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Jyotiba Mahatma

Tags: GS1, Modern Indian History Personalities

In News

  • Every year April 11 is celebrated as Jyotiba Phule Jayanti.

Jyotiba Phule

  • Jyotirao ‘Jyotiba’ Govindrao Phule was born in the Satara district of Maharashtra in 1827. He was an Indian writer, social activist, thinker, and anti-caste social reformer.
  • In 1888, the Maharashtrian social activist Vithalao Krishnaji Vandekar bestowed upon him the honorific title of Mahatma.
  • He is thought to be the first Hindu to establish an orphanage for disadvantaged children.

Major Contribution for the Women Empowerment

  • Rehabilitation of Widows: Realizing the plight of widows, Jyotiba founded an ashram for young widows and eventually became a proponent of widow remarriage.
  • Infanticide Prevention: His orphanage was founded in an effort to reduce infanticide rates. He founded an infanticide prevention centre with his longtime friend Sadashiv Ballal Govande and Savitribai.
  • In 1848, he opened a school for girls and began educating his wife Savitribai at home.  No educator dared work in a school that admitted untouchables as students.
  • In 1851, Jyotiba founded a school for girls and asked his wife to teach the students. Later, he established two additional schools for girls and an indigenous school for the lower castes,particularly the Mahars and Mangs.

Major Contribution for the Rights of Untouchables

  • Jyotirao condemned the orthodox Brahmins and other upper castes, campaigned against their authoritarianism, and urged the “peasants” and “proletariat” to defy the restrictions imposed on them.
  • In 1868, Jyotirao decided to construct a communal bathing tank in front of his home to demonstrate his inclusive attitude towards all people and his desire to dine with all castes.
  • Jyotirao Phule was the first person to coin the term ‘Dalits’ to refer to everyone the Brahmins considered to be of lower caste and untouchable.
  • Satya Shodhak Samaj: In 1873, Jyotiba Phule founded the Satya Shodhak Samaj (Society of Seekers of Truth), which undertook a systematic deconstruction of existing beliefs and history in order to reconstruct a version that promoted equality.
  • He condemned the ancient Hindu holy scriptures, the Vedas. He traced the history of Brahmanism through several other ancient texts and held the Brahmins accountable for framing the exploitative and inhuman laws in order to maintain their social superiority by suppressing the “shudras” and “ati shudras” in the society. • The Satya Shodhak Samaj aimed to rid society of caste discrimination and liberate the oppressed lower-caste people from the stigmas imposed by the Brahmins.

Famous Works

  • Among his notable works are Gulamgiri (Slavery) and Shetkarayacha Aasud (Cultivator’s Whipcord).
  • He also wrote stories such as “Tritiya Ratna,” “Brahmananche Kasab,” and “Ishara.”
  • He also wrote books for the Satyashodhak Samaj that dealt with the history of Brahminism and outlined Puja protocols that people from lower castes were not permitted to learn.


National or State Party Recognition

Tags: GS 2, Government Policies & Interventions Issues Arising out of their Design & Implementation

In News

  • The Election Commission (EC) recently granted the AAP ‘national party’ status.
  • Additionally, the EC revoked the ‘national party’ status of the All India Trinamool Congress, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), and Communist Party of India (CPI).
  • Additionally, the Commission revoked the state party status of a few other state parties.

What is a National Party?

  • The name implies that a national party is one with a “national” presence, as opposed to a regional party whose presence is limited to a single state or region.
  • The largest parties in India are typically national parties, such as the Congress and the BJP.
  • Nevertheless, some smaller parties are recognised as national parties.
  • Being a national party is sometimes associated with a certain stature, but this does not necessarily equate to a great deal of national political influence.Some parties remain regional despite being dominant in a major state and having a significant impact on national affairs.

Criterion for recognition

  • The ECI has established the technical requirements for a party to be recognised as a national party. • A party’s national party status may be gained or lost depending on its compliance with these requirements.
  • According to the Political Parties and Election Symbols, 2019 handbook from the ECI,

A political party would be considered a national party if:

It is’recognised’ in four or more states; or If its candidates polled at least 6% of total valid votes in any four or more states in the last Lok Sabha or Assembly elections and has at least four MPs in the last Lok Sabha elections; or If it has won at least 2% of the total Lok Sabha seats from at least three states.

To be recognised as a state party, a party needs:

At least 6% vote-share in the last Assembly election and have at least 2 MLAs; or

have 6% vote-share in the last Lok Sabha elections from that state and at least one MP from that state; or

At least 3% of the total number of seats or three seats, whichever is more, in the last Assembly elections; or

At least one MP for every 25 members or any fraction allotted to the state in the Lok Sabha; or

Have at least 8% of the total valid votes in the last Assembly election or Lok Sabha election from the state.

