17 MAY 2022

. No. Topic Name Prelims/Mains
1.    Details of the Ban by India on Wheat Exports Prelims & Mains
2.    About the National Register of Citizens (NRC) Prelims & Mains
3.    Details of the Space Debris Prelims & Mains
4.    About the National Company Law Tribunal Prelims Specific Topic
5.    Details of the Places of Worship Act Prelims Specific Topic


1 – Details of the Ban by India on Wheat Exports: 


Indian Agriculture

  • Context:
  • INDIA’S Ban on Wheat Exports International prices had jumped about 6% per bushel when global markets opened on Monday (60 pounds or one million kernels or 27.21 kg). Prices in several states declined by 4-8 percent: Rs 200-250 per quintal in Rajasthan, Rs 100-150 in Punjab, and roughly Rs 100 in Uttar Pradesh.
  • Why did this decision be made?
  • Hot weather in the country’s northern regions has decreased output, forcing domestic prices to rise. It was agreed to manage India’s overall food security while also aiding vulnerable and neighbouring countries’ needs.
  • What has caused wheat to become so costly in the country?
  • Due to rising energy and food prices, India’s annual retail inflation rate hit 7.79 percent in April. Wheat prices in some parts of the country have risen to almost Rs 25,000 per tonne, much above the government’s minimum support price of Rs 20,150. Wheat production were not low this year, but due to unregulated exports, local prices have risen. In addition, labour, fuel, packaging, and transportation expenses have increased, putting downward pressure on wheat flour prices.
  • Is there any way around this rule?
  • Exports will be allowed to nations that ask for them, as well as shipments for which letters of credit were issued on or before May 13, 2022.
  • What was the effect of the heat wave on wheat production?
  • The government estimated that wheat production in February 2022 would be 111.32 million tonnes, however it was reduced to 105 million tonnes in May 2022. Wheat production could be reduced to 100 million tonnes or less if temperatures rise in mid-March.
  • Will the wheat ban in India have an influence on global prices?
  • Ukraine and Russia are the two largest wheat producers in the world. Their fight has had an impact on this supply chain. Furthermore, poor wheat harvests in China and India’s low grain supply have harmed global food supplies. With almost 10% of global grain stocks, India is the world’s second-largest wheat producer. As a result, in recent months, the world has been looking to India for wheat supplies. India expected to export 10 million tonnes of wheat this year. The present export embargo, on the other hand, would raise prices all throughout the world, particularly for impoverished consumers in Africa and Asia.
  • Source – The Hindu

2 – About the National Register of Citizens (NRC):


