Daily Current Affairs 01-04-2024


    Syllabus :GS 1/History

    In News

    • The year 2024 marks the centenary of the Vaikom Satyagraha.

    About Vaikom Satyagraha

    • Background: Vaikom was  a temple town in the princely state of Travancore. The low-caste Hindus were not allowed to enter into the temples. 
    • The issue of temple entry was first raised by Ezhava leader T KMadhavan in a 1917 editorial in his paper Deshabhimani.
      • In the 1923 session of the INC in Kakinada, a resolution was passed by the Kerala Provincial Congress Committee to take up anti-untouchability as a key issue. 
      • Vaikom, with its revered Shiva temple, was chosen as the location for the very first satyagraha.
      • Vaikom Satyagraha was the first among temple entry movements in India
        • It lasted for 604 days (20 months) from March 30, 1924 to November 23, 1925
    • Reasons:The princely state of Travancore had a “feudal, militaristic, and ruthless system of custom-ridden government.
      • The idea of caste pollution worked not only on the basis of touch but also sight — lower castes were forbidden entry to any “pure” place, such as temples and the roads surrounding them.
    • Prominent Leaders : The movement, led by TK Madhavan, EVR Periyar, MK Gandhi, and Narayana Guru.
    • Temple Entry Proclamation : In November 1936, the Maharaja of Travancore signed the historic Temple Entry Proclamation which removed the age-old ban on the entry of marginalised castes into the temples of the state. 

    Impacts of the Vaikom Satyagraha

    • Vaikom Satyagraha was a testing ground for the Gandhian Principles of Satyagraha.
    • In 1925, Gandhiji wrote to W. H. Pitt, then Police Commissioner of Travancore to resolve the ongoing matter. Thus, Pitt intervened and a settlement was signed between the Government and Gandhiji.
    • The Vaikom Satyagraha proclaimed its significance almost a decade later when in November 1936, the historic Temple Entry Proclamation was passed, which lifted the age-old orthodox ban on the entry of marginalized depressed castes into the temples of Travancore.
    • It was also a great opportunity for the Indian National Congress Party to Grow in Kerala.
    • It became the first struggle for human rights in India.
    • The Vaikom Satyagraha had a significant impact on Indian society and politics. The Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam (SNDP), a social reform organization that worked for the upliftment of the lower castes in Kerala began building temples that would allow entry to all people.


    • The Vaikom Satyagraha was a pivotal moment in the Indian independence movement that brought attention to the injustices of the caste system and the need for social reform. 
    • The Kerala government, in July 2014, announced the establishment of Vaikom Satyagraha Memorial Museum and Mahatma Gandhi statue at Vaikom. 


    Syllabus: GS3/Infrastructure; Security Challenges and management in Border Areas


    • Recently, India has accelerated the efforts to improve infrastructure and connectivity along the Line of Actual Control with China.
    Arunachal Pradesh

    – It is the 24th state of the Indian Union, and is located in the northeastern part of the country.
    – It is bordered by Bhutan to the west, Myanmar to the east, China to the north and north-east, and the plains of Assam to the south.
    Flora and Fauna: The state bird is the Hornbill, the state animal is the Mithun (Bos Frontalis), and the state flower is the Foxtail Orchid (Rhynchostylis Retusa).
    Highest Peak: The highest peak in the state is Kangto, which stands at 7,090 metres.

    Enhanced Connectivity and Development

    • The Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Arunachal Pradesh, a contested border area between India and China, has seen significant developments in infrastructure and connectivity in recent years.

    Boosting Connectivity:

    • The Indian Army has been instrumental in connecting remote areas of the state, speeding up efforts to improve infrastructure along the LAC.
    • It has both military and civilian advantages, boosting tourism and quickening the Army’s movements.
    • The work on the 2,400-km-long Trans Arunachal Highway is nearing completion, and the focus of infrastructure development has shifted to the trans-frontier highway, which will connect all the valleys in the state.
      • It aims to significantly reduce time and effort for both military and general movement, especially in eastern Arunachal Pradesh.
    • Nechiphu Tunnel: It is the 500-metre long Nechiphu Tunnel on Balipara-Chariduar-Tawang Road in Arunachal Pradesh. This tunnel, along with the under construction Sela Tunnel, will provide all-weather connectivity to the strategic Tawang Region.
    Border Roads Organisation (BRO)
    – It was formed in 1960 for coordinating the speedy development of an adequate road communication network of roads in the North and the North-Eastern border regions of the country.
    – It works under the administrative control of the Ministry of Defence.

