mo
ore aerosolss to get into the atmosphere, thus im
mpacting thee lower atmospheric
diffference turbulence, which
h may eventu
ually affect the
t distribution of moistture and rain
nfall.
ncreased con
• The in ncentration of aerosols in the atmosphere also tends to ch
hange the sh
hape and
characteristics off rain-beariing clouds, leading to
o extreme rainfall eveents but weakened
monsoon rainfall..

HORNBILL L A citizen science inittiative of documenting Indian horn nbills is prov


viding
valuable inputs for the
t conserva ation of the unique bird
d.
#Eccology #Conservationn
NGS TO UND
THIN DERSTAND

• Hornbills are large and


wide-rang
ging birds and
most species are
dependen
nt on tro
opical
forest habitats that
arge and tall trees.
contain la
• As they mostly
m eat fru
uits, a
diversity of native fforest
trees is needed
n to prrovide
About
their year-rround
Ho
ornbill
requirements
• India has nine hornb ill species, o
of which four are found in
n the Western
n Ghats:
1. Indian Grrey Hornbill - (endemic to India)
2. The Malabar Grey Horrnbill - (ende
emic to the Western
W Gha
ats)
3. Malabar Pied
P Hornbilll - (endemic
c to India and
d Sri Lanka) and
4 The widely distributed
4. d Great Horn
nbill.
5. India also
o has one sp
pecies that h
has one of th
he smallest ranges
r of any
y hornbill: N
Narcondam Hornbill,
found only on the isla
and of Narco
ondam in An
ndaman and
d Nicobar isllands.

• The greatt hornbill also


o known as the great Indiian hornbill iss one of the larger
l memb
bers of
Gre
eat the hornb
bill family.
Ho
ornbill • They are found in We stern Ghatss and North Eastern
E partts of India.
• ar Threatene
They are listed as Nea ed under IUC
CN red list.

Na
arcondam • It is endemic to the islland of Narco
ondam in the
e Andaman issland.
Ho
ornbill • d as Endange
It is listed ered under th
he IUCN red list.

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Ge ography, EEnvironmeent, Biodiv ersity
& Dis aster Mannagement
In a bid tto save and multiply the
e population n of Manipu ur’s Brow Anntlered
BROW W Deer, the e state gove
ernment is planning
p to find
f a secon nd home forr the
deer at PPhumlenpatt Lake. Howe ever, this ste
ep is being o opposed byy the
ANNTLERE ED DEER R locals be
ecause of the fear that once
o the lak
ke is declareed as a sancttuary,
#Eccology #Conservationn their enttry to the lak
ke would bee restricted. This lake iss a major sou
urce of
livelihood for the loccals.

HE DEER AN
ABOUT TH ND ITS HABIT
TAT

• It is also kno
own as the Sa
angai deer.
• Due to its un
nique style off movement over the Phu
umdis in
the Loktak la
ake, which ap
ppears as da ncing movem
ment, it is
also known as Dancing deer.
d
• The brow-an
ntlered deer is found in K
Keibul Lamja
ao
National Pa
ark in Manipur.
• It is the only
y floating Na
ational park of the world
d.
• The national park is charracterized byy many floatin
ng
decomposed
d plant mate
erials locally ccalled phumd
dis in the
Loktak lake.
• It has been created
c to prreserve the e
endangered S
Sangai
deer.
• The deer is listed
l as Endangered in I UCN’s Red lisst.

Q. Which of the following National Parks is unnique in beinng a swamp with floatinng vegetatioon that supports a
rich biodiversity? (UPSC Prelims – 2015)
2
a) Bhitarkaniika National Park
P
b) Keibul Lam
mjao Nationa
al Park
c) Keoladeo Ghana National park
d) Sultanpur National parrk

NEWS
N SSnippetts
IN NEWS: Recently, buffer zone of Mudumalai National
N Park
k has been op
pened for tourism.

• It lies o
on the northw
western side
e of the Nilgiiri Hills (Blue Mountain
ns), in Nilgiri District,
MUDUMA
ALAI about 1
150 kilometre
es (93 mi) no
orth-west of Coimbatore
C city
c in Tamil N
Nadu.

• It share
es its bounda
aries with the
e states of Ka
arnataka and
d Kerala.
NA
ATIONAL PARK
• There a
are three ma
ain types of forest in the
e sanctuary: tropical
t moiist deciduou
us occur

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Geography, Environment, Biodiversity
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in the western Benne Block, where rainfall is higher than in the other blocks. Tropical
dry deciduous forest occurs in the middle and southern tropical dry thorn forests are
in the east.

IN NEWS: It is constantly in news because most of Bengaluru's treated and untreated


sewage is released into Bellandur Lake, severely polluting it, resulting in a depletion of
wildlife in and around the lake.

• Bellandur Lake is a lake in the suburb of Bellandur in the southeast of the city of
BELLANDUR
Bangalore and is the largest lake in the city.
LAKE • Bellandur Lake is believed to be originally a tributary of the Dakshina Pinakini river
(also known as the Ponnaiyar River).

• The lake itself was constructed during the reign of the Western Ganga Dynasty who
ruled between the 4-5th century to 10th century CE.

IN NEWS: The Central Water Commission has referred to extreme rainfall that occurred
over two intense spells in Kerala as a “Standard Project Storm”.

• Called SPS in short, the expression is used to describe the heaviest rainstorm that has
occurred in a region as per rainfall records analyzed through a hydro-meteorological
approach.
STANDARD
• The CWC collates what is known as “Probable Maximum Precipitation” for different
PROJECT STORM basins which provides the historical rainfall records

• All historical rainfall records, for all storms in the region are analyzed and are used to
determine the depth and maximum area that it affected in that period.

• In other words, an SPS is an storm which has occurred over an area, with the maximum
depth in that area.

IN NEWS: Diviseema, on the Andhra Pradesh coast, is witnessing a spike in human-snake


conflict as illegal export of frogs has depleted their prey base.
DIVISEEMA • Diviseema gained national attention in 1977 when it was hit by a devastating cyclone,

ISLAND leaving over 10,000 people dead

• The island, nestled in the mighty Krishna river and the Bay of Bengal, with the Krishna
Wildlife Sanctuary (KWS), is a rare ecological region with dense mangrove cover.

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Ge ography, EEnvironmeent, Biodiv ersity
& Dis aster Mannagement

IN NEWS: French scientists have found


f ffshore oil platforms
that oysters stationed near off
can detectt minute amo
ounts of hydrrocarbons ass each one co
onstantly filteers dozens off gallons
of water evvery day.
OY
YSTERS TRACK
T • Scientissts have fo
ound that Oysters
O can detect min
nute amoun
nt small am
mounts
hydroccarbons in O
Ocean Water.
PO
OLLUTIO
ON
• This co
ould alert scie
entists to tin
ny infrastructture cracks before
b they b
become catasstrophic
oil spill s that threaten wildlife an
nd coastal co
ommunities
• Attache
ed to rocks or other supports, oysters are ideal forr nearly real-ttime analysiss.

IN NEWS: Sadarmatt a
anicut across
s river Godav
vari in Nirma
al district and
d Pedda Che
eruvu in
Kamaredd
dy district in n given the heritage taag by International
n Telangana have been
Commissio
on on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID). The
T anicut is a English wo
ord for Telug
gu’s ana-
HE
ERITAGE
E TAG katta. Thiss means rainffall bund.
FO
OR TWO • ICID, e stablished in
n 1950 is a leading scie
entific, technical, internattional not-fo
or-profit,
IR
RRIGATIO
ON non-go
overnmental organization.
• ICID is a profession
nal network of
o experts fro
om across th
he world in th
he field of irrrigation,
FA
ACILITIES
S drainag
ge, and flood
d managemen
nt.
• The m ain mission is to promote ‘Sustain
nable agricu
ulture wate
er managem
ment’ to
achieve
e ‘Water seccure world free
f of pove
erty and hunger througgh sustainab
ble rural

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Ge ography, EEnvironmeent, Biodiv ersity
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develop
pment’.

IN NEWS: Pondicherryy shark has be


een spotted near Kakinad
da in Andhra Pradesh.

• It wa
as once found
through
hout Indo
o-Pacific
coastal waters fro
om the
Gulf o
of Oman tto New
Guinea
a, and is kn
nown to
enter frresh water.
PO
ONDICHERRY
• Curren tly, the onlyy known
SH
HARK sighting
gs of this species
since the 1980s are in
rivers in
n Sri Lanka.
• The Intternational U
Union for
Conserrvation of Nature
(IUCN) has listed the
e Pondicherrry shark as Crritically Endangered.
• Locally it is known a
as pala sora..

IN NEWS:: Recently, a proposal to create a whale


w sanctuary in the South Atlan
ntic was
opolis, Brazil of the Inte
defeated at a meeting in Floriano ernational W
Whaling Com
mmission
(IWC), amiid a clash be
etween coun
ntries that th
hink whales can be huntted sustaina
ably and
others tha
at want more conservation measures.

• The IW
WC was set up under the Internattional Convention for the Regula
ation of
Whalin
ng which wass signed in Washington
W D on 2nd Dec
DC cember 19466.
The prreamble to the Convention states that its purpose is to pro
ovide for the
e proper
IN
NTERNAT
TIONAL •
conservvation of wh
hale stocks and
a thus make possible the
t orderly d
development of the
WHALING
W whaling
g industry.

CO
OMMISSION • In 1982
2, the IWC ad
dopted a morratorium on commercial
c whaling.
w Currrently, Japan,, Russia,
and a n
number of otther nations oppose
o this moratorium.
m
• The Co nvention includes legally
y binding 'Sc
chedule'.
• The Sch
hedule sets o
out specific measures
m tha
at are necesssary in orderr to regulate whaling
and con
nserve whale
e stocks.
• It unde
ertakes variou
us scientific research
r projjects for the conservation
c n of whales.
• Headqu
uartered at C
Cambridge, U.K.
U

PA
AKAL DU
UL AND IN NEWS: India has in
nvited Pakista
an to visit sites of the Pakal Dul and Lower Kalnal hydro-
electric prrojects on the
e Chenab. Re
ecently, Both
h the countrie
es concluded
d the 115th m
meeting
LO
OWER KA
ALNAL of the Indi a-Pakistan Permanent Indus Commission (PIC).
H..E.P. • The Pa kal Dul Hydrro Electric Pro
oject of 1000
0 MW installe
ed capacity iss proposed o
on River

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Geography, Environment, Biodiversity
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Marusadar, a tributary of Chenab in district Kishtwar of J&K State. The proposed
project will be the largest hydroelectric power project in the state.
• Lower Kanal HEP is a proposed 48MW hydro-electric power project on lower kalani
Nalla, a tributary of River Chenab.

Viewpoint
KERALA: RETHINKING DISASTER MANAGMENT
(Courtesy: The Hindu)

# DISASTER MANAGEMENT
It is time to stop thinking of the extreme weather events hitting us with increasing frequency as bolts from the blue. Kerala
bravely endured the monsoon storms, but it would be a mistake to think that disasters of this magnitude are “once in a
hundred year” events.
Weather disasters are being affected by climate change that is caused by humans. The devastation is worsened by the
collective failure of governments and businesses to invest in building resilience despite the evidence on runaway climate
change. The lesson from the Kerala floods, Hurricane Harvey (Houston, U.S., 2017) and Typhoon Haiyan (the Philippines,
2013) is that responses to disasters must be proactive, not just reactive.
First, reconstruction efforts must involve rebuilding in a better way. Climate proofing in Kerala calls for structures to be
built with wind- and water-resistant materials. The higher cost will be more than offset by avoided repairs.
Second, people need to relocate out of harm’s way. After Haiyan’s storm surges, distances from coastlines that were
considered safe for settling were extended. During the 2015 floods, Chennai illustrated the price of unrestricted urban
development.
Third, early warning is vital. Because of investments in these systems, Cyclone Phailin (2013) claimed less than 40 lives in
Odisha, whereas a superclyclone in 1999 in the State had killed 10,000 people. In Kerala, there was no timely forecast from
national weather services. The State needs a reliable flood forecasting capability.
Fourth, there needs to be tougher implementation of logging and mining regulations in fragile ecologies. Deforestation
worsened the effects of Kerala’s floods and mudslides, as the report of the Western Ghats ecology expert panel 2011 had
warned.
Lastly, there is the climate conundrum: Wayanad, which just saw record rainfall, is expecting a severe drought. Kerala by
itself has a small carbon footprint, but it can have a voice in helping one of the world’s largest carbon emitters reduce its
carbon footprint.
The economic damage from global warming has global ramifications. The 2011 floods in Thailand’s economic heartland
disrupted not just national, but global manufacturing value chains. The Kerala floods are estimated to have shaved off
about 2.2% of the State’s GDP. Bolstering resilience must be central to recovery. Multilateral agencies including the World
Bank and Asian Development Bank may be well-positioned to provide financing, which is vital when budgets are stretched,
and, crucially, knowledge solutions to tackle climate disasters. Kerala gets high marks for its participatory approach to
relief and rehabilitation. Invaluable as this is, the new climate reality is raising the bar on disaster resilience.

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Hisstoryy, HEERITAAGE & Cultture


# GGS Paper (PPrelims) & GS Paper I (Main)

SCU
ULPTUR
RAL TRA ADITION NS IN AN NCIENT T INDIA
# Heritage & Culture # Medievall India

Re
ecently, the U.S. returne
ed two antiq
que statues stolen from
m India.
The
ese include L
Lingodhbhav
vamurti, a Chola
C era granite sculptture (left)
depicti ng an iconicc representa
ation of Lord
d Shiva, and
d
Manju
usri (right), a phyllite scu
ulpture dep
picting the bodhisattva of
o wisdom,
both datin
ng back to th
he 12th centtury.

ABOUT
T CHOLA ARC
CHITECTURE

• The arrchitecture in
n Chola Emp
pire flourishe
ed and reached its culm
mination posst 850 AD. T
The most
sophistticated buildiings in the fo
orm of temples were builtt during this era.
e
Key
y features • The Ch
hola Templess had the Dv
varapalas orr guardian fiigures at the
e entrance to
o the Manda
apa (hall).
The tem
mples had fu
ully developed
d Dravidian Style.
• Ganas were the mo
ost memorab
ble figures made in the temples.

1. The Vijjayalaya Ch
holisvara tem
mple at Narrthamalai wa
as built durin
ng Vijayalayya Chola’s reign was
Important
dedicatted to lord Sh
hiva.
Tem
mples
2. Korang
ganatha Tem
mple, Srinivvasanallur was built by Parantaka Chola-I on the banks of River

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History, Heritage & Culture

Cauvery.
It is located at Srinivasanallur. The mythical animal Yazhi, unique and recurring feature of Chola
architecture has been sculpted at the base of the temple.
3. Brihadeshwara Temple or Rajarajeshwaram temple is built completely from granite.
It was built by Rajaraja Chola-I at Thanjavur, and is a part of UNESCO’s world heritage sites.
4. Gangaikondacholapuram was built by Rajaraja’s son Rajendra I as the new capital for Cholas
It meant to commemorate the victories of Rajendra I over the Chalukyas, Gangas, Palas and Kalinga.

• Stone and metal sculptures are found in plenty in Chola temples. They depict the socio religious
ideas of the Chola period.
• Chola bronze images are the most sought-after collectors’ items by art lovers. For example: the
Nataraja sculpture is world famous not only for its beauty but also for its spiritual meaning.
• A wide range of Shiva iconography was evolved in the Tanjore region of Tamil Nadu.
• Lingodbhavamurti too, is an iconic representation of Hindu god Shiva which is commonly seen in the
Sculptures
South Indian Hindu temples.
• The icon depicts the legend of the origin of the linga, Shiva's aniconic representation that is often used
in his worship.
• The Cholas made use of sculptures to decorate the walls, pillars and roofs.
• Scenes of Ramayana, Mahabharata and Puranas along with Nayanars are sculpted in the
narrative panels of the Chola temples.

ABOUT BODHISATTVAS

• In Buddhism, a bodhisattva is an enlightened being.


• Traditionally, a bodhisattva is anyone who, motivated by great compassion, has generated
Meaning
Bodhicitta, which is a spontaneous wish to attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings.
• Bodhisattva refers to all who are destined to become Buddhas in this life or another life.

1. Avalokitesvara is the personification of the Buddha’s compassion.


He is the most universally acknowledged bodhisattva in Mahayana Buddhism and appears
unofficially in Theravada Buddhism in Cambodia under the name Lokeśvara.
2. Manjusri embodies wisdom and is the personification of the Buddha’s compassion.
3. Samantabhadra means Universal Worthy and is associated with meditation. He is the
Important personification of the Buddha’s aspirations.
Bodhisattvas 4. Ksitigarbha is the personification of the Buddha’s merit.
5. Maitreya also known as Ajita Bodhisattva is the personification of the Buddha’s activity.
According to both Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism, Maitreya is regarded as the future buddha.
6. Vajrapani is the personification of the Buddha’s power or capacity.
He is described as one of the 3 protective deities around Buddha, other are Manjusri and
Avlokiteshwara.

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History, Heritage & Culture

7. Sadaparibhuta is a Bodhisattva which manifests never disparaging spirit.


8. Akasagarbha is the personification of the Buddha’s blessings.
He is boundless as space and has the perfect ability to purify transgressions.

The historical Ajmer Sharif Dargah is all set to get a facelift. This 13th

AJMER DARGAH century dargah has been included among the Swachh Iconic Places, a
clean-up initiative focused on iconic heritage, spiritual and cultural places.
# Heritage & Culture #
Ajmer Sharif Dargah is a Sufi shrine located in Ajmer, Rajasthan. This
Medieval India shrine belongs to Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti who is popularly known as
“Gharib Nawaz” (comforter of the poor).

THINGS TO UNDERSTAND

• Khwaja Moinuddin’s dargah is popular because of the austerity and piety of its Shaikh, the greatness
Significance
of his spiritual successors, and the patronage of royal visitors.
of the
• The shrine is strategically located on the trade route linking Delhi and Gujarat which attracted a lot of
Dargah
travellers.

• The Chishti order was established in India by Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti who came to India around
1192.
About
• The Chishti’s are considered to be the most influential of the groups of Sufis who migrated to India in
Chishti
the late twelfth century,
Silsila
• They adapted successfully to the local environment and adopted several features of Indian devotional
traditions.

• A major feature of the Chishti tradition was austerity, including maintaining a distance from worldly
Some power.
aspects of
• However, this was by no means a situation of absolute isolation from political power as the Sufis
Chishti
accepted unsolicited grants and donations from the political elites.
Silsila
• The Chishti’s were known to accept donations in cash and kind.

MAJOR TEACHERS OF THE CHISHTI SILSILA

YEAR OF
SUFI TEACHERS LOCATION OF DARGAH
DEATH

Shaikh Moinuddin Sijzi 1235 Ajmer (Rajasthan)

Khwaja Qutbuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki 1235 Delhi

Shaikh Fariduddin Ganj-i Shakar 1265 Ajodhan (Pakistan)

Shaikh Nizamuddin Auliya 1325 Delhi

Shaikh Nasiruddin Chiragh-i Dehli 1356 Delhi

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NEWS Snippets
IN NEWS: The State government of Telangana had placed bulk orders for weaving 90 lakh
Bathukamma sarees which will be distributed during the ensuing Bathukamma festival. This
decision of the state government is hailed as the migration of the power loom weavers from
Sircilla, Telangana to other parts of the country like Surat in search of employment has
stopped.

• Bathukamma is floral festival celebrated predominantly by the Hindu women of


Telangana.

• It is the festival for feminine felicitation. On this special occasion women dress up in the
traditional sari combining it with jewels and other accessories.

• In Telugu, ‘Bathukamma' means ‘Mother Goddess come Alive’ and in this respect
BATHUKAMMA
Goddess Maha Gauri (Life Giver) is worshipped in the form of Bathukamma, the patron
goddess of womanhood.

• Bathukamma refers to a beautiful flower stack, arranged with different unique seasonal
flowers most of them with medicinal values, in seven concentric layers in the shape of
temple gopuram.

• Every year this festival is celebrated as per the Saka calendar for nine days starting usually
in September–October of Gregorian calendar.

• Bathukamma is followed by Boddemma, which is a 7-day festival. Boddemma festival


marks the ending of Varsha Ruthu whereas Bathukamma festival indicates the beginning
of Sarad or Sharath Ruthu.

IN NEWS: Gajapayana is an age-old tradition of elephant marching which was revived few
years back. The festival was flagged off recently at Veeranahosahalli on the outskirts of the
Nagarhole National Park, Karnataka.

• Gajapayana is an ancient practice that was in vogue during the days of the maharajas.

• It is a traditional march of the caparisoned elephants from the jungle camps to the City of
Palaces ahead of Dasara festival.

The elephants participating the festivities would march the entire stretch from the jungle
GAJAPAYANA •
camps to Mysuru.
FESTIVAL • The practice was disbanded and it had slipped out of public memory until it was revived
about 15 years ago.

• However, the traditional march is now only symbolic as the elephants march a short
distance.

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History, Heritage & Culture

IN NEWS: For the first time in the past 50 years Aranmula Vallamkali was held as a low-key
affair.

• The Aranmula Boat Race is the oldest river boat fiesta in Kerala.

• It is held during Onam (August–September) at Aranmula, near a Hindu temple dedicated


ARANMULA to Lord Krishna and Arjuna.

VALLAMKALI • The snake boats move in pairs to the rhythm of full-throated singing and shouting
watched by an exciting crowd.
(Snake Boat Race)
• Thousands of people gather on the banks of the River Pampa to watch the snake boat
races.

• The Aranmula Boat Race begins each year on the last day of the Onam festival. It lasts for
two days.

IN NEWS: Recently Nagaland’s Kiphire district which was struck by landslides and heavy
rainfall, received seven truckloads of PDS rice in the nick of time which brought cheer during
their tribal festival, Mongmong.
MONGMONG
• Mongmomg is a major festival of the Sangtams tribe.
FESTIVAL • This festival is celebrated every year from 1st to 6th September.

• It is a festival of togetherness, forgiveness and prayer for a bountiful harvest.

• Sangtam is the largest of the three principal tribes in Kiphire district bordering Myanmar.

IN NEWS: Recently one person was killed and nearly 300 people were injured, during the
annual “Gotmar” (stone-pelting) festival.

• The annual “Gotmar” festival is a stone-pelting festival and is considered as a 300-year-


old festival.
GOTMAR
• It is celebrated at Pandhurna in Madhya Pradesh’s Chhindwara district.
FESTIVAL • During this festival, people of Sawargaon and Pandhurna gather on either side of Jaam
River and, while throwing stones, race to snatch a flag hoisted on top of a dead tree
situated in the middle of the river.

IN NEWS: Recently the Bagwal festival, was held in the Devidhura village of Champawat
district.
BAGWAL
• The Bagwal festival, is a popular attraction of Raksha Bandhan day in Uttarakhand.
FESTIVAL • The festival is famous for its annual ritual of ‘stone pelting.’

• However, after the intervention of the Uttarakhand high court in 2013, stones were

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History, Heritage & Culture

replaced with flowers.

• It is celebrated by the members of the four clans of Devidhura namely Gaharwals,


Chamyals, Lamgharias and Waliks.

IN NEWS: The Jammu & Kashmir government is now making efforts to revive Kashmir’s
master darners, known as Rafugars, who have become an endangered species. J&K’s
Department of Archives, Archaeology and Museums and the Indian National Trust for Art
and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) have thus decided to identify and expose these traditional
Valley darners to the market.
RAFUGARS
• The Rafugars possess the rare ability to repair expensive antique shawls.

• This skill is in great demand across the country and abroad.

• Historically, these darners from Kashmir once impressed the Mughal emperors, who
hired them to keep their shatoosh and pashmina shawls intact.

IN NEWS: Recently, the Budhamal festival was celebrated in Dhupguri village on the
BUDHAMAL outskirts of Guwahati.

FESTIVAL • This festival is held once in five years.

• During this festival people pray for well-being and a good harvest.

• Gatka is a weapon-based Indian martial art basically created by the Sikhs of Punjab.

• It is displayed during the different celebrations or at fairs in Punjab.

• There are many weapons used in Gatka like, Stick, Talwar, kirpan and kataar.
GATKA
• The sport form is played by two opponents wielding wooden staves called gatka and
these sticks may be paired with a shield.

