13-September-22: Daily Current Affairs

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13-September-22: Daily Current Affairs

Today’s Current Affairs Topics :
1. Acharya Vinoba Bhave
2. Early Intervention Centre – Prayas
3. IFSCA FinTech Incentive Scheme, 2022
4. Supreme Court’s three-question test for validity of 10% EWS quota
5. Kashi Vishwanath Temple-Gyanvapi mosque dispute
6. Global pandemic fund to open for investment proposals
7. Sea turtles
8. International Atomic Energy Agency
9. What is a constitutional monarchy?
10. The National Financial Reporting Authority
11. India to assume G20 presidency for a year

Topic 1 : Acharya Vinoba Bhave

Context: The Prime Minister of India has paid tributes to Acharya Vinoba Bhave on his Jayanti.

About Vinoba Bhave

  • Vinoba Bhave (1895-1982) was an Indian nationalist and social-reform leader.
  • Bhave’s most notable contribution was the creation of the bhoodan (land gift) movement.
  • He was born into a high-ranking Chitapavan Brahmin family in Gagode village, south of Bombay
  • Bhave and Mahatma Gandhi:
    • Vinayak Bhave was renamed with the affectionate diminutive “Vinoba” by Mahatma Gandhi.
    • He was associated with Mahatma Gandhi in the Indian independence movement.
    • He stayed for some time at Gandhi’s Sabarmati ashram in a cottage that was named after him, ‘Vinoba Kutir’.
    • In 1940 he was chosen by Gandhi to be the first individual Satyagrahi (an individual standing up for Truth instead of a collective action) against the British rule.
  • Sarvodaya and Bhoodan movement:
    • Bhave observed the life of the average Indian living in a village and tried to find solutions for the problems he faced with a firm spiritual foundation.
    • This formed the core of his Sarvodaya movement.
    • Another example of this is the Bhoodan (land gift) movement started at Pochampally on 18 April 1951.
    • He walked all across India asking people with land to consider him one of their sons and so gave him one-sixth of their land which he then distributed to landless poor.
  • He also campaigned against the slaughtering of cows.
  • Awards
    • In 1958 Bhave was the first recipient of the international Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership.
    • He was awarded the Bharat Ratna posthumously in 1983.
  • Literary works:
      • He called “Kannada” script the “Queen of World Scripts
      • He wrote brief introductions to, and criticisms of, several religious and philosophical works like:
        • the Bhagavad Gita,
        • works of Adi Shankaracharya,
        • the Bible
        • the Quran.
      • Bhave had translated the Bhagavad Gita into Marathi.
      • His talks on the Bhagavad Gita were later published in book form, as Talks on the Gita, and it has been translated into many languages both in India and elsewhere.

    Topic 2 : Early Intervention Centre – Prayas

Context: To alleviate the suffering and instil confidence in parents in dealing with differently abled children a model “Early Intervention Centre- Prayas” has been established at Army Hospital (Research & Referral).

Key details:

    • The Early Intervention Centre is a comprehensive state-of-the-art facility which is dedicated to the children with special needs.
    • Children of Armed Forces personnel upto six years of age suffering from autismcerebral palsysleep and language delay and other disabilities will benefit immensely from this venture.
    • The newly established Centre has facilities of advanced screening for:
      • hearing and visual defects,
      • detection of Autism,
      • clinical identification of various syndromes
    • Therapeutic facilities like
      • Special Education,
      • Sensory Integration Occupational and Physiotherapy,
      • Behaviour Modification
      • Nutritional Guidance.
    • It is integrated with Vatsalya, a paediatric super speciality discipline.
    • Army Hospital (R&R) provides tertiary care referral facilities and is the Centre of Excellence in various subspecialties.
    • Addition of EIC “Prayas” will help in early diagnosis and institution of necessary therapeutic interventions to differently abled children during the best window of opportunity, which is between birth and 6 years of age.

Topic 3 : IFSCA FinTech Incentive Scheme, 2022

Context: The International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) launched the IFSCA (FinTech Incentive) Scheme for providing financial support to FinTech activities in the form of specific grant(s).

