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July 11 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm



The Supreme Court of India recently reaffirmed that Muslim women are entitled to seek maintenance under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), a secular legislation, even after divorce under religious personal law.

This decision is based on a 22-year-old precedent and has ignited discussions on the legal and political history surrounding the maintenance rights of Muslim women.

The Present Case

  • Background: Petitioner Mohd Abdul Samad challenged a 2017 family court order directing him to pay Rs 20,000 per month to his ex-wife.
  • High Court Ruling: The Telangana High Court upheld the family court’s order.
  • Supreme Court Decision: A two-judge Bench reiterated that a divorced Muslim woman is entitled to maintenance under Section 125 CrPC.

Legal Provisions and Interpretations

  • Section 125 CrPC: Obligates “any person having sufficient means” to maintain his wife or legitimate/illegitimate minor child if they cannot maintain themselves. The term “wife” includes divorced women who have not remarried.
  • Justice Nagarathna’s Opinion: Emphasized Section 125 as a social justice measure embedded in the Constitution, aimed at liberating women from gender-based discrimination and disadvantage.
  • Alignment with the Constitution: The ruling aligns with Article 15(3) (special provisions for women) and Article 39(e) (preventing citizens from forced occupations due to economic necessity).

Historical Context and Precedents

  • Danial Latifi & Anr v. Union of India (2001): Established that maintenance under Section 125 CrPC is in addition to the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986.
  • Shah Bano Case (1978): Supreme Court upheld that a Muslim woman could claim maintenance under Section 125 CrPC even after the iddat period if she is unable to maintain herself.

Controversies and Legislative Responses

  • MWPRD Act, 1986: Enacted by Rajiv Gandhi’s government to overturn the Shah Bano verdict. The Act shifted the maintenance responsibility to relatives or the State Wakf Board after the iddat period.
  • Challenge to MWPRD Act: Danial Latifi argued that the Act discriminates against Muslim women and violates their constitutional rights. The Supreme Court interpreted the Act to ensure maintenance for a divorced Muslim woman beyond the iddat period.


The Shah Bano case is a landmark judgment in Indian legal history that significantly impacted the rights of Muslim women regarding maintenance post-divorce. This case brought to the forefront the conflict between personal laws and the Indian Constitution’s commitment to gender equality.


Shah Bano Begum, a 62-year-old Muslim woman, filed a petition in 1978 seeking maintenance from her husband under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) after being divorced through triple talaq.

Her husband, Mohammed Ahmad Khan, argued that under Muslim personal law, his obligation was limited to the iddat period (three months post-divorce).

High Court Ruling:

    • The Madhya Pradesh High Court granted Shah Bano’s plea, directing her husband to pay maintenance.
    • Supreme Court Judgment:
    • In 1985, a five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice Y V Chandrachud, upheld the High Court’s decision.
    • The Court ruled that Section 125 CrPC, a secular law, applies to all citizens regardless of their religion.
    • It emphasized that a divorced woman is entitled to maintenance if she is unable to maintain herself, even beyond the iddat period.


    • The judgment underscored the supremacy of secular law over personal law in matters of fundamental rights and gender justice.
    • It highlighted the responsibility of the state to protect women from destitution, aligning with Article 14 (Right to Equality) and Article 21 (Right to Life) of the Indian Constitution.

Public and Political Reaction:

    • The ruling sparked widespread debate and controversy, particularly among conservative Muslim groups.
    • The All India Muslim Personal Law Board opposed the judgment, arguing that it interfered with Muslim personal law.

Legislative Response:

    • In response to the backlash, the Rajiv Gandhi government enacted the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986.
    • The Act limited the husband’s liability to the iddat period and placed the responsibility for maintenance on the woman’s relatives or the State Wakf Board.
    • Clash between Uniform Civil Code and Personal Laws: The case highlighted the tension between the ideal of a Uniform Civil Code (UCC) enshrined in the Constitution’s Article 44 and the application of religion-based personal laws. The Supreme Court’s decision to award maintenance under a secular law (CrPC Section 125) was seen as a step towards a UCC.


