18 December, 2020 - Daily Current Affairs Analysis & MCQs - The Daily News Simplified from The Hindu

  • Farmers have constitutional right to continue protest (Polity & Governance)
  • ISRO launches satellite for communications (Science & Technology)
  • India ranks 111/162 countries Human Freedom Index - (Governance)
  • Govt. plans $60-billion investments in gas infrastructure (Economy)
  • The mausoleum of Abdur Rahim Khan-i-Khana (History & Culture)
  • Question for the Day

Prelims Quiz


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    UPSC Current Affairs: Farmers have constitutional right to continue protest: SC|Page 01

    UPSC Syllabus:Mains – GS Paper II–Polity & Governance

    Sub Theme:Rights | UPSC

    Context: The Supreme Court held that farmers have a constitutional right to continue with their “absolutely perfect” protest as long as their dissent against the controversial agricultural laws did not slip into violence. On the manner and purpose of protest, SC suggested forming a committee to facilitate talks between the farmers and government.        

    Summary of the SC Judgment

    • The Court refrained from deciding the validity of the farm laws but recognised the fundamental right to protest against a law.
    • However, the Court also said that fundamental right to protest cannot affect other fundamental rights and right to life of others.
    • Court will not interfere with farmer’s protest in question.
    • The right to protest is part of a fundamental right and can as a matter of fact, be exercised subject to public order.
    • Protests can continue in a non-violent violent manner and police cannot use violent means to end or disturb a non-violent protest.
    • There can certainly be no impediment in the exercise of such rights as long as it is non-violent and does not result in damage to the life and properties of other citizens and is in accordance with law.
    • At this stage that the farmers' protest should be allowed to continue without impediment and without any breach of peace either by the protesters or the police".
    • The CJI also suggested the Central Government to put on hold the implementation of the farm laws to facilitate discussions.
    • According to SC, purpose of any protest can be achieved only if people talk to each other. For facilitating such talk between the farmers and government, SC proposed an Independent Impartial Committee before whom both the parties can state their case while the protest goes on and the committee will give its opinion, which we expect the parties to follow.


    UPSC Current Affairs: ISRO launches satellite for communications| Page 10

    UPSC Syllabus: Mains – GS Paper III – Science & technology

    Sub Theme:|ISRO | Satellites | UPSC

    Context: India’s communication satellite CMS-01 was successfully launched by PSLV-C50 on December 17, 2020 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota by ISRO.


    • PSLV-C50 is the 52nd flight of PSLV and 22nd flight of PSLV in 'XL' configuration (with 6 strap-on motors). This was the 77th launch vehicle mission from SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota.
    • After injection, the solar panels of CMS-01 were automatically deployed and ISRO’s Master Control Facility at Hassan has assumed the control of the satellite.
    • In the coming days, orbit raising manoeuvers will be executed to position the satellite in the Geostationary Orbit at its designated location.
    • CMS-01 is a communication satellite envisaged for providing services in Extended-C Band of the frequency spectrum. The Extended-C Band coverage will include Indian mainland, Andaman-Nicobar & Lakshadweep Islands. CMS-01 is the 42nd Communication Satellite of India.
    • PSLV-C51 would be a special mission for ISRO as it will carry India’s first private sector satellite under the space reforms programme announced by the Indian government.

    Space Reforms – IN-SPACe& NSIL

    It has been approved by Union Cabinet aims to boost private sector participation in the entire range of space activities. The decision taken is in line with the long-term vision of the Prime Minister of transforming India and making the country self-reliant and technologically advanced.Such reforms will lead to accelerated growth of space sector and will enable Indian Industry to be an important player in global space economy. With this, there is an opportunity for large-scale employment in the technology sector and India becoming a Global technology powerhouse.

    Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe)

    • IN-SPACe will provide a level playing field for private companies to use Indian space infrastructure.
    • It will also hand-hold, promote and guide the private industries in space activities through encouraging policies and a friendly regulatory environment.
    • IN-SPACe is an independent nodal agency under Department of Space (DOS) for allowing space activities and usage of DOS owned facilities by non-government private entities (NGPEs) as well as to prioritise the launch manifest.

    IN-SPACe is to be established as a single window nodal agency, with its own cadre, which will permit and oversee the following activities of NGPEs.

    Space activities including building of launch vehicles and satellites and providing space based services as per the definition of space activities.

    Sharing of space infrastructure and premises under the control of ISRO with due considerations to on-going activities.

    Establishment of temporary facilities within premises under ISRO control based on safety norms and feasibility assessment

    Establishment of new space infrastructure and facilities, by NGPEs, in pursuance of space activities based on safety norms and other statutory guidelines and necessary clearances.

    Initiation of launch campaign and launch, based on readiness of launch vehicle and spacecraft systems, ground and user segment.

