Table of Contents:
GS Paper 1:
Facts for Prelims:
1. German court scraps ban on assisted suicide.
2. Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation (BEFR).
5. RAISE 2020.
6. Market Intelligence and Early Warning System (MIEWS) Web Portal.
GS Paper : 1
Topics Covered: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.
What to study?
For Prelims: Location of the town and excavations.
For Mains: Relevance and significance, challenges in conservation.
Centre is moving ahead with its plan to develop Rakhigarhi as a tourist hub and set up a museum.
As part of encroachment removal at the Rakhigarhi heritage site, 152 households are being shifted to flats.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced the government’s plan to fund five on-site museums, including the under-construction museum initiated by the Haryana government at Rakhigarhi, in her Budget speech on February 1.
Other sites mentioned in the Budget — Hastinapur in Uttar Pradesh, Shivsagar in Assam, Dholavira in Gujarat and Adichanallur in Tamil Nadu.
What’s the issue now?
Rakhigarhi’s rise as a site of ancient curiosity has disrupted the villager’s life to an extent.
The ASI has been able to get under its control just 83.5 acres of the 350-hectare site that spans 11 mounds, after first taking over the site in 1996, due to encroachments and pending court cases.
Rakhigarhi, in Haryana, became an archaeological hotspot when Amarendra Nath, former director of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), undertook excavations at the site in 1997.
- The ASI team unearthed a fire altar, parts of a city wall, drainage structures as well as a hoard of semi-precious beads.
- Villagers subsequently began to see the significance of the terracotta shards that littered Rakhigarhi.
- It is a 5,000-year-old site that showcases continuity from the Harappan age to the present times. The village also has havelis that are a couple of hundred years old.
- The site is located in the Sarasvati river plain, some 27 km from the seasonal Ghaggar river.
- In May 2012, the Global Heritage Fund, declared Rakhigarhi one of the 10 most endangered heritage sites in Asia.
Sources: the Hindu.
GS Paper : 2
Topics Covered: Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.
What to study?
For Prelims: Limitations of Delhi Legislature, who handles police and public order in Delhi?
For Mains: Concerns over Delhi Legislature’s limitations, implications and measures needed.
The Delhi High Court has issued a series of directions to the Delhi police, the State government and other agencies for providing all necessary assistance to those affected by the violence in northeast Delhi.
- The directions were given on a petition seeking police protection for the safe passage of the injured persons from Al Hind Hospital to other nearest hospitals.
More than 20 people have been killed in Delhi’s worst-ever communal violence since 1984 which resulted in clashes that began over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act on Sunday evening.
What’s the issue?
A key question now being raised is whether or not the government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi can take any action to bring law and order under control. The answer is not a straightforward one, with many factors coming into play.
What the elected legislature in Delhi cannot do?
The NCT of Delhi, under Article 239 AA, has been given a special status.
It gives powers of law-making and administration to an elected legislature and the council of ministers. But, puts two subjects — public order and police — directly under the Union government, however, with exceptions- Two sections of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) —129 & 130 — give the Executive Magistrate certain powers relating to “unlawful assembly”.
Under these two limited powers, the Executive Magistrate, who reports to the Chief Minister, can issue orders relating to public security.
What is CrPC 129?
If a group is found in unlawful assembly under Section 129 CrPC, the Executive Magistrate can issue orders to these persons to disperse. If this fails, the magistrate can use the civil force — which is the police.
What is CrPC section 130?
If efforts under CrPC section 129 fail, the Executive Magistrate, under Section 130 CrPC, can call an officer of the armed forces of the Union to disperse the assembly. This section states that it can be invoked for “public security”.
However, this Section empowers the officer to decide, on his own, the manner in which the unlawful assembly has to be dispersed by forces under his command.
How are these powers different from the powers of a full fledged state?
While public order and police are under the state list, the state government may request the Union government to make available armed forces to help restore public order.
Even in circumstances where public disorder is not so serious as to fall in the category of an “internal disturbance” as defined in Article 355 of the Constitution, the Union Government may accede to the request.
But, as per CrPC 130, except for the limited purpose of dispersing an “unlawful assembly” and arresting its members, neither the state government nor any authority under it has been conferred by the Constitution any legal right to call the armed forces while dealing with a public disorder or “internal disturbance”.
