Daily Current Affairs : 7th August

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE

  1. UNSC Resolution 47 on Kashmir
  2. Article 371
  3. Aquaponics
  4. Currency Manipulation
  5. UN Treaty on Prohibition on Nuclear Weapons

1 . UNSC Resolution 47 on Kashmir

About UNSC Resolution 47

  • Resolution 47 of the UNSC focuses on the complaint of the Government of India concerning the dispute over the State of Jammu and Kashmir, that India took to the Security Council in January 1948.
  • In October 1947, following an invasion by soldiers from the Pakistan Army in plainclothes and tribesmen, the Maharaja of Kashmir, Hari Singh sought assistance from India and signed the Instrument of Accession. 
  • After the first war in Kashmir (1947-1948), India approached the UN Security Council to bring the conflict in Kashmir to the notice of Security Council members.

What happened at the UNSC?

  • India’s position was that it was ready to hold a plebiscite, a direct vote in which an entire electorate votes on a specific proposal, to know of the people’s desire and accept the results of the vote. Pakistan denied its involvement in the conflict and counter-accused India.
  • In response the UNSC, under Resolution 39 (1948) stated “with a view to facilitating…the restoration of peace and order and to the holding of a plebiscite, by the two Governments, acting in co-operation with one another and with the Commission, and further instructs the Commission to keep the Council informed of the action taken under the resolution.” It also ordered for the conflict to cease and to create conditions for a “free and impartial plebiscite” to decide whether Jammu and Kashmir would accede to India or Pakistan.

What did the UNSC order Pakistan to do?

  • The UNSC ordered that Pakistan was to withdraw its tribesmen and Pakistan nationals who had entered “the State for the purpose of fighting” and to prevent future intrusions and to prevent “furnishing of material aid to those fighting in the State”.
  • The UNSC also stated that it gave “full freedom to all subjects of the State, regardless of creed, caste or party, to express their views” and the freedom to vote on the issue of the accession of the State. It was also ordered Pakistan to cooperate with maintaining peace and order

What did the UNSC order India to do?

  • The UNSC had a more comprehensive set of orders for India. It said that after the Pakistani army and tribesmen had withdrawn from the State and the fighting had ceased, India was to submit a plan to the Commission for withdrawing forces from Jammu and Kashmir and to reduce them over a period of time to the minimum strength required for civil maintenance of law and order. India was ordered to appraise the Commission of the stages at which steps had been taken to reduce military presence to the minimum strength and to arrange remaining troops after consultations with the Commission.
  • Among other instructions, India was ordered to agree that till the time the Plebiscite Administration found it necessary to exercise the powers of direction and supervision over the State forces and police, these forces would be held in areas to be agreed upon with the Plebiscite Administrator. It also directed India to recruit local personnel for law and order and to safeguard the rights of minorities.

How did India & Pakistan react to the UNSC Resolution 47?

  • Both countries rejected Resolution 47. India’s contention was that the resolution ignored the military invasion by Pakistan and placing both nations on an equal diplomatic ground was a dismissal of Pakistan’s aggression and the fact that the Maharaja of Kashmir, Hari Singh had signed the Instrument of Accession.
  • India also objected to the Resolution’s requirement that did not allow India to retain military presence which it believed it needed for defence. The Resolution’s order to form a coalition government, would also put Sheikh Abdullah, the Prime Minister of the Princely State of Jammu & Kashmir, in a difficult position. India also believed that the powers conferred on the Plebiscite Administrator undermined the state’s sovereignty. India also wanted Pakistan to be excluded from the operations of the plebiscite.

2 . Article 371

Context : The central government has revoked the ‘special status’ granted to Jammu and Kashmir by the Constitution. However, a range of “special provisions” for as many as 11 other states continue to be part of the Constitution.


