Ojaank IAS Academy




13 September 2022 – Current Affairs

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Ayurveda Day 2022

Paper 2 – Health
Why Should You Know?
RecentyAll India Institute of Ayurveda launched 6-Weeks programme on Ayurveda Day 2022.
In details –
  • On 12 september 2022 All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA), under the Ministry of Ayush, launched the Ayurveda Day 2022 programme.
  • AIIA has been chosen as the nodal agency for driving the Ministry of Ayush’s mandate for Ayurveda Day this year.
  • The theme for the celebration is ‘Har Din Har Ghar Ayurveda’.
  • Ayurveda Day curtain raiser for the six-week long programme (12th September-23rd October) saw the virtual presence of Minister of Ayush Shri SarabanandaSonawal,  MoS for Ayush Dr MunjaparaMahendrabhaiKalubhai, Secretary Vaidhya Rajesh Kotecha, Special Secretary Shri  P.K Pathak and  NCSIM chairman Vaidya Jayant Deopujari.
  • The Ministry of AYUSH celebrates Ayurveda Day every year on Dhanvantari Jayanti and this year it will be celebrated on 23 October.
  • This year the Ministry is celebrating it in collaboration with all the Ministries and departments of Government of India so that every person of the nation is  made aware of traditional system of medicine.
About Dhanvantari
  • Dhanvantari is the Hindu physician of the gods. According to Vaishnava tradition, he is regarded as an avatar of Vishnu and the originator of the practice of Ayurveda.
  • During his incarnation on earth, he reigned as the King of Kashi, today locally referred to as Varanasi.
  • He is mentioned in the Puranas as the god of Ayurveda. Devotees pray to Dhanvantari to seek his blessings for sound health for themselves and/or others, especially on Dhanteras or DhanvantariTrayodashi (“National Ayurveda Day”).
  • Dhanvantari is also identified as the great-grandfather of Divodasa, a mythological King of Kashi in the Vishnu Purana.
  • His birthday is celebrated by practitioners of Ayurveda annually on Dhanteras, two days before Deepavali. It is also celebrated as National Ayurveda Day in India, which was first observed in 2016.

National Building Code of India 2016

Paper 2 – Governance
Why Should You Know?
Recently Union MinisterShri Goyal released handbook on Safety in Electrical Installations and Guide for Using National Building Code of India 2016
In details –
  • Shri Piyush Goyal, Union Minister for Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food  & Public Distribution and Textiles during the fourth Governing Council Meeting  of Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), recently, released handbook on the subject “Safety in Electrical Installations – A way forward to Safety by National Electrical Code of India” and Guide for Using National Building Code of India 2016.
  • Along with these two important documents, three pamphlets for awareness of general public about their rights and duties while constructing their own home or buying one from a builder are also developed.
  • The handbook on Safety in Electrical Installations is jointly developed by BIS and International Cooper Association (ICA) India. This handbook will create awareness about Electrical Safety and provides technical guidance for wiring installations in buildings.
  • The design, installation and other features provided in the handbook will help in understanding the purpose and application in a simplistic way. This will help electrical engineers and technicians to understand the basic need and procedure for safe and reliable electrical Low Voltage installations.
Significance –
  • The three pamphlets will also guide on the ways to take better services from not only municipal bodies and statutory authorities but also from all building professionals (engineer, architect, etc.) whom they should engage for a safe and sustainable home.
  • These pamphlets have been published in both Hindi and English and are titles as: Guide for Homeowners – Series 1 Building Permit Process, Guide for Homeowners – Series 2 Constructing your Independent House, Guide for Homeowners – Series 3 Buying an Apartment from a Developer/Builder.
  • With the help of flowchart and checklists, these pamphlets explain the process of obtaining the permits from the Authority for development or building construction, and also guides homeowners and homebuyers about the various aspects they must ensure while buying or building a home.
  • Special attention has been taken to ensure that the contents of these manuals are lucid in nature so that the common public can easily comprehend the technical content and utility of standards formulated by BIS.
What is National Building Code of India 2016 –
  • National Building Code of India 2016 (NBC 2016) is a technical document in which all provisions relating to planning, design, construction and operation and maintenance of buildings are covered.
  • Implementation of these codal provisions ensures minimum required level for the safety, health, amenity, accessibility and sustainability of buildings.
  • In order to promote the use of NBC 2016, this simplified guide for using the Code has been brought out by BIS for all stakeholders like academicians, students, building authorities, builders, and most importantly building professionals like architects, engineers, plumbers, etc. for understanding the contents of various Parts/Sections of the Code and their interconnection.
  • For an easy understanding of the technical information provided in the voluminous Code of more than 2200 pages, the key contents and concept of each of the thirteen parts of NBC 2016 have been laid down in the booklet using infographics and simplified language.