Also, the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution states that use of the armed forces in the maintenance of public order is outside the purview of the states.
Sources: Indian Express.
Topics Covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
What to study?
For Prelims: Key features and overview of provisions.
For Mains: Relevance and significance of the Bill.
Union Cabinet has approved the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2020.
The amended bill is reformed version of the draft legislation which was passed by Lok Sabha in August 2019 but its provisions, including that only a close relative of a couple can be a surrogate mother, had invi
The bill incorporates all recommendations made by a Rajya Sabha select committee, which studied an earlier version of the draft legislation, and is aimed at banning commercial surrogacy and allowing altruistic surrogacy.
Key features of the Bill:
- It allows any “willing” woman to be a surrogate mother and proposes that widows and divorced women can also benefit from its provisions, besides infertile Indian couples.
- The bill also proposes to regulate surrogacy by establishing National Surrogacy Board at the central level and, State Surrogacy Board and appropriate authorities in states and Union Territories respectively.
- The proposed insurance cover for surrogate mother has now been increased to 36 months from 16 months provided in the earlier version.
- Commercial surrogacy will be prohibited including sale and purchase of human embryo and gametes.
- Ethical surrogacy to lndian married couples, Indian-origin married couples and Indian single woman (only widow or divorcee between the age of 35 and 45 years) will be allowed on fulfilment of certain conditions.
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.
What to study?
For Prelims and Mains: EASE- features, need for, significance and impact.
FM Nirmala Sitharaman launches Ease 3.0 for tech-enabled banking. This move is expected to change the customer’s experience at the Public Sector Banks (PSBs).
What is it?
Ease (Enhanced Access and Service Excellence) 3.0 reform agenda aims at providing smart, tech-enabled public sector banking for aspiring India.
New features that customers of public sector banks may experience under EASE 3.0 reforms agenda include facilities like:
- Palm Banking for “End-to-end digital delivery of financial service”.
- “Banking on Go” via EASE banking outlets at frequently visited spots like malls, stations, complexes, and campuses.
The idea behind EASE 3.0 agenda:
The Ministry has the idea of establishing paperless and digitally-enabled banking at places where people visit the most.
The government aims to focus on digitalization in the Public Sector Banks (PSBs) among themes that include responsible banking, PSBs as Udyami Mitra, customer responsiveness, credit take-off, and deep financial inclusions.
PSB Reforms EASE Agenda is a common reform agenda for PSBs aimed at institutionalizing clean and smart banking.
It was launched in January 2018, and the subsequent edition of the program ― EASE 2.0 built on the foundation laid in EASE 1.0 and furthered the progress on reforms.
In EASE 2.0, the government had proposed pushing liquidity in the public sector banks, reconstituting the management committee and possible mergers among the ideal partners in the Indian banking sector.
Sources: the Hindu.
Topics Covered: Technology missions.
What to study?
For Prelims and Mains: Key features and significance of the mission, what are technical textile?
Context: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved the setting up of a National Technical Textiles Mission at an total outlay of ₹1,480 Crore.
Aim: To position the country as a global leader in technical textiles and increase the use of technical textiles in the domestic market.
The Mission will be implemented for four years from 2020-2021 and will have four components:
- The first component will focus on research and development and innovation and will have an outlay of ₹1,000 crore. The research will be at both, fibre level and application-based in geo, agro, medical, sports and mobile textiles and development of bio-degradable technical textiles.
- The second component will be for promotion and development of market for technical textiles. The Mission will aim at taking domestic market size to $40 billion to $50 billion by 2024.
- The third component will focus on export promotion so that technical textile exports from the country reach from the ₹14,000 crore now to ₹20,000 crore by 2021-2022 and ensure 10% average growth every year till the Mission ends.
- The last component will be on education, training and skill development.
What are technical textiles?
Technical textiles are defined as textile materials and products manufactured primarily for their technical performance and functional properties rather than aesthetic and decorative characteristics.
Technical textiles include textiles for automotive applications, medical textiles, geotextiles, agrotextiles, and protective clothing.
Sources: the Hindu.
Topics Covered: Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention.
What to study?
For Prelims: What is Clause 6 of Assam Accord?
