Daily Current Affairs for 6th Sep 2021

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Vanniyar movement

Why in News

Recently, the government of Tamil Nadu has announced the construction of a memorial in Villupuram to people killed in police firing and clashes in 1987, during a movement demanding reservation for the Vanniyar community.

Vanniyar movement

  • Vanniyars are one of the largest and most consolidated backward communities in the state.
  • They had raised massive protests in the mid-1980s demanding 20% reservation in the state, and 2% in central services.
  • Their movement was backed by the Justice Party as well as the Self-Respect Movement.
  • Organised protests began with the formation of Vanniyar Sangam, headed by S Ramadoss, a medical practitioner who later founded the political party PMK.
  • The agitation began in 1986 with activists sending hundreds of letters and telegrams to then Chief Minister M G Ramachandran seeking an audience.
  • As there was no response from MGR and the then Rajiv Gandhi government, agitators started demonstrations in community strongholds, then went on to blockading rail and road traffic.
  • The blockades were effective because community members in each village would block busy highway stretches on their village borders.
  • They would cut revenue trees on either side of the state highway.
  • One blockade in May 1986 brought traffic in the entire state to a halt, and thousands were arrested.
  • A one-day blockade of trains followed in December 1986. The peak was in September 1987, when road traffic in northern Tamil Nadu came to a halt for an entire week.

The 1987 deaths

  • The Vanniyars declared an agitation from September 17 to 23, 1987, which turned violent.
  • At least 21 protesters were killed, mostly in police firing, and also in clashes with members of Scheduled Caste communities.
  • While this shook the state establishment, there was no immediate solution.

Reservation granted

  • After the DMK government of M Karunanidhi came to power in 1989, the OBC quota was split into two: Backward Castes and Most Backward Castes.
  • Vanniyars were categorised among the MBCs with 107 other communities, with 20% reservation.
  • Three decades later, the then AIADMK government passed a Bill, and the current DMK government has implemented it with a Government Order ensuring 10.5% reservation for Vanniyars within the 20% MBC quota.


Karbi Anglong Agreement

Why in news

Recently, the Centre signed the ‘tripartite Karbi Anglong agreement’ with representatives of Karbi outfits in New Delhi.

Key Points

  • The agreement is signed with the objective ‘to develop the Karbi people within the stipulated time’.
  • The agreement mainly promised to invest ₹1,000 crore by the Assam government for development of the Karbi Anglong area in the next five years.
  • Under this agreement, the government provide:
  • Reservation for the people of Karbi for the first time,
  • Rehabilitation for the surrendered militants,
  • Setting up of Karbi Welfare Council by the Assam government,
  • Supplementing resources of Karbi Autonomous Council by augmenting consolidated fund of the state, along with protection of their language and culture etc.


  • Karbis is a major ethnic community of Assam, which is presently disintegrated into various groups and factions.
  • Originally, they are one of Northeast India’s tribal groups, largely inhabiting the Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao (formerly North Cachar) hills districts.
  • This agreement is important as an insurgency by Karbi has had a long history in Assam, which has been marked by killings, ethnic violence, abductions and taxation since the late 1980s.
  • The agreement hopes to bring an end to this violence and establish peace in the state.

Karbi Anglong Agreement

  • The agreement provides financial compensation of Rs 5 lakh to each of the next of kin of persons who lost their lives in agitations related to autonomous state demand and have not yet been compensated in any manner.
  • Consider favourably the proposal of KAAC to notify Karbi as the official language of KAAC. However English, Hindi & Assamese will continue to be used for official purposes.
  • Allocate Rs 500 crore for development of infrastructure in KAAC area. Additionally, the state will contribute Rs 500 crore for development of the area.
  • In return, all signatory armed groups shall abjure the path of violence, surrender their weapons and disband their organisations within one month of signing of the Agreement. All camps occupied by these groups will also be vacated forthwith.


  • The core demand of the Karbi outfits was the formation of a separate state.
  • In late 1990s, the Karbi National Volunteers (KNV) and Karbi People’s Force (KPF) had come together to form the United People’s Democratic Solidarity (UPDS).
  • In November 2011, the organisation decided to lay down its arms and sign a tripartite memorandum of settlement with the Centre and the Assam government, settling for enhanced autonomy and special packages for the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC).
  • The Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC) is an autonomous district council, which is protected under the Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution.

Constitutional Provisions

  • The 22nd Amendment of the Indian Constitution, or The Constitution (Twenty-second Amendment) Act, 1969, inserted new article 244A, to empower Parliament to enact a law for constituting an autonomous State within the State of Assam.
  • It also to provide the autonomous State with Legislature or a Council of Ministers or both with such powers and functions as may be defined by that law.
  • The 6th Schedule of the Constitution of India deals with the protection of the rights of the tribal population in the administration of tribal areas in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.


Economy of Sri Lanka

Why in News

Government of Sri Lanks declared an economic emergency recently amid rising food prices, a depreciating currency, and rapidly depleting forex reserves. President of Sri Lanka has called in the army to manage the crisis by rationing the supply of various essential goods.

Reason behind degrading Economy of Sri Lanka

  • Tourism Sector:
  • The tourism industry, which represents over 10% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product and brings in foreign exchange, has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
  • As a result, forex reserves have dropped from over $7.5 billion in 2019 to around $2.8 billion in July 2021.
  • With the supply of foreign exchange drying up, the amount of money that Sri Lankans have had to shell out to purchase the foreign exchange necessary to import goods has risen.
  • So, the value of the Sri Lankan rupee has depreciated by around 8% so far in 2021.
  • Fallen price of food:
  • It has to be noted that the country depends heavily on imports to meet even its basic food supplies.
  • So, the price of food items has risen in tandem with the depreciating rupee.
  • Ban on Chemical fertilisers:
  • The government’s ban on the use of chemical fertilisers in farming has further aggravated the crisis by dampening agricultural production.
  • Earlier in 2021, the President of Sri Lanka made public his plan to make Sri Lanka the first country in the world with an agriculture sector that is 100% organic.
  • Many believe that the forced push towards organic farming could halve the production of tea and other crops and lead to a food crisis that is even worse than the current one.

