9 PM Daily Current Affairs Brief – August 16th, 2022

Dear Friends,

We have initiated some changes in the 9 PM Brief and other postings related to current affairs. What we sought to do:

  1. Ensure that all relevant facts, data, and arguments from today’s newspaper are readily available to you.
  2. We have widened the sources to provide you with content that is more than enough and adds value not just for GS but also for essay writing. Hence, the 9 PM brief now covers the following newspapers:
    1. The Hindu  
    2. Indian Express  
    3. Livemint  
    4. Business Standard  
    5. Times of India 
    6. Down To Earth
    7. PIB
  3. We have also introduced the relevance part to every article. This ensures that you know why a particular article is important.
  4. Since these changes are new, so initially the number of articles might increase, but they’ll go down over time.
  5. It is our endeavor to provide you with the best content and your feedback is essential for the same. We will be anticipating your feedback and ensure the blog serves as an optimal medium of learning for all the aspirants.
    • For previous editions of 9 PM BriefClick Here
    • For individual articles of 9 PM BriefClick Here

Current Affairs Compilations for UPSC IAS Prelims 2022

Mains Oriented Articles

GS Paper 1

GS Paper 2

GS Paper 3

Prelims Oriented Articles (Factly)

Mains Oriented Articles

GS Paper 1


Nehruvian institutions: The temples that Jawaharlal Nehru built

Source: The post is based on the article “The temples that Jawaharlal Nehru built” published in The Hindu on 16th August 2022.

Syllabus: GS 1 – Modern History: significant events and personalities.

Relevance: About the significance of Nehruvian institutions.

News: As India celebrates 75 years of Independence, it is important to remember the contributions of Jawaharlal Nehru-built institutions in India’s development.

What are Nehruvian institutions?

Nehru’s vision of India was anchored in a set of ideas such as democracy, secularism, inclusive economic growth, free press and non-alignment in international affairs and also in institutions that would lay the foundation for India’s future growth. These institutions touched every kind of economic activity, ranging from agriculture to aviation and space research.

He even described them as “the temples of modern India”. There were around 75 of these institutions including the Bhakra-Nangal dam, Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, the LIC, the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, Indian Oil Corporation, the National Library of India and the National Institute of Design.

Read more: Recalling India’s Antarctica activities
How Nehruvian institutions cover the entire spectrum of India’s development?

Nehru’s inclusive vision ensured that these institutions spanned the entire social spectrum. For instance, a) When the IITs were planned, Nehru also established a network of Kendriya Vidyalayas, b) With large projects in steel and petroleum, Nehru saw the importance of promoting small and cottage industries and set up the Khadi and Village Industries Commission, c) When Bhilai, Durgapur and Rourkela were taking shape as functional townships, the Prime Minister also felt the need for a well-designed, modern city and thus was born Chandigarh. Chandigarh was perhaps India’s first ‘smart city’ when that term was not yet fashionable.

What are some examples of the success of Nehruvian Institutions?

Indian Oil became the first Indian company to be listed in the Fortune 100, in 2014. Amul emerged as the country’s best known consumer brand and India became the largest milk-producer in the world.

The success of Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC): It is a Nehruvian institution established in the early years of independent India. Recently, it launched India’s largest public issue and collected ₹21,000 crore from the market.

The success of IITs and IIMs: The celebrated names of global CEOs and corporate leaders were educated at the iconic Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institutes of Management (IIM).

Further, the Green Revolution transformed India from a basket case to a grain-exporting nation, the telephone revolution changed the telephone from being a symbol of elite lifestyle to mass ownership, and the digital revolution turned India into a global technology hub all played out one after another. Collectively, these shifts have lifted over 300 million Indians above the poverty line. The success of these missions owed a great deal to the Nehruvian model.

Read more: Jawaharlal Nehru Port becomes first 100% Landlord Major Port of India
How do the Nehruvian institutions become so successful?

The role of the Election Commission of India and the Planning Commission: Both of these ensured the triumph of democracy along with development.

Management of accomplished persons: The notable persons include Homi Bhabha, Vikram Sarabhai, P.C. Mahalanobis, Verghese Kurien, S.S. Bhatnagar, S.Bhagavantam and C.D. Deshmukh.

Each of them steered the fortunes of the project under them with high professional standards, laying down benchmarks for the performance of the project and identifying second layers of leadership for the project’s future growth.

Hence, even today, Nehru stands out as a unique personality who combined intellectual stature with mass popularity.


Towards an India where women lead

Source: The post is based on an article “Towards an India where women lead” published in the Indian Express on 16th August 2022.

Syllabus: GS 1 Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.

Relevance: Gender Disparities; Prejudices and Discrimination

News: Recently, the 2022 World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Index was released, which confirmed a number of gender-based inequalities in India.

The Findings

In 2021, India’s overall score has improved from 0.625 to 0.629. This is the seventh-highest score in the last 16 years.

India will now take 132 years to reach gender parity.

What are the causes of concern related to the inclusion of women in India, even after 75 years of Independence?

The Indian women have not been able to secure for themselves equality and equity in various spheres of life.

(1) Women’s leadership in higher education and education-related decision-making bodies at the government level is largely absent. For example, only seven of India’s 54 central universities have women vice-chancellors. This is despite girls outnumbering boys in higher education admissions and women constituting more than 50% of the entry-level university teaching positions.

There are several reasons for this:

Indian women have to perform multiple tasks. For example, marriage and family are still considered responsibilities of women.

There are various social ills like entrenched patriarchy and male hegemony in various spheres of life. Most women have to fight these social evils. Therefore, they choose not to fight as it can get dirty and time-consuming. For example, a woman’s assertiveness is seen as aggressiveness.

In history, the valor of men who conquered cities with violence has been sung and the women’s side of the story has been forgotten.

What are the measures needed to realize the ambition?

