Daily Current Affairs: 22 October 2021

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE

Topics covered

  1. Right to protest
  2. Economically weaker section quota
  3. FATF
  4. Parole and furlough
  5. Gene Editing : Site directed nuclease
  6. Facts for Prelims
  7. Places in News

1. Right to protest

Context: SC says farmers have right to protest, but can’t block roads.

About the issue

  • In the backdrop of farmers protest Supreme Court observed that it was not against people’s right to protest even on matters that are sub judice, but made it clear that such protesters cannot block public roads indefinitely
  • The bench was hearing a plea by Noida resident who highlighted problems faced by commuters on account of the ongoing protests against the farm laws, and sought the protesters’ removal from the Delhi border.

Constitutional provisions

  • The right to protest involves the exercise of two fundamental rights:
    • freedom of speech and expression under Article 19 (1) (a) of the Constitution.
    • freedom to assemble peacefully under 19 (1) (b) of the Constitution.
  • Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India guarantees to all its citizens the right to freedom of speech and expression. The law states that, “all citizens shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression”.
  • Article 19(1) (b) says, “All citizens shall have the right to assemble peaceably and without arms”
  • Article 19(1) (c) says, “All citizens shall have the right to form associations and unions”.
  • All the articles in a combine nature defend, Right to Protest.
  • It is to be understood that these rights are not absolute in nature i.e. authorities can impose certain restrictions on these above mentioned rights.
  • Both the rights mentioned above are subject to reasonable restrictions under 19 (2) and 19 (3) on grounds such as sovereignty and integrity of India, and public order.
  • Overall it can be understood that citizens have Right to protest on one hand whereas on the hand authorities are provided with powers to impose limitations provided that those limitations are reasonable in nature.

Judicial Interpretations

  • In Ramlila Maidan Incident v. Home Secretary, Union Of India & Ors. case (2012), the Supreme Court had stated, “Citizens have a fundamental right to assembly and peaceful protest which cannot be taken away by an arbitrary executive or legislative action.”
  • In another case of Himat Lal K. Shah Vs Commissioner of Police, Ahmedabad and Anr the apex court held that State can only make regulations in aid of the right of assembly of each citizen and can only impose reasonable restrictions in the interests of public order.


  • Protests are basically demands made by a group of individuals in the form of Public demonstrations.
  • Article 19 of the Constitution upheld our right to raise our demand but the condition is that those protests must be peaceful.
  • One have right to protest but while exercising this right one should not cause any inconvenience to other.
  • On the other hand authorities are provided with the power to impose restrictions on them provided that those restrictions must be reasonable in nature. I
  • Thus we can say that citizens are only provided with Right to peaceful protest. 

2. EWS Quota

Context: The Supreme Court asked the Government if it wants to revisit the limit of ₹8 lakh annual income fixed for determining the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) category for reservation in NEET admissions for medical courses under the all-India quota.

About the issue

  • The bench was hearing a batch of pleas challenging the Centre and Medical Counselling Committee notification to provide 27 per cent reservation for OBCs and 10 per cent reservation for the EWS category in the All-India Quota for PG Medical Courses.
  • Supreme Court asked the Centre to explain how it has fixed an annual income of Rs 8 lakh as the limit for being eligible for reservation under the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) category in the NEET-All India quota.

About EWS Quota

  • Reservation for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) is being implemented in respect of recruitment for Civil posts and services in government and admission in educational institutions.
  • The 10% EWS quota was introduced under the 103rd Constitution (Amendment) Act, 2019 by amending Articles 15 and 16. It inserted Article 15 (6) and Article 16 (6).
  • It enables both Centre and the states to provide reservation to the EWS of society.
  • The EWS quota breaches the limit of 50% put up by the nine judge constitutional bench in Indira Sawhney case 1992, without even putting this issue into consideration.

Quantum of reservation

  • The persons belonging to EWSs who, are not covered under the scheme of reservation for SCs, STs and OBCs shall get 10% reservation in direct recruitment in civil posts and services in the Government and admission in educational institutions.

