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16th December 2021

 No.Topic NamePrelims/Mains
1.    About the Electoral Reforms in IndiaPrelims & Mains
2.    About the NIRF RankingsPrelims & Mains
3.    About the Mughal AdministrationPrelims & Mains
4.    Details of the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayi YojnaPrelims & Mains
5.    Details of the Anti-Conversion BillPrelims & Mains




Topic – Election related issues

  • Reforms in the election system are required because:
  • Criminalization of politics: 40% of LS MPs and 23% of RS MPs have a criminal record.
  • Election outcomes are still influenced by money and brute force.
  • In the 16th LS elections, just 66 percent of eligible voters cast ballots. As a result, there is a pressing need to improve voter participation.
  • In the 16th LS, women make up only 11.3 percent of the population.
  • The EC’s role should be expanded, and new powers should be granted. Appointments to the EC should be made in a more transparent manner.
  • Political fundraising is a highly opaque and corrupt environment.
  • Voter victimisation – via booth and constituency profiling.
  • What changes are required:
  • Set a limit on how much money political parties can spend, similar to the limit on how much money candidates can spend.
  • Consider public funding of political parties (rather than elections), with an independent audit and a complete prohibition on private donations.
  • Internal democracy and transparency in the workings of political parties should be enforced. Bring them under the RTI’s jurisdiction.
  • Create an independent national election fund to receive all tax-free donations. It could be run by the ECI or any other non-governmental organisation.
  • Accept the ECI’s proposal to provide it legal authority to annul elections if credible evidence of money laundering is discovered.
  • Persons accused of serious crimes who are facing criminal charges should be barred from running for office.
  • Enable the ECI to de-register political parties that have not contested an election in ten years but have received tax breaks.
  • Declare paid news a “corrupt activity” (Section 100 RP Act) and “undue influence” (Section 123(2)) electoral offence punishable by two years in prison.
  • The Election Commission of India (ECI) has made the following recommendations:
  • Election commissioners, like chief election commissioners, should be guaranteed tenure security.
  • The ECI should have the same contempt powers as the Indian courts. The institution’s dignity is harmed by frequent disdain.
  • The funding of political parties should be open and transparent.
  • Under the Representation of People Act 1951, ECI should be given the authority to create rules.
  • The ECI should have the authority to audit political party accounts.
  • Elections for the legislative assembly and parliament should be held at the same time.
  • If a candidate is facing criminal charges, he should be barred from running for office.
  • Make paying for news a crime.
  • Allowing a single candidate to run in multiple constituencies is prohibited.
  • Source – The Hindu – 16/12/21 – Page Number 8



Topic – Education related issues

  • The sixth edition’s highlights include:
  • The top three higher education institutes in the country are IIT-Madras, IISc-Bangalore, and IIT-Bombay.
  • Miranda House has won the list for best college for the second year in a row.
  • IISc Bengaluru was the top-ranked university in the university category.
  • What exactly is NIRF:
  • It is the government’s first attempt to rank the country’s higher education institutions (HEIs).
  • In 2015, it was first introduced.
  • In the beginning, participation in the NIRF was voluntary; but, in 2018, it became mandatory for all government-run educational institutions.
  • This year, around 6,000 institutions took part in NIRF, which is nearly double the number from 2016.
  • What is the order in which they are ranked:
  • All educational institutions are evaluated on five characteristics in order to be ranked: teaching, learning, and resources, research and professional practises, graduation outcomes, outreach and diversity, and perception.
  • Overall national rating, universities, engineering, college, medical, management, pharmacy, law, architecture, dental, and research are among the best institutions listed by NIRF.
  • Source – The Hindu – 16/12/21 – Page Number 3



