Raj kundra sent to police custody

A magistrate court in Mum-
bai on Tuesday sent Raj
Kundra, businessman and
actor Shilpa Shetty’s hus-
band, to police custody till
July 23 for allegedly pro-
ducing and circulating por-
nographic videos through
social media. The Mumbai
police said, “Through in-
vestigation it is clear that
Mr. Kundra is involved in
making nude and vulgar vi-
deos, uploads them on so-
cial media and earns mo-
ney.” He was arrested by
the Property Cell of the
Mumbai Crime Branch on
July 19 in connection with
the pornography racket
busted in February.
When the police raided
a bungalow at Madh village
in Malad on February 4,
2021, some boys and girls
were found flming and re-
cording nude and vulgar vi-
deos and uploading them
on various online plat-
forms. Investigation re-
vealed that these videos
were going to be uploaded
on a website and mobile
app. Actor Umesh Kamat
confessed that Mr. Kundra
is involved in broadcasting
such videos on apps and
has also made WhatsApp
groups to stay in contact
with the app.
A witness told the police
that Mr. Kundra and his
aide Saurabh Kushwah es-
tablished Arms Prime Me-
dia Private Limited on Fe-
bruary 5, 2019, and the
said company sold the app
to a company named Ken-
rin Limited for $25,000.
On December 11, 2019, Mr.
Kundra resigned from the
company. The police said,
“It is clear that Mr. Kundra
is involved in making the
videos and earns money by
establishing Arms Prime
Media Private Limited
which took over the app.


Implications of surveillance

• Freedom of speech curtailed – journalists or dissidents who have
criticised the government – targeted.

• Faulty refuge under Statues – Indian Telegraph Act, 1885; section 69 and the
Interception Rules of 2009 under Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000.
 Statutes provide way for surveillance, no protections to the surveilled.
 Even the opaque laws don’t provide for surveillance
 Hacking is a criminal offence under the IT Act.
• Threatens the separation of powers
 Judiciary can effectively over see and curtail such
powers being misused.
 Laws provides no scope for an individual subjected
to surveillance to approach a court of law.

Key Take-away

• Surveillance system impacts the right to privacy under Art. 21 – reiterated in K.S. Puttaswamy (Retd) v.
Union of India (2017) case.

• Impacts exercise of freedom of speech and personal liberty under Art. 19 of the Constitution.

• Mass surveillance – risk of concentration of powers
with the executive.

1991 Economic Reforms

• India met with an economic crisis relating to
its external debt.
 Unable to make repayments on its borrowings from abroad.
 Foreign exchange reserves had dropped to
very low levels.
 Further compounded by rising prices of
essential goods.

• Origin of the financial crisis – from the
inefficient management of the Indian economy
in the 1980s.
 Foreign exchange was spent on meeting
consumption needs.
 Minimal effort to reduce such profligate
spending or boosting export.

• India approached the World Bank and the
International Monetary Fund.

• Agreed to the conditionalities of WB and IMF-
announced the New Economic Policy (NEP).
 A wide-ranging economic reforms.
 Initiated a variety of policies based on
liberalisation, privatisation and globalization.

• Post 1991 reforms- India’s export sector has
not changed much.

• Huge foreign exchange reserve- a result of
huge financial inflows, not export surpluses.
• Key elements to improve a country’s export
 publicly provided infrastructure, private R&D
and a facilitating government machinery.

• Mostly available in India’s software services-
exporters, not for exporters of goods.
 India’s trade in services generally has a
surplus; deficit is mostly in trade of tangible

• Need for strong export performance- cannot rely on volatile portfolio capital against balance of payments stress.

• Way forward:

Need serious structural revisions to ensure necessary infrastructure in our country.


Comptroller and Auditor-General of India (CAG)

• CAG and the Indian Audit and Accounts Department
(IAAD) – Supreme Audit Institution of India.

• Articles 148-151 of the Constitution deals with CAG.

• Article 148: There shall be a CAG of India who shall be appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal.

• Independent and unbiased nature CA is ensured by:
 Appointed by the President of India.
 Security of tenure: special procedure for removal,
like a Supreme Court Judge.
 Salary and expenses of CAG – charged (not voted) from the Consolidated Fund of India.

 Disallowed from holding any other Govt office after his/her term expires.

