Tuesday, 23rd May 2023

Table of contents

1   Editorial of the day


Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Jallikattu

2   Daily Current Affairs


Custodial Torture


Appointment of Judges in Supreme Court


Rohingya Refugees in India




Calcium-41 for Radiometric Dating


World Food India 2023


Centre of Excellence on Sustainable Land Management


Trimbakeshwar Mahadev Temple


Geko Mizoramensis


London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR)


Khasi Tribe


Kishtwar National Park


South Asia Gas Enterprise

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Editorial of the day

Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Jallikattu

Exam View: Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and bull sports

Context: Supreme Court upholds Tamil Nadu law allowing Jallikattu (also known as eruthazhuvuthal).

Decoding the editorial: Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 and bull sports

  • 2014: A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court banned Jallikattu in its 2014 ruling in the ‘Welfare Board of India v. A. Nagaraja’ case.
    • The Bench was tasked with deciding whether Tamil Nadu could preserve Jallikattu as its cultural right under Article 29(1) of the Constitution.
    • The erstwhile ruling has also held that “bovine sports” were contrary to the provisions of Sections 3, 11(1)(a) and (m) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 which relate to the “duties of persons having charge of animals” and define animal cruelty respectively.
    • It ruled that the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 “over-shadows or overrides the so-called tradition and culture”, and advised Parliament to “elevate rights of animals to that of constitutional rights so as to protect their dignity and honour”.
  • 2016: A notification was issued by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change prohibiting the “exhibition or training of bulls as performing animals”.
    • Exemption notification: An exception was carved in the notification, which specified that bulls might still be trained as performing animals at events such as Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu, according to the customs and culture of different communities.
    • It was also specified that this exception is subject to conditions such as reducing the pain and suffering of bulls utilised in such sports.
  • 2017: Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, and Karnataka had passed amendments to the central law ‘The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960’, allowing bull-taming traditional sports like Jallikattu, Kambala, and bullock-cart races.
    • The amending Act by Tamil Nadu sought to preserve the cultural heritage of Tamil Nadu, and to ensure the survival and well-being of the native breeds of bulls.
    • The Karnataka cabinet in January 2017 decided to amend the PCA Act, 1960, to pave the way for Kambala, a sport involving a pair of buffaloes tied to the plough and anchored by one person.
  • 2018: A batch of petitions were filed challenging the exemption notification, relying on the 2014 ruling.
    • The first of the pleas was filed by the Animal Welfare Board of India. However, during the course of the hearing, the Board changed its stance to support the stand of the State and Centre on grounds that the 1960 Act and State Amendments enacted in 2017 weren’t contrary to each other. The Board also said that it framed guidelines preventing the suffering of bovine species during such events.
  • 2023: A five-judge Constitution Bench has now overruled the two-judge bench decision and ruled that the changes in the law by the states were valid but the issue of Jallikattu must be decided by Parliament.
    • The Bench said that making this decision requires social and cultural analysis in greater detail, and such an exercise “cannot be undertaken by the judiciary”.
    • In its judgement, the court held that the Tamil Nadu Amendment Act is “not a piece of colourable legislation” and that it relates to Entry 17 of List III of the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution which relates to the prevention of cruelty to animals.
    • The 2017 amendment “minimises cruelty to animals in the concerned sports”. Once it is implemented and read with the rules, the sports will not come under the definition of cruelty defined in the 1960 Act.
    • The Amendment received the Presidential assent.
    • The court highlighted that Jallikattu has been going on in Tamil Nadu for the last few centuries and forms a part of its cultural heritage.
    • The court also said that the 2017 amendment does not violate Articles 51-A (g) and 51-A (h).
    • Further, it also held that the amendment didn’t violate Articles 14 (Right to Equality) and 21 (Right to Life) of the Constitution.


Keywords: GS Paper-2, Judgments and Cases
Daily Current Affairs

Custodial Torture

In News: after the alleged custodial torture at the police station, a labourer, succumbed to his injuries at the Civil Hospital in Ahmedabad.

