24th Oct, 2020

Repeal of UAPA demanded

Major Opposition parties have demanded the repeal of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), 1967.

This came after the arrest of Stan Swamy, a tribal rights activist, in the Bhima Koregaon case.

Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), 1967

UAPA was passed in 1967. 

It aims at effective prevention of unlawful activities associations in India.

The Act assigns absolute power to the central government. If the Centre deems an activity as unlawful then it may declare it so.

It has death penalty and life imprisonment as highest punishments.

Under UAPA, both Indian and foreign nationals can be charged. 

It will be applicable to the offenders in the same manner, even if crime is committed on a foreign land, outside India.

The 2004 amendment added terrorist act to the list of offences to ban organizations for terrorist activities, under which 34 outfits were banned.

In August 2019, Parliament cleared the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019 to designate individuals as terrorists if the individual commits or participates in acts of terrorism, prepares for terrorism, promotes terrorism or is otherwise involved in terrorism.

The Act empowers the Director General of National Investigation Agency (NIA) to grant approval of seizure or attachment of property when the case is investigated by the said agency.


Mobile Application for Geo Tagging launched by Ministry of Jal Shakti

A mobile application for geo-tagging of the components of projects under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) was recently launched. .

Ministry: Ministry of Jal Shakti

Developed By: Bhaskaracharya National Institute of Space Applications & Geo-informatics (BISAG-N).

Objective: To track the pace of work and actual status of the projects.

The mobile application can be used to capture the image of the project component along with other details. 

The captured information can be submitted by the user for geo-tagging on the geographic information system (GIS) portal. 

It can be operated in both online & offline mode.

Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) 

PMKSY is a centrally sponsored scheme

Launched in: 2015 

Motto: Har Khet Ko Paani


(1) To expand cultivated areas with assured irrigation, reduce wastage of water and improve water use efficiency;

(2) To create protective irrigation by harnessing rainwater at micro level;

(3) To enhance recharge of aquifers 

Geo-tagging is the process of adding geographical identification data to various media such as websites, SMS messages, QR Codes.

This data usually consists of latitude and longitude coordinates, altitude, accuracy data, etc. 

A GIS is a framework for gathering, managing, and analyzing geography related data.


UDAN Day observed 

Recently, 4th anniversary of the UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik) Scheme was observed by the Ministry of Civil Aviation

Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik (UDAN) 

It was launched as a regional connectivity scheme (RCS) in 2016

Ministry: Ministry of Civil Aviation.


(1) To develop the regional aviation market;

(2) To provide affordable and profitable air travel on regional routes to the common man.

It envisages providing connectivity to un-served and under-served airports of the country through the revival of existing airstrips and airports.

Implemented by: Airports Authority of India (AAI) and is operational for a period of 10 years.


COVIRAP: A Quick Covid-19 Test approved by ICMR

Recently, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has approved a new Covid-19 diagnostic method named COVIRAP. 

Developed by: Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur

Benefit of COVIRAP Process:

(1) It is a cheaper process;

(2) The test is completed within an hour;

(3) Simpler to Handle;

(4) Reusable;

(5) Efficient;

(6) High Accuracy

It can also be used in influenza, malaria, dengue, Japanese encephalitis, TB etc, which are under the category of isothermal nucleic acid-based tests.


India Invited to Join the Blue Dot Network

A group of the US Senators has asked India to join the Blue Dot Network (BDN) in a letter. 

Blue Dot Network

The BDN was announced in 2019 at the Indo-Pacific Business Forum in Bangkok, Thailand. 

It is led by the USA along with Japan and Australia.

It is a multi-stakeholder initiative to bring together governments, the private sector and civil society to promote high-quality, trusted standards for global infrastructure development.

It is expected to serve as a globally recognized evaluation and certification system for roads, ports and bridges with a focus on the Indo-Pacific region.

It does not offer public funds or loans for the project.

Blue Dot certification shall serve as a globally recognized seal of approval for major infrastructure projects. 


Life in Miniature Project launched

 “Life in Miniature” project was recently launched 

Ministry: Ministry for Culture and Tourism 

It is collaboration between the National Museum, New Delhi, Ministry of Culture, and Google Arts & Culture.

Under the project, several miniature paintings from the National Museum, New Delhi can be viewed online on Google Arts & Culture by people around the world. 

The project uses technologies like machine learning, augmented reality and digitization with high-definition robotic cameras, to showcase the paintings. 


Base year for CPI-Industrial Workers (CPI-IW) revised

The labour ministry has revised the base year of the Consumer Price Index-Industrial Workers (CPI-IW) from 2001 to 2016. 

It has given more weight to spending on housing, education and health in inflation index calculation.

The revision in base year will reflect changing consumption pattern of the working-class population over the years.

Following the change in base year, the index will give 39% weight to food and beverage consumption of workers now as against 46.2% earlier. 

In contrast, spending on housing will get almost 17% weight compared to 15.2% earlier.

CPI-Industrial Workers (CPI-IW) 

It is used as a benchmark for calculating dearness allowance for government employees, dearness relief for pensioners and wages for industrial workers in some sectors.

Though it may not impact the salary of industrial workers and DA of government staff immediately, it will have a cascading impact on salary, DA and DR of workers, and pensioners.


G-20 Anti-Corruption Working Group Meeting

Recently, Saudi Arabia hosted the first-ever Ministerial Meeting of the G-20 Anti-Corruption Working Group (ACWG) virtually.

Currently, Saudi Arabia holds the presidency of G-20. 

It is the first Arab nation to do so.

G-20 Anti-Corruption Working Group

It was established in June 2010 at the Toronto Summit of G-20. 

The year 2020 marks its 10th anniversary.

Objective: To prepare comprehensive recommendations on how the G20 could continue to make practical and valuable contributions to international efforts to combat corruption.

It actively works with the World Bank Group, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and other important Organisations


It is an informal group of 19 countries and the European Union (EU), with representatives of the IMF and the World Bank.

The G20 membership comprises a mix of the world’s largest advanced and emerging economies. 

It represents about two-thirds of the world’s population, 85% of global GDP, 80% of global investment and over 75% of global trade.

The G20 operates as a forum and not as an organisation. Therefore, it does not have any permanent secretariat or headquarter.

Members: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the UK, the USA, and the EU.

One nation holds the chair every year, known as the ‘G20 Presidency’.