    Major Functions:
    – Support the armed forces meet their strategic needs by committed, dedicated and cost-effective development and sustenance of the infrastructure.
    – Achieve international levels of quality excellence and time consciousness in a diversified sphere of construction activity in a cost-effective manner.
    – Optimise potential and expertise through increased involvement in agency, transnational and national development projects.

    Enhancing Surveillance:

    • In the last few years, the Army has significantly upgraded firepower and infrastructure along the LAC in the Tawang sector of Arunachal Pradesh.
    • The pace of capability and infrastructure development in the rest of the state has gained significant pace in the last few years.
    • This includes road infrastructure, bridges, tunnels, habitat and other storage facilities, aviation facilities, and upgradation of communications and surveillance.

    Associated Challenges

    • Geographical Challenges: The areas along the LAC in Arunachal Pradesh are characterised by high-altitude terrain and sparse population.
      • It makes infrastructure development and connectivity a challenging task.
    • Educational Limitations: The remote areas along the LAC have limited access to quality education.
      • It is a significant challenge as it affects the quality of life for the residents of these areas.
    • Financial Constraints: The cost of infrastructure development in these remote and difficult terrains is high.
      • It poses a significant challenge in terms of resource allocation and management.
    • Security Concerns: The proximity to the contested border with China adds a layer of complexity to the infrastructure development process.
      • Ensuring the security of the infrastructure projects and the workers involved is a major challenge.
    • Lack of Last-Mile Connectivity: While major highways and other connectivity improvements are being constructed, providing last-mile connectivity to the most forward posts is a significant challenge.

    Related Government Initiatives

    • Inter-state Border Areas Development Programme (ISBADP): It aims to provide facilities for the socio-economic development of the people living along the Inter-State boundary with Assam.
      • Projects taken up under this program are to ensure sustainability and provide value addition to any given product.
    • Border Areas Development Department (BADP): It is to meet the special developmental needs and well-being of the people living in remote and inaccessible areas situated near the International Boundary (IB).
      • The provision of essential infrastructure facilities and opportunities for sustainable living would help integrate these areas with the hinterland, create a positive perception of care by the country and encourage people to stay on in the border areas, leading to safe and secure borders.
    • Infrastructure Development by Ministry of Home Affairs: It includes the construction of fences, floodlighting, roads, Border Out Posts (BOPs), Company Operating Bases (COBs), and deployment of technological solutions along the India-Pakistan, India-Bangladesh, India-China, India-Nepal, India-Bhutan, and India-Myanmar borders.
    • Vibrant Villages Programme: It has been instrumental in developing remote villages in Arunachal Pradesh.
      • Under this programme, primary health centres and residences of school teachers are being upgraded, and concrete tracks are being laid.
      • It has brought about a significant improvement in the quality of life for the residents of these villages.


    • The development of infrastructure and connectivity along the LAC in Arunachal Pradesh is a testament to India’s commitment to securing its borders and improving the lives of its citizens in border areas. While challenges remain, the progress made so far is promising and sets the stage for a more connected and secure future.

    Source: TH

    Syllabus: GS2/Governance


    • Recently, the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) scrutinised the affidavits of the sitting MPs, and revealed several sitting MPs with criminal charges.

    Criminalisation of Politics in India

    • It is a phenomenon, where individuals with criminal charges are elected to positions of power, posing a significant threat to the democratic fabric of the nation.
    • It refers to the involvement of individuals with criminal charges or backgrounds in Indian politics. It means that persons with criminal backgrounds contest in the election and get selected as a member of parliament or state legislature.

    Major Reasons

    • Unholy Nexus between Bureaucracy and Politicians; Religion and Caste; Vote Bank Politics; Ineffective Legal Provisions; and Lack of Transparency and Accountability etc.

