What's New :
Open Session for INTEGRATED PREPARATION for Prelims and Mains. Register Now
Mentorship Sessions(Connect with the faculties and ask all your doubts). Book Now

1st September 2023

Sree Narayana Guru


The 169th birth anniversary celebrations of Sree Narayana Guru has recently commenced at Chempazhanthy in Thiruvananthapuram.

About the Personality:

  • Sree Narayana Guru was born on 22nd August, 1856 to Madan Asan in a village near Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
  • His family belonged to the Ezhava caste and was considered ‘avarna’ according to the social mores of the time.
  • Right from his childhood he loved solitude and always indulged himself in deep contemplation.
  • He was intensely drawn to worship at the local temples and composed hymns and several devotional songs.
  • From an early age, he was drawn towards asceticism. He lived as a hermit in a forest for eight years.
  • He learned Vedas, Upanishads, literature, logical rhetoric of Sanskrit, Hatha Yoga and other philosophies.
  • In 1903, he established the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam (SNDP), a charitable society as the founder and president.
  • The organisation continues to mark its strong presence to this day.
  • In 1924, the Sivagiri pilgrimage was established to promote the virtues of cleanliness, education, devotion, agriculture, handicrafts, and trade.
  • Philosophy of Sree Narayana Guru: He became one of the greatest proponents and re-evaluators of Advaita Vedanta, the principle of non-duality put forward by Adi Shankara.
  • He also has many contributions during freedom struggle of India.
  • He died on 20th September, 1928 and the day is observed as Sree Narayana Guru Samadhi in Kerala.

Important Works:

  • Against Caste Injustice: He gave the famous slogan “One Caste, One Religion, One God for All” (Oru Jathi, Oru Matham, Oru Daivam, Manushyanu).
  • In 1888, he built a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva at Aruvippuram which was against the caste-based restrictions of the time.
  • In one temple he consecrated at Kalavancode, he kept mirrors instead of idols. This symbolised his message that the divine was within each individual.
  • Against Conversions: He taught equality but felt the inequalities should not be exploited to carry out conversions and therefore generate strife in society.
  • He organized an All-Region Conference in 1923 at Alwaye Advaita Ashram, which was reported to be the first such event in India.
  • This was an effort to counter the religious conversions Ezhava community was susceptible to.
  • Contribution to National Movement: A remarkable social reformer, he was in the forefront of the movement for universal temple entry and against the societal ills like the social discrimination of untouchables.
  • Impetus for Vaikom Agitation: He provided the impetus for Vaikom agitation which was aimed at temple entry in Travancore for the lower castes. It drew nationwide attention and appreciation from Mahatma Gandhi.
  • Unity through his Poems: He captured the essence of Indianness in his poems which highlighted the unity that lies beneath the world’s apparent diversity.

World Sanskrit Day


World Sanskrit Day, also referred to as International Sanskrit Day, Sanskrit Diwas and Vishwa Samskrita Dinam is observed on the day of Shravana Poornima, i.e. 31st August 2023 this year.

  • World Sanskrit Day has a history that can be traced back, to 1969.
  • It was during this year that the Indian Government decided to honor and celebrate the contributions of Panini, a figure, in the realm of Sanskrit language and linguistics.
  • The declaration was made to commemorate Paninis work on the occasion of his birth anniversary. Since then this special day has been.

Key Facts:

  • Ashtadhyayi was a Sanskrit treatise on grammar written in the 6th to 5th century BCE by the Indian grammarian Panini.
  • This work set the linguistic standards for Classical Sanskrit.
  • It sums up in 4,000 sutras the science of phonetics and grammar that had evolved in the Vedic religion.
  • Panini divided his work into eight chapters, each of which is further divided into quarter chapters.
  • Beyond defining the morphology and syntax of Sanskrit language, Ashtadhyayi distinguishes between usage in the spoken language and usage that is proper to the language of the sacred texts.

