Online Quiz Test

Vijayanagara empire

In Context 

In his new book, “Victory City,” Salman Rushdie makes up a story about Vijayanagara, which was one of the richest and most powerful kingdoms in India in the Middle Ages.

About Vijayanagara 

  • Vijayanagara: It is a district in the Kalyana Karnataka area of the Indian state of Karnataka.
    • This district was split off from the Bellary district in 2020. It is the 31st district in the state, and its headquarters are in Hosapete.
  • About Vijayanagara empire 
  • From 1336 on, it was based in the Deccan, which is a part of peninsular and southern India.
    • It is named after its old capital city, Vijayanagara, which is now in ruins in the Indian state of Karnataka.
    • Harihara, also called Hakka, and his brother Bukka Raya of the Sangama dynasty started it.
      • It lasted from about 1336 to about 1660, but its last century was a slow decline because of a massive and disastrous defeat at the hands of a group of sultanates. The capital was taken, torn down, and looted.
      • It grew because it was in a good spot on the banks of the Tungabhadra river. By the 1500s, it was a force to be taken seriously.
      • The empire acted as a barrier against attacks from the Turkic Sultanates of the Indo-Gangetic Plain, and it was always in competition with the five Deccan Sultanates, which were based in the Deccan region to the north of it.

Characteristics and Timeline 

  • Around 1510, the Portuguese took over Goa, which had been ruled by the Sultan of Bijapur. This may or may not have been with the help of Vijayanagara.
  • Trade between the Portuguese and Vijayanagara became very important for both sides.
    • Most people think that the empire was at its best when Krishna Deva Raya of the Saluva Dynasty was in charge (1509–1529).
    • He was better at war than rival kingdoms like the Bahmani Sultanate, the Golconda Sultanate, and the Gajapatis of Odisha.
    • He took over or took control of parts of the east of the Deccan that had belonged to Orissa before.
    • In 1530, Achyuta Raya took over after him.
      • In 1542, Achyuta was succeeded by Sada Siva Raya.
      • But the real power was with Rama of the third dynasty. He seems to have gone out of his way to make the Deccan sultanates angry, so that they eventually joined forces against him.
        • In 1565, at the Battle of Talikota, a group of Deccan sultanates beat the army of Vijayanagara.
        • Rama Raya died in the Battle of Tallikot. Since then, his real head has been covered with oil and red paint and shown to the religious Muslims of Ahmudnuggur every year until 1829.
        • This was the end of the last important Hindu kingdom in the Deccan.
          • Tirumala Raya, the only person who made it out of Vijayanagar alive, rode 550 elephants to Penukonda with a lot of treasure.
Dynasties and Rulers
Sangama Dynasty                                                 

  • Harihara I (Deva Raya) 1336-1343
  • Bukka I 1343-1379
  • Harihara II 1379-1399
  • Bukka II 1399-1406
  • Deva Raya I 1406-1412
  • Vira Vijaya 1412-1419
  • Deva Raya II 1419-1444
  • Mallikarjuna 1452-1465
  • Rajasekhara 1468-1469
  • Virupaksha I 1470-1471
Saluva Dynasty

  • Narasimha 
  • Narasa (Vira Narasimha)
  • Krishna Deva
  • Achyuta 
  • Sadasiva (in name only) 1542-1567
Tuluva dynasty

  • Rama (ruled in practice) 1542-1565
  • Tirumala (ruled in practice) 1565-1567
  • Tirumala (crowned ruler) 1567-1575
  • Ranga II 1575-1586
  • Venkata I 1586-1614


• Farming was a big part of the kingdom’s economy, and trade was good in the many ports on both coasts.

• The empire’s main exports were pepper, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, myrobalan, tamarind timber, ana fistula, precious and semi-precious stones, pearls, musk, ambergris, rhubarb, aloe, cotton cloth, and porcelain.

•             Abd al-Razzaq Samarqand wrote about how the Vijayanagara kingdom had a lot of money.