Response of government to the crisis

  • The Sri Lankan government has blamed speculators for causing the rise in food prices by hoarding essential supplies and has declared an economic emergency under the Public Security Ordinance.
  • The army has been tasked with the duty of seizing food supplies from traders and supplying them to consumers at fair prices.
  • It has also been given the powers to ensure that forex reserves are used only for the purchase of essential goods.
  • The government has refused to end its aggressive push for complete organic farming claiming that the short-term pain of going organic will be compensated by its long-term benefits.
  • It has also promised to supply farmers with organic fertilisers as an alternative.
  • Further, Sri Lanka’s central bank in 2021 prohibited traders from exchanging more than 200 Sri Lankan rupees for an American dollar and stopped traders from entering into forward currency contracts.

Will the government’s response help the economy?

  • The Sri Lankan President drive to make agriculture fully organic in Sri Lanka is likely to lead to a significant drop in domestic food production and cause a further rise in prices.
  • Also, the various steps taken by the government to tackle the crisis may actually make things worse. The capping of food prices, for instance, can lead to severe shortages as demand exceeds supply at the price fixed by the government.
  • The strong-arm tactics of the army can also have unintended consequences. When supplies are seized from traders, there is lesser incentive for them to bring in fresh supplies to the market.
  • This can lead to a further drop in supplies and even higher prices for essential goods.
  • It is also worth noting that speculative traders help contain price volatility by allocating scarce supplies rationally across time.
  • So, to the extent the army’s actions discourage speculation, it can lead to greater volatility in food prices.
  • Also, without forward contracts, which help traders offload the risk of currency volatility onto professional speculators, many traders may be unwilling to import essential supplies.


Two credit-linked schemes

Why in News

The Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh launched two credit-linked schemes in order to boost agriculture and horticulture sectors as well as to ensure the doubling of farmers’ income in the state.

Key Points

  • The two schemes are:
  • Atma Nirbhar Krishi Yojana (ANKY) in the agriculture sector; and
  • Atma Nirbhar Bagwani Yojana (ANBY) in the horticulture sector.
  • Objective of launching these two schemes is to promote credit discipline and encourage the banking sectors to support ground-level agriculture and horticulture activities besides ensuring the timely availability of the funds.
  • The Chief Minister informed that State-level and district-level committees have been constituted for the selection of beneficiaries for the schemes.
  • Chief Minister also appealed to the officials to stick to the timeline for the schemes as the agriculture and horticulture departments cannot be compared with the other departments as both deals with the scheme on a seasonal basis.

Highlights of two credit-linked schemes

  • The shares under these two credit-linked schemes will be government subsidy, bank credit, and beneficiary contribution in the ratio of 45:45:10, for which an amount of Rs. 60 crores each has been earmarked for both agriculture and horticulture sectors.
  • Under both the schemes, an end-to-end holistic approach has been made, covering pre-production, production, processing, post-harvest management, and marketing to assure the appropriate returns to producers and growers in the state.
  • For the selection of beneficiaries, district-level committees, and state-level committees have been constituted.
  • The district-level committees headed by the respective deputy commissioners and district agriculture officers and district horticulture officers, will select the beneficiaries and submit the list to the state-level committees for approval.
  • The schemes will be distributed across the state and the applicants will need to apply at the concerned deputy commissioner office in their respective districts.
  • The two credit-linked schemes can be availed by Self-Help groups, any individual farmers, and the Farmers Producer Organisations (FPOs).


Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX) – 2021

Why in News

Recently, the 28th edition of Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX) was conducted from 02 to 04 Sep 21.

Key Points

  • The Indian Navy was represented by Guided Missile Destroyer INS Ranvijay with a ship borne helicopter, ASW Corvette INS Kiltan and Guided Missile Corvette INS Kora and one P8I Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft.

Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX)

  • The exercise SIMBEX was Initiated in 1994. It is the Indian Navy’s longest uninterrupted bilateral maritime exercise with any foreign navy.
  • Sustaining the continuity of this significant engagement despite the challenges of the ongoing pandemic further underscores the strength of bilateral defence ties between both countries.
  • Despite these constraints during the planning stages, both navies could achieve seamless and safe execution of several challenging evolutions including live weapon firing and advanced naval warfare serials, including anti-submarine, anti-air and anti-surface warfare drills.
  • The scale and complexity of the drills is ample testimony to the interoperability achieved between both Navies.
  • SIMBEX – 21 is also a special occasion as it takes place during the ongoing celebrations of the 75th year of India’s independence.
  • The success of SIMBEX-2021 is yet another demonstration of the mutual resolve on both sides to strengthen the bilateral partnership further in the years ahead.
  • In 2020, the 27th edition of SIMBEX took place in Andaman Sea, while in 2021, it took place in the southern fringes of the South China Sea.
  • India-Singapore Defence relations remain a very significant aspect of the overall bilateral relationship and cover a very wide spectrum of collaboration from conventional military-to-military exchanges to HADR and cyber security.
  • Both navies have a representation in each other’s Maritime Information Fusion Centres and have also recently signed an agreement on mutual submarine rescue support and coordination.


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