Friday, 10th November 2023

Table of contents

1   Daily Current Affairs

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Extension of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana

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The Ethics Committee: Guardians of Integrity in Action!

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GRAP (Graded Response Action Plan)

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Stubble Burning - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Online Gambling - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Onam Festival - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Veer Shaiva-Lingayats - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Bicchu Buti Fabrics - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Agartala-Akhaura Rail Link - Edukemy Current Affairs

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CBI - Edukemy Current Affairs - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Headline Inflation - Edukemy Current Affairs

2   Daily Editorial Analysis

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Menstrual Hygiene Policy - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Daily Current Affairs

Extension of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana


In News: The Indian Prime Minister has recently declared the extension of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) for an extra five-year period. 

About Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) and National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA) 

  • PMGKAY Overview 
    • Launched in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) provides 5kg free foodgrains to eligible ration card holders under the National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA). 
    • Initially set to expire in December 2022, extended till December 2023, and now further extended for an additional five years. 
    • Government allocation includes 1,118 lakh metric tonnes of foodgrains from the central procurement pool, costing Rs 3.9 lakh crore. 
  • National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA) 
    • Represents a shift from welfare to rights-based food security approach. 
    • Legally entitles up to 75% of the rural population and 50% of the urban population to receive subsidized food grains under the Targeted Public Distribution System. 
    • Two-thirds of the population covered, including Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and Priority Households (PHH). 
    • Empowers the eldest woman of the household (18 years or above) as the head for ration card issuance. 
  • Provisions under NFSA 
    • AAY households receive a fixed 35 kg of foodgrains monthly. 
    • Priority Households receive food grains based on family size, with each member entitled to 5 kg per month. 
  • Merger of PMGKAY and NFSA 
    • In January 2023, PMGKAY integrated with NFSA, providing all rations for AAY and PHH families at no cost. 
    • Eliminated additional provisions introduced during the Covid-19 pandemic by incorporating the free PMGKAY component into NFSA. 

Impact Analysis of PMGKAY Extension 

  • Positive Impacts 
    • Immediate Food Security Relief 
      • Extension aids lower-income households, ensuring sustained access to essential food supplies for immediate food security needs. 
      • Acts as a safety net during economic distress or natural disasters, providing swift relief to those facing sudden hardships. 
    • Boost to Rural Economy 
      • Procurement for the program supports local farmers and agricultural communities, fostering rural economic growth and stability. 
    • Social Cohesion 
      • Promotes a sense of community welfare, ensuring that government initiatives prevent hunger, fostering social cohesion and collective responsibility. 
  • Negative Impacts 
    • Fiscal and Economic Concerns 
      • Incurs significant fiscal costs, with the potential for escalating expenses over time. 
      • Risks straining the fiscal deficit, especially without corresponding revenue increases. 
    • Market Dynamics Distortion 
      • Disruption in market dynamics due to free or highly subsidized foodgrains, impacting the agricultural sector and distorting prices. 
    • Dependency and Sustainability Issues 
      • Perpetuates dependency among beneficiaries, potentially hindering self-sufficiency and alternative livelihood efforts. 
      • Government handouts may not offer a sustainable, long-term solution to poverty and hunger. 
    • Competitive Populism and Policy Consistency 
      • Extension may lead to competitive populist measures, driving unsustainable policies and pressuring public finances. 

The Path Ahead 

  • Short Term 
    • Digital Vouchers for Food Access 
      • Utilize e-Rupi as digital vouchers specifically for purchasing essential food items. 
      • Allocate targeted beneficiaries E-Rupi vouchers to ensure funds are used solely for nutritious food. 
    • Crowdsourced Distribution Networks 
      • Develop technology platforms or apps for efficient distribution of excess food from individuals, restaurants, and supermarkets. 
      • Involve community participation in identifying surplus food and distributing it to those in need. 
  • Long Term 
    • Economic Empowerment Programs 
      • Shift from perpetual handouts to investing in economic empowerment programs. 
      • Include skill development, job training, and entrepreneurial opportunities for individuals to achieve self-sufficiency. 
    • Gradual Reduction of Subsidies 
      • Instead of abruptly ending the free ration program, gradually phase it out. 
      • Simultaneously implement other support systems to avoid sudden shocks to vulnerable populations and the economy. 

