Monday, 1st May 2023

Table of contents

1   Editorial of the day


Ration shops as nourishing centres

2   Daily Current Affairs


India’s Nuclear Liability Law


Left Wing Extremism


Supreme Court modification on Eco-Sensitive Zone


World Development Report 2023


Information Technology Amendment Rules, 2023


Ganges River Dolphin


Pushkaralu Festival


Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE) Scheme


Dima Hasao Peace Pact: Assam


NET Zero Innovation Virtual Centre


Common Reporting Standard (CRS): OECD

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Editorial of the day

Ration shops as nourishing centres

Exam View: crop procurement data; learnings from crop procurement; suggestions.

Context: PDS can be leveraged to provide beneficiaries with nutritious food, purchased through targeted electronic vouchers

Crop procurement data:

  • Unseasonal rains have surely damaged the quality of grain in many pockets, and accordingly FCI has relaxed its quality parameters to accommodate lustre loss or shrivelled grain, etc for procurement.
  • The procurement of wheat so far has crossed 20 million tonnes (MT). The FCI hopes to procure at least 25 MT, which is sufficient for its public distribution system (PDS) needs.
    • The corporation has more than comfortable rice stocks that can provide ample cushion to substitute rice for wheat, if and when the need arises.
  • Three states of Punjab, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh have contributed more than 98 percent to the central pool.
    • Punjab will be the biggest contributor to wheat procurement.
    • Uttar Pradesh produces almost double the amount of wheat (about 35 MT) than Punjab (about 18 MT) with the procurement estimated at 3.5 MT, but so far it has procured a meagre 0.12 MT.
  • However, the Department of Food and Public Distribution (DoF&PD), in particular the Food Corporation of India (FCI), might not be able to procure 34 MT as estimated at the beginning of the season.


  • Wheat crop was standing tall for some Punjabi farmers because of:
    • zero tillage, and
    • mulched paddy straw at the time of sowing wheat through smart happy seeders.
  • Mulching of paddy straw acts as a magic, and also increases organic carbon in the soil.
    • This is also being demonstrated on the fields of Borlaug Institute for South Asia (BISA) in Ladhowal, Ludhiana. Incidentally, this technology can be a good case for India to show to the agriculture group of G20. PAU and BISA can lead in this as a voice of the South.
  • At the centre, DoF&PD needs to be complimented for organising a “Chintan Shivir”.
    • One of the topics to focus on was how to leverage PDS to offer more nutritious food and also help make Indian agriculture more climate resilient.
    • Millets, pulses, oilseeds would achieve these twin objectives.
    • It should even offer milk and eggs.


  • To DoF&PD:
    • Upgrade and declare at least 10 percent of their five lakh odd fair price shops as Nutritious Food Hubs (NFHs).
    • These NFHs will be fortified, including bio-fortified, rice and wheat, millets, pulses, oilseeds (especially soybean products with 40 percent protein), fortified milk and edible oils, eggs, etc.
    • The consumers of PDS list may be given electronic vouchers (like an e-food coupon in a food court) that can be charged by the government three or four times a year. This amount can be loaded on e-vouchers of targeted beneficiaries.
  • To centre and states:
    • The procurement of rice would have to be capped, starting with districts where the water table has been depleting
    • For example, Sangrur in Punjab has witnessed a fall of groundwater level by more than 25 metres during 2000-2019.
    • Farmers of such districts could be incentivised to grow millets, pulses, oilseeds, etc that are climate smart, use much less water and fertilisers, thus saving power and fertiliser subsidies.
    • A special package for carbon credits should be introduced for growing such crops.






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

India’s Nuclear Liability Law

In News: World’s biggest nuclear power generation site under consideration at present, the Maharashtra’s Jaitapur plant consisting of six nuclear power reactors, remains delayed for more than a decade due to India’s nuclear liability law.

About the Laws governing Nuclear Liability in India:

Nuclear liability refers to the legal responsibility for damages and compensation in case of a nuclear accident or incident. It involves determining who is responsible for the damages caused and who will pay for the compensation of those affected.