Key details:

  • This scheme shall be open to –
  • Domestic FinTechs seeking access to overseas markets;
  • Domestic FinTechs seeking listing on IFSCA recognised stock exchanges;
  • Foreign FinTechs seeking market access to IFSCs in India and work within the Authority’s regulatory framework;
  • Foreign FinTechs seeking access to domestic market under Inter-Operable Regulatory Sandbox (IORS) framework;
  • Domestic FinTechs extending business to the IFSCs either by way of authorisation or registration or through the regulatory sandbox.
  • The types of incentives for eligible applicants are:
  • FinTech Start-up grant
    • This grant shall be utilized for developing a product or a service and related ‘go-to market’ initiatives for a start-up with a novel FinTech idea or solution.
  • Proof of Concept (PoC) grant
    • This grant shall be utilized for the purpose of conducting a PoC by an early or mature FinTech Entity (FE) in domestic market or overseas.
  • Sandbox grant
    • This grant shall be utilized by FEs to experiment with innovative products or services in a sandbox.
  • Green FinTech Grant
    • This grant shall be utilized towards developing solutions facilitating sustainable finance and sustainability linked finance, including ‘Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)’ investments.
  • Accelerator Grant
    • This grant shall be utilized for supporting accelerators at the IFSC for capacity building, build capabilities around mentors, bringing investors, bringing more projects or PoC, tie ups, etc.
  • Listing Support Grant –
      • The grant shall be utilized for supporting Domestic FE aspiring to go for listing on stock exchanges recognised by the Authority.About IFSCA
      • The International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) has been established in 2020 under the International Financial Services Centres Authority Act, 2019.
      • It is headquartered at GIFT City, Gandhinagar in Gujarat.
      • It is an authority to develop and regulate:
        •  financial services,
        • financial products
        • financial institutions
      • Before the IFSCA was established, the financial services and institutions were regulated by the SEBI, RBI, IRDAI, PFRDA, etc.

    Topic 4 : Supreme Court’s three-question test for validity of 10% EWS quota

Context: The Supreme Court will examine whether The Constitution (103rd Amendment) Act, which introduced a 10 per cent quota for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in government jobs and admissions, violates the basic structure of the Constitution.

The issues fixed by the Supreme Court

  • The court decided to take up three of them:
    • Whether the 103rd Constitution Amendment can be said to breach the basic structure of the Constitution by permitting the state to make special provisions, including reservation, based on economic criteria
    • Whether it can be said to breach the basic structure…by permitting the state to make special provisions in relation to admission to private unaided institutions
    • Whether the basic structure is violated by excluding the SEBCs (Socially and Educationally Backward Classes)/ OBCs (Other Backward Classes)/ SCs (Scheduled Castes)/ STs (Scheduled Tribes) from the scope of EWS reservation

The 103rd Amendment

  • The 103rd Amendment inserted Articles 15(6) and 16(6) in the Constitution to provide up to 10 per cent reservation to EWS other than backward classes, SCs, and STs in higher educational institutions and initial recruitment in government jobs.
  • The amendment empowered state governments to provide reservation on the basis of economic backwardness.
    • Article 15 prohibits discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth.
    • Article 16 guarantees equal opportunity in matters of public employment.
  • The additional clauses gave Parliament the power to make special laws for EWS like it does for SCs, STs, and OBCs.
  • The EWS reservation was granted based on the recommendations of a commission headed by Major General (retd) S R Sinho.
    • The Sinho Commission recommended that all below-poverty-line (BPL) families within the general category as notified from time to time, and also all families whose annual family income from all sources is below the taxable limit, should be identified as EBCs (economically backward classes).

How is EWS status determined under the law?

  • Under the 2019 notification, a person who was not covered under the scheme of reservation for SCs, STs, and OBCs, and whose family had a gross annual income below Rs 8 lakh, was to be identified as EWS for the benefit of reservation.
  • The notification specified what constituted income, and excluded some persons from the EWS category if their families possessed certain specified assets.

