Friday, 17th February 2023

Table of contents

1   Daily Current Affairs


The missing Deputy Speaker: the post, and what the Constitution says


Primary Agricultural Credit Societies


Sugar price rush


Municipal Corporation of Delhi elections


Foreigners can not be Legal guardians


Mental Health care act, 2017


Payment Aggregators and Payment Gateways


Krishi Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik (UDAN) 2.0


Biogas and Biogas Digestate


Digital lending


Mutual Fund Trustee




Transfer Pricing


Vinyl Chloride

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Daily Current Affairs

The missing Deputy Speaker: the post, and what the Constitution says

In News: SC reprimands government and states over failure to elect Deputy Speakers for Lok Sabha and state Assemblies.


  • The Supreme Court has recently issued notices to the Centre and five states — Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Jharkhand — over the failure to elect a Deputy Speaker.
  • The Bench led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) D Y Chandrachud was hearing a plea of “Shariq Ahmed v. Union of India And Ors” which contends that not electing a Deputy Speaker to the 17th (present) Lok Sabhais “against the letter and spirit of the Constitution”.
  • The post has been lying vacant in the five states including Uttar Pradesh Assemblies which were constituted between four years and almost one year ago.
  • Deputy Speaker is an important figure in ensuring the smooth functioning of the legislative body and upholding the democratic values enshrined in the Constitution.
  • At present, a panel of nine members, senior, experienced, and selected from different parties, is present to assist the Speaker in running the House.

What is Deputy Speaker?


  • According to Dr B R Ambedkar, when the Speaker resigns, the Deputy Speaker should address his resignation to the House and not the President.
  • When the post of Deputy Speaker is vacant, the Secretary-General informs the House of the Speaker’s resignation.

Constitutional Provisions:

  • Article 93: The House of the People must choose two members to be Speaker and Deputy Speaker, and whenever either post is vacant, another member must be chosen.
  • Article 178: It states the same for the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of a state legislative assembly.

Election of Deputy Speaker:

  • In practice, the Speaker is elected during the first session of the House, usually on the third day after the oath-taking while the Deputy Speaker is elected in the second session.
  • The Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha state that the Speaker may fix the date of the election of Deputy Speaker.

Powers of the Deputy Speaker:

  • The Deputy Speaker has the same powers as the Speaker when presiding over a sitting of the House.
  • All references to the Speaker in the Rules are deemed to be references to the Deputy Speaker when he presides.
  • No appeal lies to the Speaker against a ruling given by the Deputy Speaker or any person presiding over the House in the absence of the Speaker.

Views from different quarters:

  • Constitution: Articles 93 and 178 use the word “shall,” making the election of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker mandatory.
  • Supreme Court: The role of Deputy Speaker is crucial to the smooth functioning of the House, and it is mandatory to elect a Deputy Speaker, according to the Constitution.
  • Parliament: The Treasury benches have maintained that there is no “immediate requirement” for a Deputy Speaker, as bills are being passed, and discussions are being held as usual.

Importance of Deputy Speaker:

  • Conducting Proceedings: He presides over the House in the absence of the Speaker and conducts proceedings of the House.
  • Assisting the Speaker: The Deputy Speaker assists the Speaker in the smooth functioning of the House by taking charge of the House whenever the Speaker is not available.
  • Providing Neutrality: The Deputy Speaker, like the Speaker, is expected to be neutral and maintain order in the House during debates and discussions.
  • Ensuring Representation: He is usually elected from a different political party than the Speaker to ensure that there is representation from both ruling and opposition parties.
  • Deciding Votes: In case of a tie, the Deputy Speaker has the casting vote, which can be decisive in the passage of important legislation or in taking a crucial decision.


Keywords: General Studies - 2 Indian Polity and Constitution
Daily Current Affairs

Primary Agricultural Credit Societies

In News:  The Union government has cleared a plan for setting up 2 lakh Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS), dairy, and fisheries cooperatives in the country in the next five years.


The action plan for implementation of the project shall be prepared by NABARD, National Dairy Development Board and National Fishery Development Board.

The plans aim to strengthen the cooperative movement by:

  • Establishing viable PACS, dairy, and fishery cooperatives in villages. Initially, 2 lahks will be established in the next five years.
  • Strengthening the existing ones through the convergence of various schemes of the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying by leveraging the ‘whole-of-government’ approach.
  • Setting up a high-level committee to oversee the smooth rollout of the plan.

