(The Gist of PIB) Draft
Copyright (Amendment) Rules, 2019 [JUNE-2019]
Draft Copyright (Amendment) Rules, 2019
The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Government
of India has now proposed to introduce the Copyright Amendment Rules, 2019.
Comments on the draft rules are invited till 29th June 2019.
The copyright regime is governed by the Copyright Act, 1957 and the
Copyright Rules,2013. The Copyright Rules,2013 were last amended in 2016
through the Copyright Amendment Rules, 2016.
To ensure smooth compliance of Copyright Act in the light of
technological advancement in digital era and to bring them in parity with
other relevant legislations.
Key highlights of the rules:
Rules 29 to 31 will be amended to include “each mode of broadcast” for
the words “radio broadcast or television broadcast”. Rules 29 to 31 deals
with Statutory license for broadcasting of literary and musical works and
Deletion of Rule 57 (3) and (4) which dealt with interim tariff fixed by
the Board being paid by a person appealing against the tariff scheme of a
society that has fallen due before filing of the appeal.
Royalties of authors / owners who cannot be identified to be kept for
It includes the requirement of having an Annual Transparency report
which the copyright society must draw up.
(The Gist of PIB) Jan
Shikshan Sansthans [JUNE-2019]
Jan Shikshan Sansthans
Union Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship announced that
Fee for SC/ST candidates, who join vocational training under Jan Shikshan
Sansthans (JSS) has been waived off.
Currently, there are 247 JSSs working across the country imparting
vocational skill training programmes and entrepreneurship benefits
accessible to the underprivileged such as neo-literates, semi-literates, SCs,
STs, women and girls, slum dwellers, migrant workers.
Formerly under the Ministry of Human Resources Development, Jan Shikshan
Sansthan has been transferred to the Ministry of Skill Development and
Entrepreneurship in 2018.
Key highlights of the New guidelines released for JSSs in January 2019:
Alignment of JSS course and curriculum to National Skill Qualification
Framework (NSQF) to standardize training.
Decentralization of powers for JSSs- giving more accountability and
independence to district administration.
Linking JSS to PFMS (Public Finance Management system) maintaining
transparency and accountability of the ecosystem.
Training of Trainers to develop the capacity through NSTIs (National
Skills Training Institutes).
(The Gist of PIB) Retired
Officers Digital Records Archive (RODRA) [JUNE-2019]
Retired Officers Digital Records
Manpower Planning (MP) Directorate, (MP 5 and 6) is responsible for
custody and maintenance of approximately 1.2 Lakh service records of serving
and retired officers of the Indian Army.
However, due to lack of digitisation and non-availability of latest
address and contact details of veterans, connecting with veteran
officers/family pensioners and addressing their grievances was a major
Aim of this initiative
To overcome the same a website Retired Officers Digital Records Archive
(RODRA, https://rodra.gov.in) was launched.
The aim was to establish an interface between the custodian of officers’
Records i.e AG/MP 5 and 6 and veteran officers/Next of Kin (NOK) and to
create a digital data repository in order to address documentation/pension
related grievances and update on relevant policies.
Some of the facilities extended to veterans through website are updation
Registration and tracking of documents/ pension related grievances.
Communicating with veteran officers/ NOK on various issues.
After the launch of RODRA website various types of Pension Payment Order
(PPOs) issued by PCDA (P) from time to time to veterans has now been
discontinued thereby saving of manpower, stationery and postal charges.
The PPOs are now uploaded on the website and veterans are able to
download it from the website.
Monitoring and management of grievances of veterans has been streamlined
thereby improving satisfaction levels.
Automation of the records of serving officers is also in progress.
An application has been developed and is being launched on the internal
Army Portal in Jun 2019.
This would facilitate serving officers to view their service and other
records online as well as interact with AG/MP 5 and 6 on various
Records/documentation related issues.
(The Gist of PIB) Finance
Commission hold meeting with representatives of Autonomous Development Councils
(ADCs) of Meghalaya [JUNE-2019]
Finance Commission hold meeting with
representatives of Autonomous Development Councils (ADCs) of Meghalaya
The 15th Finance Commission headed by its Chairman, Shri N.K. Singh as
part of its visit to the State of Meghalaya today held a meeting with the
representatives of the Autonomous Development Councils of Meghalaya.
There are 3 Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) in Meghalaya namely the
Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council, the Garo Hills Autonomous District
Council and the Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council.
Article 243M (1) of the Indian constitution made special provision that
nothing in the part IX of the constitutions (provisions for creating
Panchayat) shall apply to the Scheduled Areas referred to in clause (1), and
the tribal areas referred to in clause (2), of the Article 244.