• In his famous book, History of South India, K.A. Nilakanta Sastri wrote that gold, silver, copper, and brass were used to make coins by the state and by merchant guilds. The value of the coins depended on how much of each material they were made of.

Contributions to culture and architecture.

  • People remember the time of Vijayanagara as a time of “cultural conservatism,” when traditional forms of Hinduism were kept even as the rest of the subcontinent, especially the North, became more Islamic.
  • Literature in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Sanskrit, as well as new styles and ways of writing, were made in the kingdom.
    • Vijayanagara had many buildings that have stood the test of time. Percy Brown, an art historian, says that Vijayanagara architecture is “a lively combination and flowering of the Chalukya, Hoysala, Pandya, and Chola styles,” all of which did well in the centuries before.
    • Krishna Deva Raya’s time is when the Prasanna Virupaksha temple of Bukka I and many of the empire’s other great buildings were built.
    • Vijayanagara is home to the Hazara Rama temple, the Krishna temple, and the Ugra Narasimha idol.
    • They are striking examples of Vijayanagara’s unique style and skilled craftsmanship.
      • The capital of Vijayanagara, Hampi, is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its impressive fortifications, temples, and other works of architecture.

Source: IE


In News

• The Supreme Court said that the Constitution does not give elected members of a city (called aldermen) the right to vote at meetings.

About Alderman

• An “alderman” is a member of a city council or other municipal body. The exact duties of a “alderman” depend on where the word is used. It comes from the Old English language.

Historical Linkages 

  • It used to mean the oldest people in a clan or tribe, but soon it came to mean the viceroys of a king, no matter how old they were.
  • Soon, it came to mean a more specific job title: “chief magistrate of a county.” This person had both civilian and military responsibilities.
  • As time went on, it became especially linked to guilds, whose chiefs and leaders were called aldormonn.
  • In the 12th century CE, as guilds became more involved with local governments, the word “guildsman” started to be used for people who worked for local governments.
  • This is still the way it is used today.

Global Status 

  • Britain: In Britain, there was no one role or definition of an alderman until the 19th century.
    •  The Municipal Reform Act of 1835 said that councillors and aldermen made up the government of boroughs.
  •  The Local Government Act of 1972 finally got rid of Aldermen with voting rights in 1974. However, they were still possible in the Greater London Council and the London borough councils until 1978.
  • US: In the US, depending upon the jurisdiction, an alderman could have been part of the legislative or judicial local government.
    •  A “board of aldermen” is the governing executive or legislative body of many cities and towns in the United States.
  • • In the past, in Canada, people who were elected to a city council to represent a ward were called “aldermen.”
  • As women were increasingly elected to the municipal office, the term “councillor” slowly replaced “alderman”, although there was some use of the term “alderperson”. Today the term is rarely used.

The term and job of “alderman” have also been done away with in Australia and Ireland. However, in South Africa, “alderman” refers to senior members of municipal councils.

• In the Netherlands, the word refers to members of the municipal executive (rather than the council).

The Scenario in Delhi

  • According to the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act of 1957, the administrator can appoint ten people over the age of 25 to the corporation (the Lieutenant Governor).
  • It is expected that these people have special knowledge or experience in running a city. They are meant to help the house make important public decisions.


Appointment of DGP’s


• The Supreme Court told the Nagaland government to choose the Director General of Police (DGP) for the state.


• The Supreme Court (SC) told the Nagaland government to choose an IPS officer from the class of 1992 as the state DGP. This was because the Nagaland government had questioned the Union Public Service Commission’s (UPSC) choice of the officer as the only candidate for the job.

What is the Appointment Process?

For the appointment of State DGP, the SC judgement on police reforms in Prakash Singh vs Union of India is followed. According to the guidelines:

• States are supposed to make a list of eligible officers with at least 30 years of service and send it to the UPSC, along with these officers’ service records, performance reviews, and vigilance clearances.

These officers must have the rank of ADG or the rank of police chief (and one below) for that state, whichever is higher. The list should be given to UPSC six months before the current DGP leaves his or her job.