Four schemes have been identified for convergence:

  • Under the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying
  • National Programme for Dairy Development (NPDD), and
  • Dairy Processing & Infrastructure Development Fund (DIDF)
  • Under the Department of Fisheries.
    • Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY), and
    • Fisheries and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development (FIDF)


  • PACS is a basic unit and smallest co-operative credit institution in a three-tier system in India.
  • It is a village-level institution that engages almost 13 crore farmer members..


  • Encourage farmers and farm labourers to save,
  • Accept deposits from them,
  • Provide loans to borrowers, and
  • Collect repayments

Constitutional status

  • Cooperative is a state subject
  • The 97th Constitution Amendment Act, 2011 added “cooperatives” and “unions and associations” in Article 19 under Part III of the Constitution.
  • Article 43B was added regarding their promotion.

Recent changes

  • PACS to provide services like Common Service Centres.
  • More than 20 services to be added to PACS’ arena like water distribution, storage, Bank Mitra etc
  • This will increase employment opportunities in rural areas.
  • Co-operatives will become the backbone of the rural economy.
  • Fulfilment of ‘Sahkar se Samridhi’




Keywords: GS Paper-3: Indian Economy
Daily Current Affairs

Sugar price rush

In News:

Sugar prices in the global market have surged to near six-year highs on fears of lower production in a few countries, including India, and the likelihood of the Indian government not allowing exports of more than six million tonnes (mt) for the current season (October 2022-September 2023).


Reasons for sugar price rise:

  • Indian export quota: Quota of 6mt to be shipped by May 31, has almost been exhausted. The quota is decided on the basis of domestic demand and export requirements.
  • Excess rains: The sugarcane crop in Maharashtra and Karnataka have been affected by excess rains leading to much lower yields.

Ambient geographical conditions for Sugarcane




Soil Type:


Between 21-27°C.

hot and humid climate.

Around 75-100 cm.

Deep rich loamy soil.

Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka

  • Premium to domestic price: Sugar offered from India, is at a premium of ₹8,000 a tonne to the domestic price. However, Indian sugar is still cheaper than Brazil’s.
  • Brazil logistics issues: A bigger cane crop will compete for transport with equally large grain crops. This could lead to slowing down of exports. Indian sugar is more competitive than Brazil because freight charges are lower for shipments to nearby regions
  • Ruling in the European Union: Ruling against neonics-coated beet seeds could result in lower yield.
  • Lower production: The crop is feared to be lower in Australia, Egypt and Mexico. Sugarcane yield has been affected in the Chinese province of Guangxi due to a prolonged drought last year. 
  • Pressure on supplies due to African countries looking for smaller lots.
  • Sugar market action: It is currently complicated with funds, which had begun selling, returning to buy. Funds currently hold a position of 2,00,000 lots.




Keywords: GS Paper-3: Agriculture
Daily Current Affairs

Municipal Corporation of Delhi elections

In News:

The Supreme Court indefinitely postponed Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) elections and stated that ‘prima facie’ the LG-nominated members cannot vote in the election to the post of mayor.


  • 74th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1992: It introduced Part IX A (Article 243 P to ZG) and Schedule XII in the Constitution, which provides for the establishment of Urban Local Bodies as institutions of local self – government.
  • Delhi Municipal Corporation Act of 1957: Under this, the Lieutenant Governor (LG) of the National Capital Territory of Delhi may nominate ten individuals as aldermen.
    • These aldermen should have experience in municipal administration and not be less than 25 years of age.
    • They did not have any voting rights in the House of elected councilors until 2015.
    • However in 2015, Delhi High Court ruled that
      • The aldermen can vote as members of the zonal ward committees.
    • Supreme Court on the election of Mayor: Prima facie Article 243R of the Constitution mandates that nominated members can’t vote in a municipality.



Keywords: GS Paper-2: Devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein
Keywords: Daily Current Affairs
Daily Current Affairs

Mental Health care act, 2017

In News:

  • Recently, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) released a report on the condition of government-run mental healthcare institutions across India.
  • The report has stated that the facilities are “illegally” keeping patients long after their recovery, infringing on their human rights.


  • The Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 discourages long-term institutionalization of patients and reaffirms the rights of people to live independently, and within communities.
  • This right is doubly guaranteed under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act of 2016 which recognizes people have a capacity of their own unless proven
  • Under the Act, people are empowered to make "advance directives" and can nominate a representative for themselves, thereby potentially helping to eliminate absolute forms of guardianship in favor of supported decision-making.