The Sixth Schedule makes provision that these tribal areas will be
autonomous districts and be governed by Autonomous District Councils
The functions of ADCs as defined in schedule 6 of the constitution
making laws on land,
management of forests, except reserved forests,
appointment of traditional chiefs and headmen,
making rules regulating the inheritance of property, marriage, divorce,
constitution of village courts, to undertake development works like
constructions of roads, waterways etc.
Revenue Sources of ADCs
The main Revenue Sources of ADCs as specified by Paragraph 8 of the
Sixth Schedule were:
taxes on professions, trades, callings and employment;
taxes on animal, vehicles and boats;
taxes on the entry of goods into a market and sale therein, and tolls on
passenger and goods carried on ferries; and
taxes for the maintenance of school, dispensaries or roads.
Mains Paper 3:Economy
Prelims level: National E-Mobility Plan
Mains level: Infrastructure development in transport sector
The Supreme Court has sought response from centralgovernment on a
petition that was filed questioning theimplementation of National E-Mobility
Though batteries deliver 340 times lessenergy than gasoline, the
battery-run vehicles have anefficiency of nearly 85% compared to 20% of
gasoline-runengines. This means 85% energy can be used to run thewheels and
only 15% is lost as heat. Whereas in a gasolineengine only 20% energy of
gasoline makes it to the heels; theremaining 80% is lost as heat.
Crude Oil Imports:
Nearly 80% of India’s oil requirementcomes from its crude oil imports.
EVs reduce the need for oilimport.
Coal Sector Liberalisation:
India has recently liberalized itscoal sector by privatizing mining and
allowing FDI in Coalmining. Besides, recently India has ended its captive
miningregime accelerating the commercial mining of coal in India.
EVs can utilise this expansion in electricity production.
Safe and Clean Urban Mobility:
In the backdrop of 1stGlobal Mobility Summit, the PM identified the two
mostimportant challenges in urban India today are pollution andcongestion.
Rapid urbanization has increased India’stransport demand by almost 8 times
Besides according to WHO, there are 14 Indian cities amongthe top 15 most
polluted cities in the world.
Comprehensive Action Plan (CAP):
The SC appointed EPCAhas identified vehicular pollution as the main
reason forpollution in Delhi NCR.One of the steps recommended by EPCA under
CAP is introduction of battery operated vehicles in targetedsegments of
two-wheelers, three- wheelers and buses.
National E-Mobility Mission Plan:
National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) 2020 waslaunched in 2013
as a National Mission to provide thevision and the roadmap for the faster
adoption of electricvehicles and their manufacturing in India.
Under it, the government targeted to get at least six toseven million
electric vehicles on the road by 2020.
Further in a bid to go green, the government planned to goall-electric
in terms of new car sales in the country by theyear 2030. However, recently
this target was reduced to30%.
National E-mobility Programme aims to provide animpetus to the entire
e-mobility ecosystem that includeselectric vehicle manufacturers, charging
infrastructuredevelopment companies, fleet operators, serviceproviders, etc.
State-run Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) isresponsible for
procuring electric vehicles for theGovernment.
In August 2019, Ministry of Road Transport and Highwayshas set targets
for complete switch to electric vehicles in 2-wheeler and 3-wheeler segment:
2-wheeler segmentunder 150cc from April 2025, 3-wheeler segment fromApril
Accordingly, under the NEMMP the Department of HeavyIndustry formulated
a Scheme called Faster Adoption andManufacturing of (Hybrid and) Electric
Vehicles in India(FAME India) Scheme in the year 2015 to
promotemanufacturing of electric and hybrid vehicle technology.
The Phase-I of this Scheme was initially launched for aperiod of 2
years, commencing from 1st April 2015, whichwas subsequently extended from
time to time and the lastextension was allowed up to 31st March 2019.
The 1st Phase of FAME India Scheme was implementedthrough four focus
areas namely:Demand Creation,Technology Platform,Pilot Project andCharging
Market creation through demand incentives was aimed atincentivizing all
vehicle segments i.e. 2-Wheelers, 3-Wheelers Auto, Passenger 4-Wheeler
vehicles, LightCommercial Vehicles and Buses.
Under the NEMMP 2020, there is an ambitious target toachieve 6-7 million
sales of hybrid and electric vehicles bythe year 2020.
In February, 2019, the Union cabinet had approved theproposal for
implementation of Phase II of FAME Schemefor promotion of Electric Mobility
in the country. Thisscheme is the expanded version of the FAME -I.
Objectives of the scheme:
The main objective of the scheme is to encourage FasterAdoption of
Electric and Hybrid Vehicle by way of offeringupfront incentive on purchase
of Electric vehicles and alsoby way of establishing a necessary charging
Infrastructurefor electric vehicles.