About Custodial Torture

Custodial torture a form of torture that generally happens when a person alleged of any crime is under the custody of law enforcement officials. The Supreme Court has held that Custodial torture is a naked violation of human dignity and degradation which destroys, to a very large extent human personality.

Custodial torture often leads to custodial deaths, which are deaths that occur while a person is in custody. Custodial torture is a punishable offense under the existing laws but due to various reasons, the accused do not get convicted.

Legal Framework and Constitutional Provision Related Custodial Torture in India

Legal Framework:

  • Section 24 Indian Evidence Act, 1872: It declares that all the confessions made by the accused by succumbing to the threat, promise or inducement of investigating agencies would not be admissible in the court of law. This Section primarily works for preventing the accused to give confessions against his will.
  • Section 330 and 331 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC): It criminalize voluntarily causing hurt or grievous hurt to extort confession or information from any person.
  • Section 41 of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC): It was amended in 2009 to include safeguards under 41A, 41B, 41C and 41D, so that arrests and detentions for interrogation have reasonable grounds and documented procedures, arrests are made transparent to family, friends and public, and there is protection through legal representation.

Constitutional Provisions:

  • Article 21: It guarantees the right to life and personal liberty, that includes the right to be free from torture and other cruel, inhuman treatment.
  • Article 20(1): It states that no person shall be convicted of any offence, except those which are in contravention of the law in power at the commission of the Act.
  • Article 20(3): It prohibits a person to be compelled to be a witness against himself. It is an extremely instrumental law as it protects the accused from giving confessions when the accused is coerced or tortured to do so.


Keywords: GS-2, Polity and Governance
Daily Current Affairs

Appointment of Judges in Supreme Court

In News: Chief Justice of India administered the oath of office to Justices Prashant Kumar Mishra and K.V. Viswanathan, bringing back the Supreme Court to its full sanctioned strength of 34 judges.

Justice Viswanathan would be in line to be the 58th Chief Justice of India in August 2030, succeeding Justice J.B. Pardiwala as top judge. He is also only the ninth lawyer to be elevated directly to the SC Bench

Process of Appointment of Supreme Court Judges:

  • As per Article 124 of the constitution, every judge of the Supreme Court shall be appointed by the President by warrant under his/her hand.
    • It is obligatory for the President to take into account the opinion of the Collegium, headed by the CJI, consisting of at least four senior-most judges of the Supreme Court.
    • Even if two judges give an adverse opinion, the CJI should not send the recommendation to the Government.
  • The Chief Justice of India (CJI) initiates the process of appointment of other Supreme Court judges.
  • The CJI consults the rest of the Collegium members, as well as the senior-most judge of the court hailing from the High Court to which the recommended person belongs.
  • The consultees must record their opinions in writing and it should form part of the file.
  • The Collegium sends the recommendation to the Law Minister, who forwards it to the Prime Minister to advise the President.



Keywords: GS-2 Judiciary, Indian Constitution
Daily Current Affairs

Rohingya Refugees in India

In News: A report titled “A Shadow of Refuge: Rohingya Refugees in India” jointly prepared by The Azadi Project, a women’s rights non-profit and Refugees International, an international NGO, was released which highlighted the deplorable situation of Rohingya Refugees in India.

Highlights of the Report:

Challenges of Rohingya Community in India:

  • Denial of exit permissions for Rohingya refugees who have completed refugee status determinations with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and gained approval from third countries for resettlement.
  • Illegal Migrant status in India puts them under risk of deportation to Myanmar.
  • Muzzling of voices of NGOs who speak for Rohingyas through loss of permission to access foreign funding.
  • Arbitrary Detention and separation of Rohingya children from their parents during detention remains another grave challenge.
  • Harsh living conditions of the Rohingya in slum-like settlements with no safe running water or toilets, and no access to basic healthcare, education for children, or employment opportunities.
  • With downgrading of the UNHCR cards, the Rohingya are unable to get an Aadhaar card, without which school admissions have become impossible for them.