Major challenges:

  • Act has faced challenges in implementation includes non-compliance with regulations, absence of community-based services, and social stigma.
  • Many States are yet to establish State Mental Health Authorities and Mental Health Review Boards (MHRBs) as required by the Act.

Way ahead:

  • Long-term institutionalisation not only violates Article 21 of the Constitution which protects personal liberty.
  • It also indicates a failure of the State Government(s) to discharge the obligation under various international Covenants relating to rights of persons with disabilities.


Keywords: General Studies - 2 Government Policies and Intervention
Daily Current Affairs

Payment Aggregators and Payment Gateways

Context: Recently, RBI granted in-principal authorization to 32 entities to operate as online payment aggregators.


  • Payment Aggregators (PAs) are entities that facilitate e-commerce sites and merchants in accepting payment instruments from the customers for completion of their payment obligations.
  • Online payment aggregators are entities that onboard digital merchants and accept payments on their behalf after getting a license from the banking regulator.


  • Non-bank PAs will require authorization from the RBI under the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 (PSSA).
  • A Payment Aggregator should be a company incorporated in India under the Companies Act, 1956 / 2013.
  • Banks provide Payment Aggregator services as part of their normal banking relationship and do not, therefore, require a separate authorization from RBI.
  • PGs will be considered as ‘technology providers’ or ‘outsourcing partners’ of banks or non-banks, as the case may be.

Payment Gateways

  • Payment Gateways are entities that provide technology infrastructure to route and facilitate processing of an online payment transaction without any involvement in handling of funds. PGs in India mainly include banks.
  • A Payment Gateway allows the merchants to deal in a specific payment option put on the portal, whereas a Payment Aggregator allows one to have multitudes of options for payment. Thus, a Payment Aggregator covers a payment gateway in its ambit.


Keywords: General Studies –3 Economy, GROWTH & DEVELOPMENT
Daily Current Affairs

Krishi Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik (UDAN) 2.0

Context: Krishi Udan Scheme 2.0 is to increase the share of air carriage of Agri-produce like horticulture, fishery, livestock, and processed products.


  • Krishi UDAN was launched on international and national routes to assist farmers in transporting agricultural products so that it improves their value realization.
  • Aim: The Scheme aims to ensure seamless, cost-effective, time-bound air transportation and associated logistics for all Agri-produce originating especially from North East (including Assam), hilly and tribal regions of the country.
  • Objective: The main objective of the Krishi Udan Scheme 2.0 is to increase the share of air carriage in the modal mix for transportation of Agri-produce, which includes horticulture, fishery, livestock, and processed products.
  • Krishi Udan Scheme 2.0 enhances the existing provisions, mainly focusing on transporting perishable food products from the hilly areas, North-Eastern States, and tribal areas.


Keywords: General Studies –2 Government Policies & Interventions, General Studies – 3 Infrastructure
Daily Current Affairs

Biogas and Biogas Digestate

Context: Biogas digestate a high-value byproduct of biogas plants deserves more attention.

About Biogas:

  • It mainly comprises hydro-carbon which is combustible and can produce heat and energy when burnt.
  • Biogas is produced through a biochemical process in which certain types of bacteria convert biological wastes into useful biogas.
  • Since the useful gas originates from a biological process, it has been termed biogas.
  • Methane gas is the main constituent of biogas.
  • India has the potential to generate 62 million metric tonnes of compressed biogas (CBG) and 370 million metric tonnes of bio manure per year from various feedstocks.

About Digestate

  • The digestate, a by-product generated in biogas plants, can be used as a biofertilizer as it is rich in organic content and revitalizes the soil.
  • The digestate is rich in micro- and macro-nutrients required by the plants and can replace the synthetic fertilizers that deteriorate the soil quality over time.
  • During the production of biogas, two products are mainly obtained: biogas and digestate. Biogas mainly comprises gases like 50-65 percent of methane, 35-44 percent carbon dioxide, 1-2.5 percent hydrogen sulfides, and traces of moisture.
  • Digestate amounts to approximately 20 percent by weight of the initial input feedstock.
  • Digestate is underutilized due to a lack of regulatory guidelines, the absence of fixed procurement prices, and poor marketability by fertilizer companies.


Keywords: General Studies -3, Environment and ecology, Renewable Energy
Daily Current Affairs

Digital lending

Why in news? Loans offered on debit cards, including equated monthly installment (EMI) programs, would be governed under the digital lending guidelines of the Reserve Bank of India.