Exemption from reservation

“Scientific and Technical” posts which satisfy all the following conditions can be exempted from the purview of the reservation orders by the Ministries/ Departments:

  • The posts should be in grades above the lowest grade in Group A of the service concerned.
  • They should be classified as “scientific or technical” in terms of Cabinet Secretariat [OM No. 85/11/CF-61(1) dated 28.12.1961], according to which scientific and technical posts for which qualifications in the natural sciences or exact sciences or applied sciences or in technology are prescribed and, the incumbents of which have to use that knowledge in the discharge of their duties.
  • The posts should be ‘for conducting research’ or ‘for organizing, guiding and directing research’.


  • Persons who are not covered under the scheme of reservation for SCs, STs and OBCs and whose family has gross annual income below Rs 8 (Rupees eight lakh only) are to be identified as EWSs for benefit of reservation.
  • Income shall also include income from all sources i.e. salary, agriculture, business, profession, etc. for the financial year prior to the year of application.
  • Also persons whose family owns or possesses any of the following assets shall be excluded from being identified as EWS, irrespective of the family income:
    • 5 acres of agricultural land and above;
    • Residential area of 1000 sq ft. and above;
    • Residential plot of 100 sq. yards and above in notified municipalities;
    • Residential, plot of 200 sq. yards and above in areas other than the notified municipalities.
  • The property held by a “Family” in different locations or different places/cities would be clubbed while applying the land. or property holding test to determine EWS status.
  • The term “Family” for this purpose will include the person who seeks benefit of reservation, his/her parents and siblings below the age of 18 years as also his/her spouse and children below the age of 18 years.


Context: The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) retained Pakistan in the ‘greylist’ yet again, observing that it needed to further demonstrate that investigations and prosecutions were being pursued against the senior leadership of UN-designated terror groups, which include the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

About Financial Action Task Force

  • The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 by the Ministers of its Member jurisdictions.
  • The objectives of the FATF are to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system. 
  • The FATF is therefore a “policy-making body” which works to generate the necessary political will to bring about national legislative and regulatory reforms in these areas.
  • The FATF has developed a series of Recommendations that are recognised as the international standard for combating of money laundering and the financing of terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
  • They form the basis for a co-ordinated response to these threats to the integrity of the financial system and help ensure a level playing field. 
  • The FATF’s decision making body, the FATF Plenary, meets three times per year.  
  • The FATF currently comprises 36 member jurisdictions and 2 regional organisations ( GCC, European Commission) representing most major financial centres in all parts of the globe.
  • India is a member of FATF while Pakistan is not a member
  • India is a voting member of the FATF and APG, and co-chair of the Joint Group where it is represented by the Director General of India’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU)

What is the FATF black list?

  • The FATF black list is shorthand for “Non-Cooperative Countries or Territories” (NCCTs).
  • It has been issued since 2000 and lists countries that have been openly hostile and non-cooperative in the fight against money laundering and terror funding.
  • Although the list did initially include offshore financial centres, the set of recommendations were soon amended to make tax havens compliant with all of the FATF’s criteria.
  • As of now, the FATF black list comprises Iran and North Korea.

How is the FATF grey list different from the black list?

  • The grey list includes countries that are deemed to be lax in combating terror financing and money laundering. Pakistan was on this list previously between 2012 and 2015.
  • But inaction over terror attacks on Indian targets by Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and  Jaish-e-Mohammed has prompted Pakistan’s return to the grey list.
  • India was not part of the group that moved the resolution to greylist Pakistan last year in Paris. The movers were the US, UK, France, and Germany; China did not oppose.
  • While the black list represents countries which are hostile to external regulation of its economy, the grey list includes countries which continue to shield certain banned groups from greater institutional scrutiny and regulation.
  • The countries which are presently on the grey list are Syria, Sri Lanka Tunisia, Serbia, Yemen, Ethiopia and Iraq.

What are the restrictions placed on listed nations?

