North-East India – Security and Developmental Issues

Brus’ resettlement in Tripura


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Bru Tribals

Mains level : Bru-Reang Repatriation Agreement

People erupted in violent protests against the planned resettlement of thousands of Bru migrants permanently at Kanchanpur sub-division of North Tripura.

Try this PYQ:


Q. With reference to ‘Changpa’ community of India, consider the following statement:

  1. They live mainly in the State of Uttarakhand.
  2. They rear the Pashmina goats that yield fine wool.
  3. They are kept in the category of Scheduled Tribes.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct? (CSP 2014)

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Who are the Brus?

  • Reangs or Brus are the second largest ethnic group in Mizoram.
  • Their exodus in 1997 was spurred by violent clashes in Mamith subdivision, a Reang-dominated area when they demanded the creation of an autonomous council that was vehemently opposed by Mizo groups.
  • Around 34,000 people were forced to live in sub-human conditions in tents in Tripura. No solution could be reached all these years.
  • These people were housed in temporary camps at Kanchanpur, in North Tripura.

Why have there been violent protests?

  • Twenty-three years after ethnic clashes in Mizoram forced 37,000 people of the Bru (or Reang) community to flee their homes to neighbouring Tripura.
  • The news was not welcomed by the Bengali and Mizo communities in Tripura.
  • They fear a demographic imbalance, which would exert pressure on local resources and potentially lead to law and order problems.

Also read

[Burning Issue] Bru– Reang Repatriation Agreement

Punjab’s claim over Chandigarh


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Chandigarh

Mains level : Interstate boundary disputes in India

Earlier this month, Haryana Dy. CM said it would be better if both Haryana and Punjab agreed on Chandigarh as a Union Territory and make their independent capitals and Benches of High Courts.

Try answering this

Q.The linguistic re-organization of Indian states in the post-Independence period has prevented its balkanization, unlike our neighbourhood. Comment.

Why was Chandigarh created?

  • Chandigarh was planned to replace Lahore, the capital of erstwhile Punjab, which became part of Pakistan during the Partition.
  • In March 1948, the Government of (India’s) Punjab, in consultation with the Centre, approved the area of the foothills of the Shivaliks as the site for the new capital.
  • From 1952 to 1966 (till Haryana was carved out of Punjab), Chandigarh remained the capital of Punjab.

How did it become a shared capital?

  • At the time of reorganization of Punjab in 1966, the city assumed the unique distinction of being the capital of both Punjab and Haryana.
  • Even as it was declared a union territory and was placed under the direct control of the Centre.
  • The properties in Chandigarh were to be divided into 60:40 ratio in favour of Punjab.

Punjab’s claim

  • The-then PM Indira Gandhi had announced that Haryana, in due course, would have its own capital and Chandigarh would go to Punjab.
  • As per documents submitted in the Lok Sabha, the Centre had even issued a formal communication is this regard on January 29, 1970, almost three years after Haryana came into being.
  • Again, in 1985, under the Rajiv-Longowal accord, Chandigarh was to be handed over to Punjab on January 26, 1986, but the Rajiv Gandhi government withdrew at the last minute.

Haryana’s counter-claim

  • As per the 1970 documents, the Centre had considered various alternatives for settling the matter, including dividing the city.
  • But that wasn’t feasible since Chandigarh was built as a planned city to serve as the capital of one state.
  • Haryana was told to use the office and residential accommodation in Chandigarh only for five years till it shifts to its own new capital.
  • The Centre had offered Rs 10 crore grant to Haryana and an equal amount of loan for setting up the new capital.
  • In 2018, Haryana CM suggested setting up a special body for the development of Chandigarh, but the Punjab CM rejected it, saying the city “indisputably belonged to Punjab”.

Forest Conservation Efforts – NFP, Western Ghats, etc.

What are Deemed Forests?


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Deemed forest

Mains level : Forest conservation in India

Karnataka Forest Minister has announced that the state government would soon declassify 6.64 lakh hectares of the 9.94 lakh hectares of deemed forests in the state (nearly 67%) and hand it over to Revenue authorities.

Try this PYQ:

Q. In India, in which one of the following types of forests is teak a dominant tree species?

(a) Tropical moist deciduous forest

(b) Tropical rain forest

(c) Tropical thorn scrub forest

(d) Temperate forest with grasslands

What are Deemed Forests?

  • The concept of deemed forests has not been clearly defined in any law including the Forest Conservation Act of 1980.
  • However, the Supreme Court in the case of T N Godavarman Thirumalpad (1996) accepted a wide definition of forests under the Act.
  • It covered all statutorily recognised forests, whether designated as reserved, protected or otherwise for the purpose of Section 2 (1) of the Forest Conservation Act.
  • The term ‘forest land’ occurring in Section 2 will not only include ‘forest’ as understood in the dictionary sense but also any areas recorded as forest in the government record irrespective of the owners said the court.

Why it is in news?

  • The issue of deemed forests is a contentious one in Karnataka, with legislators across party lines often alleging that large amounts of agriculture and non-forest land are “unscientifically” classified as such.

Demands to reclassify

  • A deemed forest fits “dictionary meaning” of a forest, “irrespective of ownership”.
  • Amidst claims that the move hit farmers, as well as barred large tracts from mining, the state has been arguing that the classification was done without taking into account the needs of people.

