Daily Current Affairs : 15th September 2023

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE

Topics Covered

  1. National Judicial Data Grid
  2. Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) 
  3. Registration of Births and Deaths (Amendment) Act, 2023 
  4. Facts for Prelims

1 . National Judicial Data Grid

Context: SC information a click away as it joins National Judicial Data Grid.  

About the news

  • Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud announced the onboarding of the Supreme Court on the National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG) in open court.  
  • Real-time data on the filing and disposal of cases in the Supreme Court will now be available at the fingertips of the common man, just a click of a mouse away.  
  • The onboarding of Supreme Court’s case data on the NJDG is based on the ‘open data policy.’ 
  • Now the data will be uploaded on the NJDG on a real-time and daily basis.  

About NJDC

  • NJDG, is a flagship project implemented under the aegis of the eCourts project, has been recognized as a significant innovation under the Ease of Doing Business initiative of the Government of India.  
  • The portal is a national repository of data relating to cases pending and disposed of in all district and taluka courts of the country.  
  • The portal has been developed around the concept of elastic search technology enabling efficient case management and monitoring of cases leading to effective disposal of cases. 
  • Data uploaded and collated on the portal can be accessed and analysed:- i) Category wise, ii) Year-wise, iii) State-wise, iv) Month-wise disposal of cases across institutions, v) Across the original/appellate/execution stages of a litigation , vi) Reasons for delay.  
  • NJDG gives the consolidated figures of cases instituted, disposed and the pendency of cases in all courts across the country.  
  • These statistics are updated every day by respective courts. The website shows the number of cases filed as well as cases pending. 
  • The visitor can access information down to a particular case. The pending cases are divided between civil and criminal jurisdictions, can be further segregated into age-wise categories such as ten years old cases, between 5 to 10 years old cases etc. 
  • The pendency data at the national, state and district levels are open and in the public domain. 


  • Increased Transparency: The NJDG enhances transparency in the Indian judicial system by providing public access to real-time case information. Citizens, lawyers, and litigants can track the progress of their cases, view court orders and judgments, and get updates on the status of legal matters.
  • Accountability and Responsibility: This accountability fosters a sense of responsibility among judicial personnel, ensuring that they carry out their duties diligently. NJDG holds the judiciary accountable for its decisions and performance. Judges and court staff are responsible for accurately updating and maintaining case records in the portal.
  • Improved Efficiency: The NJDG contributes to improved efficiency by streamlining administrative tasks and reducing paperwork. It helps identify delays and bottlenecks in the legal process, allowing courts to take corrective actions promptly.
  • Increased Coordination: NJDG promotes coordination among different courts and jurisdictions by creating a centralized database. It allows for the sharing of case information between courts, which can be particularly useful in cases with multiple jurisdictions or when the transfer of cases is required.
  • Informed Decision Making: The data accumulated in NJDG facilitates informed decision making at various levels of the judiciary. Policymakers can use this data to analyze trends, assess the performance of courts, and make strategic decisions to improve the legal system.
  • Optimum Deployment of Resources and Manpower: NJDG provides valuable insights into case workload, allowing court administrators to allocate resources and manpower efficiently. Courts can assign judges, staff, and facilities based on data-driven analysis, ensuring that they meet the demands of their caseloads effectively.
  • Single Source of Data: NJDG serves as a single, comprehensive source of case data for the entire judicial system. This eliminates the need for multiple disparate systems and databases, simplifying data management and reducing the risk of errors or inconsistencies.
  • Huge Potential for High-Quality Research Work: Researchers and legal scholars can utilize the vast repository of data in NJDG for in-depth research and analysis. They can study case trends, legal outcomes, and judicial performance, contributing to the development of jurisprudence and legal scholarship.

2 . Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) 

Context: In 2020, the PM turned crisis into an opportunity by announcing the Atmanirbhar Bharat package for the fisheries sector. A significant sum of ₹20,050 crore was allocated for the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY), committing the biggest-ever investment in the history of Indian fisheries. 