National Metallurgist Award Scheme

Paper 2 – Governance
Why Should You Know?
Recently the Ministry of Steel has approved the National Metallurgist Award 2022., lets know what is National Metallurgist Award Scheme
In details –
  • National Metallurgists Day Awards, was instituted in 1962 by the then Ministry of Steel & Mines to recognise&honour the outstanding contributions of Metallurgists in the metallurgical field covering operation, research, design, education, waste management and energy conservation.
  • The awards are given on an annual basis. The first award was given in the year 1963 and subsequently every year thereafter. Over the years, the number of categories and the award money were revised upwards.
  • As per the directions received from MHA regarding the rationalising of the awards in line with the vision of Hon’ble Prime Minister, it is proposed to rationalise the scheme.
  • As per the suggestions received from MHA, it is proposed to change the name of the award, change the date of the award ceremony, reduce the number of awards & make the awards more stringent to enhance the stature of the award, widen  nomination pool etc.
Objective –
  • To recognise outstanding contribution of metallurgists working in Iron & Steel sector covering the fields of manufacturing, research, design, education, waste-management, energy conservation and their specific contribution to achieve  objectives of ATMA NIRBHAR BHARAT.
Award 2022 –
  • Ministry of Steel has given approval for National Metallurgist Award 2022. Receiving of Application has started from today and the last date of receiving of application is 11/10/2022.
  • Nominations for the award shall be invited online on the Ministry of Steel’s Portal or the centralised portal being developed by MHA. Nominations will be through companies/ organisations or from the public through self-nomination.
  • The Date of National Metallurgist Award is 3rd February every year. (It was on 3rd Feb 1959 when the then President Dr Rajendra Parasad commissioned the firstBlast Furnace of the country after independence, at Rourkela).
  • There are total 5 awards which includes – Lifetime Achievement Award, National Metallurgist Award, Young Metallurgist (Environment Science), Young Metallurgist (Metal Science), Award for R&D in Iron & Steel Sector.

International Conference on Green Ship Recycling & Vehicle Scrapping

Paper 3 – Infrastructure
Why Should You Know?
Recently held a review meeting of International Conference on Green Ship Recycling and Vehicle Scraping and Development of National Maritime Heritage Complex (NMHC) Project, Lothal
In details –
  • On September 12, 2022 The Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Shri SarbanandaSonowal, addressed the International Conference on Green Ship Recycling and Vehicle Scraping, in Gandhinagar.
  • He said with a coastline of 1,600 km, Gujarat handles over 40% of India’s cargo throughput and contributes 18% of the total cargo transported using coastal shipping. He said Gujarat was the first state in the country to privatise the port sector, and by virtue of its strategic location, proactive policies, and robust infrastructure has emerged as the flag bearer of India’s maritime success story.
  • Shri Sonowal said India is a leading destination for ship recycling and the planned doubling of capacity of Alang-Sosiya shipyard in Gujarat will create a large number of employment opportunities and bring in more economic prosperity to Gujarat and the country.
  • Taking about the SagarmalaProgramme, Shri Sonowal  said it has given impetus to the thriving maritime sector in Gujarat with projects such as port modernisation, rail, road, cruise tourism, RO-RO & passenger jetties, fisheries, coastal infrastructure, skill development, etc. There are 74 projects worth Rs. 57,000 crore under SagarmalaProgramme in Gujarat, of which 15 projects worth Rs. 9,000 crore have been completed, 33 projects worth over Rs. 25,000 crore are under implementation and 26 projects worth Rs. 22,700 crore are under development, he said.
Green Ship Recycling & Vehicle Scrapping –
  • The International Conference on Green Ship Recycling and Vehicle Scrapping is showcasing the current status of ship recycling industry in Gujarat and the adoption of HKC Convention compliances.
  • The conference is also facilitating discussion on how the EU shipping industry can take advantage of ship recycling facilities in Gujarat, and explore partnerships with EU member countries.
  • Two sessions were also organised as a part of the conference. The first session on “Ship Recycling Industry in India and Compliances” focused on the Ship Recycling Act, the role of GMB, compliance with HKC and EU Ship Recycling Regulation (EUSRR), and safe and sustainable recycling.
  • The second session was on Vehicle Scrap Policy and saw an overview of the policy. It also showcased Alang’s capabilities as a hub of vehicle scrapping.
  • Representatives from the Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways, CEOs, and national and international industry representatives from the shipping sector including shipping lines, ship recyclers, ship owners, etc. participated in the conference. The conference will be followed by a visit to the Alang ship breaking yard on September 13.
Significance –
  • NoteblyGujarat is now moving towards port-led development.Gujarat is India’s coastal gateway. the state is home to Alang, the largest ship-breaking yard in the world. Just as Gujarat has been dominant in ship breaking-recycling sector, it will also be in green recycling.
  • Gujarat has the potential and the political will to become a hub for green ship recycling. The Gujarat government is committed to making Gujarat a global centre for green recycling. Alang also has a well-developed ecosystem and capacity for vehicle scrapping and will contribute majorly to the vehicle scrapping policy.
  • The conference will put Alang on the global map as a preferred destination for sustainable ship recycling that has safe and environmentally sound ship recycling best practices in place.
  • the conference will also help in exploring synergies between Alang’s ship recycling industry with the vehicle scrapping industry, and enable Alang to emerge as a vehicle scrapping hub.

