Daily Current Affairs for 3rd November 2022

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Pahari community

GS PAPER 2: Polity

Important for

Prelims Exam: Tribes in states

Mains Exam: Is inclusion of Tribes in Schedule Tribe criteria needs overhauling?

Why in News?

The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) has now cleared the way for the inclusion of the ‘Pahari ethnic group’ on the Scheduled Tribes list of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

Key Points

  • The Paharis were given a 4 percent quota in the OBC category from January 2020.
  • The Centre formed the Justice Sharma Commission on inclusion of Paharias.
  • The NCST supports the proposal on the basis of the recommendation of the Office of the Registrar General of India.
  • 40 percent of the population in the border districts are Gujjar and Bakerwal, and Paharia lives in a few numbers.
  • The Gujjar’s and Bakerwals community were getting ST benefits since 1991.
  • The delimitation commission has reserved six of the nine Assembly segments in the Pir Panjal Valley for STs.

National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST)

NCST was established by amending Article 338 and inserting a new Article 338A in the Constitution through the Constitution (89th Amendment) Act, 2003.

By this amendment, the erstwhile National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes was replaced by two separate Commissions namely-

(i) the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC), and

(ii) the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST).


  • The term of office of Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and each member is three years from the date of assumption of charge.
  • The Chairperson has been given the rank of Union Cabinet Minister and the Vice-Chairperson that of a Minister of State and other Members have the ranks of a Secretary to the Government of India.
  • They are appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal.
  • At least one member should be a woman.
  • The Chairperson, the Vice-Chairperson and the other Members hold office for a term of 3 years.
  • The members are not eligible for appointment for more than two terms.

Powers: NCST is empowered to investigate and monitor matters relating to safeguards provided for STs under the Constitution or under other laws or under Govt. order. The Commission is also authorized to inquire into specific complaints relating to rights and safeguards of STs and to participate and advise in the Planning Process relating to socio-economic development of STs and to evaluate the progress of their development under the Union and States.

Report: The commission submits its report to the President annually on the working of safeguards and measures required for effective implementation of Programmers/ Schemes relating to welfare and socio-economic development of STs.

Who are Schedule Tribes?

The framers of the Constitution took note of the fact that certain communities in the country were suffering from extreme social, educational and economic backwardness on account of the primitive agricultural practices, lack of infrastructure facilities and geographical isolation. The Constitution of India in Article 366 (25) prescribes that the Scheduled Tribes means such tribes or tribal communities as are deemed under Article 342 of the Constitution to be Scheduled Tribes.

The provisions under Article 342 read as follows:

342(1) Scheduled Tribes: the President may with respect to any State or Union Territory, and where it is a State, after consultation with the Governor thereof, by a public notification, specify the tribes or tribal communities or part of or groups within tribes or tribal communities as Scheduled Tribe in relation to that State or Union Territory as the case may be.

(2) Parliament may be law include in or exclude from the list of Scheduled Tribes specified in a notification issued under clause (1) any tribe or tribal community or part of or group within any tribe or tribal community, but save as aforesaid a notification issued under the said clause shall not be varied by any subsequent notification.

Criteria for specification of a community as a Scheduled Tribe

  • While the Constitution is silent about the criteria for specification of a community as a Scheduled Tribe. The words and the phrase ‘tribes or tribal communities or part of or groups within tribes or tribal communities” in Article 342 have to be understood in terms of their historical background of backwardness.
  • Primitiveness, geographical isolation, shyness and social, educational & economic backwardness due to these reasons are the traits that distinguish Scheduled Tribe communities of our country from other communities.
  • It takes into account the definitions of tribal Communities adopted in the 1931 Census. These facts are the basis for the provision in Article 342(1) which mandates to specify the tribes or tribal communities or part of or groups within tribes or tribal communities as Scheduled Tribe in relation to that State or Union Territory as the case may be.
  • Thus the list of Scheduled Tribes is State/UT specific and a community declared as a Scheduled Tribe in a State need not be so in another State. The Presidential notifications under Clause 1 of Article 342 of the Constitution are issued as the Constitution Orders.

Maiden flight-test

GS PAPER 3: Defence Technology

Important for

Prelims Exam: Ballistic missiles

Mains Exam: Upto what extent do these types of tests change India’s position at International Level?

Why in News?

