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13th November 2021

. No.Topic NamePrelims/Mains
1.    Cryptocurrency and related issuesPrelims & Mains
2.    What is the ‘Pegasus Snooping’ IssuePrelims & Mains
3.    Lawyers oppose the transfer of Madras HC Chief JusticePrelims & Mains
4.    Sunderbans threatened by human activitiesPrelims & Mains
5.    About the National Cyber Security CoordinatorPrelims Specific
6.    National School of DramaPrelims Specific


  1. Cryptocurrency and related issues:


Topic – Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

  • Why in News:
  • RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das recently said the central bank continues to have “serious and major” concerns about cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and has conveyed them to the government.
  • Background:
  • Private cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, which are unregulated, mined through a complex process and have highly volatile prices, are under the regulatory gaze in India despite their proliferation as an asset class.
  • Present status of Cryptocurrencies in India:
  • An inter-ministerial panel on cryptocurrency has recommended that all private cryptocurrencies, except any virtual currencies issued by state, will be prohibited in India.
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has also raised concerns on the cryptocurrencies traded in the market and conveyed them to the Centre.
  • Back in March 2020, the Supreme Court had allowed banks and financial institutions to reinstate services related to cryptocurrencies by setting aside the RBI’s 2018 circular that had prohibited them (Based on the ground of “proportionality”).
  • What are Cryptocurrencies:
  • Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank.
  • Examples: Bitcoin, Ethereum etc.
  • Why is the RBI against the use of cryptocurrencies:
  • Sovereign guarantee: Cryptocurrencies pose risks to consumers.  They do not have any sovereign guarantee and hence are not legal tender.
  • Market volatility: Their speculative nature also makes them highly volatile.  For instance, the value of Bitcoin fell from USD 20,000 in December 2017 to USD 3,800 in November 2018.
  • Risk in security: A user loses access to their cryptocurrency if they lose their private key (unlike traditional digital banking accounts, this password cannot be reset).
  • Malware threats :In some cases, these private keys are stored by technical service providers (cryptocurrency exchanges or wallets), which are prone to malware or hacking.
  • Money laundering.
  • SC Garg Committee recommendations (2019):
  • Ban anybody who mines, hold, transact or deal with cryptocurrencies in any form.
  • It recommend a jail term of one to 10 years for exchange or trading in digital currency.
  • It proposed a monetary penalty of up to three times the loss caused to the exchequer or gains made by the cryptocurrency user whichever is higher.
  • However, the panel said that the government should keep an open mind on the potential issuance of cryptocurrencies by the Reserve Bank of India.
  • Prelims Hot-Link:
  • Various cryptocurrencies. 
  • Cryptocurrencies launched by various countries. 
  • What is Blockchain technology? 
  • Source – https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/bitcoin-scam-priyank-questions-govt-on-delay-in-informing-central-agencies/article37465106.ece
  1. What is the ‘Pegasus Snooping’ Issue:


Topic – Right to Privacy vs National Security:

  • Why in News:
  • Emphasizing that state power to act on behalf of national security cannot completely be on the cost of compromising the ‘Right to Privacy’ of citizens, the Supreme Court has appointed a specialist committee of experts headed by former Supreme Court judge R.V. Raveendran to investigate allegations that the Central Government used Israeli software Pegasus to spy on citizens.
  • What is the problem:
  • Petitioners have complained about the misuse of spyware software ‘Pegasus’ by the Government of India to get hold of their personal information, that directly infringes on the privacy of citizens, which is a fundamental right under article 21 of the Indian Constitution as declared by SC in KS Puttaswamy Case.
  • Background:
  • Continued use of spyware Pegasus in India which is made by an Israeli company that sells it only to governments around the world, has been confirmed by various non-official reports.
  • Also, it is alleged that the Pegasus Software has apparently been updated and now comes with new monitoring capabilities.
  • What is Pegasus:
  • It is a spyware tool developed by an Israeli company, NSO Group.
  • It is used to spy on people through their phones.
  • Pegasus works by sending an exploit link, and when the target user clicks on the link, a malicious computer program or a software code is installed on the user’s phone which allows to do the surveillance of the user.
  • Once Pegasus is installed, the attacker has full access to the target user’s phone.
  • What can Pegasus do:
  • Pegasus “can retrieve targeted personal data, including passwords, contacts, calendar events, text messages, and live voice calls from popular mobile messaging apps”.
  • The target’s phone camera and microphone can be turned on to capture all activities close to the phone, thus increasing the range of surveillance.
  • Prelims Hot-Link:
  • About Spyware.
  • About Pegasus.
  • Differences between Spyware, Malware and Trojans.
  • Source – https://www.pressreader.com/india/the-hindu/20211113/281792812271367
  1. Lawyers oppose the transfer of Madras HC Chief Justice:


Topic – Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies

  • Why in News:
  • The Lawyers have recently protested against the transfer of the Madras High Court Chief Justice.
  • What is the procedure to appoint judges to the Supreme Court & the High Courts:
  • In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (2) of Article 124 of the Constitution of India,the appointments are made by the President of India.
  • The names are recommended by the Collegium.
  • Eligibility to become a Supreme Court judge:
  • The norms relating to the eligibility has been envisaged in the Article 124 of the Indian Constitution.
  • To become a judge of the Supreme court, an individual should be an Indian citizen.
  • In terms of age, a person should not exceed 65 years of age.
  • The person should serve as a judge of one high court or more (continuously), for at least five years or the person should be an advocate in the High court for at least 10 years or a distinguished jurist.
  • Is the collegium’s recommendation final and binding:
  • The collegium sends its final recommendation to the President of India for approval.
  • The President can either accept it or reject it.
  • In the case it is rejected, the recommendation comes back to the collegium.
  • If the collegium reiterates its recommendation to the President, then he/she is bound by that recommendation.
  • Common criticism made against the Collegium system:
  • Opaqueness and a lack of transparency.
  • Scope for nepotism.
  • Embroilment in public controversies.
  • Overlooks several talented junior judges and advocates.
  • Reforms needed:
  • A transparent and participatory procedure, preferably by an independent broad-based constitutional body guaranteeing judicial primacy but not judicial exclusivity.
  • It should ensure independence, reflect diversity, demonstrate professional competence and integrity.
  • Instead of selecting the number of judges required against a certain number of vacancies, the collegium must provide a panel of possible names to the President to appointment in order of preference and other valid criteria.
  • Prelims Hot-Link:
  • What is Collegium System?
  • How SC judges are appointed and removed?
  • How HC judges are appointed and removed?
  • Constitutional provisions in this regard.
  1. Sunderbans threatened by human activities:


Topic – Conservation related issues:

  • Why in News:
  • As per the latest findings, continuous loss of biodiversity is observed across the shorelines of settlement zones in Indian
  • Issues and challenges:
  • Small patches of mangroves are being lost gradually and quietly due to their indiscriminate destruction for either coastal development or short-term gains.
  • These patches are observed to be enriched habitats of several rare and threatened flora and fauna.
  • The continued loss of shoreline mangrove ecosystems has created fragmented and fragile mangrove habitats for rare taxa and framed barriers to their movement and dispersal.
  • This irreversible loss of biodiversity is often neglected, which could never be compensated with any ‘cut the established and plant the new’ theory.
  • What can be done:
  • The Sunderbans are affected due to the polluted discharges from shrimp ponds.
  • So, instead of popularising shrimp farming, if more indigenous fishing activities were encouraged, coastal threatened biodiversity could be protected and at the same time livelihood options may be provided to the coastal dwellers.
  • About Indian Sundarbans:
  • Covers 4,200 sq. km and includes the Sunderban Tiger Reserve of 2,585 sq. km — home to about 96 royal Bengal tigers (as per the last census in 2020).
  • It is a world heritage site and a Ramsar site (a wetland site designated to be of international importance).
  • It is also home to a large number of “rare and globally threatened species, such as the critically endangered northern river terrapin (Batagur baska), the endangered Irrawaddy dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris), and the vulnerable fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus).”
  • Two of the world’s four horseshoe crab species, and eight of India’s 12 species of kingfisher are also found here. Recent studies claim that the Indian Sundarban is home to 2,626 faunal species and 90% of the country’s mangrove varieties.
  • Prelims Hot-Link:
  • Where are Sundarbans?
  • What are mangroves?
  • Flora and fauna in the regions.
  • Recent cyclones in the Bay of Bengal region.
  • Source – https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/of-swamps-and-viruses-at-the-hindu-lit-for-life/article37463188.ece
  1. About the National Cyber Security Coordinator:

Prelims Specific Topic:

  • In 2014, the Office of the Prime Minister created the position of National Cyber ​​Security Coordinator.
  • The NCSC office works with various agencies at the national level on cyber security issues.


  1. National School of Drama:

Prelims Specific Topic

  • Set up by the Sangeet Natak Akademias one of its constituent units in 1959.
  • In 1975, it became an independent entity and was registered as an autonomous organization under the Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860, fully financed by the Ministry of Culture.
  • National School of Drama organises the Bharat Rang Mahotsav, or the ‘National Theatre Festival’, which it established in 1999.
  • It is the annual theatre festival of National School of Drama (NSD), held in New Delhi.
  • Today, this festival is acknowledged as the largest theatre festival of Asia, dedicated solely to theatre.
  • Source – The Indian Express



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