National Maritime Heritage Complex

Paper 1 – History
Why Should You Know?
Recently the Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Shri SarbanandaSonowal visited the site of the proposed National Maritime Heritage Complex near Lothal and reviewed the progress of the project.
In details –
  • Shri  Sonowal visited the site of proposed National Maritime Heritage Complex near Lothal and reviewed the progress of the project in presence of senior officers of Government of Gujarat and Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways.
  • The project is being developed by the Government of India through MoPSW for an estimated amount of Rs.3500 crore.
  • The proposed Complex would showcase India’s rich and diverse maritime heritage and will be the first of its kind in the country and one of the world’s largest maritime museums dedicated to the legacy of maritime heritage of India.
  • Life size architecture of the Lothal will be depicted in the museum. The various components like, lower town, middle town, Citadel, cemetery, houses, pattern of the street, sanitation system, wells, industries/workshop and marketplace, etc. will be depicted in the museum.
  • To provide First-Hand Experience to visitors, a working model of the Lothal dockyard, functioning of the warehouse etc. will also be showcased along with typical Harappan house with components like, oven, etc. The museum will portray renowned Harappan Water Harvesting and Management system excavated at the site of Dholavira.
  • Renowned architecture firm Ms. Architect Hafeez Contractor has been appointed as the Project Management Consultant of the project and have already prepared Concept Design & Plan for following 5 Galleries of phase 1A:Gallery- 1 Orientation and oceanic mythology,  Gallery-2 Harappans: The Pioneer Seafarers, Gallery- 3 Post Harappan Trajectories: The Impact of Climate change, Gallery- 4 India’s contact with the Greco-Roman world, Gallery- 5 Special exhibitions
  • The work on concept design of Gallery 6 (Emergence of Indian Navy) is in progress by Ms. Architect Hafeez Contractor in consultation with the officials of Indian Navy and consolidated list of artefacts for the galleries has been finalized.
  • The EPC work of the NMHC phase 1A has been awarded to Tata Projects Ltd. in Mar 2022 and is targeted to be completed by Mar 2024.
Significance –
  • The project will boost the tourism in the state of Gujarat in turn developing the economy of the region including the nearby villages namely Saragwala and Utelia.
  • The proposed six galleries planned in the NMHC project will focus on different time periods of the Maritime history to the visitors.
  • Speaking after the visit Shri Sonowal stated that the project will be developed as a new international destination for tourist and to stand at par with other renowned international museums of the world under the Sagarmala program of the Ministry of Shipping.
  • He said It will also create an opportunity of employment for the local people and help them develop a number of cottage industries thus materializing the vison of Atmanirbhar Bharat of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.
About Lothal –
  • Lothal was one of the southernmost sites of the ancient Indus Valley civilisation,located in the Bhāl region of the modern state of Gujarāt.
  • Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), the official Indian government agency for preservation of ancient monuments, discovered Lothal in 1954. Excavation work in Lothal commenced on 13 February 1955 and continued till 19 May 1960.
  • According to the ASI, Lothal had the world’s earliest known dock, which connected the city to an ancient course of the Sabarmati river on the trade route.
  • This trade route stretched between Harappan cities in Sindh and the peninsula of Saurashtra where the surrounding Kutch desert of today was a part of the Arabian Sea.
  • Lothal was a vital and thriving trade centre in ancient times, with its trade of beads, gems and valuable ornaments reaching the far corners of West Asia and Africa. The techniques and tools they pioneered for bead-making and in metallurgy have stood the test of time for over 4000 years.

