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01 May, 2020

52 Min Read

Rights of Minority Institutes not Absolute

GS-II : Indian Polity Supreme court

Rights of Minority Institutes, not Absolute

Part of: GS-II- Indian polity and SC judgement (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)

Recently, the Supreme Court of India gave its judgement on the admission criteria of minority institutions. It held that National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) is mandatory for admission to all medical colleges and the right of minority institutions is not absolute and is amenable to regulation.


    • Few colleges challenged the notifications issued by the Medical Council of India (MCI) and the Dental Council of India (DCI) under Sections 10D of the Indian Medical Council Act of 1956 and the Dentists Act of 1948 for uniform entrance examinations.
    • The management of such minority-run medical institutions held that uniformly bringing them under the ambit of NEET would be a violation of their fundamental right to occupation, trade and business [Article 19(1)(g)] and would violate their fundamental rights of religious freedom and to manage their religious affairs (Article 25-28) and to administer their institutions (Article 30).
    • A few petitioners claimed that rules notified by the Andhra Pradesh government are violative of the rights of minority educational institutions under Article 30(1) of the Constitution.
  • Highlights of the Judgement:
    • The SC held that the fundamental and religious rights of minorities and rights available under Article 30 are not violated by provisions carved out in Section 10D of the MCI and Dentists Act.
    • The right to freedom of trade or business is not absolute. It is subject to reasonable restriction in the interest of the students’ community to promote merit, and recognition of excellence, and to curb malpractices. A uniform entrance test qualifies for the test of proportionality and is reasonable.
    • The NEET is mandatory for admission to medical colleges run by religious and linguistic minority communities and it would apply for both aided and unaided medical colleges administered by minorities.
      • NEET was started to check several malpractices in medical education, to prevent capitation fees by admitting students which are lower in merit and to prevent exploitation, profiteering, and commercialisation of education.
    • Uniform entrance exams will ensure improvement in future public health by encouraging merit which will further enhance the Directive Principles enshrined in the Constitution.
    • The SC also upheld rules framed by the Andhra Pradesh government making Secondary School Certificate (SSC)/Transfer Certificate (TC) the basis for a candidate’s claim of minority status for admission to B.Ed courses. The rules also require minority institutions to allot vacant seats under the management quota to non-minority students on merit.
    • Major Issues:
      • It was noted that conversion certificates were obtained by students from other communities for admission under the management quota.
      • According to statistical data, minority seats are highly disproportionate and far in excess due to the number of colleges and total seat availability.
    • Upholding the Andhra Pradesh government’s rules will safeguard the interests of genuine minority students against false overnight conversions.
    • Providing admission to non-minority students will also not interfere with the right of a Minority Educational Institution to manage its affairs for the benefit of the Minority Community.

Minority Educational Institutions

  • The term ‘minority’ has not been defined anywhere in the Constitution.
  • Article 30 grants the following rights to minorities, whether religious or linguistic:
    • All minorities shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.
    • The compensation amount fixed by the State for the compulsory acquisition of any property of a minority educational institution shall not restrict or abrogate the right guaranteed to them. (added by the 44th Amendment Act of 1978)
    • In granting aid, the State shall not discriminate against any educational institution managed by a minority.
  • Minority educational institutions are of three types:
    • Institutions that seek recognition as well as aid from the State.
    • Institutions that seek only recognition from the State and not aid.
    • Institutions that neither seek recognition nor aid from the State.
  • The institutions of the first and second types are subject to the regulatory power of the state with regard to syllabus prescription, academic standards, discipline, sanitation, employment of teaching staff and so on. The institutions of the third type are free to administer their affairs but subject to the operation of general laws like contract law, labour law, industrial law, tax law, economic regulations, and so on.
  • The SC allowed the minority educational institutions to admit eligible students of their choice and to set up a reasonable fee structure in the judgement delivered in the Secretary of Malankara Syrian Catholic College case (2007).
    • However, it also held that the right to establish and administer educational institutions is not absolute. Nor does it include the right to maladminister.
    • There can be regulatory measures for ensuring educational character and standards and maintaining academic excellence.

