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Table of Contents:

GS Paper 2:

1. J&K defines rules for domicile certificates.

2. Shekatkar Committee recommendations.

3. Initiatives to boost Education Sector.

4. Afghanistan’s Power Sharing Deal.

5. What is a travel bubble?


Facts for Prelims:

1. Charan Paduka.

2. Hanko

3. Less invasive surfactant administration (LISA).

4. Pinanga Andamanensis.


GS Paper  : 2


Topics Covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

J&K defines rules for domicile certificates

What to study?

For Prelims: overview of the new rules.

For Mains: Concerns associated.

Context: The Jammu and Kashmir administration has issued a notification defining the rules for issuing domicile certificates in the Union territory.

  • These rules provide a simple time-bound and transparent procedure for issuance of domicile certificates.
  • The notification has been provided through an amendment of the Jammu and Kashmir Civil Services (Decentralisation and Recruitment) Act, 2010.

Overview of the ‘J&K Grant of Domicile Certificate (Procedure) Rules 2020’:

  1. Under the amended rules, eligible non-locals can also apply for the certificate.
  2. There is a timeline of 15 days for issuance of certificates.
  3. Domicile certificates have now been made a basic eligibility condition for appointment to any post under the Union Territory of J&K following the amendments in the previous Act.
  4. To make the process transparent and time-bound, any officer not able to issue the certificate would be penalised ₹50,000. The amount would be recovered from his salary.
  5. All Permanent Resident Certificate holders and their children living outside J&K can apply for the certificates.
  6. Kashmiri migrants living in or outside J&K can get domicile certificates by simply producing their Permanent Residence Certificate (PRC), ration card copy, voter card or any other valid document.
  7. Bonafide migrants can apply with the Relief and Rehabilitation department by providing documents like electoral rolls of 1988, proof of registration as a migrant in any State in the country or any other valid document.


On March 31, 2020, the Government of India issued Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization (Adaptation of State Laws) order, 2020. According to the order, the domicile of a person is defined as

“A person who has resided in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir for a period of 15 years or has studied in the UT for a period of 15 years and appeared in Class 10 or 12 examination in an educational institution of J&K” is considered to be a domicile of J&K.

Implications of this move:

Due to the order, the West Pakistan Refugees and children of the women married outside J&K and Safai Karamcharis are now eligible to obtain domicile status.


Prelims Link:

  1. Overview of the Jammu and Kashmir Civil Services (Decentralisation and Recruitment) Act, 2010.
  2. Articles 35A and 370.
  3. Domicile requirement in J&K- background.
  4. Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization (Adaptation of State Laws) order, 2020.
  5. Who all can get domicile certificates as per new notification.

Sources: the Hindu.


Topics Covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Shekatkar Committee recommendations

What to study?

For Prelims: Recommendations accepted and implemented.

For Mains: Need for military reforms, existing challenges and ways to address them.

Context: Government has accepted and implemented three important recommendations of Committee of Experts (CoE) under the Chairmanship of Lt General D B Shekatkar (Retd) relating to border Infrastructure.

Accepted recommendations:

  1. Speeding up road construction,
  2. Outsourcing road construction work beyond optimal capacity of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO).
  3. Mandatory to adopt Engineering Procurement Contract (EPC) mode for execution of all works costing more than Rs 100 crore.
  4. Delegating enhanced procurement powers from Rs 7.5 crore to Rs 100 crore to BRO, for domestic and foreign procurements.
  5. The land acquisition and all statutory clearances like forest and environmental clearance are also made part of approval of Detailed Project Report (DPR).
  6. With the adoption of EPC mode of execution, it is mandatory to award work only when 90 per cent of the statutory clearances have been obtained, implementing the recommendation of CoE regarding obtaining prior clearances before the commencement of the project.