  • In addition to the negative picture painted of a country’s national institutions, laxity in dealing with groups banned by multilateral organisations reflects the government’s covert engagement with such entities.
  • The most adverse impact will be on the economy, especially for countries reliant on foreign aid and development loans.
  • Apart from loans solicited from international lenders like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or the Asian Development Bank (ADB), figuring on the FATF’s “Non-Cooperative Countries or Territories” list could see the migration of foreign capital and privately-owned foreign companies from those countries.
  • Loans for infrastructure development could also be jeopardized if lenders are not confident of the security of their investments, and also a potential misappropriation of sanctioned funds for terrorism-related activities. Foreign banks with footprints spanning the globe, such as Citibank or Standard Chartered, could pull out, affecting the financial services sector in the country.

4 . Parole and furlough

Context : The Supreme Court has discussed the differences between ‘furlough’ and ‘parole’ and the principles relating to grant of them.

Parole and furlough

A bench comprising Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice BV Nagarathna stated the broad principles as :

  • (i) Furlough and parole envisage a short-term temporary release from custody;
  • (ii) While parole is granted for the prisoner to meet a specific exigency, furlough may be granted after a stipulated number of years have been served without any reason;

Key differences highlighted in the judgment are:

  • Both parole and furlough are conditional release.
  • Parole can be granted in case of short-term imprisonment whereas in furlough it is granted in case of long-term imprisonment. Duration of parole extends to one month whereas in the case of furlough it extends to fourteen days maximum.
  • Parole is granted by Divisional Commissioner and furlough is granted by the Deputy Inspector General of Prisons.
  • For parole, specific reason is required, whereas furlough is meant for breaking the monotony of imprisonment.
  • The term of imprisonment is not included in the computation of the term of parole, whereas it is vice versa in furlough.
  • Parole can be granted number of times whereas there is limitation in the case of furlough.
  • Since furlough is not granted for any particular reason, it can be denied in the interest of the society.

5 . Gene editing; Site Directed Nuclease (SDN)

Context : Scientists at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute are in the process of developing resilient and high-yield rice varieties using such gene editing techniques, which have already been approved by many countries. However, the proposal for Indian regulators to consider this technique as equivalent to conventional breeding methods, since it does not involve inserting any foreign DNA, has been pending with the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee for almost two years. Indian Agricultural Research Institute has now moved to newer technologies such as Site Directed Nuclease (SDN) 1 and 2. They aim to bring precision and efficiency into the breeding process using gene editing tools such as CRISPR.

About Site-Directed Nuclease (SDN) genome editing

  • Site-Directed Nuclease (SDN) genome editing involves the use of different DNA-cutting enzymes (nucleases) that are directed to cut the DNA at a predetermined location by a range of different DNA binding systems. After the cut is made, the cell’s own DNA repair mechanism recognizes the break and repairs the damage, using one of two pathways that are naturally present in cells:
    • non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ): The cut DNA is rejoined, but while doing this a few basepairs may be eaten away or added resulting in random small deletions (up to 20) or additions (a few basepairs) of nucleotides at the cut site.
    • homology-directed repair (HDR): a donor DNA that carries the desired change and has homology with the target site is used to introduce this change at the cut site. In this way you can introduce specific intentional insertions, changes or deletions.
  • Genome editing techniques using nucleases can be categorized into site-directed nuclease systems (SDN) 1, 2, and 3 
    • SDN1 applications rely on the endogenous processes of non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ), which is the most common mechanism to repair double-strand DNA breaks in plants.
    • If this repair template differs by one or a few nucleotides and is otherwise homologous to the autochthonous sequence, the application will be categorized as SDN2.
    • If longer DNA sequences, which might be of allelic, additional, or foreign origin, are site-specifically integrated into the target genome, this mechanism will be categorized as SDN3

Nuclease mediated genome editing techniques include:

  • Zinc Finger Nucleases (ZFN)
  • TAL Effector Nuclease (TALEN)
  • CRISPR/Cas9
  • Meganuclease 


  • In this case, you are just tweaking a gene that is already there in the plant, without bringing in any gene from outside. When a protein comes from an outside organism, then you need to test for safety. But in this case, this protein is right there in the plant, and is being changed a little bit, just as nature does through mutation, But it is much faster and far more precise than natural mutation or conventional breeding methods which involve trial and error and multiple breeding cycles.”

