Topic 1: All India Radio
Context: The Centre ordered that public broadcaster, previously known as All India Radio (AIR), be exclusively referred to as Akashvani in all broadcasts and programmes. Previously, the two names were used interchangeably.
- Guglielmo Marconi sent out the first radio transmission in 1895.
- In India, the Radio Club of Bombay sent out the first commercial transmission in 1923.
- The Calcutta Radio Club was started and a year later, radio broadcasts reached Madras with the Madras Presidency Radio Club.
- The ambitious Indian Broadcasting Company (IBC) came into existence in 1927.
- It faced bankruptcy in 1930.
- In 1930, the Indian State Broadcasting Service (ISBS), under the Department of Industries and Labour, commenced its operations on an experimental basis.
- Senior BBC producer Lionel Fielden was appointed as India’s first Controller of Broadcasting in 1935 and brought major advancements to the programming.
- In 1936, ISBS became All India Radio.
- AIR was brought under the Department of Communications, and four years later, under the Department of Information and Broadcasting, now called the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
Growth after independence:
- At the time of Independence, India was left with six radio stations:
- Delhi, Lucknow, Bombay, Madras and Trichy
- three others – Peshawar, Lahore and Dacca had gone to Pakistan.
- In terms of coverage, AIR covered just two percent of India’s land area and reached just 11 percent of its population.
- Today, with a network of over 262 radio stations, AIR is available to 92 per cent of India’s area and nearly all of its population.
- It broadcasts in 23 languages and 146 dialects.
- It also has an External Services Division which broadcasts in 11 Indian and 16 foreign languages, reaching out to more than 100 countries.
- Its News Services Division broadcasts 647 bulletins daily for a total duration of nearly 56 hours.
- FM broadcasting began in 1977 in Chennai, and expanded during the 1990s.
- Today, AIR 18 FM stereo channels, largely targeting the urban audience.
- The name Akashvani was adopted by AIR in 1956.
Topic 2: What are shoot at sight orders
Context: With the situation worsening in violence-hit Manipur, the state government authorised all District Magistrates to issue “shoot at sight orders” in “extreme cases”.
- A shoot-at-sight or firing order may be passed in terms of the statutory powers relating to the arrest or prevention of offences or for disbanding unlawful assemblies under the CrPC, 1973.
- Section 144 of the CrPC enables the use of wide powers while dealing with urgent cases of “apprehended danger” or nuisance through the issuance of orders.
- The executive usually relies on the powers conferred on it by Section 144 to issue shoot-at-sight orders.
- It enables the use of force in the course of arresting a person.
- If a person forcibly resists the endeavour to arrest him, or attempts to evade the arrest, such police officer or other person may use all means necessary to effect the arrest.
- It also places a limit on this executive power by saying that the provision does not give a right to cause the death of a person who is not accused of an offence punishable with death or with imprisonment for life.
- The Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 empowers the armed forces to use force in disturbed areas.
- A notification in the Official Gazette declaring an area as “disturbed” may be passed by a Governor of the State or the Administrator of that Union Territory or the Central Government, as the case may be.
- Provisions of the Indian Penal Code, of 1860 also deal with this issue.
What have the courts said?
- In Jayantilal case, the Gujarat High Court declared the shoot-at-sight orders imposed for breaking a curfew “void”.
- In the 1974 ruling, Justice SH Seth also observed that any threat issued by the executive to the life of a citizen without the authority of law must be viewed very seriously.
- In the case of State Of West Bengal vs Shew Mangal Singh & Ors which dealt with the conflict between the executive’s power of extreme coercive action and an individual’s right to liberty.
Topic 3: Irrevocable Deregistration and Export Request Authorisation
Context: Aircraft lessors (in the Go First Airlines case) sought deregistration and repossession of 20 aircraft leased to the Wadia Group airline by filing applications with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) using their Irrevocable Deregistration and Export Request Authorisation (IDERA).
- Irrevocable Deregistration and Export Request Authorisation, or IDERA, empowers lessors to get their aircraft deregistered from the registry of the country where the lessee is based, repossess them, and fly them out, in cases like those of lease payment defaults.
- Cape Town Convention:
- The Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment, commonly known as the Cape Town Convention (CTC), and the related 2001 protocol on matters specific to aircraft equipment, are key elements of the global aviation structure.
- It aims to protect lessors’ interests in case of defaults by the lessee.
- As per the CTC, the lessor can seek deregistration and export of aircraft without consent of the airline using IDERA.
- The airline has no power to revoke the lessor’s IDERA rights without the latter’s consent.
- The objective is to simplify and improve the efficiency of aircraft leasing operations, while providing comfort to lessors that their assets (planes) would not get stuck for extended periods due to legal issues.
- The quick deregistration process allows lessors to repossess planes and lease them to other operators, minimising the losses they would have to incur if their planes got stuck in litigation.
