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Death sentence: NLU report


Death sentence for rape-murder in 2019 highest in 4 years: NLU report

      WHY IN NEWS:

17 out of 26 cases of capital punishment awarded by HCs related to sexual offences



For PRELIMS the factual unformation mentioned in pink colour is important ! Rest all is dietary consumption for mains 2020 😉


Higher number of death sentences awarded in India in recent years relate to cases of sexual offences, a report by National Law University (NLU), Delhi, revealed

The Death Penalty in India: Annual Statistics Report

PUBLISHED BY: ‘The Death Penalty in India: Annual Statistics’ published by Project 39A of NLU-Delhi

EDITION : The fourth edition of  said the number of death sentences awarded for murders involving sexual offences in 2019 was at the highest in four years.



The trial courts in India imposed 102 death sentences in 2019, a significant drop from 162 death sentences in 2018. However, the percentage of sexual offences in these cases increased from 41.35 (67 out of 162) in 2018 to 52.94 in 2019 (54 out of 102 sentences).

This trend was also seen at the High Courts where 65.38% (17 out of 26) cases of confirmations of death sentences involved sexual offences along with murder, the highest in four years.

The Supreme Court in 2019 dealt with 27 capital punishment cases, highest number since 2001.


It observed that the amendment to The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, introducing stringent mandatory minimum punishments and death penalty for penetrative sexual assault on children was a major development in this direction.

It added that the “rampancy and impunity of sexual violence and the fractures within the criminal justice system perpetuating this cycle has led to a public outcry for harsher punishments”.

“All warrants that were issued indicate a lack of compliance with the guidelines issued in the case of [wc_highlight color=”yellow” class=””]Shabnam vs. Union of India[/wc_highlight], which requires that a warrant for execution not be issued until reasonable time for exhausting all remedies under the law has lapsed and specifies procedures to be followed in issuing such warrant,”

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

“National debates and legislative trends, as well as data on administration of death penalty in this report, indicate that the issue of sexual violence against women and children is now at the heart of the debate on capital punishment in India,”

Project 39A is inspired by Article 39-A of the Indian Constitution, a provision that furthers the intertwined values of equal justice and equal opportunity by removing economic and social barriers. These are constitutional values of immense importance given the manner in which multiple disparities intersect to exclude vast sections of our society from effectively accessing justice. Using empirical research to re-examine practices and policies in the criminal justice system, Project 39A aims to trigger new conversations on legal aid, torture, DNA forensics, mental health in prisons, and the death penalty.  
SUGGESTED READING : https://www.project39a.com/nlu 

E-mobility mission


Govt. failed in e-mobility mission, says plea in SC

      WHY IN NEWS:

Court seeks response from Centre



For PRELIMS National E-Mobility Mission Plan, 2020 is very important .

For MAINS Look out for hurdles faced by this scheme since beginning.


The Supreme Court on Friday sought the response of the government on a petition that alleges non-implementation of the National E-Mobility Mission Plan, 2020. The plan, initiated in 2012, had made several recommendations for the adoption of electric vehicles, including electric-powered government fleets and public transportation and subsidies for those who opt for electric and zero emission vehicles.

National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) 2020?


To encourage reliable, affordable and efficient xEVs that meet consumer performance and price expectations through Government – Industry collaboration for promotion and development of indigenous manufacturing capabilities, required infrastructure, consumer awareness and technology; thereby helping India to emerge as a leader in the xEV Two Wheeler and Four Wheeler market in the world by 2020.


There is an ambitious target to achieve 6-7 million sales of hybrid and electric vehicles year on year from 2020 onwards.

Cumulative sale is expected to reach 15-16 Million by 2020.

It is expected to save 9500 Million Liters of crude oil equivalent to Rs. 62000 Cr. savings.


An enabling mechanism has been set up for speedier decision making and for ensuring greater collaboration amongst various stakeholders. This consists of empowered bodies at the apex level in the form of National Council for Electric Mobility (NCEM) and the National Board for Electric Mobility (NBEM).

The Council comprises of Ministers from the key Central Ministries/Departments, eminent representatives from the industry and academia.

The NCEM is chaired by the Hon’ble Minister for Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises.

The Council will be aided by a 25 member National Board for Electric Mobility comprising of secretaries of stakeholder Central Ministries/Departments with representation from industry and academia.

The National Council and the National Board will be serviced initially by the NATRiP Implementation Society (NATIS) and later by the National Automotive Board (NAB).

It is a composite scheme using different policy-levers such as:

  • Demand side incentives to facilitate acquisition of hybrid/electric vehicles
  • Promoting R&D in technology including battery technology, power electronics, motors, systems integration, battery management system, testing infrastructure, and ensuring industry participation in the same
  • Promoting charging infrastructure
  • Supply side incentives
  • Encouraging retro-fitment of on-road vehicles with hybrid kit

      IASbhai WINDUP: 



Indo-U.S. relations


‘2020 will be an important year for Indo-U.S. relations’

      WHY IN NEWS:

2+2 talks’ decisions will be implemented, says senior official



For PRELIMS you need to concentrate on BDN.