(1) Making higher education more Indo-centric:  India should make an intellectual journey towards the creation of knowledge that is original and goes back to its roots. India must emancipate and empower the Indian mind by breaking the glass ceiling of intellectual slavery, i.e., the belief that all Western ideas are good, and anything Indian is seen as being regressive and therefore bad.

(2) In history, the stories have been told from the male perspective. Therefore, they must be re-told from a feminine perspective.


The fragility of the Northeast’s integration

Source: The post is based on an article “The fragility of the Northeast’s integration” published in the “The Hindu” on 16th August 2022.

Syllabus: GS 1 Regionalism

Relevance: North-Eastern States

News: In recent years, the North-eastern states governments like Assam, Tripura, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh are ruled by the same political party which is ruling the Union government. So, there is a debate on mainstream versus sub-stream friction.

How the integration of Northeast India into mainstream Indian life has been on the national agenda from independence?

The Sixth Schedule was introduced in the Constitution of India, for undivided Assam’s tribal belt. It mandated the formation of Autonomous District Councils in which, among others, tribal customary laws were given legitimacy. In other words, the Northeast’s tribals were encouraged to live by their own geniuses and local customs.

State Reorganization: Nagaland became a state in 1963.  Tripura and Manipur, which were the Part-C States after the merger with India in 1949, were also upgraded to States in 1972. In 1972, Meghalaya became a State, while Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram were made UTs. The latter two were upgraded to States in 1987. These were done to meet the aspirations of the local people and tribals in the North-eastern region.

Inclusion by accommodation: Later, India gained confidence and shed insecurities about further balkanization of Northeast regions after its traumatic Partition experience. Thereafter, the focus shifted to accommodate people, rather than requiring the latter to leave their streams to join the mainstream. For example,

(1) The North Eastern Council (NEC) which was an advisory body composed of the State’s Governors as members, was amended. Later it became an infrastructure planning body, Sikkim was included and the composition expanded to include Chief Ministers.

(2) The Department of North-East Region (DoNER) was created by the Union Government in 2001, and in 2004 it was upgraded to a full-fledged Ministry.

(3) India’s Look East Policy was born with the stated objective of linking the Northeast with the vibrant economies of South East Asia.

(4) In 2010, a protected area regime that had restricted visits to Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram by foreigners was relaxed.

(5) A judicial commission was constituted in 2004 to recommend a way to repeal or else “humanise” AFSPA.

Why Northeast’s remained alien 75 years after Independence?

Historical reason: The British India Foreign Secretary Olaf Caroe coined the term “Mongolian Fringe” in relation to the North-east region and proposed to leave this region from a Crown Colony. The Governor of Assam, Robert Reid said “Northeast people had no affinity with the rest of India racially, historically, culturally, or linguistically”. Therefore, the British dropped the Crown Colony plan on grounds of administrative feasibility.

North-east people do not believe it to be part of Mainland India: The Naga Hills refused the Sixth Schedule. They wanted nothing less than sovereignty. This resulted in a powerful insurgency in the region.

The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), 1958 Promulgation: The Draconian act was promulgated and enforced in wake of the Naga insurgency. This gave sweeping powers to the armed forces. Also, a separate Nagaland State was created in 1963.

The North-eastern people are fearful of the threat of cultural and population deluge from mainstream India.

National identity questions for the Northeast people remained incompletely resolved. Therefore, insurgencies have continued to prevail in States such as Assam and Manipur.

New challenges

New political dynamics in the north-eastern states do not reflect the grass-root sentiments. For example, Assam vehemently opposed the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA),

GS Paper 2


A road map for India-EU ties

Source: The post is based on the article “A road map for India-EU ties” published in The Hindu on 16th August 2022.

Syllabus: GS 2 – Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

Relevance: About India-EU ties.

News: Along with the 75 years of Independence, India also celebrates 60 years of diplomatic relations with the European Union (EU).

What are the recent developments in India-EU ties?

a) A cooperation agreement signed in 1994 took the bilateral relationship beyond trade and economic cooperation, b) The first India-EU Summit in 2000, marked a watershed in the evolution of the relationship. At the fifth India-EU Summit in 2004, the relationship was upgraded to a ‘Strategic Partnership’, c) The two sides adopted a Joint Action Plan in 2005 towards strengthening dialogue and consultation mechanisms in the political and economic spheres, enhancing trade and investment, and bringing peoples and cultures together,

d) The 15th India-EU Summit, 2020, provided a common road map to guide joint action and strengthen the partnership over the next five years.

The map highlights engagement across five domains: foreign policy and security cooperation; trade and economy; sustainable modernisation partnership; global governance; and people-to-people relations.

Read more: India-EU: global dynamics
What is the present state of India-EU ties?

Economic partnership: Bilateral trade between the two surpassed $116 billion in 2021-22. The EU is India’s second largest trading partner after the U.S., and the second largest destination for Indian exports.

There are 6,000 European companies in the country that directly and indirectly create 6.7 million jobs.

Avenues of collaboration: 1) The ‘green strategic partnership’ between India and Denmark aims to address climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution, 2) The India-Nordic Summit focused on green technologies and industry transformation that are vital for sustainable and inclusive growth.

Cooperation in the defence sector: India and the EU regularly conduct joint military and naval exercises which reflects their commitment to a free, open, inclusive and rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific.

-The first maritime security dialogue in 2021 focused on cooperation in maritime domain awareness, capacity-building, and joint naval activities.

-France’s on-time delivery of 36 Rafale fighter jets and willingness to offer Barracuda nuclear attack submarines to the Indian Navy reflects the growing level of trust.

Science and technology:

Science and Technology Joint Steering Committee: It focus on areas such as healthcare, Artificial Intelligence, and earth sciences.

-In 2020, there was an agreement for research and development cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy between the European Atomic Energy Community and the Government of India.

Read more: Why India-EU trade pact is still difficult to achieve?
What are the challenges faced in India-EU ties?