- This makes lessors ready and willing to lease out aircraft in countries that follow the CTC protocols in letter and spirit.
IDERA & India
- Although India ratified the CTC back in 2008, its incorporation in India’s legal framework has been a work in progress.
- The last CTC-related amendments to India’s aviation rules took place in 2018, simplifying deregistration and export of aircraft through IDERAs.
What is the procedure that DGCA follows when a lessor files to enforce an IDERA?
- The lessor (IDERA holder) must file an online application with the DGCA seeking to enforce an IDERA with regard to a specific aircraft.
- The DGCA immediately posts on its website the application filed by the IDERA holder.
- The date of the application is considered the date of declared default.
- The regulator also immediately notifies all airport operators in India about the IDERA filing.
- The DGCA then moves to deregister the aircraft within five working days from the date of declared default, and informs airport operators about the date of deregistration.
- The lessor then proceeds to clear all dues.
- The lessor then submits all the payment certificates to the regulator, along with the request to export, or fly out, the aircraft from India.
- After this, the DGCA issues all necessary permissions to export the aircraft.
Topic 3: Project Dantak
Context: The Prime Minister has praised the initiative by Border Roads Organisation Project Dantak to commemorate 64th Raising Day.
- Project DANTAK is commemorating its Diamond Jubilee in Bhutan.
- Project DANTAK was established on April 24, 1961 by the Third King of Bhutan and then Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru.
- DANTAK was tasked to construct the pioneering motorable roads in Bhutan.
- Over the years, DANTAK has met the myriad infrastructure requirements in Bhutan.
- Some other notable projects executed by the project include:
- the construction of Paro Airport,
- Yonphula Airfield,
- Thimphu – Trashigang Highway,
- Telecommunication & Hydro Power Infrastructure,
- Sherubtse College, Kanglung and
- India House Estate.
Topic 4: Manipur’s ethnic faultlines
Context: The ongoing violence between the Kuki-Zomi tribals and the largely Hindu Meiteis in Manipur is the first time in three decades that the state has witnessed direct clashes between two ethnic groups.
- Cultural geography
- The Manipur valley is encircled by skirts of low hills that spread into Nagaland and Mizoram.
- In these hill areas live 15 Naga tribes and the Chin-Kuki-Mizo-Zomi group, which includes the Kuki, Thadou, Hmar, Paite, Vaiphei and Zou peoples.
- The Kangleipak kingdom, then a British protectorate, was repeatedly raided by Naga tribes who came down from the northern hills.
- The British political agent in Manipur is believed to have brought the Kuki-Zomi from the Kuki-Chin hills of Burma to protect the valley from plunder by acting as a buffer between the Meiteis and the Nagas.
- The Kukis, like the Nagas, were fierce headhunting warriors and the Maharaja gave them land along the ridges, where they could act as a shield for the Imphal valley below.
- Kuki-Meitei divide
- Ethnic tensions between the hill communities and the Meiteis have existed from the time of the erstwhile kingdom.
- But it escalated with the advent of the Naga national movement in the 1950s, and the call for an independent Naga nation.
- The Naga insurgency was countered by the rise of insurgent groups among the Meiteis and Kuki-Zomi.
- The Kuki-Zomi groups began to militarise, and the Kukis launched their own movement for ‘Kukiland’.
- Unlike the Naga movement, however, the Kuki-Zomi demand was for a state within India, not a separate national homeland.
- Even though the Kukis had started out as protectors of the Meitei people, the Kukiland demand created a rift between the communities.
- Many Kukis fled to Churachandpur, a district dominated by the Kuki-Zomi people.
- Meitei fears
- The Meiteis contend that in a state where the government is the largest employer, reservation for STs in jobs amounts to an unfair advantage.
- While tribals can buy land in the valley, Meiteis are prohibited from buying land in the hills.
Topic 5: Business and Human Rights Resource Centre report
Context: India recorded the second highest number of attacks on defenders protesting harmful business practices in 2022, according to a new report.
- The report is prepared by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC), an international non-profit.
- India related findings:
- India saw 54 such incidents of attacks, which is lower only than Brazil’s record of 63.
- India’s Jindal Steel Ltd (JSW) was also among the companies associated with the highest number of attacks.
- Global findings:
- Globally as much as 75 per cent of the attacks were against climate, land and environmental defenders.
- Over 23 per cent of attacks were against Indigenous defenders, who are protecting over 80 per cent of the world’s remaining biodiversity.
- Mining has remained the most dangerous sector for defenders, with 30 per cent of all the attacks in 2022 being linked to it.
- Judicial harassment, which include arbitrary arrest, unfair trial and strategic lawsuits against public participation, was the most common form of attack against protesters across the world.
- Nearly a quarter of the attacks were against women who challenged both corporate power and patriarchal gender norms.
- Measures suggested:
- States should pass and implement legislation recognising the right to defend rights and the vital role of defenders, both individual and collective, in promoting human rights, sustainable development, and a healthy environment and committing to zero-tolerance for attacks.
