Current Affairs 25th December, 2018


Topics covered

1. History - India after Independence




What to read?

Prelims –Commemorative Coins

Mains – Vajpayee’s role in Nation Building

PM Narendra Modi released this morning a commemorative coin worth Rs 100 in honour of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Commemorative Coins of India

• The first Indian commemorative coin was issued in 1964 to mourn the death of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India in one and half rupee.

• Since then, numerous coins of these types on almost all denomination from 5 paisa to 10 rupees have been issued.

• These coins based on famous personalities (usually issued on their birth or death centenary, or in rare cases on their death), government programmes and social messages.

• These specially marketed packages can be either uncirculated sets or proof sets, the latter being more expensive.

The UNC (uncirculated) sets and proof sets are issued by IG (Indian Government) mint, Alipore, Kolkata or IG mint, Mumbai.


• Commemorative coins are made at various mints across India including the ones at

Mumbai, Noida, Kolkata and Hyderabad.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s contribution to India's future

AB Vajpayee was not just politician but a classic statesman who was the first non-Congress PM to complete five years term.

He is a true statesman, and a Bharat Ratna in every aspect.

Strong Foreign policy

After Cold War and liberalization of the Indian economy, Vajpayee boosted trade and bilateral relations with the US. Besides promoting economic ties between India and China, he formed a new structured mechanism fotpr high-level dialogue to resolve the border dispute between the two countries. Besides, his new policy of ‘Look East’ policy helped in improving India’s ties with countries in South-East Asia and East Asia.

Peace with Pakistan

AB Vajpayee’s greatest foreign policy moves lay in his efforts to initiate peace with Pakistan. In February 19, 1999, he inaugurated the Delhi-Lahore bus service and travelled in it to meet his counterpart Nawaz Sharif. This incident is considered as the symbol of international diplomacy and Vajpayee was appreciated for his efforts. The action paved way for the two PMs to agree on the Lahore Declaration, which put forth common goals of peace and had several contents, including nuclear non-proliferation and increased trade relations.

Pokran – 2 nuclear test

This event is often portrayed the best achievements of Vajpayee’s reign, where nuclear bomb tests, were conducted secretly at the Pokhran Test Range in Rajasthan’s Jaisalmer

district in May 1998. Under Pokhran-II, five underground nuclear bomb explosions took place on May 1998, this is termed as the biggest intelligence failure in US military history.

It is termed as a courageous decision made India a nuclear weapons power despite from Western Powers.

Kargil War

Operation Vijay was the name of the Indian operation to clear the Kargil sector. It was fought between May and July 1999 and was necessitated after Pakistani soldiers and armed militants belonging to Kashmir infiltrated into India across the Line of Control.

PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee declared the operation successful on July 14, the operation was officially declared closed on July 26, 1999.

Probable Mains Question

Atal Bihari Vajpayee, known for his brave decisions is a man of action with a clear vision. Substantiate.


Topics Covered

1. India – Freedom struggle

Pt. Mdan Mohan Malaviya

What to read?

Prelims and Mains – Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya and his role in Indian freedom struggle

Prime Minister has paid his tributes to Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya on his Jayanti.

Madan Mohan Malvia

He was an Indian educationist and politician notable for his role in the Indian independence movement and Malaviya became president of the Indian National Congress as many as four times.

He was respectfully addressed as ‘Mahamana’.

His multifaceted personality made him, a great patriot, an educationist with a vision, a social reformer, an ardent journalist, reluctant but effective lawyer, a successful parliamentarian and an outstanding statesman.

Among Malaviyaji’s many achievements, the most monumental was the establishment of the Banaras Hindu University or Kashi Hindu Vishvavidyalaya. Malaviya ji was one of the founders of Scouting in India.

He also founded a highly influential, English-newspaper, The Leader published from Allahabad in 1909

Pandit ji was posthumously conferred with Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, on 24 December 2014, a day before his 153rd Birth Anniversary

His association with Freedom Movement


Mahatma Gandhi considered him to be his conscience-keeper and called him his elder brother on public platforms. Still, Malaviya didn’t hesitate in disagreeing with the Mahatma when it came to principles. During the Quit India Movement of 1942, when Bapu asked students to boycott schools, Malaviya publicly expressed his displeasure.

Boycotting educational institutes was something Malaviya considered antithetical to the nation’s interests. “If children don’t study, how can they prepare for running the country,” was Malaviya’s reasoning.

He was one of the signatories of Poona pact.

172 people were sentenced to be hung in the Chauri Chaura case. By then Malaviya had left legal practice owing to politics and social work. Still, he fought the case on their behalf and managed to get 153 people acquitted.

Rabindranath Tagore honoured him with the encomium ‘Mahamana’ (a luminous mind and magnanimous heart).

Probable Mains Question

‘Mahamana’ is a great visionary whom Gandhi recognised as his elder brother had dissented view from Gandhi. So explain how dissent was blissful during the freedom movement among the leaders.