UPSC Previous Year Questions 

Prelims (2018) 

Q. With reference to the provisions made under the National Food Security Act, 2013, consider the following statements: 

  1. The families coming under the category of ‘below poverty line (BPL)’ only are eligible to receive subsidised food grains. 
  2. The eldest woman in a household, of age 18 years or above, shall be the head of the household for the purpose of issuance of a ration card. 
  3. Pregnant women and lactating mothers are entitled to a ‘take-home ration’ of 1600 calories per day during pregnancy and for six months thereafter. 

Which of the statements given above is/are correct? 

(a) 1 and 2 only 
(b) 2 only  
(c) 1 and 3 only  
(d) 3 only 

Ans: (b) 

Mains (2015) 

Q.1 In what way could replacement of price subsidy with Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) change the scenario of subsidies in India? Discuss.  

Mains (2021) 

Q.2 What are the salient features of the National Food Security Act, 2013? How has the Food Security Bill helped in eliminating hunger and malnutrition in India? 

Source: IE 

Keywords: GS- 3 Food Security GS- 2 Government Policies & Interventions
Daily Current Affairs

The Ethics Committee: Guardians of Integrity in Action!


In News: Recently, the Lok Sabha Ethics Committee embraced a report suggesting the removal of Trinamool Congress MP from the Lower House due to an accusation related to "cash-for-query." 

About "cash-for-query" 

  • "Cash-for-query" refers to a scandalous practice in parliamentary or legislative settings where members or lawmakers are alleged to have accepted monetary compensation or other inducements in exchange for raising specific questions or discussing particular issues during sessions.  
  • Essentially, it involves the misuse of the legislative process for personal gain, undermining the integrity and purpose of parliamentary proceedings.  

About Lok Sabha Ethics Committee and its role in "cash-for-query" cases 

Establishment and Purpose 

  • The Lok Sabha Ethics Committee is a parliamentary committee established to oversee and ensure the ethical conduct of Members of Parliament (MPs) in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of India's Parliament. 

Composition 

  • Each of the two Houses of Parliament has an ethics committee.  
  • The ethics committee in Lok Sabha has 15 members 
  • The ethics committee in Rajya Sabha has 10 members. 
  • The members of the Lok Sabha Ethics Committee are appointed by the Speaker for a period of one year. 

Functions 

  • The Ethics Committee is responsible for examining complaints related to the unethical conduct of MPs and recommending appropriate actions. 
  • It may also take Suo-motu cognizance of matters related to the ethical behaviour of MPs. 
  • The committee can recommend penalties, including expulsion or suspension, for MPs found guilty of unethical behaviour. 

Confidentiality 

  • The proceedings and deliberations of the Ethics Committee are typically conducted confidentially to ensure a fair and impartial examination of complaints. 

Reports and Recommendations 

  • The committee prepares reports based on its investigations and submits recommendations to the Lok Sabha Speaker. 
  • The Lok Sabha may consider and act upon the recommendations made by the Ethics Committee. 

Role in "Cash-for-Query" Cases 

  • The Ethics Committee often deals with cases related to "cash-for-query," where MPs are accused of accepting bribes or inducements in exchange for raising specific issues or questions in Parliament. 

How a complaint is handled by Ethics Committee 

  • Complaint Initiation 
    • Complaint against a Lok Sabha MP can be initiated by another Lok Sabha MP or any person. 
    • Non-MP complainants require a Lok Sabha MP to submit the complaint with evidence and an affidavit affirming its authenticity. 
  • Speaker's Role 
    • The Speaker can refer complaints of unethical behaviour against an MP to the Ethics Committee. 
    • Complaints based solely on media reports or sub-judice matters are not entertained. 
  • Prima Facie Inquiry and Report 
    • The Committee conducts a Prima Facie inquiry to determine whether to examine a complaint. 
    • Recommendations are made after evaluating the complaint. 
    • The Committee presents its report to the Speaker, who seeks the House's decision on consideration, allowing a half-hour discussion on the report. 

Potential actions that committee can take 

  • Committee's Actions if Complaint is Valid 
    • The Ethics Committee, if it agrees with the complaint, can suggest what should happen next. 
    • The possible punishment it might suggest is suspending the MP for a certain time. 
  • Final Decision by the House 
    • All the members of the House, which includes every MP, get to decide if they agree with the committee's suggestion. 
    • They also decide what kind of punishment, if any, should be given. 

