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17th February 2023



PM Narendra Modi inaugurated AadiMahotsav, a mega national tribal festival, at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in Delhi.


What is AadiMahotsav?

  • The Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation Limited (TRIFED), which is part of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, organises the annual ‘AadiMahotsav’, which honours the spirit of tribal culture, crafts, gastronomy, trade, and traditional art.

Key-highlights of 2023 Edition

  • In nearly 200 stalls at the venue, the programme will present the rich and varied legacy of tribes from all around the nation, according to an official announcement.
  • At the Mahotsav, almost 1000 tribal artisans will take part.
  • Along with the customary attractions like handicrafts, handloom, ceramics, jewellery, etc., the Mahotsav will place a special emphasis on exhibiting Shree Anna grown by tribal people because 2023 is being observed as the International Year of Millets.

Tribals in India

India has the second-largest tribal population in the world. As per the Census 2011, the tribal population constitutes about 8.9% of the total population in India.

Why tribals are considered ‘vulnerable section’ in the society?

Tribal communities are often identified by some specific signs such as;

  • Primitive traits
  • Distinctive culture
  • Geographical isolation
  • Shyness to contact with the community at large
  • Backwardness
  • Though their vulnerability is defined by several factors;
    • Dependency on hunting and gathering for food
    • Having pre-agriculture level of technology
    • Zero or negative growth of population
    • Extremely low level of literacy

How government is empowering the tribes?

  • Ministry of Tribal Affairs:The Ministry was set up in 1999 with the objective of providing a more focused approach to the integrated socio-economic development of the Scheduled Tribes (STs).
  • Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRS): EMRS have been set up to provide quality education to ST students (Class VI-XII) in remote areas through residential schooling facilities.
  • Pradhan MantriVanbandhuVikasYojana: Under the Pradhan MantriVanbandhuVikasYojana, a venture capital fund has been set up to promote entrepreneurship/start-up projects by ST youth.
  • Pradhan Mantri Jan JatiyaVikas Mission: Minimum Support Price (MSP) is ensured for Minor Forest Produce, and marketing support for tribal products is provided through the Pradhan Mantri Jan JatiyaVikas Mission.
  • TRIFED: Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of Indiasupports retail marketing for livelihood development among tribal communities of India. This includes the Van DhanYojana (VDY).
  • PradhanMantriAdiAdarsh Gram Yojana: PMAAGYaims at providing basic infrastructure in villages with a significant tribal population.
  • Health initiatives:Mission Indradhanush,NikshayMitra initiative. The government is also working for the management, control and eradication of Sickle Cell disease.
  • Honouring tribals: 10 Tribal Freedom Fighters’ Museumshave been sanctioned in States where tribals lived.

AMASR amendment Bill to come up in Parliament


The government is all set to reintroduce the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (AMASR) (Amendment) Bill in the forthcoming second half of the Budget session.


The AMASR Act of 1958

  • The AMASR Act regulates the preservation of ancient and historical monuments and archaeological sites.
  • It provides for the regulation of archaeological excavations and for protection of sculptures, carvings and other such objects.
  • The Archaeological Survey of India functions under the provisions of this Act.
  • The Act prohibits construction in a prohibited area of 100 metres around protected monuments.
    • It does not permit construction in such prohibited areas even for public purposes, except under certain conditions.
    • The Central government can extend the prohibited area beyond 100 meters.

Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)

  • The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), under the Ministry of Culture, was established in the year 1861.
  • It is the premier organization for the archaeological researches and protection of the cultural heritage of the nation.

What is in the Bill?

  • The AMASR (Amendment) Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha in 2017. The Bill amends the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958.
  • Control over prohibited area:It allows the government to take up infrastructure projects within prohibited areas around protected monuments.
  • Public works:It introduced a definition for ‘public works’, which includes construction of any infrastructure that is financed and carried out by Central government for public purposes.
    • It allows the Centre to allow public works based on the recommendation of the National Monuments Authority, on an application forwarded by the relevant Central government department that seeks to carry out construction for public purposes in a prohibited area.
  • The Bill was, however, referred to a select committee in the Rajya Sabha, which subsequently submitted its report in 2018.

Govt. close to achieving targetof 10 crore SHG members


According to the Ministry for Rural Development, the government is well on its way to reach the target of 10 crore Self Help Group members by 2024.



