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Registration mandatory for non-resident visitors to Meghalaya

Mains Paper 2 : Federalism |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Act (MRSSA)

Mains level : Citizenship issues in NE India



News

  • In a bid to protect the interest of tribal citizens, the Meghalaya cabinet approved the amendment to an act that seeks mandatory registration of outsiders for entering the State.

Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Act (MRSSA)

  • The State cabinet approved the amended Meghalaya Residents, Safety and Security Act, 2016.
  • Any person who is not a resident of Meghalaya and intend to stay more than 24 hours in the State will have to furnish document to the government.
  • Employees of the Centre, State and District Councils are exempted from the purview of the Act.
  • Any person, who willfully fails to furnish the information or provide false document will be liable to be punished under various sections of the IPC.
  • The original act was passed as part of comprehensive mechanisms to check illegal immigration, instead of the Inner Line Permit (ILP).

Why such a move?

  • There was an increasing demand to enhance vigil against influx of non-indigenous people in the hill state, following the implementation of the NRC in Assam.
  • The updated final NRC, which validates bonafide Indian citizens of Assam, was released in August this year.
North-East India – Security and Developmental Issues

History of Naga flag and its relevance now

Mains Paper 2 : Federalism |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Naga flag

Mains level : Naga peace process



Context

  • The deadline for a final Naga peace accord passed on amid assertions from both sides that peace talks would continue.
  • Among the issues that have been contentious is the demand for a separate Naga constitution and use of the Naga flag, for decades a symbol of Naga nationalism.

The Nagas & the Indian Union

  • In a memorandum to the Simon Commission in 1929, representatives of Naga tribes demanded that Nagas be left free after Independence and not be included in the Indian Union.
  • Ahead of Independence, a nine-point agreement was signed between the Government of India and the Naga National Council.
  • This included an experimental coexistence with India for a period of 10 years to be reviewed at the end of that period.
  • While the Nagas saw this provision as temporary, with a right to self-determination after 10 years, Naga historians say the Indian government has interpreted the “trial period’’ as accession to the Indian Union.

Independence celebration

  • The tallest leader of the Naga struggle, Dr A Z Phizo, met M K Gandhi in Delhi on July 19, 1947.
  • According to Naga historians, Gandhi agreed that the Nagas would celebrate their independence a day ahead of India, on August 14, 1947.
  • To this day, Nagas across Nagaland, Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh celebrate August 14 as Independence Day.

The Naga flag

  • In the Naga narrative, passed down generations by word of mouth, the Naga flag was not designed by a mortal but is of divine origin.
  • As Naga groups battled the Indian armed forces, the legend goes, Phizo and his closest colleagues had a vision — a rainbow, in a startlingly blue sky that had appeared after a storm.
  • A woman of the Rengma tribe, one of the tribes under the Naga umbrella, was commissioned to weave the flag.
  • It was hoisted for the first time in Parashen in Rengma on March 22, 1956.
  • The flag has a blue background, representing the sky. A red, yellow and green rainbow arches across the centre.
  • The Star of Bethlehem adorns the top left corner of the flag; Nagas are predominantly Christian.

Where it stands today?

  • The flag remains a symbol of the Nagas’ struggle for over 60 years, of their religious faith, of the aspirations of the Naga people, and of their identity.
  • It helps bind all the different Naga tribes together.
  • Outside Nagaland state, in particular, the flag continues to elucidate strong emotions of identity from Nagas.
  • Inside the state, common citizens are today divided on it. Certain sections believe that with secession from the Indian Union no longer possible, the Naga flag has lost some of its relevance.

What are the secessionist tendencies today?

  • The moderates have supported a complete inclusion in the Indian state, for access to the latter’s development project, infrastructure, and its education and health facilities.
  • But a large section of the Nagas still holds dear the idea of the Naga identity and of their tribal roots.

Conclusion

  • The Naga struggle claimed thousands of lives over decades and devastated countless homes, all over the idea of a sovereign Naga nation.
  • If the NSCN (I-M) accedes to economic and political packages alone, without a separate flag and constitution, it remains to be seen whether it will be seen as a solution, or as a defeat.
North-East India – Security and Developmental Issues

Bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir

Mains Paper 2 : Federalism |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Minutes of the bifurcation

Mains level : Administrative changes in J&K



Context

  • The state of Jammu and Kashmir will be officially bifurcated into the Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh from today.
  • Beyond the symbolic importance October 31 is the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel — the day will mark the beginning of the functioning of the two UTs at a bureaucratic level.
  • The period between August 5 and October 31 has been used by the state administration and the Home Ministry to put a basic bureaucratic structure in place to implement the J&K Reorganization Act.

Changes after Bifurcation

What happens on October 31?

  • In terms of events, the Lt. Governors of the two UTs will take oath of office along with the Chief Justice of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court.
  • Last week, the Union government appointed serving IAS officer of Gujarat cadre G.C. Murmu as the LG of Jammu and Kashmir, and retired bureaucrat of Tripura cadre Radha Krishna Mathur as LG of Ladakh.
  • On the ground, the two UTs will get their own Chief Secretaries and other top bureaucrats, their own police chiefs and key supervisory officers.
  • While Dilbagh Singh will continue to be DG of J&K police, an IG-level officer will head the police in Ladakh. Both forces will remain part of the J&K cadre which will eventually merge with the UT cadre.
  • For full-fledged bifurcation, the Reorganization Act gives a period of one year.
  • Reorganization of states is a slow process that at times can take years; issues relating to reorganization of erstwhile Andhra which was bifurcated into Andhra and Telangana in 2013, are still being brought to the Union Home Ministry for resolution.

