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12th August 2023

India’s G20 theme of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ & Objections


Defending the use of the Sanskrit term Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (The world is one family) in its G-20 logo, the Ministry of External Affairs said it uses only the “English version” of the phrase — “One Earth, One Family, One Future” — in its summary documents and outcome statements.

Why China made the objections?

  • China has reportedly voiced its opposition towards the inclusion of the Sanskrit phrase 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' in documents pertaining to recent G20 Energy Ministerial Meeting as also other G20 documents.
  • Arguments provided: China has objected to the use of this Sanskrit phrase, arguing that it is not recognised by the United Nations.
    • The six official languages of the UN are Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.

'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam':

  • Translated as "the world is one family," this phrase has regularly been used by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his speeches and is inscribed at the entrance of India's parliamentary building.
  • ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ is drawn from the ancient Sanskrit text of the Maha Upanishad.
  • The theme affirms the value of all life – human, animal, plant, and microorganisms – and their interconnectedness on the planet Earth and in the wider universe.

EC publishes final report on ‘Assam delimitation’


The Election Commission published its final report on the delimitation of assembly and parliamentary constituencies in Assam, keeping their total numbers unchanged at 126 and 14 respectively.

Key-highlights of Order:

Reservation of constituencies for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes has been done on the basis of the provisions laid down in Article 330 and 332 of the Constitution of India

  • In its final order, the poll panel has revised the nomenclature of one parliamentary and 19 assembly constituencies.
    • 19 assembly and two Lok Sabha constituencies have been reserved for Scheduled Tribes (STs).
    • One Lok Sabha and nine assembly constituencies have been reserved for Scheduled Castes (SCs).
  • All assembly and parliamentary constituencies in the state were delimited (redrawn) based on the 2001 Census.

What is Delimitation?

  • Delimitation means the act or process of fixing limits or boundaries of territorial constituencies in a country or a province having a legislative body, as per the Election Commission of India.
  • In India, the job of delimitation is assigned to the Delimitation Commission or a Boundary Commission.
  • Since Independence, the Commissions have been constituted four times — in 1952, 1963, 1973 and 2002.

Why was Assam left out?

  • Under the provisions of the Delimitation Act, 1972, the last delimitation of constituencies in Assam was done on the basis of census figures, 1971, by the then Delimitation Commission in 1976.
  • However, when the exercise was repeated in 2002, Assam was not a part of that. Not just Assam, but Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, and Nagaland, were also left out after a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed in the Guwahati High Court challenging the use of the 2001 Census for reference.
  • In February 2020, then President Ram Nath Kovind paved the way for the delimitation exercise in Assam, rescinding the February 8, 2008 order.

Parliament clears 28% GST on online gaming, casinos


Parliament approved amendments to the Central and Integrated GST laws to levy 28 per cent tax on the full face value of bets in online gaming, casinos and horse race clubs.

  • In July this year, the GST Council recently cleared changes in Central GST (IGST) and IGST laws to levy 28 per cent tax on full face value of bets in online gaming, casinos, and horse race clubs.
  • It also decided that GST will be levied at face value of entry level bets placed in gaming platforms and casinos.


  • The Central GST (Amendment) Bill, 2023, and the Integrated GST (Amendment) Bill, 2023 make registration mandatory for offshore e-gaming companies operating in India.

Currently, online gaming industry are paying GST at the rate of 18 per cent on platform fees/commission. Such commission varies from 5 to 20 per cent of the full face value of bets.

  • Non-compliant offshore gaming platforms or websites will be blocked.
  • With the amendment to GST law, horse racing, casinos, online money gaming will be treated as actionable claim similar to lottery, betting, and gambling.
  • The amendment in IGST Act gives powers to the Government to notify such goods, so that in case of import of such goods IGST can be levied and collected as regular inter-State supply under provisions of IGST Act.

