DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 12th AUGUST 2020

  • IASbaba
  • August 12, 2020
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IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs Analysis
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Containing COVID virus

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II – Govt policies and initiatives; Social/Health issue; Governance 


  • PM flagged the need for more testing, tracing in 10 affected States in order to keep the fatality rate from COVID-19 in India to below 1%.  
  • He stressed that 10 States which account for 81% of the cases and 82% of the fatalities need to step up testing, contact tracing within 72 hours of testing and isolation of those infected. 

10 States — West Bengal, Gujarat, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Punjab — are with high COVID-19 levels. 

Measures/Suggestions to contain COVID  

  • Some States asked the Centre to lift the current cap of 35% on COVID-19 related expenditure on State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF) as it was not sufficient to meet current requirements. 
  • Some States appealed for an immediate ad hoc grant of Rs. 1,000 crore from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to fight the pandemic 
  • Some appealed to the Centre to make one year of government service mandatory for fresh medical graduates and postgraduates so that their services can be utilised in fighting COVID-19.  
  • Some appealed to initiate measures for immediate commencement of final year medical and paramedical courses so that students could be used in COVID-19 services in areas outside of the designated hospitals. 
  • Doubling of medical seats 
  • Fund 50% of RT-PCR tests using PM-CARES  

Important value additions: 

About State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF) 

  • SDRF has been constituted under the Disaster Management Act, 2005. 
  • It is the primary fund available with the State governments for responses to notified disasters to meet expenditure for providing immediate relief. 
  • The Centre contributes 75% of the SDRF allocation for general category States and Union Territories and 90% for special category States and Union Territories (northeastern States, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir). 
  • The annual Central contribution is released in two equal installments as per the recommendation of the Finance Commission. 
  • Disaster (s) covered under SDRF: Cyclone, drought, earthquake, fire, flood, tsunami, hailstorm, landslide, avalanche, cloudburst, pest attack, frost and cold waves. 
  • A State Government may use up to 10% of the funds available under the SDRF for providing immediate relief to the victims of natural disasters that they consider to be ‘disasters’ within the local context in the State and which are not included in the notified list of disasters of the Ministry of Home Affairs. 

Daughters have equal right on property: SC 

Part of: GS Mains II – Social/Women issue 


  • The Supreme Court recently held that daughters, like sons, have an equal birth-right to inherit joint Hindu family property.  
  • The verdict now grants equal rights to daughters to inherit ancestral property would have retrospective effect. 

The judgement observes that “a daughter always remains a loving daughter. A son is a son until he gets a wife. A daughter is a daughter throughout her life”. 

Do you know? 

  • A three-judge Bench ruled that a Hindu woman’s right to be a joint heir to the ancestral property is by birth and does not depend on whether her father was alive or not when the law was enacted in 2005. 
  • The substituted Section 6 of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 confers the status of coparcener to a daughter born before or after the amendment in the same manner as a son. 
  • Coparcener is a person who has a birth-right to parental property. 

2005 Amendment 

  • The Mitakshara school of Hindu law codified as the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 governed succession and inheritance of property but only recognised males as legal heirs. 
  • The law applied to everyone who is not a Muslim, Christian, Parsi or Jew by religion. 
  • Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains and followers of Arya Samaj, Brahmo Samaj are also considered Hindus for the purposes of this law. 
  • In a Hindu Undivided Family, several legal heirs through generations can exist jointly. 
  • Women were recognised as coparceners or joint legal heirs for partition arising from 2005. 
  • Section 6 of the Act was amended in 2005 to make a daughter a coparcener by birth in her own right in the same manner as the son. 
  • The law also gave the daughter the same rights and liabilities as the son. 
  • The law applies to ancestral property and to intestate succession in personal property. 