What will happen to other officers already posted in the undivided state?

  • An apportionment of posts in both UTs has been done. While the bureaucratic structures are in place, the staffs of the state administration are yet to be divided.
  • The government had asked all staff to send in applications for their preferred posting between the two UTs. This process is still on.
  • The basic idea is to have minimum shifting between the two UTs, sources in the state administration said, with preference being given to regional affinities.
  • Those from Ladakh prefer being posted in the region and those from Kashmir and Jammu want to stay put.
  • The only issue is there aren’t enough Ladakhi staff to fill in all posts there. So some people from Jammu and Kashmir may have to go there.

What happens to the laws that governed the state of J&K?

  • Legislative restructuring is a work in progress, with a lot remaining to be done. While 153 state laws are to be repealed, 166 have been retained.
  • Then there is the cosmetic exercise of repealing Acts that mention “applicable to all of India but not the state of Jammu and Kashmir”.
  • As of now, the state administration has implemented all that is mentioned in the Reorganization Act as it is.
  • But it is also saddled with the massive legislative exercise of arriving at and making state-specific insertions into the 108 central laws that would now be applicable to the two UTs.

New laws

  • For example, the state used to have its own Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) which would now be replaced by the central CrPC.
  • Unlike the Ranbir Penal Code, which is practically a replica of the Indian Penal Code, Kashmir’s CrPC has many provisions different from the Central CrPC.
  • It will have to be seen if any modification needs to be done to suit the state. But a final decision in all these aspects would be taken by Delhi.
  • Similarly, there are state-specific insertions that may be done in laws relating to the protection of women and children that have been replaced by the POCSO Act of the Centre.
  • While the quota for economically weaker sections has already been added through an amendment, the Centre may want to make some insertions drawing from central Acts.

Which are the laws that may require state-specific insertions?

  • A major bone of contention with regard to the Juvenile Justice Acts of the Centre and the state is the age limit.
  • While the central Act takes those above the age of 16 as adults, the state Act’s age limit is 18.
  • The argument has been that given the special situation in Kashmir where teenagers are often found to be part of violent protests, the central Act could jeopardize the future of many.
  • As far as the state’s reservation laws are concerned, they do not recognise reservation according to caste.
  • The state has provided for region-wise reservation such as quota for those living near the LoC and the International Border and a quota for backward regions.
  • While the state population includes 8% SCs and 10% STs, there are regional differences such as Ladakh having no SC population but a high tribal population.

How will assets be shared?

  • A far more complicated task than sharing of assets is financial restructuring.
  • Because of the decision coming in August, the administration is saddled with a middle-of-the-year financial restructuring which is proving to be a massive bureaucratic exercise.
  • The government constituted a three-member advisory committee under the chairmanship of former Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra to divide the assets and liabilities of the state between the two UTs. The committee is yet to submit its report.
  • Three more committees — on personnel, finance and administrative matters — were constituted at the state level for the purpose of reorganization.
  • The three committees are learnt to have completed their work but their recommendations have not been made public yet.
  • Notably, while the total budget for Union Territories is Rs 7,500 crore, the budget for Jammu and Kashmir is in excess of Rs 90,000 crore.
  • This could also necessitate continuance of the Kashmir division in the Home Ministry.
J&K – The issues around the state

Explained: Rising tensions between Nagas and Kukis

Mains Paper 2 : Indian Constitution - historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Kuki Tribals

Mains level : Anglo-Kuki War


News

  • Few groups of the Kuki militants have sought the intervention of PM Modi to subdue the rising tension between the Kukis and the Nagas in Manipur.

What is the cause of recent tensions?

  • Tensions between the Kukis and Nagas are not new, and in light of them building up again, the Manipur government ordered that the stone memorials be taken down.
  • The centenary the Anglo-Kuki War was celebrated by a Committee under the aegis of Kuki Inpi Churachandpur (KIC).
  • The KIC which is the apex body of Kuki people in various northeastern states, asked all Kuki villages to install memorial stones with the inscription,
  • But Naga bodies objected to the Kukis installing these stone memorials on the Naga’s ancestral land.

The Anglo-Kuki War

  • Before the British came in, the Kukis had been one of the dominant tribes of hill areas surrounding Imphal during the rule of the Maharajas of Manipur.
  • The Kukis exercised full control over their territory until then.
  • Therefore, the Anglo-Kuki War was essentially a war for the independence and liberation of the Kukis from the imperialists.
  • The war had unified the efforts of Kukis living in northeast India, Myanmar and Bangladesh.
  • Even so, the state of Manipur had already lost its independence to the Britishers in 1891 and became free only after India became independent in 1947.
  • The Anglo-Kuki War began when the Britishers asked the Kukis to get enrolled in their labour corps in France and the latter resisted.

Naga claims it as rebellion

  • The Nagas claimed that the Kukis have been trying to distort history as there has been no “Anglo-Kuki War” but a “Kuki Rebellion” in 1917.
  • The United Naga Council (UNC), the apex body of the Nagas of Manipur, asserted that the Kuki rebellion against the British was for labour recruitment drive under the Labour Corps Plan.
  • Following this, the Nagas conveyed to the state government to take appropriate steps such that the history of Manipur is not distorted.

What has been the reason for Kuki-Naga clashes in the past?

I. Reorganization of Manipur

  • After the conclusion of the Anglo-Kuki War in 1919, for administrative and logistical ease, the state of Manipur was divided into four areas.
  • It included Imphal, Churachandpur, Tamenglong (that was inhabited by the Kukis, Kabui Nagas and Katcha Nagas) and Ukhrul (that was inhabited by Kukis and the Tangkhul Nagas).
  • The reorganization of Manipur is cited to be the most central result of the war.
  • The Kuki chiefs who were not used to any bureaucratic control in the earlier now had to function bureaucratically.

