UPSC Daily Current Affairs - 9th February 2023

UPSC Daily Current Affairs – Prelims [9th February 2023]

Sangam age

Source: The Hindu

In News

The Sangam era has been dated back to 800 BCE based on the results of an excavation conducted by the Archaeological Survey of India. These findings have been instrumental in revising our understanding of the historical period.

The Sangam era has been dated between 800 BCE and 300 CE, according to the stratigraphy analysis of cultural deposits found at the archaeological site. Previously, it was thought to be between 300 BCE to 300 CE. This period has been divided into three phases:

  1. The pre-early historic period from 800 BCE to 500 BCE.
  2. The mature early history period from 500 BCE to the close of the 1st century BCE.
  3. The post-early history period from the 1st century BCE to 300 CE.

About Archaeological Survey of India

  • The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is a government agency under the Ministry of Culture in India.
  • Its main function is to carry out archaeological research, conservation, and preservation of ancient monuments and sites in the country.
  • The ASI regulates all archaeological activities through the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act (AMASR Act) of 1958 and the Antiquities and Art Treasure Act of 1972.
  • The ASI was established in 1861 by James Cunningham, a British Army engineer with an interest in archaeology.
  • The society of antiquarians called the Asiatic Society was formed in 1784 by Sir William Jones, marking the start of archaeological pursuits in India. Alexander Cunningham, James’ father, is known as the “Father of Indian Archaeology.”
  • The ASI is now a statutory body, governed by the AMASR Act of 1958, with a Director-General at the helm.
  • Its headquarters are located in New Delhi, and it oversees over 3500 protected monuments and archaeological sites of national importance.
  • Some of the ASI’s publications include “Ancient India,” “Epigraphia Indica,” and “Indian Archaeology: A Review.”


Source: DTE

In News

A recent documentary has shone a light on the musical and dance traditions of the Siddi community in Gujarat, entitled “Dhamaals.” This film offers an in-depth look at the vibrant culture and art of this community, exploring their music and dance through the lens of the documentary.

What are Dhamaals?

  • Dhamaals are a blend of Sufi and African (primarily East African) music and dance traditions that are specifically associated with the spiritual practices of the Siddi community in Gujarat.
  • The performance typically begins with the blowing of a conch shell, and includes the use of East African percussion instruments such as the musindo, along with the rhythmic stomping of feet.
  • Dhamaals are performed in honor of prominent spiritual leaders such as Bava Gor, Mai Misra, Baba Habash, and Sidi Nabi Sultan.
  • They can be performed in two ways: Dance Dhamaal (which involves both sitting and dancing) and Baithaaki Dhamaal (which involves only sitting).

Appointment of Police Chiefs

Source – Indian Express

In News

The government of Nagaland has selected Rupin Sharma to serve as the Director General of the state police. This appointment was made in response to the direction provided by the Supreme Court.

  • Before this appointment, the state of Nagaland had taken issue with the recommendation of Rupin Sharma for the position of Director General of the state police by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).
  • Sharma was the only candidate recommended by the UPSC, which had led to a challenge from Nagaland.

Appointment Process

The appointment process for the Director General of Police (DGP) is based on the Supreme Court 2006 judgment in the Prakash Singh case. This process involves the following steps:

  1. The selection of the DGP is made from a panel of three senior-most officers who have been approved for promotion by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).
  2. The empanelment committee, which is responsible for selecting the panel of officers, evaluates candidates based on merit, taking into account factors such as length of service, performance record, and experience in leading the police force.
  3. The UPSC will not include any officer with less than six months left until retirement in the panel.
  4. The DGP is to serve a fixed term of two years in the position, regardless of their retirement date.

UPSC Guidelines on appointment

The Union Public Service Commission provides guidelines for the appointment process for the Director General of Police (DGP) which are as follows:

  1. The list of eligible officers must have at least 30 years of service and must be submitted to the UPSC six months prior to the incumbent DGP’s retirement.
  2. In certain states, the 30-year rule may be relaxed to 25 years with the consent of the central government.

However, the appointment process has faced challenges, with at least four states having interim police chiefs, and in some cases, the central government not following the Prakash Singh judgment.



In News

The government of India has set a disinvestment target of ₹51,000 crores for the financial year 2023-24. This target is 21% lower compared to the previous year and marks the lowest disinvestment target in the past seven years.

Status of Disinvestment

  • The Indian government has a history of missing its disinvestment targets, having only achieved it 6 times in the past 30 years.
  • The last time the target was met was in 2018-19.
  • Despite having a high target of ₹1.75 lakh crore in 2021-22, the government missed it by a large margin.
  • In 2023-24, the government has set a disinvestment target of ₹51,000 crore, which is a 21% decrease from the previous year and the lowest target in the last 7 years.
  • The privatization of state-owned companies like Shipping Corporation of India, Container Corporation of India, and NMDC Steel is part of the disinvestment plan for the current fiscal year.

About Disinvestment

  • Disinvestment helps in improving the operational efficiency of the public sector units by bringing in private sector management and resources.
  • The government can use the proceeds from disinvestment to fund various social welfare schemes and infrastructure development projects.
  • It is also seen as a way to improve the competitiveness of the public sector units and enhance their market valuation.
  • By reducing its ownership, the government can improve the autonomy and accountability of the public sector units, thereby leading to better decision-making and improved performance.

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