Current Affairs Analysis

11th July 2020 Current Affairs Analysis – IASToppers

Russell's viper; Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs); Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act 1971; Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Bill, 2020; Abortion in India; Remand; Rights of accused; Transit Remand? Snakebite death; Million Death Study; Star Lifecycle; Origin of carbon in stars and their ejection in cosmos; triple-alpha reaction; initial-final mass relation; Rabari Community; Bharwad Community; Charan Community; Scheduled Tribes; Draft Aids to Navigation Bill 2020; Draft on minimum wages; India Cycles4Change Challenge; ASEEM portal; National Fish Farmers Day; Fish Cryobanks; Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampadha Yojana; PMMSY; Tiger orchids; Chakr DeCoV; etc.
By IASToppers
July 13, 2020


Polity & Governance

  • Form panel on termination of 23-week pregnancy: Delhi HC to AIIMS
  • Transferring of criminal without transit remand
  • Draft Aids to Navigation Bill 2020
  • Draft on minimum wages

Government Schemes & Policies

  • New operational guidelines for FPOs released
  • India Cycles4Change Challenge

Issues related to Health & Education

  • Snakebite death data of India from 2000- ‘19


  • National Fish Farmers Day

Environment, Ecology & Disaster Management

  • Tiger orchids

Art & Culture

  • Panel to be formed to decide on tribal status of 3 communities in Gujarat

Science & Technology

  • How stars provided the carbon that makes life possible

Key Facts for Prelims

  • India Cycles4Change Challenge
  • ASEEM portal
  • Chakr DeCoV

For IASToppers Current Affairs Analysis Archive, Click Here

Polity & Governance

Form panel on termination of 23-week pregnancy: Delhi HC to AIIMS

The Delhi High Court directed the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to immediately constitute a team of medical experts to look into the plea of a woman seeking termination of her 23-week pregnancy due to certain abnormalities in the foetus.

Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act 1971:

  • It legalized abortion in India up to 20 weeks of pregnancy, based on certain conditions and when provided by a registered medical practitioner at a registered medical facility.
    • Prior to the MTP Act, abortion was governed by the Section 312 of Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860, that criminalized all induced abortions, except to save a woman’s life.

Conditions require for terminating pregnancy up to 20 weeks

  • When continuation of pregnancy is a risk to the life of a pregnant woman or could cause grave injury to her physical or mental health;
  • When there is substantial risk that the child, if born or dead would be seriously handicapped due to physical or mental abnormalities;
  • When pregnancy is caused due to rape;
  • When pregnancy is caused due to failure of contraceptives used by a married woman or her husband

No pregnancy of a woman, who has not attained the age of 18 years, or, who, having attained the age of 18 years, is a lunatic, shall be terminated except with the consent in writing of her guardian.

Whose opinion is required for termination of pregnancy?

  • For terminations up to 12 weeks: Opinion of a single Registered Medical Practitioner (RMP) is required.
  • For terminations between 12 and 20 weeks: Opinion of two RMP’s is required.

Whose consent is required for termination of pregnancy?

  • Only the consent of woman whose pregnancy is being terminated is required.
  • However, in case of a minor i.e. below the age of 18 years, or a mentally ill woman, consent of guardian (MTP Act defines guardian as someone who has the care of the minor. This does not imply that only parent/s are required to consent) is required for termination.

Provision of Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Bill, 2020:

Termination of pregnancy:

  • Proposes requirement of opinion of one registered medical practitioner (RMP) for termination of pregnancy up to 20 weeks of gestation.
  • Proposes for the requirement of opinion of two RMPs for termination of pregnancy of 20 to 24 weeks.
    • The termination of pregnancies up to 24 weeks will only apply to specific categories of women, as may be prescribed by the central government (i.e, for survivors of rape, and other vulnerable women)
  • Seeks to relax the contraceptive-failure condition for “any woman or her partner” from the present provision for “only married woman or her husband”, allowing them to medically terminate the pregnancy.

Medical Board:

  • The upper limit of termination of pregnancy will not apply in cases where such termination is necessary due to the diagnosis of substantial foetal abnormalities. 
  • These abnormalities will be diagnosed by a Medical Board.  Under the Bill, every state government is required to constitute such a Medical Board.

Protection of privacy of a woman

  • The Bill states that no registered medical practitioner will be allowed to reveal the name and other particulars of a woman whose pregnancy has been terminated, except to a person authorised by any law. 