Based on the experience gained in the Phase-I of FAMEIndia Scheme, it
has been observed that sufficient numberof charging infrastructure is
required to achieve expectedoutcome of the plan, which is being addressed
presently inPhase-II of FAME Scheme.
Department of Heavy Industry notified Phase-II of theScheme in March
2019 with an outlay of Rs. 10,000 Croresfor a period of 3 years commencing
from 1st April 2019.
The scheme will help in addressing the issue ofenvironmental pollution
and fuel security. Emphasis is onelectrification of the public
transportation that includesshared transport.
The scheme proposes for establishment of charginginfrastructure, whereby
about 2700 charging stations willbe established in metros, other million
plus cities, smartcities and cities of Hilly states across the country so
thatthere will be availability of at least one charging station in agrid of
3 km x 3 km.
Establishment of Charging stations arealso proposed on major highways
connecting major cityclusters.
Limitations of Li-ion batteries:
The complete fleet of EVscurrently is run on LiBs which poses a major
challenge forswitch to EVs.
LiBs are expensive, they are not suitable for long-distance travel, the
LiBs used in EVs are about 500 Kgs and makes up forbulk of the weight of the
LiBs use lithium, cobalt, nickel and manganese which arein short supply
in the world restricted to Bolivia, Chile.
Battery recycling: For this government has proposedbattery swapping
Possible Job losses: Besides EVs have lesser number ofmoving parts
(about 20 compared to 2000 in gasolinevehicles) in them as compared to
This isbecause of constant torque generated at all speeds. As aresult,
the transmission system, gearbox, clutch etc. arenot needed. This results in
loss of jobs in the MSME sectorin India which produces many of these auto
However, India needs auto industry's active participationto ease
electric mobility transition.
The auto and battery industries could collaborate toenhance customer
awareness, promote domesticmanufacturing, promote new business models,
conductR&D for EVs and components and must consider newbusiness models to
Government should focus on a phased manufacturing planto promote EVs,
provide fiscal and non-fiscal incentives forphased manufacturing of EVs and
Transformation to EVs will create enormous economic,social and
environmental benefits for the citizens of India.
Mizoram asks centre to review inter-state border with Assam
The Mizoram government has been making efforts to resolve
the long-pending boundary dispute with Assam and has asked the Centre to
review the inter-State border, the Assembly was informed on Monday.
In reply to a query by Congress legislature party leader
ZodintluangaRalte, Home Minister Lalchamliana said the State government had sent
a letter to the Union Home Ministry praying for a review of the border on
December 15 last year.
He said the government was making efforts to resolve the dispute
at Zophai area near Bairabi town along the State border with Assam.
The last border stand-off between the two States had taken place
at Zophai in March 2018 when members of a students’ body of Mizoram attempted to
construct a wooden resting shed there. The Assam police had resisted their bid
and many students were allegedly injured.
Mr.Lalchamliama said a core committee constituted by the State
government in May 2018 to study the boundary issue has collected some important
documents related to the border.
In July last year, Chief Minister Zoramthanga had said, without
elaborating, that his government had evolved a strategy to resolve the border
On that strategy, the Home Minister said in the Assembly on
Monday that it was not made public as that would not be “convenient”.Several
discussions held between the two States since 1995 to resolve the border dispute
have yielded little result.
KisanSammanNidhi to cover fewer farmers
One year after the launch of the
PradhanMantriKisanSammanNidhi, the Centre has revised the farmer income
support scheme’s beneficiary target down to just under 12 crore from 14
In fact, empirical evidence suggests that saturation level will
reach around 10 crore families. So far, almost 8.5 crore farmers have benefited.
The scheme, which gives land-owning farmer families an annual
sum of ₹6,000, was launched in the run-up to the 2019 LokSabha election, and new
registrations have slowed after the election.
The Centre’s beneficiary estimate of 14 crore was initially
based on the number of landholdings recorded in the agricultural land census.
The revised estimate of 11.97 crore is based on the 9.84 crore
who have registered themselves on the portal so far (although only 8.45 crore
have received money so far), plus an estimated 2.13 crore beneficiaries left
out, mostly from West Bengal and Bihar.
In Bihar, the potential beneficiaries number 158 lakh. However,
only 59.7 lakh farmers have uploaded their data on the PM-KISAN portal so far.
“The State has adopted a beneficiary application-based approach, which is
delaying identification and upload,” said the presentation.
RBI governor expresses concern over bank profitabilities
While the Indian banking sector may be slowly turning around
on the back of improvement in asset quality, its profitability remains
fragile, Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das said.
He also said that banks continued to face challenges like the
present crisis in the telecom sector.
He said the capital position of banks had improved on account of
recapitalisation of public sector banks by the government and capital raising
efforts by private sector banks.