The Supreme Court’s reaffirmation of maintenance rights for Muslim women under Section 125 CrPC underscores the importance of social justice and gender equality in India. This ruling, rooted in constitutional principles, seeks to protect the rights and dignity of divorced Muslim women, ensuring they are not left destitute after divorce. The ongoing legal discourse highlights the need for laws that transcend religious boundaries to provide equitable justice to all citizens.

Multiple Choice Question:

      1. Consider the following statements regarding the Shah Bano Case (1985):
      2. It awarded maintenance to a divorced Muslim woman under her personal law.
      3. It highlighted the need for a Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in India.
      4. It sparked a debate on the balance between religious rights and gender equality.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

      1. 1 only
      2. 2 and 3 only
      3. 1 and 3 only
      4. All of the above



The Shah Bano case awarded maintenance to a divorced Muslim woman NOT under her personal law, but under a secular law, the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) Section 125.

The judgement, by applying a secular law, indirectly highlighted the need for a UCC to ensure equal rights across religions.

The case sparked a debate on balancing the right of Muslims to follow their personal law with the fundamental right to equality for women.



The proposed 11,000 MW hydropower project on the Siang River in Arunachal Pradesh has stirred significant controversy, with local activists protesting against its potential environmental and social impacts.

While the project is seen as a vital national initiative, concerns from local communities highlight the need for a balanced approach.

Upper Siang Project:

      • Proposed 11,000 MW hydropower project.
      • Located on the Siang River in the Upper Siang district.
      • The river originates near Mount Kailash in Tibet, traversing over 1,000 km into Arunachal Pradesh.

Development Plan:

      • Project to be built by the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC).
      • Includes a 300-meter-high dam, potentially one of the tallest in the world.
      • Approved by the Central Electricity Authority.

Environmental Concerns:

      • Threat to biodiversity and local ecosystems.
      • Potential adverse impact on the Brahmaputra River in Assam.

Social Impact:

      • Displacement of local communities.
      • Loss of ancestral lands and heritage sites.
      • Risk to the livelihoods of indigenous tribes relying on the river.

Geopolitical Issues:

      • Concerns over diverting water to China’s drought-prone areas.
      • Potential reduction in water flow affecting downstream regions.

Government Response

      • Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister emphasized the need for local consent.
      • NHPC conducting feasibility studies and consultations.


Siang River

  • The Siang River originates from the Angsi Glacier in the Himalayas near Mount Kailash in Tibet.
  • Known as the Yarlung Tsangpo in Tibet.


  • Flows eastward for about 1,700 kilometers through the Tibetan Plateau.
  • Takes a U-turn around the Namcha Barwa peak, entering India through Arunachal Pradesh.
  • In Arunachal Pradesh, it is known as the Siang River.
  • Joins the Lohit and Dibang Rivers at the Assam border to form the Brahmaputra River.


  • a major part of the Brahmaputra basin.
  • Crucial for the local ecosystem and biodiversity.
  • Provides water resources for agriculture, fishing, and hydroelectric projects.

Tributaries of the Brahmaputra River

Dibang River:

  • Originates in the eastern Himalayas in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Flows through the Dibang Valley, joins the Siang River near Pasighat.

Lohit River:

  • Originates in Tibet, flows through Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Joins the Siang River at the border of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.

Subansiri River:

  • Originates in Tibet, flows through Arunachal Pradesh and Assam.
  • Known for its strong currents and hydroelectric potential.

Kameng River:

  • Originates in the Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Flows southwards, joining the Brahmaputra in Assam.

Manas River:

  • Originates in Bhutan, flows into Assam.
  • Known for the Manas National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Teesta River:

  • Originates in the eastern Himalayas in Sikkim.
  • Flows through West Bengal and merges with the Brahmaputra in Bangladesh.

Dhansiri River:

  • Originates in the hills of Nagaland.
  • Flows into the Brahmaputra in Assam.

Jaldhaka River:

  • Originates in the eastern Himalayas.
  • Flows through Bhutan and West Bengal, joins the Brahmaputra in Assam.


The protest against the Upper Siang hydropower project underscores the complex interplay between development and environmental sustainability. While the project promises substantial energy benefits, addressing the valid concerns of local communities and ensuring their participation is crucial for a balanced and inclusive approach to development.

