What's New :
ITS 2024 - 1 Year Integrated Test Series (Prelims and Mains), Batch Starts: 12th June.
GS Mains Classes 2024, Morning Batch Starts: 12th June & Evening Batch Starts: 15th June

24th March 2023

Defamation Offences and Laws


Recently, the Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was held guilty and sentenced to two years in jail by a Surat court in a 2019 defamation case.

About the case:
  • The Rahul Gandhi commented that “Why do all thieves, be it Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi or Narendra Modi, have Modi in their names”. These remarks were made during a rally in Kolar, Karnataka, in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
  • Chief Judicial Magistrate HH Verma convicted Gandhi in a 2019 defamation case, for saying ‘why do all thieves have the name Modi’, and sentenced him to two years in prison.
  • Section 500 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) prescribes for defamation a simple imprisonment for a “term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.”

Ground of Disqualification:

Disqualification of a lawmaker is prescribed in three situations.

  • One of the prescriptions is under The Representation of The People Act (RPA), 1951.
  • There are several provisions that deal with disqualification under the RPA. 
  • Section 8 of the RPA deals with disqualification for conviction of offences.
  • The provision is aimed at “preventing criminalisation of politics” and keeping ‘tainted’ lawmakers from contesting elections.
  • Section 8(3) of RPA states: “A person convicted of any offence and sentenced to imprisonment for not less than two years shall be disqualified from the date of such conviction and shall continue to be disqualified for a further period of six years since his release.”

How does the disqualification operate?

  • The disqualification can be reversed if a higher court grants a stay on the conviction or decides the appeal in favour of the convicted lawmaker.
  • In a 2018 decision in ‘Lok Prahari v Union of India’, the Supreme Court clarified that the disqualification “will not operate from the date of the stay of conviction by the appellate court.”

Lilly Thomas Case:

  • Under the RPA, Section 8(4) stated that the disqualification takes effect only “after three months have elapsed” from the date of conviction. Within that period, lawmakers could file an appeal against the sentence before the High Court.
  • However, in the landmark 2013 ruling in ‘Lily Thomas v Union of India’, the Supreme Court struck down Section 8(4) of the RPA as unconstitutional.


‘Green Tug Transition Programme’ (GTTP)


With an aim to make India a global hub for building green ships, the Ministry of ports, shipping and waterways (MoPSW) launched ‘Green Tug Transition Programme’ (GTTP).

Tugs are special boats that assist other vessels into and out of port. The primary purpose of these boats is to help move larger ships by towing, pushing, and guiding.

  • The plan is to expand the exercise of conversion of tugboats into green tugs into full-fledged manufacturing of these all important boats in the country that are essential elements of any port, helping in the mooring or berthing operation of a ship by either towing or pushing a vessel towards the port.
  • Union minister of ports, shipping and waterways said that plan is afoot to make India as the ‘Global hub for building Green Ships’ by 2030.

About ‘Green Tug Transition Programme’ (GTTP):

  • The goal is to turn every tugboat in use in the nation into a "Green Hybrid Tug," one that runs on non-fossil fuels like hydrogen, ammonia, and methanol.
  • The initial Green Tugs are expected to begin operating in all Major Ports by 2025, according to a target set by the Ministry of Ports.
  • The programme will start with ‘Green Hybrid Tugs’, which will be powered by Green Hybrid Propulsion systems and subsequently, adopt non-fossil fuel solutions (like Methanol, Ammonia, and Hydrogen).
  • At least 50% of all the Tugs are likely to be converted into Green Tugs by 2030, which will considerably reduce emissions as the country moves towards achieving sustainable development.

The minister also inaugurated India’s first National Centre of Excellence in Green Port & Shipping (NCoEGPS) in Gurugram, Haryana.

