Tuesday, 28th March 2023

Table of contents

1   Editorial of the day


Supreme Court Verdict on UAPA

2   Daily Current Affairs


Evergreening of Patents


Aravalli Green Wall Project


Biotransformation technology for plastic management


One Web India -2 mission/ LVM3


World’s highest rail Bridge – Chenab Bridge


Captive Funds and Captive Investors


Gandhamardan Hills


Bauxite -CRM


Earth Hour




Lord Basaveshwara and Nadaprabhu Kempegowda




South Atlantic Anomaly

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Editorial of the day

Supreme Court Verdict on UAPA

Exam View: Background of UAPA, Problems with recent judgement of Supreme Court, Existing dangers with UAPA, Efforts by international communities against terrorism.

In News: A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court has held that mere membership of a banned association is sufficient to constitute an offence under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. This is a severe blow to principles of fundamental justice.

  • The judgement goes against the criminal intent: Unless there is a specific intent to enhance the material abilities of a terrorist or unlawful organisation, permitting the conviction of a person as a member is abhorrent to the rule of law.
  • The ruling has gone beyond the pleadings made by the State: The Court accepted the argument by the Union government and State of Assam that Section 10(a)(i) does not require any further overt act or mens rea on the part of a member of a banned outfit. The Court has set aside the reading down of both Section 10(a)(i), UAPA, and Section(3), TADA. By doing so, it has obliterated the requirement of mens rea from both membership of an unlawful organisation and membership of a terrorist organisation and gone beyond the pleadings made by the State.
  • The verdict is silent on inferring of membership of an organisation: Terrorist or criminal organisations are not known to keep a registry. Even in the case of a lawful entity with records of membership, it would be difficult to conclude as to who is and continues to be a member of such an association post-ban.
  • The verdict has done away with the distinction between active and passive membership of proscribed organisations, which has been the basis of court rulings since 2011.

Existing dangers with UAPA:

  • The definitions of terrorist and unlawful organisations in UAPA are circular and vague. The Act merely states that they are organisations involved in “terrorist”/”unlawful activities” and notified as such.
  • In Maoist-affected areas, the agencies have a track record of booking tribal youth. The semi-literate tribal youth are arrested on charges of merely possessing Maoist literature or being sympathisers of Maoist ideology.

The Supreme Court has struck down three of its previous rulings:

  • Arup Bhuyan vs State of Assam: The Supreme Court ruled that “mere membership of a banned organisation will not incriminate a person unless he resorts to violence or incites people to violence or does an act intended to create disorder.”
  • State of Kerala vs Raneef: In the Raneef case, the Court referred to the US Supreme Court verdicts in Scales vs United States, distinguishing “active knowing membership” and “passive, merely nominal membership”.
  • Sri Indra Das vs State of Assam

Beyond the editorial: Steps by international communities against terrorism

  • United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime (Organised Crime Convention)
    • It is a multilateral treaty which has three Protocols (Trafficking in Persons, Smuggling of Migrants and Trafficking of Firearms) that supplement it.
  • UN Global Counter Terrorism Coordination Compact
    • It is an agreement between the UN Chief, 36 organisational entities, the International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL) and the World Customs Organisation, to tackle the scourge of international terrorism.
  • The Counterterrorism Committee (CTC)
    • India hosted the United Nations Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) and the deliberation led to the “Delhi Declaration on countering the use of new and emerging technologies for terrorist purposes”.
  • The Financial Action Task Force
    • It is an intergovernmental organisation founded in 1989. It sets standards and promotes effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing.
  • The 'No Money For Terror' conference
    • It is organised by Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) of over 100 countries, jointly called The Egmont Group. India hosted its 3rd ministerial conference in Nov-2022.




Keywords: GS Paper-3: Security Challenges
Daily Current Affairs

Evergreening of Patents

In News: Indian Patent Office has rejected U.S. pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) attempt to extend its monopoly on the manufacturing of the anti-tuberculosis drug Bedaquiline in India beyond July 2023.


