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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 23rd November 2022

  • IASbaba
  • November 23, 2022
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Rani Lakshmibai

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – History and Art and Culture

Context: The Prime Minister of India has remembered  Rani Lakshmibai on her Jayanti and said that her courage and monumental contribution to our nation can never be forgotten.

About Rani Lakshmibai:

  • The Lakshmibai, the Rani of Jhansi, was an Indian queen of the Maratha princely state of Jhansi in North India currently present in Jhansi district in Uttar Pradesh, India.
  • She was one of the leading figures of the Indian Rebellion of 1857 and became a symbol of resistance to the British Raj for Indian nationalists.
  • When growing up with Nana Sahib and Tatya Tope, she got training in martial arts, sword fighting and horse riding and became proficient in them. She was more independent than other girls of her age, due to her unconventional upbringing.
  • In 1853, when the Maharaja of Jhansi died, the East India Company took advantage of the situation and applied the Doctrine of Lapse to annex Jhansi.
  • The Lakshmibai fought bravely against the British and gave a tough fight to Sir Hugh Rose so as to save her empire from annexation. She died fighting on the battlefield on June 17, 1858.
  • When the Indian National Army started its first female unit (in 1943), it was named after the valiant queen of Jhansi.

About Doctrine of Lapse:

  • It was an annexation policy followed widely by Lord Dalhousie when he was India’s Governor-General from 1848 to 1856.
  • According to this, any princely state that was under the direct or indirect control of the East India Company where the ruler did not have a legal male heir would be annexed by the company.
  • As per this, any adopted son of the Indian ruler could not be proclaimed as heir to the kingdom.
  • By applying the doctrine of lapse, Dalhousie annexed the States of: Satara (1848 A.D.), Jaitpur, and Sambalpur (1849 A.D.), Baghat (1850 A.D.), Udaipur (1852 A.D.), Jhansi (1853 A.D.), and Nagpur (1854 A.D.)

Source: PIB

Previous Year Question

Q.1) With reference to the history of India, “Ulgulan” or the Great Tumult is the description of which of the following events? (2020)

  1. The Revolt of 1857
  2. The Mappila Rebellion of 1921
  3. The Indigo Revolt of 1859 – 60
  4. Birsa Munda’s Revolt of 1899-1900

Sukhatal Lake and Nainital Lake

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Environment and Ecology

Context: Hearing a suo motu Public Interest Litigation (PIL) on preservation of Sukhatal Lake in Nainital, the Uttarakhand High Court recently directed the State to stop all construction activities on the lakebed and posted the matter for further hearing.

About Sukha Tal Lake:

  • Sukha Tal cocooned in Mallital was earlier a part of the pristine Nainital Lake. Sukha Tal or Suka Tal literally suggests dry lake which is located half a km from the picturesque lake of Nainital.
  • It is a fresh water lake surrounded by the dense pine and oak forests.
  • It is believed that Sukhatal is a feeder lake for Naini Lake, as it acts as upstream storage for Naini Lake during monsoon by holding the runoff from catchment of water that would have otherwise flown out, thereby increasing erosion and silt deposition in Naini Lake.

About Naini Tal Lake:

  • Nainital Lake, notably known as Naini Lake is the main attraction of Nainital town as well of Uttarakhand. Bounded by panoramic seven hills, Nainital Lake is a much loved spot among romantic travellers around the planet.
  • This lake was found long back in 1839 by P.Baron and is at an altitude of 2,000 meters above sea level which makes it one of the most visited lakes in India.
  • At the foot of the Kumaon Hills in the Indian state of Uttarakhand lies a stunning hill-station called Nainital surrounded by a number of hills; Mount Ayarpatha, Mount Naina and Mount Deopatha being the most important ones.
  • In fact, the name of the town, Nainital, which can be decoded to ‘Lake of the Eye’ with ‘Naina’ meaning ‘eye’ and ‘tal’ meaning ‘lake’, originated from this lake’s name.
  • Legend has it that the three sages Atri, Pulaha and Pulastya had visited the town and could not find any water and so they dug up land for a lake and filled the hollow area with water brought from Lake Mansarovar in Tibet. That is why a dip in this lake is measured very holy, the same to a dip in the sacred Mansarovar Lake.
  • Naini Lake has two parts namely Mallital and Tallital. Northern division is called as Mallital while Southern division known as Tallital.

Source:  Indian Express

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Consider the following pairs:

Wetland/Lake:                                         Location

  1. Hokera Wetland                            Punjab
  2. Renuka Wetland                     Himachal Pradesh
  3. Rudrasagar Lake                           Tripura
  4. Sasthamkotta                           Tamil Nadu

How many pairs given above are correctly matched?