INDIA successfully conducted the first successful flight-test of the Ballistic Missile Defence(BMD) interceptor missile capable of neutralizing adversary’s long-range ballistic missiles and aircraft, from the APJ Abdul Kalam Island off the coast of Odisha.

Key Points

  • The AD-1 (Air Defence) is a long-range interceptor missile designed for both low exo-atmospheric and endo-atmospheric interception of long-range ballistic missiles as well as aircraft.
  • The missile is propelled by a two-stage solid motor and equipped with an indigenously-developed advanced control system, navigation and guidance algorithm to precisely guide the vehicle to the targets which move at very high speeds.
  • Telemetry and electro optical tracking stations deployed to capture the flight data.

What Are Ballistic Missiles?

A ballistic missile uses a projectile motion, i.e., a high arching flight path, to launch weapons on a target. A “ballistic trajectory” is the path taken by a ballistic missile or projectiles. This ballistic trajectory is just the route a missile system takes when thrusting factors (such as propulsion) have stopped, but only gravitation and resistance are acting upon that (drag forces).

Short-range ballistic missiles operate inside the atmosphere of the Earth, while intercontinental ballistic missiles are launched on a sub-orbital flight. The first part of the ballistic missile’s path, i.e., launch, is therefore directed, but this remaining path is gravity-dependent and requires minimum supervision.

Components of India’s Ballistic Missile Defence System

  1. The Prithvi Air Defence (PAD) is anti-ballistic weaponry designed to destroy approaching warheads from beyond the Earth’s atmosphere. PAD is a multiple rocket-based system with a potential interception altitude of 80 km. The very first phase is vital and uses solid fuel, whereas the latter flight uses liquid fuel.
  2. Advanced Air Defence (AAD) is an anti-ballistic missile intended to neutralise intercontinental warheads at a height of 40 km in the endo-atmosphere. The AAD is a solid-fuelled missile system with siliconised carbon jet vanes. PAD offers similar assistance to indigenous radio wave searchers.
  3. The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is embarking on a project of Prithvi Defender Missiles, designated PDV. It’ll feature multiple missile systems, with solid propulsion systems powering both sections.
  4. Prithvi Defence Vehicle Mark 2 is a three-stage missile that stands 13 metres tall and weighs 18.87 tonnes. The first two stages constitute rocket engine cylinders with extensible blades, the third phase is the Kill Vehicle.
  5. The Swordfish RADAR is the BMD program’s target acquisition and fire control radar. The Super Swordfish or Very Long Range Tracking Radar (VLRTR) which is an upgraded variant with 1,500 km range was introduced in 2017 and is now operational.

Cruise missiles

A cruise missile either locates its target or has a preset target. It navigates using a guidance system such as inertial or beyond visual range satellite GPS guidance and comprises a payload and aircraft propulsion system. Cruise missiles can be launched from land, sea or air for land attacks and anti-shipping purposes, and can travel at subsonic, supersonic and hypersonic speeds. Since they stay relatively close to the surface of the earth, they cannot be detected easily by anti-missile systems, and are designed to carry large payloads with high precision.

Uttarakhand’s Uniform Civil Code

GS PAPER 2: Polity

Important for

Prelims Exam: Articles related to this

Mains Exam: In your opinion, upto what extent implementation of Uniform civil code will help the women’s?

Why in News?

The five-member team formed to frame the draft for a Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in Uttarakhand is currently struggling to read and analyze recommendations by residents of the hill State sharing their view and recommendations on “One law for all”.

Key Points

  • Among the suggestions, which have mostly been received from tribal belts and rural and hilly areas, are policy interventions on “reverse inheritance” (parents to have rights over their offspring’s property), same age of marriage for both genders, and a total ban on polygamy and polyandry.
  • Another suggestion in which young men and women asked to have the same age for marriage.