  • Convention on Supplementary Compensation (CSC) adopted in 1997 with the aim of establishing a minimum national compensation amount. India was a signatory to the CSC, but Parliament ratified the convention in 2016.
    • It is based on the exclusive liability of the operator of a nuclear installation and no other person and seeks to establish a uniform global legal regime for compensation to victims
  • Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act (CLNDA) was enacted by India in 2010, to put in place a speedy compensation mechanism for victims of a nuclear accident.

CLNDA and its key provisions:

  • Operator liability: It designates strict liability i.e. irrespective of proven fault, on the nuclear plant operator as the primary entity responsible for compensating victims in case of nuclear accident.
  • Financial cap on operator liability at INR 1,500 crore for each nuclear incident. If the compensation amount exceeds this cap, the central government is responsible for providing additional funds up to the rupee equivalent of 300 million Special Drawing Rights (SDRs).
  • Supplier liability and Right to Recourse under Section 17, which grants the operator a right of recourse against the supplier under certain conditions like
    • the contract between the operator and supplier contains such provisions,
    • the nuclear incident occurs due to the supplier’s negligence, or
    • the supplier provided defective equipment or services that caused the incident.
  • Time limits for filing claims for compensation: Claims related to personal injury or death must be filed within 20 years of the nuclear incident, whereas claims for damage to property must be filed within 10 years.
  • Mandatory insurance: The Act requires nuclear plant operators to obtain insurance or financial security to cover their liability.

Supplier Liability:

  • The international legal framework on civil nuclear liability is based on the exclusive liability of the operator of nuclear installation.
  • Reasons for exclusive operator liability were:
    • Excessive liability claims against suppliers of nuclear equipment would make their business unviable and hinder the growth of nuclear energy
    • to avoid legal complications in establishing separate liability in each case
    • to make just one entity in the chain, to take out insurance, instead of having suppliers, construction contractors etc. to take out their own insurance.
  • Section 10 of the annex of the CSC provides only two conditions under which the national law of a country may provide the operator to extract liability from the supplier
    • if it is expressly agreed upon in the contract
    • if the nuclear incident resulted from an act or omission done with intent to cause damage.
  • India, going beyond these two conditions, provides that if a nuclear incident has resulted due to faulty equipment or material with patent or latent defects provided by the supplier, it is liable for compensation.

Supplier liability: An Issue in Nuclear Deals

  • Cautions foreign as well as domestic suppliers of operationalizing nuclear deals with India due to the law where suppliers can be asked to pay damages.
  • Concerns of getting exposed to unlimited liability under the CLNDA and ambiguity over how much insurance to set aside in case of damage claims.
  • Ambiguity over definition of the types of ‘nuclear damage’, potentially allows civil liability claims to be brought against the operator and suppliers through other civil laws.
  • Criminal Liability: Section 46 of the act does not prevent a person from bringing proceedings against the operator under any law other than this Act, thus opening chances of criminal liability suits to be pursued against the operator and the supplier wherever applicable.


Keywords: GS 2: Governance, Government Policies and Interventions, GS-3 Infrastructure- Energy
Daily Current Affairs

Left Wing Extremism

In News: Ten personnel of the Chhattisgarh Police’s District Reserve Guard (DRG) and the civilian driver of their vehicle were reported killed in an IED attack by Maoists in the state’s Dantewada district

About Left-Wing Extremism

  • Left-wing extremism (LWE) is a political ideology that advocates for radical socialist, communist, or anarchist ideas and is characterized by the use of violence and terrorism as a means of achieving its goals. It often involves opposition to capitalism, imperialism, and the established political and social order, and seeks to establish a revolutionary socialist or communist state.
  • Left-wing extremism is predominantly found in areas known as the "Red Corridor," which spans several states in central and eastern India, including Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and parts of Maharashtra and West Bengal.