Challenge to the amendment

  • When a law is challenged, the burden of proving it is unconstitutional lies on the petitioners.
  • The primary argument in this case is that the amendment violates the basic structure of the Constitution.
  • Although there is no clear definition of basic structure, any law that violates it is understood to be unconstitutional.
  • It stems from the view that the special protections guaranteed to socially disadvantaged groups is part of the basic structure, and that the 103rd Amendment departs from this by promising special protections on the sole basis of economic status.
  • The petitioners have also challenged the amendment on the ground that it violates the Supreme Court’s 1992 ruling in Indra Sawhney & Ors v Union of India, which upheld the Mandal report and capped reservations at 50 per cent.
  • The court had held that economic backwardness cannot be the sole criterion for identifying a backward class.
  • Another challenge is on behalf of privateunaided educational institutions.
    • They have argued that their fundamental right to practise a trade/ profession is violated when the state compels them to implement its reservation policy and admit students on any criteria other than merit.

Government’s stand

  • The government argued that under Article 46 of the Constitution, part of Directive Principles of State Policy, the state has a duty to protect the interests of economically weaker sections
  • Against the argument of violation of the basic structure, the government said that to sustain a challenge against a constitutional amendment, it must be shown that the very identity of the Constitution has been altered.
  • On the Indra Sawhney principle, the government has relied on the SC’s 2008 ruling in Ashoka Kumar Thakur v Union of India, in which the court upheld the 27 per cent quota for OBCs.
    • The argument is that the court accepted that the definition of OBCs was not made on the sole criterion of caste but a mix of caste and economic factors; thus, there need not be a sole criterion for according reservation.

Topic 5 : Kashi Vishwanath Temple-Gyanvapi mosque dispute

Context: The Varanasi District and Sessions Court dismissed the Anjuman Intezamia Masajid Committee’s plea challenging the maintainability of the civil suits filed by five Hindu women seeking the right to worship at the complex.

Key details:

  • The committee argued that the Places of Worship Act—which states that the religious character of any place of worship as it existed on August 15, 1947, must be maintained—barred the changing of the character of the mosque.
  • In his verdict, the District Judge observed that among the main contentions of defendant are the suit of the plaintiffs is barred by Section 4 of the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991.
    • However, the judge observed that according to the plaintiffs, they were worshipping at the disputed place incessantly since a long time till 1993.
    • After 1993, they were allowed to worship only once a year under the regulatory state of Uttar Pradesh.
    • Therefore, The Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991, does not operate as bar on the suit of plaintiffs and the suit is not barred by the Act.

What is The Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991?

  • The Act was enacted to:
    • prohibit conversion of any place of worship
    • provide for the maintenance of the religious character of any place of worship as it existed on the 15th August, 1947
    • for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
  • The Act bars the conversion of places of worship.
  • Exception:
    • Section 5 of the Act says that it does not apply to Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid.
  • The Act was introduced by the PV Narasimha Rao government at a time when the Ram temple movement was gaining momentum.

The case before the court

  • The Hindu side had argued that the mosque was built on the site of an older temple.
  • The Muslim side pleaded that the mosque was built on Wakf premises, and that The Places of Worship Act of 1991 barred the changing of the character of the mosque.

The mosque in Varanasi

    • The Gyanvapi Mosque was built in 1669 during the reign of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, who ordered the demolition of the existing Vishweshwar temple at the site, and its replacement by a mosque.
      • This is mentioned in the 1937 book, ‘History of Benares: From the Earliest Times Down to 1937’, by A S Altekar.
    • The name of the mosque is said to have derived from an adjoining well, the Gyanvapi, or Well of Knowledge.
    • An old sculpture of the Nandi bull inside the compound faces the wall of the mosque instead of the sanctum sanctorum of the temple.
    • The present Kashi Vishwanath Temple was built in the 18th century by Rani Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore, immediately to the south of the mosque.

Topic 6 : Global pandemic fund to open for investment proposals

Context: A new fund for pandemic prevention, preparedness and response hosted by the World Bank will invite investment proposals from November 2022.

