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PRESS INFORMATION BUREAU (PIB) IAS UPSC – 28th September to 3rd October – 2020

  • IASbaba
  • October 6, 2020
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Press Information Bureau (PIB) IAS UPSC – 28th September to 3rd October, 2020

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GS-1

International Day of Older Persons

(Topic: Population, Demographic Dividend)

Celebrated on 1st October

Declared by United Nations, to recognize, enable and expand the contributions of older people in their families, communities and societies at large and to raise awareness towards issues of ageing.

  • National Programme for the Health Care for the Elderly (NPHCE): Aimed to deliver comprehensive, affordable and  quality geriatric care services at primary and secondary levels
  • Outpatient services from district hospital to health & wellness centres
  • Minimum 10 bedded geriatric wards at all district hospitals
  • Rehabilitation services down to CHC and HWC level
  • Developing mechanisms for providing home based care to needy elderly
  • 1st October, 2020: Launch year of Decade of Healthy Ageing (2020-2030)
  • The broad aims of the Decade of Healthy Ageing will include evolving convergence within various national health programs and also promoting inter-sectoral coordination with other line Departments/Ministries. 
  • Community based organisations, NGOs and multinational agencies will also be involved for developing an implementation framework for multi-sectoral engagement on healthy aging.
  • Longitudinal Aging Study in India (LASI): In order to generate comprehensive data on social, economic and health conditions of the elderly, India conducted the first nationwide study and world’s largest study on older adults which will provide evidence base for national and state level programs and policies for elderly population

GS-2

India at UN Biodiversity Summit

(Topic: International forums and organisations)

Representing India at the United Nations(UN) Biodiversity Summit on the occasion of 75th anniversary of the UN General Assembly, Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Prakash Javadekar, said that as we are approaching the end of the UN Decade on Biodiversity 2011-2020 there is an urgent need to accelerate action to conserve biodiversity. The summit is first of its kind ever taken place on Biodiversity in the United Nations General Assembly.

The emergence of COVID-19 has emphasized the fact that un-regulated exploitation of natural resources coupled with un-sustainable food habits and consumption pattern lead to destruction of system that supports human life. However, COVID-19 has also shown that Nature can still be conserved, restored and used sustainably.

  • As enshrined in our Vedic scripts “PrakritiRakshatiRakshita” that is if you protect nature, nature will protect you. Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, the ethos of non-violence and protection of animals and nature have been suitably enshrined in the Constitution of India and is reflected in several laws and legislations.
  • India aims to restore 26 million hectares of degraded and deforested land, and achieve land-degradation neutrality by 2030.
  • India has already set aside extensive area for meeting the conservation objectives, contributing to Aichi Biodiversity Target-11 and the SDG -15.
  • India has established a comprehensive institutional and legal system to realize the objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
  • India has operationalized a system for access and benefit-sharing provisions of the CBD through a national network of 0.25 million Biodiversity Management Committees across the country involving local people and 0.17 million Peoples Biodiversity Registers for documentation of biodiversity.

Facts:

  • India, with only 2.4% of the earth’s land area hosts around 8% of the world’s recorded species.
  • In the course of last decade, India has enhanced the combined forest and tree cover to 24.56% of the total geographical area of the country.
  • India has the highest number of tigers in the wild and have doubled its numbers ahead of the deadline of 2022and recently announced the launch of Project Lion and Project Dolphin.

NITI Aayog and Embassy of the Netherlands sign Statement of Intent on ‘Decarbonization and Energy Transition Agenda’

(Topic: Agreements/Partnerships with other countries)

Objective: To support the decarbonization and energy transition agenda for accommodating cleaner and more energy.

Through this collaboration, NITI Aayog and the Dutch Embassy seek a strategic partnership to create a platform that enables a comprehensive collaboration among stakeholders and influencers, including policymakers, industry bodies, OEMs, private enterprises, and sector experts.

The focus of the partnership is on co-creating innovative technological solutions by leveraging the expertise of the two entities. This will be achieved through an exchange of knowledge and collaborative activities. Key elements include:

  1. Lowering the net carbon footprint in industrial and transport sectors 
  2. Realise the target potential of natural gas and promote bio-energy technologies 
  3. Adopt clean air technologies from monitoring to reducing actual particulates 
  4. Adopt next-generation technologies, such as hydrogen, carbon capture utilization, and storage for sectoral energy efficiency 
  5. Financial frameworks to deliver and adopt climate change finance.