IDEOLOGY and Main Targets of LWE

  • Left-wing extremist groups advocate for the rights of marginalized communities, landless farmers, tribal groups, and the poor. They criticize the socio-economic inequalities and exploitation prevalent in rural India and seek to overthrow the Indian state.
  • LWE groups may target government institutions, law enforcement agencies, or private property to further their agenda.
  • LWE is often opposed by governments and law enforcement agencies, who view it as a threat to national security and stability.

Government Initiative to Control LWE Extremism:

  • SAMADHAN doctrine:
    • Smart Leadership: Emphasizes the need for capable and efficient leadership to effectively tackle LWE.
    • Aggressive Strategy: Involves the use of proactive and robust measures to counter the activities of extremist groups.
    • Motivation and Training: Focuses on motivating security personnel and providing them with adequate training to enhance their capabilities in combating LWE.
    • Actionable Intelligence: Highlights the importance of gathering and utilizing reliable intelligence to effectively plan and execute operations against extremist groups.
    • Dashboard Based KPIs and KRAs: Implements key performance indicators and key result areas to track and evaluate the progress and effectiveness of counterinsurgency efforts.
    • Harnessing Technology: Utilizes technological advancements to enhance surveillance, intelligence gathering, and communication capabilities.
    • Action Plan for Each Theatre: Develops specific action plans tailored to the requirements of each LWE-affected region or theatre of operation.
    • No Access to Financing: Focuses on cutting off the financial networks of extremist groups to limit their resources and operational capabilities.
  • National Policy and Action Plan in 2015: A multi-pronged approach that combines security measures, development initiatives, and ensuring the rights and entitlements of local communities.
  • Support to State Governments: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) provides extensive support to state governments through the deployment of Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) battalions, provision of helicopters and UAVs, and sanctioning of India Reserve Battalions (IRBs)/Special India Reserve Battalions (SIRBs).
  • Funds for Modernization and Training: Funds are allocated under schemes like Modernization of Police Force (MPF), Security Related Expenditure (SRE), and Special Infrastructure Scheme (SIS) to modernize and train state police forces.
  • Special Central Assistance (SCA) Scheme: LWE-affected districts receive development funds under the SCA scheme.
  • Aspirational Districts Programme: Launched in 2018, this program aims to rapidly transform districts that have shown relatively slower progress in key social areas.
  • Specialized Forces: Elite forces like the Greyhounds and Bastariya Battalion have been raised to effectively counter LWE activities in specific regions.

Left-wing extremism has faced criticism for its use of violence and its impact on the affected regions. It has been accused of hindering development, impeding economic growth, and undermining democratic processes. Violent clashes between security forces, Naxalites, and local populations have resulted in human rights abuses on all sides. Left-wing extremism remains a security concern, and the Indian government's counterinsurgency efforts have resulted in some success. The number of incidents and casualties has decreased in recent years, indicating progress in containing the movement.


Keywords: GS -3, Internal Security
Daily Current Affairs

Supreme Court modification on Eco-Sensitive Zone

In News: SC modifies judgement on eco-sensitive zones around protected forests

About Supreme Court judgement on eco-sensitive zones:

  • The Supreme Court in 2022 had ordered mandatory eco-sensitive zones of a minimum of 1 km around protected forests, national parks, and wildlife sanctuaries across the country.
  • The purpose of declaring eco-sensitive zones is not to hamper the day-to-day activities of citizens, and the zones have to be "protected area-specific."
  • Recently, the Supreme Court modified its earlier judgment and stated that a stringent observance of the earlier judgment would cause more harm than good.
  • The court has however made it clear that mining within the national park and wildlife sanctuary and within an area of one kilometre from the boundary of such national park and wildlife sanctuary shall not be permissible.

