Daily Current Affairs : 25th and 26th September 2022

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE

Topics Covered

  1. Ukraine Mobilization
  2. SC initiative on Capital Punishment
  3. Rohini RH 200
  4. Curative Petition
  5. Sittanavasal
  6. Shifting Monsoon patterns
  7. Facts for Prelims

1 . Ukraine Mobilization

Context: After seven months of the war in Ukraine, the Russian ident announced a partial military mobilisation and dialled up the nuclear threat. Separately, four Russia-backed breakaway regions in Ukraine are holding referendums on joining Russia.

Why did Putin announce mobilisation?

  • When Russia announced its “special military operation” after mobilising over 1,50,000 troops on the border, the plan appeared to be making quick territorial gains in Ukraine through a limited war.
  • Russian troops tried to make a sharp thrust into Ukraine from multiple fronts
  • The Russians made substantial territorial gains in the east and south — the four regions that are holding referendums make up some 15% of Ukraine’s landmass — but they had to pay a heavy price for those gains, which themselves fell short of the original objectives.
  • Ukraine’s troops, backed by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), stopped the Russians on the outskirts of Kyiv, repelled them from Kharkiv and put up a prolonged resistance in the east.
  • Despite the slow progress, Russia had maintained that its operation was going according to plan — until its troops were pushed back from the Kharkiv Oblast.
  • The military setback, which strengthened the right-nationalist criticism of the way the war was conducted, forced the Kremlin to come out of the fiction that everything was going as planned.
  • The reality is that Russia has reached a level where it cannot sustain its military gains without further troop mobilisation. And Mr. Putin has gone for it.

 What is partial military mobilisation?

  • Only those who are currently in the reserves and those who have served in the armed forces and have got military training would be conscripted.
  • Russia can mobilise some 25 million people from the country’s vast reserves, but the Defence Ministry is planning to call in only 1% of that potential.
  • It may not have been an easy decision for Russia, which is now in a difficult situation — the Generals need more manpower and hardliners are exerting pressure to commit more troops and resources.
  • On the other hand, a general mobilisation, which would need nationwide conscription, could be unpopular.
  • This explains why Russia delayed the mobilisation so long and hasn’t declared war on Ukraine.
  • Russia struck a balance by opting for a partial mobilisation — which also triggered some protests — immediately after pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine’s breakaway regions decided to hold referendums on joining Russia.
  • This move itself is a major escalation. The 3,00,000 troops the Russian Defence Ministry is mobilising is almost twice the size of the original mobilisation Russia made before launching this war.

 How will referendums impact the situation?

  • Of the four regions holding the vote, Russia has recognised Donetsk and Luhansk, which make up the industrial Donbas region, as independent republics.
  • Since the war began, Russia and the separatists have captured almost all of Luhansk and some 65% of Donetsk.
  • They also control parts of Kherson, including the port city that fell in the initial days of the war, and Zaporizhzhya, including the eponymous nuclear plant, Europe’s largest.
  • The separatists have been planning to hold the referendums for some time, but Russia’s setbacks in Kharkiv seem to have quickened their move, with blessings from Moscow.
  • While there won’t be any surprise in the results, what needs to be seen is if and when Moscow recognises the referendums and annexes these territories.
  • If Moscow does it, Ukraine’s borders would be redrawn for good, and it would require greater commitment from Russia to defend those territories or capture the rest of these regions that are still controlled by Ukrainians. 

Is there an exit strategy?