Source: TH

Janaushadhi Sugam Mobile


Janaushadhi Sugam Mobile


  • Over 325000 people are using “Janaushadhi Sugam” Mobile App to access Janaushadhi kendras.
  • Amid nationwide lockdown due to COVID-19 crisis Janaushadhi Sugam Mobile App is helping people in a big way to locate their nearest Pradhan Mantri Bharatiya Janaushadhi Kendra (PMJAK) and availability of affordable generic medicine with its price.
  • Over 325000 people are using Janaushadhi Sugam Mobile App to avail the host of benefits provided by it.
  • In order to make use of digital technology for easing the life of consumers, this mobile application for Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) has been developed by Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI) under Department of Pharmaceuticals , Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers,Government of India, for facilitating the general public by providing a digital platform at the tip of their fingers, by the virtue of which they can avail a host of user-friendly options like locate nearby Janaushadhi kendra, direction guided through Google Map for location of the Janaushadhi kendra, search Janaushadhi generic medicines, analyze product comparison of Generic and Branded medicine in form of MRP & overall Savings, etc.

Janaushadhi Sugam Mobile App is available on both Android & I-phone platforms. It can be downloaded free of cost by the user from Google Play Store and Apple Store.

Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP)

  • In November 2008, with an objective to make available generic medicines at affordable prices to all, the Department of Pharmaceuticals under the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers launched the “Jan Aushadhi Scheme”.
  • To reinvigorate the supply of affordable generic medicines with efficacy and quality equivalent to that of branded drugs, the scheme was revamped as “Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Yojana” in 2015.
  • To provide further momentum to the ongoing scheme, it was again renamed as “Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Pariyojana” (PMBJP).

PMBJP Objectives

The scheme aims at educating the masses about the generic medicines and that high prices are not always synonymous with high quality. It intends to cover all therapeutic groups and create demand for generic medicines through medical practitioners.

PMBJP Features

  • Under PMBJP, Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras (PMBJK) are set up across the country so as to reduce the out of pocket expenses for health care.
  • The Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI) under the Department of Pharmaceuticals is involved in coordinating, procuring, supplying and marketing generic medicines through PMBJK.
  • The procured generic medicines are sold at 50% to 90% lesser prices as compared to the market prices of branded medicines.
  • All drugs procured under this scheme are tested for quality assurance at NABL (National Accreditation Board Laboratories) accredited laboratories and is compliant with WHO GMP (World Health Organisation’s Good Manufacturing Practices) benchmarks. Government grants of up to 2.5 Lakhs are provided for setting up of PMBJKs.
  • They can be set up by doctors, pharmacists, entrepreneurs, Self Help Groups, NGOs, Charitable Societies, etc. at any suitable place or outside the hospital premises.
  • The railway ministry has given in-principle approval to opening up of Jan Aushadi Kendras at railway stations and other railway establishments under PMBJP. This is a significant move, as the access to generic medicines on railway stations would boost the accessibility, affordability of essential medicines and improve the convenience for the customers.
  • Jan Aushadi Oxo-Biodegradable Sanitary Napkins
    • Janaushadhi Kendras which sold sanitary napkins earlier for ?2.50, has now further reduced it to ?1 by adapting this technology.
    • These sanitary pads will be able to biodegrade after they have been discarded as soon as they come in contact with oxygen.
    • A very large number of women and girls suffer as good quality sanitary pads are not available at an affordable cost. This is mostly seen in village areas and other underprivileged areas of the country.

Source: PIB




  • Microwave steriliser to disintegrate novel Coronavirus developed
  • Defence Institute of Advanced Technology, Pune, a deemed university supported by Defence Research and Development Organisation has developed a microwave steriliser named as ‘ATULYA’ to disintegrate (COVID-19). The virus gets disintegrated by differential heating in the range of 56 to 60 Celsius temperatures.
  • The product is cost effective solution, which can be operated in portable or fixed installations.
  • This system was tested for human/operator safety and has been found to be safe. Depending upon size and shape of various objects, time of sterilisation is from 30 seconds to one minute.
  • Approximate weight of the system is three kilogrammes and it can be used for non-metallic objects only.

Source: PIB

March core sector output slumps 6.5%- Index of Core Industry

GS-III : Economic Issues Economic Data

March core sector output slumps 6.5%

Part of: GS-III- Economic data (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)

Output at India’s core sector contracted by 6.5% in March, Commerce Ministry data show, reflecting the early impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent nationwide lockdown.