Criticism of the Bill

  • The proposed medical board should be scrapped because third party (medical board) should not take decisions on termination of pregnancy. Abortion is a decision best left to a woman and her service provider.
  • Pregnant women lack autonomy in making the decision to terminate their pregnancy, and have to bear additional mental stress of getting a doctor’s approval.
  • In Bill, the increase in upper gestational limit to 24 weeks for abortion is envisaged only for, vulnerable women including survivors of rape, and other vulnerable women etc. This would not apply in cases of substantial foetal abnormalities diagnosed by the Medical Board. This suggest that women do not have a sovereign right over their bodies to secure an abortion, unless they are vulnerable women.
  • Even within the 24-week period, a woman can only seek abortion for the reasons set out in the law and not on request. This creates additional mental stress of getting a doctor’s approval.
    • It fails to draw inspiration from the 2017 landmark Puttaswamy judgment that held that “Privacy includes the preservation of personal intimacies, marriage, procreation, the home and sexual orientation.”

Abortion in India:

  • One in three of 48.1 million pregnancies in India end in an abortion, with 15.6 million abortions taking place in 2015.
  • Of these, around 12.7 million (81%) were medical abortions, and 2.2 million were surgical terminations of pregnancy done by certified doctors.
  • The World Health Organisation (WHO)-recommended combinations of the oral pills, mifepristone and misoprostol, are the most common methods of medical abortion.
  • Only 22% of 15.6 million abortions happen in healthcare facilities, there is no record of the others.


  • With an estimated 90% of women seeking before 12 weeks gestation, training village-level healthworkers and nurses to prescribe simple abortion pills will help take safe services to the doorsteps of vulnerable women and, in case of complications, lead to timely referrals.
  • India need far more providers at the lower levels of healthcare delivery to ensure safe abortion services reach more women. There should be 2-3 days training on medical abortion for MBBS doctors (traditional training is for 12 weeks) to make them eligible to provide abortion using abortion drugs. This would expand the provider base as India has around 610,000 MBBS doctors, of which only 90,000 are currently trained to provide abortion services.

Abortion laws across the world:

  • Abortion laws vary across the world. Around 60 countries prescribe gestational limits.
  • France, UK, Austria, Ethiopia, Italy, Spain, Iceland, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland and Nepal, allow for termination beyond 20 weeks on the diagnosis of foetal abnormalities.
  • 23 countries (Canada, Germany, Vietnam, Denmark, Ghana etc.) allows for abortion at any time during the pregnancy on the request of the mother.
[Ref: The Hindu, Indian Express]

Transferring of criminal without transit remand

Madhya Pradesh police said that the Vikas Dubey, a gangster who was recently killed by the Uttar Pradesh police in an encounter, was being taken by Special Task Force to Kanpur from Ujjain without obtaining a transit remand from a local magistrate.

  • Every state in India has a power to constitute a Special Task Force (STF) to deal with certain problems due to lack of adequate police forces for a task. It was first constituted by Uttar Pradesh police to control the exponentially increasing crime rates.

What is Remand?

  • Remand is a process by which a person keeps in the custody before its actual trial or conviction process.
  • Meaning of the Remand is “to send back”.  It means when an accused is arrested by the police, then the police officer can’t keep the accused in its custody for more than 24 hours (sec. 57 CrPC), he has to present the accused before the Magistrate after the completion of 24 hours, for more detention in the custody.
  • It is also known as “pre-trial detention”. Sections 56, 57, 167, and 309 of the code deal with the procedure to be adopted in relation to grant of remand.

Two types of Remand

1. Judicial Remand or Judicial Custody: Accused is sent to the local jail/other establishment under the eyes of the judiciary. It means the custody of the accused is in the hands of the judiciary.

 2. Police Remand or Police Custody:  Accused is sent to the police station’s jail. In this police seeks custody of an accused to interrogate him.

Maximum period of remand

  • Under section 167 of Cr.P.C., maximum period for which judicial magistrate can authorise the detention of accused is 15 days. The magistrate has the authority to remand the person into judicial or police custody.
  • Police custody may extend only up to a period of 15 days from the date custody begins but judicial custody may extend to a period of 90 days for a crime which entails a punishment of death, life imprisonment etc. and 60 days for all other crimes if the magistrate is convinced that sufficient reasons exists, following which the accused must be released on bail.

