Daily Prelims Notes 25 January 2023
- January 25, 2023
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
25 January 2023
Table Of Contents
- Neela Kedar Gokhale appointed additional judge of Bombay HC
- ‘Green comet’ appearing close to Earth after 50,000 years
- GM Mustard is irreversible
- Mass mortality of Olive Ridley turtles
- SC panel questions need to revive oil palm plantations in Andaman
- Unauthorised use of 4 highly hazardous pesticides
- ‘Nidhi companies need to step up disclosures’
- ‘Selling plant-based items as ghee, butter is cheating’
- New Bank Locker Agreement
- Republic Day 2023 to feature 23 tableaux from Assam, Jammu & Kashmir, and more
- British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
- Making IB, RAW reports public a matter of grave concern: Kiren Rijiju
- R-Day build up slogan – Har Dil Mein Samvidhan
- SC removes magistrate-nod rider to prepare ‘living will’
- India loss access to 26 of 65 patrol points – salami slicing
- Scrap windfall tax for oil and gas exploration: FICCI
- EPFO outreach programme
1. Neela Kedar Gokhale appointed additional judge of Bombay HC
Context: Neela Kedar Gokhale had been on multiple state and central government panels, and represented the central government before the Supreme Court as its panel lawyer.
- Additional Judges can be appointed by the President under clause (1) of Article 224 of the Constitution. When the need for this arises, the State Government should first obtain the sanction of the Central Government for the creation of such additional posts. The correspondence relating to this should be in the normal official form. After the post is sanctioned the procedure to be followed for making the appointment will be same as given in paragraphs 12 to 18 for the appointment of a permanent Judge, except that a medical certificate will not be necessary from the person being appointed as an Additional Judge.
- When an Additional Judge is being considered for confirmation as an Additional Judge for a fresh term, the relevant documents as mentioned in para 13 above also must be sent by the Chief Justice of the High Court concerned along with such recommendation.
- The Chief Justice of the High Court, however, should not make a recommendation for appointment of an Additional Judge when a vacancy of a permanent Judge is available in that High Court.
2. ‘Green comet’ appearing close to Earth after 50,000 years
Subject :Science and Technology
Section: Space Technology
- The comet termed the C/2022 E3 (ZTF), is named to refer to those who first spotted it – astronomers using the wide-field survey camera at the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) in the US.
- Comets are frozen rocky or gas-filled objects that are remnants of the formation of the solar system.
- Due to their composition, characteristics and the path they move in, they tend to leave a light behind them.
Where do comets come from?
- The orbit indicates it comes from the edge of our solar system, a distant reservoir of comets known as the Oort cloud.
- The Oort cloud is thought to be a big, spherical region of outer space enveloping our sun, consisting of innumerable small objects, such as comets and asteroids.
- NASA terms it “the most distant region of our solar system” and “Home of the Comets”.
- The green comet could be at a distance of 2.5 light minutes from Earth, meaning a “mere” 27 million miles.
What is the ‘green comet’?
- Here, the comet itself is green (called the head of the comet) and emits a whitish light behind it (often called the tail of the comet).
- Comets have often been seen giving out blue or whiteish light, or even green.
- In this case, the green glow is thought to arise from the presence of diatomic carbon – pairs of carbon atoms that are bound together – in the head of the comet.
- The molecule emits green light when excited by the ultraviolet rays in solar radiation.
How rare is the green comet?
- They come under the category of long-period comets, which take more than 200 years to orbit the sun.
- As they have a highly elliptical orbit, these comets will head back to the Oort cloud and will appear again after 50,000 years.
Why do comets leave a trail of light behind them?
- Just like other bodies in space, comets also have orbits. They are sometimes pulled in close to the sun because of the sun’s gravity acting on them.
- As they orbit near the Sun they heat up and spew gases and dust into a glowing head that can be larger than a planet.
- Due to their orbit near the sun, the remains of dust following this burnup, from a distance, look like a trail of light to humans on Earth.
Subject : Science and Technology
Section: Biotech Technology
Context: What if risk of commercial release of GM Mustard is irreversible, Supreme Court asks government.
More about the News:
- What if risk of commercial release of GM Mustard is irreversible, Supreme Court asks government.
- Government says the risks are known and the approval given would not be blanket, but subject to specific conditions which cover every scenario or aspect of risk.
- It is argued that regulatory system under the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) which cleared the environmental release of Dhara Mustard Hybrid-11 (DMH-11), a genetically-engineered variant of mustard, was “horrendous” and riddled with conflict of interest.