II. Identity

  • Furthermore, it is believed that Kukis came to Manipur in the late 18th/early 19th century from neighbouring Myanmar.
  • While some of the Kukis settled next to the Myanmar border, others settled in Naga villages, which ultimately became a contentious issue between the two tribes.
  • The relationship between the two worsened during the colonial period and reached a low point during the Anglo-Kuki war, referred to as a “dark period” in the oral history of the Tangkhul Nagas.
  • Essentially, identity and land govern their ethnic conflict.
Tribes in News

Dutch royal couple in Kerala

Mains Paper 1 : Modern Indian History |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Dutch connection of Kerala

Mains level : Read the attached story


News

  • The King of the Netherlands Willem-Alexander and his wife Queen Maxima has arrived in Kochi.

On a state visit

  • King Willem-Alexander, who ascended to the throne in 2013 after the abdication of his mother, and Queen Maxima are in India on their first-ever state visit to the country on the invitation of President Kovind.
  • As part of their five-day tour in India, the royals are flying down to Kerala, a state that has a long cultural relationship with the Dutch on account of European colonization.

The Dutch connection to Kerala

  • After gaining independence from Spain in the 16th century, the Dutch initiated attempts to establish colonies across the world and one of their main targets was southern India due to the presence of spices.
  • Seeking to get their share of the pie, ships carrying Dutch merchants and generals arrived on the shores of Malabar in the early 17th century.
  • They were bolstered by the Portuguese, who had by then set up extensive trade relationship with the local kings in Malabar, Cochin and Travancore.
  • Dutch generals were greeted warmly in Malabar by the king and the local people as the latter had begun to be frustrated with the Portuguese.

Quest with Portuguese

  • The first trade treaty between Dutch Admiral Van der Haghen and the Zamorin of Kozhikode was signed in 1604.
  • Over the next century and a half, the Dutch fought several wars with the Portuguese in a bid to annex territories such as Cochin (now Kochi) and Quilon (now Kollam) and establish their own fortresses and trading ports.
  • The most striking effects of the Dutch rule in Kerala can be seen in Kochi, which had emerged as an important hub for spice trade.
  • Dismantling the Portuguese-built structures, the Dutch established their own symbols, paving streets named after flowers and redesigning the town.

Popular culture

  • A marvellous palace in Mattancherry, gifted by the Portuguese to the Cochin Kings in 16th century but renovated by the Dutch, is now popularly known as the Dutch Palace.
  • It is built with ‘nalukettu’ in Kerala style of architecture and has a temple dedicated to a Goddess in the middle.
  • It underwent extensive renovation ten years ago and houses extensive murals and portraits of the Cochin Kings.
  • The Palace on Bolghatty island was built by the Dutch as a residence for its commander in 1744 and is considered to be one of the oldest existing palaces built by the Dutch outside the Netherlands.
  • Today, it is a heritage holiday resort run by the state tourism department. The Dutch cemetery in Fort Kochi, consecrated in 1724, is also a marker of the Dutch occupation of Kochi.
History- Important places, persons in news

Public Finance Management System (PFMS)

Mains Paper 3 : Issues Related To Farm Subsidies & Msp |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : PFMS

Mains level : DBT to farmers


News

  • The Punjab govt has directed all government procurement agencies to link the bank accounts of farmers with the Public Finance Management System (PFMS) portal before the procurement of paddy begins.
  • This has angered the arhatiyas (commission agents), a large number of whom want the government to roll back its decision.

Public Finance Management System (PFMS)

  • PFMS is an online platform developed and implemented by the office of the Controller General of Accounts (CGA) under the Union Ministry of Finance.
  • The PFMS portal is used to make direct payments to beneficiaries of government schemes.
  • In the present case, the idea is to monitor the accounts of farmers to ensure they get the payment for their crops from the arhatiyas, who pay farmers only after selling their produce and receiving the money from the buyers.

Background

  • PFMS initially started as a Plan scheme named CPSMS of the Planning Commission in 2008-09 as a pilot in four States of Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab and Mizoram.
  • It was for four Flagship schemes e.g. MGNREGS, NRHM, SSA and PMGSY.
  • In December, 2013 the Union Cabinet approved the national roll out of PFMS for all States
Direct Benefits Transfers

Village Secretariat Programme in AP

Mains Paper 2 : Governance, Transparency & Accountability, Citizens Charters |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Village Secretariat Programme

Mains level : Strengthening Panchayat Raj enforcement



News

  • The Andhra Pradesh government launched its Village Secretariat programme, under which 1.26 lakh new government employees will begin working.

Village Secretariat Programme

  • Under the new system, the AP government, one Village Secretariat has been set up for every population of 2,000, with each one comprising close to a dozen village officials from various departments like police, revenue, etc.
  • The idea behind it is to ensure that its services reach people on the ground, and also to strengthen the existing Panchayat Raj system.
  • The cost of hiring about 1.26 lakh new employees is going to be roughly about ₹2,200 crore a year for the AP government.
  • Aside from this, the state has also hired another two lakh Village Volunteers, with each of them being paid ₹5,000 per month.
  • Their job will to assist people in availing government services (each volunteer to look after 50 households).
Panchayati Raj Institutions: Issues and Challenges

Scientists find ‘ancient river’ in UP

Mains Paper 1 : Geographical Features & Their Location |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : About the river

Mains level : Paleochannels and their significance in groundwater recharge


News

  • The Union Water Ministry has excavated an old, dried-up river in Allahabad that linked the Ganga and Yamuna rivers.

