Press Information Bureau (PIB) IAS UPSC – 7th April to 14th April – 2019
100th anniversary of one of the goriest episodes in human history and the darkest chapter of the British rule in India, the Jallianwala Bagh massacre
(Topic: Modern Indian History)
On this day, soldiers of the British Indian Army, on the orders of Colonel Reginald Dyer, massacred peaceful and unarmed celebrators, including women and children, on the occasion of the Punjabi New Year (Baisakhi). This massacre is remembered as one of the deadliest attacks on peaceful civilians in the world.
1919 Rowlatt Act
- The Anarchical and Revolutionary Crimes Act of 1919, popularly known as the Rowlatt Act, was passed by the Imperial Legislative Council in Delhi on 10 March 1919.
- The Act passed by the British Government was intended to give themselves greater power over the people.
- Rowlatt Act allowed the British to arrest and jail anyone they wished without trial, if they were thought to be plotting against the British. The Viceroy Government also had the power to silence the press.
- The Rowlatt Act sparked a large amount of anger with the leaders and common people of India. This however did not greatly affect the British as they were still able to keep control over the people.
- To try and put an end to this, Gandhi and the other leaders called for a Hartal ( a time of fasting and suspension of work) to show the British the Indians’ discontent with their rule.
- In the Punjab the protest movement was very strong, and two renowned leaders Dr Satya Pal and Dr Saifuddin Kithlew were arrested on 10th April, 1919.
- In order to protest against the arrest, public had held meeting on 13th April at Jallianwala Bagh in a small park. The meeting was attended by many women and children as well, and is considered to be a peaceful meeting.
After the Jallianwala Bagh massacre
- The perpetrator of the massacre, General Dyer, was honored and rewarded by the British public and this removed all illusions about benign British rule in the country.
- It also marked the start of a liberation struggle like no other under Mahatma Gandhi.
- Rabindranath Tagore renounced his knighthood in protest against Jallianwala Bagh incident.
- The insults and sufferings faced by the people of Punjab trickled through the gagged silence, reached every corner of India, and the universal agony of indignation roused in the hearts of people throughout the country.
- This event caused many moderate Indians to abandon their loyalty to the British and become nationalists distrustful of the British.
- The massacre stirred nationalist feelings across India and had a profound effect on one of the movement’s leaders, Mohandas Gandhi. After the Amritsar Massacre he became convinced that India should accept nothing less than full independence. To achieve this end, Gandhi began organizing his first campaign of mass civil disobedience against Britain’s oppressive rule.
Solve: Jallianwala Bagh’s importance lies in what preceded it and in what followed. Elucidate.
Battle of Kangla Tongbi
(Topic: Modern World History)
The Battle of Kangla Tongbi, considered one of the fiercest battles of World War II, was fought by Ordnance personnel of 221 Advance Ordnance Depot (AOD).
Japanese forces had planned a three-pronged offensive to capture Imphal and the surrounding areas. In their attempt to extend their line of communication to Imphal, the 33rd Japanese Division cut in behind the 17th Indian Division at Tiddim (Mynmar) and establishing themselves firmly on the main Kohima – Manipur highway, started advancing towards Kangla Tongbi. Here at Kangla Tongbi, a small but determined detachment of 221 AOD put up stiff resistance against the advancing Japanese forces.
The position of 221 AOD was not at all sound from a tactical point of view. It was exposed to the enemy from all sides and had to rely on its own combatant manpower for its defence. Major Boyd, the Deputy Chief of Ordnance Officer (DCOO) was made in charge of the operations for defence of the Depot. A Suicide squad comprising of Major Boyd, Havildar/ Clerk Store Basant Singh, Conductor Panken and other personnel from the Depot was created.
On 06 Apr 1944, orders were received to evacuate 4,000 tons of ammunition, armaments and other warlike stores. On the night of 6/7 Apr 1944, the Japanese mounted a heavy attack on the Depot, rushing downhill into a deep nallah which was used as a covered approach to the Depot. A very well camouflaged bunker had been sited by the Depot on this approach. The Bren Gun Section in this bunker having spotted an enemy section within range, opened fire. This shook the enemy and forced the Japanese to withdraw leaving many dead.
Supreme Court’s order dated 10 April 2019 on 36 Rafale Procurement Case
(Topic: Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary)
The Court has decided to look into the documents (some of which could not have been placed in public domain as Central govt. stated them as classified) also while deciding the Review Petitions. The Review Petitions are pending and are yet to be heard.
It is reiterated that the petitioners are using documents with the intention to present a selective and incomplete picture of internal secret deliberations on a matter relating to National Security and Defence. The documents presented by the petitioners are failing to bring out how the issues were addressed and resolved and necessary approvals of the competent authorities taken. These are selective and incomplete presentation of the facts and records by the petitioners.