About the day:

  • The purpose of this day is to raise awareness and promote Sanskrit, one of India’s oldest languages.
  • Sanskrit holds importance as it serves as the foundation, for classical texts in disciplines such, as Literature, Philosophy, Mathematics and Science.
  • Sanskrit is one of the oldest languages in the world, and it is considered to be the mother of all Indo-Aryan languages.
  • It is a highly inflected language, with a complex system of grammar and morphology.

Significance of World Sanskrit Day

  • To promote the ancient language Sanskrit, and highlight its historical, cultural, and intellectual value.
  • World Sanskrit Day acknowledges the contribution of Sanskrit language in different fields like Literature, Science, Philosophy, and more.
  • Currently, Sanskrit is not widely spoken in India. The purpose of World Sanskrit Day is to encourage people to study and use Sanskrit language.
  • World Sanskrit Day focuses on highlighting the linguistic, literary, and cultural aspects of Sanskrit on a global level.

Kakrapar Atomic Power Project (KAPP3)


Recently, the third unit of the indigenously developed 700-megawatt electric (MWe) nuclear power reactor at the Kakrapar Atomic Power Project (KAPP3) in Tapi district of Gujarat has commenced operations at full capacity.

  • The foundation of KAPP-3 happened in November 2010 and this unit was originally expected to be commissioned in 2015.
  • State-owned Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) is responsible for construction and management of the plant.
  • The reactor at the Kakrapar Atomic Power Project (KAPP) had started commercial operations on June 30 but was operating at 90 per cent of its capacity till now.

Before the inauguration of KAPP, the biggest reactor of indigenous design was the 540 MWe PHWR, two of which have been deployed in Tarapur, Maharashtra.

  • KAPP-3 is the country’s first and the biggest indigenously developed variant of the Pressurised Heavy Water Reactor (PHWR).
  • A PHWR is a nuclear power reactor, commonly using unenriched natural uranium as its fuel that uses heavy water (deuterium oxide D2O) as its coolant and moderator.
  • PHWR technology was started in India in the late 1960s with the construction of the first 220 MWe reactors, Rajasthan Atomic Power Station (RAPS-1).
  • Significance:
  • The new 700MWe unit addresses the excess thermal margins (thermal margin refers to the extent to which the operating temperature of the reactor is below its maximum operating temperature) — and also marks an improvement in the economies-of-scale, without significant design changes to the 540 MWe reactor.

Currently, KAPP3 nuclear power capacity constitutes around 2 per cent of the total installed capacity of 4,17,668 MW.

Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited:

  • The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) is an Indian public sector undertaking, Headquartered at Mumbai.
  • It is wholly owned by the Government of India and is responsible for the generation of nuclear power for electricity.
  • NPCIL is administered by the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE).

kakapo population (Strigops habroptilus)


The genetic mapping of almost the entire kakapo population has discovered some specific traits that will help conservation biologists in their efforts to save these parrot species.

About the Species:

  • Kakapo, also called owl parrot, is a giant flightless nocturnal parrot of New Zealand.
  • With a face like an owl, a posture like a penguin, and a walk like a duck, the extraordinarily tame and gentle kakapo is one of strangest and rarest birds on Earth.
  • They only breed every few years, triggered by the availability of certain forest foods such as the fruits of the native rimu tree.
  • They also have very little wings. So, Kakapo is flightless.
  • These birds evolved to be flightless by filling a specific ecological niche on an island with no predators.

Threats to their population:

  • kakapo suffer from diseases such as the fungal infection aspergillosis.
  • There eggs are also infertile, due to less breeding.

The total known population of living individuals is 247 as of 2023.

Conservation status:

  • The kakapo is critically endangered.

The Rimu fruit (Dacrydium cupressinum):

  • The mature Rimu tree towers over the canopy with its weeping leaves and shedding bark.
  • Rimu plays an integral role in the mating cycle of the kakapo.
  • The periodic mast-seeding of Rimu every couple of years helps synchronise kakapo mating efforts.
  • Unripe Rimu fruit acts as ‘kakapo viagra’ stimulating birds of both sexes into breeding, whereas the ripe fruit contains the perfect combination of nutrients and energy for growing chicks.