• Points are scored when contact is made with the stick.

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Historyy, Heritag e & Culturre

B LAST FROM
F T HE PASST

KAILA
ASA TEM
MPLE: R
ROCK CU
UT TEMPLE AT ELLORA
A
(C
Courtesy: The
e Hindu)

# Art & Cullture


Acccording to a legend cited
d in the 10th
h century book Katha Kalpa Taru, som
metime in th
he 8th centu ry, the quee
en of the
Rasshtrakuta ruller Elu made a vow that sshe would no
ot eat till a magnificent
m te
emple was bu
uilt to Lord SShiva, and she
e saw its
mlaka (finial). The king inv
am em was able to fulfil this vow. Finally,, an architect named
vited many arrchitects, butt none of the
Kokasa from Pa
aithan completed the taskk in no time.

Leg
gend aside, the constructtion of the te mple began during the ru
ule of the Rashtrakuta king,
k Dantidu
urga (735-75
57 AD). A
gro d artisans cut and carved
oup of skilled d the vertical face of the basalt rock of own today as Ellora,
o a hill in Elapura, kno
near Aurangab t Buddhist s who made carvings inside the rock to construct cave templees, this group
bad. Unlike the p cut the
uisite precision, to build a monolithic rock temp
rocck internally and externally, with exqu ple. The resu
ult is the mag
gnificent
Kaiilasa temple, one of the
e largest rocck-cut templles in the world.
w Major work on the
t temple was done by King
Dantidurga’s successor,
s Krishna I (757
7-773 AD), allthough work
k continued under
u many successive kkings for morre than a
cen
ntury.

Ins
side the Kailasa temple

• There are 32 caves in Elllora,


numbered according
a to their
age.

• Temples 1 to 12 in the
southern side are the
Buddhist cav
ves.

• Temples 13
3 to 29 are the
Hindu cave
es, and in the
northern side are the Jain
temples.

The
e first thing
g I saw when I
ally reached cave 16 was
fina w a
hug
ge rock scre
een with carv
vings
and el doorway with
d a two-leve
ves on top. A door on the
eav
low
wer level l
leads into the
double-storey gopuram, which
w has ex quisitely carvved sculptures on the wa
alls. Goddessses Ganga an
nd Yamuna fflank the
enttrance gatew
way.

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Historyy, Heritag e & Culturre

The
e gopuram at
a the lower level leads tto the portico
o. The full glo
ory of this co
olossal mono
olith hits you
u when you le
eave the
portico, on eith
her side of which
w are the
e north and south courts
s with life-sizze elephantss and a victo
ory pillar fram
ming the
Kaiilasa. It is thiss iconic imag
ge that I had sseen many times in photo
ographs.

The
ere are five subsidiary
s shrines around
d the main te
emple in the circumambul
c latory path th
hat runs alon
ng the side off the hill.
Thiis includes a shrine ded ati, and a yyajna-shala (hall of
dicated to riiver goddessses Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswa
sac
crifice).

However, the main


m temple is the mostt impressive. The elepha
ants and lio m the high plinth of th
ons that form he main
tem y Rashtrakutta power an d prosperity
mple signify y. Rock steps
s in the left co
ourt lead up to
t the top wh
here Nandi a
and a 36-
column manda
ap with a Shiv
S ling are
e located. There are many beautifu
ul carvings: of Durga, M
Mahishasura
amardini,
Gajjalakshmi se otus pool, S hiva as Ardhanari and Virbhadra, Ravana
eated in a lo R shaking the Kailaash parvat, and the
Ma
ahabharata and
a Ramayan g many hourrs looking at these perfecctions, I climb
na panels. Affter spending bed up to th
he top of
the
e mountain frrom which th
he temple is ccarved. You ccan see the whole
w comple
ex from there
e.

The
e carving of the
t temple started from the top of th
he mountain but a pit was later dug around
a the teemple on the
e sloping
side of the hill, about 106 fe
eet deep at itts innermost side, 160 ft wide
w and 280
0 ft in length. The temple stands in the
e middle
of this
t i the shikharr at 96 ft.
pit. Its hiighest point is

Fea
atures of the
e main temp
ple

Apart from the gopura, the


e main templle has a sabh
ha griha (ha
all), vestibules and a Na
andi manda p which lead
ds to the
garrba griha (sanctum) witth the Shiv linga, all of which are profusely carv
ved and with
h Dravidian sshikharas (to
owers). A
bridge connectss the Nandi mandap
m to th
he gopuram.

The w made w orthwhile byy the loveline


e stiff climb up the hill was ess of the lotus on the roof of the saanctum. The
e lotus is
owned by a finial with four mythical lio
cro ons, each facing one cardinal direction
n. Looking at the magnificcence of the ttemple, I
wo nd a chisel orr was there a divine force at work too??
ondered: Wass all this made using just a hammer an

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SECURITY
# GS Paper III (Main)

BIMSTEC MILEX The inaugural edition of the BIMSTEC Nations Military Field Training
Exercise i.e. MILEX - 2018 culminated in September, 2018 at Aundh
– 2018
Military Station, Pune. The military exercise was also marred by the low-
#Military exercise key presence of Nepal.
#International Let us understand the basic features of MILEX – 18 and the controversy
organisation with Nepal.

THINGS TO UNDERSTAND

• MILEX – 2018 was held under the purview of the priority sector Counter-terrorism & trans-national
crime for which the lead country is India.
Purpose of
• The exercise demonstrated the commitment and capabilities of the participating BIMSTEC National
Exercise
armies in working closely with each other to eradicate the menace of terrorism existing in different
forms.

• The Nepalese army initially had agreed to take part in military exercise when it was announced by India
during the BIMSTEC Summit in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Nepal • However subsequently, the political executive under K.P. Oli government refused for participation and
Controversy sent only observers to the military exercise.
• Thailand also sent observers to the military exercise however it was due to inability ofThailand to
prepare for the exercise.

• The reluctance of Nepal is primarily considered due to:


 Nepalese political executive has asserted that Nepal doesn’t want to be part of military initiatives that
are led by regional blocs.
 Various political groups in Nepal have claimed that the military exercise is beyond the purview of
Nepalese BIMSTEC’s agenda and cannot be considered as part of ‘Counter-terrorism & transnational crime’
reluctance priority sector.
 Nepal is over-seeing a Civilian-military conflict and the initial acceptance by Nepalese army and then
refusal by political executive is an example of such.
 The military exercise is an India led initiative wherein Nepal’s reluctance might be to appease China with
whom Nepal conducted a military exercise in same time period.

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Security

SMART The Ministry of Home Affairs inaugurated two pilot projects of smart fencing
FENCING along the Indo-Pak International Border in Jammu.

#Border Management Let us further understand about this smart fencing.

THINGS TO UNDERSTAND

• Smart fencing at the borders is a technological solution devised to address the security issues in the
Border States and the two projects in five kilometres areas each have been installed along the Indo-Pak
International Border in Jammu on a pilot basis.
Purpose • It is intended that the number of casualties of Indian soldiers on borders would get minimised and the
patrolling capabilities of the Indian army would be augmented to a large extent.
• A total of 2,026 km border is vulnerable and with the help of smart border fencing, the borders would
become secure and the dependence on ground patrolling by troops will considerably be reduced.

• The two projects each covering a 5.5 km border stretch along the International Border have got hitech
surveillance system that would create an invisible electronic barrier on land, water and even in air and
Features
underground and would help the BSF detect and foil infiltration bids in most difficult terrains and
riverine borders.

• The smart border fencing projects are built under the Comprehensive Integrated Border
Management System (CIBMS) programme.
• CIBMS uses a number of different devices for surveillance, communication and data storage such as
sensors like Thermal Imager, UGS, Fiber Optical Sensors, Radar, Sonar, etc. These sensors have been
CIBMS mounted on different platforms like Aerostat, tower, poles etc.
programme • A comprehensive integration of such sensors and other technical systems of communication and data
processing have been achieved in the CIBMS project. The signals reach the Unified Command and
Control Centre where the BSF and Indian Army can monitor the border on real-time basis.
• The CIBMS enables round-the-clock surveillance on border and under different weather conditions be
it in dust storm, fog or rain.

• The concerns with Smart Fencing are:


 At present, many of the high-tech surveillance devices deployed by the BSF and Indian Army on India-
Pakistan border are not optimally utilised because the required technical expertise is not uniformly
available among the force’s personnel.
Concerns  There is a high cost of the electronic devices and the lack of easy availability of spare parts act as
with Smart a deterrent against their use.
Fencing  Control centres provide for a centralised decision making that could hamper timely and effective
response on the ground given that detection and interception of infiltrators at the border require a
quick response which is achieved only through a decentralised decision making process.
 The lack of technical expertise, erratic power supply and adverse climatic and terrain conditions in
the border areas could potentially undermine the functioning of the sophisticated system.

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Security

SUGICAL STRIKE The 2nd anniversary of Surgical Strike against Pakistan was celebrated as
DAY Parakram Parv or Surgical Strike Day on September 29 – 30, 2018 by the
Indian Army.
# Military
Let us further understand about this.
commemoration
THINGS TO UNDERSTAND

• Indian Army had carried out Surgical strike on the night of September 28-29, 2016 in Pakistan Occupied
Background Kashmir (PoK) in retaliation after the Uri attack that emanated from Pakistan backed terrorist groups.
• The military strike destroyed several terrorist infrastructure and terrorists that existed across the LoC.

• The surgical strike intended to showcase the vulnerability of Pakistan to cross-border strikes and ability
of India for military retaliation for terrorist attacks.
Purpose
• The strike meant to act as a deterrent to ensure Pakistan’s reluctance in engaging in future cross-
border terrorist attacks.

• A surgical strike is essentially a swift and targeted attack on specific target that aims to neutralise them
while ensuring minimum collateral damage to the surrounding areas and civilians. Neutralisation of
Surgical
targets with surgical strikes also prevents escalation to a full blown war.
Strike
• Surgical strikes are part of India’s Cold Start doctrine and have proved effective in foiling a new
infiltration bid by terrorists groups across the LoC.

MILITARY EXERCISES
# Security

• Exercise Yudh Abhyas is a joint Indo-US Military exercise and its 14th edition was held at Chaubatia,
Uttarakhand in September, 2018.
Yudh Abbas
• The exercise started in 2004 under US Army Pacific Partnership Programme and is aimed at
- 2018
strengthening and broadening interoperability and cooperation between the Indian and US armies
especially in scenarios of UN Peace Keeping.

• Indian Army and Kazakhstan Army completed the 3rd edition of their joint military Exercise KAZIND
2018 in Otar Military area, Kazakhstan.
Kazind -
• The primary focus of the exercise was to train and equip the contingents to undertake joint counter
2018
insurgency and counter terrorist operations in urban and rural environment under mandate of United
Nations.

• Exercise Aviaindra is an Air Force level exercise between India and the Russian Federation. The First
Aviaindra -
Aviaindra was conducted in 2014 and has been planned as a bi-annual exercise.
18
• Exercise Aviaindra 18 was conducted at Lipetsk, Russia and the aim of the exercise was focused

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Securitty

towards anti-terrorisst operationss in a bi-lateral scenario. The exercise would furtther enhance
e the co-
operatio
on and underrstanding eacch other’s Concept of Ope
erations.

• Indo-Mo
ongolia jointt exercise N
Nomadic Elep
phant-2018 was
w held at Ullanbaata r, Mongolia
a. It is an
annual, bilateral exe
ercise since 2
2006 which is
s designed to
o strengthen
n the partnerrship betwee
en Indian
No
omadic
Army and Mongolian
n Armed Forcces.
Ele
ephant -
• The exercise will see
e them imprrove their tactical and technical skillss in joint cou
unter insurge
ency and
201
18
counter terrorist ope
erations in ru
ural and urba
an scenario under
u d Nations maandate. It also further
United
aims to enhance
e cou
unter-terrorissm cooperation.

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Misccellaaneouus
SPOORTS R OUND-UUP

#RESULLTS

U.S
S. OPEN
N 2018
 MEN’S CATE
EGORY  WOMEN’S
W CA
ATEGORY

Re
esult: In the final,
f Novak Djokovic of Serbia Result: In th
he final, Naomi Osaka off Japan
deffeated the Arg
gentinian, Jua
an Martín de
el Potro. defeated Se
erena William
ms of United SStates.
d US Open tittle and 14th G
It was his third Grand She is only the
e second Asia
an to win graand slam
Slam, tying with Pete Sa
ampras' record. singles
s title after Li Na of China (Frencch Open
2011)..

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M
Miscellan eous

#Awarrds
FIFA AWA
ARDS
 PLAYER
P OF THE
T YEAR AW
WARD  BEST WOM
MEN PLAYER
R

Luka
L Modric
c of Croatia was
w named th
he world's be
est Brazil’s
s Marta da Silva
S was crow
wned best w
women’s player for a
male
m player at
a the FIFA Fo
ootball Award
ds. He ended
da recorrd sixth time for her role in winning th
he Copa Ame
erica.
decade long
g domination o Ronaldo and
n by Cristiano
Lionel Messi.
He plays forr Real Madrid
d.

RAJIV GANDH
HI KHEL
L RATNA
A AWAR
RD
I is the highe
It est sporting h
honour given
n to a sportsp
person in Ind
dia. It was instituted in 19991-92.

 VIRAT
T KOHLI  MIRABA
AI CHANU

Captain, Indiann Cricket Teaam Chanu has


h won the World
W Champ
pionships and
d multiple m
medals at
the Co
ommonwealth Games in weightlifting
w g (48 kg cate
egory)

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Miscellaneous

#VIEWPOINT
The medals tally is not the only way to ascertain whether or not India is a sporting nation
By: Manisha Malhotra, Asian Games silver medallist in tennis
(courtesy: The Hindu)

Every time a big sporting event is held, there is a buzz about sports; specifically, there is a buzz about the state of Indian
sports. Over the last decade India has won more medals than the previous four decades put together. While that is a great
number to talk about and brings all the optimists on the same stage with a tall claim that Indian sports has finally arrived
on the world stage, I beg to disagree. I don’t think it is an accurate statement. I understand the need for encouragement
but sport is not make-believe.

My answer to the question is that the process to reach there is complicated. Having a ringside view has meant that my
opinion has swung from sheer optimism to plain despair. At this point, I would say I am at a crossroads.

A cultural change
Over the last 10 years we have had a lot of athletes who have not only been at the top of the world but who have also
inspired a generation of athletes to look at dominating in varied sports. More importantly, there has been a major cultural
change in our basic belief system. Athletes no longer feel as though they are inferior to their international counterparts,
and that is probably the most heartening aspect of Indian sport.

Weak bench strength


However, to then claim that it amounts to being at par with the rest of the countries is not an accurate analysis. First, are
international medals the main parameter of whether or not a country is an established sporting nation? It really ought not
to be. A sporting nation is one that has sustainable systems, societal interest in sport, which links sport and entertainment,
which has large numbers across disciplines, both amateur and professional.

There are several Indian athletes now who are in the forefront of various disciplines, but a critical factor on the
assessment of the health of a sport is to measure how many players are waiting in the pipeline to knock him/her off that
perch. The bench strength is weak. While our athletes now believe that they do get the opportunities to compete
alongside the best in the world, our management systems of sport are archaic, to say the least.

The certifying authority in India for nurturing coaches and trainers, the National Institute of Sports, Patiala, has an
outdated curriculum. It is probably 30 years behind the times. Our national federations still struggle to take their various
disciplines to the masses. They have monumentally failed in creating an overall interest in the sport because they do not
plan, let alone think, long term outside the proverbial box for the growth of the sport.

No sports curriculum
Only a small percentage of the Indian public has any interest in sport in general. Barring cricket, a majority has no
knowledge of Olympic sports. Schools have still not made sports a priority in their curriculum. We may have some athletes
who are among the highest earners in the world, we may have Olympics medallists. But it takes a lot more to say that
India is now a sporting nation. In sports parlance, these are the “outliers” who are still considered to be products despite
the system. Until these people become creations of a system we need to put our heads down and keep working towards
spreading the word. We must look to make sport an integral part of every household.

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M
Miscellan eous

Beffore we claim
m that India is a sporting
g power, plea
ase remembe
er that we ha
ave just one individual O lympics gold
d winner:
Abhinav Bindra
a. That tells th
he story.

Essay: Fifty Golds in O


Olympics: Can this be a re
eality for Indiia?
(UPSC 201
14)

REB BEL SUL LTANS


# BBOOKS AND AUTHORS
A
Genre
e: Non-Fiction
n, History
Autho
or: Manu S. Pillai

The bo ook tells us a story of thhe fascinating g world of Deccan,


D full o
of splendour, exciting
politica
al intrigues, g
glorious rulerrs, magnificent cities and fabulous treeasures.

It has comprehenssive narratio


on of an era beginning frrom the end
d of the 13th
h century
with g
grand kingdooms of Vijaya
anagar, Bahaamanis, Adil Shahis, Quttb Shahis annd Nizam
Shahiss holding sw
way and creating an impressive scenario that iroonically became their
nemessis with the m
mighty Mugh
hals ruthlessly
y crushing th
hem by the b
beginning of the 18th
centurry.

Some of the key h


highlights:
• The Deccan
n attracted people
p from Iran, Iraq, Europe, China, Africa and S
Southeast
Asia. Itt was the hub
b of the trading world with some of the finest port cities.
• The immig
grants from Persia
P and Affrica and meercenaries fro om within th
he region
rose to the ranks
r of noblles, becoming
g contenderss to the thron
ne and succe
essfully establishing greatt kingdoms.
• Deccan beca ame a melting pot, a land
d of opportunnities, with ch
hannels of social mobility..
• For e.g. The Qutb Shahiss of Golcondaa with an Iranian tribal lineage, the humble Abysssinian slave iimmigrants like Malik
Amber beco
oming nobless and maste
erminds behind changing
g dynastic fo
ortunes, warrior queens like Chand Bibi, and
literati kingss like Krishna
adevaraya an
nd Feroz Shah Bahamani,, travellers frrom France, Burma, and West Asia an
nd artists
from Holland and Persia, gem traderss from as farr as Flanders — all enricheed the Decca
an.

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ETHICS, INTEGRITY & APTITUDE


# GS Paper IV (Main)

DO WE REALLY CARE?
#Ethics #Integrity #Aptitude
The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that’s the essence
of inhumanity.
(George Bernard Shaw)

Q. “The good of an individual is contained in the good of all.” What do you understand by this statement?
(UPSC 2013)

Q. The current society is plagued with widespread trust-deficit. What are the consequences of this situation
for personal well-being and for societal well-being? What can you do at the personal level to make yourself
trustworthy?
(UPSC 2014)

Q. What factors affect the formation of a person’s attitude towards social problems? In our society,
contrasting attitudes are prevalent about many social problems. What contrasting attitudes do you notice
about the caste system in our society? How do you explain the existence of these contrasting attitudes?
(UPSC 2014)

Q. Our attitudes towards life, work, other people and society are generally shaped unconsciously by the
family and the social surroundings in which we grow up. Some of these unconsciously acquired attitudes and
values are often undesirable in the citizens of a modern democratic and egalitarian society.
Discuss such undesirable values prevalent in today's educated Indian.
(UPSC 2016)

Q. Explain how ethics contributes to social and human well-being?


(UPSC 2016)

EVER WONDERED WHY SOME PEOPLE ARE UNCONCERNED AND INDIFFERENT? DOES THIS STEM FROM DEEP-
SEATED UNEXPRESSED ANGER AND THE NEED TO FEEL SUPERIOR?

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Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude

To answer, this section contains scenarios shared by people on different aspects and way of living for your
reference.
So, by reading them, try to figure out the answers.

DON YOUR THINKING HAT:


Now start by reading, and analysing the scenarios given below.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SCENARIO 1
(# Avoiding Indifference)

Laughter and yells erupted at the table near ours at dinner in a restaurant. It didn’t seem to make the slightest difference
to those diners that there were others in the same place trying to enjoy their evening out.

In the life-plan of some people, no one else counts.

Just once, observe how you become invisible in a corridor. A woman advancing from the opposite direction moves as if
you do not exist. In other words she doesn’t have to recognise your presence and you therefore step aside to avoid
collusion. What you realise after that split-second ‘encounter’ — if you can call it that — is that the other individual has not
moved even ten centimetres to avoid crashing into you. Zero adjustment on the part of X and maximum on the part of Y
(yourself).

Was it always so or is a rise in displays of poor manners and rudeness in public — be it a jumping a queue,
callousness towards the elderly or grabbing a restaurant table — suddenly more marked? It is matched only by its
close cousin in the scale of inhumanity: indifference.

Root cause

One is particularly astonished at the indifference to rules on our roads. A two-wheeler will drive so close to you that you
can smell the driver or he will cut right in front of your car moving laterally to the other side of the road uncaring of the
danger and inconvenience to you. If they get home safely it is only because drivers of cars struggle not to hit them. And if
at all they meet your glance it is with eyes of stone: so cold and unfeeling are they as they break the rules and cause the
person at the wheel great stress. In an unspoken understanding between two-wheel drivers, they will not frustrate one
another only the rest of the public.

Where does this indifference to the rest of the population come from? My guess is that it comes from deep-seated
unexpressed anger and a need to feel superior in some way to the rest of the world and to make everybody else feel
inferior; not to mention putting them at risk. For them the rest of the world on the same road might just as well not be
there. That a city is filled with strangers is probably at the root of this situation. Politeness and courtesy are expensive in
terms of time and the withdrawal of these marks of civility are therefore expressed in a form of indifference.

Another kind of indifference is not lack of feeling but a lack of imagination when it comes to recognising that another
person is in distress. It does not occur to us that we ought to take notice. In the preface to his autobiography the rickshaw-
driver-cum- writer Manoranjan Byapari wrote: “Here I am. I know I am not entirely unfamiliar to you. You’ve seen me a 100

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Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude

times. Yet if you insist that you do not recognise me…take a look outside your window. You’ll see a bare-bodied goatherd
running behind his cows and goats with a stick. You’ve seen this boy many times. That is me and my childhood.”

When will this boy be free? By becoming more responsible and responsive.

Two important events in our freedom struggle took place in September and both because people refused to be
indifferent. The first was on September 25, 1916 when Annie Besant started another Home Rule League and the second
was the Second Round Table conference on September 7.

Let us remember those who were not indifferent. They acted because they felt responsible for people they did not even
know.

SCENARIO 2
(# Develop Empathy)

As I wait for the metro train to reach the platform in the bustling station on a typically cool evening, it is given a guard of
honour by a huge throng toeing the yellow line and ready to pounce through the doors as soon as they open, all in the
hope of getting a seat.

Curiously enough, almost all of them have been warming their respective cubicle seats for the last nine hours or so, but
their thirst for a seat seems unquenchable. Their single-mindedness would certainly put professional athletes at the start
line of a running race to shame.

The term “rat race” came from the laboratory rats that are made to run through a maze, at the end of which is a block of
cheese. Now the question is: are we so obsessed with the block of cheese that we just don’t bother about any of our
peers, or people who are not even in the race?

Some instances most of us encounter every day seem to provide an answer to the question in the affirmative. Though
most of us are good, well-meaning people, when an elderly person comes in we expect one of our co-passengers to vacate
his seat before we could ours.

When the time comes to prove our goodness, we are somehow found wanting, but funnily enough all of us have personal
accounts of how others didn’t help us when we desperately needed them to.

I once had a terrible fall in a park while training for a marathon, and my fellow-runners left me to fend for myself when I
could barely pick myself up. A friend narrated a poignant incident where a poor woman clutching to her child was denied a
seat despite polite requests to her co-passengers. After narrating the incident she had one question on her mind: “Why is
it called humanity, if humans don’t have it?” I had no answer.

Add to all these first-hand experiences of apathy, the truly sad state of our society we see through the media where
people are left to perish on the roads and hundreds of thousands die of poverty and hunger as we complain and return
the food at our office cafeterias. We certainly are not living in the “Wonderful World” Louis Armstrong sang so beautifully
about.

I pondered over my friend’s question for days and came to the conclusion that there can be no “humanity” without
empathy.