Suggestion by the Report:

  • India should formally recognise the Rohingya in India as refugees with a right to asylum rather than as illegal migrants.
  • India could acknowledge their residency by recognising UNHCR cards as sufficient for accessing basic education, work, and health services.
  • India can help facilitate resettlement opportunities by advocating for resettlement forums like the G-20 summit.

Better treatment of refugees is in India’s interest, as it would “give the government more global credibility” and also “serve national security interests”, as new arrivals would be officially documented and not incentivised to remain under the radar.


Keywords: GS-3 India and its Neighbourhood
Daily Current Affairs


In News: The Orissa High Court has directed the State government to draw an action plan to ensure complete absence of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) children and reduction of Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM) children by half in the State, by the end of 2023.

About Malnutrition:

  • Malnutrition refers to deficiencies or excesses in nutrient intake, imbalance of essential nutrients or impaired nutrient utilisation. The double burden of malnutrition consists of both undernutrition and overweight and obesity, as well as diet-related non-communicable disease.
  • WHO defines SAM by very low weight-for-height or a mid-upper arm circumference less than 115 mm, or by the presence of nutritional oedema. SAM children are those in the red zone with a higher risk of contracting secondary infection and may suffer from severe illnesses.
  • MAM is defined as moderate wasting and/or mid-upper-arm circumference (MUAC) greater or equal to 115 mm and less than 125 mm. MAM children show signs of malnourishment but are in the yellow zone which means their lives are not under threat.

Prevalence of Malnutrition in India:

  • Over 33 lakh children in India are malnourished and more than half of them fall in the severely malnourished category with Maharashtra, Bihar and Gujarat.
  • The Women and Child Development ministry estimates that there are 17.76 lakh SAM children and 15.46 lakh MAM children as of October, 2021.
  • The figure of malnourished children is from NFHS-4 in 2015-16 according to which 4% children under five years are low height-for-age and 21% wasted or low weight-for-height in India.
  • India has slipped to 107th position in the Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2022 of 121 countries, from its 2021 position of 101st.



Keywords: GS-2 Issues relating to poverty and hunger
Daily Current Affairs

Calcium-41 for Radiometric Dating

In News: Scientists proposed using calcium-41 in 1979 to date fossilized bones and rock

About calcium-41 for Radiometric dating:

  • Calcium-41 is a radioactive isotope with a half-life of 99,400 years, making it suitable for dating objects older than carbon-14 can handle.
  • It is found in the Earth's crust and can be used to date fossilized bones and rocks using radiometric dating.
  • It is produced when cosmic rays from space collide with calcium atoms in the soil.
  • The traditional method of radiometric dating using carbon-14 has limitations due to its shorter half-life.
  • A technique called atom-trap trace analysis (ATTA) has been developed to detect and analyse calcium-41 atoms.
  • ATTA involves vaporizing a sample and laser-cooling the atoms, then using laser energy to detect the presence of calcium-41.
  • ATTA is sensitive enough to detect one calcium-41 atom in every 10^16 calcium atoms.
  • In future, Calcium-41 dating can be used in various applications, including studying the history of rock coverage by ice in different climates.


Radiometric Dating

  • It is a method used to determine the age of rocks, fossils, and other geological materials based on the decay of radioactive isotopes.
  • It relies on the principle that certain isotopes of elements are unstable and decay over time into more stable forms at a predictable rate.
  • This decay process is characterized by a half-life, which is the time it takes for half of the parent isotope to decay into the daughter isotope.



