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May 29 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm



In India, the right to vote and the right to be elected are governed by specific sections of the Representation of People Act, 1951 (RP Act).  

While the Supreme Court has recognized free and fair elections as essential to the constitutional framework, it has also clarified that these rights are statutory rather than fundamental.  

Section 8 of the RP Act outlines disqualifications for contesting elections, while Section 62(5) addresses voting rights of confined persons. Legal challenges and exceptions to these provisions have shaped the landscape of electoral participation in the country. 

Statutory Rights 

  • Supreme Court Ruling: The right to vote and be elected are statutory rights, not fundamental rights. 
  • Indira Gandhi v. Raj Narain (1975): Free and fair elections are part of the Constitution’s basic structure. 
  • Kuldip Nayar v. Union of India (2006): Voting rights can be regulated by laws enacted by Parliament. 

Disqualification from Elections 

  • Section 8 of RP Act, 1951: Disqualification on conviction for specific offences. 
  • Conviction: Disqualified from contesting elections from the date of conviction and six years after release. 
  • Charges: Not disqualified if only charged, not convicted. 

Legal Challenges 

  • Public Interest Foundation (2011): Petition to disqualify persons with criminal charges framed against them was rejected. 
  • Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay (2016): Petition for permanent disqualification for convicted persons is ongoing. 

voting rights while in CUSTODY 

Those convicted of a crime: After conviction and sentencing, they are disqualified from voting for a specific period. 

Under-trial prisoners: These are individuals who have been arrested but not yet convicted. They also lose their voting rights while in jail. 

legal framework: 

  • Constitution: Article 326 of the Indian Constitution guarantees the right to vote. 
  • Representation of the People Act, 1951: Section 62(5) of this Act restricts the voting rights of those “confined in a prison” or “in the lawful custody of the police.” 


  • There is a limited exception for people in preventive detention.  These individuals are detained without trial, often for security reasons. They can potentially vote through postal ballots under specific regulations. 

Debate and Challenges: 

  • Disenfranchisement of under-trial prisoners is a debated topic. Some argue it unfairly restricts their fundamental rights without due process. 
  • There have been legal challenges to Section 62(5) arguing for the right of under-trial prisoners to vote. However, courts have upheld the current restrictions. 

Exceptions to Disqualification 

  • Section 11 of RP Act: ECI can reduce or remove the disqualification period. 
  • Example: Sikkim CM Prem Singh Tamang’s disqualification period was reduced in 2019. 
  • Stay on Conviction: Disqualification ceases if conviction is stayed on appeal. 

Voting Rights of Confined Persons 

  • Section 62(5) of RP Act, 1951: No voting rights for individuals in prison or lawful police custody. 
  • Preventive Detention Exception: Individuals under preventive detention can vote. 

Supreme Court Ruling (1997): Upheld Section 62(5), stating: 

  • Right to vote is a statutory right. 
  • Resource constraints and security concerns justify the restriction. 
  • Reasonable to keep individuals with criminal backgrounds away from elections. 
  • Recent Reliance: Supreme Court (2023) and Delhi High Court (2020) dismissed pleas for prisoner voting rights based on the 1997 ruling. 

Multiple Choice Question: 

  1. Consider the following statements regarding the voting rights of arrested persons in India:
  1. All persons who have been apprehended by law enforcement officials, regardless of a formal conviction, are ineligible to vote in elections. 
  1. The Representation of the People Act, 1951, grants the right to vote through postal ballots to individuals who are incarcerated while awaiting trial. 
  1. The Supreme Court of India, in recent pronouncements, has validated the restriction on voting rights for those who are under judicial proceedings but not yet convicted. 

Which of the statements given above is/are correct? 

  1. 1 only 
  1. 2 and 3 only 
  1. 1 and 3 only 
  1. None of the above 



In India, arrested persons generally lose their voting rights while in custody. This applies to both: 

Convicted Individuals: After sentencing, they are disqualified from voting for a specific period. 

Under-trial Prisoners: These are individuals arrested but not yet convicted. They also lose their voting rights while detained. 

The Constitution: Article 326 guarantees the right to vote, but there are exceptions. 

