Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

Current Affairs – 1st August 2023



Today Topics List:

  1. Paharis and Paddaris: Jammu and Kashmir

  2. Niger Coup: Why Western nations have troops here?

  3. ISRO rocket debris in Australia: Rules governing space junk

  4. Dengue




Paharis and Paddaris: Jammu and Kashmir

    • Government has brought a bill – The Constitution (Jammu and Kashmir) Scheduled Tribes Order Amendment Bill, 2023 to include four communities in the list of Scheduled Tribes (STs) in Jammu and Kashmir,
      • Gadda Brahmin
      • Koli
      • Paddari tribe
      • Pahari Ethnic Group.

ST Communities in J & K:

  • The dominant ST communities in J & K are the Gujjars and Bakerwals. Most of them, especially the Bakerwals, are nomadic- they migrate with their livestock to the higher reaches in the summer, and return before the onset of winter.
    • With a population of almost 18 lakhs, the Gujjar – Bakerwal are the third largest group after Kashmir is and Dogras in J&K.
    • They were given ST status in 1991, along with the two smaller groups of Gaddis and Sippis.
    • This entitled these four communities to 10% reservation in government jobs and admission to educational institutions.
    • In 2019, they were empowered politically after the Centre announced a 10% quota for them in Lok Sabha and Assembly seats in J&K.
  • The proposed expansion of the ST list has triggered unrest among the Gujjar Bakerwal, who apprehend a shrinking of their share of the quota benefits pie.
    • The Bill says the amendment “may entail additional expenditure on account of benefits to be provided to persons belonging to the four communities.
    • Gujjar – bakerwal leaders are especially agitated wit the proposed ST status for paharis and Paddaris.
    • Gadda Brahmins and Kolis are very small communities; Gadda Brahmins are a branch of the Gaddis while Kolis are a sub caste of Sippis – both of them are already in ST list.

Pahari ethnic Group:

  • Paharis are Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs and include people of Kasjhmiri origin who settled in the districts of Rajouri and Poonch over a period of time.
    • There are upper caste Hindus among the Paharis; also, people who ever displaced from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.
    • In 1989, the J&K government recommended that paharis should be included in the list of STs along with the Gujjars, Bakerwals, gaddis and Sippis.
    • However, recommendation was rejected by the Registrar General of India on the ground that there was no caste/tribe of that name in the records.
    • Paharis argued that they lived in the same areas as the gujjar- Bakerwalas and faced similar social and educational backwardness.
  • As paharis continued to clamour for ST status, centre sought repeated clarifications from J&K Government and was rejected several times saying paharis are not an ethnic group.
    • In 2014, a bill proposing 5% reservation was rejected by the Governor.
    • In 2019, they got 4% reservation in jobs and educational institutions.
  • In 2019, Justice G D Sharma Commission, recommended ST status for Gadda Brahmins, Kolis, Paddari tribe, and Pahari Ethnic Tribe, which was approved by Registrar General in 2022.

Paddari Tribe:

  • They live in remote Paddar area of the hilly Kishtwar district, spread over two tehsils, their homeland borders Zanskar in he north and the east, Pangi in Himachal Pradesh in the South, and the rest of J & K in the west.
    • 2011 census recorded the Paddari population at 21,548 comprising 83.6% Hindus, 9,5% Buddhists and 6.8% Muslims.
    • The opposition to their inclusion is that they do not constitute a single ethnic group, but are a mix of individuals from different castes and religions who speak a particular language (paddari).




Niger Coup: Why Western nations have troops here?


  • Niger, one of the poorest countries in the world, is in the midst of political turmoil, with the military under General AbdourahmaneTchiani ousting democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum in a coupd’et at on July 26.


  • It is a former French colony, a key ally in the west’s fight against Islamist insurgencies in Africa’s Sahel region.
    • It has received millions of dollars in aid and currently houses military troops of multiple nations.
  • However, the present coup brought with it some anti – west sentiments. Thousands of Pro junta supporters waved the flags of Russia, denouncing France.
    • Niger sees, Russia as a powerful alternative to its former coloniser.
  • Niger is of particular interest to global powers due to its massive reserves of uranium, which are the seventh largest in the world, as per World Nuclear Association.