Issues with Ethics Committee 

  • Undefined 'Unethical Conduct 
    • Lack of a clear definition for 'unethical conduct' leaves it entirely to the Ethics Committee's discretion to determine what qualifies as ethical or unethical. 
  • Rigid Ethical Standards 
    • The Ethics Committee's inflexible approach to ethical standards may hinder MPs' ability to adapt to evolving norms and expectations over time. 
  • Misplacement of Graft Cases 
    • Typically, cases involving MPs accepting money for parliamentary work go to the privileges committee or special committees. 

Conclusion 

The committee plays a vital role in interpreting and applying evolving ethical standards in parliamentary proceedings. Using techniques like seminars, it strives to enhance MPs' understanding of moral principles and promote ethical behaviour, safeguarding the integrity of parliamentary conduct. 

Source: TH 

Keywords: GS-2 Polity GS-4
Daily Current Affairs

GRAP (Graded Response Action Plan)


 In News: The Commission for Air Quality Management in NCR and Adjoining Areas has implemented an 8-point action plan under Stage-IV of the GRAP across the entire NCR, effective immediately.  

About GRAP 

  • GRAP Overview 
    • Set of emergency measures triggered to prevent air quality deterioration in Delhi-NCR. 
    • Approved by Supreme Court in 2016 after M. C. Mehta vs. Union of India (2016), notified in 2017. 
    • Till 2020, It was enforced by Supreme Court-appointed EPCA (Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority) 
    • However, CAQM (Commission for Air Quality Management) took over in 2021, which relies on IITM and IMD forecasts. 
  • Revision Stages 
    • Stage I (AQI 201-300) 
      • Enforce NGT/SC's order on over-aged vehicles. 
    • Stage II (AQI 301-400) 
      • Targeted actions at pollution hotspots. 
      • Regulate DG operations across all NCR sectors. 
    • Stage III (AQI 401-450) 
      • Strict restrictions on BS III petrol and BS IV diesel vehicles. 
      • Potential suspension of primary grade classes. 
    • Stage IV (AQI >450) 
      • Entry restriction for non-essential vehicles outside Delhi. 
      • Exemptions for electric, CNG, and BS-VI diesel vehicles, and those carrying essential commodities. 

All about CAQM (Commission for Air Quality Management) 

  • Establishment of CAQM 
    • Statutory mechanism formed under Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas, Act 2021, for coordination and oversight in Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, and UP to improve air quality. 
    • Recognizes the need for a comprehensive remedial approach to address air pollution. 
  • Significance of the New Commission 
    • Statutory Body 
      • Replaces the Supreme Court-mandated EPCA. 
      • EPCA criticized for not exercising statutory powers; CAQM to regulate by coordinating between Central Government and states. 
    • Consolidated Approach 
      • Aims for a consolidated approach to monitoring, eliminating pollution sources, and enforcement. 
      • Commission empowered to coordinate with state and central governments across various sectors. 
    • Participatory Democracy 
      • Operates under the oversight of elected representatives, providing regular reports to Parliament. 
      • Aims for effective enforcement through the highest degree of democratic oversight. 
    • Removal of Ad-Hocism 
      • Seeks to replace temporary committees and groups with a structured commission under the overall supervision of the Central government. 
      • Aims to synergize efforts of different stakeholders. 
    • Empowered Body 
      • Commission endowed with increased powers, both constitutionally and in scope. 
      • Introduces punitive provisions, including a Rs 1 crore fine or five years' imprisonment for violators of pollution control norms. 
  • Associated Issues 
    • Federal Issue 
      • Commission's power overlaps with state bodies, requiring dependency on states for enforcement. 
      • Political differences among the administered states could impact outcomes. 
    • Dilution of Judicial Oversight 
      • Supreme Court's intervention in environmental matters led to the establishment of EPCA. 
      • Dissolution of other committees raises concerns about limiting the judiciary's role in air-quality management. 
    • Non-Inclusive 
      • Air pollution affects health and agriculture. 
      • Lack of representation from farmers' bodies, while associations or industry representatives can be co-opted as members. 
    • Unrealistic Punitive Measures 
      • Imposing a fixed Rs 1 crore fine regardless of environmental damage deviates from the polluter pays principle. 
      • Raises concerns about the practicality and fairness of punitive measures. 

What is AQI? 

  • AQI, utilized by government bodies, is a numerical indicator to gauge air pollution levels and convey them to the public. 
  • An escalating AQI signifies a higher likelihood of severe adverse health effects for a significant portion of the population. 