- Department of Biotechnology had funded DMH 11 and then was part of the regulatory mechanism. The environmental release of the hybrid mustard variety was cleared despite warnings from the Parliamentary Committee and the Supreme Court’s Technical Expert Committee report calling for its ban.
- Besides, the government had not placed the biosafety dossier on the GM crop in the public domain.
About Genetically Modified Mustard (DMH-11):
- The full form of DMH is Dhara Mustard Hybrid. It is a genetically modified crop.
- It carries a gene for herbicide resistance. i.e herbicide tolerant.
- It has been developed by scientists from the Centre for Genetic Manipulation of Crop Plants (CGMCP), Delhi University.
- They developed the hybrid containing two alien genes isolated from a soil bacterium called Bacillus amyloliquefaciens.
- The barnase-barstar GM technology was deployed to develop DMH-11. The researchers a popular Indian mustard variety ‘Varuna’ (the barnase line) with an East European ‘Early Heera-2’ mutant (barstar).
- It contains 3 important genes Bargene, Barnase and Barstar, all derived from soil bacterium.
Concerns associated with GM Mustard:
- There is also an apprehension that the seeds of this crop cannot be used for regeneration. Hence, the farmers need to buy new seeds every time they want to grow the crops.
- There is also a likelihood that these crops could lead to disruption in species diversity.
- The most evident outcome of these crops is the spread of herbicide-resistant weeds across large tracts of agricultural land. This can lead to catastrophe in the long run.
- Various studies reveal that introduction of herbicide-resistant or HT crops had led to adverse impacts on the environment. This outcome had been noticed in several countries like the US, Australia, Canada and Argentina.
- Seeds of GM crops in general are produced only by a handful of companies. Such a monopoly can lead to seed buyers having few choices and price manipulation by corporations.
- There is the ethical question of whether it is correct to violate natural organisms’ intrinsic values by mixing among species.
About Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee
- Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) is the appraisal body that allows for commercial release of GM crops.
- The Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) functions in the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC).
- It is responsible for appraisal of activities involving large scale use of hazardous microorganisms and recombinants in research and industrial production from the environmental angle.
- Use of the unapproved GM variant can attract a jail term of 5 years and fine of Rs 1 lakh under the Environmental Protection Act ,1989.
- GEAC is chaired by the Special Secretary/Additional Secretary of MoEF&CC and co-chaired by a representative from the Department of Biotechnology (DBT).
4. Mass mortality of Olive Ridley turtles
Section: Species in news
Context: Hundreds of vulnerable Olive Ridley Turtles ( Lepidochelys olivacea) have washed ashore along the coastline between Kakinada and Antarvedi in the Godavari region during the ongoing annual breeding season on the east coast.
More on the News:
- The breeding grounds – Sakhinetipalli, Malikipuram, Mamidikuduru and Allavaram – have been witnessing the mass mortality of the turtles over the past few weeks.
- As many as 70 Olive Ridley turtles which have been found dead in their breeding grounds between Kakinada and Antarvedi.
- The effluents being released from the aqua ponds along the coastline and the discharges from the pipelines of the onshore oil exploration facilities are also blamed for the mass mortality of the turtles.
- Mechanised boats equipped with speed engines beyond the permissible capacity are proving to be death traps for Olive Ridley turtles on Andhra coast.
About Olive Ridley:
- The Olive ridley turtles are the smallest and most abundant of all sea turtles found in the world.
- These turtles are carnivores and get their name from their olive colored carapace.
- Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: Scheduled 1
- IUCN Red List: Vulnerable
- CITES: Appendix I
- They are found in warm waters of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans.
- The males and females olive ridley turtles grow the same in size
- The Odisha’s Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary is known as the world’s largest rookery (colony of breeding animals) of sea turtles, followed by the coasts of Mexico and Costa Rica.
- They are best known for their unique mass nesting called Arribada, where thousands of females come together on the same beach to lay eggs.
- They lay their eggs over a period of five to seven days in conical nests about one and a half feet deep which they dig with their hind flippers.
- They hatch in 45 to 60 days, depending on the temperature of the sand and atmosphere during the incubation period.
- Breeding Grounds of Olive Ridley in India
- Olive Ridely Turtles come to the beaches of Odisha coast annually between November and December and stay on until April and May for nesting.
- The turtles choose the narrow beaches near estuaries and bays for laying their eggs.
- Three river mouths where the turtles come together for mass nesting – Dhamra River, Rushikulya River, Devi River.