Multiple Choice Question:

      1. With reference to the Brahmaputra River System, which of the following pairs is NOT correctly matched?
      2. Tributary – Source: Teesta – NEPAL
      3. Tributary – Source: Lohit – Arunachal Pradesh
      4. Tributary – Source: Subansiri – Tibet
      5. Tributary – Source: Manas – Bhutan



Teesta River originates in Sikkim, not in Nepal general. While both regions are part of the mountain range, Sikkim is a specific state within the Himalayas.

Lohit, Subansiri, and Manas all originate in the locations mentioned in the options (b), (c), and (d) respectively.

Lohit – Arunachal Pradesh

Subansiri – Tibet

Manas – Bhutan



The need for a caste census in India has become increasingly pertinent. Caste remains a foundational social construct, impacting various facets of Indian society. This note outlines the importance of a caste census, the challenges against it, and the way forward.

Why a Caste Census?

      • Caste influences social interactions, marriages, and residential patterns.
      • Inter-caste marriages constitute only about 5% of Indian marriages (2011-12 data).
      • Caste-based residential segregation is prevalent.

Legal Imperative:

      • Essential for implementing constitutionally mandated social justice policies.
      • The Supreme Court has repeatedly emphasized the need for detailed caste-wise data.

Administrative Imperative:

      • Helps avoid wrongful inclusions/exclusions in reservation lists.
      • Necessary for sub-categorizing castes within reserved categories.
      • Important for determining the creamy layer within OBCs.

Moral Imperative:

      • Lack of detailed caste-wise data benefits elite coteries among upper castes and dominant OBCs.
      • Detailed data would ensure equitable distribution of resources and opportunities.

Arguments Against Caste Census

      • Critics argue it could deepen social divisions.
      • However, casteism persists despite not being officially enumerated.

Administrative Nightmare:

      • Concerns about the complexity of enumerating numerous castes.
      • Smooth enumeration of SCs and STs suggests it is manageable.

Increased Reservation Demands:

      • Availability of data could lead to more objective policy-making.
      • Helps curb arbitrary demands from caste groups.

Learning from Past Efforts

      • The Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC) 2011 failed due to poor design and execution.
      • The Bihar caste survey of 2023, with a pre-drafted list of caste names, yielded better results.

Way Forward

      • Amend the Census Act, 1948, to make caste enumeration mandatory.
      • Enlist sociological and anthropological experts to draft state-specific caste lists.
      • Publish draft lists online for public feedback before finalizing.
      • Use internet-enabled devices with preloaded details to simplify data collection.


The caste census is a critical exercise in India, aiming to enumerate the population based on caste categories. This data is essential for formulating policies and implementing social justice measures.

First Caste Census:

  • The first caste census in India was conducted in 1881 by the British colonial administration.
  • The caste census was carried out regularly in the decadal censuses from 1881 to 1931.


  • After India gained independence, the 1951 Census excluded caste enumeration except for Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs).
  • Since then, SCs and STs have been enumerated in every census, but other castes have not been systematically counted.
  • In 2011, the Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC) was conducted, but it faced significant issues in design and execution, leading to unreliable data.

Authority to Conduct the Census

  • The census in India is conducted under the Census Act, 1948.
  • The Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India, under the Ministry of Home Affairs, is responsible for conducting the census.

Role of State Governments:

  • While the central government conducts the national census, state governments can also conduct their own caste surveys.
  • Examples include Karnataka’s caste survey in 2015 and Bihar’s caste survey in 2023.


A caste census is crucial for informed policy-making, ensuring social justice, and promoting inclusive development. Amending the Census Act and learning from past efforts can pave the way for a successful caste enumeration in future censuses.

Multiple Choice Question:

      1. When was the first synchronized census conducted throughout the British Empire?
      2. 1871
      3. 1881
      4. 1891
      5. 1901



First Synchronized Census in the British Empire

Significance: The year 1881 marked a significant event as it was the first time a synchronized census was conducted throughout the British Empire, including India.

Context: Before 1881, censuses were conducted in different parts of the British Empire at different times. The synchronization of the census in 1881 was a move towards standardizing the process and methodology across the entire empire.

India’s Census: In India, the first complete and synchronous census was conducted in 1881 under the supervision of W.C. Plowden, the Census Commissioner of India, during the tenure of Lord Ripon as the Viceroy of India.

Objective: The primary objective was to gather comprehensive demographic data that could be used for administrative purposes and to implement policies based on accurate population statistics.



