Tribal revolts that President Murmu invoked in her inaugural speech
GS Paper 1: The Freedom Struggle — its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country.
Prelims exam: Tribal Revolts
Why in News
Addressing the nation after being sworn-in, President Murmu spoke about her journey from a small tribal village in Odisha to the Rashtrapati Bhavan. She also invoked four tribal revolutions that she said had strengthened tribal contribution to the freedom struggle.
• On June 30, 1855, over 10,000 Santhals were mobilised by their leaders — Kanho Murmu, Chand Murmu, Bhairab Murmu and Sidho Murmu – to revolt against the East India Company over oppression by revenue officials, zamindars, and corrupt moneylenders.\
• The seeds of the protracted rebellion, however, were sown in 1832 where the East India Company created Damin-i-koh region in the forested belt of Rajmahal hills, and invited the Santhals to settle there. Over the years, Santhals found themselves at the receiving end of exploitative practices aided by the British.
• The British defeated the Santhals using modern firearms and war elephants in decisive action in which both Sidho and Kanho died.
• In several recent descriptions, the 1817 Paika Rebellion in Odisha’s Khurda is referred to as the “original” first war of Indian Independence.
• That year, the Paikas (a class of military retainers traditionally recruited by the kings of Odisha) revolted against the British colonial rulers mainly over being dispossessed of their land holdings.
• For Paikas, who were into rendering martial services in return for hereditary rent-free land (nish-kar jagirs) and titles, this disruption meant losing both their estates and social standing.
• The trigger for the revolt came as some 400 Kondhs descended from the Ghumusar area to rise against the British.
• Bakshi Jagabandhu, Bidyadhar Mohapatra and Bharamarbar Rai the highest-ranking military general of the banished Khurda king, led an army of Paikas to join the uprising of the Kondhs.
• The Kols, tribal people from the Chhota Nagpur area, rose in revolt against the colonial officials and private money-lenders in 1831.
• The trigger here too was gradual takeover of tribal land and property by non-tribal settlers who were aided by new land laws.
• The simmering discontent over economic exploitation of the original inhabitants, led to an uprising led by Buddhu Bhagat, Joa Bhagat and Madara Mahato among others.
• The Kols were joined by other tribes like the Hos, Mundas and Oraons.
• The uprising spread to areas like Ranchi, Hazaribagh, Palamau, Manbhum
• After the British intruded into the Bhil territory in Maharashtra’s Khandesh region, the tribals pushed back fearing exploitation under the new regime in 1818.
• The revolt was led by their leader, Sewaram and was brutally crushed using the British military might.
• This uprising again erupted in 1825 as the Bhils sought to take advantage of reverses being suffered by the British in the first Anglo-Burmese war.
GS Paper 2: Effect of Policies and Politics of Developed and Developing Countries on India’s interests, Indian Diaspora.
Prelims exam: Arab Spring, various revolutions related to it
Mains exam: Arab spring and its impact on India
• Arab Spring, wave of pro-democracy protests and uprisings that took place in the Middle East and North Africa beginning in 2010 and 2011, challenging some of the region’s entrenched authoritarian regimes.
• The wave began when protests in Tunisia and Egypt toppled their regimes in quick succession, inspiring similar attempts in other Arab countries.
• Not every country saw success in the protest movement, however, and demonstrators expressing their political and economic grievances were often met with violent crackdowns by their countries’ security forces.
Origins of the Arab Spring
• In December 2010, Tunisian street vendor Mohammed Bouazizi set himself on fire to protest the arbitrary seizing of his vegetables by the police. They did so as Mohammed had failed to obtain a permit. This act served as a catalyst for the now famous Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia.
• It led to street protests in the capital of Tunisia and quickly spread throughout the country.
• Activists in other nations took cue from the events in Tunisia. Inspired by the first parliamentary democratic elections in October 2011 that took place in Tunisia, they began protests of their own.
Events of the Arab Spring
Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia
• A street vendor immolated himself against mistreatment of local officials.