Operation Olivia :
- Operation Oliva has been launched by the Indian Coast Guard in the state of Odisha.
- It is an annual mission that aims to protect the Olive Ridley sea turtles during their breeding seasons and to conserve their natural breeding habitats.
- The Mission has been launched this year jointly with the Odisha state forest department. Two dedicated ships of the coast guard and some aircraft have been engaged in this novel nature conservation activity.
- The two ships will ensure that fishing vessels do not enter the major breeding sites of the turtles like Gahirmatha marine sanctuary, Dhamara River, and Rushikulya beach.
5. SC panel questions need to revive oil palm plantations in Andaman
Subject : Environment
Context: Oil palm plantations raised in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the past have proven to be a total commercial failure, the Supreme Court-constituted Central Empowered Committee (CEC) has said, questioning the need to revive the commercial crop in the archipelago.
Observations of Supreme Court-constituted Central Empowered Committee:
- The committee said any permission for diversion of forest land for red oil palm plantation in the archipelago in violation of the Forest Conservation Act, 1980, “is bound to open flood gates in all the states for similar agricultural purposes on forest lands”.
- The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980; FC Rules, 2022, and the guidelines issued thereunder strictly prohibit the diversion of forest land for agricultural purposes and any non-site specific activity.
- Since the focus of the proposal is on meeting the shortage of vegetable oil in the country, why cannot the production of palm oil be taken up on the mainland, where the oil palm plantations have been successfully raised.
- It said red oil palm plantations raised in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands “prior to the enactment of Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, proved to be a total commercial failure” and the Union Territory administration’s application does not appear to adequately address the reason for raising fresh plantations in the Andaman forests.
- The Union Territory administration’s application seeking modification of the Supreme Court’s 2002 order, even without identifying and demarcating the required forest land on the ground, “appears to be an attempt by the applicants to bypass the due procedure and the scrutiny of the proposal under the provisions of the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980.
- The committee also said the raising and maintenance of 16,000 hectares of commercial plantations will require engagement of 32,000 plantation labourers on a continuous basis.
- The island is already facing a serious issue of encroachment of forest lands and from past experience, there is every likelihood of the plantation labourers and their families encroaching on forest lands. And the possibility of illegal migrants entering from neighbouring countries cannot be ruled out.
About Oil Palm:
- India imports60 per cent of the edible oil it consumes and runs up an import bill of ₹80,000 crore. Of that, palm oil alone accounts for 55 per cent.
- In south-east Asia, palm monoculture has eaten into nearly 10 million hectares of forests.
- In India it is a farmers’ crop, grown in existing farmlands with
- Palm oil is rich in vitamin A and E, and in coenzymes like ubiquinone that help fight cardiac diseases.
- Palm is good for sequestering carbon. It is actually a form of afforestation. A palm tree produces two to three new leaves per month. A lot of biomass, too, gets added to the soil.
- The requirement of pesticides and herbicides is significantly less for oil palm compared to other crops.
- The total water requirement is less than that for rice or sugarcane.
- Palm oil is cheap because it is highly productive. The cost of cultivation is low and yields very high.
National Mission on Edible Oil-Oil Palm:
- National Mission on Edible Oils – Oil Palm (NMEO-OP) is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme with a special focus on the North east region and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands with a focus on increasing area and productivity of oilseeds and Oil Palm.
- A financial outlay of 11,040 crore has been made for the scheme, out of which Rs.8,844 crore is the Government of India share and Rs.2,196 crore is State share and this includes the viability gap funding also.
- The Viability Formula is a Minimum Support Price-type mechanism and the government will fix this at 14.3% of Crude Palm Oil (CPO) price
- Under this scheme, it is proposed to cover an additional area of 6.5 lakh hectare (ha.) for oil palm till the year 2025-26 and thereby reaching the target of 10 lakh hectares ultimately.
- Another focus area of the scheme is to substantially increase the support of inputs/interventions.
- Special assistance will be given to replant old gardens for their rejuvenation.
6. Unauthorised use of 4 highly hazardous pesticides
Subject : Environment
Context: Unapproved use of chlorpyrifos, fipronil, atrazine and paraquat in crops point to non-compliance with national regulation.
More on the News:
- Report by Pesticide Action Network found, Safety of agricultural produce and environmental contamination is at risk due to the rampant use of four highly hazardous pesticides – chlorpyrifos, fipronil, atrazine and paraquat
- Central Insecticides Board and Registration Committee, India’s pesticides regulator, has approved specific uses of agrochemicals. But state agriculture departments and industries recommended the four chemicals for more crops than their approved use.
