Daily Current Affairs : 18th July 2023

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE

Topics Covered

  1. National Multidimensional Poverty Index
  2. Constitutional Provision Regarding formation of a new state
  3. Article 239 AA
  4. Facts for Prelims

1 . National Multidimensional Poverty Index

Context: India witnessed 13.5 crore people moving out of multidimensional poverty between 2015-16 and 2019-21 with fastest reduction in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Rajasthan, a Niti Aayog report.


  • Under the Cabinet Secretary’s Global Indices for Reforms and Growth (GIRG) initiative, the country’s performance is being monitored across 29 global indices including Human Development Index (HDI), Global Hunger Index (GHI), Global Competitiveness Index (GCI), Human Capital Index (HCI), Global Innovation Index (GII), among others. Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) is one of them.
  • This exercise is aimed at leveraging the monitoring mechanism of important social, economic, and other internationally recognised indices, enabling the utilisation of these indices as tools for bringing about reforms to improve outcomes and correspondingly reflect them in India’s performance in these indices globally.

National Multidimensional Poverty Index

  • The National MPI Project is aimed at deconstructing the Global MPI and creating a globally aligned and yet customised India MPI for drawing up comprehensive Reform Action Plans with the larger goal of improving India’s position in the Global MPI rankings.
  • The Baseline Report of MPI is based on the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) 4 taken up during 2015-16. NFHS is conducted by the International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS) under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.
  • Based on the latest National Family Heath Survey [NFHS-5 (2019-21)], the second edition of the National Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) represents India’s progress in reducing multidimensional poverty between the two surveys, NFHS-4 (2015-16) and NFHS-5 (2019-21).
  • It builds on the Baseline Report of India’s National MPI launched in November 2021. The broad methodology followed is in consonance with the global methodology.
  • The National MPI measures simultaneous deprivations across the three equally weighted dimensions of health, education, and standard of living that are represented by 12 SDG-aligned indicators. These include nutrition, child and adolescent mortality, maternal health, years of schooling, school attendance, cooking fuel, sanitation, drinking water, electricity, housing, assets, and bank accounts. Marked improvement is witnessed across all the 12 indicators.
  • The report is released by NITI Aayog

MPI Dimensions & Indicators

What are the key findings of the report?

  • A record 13.5 crore people moved out of multidimensional poverty between 2015-16 and 2019-21 as per NITI Aayog’s Report ‘National Multidimensional Poverty Index: A Progress Review 2023’.
  • According to the Report, India has registered a significant decline of 9.89 percentage points in number of India’s multidimensionally poor from 24.85% in 2015-16 to 14.96% in 2019-2021.
  • The rural areas witnessed the fastest decline in poverty from 32.59% to 19.28%. During the same period, the urban areas saw a reduction in poverty from 8.65% to 5.27%.
  • Uttar Pradesh registered the largest decline in number of poor with 3.43 crore people escaping multidimensional poverty. Providing multidimensional poverty estimates for the 36 States and Union Territories and 707 Administrative Districts, the Report states that the fastest reduction in the proportion of multidimensional poor was observed in the States of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and Rajasthan.
  • Between 2015-16 and 2019-21, the MPI value has nearly halved from 0.117 to 0.066 and the intensity of poverty has reduced from 47% to 44%, thereby setting India on the path of achieving the SDG Target 1.2 (of reducing multidimensional poverty by at least half) much ahead of the stipulated timeline of 2030.
  • It demonstrates the Government’s strategic focus on ensuring sustainable and equitable development and eradicating poverty by 2030, thereby adhering to its commitment towards the SDGs
  • The Government’s dedicated focus on improving access to sanitation, nutrition, cooking fuel, financial inclusion, drinking water, and electricity has led to significant advancements in these areas. All 12 parameters of the MPI have shown marked improvements.

