IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


3rd January, 2020


Bhima-Koregaon village prepares for historic day

Lakhs of devotees, neo-Buddhists, members of Ambedkarite outfits, politicians, students and other visitors are expected to congregate near the ransthamb or victory pillar in Bhima-Koregaon village for the 202nd anniversary of the Bhima-Koregaon battle of 1818 on New Year’s Day

Battle of Koregaon:

-       The battle took place at the village of Koregaon (population 960), where 800 British troops faced 30,000 Marathas on January 1, 1818.

-       Six months earlier, on June 13, 1817, Peshwa Bajirao II had been forced to cede large swathes of territory to the Company, officially ending the Maratha Confederacy.

-       The battle was part of the Third Anglo Maratha war, a series of battles that culminated in the defeat of the Maratha empire (under the Peshwas) and subsequent rule of the British East India Company in nearly all of Western, Central and Southern India.

-       There is a “victory pillar” (‘Jaystambh’) in Koregaon commemorating the battle.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/security-tightened-for-bhima-koregaon-anniversary/article30446192.ece

Mandu Festival concludes in Madhya Pradesh

-       In Madhya Pradesh, the first edition of the 5-day Mandu festival concluded in Mandu, a world-famous picturesque tourist destination known for its forts and palaces, located in the Dhar district of the state.

-       Based on the idea of Khojne Me Kho Jao, the Mandu festival, is offering an eclectic mix of performing arts, workshops, nature trails, food, architecture, and music to the visitors.

-       The rich classical and traditional folk arts of dance, singing and playing once again come alive through the Mandu festival.


Tiger comes close to Ajanta caves’ tourist spot

A tiger from Tipeshwar Wildlife Sanctuary stayed in the jungles near the world-famous Ajanta Caves in Maharashtra’s Aurangabad district for a week last month.

Tipeshwar Wildlife Sanctuary:

-       Tipeshwar wildlife sanctuary is situated in Yavatmal area that is an isolated national park in Maharashtra.

-       The sanctuary sprawls amongst the Patanbori and Parwa Ranges of the Pandarkawad Forest Division.

-       There are plenty of rivers such as Purna, Krishna, Bhima and Tapti irrigate the sanctuary from entire angles.

Kerala for steps to curb alien plants’ growth in NBR

The Forest and Wildlife Department is planning to adopt steps to arrest the rampant growth of invasive plants, especially Senna spectabilis, in the forest areas of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve (NBR), including the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary.

About Invasive alien species:

-       An invasive species is a species that is not native to a specific location (an introduced species).

-       It has a tendency to spread to a degree believed to cause damage to the environment, human economy or human health.

-       According to experts, alien species become 'invasive' when they are introduced deliberately or accidentally outside their natural areas, where they out-compete the native species and upset the ecological balance.

About Invasive species in Kerala:

-       It has quick growth and coppicing character.

-       Tree species have spread from 10 Sq Km to more than 50 sq km of the sanctuary.

-       The plant has started to invade the adjacent Bandipur and Nagarhole tiger reserves in Karnataka and the Mudumalai tiger reserve in Tamil Nadu.

Reasons behind Spread:

-       Due to mass flowering and drying of bamboo species in Wayanad, lots of open spaces were created, which had been occupied by Senna spectabilis.


-       The thick foliage arrests the growth of other indigenous tree and grass species and causes food shortage for the wildlife population, especially herbivores.

-       Wildlife will not feed on the leaf of the tree, as it is not palatable for them.

-       The allelochemicals produced by this plant adversely affect the germination and growth of the native species.

-       Adjacent tiger reserves are also under threat.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/kerala-for-steps-to-curb-alien-plants-growth-in-nbr/article30454665.ece

In 2019, 95 tiger deaths in India, 22 incidents of poaching, says MoEFCC



For the first time in the past three years, the number of tiger deaths in a year in the country has been less than 100.

Details behind the death:

-       57 of the 95 deaths occurred inside Tiger Reserves, while 38 cases of tiger deaths were recorded outside Tiger Reserves.

