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2nd September 2023

Tibetan Democracy Day


More than 60 years now, Tibetan Democracy Day is globally celebrated on September 2, every year.

  • Tibetan Democracy Day, or ‘MangstoDuchen’, signifies the start of the Tibetan exile community's democratic system.
  • On September 2, 1960, a year after thousands of Tibetans had been forced to flee their home.
  • The first elected representatives of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile took their oaths in Bodh Gaya to inaugurate the Tibetan democratic system.
  • The Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), headquartered in Dharamshala, Indiawas also established to oversee the Tibetan diaspora and their democratic governance which serves over 100,000 refugees.
  • In 1963, the Dalai Lama enacted the Tibetan constitution based on the ideals of democracy and universal values.
  • In 1975, Kashag, the apex body of CTA, declared September 2 as the founding day of Tibetan democracy.

How the CTA (the Tibetan government-in-exile) works?

  • The CTA, which is based in Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh, has a branch office in every Tibetan settlement spread across India and abroad.
  • The President, PenpaTsering, CTA runs seven departments: Religion and Culture, Home, Finance, Education, Security, Information and International Relations, and Health.
  • The President is directly elected every five years.
  • The Tibetan Parliament-in-exile, the highest legislative body of the CTA, comprises 45 members:
    • 10 representatives from each of the traditional provinces of Tibet, U-Tsang, Dhotoe, and Dhomey;
    • Two from each of the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism;
    • Two representing each of the Tibetan communities in North America and Europe; and
    • One each from Australasia and Asia (excluding India, Nepal and Bhutan).

Every Tibetan above 18 with their Green Book, the main document of identity, is allowed to register in the voter’s list.

India’s official policy towards the CTA:

  • India considers the Dalai Lama as a revered religious leader and an honoured guest, but it does not encourage political activities by Tibetans.
  • It does not recognise any separate government of Tibet functioning in India.
  • Although, Tibetan refugees across the world recognisethe CTA as their legitimate government.

The Global stance:

  • US is the only government in the world which is politically upfront in supporting the Tibetan issue like on Policies on Tibet (Tibet Policy Act 2002, and Tibet Policy and Support Act 2020), and an appointment of special coordinator on Tibet.
  • However, the CTA is not officially recognised by any country.

Panel to explore ‘One Nation, One Election‘


Recently, the government has announced to form a committee to explore the feasibility of "one nation, one election".


About the Committee:

  • The Committee was formed under former President Ram NathKovind.
  • The committee will give a report which will be debated in Parliament.

The Cycle of Simultaneous Elections in India

  • First General Elections to the House of People (LokSabha) and all State Legislative Assemblies were held simultaneously in 1951-52.
  • That practice continued in three subsequent General Elections held in the years 1957, 1962 and 1967. However, due to the premature dissolution of some Legislative Assemblies in 1968 and 1969, the cycle got disrupted.
  • In 1970, the LokSabha was itself dissolved prematurely and fresh elections were held in 1971. Thus, the First, Second and Third LokSabha enjoyed full five-year terms.
  • The term of the Fifth LokSabha was extended till 1977 under Article 352.
  • After that, the Eighth, Tenth, Fourteenth and FifteenthLokSabha could complete their full five-year terms.
  • The Sixth, Seventh, Ninth, Eleventh, Twelfth and ThirteenthLokSabha was dissolved prematurely.
  • As a result of premature dissolutions and extension of terms of both the LokSabha and various State Legislative Assemblies, for the last forty-eight years, there have been separate elections to LokSabha and States Legislative Assemblies, and the cycle of simultaneous elections has been disturbed.

Urge for ‘One nation, one election’:

  • The Law Commission studied the issue in 1999 and again in 2018, as did the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice, in its report in December 2015.
  • In 2017, the NITI Aayog also submitted a paper on the benefits of simultaneous polls.
  • The 21st Law Commissionin 2018 says constitutional amendments are needed for simultaneous polls.