Other recommendations made by the committee and which are under implementation include:

  1. Optimization of Signals Establishments to include Radio Monitoring Companies, Corps Air Support Signal Regiments, Air Formation Signal Regiments, Composite Signal Regiments and merger of Corps Operating and Engineering Signal Regiments.
  2. Restructuring of repair echelons in the Army to include Base Workshops, Advance Base Workshops and Static / Station Workshops in the field Army.
  3. Redeployment of Ordnance echelons to include Vehicle Depots, Ordnance Depots and Central Ordnance Depots apart from streamlining inventory control mechanisms.
  4. Better utilization of Supply and Transportation echelons and Animal Transport Units.
  5. Closure of Military Farms and Army Postal Establishments in peace locations.
  6. Enhancement in standards for recruitment of clerical staff and drivers in the Army.

 Other reforms suggested:

  1. India’s defence budget should be in the range of 2.5 to 3 per cent of the GDP, keeping in mind possible future threats.
  2. A Joint Services War College for training middle-level officers should be established.
  3. The Military Intelligence School at Pune be converted to a tri-service intelligence training establishment.

Sources: pib.


Topics Covered: Issues related to education.

Initiatives to boost Education Sector

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: Features and significance of these initiatives.

Context: Union Finance Minister announces several initiatives to boost Education Sector.

Measures announced:

  1. A comprehensive initiative called PM e-VIDYAwill be launched which unifies all efforts related to digital/online/on-air education. This will enable multi-mode access to education, and includes:
  2. DIKSHA (one nation-one digital platform).
  3. TV (one class-one channel) where one dedicated channel per grade for each of the classes 1 to 12 will provide access to quality educational material.
  4. SWAYAM online courses in MOOCS format for school and higher education.
  5. IITPALfor IITJEE/NEET preparation.
  6. Air through Community radio and CBSE Shiksha Vani podcast.
  7. Study material for the differently abled developed on Digitally Accessible Information System (DAISY) and in sign language on NIOS website/ YouTube.
  1. The Manodarpan initiative is being launched to provide such support through a website, a toll-free helpline, national directory of counselors, interactive chat platform, etc. This initiative will benefit all school going children in the country, along with their parents, teachers and the community of stakeholders in school education.
  2. Expanding e-learning in higher education – by liberalizing open, distance and online education regulatory framework. Top 100 universities will start online courses. Also, online component in conventional Universities and ODL programmes will also be raised from present 20% to 40%. This will provide enhanced learning opportunities to nearly 7 crore students across different colleges and Universities.
  3. A new National Curriculum and Pedagogical Framework for school education, teacher education and early childhood stage to prepare students and future teachers as per global benchmarks.
  4. A National Foundational Literacy and Numeracy Mission will be launched, for ensuring that every child in the country necessarily attains foundational literacy and numeracy in Grade 3 by 202 For this, teacher capacity building, a robust curricular framework, engaging learning material – both online and offline, learning outcomes and their measurement indices, assessment techniques, tracking of learning progress, etc. will be designed to take it forward in a systematic fashion. This mission will cover the learning needs of nearly 4 crore children in the age group of 3 to 11 years.

Need for these measures:

Investing in the human capital is equivalent to an investment in productivity and prosperity of the nation. The present pandemic situation has presented new challenges and several opportunities for our education system.

Sources: pib.


Topics Covered: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

Afghanistan’s Power Sharing Deal

What to study?

For Prelims: Overview and particulars of the deal.

For Mains: Significance of the deal and challenges ahead.

Context: Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani and his rival Abdullah Abdullah have signed a power-sharing deal, ending months of political uncertainty.

Overview of the deal:

  1. Mr Ghani will stay on as president.
  2. Dr Abdullah will lead peace talks with the Taliban, should they get under way.
  3. The deal calls for Abdullah to lead the country’s National Reconciliation High Council and some members of Abdullah’s team would be included in Ghani’s Cabinet.
  4. The Reconciliation Council has been given the authority to handle and approve all affairs related to Afghanistan’s peace process. 

What’s the issue?

Mr Ghani and Dr Abdullah – who both claimed victory in last September’s election – last month held rival inauguration ceremonies.

The Afghan electoral commission says incumbent Ashraf Ghani narrowly won the vote, but Mr Abdullah has alleged the result is fraudulent.

Significance of the deal:

The deal comes as Afghan authorities are hoping to enter peace talks with the Taliban to end years of violence.

It is hoped the deal in the capital Kabul will help to maintain the balance of power that existed before last year’s disputed presidential election.