Key details:

  • The financial intermediary fund (FIF) is built to financially boost efforts in low- and middle-income countries to prevent, control and prepare for pandemics such as COVID-19.
  • It will also address critical gaps through investments and technical support at the national, regional and global levels.
  • The treasury will also combine the roles of institutions involved in pandemic research for:
    • Provide complementary support
    • Improve coordination among partners
    • Incentivise increased country investments
    • Serve as a platform for advocacy
    • Help focus and sustain high-level attention on strengthening health system
  • FIF financing could help:
    • strengthen and sustain pandemic prevention,
    • preparedness and response capacity in areas such as zoonotic disease surveillance;
    • laboratories;
    • emergency communication, coordination and management;
    • critical health workforce capacities;
    • community engagement.
  • The fund pooled in financial support from the G20 countries and some other nations.

Topic 7 : Sea turtles

Context: According to a new study More than 1.1 million sea turtles have been illegally killed and in some cases trafficked from 1990 to 2020.

Key details:

  • The reptiles faced exploitation in 65 countries/territories and 44 out of the 58 marine turtle regional management units (RMU) in the world despite laws protecting the creatures.
  • The sea turtle family includes the hawksbillloggerheadleatherbackgreen and olive ridley turtle.
  • The species that faced the most exploitation in the 30-year-period were green (56 per cent) and hawksbill sea turtles (39 per cent).
  • Southeast Asia and Madagascar were major hotspots for illegal sea turtle trade, particularly for the critically endangered hawksbills.
  • The hawksbill turtles are prized in the illicit wildlife trade for their beautiful shells.
  • Vietnam was the most common country of origin for illegal sea turtle trafficking, while China and Japan served as destinations for nearly all trafficked sea turtle products.
  • Vietnam-China was the most common trade route across all three decades.
  • There was a 28 per cent decrease in the reported exploitation of marine turtles from the 2000s to the 2010s.
    • The decline over the past decade could be due to increased protective legislation and enhanced conservation efforts, coupled with an increase in awareness of the problem or changing local norms and traditions.
  • Reason for their decline
    • Sea turtles are slaughtered for their eggsmeatskin, and shell
    • They also face habitat destruction and accidental capture or bycatch in fishing gear.
    • Climate change has an impact on turtle nesting sites as it alters sand temperatures, which affects the sex of hatchlings.

About Sea turtles

  • Sea turtles, sometimes called marine turtles, are reptiles of the order Testudines and of the suborder Cryptodira.
  • The seven existing species of sea turtles are:
    • the flatback sea turtles,
    • green sea turtles,
    • hawksbill sea turtles,
    • leatherback sea turtles,
    • loggerhead sea turtles,
    • Kemp’s ridley sea turtles,
    • olive ridley sea turtles.
  • Sea turtles can be separated into the categories of hard-shelled (cheloniid) and leathery-shelled (dermochelyid).
    • There is only one dermochelyid species which is the leatherback sea turtle.
  • Distribution
    • Sea turtles can be found in all oceans except for the polar regions.
    • The flatback sea turtle is found solely on the northern coast of Australia.
    • The Kemp’s ridley sea turtle is found solely in the Gulf of Mexico and along the East Coast of the United States.
    • Sea turtles are generally found in the waters over continental shelves.
  • Conservation status
    • The IUCN Red List classifies three species of sea turtle as either “endangered” or “critically endangered“.
    • An additional three species are classified as “vulnerable“.
    • The flatback sea turtle is considered as “data deficient“, meaning that its conservation status is unclear due to lack of data.
    • All species of sea turtle are listed in CITES Appendix I, restricting international trade of sea turtles and sea turtle products
Sea Turtles IUCN Red List Status
Green Endangered
Loggerhead Vulnerable
Kemp’s ridley Critically endangered
Olive ridley Vulnerable
Hawksbill Critically endangered
Flatback Data deficient
Leatherback Vulnerable


