Mahatma Jyotiba Phule

In News

  • Every year April 11 is celebrated as Jyotiba Phule Jayanti.

Jyotiba Phule

  • Jyotirao ‘Jyotiba’ Govindrao Phule was an Indian writer, social activist, thinker and anti-caste social reformer born in the Satara district of Maharashtra in 1827.
  • He was bestowed with the honorific Mahatma title by Maharashtrian social activist Vithalrao Krishnaji Vandekar in 1888.
  • He is believed to be the first Hindu to start an orphanage for the unfortunate children.

Major Contribution for the Women Empowerment

  • Rehabilitation of Widow’s: Jyotiba realised the bad conditions of widows and established an ashram for young widows and eventually became an advocate of the idea of Widow Remarriage. 
  • Infanticide Prevention: His orphanage was established in an attempt to reduce the rate of infanticide. Along with his longtime friend Sadashiv Ballal Govande and Savitribai, he started an infanticide prevention centre.
  • Women Education: At home he began educating his wife Savitribai and opened a girl’s school in 1848.  No teacher dared to work in a school in which untouchables were admitted as students.
    • In 1851, Jyotiba established a girls’ school and asked his wife to teach the girls in the school. Later, he opened two more schools for the girls and an indigenous school for the lower castes, especially for the Mahars and Mangs. 

Major Contribution for the Rights of Untouchables

  • Jyotirao condemned the orthodox Brahmins and other upper castes and campaigned against the authoritarianism of the upper caste people and urged the “peasants” and “proletariat” to defy the restrictions imposed upon them.
    • In 1868, Jyotirao decided to construct a common bathing tank outside his house to exhibit his embracing attitude towards all human beings and wished to dine with everyone, regardless of their caste.
    • Jyotirao Phule was the first person to coin the term ‘Dalits’ to apply to all people considered lower caste and untouchables by the Brahmins. 
  • Satya Shodhak Samaj: In 1873, Jyotiba Phule formed the Satya Shodhak Samaj (Society of Seekers of Truth) which undertook a systematic deconstruction of existing beliefs and history, only to reconstruct an equality promoting version.
  • He condemned the Vedas, the ancient holy scriptures of the Hindus. He traced the history of Brahmanism through several other ancient texts and held the Brahmins responsible for framing the exploitative and inhuman laws in order to maintain their social superiority by suppressing the “shudras” and “ati shudras” in the society. 
  • The purpose of the Satya Shodhak Samaj was to decontaminate the society from caste discrimination and liberate the oppressed lower-caste people from the stigmas inflicted by the Brahmins. 
  • Membership to the Samaj was open to all irrespective of caste and class. 

Famous Works

  • He wrote well-known books including Gulamgiri (Slavery) and Shetkarayacha Aasud (Cultivator’s Whipcord).
  • He also penned some stories like ‘Tritiya Ratna’‘Brahmananche Kasab’‘Ishara’
  • He wrote dramas like ‘Satsar’ Ank 1 and 2, which were enacted under his directives to spread awareness against social injustice. 
  • He also wrote books for the Satyashodhak Samaj that dealt with the history of Brahminism and outlined Puja protocols that the lower caste people were not allowed to learn.

Recognition of National or State Party

In News

  • Recently, the AAP was given the status of a ‘national party’ by the Election Commission (EC).
    • The EC also revoked the ‘national party’ status of the All India Trinamool Congress, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Communist Party of India (CPI).
    • The Commission also revoked the state party status granted to few other state parties.

What is a National Party?

  • The name suggests that a national party would be one that has a presence ‘nationally’, as opposed to a regional party whose presence is restricted to only a particular state or region.
  • National parties are usually India’s bigger parties, such as the Congress and BJP.
    • However, some smaller parties are also recognised as national parties
  • certain stature is sometimes associated with being a national party, but this does not necessarily translate into having a lot of national political clout.
  • Some parties, despite being dominant in a major state and having a major say in national affairs, remain regional parties.

Criterion for recognition

  • The ECI has laid down the technical criterion for a party to be recognised as a national party. 
  • A party may gain or lose national party status from time to time, depending on the fulfilment of these laid-down conditions.
  • As per the ECI’s Political Parties and Election Symbols, 2019 handbook,
  • A political party would be considered a national party if:
    • It is ‘recognised’ in four or more states; or
    • If its candidates polled at least 6% of total valid votes in any four or more states in the last Lok Sabha or Assembly elections and has at least four MPs in the last Lok Sabha polls; or
    • If it has won at least 2% of the total seats in the Lok Sabha from not less than three states.
  • To be recognised as a state party, a party needs:
    • At least 6% vote-share in the last Assembly election and have at least 2 MLAs; or
    • have 6% vote-share in the last Lok Sabha elections from that state and at least one MP from that state; or
    • At least 3% of the total number of seats or three seats, whichever is more, in the last Assembly elections; or
    • At least one MP for every 25 members or any fraction allotted to the state in the Lok Sabha; or
    • Have at least 8% of the total valid votes in the last Assembly election or Lok Sabha election from the state.