- Highly hazardous pesticides (HHPs) are approved for use in the country for only specific crop-pest combinations. However, they are being used for several food and non-food crops without approval.
- Chlorpyrifos is approved for 18 crops in India, while the study found it was used for 23 crops.
- The maximum residue level (MRL)of agricultural produce is monitored based on approved uses. Non-approved uses largely remain unmonitored for MRLs, a serious food safety concern domestically that also poses a threat to international trade of agriculture commodities.
About Central Insecticides Board & Registration Committee (CIBRC):
- Central Insecticides Board & Registration Committee (CIBRC) under the Directorate of Plant Protection, Quarantine & Storage, Department of Agriculture & Cooperation was set up by the Ministry of Agriculture in the year 1970
- CIBRC was setup to regulate the import, manufacture, sale, transport, distribution and use of insecticides with a view to prevent risks to human beings and animals and for other matters connected therewith.
- Insecticides Act, 1968 was brought into force with effect from 1st August, 1971 with the publication of Insecticides Rules, 1971.
- The Central Insecticides Board (CIB)advises the Central Government and State Governments on technical matters arising out of the administration of this Act and to carry out the other functions assigned to the Board by or under this rules. Major functions are:
- Advise the Central Government on the manufacture of insecticides under the Industries (Development and Regulation) Act, 1951.
- Specify the uses of the classification of insecticideson the basis of their toxicity as well as their being suitable for aerial application.
- Advise tolerance limits for insecticides residues and establishment of minimum intervals between the application of insecticides and harvest in respect of various commodities.
- Specify the shelf-life of insecticides
- Registration of Insecticides / Certificate of Registration
- In the Insecticides Act and the Rules framed there under, there is compulsory registration of the insecticides at the Central level and licence for their manufacture, formulation and sale are dealt with at the State level.
- Hence for effective enforcement of the Insecticides Act, the following bodies have been constituted at the Central level by the Ministry:
- Central Insecticides Board (CIB)
- Registration Committee (RC)
- Any person desiring to import or manufacture any insecticide may apply to the Registration Committee for the registration of such insecticide and there shall be separate application for each such insecticide to obtain the Certificate of Registration.
- Licence to manufacture insecticides
- According to the Insecticides Rules 1971, a licence is required to obtain from the concerned State Government office either to manufacture, sell, exhibit for sale or distribute any insecticide/pesticide.
More about Pesticide regulation https://optimizeias.com/pesticide-regulation/
7. ‘Nidhi companies need to step up disclosures’
Subject : Economy
Context: The government has now made it mandatory for Nidhi companies to inform the authorities about any change in management control as part of additional disclosers required by these companies. Other information re quired includes details of collection centres and profit details. These changes have been incorporated in the revised forms — NDH-1 (return of statutory compliances), NDH-2 (application to Regional Director and intima tion to the Registrar), NDH¬3 (return for the half year ended) and NDH¬4 (form for filing application for de claration as Nidhi company and for up-dation of status by Nidhis). With the issuance of a notification, new forms have been made effective from January 23
Under Nidhi Rules, 2014, Nidhi is a company which has been incorporated as a Nidhi with the object of cultivating the habit of thrift and saving amongst its members, receiving deposits from, and lending to, its members only, for their mutual benefit.
It is a company registered under the Companies Act, 2013.It works on the principle of mutual benefits that are regulated by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.
Nidhi Company is a class of Non-Banking Financial Company(NBFC) and Reserve Bank of India(RBI) has powers to issue directives for them related to their deposit acceptance activities. However, since these Nidhis deal with their shareholder-members only, RBI has exempted them from the core provisions of the RBI Act and other directions applicable to NBFCs.
The Nidhi Companies have to abide by certain prohibitions which are imposed on them in terms of their activities:
- Nidhi Companies cannot deal with chit funds.
- Nidhi Companies cannot deal with hire-purchase finance.
- Nidhi Companies cannot deal with leasing of finances.
- Nidhi Companies cannot deal with insurance business.
- Nidhi Companies cannot deal with securities business.
- Nidhi Companies cannot accept deposits from any other person except members.
- Nidhi Companies cannot lend funds to any other person except members.
There are certain requirements which are to be fulfilled by a company in order to to be registered as a Nidhi Company:
- The company must be incorporated as a Public Limited Company under the Companies Act.
- The company should have a minimum of 7 shareholders.
- The company should have a minimum of 3 directors.
- The company should have a minimum of Rs.5 lakh of equity capital.