  • Bedaquiline is a crucial drug in the treatment of multidrug resistant TB patients for whom the first-line drug treatment using Isoniazid, Rifampicin, Pyrazinamide and Ethambutol has stopped working.
  • The use of this oral drug has been crucial for tuberculosis treatment in the country. It has lesser-known harmful effects than injectable drugs.
  • The cost of tuberculosis treatment by bedaquiline is expected to significantly drop due to the rejection of the patent allowing Indian manufacturers to produce generic medicines.

Evergreening of Patents

  • Evergreening refers to the practice of extending the exclusivity period of a patent by making small modifications or improvements to the original invention.
  • The goal of evergreening is to extend the period during which the original inventor can profit from their invention.
  • The Indian Patents Act 1970 introduced many provisions [Sections 3(d), 53(4) and 107A] to prevent the practice of “Evergreening” of patents.
  • This helps millions of patients in poor and undeveloped countries to access the patented medicines. However, evergreening patents of drugs is still being granted to pharmaceutical companies and enforced by courts because:
    • Provides economic incentive to the innovator through limited monopoly rights, often known as Patent Bargain.
    • Patent monopolies are granted to innovators in the hope that they disclose something new, inventive and of industrial value to the public.
  • However, evergreening has been criticised because:
    • It stifles innovation by preventing other inventors from building on existing technology.
    • It drives up the cost of drugs and other patented products, making them less accessible to people who need them, thus putting profits over human life.
    • It enables patentees to extract more from the society than permitted.

Supreme Court’s verdict regarding Evergreening

  • The SC in Novartis AG vs. Union of India (2013), rejected the patent of Novartis stating that the new compound was a new form of a well-known substance whose efficacy was already documented. It held that the legislative intent is to prevent evergreening of a patent monopoly that in no way enhances the drug’s therapeutic efficacy.

Decision over Patent Application of J&J:

  • Since 2007, J&J has indulged in ‘evergreening’ by making multiple claims in its applications for patent extensions.
  • Recently, the company filed for evergreening of its patent on fumarate salt, used to prepare Bedaquiline.

  • J&J had sought a patent extension based on its claim that it had invented the method for making a derivative of quinoline in its salt form.
  • However, the practice was challenged by two TB survivors, who contested that the invention was obvious and does not involve any inventive step.
  • The preparation of water-soluble compounds through salt formation, which is used to prepare the drug Bedaquiline, has long been known to pharmaceutical manufacturers.
  • Section 3(d) of the Patents Act states that salt forms and derivatives of known substances are not patentable. The applicant cannot claim a patent on these methods and compositions of salt forms that have been known in the scientific world for more than three decades.
  • J&J’s compounds are mere admixtures, resulting in mere aggregation of properties and not a new invention under Section 3(e) of the Patents Act.




Keywords: GS-3 Issues relating to intellectual property rights.
Daily Current Affairs

Aravalli Green Wall Project

In News: Government is working for revival of the Aravalli’s through various initiatives like single-use plastic ban, water conservation efforts and natural resources protection.

About Aravalli Green Wall Project

  • The Aravalli Green Wall Project is part of the Union Environment Ministry's vision to create green corridors across the country to combat land degradation and desertification.
  • The project covers states of Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Delhi - where the Aravalli hills landscape span over 6 million hectares of land.
  • The project will involve planting native species of trees and shrubs on scrubland, wasteland and degraded forest land, along with rejuvenating and restoring surface water bodies such as ponds, lakes and streams.
  • The project will also focus on agroforestry and pasture development to enhance the livelihoods of local communities.

