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19th May 2023

SC declares amended Jallikattu law valid


The Supreme Court termed Jallikattu a “type of bovine sport” existing in Tamil Nadu for at least a century, and did not interfere with the State legislature’s finding that the bull-taming event is part of the cultural heritage and tradition of the people of Tamil Nadu.


  • The Supreme Court upheld the validity of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Tamil Nadu Amendment) Act of 2017 and Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Conduct of Jallikattu) Rules of 2017.
  • The apex court also upheld the validity of laws passed by Maharashtra and Karnataka to allow the bullock-cart races and buffalo racing sport Kambala in their respective regions.

What is Jallikattu?

  • Mohenjodaro:  Jallikattu’s first references date back to a seal discovered at Mohenjodaro, which is dated between 2,500 BC and 1,800 BC.
  • Sangam age: It also finds mention in Silappadikaram, one of the great Tamil epics from the Sangam age
  • Jallikattu is a 2,000 years old competitive bull taming sport in which contestants attempt to tame a bull for a prize, wherein if they fail, the bull owner wins the prize.
  • Jallikattu belt: It is revered across the Madurai, Tiruchirappalli, Theni, Pudukkottai and Dindigul districts of Tamil Nadu.
  • It is celebrated in the second week of January at the time of the Pongal (harvest) festival, and also represents a symbolic event to honor bull owners who rear them for mating.
  • Preservation of pure-breed native bulls: Kangayam, Pulikulam, Umbalachery, Bargur and Malai Maadu are among some native cattle breeds reared for Jallikattu in the state.
  • Cultural significance:
    • Sport cultivates and represents a cordial man-animal relationship, wherein the owner strives to develop an “emotional connect” with the bull through the long process of rearing.  

Points in favour of ban

Points against the ban

  • inherently cruel to animals
  • continuance of the practice is immoral and antithetical to a compassionate treatment for animals as per provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960
  • Animal fatalities: The animals face “unimaginable torture”, ranging from tails twisted and fractured, chemicals poured into eyes, ears mutilated, sharp edged weapons used to poke the animal. 
  • Deaths: It often results in manhandling of animals, human deaths and injuries. 
  • The practice is a key component of the cultural heritage of the state
  • It is centuries-old and symbolic of a community’s identity 
  • Rearing of pure-bred bulls supports conservation of animal breeds in line with Article 48 of the Constitution.

Andhra Pradesh removes “dotted lands”


The Andhra Pradesh government has started removing “dotted lands” in the state from the prohibited list, restoring full rights of selling or pledging these lands to the farmers who own them. 

What are dotted lands?

  • Dotted lands are disputed lands for which there are no clear ownership documents. Typically, one or more individuals as well as the government’s Revenue Department lay claim over the land.
  • During the British era, land ownership surveys and resettlement of land records were taken up, local revenue officials who were tasked with identifying government-owned and privately-owned lands put dots in the ownership column if more than one person claimed ownership, or if ownership could not be clearly established.
  • The dots on the land documents indicated their disputed status.

Land Disputes in India

  • An estimated 7.7 million people in India are affected by conflict over 2.5 million hectares of land, threatening investments worth more than Rs 14 lakh crore. 
  • Land disputes account for the largest set of cases in Indian courts – 25 per cent of all cases decided by the Supreme Court involved land disputes, of which 30 per cent were related to acquisition.

What are the reasons behind high incidence of disputes over land? 

  • Legislative factors: existence of numerous, conflicting laws arising from historical narratives and current policies governing property rights
  • Administrative factors:administration’s failure to comply with these laws.
  • Judicial factors: There are legal and evidentiary barriers in bringing land dispute cases to court, and then lack of judicial capacity prevents quick resolution.


Lab Grown Diamonds and environmental impacts


Traditionally, diamonds have been assessed based on the four Cs: cut, color, clarity, and carat. However, a fifth C, Climate Neutrality, is now emerging as a factor for judging diamonds

What are Lab-grown diamonds?


  • In India, the share of lab-grown diamonds in overall diamond business is presently just 2-3 per cent.
  • In India, lab-grown diamonds are mostly used for jewelleries and exports.
  • About 80 per cent of the cut and polished LGDs are exported, while only 20 per cent are consumed locally. 
  • Naturally-formed diamonds are pure carbon, crystalised in the isometric cubic form beneath the earth’s crust. 
  • Method: Lab-grown diamonds (LGDs), on the other hand, are manufactured in laboratories with either of the two methods — chemical vapour deposition (CVD) or high pressure, high temperature (HPHT) using a chemical composition
  • Duration: It takes less than a month to make a distinctively-shaped crystal.

How environment-friendly are Lab-grown diamonds?


Natural Diamonds

Lab-grown diamonds

Carbon Footprint

The process of mining natural diamonds involves significant energy consumption and carbon emissions

Lab-grown diamonds, on the other hand, require less energy and have a considerably lower carbon footprint. This is because they are produced in controlled laboratory environments using advanced technologies.

Ecological Disruption

Diamond mining often involves extracting large quantities of earth, leading to habitat destruction and ecosystem disruption.

Lab-grown diamonds eliminate the need for such environmentally harmful mining practices, minimizing ecological damage and preserving natural habitats.

Water Conservation

Mining diamonds typically requires extensive water usage for various purposes, including extraction, processing, and washing.

Studies and reports claim that 1 carat of a lab grown diamond can save upto 250 tonnes of land and gallons of water.


Diamond mining can lead to pollution through the release of hazardous chemicals, sediment runoff, and soil erosion.

