30 September, 2019

12 Min Read

GS-I :
VP Menon’s role in accession of J&K and other states.

GS-II:VP Menon’s role in accession of J&K and other states.


Today marks the 126th birth anniversary of V P Menon. The nation remembers Sardar Patel’s herculean efforts in ensuring that over 500 princely states seamlessly joined the Union of India. However it was Menon working in the background, travelling across the country and persuading different Maharajas and Nawabs to accede.

V.P. Menon:

Born on September 30, 1893, Menon was the Secretary in the Ministry of States which was established by the Government of India in 1947 to deal with the accession of princely states.

His contributions:

  • Menon’s greatest contribution was coming up with the original policy on accession that required the princely states to accede only in the three matters of defence, external affairs and communications.
  • These the basic unity of India would be achieved and, when the new constitution was framed, we could thrash out the necessary details.
  • It was Menon’s policy piloted by Sardar Patel that was finally reflected in the Instrument of Accession (IoA) executed by the states becoming a part of the Union of India in 1947 and their seamless integration thereafter.

Role in J&K’s accession:

  • One of the states to which Menon travelled to secure its accession was Jammu and Kashmir.
  • By October 25, 1947, an attack by Afridi tribesmen had reached the outskirts of Srinagar, forcing the Maharaja of J&K to escape the city and relocate to Jammu.
  • On October 26, the Defence Committee of the Indian Government held a meeting to discuss the viability of a military intervention in J&K.
  • Lord Mountbatten, who was part of this meeting observed that since J&K had not acceded to either India or Pakistan, it was an independent country.
  • According to Mountbatten, if the Maharaja acceded to India, troops could be sent to rescue the state.
  • Subsequently, it was Menon who immediately flew to Jammu and secured the Maharaja’s signature on the IoA.

The integration:

  • With accession secured, the next challenge for Menon and his team in the Ministry of States was to ensure complete integration.
  • This was a legally complex but politically straightforward matter in respect of most princely states.
  • The negotiations between representatives of the Government of India and Sheikh Abdullah, then PM of J&K, in relation to J&K’s status in India failed to produce a mutually acceptable result.
  • It was thus decided that the Constitution of India would reflect the position under the 1947 IoA.

Birth of Article 370

  • The final text of Article 370 introduced in the Constitution of India is based on this understanding.
  • Sheikh Abdullah proposed an alternative formulation which simply stated that the Indian Parliament would be entitled to legislate only on defence, external affairs and communications.
  • Seemingly making light of Abdullah’s objection, Menon asked that the following be conveyed to Patel:
  • Parts II (citizenship), III (fundamental rights) and IV (directive principles) of the Constitution would apply automatically to Kashmir unless the position is expressly saved
  • What worried Sheikh Abdullah and the National Conference was that if these general provisions become applicable to Kashmir also, their legislation against other citizens of India in respect of acquisition etc. of property will become invalid.

Source: India Express

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GS-I :
Galo community in Arunachal Pradesh

GS-I:Galo community in Arunachal Pradesh.


Members of the Galo community in Arunachal Pradesh can recall the name of their ancestor from 20 generations, and this is made possible by their system of naming.

Galo community:

  • At about 1.5 lakh people, the Galos are one of the 26 major communities of Arunachal Pradesh, and dominate West Siang, Lepa Rada and Lower Siang districts.
  • They have a big population in East Siang, Upper Subansiri and Namsai districts too.
  • The Galos belong to the Tani group inhabiting Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, besides Tibet.
  • They trace their common origin to a primeval ancestor, Abotani.


  • But unlike the Mising (Assam), Adi, Apatani, Nyishi and Tagin, the other communities, only the Galos maintain genealogy through given names.
  • They have a system of prefixing the second syllable of a father’s name to that of a son, who passes on the suffix in his name to his son.
  • Hence they can trace the names of ancestors from the first syllable or prefix of our names.
  • They have nine sub-clans: Angu, Bagra, Doji, Kamnyi, Karso, Naho, Ngomdir, Rasa or Rame, and Yorsi or Kamsi. The numbers of sub-clans of the other clans vary.