Indian Polity

  • Context:
  • The final list has yet to be published, according to the Assam Coordinator on the NRC.
  • Details of NRC:
  • The acronym NRC refers to the National Register of Citizens.
  • The National Register of Citizens, 1951, is a register created following each village’s Census of 1951, listing the homes or holdings in serial order and marking the number and names of citizens living in each one.
  • The NRC was only published once in 1951.
  • NRC of Assam:
  • Large-scale illegal migration from the former East Pakistan and, after 1971, Bangladesh prompted the need for an upgrade in Assam.
  • The Assam movement for the repatriation of illegal migrants lasted six years, from 1979 to 1985.
  • The campaign was organised by the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), which demanded that the NRC be updated and that all illegal migrants who entered Assam after 1951 be deported.
  • The Assam Accord, signed in 1985, was the movement’s pinnacle.
  • On March 25, 1971, the deadline for deporting illegal aliens was announced.
  • The Citizenship Act of 1955 was changed and a new section was inserted to give effect to the new date, which was July 19, 1949, as stated by articles 5 and 6 of the Constitution.
  • It was only applicable to Assam.
  • An Assam-based NGO filed a lawsuit with the Supreme Court after receiving repeated demands from AASU and other Assam organisations to update the NRC.
  • In December 2014, a Supreme Court split bench ordered that the NRC be updated in a timely manner.
  • The 1951 NRC and the 1971 Electoral Roll are examples of legacy data (up to midnight on March 24, 1971). Anyone whose name appears on these documents, as well as their descendants, is granted Indian citizenship.
  • Impact:
  • Rumours regarding the true number of illegal migrants in Assam and the rest of the country are likely to be put to rest if the NRC is amended.
  • It will provide a verified dataset to aid in relevant policy discussions and execution.
  • The publication of an updated NRC is expected to deter future Bangladeshi migrants from entering Assam illegally.
  • The drafted NRC has already given the impression that entering Assam without proper documentation will result in detention, imprisonment, and expulsion.
  • More importantly, illegal migrants may find it much more difficult to obtain Indian identity credentials and enjoy all of the benefits and privileges that all Indian citizens enjoy.
  • All Bengali speakers in Assam who were previously accused of being Bangladeshis will be relieved by their inclusion in the NRC.
  • Challenges:
  • Process defects – People who were on the first list, published on January 1, 2018, were not on the second. The family of a former Indian President was not included on the list.
  • The NRC, the Election Commission’s voter list, and the Foreigners’ Tribunals, which are assisted by the Assam Border Police, are all operating in parallel, resulting in complete disarray.
  • Despite the fact that the document contains a window for re-verification, physically validating everyone on the list will be impossible.
  • Because such “non citizens” can go to court to verify their citizenship claim, the judiciary may become overburdened, which already has a large backlog of cases.
  • The fate of individuals who did not make the list is yet unknown.
  • Expulsion to Bangladesh is not an option because Dhaka has never recognised them as its citizens or recognised that illegal immigration is a problem. In the absence of a written agreement, India cannot deport illegal migrants to Bangladesh.
  • Bringing it up might also jeopardise relations with Dhaka. Such an effort would be detrimental to bilateral relations as well as the country’s international standing.
  • Large-scale jail camps, in addition to deportation, are another option, though this is unlikely in a cultured democracy like India.
  • Work permits, which would provide them limited legal rights to work while removing their political voice, is another option. However, it is unknown what would happen to the offspring of such people.
  • NRC appears to be an endless process, with no end to the uncertainties.
  • Steps to Follow:
  • As a country dedicated to the ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ concept, India should not rush to make decisions that may disenfranchise its citizens, as this would be antithetical to its centuries-old principles.
  • Political parties must avoid colouring the entire NRC process with electoral concerns that could lead to communal violence, and the Union Government must clearly lay out its policy for dealing with people who are left out of the final NRC data.
  • For the four million people who must prove their Indian citizenship with little resources, a strong legal support system is required.
  • Source – The Hindu

3 – Details of the Space Debris:


Space and Technology

  • Context:
  • A recent Skyfall Event occurred in Gujarat, and scientists suspect Chinese rocket debris was to blame.
  • Three metal balls landed in the villages of Bhalej, Khambholaj, and Rampura on Thursday evening. Metal fragments followed, one of which apparently fell on a farm’s sheep pen, killing a lamb.
  • What is Space Debris?
  • Space debris poses a global threat to the continued use of space-based technology that enables critical operations such as communication, transportation, weather and climate monitoring, and remote sensing.
  • Predicting the likelihood of collision with these space objects is essential for national security and the protection of Indian public and commercial space assets.
  • Total amount of junk in space:
  • The true amount of space debris is believed to be between 500,000 and one million pieces due to current sensor equipment’s inability to detect smaller items. They all move at speeds of up to 17,500 mph (28,162 kph), fast enough for even a little piece of orbital junk to kill a satellite or spacecraft.
  • Importance of the Project:
  • By providing an operationally flexible, scalable, transparent, and indigenous collision probability solution, the project’s output will instantly help India’s $7 billion (Rs 51,334 crore) space business.
  • Future technologies that could aid with the solution include:
  • Changing an object’s orbit is one way to avoid a potential collision, but the sheer amount of debris needs continual surveillance and prediction – by any means necessary.
  • NASA’s Space Debris Sensor orbits the Earth from the International Space Station. The sensor was attached to the outside of the European Columbus module of the space station in December 2017. It will detect millimetre-sized pieces of debris for at least two years, sending back information on what it finds, including size, density, velocity, orbit, and whether the impacting object is from space or a man-made piece of space junk.
  • The REMOVE debris satellite contains two cubesats that will release synthetic space debris to demonstrate different retrieval technologies.
  • The e.Deorbit mission is working on two new technologies that will grab or trap stray space junk.
  • Another technology is the use of a powerful laser beam to move objects. It’s vital to get started as soon as feasible since, according to current scientific forecasts, certain orbits will become unsuitable in the next decades without aggressive trash clearance.
  • Project Netra:
  • To defend its space assets from space debris, Isro constructed a specialised Space Situational Awareness (SSA) Control Centre named “Netra” in Bengaluru in December.
  • Netra’s principal mission is to track, monitor, and defend national space assets while also acting as a hub for all SSA activities.
  • Only the United States, Russia, and Europe have tracking and collision warning systems that are comparable.
  • Anti-satellite missile (ASAT) of India:
  • Mission Shakti is a collaboration between the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) (ISRO).
  • As part of the operation, an anti-satellite (A-SAT) missile was fired at a decommissioned Indian spacecraft. The DRDO’s Balasore testing range in Odisha launched Mission Shakti.
  • Significance:
  • India is only the fourth country to acquire such a sophisticated and modern capability, and Indians are responsible for the entire process. Prior to this, only the US, Russia, and China have been able to hit a live target in space.
  • Source – The Hindu