Rights of accused

  • The Constitution of India under Article 22 provides for the protection of the arrested person to the extent that he has a right to be informed of the reason for arrest and he must be produced before the nearest magistrate within a period of 24 hours.
    • Article 22 (1) also provides that he shall be entitled to consult and to be defended by a legal practitioner of his choice.
  • Section 50, Cr. P.C. which is a corollary to Article 22, says that the persons arrested should be informed of the ground of arrest, and of the right to bail.

What is Transit Remand?

  • Section 80 in The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 defines the transit demand.
  • It says “When a warrant of arrest is executed outside the district in which it was issued, the person has to be trialed in a court of that particular district for remand”.


  • Unless the Court which issued the warrant is within 30 kms of the place of arrest OR
  • Unless the Court is nearer than the Executive Magistrate/District Superintendent of Police/Commissioner of Police within the local limits of whose jurisdiction the arrest was made OR
  • Unless security is taken under section 71.

Example: An offense is committed in Uttar Pradesh but the offender is arrested in Madhya Pradesh. In this case, police will obtain transit remand from Madhya Pradesh court to produce offender in the Uttar Pradesh court so that he can be trialed and investigated.

 [Ref: The Hindu]

Draft Aids to Navigation Bill 2020

The draft Aids to Navigation Bill 2020 was issued by the Ministry of Shipping for public consultation.

A need was felt to change the role of authorities regulating and operating maritime navigation with the advent of modern technologically improved aids to maritime navigation.

Key provisions:

  • The draft bill will replace the Lighthouse Act,1927.
  • It seeks to incorporate the global best practices, technological developments and India’s International obligations in the field of Aids to Marine Navigation.
  • The bill aims to regulate state-of-the-art technologies of marine navigation which used to conflict with the statutory provisions of Lighthouse Act, 1927.
  • The bill empowers the Directorate General of Lighthouses and Lightships (DGLL) with additional power and functions such as Vessel Traffic Service, Wreck flagging, training and certification, implementation of other obligations under International Conventions, where India is a signatory.
  • The bill contains a new schedule of offences, along with commensurate penalties for obstructing and damaging the aids to navigation, and non-compliance with directives issued by the Central Government and other bodies under the draft bill.
  • The bill also provides for identification and development of heritage lighthouses.
[Ref: PIB]

Draft on minimum wages

The Union Labour and Employment Ministry published the draft rules framed for the implementation of the Code on Wages Act, 2019.

  • The Code on Wages was the first of the four codes proposed by the government as a part of its labour law reforms that were passed by Parliament in August 2019.
  • It subsumes the Payment of Wages Act, 1936, the Minimum Wages Act, 1948, the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965 and the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976.


  • It defines how the wages will be calculated and prescribes a national floor wage for all States.
  • The wage code will ensure the right to sustenance for every worker.
  • It intends to increase the legislative protection of minimum wage from existing about 40% to 100% workforce.
  • The code universalizes the provisions of minimum wages and timely payment of wages to all employees, irrespective of the sector and wage ceiling.
  • It also introduces the concept of statutory floor wage which will be computed based on minimum living conditions and extended qualitative living conditions across the country for all workers.
  • While fixing the minimum rate of wages, the central government shall divide the concerned geographical area into three categories – metropolitan area, non-metropolitan area and the rural area.
  • Changed the eligibility for minimum wages and other benefits from nine hours to eight.
  • The basis for calculating the minimum wage would be a standard working-class family of one earning worker, a spouse and two children, a net intake of 2,700 calories per day each, 66 metres of cloth per year, rent expenditure equal to 10% of the food and clothing expenditure, fuel, electricity and other miscellaneous expenses of 20% of minimum wage and expenditure on children’s education, medical care, recreation and contingencies amounting to 25% of the minimum wage.

For more information about the Code of Wages, 2019, please visit the following link:

[Ref: The Hindu]

Government Schemes & Policies

New operational guidelines for FPOs released

Union Minister of Agriculture released a booklet on new operational guidelines for formation and promotion of 10,000 Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs), with a budget of 6,866 crores.

Objectives of the new guidelines

  • To form new 10,000 FPOs to facilitate development of income oriented farming and wellbeing of agrarian communities.
  • To realize higher returns through better liquidity and market linkages for their produce.
  • To provide support to new FPOs up to 5 years in management of FPO, inputs, production, processing etc.
  • To develop agriculture entrepreneurship skills in FPOs to become self-sustaining beyond the period of support from government.