India and the EU have differing opinions and divergent interests in some areas. For instance, a) India’s reluctance to condemn Russia for the Ukraine crisis is not agreed upon by the EU, b) There is an ambiguity on the EU’s strategy in tackling the rise of China. This is visible from Europe not criticising China’s attack on Galwan Valley.

Read more: Need for upgrading India-Europe relations
What should be done to improve India-EU ties?

India’s economic, political and demographic weight could be deftly leveraged by the EU to counterbalance China’s influence across the region. For that, the resumption of the ambitious India-EU free trade and investment agreement in 2021 is a step in the right direction.


Diplomacy for Viksit Bharat

Source: The post is based on an article “Diplomacy for Viksit Bharat” published in the Indian Express on 16th August 2022.

Syllabus: GS 2 International relations; Bilateral relations Multilateral relations etc.

Relevance: Foreign Policy

News: The Prime Minister of India has outlined a new ambition to make India a developed country, “Viksit Bharat”, by 2047.

What are significant changes that will be needed in the Indian foreign policy tradition to become a developed country?

(1) There is a need to overcome the residual legacies of Partition that continue to undermine Delhi’s geopolitical position.

(a) India must prioritize deterring the dangers from across the Western frontier until Pakistan is ready for a productive relationship with India.

(b) Resolve the problems left over by Partition on India’s North-western frontier, like the settlement of the boundary dispute with Bangladesh.

(c) Push for connectivity, trade ties, and security partnerships with its neighbors.

(d) Work towards strengthening regional and trans-regional institutions in South Asia and beyond.

(2) Address the China challenge, like the growing power gap with China. India-China border disputes started in 1962 and continue to happen even at present, like in 2013, 2014, 2017, and 2020. China has leveraged the divisions within the Subcontinent to constrain India, like CPEC in Pakistan. India’s engagement in the extended neighborhood is being challenged by China due to its increasing presence. China has been asserting itself across Asia to make a “unipolar Asia”.

(a) The Indian government must secure frontiers, retain India’s regional position, strengthen India’s manufacturing sector, improve domestic technological capabilities, and produce more weapons at home.

(b) Build stronger partnerships with other major powers. India’s policy of strategic autonomy is not a hindrance to it because all countries practice strategic autonomy to the extent they can. Partnerships should be based on negotiated mutually beneficial terms.

(3) If India becomes a $3-trillion economy, its ability to engage with the other powers will improve along with the growth of its comprehensive national power.

(4) India must take global leadership in managing the enormous consequences of the unfolding technological revolution, stabilizing the economic order, and addressing the challenges of climate change and pandemics.

(5) On its way to 2047, India has to continue its pursuit of multilateralism, at the UN, G-20, and WTO. India should make coalitions of like-minded nations.

(6) India must look beyond the immediate neighborhood to more effectively engage with Africa, Latin America, and Oceania where Delhi’s footprint remains light, despite some recent initiatives.

Domestic Ingredients for making India a developed nation

Promoting social justice, internal unity, economic modernisation, resilient political institutions, and deep bases of science and technology.

GS Paper 3


State control in the financial sector: Azadi of the financial sector

Source: The post is based on the article “Azadi of the financial sector” published in the Business Standard on 16th August 2022.

Syllabus: GS 3 – Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.

Relevance: About the state control in the financial sector.

News: While celebrating the 75th anniversary of India’s Independence, one needs to remember that in the field of financial economic policy, 44 of these 75 years were a period with a highly repressed financial system.

How did India achieve excessive state control in the financial sector?

Excessive state control is justified by the government through the philosophy of self-reliance,

All across the financial system, state domination was achieved through a) A combination of bans and public sector ownership. b) most routine activities of financial markets were prohibited by law, and c) cross-border engagement was mostly banned. For instance,

-Banking, insurance and mutual funds were the preserve of public sector banks, Life Insurance Corporation of India/General Insurance Corporation of India and Unit Trust of India, respectively.

-Capital Issues (Control) Act of 1947:  This law is applicable to securities markets. Under this law, the government decided which company could raise capital in the public market using which instrument and at which time.

What is the outcome of excessive state control in the financial sector?

The domestic investment was clogged within the domestic savings on questions of both raw magnitudes and risk tolerance. It was a picture of low freedom in financial sector.

In 1991, the government tried to push in favour of greater economic freedom, reduced central planning, and increased regulatory capacity. These reforms have played an important role in the real sector growth of the last three decades.

Read more: Strengthening financial sector
What is the outcome of low state control in the financial sector?

a) New industries like the software industry are financed by a new set of financial players, b) Activities like a loan against a car or a loan against a house, which were once relatively unusual, have become commonplace, c) The government can balance the balance sheets by tapping into the near-infinite pool of foreign investment

Achievements in the equity market: a) The emergence of the full ecosystem of finance in the equity market. These include the initial public offering (IPO) market, the equity spot market, derivatives trading, algorithmic trading, etc. b) Equity as a source of financing: Between 1991-92 to 2019-20, equity as a source of capital for large private non-financial firms went up from 24% to 37%, c) market capitalisation of listed Indian firms rose from about 5% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 1980 to about 100% of GDP at present.

What are the challenges faced at present due to state control in the financial sector?

1) The present access of households and micro, small and medium enterprises to formal finance, insurance penetration and density, pension assets as a percentage of GDP is low. This shows that India continues to be underbanked, underinsured and inadequately covered by old age income security measures.

2) Forward-looking speculative decision-making is absent in large parts of the financial system, 3) The long arm of central planning has only grown, where minute details of products and processes are controlled by the state. In many cases, there are controls on the persons appointed into leadership roles in these financial firms. All this creates subservient employees in private firms who work within the written and unwritten wishes of the regulators.

Must read: Financial sector regulator in India
What should be done to reduce state control in the financial sector?

