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Insights Daily Current Affairs + PIB: 14 September 2019

Insights Daily Current Affairs + PIB: 14 September 2019

Table of contents:

GS Paper 2:

  1. Uniform Civil Code.
  2. Jan Soochna Portal-2019.
  3. Community Radio Stations.


GS Paper 3:

  1. Scientific Social Responsibility (SSR) Policy.
  2. Groundwater crisis.


Facts for prelims:

  1. Hindi Diwas.
  2. Bamboonomics.


GS Paper 2:

Topics covered:

  1. Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.


Uniform Civil Code


What to study?

For Prelims: Constitutional provisions related to Uniform Civil Code.

For Mains: UCC- need, concerns, challenges and is it suitable for India?


Context: Government has failed to bring in Uniform Civil Code, says Supreme Court.


What is uniform civil code?

A generic set of governing laws for every citizen without taking into consideration the religion.


What the constitution says?

Article 44 of the Constitution says that there should be a Uniform Civil Code. According to this article, “The State shall endeavor to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India”. Since the Directive Principles are only guidelines, it is not mandatory to use them.


India needs a Uniform Civil Code for the following reasons:

  1. A secular republic needs a common law for all citizens rather than differentiated rules based on religious practices.
  2. Another reason why a uniform civil code is needed is gender justice. The rights of women are usually limited under religious law, be it Hindu or Muslim. The practice of triple talaq is a classic example.
  3. Many practices governed by religious tradition are at odds with the fundamental rights guaranteed in the Indian Constitution.
  4. Courts have also often said in their judgements that the government should move towards a uniform civil code including the judgement in the Shah Bano case.


Why is UCC is not desirable at this point?

  1. Secularism cannot contradict the plurality prevalent in the country. Besides, cultural diversity cannot be compromised to the extent that our urge for uniformity itself becomes a reason for threat to the territorial integrity of the nation.
  2. The term ‘secularism’ has meaning only if it assures the expression of any form of difference. This diversity, both religious and regional, should not get subsumed under the louder voice of the majority. At the same time, discriminatory practices within a religion should not hide behind the cloak of that faith to gain legitimacy.


What is needed now?

Need of the hour is the codification of all personal laws so that prejudices and stereotypes in every one of them would come to light and can be tested on the anvil of fundamental rights of the Constitution. By codification of different personal laws, one can arrive at certain universal principles that prioritise equity rather than imposition of a Uniform Code, which would discourage many from using the law altogether, given that matters of marriage and divorce can also be settled extra-judicially.


Sources: the Hindu.


Topics Covered:

Transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.


Jan Soochna Portal-2019:


What to study?

For Prelims and mains: Key features and significance of the portal.


What is it? It is the first-ever public information portal launched in Rajasthan.

Aim: To provide information about government authorities and departments suo motu to the public in the true spirit of the Right To Information Act.



The portal would ensure compliance with Section 4(2) of the RTI Act mandating the public authorities to disclose information in the public domain, so that the people need not file applications under the law to obtain information


Sources: the Hindu.

Topics Covered:

  1. Transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.


Community Radio Stations


What to study?

For Prelims: What are Community radio stations.

For Mains: Significance of community radio stations and challenges faced by them.


Context: 118 new Community Radio Stations to be set-up.


What are CRS?

Community Radios are small (low power) FM radio stations with a coverage area of around 10-15 Km radius, depending on the geography of the area.

CRS play a significant role in dissemination of agriculture related information, government schemes for people’s welfare, weather forecast etc.

Today, there are more than 180 community radio stations across India, broadcasting in languages like Bundelkhandi, Garhwali, Awadhi and Santhali — tongues that typically find little or no space on television.


Challenges to the Community Radio:

  1. Lack of journalistic and technical skills and thus a consistent demand for training.
  2. Community Radio derives its strength and popularity from community participation. In practise participation is harder than it seems, because it is labour intensive, requires the right attitude, skills and mobile equipment.
  3. Without proper management skills, as well as some knowledge of financial management and income generation, it is very hard for Community Radio to survive without donor funding.
  4. Community Radio is by definition relatively small and often situated in locations where basic services, like a constant supply of electricity, are lacking. Due to these conditions equipment suffers and needs to be vigorously maintained and/or regularly replaced.
  5. Absence of a clear regulatory framework in which Community Radio operates.


Eligibility to apply for a Community Radio Station:

As per the 2006 policy of the Government, an organisation desirous of operating a Community Radio Station (CRS) must be able to satisfy and adhere to the following principles:

  1. It should be explicitly constituted as a ‘non-profit’ organisation and should have a proven record of at least three years of service to the local community.
  2. The Community Radio Station should serve a specific well-defined local community.
  3. The ownership and management structure should be such that it reflects the community which it serves.
  4. It should only broadcast programmes that cater to the educational, developmental, social and cultural needs of the community.
  5. The organization must be a Legal Entity. it should be registered (under the registration of Societies Act or any other such act relevant to the purpose).