AAP’s current position

  • The AAP is in power with big majorities and very large vote shares
    • In Delhi and Punjab. And in the Goa Assembly elections held in March, it received 6.77% of the vote.
  • State party:
  • This meant that the party had already met the criteria for recognition as a state party in three states prior to the Gujarat-Himachal elections.
  • It needed 6% of the vote in the Assembly elections in either Himachal or Gujarat to be recognised in a fourth state, which would qualify it for recognition as a national party.
How are Political Parties registered?

• Registration of political parties is governed by the Representation of the People Act of 1951.

• According to the European Community, any party seeking registration must submit a request to the Commission within thirty days.

· Powers granted to the EC by Article 324 of the Indian Constitution and Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act of 1951.

· Section 29A of RPA, 1951: Indian Citizen, Election Purpose, and 100 registered voters as its members.

• No procedure exists for the deregistration of inactive political parties.

Benefits of Political Party Registration

• Registration with the EC is voluntary; however, registering has advantages such as:

· A registered political party may utilise the provisions of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (relating to party registration).

· When it comes to the allocation of free symbols, candidates backed by a political party registered with the EC will be given preference over purely independent candidates.

· More importantly, over time, these registered political parties can obtain recognition as a’state party’ or a ‘national party’ if they meet the requirements outlined by the Commission in the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968.

· According to the rules, if a party is recognised as a “state party,” it has the right to allot its reserved symbol exclusively to its candidates in the state in which it is so recognised.

· If a party is recognised as a ‘national party’, it has the right to allot its reserved symbol exclusively to its candidates throughout India.

· In addition, recognised’state’ and ‘national’ parties: require only one proposer for nomination filing; are entitled to two free sets of electoral rolls; and have access to broadcast/television facilities on state-owned Akashvani/Doordarshan during general elections.

· But no travel expenses for star campaigners.


Source: IE

Detention for Prevention

Tags: GS 2, Polity and Governance

In News

  • The Supreme Court observed in a judgment that preventive detention laws in India are a colonial legacy and confer arbitrary power to the state.

Supreme Court’s recent observation 

  • The ruling characterised preventive detention statutes as “extremely potent.”
  • They are able to provide the state with absolute discretion.

Preventive detention

  • It refers to the detention of an individual without a trial. It refers to detention at the discretion of the executive branch.
  • In everyday life, we encounter punitive detention, which seeks to punish a person for what he or she has done following a trial in a court of law for the crime committed.
  • On the other hand, the purpose of preventive detention is to stop a person from doing something, and the detention in this case is based on the belief that the individual will do something detrimental to the security of the State, public order, maintenance of essential supplies and services, defence, foreign affairs, or security of India.
  • The Constitution divides the legislative authority to enact the law of preventive detention between the Union and the State.


  • Preventive detention appears to be an effective government tool for dealing with antisocial elements or subversives.But the government has frequently abused this provision.Such legislation has been abused by both the Central and state governments, with the judiciary unable to effectively limit abuses such as the arbitrary detention of individuals and the failure to follow even the minimal protections provided by Article 22 of the Constitution.


  • Article 22(3) of the Constitution provides for preventive detention laws, while Article 22(4) contains the following safeguards against the misuse of this authority:
  • No preventive detention law may authorise the detention of a person for a period longer than three months. • The 44th Amendment Act of 1978 reduced the period of detention without Advisory Board approval from 3 months to 2 months. However, this provision has not yet been implemented, so the original three-month period remains in effect.
    • The following federal statutes currently in effect permit preventive detention: o The National Security Act of 1980.
  • Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Act (COFFPOSA) of 1974.
  • The 1980 Act for the Prevention of Black Marketing and the Maintenance of Supplies of Essential Commodities.
  • The 1988 Prevention of Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.


  • The court must examine cases arising from such laws with extreme caution and painstaking detail in order to ensure that there are checks and balances on the power of the government.
  • Judges must ensure that the government has complied with all legal procedures prior to exercising preventive detention powers against individuals. • Any procedural error must benefit the detenue.

Source: ET

Fund for UN Democracy

Tags: GS 2, International Organisations & Groupings United Nations, its Bodies & Agencies

In News

  • India, a founding member of UNDEF, has no objections to the Fund awarding grants to NGOs funded by George Soros; however, Soros has been placed on India’s watch list.