U.S.- Taliban peace deal:

A peace deal between the U.S. Government and the Taliban was signed on 29 February, 2020.

The deal calls for U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) troops to leave Afghanistan.

The deal is seen as Afghanistan’s best chance to come at peace in decades of war. Since then, the U.S. has been trying to get the Taliban and the Afghan government to begin intra-Afghan negotiations, but the political turmoil and personal hostility between Mr. Ghani and Mr. Abdullah has impeded talks.

Significance of Peace in Afghanistan for India:

India has welcomed the deal. It has called for renewed efforts for establishing enduring peace and stability, and putting an end to externally-sponsored terrorism and violence in Afghanistan.

Economically, it is a gateway to the oil and mineral-rich Central Asian republics.

Afghanistan has also become the second-largest recipient of Indian foreign aid over the last five years.

Sources: the Hindu.


Topics Covered: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

What is a travel bubble?

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: Meaning, relevance and significance, associated concerns.

Context: The Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have started what is being referred to as a ‘travel bubble’ to help put their economies back on track post-Covid lockdowns.


With the pandemic throwing both international and domestic trade and travel out of gear since earlier this year, such ‘travel bubbles’ are now being recommended to keep at least parts of the global economy afloat.

What is a travel bubble?

Creating a travel bubble involves reconnecting countries or states that have shown a good level of success in containing the novel coronavirus pandemic domestically.

Such a bubble would allow the members of the group to rekindle trade ties with each other, and kickstart sectors such as travel and tourism.

How it works?

  1. In the Estonia-Latvia-Lithuania travel bubble, residents would be able to travel freely by rail, air, and sea without quarantine measures.
  2. Those wanting to enter this corridor from countries outside would first have to go into isolation for 14 days.
  3. To be able to freely travel in the zone, one should not have travelled outside the three countries in the past 14 days, should not be infected with coronavirus, and should not have come in contact with anyone who has been coronavirus infected.

Significance and potential:

Potential travel bubbles among better-performing countries around the world would account for around 35 per cent of the global GDP. Such arrangements are especially being favoured by smaller countries, who are likely to benefit after being able to trade again with larger partners.


Prelims Link:

  1. Baltic nations and their geographical locations.
  2. Surrounding seas and countries.
  3. Location of Baltic Sea.
  4. Their relations with EU.

Sources: Indian Express.


Facts for Prelims

Charan Paduka:

It is a campaign launched in Madhya Pradesh for the migrant labourers passing through the state.

Under this campaign, the migrant labourers going barefoot are being providing shoes and slippers to reduce their pain.

The most notable thing is that this campaign is being conducted by the police at most places.


It is a personal stamp generally made from wood or plastic.

Small-sized and circular or square-shaped, the stamp is wet by an ink pad called ‘shuniku’, and the mark that it leaves on a document is called ‘inkan’.

It is used for authorising official documents ranging from contracts, marriage registrations and even delivery slips.

Why in News?

Even in the wake of COVID 19 pandemic, the centuries-old practice is causing employees to go to their workplace, as companies prefer to keep their registered seals at the office premises for security reasons. Many are thus having to take packed trains to work, chiefly for stamping-related work.


Less invasive surfactant administration (LISA):

LISA has been developed as a lung protective strategy for respiratory management and ventilation in view of the mechanical ventilation causing damage to the preterm lungs of newborns.

Infants considered suitable for LISA are those being managed with primary continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or high flow with the evidence of increasing respiratory distress and with a rising oxygen requirement.

The regular application of LISA would turn out to be very useful and help save the lives of premature babies.

Pinanga Andamanensis:

  • It is an IUCN critically endangered species and one of the least known among the endemic palms of the Andaman Islands.
  • The name is derived from ‘Penang’, the modern-day Malaysian state.
  • Its entire population of some 600 specimens naturally occurs only in a tiny, evergreen forest pocket in South Andaman’s Mount Harriet National Park.

Why in News?

The species is finding a second home at Thiruvananthapuram-based Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute (JNTBGRI).



Insights Current Affairs Analysis (ICAN) by IAS Topper