  • Digital lending is the process of availing credit online.
  • Digital lending is mostly preferred by those who are generally not able to avail of any credit through formal sources of finance like banks.
  • Digital lending utilizes automated technologies and algorithms for decision-making, customer acquisition, disbursements, and recovery.
  • Not only does it lower costs but also ensures speedy disbursal.
  • Digital lenders are of three kinds:
    • Those regulated by the RBI.
    • Those authorized as per other statutory/regulatory provisions but not regulated by RBI.
    • Entities lending outside the purview of any statutory/ regulatory provisions.


Keywords: General Studies –3 Indian Economy & Related Issues
Daily Current Affairs

Mutual Fund Trustee

Why in news? SEBI recently proposed to review the role and accountability of trustees of mutual funds with an aim to protect unitholders’ interests.


  • A mutual fund is an investment vehicle that pools funds from investors and invests in equities, bonds, government securities, gold, and other assets.

Role of Trustees

  • Mutual funds in India has a three-tiered structure – mutual fund, the trustees, and the asset management companies (AMC).
  • Board of trustees or trustee company holds the property of the mutual fund in trust for the benefit of the unit holders.

  • They appoint an AMC to float schemes for the mutual fund and manage the funds mobilized under various schemes.
  • They are also expected to exercise supervisory oversight over AMC and its activities so as to ensure that AMC acts in the interest of the unitholders.
  • Once these recommendations are finalized, the trustees will ensure that the AMCs act in a manner that is not skewed in favour of AMC’s stakeholders.
  • The key areas of their focus will be the fairness of fees and expenses charged by the AMC and misconduct including market abuse/misuse of information by the AMC or AMC employees or distributors.
  • The trustees will ensure that there is no mis-selling of mutual fund schemes to increase asset under management (AUM) and valuation of the AMC.


Keywords: General Studies –3 Indian Economy & Related Issues, CAPITAL MARKET, Mobilization of Resources
Daily Current Affairs


Why in news? Recently, Research sheds light on the Agasthiyar Observatory which was one of the few magnetic observatories in the world during the 19th century.


  • Agasthyarkoodam situated on 2nd highest peak of Kerala in the Western Ghats housed an observatory once.
  • It was established by Scottish meteorologist John Allan Broun.
  • Allan Broun used the observatory to record magnetic and meteorological observations in tandem with the Thiruvananthapuram astronomical observatory.
  • Agasthyarkoodam got its name from the sage Agasthya (a pioneer of Tamil Siddha Ayurveda)
  • The observatory started recording observations in July 1855.
  • However, it was closed in 1881 by the then Madras Governor Sir William Denison.

Agastyaarkoodam peak

  • Agastyaarkoodam peak lies on the border between the Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Tirunelveli district, and Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram district. This peak is a part of the Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve.
  • Major rivers which originate from the mountain are: the Thamirabarani River, the Karamana River.
  • Agastyaarkoodam is 32 km from Neyyar Dam.
  • Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve is part of the Agastyaarkoodam range.


Keywords: General Studies –3 Science & Technology
Daily Current Affairs

Transfer Pricing

Why in news? The Income-Tax Department has recently surveyed at British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and reported that it apparently diverted profits by violating ‘transfer pricing’ rules.


  • Transfer pricing generally refers to prices of transactions between associated enterprises which may take place under conditions differing from those taking place between independent enterprises”.
  • In other words, Transfer pricing refers to the value attached to transfers of goods, services, and technology between related entities, and between unrelated parties that are controlled by a common entity.
  • Concerns
    • Transfer pricing results in the parent company tends to produce insufficient taxable income or excessive loss on a transaction.
    • A group that manufactures products in a high-tax country may decide to sell them at a low profit to its affiliated sales company based in a tax haven country.
    • The impact of transfer pricing is revenue loss and also a drain on foreign exchange reserves.


Keywords: General Studies –3 Indian Economy
Daily Current Affairs

Vinyl Chloride

Why in news? Recently, In East Palestine, Ohio State, a train derailment caused a massive chemical spill of toxic substances including vinyl chloride.


  • vinyl chloride, also called chloroethylene, a colourless, flammable, toxic gas.
  • It does not occur naturally and must be produced industrially for its commercial uses.
  • Vinyl chloride is used primarily to make polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a hard plastic resin used to make a variety of plastic products, including pipes, wire and cable coatings, and packaging materials.
  • Vinyl chloride is also produced as a combustion product in tobacco smoke.
  • Vinyl chloride can cause liver damage, and it is classified as a known human carcinogen.


Keywords: General Studies –3 Science & Technology
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