UPSC Daily Current Affairs – Prelims & Mains [05th July 2023]

Uniform Civil Code

Syllabus: Indian Constitution

In News

The push for a Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in India is raising concerns about religious rights and personal laws, while the Supreme Court’s inquiry on religious freedom remains unresolved.

What is UCC?

Uniform Civil Code refers to having a uniform set of civil laws for all citizens, irrespective of religious or cultural affiliations.

Aims to replace personal laws based on religious practices that govern marriage, divorce, inheritance, adoption, and succession.

Historical Perspectives on UCC:

  • British rule: Lack of uniformity in civil matters due to recognition of different personal laws for various communities.
  • Portuguese rule: Implemented UCC based on the Portuguese Napoleonic code in Goa after liberation in 1961.
  • Nehruvian Vision: Jawaharlal Nehru advocated UCC for a modern and progressive India, eliminating religious divisions.
  • Hindu Code Bill: Aimed to codify and modernize Hindu personal laws, a step towards UCC within the Hindu community.
  • Shah Bano Case: Sparked debates on UCC for gender justice and equal rights for women across religious communities.

Constitutional Perspectives on UCC:

  • Constituent Assembly Debates: Diverse viewpoints on UCC, with some supporting gender equality and secularism, while others preserving religious rights.
  • Directive Principles of State Policy: Article 44 envisions a UCC for promoting uniformity in civil laws.
  • Secularism: UCC promotes secularism by treating all religions equally and ensuring equal treatment of citizens.
  • Equality and Non-Discrimination: UCC upholds equal rights for all citizens, regardless of their religious backgrounds.
  • Gender Justice: UCC is seen as a means to promote gender justice.

How do Personal Laws Govern Different Communities?

  • Muslims, Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, Sikhs, Parsis, and Jews are governed by their personal laws.
  • Goa follows a UCC under the Goa Civil Code retained after liberation from Portuguese rule.
  • Different laws within the Hindu community – Reformed Hindu Personal Law and Hindu Personal Law in Special Marriage Act.

Argument in Favor of UCC:

  • National Integration and Secularism: UCC fosters a common identity, promotes secularism, and reduces communal conflicts.
  • Gender Justice and Equality: UCC empowers women and ensures equal rights in marriage, divorce, inheritance, etc.
  • Simplification and Rationalization of Legal System: UCC harmonizes laws and enhances accessibility for the common people.
  • Modernization and Reform of Outdated Practices: UCC aligns personal laws with human rights and constitutional values.

Argument Against UCC:

  • Diverse Personal Laws and Customary Practices: Harmonizing India’s diverse laws and practices is complex.
  • Resistance from Religious and Minority Groups: Concerns about imposing majority views and undermining constitutional rights.
  • Lack of Political Will and Consensus: Potential communal tensions from UCC implementation.
  • Practical Difficulties and Complexities: Drafting, codifying, and harmonizing laws require substantial efforts.

Law Commission Views:

  • 21st Law Commission of India: UCC not necessary nor desirable at this stage.
  • 22nd Law Commission of India: Examining various issues related to UCC.

SC-related Cases:

  • Shah Bano Case: Upheld Muslim women’s rights and highlighted the need for UCC.
  • Sarla Mudgal Case: Prevented fraudulent conversions and bigamous marriages.
  • Shayara Bano Case: Declared triple talaq unconstitutional and recommended a law to regulate Muslim marriages and divorces.


Implementing a UCC in India requires a balanced approach that respects multiculturalism and diversity. Inclusive discussions with stakeholders are essential to uphold constitutional values and promote equality and justice. The aim is to develop a just and inclusive UCC that aligns with the evolving needs of Indian society.

Mains Question:

Constitutional Morality’ is rooted in the Constitution itself and is founded on its essential facets. Explain the doctrine of ‘Constitutional Morality’ with the help of relevant judicial decisions. (UPSC 2021)

Prelims Question:

Q1. Consider the following provisions under the Directive Principles of State Policy as enshrined in the Constitution of India: ( UPSC 2012)

  1. Securing for citizens of India a uniform civil code
  2. Organising village Panchayats
  3. Promoting cottage industries in rural areas
  4. Securing for all the workers reasonable leisure and cultural opportunities

Which of the above are the Gandhian Principles that are reflected in the Directive Principles of State Policy?

(a) 1, 2 and 4 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1, 3 and 4 only

(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

Ans: B

WHO: Guidelines to protect children from the harmful effects of food marketing

Syllabus: Issues relating to health

In News

The Quadripartite – composed of the FAO, UNEP, WHO, and the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) – has released the One Health Priority Research Agenda on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR).