Important Terms:

  • Online Gaming: The CGST amendment bill defines 'online gaming' as a game on the internet or an electronic network.
  • Online money gaming: 'Online money gaming' means online gaming in which players pay or deposit money, including virtual digital assets (VDAs), in the expectation of winning money or VDAs, in any event including game, scheme, competition or any other activity, whether or not its outcome or performance is based on skill, chance or both.

India’s online gaming industry:

  • The online gaming industry grew by 28 per cent in 2021 to reach USD 1.9 billion, as per NITI Aayog estimates.
  • Internet gaming has grown in popularity in India, with millions playing games like PUBG, Free Fire, and Call of Duty.
  • According to the government’s AVGC (Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming, and Comics) task force report, India is expected to become one of the world’s biggest gaming marketplaces.
  • It has risen steadily over the past five yearsand is expected to quadruple in value to 3.9 billion dollars by 2025.

Online gaming is a State Subject under Schedule 7.

  • India’s average revenue per paying user (ARPPU)rose 11 per cent to 20 dollars in 2022.

Impact of the amendments:

  • The amendments will aid in combating money laundering, illegal income, black money and other illegal activities associated with online gaming and curb evasion.
  • The amendments seek to establish a robust legal framework to avoid legal ambiguities and also to address various concerns of stakeholders.
  • The amendments will not affect tax on casual online gaming, wherein no real money, betting, or wager is involved.
  • With the passage of CGST and IGST amendments, states will now have to effect similar changes in their state GST laws in their respective assemblies.

Key drivers of Gaming Industry in India:

  • Smartphone penetration
  • Affordable internet
  • Young demography of India
  • Introduction of new games with a shorter learning curve



  • High Revenue generation
  • Boost in start-ups since pandemic
  • Help people to build a professional career and build skills
  • Can provide employment
  • Engage into increasing peer-to peer bonds
  • Societal concerns
  • 'Internet Gaming Disorder' due to addiction to online gaming.
  • Tax evasions (most apps operate from outside the country) 
  • Lack of regulations
  • Absence of framework

Russia launches Luna-25


 The Russian space agency, Roscomos, has successfully launched its first lunar lander in 47 years, marking a significant milestone in its space program.

The launch from Russia's Vostochny spaceport in the Far East of the Luna-25 craft to the moon is Russia's first since 1976 when it was part of the Soviet Union.

What is Luna-25?

  • Objective: There are two primary objectives of the mission;
    • to study composition of the polar regolith
    • to study the plasma and dust components of the lunar polar exosphere
  • These samples are crucialfor understanding the lunar environment before any potential base construction.
  • Prime Location: The Luna-25 mission is part of a broader race to explore the lunar South Pole, a region believed to hold coveted pockets of water ice.
  • The spacecraft, roughly the size of a small car, will operate for a year on the moon's South Pole.

Why South Pole is so important?

  • Scientists have detected traces of water ice in the region's shadowed craters, making it a prime location for future lunar bases.
  • The discovery of water ice could be historic as it could be used to extract fuel and oxygen, as well as provide drinking water for future lunar inhabitants.
  • The mission's success could potentially reshape the landscape of lunar exploration in the coming years, placing Russia at the forefront of this new space race.

How other nations are targeting Moon’s South Hole?

  • Major Powers such as the United States, China, India, Japan, and the European Union have all been probing the moon in recent years.
  • However, no country has yet made a soft landing on the South Pole. If successful, Luna-25 could potentially make Russia the first nation to achieve this feat.

Will it interfere with Chandrayaan-3?

  • India's Chandrayaan-3, which is also poised for a landing in the same vicinity — the moon's South Polar Region.
  • However, the two lunar missions, Luna 25 and Chandrayaan-3, won't interfere with each other, as they have separate landing areas planned.
    • The Luna 25 mission aims to study the composition of the lunar polar regolith (surface material) and the plasma and dust components of the lunar polar exosphere.
    • Chandrayaan-3 aims to demonstrate a safe and soft landing on the lunar surface, rover mobility, and in-situ scientific experiments.