AAP’s current position

  • The AAP is in power with big majorities and very large vote shares
    • In Delhi and Punjab. And in the Goa Assembly elections held in March, it received 6.77% of the vote.
  • State party:
    • This meant that going into the Gujarat-Himachal elections, the party already fulfilled the criteria for recognition as a state party in three states.
      • It now required 6% of the vote in the Assembly elections in either Himachal or Gujarat to be recognised in a fourth state — which would qualify it for recognition as a national party.
    • While the AAP got only 1% of the vote in Himachal, the almost 13% vote it got in Gujarat was more than double required to be recognised as a state party there.
How are Political Parties registered?Political Parties registrations are governed by the provisions of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.According to the EC, any party seeking registration has to submit an application to the Commission within a period of 30 days.Powers conferred by EC under Article 324 of the Constitution of India and Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.Section 29A of RPA, 1951: Indian Citizen, Purpose of contesting elections, & 100 registered electors as its members. There is no procedure available for the de-registration of dormant political parties.Benefits of Political Party RegistrationIt is not mandatory to register with the EC, however, registering has its own benefits like:A registered political party can avail itself of the provisions of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, (relating to registration of political parties).The candidates set up by a political party registered with the EC will get preference in the matter of allotment of free symbols vis-à-vis purely independent candidates. More importantly, these registered political parties, over course of time, can get recognition as a ‘state party’ or a ‘national party’ subject to the fulfilment of the conditions prescribed by the Commission in the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968.As per the rules, if a party is recognised as a ‘state party’, it is entitled for exclusive allotment of its reserved symbol to the candidates set up by it in the state in which it is so recognised. If a party is recognised as a ‘national party’ it is entitled to exclusive allotment of its reserved symbol to the candidates set up by it throughout India. In addition, recognised ‘state’ and ‘national’ parties:need only one proposer for filing the nomination and are also entitled for two sets of electoral rolls free of cost and Broadcast/telecast facilities over state-owned Akashvani/Doordarshan during the general elections.But no travel expenses for star campaigners.

Effect of Rains on Wheat Crop

In News

  • The unusual rise in heat followed by an untimely spell of widespread rain left wheat-growing farmers worried.

Wheat and its cultivation in India 

  • It is Rabi Crop and is the main cereal crop in India.
  • It has wide adaptability. It can be grown not only in the tropical and subtropical zones but also in the temperate zone and the cold tracts of the far north, beyond even the 60-degree north altitude. 
  • It can tolerate severe cold and snow and resume growth with the setting in of warm weather in spring 
  • It is sown in October-December and harvested during April-June.
  • Soil: It is grown in a variety of soils in India.
    • Soils with a clay loam or loam texture, good structure, and moderate water-holding capacity are ideal for wheat cultivation.
  • Wheat-growing states in India:  Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, and Gujarat

Impacts and Concerns Related to recent weather events 

  • According to the IMD, fairly widespread rains along with stormy winds lashed several parts of the major wheat-growing States in the country under the influence of consecutive western disturbances. 
  • Wheat is sensitive to both heat stress and rain/ thunderstorms during the terminal grain filling and ripening period. 
  • When accompanied by high-velocity winds, make the stems prone to “lodging” or bending and even falling flat on the ground.
  • The crop damage scenario also comes against the backdrop of persisting high inflation and food security woes globally amid geopolitical uncertainties.

Governments View

  • The Centre is optimistic that wheat production would be close to 112 MT on account of an increased acreage (area) of wheat and better yield this season, despite a slight production loss due to recent adverse weather conditions.

Way Ahead 

  • A sizable section of farmers asserts that the inclement weather has adversely damaged the standing wheat crop.
  • Moreover, if the country’s wheat production drops below the government estimate it could lead to a hike in prices of wheat and wheat-based products in the domestic market, 
  • Any decline in wheat production can also lead to a potential foodgrain security issue.
  •  If the production is less, then the possibility of market intervention by the government is also quite bleak as its priority would be to maintain the buffer stock.

Preventive Detention

In News

  • The Supreme Court observed in a judgment that preventive detention laws in India are a colonial legacy and confer arbitrary power to the state.

Supreme Court’s recent observation 

  • The judgment described preventive detention laws as “extremely powerful”. 
    • They have the ability to provide the state with unfettered discretion.