Important Points

  1. The index of eight core sector industries, which form 40% of the weight of items included in the broader Index of Industrial Production (IIP), reflected a contraction in key parts of the economy in March, according to the data released.
  2. Its cumulative growth during the last fiscal year was 0.6%.
  3. Analysts warned that the core sector data signalled a much sharper contraction in the wider IIP, especially in April, as several core sector industries were actually exempted from the lockdown.
  4. Leading the contraction at the core industries were a 13% decline in steel output.
  5. A 7% fall in electricity generation.
  6. The two sectors account for almost 40% of the index.
  7. Cement production crashed 25%, while natural gas production slid 15%, the data showed.
  8. Fertiliser production also fell 12%, while crude oil production slipped 5.5%.

Notes PT: Coal was the only core sector which saw some growth, with output up 4%. The largest component of the index — refinery production — also dipped by only 0.5%.

Gov. Efforts

“Several of the core sector industries were given exemptions under the lockdown. Electricity and steel are continuous processes and have not been stopped. But movement of goods faced major restrictions, so it could be that they reduced production as much as possible to deal with reduced demand,” said eminent economist Pronab Sen, a former chief statistician of India.

Future predictions

Going forward to April, he expected these trends to worsen slightly but within the same magnitude, noting that demand has fallen drastically in the power sector due to the full lockdown this month, and gas powered plants were likely to have been shut down. Coal may also dip for April, while cement production will fall sharply as all construction activity came to a halt.

“The wider IIP will see a much bigger hit, as non-essential industries were completely closed in April. The core sectors account for about 40% of the IIP, but I’d say about 45% of all industries will show zero production,” “I would project a 30-40% drop in the IIP in April.”

Fellow economist D.K. Srivastava, policy advisor with Ernst and Young, added that the March core sector data also reflected the cut in capital expenditure by both state and central governments in order to make up for falling tax revenues. “This trend is bound to continue because both government and private demand for infrastructure investment has collapsed,” he said, adding that a revival in the core sector is unlikely until the government starts spending on infrastructure.

About ICI (Index of CORE INDUSTRY)

The ICI is a production volume index prepared and released by the Office of the Economic Adviser (OEA), Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce & Industry, GOI.

  • It is released 12 days before the IIP is released.
  • The objective of the Index of Eight Core Industries is to give an advance indication on the production performance of the industries which are of ‘core’ nature before the release of the IIP.
  • The ICI measures the individual and collective performances of the production in these eight core industries.
  • The ICI is used by policymakers including the Ministry of Finance, other Ministries and Departments.
  • It is also used by banks for financing Infrastructure projects and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
  • For the purpose of calculating the ICI, the components covered under the eight core sectors are mentioned in the table below:
    • Coal – Coal Production excluding Coking coal.
    • Electricity – Actual Electricity Generation of Thermal, Nuclear, Hydro, imports from Bhutan.
    • Crude Oil – Total Crude Oil Production.
    • Cement – Production of Large Plants and Mini Plants.
    • Natural Gas – Total Natural Gas Production.
    • Steel – Production of Alloy and Non-Alloy Steel only.
    • Refinery Products – Total Refinery Production (in terms of Crude Throughput).
    • Fertilizer – Urea, Ammonium Sulphate (A/S), Calcium Ammonium Nitrate (CAN), Ammonium chloride (A/C), Diammonium Phosphate (DAP), Complex Grade Fertilizer and Single superphosphate (SSP).
  • The ICI is released every month. The index is calculated by using the Laspeyres formula of weighted arithmetic mean of quantity relatives.

Weight of Core Industries in IIP

The weight of the different core sectors in the Index of Industrial Production are given in the table below.







Crude oil




Natural gas




Refinery products






Source: TH

Activists seek testing of Ganga water for COVID-19 treatment-CSIR-NEERI



  • Mission under Jal Shakti Ministry sends the pitch to ICMR
  • The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), an arm of the Jal Shakti Ministry that deals with the Ganga clean-up plan, has forwarded to the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) a proposal to undertake clinical trials and examine if Ganga water can be used to treat coronavirus (COVID-19) patients.
  • The proposal was made by a collective of activists involved in the clean-up of the river as well as in the litany of litigation surrounding it.