According to Mr. Das, the overhang of non-performing assets (NPAs)
remains relatively high, which is weighing on credit growth.
On consolidation in public sector banks, he said a properly
worked out consolidation of PSBs can generate synergies in allocation of
workforce and branches.
On non-banking finance companies, he said, recognising the
systemic importance of such entities and their inter-linkages with the financial
system, the RBI had taken steps and the asset-liability management (ALM)
position and other aspects of top 50 NBFCs were being closely monitored,
covering all NBFCs with asset size above ₹5,000 crore.
Government sets target for more urbanised clusters in rural
Union Minister for Rural Development Narendra Singh Tomar
has said, after evaluating the success rate of Rurban Clusters scheme,
government is intending to move ahead to construct 1,000 more urbanized
clusters in rural areas.
Speaking at the of 4th Anniversary Celebration function of
Shyama Prasad MukherjiRurban Mission, SPMRM in New Delhi today, Mr Tomar said,
sense of mutual cooperation between people, who want urbanization in their rural
space and concerned ministry officials will be instrumental in ensuring the
success of the scheme.
On the occasion, the Minister launched GeoRurban, a mobile app
to be used for Geo-tagging for the assets in the rurban clusters.
AIR correspondent reports that this flagship scheme of Centre,
launched by Prime Minister NarendraModi on 21st February in 2016, aims at
transforming these Rurban clusters by stimulating local economic development,
enhancing basic services, and creating well planned Rurban clusters.
Prime Minister NarendraModi today hailed US President Donald
Trump's maiden visit to India as a new chapter in the historic Indo-US
The Prime Minister stated this while welcoming the US President
at the 'Namaste Trump' event held at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahemdabad in
Gujarat after President Trump's arrival on the first leg of his two-day trip.
Over one lakh people gathered at the stadium in Motera area to
witness the address of US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister NarendraModi
at the 'Namaste Trump' event.
The Prime Minister hailed the relationship between the two
countries.He said, India and the US is no longer just another partnership but a
far greater and closer relationship.
Prime Minister emphasized the democratic traditions of the two
nations as the basis for the strong relationship. He also referred to his close
friendship with President Trump and the cooperation between the two countries in
The Prime Minister said, India and the US relations and
cooperation will play an important role in deciding the course of the world in
the 21st century. Prime Minister Modi also hailed President Trump's leadership
in containing terrorism.
UNICEF survey shows sharp decline in child malnutrition in
The child malnutrition rate in Bangladesh has declined
sharply over the last six years. The finding was reported in the Multiple
Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) 2019, jointly conducted by the Bangladesh
Bureau of Statistics (BBS) and UNICEF. The survey has also recorded an
improvement in many other areas related to health and nutrition, Child
protection, hygiene and sanitation.
The rate of chronic malnutrition among children measured by the
stunting level among them has come down from 42 percent in 2013 to 28 percent in
2019. The percentage of underweight children below 5 also declined from about 32
percent to 22.6 percent over the same period. The infant mortality rate has also
declined from 46 to 34 per thousand live births between 2012-13 and 2019.
The survey reports that the percentage of children of school
entry age who enter the first grade of primary school marked a sharp upward
trend from 33 percent in 2012-13 to 61.4 in 2019.
The survey also records improvement in access to and use of
toilets, birth registration, ante-natal care coverage, institutional deliveries
and similar other parameters indicating an overall improvement in child and
mother health in the country.
However, the availability of Children’s books declined from 8.8
percent to 6.1 percent during this period. The incidence of violent disciplining
of children has shown an upward trend during this period.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
Sweden launches food planet prize for sustainable food
Sweden has created 1 million USD worth prizes to feed
billion of people. The prize is named as the “Food Planet Prize”.The main
aim of the step is to address the climate change threats towards food supply
all over the world.
The prize is to be awarded annually. Sweden is to offer two Food
Planet prizes. They are “an existing scalable solution for sustainable foods”
and theother includes “innovative initiatives to transform global food sector”.
Today, the world population is 7.8 billion and is expected to
grow by 10 billion by 2050. In order to feed such a huge population, it is
essential totransform the eating habits, reduce food waste and also improve food
Today there are more than 820 million people that lack
sufficient food. There are many others that consume low-quality diet. The data
was provided bythe LANCET publication. Therefore, the prize will encourage
people to work towards sustainable food production.
India to host commonwealth shooting and archery championships
India will host the Commonwealth Shooting and Archery
Championships in January 2022. The medals from the two events will be
counted for ranking of competing nations at the Birmingham Games. However,
the medals will be added to the final tally one week after the conclusion of
The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) announced this decision
after the three-day Executive Board meeting in London yesterday. The two events
will be held in Chandigarh in January 2022 while the Birmingham Commonwealth
Games is scheduled from 27th of July to 7th of August , 2022.
