Daily Current Affairs : 9th and 10th January 2022

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE

Topics Covered

  1. Inner Line Permit
  2. Jallikattu
  3. Online Bullying of women
  4. Devas Antrix deal
  5. LCA MK 1A
  6. TALEN (Transcription Activator-Like Effector Nuclease)
  7. Facts for Prelims

1 . Inner Line Permit

Context : A little known West Bengal-based organisation, Amara Bangali, has filed a petition in the Supreme Court opposing the implementation of the Inner Line Permit System (ILPS) in Manipur The Supreme Court has directed the Manipur government to file an affidavit.

What is Inner Line Permit system?

  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) is an official travel document required by Indian citizens residing outside certain “protected” states while entering them.
  • The ILP is issued by the Government of India and is obligatory for all those who reside outside the protected states. With the ILP, the government aims to regulate movement to certain areas located near the international border of India.
  • The system is in force today in Northeastern states of Arunachal Pradesh,  Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram— and no Indian citizen can visit any of these states unless he or she belongs to that state, nor can he or she overstay beyond the period specified in the ILP.

Origin of Inner Line Permit

  • During the British rule they framed Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act, 1873, for restricting the entry and regulating the stay of outsiders in designated areas. This was to protect the Crown’s own commercial interests by preventing “British subjects” (Indians) from trading within these regions. 


  • In 1950, the Indian government replaced “British subjects” with “Citizen of India”. This was to address concerns about protecting the interests of the indigenous people from outsiders belonging to other Indian states.

How is ILP issued?

  • An ILP is issued by the state government concerned. It can be obtained after applying either online or physically. It states the dates of travel and also specifies the particular areas in the state which the ILP holder can travel to.

2 . Jallikattu

Context : With a steep rise in the daily cases of COVID-19, the district administration in Vellore, Tiruvannamalai, Ranipet and Tirupattur, have banned the conduct of Jallikattu events, ahead of Pongal festival, as part of safety measures. A large group of Jallikattu enthusiasts gheraoed the Vellore Collectorate a few days ago, seeking permission from Collector P. Kumaravel Pandian, to organise the event during the festival.

What is Jallikattu?

  • It is a traditional bull-taming sport organised in Tamil Nadu during Pongal. Also known as Eruthazhuvuthal or Manju virattu, the sport involves a natively reared stud that is set free inside an arena filled with young participants.
  • The challenge lies in taming the bull with bare hands. Ideally, participants try to grab the bull by its horns or tail and wrestle it into submission. A few also tend to latch on to the bull by clinging to the hump at the back of its neck. The participants are usually young men in their 20s
  • The practice dates back to as far as 2000 years ago, according to a few historical accounts. It mainly was active in the districts of Madurai, Tiruchirappalli, Theni, Pudukkottai and Dindigul of Tamil Nadu until its ban in 2011. Organisers of the event argue that it is closely associated with village life and the bulls are specially reared for this purpose. Breeders often claim they treat the bulls like their own children and spend large sums of money towards their upkeep. Many participants, however, are either fatally gored, trampled or mauled by the bull.

What is the controversy surrounding Jallikattu?

  • In 2011, during the UPA rule, the Environment Ministry added bulls to its 1991 notification banning the training and exhibition of bears, monkeys, tigers, panthers and dogs.
  • The notification was challenged in the Supreme Court and was upheld in 2014. Under the NDA government, the ministry in 2016 modified its earlier notification and declared that the sport could continue despite the existing ban.
  • This was in direct contravention with the apex court order, and was duly challenged by animal welfare organisation such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

How it is still continued in Tamil Nadu

  • Due to these protests, on 21 January 2017, the governor of Tamil Nadu issued a new ordinance that authorized the continuation of jallikattu events
  • Tamil Nadu legislature passed a bipartisan bill, with the accession of the Prime Minister, exempting jallikattu from the Prevention of Cruelity to Animals Act (1960).