  • The scheme “Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY)” was launched by the Department of Fisheries; Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairying; to bring about ecologically healthy, economically viable, and socially inclusive development of the fisheries sector of India.
  • PMMSY shall bring about Blue Revolution through sustainable and responsible development of the fisheries sector in India at a total investment of ₹ 20,050 crore for holistic development of the fisheries sector including the welfare of fishers. PMMSY is implemented in all the States and Union Territories for a period of five years from FY 2020-21 to FY 2024-25. In the Union Budget 2023-24, a new sub-scheme under the PMMSY has been announced with an investment of Rs.6,000 crore to enable activities of fish vendors, fishermen, and micro and small enterprises for improving value chain efficiencies and expanding the market.
Objectives of PMMSY
  • Harness the potential of the fisheries sector in a sustainable, responsible, inclusive, and equitable manner.
  • Enhance fish production and productivity through expansion, intensification, diversification, and productive utilization of land and water.
  • Modernize and strengthen the value chain including post-harvest management and quality improvement.
  • Double fishers and fish farmers’ incomes and generate meaningful employment.
  • Enhance the contribution of the fisheries sector to Agricultural GVA and exports.
  • Ensure social, physical, and economic security for fishers and fish farmers.
  • Build a robust fisheries management and regulatory framework.

Targets of PMMSY

  • Fish Production and Productivity
    • Increasing fish production to 22 million metric tons by 2024-25 from 13.75 million metric tons in 2018-19.
    • Enhancing aquaculture productivity to 5 tons per hectare from the current national average of 3 tons.
    • Augmenting domestic fish consumption from 5 kg to 12 kg per capita.
  • Economic Value Addition
    • Increasing contribution of the fisheries sector to the Agriculture GVA to about 9% by 2024-25 from 7.28% in 2018-19.
    • Doubling export earnings to ₹ 1,00,000 crores by 2024-25 from ₹ 46,589 crores in 2018-19.
    • Facilitating private investment and growth of entrepreneurship in the fisheries sector.
    • Reduction of post-harvest losses from the reported 20-25% to about 10%.
  • Enhancing Income and Employment
    • Generating 55 lakh direct and indirect employment opportunities along the value chain.
    • Doubling the incomes of fishers and fish farmers.


  1. Financial assistance for fishing infrastructure: The scheme provides financial assistance to develop fishing infrastructure like fishing harbors, fish landing centers, fish markets, fish feed plants, fish seed farms, and fish processing units.
  2. Financial assistance for fish farmers: The scheme provides financial assistance to fish farmers for various activities like the construction of ponds, cages, hatcheries, and nurseries, and for the installation of aeration systems and other equipment.
  3. Assistance for fisheries management: The scheme provides financial assistance for the management of fishery resources through the adoption of scientific methods, setting up of fishery management plans, and developing fishery information systems.
  4. Credit-linked subsidy for fish farmers: The scheme provides a credit-linked subsidy for fish farmers to encourage them to take up fish farming as a business.
  5. Assistance for marketing and export of fish products: The scheme provides assistance for the development of cold chains, fish processing units, and packaging facilities to promote the export of fish products.


  • Fishers.
  • Fish Farmers.
  • Fish Workers and Fish Vendors
  • Fisheries Development Corporations.
  • Self Help Groups (SHGs)/joint Liability Groups (JLGs) in the Fisheries Sector.
  • Fisheries Cooperatives.
  • Fisheries Federations.
  • Entrepreneurs and Private Firms.
  • Fish Farmers Producer Organizations/companies (FFPOs/Cs).
  • SCs/STs/Women/Differently Abled Persons.
  • State Governments/UTs and Their Entities.
  • State Fisheries Development Boards (SFDB).
  • Central Government and Its Entities.


