Current Affairs

Daily Current Affairs | 30-05-2022



  • Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan has been cleared of all charges in the drugs on cruise case for which he spent 26 days in judicial custody.
  • He was arrested by Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) from a cruise ship off the Mumbai Coast in October 2021.


  • The Narcotics Control Bureau was created in March 1986 under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.
  • Functions:
    • Coordination among various Central and State Agencies engaged in drug law enforcement;
    • Assisting States in enhancing their drug law enforcement effort;
    • Collection and dissemination of intelligence;
    • Analysis of seizure data, study of trends and modus operandi;
    • Preparation of National Drug Enforcement Statistics;
    • Liaison with International agencies such as United Nations International Drug Control Program (UNDCP), International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), INTERPOL, Customs Cooperation Council etc;
    • National contact point for intelligence and investigations
  • Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Home Affairs


  • Article 47of Constitution of India mandates a duty upon the State, wherein State shall raise the standard of living of people and improve the public health as well as shall endeavor to stop the consumption of intoxicating drinks and drugs which can be injurious to health except those which are made for medicinal purposes.


  • Minimum sentence for dealing in drugs – 10 years rigorous imprisonment coupled with Rs. 1 lakh fine;
  • For repeated drug offenders – capital punishment can be given;
  • For personal consumption – 6 months to 1 year imprisonment;
  • No relief for drug convicts by – termination, remission, computation.


  • Toofan Singh vs State of Tamil Nadu (2013):
    • Officers invested with powers under Section 53 of NDPS Act are “police officers”; confessional statement made to them are inadmissible as evidence.
  • Gurdev Singh Vs State of Punjab (2021):
    • Poverty cannot be a mitigating Factor while awarding punishment under NDPS Act. & quantity of narcotic substance recovered is a relevant factor to impose punishment higher than the minimum punishment of 10 years.
  • Under the NDPS Act, a ‘small quantity’ means any quantity lesser than the quantity specified by the Central government.
    • For example, up to 100 gms of cannabis and 1000 g of ganja will count as a ‘small quantity’.
  • Similarly, a ‘commercial quantity’ means any quantity greater than the quantity specified by the Central Government by notification in the official gazette.


  • It amended the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 and seeks to rectify a drafting “anomaly” created by a 2014 amendment to the parent legislation.
  • Before the 2014 amendment, clause (viii-a) of Section 2 contained sub-clauses (i) to (v), which defined the term “illicit traffic”.
  • In 2014, the Act was amended and the clause number of the definition for such illicit activities was changed.
  • However, the section (27A) on penalty for financing these illicit activities was not amended and continued to refer to the earlier clause number of the definition.
  • The 2021 Amendment Act replaced the ordinance which was promulgated earlier in 2021.


  • Nasha Mukt Bharat: Annual Action Plan (2020-21):
    • Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment launched the programme for 272 most-affected districts across the country.
    • It launched a three-pronged attack combining efforts of Narcotics Bureau, Outreach/Awareness by Social Justice and Treatment through the Health Dept.
  • National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction (NAPDDR) for 2018-2023:
    • NAPDDR aims to focus on preventive education, awareness generation, identification, counselling, treatment and rehabilitation of drug dependent persons.
    • It also focuses on training and capacity building of the service providers through collaborative efforts of the Central and State Governments and Non-Governmental Organizations.
    • The National Institute of Social Defence(NISD), an autonomous body of MSJ&E, has been given the responsibility of implementing the activities of NAPDDR.
  • National Awards for outstanding Services in the field of Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance (Drug) Abuse:
    • The awards are given by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, annually, on the occasion of International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.


  • India’s first semi-high speed freight train is likely to hit the tracks by December.
  • Based on the Vande Bharat platform, the 16-coach ‘Gati Shakti’ train will be able to run at 160 km/hour.
  • It will be manufactured at the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai.
  • The Indian Railways has identified 74 new ‘Gati-Shakti Multi-Modal Cargo Terminal (GCT) locations across the country.


  • In October 2021, PM Modi launched the Gati Shakti – National Master Plan for Multi-modal Connectivity in New Delhi.
  • Gati Shakti — a digital platform — will bring 16 Ministries including Railways and Roadways together for integrated planning and coordinated implementation of infrastructure connectivity projects.
  • PM GatiShakti is a transformative approach for economic growth and sustainable development. The approach is driven by 7 engines, namely:
    • Railways; Roads; Ports; Waterways; Airports; Mass Transport; Logistics Infrastructure

Vision of PM Gati Shakti

  • PM Gati Shakti will incorporate the infrastructure schemes of various Ministries and State Governments like Bharatmala, Sagarmala, inland waterways, dry/land ports, UDAN etc.
  • Economic Zones such as textile clusters, pharmaceutical clusters, defence corridors, electronic parks, etc. will be covered to improve connectivity.
  • It will also leverage technology extensively including spatial planning tools with ISRO imagery developed by BiSAG-N(Bhaskaracharya National Institute for Space Applications and Geoinformatics).
    • Dynamic mapping of all infrastructure projects with real- time updation will be provided by way of a map developed by BISAG-N.
    • The map will be built on open-source technologies and hosted securely on MEGHRAJ i.e. cloud of Govt. of India.

The scope of PM GatiShakti National Master Plan

  • The scope of this Plan will encompass the 7 engines for economic transformation, seamless multimodal connectivity and logistics efficiency.
  • It will also include the infrastructure developed by the State Governments.
  • The focus will be on planning, financing including through innovative ways, use of technology and speedier implementation.
  • The projects pertaining to these 7 engines in the “National Infrastructure Pipeline” will be aligned with PM GatiShakti framework.