Keywords: GS-3 Science and Technology
Daily Current Affairs

World Food India 2023

In News: First Inter-Ministerial committee meeting held on World Food India 2023 by Ministry of Food Processing Industries

About World Food India 2023:

  • World Food India 2023 will be the second edition of an event organized by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Government of India in New Delhi.
  • The event aims to showcase India's rich food culture and promote investments in the food processing sector.
  • The focus is on bringing together the global food processing industry and attract investments in various subsegments of the food processing sector.
  • The event will cover aspects such as backward linkages, processing equipment, R&D, cold chain storage, start-ups, logistics, and retail chains.
  • It will also encompass the entire food processing value chain besides providing a platform for knowledge exchange, networking, and business opportunities.
  • The event will highlight the promotion of Ayush Aahar products and Geographical Indication (GI) products besides aligning it with the celebration of 2023 as the International Year of Millets.


Keywords: GS-3, Economy and Agriculture
Daily Current Affairs

Centre of Excellence on Sustainable Land Management

In News: Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change inaugurates Centre of Excellence on Sustainable Land Management in Dehradun

About Centre of Excellence on Sustainable Land Management:

  • The centre of excellence has been established at the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE).
  • It aims to address land degradation issues through sustainable land management practices.
  • Its major objectives include:
    • Assess land degradation and improve soil quality.
    • Capacity building on sustainable land management frameworks aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
    • Strengthen assessment, monitoring, and reporting of land-based indicators outlined by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).
    • Set Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) targets.
    • Develop drought risk and early warning systems.
  • It will work to mainstream gender considerations and promote good governance of land tenure and rights.
  • It will also assess the impacts of land degradation on greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity loss.
  • Overall, the centre of excellence will go a long way to foster cooperation among developing countries that are party to the UNCCD besides promoting South-South Cooperation.


Keywords: GS-3, economy
Daily Current Affairs

Trimbakeshwar Mahadev Temple

Why in news? Recently, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister ordered Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe into ‘forcible entry.


  • Trimbakeshwar Temple is a religious centre having one of the twelve Jyotirlingas.
  • Trimbakeshwar town is an ancient Hindu Pilgrim centre located at the source of the Godavari River, the longest river in peninsular India.
  • It is located in the town of Trimbak, which is situated in the Nashik district of Maharashtra, India.
  • Trimbakeshwar Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
  • The extraordinary feature of the Jyotirlinga located here is the Linga in the temple is in the form of a three faced embodying Tridev, Lord Bramha, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva.
  • The present Trimbakeshwar temple was constructed by third Peshwa Balaji Bajirao (1740-1760) on the site of an old temple.
  • There are entry gates on all the four sides, East, West, South and North.
  • As per spiritual conceptions the direction East denotes the beginning, West denotes maturity, south denotes fulfillment or completion and the North stands for the revelation.


Keywords: General Studies -1, Art & Culture
Daily Current Affairs

Geko Mizoramensis

Why in news? Recently, A team of biologists has recorded the Gekko mizoramensis as a new species of parachute gecko in Mizoram.


  • Gekko Mizoramensis is a subgenus called Ptychozoon of the Gekko genus.
  • Gekko Mizoramensis is arboreal, meaning it primarily inhabits trees.
  • It is nocturnal, being most active during the night.
  • The gecko has the ability to glide from one tree to another, aided by its webbed limbs and flat tail. However, it does not possess the capability to fly.
  • The species is paraphyletic and comprises multiple cryptic species.
  • The genus Gekko contains morphologically diverse lizards represented by 86 species distributed across South and Southeast Asia.
  • Its habitat spread into the parts of Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand and Cambodia along with
  • Gekko mizoramensis as a new species of parachute gecko, so named because of skin flaps along the body and tail enabling it to glide.



Keywords: General Studies -3, Environment & Ecology
Daily Current Affairs

London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR)

Why in news? Recently, The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has asked the banks and financial institutions to facilitate a complete transition away from the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) by the 1st of July 2023.