Why does the government want to release these forests?

  • In 2014, the then government decided to have a relook at the categorisation of forests.
  • The dictionary definition of forests was applied to identify thickly wooded areas as deemed forests, a well-defined scientific, verifiable criterion was not used, resulting in a subjective classification.
  • The subjective classification in turn resulted in conflicts.
  • Ministers have also argued that land was randomly classified as deemed forest by officials, causing hardship to farmers in some areas.
  • There is also a commercial demand for mining in some regions designated as deemed forests.

Back2Basics: Forest Classification in India

The Forest Survey of India (FSI) classifies forest cover in 4 classes.

  • Very Dense forest: All lands with tree cover (including mangrove cover) of canopy density of 70% and above.
  • Moderately dense forest: All lands with tree cover (including mangrove cover) of canopy density between 40% and 70%.
  • Open forests: All lands with tree cover (including mangrove cover) of canopy density between 10% and 40%.
  • Scrubs: All forest lands with poor tree growth mainly of small or stunted trees having canopy density less than 10%.

North-East India – Security and Developmental Issues

Assam-Mizoram Boundary Dispute


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not Much

Mains level : Special provisions for North-east India

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has asked Assam and Mizoram to maintain peace and display “no aggressive posturing” after violent clashes took place at the border between the two States on Saturday night.

Can you recall the chronology of reorganization of the entire North-East region?

What is the issue?

  • Assam has had a boundary dispute with Mizoram for decades and several rounds of talks have been held since 1994-95 to solve the issue.
  • Till 1972, Mizoram was a part of Assam and acquired full statehood in 1987.
  • The 164.6 km-long border between the States runs along with Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj districts in Assam and Kolasib, Mamit and Aizawl districts in Mizoram.
  • There are several border areas where violence have been reported.

How complex is this dispute?

  • In the Northeast’s complex boundary equations, showdowns between Assam and Mizoram residents are less frequent than they are.
  • The boundary between present-day Assam and Mizoram, 165 km long today, dates back to the colonial era when Mizoram was known as Lushai Hills, a district of Assam.
  • The dispute stems from a notification of 1875 that differentiated Lushai Hills from the plains of Cachar, and another of 1933 that demarcates a boundary between Lushai Hills and Manipur.
  • Mizoram believes the boundary should be demarcated on the basis of the 1875 notification, which is derived from the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation (BEFR) Act, 1873.
  • Mizo leaders have argued in the past argued against the demarcation notified in 1933 because Mizo society was not consulted.

Other boundary disputes in North-East

During British rule, Assam included present-day Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya besides Mizoram, which became separate state one by one. Today, Assam has boundary problems with each of them.

  • Nagaland shares a 500-km boundary with Assam.
  • In two major incidents of violence in 1979 and 1985, at least 100 persons were killed. The boundary dispute is now in the Supreme Court
  • On the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh boundary (over 800 km), clashes were first reported in 1992, according to the same research paper.
  • Since then, there have been several accusations of illegal encroachment from both sides, and intermittent clashes. This boundary issue is being heard by the Supreme Court.
  • The 884-km Assam-Meghalaya boundary, too, witnesses flare-ups frequently. As per Meghalaya government statements, today there are 12 areas of dispute between the two states.

Water Management – Institutional Reforms, Conservation Efforts, etc.

Green-Blue Infrastructure Policy


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Green-Blue Infrastructure

Mains level : Urban water resources management

The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) is holding public consultations for the preparation of the Master Plan for Delhi 2041 with special focus on water bodies and the land.

Try this question:      

Q.Urban water resources management is an uphill task for Indian cities. Discuss.

What is Green-Blue infrastructure?

  • ‘Blue’ infrastructure refers to water bodies like rivers, canals, ponds, wetlands, floodplains, and water treatment facilities; while ‘Green’ stands for trees, lawns, hedgerows, parks, fields, and forests.
  • The concept refers to urban planning where water bodies and land are interdependent, and grow with the help of each other while offering environmental and social benefits.

How does DDA plan to go ahead with it?

  • In the first stage, the DDA plans to deal with the multiplicity of agencies, which because of the special nature of the state, has plagued it for several years.
  • DDA wants the first map out the issues of jurisdiction, work being done by different agencies on drains and the areas around them.
  • Thereafter, a comprehensive policy will be drawn up, which would then act as the common direction for all agencies.

Why such a policy?

  • Delhi has around 50 big drains (blue areas) managed by different agencies, and due to their poor condition and encroachment, the land around (green areas) has also been affected.
  • DDA, along with other agencies, will integrate them and remove all sources of pollution by checking the outfall of untreated wastewater as well as the removal of existing pollutants.
  • A mix of mechanized and natural systems may be adopted, and dumping of solid wastes in any of these sites will be strictly prohibited by local bodies, through the imposition of penalties.

Major features

  • The land around these drains, carrying stormwater, will be declared as special buffer projects.
  • The network of connected green spaces would be developed in the form of green mobility circuits of pedestrian and cycling paths.
  • It will be developed along the drains to serve functional as well as leisure trips.

Challenges ahead

  • The biggest challenge is the multiplicity of agencies.
  • Secondly, cleaning of water bodies and drains has been a challenge for agencies in Delhi for years now.