The Representation of the People Act, 1951: Section 62(5) restricts voting rights for those “confined in a prison” or “in the lawful custody of the police.” 

The Representation of the People Act, as mentioned earlier, disenfranchises those in custody. There’s no provision for postal ballots for under-trial prisoners. 

The Supreme Court has, in past judgments, upheld the disenfranchisement of under-trial prisoners based on Section 62(5) of the Act. 



The 2024 general election in India has seen the Constitution emerge as a central issue of contestation, with significant implications for political mobilization and voter behaviour. 

This concern is not isolated; it reflects a broader anxiety among various voter groups about preserving the fundamental rights and principles enshrined in the Constitution. 


  • Chakkipat Neighborhood, Agra: Flags of B.R. Ambedkar with “kalam ka badshah” highlight his role in drafting the Constitution. 
  • Jatav Men’s Vote: Once BSP supporters, they voted for BJP in 2019 but now oppose BJP due to concerns about the Constitution. 

Contestation of the Constitution 

  • BJP’s “400 Paar” Claim: Implies potential for changing the Constitution. 
  • Opposition’s Response: Leaders like Akash Anand and Akhilesh Yadav emphasize protecting the Constitution. 

Constitutional Principles vs. Ordinary Laws 

  • Constitutional Principles: Fundamental rights of a higher order every citizen must obey. 
  • Ordinary Laws: Govern society and can be discriminatory but are challengeable. 
  • Role of Constitution: Provides a basis for challenging discriminatory laws. 

Public Perception 

  • Concerns Among Voters: Fear of discrimination (bhedbhav) and the importance of protecting constitutional rights. 
  • Reservations: Seen as a critical constitutional provision protecting disadvantaged groups. 

Political Mobilization in North India 

  • Historical Context: Reservations emerged to address historical disadvantages. 
  • BJP’s Strategy: Cross-caste Hindu coalition and 103rd Amendment for EWS reservations. 
  • Current Election: Focus on the Constitution signifies deeper concerns beyond Mandal politics. 

Contradictions in Constitutional Discourse 

  • Secularism: Primarily a concern for Muslim voters amidst Hindu-Muslim tensions. 
  • Hindu Voters: Focus more on caste-based issues than communal rhetoric. 


  • Voter Concerns: Highlight anxieties over democratic erosion. 
  • Impact on Election: Constitutional issues could influence voter behavior and challenge BJP’s dominance. 

Facts about the Indian Constitution 

  • Adopted: November 26, 1949 (came into effect on January 26, 1950) 
  • Drafting Committee Chair: Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, known as the “Father of the Indian Constitution” 

Second-longest active constitution in the world (after amendment) 

  • Originally: 395 articles, 8 schedules, 22 parts 
  • Currently: 470 articles, 12 schedules, 25 parts 

The Constitution establishes India as a: 

  • Sovereign 
  • Socialist 
  • Secular 
  • Democratic Republic 

It also defines the powers and functions of the government and enshrines fundamental rights for all Indian citizens. 

Multiple choice question: 

  1. Consider the following statements regarding the Amendment of the Indian Constitution:
  1. A bill for amending the Constitution can be introduced in either House of Parliament. 
  1. Amendments to the Fundamental Rights require ratification by half of the State Legislatures. 
  1. The President’s assent is mandatory for all Constitutional amendments. 

Which of the statements given above is/are correct? 

  1. 1 only 
  1. 2 and 3 only 
  1. 1 and 3 only 
  1. 1, 2 and 3 



A bill for amending the Constitution can be introduced in either House of Parliament (Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha). 

Not all amendments require ratification by State Legislatures. Only amendments affecting federalism (distribution of legislative powers between Centre and States) or those mentioned in the special provisions for amending certain articles (Article 368) require ratification by half of the State Legislatures. 

The President’s assent is not mandatory for all Constitutional amendments. While the President’s assent is sought for a bill, they can withhold their assent in some cases. However, the Parliament can override the President’s veto by repassing the bill with a special majority in both houses. 



In 2024 general election in India, the absence of sign language interpreters in election announcements highlights the ongoing exclusion of Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) citizens from many aspects of daily life.  

