News: July 12, 2020

Sub: Society
Topic: Human Development Education
Category: Prelims & Mains


News: 1/5

Higher Study Bodies And Surveys


School education is on the State list, and higher education is on the concurrent list

University Grants Commission (UGC)

  • UGC is a statutory body set up in 1956, and is charged with coordination, determination and maintenance of standards of higher education.
  • University Grants Commission provides recognition to universities and disburses funds to them.
  • In 2019 a Bill was proposed to replace UGC but was scrapped later

All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE)

  • AICTE is a statutory body under the aegis of Department of Higher Education, MHRD.
  • It is a national-level council for technical education responsible for planning and coordination of technical education and management of education system in the country.
  • It accredits graduate and post graduate programs at Indian institutions.
  • AICTE acts more as a guidance board

National Council for Teachers Education (NCTE)

  • For planned and coordinated development of the teacher education system throughout the country
  • Statutory body under National Council for Teacher Education Act, 1993
  • It lay down guidelines for minimum qualifications and fees charged by recognised institutions
  • Suitable performance appraisal system, norms and mechanism for enforcing accountability on recognised institutions
  • Take all necessary steps to prevent commercialisation of teacher education


  • National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF)
    • Launched in 2015, is a methodology adopted by the MHRD to rank institutions of higher education in India.
    • The parameters give higher weightage to Teaching, Learning and Resources, Research and Professional Practices, Graduation Outcomes, Outreach and Inclusivity; and low weightage to Perception. 

[In News]

  • June, 20
    • NIRF: IIT-M tops India Rankings in 2020
  • July, 20
    • Students in limbo as UGC yet to decide on final year exams
    • UGC to take action if States cancel exams

Sub: History
Topic: Art & Culture Language, Religion, and Culture
Category: Prelims & Mains


News: 2/5

Styles of temple architecture

Nagara style / North Indian temple style

From fifth century A.D. onwards, a distinct style of temple architecture developed in the northern part of India, known as the Nagara style of architecture. Some of the features of Nagara style are:

  • The temples generally followed the Panchayatan style of temple making, which consisted of subsidiary shrines laid out in a crucified ground plan with respect to the principal shrine
  • Presence of assembly halls or mandaps in front of the principal shrine. There were no water tanks or reservoirs present in the temple premises
  • The temples were generally built on upraised platforms. The ambulatory passageway or the pradakshina path around the sanctum sanctorum was covered.
  • The entrance would usually have sculptures of mithunas and the river goddesses, Ganga and Yamuna
  • Generally, the temple premises did not have elaborate boundary walls or gateways.
  • While the earliest temples had just one tower, or shikhara, later temples had several. The garbhagriha is always located directly under the tallest tower.
  • There are many subdivisions of nagara temples depending on the shape of the shikhara:
    • Latina or rekha-prasad: Square at the base and whose walls curve or slope inward to a point on top is called the 'latina'
    • Phamsana: Phamsana buildings tend to be broader and shorter than latina ones. Their roofs are composed of several slabs that gently rise to a single point over the centre of the building, unlike the latina ones which look like sharply rising tall towers. Phamsana roofs do not curve inward, instead they slope upwards on a straight incline.
    • Valabhi: These are rectangular buildings with a roof that rises into a vaulted chamber.

Under Nagara school , following three schools emerged

  1. Odisha School
    • The exterior walls were lavishly decorated with intricate carvings, but interior walls were plain.
    • There was no use of pillars in the porch. Iron girders were used instead to support the roof.
    • The shikharas in the Odisha school were known as rekhadeuls
    • The mandap was known as jagmohan
    • Temples were surrounded by a boundary wall as in Dravidian style of temple architecture.
  2. Khajuraho school
  3. Solanki school / Maru-Gurjara
    • Developed during 11-13th century in western India
    • The influence of the woodcarving tradition of Gujarat is evident in the lavish carving and sculpture work. However, the walls of the central small shrine are devoid of carving and are left plain
    • The temple were east facing, and had step water tank, known as surya-kund nearby.
    • Eg: Modhera Sun temple

Gurjara-Pratihara style

  • Gurjara/Pratihara dynasty was an imperial power in west and north India 8th to the 11th century.
  • Somnath Temple, Naresaar and Batesar group of temple, Baroli group of temples were some fine examples of Parithara style
  • The Nagara style received a big boost under their rule, and later temples adopted their ornamentation style and rafter end designs. In some cases false balconies were created to give double storey effect.