Definition of ‘One Health’:

The concept of ‘One Health’ recognizes the interconnectedness and interdependence of the health of humans, domestic and wild animals, plants, and the broader environment, including ecosystems.

Link between ‘One Health’ and AMR:

At the interface of One Health, addressing global health issues necessitates a multisectoral, multidisciplinary response to AMR. Global experts, using a mixed-methods approach, have identified five key pillars and three cross-cutting themes:

Five key pillars:

  • Transmission: Focuses on AMR transmission, circulation, and spread in the environment, plant, animal, and human sectors.
  • Integrated surveillance: Aims to improve common technical understanding and information exchange among One Health stakeholders through cross-cutting priority research questions.
  • Interventions: Concentrates on preventing, containing, or reducing the incidence, prevalence, and spread of AMR through programs, practices, tools, and activities.
  • Behavioural insights and change: Addresses human behavior affecting AMR and explores ways to combat it.
  • Economics and policy: Considers the cost-effectiveness of an AMR investment case, financial sustainability, and long-term financial impact.

Purpose of priority research agenda:

  • Advocate for increased research and investment in AMR.
  • Guide stakeholders in generating new evidence to address AMR, with a focus on low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).
  • Emphasize the importance of developing research capacity in LMICs to address research gaps and develop evidence.

Significance of the agenda:

  • A guide for countries, research institutes, and funding bodies to support One Health AMR research.
  • Facilitates collaboration across sectors among policymakers, researchers, and the multidisciplinary scientific community.

Other similar efforts:

WHO launched a global research agenda for AMR in human health, prioritizing 40 research topics for policy and intervention support by 2030.

Way ahead:

The priority research agenda requires customization at the regional and country level, focusing on specific research relevant to the needs of different countries and One Health settings.


Implementing this research agenda will address the threat of AMR and support the implementation of national action plans (NAPs) and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

Solar Geoengineering to counter global warming

Syllabus: Environment and Conservation/ Science and Technology- Developments and their Applications and Effects in Everyday Life.

In News

The US is considering a controversial method to combat global warming: Solar geoengineering.

Definition of Solar geoengineering:

  • Solar geoengineering, also known as solar radiation management (SRM), refers to a set of proposed techniques aimed at reflecting sunlight back into space to rapidly cool the Earth.
  • Within solar geoengineering, researchers are exploring two main approaches.

Different SRM method

  • Stratospheric aerosol injection (SAI): This method involves injecting small reflecting particles, called aerosols, into the upper atmosphere to cool the Earth.
  • Marine cloud brightening (MCB): This approach aims to stimulate cloud formation over the ocean using sea salt, which would also contribute to reflecting sunlight in the region.

Reasons for considering solar geoengineering:

  • Paris Agreement goals: The Paris Agreement aims to limit global temperature increase to below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, with efforts to achieve a 1.5°C increase. Solar geoengineering is being considered as a contingency plan in case global efforts to reduce emissions fall short of these ambitious targets.
  • Net-zero emissions challenge: To meet the Paris Agreement targets, countries need to bring net global CO2 emissions to zero by mid-century. Solar geoengineering is seen as a potential tool to help offset the remaining emissions and cool the planet.
  • Preparing for uncertainties: Given the complexity and challenges of mitigating climate change, solar geoengineering is being explored as a possible last resort option to address the consequences of global warming.

The USA’s approach:

  • The White House has acknowledged the potential role of solar geoengineering in its climate policy. It believes that public or private actors could carry out activities like injecting aerosols and using marine cloud brightening to reflect more sunlight into space.
  • The USA calls for comprehensive research to better understand the risks and benefits associated with solar geoengineering. This research aims to inform decisions about the potential implementation of these techniques alongside traditional mitigation and adaptation strategies.

Solar geoengineering risks:

  • Moral hazard: A major concern is that relying on solar geoengineering might reduce the incentive for aggressive emissions reductions and transitioning to a low-carbon economy. It could be seen as a substitute for fundamental changes in human behavior and energy consumption.
  • Lack of comprehensive data: Research on solar geoengineering’s impacts is limited and mostly based on computer modeling and observations of natural phenomena like volcanic eruptions. This makes it challenging to predict the full scope of consequences associated with its deployment.

Way ahead:

Given the global implications of solar geoengineering, its consideration as a climate response requires:

  • Effective international governance and mechanisms for oversight to ensure responsible use and avoid unilateral actions.
  • Outdoor experimentation and funding for experiments should come from governments to ensure accountability and transparency.
  • Involving the public in decision-making is essential, as solar geoengineering has far-reaching implications and requires broad societal consensus.