  • The thrust of the proposal is that research for over a century – and most recently an investigation by the CSIR-National Environmental Engineering and Research Institute, Nagpur – had found that the upper stretches of the Ganga had several species of bacteriophages.
  • Phages, as they are also called, are viruses that specifically target bacteria and are also extremely strain-specific.
  • While there is research to suggest that these phages may have anti-microbial properties and could potentially destroy bacteria such as Mycobacterium streptococcus and Pseudomonas Yersinia.

Need for further research

  • It is unclear how phages — being viruses themselves — could have anti-viral properties.
  • COVID-19 is caused by SARS-CoV-2 virus infection. “There’s no evidence that viruses can, even in principle, be used to destroy other viruses.
  • Phage therapy has its uses in experimental medicine and has been used to treat infections from antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

‘Experimental medicine’

  • The proponents of the proposal — Anil Gautam, A.K. Gupta, Bharat Jhunjunwala and Narendra Mehrotra — said the Ganga “could have” anti-viral properties, but the scale of the pandemic and the need for new drugs and treatment mean that there could be “immense benefit” from undertaking such studies on the lines of “experimental medicine.”
  • NEERI, which is a Council of Scientific and Industrial Research organisation, has an ongoing study examining whether the phages in the Ganga water are responsible for destroying pathogens and delaying putrefaction (Decaying).
  • The considered opinion of CSIR-NEERI is that overall, clinical trial on water alone may not yield very useful results, though this would need the considered opinion of agencies such as ICMR.
  • Most studies have been done in the context of years-long movement that sees Ganga water as “unique,” particularly the water in the upper stretches of Rudraprayag and before Tehri.
  • Because the flow of the water is largely unimpeded, and helped by a distinct microbiome, the river remains healthy. However, dams begin to interfere with the flow, accelerate unsustainable sedimentation and, once it reaches downstream Uttar Pradesh, is choked by the industrial and municipal sewage emanating from towns and factories along the river in other downstream States.

Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR)

About CSIR

  • The Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), known for its cutting edge R&D knowledgebase in diverse S&T areas, is a contemporary R&D organization. Having a pan-India presence, CSIR has a dynamic network of 38 national laboratories, 39 outreach centres, 3 Innovation Complexes and 5 units. CSIR’s R&D expertise and experience is embodied in about 4600 active scientists supported by about 8000 scientific and technical personnel.
  • CSIR covers a wide spectrum of science and technology – from radio and space physics, oceanography, geophysics, chemicals, drugs, genomics, biotechnology and nanotechnology to mining, aeronautics, instrumentation, environmental engineering and information technology. It provides significant technological intervention in many areas with regard to societal efforts which include environment, health, drinking water, food, housing, energy, farm and non-farm sectors. Further, CSIR’s role in S&T human resource development is noteworthy.
  • Pioneer of India’s intellectual property movement, CSIR today is strengthening its patent portfolio to carve out global niches for the country in select technology domains. CSIR is granted 90% of US patents granted to any Indian publicly funded R&D organization. On an average CSIR file about 200 Indian patents and 250 foreign patents per year. About 13.86% of CSIR patents are licensed - a number which is above the global average. Amongst its peers in publicly funded research organizations in the world, CSIR is a leader in terms of filing and securing patents worldwide.
  • CSIR has pursued cutting edge science and advanced knowledge frontiers. The scientific staff of CSIR only constitute about 3-4% of India’s scientific manpower but they contribute to 10% of India’s scientific outputs. In 2012, CSIR published 5007 papers in SCI Journals with an average impact factor per paper as 2.673. In 2013, CSIR published 5086 papers in SCI journals with an average impact factor per paper as 2.868.
  • CSIR has operationalized desired mechanisms to boost entrepreneurship, which could lead to enhanced creation and commercialization of radical and disruptive innovations, underpinning the development of new economic sectors.
  • CSIR has put in place CSIR@80: Vision & Strategy 2022 – New CSIR for New India. CSIR’s mission is “to build a new CSIR for a new India” and CSIR’s vision is to “Pursue science which strives for global impact, the technology that enables innovation-driven industry and nurtures trans-disciplinary leadership thereby catalyzing inclusive economic development for the people of India”.
  • CSIR is ranked at 84th among 4851 institutions worldwide and is the only Indian organization among the top 100 global institutions, according to the Scimago Institutions Ranking World Report 2014. CSIR holds the 17th rank in Asia and leads the country at the first position.