Initiatives taken by the government to eradicate the Poverty-

  • Flagship programmes like the Poshan Abhiyan and Anaemia Mukt Bharat have contributed to reduced deprivations in health.
  • Initiatives such as Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) and Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) have improved sanitation across the country. The impact of these efforts is evident in the swift 21.8 percentage points improvement in sanitation deprivations. The provision of subsidized cooking fuel through the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) has positively transformed lives, with a 14.6 percentage points improvement in cooking fuel deprivations.
  • Initiatives like Saubhagya, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), and Samagra Shiksha have also played a major role in significantly reducing multidimensional poverty in the country.
  • The remarkable progress achieved through extremely low deprivation rates especially for electricity, access to bank accounts and drinking water, reflects the Government’s unwavering commitment to improving citizens’ lives and creating a brighter future for all.
  • Consistent implementation across a diverse set of programmes and initiatives that have strong interlinkages has led to significant reduction in deprivations across multiple indicators.

2 . Constitution Provision regarding the creation of new states

Context: After a statement by Kuki Inpi Manipur (KIM, the apex body of Kuki tribes) specifically seeking a separate State under Article 3 of the Constitution in light of the ongoing conflict in Manipur, signs of fissures are starting to appear among Kuki-Zo civil society organisations (CSOs) and councils about the specifics of how they want to be separated from the State of Manipur.

Creation Of New States in India: The Constitutional Procedure

  • India is also known as a Union of States. Article 1(1) of the Constitution of India declares that India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States.
  • As give new States in India are created under the provisions of Articles 2, 3 and 4 of the Indian Constitution.
    • Article 2- Article 2 of the Constitution of India vests in the Indian Parliament the exclusive power to admit or establish new states into the Indian Union on such terms and conditions as the Parliament may provide for. This authority is with the Indian Parliament only and the State legislatures have no power to frame laws on this subject matter.
    • Article 3 of Indian Constitution addresses the topic of Formation of new States and alteration of areas, boundaries or names of existing States.
    • Article 3 assigns to Parliament the power to enact legislation for the formation of new States. Parliament may create new States in a number of ways, namely by
      • (i) separating territory from any State,
      • (ii) uniting two or more States,
      • (iii) uniting parts of States and
      • (iv) uniting any territory to a part of any State.
    • Parliament’s power under Article 3 extends to increasing or diminishing the area of any State and altering the boundaries or name of any State.
    • Two checks constrain Parliament’s power to enact legislation for the formation of new States. Firstly, a bill calling for formation of new States may be introduced in either House of Parliament only on the recommendation of the President.
    • Secondly, such a bill must be referred by the President to the concerned State Legislature for expressing its views to Parliament if it contains provisions which affect the areas, boundaries or name of that State
  • Article 4– Article 4 of the Indian Constitution reflects a mandatory direction to the Parliament while framing a legislation under Article 2 and 3. It directs the Parliament to frame a legislation which bears within it certain provisions providing for the amendment of the First Schedule and the Fourth Schedule of the Constitution of India in order to giving affect to such legislation.

Steps for Creation of New State

  • The steps for creating a new state are as follows: A bill on a new state has to be recommended by the President. In India it is usually the Cabinet which requests the President to do that.
  • Article 3 makes it clear that the Parliament is the sole authority on making a decision on a new state.
  • President refers the bill to the State Assembly for its views giving it a certain period of time.
  • Parliament is not obligated to follow on the views of State Assembly. If the State Assembly does not express its opinion within the specified period of time, the bill could be introduced in the Parliament after the expiry of the specified period.

FORMATION OF STATES IN INDIA – BIFURCATIONS: Chronology of states’ bifurcation in India till date :

  • 1947 – Provinces and around 550 princely states were merged with existing provinces.
    1953 – Andhra Pradesh was carved out of Madras. States’ reorganisation commission was formed.
  • 1953 – Northeast Frontier Agency was formed.
  • 1956 – 14 states and 6 UTs were created.
  • 1960 – Bombay state split into Maharashtra and Gujarat.
  • 1963 – Nagaland carved out of Assam.
  • 1966 – Haryana and Himachal Pradesh carved out of Punjab state.
  • 1972 – Meghalaya, Manipur and Tripura were formed.
  • 1975 – Sikkim became part of Indian Union.
  • 1987 – Goa and Arunachal Pradesh became states (earlier these were UTs).
  • 2000 – Uttaranchal (out of Uttar Pradesh), Jharkhand (out of Bihar) and Chhattisgarh (out of Madhya Pradesh) were formed.
  • 2013 – Andhra Pradesh – Telangana

3 . Article 239AA

Context: The Supreme Court said it may refer the Delhi government’s petition against a Central Ordinance, which effectively gives power over civil services in the national capital to the Lieutenant Governor, to a Constitution Bench for an authoritative pronouncement.