- The company should have a minimum of 200 members.
- The company should have Net Owned Funds worth Rs.10 lakh or more.
- The name of the company should end with ‘Nidhi Limited’.
- The objective of the company should be lending and borrowing of funds among the members only.
- The company must have unencumbered term deposits of 10% or more of the outstanding deposits.
- The company should have a Net Owned Funds to deposits ratio of 1:20 or less.
- The Director Identification Number (DIN) of all the directors has to be provided.
8. ‘Selling plant-based items as ghee, butter is cheating’
Subject: National Body
- Food Safety & Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) as decided to crack down on food business operators (FBOs) selling misleading products in the name of ghee, butter or by using other dairy terminologies to lure consumers.
- As per the provisions of the Food Safety and Standards (Vegan Foods) Regulations, 2022, ghee, butter etc cannot be claimed to vegan food and the use of vegan food claim and vegan logo are permitted after the prior approval of the authority.
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)
- It is an autonomous statutory body established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.
- The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India is the administrative Ministry of FSSAI.
- The Chairperson is in the rank of Secretary to Government of India.
- FSS Act, 2006 consolidates various acts & orders that had earlier handled food related issues in various Ministries and Departments, such as–
- Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954
- Fruit Products Order, 1955
- Meat Food Products Order, 1973
- Vegetable Oil Products (Control) Order, 1947
- Edible Oils Packaging (Regulation) Order 1988
- Milk and Milk Products Order, 1992
- FSSAI was established in 2008 and fully functional in 2011 after its Rules and key Regulations were notified.
- This marked a shift from a multi-level to a single line of control with focus on self-compliance rather than a pure regulatory regime.
FSSAI has been mandated by the FSS Act, 2006 for performing the following functions:
- Framing of Regulations to lay down the Standards and guidelines in relation to articles of food and specifying appropriate systems of enforcing various standards thus notified.
- Laying down mechanisms and guidelines for accreditation of certification bodies engaged in certification of food safety management systems for food businesses.
- Laying down procedure and guidelines for accreditation of laboratories and notification of the accredited laboratories.
- To provide scientific advice and technical support to Central Government and State Governments in the matters of framing the policy and rules in areas which have a direct or indirect bearing of food safety and nutrition.
- Collect and collate data regarding food consumption, incidence and prevalence of biological risk, contaminants in food, residues of various contaminants in foods products, identification of emerging risks and introduction of rapid alert systems.
- Creating an information network across the country so that the public, consumers, Panchayats etc receive rapid, reliable and objective information about food safety and issues of concern.
- Provide training programmes for persons who are involved or intend to get involved in food businesses.
- Contribute to the development of international technical standards for food, sanitary and Phyto-sanitary standards.
- Promote general awareness about food safety and food standards.
Initiatives of FSSAI:
- Heart Attack Rewind – It is the first mass media campaign of FSSAI. It is aimed to support FSSAI’s target of eliminating trans-fat in India by the year 2022.
- FSSAI-CHIFSS – It is collaboration between FSSAI and CII-HUL Initiative on Food Safety Sciences to promote collaborations between Industry, Scientific Community, Academia for food safety.
- State Food Safety Index (SFSI): The FSSAI developed the State Food Safety Index (SFSI) index to measure the performance of states on five significant parameters of Food Safety.
- The parameters include Human Resources and Institutional Data, Compliance, Food Testing – Infrastructure and Surveillance, Training & Capacity Building and Consumer Empowerment.
- Eat Right India Movement: It is an initiative of the Government of India and FSSAI to transform the country’s food system in order to ensure safe, healthy and sustainable food for all Indians..
- Eat Right Station Certification: The certification is awarded by FSSAI to railway stations that set benchmarks (as per the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006) in providing safe and wholesome food to passengers.
Subject : Economy
Section :Monetary Policy
- RBI has extended the deadline for banks to renew locker agreements with existing locker customers in a phased manner to December 31, 2023.
- A New Bank Locker Rule has come into effect from January 1, 2023, according to a Reserve Bank of India (RBI) notification.
- Over the past few days, many Banks have sent text messages to customers to renew their safe deposit locker agreements. As part of this, existing locker depositors were required to furnish proof of eligibility for a renewed locker arrangement.
- Additionally, they were required to sign a renewal agreement by December 31, 2022.
- RBI has asked banks to inform all their existing locker customers about the renewal requirement by April 30, 2023.
- Banks will have to ensure that at least 50 percent of their existing locker customers have renewed agreements by June 30 and 75 percent by September 30, 2023.