    The Extent of the Problem: Key Findings of ADR 

    • Criminal Charges: Out of the 514 sitting Lok Sabha MPs analysed, 225 (44%) have declared criminal cases against themselves.
      • ADR revealed that among the sitting MPs with criminal charges, 29% face serious criminal cases, including allegations of murder, attempt to murder, promoting communal disharmony, kidnapping, and crimes against women.
      • Out of the sitting MPs with serious criminal cases against them, nine face murder cases. 
    • Educational Background, Age, and Gender: 73% of the MPs have graduate or higher educational qualifications, while only 15% of the sitting MPs are women.
    • State-wise Distribution: More than 50% of the MPs from Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Himachal Pradesh face criminal charges.
    • Party-wise Distribution: Among major parties, the BJP and the Congress have the highest number of billionaire MPs.
    • Highest Declared Assets: 5% of the analysed MPs are billionaires, with assets exceeding ₹100 crore.

    Other Key Reasons Highlighted By ADR Earlier:

    • Electoral Bonds: The Supreme Court held that the Electoral Bonds Scheme was unconstitutional for violating the right to information of voters.
    • Registered Unrecognised Political Parties: According to a report by ADR, the number of registered unrecognised political parties has increased two-fold from 2010 to 2019.
    • Election Commissioners Appointment: ADR argues that the present practice of appointment of Election Commissioners by the Centre is violative of Articles 14 and Article 324 (2) and the basic features of the Constitution.
    The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR):

    – It is an apolitical and non-partisan non-profit organisation in India that was established in 1999 by a group of professors from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad.
    – It focuses on corruption and criminalization in the political process, empowerment of the electorate through greater dissemination of information relating to the candidates and the parties etc.

    – To improve governance and strengthen democracy through continuous work in the area of Electoral and Political Reforms.

    – It has published numerous reports on the criminal backgrounds, financial details, and other relevant information of candidates contesting in various elections.
    A. These reports have played a crucial role in promoting transparency and accountability in Indian politics.

    Issues of Criminalization of Politics

    • Question of safety & security: The main purpose of governance is to provide safety and security to citizens who elect their representatives for this role.
      • But if the elected members themselves have criminal records, would they be interested in a criminal justice system that is prompt and efficient?
    • Low conviction rate: As per the National Crime Records Bureau’s 2021 report, only 10,416 cases of murder were disposed of during the year with just a 42.4% conviction rate.
      • The Law minister has admitted to more than 4.7 crore cases pending in various courts.
    • Situation in police stations: Politicians play a very powerful role at police stations, compromising both integrity and impartiality of field staff.
      • In due course, ordinary criminals graduate to be dreaded ones and form gangs extorting money, grabbing land, threatening witnesses in criminal cases, etc.
    • Impact on Democracy: The presence of criminals in politics undermines the very essence of democracy. It erodes public trust in the political system and compromises the integrity of our institutions.
    • Moreover, it raises serious questions about the kind of representation citizens are receiving and the quality of governance being delivered.

    Measures to Curb Criminalisation

    • The Vohra Committee set up by the Centre in 1993 sounded a note of warning saying that “some political leaders become the leaders of these groups and, over the years, get themselves elected to local bodies, state assemblies, and the national Parliament.
    • Law Commission’s 179th report: It recommended an amendment to the Representation of People Act 1951, and suggested the people with criminal backgrounds should be disqualified for five years or until acquittal.
      • It also recommended that the person who wants to contest the election must furnish details regarding any pending case, with the copy of the FIR/complaint, and also furnish details of all assets.

    The Legal Framework:

    • Representation of the People Act, 1951: It provides the basis for disqualifying a sitting legislator or a candidate on certain grounds.
      • However, there is no provision regulating appointments to offices within political parties.
    • Right to Information Act, 2005: Efforts have been made to bring political parties under the Right to Information regime to usher in transparency within political parties.