Youth faced several challenges during lockdown 

Part of: GS Mains II – Social/Youth issue 


According to Population Foundation of India (PFI) survey – 

  • Majority of the young women in Bihar, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh were not able to sufficiently access sanitary pads during the COVID­19 lockdown. 
  • More than one in five men and women between the ages of 15­24 reported experiencing depression (due to challenges of economic insecurity, family clashes and increased domestic chores) 
  • About 22% of young people said they experienced depression due to the lockdown, citing factors such as worry about the lack of job opportunities, delay in completing their studies, family pressure and lack of privacy and isolation away from friends. 

The survey aimed to assess the challenges to mental and reproductive health faced by adolescents and young adults due to COVID­19. 

Tribal Freedom Fighters’ Museums

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains I – Modern History  


  • Minsitry of Tribal Affairs to set up Tribal Freedom Fighters’ museums to give due recognition to sacrifices and contribution to country’s freedom struggle by tribal people. 
  • Government to set up permanent museums in the States where tribals lived, struggled against the British and refused to be bowed down. 

Do you know? 

  • All the museums will have strong usage of technologies like Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), 3D/7D holographic projections etc. 
  • These museums will trace the history along the trails, along which the tribal people in hills and forests fought for their right to live and will. 
  • Thus, it will combine ex situ display with in situ conservation, regeneration initiatives.  
  • It is expected that by the end of 2022 all the museums will come into existence. 

Krishi Megh (National Agricultural Research & Education System -Cloud Infrastructure and Services)

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II and III – Govt schemes and initiatives; Skill development; Agriculture 


  • Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare virtually launched Krishi Megh along with KVC ALUNET (Krishi Vishwavidyalaya Chhatr Alumni Network) and Online Accreditation System for Higher Agricultural Educational Institutions (HEI). 
  • Krishi Megh is a step forward towards digital agriculture of New India.  

About Krishi Megh: 

  • Krishi Megh is the National Agricultural Research & Education System -Cloud Infrastructure and Services. 
  • It aims to protect the precious data of the government’s premier research body Indian Council of Agricultural Research. 
  • It has been set up at National Academy of Agricultural Research Management (NAARM) in Hyderabad. 

Key features: 

  • Krishi Megh has been set up under the National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP), funded by both the government and World Bank. 
  • The data recovery centre at NAARM is synchronized with the data centre at the main data centre of the ICAR is at Indian Agricultural Statistics Research Institute (IASRI) Delhi. 
  • Built to mitigate the risk, enhance the quality, availability and accessibility of e-governance, research, extension and education in field of agriculture in India. 
  • Cater the need to save and preserve the important research-based data in a prompt digitised form to enable its access anywhere in any corner of the country and the world. 


  • Its development has been a result of an idea of social networking for the alumnus of the Agricultural Universities.  
  • It will enable the alumni of all the 74 Agricultural Universities in connecting with each other and making it possible to assist the students in internship, placements and to provide support to their alma maters. 


Person in news: Eminent Urdu poet Rahat Indori

Why in news? 

  • Noted Urdu poet Rahat Indori, who tested positive for coronavirus, passed away. 
  • He kept the ‘mushaira’ (poetry symposiums) alive for generations. 
  • He was well known as a “rockstar of the Indian literary world”, a “people’s poet” and prince of the “mushaira” tradition. 

Among the poet’s most powerful lines are Sabhi ka khoon hai shamil yahan ki mitti mein; Kisi ke baap ka Hindustan thodi hai (Everybody’s blood mingles in the soil; Hindustan does not belong solely to one)” 

About Mushaira 

Mushaira is a poetic symposium. It is an event where poets gather to perform their works. A mushaira is a beloved part of the Culture of North India, Pakistan and the Deccan, particularly among the Hyderabadi Muslims, and it is greatly admired by participants as a forum for free self-expression.  

Russia becomes first country to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine, Sputnik V

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains III – International affairs; Science – Health and Medicine 


  • Russia became the first country to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine after less than two months of human testing. 
  • The vaccine is named – ‘Sputnik V’ – in homage to the world’s first satellite launched by the Soviet Union. 
  • Sputnik V yet to complete its final trials. 
  • Russia expects the vaccine into mass production by the end of the year. 