J&K – The issues around the state

New Official Languages in J&K


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Official languages

Mains level : Not Much

The Union Cabinet has approved a Bill to introduce Hindi, Kashmiri and Dogri as official languages in Jammu and Kashmir, in addition to Urdu and English. As of now, the official language is Urdu and Kashmiri is recognised as a regional language.

Try this PYQ:

Q.Consider the following languages:

  1. Gujarati
  2. Kannada
  3. Telugu

Which of the above has/have been declared as ‘Classical Language/ Languages’ by the Government?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 3 only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Languages in J&K

  • In the undivided Jammu and Kashmir state, various ethnicities spoke Kashmiri, Pahari, Gojri, Ladakhi, Dogri, Balti and Punjabi as their mother tongues.
  • Urdu and Hindi had become a means for inter-community communication.
  • In 1889, Maharaja Pratap Singh, the third ruler of the Hindu Dogra dynasty, replaced Persian with Urdu as the court language.
  • It was an anomaly that the three languages — Dogri, Hindi and Kashmiri — which are spoken by nearly 70 per cent of the population of Jammu and Kashmir were not approved for use in official business.

Official languages in India

  • Article 343 of the Indian constitution stated that the official language of the Union is Hindi in Devanagari script instead of the extant English.
  • Later, a constitutional amendment, The Official Languages Act, 1963, allowed for the continuation of English alongside Hindi in the Indian government indefinitely until legislation decides to change it.
  • The form of numerals to be used for the official purposes of the Union is “the international form of Indian numerals”, which are referred to as Arabic numerals in most English-speaking countries.
  • Despite the misconceptions, Hindi is not the national language of India; the Constitution of India does not give any language the status of the national language.
  • The Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution lists 22 languages, which have been referred to as scheduled languages and given recognition, status and official encouragement.

Other classical languages

  • In addition, the Government of India has awarded the distinction of classical language to Kannada, Malayalam, Odia, Sanskrit, Tamil and Telugu.
  • Classical language status is given to languages which have a rich heritage and independent nature.

North-East India – Security and Developmental Issues

Sixth Schedule of Indian Constitution


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Sixth Schedule

Mains level : Special provisions for North-east India

The revival of the demand for two autonomous councils has made political parties and community-based groups call for bringing the entire Arunachal Pradesh under the ambit of the Sixth Schedule or Article 371 (A) of the Constitution.

Try this question from CSP 2015:

Q.The provisions in Fifth Schedule and Sixth Schedule in the Constitution of India are made in order to-

(a) protect the interests of Scheduled Tribes

(b) determine the boundaries between States

(c) determine the powers, authority and responsibilities of Panchayats

(d) protect the interests of all the border States

What is the Sixth Schedule?

  • The Sixth Schedule consists of provisions for the administration of tribal areas in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram, according to Article 244 of the Indian Constitution.
  • Passed by the Constituent Assembly in 1949, it seeks to safeguard the rights of the tribal population through the formation of Autonomous District Councils (ADC).
  • ADCs are bodies representing a district to which the Constitution has given varying degrees of autonomy within the state legislature.
  • The governors of these states are empowered to reorganize boundaries of the tribal areas.
  • In simpler terms, she or he can choose to include or exclude any area, increase or decrease the boundaries and unite two or more autonomous districts into one.
  • They can also alter or change the names of autonomous regions without separate legislation.

Autonomous districts and regional councils

  • The ADCs are empowered with civil and judicial powers can constitute village courts within their jurisdiction to hear the trial of cases involving the tribes.
  • Governors of states that fall under the Sixth Schedule specify the jurisdiction of high courts for each of these cases.
  • Along with ADCs, the Sixth Schedule also provides for separate Regional Councils for each area constituted as an autonomous region.
  • In all, there are 10 areas in the Northeast that are registered as autonomous districts – three in Assam, Meghalaya and Mizoram and one in Tripura.
  • These regions are named as district council of (name of district) and regional council of (name of region).
  • Each autonomous district and regional council consists of not more than 30 members, of which four are nominated by the governor and the rest via elections. All of them remain in power for a term of five years.


Try this question from AWE Initiative:

The Sixth Schedule of the Constitution is often referred to as a charter for autonomy of a wide magnitude, but it has failed to decrease the tension between different stakeholders at the ground level. Elaborate. (150 W/ 10 M)

Aadhaar Card Issues

What is Parivar Pehchan Patra (PPP)?


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : PPP

Mains level : Aadhaar and its limitations

Haryana CM Manohar Khattar has distributed ‘Parivar Pehchan Patra’ to the eligible families and announced that welfare schemes of all departments would be linked with the PPP within the next three months.

Practice question for mains:

Q.What is Parivar Pehchan Patra (PPP) recently rolled out by Haryana Govt.? How it is beneficial compared to the Aadhaar?

What is Parivar Pehchan Patra (PPP)?

  • It is an 8-digit Unique Identity Card number meant for each family to enable smooth and automatic delivery of several citizen-centric services.
  • The government will establish the scheme-wise eligibility of a particular family using this 8-digit code according to the information available in the PPP of the family.
  • The benefits, according to the schemes, shall automatically be transferred to the family using the same code.
  • PPP will ensure that not a single beneficiary is left out from the government benefits that they are entitled to.