UN Democracy Fund (UNDEF)

  • About:
  • In 2005, UN Secretary-General Kofi A. Annan established UNDEF as a United Nations General Trust Fund to support global democratisation efforts.It was endorsed by the General Assembly in the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document.
  • The United Nations Development Fund is entirely supported by voluntary contributions from governments.
  • Functions:
  • UNDEF funds projects that empower civil society, promote human rights, and encourage the participation of all groups in democratic processes.
  • The large majority of UNDEF funds go to local civil society organizations.
  • Composition:
  • The Advisory Board, constituted by the Secretary General, includes eight largest Member State contributors and six other states to reflect diverse geographical representation.
  • India has been a member of the Board since the beginning.
  • Providing Grants:

 Support initiatives ranging from $100,000 to $300,000 in the following areas:

  • Support for Electoral Processes
  • Women’s Empowerment
  • Media and Freedom of Information
  • Rule of Law and Human Rights
  • Strengthening Civil Society Interaction with Government
  • Youth Engagement

India’s Contribution to the Fund

  • India and the United States were instrumental in establishing the UN Democracy Fund in 2005, with India initially contributing $5 million to the fund. Since 2012, India’s contributions to the UNDEF have decreased.

Source: IE

Day of the Homoeopath

Tags: GS 2, Health

In News

  • Homoeopathy Day is observed with the theme Homoeoparivar – Sarvajan Swasthya, One Health, One Family.

About World Homoeopathy Day

  • World Homeopathy Day is observed every year on April 10th.
  • This day is celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of  Samuel Hahnemann, who is the founder of homeopathy.

What is Homoeopathy?

Homeopathy is a medical system based on the belief that the body has the ability to heal itself. It was developed in Germany in the late 1700s.

  • Homoeopathic medicines are prepared from traces of animal, plant, mineral, and other natural substances, utilising a standard technique known as dynamisation or potentisation.

Working Principle

  • It is a therapeutic medical system based on the maxim “Similia Similibus Curentur,” or “Let likes be treated by likes.” It is a method of treatment for curing the patient with medicines that have the ability to produce similar symptoms in a healthy human, simulating the natural disease that they can treat in the diseased individual.

Homoeopathy in India

  • The Indian government has made sustained efforts for the growth and development of homoeopathy and other traditional medical systems, such as Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Sowa Rigpa. (collectively referred to as AYUSH).
  • Homoeopathy was introduced to India when German missionaries and doctors began distributing homoeopathic medicines to locals. In 1839, however, Dr. John Martin Honigberger successfully treated Maharaja Ranjit Singh for Vocal Cord Paralysis, establishing Homoeopathy in India.

Steps taken to promote Homoeopathy system of medicine

  • The Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy (CCRH) is the apex research organisation under the Ministry of AYUSH that coordinates, develops, disseminates, and promotes scientific research in Homoeopathy.
  • National AYUSH Mission (NAM) – Ministry of AYUSH is implementing the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of National AYUSH Mission (NAM) via States / UTs for the promotion and development of AYUSH systems of Medicine, including homoeopathy.
  • National Commission for Homoeopathy, as established by the National Commission for Homoeopathy Act of 2020.
  • Pharmacopoeia Commission for Indian Medicine and Homoeopathy
  • The National Institute of Homoeopathy (NIH) in Kolkata is an Independent Institute within the AYUSH Ministry.

Source: LM

To create a touchless biometric capture system, UIDAI and IIT Bombay

Tags: GS 3, Science & Technology

In News

  • The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and IIT-Bombay have collaborated to create a touchless biometric capture system.
  • Once developed and operational, the touchless biometric capture system will permit fingerprint authentication from home, similar to face authentication.
  • Biometrics is the measurement and statistical analysis of the physical characteristics that are unique to each individual.


Regarding UIDAI

• It is a statutory authority established in 2016 under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) in accordance with the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 (“Aadhaar Act 2016”).

It is responsible for Aadhaar enrolment and authentication, including operation and management of all stages of the Aadhaar life cycle, developing the policy, procedure, and system for issuing Aadhaar numbers to individuals and performing authentication, as well as ensuring the security of identity information and authentication records of individuals.




  • The new system is anticipated to capture multiple fingerprints simultaneously and increase the authentication success rate; it will be an addition to the existing Aadhaar ecosystem facilities.
  • The system will make use of an intelligent combination of signal/image processing and machine learning/deep learning in conjunction with a mobile phone that is readily available to the majority of citizens and provides a positive user experience. This will be a step towards the realisation of Universal authenticator.
  • Through IIT Bombay’s National Centre of Excellence in Technology for Internal Security (NCETIS), UIDAI and IIT Bombay will conduct joint research and development (R&D) to create a system for UIDAI.