Other short route missions:

  • Luna-25 would not be the first Russian lunar mission to take the short route to the Moon.
    • The Soviet Union’s Luna-1, the first unmanned mission to reach close to the Moon, took just 36 hours to make the journey.
    • China’s Chang’e 2, launched in 2010, also took just four days covering the distance between the Earth and the Moon, and so did its follow up mission to the lunar surface, Chang’e 3.
    • Apollo-11's command module, Columbia, carrying three astronauts, reached the Moon in just a little over four days.

Why Chandrayaan is taking too long?

  • Lack of powerful engine: Because ISRO, unlike the Russians, the Chinese and the Americans, does not have a rocket powerful enough to put Chandrayaan-3 on a direct path to the Moon.
  • Also, Chandrayaan-3 is following a very different trajectory: The mission used series of Earth orbits and engine burns to gradually increase the spacecraft's speed and position it for a lunar insertion.

Government to repeal Colonial era laws


Government of India (GoI) has moved three bills in the lower house of Parliament aimed at overhauling some colonial-era criminal laws, ranging from the controversial sedition law to strengthening laws that protect women and minors.

About the proposed Bills:

  • The bills are going to repeal and replace the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Code of Criminal Procedure(CrPC), and the Indian Evidence Act, which were implemented by the British before the country’s independence in 1947 as under;
  • The Indian Penal Code, 1860 will be replaced by the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita Bill, 2023- now will have 356 sections instead of the earlier 511 sections, 175 sections have been amended, 8 new sections have been added and 22 sections have been repealed.
  • The Criminal Procedure Code, 1898 will be replaced by the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita Bill, 2023 and- with 533 sections, 160 sections have been changed, & 9 new sections have been added and 9 sections have been repealed.
  • The Indian Evidence Act, 1872 will be replaced by the Bharatiya Sakshya Bill, 2023, will now have 170 sections instead of the earlier 167, 23 sections have been changed, 1 new section has been added and 5 repealed.
  • The bill seeks to replace the colonial-era sedition law which was mainly used against Indian political leaders seeking independence from British rule.
  • Also, the state-of-the-art technologies have been incorporated in these laws.
  • The objective of these laws will not be to punish anyone but give justice and in this process punishment will be given where it is required to create a sense of prevention of crime.

Need for such a legislation:

  • From 1860 to 2023, the criminal justice system of India continued to be operated on the basis of the laws made by the British Parliament, but now these three laws will be replaced with new laws imbibing the Indian soul, which will bring a big change in our criminal justice system.


  • The definition of documents has been expanded to include electronic or digital records, e-mails, server logs, computers, smart phones, laptops, SMS, websites, locational evidence, mails and messages available on devices, which can be used in courts, which will give reduce the burden of officials.
  • These laws will digitize the entire process from FIR to case diary, case diary to charge sheet and from charge sheet to judgement.

Criminal Justice System in India:

  • Criminal Justice System refers to the agencies of government charged with enforcing law, adjudicating crime, and correcting criminal conduct.
  • Objective:
    • To prevent the occurrence of crime.
    • To punish the transgressors and the criminals.
    • To rehabilitate the transgressors and the criminals.
    • To compensate the victims as far as possible.
    • To maintain law and order in society.
    • To deter offenders from committing any criminal act in the future.

Why there is a need for Reforms?                                                             

  • Colonial Legacy: The criminal justice system- both substantive and procedural- are replica of the Bristish colonial jurisprudence, which were designed with the purpose of ruling the nation.
  • Therefore, the relevance of these 19th century laws is debatable in the 21st century.
  • Ineffective Justice Delivery: The purpose of the criminal justice system was to protect the rights of the innocents and punish the guilty, but nowadays the system has become a tool of harassment of common people.
  • Pendency of Cases: According to Economic Survey 2018-19, there are about 3.5 crore cases pending in the judicial system, especially in district and subordinate courts, which leads to actualization of the maxim Justice delayed is justice denied.”
  • Huge Undertrials: India has one of the world’s largest numbers of under-trial prisoners.
  • According to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB)-Prison Statistics India, 67.2% of our total prison population comprises of under trial prisoners.
  • Police Issue: Police are being a front line of the criminal judiciary system, which played a vital role in the administration of justice. Corruption, huge workload and accountability of police is a major hurdle in speedy and transparent delivery of justice.