Dravidan style / South Indian temple style

  • Unlike the nagara temple, the dravida temple is enclosed within a compound wall. The front wall has an entrance gateway in its centre, which is known as a gopuram.
  • The shape of the main temple tower known as vimana in Tamil Nadu is like a stepped pyramid that rises up geometrically rather than the curving shikhara of North India.
  • In the South Indian temple, the word ‘shikhara’ is used only for the crowning element at the top of the temple which is usually shaped like a small stupika or an octagonal cupola - this is equivalent to the amlak and kalasha of North Indian temples.
  • Entrances have sculptures of dvarapalas or the door-keeper. It is common to find a large water reservoir, or a temple tank
  • Kerala style / Chera style: Very large temples are rare, and sloping roofs with projecting eaves dominate the outline, often arranged in a number of tiers, to fend off heavy monsoon in region

Vesara style / Karnataka school of architecture

Vesara style was conceptualised under the later Chalukya rulers in the mid-seventh century A.D. It combined features of both Nagara school and Dravidian school and resulted in a hybridized style

  • Emphasis on vimana and mandapa
  • Open ambulatory passageway
  • The pillars, doorways and the ceilings were decorated with intricate carvings.

Three prominent dynasties who made Vesara style temples are:

  • Chalukyas - temples in Badami and Kalyani
    • Present Somnath temple is built in Chalukya style
  • Rashtrakutas - Kailashnath temple in Ellora, etc
  • Hoysala Dynasty - temples at Halebid, Belur etc.

[In news]

  • June, 20
    • Puri Jagannath temple
    • Somnath temple
  • July, 20
    • Padmanabha Swamy temple, Kerala - Supreme court ruling over authority of temple trust. (Temple was built in Chera style and dravidan style)
    • Stolen sculpture of Shiva (Natesa), a rare sandstone idol in the 9th century Prathihara style of Rajasthan is being returned to India by UK

Sub: International Relations
Topic: Internal Security Prevention and Security
Category: Prelims & Mains


News: 3/5

Central Police Organization

Central Police Organization refers to police forces under the aegis of Ministry of Home Affairs - Intelligence Bureau (IB); Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI); Bureau of Police Research & Development. (BPRD); National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB); National Investigation Agency (NIA); Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy, Hyderabad; North Eastern Police Academy, Shillong; National Institute of Criminology & Forensic Science. (NICFS); and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF)

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)

  • CBI is the premier investigating police agency in India
  • It functions under Department of Personnel, Ministry of Personnel, Pension & Public Grievances,
  • CBI is not a statutory body, and derives its powers from DSPE Act, 1946
  • History
    • CBI was formed through a Home Ministry resolution dated 1963,
    • Its history can be traced back to 1941 in Special Police Establishment (SPE).
    • Later Delhi Special Police Establishment Act,1946 (DSPE) transferred SPE to Home Department, and finally it acquired its name of CBI in 1963, based on Santhanam Committee recommendations.
  • Composition
    • Based on Lokayukta Act, 2013, CBI is to be headed by a director, based on recommendation from a three member committee of Prime Minister, Leader of opposition (or largest party), and CJI or supreme court judge.
    • Central Government shall appoint officers of the rank of SP and above in the CBI, on the recommendation of a committee consisting of the Central Vigilance Commissioner as Chairperson, the Vigilance Commissioners, the Secretary of the Home Ministry and the Secretary of the Department of Personnel.
    • CBI director's tenure can not be less than 2 years.
  • Investigation
    • CBI is required to obtain the prior approval of the Central Government before conducting any inquiry or investigation into an offence committed by officers of the rank of joint secretary and above in the Central Government and its authorities
    • CBI acts as the 'National Central Bureau' of Interpol in India, since 1966. All matters relating to the NCB are, however, dealt by the Ministry of Home Affairs,
    • Special Police Establishment (SPE) - A division of CBI, enjoys concurrent power of investigation under DSPE, 1946 along with state police forces. SPE takes cases which substantially concern Central or State Government affairs. SPE can also take up cases against employees of public undertakings or statutory bodies established and financed by the Central Government.