    Related Supreme Court Judgement

    • In 2002: Every candidate contesting election had to declare his criminal and financial records along with educational qualifications.
    • In 2005: A sitting MP or MLA will be disqualified from contesting the election if convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for two years or more by a court of law.
    • In 2014: The Supreme Court accepted the Law Commission recommendations and passed an order directing that trials against sitting MPs and MLAs should be concluded within a year of charges being framed and conducted on a day-to-day basis.
      • As a follow-up to these directives, in 2017, the government started a scheme to establish 12 special courts for a year to fast-track the trial of criminal cases against MPs and MLAs. 
    • In 2021: The political parties need to upload on their websites and social media platforms the details of pending criminal cases against their candidates and the reasons for selecting them as also for not giving tickets to those without criminal antecedents.
    • Recently, the Supreme Court published some necessary mandates to avert the criminalisation of politics as many lawsuits have been withdrawn against MPs and MLAs in the past.

    Conclusion and Way Forward

    • The criminalisation of politics in India is a grave issue that needs immediate attention. The involvement of criminals in politics not only undermines the democratic process but also hampers the development of the nation.
    • There is a need to fix the role of Political Parties that should be more transparent and accountable in their candidate selection process.
    • The Election Commission of India and other respective authorities need to take transparency measures about the Political Parties and their funding to the People of India so that they can make informed decisions while exercising their vote. 
    • It is high time that stringent measures are taken to curb this menace and restore faith in the democratic system.

    Source: TH

    Syllabus: GS3/Economy


    • The Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs is in the process of reviewing the functioning of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016.


    • In order to protect the interest of homebuyers and to ensure transparency and accountability in the Real Estate Sector, Parliament enacted the RERA Act.
    • The key objectives of the Act are:
      • Ensuring Transparency in the real estate sector concerning the sale of flats, apartments, plots, buildings, or any kind of real estate project.
      • Establishing an adjudicating mechanism for speedy dispute redressal.
      • Protecting the interest of buyers/allottees in the real estate sector.
      • Establishing a bridge of trust between buyers and the promoters, using authority as a medium.
    • The Real Estate Regulatory Authorities established under the Act are required to publish and maintain a web portal, containing relevant details of all real estate projects for which registration has been given, for public viewing.  
    • Reasons For Introducing RERA: Since 2012 Indian real estate sector has been facing collapse due to factors like: Unemployment, Recession, Low rental yield, Inventory pile-up, Unclear taxes and arbitration.
    • Projects Under RERA
      • Commercial and residential projects including plotted development.
      • Projects measuring more than 500 sq. meters or 8 units.
      • Projects without Completion Certificate, before the commencement of the Act.

    Advantages Of RERA

    • RERA has brought uniformity in the real estate sector related to carpet area, common areas which will prevent malpractices like changes in layout, area, agreement, specifications, details about the broker, architect, and contractor, etc.
    • Developers need to make timely delivery of the booked office spaces or homes. If not strict compensation and imprisonment can be taken against the developer.
    • Completion of clearance from the government departments is compulsory before selling any house or office space.
    • A separate bank account should be opened for each of the projects promoted by a developer.
    • The buyer can approach the developer for any defect in the building within a year of the handover and get it rectified free of charge.

    Disadvantages Of RERA

    • The rules and regulations do not apply to the ongoing projects or projects that are held up due to some clearance issues.
    • Government agency delay in approval and clearance may hinder the timely delivery of products.
    • Small developers with projects less than 500 sq. m. do not come under the purview of this act and registration with the regulator is not mandatory for these.
    • Without clearance, projects cannot be launched and so the launching of new projects may get delayed.


    • The RERA is committed to the successful and effective implementation of the real estate law of the country and has taken relevant and consistent measures for the progressive development of the sector in the country. 
    • To encourage sustainable development of the RERA, along with a customer-friendly environment, various policy measures incorporated under the RERA would certainly bring remarkable changes in the economic and social transformation.

    Source: IE

    Syllabus: GS3/Science and Technology, Disaster Management


    • Japanese and Chinese Experts held talks to assuage concerns over the discharge of treated radioactive wastewater from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the sea.


    • The discharges have been opposed by fishing groups and neighboring countries, especially China, which banned all imports of Japanese seafood. 
    • China’s move has largely affected Japanese scallop growers and exporters to China.