Draft Rules of Criminal Practice, 2020: The Draft Rules recommends reforms in investigation and trial, including proposals to employ separate teams of lawyers to help the police during the probe and for the trial; details to be covered while drafting spot panchnamas and even corrections in body sketches.

Short News Article

Science & Technology (GS-III)


Cloudbursts are a common occurrence in Himalayan regions but experts are alarmed by the increase in extreme weather-related events.

What is Cloudburst?

  • A cloudburst is defined as an intense downpour that lasts only a brief time and is occasionally accompanied by hail and thunder.
  • It is defined by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) as unexpected precipitation that exceeds 100mm (or 10 cm) per hour across a region of land that is between 20 and 30 square kilometres.
  • It occurs in high-altitude regions due to the formation of low-pressure areas (LPAs).
    • LPAs accumulate clouds with great force on the top of mountains and result in orographic precipitation.

LPAs form under areas of wind divergence that occur in upper levels of the troposphere.

  • Phenomenon: The phenomenon that is responsible for this is ‘orographic lift’, a process by which clouds that are already to rain are pushed up by warm air currents.

A doppler-radar system is ideal for predicting the calamity 

  • As they reach higher elevations, the water droplets within the clouds become bigger and new ones are formed.
  • These dense clouds eventually burst, unable to hold the large volume of moisture.

Science & Technology (GS-III)

HeLa cells

The estate of Henrietta Lacks filed a lawsuit in Maryland federal court accusing biopharmaceutical company Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical (RARE.O) of unlawfully profiting from cells (HeLa cells) that were taken from Lacks' body without her consent during a medical procedure in 1951.


What are HeLa cells?

  • HeLa cells are a type of immortal human cell line that were the first to be successfully cultured and continuously propagated outside the human body.
  • These cells were derived from a cervical cancer biopsy taken from Henrietta Lacks, an African-American woman, in 1951.
    • The name "HeLa" is derived from the first two letters of her first and last names.
  • HeLa cells have been widely used in scientific research, including cell biology, genetics, virology, and drug testing.
  • They have contributed to a multitude of medical advancements, such as the development of the polio vaccine, understanding cancer, and various other scientific breakthroughs.
  • HeLa cells are known for their ability to divide and multiply rapidly, making them an invaluable resource in laboratories worldwide.

Environment (GS-III)

Community reserves

In a written reply, Rajya Sabha has been told that institutions such as traditional village durbars in Meghalaya play a vital role in Meghalaya’s society and economy, inter alia environmental conservation and raising awareness about sustainable practices. Government of Meghalaya has already notified several sacred forests as Community Reserves under Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.


What are Community Reserves?

  • Community reserves fall under protected areas, along with marine protected areas, national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and conservation reserves, according to the Wild Life (Protection) Act (WLPA), 1972.
  • Conservation reserves and community reserves are protected areas of India which typically act as buffer zones between established national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and reserved and protected forests of India, according to the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate change (MoEFCC).
  • These protected area categories were first introduced in the Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Act of 2002 — the amendment to WLPA, 1972.
  • The provisions of the WLPA apply to an area once it has been declared a community reserve.
  • Section 33 of the WLPA passes the authority of the sanctuary to the chief wildlife warden.

Economy (GS-III)


China reported “deflation” in July. 

What is Deflation?