6 . Facts for Prelims

One world, one solar, one grid

The Green Grids Initiative-One Sun One World One Grid (GGI-OSOWOG)

  • The idea for the One Sun One World One Grid (OSOWOG) initiative was put forth by the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi, at the First Assembly of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) in October 2018.
  • He had called for connecting solar energy supply across borders.
  • The United Kingdom and India agreed to combine forces of the Green Grids Initiative and the One Sun One World One Grid initiative and jointly launch GGI-OSOWOG at the COP26 summit being hosted by the UK at Glasgow in November 2021.
  • The concept of ‘one sun, one world, one grid’ and regional interconnections will help in creating a global green grid.
  • For this initiative, besides the World Bank, ISA has found willing partners in the private sector.

Kaziranga National park

  • Formed in 1908 on the recommendation of Mary Curzon, the park is located in the edge of the Eastern Himalayan biodiversity hotspots – Golaghat and Nagaon district. In the year 1985, the park was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
  • It is also placed beside the Brahmaputra River on the North and the Karbi Anglong mounts on the South India. 
  • In the heart of Assam, this park is one of the last areas in eastern India undisturbed by a human presence.
  • It is inhabited by the world’s largest population of one-horned rhinoceroses, as well as many mammals, including tigers, elephants, panthers and bears, and thousands of birds.
  • Along with the iconic Greater one-horned rhinoceros, the park is the breeding ground of elephants, wild water buffalo, and swamp deer.
  • Over the time, the tiger population has also increased in Kaziranga, and that’s the reason why Kaziranga was declared as Tiger Reserve in 2006.
  • Also, the park is recognized as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International for the conservation of avifaunal species.
  • Birds like lesser white-fronted goose, ferruginous duck, Baer’s pochard duck and lesser adjutant, greater adjutant, black-necked stork, and Asian Openbill stork specially migrate from the Central Asia during the winter season.


  • Due to the difference in altitude between the eastern and western areas of the park, here one can see mainly four types of vegetation’ like alluvial inundated grasslands, alluvial savanna woodlands, tropical moist mixed deciduous forests, and tropical semi-evergreen forests.
  • Kumbhi, Indian gooseberry, the cotton tree, and elephant Apple are amongst the famous trees that can be seen in the park.
  • Also, a good variety of aquatic flora can be seen in lakes, ponds, and along the river shores.


  • The forest region of Kaziranga Park is home to world’s largest population of Indian Rhinoceros.
  • Other animals that can be seen in the elephant grass, marshland and dense tropical moist broadleaf forests of Kaziranga are Hoolock Gibbon, Tiger, Leopard, Indian Elephant, Sloth Bear, Wild water buffalo, swamp deer, etc.
  • With increase in tiger population every year, the government authorities declared Kaziranga as a Tiger Reserve in the year 2006.
  • Also here one can find good number of migratory bird species from Central Asia.

Konkan Shakti

  • India-UK naval exercises
  • The exercise is part of the U.K.’s consistent practice of maritime exercises it has carried out with several countries like the U.S. and Japan in recent years.
  • The showpiece of the naval exercises will be the UK Carrier Strike Group–HMS Queen Elizabeth–which arrived in Indian waters to hold bilateral exercises with the Indian Navy on India’s western coast.

Other Exercises between India and UK:

  • Exercise ‘Indradhanush’ (Air Force Exercise)
  • Ajeya Warrior (Joint Military Exercise)


  • South Korea has launched its first homegrown rocket, stepping up the country’s ambitions in space.
  • The Korean Satellite Launch Vehicle II, known as Nuri, took off from Goheung, about 500km (310 miles) south of Seoul.

7 . Places in News

The Cumbre Vieja

  • The Cumbre Vieja is an active volcanic ridge on the island of La Palma in the Canary Islands, Spain.
  • The spine of Cumbre Vieja trends in an approximate north–south direction, and covers the southern half of La Palma, with both summit ridge and flanks pockmarked by over a dozen craters.

Leave a comment

error: Content is protected !! Copying and sharing on Social media / websites will invite legal action