About the river

  • The “ancient buried river” is around 4 km wide, 45 km long and consisted of a 15-metre-thick layer buried under soil.
  • The newly discovered river was a “buried paleochannel that joins the Yamuna river at Durgapur village, about 26 km south of the current Ganga-Yamuna confluence at Allahabad.
  • The paleochannels reveal the course of rivers that have ceased to exist.

Significance of this river

  • Knowledge on subsurface connectivity between Ganga and Yamuna rivers will play a very crucial role in planning of Ganga cleaning and protecting safe groundwater resources.
  • The aim is to develop it as a potential groundwater recharge source.
  • The evidence from paleochannels also suggests that the mythological Saraswati river did indeed exist.
Water Management – Institutional Reforms, Conservation Efforts, etc.

High rate of farmer suicides in Punjab’s Malwa

Mains Paper 3 : Issues Related To Farm Subsidies & Msp |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Malwa region (in MP and Punjab)

Mains level : Farmers suicides prone regions


Context

  • Over the past few years, ‘farm debt’ has been one of the main reasons behind farmers and farm labourers committing suicide in Punjab.
  • Data has indicated that 97% of farmer suicides are taking place in the Malwa region only.

More suicides in Malwa region

  • According to report farmer suicides due to debt drastically increased in the late 1990s.
  • The maximum such suicides are taking place in the Malwa region (97.45 per cent), which falls south of the Sutlej, and has 14 of the state’s 22 districts.
  • Malwa has a majority of ‘small and marginal’ farmers’, who have 1-5 acres land.

Reasons for suicide

  • Of around 97 per cent suicides that has taken place in the Malwa region — 94 per cent were due to ‘farm debt’.
  • Majority of them are small and marginal farmers having 1-5 acres of land.

Total number of such suicides

  • The Punjab government’s data states that 3,330 farmers have taken their lives due to farm debt since 2000 till date, of which 698 committed suicide in the past four years, most of them in the Malwa region.
  • It also states that 97 farm labourers committed suicide since 2016, before which no records were maintained of the same.

Why Malwa region?

  • Exorbitant lease land rentals is one of the factors behind the high rate of farmer suicide in Malwa.
  • Farmers cannot get alternative employment opportunities in Malwa, hence small and marginal farmers fall in the trap of debt.
  • If the crop turns out bad, it only adds to their mounting debt.
  • In the Malwa region, a large number of farmers have to spend a chunk of their earnings on health issues including cancer, which is quite common here.
  • There is even a train that carries mostly cancer patients from here to a hospital in Rajasthan.
  • Several reasons have been attributed to high number of cancer patients here, including highly contaminated groundwater.

Why are lease land rentals high?

  • In Malwa, the number of ‘landless’ and ‘marginal farmers’ is very high against the availability of farmland.
  • Cultivation of land is the only way available to them to earn their living.
  • For taking land on rent, they are dependent on big land lords and ‘sahukaars’ who have also become owners of agricultural lands of most small and marginal farmers, who could not pay their debts.
  • Poor farmers think that even if their entire earnings go in paying rent, they will at least get grain for a whole year for their families.
  • On the other hand, in Doaba, which is the NRI belt, and Majha, a large number of farming households either have one member abroad or in government jobs or armed forces from where they get an assured regular income.
  • Even small farmers are running subsidiary occupations like dairy. Also, they prefer to plant three crops in a year including wheat, paddy and vegetables.
  • In the Doaba, large farm lands of NRIs are available to fellow farmers for cultivation due to which lease rentals are 20-30 per cent down here.

Solutions

The report suggests following measures to relieve farmers in the region:

  • streamlining of ‘land lease rentals’,
  • waiving farm loans at least once,
  • providing compensation to the tune of Rs 10 lakh to each family that loses a farmer or farm labourer to suicide,
  • continuation of free power, crop diversification, insurance for crops and health of farmers and labourers, development of dairy sector etc.
  • profitable employment for one family member of farmers and labourers, rold-age pension to farmers and labourers,
  • streamlining of banking sector and curtailing unscrupulous activities of micro-finance agencies and moneylenders etc.
Human Rights Issues

Madhya Pradesh’s Happiness Dept. to open Time Bank

Mains Paper 2 : Health & Education |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Time Banks

Mains level : Concept of Time Bank and its benefits


News

Time Bank in MP

  • The Madhya Pradesh government’s Happiness Department plans to set up a Time Bank that would lend currency to an hour, which could be exchanged to learn a new skill without the need for any paper money.
  • Whenever a bank member needs a service or wants to acquire a skill, say gardening or playing a guitar, she could exchange a credit, worth an hour, with another member knowing the skill.
  • It is a new way to link untapped social capacity to unmet social needs.
  • At the start, the 50,000 volunteers registered with the department through local networks will form community-level banks and list skills they could impart or services they could offer.
  • An experienced volunteer will induct new members and keep a record of all the transactions.
  • Whether one need someone to drive you to a supermarket, tend to an ailing grandmother or simply a jogging partner, it could all be sought at the bank.

Benefits

  • In Madhya Pradesh, time banks will enable person-to-person, person-to-agency and agency-to-agency transactions.
  • Members will start with zero credits, which they could gradually acquire by imparting skills. Credits can even go in negative.
  • And in case a skill becomes popular over time benefiting only a few members, other members will be compelled to do their mite with vigour to collect more credits.

About the concept

  • Conceived at the Cincinnati Time Store in 1827, the concept gained currency with the setting up of the first Time Bank in Japan in 1973, and later when Edgar Cahn, CEO of TimeBanks USA, popularised ‘Time Dollars’.
  • Today, there are more than 500 such communities across 32 countries.

