UPSC Courses

DNA banner


Monthly DNA

03 Feb, 2021

57 Min Read

Myanmar Military rule

GS-II : International Relations South East Asia

Myanmar Military rule

  • In one swift operation, Myanmar’s military establishment has wiped out a decade of the country’s democratisation process.
  • By arresting President Win Myint, State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and the rest of the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) leadership, and declaring military rule under a state of emergency for at least a year, General Min Aung Hlaing has made it clear that it is the military that is in charge, and he is not particularly concerned about the opposition to or condemnation of the move.
  • The immediate reason for the coup was that the newly elected National Assembly was due to meet in Naypyidaw, despite the Tatmadaw’s (Army’s) claims that the November general elections had several irregularities and its contestation of the NLD’s landslide victory.
  • Ms Suu Kyi had refused to bow to Gen. Hlaing’s demand that the results, which also saw the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party with reduced strength in Parliament, be set aside.
  • Clearly, the Army, which still nominates a fourth of the parliamentary seats and retains the important Defence, Borders and Interior portfolios, felt it was better to dismiss the NLD government before it increased its clout.
  • Gen. Hlaing is due to retire this year, and it is possible that the move was meant to extend his longevity in power.
  • Backed by a silent Beijing, the junta leadership may also have gambled that it was better to take drastic action against the democratic leaders before the new U.S. administration finds its feet.

Failure of Ms Aung San Suu Kyi

  • The return to Army rule was also helped to some extent by Ms. Suu Kyi, who came to office in 2015, but has lost opportunities to put her country more firmly on the road to democracy.
  • She has accepted a dual power system in the state.
  • Daw Suu, as she is known, has also failed to bring democracy to her party, and has been criticised for her autocratic style.
  • Her refusal to rein in the Generals when the Tatmadaw unleashed a pogrom on the Rohingya between 2016-17, had lost the Nobel Peace laureate much international support.
  • Regardless of the reasons for the coup, the step is a setback for the international community’s efforts to engage with Myanmar, after a strict sanctions regime.

What should India do?

  • For India, which had cultivated a careful balance, between nudging along the democratic process by supporting Ms. Suu Kyi, and working with the military to ensure its strategic interests in the North East and deny China a monopoly on Myanmar’s infrastructure and resources, the developments are unwelcome.
  • The government will need to craft its response by taking into consideration the new geopolitical realities of the U.S. and China as well as its own standing as a South Asian power, and as a member of the UN Security Council.
  • New Delhi’s immediate reaction, to merely express “deep concern” and counsel following the rule of law and democratic processes, is unlikely to suffice as a long-term strategy.

Source: TH

India Sri Lanka ties: East Container Terminal at Colombo Port

GS-II : International Relations Sri Lanka

India Sri Lanka ties: East Container Terminal at Colombo Port

  • In a flurry of meetings a day after Sri Lanka backed out of an agreement with India and Japan to develop the East Container Terminal (ECT) at the Colombo Port, Indian High Commissioner Gopal Baglay met President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena.
  • In the India – Sri Lanka ties, India was of the view that Colombo must adhere to its commitments in the tripartite agreement of May 2019, to jointly develop the strategic terminal with the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) holding a 51% stake and India and Japan holding 49% together.
  • The Adani Group from India, along with Japanese companies, was to invest in the project expected to cost up to $700 million, as per official estimates.

Mixed signals

  • The Indian side, it is learnt, conveyed that the signals emanating from Sri Lanka should boost the confidence of potential investors.
  • President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has pledged to draw foreign direct investments to the country, rather than take loans.
  • The three high-level meetings follow the Sri Lankan government’s cabinet decision, in the wake of raging protests by port workers’ unions opposed to foreign investment in the facility, that the operation of the ECT would be “100%” with the SLPA, while the West Container Terminal would be offered to India instead, on a 35-year arrangement for development.
  • This is the second instance of Sri Lanka reversing an agreement on a large infrastructure project involving Japan, after the government scrapped the $1.5 billion, Japan-funded Light Rail Transit system last year.
  • The development has sparked alarm in India and Japan, according to diplomatic sources, who said Sri Lanka had neither conveyed its decision nor offered an alternative proposal to either of the partners.
  • Asked how Sri Lanka would mobilise funds to develop the SLPA, especially after the economic impact of the pandemic, Udaya Gammanpila, a Cabinet spokesman, on Tuesday said, “SLPA is going to use its own funds, as well as borrow money from local commercial banks.”
  • On whether Sri Lanka had discussed the option of developing the West Container Terminal with India, he said, “This is a sensitive diplomatic issue. Sri Lanka is always keen to maintain cordial diplomatic ties with India. Sri Lanka has commenced discussions with the Government of India, but I don’t think this is the stage to disclose those details.”
  • While the ECT, which is in its first stage and awaits upgrade, has a 450-metre-long quay wall and water depth of 18 metres, equipping it to accommodate large vessels, the West Container Terminal (WCT) exists merely as a proposal, with no infrastructure yet.