• Protests followed throughout the country.
• President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali fled the country.
• Later, a democratically chosen President and Prime Minister took office.
January 25 Revolution in Egypt
• Young Egyptians protested through social media following Tunisian protests.
• Egyptian army refused to use force against protesters.
• President Hosni Mubarak left office
• Military enjoyed a high public approval in the interim before a new government.
• Encouraged by Tunisian and Egyptian protests, Yemen, Syria, Bahrain and Libya held demonstrations. Unlike Tunisian and Egyptian, the struggles between opposition and ruling regimes turned bloody and violent.
Implications for India
• India has longstanding historical and cultural relations with the West Asian region.
• For India, in particular, West Asia is a significantly important region.
• People-to-people contacts have existed between India and West Asia for centuries.
• India has been a supporter of the Palestinian cause and has demanded a comprehensive relationship with the
Palestinian state and the people.
• Any development in the region has direct implications for India. There are nearly 6.5 million Indians living and working in the West Asian region.
• According to a World Bank report India received US $ 70 billion in remittances during 2012 and a majority of the remittances came from the region.
• In addition, India’s total trade with West Asia in the year 2012-13 stands at US$ 205.71 billion.
• The region is also vital for India’s energy security. Nearly two-thirds of our hydrocarbon imports are from this region.
India’s space industry looking for private sector investment
GS Paper 3: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, Robotics, Nano-technology, Bio-technology and issues relating to Intellectual Property Rights.
Prelims exam: IN-SPACe, NSIL
Mains exam: Need of private investment in India’s space sector
Principal Scientific Adviser stated earlier this month that the government would soon come up with a new space policy that could initiate the rise of India’s own “SpaceX-like ventures”.
Why private sector investment is needed?
India has not tapped into its complete potential in this sector. “In 2022, the space sector is witnessing what the information technology sector experienced in the 1990s.
Why is development in the space sector important?
• Enhancing space technology would be beneficial to bolster connectivity and combat climate-related implications through a more secure and effective means.
• Satellites provide more accurate information on weather forecasts and assess and record long-term trends in the climate and habitability of a region.
o For example, by monitoring the long-term impact of climate change at regional, territorial, and national scales, governments would be able to devise more pragmatic and combative plans of action for farmers and dependent industries.
• They can also serve as real-time monitoring and early-warning solutions against natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, wildfires, mining etc. Real-time tracking can also serve multiple purposes in defence.
• As for connectivity, satellite communication can reach more remote areas where conventional networks would require a heavy complimenting infrastructure.
• The World Economic Forum had stated that satellite communication can help connect 49% of the world’s unconnected population.
• Satellite communications, which are used to facilitate telecommunication services, are among the major categories for investment in the space technology sector.
Where does India stand in the global space market?
• As per SpaceTech Analytics, India is the sixth-largest player in the industry internationally having 3.6% of the world’s space-tech companies (as of 2021). U.S. holds the leader’s spot in the space-tech ecosystem.
• The Indian Space Industry was valued at $7 billion in 2019 and aspires to grow to $50 billion by 2024. The country’s standout feature is its cost-effectiveness.
• India holds the distinction of being the first country to have reached the Mars’ orbit in its first attempt and at $75 million — way cheaper than Western standards.
• Most companies in the sector, globally, are involved in manufacture of spacecraft equipment and satellite communications.
• The Union Minister of State for Science and Technology had stated earlier this month that of the 60-odd start-ups that had registered with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), a majority of them were dealing in projects related to space debris management.
o As space becomes more congested with satellites, the technology would thus help in managing ‘space junk’ (debris of old spacecraft and satellites).
• India’s total budgetary allocation for FY2022-23 towards the Department of Space was ₹13,700 crore. Further, as per data, funding into the sector’s start-ups in India nearly tripled on a year-over-year basis in 2021.
How is the private sector’s involvement regulated in India?
• In June 2020, the Union government announced reforms in the space sector enabling more private players to provide end-to-end services.