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Ethics,, Integrityy & Aptitudde

Contrary to pop
pular belief, rat race and apathy have
e always been a part of our
o society; th
his is not som
mething spaw
wned by
thiss generation or the previo
ous one. The
ere were alwa
ays apathetic
c people and very few who
o were empaathetic.

It’s clear that no


ot all of us can be Nelson
n Mandela, M
Mahatma Gandhi or Moth
her Teresa, the names th
hat resonate with the
wo
ord “humanitty”, but we ca
an be empatthetic enoug
gh to lend ou
ur seat to so
omeone more deserving, be it a consstruction
wo
orker who has laboured all day or a pe
erson carryin
ng a child. Lett us not be deluded rats running
r for tthe cheese, rrather let
us all be an arm
my of ants carrrying the ch eese for everyone to have a bite at.

Lett success be
e, as Ralph Waldo
W Emersson so eloqu
uently descrribed it, “To know even
n one life ha
as breathed
d easier
bec
cause you have
h lived. This is to hav
ve succeeded
d.” Sometimes we are so full of ourse
elves that we forget we arre in fact
humans for whom the word
d humanity sttill applies.

ows and holi er peacocks let’s take life


So in these times of holy co e lessons from rats and ants
a p obsessing over the
and stop
che
eese. Let’s ca
are for each other
o and sm
mile at one an
nother.

A fine ba
alance is required for on
ne’s sense off achievement and comm
mitment tow
wards fellow
w beings in tthe
society. Let’s
L care fo
or each othe r and smile at one another because
e one’s achie
evements arre sound,
sus
stainable an
nd peaceful only
o when tthey have co
ore intrinsic basic human values.

SCENARIO 3
(# Need forr Participatio
on and Inclussion)

Th
he notions of
o caste hiera
archy contin
nue to threa
aten societal unity more
e than ever b
before.

e election off Ramnath Ko


The ovind, the se
econd person
n from a Sche
eduled Caste
e to be electe
ed Presidentt of India, cou
uld have
bee
en considere
ed as a huge step towa rds establish
hing a polity
y that is free
e from the ty
yranny of th
he caste systtem. His
asccension spok
ke of how we
e could be rready as a de n India that does not co nsider caste when it
emocracy to turn into an
com
mes to the trreatment of its citizens. Itt pointed to a probability oulding a socciety devoid of social
y that we werre indeed mo
pre
ejudice.

However, the questions


q rem
main: Was it a true refle
ection of the
e absence off a social hie
erarchy? Ca n we conclu
ude that
the
e caste syste
em is actually being obl iterated? Sa
adly, it isn’t.

e idea of the caste system


The m has been sso deeply ing
grained in the Indian mind that, contrrary to popullar belief it sttill exists
in many parts of India. Tho
ough it has b
been relative
ely weakened atterns of disscrimination have come down, it
d and the pa
rem
mains to a co
onsiderable extent.
e It is n b continuess in a disguissed manner. This is the e
not visible in plain sight but era when
we are expected to settle an
nd welcome tthe rebrande
ed, rephrased ntiously justifiable version
d and preten n of the caste
e system,
the
e Caste Syste
em 2.0: ‘Com
mmunity’.

A community
c iss defined as a group of pe
eople who ha
ave a particular characterristic in comm
mon. In mod ern times, th
he use of
the
e word ‘caste’ can raise ey
yebrows and even increasse tensions among
a people in certain contexts.
c ‘Co
ommunity’ se
erves as
an excellent alternative to
o prevent ag
ggravation, but it isn’t merely
m just a safe term.. It’s a perfect
ctly thought-o
out word
tha
at is tailored to the demands of the m
modern world
d, particularly
y the absence of discrimination. It doeesn’t directlyy meddle

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Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude

with the social hierarchy and expect members who belong to a lower caste to honor the conventional caste system. But on
closer scrutiny we will find that it still obliquely advocates the division of classes.

The existence of the modern community is often justified as a means to conserve a group’s traditional practices. Marrying
within the community is how such traditions are preserved — a Nair marries a Nair, a Brahmin marries a Brahmin, and a
Chettiar marries a Chettiar. It is still not uncommon to find matrimonial advertisements in newspapers and online services
that specifically look for a bride/groom from a certain community. This display of a parochial attitude is portrayed to
prevent outsiders from attempting to damage the community’s ‘reputation’.

The idea of a community system seems harmless to a great number of people. It is often reasoned that a community
chooses to culturally isolate itself to conserve its traditional practices. And since it claims to not engage in direct
discrimination, its existence can be deemed acceptable.

However, what is deplorable is not the fact that these communities wish to preserve their practices, but the desire to
perpetuate practices that were once built up on a sense of social prejudice and dominance. This sense can be
conspicuous in modern times as discrimination over caste has been covert. Nevertheless, the pride of being part of
a ‘superior’ caste is still drilled into many irrational minds. This is highly evident where I come from; no matter the
level of education and economic wellness, there is still a certain fictitious pride in belonging to a superior caste. This
feeling of pride is passed on to the succeeding generations through indoctrination, and the natural human tendency to
feel superior aids the sustenance of such communities.

This self-centred view is where the problem lies, and that is the reason it threatens societal unity more than ever. Pride
resulting from assumed superiority threatens the unity of people since it is not possible to view each other as equals if
one assumes superiority over the other. As it is, our nation has been divided in various ways that lead to social and
cultural fencing off.

Do we need the community system to further aggravate the situation? I believe our inability to solve the nation’s
greatest problems arises from disunity. How can we solve problems when we don’t have a united front in the first
place? If we still allow a system that divides us, we will not be able to tackle complexities that demand that we
work hand in hand.

I find one question pretty hard to answer: what exactly is the point of tradition? Of course, it is deemed to have the
ancient values passed down by ancestors to succeeding generations. But is that it? Are we expected to blindly follow and
conserve traditions just because our ancestors did the same? Failure to develop a sensible rationale regarding tradition
isn’t rare in India. We refuse to question ancient practices and proceed with the easy answer: “Our ancestors did it, so
should we.” What we fail to realise is that at the cost of preserving tradition we are subjecting ourselves to cultural
seclusion. Instead of forming one strong Indian unit, we are carving up sections of people that prefer to have more
differences than similarities.

While the caste system is being modified, it is important that we revisit the concept of untouchability. This time around
one is not considered untouchable by birth or economic status. Rather, it is a matter of choice. The real untouchables
are those who still choose to isolate themselves as communities that alienate other people. They are those who
choose to preserve tradition while threatening the unity of the nation. They are those who still choose to persist with, in a
covert or overt manner, the irrational and disgraceful social hierarchy.

As we attempt to pass the gates of economic and social prosperity, we cannot afford to have a divided Indian crowd
hindering the process. Difficult and pressing issues ranging from sexual assault to secularism require our united attention.

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Malevolent trends such as the community system only leave a broken populace in their wake. It divides us for the sake of
fictitious supremacy. When will these communities come to realise that an army of ants is much better than a bunch of
deluded rats?.

SCENARIO 4
(# Become gender-sensitive, evolve and involve)

Sustainable development will be an impossibility without the potential contributions from women

The very notion of gender equality entails the belief that injustice is associated with the very definition of the concept. It is
imperative that we reflect on this association. Injustice arises out of society’s inability to accept the fact that men and
women should be equal.

The realisation that sustainable development is not possible without equality between men and women is a relatively
recent finding and directly linked to sustainability issues. A holistic, comprehensive approach to sustainability is one of the
most important ways to support and maintain gender justice and equality. The world needs to urgently define the issues
of social responsibility, so that the major themes related to the human being can be shared among all genders. It is
important to take care of our increasingly volatile planet, but more importantly it is to take care of the people who live on
it.

Defending equality between men and women, or boys and girls, is as important as combating domestic violence, or
empowering low-income groups. Teaching that rights should be equal, as well as opportunities and performance, are
mandatory themes, reminding us that the road to true equality is still long.

The importance of rectifying gender injustice and restoring women’s dignity in parts of the world is unquestionable.
Gender equality is the fifth Sustainable Development Goal of the UN. The UN acts to empower women and girls in all its
programmes. With stepped-up action on gender equality, every part of the world can move towards sustainable
development by 2030, leaving none behind.

Multiple targets
The targets include ending all forms of discrimination against women and girls, eliminating all forms of violence against
women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation,
eliminating harmful practices such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation.

Other goals relate to recognising and valuing unpaid care and domestic work through the provision of public services,
infrastructure and social protection policies and the promotion of shared responsibility within the household and the
family as nationally appropriate. Women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all
levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life need to be ensured, as also universal access to sexual and
reproductive health and reproductive rights as agreed in accordance with the Programme of Action of the International
Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Platform for Action and the review conferences.

Other goals include reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to ownership and
control over land and other forms of property, financial services, inheritance and natural resources, in accordance
with national laws, enhancing the use of enabling technology to promote empowerment of women, and adopting and
strengthening sound policies and enforceable legislation for the promotion of gender equality and empowerment.

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Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude

Indeed, the importance of women in the sustainable development of society is more than just a theoretical or intellectual
discussion. It is a campaign or cause that unites women in the awareness of their fundamental role for this
sustainable development to be achieved. Women actively contribute in all sectors of productive activity, side by side with
men, seeking equality based on respect and recognition of their role in society.

However, their rights continue to be denied and their contribution to the sustainability of society are stunted or
overlooked.

Women’s roles should be increasingly valued as an active presence within the family with responsibilities, whether in the
world of work, communities, or just as mothers. Their contribution is indispensable to a sustainable society, since their
participation has become an example of social inclusion and empowerment.

Daily reality
For many women this recognition and appreciation of their abilities is part of their day-to-day life. Tragically, most women
aren’t recognised in any sense that would empower them. It is a serious, crippling and psychologically debilitating
problem. Most women earn less than men in the same professions, are victims of discrimination, struggle with work and
home and are often still the targets of aggression and sexual harassment.

How, then, can one imagine sustainable development without the potential of women, which has not been
supported enough the world over so far? We need to create the necessary mechanisms for new ideas to be considered
in a serious and responsible way. There are many obstacles along the road to true equality. We should encourage women
to seek independence and not be afraid to consider alternatives that can generate multiple income streams.

Parents need to educate sons and daughters so that they respect each other and are willing to share domestic work. Boys
need to be taught not to reproduce expressions such as “This is a woman’s thing,” or denigrate certain professions or
activities. Such discourse violates the dignity of women who give decades of their lives doing thankless and often unpaid
or low-paid work taken for granted, often by men.

Finally, we all have a moral responsibility to report cases of violence, abuse and sexual exploitation against children and
adolescents.

There is always more we can do. When women uplift themselves (and we uplifted by other women and men), men and
children benefit. A world where women and men can realise their full potential is an imperative.”

WHAT IS THE SOLUTION?


(#Evolve yourself)

Only a holistically evolved person can contribute and care for others.
Thus for developing oneself, the things to avoid are indifference, inactivity, and complacency. This will provide a
positive shade to your life and this evolution process can start with the following steps:

 Discover your calling because life should not be lived on a default mode but in a properly planned manner.
 Be a person of your word rather than being “all talk and no action”. The smallest of actions is always better than the
boldest of intentions.
 Become a better listener. Better listening helps us in thinking better, planning better and actualising better.

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 Become self-disciplined. In your daily activity add a thing…..i.e. carry a goal card in your wallet/purse or pocket so
that you can review it in quieter moments in a day. It inculcates discipline of reconnecting to your highest priorities,
whether personal or professional, and this is a smart move.
 Take vow to increase your passion for living and multiply your commitment you will bring to each of the days that
will follow this one.
 Belief in karma rather than fate: We should not be fatalist as we are the drivers of our life. “ If it is going to be, it’s
up to me” is a wonderful mantra.
 Leaving no chance for regret. If we don’t act on our life and take actions then it will act on its own and give us results
which we might not want. Therefore, try to become a captain of your ship instead of just sailing through your life as a
passenger.
 Finally, start volunteering: Step out of your comfort zone, start volunteering, and learn a thing or two for life. it is a
great way to make a real contribution to a cause you feel strongly about. The more involved you get, the greater the
sense of satisfaction.

ASSIGNMENT FOR SELF-PRACTICE

Q. Did you find answers to the UPSC questions given at the top? If yes, then try to answer them.
Q. Do you have a plan to inculcate and develop all the qualities mentioned above? If yes, then design
approach/approaches for yourself.

Q. In which area, you want to volunteer? Design a successful plan for volunteering.

GET STARTED !
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Glossary
# Terms

Enrich Your Concepts

• Bank rate is the rate charged by the central bank for lending funds to commercial
banks.

Bank Rate • Bank rates influence lending rates of commercial banks.

(# Economy) • Higher bank rate will translate to higher lending rates by the banks.

• In order to curb liquidity, the central bank can resort to raising the bank rate and vice
versa.

• Capital account can be regarded as one of the primary components of the balance of
payments of a nation.

• It gives a summary of the capital expenditure and income for a country.


Capital • The capital expenditure and income is tracked by way of funds in the form of investments
Account and loans flowing in and out of an economy.

• This account comprises foreign direct investments, portfolio investments, etc. It gives a
(# Economy)
summary of the net flow of both private and public investment into an economy.

• A capital account deficit shows that more money is flowing out of the economy along with
increase in its ownership of foreign assets.

• The currency deposit ratio shows the amount of currency that people hold as a
proportion of aggregate deposits.
Currency
• An increase in cash deposit ratio leads to a decrease in money multiplier.
Deposit Ratio
• An increase in deposit rates will induce depositors to deposit more, thereby leading to a
(# Economy) decrease in Cash to Aggregate Deposit ratio. This will in turn lead to a rise in Money
Multiplier.

• Exchange rate is the price of one currency in terms of another currency.


Exchange Rate • Since exchange rate is a price, its determination can be explained through demand for and
supply of foreign exchange.
(# Economy)
• Exchange rates can be either fixed or floating.

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Glossary

• Fixed exchange rates are decided by central banks of a country whereas floating exchange
rates are decided by the mechanism of market demand and supply.

• Fixed exchange rate is also often called Bretton Woods System.

• At present, in most of the countries of the world (including India), the flexible exchange
rate system prevails.

• In the long run the foreign exchange rate between the two currencies is determined by
the purchasing powers of the two currencies in the domestic economies.

• In the short run, the demand for imports and exports of goods and services (that is, both
visible and invisible items), magnitude of capital flows between the countries affects
demand for and supply of foreign exchange and thereby determine the exchange rate
between the currencies.

• Gross Domestic Saving is GDP minus final consumption expenditure. It is expressed as


a percentage of GDP.

Gross • It consists of savings of household sector, private corporate sector and public sector.

• Gross domestic savings had followed a downward trajectory in last decade. The more
Domestic
concerning issue is the perceptible shift of investors’ preference towards physical assets as
Saving (#Economy) compared to financial assets.

• This can be attributable to a rise in inflationary pressures.

• Gross capital formation is a function of gross domestic savings..

• Market capitalization is the aggregate valuation of the company based on its current
share price and the total number of outstanding stocks.

• It is calculated by multiplying the current market price of the company's share with the
Market total outstanding shares of the company.

capitalization • It helps the investor determine the returns and the risk in the share. It also helps the
investors choose the stock that can meet their risk and diversification criterion.
(# Economy)
• For instance, a company has 20 million outstanding shares and the current market price of
each share is Rs100. Market capitalization of this company will be 200,00,000 × 100 = Rs.
200 crores.

• It is also known as lemon socialism.

• This refers to any form of government intervention in the market economy in order to help
Lemon law in the survival of struggling firms. These businesses, which would normally not be able to

(# Economy) survive in a free market without any government intervention in their favour, thus turn out
to be the beneficiaries of government policy.

• Such government intervention in favour of inefficient firms in the marketplace can be

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Glossary

brought about in various ways: - through the use of subsidies, bailouts, or discriminatory
regulations that favour select firms in the market.
• Lemon laws are considered to be harmful to economic growth as they breed inefficiency.

• Microeconomics is the study of individuals, households and firms' behavior in decision

Micro- making and allocation of resources. It generally applies to markets of goods and services
and deals with individual and economic issues.
economics
• Microeconomic study deals with what choices people make, what factors influence their
(#Economy) choices and how their decisions affect the goods markets by affecting the price, the supply
and demand.

• A non-performing asset (NPA) is a loan or advance for which the principal or interest
payment remained overdue for a period of 90 days.

Non-  Substandard assets: Assets which has remained NPA for a period less than or equal to 12
months.
Performing
 Doubtful assets: An asset would be classified as doubtful if it has remained in the
Assets substandard category for a period of 12 months.

(# Business)  Loss assets: As per RBI, “Loss asset is considered uncollectible and of such little value that
its continuance as a bankable asset is not warranted, although there may be some salvage
or recovery value.”

• This refers to the various problems affecting the behaviour of children as they spend less
time outdoors.
Nature Deficit • The disorder has been attributed to the exaggerated fears of overprotective parents
Disorder who want to keep their children safe from dangers in the natural world.

• The availability of electronic devices, which discourage children from going out, has also
(# Society)
been seen as a major reason for the problem. This causes children to suffer from various
forms of anxiety, depression, obesity, and other medical problems.

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Part TWO

CONTRIBUTORS
ZONE
articles .opinions .essays .notes
by rau’s professors & students
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lEAD ARTICLES

S.C.JUDGEMENTS: SIMPLIFIED
#POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
NAWEED AKHTER
EDITORIAL TEAM & EDUCATOR-DAILY NEWS SIMPLIFIED

VERDICT 1: AADHAAR
Aadhaar was primarily challenged on grounds that it violated right to privacy which has been unanimously recognised to
be a part of Right to life and personal liberty by Nine Judge Bench in Puttaswamy v Union of India. In the backdrop
of the decision of privacy case, the judgment on constitutional validity of Aadhaar was eagerly awaited. The case on
Aadhaar had clubbed different associated issues on which the Supreme Court had to pronounce its verdict.
The Five Judge Constitution Bench of Supreme Court in a majority of 4:1 has delivered a landmark verdict where it has
upheld the constitutional validity of The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and
Services) Act 2016. However, the Court struck down several provisions (section 33(2), 47 and 57 of the Aadhaar Act) related
to Aadhaar card linkage where no benefits, subsidies or services were transferred.
Let us understand the landmark verdict given by Supreme Court by going through the inception and implementation of
Aadhaar over successive years.

HISTORY OF AADHAAR

• Aadhaar was conceived in the year 2006 and launched in 2009 as a social security scheme which aimed at targeted
delivery, reducing leakage of funds and to maintain efficiency and transparency in the entire process of disbursal of
funds for welfare schemes.
• National Identification Authority of India Bill, 2010 was introduced in Lok Sabha and it provided for Voluntary
Enrolment for Aadhaar number. However the Bill was rejected by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance
citing the following grounds:
 High cost of the project
 Concerns on National Security
 Concerns of Privacy
 Duplication of National Population Register (NPR)

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JUDICIAL INTERVENTIONS

Supreme Court in an interim order clearly held that no citizens can be denied the benefits of any welfare
schemes for non-possession of Aadhaar Card.
September • It stressed that Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) cannot make enrolment for Aadhaar
2013 a compulsory process for every citizen.
• Supreme Court effectively held that enrolment for Aadhaar is a voluntary process and cannot be
enforced on citizens of India.

• Aadhaar was challenged on the grounds of Right to Privacy where the government argued that there
August was no fundamental right to privacy.
2015 • The Court ordered the constitution of Five Judge Constitution Bench to decide whether biometric
mode of registration for Aadhaar amounted to infringement of privacy.

• Five Judge Constitution Bench stressed that the voluntary nature of Aadhaar will continue till the
Court decides whether enrolment for Aadhaar amounts to infringement of right to privacy.
However, in the meanwhile, Constitution Bench allowed the use of Aadhaar in the following:

October  MGNREGA

2015  All types of Pension Schemes


 Employee Provident Fund
 Public Distribution System
 Distribution of LPG

PASSING OF AADHAAR AS A MONEY BILL

• Aadhaar was passed by the Government as a Money Bill which eventually became an Act and was
renamed as Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services)
April Act, 2016.
2016 • As per the Act, if any resident avails any Subsidy, Benefit or Service from the government whose fund
is taken from the Consolidated Fund of India (CFI), then such resident had to compulsorily provide
their Aadhaar number.

February Finance Act, 2017 made linking of Aadhaar with Permanent Account Number (PAN) mandatory.
2017 The Act further stated to invalidate PAN Card on failure of such linkage.

• A Five Judge Constitution Bench led by then CJI Justice J.S. Khehar while deciding on the
constitutionality of Aadhaar said that the issue of Right to Privacy as Fundamental right needs to be
July 2017 settled without which the case of Aadhaar cannot move forward.
• Thus, Nine Judge Constitution Bench was constituted which unanimously declared right to privacy as
part of fundamental right to life and personal liberty under Article 21.

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RESTRICTIONS on RIGHT TO PRIVACY


• Right to Privacy is not an absolute right like other rights which form part of the fundamental freedoms protected by
Part III, including the right to life and personal liberty under Article 21.
• A law which encroaches upon privacy will have to withstand the touchstone of permissible restrictions on fundamental
rights.
• In the context of Article 21 an invasion of privacy must be justified on the basis of a law which stipulates a
procedure which is fair, just and reasonable.
• The law must also be valid with reference to the encroachment on life and personal liberty under Article 21.
• An invasion of life or personal liberty must meet the three-fold requirement (three test)of:
1. Legality, which postulates the existence of law;
2. Need, defined in terms of a legitimate state aim; and
3. Proportionality which ensures a rational nexus between the objects and the means adopted to achieve them.

Thus, Aadhaar Act in order to be constitutionally valid, had to pass the touchstone of legality, need and proportionality.

AFTER UNDERSTANDING THE BACKDROP TO THE AADHAAR ISSUE, LET US UNDERSTAND


THE RECENT JUDGMENT DELIVERED BY THE HONOURABLE SUPREME COURT

QUESTION 1:
WHETHER AADHAAR CREATES SURVEILLANCE STATE?

Supreme Court’s observation and verdict


• The architecture of Aadhaar as well as the provisions of the Aadhaar Act does not tend to create a surveillance
state. This is ensured by the manner in which the Aadhaar project operates.
• During enrollment process, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) collects minimal biometric data in the
form of iris and fingerprints but does not collect purpose, location or details of transaction. Thus, the entire
enrolment process is purpose blind and is not exposed to the Internet world.
• The Court also highlighted that there is an oversight by Technology and Architecture Review Board (TARB) and
Security Review Committee in case of data breach.
• UIDAI does not get any information related to the IP address or the GPS location from where authentication is
performed as these parameters are not part of authentication.
• Further, the authority or any entity under its control is not authorised under law to collect, keep or maintain any
information about the purpose of authentication under Section 32(3) of the Aadhaar Act.
• Supreme Court after going through the Aadhaar structure held that it is very difficult to create profile of a person
simply on the basis of biometric and demographic information stored in Central Identities Data Repository (CIDR).
• However, Supreme Court held that authentication records are not to be kept beyond a period of six months which
was earlier stipulated at 5 years.

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• Section 33(1) of the Aadhaar Act prohibits disclosure of information, including identity information or authentication
records, except when it is by an order of a court not inferior to that of a District Judge. The Court held that this
provision is to be read down with the clarification that an individual, whose information is sought to be released, shall
be afforded an opportunity of hearing.
• The Court also struck down section 33 (2) of the Act in the present form and has directed to enact a new provision
where information can be disclosed on grounds of national security in case of an eventuality to be decided by an
officer higher than the rank of a Joint Secretary along with a Judicial Officer preferably a sitting High Court Judge.
• The Court has suggested suitable amendment to section 47 of the Aadhaar Act which as of now provides for the
cognizance of offence only on a complaint made by the Authority or any officer or person authorised by it is
concerned. As per the judgment, this provision needs suitable amendment to include the provision for filing of such a
complaint by an individual/victim as well whose right is violated.
• The Court held section 57 of the Aadhaar Act as unconstitutional as it enabled body corporate and individual to
seek authentication.
• The Court held other provisions of the Act as valid including section 59 as it saves the pre-enactment period of
Aadhaar project i.e. from 2009-2016.

QUESTION 2:
WHETHER AADHAAR ACT VIOLATES RIGHT TO PRIVACY?