Short News Article

Polity and Governance  
Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP)

After Hindenburg, the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) has again made allegations of stock manipulation against the Adani Group.

About the Organization:

  • The OCCRP network first opened an office in Sarajevo.
  • Over the years, the OCCRP has grown from six journalists working in five countries to more than 150 journalists in 30 countries.
  • The idea is to have a global network of journalists with easy communication and information-sharing so that global networks of corruption and crime can be better understood and exposed.
  • The OCCRP also collaborates with regional partners, including Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ), Centro Latino Americano de Investigacion Periodistica (CLIP), and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL). It is a member of the Global Investigative Journalism Network as well.
  • The organisation has been nominated for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize for its work “contributing to peace by unmasking political corruption and organized crime”.

International Finance Corporation
  • Oncologist Ravi Kannan, a recipient of India’s fourth-highest civilian award Padma Shri and the director of Assam’s Cachar Cancer Hospital and Research Centre (CCHRC), has been named one of the four winners of the 2023 Ramon Magsaysay Award.
  • Ravi Kannan’s contribution:
    • He got this award for Strong devotion to his medical profession, focusing on what medicine is truly for: pro-health and people-centred treatment.
  • About the award:
    • The Ramon Magsaysay Award is often called the 'Nobel Prize of Asia'.
    • This year, in the ceremony's 65th edition, four Asians were given the Ramon Magsaysay Award.
  • The award carries a certificate, a medallion bearing the likeness of the late President, and a cash prize of USD 50,000.

Concept in News
Backward evolution

The Ulas family in Turkey's Hatay has baffled scientists for quite a long time because some of its members walk on using all hands and legs. Turkish scientists have called the family as proof of 'backward evolution'.

What is backward evolution?

  • Devolution, de-evolution, or backward evolution is the notion that species can revert to supposedly more primitive forms over time.
  • One of the examples of this is Penguins, as their ancestors were able to fly, but they lost that ability quickly after the demise of the large dinosaurs.
  • Research shows that, the increased evolution of selfless traits -- such as sharing food and keeping watch for one another -- is mathematically equivalent to the decreased evolution of individually beneficial traits.


Not Counting In


Omitting disability-related information from the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-6) in India highlights the need for accurate representation of disabilities and the implications of overlooking invisible disabilities.

Incomplete Recognition of Disabilities

  • Lack of Comprehensive Data: The government's decision to exclude disability-related questions from NFHS-6 disregards the sizable population of persons with disabilities i.e. around 68 crore people according to the 2011 Census.
  • Under-representation of Disabilities: The Census data accounts for only seven defined categories of disabilities, excluding several categories recognized by the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 (RPWDA).
  • Neglect of "Invisible Disabilities": The focus on visible disabilities overlooks "invisible disabilities," including mental health issues, leading to inadequate representation and understanding.

Importance of Comprehensive Data and Legal Mandates

  • Significance of Data Collection: Comprehensive data collection is crucial for achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and complying with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
  • Government Responsibilities: Sections 25, 27, and 28 of RPWDA mandate the government to promote research, formulate schemes, and conduct surveys to empower and safeguard persons with disabilities.
  • NITI Aayog's Vision and Gap in Policy: Its 'Strategy for New India @ 75' acknowledges the lack of detailed data for formulating policies for persons with disabilities, especially those with invisible disabilities.

Way Forward:

  • Missed Opportunity: The exclusion of disability-related questions from NFHS-6 is a missed chance to sensitize a broad audience and promote inclusivity, considering the 2030 SDG deadline of "Leaving no one behind."
  • Judicial Scrutiny and Oversight: The decision's underestimation of India's birth rate and contravention of RPWDA's provisions are under judicial review, reflecting the tendency to oversimplify disability issues.
  • Challenges for Progress: Omitting disability questions raises concerns about relegating disability rights to a secondary status, hindering the goal of inclusive progress.
You must be logged in to get greater insights.