Duties of the CAG :-

• Under Article 149, Parliament had enacted the CAG’s Duties, Powers and Conditions Act in 1971.

• Article 150: the accounts of the Union and of the States shall be kept in such form as the President may prescribe.
 Shall be based on the advice of CAG.

• Reports of the CAG – submitted to the President/Governor – Union/State respectively.
 They table the report before the Parliament/State legislature.
 Permanently referred to the Central and State Standing Committees on Public Accounts and Public Undertakings.

• Types of CAG reports:

 Compliance and performance audit reports –
covers revenue collection and expenditure of
 Separate audit reports on the functioning of certain autonomous bodies.

 Reports on the financial position of Central and State Governments.
 Reports on the adherence to the Appropriation Acts passed by Parliament and Legislatures.
 Certified annual accounts of the States to the State Legislatures: the Finance and
Appropriation Accounts.

• Types of audits done by CAG: Compliance Audit, Financial Attest Audit and Performance Audit.

45 killed in military plan crash in philippines


• One of world’s largest archipelago nations

• Situated in Southeast Asia in the Western Pacific Ocean

• Three main geographical areas – Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao

• String of over 7,000 islands • Two largest islands are Luzon and Mindanao – make up for two-thirds of the total land area

• Only about one third of the islands are inhabited


• Altogether about 50 volcanoes, more than 10 are
known to be active

• Mount Pinatubo in 1991 saw the world’s largest
volcanic eruptions of the 20th century

• Climate : tropical and strongly monsoonal

• Surrounded by south China to its west, Philippines sea to the east.

South China Sea

• Arm of the western Pacific Ocean

• Bounded on the northeast – Taiwan Strait

• On the east – Philippines

• On the southeast and south – coast of the Malay Peninsula

• On the west and north – the Asian mainland

• Parcel, spratly islands and scharborough Shoal – south China sea

• 9 dash line – in south China sea as well.

One Health Concept: Why is it in news now?

One Health concept is being recognized as an effective way to fight health issues at the human-animal environment interface, including zoonotic diseases.

‘One Health’ was proposed as a concept to foster such interdisciplinary collaboration. It is adopted by the international agencies charged with control of zoonoses (diseases that can spread between animals and humans, such as flu, rabies etc).

This concept is used by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). In India, it is a component under the National Mission on Biodiversity and Human Well Being.

What is One Health Concept?

One Health concept is a worldwide strategy for expanding interdisciplinary collaborations and communications in all aspects of health care for people,animal and the environment

One Health approach identifies that zoonotic diseases, environmental pressures, food security, anti-microbial resistance, and health threats of animals and humans are all inter related.

It recognizes that a stand-alone approach will not work and that the health of people is closely connected to the health of animals and our shared environment.

Pandemics like Covid19 and One Health Approach

The need for greater interdisciplinary collaboration was identified with the emergence of zoonotic viruses with pandemic disease-causing potential in the early years of the 21st century.

Changes in land-use patterns, climate changes, etc. disrupt habitats and cause new diseases to pass to animals. Rapidly growing human population result in more people living in close contact with wild and domestic animals, which provide more opportunities for diseases to pass between animals and people.

Due to the explosion of international travel and trade, such diseases can spread quickly across borders and around the globe. Thus, existing or emerging zoonotic diseases can transform into a pandemic.

Potential Outcomes from the One Health Approach

. More interdisciplinary programs in education, training, research, and policy development.

• More information sharing related to disease detection, diagnosis, education, and research.

• More prevention of diseases, both infectious and chronic.

●Development of new therapies and approaches to treatments.

National Mission on Biodiversity and Human Well-being

Launched recently by the Government of India, the mission aims to explore the neglected links between biodiversity and human well-being.

It spans across the sectors of health, economic development, agricultural production, and livelihood generation.

It addresses health and livelihood concerns along with efforts to mitigate climate change and related disasters.

One of the components of the mission explicitly links biodiversity to human health through the One Health framework.

As part of the programme, institutions are encouraged to set up surveillance systems at potential emerging infectious disease hotspots across India.


• CAG and the Indian Audit and Accounts Department
(IAAD) – Supreme Audit Institution of India.

• Articles 148-151 of the Constitution deals with CAG.

• Article 148: There shall be a CAG of India who shall be appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal.

• Independent and unbiased nature CA is ensured by:
 Appointed by the President of India.
 Security of tenure: special procedure for removal,
like a Supreme Court Judge.
 Salary and expenses of CAG – charged (not voted) from the Consolidated Fund of India.