With the focus on carbon intensity of products sold across the world, low carbon industrialization is the next huge opportunity for India. Apart from the ongoing emphasis on renewable energy, India stands committed on the rapid adoption of electric vehicles. Given the enormous potential the partnership holds, the thematic areas within the broad topic of energy transition and climate change, the partnership with the Netherlands in the spirit and action, will help both the countries derive natural synergies to achieve sustainable development goals.

The Netherlands and India share a long history of trade and investment. It is India’s sixth largest EU trading partner—as much as 20% of India’s exports to the European continent goes through the Netherlands, making it India’s ‘gateway to Europe’—and one of the top five investors in the country. It is also the third largest source of Foreign Direct Investment for India.


India and Australia further Strengthens their Partnership on Skilling Agenda

(Topic: Agreements/Partnerships with other countries)

A Joint Statement for Comprehensive Strategic Partnership document between both the countries was announced including the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cooperation in Vocational Education and Training between the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and the Department of Education, Skills.

In the post-COVID era, the skill priorities of India will be mapping of job roles in the health sector and better migration and mobility. These are high priority areas for India as per the New Education policy in enhancing Vocational education in School education and the collaboration with Australia shall be crucial in this aspect.

  • The MoU will establish new pathways between the two countries to share information and best practice between the respective VET systems. 
  • The agreement will help identify new ways of working together and areas of possible collaboration that include mutual priority areas of industry engagement, quality assurance models, and teaching standards. 
  • So far, MSDE has signed MOUs with eight countries including Japan, UAE, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Finland and Morocco for cooperation in the field of vocational education and training.
  • The partnership will help foster closer ties between the governments and training providers, and ultimately, open up new areas of opportunity for millions of VET learners in both countries.

GS-3

Scientists uncover clue of how first extreme-UV light appeared

(Topic: Science and Technology)

Scientists have uncovered an important clue on how the dark ages of the Universe ended and how the first extreme-UV light appeared.

  • India’s first multi-wavelength satellite, AstroSat, has detected extreme-UV (EUV) light from a galaxy, called AUDFs01, 9.3 billion light-years away from Earth. 
  • At the time, our universe was forming stars at its peak rate. 
  • Such EUV radiation has enough energy to ionize a hydrogen atom by liberating its electron from the nucleus’s influence. 
  • The EUV photons emitted by galaxies like AUDFs01 could play a crucial role in reionizing the early universe soon after the Cosmic Dark Age and emitting the first light.

A new study by ARIES of DST suggests new formula to help estimate the mass of Black Hole

(Topic: Space)

A new study has suggested a formula that can help probe black holes. Black holes (BH) cannot be observed directly, but their presence can be detected by the huge amount of energy that is liberated through temporary accumulation of matter outside the BH, before it dives into the BH, a process called accretion.

Scientists have found the formula that can assess the spectrum emitted from the accretion discs around black holes. Spectra of accretion discs can help estimate the mass of the black hole. 

Accretion flow around BH is composed of ionised plasma, which is a soup of bare electrons and protons. Since electrons are more prone to radiative losses than the protons, it is expected that around a BH, electrons and protons would settle down into two separate temperature distributions. Therefore, the two-temperature equations are generally solved to obtain the emitted spectrum from the electron temperature distribution. This is known as two-temperature modeling of accretion flows.

Scientists from Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), an autonomous institute under the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Govt. of India, investigated the nature of these two-temperature flows.

Prelims oriented News

RAISE 2020: 

  • A first of its kind, global meeting of minds on Artificial Intelligence to drive India’s vision and roadmap for social transformation, inclusion and empowerment through responsible AI.
  • Organized by Government of India along with Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and NITI Aayog

Inauguration of the ‘Atal Tunnel’

  • As the longest highway tunnel in the world, ‘Atal Tunnel’ will reduce the travel time between Leh and Manali by 4 – 5 hours. 
  • Being an all-weather tunnel, it will also connect Lahaul-Spiti valley with the rest of the country throughout the year which used to be cut off for months earlier.
  • Atal Tunnel will prove to be a major boon for the entire region. People will now have access to better healthcare facilities, business opportunities and essential items”
  • It will also strengthen our defence preparedness and generate employment by giving impetus to the tourism sector

Launch of Tribal Entrepreneurship Development Programme

Ministry of Tribal Affairs and Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), an apex industry body have embarked upon a new three-year initiative jointly for Tribal Entrepreneurship Development.