• The Court held that collection of data, its storage and use under Aadhaar Act does not violate right to privacy as
it passes the three test laid down in Nine Judge Bench judgment in Puttaswamy v Union of India.
• Thus, the Aadhaar Act passed the triple test on legality of the law, need for such a law and proportionality test which
ensures the nexus between objects of the act and means adopted to achieve such objects.
• The Court said that section 7 of the Aadhaar Act becomes an aspect of social justice, which is the obligation of the
State stipulated in Part IV of the Constitution.
• As per the Court, Aadhaar Act ensures good governance by bringing accountability and transparency in the
distribution system with the pious aim to ensure that benefits reach the needy specially those who are rural, poor and
starving.
• Court held that Aadhaar Act meets the concept of Limited Government, Good Governance and Constitutional
Trust.
• The rationale behind Section 7 lies in ensuring targeted delivery of services, benefits and subsidies which are
funded from the Consolidated Fund of India.
• The Court held that Aadhaar Act meets the test of proportionality as the Act has a legitimate goal, there is a
suitable means to achieve the goal and the measure to adopt Aadhaar does not have a disproportionate impact on the
right holder.

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QUESTION 3:
WHETHER CHILDREN CAN BE BROUGHT WITHIN SECTION 7 AND 8 OF AADHAAR ACT?

• For the enrolment of children under the Aadhaar Act, it would be essential to have the consent of their
parents/guardian.
• On attaining the age of majority, such children who are enrolled under Aadhaar with the consent of their parents, shall
be given the option to exit from the Aadhaar project if they so choose in case they do not intend to avail the benefits
of the scheme.
• The Court said that requirement of Aadhaar will not be compulsory for admission to schools as it is neither
service nor subsidy.
• The Court further elaborated that a child between the age group of 6 to 14 years has the fundamental right to
education under Article 21A of the Constitution. Thus, school admission cannot be treated as ‘benefit’ as per section 7
of the Aadhaar Act.
• Benefits to children between 6 to 14 years under Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan, likewise, shall not require mandatory
Aadhaar enrolment.
• The Court also clarified that no child shall be denied benefit of any of these schemes if, for some reasons, she is not
able to produce the Aadhaar number and the benefit shall be given by verifying the identity on the basis of any other
documents.

QUESTION 4:
WHETHER AADHAAR COULD HAVE BEEN PASSED AS MONEY BILL?

• The Court recognised the importance of Rajya Sabha in a bicameral system of Parliament which makes it an important
institution signifying constitutional federalism. The only exception to this parliamentary norm is Article 110 of the
Constitution of India which defines Money Bill.
• The Court held that social justice was the main goal of Aadhaar Act and it could be achieved only through targeted
delivery of subsidy, benefits or services. Such benefits or services or subsidies helped the poor and marginalised
section of society without which they cannot live with dignity. Thus, enrollment for Aadhaar is the process to achieve
the abovementioned causes of social justice.
• The Court said that enrollment for Aadhaar is of voluntary nature. However, it becomes compulsory for those who
seeks to receive any subsidy, benefit or service under the welfare scheme of the Government expenditure whereof is
to be met from the Consolidated Fund of India.
• It follows that authentication under Section 7 would be required as a condition for receipt of a subsidy, benefit or
service only when such a subsidy, benefit or service is incurred from Consolidated Fund of India.
• Therefore, Section 7 is the core provision of the Aadhaar Act and this provision satisfies the conditions of Article
110 of the Constitution.
• With regards to other provision which were not part of Article 110, the Court held that those provisions are incidental
in nature which have been made in the proper working of the Act. Thus, the Court effectively held that Aadhaar Act is
validly passed as Money Bill under Article 110 of the Indian Constitution.

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• However, the decision of Speaker certifying the Aadhaar Bill, 2016 as Money Bill is not immune from Judicial
Review.

QUESTION 5:
CAN AADHAAR BE LINKED TO MOBILE PHONES?

• Department of Telecommunication issued a circular dated March 23, 2017 mandated linking of mobile number with
Aadhaar.
• Supreme Court declared the circular of Department of Telecommunication as illegal and unconstitutional as it was
not backed by any law.
• Thus Aadhaar is no longer mandatory for buying a new sim card or linking existing sim card with Aadhaar.

Further, Supreme Court on the following:

On subsidies, benefits and Linking of Bank Account with


Section 139AA of Income Tax Act
services Aadhaar

• Supreme Court held that scope • Section 139AA of the Income-tax Act, • The Court held that linking of bank
of subsidies, services and 1961 as introduced by the Finance Act, account with Aadhaar does not
benefits must not be 2017 provides for mandatory quoting of pass the proportionality test and,
expanded unduly as it will Aadhaar / Enrolment ID of Aadhaar therefore, violates the right to
result in widening the net of application form, for filing of return of privacy of a person which extends
Aadhaar which is not income and for making an application to banking details.
permitted. for allotment of Permanent Account • This linking was made compulsory
• Thus benefits and services as Number (PAN) with effect from 1st July, not only for opening a new bank
mentioned in section 7 of 2017. account but even for existing bank
Aadhaar Act should cover only • The Court held that Section 139AA accounts with a stipulation that if
those benefits (mainly welfare does not breach fundamental Right the same is not done then the
schemes) whose expenditure of Privacy as per Privacy Judgment in account would be deactivated, with
has been incurred from the Puttaswamy case. the result that the holder of the
Consolidated Fund of India. • Thus Aadhaar must be linked with account would not be entitled to
• Thus, on this basis, CBSE, NEET, PAN for filing income tax returns. operate the bank account till the
JEE, UGC etc. cannot make the • time seeding of the bank account
The Court also held that this section
requirement of Aadhaar with Aadhaar is done. This amounts
pass the test of permissible limits for
mandatory as they are outside to depriving a person of his
invasion of privacy, namely: (i) the
the purview of Section 7 and property.
existence of a law; (ii) a ‘legitimate State
are not backed by any law. interest’ and (iii) passing the ‘test of
proportionality’

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VERDICT 2: SABARIMALA
Five Judge Constitution Bench of Supreme Court in a majority of 4:1 has held that the Sabarimala Temple’s practice of
barring entry to women between the ages of ten and fifty was unconstitutional and has thereby allowed entry of
women of all ages to enter the Lord Ayyappa Temple at Sabarimala in the state of Kerala.
The case represents a conflict between the rights of the temple authorities in enforcing the presiding Deity’s strict celibate
status and the fundamental rights of the women to offer worship.
In this analysis, let us understand the basics on Sabarimala Temple including the issues raised in the judgment as well as
the reasons given by judges on their understanding of fundamental right to religion and morality versus religious practice
which bans entry of women in the temple.

THE BASICS ON SABARIMALA

• The Sabarimala Temple, devoted to Lord Ayyappa is a temple of great antiquity. The temple is situated
over one of the eighteen mountains spread over the Western Ghats known as Sannidhanam, situated in
the district of Pathananthitta in Kerala.
• The faithful believe that Lord Ayyappa’s powers derive from his ascetism, in particular from his being
About the celibate.
Temple • Celibacy is a practice adopted by pilgrims before and during the pilgrimage. Those who believe in Lord
Ayyappa and offer prayer are expected to follow a strict ‘Vratham’ or vow over a period of forty-one days
which lays down a set of practices.
• Sabarimala Temple depicts Lord Ayyappa as a “Naishtika Brahmacharya”: his powers derive specifically
from abstention from sexual activities.

• The followers of Lord Ayyappa undertake a holy Pilgrimage which culminates in a prayer at the holy
shrine. The pilgrimage takes place in four stages.
• First, there is a formal initiation ceremony that begins a forty-one day Vratham. This is followed by
another formal ceremony at the end of the Vratham period, called the Irumuti Kattal (tying of bundle),
after which the pilgrims set off for their yatra to the Ayyappa Temple at Sabarimala.
Holy • This stage includes the physical travel to the pilgrimage site, bathing in the holy river Pampa at the
Pilgrimage foot of Mount Sabari and the climb up Mount Sabari. This involves a trek from the Pampa River,
climbing 3000 feet to the Sannidhanam, which is a trek of around 13 km, or through forests which is a
trek of 41 km.
• It ends with the pilgrim’s ascending the sacred” eighteen steps to the shrine for the first darshan or
glimpse of the deity.
• The fourth stage is the return journey and the final incorporation back into life.

Prohibition Rule 3(b) of Kerala Hindu Places of Public Worship (Authorisation of Entry) Rules, 1965 prohibited the entry
of Women of women of age group 10-50 years inside the temple.

• Article 25 provides for freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of
Issues
religion: Whether the practice at Sabarimala Temple to prohibit entry of women between the ages of 10
involved
and 50 to enter the Sabarimala temple violates the fundamental right of women under Article 25.

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• Article 26 provides for freedom to manage religious affairs: Whether the Sabarimala Temple can
restrict entry of women between the ages of 10 and 50 years under Article 26 of the Indian Constitution.
• Article 15 provides for prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or
place of birth & Article 17 provides for abolition of untouchability: Whether the rule banning entry
of women in the temple attracts Article 15 and 17 as it amounts to discrimination of women on certain
physiological grounds of menstruation which can be said to be on grounds of untouchability even for
certain period.
Can the temple regulate entry of women on grounds of morality?
• Public order, morality and health are grounds which the Constitution contemplates as the basis of
restricting both the individual right to freedom of religion in Article 25(1) and the right of religious
denominations under Article 26.
• Thus, the vexed issue was about the content of morality in Articles 25 and 26. What meaning should
be ascribed to the content of the expression ‘morality’ was the question before the Court.

What does Article 25 & Article 26 envisage?


• Article 25 protects the equal entitlement of all persons to a freedom of conscience and to freely profess, protect and
propagate religion. By conferring this right on all persons, the Constitution emphasises the universal nature of the
right.
• By all persons, the Constitution means that every individual in society without distinction of any kind whatsoever is
entitled to the right. By speaking of an equal entitlement, the Constitution places every individual on an even platform.
• Clause (2) of Article 25 protects laws which existed at the adoption of the Constitution and the power of the state to
enact laws in future, dealing with two categories.
 The first of those categories consists of laws regulating or restricting economic, financial, political or other secular
activities which may be associated with religious practices.
 The second category consists of laws providing for (i) social welfare and reform; or (ii) throwing open of Hindu religious
institutions of a public character to all classes and sections of Hindus.

Article 26 confers rights on religious denominations and their sections. The Article covers four distinct facets:
1. establishment and maintenance of institutions for purposes of a religious and charitable nature;
2. managing the affairs of the denomination in matters of religion;
3. ownership and acquisition of immovable property; and
4. administration of the property in accordance with law.

LET US UNDERSTAND THE REASONS GIVEN BY THE HONOURABLE JUDGES

 ON ENTRY OF WOMEN
• The exclusionary practice being followed at the Sabarimala temple by virtue of Rule 3(b) of the 1965 Rules violates the
right of Hindu women to freely practice their religion and exhibit their devotion towards Lord Ayyappa.

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• This denial excludes them of their right to worship. The right to practice religion under Article 25(1) is equally available
to both men and women of all age groups professing the same religion.
• Article 25(1) has used the expression 'all persons', which demonstrates that the freedom of conscience and the right
to freely profess, practice and propagate religion is available, though subject to the restrictions delineated in
Article 25(1) itself, to every person including women.
• The right guaranteed under Article 25(1) has nothing to do with gender or, for that matter, certain physiological
factors specifically attributable to women.

 ON ARTICLE 26

• The devotees of Lord Ayyappa do not constitute a separate religious denomination and are exclusively Hindus.
They do not have common religious tenets peculiar to themselves, which they regard as conducive to their spiritual
well-being, other than those which are common to the Hindu religion.
• Thus, devotees of Lord Ayyappa do not satisfy the judicially enunciated requirements to constitute a religious
denomination under Article 26 of the Constitution.

 On Morality

• The term 'morality' occurring in Article 25(1) of the Constitution cannot be viewed with a narrow lens so as to confine
the sphere of definition of morality to what an individual, a section or religious sect may perceive the term to mean.
• Popular notions about what is or is not moral may in fact be deeply offensive to individual dignity and human rights.
Individual dignity cannot be allowed to be subordinate to the morality of the mob. Nor can the intolerance of society
operate as a marauding morality to control individual self-expression in its manifest form.
• The expression ‘morality’ cannot be equated with prevailing social conceptions or those which may be subsumed
within mainstream thinking in society at a given time.
• The fundamental freedoms which Part III confers are central to the constitutional purpose of overseeing a
transformation of a society based on dignity, liberty and equality. Hence, morality for the purposes of Articles 25
and 26 must mean that which is governed by fundamental constitutional principles.

A claim for the exclusion of women from religious worship, even if it be founded in religious text, is subordinate to the
constitutional values of liberty, dignity and equality. Exclusionary practices are contrary to constitutional morality.

• In any event, the practice of excluding women from the temple at Sabarimala is not an essential religious practice. The
Court must decline to grant constitutional legitimacy to practices which derogate from the dignity of women and to
their entitlement to an equal citizenship.
• Since the Constitution has been adopted and given by the people of this country to themselves, the term public
morality in Article 25 has to be understood as being synonymous with constitutional morality.
• The notions of public order, morality and health cannot be used as colourable device or disguise to restrict the
freedom to freely practise religion and discriminate against women of the age group of 10 to 50 years by denying them
their legal right to enter and offer their prayers at the Sabarimala temple.

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• Thus, the right to practice religion, as claimed by the Thanthris and worshippers, must be balanced with and must
yield to the fundamental right of women between the ages of 10 and 50, who are completely barred from entering the
temple at Sabarimala, based on the biological ground of menstruation.

 On Morality and the Preamble

• The content of morality is founded on the four precepts which emerge from the Preamble. The first among them is the
need to ensure justice in its social, economic and political dimensions. The second is the postulate of individual liberty
in matters of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship. The third is equality of status and opportunity amongst
all citizens. The fourth is the sense of fraternity amongst all citizens which assures the dignity of human life.
• Added to these four precepts is the fundamental postulate of secularism which treats all religions on an even
platform and allows to each individual the fullest liberty to believe or not to believe. The Constitution is meant as much
for the agnostic as it is for the worshipper. It values and protects the conscience of the atheist.
• The founding faith upon which the Constitution is based is the belief that it is in the dignity of each individual that the
pursuit of happiness is founded. Individual dignity can be achieved only in a regime which recognises liberty as
inhering in each individual as a natural right.
• Human dignity postulates equality between persons which is equality between sexes and genders. Equality
postulates a right to be free from discrimination and to have the protection of the law in the same manner as is
available to every citizen.
• Equality above all is a protective shield against the arbitrariness of any form of authority These founding principles
must govern our constitutional notions of morality.
Constitutional morality must have a value of permanence which is not subject to the fleeting fancies of every time and age. If
the vision which the founders of the Constitution adopted has to survive, constitutional morality must have a content which is
firmly rooted in the fundamental postulates of human liberty, equality, fraternity and dignity. These are the means to secure
justice in all its dimensions to the individual citizen. While the Constitution recognises religious beliefs and faiths, its purpose is
to ensure a wider acceptance of human dignity and liberty as the ultimate founding faith of the fundamental text of our
governance. Where a conflict arises, the quest for human dignity, liberty and equality must prevail.

ATTRACTING ARTICLE 15 & 17

• The notifications dated 21 October 1955 and 27 November 1956 issued by the Devaswom Board, prohibiting the
entry of women between the ages of ten and fifty, under Section 3 of the Kerala Hindu Places of Public Worship
(Authorisation of Entry) Act 1965 is unconstitutional as it discriminates women on the basis of sex which is
violative of Article 15.
• The discrimination based on sex under Article 15 also violates their fundamental right to worship under Article
25(1).
• The social exclusion of women, based on menstrual status, is a form of untouchability which is an anathema to
constitutional values. Notions of “purity and pollution”, which stigmatize individuals, have no place in a constitutional
order.

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VERDICT 3: CREAMY LAYER FOR SC/ST


Five Judge Constitution Bench in the case of Jarnail Singh vs Lachhmi Narain Gupta has modified a 2006 judgment
of M. Nagraj v Union of India which required the state to show quantifiable data to prove backwardness of
members of Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) in order to provide quota in promotion in public
employment. Let us understand the backdrop of the case since the judgment delivered on the very famous Mandal case.
On this note, let us understand the issues in the present case.

FIRST:
RESERVATION IN MATTERS OF PROMOTION

• The controversy in the present case arose due to the interpretation of Article 16 (4A) which was added by Constitution
77th Amendment.
• Article 16 (4A) mentions that state can make provisions for reservation in matters of promotion, with consequential
seniority, to any class or classes of posts in the services under the State in favour of the Scheduled Castes and the
Scheduled Tribes which, in the opinion of the State, are not adequately represented in the services under the State.
• So, the Court confined their entire judgment based on two grounds:
1. Whether the state has to collect quantifiable data to show backwardness of members of SC and ST?
2. Can the concept of creamy layer be applied to the members of SC and ST as it will amount to sub-classification within
the members of SC and ST. (considering the fact that it was declared in Indra Sawhney that further sub-classification
within Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes is not permissible.)

SECOND:
CONSTITUTION 77TH AMENDMENT

Addition of Article 16(4A)


• The government further felt that representation of the SCs and STs in the services in the state had not reached the
required level.
• Hence to continue to provide reservation in promotion, legislature passed the Constitution 77th amendment act of
1995 and added Article 16(4A) to the constitution.
• As per Article 16(4A) - State can make any provision for reservation in matters of promotion if SC/STs are not
adequately represented in the services in the state.

Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any provision for the reservation of
Article 16
appointments or posts in favour of any backward class of citizens which, in the opinion of the State, is
(4)
not adequately represented in the services under the State.

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Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any provision for reservation in matters of
Article 16 promotion, with consequential seniority, to any class or classes of posts in the services under
(4A) the State in favour of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes which, in the opinion of the
State, are not adequately represented in the services under the State.

THIRD:
INDIRA SAWHNEY, 1992

• The case decided by Nine Judge Constitution Bench. The bone of contention in this landmark judgment was the
Mandal Commission Report of 1980, which was laid before Parliament on two occasions – once in 1982, and again in
1983.
• However, no action was taken on the basis of this Report until 13.08.1990, when an Office Memorandum stated that
after considering the said Report, 27% of the vacancies in civil posts and services under the Government of India
shall be reserved for the Socially and Economically Backward Classes.
• This was followed by an Office Memorandum of 25.09.1991, by which, within the 27% of vacancies,
 preference was to be given to candidates belonging to the poorer sections of the Socially and Economically
Backward Classes; and
 10% vacancies were to be reserved for Other Economically Backward Sections who were not covered by any of the
existing schemes of reservation.

The majority judgments upheld the reservation of 27% in favour of backward classes, and the further subdivision of more
backward within the backward classes who were to be given preference, but struck down the reservation of 10% in favour of
Other Economically Backward categories.

• The Court contrasted Article 16(4) with Article 15(4), and stated that Article 16(4) refers to any backward class of
citizens where it refers primarily to social backwardness.

Article 16 (4) - any backward class of citizens

Article 15 (4) - any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for the Scheduled
Castes and the Scheduled Tribes

• The Court held that the test or requirement of social and educational backwardness cannot be applied to
Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, who indubitably fall within the expression “backward class of citizens”.
Thus, they do not have to prove their backwardness.
• The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes are the most backward among backward classes and it is, therefore,
presumed that once they are contained in the Presidential List under Articles 341 and Article 342 of the Constitution

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of India, there is no question of showing backwardness of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes all over
again.
• The advanced sections among the OBCs (the creamy layer) should be excluded from the list of beneficiaries of
reservation.
• It further held that creamy layer principle is only confined to Other Backward Classes and has no relevance in the
case of Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes.
• There shall be no reservation in promotions and the reservation should be confined to initial appointments
only.
• The reasoning was that reservations exist to create a level-playing field, to remedy unequal starting positions, thereby
removing the justification for reservation in promotion.

FOURTH:
JUDGMENT IN M. NAGRAJ V UNION of INDIA

• In this case, the constitutional validity of 77th Amendment was challenged which provided for reservation in
promotion along with other amendments on backlog vacancies in reservation.
• The Supreme Court upheld the constitutional validity of 77th Amendment and said these were mere enabling
provisions.
• If a state government wishes to make provisions for reservation to SC/STs in promotion, the state has to collect
quantifiable data showing backwardness of the class and inadequacy of representation of that class and
maintenance of efficiency.
• The Court allowed reservations in promotion for members of SC/ST subject to proving three conditions:
 Backwardness of class – so there is a need for quantifiable data to prove backwardness
 Inadequacy of representation
 Administrative Efficiency – Article 335

The claims of the members of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes shall be taken into
Article 335 consideration, consistently with the maintenance of efficiency of administration, in the making of
appointments to services and posts in connection with the affairs of the Union or of a State.

FIFTH:
JARNAIL SINGH V LACHHMI NARAIN GUPTA

• There is no need to revisit the judgment of M. Nagaraj by a 7-judge Constitutional Bench.


The • States no longer need to collect quantifiable data on the backwardness of SCs and STs in granting
Judgment quota in promotions.
• However, the states will have to back it with data to show their inadequate representation in the

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cadre.
• The Court said that the principle of creamy layer can be extended to members of SC/ST for promotions
in government jobs.

• The whole object of reservation is to see that backward classes of citizens move forward so that they
may march hand in hand with other citizens of India on an equal basis.

Supreme • This will not be possible if only the creamy layer within that class bag all the coveted jobs in the public
Court on sector and perpetuate themselves, leaving the rest of the class as backward as they always were.
Reservation • When a Court applies the creamy layer principle to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, it does not
& Creamy in any manner tinker with the Presidential List under Articles 341 (Scheduled Castes) or 342
Layer (Scheduled Tribes) of the Constitution of India.
• The Court excluded the creamy layer from such groups or sub-groups (including members of SC/ST)
when applying the principles of equality under Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution of India.

VERDICT 4: SECTION 377 IPC


I AM WHAT I AM, SO TAKE ME AS I AM
Five Judge Constitution Bench of Supreme Court in the landmark judgment in Navtej Singh Johar v Union of India has
decriminalized sexual relations between consenting homosexual adults in a historic judgement. The Court held that
section 377 of Indian Penal Code would not apply to consensual same sex acts between homosexuals, heterosexuals,
lesbians and other sexual minorities, but would apply to bestiality and non-consensual sexual acts. This judgment has
resulted in striking down of the Victorian era law and has effectively pushed diversity and pluralism back into the
centre stage of India’s public discourse.

• Homosexuality was criminalised in India under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, a relic enacted
by British rulers in 1861, which had described same sex acts as "carnal intercourse against the
order of nature" and allowed for jail terms of up to 10 years.
• Section 377: Unnatural offences: Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of
Section 377
nature with any man, woman or animal shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with
IPC
imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 10 years, and shall also be liable
to fine.
• In 2009 the Delhi High Court effectively decriminalised homosexuality, saying a ban violated
fundamental rights, but the Supreme Court had reversed the judgment it in 2013.

• Delhi High Court in the famous case of Naaz Foundation, had declared section 377 of Indian Penal
The Delhi Code which criminalises homosexuality as unconstitutional as it violated Article 14 (Right to
High Court, Equality), Article 15 (Prohibition of discrimination) and Article 21 (Right to life and personal
2009 liberty)
• However, in an appeal to the above Delhi High Court order of 2009, Supreme Court in the year 2013

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reversed the Delhi High Court Judgment and held that Section 377 does not suffer from any
constitutional infirmity and effectively once again criminalised homosexuality under section 377 of
IPC.