  • LIBOR is a globally accepted benchmark interest rate at which major global banks may borrow from one another in the international (London) interbank market for short-term loans.
  • LIBOR is used as a benchmark to settle trades in futures, options, swaps and other derivative financial instruments in over-the-counter markets and on exchanges.
  • Furthermore, LIBOR is also used as a benchmark rate for consumer lending products such as credit cards, mortgages, student loans, corporate debt, etc.
  • It is an indicator of the health of the financial system and provides an idea of the trajectory of impending policy rates of central banks.
  • LIBOR is administered by the Intercontinental Exchange or ICE. It is computed for five currencies with seven different maturities ranging from overnight to a year.
  • The five currencies for which LIBOR is computed are Swiss Franc, Euro, Pound Sterling, Japanese Yen and US Dollar.
  • The London Interbank Offered Rate and the Mumbai Interbank Forward Outright Rate would cease to be a representative benchmark from June 30, 2023.


Keywords: General Studies - 3, economy
Daily Current Affairs

Khasi Tribe

Why in news? Recently, A tribal council’s order not to issue a Scheduled Tribe (ST) certificate to any Khasi person who adopts the surname of her, or his father has triggered a war of words in matrilineal Meghalaya.


  • The Khasis are one of the three indigenous matrilineal communities in the north-eastern State. The other two are Garos and Jaintias.
  • Matrilineal communities: where women inherit property and children take their mother's surname.
  • The Khasis inhabit the eastern part of Meghalaya, in the Khasi and Jaintia Hills.
  • The Khasis occupying the northern lowlands and foothills are generally called Bhois.
  • The Khasi people are an indigenous ethnic group of Meghalaya in north-eastern India with a significant population in the bordering state of Assam, and in certain parts of Bangladesh.
  • The Khasi people form the majority of the population of the eastern part of Meghalaya, and is the state’s largest community, with around 48% of the population of Meghalaya.
  • Under the Constitution of India, the Khasis have been granted the status of Scheduled Tribe.
  • The Khasi tribe has a rich and diverse culture, with a strong connection to nature and their ancestral land.


Keywords: General Studies -2 Polity & Governance, Government Policies & Interventions
Daily Current Affairs

Kishtwar National Park

Why in news? Recently, the research team of the Department of Wildlife Protection has confirmed the presence of snow leopard in Kishtwar High Altitude National Park.


  • Kishtwar National Park is located in the Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Spread over an area of 400 sq km the park was declared a national park on 4 February 1981.
  • With Rinnay River in the north, KibarNala catchment in the south, the Great Himalayas in the east and Marwa River in the west, the area lies in the Central Crystalline belt of the Great Himalayas.
  • The park was established to conserve the snow leopard species, its prey populations and its fragile mountain habitat.
  • The altitude of the park ranges from 1700m to 4800m.



Keywords: General Studies -3 Environment, Conservation
Daily Current Affairs

South Asia Gas Enterprise

Why in news? Recently, $5-billion undersea UAE-Gujarat gas pipeline proposed.


  • South Asia Gas Enterprise (SAGE), an international consortium of companies in deepwater pipeline projects, has sought the support of ministry of petroleum and others to develop an undersea gas pipeline from Gulf to India.
  • South Asia Gas Enterprise Private Limited is a Private incorporated on 21 November 2005.
  • It is classified as non-govt company and is registered at Registrar of Companies, Delhi.
  • It is promoted by the New Delhi based Siddho Mal Group, in Joint Venture with a UK-based Deepwater Technology Company.
  • SAGE is working with a Global Consortium of some of the most reputed companies in the field of Deepwater Pipelines, to create a Multi-Billion Dollar “Energy Corridor” that can transport gas from the Middle East to India, bypassing the land route through Pakistan.
  • The proposed 2,000-km-long energy corridor connecting Middle East and India, a $5 billion project, can lead to an annual saving of about `7,000 crore in comparison with similar quantity of liquefied natural gas (LNG) import.



Keywords: General Studies - 3 Economy
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