GDP contracts 7.5% in second quarter Paper: 

Mains: G.S. III Indian Economy

Why in news?

Following the record 23.9% decline in the first quarter, India’s GDP contracted 7.5% in the second quarter of 2020-21 as per estimates released by NSO.

Key details

  • The country has now entered a technical recession with two successive quarters of negative growth.
  • However, the economy’s performance between July and September when lockdown restrictions were eased is better than most rating agencies and analysts anticipated.
  • The most common definition of recession used in the media is a ‘technical recession‘ in which there have been two consecutive quarters of negative growth in real GDP.
  • Electricity, gas and other utility services saw 4.4% growth in the second quarter from a 7% contraction in quarter1.
  • We should remain optimistic as the economic impact is primarily due to the pandemic.
  • The sustainability of the recovery depends critically on the spread of pandemic. There could be neither too much exuberance nor excessive pessimism.
  • Finance Minister had earlier suggested that the economy could record near zero growth in 2020-21.

Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope Paper: 

Mains: G.S. III Science & Technology

Why in news?

GMRT has been selected as a milestone facility by the U.S. based Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers(IEEE), which is the world’s largest technical professional organisation.

Key details 

  • GMRT is an array of thirty fully steerable parabolic radio telescopes of 45 metre diameter. It is operated by the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research.
  • GMRT is an indigenous project. Its design is based on the `SMART’ concept – for Stretch Mesh Attached to Rope Trusses.
  • It functions at the metre wavelength part of the radio spectrum because man-made radio interference is considerably lower in this part of the spectrum in India and there are many outstanding astrophysics problems which are best studied at metre wavelengths.
  • The location for GMRT, Pune meets several important criteria such as low man-made radio noise, availability of good communication, vicinity of industrial, educational and other infrastructure and,a geographical latitude sufficiently north of the geomagnetic equator in order to have a reasonably quiet ionosphere and yet be able to observe a good part of the southern sky as well.

Lingayats Paper:

Mains: G.S. I, II Indian Culture and Society, Social Justice

Why in news?

Karnataka cabinet deferred a decision on recommending to the centre inclusion of the Veershaiva-Lingayat community in the union list of OBC. 

Key details

  • Lingayat has always been classified under Hindus ever since the first official census in India in 1871 census and that Lingayat is considered as a religious sect of Hindu.
  • The term Lingayat denotes a person who wears a personal linga, an iconic form of god Shiva, on the body which is received during the initiation ceremony.
  • Lingayats are the followers of the 12th-century social reformer-philosopher poet, Basaveshwara.
  • Basaveshwara was against the caste system and Vedic rituals.
  • The Lingayats are strict monotheists. They enjoin the worship of only one God, namely, Linga (Shiva).
  • The word ‘Linga’ does not mean Linga established in temples, but universal consciousness qualified by the universal energy (Shakti).
  • Lingayats had been classified as a Hindu subcaste called “Veerashaiva Lingayats” and they are considered to be Shaivites.


Sea sparkle has affected marine food chain: CMFRI Paper:

Mains: G.S. III Environment and Ecology

Why in news?

The bloom of Noctiluca Scintillans, commonly known as sea sparkle has displaced microscopic algae called diatoms, which form the basis of marine food chain.

Key details

  • Noctiluca scintillans is commonly known as the sea sparkle.
  • It is a free-living, nonparasitic, marine-dwelling species of dinoflagellate that exhibits bioluminescence when disturbed (popularly known as mareel).
  • Scintillans populations can exhibit high concentrations due to high concentrations of the plankton on which they feed.
  • These are bioluminescent which brightens the sea water during night.

  • Scintilillans are linked to massive fish and invertebrate kills. Though the species themselves does not produce any toxin, it was found to accumulate toxic levels of ammonia, possibly acting as the killing agent.
  • Earlier, the increase in algal patches was linked to coastal pollution from major Indian cities along west coast. But later it is found that it is the consequence of global warming and not industrial pollution, according to a year-long investigation by Indian and American scientists.

Protect right of ordinary people to bail, SC tells judges Paper:

Mains: G.S. II Indian Polity and Constitution

Why in news? 

The SC gave a clarion call to judges to protect personal liberty and the right of ordinary people to bail, saying liberty is not a gift for the few.

Key details

  • On the top court’s recent decision to grant bail to Republic TV Editor-in-chief in an abetment to suicide case, the judgement said that prima facie, the FIR against Mr. Goswami did not establish the charges against him.
  • It is through the instrumentality of bail that our criminal justice system’s primordial interest in preserving presumption of innocence finds it’s most useful expression.
  • The state should not be allowed to use criminal law as a ruse to harass citizens.
  • Courts are the first line of defence against the deprivation of citizens’ personal liberty.
  • But reality showed that undertrials remained behind bars while their bail applications were lobbed from one rung of courts to another.
  • Bail is the conditional/provisional release of a person held under legal custody (in matters which are yet to be pronounced by the Court), by undertaking a promise to appear in the Court as and when required. It signifies a security/collateral deposited before the Court for release.
  • The term bail has not been defined in the Criminal Procedure Code, nevertheless, the word has been used in the Cr.P.C. several times and remains one of the most vital concepts of the criminal justice system in consonance with the fundamental principles enshrined in Parts III and IV of the Constitution along with the protection of human rights as prescribed under international treaties/covenants.