Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

Current Affairs – 27th July 2023



Today Topics List:

  1. The Vijayanagar Kingdom – Series – I

  2. Transgenders – existing Quota

  3. DNA technology Bill

  4. Parliamentary Proceedings

  5. Lok Sabha Passes forest Conservation (Amendment) Bill



The Vijayanagar Kingdom – Series – I

    • Overview:
    • The Vijayanagar kingdom constituted of Four Dynasties. (a) Sangama – 1336 – 1485 , (b) Saluva – 1485 – 1503 , (c) Tuluva – 1503 – 1570 , (d) Aravidu – Til the end of 17th century.
    • Sources for the study of Vijayanagar kingdom include – Literature, Archaeology and Numismatics.
      • Krishna Devaraya’sAmuktamalyada,
      • Gangadevi’s Madhuravijayam,
      • AllasaniPeddana’s Manucharitra.
      • Many foreign travellers also accounted valuable information about Vijayanagar Kingdom and its socio economic conditions such as,
    • Moroccan – Ibn Batuta
    • Venitian- Nicolo de Conti – Deva Raya I (1420-21 AD)
    • Persian – Abdul Razzak  – Deva Raya – II
    • Portuguese – Domingo Paes – Sri Krishna Devayara.
      • Srirangam copper plates of Devaraya – II , which provide genealogy and achievements of Vijayanagar rulers.
      • The Hampi ruins and other monuments of the Vijayanagar provide information on cultural contributions of the Vijayanagar rulers.
      • The numerous coins issued by the rulers contain figures and legends explaining their titles and achievements.
    • The empire included people from different cultural regions – Tamil, Telugu, Karnataka region , with different languages and cultures.



Transgenders – existing Quota

    • Centre told the Supreme court the transgender persons can avail themselves of any of the existing 50% reservation in admissions and Government jobs already available to Scheduled castes, Scheduled Tribes and Socially and Educationally backward communities across the country.
      • The government also said Transgender persons can also benefit from the 10% quota granted to the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) of the society.
      • The Ministry of Social Justice has not mentioned reservation for the transgender community as a separate class.
    • Supreme Court in its 2014 judgement in National Legal Services authority case had directed centre and states,
      • To take steps to treat transgender persons as social and educationally backward classes of citizens and extend all kinds of reservation in cases of admission to educational institutions and for public appointments.
    • Manual Scavenging: India
      • Ministry of Social Justice has presented data on Manual Scavenging in the Rajya Sabha, in response to multiple questions related to deaths caused by manual scavenging or hazardous cleaning of sewers.

What does the Ministry Say:

  • Ministry says, Manual Scavenging was no longer practiced in India.
  • Ministry said 530 districts in India had so far reported themselves to be free of manual scavenging, rest are yet to do.
    • While 100% of the districts in the states of Bihar,  Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and few others have declared themselves free of it.
    • 15 – 20% of the districts of several states and UTs reported so.
  • J & K, Manipur, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Jharkhand are among the states and UTs that have the highest number of districts yet to declare themselves free of manual scavenging.
    • Manipur, just two of the 16 districts declared so far.
    • J & K and Telangana has just 30 % of the districts.
    • In Odisha and west Bengal 0it is 60%.
  • Uttar Pradesh, which had the highest number Manual Scavengers – 32,473 in two surveys conducted till 2018, has 90% districts reporting to be free of Manual Scavenging.
  • A Parliamentary data in 2021 says, over 90% of manual scavengers identified in the survey till 2018, were from the Scheduled Caste Communities.

Procedure for declaration:

  • Each district was being asked to either declare itself free of manual scavenging or point out locations of insanitary latrines and associated manual scavenging.
    • The district administration – Sanitation Committees look at data of whether there are insanitary latrines and based on this extrapolate whether manual scavenging existed or not.
  • Since the launch of Swachata mobile app, 2016 – More than 6000 complaints have been examined for possible signs of manual scavenging– but not one complaint was substantiated in all this time, says the officials from ministry.

The contemporary issue:

  • The issue has now become the deaths due to cleaning of sewers and septic tanks continue. The Ministry says, it is the primary focus will be to address this problem, hence launched NAMASTE scheme.
    • It asked municipalities and civic bodies to ensure no hazardous cleaning takes place, the responsibility should be placed on the employer.




DNA technology Bill


  • The DNA Technology (Use and Application) regulation Bill 2019 was withdrawn from Lok Sabha. It ended a 20-year effort to build a new regulatory framework for the use of DNA fingerprinting technology in the criminal justice system.

Stages of this Bill:

  • The Present bill was introduced in Lok Sabha in July 2019.
  • It was referred to the Department related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology.
  • The Committee submitted its report in February 2021, recommending several changes in the draft.
  • But, instead of bringing in a fresh Bill, the Government decided to withdraw it altogether.

Objectives of the Bill:

  • It sought to set up a DNA profiling board as the regulatory body.
    • Its functions include providing accreditation to laboratories authorised to carry out DNA sample tests.
  • It provides for creation of databases– DNA Data Banks – for storing of DNA information collected from convicts and accused.
    • This database cane be indexed and searched for matching samples from crime scenes.
  • It sought to facilitate collection of DNA samples from the convicts and accused.