How is PPP different from the Aadhaar card?

  • The PPP, mathematically, is an integral number of Aadhaar.
  • While Aadhaar represents an individual as a unit, a PPP represents a family as a unit. Most of our government schemes are structured around the family.
  • It is not structured around an individual.
  • For example, ration eligibility is there for the family but the family can split it into various members as long as they are above 18 years and say they are separating entitlements for all individuals.

Will it be mandatory for every family of Haryana to get PPP?

  • No, it will not be mandatory for every family of the state to obtain a PPP.
  • But, PPP is mandatory for families availing benefits under government schemes.
  • Also, whenever a family wants to avail any government scheme, it will have to first get a PPP to be eligible.

The logic behind

  • Haryana officials said although there is a union government’s Aadhaar card, it contains individual’s details and does not cater to the entire family as a unit.
  • In certain circumstances, it may not be possible for a state government to keep track of all the families residing in the state.
  • Although the ration card system is there, it is not updated and does not contain adequate family records.
  • With the PPP, it will be easier for the state government to maintain a complete database of all the state dwellers.

How would it work?

  • To begin with, the government has already linked PPP with three social security schemes – old age Samman allowance, divyang pension, and the widow and destitute women pension scheme.
  • For instance, when a family member turns 60, they will automatically get a message through the software and will automatically start getting benefits of the old-age pension if they meet the required criteria.
  • Similarly, the teenagers will get messages on turning 18 years old and shall become eligible for various government schemes that will be notified to them through the software.

Forest Conservation Efforts – NFP, Western Ghats, etc.

How aerial seeding is helping plantation in hard-to-access Aravalli regions?


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Aravalli Range

Mains level : Various afforestation measures

The Haryana Forest Department has started aerial seeding across the state on a pilot basis with special focus on the Aravalli region.

Do you know?

The Aravalli range is considered the “lungs” of the polluted National Capital Region.

What is Aerial Seeding?

  • Aerial seeding is a technique of plantation wherein seed balls – seeds covered with a mixture of clay, compost, char and other components.
  • They are sprayed on the ground using aerial devices, including planes, helicopters or drones.

How does this technique work?

  • Seeds balls or seed pellets are dispersed in a targeted area by the low-flying drones, falling to the ground with the help of the coating of clay, compost, char and other material.
  • Coating provides the required weight for seeds to drop on a predetermined location rather than disperse in the wind.
  • These pellets will then sprout when there is enough rain, with the nutrients present within them helping in the initial growth.

Why Aravallis?

  • Aravallis these days is severely inundated due to heavy mining and has undergone rapid development and construction activities.

What are the advantages of this technique?

  • Areas that are inaccessible, have steep slopes, are fragmented or disconnected with no forest routes, making conventional plantation difficult, can be targeted with aerial seeding.
  • Furthermore, the process of the seed’s germination and growth is such that it requires no attention after it is dispersed – the reason why seed pellets are known as the “fire and forget” way of the plantation.
  • They eliminate the need for ploughing and digging holes in the soil and the seeds do not need to be planted, since they are already surrounded by soil, nutrients, and microorganisms.
  • The clay shell of these pellets along with the other items in the mixture also protects them from birds, ants and rats.

What kind of species can be dispersed using aerial seeding?

  • The species selected have to be native to the area and hardy, with seeds that are of an appropriate size for preparing seedballs and have to have a higher survival percentage.
  • It is critical that the timing of the seeding be correct in order for the plantation to be successful.

Can this replace conventional plantation methods?

  • Seeding should be done only on a pilot basis to evaluate the effectiveness of the technology and the dispersal mechanism.
  • Conventional methods of afforestation cannot be replaced but supplemented with areal seeding.
  • In this case, the technique will allow plantation in sections of the Aravallis that are either difficult to access or inaccessible altogether.

Back2Basics: Aravalli Range

  • The Aravalli Range is a mountain range running approximately 692 km in a south-west direction, starting near Delhi, passing through southern Haryana and Rajasthan, and ending in Gujarat.
  • The highest peak is Guru Shikhar at 1,722 metres (5,650 ft).
  • The Aravalli Range, an eroded stub of ancient mountains, is the oldest range of Fold Mountains in India.
  • The natural history of the Aravalli Range dates back to times when the Indian Plate was separated from the Eurasian Plate by an ocean.
  • Aravalli, being the old fold mountains, have stopped growing higher due to the cessation of upward thrust caused by the stopping of movement of the tectonic plates in the Earth’s crust below them.
  • In ancient times, Aravalli was extremely high but since have worn down almost completely by millions of years of weathering, whereas the Himalayas being young fold mountains are still continuously rising.

Tribes in News

Who are the Tangams?


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Tangam tribe

Mains level : Tribal issues in the NE

Last week Arunachal CM released a book titled “Tangams: An Ethnolinguistic Study Of The Critically Endangered Group of Arunachal Pradesh”.

