Daily Current Affairs – 02-08-2023


    Rohini panel report on ‘sub-categorisation’ of OBCs

    Syllabus: GS2/Government policies and Interventions



    • The Kalelkar Commission,1953, was the first to identify backward classes other than the Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) at the national level.
    • The Mandal Commission Report, 1980 estimated the OBC population at 52% and classified 1,257 communities as backward. It recommended increasing the existing quotas, which were only forSC/ST, from 22.5% to 49.5% to include the OBCs.
    • In 2008, the Supreme Court directed the central government to exclude the creamy layer (advanced sections) among the OBCs.
    • The Justice Rohini Commission was constituted under Article 340 of the Constitution in recognition of the perceived distortions in the affirmative action policy. It was seen that a few castes cornered the bulk of benefits available under the 27% quota for OBCs.

    Constitutional Provisions for OBC

    • Article 15 (5): This clause was added in the 93rd amendment in 2005 and allows the state to make special provisions for backward classes or SCs or STs for admissions in private educational institutions, aided or unaided.
    • Article 16(4): This clause allows the state to reserve vacancies in public service for any backward classes of the state that are not adequately represented in the public services.
    • Article 16(4B): This allows the state to consider unfilled vacancies reserved for backward classes as a separate class of vacancies not subject to a limit of 50% reservation.
    • Article 340: This Article provides the president the power to  appoint a Commission to investigate the conditions of backward classes.
    • Article 338B: This article provides constitutional status for the National Commission for Backward Classes, through the 102nd Amendment. 

    Need for sub-categorisation of OBCs:

    • There are more than 2,600 entries in the Central List of OBCs, but over the years, a perception has taken root that only a few affluent communities among them have benefited from the quota. 
    • Therefore, there is an argument that a “sub-categorisation” of OBCs (quotas within the 27% quota) is needed in order to ensure “equitable distribution” of the benefits of reservation.
    • A 2018 analysis by the same commission showed:
      • 97% of all jobs and education seats to total OBS quota have gone to 25% of OBC castes, and 24.95% of these jobs and seats have gone to just 10 OBC communities.
      • As many as 983 OBC communities — 37% of the total — were found to have zero representation in jobs and educational institutions
      • 994 OBC sub-castes had a representation of only 2.68% in recruitments and admissions
    • A five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in August 2020( State of Punjab vs Davinder Singh) also ruled that the 2005 decision of another five-judge Bench in ‘E V Chinnaiah vs State of Andhra Pradesh’ must be revisited.

    E V Chinnaiah vs State of Andhra Pradesh, 2005 Judgement:

    • It held that no special sub-quota can be introduced within the quota for SCs and STs for the benefit of castes or tribes that were more backward than the others on these lists. 

    Terms of reference of the Rohini Commission:

    • Examine the extent of inequitable distribution of benefits of reservation among the castes or communities included in the broad category of OBCs with reference to such classes included in the Central List;
    • Work out the mechanism, criteria, norms and parameters in a scientific approach for sub-categorisation within such OBCs;
    • Take up the exercise of identifying the respective castes or communities or sub-castes or synonyms in the Central List of OBCs and classifying them into their respective sub-categories.
    • To study the various entries in the Central List of OBCs and recommend correction of any repetitions, ambiguities, inconsistencies and errors of spelling or transcription.

    Source: IE

    Geographical Indication (GI) Tags to Seven Products

    Syllabus: GS 3/Intellectual Property Rights 

    In News

    • Seven products from across India including four from Rajasthan were given the Geographical Indication (GI) tag by the Geographical Indications Registry in Chennai.