  1. Only one pair
  2. Only two pairs
  3. Only three pairs
  4. All four pairs

Q.2) Which one of the following is an artificial lake? (2018)

  1. Kodaikanal (Tamil Nadu)
  2. Kolleru (Andhra Pradesh)
  3. Nainital (Uttarakhand)
  4. Renuka (Himachal Pradesh)

Olive ridley Turtle

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Environment and Ecology

Context: A large number of the endangered Olive Ridley turtles have started arriving for mating at the Gahirmatha marine sanctuary in Odisha.

About Olive ridley Turtle:

  • The Olive ridley turtles are the smallest and most abundant of all sea turtles found in the world, inhabiting warm waters of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans.
  • These turtles, along with their cousin the Kemps ridley turtle, are best known for their unique mass nesting called Arribada, where thousands of females come together on the same beach to lay eggs.
  • Though found in abundance, their numbers have been declining over the past few years, and the species is recognized as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red list.
  • Males and females grow to the same size; however, females have a slightly more rounded carapace as compared to the male.
  • They are carnivores, and feed mainly on jellyfish, shrimp, snails, crabs, molluscs and a variety of fish and their eggs.
  • These turtles spend their entire lives in the ocean, and migrate thousands of kilometers between feeding and mating grounds in the course of a year.
  • Interestingly, females return to the very same beach from where they first hatched, to lay their eggs.
    • During this phenomenal nesting, up to 600,000 and more females emerge from the waters, over a period of five to seven days, to lay eggs.
  • The coast of Orissa in India is the largest mass nesting site for the Olive-ridley, followed by the coasts of Mexico and Costa Rica.
  • They usually mate between November and January and the breeding period is of eight months from October to May.
  • To reduce accidental killing in India, the Odisha government has made it mandatory for trawls to use Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs), a net specially designed with an exit cover which allows the turtles to escape while retaining the catch.

About Gahirmatha marine sanctuary:

  • It is Located within the close vicinity of the Bhitarkanika National Park is Odisha’s only Turtle Sanctuary.
  • A part of the Gahirmatha Beach, the Turtle Sanctuary is the place where one can spot Olive Ridley Turtles.
    • These turtles travel all the way from South Pacific Ocean to breed on the coast of Gahirmatha. About half a million of these species visit the beach every year for mating.
  • It extendes from Dhamara river mouth in the north to Brahmani River moth in the south.
  • The Gahirmatha Marine Wildlife Sanctuary is the only marine sanctuary of Orissa.
  • In 1997 the Government of Orissa declared the area as Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary considering its ecological significance and diverse floral and faunal resources.
  • The Gahirmatha beach has been a cradle to adult sea turtles and their babies since time immemorial.

Source:  Indian Express

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Consider the following statements:

  1. Some species of turtles are herbivores
  2. Some species of fish are herbivores.
  3. Some species of marine mammals are herbivores
  4. Some species of snakes are viviparous

Which of the statements given above are correct? (2019)

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

Q.2) If you want to see gharials in their natural best habitat, which one of the following is the best place to visit? (2017)

  1. Bhitarkanika Mangroves
  2. Chambal River
  3. Pullicat Lake
  4. Deepor Beel

Central Depositories Services India Ltd (CDSL)

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Governance

Context: Recently certain services at CDSL were disrupted due to a suspected cyber-attack.

About CDSL:

  • Central Depository Services Limited (“CDSL”) was found in 1999 to fulfil one goal: Convenient, Dependable and secured depository services.
  • CDSL is a government-registered share depository, alongside its other state-owned counterpart National Securities Depository Ltd (NSDL).
  • Over two decades later, everything they are involved in the values we have built on, dematerialisation of various asset classes, e-services – have all been in support of that singular goal, at an affordable cost.
  • They are a Market Infrastructure Institution (MII) and a crucial part of the Capital market structure, providing services to all Market participants – Exchanges, Clearing Corporations, Depository Participants (DPs), Issuers and Investors.
  • A Depository is a facilitator for holding of securities in the dematerialised form and an enabler for securities transactions.
  • Arth is a CSR Initiative from Central Depository Services (India) Ltd. with a mission to make financial education simple and accessible for all.
  • Share depositories hold shares in an electronic or dematerialized form and enable securities transactions, playing a similar role as banks in handling cash and fixed deposits.
  • While banks keep customers cash in electronic form, share depositories help consumers store shares in a dematerialized form.
  • Regulation: The Depository Act of 1996 regulates the establishment and operation of a depository in India.
    • SEBI is the governing body that regulates the functioning of any depository.

About National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL):

  • NSDL is India’s first & largest depository.
  • It was set up on November 8, 1996, formed with the purpose of handling the securities held in dematerialized form in the Indian capital market.
  • National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL) is promoted by the National Stock Exchange, Industrial Development Bank of India, and Unit Trust of India.