Source: TH

UN Chief said world should follow South Korean model to fight CoVID -19


UN Chief said world should follow South Korean model to fight CoVID -19


UN Chief Antonio Guterres has expressed hope that many countries in the world will follow the remarkable example of South Korea in addressing the coronavirus pandemic.

  1. Republic of Korea, the country has been extremely successful in addressing the coronavirus outbreak and is planning to tackle climate change in its recovery from COVID-19.
  2. South Korea has presented plans for very ambitious green deal for its recovery from the pandemic, including a ban on new coal-fired plants and a reduction of emissions from existing coal-fired plants.
  3. The Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement early Thursday that four cases in the previous 24 hours, all imported, took the country's total to 10,765, with 247 deaths and 9,059 recoveries.
  4. South Korea's caseload has been slowing in recent weeks after it recorded hundreds of new cases every day between late February and early March. It has subsequently relaxed some of its social distancing guidelines and is expected to ease up on more restrictions in the coming days if the downward trend continues.

The UN Chief said recovery from the pandemic needs to go hand-in-hand with climate action, just as South Korea is doing now. He called on governments to ensure that spending to revitalize their economies gives priority to the creation of green jobs and use of low-carbon energy sources.

Source: AIR

Germany extends ban on Hezbollah


Germany extends ban on Hezbollah

German police raided five sites linked to the Lebanese Shia group Hezbollah, as authorities announced Thursday that they were banning activities by its political wing in Germany.

The raids, intended to prevent evidence about possible front organisations being destroyed, took place at mosques and community centres in Berlin, Bremen, Muenster, Recklinghausen and Dortmund.

German lawmakers last year called on the government to extend an existing ban on activities by the group’s militant wing to include those of its political branch. At the time, officials had warned that such a move was legally difficult, because Hezbollah doesn’t have any official presence in Germany.

The Interior Ministry said the decree issued on Thursday bans all activities in support of the group in Germany, including the use of its symbols or publications. Hezbollah supporters have staged annual anti-Israel marches in Berlin for several years.


  • Hezbollah, Arabic ?izb All?h (“Party of God”), also spelled Hezbullah or Hizbullah, political party and militant group that first emerged during Lebanon’s civil war as a militia after the Israeli invasion of that country in 1982.


  1. Hamas is a Palestinian Islamist political organization and militant group that has waged war on Israel since the group’s 1987 founding, most notably through suicide bombings and rocket attacks. It seeks to replace Israel with a Palestinian state. It also governs Gaza independently of the Palestinian Authority.
  2. Hamas’s charter long called for the destruction of Israel. It was revised in 2017 to allow for acceptance of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip rather than the entire territory, though Hams still refuses to recognize the legitimacy of the Israeli state.
  3. Hamas led the charge in using suicide bombings against Israel in the 1990s and 2000s, though in recent years it has shifted to rockets and mortars as its weapons of choice. The organization also offers Palestinians a robust network of social services, which it developed as an alternative to deeply corrupt PA institutions.
  4. In 2006, Hamas won a slight majority of the seats in the Palestinian Authority legislative elections. This would have put Hamas in a commanding position for both the West Bank and Gaza, but there was a problem: Hamas refused to accept previous deals that the PA had made with Israel. That lead Western powers to freeze out aid, which the PA depends on, to any Hamas-led PA. Tensions between the PLO and Hamas eventually escalated to outright war between the two factions, which ended up with Hamas governing Gaza independently from the West Bank–based PLO.
  5. Unity talks between Hamas and the PLO have broken down repeatedly, which means there is no unified Palestinian authority, complicating peace talks significantly. In late 2017, the two sides reached a preliminary unity agreement, but it’s still unclear whether this will lead to an actual united government of any kind.

How is Hezbollah involved in the Syrian Civil War?