“Early Intervention Centre- Prayas”

Paper 2 – Health
Why Should You Know?
Recently, the Early Intervention Center “Prayas” was inaugurated at Army Hospital (R&R).lets know about it
In details –
• To alleviate the suffering and instil confidence in parents in dealing with differently abled children a model “Early Intervention Centre- Prayas” has been established at Army Hospital (Research & Referral).
• The “Early Intervention Centre” is a comprehensive state-of-the-art facility which is dedicated to the children with special needs.
• Children of Armed Forces personnel upto six years of age suffering from autism, cerebral palsy, sleep and language delay and other disabilities will benefit immensely from this venture.
• The Centre was inaugurated by Mrs Archana Pande, President, Army Wives Welfare Association (AWWA) in the presence of Gen Manoj Pande, Chief of the Army Staff on 12 September 2022 at the Army Hospital (R&R).

Facilities –

  • The newly established Centre has facilities of advanced screening for hearing and visual defects, detection of Autism, clinical identification of various syndromes and therapeutic facilities like Special Education, Sensory Integration Occupational and Physiotherapy, Behaviour Modification and Nutritional Guidance.
  • It is integrated with Vatsalya, a paediatric super speciality discipline, which has been redesigned with a child friendly Walt Disney theme.
  • A multi-disciplinary approach combining expertise of various therapists will work together to enhance the capabilities of the special children.
Significance –
  • Army Hospital (R&R) provides tertiary care referral facilities and is the Centre of Excellence in various subspecialties.
  • Addition of EIC “Prayas” will help in early diagnosis and institution of necessary therapeutic interventions to differently abled children during the best window of opportunity, which is between birth and 6 years of age.
  • This Centre will achieve a quantum leap in therapeutic outcome of children with  developmental delay and thereby aims to achieve immense improvement in caregiver satisfaction.

ICRISAT New X-ray Technique

Paper 3 –Agriculture
Why Should You Know?
ICRISAT develops new X-ray technology to measure commercial quality and characteristics of groundnut in the country.
In details –
  • A team of researchers have, for the first time, used X-ray radiography to determine key market-related traits of peanuts while still inside the hull.
  • The team comprised scientists from the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Hyderabad and the Fraunhofer Development Center for X-ray Technology (EZRT) in Erlangen, Germany.
  • They developed novel artificial intelligence-based algorithms to extract an accurate estimate of the physical traits from X-ray radiographies of whole peanut pods.
  • This has enabled groundnut breeders at ICRISAT to now spend a fraction of the usual time taken and scan up to 100 samples in a day to pick the best variety for the season.
  • Stefan Gerth, head of department, EZRT, was quoted as saying:ICRISAT crop researchers pointed to the important gaps frequently restraining Indian farmers from reaping the benefits of their hard labour and researchers from rapid breeding of improved crops. The collaboration helped us to adapt our technology so that the gaps can be closed.
  • JanilaPasupuleti, cluster leader, crop breeding, ICRISAT said currently, advanced image processing algorithms for ‘virtual shelling’ are standardised for estimating shelling percentage, kernel numbers and mass.
  • “We are expanding these algorithms for estimating the seed size distribution and others. So, one X-ray scan used for determining multiple traits is more cost- and time-efficient than the manual process we have been following,” Pasupuleti said.
  • The processing algorithms that allow ‘virtual shelling’ are also being explored for feature evaluation of various other crops such as rice, oats and barley, and pigeonpea for estimation of other commercially significant traits like milling recovery.
  • “We are also exploring the usage of X-ray radiography and tomography–based methods for testing seed embryo viability. In gene banks, a large number of precious seed samples need to undergo germination tests to check the seed viability every few years,” Sunita Choudhary, scientist, crop physiology and modelling, Accelerated Crop Improvement Program, ICRISAT, said.
  • The study had shown that X-ray radiography had the potential to be the right technology for in-field evaluation of farmers’ produce which the International Committee for Food Value and Safety calls for, the statement said.
  • A portable X-ray imaging system will be especially useful in grain value chains where the time needed to assess the economic value of grain by threshing or milling is a significant barrier.
  • ICRISAT and EZRT will work together to facilitate the necessary tech transformation of such grain value chains in the near future, the statement said.
  • “Substituting the manual procurement methods with the use of suitable technology could standardise and accelerate the procurement process in the future. It also allows fair procurement cost estimation for the primary producers and all stakeholders across the value chain,” Jana Kholova, cluster leader crop physiology and modelling, said.
  • Choudhary said the use of X-ray based technology could revolutionise agriculture research, which had been relying on age-old manual methods or time-consuming laboratory testing methods for determining crop post-harvest traits.
  • The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) is an international organization which conducts agricultural research for rural development, headquartered in Patancheru (Hyderabad, Telangana, India) with several regional centers (Bamako (Mali), Nairobi (Kenya) and research stations (Niamey (Niger), Kano (Nigeria), Lilongwe (Malawi), Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Bulawayo (Zimbabwe).
  • It was founded in 1972 by a consortium of organisations convened by the Ford and the Rockefeller foundations. Its charter was signed by the FAO and the UNDP.
  • ICRISAT performs crop improvement research, using conventional as well as methods derived from biotechnology, on the following crops: chickpea, pigeonpea, groundnut,pearlmillet,sorghum, finger millet, teff, and small millets.