Benefits of Share Depository:

  • Fast transfer: Depository holds security in electronic form, allowing for its easy transfer between seller and buyer.
  • Safety: Depository maintains and safeguards the securities on behalf of the investors. These investors do not need to spend time on its maintenance.
  • Liquidity creation: Depositories offer mortgages or loans against securities held by investors which may be used for the purchase of other securities.
  • Easy investment: The process of investment in share market has been simplified with the introduction of depository. There is no need for the procedure to change ownership.
  • Faster settlement: The depository enables T-2 rolling settlement, which is faster than the traditional method using physical share certificate.
  • Reduction in brokerage: Transfer of securities through depositories reduces the back office paper work. As a result, the brokerage charged by brokers is also reduced considerably.

Source:  Indian Express

Previous Year Question

Q.1) With reference to India, consider the following statements:

  1. Retail investors through Demat account can invest in Treasury Bills and Government of India Debt Bonds in the primary market
  2. The “Negotiated Dealing System-Ordering Matching” is a government securities trading platform of the Reserve Bank of India.
  3. The “Central Depository Services Ltd” is jointly promoted by the Reserve Bank of India and the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct? (2021)

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

Lachit Barphukan

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Medieval History

In news: The Assam Chief Minister launched an event to mark the 400th anniversary of Lachit Barphukan, a celebrated general of the Ahom dynasty, who ruled Assam for 600 years.

  • The minister claimed that the Mughals never conquered northeastern India and South India but these facts have been distorted.

Ahom kingdom:

  • It was a late medieval kingdom in the Brahmaputra Valley in Assam.
  • It was established by Sukaphaa, a Tai prince from Mong Ma.
  • The kingdom is well known for maintaining its sovereignty for nearly 600 years and successfully resisting Mughal expansion in Northeast India.
  • Between 1615 and 1682, the Mughal Empire made a series of attempts, under Jahangir and then Aurangzeb, to annex the Ahom kingdom.
  • In January 1662, Mughal Governor of Bengal Mir Jumla’s forces engaged with the Ahom army and went on to occupy part of the territory under Ahom rule.
  • Between 1667 and 1682, the Ahoms under a series of rulers, starting with Chakradhwaj Singha, (reigned 1663-70) launched a counter-offensive to reclaim lost territories.
  • This resulted in the battle of Saraighat and Battle of Alaboi.

Battle of Alaboi:

  • It was fought on August 5, 1669 in the Alaboi Hills near Dadara in North Guwahati.
  • Aurangzeb dispatched the Rajput Raja Ram Singh I to recapture territories won back by the Ahoms.
  • Borphukan relied on his knowledge of the territory and engaged in guerrilla warfare, carrying out assaults on the Mughals.
  • After initial setbacks, Ram Singh sent his entire battery of Rajput soldiers and Mughal veterans and turned the tide of the battle and Mughals had won.
  • Ten thousand Ahoms died in the battle.

Battle of Saraighat:

  • It was fought in 1671 on the Brahmaputra river at Saraighat, now in Guwahati.
  • Between the Mughal Empire (led by the Kachwaha raja, Ram Singh I), and the Ahom Kingdom (led by Lachit Borphukan).
  • Unlike in Alaboi, Borphukan in Saraighat enticed the Mughals into a naval battle.
  • They lured the Mughal fleet into moving ahead by feigning an attack with a few ships from the front. The Mughals vacated the waters behind them, from where the main Ahom fleet attacked and achieved a decisive victory.
  • Every Assamese soldier showed specimens of versatility – expertise in rowing boats, shooting arrows, digging trenches and wielding guns and cannons.

Lachit Barphukan:

  • He was an able commander of Ahom Kingdom and is known for his leadership in the 1671 ‘Battle of Saraighat’ where he defeated Mughal army.
  • Lachit Barphukan represented a time when the “Assamese race was united and able to fight an alien, formidable force such as the Mughals”.
  • His courage is even more lauded because he was terribly ill during the war.
  • Today, Lachit Barphukan’s victory is honoured with a gold medal given every year to the best cadet graduating from the National Defence Academy (NDA). A bust of Lachit stands at the NDA’s entrance.

Source: The Hindu


Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Environment

In news: A group of women of the La Carbonera community, led by Janet Arteaga, brought a natural spring in central Mexico back to life and used their traditional botanical knowledge to transform the land around it into an orchard of medicinal plants.

  • An agreement between Janet and Provital — a Spanish company on exchanging knowledge on the properties of medicinal plants was sealed under the Nagoya Protocol of the CBD.

About CBD:

  • The Convention was opened for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro 1992 and entered into force on 29 December 1993.
  • It is the international legal instrument for
  • the conservation of biological diversity
  • the sustainable use of its components
  • the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources
  • It has been ratified by 196 nations including India.
  • Its main function is to assist governments in the implementation of the CBD and its programmes of work.
  • The CBD’s governing body – the Conference of the Parties (COP) meets every two years.
  • The Secretariat is in Montreal, Canada
  • The 15th COP will be held in Montreal, Canada.
  • Supplementary agreements:
  • Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (2000): is an international treaty governing the movements of living modified organisms (LMOs) resulting from modern biotechnology from one country to another.
  • Nagoya Protocol

About Nagoya Protocol:

  • The Nagoya Protocol was adopted on 29 October 2010 in Nagoya, Japan, and entered into force on 12 October 2014.
  • The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization (ABS) to the Convention on Biological Diversity is a supplementary agreement to the CBD.
  • It provides a transparent legal framework for the effective implementation of one of the three objectives of the CBD: the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources.
  • Mexico became one of the founding members of the CBD and signed the Nagoya Protocol in 2011.