National Centre of Excellence in Green Port & Shipping (NCoEGPS):

  • Located at: Gurugram, Haryana
  • Setup by: NCoEGPS is the result of collaboration between the Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways, the Government of India and the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).
  • Purpose: The centre will engage in developing the regulatory framework and alternative technology adoption roadmap for green shipping in India.
  • It will act as a technological arm of MoPSW for providing the needed support on Policy, Research and Cooperation in Green Shipping areas.
  • Significance: The Centre is aimed at playing a crucial role towards the achievement of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 14) to sustainably manage and protect marine & coastal ecosystems from pollution, conservation & sustainable use of ocean-based resources.

Space Debris and Light pollution


Scientists have warned that artificial light and satellite constellations are an unprecedented global threat to nature and cultural heritage.

  • The satellites also pose a challenge to space debris as more and more junk piles up after a satellite's end of its mission.
About Light Pollution:
  • Light pollution would be familiar to most people as that light dome that appears over populated areas that become visible, especially when you go outside of that populated area and look back towards it.
  • That dome that you see is an amalgamation of all the light sources that have been exposed to the exterior environment.
  • Causes:
    • Skyglow, also known as light pollution, is the brightening of the night sky as the result of excessive and inappropriate artificial lighting.
    • Light pollution is an increasing problem threatening astronomical facilities, ecologically sensitive habitats, wildlife, and energy use.

India’s first site for dark reserve:

  • A part of Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary at Hanle in Ladakh is all set to become India’s first Dark Sky Reserve.
  • The site will also promote astronomy tourism, giving a boost to local tourism through science.

About Space Debris:

  • Space debris is the thousands of fragments from old rocket parts or disintegrated satellites that litter space - principally in Earth's orbit.
  • There are more than 23,000 pieces of debris larger than 10cm (4in) and the US Space Surveillance Network tracks most of them, according to NASA’s Orbital Debris Programme Office (ODPO).
  • Most of that debris is zipping around within 1,250 miles of the Earth's surface, along with more than 2,000 artificial satellites, as well as the International Space Station.

How much is India responsible for?

  • India still produces much less space junk than the top three polluters: Russia, the US, and China, according to ODPO data.
  • Indian-made space debris, however, is on the rise - from 117 pieces in 2018 to 163 in 2019.

What is being done to tackle space debris?

  • Project NETRA is an early warning system in space to detect debris and other hazards to Indian satellites.
  • In 2022, ISRO set up the System for Safe and Sustainable Operations Management (IS 4 OM)to continually monitor objects posing collision threats, predict the evolution of space debris, and mitigate the risk posed by space debris.
  • The Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (IADC), an international governmental forum, was established in 1993 to coordinate efforts between spacefaring nations to address the issue of space debris.
  • The United Nations has established the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) to develop guidelines for the long-term sustainability of outer space activities, including the mitigation of space debris.
  • And in 2025, the European Space Agency will launch the first space mission to remove debris from Earth's orbit.


Lok Sabha passes Budget Demands for Grants


The Lok Sabha has passed the Demands for Grants for Budget 2023-24 and the Appropriation Bill by a voice vote ‘without any discussion’.

Demand for Grants is the form in which estimates of expenditure from the Consolidated Fund, included in the annual financial statement and required to be voted upon in the Lok Sabha, are submitted in pursuance of Article 113 of the Constitution.

About Appropriation Bill:
  • Appropriation Bill gives power to the government to withdraw funds from the Consolidated Fund of India for meeting the expenditure during the financial year.
  • Post the discussions on Budget proposals and the Voting on Demand for Grants; the government introduces the Appropriation Bill in the Lok Sabha.
  • It is intended to give authority to the government to withdraw from the Consolidated Fund, the amounts so voted for meeting the expenditure during the financial year.

Consolidated Fund of India:

  • The Consolidated Fund of India includes revenues, which are received by the government through taxes and expenses incurred in the form of borrowings and loans.
  • It represents one of the three parts of the Annual Financial Statement with the other two:
    • the Contingency Fund
    • Public Account
  • All government expenditures are met by consolidated funds except a few made by contingency fund or public fund.
  • The Consolidated Fund of India was created under Article 266of the Constitution. It is also considered as the most important part of the financial statement.
  • Similar to the Centre, every state has its own Consolidated Fund as well.