•An empanelment committee led by the UPSC chairman and made up of the union home secretary, state chief secretary, state DGP, and the head of a central police organisation is supposed to choose a panel of three officers “based on merit.”

•For smaller states that might only have one DGP post, the committee should send two names.

•According to the rules, an officer doesn’t have to agree to be posted for it to happen. Also, the Centre has the ability to stop an officer from being sent to a state.

• In orders from 2018 and 2019, the Supreme Court said that the UPSC couldn’t put any officer on the panel who had less than six months until retirement.

Prakash Singh Judgement

  • Choose the DGP of the state from the three most senior officers of the department who are on the panel for promotion to that rank by the UPSC. Once he is chosen, give him a minimum tenure of at least two years, no matter when his retirement date is.
  • The UPSC must put together the panel based on seniority, service record, and range of experience. The SC has also said many times that appointments are based on “merit.”

Issues with Appointments

  • Interim Status: The appointed DGP officer spent their entire tenure in interim status which is against the supreme court order where the SC has said there must be no temporary or ad hoc appointments of police chiefs.
  • Seniority vs Merit issue: The senior officers challenge the appointment of Junior officers as DGP on grounds of seniority. The UPSC defended its decision in court on the grounds of merit over seniority.
  • Extension of Tenure: Sometimes the officers are given an extension of tenure beyond the stipulated term of 2 years.
  • State-Centre friction: The center has the power to not release the officer for posting in the state which the state recommends in the list, leading to frici

Way Ahead

  • The States and UPSC should follow the Prakash Singh Judgement and the orders passed in 2018 and 2019 for the appointment process where SC clarified:
    • None of the states shall ever conceive of the idea of appointing any person on the post of DGP on an acting basis for there is no concept of acting Director General of Police.
    • The UPSC shall not put on the panel any officer with less than six months to retirement.
                                          High Time for Police Reforms

  • • In the year 2022, India’s police force is still based on the old Police Act of 1861.
  •  The public’s expectations of police have changed completely, and what’s needed now is mostly reformative policing, not retributive.
  •  Technology and other things, like white-collar and sophisticated crimes, have changed the way crimes are done in a big way.
  •  Because of this, it’s time to change the way police work in India so that it fits the crimes and investigations of today.


Status and Proceeds of Disinvestment


• In the Union Budget 2023-24, the government has set a disinvestment goal of Rs. 51,000 crore, which is the lowest in 7 years and 21% less than the budget estimate for the current year.


  • About:
    •  “Disinvestment” means that the government sells or gets rid of assets like Central public sector enterprises (CPSE) and state public sector enterprises, projects, or other fixed assets.
    • The targets for disinvestment are set by the Ministry of Finance’s Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM), which is in charge of the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management.
    • The government then makes the final choice about whether or not to raise the divestment goal.
  • Objectives: 
    • Reducing Fiscal Burden: The government sells off assets to reduce the amount of money it has to spend.
    • Improving Public Finances: To raise money for meeting specific needs, such as to bridge the revenue shortfall from other regular sources.
    • Encourage Private Ownership: Disinvestment may be done to privatise assets. However, not all disinvestment is privatisation.
  • Significance & Benefits:
  • Disinvestment makes it possible for a bigger share of PSU ownership to be sold on the open market, which helps India build a strong capital market.
  • The money from selling investments can be used to pay down the budget deficit, invest in the economy and social sector programmes, or finance the budget deficit.
  • It lets the government and the company pay off debt, which means the government no longer has to pay for a unit that loses money. Eg. Air India
  • It could help the country grow in the long run.

Strategic Disinvestment, Disinvestment & Privatisation

  • Strategic Disinvestment: It means that the government has to sell up to 50% of its shares in a CPSE, or a higher percentage that the competent authority decides, and management control has to change hands.
  •  In disinvestment, the government sells a small part of a public business to another company but still owns the business.
  • In a Strategic disinvestment/sale, the government sells the majority of its shares in a business and also gives up ownership of the business.
  • Majority Disinvestment: It refers to complete privatisation wherein 100 percent control goes to the private sector.
  • Minority Disinvestment: The government retains a majority in the company, typically greater than 51%, thus ensuring management control.
  • Privatisation: The government whenever it so desires, may sell a whole enterprise or a majority stake in it to private investors. This is known as privatisation where the resulting ownership and control of an organisation does not rest with the government.

