Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

Current Affairs of 13th November -2020


1) Jharkhand is seeking a separate religious code for Sarna tribals.
2 ) Production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme:
3) Govt. to govern OTT platforms:
4 ) INS Vagir
5) Panna Tiger Reserve gets UNESCO’s ‘Biosphere Reserve’ Status:


1) Jharkhand is seeking a separate religious code for Sarna tribals:

Relevant to: #Mains GS2: bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.


Jharkhand government has passed a resolution to send the Centre a letter to recognise Sarna religion and include it as a separate code in the Census of 2021.

What is the Sarna religion?

The holy grail of the faith is “Jal, Jungle, Zameen” and its followers pray to the trees and hills while believing in protecting the forest areas.
It is believed that 50 lakhs tribal in the entire country put their religion as ‘Sarna’ in the 2011 census, although it was not a code.

What’s the issue now?

Many of the tribals who follow this faith have later converted to Christianity—the state has more than 4% Christians most of whom are tribals.

The issue now is that the converted tribals are taking the benefits of reservation as a minority as well as the benefits given to Schedule Tribes.

So, those who are still following only Sarna faith say that benefits should be given specifically to them and not those who have converted.

Why the separate code?

  • The population of Sarna tribals in the state has declined from the 38.3 per cent in 1931 to 26.02 per cent in 2011. One of the reasons for this was tribals who go for work in different states not being recorded in the Census.
  • In other states, they are not counted as Tribals.

Therefore, the separate code will ensure recording of their population.

What sense does a separate code make?

  • Between 1871 and 1951, the tribals had a different code. However, it was changed around 1961-62.
  • Experts say that when today the entire world is focusing on reducing pollution and protecting the environment, it is prudent that Sarna becomes a religious code as the soul of this religion is to protect nature and the environment.
  • The protection of their language and history is an important aspect with tribals.
  • If the Centre approves the new Sarna code, Census 2021 would have to make space for a new religion.
  • Currently, citizens can choose from only six religions: Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism.


2 ) Production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme:

Relevant to: #Mains GS3: Indian Economy


The Central government has unveiled a production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme to encourage domestic manufacturing investments in 10 more sectors, with an estimated outlay of about ?1.46 lakh crore over the next five years.

These sectors have been identified on the basis of their potential to create employment and make India self-reliant.

The 10 sectors include:

Food processing, telecom, electronics, textiles, speciality steel, automobiles and auto components, solar photo-voltaic modules and white goods, such as air conditioners and LEDs.

About the PLI scheme:

To make India a manufacturing hub, the government had announced the PLI scheme for mobile phones, pharma products, and medical equipment sectors.

It proposes a financial incentive to boost domestic manufacturing and attract large investments in the electronics value chain.

What the scheme seeks to achieve?

  • Make domestic manufacturing competitive and efficient.
  • Create economies of scale.
  • Make India part of global supply chain.
  • Attract investment in core manufacturing and cutting edge tech.
  • Competitive manufacturing would in turn lift exports.


3) Govt. to govern OTT platforms:

Relevant to: #Mains GS3: Awareness in the field of IT


The government has brought “Over the Top” (OTT) platforms or video streaming service providers under the ambit of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

As per the Gazette Notification:

Online films, digital news and current affairs content now come under the purview of the I&B Ministry, headed by Union Minister Prakash Javadekar.

This will give the government control over the OTT platforms, which were unregulated till now.

How was this sector regulated so far?

Currently, there is no law or autonomous body governing digital content.

Self-regulatory code:

In January 2019, eight video streaming services had signed a self-regulatory code that laid down a set of guiding principles for the content on these platforms.

The code adopted by the OTTs in January last prohibited five types of content, including content which deliberately and maliciously

disrespects the national emblem or flag and any visuals or story lines that promotes child pornography


  • An “over-the-top” media service is any online content provider that offers streaming media as a standalone product.
  • The term is commonly applied to video-on-demand platforms, but also refers to audio streaming, messaging services, or internet-based voice calling solutions.
  • OTT services circumvent traditional media distribution channels such as telecommunications networks or cable television providers.
  • As long as you have access to an internet connection — either locally or through a mobile network — you can access the complete service at your leisure.

Why they are gaining popularity?

  • High-value content at low cost.
  • Original content like Netflix and Amazon prime.
  • Compatibility with multiple devices.


4 ) INS Vagir:

Context: The fifth Scorpene submarine of Project-75 – ‘Vagir’ launched at Mazagon Dock


  • It is a programme by the Indian Navy that entails building six Scorpene-Class attack submarines.
  • The programme has been undertaken with transfer of technology from French company Naval Group (formerly known as DCNS) at the Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL).
  • The submarines in the P75 Scorpene-Class are powered by the conventional diesel-electric propulsion system.
  • The first Scorpene submarine, Kalvari, was commissioned in 2017 and it would go for a normal refit after six years in 2023, during which time the Air-Independent Propulsion (AIP) would be installed.
  • AIP technology is being developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to provide submarines long-range and extended endurance capabilities undersea.
  • Second Scorpene Khanderi and third Vela was inducted in September 2019.
  • The remaining submarine Vagsheer in the series are in advanced stages of manufacturing and trials.


5) Panna Tiger Reserve gets UNESCO’s ‘Biosphere Reserve’ Status:

Relevant to: Environmental conservation

Context: Madhya Pradesh’s Panna National Park has been declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.The UNESCO’s recognition cited PTR as a critical tiger habitat.


Every year UNESCO appoints new biosphere reserves and removes others to promote the conservation of biodiversity, resolve the man-animal conflict at that site and allow sustainable use of natural resources.

UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB):

  • The idea of the biosphere reserve was initiated by UNESCO in 1974 under the MAB with the objective of obtaining international cooperation for the conservation of the biospheres.
  • Launched in 1971, UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) is an Intergovernmental Scientific Programme that aims to establish a scientific basis for the improvement of relationships between people and their environments.

MAB combines the natural and social sciences, economics and education to improve human livelihoods and the equitable sharing of benefits, and to safeguard natural and managed ecosystems, thus promoting innovative approaches to economic development that are socially and culturally appropriate, and environmentally sustainable.

About Panna Tiger Reserve:

  • The Panna tiger reserve is situated in the Vindhya mountain range in the northern part of Madhya Pradesh.
  • Ken river (a tributary of the Yamuna River) flows through the reserve.
  • The region is also famous for Panna diamond mining.

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