For MAINS the agenda of 2+2 meetings this year would frame potential key points for UPSC answers . Nothing here as of now .


As U.S. officials finalise venues and dates of President Donald Trump’s likely visit, an official said the focus of the Indo-U.S. engagements this year would be to implement decisions taken during the 2+2 meeting between Defence and Foreign Ministers in December 2019 and on trade.

India-U.S. relations

“This is going to be an important year for India-U.S. relations. Especially in the first half of the year, we expect to put into practice many of the decisions taken during the 2+2 talks,.

eAmerican security and administration officials are undertaking a series of reconnaissance visits over the next week

One of the major objectives of the 2+2 talks between Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper with Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh was furthering cooperation on a “free and open Indo-Pacific”.

Both countries had agreed to “promote practical cooperation in infrastructure development, counter-terrorism, cyber security and regional connectivity.”

BDN ‘rating mechanism’

To that end, the U.S. has launched a “Blue Dot Network” (BDN), which has already taken Japan and Australia on board to encourage private investment in infrastructure projects.

The network is “ratings mechanism” that would grade infrastructure projects in the Indo-Pacific region on different parameters to ensure transparency and is planned as direct counter to China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

However, unlike the BRI, the BDN would not offer public funds or loans for the project.

“India has as much a role as it wants on the Blue Dot Network (BDN). It is as open as a Michelin standard for restaurants. We are hoping to build support for this initiative to [wc_highlight color=”yellow” class=””]grade infrastructure projects on debt, environmental standards, labour standards, etc.   [/wc_highlight]

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

These would apply to projects in any citizen-centric country, where citizens would like to evaluate these projects.


Ocean warning


Ocean warning

      WHY IN NEWS:

Special Report On The Ocean And Cryosphere In A Changing Climate:IPCC

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 1:3:Sea surface temperature:Global warming:Reports


For PRELIMS know the summary of this report.

For MAINS use some ocean heating effects in your answers right now.


One of the biggest revelations of the Special Report On The Ocean And Cryosphere In A Changing Climate, released in September by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), was how much the global ocean has heated up. It stated that the impact of global heating was only now becoming apparent because the global ocean had been bailing us out all this while.

Report summary:

Since 1970, the report said, 90% of the excess heat generated due to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions has been absorbed by the ocean.

A new report, released on 13 January, now says that 2019 was the warmest year for the global ocean since record-keeping began.

The paper, Record-Setting Ocean Warmth Continued in 2019, published in Advances In Atmospheric Sciences, states that from 2016-19, each of the four years has been hotter than the last.

The heat is mostly trapped in the top 2,000m of the ocean, which is also home to the bulk of marine life forms.

Marine heat readings offer a more comprehensive idea of global heating, since surface temperatures are also affected by periodic weather systems like the El Niño effect.

Effects of Ocean Heat:

And with greater heating of the ocean comes greater risks.

These include catastrophic climate events like the recent Jakarta floods, or the Kerala floods last year.

A warmer ocean is a major contributor to Polar ice melt, which in turn contributes to sea-level rise.

The biggest immediate effect of a warming ocean, though, is the worldwide decline in coral reefs, as well as the loss of tiny marine organisms which form the bedrock of the global marine food chain.

Fish stocks worldwide have been falling, and as fish species migrate to cooler waters, livelihoods are affected.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Countries and industries must slash their GHG emissions and move to non-fossil fuel energy. This remains the only way to combat the climate crisis.


Kampani Kalam


Kampani Kalam in the spotlightA recent exhibition at Bonhams, London

      WHY IN NEWS:

A series of shows highlighting the diversity in Company painting

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 1:Art and Culture:Painting


For PRELIMS go through each and every factual data given below.This is important.

For MAINS this can be asked in sort of a short question answer too.


At Bonhams, London, close to 80 rare works by Indian master artists from Kolkata, Patna, Lucknow, Delhi and Chennai were recently on display. Titled In Good Company, this “exhibition from a private collection of fine Indian paintings under the influence of the Raj” was organized by the auction house in collaboration with Arts of Hindostan (AoH), an Instagram handle dedicated to the visual and decorative arts, architecture, design and fashion of the Mughals, Rajputs and Company sahibs, and rated by auction house Christie’s as one of the top 100 art world Instagram accounts to follow.


“In the 18th and 19th centuries, Indian artists were employed mainly by the British East India Company, and, to a lesser extent, by other European East India companies to record picturesque sites, monuments, festivals, royalty, zenana and nautchkhana.