    What is the Fukushima Water Issue?

    • In 2021, Japan’s government announced plans to release over one million tonnes of contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea over the next 30 years. 
    • The wastewater is a byproduct of the catastrophic 2011 earthquake and tsunami, which disabled the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, leading to the release of radioactive materials. 
    • After more than a decade of storing this wastewater, Japan says they are running out of storage space, and allege that the now treated water is safe for release.

    Nuclear Disasters

    • A nuclear and radiation accident is an event that has led to significant consequences to people, the environment or the facility. 
      • Examples include lethal effects to individuals, large radioactivity release to the environment, or reactor core melt.
    • Worldwide there have been 99 accidents at nuclear power plants.
      • Fifty-seven accidents have occurred since the Chernobyl disaster, and 57% of all nuclear-related accidents have occurred in the USA.
      • Serious nuclear power plant accidents include the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster (2011), Chernobyl disaster (1986), Three Mile Island accident (1979), and the SL-1 accident (1961).

    Concerns Over the Fukushima Water Release

    • Tritium and Carbon-14: Fukushima water is filtered through Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS), which reduces most radioactive substances to acceptable safety standards, apart from tritium and carbon-14.
      • Both emit very low levels of radiation, but can pose a risk if consumed in large quantities.
    • Lack of Study: The scientists say it requires more studies on how it would affect the ocean bed and marine life.
    • The Pacific Islands Forum regional group has called the plan “another major nuclear contamination disaster”, as several of its members are still dealing with the consequences of US nuclear testing.
    Nuclear Energy Summit 2024

    First ever Nuclear Energy Summit was recently held in Brussels.
    – It highlighted the role of nuclear energy in addressing the global challenges to reduce the use of fossil fuels, enhance energy security and boost economic development.
    – The Summit comes in the wake of the historic inclusion of nuclear energy in the Global Stocktake agreed at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai in 2023.

    Source: TOI

    Syllabus : GS 1/Art and Culture 

    In News

    • Traditional Assamese Gamosa (rectangular piece of cloth) sees surge in demand ahead of ‘Bohag Bihu’.

    About the Bihu 

    • Bihu is the essence of Assam and is celebrated across the state with a tremendous zeal and enthusiasm. 
    • There are three Bihu festivals namely
      •  ‘Bohag Bihu’ is  celebrated in the month of ‘Bohag’ (Baisakh, the middle of April): It  is also called the Rongali Bihu and is a festival of merriment and heralds the Assamese New Year and the onset of spring.
    •  ‘Magh Bihu’ is celebrated in the month of ‘Magh’ (the middle of January): It is also called Bhogali Bihu, which is quintessentially the festival of food.
      •  It marks the end of the harvesting season. The eve of the Magh Bihu is called the Uruka.
    • ‘Kati Bihu’ is celebrated in the month of ‘Kati’ (Kartik, the middle of October) :
      • It is also called Kongali Bihu unlike the other Bihu’s, is not a flamboyant festival and the festivities are graver in nature. An earthen lamp is lit near the Tulsi plant which is termed as the ‘Tulsi Bheti’. 


    • Each Bihu coincides with an idiosyncratic phase in the farming calendar. The Bohag Bihu marks the New Year at the advent of seeding time, the Kati Bihu marks the completion of sowing and transplanting of paddies, and the Magh Bihu marks the end of the harvesting period.


    Syllabus: GS1/Geography


    • Geologists predict that the African continent’s rift in the Afar Triangle could lead to the formation of a new ocean in 5 to 10 million years.


    • The Afar Triangle is also known as the Afar Depression, located in the Horn of Africa. 
    • The Afar Triangle is a geological depression where three tectonic plates—the Nubian, Somali, and Arabian plates— converge. 
    • This area is part of the East African Rift system, which extends from the Afar region down through eastern Africa. 
    • The rifting process occurring here is a result of the tectonic plates slowly moving apart, a phenomenon that has been taking place for millions of years. 

