11th December 2021

No. Topic Name Prelims/Mains
1.    All about the Sedition Law Prelims & Mains
2.    Details of the Regulation of Cryptocurrency Bill, 2021 Prelims & Mains
3.    What is Stubble Burning Prelims & Mains
4.    All about the Comptroller & Auditor General of India Prelims & Mains
5.    About the International Solar Alliance Prelims & Mains




Topic – Government Policies & Interventions

  • What exactly is sedition:
  • “Whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards, the government established by law in shall be punished with imprisonment for life, to which fine may be added, or with fine.”
  • Do we require a proper definition of sedition:
  • For far too long, the sedition legislation has been a source of contention. Governments are frequently chastised for using Section 124-A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) to prosecute vociferous critics of their policies.
  • As a result, this Section is viewed as a restriction on people’s freedom of expression, and it falls short of the Constitution’s provisions for justifiable restrictions on freedom of speech in Article 19.
  • Since the colonial British overlords enacted the statute in the 1860s, it has been the subject of heated discussion. Several prominent liberation fighters, including Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, were charged with sedition.
  • It is the “prince among the political provisions of the Indian Penal Code designed to restrict the citizen’s liberty,” according to Mahatma Gandhi.
  • It was “very offensive and obnoxious,” according to Nehru, and “should have no place in any body of laws that we might pass.” “The sooner we get rid of it, the better,” Nehru replied.
  • Relevant Supreme Court decisions include:
  • The Kedar Nath Singh vs State of Bihar case (1962): In the Kedar Nath Singh vs State of Bihar case (1962), a five-judge Supreme Court constitutional bench laid out some guiding principles when dealing with offences under Section 124A of the IPC.
  • The court decided that comments expressing disapproval of the government’s activities without provoking public disruption through acts of violence would not be punished.
  • The Supreme Court clarified in Balwant Singh versus State of Punjab (1995) that just screaming slogans, in this case Khalistan Zindabad, did not constitute sedition.
  • The sedition legislation is clearly being misunderstood and abused to silence opposition.
  • Source – The Hindu – 11/12/21 – Page Number 1



Topic – Government Policies & Interventions

  • Context:
  • The Central Government will decide soon whether or not the Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021 will be tabled in Parliament’s winter session.
  • Important Requirements:
  • It aims to regulate bitcoin and, apparently, prohibits the use of private cryptocurrencies.
  • Its goal is to establish a framework that will make it easier for the Reserve Bank of India to launch an official digital currency.
  • So far, the Bill’s particular contours have not been made public, and no public discussions have taken place.
  • The current situation is as follows:
  • In India, an inter-ministerial commission on cryptocurrency has suggested that all private cryptocurrencies be banned, with the exception of state-issued virtual currencies.
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has also expressed worries about cryptocurrencies traded in the market, which it has conveyed to the government.
  • The Supreme Court authorised banks and financial institutions to resume services linked to cryptocurrencies in March 2020, overturning the RBI’s 2018 circular prohibiting them (on the basis of “proportionality”).
  • What are Cryptocurrencies and How Do They Work:
  • Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies that operate independently of a central bank and employ encryption techniques to govern the production of units of money and verify the transfer of funds.
  • Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies are examples.
  • Why does the government want to outlaw cryptocurrencies:
  • Consumer protection: Cryptocurrencies pose a threat to consumers.
  • They are not legal tender since they lack a governmental guarantee.
  • Market volatility: Because of their speculative nature, they are extremely volatile. Bitcoin, for example, has dropped in value from USD 20,000 in December 2017 to USD 3,800 in November 2018.
  • Risk in the field of security: If a user’s private key is lost, they lose access to their cryptocurrency (unlike traditional digital banking accounts, this password cannot be reset).
  • Malware threats: In some circumstances, technical service providers (cryptocurrency exchanges or wallets) store these private keys, which are vulnerable to malware or hacking.
  • Laundering of funds.
  • Source – The Hindu – 11/12/21 – Page Number 1