State Amendment to the Central Act

  • Jallikattu was under a judicial ban in Tamil Nadu following the Supreme Court’s verdict in May 2014. An amendment to the relevant law, the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, was needed to remove the basis on which the judgment was passed. As the Assembly was not in session and a volatile atmosphere prevailed in the State because of the strident demand for legal protection to the conduct of jallikattu, the State government promulgated an ordinance.
  • The ordinance is a ‘State amendment’ to the Central Act. This means that in its application to Tamil Nadu, some provisions will be different from what they are for the rest of the country.
  • PCA falls under Entry 17 (Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) in the Concurrent List of the Constitution. This means both the Centre and the States have concurrent power to enact laws on the subject. Subject to some restrictions and a prescribed procedure, State governments may amend central laws or have their own laws on the same subject in which the Union government has its own law. This may be done by the Legislative Assembly in its usual course or it may be promulgated as an ordinance if circumstances warrant such recourse.
  • This ordinance to amend the PCA was brought after prior ‘instructions’ from the President under Article 213 of the Constitution. The draft of the ordinance was sent to the Union government, which examined it and gave its consent on behalf of the President to its promulgation by the Governor.
  • This is necessary because the Constitution says that where there is ‘repugnancy’ or ‘conflict’ between a Central law and a State law, the provisions of the Central law will prevail. However, if the State law obtains the President’s assent, it will prevail over the Central law.
  • In January 2017 the Tamil Nadu legislature passed a bipartisan bill, with the accession of the Prime Minister, exempting jallikattu from the Prevention of Cruelity to Animals Act (1960).

3 . Online Bullying of Women

Context : The story so far: Taking cognisance of multiple complaints that photographs of Muslim women had been posted on one “Bulli Bai” mobile app for fake auctions, the police in Delhi and Mumbai have registered separate cases. While the Mumbai police have so far arrested three persons, the Delhi police have arrested a B.Tech. student for allegedly creating the application on the GitHub platform, which has now blocked the app.

What are the legal provisions invoked?

  • The police have invoked Sections 153A, 153B, 295A, 354D, 500 and 509 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 67 of the Information Technology Act.
  • Section 153A pertains to the offence of promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony; while Section 153B relates to imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration. Section 295A provides punishment for deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings.
  • Section 354D provides that any man who monitors the use by a woman of the internet, email or any other form of electronic communication with malintent, commits the offence of stalking. Under this provision, the punishment may extend to five years of imprisonment with fine, in the case of second or subsequent conviction.
  • While Section 500 defines the punishment for defamation, Section 509 of the IPC addresses the offence of word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman.
  • Section 67 of the IT Act lays down the punishment for publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form. The first conviction attracts imprisonment up to three years and fine up to ₹5 lakh and the second or subsequent conviction may lead to imprisonment up to five years and fine that may extend to ₹10 lakh.

What are the other provisions related to cybercrimes?

  • Section 66E of the IT Act prescribes punishment for violation of privacy. Also, sections 354A (sexual harassment and punishment for sexual harassment) and 354C (voyeurism) of the IPC, which were introduced along with sections 354B and 354D in 2013, may also be applied in conjunction with the relevant IT Act provisions, based on the nature of the offence.

What are the responsibilities of intermediaries like social media platforms?

  • Although the intermediaries are not liable for any third-party data or communication link hosted or stored by them, they are required to retain the requisite data for a duration as prescribed by the Government and supply the same to the authorities concerned, as and when sought.
  • Any contravention attracts punishment as prescribed under the IT Act.

Have some additional steps been taken?

  • On February 25, 2021, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology notified the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.
  • Its provision —“Due diligence by intermediaries and grievance redressal mechanism” —requires them to inform their users not to host, display, upload, modify, publish, transmit, store, update or share any illegal information.
  • They include contents that are defamatory, obscene, pornographic, paedophilic, invasive of another’s privacy, insulting or harassing on the basis of gender, libellous, racially or ethnically objectionable, etc.
  • The intermediaries, on the direction of the court or appropriate government agency, are prohibited from hosting, storing or publishing any information declared unlawful.
  • Within 24 hours from the receipt of a complaint from, or on behalf of, an individual about any offensive content, they are required to take all reasonable and practicable measures to remove or disable access to it.

4 . Antrix – Devas Case

Context : Devas shareholders said they had won an order allowing seizure of $30 million worth of properties of Air India and the Airports Authority of India after a Canadian court’s order in connection with the arbitration award it had won against the Indian government. Both Indian entities have sought quashing of this order and the court has reserved its decision.

What happened in Canada?

  • A court in Canada had ordered seizure of amounts collected by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) on behalf of Air India and AAI. Separate orders were passed on November 24 and December 21 on pleas by Devas’s shareholders.
  • This is the latest attempt by Devas shareholders to enforce the arbitration awards it won at international tribunals after India cancelled the Devas-Antrix deal in 2011.
  • So far, Devas has moved to seize U.S. $17.3 million of ticketing fees collected on behalf of Air India and U.S. $12.76 million of air navigation and aerodrome charges international airlines owe to AAI.
  • Air India and AAI have sought quashing of the seizure order and the Quebec Superior Court held hearings on January 4 and January 5. The court has reserved its decision.