Miscellaneous:

  • Axolotl is a Mexican endemic salamander that has regenerative properties and can grow back its limbs and organs.
  • In Mexico, it is found exclusively in the Xochimilco Lake Complex.
  • IUCN status: critically endangered

  • Dioscorea composita is a Mexican yam that is used to control women’s menstrual cycles.

Source: Indian Express

Previous Year Question

Q1.) With reference to ‘Global Environment Facility’, which of the following statements is/are correct?(2014)

  1. It serves as financial mechanism for ‘Convention on Biological Diversity’ and ‘United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’
  2. It undertakes scientific research on environmental issues at global level
  3. It is an agency under OECD to facilitate the transfer of technology and funds to underdeveloped countries with specific aim to protect their environment
  4. Both (a) and (b)

Kosasthalaiyar river & Ennore Creek

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Geography

In News: The Water Resources Department has called for tenders to build a training wall at the mouth of Ennore creek to prevent sand deposit and flooding along the Kosasthalaiyar river, based on the recommendations of the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT).

About the project:

  • Training walls are a collection of boulders.
  • While they are like groynes, the training walls would prevent sedimentation and flooding near the creek.
  • The structure would divert the silt towards the ocean side and enable the mouth to be open.
  • The training wall would provide better access to small fishing boats and also shelter them in the creek during storms, in the Ennore Creek.

About Kosasthalaiyar river:

  • Kosasthalaiyar river or Kortalaiyar, is one of the three rivers that flow in the Chennai metropolitan area.
  • the Kosasthalaiyar to the north
  • the Adyar river to the south
  • the Cooum flowing between them across central Chennai
  • It originates near Pallipattu in Thiruvallur district and drains into the Bay of Bengal.
  • Its catchment area is spread over Vellore, Chitoor, North Arcot, Thiruvallur and Chennai districts.
  • Tributaries: Nagari river (north)
  • From Poondi reservoir, the river flows through Thiruvallur District, enters the Chennai metropolitan area, and joins the sea at Ennore Creek.

Ennore Creek:

  • Ennore Creek is a backwater located in Chennai along the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal.
  • It is in the zone comprising lagoons with salt marshes and backwaters, submerged under water during high tide and forming an arm of the sea with the opening to the Bay of Bengal at the creek.
  • The creek sustains the livelihood of the fisherfolk families in many neighbouring villages.
  • Kosasthalaiyar river had a maximum flood discharge capacity of nearly 1.25 lakh cusecs (cubic feet per second) near the creek.
  • As the creek’s mouth was open for a width of up to 80 metres, areas upstream of the Kosasthalaiyar river, including Manali New Town, were inundated whenever the river had a peak flow.

                  

National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT):

  • Established in 1993 as an autonomous society under the Ministry of Earth Sciences in India.
  • NIOT is managed by a Governing Council and is headed by a director.
  • It is based in Chennai.
  • The major aim is to develop reliable indigenous technologies to solve various engineering problems associated with harvesting of non-living and living resources in India’s exclusive economic zone, which is about two-thirds of the land area of India.

Source: The Hindu

Previous Year Question

Q1.) Consider the following pairs: (2019)

Famous place                          River

  1. Pandharpur             Chandrabhaga
  2. Tiruchirappalli             Cauvery
  3. Hampi                        Malaprabha

Which of the pairs given above are correctly matched?

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

Hwasong-17 missile

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Science and Technology

In News: North Korea test fired its massive new Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

  • The missile flew nearly 1000 km for 69 minutes and reached a maximum altitude of 6,041 km.
  • Hwasong-15 was first tested in 2017

About the missile:

  • The Hwasong-17 is nuclear-armed North Korea’s biggest missile yet.
  • It is the largest road-mobile, liquid-fuelled Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) in the world.
  • Its diameter is 2.4-2.5 meters and total mass when fully fuelled is 80,000-110,000 kg.
  • It is launched directly from a transporter, erector, launcher (TEL) vehicle.
  • It can travel as far as 15,000 km, enough to reach continental United States.
  • It can potentially be used for a multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle (MIRV) system, allowing a single missile to drop nuclear warheads on different targets.