6 Pillars of PM Gati Shakti

  • Comprehensiveness:
    • It will include all the existing and planned initiatives of various Ministries and Departments with one centralized portal.
    • Each and every Department will now have visibility of each other’s activities providing critical data while planning & execution of projects in a comprehensive manner.
  • Prioritization:
    • Through this, different Departments will be able to prioritize their projects through cross-sectoral interactions.
  • Optimization:
    • The National Master Plan will assist different ministries in planning for projects after identification of critical gaps.
    • For the transportation of the goods from one place to another, the plan will help in selecting the most optimum route in terms of time and cost.
  • Synchronization:
    • Individual Ministries and Departments often work in silos. There is lack of coordination in planning and implementation of the project resulting in delays.
    • PM Gati Shakti will help in synchronizing the activities of each department, as well as of different layers of governance.
  • Analytical:
    • The plan will provide the entire data at one place with GIS based spatial planning and analytical tools having 200+ layers, enabling better visibility to the executing agency.
  • Dynamic:
    • All Ministries and Departments will now be able to visualize, review and monitor the progress of cross-sectoral projects.
      • This will be done through the GIS platform.
    • It will help in identifying the vital interventions for enhancing and updating the master plan.


  • To target the e-commerce and courier parcel segment
    • With a turnover of USD 50 billion in 2020, India has become the eighth largest market for e-commerce.
    • India’s ecommerce market is expected to reach $111 billion by 2024 and $200 billion by 2026 and expected to reach $350 billion by 2030.
    • The Railways planned to capture the small size parcel shipments by running dedicated high speed freight trains.
  • To ferry perishable items within stipulated time
    • Each train would have two refrigerated wagons — the first and last cars, to ferry perishable items such as fruits and vegetables.
  • To increase its share in freight transportation

The Railways is aiming to increase its share in freight transportation from the present 27% to 45% by 2030 through better infrastructure and business development plans.



  • The Uttarakhand government recently announced the formation of an expert committee to examine ways for implementing a uniform civil code, including a review of laws governing marriage, divorce, maintenance, inheritance, adoption and other personal laws.
  • The committee will be led by retired judge Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai, who is also the current chair of the delimitation commission.



  • The idea of a UCC has been present in some form in India sinceBritish rule.
  • However, while the British desired the codification of various laws concerning crime, contracts, evidence, etc, they desired to keep Hindu and Muslim personal laws separate as part of their divide-and-rule policy.
  • As a result, while criminal laws in post-independent India are uniform and apply equally to all citizens (regardless of religious beliefs), personal laws implemented through civil laws are influenced by faith.

About UCC

  • A Uniform Civil Code provides for one law that applies to all religious communities in personal matters such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, adoption, etc.
  • In India,Article 44 in the Part IV (Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP)) of the Indian Constitution lays down that the state shall endeavour to secure a Uniform Civil Code for the citizens throughout the territory of India.
  • Article 44 was incorporated into the Constitution as a provision that would be fulfilled when the nation was ready to accept it and the UCC could be socially accepted.

UCC Vs Personal laws

  • Personal laws(mentioned in the Concurrent List of the Schedule VII of the Indian Constitution) are laws that apply to a certain group of people based on their religion, caste, faith and belief made after due consideration of customs and religious texts.
    • For example,Hindu personal law is based on ancient texts like Vedas, Smritis and Upanishads and modern concepts of justice, equality, conscience etc. While, Muslim personal law is primarily based on the Quran and Sunnah.
  • The introduction of a UCC is likely to annul all such codified laws and bring in a law that would be common to all citizens.

Importance of UCC

  • It will simplify the complex lawsaround marriage ceremonies, inheritance, succession, adoptions, etc, as the same civil law will then be applicable to all citizens irrespective of their faith.
  • It seeks to address the discrimination against vulnerable groups(including women and religious minorities) and harmonise diverse cultural groups across the country.
  • It aims to promote nationalistic fervour through unity.
  • Challenges in implementing UCC:
    • As defined in Article 37 of the Indian Constitution, the directive principles are not justiciable(not enforceable by any court) but the principles laid down therein are fundamental in governance.
    • Article 44 uses the words “state shall endeavour” (other Articles in the DPSP chapter use words such as “shall be obligation of the state,” etc). This implies that the duty of the state is greater in other directive principles than in Article 44.
    • It is looked upon asanti-minority and anti-tribal. For example, property succession and marriage laws are governed by traditional and customary procedures in
      • Similarly, tribal laws differ in other North-eastern states. As a result, UCC may cause some dissatisfaction in the North-eastern region.

Will Uttarakhand be the first state to bring UCC?

  • Uttarakhandmay not be the first state to implement a Uniform Civil Code.
  • Goa has a version of a UCC and it is the only state in India to follow a common law for all its citizens.
    • The coastal state follows the Portuguese Civil Code, 1867, which is survived in accordance with the Goa, Daman and Diu (Administration) Act, 1962.

Way ahead

  • According to a Law Commission of India’s 2018 consultation paper, a uniform civil code is “neither necessary nor desirable at this stage” in the country.
  • The goal of a UCC should ideally be reached in a piecemeal manner, like the recent debate on the age of marriage.
  • A just code is far more important than a uniform code.



  • Several countries are reporting cases of monkey pox virus, all of which are non-endemic for monkey pox and outside Africa. This has alerted public health authorities around the world.
  • The identification of confirmed and suspected cases of Monkey pox with no direct travel linkto the endemic area represents a highly unusual event. This is another concern that raises an alarm.


