Daily Current Affairs for 1st September 2020

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GDP falls 23.9% in first quarter


Mains: General Studies-III: Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management

Why in News?

The Indian economy saw its worst contraction in decades, with Gross Domestic Product (GDP) shrinking by a record 23.9% in the April to June quarter in comparison to the same period last year, according to data released by the National Statistical Office.

Key Details:

  • It is for the first time in 40 years when the GDP registered negative growth.
  • According to data released, the construction activity halved in first quarter, the manufacturing sector had a freefall. 
  • Gross Value Added (GVA) which is GDP minus net product taxes and reflects the income side of national accounts of mining shrank 23.3 per cent; manufacturing 39.3 per cent; and construction fell 50.3 per cent.
  • All sectors except agriculture shrank in the first quarter.
  • Agri GVA rose 3.4 per cent.
  • While private consumption expenditure fell on-year, the government expenditure rose significantly. Private final consumption expenditure(PFCE) stood at 54.3 per cent of GDP, compared to 56.4 per cent last year
  • With the latest data, there will be more clarity to assess the severity of the damage done to the economy by the coronavirus pandemic and how to look after the economic revival in the coming quarters.
  • The first quarter saw an unprecedented closure of shops, markets, and industries, which forced the wheels of the economy to a
  • Except for agriculture, almost all the corners of the economy were severely hit.

Key issues

  • Contraction in the GDP is due to the impact of severe lockdown, which put a halt on almost all the economic activities along with the trend of slowdown in the economy Pre covid times.
  • There is no demand in the economy by the people as it is the most prudent factor of the GDP.
  • As of the day is falling short of revenue, it also cannot do expenditure heavily to boost the demand.
  • All sectors of the economy, be it construction, trade, hotels, transportation, communication has faced contraction.
  • Data released by the NSO is estimated on limited indicators mostly from formal sector, if it were to use the data from the informal sector which is three-fourths of the economy also, then these numbers can get much worst as informal sector has faced the highest heat of lockdown and earlier of demonetization.

Key Statistics:

  • On the expenditure side, private consumption fell by around 27%.
  • Investments has dipped by 47%.
  • Exports contracted almost 20%.
  • expenditure grew by around 17%.

Cause of concern

Govt. has so far focussed on supply side only, unless they are willing to spur the demand side and put money directly into the hands of people, situations will remain dire.

Key Terms:

GDP: GDP is the market value of final goods and services produced within the territory of the country over a period of time. It does not include care activities, intermediate goods, transfer payments. GDP is released by the NSO.

Government final consumption expenditure (GFCE):  is an aggregate transaction amount on a country’s national income accounts representing government expenditure on goods and services that are used for the direct satisfaction of individual needs (individual consumption) or collective needs of members of the community (collective consumption).

The Private final consumption expenditure (PFCE) is defined as the expenditure incurred by the resident households and non-profit institutions serving households (NPISH) on final consumption of goods and services, whether made within or outside the economic territory.

What is Gross Value Added (GVA)?

  • In 2015, in the wake of a comprehensive review of its approach to GDP measurement, India opted to make major changes to its compilation of national accounts and bring the whole process into conformity with the United Nations System of National Accounts (SNA) of 2008.
  • As per the SNA, gross value added gives the rupee value of goods and services produced in the economy after deducting the cost of inputs and raw materials used.
  • GVA can be described as the main entry on the income side of the nation’s accounting balance sheet, and from an economics perspective represents the supply side.

SC imposes rupee 1 fine on Bhushan for contempt


General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations.

Why in News?

The Supreme Court imposed a token fine of Re 1 on advocate Prashant Bhushan, whom it had held guilty of criminal contempt over two tweets.

Key details:

  • The Apex Court Said that, it could have imposed a harsher punishment, but it was “showing magnanimity”.
  • The Court asked to deposit the fine with the Supreme Court registry by September 15, “failing which he shall undergo a simple imprisonment for a period of three months and… be debarred from practising in this Court for a period of three years.
  • The Bench, also comprising Justices BR Gavai and Krishna Murari, said freedom of speech cannot be curtailed but rights of others need to be respected.