This exclusion extends to education, healthcare, and employment, reflecting the need for significant changes to support the DHH community and ensure their full inclusion in society. 

Exclusion in Everyday Life 

  • Election Announcement: Absence of sign language interpreters in ECI’s announcement video. 
  • General Exclusion: DHH citizens face barriers in education, healthcare, and daily life activities. 

Education System Issues 

  • National Programme: Focuses on medical rehabilitation but neglects quality of life and ISL. 
  • Oralism vs. Sign Language: Education emphasizes oralism, neglecting ISL, which can aid cognitive development and prevent linguistic deprivation. 

Lack of ISL Recognition 

  • Official Status: ISL is not recognized as an official language despite recommendations from the National Education Policy 2020. 
  • Training: Most educators in deaf schools are not trained in ISL. 

Statistics and Inclusion 

  • Hearing-Impaired Population: Estimates range from 5 million (Census 2011) to 63 million (WHO). 
  • School Attendance: Only 5% of deaf children attend school. 
  • Employment Challenges: Government initiatives often fail; employment opportunities are limited and inadequate. 

Everyday Accessibility Challenges 

  • Public Announcements: Lack of accessible information in public transport, TV, and public structures. 
  • Media and Entertainment: Few accessible options; private news channels do not follow Doordarshan’s example of ISL news segments. 

Healthcare Access 

  • Lack of Interpreters: Hospitals and mental healthcare lack trained interpreters. 
  • Mental Healthcare Act 2017: Promises care for all but is poorly implemented. 


  • Official ISL Recognition: ISL should be recognized as an official language. 
  • Education Integration: ISL should be naturalized in schools, taught by DHH individuals. 
  • Healthcare Updates: Ensure accessible communication and support for DHH individuals in healthcare. 
  • Media Accessibility: Increase ISL interpretation and subtitles in media. 
  • Government Announcements: Should include live ISL interpreters. 

Challenges faced by the deaf and mute community  

Communication Barriers: 

  • Limited Sign Language Awareness: Public interaction often relies on spoken language, leaving deaf individuals struggling to understand announcements, ask questions, or access information. 
  • Absence of Sign Language Interpreters: Important public services like legal proceedings, healthcare consultations, or educational lectures lack sign language interpretation, creating a communication gap. 

Information Accessibility: 

  • Inaccessible Signage: Public signage, emergency alerts, and transportation information are primarily text-based, excluding deaf individuals who rely on visual cues. 
  • Limited Availability of Assistive Technologies: Text-to-speech converters, captioning services, and other assistive technologies are often scarce in public spaces, hindering independent navigation and information access. 

Social Stigma and Isolation: 

  • Misconceptions about Deafness: The deaf community can face social stigma due to a lack of awareness about deafness as a linguistic difference, not a disability. 
  • Difficulties in Building Relationships: Communication challenges can lead to social isolation and hinder forming meaningful connections. 

Government Policy Measures to Improve Signage 

  • Mandate for Inclusive Signage: Introduce legislation requiring public spaces (government buildings, transportation hubs, healthcare facilities) to display signage in combination of text and universal symbols. 
  • Promoting Sign Language Literacy: Encourage sign language training programs for government officials and service providers to ensure effective communication with the deaf community. 
  • Investing in Assistive Technologies: Increase accessibility by providing text-to-speech converters, captioning services, and visual alert systems in public spaces. 
  • Raising Public Awareness: Launch awareness campaigns to educate the public about deafness and the importance of inclusive communication practices. 

Multiple Choice Question  

  1. Which of the following features is/are NOT essential to constitutionalism?
  1. Rule of Law 
  1. Separation of Powers 
  1. Unitary System of Government 
  1. Limited Government 



Rule of Law: This is a core principle of constitutionalism, where everyone, including the government, is subject to the law. 

Separation of Powers: Power is divided among different branches of government (legislature, executive, judiciary) to prevent concentration and ensure checks and balances. 

Limited Government: The government’s power is not absolute and is restricted by the constitution, protecting individual rights. 



Recent deadly fires in Rajkot, Gujarat, and Delhi have highlighted the critical need for stringent fire safety regulations and enforcement in public buildings. These incidents have led to investigations, legal actions, and increased scrutiny of existing safety measures to prevent future tragedies. 