Try this question from CSP 2019:

Q.Consider the following statements about Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) in India:

  1. PVTGs reside in 18 States and one Union Territory.
  2. A stagnant or declining population is one of the criteria for determining PVTG status.
  3. There are 95 PVTGs officially notified in the country so far.
  4. Irular and Konda Reddi tribes are included in the list of PVTGs.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

(a) 1, 2 and 3

(b) 2, 3 and 4

(c) 1, 2 and 4

(d) 1, 3 and 4

Who are the Tangams?

  • The Tangams is a little-known community within the larger Adi tribe of Arunachal Pradesh and resides in the hamlet of Kugging in Upper Siang district’s Paindem circle.
  • In 1975, the community’s population was pegged at 2,000 spread across 25 villages.
  • From 2016 to 2020, a team from the Centre for Endangered Languages (CFEL) of Rajiv Gandhi University (RGU), carried out extensive field research and documented the community.
  • Their survey revealed that Tangams were now concentrated in only one village (Kugging), with only 253 reported speakers.
  • As per the UNESCO World Atlas of Endangered Languages (2009), Tangam — an oral language that belongs to the Tani group, under the greater Tibeto-Burman language family — is marked ‘critically endangered’.

Why are there only a few speakers?

  • Kugging is surrounded by a number of villages inhabited by Adi subgroups such as Shimong, Minyongs, as well as the Buddhist tribal community of Khambas, among others.
  • To communicate with their neighbours over the years, the Tangams have become multilingual, speaking not just Tangam, but other tongues such as Shimong, Khamba and Hindi.
  • They rarely speak their own language now since their population is restricted to a single village. Moreover, the Tangams are relatively unknown — even within their state.
  • The village lacks proper infrastructure in all basic sectors of education, health, drinking water facilities, road and electricity. Roads have reached Kugging only in 2018.
  • Not a single person from the community has gone to university.

Why are the languages at risk?

  • The diversity of languages has led various communities to depend on English, Assamese and colloquial variety of Hindi called Arunachalee Hindi as the link languages.
  • Many believe this shift has led to the loss of native languages of the tribal communities.
  • Even the numerically larger tribes like Nyishi, Galo, Mishmi, Tangsa etc. whose population exceed the ten thousand mark are also not safe from endangerment, hence marked unsafe.
  • The younger generation of these tribes especially in the urban areas has mostly discarded the use of their mother tongue.

North-East India – Security and Developmental Issues

Article 371A and Nagaland


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Article 370 and 371

Mains level : Naga Peace Accord and its outcomes

In a scathing letter to CM, Nagaland Governor has said the “scenario in the State is grim” and that “law and order has collapsed”.

Practice question for mains:

Q.Discuss the success of Naga Peace Accord in light of the ongoing law and order crisis in the state.

Nagaland (Article 371A, 13th Amendment Act, 1962)

  • Parliament cannot legislate in matters of Naga religion or social practices, the Naga customary law and procedure, administration of civil and criminal justice involving decisions according to Naga customary law.
  • Parliament also cannot intervene in ownership and transfer of land and its resources, without the concurrence of the Legislative Assembly of the state.
  • This provision was inserted in the Constitution after a 16-point agreement between the Centre and the Naga People’s Convention in 1960, which led to the creation of Nagaland in 1963.
  • Also, there is a provision for a 35-member Regional Council for Tuensang district, which elects the Tuensang members in the Assembly.
  • A member from the Tuensang district is Minister for Tuensang Affairs. The Governor has the final say on all Tuensang-related matters.

What is the issue?

  • Challenging the legitimacy of the government without any resistance from the State law and order machinery has created a crisis of confidence in the system.
  • The constitutional establishment is being challenged on a day-to-day basis by armed gangs who question the integrity and sovereignty of the nation.
  • The instruments of law and order have remained totally unresponsive.

Armed militancy is back again

  • Their armed miscreants appoint their own dealers for every commodity from salt to construction material coming into the State and levy illegal taxes on every item.
  • There is over 200% cost escalation in transportation the moment a goods laden truck enters Nagaland due to gunpoint extortions by the armed miscreants.

History- Important places, persons in news

Sukapha: The founder of Ahom kingdom


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Ahom Kingdom

Mains level : Not Much

Recently, Assam CM ordered the arrest of a political commentator who had described Chaolung Sukapha as a “Chinese invader”.

Practice question for mains:

Q. Who are the Ahoms? Describe the role of Ahom Kingdom in cultural assimilation of modern-day Assam.

Who was Chaolung Sukapha?

  • Sukapha was a 13th-century ruler who founded the Ahom kingdom that ruled Assam for six centuries. Contemporary scholars trace his roots to Burma.
  • He reached Brahmaputra valley in Assam from upper Burma in the 13th century with around 9,000 followers.
  • Sukapha is said to have left a place called Maulung ( in Yunnan, China ) in AD 1215 with eight nobles and 9,000 men, women and children — mostly men.
  • In 1235, Sukapha and his people settled in Charaideo in upper Assam after wandering about for years, defeating those who protested his advance and temporarily staying at different locations.
  • It was in Charaideo (in Assam) that Sukapha established his first small principality, sowing the seeds of further expansion of the Ahom kingdom.

Who are the Ahoms today?

  • The founders of the Ahom kingdom had their own language and followed their own religion.
  • Over the centuries, the Ahoms accepted the Hindu religion and the Assamese language, scholars say.
  • The Ahoms embraced the language, religion and rituals of the communities living here — they did not impose theirs on those living here.
  • Today, the Ahom community is estimated to number between 4 million and 5 million.