Constitutional and Statutory Provisions Relevant to the Issue:

  • Article 83(2) of the Constitution provides for a normal term of five years for the House of People (LokSabha).
  • Article 172 (1) provides for a similar tenure for the State Legislative Assembly from the date of its first sitting. Tenure of the House cannot be extended beyond five years except in emergency situations.
  • Implementing this measure will require multiple constitutional amendments, amendments to the Representation of People’s Act, and other such laws. It will also require a great deal of political support and understanding.
  • The Election Commission has suggested that the term of LokSabha could commence and end on predetermined dates, and to avoid premature dissolution, no-confidence motions should be moved simultaneously with a confidence motion for the individual hoping to be the next PM.
  • If the House is still dissolved, the President can run the government for the rest of the term — or, if that period is long, fresh elections can be held for a House that would last only for the remaining length of time.
  • Assemblies can, as a one-time measure, be extended or curtailed to align their elections with the LokSabha cycle.
  • Recent Law Commission recommendations also feature some of these suggestions.

Views on Simultaneous elections:

  • By 21stLaw Commission: In its report on 'simultaneous polls' submitted on August 30, 2018, the 21st Law Commission had recommended synchronizing all theAssembly elections with the LokSabha polls.
    • It had suggested extending or curtailing the tenures of the Assemblies, as required, by a constitutional amendment to facilitate holding these Assembly polls with the LokSabha elections in May 2019.
    • It had also said the elections for the states other than those mentioned above could be bunched together and organisedtwo and a half years after the LokSabha polls.
    • If simultaneous elections could not be conducted, the commission recommended that all elections falling due in a calendar year be held together.
    • The commission had recommended replacing the 'no-confidence motion' with a 'constructive vote of no-confidence', where the government might only be removed if there was confidence in an alternative government.
  • By Election Commission:
    • Sunil Arora, the chairman of EC also supported the idea of Simultaneous elections, but for that, political systems of the country will have to take steps to align the life of a state Assembly with the life of Parliament.


  • Cost Reduction: Conducting all elections concurrently would save significant resources spent on separate state and national elections.
  • Single Election Season: Simultaneous polls would streamline the electoral calendar, eliminating frequent disruptions due to elections in different states.
  • Policy Continuity: Advocates argue that the Model Code of Conduct often hampers government initiatives and project announcements, which could be avoided with synchronized elections.

Challenges and Concerns:

  • Complexity: Coordinating elections at various levels of government—national, state, and local—poses logistical and administrative challenges.
  • Dominance of National Parties: Critics suggest that simultaneous polls could favor nationally dominant parties over regional ones, potentially undermining federalism.
  • Government Instability: If any government, whether at the state or national level, were to collapse before its term, it could lead to complicated scenarios and potential governance issues.


Way forward
  • One Nation One Election’ is a good idea for Indian polity but its feasibility needs to be thoroughly examined by involving all the stakeholders in debate and discussion. Also, the desired goal of having only one election every five years cannot be achieved overnight in the prevailing circumstances. It has to be achieved in stages.
  • Constitutional amendment(s) can provide for extending or curtailing the term of one or more Legislative Assemblies, say for/by six months or so, wherever it is necessary to achieve the said goal. But it will require unprecedented political will and support.
  • The latest Law Commission report should, therefore, be considered a good place to start the national debate on Simultaneous Elections.

Seven years on ‘Mission to clean the Ganga’


In seven years of ‘Clean Ganga Mission’, only 20% of sewage in major states along the Ganga is treated which is estimated to increase to 60% by 2026.


About National Mission to Clean Ganga (NMCG):