What is locker agreement?
- At the time of allotment of the locker to a customer, the bank shall enter into an agreement with the customer to whom the locker facility is provided, on a paper duly stamped.
- A copy of the locker agreement in duplicate signed by both parties shall be furnished to the locker- hirer to know his/her rights and responsibilities.
- Original Agreement shall be retained with the bank’s branch where the locker is situated.
- Before the end of the day, banks must send an email and SMS alert to the customer’s registered email address and mobile number as confirmation, informing them of the date, time, and potential recourse in the event of unauthorised locker access.
- Banks will be eligible to pay in case of any loss of locker content resulting from the bank’s negligence, according to the new RBI standards.
- The bank will not be liable for any damage or loss of locker contents caused by natural calamities or acts of God such as earthquakes, floods, lightning, or thunderstorms, or any act attributable to the customer’s sole fault or negligence, according to the revised guidelines.
- To ensure prompt payment of locker rent, banks are allowed to obtain a Term Deposit, at the time of allotment, which would cover three years’ rent and the charges for breaking open the locker in case of such eventuality.
10. Republic Day 2023 to feature 23 tableaux from Assam, Jammu & Kashmir, and more
Subject : Governance
- The Minister of Defence on January 22 announced that 17 states and union territories, such as West Bengal, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, and Jammu & Kashmir, will display their tableaux at Kartavya Path for the Republic Day parade.
- In a statement, the ministry mentioned that apart from the states and union territories, six of the ministries and departments will also display their tableaux.
Selection Process of Republic Day Tableaux
- The Ministry of Defence carries out the selection process of tableaux for the Republic day parade.
- Every year, around September, the Defence Ministry, which is responsible for the Republic Day parade and the celebrations, asks all the states, the Union Territories, Central Government departments, and a few constitutional authorities to send their tableau proposals.
Guidelines on what can be depicted
- The participants have to showcase elements relevant to their state/ UT/ department, within the overarching theme. The themes given to participants this year were around 75 years of India’s Independence, the International Year of Millets and ‘Nari Shakti’.
- The deadline for sending the proposal was September 30, 2022, and the shortlisting of the proposals began around the second week of October.
Selection of Tableaux
- The Ministry sets up an expert committee with distinguished people from various fields of arts to shortlist the tableaux proposals received from various states and organizations.
- The expert committee consists of prominent persons in the field of art, culture, painting, sculpture, music, architecture, choreography, etc.
- In order for all states to get representation, states are given representation on a rotational basis.
- It needs to be noted that writing or use of logos on tableaux is not allowed except the name of states or Union Territories that are presenting it on the day of the parade.
- There is also a pattern to where the names of the states should be written — in Hindi in the front, in English on the back and in regional language on the sides of the tableau.
Do they have to be of a particular size?
- The Defence Ministry provides each participant with one tractor and one trailer, and the tableau should fit on that.
- The ministry prohibits use of any additional tractor or trailer, or even any other vehicle to be part of it.
- However, the participant can replace their ministry-provided tractor or trailer with other vehicles, but the total number should not be more than two vehicles.
- The tractor has to be camouflaged in harmony with the tableau’s theme, and the ministry stipulates a distance of around six feet between the tractor and the trailer for turning and manoeuvering.
- The dimensions of the trailer on which the tableau will be placed is 24 feet, 8 inches long; eight feet wide; four feet two inches high; with a load-bearing capacity of 10 tonnes.
- The tableaux should not be more than 45 feet long, 14 feet wide and 16 feet high from the ground.
11. British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
Subject : International Institutions
- The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has recently been facing some heat after the release of its documentary ‘India: The Modi Question’, with the Indian government calling the film a “propaganda piece” and accusing the broadcaster of having a “colonial mindset”.
About British Broadcasting Corporation:
- Founded on October 18, 1922, the BBC was earlier a private corporation, known as the British Broadcasting Company, in which only British manufacturers were allowed to hold shares.
- In 1926, a parliament committee recommended that the private company should be replaced by a public, Crown-chartered organisation, the British Broadcasting Corporation.
- This made the company ultimately answerable to Parliament but it continued to enjoy independence regarding its activities.
- Till now, the BBC operates under the Royal Charter.
- The charter has to be renewed every 10 years and the current one will run until December 31, 2027.
- Till 2017, the company was regulated by the BBC Trust, its executive board, and a government-approved regulatory authority, called Ofcam.
- The trust was abolished and a BBC Board was set up to govern the company.
- Ofcam was given the sole responsibility of regulating it.