Topic: General Studies 2

  • Indian Constitution—historical underpinnings, evolution, features 

The future of Indian secularism

Context: The participation of Prime Minister in the ground breaking ceremony of Ayodhya Ram Temple has revived the debate on Secularism.  

What is Secularism? 

  • Secularism means separation of religion from political, economic, social and cultural aspects of life, religion being treated as a purely personal matter. 
  • It emphasized dissociation of the state from religion and full freedom to all religions and tolerance of all religions. 
  • It also stands for equal opportunities for followers of all religions, and no discrimination and partiality on grounds of religion. 
  • A secular person is one who does not owe his moral values to any religion. His values are the product of his rational and scientific thinking. 

What is India’s Secularism unique? 

India’s Constitutional secularism is marked by at least two features.  

First, critical respect for all religions.  

  • Unlike some secularisms, India’s secularism is not blindly anti-religious but respects religion.  
  • Unlike the secularisms of pre-dominantly single religious societies, India’s Secularism respects not one but all religions.  
  • Indian philosophy of secularism is related to “Sarva Dharma Sambhava” which means that destination of the paths followed by all religions is the same, though the paths themselves may be different. It essentially means equal respect to all religions. 
  • However, given the virtual impossibility of distinguishing the religious from the social, as B.R. Ambedkar famously observed, every aspect of religious doctrine or practice cannot be respected. Respect for religion must be accompanied by critique. 

Second, Principled Distance from all religions 

  • The Indian state abandons strict separation but keeps a principled distance from all religions. 
  • This means that State must intervenes whenever religious groups promote communal disharmony and discrimination on grounds of religion (an inter-religious matter) or are unable to protect their own members from the oppressions they perpetuate (an intra-religious issue).  
  • For instance, it cannot tolerate untouchability or leave all personal laws as they are.  
  • Thus, State has to constantly decide when to engage or disengage, help or hinder religion depending entirely on which of these enhances our constitutional commitment to freedom, equality and fraternity. 
  • Secularism is not only a project of civic friendship among religious communities but also of opposition to religion-based caste and gender oppressions 

Challenges with India’s Secularism 

  • Misusing for Electoral benefits: Opportunistic distance (engagement or disengagement), mainly opportunistic alliance with religious communities, particularly for the sake of immediate electoral benefit 
  • Neglecting the Core Idea of Indian Secularism: Political parties have bizarrely interpreted ‘respect’ to mean cutting deals with aggressive or orthodox sections of religious groups at times igniting communal violence. 
  • Victimization of Communities: Principled intervention by State in one religion is viewed as discriminatory treatment by fringe sections of society leading to Politicisation of Secularism 
  • Politicisation of any one religious group leads to the competitive politicisation of other groups, thereby resulting in inter-religious conflict. 
  • Requires Continuous Civic Participation: India’s constitutional secularism cannot be sustained by governments alone but requires collective commitment from an impartial judiciary, a scrupulous media, civil society activists, and an alert citizenry 

Way Ahead 

  • There is need to shift focus from a politically-led Secularism project to a socially-driven movement for justice.  
  • Second, a shift of emphasis from inter-religious to intra-religious issues, without completely ignoring inter-religious issues 


Indian secularism is not an end in itself but a means to address religious plurality and sought to achieve peaceful coexistence of different religions.


Topic: General Studies 1 and 2

  • Social empowerment 
  • Mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections 

Hindu women’s inheritance rights

Context: The Supreme Court expanded on a Hindu woman’s right to be a joint legal heir and inherit ancestral property on terms equal to male heirs. 

Coparcener is a person who has a birthright to parental property. 

What is the The Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005? 