    About the products 

    • The Jalesar Dhatu Shilp (metal craft) : At Jalesar in Etah district in Uttar Pradesh, which was the capital of Magadha King Jarasandha, over 1,200 small units are engaged in making Jalesar Dhatu Shilp. 
      • This place is known for making decorative metal craft as well as brassware.
    •  Goa Mankurad mango: The Portuguese named the mango as Malcorada meaning poor coloured and with time this word transformed to ‘Mankurad’ aamo. 
      • Aamo means mango in Konkani language.
    •  Goan Bebinca: For the Goan Bebinca:  Bebinca is a type of pudding and a traditional Indo-Portuguese dessert. 
      • It is also known as the Queen of Goan desserts.
    •  Udaipur Koftgari metal craft : the Udaipur Koftgari metal craftsmen practices the ancient art of Koftgari used in making ornamental weaponry. 
      • The weapons are exquisitely ornamented by a complicated process of etching of design, heating and then cooling intertwined with the process of embedding gold and silver wire into the metal, pressing and flattening it to a smooth surface using moonstone and finally polishing.
    • Bikaner Kashidakari craft : Kashidakari work is done majorly on objects associated with marriage, especially gift items, and makes use of mirror work.
    • Jodhpur Bandhej craft : The Jodhpur bandhej craft is the Rajasthani art of tying and dyeing. It is the art of printing varied patterns on fabrics using the tie and dye method.
    • Bikaner Usta Kala craft : It is also known as gold nakashi work or gold manauti work, due to the prominence of golden colour in an actual manner developed by gold in the previous period. 
      • Due to this, the craft has longevity.

    Geographical Indication (GI)

    • It  is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. 
      • In order to function as a GI, a sign must identify a product as originating in a given place.
    • Typically, such a name conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness which is essentially attributable to the fact of its origin in that defined geographical locality, region or country. 
    • Geographical indications are typically used for agricultural products, foodstuffs, wine and spirit drinks, handicrafts, and industrial products.

    Governing rules 

    • Geographical Indications are covered as a component of intellectual property rights (IPRs) under the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property. 
    • At the International level, GI is governed by the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO’s) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). 
    • In India, Geographical Indications registration is administered by the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 which came into force with effect from September 2003. The first product in India to be accorded with GI tag was Darjeeling tea in the year 2004-05.
      • The registration of a geographical indication is valid for a period of 10 years.
        • It can be renewed from time to time for a further period of 10 years each.

    Benefits of GI Tags

    • Legal protection to the products
    • Prevents unauthorised use of GI tag products by others
    • It helps consumers to get quality products of desired traits and is assured of authenticity
    • Promotes the economic prosperity of producers of GI tag goods by enhancing their demand in national and international markets
    • A geographical indication right facilitates those who have the right to use the indication to prohibit its usage by a third party whose product does not conform to the applicable standards. 
    • However, a protected GI does not permit the holder to forbid someone from making a product using the same approaches as those set out in the standards for that indication.

    What is the difference between a geographical indication and a trademark?

    • Geographical indications (GIs) identify a good as originating from a particular place. 
    • By contrast, a trademark identifies a good or service as originating from a particular company.
    • A trademark often consists of a fanciful or arbitrary sign. In contrast, the name used as a geographical indication is usually predetermined by the name of a geographical area.
    • Finally, a trademark can be assigned or licensed to anyone, anywhere in the world, because it is linked to a specific company and not to a particular place.
    • In contrast, a GI may be used by any person in the area of origin, who produces the goods according to specified standards, but because of its link with the place of origin, a GI cannot be assigned or licensed to someone outside that place or not belonging to the group of authorized producers.


    WHO recognition to Single-pill strategy to beat Cardiovascular diseases

    Syllabus: GS2/ Health

    In News

    • Recently, the WHO included three fixed dose combinations of cardiovascular medicines or polypills on its revised Model Lists of Essential Medicines (EML) 2023 for use in primary and secondary prevention of atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases.


    • The polypill is not a new drug but a drug delivery mechanism, which improves medication adherence (because it is a single pill) and saves money by preventing hospitalisations.
    • The WHO Expert Committee on Selection and Use of Essential Medicines noted that the use of the polypill is associated with reduced risks of cardiovascular events, including fatal and non-fatal myocardial infarction and stroke, and the need for revascularization in primary and secondary prevention settings.


    • The polypill is not a new drug but a drug delivery mechanism, which improves medication adherence (because it is a single pill) and saves money by preventing hospitalisations.
    • The polypill is thus an important low-cost public health intervention which can prevent over millions of cardiovascular events and deaths every year.
    • It is a simple treatment that can be administered with very little monitoring to a majority of people, with backup from physicians. 

