Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

Current Affairs – 6th September 2023



Today’s Topics List:

  1. A short History of Nation’s Name

  2. India, that is Bharat: Constituent Assembly

  3. Black Sea Grain Deal

  4. UPI QR Code – CBDC Interoperability



A short History of Nation’s Name

  • Amid rumors of the name of India being changed to Bharat in a special session of Parliament convened without a stated agenda, let us look into the history of the name and its various facets.

India That is Bharat:

  • Article of the Constitution refers to “India that is Bharat”.
  • The Hindi version uses “Bharat” for ‘India throughout and references of Bharat elsewhere
    • Bharat ka Samvidhan
    • Hum Bharat Ke Log (Preamble)
    • Bharat Ka Rashtrapati (Article 52).
    • The National anthem refers to ‘Bharat Bhagya Vidata’ .
    • India is called Bharat / bharatam in almost all Indian languages,
    • The Indian Passport says “Bharat Ganarajya” on the cover.

Roots of the name Bharat:

  • It appears in Rig Veda (1500-1000 BCE) as the name of the tribe of Sudas, who defeated Ten kings
    • It also refers to Bharata’s people as Bharatam Janam and Sons of Bharata as
  • The idea of ‘Bharatavarsha’ is also a geographical entity which can be traced back to puranic literature and Mahabharata.
    • In Vishnu purana, written in 400 BC says ‘’the country that lies to the north of the ocean and the south of the snowy mountain is called Bharata, for there dwelt the descendants of Bharata”
  • The Hathigumpha inscription (2nd Century BC – 1st Century AD) – The Jain king Kharavela sent an expedition to conquer Bharatavarsha.
  • Jawaharlal Nehru in his book “Discovery of India” referred interchangeably to “India” , “Bharata” and “Hindustan”.
  • Social scientist Catherine Clementi Ojha explained Bharata in the sense of a religious and socio-cultural entity, rather than a political or geographical one.
    • Bharata refers to the “superregional and subcontinental territory where the Brahmanical system of society prevails”

The Names India and Hindustan:

  • The Name Hindustan is derived from Persians during the Achaemenid conquest of the north west part of the sub-continent.
    • The name Hindu, the Persian Cognate form of Sanskrit Sindhu (Indus) derived from here.
    • Achaemenids used the term to identify the lower Indus basin.
    • From around 1st century of Christian era, the suffix “stan” was added making it Hindustan.
  • The Greeks who had acquired knowledge of “Hind” from the Persians, transliterated the name as Indus.
  • By the time the Macedonian king Alexander invaded India in the 3rd Century BC, India had come to be identified with the region beyond the Indus.
  • During Mughals and Sultanate Hindustan was used to describe the entire Indo Gangetic plain.
  • From 18th Century, British maps increasingly used the term India.
    • “Part of the appeal of the term India may have been its Graeco-Roman associations, its long history of use in Europe, and its adoption by scientific and bureaucratic organisations such as the Survey of India.
  • In a PIL seeking to remove India from Article 1 and retain only Bharat, Supreme Court in 2020 has dismissed the plea saying “India is already called Bharat in the Constitution itself”.



India, that is Bharat: Constituent Assembly

  • Article 1 od The Indian Constitution that says “India, That is, Bharat, shall be a Union of States, was passionately debated in the Constituent Assembly.

Constituent Assembly proceedings and Arguments:

  • The first debate on article 1 was to begin on November 17, 1948. But, on suggestion of Govind Ballabh Pant, the discussion on name was postponed.
  • OnSeptember17,1949DrBRAmbedkar presented to the House the final version of the provision, which included both ‘Bharat’ and ‘India’.
  • Several members expressed opposition to the use of the word India as they saw it as a reminder of the colonial past.
  • Seth Govind Das from Jabalpur preferred to place Bharat over India. A popular demand was to underline that India was a substitute for Bharat in “English language”.
    • India, that is, Bharat” are not beautiful words for the name of a country. We should have put the words “Bharat known as India also in foreign countries, ” he said.
  • Hari Vishnu Kamath used the example of the Irish Constitution to argue that the word ‘India’ was only a translation of Bharat
    • The Irish Constitution passed in1937, Irish Free State was one of the few countries in the modern world which changed its name on achieving freedom; and the fourth article of its Constitution refers to the change in the name of the land.
    • The Constitution of the Irish Free State reads: “The name of the State is Eire, or, in the English language, Ireland.
  • Har Govind Pant made it clear that the people of Northern India “wanted Bharatvarsha and nothing else.
    • So far as the word ‘India’ is concerned, the Members seem to have, and really I fail to understand why, some attachment for it.
  • Das argued that the Vishnu Purana and Brahma Purana mention Bharat. Others said the seventh-century Chinese traveller Hiuen Tsang too had referred to Bharat.
  • Kamath suggested Bharat or Bharatvarsha or Bharatbhumi as possible names that are derived from scriptures.
  • Dr Ambedkar reminded the House several times that the civilisational debate was unnecessary since the name Bharat was not opposed by members.