1.       Lab-grown diamonds eliminate the associated pollution risks, as they are produced without the use of harmful mining practices, thereby reducing environmental contamination.

RBI regulations on green deposits


Recently, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) came up with a regulatory framework for banks to accept green deposits from customers. 

What are Green deposits?

  • Green deposits, although similar to regular deposits accepted by banks, have a notable distinction.
  • Banks commit to allocating the funds obtained from green deposits specifically for environmentally friendly initiatives.
  • This could involve utilizing the funds to finance renewable energy projects aimed at combatting climate change.
  • Green deposits represent a single offering among various financial products, including green bonds, designed to enable investors to contribute funds to promote ecological sustainability.

What does the RBI’s regulatory framework say?

  • Bank’s own rules: Banks need to come up with a set of rules or policies approved by their respective Boards that need to be followed while investing green deposits from customers.
  • Major sectors: The RBI has come up with a list of sectors that can be classified as sustainable and thus eligible to receive green deposits. These include renewable energy, waste management, clean transportation, energy efficiency, and afforestation.
    • Banks will be barred from investing green deposits in business projects involving fossil fuels, nuclear power, tobacco, etc.
  • Prevention of greenwashing: The new rules prevent greenwashing.
    • Greenwashing refers to making misleading claims about the positive environmental impact of an activity.

Short News Article

Art & Culture

Trimbakeshwar Shiva Temple

Trimbakeshwar Shiva Temple

Trimbakeshwar Temple is an ancient temple of Lord Shiva and identified as one of the divine 12 Jyotirlinga.


12 jyotirlinga sites:

  1. Somnath in Gujarat
  2. Dwarka’s Nageswar in Gujarat
  3. Mallikarjuna at Srisailam in Andhra Pradesh
  4. Omkareshwar in Madhya Pradesh
  5. Shri Mahakaleswar Corridor in Madhya Pradesh
  6. Kedarnath in Uttarakhand
  7. Bhimashankar in Maharashtra
  8. Triambakeshwar in Maharashtra
  9. Aurangabad’s Grishneshwar in Maharashtra
  10. Viswanath at Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh
  11. Baidyanath Temple in Jharkhand’s Deoghar
  12. Rameshwar at Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu
  • The present Trimbakeshwar temple was constructed by third Peshwa Balaji Bajirao (1740-1760) on the site of an old temple.
  • It is dedicated to the god Trimbakeshwar (the supreme deity, Lord Shiva).
  • It is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in Trinetra, which honours Lord Shiva, as the three symbols of Lords Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva

About Jyotirilingas

  • Jyotirlingas are sacred shrines of Lord Shiva; it is believed that Lord Shiva himself visited these places.
  • There are 12 of them in India.
  • Jyotirlinga means ‘column or pillar of light’.
  • The ‘stambha’ symbol represents that there is no beginning or end.


Sagar Parikrama

Phase-V of Sagar Parikrama covering Maharashtra-Goa coastal districts have been kick-started.

  • Sagar Parikrama program is being organized through a pre-decided sea route covering coastal states/UTs. 
  • Objective:
    • to resolve the issues of the fishers and other stakeholders
    • to facilitate their economic upliftment through various fisheries schemes and programs being implemented by the Government of India such as PMMSY

India is the 3rd largest fish producing and 2nd largest aquaculture producing nation in the world


Sea butterflies threatened by climate change

Sea butterflies, found in the Southern Ocean, are extremely vulnerable to climate change and their population is shrinking in a warming world, according to a new study.


  • The sea butterfly (Thecosomata) is a suborder of swimming sea snails and a gastropod mollusk of the class Gastropoda.
  • The sea butterfly is as Pteropod, and is included in the group Pteropoda.
  • They incorporate many species of gastropods and play a fundamental role in the oceanic ecosystem.
  • These tiny creatures play a big role in the marine ecosystem.

Science & Technology (GS-III)

World Hypertension Day

World Hypertension Day is held on 17 May. 


  • Hypertension (high blood pressure) is when the pressure in your blood vessels is too high (140/90 mmHg or higher).
  • It is common but can be serious if not treated.
  • Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg).
  • In general, hypertension is a blood pressure reading of 130/80 mm Hg or higher.


A long drawn test for India’s diplomatic skills


PM Modi embarks on a week-long journey to Japan, Papua New Guinea and Australia. Alongside, all four Quad leaders will meet on the sidelines of the G-7. Almost immediately after his return, Mr. Modi will be hosting the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit.

The world of the SCO

  • Composition of the SCO: It includes those being inducted as observers such as Myanmar, gives the impression of it being a largely anti-western grouping. It has practically every country sanctioned by the West as a part of it.
  • Lessons from earlier meetings: Lesson can be learnt from the SCO foreign ministers meeting held in Goa, where India Pakistan bilateral relations overshadowed the multilateral outcomes.
  • Diplomatic challenge: In September, India is going to host every global leader at the G20 summit, where its diplomatic skills will be tasted because not since 2010 have leaders of all permanent members of the UN Security Council visited Delhi in the same year.

Striking a balance

  • Multi directional engagement: India is moving away from its traditional Non-alignment policy. and has preffered her own version of Multi-dimensional engagement.
  • Joining contrasting groupings: In 2017, India took part in reviving the Quad in the face of overt belligerence from Beijing, India also joined the SCO as a full member, agreeing to host the summit this year.
  • Balancing force: Indian attempts of balancing force are playing out much more visibly and other countries are also following it. France’s latest reiteration of “Strategic Autonomy” after French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Beijing indicates same thing.
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