Eco-sensitive zones

  • Eco-sensitive zones are areas around protected areas like national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, and biosphere reserves.
  • They are created to protect the biodiversity, ecology, and wildlife in and around these protected areas.
  • The boundaries of eco-sensitive zones can vary depending on the specific protected area and its characteristics.
  • Activities such as mining, commercial use of forest land, and construction are restricted or regulated within these zones to minimize their impact on the environment and wildlife.
  • Eco-sensitive zones can also provide opportunities for ecotourism and sustainable development that benefit the local communities.


Keywords: GS-III: Environment conservation
Daily Current Affairs

World Development Report 2023

In News:World Bank releases World Development Report 2023 

Major findings of the report:

  • The World Development Report estimates a 120% income gain for Indians going to work overseas, compared to a 40% rise in case of internal migration.
  • Low-skilled Indians migrating to the US stand to gain the most as they would see a jump in income of nearly 500%, followed by UAE at almost 300%.
  • Highly skilled workers, such as tech workers migrating to Silicon Valley or doctors, experience even higher gains.
  • Migration leads to large wage increases for most people whose skills and attributes are a strong match with the needs of the destination society which often exceed than the country of origin.
  • The gains are so large that at current rates of economic growth, it would take decades for the average low-skilled person working in some countries of origin to earn the income.
  • Remittances from migrants to their families and communities in the countries of origin have increased, especially in countries like India, Mexico, China, and the Philippines.
  • The number of migrants globally is estimated to be 184 million, which is 2.3% of the population, including 37 million refugees.
  • India-US, India-GCC, and Bangladesh-India have been identified as among the top migration corridors
  • Migration also comes at a cost, with workers spending significant portions of their earnings on migration costs.
  • Aging and lower fertility rates in countries are resulting in migration, which, if managed properly, provides benefits for all people - in origin and destination societies.


Keywords: GS-II: Important reports, Migration
Daily Current Affairs

Information Technology Amendment Rules, 2023

In News: High Court flags new IT rules for lacking to protect parody or satire

About IT Rules 2021:

  • The Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) has notified amendments to the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 (IT Rules, 2021) in 2022.
  • The objectives of the amendments were to:
    • Ensure that the interests and constitutional rights of netizens are not contravened by big tech platforms,
    • Strengthen the grievance redressal framework in the Rules,
    • Not let compliance impact early-stage Indian start-ups.
  • The amendments place additional obligations on the SMIs to ensure better protection of user interests.
  • SMIs must now ensure that its users are in compliance with the relevant rules of the platform and make reasonable efforts to prevent prohibited content being hosted on its platform by the users.
  • SMIs are now obligated to remove information or a communication link in relation to the prohibited categories of content within 72 hours of the complaint being made.
  • The amendments mandate that rules and regulations, privacy policy, and user agreement of the platform should be made available in all languages listed in the eighth schedule of the Constitution.
  • The newly-introduced Grievance Appellate Committees is an appellate mechanism for grievance redressal. It is designed to resolve user complaints effectively and efficiently.

Major issues:

  • The IT amendment Rules, 2023 requires social media intermediaries to censor or modify content related to the Central government if a government-mandated fact-checking body directs them to do so.
  • High Court has recently observed that this clause in IT Amendment Rules, 2023 do not appear to protect fair criticism of the government even through parody or satire.
  • Critiques have also remarked that the government's stance on preventing the spread of false information may conflict with freedom of speech and expression.


Keywords: GS-II: Government policies
Daily Current Affairs

Ganges River Dolphin

Why in news? As per the Uttar Pradesh government, there have been increased sightings of the Ganges River dolphins as the quality of water improves through the Namami Gange programme.