Recent Incidents 

  • Rajkot Fire: A deadly fire at TRP Game Zone in Rajkot, Gujarat, on May 25 killed at least 32 people. The building was a metal structure, trapping victims inside. 
  • Delhi Fire: The same day, a fire in Vivek Vihar, Delhi, killed seven babies in a hospital. Improper storage of oxygen cylinders worsened the blaze. 

Fire Regulations 

  • Model Building Bye-Laws, 2016: Provide the framework for State fire safety regulations. 
  • National Building Code (NBC): Part 4 specifies fire safety norms. 
  • Gujarat Regulations: Require Chief Fire Officer’s opinion and adherence to fire safety provisions. 

Court Interventions 

  • High Court Actions: Gujarat High Court took suo motu cognisance, leading to scrutiny of fire safety enforcement and unauthorised venues. 
  • Uphaar Tragedy: 1997 fire in Delhi’s Uphaar cinema led to convictions and highlighted the importance of adhering to fire safety laws. 

Fire Safety Enforcement 

  • Regulatory Challenges: Practical difficulties and lack of trained manpower cited by the State government. 
  • Recent Data: In 2022, there were 241 fires in commercial buildings and 42 in government buildings, killing 257 people (NCRB data). 

Effective fire safety regulations are absolutely necessary.  

  • Saving Lives and Preventing Injuries: Fires can be deadly and cause devastating injuries. Regulations ensure proper fire safety measures are in place, like fire alarms, sprinklers, and clear exits, which can significantly reduce casualties. 
  • Minimizing Property Damage: Fires can destroy homes, businesses, and entire communities. Regulations on building materials, fireproofing, and electrical systems help prevent fires and minimize damage if they do occur. 
  • Promoting Public Safety: Fire safety regulations create a safer environment for everyone. They ensure buildings are designed and maintained to allow for safe evacuation and minimize the spread of fire. 
  • Business Continuity: Fires can disrupt business operations for extended periods. Fire safety regulations help businesses avoid costly downtime and ensure the safety of employees and customers. 
  • Reduced Strain on Emergency Services: By preventing fires and minimizing their impact, regulations reduce the burden on fire departments and other emergency services. 

Challenges in implementing and enforcing them effectively.  

  • Balancing Cost and Safety: Implementing fire safety measures can be expensive, especially for older buildings or smaller businesses. Striking a balance between affordability and effectiveness is a constant struggle. 
  • Enforcement Challenges: Ensuring consistent enforcement of regulations can be difficult, particularly in areas with limited resources or a lack of qualified inspectors. 
  • Keeping Up with Technological Advancements: New building materials, construction techniques, and potential fire hazards emerge all the time. Regulations need to be regularly reviewed and updated to address these evolving risks. 

Finding solutions to these challenges requires a multifaceted approach: 

  • Government Support: Financial assistance can help offset the cost of implementing fire safety measures, particularly for lower-income communities or struggling businesses. 
  • Collaboration: Fire safety professionals, architects, engineers, and building owners need to work together to develop cost-effective and innovative solutions. 
  • Public Education: Comprehensive fire safety education programs can raise awareness, encourage responsible behavior, and promote compliance. 
  • Research and Development: Investing in research to develop new fire-resistant materials, detection systems, and suppression technologies can lead to more effective and affordable fire safety solutions. 
  • Public Awareness and Compliance: Even with strong regulations, people’s awareness and willingness to comply can vary. Education campaigns and enforcement are essential to ensure everyone prioritizes fire safety. 
  • Competing Interests: Sometimes, fire safety regulations may clash with other priorities, such as historical preservation or architectural design freedom. Finding solutions that balance both aspects is crucial. 



INS Kiltan arrived at Muara, Brunei. It received a warm welcome from the Royal Brunei Navy. 

General Information: 

  • INS Kiltan is an indigenously built anti-submarine warfare stealth corvette. 
  • It is the third ship in the Kamorta-class series, built under Project 28. 
  • Named after Kiltan Island in the Lakshadweep and Minicoy group. 