Implementation of Adoption Rules

Paper 3- Security
Why Should You Know?
Recently The Ministry of Women and Child Development States directed to implement contentious adoption rules immediately.
In details –
  • The Ministry of Women and Child Development has written to State governments, asking them to immediately implement the revised adoption rules requiring adoption orders to be passed by District Magistrates (DMs) instead of courts with effect from September 1.
  • The instructions come despite concerns raised over jurisdiction of DMs in civil matters such as inheritance and succession, as well as delays likely to be caused in cases where the court has already passed orders since September 1 or is likely to pass them shortly after having spent several months on the proceedings.
  • notebly that Courts were not informed about the amendments and the Centre has also not yet notified Adoption Regulations 2022 detailing the process to be followed by the DMs.
Background –
  • The Parliament passed the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill, 2021 in July last year in order to amend the Juvenile Justice Act (JJ Act), 2015.
  • These authorise District Magistrates and Additional District Magistrates to issue adoption orders under Section 61 of the JJ Act by striking out the word “court”.
  • This was done in order to ensure speedy disposal of cases and enhance accountability.
  • The amendments to the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Model Rules, 2016, were notified on September 1 and require all adoption cases to be transferred to the DM with immediate effect.

EWS quota

Paper 2– Polity
Why Should You Know?
A Constitution Bench, hearing petitions against the 10% quota for Economically Weaker Sections in government jobs and admissions.
In details –
  • the Supreme Court will examine whether The Constitution (103rd Amendment) Act, which introduced a 10 per cent quota for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in government jobs and admissions, violates the basic structure of the Constitution.
  • A five-judge Constitution Bench led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) U U Lalit and also comprising Justices S Ravindra Bhat, Dinesh Maheshwari, S B Pardiwala, and Bela Trivedi last week decided to examine three key issues to ascertain the validity of the amendment.
  • The challenge to the EWS quota was referred to a five-judge Bench in August 2020.
Issues –
Attorney General K K Venugopal had drafted four issues for the consideration of the Bench. On September 8, the court decided to take up three of them:
  1. “Whether the 103rd Constitution Amendment can be said to breach the basic structure of the Constitution by permitting the state to make special provisions, including reservation, based on economic criteria”;
  2. “Whether it (the amendment) can be said to breach the basic structure…by permitting the state to make special provisions in relation to admission to private unaided institutions”;
  3. Whether the basic structure is violated by “excluding the SEBCs (Socially and Educationally Backward Classes)/ OBCs (Other Backward Classes)/ SCs (Scheduled Castes)/ STs (Scheduled Tribes) from the scope of EWS reservation”.
What is the 103rd Amendment?
  • The 103rd Amendment inserted Articles 15(6) and 16(6) in the Constitution to provide up to 10 per cent reservation to EWS other than backward classes, SCs, and STs in higher educational institutions and initial recruitment in government jobs.
  • The amendment empowered state governments to provide reservation on the basis of economic backwardness.
  • Article 15 prohibits discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth. Article 16 guarantees equal opportunity in matters of public employment. The additional clauses gave Parliament the power to make special laws for EWS like it does for SCs, STs, and OBCs.
  • The EWS reservation was granted based on the recommendations of a commission headed by Major General (retd) S R Sinho. The commission, which was constituted by the UPA government in March 2005, submitted its report in July 2010.
  • The Sinho Commission recommended that all below-poverty-line (BPL) families within the general category as notified from time to time, and also all families whose annual family income from all sources is below the taxable limit, should be identified as EBCs (economically backward classes).
How is EWS status determined under the law?
  • The EWS criteria for employment and admission was notified on January 31, 2019 by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) based on the 103rd Amendment.