    Fixed-Dose Combination (FDCs)

    • A fixed-dose combination or FDC drug contains two or more active ingredients in a fixed dosage ratio.

    Advantages of FDSs

    • They reduce the pill burden by reducing the number of pills to be taken by the patients.
    • They are believed to have higher efficacy compared to higher doses of monotherapy.
    • They are overall cost effective and have the least side effects.

    Disadvantages of FDSs

    • If an adverse drug reaction occurs from using an FDC, it becomes difficult to identify the active ingredient responsible for causing the reaction.
    • Scientists face challenges in the development stages of multi-drug formulations such as compatibility issues among active ingredients and excipients affecting solubility and dissolution.
    • If one drug is contraindicated for a patient, the whole FDC cannot be prescribed.

    Source: TH

    WHO Report on Tobacco Control

    Syllabus: GS2/Issues relating to Health


    Findings of the report:

    • Hundreds of enforcement drives, putting up ‘No Smoking’ signs, and creating awareness about the effects of smoking and second-hand smoke resulted in a 27% reduction in smoking in public places in the Bengaluru city.
    • Across the world, there are 300 million fewer smokers today,with the prevalence of smoking declining from 22.8% in 2007 to 17% in 2021.
    • In the 15 years since the MPOWER measures were first introduced, 71% of the entire population remain protected by at least one of the measures. This has increased from just 5% of the population in 2008.

    About MPOWER 

    • WHO had developed the MPOWER measures fifteen years ago:
      • Monitor tobacco use and prevention policies; 
      • Protect people from tobacco smoke; 
      • Offer help to quit tobacco; 
      • Warn about dangers of tobacco; 
      • Enforce bans on tobacco advertising; and 
      • Raise taxes on tobacco products. 


    • With a focus on second-hand smoking, the report says that almost 40% countries now have completely smoke-free indoor public spaces.

    About Secondhand Smoking

    • It refers to involuntary smoking by nonsmokers because of the fumes that are emitted when smokers use cigarettes, pipes, cigars and other tobacco products.
    • It is also called side-stream smoke, environmental smoke, passive smoke and involuntary smoke.
    • While direct smoking(First Hand smoking) is worse, secondhand smoking has similar adverse health effects.
    • Report said, progress so far is being undermined by the tobacco industry’s aggressive promotion of E-cigarettes as a safer alternative to cigarettes. Young people, including those who never previously smoked, are a particular target. 

    Why is it important to curb second-hand smoke?

    • Of the estimated 8.7 million tobacco-related deaths each year, 1.3 million are of non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke, the report says quoting the Global Burden of Disease 2019. 
    • The report adds that severe asthma, respiratory tract infections, and sudden infant death syndrome are more common among children exposed to second-hand smoke.
    • The report focuses on controlling second-hand smoking by creating smoke-free public areas and also de-normalising the act of smoking in the society.

    How does India fare?

    • When it comes to India, the report states that the country has the highest level of achievement (among the top 10 countries) when it comes to putting health warning labels(85%) on tobacco products and providing tobacco dependence treatment.
    • The cigarette packets in the country also carry a toll-free number for a quit-line and have also banned the sale of e-cigarettes, and banned smoking in healthcare facilities and educational institutions.

    What further measures are needed?

    • Implementing warnings on OTT platform content when actors are seen using tobacco products. This would make India the first country in the world to do so. 
    • There is a need to ban the loose sale of cigarettes through amendment to the law on tobacco control. Many college students buy one or two cigarettes instead of the whole pack. This means they are not exposed to the health warning and quit-line at all.