-       22 cases of poaching in the country and one case of tiger poisoning in 2019.

-       In 16 out of 22 poaching incidents, which is almost over 70% of cases of poaching, have been reported outside Tiger Reserves.

-       NTCA is counting deaths due to electrocution among the incidents of poaching.

Reasons of it:

-       The reduced numbers of tiger mortalities are because of surveillance, good management of Tiger Reserves.

-       Success of a lot of awareness and education programmes on tiger conservation.

-       Using technology to maintain surveillance on tigers has also come as an added advantage.

-       M-STriPES (Monitoring System for Tigers-Intensive Protection & Ecological Status) patrolling app is deployed and used in every Tiger Reserve.

Translocation Protocol:

-       The inter-State translocation was taken up on the basis of a well-planned protocol.

-       First inter-State translocation of tigers to the Satkosia Tiger Reserve in Odisha, which did not go as planned.

-       There are plans to translocate tigers to the western part of Rajaji National Park and to the Buxa Tiger Reserve from similar tiger landscapes in Assam.

Way Forward:

-       Tigers are most vulnerable when they are outside Reserves as they are not under surveillance.

-       With the increase in tiger numbers, more areas in the country need to be declared Tiger Reserves.

-       At least three new Tiger Reserves will be added in 2020.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/in-2019-95-tiger-deaths-in-india-22-incidents-of-poaching-says-moefcc/article30462278.ece


Prime Minister launches 5 new DRDO labs

Five new defence laboratories led by under-35 directors and young military scientists were formally launched to drive the country’s war technologies of the future under the Defence Research & Development Organisation.

About the labs:

-       The labs are operating in Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad.

-       Each lab will pursue a key technology necessary for developing the nation’s next generation of defence systems.

-       The establishment of DYSLs will be a big leap forward for the DRDO from the goal of making India self-reliant in defence technologies.

-       The new directors were chosen from within the organisation through a tough selection process across six months by a committee chaired by Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government.

-       There would be no fund constraints for the new labs.

-       The new directors will get the same administrative and financial powers as the directors of existing defence labs.

About the DRDO:

-       DRDO stands for Defence Research and Development Organisation.

-       It was established in 1958 by the Government of India, under the Ministry of Defence (Raksha Mantralay).

-       DRDO started with just 10 different laboratories in the country and now haw has more than 50 labs across the nation researching in different sectors of technology and defence.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/prime-minister-launches-5-new-drdo-labs/article30464735.ece


When defection is a mere detour for an MLA

The Karnataka by-election results have widely put to display the ineffectiveness of the Anti-Defection Law.

Karnataka Event:

-       Of the 17 defecting Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) MLAs, 11 were re-elected on a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ticket.

-       It set a dangerous precedent for neutralising the consequences of the law altogether.

-       The 17 rebel MLAs in Karnataka resigned, their act aimed at ending the majority of the ruling coalition and, at the same time, avoiding disqualification.

-       The Speaker refused to accept the resignations and declared them disqualified.

Anti-Defection Law:

-       It defined three grounds of disqualification of MLAs

-       Giving up party membership

-       Going against party whip

-       Abstaining from voting.

-       Tenth Schedule, which is popularly known as the Anti-defection Law, was added to the Constitution through the 52nd Constitutional Amendment Act, 1985.

-       An independent candidate joins the party after the election.

-       A nominated member joins a party six months after becoming an MP/MLA.

-       It allowed the formation of a new party or “merger” with other political party if not less than two-thirds of the party’s members commit to it.

-       The 91st Amendment also barred the appointment of defectors as Ministers until their disqualification period is over or they are re-elected.

Resignation not a condition:

-       Resignation as MLA was not one of the conditions.

-       This was possible as the legislation empowers the presiding officer of the House (i.e. the Speaker) to decide on complaints of defection under no time constraint.

-       The law originally protected the Speaker’s decision from judicial review.

Kihoto Hollohan Judgement:

-       SC upheld the Speaker’s discretionary power, it underscored that the Speaker functioned as a tribunal under the anti-defection law.

-       Her/his decisions are subject to judicial review.