  • Cause:Monkey pox is caused by the monkeypox virus which belongs to the orthopoxvirus genus.
  • Source: Discovered in colonies of monkeys in 1958, the virus is normally seen in African countries.
  • Sub-genus: There are two clades of monkey pox virus, the West African cladeand the Congo Basin (Central African) clade.
  • Fatality rate:Human infections with the West African clade appear to cause less severe disease compared to the Congo Basin clade, with a case fatality rate of 3.6% compared to 10.6% for the Congo Basin clade.
  • Cases reported:New cases of monkey pox have been reported in 18 countries since May 13, 2022. All these 18 countries are non-endemic for the monkey pox and outside Africa and reported cases belonging to the West African clade.
  • Transmission:Monkey pox is a viral zoonosis (a virus transmitted to humans from animals), for example, bites of infected rodents and squirrels and is also transmitted from one person to another by close contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials such as bedding.
  • Incubation period:The incubation period (period between exposure to an infection and the appearance of the first symptoms) of monkey pox is usually from 6 to 13 days but can range from 5 to 21 days.
  • Symptoms:Though this disease goes through four different phases, the Phase 1st is very important for the disease per se.
    • Thefirst invasion period, which is between 0-5 days, is characterised by fever, headache, weakness or lack of energetic.
    • Skin eruptions usually show up within two days of fever. The rash is more concentrated on the face as is apparent in 95 per cent cases. In 75 per cent cases, it is found in the palm and sole of the feet.
    • It affects the oral mucous membrane in 70 per cent of the cases. The conjunctiva, cornea of the eye and the genital area can also get affected.
    • Though it is largely a self-limiting disease, it can lead to some difficult phases when it affects the lungs and the eyes.
  • Most severe symptom:The most worrying symptom is the enlargement or swelling of lymph nodes/lymph glands
  • Vulnerability:The high risk group comprises children, pregnant women and immune-compromised patients, including those who have diabetes. They can have more severe consequences compared to others.
  • Diiference from other rash causing diseases: The swelling of the lymph-nodes is one of the characteristic feature of Monkeypox and is not observed in similar rash causing diseases like measles and chickenpox.
  • Severity compared to small pox: Monkeypox is less contagious than smallpox and causes less severe illness.
  • Medication:For rashes, doctors suggest anti-allergic medication as baseline treatment. An antiviral agent developed for the treatment of smallpox has also been licensed for the treatment of monkeypox as per WHO.


  • In 2003, the first outbreak outside Africawas reported in the USA. It was linked to contact with infected pet Prairie dogs. The dogs had been co-housed with infected rodents imported from Ghana.  This outbreak led to over 70 cases in the US.
  • Monkey Pox was also reported in travellers from Nigeria to Israel in September 2018.
  • UK reported cases in September 2018, Singapore in May 2019 and the US in July and November 2021.


  • Source:Coronaviruses normally contain a single strand of genetic material called RNA, and the monkey pox virus carries its genetic code in the DNA, which is double-stranded.
  • Size: Also, the monkey pox virus is much larger than the one that causes Covid-19, and it produces proteins that disrupt the defenses in the human immune system.
  • Symptoms:In case of Covid, the symptoms are more flu-like, like fever, headache, and runny nose. And if not contained, it can lead to breathlessness, loss of taste, and loss of smell. While monkeypox too has flu-like symptoms, it is more of fever, headache, body aches with lymph node enlargement and the rashes and the skin lesions.
  • Transmission:While monkeypox is also spread by coughing, the droplets are very large compared to Covid-19 where they are very small and spread only within a few feet. So, these particles (of monkeypox) do not spread very far.
  • Diagnosis and treatment: Diagnosis of monkeypox is specifically through microscopy. In two to three weeks, the person may recover. This disease can be easily contained and giving vaccination to the whole population at this point in time may not be necessary unlike Covid-19. The treatment is mainly supportiveand symptomatic, however, the person has to be isolated for two to three weeks, and they normally recover by themselves.
  • But, unlike Covid-19, it’s not air-borne. However, it does spread when in contact with air around an infected person.


  • Earlier, Smallpoxwas a very dangerous disease but using mass immunisation programme it was eradicated in 1978.
  • In India, there is another disease related to the same family: cowpox and Sporadic cases have been reported not only in cows or buffaloes but in humans too, indicating animal to human transmission.
  • Matter of concern:However, till now, Monkey pox cases has never been reported in the country. Hence, it is an exotic
  • Hence more precautionary measures are needed in place because it is a new disease that we have not been exposed to and don’t have immunity against it. That is a big challenge and matter of concern.


  • Travel guidelines:Amid threat of a new viral disease, travel advisory and a preparedness alert has been issued to all states. The international travel to the endemic and the currently ongoing outbreak regions would be under the surveillance at the entry points to check for the importation of the Monkey pox cases.
  • Lab testing:The samples of the symptomatic patients will be referred to National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune. Since it is a DNA virus, there is need to do a PCR test and sequencing of genome. India also has orthopox PCR test, which can rule out other pox viruses, not just the Monkeypox.


  • Evolving scenario:The situation is evolving and WHO expects there will be more cases of monkeypox identified as surveillance expands in non-endemic countries.
  • Urgent action:Immediate actions could be focused on informing those who may be most at risk
  • Ramp up Public health systems:Further public health investigations including extensive case finding and contact tracing, laboratory investigation, clinical management and isolation provided with supportive care to limit further onward transmission.
  • Prioritize vaccination:Vaccination for monkeypox, where available, is being deployed to manage close contacts, such as health workers.
  • Awareness:The identification of confirmed and suspected cases of monkeypox without any travel history to an endemic area in multiple countries is atypical, hence, there is an urgent need to raise awareness about monkeypox.


  • As per the government officials, two issues limit India’s ability to further expand its maritime role.
  • These are infrastructure constraintsand continued delay in posting Indian liaison officers at others facilities and centres in the region.


