Daily Current Affairs for 04th July 2022

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Alluri Sitarama Raju

GS Paper 1: Modern Indian History from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.
Important for:
Prelims exam level: Tribal Revolts
Mains exam Level: Not Much

Why in News

The Prime minister is to launch year-long celebrations to remember contributions of Alluri Sitarama Raju
The Story
• Hundred years ago, in August 1922, the forests of the Godavari Agency in Madras Presidency witnessed attacks on three police stations over three continuous days.
• Alluri Sitarama Raju, along with 500 tribals, attacked the police stations of Chintapalli, Krishnadevipeta, and Rajavommangi and walked away with 26 police carbine rifles and 2,500 rounds of ammunition.
About Alluri Sitaram Raju

• Alluri Sitarama Raju (4 July 1897 or 1898 – 7 May 1924) was an Indian revolutionary who waged an armed campaign against British colonial rule in India.
• He believed in armed struggle and fought for the liberation of the tribals.
• He opposed the Madras Forest Act, 1882, which prohibited the tribes from indulging in podu (shift cultivation) and exploited their right to collect minor forest produce.
• He made Adivasi areas of the Visakhapatnam and Godavari districts his home and worked for the education and empowerment of tribal communities.
• He had a deep understanding of the forest terrain and knowledge about the skilful use of tribal war tactics.
• Mustering a force combined of Adivasis, farmers and sympathizers to their cause, he engaged in guerilla campaigns against the British colonial authorities in the border regions of the Madras Presidency.
• He led the Rampa Rebellion which raged from August 1922 to May 1924.
• He mounted raids for seizing arms and ammunitions from police stations in tribal areas.
• The raids were carried out in broad daylight after serving advance notice.
• He was nicknamed “Manyam Veerudu” (Hero of the Jungle) by local villagers for his heroic exploits.
You should know this as well
• Sitarama Raju did not belong to the tribal community but understood the restrictions that the British colonial administration placed on the tribal way of life.
• His life was portrayed by Actor Ram Charan in a recently released movie ‘RRR’.
Rampa Rebellion
• The Rampa Rebellion of 1922, also known as the Manyam Rebellion, was a tribal uprising led by Alluri Sitarama Raju in Godavari Agency of Madras Presidency, British India.
• It began in August 1922 and lasted until the capture and killing of Raju in May 1924.
• The tribal movement was fought against British as a
protest to the 1882 Madras Forest Act in Visakhapatnam.
• As per the Act, tribal people were restricted on the free movement in
the forest areas and prevented them from engaging in their traditional Podu (shifting) cultivation and use of the forest for firewood and toddy.
 Forced labour, embargoes on collecting minor forest produce and bans on tribal agriculture practices led to severe distress among the Koyas of the Godavari Agency area which led to the rebellion.

National Investigating Agency (NIA)

GS Paper 3: Various Security Forces and Agencies and their Mandate.
Important for:
Prelims exam level: NIA
Mains exam Level: Role of NIA in country’s security

Why in News

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has taken over the probe into the June 28 killing of tailor Kanhaiyya Lal (48) in Rajasthan’s Udaipur over a social media post supporting suspended Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Nupur Sharma. Now, the Union Home Ministry has handed over to the agency the investigation of a similarly executed murder of pharmacist Umesh Kolhe (54) at Amravati in Maharashtra on June 21.
About NIA
• The National Investigation Agency (NIA) established under NIA Act, 2008 is the primary counter-terrorist task force of India.
• The agency is empowered to deal with the investigation of terror related crimes across states without special permission from the states under written proclamation from the Ministry of Home Affairs.
• It is a central agency mandated to investigate all the offences affecting the sovereignty, security and integrity of India, friendly relations with foreign states,
• It also investigates the offences under the statutory laws enacted to implement international treaties, agreements, conventions and resolutions of the United Nations, its agencies and other international organisations.
• These include terror acts and their possible links with crimes like smuggling of arms, drugs and fake Indian currency and infiltration from across the borders. The agency has the power to search, seize, arrest and prosecute those involved in such offences.
• Headquartered in Delhi, the NIA has its branches in Hyderabad, Guwahati, Kochi, Lucknow, Mumbai, Kolkata, Raipur, Jammu, Chandigarh, Ranchi, Chennai, Imphal, Bengaluru and Patna.

NIA Act, 2008

• National Investigation Agency (NIA) is a central counter terrorism agency established by the Indian Government under the National Investigative Agency (NIA) Act, 2008.
• The Act makes the NIA the only truly federal agency in the country along the lines of the FBI in the United States and more powerful than the CBI.
• It gives the NIA powers to take suo motu cognizance of terror activities in any part of India and register a case to enter any state without permission from the state government and to investigate and arrest people.