What goes into Consolidated Fund of India?

  • All the government revenue generated from taxes, asset sale, earnings from state-run companies, etc. go into the Consolidated Fund of India.
  • The fund gets money from:
    • Revenue earned in direct taxes such as income tax, corporate tax, etc.
    • Revenue earned in indirect taxes such as GST
    • Dividends and profits from PSUs (Public Sector Undertakings)
    • Money earned through government’s general services
    • Disinvestment receipts

Goods and Services Tax Appellate Tribunal


Amendments to the GST laws, to enable the Appellate tribunal’s constitution are expected to be introduced in the Lok Sabha under which the Tribunal is likely to be headed by a former Supreme Court judge or a former Chief Justice of a High Court.

About Goods and Services Tax Appellate Tribunal:
  • GSTAT would serve as the forum of second appeals to do with the applicability of GST, and will also be the first common forum of dispute resolution between the Centre and the States.
  • It will be situated in New Delhi and several other State benches.


  • The tribunal has been established under Chapter XVIII of the CGST Act which provides for the Appeal and Review Mechanism for dispute resolution under the GST Regime.
  • Section 109 under CGST Act empowers the Central Government to constitute, on the recommendation of Council, an Appellate Tribunal known as the Goods and Services Tax Appellate Tribunal for hearing appeals against the orders passed by the Appellate Authority or the Revisional Authority.
  • It will be presided over by its president. It will consist of a technical member from the Centre and a representative of the States.

The framework of the Tribunal may permit the resolution of disputes involving dues or fines of less than Rs. 50 lakh by a single-member bench.

Aim and Functions:

Twin functions of second appellate and first common forum between centre and states

  • The appeals against the orders in first appeals issued by the Appellate Authorities under the Central and State GST Acts lie before the GST Appellate Tribunal, which is common under the Central as well as State GST Acts.
  • The disputes that state tribunals would be looking at would be appeals under GST law wherein the taxpayer is contesting the tax demand put by the tax department.
    • The appeal based on the assessment would be made to the Commissioner (Appeals) if not satisfied at the state level and from there it would go to the Apellate Tribunal.
  • Being a common forum, GST Appellate Tribunal will ensure that there is uniformity in redressal of disputes arising under GST, and therefore, in implementation of GST across the country.


  • The national bench of the GST Appellate Tribunal will expedite resolution of disputes under GST laws. Being a common forum, GST Appellate Tribunal (national bench) will ensure that there is uniformity in redressal of disputes arising under GST.
  • The appellate authority is being seen crucial as a forum for higher appeal for disputes under the indirect tax regime and will also help in resolving the confusion created by contradictory rulings given by Appellate Authority for Advance Rulings (AAAR)on the same or similar issues in different states.

 What is GST?

  • GST is an Indirect Tax which has replaced many Indirect Taxes in India.
  • The Act came into effect on 1st July 2017; Goods & Services Tax Law in India is a comprehensive, multi-stage, destination-based tax that is levied on every value addition.

Goods & Services Tax Council is a constitutional body for making recommendations to the Union and State Government on issues related to Goods and Service Tax.



Israel passes law protecting prime minister from removal


Israeli lawmakers have passed legislation that drastically narrows the circumstances required to remove Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or a successor from office.

  • PM Netanyahu was facing corruption trial and claims of a conflict of interest surrounding his involvement in the legal changes.
  • The legal changes have split the nation between those who see the new policies as stripping Israel of its democratic ideals and those who think the country has been overrun by a liberal judiciary.
  • The government has plunged the 75 years old nation into one of its worst democratic crisis.

Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara, who was appointed by the previous government, asserted that the prime minister was unfit to govern.