National Investigation Agency (NIA)

National Investigation Agency (NIA) was formed in the aftermath of Mumbai terror attacks

  • National Investigation Agency Act, 2008
    • NIA Act provides for setting up an agency at the central level with powers to probe terrorism and other crimes having national ramifications.
    • NIA is headed by a Director-General, appointed by central government, who has the same power as Director General of Police
    • The Act does not curtail powers of State Government to investigate and prosecute.
    • The Act makes the National Investigation Agency the only truly federal agency in the country, more powerful than the CBI
  • National Investigation Agency (Amendment) Bill, 2019
    • NIA can also investigate offences related to human trafficking, counterfeit currency, cyber-terrorism, offences under Explosive Substances Act, 1908 and manufacture or sales of the prohibited arms
    • Central and State governments can, on consulting High Court, designate Sessions Courts as Special Courts for the trial of scheduled offences.
  • Investigation
    • An investigation can be initiated based on report filed by State government to Central government, on any scheduled offence (as defined in Clause 2).
      • The NIA can only investigate cases which are listed in the Act’s schedule, which largely deal with the security and integrity of the country.
    • Central Government can transfer back case from NIA to state government.
    • Central Government can also suo-moto direct the agency to investigate, if it is of opinion a scheduled offence has been committed.
      • [In news] State Government oppose this
    • Central Government can constitute Special Courts to take cognizance of any scheduled offence with highest priority on day-to-day basis
    • Till NIA takes up the case, it shall be the duty of officer-in-charge of police station to continue investigation

National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB)

  • NCRB was set up in 1986 to function as a repository of information on crime and criminals to assist the investigators in linking crime to the perpetrators
  • It was set up based on the recommendation of the Task force and National Police Commission by merging the Directorate of Coordination and Police Computer (DCPC), Statistical Branch of BPR&D, Inter State Criminals Data Branch of CBI and Central Finger Print Bureau of CBI.
  • Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems (CCTNS) - CCTNS was created in 2009 by Ministry of Home Affairs, and approved by Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), with following objectives:
    • Creating State and Central level databases on crime and criminals. All State police are mandated to file FIRs in the CCTNS
    • Enable easy sharing of real-time information/ intelligence across police stations, districts and States.
    • Improved investigation and crime prevention.
    • Improved service delivery to the public/ stakeholders through Citizen Portals.

[In News]

  • July, 20
    • U.S. authorities have informed India about the provisional arrest of Tahawwur Rana, one of the key players in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, as he is "proposed to be extradited" in a case registered by the National Investigation Agency (NIA)
    • Gruesome violence by State in Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu
    • Kerala gold smuggling case
    • National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) to access the centralised online database on FIRs and stolen vehicles.
  • Aug, 20
    • Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) on Wednesday issued a notification allowing the transfer of Sushant Singh Rajput death case to the CBI

Sub: International Relations
Topic: Internal Security Defence
Category: Prelims & Mains


News: 4/5

Defence Bodies And Contracts


Defence Acquisitions Council (DAC)

  • Set up in 2001 for defence procurement, based on Group of Ministers recommendation on 'Reforming the National Security System'
  • Chaired by Defence Minister. Key members include Minister of State for Defence, Chiefs of three bodies, Defence Secretary, Secretary Defence Research & Development, Secretary Defence Production
  • Acquisition proposals are divided into 'Buy', 'Buy & Make' and 'Make'
  • Does field trial evaluation
  • Recent Initiatives
    • June, 20 - Deals approval worth 38900 crores for - additional Mig-29, Su-30 MKI; Pinaka ammunition, armoured vehicle BMP armament upgrades, Software Defined Radio; Long Range Land Attack Missile Systems of over 1000km range, and Astra Beyond Visual Range air-to-air missiles


draft 'Defence Production & Export Promotion Policy (DPEPP) 2020'

The DPEPP 2020 is envisaged as overarching guiding document of MoD to provide a focused, structured and significant thrust to defence production capabilities of the country for self-reliance and exports. 