• An announcement for the establishment of the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) was made.
• It was mandated the task of promoting, authorising and licensing private players to carry out space activities.
• Additionally, constituted in March 2019, NewSpace India Ltd (NSIL), is mandated to transfer the matured technologies developed by the ISRO to Indian industries.
• All of them are under the purview of the Ministry of Defence.
What essentially needs to be remembered is that the space avenue is an integration of the aerospace, IT hardware and telecom sectors. It is thus argued that investment in this arena would foster positive carryover effects to other sectors as well.
NITI Aayog’s plan for Digital Banks
GS Paper 3: Indian Economy
Prelims exam: Digital Banks, Neo Banks, Challenger Banks, Digital Bank vs Digital Bank Units etc
Mains exam: Financial Inclusion
NITI Aayog released a report on digital banks, offering a template for their licensing in India. It said India already has a technology stack to facilitate digital banks.
What are the planned Digital Banks?
• Digital Banks or DBs are full-scale banks to be licensed under the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.
• Unlike traditional banks, which require brick-and-mortar infrastructure (physical infra), digital banks simply leverage technology to provide banking services through mobile applications and internet-based platforms.
• DBs behave like any other scheduled commercial bank, accepting deposits, giving loans etc.
• They will follow prudential and liquidity norms at par with the commercial banks.
• Globally, terms like “digital banks”, “neobanks”, “challenger banks”, and “virtual banks” are often used
What purpose will digital banks serve?
• Digital banks are expected to further innovation and support the underserved segments.
• However, some believe that it will only cater to customers with some level of comfort with digital transactions.
• According to them, RBI too is not comfortable with this model as the central bank believes that cash handling and credit decisions require physical branches.
What has the NITI Aayog suggested for Digital Banks?
• In the first phase, a restricted digital bank licence may be given, with limits in terms of volume/value of customers. In the second stage, the licensee will be put in a regulatory sandbox.
• Finally, a ‘full-scale’ licence may be granted contingent on satisfactory performance.
• A digital bank will be required to have initial capital of ₹20 crore while in the regulatory sandbox.
• Upon progression from the sandbox, a full-stack digital business/consumer bank will be required to bring in ₹200 crore capital.
Digital Banking Units
• A digital banking unit is a specialised fixed point business unit or hub housing certain minimum digital infrastructure for delivering digital banking products and services as well as servicing existing financial products and services digitally in self-service mode at any time.
• Commercial banks (other than regional rural banks, payment banks and local area banks) with past digital banking experience are permitted to open DBUs in tier 1 to tier 6 centres.
• These units do not have a legal personality and are not licensed under the Banking Regulation Act.
• Each DBU must offer certain minimum digital banking products and services.
o The services include savings bank accounts under various schemes, current accounts, fixed deposits and recurring deposit accounts, digital kit for customers, mobile banking, Internet banking, debit cards, credit cards, and mass transit system cards, digital kit for merchants, UPI QR code, BHIM Aadhaar and point of sale (PoS).
o Other services include MSME or schematic loans.
Digital Banks vs Digital Bank units
• Digital Banks are distinct from Digital Banking Units.
• Since DBUs and Digital Banks are similar constructs, for the sake of abundant clarity and to distinguish the proposal advanced in this Report from DBUs, this section will underline the key differences between the two:
o Balance Sheet/Legal Personality:
DBUs DO NOT have legal personality and ARE NOT licensed under Banking Regulation Act, 1949.
Legally, they are equivalent to “banking outlets” i.e., branches.
Digital Banks will have a balance sheet and legal personality & are proposed to be duly licensed banks under Banking Regulation Act.
o Level of Innovation/Competition:
DBUs improve existing channel architecture by offering regulatory recognition to digital channel. However, they are silent on competition. The DBU guidelines expressly state that only existing commercial banks may establish DBUs.
In contrast, a licensing and regulatory framework for Digital banks as proposed here, is more enabling along competition/innovation dimensions