Why is Sukapha important in Assamese culture?

  • Sukapha’s significance — especially in today’s Assam — lies in his successful efforts towards the assimilation of different communities and tribes.
  • He developed very amicable relationships with the tribal communities living here — especially the Sutias, the Morans and the Kacharis.
  • Intermarriage also increased assimilation processes. He is widely referred to as the architect of “Bor Asom” or “greater Assam”.

Interstate River Water Dispute

Vamsadhara River Water Dispute


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Vamsadhara River, Inter-state water dispute

Mains level : Inter-state water dispute

Andhra Pradesh  and Odisha CM recently held talks to iron out all differences with regard to the sharing of Vamsadhara River waters.

Note all major rivers over which inter-state disputes exist say Narmada, Mahadayi, Cauvery, Krishna, etc. Observe their flow and the area swept.

Also, refer your atlas to check the complicated border sharings between Chhatisgarh, AP/Telangana and Odisha.

Vamsadhara River

  • River Vamsadhara is an important east-flowing river between Rushikulya and Godavari, in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.
  • The river originates in the border of Thuamul Rampur in the Kalahandi district and Kalyansinghpur in Rayagada district of Odisha.
  • It runs for a distance of about 254 kilometres, where it joins the Bay of Bengal at Kalingapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.
  • The total catchment area of the river basin is about 10,830 square kilometres.

The dispute

  • Andhra Pradesh wants to build the Neradi bridge across the river which will be possible only after Odisha’s consent.
  • Odisha argues that the flood flow canal would result in drying up the existing river bed and consequent shifting of the river affecting the groundwater table.
  • Odisha also raised the issue of scientific assessment of available water in Vamsadhara at Katragada and Gotta Barrage, Andhra Pradesh and the basis for sharing the available water.

Back2Basics: Interstate River Water Disputes

  • River waters use/harnessing is included in states jurisdiction. However, article 262 of the Constitution provides for the adjudication of inter-state water disputes.
  • Under this, Parliament may by law provide for the adjudication of any dispute or complaint with respect to the use, distribution and control of waters of any inter-state river and river valley.
  • The President of India may also establish an interstate council as per Article 263 to inquire and recommend on the dispute that has arisen between the states
  • The Parliament has enacted the two laws, the River Boards Act (1956) and the Inter-State Water Disputes Act (1956).
  • Under this, Parliament may by law provide for the adjudication of any dispute or complaint with respect to the use, distribution and control of waters of any inter-state river and river valley.
  • The Inter-State Water Disputes Act empowers the Central government to set up an ad hoc tribunal for the adjudication of a dispute between two or more states in relation to the waters of an inter-state river or river valley.
  • The award of the tribunal is final and binding on the parties to the dispute.
  • Neither the Supreme Court nor any other court is to have jurisdiction in respect of any water dispute which may be referred to such a tribunal under this Act.

New Species of Plants and Animals Discovered

Species in news: Puntius Sanctus fish


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Puntius Sanctus

Mains level : NA

Velankanni in Tamil Nadu has thrown up a new species of small freshwater fish.

Last year one species from our newscard: Species in news: Hump-backed Mahseer made it into the CSP 2019.  The ‘Puntius Sanctus’ fish in the newscard creates such a vibe yet again.

A stand-alone species being mentioned in the news for the first time (and that too from Southern India) find their way into the prelims. Make special note here.

Q. Consider the following pairs

Wildlife Naturally found in
1. Blue-finned Mahseer Cauvery River
2. Irrawaddy Dolphin Chambal River
3. Rusty-spotted Cat Eastern Ghats

Which of the pairs given correctly matched? (CSP 2019)

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Puntius Sanctus

  • The silver-hued fish has been named Puntius Sanctus — ‘Sanctus’ is Latin for holy — after the popular pilgrim town.
  • Encountered in a small waterbody in Venlankanni, Puntius Sanctus is small, it grows to a length of 7 cm.
  • It found to use both as food and as an aquarium draw.
  • “The Puntius species are known locally as ‘Paral’ in Kerala and ‘Kende’ in Tamil Nadu.

Agricultural Sector and Marketing Reforms – eNAM, Model APMC Act, Eco Survey Reco, etc.

Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyaya Yojana in Chhattisgarh


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyaya Yojana

Mains level : Various income support mechanisms for farmer

The Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyaya Yojana has been approved by the Chhattisgarh state govt. on 19th death anniversary of the former Prime Minister, yesterday.

Practice question for Mains:

Q. Various income support mechanisms for farmers are more of a populist measure with no impact on ground zero. Critically examine.

Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyaya Yojana

  • It is a new income support programme under which Farmers in Chhattisgarh would get up to ₹13,000 an acre a year.
  • Rice and maize farmers would get ₹10,000 an acre while sugarcane farmers would get ₹13,000. The money would be distributed in four instalments.
  • In the first instalment, ₹1,500 crores would be distributed among 18 lakh farmers, more than 80% of the small and marginal.
  • The scheme would cover rice, maize and sugarcane farmers to begin with, and would expand to other crops later.