  • Hezbollah finds a loyal ally in Syria, whose army occupied most of Lebanon during Lebanon’s civil war. The Syrian government remained as a peacekeeping force in Lebanon until it was driven out in the 2005 Cedar Revolution, a popular protest movement against the foreign occupation.
  • Hezbollah had unsuccessfully pushed for Syrian forces to remain in Lebanon, and has since remained a stalwart ally of the Assad regime. In return for Tehran’s and Hezbollah’s support, experts say, the Syrian government facilitates the transfer of weapons from Iran to the militia.
  • Hezbollah publicly confirmed its involvement in the Syrian Civil War in 2013, joining Iran and Russia in supporting the Syrian government against largely Sunni rebel groups. Prior to 2013, the group had sent a small number of trainers to advise the regime. More than seven thousand Hezbollah militants are estimated to have fought in the pro-Assad alliance, which has been instrumental in the survival of the Assad regime, including by winning the 2013 Battle of al-Qusayr, which secured a route for regime forces between the major cities of Damascus and Homs.
  • Analysts say that Hezbollah’s experience fighting in Syria has helped it become a stronger military force, but that it faces a growing sentiment in Lebanon that focusing on the war led the group to neglect its domestic interests.
  • Additionally, Hezbollah’s support from Sunni Muslims in Lebanon has waned over the group’s backing of the Assad regime, which particularly threatens Sunni Muslims. In recent years, Sunni extremists have committed terrorist attacks in Lebanon, including 2015 suicide bombings in Beirut claimed by the self-proclaimed Islamic State. Hezbollah’s involvement in the war has also provoked Israel, which has struck targets in Syria thought to be supplying Hezbollah with weapons.

Source: TH/WEB

Ethnic clashes in Central African Republic

GS-II : International Relations International issues

Ethnic clashes in the Central African Republic

In the Central African Republic, 25 people were killed and 51 others injured in clashes in the northeast part of the country. Between armed groups in Ndele led to the deaths of several civilians.

Humanitarian workers, however, said that members of the Popular Front for the Rebirth of the Central African Republic (FPRC) had clashed in Ndele the previous day.

FPRC last year split into two factions: the Runga ethnic group on one side, including FPRC's military chief Abdoulaye Hissene, and rival fighters from the Gula and Kara ethnic communities.

CAR struggles with violence despite a peace deal signed between the government and 14 armed groups. Rival militias battling over resources control more than two-thirds of the country.

Source: AIR

Microwave steriliser - ATULYA


Microwave steriliser - ATULYA

Defence Institute of Advanced Technology, Pune has developed a microwave steriliser named as ATULYA to disintegrate COVID-19. The virus gets disintegrated by differential heating in the range of 56 degree to 60 degree Celsius temperatures.

The product is cost effective solution, which can be operated in portable or fixed installations. This system was tested for human and operator safety and has been found to be safe. Depending upon size and shape of various objects, time of sterilisation is from 30 seconds to one minute. The approximate weight of the system is three kilogrammes and it can be used for non-metallic objects only.

Source: AIR/TH

Chuni Goswami

GS-I :

Chuni Goswami

  • Former India football captain Chuni Goswami, 82, passed away in Kolkata on Thursday after a prolonged illness. The captain of the 1962 Asian Games gold-medal winning team, Goswami had also represented Bengal in first-class cricket tournaments.
  • Under his captaincy, the Indian football team won gold at the 1962 Asian Games, finished runner-up at the Asian Cup in 1964 and narrowly lost to Burma in Mardeka football six months later. In club football, Goswami always played for Mohun Bagan. In his college days, he captained Calcutta University in both football and cricket in the same year.

Source: TH

GI tag to Manipur black rice, Gorakhpur terracotta

GS-III : Economic Issues WTO

GI tag to Manipur black rice, Gorakhpur terracotta


  • Both products have been in circulation for centuries and are important sources of income.
  • Chak-Hao, the black rice of Manipur and the Gorakhpur terracotta have bagged the Geographical Indication (GI) tag.
  • Chinnaraja G. Naidu, deputy registrar, Geographical Indications, confirmed that the GI tag had been given for the two products on Thursday.


  • The application for Chak-Hao was filed by the Consortium of Producers of Chak-Hao (Black Rice), Manipur and was facilitated by the Department of Agriculture, Government of Manipur and the North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Limited (NERAMAC).
  • Chak-Hao, scented glutinous rice which has been in cultivation in Manipur for centuries, is characterised by its special aroma. It is normally eaten during community feasts and is served as Chak-Hao kheer.
  • Chak-Hao has also been used by traditional medical practitioners as part of traditional medicine. According to the GI application filed, this rice takes the longest cooking time of 40-45 minutes due to the presence of a fibrous bran layer and higher crude fibre content.
  • At present, the traditional system of Chak-Hao cultivation is practised in some pockets of Manipur. Direct sowing of pre-soaked seeds and also transplantation of rice seedlings raised in nurseries in puddled fields are widely practised in the State’s wetlands.