What was the Antrix-Devas deal and why was it cancelled?

  • Telecommunications firm Devas Multimedia signed a contract with Antrix (ISRO’s commercial arm) in 2005 under which the latter would build and launch two ISRO satellites and lease the corresponding S-band satellite spectrum to Devas, which in turn would use it to provide its Internet services.
  • Following a leaked draft CAG audit report that pointed to a number of potential irregularities in the deal, including alleged financial mismanagement and violation of standard operating procedures the government cancelled the Antrix-Devas deal in February 2011 citing “force majeure”.
  • However, the final CAG report and a number of other panel probes did not find any evidence of quid pro quo or bribery. Questions have also been raised about the calculation of losses by the CAG in the Antrix-Devas deal as it compared satellite spectrum with telecom spectrum.

Why has Devas sought to attach AAI and Air India assets overseas?

  • After the Devas-Antrix deal was cancelled in 2011, Devas Multimedia Private Limited and its shareholders won three arbitration awards at international tribunals
  • . Despite the compensation awarded to Devas shareholders, India has not paid any money yet and challenged the awards multiple times.
  • Devas says that in 2020 the BJP government agreed to a negotiated global financial settlement, but walked away from it and until India returns to the negotiating table, it has no alternative but to move against India’s assets globally.
  • The first award on September 14, 2015 by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Tribunal, seated in New Delhi, unanimously rejected Antrix’s defence of “force majeure” for cancelling the deal and held that it had wrongfully repudiated the agreement and awarded Devas U.S. $562.5 million in damages plus 18% interest per annum. ISRO’s commercial arm, Antrix, has filed a petition to set aside the ICC award which is currently under adjudication before the Delhi High Court.
  • In 2012, shareholders of a Devas arm incorporated in Mauritius moved the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) against India, alleging violation of the obligation to protect their interest as guaranteed under the India-Mauritius Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT). The PCA Tribunal, seated at The Hague, on July 25, 2016 found India liable for breaching its obligations. On October 13, 2020 the PCA Tribunal awarded Devas shareholders over U.S. $111 million plus interest as compensation.
  • A third arbitration by one of the other shareholders of Devas —Deutsche Telekom (DT)—under the India-Germany Bilateral Investment Treaty at the PCA, won DT more than $132 million plus interest (in December 2017 and May 2020).
  • Meanwhile, in January 2021, after a plea from Antrix, the National Company Law Tribunal ordered winding up of Devas on grounds of being fraudulent, which was upheld by NCLAT in September, 2021. NCLAT has also held the Antrix-Devas agreement to be illegal. Devas has moved the Supreme Court and its appeals are pending.

5 . LCA Tejas

Context : Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) expects to deliver all Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas in the Final Operational Clearance (FOC) variant to the Indian Air Force (IAF) in 2022 while the LCA MK-1A, with specific enhancements, will take flight by middle of this year, said R. Madhavan, Chief Managing Director, HAL.

About LCA Tejas

  • Tejas-Indian Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) together with its variants, is the smallest and lightest Multi-Role Supersonic Fighter Aircraft of its class.
  • This single engine, Compound-Delta-Wing, Tailless Aircraft is designed and developed by ADA with HAL as the principal partner along with DRDO, CSIR, BEL, DGAQA, IAF & IN to meet diverse needs of the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Indian Navy (IN).
  • Tejas is an amalgamation of contemporary concepts and technologies such as relaxed static-stability, fly-by-wire Flight control, advanced glass cockpit, integrated digital avionics systems and advanced composite materials for the airframe.

Status of the Project

  • The LCA-Tejas was conceptualised in the year 1984. The indigenous single engine 4.5 generation multi-role fighter jet christened as ‘Tejas’ by then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in May 2003
  • Two decades since the first flight, in February 2021, the Defence Ministry signed a ₹48,000 crore deal with HAL to supply 83 LCA-Mk1A to the IAF.
  • LCA achieved Initial Operation Clearance (IOC) in December 2013 and Final Operational Clearance (FOC) in February 2019.
  • The IAF had earlier signed two contracts with HAL, for 20 IOC configuration aircraft in 2006 and for 20 FOC configuration aircraft in 2010. Both the deliveries have been delayed due to delays in the certification process.
  • HAL has to deliver the first three MK1A aircraft to IAF in 2024 followed by 16 aircraft per year for the next five years, according to the Defence Ministry. To ramp up production, HAL has already set up two additional assembly lines which are operational.