Government had provided the requisite information as desired by the Hon’ble Supreme Court to the Court and also to the petitioners as per directions of the Court and in the manner prescribed by the Court. Government also provided all records and files as required by CAG. The main concern of the Government is relating to availability of sensitive and classified information concerning National Security in the public domain.
Ministry of Rural Development presents Recommendations for Fostering Higher Inclusive Growth to the Finance Commission
(Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation)
Aim: To foster higher inclusive growth, equity, efficiency and transparency
Topics in the presentation:
- The changing structure of rural economy
- Gram Panchayat led data driven and accountable development approach
- Governance reforms for better outcomes
- Other specific proposals for rural development
Made a case for additional resources for Rural India on the account of:
- Higher/New State Share – PMGSY, PMAY (G)
- Extra Budgetary borrowing – PMAY Gramin
- Finance Commission transfer
- Massive rise in loans to SHGs – Rs.81,077 cr.
- Increasing incomes through livelihood thrust – farm ponds, wells, animal sheds/resources
- Larger effective transfer due to governance reforms – IT/DBT – Decline in leakages
- Other specific proposals of Rural Development like maintenance of roads, transfer of certain schemes, and Human Resource Reforms
Made a case of Government’s Reforms and conversant Growth Panchayat Development:
- Governance Reform and Convergent Gram Panchayat Development Plans as necessary pre-condition for fund transfers
- Capacity building of Panchayats (along with women SHGs), use of technology, data driven financial management reforms, and geo-tagging as necessary conditions
- Comprehensive HR as part of recommendations
- Earmarking for road maintenance
- Transferring DRDSs to States
Prelims oriented Notes
President of the Republic of Maldives: His Excellency Mr. Ibrahim Mohamed Solih
BOLD KURUKSHETRA: The 12th edition of joint military exercise between India and Singapore
ECI Advisory to media – Refrain from telecasting/publishing programmes w.r.t prediction of results in any form during the prohibited period
ECI invokes powers under Article 324: To prohibit display/exhibit any biopic/publicity material during Model Code of Conduct period (including cinematograph of any biopic or publicity material in the nature of biography/hagiography sub-serving the purposes of any political entity or any individual entity connected to it.)
World Homoeopathy Day: 8th April; The World Homoeopathy Day is observed to commemorate the birth anniversary of the founder of Homoeopathy, Dr. Christian Fredrich Samuel Hahnemann. Also known as the
- Father of Homeopathy
- Father of Human Pharmacology
- Father of Nano Medicine
- Father of Infinite Dilution concept in Chemistry
Homeopathy is a medical system based on the belief that the body can cure itself. Those who practice it use tiny amounts of natural substances, like plants and minerals. They believe these stimulate the healing process. It’s an alternative medicinal practice that uses the smallest possible amount of an active ingredient in order to help treat or cure a disease, even if this same ingredient can contribute to an illness in the first place. Another way to put this concept: “like cures like”!
This practice helps stimulate the immune system and the body’s natural ability to heal – that which a substance is capable of causing, it is also capable of curing.
14th April: His Birthday celebrated as Ambedkar Jayanti
- Known as the Chief Architect of the Constitution of India
- Dr. Ambedkar was an outstanding leader of our freedom struggle and a staunch crusader for the rights of the downtrodden and traditionally disadvantaged sections of our society.
- A scholar, educationist, legal luminary, social reformer and political leader, Dr. Ambedkar’s philosophy and life are an inspirational profile of courage and conviction.
- Dr. Ambedkar envisioned a society where the weaker sections, the historically deprived, peasants, labourers, and especially women, get equal rights and respect.
- He was an ardent advocate of resolving all issues through democratic, peaceful, non-violent and harmonious means.
- The path shown by him strengthens the spirit of fraternity, compassion and equity.
Mahaparinirvan Diwas: Death Anniversary of Ambedkar
- Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar (14 April 1891 – 6 December 1956), popularly known as Babasaheb Ambedkar, was an Indian jurist, economist, politician and social reformer who inspired the Dalit Buddhist movement and campaigned against social discrimination towards the untouchables (Dalits), while also supporting the rights of women and labour.
- He was independent India’s first law and justice minister, the principal architect of the Constitution of India, and a founding father of the Republic of India.
His autobiography: Waiting for a Visa
- Annihilation of Caste – It strongly criticised Hindu orthodox religious leaders and the caste system in general, and included “a rebuke of Gandhi” on the subject.
- Who Were the Shudras? – Ambedkar tried to explain the formation of untouchables. He saw Shudras and Ati Shudras who form the lowest caste in the ritual hierarchy of the caste system, as separate from Untouchables.
