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Insights Daily Current Affairs + PIB Summary 11 December 2019


Table of contents:

GS Paper 1:

  1. Maharaja Surajmal and the third battle of panipat.

GS Paper 2:

  1. Land Boundary Agreement (LBA).

  2. Data on Extent and Pattern of Substance Use.

  3. Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana.

  4. Skills Build Platform.


GS Paper 1:


Topics covered:

  1. Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

Maharaja Surajmal and the third battle of panipat


What to study?

For Prelims and mains: Battles that took place in panipat- overview, causes and outcomes, who was Maharaja Surajmal?

Context: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has urged the Censor Board to take note of allegations that Ashutosh Gowariker’s film, Panipat, had wrongly portrayed Maharaja Surajmal.

What’s the issue?

In the film, Maharaja Surajmal of Bharatpur is reportedly shown as having denied help to the Maratha army, one of the factors leading to the Marathas’ eventual defeat. The film is based on the Third Battle of Panipat.

Members of the Jat community have protested against the film and several theatres in Rajasthan have decided not to screen the film.

Maharaja Surajmal

Who is Maharaja Surajmal?

Born in 1707 in the kingdom of Bharatpur, Rajasthan, he ruled in the 18th century and was the son of the Jat chieftain Badan Singh.

He is described as “a strong leader who harried the Mughal empire in the anarchic period of its decline, consolidated the kingdom with its capital at Bharatpur and used the resources gained to build forts and palaces.

Some of the importants monuments include the palace at Deeg and the Bharatpur Fort”.

The third battle of panipat- what, why and how?

  • Fought between Maratha forces and invading armies of Afghan general Ahmed Shah Abdali of Durrani Empire in 1761.
  • Abdali was supported by two Indian allies—the Rohillas Najib-ud-daulah, Afghans of the Doab region and Shuja-ud-Daula-the Nawab of Awadh.

How it started?

After the death of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, there was a sudden rise of the Marathas and all his territorial gains in the Deccan were reversed and a considerable part of India was conquered by Marathas.

Abdali planned to attack the Marathas when his son was driven out of Lahore.

Finally, the Marathas were defeated in the battle, with 40,000 of their troops killed, while Abdali’s army is estimated to have suffered around 20,000 casualties.

Impact and outcomes:

It marked a loss of prestige for the Marathas, who lost their preeminent position in north India after this war, paving the way for British colonial power to expand here.

The Marathas lost some of their most important generals and administrators, including Sadashivrao and heir-apparent Vishwasrao of the Peshwa household, Ibrahim Khan Gardi, Jankojirao Scindia, and Yashwantrao Puar.

Additional facts- Other major battles fought at Panipat:

  1. The First Battle of Panipat, in 1526:

Fought between Babur and Ibrahim Lodhi. It laid the foundation of the Mughal Empire in India.

  1. The Second Battle of Panipat, in 1556.

Fought between Hemu ‘Vikramaditya’ and Akbar. It cemented Mughal rule.


Sources: Indian Express.


GS Paper 2:

Topics Covered:

Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.


Land Boundary Agreement (LBA)

What to study?

For Prelims: What is LBA?

For Mains: Issues and concerns involved, review of its implementation.


Context: More than four years after the historic Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) between India and Bangladesh, a report released by civil rights organisations on the situation in erstwhile enclaves states that protest and resistance have become an essential part of their survival in India.

What’s the issue now?

  • The situation has not improved. There are marked continuities in the problems that existed in the pre-LBA years, although the nature and context of the problems have perceptibly changed.
  • On India’s part, the spotlight has now shifted from the identity crisis faced by erstwhile enclave dwellers in the pre-LBA situation, to issues of poor governance, as well as conflict of interest between the Centre and the state in the post-LBA years.


What are the concerns?

The intractable discord regarding the implementation of the measures as promised to the new citizens, coupled with lack of coordination between the Centre and the state in India, has apparently transformed the enclaves into hotbeds of local politics.

About the Land boundary agreement:

Under the Land Boundary Agreement between, the Bangladeshi enclaves in India and Indian enclaves in Bangladesh were transferred on July 31, 2015.

The agreement involved handing over 17,000 acres of land to Bangladesh in return for 7,000 acres in 162 enclaves in West Bengal, Assam, Tripura and Meghalaya.

It also required an amendment to the Constitution (the 119th amendment).

Sources: the Hindu.


Topics Covered:

  1. Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.


Data on Extent and Pattern of Substance Use


What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: The problem of drug and substance abuse in the country- concerns, challenges and need for a robust policy.

Context: The National Crime Record Bureau under the Ministry of Home Affairs has informed that a total number of 874, 750 and 778 people have died during 2014, 2015 and 2016 respectively due to drug overdose in the country.