 Disallowed from holding any other Govt office after his/her term expires.

Duties of the CAG :-

• Under Article 149, Parliament had enacted the CAG’s Duties, Powers and Conditions Act in 1971.

• Article 150: the accounts of the Union and of the States shall be kept in such form as the President may prescribe.
 Shall be based on the advice of CAG.

• Reports of the CAG – submitted to the President/Governor – Union/State respectively.
 They table the report before the Parliament/State legislature.
 Permanently referred to the Central and State Standing Committees on Public Accounts and Public Undertakings.

• Types of CAG reports:

 Compliance and performance audit reports –
covers revenue collection and expenditure of
 Separate audit reports on the functioning of certain autonomous bodies.

 Reports on the financial position of Central and State Governments.
 Reports on the adherence to the Appropriation Acts passed by Parliament and Legislatures.
 Certified annual accounts of the States to the State Legislatures: the Finance and
Appropriation Accounts.

• Types of audits done by CAG: Compliance Audit, Financial Attest Audit and Performance Audit.

U.P. ranked best under Smart Cities Mission

News : 25 JUN 2021 – Ministry of Housing and
Urban Affairs 6th year – three transformative Urban Missions
 Smart Cities Mission (SCM)
 Atal Mission for Urban Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT)
 Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban (PMAY-

• 45 years – National Institute of Urban Affairs
 Autonomous body Ministry of Housing and Urban affairs.
 Body – bridge the gap between research and
practice on issues related to urbanization.

Smart cities Mission

• Cities – engines of growth for the economy of every nation, including India.

• Urban areas – 40% of India’s population and contribute 75% of India’s GDP by 2030

• Need – physical, institutional, social and
economic infrastructure.

• Major role – improving the quality of life as well as in attracting people and
investments to the city.

• Smart City – wish list of infrastructure and

• Urban eco-system – four pillars of comprehensive development – institutional,
physical, social and economic infrastructure .

• Objective:
 Core infrastructure and give a decent quality of life to its citizens
 A clean and sustainable environment
 Application of ‘Smart’ Solutions.

• Purpose – drive economic growth and improve the quality of life of people .

• Operated as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme
• Core infrastructure elements – Smart City :
 Adequate water supply
 Assured electricity supply
 Sanitation, including solid waste management
 Efficient urban mobility and public transport
 Affordable housing, especially for the poor
 Robust IT connectivity and digitalization
 Good governance, especially e-Governance and
citizen participation
 Sustainable environment
 Safety and security
 Health and education.

• Scheme – Centrally Sponsored Scheme

Atal Mission for Urban Rejuvenation and Urban
Transformation (AMRUT).

• To provide basic services to households and build
amenities in cities .

• Purpose
 Ensure that every household has access to a
tap with the assured supply of water and a sewerage connection.
 To Increase the amenity value of cities by developing greenery and well maintained open spaces like parks.
 To reduce pollution by switching to public
transport or constructing facilities for non- motorized transport.


 Capacity building
 Reform implementation
 Water supply
 Sewerage and septage management
 Storm water drainage
 Urban transport
 Development of green spaces and parks.

• Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) will strive to include some smart features in the physical infrastructure components.
Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban (PMAY-U).

• Flagship Mission of Government of India.

• Implemented – Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. Addresses – urban housing
shortage among the Economically Weaker
Sections / Low Income Group and Medium Income Groups • Demand driven approach

• Mission – Ownership of houses in name of female member or in joint name.

• Preference differently abled persons, senior citizens, SCs, STs, OBCs, Minority, single women, transgender and other weaker & vulnerable sections of the society.

• Adopts – cafeteria approach to suit the needs of individuals

India’s Smart Cities Awards 2020 :
 Uttar Pradesh to be ranked one followed by Madhya Pradesh in the second place
and Tamil Nadu in the third place.
 Indore and Surat were – Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry for their work
under the Smart Cities Mission.

• 22% in terms of the total value of the projects proposed and 52% in terms of the total number of projects proposed by the
100 Smart Cities had been completed so far.

Baba Banda Singh Bahadur (1670-1716)

●Born in a Rajput family.

• Childhood name -Lachhman Das.

• Disciple of Guru Gobind Singh
 Taught basic principles of Sikhism and baptised him.
 Christened as ‘Banda Singh’.