Mains Paper 2:Polity
Prelims level: Personal Data Protection (PDP) Bill 2019
Mains level: Pros and cons of the Personal Data Protection (PDP) Bill 2019
ThePersonal Data Protection (PDP) Bill, 2019 was referred to a joint
parliamentary committee, which is currently engaged in a process of public
The draft law is a comprehensive piece of legislation that seeks to give
individuals greater control over how their personal data is collected,
stored and used.
Once passed, the law promises a huge improvement on current Indian
privacy law, which is both inadequate and improperly enforced.
The PDP Bill, however, is not without its flaws. It has attracted
criticism on various grounds such as the exceptions created for the state,
the limited checks imposed on state surveillance, and regarding various
deficiencies in the structures and processes of the proposed Data Protection
Data localisation in draft Bill:
One of the more contentious issues in the law Bill are the provisions
pertaining to “data localisation”. The phrase, which can refer to any
restrictions on cross-border transfer of data (for instance, requirements to
seek permission for transfer, the imposition of taxes for foreign transfers
of data, etc.), has largely come to refer to the need to physically locate
data within the country.
The PDP Bill enables the transfer of personal data outside India, with
the sub-category of sensitive personal data having to be mirrored in the
country (i.e. a copy will have to be kept in the country). Data
processing/collecting entities will however be barred from transferring
critical personal data (a category that the government can notify at a
subsequent stage) outside the country.
These provisions have been changed from the earlier version of the draft
Bill, released by the Justice Srikrishna Committee in 2018. The 2018 draft
imposed more stringent measures that required both personal and sensitive
personal data to be mirrored in the country (subject to different
Need to liberalise the bill:
Liberalised requirements will limit costs to business and ensure users
have greater flexibility in choosing where to store their data.
Prima facie, the changes in the 2019 draft reflect a more proportionate
approach to the issue as they implement a tiered system for cross-border
data transfer, ostensibly based on the sensitivity/vulnerability of the
Purpose of localisation:
There are broadly three sets of arguments advanced in favour of imposing
stringent data localisation norms: Sovereignty and government functions;
referring to the need to recognise Indian data as a resource to be used to
further national interest (economically and strategically), and to enable
enforcement of Indian law and state functions.
The second claim is that economic benefits will accrue to local industry
in terms of creating local infrastructure, employment and contributions to
the AI ecosystem.
Finally, regarding the protection of civil liberties, the argument is
that local hosting of data will enhance its privacy and security by ensuring
Indian law applies to the data and users can access local remedies.
If data protection was required for these purposes, it would make sense
to ensure that local copies were retained of all the categories of personal
data provided for in the Bill (as was the case with the previous draft of
In the alternative, sectoral obligations would also suffice (as is
currently the case with sectors such as digital payments data, certain types
of telecom data, government data, etc.).
Protecting user privacy?
In a 2018 working paper published by the National Institute of Public
Finance and Policy, we pointed at the fallacies in the assumption that data
localisation will necessarily lead to better privacy protections.
We note that the security of data is determined more by the technical
measures, skills, cybersecurity protocols, etc. put in place rather than its
mere location. Localisation may make it easier for domestic surveillance
However, it may also enable the better exercise of privacy rights by
Indian citizens against any form of unauthorised access to data, including
by foreign intelligence.
Overall, the degree of protection afforded to data will depend on the
effectiveness of the applicable data protection regime.
Further, the extra-territorial application of the PDP Bill also ensures
that the data protection obligations under the law continue to exist even if
the data is transferred outside the country.
If privacy protection is the real consideration, individuals ought to be
able to choose to store their data in any location which afford them the
strongest privacy protections.
It becomes important for the joint parliamentary committee currently
examining the Bill to conduct a more in-depth evaluation of the localisation
provisions in the law.
The joint parliamentary committee ought to, ideally, identify the need,
purpose and practicality of putting in place even the (relatively liberal)
measures contained in the PDP Bill.
In order for localisation-related norms to bear fruit, either in terms
of protecting citizen rights, enabling law enforcement access to data or
enabling development of the local economy, there has to be broader thinking
at the policy level.
This may include for instance, reforming surveillance related laws,
entering into more detailed and up-to-date mutual legal assistance treaties,
enabling the development of sufficient digital infrastructure, and creating
appropriate data-sharing policies that preserve privacy and other third
party rights, while enabling data to be used for socially useful purposes.
Dual citizenship: on regularising stay
of Sri Lankan refugees (The Hindu)
Mains Paper 2:Polity
Prelims level: Citizenship
Mains level: Granting citizenship status to Sri Lankan refugees
The contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, has again triggered
an ill-advised demand for dual citizenship to Tamil refugees from Sri Lanka.