For Mains: Concerns expressed over this clause, ways to address them.
Context: Three major communities, perceived to be migrants in Assam, have expressed concern over the recommendations of the high-powered committee on the implementation of Clause 6 of the Assam Accord of 1985. These communities are the Bengal-origin or Bengali-speaking Muslims (referred to as Miyas), the Bengali Hindus and the Gurkhas.
What are the concerns being expressed?
Implementation of this clause would lead to exclusion of these communities from the list of indigenous communities. More than 80% of these have been living in Assam for centuries.
A 13-member panel set up to study the implementation of the Assam Accord’s Clause 6, which relates to the protection of the Assamese identity, recently submitted its report.
What is Clause 6?
Clause 6 states: “Constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards, as may be appropriate, shall be provided to protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people.”
However, no government has passed any legislation since 1985 to provide constitutional protection to the Assamese people as envisaged under Clause 6.
Signed between the Union government and leaders of the All Assam Students Union (AASU) in 1985, the Assam Accord came at the end of a six-year-long agitation demanding the expulsion of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.
Sources: the Hindu.
Facts for Prelims
German court scraps ban on assisted suicide:
Germany’s highest court has ruled that a 2015 law banning professional assisted suicide was unconstitutional, saying in a landmark decision that people have “the right to a self-determined death”.
Significance: The ruling is a major victory for the terminally ill patients, doctors and assisted suicide organisations who brought the case, complaining that the existing law went too far.
The court said the right to a self-determined death included “the freedom to take one’s life and seek help doing so”..
What is Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation (BEFR)?
Context: The Mizoram government has sought the revision of the boundary with Assam, based on the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation (BEFR), 1873 and the Inner Line of the Lushai Hills Notification of 1993.
What is BEFR?
The BEFR allows Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland not to let non-resident Indians in without an inner-line permit for a temporary stay.
- Mizoram used to be the Lushai Hills district of Assam before being made a Union Territory in 1972 and a State in 1987.
Mizoram shares a 123-km border with southern Assam and has been claiming a 509-square mile stretch “occupied” by the neighbouring State.
It is an international conference on standardisation of Diagnosis and Terminologies in AYUSH held recently in Delhi.
The Conference adopted the “New Delhi Declaration on Collection and Classification of Traditional Medicine (TM) Diagnostic Data”.
- The declaration emphasised the commitment of the countries to Traditional Medicine as a significant area of health care. It further sought the opportunity for including traditional systems of medicine like Ayurveda, Unani, and Siddha in the International Classification of Diseases of WHO, which is the standard diagnostic tool for health management across the world.
ICoSDiTAUS-2020 is the biggest ever international event dedicated to standardisation of Diagnosis and Terminologies of Traditional Medicine in terms of the broad level of participation covering virtually all the continents.
The conference succeeded in taking forward the objective of expanding the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) into the realm of traditional medicine systems at a conceptual level with all the countries endorsing.
Indradhanush is a joint military exercise between the air forces of India and the United Kingdom.
The focus of this edition of the exercise, being held in India, is ‘Base Defence and Force Protection’.
It is a maiden summit on Artificial Intelligence to spearhead social empowerment, inclusion and transformation.
- The event named RAISE 2020 ‘Responsible AI for Social Empowerment 2020’ will be held in April in New Delhi.
- This is India’s first Artificial Intelligence summit to be organized by the Government in partnership with the industry and the academia.
The summit will be a global meeting of minds to exchange ideas and charter a course to use AI for social empowerment, inclusion and transformation in key areas like healthcare, agriculture, education and smart mobility amongst other sectors.
Market Intelligence and Early Warning System (MIEWS) Web Portal:
The MIEWS Dashboard and Portal is a ‘first-of-its-kind’ platform for ‘real time monitoring’ of the prices of tomato, onion and potato (TOP).
It also generates alerts for intervention under the terms of Operation Greens (OG) scheme.
- The portal would disseminate all relevant information related to TOP crops such as prices and arrivals, area, yield and production, imports and exports, crop calendars, crop agronomy, etc. in an easy to use visual format.
- The MIEWS system is designed to provide advisories to farmers to avoid cyclical production as well as an early warning in situations of gluts.