  • Under the 2019 notification, a person who was not covered under the scheme of reservation for SCs, STs, and OBCs, and whose family had a gross annual income below Rs 8 lakh, was to be identified as EWS for the benefit of reservation. The notification specified what constituted “income”, and excluded some persons from the EWS category if their families possessed certain specified assets.
  • In October 2021, the Supreme Court, while hearing a challenge to reservation for EWS in the All-India quota for PG medical courses, asked the government how the threshold of Rs 8 lakh had been reached. The Centre told the court that it would revisit the income criterion, and set up a three-member panel for this purpose.
  • In January this year, the government accepted the committee’s report, which said that the “threshold of Rs 8 lakh of annual family income, in the current situation, seems reasonable for determining EWS” and “may be retained”. However, the committee said, “EWS may…exclude, irrespective of income, a person whose family has 5 acres of agricultural land and above”. Also, the committee recommended, “the residential asset criteria may altogether be removed”.
Base of the challenge-
  • When a law is challenged, the burden of proving it is unconstitutional lies on the petitioners. The primary argument in this case is that the amendment violates the basic structure of the Constitution. Although there is no clear definition of basic structure, any law that violates it is understood to be unconstitutional.
  • This argument in the present case stems from the view that the special protections guaranteed to socially disadvantaged groups is part of the basic structure, and that the 103rd Amendment departs from this by promising special protections on the sole basis of economic status.
  • The petitioners have also challenged the amendment on the ground that it violates the Supreme Court’s 1992 ruling in Indra Sawhney &Ors v Union of India, which upheld the Mandal report and capped reservations at 50 per cent. The court had held that economic backwardness cannot be the sole criterion for identifying a backward class.
  • Another challenge is on behalf of private, unaided educational institutions. They have argued that their fundamental right to practise a trade/ profession is violated when the state compels them to implement its reservation policy and admit students on any criteria other than merit.
The Government’s Stand –
  • In counter affidavits, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment argued that under Article 46 of the Constitution, part of Directive Principles of State Policy, the state has a duty to protect the interests of economically weaker sections: “The state shall promote with special care the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people, and, in particular, of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, and shall protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation.”
  • Against the argument of violation of the basic structure, the government said that “to sustain a challenge against a constitutional amendment, it must be shown that the very identity of the Constitution has been altered”.
  • On the Indra Sawhney principle, the government has relied on the SC’s 2008 ruling in Ashoka Kumar Thakur v Union of India, in which the court upheld the 27 per cent quota for OBCs. The argument is that the court accepted that the definition of OBCs was not made on the sole criterion of caste but a mix of caste and economic factors; thus, there need not be a sole criterion for according reservation.

Presidency of G20

Paper 2 – International Relations
Why Should You Know?
India to assume the Presidency of G20 for one year
In details –
  • India will host the G20 Leaders’ Summit at the level of Heads of State and Government on 9th and 10th September next year in New Delhi.
  • India will assume the Presidency of the G20 for one year from 1st December this year to 30 November next year. It is expected to host over two hundred G20 meetings across the country.
About G20 –
• The G20 is an intergovernmental forum of the world’s major developed and developing economies.
• It comprises 19 countries including Australia, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, UK, USA, and the European Union.
• Collectively, the G20 accounts for 85 per cent of global GDP, 75 per cent of international trade and two-thirds of the world population, making it the premier forum for international economic cooperation.
• India is currently part of the G20 Troika comprising Indonesia, Italy, and India.
• During the Presidency, India, Indonesia and Brazil would form the troika.
• This will be the first time when the troika would consist of three developing countries and emerging economies, providing them a greater voice.

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