India’s ballistic missiles:

  • Agni series: The Agni-V is an Indian intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) with a range of over 5,000 km with 3 stages.
  • India first tested the solid-fueled missile in 2012
  • Prithvi series: The Prithvi-II is an Indian short-range ballistic missile with a range of 350 km. In service with the Indian Air Force since 2003, the Prithvi-II serves as a nuclear delivery vehicle.
  • Prahaar: The Prahaar is a short-range, solid propellant, road-mobile ballistic missile designed for tactical strikes against close range targets to replace its shorter range Prithvi-1.
  • Sagarika/Shaurya: The K-15 Sagarika is an Indian submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) with a range of approximately 700 km and is powered by a two-stage solid propellant motor.

Source Indian Express

Previous Year Question

Q.1) With reference to Agni-IV Missile, which of the following statement(s) is/are correct?(2014)

  1. It is surface-to-surface missile.
  2. It is fuelled by liquid propellant only.
  3. It can deliver one tonne nuclear warhead about 7500 km away.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below.

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

Sufism in India

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Syllabus

  • Mains – GS 1 (History and Art and Culture)

Context: In ‘In Search of the Divine: Living Histories of Sufism in India’, Rana Safvi weaves together a narrative that combines history and geography, myth and contemporary practices of Sufism.

About Sufism in India:

  • Meaning of Sufi: It literally refers to “the act of wearing wool,” perhaps referring to the shawls worn by the itinerant preachers who travelled the length and breadth of the Middle East, Central Asia and South Asia.
  • Philosophy: The philosophy of Sufism believes in one God and regards every individual and everything else as part of Him.
    • The Sufi saints preached that ‘God is one’, all is in God’ , ‘nothing is beyond outside Him’ and ‘one can find God by renouncing everything except loving devotion to God.’
  • Sufism in the Indian Subcontinent: The Sufi movement started in Persia and evolved into a well-developed movement by the 11th century.
    • Sufism found its way into India during the eleventh and twelfth centuries when many Sufi saints came to India particularly in Multan and Lahore of the Indian subcontinent.
  • Bifurcated into Orders: During this time, the Sufis were organized in orders (silsilahs).
    • The orders were generally led by a prominent mystic who lived in Khanqah (hospice) along with his disciples.
    • The connection between the Pir (teacher) and his murids (disciples) was a vital part of the Sufi system.
    • Every Pir nominated a successor or wali to carry on his work.
  • The Sufi orders are divided into two groups: Ba-shara, which followed the Islamic Law (shara) and Be-shara, which was not bound by it (shara).
    • Both types of orders prevailed in India, the latter being followed more by wandering saints and qalandars.

Orders of Sufism:

  • The Sufis organized into several orders or silsilahs. Abul Fazal mentioned fourteen such orders. Some of them became quite popular in India.

The Chisti Order:

  • It originated outside India and its founder saint was Khawaja Abdul Chisti.
  • In India, it was introduced by Khawaja Muinuddin Chishti and was born in Persia.
  • He visited different places of Islamic learning in Central Asia and, finally, reached India in 1200 A.D.
  • He settled himself at Ajmer and became very popular all over Northern India.
  • Both the Hindus and Muslims paid homage to him.
  • The Mughal emperor, Akbar paid homage at his Dargah.
  • Among his disciples were Sheikh Hamiduddin of Nagaur and Qutubuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki.
  • Shaikh Farid or Baba Farid was also a famous Chisti Saint. He raised the Chisti order to the status of an all-India organization.
  • The most famous Chisti Saint was Shaikh Nizamuddin Auliya who was the disciple of Baba Farid.
  • He had the chance of watching the reigns of several Sultans of Delhi.
  • Amongst his followers was noted writer Amir Khusrau.
  • Another famous Saint was Shaikh Nasiruddin Mahmud, popularly known as Nasiruddin Chirag-i-Dilli (The Lamp of Delhi).

Suhrawardi Order:

  • Established by Shaikh Shahabuddin Suhravardi at Baghdad.
  • The Suhravardi order of the Sufis became popular in the North Western part of India.
  • The first popular Saint of this order was Shaikh Bahauddin Zakariya who settled down at Multan.
  • He led a comfortable life and received wealth and land from his rich disciples.
  • He emphasized the external form of Islam.
  • He did not believe in fasting, self-mortification etc. with a view to purify souls.
  • Shaikh Sharfuddin Yahya Manairi propagated Sufi-doctrines in Bihar. He was a good scholar and compiled several books. He also laid great stress on the services of humanity.

The Qadri Order:

  • The Qadrisilsilah was popular in Punjab.
  • Shaikh Abdul Qadir and his sons were supporters of the Mughals under Akbar.
  • The Pirs of this order supported the concept of Wahadat al Wajud (this doctrine postulates that God and His creation are one).
  • Among the famous Sufis of this order was Miyan Mir who had enrolled the Mughal Princess Jahanara and her brother Dara Shikoh as his disciples.