Topic 8 : International Atomic Energy Agency

  • The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is an intergovernmental organization that seeks to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy and to inhibit its use for any military purpose, including nuclear weapons.
  • It was established in 1957 as an autonomous organization within the United Nations system.
  • The IAEA has 175 member states.
  • It is governed by its own founding treaty.
  • The organization reports to both the General Assembly and the Security Council of the United Nations.
  • Headquarters at the UN Office at Vienna, Austria.
  • Following the ratification of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in 1968, all non-nuclear powers are required to negotiate a safeguards agreement with the IAEA, which is given the authority to monitor nuclear programs and to inspect nuclear facilities.
  • In 2005, the IAEA and its administrative head, Director General Mohamed ElBaradei, were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
  • Need of IAEA:
    • The IAEA was created in response to growing international concern toward nuclear weapons, especially amid rising tensions between the foremost nuclear powers, the United States and the Soviet Union.
    • U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s “Atoms for Peace” speech is credited with catalyzing the formation of the IAEA.
  • Its treaty came into force on 29 July 1957 upon U.S. ratification.
  • Functions:
    • The IAEA serves as an intergovernmental forum for scientific and technical cooperation on the peaceful use of nuclear technology and nuclear power.
    • It maintains several programs:
      • encouraging the development of peaceful applications of nuclear energy, science, and technology;
      • provide international safeguards against misuse of nuclear technology and nuclear materials;
      • promote and implement nuclear safety (including radiation protection) and nuclear security standards.
    • The organization also conducts research in nuclear science and provides technical support and training in nuclear technology to countries worldwide.
  • Missions
    • Peaceful uses: Promoting the peaceful uses of nuclear energy by its member states
    • Safeguards: Implementing safeguards to verify that nuclear energy is not used for military purposes
    • Nuclear safety: Promoting high standards for nuclear safety.
  • Organisational structure:
    • The General Conference, consisting of all members meets annually to approve the budget and programs and to debate the IAEA’s general policies.
    • The Board of Governors, which consists of 35 members who meet about five times per year, is charged with carrying out the agency’s statutory functions, approving safeguards agreements, and appointing the director general.
    • The day-to-day affairs of the IAEA are run by the Secretariat, which is headed by the director general. The Secretariat’s departments include:
      • nuclear energy,
      • nuclear safety,
      • nuclear sciences and application,
      • safeguards, and
      • technical cooperation.

Topic 9 : What is a constitutional monarchy?

Context: One topic was at the heart of King Charles III’s address to the British Parliament: upholding Britain’s system of constitutional monarchy.

Constitutional monarchy

  • A constitutional monarchy is a form of monarchical government established under a constitutional system which acknowledges an elected or hereditary monarch as head of state.
  • Modern constitutional monarchies usually implement the concept of separation of powers, where the monarch either is the head of the executive branch or simply has a ceremonial role.
  • Where a monarch holds absolute power, it is known as an absolute monarchy.
  • In representative democracies that are constitutional monarchies, like the United Kingdom, the monarch may be regarded as the head of state but the prime minister, whose power derives directly or indirectly from elections, is head of government.
  • There have been monarchies which have coexisted with constitutions which were fascist (or quasi-fascist), as was the case in ItalyJapan and Spain, or with military dictatorships, as is currently the case in Thailand.
  • A constitutional monarchy is a form of government in which a king or queen reigns with limits to their power along with a governing body (i.e. Parliament), giving rise to the modern adage.
  • Countries with Constitutional Monarchy
    • Bahrain
    • Belgium
    • Bhutan
    • Brunei
    • Cambodia
    • Denmark
    • Japan
    • Jordan
    • Kuwait
    • Lesotho
    • Liechtenstein
    • Luxembourg
    • Malaysia
    • Monaco
    • Morocco
    • Norway
    • Samoa
    • Spain
    • Sweden
    • Thailand
    • The Netherlands
    • Tonga
    • United
    • Arable Emirates
    • United Kingdom

Britain’s Constitutional Monarchy

  • While Britain does not have a single constitutional document, it still has laws and carefully documented traditions that together form a Constitution, one that binds the king.
  • These rules have accumulated in centuries of legislation and a surrounding mass of convention.
  • Britain’s constitutional monarchy begins with Magna Carta in 1215, and the initial restraints on royal power, and Parliament’s intervention in the royal succession.
  • Together, they make the king a constitutional monarch:
    • an embodiment of power and statehood with no personal public role in politics, and tight constraints even on private influence.