Timeline of Disinvestment

  •  After India got its independence, the government passed the Constitution (First Amendment) Act in 1951. This made it common for the government to take private companies over and run them as a public service.
  • This led to the Air Corporations Act of 1953, the Life Insurance Corporation Act of 1956, and the Banking Companies (Acquisition and Transfer of Undertakings) Act of 1970, among other laws, which took over airlines, insurance companies, and banking systems.
  •  After the LPG reforms of 1991, the way people thought about the public and private sectors changed. In 2001, a separate ministry for selling off investments was set up, which gave the policy-making process a boost.
  • The process of disinvestment continued intermittently over the next decade 2004-2014. After 2014, the disinvestment policy was renewed with stake sales in PSEs.
  • Against this backdrop, New Public Sector Enterprise (PSE) Policy for Atmanirbhar Bharat was notified in 2021.

New Public Sector Enterprise Policy (PSE),2021

  • • The goal of the policy is to reduce the amount of government involvement in PSEs in all parts of the economy.
  • The new PSE policy puts public sector commercial enterprises into two groups: strategic and non-strategic.
  • Four broad strategic sectors have been delineated:
    • Atomic Energy, Space and Defense
    • Transport and Telecommunication
    • Power Petroleum, Coal, and other minerals
    • Banking, Insurance, and Financial Services
  • Non-Strategic Sector: In this sector, CPSEs will be privatised, otherwise shall be closed.
  • Moving forward task: To move the policy forward even more quickly, NITI Aayog has been asked to make the next list of Central Public Sector companies that will be taken up for strategic disinvestment.
  • Incentivising states for disinvestment: To give States a reason to sell their shares in their Public Sector Companies, a package of Central Funds will be put together for them.
  • Special purpose vehicle (SPV) for monetising idle land: The SPV will contribute towards Atmanirbhar Bharat by monetising the non-core assets largely consisting of surplus land with the Ministries and PSEs.

Disinvestment in Recent years

  • Different central governments over the last three decades have been able to meet annual disinvestment targets only six times.
  • In 2017-18, the government earned disinvestment receipts of a little over ?1 lakh crore as against a target of ?72,500 crore, and in 2018-19, it brought in ?94,700 crores when the target was set at ?80,000 crores.

• In recent years, its share was sold to another public sector business as part of a plan to get out of some investments.

  • When the Centre went over its goal in 2017-18, it sold Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) to the state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation. This brought in?36,915 crores (ONGC).

• In 2021-22, the Centre failed to reach its high disinvestment goal of?1.75 lakh crore by a large amount. Instead, it only made?13,534 crores from selling off assets.

• In many companies, the Strategic sale was cancelled because there weren’t enough bidders and there were problems with the bidding process. Eg. BPCL and Central electronics.

Source: TH

CAR T-cell Therapy


• Oncologists talk about how CAR T-cell technology can help people with leukaemia and lymphomas get better.

Key Takeaways

  • Leukemia is a type of cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow. Lymphoma, on the other hand, starts in the cells of the immune system’s lymphatic system.
  • At the moment, there are three main ways to treat cancer, which are:
    • Surgery: removing the cancer
    • Radiotherapy: delivering ionising radiation to the tumour
    • Systemic therapy: administering medicines that act on the tumour.

• CAR T-cell therapy is a huge step forward in how these cancers are treated. It uses the patient’s own cells, which are changed in the lab to attack tumours, and is a quantum leap in terms of how well it works.

• Even though the world’s first clinical trial was published 10 years ago, the first therapy made by a country’s own people didn’t happen until 2021 in India.

• Right now, treatment costs a lot, over $1 million in the US. However, India is testing CAR T-cells that are made there for a lower price.