Terracotta work of Gorakhpur

  • In the case of Gorakhpur terracotta, the application was filed by Laxmi Terracotta Murtikala Kendra in Uttar Pradesh.
  • The terracotta work of Gorakhpur is a centuries-old traditional art form, where the potters make various animal figures like, horses, elephants, camel, goat, ox, etc. with hand-applied ornamentation.
  • Some of the major products of craftsmanship include the Hauda elephants, Mahawatdar horse, deer, camel, five-faced Ganesha, singled-faced Ganesha, elephant table, chandeliers, hanging bells etc. The entire work is done with bare hands and artisans use natural colour, which stays fast for a long time. There are more than 1,000 varieties of terracotta work designed by local craftsmen.
  • The craftsmen are mainly spread over the villages of Aurangabad, Bharwalia, Langadi Gularia, Budhadih, Adamawa, Ekla etc. in Bhathat and Padri Bazar, Belwa Raipur, Jungle Ekla No-1, Jungle Ekla No-2 in Chargawan block of Gorakhpur.

Source: TH

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29 April,2020
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Polar vortex A polar vortex is a large area of low-pressure and cold air that surrounds both of Earth's poles. Polar vortexes always exist, but they typically weaken during the summer and strengthen in the winter. The polar vortex in the Arctic is typically wea

UIDAI permits Aadhaar updation facility through CSC- Banking Correspondent

UIDAI permits Aadhaar updation facility through CSC- Banking Correspondent Part of: GS-II- GOVERNANCE (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) To make Aadhaar updating easier for citizens, Unique Identification Authority of India, UIDAI has permitted Common Service Centre, CSCs, which are designated ban

Common Services Centre (CSC)

Common Services Centre (CSC) Part of: GS-II- Governance (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) Common Services Centre (CSC) programme is an initiative of the Ministry of Electronics & IT (MeitY), Government of India. CSCs are the access points for delivery of various electronic services to villages i

'one nation, one ration card' scheme

'one nation, one ration card' scheme for migrant workers, EWS Part of: GS-II- Governance (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)   The Supreme Court has asked the Centre to consider the feasibility of temporarily adopting the 'one nation, one ration card' scheme during the ongoing

Children in South Asia could face health crisis amid COVID-19: UNICEF

Children in South Asia could face health crisis amid COVID-19: UNICEF Part of: GS-I- Child issue (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) Almost a quarter of the world’s unimmunised or partially immunised children – about 4.5 million children – live in South Asia. Expressing concern ov

Blockchain technology boost economic recovery: WEF

Blockchain technology boost economic recovery: WEF Part of: GS-III- S&T (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) The WEF said crises such as the coronavirus pandemic dramatically increase pressure on governments and businesses to maintain resilient supply chains. Blockchain technology can help tackle s

Privacy concerns during a pandemic

Privacy concerns during a pandemic (By,Suhrith Parthasarathy is an advocate practising at the Madras High Court; Gautam Bhatia is a Delhi-based lawyer; and Apar Gupta is a lawyer and executive director of the Internet Freedom Foundation) Introduction Justice H.R. Khanna, at the height of In

New list of names of tropical cyclones over north Indian Ocean

The new list of names of tropical cyclones over the north Indian Ocean Introduction The new list of names of tropical cyclones over the north Indian Ocean has been selected buy the WMOs Panel on tropical cyclones(PTC). Worldwide there are six regional specialised meteorological centres (RSM

India listed among ‘countries of particular concern’ in US religious freedom report- USCIRF

India listed among ‘countries of particular concern’ in US religious freedom report- USCIRF Part of: GS-II- India and USA  (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) In the 2020 edition of its annual report on International Religious Freedom, the USCIRF alleged that in 2019, r

No improvement in Ganga water quality

No improvement in Ganga water quality Part of: GS-III- Environment (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) The lockdown in the wake of coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak may have dramatically reduced air pollution across the country but it hasn’t significantly reduced pollution in the Ganga, according


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