  • Indo-Pacific maritime domain awareness initiative was launched at recently held Quad Summitat Tokyo.
  • It is an initiative for information sharing and maritime surveillance across the region.
    • The IPMDA would offer a near-real-time, integrated, and cost-effective maritime domain awareness picture.
    • It will respond to humanitarian and natural disasters, and combat illegal fishing.
    • It will also allow the tracking of “dark shipping” across Indo-Pacific region.
    • It will support and work in consultation with Indo-Pacific nations and regional information fusion centres in the region.
  • This initiative will integrate three critical regions in the Indo-Pacific — the Pacific Islands, Southeast Asia, and the IOR.


  • In addition to the IFC-IOR, other existing regional fusion centres that will be integrated are
    • the IFC based in Singapore;
    • the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency based in the Solomon Islands, and
    • the Pacific Fusion Centre based in Vanuatu


  • In December 2018, Indian launched the IFC-IOR, at Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC) Gurugram.
  • It was established for regional collaboration on maritime security issues. This includes:
    • Maritime terrorism, illegal unregulated and unreported fishing (IUUF), piracy, armed robbery on the high seas, and human and contraband trafficking.
  • The IFC-IOR aims to engage with partner nations and multi-national maritime constructs.
    • The idea is to develop comprehensive maritime domain awareness and share information on vessels of interest (i.e., information on white shipping).
      • White shipping information refers to exchange of advance information on the identity and movement of commercial non-military merchant vessels.
      • White is the colour code for commercial ships, Grey is for military vessels and illegal ships are coded as black.
    • So far, this fusion centre has information sharing links with 50 nations and multinational/maritime centres.


  • Maritime security is a paramount concern
    • The IOR is vital to world trade and economic prosperity of many nations.
    • More than 75% of the world’s maritime tradeand 50% of global oil consumption passes through the IOR.
    • However, maritime terrorism, piracy, trafficking, IUUF, arms running and poaching pose myriad challenges to maritime safety and security in the region.
  • Illegal unregulated and unreported fishing (IUUF) growing into a bigger threat
    • In recent years, IUUF has been seen as growing into a bigger threat to maritime states than international piracy.
    • This is because they deplete stocks and deprive vulnerable regional economies of an important food source.
    • IUU fishing also tramples sovereign rights, undermines the rule of law, and robs coastal states of a valuable economic resource
  • Need for collaborative effort
    • The scale, scope and the multi-national nature of maritime activities, make it difficult for countries to address these challenges individually.
    • Hence, collaborative efforts between maritime nations in the IOR, is essential.
  • Part of the India’s SAGAR (Security and Growth For All in the Region) initiative
    • The centre was established as part of the government’s SAGAR framework for maritime co-operation in the Indian Ocean region.
    • It hosts international liaison officers from partner countries. This include both:
      • India’s immediate neighbours in the Indian Ocean region and
      • from further afield, including Australia, France, Japan, Singapore, the UK and the US.
    • The two other data fusion centres likely to be involved in this initiative are:
      • the Singapore Navy’s Information Fusion Centre, and
      • the Australia-sponsored Pacific Fusion Centre.


  • The challenges that are limiting India’s maritime role are:
    • infrastructure constraints and
    • continued delay in posting Indian liaison officers at others facilities and centres in the region.
  • There are requests from several countries to post international liaison officers (ILOs) at the Indian Navy’s Information Fusion Centre-Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR).
  • However, India cannot induct any more at the moment due to infrastructure constraints.


  • It is not just important to have ILOs in India, but also equally important that Indian Navy officers be posted at similar centres in other countries.
  • Proposals to post Indian naval liaison officers (LO) at various regional fusion centres have been pending for more than two years. Some of them include:
    • the Regional Maritime Information Fusion Centre (RMIFC), Madagascar, and
    • the Regional Coordination Operations Centre, Seychelles.
  • India joined the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) as an observer in March 2020 and the proposal to send an LO to the RMIFC has been pending since.
  • Another proposal to post an LO at the European-led mission in the Strait of Hormuz (EMASOH)in Abu Dhabi has also not been approved so far.


  • Value addition
    • ILOs bring to the table one’s local expertise which Indian officials might not be aware of and can’t be determined from here.
    • It also helps in building linkages with various agencies in their home countries.
  • Joining India’s information sharing framework is a strategic statement
    • Countries in the neighbourhood joining India’s information sharing framework is a strategic statement that these countries are aligning with India for their security needs.
  • Better Maritime Picture
    • ILOs joining Indian Fusion Centre and vice-versa will ensure linkages of the IFC-IOR with the other IFCs and eventually becoming the repository for all maritime data in the IOR.
    • The benefits of maritime picture are vast:
      • It will allow tracking of dark shipping and other tactical-level activities, such as rendezvous at sea,
      • It will improve partners’ ability to respond to climate and humanitarian events and
      • It will protect their fisheries, which are vital to many Indo-Pacific economies.


  • The Central government has extended the Prime Minister’s Special Scholarship Scheme (PMSSS) for students from Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakhfor another five years in the wake of the encouraging response it has received.


  • About PMSSS (Objective, Features, Benefits, Eligibility, Performance, etc.)

Prime Minister’s Special Scholarship Scheme (PMSSS):

  • The Prime Minister’s Special Scholarship Scheme (PMSSS) was introduced by the Central government in


  • To promote employment opportunities for students from J&K and Ladakh.
  • Under the scheme, funding is provided to 5,000 meritorious studentseach year to study in private and government educational institutions across the country.
  • The scheme offers 4,500 seats for general education courses (Bachelor’s in Arts, Commerce and Science), and 250 each for engineering and medical degrees.
  • Budget: Rs 180-190 crore annually
  • Implementing Agency: All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE)


  • Students who are the domiciles of Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh.
  • Those who have passed the 10+2 exam from the J&K Board or CBSE affiliated schools located in UTs of J&K and Ladakh.
  • Students who have passed 10+3 diplomafrom UTs of J&K and Ladakh Polytechnic.
  • Students having an annual family income of less than Rs 8 lakh.