● Famous saint soldier of Guru Govind Singh.


 Captured large part of Punjab and established first Sikh rule – Khalsa Republic – as instructed by Guru Gobind
 Early 18th century -struggle against the Mughal Empire in Northern India.
 1710 to 1716 – 3 battles against Mughals – brief confrontation – shook their foundations.
 Rise of Sikh power.
 1710 – Attacked Mughal provincial capital, ‘Sirhind’.  Banda Bahadur destroyed the city and killed its governor Wazir Khan.
 Fought for freedom and protection of poor &
marginalized people, and upliftment of all sections.
 Abolished the zamindari system in Punjab.
 Granted proprietary rights to the actual tillers of the land.
 Banda Singh Bahadur became the first ruler of the world to abolish feudal system, much earlier than the French Revolution.

 Lohgarh/Lokgarh fort – one of the most important places in Sikh history.
 1709-10 – Khalsa Rajdhani – Baba Banda Singh Bahadur declared it the capital of the first Sikh state.
 Largest Fort in the world – recent archaeological research.
 Epicenter – spread in almost 7000 acres.
 Almost 70 to 80 years to construct.
 Said that its construction was started Guru Hargobind Sahib.
 3 major battles fought between Sikhs and Mughals.
 After the arrest of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur, the fort was captured and finally
demolished by the Mughals.
 Fort is of National importance.

 Minted coins in the names of Guru Nanak Dev ji and Guru Gobind Singh ji.
 Inscribed Lohgarh as Khalsa Takth.

• Death of Baba Banda Singh
 Faruksiyar – Delhi’s emperor and ordered
the capture of Banda Singh.
 Captured in December 1715.

 Banda singh along with the 700 soldiers were taken to Delhi and tortured to convert to Islam – none of them converted.
 Cruelly executed in 1716.

• Known and celebrated in Bengal -Rabindranath Tagore wrote a poem titled Bandi Bir


• Pandemic – affected the Indian children
 Orphaned
 Child Labour

• Factors of Child Labour – pre existed.

• Third decade of the 21st century:
 152 million – child Labour
 73 million – hazardous work.


• 2011 census – 10.1 million children (5-14 years) are working.
 8.1 million – rural areas
 26% – cultivators;
32.9% – agricultural labourers.

• UNESCO’s estimates
 38.1 million – out of school. • Rapid Survey on Children (2013-14)
 Less than half of children – 10-14 years have completed primary education.
Child Labour:
 long-term devastating consequences – education, skills and acquisition.
 reduce – possibilities to overcome poverty, incomplete education and poor-quality jobs.

Policy and programmatic interventions

• Contributions
 Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) 2005
 the Right to Education Act 2009
 Mid-Day Meal Scheme.

• Education and wage employment (unskilled) for rural families.

• Ratification – ILO child labour Conventions
 Convention No. 138 – Minimum Age
 Convention No. 182 – Worst Forms of Child Labour.

• Online portal – allows to share information and
to coordinate on child Labour at all levels for
effective enforcement of child Labour laws.

• Child Labour – rate of reduction slowed by two-thirds .

• Important – consider the trends while developing policy and response.

• India – slower economic growth and rising unemployment.
• Lockdowns – backtrack the efforts invested and the gains made in eliminating child Labour.

• Present – economic insecurity, lack of social
protection and reduced household income
 Children – to contribute to their family income.
 Exposed to risk and exploitative work.
 Distant learning – child drop out.

• Digital divide.
 Annual Status of Education Report, 2020 – a third of the total number of enrolled
children received learning materials

Way Forward

• Right level of commitment, policy and programmatic interventions.

• Strong alliance – ending child Labour in all its forms by 2025 as agreed to in Sustainable Development
 Goal 8.7
 Eradicate forced Labour and to end modern slavery and human trafficking.
 Secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child Labour in all its forms by the end of 2025.


Need for measures

● Pending cases:
 3.27 crore cases pending before Indian courts.
 85,000 cases – pending for over 30 years.

• Delays in Justice delivery –
accumulation of cases burden on the court system.

• Pandemic and lockdown – restriction in mobility and closure of physical courts – need for ICT enabled court
systems .

E-Court Project

• Conceptualized by ‘National Policy and Action Plan for
Implementation of ICT’.