Preventive detention

  • It means the detention of a person without trial. It refers to the detention at the will of the executive. 
  • In normal day-to-day life, we come across punitive detention which seeks to punish a person for what he or she has done after a trial in a court of law for the offence committed by him or her.
  •  On the other hand, the objective of preventive detention is to prevent a person from doing something, and the detention in this case takes place on the apprehension that he or she is going to do something prejudicial to the security of the State, public order, maintenance of supplies and services essential to the community, defence, foreign affairs or security of India.
  • The legislative power to enact the law of preventive detention is divided by the Constitution between the Union and the State.


  • Preventive detention looks like an effective tool in the hands of the government to deal with anti-social elements or subversives. 
  • But this provision has often been misused by the government. 
  • Both Central and state governments have abused such legislation, with even the judiciary being unable to effectively limit such abuses as the detention of individuals without cause, and the failure to follow even the minimal protections offered by Article 22 of the Constitution.


  • Article 22(3) of the Constitution provides for preventive detention laws, Article 22(4) contain the following safeguards against abuse of this power:
    • No law providing for preventive detention shall authorise the detention of a person for a longer period than three months. Detention beyond this 3-month period requires clearance from an Advisory Board.
  • The 44th Amendment Act of 1978 has reduced the period of detention without obtaining the opinion of an advisory board from three to two months. However, this provision has not yet been brought into force, hence, the original period of three months still continues.
  • Presently, the following Central legislations which are in force provide for preventive detention:
    • The National Security Act, of 1980.
    • Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act, 1974 [COFFPOSA].
    • Prevention of Black Marketing and Maintenance of Supplies of Essential Commodities Act, 1980.
    •  Prevention of Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1988.


  • There must be greater safeguards so that it may not be misused against people. 
  • The court must analyse cases arising from such laws with extreme caution and excruciating detail, to ensure that there are checks and balances on the power of the government.
  • Judges should ensure that the government has followed every procedure of law while flexing preventive detention powers against individuals.
  • Every lapse in procedure must give rise to a benefit to the case of the detenue.

UN Democracy Fund

In News

  • India, a founding member of UNDEF, has no objections to the Fund giving grants to NGOs funded by George Soros, while he is put on the watchlist in India.

UN Democracy Fund (UNDEF)

  • About:
    • UNDEF was created by UN Secretary-General Kofi A. Annan in 2005 as a United Nations General Trust Fund to support democratization efforts around the world.
    • It was welcomed by the General Assembly in the Outcome Document of the 2005 World Summit.
    • UNDEF subsists entirely on voluntary contributions from Governments.
  • Functions:
    • UNDEF funds projects that empower civil society, promote human rights, and encourage the participation of all groups in democratic processes. 
    • The large majority of UNDEF funds go to local civil society organizations. 
  • Composition:
    • The Advisory Board, constituted by the Secretary General, includes eight largest Member State contributors and six other states to reflect diverse geographical representation.
    • India has been a member of the Board since the beginning.
  • Providing Grants:
    • Ranging from US$100,000 to US$300,000 support initiatives in the areas of:
      • Support for Electoral Processes
      •  Women’s Empowerment
      • Media and Freedom of Information
      • Rule of Law and Human Rights
      • Strengthening Civil Society Interaction with Government
      • Youth Engagement

India’s Contribution to the Fund

  • India and the US were instrumental in the establishment of the UN Democracy Fund in 2005, with India contributing $5 million to the fund in its early years. However, India’s funding for the UNDEF has dwindled since 2012. 

UIDAI – IIT Bombay to Develop Touchless Biometric Capture System

In News

  • Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has joined hands with IIT-Bombay to develop a robust touchless biometric capture system.
  • The touchless biometric capture system, once developed and operational, will allow fingerprint authentication from home alike face authentication. 
  • Biometrics is the measurement and statistical analysis of people’s unique physical characteristics.
About UIDAIIt is a statutory authority established under the provisions of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 (“Aadhaar Act 2016”) in 2016 under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).UIDAI was created to issue Unique Identification numbers (UID), named as “Aadhaar”, to all residents of India. It is responsible for Aadhaar enrolment and authentication, including operation and management of all stages of Aadhaar life cycle, developing the policy, procedure, and system for issuing Aadhaar numbers to individuals and performing authentication and the security of identity information and authentication records of individuals.


  • The new system is expected to capture multiple fingerprints at one go and aid authentication success rate further and will be an addition to the existing facilities available in the Aadhaar ecosystem.
  • The system will use an intelligent combination of signal/image processing and machine learning/deep learning with a common mobile phone available to most citizens with a good user experience. This will be a step forward in making Universal authenticator a reality.
  • The collaboration between UIDAI and IIT Bombay through its National Centre of Excellence in Technology for Internal Security (NCETIS) will lead to joint engagement in research and development (R&D) for development of a system for UIDAI. 