• Experts from the U.S. say that India is likely to face a “tsunami” of long-term diseases like cancer.

What is CAR T-cell Therapy?

  • About: Systemic therapy primarily includes:
    • Chemotherapy: preferentially acts on cancer cells but has modest response rates and significant side-effects
    • Targeted agents (immunotherapy): drugs bind to specific targets on cancer cells, has fewer side-effects but is effective only against certain tumours
  • Unlike chemotherapy or immunotherapy, which require mass-produced injectable or oral medication, CAR T-cell therapies use a patient’s own cells to attack tumours.

• In this therapy, modified cells are put back into the patient’s bloodstream to turn on their immune system against cancer. This makes the therapy, also called “living drugs,” more effective in the clinic.

Advantages of CAR T-cell therapy

  • Personalized Medicine: CAR T-cell therapy is a personalised way to treat cancer because the CAR T cells are made from the patient’s own immune cells.
  • High Efficacy: Clinical trials have shown that CAR T-cell therapy can be highly effective in treating certain types of cancer, particularly blood cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma.
  • Long-lasting response: The CAR T cells can persist in the body for a long time, providing long-lasting immunity against cancer cells.
  • Minimal side effects: Compared to traditional chemotherapy and radiation treatments, CAR T-cell therapy has fewer side effects.
  • Improved Quality of Life: Patients who receive CAR T-cell therapy may experience an improved quality of life, with less fatigue and fewer side effects than traditional cancer treatments.
  • Targeted Therapy: It is a targeted form of therapy, meaning it only attacks cancer cells, reducing the risk of damage to healthy cells and tissues.
  • Non-invasive: Unlike traditional cancer treatments, CAR T-cell therapy is a non-invasive procedure, with the CAR T cells being infused into the patient’s bloodstream.
  • Potential for cure: It has the potential to cure cancer, particularly in patients with otherwise untreatable diseases.

Challenges in India

  • Complexity of preparation: CAR T-cell therapy is hard to give because it needs both technical and human resources.
  • Cost: Treatments in the US can cost over a million dollars, making it unaffordable for many patients.
  • Availability: The complexity of preparation has been a major barrier to widespread use, with the first clinical trial showing its effectiveness only a decade ago.
  • Value and access: In India, introducing the therapy faces challenges related to cost and access, with critics arguing that it may not be appropriate or affordable even if made cheaper.
  • Side-effects: CAR T-cell therapy can have serious side effects, like cytokine release syndrome (widespread immune system activation) and neurological symptoms.
  • Response rate: The response rate of CAR T-cell therapy can be variable, with efficacy as high as 90% in some leukaemias and lymphomas but significantly lower in other types of cancers.
Important types of cell therapies
  • CAR T-cell therapy: This is a type of immunotherapy in which a patient’s T cells are changed genetically so that they show a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) on the outside. The CAR helps the T cells find cancer cells and attack them.
  • Stem cell therapy: This type of therapy involves the transplantation of stem cells to replace damaged or diseased cells. Stem cells have the ability to differentiate into various types of cells, including blood cells, nerve cells, and muscle cells, and can help repair damaged tissue.
  • Dendritic cell therapy: This type of therapy involves the use of dendritic cells, which are immune cells that help to coordinate the immune response against cancer.
  • T-cell therapy: T-cell therapy can involve the activation, expansion, and infusion of T cells with the goal of boosting a patient’s immune response against cancer.
  • Natural Killer cell therapy: This type of therapy involves the infusion of natural killer (NK) cells, which are a type of immune cell that can directly target and kill cancer cells.
  • Mesenchymal stem cell therapy: This type of therapy involves the use of mesenchymal stem cells, which are a type of stem cell that can differentiate into various types of cells, including bone, cartilage, and muscle cells.
  • iPS cell therapy: This type of therapy involves the use of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), which are adult cells that have been reprogrammed to an embryonic stem cell-like state.

Source: TH

Gaganyaan: Human Spaceflight Mission

In News

• The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and the Indian Navy recently put the Gaganyaan through a test.