  • In a bid to promote and support entrepreneurship across Indian tribal communities, efforts are underway in connecting agriculture and forest produce with markets using technology, creation of self-help groups, empowering women, and creating self-sustainable enterprises. The partnership will strive to explore avenues of promotion to create a robust tribal brand identity and in the process – build and enhance the entrepreneurial capabilities of the tribal artisans.
  • Would optimize the contribution of tribal population to the growing economy of our country and support India’s vision of becoming Atmanirbhar.
  • 1000 tribal artisans would be identified under this initiative and would be helped to create a unique brand identity with a differentiated value proposition and connect with the potential customer base through exhibitions,

VAIBHAV Summit: 

  • A global virtual summit of overseas and resident Indian Researchers and Academicians, and is being organized from 2nd October to 31st October 2020. 
  • The aim of the summit is to bring Indian origin luminaries in academic institutes and R&D organizations across the world and resident counterparts on a single platform to debate upon collaboration mechanisms to strengthen academic and S&T base in India for global development.

Defence Acquisition Procedure – 2020

  • The first Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) was promulgated in the year 2002
  • Objective: to provide impetus to the growing domestic industry and achieve enhanced self-reliance in defence manufacturing
  • Aligned with the vision of the Government of Atmanirbhar Bharat and empowering Indian domestic industry through Make in India initiative with the ultimate aim of turning India into a global manufacturing hub. 
  • With the new Foreign Direct Investment policy announced, DAP 2020 has adequately included provisions to encourage FDI to establish manufacturing hubs both for import substitution and exports while protecting interests of Indian domestic industry.
  • DAP 2020 emphasises the need to conduct trials with an objective to nurture competition based on the principles of transparency, fairness and equal opportunities to all and not as a process of elimination.
  • To implement ‘Ease of Doing Business’ with emphasis on simplification, delegation and making the process industry friendly with certain specific provisions

One Nation-one Ration Card scheme

Through this system, the migratory NFSA beneficiaries who frequently change their place of dwelling in search of temporary employments, etc. are now enabled with an option to lift their entitled quota of foodgrains from any Fair Price Shop (FPS) of their choice anywhere in the 28 States/UTs by using their same/existing ration card with biometric/Aadhaar based authentication on an electronic Point of Sale (ePoS) device installed at the FPSs.

  • Families who have food security cards can buy subsidized rice and wheat from any ration shop in these states. 
  • Their ration cards should be linked with Aadhar Number to avail this service. 
  • The Centre is intended to extend the programme to all states by August next year so that the portability of the food security card implemented.  
  • The national portability of ration cards will ensure all beneficiaries especially the migrants in getting access to PDS across the nation from any PDS shop of their own choice

The Challenges:

  • First, the fiscal implications: ON-ORC will affect how the financial burden is shared between states. 
  • Second, the larger issues of federalism and inter-state coordination: Many states are not convinced about a “one size fits all” regime.
  • This is because States have customised the PDS through higher subsidies, higher entitlement limits, and supply of additional items. 
  • Third, the technology aspect: ON-ORC requires a complex technology backbone that brings over 750 million beneficiaries, 5,33,000 ration shops and 54 million tonnes of food-grain annually on a single platform.

BrahMos Missile Featuring Indigenous Booster Successfully Flight Tested

  • BrahMos surface-to-surface supersonic cruise missile featuring indigenous Booster and Airframe Section along with many other ‘Made in India’ sub-systems was successfully flight tested for designated range.
  • Carried out by: Defence Research and Development Organisation, DRDO from Balasore in Odisha.
  • The BrahMos Land-Attack Cruise Missile was cruising at a top speed of Mach 2.8. 
  • It is one more major step in enhancing the indigenous content.
  • This successful launch has paved the way for the serial production of the indigenous booster and other indigenous components of the powerful BrahMos Weapon System.

Himalayan Chandra Telescope: 

  • In the cold, dry desert of Ladakh, 4500 meters above the mean sea level, for two decades, the 2-m diameter optical-infrared Himalayan Chandra Telescope (HCT) at the Indian Astronomical Observatory (IAO) has been scanning the night sky in search of stellar explosions, comets, asteroids, and exo-planets.
  • Himalayan Chandra Telescope has been used in many coordinated international campaigns to monitor stellar explosions, comets, and exo-planets, and has contributed significantly to these studies

Garib Kalyan Roqwjgar Abhiyaan: The major objectives of the initiative include:

  • Provide livelihood opportunity to returning migrants and similarly affected rural citizens
  • Saturate villages with public infrastructure and create livelihood opportunities viz. Roads, Housing, Anganwadis, Panchayat Bhavans, various livelihood assets and Community Complexes among others
  • The basket of a wide variety of works will ensure that each migrant worker is able to get an opportunity of employment according to his skill, in the coming 125 days. The Program will also prepare for expansion and development of livelihoods over a longer term

The Ministry of Rural Development is the nodal Ministry for this campaign and the campaign will be implemented in close coordination with the State Governments. 

