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22 Oct, 2022

26 Min Read

Lothal: The National Heritage Complex

GS-I : Art and Culture Pre-historic period

Lothal: The National Heritage Complex

The Prime Minister recently inspected the construction of the National Maritime Heritage Complex (NMHC) site in Gujarat's Lothal.

About National Maritime Heritage Complex

  • The project began in March 2022 and would cost Rs 3,500 crore to complete.
  • It will have various novel features, such as the Lothal mini-recreation, which will use immersive technology to reproduce Harappan buildings and lifestyles.
  • It contains four theme parks: Memorial Park, Maritime and Navy Park, Climate Park, and Adventure and Amusement Park.
  • It will serve as a learning and understanding center for India's maritime history.
  • The NMHC is being built with the goal of highlighting India's unique maritime heritage while also assisting Lothal in becoming a world-class international tourism destination.

About Lothal:

  • Lothal was one of the Indus Valley civilization's (IVC) southernmost settlements, located in the Bhl region of what is now Gujarat.
  • The port city is thought to have been constructed around 2,200 BC.
  • In ancient times, Lothal was a prosperous commerce town, with its trade of beads, stones, and decorations reaching West Asia and Africa.
  • In Gujarati, Lothal (a mix of Loth and (s) thal) means "the mound of the dead."
  • In addition, the name Mohenjo-daro (also part of the Indus Valley Civilisation, now in Pakistan) implies the same thing in Sindhi.
  • Lothal had the world's oldest known port, which connected the city to a historic Sabarmati River channel on the trade route between Harappan settlements in Sindh and the Saurashtra peninsula.
  • Discovery: After 1947, Indian archaeologists began looking for towns of the Harappan Civilisation in Gujarat's Saurashtra.
  • Archaeologist SR Rao led the team that found a number of Harappan sites, notably the port city of Lothal, at the period.
  • Between February 1955 and May 1960, excavations were carried out in Lothal.
  • The National Institute of Oceanography in Goa uncovered marine microfossils, salt, and gypsum crystals at the site, showing that sea water originally filled the structure and that it was undoubtedly a dockyard.
  • ASI eventually discovered a mound, a township, a marketplace, and the pier during subsequent excavations.
  • The archaeological site museum is next to the excavated regions and houses one of India's most prominent collections of Indus-era artefacts.

What is Lothal's Heritage Value?

  • Lothal was proposed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in April 2014, and the nomination is still pending on UNESCO's tentative list.
  • The excavated site of Lothal was the Indus Valley Civilisation's lone port town.
  • It can be likened to other Indus port cities in the region, such as Balakot (Pakistan), Khirasa (in Gujarat's Kutch), and Kuntasi (in Rajkot).

What are the Critical IVC Sites?

  • Harappa in modern Pakistan - granaries with large platforms, lingam and yoni stone symbols, mother goddess figure, wheat and barley in wooden mortar, dice, copper scale, and mirror
  • Mohenjo-daro in modern Pakistan - bronze dancing girl, bearded priest sculpture, great bath, great granary
  • Dholavira in Gujarat has a massive water reservoir with a unique water harnessing system, a stadium, dams and embankments, and an inscription consisting of ten large-sized signs similar to an advertisement board.
  • Ropar, Punjab: dog interred with human oval pit burials.
  • Rajasthan's Balathal and Kalibangan - bangle factory, toy carts, camel bones, painted brickwork, fortress and lower town
  • Haryana's Banawali - toy plough, barley grains, oval-shaped hamlet, and the only city with radial streets.

Source: The Indian Express

Lok Adalat Explained

GS-II : Indian Polity Dispute Redressal Mechanisms and Institutions

Lok Adalat Explained

  • The Chhattisgarh government has established Lok Adalat in jails to expedite the resolution of cases for state prisoners.
  • Every working Saturday, these courts will provide relief to undertrials and, in some cases, convicted convicts by teaching their rights and legal options such as plea bargaining and settlement.