What are FPOs?

  • FPO is a generic name, which includes farmer producers’ organization registered either under Companies Act or Co-operative Societies Act of the states.
  • They are formed for the purpose of leveraging collectives through economies of scale in production and marketing of agricultural and allied sector.
[Ref: PIB]

India Cycles4Change Challenge

Launched by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

  • The Challenge is open to all cities under the Smart Cities Mission, capital cities of States/UTs, and all cities with a population of more than 5 lakh population.
  • Cities are encouraged to collaborate with Civil Society Organizations, experts, and volunteers as they develop and implement their plans.
  • The Challenge aims to help cities connect with their citizens as well as experts to develop a unified vision to promote cycling.
  • The Challenge will run in two stages. Stage One will run until October where cities will focus on piloting quick interventions to promote cycling and developing a scale-up strategy. In October 2020, 11 cities will be shortlisted and will receive Rs. 1 Crore award and guidance from national and international experts to further scale-up the initiatives in Stage Two, which will be held until May 2021.

Expected Benefits:

  • A recent survey by the ITDP (Institute for Transportation and Development Policy) India Programme shows that cycling would increase by 50-65% as cities come out of lockdown.
  • As per ITDP, increasing cycling can help cities in a green economic recovery.
  • Investments in cycling infrastructure have economic benefits of up to 5.5 times the initial investment.
  • Cycling for short distances can result in an annual benefit of INR 1.8 trillion to the Indian economy.

Case Studies:

  • Kolkata has proposed a dedicated cycle corridor by reclaiming parking spaces.
  • In Guwahati, the Green lane Foundation, with the support of the Bicycle Mayor of Guwahati and Pedal for a Change, is surveying for citizens to vote for the best routes for bicycle lanes in the city.
[Ref: PIB]

Issues related to Health & Education

Snakebite death data of India from 2000- ‘19

A paper titled ‘Trends in snakebite deaths in India from 2000- ‘19 in a nationally representative mortality study’ was recently released by Centre for Global Health Research, Canada, with Indian and U.K. partner.

Key Highlights

  • India recorded 1.2 million snakebite deaths from 2000 to 2019 (annual average of 58,000 deaths).

Demographic & Gender data

  • Annual snakebite deaths were highest in Uttar Pradesh (8,700), Andhra Pradesh (5,200) and Bihar (4,500).
    • Snakebite deaths occurred mostly in rural areas (97%). 70% of these deaths occurred in low altitude rural areas of— Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh (including Telangana), Rajasthan and Gujarat.
  • They were more common in males (59%) than females (41%), and peaked at ages 15-29 years (25%).

Primary victims of snakebites: are rural farmers and their families

Time period: Half of all the snakebite deaths occurred during the monsoon period from June to September.

Snake species: Most of the envenomation (the process by which venom is injected by the bite or sting of a venomous animal) was by Russell’s vipers followed by kraits and cobras.

Risk of being of killed by snakebite: In India,overall lifetime risk of being killed by snakebite is about 1 in 250, but in some areas, the lifetime risk reaches 1 in 100.


  • Targeting certain areas and educating people with simple methods such as ‘snake-safe’ harvest practices (using rubber boots and gloves, mosquito nets and rechargeable torches) could reduce the risk of snakebites.
  • Increased use of antivenom would require cooperation with local traditional healers and ayurvedic practitioners to persuade them to refer severely ill patients for treatment with antivenom.
  • Government hospitals can make antivenom freely available to snakebite victims.
  • India has sufficient manufacturing capacity to make large amounts of snake antivenom. Better understanding of the distribution of India’s many venomous snake species could help in the development of more appropriate antivenoms.
    • Current Indian anti-venoms neutralise venom from only a group of snakes known as ‘Big Four’.  
      • Cobra (there are three other Indian cobra species),
      • Common krait (there are seven other krait species),
      • Russell’s viper and
      • Saw-scaled viper

whereas there are 12 other snake species causing fatal bites in India that are not covered by current anti-venoms.

  • The Government of India could designate and enforce snakebite as a ‘Notifiable Disease’ within the Integrated Disease Surveillance Program. However, since most deaths occur at home, community death tracking through ongoing mortality surveillance will be needed.
  • Hospitals can document the circumstances and consequences of snakebites, including morbidity sequelae, with simple questions to investigate the circumstances of each bite or death/disability.