Naqshbandi Order:

  • The Naqshbandi order of the Sufis was introduced in India by Khwaja Baqi Billah.
  • Khawaja Baqi Billah opposed the listening of Sama (religious music) and the practice of pilgrimage to the tombs of saints.
  • He opposed interaction with Hindus and Shias.
  • He criticised the withdrawal of the Jizyah and the ban on cow slaughter (by Akbar).
  • He maintained that the relationship between man and God was that between the slave and the master and not the relation of a lover and beloved.
  • He tried to harmonise the doctrines of mysticism and the teachings of Islam.
  • His successor was Shaikh Ahmed Sirhindi.
  • This order emphasized an observance of the laws of Shariat and denounced all innovations which were added afterwards to Islamic doctrines.

Contribution of the Sufi Movement

  • Peaceful: Their efforts were directed towards the creation of a healthy social order free from dissensions, discords and conflicts.
    • Like the Bhakti saints who were engaged in breaking down of barriers within Hinduism, the Sufis too infused a new liberal outlook within Islam.
    • The interaction between early Bhakti and Sufi Ideas laid the foundation of more liberal movements of the fifteenth century.
  • Unity: The contribution of the Indian Sufis to society lies in their sincere and dedicated struggle to find unity for the heterogeneous elements in the society.
  • Promoted hetero-ethnicity: They appreciated the multi-racial, multi-religious and multilingual pattern of Indian society.
  • Influence on Hinduism: Sufism influenced Hindu society and religion.
    • The saints of Bhakti-cult like Kabir, Nanak, Dadu Dayal were certainly influenced by Sufi saints.
    • Many Bhakti saints were influenced by monotheism of Islam.
    • Efforts were made by several of them to remove the barriers of caste. Probably, the concept of Guru or the preceptor among the saints of Bhakti Cult was also influenced by the concept of Pir among the Sufis.
  • Helping oppressed: A notable contribution of Sufis was their service to the poorer and downtrodden sections of society.
    • While the Sultan and Ulema often remained aloof from the day to day problems of the people, the Sufi saints maintained close contact with the common people.
    • Nizamuddin Auliya was famous for distributing gifts amongst the needy irrespective of religion or caste.
  • Brotherhood: The Sufi movement encouraged equality and brotherhood. In fact, the Islamic emphasis upon equality was respected far more by the Sufis than by the Ulema.

Sufis helped the spread of Islam in India by emphasizing social equality of all the people. Sufis were guides to good life. They bridged the gulf between our societies.

Additional Information:

  • The shrine of Baba Fariduddin Ganjshakar (1188-1266) in Pakpattan,
  • Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti’s (1143-1236) resting place in Ajmer,
  • The mausoleum of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya (1238-1325) in Delhi, and even as far south as Nagore in present day Tamil Nadu, where Hazrat Syed Shahul Hameed (d. 1570) was welcomed by the king of Thanjavur with a land grant to build a khanqah, or seminary.
  • The last named saint is revered as “Nagore Andavar” by locals and is one among thousands of examples where Hindus and Muslims continue to share sacred spaces in India.

Source:   Indian Express

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Consider the following statements:

  1. Saint Nimbarka was a contemporary of Akbar.
  2. Saint Kabir was greatly influenced by Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct? (2019)

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Quasi-Judicial Courts

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Syllabus

  • Mains – GS 2 (Governance)

Context: The functioning of quasi-judicial courts is of paramount importance as they deal with vital land and related issues. Their failure to administer speedy justice leads to harassment of citizens, besides abetting criminal activity by unscrupulous elements.

About Quasi-Judicial Courts:

  • A Quasi-Judicial Body is a body, usually of a Public Administrative Agency, that has powers and processes similar to those of a Court of Law or Judge and is required to impartially establish the facts and draw conclusions from them in order to serve as the foundation for an official action.
  • According to another definition, a quasi-judicial body is “an organ of government other than a court or legislature, which impacts the rights of private parties either through adjudication or rulemaking.”
  • National Human Rights Commission, National Commission for Women, National Commission for Minorities, etc. are examples of quasi-judicial bodies.

Features of Quasi-judicial bodies:

  • Similar to law imposing bodies: Quasi-Judicial bodies are institutes which have power similar to law imposing bodies but these are not courts. The courts have the power to supervise over all types of disputes but the quasi-judicial bodies are the ones with the powers of imposing law on administrative agencies.
  • Specific purpose: These are created for specific purpose. For example,
  • National Human right commission: National Human Rights Commission is a quasi-judicial body which looks into cases of specifically Human Rights violation. It was established under the Human right act 1993. They can investigate human right abuse and can recommend the steps to be taken.
  • Election commission: It is constitutional bodies that mainly function for the conduct, control, supervise the election. It also performs judicial function e.g., determination of disqualification of Member of legislator or examining the violation of model code of conduct.
  • National river water dispute tribunal: National River water dispute tribunal has the power to grant the award to share the water among disputing states.
  • Central administrative tribunal: This is constituted to look into the matter related to service dispute of civil servants. For example, determination of age of civil servant in case of dispute etc.
  • Other regulatory bodies: SEBI, TRAI, IRDA etc. are some other quasi-judicial regulatory bodies. Their main function is to ensure transparency in the market economy. They also take judicial measures e.g., punishing in case of violation of rules through fines etc.
  • Nature of bodies: They can be statutory, regulatory or constitutional in nature. For example, the National Human Rights Commission is a statutory body, while Finance Commission is a constitutional body created under Article 280. Whereas SEBI is a regulatory body which performs judicial functions too.
  • Expertise: These bodies need not only be headed by a judge rather experts too can be included having sectoral knowledge like Finance, Economics, and Law etc.
  • Judicial review: Verdict of these bodies can be challenged in a court of law which is the final authority.