-       Enabled judiciary to become the watchdog of the anti-defection law.

Balasaheb Patel Judgement:

-       Three-judge SC bench upheld the then Karnataka Speaker’s decision of disqualification of the 17 rebel MLAs.

-       It struck down his ban on the MLAs from contesting elections till 2023.

-       The Supreme Court played the role of a neutral umpire in this political slugfest.


-       Defectors treat disqualification as a mere detour, before they return to the House or government by re-contesting.

Way Forward:

-       This can only be stopped by extending the disqualification period from re-contesting.

-       Stopping of appointment to Chairmanships/Ministries to at least six years.

-       The minimum period limit of six years is needed to ensure that the defectors are not allowed to enter the election fray for least one election cycle.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/when-defection-is-a-mere-detour-for-an-mla/article30463693.ece

Kerala deports four Russian nationals for visa violations

The Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) under the Bureau of Immigration has deported four Russian nationals on suspicion of having violated their visa conditions.

Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO):

-       Registration is essential for all foreigners having visas for a period exceeding 6 months except the exempted categories and should be done within 14 days of first arrival at the nearest office of the Foreigners Registration Officer.

-       The Foreigner Registration Office is the primary agency to regulate registration, movement, stay, departure, and for recommending the extension of stay in India.

-       Nodal ministry for FRROs/ FROs across India is Ministry of Home Affairs.

About E-FRRO:

-       e-FRRO scheme is aimed at building a centralized, transparent online platform for the foreigners to avail visa related services and to provide Faceless, Cashless and Paperless services to the foreigners with user-friendly experience.

-       It provides Online FRRO Service delivery mechanism without requirement of visiting FRRO/FRO Office barring exceptional cases.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/kerala-deports-four-russian-nationals-for-visa-violations/article30467367.ece



Air defence command plan on

Proposal of CDS at talks with Headquarters Integrated Defence Staff:

-       An air defence command will be prepared by June 30, 2020.

-       Common logistics support pools as part of measures to create jointness and synergy among the three services.

-       The areas identified for jointness and synergy include creation of common logistics support pools in stations where two or more services have their presence.

-       Directed various branch heads to come up with recommendations for inter-service synergy and jointness in a time bound manner.

-       Joint services Act is also being worked out which is being formulated by the Army Adjutant-General’s branch in coordination with the Navy and the IAF.

-       All three services and the Coast Guard must be consulted and their views obtained in a time-bound manner.

-       Ensure optimisation of resources.

Necessity for it:

-       Bring jointness in operations, logistics, transport, training, support services, communications, repairs and maintenance of the three services.

-       Create theatre commands in future.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/air-defence-command-plan-on/article30465888.ece


NCLAT decision to reinstate Cyrus Mistry a recipe for disaster, Tatas tell Supreme Court

Tata Sons Private Limited, appealed to the Supreme Court saying the December 18 decision of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) to re-instate Cyrus Mistry as its Chairman is a blow to corporate democracy and rights of the Board of Directors.

The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) is a tribunal, which was formed by the Central Government of India under Section 410 of the Companies Act, 2013. The tribunal is responsible for hearing appeals from the orders of National Company Law Tribunal(s) (NCLT), starting on 1 June, 2016. The tribunal also hears appeals from orders issued by the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India under Section 202 and Section 211 of IBC. It also hears appeals from any direction issued, decision made, or order passed by the Competition Commission of India (CCI).

The NCLAT includes a Chairperson, a judicial member, and a technical member. It consists of a total of not more than eleven members.



Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/business/tata-sons-moves-supreme-court-against-nclat-order-on-cyrus-mistry/article30458194.ece

After Bengaluru, mannequins to handle traffic surveillance in Karimnagar

The Karimnagar Commissionerate of Police, which has been widely appreciated for curtailing open consumption of liquor by using drone cameras, has now decided to install mannequins for traffic surveillance in various parts of the district.

The mannequin traffic police would also keep surveillance with a secret camera and take photos of traffic violators.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/mannequins-for-traffic-surveillance/article30464436.ece