Background of the issue

  • National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Ordinance, 2023 amounted to an amendment of the Constitution via the Ordinance route. The Delhi government has argued that the Ordinance took away its control over civil servants without actually amending Article 239AA, which holds that the power and control over services should be vested in the elected government.
  • The CJI orally observed that the effective transfer of power over the civil services amounted to nullifying Entry 41 of the State List of the Constitution. Entry 41 deals with the State’s power over the “State public services and the State Public Service Commission.
  • The Ordinance was promulgated within eight days of the Supreme Court verdict, which had upheld the authority of Delhi government to make laws and administer civil services in the national capital.

Article 239AA of the constitution

  • Inserted into the Constitution by the 69th Amendment Act, 1991, Article 239AA conferred special status on Delhi following the recommendations of the S Balakrishnan Committee that was set up in 1987 to look into Delhi’s demands for statehood.
  • According to this provision, the NCT of Delhi will have an administrator and a Legislative Assembly. Subject to the provisions of the Constitution, the Legislative Assembly, “shall have the power to make laws for the whole or any part of the NCT with respect to any of the matters in the State List or Concurrent List in so far as any such matter is applicable to Union territories,” except on the subjects of police, public order, and land.
  • Two Constitution Benches of the Supreme Court, in July 2018 and May 2023, have dealt with the issue of the powers of the Delhi government. Both of these judgments involve the interpretation of Article 239AA of the Constitution, which deals with the governance structure of the national capital. In 1991, when Article 239 AA was inserted, the Parliament also passed the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991, to provide a framework for the functioning of the Assembly and the government of Delhi.

What has the Supreme Court said about Article 239AA?

  • In the majority ruling in 2018, the Constitution bench held that although Delhi could not be accorded the status of a state, the concept of federalism would still apply to it.
  • The 2018 ruling said that with the introduction of Article 239AA in the Constitution, Parliament envisaged a “representative form of Government” for Delhi while seeking to provide a directly elected Legislative Assembly with legislative powers over matters within the State List and the Concurrent List, barring those exempted. It also sought to mandate the Lieutenant Governor to act on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers, except when he decides to refer the matter to the President for a final decision.
  • Taking a closer look at Article 239AA (3), the court said that it revealed Parliament’s power to make laws for Delhi, for matters given in the State and Concurrent List. “At the same time, the Legislative Assembly of Delhi also has the power to make laws over all those subjects which figure in the Concurrent List and all, but three excluded subjects, in the State List,” the court said.
  • Adding that the Centre has exclusive executive power with respect to Delhi over its police, land, and public order, the court clarified that “in respect of other matters, the executive power is to be exercised by the Government of NCT of Delhi”. This, however, is subject to the proviso to Article 239AA(4) of the Constitution.
  • The proviso to Article 239AA says that in case of a difference of opinion between the LG and the ministers, the LG shall refer the matter to the President for a decision and act according to it. However, the court said that even this difference of opinion should have a “sound rationale”.
  • The court also made it clear that the LG has not been entrusted with any independent decision-making power and that “he has to either act on the ‘aid and advice’ of the Council of Ministers or he is bound to implement the decision.” Further, the LG should not act in a mechanical manner without due application of mind and refer every decision of the Council of Ministers to the President, the court said.