Absolute Monarchy

  • In this type of government, the powers of the monarch (aka king or queen) are absolute.
  • Their word is law, and their people have no say.
  • The best example of an absolute monarchy is Saudi Arabia.
    • While the government follows Basic Law of Saudi Arabia, it does not have a constitution.
    • The executive powers of the government are hereditary, and the judicial and legislative branches are appointed by royal decree.
    • Anyone appointed by the monarch can only be dismissed by the monarch.
  • Countries with Absolute monarchy
      • Brunei
      • eSwatini
      • Oman
      • Qatar
      • Saudi Arabia
      • Vatican City

    Topic 10 : The National Financial Reporting Authority

Context: The National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA) has barred chartered accountant Som Prakash Aggarwal from undertaking audit work for three years, while imposing a fine of Rs 3 lakh for “serious lapses” in the audit of Vikas WSP, the guar gum powder manufacturer.

About NFRA

    • The National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA) is a body constituted under the provisions of the Companies Act, 2013.
    • Aim:
      • Setting up of a separate and independent regulatory body to assist in the framing and enforcement of legislation relating to accounting & auditing and
      • Improving investor and public confidence in the financial reporting of an entity.
    • Composition
      • The Companies Act requires the NFRA to have a chairperson who will be appointed by the Central Government and a maximum of 15 members.
      • The appointment of such chairperson and members are subject to the following qualifications:
    • Role of the NFRA
      • Make recommendations on the foundation and laying down of accounting and auditing policies and standards
      • Monitor and enforce the compliance of the accounting standards and auditing standards
      • Oversee the quality of service of the professionals and suggest measures required for improvement in the quality of service
      • Perform such other functions and duties as may be necessary or incidental to the aforesaid functions and duties.
    • Powers of the NFRA
      • To investigate the matters of professional or other misconduct committed by a prescribed class of CA firms or CAs.
        • No other authority can initiate or continue proceedings where the NFRA has initiated an investigation.
        • Such an investigation can be initiated either suo moto (by itself) or on a reference made by the Central Government.
      • The same powers as a Civil Court under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1908, involving the following matters.
        • Discovery and production of books of account and other documents, at such place and time as may be specified by the NFRA
        • Summoning and enforcing the attendance of persons and examining them under oath
        • Inspection of any books, registers, and other documents of any person at any place
        • Issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses or documents
      • It shall have the power to impose the following punishment:
        • Penalty for firms and individuals
        • Debarring the member/firm from practice between 6 months to 10 years as may be decided
    • Any person who is not satisfied with the order of the NFRA can then make an appeal to the Appellate Authority.

Topic 11 : India to assume G20 presidency for a year

Context: India will assume the presidency of the G20 (Group of Twenty) for a year starting 1 December 2022 and is expected to host over 200 meetings across the country during presidency tenure.

What is G20?

  • The G20 is an intergovernmental forum of the world’s major developed and developing economies.
  • Member countries:
    • Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the UK, and the US, and the European Union.
  • The G20 presidency keeps rotating every year among member nations.
  • Troika:
    • The country holding the presidency, together with the previous and next presidency-holder, forms the ‘Troika’.
    • This would be the first time when the troika would consist of three developing countries and emerging economies.
    • India is currently part of the G20 Troika (current, previous and incoming G20 Presidencies) comprising IndonesiaItaly and India.
    • During India’s Presidency, IndiaIndonesia and Brazil would form the troika.
  • The G20 accounts for 85% of global GDP75% of international trade and two-thirds of the world population.
  • India will invite these as Guest International Countries:
    • Bangladesh,
    • Egypt,
    • Mauritius,
    • Netherlands,
    • Nigeria,
    • Oman,
    • Singapore,
    • Spain
    • UAE
  • India will invite these as Guest International Organisations
    • ISA (International Solar Alliance),
    • CDRI (Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure) and
    • ADB (Asian Development Bank)


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