About Lok Adalats

  • The word 'Lok Adalat' ('People's Court') refers to a court built on Gandhian principles.
  • According to the Supreme Court, it is an ancient sort of adjudicating system that was widespread in ancient India, and its validity has not been questioned even in current times.
  • It is a component of the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) system that provides informal, low-cost, and quick justice to the general public.
  • The first Lok Adalat camp was established in Gujarat in 1982 as a voluntary and conciliatory organisation with no statutory authority to make judgements.
  • Because of its expanding popularity, it was granted statutory standing under the Legal Services Authorities Act of 1987. The Lok Adalats are organised and function according to the provisions of the Act.
  • Organization: The State/District Legal Services Authority or the Supreme Court/High Court/Taluk Legal Services Committee may organise Lok Adalats at such intervals and locations, and for such purposes and areas as it deems appropriate.
  • Every Lok Adalat created for an area shall consist of the number of serving or retired judicial officers and other local residents designated by the organising body.
  • A Lok Adalat is often chaired by a judicial official, with members including a lawyer (advocate) and a social worker.
  • Lok Adalats are held by the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) and other Legal Services Institutions.
  • NALSA was established under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987, which went into effect on November 9, 1995, to build a countrywide standard network for delivering free and competent legal services to the society's weaker members.
  • In 2002, the Legal Services Authorities Act was revised to permit for the establishment of Permanent Lok Adalats to deal with matters involving public utility services.


  • A Lok Adalat should have jurisdiction to determine and reach a compromise or settlement between the parties to a dispute concerning: any case pending before any court; or any matter falling within the jurisdiction of any court but not brought before such court.
  • Any case pending in court can be referred to the Lok Adalat for resolution if:
    • Parties agree to settle the disagreement in Lok Adalat, or one of the parties applies for referral of the case to Lok Adalat, or the court determines that the matter can be resolved in Lok Adalat.
    • A pre-litigation disagreement can be referred to the Lok Adalat upon receipt of an application from any of the parties to the dispute.
  • Lok Adalats hear matters including matrimonial/family problems, criminal (compoundable offences), land acquisition, labour disputes, workmen's compensation, bank recovery, and other issues.
  • However, the Lok Adalat has no jurisdiction over any case or subject involving an offence that is not compoundable under any statute.


  • The Lok Adalat shall have the same powers as a Civil Court under the Civil Procedure Code (1908).
  • Furthermore, a Lok Adalat will have the necessary authorities to determine its own method for resolving any dispute that comes before it.
  • All procedures before a Lok Adalat are assumed to be judicial proceedings under the Indian Penal Code (1860), and each Lok Adalat is deemed to be a Civil Court under the Code of Criminal Procedure (1973).
  • A Lok Adalat award is believed to be a Civil Court decree or an order of any other court.
  • Every award given by a Lok Adalat is final and binding on all parties involved in the dispute. No court may hear an appeal against the Lok Adalat's decision.


  • There is no court charge, and if one has already been paid, it will be repaid if the case is resolved at Lok Adalat.
  • There is procedural flexibility and conflict resolution is expedited. When evaluating Lok Adalat's claim, there is no stringent adherence of procedural laws.
  • The parties to the case can contact with the judge directly through their counsel, which is not available in traditional courts of law.
  • The Lok Adalat's award is binding on the parties, has the character of a civil court order, and is non-appealable, therefore it does not prolong the final resolution of problems.


  • Lok Adalats can work at a higher level if people are willing and aware of the benefits. Furthermore, greater laws and imaginative use are required to empower permanent Lok adalats and make them a secondary form of litigation for persons who cannot or should not resort to courts.

Read Also: Jurisdictional conflict in the running of Delhi

Source: The Print

General Consent to CBI

GS-II : Indian Polity Central Bureau of Investigation

General Consent to CBI

Important Points

  • It overturned the previous Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government's decision.
  • As a result, the CBI will no longer need the state government's permission to conduct investigations in the state.

Mandatory consent:

  • The CBI is governed by The Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, 1946, and it must get the consent of the state government involved before commencing an investigation in a state.
  • Section 6 of the DSPE Act: State Government consent to exercise powers and jurisdiction.
  • Nothing in section 5 (titled "Extension of powers and jurisdiction of special police establishment to other areas") shall be construed to allow any member of the Delhi Special Police Establishment to exercise powers and jurisdiction in any area in a State that is not a Union territory or railway area without the consent of that State's government.