Regarding the content, the two important provisions made are as follows:

  1. At least 50% of content shall be generated with the participation of the local community, for which the station has been set up.
  2. Programmes should preferably be in the local language and dialect(s).

The CRS license thus given by the government entitled them to operate a 100-watt (Effective Radiated Power) radio station, with a coverage area of approximately a 12-km radius. A maximum antenna height of 30 meters is allowed.


Sources: the Hindu.


GS Paper 3:

Topics Covered:

Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.


Scientific Social Responsibility (SSR) Policy


What to study?

For Prelims: Key features of the draft policy.

For Mains: Need for and significance of the policy.


Context: India is going to be possibly the first country in the world to implement a Scientific Social Responsibility (SSR) Policy on the lines of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). A draft of the new policy has been made available by the Department of Science and Technology (DST).



  1. To encourage science and technology (S&T) institutions and individual scientists in the country to proactively engage in science outreach activities to connect science with the society. 
  2. To harness latent potential of the scientific community for strengthening linkages between science and society, and for making S&T ecosystem vibrant.
  3. To develop a mechanism for ensuring access to scientific knowledge, transferring benefits of science to meet societal needs, promoting collaborations to identify problems and develop solutions.


Highlights of the draft:

  1. Under the proposed policy, individual scientists or knowledge workers will be required to devote at least 10 person-days of SSR per year for exchanging scientific knowledge to society.
  2. It also recognises the need to provide incentives for outreach activities with necessary budgetary support.
  3. It has also been proposed to give credit to knowledge workers/scientists for individual SSR activities in their annual performance appraisal and evaluation.
  4. No institution would be allowed to outsource or sub-contract their SSR activities and projects.
  5. The draft defines SSR as “the ethical obligation of knowledge workers in all fields of science and technology to voluntarily contribute their knowledge and resources to the widest spectrum of stakeholders in society, in a spirit of service and conscious reciprocity”.
  6. A central agency will be established at DST to implement the SSR. Other ministries would also be encouraged to make their own plans to implement SSR as per their mandate.


Need for SSR:

When most research is being done by using taxpayers’ money, the scientific establishment has an ethical obligation of “giving back” to the society. SSR is not only about scientific impact upon society but also about the social impact upon science. SSR would therefore strengthen the knowledge ecosystem and bring efficiencies in harnessing science for the benefit of society.


Sources: Down to Earth.


Topics Covered:

  1. Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.


Groundwater crisis


What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: Groundwater crisis- causes, extent, concerns, challenges and measures by govt to save groundwater.


Context: Expressing concern over depleting groundwater levels, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has set up a committee to formulate steps required to prevent illegal extraction of groundwater.


Why conserve groundwater?

  • Groundwater reserves are already under pressure as the global population explodes and crop production rises in lockstep.
  • Extreme weather events such as drought and record rainfall — have both made worse by our heating planet — could have another long-lasting impact on how quickly reserves replenish.
  • Only half of all groundwater supplies are likely to fully replenish or re-balance within the next 100 years — potentially leading to shortages in drier areas. 
  • The process through which rainwater is filtered through bedrock and accumulated underground can take centuries and varies greatly by region.
  • As climate change delivers longer droughts and bigger superstorms, the extremes of rainfall become more pronounced, impacting groundwater reserves for generations to come.


Situation of groundwater in India:

Today, India is the largest user of the groundwater in the world with almost 90% being used for drinking water and almost 60-70% for irrigation. Current statistics also show that nearly 50% of urban water supply comes from groundwater. India is on the threshold of a very serious groundwater crisis, which needs mitigation both in the fields and at the policy corridors of the country.


Need of the hour:

There is a need to modernise the regulatory framework for accessing groundwater soon after massive expansion in mechanical pumping led to the realisation that recharge could not keep pace with use.


Sources: the hindu.


Facts for prelims:


Hindi Diwas 2019:

Context: National Hindi Divas or Hindi Day is observed every year on September 14.

Objective: The day is a celebration of the Hindi language and its cultural heritage and values among the people of the country and abroad.

Why do we celebrate National Hindi Diwas?

The Constituent assembly of India adopted Hindi as the official language of the country on September 14, 1949 under Article 343.

Hindi is the fourth language of the world.



It is a movement to combat desertification and climate change which will involve the tribal community of India since they have the expertise in this field.

The movement will ensure that tribals can earn a livelihood without causing environmental harm.

It was launched at the COP 14 of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).