Uniform Civil Code

  • A Uniform Civil Code seeks to provide one law for the entire country, applicable to all religious communities in their personal matters such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, adoption etc.
  • A Uniform Civil Code seeks not only to ensure uniformity of laws between communities, but also uniformity of laws within communities ensuring equalities between the rights of men and women.
  • In 1941, BN Rau Committee recommended a codified Hindu law, which would give equal rights to women in keeping with the modern trends of society.
  • Tracts of the Constituent Assembly debates reveal that there was no consensus in the Constituent Assembly about what a potential uniform civil code would entail.
  • While many thought uniform civil code would coexist alongside personal law systems, while others thought that it was to replace personal law.
  • There were yet others who believed that a uniform civil code would deny freedom of religion.
  • It was due to this uncertainty about what exceptions were acceptable as ‘freedoms ‘and what exceptions would in fact deny this very freedom that led the assembly to contain the provision of uniform civil code in Article 44 of the constitution among Directive Principles of State Policy rather than Fundamental Rights.
  • Article 44 of the Directive Principles of State Policy (Part 4) of the Indian Constitution lays down that the state shall endeavor to secure a Uniform Civil Code for the citizens throughout the territory of India.
  • The codification of personal laws has historically generated protests. The Hindu Code Bill, one of the foremost pieces of social legislation, had triggered enormous opposition.

Judiciary Views

Shah Bano Case (1985)

In this case, a divorced Muslim woman was brought within the ambit of Section 125 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 by the Supreme Court in which it was declared by the Apex court that she was entitled for maintenance even after the completion of date period.

Sarla Mudgal v. Union of India (1995)

In this case, Justice Kuldip Singh reiterated the need for the Parliament to frame a Uniform Civil Code, which would help the cause of national integration by removing contradictions based on ideologies. Therefore, the responsibility entrusted on the State under Article 44 of the Constitution whereby a Uniform Civil Code must be secured has been urged by the Supreme Court repeatedly as a matter of urgency.

Supreme Court advocates UCC (2000)

The case of Lily Thomas v. Union of India (2000), where the Supreme Court said it could not direct the centre to introduce a UCC.

Ruling of the Triple Talaq case (2017)

Triple Talaq (Talaq -e- biddat) was declared unconstitutional on August 22, 2017.

Steel ‘waste’ road

GS PAPER 3 : Science & Technology

Important for

Prelims Exam: Institutions involved in this

Mains Exam: How efficient are these roads for India?

Why in News?

SCIENCE AND Technology Minister flagged off the dispatch of 1,600-metric tonne processed steel slag railway rack from Tata Steel’s Jamshedpur Plant to the Border Road Organization’s (BRO)’Project Arunank in Itanagar, ArunachalPradesh.

Key Points

  • India is currently the world’s second largest producer of crude steel, producing over 118 million tonnes of crude steel.
  • Around 20% steel slag is generated as solid waste and its disposal is a big challenge to steel industries. This solid waste will now be used in road construction. “This project is a perfect example of ‘waste to wealth’.
  • Surat has become the first city in the country to get a processed steel slag (industrial waste) road built as part of a joint-venture project.

The process

The slag is generated from a steel furnace burning at around 1,500-1,600 degree centigrade in the form of molten flux material as an impurity. The molten material is poured into the slag pits for cooling as per the customized procedure and further processed to develop stable steel slag aggregates, with “better material properties in place of the natural aggregate commonly used in road constructions”.

Are these roads cost-effective and good for the environment?

  • Utilization of processed steel slag in road construction paves the way for sustainable use of waste and reduces the reliance on perishable natural aggregates. This process is also expected to reduce GHG emissions and carbon footprint in road construction activity and is in line with India’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal No. 9 for building resilient infrastructure through inclusive and sustainable industrialization and green technologies.
  • The approximate construction cost per square meter of a processed steel slag road is Rs 1,150 as against Rs 1,300 for a bitumen road and Rs 2,700 for a cement or a concrete one. The lifespan of a cement or concrete road is over 30 years while that of bitumen and steel slag road is around 15 years.
  • The upper surface of the road will be around “1-2 degree higher in mid-afternoon when compared to regular ones”. Thermocouple has been used to maintain the temperature of the outer surface of the road.
Border Roads Organisation (BRO)

The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) is a road construction executive force in India that provides support to and is now a part of the Indian Armed Forces. BRO develops and maintains road networks in India’s border areas and friendly neighboring countries. This includes infrastructure operations in 19 states and three union territories (including Andaman and Nicobar Islands) and neighboring countries such as Afghanistan, Bhutan, Myanmar, Tajikistan and Sri Lanka. By 2022, BRO had constructed over 55,000 kilometres (34,000 mi) of roads, over 450 permanent bridges with a total length of over 44,000 metres (27 mi) length and 19 airfields in strategic locations. BRO is also tasked with maintaining this infrastructure including operations such as snow clearance.

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