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28 Sep, 2022

22 Min Read

PFI ban under UAPA

GS-II : Governance Issues related to Indian Democracy

PFI ban under UAPA

About UAPA

  • The UAPA is India’s main law against terrorism and terrorist activities.
  • It allows the government to declare an organisation an “unlawful association” or a “terrorist organisation”, which is often colloquially described as a “ban” on the organisations.
  • Under Section 3 of the UAPA Act, the government has powers to declare an association “unlawful”.

How is an “unlawful association” defined?

  • Section 2(1)(p) of the UAPA defines an “unlawful association” as an association which has for its object any unlawful activity or offence defined under Sections 153A or 153B of the Indian Penal Code — that is, promoting enmity between different groups and making imputations, assertions that are prejudicial to national integration.

An unlawful association is also one that “encourages or aids persons to undertake any unlawful activity, or of which the members undertake such activity”

The process to declare an association unlawful

  • Under Section 4 of the UAPA, the government is mandated to send the notification to the Unlawful Activities Prevention Tribunal within 30 days of issuing the gazette notification to have the ban ratified.
  • The Ministry will have to make a reference to the Tribunal along with details of cases the National Investigation Agency, Enforcement Directorate, and state police forces have registered against PFI and its cadres across the country.
  • The Tribunal, which is required to be headed by a retired or sitting judge of a High Court, will then issue a show-cause notice to the PFI asking it to reply in writing about why it should not be banned.
  • After arguments from both sides, the Tribunal can hold an inquiry to decide within six months on whether there is sufficient evidence to declare PFI an “unlawful association”.
  • The ban becomes applicable for a period of five years once the Tribunal approves it.

Consequences of being declared unlawful

  • Declaring an organisation an unlawful organisation, as has happened in the case of the PFI now, has serious consequences in law, which include the criminalization of its membership and the forfeiture of the properties of the organisation.
  • Under Section 7 of the UAPA, the government has power to prohibit the use of funds of an unlawful association and,
  • Under Section 8, all places that are used by the unlawful association can be notified and seized.

Read Also : Group of Four (G4) on UNSC Reform

Source: The Hindu

Skill Development in India: Challenges and Issues

GS-III : Economic Issues Human resource development

Skill Development in India: Challenges and Issues

  • The 13th Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) Global Skills Summit 2022 was recently inaugurated by the Union Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Minister.
  • Theme: Making It Happen: Education to Employability.


What is the Current Situation of Skill Development in India?

  • According to the 2015 Report on National Policy on Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, only 4.7% of India's total workforce had received formal skill training, compared to 52% in the United States, 80% in Japan, and 96% in South Korea.
  • A National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) skill gap study conducted between 2010 and 2014 revealed an additional net incremental requirement of 10.97 crores of skilled manpower in 24 key sectors by 2022.
  • Furthermore, the farm and nonfarm workforce of 29.82 crore people needed to be skilled, reskilled, and upskilled.


Overburdened Responsibility:

  • Phase III of the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana, which was launched in 2020-21 to provide skill development to over 8 lakh people.
  • However, it suffers from an over-reliance on District Skills Development Committees, which are chaired by District Collectors and would be unable to prioritise this role given their other responsibilities.

Policy Process Discontinuity:

  • The National Skill Development Agency (NSDA) was established in 2013 to resolve inter-ministerial and inter-departmental issues and to eliminate duplications of the Centre's efforts.
  • However, it is now a part of the National Council for Vocational Training (NCVT).
  • This reflects not only a break in the policy process, but also some obfuscation on the part of policymakers.

A Massive Number of New Entrants:

  • According to a 2019 National Skills Development Corporation (NSDC) study, 7 crore more people between the ages of 15 and 59 are expected to enter the labour force by 2023.
  • Given the sheer number of youth who need to be skilled, it is critical that policy efforts are adequate in every way.

Employers' Reluctance:

  • India's joblessness problem is more than just a lack of skills; it also reflects a lack of appetite for recruiting on the part of industrialists and SMEs.
  • The investment rate has declined as a result of limited credit availability due to bank NPAs, which has a negative impact on job creation.