12. Making IB, RAW reports public a matter of grave concern: Kiren Rijiju
Subject : National Body
- Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju on Tuesday said it was a “matter of grave concern” that certain portions of sensitive reports of the Intelligence Bureau and the Research and Analysis Wing were put in public domain by the Supreme Court collegium.
Research and Analysis Wing
- Established in 1968, to handle the nation’s international intelligence affairs, RAW came into force after the China-India War in 1962.
- At present, the intelligence arm operates under the aegis of the Prime Minister’s Office.
- RAW provides intelligence support to various significant operations on foreign soil.
- RAW works in cooperation with the Intelligence Bureau or other Indian intelligence agencies.
- After the 1962 China-India war and Indo-Pakistani war in 1965, India established a separate and distinct external intelligence organization – the Research and Analysis Wing.
- In 1968, R. N. Kao was appointed as the first director of RAW. Under his leadership, RAW provided intelligence support, which resulted in India’s successful operations including
- creation of Bangladesh in 1971,
- the defeat of Pakistan during the Kargil conflict of 1971,
- the accession of Sikkim in 1975,
- and the increase of India’s support to Afghanistan.
Working mechanism of RAW
- RAW collects military, economic, scientific, and political intelligence through covert and overt operations.
- It also monitors terrorist elements and smuggling rings that transport weapons and ammunition into India.
- It primarily focuses on India’s neighbours. The collected inputs by RAW also help Indian officials, which are further used in national security policy and revise the foreign policy.
- Aerial Reconnaissance Centre :
- The Aerial Reconnaissance Centre (ARC) collects high-quality overhead imagery of activities and installations in neighbouring countries.
- Special Frontier Force:
- The inspector general of a paramilitary force of India, the Special Frontier Force reports to the director-general of security for RAW.
- While the force has functions independent of RAW, it is often fielded to support covert and overt RAW missions.
Intelligence Bureau (IB)
- Intelligence Bureau (IB) was founded during the British colonial rule.
- The unsuccessful Sipoy’s Mutiny in 1857 compelled the English to create an intelligence organisationthat can have eyes on the activities of the Indian mutinous and rulers in different parts of India.
- IB was founded on December 23, 1887, as the “Central Special Branch” by the Secretary of State for India in London. It is renamed as Intelligence Bureau in 1920.
- The Intelligence Bureau (IB), considered the oldest surviving intelligence organization in the world, serves as India’s internal security agency responsible for detecting domestic threats.
- IB technically falls under the authority of Ministry of Home Affairs.
Responsibilities and Mandate
- The IB is used to garner intelligence from within India and also execute counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism tasks.
- The Bureau comprises employees from law enforcement agencies, mostly from the Indian Police Service (IPS) or the Indian Revenue Service (IRS) and the military.
- However, the Director of Intelligence Bureau (DIB) has always been an IPS officer.
- In addition to domestic intelligence responsibilities, the IB is particularly tasked with intelligence collection in border areas.
- All spheres of human activity within India and in the neighborhood are allocated to the charter of duties of the Intelligence Bureau.
- The IB was also tasked with other external intelligence responsibilities as of 1951 until 1968, when the Research and Analysis Wing was formed.
13. R-Day build up slogan – Har Dil Mein Samvidhan
Subject : Governance
- In the build up to Independence Day last year, the national flag became a huge rallying point with the government’s ‘ HarGharTiranga’ campaign.
- This Republic Day, a network of 119 organisations and individuals are trying to make the Preamble to the Constitution of India a similar rallying point, and connect it to our everyday lives through a “ HarDil Mein Samvidhan” campaign.
- Recently, Kollam in Kerala became India’s first constitutionally literate district.
- Over 16 lakh people in the district were educated on various aspects of the Constitution so that with the knowledge of their rights they are empowered.
About the Campaign
- It is a year-long campaign and the idea is that by the time, India reaches a milestone of 75 years of Republic next year, the campaign would have reached all 763 districts of the country.
- Some of the orgnaisations executing the campaign :We, The People Abhiyan, CORO India, SamvidhanPracharak People’s Movement, Teesri Sarkar Abhiyan, Blue Ribbon Movement and Civic Act Foundation.
14. SC removes magistrate-nod rider to prepare ‘living will’
Subject : Polity
- The Supreme Court has removed the condition that managed a magistrate’s approval for withdrawal or withholding of life support to a terminally ill person.
- The Supreme Court has modified its order in the 2018 judgement on passive euthanasia.