  • Deflation is when the general price levels in a country are falling—as opposed to inflation when prices rise.
  • Deflation can be caused by an increase in productivity, a decrease in overall demand, or a decrease in the volume of credit in the economy.
  • Most of the time, deflation is unambiguously a positive trend for the economy, but it can also under certain conditions occur along with a contraction in the economy.
  • In an economy dominated by debt-fuelled asset price bubbles, deflation can lead to a temporary financial crisis and a period of liquidation of speculative investment known as debt deflation.


The Right to Treatment


Drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) is a big challenge for India that demands urgent attention. With a quarter of the world’s DR-TB cases, India’s response can shape how other countries deal with this growing threat.

Drug resistant TB statistics for India:

  • Continuously increasing burden: The WHO estimates that 119,000 new cases of multidrug/rifampicin resistant TB (MDR/RR-TB) emerge in India each year.
  • Policy malfunction: The Indian TB programme has notified only a little over half the estimate about 64,000 MDR/RR-TB cases in 2022.
  • Delayed Identification: However, last year in India, only about 23 per cent of those presumed with TB underwent few initial diagnostics tests.

Loopholes in India’s Policy:

  • Gaps in TB diagnosis: Our inability to diagnose DR-TB rapidly is a huge gap which needs accurate tools for detection, medication and curing it.
  • Ignoring BPaL regimen: India is the only global supplier of pretomanid, a key drug within the BPaL regimen. However, only 403 patients in India have so far been administered the pretomanid-containing BPaL regimen through a clinical trial.
  • Century-old tools used for detection: Microscopy, which is now became old method and cannot detect drug-resistance, and detects only half of all people with these tests.

Efforts to overcome TB cases:

  • WHO’s stand on BPaLM/BPaL: It has released a Standard on Universal Access to Rapid TB Diagnostics, recommending the use of molecular diagnostics as the initial test as these are highly accurate, detect resistance to drugs, are cost-effective, and reduce treatment-related delay.
  • Modification in Drug usage: Shortening the duration of DR-TB treatment from 24 months to 6 months is a big improvement.
  • Cost efficient method: Studies estimate an annual saving of 740 million dollars globally because of transition to BPaLM/BPaL.
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India needs a new economic policy


The National Statistical Office (NSO) has released the 2022­23 GDP fourth­ quarter growth rate figures. Measured against fourth­ quarter ?gures of the previous year, the data give a gloomier picture than what the media publications of the Press Information Bureau present.

Picture presented by NSO data:

  • First, the growth rate of GDP, since 2015­16 had been declining annually, and has fallen in the fourth quarter to what it was earlier and sneeringly referred to by economists as “The Hindu Rate of Growth” — 3.5% growth rate in GDP.
  • Second, it is essential to recognise that since 2014, the economy has achieved the so-called “Hindu rate of growth” in GDP of what had been achieved in the period 1950­77, the socialism period.
  • Third, during the tenures of P.V. Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh, GDP growth rates rose for the ?rst time to between 6% to 8% per year over a 15­year period, i.e., 1991­96 and 2004­2014 (with the usual cyclic ups and downs).

Reason for New Economic policy:

  • State Intervention- There is increasing state participation and decreasing incentives for capital and labour providers, thus achieving a higher and faster growth of the economy.
  • GDP growth rates- There is a serious and continuous decline in GDP growth rates which began in 2016. And that decline continues even now.
  • Lack of structured policy- No policy structuring has been presented to ensure an annual doubling of GDP in five years, or, in other words, a 15% annual growth rate of GDP.

Way Ahead:

  • Clear strategy needed- There needs to be a policy that is based on clear objectives, priorities, have a strategy to achieve targets, and spell out an intelligent and transparent resource mobilisation plan to finance policies.
  • Interest rates on loans- Interest rates on loans to small and medium industries should be no more than 6% of the loans to increase production of these sectors, and thus employment.
  • Interest paid on ?xed ­term savings - The annual interest paid on ?xed ­term savings in bank accounts should be 9% or so to increase the purchasing power of the middle classes.
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