Authority other than the NIA:

  • In this regard, the CBI's perspective differs from that of the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
  • The NIA Act of 2008 governs the agency, which has jurisdiction throughout the country.

General Acceptance

The state government's permission to CBI can be either:

  • Case-specific
  • General permission is typically offered by states to assist the CBI in conducting a smooth investigation of cases of corruption involving federal government personnel in their states.
  • The CBI may commence inquiries assuming consent has already been provided.
  • In the absence of broad consensus, the CBI would have to seek permission from the state government in each individual instance, and before taking even minor acts.

Consent withdrawal

  • Historically, practically all states have given widespread approval to the CBI.
  • However, numerous states have begun to act differently since 2015.

States that have withdrawn their consent include:

  • Meghalaya became the eighth state to withdraw consent to the CBI in March 2022, following Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, and Mizoram.
  • Except for Mizoram and Meghalaya, all of these states are ruled by the anti-BJP opposition.
  • Maharashtra: Of the nine states mentioned above, Maharashtra has now reversed its decision and reinstated general consent.
  • Maharashtra has regained trust after the BJP reclaimed control in the state in an alliance with the Shiv Sena's Shinde faction.
  • Mizoram was the first state to withdraw consent in 2015. The Congress ruled the state during the time.

Reason for withdrawal:

  • At the time of withdrawal, the states claimed that the central government was unfairly targeting the opposition via the CBI.

Consequences of Withdrawal of General Consent

No new cases are being registered:

  • It means that the CBI will be unable to file any new cases involving central government officials or private citizens in the state without the state government's permission.

Power loss:

  • CBI officers will lose all police powers as soon as they enter the state, unless the state government has granted them permission.

About the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)

  • It is India's top investigating police organisation.
  • It is an elite force that plays a significant role in preserving values in public life and guaranteeing the health of the national economy.
  • It is also India's primary police agency, coordinating investigations on behalf of Interpol member countries.


  • Its origins can be traced back to the Special Police Establishment, which was established in 1941 to investigate bribery and corruption during World War II.
  • It was established in 1963 by a resolution of the Ministry of Home Affairs in response to the advice of the Santhanam committee.
  • It is administered by the Ministry of Personnel, Pensions, and Public Grievances of the Government of India.

Way Forward

  • The establishment of an independent umbrella institution is urgently required in order to bring together multiple central agencies such as the CBI, the Enforcement Directorate, and the Serious Fraud Investigation Office under one roof.
  • This body must be established by statute, with its powers, functions, and jurisdictions clearly defined.
  • Independence: The organisation shall be led by an independent and unbiased authority, who is chosen by a committee similar to the one that selects the CBI Director.
  • Its leader could be assisted by deputies with expertise in several fields.
  • Connection between the State and Central Agencies: A harmonious relationship between the State and Central Agencies was required, and collaboration was essential, given that the purpose of all of those organisations was to secure justice.
  • Knowledge upgradation: There is a need for regular knowledge upgradation, deployment of cutting-edge technology, and international exchange programmes to acquire best practises.
  • The CBI's role, jurisdiction, and legal powers must be clearly defined

Source: The Indian Express

Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002

GS-III : Internal security Money laundering

Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2002

Recently, the Supreme Court denied a political leader's request to vacate his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on money laundering accusations.

What is money laundering?

  • Money laundering is the process of making significant sums of money obtained through criminal activities, such as drug trafficking or terrorist funding, appear to have come from a legitimate source.
  • Large gains are made by illegal arms sales, smuggling, drug trafficking and prostitution gangs, insider trading, bribery, and computer fraud schemes.
  • As a result, money launderers have an incentive to "legitimise" their ill-gotten gains through money laundering.
  • The money created is referred to as 'dirty money,' and money laundering is the act of converting 'dirty money' into 'legal' money.


  • Placement: The first stage involves the injection of illicit money into the formal financial system.
  • Layering: In the second stage, money injected into the system is layered and dispersed over different transactions in order to conceal the money's tainted origin.
  • Integration: In the third and final stage, money enters the financial system in such a way that the initial association with the crime is attempted to be erased, and the money can then be utilised as clean money by the offender.