Why is Workforce Skill Development Necessary?

Issues of Supply and Demand:

  • On the supply side, India is failing to create enough job opportunities; on the demand side, professionals entering the job market lack skill sets. As a result, rising unemployment rates are coexisting with low employability.

Rising Unemployment:

  • According to the Centre for Monitoring the Indian Economy (CMIE), India's unemployment rate will be around 7% or 8% in 2022, up from around 5% five years ago.
  • Furthermore, the workforce shrank as millions of people dissatisfied with their job prospects left, a situation exacerbated by Covid-19 lockdowns.
  • The labour force participation rate, which includes people who work or are looking for work, has fallen to 40% of the 900 million Indians of legal age, down from 46% six years ago.

Workforce Skill Shortage:

  • While keeping up with job creation is one issue, the employability and productivity of those entering the labour force is another.
  • According to the India Skills Report 2015, only 37.22% of those polled were found to be employable - 34.26% of men and 37.88% of women.
  • According to Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) data 2019-20, 86.1% of those aged 15 to 59 had no vocational training. The remaining 13.9% had received training in a variety of formal and informal settings.

Demand for Skilled Workforce:

  • The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) forecasted 201 million incremental human resource requirements until 2022, bringing the total skilled workforce requirement to 300 million by 2023.
  • A large portion of these jobs were to be added in the manufacturing sector, with the National Manufacturing Policy (2011) aiming for 100 million new manufacturing jobs by 2022.

What are the different initiatives for skill development?

Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (Prakash Vikas Yojana):

  • The flagship Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) scheme was launched in 2015 to provide short-term training, skilling, and apprenticeship through ITIs.
  • Under this programme, the government has trained over 10 million youth since 2015.


  • Other significant skilling interventions include the SANKALP programme, which focuses on the district-level skilling ecosystem, and the STRIVE project, which aims to improve the performance of ITIs.

Several Ministries' Initiatives:

  • Twenty central ministries/departments implement nearly 40 skill development programmes. The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship is responsible for approximately 55% of the skilling achieved.
  • Since 2015, initiatives from all ministries have resulted in nearly four crore people being trained through various traditional skills programmes.

Mandatory CSR Spending on Skill Development:

  • Since the implementation of mandatory CSR spending under the Companies Act, 2013, corporations in India have invested over 100,000 crores in a variety of social projects.
  • Approximately 6,877 crores were spent on skilling and livelihood improvement projects. The top five recipients were Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Karnataka, and Gujarat.

TEJAS Skill Development Initiative:

  • TEJAS (Training for Emirates Jobs and Skills), a Skill India International Project to train Indians living in other countries, was recently launched at the Dubai Expo 2020.
  • The project aims to train, certify, and employ Indians abroad, as well as to create pathways for the Indian workforce to be prepared for skill and market requirements in the UAE.

The Way Forward

  • The most important aspect of our country's development is skill development. India has a large 'demographic dividend,' which means it has a large potential for providing skilled labour to the labour market. All stakeholders, including government agencies, industries, educational and training institutions, and students, trainees, and job seekers, must work together to achieve this.

Read Also : Government efforts for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship

Source: PIB

White Fly

GS-III : Economic Issues Agriculture

White Fly

  • White fly attacks on cotton have increased recently in a number of states, including Punjab and Rajasthan.

What are the facts regarding the white fly?

  • By eating on the underside of the leaf and dispersing illnesses like Cotton Leaf Curl Virus, whiteflies are a significant pest of cotton that reduce output.
  • They consume the leaf sap and exude fluid onto the leaves, where a black fungus develops. This weakens the plant by interfering with photosynthesis, the process by which it produces food.
  • Spread: The first invasive spiralling whitefly to be identified, Aleurodicus dispersus, is now found all over India.
  • The rugose spiralling whitefly (Aleurodicus rugioperculatus), which was first discovered in Pollachi, Tamil Nadu, in 2016, has similarly expanded across the entire nation.
  • Over 320 and 40 plant species, respectively, have been recorded to harbour Aleurodicus dispersus and Aleurodicus rugioperculatus.
  • The majority of the whitefly species are indigenous to Central America or the Caribbean.