Company style or Company painting (kampani kalam in Hindi) is a term for a hybrid Indo-European style of paintings made in India by Indian artists, many of whom worked for European patrons in the British East India Company or other foreign Companies in the 18th and 19th centuries. The style blended traditional elements from Rajput and Mughal painting with a more Western treatment of perspective, volume and recession. Most paintings were small, reflecting the Indian miniature tradition, but the natural history paintings of plants and birds were usually life size .

The effort of such exhibitions is to bring out the distinctive styles of these artists, instead of viewing them within the overarching umbrella of “Company paintings”—as Dalrymple mentioned in an interview to Lounge earlier, the artists had too much personality to be dismissed as a nameless group employed by rich patrons.

This style of painting came about as dusk began to settle on the Mughal empire, taking a toll on patronage of art.


Many of the artists flocked to newer patrons—the East India Company officials based in Delhi, Lucknow, Patna, Murshidabad, Kolkata, Trichy and other places.

This brought them under the influence of European counterparts such as Thomas and William Daniell, William Hodges, Johann Zoffany and Frans Balthazar Solvyns. Visual vocabulary transformed to include the use of perspective, the move from gouache to watercolour and softer palettes.

There is a documentary feel to the paintings as they faithfully chronicle lives and landscapes, creating an image of the “exotic India” that British officers so wanted to convey to their families back home.

“In some ways, there was a democratization of subjects from the earlier Mughal and Rajput painting, where the finest work was done for a maharaja or emperor and the topics tended to cover the court, zenana, hunts and battles.

The stories of artists such as Sewak Ram and Shaikh Muhammad Amir of Karraya lend insight into the lives of Company painters—the former, who worked from 1790-1826, used to be the most prolific and influential of the Patna painters.

“He seems to have had different styles of painting—on the one hand producing sets of trades and occupations, and, on the other, painting fine large paintings of processions and ceremonies.

In his larger compositions, like the two paintings in our exhibition, he is closer to European water colors , with the emphasis on modelling, transparency and neutral tones,”

The Diwan-i-Khas In The Red Fort At Delhi by Ghulam Ali Khan, for instance, was once owned by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

The colours in the work are believed to have inspired the fashion icon’s look for her 1962 trip to India as US first lady.

“These paintings are a magnificent record of a time when artists in India were open to different styles and techniques from Europe and built on the rich.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

In the Company paintings, artists captured daily life for British sahibs to share with their families in England, or the scientific studies of flora and fauna in an age of discovery.


Shanghai Council


India to invite Imran Khan for Shanghai Council meet

      WHY IN NEWS:

Move comes hours after the UNSC discusses the situation in Kashmir

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2:International Grouping


For PRELIMS all about SCO is given below . Make a Note.

For MAINS try to write a brief answer on how SCO is used as a soft target to raise Kashmir issue by our neighbours.


Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan will be invited to participate in the Heads of Government Council meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) that will be hosted in India this year, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday. The invite move came hours after the UN Security Council discussed the situation in Kashmir.

What is SCO

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is a permanent intergovernmental international organisation, the creation of which was announced on 15 June 2001 in Shanghai (China) by the Republic of Kazakhstan, the People’s Republic of China, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan, and the Republic of Uzbekistan. It was preceded by the Shanghai Five mechanism.


The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Charter was signed during the St.Petersburg SCO Heads of State meeting in June 2002, and entered into force on 19 September 2003.

The historical meeting of the Heads of State Council of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation was held on 8-9 June 2017 in Astana.

On the meeting the status of a full member of the Organization was granted to the Republic of India and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.


Strengthening mutual trust and neighbourliness among the member states;

Promoting their effective cooperation in politics, trade, the economy, research, technology and culture, as well as in education, energy, transport, tourism, environmental protection, and other areas;

Making joint efforts to maintain and ensure peace, security and stability in the region; and moving towards the establishment of a democratic, fair and rational new international political and economic order.

Proceeding from the Shanghai Spirit, the SCO pursues its internal policy based on the principles of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, mutual consultations, respect for cultural diversity, and a desire for common development, while its external policy is conducted in accordance with the principles of non-alignment, non-targeting any third country, and openness.

The Heads of State Council (HSC) is the supreme decision-making body in the SCO. It meets once a year and adopts decisions and guidelines on all important matters of the organisation.

The SCO Heads of Government Council (HGC) meets once a year to discuss the organisation’s multilateral cooperation strategy and priority areas, to resolve current important economic and other cooperation issues, and also to approve the organisation’s annual budget. The SCO’s official languages are Russian and Chinese.


• The SCO comprises eight member states, namely the Republic of India, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the People’s Republic of China, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan, and the Republic of Uzbekistan;

• The SCO counts four observer states, namely the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Republic of Belarus, the Islamic Republic of Iran and  the Republic of Mongolia;

• The SCO has six dialogue partners, namely the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Armenia, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, the Republic of Turkey, and the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

  The organisation has two permanent bodies — the SCO Secretariat based in Beijing and the Executive Committee of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) based in Tashkent.