Russell’s viper

  • Russell’s viper (Daboia russelii) is a species of venomous snake in the family Viperidae, the family which includes the venomous Old World vipers.
  • The species is found in Asia throughout the Indian subcontinent, much of Southeast Asia, southern China and Taiwan.
  • It is a major cause of snakebite deaths within its range because it often exists in farmlands where human contact and rodent prey are abundant.
  • In Odia and Bengali this snake is called chandra-boda and chandroborha respectively since it carries lunar (Chandra) marks all over its body.
  • In Manipuri, this snake is called Lindu and a folk story Kangleipak (ancient name of Manipur) is associated with it.


  • In the largest ever such survey published in 2011 and titled ‘Snakebite Mortality in India: A Nationally Representative Mortality Survey’, researchers of the Million Death Study estimated 46,000 annual snakebite deaths in India.

Million Death Study

  • The Million Death Study in India is being undertaken by Registrar General of India (RGI) in collaboration with the Centre for Global Health Research, Toronto.
  • It is one of the largest studies of premature mortality in the world.
  • The study, which began in 2004, involves non-medical RGI staff gathering first-hand accounts of the circumstances of recent deaths by going to each individual home. The results of these “verbal autopsies” are then given physicians working online all over India to assign a probable cause of death. These case uses were provided to governments so that they can take action against preventable deaths.

Key Fact:

  • Herpetology is the branch of zoology concerned with the study of amphibians and reptiles (snakes, lizards, turtles etc.)
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) recognises snakebite as a top-priority neglected tropical disease (NTD).
[Ref: The Hindu]


National Fish Farmers Day

National Fish Farmers Day 2020 was celebrated by the Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying.

National Fish Farmers Day is celebrated on 10th July every year in remembrance of scientists Dr K. H. Alikunhi and Dr H.L. Chaudhury who successfully demonstrated the technology of induced breeding (Hypophysation) in Indian Major Carps on 10th July 1957 at the erstwhile ‘Pond Culture Division’ of CIFRI at Cuttack, Odisha (presently Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture, CIFA, Bhubaneswar).

Fish Cryobanks:

  • Fish Cryobanks is a storage facility facilitating all-time availability of fish sperms of desired species to fish farmers.
  • It will enhance fish production and productivity.
  • The Cryomilt technology developed by the National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources in support with the National Fisheries Development Board would be helpful in the establishment of Fish Cryobanks.

Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY)

  • It will be implemented as an umbrella scheme and was launched with the investment of Rs. 20,050 crores during the next five years.
  • The scheme will address the critical gaps in fish production and productivity, quality, technology, post-harvest infrastructure and management, modernisation and strengthening of the value chain, traceability, establishing a robust fisheries management framework and fishermen’s welfare.
  • It has two separate Components namely (a) Central Sector Scheme (CS) and (b) Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS).

For more information on PMMSY, refer IASTopper’s previous CAA analysis:

Important Data:

  • The Indian fisheries and aquaculture provide livelihood support and gainful employment to more than 14 million people.
  • India has more than 10% of the global biodiversity in terms of fish and shellfish species.
  • The total fish production during 2017-18 is estimated to be 12.60 million metric tonnes.
  • Nearly 65% is from the inland sector and about 50% of the total production is from culture fisheries and constitutes about 6.3% of the global fish production.
  • Fishing accounts for around 10% of the total exports and nearly 20% of the agricultural exports and contribute to about 0.91% of the GDP and 5.23% to the Ag – GVA of the country.
[Ref: PIB]

Environment, Ecology & Disaster Management

Tiger orchids

Recently, in the Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute (JNTBGRI) in Kerala, witnessed the full bloom of Tiger orchids.

  • The bloom of Tiger orchids (Grammatophyllum speciosum) flowers resembles the tiger skin.
  • It flowers alternate years.
  • It is endemic to South East Asia (countries like Indonesia, Philippines etc) and is an epiphytic plant.

What is an Epiphytic Plant?

  • Epiphytic Plant grows on the surface of another plant and derives its nutrients from rain, air, water or from debris accumulating it.
  • Unlike parasitic plants, epiphytic plants use other plants as a base and do not harm its host. E.g. Lichens, Algae, Orchids etc.
[Ref: The Hindu]

Art & Culture

Panel to be formed to decide on tribal status of 3 communities in Gujarat

The Gujarat government said that a commission will be formed to identify the members of Rabari, Bharvad and Charan communities, living in nesses (hutments made of mud) of Gir, Barda and Alech areas of the state, who are eligible to get the benefits of Schedule Tribe (ST) status.