LET US LOOK AT DIFFERENT ASPECTS AS EXPLAINED IN THE RECENT SC JUDGMENT

FIRST:
INDIAN CONSTITUTION IN CHANGING TIMES

• A democratic Constitution like ours is an organic and breathing document with senses which are very much alive
to its surroundings, for it has been created in such a manner that it can adapt to the needs and developments
taking place in the society. This view was expressed considering the rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual,
Intersex and Queer minorities (LGBTIQ).
• The rights that are guaranteed as Fundamental Rights under our Constitution are the dynamic and timeless
rights of 'liberty' and 'equality' and it would be against the principles of our Constitution to give them a static
interpretation without recognizing their transformative and evolving nature.
• Constitution is a living organism and the latent meaning of the expressions used can be given effect to only if a
particular situation arises. It is not that with changing times the meaning changes but changing times illustrate
and illuminate the meaning of the expressions used.
• Our Constitution fosters and strengthens the spirit of equality and envisions a society where every person enjoys
equal rights including LGBTIQ community which enable them to grow and realize their potential as an individual.
• This guarantee of recognition of individuality runs through the entire length and breadth of this dynamic
instrument. The Constitution has been conceived of and designed in a manner which acknowledges the fact that
'change is inevitable'.
• There is a constant need to transform the constitutional idealism into reality by fostering respect for human
rights, promoting inclusion of pluralism, bringing harmony, that is, unity amongst diversity, abandoning the idea
of alienation or some unacceptable social notions built on medieval egos and establishing the cult of egalitarian
liberalism founded on reasonable principles that can withstand scrutiny.
• It is the duty of the courts to realize the constitutional vision of equal rights in consonance with the current
demands and situations.
• The whole idea of having a Constitution is to guide the nation towards a resplendent future. Therefore, the
purpose of having a Constitution is to transform the society for the better and this objective is the fundamental
pillar of transformative constitutionalism.

SECOND:
ON HUMAN DIGNITY

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• The fundamental idea of dignity is regarded as an inseparable facet of human personality. Dignity has been duly
recognized as an important aspect of the right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution.
• In the international sphere, the right to live with dignity had been identified as a human right way back in 1948
with the introduction of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
• The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948 became the Magna Carta of people all over the world. The first
Article of the UDHR was uncompromising in its generality of application: All human beings are born free and
equal in dignity and rights.
• Thus, to understand a person‘s dignity, one has to appreciate how the dignity of another is to be perceived.
• Dignity and liberty as a twin concept in a society that cares for both, smoothens the atmosphere by promoting
peaceful co-existence and thereby makes the administration of justice easy.
• Dignity is that component of one‘s being without which sustenance of his/her being to the is inconceivable.
Dignity of all is a sacrosanct human right and sans dignity, human life loses its substantial meaning.
Supreme Court of Canada has made the following observation on dignity - "Human dignity means that an individual
or group feels self-respect and self-worth. It is concerned with physical and psychological integrity and empowerment.
Human dignity is harmed by unfair treatment premised upon personal traits or circumstances which do not relate to
individual needs, capacities, or merits. It is enhanced by laws which are sensitive to the needs, capacities, and merits of
different individuals, taking into account the context underlying their differences. Human dignity is harmed when
individuals and groups are marginalized, ignored, or devalued, and is enhanced when laws recognise the full place of all
individuals and groups within Canadian society."

THIRD:
GENDER IDENTITY AND SEXUAL ORIENTATION

• Gender identity is a phenomenon distinct from sexual orientation which refers to whether a person identifies as
male or female. This identity' may exist whether there is "conformity or non-conformity" between their physical
or biological or birth sex and their psychological sex and the way they express it through physical characteristics,
appearance and conduct.
• Every human being has certain basic biological characteristics and acquires or develops some facets under
certain circumstances. The first can generally be termed as inherent orientation that is natural to his/her being.
The second can be described as a demonstration of his/her choice which gradually becomes an inseparable
quality of his/her being. The third one has the proclivity which he/she maintains and does not express any other
inclination.
• The Court explained the first to be homosexuality, second to be bisexuality and third to be heterosexuality. The
third one is regarded as natural and the first one, by the same standard, is treated to be unnatural.
The Yogyakarta Principles define the expression "sexual orientation" as - "Sexual Orientation" is understood to
refer to each person's capacity for profound emotional, affectional and sexual attraction to and intimate and sexual
relations with, individuals of a different gender or the same gender or more than one gender."
• Thus, the Court held that homosexuality is something that is based on sense of identity. It is the reflection of a
sense of emotion and expression of eagerness to establish intimacy.

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• Sexual orientation, as a concept, fundamentally implies a pattern of sexual attraction. It is as natural a


phenomenon as other natural biological phenomena. Thus, it is his/her natural orientation which is innate and
constitutes the core of his/her being and identity which is recognised by our Constitution.

FOURTH:
SECTION 377 AND PRIVACY

• The Supreme Court observed that while testing the constitutional validity of section 377 of IPC, the idea of
privacy as part of fundamental rights of life and personal liberty must be understood.
• The Court observed that autonomy is individualistic and it is expressive of self-determination and such self-
determination includes sexual orientation and declaration of sexual identity. Such an orientation or choice that
reflects an individual‘s autonomy is innate to him/her.
• The Nine Judge Bench in privacy case has held that sexual orientation is also a facet of a person's privacy and
that the right to privacy is a fundamental right under the Constitution of India.

Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, (1948) makes a reference to privacy by stating:
"No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence nor to attacks upon
his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks."
Article 17 of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, to which India is a party, talks about privacy
- "No one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, family, home and
correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his honour and reputation."

• Right to privacy is implicit in the right to life and liberty guaranteed to the citizens of this country by Article 21
and it is a "right to be let alone", for a citizen has a right to safeguard the privacy of his/her own, his/her family,
marriage, procreation, motherhood, child-bearing and education, among other matters.
• It is in this aspect that LGBT community has a right to realisation of its basic right to companionship, so long as
such a companionship is consensual, free from the vice of deceit, force, coercion and does not result in violation
of the fundamental rights of others.
• The Court held that even if the percentage of LGBT community is less, their right to privacy must be protected.
Thus, in this aspect, the Court found section 377 of IPC violative of their fundamental rights including that of
privacy.
• Section 377 amounts to an unreasonable restriction, for public decency and morality cannot be amplified
beyond a rational or logical limit and cannot be accepted as reasonable grounds for curbing the fundamental
rights of freedom of expression and choice of the LGBT community.
• Consensual carnal intercourse among adults, be it homosexual or heterosexual, in private space, does not in any
way harm the public decency or morality. Therefore, Section 377 IPC in its present form violates Article 19(1)(a)
of the Constitution.
• The Court distinguished between consensual and non-consensual sexual activity between individuals. The Court
held that so far as section 377 penalised any consensual sexual activity between two adults, be it homosexuals

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(man and a man), heterosexuals (man and a woman) and lesbians (woman and a woman), cannot be regarded
as constitutional.
• However, the Court held that part of section 377 as constitutional and valid which penalises for the act of
bestiality and where any sexual activity between individuals has resulted without due consent.
• Thus, in this aspect the Supreme Court has overturned decision of the Delhi High Court in Naz Foundation.

lEAD ESSAYS

IS NATIONAL INTEGRATION AN ELUSIVE GOAL?


RAVISH GERA
EX-STUDENT, RAU’S IAS

At a time, when conversion rows, reservation hassles, which subsequently helped in laying the foundation of
mob violence and other such petty instances rock our national integration. The founding fathers of modern India
headlines in the newspapers every day, it is natural to ask have slowly and deliberately cultivated a social and
ourselves the question; is national integration an elusive psychological pattern of integration that boasted of a
goal for India? Many has described national integration as ‘unity in diversity’. The people of India believed that
a social, psychological and educational process which despite all the racial, regional, communal, religious,
discard the differences between the people and casteist and linguistic differences, there is something
synthesise them into a unified whole. To add, it is a common that run among them. And that was the
physical process too. An objective and studied glance at beginning of nationalism and patriotism in the modern
the ancient possible history makes it easy to understand age. However, national integration was not an easy thing
that our country is still a unified bunch of states because that we achieved. The State Reorganisation Committee
of its unique geographical and physical features. The has fought relentlessly in the past to subdue the
mighty Himalayas, the Great Plains and the legendary dissenting factors and contain them with rhetoric and
Indian peninsula have contributed to the effective force to carve India into her present stature. But we still
unification of our country in their own quaint ways. And find ourselves in embarrassing situations before the world
our political history says colonial rule has also facilitated in and are forced to push the skeletons of the past back into
making the consciousness of our people that they are a the cupboard. Adding to all the linguistic and regional
harmonius group of people. elements, opportunistic politics and global terrorism is
causing a havoc and creating suspicion, fear and lack of
The elaborate structural changes that the British raj did to
trust among the people. Still it is consoling that a very
the country has connected most of it say for example the
recent survey done by the UN suggests that Indians have
railways and the roads, even on the hilly terrains of India.
got the most trust in their institutions than most of the
The physical connectivity had further enabled the masses
people across the nations.
to communicate among themselves and with their leaders

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Since India has declared herself as a secular democratic nation that is known for its exceptional ability to preserve
and sovereign republic to the world, the world showed its a reservoir of differences along – be it religious, cultural,
share of doubt regarding the success of her claims as a linguistic, and the like.
modern nation in the making. The prophets of doom have
What we have lost during the process of nation building
been predicting that India would not withstand her
and during the event of globalisation are our indigenous
internal turbulences and turmoil for long. But as we have
ways of living. Numerous local groups are facing fears of
seen and proved our political, legal and other democratic
extinction due to the rampant invasion of the market by
forms of administration has not completely failed the
foreign players. Local handicrafts, artworks and other
founders of the nation though we degraded in some areas
trade practices are having a tough time despite efforts
of administration. Corruption is one such menace that has
from government and non-government organisations to
spread across the country. This has caused inefficiencies
retain their glory and significance. Awareness camps and
in the management of funds and resources which has led
promotional events are held by different ministries to
to growing disparities of wealth, obstinate and
inculcate interest in the citizens for their nation’s
hierarchical social structure, massive unemployment and
indigenous culture nowadays. The economic imbalance
various other socio economic problems. Of course this
created by globalisation and privatisation have further
has brought down the morale of the people considerably
marginalised local groups and farmers of the country and
down and the initial hope for a prosperous future has
they have resorted to menial jobs in the cities on a large
given way to a new found scepticism in the country’s
scale.
ability to build a strong future.
The geographical disintegration of the north eastern
In the 1990s nation opened it previously protected market
states from the mainland, the political instability of Jammu
expecting a makeover to the political, social and financial
and Kashmir, the rise of Hindutva ideology and Islamic
mileage. No doubt India is one of the most powerful
terrorism, the recent revival of Telengana protests have
nations among the developing one, thanks to
further distorted our forefathers’ vision. We have failed to
globalisation. The incompetence of a newly made nation
utilise the high literacy rates in most of the north eastern
during the initial four decade rule with the west had great
states despite the fact that the people there have a grasp
disadvantages too. More than 200 districts in India are still
of English - the link language of our country. Why? We
under naxal control. And unfortunately, these areas fall
lack connection – neither roads nor railways. Adding to all
under resource rich and tribal areas of central and east
these, our mainland shows racial intolerance and cultural
India in strategic locations. Naxalism is another area in
insensitivity towards them. To address all these issues,
which all our previous governments lacked competence to
various governments have started different policies and
deal with. Lack of effective administration, lack of
schemes; say for example the Look East policy. Islamic
restoring people’s faith in local government bodies,
terrorism and the rise of Hindutva ideology have grown
inability of the ruling class to understand the local culture
suspicion between the Hindus and Muslim in the country.
and accommodate the local people to the mainstream is
Various riots followed largely because of the partisan and
costing the nation a lot of its internal defence
opportunistic politics played by the political and religious
expenditure. These are the locations in the country which
organisations in the country. Apart from Bollywood and
lack proper physical infrastructure like roads and railway
cricket, what do we have to connect four parts of India?
networks which add to the lack of development in social
The south Indians and the north Indians still speak
sector institutions like hospitals, schools, libraries etc.
different languages and follow different rituals. We don’t
After all these ineptitude from the part of state, isn’t it too
expect them to integrate beyond a point as well.
demanding to expect people to share aspirations for an
integrated India? After all, integration beyond a point is Among many things that make India unique, one is the
unwarrantable to save the spirit of the nation. We are a success of democracy and its institutions. Timely

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inte
ervention off judiciary in
n different m
matters, an active Integration Council
C of In
ndia founded
d in 1962 m
meets at
me
edia, proper elections, its consequen
nt procedure
es and regular
r interv
vals to check the regionall, communal,, casteist
e likes have definitely he
the elped the sp ocracy
pirit of demo and
a linguistic elements of India a nd holds e
elaborate
kee
ep going. The status of women
n has incrreased discussions
d on ock the nation. It met
o relevant isssues that ro
con
nsiderably. The
T dicators are rising though very
social ind in 2013 for th
he last time.
slowly. If we could keep up the indicatorrs of social political
Whenever
W th
he integrity of
o Indian Terrritory was a
at stake,
and
d economic developmen
d t of the coun
ntry in an incclusive
Govt.
G has raised its clawss and nails to
o fix the bou
undaries.
and
d healthy manner,
m inte
egration is a possible d
dream.
Whenever
W th
he interests of any mino
ority group were at
Incclusive policcies and sustainable developmen
nt are
stake,
s judiciary stepped in
n with its corrrective decre
ees. And
effectively replacing the tra
aditional po licies of the state.
that’s
t exactly
y why one ho
opes India rremains united at all
Fin der equality are the new motto
nancial inclusion and gend
levels for times to come. We have seeen her learning from
tha ement to achieve
at the government plans to imple
the
t past and
d rising from rubbles. We have seen her
effective unificcation of itss people an
nd resourcess. The
making
m mista
akes and co
orrecting theem deftly. Th
hough a
unified political culture of India has succcessfully subdued
large part of her voters sttill remains iilliterate, they always
the
e secessionisst and divisiv
ve tendencie
es of it on a large
have
h checked
d the pettiness in the poliitical parties through
sca
ale. This is on
ne major facctor that stre
engthens the
e hope
exercising
e their political rights.
r And o
one hopes th
hese are
of Indian lawma possible and not at
akers that inttegration is p
reasons
r enou
ugh for India
a to remain the cultural mystery
en the trackk record of Indian
all difficult to achieve give
that
t it is now. Rightly she’s called the ssubcontinentt, for her
dem hough it hass not been an easy sa
mocracy. Th ail, the
ability
a to bon
nd effortlessly with anyth
hing that comes her
diffficulties we
ere dealt with
w efficien
nt steps byy the
way
w without compromisin
ng her intrin sic value. An
nd hence
gov
vernment at different points of time in the historyy. Civil
many
m would consider Ind
dia as richerr in all aspe
ects than
ments and other presssure groups have
socciety movem
any
a continentt.
effectively checcked the corrrupt and inh
human practiices of
the
e state, when
n the credibility of it wass at stake. Na
ational

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Part Three

practiCe
ZONE
mcqs . descriptive questions .
questions based on editorials
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Here are given 50 Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)


for self-practice. These questions have been framed
Multiple Choice Questions from this issue itself. So, a reader is expected to
attempt the questions, and also refer to the Answer
(MCQs) for prelims gs paper i Key given after the MCQs. These are helpful for General
Studies- Paper I (Preliminary Examination).

1. Consider the following statements related to Select the correct answer by using the code given
Sukanya Samriddhi Account: below
1. Under this scheme, a parent/legal guardian can (a) 1 only
open the account in the name of girl child with a (b) 1 and 2 only
minimum deposit of Rs 250. (c) 2 and 3 only
2. A maximum of Rs 1.5 lakh can be deposited in the (d) All of the above
account every year.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
4. Consider the following statements related to
(a) 1 only Ease of doing Business Index:
(b) 2 only 1. It is published by World Bank.
(c) Both 1 and 2 2. It takes into account 10 indicators to assess the
(d) Neither 1 nor 2 business environment in the countries across the
world.
2. Which among the following are the components Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
of the Aspirational Districts Programme? (a) 1 only
1. Convergence of central and state schemes. (b) 2 only
2. Collaboration of central, state level officers and (c) Both 1 and 2
district collectors. (d) Neither 1 nor 2
3. Competition among districts.
4. Direct transfer of finances to the districts. 5. Which among the following institutions
Select the correct answer by using the code given publishes the Inclusive Development Index?
below: (a) IMF
(a) 1 and 2 only (b) World Economic Forum
(b) 1, 2 and 3 only (c) World Bank
(c) 1, 3 and 4 only (d) UNCTAD
(d) All of the above

6. Which among the following commodities would


3. Which among the following are the components be procured by the government under the
of Sen Index of Poverty, developed by Nobel recently announced PM-AASHA Scheme?
Laureate, Amartya Sen? 1. Oilseeds
1. Headcount Ratio 2. Pulses
2. Poverty Gap Index (PGI) 3. Rice
3. Relative Poverty

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4. Wheat 1. Under the Open Market Operations (OMOs), RBI


Select the correct answer using the code given sells/purchases G-Secs to/ from the market to
below: adjust the rupee liquidity conditions in the market.
(a) 1 and 2 only 2. It purchases G-Secs in order to inject money into the
(b) 1 and 3 only economy, while it sells G-Secs in order to suck out
excess money.
(c) 1, 2 and 3 only
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
7. Consider the following statements related to
Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana / Ayushman (c) Both 1 and 2
Bharat Scheme: (d) Neither 1 nor 2
1. It provides for a cover of Rs. 5 Lakhs per family per
year for secondary and tertiary health care. 10. Which among the following currencies are
2. The treatment would be provided by both public as included under the Special Drawing Rights (SDR),
well as private hospitals. an international reserve Asset created by IMF?
Which of the statements given above is/are correct? 1. Dollar
(a) 1 only 2. Euro
(b) 2 only 3. Pound
(c) Both 1 and 2 4. Yuan
(d) Neither 1 nor 2 Select the correct answer using the code given
below:

8. Which among the following services are (a) 1 only


provided by the newly set up India Posts (b) 1 and 2 only
Payment Bank (IPPB)? (c) 1, 2 and 3 only
1. Bank Deposits (d) 1, 2, 3 and 4
2. Loans for the Rural Poor
3. Direct Benefits transfers such as Social welfare Q11. Consider the following statements with regards
benefits to BIMSTEC:
4. Bill and Utility Payments 1. It is the only regional grouping that acts as bridge
Select the correct answer using the code given between South Asia and South East Asia
below: 2. It acts as a link between India’s Neighbourhood First
(a) 1 and 2 only policy and Act East policy
(b) 1, 2 and 3 only Which of the statements given above is are correct?
(c) 1, 3 and 4 only a) 1 only
(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4 b) 2 only
c) Both 1 and 2
9. Consider the following statements related to d) Neither 1 nor 2
Open Market Operations (OMOs):
Q12. COMCASA is an Indian specific version of which
of the following US agreements?

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a) CISMOA c) Syrian refugees in Europe


b) LEMOA d) Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh
c) CENTRIXS
d) None of the Above Q17. Consider the following statements with regards
to the Caspian Sea:
Q13. Ezulwini Consensus is associated with which of 1. Iran, Russia and Iraq are littoral States to the
the following international organisations? Caspian Sea
1. UN Security Council 2. Caspian’s surface for international law is considered
2. African Union to be a lake, not sea

Which of the statements given above is are correct? Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a) 1 only a) 1 only

b) 2 only b) 2 Only

c) Both 1 and 2 c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2 d) Neither 1 nor 2

Q14. Which of the following countries are members of Q18. Which of the following are correctly matched?
International Criminal Court? City/town often Country
1. United States mentioned in the
2. India news

3. Afghanistan 1. Idlib Iraq


4. Burundi 2. Hama Yemen
Select the correct answer from the codes given Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
below: a) 1 only
a) 1 only b) 2 Only
b) 1 and 2 c) Both 1 and 2
c) 3 Only d) Neither 1 nor 2
d) 3 and 4

Q19. Which of the following are correctly matched?


Q15. USMC agreement was recently in the news in
Region often Country of
context of
mentioned in the location
a) NAFTA news
b) RCEP
1. Chagos Archipelago United States
c) BTIA
2. Diego Garcia Maldives
d) AfCTA
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
a) 1 only
Q16. UNRWA undertakes relief and works programme
b) 2 only
for which of the following groups?
c) Both 1 and 2
a) Palestinian refugees in Near East
d) Neither 1 nor 2
b) Palestinian refugees in North America

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1. Bathukamma festival is celebrated every year to


Q20. MILEX – 18 is associated with which of the felicitate the female.
following regional organisations? 2. This festival is celebrated in the state of Andhra
a) Shanghai Cooperation Group Pradesh.
b) BIMSTEC Select the correct answer using the code given
c) SAARC below:

d) ASEAN (a) 1 only


(b) 2 only

21. Consider the following statements: (c) Both 1 and 2

1. Gajapayana festival is an ancient practice of (d) Neither 1 nor 2


marching elephants ahead of Diwali.
2. It is associated with Karnataka. 25. Consider the following pairs:
Select the correct answer using the code given 1. Bagwal festival: Madhya Pradesh
below: 2. Gotmar Festival: Uttarakhand
(a) 1 only Which of the above pairs is/are correct?
(b) 2 only (a) 1 only
(c) Both 1 and 2 (b) 2 only
(d) Neither 1 nor 2 (c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
22. Consider the following statements:
1. AranmulaVallamkali is the oldest river boat fiesta in 26. Which tribe is associated with the Mongmong
Tamil Nadu. festival?
2. It takes place in the Palar river. (a) Angami
Select the correct answer using the code given (b) Sangtam
below: (c) Bhutia
(a) 1 only (d) Deori
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2’ 27. Which of the following Bodhisattva personifies
(d) Neither 1 nor 2 wisdom and compassion?
(a) Avalokitesvara
23. The Budhamal festival celebrated for well-being (b) Manjusri
and a good harvest is associated with which of (c) Maitreya
the following states? (d) Vajrapani
(a) Meghalaya
(b) Tripura 28. The term ‘Rafugar’ recently seen in news is
(c) Assam associated with?
(d) Mizoram (a) Type of handicraft produced in Bihar
(b) Musical community associated with Rajasthan
24. Consider the following statements:

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(c) Repairing technique associated with Himachal Which of the above statements is/are correct?
Pradesh (a) 1 only
(d) Master darners associated with Kashmir (b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
29. Which of the following Sufi saints is popularly (d) Neither 1 nor 2
known as Gharib Nawaz?
(a) QutubuddinBhaktiyar Kaki 33. Which of the following irrigation projects have
(b) Nizamuddin Auliya been accorded the Heritage tag by International
(c) Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) ?
(d) Bahauddin Zakaria (a) Sadarmatt anicut
(b) Indira Gandhi Canal
30. Pakal Dal and Kalnal hydro-electric projects (c) Bhakra Nangal project
were recently in news because of the (d) East Yamuna Canal
negotiations between India and Pakistan. These
projects are located on which of the following
34. With reference to “Pondicherry Sharks”,
rivers?
consider the following statements:
(a) Jhelum
1. Locally, it is known as Pala Sora.
(b) Ravi
2. The International Union for Conservation of Nature
(c) Beas (IUCN) has listed the Pondicherry shark as Critically
(d) Chenab Endangered.
Select the correct answer using the code given
31. Which of the following are shale gas basins of below:
India? (a) 1 only
1. Cambay basin (b) 2 only
2. Krishna – Godavari basin (c) Both 1 and 2
3. Cauvery basin (d) Neither 1 nor 2
Select the correct answer using the code given
below : 35. Brow Antlered deer is found in which of the
(a) 1 only following National Parks ?
(b) 1 and 2 (a) Jim Corbett
(c) 2 and 3 (b) Bhitarkanika
(d) 1, 2 and 3 (c) Keibul Lamjao National Park in Manipur
(d) Ranthambore
32. With reference to International Whaling
commission, consider the following statements: 36. The term ‘Blob’ was recently in news. It is related
1. The IWC was set up under the International to which of the following?
Convention for the Regulation of Whaling. (a) Terrestrial Heat wave
2. The preamble to the Convention states that its (b) Floods
purpose is to provide for the proper conservation of
(c) Marine heatwave
all Marine animals.
(d) Tropical Cyclone

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37. Vembanad lake is located in which of the 3. It will not contain details of juvenile convicts
following states? Select the correct answer using the code given
(a) Tamil Nadu below
(b) Kerala (a) 1 only
(c) Karnataka (b) 1 and 2 only
(d) Andhra Pradesh (c) 2 and 3 only
(d) 1,2 and 3
38. Narcondam Hornbill is found in which of the
following regions? 42. With respect to the HIV/AIDS Act which was
(a) Andaman notified recently, which of the following
(b) Nicobar statements is/are correct?
(c) Gulf of Munnar 1. It makes it mandatory for the government to
(d) Kakinada Bay provide anti-retroviral therapy to persons having
HIV/AIDS.
2. It has provided for setting up of special courts which
39. Green Agriculture project is an initiative of
would look into complainants arising from the
which of the following organizations?
violation of the Act.
(a) FAO
Select the correct answer using the code given
(b) UNEP
below
(c) WTO
(a) 1 only
(d) ICAR
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
40. With respect to Leptospirosis, which of the
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
following statements is/are correct?
1. It is caused by a bacterium called leptospira.
43. With reference to the expert committee report
2. It is endemic to temperate regions having dry
on Tribal Health in India , which of the following
climate.
statements is/are correct ?
Select the correct answer using the code given
1. Life expectancy amongst tribals is higher than the
below
general population.
(a) 1 only
2. The sex ratio of tribal population is higher than the
(b) 2 only
general national average.
(c) Both 1 and 2
Select the correct answer using the code given below
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
41. With respect to National sex offender’s registry,
(c) Both 1 and 2
which of the following statements is/are
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
correct?
1. It will be maintained by National Crime Record
44. Which among the following recently released
Bureau.
the Human Capital Score rankings , in which
2. It can be accessed only by the law enforcement
India is placed 158th?
agencies.