Government initiatives to combat air pollution  

  • National Clean Air Program (NCAP) 
  • Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana 
  • FAME India (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles in India) 
  • Swachh Bharat Mission 
  • Green India Mission 
  • Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) 
  • Smart Cities Mission 
  • National Solar Mission (NSM) 
  • Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) 
  • National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency (NMEEE) 

Source: PIB 

Keywords: GS-3 Environmental Pollution & Degradation GS Paper – 2 Health, Government Policies & Interventions.
Daily Current Affairs

Stubble Burning - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: Recently in a meeting chaired by the Union Cabinet Secretary, it was concluded that the current air pollution crisis in Delhi is primarily due to stubble burning. 

About Stubble Burning 

  • It is a removal method of paddy crop residues for wheat sowing, occurring from late September to November. 
  • Commonly practiced in areas with combined harvesting, leaving behind straw stubble. 
  • It is predominantly observed in October and November, especially in North West India, with a focus on Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh. 
  • Effects of Stubble Burning 
    • Pollution 
      • Releases significant quantities of toxic pollutants into the atmosphere, including methane, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, and carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. 
      • Dispersed pollutants contribute to the formation of smog, adversely impacting human health. 
    • Soil Fertility 
      • Burning husk on the ground diminishes soil nutrients, reducing fertility. 
    • Heat Penetration 

 

      • Generated heat penetrates the soil, leading to moisture loss and a decline in beneficial microbes. 
    • Alternatives to Stubble Burning 
      • Technological Solutions 
        • Adoption of technologies like the Turbo Happy Seeder (THS) machine. 
        • THS can uproot stubble and sow seeds, utilizing cleared stubble as mulch for the field. 

The Path Ahead-Possible Solutions 

There is an urgent need to repurpose stubble constructively, utilize technology alternatives like Turbo-Happy Seeder Machine and Bio-Decomposer. Stubble can also be repurposed as animal feed, recycling for paper and cardboard production, or can be used as organic manure, as seen in Palla village near Delhi. 

UPSC Previous Year Questions 

Mains (2015) 

Q. Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata are the three mega cities of the country but the air pollution is much more serious problem in Delhi as compared to the other two. Why is this so?

Source: TH 

Keywords: GS-3 Environment
Daily Current Affairs

Online Gambling - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: Recently, the Madras High Court declined to invalidate the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Online Gambling and Regulation of Online Games Act, 2022 entirely. However, the court specified that the prohibition would be applicable exclusively to games of chance, excluding games of skill such as rummy and poker. 

About Online Gambling 

  • Participating in gambling activities over the internet, known as online gambling, entails placing bets or wagers on games and events to potentially win money or prizes.  
  • This form of gambling is accessible through various devices and often utilizes virtual chips or digital currencies instead of physical cash. 
  • As of 2022, the global online gambling market reached a value of USD 63.53 billion, and it is projected to experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.7% from 2023 to 2030.  
  • The Asia-Pacific region stands out as the largest market for online gambling. 
  • Its regulation is widespread and varies across countries, including India, where different degrees of restrictions and laws govern this burgeoning industry. 

Pros and Cons of Online Gambling 

  • Advantages of Online Gambling: 
    • Convenience 
  • Online gambling offers the convenience of access from the comfort of one's home or any location with an internet connection 
    • Accessibility 
      • It is often more accessible for individuals with disabilities or those facing challenges leaving their homes.  
    • Revenue Generation 
      • The online gambling industry presents the potential for substantial revenue generation for the Indian government through taxation and regulation. 
      • Additionally, this sector can contribute to job creation, offering opportunities for Indian entrepreneurs. 
  • Concerns Related to Online Gambling 
    • Financial and Social Issues 
      • Online gambling poses the risk of addiction, potentially resulting in severe financial and social consequences.  
    • Unregulated Environment 
      • The lack of consistent regulation in online gambling creates an environment where fraudulent activities can thrive. 
    • Legal Complexity in India 
      • India has intricate gambling laws that vary by state, leading to a lack of uniformity and clarity. Each state holds jurisdiction over gambling, contributing to a complex legal landscape. 
    • Potential for Money Laundering 
      • Online gambling platforms may serve as conduits for money laundering, allowing players to deposit significant amounts of cash into online accounts and subsequently withdraw funds in a seemingly legitimate manner. 
    • Vulnerability to Cyber-Attacks 
      • Online gambling sites are susceptible to cyber-attacks, exposing players to the risk of having their sensitive personal and financial information compromised. 
  • Social Detachment 
    • Excessive engagement in online gambling can lead to social isolation. 