    Control Measures in India

    • Cigarettes Act, 1975: Tobacco control legislation in India dates back to the Cigarettes Act, 1975 which mandates the display of statutory health warnings in advertisement and on cartons and cigarette packages.
    • Delhi Prohibition of Smoking and Non-Smokers Health Protection Act: It was passed in the Delhi assembly in 1997 and became the model for Central Legislation banning smoking in public places in 2002, on the directions of the Supreme Court.
    • Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade, Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act (COTPA) 2003:
      • The comprehensive tobacco control legislation aims to provide smoke-free public places and also places restrictions on tobacco advertising and promotion.
    • Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes Bill, 2019: It prohibits production, manufacture, import, export, transport, sale, distribution, storage and advertisement of e-cigarettes. 
    • Tobacco Quitline Services: These toll-free quitline services (1800-112-356) were initiated in 2016 and were expanded in September 2018.
      • These are now available in 16 languages and other local dialects from 4 centres.
    • National Health Policy 2017: It sets an ambitious target of reducing tobacco use by 30 per cent by 2025, which has been devised keeping in view the targets for control of NCDs.
    • Ratification of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).
    • National Tobacco Control Programme (NTCP):
      • The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare launched the National Tobacco Control Programme (NTCP) in 2007- 08 in 42 districts of 21 States/Union Territories of the country.
      • Currently, the Programme is being implemented in all States/Union Territories covering over 600 districts across the country.

    Source: IE

    Forest (Conservation) Amendment Bill 2023 

    Syllabus: GS2/ Government Policies & Interventions; GS3/Conservation

    In News

    • Recently, the Forest (Conservation) Amendment Bill 2023 was cleared by Parliament.

    About the Forest (Conservation) Amendment Bill, 2023

    • Restrictions on activities in the forest: The Act restricts the de-reservation of forest or use of forest land for non-forest purposes
      • Such restrictions may be lifted with the prior approval of the central government.  
      • Non-forest purposes include the use of land for cultivating horticultural crops, running zoos, ‘eco-tourism’ facilities or for any purpose other than reafforestation.  
    • Assigning of land through a lease or otherwise: Under the Act, state government or any authority requires prior approval of the central government to direct the assigning of forest land through a lease or otherwise to any organisation (such as a private person, agency, authority, corporation) not owned by the government.
    • Building forest carbon stock & improving Livelihood: The predominant idea of the proposed changes is to build forest carbon stock by raising plantations
      • The Bill talks about keeping up with “dynamic changes in the ecological, strategic and economic aspirations of the country” and “improvement of livelihoods for forest-dependent communities.” 
      • The scope of the amendments boils down to pushing plantations to achieve carbon neutrality by limiting the scope of the Act.
    • Compensatory afforestation: The Bill also seeks to make land available for developers to meet their legal obligation towards compensatory afforestation in lieu of forest land diverted for development projects.
      • If the scope of the FC Act is restricted, fewer projects will be required to obtain forest clearance, which is considered a ‘hurdle’ by most developers in and outside the government. 
      • But it will also help developers secure forest clearance when they need it.
      • A key condition for forest clearance is that a developer must carry out compensatory afforestation on equivalent non-forest land or, if non-forest land is not available, on degraded forest land twice the extent of the forest area diverted.
    • BorderLands: It also exempts border lands from the obligation to seek permissions to clear forests in order to construct “strategic linear projects of national importance”.


    • Definition of a ‘forest’: The Bill’s principal thrust is that it redefines what a ‘forest’ is in Indian law. It stipulates that only those lands that were notified as ‘forest’ under the Indian Forest Act 1927, any other relevant law or were recorded as ‘forests’ in government records will be acknowledged as ‘forests’ under the Act as well.
      • This revision stands in stark contrast to the wide applicability of the extant Act at present  – i.e. it applies to “any forest land”.
      • So, the amendment opens up all land that hasn’t been officially classified as ‘forests’ to commercial activity. 
    • No checks and balances: The Act also removes the checks and balances the Act currently includes, in the form of forest clearance permissions and the informed consent of the local community.
    • Choosing plantation over forests: Forests are a lot more than a sum of trees. Unlike man-made plantations, natural forests perform a range of ecosystem services that are key to the survival and well-being of the millions of species that they support, and also provide direct livelihood and subsistence to crores of people.
    • Exemption for linear infrastructure projects: The Bill seeks to exempt linear infrastructure projects – like roads and highways – from seeking forest clearance permissions if they are located within 100 km of the national border. 
      • Experts have raised concerns because “strategic linear projects of national importance” is an undefined term and can thus be misused to push through infrastructure projects that are devastating for the local ecology.
    • Non-inclusivity of nomenclature: There were objections to the Act’s new name — Van (Sanrakshan Evam Samvardhan) Adhiniyam, translated as Forest (Conservation and Augmentation) Act, instead of the existing Forest (Conservation) Act — on the grounds that it was “non-inclusive” and left out many among the “(non-Hindi speaking) population both in South India and also in the North-East.” 
    • Not referred to Parliamentary Standing Committee:
      • It has also been claimed that the Bill was not referred to the relevant Parliamentary Standing Committee, which in this case would have been the Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment, Forests and Climate Change.