  • To achieve a turnover of Rs 1,75,000 Crores (US$ 25Bn) including export of Rs 35,000 Crore (US$ 5 Billion) in Aerospace and Defence goods and services by 2025.
  • To develop a dynamic, robust and competitive Defence industry, including Aerospace and Naval Shipbuilding industry to cater to the needs of Armed forces with quality products.
  • To reduce dependence on imports and take forward "Make in India" initiatives through domestic design and development.
  • To promote export of defence products and become part of the global defence value chains.
  • To create an environment that encourages R&D, rewards innovation, creates Indian IP ownership and promotes a robust and self-reliant defence industry. 

MoD initiatives

Defence import embargo for Atmanirbhar Bharat

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in his address to the Nation on May 12, 2020 had given a clarion call for a self-reliant India based on the five pillars, i.e., Economy, Infrastructure, System, Demography & Demand.

  • Taking cue from that evocation, the Department of Military Affairs (DMA), Ministry of Defence (MoD) has prepared a list of 101 items for which there would be an embargo on the import beyond the timeline indicated against them.
    • Notable ones are: G SAT-6 Satellite Terminals, Satellite GSAT 7R, Conventional Submarines, ASTRA-MK I Beyond Visual Range Air to Air Missile (BVR AAM), Long Range – Land Attack Cruise Missile, etc.
    • With latest embargo on import of 101 items, it is estimated that contracts worth almost Rs 4 lakh crore will be placed upon the domestic industry within the next five to seven years.
  • The embargo on imports is planned to be progressively implemented between 2020 to 2024.
  • MoD has also bifurcated the capital procurement budget for 2020-21 between domestic and foreign capital procurement routes. A separate budget head has been created with an outlay of nearly Rs 52,000 crore for domestic capital procurement in the current financial year.



  • Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), 2017
    • CAATSA enables U.S. government to sanction countries that engage in ‘significant transactions’ with Iran, Russia, and North Korea.   
    • As per section 235 of CAATSA denial of visas to persons closely associated with the sanctioned person can be imposed.
    • Prohibition of ExIm bank assistance for exports can be issued.

[In News]

  • July, 20
    • In the back drop of recent defence minister's visit, USA cautions its partners about sanctions under CAATSA
  • Aug, 20
    • Ministry of Defence (MoD) on puts out a draft ‘Defence Production & Export Promotion Policy (DPEPP) 2020’ for public feedback.
    • Defence import embargo for Atmanirbhar Bharat

Sub: Society
Topic: Social Welfare
Category: Prelims & Mains


News: 5/5

Human Trafficking

Trafficking in Human Beings (THB) is prohibited under the Constitution of India under Article 23 (1). Following specific legislations deal with Trafficking in Human Beings (THB):

  • Laws relating to trafficking in women and children being administered by the MWCD
    • Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956,
    • Prohibition of Child Marriage Act (PCMA), 2006
  • Bonded Labour System Abolition Act of 1976
  • Commercial dealing in human organs is a punishable offence under the Transplantation of Human Organs act, 1994, being administered by Ministry of Health and family Welfare
  • Specific Sections in the IPC, e.g., Sections 372 and 373 dealing with selling and buying of girls for the purposes of prostitution.

Anti Trafficking Cell (ATC)

  • Ministry of Home Affairs established an Anti Trafficking Cell to deal with matters relating to law enforcement response on Trafficking in human beings
  • The Cell provides suitable guidelines to the States/UTs from time to time for strengthening law enforcement response in tackling human trafficking.
  • Anti Trafficking cell is also responsible for signing bilateral /multilateral MoUs with various countries to address the issue of Human Trafficking
  • Anti Human Trafficking Units (AHTU) are set up at district level by states, with the help of Nirbhaya fund. The primary role of an Anti Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU) is law enforcement and liaise other concerned agencies for care & rehabilitation of victims

[In News]

  • June, 20
    • Teen traced in Pune by the Anti Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU) 


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