Indian Laws on Online Gambling 

  • Public Gambling Act, 1867 
    • Currently, India relies on the Public Gambling Act, 1867, as the primary central law governing all forms of gambling.  
    • However, this law, enacted long ago, is considered outdated and inadequately equipped to address the complexities of digital casinos and online gambling. 
  • State-Specific Laws 
    • States such as Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh have incorporated the Public Gambling Act with certain amendments to suit their local contexts. 
    • On the other hand, regions like Goa, Sikkim, Daman, Meghalaya, and Nagaland have introduced specific laws tailored to regulate public gambling within their jurisdictions 
    • This diversity reflects the decentralized nature of gambling regulations across different states in India. 

Way Forward 

Addressing challenges posed by online gambling requires the concerted efforts of regulators and policymakers to establish fair and responsible gambling practices. Given the intricate and varied legal landscape in India, individuals must be cognizant of the laws specific to their state and engage only in licensed online gambling activities.

Keywords: GS-3 IT & Computers, Cyber Security GS-2 Government Policies & Interventions, Judgements & Cases
Daily Current Affairs

Onam Festival - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: The JNU administration denied permission for the "Onam of Solidarity" event, possibly due to a poster depicting King Mahabali adorned in Palestinian flag colours. 

About Onam Festival 

  • The Festival of Onam holds significance in Kerala as a major harvest celebration, commemorating the return of Asura King Mahabali, known for bringing peace and prosperity to the region.  
  • Taking place in the month of Chingam, the first month of the Malayalam calendar, Kollavarsham 
  • Onam is one of the three major festivals in Kerala, alongside Vishu and Thiruvathira. 

  • This 10-day harvest festival kicks off on Atham (the first day of Onam) and concludes on Thiruvonam (the last day).  
  • Festivities include the creation of Pook kalam (flower rangolis) and various rituals, such as Vallam Kali (boat races), Pulikali (tiger dances), Kummattikali (mask dances), and Onathallu (martial arts).  
  • A key highlight is the traditional Onam sadhya (grand feast). 
  • The unique aspect of Onam lies in the story of the battle between Mahabali (the Asura or demon) and Vamana (an avatar of Vishnu).  
  • Unlike typical narratives where gods triumph over demons, Mahabali is revered as the undisputed King of Malayali’s 
  • Interestingly, there are isolated areas in India, like parts of Bihar and Bengal, where demons, such as Mahishasur, are worshiped.  
  • Historically, scholars interpret these god-demon battles as reflections of past conflicts between Brahmins and non-Brahmins, as well as tribals. 

Source: TH 

Keywords: GS-1 Art and Culture
Daily Current Affairs

Veer Shaiva-Lingayats - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: The All-India Veera Shaiva Mahasabha, has raised objections to the caste census. They are urging the State government not to accept the report and are calling for a complete redo of the entire exercise. 

Who are Lingayats and Veeshaivas? 

  • Lingayats are individuals who wear a personal Linga, an iconic representation of the god Shiva, received during their initiation ceremony.  
  • Followers of the 12th-century social reformer, philosopher, and poet Basaveshwara 
  • Lingayats reject the caste system and Vedic rituals. 
  • Basaveshwara's teachings influenced Lingayats to be strict monotheists, worshiping only one God, the Linga (Shiva).  
  • Traditionally, Lingayats were categorized as a Hindu subcaste known as "Veerashaiva Lingayats," aligning them with Shaivites. 
  • A significant development in the history of Lingayats is their distancing from Hindu Veerashaivas due to differences in following the Vedas and supporting the caste system, both of which Basaveshwara opposed.  
  • Lingayats, as a result, have sought recognition as a separate religion.  
  • Veerashaivas, on the other hand, adhere to the five religious centres known as Pancha Peethas, modelled after the four peethas established by Adi Shankara. 

UPSC Previous Year Questions 

Mains (2014) 

Q. Do government’s schemes for up-lifting vulnerable and backward communities by protecting required social resources for them, lead to their exclusion in establishing businesses in urban economies?  