  • Nodal body: The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) is implemented by the National Council for Rejuvenation, Protection and Management of River Ganga also known as the National Ganga Council.
  • Registered as: This mission was established on 12th August 2011 under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 as a registered society.
  • It acted as implementation arm of National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) whichwas constituted under the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act (EPA), 1986.
  • NGRBA has since been dissolvedwith effect from the 7th October 2016.
  • Vision:
    • The Vision for Ganga Rejuvenation constitutes restoring the wholesomeness of the river definedin terms of ensuring “AviralDhara” (Continuous Flow”), “NirmalDhara” (“UnpollutedFlow”), for Geologic and ecological integrity.
  • Objectives:
    • The mission incorporates rehabilitating and boosting the existing STPs (Sewage Treatment Plants) and instant short-term steps to curb pollution at exit points on the riverfront in order to check the inflow of sewage.
    • To maintain the continuity of the water flow without changing the natural season variations.
    • To restore and maintain the surface flow and groundwater.
    • To regenerate and maintain the natural vegetation of the area.
    • To conserve and regenerate the aquatic biodiversity as well as the riparian biodiversity of the river Ganga basin.
    • To allow participation of the public in the process of protection, rejuvenation and management of the river.

Initiatives related to Ganga:

  • NamamiGangeProgramme: It is an Integrated Conservation Mission, approved as a ‘Flagship Programme’ by the Union Government in June 2014 to accomplish the twin objectives of effective abatement of pollution and conservation and rejuvenation of National River Ganga.
  • Ganga Action Plan: It was the first River Action Plan that was taken up by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in 1985, to improve the water quality by the interception, diversion, and treatment of domestic sewage.
  • The National River Conservation Plan is an extension to the Ganga Action Plan. It aims at cleaning the Ganga River under Ganga Action Plan phase-2.
  • National River Ganga Basin Authority (NRGBA): It was formed by the Government of India in the year 2009 under Section-3 of the Environment Protection Act, 1986.
  • Ganga was declared as the ‘National River’ of India in 2008.
  • Clean Ganga Fund: In 2014, it was formed for cleaning up of the Ganga, setting up of waste treatment plants, and conservation of biotic diversity of the river.
  • Bhuvan-Ganga Web App: It ensures involvement of the public in monitoring of pollution entering into the river Ganga.
  • Arth Ganga was launched with the aim of harnessing the economic potential of the Ganga.

Ganga River System:

  • The Ganges River originates in the Himalaya Mountains at Gomukh, the terminus of the Gongotri Glacier.
  • When the ice of this glacier melts, it forms the clear waters of the Bhagirathi River.
  • As the Bhagirathi River flows down the Himalayas, it joins the Alaknanda River, officially forming the Ganges River.
  • The Ganges River Basin is sometimes considered part of a larger river basin consisting of the nearby Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers.
  • Known as the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna (GBM) River Basin, it is one of the largest river systems in the world.

Key facts:

  • It crosses five states of India namely Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.
  • Major tributaries of River Ganga are Yamuna, Ramganga, Gomti, Ghaghara, Gandak, Damodar, Kosi and Kali-EastFlowing through major cities/towns like Srinagar, Rishikesh, Haridwar, Roorkee (in Uttarakhand), Bijnor, Narora, Kannauj, Kanpur, Allahabad, Varanasi, Mirzapur (in Uttar Pradesh), Patna, Bhagalpur (in Bihar) and Beharampore, Serampore,Howrah and Kolkata (in West Bengal).
  • It drains into the Bay of Bengal.

Aditya L1 Mission


The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has announced its first-ever solar mission on 2nd September, 2023, named as Aditya-L1 Missionthat could revolutionise the understanding of the Sun's dynamics and space weather.


About the Mission:

  • According to ISRO, the Aditya-L1 mission is the first space-based observatory-class Indian solar mission to study the Sun.
  • Objective:TheAditya L1 mission aims to understand the Sun's coronal heating and solar windacceleration, coupling the dynamics of the solar atmosphere, solar wind distribution and temperature anisotropy and initiation of coronal mass ejection (CME), flares and near-earth space weather.
  • Launch details:
    • ISRO is going to use 'XL', the more powerful variant of the polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV)that would carry the spacecraft.
    • Aditya-L1 will be placed in a halo orbit around the Lagrangian Point 1 (L1), which is 1.5 million km from the Earth in the direction of the Sun.
    • The journey to the designated mission site is a staggering 5 million km from the Earth and will take about four months to cover.
    • It will revolve around the Sun with the same relative position and hence can see the Sun continuously.
  • Payloads:The seven payloads are-
    • Visible Emission Line Coronagraph(VELC)
    • Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (SUIT)
    • Solar Low Energy X-ray Spectrometer (SoLEXS)
    • High Energy L1 Orbiting X-ray Spectrometer(HEL1OS)
    • Aditya Solar wind Particle Experiment(ASPEX)
    • Plasma Analyser Package For Aditya (PAPA)
    • Advanced Tri-axial High Resolution Digital Magnetometers
  • Among those seven payloads, four of which will observe the light from the Sun and the remaining three will measure insitu parameters of the plasma and magnetic fields.
  • Details of payload aims:
    • The Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC), the primary payload of Aditya L1 will be sending 1,440 images per day to the ground station for analysis on reaching the intended orbit.
    • SoLEXS payload: It is a soft X-ray spectrometer onboard Aditya-L1. The payload is designed to measure the solar soft X-ray flux to study solar fares.
    • SUIT payload: The Solar Ultra-violet Imaging Telescope (SUIT) payload images the Solar Photosphere and Chromosphere in near Ultra-violet (UV) and also measures the solar irradiance variations in near UV.

What is L1 point?

  • L1 is among the five Lagrange points in the Earth-Sun system.
  • At this point, the gravitational forces of the two bodies balance the centrifugal force felt by a smaller object.
  • Due to the balance of force, the object is not attracted by the Sun, hence would be able to effectively “hover" in a stable position relative to the two larger bodies.
  • Significance:This point is located on the line connecting the two bodies. It is situated in the Earth's orbital path around the Sun.

Why study of Sun is significant?

  • The Sun emits radiation/light in nearly all wavelengths along with various energetic particles and magnetic field.
  • The atmosphere of the Earth as well as its magnetic field acts as a protective shield and blocks a number of harmful wavelength radiations including particles and fields.
  • Without the solar energy the life on earth, cannot exist. The gravity of the sun holds all the objects of the solar system together.

Key facts about Sun:

  • Sun is the nearest star and the largest object in the solar system. It is a hot glowing ball of hydrogen and helium gases.
  • The estimated age of sun is about 4.5 billion years.
  • The distance to the Sun from the earth is about 150 million kilometres, and is the source of energy for the solar system.
  • Parts of Sun:
    • At the central region of the sun, known as ‘core’, the temperature can reach as high as 15 million degree Celsius.
    • At this temperature, a process called nuclear fusion takes place in the core which powers the sun.
    • The visible surface of the sun known as photosphere is relatively cool and has temperature of about 5,500 degrees Celsius.

Short News Article

Polity and Governance (GS-II)

Competition Commission of India

Recently, the Competition Commission has approved Tata Group's proposed acquisition of debt-laden Air India as well as its two subsidiaries.

About the deal:

  • The Rs.18,000 crore-deal that includes the winning bidderTalace taking over Rs.15,300 crore-worth debt, is a major step in the government's efforts over the years to revive the ailing airline.

The Competition Commission of India:

  • The Competition Commission of India (CCI) is a statutory body of the Government of India responsible for enforcing the Competition Act, of 2002; it was duly constituted in March 2009.
  • The Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969 (MRTP Act) was repealed and replaced by the Competition Act, 2002, on the recommendations of the Raghavan committee.
  • Composition:
  • The Commission consists of one Chairperson and six Members who shall be appointed by the Central Government.

Polity and Governance (GS-II)

Special session of Parliament

The government has announced a ‘Special Session of Parliament’ from September 18-22.

What does a Special session mean?

  • The Constitution does not define a ‘special session’.
  • The government determines the date and duration of parliamentary sessions.
  • The Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs takes this decision.
  • It currently has ten Ministers, including those for Defence, Home, Finance, Agriculture, Tribal Affairs, Parliamentary Affairs, and Information and Broadcasting.
  • The Law Minister and the Minister of State for External Affairs are special invitees to the Committee.
  • The President is informed about the Committee’s decision, who then summons Members of Parliament to meet for the session.