National Capital Territory (Amendment) Ordinance, 2023

  • The Government of National Capital Territory (Amendment) Ordinance, 2023, was promulgated on May 19, 2023.  It amends the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991. 
  • The Act provides the framework for the functioning of the Legislative Assembly and the government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi.
  •  Key features include: 
  • Powers to legislate over services:  As per Article 239AA of the Constitution, the Delhi Legislative Assembly has powers to make laws on subjects in the State List and the Concurrent List, barring: (i) police, (ii) public order, and (iii) land.  Parliament may also legislate on subjects under the State List with respect to Delhi, and these laws will prevail in case of repugnancy with state laws.  The Ordinance specifies that the Delhi Legislative Assembly will not have the power to legislate on the subject of ‘services’, which comes under the State List.  Services include matters related to appointments and transfers of employees of the Delhi government, and vigilance.
  • National Capital Civil Services Authority:  The Ordinance establishes the National Capital Civil Services Authority to recommend to the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi (LG): (i) transfers and postings, (ii) matters related to vigilance, (iii) disciplinary proceedings, and (iv) prosecution sanctions of Group A of All India Services (except Indian Police Service), and Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar, Lakshadweep, Daman and Diu, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli (Civil) Services. 
  • The Authority will consist of the: (i) Chief Minister of Delhi as Chairperson, (ii) Principal Home Secretary of the Delhi government as Member Secretary, and (iii) Chief Secretary of the Delhi government as member.  The central government will appoint both the Principal Secretary and Chief Secretary.  Officers serving in connection with the subjects of police, public order, and land will not come under the Authority’s purview.  All decisions of the Authority will be based on a majority vote of the members present and voting.  The quorum for a meeting is two people.
  • Powers of the Lieutenant Governor:  Under the Act, matters where the LG may act on his discretion are: (i) matters outside the legislative competence of the Delhi Legislative Assembly but which have been delegated to the LG, or (ii) matters where he is required by a law to act in his discretion or exercise any judicial or quasi-judicial functions.  The Ordinance specifies that in these matters, the LG will act in his sole discretion.  It expands the discretionary role of the LG by giving him powers to approve the recommendations of the Authority, or return them for reconsideration.  The LG’s decision will be final in the case of a difference of opinion between him and the Authority.
  • Appointments and conditions of service:  The Union Public Service Commission will recommend appointments for Group A and B gazetted posts.  Appointments to Group B and Group C non-gazetted posts will be recommended by the Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board.  Group A includes senior management roles, Group B includes middle management roles, and Group C includes clerical assistance roles.  The central government will notify the conditions of service of persons appointed to services including their tenure, qualification, salaries, powers and functions, and suspension. 
  • Disposal of matters by Ministers:  A Minister of the Delhi government may issue standing orders concerning the disposal of matters brought to his attention.  The order should be issued in consultation with the concerned Department Secretary.   Certain matters must be submitted to the LG, through the Chief Minister, for their opinion prior to the issue of any order.  These include proposals affecting: (i) the peace and tranquillity of Delhi, (ii) relations between the Delhi government and the central government, Supreme Court, or other state governments, (iii) summoning, prorogation, and dissolution of the Legislative Assembly, and (iv) matters on which LG is to give an order in his sole discretion. 
  • Additionally, the concerned Department Secretary must bring certain matters to the notice of the LG, the Chief Minister, and the Chief Secretary.  These include matters which may bring the Delhi Government into controversy with the central or any state government, the Supreme Court, or High Court of Delhi.

4 . Facts for Prelims

Just Energy Transition Partnership’ (JET-P)

  • JETP is a financing mechanism. In a Partnership, wealthier nations fund a coal-dependent developing nation to support the country’s own path to phase-out coal and transition towards clean energy while addressing the social consequences.  
  • The first such JETP emerged from COP 26 in Glasgow, when South Africa was promised USD 8.5 billion in financing by France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union.
  • A second tranche of countries announced as partners in the JETP approach included India, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Senegal.
  • The donor pool has since been expanded to include multilateral development banks, national development banks, and development finance agencies. As they involve a relatively small group of actors, JETPs can potentially make much faster progress on the energy transition than what would be possible in the UN climate talks themselves, where large oil and gas-producing countries could veto agreement.