Important elements of Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission (FSLRC) recommendations were implemented in 2015 and 2016, such as inflation targeting at the Reserve Bank of India and the merger of Forward Markets Commission with the Securities and Exchange Board of India.

But still India needs to go further to implement the balance and unleash financial sector.


PLFS findings on FLFPR: More women in the labour force must not lead us to complacency

Source: The post is based on the article “More women in the labour force must not lead us to complacency” published in the Live mint on 16th August 2022.

Syllabus: GS 3 – Economic development: Indian Economy and issues relating to growth, development and employment.

Relevance: About the PLFS findings on FLFPR.

News: As per the Periodic Labour Force Survey(PLFS) released by the National Statistical Office (NSO) covering June 2020 to July 2021, the female labour force participation rate (FLFPR) in India has witnessed an increase.

About the PLFS findings on FLFPR

Data on FLFPR: The figure in the period stands at 25.1%, far better than the 17% in 2017-18.

The increase in FLFPR was mostly driven by a rise in rural FLFPR that went up from 18% in 2017-18 to about 28% in 2020-21. The increases were mostly in agriculture, where the share of rural women workers increased to 75% in this period.

Data on the share of unpaid family workers: The share of women working as unpaid family workers increased from 39% in 2017-18 to 43% in 2020-21; 87% of unpaid women family workers in rural India are in agriculture.

Data on the share of own-account workers: own account workers, i.e., individuals running enterprises without any hired help, increased by 3% over the period, almost 40% of whom were producing largely for their own consumption rather than for the market.

Data on urban women workers: Urban areas also witnessed a marginal increase in the FLFPR, from 16% in 2017-18 to almost 19% in 2020-21. Around 38% of these women were working as own-account workers and unpaid family workers.

Almost 40% of self-employed workers in the age cohort of 26-35 years end up producing for self-consumption rather than for the market. There is also a falling share of working women in the same age cohort, from 31%in 2017-18 to 26% currently. The fall is evident across all categories of workers: self-employed, regular/salaried and casual workers.

The marginal increase in the urban FLFPR is mainly driven by a 4% rise in the share of older women workers in the age cohort 36-59 years.

Data on women neither working nor looking for work: Almost 82% in the 26-35 years age cohort, cited childcare and household chores as their primary reasons for not being part of the labour force.

Women aged 35-plus cited health and age-related issues, social norms and non-availability of jobs, in addition to household commitments and childcare as reasons for not seeking work.

Read more: Periodic Labour Force Survey(PLFS) – Annual Report
What are the impacts of PLFS findings on FLFPR?

1) The share of women workers engaged in agricultural activities had been in decline since the 1990s. The reversal in trend indicates over-crowding and under-employment in the sector. 2) The FLFPR numbers continue to remain dismal and way below the global FLFPR of approximately 48%, 3) The increase in rural women’s LFPR does not reflect increased demand and/or better job opportunities beyond agriculture, 4) The employment of older women workers in urban areas highlights the Informal job networks, which usually lead to employment in jobs with low remuneration and below par working condition.

Read more: Periodic Labour Force Survey and Unemployment in India- Explained, pointwise
What should be done to improve India’s FLFPR?

There is a need to decrease the disproportionate burden that women bear for domestic care and household work that keeps them away from the country’s labour market. Hence, the government has to not only generate jobs and opportunities for women but also has to create an ecosystem of enablers that substantially reduces the care and household commitments of women.


To Be Developed

Source: The post is based on the article “To be developed” published in The Times of India on 16th August 2022.

Syllabus: GS 3 Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, Mobilization of Resources, Growth, Development, and Employment.

Relevance: Economic Growth

News:  The Prime Minister of India’s 75th Year Independence Day speech has set an ambitious target that India must become a developed country by 2047.

Criterions for a country to become developed: (1) income, and per capita income, and (2) non-farm employment must be far more than farm employment.

Linkages between two criteria; If the share of people in farming goes down and manufacturing and services jobs multiply, it leads to a rise in incomes. For example, the British saw an increase in income during the Industrial Revolution when the share of employment in agriculture begin to come down in around 1760. In fact, in every country that has become rich, farm employment has radically shrunk.

Where does India stand today?

In 2018-19, around 41% of the labor force was engaged in agriculture, and 12.1% were employed in manufacturing. Most of those who came out of farms are absorbed in low-paid and insecure jobs in services and real estate.

Challenges in giving a boost to the manufacturing sector

The tariff rate has increased by 4. 5 percentage points over the last five years to 18. 3%.

The government has embarked upon protectionism. The PLI schemes have an overemphasis on protection. This protectionism will undermine opportunities offered by the world, to India, in the Global Value Chains.

Lack of speedy dispute redressal process: Indian courts’ performance in contract enforcement is among the worst in the world. NCLT. There are vacancies and huge backlogs in the entire judicial system that dilute the efficacy of most reforms

What should be done?

In order to become a developed country, the Indian economy requires people to move out of farms much faster. For this, the Indian farming sector needs to be reformed and manufacturing should flourish.

To boost the manufacturing sector: (1) the Centre-state should make a joint effort to clear projects fast, and (2) the Centre should stop hiking import duties and reduce the which can be low-hanging fruit for the government.


The shackles of 1861 need to go

Source: The post is based on an article “The shackles of 1861 need to go” published in The Hindu on 16th August 2022.

Syllabus: GS 3 Various Security Forces and Agencies and their Mandate.

Relevance: Police Reforms

News: Recently, a book titled “The Struggle for Police Reforms in India: Ruler’s Police to People’s Police” authored by a former IPS officer, Prakash Singh was released.

History of the reforms in the criminal justice system (CJS) during 75 years of Independence

(A) Parliament’s Contributions

The Probation of Offenders Act, 1958 was passed to reform, rather than punish, offenders.

The Dowry Prohibition Act was passed in 1961 for realizing the urgent need to check the social evil of dowry.