• Phases I and II – digitisation of the judiciary.
 e-filing
 Tracking cases online
 Uploading judgments online etc.

• Phase III – ecosystem approach – commitments are:
 Digitisation of court processes.
 Plans to upgrade the electronic infrastructure of the judiciary.
 Enable access to lawyers and litigants. Etc.

• Governed by E-Committee of the Supreme Court.
 Transform the judicial
system of the country by
ICT enablement of courts .

• Monitored and funded by the Department of Justice.

Inter-operable Criminal Justice System (ICJS)

• Initiative of the e-Committee.

• Seamless transfer of data and information among different pillars of the criminal justice system.

Hybrid Hearing

• News – E-Committee Chairperson Justice D.Y. Chandrachud – hybrid
hearings to continue considering the pandemic situation.

• Integration of Physical hearing of cases along with video conferences.

Negative Aspects of Phase-III e-courts projects

• Seamless exchange of information between various branches of the State – judiciary, police and prison system.
 Data creation happens at local police stations – increase existing class and caste inequalities.

• 360-degree profile – integrating interactions with
government agencies.
 Leads to profiling and surveillance.

• Data collected, shared and collated – housed within the Home Ministry under the ICJS – no clear explanation.

• Large-scale gathering and storage of data.
 Privacy of Individuals – a concern – SC must care not to
violate the privacy standards – Puttaswamy case 2017.


• Survey carried out on a massive scale to collect information on many parameters.

• Data helps the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) to frame policies and programs to help in the upliftment of the vulnerable groups in India.

• First round conducted in 1992-92.

• NFHS 5 – started in 2018-19.
• International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS) Mumbai – nodal agency for providing coordination and technical guidance for the

 United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
 the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
 United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
 MoHFW (Government of India).


• Only 29% of girl students attended higher secondary school in rural Gujarat.

• 93.6% of girl students attended higher secondary
school in rural Kerala.

• Only 45% of male students attended higher secondary school in rural Gujarat.

• 90.8% of male students attended higher secondary
school in rural Kerala.

• In all States – school attendance dropped as the
education level increased.
 Fall was more pronounced when students reached the higher secondary level.
 Drop in attendance was much lower in rural Kerala, it was the highest in rural Gujarat.

• Bihar – attendance levels were relatively poor right from primary level of education.
 Poor in Meghalaya and Nagaland for the same level. • In 10 States, less than 70% of rural girl students attended higher secondary school.


• Poor levels were observed among rural boys in 9 States.

• Rural Gujarat recorded the highest fall in attendance levels as students progressed from lower to higher education.

• The attendance levels did not drop much in rural Kerala with increase in education levels.

India’s deep ocean mission

Deep ocean

• Below 200 meters – little or no light. • Depth at which light begins to dwindle, typically around 200 meters (656 feet).

• Extreme conditions:
 Temperature reduces to 4°Celsius – constantly stays near freezing.
 Pressure – ranges from 40 to over 110 times the pressure of Earth’s atmosphere.

• Creatures exist microorganisms in hydrothermal vents, deep sea corals, fish, and other bizarre creatures.
• Harsh conditions – difficult to explore. • 95% of the ocean is unexplored and unutilised. • Countries exploring the deep ocean – China,France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, and Russia.

• Deep ocean mission of India – in line with, GoI’s Vision of New India by 2030.
 Blue Economy – one of core dimensions of growth.

Deep Ocean Mission

• Multi-ministerial multi-disciplinary programme.

• Objective – explore deep ocean for resources and develop deep sea technologies for sustainable use of ocean resources.

• Phase-wise implementation for 5 years.
 First phase – 2021-2024.

• Estimated cost – Rs. 4077 crores.

• Mission mode project to support the Blue Economy Initiatives of GoI.

• Nodal implementing Ministry – Ministry of Earth Sciences.
• Six major components:

  1. Development of Technologies for Deep Sea Mining, and Manned Submersible.
     Development of manned submersible – will carry 3 people to a depth of 6000 m in the ocean + scientific sensors and tools.
     Development of Integrated Mining System for mining Polymetallic Nodules from 6000 m depth in the central Indian Ocean.
     Future commercial exploitation of minerals in
    deep ocean.
     Blue Economy priority area – ‘exploring and
    harnessing of deep sea minerals and energy’.

Polymetallic nodules (PMN)

• Manganese or ferromanganese nodules.