  • The NCETIS is a collaborative effort between IIT Bombay and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) as part of its flagship Digital India Programme.The NCETIS aims to develop indigenous technological solutions for Internal Security forces in a variety of Electronic System Design and Manufacturing domains.


2021–2022 State Energy Efficiency Index

Tags: GS 3, Energy Conservation

In News

  • The Ministry of Power has released the State Energy Efficiency Index (SEEI) 2021-22.

More about News

  • The index contains four categories: Front-Runner, Achiever, Contender, and Aspirant.
  • Front-Runner category (over sixty points) It has 5 states – Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Rajasthan and Telangana.
  • Achiever Category (50-60 points) Assam, Haryana, Maharashtra, Punjab.
  • The purpose of the Index is to drive decarbonisation efforts in states and to outline recommendations to assist states in driving change in energy efficiency, which will contribute to the achievement of SDGs and NDC.

About State Energy Efficiency Index

  • The State Energy Efficiency Index (SEEI) 2021-22 is compiled by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) and the Alliance for an Energy-Efficient Economy (AEEE).
  • SEEI is a tool designed to track Energy Efficiency initiatives in the states and UTs. • It provides insights on intervention focus areas with regard to state-level policy adoption,effective implementation, and monitoring.

About  Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE)

  • The Energy Conservation Act of 2001 established the Bureau of Energy Efficiency to aid in the development of policies and strategies that emphasise self-regulation and market principles.The Energy Conservation Act contains regulatory and promotional elements.
  • HQ:New Delhi

Source: PIB


Initiative Cyber Surakshit Bharat

Tags: GS 3, Internal Security

In News

  • Under the Cyber Surakshit Bharat initiative, the National e-Governance Division (NeGD) has organised the 35th Chief Information Security Officers (CISO) Deep-Dive training programme.

What is the Cyber Surakshit Bharat initiative?

  • The Cyber Surakshit Bharat initiative was conceived with the objective of raising awareness about cybercrime and enhancing the capabilities of Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) and frontline IT officials in all government departments.
  • The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) launched it in 2018 in collaboration with the National e-Governance Division (NeGD) and various industry partners in India.The CISO training is the first-of-its-kind Public Private Partnership (PPP) partnership between the government and an industry consortium.


  • To educate and empower chief information security officers (CISO) and the broader IT community to meet the cyber security challenge.
  • Raise awareness of the evolving cyber threat landscape.
  • Demonstrate an in-depth comprehension of key activities, new initiatives, obstacles, and related solutions.
  • Relevant frameworks, guidelines, and policies pertaining to the topic.
  • Disseminate best practises to gain insight from successes and failures.
  • Provide key inputs for making well-informed cyber security decisions in their respective functional areas.

Source: PIB

Rain’s Impact on Wheat Crop

Tags: GS 3, Agriculture

In News

  • Wheat-growing farmers were concerned as a result of an atypical rise in temperature followed by an unseasonable period of widespread precipitation.

Wheat and its cultivation in India 

  • It is the primary cereal crop in India and the Rabi Crop; • It is highly adaptable. It can be cultivated not only in the tropical and subtropical zones, but also in the temperate zone and the cold regions of the far north, up to an altitude of 60 degrees north.
  • It can withstand extreme cold and snow, and will resume growth when spring arrives and temperatures rise.
  • It is planted from October to December and harvested from April to June.
  • Soil: It is cultivated in a range of soil types in India.
  • Clay loam or loam soils with a solid structure and moderate water retention capacity are ideal for wheat cultivation.
  • Wheat-growing states in India: Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, and Gujarat

Impacts and Concerns Related to recent weather events 

  • According to the IMD, fairly widespread rains and stormy winds lashed a number of the nation’s major wheat-growing states as a result of successive western disturbances.
  • During the terminal grain filling and ripening period, wheat is sensitive to both heat stress and rain/thunderstorms.
  • When accompanied by high-velocity winds, wheat stems are prone to “lodging” or bending and even falling to the ground.The scenario of crop damage is also accompanied by persistently high inflation and food security concerns worldwide, as well as geopolitical unpredictability.

Governments View

  • The Centre is optimistic that wheat production would be close to 112 MT on account of an increased acreage (area) of wheat and better yield this season, despite a slight production loss due to recent adverse weather conditions.

Way Ahead 

  • According to a sizeable proportion of farmers, inclement weather has harmed the standing wheat crop. • Furthermore, if the country’s wheat production falls below the government’s estimate, it could lead to an increase in the price of wheat and wheat-based products on the domestic market. • Any decline in wheat production can also pose a threat to foodgrain security.
  • As the government’s top priority would be to maintain a buffer stock, the likelihood of government intervention in the market decreases if production is reduced.

Source: IE