The Aravalli Green Wall Project has the following objectives:

  • Improving the ecological health of the Aravalli range
  • To prevent eastward expansion of Thar Desert and to reduce land degradation by creating green barriers that will prevent soil erosion, desertification and dust storms.
  • This green wall will help in carbon sequestration and mitigating climate change to enhance the biodiversity and ecosystem services of the Aravalli range by planting native tree species in the Aravalli region, providing habitat for wildlife, improving water quality and quantity.
  • Promote sustainable development and livelihood opportunities by involving local communities in afforestation, agro-forestry and water conservation activities that will generate income, employment, food security and social benefits.
  • The project will be executed by various stakeholders such as central and state governments, forest departments, research institutes, civil society organisations, private sector entities and local communities. Adequate funding, technical skills, policy coordination and public awareness will be called upon to ensure the success of the project.
  • Contribute to India's commitments under various international conventions such as UNCCD (United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification), CBD (Convention on Biological Diversity) and UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change).
  • Enhancing India's image as a global leader in environmental protection and green development.




Keywords: GS-3 Environment and Ecology
Daily Current Affairs

Biotransformation technology for plastic management

In News: UK-based startup Polymateria have recently claimed to have developed Biotransformation technology that can make plastics biodegradable without leaving microplastics.


  • Biotransformation technology ensures plastics that escape refuse streams are processed efficiently and broken-down using microbes.
  • Plastics made using this technology are given a pre-programmed time during which the material looks and feels like conventional plastics without compromising on quality.
  • Plastic items have significant negative impacts on the environment, society, economy, and health since the world produces around 400 million tonnes of plastic waste every year.

What is Biotransformation Technology?

  • It is a new and innovative strategy for effectively and efficiently processing plastics that evade refusing streams resulting in their decomposition.
  • It has been developed by Imperial College in London and UK-based startup,
  • Once the product expires and is exposed to the external environment, it self-destructs and bio-transforms into bioavailable wax.
  • This wax is then consumed by microorganisms, converting waste into water, CO2, and biomass.
  • The new technology could be used in food packaging and healthcare industries to reduce waste especially for non-woven hygiene products like diapers, sanitary napkins, facial pads, etc.




Keywords: GS-3 Environment and Ecology
Daily Current Affairs

One Web India -2 mission/ LVM3

In News: Recently, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully launched the LVM3-M3/OneWeb India-2 mission with 36 satellites being deployed into intended orbits.


  • OneWeb is a global communication network powered from the space, enabling connectivity for governments and businesses.
  • It has Bharti Enterprises of India as a major investor which is engaged in the implementation of the constellation of low earth satellites.
  • The mission launch is a collaboration between ISRO and Network Access Associates Ltd, United Kingdom to launch 72 satellites into Low-Earth orbits (LEO).
  • The launch vehicle mission would place the 36 first generation satellites weighing 5,805 kgs into a 450 kms circular orbit with an inclination of about 87.4 degree.
  • This is the sixth flight of LVM3 which was earlier known as Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle MkIII (GSLV Mk-III) which had also launched missions including the Chandrayaan-2.




Keywords: GS-3, Science and Technology
Daily Current Affairs

World’s highest rail Bridge – Chenab Bridge

In News: A railway bridge, which is taller than the Eiffel Tower, and happens to be the highest in the world, is set to open soon in Jammu and Kashmir.


  • It is the world's highest railway bridge and is part of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link project (USBRL). The Project was declared as a Project of National Importance in March 2002.
  • This bridge is 1,315-metre long and is the highest railway bridge in the world being 359 metres above the riverbed level. Chenab railway bridge soars above the Eiffel Tower in Paris by at least 35 metres.
  • It is arguably the biggest civil-engineering challenge faced by any railway project in India in recent history.
  • Chenab railway bridge connects Katra and Banihal and has cleared all the necessary tests.

About Chenab River

  • Chenab River rises in the upper Himalayas in the Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh state.
  • The river is formed by the confluence of two rivers, Chandra and Bhaga, at Tandi, 8 km southwest of Keylong, in the Lahaul and Spiti district.
  • It flows through the Jammu region of Jammu and Kashmir into the plains of Punjab, Pakistan, before flowing into the Indus River.
  • Tributaries of Chenab River are Jhelum, Tawi, Ravi, Beas, and Sutlej rivers.