  • While Russia’s declaration of mobilisation is a major escalation, a careful examination shows mixed signals.
  • Russian President referred to the March talks between Russia and Ukraine where both sides agreed to further discuss peace proposals, which, according to him, was sabotaged by the U.S. and the U.K.
    • Here, the reference is to the Istanbul talks in which Ukraine had made a proposal to adopt neutrality (give up NATO membership plan) in return for multilateral security guarantees, discuss the status of Donbas with Russia and agree to a 15-year consultation period for Crimea (during which the status quo would be respected).
  • After the talks, Russia announced its withdrawal from around Kyiv and Kharkiv (city). But then, footage of the Bucha bodies emerged, after which the peace process collapsed.
  • Russia’s positive reference to the peace process is an indication that the hope for a negotiated settlement is not yet dead.
  • Russian President said he would use “all available means” (read nuclear weapons) to protect the territorial integrity of Russia — which was a direct threat to Ukraine against attacking Crimea, which Russia had annexed in 2014.
    • While he backed the referendums, he didn’t say if he would recognise the results. This leaves a window of opportunity for the peace process which will not stay open forever.


  • If Russia, with additional troops, turns around the course of the war, it could strengthen the hands of the Kremlin, which could go for the annexation of the territories, shutting the path to peace.
  • If the mobilisation fails, it will make Russian President’s position at home vulnerable, forcing him to take more drastic measures.
  • This means the current phase of the war offers both an opportunity to pursue peace and a slide into dangerous escalation — depending on which path the stakeholders would follow.

2 . SC Initiative on Capital Punishment

Context: A three-judge Bench of the Supreme Court has referred to a five-member Constitution Bench the issue of giving meaningful opportunity to those found guilty of a capital offence to present mitigating factors and circumstances so that they can better plead for a life term instead of a death sentence. The reference was made to resolve differences between judgments, mainly on whether it is necessary to hold the hearing on sentencing on a subsequent day and not on the day of the conviction. It is believed that an authoritative verdict on the question may lead to the judicial system making death sentences even rarer than it is now.

What does the law say on sentencing?

  • The issue arises from the legal requirement that whenever a court records a conviction, it must hold a separate hearing on the quantum of sentence.
  • Section 235 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) says that after hearing arguments, the judge shall give a judgment; and “if the accused is convicted, the judge shall hear the accused on the question of sentence and then pass sentence”.
  • This process gains significance if the conviction is for an offence that entails either death or life imprisonment.
    • Section 354(3) says that when an offence is punishable with death or imprisonment for life, the judgment shall state the reasons for the sentence awarded, and if the sentence is death, “special reasons” for the sentence.
  • Taken together, these provisions would mean that the sentencing hearing following the conviction of a person for a capital offence is a matter of great importance, as it would decide if the death penalty should be imposed, or a life term will be sufficient.
  • This would necessarily entail an inquiry into the nature and gravity of the offence and the circumstances in which it took place.
  • Ever since the Supreme Court, in Bachan Singh vs State of Punjab (1980) laid down that the death penalty can be awarded only in the ‘rarest of rare cases’, the nature of the sentencing hearing has undergone a transformation.
  • Besides the gravity of the crime, the circumstances of the accused also came to be examined to determine the suitability of the death penalty in a given case. Trial courts were required to balance ‘aggravating circumstances’ and ‘mitigating circumstances’ to decide the sentence.

 What have courts said about the process?

  • The Supreme Court noted in Bachan Singh that Section 235 is based on a recommendation in the 48th Report of the Law Commission, which had said that one of the deficiencies in sentencing policy was the lack of comprehensive information about the characteristics and background of the offender.
  • The Commission had also suggested that gathering evidence related to the circumstances relevant to sentencing should be encouraged.
  • Given this background, the Supreme Court said the trial court, while deciding the sentence, “should not confine its consideration ‘principally’ or merely to the circumstances connected with [a] particular crime, but also give due consideration to the circumstances of the criminal.”
  • In a series of judgments, the Supreme Court has advocated that the sentencing hearing be done separately, that is, at a future date after conviction.
  • Opinions on this issue have emphasised the need for a separate hearing for sentencing, as well as the need for an effective opportunity to the accused to place mitigating factors before the court. However, in a contradiction of sorts, several judgments have upheld the practice of ‘same-day’ sentencing. Such a practice does not vitiate the sentence, the courts have ruled.

 What are the views on same-day sentencing?