While solar geoengineering may offer potential solutions to address climate change, it also presents ethical, environmental, and societal risks. As such, any experiments or potential deployment of these technologies must undergo thorough public scrutiny and debate. While exploring these options, it is crucial to prioritize and invest in traditional mitigation and adaptation measures as the primary strategies to combat global warming.


Hachiko, the world’s most faithful dog, is commemorating its 100th anniversary this year. Born in November 1923 in Odate, Japan, Hachiko was originally purchased as a puppy by Hidesaburo Ueno, an agricultural scientist. However, Hachiko’s true legacy lies in his unwavering loyalty to his master. Every day, Ueno would take the train from Shibuya Station, and Hachiko faithfully accompanied him to the station and patiently waited for his return. Tragically, Ueno passed away unexpectedly in 1925, but Hachiko continued to show up at the station day after day, hoping to reunite with his beloved master.

Hachiko’s remarkable loyalty touched the hearts of many, and when the devoted dog passed away in 1935 at the age of 11, hundreds of people attended his funeral to pay their respects. In honor of his unwavering devotion, statues were erected in his memory, forever preserving the story of Hachiko’s remarkable bond with his master.

Lord Lansdowne

In News

The Lansdowne Cantonment Board in Uttarakhand, India, has made the decision to rename the picturesque hill station of Lansdowne as Jaswantgarh, in honor of Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat. Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat was a decorated hero who received the Maha Vir Chakra for his bravery during the 1962 war with China.

  • About Lord Lansdowne, who served as the Viceroy of India from 1888 to 1894, during his tenure, the British administration faced challenges, including dwindling revenue, political reform constraints, and strained relations with Afghanistan’s amir and the peoples of the northwestern frontier. Lord Lansdowne played a role in legitimizing the Indian National Congress and recognized the growth of Indian nationalism during the British rule. He was associated with significant legislative changes, such as the Indian Factory Act of 1891, which impacted working conditions in factories.
  • Under the Aitchison Commission’s recommendations, the Statutory Civil Service was abolished, and the government’s civilian officers were categorized into three classes: Imperial Indian Civil Service, Provincial Civil Service, and Subordinate Civil Service. Another important piece of legislation during Lord Lansdowne’s time was the Age of Consent Act of 1891, which raised the age of consent for girls to twelve years from ten in all jurisdictions, aiming to protect them from exploitation.
  • Lord Lansdowne also introduced the Indian Councils Act of 1892, which added members to the central and provincial legislative councils and introduced an indirect election system for council members, a step towards representative government in India.
  • In 1893, the Durand Commission was established under Lord Lansdowne’s administration, leading to the Durand Line agreement to secure the north-west and Afghanistan. Additionally, a royal commission was appointed in the same year to study the use of opium in India, which ultimately favored its continued use and averted the idea of imposing a ban.
  • As a tribute to Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat’s bravery and sacrifice, Lansdowne will be renamed Jaswantgarh, immortalizing the memory of the valiant soldier in the region’s history.

Bharat 6G Alliance

In News

The Bharat 6G Alliance (B6GA) has emerged as a collaborative platform, bringing together public and private companies, academia, research institutions, and standards development organizations. The primary objective of this alliance is to promote international collaboration, establish coalitions with global 6G alliances, and drive the design, development, and deployment of 6G technologies within India.

Key Objectives of B6GA:

  • Establish India as a Leading Global Supplier: The alliance seeks to enable India to emerge as a prominent global supplier of intellectual property, products, and solutions for affordable 5G, 6G, and other future telecom innovations.
  • Empower India through 6G Technologies: By the year 2030, B6GA aims to deploy 6G technologies that act as powerful force multipliers for India, contributing to its growth and development in the telecom sector.
  • Comprehensive Understanding of 6G: Beyond technological aspects, the alliance is dedicated to comprehending the business and societal needs associated with 6G technologies to ensure holistic development.
  • Recommendations for Bharat 6G Vision: B6GA will focus on developing recommendations and strategies for implementing the Bharat 6G Vision effectively across the nation.

In addition to the formation of the Bharat 6G Alliance, two agreements have been signed for projects under the Telecom Technology Development Fund (TTDF). Launched by the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) in 2022, the TTDF scheme aims to fund research and development in rural-specific communication technology applications. This initiative brings together academia, start-ups, and industry to build and develop a robust telecom ecosystem in India. The USOF, operating under the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), allocates 5% of its annual collections for TTDF, ensuring advancements in communication technologies that cater to rural areas’ unique needs.

Joint ocean expedition to study maritime changes

In News

Scientists from Bangladesh and Mauritius have collaborated with Indian maritime experts for a groundbreaking joint ocean expedition. This expedition aims to conduct research on ocean data to gain a deeper understanding of the marine environment and oceanic parameters, enabling better management of changes in these domains.