  • The number of SHG members has reached over nine crore from 2.35 crore in the last nine years.
  • The bank linkage of SHGs has crossed over 6.25 lakh crore rupees during the same period. H
  • Within a few years, the target of ten lakh LakhpatiDidisis expected to be achieved.

What is a Self-Help Group (SHG)?

  • A Self-Help Group is defined as a “self-governed, peer-controlled information group of people with similar socio-economic background and having a desire to collectively perform common purpose”.
  • SHG is a mini voluntary agency for self-help at the micro level and has been focused on the weaker section particularly women for their social defence. 
    • The concept of SHGs serves the principle “by the women, of the women and for the women”.
  • SHGs are informal associations whose members pool their savings and relent within the group on a rotational or need basis.
  • Such groups work as a collective guarantee system for members who propose to borrow from organised sources. 
  • Functions:The most important functions of a Self-Help Groups are:
    • To encourage and motivate its members to save.
    • To persuade them to make a collective plan for generation of additional income.
    • To act as a conduit for formal banking services to reach them.


  • Inculcating banking:The main objectives of SHG is to inculcate the habit of thrift savings, banking culture, that is, availing the loan and repaying the same over a given period of time and in the process, again economic prosperity through credit.
  • Empowering women:The SHGs significantly contribute to the empowerment of poor women by involving them in some productive activity which in turn will yield something to overcome their poverty.

Impact on society by SHGs

  • Removal of informal actors:The SHG programme has contributed to a reduced dependency on informal money lenders and other non-institutional sources.
  • Moving towards education:It has enabled the participating households to spend more on education than non- client households. Families participating in the programme have reported better school attendance and lower drop-out rates.
  • Better health and life:The financial inclusion attained through SHGs has led to reduced child mortality, improved maternal health and the ability of the poor to combat disease through better nutrition, housing and health – especially among women and children.

Organ donation in India


The Union Health Ministry has done away with the age cap of 65 years for receiving an organ from a dead donor, and guidelines are being revised to allow the elderly to register on waiting lists.


The numbers (Government data)

  • Organs from deceased donors accounted for nearly 8% of all transplants in 2022 in the country.
  • The number of transplants has increased over the years.
  • The total number of deceased organ transplants climbed from 837 in 2013 to 2,765 in 2022.
  • The total number of organ transplants – with organs from both deceased and living donors – increased from 4,990 in 2013 to 15,561 in 2022.
  • India conducts the third highest number of transplants in the world.
    • Every year, an estimated 1.5-2 lakh people need a kidney transplant. Only around 10,000 got one in 2022. Of the 80,000 people who required a liver transplant, less than 3,000 got one in 2022. And, of the 10,000 who needed a heart transplant.

Regulations pertaining to Organ donation

  • Organ donation in India is regulated by the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act (THOTA), 1994, which was amended in 2011. 
  • The Act made commercialisation of organs a punishable offence and also brought in the concept of brain death in India. 
  • The latter paved the way for deceased organ donation (retrieving organs from brain stem dead persons). 
  • Under the Act, the government has set up the National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO) as an apex centre for procurement and distribution of organs.
    • In addition, there are regional (ROTTO) and state transplant organisations (SOTTO).
  • The latter lists recipients and allocates organs in each state using an organ-sharing network.

Short Selling in India


After Hindenburg Research, a US-based short seller, released a report on the Adani Group, several questions have been raised on short selling – if it’s ethical, how it’s done, is it legal in India.


What is short selling?

Naked Short Selling

  • In naked short selling, stocks are not borrowed.
  • Therefore, in times of panic, more people could dump their holdings, without any obligation to fulfil their settlements, thereby pushing the prices of the stock further down.
  • It is illegal.
  • Short selling involves borrowing stock you do not own, selling the borrowed stock, and then buying and returning the stock only if and when the price drops.
  • It’s completely opposite to how a bullish transaction takes place.
  • In such transactions, you buy a stock hoping the price will go up. You wait until it goes up to a certain extent.
  • However, short selling is mostly done to earn in a falling market. In this case, the investor is bearish on the markets.


For instance, an investor borrows a certain number of shares from a broker, and sells these shares in the market for Rs 100. In the future, when the price of the shares fall to Rs 80, then the investor can buy them at a lesser price, return them to the broker, thereby making a profit of Rs 20.