Causes of Spread:

  • The ability of all invasive whiteflies to eat on a variety of foods and their prodigious breeding have led to an expansion in their host range (produces a large number offsprings).
  • Growing plant imports, globalisation, and human migration have facilitated the spread of various types and their eventual development into invasive species.

What other insects or pests are harming crops?

Attack by the Fall Armyworm (FAW)

  • Due of its inherent capacity for dissemination and the chances provided by international trade, it is a harmful transboundary bug with a high potential to expand rapidly.
  • In the northern Dhemaji region of Assam, the Directorate of Agriculture reported an armyworm attack on the standing crops in 2020.


  • A locust is a huge, primarily tropical grasshopper with strong flight abilities (also known as a migratory bug or tiddi). They vary from common grasshoppers in that they may alter their behaviour (gregarize) and group together in swarms that can travel great distances.
  • Adult locusts may consume roughly two grammes of fresh plants day, or their own weight, in food. A very small swarm can destroy crops and pose a serious danger to food security by consuming the equivalent of 35,000 people's worth of food in one day.

PBW, or pink boltworm:

  • Its scientific name is Pectinophora gossypiella, and it is a problem insect in cotton production.
  • Although it is native to Asia, the pink bollworm has spread to most of the cotton-growing countries of the world.


Source: Down To Earth

NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART)

GS-III : S&T Space

NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART)

NASA's Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) recently struck Dimorphous with success.


  • First planetary defence test for humanity:
  • With the collision, the test was successfully accomplished in a mission that went without a hitch exactly as anticipated.

Test purpose:

  • The asteroid's orbit around Didymos, the larger asteroid, should have been subtly altered by the impact.
  • In order to compare this alteration to computer simulations, measurements of this change will be taken by telescopes on Earth and in space.

Dimorphos: Why?

  • Didymos is the ideal system for the test mission because it is an eclipsing binary, which means it has a small moon that orbits the main asteroid on a regular basis and can be observed when it passes directly in front of the main asteroid.
  • There is no chance that the deflection experiment might result in an impact risk because the Didymos system is not an asteroid that is travelling toward Earth.
  • This brightness variation can be investigated by telescopes on Earth to determine how long it takes Dimorphos to orbit Didymos.

About the DART Mission

  • It is an experiment in planetary defence technology meant to stop a dangerous asteroid from hitting Earth.
  • In order to lessen the risk of an asteroid hitting Earth, DART is the first technological demonstration of the kinetic impactor technique.
  • The asteroid is impulsively deflected via an abrupt increase in motion as part of the kinetic impactor mitigation approach. In order to modify an asteroid's orbital period, DART is launched to collide with it.

The following mission: Hera

  • Hera, a spacecraft being developed by the European Space Agency to conduct a thorough reconnaissance and assessment, will be launched to Didymos in 2024 and arrive there in 2027 (5 years after DART's impact).

About Asteroids:

  • Asteroids, sometimes known as minor planets, are rocky, airless leftovers from the early stages of the solar system's creation, which occurred around 4.6 billion years ago.
  • The main asteroid belt, which extends between Mars and Jupiter, is home to the majority of this old space debris.
  • Trojans are asteroids that pass in front of and behind Jupiter.
  • Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) are the shorthand name for asteroids that approach the Earth. NASA closely monitors these asteroids.
  • Asteroids range in size from the largest, Vesta, which has a diameter of around 329 miles, to things that are about 33 feet wide. The cumulative mass of all asteroids is less than that of the moon of Earth.
  • As opposed to planets, asteroids are not spherical. Their shapes are erratic and jagged.
  • The majority of asteroids are composed of various types of rocks, although some also contain clays or metals like iron and nickel.

Mission to Find Asteroids

  • Assessment of Asteroid Impact and Deflection (AIDA): This includes the Hera Mission and the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) missions from NASA.
  • Hera Mission: This European Space Agency (ESA) asteroid deflection mission will launch in 2024 and assess the impact crater left by the DART encounter as well as analyse how the asteroid's orbital course has changed. In 2027, it will reach the Didymos system.

Read Also: NASA ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar

Source: The Indian Express

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