The national survey was conducted to generate estimates for eight categories of psychoactive substances: Alcohol, Cannabis, Opioids, Cocaine, Amphetamine Type Stimulants (ATS), Sedatives, Inhalants and Hallucinogens.

Extant of Drug and substance abuse in India- survey findings:

  • India is home to six crore alcohol addicts, more than the population of 172 world nations including Italy.
  • Alcoholism is a condition that requires medical attention, but unfortunately only less than 3% of the people with drinking problem get any treatment.
  • Addictions: More than 3.1 crore Indians (2.8%) have reported using cannabis products, Bhang, Ganja, Charas, Heroin and Opium, in last one year. Unfortunately only one in 20 drug addicts gets treatment at a hospital.
  • Country liquor accounts for 30% of the total liquor consumption, and Indian made foreign liquor also account for the same amount.
  • In Punjab and Sikkim, the prevalence of cannabis use disorders is considerably higher (more than thrice) than the national average.
  • At the national level, Heroin is most commonly used substance followed by pharmaceutical opioids, followed by opium (Afeem).
  • Less than 1% or nearly 1.18 crore people use sedatives, non medical or non prescription use. However, what is more worrying that its prevalence is high among children and adolescents. This problem of addiction of children is more prevalent in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Delhi and Haryana.

What has the government done in this regard?

  1. It constituted Narco-Coordination Centre (NCORD)in November, 2016 and revived the scheme of “Financial Assistance to States for Narcotics Control”.
  2. In 2017, the government approved new Reward Guidelines with increased quantum of reward for interdiction or seizure of different illicit drugs.
  3. For effective coordination with foreign countries, India has signed 37 Bilateral Agreements/Memoranda of Understanding.
  4. Narcotics Control Bureau has been provided funds for developing a new software i.e. Seizure Information Management System (SIMS) which will create a complete online database of drug offences and offenders.
  5. The government has constituted a fund called “National Fund for Control of Drug Abuse”to meet the expenditure incurred in connection with combating illicit traffic in Narcotic Drugs; rehabilitating addicts, and educating public against drug abuse, etc.
  6. The government is also conducting National Drug Abuse Survey to measure trends of drug abuse in India through Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment with the help of National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre of AIIMS.
  7. The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has drafted National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction (2018-2023)for addressing the problem of drug and substance abuse in the country, dumping a long-pending draft policy on the matter.

Sources: pib.


Topics Covered: Welfare schemes for the protection of vulnerable sections of the society.

Pib facts- Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana

What to study?

For Prelims: Key features of RVY and about ALIMCO.

For Mains: Significance of the programme and similar policies for the aid of old aged.


Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana:

Coverage: Senior Citizens, belonging to BPL category and suffering from any of the age-related disability/infirmity Low vision, Hearing impairment, Loss of teeth and Locomotor disability.

What assistance is provided? Assisted-living devices which can restore near normalcy in their bodily functions, overcoming the disability/infirmity manifested. They are free-of cost.

Funding: This is a Central Sector Scheme, fully funded by the Central Government. The expenditure for implementation of the scheme will be met from the “Senior Citizens’ Welfare Fund “.

Other key facts:

  • In case of multiple disabilities/infirmities manifested in the same person, the assistive devices will be given in respect of each disability/impairment.
  • Beneficiaries in each district will be identified by the State Governments/UT Administrations through a Committee chaired by the Deputy Commissioner/District Collector.
  • As far as possible, 30% of the beneficiaries in each district shall be women.

Need for the scheme:

With more than 70% of the 104 million elderly living in the rural hinterland, any serious initiative to improve the lot of senior citizens must incorporate adequate budgetary support for social welfare spending on the relevant programmes.

  • With the number of the elderly in India set to surge by 2050 to almost 300 million, or about a fifth of the population, governments need to make more comprehensive efforts to address the problems of elderly.

Sources: pib.


Topics Covered: 

  1. Development processes and the development industry the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders

Skills Build Platform

What to study?

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


Context: India is the 4th country where this Skills Build platform has been launched on 4th Nov’19.

About Skills Build Platform:

It is a digital platform developed by IBM enabling holistic learning and aligning it with Skills India initiative by Government of India.

Launched by Directorate General of Training (DGT), under the aegis of Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE).

As part of the programme, a two-year advanced diploma in IT, networking and cloud computing, co-created and designed by IBM, will be offered at the Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) & National Skill Training Institutes (NSTIs).

Significance of the programme:

  • The digital platform will provide a personal assessment of the cognitive capabilities and personality via MyInnerGenius to the students.
  • They will then learn foundational knowledge about digital technologies, as well as professional skills such as resume-writing, problem solving and communication.
  • Students will also receive recommendations on role-based education for specific jobs that include technical and professional learning.
  • This initiative is part of IBM’s global commitment to create a job-ready workforce and to build the next generation of skills needed for new collar careers.

Sources: pib.