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(a) United Nations Development Programme (b) Ministry of Statistics and Programme
(b) World Health Organization Implementation
(c) Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (c) Ministry of Home Affairs
(d) World Economic Forum (d) Prime Minister’s Office

45. Which of the following state governments has 49. Which of the following statements on NITI Aayog
recently launched public services at doorsteps? is/are correct?
(a) Delhi 1. It is also referred as think tank of the government.
(b) Maharashtra 2. The Cabinet Secretary is the Chairperson of NITI
(c) Kerala Aayog

(d) Mizoram 3. Governing Council of NITI Aayog consists of the


Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Full Time Members
and Special Invitees of NITI Aayog.
46. Which of the following can be said to be the
Select the correct answers using the code given
mandate of Umesh Sinha Committee?
below:
(a) To suggest changes in aviation policy of Air India
(a) 1 and 3
(b) To establish a regulatory authority for forensics
(b) 1 and 2
(c) To suggest changes in electoral laws
(c) 2 and 3
(d) To recommend a roadmap for the use of artificial
(d) 1, 2 and 3
intelligence

50. Consider the statements about Draft National


47. A candidate standing in election must disclose
River Ganga (Rejuvenation, Protection and
his/her
Management) Bill, 2017:
1. Prior criminal records
1. The draft Bill has been prepared by the Ministry of
2. Educational Qualification
Water of Resources River Development and Ganga
3. Financial details
Rejuvenation.
Select the correct answer using the code given
2. The Bill aims to constitute a National Ganga Council
below:
and a National Ganga Rejuvenation Authority for
(a) 1 and 3 only protection of river Ganga.
(b) 2 only 3. The Bill creates Ganga Protection Corps (GPC) as an
(c) 1 and 2 only armed force but GPC shall not have any power to
(d) 1, 2 and 3 arrest or levy any fine.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
48. Which of the following ministries releases funds (a) 1 and 3 only
for Members of Parliament Local Area (b) 2 only
Development Scheme (MPLADS)? (c) 1 only
(a) Ministry of Finance (d) 1 and 2 only

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1. Answer (c)
( 13. Answer (c) 25. Answer (d) 37. Answer (b)

2. Answer (b)
( 14. Answer (c) 26. Answer (b) 38. Answer (b)
3. Answer (b)
( 15. Answer (a) 27. Answer (b) 39. Answer (a)
4. Answer (c)
( 16. Answer (a) 28. Answer (d) 40. Answer (a)
5. Answer (b)
( 17. Answer (d) 29. Answer (c) 41. Answer (d)
6. Answer (d)
( 18. Answer (d) 30. Answer (d) 42. Answer (a)
7. Answer (c)
( 19. Answer (d) 31. Answer (d) 43. Answer (b)

8. Answer (c)
( 20. Answer (b) 32. Answer (a) 44. Answer (c)

9. Answer (c)
( 21. Answer (b) 33. Answer (a) 45. Answer (a)

10. Answer (d)


( 22. Answer (d) 34. Answer (c) 46. Answer (c)

11. Answer (b)


( 23. Answer (c) 35. Answer (c) 47. Answer (d)

12. Answer (a)


( 24. Answer (a) 36. Answer (c) 48. Answer (b)

49. Answer (a)

50. Answer (d)

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Here, we are sharing Essay Type Questions for self-


practice. These questions have been framed on
important issues covered in editorials drawn from
Essay Type Questions leading newspapers. A reader is expected to read the
editorals, understand & analyse them, and practice
for mains gs papers I, II & III the question given above each editorial in 200 words
to command on issues relevant for General Studies
Papers- I, II, III & Essay.

Q1. The government policy of consolidation of banks should be a well thought out strategy by looking at synergies
and assessing the likely costs and benefits of merger. In this context, discuss the strategy to be adopted by the
government for the future merger of banks in India.

PSB mergers a good idea? Financial Express| Economy

The government’s decision to merge three public sector banks, Bank of Baroda, Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank, has brought
the issue of bank consolidation under the spotlight. The question is: Is consolidation of banks a good idea when the
banking sector is suffering from the overhang of huge stressed assets and fragile balance sheets?

In the present circumstances, it is doubtful whether our relatively large banks can absorb weaker counterparts and make
profits. The reason is that it is hard to find a single PSB that is strong enough to absorb a weaker PSB.

Hence, the endeavour should be to first clean up the balance-sheets of PSBs. Over the next two or three years, managerial
energies should focus resolutely on addressing the NPA problem while, at the same time, also concentrate on building
and nurturing talent in both old and new areas.

Consolidation can wait till the NPA situation gets better. Otherwise, mergers will only end up diverting the energy of the
top management from addressing the crucial NPA issue, and the gains of consolidation would prove elusive The
government may also seriously consider banking reforms, including improving governance standards, strengthening of
bank boards as well as top management, providing greater autonomy and strengthening the institutional framework of
the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC).

There is also a need to privatising PSBs, a move that will alleviate the pains and ills associated with public ownership of
banks. It is also a fact that India needs more banks. RBI should continue to give licences to more small banks as well as
universal banks even while carrying out the experiment on consolidation. This would also be in line with the Narsimhan
committee which was in favour of a large number of regional and local banks at the lowest tier of banking structure.

It is anticipated that PSBs would be merged into 5-7 large or ‘global-sized’ banks through mergers and acquisitions. But,
this would confer the benefits of efficiency and scale-economies only when certain parameters are fulfilled. First, it is
important that the initiative comes from the banks themselves. It should be market-driven, based on commercial
considerations and result from synergies among the merging entities. The government should not dictate mergers.

Second, the likely capital size of the merged entity needs to be considered while evaluating the decision for consolidation.
There should be gain, and not an erosion of capital base post the merger process.

Third, it is essential to carefully weigh and assess the likely benefits of the proposed merger through rationalisation of
branches, additional business, harmonisation of procedures, productivity gains, common treasury pooling, enhanced scale

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of operations and rationalisation of common costs against the likely future costs such as the anticipated increase in non-
performing assets, integrating technology and human resources and loss of business with closure of some branches.
Fourth, banks from different geographies should be chosen for merger going ahead.

For example, a South-based bank could be merged with a North-based bank as this would enhance business through
additional customers. The acquisition by Kotak Mahindra Bank of ING Vysya Bank in 2014 was primarily driven by
geographical synergies. This is also one of the positives of the recent three-bank merger that is expected to increase the
footprint of the merged entity in the southern states. Five, the PSBs would have to emerge as strong and valuable after
consolidation; otherwise, their capacity to raise resources from the market would be constrained. Size alone does not
matter.

The merged bank needs to be strong and profitable. This is one of the lessons to be learnt from the global financial crisis
of 2008 wherein it was believed that no big bank could ever fail. Hence, banks would need to cut costs by shutting down
unviable branches, reducing staff, avoiding duplication of work and improving on technology to retain a large capital base
and stay ahead of the global competition. Six, to ensure that the integration of entities is a smooth process, the most
important task would be to embark on a human resource strategy that can help address the core concerns of employees.

Many employees would fear job loss and disparities in the form of regional allegiances, benefits, reduced promotional
avenues, new culture, etc. This may lower their morale and create problems which could come in the way of success of the
merged entity.

Seven, harmonisation and integration of technology is a challenge as various banks are currently operating on different
technology platforms. Hence, IT integration strategy should be aligned with the business strategy right from the beginning
to ensure a successful merger. Eighth, it is also desirable to guard against the possible monopolistic and anti-competitive
tendencies which might accrue from consolidation.

To conclude, it could be said that bank consolidation, if properly leveraged, can confer significant benefits to the economy.
But, consolidation should be a well thought out strategy, by looking at synergies and assessing the likely costs and
benefits, so that post- merger, there is a distinct improvement in the balance sheet of banks.

Key words: 1. NPA Problem, 2. Universal Banks 3. Insolvency and Bankruptcy code 4.Weak Bank

Q2. The National Digital communications policy unveiled by the government fails to address the core issues
afflicting the telecom sector in India. Comment.

A mere rehash Hindu Business line |Economy

The National Digital Communications Policy 2018 approved by the Union Cabinet does not have any fresh ideas in
terms of addressing the issues being faced by the telecom sector. While restating the Centre’s intent to address the
problems, it neither spells out how it plans to achieve the stated objectives nor gives a specific timeframe to implement
the various proposals.

Broadly, there are four major issues plaguing the telecom sector that need immediate attention. First, the industry is going
through a financial crisis as a result of which as many as five operators have shut shop. Overall debt burden of the
remaining players has burgeoned to alarming levels due to expensive spectrum auctions and huge reduction in cash
flows. Second, telecom consumers are no better today than they were two decades ago when it comes to quality of
services. Call drops, unwanted telemarketing calls, patchy data networks and unfair practices to get users pay more are

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rampant. To make matters worse, consumers do not have access to a reliable and neutral complaint redressal
mechanism.

Third, public sector companies in this sector continue to languish under high manpower costs and red tape.

Fourth, there is a big worry over the huge imports of telecom equipment and devices at a time when India’s trade deficit is
ballooning.

The new policy acknowledges these problems, but almost all the solutions offered find mention in earlier regulations and
vision statements. Some of the major targets listed in the 2012 policy are still to be achieved. For example, the minimum
broadband speeds are set at 512 kbps at present even though the 2012 policy had envisaged minimum broadband
speeds of 2Mbps by 2015. The 2012 policy had also set a target of achieving 70 per cent rural tele-density by 2017. In
reality, the rural tele-density is just under 60 per cent. Instead of delving into why these targets were missed and how
things can be improved, the National Digital Communications Policy 2018 lists out more and new targets. Rather than
re-stating old mission statements, the Centre should have focused on putting together a road map, explaining how it will
execute these initiatives. For instance, on the issue of reducing financial burden on the telecom operators, the policy
merely restates that the plan is to rationalize government taxes and levies, apart from giving critical infrastructure status
to the industry.

The reality is that these proposals have been pushed by the Department of Telecom for several years only to be blocked
by the Finance Ministry, which has so far seen the sector only as a non-tax revenue generator for the exchequer. If the
Centre wants to really prepare the country’s telecom sector for the upcoming digital revolution, it must go beyond giving
mission statements to ensure that the vision translates into reality on the ground.

Key words: 1. National digital communications Policy 2018 2. Tele-density

Q3. The Government should address the implementation challenges in the PM-AASHA Scheme in order to enable it
to become game changer for doubling the farmers' income in India. Discuss

Sowing hopes Hindu Business line | Economy


With the decades-old minimum support price (MSP) system failing to address the crisis at the farm gate, the three
schemes that are a part of AASHA – the Price Support Scheme (PSS) itself, the Price Deficiency Payment Scheme
(PDPS) and the Pilot of Private Procurement and Stockist Scheme (PPPS) – point to an innovative, MSP-plus approach
to the problem of non-remunerative prices. Under the PDPS, the Centre makes a promise to pay oilseed farmers the
difference between the MSP and market price. The advantage of this scheme is that the Centre can keep the farmer
satisfied without having to go through the hassle of physical procurement, storage and disposal. Freed of these logistical
hassles, the geographical reach and coverage of PDPS is likely to be superior. The PSS, or expanded MSP, will allow the FCI
to procure pulses, oilseeds and copra from States that display interest. The PPPS is a new idea. Through this scheme, the
Centre will persuade States to bring in private players to procure at MSP. It promises a maximum of 15 per cent of MSP as
a service charge to the private player to compensate for the loss.

In all these schemes however, the key will be the implementation; failure to create a system of checks and balances can
derail them. For instance, the experience of Madhya Pradesh which implemented the PDPS under the Bhavantar
Bhugtan Yojana last year, shows that it can be easily manipulated. Ground level checks reveal that traders connive with
each other and depress prices at mandis. They force farmers to sell at lower prices and pocket the compensation from the

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government. Many small and marginal farmers who are unable to sell their produce under the Bhavantar scheme, face a
double whammy of lowered price and no compensation. The PSS would be easier to implement, with nodal agencies
doing the procurement. However, the Centre might be hard put to provide funds. With the additional ₹16,550 crore
guarantee for raising working capital from banks now being made available, the total credit guarantee given to institutions
under PSS is already ₹45,550 crore. But if all States apply to NAFED/FCI for procurement of oilseeds or pulses, the agencies
will fall short of funds.

The PPPS may work, but private procurers may be wary of the Centre’s delayed payments. To ensure that AASHA works,
the Centre first needs to break the trader cartels at mandis. One way to ensure this is to widen competition by inter-
linking mandis. e-NAM promises to do so, but, States need to be proactive in undertaking regulatory reforms. With
respect to PSS, the Centre needs to figure out how to handle procurement and disposal efficiently. If NAFED and FCI are to
forever sell at a loss and be left short of funds, the PSS option will run aground. The PPPS looks the most promising, but
for private players to show enthusiasm, the government should extend support through policy measures, which includes
liberalised trade and exports.

Key words: 1. Price Support Scheme (PSS) 2. Price deficiency Payment scheme (PDPS) 3. Private procurement and stockiest
scheme 4. Bhavantar Bhugtan Yojana

Q4: The India post payment bank (IPPB) would provide a fillip to the financial Inclusion in India. However, there
are concerns related to its long term profit viability. Discuss

The challenges facing India Post Payments Bank The Hindu | Economy

Amidst some fanfare, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the India Post Payments Bank (IPPB), a financial service
provider that will operate under the country’s age-old postal department. The government-owned payments bank will be
able to accept deposits of up to Rs 1 lakh from customers but without the rights to use these funds to advance risky
loans at higher interest rates. It, however, plans to offer a variety of other financial services to people, including the
holders of postal savings accounts that are worth over Rs 85,000 crore.

The primary rationale behind the public payments bank idea is to help in the government’s goal of achieving financial
inclusion by providing savings, remittance, and payments services to the rural and unorganised sectors of the economy. It
is also hoped that the payments bank idea will help reinvigorate the postal system, which has a wide network of branches
across India. All the 155,000 post offices in the country are expected to be linked to the IPPB system as early as in
December this year. The payments bank will also have a digital platform that is expected to make financial services more
accessible even from remote locations.

A big challenge facing the new public payments bank is whether it can manage to earn the profits required to survive as a
standalone business entity. Given the severe restrictions imposed by the Reserve Bank of India on how payments banks in
general can employ their funds, the odds seem to be stacked against the IPPB at the moment. The first wave of new
payments banks that commenced business last year — Airtel, Paytm and Fino — have not exactly set the market on fire.
(The payments bank model, it should be noted, is still untested even though prominent private companies such as Airtel
and Paytm have shown interest in the space.)

Banks have traditionally stayed away from the business of pure deposit banking, unless customers have been willing to
pay for these services, for a good reason. The IPPB promises to pay an interest rate of 4% to its savings account

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customers. To generate revenues, it plans to charge fees on money transfers and other financial services while investing
idle customer deposits in safe government securities in order to earn interest.

Whether this will be sufficient to cover interest and operational costs remains to be seen. Meanwhile, the IPPB is also likely
to face stiff competition from private companies, which are generally more nimble in adapting to business realities and far
more customer-friendly compared to the government-owned behemoths. And with increasing competition, the IPPB’s
revenues and margins are also likely to come under pressure. Yet, if it succeeds, the new payments bank could usher in a
new era of rapid financial inclusion across rural India.

Key words: 1. India Post Payment Bank

Q5.The Government needs to rethink on its labour laws in order to address the problem of jobless growth in India.
Discuss

This big reform is key to creating more jobs in India Financial Express| Economy
A new report brought out by the Centre for Sustainable Employment at the Azim Premji University, State of Working India,
shows how desperately India needs to rethink its jobs and labour strategy, with labour law reforms being the key thrust.
Allaying, at least for now, the fears of automation eating up jobs, the report says the replacement of workers in organized
manufacturing by machines has been slowing down even as the number of jobs supported by Rs 1 crore of real fixed
capital (in 2015 prices) had fallen from 90 in the 1980s to 10 in 2010; this ratio has not fallen since, indicating some rise in
job creation in manufacturing.

However, the jobs created are more precarious than before. The share of contract and other relatively less stable
employment has grown sharply since 2000—from around 16% to nearly 30%. Industries are side-stepping harsh labour
laws, including heavy-handed mandatory social security contribution laws and those having very little flexibility on
hiring/firing, by increasing contractual workers in their workforce. This, in turn, has depressed wage growth in organized
manufacturing—labour productivity has risen six times since the 1980s, the report states, while real wages of workers
have grown by just 1.5 times. Even the growth of salaries for managerial and supervisory roles lags labour productivity. At
the all-India level, 67% of the households reported incomes below Rs 10,000 a month, while the lowest salary
recommended by the Seventh Central Pay Commission was Rs 18,000. The situation is worse in the informal sector—the
report cites a case from Bengal, where a woman undertook tailoring, brick kiln work, daily labour and mid-day meal
cooking at a government school and earned just Rs 2,700 a month on average.

Growth now creates lesser jobs than it used to—and this is going to get worse as automation picks pace and the skills gap
between the workforce and the jobs created widens. The report shows that while, in the 1970s-80s, growth ranged 3-4%,
employment growth stood at around 2% per annum. Contrast that with the growth between 2011 and 2015 averaging
6.8% and the employment growth falling to 0.6% per annum—this means an employment growth-GDP growth ratio of less
than 0.1. No wonder, around 16% of the youth are unemployed, as the report’s authors estimate from NSS and Labour
Bureau data. Factor in the many millions who are “under-employed”, given they are over-educated/-skilled for the jobs
they hold, and India’s employment problem seems ominous. And, as it is in many other areas, gender disparities mean
women bear the brunt of the jobs-problem in the country.

Unless steps such as junking the draconian restrictions on hiring/firing and shifting the burden of social security
contributions from employers and low-wage workers to the government are taken—the government’s special package for
the textiles sector did this—the country could sink into new lows of unemployment. Another step the government must

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consider seriously is an income support programme for the unemployed and those earning significantly below a living
wage.

Key words: 1.Share of Contract labour force 2. Social Security Contribution 3. Under-employment

Q6. Assess the recalibration of US international relations under Donald Trump in context of India’s ambition to
play a larger global role.

Where interests meet India Express | Bilateral Relationship


The idea that India-US relations are enveloped by a crisis has been a recurring theme for the last quarter of a century and
more. Yet, post Cold War, the bilateral relationship has made a steady advance across a broad front. Despite the
presumption or hope in many sections at home and abroad that something will surely trip up India and the US, their
partnership has become stronger by the day. The lack of pace and the enduring sense of unrealised potential do,
however, continue to dampen the enthusiasts in both capitals. For India, ties with the US have emerged as the most
comprehensive among all its major power relationships. In terms of breadth, it ranges from defence and high technology
cooperation to a substantive people-to-people relationship. In terms of weight, it is the most important economic
relationship — annual two-way trade in goods and services now stands at nearly $140 billion and mutual investments are
on the way up.

Even more significant is the growing convergence of perspectives on regional and international affairs. Few other powers
have been as positive as the US in addressing either India’s concerns about terrorism in the region or as supportive of its
aspirations for a larger international role. Further, India has no territorial disputes with the US. Nor have Delhi’s armies
ever had to confront Washington’s. It is quite easy to forget this amid the media focus on the minutiae of the bilateral
relations. The first ever “two-plus-two” meeting between Delhi and Washington — that brings together the foreign and
defence ministers of India and the United States around one table — is at once the symbol of the progress made so far as
well as the platform to address new issues in the relationship. The forum could also help set more ambitious goals for the
future.But first, to the latest bout of gloom and doom. Much of it flows from the claim that US President Donald Trump’s
policies are derailing the relationship. Some of these arguments are about the breakdown of bipartisanship in Washington
and the open confrontation between Trump and the traditional foreign policy establishment.

The ground reality, however, is quite different. Although many of America’s traditional partners have found themselves at
the receiving end of Trump’s effort to reorient US foreign policy, the consequences for India have not been too severe to
cope with. On the two primary areas of concern for India — Pakistan and China — Delhi, in fact, has no reason to
complain about Trump’s policies. On the sources of terror in Pakistan and its destabilisation of Afghanistan, Trump has
mounted the kind of pressure on Rawalpindi that his predecessors were not willing to consider. Trump’s pushback against
China’s assertive policies has already opened up new diplomatic space for Delhi in the Indo-Pacific, including with Beijing.
To be sure, the continuing escalation of tensions between Washington and Moscow has begun to pose new problems for
the bilateral relationship. Since the end of the Cold War, India did not have to look over its shoulder in its engagement with
either Russia or America. Delhi will now have to deal with this new situation. The new US law that mandates sanctions
against countries that buy arms from Russia is at the centre of the current debate. For all the concern about India’s plans
to buy the S-400 missiles from Russia and the consequences in the US, both Delhi and Washington have incentives to
manage their differences.

Washington has no reason to wreck the growing military relationship with India — which has seen the US expand its share
in arms sales to India at the expense of Russia — by making the S-400 as some kind of red line that can’t be crossed. India,

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on its part, needs to take full advantage of the strategic possibilities with the US for modernising India’s military as well as
its defence industrial base. If Trump can find a way to provide a waiver for India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has the
means to make it worthwhile for Trump. How the issue might get finessed is a matter of diplomatic detail, if there is
political will on both sides to find a way. The Iran problem might be a lot easier to manage. It’s been done before amidst
the continuing confrontation between Tehran and Washington. More than a decade ago, the UPA government refused to
sacrifice India’s rising stakes in the US relationship for the sake of Iran. There is no reason why the NDA would do this now.
Meanwhile, India’s interests are rapidly rising in the UAE and Saudi Arabia — two countries that are in a deepening conflict
with Iran.

Far more significant is the problem on the trade front. Driven by powerful domestic political considerations, Trump has
chosen to confront all of America’s major economic partners — from Canada to China and Mexico to Japan — on ending
the trade imbalance. India is certainly on the list of countries with a trade surplus with the US. Like all other partners of
Washington, Delhi, too, must find ways to limit the damage to its most important trade relationship through practical
negotiations. India and the United States have advanced their partnership over the last few years by sticking to two
important principles. One is the political commitment not to let any one problem derail the broader partnership and the
other is to continue to expand the areas of engagement that yield additional gains for both.

As they iron out the current wrinkles in the bilateral relationship, the four ministers have an opportunity to take a fresh
look at the partnership. While small steps are possible and will be announced, the two sides must try and break from the
frustrating tradition of incrementalism. What creates the room for some bold thinking about the next steps in the bilateral
relationship is the fit between Trump’s effort to recalibrate America’s international relations and India’s ambitions to play a
larger global role. Trump wants to cut America’s offshore burdens and get allies and partners to do more. As a rising
power, Delhi is eager to take more responsibility for promoting regional peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific.
Translating this alignment of interests into concrete outcomes requires the development of a new framework for burden-
sharing and strategic coordination.

Keywords: 1. Post Cold War, 2. 2+2 Dialogue, 3. Indo-Pacific

Q7. Examine India’s growing relationship with Europe and highlight the various impediments in augmenting the
relationship further.