Design and Construction: 

  • Designed by the Directorate of Naval Design, an in-house organization of the Indian Navy. 
  • Constructed by Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE) in Kolkata. 


First major Indian warship with a carbon fibre composite superstructure. 

  • Benefits: Improved stealth, reduced top weight, lower maintenance costs. 

Equipped with indigenous advanced weapons and sensors. 

  • Includes heavyweight torpedoes, anti-submarine warfare (ASW) rockets. 
  • Armament: 76 mm Medium Range gun, two 30 mm CIWS with fire control systems. 
  • Defense systems: Missile decoy rockets (Chaff), advanced ESM system. 
  • Surveillance: Advanced bow-mounted sonar and air surveillance radar. 



Oedocladium sahyadricum is Discovered by phycologists from the Department of Botany, Catholicate College, Pathanamthitta. Located in the Western Ghats, also known as Sahyadri. 


  • Named Oedocladium sahyadricum. 
  • ‘Sahyadricum’ refers to the Western Ghats, a region with rich plant diversity. 


  • Dioecious and terrestrial alga. 
  • Features a superior operculum, ellipsoid oogonium, and oospore. 
  • Found as a thin mat of elongated strands on moist soil. 
  • Resembles moss protonema. 
  • Velvety green in colour, turning yellowish-green as it matures. 
  • Grows abundantly in rainy weather. 


First Oedocladium species recorded in Kerala. 

Species of Oedocladium have potential applications in: 

  • Medicine: Used for various health benefits. 
  • Agriculture: Can be utilized to improve crop yields. 
  • Production of Astaxanthin: A natural pigment known for its unique biological activities and health benefits. 

Role of Algae: 

  • Play a significant role in ecosystems. 
  • Economically important for a variety of applications, including high-value products and wastewater treatment. 



The Kerala government allowed the Kerala Forest Development Corporation (KFDC) to plant eucalyptus trees for financial sustenance in 2024-2025. 

About Eucalyptus: 

  • A large genus with over 660 species of shrubs and tall trees in the myrtle family (Myrtaceae). 
  • Some of the tallest trees globally are eucalypti. 
  • Native to Australia, Tasmania, and nearby islands. 
  • Known as gum trees or stringybark trees in Australia. 
  • Widely cultivated as shade trees and in forestry plantations worldwide. 


  • Gum-infused bark, long stems, and circular leaves that are hard to digest if eaten whole. 
  • Small flowers in various colors: white, yellow, and shades of red. 
  • Small woody capsules containing seeds. 


  • Medicinal: Contains cineole (eucalyptol), flavonoids, and tannins. 
  • Relieves congestion, eases breathing, pain relief for muscles and joints, and improves blood circulation. 
  • Eucalyptus oil: Strong-smelling, used to treat common diseases and as a topical remedy. 
  • Wood: Tough and durable, used for furniture and fences. 

Eucalyptus Plantations in India: 

  • Common species: Eucalyptus tereticornis and Eucalyptus hybrid. 
  • Widely grown in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Mysore, Kerala, and the Nilgiri Hills. 
  • Thrives in deep, fertile, well-drained loamy soil with adequate moisture. 



The strongest earthquake in decades hit the Campi Flegrei supervolcano region in Italy recently. 

Location and Description: 

  • Campi Flegrei, or Phlegrean Fields, is an active volcanic area near Naples, Italy. 
  • Unlike Mount Vesuvius, it is a volcanic system with several centres within a caldera. 
  • The caldera is about 12-15 km (7.5-9.3 miles) in diameter. 

Formation and History: 

  • Formed 39,000 years ago after a massive eruption emptied its magma chamber. 
  • This eruption is hypothesized to have contributed to the decline of the Neanderthals. 
  • One third of the caldera lies under the Tyrrhenian Sea. 


  • Largest active caldera in Europe, much larger and more active than Vesuvius. 
  • In a restless state since 1950 due to bradyseism (gradual surface movement from magma chamber activity). 


  • Last erupted in 1538, forming Monte Nuovo. 
  • The 1538 eruption was minor compared to previous events, occurring after a 3000-year interval. 
  • Considered a super volcano with potential for eruptions that can have worldwide effects. 


May 29
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
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