Keywords: GS-3 Infrastructure Development
Daily Current Affairs

Captive Funds and Captive Investors

In News: EPFO subscribers are ‘captive investors’ of two Adani stocks

About Captive Funds

  • A captive fund is a private pooled investment fund that is managed for a select group of investors or in affiliation with a single entity.
  • It is often created for the benefit of an organization's members or a firm's employees. These funds are "captive" since they are limited in who can invest and in their transferability.
  • Investors in a captive fund can only cash out by selling shares back to the fund members or administrator.
  • Captive funds can also be created by companies to manage targeted investments, such as venture capital assets invested in private market companies.

About Captive Investors

  • "Captive investors" refers to individuals, institutions or organizations that invest their funds primarily or solely in a particular company or group of companies.
  • Captive investors are somewhat limited in their investment options, as they are not diversifying their portfolio across a range of companies or sectors.
  • Captive investors may be bound by legal or contractual obligations to invest in a specific entity or group, or they may simply have a preference for investing in a particular industry or company.
  • Employees who invest heavily in their employer's stock or pension plan, as well as venture capital firms or private equity funds that invest in a portfolio of companies within a specific industry or geographic region are the example of captive investors.




Keywords: GS-3 Indian Economy, CAPITAL MARKET
Daily Current Affairs

Gandhamardan Hills

In News: Recently, Odisha's historic Gandhamardan Hills declared as biodiversity heritage site.

About Gandhamardan Hills

  • Gandhamardan Hills are located in between Balangir and Bargarh district of Odisha, India.
  • These hills are well known for medicinal plants.
  • There is a Bauxite reserve which is planned for exploration by the state government through a private venture.
  • Lord Hanuman is believed to reside here and in the Piduru Mountains in Sri Lanka.

About Biodiversity Heritage Site (BHS)

  • BHS are well-defined areas that are unique, ecologically fragile ecosystems with high diversity of wild and domesticated species, presence of rare and threatened species, and keystone species.
  • Under Section 37(1) of ‘Biological Diversity Act, 2002’, State Government may, from time to time in consultation with the local bodies notify these sites.
  • Creation of BHS may not put any restriction on the prevailing practices and usages of the local communities, other than those voluntarily decided by them.
  • Nallur Tamarind Grove in Bengaluru, Karnataka was the first Biodiversity Heritage Site of India, declared in 2007.
  • There are total 37 Biodiversity Heritage Sites in India.




Keywords: GS-3 Environment and Ecology
Daily Current Affairs

Bauxite -CRM

Why in news? National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO), has successfully developed a Bauxite Certified Reference Material (CRM) naming as BARC B1201 in joint collaboration with Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC).


  • It will help in evaluating analytical methods, performance of Instruments, and data quality control in routine analysis of bauxite.


  • Bauxite is an ore of aluminium. It is a rock consisting mainly of hydrated aluminium oxides.
  • The deposits of Bauxite are mainly associated with laterites and occur as capping on hills and plateaus, except in coastal areas of Gujarat and Goa.
  • Bauxite is primarily used to produce alumina through the Bayer process.
  • World's bauxite reserves are estimated to be 28 billion tonnes and are primarily found in Guinea (26%), Australia (22%), Brazil (9%) etc.
  • India's bauxite reserves total of 3896 million tonnes, Odisha has the highest reserve of it.




Keywords: General Studies –1 Mineral & Energy Resources, General Studies – 2 Government Policies & Interventions
Daily Current Affairs

Earth Hour

Why in news? Recently, Millions of people across countries celebrated Earth Hour on 25th March and switched off their electrical appliances.


  • The ‘Earth Hour’ event encourages individuals to turn off all lights and electrical appliances at their homes and offices for an hour to promote awareness of climate change challenges and energy conservation.
  • Earth Hour, organized by World Wildlife Fund (WWF), is a global grassroots movement uniting people to take action on environmental issues and protect the planet.
  • It was started as a lights out event in Sydney, Australia in 2007.
  • It is held annually worldwide, aims to inspire individuals, communities, and organizations worldwide to take meaningful action to protect the environment and create a sustainable future for all.