  • Scientific Name: Platanista gangetica
  • The Ganges River Dolphin was officially discovered in 1801.
  • It is a reliable indicator of the health of the entire river ecosystem.
  • It was recognised as the National Aquatic Animal in 2009, by the Government of India.
  • Freshwater species:
    • The Gangetic River dolphin is one of the four freshwater dolphin species in the world and is essentially blind.
      • The other three are the baiji, now likely extinct from the Yangtze River in China, the bhulan of the Indus in Pakistan and the boto of the Amazon River in Latin America.
      • They hunt by emitting ultrasonic sounds, which bounces off of fish and other prey, enabling them to “see” an image in their mind. They are also called ‘susu’.
  • Habitat:
    • Ganges river dolphins once lived in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna and Karnaphuli-Sangu River systems of Nepal, India, and Bangladesh.
    • But the species is extinct from most of its early distribution ranges.
    • The distribution range of the Ganges River dolphins in India covers seven states namely, Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.
  • Conservation Status:
    • Indian Wildlife (Protection), Act 1972: Schedule I.
    • International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN): Endangered.
    • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES): Appendix I (most endangered).
    • Convention on Migratory Species (CMS): Appendix II (migratory species that need conservation and management or would significantly benefit from international co-operation).
  • Population:
    • It is estimated that 2,500-3,000 Ganges River dolphins survive in the wild.
    • Of these, more than 80 percent can be found in the river Ganga and her tributaries.
    • For instance, around 50 percent of the total freshwater dolphin population in the country can be found in Bihar alone.
    • But the overall numbers of the Ganges River dolphin have reduced over the years.


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

Pushkaralu Festival

Why in news? Recently, the 12-day Pushkaralu festival of Telugu-speaking people commenced on April 22 in Varanasi.


  • Pushkaram is a festival celebrated in India once every 12 years, dedicated to worshipping the 12 sacred rivers.
  • Each river is associated with a zodiac sign, and the festival is based on the position of Jupiter at the time.
  • Festival Duration: 12 days after Jupiter enters that particular zodiac sign.
  • Purpose: Ancestor worship; Bathing in the sacred river during Pushkaram is believed to cleanse the devotees of their sins.
  • The devotee Pushkara was blessed by Lord Shiva with the ability to live in water and purify holy rivers.
  • On a request from Bruhaspati (Jupiter), Pushkara decided to enter one of the 12 sacred rivers.
  • Associated Rivers are Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari, Krishna, Kaveri, Bhima, Tapti, Narmada, Saraswati, Tungabhadra, Sindhu, Pranhita.

More Information:

  • It is the second event of the recent past to be organised in Varanasi, after the Kashi-Tamil Sangamam.


Keywords: General Studies –1 Art & Culture
Daily Current Affairs

Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE) Scheme

Why in news? Recently, Union Minister for MSME launched the revamped CGTMSE Scheme in Mumbai.


  • It was launched in 2000 by the Government of India (GoI) to make available collateral-free credit to the micro and small enterprise sector.
  • Both the existing and the new enterprises are eligible to be covered under the scheme.
  • Funding:
    • The corpus of CGTMSE is contributed by the GoI and SIDBI in the ratio of 4:1
    • The Ministry of MSMEs, and Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) established a trust named Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE) to implement the CGTMSE Scheme.
  • Financial Inclusion for MSMEs:
    • While launching the revamp of CGTMSE, it was announced that CGTMSE will collaborate with National Institute for MSME, Hyderabad for setting up a Centre of Financial Inclusion.
    • The Centre is expected to provide financial literacy and credit counselling to MSEs, thus helping them to better utilize the benefits of the CGTMSE Scheme.

Revamped CGTMSE:

  • Major Changes:
    • The revamped version of the CGTMSE Scheme has been provided with an additional corpus support of ₹9,000 crore in the Union Budget for FY 2023-24 to provide a guarantee for an additional ₹2 lakh crore to MSEs.
    • Other major changes made in the revamped version include:
      • Reduction in guaranteed fees for loans up to ₹1 crore by 50%.
      • Raising of ceiling for guarantee from ₹2 crore to ₹5 crore.
      • Raising the bar for claim settlement without taking legal action from the previous limit of Rs. 5 lakhs to Rs. 10 lakhs.


Keywords: General Studies –3 Economy
Daily Current Affairs

Dima Hasao Peace Pact: Assam

Why in news? Recently, the Dimasa National Liberation Army (DNLA) signed a Peace Agreement with the Assam government and the Union Government.