What is contempt of court?

  • Contempt of court is the offence of being disobedient to or disrespectful towards a court of law.
  • Being disrespectful to legal authorities in the courtroom, or wilfully failing to obey a court order may attract Contempt of Court proceedings.
  • A judge may impose sanctions such as a fine or jail for someone found guilty of contempt of court.

Constitutional provisions

  • Article 129 of Indian Constitution: Supreme Court to be a court of record.
  • The Supreme Court shall be a court of record and shall have all the powers of such a court including the power to punish for contempt of itself.

Court Cases connected with Contempt of Court in India

  • In Duda P.N. v. Shivshankar, P., the Supreme Court observed that the contempt jurisdiction should not be used by Judges to uphold their own dignity. In the free market places of ideas, criticism about the judicial system or the Judges should be welcomed, so long as criticisms do not impair or hamper the “administration of justice”.
  • In Arundhati Roy, the Supreme Court observed that a fair criticism of the conduct of a Judge, the institution of the judiciary and its functioning may not amount to contempt if made in good faith and in public interest.

Way Ahead:

  • Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution gives the right of freedom of speech and expression to all citizens.
  • Articles 129 and 215 give the power of contempt of court to the higher judiciary, and this power limits the freedom granted by Article 19(1)(a).
  • Surely an enforced silence, in the name of preserving the dignity of the judiciary, would cause resentment, suspicion and contempt, more than it would enhance respect.
  • In a democracy, the people should have the right to criticize judges. The purpose of the contempt power should not be to uphold the majesty and dignity of the court but only to enable it to function.
  • The right of the citizens to free speech and expression under Article 19(1)(a) should be treated as primary, and the power of contempt should be subordinate.

Renati Chola era inscription unearthed

General Studies-I:

Paper: Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society.

Why in News:

A rare inscription dating back to the Renati Chola era has been unearthed in a remote village of Kadapa district that has kindled interest among the fraternity of archaeology and history.

Key Details:

  • The inscription was written in archaic Telugu which was readable in 25 lines, the first side with eleven lines and the remaining on the other side.
  • It belongs to the 8th Century A.D., when the region was under the rule of Chola Maharaja of Renadu.
  • The inscription indicates that the priority was given to morality in those days.

The Telugu Cholas or Telugu Cholas ruled parts of present-day Andhra Pradesh between the sixth and the thirteenth century. They were categorized according to their geographical location.

  • Telugu Cholas of Velanadu (Velanati Chola) were one of the Telugu Chola families. Velanadu is located in the modern Guntur district.
  • The Telugu Cholas of Renadu (also called as Renati Cholas) ruled over Renadu region, the present day Cuddapah district. They were originally independent, later forced to the suzerainty of the Eastern Chalukyas.
  • Telugu Cholas of Pottapi ruled the Cuddapah region after the fall of the Renati Cholas. Now Pottapi is a Gram Panchayat of Nandalur mandal of Kadapa district.
  • The Konidena Cholas were also a branch of the Renadu Cholas. Their capital was Konidena (also called as Kotyadona) near Narasaraopeta in the Guntur district.
  • Nannuru Cholas were another branch of Telugu Cholas in the region of Pakanadu. The famous Telugu Poet Kaviraja SikhamaniNanne Choda belonged to this family.

The Renati Chola era

  • The Telugu Cholas of Renadu (also called as Renati Cholas) ruled over Renadu region, the present day Cuddapah district.
  • They were originally independent, later forced to the suzerainty of the Eastern Chalukyas

They had the unique honour of using the Telugu language in their inscriptions belonging to the 6th and 8th centuries.

  • Nandivarman (500 AD) claimed descent from the family of Karikala and the Kasyapa gotra.
  • He had three sons Simhavishnu, Sundarananda and Dhananjaya, all of whom were ruling different territories simultaneously.
  • Dhananjaya is described as Erigal-mutturaju and as ruling Renadu.
  • In the first half of the seventh century, we find Punyakumara, a descendant of Nandivarman, ruling over Renadu and Hiranyarashtra. He too bears the title Erikal-mutturaju.