This refuses to leave public discourse despite the constitutional and
legal position being clearly against the grant of dual citizenship per se.
As on date, no Indian citizen holds the citizenship of any other
The Centre amended the Citizenship Act in 2003 to introduce the Overseas
Citizens of India (OCI) scheme for sections of the Indian diaspora, all it
provided was a limited version of ‘dual citizenship’ which came without
political rights and with a bar on purchase of agricultural land.
It would defy logic, then, to seek dual citizenship for those who are
not Indian nationals.
Steps taken by the government:
The Centre has consistently favoured voluntary repatriation of refugees
to Sri Lanka.
New Delhiis not in a mood to confer Indian citizenship on them.
Although the Central and State governments do a lot to make the
refugees’ stay comfortable, most of them are regarded as illegal migrants,
as they arrived with no valid travel documents.
In the run-up to the 2016 Assembly elections, the then Tamil Nadu Chief
Minister, Jayalalithaa, flagged the issue of dual citizenship. Since then,
representations have been made regularly to the Centre. Governor Banwarilal
Purohit too referred to the demand in his Assembly address last month.
Not permitted dual citizenship concept:
Earlier this month, the government told the Rajya Sabha that neither the
Constitution nor the CAA permitted dual citizenship. This ought to put an
end to the debate, which will otherwise create false expectations among the
The need to treat the refugees in a humane manner and in the absence of
a law on refugees, the Centre should stop seeing Sri Lankan refugees as
“illegal migrants”; they entered India with the knowledge and approval of
As for those who wish to remain in India for studies or to earn a
livelihood, the authorities should tweak the OCI Cardholder scheme or offer
an exclusive long-term visa.
The stay of 95,000-odd refugees in Tamil Nadu will be regularised.
As for those keen on returning home but are unable to do so for want of
support from Sri Lanka, New Delhi should lean on Colombo to help enable
their early return.
Besides, the two countries should formulate a scheme of structured
assistance to expedite voluntary repatriation, which is moving at a snail’s
pace even a decade after the civil war ended.
These steps can lead to a lasting resolution of issues concerning those
who have been in India for over 30 years.
The unassailable keywords for the
judiciary (The Hindu)
Mains Paper 2:Polity
Prelims level: International Judicial Conference 2020
Mains level: Judiciary and its independency
Justice Arun Mishra’s public praise of the Prime Minister at a public
forum raises serious questions about the independence of the judiciary.
He was speaking at the inaugural session of the International Judicial
Conference 2020, ‘Judiciary and the Changing World’.
The international judicial community must have been left aghast as far
as the very independence of the Indian judiciary is concerned. Judges across
India must be left bewildered wondering whether they should indulge in
similar praises or not.
One cannot forget that Justice Mishra is one of the seniormost judgesof
the Supreme Court of India and every word spoken by him may be taken
seriously by those connected with the administration of justice.
In a 1981 judgment, the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court held
that, Judges should be stern stuff and tough fire, unbending before power,
economic or political, and they must uphold the core principle of the rule
of law which says: ‘Be you ever so high, the law is above you.’.
This is the principle of independence of the judiciary which is vital
for the establishment of real participatory democracy, maintenance of the
rule of law as a dynamic concept and delivery of social justice to the
vulnerable sections of the community.
It is this principle of independence of the judiciary which we must keep
in mind while interpreting the relevant provisions of the Constitution.
Standard of conduct:
Among the several attributes that have been prescribed of a judge is
“proper personal conduct”.
It was also declared, “The Judges of higher echelons, therefore, should
not be mere men of clay with all the frailties and foibles, human failings
and weak character which may be found in those in other walks of life. They
should be men of fighting faith with tough fibre not susceptible to any
pressure, economic, political or any sort.”.
It concluded, “In short, the behaviour of the Judge is the bastion for
the people to reap the fruits of the democracy, liberty and justice and the
antithesis rocks the bottom of the rule of law.”
One thing is clear, the judiciary is fast eroding the hopes and
aspirations of great men and women who sat in the Constituent Assembly
debating and giving us the great document, the Constitution of India.
Any correction, if at all, must come from within the judiciary.
Mains Paper 1:Art and Culture
Prelims level: Historical Gastronomica
Mains level: Key findings about food habits in Harappan Era
The National Museum in New Delhi has decided to keep meat out of the
‘Historical Gastronomica’ event that it is hosting on its premises until
February 25, allegedly after “a couple of MPs” reacted to the menu posted
online by the Ministry of Culture.