NIA Amendment Act, 2019

• Parliament has passed the National Investigation Agency (Amendment) Bill, 2019.
• The bill enables NIA to additionally investigate offences related to:
o Human trafficking
o Counterfeit currency
o Manufacture or sale of prohibited arms
o Cyber-terrorism
o Offences under the Explosive Substances Act, 1908.
• It also gives NIA officers the power to investigate offences committed outside India. But the NIA’s jurisdiction will be subject to international treaties and domestic laws of other countries.
• Further, the bill also enables the Central government to designate session’s courts as special courts for such trials.

Scheduled offences

• The list includes:
o Explosive Substances Act
o Atomic Energy Act
o Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act
o Anti-Hijacking Act
o Suppression of Unlawful Acts against Safety of Civil Aviation Act
o SAARC Convention (Suppression of Terrorism) Act
o Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against Safety of Maritime Navigation and Fixed Platforms on Continental Shelf Act
o Weapons of Mass Destruction and their Delivery Systems (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Act
o Relevant offences under the Indian Penal Code, Arms Act and the Information Technology Act.
o In September 2020, the Centre empowered the NIA to also probe offences under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act that are connected to terror cases.
How wide is NIA’s jurisdiction?
• The law under which the agency operates extends to the whole of India and also applies to Indian citizens outside the country; persons in the service of the government wherever they are posted; persons on ships and aircraft registered in India wherever they may be; persons who commit a scheduled offence beyond India against the Indian citizen or affecting the interest of India.
How does the NIA take up a probe?
• As per the Act, State governments can refer the cases pertaining to the scheduled offences registered at any police station to the Central government (Union Home Ministry) for NIA investigation.
• After assessing the details made available, the Centre can then direct the agency to take over the case.
• State governments are required to extend all assistance to the NIA. Even when the Central government is of the opinion that a scheduled offence has been committed which is required to be investigated under the Act, it may, Suo motu, direct the agency to take up/over the probe.
• Where the Central government finds that a scheduled offence has been committed at any place outside India to which this Act extends, it can also direct the NIA to register the case and take up investigation.
• While investigating any scheduled offence, the agency can also investigate any other offence which the accused is alleged to have committed if the offence is connected to the scheduled offence.

• The NIA was constituted in the wake of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack in November 2008.
• The agency came into existence on December 31, 2008, and started its functioning in 2009.
• The NIA is a central agency which investigates all offences affecting the sovereignty, security and integrity of India, friendly relations with foreign states, and the offences under the statutory laws enacted to implement international treaties.
• The law under which the agency operates extends to the whole of India and also applies to Indian citizens outside the country.

Ant Chutney

GS Paper 3: Intellectual Property Rights
Important for:
Prelims exam level: GI Tag
Mains exam Level: Not Much

Why in News

In Odisha, scientists are now fine-tuning their research to make a presentation for the geographical indications (GI) registry of Kai Chutney.
Ant Chutney
• Weaver ants are popular in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district among the people, mostly tribals, for the mouth-watering food item that is made out of it – the Kai Chutney.
• This savoury food item, rich in valuable proteins, calcium, zinc, vitamin B-12, iron, magnesium, potassium, sodium, copper, fibre and 18 amino acids, is known to boost the immune system and keep diseases at bay.
How GI tag will help?
• Geographical Indications labels enhance the reputation and value of local products and support local businesses.
• Applied under food category, the GI tag will help develop a structured hygiene protocol in the preparation of Kai chutney for standard wider use.

Back to Basics:

GI Tag:
 A GI is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin.
 Nodal Agency: Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry
 India, as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), enacted the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 w.e.f. September 2003.
 GIs have been defined under the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement.
 GI is granted for a term of 10 years in India.

New pathway to regulate nitrate absorption in plants
GS Paper 3: Achievements of Indians in Science & Technology; Indigenization of Technology and Developing New Technology.
Important for:
Prelims exam level: MADS27 Gene, Nitrogen Cycle, miR444
Mains exam Level: Not Much

Why in News

Researchers led by those from the National Centre of Biological Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Bengaluru (NCBS-TIFR), have found a new pathway that regulates nitrate absorption in plants.

What is MADS27 Gene?

• The gene MADS27 regulates nitrate absorption, root development and stress tolerance,
• It is activated by the micro-RNA, miR444, therefore offers a way to control these properties of the plant.
Effects of MADS27 on plants
The MADS27 transcription factor has a three-pronged effect on the plant.
1. It regulates nitrate absorption by switching “on” proteins involved in this process.
2. It leads to better development of the roots by regulating auxin hormone production and transport.
3. Somewhat surprisingly to the researchers, it helps in the abiotic stress tolerance by keeping the main stress player proteins “on.”
• The micro-RNA ‘miR444’ is specific to monocots.
• When this is not made, its target, MADS27, is produced in higher abundance, and it improves biosynthesis and transport of the hormone auxin, which is key for root development and its branching.