Black Sea Grain Deal


  • Turkey’s President Recep Yayyip Erdogan was confident that Russian President would soon revive the Black Sea Grain deal.
    • However, Russia said the deal will not be restored until the West meets its obligations to facilitate Russian agricultural exports.

What is Black Grain Deal?

  • Ukraine is among the world’s biggest exporters of food grains, such as wheat and corn, and a major contributor to the United Nations’ food aid programmes.
  • After Russia invaded the country last February and blockaded its ports, food prices soared and raised fears of food shortages in some parts of the world.
  • To tackle the situation, the UN and Turkey, on July22, 2022, got Russia to agree to the Black Sea Grain Initiative.
    • It allowed cargo ships to travel from and to three Ukrainian ports of Odesa, Chornomorsk and Pivdennyi (Yuzhny), after inspection that they were not carrying arms.
    • The safe passage in the Black Sea was 310 nautical miles long, and three nautical miles wide
  • The deal was extended twice before Russia withdrew from it.

Why Russia Refuse to extend the deal?

  • Russia has continued to claim that the promises made to it under the deal have not been met.
  • Russia itself is facing trouble exporting its own agricultural products and fertilisers because of many sanctions west slapped on it.
    • While there were no direct restrictions, barriers on payment platforms, insurance, shipping and other logistics are hampering exports.
  • Russia says, it had agreed to the grain deal to help ensure global food security. But, Ukraine has exported to high and middle income countries.
    • UN said, while this is true, poorer countries have been helped by food prices cooling down.

What happened after the deal came to an end?

  • Since it declined to extend the deal, Moscow has repeatedly attacked Ukraine’s biggest grain-exporting ports.
    • a Russian drone strike targeted the Danube River port of Izmail in Odesa, damaging warehouses and buildings. The attack took place just hours before Putin and Erdogan met.
  • Russia is also looking to export grain to African nations.
    • Moscow was close to a deal with six African countries over a plan to supply Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe, Mali, Somalia, the Central African Republic and Eritrea with up to 50,000 tonnes of grain.
    • Russia would supply the food and carry out logistics at no cost, and deliveries “would begin in the next couple of weeks.



UPI QR Code – CBDC Interoperability

  • With Banks enabling the inter-operability of Unified Payments Interface’s (UPI) Quick Response (QR) code with their central bank digital currency (CBDC),
      • Now, users of retail digital rupee will be able to make transactions by scanning any UPI QR at a merchant outlet.
      • Merchants can also accept digital rupee payments through their existing UPI QR codes.
    • This integration of UPI and CBDC is part of the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) ongoing pilot project on pushing the retail digital rupee.


  • Interoperability is the technical compatibility that enables a payment system to be used in conjunction with other payment systems.
    • It allows system providers and participants in different systems to undertake, clear and settle payment transactions across systems without participating in multiple systems.
    • Interoperability between payment systems contributes to achieving adoption, co-existence, innovation, and efficiency for end users.

Interoperability between UPI QR code and CBDC:

  • Interoperability of UPI with the digital rupee means all UPI QR codes are compatible with CBDC apps.
    • when the pilot for the retail digital rupee was launched, the digital rupee users had to scan a specific QR code to undertake transactions.
    • with the interoperability of the two, payments can be made using a single QR code.
  • The digital rupee issued by the RBI, or the CBDC, is a tokenised digital version of the rupee.
    • The digital rupee is held in a digital wallet, which is linked to a customer’s existing savings bank account. UPI is directly linked to a customer’s account.


  • It will ensure seamless transactions between a customer and merchant without having the need to switch between multiple digital platforms.
    • It will allow a digital rupee user to make payments for their daily needs, such as groceries and medicines, by scanning any UPI QR code.
    • Even merchants are not required to keep a separate QR code to accept the digital rupee payments. They can accept CBDC payments on their existing QR code.
    • It will take advantage of the UPI network to increase transactions in CBDC.
    • If a merchant does not have a CBDC account, then there will be an option to make payment using UPI

·        A Quick Response (QR) code consists of black squares arranged in a square grid on a white background, which can be read by an imaging device such as a camera.

▪      It contains information about the item to which it is attached, according to the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).


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