    • How much area will be affected? 
      • For an idea of the scale, consider the latest State of Forests Report (SFR 2021), which records India’s forest cover as 713,789 sq km. 
      • Of this, nearly 28% or 197,159 sq km — roughly the size of Gujarat — is not recorded as ‘forest’.
    • The areas that stand to be affected in a significant way include about 40% of the Aravalli range and 95% of the Niyamgiri hill range; the latter is home to the Dongria Kondh, a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group. 
    • Many experts are also uncertain, and thus apprehensive, about the actual extent of land that will fall outside the purview of the amended Act considering the State-wise data of deemed forests is not publicly available.
    • Exemption of linear infrastructure projects is of particular concern in the Northeastern States, where the exemption would apply de facto almost across the region.

    Source: TH

    Facts In News

    Anna Bhau Sathe

    Syllabus: GS 1/History

    In News

    • Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) founder president and Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao has demanded Anna Bhau Sathe be conferred with Bharat Ratna 

    About Anna Bhau Sathe

    • Tukaram Bhaurao Sathe later came to be known as Annabhau Sathe was born in a Dalit family on August 1, 1920 in Maharashtra’s Wategaon village in Satara district.
      • He belonged to the Matang community among Dalits.
    • He was a social reformer, writer and folk poet of Maharashtra.
    • He is also known as a pioneer of dalit literature
    • He was influenced by the communist ideology and is often known as the ‘Maxim Gorky of Maharashtra’, having been inspired by the Russian writer-activist’s work, as well as the Russian Revolution.
    • Contributions:  He decided to bring awareness among the masses against Brahmanism which imposed untouchability and virtually compelled the deprived lot to take recourse to criminal and military occupation against the British Government.
      • He used his art and poetic genius in educating the masses.
      • He formed Dalit Yuvak Sangh, a cultural group and started writing poems on workers’ protests, agitations. 
        • The group used to perform in front of the mill gates.
      • In 1943, he along with Amar Sheikh and Datta Gavhankar, formed the Lal Bawta Kala Pathak. 
        • The group toured across Maharashtra presenting programmes on caste atrocities, class conflict, and workers’ rights.
      • In 1943, he was part of the process that led to the formation of the Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA). 
        • He became its national president in 1949. 
      • He played a vital role in the Samyukta Maharashtra movement. 
    • Literary Contributions: In 1939, he wrote his first ballad ‘Spanish Povada’.
      • Several of his works like ‘Aklechi Goshta,’ ‘Stalingradacha Povada,’ ‘Mazi Maina Gavavar Rahili,’ ‘Jag Badal Ghaluni Ghav’ were popular across the state. 
      •  His ‘Bangalchi Hak’ (Bengal’s Call) on the Bengal famine was translated into Bengali and later presented at London’s Royal Theatre. 
      •  He dedicated his most famous novel Fakira to Dr Ambedkar. 


    Lokmanya Tilak National Award

    Syllabus : Miscellaneous/ Awards  

    In News

    • The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi was conferred the Lokmanya Tilak National Award in Pune, Maharashtra. 
      • The Prime Minister donated the cash prize to the Namami Gange Project.

    About Lokmanya Tilak National Award

    • The Award was constituted by Tilak Smarak Mandir Trust in 1983 to honour the legacy of Lokmanya Tilak.
    •  It is awarded to people who have worked for the progress and development of the nation and whose contribution can only be seen as remarkable and extraordinary. 
    • It is presented every year on the 1st of August – Lokmanya Tilak’s death anniversary.