  • Even though a separate hearing on sentencing is practised in all trials, most judges do not adjourn the case to a future date to go through this.
  • As soon as the verdict of ‘guilty’ is pronounced, they ask counsel on both sides to argue on sentencing. There is a view that such ‘same-day’ sentencing is inadequate and violates natural justice as convicts do not get enough time to gather mitigating factors.
  • A major premise for the current order of referral is that this process is hopelessly tilted against the accused.
  • While the State is given an opportunity to present aggravating circumstances against the accused throughout the duration of a trial, the accused, on the other hand, is able to produce evidence showing mitigating circumstances in their favour, which may spare them the noose, only after their conviction,” the Bench said.

What is expected from the reference?

  • The Constitution Bench may lay down comprehensive guidelines on the manner in which sentencing decisions can be arrived at. It may make it necessary for the trial court to get to know the accused better before passing the sentence.
  • Going beyond the reports of jail authorities or parole officers, the courts may draft the help of psychologists and behavioural experts.
  • A study into the childhood experiences and upbringing of the accused, mental health history in the family and the likelihood of traumatic past experiences and other social and cultural factors may be mandated to be part of the sentencing process.
  • This may mean that trial courts will be better informed than now, when only basic data such as educational and economic status are ascertained before a sentence is imposed.

3 . Rohini RH -200

Context: In a few weeks’ time, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) hopes to achieve a remarkable feat — the 200th successful launch of the Rohini RH-200 sounding rocket in a row.

Key Highlights

  • The 3.5-metre-tall RH-200, a trusted member of the Rohini sounding rocket family used by the ISRO for atmospheric studies, has completed 198 consecutive successful flights, according to the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thumba.
  • The 199th launch, from Thumba, will happen on October 7 during the World Space Week celebrations.
  • The 200th will take place either towards the end of October or the beginning of November.
  • When RH-200 was first introduced, India was taking baby steps in rocketry.
  • So there was focus on aspects such as spin-stabilisation and solid motors, in addition to atmospheric studies.
  • Sounding rockets have since been used for a variety of experiments, including those on phenomena related to eclipses.

About Rohini RH-200

  • RH-200 is a two-stage rocket capable of climbing to a height of 70 km bearing scientific payloads.
  • The first and second stages of RH-200 are powered by solid motors.
  • The ‘200’ in the name denotes the diameter of the rocket in mm.
  • Other operational Rohini variants are RH-300 Mk-II and RH-560 Mk-III.
  • Sounding rockets have an important place in the ISRO story.
    • The first sounding rocket to be launched from Thumba was the American Nike-Apache — on November 21, 1963.
    • After that, two-stage rockets imported from Russia (M-100) and France (Centaure) were flown.
    • The ISRO launched its own version — Rohini RH-75 — in 1967.
  • The sounding rocket programme “was indeed the bedrock on which the edifice of launch vehicle technology was built”, the space agency has noted.
  • Today, these small rockets are launched both from the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS) and the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota.
  • The ISRO has launched more than 1,600 RH-200 rockets so far. The rocket celebrated its 100th consecutive successful mission on July 15, 2015.
  • Over the years, the rocket has served as a flexible platform for experiments and testing out new technologies.
  • For years, the RH-200 rocket had used a polyvinyl chloride (PVC)-based propellant.
  • The first RH-200 to use a new propellant based on hydroxyl-terminated Polybutadiene (HTPB) was successfully flown from the TERLS in September 2020.

4 . Curative Petition

Context: The fate of the Bhopal gas tragedy case is perched precariously on the edge of a precipice in the Supreme Court. The government’s law officers sounded unsure if the Centre would want to pursue a curative plea to enhance the compensation awarded to victims. When the Union Government filed the curative petition in November 2010, it had clearly declared itself as “the parens patriae (protector) of the victims of the world’s largest industrial disaster — the Bhopal gas tragedy”.