• Potato-shaped, largely porous nodules.

• Found in deep sea – in abundance carpeting the sea
floor of world oceans.

• Metals – manganese, iron, nickel, copper, cobalt,lead, molybdenum, cadmium, vanadium, titanium.
 Nickel, cobalt, manganese and copper – of economic and strategic importance.
• 15 year contract of India with International Seabed Authority (ISA) in 2002 – for exploration of PMN in CIOB.
 Extended 5 more years – 2017-22.
 Presently allocated an area of 75,000
sq.km. – located 2000 km away from southern tip.
 Estimated polymetallic nodule resource potential – 380 million tonnes.
 Nickel – 4.7 million tonnes
 Copper – 4.29 million tonnes
 Cobalt – 0.55 million tonnes
 Manganese – 92.59 million tonnes

2.Development of Ocean Climate Change Advisory
 Developing observations & models to understand &
provide future projections of important climate variables on seasonal to decadal time scales.
 Blue Economy priority area – coastal tourism.

3.Technological innovations for exploration and
conservation of deep-sea biodiversity
 Bio-prospecting of deep-sea flora and fauna including microbes.
 Studies on sustainable utilization of deep-sea
 Blue Economy priority area – Marine Fisheries and allied services.

4. Deep Ocean Survey and Exploration
 Explore and identify potential sites of multi-metal Hydrothermal Sulphides
mineralization along the Indian Ocean mid-oceanic ridges.
 Hydrothermal Sulphides or seafloor massive sulphides – only metal-bearing deposits of (current) commercial significance that form
at active plate boundaries – high concentrations of copper, zinc, lead,arsenic, cobalt, silver, gold and other metals.
 Blue Economy priority area – deep sea exploration of ocean resources.

5.Energy and freshwater from the Ocean
 Studies and detailed engineering design for offshore Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) powered desalination plant.
 Blue Economy priority area – off-shore energy development.

6.Advanced Marine Station for Ocean Biology
 Development of human capacity and enterprise in ocean biology and engineering.
 Research into industrial application and product development through on-site business incubator facilities.
 Blue Economy priority area – Marine Biology, Blue trade and Blue manufacturing.
• Benefits:
 Attempts to indigenise technologies by collaborating with leading institutes and
private industries.
 Design, development and fabrication of specialised equipment, ships and setting
up of required infrastructure – will spur the growth of the Indian industry, especially the MSME and Start-ups.
 Generating employment
 Research vessel for deep ocean exploration to be built in Indian shipyard.
 Capacity development in Marine Biology.


Ex gratia

• Payment that is made to an individual – for damages
or claims.

• Party providing such assistance has no liability in
making the payment – moral commitments and

Disaster management act – ex gratia assistance

• Enacted in the year 2005 – effective management of

• Section 12 – describing the Guidelines for minimum
standards of relief.
Sub section (iii) – ex gratia assistance to be provided to the victims on account of loss of life.

2015 notification – government to pay ex gratia of ₹4 lakh each to victims’ families – under section 12
of DM act.

Government’s Response – negative

• Section 12 – recommendatory in nature and doesn’t mandate the government to provide it.

• Focus on utilising funds for food, medical care, oxygen,
vaccination – boost the economy – rather than pay a
one-time compensation.

• 15 th Finance Commission report for 2021-2026 – fixed
the funds for disaster management to ₹15,000 crore.
SC Justice – FC report cannot override a statutory provision .


• Government for its inconsistency and
vague statement.

• Government – more concerned with the
areas of priority – question on its redevelopment projects such as the
Central Vista.

• Essential to spend on health infra development along with a helping hand to families impoverished now.

• IMF analysis of policy response:
Food, fuel & cash transfers to lower-income
households – 1.2% of GDP.
Budget and Atma Nirbhar Bharat Package –
13% of GDP.


• Suggestion to the Centre to review its tax


Difference between the way men and women are treated in society.

• Technology is merely a product of the social set up –
gender gap has percolated into technology.

• Global System for Mobile Communications (GSMA)
estimates, over 390 million women in low- and
middle-income countries do not have Internet access.

• In India, only 14.9% of women were reported to be
using the Internet – women don’t get access to digital devices.
 Health access denied.
 Education services denied.

• Technology are created by men and so made for men.

 There are about two million apps, most of which
cater to young men. The numbers of apps that
cater to women specific needs are not many.