What the law entails:

  • The legislation stipulates that a three-quarters majority in parliament or the Cabinet would be needed to remove a prime minister from office — and only for psychological or other health reasons.

The Office of Prime Minister in India:

  • Article 75 of the Indian Constitution mentions that a Prime Minister is one who is appointed by the President.
  • There is no specific procedure for his election or appointment.
  • Article 74(1) states that there shall be a Council of Ministers with a Prime Minister at the head to aid and advice the President.
    • Thus, the Indian Constitution itself recognizes a Council of Ministers.
  • Position of the Prime Minister (PM):
    • PM pre-eminence rests on his commanding position in the Cabinet, coupled with fact that he is the leader of the majority party.
    • All these positions of power when combined in one person make him rank much above an ordinary Minister.
    • The death or resignation of the Prime Minister automatically brings about the dissolution of the Council of Ministers. It generates a vacuum.
    • The demise, resignation or dismissal of a Minister creates only a vacancy which the Prime Minister may or may not like to fill.
    • The Government cannot function without a Prime Minister but the absence of a Minister can be easily compensated.
  • Removal of Prime minister:
    • The prime minister serves at 'the pleasure of the president’; hence, a prime minister may remain in office indefinitely, so long as the president has confidence in him/her.
    • However, a prime minister must have the confidence of Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Parliament of India.
    • Hence, the term of a prime minister can end before the end of a Lok Sabha's term, if a simple majority of its members no longer have confidence in him/her, this is called a vote-of-no-confidence.

Short News Article

International Relations

H-1B visas

Laid-off IT sector employees can continue to stay in the United States even beyond the H-1B time limit, as per an announcement by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

About H-1B visa:

  • The H-1B program allows companies and other employers in the United States to temporarily employ foreign workers in occupations that require the theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and a bachelor's degree or higher in the specific specialty, or its equivalent.


  • The H-1B program applies to employers seeking to hire non-immigrant aliens as workers in specialty occupations or as fashion models of distinguished merit and ability.

Laid Off employees:

  • Layoff is the elimination of a position due to a lack of work, a lack of funds and/or because of reorganization.
  • Reducing a professional staff position's percent time or months worked per year is not subject to the layoff process.

US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS):

  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is issuing policy guidance on its standards in customer service.

Polity and Governance

Panchamasali reservation


The High Court of Karnataka has allowed the State government to take a decision on reservation for the Panchamasali (Lingayat sub-sect.)

Who are Lingayats?

  • The Lingayats are followers of 12th-century social reformer Basavanna, who was inspired by the Bhakti Movement.
  • Basavanna was a treasurer in the court of King Bijjala II; he rejected Brahmin rituals and temple worship and envisaged a society that was casteless, free of discrimination, and where men and women had equal opportunities. 


  • The government gave an undertaking that the proposed decision would not disturb the constitutionally guaranteed quota in the existing Category 2A of the caste-based reservation list.
  • There are now 99 sub-sects within the Lingayats, whose main goal was once the eradication of the caste system.
  • Prominent sub-sects include the Panchamasalis, Ganiga, Jangama, Banajiga, Reddi Lingayat, Sadars, Nonaba and Goud-Lingayats.

Polity and Governance

‘Call Before u Dig’ App

Recently, the Prime Minister has launched an app called 'Call Before u Dig’.


  • Objective: To help prevent uncoordinated digging that results in damage to underground utility assets like optical fibre cables, costing the government thousands of crores every year.
  • The ‘Call Before u Dig’ (CBuD) app aims to facilitate coordination between excavation agencies and underground utility owners to prevent damage to utilities due to digging.
  • With this, it would help to protect underground public infrastructure across the country.
  • The mobile application has been developed by the department of telecommunications and the Bhaskaracharya Institute for Space Applications and Geoinformatics functioning under the Gujarat government to protect underground public infrastructure across the country.
  • The app will connect excavators and asset owners through SMS/Email notifications and click-to-call in bid to execute planned excavations.