More about the mission

  • About:
  • ISRO and the Indian Navy have done the Crew Module’s first recovery tests at the Navy’s Water Survival Test Facility (WSTF) in Kochi.
  • The tests were done to get ready for the Gaganyaan mission’s crew module recovery operations, which will take place in Indian waters with the help of Indian Government agencies.
  •  The Indian Navy is in charge of all the recovery efforts as a whole.
  • Significance of the trial:
    • Need of recovery:
    • ISRO says that the safe return of the crew is the most important thing to do because it is the last step in a successful human spaceflight. It also says that it must be done as quickly as possible.
    • Feedback operation:
      • These trials assist in validating the SoP, and training recovery teams as well as the flight crew. 
      • They provide valuable inputs for the utilization of recovery accessories. 
      • The feedback from the recovery team/trainers helps improve the recovery operations SoP, design various recovery accessories, and finalize the training plan
Navy’s Water Survival Test Facility (WSTF)

  • • The WSTF in Kochi is a state-of-the-art facility of the Indian Navy that trains aircrew in realistic ways to get out of a crashed plane in a variety of simulated situations.
  • • WSTF simulates different weather conditions, sea states, and day/night cycles.

Gaganyaan Mission

  • About:
    • The Gaganyaan project envisages demonstration of human spaceflight capability by launching a crew of three members to an orbit of 400 km for a three day mission and bringing them back safely to earth, by landing in Indian sea waters.
    • The first trial (uncrewed flight) for Gaganyaan is being planned by the end of 2023 or early 2024. This will be followed by sending Vyom Mitra, a humanoid and then with the crew onboard.
  • ISRO’s first human spaceflight mission:
    • This manned mission will be the first of ISRO’s human spaceflight missions.
      • The US, Russia and China are the only three countries to have conducted human spaceflights yet.
  • Launched by: 
  • ISRO’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle GSLV Mk III (3 stages heavy-lift vehicle).

Significance of the Gaganyaan mission

  • India’s aim of Self-reliance:
    • It will help India become self-sufficient, which is the goal of Atma Nirbhar Bharat, and it will also help the Make in India Initiative build up the country’s ability to launch satellites
    • .It will reduce India’s dependence on foreign cooperation in this direction.
  • R&D and robotic programme:
    • It will also enhance the research and development (R&D) at science and technology levels especially in the space sector.
    • It is in line with India’s progress towards a sustained and affordable human and robotic programme to explore the solar system and beyond.
  • Focus on regional needs:
    • Gaganyaan will focus on regional needs because one International Space Station (ISS) may not be enough to cater to global requirements.
  • Strengthening international partnerships:

o The programme will make international relationships and global security stronger by getting people to work together on challenging but peaceful goals.


  • Environmental Hazards: 
    • Hostile space environment with a lack of gravity and atmosphere and danger of radiation.
  • Astronauts may have medical issues due to:
    • Microgravity: 
      • Transition from one gravity field to another affects hand-eye and head-eye coordination leading to orientation-loss, vision, muscle strength, aerobic capacity, etc.
    • Isolation: 
      • Behavioural issues are likely to crop up when astronauts are confined into small spaces and have to rely on limited resources. 
      • They may encounter depression, cabin fever, fatigue, sleep disorder and other psychiatric disorders.
  • Artificial Atmosphere: 
  •  There are two ways to make an artificial atmosphere: with a mix of oxygen and inert gas that is similar to Earth’s, or with pure oxygen.
  • An atmosphere of pure or concentrated oxygen is dangerous and could start a fire, especially on the ground.
  • Aerospace Technology Challenges:
    • Space flight requires much higher velocities than air transportation. Travelling in a rocket is like sitting on an exploding bomb with a speed increasing from 0 to over 25,000 km per hour in a few minutes. 
    • Anything may go wrong during the launch and pre and post phases, including the explosion of the rocket.

Suggestions & way ahead

• An Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) that works well is needed to provide the essentials, keep the environment in a good state, and deal with waste.