Krishna Water Dispute

Mains Paper 2 : Federalism |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Krishna Basin

Mains level : Krishna water dispute



News

  • The Krishna river dispute took a new turn this week, when Maharashtra and Karnataka agreed to jointly oppose AP’s application seeking a relook at the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal’s 2010 order on water distribution between the riparian states.

The Krishna river dispute

  • The Krishna is an east-flowing river that originates at Mahabaleshwar in Maharashtra and merges with the Bay of Bengal, flowing through Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana and AP.
  • Together with its tributaries, it forms a vast basin that covers 33% of the total area of the four states.
  • A dispute over the sharing of Krishna waters has been ongoing for many decades, beginning with the erstwhile Hyderabad and Mysore states, and later continuing between successors.

Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal

  • In 1969, the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal (KWDT) was set up under the Inter-State River Water Dispute Act, 1956, and presented its report in 1973.
  • The report, which was published in 1976, divided the 2060 TMC (thousand million cubic feet) of Krishna water at 75 per cent dependability into three parts.
  • It was 560 TMC for Maharashtra, 700 TMC for Karnataka and 800 TMC for Andhra Pradesh.
  • At the same time, it was stipulated that the KWDT order may be reviewed or revised by a competent authority or tribunal any time after May 31, 2000.
  • Afterward, as new grievances arose between the states, the second KWDT was instituted in 2004.
  • It delivered its report in 2010, which made allocations of the Krishna water at 65 per cent dependability and for surplus flows as follows: 81 TMC for Maharashtra, 177 TMC for Karnataka, and 190 TMC for Andhra Pradesh.

After the KWDT’s 2010 report

  • Soon after the 2010 report was presented, AP challenged it through a Special Leave Petition before the Supreme Court in 2011.
  • In an order in the same year, the apex court stopped the Centre from publishing it in the official Gazette.
  • In 2013, the KWDT issued a ‘further report’, which was again challenged by Andhra Pradesh in the Supreme Court in 2014.
  • After the creation of Telangana from AP in 2014, the Water Resources Ministry has been extending the duration of the KWDT.

Row over share

  • Andhra Pradesh has since asked that Telangana be included as a separate party at the KWDT and that the allocation of Krishna waters be reworked among four states, instead of three.
  • Maharashtra and Karnataka are now resisting this move. On September 3, the two states said: Telangana was created following bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.
  • Therefore, allocation of water should be from Andhra Pradesh’s share which was approved by the tribunal.

Duo’s stance

  • It is relying on Section 89 of The Andhra Pradesh State Reorganization Act, 2014, which reads:
  • The term of the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal shall be extended with the following terms of reference, namely:
  1. shall make project-wise specific allocation, if such allocation has not been made by a Tribunal constituted under the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, 1956;
  2. shall determine an operational protocol for project-wise release of water in the event of deficit flows.
  • For the purposes of this section, it is clarified that the project-specific awards already made by the Tribunal on or before the appointed day shall be binding on the successor States.

TN’s Dindigul lock and Kandangi Saree get GI tag

Mains Paper 3 : Intellectual Property Rights |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : About the GI tag

Mains level : Benefits of GI Indications


News

  • Two well-known products from Tamil Nadu — Dindigul lock and Kandangi Saree — have been given the Geographical Indication (GI) tag by The Geographical Indications Registry in Chennai.

Dindigul Lock

  • The Dindigul locks are known throughout the world for their superior quality and durability, so much so that even the city is called Lock City.
  • Government institutions such as prisons, godowns, hospitals, and even temples use these locks instead of other machine-made ones.
  • The application for the lock was made by the Dindigul Lock, Hardware and Steel Furniture Workers Industrial Co-operative Society Limited.
  • More than 3,125 lock manufacturing units are limited to an area of 5 km in and around Dindigul.
  • The abundance of iron in this region is the reason for the growth of the industry.
  • There are over 50 varieties of locks made by the artisans using raw materials such as MS flat plates and brass plates procured from the nearby towns, including Madurai and Salem.

Kandangi Saree

  • The Kandangi sarees are manufactured in the entire Karaikudi taluk in Sivaganga district.
  • They are characterised by large contrast borders and some are known to have borders covering as far as two-thirds of the saree which is usually around 5.10 m-5.60 m in length.
  • Worn in summer, these cotton sarees are usually bought by customers in bulk.
  • The Amarar Rajeev Gandhi Handloom Weavers Co-operative Production and Sales Society Limited filed the application for the Kandangi saree.

Back2Basics

Geographical Indications in India

  • A Geographical Indication is used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin.
  • Such a name conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness which is essentially attributable to its origin in that defined geographical locality.
  • This tag is valid for a period of 10 years following which it can be renewed.
  • Recently the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry has launched the logo and tagline for the Geographical Indications (GI) of India.
  • The first product to get a GI tag in India was the Darjeeling tea in 2004.
  • The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 (GI Act) is a sui generis Act for protection of GI in India.
  • India, as a member of the WTO enacted the Act to comply with the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.
  • Geographical Indications protection is granted through the TRIPS Agreement.
GI(Geographical Indicator) Tags

Tamil Yeoman declared state butterfly of TN

Mains Paper 3 : Conservation, Environmental Pollution & Degradation, Eia |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Tamil Yeoman

Mains level : Significance of Insects



News

  • The state of Tamil Nadu has recently declared Tamil Yeoman (Cirrochroa thais)as its state butterfly to symbolise its rich natural and cultural heritage, in a move aimed at boosting the conservation efforts of the attractive insects.