Topic – Indian Culture

  • Many aspects of the Sultanate and Shershah’s administrative systems were retained by the Mughals.
  • Under Shershah, administrative entities such as parganas (groups of villages), sarkars (groups of parganas), and groups of sarkars (similar to subas or provinces) were grouped together and assigned to certain posts.
  • The Mughals established the suba, a new territorial entity. Akbar split the Mughal empire into twelve regions, or subas.
  • The Mughals also established the Jagir and Mansab systems of government.
  • System of Mansabdari:
  • Every officer was given a rank under this system (mansab).
  • For nobles, the lowest rank was 10 and the highest was 5000.
  • Royal blooded princes were given even higher honours.
  • The ranks were split into two categories:
  • Zat and Sawar.
  • The word zat means “personal,” and it refers to a person’s personal status.
  • A person’s sawar rank denoted the number of cavalrymen they were obligated to maintain. Every sawar was required to keep at least two horses.
  • The mansab rank was not passed down through the generations.
  • All promotions and appointments, as well as dismissals, are recorded.
  • The emperor himself made them.
  • System of Land Revenue:
  • In his government, Akbar experimented with revenue.
  • The Mughal revenue system was built on the policies of Alauddin Khilji and Sher Shah Sur.
  • Raja Todarmal, the revenue minister, overhauled the entire land revenue system in 1581. Zabti or bandobast is the name given to this system.
  • Land was surveyed and classed using this system based on soil fertility as follows:
  • Every year, Polaj was
  • Once every two years, there is a parauti.
  • Once every three to four years, chachar.
  • Banjar-at least once every five years
  • Source – The Hindu – 16/12/21 – Page Number 3



Topic – Government Policies & Interventions

  • About the PMKSY Scheme:
  • PMKSY is a 2015-launched Centrally Sponsored Scheme (Core Scheme). The proportion of Centre-States will be 75:25. The ratio will be 90:10 in the north-eastern region and hilly states.
  • Its goals are to bring irrigation investments closer together at the field level and to increase the amount of land that can be cultivated with reliable irrigation (Har Khet ko pani),
  • To increase the implementation of precision irrigation and other water-saving technology, to improve on-farm water usage efficiency and reduce water waste (More crop per drop),
  • Exploring the viability of reusing treated municipal based water for peri-urban agriculture and attracting more private investment in a precision irrigation system to improve aquifer recharge and implement sustainable water conservation techniques.
  • Water budgeting is done for all sectors, including home, agricultural, and industry, to ensure a full and holistic picture of the entire “water cycle.”
  • It is created by combining existing plans:
  • Ministry of Water Resources, River Development, and Ganga Rejuvenation’s Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Program (AIBP).
  • Department of Land Resources, Ministry of Rural Development’s Integrated Watershed Management Program (IWMP).
  • Department of Agriculture and Cooperation’s On-Farm Water Management (OFWM) (DAC).
  • Implementation – Through the State Irrigation Plan and the District Irrigation Plan, decentralised implementation is possible.
  • Source – The Hindu – 16/12/21 – Page Number 8



Topic – Government Policies & Interventions

  • Background:
  • The Freedom to Religion Bill, 2020 has been approved as an Ordinance by the MP Cabinet.
  • Similar legislation have previously been approved in Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh.
  • What do they have in common:
  • The declaration of such marriages as “null and void” and the criminalization of conversions performed without the state’s prior sanction are similar features of all three statutes.
  • Differences:
  • They differ in terms of the severity of the punishment and who bears the responsibility of proving that a conversion is legal.
  • Previous notice: For a conversion to be valid, the MP Law needs a 60-day prior “statement of the intention to convert” to the District Magistrate, after which a couple of different religions can be legally married.
  • The Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religious Ordinance, 2020, demands a 60-day notice as well as a police investigation to determine the true intention behind the conversion.
  • The Himachal Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act, 2019, which took effect last week, mandates a 30-day “declaration of intention to convert” prior to conversion.
  • Who can look into it:
  • The MP Law:
  • According to Section 4 of the MP Law, a police officer cannot conduct an investigation unless the person converted or the person’s parents/siblings file a formal complaint. Under the legislation, no police official below the rank of sub-inspector can investigate a crime.
  • According to Himachal law:
  • No prosecution can begin without the approval of a sub-divisional magistrate or a higher-ranking officer.
  • The UP law:
  • Allows the same people to submit a complaint as the MP statute.
  • The burden of proof is on the plaintiff.
  • The burden of proof for showing that the conversion was done without compulsion or illegality is placed on the person who was converted under the MP Law.
  • A comparable clause exists in Himachal legislation.
  • The UP law goes much farther, shifting the burden of proof from the individual to those who “caused” or “facilitated” the conversion.
  • Source – The Hindu – 16/12/21 – Page Number 4


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