Constitutional Provisions:

  • The Constitution specifies that six months should not elapse between two parliamentary sessions.
  • This provision is a colonial legacy. The framers of the Constitution borrowed it from the Government of India Act of 1935.
  • It allowed the British Governor General to call a session of the central legislature at his discretion, requiring that the gap between two sessions should not be more than 12 months

Science and Technology (GS-III)


The Indian Navy's new warship, Mahendragiri, developed by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders, was launched on September 1 in Mumbai.


  • The launch of Mahendragiri stands as a fitting testament to the remarkable progress of the nation in constructing a self-reliant naval force.
  • It was named after a mountain peak in the Eastern Ghatslocated in the state of Odisha, Mahendragiri represents the seventh ship within the’Project 17A Frigates series‘.
  • These warships follow the Project 17 Class Frigates (Shivalik Class) and boast enhanced stealth features, advanced weapons, sensors, and platform management systems.

Personality in News


Indian-origin economist TharmanShanmugaratnam has won the Presidential election in Singapore.

  • TharmanShanmugaratnam defeated two contenders of Chinese origin in the country's first contested presidential polls since 2011.


  • As head of state, he will represent us at home and abroad, and exercise custodial powers, including over the reserves and key appointments.
  • He will be the ninth president of Singapore and the third India-origin.
  • He joined politics in 2001.
  • TharmanShanmugaratnam had served as Singapore's Deputy prime minister from 2011 to 2019.
  • He has also worked in the public sector and held ministerial positions.
  • From 2011 to 2014, he chaired the International Monetary and financial committee acted as first Asian to hold that position.


An uneven rebound


Though the GDP growth rate and factors influencing it, seems to be fine as per projections by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), however there exists potential risks and uncertainties in India's economic landscape like inflation and agricultural concerns still exists.

India's Economic Growth in Q1

  • Promising Q1 Growth: India's Q1 GDP growth reached 7.8%, slightly below the RBI's 8% projection, signaling robust economic performance.
  • Future Concerns: The RBI foresees a gradual growth decline in 2023, hitting 5.7% in Q4. However, experts remain optimistic about the 6.5% annual target.
  • India's Comparative Advantage: Despite global challenges, India maintains its status as the fastest-growing major economy, surpassing China's 6.3% growth, despite domestic issues.

Challenges in Different Sectors

  • Agriculture's Mixed Prospects: Q1 showed a 3.5% growth in agriculture, but concerns loom due to a tepid monsoon and low reservoir levels, posing threats to upcoming crops.
  • Services Sector Resilience: Services, particularly trade and transport, witnessed robust growth. However, employment remains below pre-COVID levels, signaling an incomplete recovery.
  • Manufacturing and Consumption Challenges: Manufacturing improved slightly, but widespread consumption recovery is awaited. Private spending increased, mainly by high earners, while persistent food inflation may harm lower-income segments and rural demand.

Risks and Outlook

  • Balancing Inflation and Growth: Export restrictions on rice and onions to curb inflation could harm economic growth and trade balance.
  • Fiscal Risks of Relief Measures: Lowering LPG cylinder prices may jeopardize fiscal stability and long-term economic growth prospects.
  • Future Economic Outlook: The months ahead may pose challenges, with global factors impacting exports and manufacturing, alongside domestic pressures. The RBI's Monetary Policy Committee's upcoming decisions are pivotal.
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China’s economic slowdown, its ripple effect


China's economic slowdown sparks concerns of deflation, raising questions about its future and global ramifications, necessitating a deeper understanding.

The Growth Strategy:

  • Premier's Caution: In 2007, Premier Wen Jiabao cautioned about China's unsustainable economic growth characterized by instability and imbalance.
  • Infrastructure Investment: China responded to the warning by investing heavily in infrastructure, including railways and energy sectors, to sustain prosperity.
  • Domestic Legitimacy: China's leaders relied on high economic growth to maintain domestic legitimacy and create prosperity for its citizens.

Focus of China:

  • Shift to Quality of Life: In 2017, President of China redirected their focus towards improving citizens' quality of life, recognizing changing expectations.
  • End of High Growth Era: China's previous reliance on double-digit growth from exports and infrastructure spending came to an end.
  • Economic Challenges: Lower growth rates resulted in job scarcity, rising unemployment, and the necessity for political decisions to tackle these economic challenges.