A progressive UCC must protect the child’s best interests


There is a need for an all-encompassing Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in India, moving beyond common issues like polygamy and divorce, for the inclusion of the "best interests of the child" principle in custody disputes and protection from custody cases involving biological parents after adoption and "accused of rape" biological fathers seeking custody.

Custody Principles and Cultural Context

  • Present legislations: Different custody principles in various legal systems, such as the Guardians and Wards Act, Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, and Islamic law.
  • Preference to Child Rights: Islamic law's unique perspective on custody, favoring the child's rights rather than parental claims.
  • Custody rules: Varied custody rules under different schools of Islamic thought, considering gender, age, and marital status.

Complex Custody Scenarios and Judicial Approach

  • Biological vs. Adoptive Parents: Illustration of complex cases involving custody disputes between biological and adoptive parents.
  • Diverse Scenarios: Highlighting instances where Indian courts prioritize biological parents' claims over adoptive parents', sometimes neglecting the child's best interests.
  • Neglecting Child's Best Interests: Specific case examples, such as the Bombay High Court granting custody to an "accused of rape" biological father, raising concerns about precedent and the victim's rights.

Towards a Progressive UCC

  • Holistic Approach to Custody: Emphasis on the need for a progressive Uniform Civil Code beyond biological ties, focusing on adoptive parents' rights and diverse family structures.
  • Moving Beyond Matrimonial Bonds: Suggestion to refrain from enforcing strict matrimonial bonds and to consider provisions for single, surrogate, and queer parents.
  • Fostering Adoption and Child Welfare: The call for a balanced approach that safeguards the interests of all parties involved, while also promoting adoption and children's welfare.
You must be logged in to get greater insights.


Climate Finance, Hard Fact


There are inadequacies of current Climate commitments by developed countries and the debate over the $100 billion target, and the need for greater focus on adaptation projects. The article also emphasizes the necessity for countries, including India, to explore domestic resources for climate finance.

Insufficient Climate Finance Commitments:

  • Global Polarisation on Climate Change: India's G20 presidency takes place amidst divisions, especially concerning climate change, with inadequate consensus.
  • Debate over 100 Billion dollar Target: The longstanding target of $100 billion for climate finance is criticized as insufficient, and the debate revolves around the figure's basis and logic.
  • Fossil-Fuel Subsidies vs. Climate Finance: Fossil-fuel subsidies in many countries have exceeded the funds allocated for climate finance, exacerbating the imbalance.

Challenges and Ambiguities in Climate Finance:

  • Complexity of Climate Finance Needs: Meeting the Paris Agreement goals necessitates around $4.35 trillion, while actual spending is significantly lower.
  • Mitigation vs. Adaptation: Climate finance primarily focuses on mitigation projects (93%), which are deemed bankable due to revenue streams, while adaptation projects face high upfront costs and risk perceptions.
  • Debate on Allocation and Accessibility: The debate over $100 billion highlights the disparity between commitments and actual disbursements, raising concerns about the effectiveness of funding mechanisms.

Necessity for Domestic Resource Mobilization:

  • Shift Towards Domestic Mobilization: Countries like India need to rely more on domestic resources for climate finance due to uncertainties surrounding international commitments.
  • Role of Financial Institutions: Financial institutions should support mature technologies (e.g., wind, solar) and emerging ones (e.g., green hydrogen) through various funding models.
  • India and funds: For Countries like India, it is all the more pertinent since it is doubtful that we would be eligible for receiving concessional finance.
You must be logged in to get greater insights.


QUIZ - 1st September 2023
GS Classes 2024 GS Classes 2024 GS Classes 2024 UPSC Study Material

Verifying, please be patient.

Enquire Now