Tamil Yeoman

  • Locally known as Tamil Maravanmeaning ‘Tamilian Warrior’, the canopy butterfly, usually sized between 60 and 75mm, belongs to the family of brush-footed butterflies or the Nymphalid.
  • The winged wonder, with its natural zigzag patterns near its bright orange-coloured wings and its aesthetic dots, has always been a fascination for local nature enthusiasts.
  • It was chosen for its cultural identity linking the state through its name and is abundance in hilly areas.
  • Endemic to the biodiversity hotspot of Western Ghats, Tamil Yeoman is usually seen at the foothills and moist evergreen forests of the state’s mountainous regions.
  • Known to have a straight flight with few wing beats and long glide, the butterfly is actively spotted in forest streams too.

Other state species

  • This is the latest addition to Tamil Nadu’s existing symbols from the natural world – palmyra as the state tree, gloriosa lily as the state flower, emerald dove as the state bird, jackfruit as the state fruit and Nilgiri tahr as the state animal.
  • With the latest policy initiative, it has become the fifth India state after Maharashtra (Blue Mormon), Uttarakhand (Common peacock), Karnataka (Southern birdwings) and Kerala (Malabar banded peacock) to bestow a state emblem status to one of its colourful insects.

Why state designation to butterflies?

  • Butterflies are great bio-indicators of an ecosystem as they are highly sensitive to environmental conditions such as temperature, sunlight, humidity and rainfall patterns.
  • Butterflies are not only great pollinators but also play a crucial role in the food chain.
  • Their presence, patterns and migration assist in mapping the climatic health of a region and are they are perhaps the most studied insect group across the world.
  • Tamil Nadu’s naturally elongated geographical placement combined with the presence of Eastern and the Western Ghats generate a variety of habitats with diverse ecological conditions allowing plenty of ‘butterfly hotspots’.
Wildlife Conservation Efforts

J&K Public Safety Act

Mains Paper 2 : Federalism |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : About the Act

Mains level : Issues with the act


News

  • A former IAS officer was recently detained under the J&K Public Safety Act (PSA).

J&K Public Safety Act (PSA)

  • The Jammu and Kashmir PSA) which received the assent of the J&K Governor on April 8, 1978.
  • The Act was introduced by the government of Sheikh Abdullah as a tough law to prevent the smuggling of timber and keep the smugglers “out of circulation”.
  • The law allowed the government to detain any person above the age of 16 without trial for a period of two years.
  • It allows for administrative detention for up to two years in the case of persons acting in any manner prejudicial to the security of the State, and for administrative detention up to one year where any person is acting in any manner prejudicial to the maintenance of public order.
  • Detention orders under PSA can be issued by Divisional Commissioners or District Magistrates.
  • Section 22 of the Act provides protection for any action taken “in good faith” under the Act.
  • No suit, prosecution or any other legal proceeding shall lie against any person for anything done or intended to be done in good faith in pursuance of the provisions of this Act.

Issues with the act

  • It is often referred to as a “draconian” law.
  • However, right from the beginning, the law was misused widely, and was repeatedly employed against political opponents by consecutive governments until 1990.
  • After the emergence of militancy, the J&K government frequently invoked the PSA to crack down on separatists.
  • In the aftermath of the killing of a sympathized terrorist in July 2016, hundreds of youths in the Valley were detained under PSA, with extendable detention periods.
  • In August 2018, the Act was amended to allow individuals to be detained under the PSA outside the state as well.
J&K – The issues around the state

Delimitation of Constituencies in J&K

Mains Paper 2 : Federalism |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Delimitation commission

Mains level : Mandate of the Delimitation commission



News

  • The Election Commission held internal discussions on the delimitation of constituencies ahead of elections to the new Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

Resizing new constituencies

  • According to the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act, 2019, the number of seats in the Legislative Assembly of the UT of J&K would be increased from 107 to 114.
  • The total population would be divided over the 114 seats to get an average number of electors per constituency.
  • The Act also specifies that delimitation will be based on the 2011 census till 2026.

Back2Basics

Delimitation Commission of India

  • The Delimitation commission or Boundary commission of India is a commission established by the Government of India under the provisions of the Delimitation Commission Act.
  • The main task of the commission is redrawing the boundaries of the various assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies based on a recent census.
  • The representation from each State is not changed during this exercise. However, the numbers of SC and ST seats in a state are changed in accordance with the census.
  • The present delimitation of constituencies has been done on the basis of 2001 census under the provisions of Delimitation Act, 2002.
  • The Commission is a independent body whose orders cannot be challenged in any court of law.
  • The orders are laid before the Lok Sabha and the respective State Legislative Assemblies. However, modifications are not permitted.
  • Delimitation commissions have been set up four times in the past — 1952, 1963, 1973 and 2002 — under Delimitation Commission Acts of 1952, 1962, 1972 and 2002.
  • The most recent delimitation commission was set up on 12 July 2002 after the 2001 census with Justice Kuldip Singh, a retired Judge of the Supreme Court as its Chairperson.
J&K – The issues around the state

Jalyukta Shivar Scheme

Mains Paper 3 : Conservation, Environmental Pollution & Degradation, Eia |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Jalyukta Shivar Scheme

Mains level : Various initiatives for water conservation


News

  • PM in his latest Mann ki Baat emphasized on the need for dedicated efforts towards water conservation and ‘Jal Shakti, Jan Shakti’ initiative which is inspired from Jalyukta Shivar scheme of Maharashtra.
  • Such regional schemes can be a benchmark for their replication at pan India level.