  • About 30 crore mandays employment provided and more than Rs 27,000 crore spent so far in the pursuit of objectives of the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan
  • More than 1.14 lakh water conservation structures, about 3.65 lakh rural houses and nearly 10,500 community sanitary complexes among the assets created under the Abhiyaan

Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojana

  • Launched in 2018.
  • The scheme is run by the Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED).
  • It is an initiative targeting livelihood generation for tribals by harnessing the wealth of forest i.e. Van Dhan. 
  • The programme aims to tap into traditional knowledge & skill sets of tribals by adding technology & IT to upgrade it at each stage. 
  • The initiative shall provide enhanced livelihood to about 45 lakhs tribal gatherers in one year. 
  • Tribal community owned Minor Forest Produce (MFP)-centric multi-purpose Van Dhan Vikas Kendras (the Kendra) are set up.
  • Essential Features of the PMVDY:
    • The State Nodal Department will have the flexibility to appoint any State Implementing Agency / District Implementing Unit for implementation of the PMVDY in the State and District levels. 
    • The Kendras would act as common facility centres for procurement cum value addition to locally available MFPs. 
    • A typical Van Dhan Vikas Kendra shall constitute of 15 tribal Van Dhan Self Help Groups (SHG)

Personality in News

Shaheed Bhagat Singh

He along with Rajguru and Sukhdev laid down their lives for larger purpose of our nation His idea of nationalism continues to fascinate youth for generations. In this article we will see Bhagat singhs idea of Nationalism and how relevant it is today.

Nationalism is the strong belief that the interests of a particular nation-state are of primary importance. Also, the belief that a people who share a common language, history, and culture should constitute an independent nation, free of foreign domination. However Bhagat singh idea of nationalism is beyond the interest of nation state. He was not what he is appropriate today; Bhagat singh was an atheist, Marxist influenced by former Soviet Union., and a rationalist who sought social justice trying in his own ways to get rid of injustices created and followed in Indian society and by colonialists.

Nationalism is a not a fixed reality. It is a phenomenon that changes with time. It is necessary to understand the kind of nationalism Bhagat singh followed or understood. Bhagat Singh said about the society he wished for. It is evident that he found fulfilment through serving humanity and liberating it from sufferings and distress. He equated that cause to that of India’s freedom. Working towards building an India where poverty, socio-economic disparity and exploitation did not exist, rather than achieving freedom from the British alone, was his goal.

Bhagat Singh saw his fight for India’s freedom as well as his life’s fulfilment in selflessly working towards the goal of removing these inequalities, injustices and absence of opportunities faced by his fellow citizens. This was his ‘nationalism’ and this was his ‘patriotism.’ It was universal and not confined by boundaries of religion, caste, race, creed or even nation.

It is unfortunate that stalwarts like him are equated in a narrow perspective to gain political mileage. It is necessary to truly understand the concept of Bhagat Singh’s nationalism and try to emulate it at individual level to uproot certain inequalities that are present even after his 85th martyrdom.

Mahatma Gandhi: Born on October 2, 1869, in Porbandar, Gujarat

Gandhi’s favourite hymn: “Vaishnava Jana To,” which says that a true human is one, who feels the pain of others, removes misery and is never arrogant.

Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSPs): Inspired by Gandhian philosophy; Co-operative societies, women participation and empowerment, socio-economic equality etc,.

Decentralization: Keeping Mahatma Gandhi’s principle of ‘Swarajya’ in mind to strengthen grass root administration.

Do or Die Speech by Gandhiji: In 1942, Mahatma Gandhi gave the clarion call of ‘Do or Die’ from Gowalia Tank Maidan to end the British rule and launched the Quit India Movement.

Who gave the title of ‘Mahatma’ to the ‘Father of the Nation’: Gurudev – Rabindranath Tagore

Majoor Mahajan Sangh: Gandhi formed the Majoor Mahajan Sangh, an association for workers’ rights. During those days, “Mahajan” was used as a title of respect for elites. Gandhi inverted the social structure by attaching the name “Mahajan” to “Majoor,” or laborers. With that linguistic choice, Gandhi enhanced the pride of workers.