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GS-I :
Asteroid named after Pandit Jasraj.

GS-I:Asteroid named after Pandit Jasraj.


The International Astronomical Union (IAU) has named an asteroid, discovered in 2006, after Indian classical singer Pandit Jasraj.

About the asteroid:

  • The asteroid, or more formally known as a minor planet, is located between Mars and Jupiter, and was discovered on November 11, 2006, by the Catalina Sky Survey in the United States.
  • The privilege of naming a planet is first given to discoverers, who have 10 years to propose a name.
  • All names proposed are judged by the Working Group for Small Body Nomenclature (CSBN) of the IAU, comprising professional astronomers with research interests in minor planets and comets from around the world.

International Astronomical Union:

  • It is an international association of professional astronomers, at the PhD level and beyond, active in professional research and education in astronomy headquartered at Paris
  • It acts as the internationally recognized authority for assigning designations to celestial bodies (stars, planets, asteroids, etc.) and any surface features on them.
  • The IAU is a member of the International Council for Science (ICSU).
  • Its main objective is to promote and safeguard the science of astronomy in all its aspects through international cooperation.
  • The Indian National Science Academy is a member of this group.

About Pandit Jasraj:

  • Pandit Jasraj (b. 1930) is an exponent of Indian classical vocal music.
  • Jasraj is the recipient of numerous awards, honours, and titles, including the prestigious Padma Vibhushan and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award.
  • His distinctive voice traverses a remarkable four-and-a-half octaves.


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GS-III : Economic Issues Banking
Trust Deficit

GS-III: Trust deficit


It has been a nightmare of a week for thousands of customers of the Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative Bank (PMC),who were told last Tuesday by the RBI that no more Rs.1,000 could be withdrawn from their accounts for a period for 6 months.

What are the implications of the decision?

  • The PMC bank is a leading urban cooperative bank headquartered in Mumbai.
  • The decision sent shock waves among thousands of its depositors.
  • Panic-stricken customers rushed to bank’s branches across the state and were unable to withdraw more than Rs 1,000.
  • The Bank has a deposit base of Rs 11,617 crore and operations across 7 states.
  • It has been put under the scanner by the RBI after “irregularities” were disclosed to RBI.
  • It ranks among the top 10 cooperative banks in the country.
  • Moreover, the RBI restrictions will remain in force for 6 months.
  • Given these, the unrest among customers is likely to continue.

What went wrong?

  • Reporting - With a deposit base of just over Rs 11,000 crore, PMC bank reported a net profit of Rs 99.69 crore in 2018-19 as against Rs 100.90 crore in 2017-18.
  • The bank showed 3.76% (or Rs 315 crore) of advances (Rs 8,383 crore) as gross nonperforming assets (NPAs) in March 2019.
  • This was a good performance considering that public sector banks recorded over 10% gross NPAs.
  • With this, the total bad loans could be between Rs 2,000-2,500 crore.
  • Though this was not flagged in the Annual Report of 2018-19, the RBI was following it in the wake of huge divergence in bad loan reporting.
  • HDIL - The bank was funding a clutch of companies, mainly in the troubled real estate sector, led by Housing Development & Infrastructure Ltd (HDIL).
  • Notably, the Wadhawans of HDIL group had close links with PMC Bank for a long time.
  • PMC had given loan to Wadhawan even after HDIL defaulted on its loans to other banks.
  • Notably, commercial banks have already declared HDIL a defaulter.
  • HDIL was also taken to National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) for insolvency proceedings.
  • Recently, NCLT admitted an insolvency plea moved by the Bank of India against HDIL in connection with a Rs 522-crore loan default.
  • PMC, however, claimed that the loan was much lower than Rs 2,500 crore quoted in the media.

Way Forward:

RBI shares regulatory responsibilities over such banks with stares register of co-operative society further mires the problem .With over 1,500 urban co-operative banks operating the country and a few of them already under RBI imposed restrictions , a new road map is essential for their future course.


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