The Indian Penal Code (IPC) was amended in 1983 and 1986 to introduce sections 498A for cruelty by husband and his relatives, and Section 304B for the dowry related death.

The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, was enacted in 1989.

The definition of rape has been widened and offenses related to sexual assault made tougher.

The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, and the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, have been enacted.

The Information Technology Act of 2000 has been amended to give legal sanctity to electronic documents and signatures to facilitate online transactions and check cybercrime.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) was constituted in 2008 after the deadly 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai, to investigate and prosecute offences affecting national security.

(B) The constitutional court’s contributions

The Supreme Court granted relief to the LGBTQ+ community by reading down Section 377 of the IPC.

Custodial torture and sexual harassment of women have been held to be violations of fundamental rights.

The SC has ruled that the right to privacy is one of the fundamental rights under the Constitution of India.

The Supreme Court has acknowledged the misuse of Section 124A and has, in fact, may decide on the constitutionality of the sedition.

Attempts have been made to blend some elements of the inquisitorial system into the (prevalent) adversarial system. For example, making judicial inquiry has been made mandatory into custodial death and custodial rape mandatory to punish the guilty.

(C) Other Reforms

Police power to arrest has been curtailed, the use of handcuffs restrained, the presence of a lawyer permitted during interrogation, CCTV cameras installed in the police stations, and human rights bodies allowed to keep a constant eye.

Problems in the functioning of the Indian Police forces

(1) There are allegations of using brute force and a large trust deficit between the public and police.

(2) No state governments has given due attention to police reforms suggested under SC’s directives in Prakash Singh v. Union of India (2006). For example, even the directive of separating investigation from law and order was not implemented by States and Union Territories in the true spirit.

(3) In fact, no State or UT has adopted the Model Police Act drafted by Soli J. Sorabjee.

(4) The State’s police acts continue to live with British time provisions which have outlived their purpose long ago, like the connection between the magistrates and the police in the system. For example, the District Superintendent of Police is unable to transfer his Station House Officers (SHOs) without the approval of the District Magistrate in U.P.; the performance appraisal report of a Superintendent of Police is still written by the District Magistrate in some States

(5) Introduction of the police Commissionerate system in metropolitan areas (as per the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code) is always resisted.

(6) The Criminal system is governed by the 1861 Act, which laid the foundation for an organized police force. It’s Drafting of IPC was impacted by the revolt of 1857. The main objective was to use the police as a weapon of repression and strengthen the hold the British had over India. The prevention (and detection) of crime was never their priority.

What should be done?

There should be additional funding for police reforms. Further, there is a need for improvement in soft skills and ensuring investigation in an impartial manner in order to bridge the trust deficit.

More offences can be made bailable and more brought under the ambit of compounding to lighten the burden on jails.

The Police department can establish specialised wings to deal with newer types of crime.

Further, police must be encouraged to use technology and forensic techniques to enhance the quality of evidence.


Prelims Oriented Articles (Factly)

Explained: History of the PIN code, which turns 50 this Independence Day

Source: The post is based on the article “Explained: History of the PIN code, which turns 50 this Independence Day” published in Indian Express on 16th August 2022.

What is the News?

The 75th Independence Day coincides with another milestone in the country’s history — it was on August 15, 1972, that the Postal Index Number(PIN) was introduced in India. 

As the PIN Code turns 50 this year, let us look at the history of PIN Code:

Why was the PIN Code introduced?
PIN Code
Source: Hindustan Times

At the time of independence, there were 23,344 post offices primarily in urban areas in India. But, the country was growing rapidly, and the postal network had to keep pace.

The PIN code was then introduced to ease the process of mail sorting and delivery in a country where different places, often, have the same or similar names and letters written in a wide variety of languages.

How does the PIN Code work?

The PIN is made up of six digits. The first number indicates the postal region — Northern, Eastern, Western, Southern; and the number 9, which signifies the Army Postal Service. The second number denotes a sub-region, and the third represents the sorting district. The remaining numbers narrow the geography further to the specific post office making the delivery.

Who was the person behind the PIN Code initiative?

The person behind the initiative was Shriram Bhikaji Velankar, an additional secretary in the Union Ministry of Communications and a senior member of the Posts and Telegraphs Board.

Note: Shriram Velankar was also a Sanskrit poet of eminence who had been conferred the President’s Award for Sanskrit in 1996. One of his most important books of his was Viloma Kavya which is considered a literary masterpiece because it comprises verses in praise of Lord Rama when read from one side and, when read backwards, it transformed into verses dedicated to Lord Krishna.

How is the PIN Code still relevant?

In today’s world where emails have replaced letters, and WhatsApp, Instagram and other social media platforms have become means of communication, one may think that the ‘pin code’ does not hold the same relevance.

However, as more and more e-commerce platforms, couriers and food delivery services set up shop, the pin code is still required to avoid duplication and identify the correct address.


What is ATAGS, the indigenous howitzer used in Independence Day 21-gun salute?

Source: The post is based on the article “What is ATAGS, the indigenous howitzer used in Independence Day 21-gun salute?” published in Indian Express on 15th August 2022.

What is the News?

For the first time, an indigenously developed howitzer gun, ATAG became part of the 21-gun salute during the Independence Day ceremony at the Red Fort. 

What is ATAGS?

The ATAGS is an indigenous 155 mm x 52 calibre howitzer gun.

Note: Howitzers is an umbrella term for a category of long-range artillery guns.

Developed by: Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) with its Pune-based facility Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) being the nodal agency.

Range: It is capable of hitting targets from 45 to 48 km.

Key Features: ATAGS mainly comprises a barrel, breech mechanism, muzzle brake and recoil mechanism. It is configured with an all-electric drive to ensure maintenance-free and reliable operation over a longer period of time. 