Countries with Military presence in Niger:

  • France – supporting military
  • United States – drones, equipment and training
  • Italy with 300 soldiers
  • European Union bloc – military training mission
  • Russia – No official presence but has Wagner Group.

Countries bordering Niger: [ Clock wise ] – Algeria, Libya, Chad, Nigeria, Benin , Burkina Faso , Mali.

    • Sahel region:The Sahel, the vast semi-arid region of Africa separating the Sahara Desert to the north and tropical savannas to the south.
    • It has abundant human and natural resources, offering tremendous potential for rapid growth.
    • Its countries include:
  • Burkina Faso
  • Cameroon
  • Chad
  • The Gambia
  • Guinea Mauritania
  • Mali
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Senegal



ISRO rocket debris in Australia: Rules governing space junk


  • A large object found on the shores of Australia a couple of weeks ago has been confirmed to be the debris of an ISRO (Indian Space Research organization) rocket. ISRO said, it might belong to one of its PSLV rocket.
    • It may likely to be an unburnt part of an IRNSS – Navigation satellite launched two months ago, which was launched in Southward direction. This could have fell in the ocean and was found near Australian coast.
    • There were discussions and deliberations between the space agencies of bot the countries regarding this.

Are such incidents normal?

  • Space junk falling on earth is not unheard of, but they are relatively small fragments from rockets that survive the friction of atmosphere and most of the times falls into oceans, posing little danger to human population.
  • But there were also a few highly publicized events such as,
    • In 2021, a large chunk of a 25 tonne Chinese rocket fell into the Indian Ocean.
    • The famous Skylab space station, the predecessor to the currently operational International Space station, which disintegrated in 1979.
  • Large chunks of this disintegration fell into Indian Ocean, some of them falling on land in Western Australia.

Issues with Space junk:

  • Even if majority of space junk falls into Oceans, which is more likely since 70 % of the earth’s surface is Ocean, large objects cab be threat to Marine life, and a source of pollution.
    • However, there are no recorded incidents of these fallings any appreciable damage anywhere on earth.
    • When they have fallen on land, it is mostly uninhabited areas.

What happens if these objects cause damage?

  • Convention on International Liability for damage caused by space objects, provides for regulations governing space debris, which include junk falling back on earth.
    • This convention is one of the several international agreements that complement Outer Space Treaty.
    • Outer space treaty is an overarching framework guiding the behaviour of countries in space.
  • The Liability Convention deals mainly with damage caused by space objects to other space assets, but it also apples to damage caused by falling objects on earth.
    • This makes the launching country absolutely liable to pay compensation for any damage caused by its space object on the earth or to a flight in air.
    • The country where the junk falls can stake claim for compensation if it has been damaged by the falling objects.
    • The amount of compensation is decided “in accordance with international Law and the principles of justice and equity”
  • The Provision of the Convention has resulted in compensation payment only once so far.
    • It is when Canada sought damages from the then Soviet Union, for a satellite with radio active substance that fell into an uninhabited region in its northern territory in 1978.
  • In the current case, if the PSLV junk had caused any damage in Australia, India could have been liable to pay compensation, even if the object fell into the ocean and was the swept to the shores.



News: Nealy 240 cases of dengue were reported in the city as of July 28, which is the nmost city has seen in the first seven months over the past five years.


  • It is a viral disease spread due to bite of female Aedes mosquito. It is also called as Break bone fever.

Symptoms of Dengue Fever:

    • Severe headache
    • Pain behind the eye
    • Sudden high fever
    • Nausea
    • Severe muscle and pain,
    • Vomiting,
    • Skin rash appearing three to four days after the onset of fever, mild bleeding.
    • In Dengue infection, a person gets deficient in the human body with blood platelets.
  • Mostly younger children and old age people suffer due to this infection.
  • Dengue haemorrhagic fever is a serious dengue, those appear in high fever, damage to blood vessels and lymph nodes.
    • Also bleeding from gums and nose, liver will enlarge, and at last circulatory system stops to work.
    • This is also called Dengue Shock syndrome (DSS).
    • This disease occurs mostly in people having weaker immune system.


  • At present, we do not have specific medicine for treating dengue infection.
    • Pain relievers with acetaminophen can be used and medicines with aspirin as a constituent is to be avoided as it could worsen bleeding.
    • Resting, drinking plenty of fluids and seeing doctor is necessary.

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