  • With the fresh chunk of investment and focused attention, the PMMSY began to address critical gaps in the fisheries value chain from fish production, productivity and quality to technology, post-harvest infrastructure and marketing. 
  • It identified key strategic priority areas: marine fisheries, inland fisheries, fishermen’s welfare, infrastructure and post-harvest management, cold water fisheries, ornamental fisheries, aquatic health management, and sea weed cultivation, among others. 
  • It has successfully pulled inland fisheries from traditional waters, and infused technology, inspiring many talented and enterprising youth to venture into fisheries. For example young woman entrepreneurs from the Kashmir Valley are efficiently rearing cold water rainbow trout using a recirculatory aquaculture system. 
  • It has also helped to expand fisheries to non-traditional areas. Almost 20,000 hectares of fresh pond area is being brought under inland aquaculture, and even in landlocked Haryana and Rajasthan, farmers are successfully converting their saline waste lands into wealth lands through aquaculture. 
  • The PMMSY has empowered fisher women to explore remunerative options and alternative livelihoods, such as ornamental fisheries, pearl culture, and seaweed cultivation. 
  • The PMMSY has enabled 900 fish feed plants and 755 hatcheries, and is supporting research and genetic improvement of Indian White Shrimp at Chennai, the development of specific pathogen-free brood stock, and domestication of tiger shrimp in the Andaman Islands.  

3 . Registration of Births and Deaths (Amendment) Act, 2023 

Context: All reported births and deaths in the country will be digitally registered on the Centre’s portal from October 1, according to a government notification. 

Context: All reported births and deaths in the country will be digitally registered on the Centre’s portal from October 1, according to a government notification. 

About the News  

  • The Registration of Births and Deaths (Amendment) Act, 2023 that paves the way for digital birth certificates will come into effect from October 1.  
  • The digital birth certificates will be a single document to be used for admission to educational institutions, applications for driving licence, government jobs, passports or Aadhaar, voter enrolment, and registration of marriage, and others. 
  • The centralised database will also update the National Population Register (NPR), ration cards, property registration, and electoral rolls. 

About National Population Register 

  • The National Population Register (NPR) is a Register containing details of persons usually residing in a village or rural area or town or ward or demarcated area within a ward in a town or urban area. 
  • NPR was first prepared in 2010 and updated in 2015 under Sub-rule (4) of Rule 3 of the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003, framed under the Citizenship Act, 1955. 
  • The objective of the NPR is to create a comprehensive database of usual residents in the country. No document will be collected during this exercise. 
  • The NPR, first compiled in 2010 and updated in 2015 through door-to-door enumeration, already has a database of 119 crore residents. The NPR is the first step to the creation of National Register of Citizens (NRC) as per the Citizenship Act. 

How are births and deaths currently registered? 

  • The mandatory documentation of births and deaths is governed by the RBD Act passed in 1969 and State Rules framed using the Model Rules, 1999. The Act was implemented “to promote uniformity and comparability in the registration of Births and Deaths across the country,” 
  • Births, stillbirths and deaths are to be registered within 21 days of occurrence; violating the provisions is a punishable offence, incurring a fine of ₹5. 
  • The Act requires States and Union Territories to maintain individual databases on the Civil Registration System (CRS). CRS comes under the operational control of the Registrar General of India (RGI). 
  • 17 States and UTs use the portal to register births and deaths. Others — including Gujarat, Punjab, New Delhi, and Jammu & Kashmir — either maintain separate portals or update the portal partially. Some States have digitised and integrated their data with individual State Resident Data Hubs (a storehouse of Aadhaar details, demographic data and photographs.) 