Benefits of the scheme

  • This will help farmers through the agricultural cycle and hopefully help with extension activities.
  • The injection of cash among the rural population would generate a demand that shielded Chhattisgarh from the economic slowdown last year.
  • This will reduce distress migration, and enhance food security for the State.

J&K – The issues around the state

Jammu and Kashmir notifies amended domicile certificate rules


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not Much

Mains level : New domicile rules for Jammu and Kashmir.

The J&K administration has notified the J&K grant of domicile certificate procedure rules 2020 and set a fast track process in motion to issue the certificates within a stipulated time of 15 days.

Practice mains question:

Discuss how the new domicile rules for the UT of Jammu and Kashmir would enable its full integration with the mainstream India.

New domicile rules

  • Domicile certificates have now been made a basic eligibility condition for appointment to any post under the Union Territory of J&K following the amendments in the previous Act.
  • These rules provide a simple time-bound and transparent procedure for issuance of domicile certificates in such a manner that no category of person is put to any inconvenience.
  • There is a timeline of 15 days for issuance of certificates. Under the amended rules, eligible non-locals can also apply for the certificate.
  • To make the process transparent and time-bound, any officer not able to issue the certificate would be penalized ₹50,000. The amount would be recovered from his salary.
  • The new process will allow West Pakistan refugees, safai karamcharis and children of women who married non-locals to apply for jobs here.

Who can avail the domicile certificates?

  • All Permanent Resident Certificate holders and their children living outside J&K can apply for the certificates.
  • Kashmiri migrants living in or outside J&K can get domicile certificates by simply producing their Permanent Residence Certificate (PRC), ration card copy, voter card or any other valid document.
  • A special window is also provided to migrants who have not registered with the Relief and Rehabilitation department.
  • Bonafide migrants can apply with the Relief and Rehabilitation department by providing documents like electoral rolls of 1988, proof of registration as a migrant in any State in the country or any other valid document.

Earlier Criteria for Domiciles

Satisfying any of the criteria mentioned below, a person would be deemed as a domicile of the UT of Jammu and Kashmir:

  • A person who has resided for a period of 15 years in the UT of J&K or
  • A person who has studied for a period of seven years and appeared in Class 10th/12th examination in an educational institution located in the UT of J&K
  • Someone who is registered as a migrant by the Relief and Rehabilitation Commissioner (Migrants)
  • Children of Central government officials, All India Services, PSUs, autonomous body of Centre, Public Sector Banks, officials of statutory bodies, Central Universities, recognised research institutes of Centre who have served in J&K for a total period of 10 years
  • Children of such residents of J&K who reside outside J&K in connection with their employment or business or other professional or vocational reasons but their parents fulfil any of the conditions provided

Job criteria for new domiciles

  • The domiciles will be eligible for the purposes of appointment to any post carrying a pay scale of not more than Level 4.
  • The Level 4 post comprises positions such as gardeners, barbers, office peons and waterman and the highest rank in the category is that of a junior assistant.
  • The reservation for domiciles would not apply to Group A and Group B posts, and like other UTs, recruitment would be done by the UPSC.

Must read:

[Burning Issues] J&K New Domicile Rules

Food Procurement and Distribution – PDS & NFSA, Shanta Kumar Committee, FCI restructuring, Buffer stock, etc.

AMMA Canteen and its success


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Amma Canteen

Mains level : Food subsidization and its impact

The Amma Canteen, a delivery system to provide urban food security in Tamil Nadu, has become an effective mechanism in reaching the needy during the lockdown.

AMMA Canteen

  • Amma Unavagam better known as Amma Canteen is a food subsidization programme run by the Government of Tamil Nadu.
  • Under the scheme, municipal corporations of the state-run canteens serving subsidised food at low prices.
  • The dishes are offered at low prices: ₹1 for an idli, ₹5 for a plate of sambar rice, ₹5 for a plate of “Karuvapellai Satham” (Curry leaves rice) and ₹3 for a plate of curd rice.

Feeding the stranded

  • Migrants usually benefit from this canteen scheme.  It is not uncommon to see policemen, municipal workers and people from the media having their breakfast in these canteens.
  • The system, in short, has ensured urban food security and is a boon to migrants during lockdown. There are, thus, unexpected but pleasant benefits from this scheme.

Reasons for success

  • It is a delivery system with minimum leakages and has reached to its target group very effectively compared to the PDS system.
  • People realized the benefits of the scheme in due course of time and thus it emerged popularly.

A lesson for all

  • Welfare schemes are started with the intention to provide benefits to vulnerable sections of society.
  • The success of any welfare scheme depends on the seriousness of the people at the helm of affairs, the efficiency of the scheme’s functionaries and the involvement of the people.
  • During the process of implementation, some deserving people get excluded from the scheme, while some of those who were undeserving manage to enjoy its benefits.
  • Welfare schemes deliver unexpected but pleasant benefits sometimes.

Way forward

  • For such a welfare scheme to be successful, it must be launched in letter and spirit.
  • The benefits of the schemes cannot be realized at pan India level in the absence of a good delivery system.
  • These states should explore the possibility of utilising available infrastructure in existing private canteens and hotels (closed during lockdown).
  • This measure would not only help migrant workers but also provide employment to workers who remained unemployed since the lockdown came into effect.