  • The NCETIS is a joint initiative by IIT Bombay and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), under its flagship Digital India Programme. 
  • The NCETIS is aimed at developing indigenous technology solutions for Internal Security forces in broad areas of Electronic System Design and Manufacturing.

State Energy Efficiency Index 2021-22

In News

  • The Ministry of Power has released the State Energy Efficiency Index (SEEI) 2021-22.

More about News

  • There are four categories in the index i.e. Front Runner, Achiever, Contender and Aspirant.
    • Front Runner category (>60 points) It has 5 states – Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Rajasthan and Telangana.
    • Achiever Category (50-60 points)  Assam ,Haryana, Maharashtra, Punjab.
  • The objective of the Index is driving decarbonisation efforts in states and outlining recommendations to help states drive change in energy efficiency, which will contribute towards the fulfilment of SDGs and NDC.

About State Energy Efficiency Index

  • The State Energy Efficiency Index (SEEI) 2021-22 is developed by Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) in association with Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy (AEEE). 
  • SEEI is a tool designed to track Energy Efficiency initiatives in the states and UTs.
  •  It provides insights on focus areas of intervention with respect to state-level policy adoption, effective implementation, and monitoring. 

About  Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE)

  • The Bureau of Energy Efficiency was established under the Energy Conservation Act, 2001 to assist in developing policies and strategies with a thrust on self-regulation and market principles. 
  • The Energy Conservation Act provides for regulatory and promotional functions.
  • HQ: New Delhi

World Homoeopathy Day

In News

  •  World Homoeopathy Day celebrated with the theme Homoeoparivar – Sarvajan Swasthya, One Health, One Family

About World Homoeopathy Day

  • World Homeopathy Day is observed every year on April 10th.
  • This day is celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, who is the founder of homeopathy.

What is Homoeopathy?

  • Homeopathy is a medical system based on the belief that the body can cure itself. 
  • It was developed in the late 1700s in Germany.
  • Homoeopathic medicines are prepared from traces of animal, plant, mineral and other natural substances, by a standard method called dynamisation or potentisation.

Working Principle

  • It is a therapeutic system of medicine premised on the principle, “Similia Similibus Curentur” or ‘let likes be treated by likes’. It is a method of treatment for curing the patient by medicines that possess the power of producing similar symptoms in a healthy human being simulating the natural disease, which it can cure in the diseased person. 

Homoeopathy in India

  • The Government of India has made sustained efforts for growth and development of Homoeopathy and other traditional systems of medicine including Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Sowa Rigpa. (collectively identified by the acronym AYUSH).
  • Homoeopathy was introduced in India when some German missionaries and physicians started distributing homoeopathic medicines amongst local inhabitants. However, Homoeopathy took roots in India in 1839 when Dr. John Martin Honigberger successfully treated Maharaja Ranjit Singh for the paralysis of Vocal Cords. 

Steps taken to promote Homoeopathy system of medicine

  • Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy(CCRH) is an apex research organization under Ministry of AYUSH, which undertakes coordinates, develops, disseminates and promotes scientific research in Homoeopathy  
  • National AYUSH Mission (NAM)-Ministry of AYUSH is implementing the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of National AYUSH Mission (NAM) through States / UTs for promotion and development of AYUSH systems of Medicine including Homoeopathy.
  • National Commission for Homoeopathy under the National Commission for Homoeopathy Act, 2020.
  • Pharmacopoeia Commission for Indian Medicine & Homoeopathy (PCIM&H)
  • National Institute of Homoeopathy (NIH), Kolkata is an Autonomous Institute under this Ministry of AYUSH.

Cyber Surakshit Bharat initiative

In News

  • National e-Governance Division (NeGD)  has organised 35th Chief Information Security Officers (CISO) Deep-Dive training programme Under the Cyber Surakshit Bharat initiative.

What is the Cyber Surakshit Bharat initiative?

  • The Cyber Surakshit Bharat initiative was conceptualised with the mission to spread awareness about cyber-crime and build capacities of Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) and frontline IT officials, across all government departments.
  • It was launched by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) in 2018 in cooperation with National e-Governance Division (NeGD) and various industry partners in India.
  • The CISO training is the first-of-its-kind partnership between the Government and industry consortium under Public Private Partnership (PPP) model.


  • To educate and enable the chief information security officers (CISO)and broader IT community to address the challenge of cyber security.
  • Create awareness on the emerging landscape of cyber threats.
  • Provide in-depth understanding on key activities, new initiatives, challenges and related solutions.
  • Applicable frameworks, guidelines and policies related to the subject.
  • Share best practices to learn from successes and failures.
  • Provide key inputs to take informed decisions on cyber security related issues in their respective functional areas.


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