About the key provisions of the act 

  • Registration of Births and Deaths (Amendment) Bill, 2023, aims to create a user-friendly registration process and modernise national and state-level databases on births and deaths. 
  • Database of births and deaths- The Bill proposes to make it obligatory for States to register births and deaths on the Centre’s Civil Registration System (CRS) portal, and to share the data with the Registrar General of India which functions under the Union Home Ministry. 
  • Aadhaar details of parents and informants required:     The new rules will apply to all those born after the Bill is passed by Parliament and becomes an Act of law. It proposes to “collect Aadhaar numbers of parents and informant, if available, in case of birth registration”. Presently, either parent can voluntarily provide their Aadhaar number for a newborn’s birth certificate generated through the CRS. 
  • Connecting database: The Bill states that the national database may be made available to other authorities preparing or maintaining other databases.  Such databases include: (i) population register, (ii) electoral rolls, (iii) ration card, and (iv) any other national databases as notified.  The use of the national database must be approved by the central government.  Similarly, the state database may be made available to authorities dealing with other state databases, subject to.  state government’s approval. 
  • Use of birth certificate: The Bill requires the use of birth and death certificates to prove the date and place of birth for persons born on or after this Bill comes into effect.  The information will be used for purposes including: (i) admission to an educational institution, (ii) preparation of voter list, (iii) appointment to a government post, and (iv) any other purpose determined by the central government. 
  • Electronic certificates:  The Original Act provides that any person may: (i) cause a search to be made by the Registrar for any entry in a register of births and deaths, and (ii) obtain an extract from the register related to any birth or death.  This is subject to the rules made by the state government.  The Bill amends this to provide for obtaining births and deaths certificates (electronically or otherwise) instead of extracts. 
  • Mandatory death certificate:  The original Act provides that state governments may require the Registrar to obtain a certificate regarding the cause of death from prescribed persons.  The Bill amends this to provide that for deaths occurring in medical institutions, such institutions must provide a certificate regarding the cause of death to the Registrar.  A copy of the certificate will be provided to the nearest relative.  If the death occurs at any other place, the medical practitioner who attended to the person shall issue the certificate.  The certificate will be issued to the specified persons who must provide this information to the Registrar. 
  • Providing registration details: Under the original Act, after registering a birth or death, the Registrar must provide extracts of the prescribed information to the person who registered it, for free.  The Bill amends this to provide that the Registrar must provide the certificate to such person within seven days. 
  • Appeal process: Any person aggrieved by any action or order of the Registrar or District Registrar may appeal to the District Registrar or Chief Registrar, respectively.  Such an appeal must be made within 30 days from receipt of such action or order.  The District Registrar or Chief Registrar must give their decision within 90 days from the date of appeal. 

Why does India want to change the registration process? 

  • A dynamic ‘super database’ is being viewed as a Gordian knot to solve for administrative and policy hiccups. The U.N. Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner (OHCHR) has highlighted that streamlining birth and death registration processes contributes “to higher registration rates and increased coverage.” 
  •  The United Nations called a functional CRS “the best source of information on vital events for administrative, demographic, and epidemiological purposes.” But a 2021 report on CRS found the database was only sporadically updated. A study published in PLOS One, studying Bihar’s use of CRS, found registration challenges due to a lack of investment, poor delivery of services at the registration centres, limited computer and internet services. People narrated accounts of taking off time to stand in long queues at offices, without access to shade or water. “Inadequate knowledge [about procedures and benefits] and attitude of community members” influenced registration levels. Registering deaths presents a unique challenge due to a lack of monetary incentives and cultural norms, more so for women and infants. A study examining NFHS-5 data found “the likelihood of death registration was significantly lower for females than males”; one reason was that women’s deaths don’t accrue property benefits. Poor compliance creates a data gap, allowing for misguided policies and pushing of people into blind spots. 
  • Updated, timely and accurate database paints a clear picture of a population’s needs, estimates trends, identifies the target group for public welfare policies and influences long-term healthcare uses.  

What are the benefits from the online registartion of Birth and death certificates? 

  • A centralised register “would help in updating other databases resulting in efficient and transparent delivery of public services and social benefits.” 
  • Digital registration and electronic delivery of certificate of births and deaths for the benefit of public at large. 
  • The database will also be used to update the National Population Register (NPR), ration cards, and property registration records. 