Jalyukta Shivar Scheme

  • Jalyukta Shivar is the flagship programme of the Maharashtra government launched in December 2014 which aims to make 5,000 villages free of water scarcity.
  • The scheme targeted drought-prone areas by improving water conservation measures in order to make them more water sustainable.
  • It envisaged to arrest maximum run-off water, especially during the monsoon months, in village areas known to receive less rainfall, annually.

Initiatives under the scheme

  • Under the scheme, decentralized water bodies were installed at various locations within villages to enhance the groundwater recharge.
  • Besides, it also proposed to strengthen and rejuvenate water storage capacity and percolation of tanks and other sources of storage.
  • Dedicated committees were formed to assist in construction of watersheds like farm ponds, cement nullah bunds alongside rejuvenating the existing water bodies in the villages.

Why such scheme?

  • About 82 per cent area of Maharashtra falls is rainfed sector while 52 per cent of area is drought prone.
  • This, when coupled with natural rainfall variability and long dry spells during the monsoons, severely hampers agriculture activities.
  • Since 2014, hundreds of villages in Marathwada, central Maharashtra and Vidarbha have experienced droughts for consecutive years.
  • For instance, when the scheme was launched in 2014, a total of 23,811 villages in 26 out of the total 36 districts were declared drought-hit.
  • The scheme, thus, aimed at addressing these water issues mainly by building decentralized water bodies at local levels that could aid in better groundwater recharge especially in areas where water scarcity was very high.

 How does this intervention work?

  • Under the scheme, water streams in a locality are deepened and widened, which would later be connected to the newly constructed chains of cement nullah bunds in the village.
  • Besides, efforts would be made to arrest and store water in small earthen dams and farm ponds in such areas.
  • While new interventions are made, maintenance of existing sources like canals and all kinds of wells would be undertaken.
  • Activities like desilting of water conservation structures and repairs of canals are undertaken to help improve water storage and percolation at the site.
  • Additionally, recharge of dug and tubewells would be taken up in specific locations.
  • A mobile-app developed by the Maharashtra Remote Sensing Application Centre (MRSAC) for quick monitoring of the scheme is functional in this respect.

Expected Outcomes

  • While there are both short and long-term outcomes envisioned by the government, the purpose remains to strengthen the rural economy, which continues to be largely agriculture-driven.
  • The government plans to achieve this goal of improving farmer income by addressing the basic problem pertaining to availability of water for farming or irrigation purposes.
  • Included in the immediate outcomes of the scheme are reduction in the run-off water and diverting it to some kind of storage, increasing water storage capacity, increasing the rate of groundwater recharge, enhancing soil fertility and ultimately, improving farm productivity.
  • The long-term outcomes after the scheme matures, include reducing water scarcity in villages that have limited natural supply, improving in risk management or becoming drought resilient and improving water availability through effective management.
  • Through such timely interventions, the government aims to address the food and water security of its villages.

Progress card of the scheme

  • More than 11,000 villages where Jalyukta Shivar was introduced are declared drought-free.
  • The water storage capacity has been improved to 1.6 lakh Trillion Cubic Metre (TMC).
  • The overall scheme has so far benefitted 20 lakh hectares of protected irrigated land, which increased the cropping intensity to 1.25 to 1.5 times than before.
  • The overall agriculture productivity jumped up 30 to 50 per cent from areas where the intervention measures reached.
  • Importantly, the water tanker dependency in these areas has also dropped.
Water Management – Institutional Reforms, Conservation Efforts, etc.

Plan Bee

Mains Paper 3 : Conservation, Environmental Pollution & Degradation, Eia |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Plan Bee

Mains level : Elephant connservation efforts



News

Plan Bee

  • Plan Bee an amplifying system imitating the buzz of a swarm of honey bees to keep wild elephants away from railway tracks earned the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) the best innovation award in Indian Railways for the 2018-19 fiscal.
  • A device was designed to generate the amplified sound of honey bees audible from 700-800 metres.
  • The first instrument was installed at a level crossing west of Guwahati on a track adjoining the Rani Reserve Forest, an elephant habitat.
  • The Plan Bee device has been helpful in diverting herds of elephants, especially when trains approach and dashing becomes imminent.
  • A mix of Plan Bee and other measures have helped them save 1,014 elephants from 2014 to June 2019.

Why such plan?

  • The desperation to find an “elephant repellent” was triggered by 67 jumbos being knocked down by trains from 2013 to June 2019.
  • Most of these cases were reported from Assam and northern West Bengal.
  • There are 29 earmarked elephant corridors with the operating zone of NFR spread across the north-eastern states and parts of Bihar and West Bengal.
  • Trains are required to slow down at these corridors and adhere to speed specified on signs.
  • But elephants have ventured into the path of trains even in non-corridor areas, often leading to accidents resulting in elephant deaths.
Wildlife Conservation Efforts

Tamil Yeoman declared Tamil Nadu’s state butterfly

Mains Paper 3 : Conservation, Environmental Pollution & Degradation, Eia |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Tamil yeoman

Mains level : Not Much



News

  • Tamil Yeoman (Cirrochroa thais) butterfly species endemic to Western Ghats has been declared the state butterfly of Tamil Nadu.

About Tamil Yeoman

  • Uniformly orange in colour with a dark brown outer ring, Tamil Yeoman is among the 32 butterfly species found in the Western Ghats.
  • This butterfly species moves in groups in large numbers, but only in a few places.
  • Also known as Tamil Maravan, which means warrior, these butterflies are found mainly in the hilly areas.
  • An expert team was involved in identifying butterfly species to be declared state butterfly.
  • The team had shortlisted two butterfly species – Tamil yeoman and Tamil Lacewing.
  • The Tamil Yeoman was selected. Both butterfly species are unique in their own ways.
  • The Tamil Lacewing butterfly is very rare and difficult to sight which may have been a reason for the government to prefer Tamil Yeoman.