Reconnecting with Europe Indian Express | Indian Foreign Policy


India’s diplomatic mind space is occupied mostly by Pakistan, China, and the United States. Thanks to the institutionalised
high-level interaction with Asia, India’s relations with the ASEAN have become a part of the foreign policy discourse.
Thanks again to annual summits, Japan has become an important element of India’s international relations. But Europe as
a collective has drawn little attention. The problem is not just with the government, but also the so-called strategic
community. Analysts presenting periodic reviews of India’s foreign policy rarely mention Europe. When all is said and done
about Modi’s diplomatic record, his outreach to Europe is likely to emerge as a major contribution to India’s foreign policy.

This outreach has had a number of strands. One was to show the flag. India’s accumulated neglect of Europe meant there
were many countries that few Indian leaders or senior officials had not visited for decades. The smaller countries of
Europe, in particular, got the short shrift. The Modi government has made amends by launching an expansive
engagement with European countries at the political level. President Kovind had earlier travelled to Greece and outlined a
comprehensive new Indian approach to Europe. His predecessor, Pranab Mukherjee and Vice President Hamid Ansari had

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undertaken important trips to the region after the NDA government came to office. Ministers and senior officials too have
stepped up travel to and engagement with Europe.

The last four years have also seen a major diplomatic push to clear the underbrush that was preventing a rapid advance in
the engagement with Europe. Unresolved issues with key countries in Europe had injected much negativity to India’s
relations with key European countries. The case of the detained Italian marines — that festered under the UPA
government — was sorted out by the NDA government with long overdue purposefulness. This led to Rome’s support for
India’s membership of the export control groups and its lifting the political hold on the India-EU annual summit in 2016.

In what could turn out to be a potential game-changer, Modi has laid the foundation for a strong strategic partnership
with France. If the UPA government was unable to translate its selection of the Rafale fighter aircraft into formal
acquisition, the NDA government has moved forward, notwithstanding the political problems associated these days with
any major arms purchase. Even more important, the ambit of the relationship with France now includes maritime and
naval collaboration. Beyond the bilateral, the NDA government sought to intensify engagement with the European Union.
Although the two sides had unveiled a strategic partnership way back in 2004, the movement was too slow. If India
seemed unwilling to think strategically about Europe, Brussels too took a bureaucratic view of India. That is changing now.

The EU is currently mapping out an “India Strategy” that is expected to lay out an ambitious new agenda for the
relationship. India, on its part, is attaching a new strategic salience to the relationship with Europe. As Kovind put it in a
speech in Athens earlier this year, “Europe is irreplaceable in India’s determination to achieve the goals it has set itself.” As
the world’s second-largest economic entity and a major source of capital, Europe is a natural partner in India’s economic
transformation. But India has a lot of catching up to do with Europe — from trade liberalisation to educational exchanges
and climate change to security cooperation. The Modi government’s boldest move, however, lies in a conscious effort to
break out of the anti-colonial and Cold War attitudes that crimped India’s engagement with Europe. The PM’s enthusiastic
outreach to Britain and participation in the Commonwealth summit, much against the grain of conventional thinking in the
foreign policy community, opened up new opportunities with London. So is the unfolding Indian Ocean partnership with
France.

Independent India began well by looking at Europe in quite a differentiated way. Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru chose to
retain the Commonwealth connection against the dominant trend in the nationalist movement. The attractions of aid saw
Nehru limit India’s post-War engagement with a divided Germany to the West. As its foreign policy became more
doctrinaire in the later years of the Cold War, Delhi became less and less sophisticated. As it deepens engagement with
Europe today, India is learning to appreciate the multiple forces — religious, ethnic, economic and political — that are
reshaping the continent. As it reaches out to Central Europe, India has begun to acknowledge the region’s complex
relations with its large neighbours — Germany and Russia. In deepening ties with the Nordic and Baltic states, Delhi
recognises their deep-seated fears about an assertive Moscow. India’s long-standing friendship with Russia gives Delhi a
solid understanding of Moscow’s concerns on Western expansion into its “near abroad”. This is not a picture that fits in
with India’s Cold War perceptions of Europe. On top of all this is a new factor — the Trump Administration’s pressure on
Europe to take more responsibility for its own security and the maintenance of the regional order. As Europe steps out
from America’s protective shell, it will need partners in promoting stability in Eurasia and the Indo-Pacific. That opens up
one of the most productive and exciting lines of strategic advance for India in the coming years.

Keywords: 1. India-EU Annual Summit 2. Rafale fighter aircraft 3.Indian Ocean partnership 4.Nordic & Baltic States 5.Eurasia 6.
Indo-Pacific

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Q8. Critically examine India’s foreign policy imperative of ‘Strategic Autonomy’, especially in context to its
engagement with US.

Two discourses on strategic autonomy Indian Express | #Indian Foreign Policy


The idea of “strategic autonomy”, at once vague and central to Indian foreign policy discourse after the Cold War, appears
to be traveling and quite far. Countries — ranging from Britain to Japan and France to Australia — that once looked with
much amusement at India’s prickly obsession with autonomy are now beginning to embrace it. Their new enthusiasm for
independent foreign and security policies, to be fair, has little do with discovering the virtues of the Indian debate but
unprecedented pressure from the U S. President Donald Trump is asking why America should spend its blood and
treasure protecting its rich allies in Europe and Asia. The initial hope that Trump will be “educated” by Washington’s
permanent establishment about the importance of America paying for the maintenance of the “liberal international order”
have been dashed.

Trump has not stopped questing for US alliance commitments in Europe and Asia. This has begun to compel the US allies
to reflect on the need for strategic autonomy. The debate on strategic autonomy has been most vocal in the European
Union. It is also beginning to acquire some traction among Asian allies like Japan, South Korea and Australia. A few days
ago, in his address to the French diplomatic corps, President Emmanuel Macron reaffirmed that Europe can no longer rely
on Washington alone for its security. A few days earlier, the German foreign minister Heiko Maas declared that the
“outstanding aim” of Berlin’s foreign policy “is to build a strong, sovereign Europe”. That brings us to the second idea
popular in Delhi — “sovereignty” — that has begun to infect Europe. Not too long ago, Europeans used to scoff at the
excessive Asian emphasis on sovereignty. The new French and German sentiments on sovereignty echoed the president
of the European Commission, Jean Claude Juncker. Last week, in his annual address to the European Parliament, Juncker
said its time Europe “took its destiny into its own hands” and become a credible sovereign actor on the global stage.

As in Europe, so in India the debate on strategic autonomy has been driven largely by the US. Although pundits in Delhi
claim that “strategic autonomy” is a general and fundamental principle of India’s foreign policy, it tends to be invoked only
in relation to the United States and never in the discussion of the ties with Russia or China. Although Washington today is
more aligned with Delhi on key regional and global interests than Moscow or Beijing — for example on Pakistan, cross-
border terrorism and security in the Indo-Pacific — the residual legacy of “strategic autonomy” is raised to limit a deeper
engagement with the US. India’s post Cold War fears of American hyper power was reflected in questions like these: “Are
we becoming too close to Washington?” “Is Washington setting the goals of our foreign policy?”

If worries about American “entrapment” drive Delhi’s thinking on “strategic autonomy,” it is the fear of US “abandonment”
that shapes the European debate. Sceptics, however, have long dismissed the Indian and European debates on “strategic
autonomy” as empty talk. Autonomy has no meaning if it is not backed by solid national power. In India, the proponents of
“strategic autonomy” have often used it block partnerships that would have boosted India’s national capabilities. In
Europe, the discussion of strategic autonomy was wishful thinking so long as the US security guarantees were taken for
granted. That, however, has begun to change, thanks to Trump. Trump’s “America First” policy would not have mattered
for US allies and partners if Europe and Asia were at peace with themselves. But they are not. The assertiveness of Russia
in Europe and China in Asia and the deepening alliance between them adds to the pressures on not just the US allies but
also India.

Under the present government, Delhi has begun to take a more practical view of “strategic autonomy” and shed some of
the inhibitions against security cooperation with the West. Defence partnerships with the US and France have finally
begun to acquire some traction. The EU, meanwhile, has unveiled an ambitious agenda for common defence. This
includes Permanent Structured Security Cooperation under the common security and defence policy, development of a

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joint interventionary force and the establishment of a $15-billion European Defence Fund. Strategic autonomy and nuclear
weapons are often seen as two sides of the same coin. Paris and London have been talking for a while of pooling their
nuclear resources for a “European deterrent force”. More improbably, Berlin, despite its long-standing nuclear aversion,
has now begun to debate the merits of a German nuclear option.

If India is struggling to get its defence act together, Europe too faces innumerable problems — a rising tide of nationalism,
divergent perceptions of the threat, multiplicity of weapons systems, and a competition for arms sales. Yet, India and
Europe have good reasons to strengthen their security partnership — as a hedge against the rise of new regional
hegemons and the US retrenchment in Eurasia. For Delhi and Brussels, bilateral defence cooperation is not a substitute,
but a complement to the security partnership with America. On its part, Delhi must end its neglect of existing European
structures like NATO and pay attention to the emerging defence institutions in Brussels. The EU, on its part, must begin to
integrate India into its security calculus. Deepening defence the partnership is a good way to enhance the strategic
autonomy of India and Europe in an uncertain world.

Keywords: 1.European Union 2.PSSC 3. NATO

Q9. “India must look to engage with structural changes unfolding in the United Nations, beyond the rhetoric
against Pakistan.” Comment.

The world beyond Pakistan Indian Express | India & the UN


India may have decided against talking to Pakistan on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly that is
convening this month for its annual session in New York. But Delhi’s messy relationship with Islamabad will continue to
draw headlines in the Subcontinent at the expense of India’s other engagements at the UN. The exception is provided by
the media representatives from India and Pakistan. There was a time when the voices of both Pakistan and India mattered
on the world stage. Pakistan was a key member of the Western alliance system in Asia. Islamabad rightly saw itself as a
pragmatic Islamic nation capable of exercising influence in the Middle East and acting as a bridge between America and
China, which did not have diplomatic relations with each other. Today, Pakistan’s diminished diplomacy plods on about
the Kashmir issue and revels in provoking India into a public argument.

India’s situation is even more tragic. India’s political voice mattered a lot at the UN, many moons ago, when its economic
weight was rather limited. Today, despite its growing economic salience and expanding global footprint, India seems
obsessed with a few issues rather than engage with the unfolding structural changes in the international system. For one,
Delhi persists with the futile quest for a permanent seat at the UN Security Council, when all indications are that it is
unlikely to happen. Delhi has also devoted far too much energy in the pursuit of the international convention against
terrorism that is unlikely to do very much in addressing India’s security challenges. After all, UN resolutions are honoured
by nations more in breach than in observance. What has benefited India are key partnerships on counter-terrorism — for
example with the US and Arab Gulf partners — rather than the endorsement of general principles under multilateralism.

If Swaraj looks beyond Pakistan, terrorism and a seat at the UNSC, she will find much to discuss and reflect upon with
India’s partners. Three issues stand out. One is the question of sovereignty and multilateralism. If defending sovereignty
was the theme song of India’s UN diplomacy since the end of the Cold War, it is President Donald Trump who has
appropriated it now. The essence of Trump’s “America First” has been the promise to liberate US from the “globalist trap”
that it had been boxed in for decades. In his address to the UNGA last year, Trump had used the term “sovereignty” 21
times. He insists that he will not let multilateral organisations restrain America’s pursuit of its national interests. According

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to previews of this year’s speech to be delivered on Tuesday, sovereignty will once again be the dominant theme. Since he
took charge, Trump has walked out of the Paris agreement on climate change, withdrew from the United Nations
Scientific and Cultural Organisation, the UN Human Rights Council, and threatened the International Criminal Court
with punitive actions. As the US permanent representative to the UN, Nikki Haley put it last week, Washington is “not
saying multilateralism can’t work. But it’s saying sovereignty is a priority over all of that”.

A second important theme is global trade. While India’s rhetoric at the UN remains steeped in the old verities of the so-
called “global South”, Trump is threatening to pull out of the World Trading Organisation and choking its dispute-
settlement mechanism, again in the name of sovereignty. Key trading nations are already beginning to respond with
proposals for reform. If it does not change, the WTO may not survive the Trump era. Finally, Trump is making big moves in
the Middle East that breaks away from the conventional thinking on the region. He has junked the 2015 nuclear
agreement with Iran negotiated by the Obama administration. He is promising to press for a change in “regime behaviour”
in Tehran, trying to construct a new Middle East Security Alliance of Arab nations threatened by Iran. For India, this is not a
question of taking formal positions on these issues. What should matter for India is the fact that the geopolitics of the Gulf
region — where India has massive economic and political stakes — is undergoing unprecedented change. So is the world
trading system and the nature of multilateralism. India’s diplomatic engagements at the UN this year should be about
crafting a new strategy to address these challenges.

Keywords: 1. Kashmir issue 2. UNSC 3.Globalist trap 4. UNSCO 5.UNHRC 6. Global South

Q10. The impediments that hampered SAARC towards becoming an effective regional bloc can also emerge in
BIMSTEC. Critically analyse.

Challenges at BIMSTEC The Hindu | Regional Groupings


The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multisectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) summit in Kathmandu this
week, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to attend, will be another milestone for India after the BRICS-
BIMSTEC Outreach Summit hosted by it in 2016, as the grouping has gradually emerged as a key vehicle to take forward
India’s regional, strategic and economic interests.

Two major factors have driven India’s interests in the BIMSTEC forum. A key reason for India to reach out to its BIMSTEC
neighbours has been the stagnation of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). This limited both
the scope of India’s growing economic aspirations as well as the role it could play in improving regional governance. This,
however, did not stop India from revitalising the SAARC grouping when opportunities emerged. Two recent instances
underscore its failed attempts. At the 18th SAARC Summit in Kathmandu, in 2014, India proposed the SAARC Motor
Vehicles Agreement. However, this could not progress due to resistance from Pakistan. This compelled Bangladesh,
Bhutan, India, and Nepal (BBIN) to sign the BBIN Motor Vehicles Agreement in 2015. As Prime Minister Narendra Modi
said in Kathmandu, regional integration in South Asia would go ahead “through SAARC or outside it, among all of us or
some of us,” keeping the doors open for those outside to join when they felt confortable to do so. Pakistan also opted out
of the ambitious SAARC Satellite project proposed by India, leading to a change in its name to the South Asia Satellite.
There is a tendency in some quarters to see India’s interests in BIMSTEC as part of its strategy to isolate Pakistan and
position BIMSTEC as an alternative to SAARC. The above instances suggest otherwise. The main motivation for India to
push BIMSTEC is thus not Pakistan; rather, it is in the country’s interest to ensure that the region does not lag behind and
that an unstable neighbourhood does not drag its growth. India’s desire to link South Asia to the economically dynamic

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Southeast Asia is also part of this strategy. The rationale behind making the BIMSTEC mechanism work is to reassure
South Asia that the region can work together to achieve common goals with India playing its due role.

There will be challenges for India from both within and outside. These will pose policy dilemmas. India is currently the
largest contributor to the BIMSTEC secretariat’s budget. India’s annual contribution was Rs. 2 crore (or 32% of the total
secretariat budget) for 2017-18. With the secretariat planning to strengthen its capacity by increasing human resources
and the number of officials representing each member state, India may need to consider allocating more resources.
India’s generosity would be a key test of its commitment to the sub-regional grouping. Another issue would be for India
to counter the impression that BIMSTEC is an India-dominated bloc, a problem that it faced for a long time in SAARC. In
reality, the suspicion was mutual in SAARC — while India was wary of the smaller neighbours ‘ganging up’ against it, the
smaller neighbours were worried that closer integration might lead to India’s domination. Today, most of the smaller
neighbours are more willing to engage so as to benefit from India’s economic rise. Nonetheless, for internal political
reasons, the same issue may re-emerge and pose hurdles in the progress of BIMSTEC. To moderate such suspicions, India
will need to show sensitivity to the concerns of smaller neighbours.

Another strategic challenge for India is that China has long desired to be part of the SAARC grouping. Some SAARC
members also have their own interests in bringing China into the equation: they want it to balance India’s dominance.
China has observer status in SAARC. When this was given, it only increased the demand to make China a full member of
SAARC. India will have to carefully navigate the emerging regional geopolitics, as many of the elements that made SAARC
hostage to political rivalry and turned it into a defunct mechanism can re-emerge in BIMSTEC.

Keywords: 1. BRICS-BIMSTEC Outreach Summit 2. BBIN 3.Subregional grouping 4. India –dominated bloc 5. China

Q11.What are the steps taken by government to deal with the problem of Stubble burning? How far will these
measures be useful in solving this issue?

Up in the air – on stubble burning The Hindu | Environment


The onset of the winter season has come to be associated with toxic atmospheric pollution in north India. This year will be
a crucial test for a scheme piloted by the Union government to address the winter haze. While road dust and pollution
from heavy vehicles are primarily responsible for the noxious pall that sets on Delhi and other urban centres, the burning
of paddy stubble by farmers to clear their fields for the next crop is considered to be responsible for 20% of the smog. To
address this, and under directions from the Supreme Court-constituted Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control)
Authority, or EPCA, the Centre is partnering with Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to provide farmers with a range of
mechanised implements to clear their fields of paddy crop residue to prepare for sowing wheat. There is a 50% subsidy to
farmers, and a 75% waiver to cooperative societies, agencies that rent out equipment, farmers’ interest groups or gram
panchayats to buy such machines. States have got nearly ₹650 crore to help farmers buy subsidised equipment such as
Happy Seeder, paddy straw choppers and Zero Till Drill. Punjab, which of the three States has the largest acreage under
paddy, has a target of procuring 24,315 machines by October 15. A task force, headed by the Principal Secretary to the
Prime Minister and comprising Environment Ministry officials and Chief Secretaries of these States, has been meeting
since January to prepare for the winter.

Reports, however, suggest that many farmers, particularly those with land holdings of less than 5 acres, remain sceptical
of the efficiency of these machines. Among their concerns is whether these machines will affect productivity. Many have
told officials that they are worried there could be damage to the soil. Therefore, just making technological tools available
may not be enough; there needs to be proactive engagement to both persuade and reassure farmers. Ironically, it was

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technology that contributed to the problem in the first place. The rising cost of labour nudged farmers to adopt
mechanised equipment that, while efficient, left behind much longer stalks of paddy than what the traditional practice of
removing them by hand did. The greater availability of machines and the zero-tolerance policy need to be seen as works in
progress to derive lessons on how to refine the crop-clearing process in an ecologically sound manner. There must also be
a sense of proportion, as 80% of the atmospheric pollution in Delhi in winter draws from sources other than burning
stubble. Given Delhi’s geography, low wind speeds and a spike in local pollution (from vehicles, biomass burning,
firecrackers, etc.) raise the particulate matter count dramatically during winter. To be effective, the fight against pollution
must necessarily be broad-based.

Key words: 1. Pollution, 2. Environment, 3. Stubble burning, 4. Delhi’s geography

Q12: How far will Coal liquefaction help in solving the energy dependence of India on other Countries? Discuss.

Coal Liquefaction: India’s ticket to energy independence? Down to Earth | Environment


India is heavily dependent on petroleum imports. It has been hit very badly due to the recent surge in crude prices and
uncertainty over future supplies on account of proposed American sanctions on Iranian crude.

There is, however, one way through which India can overcome crude shortage. Coal liquefication, also called Coal to Liquid
(CTL) technology is an alternative route to produce diesel and gasoline and makes economic sense only in a world of high
crude oil prices.

The best example of CTL was through the Fischer-Tropsch Method that was implemented in Nazi Germany in the 1940s to
meet much of the country’s demand for diesel during World War II, when oil supplies were limited. CTL technologies have
steadily improved since the war. Technical development has resulted in a variety of systems capable of handling a wide
array of coal types.

South Africa has been producing liquid fuels from coal since 1955, using the indirect conversion process. Today, the South
African company Sasol has three CTL plants that together produce more than 160, 000 barrels of liquid fuel per day from
coal, which provides for about 30 per cent of South Africa’s transport fuel requirements.

Despite the high, up-front capital investment costs, interest in CTL is now growing worldwide, especially in coal-rich
countries. Geographically, most active projects and recently commissioned operations are located in Asia, mainly in China.
This is driven by the low cost and large reserves of coal in many of these countries; increasing oil prices; desire for energy
independence and security; and the potential for co-development of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology to
reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

So what is this process? It involves gasification of coal, which in turn will produce synthetic gas (a mix of CO+H2). The
synthetic gas can be liquefied to its fuel equivalent in presence of cobalt/iron-based catalysts at higher pressure and
temperature. However, liquefied coal emits twice as much CO2 as burning oil. It also emits a large volume of SO2. There is
however, a solution to this today.

One of the benefits of CTL is that the CO2 emissions are more readily and cheaply captured from CTL plants than from
conventional coal-fired power stations. The captured CO2 can be transported and injected into underground storage
reservoirs (a procedure known as “carbon capture and storage”—CCS—or “geo sequestration”). Without CCS, the carbon
footprint of CTL is at least 150–175 per cent higher than that of conventional petrol/diesel production from oil.

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The International Energy Agency Coal Industry Advisory Board supports development of CTL plants with CCS. With
sequestration, powering a car with liquid coal is approximately 30 per cent cleaner than using petrol. Another benefit of
CTL technology is that the engines of cars need no modification to use the liquid fuel.

Critics argue that because of the high costs involved, and the environmental implications, CTL processes would only be
used in the long term, where there is substantial government support for strategic reasons, and also where the extra CO2
produced can be effectively sequestered. There are approximately 30 large-scale CTL plants under construction or in the
final planning stages around the world. According to a US study, CTL commercialization is likely to remain limited to niche
markets in coal-producing states offering regional incentives or strategic markets such as the military with specific fuel
and security requirements.

India has significant coal reserves. CTL plants could be an alternative source of liquid fuels in India. It is reported that
South African major, Sasol, was willing to invest in Indian coal liquefaction plants. Its proposed joint venture with the Tatas
(in Odisha) for an 80,000 barrel per day capacity plant has not met with success due to the cancellation of coal blocks.
Jindal Steel and Power (JSPL) had proposed setting up a 80,000 barrel per day capacity plant with German chemical and
construction company Lurgi in Odisha but there seemed to be no forward movement due to coal block cancellation.
Based on R&D activities undertaken for the development of liquid fuels from coal, the CSIR-CIMFR has successfully
installed and commissioned an integrated pilot plant. The pilot plant produces 5L per day liquid hydro carbon and the
institute is seeking partnership in scaling up the developed technology and commercialising it.

Apart from development of indigenous technology, the Indian government should facilitate in bringing leading foreign
companies investing in domestic CTL projects with private Indian players. This would help in ameliorating energy security
concerns and bring about energy independence of the country. It may be stated that issues concerning environment due
to emissions of CO2 and SO2 in CTL technology have been resorted to lessen the environmental impact by global players
through concerted research.

Key words: 1.Coal Liquefaction, 2. Petroleum imports, 3.Pollution, 4.Energy Dependency, 5. Oil Imports

Q13: Penal provisions have limited utility in achieving the targets of cleaning river Ganga. Critically analyse.

River and Stick Indian Express | Environment


In May, Union Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari announced that the government will “try to ensure” a 70-80 per cent
improvement in the Ganga’s water quality by March 2019. The water resources ministry, it seems, is now taking desperate,
rather than sensible, measures to meet that deadline. If it has its way, a host of activities that impact the Ganga will be
deemed illegal. These include construction activities that obstruct the river, withdrawal of groundwater for commercial or
industrial purposes, commercial fishing and discharging of sewage into the the river. The ministry has drafted a bill which
prescribes a slew of penal provisions — including fines and imprisonment — to curb these activities. The draft also
envisages a Ganga Protection Corps “to arrest those who pollute the river”. Such reliance on punitive measures is a
disturbing climb down from the government’s Namami Gange project in more ways than one.

Namami Gange recognises that the key to reviving the river lies in a robust sewage infrastructure. The programme that
took off two years ago ticked several boxes about the river’s ecology. It had projects to develop interceptor drains, plant
trees and improve the river’s species composition. More importantly, the project accepted that its success hinged on the
support of the people, whose activities impact the Ganga. In May, the Water Resources Minister talked of the
government’s resolve to attain synergy between ecology and development. He also talked of plans to link the livelihood

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needs of local communities with efforts to clean the Ganga. This dovetailed with the Ministry’s project to create a cadre of
village and town-level volunteers who would help panchayat, municipal and other local bodies to monitor the quality of
the Ganga’s water.