About LCA MK-1A

  • The MK-1A will have over 40 modifications over the MK1 variant including some major ones like a new Electronic Warfare system, Advanced Electronically Scanning Array (AESA) radar, Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missiles and network warfare system including Software Defined Radio (SDR).

About LCA MK-2

  • The design for LCA MK-2, a much bigger aircraft, has been frozen and some of the manufacturing activities have started.
  • The LCA MK-2 features enhanced range and endurance including Onboard Oxygen Generation System (OBOGS), which is being integrated for the first time. Heavy stand off weapons will also be integrated on the MK-2. The MK-2 will be a heavier and much more capable aircraft than the current LCA variants with the aircraft 1350mm longer, featuring canards and can carry a payload of 6,500 kg compared to 3,500 kg by the LCA.

6 . TALEN (Transcription Activator-Like Effector Nuclease)


  • Recently, transcription activator-like effector (TALE) nucleases (TALENs) have emerged as a revolutionary gene editing tool in various organisms and cell types.
  • TALEN technology leverages artificial restriction enzymes generated by fusing a TAL effector DNA-binding domain to a DNA cleavage domain. That means that TALENs are fusion proteins of a bacterial TALE protein and FokI endonuclease.
  • The site-specific chromosomal double-strand breaks introduced via TALENs significantly increase the efficiency of genomic modification. The modular nature of the TALE central repeat domains enables scientists to tailor DNA recognition specificity with ease and target essentially any desired DNA sequence.
  • They can be very easily and rapidly designed by researchers using a simple ‘protein-DNA code’ that relates modular DNA-binding TALE repeat domains to individual bases in a target-binding site.
  • Restriction enzymes are a type of enzymes that cut DNA strands at a specific sequence. TALEs are able to be quickly engineered to bind practically any desired DNA sequence. By combining such an engineered TALE with a DNA cleavage domain (which cuts DNA strands), one can engineer restriction enzymes that will specifically cut any desired DNA sequence. When these restriction enzymes are introduced into cells, they can be used for gene editing or genome editing in situ, a technique known as genome editing with engineered nucleases.

How Transcription Activator-Like Effector Nuclease Works?

  • TALENs use the non-specific FokI domain as the DNA cleavage module and function as dimers.
  • TALENs work as pairs and their bindings sites are chosen so that they are located on opposite DNA strands and are separated by a small fragment (12-25 bp), a spacer sequence.
  • Once in the nucleus, artificial nucleases bind to target sites: the FokI domains located at the C-termini of a chimeric protein dimerize to cause a double-strand break in a spacer sequence.
  • For introducing a double-strand break using chimeric TALEN proteins, the process is shown below Figure. One monomer of the DNA-binding protein domain recognizes one nucleotide of a target DNA sequence. Two amino acid residues in the monomer are responsible for binding. The recognition code (single-letter notation is used to designate amino acid residues) is provided. Recognition sites are located on the opposite DNA strands at a distance sufficient for the dimerization of the FokI catalytic domains. Dimerized FokI introduces a double-strand break into DNA.

Introducing a double-strand break using chimeric TALEN proteins.


  • A TALEN is composed of an N-terminal segment (NTS, pink box), a central repeat domain, a C-terminal segment (CTS, cyan box), and a FokIcatalytic domain (orange oval).
  • The central repeat domain comprises a series of repeat units that are responsible for specific recognition of thymine (red boxes), adenine (green boxes), cytosine (blue boxes), and guanine (yellow boxes).
  • The formation of a heterodimer by two TALENs in a tail-to-tail orientation at the target site executes a site-specific DNA double-strand break.
  • The TALE binding sites on the target DNA are shown in black and the spacer is shown in gray.

Schematic of TALEN architecture.


  • TALEN is extensively used for various genome manipulations, allowing one to solve complex problems, including the mutant and transgenic plants and animals’ generation, development and investigation of disease models based on cultured human pluripotent cells.
  • Furthermore, chimeric proteins based on the TALE DNA-binding domains were used in experiments on the regulation of gene transcription and for studying the epigenomes and behavior of chromosomal loci in the cell cycle.
  • Some groups have used TALENs to modify endogenous genes in yeast, fruit fly, roundworm, crickets, zebrafish, frog, rat, pig, cow, thale cress, rice, silkworm, and human somatic and pluripotent stem cells.
  • In a word, TALEN comprises a non-specific FokI nuclease domain fused to a customizable DNA-binding domain. TALEN is one of the gene editing tools and characterized by a relative construction simplicity and a high functional efficiency in human, animal, and plant cells.