    Do you Know ?

    • The Prime Minister became the 41st recipient of the award. 
    • It has previously been presented to luminaries such as Dr Shankar Dayal Sharma, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Mrs Indira Gandhi, Dr Manmohan Singh, Shri N. R. Narayana Murthy, Dr E. Sreedharan among others.


    7th IPCC Assessment Cycle


    Syllabus: GS3/ Environment, Conservation


    • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) marks the beginning of its seventh assessment cycle.

    What are IPCC Assessment Cycles?

    • It had six assessment cycles, during which it released six comprehensive assessment reports. 
    • IPCC publishes methodology reports during these cycles, in which it provides guidelines for governments to estimate their greenhouse gas emissions and removals.
    • The previous reports included reports put out by the three working groups:
      • Working Group I, aims at assessing the physical scientific basis of the climate system and climate change, 
      • Working Group II, examines the vulnerability of socio-economic and natural systems to climate change and its consequences, 
      • Working Group III, focuses on climate change mitigation, assessing methods for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.

    IPCC’s Assessment Reports (ARs)

    • The IPCC’s Assessment Reports serve as the foundation for climate change policies and as the scientific basis for global climate change discussions.
    • It has released six ARs — the final synthesis report of the sixth AR came out in March 2023 — and with the latest elections, the body has initiated a new cycle of producing the next AR.

    IPCC’s Sixth Synthesis Report

    • Climate change is a threat to human well being and planetary health.
    • Human activities , principally through emissions of greenhouse gases , have unequivocally caused global warming.
    • Adaptation, planning and implementation has progressed in all sectors and regions with benefits and varying effectiveness.
    • Climatic and non-climatic risks will increasingly interact, creating risks that are complex and difficult to manage.

    About IPCC

    • IPCC was set up by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) IN 1988.
    • It  is governed by 195 member states and its secretariat is in Geneva, switzerland.
    • It is a scientific organization whose periodic evaluations of climate serve as the foundation for global climate action. It provides a Synthesis report, which incorporates the conclusions of the five reports it has produced in the sixth assessment cycle since 2018.
    • The IPCC does not undertake its own scientific study; instead, it requests that other experts perform their own studies on climate change.

    Source: IE

    Kuril islands

    Syllabus: GS1/Geography


    • Russia’s invasion of Ukraine forced it to funnel more and more of its resources to its western border thereby neglecting disputed Kurils island with Japan along the eastern border.  

    About Kurils Island 

    • Kuril Islands, Russian Kurilskiye Ostrova, Japanese Chishima-rettÅ, is an archipelago in Sakhalin oblast province of far-eastern Russia. 
    • The archipelago (56 islands) extends for 1,200 km from the southern tip of the Kamchatka Peninsula (Russia) to the northeastern corner of Hokkaido island (Japan) and separates the Sea of Okhotsk from the Pacific Ocean.
    • The chain is part of the belt of geologic instability circling the Pacific and contains at least 100 volcanoes, of which 35 are still active, and many hot springs. 
    • Parallel to the chain, in the Pacific floor, is the Kuril Trench, which reaches a depth of more than 6.5 miles (10.5 km).

    Background of the dispute:

    • The Kurils were originally inhabited by the Ainu, and they were later settled by the Russians and Japanese, following several waves of exploration in the 17th and 18th centuries.
    • Treaty of Shimoda, 1855: gave control of the four southernmost islands to Japan and the remainder of the chain to Russia. 
    • Treaty of Saint Petersburg, 1875: Russia ceded possession of the Kurils to Japan in exchange for uncontested control of Sakhalin Island
    • Yalta agreements 1945: The islands were ceded to the Soviet Union, and the Japanese population was repatriated and replaced by Soviets. 
    • Japan still claims historical rights to the southernmost islands and has tried repeatedly to persuade the Soviet Union and, from 1991, Russia to return those islands to Japanese sovereignty.

    Source: IE