There has been very little, however, by way of giving effect to these plans to ensure people’s participation. The Namami
Gange website talks of awareness campaigns to curb pollution of the river. But it has nothing on the successes or failures
of these projects. Namami Gange, in fact, has been dogged by the failing of other Ganga clean-up projects — the gap
between intention and implementation. Till March, the water resources ministry had spent barely a fifth of the Rs 20,000
crore allocated for the project. In July, the National Green Tribunal pulled up the government for “tardy progress” on the
Clean Ganga Mission. Even then, the government would do well to remember that it does have a lot of the basics in place.
There is no reason for a law heavy on punitive measures to clean the Ganga.

Key words: 1. Punitive Measures, 2.Namami Gange, 3.Ganga Protection Corps, 4.Sewage

Q14. Segregation of women in religious practice amounts to discrimination as provided under Article 15 of the
Indian Constitution. Discuss the statement in light of Sabarimala verdict.

Freedom to pray: on Sabarimala The Hindu | Polity & Governance


The Constitution protects religious freedom in two ways. It protects an individual’s right to profess, practise and
propagate a religion, and it also assures similar protection to every religious denomination to manage its own affairs. The
legal challenge to the exclusion of women in the 10-50 age group from the Sabarimala temple in Kerala represented a
conflict between the group rights of the temple authorities in enforcing the presiding deity’s strict celibate status and the
individual rights of women to offer worship there. The Supreme Court’s ruling, by a 4:1 majority, that the exclusionary
practice violates the rights of women devotees establishes the legal principle that individual freedom prevails over
purported group rights, even in matters of religion. The three concurring opinions that form the majority have demolished
the principal defences of the practice that Sabarimala devotees have constitutionally protected denominational rights
that they are entitled to prevent the entry of women to preserve the strict celibate nature of the deity, and that allowing
women would interfere with an essential religious practice. The majority held that devotees of Lord Ayyappa do not
constitute a separate religious denomination and that the prohibition on women is not an essential part of Hindu
religion. In a dissenting opinion, Justice Indu Malhotra chose not to review the religious practice on the touchstone of
gender equality or individual freedom. Her view that the court “cannot impose its morality or rationality with respect to
the form of worship of a deity” accorded greater importance to the idea of religious freedom as being mainly the preserve
of an institution rather than an individual’s right.

Beyond the legality of the practice, which could have been addressed solely as an issue of discrimination or a tussle
between two aspects of religious freedom, the court has also sought to grapple with the stigmatisation of women
devotees based on a medieval view of menstruation as symbolising impurity and pollution. The argument that the practice
is justified because women of menstruating age would not be able to observe the 41-day period of abstinence before
making a pilgrimage failed to impress the judges. To Chief Justice Dipak Misra, any rule based on segregation of women
pertaining to biological characteristics is indefensible and unconstitutional. Devotion cannot be subjected to the
stereotypes of gender. Justice D.Y. Chandrachud said stigma built around traditional notions of impurity has no place in
the constitutional order, and exclusion based on the notion of impurity is a form of untouchability. Justice Rohinton F.
Nariman said the fundamental rights claimed by worshippers based on ‘custom and usage’ must yield to the fundamental

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right of women to practise religion. The decision reaffirms the Constitution’s transformative character and derives
strength from the centrality it accords to fundamental rights.

Key words: 1. religious freedom, 2. profess, practise and propagate 3. Sabarimala temple 4. denominational rights 5. prohibition
on women 6. stigmatisation of women 7. menstruating age 8. segregation of women 9. untouchability.

Q15. It is only in a progressive legal landscape that individual rights flourish and with the decriminalisation of
adultery, India has taken another step towards rights-based social relations. Examine the statement in light of
latest Supreme Court judgment on adultery.

Not a crime: on Adultery The Hindu | Polity & Governance


The cleansing of the statute books of provisions that criminalise consensual relations among adults continues, with the
Supreme Court finally striking down a colonial-era law that made adultery punishable with a jail term and a fine. In four
separate but concurring opinions, a five-judge Bench headed by the Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra, finally transported
India into the company of countries that no longer consider adultery an offence, only a ground for divorce. They have
removed provisions related to adultery in the Indian Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure. According to
Section 497 of the IPC, which now stands struck down, a man had the right to initiate criminal proceedings against his
wife’s lover. In treating women as their husband’s property, as individuals bereft of agency, the law was blatantly gender-
discriminatory; aptly, the Court also struck down Section 198(2) of the CrPC under which the husband alone could
complain against adultery. Till now, only an adulterous woman’s husband could prosecute her lover, though she could not
be punished; an adulterous man’s wife had no such right. In a further comment on her lack of sexual freedom and her
commodification under the 158-year-old law, her affair with another would not amount to adultery if it had the consent of
her husband. “The history of Section 497 reveals that the law on adultery was for the benefit of the husband, for him to
secure ownership over the sexuality of his wife,” Justice D.Y. Chandrachud wrote. “It was aimed at preventing the woman
from exercising her sexual agency.”

But the challenge before the court was not to equalise the right to file a criminal complaint, by allowing a woman to act
against her husband’s lover. It was, instead, to give the IPC and the CrPC a good dusting, to rid it of Victorian-era morality.
It is only in a progressive legal landscape that individual rights flourish and with the decriminalisation of adultery India has
taken another step towards rights-based social relations, instead of a state-imposed moral order. That the
decriminalisation of adultery comes soon after the Supreme Court judgment that read down Section 377 of the IPC to
decriminalise homosexuality, thereby enabling diverse gender identities to be unafraid of the law, is heartening. However,
it is a matter of concern that refreshing the statute books is being left to the judiciary, without any proactive role of
Parliament in amending regressive laws. The shocking message here is not merely that provisions such as Section 497 or
377 remained so long in the IPC, it is also that Parliament failed in its legislative responsibility to address them.

Key words: 1. consensual relations among adults, 2. colonial-era law 3. Indian Penal Code 4. Section 497 of the IPC 5. gender-
discriminatory 6. sexual freedom

Q16. Critically examine the Supreme Court’s judgment on verdict given on Aadhaar with reference to it being
passed as money Bill.

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Aadhaar Survives The Hindu | Polity & Governance


The Aadhaar project has survived a fierce legal challenge. Ever since a nine-judge Bench ruled unanimously last year that
privacy is a fundamental right, opinion began to gain ground that the unique identification programme was vulnerable in
the face of judicial scrutiny. It was projected by sceptics, detractors and activists as an intrusion on citizens’ privacy, a
byword for a purported surveillance system, a grand project to harvest personal data for commercial exploitation by
private parties and profiling by the state. But the government has staved off the challenge by successfully arguing that it is
essentially a transformative scheme primarily aimed at reaching benefits and subsidies to the poor and the
marginalised. Four of the five judges on a Constitution Bench ruled that the law enabling the implementation of the
programme does not violate the right to privacy of citizens; instead, the project empowers marginalised sections and
procures dignity for them along with services, benefits and subsidies by leveraging the power of technology.

In upholding the constitutional validity of Aadhaar and clarifying areas in which it cannot be made mandatory, the
Supreme Court has restored the original intent of the programme: to plug leakages in subsidy schemes and to have
better targeting of welfare benefits. Over the years, Aadhaar came to mean much more than this in the lives of ordinary
people, acquiring the shape of a basic identity document that was required to access more and more services, such as
birth and death certificates, SIM cards, school admissions, property registrations and vehicle purchases. A unique identity
number, that could be availed on a voluntary basis and was conceived to eliminate the rampant fraud in the distribution
of benefits, had threatened to morph with the Centre’s tacit acceptance into something that was mandatory for various
aspects of life. The judgment narrows the scope of Aadhaar but provides a framework within which it can work. The
majority opinion has sought to limit the import of the scheme to aspects directly related to welfare benefits, subsidies and
money spent from the Consolidated Fund of India. Thus, controversial circulars and rules making it mandatory to link
mobile phone numbers and bank accounts to Aadhaar numbers have been declared unconstitutional. Section 57 of the
Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery Of Financial And Other Subsidies, Benefits And Services) Act, 2016, has been struck down to
the extent that it authorised body corporates and individuals to use the Aadhaar number to establish someone’s identity.
Schools have been barred from making the submission of the Aadhaar number mandatory to enroll children. A few other
provisions have been read down or clarified.

In upholding Aadhaar, the majority opinion was not oblivious to the impact of disbanding a project that has already
completed much ground. For instance, relying on official statistics, the majority favoured the scheme’s continuance for the
sake of the 99.76% of people included under it, rather than fret over the 0.24% who were excluded because of
authentication failure. “The remedy is to plug the loopholes rather than axe the project,” the Bench said. With enrolment
saturation reaching 1.2 billion people, the programme had acquired a scale and momentum that was irreversible. It was
perhaps this pragmatic imperative that led the majority to conclude that the government was justified in the passage of
the Aadhaar Act as a ‘money bill, even though under a strict interpretation this is a difficult position to defend, the
Centre’s objective being to bypass the Rajya Sabha, where it did not have a majority. The Court has addressed this issue by
accepting the government’s argument that Section 7, which enables the use of Aadhaar to avail of any government
subsidy, benefit or service for which expenditure is incurred out of the Consolidated Fund of India, is the core provision in
the law, and that this makes it a ‘money bill’. It has chosen to accept the technical arguments on the safety of the Aadhaar
architecture and the end-to-end encryption that underlies the transmission of captured biometric data to the Unique
Identification Authority of India. The majority opinion has looked at the larger picture beyond the merits or demerits of the
Aadhaar programme and the arguments for and against it. It held that the Aadhaar Act passes the “triple test” laid down in
the ‘Privacy’ judgment under which there ought to be a law, a legitimate state interest and an element of proportionality in
any law that seeks to abridge the right of privacy.

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In his dissent, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud argued that the Rajya Sabha’s authority has been superseded and that this
“constitutes a fraud on the Constitution” a position that is impossible to fault if one adopts a strict interpretation of what a
money bill is. As a result of this “debasement of a democratic institution”, he held the Aadhaar Act unconstitutional. He
also expressed his displeasure at the government passing a series of orders making Aadhaar compulsory for various
reasons, in defiance of interim orders from the Supreme Court. He highlighted the biometric authentication failures that
have led to denial of rights and legal entitlements, and located the reason for such failures in the project’s inability to
account for and remedy flaws in its network and design. He ruled that denial of benefits arising out of any social security
rights is “violative of human dignity and impermissible under our constitutional scheme”. Few would disagree with him in
that “dignity and rights of individuals cannot be made to depend on algorithms and probabilities”. Finally, it was the
arguments in favour of benefits to the poor and the practical consequences of abandoning the scheme that won the day.
Aadhaar possibly was simply too big to fail.

Key words: 1. intrusion on citizens’ privacy, 2. surveillance system 3. commercial exploitation 4. transformative scheme 5.
subsidies to the poor 6. plug leakages in subsidy 7. Consolidated Fund of India 8. money bill

Q17. Discuss the clemency powers of the President and the Governors of state. How is the clemency power of
President different from the clemency powers of the Governor? Is clemency powers of both President and
Governor subject to judicial review?

Clemency Question The Hindu | Polity & Governance


The failing to get the seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case released by exercising its statutory power to
remit life sentences, the AIADMK government in Tamil Nadu has taken recourse to a possible constitutional remedy. It has
decided to invoke the Governor’s clemency power under Article 161 of the Constitution. The earlier attempt in 2014 to
remit the sentences under the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure was stayed by the Supreme Court, which
ultimately held that the Centre had primacy in according remission to life convicts in a case that involves consultation
between the Centre and the State. The Centre formally declined to concur with the State’s proposal in April 2018, saying it
would “set a very dangerous precedent and lead to international ramifications”. There is no doubt that the sovereign
clemency power vested in the President and the Governor is quite wide, but the Supreme Court has in the past cautioned
against its use for political considerations. Tamil Nadu Governor will now have to take a call on the advice of the State’s
Council of Ministers and decide whether he is bound by it. The moot question is whether he will pause to consider the
Centre’s opinion against releasing those involved in a “diabolical plot” hatched by “a highly organised foreign terrorist
organisation” and either reject the proposal or seek its reconsideration. In either case, he will be mindful of the fact that
his decision will be subject to judicial review.

The Tamil Nadu government believes there is no legal bar on the convicts getting the benefit of Article 161, even though
the mercy petitions of some of them have been rejected by both the Governor and the President. But the issue has
thrown up a number of questions that relate to process. For instance, what happens to the four Sri Lankan nationals
among the convicts? Will they remain in India or be repatriated? Also, shouldn’t there be a case-by-case evaluation for
releasing those sentenced for life? An omnibus order of release clearly will not address the particularities in each case, or
evaluate the gravity of their role in the crime and the effect on society of releasing them. In principle, the idea that convicts
who have suffered prolonged incarceration require compassion cannot be faulted. The idea of locking away a person for
life, without so much as a sliver of hope of freedom, is not in keeping with the ideals of a truly modern society. However, it
is impossible to ignore the impact of such a decision on capital punishment. When lifelong imprisonment is regarded as a
humane alternative to capital punishment, releasing life convicts may only strengthen the demand for the imposition of

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the death penalty which would be retrograde. Although there are many political considerations behind the move to
release the convicts, this case must be decided on the basis of legal principles alone.

Key words: 1. Governor’s clemency power , 2. Article 161 3. political considerations 4. Council of Ministers

Q18. The three pillars of democracy namely the legislature, the executive and the judiciary must work together to
nurture democratic values not only in institutions but also among citizens. Analyse.

Farewell, welcome The Indian Express | Polity & Governance


In January this year, four senior-most judges of the Supreme Court held a press conference that was dramatic and
unprecedented. In their public unburdening was made visible a crisis of the judiciary. The never-before scenes at the
judiciary’s top also seemed to mirror a wider crisis of institutions. Nearly nine months later, however, that sense of siege
has lost its edge in court. In fact, as Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra retires, the story can be said to have, to a large
extent, changed. The controversy about the chief justice’s role and responsibility in matters such as the constitution of
benches and allocation of cases that triggered the famous press conference on that January morning is less and less
audible. It has been overtaken, especially in the last few days, by the applause for a series of landmark judicial verdicts
that have enlarged the scope of fundamental liberties for the individual. These verdicts bore CJI Misra’s imprimatur, of
course. But their salutary effect has been in shifting public attention back from the individual judge to the reassuring
assertion and resilience of the institution.

Even before the spate of progressive rulings decriminalisation of gay relationships, throwing open of the gates of the
Sabarimala temple to all women, striking down of an adultery law that held women to be their husbands’ property, putting
in place of firewalls to prevent the misuse of Aadhaar to build a surveillance state — CJI Misra had signalled an intent to
de-escalate the anxieties and apprehensions that had gathered around his office, raising doubts about his willingness to
stand up for judicial independence against a domineering executive. He was part of the Collegium’s reiteration of the
name of Justice KM Joseph, who had struck down the imposition of President’s Rule in Uttarakhand in 2016, and whose
candidature for the Supreme Court was being segregated and stalled by the Centre. Even though the court’s victory was
not unmixed the manner of the swearing-in of Justice Joseph was also a downgrading of his seniority an impasse had
nevertheless been broken. Then, he named Justice Ranjan Gogoi as his successor, putting at rest speculation that Justice
Gogoi would be punished for being one of the four judges who spoke out publicly in January. In doing so, the CJI ensured
that the transition in the highest court followed due process, and was not scarred by the current conflict within and
around it.

To be sure, the crises within the judiciary and between the executive and the court have not all withered away. But the
only CJI to have had an impeachment motion moved against him leaves the court on a high note. While that may bring
comfort to the departing CJI, the new CJI still has his work cut out. There is little room for complacency. CJI Gogoi must find
institutional answers to the questions that CJI Misra’s tenure leaves behind, concerning his own role as master of the
roster and the perceived imbalance of powers between institutions.

Key words: 1. constitution of benches, 2. allocation of cases 3. fundamental liberties 4. decriminalisation of gay 5. Collegium 6.
President’s Rule

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Q19. “Disqualification upon conviction has proved to be incapable of curbing the growing criminalisation of
politics, owing to long delays in trials and rare convictions.” Discuss.

Cleaning the House The Indian Express | Polity & Governance


In a five-judge bench of Supreme Court refused to disqualify candidates with criminal cases pending against them from
contesting elections. However, the country’s political class would do well take to serious note of the bench’s lament that
the “increasing trend of criminalisation of politics strikes at the very root of democracy”. While showing a welcome
inclination to not step out of its domain, the SC has asked Parliament to come up with a law to check the criminalisation of
politics. It has also issued a slew of directives to ensure that the voters are aware of the antecedents of candidates.
Political parties will have to upload details of criminal cases pending against their candidates on their websites. The
candidates will have to furnish such information in their election affidavit and also publish it in a “widely-circulated
newspaper”.

The Representation of the People Act (RPA) does not bar individuals who have criminal cases pending against them
from contesting elections. It does state that an individual punished with a jail term of more than two years cannot stand
in an election for six years after the jail term has ended. But the fact that cases drag on in courts for years makes this
provision virtually ineffective. A 2014 report of the Law Commission, in fact, pointed out that “disqualification upon
conviction has proved to be incapable of curbing the growing criminalisation of politics, owing to long delays in trials and
rare convictions.” An affidavit submitted to the Supreme Court in March by the Centre also testifies to the shortcomings of
the RPA’s disqualification clause. There are more than 3,800 criminal cases against 1,765 MPs and MLAs across the
country, of which 3,045 cases are pending, the affidavit noted.

Notwithstanding the compelling urgency to decriminalise politics, the SC has always been steadfast that its interventions
in the matter should not transgress the principles of separation of powers enshrined in the Constitution. At the same
time, it has been unequivocal that “voters have a right to know about the candidates contesting elections”. In 2002, in
Union of India Vs. Association for Democratic Reforms and Another, the court noted that such information should
comprise, “antecedents of the candidate’s life including whether he was involved in a criminal case and if the case is
decided”. The court’s ruling on Tuesday not only affirms such observations, it also underscores its dissatisfaction with the
RP Act. “The time has come for a law against criminalisation of politics. The nation eagerly waits for such legislation,” the
bench observed. The ball is now in the executive’s court.

Key words: 1. disqualify candidates, 2. criminalisation of politics 3. democracy 4. The Representation of the People Act (RPA)5.
jail term 6. Law Commission 6. separation of powers

Q20. How will Home Ministry’s proposal to establish “National Registry of Sexual Offenders” prevent and reduce
rampant growth of sex crimes including crimes against children? Give reasons.

Watch out The Indian Express | Polity & Governance


The Union Home Ministry has launched a National Registry of Sexual Offenders, which should be useful in limiting the
rampant growth of sex crimes, including those against children. India is the ninth country to build such a database, and it
has chosen to follow the majority in restricting access to law enforcement agencies. Only the US allows public access to its
database, and this is controversial. It is argued that public stigmatisation imposes excessive restrictions on housing
choices, the freedom of movement and social life, which disincentivises offenders who wish to reform and thereby

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increase repeat offences. India’s database, which includes names, addresses, photographs, fingerprints, DNA samples
and government ID, will be useful for tracking offenders after they have served their sentence, and would reduce repeat
offences.

An urgent need for such a system has been felt over the last decade, when the incidence of rape and other crimes against
women has increased sharply. The National Crime Records Bureau, which will administer the registry, has recorded a 12
per cent rise in the number of rapes in its latest data, for 2015-16. Crimes against children have assumed serious
proportions, and the government has responded with the Criminal Law Ordinance of 2018, which awards the death
penalty for those convicted of raping children below the age of 12. In addition, the violence associated with sexual
offences, as seen in the gangrapes in Kathua and Delhi, have assumed monstrous proportions.

The database is graded, retaining data on “low danger” offenders for 15 years, those offering “moderate danger” for 25
years, and habitual offenders for their lifetime. However, it remains to be seen how effectively threat perception is
evaluated in practice. It has been argued in the US and UK that a perception based on the heinousness of the last offence
is of little value, and periodic psychiatric evaluation, though expensive and difficult, may prove to be much more effective.
Fifteen or 25 years after the last conviction, the offender could be a completely changed person. Besides, there is an
argument for emulating the Canadian National Sex Offender Registry, which offers an opt-out option — after paying the
debt to society, offenders can be delisted if they convince a judge that they no longer present a threat. The Indian registry
of 4.4 lakh names is an excellent beginning. But it will be honed in service, to serve as an efficient tracker that does not
disincentivise reform.

Key words: 1. National Registry of Sexual Offenders, 2. public stigmatisation 3. Fingerprints 4. DNA samples 4. The National
Crime Records Bureau 5. Crimes against children 6. low danger 7. moderate danger

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Here, we are sharing case studies for self- practice. These


Case Studies case studies are drawn from various aspects of professional
and personal experiences, and are helpful for General
For mains Gs paper IV Studies- Paper IV.
Do practice them!

Case 1: Krishnan successfully cleared the prestigious civil services examination and was excited about the
opportunity that he would get through the civil services to serve the country. However, soon after joining the
services, he realized that things are not as rosy as he had imagined.
He found a number of malpractices prevailing in the department assigned to him. For example, funds under various
schemes and grants were being misappropriated. The official facilities were frequently being used for personal
needs by the officers and staff. After some time, he noticed that the process of recruiting the staff was also not up to
the mark. Prospective candidates were required to write an examination in which a lot of cheating was going on.
Some candidates were provided external help in the examination. Krishnan brought these incidents to the notice of
his seniors. However, he was advised to keep his eyes, ears and mouth shut and ignore all these things which were
taking place with the connivance of the higher-ups. Krishnan felt highly disillusioned and uncomfortable. He comes
to you seeking your advice.
Q. Indicate various options that you think are available in this situation. How would you help him to evaluate
these options and choose the most appropriate path to be adopted?

Case 2: You are now a retired police officer. During your service you were known for utmost honesty and integrity.
You were loved by the people wherever you served as an officer. Recently, you were diagnosed with a harmless
cancer, which if neglected would turn into malignant and life threatening one. You are advised to undergo surgery
immediately. In the hospital where you are undergoing treatment, an oncologist comes to know that you were the
person who had rescued his mother and him from being beaten to death by relatives over property issue, and later
given his mother job and enabled her to lead an independent life. Out of gratitude, he now wants to treat you
without charging a penny. He also tells you that he would waive all medical expenses. But, you do not agree with
this and tell him that you can manage the expenses. However, the oncologist insists and cures you of cancer free of
cost. He also tells you that he would regularly visit you and keep a track of your health.

Q. What values do you see in this case study? In your opinion, how these values can be inculcated in children?
Discuss.
Q. Will you ever return the medical expenses in some form to the oncologist? Justify why.

Case 3: You are working as an Executive Engineer in the construction cell of a Municipal Corporation and are
presently in-charge of the construction of a flyover. There are two Junior Engineers under you who have the
responsibility of day-to-day inspection of the site and are reporting to you, while you are finally reporting to the
Chief Engineer who heads the cell.

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Wh
hile the consstruction is heading
h tow
wards the co
ompletion, th
he Junior Engineers hav
ve been regu
ularly reportting that
all construction is taking place
p as per design speccifications. However,
H in one of yourr surprise insspections, you have
noticed some serious
s deviations and la
acunae whicch, in your opinion, are likely to affecct the safetyy of the flyovver.
Rectification off these lacun
nae at this sstage would require a su
ubstantial am
mount of de
emolition an
nd rework which will
use a tangib
cau ble loss to the
t contracttor and will also delay completion. There is a lot of pub lic pressure
e on the
Corporation to
o get this con
nstruction co
ompleted be
ecause of he
eavy traffic co
ongestion in
n the area.
hen you brought this ma
Wh atter to the notice of the Chief Engineer, he adv
vised you th
hat in his opiinion it is no
ot a very
serrious lapse and
a may be
e ignored. He
e advised fo
or further ex
xpediting the
e project for completion
n in time. H
However,
you
u are convinced that this was a serious matter which might affe
ect public safety
s and sshould not be left
unaddressed.

Q. What will you do in such


s a situattion? Some o
of the option
ns are given below.
Q. Evaluate the merits and
a demeritts of each off these optio
ons and finally suggest what
w course of action you would
like to take, giving reasons for it..

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