  • Led by the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), this landmark expedition was initiated through the cooperation of CSC Oceanographers and Hydrographers. 
  • The research vessel ‘Sagar Nidhi,’ operated by the National Institute of Ocean Technology, serves as the primary platform for this venture. 
  • Sagar Nidhi is a versatile and multidisciplinary vessel equipped with state-of-the-art technology, enabling geoscientific, meteorological, and oceanographic research.
    • Notably, Sagar Nidhi possesses the capability to navigate in challenging blue-water conditions, and it has previously undertaken voyages to Antarctic waters. 
    • Through this joint ocean expedition, scientists from these three nations aim to advance their understanding of the ocean, its dynamics, and the various factors influencing its environment. Such collaborative efforts are vital for the sustainable management and conservation of our oceans’ precious resource.

Trafficking in Border Areas

In News

The government has announced plans to assist border states and union territories in setting up homes for the rehabilitation of trafficking victims, particularly children and minors.

Ministry’s Initiative

Ministry: The Women and Child Development Ministry will provide financial aid to these regions to establish shelters that will offer protection, rehabilitation, and support services to victims of trafficking.

Provisions for the Rehabilitation Homes

Provisions: These homes will provide essentials such as shelter, food, clothing, counselling, and primary healthcare facilities.

Understanding Human Trafficking

What is Human trafficking? Human trafficking refers to the illegal trade and exploitation of individuals through force, coercion, or deception for various purposes such as forced labour, sexual exploitation, and organ trafficking. It involves the recruitment, transportation, harbouring, or receipt of people by means of threat, fraud, or abduction for the purpose of exploitation.

India’s Status and Constitutional Provisions

  • India’s Status: India is both a source and destination country for human trafficking, with neighbouring countries like Nepal, Bangladesh, and Myanmar being the main sources.
  • Constitutional Status: Article 23 prohibits human trafficking and begar (forced labour without payment). Article 24 forbids the employment of children below the age of 14 years in dangerous jobs like factories and mines.

Schemes to Combat Human Trafficking

  • The Women and Child Development Ministry has been providing financial assistance under the Nirbhaya Fund to establish Anti Human Trafficking Units (AHTU) across the country, including in border guarding forces like the BSF and SSB.
  • As of now, 788 AHTUs, including 30 in border guarding forces, are functional.
  • Sponsorship under the Mission Vatsalya Scheme, which focuses on the protection and welfare of children.
  • Anti-Trafficking Nodal Cell (Ministry of Home Affairs)

With the implementation of these initiatives and schemes, the government aims to create a safer and more supportive environment for victims of human trafficking, and take significant steps towards eradicating this heinous crime from society.

Pichavaram region

In News

The Tamil Nadu Forest Department has developed an extensive strategy to rejuvenate coastal habitats and revitalize degraded mangroves in the Cuddalore district, with a specific focus on the Pichavaram region.

Pichavaram is a unique landscape comprised of numerous islands scattered across a vast expanse of water, adorned with a dense mangrove forest. This magnificent Pichavaram mangrove forest spans approximately 45 sq km, making it one of the largest mangrove forests in India. It is geographically separated from the Bay of Bengal by a protective sand bar.

Bogibeel in Dibrugarh

In News

The Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Ayush, Shri Sarbananda Sonowal, recently initiated the construction of an Inland Waterways Transport (IWT) terminal at Bogibeel in Dibrugarh, Assam. This terminal will be strategically located on the banks of the River Brahmaputra (National Waterways 2).

The government’s ambitious plan, outlined in the Maritime India Vision (MIV)-2030, aims to elevate the share of Inland Water Transport (IWT) to 5% of the overall transportation sector.

Bogibeel is already renowned for housing the Bogibeel Bridge, which stands as India’s longest rail-cum-road bridge, spanning an impressive 4.94 kilometers over the mighty Brahmaputra river.


In News

Kenyan President William Ruto has decided to end a six-year ban on logging, despite concerns raised by environmentalists. President Ruto’s argument is that it is wasteful to allow mature trees to decay in forests while local industries are facing a timber shortage.

Kenya, a country in East Africa, boasts a diverse landscape that includes savannahs, Lakelands, the stunning Great Rift Valley, and mountainous highlands. Its rich biodiversity is home to iconic wildlife such as lions, elephants, and rhinos. Nairobi, the capital, serves as a starting point for safaris to the Maasai Mara Reserve, renowned for its annual wildebeest migrations, and Amboseli National Park, offering breathtaking views of Tanzania’s majestic Mount Kilimanjaro, standing at 5,895 meters.

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