Issues associated with  the quasi-judicial bodies:

  • Lack of access to electronic platforms: Computers and video recorders are not available in many of these courts. Only a few states such as Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan have electronic platforms for supporting activities such as the filing of cases, publication of cause lists and sending summons.
  • Lack proper knowledge of law and procedures: Several of the presiding officers lack proper knowledge of law and procedures which has landed many a civil servant in deep trouble in sensitive matters such as those related to arms licences.
  • Understaffed: The maladies that these agencies suffer from are far graver than judicial set-ups, as they are staffed by revenue authorities who have several other functions. Usually, many of these offices are understaffed.
  • Burdened with duties other than court work: Their engagement with duties such as law and order, protocol, coordination, and other administrative functions leaves them with much less time for court work. Their access to court clerks and record keepers is limited.
  • Lack of adequate supervision: The most critical issue faced by these systems is the lack of adequate supervision and ownership by the administrative and political leadership.
  • Lack of compilation of data: Data on the level of pendency or the speed of disposal is not compiled in many states. This is why there is scarcely any attempt to increase staff strength. There is hardly any public scrutiny say by the press or legislature.

Suggestive measures to improve their functioning:

  • Establishment of Electronic platforms: An electronic platform should be established to handle all ancillary work related to the administration of justice, such as filing of complaints, issue of summons, movement of case records between courts, issuing copies of the judgments and so on.
    • It could establish a sound basis for analysing the functioning of these bodies and facilitate the publication of statistics.
  • Annual Audit process: Annual inspections of the subordinate courts should be made mandatory.
    • This should be an important indicator for assessment by the superior authority.
    • The inspections could become the basis of customised training of presiding officers.
  • Efficient functioning: The government should make the efficient functioning of these agencies a priority and clearly articulate its position on the issue.
  • Detailed data collection and its utilization: Detailed data on the functioning of these agencies must be collected and published from time to time — at least annually. These should be laid before the concerned legislatures.
    • These results should be the basis of decisions regarding the rationalising of staff strength.
    • If the pendency exceeds a certain threshold, additional officials should be posted to exclusively handle judicial functions. This data should be used to enforce accountability.
  • Interdisciplinary Research: Interdisciplinary research on the functioning of these courts should be encouraged.
    • This would identify the areas of improvement such as legal reforms or issue of clear guidelines.
  • Regular training and orientation: Regular training and orientation of the adjudicating authorities should be taken up from time to time.
    • If it is possible to deliver customised orientation to the adjudicating officers in their areas of weakness, the benefit is likely to be multiplied.
  • State index of performance: The state index of performance of these quasi-judicial courts be made and published.
    • It would draw the attention of the states to their performance in comparison to others and help them identify areas of weakness.
  • Compilation of important decisions and guidelines: Important decisions, guidelines and directions could be compiled and published on the portal of the apex adjudicating forum such as the Board of Revenue. These would be helpful to lower-level agencies.
  • Rigorous Induction Training: More rigorous induction training of officials handling judicial work would help. Usually, training academies, at the Central or state levels, largely focus on the executive magistrate’s courts, rather than on revenue courts.
    • The importance of judicial work should be instilled among the trainees and the skill and confidence in handling them should be developed.
  • Procedural Reforms: Procedural reforms such as minimising adjournments, mandatory filing of written arguments and other such reforms proposed by bodies like the Law Commission for reform of the Civil Procedure Code should be adopted by these adjudicating bodies.

Way Forward:

  • A multi-pronged action plan inclusive of legal, governance and HR reforms is required to move ahead.
  • For the ease of living of citizens, it is not only required to ensure the reduction of licences and regulations but also to make adjudication by administrative authorities timely, accessible, and affordable.
  • Adjudicating authorities should embrace procedural reforms such reducing adjournments, requiring the submission of written arguments, and other similar improvements suggested by organisations like the Law Commission for revision of the Civil Procedure Code.

As a whole, a quasi-judicial body is a good concept as it reduces the burden on Judiciary but there are some loopholes there in this system also. Govt should choose individuals with both technical and legal knowledge and providing them with power to take decisions will be a booster to this organ of Government.