Keywords: General Studies –3 Environment
Daily Current Affairs


Why in news? Marine biologists during routine monitoring of marine litter stumbled upon plastiglomerate (plastic rock) from a beach on Aves Island of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.


  • This is the first such find from India.
  • According to 2011 Census, there are just two people (both male) on Aves Island.


  • It is a rock composed of sand, rock fragments, shells and other materials held together by plastic.
  • It is a new form of plastic pollution, which scientists described in 2014.




Keywords: General Studies –1 Geography
Daily Current Affairs

Lord Basaveshwara and Nadaprabhu Kempegowda

Why in news? Recently, Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation, unveils the statues of Lord Basaveshwara and Nadaprabhu Kempegowda in Bengaluru, Karnataka.


Lord Basaveshwara (1105-1167)

  • Lord Basaveshwara was a 12th century poet and born in Karnataka.
  • Known for Socio-Religious Reforms, Anubhava Mantapa, Vachana Literature and Lingayat Movement in south India.
  • In Kalyana, the Kalachurya king Bijjala (1157-1167, AD) appointed Basaveshwara as a karanika (Accountant) in the initial stage, in his court and later as the Prime minister.
  • Basava Purana, written by Palkuriki Somanatha in 13th-century, holds full account of Basavanna’s life and ideas.
  • He rejected gender and caste discrimination, superstitions and rituals.
  • A strong promoter of ahimsa (non-violence), he condemned human and animal sacrifices.
  • His philosophy was based on principles of Arivu (true knowledge), ethos (right conduct), and Anubhava (divine experience).
  • He developed and inspired a new devotional movement named Virashaivas, or ardent, heroic worshippers of Shiva.

Nadaprabhu Kempegowda (1510- 1569)

  • He was the chieftain under the Vijayanagara Empire of the 16th century.
  • He is an iconic figure among Vokkaligas, Karnataka’s second most dominant community after Lingayats.
  • He is known as founder of Bengaluru and had developed around 1,000 lakes in city to cater to drinking and agricultural needs.
  • Social reforms: Prohibiting custom of amputating last two fingers of left hand of unmarried women during "Bandi Devaru".
  • Books: He was multilingual and had authored ‘Gangagaurivilasa’, a yakshagana play in Telugu.




Keywords: General Studies – 1 Important Personalities, Indian History
Daily Current Affairs


Why in news? Sweden Parliament formally approved a bill to allow it to join NATO.


  • It is located on Scandinavian Peninsula in northern Europe.
  • It Lies to southwest of Finland Bounded by Baltic Sea and Gulf of Bothnia (eastern border), Öresund strait (separates Sweden from Denmark in south), Kattegat and Skagerrak straits (southwest), and Norway (west).
  • Geographical features
  • Highest Peak: Mount Kebne.
  • Longest river: Klar-Gota River.
  • Lakes: Lake Vaner, Lake Vatter, Lake Malar



Keywords: General Studies –1 Physical Geography
Daily Current Affairs

South Atlantic Anomaly

Why in news? NASA is actively monitoring a strange anomaly in Earth's magnetic field called the South Atlantic Anomaly.


  • It is a region at the Earth’s surface where the intensity of the magnetic field is particularly low.
  • It stretches out between South America and southwest Africa.
  • Earth’s magnetic field acts like a protective shield around the planet, repelling and trapping charged particles from the Sun.
  • This anomaly exists because the Earth's inner Van Allen radiation belt comes closest to the planet’s surface, causing an increased flux of energetic particles.
    • The Van Allen radiation belt is a zone of energetic charged particles, most of which originate from the solar wind.
  • In turn, this anomaly also causes technical disturbances in satellites and spacecraft orbiting Earth.




Keywords: General Studies –3 Science and technology
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