Call Us Now

+91 9606900005 / 04

For Enquiry

Current Affairs 21 September 2023


  1. Supreme Court to Re examine Immunity to legislators on Bribery
  2. World Crosses Critical Planetary Boundaries: Study Reveals Alarming Trends
  3. 7th Report on Antimicrobial Use in Animals: WOAH
  4. Sardar Sarovar Dam (SSD)
  5. Kisan Rin Portal (KRP), KCC Ghar Ghar Abhiyaan and  WINDS Manual
  6. Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay National Welfare Fund for Sportspersons (PDUNWFS)
  7. Feline Panleukopenia Virus

 Supreme Court to Re examine Immunity to legislators on Bribery


The Supreme Court has referred a 1998 5-judge Constitution Bench judgement (in the P V Narasimha Rao case) to a 7-judge Bench due to its significant implications for the morality of the Indian polity. The 1998 judgement had ruled that legislators are immune from criminal prosecution on bribery charges related to their speeches or votes in Parliament.


GS II: Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Parliamentary Privileges and Immunities
  2. Judicial Interpretations of Parliamentary Privileges and Immunities
  3. Referring P V Narasimha Rao Case to a Larger Bench:

Parliamentary Privileges and Immunities:

  • Privileges encompass special rights, immunities, and exemptions enjoyed by both Houses of Parliament, State legislatures, their committees, and their members.
    • The Constitution has also extended these privileges to those persons who are entitled to speak and take part in the proceedings of a House or any of its committees. For example, the Attorney General of India.
  • Constitutional Basis: These privileges are enshrined in Article 105 (for MPs) and Article 194 (for MLAs) of the Indian Constitution, and they also extend to individuals entitled to participate in parliamentary proceedings.
  • Scope: These privileges must be defined by law and take precedence in cases of conflict. However, they do not apply to the President (or Governor) despite their integral role in the legislative process.
Privileges Outlined in the Constitution:
  • Freedom of Speech: Article 105(1) grants MPs the freedom of speech, ensuring they can express themselves without fear of retribution within the parliamentary setting.
  • Immunity from Legal Proceedings: Article 105(2) shields MPs from legal action in any court for statements made or votes cast during parliamentary proceedings. Similarly, Article 194 provides the same protections for MLAs.
  • Publication Immunity: Both Articles also protect individuals from legal liability for the publication of parliamentary reports, papers, votes, or proceedings authorized by Parliament or its authorities.
Purpose of Privileges and Immunities:
  • These privileges are essential for the unhindered performance of MPs’ and MLAs’ duties, ensuring the democratic functioning of legislative bodies.
  • They enable these bodies to maintain their authority, dignity, and honor, safeguarding members from obstructions in fulfilling their parliamentary responsibilities.
Distinction Between Article 19 and Article 105:
  • While both Article 19(1)(a) and Article 105 address freedom of speech, Article 105 provides MPs with an absolute privilege not subject to reasonable restrictions, but limited to parliamentary premises and proceedings.
  • In contrast, Article 19(1)(a) applies to citizens and is subject to reasonable restrictions, extending beyond parliamentary boundaries.

Judicial Interpretations of Parliamentary Privileges and Immunities:

P.V. Narsimha Rao Case (1998):
  • This case raised the question of whether Article 105(2) provides immunity to Members of Parliament (MPs) facing criminal charges.
  • In a 3:2 majority decision, the Supreme Court granted immunity from prosecution (under the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988) to MPs who received bribes and voted to support the then Congress government in Parliament.
  • Recently, the Supreme Court referred this contentious judgment to a larger (7-judge) bench to determine whether MPs who accept bribes should be entitled to immunity under Article 105(2) regardless of whether they vote or not.
Keshava Singh Case (1965):
  • In this case, the Court clarified that when it comes to privileges outlined in the Indian Constitution, the respective legislative house is the sole and exclusive judge.
  • However, if a privilege is not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution, the Court has the authority to decide on its interpretation and application.
  • These judicial interpretations help delineate the boundaries and scope of parliamentary privileges and immunities in India.