• After tests on the ground, tests will have to be done in space orbit, simulating no gravity and a deep vacuum.

• Safety features must be built into the launch escape system to keep people from getting hurt and let people know if anything is wrong.

• The crew and the team in charge of mission control need a lot of training to get ready. They also need to learn how to use the interfaces between people and machines in the crew module and how to do different safety drills.

Source: TH

Grishneshwar Temple

In Context

• Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently went to the 12th Jyotirlinga in the country, the historic Grishneshwar temple.

Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga Temple 

  • About:
  •  The Shiva Purana talks about the Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga Temple, which is also called the Ghushmeshwar Temple. It is one of the shrines to Lord Shiva.
  • “Lord of Compassion” is what the word “Ghrneshwara” means.
  • Many Hindu gods and goddesses are carved and sculpted inside the temple.
  • It is an important pilgrimage site in the Shaiva tradition of Hinduism, which sees it as the twelfth Jyotirlinga (linga of light).
  • The state of Maharashtra is where it is. This pilgrimage site is in Ellora, which is also known as Verul. It is less than a kilometre from the UNESCO World Heritage Site Ellora Caves.
  • Historical background:
    • The temple structure was destroyed by the Delhi Sultanate in the 13th and 14th-century. 
    • It went through several rounds of rebuilding followed by re-destruction during the Mughal-Maratha conflict.
    •  It was rebuilt in the current form in the 18th century by Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore, after the fall of the Mughal Empire.
    • Architectural Design:
      • The Grishneshwar temple is an illustration of maratha temple architectural style and structure. 
      • It is built of red rocks and is composed of a five-tier shikara. 
      • This 240 ft x 185 ft temple is the smallest Jyotirlinga temple in India. 
      • A court hall is built on 24 pillars.
      • The Garbhagriha measures 17 ft x 17 ft. 
      • There is a Nandi bull in the court hall. 


Vivad Se Vishwas-2 Scheme

In News

• The Ministry of Finance has sent out Vivad se Vishwas 2, a draught plan for a one-time settlement of contractual disputes where an arbitral award is being questioned.

Arbitration is a way for people to settle their disagreements without having to go to court.


  • To settle long-pending litigation in cases where an arbitration order has been challenged in any Indian court.
  • The goal of the Union government is to settle about 500 cases that involve about Rs 1 trillion in funds.
  • Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), which are owned by the government, have many disagreements with private contractors.
  • These kinds of things not only discourage new investments, but they also make it harder to do business with the government.

Vivad Se Vishwas Scheme-2

  • Aim: To make it easier for businesses to do business and to handle disputes until September 30, 2022.
  • On whom Scheme will apply: The Scheme will apply to disputes where one of the parties is either the Government of India or its bodies like public sector banks, public sector financial institutions, central public sector enterprises, Union territories, National Capital Territory of Delhi. 
  • o It will also cover organisations like Metro Corporation in which the central government owns 50% of the shares.
  •  Disputes in which claims are made against procuring entities and another party, like the State Government or a private party, will not be covered by the scheme.
  • It is planned that Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) will be able to submit claims under the scheme.
    • Disputes covered: It is planned that the Scheme will only cover domestic arbitration, not international arbitration.
    • Settlement of disputed tax, disputed interests, disputed penalty or disputed fees in relation to an assessment or reassessment order on payment of 100% of the disputed tax and 25% of the disputed penalty or interest or fee.
  • Opting out of the scheme: Bodies can leave the Scheme if they want to, as long as the Board of Directors agrees.
  • Implementation: The plan will be carried out with the help of the Government e-Marketplace (GeM), which will let people do these things online.
  •  Significance: The scheme will boost developer and investor confidence, and will free up financial resources locked in disputes.
Vivad Se Vishwas scheme 

  •  The Vivad Se Vishwas programme was announced in the Union Budget for 2020 as a way to reduce the number of lawsuits that are already going on about direct taxation.
  •  About 150,000 cases were settled, and about 54% of the money that was being fought over was paid back. The plan was in place from March 2020 to March 31, 2021.