Food of Harappans:
The event, presented by the Museum along with One Station Million
Stories (OSMS), claims to treat visitors to “The Indus dining experience”
through a “specially crafted menu that strictly includes ingredients that
were identified by archaeologists and researchers from sites of the Indus-Saraswati
However, archaeological evidence from Indus Valley sites (c. 3300 BC to
1300 BC) in present-day India and Pakistan suggests that a purely vegetarian
meal will not provide a complete picture of what the Harappan people ate.
Apart from meat, the people of the Indus Valley Civilisation grew and
ate a variety of cereals and pulses. There is archaeological evidence for
cultivation of pea (matar), chickpea (chana), pigeon pea (tur/arhar), horse
gram (chana dal) and green gram (moong).
Several varieties of wheat have been found at Harappan sites, as well as
barley of the two-rowed and six-rowed kinds. There is evidence that the
Harappans cultivated Italian millet, ragi and amaranth, as well as sorghum
Food made with many of these ingredients finds a place in the menu
curated by OSMS. There are rotis made of millet and saktu (barley meal), and
dishes like boiled lentil stew, barley griddle cakes, fermented vine or
spinach leaves stuffed with millet, chickpeas and moong, puffed rice tossed
and flaxseed tossed with honey, barley bread, brown sesame seed and jaggery
laddu, and a drink made of saktu.
Condiments use ingredients that have been identified at Indus Valley
sites: chickpea and black pepper chutney, cucumber and cumin pickle with
sesame oil, mustard greens and sesame oil chutney, and jaggery and cinnamon
A history of taste:
The menu at ‘Historical Gastronomica’ suggests that the food of the
Indus Valley people would be familiar to many Indians today, even as it
challenges the idea of an essentially “Indian” culinary culture.
Many of our staples today — potatoes, tomatoes, chillies, leavened
bread, cheese, apples — came to India from other parts of the world.
The people of the Indus Valley, as well as those of ancient and most of
medieval India, for example, would not have known what to with a potato or a
At the same time, much of what was once eaten by our ancestors has been
taken off our plates over time, thanks to cultural and economic forces.
Among these foods are a number of animals that were once hunted or reared in
To seek to understand what was once eaten on this land may be a worthy
quest, but to try and tailor it to suit a modern perspective on history is a
task with many pitfalls.
Mains Paper 3:Environment
Prelims level: Mhadei
Mains level: Human animal conflict and resolve the issues related to it
The death of four tigers in Mhadei, Goa, and the reported arrest of the
locals who poisoned the animals after their complaints were not attended to
in a way it should have been.
Pramod Sawant, the chief minister of Goa, reportedly said that, “we will
demarcate and fence the borders of the wildlife sanctuaries” in order to end
80 per cent of the problem. Although the intentions are good, this isn’t a
solution. Tigers do not understand boundaries made for administrative
purposes. What happens when a tiger goes “outside” and kills cattle?
India in wildlife conservation:
India is a unique country with respect to wildlife conservation. Despite
a billion people we still have most of our large wildlife species. Compared
to relatively lower human density countries in south-east Asia.
India today has the largest population of the tiger, Asian elephant,
leopard, sloth bear, gaur and many others: These animals cannot be
restricted to inside a few hundred kilometres of protected areas.
Tigers need large spaces because they are large animals. Because we
cannot create large spaces without humans in India, wildlife does not have a
choice but to also use human-use landscapes.
The compensation procedures need to be improved. The communication and
interaction between the forest department and the locals has to be improved.
Inclusive development with a long-term vision that cares for the
environment. It is about better public services in terms of transparency,
accountability and genuine assistance.
After all, we are talking about communities who need to be custodians of
the tigers and tigers who can, in turn, provide the communities much-needed
development in remote areas.
(The Gist of PIB) Swachh
Bharat Mission impact on Groundwater [JUNE-2019]
Swachh Bharat Mission impact on
Union Minister for Jal Shakti Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat has said
that Swachhata affects all aspects of the environment – be it groundwater,
surface water, soil or air – as well as health and well-being of the
communities in ODF regions.
Praising the Swachh Bharat Mission for bringing a reduction in
ground water contamination, he said, the WHO 2018 study had estimated that
the Swachh Bharat Mission will save over 3 lakh lives by the time India is
Open Defacation Free.
Releasing two independent third-party studies conducted on the Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen), the Minister said, the Mission will
continue to positively impact people’s lives for a long time to come.
These studies, commissioned by UNICEF and the Bill and Melinda
Gates, were aimed at assessing the environmental impact and communication
footprint of the Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) respectively.
The full reports as well as the summary reports of both the studies
can be downloaded from mdws.gov.in and sbm.gov.in.