Political Economy and Reforms:

  • Role of China's Political Economy: China's political economy exerts substantial influence on economic policies and decisions, impacting innovation and economic dynamics
  • Complex Economic Landscape: Recent factors, including trade conflicts, pandemic responses, and housing market challenges, have further complicated China's economic environment.
  • State-Owned Enterprises (SoEs) and Path-Dependency: The presence of SoEs and path-dependency issues in China's economic structure necessitate careful consideration and reform efforts.
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Belated recognition


Recognition of fungi as a part of the ‘flora, fauna, funga’ trinity was long overdue. Studying and protecting them on equal footing with plants and animals is crucial.

Fungi and Uses

  • About:Fungi are diverse microorganisms crucial in ecosystems, aiding decomposition, forming mutualistic partnerships with plants, and offering medicinal, industrial, and ecological benefits.
  • Medicinal Marvels: Fungi have given us essential antibiotics like penicillin and produce compounds with anti-cancer and antiviral properties.
  • Biotechnological Wonders: They are used in various industrial processes, including brewing, baking, and the production of enzymes and biofuels.

Recognizing Fungi's Importance

  • Fungi's Ecological Significance: Fungi play a pivotal role in ecosystems, contributing to pollution cleanup, facilitating plant communication, and offering sustainable solutions.
  • Underappreciated Kingdom: Despite their importance, the majority of fungal species lack documentation, with only 10% characterized. Recognizing fungi's role alongside flora and fauna is vital for addressing future challenges.
  • Conservation Imperative: Understanding and conserving fungi can have far-reaching environmental benefits, emphasizing the need for increased research and protection efforts.

Unlocking Fungal Potential

  • Fungi's Diverse Capabilities: Fungi demonstrate remarkable versatility, contributing to pollution remediation, producing valuable compounds (antiviral, anti-cancer), and offering sustainable materials like mushroom-based alternatives to styrofoam.
  • Neglected Natural Assets: Beyond culinary and medicinal fungi, the vast majority of fungal species receive insufficient attention. There is a pressing need to expand research and conservation initiatives.
  • Safeguarding Earth's Future: Recognizing and harnessing the potential of fungi can address pressing environmental concerns. Greater emphasis on research and conservation can contribute to a more sustainable future.
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Spirituality with Science


After the criticism to temple visit of ISRO chairman, his reply mentioned that exploring the inner space is as relevant as for outer space. In contrast to pre-Enlightenment Western religions, Dharmic traditions encourage questioning and exploring instead of blind faith.

Recognizing Spiritual Exploration

  • ISRO's Temple Visits: Debate over ISRO scientists visiting temples sparked discussions on scientific temper and spirituality. In India, spiritual exploration aligns with scientific inquiry, emphasizing seeking and scepticism.
  • Dharmic Tradition: India's spiritual tradition, rooted in seeking and exploration, doesn't rely on blind faith. Swami Vivekananda advocated religious scrutiny through scientific investigation.
  • Complementary Paths: While science delves into the physical world, spirituality explores innate human values beyond quantifiable measures, fostering unity and awareness.

Balancing Scientific and Spiritual Quests

  • Limitations of Rationalism: Even staunch rationalists like Jawaharlal Nehru found solace in spirituality. He highlighted ethical aspects and an appeal beyond logic.
  • Cosmic Exploration: As humanity advances in cosmic exploration, the balance between conquering nature and seeking inner understanding becomes crucial for our evolution.
  • Universal Naming: Naming celestial bodies after deities transcends religions. Planets and missions draw from various mythologies, emphasizing cultural and cosmic significance.

Relation between Science and Spirituality

  • Complementary Paths: Science and spirituality can coexist, offering distinct but complementary ways of understanding the world and our existence.
  • Exploring Inner and Outer Realms: While science investigates the physical universe, spirituality delves into consciousness and inner experiences.
  • Shared Values: Both realms can promote values like curiosity, humility, and a deep appreciation for the mysteries of existence.
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