Dyerism: In 1919, the Rowlatt Act enacted by the British government took away the civil rights of Indians. Those who protested peacefully in Jallianwala Bagh faced merciless police firing on the orders of General R Dyer. That cold-blooded assault was described by Mahatma Gandhi as Dyerism. He employed the concept to denote practices of exclusion, including the ostracisation of the Dalits from all spheres of social life in 1919.

Pietermaritzburg: A railway station in South Africa where a young Mahatma Gandhi was thrown out of a “Whites-only” compartment 125 years ago

  • On the night of June 7, 1893, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, then a young lawyer, was thrown off the train’s first class compartment at Pietermaritzburg station after he refused to give up his seat as ordered by racially prejudiced officials
  • The incident led him to develop his Satyagraha principles of peaceful resistance and mobilize people in South Africa and in India against the discriminatory rules of the British

In 1925, Gandhi wrote in “Young India”: It is impossible for one to be internationalist without being a nationalist. Internationalism is possible only when nationalism becomes a fact, i.e., when peoples belonging to different countries have organized themselves and are able to act as one man.” He envisioned Indian nationalism as one that was never narrow or exclusive but one that worked for the service of humanity.

First World Youth Conference on Kindness

  • Organised by the UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development and Ministry of Human Resource Development on the theme ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam: Gandhi for the Contemporary World: Celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’ at the VigyanBhavan in New Delhi. 
  • Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, the conference aimed to provide global youth and policymakers an innovative, engaging and inspiring platform to come together and strive to discover ground-breaking pathways to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention

  • 116 foreign delegates including sanitation ministers visited select sites related to the life and work of Mahatma Gandhi on the “Gandhi Trail”. The “Gandhi Trail” is a trip to Gujarat, where the delegates will visit the Sabarmati Ashram and see Swachh Bharat at work on the ground in Punsari village.
  • The MGISC is a four-day convention which includes more than 160 international representatives from 68 countries. It aims to share sanitation success stories and lessons from the participating countries.

After Mahatma Gandhi’s return to India, he joined Gokhale’s group before going on to lead the independence movement. Gandhi regarded Gokhale as his political mentor, and wrote a book in Gujarati dedicated to the leader titled ‘Dharmatma Gokhale’.

Poona Pact: 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.

Gandhi called it “the prince among the political sections of the IPC designed to suppress the liberty of the citizen”: Section 124A of the IPC

  • The section deals with the offence of sedition, a term that covers speech or writing, or any form of visible representation, which brings the government into hatred or contempt, or excites disaffection towards the government, or attempts to do so.
  • It is punishable with three years in prison or a life term.
  • “Disaffection”, it says, includes disloyalty and feelings of enmity.
  • However, it also says expressing disapproval of government measures or actions, with a view to getting them changed by lawful means, without promoting hatred or disaffection or contempt towards the government will not come under this section.
  • Origin:
    • Sedition was introduced in the penal code in 1870, a decade after the Indian Penal Code came into force.
    • It was a colonial law directed against strong criticism of the British administration.
    • Its most famous victims included Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Mahatma Gandhi.

The Story of Indian Flag

  • Pingali Venkayya was a freedom fighter and the designer of the Indian National Tricolour who went on to become synonymous with the spirit of free and independent India. Venkayya earlier served as a soldier in the British Army in South Africa during the Anglo Boer war in Africa.
  • Acknowledging the need for a national flag, Gandhi then asked Venkayya to design a fresh one at the national congress meeting in 1921. Initially, Venkayya came up with saffron and green colours, but it later evolved with a spinning wheel at the centre and a third colour-white.
  • The flag was officially adopted by the Indian National Congress in 1931.

Gandhi & Indian National Congress (INC) had launched 3 major mass movements against British during the freedom struggle:

(i) 1920-22: Non-cooperation Movement (NCM) – Nagpur session (1920)

Jallianwala Bagh Massacre: Gandhi launched a nationwide protest against the Rowlatt Acts with the strongest level of protest in the Punjab.