What is Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA)2002?

The PMLA was implemented in response to India's international commitment (Vienna Convention) to combat money laundering.

  • It is a criminal statute that was enacted to prohibit money laundering and to provide for the confiscation of property derived from or implicated in money laundering and associated problems.
  • It is at the heart of India's legal structure to prevent money laundering.

Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of the United Nations:

The United Nations General Assembly accepted :

  • the 1988 Basle Statement of Principles,
  • 1989 Forty Recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering,
  • and 1990 Political Declaration and Global Program of Action.
  • About:

Recent Changes:

  • Clarification of the Proceeds of Crime Position: Proceeds of Crime encompass not just the property generated from the scheduled offence, but also any other property acquired or earned while engaging in any criminal conduct related to or similar to the scheduled offence.
  • Redefining Money Laundering: Money laundering was not a separate crime, but rather a consequence of another, known as the predicate offence or scheduled offence.
  • The amendment tries to make money laundering a separate offence.
  • According to Section 3 of the PMLA, a person is accused of money laundering if he or she is directly or indirectly involved in the proceeds of a crime.
    • Concealment
    • Possession\sAcquisition
    • Using or portraying as pure property
    • claiming to be uncontaminated property
  • Continuing Nature of Offense: As this crime is of a continuing nature, the individual will be considered to be involved in the offence of money laundering until the time that person receives the fruits of money laundering activities.

About the Enforcement Directorate

  • The ED, or Directorate of Enforcement, is a multidisciplinary institution tasked with investigating economic crimes and infractions of foreign exchange legislation.
  • This Directorate was established on May 1, 1956, when a 'Enforcement Unit' was established in the Department of Economic Affairs to handle violations of the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1947 (FERA '47).
  • With the start of the economic liberalisation process, the regulatory law FERA, 1973, was repealed, and the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA) took its place.
  • With an increase in the number of cases involving economic offenders seeking refuge in foreign nations, the government recently passed the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018 (FEOA), and the ED is tasked with enforcing it.

Functions under various Acts:

  • The PMLA, 2002: The ED has been tasked with enforcing the terms of the PMLA by conducting investigations to trace assets obtained from criminal proceeds, provisionally attaching the property, and ensuring the prosecution of criminals and seizure of property by the Special Court.
  • The FEMA, 1999: ED has been tasked with conducting investigations into alleged violations of foreign exchange laws and regulations, as well as adjudicating and penalising individuals found to have violated the law.
  • The FEOA (Fugitive Economic Offenders Act), 2018, is a statute that requires the Directorate to attach the properties of fugitive economic offenders who have fled India warranting arrest and confiscate their property for the Central Government.
  • COFEPOSA sponsoring agency:

The Directorate is authorised to support cases of preventive detention for FEMA violations under the Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act of 1974 (COFEPOSA).

Read Also: Operation Garuda

Source: The Indian Express

Pokkali Rice

GS-III : Economic Issues Agriculture

Pokkali Rice

  • Pokkali is a historical hereditary rice crop grown in Kerala's coastal regions, including Ezhikkara and Ernakulam, and is supported by Palliyakal Cooperative Service Bank (PCSB).
  • Pokkali is an old farming system that alternates one season of rice growing with another season of prawn culture.
  • Prawn seedlings graze on the remains of the harvested crop as they swim in from the sea and backwaters after the rice harvest.
  • The rice crop, which receives no additional fertiliser or manure, obtains nutrients from prawn excrement and other leftovers.
  • Rice and prawn cultivation are mutually beneficial.
  • Pokkali has an excellent gene pool that is extremely beneficial for salinity tolerance.


  • Pokkali's story begins with a massive flood that carried the seeds of this prolific grain from the Western Ghats to the low-lying salty plains.
  • There she flourished as a strong contender against nature's ravages, nurturing the communities that coexisted peacefully with Pokkali's farming.
  • Pokkali is Kerala's oldest rice variety, with a rice growing heritage dating back at least 3000 years.
  • It is also one of the world's oldest known crops grown using organic agricultural methods.

Read Also: Data On Agriculture

Source: The Hindu

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