  • Part XXI of the Constitution, ‘Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions’, includes, apart from Article 370 (Temporary Provisions with respect to the State of Jammu and Kashmir) Articles 371, 371A, 371B, 371C, 371D, 371E, 371F, 371G, 371H, and 371J, which define special provisions with regard to other states of the Indian Union.
  • All these provisions take into account the special circumstances of individual states, and lay down a wide range of specific safeguards that are deemed important for these states.
  • In these range of Articles from 371 to 371J, Article 371I, which deals with Goa, stands out in the sense that it does not include any provision that can be deemed “special”. Article 371E, which deals with Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, too, is not that “special”.
  • Existence of the provisions described in Articles 371, 371A-H, and 371J shows that other princely states, too, negotiated the terms and conditions of their entry into the Union, or sought special constitutional protections in view of their unique needs and conditions.
  • There is, however, one important difference between Articles 370 and 371 on the one hand, and Articles 371A-H and 371J on the other. Articles 370 and 371 have been part of the Constitution from the time of its commencement on January 26, 1950. Articles 371A-H and 371J, however, were incorporated into the Constitution by Parliament through amendments under Article 368. This Article describes the “power of Parliament to amend the Constitution and procedure therefor”.

Maharashtra and Gujarat (Article 371)

  • The Governor has a “special responsibility” to establish “separate development boards” for “Vidarbha, Marathwada, and the rest of Maharashtra”, and Saurashtra and Kutch in Gujarat; ensure “equitable allocation of funds for developmental expenditure over the said areas”, and “equitable arrangement providing adequate facilities for technical education and vocational training, and adequate opportunities for employment” under the state government.

Nagaland (Article 371A, 13th Amendment Act, 1962)

  • Parliament cannot legislate in matters of Naga religion or social practices, the Naga customary law and procedure, administration of civil and criminal justice involving decisions according to Naga customary law, and ownership and transfer of land and its resources, without the concurrence of the Legislative Assembly of the state.
  • This provision was inserted in the Constitution after a 16-point agreement between the Centre and the Naga People’s Convention in 1960, which led to the creation of Nagaland in 1963.
  • Also, there is a provision for a 35-member Regional Council for Tuensang district, which elects the Tuensang members in the Assembly. A member from the Tuensang district is Minister for Tuensang Affairs. The Governor has the final say on all Tuensang-related matters.

Assam (Article 371B, 22nd Amendment Act, 1969)

  • The President of India may provide for the constitution and functions of a committee of the state Assembly consisting of members elected from the tribal areas of the state.

Manipur (Article 371C, 27th Amendment Act, 1971)

  • The President of India may provide for the constitution and functions of a committee of elected members from the Hill areas of the state in the Assembly, and entrust “special responsibility” to the Governor to ensure its proper functioning. The Governor has to file a report every year on this subject to the President.

Andhra Pradesh and Telangana (Article 371D, 32nd Amendment Act, 1973; substituted by the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014)

  • The President must ensure “equitable opportunities and facilities” in “public employment and education to people from different parts of the state”. He may require the state government to organise “any class or classes of posts in a civil service of, or any class or classes of civil posts under, the State into different local cadres for different parts of the State”, and allot them.
  • The President has similar powers vis-à-vis admissions in any university or state government-run educational institution. Also, he may provide for setting up of an administrative tribunal outside the jurisdiction of the High Court to deal with issues of appointment, allotment or promotion in state civil services.
  • Article 371E allows for the establishment of a university in Andhra Pradesh by a law of Parliament. But this is not really a ‘special provision’ in the sense of the other provisions in this part of the Constitution.

Sikkim (Article 371F, 36th Amendment Act, 1975)

  • The members of the Legislative Assembly of Sikkim shall elect the representative of Sikkim in the House of the People. To protect the rights and interests of various sections of the population of Sikkim, Parliament may provide for the number of seats in the Assembly, which may be filled only by candidates from those sections.
  • The Governor shall have “special responsibility for peace and for an equitable arrangement for ensuring the social and economic advancement of different sections of the population”. All earlier laws in territories that formed Sikkim shall continue, and any adaptation or modification shall not be questioned in any court.

Mizoram (Article 371G, 53rd Amendment Act, 1986)

  • This provision lays down that Parliament cannot make laws on “religious or social practices of the Mizos, Mizo customary law and procedure, administration of civil and criminal justice involving decisions according to Mizo customary law, ownership and transfer of land unless the Legislative Assembly by a resolution so decides”.