Key highlights

  • The tragedy in 1984 had resulted in the loss of 5,295 lives and injured over five lakh people.
  • The Centre had argued that the compensation fixed by the Supreme Court in orders passed between February 1989 and October 1991 was based on certain “assumptions of truth”.
    • These assumptions, the curative petition had argued, were “unrelated to realities”.
    • The court had in 2011 issued notice to Union Carbide, now a wholly owned subsidiary of Dow Chemicals Co., U.S.
  • Further, the Parliament had cast the government in the role of the protector of the victims by enacting the Bhopal Gas Leak Disaster (Processing of Claims) Act of 1985.
  • The government’s acceptance of this role was evident in its curative petition which said that the “Government of India, as parens patriae, exclusively represent the victims so that the interest of the victims of the disaster are fully protected and that the claims for compensation are pursued separately, effectively and equitably”.
  • Despite all this, the law officers said the case had come up for hearing suddenly and they wanted time to hear from the government.
  • The court also seemed not too appreciative about the prolonged litigation regarding the tragedy.
    • It even wondered whether the compensation could be changed time and again, citing developments that happened “five years, 10 years later”.
  • It was responding to a submission by senior advocate , appearing for the Bhopal Gas Peedith Mahila Udyog Sangathan and Bhopal Gas Peedith Sahayog Samiti, that the intensity of the tragedy had increased “fivefold” in the number of injuries and deaths over the years.
  • The court’s observations 0 do not gel with those earlier made in its orders in the Bhopal gas tragedy case.
    • One of the orders cautioned the court and the parties to “not shut out any important material which would affect the justness of the settlement”.
  • Both the Supreme Court and the government had agreed in its earlier orders that the Bhopal gas tragedy was “unparalleled in human history” and the relief and rehabilitation may have to necessarily undergo constant review and change.

About Curative petition

  • A curative petition may be filed after a review plea against the final conviction is dismissed. It is meant to ensure there is no miscarriage of justice, and to prevent abuse of process.
  • A curative petition is usually decided by judges in chamber, unless a specific request for an open-court hearing is allowed.
  • Every curative petition is decided on the basis of principles laid down by the Supreme Court in Rupa Ashok Hurra Vs Ashok Hurra & another, 2002.
    • This was a case of a matrimonial discord where the question of validity of a decree of divorce reached the SC after the woman withdrew the consent she had given to divorce by mutual consent.
  • The judgment held that technical difficulties and apprehensions over the reopening of cases had to give way to a final forum for removing errors in a judgment where administration of justice may be affected.
  • The court ruled that a curative petition can be entertained if the petitioner establishes there was a violation of the principles of natural justice, and that he was not heard by the court before passing an order. It will also be admitted where a judge failed to disclose facts that raise the apprehension of bias.
  • The SC has held that curative petitions must be rare rather than regular and be entertained with circumspection.
  • A curative petition must be accompanied by certification by a senior advocate, pointing out substantial grounds for entertaining it.
  • It must be first circulated to a bench of the three senior-most judges, and the judges who passed the concerned judgment, if available.
  • Only when a majority of the judges conclude that the matter needs hearing should it be listed — as far as possible, before the same Bench.

5 . Sittanavasal

Context: Sittanavasal, a small village in Pudukottai district of Tamil Nadu was a major centre of Jain influence for 1,000 years just before the Christian era. This Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)-administered site needs better upkeep.