Topic 6: Haunted Heritage Walk
Context: Delhi’s first ‘Haunted Heritage Walk’ to kick off from Malcha Mahal.
- Organized by:
- Delhi Tourism department.
- Among the other sites that the walk will cover include:
- Bhooli Bhatiyari ka Mahal,
- Feroze Shah Kotla and
- the Tughlaqabad Fort.
- The Tourism department is identifying “haunted” sites in the national capital to conduct heritage walks.
- A detailed plan on the hidden and unexplored historical places in the city is being prepared, he had added.
- Tourism department wants to promote the wonders of the city – its heritage, art and craft, diverse cuisine and culture through these walks.
- Malcha Mahal:
- Malcha Mahal is also known as Wilayat Mahal.
- It is a Tughlak era hunting lodge in New Delhi.
- Malcha Mahal was built by Sultan Firoz Shah Tughlaq.
- It came to be known as Wilayat Mahal after the self-proclaimed “Begum Wilayat Mahal” of Awadh.
- She claimed to be a member of the Royal family of Oudh and was reportedly given the place by the Government of India in May 1985.
- Bhuli Bhatiyari ka Mahal:
- Bhuli Bhatiyari ka Mahal is a ruined fort cum gateway structure that was originally built as a hunting lodge by Feroz Shah Tughlaq in the 14th century.
- The fort is infamous for its haunted stories and tales of paranormal activity.
- The monument is a protected monument under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
- Feroz Shah Kotla:
- Feroz Shah Kotla Fort was built by Sultan Feroz Shah Tughlaq in 1354.
- This fort was built when the ruler decided to shift his capital from Tughlaqabad to Firozabad due to the scarcity of water at the former capital.
- Hence, the fort was built on the banks of the Yamuna river to serve the purpose.
- The entrance of the fort has a gigantic iron gate with the name of the ruler
- One of the interesting features of the fort is that it houses an Ashokan Pillar, which was brought by Feroz Shah from Ambala to Delhi.
- It is 13 m high and bears the inscriptions of Ashoka’s principles.
- Tughlaqabad Fort:
- Tughluqabad Fort is a ruined fort in Delhi built by Ghiyasuddin Tughluq, the founder of the Tughlaq dynasty.
- Tughluqabad is divided into three parts:
- the wider city area with houses built along a rectangular grid between its gates
- the citadel with a tower at its highest point known as Bijai-Mandal and the remains of several halls and a long underground passage
- the adjacent palace area containing the royal residences.
Topic 7: Automation initiatives of Army
Context: The Indian Army is working on a number of key tech-driven projects.
- Project Sanjay:
- A new Battlefield Surveillance System (BSS) under Project Sanjay is in the process of being deployed, after extensive validation carried out in the plains, deserts, and mountains.
- Under BSS, the aim is to have surveillance centres for all field formations by December 2025.
- It will integrate thousands of sensors which will enable provision of an integrated surveillance picture to commanders and staff at all levels, besides completing the sensor-shooter grid by integrating with the Artillery Combat Command and Control System (ACCCS).
- The system also integrates data on the movements of India’s adversaries received from various sources across borders, including sensors, satellites, UAVs or unmanned aerial vehicles, and patrols.
- Bharat Electronics Ltd. (BEL), Ghaziabad, is the project’s system integrator.
- Situational Awareness Module for the Army (SAMA)
- The other key project the Army is working on is SAMA (Situational Awareness Module for the Army).
- The Army’s Combat Information Decision Support System (CIDSS) has been re-designed as the Army Information and Decision Support System (AIDSS), which will integrate inputs from all operational and managerial information systems.
- The in-house decision support system which has been developed is called SAMA
- The other key projects include E-Sitrep (Situational Reporting Over Enterprise-Class GIS Platform).
- Situational reporting is the keystone of all operational correspondence that happens on a perpetual basis
- The situational reporting would start happening on an enterprise-class geographic information system platform configured for the Army’s operational needs, with a state-of-the-art spatial visualisation, temporal and dynamic querying.
- Project Avgat:
- It is inspired by the PM Gati Shakti.
- The Army begun its own initiative to build a similar project that will bring in multi domain spatial awareness on a single GIS platform.
- Project Anumaan:
- For ‘Project Anumaan’, the Army has entered into a partnership with the National Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF).
- The Army will help NCMRWF with the collection of observations along northern borders and will receive in the near future customised products for higher resolution weather forecasts for its components along the northern borders.
- Project INDRA:
- INDRA stands for Indian Army Data Repository and Analytics.
- The application enables the collection, compilation and extraction of data and information for statistical analysis to various stakeholders, as per their role and charter.
- Project ASAAN:
- ASAAN stands for Army Software for Agnipath Administration and Networking.
- The application is currently in use for the first batch of Agniveers who have joined the training centres.