Mains (2022) 

Q. Discuss the role of the National Commission for Backward Classes in the wake of its transformation from a statutory body to a constitutional body.  

Source: TH 

Keywords: GS-1 Art and Culture
Daily Current Affairs

Bicchu Buti Fabrics - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: The Geographical Indications Registry has bestowed the highly coveted GI tag upon over 15 products originating from Uttarakhand, spanning from indigenous brick-tea to textiles crafted from Himalayan plants 

About Bicchu Buti and Bicchu Buti Fabrics 

  • Bichu Buti, also known as stinging nettle or Urtica dioica, is a plant that has been used for centuries for its medicinal and culinary properties.  
  • The leaves and stems of the plant are covered in tiny hairs that contain formic acid, which can cause a stinging sensation when touched.  
  • However, once the leaves are cooked, the formic acid breaks down and they become safe to eat. 
  • Bichu Buti is a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, and calcium.  
  • It is also a diuretic, which means that it helps to remove excess fluid from the body.  
  • Bichu Buti has been used to treat a variety of conditions, including arthritis, rheumatism, gout, urinary tract infections, and skin problems. 
  • Bichu Buti is not only used for its medicinal and culinary properties, but it is also used to make fabric 
  • The fibres of the plant can be spun into yarn and then woven into cloth.  
  • Bichu Buti fabric is strong and durable, and it is often used to make clothing, bags, and other accessories. 
  • In India, bicchu Buti fabric is particularly popular in the state of Uttarakhand 
  • The fabric is known as "stinging nettle fabric" or "sisnu fabric."  
  • It is used to make a variety of traditional clothing items, including kurtas, pyjamas, and shawls.  
  • Bichu Buti fabric is also used to make bags, purses, and other accessories. 
  • Bichu Buti fabric is a sustainable and eco-friendly choice 

Source: TH 

Keywords: GS-3 Environment
Keywords: GS-2 IR
Daily Current Affairs

CBI - Edukemy Current Affairs - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: The Central Government asserts that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) operates independently and is not under the control of the Union government in the registration, investigation, and prosecution of cases. 

About CBI 

  • The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was established through a resolution of the Ministry of Home Affairs and later shifted to the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances, and Pensions, currently operating as an attached office.  
  • Its formation was recommended by the Santhanam Committee on Prevention of Corruption.  
  • The CBI functions under the DSPE Act, 1946, and is neither a constitutional nor a statutory body. 
  • It investigates a range of cases, including bribery, governmental corruption, central law violations, multi-state organized crime, and multi-agency or international cases. 

Functioning of the CBI in India 

  • Provision of Prior Permission 
    • The CBI must seek prior approval from the Central Government before initiating an inquiry or investigation into offences committed by officials holding the rank of joint secretary and above in the Central Government and its authorities. 
    • In 2014, the Supreme Court declared Section 6A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, which provided protection to these officers from facing even a preliminary inquiry by the CBI in corruption cases, as invalid and violative of Article 14. 
  • General Consent Principle for CBI 
    • States can grant consent to the CBI either on a case-specific or "general" basis. 
    • General consent, often given by states, allows the CBI to seamlessly investigate cases of corruption against central government employees in those states. 
    • This implies that the CBI may commence investigations, assuming consent has already been given. 
    • Without general consent, the CBI would need to apply to the state government for consent in each individual case, even for minor actions. 

UPSC Previous Year Questions 

Mains (2021) 

Q. The jurisdiction of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) regarding lodging an FIR and conducting a probe within a particular state is being questioned by various States. However, the power of the States to withhold consent to the CBI is not absolute. Explain with special reference to the federal character of India. 

Source: TH 

Keywords: GS Paper - 2Government Policies & Interventions
Daily Current Affairs

Headline Inflation - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: While the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has projected CPI inflation to be 5.4% for 2023-24, showing a decline from 6.7% in 2022-23, the vulnerability of headline inflation persists due to recurrent and overlapping food price shocks, as highlighted by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor. 

What is Headline Inflation? 

  • Headline inflation represents the overall inflation rate, considering the entire basket of goods and services that consumers typically purchase. 
  • It includes all items in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) or Producer Price Index (PPI), without excluding any specific category. 
  • Headline inflation often includes volatile elements such as food and energy prices, which can experience significant short-term fluctuations. 
  • Headline inflation gives a comprehensive view of the overall cost of living for consumers, but it can be influenced by short-term factors. 