  • The Mitakshara school of Hindu law codified as the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 governed succession and inheritance of property  
  • The original act only recognised males as legal heirs. 
  • The law applied to everyone who is not a Muslim, Christian, Parsi or Jew by religion.  
  • Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains and followers of Arya Samaj, Brahmo Samaj are also considered Hindus for the purposes of this law. 
  • Section 6 of the Act was amended in 2005 to make a daughter of a coparcener also a coparcener by birth “in her own right in the same manner as the son” 
  • The law applies to ancestral property and to intestate succession in personal property — where succession happens as per law and not through a will 

Do you know? 

  • The 174th Law Commission Report had also recommended this reform in Hindu succession law.  
  • Even before the 2005 amendment, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu had made this change in the law, 

How did the case come about? 

  • While the 2005 law granted equal rights to women, questions were raised in multiple cases on whether the law applied retrospectively 
  • Also, there were questions if the rights of women depended on the living status of the father through whom they would inherit 
  • Additionally, there were different verdicts by two-judge Supreme Court Benches 
  • In Prakash v Phulwati (2015), a two-judge Bench headed by Justice A K Goel held that the benefit of the 2005 amendment could be granted only to “living daughters of living coparceners” as on September 9, 2005 (the date when the amendment came into force). 
  • In Danamma @ Suman Surpur vs. Amar (2018), contrary to the 2015 ruling, a two-judge SC Bench held that the share of a father who died in 2001 will also pass to his daughters as coparceners as per 2005 law 
  • These conflicting views by Benches of equal strength led to a reference to a three-judge Bench in the current case. The ruling now overrules the earlier verdicts. 

What is the ruling? 

  • A three Judge SC bench ruled that a Hindu woman’s right to be a joint heir to the ancestral property is by birth and does not depend on whether her father was alive or not when the law was enacted in 2005. 
  • The court decided that the amended Hindu Succession Act, which gives daughters equal rights to ancestral property, will have a retrospective effect. 
  • It also clarified that an unregistered oral partition, without any contemporaneous public document, cannot be accepted as the statutory recognised mode of partition. 
  • The bench also clarified that if the property had already been written in the name of an heir before the amendment came into effect, the woman would not be able to claim a share. 

Significance of the Judgement 

  • Resolves Legal Confusion: The Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005 thus gives Hindu women the right to be coparceners or joint legal heirs in the same way a male heir does. 
  • Right to Equality: The verdict corrected the discrimination on the ground of gender and upheld the fundamental right of equality guaranteed by the Constitution 
  • Economic Empowerment of Daughters: The daughters cannot be deprived of their right of equality conferred upon them by Section 6 
  • Codification of Norms: The concept of uncodified Hindu law of unobstructed heritage has been given a concrete shape under the provisions of Section 6(1)(a) and 6(1) of the act 

Connecting the dots:

  • Instant triple talaq became a cognizable offence a year ago on August 1, 2019. 
  • Codification of Personal Laws 


Model questions: (You can now post your answers in comment section)


  • Correct answers of today’s questions will be provided in next day’s DNA section. Kindly refer to it and update your answers. 
  • Comments Up-voted by IASbaba are also the “correct answers”.

Q.1) Consider the following regarding National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) 

  1. National Disaster Response Force consist of 12 battalions 
  2. Assam Rifles and CISF are the two most specialized battalions of NDRF 
  3. NDRF is under the control of Ministry of Home Affairs 

Which of the following statements is/are correct? 

  1. 1 and 3 
  2. 3 only 
  3. 2 and 3 
  4. 1, 2 and 3 

Q.2) Mitakshara and Dayabhaga is associated with

  1. A work on astronomy 
  2. A treatise on ancient Hindu law of inheritance 
  3. An Agamic text 
  4. A compendium on medicine 

Q.3) India is a secular state. Which of the following statements regarding Indian Secularism are correct?

  1. There is no official religion of Indian state. 
  2. State does not discriminate against any citizen on the grounds of religion. 
  3. There is complete separation of the religion and the State. 

Select the code from following: 

  1. 1 and 2 
  2. 2 and 3 
  3. 1 and 3 
  4. 1, 2 and 3 


1  C 
2  B 
3  B 
4  D 

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