Summary of the study findings
Environmental Impact study by UNICEF
The study found that, in terms of faecal contamination, non-ODF
villages were, on average:
11.25 times more likely to have their groundwater sources
contaminated (12.7 times more from contaminants traceable to humans alone)
1.13 times more likely to have their soil contaminated
1.48 times more likely to have food contaminated and 2.68 times more
likely to have household drinking water contaminated.
The study findings indicated that these substantial reductions may
potentially be attributed to the improvement in sanitation and hygiene
practices, as well as supportive systems such as regular monitoring and behaviour change messaging, which have all been critical aspects of the
Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen).
IEC footprint study by Gates Foundation
SBM mobilized a spend equivalent worth INR 22,000 to 26,000 crores
in monetary and non-monetary IEC activities.
Of this spend equivalent, cash expenditure on IEC activities spent
by the Government, private sector, and the development community was
estimated to be between INR 3,500 – 4,000 crores.
Of this cash spend, ~20% (~INR 800 crores) was spent by the Ministry
of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MDWS), ~35% (~INR 1,250 crores) by the
State Sanitation Departments, ~25% (~INR 1,000 crores) by other government
ministries, and the other ~20% by the private sector (CSR and business
expenditures) and the development sector collectively.
An average person living in rural India was exposed to between 2,500
– 3,300 SBM related messages over the last five years.
(The Gist of PIB) ACC
approves extension in service to Shri P. K. Sinha as Cabinet Secretary for three
ACC approves extension in service to
Shri P. K. Sinha as Cabinet Secretary for three months
(d) The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved
extension in service to Pradeep Kumar Sinha, IAS as Cabinet Secretary for a
further period of three months beyond 12.06.2019 or until further orders,
whichever is earlier.
(d) The Cabinet Secretariat functions directly under the Prime Minister.
(d) The administrative head of the Secretariat is the Cabinet Secretary
who is also the ex-officio Chairman of the Civil Services Board.
(d) The business allocated to Cabinet Secretariat under Government of
India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961 includes: (i) Secretarial
assistance to the Cabinet and Cabinet Committees; and (ii) Rules of
(d) The Cabinet Secretariat is responsible for the administration of the
Government of India (Transaction of Business) Rules, 1961 and Government of
India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961 facilitating smooth transaction
of business in Ministries/ Departments.
(d) The Secretariat assists in decision-making in Government by ensuring
Inter-Ministerial coordination, ironing out differences amongst
Ministries/Departments and evolving consensus.
(d) Management of major crisis situations in the country is also one of
the functions of the Cabinet Secretariat.
(The Gist of PIB) World
Food Safety Day [JUNE-2019]
World Food Safety Day
(d) Union Minister of Health launched various initiatives on the
occasion of first-ever World Food Safety Day.
State Food Safety Index (SFSI):
(d) In an effort to motivate states to work towards ensuring safe food
for citizens, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has
developed the first State Food Safety Index (SFSI) to measure the
performance of States on five parameters of food safety.
(d) The categories included Human Resources and Institutional
Arrangements, Compliance, Food Testing- Infrastructure and Surveillance,
Training and Capacity Building and Consumer Empowerment.
(d) It is an hand-held battery operated device which performs rapid
detection (in less than 1 minute) of economically driven adulteration in
edible oils, fats and ghee.
(d) The equipment tests more than 250 samples per battery charge,
collects and stores data on the cloud using a smart device.
Food Safety Magic Box:
(d) it is an innovative solution to take food safety to schools. This
do-it-yourself food testing kit comprises a manual and equipment to check
for food adulterants, which schoolchildren can use in their classroom
Eat Right Awards:
(d) FSSAI has instituted the ‘Eat Right Awards’ to recognize the
contribution of food companies and individuals to empower citizens to choose
safe and healthy food options, which would help improve their health and
(The Gist of PIB)
Future roadmap for Food Corporation of India (FCI) [JUNE-2019]
Future roadmap for Food Corporation of
(d) Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution
laid down the future roadmap for Food Corporation of India (FCI).
(d) Primacy will be given to ensuring that the functioning of FCI is
streamlined and fast paced as per recommendations of the Shanta Kumar
(d) 100 lakh ton silo storage capacity will be created in the country.
For this, RITES has been assigned the task of changing the silo model and
they will give their recommendations in 90 days to FCI.
(d) At present, there are 3 types of labourers in FCI namely
Departmental, Daily Payment System (DPS) and No work no pay workers along
with contractual labour.
(d) Government of India is deliberating to finish the 3 different
arrangements and bring all workers of FCI under a single, uniform system
which will bring stability of tenure and secured wages for all.
(d) To improve the usage of Information Technology in FCI, a Human
Resource Management System (HRMS) will be implemented, the work for which
will begin in August, 2019 and will be completed by August 2020.
(d) This move will benefit 22,000 employees in 196 offices of FCI.