Referring P V Narasimha Rao Case to a Larger Bench:

  • The P V Narasimha Rao case stems from the 1993 JMM bribery case, where Shibu Soren and some JMM MPs were accused of taking bribes to vote against a no-confidence motion against the P V Narasimha Rao government.
  • The Supreme Court (SC) had previously quashed the case against the JMM MPs, citing immunity under Article 105(2).
  • A similar issue arose in a case involving bribery charges against JMM MLA Sita Soren, who allegedly accepted a bribe to vote for an independent candidate in the 2012 Rajya Sabha elections.
  • Sita Soren sought to have the chargesheet and criminal proceedings against her dismissed, relying on the provisions of Article 194(2). However, the Jharkhand High Court declined to do so.
  • Subsequently, she approached the SC, where a 2-judge Bench in 2014 felt that the matter was of significant public importance and should be reviewed by a larger Bench of 3 judges.
  • In 2019, a 3-judge Bench acknowledged that the SC had previously addressed the issue in the Narasimha Rao verdict, prompting the need for a larger Bench.
  • A 5-judge Constitution Bench, led by the Chief Justice of India, recently decided to refer the matter to a larger Bench.
  • This larger Bench will examine the correctness of the majority’s interpretation of Articles 105(2) and 194(2) of the Constitution.
  • It’s important to note that the objective of Articles 105(2) and 194(2) is not to grant members of the Legislature immunity from general criminal laws.

-Source: The Hindu

World Crosses Critical Planetary Boundaries: Study Reveals Alarming Trends


A recent study published in the journal Science Advances reveals that the world has exceeded six out of the nine planetary boundaries crucial for preserving Earth’s stability and resilience.


GS III: Environment and Ecology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Planetary Boundaries
  2. Key Highlights of the Study: Breached Planetary Boundaries
  3. Way Forward to Address Planetary Boundary Challenges

Planetary Boundaries

  • Proposed in 2009 by Johan Rockström and 28 eminent scientists.
  • A framework to establish safe environmental limits for human activity.
Nine Crucial Planetary Boundaries
  • Climate Change
  • Biosphere Integrity: Involves biodiversity loss and species extinction.
  • Stratospheric Ozone Depletion
  • Ocean Acidification
  • Biogeochemical Flows: Concerning phosphorus and nitrogen cycles.
  • Land-System Change: Includes issues like deforestation.
  • Freshwater Use: Encompasses alterations in the land water cycle.
  • Atmospheric Aerosol Loading: Refers to microscopic atmospheric particles impacting climate and living organisms.
  • Introduction of Novel Entities: Covers substances like microplastics, endocrine disruptors, and organic pollutants.
Consequences of Boundary Breach
  • Breaching these boundaries doesn’t signify immediate catastrophe.
  • However, it escalates the risk of irreversible environmental changes.
  • This, in turn, threatens the Earth’s ability to sustain our current way of life.

Key Highlights of the Study: Breached Planetary Boundaries

  • Climate Change:
    • Safe Boundary: Atmospheric CO2 concentration and radiative forcing set at 350 ppm and 1 Wm−2.
    • Current Status: 417 ppm and 2.91 W m−2.
  • Biosphere Integrity:
    • Safe Boundary: Less than 10 extinctions per million species-years.
    • Current Extinction Rate: Estimated greater than 100 extinctions per million species-years.
    • Threatened Species: Approximately 1 million out of 8 million species are at risk.
    • Genetic Diversity Loss: Over 10% of plant and animal genetic diversity lost in the last 150 years.
  • Land System Change:
    • Safe Boundary: Forested land area > 75%.
    • Current Status: Global forested land area at 60%.
  • Freshwater Change:
    • Safe Boundaries:
      • Blue Water: 10.2%
      • Green Water: 11.1%.
    • Current Status:
      • Blue Water: 18.2%
      • Green Water: 15.8%.
  • Biogeochemical Flows:
    • Safe Boundaries:
      • Phosphorus: 11 Tg.
      • Nitrogen: 62 Tg.
    • Current Status:
      • Phosphorus: 22.6 Tg.
      • Nitrogen: 190 Tg.
  • Novel Entities:
    • Safe Boundary: Zero.
    • Current Status: Human impact on novel entities (e.g., microplastics, endocrine disruptors, organic pollutants) has exceeded the zero boundary.
  • Safe Boundaries:
  • Stratospheric ozone depletion, aerosol loading, and ocean acidification remain within the planetary boundaries.