What’s the issue?

  • In 1956, the central government had conferred ST status on people from Rabari, Bharvad and Charan communities living in the nesses of Gir, Barda and Alech in the state.
  • However, many tribal community leaders have been protesting that some people who do not live in nesses have managed to get ST certificates and are enjoying reservation benefits, mainly in government jobs.
  • Hence, to decide the legitimate beneficiaries of ST status among the members of the three communities, the commission has been formed.

Rabari Community

  • Rabaris are nomadic herders who live scattered throughout Gujarat and Rajasthan.
  • They had migrated from Rajasthan via Kutch to Okhamandal and now most of them are distributed in the Okhamandal region of Jamnagar district.
  • One of the most striking features of the Rabari community is their artistic embroidery. There are specific ornaments for young, adult and old males which differ with regard to their marital status and number of children.
  • Also, all Rabari women always dress in severe black.
  • Women stand in an almost equal status to that of their men. However, Women do not have a right to the parental property.
  • Their folk songs are known as ‘Siya’.
  • They speak a Bhopa language which is a mixture of Gujarati, Kachchi, Marwari and Pharasi.
  • They profess Hinduism and are Shiva and Shakti followers.

Bharwad Community

  • Bharwad is caste of shepherds.
  • The term Bharwad came from word ‘Badawad’. ‘bada’ means sheep and ‘wada’ means compound. Hence, the person who possess compounds in this caste of shepherds were known as Badawad which in course of time came to be known as Gadarieas.
  • The Bahrwad in Saurashtra is divided into two endogamous groups vizz. Mota Bhai and Nana Bhai. In South Gujarat, they are referred to as Ahirs.
  • Bharwad women enjoy low status compared to men.
  • They profess Hindusim. Lord Krishna is considered the supreme God.
  • They are permitted to graze their sheep and cattle in certain demarcated areas of the reserved forest.

Charan Community

  • The Charan, a small tribe distribute across Gujarat, were bards attached to royal courts to spread royal fame by singing praises.
  • As they use to look after Gadh’s (forts), they are also known as Gadhvi.
  • The Charans marry within their community. All the marriages are arranged.
  • They profess Hinduism. The main deity of the Charan is Pithorai Mata located at Pathrama village of Junagadh.

Scheduled Tribes


  • Article 366 (25) of the Constitution of India refers to Scheduled Tribes as those communities who are scheduled in accordance with Article 342 of the Constitution.
  • Article 342: Only those communities who have been declared as such by the President through an initial public notification or through a subsequent amending Act of Parliament will be considered to be Scheduled Tribes.

The criteria followed for specification of a community as a Scheduled Tribe are:

  • Indications of primitive traits,
  • Distinctive culture,
  • Geographical isolation,
  • Shyness of contact with the community at large, and
  • Backwardness

These criteria are not spelt out in the Constitution but have become well established and accepted.

While some tribal communities have adopted a mainstream way of life, at the other end of the spectrum, some Scheduled Tribes, 75 in number known as Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (earlier termed as Primitive Tribal Groups) (PVTGs), are characterized by:-

a) a pre-agriculture level of technology;

b) a stagnant or declining population;

c) extremely low literacy; and

d) a subsistence level of economy.


  • The Scheduled Tribes are notified in 30 States/UTs and the number of individual ethnic groups, etc. notified as Scheduled Tribes is 705.
  • The tribal population in India as per 2011 census, is 10.43 crores (8.6% of the total population).
  • 89.9% of them live in rural areas and 10.0% in urban areas.
  • More than two-third of the ST population is concentrated only in the seven States: Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.
  • There is no ST population in 3 States (Delhi NCR, Punjab and Haryana) and 2 UTs (Puducherry and Chandigarh), as no Scheduled Tribe is notified.
  • Scheduled Tribe communities live in about 15% of the India’s areas.
  • The largest number of communities listed as Scheduled Tribes are in Odisha, i.e., 62.
[Ref: Indian Express]

Science & Technology

How stars provided the carbon that makes life possible

A study has provided new insights on the origins of the carbon in galaxy.