Source: Indian Express


Gender Equality

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Syllabus

  • Mains – GS 1 Women Empowerment

Context:

  • The world is faced with a global increase in reported domestic violence, child marriage, trafficking, sexual exploitation, and abuse.
  • The coup in Myanmar, a Taliban takeover in Afghanistan, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — that have all occurred in the last 18 months — have each underscored the fact that women bear a disproportionate burden in conflict, especially those forced to flee their homes and seek refuge in other countries.
  • Important markers in gender equality and the protection of civilians have been reversed in many countries.

What is 16 Days of Activism campaign:

  • The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that kicks off on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until Human Rights Day.
  • It was started at the inauguration of the Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991.
  • It continues to be coordinated each year by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership.
  • It is used as an organizing strategy by individuals and organizations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.
  • The global theme for this year is “UNITE! Activism to end violence against women and girls”, to reverse gender and protection deficits.

Challenges of women refugees:

  • There are over 2,12,000 refugees in India, more than half of whom are women and girls.
  • For those refugees registered directly by the Government such as those from Sri Lanka, they are entitled to Aadhaar cards and PAN cards to enable their economic and financial inclusion; they can have access to national welfare schemes and contribute effectively to the Indian economy.
  • However, for those registered with UNHCR, such as refugees from Afghanistan, Myanmar and other countries, while they have access to protection and limited assistance services, they do not possess government-issued documentation.
  • Thus, they are unable to open bank accounts, benefit from all government welfare schemes, and are thus inadvertently left behind.
  • Refugee and migrant women and girls face specific challenges and protection risks in transit, including family separation, psychosocial stress and trauma, health complications, particularly for pregnant women, physical harm and injury , and risks of exploitation and gender-based violence.
  • Women are traditionally also confronted with additional household and childcare duties.

Significant steps in India:

  • Indian women received universal suffrage during India’s independence in 1947.
  • During the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, India was instrumental in ensuring that gender sensitive norms were respected by changing the language from ‘all men are created equal’ to ‘all human beings are…. ’
  • India has also ratified key international conventions to end discrimination against women which include the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).
  • Women have overcome “the glass ceiling” in the armed forces and can also serve as commanders since 2020.
  • Today, India has the largest number of women in the United Nations peacekeeping forces, thus showcasing the equal role that women can play in conflict-emerging countries and territories.
  • The central and State governments have launched new schemes, policies and programmes ranging from the welfare of the girl child to supporting aspiring female entrepreneurs, to empower both urban and rural women and promote gender equality.
  • The ‘Nari Shakti for New India’ campaign represents the aspirations of millions of women in India, who not only participate but lead development initiatives — a clear display that women are leading from the front.

Suggestions for future:

  • The governments must ensure women’s effective inclusion in social protection systems, which will be aligned to India’s commitment to protection and empowerment of women, regardless of their legal status.
  • Governments must ensure that refugees can access protection services that are on a par with their fellow Indian hosts.
  • Initiatives for skill enhancement and creation of quality jobs are important.
  • It will help female refugees develop confidence and improve social and communication skills on the one hand, and become aware of their professional objectives and integrate more strongly into society.
  • The OECD (2020) reports that only 4% of development aid was funded to programs dedicated to gender equality and women’s empowerment in 2016 and 2017. In contrast, 64% of aid was gender blind.
  • Hence, gender sensitive data collection and financing must be adopted.

Way forward:

  • Uniting to end violence against women and girls and empowering them to stand up for themselves and their communities, and supporting men to become agents of change, must remain the priority.
  • The commitment to prioritise gender equal programming by the Government of India is commendable and its resulting economic and social potential for women will build societal resilience to handle future shocks.
  • As Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently observed: “The progress of humanity is incomplete without the empowerment of women”.

Source The Hindu Business line


Practice MCQs

Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) With reference to Indian history, which of the following statements is/are correct?

  1. The Battle of Alaboi was fought in 1669 between Mughals and Rajput Raja Ram Singh I.
  2. The Battle of Saraighat 1671 was won by Lachit Bophukan of Ahom kingdom.
  3. While the battle of Alaboi was a naval battle, the battle of Saraighat was guerrilla warfare.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below.

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

Q.2) What is “Hwasong-17”, sometimes seen in the news?

  1. A Chinese Navigation Satellite System
  2. A North Korean ballistic missile system
  3. A defence collaboration between Japan and South Korea.
  4. A rover for international space station

Q.3) Consider the following statements regarding Central Depositories Services India Ltd (CDSL):

  1. CDSL is a government-registered share depository, alongside its other state-owned counterpart National Securities Depository Ltd (NSDL).
  2. Arth is a CSR Initiative from Central Depository Services (India) Ltd. with a mission to make financial education simple and accessible for all.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Comment the answers to the above questions in the comment section below!!

ANSWERS FOR ’23rd November 2022 – Daily Practice MCQs’ will be updated along with tomorrow’s Daily Current Affairs.st


ANSWERS FOR 22nd November – Daily Practice MCQs

Answers- Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) – c

Q.2) – b

Q.3) – b

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