About Sittanavasal

  • Sittanavasal is the name used synonymously for the hamlet and the hillock that houses the Arivar Kovil (temple of Arihats — Jains who conquered their senses), Ezhadipattam (a cavern with 17 polished rock beds), megalithic burial sites and the Navachunai tarn (small mountain lake) with a submerged shrine.
  • Sittanavasal is the only place in Tamil Nadu where Pandya paintings can be seen.
    • At least three-fourths of the art is already damaged, so it is important to protect the site for future generations.
  • The artwork on the ceiling of the sanctum and the ardha mandapam of Arivar Kovil is an early example of post-Ajanta cave paintings of the fourth to sixth centuries, done using the fresco-secco technique (a process that dispenses with preparation of the wall with wet plaster).
  • The ceiling paintings show ‘bhavyas’ (exalted souls who work to achieve moksha or spiritual liberation) enjoying themselves in a pool, full of lotuses; today much of it is obscured by patchy plastering.
  • Faint outlines linger of dancing girls on the ‘ardha mandapam’ pillars.
  • The pillars of the verandah (added by the Maharaja of Pudukottai in the 1900s), were brought from Kudumiyanmalai.
  •  The colours are a mixture of plant dyes and mineral elements such as lime, lamp black, and clay pigments such as ochre for yellow and terre verte for the greyish-green tints.
  • Unrestricted public access and general exposure to the elements have led to a gradual fading away of these paintings. At the Ezhadipattam, inscriptions have been vandalised beyond recognition.
  • Though there are many examples of Jain sites in Pudukottai district, Sittanavasal is more precious because its paintings will be gone in another 50 years.
    • Perhaps recreating them outside in separate pavilions and limiting the shrines for research visits would be a better way to preserve them.

The maintenance works

  • Periodic maintenance by way of repairs and chemical preservation (for restoring paintings) is being undertaken.
  • To stem the damage, ASI has introduced electronic ticketing that helps track visitor numbers.
    • The average footfall is around 200-300 a day. They are planning to increase the number of security guards besides installing closed circuit TV cameras soon.

6 . Shifting Monsoon Patterns

Context: The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has said that the monsoon has begun to retreat from Rajasthan.

What is monsoon withdrawal?

  • The monsoon is a sea-breeze that has consistently landed in the Indian sub-continent for thousands of years.
  • It enters mainland India between the last week of May and the first week of June — though June 1 is its official onset date over Kerala.
  • The IMD only counts the rainfall between June 1 and September 30 as monsoon rainfall.
  • This doesn’t mean that the monsoon system ceases to pour rain over India from October 1.
  • In fact, monsoon-related rain can continue well into the first fortnight of October and only really retreats from India by late October.
  • It is then replaced by the retreating, or northeast monsoon in November which is the key source of rainfall for several parts of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and north interior Karnataka.

When does the monsoon withdraw?

  • The monsoon begins its withdrawal from the last State it reaches, which is Rajasthan. Around September 15, cyclonic systems from the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal that fuel the monsoon from June-September are replaced by an ‘anti-cyclone’ circulation which means dry, windless conditions start to prevail over western and northern India.
  • More technically, withdrawal is a cessation of rainfall activity over northwest India for five straight days, an anticyclone establishing itself in the lower troposphere and a marked reduction in moisture content.
  • A day after the IMD announced the withdrawal, torrential rains began in several parts of north India.

 How has the monsoon been this year?

  • Monsoon rainfall in India has been surplus by around 7% this year though with extreme inequity.
  • Central and southern India saw a sharp surge in rainfall. Rains in Central India were surplus by 20% and in southern India by 25%, with the last month seeing several instances of flooding in Kerala, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh.
  • On the other hand, large parts of U. P., Bihar, Odisha have seen large deficits. The east and northeast of India have reported a 17% shortfall and the northwest 2%.
  • This has impacted sowing of the kharif, or summer crop.
  • Paddy planting has been impacted with sown area 5.51% lower than last year, according to the Agriculture Ministry.
  • The Centre is expecting a minimum of six-million tonne shortfall in rice production, and this is likely to elevate inflation.

What led to excessive rains in southern and central India?

  • In April, the IMD had forecast ‘normal’ rains over India but by May-end indicated it to be above normal.
  • Central India and the southern peninsula were expected to get 6% more than their historical average but what we have seen are rains far in excess of this.
    • These heavy rains are premised on a La Nina, the converse phenomenon of El Nino and characterised by cooler than normal sea surface temperatures in the central Pacific.
  • While El Ninos is linked to reduced rains over India, La Ninas indicate surplus rainfall. India is seeing an extended spell of the La Nina, called a ‘triple dip’ La Nina which is a phenomenon lasting across three winter seasons in the northern hemisphere.
  • This is only the third time since 1950 that a triple dip La Nina has been observed. This, in part, is why for the third year in a row, India is seeing surplus rain in September, a month that usually marks the retreat of the monsoon.