Scorpene Submarines

  • The Scorpene is a new-generation, conventional-propulsion submarine with an intermediate size and is capable in terms of “mobility and discretion”.  It can carry out operations in both open ocean and coastal waters.
  • The submarine, which is 67.56m long, has a high level of operating automation that allows the crew to be limited to 25 — lowering operational costs. While its surface displacement is 1,615 tonnes, the submerged displacement is 1,775 tonnes.
  • It can carry 18 weapons, including torpedoes, missiles, and mines, and has six weapon-launching tubes. It can travel at more than 20 knots underwater and can stay submerged for 50 days.
  • The Scorpene is a 2,000-tonnes conventional-propulsion submarine that was developed by the Naval Group, France, for various missions, including surface vessel warfare, anti-submarine warfare, long-range strikes, special operations or intelligence gathering. The Naval Group calls these submarines “extremely stealthy and fast”.
  • All the six Scorpene submarines built for India do not have the main weapon— heavy-weight torpedoes. They are currently using a Russian-made torpedo that has been given a life extension.

ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC)

  • ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC), Bengaluru is entrusted with the major responsibility to provide tracking support for all the satellite and launch vehicle missions of ISRO.
  • The major objectives of the centre are:
    • carrying out mission operations of all  operational remote sensing and scientific satellites,  providing Telemetry, Tracking and Command (TTC) services from launch vehicle lift-off till injection of satellite into orbit and to estimate its preliminary orbit in space and hardware and software developmental activities that enhance the capabilities of ISTRAC for providing flawless TTC and Mission Operations services.
    • Towards, these objectives, ISTRAC has established a network of ground stations at Bengaluru, Lucknow, Mauritius, Sriharikota, Port Blair, Thiruvananthapuram, Brunei, Biak (Indonesia) and the Deep Space Network Stations.
    • Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), over the years, established a comprehensive network of ground stations to provide Telemetry, Tracking and Command (TTC) support to Satellite and Launch vehicle missions.


  • The Moon’s orbit around Earth is elliptical, with one side closer to Earth than the other.
  • As a result, the distance between the Moon and Earth varies throughout the month and the year. On average, the distance is about 382,900 kilometers (238,000 miles) from the Moon’s center to the center of Earth.
  • The point on the Moon’s orbit closest to Earth is called the perigee and the point farthest away is the apogee

Senior Advocate

  • The Supreme Court has published new guidelines for the designation of senior advocates practicing mainly in the Apex Court.
  • Section 16 provides that there shall be two classes of advocates, namely, senior advocates and other advocates. An advocate may, with his consent, be designated as senior advocate if the Supreme Court or a High Court is of opinion that by virtue of his ability, standing at the Bar or special knowledge or experience in law, he is deserving of such distinction.
  • Senior advocates shall, in the matter of their practice, be subject to such restrictions as the Bar Council of India may, in the interest of legal profession, prescribe.
  • An advocate of the Supreme Court Who was a senior advocate of that Court immediately before the appointed day shall, for this purpose be deemed to be a senior advocate.

Who are eligible to apply?

  • (i) At least
    • (a) ten years’ standing as an Advocate; or
    • (b) ten years’ combined standing as an Advocate and as a District and Sessions Judge or as a Judicial Member of any Tribunal in India whose qualification for eligibility for such appointment is not less than that prescribed for appointment as a District Judge.
  • (ii) Practice mainly in the Supreme Court. Note: Applicant-advocates having domain expertise of practising before specialized Tribunals may be given concession with regard to the extent of appearances in the Supreme Court.
  • (iii) Attainment of the age of 45 years, unless the age limit is relaxed by the Committee, or the name has been recommended by the Chief Justice of India or a Judge of the Supreme Court.
  • The Senior Designations will be be dealt with by a committee comprising :
    • a) Chief Justice of India : Chairperson
    • (b) Two senior-most Judges of the Supreme Court of India : Members
    • ( c) Attorney General for India : Member
    • ( d) A member of the Bar, nominated by the Chairperson and Members, referred to in (a) to ( c) above : Member.

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