DNA Technology for Identification in India:

  • For identification purpose, the DNA technology is already prevalent in India.
    • In Criminal Justice system, DNA fingerprinting is often relied upon and is considered valid evidence.
  • However, in the absence of a regulatory mechanism, the use of this technology was extremely limited.
    • According to Department of Biotechnology, about 3000 DNA tests are carried out every year, which represents just about 2-3% of the potential requirement.
  • An increase in testing capacity could be extremely important in case of missing children, about one lakh every year, and identification of unclaimed bodies in disasters and accidents, nearly 40,000 every year.

Objections to the Bill:

  • Privacy, Utility, and possibility of misuse were the important grounds on which objections were raised,
    • DNA information can be very intrusive, revealing not just identification traits but also many other features that can be liable to misuse.
    • In recent years apprehensions were raised about the possibility of this law being used for radical profiling.
    • It is also argued that police could not be trusted to seek DNA tests in their investigation.
  • Several rounds of discussions with several stake holders and mad changes to the original draft, which were not acceptable to everyone.
  • The Parliamentary Standing Committee had objected to the setting up of DNA Banks in every state, and suggested that one National Data bank was sufficient.

The Other Bill:

  • Unable to get the DNA Bill passed in parliament, government last year included several provisions of the Bill in the Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill that was brought to replace the Identification of Prisoners Act, 1920.
    • The provisions related to collection, storage, access and sharing of DNA information, that were part of the DNA Bill, have more or less included in the Criminal Procedure bill.
  • While the 2005 amendment to the Criminal Procedure Code opened the door for the legal use of DNA fingerprinting technologies, the 2019 Act authorised the law enforcement agencies to collect, store and share DNA information under prescribed conditions.
    • Hence, the immediate needs for the use of the DNA tech in Criminal investigations have been taken care of.

Way forward: What has been left out is the creation of a regulatory environment, the development and adoption of best standards and best practices in DNA testing and capacity building through accreditation to equip more laboratories to handle DNA testing, this would have been met through the new regulatory framework.


Parliamentary Proceedings

No Trust Motion: No – Confidence Motion

  • Lok Sabha Speaker, admitted a no- confidence motion against the Government.
    • Under Article 75 of the constitution, Council of Ministers shall be collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha.
    • It means the ministry stays in office so long as it enjoys confidence of the majority of the members of the Lok Sabha.
    • The Lok Sabha can remove the ministry from Office by passing a no- confidence motion.
    • The motion needs the support of 50 members to be admitted.
  • It need not state the reason for its adoption in the Lok Sabha
  • It can be moved against the entire Council of Ministers
  • It is moved for ascertaining the confidence of Lok Sabha in the Council of Ministers
  • If it is passed in the Lok Sabha, the Council of Ministers must Resign.


Confidence Motion:

  • The Motion of Confidence has come up as a new procedural device to cope up as a new procedural device to cope with the emerging situations of fractured mandates resulting in hung parliament, minority and coalition governments.
    • The government formed by wafer thin majority have been called upon by the President to prove their majority on the floor of the house.
    • The Government of the time, sometimes, on its own seeks to prove its majority by moving a motion of confidence and winning the confidence of the house. If the confidence motion is negatived, it results in the fall of the Government.


Zero Hour: Tamil Nadu Assembly – madras HC

  • Madras HC was informed by Tamil Nadu Legislative assembly Speaker, that the Zero Hour of the house sessions cannot be telecast live unless all apert leaders assure that the subject concerned alone would be discussed on the floor of the House.
    • The problem with Zero hour is that sometimes tempers run high and the members may end up making unwarranted comments that could be expunged by Speaker.
    • It is the prerogative of the speaker to take a call on live telecast.
  • Unlike the Question hour, the first hour of the session, zero hour is not mentioned in the Rules of Procedure.
    • It is an informal device available to members to raise various matters of urgent public importance.
    • The Zero hour starts immediately after the question hour and lasts until the agenda of the day.
    • So, the time gap between the Question hour and the agenda is known as Zero Hour.
    • It is an Indian innovation in the field of Parliamentary procedures and has been in existence since 1962.



Lok Sabha Passes forest Conservation (Amendment) Bill

    • Lok Sabha passed the Forest Conservation Amendment Bill without any changes from the first version introduced on March 29.
      • It was introduced to amend the Forest Conservation Act,1980.
      • 1980 Legislation has empowered the Centre for the past four decades to ensure that any forest land diverted for ‘non-forestry’ purpose is duly compensated.
      • It extends its remit to land even beyond what is officially classified as ‘forest’ in State and Central records.
    • The Amendment, encourages the practice of cultivation of plantations on non- forest land, which can increase tree cover over time, act as a carbon sink and aid India’s ambition of having Net Zero carbon emissions by 2070.
      • They also seek to remove restrictions imposed by original legislation in creating Infrastructure that would aid national security and create livelihood opportunities for those living on the periphery of forests.


  • There were objections that the amendments diluted the Supreme Court’s Judgement in 1996 Godavarman Case that extends protection to wide tracts of forests, even if they were not recorded as forests.
  • There was objection to the new name – van (Sanrakshan Evam Samvardhan ) Adhiniyam, translated as Forest ( Conservation and Augmentation)Act, instead of Forest Conservation Act.
    • They say it was non inclusive and left out many among the non – Hindi speaking population in South and North east India.
  • There was also concern that large tracts of forests along the borders are no longer protected,
    • A provision in the bill also enables soldiers in Sub Zero temperatures at Ladakh to access better roads and infrastructure.

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