Are monsoon patterns changing?

  • Since 2019, monsoon in India has returned surpluses, barring a slight dip last year.
  • The June-September rainfall in 2019 was 10% more than the 88 cm that India usually gets.
  • Though June saw deficit rain, the months of July and August returned extra rain, with September registering 52% more rain than normal.
  • In 2020, India saw 9% more rain with August registering 27% more rain and September 4% more than its usual quota.
  • The rainfall over the country as a whole, in 2021, was 1% less than normal though rainfall in September was a remarkable 35% above what is usual.
  • This year the monsoon is already in surplus by about 6% and a vigorous September is likely to see India post yet another year of surplus rain.
  • Three years of above normal rain in a block of four years is unprecedented in more than a century of IMD’s record keeping.

7 . Facts for Prelims

Iron ore reserve in Keonjhar

  • The state of Orissa lies along the eastern coast of India with the largest reserve of superior quality hematite iron ore in the country.
  • Situated along the Northern border of the state, Keonjhar district has concentration of iron ore mines in Joda block within the district.
  • 5. 31% of the total mining employment in the state of Orissa is concentrated in the district of Keonjhar indicating the importance of the mining industry in the region.
  • The district Keonjhar is occupying an important place in the mineral profile of the state, Odisha.
  • There are huge reserves of high-grade Iron ore, Manganese & Chromites along with other minerals such as Limestone, Dolomite, Nickel, Granite, Pyrophylite, stone, Gold, platinum etc.
  • The district is also playing a significant role in fulfilling the iron ore demand of both domestic and world markets.
  • The reserve of iron ore deposit is approximately as more than 1000 million tonne and places of deposits are found at Joda, Thakurani hills, Banspani Hills, Sasangoda hills and Gandhamardhan hill range.
  • The Singhbhum-Keonjhar-Bonai mining belt passes through the district
  • Mining for iron ore in the district began in the 1950s, and much of the planned expansion and liberalization of the mining sector in Orissa will open new mining areas in this region.
  • While mining is beneficial to the economy, both in terms of its own economic impact and the value to other industries of its product, it almost always has adverse environmental impacts and eventually health impacts.

Chello show

  • Chhello Show is 2021 Gujarati coming-of-age drama film directed by Pan Nalin.
  • The film premiered at the 20th Tribeca Film Festival on 10 June 2021.
  • This film was selected as the Indian entry for Best International Feature Film at 95th Academy Awards.
  • Its English name is ‘Last Film Show’ and it is written and directed by Pan Nalin.
  • It is the story of a rural boy from Gujarat who, with the help of a theater technician, reaches his projector room and watches several movies through the vents there.
  • He brings food items to the technician and in return watches movies and gradually becomes crazy about films

Operation Megh chakra

  • The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) conducted searches at 59 locations across 20 States and one Union Territory, as part of a pan-India drive against the circulation and sharing of Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM).
  • The operation code-named “Megh Chakra” is being carried out following the inputs received from Interpol’s Singapore special unit based on the information received from the authorities in New Zealand.
  • The CBI has registered two cases alleging that many Indian nationals were involved in the online circulation, downloading and transmission of the CSAM using cloud-based storage. Over 50 people came under the scanner.
  • The searches were carried out in Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa, Karnataka, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu, among others.
    • During the raids, the agency seized the electronic devices, including mobile phones and laptops, belonging to the suspects.
    • Preliminary scrutiny of the devices using cyber forensic tools allegedly revealed that a huge quantity of child pornography material was stored in them.
  • Last November, the agency launched a similar exercise code-named “Operation Carbon”, in which the suspects in 13 States and one Union Territory were raided. Subsequently, the CBI registered about two dozen cases involving more than 80 people.
  • Based on its findings, the CBI later decided to send requests to several countries for sharing and gathering information under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties (MLATs) on those involved in the racket. More than 100 references were made.
  • Apart from the accused Indian nationals, the other suspects were from countries like Pakistan (36), Canada (35), the United States (35), Bangladesh (31), Sri Lanka (30), Nigeria (28), Azerbaijan (27), Yemen (24), Malaysia (22), Saudi Arabia (19), Indonesia, (19), Egypt (21), United Arab Emirates (19), United Kingdom (17), South Africa (15), Nepal (15), Algeria (17), Iraq (14), Afghanistan (12), Kenya (12), and Oman (12).
  • The probe had led to the identification of over 50 groups with more than 5,000 offenders, including the nationals of about 100 countries, also including Turkey, Poland, Sudan, South Korea, Uganda, Kuwait, Italy, Germany, Spain, Australia and Romania.