J&K – The issues around the state

J&K Reorganization (Adaptation of State Laws) Order, 2020


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not Much

Mains level : Administrative changes in the state

  • The Ministry of Home Affairs has promulgated the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization (Adaptation of State Laws) Order, 2020, which comes into force with immediate effect.
  • Earlier this month order for an adaptation of Central Laws was also promulgated. It ordered application of 37 central laws envisaged in the Concurrent List to the newly formed UT.

About the Order

  • Issued by the Department of J&K and Ladakh Affairs, the Order stems from Section 96 of the J&K Reorganization Act, 2019.
  • The Act was a consequence of the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution of India and it reorganized the State into two UTs.
  • The Order notifies changes in the J&K Civil Services (Decentralization and Recruitment) Act (hereafter, “Civil Services Act”), which defines “domicile” for employment in the region
  • Domicile Criteria
    Under the newly inserted Section 3A of the Civil Services Act which is regarding domicile for purposes of appointment to any service in UT of J&K.A person will have to fulfill the following conditions to be deemed to be a domicile of the UT of J&K:
  • She/he has to have resided for period of 15 years in the UT of J&K or has studied for a period of 7 years and appeared in Class 10th/12th examination in an educational institution located in the UT of J&K; or
    She/he is registered as a migrant by the Relief and Rehabilitation Commissioner (Migrants) in the UT of J&K.
  • Scope of Section 3A
  • Children of those fulfilling the aforementioned conditions are also deemed to be included.
  • Section 3A also goes on to include children of those Central Government Officials, All India Services Officers, Officials of PSUs and Autonomous body of Central Government, PSBs, etc. who have served in J&K for a total period of ten years.
  • Additionally, it includes those children of such residents of UT of J&K who reside outside the UT of J&K in connection with their employment or business or other professional and vocational reasons, but the parents fulfill the conditions provided under Section 3A(1).

Job reservations

  • Section 5A provides for the domicile reservation for the purpose of appointment of any post carrying a pay scale of not more than Level-04 under the UT of J&K or under local or any other (other than cantonment board) within the UT of J&K.
  • Therefore, lowest level of non-gazetted rank jobs would be reserved exclusively for the Jammu and Kashmir domiciles.

Minority Issues – SC, ST, Dalits, OBC, Reservations, etc.

Haryana’s ‘quota within SC quota


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Quota within Quota

Mains level : Making reservation system more efficient

The Haryana Assembly last week passed a Bill to split the 20% quota for Scheduled Castes (SCs) in the state’s higher educational institutions into two, creating a quota within the quota for a new group of “Deprived Scheduled Castes”.

Deprived Scheduled Castes

  • This category has 36 communities including Valmiki, Bazigar, Sansi, Deha, Dhanak, and Sapera.

What does the new law say?

  • Fifty per cent of the 20 per cent seats reserved for SCs for admission in any Government educational institution shall be set aside for candidates belonging to DSCs.
  • Where a seat set aside for candidate from deprived Scheduled Castes is not filled up in any academic year due to non-availability of such candidate; it shall be made available to candidate of Scheduled Castes.

Constitutional Provisions incited

  • Article 15(5) of the Constitution authorizes the State to make special provisions for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for SCs/STs for admission to educational institutions.
  • However Article 15(5) did not mention powers to bifurcate the quota.

Is this sub-quota a new idea?

  • The present Haryana government has replicated the initiative of the state government in 1994.
  • Then government bifurcated the Scheduled Caste quota into two categories: Block A and Block B.

Why such move?

  • The Statement of Objects and Reasons of the Act says that the representation of the SCs now categorised as DSCs” is “only 4.7%, 4.14% and 6.27% in Group A, Group B and Group C services respectively, even though their population is about 11% of the total State population.
  • The population of other SCs in Haryana is also about 11% of the total State population but in respect of representation in Government Services their share is 11%, 11.31% and 11.8% in Group A, B and C, respectively.”
  • The reason for the poor representation of the DSCs in government jobs can be found in their educational qualifications.
  • Thus, even though the “minimum prescribed educational qualification for majority of the posts of Group A, B & C services… is Graduation, the Socio-Economic Caste Census data reveals that in terms of education.
  • Only 3.53% population of the DSCs is Graduate, 3.75% of them are Senior Secondary level and 6.63% are Matric/Secondary level. Also 46.75% of them are illiterate.

Gairsain as new summer capital of Uttarakhand


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Gairsain

Mains level : Two/Three capitals concept



Uttarakhand govt names Gairsain as the new summer capital of the state.


  • Gairsain is situated at the eastern edge of the vast Dudhatoli mountain range, located almost at the centre of the state, at a distance of approximately 250 kilometres from Dehradun.
  • It is easily accessible from both the Garhwal and the Kumaon divisions, and in a way, acts as the bridge between the two regions.
  • Uttarakhand was carved out as a separate state from Uttar Pradesh in 1998.
  • Gairsain was best suited to be the capital of the mountainous state as it was a hilly region falling on the border of Kumaon and Garhwal regions.
  • But it was Dehradun, located in the plains that served as the temporary capital.
  • With the fresh announcement, there is no clarity on either the city’s current status or a new winter capital.
  • The state Assembly is located in Dehradun, but sessions are held in Gairsain as well.