    Formation of New Ocean

    • In 2005, a 35-mile-long rift opened up in the Ethiopian desert, signaling the ongoing separation of the African continent. 
    • This rift is the surface expression of deep-seated tectonic forces at work, as the Somali plate moves away from the Nubian plate, stretching and thinning the Earth’s crust. 
    • Geologists predict that in 5 to 10 million years, the tectonic movement will eventually split the African continent into two, creating a new ocean basin. 
    • This new body of water would be the result of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden flooding over the Afar region and into the East African Rift Valley. 
    • Consequently, this part of East Africa would evolve into its own distinct continent. 

    Source: TOI

    Syllabus: GS3/Environment; Climate Change


    • Recently, INTERACT research stations in the Arctic found that more than 1,000 billion tonnes of ice have been lost in the past four decades.

    About INTERACT 

    • INTERACT is an infrastructure project for studying the environmental changes happening in the Arctic and surrounding regions. Established under the auspices of SCANNET, an existing Arctic network.
    • The network spans across northern Europe, the US, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, and Scotland, as well as stations in northern alpine areas.
    • It is a significant initiative aimed at building capacity for research and monitoring across the Arctic.


    • Capacity Building: A major goal is to make research easier by providing access to stations, resources, and expertise for scientists worldwide.
    • Multidisciplinary Approach: Research goes beyond just climate change. It encompasses various fields like:
      • Glaciology (ice studies)
      • Permafrost (frozen ground)
      • Climate
      • Ecology
      • Biodiversity
      • Biogeochemical cycling (movement of elements between living and non-living parts of the environment)
    • International Collaboration: Scientists from across the globe collaborate using INTERACT’s infrastructure and expertise. This is crucial for tackling complex environmental issues.

    Source: TH

    Syllabus: GS 3/S&T

    In News

    • The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) is carrying out the genetic profiling to add the details of the elephants to a national database.
      • WII is an autonomous institution under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change with the objective of advancing wildlife research, education, and conservation in the country.

    What is Genetic profiling?

    • It is an Information about changes in specific genes, gene expression, or chromosomes in cells or tissue of a person.
    • They may also be a sign that a person has an increased risk of developing a specific disease or condition or of having a child or other family member with the disease or condition. 
    • A genetic profile may be used to help diagnose disease, plan treatment, or find out how well treatment is working.
    • In forensic science, genetic profiling is used for identifying individuals based on DNA evidence, such as in criminal investigations or paternity testing.


    Syllabus: GS1/Geography; Places in News 


    • Recently, the Prime Minister raked up the Katchatheevu Island issue, ahead of the Lok Sabha elections 2024.

    About the Katchatheevu Island:

    • It is an uninhabited island in the Palk Strait, and is believed to have been formed following a volcanic eruption in the 14th Century.
    • It passed to the Ramanathapuram-based Ramnad kingdom in India in the 17th Century.

    • During the British Raj, it became part of the Madras presidency.
      • However, in 1921, both Sri Lanka and India, then British colonies, laid claim to Katchatheevu.

    The Controversy:

    • It began in earnest in 1974 when the island was ceded to Sri Lanka by the Indian government under the leadership of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
      • The island lies on the Sri Lankan side of the International  Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) and was ‘recognised’ by India as Colombo’s territory under the Agreement on the boundary in Historic Waters between the two countries and Related Matters.
    • It has been a point of contention ever since, particularly in the state of Tamil Nadu.
    • The main issue revolves around the fishing rights of Indian fishermen.
      • Fishermen from Rameswaram routinely cross the island and consider the area their traditional fishing territories.

    Source: IE

    Syllabus: GS3/Biotechnology


    • Punnett squares are a way to predict the possible genetic outcomes of the offspring when two individuals with known genotypes are crossed.


    • The Punnett Square is named after British geneticist Reginald Punnett.
    • Along the top and side of the grid, the possible genetic traits of one parent on one side and the other parent on the other side are listed. Then these squares are filled by combining the traits from each parent.
    • Each square effectively represents a possible combination of traits that their offspring could inherit. It’s a simple way to visualise the probabilities of different traits showing up in the offspring.
    • A Punnett Square is a useful tool that helps predict the variations and probabilities resulting from cross-breeding. 

    Source: TH