Star Lifecycle

M ☉ = shows mass of sun (i.e, 30 M ☉ = 30 times mass of sun)

  • Stars are formed in clouds of gas and dust, known as nebulae. Over time, the hydrogen gas in the nebula is pulled together by gravity and it begins to spin. As the gas spins faster, it heats up and becomes as a protostar.
  • Eventually, nuclear fusion occurs (which converts hydrogen into helium) in the cloud’s core. It is now a main sequence star and will remain in this stage millions of years. This is the stage our Sun is at right now.
  • When the hydrogen supply in the core begins to run out, the core becomes unstable and contracts. The outer shell of the star, which is still mostly hydrogen, starts to expand. As it expands, it cools and glows red. The star has now reached the red giant phase. It is red because it is cooler than it was in the main sequence star. In the core of the red giant, helium fuses into carbon thorugh triple-alpha reaction (fusion of three helium nuclei).
  • The path they follow beyond that depends on the mass of the star.
    • In small stars, after the helium has fused into carbon, the core collapses again, converting it into planetary nebula phase to become a white dwarf, which eventually cools down over time and stops glowing to become a black dwarf.
    • Massive stars, on the other hand, will explode in to a supernova. As the massive star runs out of nuclear fuel, some of its mass flows into its core. Eventually, the core is so heavy that it cannot withstand its own gravitational force. The core collapses, which results in supernova.
  • Once the dust clears, the only thing remaining will be a very dense star known as a neutron star, these can often be rapidly spinning and are known as pulsars. If the star which explodes is especially large (i.e., force of gravity overcomes the nuclear forces and hence core is swallowed by its own gravity) it can even form a black hole.

Origin of carbon in stars and their ejection in cosmos

  • Both low-mass and massive stars eject their material into the surroundings (cosmos) before they end their lives. And these ashes contain many different chemical elements, including carbon.
  • In low-mass stars, the newly created carbon is transported to the surface (from the interiors) of star via gigantic bubbles of gas and from there injected into the cosmos through stellar winds (flow of gas ejected from the upper atmosphere of a star).
  • In Massive stars, carbon is ejected into cosmos through stellar winds, mostly before the supernova explosion of those massive stars.

About the new study

Research Problem: What astrophysicists debate is whether the carbon in the Milky Way originated from low-mass stars before they became white dwarfs, or from the winds of massive stars before they exploded as supernovae.

What researchers have found?

  • Researchers measured the masses of the white dwarfs and from there calculated the “initial-final mass relation” (from which the initial mass of star (that ended up as white dwarf) is calculated from the white dwarf weight).
  • They found that masses of those white dwarfs were notably larger than what astrophysicists believed. (the more massive the star at birth, the more massive the white dwarf left at its death).
  • So far, stars born roughly 1.5 billion of years ago in our galaxy were thought to have produced white dwarfs about 60-65% the mass of our Sun. Instead, they were found to have died leaving behind more massive compact remnants, about 70-75% solar masses.
  • They found that Stars more whose weight is more than 1.65 times of the sub contributed to the galactic enrichment of carbon.
    • In other words, stars with 1.65 times the mass of the Sun, represents the minimum mass for a star to spread its carbon-rich ashes upon death.
[Ref: Indian Express]

Key Facts for Prelims

Chakr DeCoV

  • Chakr Innovation, an IIT Delhi start-up company, has developed a decontamination device that will help disinfect and reuse N95 masks.
  • It uses ozone to decontaminate and can do it in 90 minutes.
    • Ozone is a strong oxidizing agent that destroys viruses by diffusing through the protein coat, resulting in damage to the viral RNA. Additionally, the high penetrability of Ozone gas ensuring complete decontamination of N95 masks intricate layers.

ASEEM portal

  • Launched by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.
  • Aatamanirbhar Skilled Employee Employer Mapping (ASEEM) portal is an AI-based digital platform to bridge the demand-supply gap of skilled workforce across sectors.
  • It is developed and managed by National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) in collaboration with Betterplace.
  • The portal will map details of workers based on regions and local industry demands.
  • The portal will acquire data from Skill India Portal and various state and central skilling schemes like PMKVY, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana etc.
  • It will also contain data from overseas citizens who returned to India under the Vande Bharat Mission and filled the SWADES Skill Card.


  • The skilled workforce can search for employment opportunities.
  • Employers can assess the availability of a skilled workforce and formulate their hiring plans.
  • Support key policy and decision-makers via trends and analytics.
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