The MSME sector is crucial for India’s economic development and employment generation. Recent initiatives aim to bolster this sector for sustainable growth.

Key Focus Areas

      • Formalisation and Credit Access: Improve access to formal credit channels.
      • Market Access and E-commerce: Enhance market reach and digital adoption.
      • Modern Technology: Increase productivity through advanced technology.
      • Skill Enhancement and Digitalisation: Upgrade skills and promote digital services.
      • Khadi, Village, and Coir Industries: Globalize these traditional sectors.
      • Women and Artisans Empowerment: Support through enterprise creation.
      • Infrastructure Development: Focus on sustainable growth in industrial clusters.
      • Employment: Export growth target of $2 trillion by FY30.
      • Textile and Garment Sector: Extend RoDTEP and ROSCTL schemes.

Challenges for MSMEs in Transitioning to Green Growth:

While MSMEs are crucial for economic growth, many challenges hinder their transition towards green practices:

      • Limited access to finance: Green technologies and sustainable practices often require upfront investments. MSMEs struggle to secure loans due to perceived risks and lack of collateral.
      • Knowledge and awareness gap: Many MSMEs lack awareness of available green technologies, their benefits, and implementation strategies.
      • Technical expertise: Implementing green practices often requires specialized skills and expertise that MSMEs may not have in-house.
      • Market access: Green products may not have established markets, making it difficult for MSMEs to find customers willing to pay a premium for sustainable options.
      • Complex regulations: Navigating environmental regulations and compliance procedures can be a burden for smaller businesses.

Current Stats on MSMEs (Globally):

      • There are an estimated 500 million MSMEs worldwide, employing over 90% of the global workforce. [International Labour Organization]
      • MSMEs contribute significantly to GDP (Gross Domestic Product) – ranging from 30% to 60% depending on the country. [World Bank]


With focused support on credit access, technology, market expansion, and green initiatives, MSMEs can significantly boost India’s economic growth and employment.



The Madhya Pradesh government has initiated an inquiry into allegations of tiger poaching and irregularities in the newly established Veerangana Durgavati Tiger Reserve.

About Veerangana Durgavati Tiger Reserve

      • Location: Spread across Sagar, Damoh, and Narsinghpur districts of Madhya Pradesh.
      • Area: Encompasses 2,339 square kilometres, including Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary and Durgavati Wildlife Sanctuary.
      • Establishment: Seventh tiger reserve in Madhya Pradesh, named after Rani Durgavati, the queen of the Gondi people.
      • Landscape: Features a diverse terrain with hills, valleys, rivers, streams, waterfalls, and grasslands.
      • Rivers: Encompasses parts of the Narmada and Yamuna River basins.
      • Singorgarh Fort: Located within the reserve.

Vegetation and Flora

      • Vegetation: Predominantly dry deciduous forest.
      • Floral Elements: Teak, Saja, Dhaora, Ber, Amla, among others.


      • Wildlife: Hosts a variety of species including tigers, leopards, wolves, jackals, Indian foxes, striped hyenas, Nilgai, Chinkara, Chital, Sambhar, Black Buck, Barking deer, Common Langur, and Rhesus Macaque.
      • Critically Endangered Raptors: One of the few remaining strongholds for the White-Rumped and Indian Vultures.

Conservation Efforts

      • Green Corridor: A green corridor linking Panna Tiger Reserve (PTR) with Durgavati will be developed to facilitate the natural movement of tigers to the new reserve.


The Veerangana Durgavati Tiger Reserve is a significant conservation area in Madhya Pradesh, boasting rich biodiversity and critical habitats. The recent inquiry underscores the need for stringent measures to protect this vital ecosystem and ensure its sustainable management.



Recently, the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) has enhanced its Regional Analysis of Indian Ocean (RAIN) system, marking a significant advancement in ocean monitoring capabilities. This upgrade integrates new parameters and technologies to bolster the accuracy and scope of oceanographic data collection and analysis.

About Regional Analysis of Indian Ocean System

      • Development and Purpose: Developed by INCOIS, the RAIN system is a sophisticated data assimilation system aimed at monitoring the health of the Indian Ocean.
      • Previous Version: Initially focused on salinity and sea surface temperature, the upgraded version now incorporates sea surface height anomaly (SSHA) data.
      • Implementation: Under development since 2023, the new version has recently been deployed, enhancing its operational capabilities.

