Current Affairs for today- 17th October 2019

GS Paper I, Paper II

Ayodhya final verdict reserved after a 40-day marathon hearing


The century-old disputed land of 2.77 acres of Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land with the Allahabad High Court’s historic judgement of September-December 2010, that the disputed land be divided into three parts: one part-third to Ram Lalla, one-third part to Islamic Waqf Board and the remaining third to Nirmohi Akhara, has heightened with the recent set-up of a mediation panel to resolve the issue failed.

Current status of the case

The Waqf Board comments on the conditions for settlement that the Government must actively renovate the existing mosques after they submit the list of all the mosques in Ayodhya under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and have no adversary to the setting up of a mosque in any other suitable place. They are ready to drop their claims to the temple-mosque site and have no objection in the land being handed over to the government to construct a Ram temple.

Who are the three blocs involved in the fight for ownership?

Nirmohi Akhara:

  • They are a staunch religious denomination and belong to one of the fourteen akharas recognized by the Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad and they believe in Vaishnava Sampradaya.
  • This wealthy sect was established by Ramananda and they are known to own mathas and temples in Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
  • They are ascetics who master the ancient Vedic texts and Upanishads. In 1885, Nirmohi Akhara filed a suit with the sub-judge of Faizabad, seeking consent to construct a temple to Rama in the Ram Chabutra, the area adjoining the disputed land.
  • However, they are still living in the hope that they can reclaim the land to serve Lord Rama, but the court held that two large religious structures in proximity could be a threat to the communal and public order in the sensitive area.

Waqf Board

“Waqf”, in Sunni jurisprudence according to the Islamic Texts literally means handing over or inheritance of waqf property/ endowment. It legally confines or prohibits a specific thing under the ownership of the waqf and devoting its profit to the poor. It involves the donation of a building, plot of land or other assets for Muslim charitable purposes without any intention of reclaiming the assets.  The history of the legal Muslim endowment dates back to 9th Century AD.

The Central Wakf Council, India is a statutory body established under in 1964 under the Government of India under Wakf Act, 1954, now a sub0section of Wakf Act, 1995. It was established for the purpose of advising it on the working and administration of State Waqf Boards. The survey commissioner lists the waqf by taking up local investigations, summoning witnesses and requisitioning public documents. The waqf in funded to maintain and finance educational institutions, graveyards, mosques and shelter homes and is a continuing entity.

Such a board that has the legal jurisdiction to hold, access and transfer the property and has the legal contention to sue and be sued in court and can hoard both Shias and Sunnis in their juristic panel.  In the Rambhoomi dispute, the Sunni Waqf Board moved to court in 1961 against forceful Idol installation and seeking for the possession of the mosque and adjoining land.

Ram Lalla

Backed by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, it is the presiding deity in the Janmabhoomi at Shwethambar, Ayodhya, the Hindus believe that is the birthplace of Lord Rama. Ram Lalla represents the Hindu majority with forerunners Hindu Mahasabha, Shiv Sena and BJP.

GS Paper III

20th Livestock Census – Cattle Diary 2019


The livestock census is conducted across the country periodically since 1919. The census usually covers all domesticated animals and headcounts of these animals are taken.


Livestock census actually covers the census of livestock, poultry, implements and machinery used for livestock rearing. It is an important report to the policymakers, dairy industries, poultry market, agriculturists, etc.

The 20th Livestock Census was carried out in about 6.6 lakh villages and 89 thousand urban wards across the country in 2019.

Keynotes of the census for India

  • Livestock population in India rises 4.6 per cent to nearly 536 million
  • The number of female cattle is 145.12 million, which is 18 per cent over 122.98 million in 2012
  • 16.8% increase in poultry population with an exceptionally surprising 6% rise in backyard poultry birds
  • 6% decline in the total number of indigenous cattle while on the contrary, the population of total exotic/crossbred cattle has increased by 26.9% in 2019 over the previous census.
  • Milch animals (cows and buffaloes) increases by 6% and stands at 125.34 million compared to the previous census

Why livestock is important for a growing economy?

  • Alternative to agriculture means of livelihood and a major risk mitigation strategy to small and marginal farmers in well-drained regions of the country.
  • Livestock products comprise a wholesome of 32% of the total GDP value of agriculture and its allied sectors.
  • The spine of the country lies in its rural hinterland that mainly depends on crop harvest, and livestock activities provide subsistent support and income to the women who lead animal rearing businesses to cope during distress and bad weather conditions.
  • Important role in poverty alleviation programmes to keep the livestock rearing the centre stage of livelihood and economic inclusion.
  • The livestock wealth adds up more equity than the land does to the last standing poor man.

GS Paper II

China leases an entire Pacific island for 75 years


Tulagi, a small island in the chain of Solomon Islands derives its name being the capital of the British Solomon Islands Protectorate (South Pacific headquarters) and is today the capital of the Province.

Its natural deep-water harbor was a military gem for which the soldiers fought and died across the Guadal canal.

Source: Google image search

What’s in the news?

China signs a renewable lease agreement with the provincial government in the South Pacific nation, via a conglomerate Chinese enterprise called China Sam. There will be an enormous exchange and sanction for infrastructure and development at the behest of China that worries the US officials as the chain of islands was the pretext to keep China in check and secure the sea routes.

Why the secretive lease agreement?

  • Rich natural resources available and marking it as a Special Economic Zone (SEC) for the development of whatsoever may be the suitable industry.
  • Possible opportunity to establish a military foothold from ships to aeroplanes designed with its own GPS.
  • Pushing the status of the region from the diplomatic threshold of Taiwan.
  • Infrastructure enhancing the potential to share the military and civilian uses.
  • Possible building of oil and natural gas terminal and enhancement/ construction of an airport.

Worrisome Australia and USA

China’s exploring moves are seen as troublesome, as it echoes the mistake Japan committed during the Second World War of wresting control over island assets that ended up in a bloody battle that the American and Australian troops won.

But, chief diplomats say that China only invests in a risk where it sees value and interest and that it is simply knocking the doors unchecked by the US.

GS Paper II

Van Dhan Internship Programme


It is organized by TRIFED(Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India) under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs has recently been launched by the government. Consists of 18 Minister’s interns from reputed institutes of rural management, social work and social services.

Van Dhan Yojana was launched in 2018, in Chhattisgarh. A Van Dhan Vikas Kendra was set up under the program. The Ministry of Tribal Affairs launched the Van Dhan Internship Programme on October 17, 2019.

Aims and objectives?

  1. They have been selected to improve the living standards and the output of the tribal community gearing their self-reliance and efficiency.
  2. They will support TRIFED activities on livelihood promotion, marketing and credit linkages, etc.
  3. They will develop tools and techniques on institutional development including a mechanism for determination of a just price or producer price of Minor Forest Products.
  4. Van Dhan Kendra will help the formation of around 10 SHGs of thirty tribal gatherers each that will boost the economic development of tribals involved in the Minor Forest Produce (MFP) to provide a sustainable livelihood and build self-made entrepreneurs.
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About the Author

Manasa Sastry

Masters degree holder in Forensic Science. Currently, a UPSC Aspirant helping fellow learners to sort their daily current affairs preparation. Loves to learn and help others. Music, dance and art are just a few of my many hobbies.

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