- With the modified order, the Court aims to make the procedure of removal of (or withholding) life support from terminally ill patients less cumbersome for the patients, their families and the doctors by limiting the role played by government officials.
- Euthanasia is a practice under which a person intentionally ends their life with active assistance from others.
- Several European nations, some states in Australia and Colombia in South America allow assisted suicide and euthanasia under certain circumstances.
- Active euthanasia, which is legal in only a few countries, entails the use of substances to end the life of the patient.
- It involves simply stopping lifesaving treatment or medical intervention with the consent of the patient or a family member or a close friend representing the patient.
What is ‘Living Will’?
- The “living will” is a person’s right to issue advance directive on the course of his/her treatment, including withdrawal of life support, should such a situation arise.
- However, there is no way a living will provision can be made fool-proof requiring no intervention of the doctor or immediate decisionmakers around a person.
15. India loss access to 26 of 65 patrol points – salami slicing
Subject : International Relations
Section : neighboring countries
- India has lost its presence in 26 of the 65 Patrolling Points (PP) in Eastern Ladakh, which were patrolled regularly by the Indian Security Forces, due to ‘restrictive or no patrolling’ by the forces, according to a research paper by a senior police officer.
- Due to ‘restrictive or no patrolling’ by the Indian forces, China forces us to accept the fact that, as such areas have not seen the presence of ISFs or civilians since long, the Chinese were present in these areas.
- This leads to a shift in the border under the control of ISFs towards the Indian side and a “buffer zone” is created in all such pockets which ultimately leads to the loss of control over these areas by India.
- This tactic of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to grab land inch-by-inch is known as “Salami slicing”.
Salami Slicing Tactics:
- Salami slicing is described as a strategy that involves the divide and conquer process of threats and alliances to overcome opposition and acquire new territories.
- The term was coined by Stalinist dictator MátyásRákosi during the 1940s.
- He used the term to justify the actions of the Hungarian Communist Party to grab complete power in Hungary.
16. Scrap windfall tax for oil and gas exploration: FICCI
Section :Fiscal Policy
- The government should scrap the windfall profit tax on domestically-produced crude oil as the levy is adversely impacting the capex-intensive exploration of oil and gas, the industry said in its recommendation for the forthcoming annual budget.
- India first imposed windfall profit taxes on July 1, joining a growing number of nations that tax super normal profits of energy companies.
- At that time, a ₹23,250 per tonne ($40 per barrel) windfall profit tax on domestic crude production was levied.
- Windfall taxes are designed to tax the profits a company derives from an external, sometimes unprecedented event— for instance, the energy price-rise as a result of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
- These are profits that cannot be attributed to something the firm actively did, like an investment strategy or an expansion of business.
- A windfall is defined as an “unearned, unanticipated gain in income through no additional effort or expense”.
- Governments typically levy a one-off tax retrospectively over and above the normal rates of tax on such profits, called windfall tax.
- One area where such taxes have routinely been discussed is oil markets, where price fluctuation leads to volatile or erratic profits for the industry.
- There have been varying rationales for governments worldwide to introduce windfall taxes, from redistribution of unexpected gains when high prices benefit producers at the expense of consumers, to funding social welfare schemes, and as a supplementary revenue stream for the government.
Subject : National Bodies
Section : Statutory body
- The Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) is going to organise a mass outreach programme in more than 700 districts on January 27.
- Named ‘Nidhi aapkenikat 2.0′, the programme aims to increase the EPFO’s presence in all the districts of the country.
- This programme will be a permanent feature and it is going to be conducted on 27 of every month.
- It will also work as pension adalats, which was introduced by EPFO in 2021 to address the greivances of pensioners.
- It is a statutory organization that manages provident fund and pension accounts for the workforce engaged in the organized sector in India.
- It implements the Employees’ Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952.
- The Employees’ Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 provides for the institution of provident funds for employees in factories and other establishments.
- It is administered by the Ministry of Labour & Employment, Government of India.
- It is one of the World’s largest Social Security Organisations in terms of clientele and the volume of financial transactions undertaken.
Central Board of Trustees
- The Act and Schemes framed there under are administered by a tri-partite Board known as the Central Board of Trustees, Employees’ Provident Fund, consisting of representatives of Government (Both Central and State), Employers, and Employees.
- The Central Board of Trustees administers a contributory provident fund, pension scheme and an insurance scheme for the workforce engaged in the organized sector in India.
- The Board operates three schemes – EPF Scheme 1952, Pension Scheme 1995 (EPS) and Insurance Scheme 1976 (EDLI).