Monocotyledons commonly referred to as monocots are grass and grass-like flowering plants (angiosperms), the seeds of which typically contain only one embryonic leaf.
Examples of monocots are – Rice, corn, banana, sugarcane and wheat.

Importance of Nitrogen for plants
• Nitrogen is one of the most important macronutrients needed for development of a plant.
• It is a part of chlorophyll, amino acids and nucleic acids, among others.
• It is mostly sourced from the soil where it is mainly absorbed in the form of nitrates and ammonium by the roots.
• Nitrates also play a role in controlling genome-wide gene expression that in turn regulates root system architecture, flowering time, leaf development, etc.
• A lot of action takes place in the roots to absorb and convert nitrogen into useful nitrates, the absorbed nitrates in turn regulate plant development apart from being useful as a macronutrient.
Operation Narcos

GS Paper 3: Various security agencies and their mandates;

Important for:
Prelims exam level: Narcos, NDPS Act;
Mains exam level: Menace of NDPS;

Why in news
RPF recovers narcotics products valued over Rs.7.40 Crore during June 2022
About Narcos
● Railway Protection Force as one of the laws enforcing agency has gained prominence in recent times. RPF has been empowered to conduct search, seizure and arrest under NDPS Act since April 2019 and has been actively participating in the efforts of the Government to restrict this illegal trade.
● In order to bring attention to the menace of NDPS (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances), a month-long pan India drive against smuggling of narcotics through rail, was launched under code name Operation “NARCOS” in the month of June-2022.
● RPF intensified its checks in trains and identified black spots across the country in coordination with NCB and other law enforcement agencies to target drug peddlers involved in this illegal trade.
● In the month of June 2022, RPF recovered various narcotics products including designer products valued Rs.7, 40, 77,126/- and within its own domain arrested 165 persons who were carrying NDPS and handed them over to the concerned Law Enforcement Agencies for onward legal action.
● Indian Railways plays a leading role in transportation of passengers and goods and has the widest network in India, which is why long-distance trains are often used by offenders to smuggle the NDPS into different states disguising drug carriers as common passengers.
● it becomes very challenging for the security agencies to stop this flow and prevent railways from becoming a conduit of illegal transportation of NDPS.
● Under this operation RPF has performed excellently against the carriers/transporters of Narcotics products through Indian Railways.

What is the NDPS Act?

The NDPS Act prohibits a person from the production/manufacturing/cultivation, possession, sale, purchasing, transport, storage, and/or consumption of any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance.
● Initially enacted in 1985, the Act was amended three times in 1988, 2001 and 2014.
● According to the Act, narcotic drugs include coca leaf, cannabis (hemp), opium, and poppy straw; and psychotropic substances include any natural or synthetic material or any salt or preparation protected by the Psychotropic Substances Convention of 1971.
● A psychotropic drug includes any natural or synthetic material or any salt or preparation protected by the Psychotropic Substances Convention of 1971.
● The penalties under this Act are severe considering the consequences of drug abuse and its trafficking.
○ The offences under the Act attract jail terms ranging from one year to 20 years and fine depending on the crime.
○ Under the Act, abetment, criminal conspiracy and even attempts to commit an offence attract the same punishment as the offence itself.
○ Preparation to commit an offence attracts half the penalty.
○ Repeat offences attract one and a half times the penalty and, in some cases, the death penalty.
● The Narcotics Control Bureau was constituted in 1986 under the provisions of the NDPS Act.
○ The NCB is a nodal agency that is responsible for coordination with various ministries, other offices & State/Central enforcement agencies with regard to drug law enforcement and also in respect of matters relating to drug abuse.
● Under the Act, property acquired by a person from drug-related offences, who has been convicted under the Act can be seized, frozen and forfeited by the government.
● All the offences under the NDPS Act are non-bailable.
● Also, no relief can be sought by the drug convicts by termination, remission, and commutation of sentences passed.
Recent amendment in NDPS Act
● The NDPS (AMENDMENT) ACT, 2021 replace an ordinance promulgated earlier this year (2021) to correct a drafting error in a 2014 amendment to the Act.
○ Before the 2014 amendment, clause (viii-a) of Section 2 contained sub-clauses (i) to (v), which defined the term “illicit traffic”.
● In 2014, the Act was amended and the clause number of the definition for such illicit activities was changed.
○ However, the section (27A) on penalty for financing these illicit activities was not amended and continued to refer to the earlier clause number of the definition.
● The ordinance amended the section on penalty to change the reference to the new clause number.
○ In a recent judgement, Tripura High Court has held that ‘until the appropriate legislative change occurs by amending Section 27A of the NDPS Act appropriately, sub-clauses (i) to (v) of clause (viii-a) of Section 2 of the NDPS Act shall suffer effect of deletion.

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