For complete India Sri Lanka relations: click here

Source: TH

Budget as an instrument of politics

GS-II : Governance Policies and Programmes

Budget as an instrument of politics

Upcoming infrastructure projects in election-going states

  • The largesse to the election-going States of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Assam in the Budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday was unmistakable.
  • The massive outlay of? 65,000 crore for the development of the NH 66 corridor in Kerala, as well as the announcement of the second phase of the Kochi Metro and the development of the Kochi fishing harbour as a commercial hub are big ticket budget proposals by any standard.
  • Ms Sitharaman announced that national highway works are worth? 19,000 crore are in progress in Assam and projects of more than? 34,000 crore covering over 1,300 km of national highways will be undertaken in the State within the next three years.
  • For West Bengal, there is a new “Economic Corridor” covering 675 km of the national highway, with an expected investment of? 25,000 crore.
  • For Tamil Nadu, the proposed projects could cost up to one lakh crore rupees. This includes the Chennai Metro Rail (phase two) of 118.9 km for ? 63,246 crore and two expressways connecting Chennai.

Social sector interventions in election-going states

  • The budget also seeks notable social sector interventions in these States. Assam and West Bengal get a special scheme, with a ? 1,000 crore outlay, for the welfare of tea workers, especially women and children.
    • Plantation workers and descendants — or “tea tribes” and “ex-tea tribes”comprise almost 20% of Assam’s total population, and are a decisive factor in many Assembly seats, in Assam and West Bengal.


  • The Budget is an instrument of politics, but it should not be predicated entirely on immediate electoral calculations.
  • The projects here will take a few years to complete but have considerable transformative potential.

Source: TH

Lingaraj Temple destroyed?

GS-I : Art and Culture Temples

Lingaraj Temple destroyed?

About Lingaraj Temple

Lingaraja Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva and is one of the oldest temples in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.

  • The Lingaraja temple is the largest temple in Bhubaneswar.
  • The central tower of the temple is 180 ft (55 m) tall. The temple represents the quintessence of the Kalinga architecture and culminating the medieval stages of the architectural tradition at Bhubaneswar.
  • The temple is believed to be built by the kings from the Somavamsi dynasty, with later additions from the Ganga rulers.
  • The temple is built in the Deula style that has four components namely, vimana (structure containing the sanctum), jagamohana (assembly hall), natamandira (festival hall) and bhoga-mandapa (hall of offerings), each increasing in the height to its predecessor.

  • The temple complex has 50 other shrines and is enclosed by a large compound wall.
  • The central deity of the temple, Lingaraja, is worshipped both as Shiva and Vishnu. The harmony between the two sects of Hinduism, Shaivism, and Vaishnavism, is seen in this temple where the deity is worshipped as Harihara, a combined form of Vishnu and Shiva.

Destruction of Lingaraj temple

  • The controversy over the destruction of ancient monuments around the 11th century Lingaraj Temple in Odisha’s capital Bhubaneswar amid a State-sponsored redevelopment drive, spiralled with the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) stating that irreparable damage had been done to the temple and ancient shrines around it.
  • The Odisha government’s Ekamra Kshetra beautification project is aimed at creating space adjoining the Lingaraj Temple to accommodate around two lakh devotees expected to visit the temple for the festival of Shivaratri in March.
  • The space in front of the ancient temple can now barely accommodate 10,000 to 15,000 devotees.
  • “We find that no standard guidelines have been followed by the project implementation authorities and excavating teams. Irreparable damage has been done to adjoining ancient shrines,” INTACH’s preliminary investigation says.

Source: TH

NH-66 to be redeveloped as an economic corridor

GS-III : Economic Issues Infrastructure

NH-66 to be redeveloped as an economic corridor

The centre has proposed to develop NH-66 as an economic corridor in the recent budget announcement.

NH 66

  • Runs roughly north-south along the western coast of India
  • Connects Panvel (a city south of Mumbai) to Cape Comorin (Kanyakumari),
  • Passing through the states of Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
  • Major cities include Panjim, Mangaluru, Kochi

Source: TH

Ekamra Kshetra Beautification Project

GS-I : Art and Culture Temples

Ekamra Kshetra Beautification Project

The Orissa government's Ekamra Kshetra beautification project is aimed at creating space around Lingaraj Temple in Bhubaneshwar for the eve of Shivratri in March 2021.

It is a government-led project which has recently been mired in controversy due to the destruction of ancient monuments nearby.

Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage:

  • It is a non-profit charitable organisation registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860.
  • It was founded in 1984 in New Delhi with the vision to spearhead heritage awareness and conservation in India.
  • It has pioneered the conservation and preservation of not just our natural and built heritage but intangible heritage as well.
  • In 2007, the UN awarded INTACH a special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.
  • (INTACH) has almost stopped the stone-pelting ritual at Bojjannakonda, a famous Buddhist site at Sankaram, near Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.
    • Bojjannakonda and Lingalametta are the twin Buddhist monasteries dating back to the 3rd century BC.

Lingaraj Temple

  • Lingaraj Temple, built in the 11th century AD, is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is considered the largest temple in the city of Bhubaneswar.
  • It is believed to have been built by the Somvanshi King Yayati I.
  • The main tower of this temple measures 180 feet in height.
  • It is built in red stone and is a classic example of Kalinga-style architecture.

Source: TH

Interest Rate-Growth Differential

GS-III : Economic Issues Terminology

Interest Rate Growth Differential

"If the interest rate paid by the government is less than the growth rate, then the intertemporal budget constraint facing the government no longer binds."- economist Olivier Blanchard.

  • The “intertemporal budget constraint” means that any debt outstanding today must be offset by future primary surpluses.
  • If the Interest Rate-Growth Differential (IRGD), the difference between the interest rate and growth rate, becomes negative, the governments need not worry about deficits since the growth would take care of the interest payment obligations. This would ensure the sustainability of public debts.
  • The Economic Survey argues that in India, the growth rate is higher than the interest rate most of the time. So the conventional restraints on the fiscal policy may not be the right way ahead given the serious contraction of the Indian economy.
  • Washington Consensus - It is a framework that advocates for macroeconomic stability.
    • Macroeconomic stability roughly means that the borrowing done to finance the deficit of a country must be kept to a minimum.
    • This is a concept in peril as the economies of the world look to fight the after-effects of COVID-19 induced slowdown successfully.

Source: TH

Central Reserve Police Force

GS-III : Internal security Security Forces & Agencies

Central Reserve Police Force

The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) is one of the premier Central Armed Police Forces of India (under the Ministry of Home Affairs) for internal security. The other Central Armed Police Forces are as follows:

  • Assam Rifles (AR): The Assam Rifles came into being in 1835, as a militia called the Cachar Levy’.
  • Border Security Force (BSF): Responsible for guarding India's land borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh.
  • Central Industrial Security Force (CISF): Provides security cover to nuclear installations, space establishments, airports, seaports, power plants, sensitive Government buildings and ever heritage monuments.
  • Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP): ITBP is a specialized mountain force and most of the officers and men are professionally trained mountaineers and skiers.
  • National Security Guard (NSG): The National Security Guard (NSG) is a counter terrorism unit which was raised in 1984, following Operation Blue Star.
  • Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB): Earlier Special Service Bureau was raised in 1960s with the sole objective of achieving ‘Total security preparedness’ in the remote border areas for performing a ‘stay-behind’ role in the event of a war.

History: Originally constituted as the Crown Representative Police in 1939, it is one of the oldest Central paramilitary forces. After Independence, the force was renamed as Central Reserve Police Force by an Act of Parliament on December 28, 1949.

  • Duties performed by the CRPF include:
    • Crowd/ Riot control
    • Counter Militancy/Insurgency operations
    • Dealing with Left Wing Extremism
      • CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action) unit in Chattisgarh
      • Jaguar unit in Jharkhand
      • Greyhound unit in Andhra Pradesh
    • Protection of VIPs and vital installations
    • Checking environmental degradation and protection of local Flora and Fauna
    • Fighting aggression during Wartime
    • Participating in UN Peacekeeping Missions
    • Rescue and Relief operations at the time of Natural Calamities

Source: TH

East Container Terminal

GS-II : International Relations Sri Lanka

East Container Terminal

Sri Lanka has withdrawn its proposal to let India & Japan build its East Terminal Container near the capital city of Colombo.

What is the Project?

  • The tripartite agreement, signed by India, Sri Lanka and Japan, proposes to develop the ECT, which is located at the newly expanded southern part of the Colombo Port.
  • The ECT is located 3 km away from the China-backed international financial city, known as Port City, currently being built in Colombo.
  • A Chinese company behind the controversial 2018 Hambantota port project, signed its first contract in the Port City last month.
  • It is also on the map of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Source: TH

Jal Jeevan Mission (Urban) 2.0 to revive urban water bodies

GS-II : Government policies and interventions Government policies and interventions

Jal Jeevan Mission (Urban) 2.0 to revive urban water bodies

The urban water supply mission under the Jal Jeevan Mission announced in the Budget would include rejuvenation of water bodies as well as 20% of supply from reused water.