  • A total of 5,000 scholarships are awarded for students pursuing courses in General Degree, Professional Degree, and Medical Streams.
  • Students selected for the scholarship will receive the following benefits:
    • For General Degree
      • Up to RS 30,000 per annum for the academic fee (payable to the institution)
      • Maintenance charges of RS 1 lakh per annum (hostel and mess charges-payable to the student)
    • For Professional Degree
      • Up to RS 1.25 lakh per annum for the academic fee (payable to the institution)
      • Maintenance charges of RS 1 lakh per annum (payable to the student)
    • For Medical stream
      • Rs 3 lakh per annum for the academic fee
      • Maintenance charges of RS 1 lakh per annum (payable to the student)


  • There are not many takers for general education seats. When these seats are not filled, they are converted on a pro rata basis into engineering and medical seats, raising the 500-seat limit.
  • According to AICTE data, there was a substantial increase in the number of applications received in the academic years 2020-21 and 2021-22, following a dip in 2018-19 and 2019-20.
  • The rise was recorded after J&K’s special status granted under Article 370of the Constitution was revoked by Parliament in August 2019.
  • The term of the scheme was due to end last year, but the Central government decided to extend it for another five years for the benefit of students.


  • The government has withdrawn the notification cautioning people against sharing a photocopy of their Aadhar card, claiming that it could be misinterpreted.


  • UIDAI is a statutory authority established under the provisions of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 (“Aadhaar Act 2016”).
  • It has been established under the administrative control of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
  • UIDAI was created to issue Unique Identification numbers (UID), named as “Aadhaar”, to all residents of India.As on 31st October 2021, the Authority has issued 131.68 crore Aadhaar numbers to the residents of India.
  • It has its Headquarters (HQ) in New Delhi and eight Regional Offices (ROs) across the country.UIDAI has two Data Centres, one at Hebbal (Bengaluru), Karnataka and another at Manesar (Gurugram), Haryana


  • Under the Aadhaar Act 2016, UIDAI is responsible for:
    • Aadhaar enrolment and authentication, including operation and management of all stages of Aadhaar life cycle,
    • developing the policy, procedure, and system for issuing Aadhaar numbers to individuals and
    • perform authentication and the security of identity information and authentication records of individuals.


  • The Authority consists of two part-time Members and a Chief Executive Officer who shall be the Member-Secretary of the Authority.
  • Chairman of the Authority is Vacant.


  • The earlier notification asked the general public not to share photocopy of one’s Aadhaar with any organisation because it can be misused.
    • It was issued by the Bengaluru Regional Office of the UIDAI.
  • It further added that a masked Aadhaar, which displays only the last 4 digits of the biometric ID, can be used for the purpose.
  • That notification also advised against using a public computer to download electronic versions of the Aadhar.
  • Only those organisations with a ‘user licence’ from the UIDAI could use Aadhar for establishing a person’s identity.
    • Hotels and cinema halls weren’t authorised to collect photocopies of Aadhar.


  • UIDAI, on multiple occasions, had publicly stated that Aadhar details, without biometric information, couldn’t be used to impersonate a person.
  • However, it should be remembered that Aadhar is a document that detailed a person’s personal information.
  • Hence, it was akin to giving out a mobile phone number, or a bank account number or a PAN card and ought to be “ordinarily protected” to ensure a person’s privacy.
  • In 2018, UIDAI tweeted that Aadhar as an identity document by its very nature needs to be shared openly with others as and when required for.
    • On the other hand, in November 2016, UIDAI from its official handle tweeted:
      • We urge you to be very discreet about your Aadhar and other identity documents.
      • Do not share the document no. or a printed copy with anyone.


  • The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), the parent body of the UIDAI, issued a statement withdrawing the notification of UIDAI.
  • It said that the UIDAI had advised Aadhaar card holders to only exercise normal prudence in using and sharing their Aadhaar numbers.
    • UIDAI had issued the notification in the context of an attempt to misuse an Aadhar card using a photocopy.
  • Aadhaar Identity Authentication ecosystem has provided adequate features for protecting and safeguarding the identity and privacy of the Aadhaar holder.




  • According to the data of the Commerce Ministry, in 2021-22, the bilateral trade between the US and India stood at $119.42 billion.
    • It was $80.51 billion in 2020-21.
  • Exports to the US increased to $76.11 billion in 2021-22 from $51.62 billion in previous fiscal year.
  • Imports from US rose to $43.31 billion as compared to about $29 billion in 2020-21.
  • America is one of the few countries with which India has a trade surplus.
    • In 2021-22, India had a trade surplus of $32.8 billion with the US.
  • Bilateral trade with China during the same period
    • During 2021-22, India’s two-way commerce with China aggregated at $115.42 billion as compared to $86.4 billion in 2020-21.
    • Exports to China marginally increased to $21.25 billion last fiscal year from $21.18 billion in 2020-21.
    • On the other hand, imports from China jumped to $94.16 billion from about $65.21 billion in 2020-21.
    • Trade gap rose to $72.91 billion in 2021-22 from $44 billion in previous fiscal year.
  • Trade with other countries
    • In 2021-22, the UAE with $72.9 billion, was the third largest trading partner of India.
    • It was followed by Saudi Arabia ($42,85 billion), Iraq ($34.33 billion) and Singapore ($30 billion).


  • In the coming years, the bilateral trade between India and the US will continue to grow.
  • This is due to the fact that New Delhi and Washington are engaged in further strengthening the economic ties as India is emerging as a trusted trading partner.
  • India has joined a US-led initiative to set up anIndo-Pacific Economic Framework and this move would help boost economic ties further.
  • Also, global firms are reducing their dependence only on China for their supplies and are diversifying business into other countries like India.