– It has advanced features in terms of high mobility, quick deployability, auxiliary power mode, advanced communication system, automatic command and control system with night firing capability in the direct fire mode.

– It is also compatible with C4I (command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence) systems like the Artillery Combat Command and Control System(ACCCS) called Shakti for technical fire control, fire planning, deployment management and operational logistics management of the Army.

Note: The development process of ATAGS coincides with the development of the Howitzer Dhanush for Advanced Weapons and Equipment India of the erstwhile Ordnance Factory Board.


Panel moots district-level survey to bring more children into adoption

Source: The post is based on the articlePanel moots district-level survey to bring more children into adoptionpublished in The Hindu on 16th August 2022.

What is the News?

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances and Law and Justice have tabled the report titled “Review of Guardianship and Adoption Laws” in Parliament.

What are the key findings of the report?

Too few Children’s available for adoption in India in spite of millions of orphans: There are only 2,430 children available for adoption by the Child Welfare Committees. 

– On the other hand, there are around 27,939 prospective parents registered with the Child Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) for adoption.

– The waiting time for adoption too has increased to three years from one year in the past five years. 

Reason: According to the 2020 Orphan Report of IHH Humanitarian and Social Research Center(INSAMER) there were an estimated 3.1 crore orphans (defined in the report as loss of either or both parents) in India. The reason why there are only 2,430 children available for adoption in a country is because of the failure to bring more children in need of care into the government’s safety net. 

Suggestions given by the report: District-level surveys should be conducted to proactively identify orphaned and abandoned children.

– A monthly meeting chaired by the District Magistrate should be held in every district to ensure that orphan and abandoned children found begging in the streets are produced before the Child Welfare Committee and are made available for adoption at the earliest.


Why does the Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh remain unresolved?

Source: The post is based on the article “Why does the Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh remain unresolved?” published in The Hindu on 16th August 2022.

What is the News?

The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh has been at the centre of three major wars and multiple clashes for decades. The recent flare-up began after Azerbaijan claimed that it had captured the territory in Karabakh in retaliatory action.

What is the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute?
Nagorno-Karabakh dispute
Source: Wikipedia

​​Nagorno-Karabakh is a disputed territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but mostly governed by the Republic of Artsakh, de facto independent state with an Armenian ethnic majority backed by neighbouring Armenia. 

Origin of the conflict: Modern-day Armenia and Azerbaijan became part of the Soviet Union when it formed in the 1920s. Nagorno-Karabakh was an ethnic-majority Armenian region, but the Soviets gave control over the area to Azerbaijani authorities.

– It was only as the Soviet Union began to collapse in the late 1980s that Nagorno-Karabakh’s regional parliament officially voted to become part of Armenia.

– Azerbaijan sought to suppress the separatist movement, while Armenia backed it. This led to full-scale war. Armenian forces gained control of Nagorno-Karabakh and areas adjacent to it before a Russian-brokered ceasefire was declared in 1994.

– After that deal, Nagorno-Karabakh remained part of Azerbaijan, but since then has mostly been governed by a separatist, self-declared republic run by ethnic Armenians and backed by the Armenian government.

What is India’s stand on the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute?

With Armenia, India has a friendship and cooperation treaty (signed in 1995) which incidentally, would prohibit India from providing military or any other assistance to Azerbaijan.

In the case of Azerbaijan, ONGC/OVL has made investments in an oilfield project in Azerbaijan and GAIL is exploring the possibilities of cooperation in LNG.

Azerbaijan also falls on the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) route, connecting India with Russia through Central Asia. It can also connect India with Turkey and beyond through the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars passenger and freight rail link.

Armenia extends its unequivocal support to India on the Kashmir issue whereas Azerbaijan not only opposess but also promotes Pakistan’s narrative on this issue.

Under these circumstances, India has taken a principled position in the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan and supported moves for its peaceful resolution.


Explained: What is DigiYatra, the contactless passenger processing system for airports

Source: The post is based on the article “Explained: What is DigiYatra, the contactless passenger processing system for airports” published in Indian Express on 16th August 2022.

What is the News?

The Delhi International Airport Ltd(DIAL) run by GMR has announced the soft launch of the Centre’s DigiYatra initiative, rolling out the beta version of its app for Android platforms. 

What is DigiYatra?

The ‘DigiYatra’ is a Biometric Enabled Seamless Travel experience(BEST) based on Facial Recognition Technology.

It aims to provide a paperless and seamless travel experience to the passengers.

With this technology, passenger entry would be automatically processed based on the facial recognition system at all checkpoints including entry into the airport, security check areas and aircraft boarding etc.

Who is implementing DigiYatra?

The project is being implemented by the DigiYatra Foundation — a joint-venture company registered under the Companies Act, 2013.

DigiYatra Foundation will be the custodian of the passenger ID validation process.It will also define the criteria for compliance and guidelines for the local airport systems.

How can people avail the DigiYatra facility?

To use this facility, passengers will need to first download the DigiYatra app. 

Users can register on the app using Aadhaar credentials followed by a selfie with the Aadhaar card. After this, vaccination details using CoWIN credentials will have to be added to the app.

Then, the person will have to scan his or her boarding pass with the QR code or Barcode after which the credentials will be shared with the airport.

For entry into the airport, passengers will need to scan their boarding passes at the e-gate and look into the facial recognition system camera installed there. A similar method will be applicable for entry into other checkpoints.

What are the benefits of DigiYatra?

Firstly, it will make the boarding process significantly faster and more seamless as each passenger would need less than three seconds at every touchpoint. Their face would act as their documents, like ID proof, Vaccine proof and also act as a boarding pass.

Secondly, it will ensure enhanced security at the airport as the passenger data is validated with the Airline’s Departure Control System thereby only designated passengers can enter the terminal. 


Yuan Wang 5: Why is the visit of a Chinese vessel to Sri Lanka’s Hambantota port controversial?