  • The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed which makes the DNLA lay down its arms and abide by the Constitution of India.
  • The group will disband their armed organisation, vacate all camps occupied by DNLA cadres and join the mainstream.
  • A total of 179 DNLA cadres will surrender their arms and ammunition.
    • DNLA is an insurgent group operating in Dima Hasao and Karbi Anglong districts in Assam.
  • The central and state governments will provide Rs 500 crore each for the development of the Dimasa tribal areas.
  • Dimasa Welfare Council will be set up by the Government of Assam to protect, preserve and promote a social, cultural, and linguistic identity to meet political, economic and educational aspirations.
    • It will ensure speedy and focused development of the Dimasa people residing outside the jurisdiction of North Cachar Hills Autonomous Council (NCHAC).
    • Dimasa Tribal Region is run by NCHAC.
  • The MoU also provides for the appointment of a Commission under Paragraph 14 of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution of India to examine the demand for the inclusion of additional villages contiguous to the NCHAC with the Council.
    • The Sixth Schedule under Article 244 provides for the formation of autonomous administrative divisions — Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) — that have some legislative, judicial, and administrative autonomy within a state.


  • The Dimasas (or Dimasa-Kacharis) are the earliest known rulers and settlers of Assam, and now live in Dima Hasao, Karbi Anglong, Cachar, Hojai and Nagaon districts of central and southern Assam, as well as parts of Nagaland.
  • Some of the historians describe them as “aborigines” or the “earliest known inhabitants of the Brahmaputra Valley”.


Keywords: General Studies – 2 Issues Relating to Development
Daily Current Affairs

NET Zero Innovation Virtual Centre

Why in news? India and the United Kingdom have agreed to create India-UK NET zero innovation virtual center.


  • It is a joint initiative of India and the UK to enhance their cooperation on science and technology, especially on climate change and environmental issues.
  • It will provide a platform to bring stakeholders from both countries together to work on some of the focus areas such as the decarbonization of manufacturing process and transport systems, and green hydrogen as a renewable source.
  • It will support the goal of achieving net zero emissions balancing the amount of greenhouse gases emitted and removed from the atmosphere.
  • It will also facilitate knowledge exchange, innovation, research and development, capacity building, and policy dialogue between the two countries.

Other initiatives between India and UK

  • UK’s International Science Partnerships Fund (Newton-Bhabha fund);
  • UK-India scientific ‘deep sea voyage (for carrying out scientific studies) and ‘space parks’ (manufacturing hub for space-related technology) partnership;
  • India-UK Neutron Scattering Workshop;
  • India-UK iSiS project (for neutron and muon science);
  • UK-India Tech Partnership (2018)


Keywords: General Studies – 2 India & Foreign Relations, Groupings & Agreements Involving India and/or Affecting India's Interests
Daily Current Affairs

Common Reporting Standard (CRS): OECD

Why in news? India is pressing to expand the scope of the common reporting standard (CRS) at the G20 to include non-financial assets under the automatic exchange of information (AEOI) among OECD countries.


  • The CRS was developed in response to the G20 request and approved by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) Council on 15th July 2014.
  • It calls on jurisdictions to obtain information from their financial institutions and automatically exchange that information with other jurisdictions on an annual basis.
  • It sets out the financial account information to be exchanged, the financial institutions required to report, the different types of accounts and taxpayers covered, as well as common due diligence procedures to be followed by financial institutions.
  • Presently, the OECD's Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) framework provides for sharing of financial account details among signatory countries with the aim to check tax evasion.

More Information:

  • India currently has AEOI with 108 jurisdictions for receiving financial information and with 79 jurisdictions for sending information automatically.
  • AEOI provides for the exchange of non-resident financial account information with the tax authorities in the account holder's country of residence. It reduces the possibility of tax evasion.


Keywords: General Studies – 2 International Treaties & Agreements, Important International institutions
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