    Building, operation and control of spacecraft for registration as Indian Satellite by NGPEs and all the associated infrastructure for the same.

    Usage of spacecraft data and rolling out of space based services and all the associated infrastructure for the same.

    New Space India Limited (NSIL)

    • The Public Sector Enterprise ‘New Space India Limited (NSIL)’ will endeavour to re-orient space activities from a ‘supply driven’ model to a ‘demand driven’ model, thereby ensuring optimum utilization of our space assets.
    • NSIL is a Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) under Department of Space and has been incorporated as a wholly owned Government of India company under DOS and is the commercial arm of ISRO.
    • These reforms will allow ISRO to focus more on research and development activities, new technologies, exploration missions and human spaceflight programme.
    • Some of the planetary exploration missions will also be opened up to private sector through an ‘announcement of opportunity’ mechanism.

    Vision & Mission of NSIL

    • Excel in providing space-related products and services emanating from Indian Space Programme to global customers and to further spur the growth of Indian Industry in undertaking technologically challenging space-related activities.
    • Enabling Indian Industries to scale up a high-technology manufacturing base for space programme through technology transfer mechanisms and catering to emerging global commercial small satellite launch service market, satellite services for various domestic and international application needs and enabling space technology spin-offs for the betterment of mankind through industry interface.

    NSIL Mandate

    • Owning satellites for Earth Observation and Communication applications and providing space-based services
    • Building satellites and launching them as per demand • Providing Launch Services for satellite belonging to customer
    • Building launch vehicles through Indian Industry and launch as per satellite customer requirement
    • Space based Services related to Earth Observation and Communication satellites on commercial basis
    • Satellite building through Indian Industry
    • Technology Transfer to Indian Industry


    UPSC Current Affairs: India ranks 111 out of 162 nations in freedom index| Page–10

    UPSC Syllabus:| Prelims: Polity & Governance

    Sub Theme:|Important Indices|UPSC

    Context:A global ranking of personal, civil and economic freedom released recently has placed India at 111 out of 162 countries. The Human Freedom Index 2020ranked India 110 in terms of personal freedom and 105 on economic freedom, with an overall score coming to 6.43 out of 10.

    About Human Freedom Index

    • The Human Freedom Index presents the state of human freedom in the world based on a broad measure that encompasses personal, civil, and economic freedom.
    • Human freedom is a social concept that recognizes the dignity of individuals and is defined here as negative liberty or the absence of coercive constraint.
    • The Index considers freedom as inherently valuable and believes that it plays an important role in human progress and hence is worth measuring carefully.
    • The Human Freedom Index is a resource that can help to more objectively observe relationships between freedom and other social and economic phenomena, as well as the ways in which the various dimensions of freedom interact with one another.
    • The report is co‐​published by the Cato Institute and the Fraser Institute.

    The Human Freedom Index (HFI) presents a broad measure of human freedom, understood as the absence of coercive constraint. This sixth annual index uses 76 distinct indicators of personal and economic freedom in the following areas:   

    • Rule of Law
    • Security and Safety
    • Movement
    • Religion
    • Association, Assembly and Civil Society
    • Expression and Information
    • Identity and Relationships
    • Size of Government
    • Legal System and Property Rights
    • Access to Sound Money
    • Freedom to Trade Internationally
    • Regulation of Credit, Labor, and Business

    The HFI covers 162 countries for 2018, the most recent year for which sufficient data are available. The index ranks countries beginning in 2008, the earliest year for which a robust enough index could be produced. On a scale of 0 to 10, where 10 represents more freedom, the average human freedom rating for 162 countries in 2018 was 6.93.

    Top 5 Countries

    New Zealand


    Hong Kong, China




    UPSC Current Affairs: Govt. plans 60 billion dollar investment to bolster gas infrastructure| Page - 15

    UPSC Syllabus:Mains – GS Paper III – Economy

    Sub Theme:Energy | UPSC


    Recently, the Petroleum Minister has highlighted that the government has planned a $60-billion investment for creating gas infrastructure in the country by the end of 2024.


    • India's energy mix is dominated by coal and oil which account for 86% of the electricity generation. The share of cleaner fuel, Natural Gas is quite lower at 6%. In this regard, the Government has been promoting Gas Based economy to increase the share of gas in the energy mix to 15% by 2025.
    • Presently, most of the Gas Pipelines are spread across the Western and Northern parts of India. This has not only caused regional imbalances in terms of access to Natural Gas Infrastructure but also led to underutilization of existing pipelines wherein presently, only 45% of the existing capacity of pipelines is utilized making them economically unviable.
    • Hence, setting up of National Gas Grid would lead to balanced distribution of natural gas infrastructure and optimum utilization of existing pipelines.