Source: The post is based on the article “Why is the visit of a Chinese vessel to Sri Lanka’s Hambantota port controversial?” published in The Hindu on 16th August 2022.

What is the News?

Sri Lanka has approved the arrival of a Chinese satellite-tracking vessel named “Yuan Wang 5” to its southern Chinese-funded Hambantota port.

The ship was scheduled to arrive at the port but was delayed in absence of permission by the Sri Lankan authorities.

What is Yuan Wang 5?

Yuan Wang 5 is the third-generation scientific research ship of the Yuan Wang series, owned by China.

The ship can be used to monitor satellite, rocket and intercontinental ballistic missile launches. Several experts have described it as a “dual-use spy ship”.

The ship will be used by China to conduct satellite control and research tracking in the northwestern part of the Indian Ocean Region through August and September. 

How has India responded?

India has expressed its concern over the Chinese vessel visit. India is concerned about the possibility of the ship’s tracking systems attempting to snoop on Indian installations while being on their way to the Sri Lankan port.


Explained: Why has Johnson and Johnson decided to discontinue its talc-based baby powder?

Source: The post is based on the article “Explained: Why has Johnson and Johnson decided to discontinue its talc-based baby powder?” published in Indian Express on 16th August 2022.

What is the News?

Pharmaceutical giant Johnson and Johnson(J&J) has announced that it will discontinue the sale of its talc-based baby powder globally by 2023.

This is being done after thousands of lawsuits have been filed by women who claim that the product caused them to have ovarian cancer due to the alleged contamination of asbestos, a known carcinogen.

What is Talc?

Talc is the softest known mineral and is mined from underground deposits. Chemically, talc is a hydrous magnesium silicate.

It is used in a variety of cosmetic and personal care products like baby powder, lipstick, eyeshadow and foundation. 

When reduced to a fine powder, it is able to absorb moisture and reduce friction which keeps the skin dry, helps prevent rashes, stops makeup from caking and generally helps improve the feel and texture of a product.

Does it cause cancer?

Asbestos, the name for another group of naturally occurring silicate minerals, can also be found near talc deposits. 

According to the FDA, there is the potential for contamination of talc with asbestos. Asbestos has been used in construction and manufacturing and is known to cause lung cancer, ovarian cancer, mesothelioma and other health conditions.


75 Ramsar Sites in 75th Year of Independence

Source: The post is based on the article 75 Ramsar Sites in 75th Year of Independence published in PIB on 14th August 2022.

What is the News?

India has added 11 more wetlands to the list of Ramsar sites to make a total 75 Ramsar sites.

The 11 new sites include Four (4) sites in Tamil Nadu, Three (3) in Odisha, Two (2) in Jammu & Kashmir and One (1) each in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.

Note: Currently, Tamil Nadu has a maximum no. of Ramsar sites (14), followed by UP which has 10 Ramsar sites.  

Which are these 11 New Ramsar Sites?
Source: TOI

Tampara Lake in Odisha: It is among the most prominent freshwater lakes in Odisha. The lake was called “Tamp” by the British and subsequently termed “Tampra” by the locals. The lake is an important habitat for vulnerable species such as Cyprinus carpio, common pochard (Aythya ferina) and river tern (Sterna aurantia).

Hirakud Reservoir in Odisha: It is the largest earthen dam in Odisha started operating in 1957. The reservoir provides important hydrological services by moderating floods in the Mahanadi delta.

Ansupa Lake in Odisha: It is the largest freshwater lake in Odisha. It is an oxbow lake formed by River Mahanadi. It provides a safe habitat to at least three threatened bird species- Rynchops albicollis (EN), Sterna acuticauda (EN) and Sterna aurantia (VU) and three threatened fish species- Clarias magur (Clariidae) (EN), Cyprinus carpio (Cyprinidae) (VU) and Wallago attu (VU).

Yashwant Sagar in Madhya Pradesh: It is one of the two Important Bird Areas(IBA) in the Indore region. Presently, it is mainly used for water supply to the city of Indore. It is considered to be a stronghold of the vulnerable Sarus Crane in central India. 

Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu: It is locally known as “Chitrangudi Kanmoli”. It has been a protected area since 1989 and has been an ideal habitat for winter migratory birds.

Suchindrum Theroor Wetland complex in Tamil Nadu: It is a part of Suchindrum-Theroor Manakudi Conservation Reserve. It is declared an Important Bird Area and lies at the southern tip of the Central Asian flyway of migratory birds.  

Vaduvur bird sanctuary in Tamil Nadu: It is a large human-made irrigation tank and shelter for migratory birds as it provides a suitable environment for food, shelter, and breeding ground. 

Kanjirankulam Bird Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu: It is notable as a nesting site for several migratory heron species that roost in the prominent growth of babul trees there.

Thane Creek: It is located in Maharashtra. There are several sources of fresh water in the creek of which Ulhas River is the largest. It has been declared as Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary. It is fringed by mangroves on both banks & comprises around 20% of the total Indian mangrove species.

Hygam Wetland in Jammu and Kashmir: It falls within the River Jhelum basin and plays a significant role as a flood absorption basin, biodiversity conservation site, eco-tourism site and livelihood security for the local communities. It is also recognized as an Important Bird Area (IBA). 

Shallabug Wetland Conservation Reserve in Jammu and Kashmir: Large areas of the wetland dry up between September and March. The area has extensive reedbeds of Phragmites communis and Typha angustata and rich growth of Nymphaea candida and N. stellata on open water.


Explained: Women heroes of India’s freedom struggle, mentioned by PM in his I-Day speech

Source: The post is based on the article “Explained: Women heroes of India’s freedom struggle, mentioned by PM in his I-Day speech” published in Indian Express on 16th August 2022.

What is the News?

During 75th Independence Day anniversary speech, the Prime Minister hailed “nari shakti”, and urged people to pledge to not do anything that lowers the dignity of women. He also paid tribute to women freedom fighters for showing the world the true meaning of India’s “nari shakti”.