Former President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, passed away


Preliminary Examination: Current events of national and international importance.

Why in News:

  • Former President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, passed away after developing a lung infection.
  • He had also tested COVID­19 positive.


  • He thrice served as the Commerce Minister of India
  • He was credited with being an early reformer of the Indian economy.
  • He implemented many tax reforms. He scraped fringe benefits tax, commodities transaction tax. He implemented GST during his tenure.
  • He was appointed as the External Affairs Minster of India in 1995. Under his leadership, India was made ‘Full Dialogue Partner” of ASEAN as part of the LOOK EAST foreign policy.
  • He oversaw the successful signing of the U.S.-India Civil Nuclear Agreement with the U.S. government and then with the Nuclear Suppliers Group, allowing India to participate in civilian nuclear trade in spite of not having signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
  • He played a crucial role in mobilising world opinion against Pakistan after the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
  • He expanded funding for several social sector schemes including Jawahar Lal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission. He also supported Budget increases for improving literacy and healthcare.
  • He became the 13th President of India in 2012
  • Bharat Ratna: In 2018, the Government of India announced the Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award of the country, for him.

Naga groups seek accord review

General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations.

Why in News?

  • The Working Committee of the Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) has sought a review of the Framework Agreement (FA) the Centre had signed with the rival Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland, or NSCN (I-M), in August 2015.
  • The NNPGs comprise seven rival factions of the NSCN (I-M) and older armed groups.


2015 Framework Agreement on the Naga issue: The framework agreement was signed in August 2015, after NSCN-IM agreed on a settlement within the Indian federation with a “special status.”

Key Findings of the Report

  • Under the report the Nagas had reached a common understanding with the government that boundaries of the States will not be touched.
  • Initially, the Nagas had stuck to the idea of unification of Naga inhabited areas resolutely maintaining their stand of ‘no integration, no solution.’
  • The NSCN-IM has been fighting for ‘Greater Nagaland’ or Nagalim – it wants to extend Nagaland’s borders by including Naga-dominated areas in neighbouring Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, to unite 1.2 million Nagas.

Peace Initiatives

  • Shillong Accord (1975): A peace accord was signed in Shillong in which the NNC leadership agreed to give up arms.
  • However, several leaders refused to accept the agreement, which led to the split of NNC.
  • Ceasefire Agreement (1997): The NSCN-IM signed a ceasefire agreement with the government to stop attacks on Indian armed forces. In return, the government would stop all counter-insurgency offensive operations.
  • Framework Agreement (2015): In this agreement, the Government of India recognised the unique history, culture and position of the Nagas and their sentiments and aspirations.
  • Recently, the State government decided to prepare the Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland but later due to pressure from various fractions, the decision was put on hold.

Historical Background

  • The British annexed Assam in 1826, and in 1881, the Naga Hills too became part of British India.
  • In 1946 the Naga National Council (NNC) was formed, which declared Nagaland an independent state on August 14, 1947.
  • The NNC resolved to establish a sovereign Naga state and conducted a referendum in 1951, in which 99% people supported an independent Nagaland.
  • In March 1952, the underground Naga Federal Government (NFG) and the Naga Federal Army (NFA) was formed.
  • The Government of India sent in the Army to crush the insurgency and, in 1958, enacted the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act.
  • In November 1975, the government got a section of NNC leaders to sign the Shillong Accord, under which the section of NNC and NFG agreed to give up arms.
  • A group of about 140 members led by Thuingaleng Muivah, who was in China at that time, refused to accept the Shillong Accord, and formed the National Socialist Council of Nagaland in 1980.
  • In 1988, the NSCN split into NSCN (IM) and NSCN (K).

Constitutional Provision:

Article 371A: The Acts of Parliament relating to the following matters would not apply to Nagaland unless decided by the State Legislative Assembly:

  • Religious or social practices of the Nagas
  • Naga customary law and procedure
  • Administration of civil and criminal justice involving decisions according to Naga customary law
  • Ownership and transfer of land and its resources.

The Governor of Nagaland shall have special responsibility for law and order in the state so long as internal disturbances caused by the hostile Nagas continue.

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