Topic – Environmental Conservation related issues

  • What is the cause of stubble burning:
  • Farmers commonly prepare fields for wheat sowing in November since there is little time between rice harvest and wheat sowing.
  • Impact:
  • Stubble burning emits toxic gases such as carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and particulate matter, as well as particle matter.
  • Why do farmers choose to burn their stubble:
  • They don’t have any other options for properly utilising them.
  • Farmers are ill-equipped to cope with waste because they cannot afford the latest waste-handling technology that is available.
  • Owing to lower income due to crop damage, farmers are more prone to burn up their fields to save money rather than invest in scientific stubble management methods.
  • Benefits of stubble burning include:
  • It clears the field rapidly and is the most cost-effective option.
  • Kills weeds, including herbicide-resistant weeds.
  • Slugs and other pests are killed.
  • It’s possible to minimise nitrogen binders.
  • Stubble Burning’s Consequences:
  • Open stubble burning releases a considerable amount of dangerous pollutants into the sky, including harmful gases such as methane (CH4), carbon monoxide (CO), volatile organic compound (VOC), and carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. They have the potential to produce smog in the future.
  • Soil Fertility: Burning husk on the ground depletes the soil’s nutrients, making it less fertile.
  • Heat Penetration: Heat created by stubble burning enters the soil, causing moisture and beneficial bacteria to be lost.
  • Alternatives to Stubble Burning include the following:
  • Encourage the use of power plants that are based on paddy straw. It will also provide job opportunities.
  • Crop leftovers can assist enhance soil moisture and activate the growth of soil microbes, resulting in greater plant growth.
  • By composting the discarded leftovers, you can create enriched organic manure.
  • Scientific research can uncover new potential for industrial use, such as yeast protein extraction.
  • What should be done according to the Supreme Court’s findings:
  • Those who do not burn their stubble could be given incentives, while those who do continue to do so could be given disincentives.
  • The existing Minimum Support Price (MSP) Scheme must be interpreted in such a way that it allows States to withhold the benefit of MSP to those who continue to burn crop residue entirely or partially.
  • Model of Chhattisgarh:
  • The Chhattisgarh government has embarked on an interesting experiment by establishing gauthans.
  • A gauthan is a five-acre field kept in common by each community where all unused stubble is gathered through parali daan (people’s donations) and transformed into organic fertiliser by mixing it with cow dung and a few natural enzymes.
  • The programme also creates jobs for young people in rural areas.
  • The government encourages parali to be transported from the farm to the nearest gauthan.
  • 2,000 gauthans have been successfully developed by the state.
  • Source – The Hindu – 11/12/21 – Page Number 8



Topic – Constitutional & Non-Constitutional Bodies

  • CAG’s Background:
  • In Chapter V of Part V of the Indian Constitution, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) is established as an autonomous office.
  • The CAG is specified in Articles 148–151 of the Indian Constitution.
  • He is the Indian Audit and Accounts Department’s head.
  • He is the keeper of the public purse and oversees the country’s whole financial system at both the national and state levels.
  • In the field of financial administration, it is his responsibility to uphold the Indian Constitution and the rules of Parliament.
  • Appointment and Term of Office:
  • By a warrant under his hand and seal, the President of India appoints the CAG.
  • He is in office for six years or until he reaches the age of 65, whichever comes first.
  • Duties:
  • CAG audits all expenditure accounts from the Consolidated Fund of India, as well as the Consolidated Funds of each state and UT with a legislative assembly.
  • CAG audits all expenditures from India’s Contingency Fund and Public Account, as well as each state’s Contingency Fund and Public Account.
  • All trading, manufacturing, profit and loss accounts, balance sheets, and other subsidiary accounts maintained by any department of the Central Government and state governments are audited by the CAG.
  • When required by associated laws, the CAG audits the receipts and expenditures of all bodies and authorities significantly financed from Central or State income; government companies; and other corporations and bodies.
  • He determines and certifies the net profits of any tax or duty, and his certification is final.
  • He serves as a counsellor, companion, and philosopher to the Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee.
  • Reports:
  • He presents his audit reports on the Centre’s and State’s accounts to the President and Governor, who then present them to both chambers of Parliament and the state legislature, respectively.
  • He presents the President with three audit reports: one on appropriation accounts, one on finance accounts, and one on public undertakings.
  • Source – The Hindu – 11/12/21 – Page Number 4



Topic – Environmental Conservation related issues

  • ISA’s Background:
  • The International Solar Alliance (ISA) is an alliance of more than 120 countries, the majority of which are sunshine countries that lie entirely or partially between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, which was founded by India and is now open to all UN members.
  • The Paris Declaration created the International Solar Alliance (ISA) as an organisation dedicated to the promotion of solar energy among its members.
  • The ISA’s main goals include the global deployment of over 1,000GW of solar power capacity and the mobilisation of over US$ 1000 billion in solar energy investment by 2030.
  • What exactly does it do:
  • As an action-oriented organisation, the ISA brings together countries with rich solar potential to aggregate global demand, thereby reducing prices through bulk purchase, facilitating the deployment of existing solar technologies at scale, and promoting collaborative solar R&D and capacity building.
  • When did it come into effect:
  • ISA formally became a de-jure treaty-based International Intergovernmental Organization with its headquarters in Gurugram, India, when the ISA Framework Agreement went into effect on December 6th, 2017.
  • Source – The Hindu – 11/12/21 – Page Number 8