Way Forward to Address Planetary Boundary Challenges:

  • Biodiversity Conservation:
    • Implement conservation programs aimed at preserving biodiversity, restoring ecosystems, and protecting endangered species and genetic diversity.
  • Circular Economy:
    • Embrace circularity principles to promote resource regeneration, minimize waste, and ensure the continual repurposing of valuable materials instead of discarding them.
  • Waste Management and Pollution Control:
    • Enforce strict regulations on waste disposal, encouraging recycling and reducing pollution from novel entities like microplastics.
  • Community Empowerment:
    • Empower communities to actively engage in sustainable practices, fostering a collective sense of responsibility for environmental stewardship.
  • Climate Mitigation:
    • Prioritize climate mitigation strategies to limit temperature rise and prevent further breaches of planetary boundaries related to climate change.
  • Clean Technologies and Sustainable Transportation:
    • Promote zero-emission technologies and reduce carbon footprints through incentives for clean energy adoption and the adoption of sustainable transportation methods.

-Source: Down To Earth

7th Report on Antimicrobial Use in Animals: WOAH


Recently, the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) has released its 7th report on Antimicrobial use in animals, covering the period from 2017 to 2019.


GS II: Health

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Key Findings of the Report on Antimicrobial Use
  2. Recommendations for Antimicrobial Use
  3. Antimicrobial Drugs, also known as Antibiotics
  4. World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH)

Key Findings of the Report on Antimicrobial Use:

Data Sources:

  • The analysis is based on data from 121 participants who provided quantitative data for at least one year out of 157 participants who submitted data to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

Global Dip in Antimicrobial Use:

  • There was a significant 13% decrease in global antimicrobial usage in animals over a three-year period, from 2017 to 2019.
  • Out of 80 countries, 49 in Asia, the Far East, Oceania, and Europe reported an overall reduction in antimicrobial use.
  • Conversely, 31 countries in African and American regions reported an overall increase in antimicrobial usage during the same period.

Antimicrobial Growth Promoters:

  • 68% of the participants have discontinued using antimicrobials as growth promoters.
  • However, 26% of participants continue to use growth promoters, often due to a lack of proper legislation or regulations.
  • Common antimicrobial growth promoters included flavomycin, bacitracin, avilamycin, and tylosin.
  • While flavomycin and avilamycin are currently excluded from human use, bacitracin is not classified among the World Health Organization’s (WHO) critically important antimicrobials (CIAs).
  • Some of these antimicrobials are classified as CIAs or highest priority CIAs (HP-CIAs).

Recommendations for Antimicrobial Use:

Continued Efforts to Preserve Efficacy:

  • Despite progress and shifts in antimicrobial usage, ongoing efforts are considered crucial to preserve the effectiveness of these drugs.

Shared Responsibility for Safeguarding Antibiotic Effectiveness:

  • Safeguarding the effectiveness of existing antibiotics is emphasized as a shared responsibility, recognizing the challenges in developing new antibiotics.

Monitoring and Data Collection:

  • Monitoring how, when, and which antimicrobials are used is critically important.
  • This data collection can help identify usage patterns and trends, which, in turn, can inform decision-making and support the implementation of measures to ensure the optimal and sustainable use of these essential medicines.

Antimicrobial Drugs, also known as Antibiotics:

  • Antimicrobial drugs are substances designed to either kill or inhibit the growth of microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites.
  • They find applications in treating or preventing infections in humans, animals, and sometimes plants.
  • These drugs play a pivotal role in modern medicine, enabling the control and elimination of various microbial diseases.
  • Prior to the discovery of penicillin by Alexander Fleming in 1928, minor injuries or cuts could result in severe infections or fatalities. However, these antibiotics, which have saved countless lives, are now facing reduced effectiveness due to their improper use and overuse in various sectors.
  • This issue is referred to as ‘Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR).’ It can initially emerge in animal, human, or plant populations and subsequently pose a threat to all other species.

World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH):

  • The World Organisation for Animal Health, initially established as the Office International des Épizooties (OIE), is a standard-setting body acknowledged under the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures.
  • This intergovernmental organization has the primary mission of enhancing animal health on a global scale.
  • As of 2018, it comprised a total of 182 Member Countries, with India being among these member nations.
  • WOAH plays a crucial role in developing normative documents that define regulations and guidelines for Member Countries to safeguard themselves against the introduction of diseases and pathogens. One notable document is the Terrestrial Animal Health Code.
  • The standards set by WOAH are officially recognized by the World Trade Organization (WTO) as reference international sanitary regulations.
  • The organization is headquartered in Paris, France.