  • Use of birth certificate: The Bill requires the birth certificate of persons for certain purposes. This provision will be applicable to persons born after this Bill comes into effect. Certain purposes include: (i) admission to an educational institution, (ii) preparation of voter lists, (iii) appointment to a government post, (iv) registration of marriage, and (v) any other purpose determined by the central government.  Some of these purposes are constitutional rights that citizens have, and making them conditional on a birth certificate may violate those rights.  
  • School admission: Denying admission to school to a child without a birth certificate may violate the fundamental right to education under Article 21A.  Under the Right to Education Act, 2009, for admission to elementary education, a child’s age is determined on the basis of their birth certificate or any other document that may be prescribed.The Act also provides that no child should be denied admission on the grounds of lack of age proof.  The Bill does not provide any such exemptions.  This implies that if a child’s birth has not been registered, they could be denied admission to educational institutions for their entire life.   
  • Right to vote: Article 326 guarantees that every citizen above the age of 18 years has the right to vote.  This right may be curtailed if a person is subject to certain disqualifications due to non-residence, being of unsound mind, or crime, corrupt, or illegal practice.  The absence of birth certificates (for age proof) does not fall within the mentioned disqualifications.   
  • Linking Aadhaar with birth records: The Bill links the Aadhaar details of the parents and the person reporting the birth to the birth certificate of the child (informant).  Informants include: (i) the doctor in-charge of a nursing home, (ii) jailors in case of births in a jail, (iii) manager of a hotel, lodging house, or dharmsala in case of births in such place, and (iv) SHO of the concerned police station in case of an abandoned new-born child.  This raises two issues: 
  • Right to privacy: In 2017, the Supreme Court recognised the right to privacy as a fundamental right, subject to reasonable restrictions.This right may be restricted if four conditions are met: (i) there is a law permitting the restriction, (ii) the restriction serves a public purpose, (iii) the law has a rational nexus with such purpose, and (iv) the law is proportionate, i.e., it is the least intrusive way to achieve the public purpose.  This provision may violate the informant’s right to privacy.  For instance, attaching a medical officer’s Aadhaar to any child born in the hospital, or an SHO’s Aadhaar to all abandoned children in their jurisdiction may violate these officers’ right to privacy disproportionately.    
  • Violation of Aadhaar judgement: This provision may also violate the principles laid down in the Aadhaar judgement (Puttaswamy 2018). The judgement said that the Aadhaar Act, 2016, was passed as a money Bill and read down provisions that permitted linking of Aadhaar for purposes other than government benefits and services.  Using this rationale, the judgement struck down the requirement of Aadhaar for bank accounts and mobile phone connections.  The same rationale may apply for linking of Aadhaar to birth certificates, as well.  In 2016, during a case on marriage registration under the Delhi (Compulsory Registration of Marriage) Executive Order, 2014, the Central Information Commission stated that Aadhaar was not mandatory for marriage registration based on the 2015 Supreme Court’s interim order on Aadhaar. 
  • Linking across databases: The Bill allows the national database for births and deaths to be shared with authorities maintaining other databases (such as electoral rolls and ration cards).  Similarly, the state database can be shared with authorities dealing with other state databases.  Such sharing is subject to the approval of the central and state government, respectively.   However, such linkage across databases under the Bill does not require consent from the person whose data is being linked.  This may violate an individual’s right to privacy. 

5 . Facts for Prelims

Vagus nerve

  • The vagus nerve is one of 12 cranial nerves in the body. It’s responsible for various bodily functions, including digestion, heart rate, and breathing. 
  • The vagus nerve also called the pneumogastric nerve, is responsible for various internal organ functions, including: digestion, heart rate, breathing, cardiovascular activity, reflex actions, such as coughing, sneezing, swallowing, and vomiting 
  • It plays a role in the autonomic nervous system, which controls actions people do unconsciously, such as breathing and digestion. 
  • The word “vagus” means wandering in Latin. This is a very appropriate name, as the vagus nerve is the longest cranial nerve. It runs from the brain stem to part of the colon. 
  • The vagus nerve sensory functions are divided into two components:
    • Somatic components. These are sensations felt on the skin or in the muscles. 
    • Visceral components. These are sensations felt in the organs of the body. 

Cochlear implants (CI)

  • A cochlear implant is a small, complex electronic device that can help to provide a sense of sound to a person who is profoundly deaf or severely hard-of-hearing. 
  • The implant consists of an external portion that sits behind the ear and a second portion that is surgically placed under the skin. 
  • A cochlear implant is very different from a hearing aid. Hearing aids amplify sounds so they may be detected by damaged ears. Cochlear implants bypass damaged portions of the ear and directly stimulate the auditory nerve. 

UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO) 

  • The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is an intergovernmental organization with a membership of 193 Member States and Territories.
  • It originated from the International Meteorological Organization (IMO), the roots of which were planted at the 1873 Vienna International Meteorological Congress
  • . Established by the ratification of the WMO Convention on 23 March 1950, WMO became the specialised agency of the United Nations for meteorology (weather and climate), operational hydrology and related geophysical sciences a year later.
  • The Secretariat, headquartered in Geneva, is headed by the Secretary-General. Its  supreme body is the World Meteorological Congress.

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