  • The situation worsened in Amritsar in April 1919, when General Dyer ordered his troops to open fire on demonstrators hemmed into a tight square, resulting in the deaths of 379 civilians.
  • Montagu ordered an inquiry into the events at Amritsar by Lord Hunter. The Hunter Inquiry recommended that General Dyer, who commanded the troops, be dismissed, leading to Dyer’s sacking.
  • The Amritsar massacre further inflamed Indian nationalist sentiment ending the initial response of reluctant co-operation. At the Indian National Congress annual session in September 1920, delegates supported Gandhi’s proposal of swaraj or self-rule – preferably within the British Empire or out of it if necessary. The proposal was to be implemented through a policy of non-cooperation with British rule meaning that Congress did not field candidates in the first elections held under the Montagu-Chelmsford reforms in 1921.

(ii) 1930-34: Civil Disobedience movement (CDM) – Lahore session (1929)

Dandi March

  • On March 12, 1930, Gandhi along with 80 satyagrahis started out from Sabarmati Ashram and marched over 390 km to reach the coastal village of Dandi.
  • The march, a protest against the coercive salt tax imposed by the British, was the most significant organised challenge to British authority after the Non-Cooperation Movement of the early 1920s.
  • The march sparked a series of acts of civil disobedience across India against the salt laws.
  • Over 60,000 people were arrested across the country. Soon after, the Congress planned a Satyagraha at the Dharasana Salt Works, 25 miles south of Dandi.
  • However, the plan was shelved after Gandhi was arrested days before the beginning of the movement.

 (iii) 1942-44: Quit India movement (QIM) – Bombay on 8th August 1942

  • After the failure of Cripps Mission, Mahatma Gandhi decided to launch his third major campaign against the British rule – ‘Quit India Movement’ (QIM) in August 1942. And on 8th and 9th August, all senior leaders were arrested leaders of younger generation carried on with the plan.
  • Prevalence of violence & underground activities – Parallel governments were setup in many parts of countries. Removal of railway tracks, Looting of treasury, Blowing up bridges, Burning post-office and police stations, Cutting telephone lines, etc. 
  • Despite the lack of centralized planning and coordination, Indians actively participated in large numbers. Lord Linlithgow had to use the help of army and arrest over 90,000 Indians to crush this movement. 
  • But we understand that Quit India movement was more of a spontaneous revolt than a planned one.

Global Success of Satyagraha

Gandhi applied his experiments with truth and practice of non-violence, not only at an individual level but also in the process of the global affairs. In Gandhi’s model of national and international politics, truth (satya) and non-violence (ahimsa) were brought into a mutually interacting and reinforcing relation. Therefore, as in the case of means and ends, truth and non-violence were, for Gandhi, interchangeable entities beyond cultural borders and mental ghettos.

By Gandhi in India

  • Champaran Satyagraha – 1917
    • Persuaded by Raj Kumar Shukla to study the conditions of the Indigo Plantation workers in Champaran, a district in Bihar
    • The system prevalent in the Indigo Plantations was the Tinkathia System, in which, the peasants were required to mandatorily cultivate indigo in 3/20th of their land holdings.
    • Govt. had appointed a Commission of Inquiry to go into the whole issue and nominated Gandhiji as one of its members > found the planters guilty of exploitation. A compromise was reached and planters were ordered to refund 25% of the amount they had illegally taken.

There were two main systems of indigo cultivation – nij and ryoti.

  • Ahmedabad Satyagraha – 1918
    • Due to plague, the mill owners had increased the pay to 75% to attract workers. However, once the plague conditions subsided, the mill owners wanted to bring down the pay to 20%. The workers didn’t agree with this reduction and wanted 50% of the pay to remain. 
    • The logic they sited was that WW1 had increased the prices. Gandhiji didn’t want the interest of the industrialist class to be hurt. He tried hard to persuade Ambalal Sarabhai who was his friend but failed.
    • Left with no option, he asked workers to go on a strike. When Gandhiji saw the strike subsiding, he went on a fast. This put pressure on the mill owners who agreed for the 35% increment.
  • Kheda Satyagraha – 1918
    • Teamed up with Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel to help the cause of peasants. The peasants were in extreme distress as their crop produce had been 1/4th of the original. As per the revenue code, they were entitled for a full concession. However, the Govt. wasn’t willing to let go of their revenues and kept pressurizing the peasants.
    • Gandhiji urged all farmers to fight unto death against this injustice of the British. He appealed the rich farmers to support to the poor farmers by not paying revenues despite having the capability. 
    • Later the British came out with a policy asking the rich farmers to pay their due voluntarily. (Which backfired as no rich farmer willingly wanted to pay revenue)
  • Rowlatt Satyagraha – 1919
    • British, in the name of curbing terrorist violence, had introduced a Bill that severely curtailed the liberties of the Indians. It had provisions for arrest without warrant and detention for 2 years
    • Gandhiji called for a nation-wide hartal accompanied by fasting and praying. The Movement went in a different direction than what was expected – events of violent outbreaks. The Rowlatt Satyagraha was withdrawn on 18th April, 1919 because of the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre that happened on 13th April 1919.