Why it’s special?

  • For the first time Tamil Nadu has declared its state butterfly and only fifth in the country to do so.
  • Maharashtra was the first to declare Blue Mormon as its state butterfly, followed by Uttarakhand (Common peacock), Karnataka (Southern bird wings) and Kerala (Malabar banded peacock).
Wildlife Conservation Efforts

J&K Reservation Bill

Mains Paper 2 : Federalism |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Art. 370

Mains level : Row over Art. 370


News

  • Recently Rajya Sabha has passed the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Bill.
  • Passed by Lok Sabha last week, the Bill partially amends a Presidential Order of 1954 in order to amend the state’s Reservation Act.

About the Bill

  • The Bill amends the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act, 2004 and replaces an Ordinance promulgated on March 1, 2019.
  • The earlier Act provided for reservation in appointment and promotions in state government posts, and admission to professional institutions for certain reserved categories.
  • The Act provides for reservation in appointment and promotions in certain state government posts to persons belonging to socially and educationally backward classes.
  • It defines socially and educationally backward classes to include persons living in areas adjoining the Actual Line of Control.

Amendments to the Bill

  • With the constitutional amendments, the benefits of reservation available to the residents along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) have been extended to residents living along the International Border (IB).
  • This benefits residents in Jammu, Samba and Kathua.
  • Through the Presidential Order, the Cabinet applied the 77th Constitutional Amendment of 1995 to J&K, giving benefits of reservation in promotion to SCs and STs in government service.
  • The Cabinet also applied the 103rd Constitutional Amendment of 2019 to J&K, which gave 10% reservation to Economically Weaker Sections among people in the general category.

What is the 1954 executive order?

  • The 1954 order is an executive order issued by the President under Article 370 to extend provisions of an Act of Parliament to J&K State, which can be done only with the concurrence of the state government.
  • The Constitution of India applies to Jammu & Kashmir by virtue of Article 370, which provides a mechanism for the way it applies.
  • Article 370 defines state government as ‘the Maharaja’ and/or the ‘Sadar-i-Riyasat’ aided by a council of ministers.

Then what is the controversy?

  • At the centre of the controversy is the question whether the Governor, in the absence of an elected government, has the authority to give consent to extend a law of Parliament and change the constitutional arrangement between J&K and the Union.
  • While bringing the ordinance, the Union govt. said the amendments were recommended by the State Administrative Council (SAC) headed by J&K Governor.
  • While no one in J&K has opposed the decision to provide benefits to SCs, STs and EWS, there has been opposition to the route taken by the Centre and its nominee the J&K Governor.
  • It is accused that Union Govt. “breached” Article 370 while issuing the amendment to the 1954 Presidential Order.

Issue with Governor’s authority

  • The issue of the Governor’s powers was defined by the Supreme Court in Mohammad Maqbool Damnoo versus State of J&K (1972).
  • While dealing with the replacement of an elected Sadr-i-Riyasat with the Centre-appointed Governor, the court observed that a Governor is “head of government aided by a council of ministers”.
  • It is not as if the state government, by such a change (replacing elected Sadr-i-Riyasat with Centre-appointed Governor) is made irresponsible to the state legislature.

Arguments by regional parties

  • One of the main regional parties has challenged the amendment to the Presidential Order of 1954.
  • The regional parties contend that “concurrence” means the concurrence of an elected government, and not that of a nominated government.
  • Elected govt. is a must for any amendment to the Presidential Order of 1954, and that this is thus in contravention of Article 370.
  • They contend that the government means an elected government and that the President cannot seek concurrence of the Governor because “the Governor is a representative of the President”.
J&K – The issues around the state

[pib] Resilient Kerala Program

Mains Paper 3 : Disaster Management |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Resilient Kerala Program

Mains level : Disaster management


News

  • The Union, the Govt. of Kerala and the World Bank have signed a Loan Agreement of for the First Resilient Kerala Program to enhance the State’s resilience against the impacts of natural disasters and climate change.

Resilient Kerala Program

  • The Resilient Kerala Program is part of the GoI’s support to Kerala’s ‘Rebuild Kerala Development Programme’ aimed at building a green and resilient Kerala.
  • The Program, which represents the First ‘State Partnership’ of the World Bank in India, is the First of two Development Policy Operations aiming to mainstream disaster and climate resilience into critical infrastructure and services.
  • The World Bank partnership will identify key areas of policy and institutional strengthening to maximize development impact.
  • The Program will focus on strengthening the State’s institutional and financial capacity to protect the assets and livelihoods of poor and vulnerable groups through an inclusive and participatory approach.

 Aim and Objectives

The program aims to support the State with:

  • improved river basin planning and water infrastructure operations management, water supply and sanitation services
  • resilient and sustainable  agriculture, enhanced agriculture risk insurance
  • improved resilience of the core road network
  • unified and more up-to-date land records in high risk areas
  • risk-based urban planning and strengthened expenditure planning by urban local bodies
  • strengthened fiscal and public financial management capacity of the state

Why such programme?

  • The 2018 floods and landslides in Kerala led to severe impact on property, infrastructure, and lives and livelihoods of people.
  • One sixth of the State’s population – about 5.4 million people – was affected while 1.4 million were displaced from their homes, especially the poor and vulnerable segments of the population.
Disasters and Disaster Management – Sendai Framework, Floods, Cyclones, etc.