Key Enhancements in the Upgraded RAIN System

      • Inclusion of SSHA: By incorporating SSHA, the system now provides a more comprehensive view of ocean dynamics, including vertical oceanographic features.
      • Expanded Observation Scope: Observations now span depths from 3 meters to 2,000 meters, optimizing ocean model accuracy and reliability.
      • Improved Ocean Current Analysis: The additional data inputs have significantly enhanced the precision of ocean current predictions and analyses.

Key Facts about Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS)

      • Establishment and Affiliation: Established in 1999 under the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), INCOIS operates as a unit of the Earth System Science Organization (ESSO).
      • Mandate: INCOIS is mandated to provide comprehensive ocean information and advisory services to various stakeholders, including society, industry, government agencies, and the scientific community.


      • Tsunami Monitoring: It operates the Indian Tsunami Early Warning Centre (ITEWC), offering 24/7 monitoring and warning services for coastal populations against tsunamis, storm surges, and high waves.
      • Regional Tsunami Service Provider: Recognized by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, ITEWC serves as a Regional Tsunami Service Provider (RTSP) for Indian Ocean Rim countries.
      • Advisories to Fisherfolk: INCOIS provides daily advisories to fishermen, aiding them in locating abundant fishing areas, thereby optimizing fuel efficiency and time management.


The upgrade of INCOIS’s RAIN system reflects India’s commitment to advancing oceanographic research and services. By integrating cutting-edge technologies and expanding its observational capabilities, INCOIS continues to play a pivotal role in safeguarding marine environments and supporting sustainable ocean resource management.



Denisovans, an extinct hominid species closely related to modern humans, have intrigued scientists since their discovery in 2010. They lived across diverse environments, from Siberian mountains to Southeast Asian jungles, during the last Ice Age.

Key Points

      • Discovery and Identification: Discovered in 2010 from a Siberian cave, Denisovans are a recent addition to the human evolutionary tree.
      • Geographical Range: They inhabited regions spanning from Siberia to Southeast Asia.
      • Genetic Relationships: DNA evidence reveals Denisovans interbred with both Neanderthals and modern humans, sharing a common ancestor with both.
      • Physical Characteristics: Likely had dark skin, hair, and eyes, adapted to their environments.
      • Genetic Diversity: Their genome suggests low genetic diversity, indicating a potentially small population size.


Denisovans represent an important chapter in human evolution, offering insights into ancient human migrations, adaptations to diverse environments, and genetic intermixing among early hominids. Their genetic legacy continues to be a subject of ongoing research, shedding light on the complexity of human ancestry and evolution.



NASA is poised to launch the CubeSat Radio Interferometry Experiment (CURIE) mission, aiming to investigate the origins of solar radio waves using innovative space-based technology.

      • Mission Objective: CURIE seeks to unravel the mysteries surrounding solar radio emissions, a phenomenon observed decades ago.
      • Technological Innovation: It employs low frequency radio interferometry, a pioneering technique never before used in space missions.
      • Spacecraft Configuration: CURIE comprises two small spacecraft, each no larger than a shoebox, orbiting approximately two miles apart around Earth.
      • Radio Wave Detection: The spacecraft will detect radio waves in the frequency range of 0.1 to 19 megahertz, which are typically inaccessible from Earth’s surface due to atmospheric interference, making space-based observations essential.
      • Orbit and Operations: Positioned 360 miles above Earth, CURIE will achieve an unobstructed view of the Sun to precisely locate the origins of radio emissions.
      • Data Collection: Upon deployment, each spacecraft will deploy eight-foot antennas to commence data collection and analysis.
      • Significance: This mission not only enhances our understanding of solar phenomena but also pioneers future space-based radio astronomy endeavors.


The CURIE mission, supported by NASA’s Heliophysics Flight Opportunities for Research and Technology (H-FORT) Program, represents a significant leap in space-based radio astronomy. By leveraging miniaturized spacecraft and advanced interferometry techniques, CURIE aims to uncover fundamental insights into solar radio emissions, paving the way for enhanced space weather forecasting and deeper understanding of our Sun’s behavior.


July 11
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