• Need of adoption of feminist technology or fem-tech.

Feminist technology – An approach to technology and
innovation that is inclusive, informed and responsive
to the entire community with all its diversity.
 In the 1950s, dishwashers and washing machines
were promoted as a method of emancipating women.

• UN Women + ICT – initiatives like EQUAL, Girls in ICT.
 To rope more women into STEM.
 Aims at transforming the making process of tech inclusive.

• Women and girls are the largest consumer groups left out of technology -could be major profit drivers.

International Telecom Union

• United Nations specialized agency for information and
communication technologies – ICTs.

• Headquartered at Geneva, Switzerland.

• Originally founded in 1865 as International Telegraph

• In 1947 – became International Telecommunication Union.

• Tried to mainly promote cooperation among international telegraphy networks of those days.

• Standardised the use of the Morse code.

• Regulated world’s first radio-communication and fixed telecommunication networks.


• allocate global radio spectrum.

• Allocate satellite orbits.

• Develops the technical standards that ensure networks and technologies seamlessly interconnect.

• To strive to improve access to ICTs to underserved communities.

Fake currency of ₹17.82 crore recovered, seven arrested


• Regarding the Fake Currency circulation in the country.

• Few facts related to it –
the measures taken by the

Fake Indian Currency note

• Refer to counterfeit currency notes circulated in the Indian economy.

Reserve Bank of India’s annual report for 2020-21

• Overall FICNs in circulation – decreased as compared to
the previous year.

• Fake banknotes of Rs. 500 denomination increased.
Increase of 31.3 per cent – compared to previous year.

• Decline in counterfeit notes detected in other denominations.

• Total of 2.09 lakh fake banknotes of all denominations were detected – significantly down from 2.97 lakh fake notes
detected during 2019-20.


• Terror Funding and Fake Currency

  • constituted in the National
    Investigation Agency.
    Conducts focused investigation
    of terror funding and fake
    currency cases.
  • • In 2018 – advisory on terror
    financing – issued to States/
    Union Territories.

• In 2019 – Guidelines issued – to States/ Union
Territories – investigation of cases of high
quality counterfeit Indian currency notes.

• Training programmes – conducted for the State
Police personnel.
 Fake Indian Currency Notes – source of Terror
Financing •

FICN Coordination Group – Ministry of Home
Affairs – share intelligence information among the
security agencies of the states/centre.
 Helps in countering the problem of circulation of
fake currency notes
• Government has Strengthened the provisions
in the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act,

  1. • Assists in combating terror financing by
    criminalizing – circulation of high quality
    fake Indian currency as a terrorist act.
     Allows takeover of any property that
    are used for terrorism
    • Increased security at the international
    borders – to ensure no external forces
    disturb the internal security


Development of astronomy in India has come a long way since the Vedic times and now ISRO heads our space exploration and research in astronomy.

When comes Indian astronomy, an image that automatically comes to our mind is that of the Jantar Mantar. It was built by Sawai Jai Singh of Jaipur in the 18th century .The collections of huge instruments for astronomical observations were fundamentally based on ancient India’s astronomy texts. Five Jantar Mantars were built to revise the calendars and make a more accurate collection of tables that could predict the motions of the major stars and planets. This data was to be used for more accurate time measurement, improved predictions of eclipses and better tracking of positions of stars and planets with relation to earth. They are so large in scale that it is supposed to have been aimed at increasing their accuracy. In the Jantar Mantar, one can find the world’s largest sundial and literally see the sun’s shadow move every second. Records also show that telescopes were built and used in certain observations. This kind of accuracy helped produce in those ages some remarkably accurate results, which even contemporary Europeans could not beat.

One important lesson to learn from the Jantar Mantars is that the Raja built five of them. He could have built just one and been happy with the results. He built five so that the results given by one observatory could be verified against those of another. This possibility of verification obviously reduced the chance of human error involved when taking readings on an instrument. Also, the five observatories were in five different cities. Thus, one could check the position readings of heavenly bodies from different parts of earth and again verify the overall results. This shows a strong display of the scientific enquiry method in the minds of our past astronomers.