 The SCO Secretary-General and the Director of the Executive Committee of the SCO RATS are appointed by the Council of Heads of State for a term of three years. 

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Since becoming full-time member of the SCO in 2017, both India and Pakistan have participated in multiple meetings of SCO and the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) despite hostilities and tension in Kashmir. The Heads of Government Council meeting is attended by the Prime Minister-level leaders of the member states that deliberate on the regional body’s economic and other pressing issues. The meeting also firms up SCO’s annual budget.

SUGGESTED READING : http://eng.sectsco.org/about_sco/ 

 Bru refugees


34,000 Bru refugees to be settled in Tripura

      WHY IN NEWS:

MHA signs quadripartite agreement



For PRELIMS note down the important fact mentioned relevant to this tribe.


A 40/30 feet plot of land, an aid of ₹5,000/month for the next two years, free ration and ₹1.5 lakh to build houses will be given to them. The Tripura government has identified land to settle them.

A file photo of Bru children at a refugee camp in Tripura

Who are the Bru refugees?

Reangs or Brus are the second largest ethnic group in Mizoram. Their exodus in 1997 was spurred by violent clashes in Mamith subdivision, a Reang-dominated area, when they demanded creation of an autonomous council that was vehemently opposed by Mizo groups.

Bru tribals from Mizoram, living as refugees in Tripura since 1997, were allowed to permanently settle in Tripura.

The Brus–spread across Tripura, Mizoram and parts of southern Assam–are the most populous tribe in Tripura. Also known as Reangs in the state, they are ethnically different from the Mizos, with their own distinct language and dialect and form one of the 21 scheduled tribes of Tripura.

While Mizoram has as many as 40,000 Brus living in the state, in Tripura, their numbers stand at approximately 32,000, spread across six refugee camps in the state.

In 1997, roughly half the Bru population fled to Tripura, following violent clashes with the Mizo population, which led to the Brus’ demand for an Autonomous District Council (ADC), under the 6th Schedule of the Constitution, in western Mizoram, where they were the more dominant lot, outnumbering the ethnic Mizo population.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The community members would also get a one-time assistance of ₹4 lakh as fixed deposit.




India’s communication satellite GSAT-30 launched successfully

      WHY IN NEWS:

Launched by:Department of Space/MOS

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Space:Satellite


For PRELIMS usage of this satellite is important


India’s  latest  communication  satellite  GSAT-30  was  successfully  launched  from the  Spaceport  in  French  Guiana  during  the  early  hours  today. The  launch  vehicle  Ariane  5  VA-251  lifted  off  from  Kourou  Launch  Base,  French Guiana  at  2:35  am  IST  carrying  India’s  GSAT-30  and  EUTELSAT  KONNECT  for Eutelsat,  as  scheduled.

What is GSAT-30

“GSAT-30  has  a  unique  configuration  of  providing  flexible  frequency  segments and  flexible  coverage.
The  satellite  will  provide  communication  services  to Indian  mainland  and  islands  through  Ku-band  and  wide  coverage  covering  Gulf countries,  a  large  number  of  Asian  countries  and  Australia  through  C-band

After  a  flight  lasting  38  minutes  25  seconds,  GSAT-30  separated  from  the Ariane  5  upper  stage  in  an  elliptical  Geosynchronous  Transfer  Orbit.

With  a  lift-off  mass  of  3357  kg,  GSAT-30  will  provide  continuity  to  operational services  on  some  of  the  in-orbit  satellites.  GSAT-30  derives  its  heritage  from ISRO’s  earlier INSAT/GSAT  satellite  series  and  will  replace  INSAT-4A  in  orbit.

GSAT-30 Significance:

  • GSAT-30  will  provide  DTH  Television  Services, connectivity  to  VSATs  for  ATM, 
  • Stock-exchange,
  • Television  uplinking  and Teleport  Services, 
  • Digital  Satellite  News  Gathering  (DSNG)  and  e-governance applications.
  • The  satellite  will  also  be  used  for  bulk  data  transfer  for  a  host  of emerging  telecommunication  applications.”
ISRO’s  Master  Control  Facility  (MCF)  at  Hassan  in  Karnataka  took  over  the command  and  control  of  GSAT-30  immediately  after  its  separation  from  the launch  vehicle. 

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

During  the  final  stages  of  its  orbit  raising  operations,  the  two  solar  arrays  and  the antenna  reflectors  of  GSAT-30  will  be  deployed.    Following  this,  the  satellite  will be  put  in  its  final  orbital  configuration.    The  satellite  will  be  operational  after  the successful  completion  of  all  in-orbit  tests.


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