L69 group of developing countries

  • The L.69 Group is a group of developing countries from Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific.
  • They form a major bloc that is united by the common cause of achieving the lasting and comprehensive reform of the United Nations Security Council.
  • The group currently has 42 countries as its members.
  • The Group is bound by the firm conviction that expansion in both the permanent and non-permanent categories of membership of the Security Council is imperative to better reflect contemporary world realities, and achieve a more accountable, representative, transparent and more importantly a ‘relevant’ Security Council.
  • The Group derives its name from the draft document number “L.69” that the Group had tabled in 2007-08, which led to the initiation of the Intergovernmental Negotiation (IGN) process.
  • At that time, the Group’s membership was of 22 member states, which has since increased to 42 developing countries.
  • The Group meetings are held regularly (preferably once a month at PR/DPR level) to coordinate its position on the IGN process currently underway in the United Nations.

Def expo

  • Defence Exhibition Organisation is an autonomous organisation of the Indian Government established in 1981.
  • The organisation was established to promote export potential of the Indian defence industry.
  • The agency is responsible for organising international exhibitions such as DEFEXPO and Indian participation at overseas exhibitions.
  • DefExpo2020 was held in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh from February 5th to 8th, 2020. This was the first time the defence exhibition was held in the northern state to explore potential available for defence productions.
  • The forthcoming DefExpo 2022 is scheduled to be held in Gandhinagar from October 18 to 22.
  • It will also host the second edition of the India-Africa Defence Dialogue with invites extended to 53 African countries.
  • A separate Indian Ocean Region plus (IOR+) conclave with participation of approximately 40 countries is also on the anvil.

Attorney General

  • The Constitution of India places the post of the A-G on a special footing. The A-G is the Government of India’s first law officer and has the right of audience in all courts of the country.
  • Article 76(2): It shall be the duty of the Attorney-General to give advice to the Government of India upon such legal matters, and to perform such other duties of a legal character, as may from time to time be referred or assigned to him by the President”.
    • The A-G is also supposed to “discharge the functions conferred on him by or under this Constitution or any other law for the time being in force”.
  • Article 88: Attorney-General of India shall have the right to speak in, and otherwise to take part in the proceedings of, either House, any joint sitting of the Houses, and any committee of Parliament of which he may be named a member”. However, he “shall not by virtue of this article be entitled to vote” in the House.
  • Also, the A-G for India is not, like the A-G for England and Wales and the A-G of the United States, a member of the Cabinet.
  • A-G is appointed by the President from among persons who are “qualified to be appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court”.
  • Article 76(4): the Attorney-General shall hold office during the pleasure of the President and shall receive such remuneration as the President may determine.”
  • The post of the A-G has been occupied by some of the finest jurists in India’s history.
    • The first two incumbents of the post were the legendary M C Setalvad and C K Daphtary.
    • Soli Sorabjee served as A-G twice, in 1989-90 when V P Singh and Chandra Shekhar were Prime Ministers, and from 1998-2004 under Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
    • Milon K Banerji was also A-G twice, from 1992-96 under P V Narasimha Rao, and from 2004-09 when Manmohan Singh was PM.

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