How is it different from core inflation? 

  • Core inflation is a more focused measure that excludes certain volatile components to provide a smoother and more stable indication of underlying inflation trends. 
  • It typically excludes items like food and energy, which are known for their price volatility. 
  • Core inflation helps economists and policymakers identify the sustained, long-term inflationary trends in the economy, filtering out temporary fluctuations caused by factors like weather events or geopolitical events. 
  • Core inflation, by excluding volatile elements, provides a more persistent measure of inflation, making it useful for long-term economic analysis and monetary policy decisions. 

Source: TH 

Keywords: GS-3 Economy
Daily Editorial Analysis

Menstrual Hygiene Policy - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: The Supreme Court of India has granted the Central government a four-week deadline to formulate an effective menstrual hygiene policy, emphasizing a particular emphasis on the distribution of sanitary napkins. 

Rationale for Menstrual Hygiene Policy 

  • Inadequate menstrual hygiene practices can contribute to various health issues, such as infections and discomfort.  
    • As per the 5th National Family Health Survey (2019-2021), 78% of women aged 15-24 years use a hygienic method of protection during menstruation, with variations in usage across different demographics. 
  • The survey reveals that while 73% of rural women utilize hygienic menstrual protection, a higher percentage of 90% is observed among urban women.  
    • Nevertheless, certain states still report below-average access to hygienic methods of protection, emphasizing the need for targeted policies. 
  • Access to adequate menstrual hygiene products and facilities is not just a health concern but a matter of dignity and fundamental human rights. 
    • A well-structured menstrual hygiene policy can ensure that individuals manage menstruation with dignity, free from shame or discomfort. 
  • Menstruation often carries social stigma and discrimination, perpetuating gender inequality.  
    • Implementing a menstrual hygiene policy becomes instrumental in challenging these societal norms, fostering gender equality, and addressing menstrual-related issues comprehensively. 
  • A dedicated policy can actively work towards promoting the widespread availability and affordability of menstrual hygiene products, ensuring that no individual is hindered by financial constraints from managing their menstrual health. 
  • Establishing a supportive work environment through the policy, encompassing initiatives like flexible working hours, easy access to sanitary products, and provisions for menstrual leave, can contribute to reduced absenteeism, heightened productivity, and increased work participation rates. 
  • A menstrual hygiene policy can facilitate access to essential products and support, removing obstacles that might otherwise impede girls from attending classes and pursuing education. 

What all a comprehensive Menstrual Hygiene Policy should address? 

  • Access to Menstrual Hygiene Products 
    • Ensure widespread availability and affordability of menstrual hygiene products, including sanitary napkins, tampons, and menstrual cups. 
  • Education and Awareness 
    • Implement educational programs to raise awareness about menstrual health, hygiene practices, and debunk myths surrounding menstruation. 
  • Healthcare Services 
    • Provide accessible healthcare services to address menstrual health concerns and complications, including infections and discomfort. 
  • Social Support 
    • Foster a supportive societal environment that eliminates stigma and discrimination related to menstruation, promoting dignity and well-being. 
  • Hygienic Infrastructure 
    • Establish hygienic infrastructure in public spaces, including schools, workplaces, and public restrooms, to facilitate proper menstrual hygiene management. 
  • Environmental Sustainability 
    • Promote eco-friendly menstrual products and waste management practices to address environmental concerns associated with disposable sanitary products. 
  • Employment Policies 
    • Introduce workplace policies that support menstrual well-being, such as flexible working hours, access to sanitary products, and provisions for menstrual leave. 
  • Inclusivity in Education 
    • Ensure that educational institutions are equipped to support girls throughout their menstrual cycle, providing necessary facilities and minimizing disruptions to attendance. 
  • Research and Data Collection 
    • Conduct research and gather data on menstrual health to inform evidence-based policies and interventions. 
  • Period Poverty Alleviation 
    • Implement measures to alleviate period poverty by addressing financial barriers to accessing menstrual hygiene products. 

Conclusion 

The formulation of an inclusive and comprehensive menstrual hygiene policy is imperative to address the diverse needs of individuals across the entire lifecycle of menstruation. This policy should not only focus on ensuring access to menstrual hygiene products but should also encompass education, healthcare services, social support, and environmental sustainability.  

Source: TH 

Keywords: GS-3 Indian Economy, Blue Economy, Environment
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