National Salt Satyagraha Memorial: In Dandi, Gujarat; Dandi memorial encapsulates the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi- Agrah for Swadeshi, Swatchagrah and Satyagraha

  • One can view statues of Mahatma Gandhi and 80 Satyagrahis who had marched with him during the historic Dandi Salt March in 1930 to make salt from sea water against the British law.
  • The memorial also has 24-narrative murals depicting various events and stories from the historic 1930 Salt March.
  • Solar trees are installed to meet the energy requirements of the memorial complex.

Prelims-centric Questions

A. With reference to the British colonial rule in India, consider the following statements: 

  1. Mahatma Gandhi was instrumental in the abolition of the system of ‘indentured labour’. 
  2. In Lord Chelmsford’s ‘War Conference’, Mahatma Gandhi did not support the resolution on recruiting Indians for World War. 
  3. Consequent upon the breaking of Salt Law by Indian people, the Indian National Congress was declared illegal by the colonial rulers. 

Which of the statements given above are correct? 

(a) 1 and 2 only 

(b) 1 and 3 only 

(c) 2 and 3 only 

(d) 1, 2 and 3 

Solution (b) 

Explanation: Lord Chelmsford, the then Viceroy of India, invited Gandhi to Delhi at a War Conference. In order to gain the trust of the empire, Gandhi agreed to move people to enlist in the army for World War I. 

Hence Statement 2 is wrong. Statement 1 and 3 are correct.

B. Movement leader of All India Anti-Untouchability League: Mahatma Gandhi – While in jail, Gandhi set up the All India Anti-Untouchability  League in September 1932

C. In 1932, Mahatma Gandhi began a fast unto death in Yerwada Jail against:

  1. Communal award of Ramsay Mac Donald
  2. Violation of Gandhi-Irwin Pact
  3. British repression of Satyagrahis
  4. Communal riots in Calcutta

D. Harijan Sevak Sangh born out of the historic Poona Pact between: Dr.BR Ambedkar and Mahatma Gandhi

E. Gandhiji relinquished his title ‘Kaiser-e-hind’bestowed on him by the British for his services during the Boer War in South Africa.

F. Mahatma Gandhi undertook fast unto death in 1932, mainly because:

  1. Round Table Conference failed to satisfy Indian political aspirations
  2. Congress and Muslim League had differences of opinion
  3. Ramsay Macdonald announced the Communal Award
  4. None of the statements (a), (b) and (c) given above is correct in this context

Explanation: Gandhi took fast unto death on the announcement of communal award and Poona pact was signed after that with agreement of Gandhiji and Ambedkar

G. Mahatma Gandhi said that some of his deepest convictions were reflected in a book titled, “Unto this Last” and the book transformed his life. What was the message from the book that transformed Mahatma Gandhi?

  1. Uplifting the oppressed and poor is the moral responsibility of an educated man
  2. The good of individual is contained in the good of all
  3. The life of celibacy and spiritual pursuit are essential for a noble life
  4. All the statements (a), (b) and (c) are correct in this context

H. Reason for Mahatma Gandhi to organize a satyagraha on behalf of the peasants of Kheda?

  1. The Administration did not suspend the land revenue collection in spite of a drought.
  2. The Administration proposed to introduce Permanent Settlement in Gujarat.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a.) 1 only