    About Natural Gas Grid

    At present about 16,788 Km natural gas pipeline is operational and about 14,239 Km gas pipelines are being developed to increase the availability of natural gas across the country. These pipelines have been authorized by Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) and are at various stages of execution.


    • To remove regional imbalance within the country with regard to access of natural gas and provide clean and green fuel throughout the country.
    • To connect gas sources to major demand centres and ensure availability of gas to consumers in various sectors.
    • Development of City Gas Distribution Networks in various cities for supply of CNG and PNG.

    Why Natural Gas?

    • Natural gas is a superior fuel as compared to coal and other liquid fuels. It is environment friendly, safer and cheaper fuel. As per WHO database released in May 2018, India has 14 out of 15 world’s most polluted cities in terms of PM 2.5 concentration.
    • Large number of industries also consume polluting fuels like pet coke and furnace oil which emit polluting CO2.
    • Hence, using Natural gas as domestic kitchen fuel and as fuel for transport sector, industries and commercial units can play a significant role in reducing carbon emission and enable India to meet its commitment given under the Paris Convention.

    Steps Taken to improve Gas Infrastructure

    • The Government has envisaged to develop the National Gas Grid.At present gas pipelines are being developed to increase the availability of natural gas across the country.
    • These pipelines have been authorized by Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB)and are at various stages of execution viz. Pre-Project/activities/laying/testing/commissioning etc.
    • PNGRB has authorized GAIL to develop North East gas pipelineto develop approximately 750 km long Barauni - Guwahati Pipeline as an integral part of Jagadishpur –Haldia –Bokaro Dhamra Pipeline (JHBDPL) project which will connect North East region with the National Gas Grid. 
    • Further, PNGRB has also authorized Indradhanush Gas Grid Limited (IGGL),a joint venture company of five Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) i.e. IOCL, ONGC, GAIL, OIL and NRL for the development of North East Gas Grid to connect eight states of North Eastern India. 
    • Government has also launched Indian Gas Exchange (IGX),which is India's first automated national level trading platform to promote and sustain an efficient and robust gas market and foster gas trading in the country.

    The Energy Transition Road Map of India has been outlined by Hon’ble Prime Minister of India  who has defined seven key drivers:

    Accelerating efforts to move towards a gas-based economy

    Cleaner Use of Fossil Fuels

    Particularly Petroleum And Coal

    Greater reliance on domestic sources to drive biofuels

    Achieving renewables target of 450 GW by 2030

    Increasing contribution of electricity to de-carbonize mobility &

    Moving into emerging fuels including hydrogen; and digital innovation across all energy systems.

    The Petroleum Minister also highlighted that we have to ensure energy justice and end energy poverty in the country. This means more energy to improve the lives of Indians with a smaller carbon foot-print. He said that our energy sector will be growth-centric, industry friendly and environment conscious. He said that the energy sector will continue to play a pivotal role in our national development, and in realization of the 5 trillion-dollar economy. The Minister also highlighted that India is now among the fastest growing large economies of the world with a strong determination to end poverty, including energy poverty, in the country. This demands rapid expansion of energy consumption & energy security.


    UPSC Current Affairs: Mausoleum of Abdur Rahim Khan I Khanan | Page - 06

    UPSC Syllabus:Prelims – GS Paper I – History

    Sub Theme:Medieval history | UPSC

    The mausoleum  of Abdur Rahim Khan-i-Khanan also known as Rahim's Tomb, after the completion of its restoration work

    • This mausoleum was built by  Rahim in 1598 for his wife, Mah Banu  (making it the first ever Mughal tomb to be built for a woman). It is the grandest of his surviving buildings, inspired by the architectural style of Humayun’s Tomb (built in 1558) and, in turn, inspiring the Taj Mahal completed in (1653). Upon his death, Rahim was also buried in the same mausoleum.
    • Clad in red sandstone and marble, the interiors of the mausoleum are decorated with ornamental incised plasterwork, and decorative motifs such as the six-sided star and lotus medallions.
    • Mausoleum have diverse motifs in plaster and stone. The patterns include both geometric and floral patterns commonly seen in mausoleums, but it also have patterns which are seen in Hindu buildings, like ‘swastik’ and peacock.
    • Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is the custodian of the monument.

    ·        Rahim Khan-I-Khana was son of Bairam khan.

    ·        Rahim Khan-I-Khana (1556-1627), popularly known as 'Rahim -- one of Akbarsnavratnas and a military leader.

    ·        Rahim –He was a poet, a secular thought leader, general, administrator and one of the key figures in the court of Akbar.

    ·        Babur has written his biography i.e.Baburnama in Chagatai Turkic. It was translated into Persian by Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khana.

    ·        On account of his poetry and dohas, drawings from the Hindu religious narratives and customs of veneration, Rahim is often compared with the Bhakti movement poets. – Surdas, Tulsidas, Kabir.