Is it legal?

  • Securities market regulators in most countries, particularly in all developed securities markets, recognise short selling as a legitimate investment activity.
  • The International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) has also reviewed short selling and securities lending practices across markets and has recommended transparency of short selling, rather than prohibiting it.

Short News Article

Polity & Governance (GS-II)

India accounts for 52%  of world’s new leprosy patients

The Union Health Ministry has devised a strategic road map for achieving zero cases of leprosy by 2030.

  • Despite India being declared “Leprosy Eliminated” in 2005, the country still accounts for over half (52%) of the world's new leprosy patients.


  • Leprosy is a chronic bacterial infection which affects skin, nerves, lungs and eyes.
  • To aid the fight against Leprosy in the country and to create awareness about the disease India is marking National Anti–Leprosy Day on January 30.

Government Initiatives to end Leprosy

  • ABSULS: Asha – based Surveillance for Leprosy Suspects
  • FLC: Focused Leprosy Campaign
  • National Strategic Plan and Roadmap for Leprosy
  • National Guidelines for AMR in Leprosy



A new beetle species has been discovered in India, according to a paper published in the New Zealand-based journal Zootaxa.


  • OmorgusKhandesh is a necrophagous and also called a keratin beetle.
  • This species belongs to the Trogidae family.
  • During the decomposition of a body, blowflies are amongst the first ones to arrive in the early stages.
  • Meanwhile, the final successional stage is with the arrival of the keratin feeders, thus their importance in forensic science.
  • Significance:The beetle is important for forensic science as it helps detect the time of death of an animal or human. 


Polity & Governance

CCI invokes doctrine of necessity

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) invoked the doctrine of necessity to bypass the quorum to clear six deals.


  • The term Doctrine of Necessity is a term used to describe the basis on which administrative actions by administrative authority, which are designed to restore order, are found to be constitutional.
  • It is an exception to the principle of 'Nemo judex in causa sua'.
  • The maxim on which the doctrine is based originated in the writings of the medieval jurist Henry de Bracton, and similar justifications for this kind of administrative action have been advanced by more recent legal authorities, including William Blackstone.


Kambalakonda Wildlife Sanctuary

The Andhra Pradesh Forest Department is initiating a series of measures to develop Kambalakonda Wildlife Sanctuary.


  • Kambalakonda Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the heart of Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.
  • Bordered by Simhachalam hill range on the West and Gambheeram reservoir on the North-east, the sanctuary is a tropical deciduous forest with a canopy of tree cover of mixed composition along with scrubland and meadows. The sanctuary holds a good number of faunal diversity including aves, reptiles and mammals.
  • Kambalakonda’s evergreen, deciduous forest has been under the control of the AP Forest Department since 1970. 
  • In 2002, it was declared a wildlife sanctuary by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF), following which the Kambalakonda Eco Tourism Park was developed.



India’s first Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) Framework

India’s first Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) framework has been launched in Puducherry.


  • Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) framework aims to balance growth alongside sustainable management of ocean resources and coastal environment preservation.
  • The framework is a part of the Indo-Norway Integrated Ocean Initiative.
    • Puducherry and Lakshadweep were chosen as coastlines to pilot the MSP initiative that grew out of a 2019 memorandum of understanding that envisaged India and Norway collaborating on implementing MSP in the oceanic space.


Deep sea fish conservation must not go adrift


The purse seiners use for fishing in Tamil Nadu must note that ‘freedom in a commons brings ruin to all’ and must comply with conservation measures.

Purse Seiners use in India:

  • Permit to pursue:The Supreme Court of India gave permission to fishermen using purse seine fishing gear to fish beyond territorial waters (12 nautical miles) and within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) (200 nautical miles) of Tamil Nadu, but observing certain restrictions.
  • Administration vs Conservation:The Court’s interim order is against the banning of purse seine fishing by the Tamil Nadu Government in February 2022. SC was more concerned about regulating fishing with administrative and transparency measures than about the conservation measures and obligations which a coastal state owes in its EEZ under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
  • Impact on livelihood: Purse seiners tend to overfish, unlike traditional fishermen using traditional fish gear, thus endangering the livelihood of the traditional fisher.
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