-Source: Down To Earth

Sardar Sarovar Dam (SSD)


The recent release of massive amounts of water from the Sardar Sarovar Dam (SSD) has caused massive flooding in low-lying areas in the Narmada district.


GS III: Infrastructure

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Sardar Sarovar Dam (SSD)
  2. Key Facts about the Narmada River

Sardar Sarovar Dam (SSD):

  • The Sardar Sarovar Dam, often abbreviated as SSD, is a concrete gravity dam situated on the Narmada River in Gujarat’s Narmada district, near Kevadia.
  • It is named in honor of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, a prominent Indian statesman.
  • The dam has impressive dimensions, with a length of 1.2 kilometers and a depth of 163 meters, making it the third-highest concrete dam in India. The only taller dams in India are the Bhakra Dam (226 meters) in Himachal Pradesh and the Lakhwar Dam (192 meters) in Uttar Pradesh.
  • In terms of the volume of concrete used in gravity dams, the Sardar Sarovar Dam ranks as the second-largest in the world, following the Grand Coulee Dam in the United States.
  • This dam is a vital component of the Narmada Valley Project, which is an extensive hydraulic engineering initiative focused on constructing a series of large irrigation and hydroelectric multipurpose dams along the Narmada River.
  • The Sardar Sarovar Dam includes two powerhouses: a canal head powerhouse with an installed capacity of 250 MW and a riverbed powerhouse with an installed capacity of 1,200 MW.
  • The benefits generated from power generation are distributed among the states of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Gujarat in a ratio of 57:27:16, respectively.
  • The dam’s construction has resulted in the formation of a vast reservoir known as the “Sardar Sarovar Reservoir” or “Narmada Lake,” which extends across multiple districts in Gujarat.

Key Facts about the Narmada River:

  • The Narmada River is the largest west-flowing river in peninsular India, meaning it flows westward towards the Arabian Sea.
  • Originating from Narmada Kund, situated in the Maikala range of the Anuppur district in Madhya Pradesh, the river begins its journey at an elevation of approximately 1,057 meters.
  • The Narmada River courses through the states of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Gujarat, passing between the Vindhya and Satpura hill ranges, before finally emptying into the Gulf of Cambay in the Arabian Sea, approximately 10 kilometers north of Bharuch, Gujarat.
  • In terms of length, the Narmada River spans a total distance of 1,312 kilometers (815 miles) from its source to its outfall into the sea.
  • The river is renowned for its numerous waterfalls, with the Dhuandhar Falls, located southwest of Jabalpur, being one of the most notable.
  • The Narmada River boasts several tributaries, among which the Tawa, Barna, Hiran, and Orsang rivers are the most significant contributors to its flow and basin.

-Source: Indian Express

Kisan Rin Portal (KRP), KCC Ghar Ghar Abhiyaan and WINDS Manual


Recently, the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA&FW) has launched three initiatives, namely the Kisan Rin Portal (KRP), KCC Ghar Ghar Abhiyaan and a manual on Weather Information Network Data Systems (WINDS).


GS II: Government policies and Interventions

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Kisan Rin Portal (KRP)
  2. Ghar-Ghar KCC Abhiyaan
  3. Launch of WINDS Manual

Kisan Rin Portal (KRP):

  • The Kisan Rin Portal (KRP) is a collaborative effort involving the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare (MoA&FW), Ministry of Finance, Reserve Bank of India (RBI), and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).
  • The primary objective of KRP is to revolutionize access to credit services under the Kisan Credit Card (KCC) scheme, particularly for farmers.
  • It facilitates farmers in availing subsidized agricultural credit through the Modified Interest Subvention Scheme (MISS).
  • The portal serves as an integrated hub, offering a comprehensive view of farmer data, loan disbursement details, interest subvention claims, and progress in scheme utilization.

Ghar-Ghar KCC Abhiyaan:

  • The “Ghar-Ghar KCC Abhiyaan” is an initiative that emphasizes the government’s commitment to achieving Universal Financial Inclusion, ensuring that every farmer has easy access to credit facilities crucial for their agricultural activities.
  • This campaign is scheduled to run from 1st October 2023 to 31st December 2023, with the objective of achieving saturation of KCC accounts among eligible PM KISAN beneficiary farmers.
  • The ministry has cross-verified the data of existing KCC account holders against the PM KISAN database, identifying those with KCC accounts and those without.
  • The campaign aims to target PM KISAN beneficiaries who do not yet possess KCC accounts and facilitate their seamless integration into the KCC scheme.