The ideas behind Jantar Mantar came from ancient Indian texts written by Aryabhata, Varahamihira, Bhaskaracharya and others. The most important texts of ancient Indian astronomy had been implied between the 5th and 15th century -the classical era of Indian astronomy. The more familiar ones among these works are Aryabhatiya, Aryabhatasiddhanta, Pancha-siddhantika and Laghubhaskariyam. Ancient Indian astronomers were notable in several respects. Their achievements are even more baffling considering they never used any kind of telescopes. They put forth the sun-centric theory for the solar system, elliptical orbits for planets instead of circular ones, reasonably accurate calculations for the length of a year and the earth’s dimensions, and the idea that our sun was no different from the countless other stars in the night sky.

Somewhere during the Middle Ages, progress in the field of astronomy stood still and an admixture of astronomy and astrology arose. With colonization, the European school of astronomy displaced our own. The last remarkable astronomer in pre-Independence India was Samanta Chandrasekhars. His book Sidhant Darpana and his use of simple instruments in getting accurate observations earned him praise even from the British.

In our present era, the Indian space programme stands on the contributions made by two giants in the field of physics-Homi J Bhabha and Vikram Sarabhai. It was their tireless efforts, which initiated work in space research under the Department of Atomic Energy.

Over this period of time, India also produced some remarkable astronomers and astrophysicists Meghnad Saba and Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar are two world renowned names in astrophysics.

On the side of the observational astronomy, we had Dr M.K. Vainu Bappu-till date the only Indian to have a comet named after him/her. Currently, the Giant Meter-wave Radio Telescope (GMRT) at Khodad near Pune is the largest of its kind in the world. The Kavalur observatory, named after Dr Bappu, is one of the best equipped in the eastern hemisphere.

Jantar Mantar-Ancient Astronomical Observatories of India and Some Instruments

Historically, Indian astronomy developed as a discipline of Vedanga or one of ‘auxiliary disciplines associated with the study of the Vedas. The oldest known text is the Vedanga Jyotisha, dated between 1400-1200 BC.

Indian astronomy was in its peak in the fifth-sixth centuries with Aryabhata and his Aryabhatiya representing the pinnacle of astronomical knowledge. Later, Indian astronomy influenced Muslim astronomy. Chinese astronomy, European astronomy and others significantly. Other astronom of the classical era, who further elaborated on Aryabhata’s work, include Brahmagupta, Varahamihira and Lalla.

An identifiable astronomical tradition remained active throughout the medieval period and into the eighteenth century, especially within the Kerala school of astronomy and mathematics founded by Sangamagrama Madhava (1350-1425 AD) of Irinjalakkuda in Kerala.

The classical era of Indian astronomy begins in the late Gupta era, in the fifth-sixth centuries.

The Panchasiddhantika (Varahamihira, 505 CE) approximates the method for determination of the meridian direction from any three positions of the shadow using Gnomon or Sanku.

Once, while visiting the court of Emperor Muhammad Shah, Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur overheard a loud argument about how to calculate the most astronomically advantageous date for the purpose of the emperor beginning a journey. To the Maharaja, the debate highlighted the need for education in the field of astronomy and for an observatory that could make accunte astronomical calculations. The idea for the Jantar Mantars or calculation instruments was bom The Jantar Mantar consists of a number of structures in stone, brick and marble, cach of them marked with astronomical scales and designed to serve a specific purpose of the observatories originally built at Delhi, Jaipur, Mathura, Ujjain and Varanasi; all observatories dill exist except the one in Mathura.

Among the devices used for astronomy was Gnomon, known as Sanku, in which the shadow of a vertical rod is applied on a horizontal plane in order to ascertain the cardinal directions, the Latitude of the point of observation and the time of observation. This device finds mention in the works of Varahamihira, Aryabhatta, Bhaskara, Brahmagupta, among others.

The armillary sphere was used for observation in India since early times, and finds mention in the works of Aryabhatta (476 CE). The Goladipika a detailed treatise dealing with globes and the armillary sphere was composed between 1380-1460 CE by Parameswara. Probably, the celestial coordinates of the junction stars of the lunar mansions were determined by the armillary sphere since the seventh century. There was also a celestial globe rotated by flowing water.

The seamless celestial globe invented in Mughal India, especially in Lahore and Kashmir, is considered to be one of the most impressive astronomical instruments and remarkable feats in metallurgy and engineering. All globes, before and after this, were seamed, and in the twentieth century, creating a seamless metal globe was believed by metallurgists to be technically impossible, even with modern technology.