(b.) 2 only

(c.) Both 1 and 2

(d.) Neither 1 nor 2

Lal Bahadur Shastri

  • The 2nd Prime Minister of India
  • Deeply impressed and influenced by Mahatma Gandhi
  • Joined the Indian independence movement in the 1920s
  • Led the country during the Indo-Pakistan War of 1965
  • In 1961, he was appointed as Home Minister, and he appointed the Committee on Prevention of Corruption. He created the famous “Shastri Formula” which consisted of the language agitations in Assam and Punjab.
  • In 1964, he signed an agreement with the Sri Lankan Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike, in concern with the status of Indian Tamils in Ceylon. This agreement is known as Srimavo-Shastri Pact.
  • His slogan of “Jai Jawan Jai Kisan” (“Hail the soldier, Hail the farmer”) became very popular during the war. The war formally ended with the Tashkent Agreement on 10 January 1966. Many years later, former Prime Minister A B Vajpayee added “Jai Vigyan” to Shastri’s slogan in order to hail achievements of Indian scientists.
  • His vision for self-sufficiency in foodgrains led to sowing the seeds of the Green Revolution, and promotion of the White Revolution.
  • Following a train accident at Ariyalur in Tamil Nadu, in which more than 140 people were killed, he resigned as railway minister taking moral responsibility for the incident. Lauding him for his integrity, the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru said that he was accepting his resignation because it would set an example in constitutional propriety, although Shastri was in no way responsible for it.

Mystery Surrounding Shastri’s death

Shastri’s sudden death immediately after signing the Tashkent Pact with Pakistan raised many suspicions. His wife, Lalita Devi, alleged that Shastri was poisoned and the Russian butler serving the Prime Minister was arrested. But he was released later as doctors certified that Shastri died of cardiac arrest. The media circulated a possible conspiracy theory hinting at the involvement of CIA in the death of Shastri. The RTI query posted by author Anuj Dhar was declined by the Prime Minister Office citing a possible souring of diplomatic relations with the US.

Life-lessons from his Life

Protested against the caste system: Since he didn’t believe in the caste system (he was a Kayastha from birth), he gave up his surname as a young schoolboy. The title “Shastri” was bestowed on him upon graduating from Kashi Vidyapeeth, as a mark of scholarly achievement.

Patriotic from a young age: As a patriotic young boy, he was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi and his call to join the Non-Cooperation Movement at the young age of 16. In his maiden Independence Day speech in 1964, Shastri told the youth to strive for moral strength and character, “I appeal to our young men to inculcate discipline in themselves discipline and work for the unity and advancement of the nation.”

Simple living, high thinking: When he married in 1928, at the insistence of his in-laws to accept dowry, he took a charkha (spinning wheel) and some khadi cloth. Even when he passed away, he reportedly had no property in his name and left behind a few books and a dhoti-kurta. As a child, Shastri is known to have swum across the river to reach school to save his impoverished family money to pay for a boat ride.

A compassionate, forward-thinking leader: He had many pioneering initiatives to his credit, such as using water jets to disperse crowds instead of a lathi-charge and making it possible for women to be appointed as conductors in public transport facilities. He also raised the slogan of “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan” during the Indo-Pakistan war in 1965 and paved the way for India’s food self-sufficiency. 

During the short Tenure of Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, India faced two major challenges, the Indo-Pak war which has been discussed above and failed monsoon and drought.

Honesty was always the best policy: Since the children were rarely allowed to use the official car to go to school when their father was Prime Minister, the family decided to buy a Fiat car for Rs. 12,000. A bank loan for Rs. 5,000 was taken, which Shastri’s widow had to clear after his sudden death, from his pension. On a visit to a textile mill as Prime Minister, when the owner offered to gift him expensive sarees, Shastri insisted on buying and paying for only those he could afford. He also had an undue promotion for his son overturned.

Quotes (For Ethics paper)

  1. The economic issues are most vital for us and it is of the highest importance that we should fight our biggest enemies – Poverty, unemployment
  2. India will have to hang down her head in shame if even one person is left who is said in any way to be untouchable.
  3. I had always been feeling uncomfortable in my mind about giving advice to others and not acting upon it myself.
  4. There has no doubt to be fundamental research in science, but applied research is equally important for new improvements and changes in our techniques.
  5. We must fight for peace bravely as we fought in war.
  6. There comes a time in the life of every nation when it stands at the crossroads of history and must choose which way to go.
  7. We can win respect in the world only if we are strong internally and can banish poverty and unemployment from our country. Above all, we need national unity. Communal, provincial and linguistic conflicts weaken the country. Therefore, we have to forge national unity. I appeal to all to work for national unity and usher in a social revolution to make our country strong. In the ultimate analysis, the strength of the country does not lie in its material wealth alone. It requires people like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Rabindranath Tagore. It requires the force of character and moral strength. I appeal to our young men to inculcate discipline in themselves discipline and work for the unity and advancement of the nation.
  8. We must inject new elements in the services. Let us introduce professors, economists, teachers, engineers and others, even outsiders, so that there is some freshness, a real exchange of views, a meeting of different approaches

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