Topics covered

1. Governance 2. Cyber Security

Tracing of fake news


What to read?
Prelims and Mains – Fake news dissemination – its consequences, Government steps to countervene the combat of fake news

Fake news refers to the deliberate creation of misinformation or hoaxes spread via traditional print and broadcast news media or online social media shaping the belief of people around the nation and world.

Impact along with recent Incidence

Influence Election process: as seen in US presidential election 2016 and Indonesia, Philippines and elsewhere.

Ethnic Violence: led by deception internet content in Myanmar and beating of Assamese students in Bangalore in 2012

Antagonism: led by malicious rumours and fake news during Kaveri water dispute seen in Karnataka especially Bangalore.

Misinformation in Public Domain: via fake news of GPS tracking in newly introduced 2K notes post demonetization

Counter Solutions

Regulating Social media and News Organizations: mandating to put proper checks through rigorous internal editorial and advertising standards and imposing fines upon its inability to stop proliferating of fake news.

Spreading Awareness: about legal and social consequences of fake news

Legislation: properly define broad forms of fake news to avoid unnecessary litigation and putting in place a strong monitoring mechanism for proper implementation.

• Leveraging human resources with existing social media: create WhatsApp group of reliable citizens in every district with District Collector/Commissioner as admin, so rumour spread could be quickly verified, clarification issued, Untoward incident prevented.

In today's technologically advanced and connected world, fake news poses a grave threat to democratic setup. Correct steps need to be taken to ensure the distinction between news, opinion and rumour.

Draft Information Technology Guidelines, 2018



This draft comes close of a recent Supreme Court order that gave a green signal to the government to frame guidelines or a standard operating procedure (SOP) to deal with the publication and proliferation of sexually abusive online content like child pornography, rape and gang rape videos and objectionable material through social media intermediaries like Google, YouTube, Facebook, and WhatsApp.

Centre’s draft SOP include setting up of proactive monitoring tools for auto deletion of unlawful content, deployment of trusted flaggers for identifying and deletion of unlawful content, setting up of a 24/7 mechanism for requisitions of law enforcement agencies, and appointment of India-based contact officers.

Intermediary after being notified by the appropriate authority should remove or disable access to unlawful content within 24 hours in the “interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality, or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence, on its computer resource without vitiating the evidence in any manner”

• The intermediary is also expected to preserve such information and associated records for at least 180 days for investigation purposes as against 90 days now.

• Intermediaries should within 72 hours, provide information or assistance asked for by any government agency “or assistance concerning security of the State or cyber security

Move – Not a regulation of all contents on Social Media

The government clarified that it does not regulate content appearing on social network platforms.

Probable Mains Question

Data theft and Fake news are a big concern all over the world, India is a victim to it even before achieving great Digital penetration. Examine how content monitoring and digital penetration should go hand in hand.


Topics Covered

1. Planning for development 2. Infrastructure

Dredging Market in India


Prelims – NITI Aayog, Dredging Market

Mains – Significance of Opening a dredging market in India

India needs to open up its dredging market to boost trade by its major ports, which currently cannot handle very large vessels in the absence of proper draft depth, government think tank NITI Aayog has said

NITI Aayog

The NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India), is a think tank of the Government of India established on 1 January 2015 as a replacement for the Planning Commission to provide Governments at the central and state levels with relevant strategic, directional and technical advice across the spectrum of key elements of policy / development process

The NITI Aayog also seeks to foster better Inter-Ministry coordination and better Centre-State coordination. To achieve this, NITI Aayog also envisages creation of regional councils comprising of chief ministers of concerned states / central Ministries to address specific issues and contingencies impacting more than one state or region.


  • To evolve a shared vision of national development priorities, sectors and strategies with the active involvement of States in the light of national objectives. The vision of the NITI Aayog will then provide a framework national agenda for the Prime Minister and the Chief Ministers to provide impetus to.
  • To foster cooperative federalism through structured support initiatives and mechanisms with the States on a continuous basis, recognizing that strong States make a strong nation.
  • To develop mechanisms to formulate credible plans at the village level and aggregate these progressively at higher levels of government.
  • To ensure, on areas that are specifically referred to it, that the interests of national security are incorporated in economic strategy and policy.
  • To pay special attention to the sections of our society that may be at risk of not benefitting adequately from economic progress.
  • To design strategic and long term policy and programme frameworks and initiatives, and monitor their progress and their efficacy. The lessons learnt through monitoring and feedback will be used for making innovative improvements, including necessary mid-course corrections.


• More competition, mainly from global players, in dredging activities would help increase and maintain draft depth at ports and attract large vessels, enabling them to become hub ports

Heightening the level of Competition - The government needs to open up the dredging market to attract more players, particularly international players, in dredging activities to increase – at present it is done by Dredging Corporation of India and limited set of private palyers with a limited competition

Action plan made

To enable major ports to handle large vessels, the government has already made an action plan to increase the draft depth of ports.

Most major ports have already achieved a draft depth of 14 metres or more except Kolkata Port, where deeper draft has not been feasible.

Probable Mains Question

Waterways being the largest contributor in Indian trade by volume, needs to achieve a lot more in Infrastructure. Analyse