Jal Jeevan Mission

  • Jal Jeevan Mission, a central government initiative under the Ministry of Jal Shakti, aims to ensure access of piped water for every household in India.

  • The mission’s goal is to provide to all households in rural India safe and adequate water through individual household tap connections by 2024.

  • The Har Ghar Nal Se Jal programme was announced by FM in Budget 2019-20 speech.

  • This programme forms a crucial part of the Jal Jeevan Mission.

  • The programme aims to implement source sustainability measures as mandatory elements, such as recharge and reuse through greywater management, water conservation, and rainwater harvesting.

The urban component of the mission:

  • The mission is meant to create a people’s movement for water, making it everyone’s priority.

  • There is an estimated gap of 2.68 crore urban household tap connections that the Mission would seek to bridge in all 4,378 statutory towns.

  • The Mission would also aim to bridge the gap of 2.64 crore sewer connections in the 500 cities under the existing AMRUT scheme.

  • The mission would include the rejuvenation of water bodies to boost the sustainable freshwater supply and the creation of green spaces.

Source: TH

Other Related News

02 February,2021
Aatmanirbharta named Oxford Hindi Word of the Year 2020

Aatmanirbharta named Oxford Hindi Word of the Year 2020 Aatmanirbharta has been named by Oxford Languages as its Hindi word of the year 2020. The Oxford Hindi word of the year is a word or expression that is chosen to reflect the ethos, mood, or p

SpaceX to launch first all-civilian astronaut mission in late 2021

SpaceX to launch first all-civilian astronaut mission in late 2021 SpaceX recently announced that it will be launching four private individuals on a Crew Dragon Capsule into orbit around Earth. The mission is dubbed ‘the world’s first all-civilian mission’. The mi

An introduction to Budget 2021-22

An introduction to Budget 2021-22 Introduction There is greater spending on health care and some fiscal push to undergird the struggling demand in the pandemic-hit economy. The Union Budget for 2021-2022 presented to Parliament on Monday, instead reveals an estimated health outlay of ? 7

NAM Summit

What is Non- A aligned Movement? The non-Aligned Movement is an idea that emerged in 1950. NAM is the second-largest platform globally in terms of country membership after the UN with more than 120 members. Evolution of NAM: During the 1950s, the world was emerging out of the lon

01 February,2021
Megacity plan for Little Andaman

Megacity plan for Little Andaman The proposed construction of a mega financial-tourist complex on Little Andaman Island will place at risk a fragile ecosystem and result in habitat loss of the vulnerable Onge tribe and rare wildlife A plan for the sustainable and holistic develop

Census to postpone to 2022?

Census to postpone to 2022? The Centre is on track to push the 2021 Census to 2022 on account of the country’s continuing preoccupation with the COVID-19 pandemic, a senior government official told The Hindu. “Our hands are full dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic,” the offi

Analysis of Economic Survey 2020-21

Analysis of Economic Survey 2020-21 The Economic Survey for 2020-21 is an expansive attempt at reviewing the developments in the Indian economy during the current financial year and providing an outlook for its near-term prospects. Spread over 700 pages, the survey opts for a self-congratul

Remembering Mahatma Gandhi

Remembering Mahatma Gandhi Mahatma Gandhi’s death anniversary (January 30) may have just passed, but it is not just an occasion to celebrate his life and his message once more or to simply add to the Gandhian biography, so to speak. We should think of Gandhi as a noble spirit who cont

Status of Healthcare in India

Status of Healthcare in India In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been vociferous demands to strengthen the country’s public health system. Many erudite articles have stressed the need to revamp the system quickly so that we are better prepared to handle such emergenc

The problem of ageing dams

The problem of ageing dams Dams and reservoirs are believed to secure our water needs for the future. However, data and studies show that they can threaten our water security. Here is how. It is not a secret anymore that India’s dams are now ageing and concomitantly, reservoir wate

Biomethanation plants

Biomethanation plants Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his first Mann Ki Baat address for the year, made mention of the garbage-to-power plant being commissioned inside the Dr B.R. Ambedkar Agriculture Market in Bowenpally, Telangana. Vegetable and fruit waste is used to generate power

India – Iran relations: Chabahar

India – Iran relations: Chabahar In its latest push to develop Iran’s Chabahar port project, India handed over two 140-tonne cranes for loading and unloading equipment to the Iranian government. The cranes, part of a full consignment of six Mobile Harbour Cranes (MHC) worth about

Education Data: Gender issues

Education Data: Gender issues Each year in December, the prestigious Nobel Prize is awarded to scientists who, during the preceding year, have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind. However, since its inception in 1901, only 25 women have won a Nobel Prize in Physics, Chemistry, Medic


01 Feb, 2024

Search By Date

Post Feed
Newsletter Subscription
SMS Alerts

Important Links