Ambedkar and Untouchability
While practising law in the Bombay High Court, he tried to promote education to untouchables and uplift them. His first organised attempt was his establishment of the central institution Bahishkrit Hitakarini Sabha, intended to promote education and socio-economic improvement, as well as the welfare of “outcastes”, at the time referred to as depressed classes. For the defence of Dalit rights, he started five periodicals –
- Mooknayak (the leader of the dumb, 1920)
- Bahishkrit Bharat (Ostracized India, 1924)
- Samta (Equality, 1928)
- Janata (The People, 1930)
- Prabuddha Bharat (Enlightened India, 1956)
Manusmriti Dahan Din: In a conference in late 1927, Ambedkar publicly condemned the classic Hindu text, the Manusmriti (Laws of Manu), for ideologically justifying caste discrimination and “untouchability”, and he ceremonially burned copies of the ancient text. On 25 December 1927, he led thousands of followers to burn copies of Manusmrti. Thus, annually 25 December is celebrated as Manusmriti Dahan Din (Manusmriti Burning Day) by Ambedkarites and Dalits.
Kalaram Temple movement: About 15,000 volunteers assembled at Kalaram Temple satygraha making one of the greatest processions of Nashik. The procession was headed by a military band, a batch of scouts, women and men walked in discipline, order and determination to see the god for the first time. When they reached to gate, the gates were closed by Brahmin authorities.
In 1932, British announced the formation of a separate electorate for “Depressed Classes” in the Communal Award.
- Gandhi fiercely opposed a separate electorate for untouchables, saying he feared that such an arrangement would divide the Hindu community. Gandhi protested by fasting while imprisoned in the Yerwada Central Jail of Poona. Following the fast, Congress politicians and activists such as Madan Mohan Malaviya and Palwankar Baloo organised joint meetings with Ambedkar and his supporters at Yerwada.
- On 25 September 1932, the agreement known as Poona Pact was signed between Ambedkar (on behalf of the depressed classes among Hindus) and Madan Mohan Malaviya (on behalf of the other Hindus). The agreement gave reserved seats for the depressed classes in the Provisional legislatures, within the general electorate.
- Due to the pact, the depressed class received 148 seats in the legislature, instead of the 71 as allocated in the Communal Award earlier proposed by British Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald. The text uses the term “Depressed Classes” to denote Untouchables among Hindus who were later called Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes under India Act 1935, and the later Indian Constitution of 1950. In the Poona Pact, a unified electorate was in principle formed, but primary and secondary elections allowed Untouchables in practice to choose their own candidates.
Solve: “In our country, democracy is not a natural sentiment that people are born with. It is an idea that has to be cultivated in an essentially unequal society.” This statement by Dr. B R Ambedkar resonates as much with the India of present as it did with India of 70 years back. Critically comment.
The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu
Vote is a pious responsibility and everyone should exercise it to improve quality of the polity, strengthen democracy and build glorious future for individuals and nation.
- One should not let the moment pass: Pause and ponder, assess and act. It is a moment that gives you the right to “assess and assert”, as Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyayji had said.
- Citizens should exercise this precious right to make their opinion count and elect the representatives who have the 4 positive characteristics or 4Cs: character, calibre, competence and conduct they wish to see in these public representatives.
- Citizens must discard those candidates whose claim to fame is only based on what I call the negative 4Cs – Cash, Caste, Community and Criminality.
- India can legitimately be proud of the fact that it adopted universal adult suffrage right from the founding of the Republic in 1950. As Shri Alladi Krishnaswamy Ayyar, Member of the Constituent Assembly said, “More than any other provision in the Constitution, I should think the boldest step taken by this Assembly is in the matter of universal adult suffrage with a belief in the common man and his power to shape the future of the country”. That is the faith our Constitution makers reposed in each one of us. It is that trust in the wisdom of the people and their ability to shape the future of our country that drives our electoral processes.
- We, the people, have an opportunity to realize that dream. We have to exercise the right to vote, the right to choose and the right to shape the quality of our polity.
On financial inclusion and inclusive development
- Time has come for a systemic reform of the Indian banking sector (in light of mounting Non-Performing Assets (NPAs))
- Banks must maintain strict discipline in lending and must never compromise on due diligence
- We must spare no effort in bringing financial fugitives to speedy and exemplary justice
- Banks must also at all times adhere strictly to the principles of business ethics and good corporate governance. ‘Ethical considerations should form an important part of risk-taking activities. The welfare of customers and other stakeholders in good times and bad should be a major concern in any business proposition’, the Vice President said quoting Mahatma Gandhi who said that “Commerce without morality” was one of the seven deadly sins.
- Banks are no longer just about strong lockers and a good interest rate on deposits. They have transcended their conventional mandates and are now at the forefront of India’s development story
- Banks can make use of technology and data analytics to identify the early warning signals of loan defaulting and evolve robust mechanisms to identify the hidden NPAs.
- Banks must focus on nurturing internal skills for credit assessment and undertake forensic audits to understand the intent of the borrower.
- India must enter into more treaties for exchange of information and intelligence on financial fraud and bank accounts and work with international agencies in bringing defaulters to justice.
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