Arunachal Pradesh (Article 371H, 55th Amendment Act, 1986)

  • The Governor has a special responsibility with regard to law and order, and “he shall, after consulting the Council of Ministers, exercise his individual judgment as to the action to be taken”. Should a question arise over whether a particular matter is one in which the Governor is “required to act in the exercise of his individual judgment, the decision of the Governor in his discretion shall be final”, and “shall not be called in question…”

Karnataka (Article 371J, 98th Amendment Act, 2012)

  • There is a provision for the establishment of a separate development board for the Hyderabad-Karnataka region, the working of which will be reported annually to the Assembly.
  • There shall be “equitable allocation of funds for developmental expenditure over the said region”, and “equitable opportunities and facilities” for people of this region in government jobs and education.
  • An order can be made to provide for reservation “of a proportion” of seats and jobs in educational and vocational training institutions and state government organisations respectively in the Hyderabad-Karnataka region for individuals who belong to that region by birth or domicile.

3 . Aquaponics

About Aquaponics

  • Aquaponics combines hydroponics with aquaculture. With aquaponics both fish and plants are grown together in one integrated eco-system.
  • Hydroponics is the soil-less growing of plants, where soil is replaced with water
  • Aquaculture is the raising of fish.


  • Higher yields (20-25% more) and qualitative production.
  • Can be used on non-arable land such as deserts, degraded soil or salty, sandy islands.
  • Creates little waste.
  • Daily tasks, harvesting and planting are labour-saving and therefore can include all ages.


  • Expensive initial startup costs compared with soil production or hydroponics.
  • Knowledge of fish, bacteria and plant production is needed.
  • Optimal temperature ranges needed (17-34*C).
  • Mistakes or accidents can cause catastrophic collapse of system.
  • Daily management is mandatory.
  • Requires reliable access to electricity, fish seed and plant seeds.
  • Alone, aquaponics will not provide a complete diet.

4 . Currency Manipulation

Context : US Treasury Department declared that China is a currency manipulator. The move came after the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), the central bank of China, allowed the yuan to suddenly depreciate (or lose value) relative to the dollar by 1.9 per cent — one of the biggest single-day falls.


  • In an ideal world, the exchange rate for any currency would be determined by the interplay of its demand and supply.
  • If more Indians want to buy US goods, there would be a higher demand for the dollar relative to the rupee.
  • This, in turn, would mean the dollar would be “stronger” than the rupee — and gain in strength as the demand increases. If demand falls, the dollar would depreciate relative to the rupee (or the rupee would appreciate relative to the dollar).

What is currency manipulation?

  • Currency manipulation happens when governments try to artificially tweak the exchange rate to gain an “unfair” advantage in trade.
  • In other words, if China’s central bank buys dollars in the forex market, it can artificially weaken the yuan — and Chinese goods will then become more affordable (and competitive) in the international market.
  • Some amount of such “intervention” by central banks is allowed to reduce wild fluctuations in the exchange rate. But excessive and undisclosed interventions are not considered fair.
  • A weaker domestic currency comes in very handy when governments are trying to attract foreign demand and boost exports. China’s economic growth has been essentially fuelled by exporting to the world.

How are currencies identified for currency Manipulation list by US

  • The US Treasury has established thresholds for the three criteria.
    • First, a significant bilateral trade surplus with the US is one that is at least $20 billion;
    • Second, a material current account surplus is one that is at least 3% of GDP;
    • Persistent, one-sided intervention reflected in repeated net purchases of foreign currency and total at least 2% of an economy’s GDP over a year.
  • Technically, a country does not need to satisfy all those criteria before the United States can label it a currency manipulator. 

5 . UN Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

About the Treaty

  • The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) includes a comprehensive set of prohibitions on participating in any nuclear weapon activities.
  • These include undertakings not to develop, test, produce, acquire, possess, stockpile, use or threaten to use nuclear weapons.
  • The Treaty also prohibits the deployment of nuclear weapons on national territory and the provision of assistance to any State in the conduct of prohibited activities.
  • States parties will be obliged to prevent and suppress any activity prohibited under the TPNW undertaken by persons or on territory under its jurisdiction or control.
  • The Treaty also obliges States parties to provide adequate assistance to individuals affected by the use or testing of nuclear weapons, as well as to take necessary and appropriate measure of environmental remediation in areas under its jurisdiction or control contaminated as a result of activities related to the testing or use of nuclear weapons.
  • The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was adopted by the Conference (by a vote of 122 States in favour ( with one vote against and one abstention) at the United Nations on 7 July 2017, and opened for signature by the Secretary-General of the United Nations on 20 September 2017. It will enter into force 90 days after the fiftieth instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession has been deposited.
  • India is not a signatory

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