  • Conflict between India’s Make in India and US’ America First policy
  • Solar equipments issue:
    • US contends the domestic content requirement imposed by India in National Solar Mission is against WTO rules. India lost case in WTO.
  • Issues related to Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)
    • Time and again, USTR Special 301 Report has classified India as Priority Watch List country.
    • US contends that Section 3(d)(prevents ever-greening) and Section 84 (Compulsory Licensing) of Indian Patent Act, 1970 are not compliant with TRIPS of WTO.
    • US frequently bans import of generic drugs from India on pretext of regulatory measures.
  • India was placed in Currency Monitoring list of US
    • India was for the first time, in April 2018, placed by the US in its currency monitoring list of countries with potentially questionable foreign exchange policies.
    • In May 2019, US removed India from this list. However, in December 2020, it once again included India in its monitoring list.
  • India’s removal from Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) list of US
    • In May 2019, Trump administration terminated preferential trade terms to India which was extended under the U.S.’s GSP program.
      • GSP program is a preferential tariff system extended by developed countries to developing countries.
      • It is a preferential arrangement in the sense that it allows concessional low/zero tariff imports from developing countries
    • In June 2019, India raised tariffs on 28 items exported from the US in retaliation to America’s withdrawal of preferential access for Indian products.
  • H1B visa issue
    • US is in the process of reforming the H1B visa programme.
      • The H1-B visa is a non-immigrant visagiven by the United States to employ skilled workers from other countries for various specialised fields of occupation for a certain period of time.
      • Basically, it is an employment-based and non-immigrant visa category for temporary workers
    • US feels that the programme has resulted into phenomenon like Outsourcing, Unemployment of US workers, and Wage depression.
    • It has increased the visa fees which has affected the movement of Indian professionals. India is the largest user of H1B visas.


  • As Prime Minister Narendra Modi leads the NDA government into its ninth year, a silent reform of capacity building mechanism within the government is likely showing results in the Indian Railways.


  • Referred to as the biggest bureaucratic reforminitiative of independent India, the Union government launched Mission Karmayogi in September,
  • Objective: To transform capacity-building in the bureaucracy through institutional and process reforms.
  • Mission Karmayogi is a scheme that exhorts the civil servant to maintain a very high standard of conduct and behaviour so that he earns the trust of the people and is emulated by his peers and subordinates.


  • Civil Servants play a vital role in formulating policy and executing delivery at the cutting edge.
  • However, the current civil services capacity building landscape was marred with the following challenges:
    • Existing training policy interventions were sporadic and largely confined to individual and intermittent innovations;
    • Stereotyped working in silos or compartments, rather than an overall unifying vision and understanding of national priorities;
    • Lack of a lifelong and continuous learning environment for all civil servants;
    • Barriers to exchange of knowledge preventing collaborative working.
  • Moving from a RULES-BASEDto a ROLES-BASED HR management system.




  • The transition from Rules Based to Roles Based Human Resource (HR) Management – The focus is to allocate jobs to the civil servants based on their competencies.
  • On-Site Learning to complement Off-Site Learning – It is a training given to the civil servants on-site.
  • An ecosystem of shared training infrastructure – Civil servants to adapt to an ecosystem of shared learning materials, institutions and personnel.
  • Framework of Roles, Activities and Competencies (FRACs) approach – All civil services positions to be calibrated under this approach. Also based on this approach, all learning content will be created and delivered to every single government entity.
  • Behavioural, Functional and Domain Competencies – Civil Servants to build their competencies in their self-driven and mandated learning paths.
  • Co-creation of the common ecosystem by all the Central Ministries, Departments and their organizations – This is a way to create an ecosystem of learning through an annual financial subscription for every employee.
  • Partnership with learning content creators – Public training institutions, universities and individual experts will be enabled to be a part of this capacity-building measure.


  • PM’s HR Councilis the apex body to provide strategic direction to capacity building reforms.
  • Cabinet Secretariat CoordinationUnit works to monitor progress and execution and overseas plans.
  • Capacity Building Commissionworks to harmonize training standards, create shared faculty & resources and facilitate world class learning.
  • Karmayogi Bharat SPVowns and operates the online platform iGOT-Karmayogi to facilitate world class learning.



  • The West Nile Virus is a mosquito-borne, single-stranded RNA virus.
  • According to the WHO, it is a member of the flavivirus genus and belongs to the Japanese Encephalitis antigenic complex of the family Flaviviridae.
  • Culex species of mosquitoes act as the principal vectors for transmission.
  • It is transmitted by infected mosquitoes between and among humans and animals, including birds, which are the reservoir host of the virus.
  • Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds, which circulate the virus in their blood for a few days.
  • The virus eventually gets into the mosquito’s salivary glands.
  • During later blood meals (when mosquitoes bite), the virus may be injected into humans and animals, where it can multiply and possibly cause illness.
  • WNV can also spread through blood transfusion, from an infected mother to her child, or through exposure to the virus in laboratories.
  • It is not known to spread by contact with infected humans or animals.


  • The disease is asymptomatic in 80% of the infected people.
  • The rest develop what is called the West Nile fever or severe West Nile disease.
  • In these 20% cases, the symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, body aches, nausea, rash, and swollen glands.
  • Severe infection can lead to encephalitis, meningitis, paralysis, and even death.
  • It is estimated that approximately 1 in 150 persons infected with the West Nile Virus will develop a more severe form of the disease.
  • Recovery from severe illness might take several weeks or months.
  • It usually turns fatal in persons with co-morbidities and immuno-compromised persons (such as transplant patients).