7 . Facts for Prelims

Synapses & Purkinje neurons

  • Neurons, or nerve cells, in the brain connect by means of junctions known as synapses through which they transmit signals.
  • There are two types of synapses – chemical and electrical. In chemical synapses, there is a space of about 20 nanometres between two neurons, and the way they communicate is this: One neuron converts electrical signal into chemical signals and this chemical is released into the synaptic space and the receiving neuron converts the chemical signal back into an electrical signal.
  • As far as the electrical synapse goes, this is not the way it operates. In these synapses, the two neurons have a physical connection and the conversion of electrical to chemical need not occur, and they communicate directly. Electrical synapses are like a physical wire, communication is faster but they are also fewer in number.
  • Purkinje neurons and the cerebellum itself control co-ordination of movements in the organism. In humans for example, excess abuse of alcohol leads to damage of these cells, which results in lack of co-ordination in movement.


  • Cookies and web beacons are electronic placeholders that are kept on your device by websites to track your specific movements on that website over time.
  • They are useful to a limited extent to individual users. For example, cookies retain login details for quick retrieval next time the user logs back in. But they also extensively track people’s digital footprint and share browsing details with advertisers.

Passport Seva Programme (PSP) V2.0.

  • The MEA on January 7 signed an agreement with TCS for the second phase of the Passport Seva Programme (PSP), termed PSP-V2.0.
  • Under this phase, new and renewed passports will be fitted with a microchip that will hold all biometric information regarding the applicants.
  • The programme also plans to have a Data Centre, Disaster Recovery Centre and Government Secure Repository which would be networked with all the PSKs and POPSKs.
  • The new programme is expected to have technology upgrade including the use of latest biometrics technology, Artificial Intelligence, Advance Data Analytics, Chat-Bot, Auto-response, Natural Language Processing, Cloud Enablement.
  • The newest feature under the PSP-V2.0 will be the issuance of the new generation of passports called e-passports. Under this, new and renewed passports will be fitted with a microchip that will hold all biometric information regarding the applicants.
  • Next gen e-passports will ease immigration process across the world and will also increase digital safety for the passport holders.
  • Current passports are scanned at the immigration counters to reveal the travel record of the citizen using the same document and the e-passport is also expected to perform the same function. However, unlike the current passports, the e-passport users will have physical storage of their biometric data in a chip which will reduce risk of data leakage.

Orang national Park

  • Orang National Park is a national park in India located on the northern bank of the Brahmaputra River in the Darrang and Sonitpur districts of Assam.
  • It was established as a sanctuary in 1985 and declared a national park on 13 April 1999.
  • It has a rich flora and fauna, including great Indian rhinoceros, pygmy hog, Asian elephant, wild water buffalo and Bengal tiger. It is the only stronghold of rhinoceros on the north bank of the Brahmaputra river.


  • Lithuania officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in the Baltic region of Europe.
  • It is one of three Baltic states and lies on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea.
  • Lithuania shares land borders with Latvia to the north, Belarus to the east and south, Poland to the south, and Kaliningrad Oblast of Russia to the southwest.


  • Ethiopia, in the Horn of Africa, is a rugged, landlocked country split by the Great Rift Valley. With archaeological finds dating back more than 3 million years, it’s a place of ancient culture.
  • Among its important sites are Lalibela with its rock-cut Christian churches from the 12th–13th centuries. Aksum is the ruins of an ancient city with obelisks, tombs, castles and Our Lady Mary of Zion church


  • Bhungloti is a creeper that in combination with the pith of the roots of a jackfruit tree yielded a saffron dye for their robes.

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

  • The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a multilateral development bank with a mission to improve social and economic outcomes in Asia.
  • Headquartered in Beijing,it began operations in January 2016 and have now grown to 104 approved members worldwide. The U.S. and Japan are not among its 104 members.
  • It mainly invests in sustainable infrastructure and other productive sectors in Asia and beyond
  • India is a founding member of AIIB China is its biggest shareholder and India is the second-largest.
  • Former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Urjit Patel has been appointed vice-president of the Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

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