Launch of WINDS Manual:

  • The WINDS initiative involves establishing a network of Automatic Weather Stations & Rain Gauges at taluk/block and gram panchayat levels.
  • This initiative’s core purpose is to create a robust database of hyper-local weather data, which can be used to support various agricultural services.
  • The comprehensive WINDS manual, which has been launched, provides stakeholders with a detailed understanding of the portal’s functionalities, data interpretation, and effective utilization.
  • It serves as a guide for States and Union Territories in the process of establishing and integrating with the WINDS platform.
  • Additionally, the manual offers practical insights into leveraging weather data for improved crop management, resource allocation, and risk mitigation in agriculture.

-Source: Indian Express, PIB

Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay National Welfare Fund for Sportspersons (PDUNWFS)


The Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports recently felicitated players under the Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay National Welfare Fund for Sportspersons (PDUNWFS) in New Delhi.


GS II: Government policies and Interventions

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay National Welfare Fund for Sportspersons (PDUNWFS)
  2. Benefits
  3. Eligibility

Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay National Welfare Fund for Sportspersons (PDUNWFS):

  • Established in March 1982, the PDUNWFS aims to provide assistance to exceptional sportspersons from the past who find themselves in challenging financial situations and have contributed to the nation’s sporting glory.
  • In May 2016, the scheme was revised to offer lump sum ex-gratia assistance to these former sportspersons.
  • The scheme covers sportspersons across India and is designed to enhance the well-being of athletes and alleviate distress among them and their dependents.
  • Assistance from the scheme can be granted to active sportspersons either individually or collectively as a group.


Assistance to Sportspersons in Need:

  • Lumpsum ex-gratia financial aid, up to a maximum of Rs. 5 lakh.
  • Monthly pension of Rs. 5,000 for former meritorious sportspersons facing financial difficulties.

Assistance for Sports-Related Injuries:

  • Lumpsum ex-gratia financial support, capped at Rs. 10 lakh, for injuries incurred during training or sports competitions.

Assistance to Families of Deceased Outstanding Sportspersons:

  • Lumpsum ex-gratia financial assistance, not exceeding Rs. 5 lakh in each case, for the families of deceased outstanding sportspersons facing financial hardship.

Medical Treatment Assistance:

  • Financial aid, not exceeding Rs. 10 lakh, can be provided for the medical treatment of an outstanding sportsperson or their indigent family members.

Support for Coaches, Support Personnel, Umpires, Referees, and Match Officials:

  • Lumpsum financial assistance, not exceeding Rs. 2 lakh, may be granted to coaches, support personnel, and the families of deceased support personnel who are financially struggling.


  • The applicant must be a serving or retired sportsperson, including sports doctors, sports psychologists, sports mentors, physiotherapists, masseurs, coaches, support personnel, umpires, referees, and match officials.
  • The applicant should have represented India at the national or international level in sports competitions.
  • The annual income of the applicant’s self/family (from all sources) should not exceed Rs. 4 lakh.
  • The applicant must fall into one of the following categories: injured during training or competitions, disabled due to strenuous training, living in indigent circumstances, or dependent on a deceased sportsperson.

-Source: The Hindu, PIB

Feline Panleukopenia Virus


In the last one month, seven leopard cubs at Bannerghatta Biological Park in Bengaluru have died after being infected by the feline panleukopenia virus.


GS II: Health

Feline Panleukopenia Virus (Feline Distemper):

  • Feline Panleukopenia Virus is a highly contagious viral disease that affects cats.
  • It is also commonly referred to as Feline Distemper, and it poses a severe and often fatal threat to infected cats.
  • The virus targets rapidly dividing cells in the cat’s body, including those in the bone marrow, intestines, skin, and even developing fetuses.
  • Once a cat becomes infected with the Feline Panleukopenia Virus, the disease primarily impacts the intestines.
  • Common symptoms include severe diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration, which can ultimately lead to the cat’s demise.
  • The virus spreads rapidly, and infected cats typically succumb to the disease within four to five days.
  • Currently, there is no specific treatment available for Feline Panleukopenia.
  • Dehydration resulting from the disease is managed through aggressive intravenous fluid therapy.
  • Clinical signs such as vomiting and diarrhea are treated with prescription medications.
  • In some cases, antibiotic therapy may be administered to combat secondary bacterial infections, particularly when white blood cell counts are low.

-Source: The Hindu

July 2024