4 – About the National Company Law Tribunal:

Prelims Specific Topic

  • Context:
  • After the National Company Law Tribunal issued a court order against Almas Global Opportunity Fund, one of the three businesses that made up the winning consortium, the Centre is evaluating the Pawan Hans disinvestment process (NCLT).
  • NCLT Details:
  • It is an Indian quasi-judicial body that resolves on issues affecting Indian businesses.
  • On June 1, 2016, it was established. (2013 Companies Act)
  • The formation of the group was recommended by the Justice Eradi Committee.
  • It primarily addresses questions of corporate and insolvency law.
  • Terms of office for members: Appointments will last for five years, or until the person reaches the age of 65, whichever comes first, or until new directions are given.
  • Source – The Hindu

5 – Details of the Places of Worship Act:

Prelims Specific Topic

  • Context:
  • The Supreme Court will hear a case on Tuesday in which a civil court in Varanasi ordered a videographic assessment of the Maa Shringar Gauri Sthal in the Kashi Vishwanath temple-Gyanvapi mosque complex. The appeal was filed by the Committee of Management of Anjuman Intezamia Masjid, which alleges that the Varanasi court’s decision is “clearly interdicted” by The Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991, which was affirmed by the Allahabad High Court on April 21.
  • About the Act:
  • It aims to retain the “religious character” of places of worship as it was in 1947, with the exception of the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid conflict, which is already in court.
  • Purpose:
  • The Act makes it illegal to convert a house of worship, or even a portion of one, into a place of worship of a different religious denomination or a section of the same religious denomination.
  • When the Act takes effect, all actions, appeals, or other proceedings relating to changing the character of a house of worship (that were pending on August 15, 1947) would come to an end, and no new proceedings can be begun, according to Section 4 of the Act (2).
  • Legal action can be pursued if the change of status occurred after the cut-off date of August 15, 1947. (after enactment of the Act).
  • The Act also declares the state responsible for preserving every house of worship’s religious character as it was at the time of independence.
  • The state is required by the Indian Constitution to maintain and protect the equality of all faiths, which is an important secular attribute.
  • Exemption:
  • The Act did not apply to the Ayodhya disputed site. The trial in the Ayodhya case continued after the law was passed due to this exemption.
  • The Act exempted any house of worship that is an antique and historical monument or an archaeological site covered by the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958, in addition to the Ayodhya conflict.
  • A case that has either been settled or dismissed.
  • Any acquiescence agreement reached between the parties before to the Act’s implementation, as well as any location conversion.
  • Penalty:
  • Under Section 6 of the Act, violating the Act’s requirements is punishable by up to three years in prison and a fine.
  • The 2019 Supreme Court Opinion:
  • In the 2019 Ayodhya judgement, the Constitution Bench referred to the Act, saying it promotes the Constitution’s secular objectives and clearly prohibits retrogression.
  • Petition’s Arguments:
  • The Act has been criticised as being anti-secular.
  • The August 15, 1947, cut-off date has been argued to be “arbitrary, irrational, and retrospective,” barring Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, and Sikhs from approaching courts to “reclaim” sites of worship that had been “invaded” and “encroached” upon by “fundamentalist barbaric invaders.”
  • According to the claim, the Centre has no jurisdiction to regulate “pilgrimages” or “burial places” on the state list.
  • The government, on the other hand, maintained that it could pass this law using its residuary jurisdiction under Union List Entry 97.
  • Entry 97 delegated to the Centre residuary legislative authority over matters not covered by the three categories.
  • Source – The Hindu