  • The onset of the monsoon over Kerala marks the beginning of the four-month — June-September — southwest monsoon season over India.
  • It brings more than 70 per cent of the country’s annual rainfall. This marks a significant day in India’s economic calendar.
  • IMD announces it only after certain newly defined and measurable parameters, adopted in 2016, are met.
  • Broadly, the IMD checks for the consistency of rainfall over a defined geography, its intensity, and wind speed.


  • The IMD declares the onset of the monsoon if at least 60% of 14 designated meteorological stations in Kerala and Lakshadweep.
  • The 14 enlisted stations are: Minicoy, Amini, Thiruvananthapuram, Punalur, Kollam, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Kochi, Thrissur, Kozhikode, Thalassery, Kannur, Kasaragod, and Mangaluru.
  • It records at least 2.5 mm of rain for two consecutive days at any time after May 10.
  • In such a situation, the onset over Kerala is declared on the second day, provided specific wind and temperature criteria are also fulfilled.

Wind field

  • The depth of westerlies should be up to 600 hectopascal (1 hPa is equal to 1 millibar of pressure) in the area bound by the equator to 10ºN latitude, and from longitude 55ºE to 80ºE.
  • The zonal wind speed over the area bound by 5-10ºN latitude and 70-80ºE longitude should be of the order of 15-20 knots (28-37 kph) at 925 hPa.


  • According to IMD, the INSAT-derived Outgoing Longwave Radiation (OLR) value (a measure of the energy emitted to space by the Earth’s surface, oceans, and atmosphere) should be below 200 watt per sq m (wm2).
  • This is measured in the box confined by 5-10ºN latitude and 70-75ºE latitude.


  • Neither early nor late onset of the monsoon is unusual.
  • In 2018 and 2017, the onset over Kerala occurred on May 29 and May 30, respectively.
  • In 2010, onset was realised on May 31.
  • In 2020 and 2013, the monsoon was exactly on time, hitting the Kerala coast on June 1.
  • No, it does not — just as a delay does not foretell a poor monsoon.
  • The onset is just an event that happens during the progress of the monsoon over the Indian subcontinent.
  • A delay of a few days, or perhaps the monsoon arriving a few days early, has no bearing on the quality or amount of rainfall.
  • The northward progression of the monsoon after it has hit the Kerala coast depends on a lot of local factors, including the creation of low pressure areas.
  • Though this year monsoon has arrived early, it is possible that despite a late onset over Kerala, other parts of the country start getting rain on time.
  • After its onset over Kerala, the monsoon spreads over the entire country by July 15.


  • International Day of UN Peacekeepers is observedglobally on 29th May. The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers also offers a chance to honour around 4,200 peacekeepers who lost their lives serving under the UN flag since, including 135 who lost the battle last year. UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that this year, the focus is on the Power of Partnerships.


  • The theme for this year’s Day is “People. Peace. Progress. The Power of Partnerships.”Peacekeeping is one of the many tools used by the United Nations to secure global peace and security. UN Peacekeepers are also known as the Blue Helmets, is a collective enterprise, which aims to change lives for the better.


  • The first UN peacekeeping mission was established on 1948, May 29when the Security Council deployed a small number of UN military observers to the Middle East to form the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) with the objective to monitor the Armistice Agreement between Israel and its Arab neighbours. Since 1948, more than 1 million people have served in the UN peacekeeping operations, which were 72 in number.



  • The Bangladesh-India passenger train services resumed after two years with the flagging off of the Maitree Express train from Dhaka.
  • The Bandhan Express between Kolkata and Khulna was also resumed with the flagging off of the train at Kolkata. It reached Benapole railway station around 9.45 a.m. local time.
  • The newly introduced train Mitali Express between New Jalpaiguri and Dhaka will be flagged off jointly by the Railway Ministers of India and Bangladesh on June 1. The train will not have any commercial stoppage between Dhaka and New Jalpaiguri.
  • Passenger train services between the two countries had remained suspended for over two year after the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.
  • The resumption of the train services was eagerly awaited in Bangladesh as it provides a convenient and cheap mode of connectivity for the people travelling from Bangladesh to India and back.


  • Petrapole (India)-Benapole (Bangladesh),
  • Gede (India)-Darshana (Bangladesh)
  • Singhabad (India)-Rohanpur (Bangladesh)
  • Radhikapur (India)-Birol (Bangladesh)
  • Haldibari (India)-Chilahati (Bangladesh).



  • Addressing the nation in his Mann Ki Baat programme’s on All India Radio, Prime Minister Narendra Modi recounted how he received an interesting gift by a Self-Help Group from Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu.
  • The gift was a special Thanjavur Doll, which is scripting a new saga of women empowerment as Women’s Self-Help Groups’ stores and kiosks are opening up in Thanjavur.
  • With the help of such kiosks and stores, women are now able to sell their products directly to the customers. The initiative has been named ‘Tharagaigal Kaivinai Porutkal Virpanai Angadi’.
  • The Thanjavur doll is a type of traditional Indian bobblehead or roly-poly toy made of terracotta material.
  • The centre of gravity and total weight of the doll is concentrated at its bottom-most point, generating a dance-like continuous movement with slow oscillations.
  • These toys are traditionally handmade, finished with detailed, painted exteriors.
  • They have been recognized as a Geographical Indication by the Government of India as of 2008-09.



  • National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) under Ministry of Education has launched an online portal to streamline the entire process of recognition of teacher education programs of HEIs/TEIs – right from the time of inviting application for courses till the stage of issue of recognition orders including the inspection of institutions.
  • The applications for the recently launched 4 Year ITEP applications will be processed on this portal.
  • This portal will bring a paradigm shift in the functioning of NCTE. It aims to provide an automated robust framework thereby enhancing accountability, transparency and ease of doing business.
  • All communication from HEIs/TEIs regarding deficiencies/SCN will correspondingly have to be sent on the ITEP portal. For online inspections, stakeholders have to access the VT portal on NCTE website.



  • Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the Centre is implementing various rail, road and air connectivity projects worth Rs1,34,200 crore in Northeast India.
  • Addressing the “Natural Allies in Development and Interdependence (NADI)” conclave here, she said the Union government had been pumping in huge money to develop a number of infrastructure projects throughout the region.
  • The Centre is carrying out 20 railway projects worth Rs74,000 crore for 2,011 km, which are spread across the northeast.
  • The Centre is also developing 4,000 km of roads in the region at a total cost of Rs58,000 crore.
  • There are 15 ongoing air connectivity projects in the northeast, costing around Rs2,200 crore.
  • India and Bangladesh had 50 riverine systems which could be leveraged for all types of transportation as the cost of travel through water was the least when compared to air, road and rail networks.
  • The government is further developing the National Waterways (NW)-1 on the Ganga, NW-2 on the Brahmaputra and NW-16 on the Barak. The entire area between Sadiya and Dhubri in Assam along the Brahmaputra was being developed for better connectivity.
  • The Eastern Waterways Connectivity Transport Grid, once completed, will offer seamless connectivity not only between the northeast and the rest of India but also on the subcontinent.



  • The Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) has issued a draft National Data Governance Framework to mobilise non-personal data of citizens for use by both public and private entities to improve services.
  • It proposes the launch of a non-personal data based India datasets programme and addresses the methods and rules to ensure that non-personal and anonymised data from both government and private entities are safely accessible by the research and innovation ecosystem.
  • The Framework will be of interest to artificial intelligence (AI) start-ups, AI research entities, and government departments.
  • It would also accelerate digital government and digitisation of government with common standards, rules and guidelines for data storage and management across all departments.


  • The Prime Minister virtually inaugurated the “country’s first Nano Urea Liquid” plant of IFFCO (Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited) during a “Sahakar Se Samriddhi” event – a gathering of all cooperative institutions of Gujarat– at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar. The Rs 175-crore IFFCO unit at Kalol has a capacity to produce 1.5 lakh 500 ml bottles of Nano Urea.Urea also forms 82 per cent of the total nitrogenous fertilisers consumed in India, with an annual consumption of 33.6 million tonnes in 2019-20.


  • Nano Urea (Liquid) is a source of nitrogen which is a major essential nutrient required for proper growth and development of a plant. Nitrogen is a key constituent of amino acids, enzymes, genetic materials, photosynthetic pigments and energy transfer compounds in a plant. Typically, nitrogen content in a healthy plant is in the range of 1.5 to 4%.
  • Foliar application of Nano Urea (Liquid) at critical crop growth stages of a plant effectively fulfils its nitrogen requirement and leads to higher crop productivity and quality in comparison to conventional urea.
  • Nano Urea (Liquid) contains nanoscale nitrogen particleswhich have more surface area (10,000 times over 1 mm Urea prill) and number of particles (55,000 nitrogen particles over 1 mm Urea prill).which makes it more impactful.
  • In comparison to Urea the uptake efficiency of Nano Urea is more than 80 %. It is thus, required in lesser measure compared to the conventional urea fertiliser to fulfil plant’s nitrogen requirement.
  • Nano Urea (liquid) has been tested for biosafety and toxicity as per the guidelines of Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India and OECD international guidelines.
  • Nano Urea (liquid) is completely safe for human, animals, birds, rhizosphere organisms and environment at the recommended levels of application.
  • Nano Urea (Liquid) does not involve any government subsidyand will be made available to farmers at a 10% lower price than a bag of subsidised Urea.
  • Transportation would be easier and economical, as one 500 ml bottle would be equivalent to one bag of regular urea fertiliser.


  • increase the nutrient usage efficiency Efficacy of one bottle of Nano Urea (500 mL) is equivalent to one bag of urea.
  • minimize nutrient losses
  • Reduces the requirement of conventional Urea by 50% or more
  • Environment friendly product, can improve Soil, Air & Water quality thus, helps in addressing the concerns of Global Warming and in meeting the UN SDGs.
  • increase the crop yield by an average of 8 per cent along with improving the quality of farm produce by providing better nutrition to crops, according to the coorperative.
  • Cheaper than conventional urea.
  • Reduce input cost to farmers, leads to increase in farmers’ income.
  • Improves crop productivity, soil health and nutritional quality of produce.
  • Nano Urea (liquid) increases crop productivityand can reduce the requirement of conventional Urea by 50%.
  • Application of nano urea (liquid) improves yield, biomass, soil health and nutritional quality of the produce.


  • The size of one nano urea liquid particle is 30 nanometre and compared to the conventional granular urea it has about 10,000 times more surface area to volume size. Due to the ultra-small size and surface properties, the nano urea liquid gets absorbed by plants more effectively when sprayed on their leaves.
  • Upon penetration, these nanoparticles reach plant parts where nitrogen is required and release nutrients in a controlled manner, thereby reducing usage while also reducing wastage into the environment.When sprayed on leaves Nano Urea easily enters through stomata and other openings and is assimilated by the plant cells.It is easily distributed through phloemfrom source to sink inside the plant as per its need. Unutilised nitrogen is stored in the plant vacuole and is slowly released for proper growth and development of plant.


  • A bacteria have been disco­vered in Antarcticawith genes that give them natu­ral antibiotic and antimi­crobial resistance and have the potential to spread out of the polar regions, ac­cording to scientists in Chile.
  • They found that the Pseudomonas bacteria, one of the predominant bacteria groups in the An­tarctic Peninsula, are not pathogenic but can be a source of ‘resistance genes’, which are not stopped by common disin­fectants such as copperchlorineor quaternary ammonium.
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