Who are the women freedom fighters mentioned by PM in his speech?

Rani Laxmibai: Rani Laxmibai is known for her role in the First War of India’s Independence in 1857. 

She was born in 1835. She got married to the king of Jhansi. The couple adopted a son before the king’s death which the British East India Company refused to accept as the legal heir and decided to annex Jhansi.

Refusing to cede her territory, the queen decided to rule on behalf of the heir and later joined the uprising against the British in 1857.

Cornered by the British, she escaped from Jhansi fort. She was wounded in combat near Gwalior’s Phool Bagh where she later died. 

Sir Hugh Rose, who was commanding the British army, is known to have described her as “personable, clever and one of the most dangerous Indian leaders”.

Jhalkari Bai: She was a soldier in Rani Laxmibai’s women’s army.

She rose to become one of the queen’s most trusted advisers. She is known for putting her own life at risk to keep the queen out of harm’s way. 

To date, the story of her valour is recalled by the people of Bundelkhand, and she is often presented as a representative of Bundeli identity.

Durga Bhabhi: Durgawati Devi was popularly known as Durga Bhabhi. She was a revolutionary who joined the armed struggle against colonial rule. 

She was born in Allahabad in 1907 and married to Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA) member Bhagwati Charan Vohra.

She was a member of the Naujawan Bharat Sabha. She helped Bhagat Singh escape in disguise from Lahore after the 1928 killing of British police officer John P Saunders.

During the train journey that followed, Durgawati and Bhagat Singh posed as a couple and Rajguru as their servant. 

Later, as revenge for the hanging of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, and Sukhdev, she made an unsuccessful attempt to kill the former Punjab Governor, Lord Hailey.

Click Here to read about: Kittur Chennamma, Rani Gaidinliu and Rani Velu Nachiyar.


 

Let The Land Heal

Source– The post is based on the article “Let the Land Heal” published in The Indian Express on 1st October 2022. Syllabus: GS3- Agriculture and Environment Relevance– Unsustainable agriculture practices News– The article explains the issues related to excessive use of pesticides. It also suggests measures to reduce their use. What is the issue? There… Continue reading Let The Land Heal

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India-US ties: Depth & nuance

Source– The post is based on the article “India-US ties: Depth & nuance” published in the The Indian Express on 1st October 2022. Syllabus: GS3- International Relations Relevance– India and US relationship News– The article explains the relationship between India and the USA. How India-US relations have evolved historically? Following the nuclear tests of May… Continue reading India-US ties: Depth & nuance

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5G services to be rolled out today; how will your experience change?

Source: The post is based on an article “5G services to be rolled out today; how will your experience change?” published in The Indian Express on 1st October 2022. Syllabus: GS 3 Relevance: benefits of 5G News: The Prime Minister of India will launch 5G on 1st October and the sixth edition of India Mobile Congress in New Delhi. What… Continue reading 5G services to be rolled out today; how will your experience change?

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Swachh Bharat 2.0: Moving forward together

Source: The post is based on an article “Swachh Bharat 2.0: Moving forward together” published in The Indian Express on 1st October 2022. Syllabus: GS 3 Relevance: measures taken to improve sanitation News: The article highlights the importance of private sector in resolving the issue of Sanitation. The concept of sanitation in India has been around since the Indus Valley… Continue reading Swachh Bharat 2.0: Moving forward together

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Letting go of a chance to democratise telecom services

Source– The post is based on the article “Letting go of a chance to democratise telecom services” published in The Hindu on 1st October 2022. Syllabus: GS2- Indian Polity Relevance– Regulation of telecommunication services in India News-There is a need to resolve the issues with the new Telecommunication Bill, 2022. What are the issues with… Continue reading Letting go of a chance to democratise telecom services

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Vacation pe vacation: No major country has their top court going on long holidays. Neither should Supreme Court

Source: The post is based on an article “Vacation pe vacation: No major country has their top court going on long holidays. Neither should Supreme Court” published in The Times of India on 1st October 2022. Syllabus: GS 2 – Functioning of Supreme Court Relevance: concerns associated with vacation of courts News: The article discusses the issue of too many… Continue reading Vacation pe vacation: No major country has their top court going on long holidays. Neither should Supreme Court

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No discrimination – ON Supreme Court ruling on abortion rights

Source– The post is based on the article “No discrimination” published in The Hindu on 1st October 2022. Syllabus: GS1- Social empowerment. GS2- Vulnerable sections Relevance– Abortion rights of women News– The article explains the recent Supreme Court ruling on abortion rights of unmarried women. It also explains the ruling by Delhi High Court on… Continue reading No discrimination – ON Supreme Court ruling on abortion rights

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As India ages, keeping an eye on the elderly

Source: The post is based on an article “As India ages, keeping an eye on the elderly” published in The Hindu on 1st October 2022. Syllabus: GS 1 – Population and associated Issues News: 1st October is celebrated as International Day for Older Persons by the United Nations. World Population Prospects 2022 report published by the UN Department of… Continue reading As India ages, keeping an eye on the elderly

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Punish vandals: Needed: smart law on property damaged in protests

Source: The post is based on the article “Punish vandals: Needed: smart law on property damaged in protests” published in The Times of India on 1st October 2022. Syllabus: GS 2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.. Relevance: About the damages to public and… Continue reading Punish vandals: Needed: smart law on property damaged in protests

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‘Lichens are a pioneer species which enable all life — conserving them is vital’

Source: The post is based on the article “‘Lichens are a pioneer species which enable all life — conserving them is vital’” published in The Times of India on 1st October 2022. Syllabus: GS 3: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation. Relevance: About Lichens. News: At present most conservation work is focused on charismatic species, like tigers… Continue reading ‘Lichens are a pioneer species which enable all life — conserving them is vital’

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