Science and Technology

World Tuberculosis Day 2023

World Tuberculosis Day is observed every year on March 24, to raise the awareness about Tuberculosis.


  • TB is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis and primarily affects the lungs, although it can also affect other parts of the body.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has set a goal to eliminate the diseases of 2030.
  • In 1982, the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IUATLD) launched World TB day to coincide with the 100th Anniversary of Koch’s discovery.


  • World TB Day is an opportunity to focus on the progress made in the prevention and treatment of Tuberculosis.


Rare Sarus Crane




Recently, a rare sarus crane was released in the Samaspur bird sanctuary as to revive its habitat.


  • The Sarus crane is the tallest flying bird in the world standing 152-156 cm tall with a wingspan of 240cm.
  • It has a predominantly grey plumage with a naked red head and upper neck and pale red legs.
  • It weighs 6.8-7.8 Kgs.
  • It is a social creature, found mostly in pairs or small groups of three or four.


  • The main threat to the Sarus crane in India is habitat loss and degradation due to draining the wetland and conversion of land for agriculture.
  • The landscape of its historic range is rapidly changing due to construction of highways, housing colonies, roads, and railway lines.

Science and Technology

Konkan 2023





Recently the annual bilateral maritime exercise between the Indian Navy and the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom (UK) was held from March 20 to 22 off the Konkan coast in the Arabian Sea.


About the exercise:

  • INS Trishul, a guided missile frigate of the Indian Navy, and HMS Lancaster, a Type 23 guided missile frigate of the Royal Navy, participated.
  • This edition of the exercise undertook multiple maritime drills to enhance interoperability and imbibe best practices.
  • The exercises covered all domains of maritime operations — air, surface, and sub-surface.
  • It included gunnery shoots on surface inflatable target ‘Killer Tomato’, helicopter operations, anti-air and anti-submarine warfare drills, Visit Board Search and Seizure (VBSS), ship manoeuvres and exchange of personnel.

Visit Board search and seizure (VBSS):

  • Visit, board, search, and seizure (VBSS) is the term used by United States military and law enforcement agencies for maritime boarding actions and tactics.
  • VBSS teams are designed to capture enemy vessels, combat terrorism, piracy, and smuggling, and to conduct customs, safety and other inspections.


World Happiness Report 2023

Recently, the “World Happiness Report” is published by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network.

Key highlights:

  • As of March 2023, Finland has been ranked the happiest country in the world six times in a row.
  • India was placed at the 126th position out of 137 countries in the report.


  • The index measures factors such as income, mental and physical health and societal generosity.
  • The World Happiness Report is a publication that contains articles and rankings of national happiness, based on respondent ratings of their own lives, which the report also correlates with various (quality of) life factors.


Press must remain free if a country is to remain a democracy


  • Journalists and their jobs are difficult and is equivalent to as of legislature and Judiciary in terms to awake the masses and speak on behalf of them.

Importance of press:

  • Fourth Pillar of Democracy: The media is the fourth pillar in the conception of the State, and thus an integral component of democracy. A healthy democracy must encourage the development of journalism that can ask difficult questions to the establishment.
  • Debates and discussion: The media sparks debates and discussion in a society. All societies inevitably become dormant and immune to the problems that plague them. Journalism is one of the key aspects which prod us out of this collective inertia.
    • For Example, the media’s coverage of the rape of Jyoti, or Nirbhaya, by certain men in Delhi resulted in widespread protests and later, in reforms to criminal law.
  • Catalysts of social and political change:  Prior to independence, newspapers were run by social reformers and political activists in order to raise awareness.
    • For Example, Dr. Ambedkar launched newspapers such as Mooknayak to create awareness about the rights of the most neglected communities in India.
You must be logged in to get greater insights.


QUIZ - 24th March 2023
GS Classes 2024 Optional Foundation Optional Q&A mains test series 2023 mains classes 2023 UPSC Study Material

Verifying, please be patient.

Enquire Now