3 Feb 2024 : Daily Current Affairs

Daily Current Affairs

3-February-2024- Top News of the Day

Stay updated with the Latest 3rd February 2024 Current Affairs. Covering topics: Uniform Civil Code in Uttarakhand, Kendriya Grihmantri Dakshata Padak, 25 crores Indian Lifted Out from multidimensional Poverty- Finance Ministry, Central Bill for PM Rooftop Solar Scheme, and Criminal defamation provision

1. Uttarakhand Expert Committee Proposes Uniform Civil Code with Focus on Tribal Exemption, Gender Equality, and Reforms in Personal Laws

Topic: GS2 – Polity – Indian constitution – Significant provisions

This topic is relevant for both Prelims and Mains in the context of understanding the proposed UCC and its various dimensions. 
  • The expert committee, tasked with drafting the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) for Uttarakhand, has made notable recommendations.
  • The proposal suggests exempting tribal communities, constituting 2.9% of Uttarakhand’s population, from the UCC.
  • Additionally, the committee advocates prioritizing women’s equality, proposing a ban on practices like polygamy and advocating for a uniform marriage age across religions.

More about the news:
Reforming Muslim Personal Law:

  • A significant aspect of the committee’s report is the recommendation to make practices like halala, iddat, and triple talaq, which govern marriage and divorce under Muslim personal law, punishable offenses.
  • The report aims to bring uniformity in the legal age for marriage, applying the same standards across different religions.

Adoption Rights, Registration of Live-In Relationships, and Population Control Measures:

  • The committee proposes uniform adoption rights for all, aligning with existing laws under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act.
  • It also suggests mandatory registration for live-in relationships.
  • Furthermore, the report mentions overwhelming suggestions from stakeholders for uniformity in the number of children for couples and other measures for population control.
  • However, it acknowledges that the Central government will set up a separate committee to address the rising population challenge.

Political Context and Future Implementation:

  • The draft report, divided into four volumes, was submitted to Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami.
  • The UCC Bill is expected to be tabled in the upcoming Uttarakhand Assembly session.
  • Chief Minister Dhami emphasizes the BJP’s commitment to implementing the UCC, fulfilling a promise made before the 2022 Assembly elections.
  • The committee’s recommendations aim to set a model for other states to adopt, with the expectation that the Uttarakhand UCC will be implemented without targeting any specific group.

Concerns and Opposition Response:

  • However, opposition voices express skepticism about the ease of implementing the UCC in Uttarakhand.
  • The Congress spokesperson suggested that the subject falls under the Concurrent List, allowing both the Centre and the State to make laws.
  • Concerns arise about potential conflicts between state and central laws, with the opposition highlighting the need for careful consideration and a broader consensus.
  • The president of the Muslim Seva Sangathan expressed readiness to protest if the UCC draft affects personal and religious rights. 


  • The expert committee’s recommendations touch on various aspects of social and legal reforms, aiming to bring about uniformity and equality in personal laws while addressing specific concerns related to tribal communities, gender equality, and population control.
  • The political and social implications of implementing such a code are expected to unfold in the Uttarakhand Assembly and beyond.
What is Uniform Civil Code?
  • Article 44 of the Indian Constitution, which is a part of the Directive Principles of State Policy, makes reference to the Uniform Civil Code.
  • These guidelines are intended to direct the state in formulating policies, although they are not legally binding.
  • Some have backed it as a means of advancing gender justice and national integration, while others have condemned it as a danger to religious pluralism and freedom.
  • Goa, which was freed from Portuguese dominion in 1961, kept its common family law, known as the Goa Civil Code, and is the only state in India with a UCC.
  • Depending on their religious or communal identification, the people of the rest of India adhere to distinct personal laws. 
PYQ: Discuss the possible factors that inhibit India from enacting for its citizens a uniform civil code as provided for in the Directive Principles of State Policy. (200 words/12.5m) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-2 2015)
Practice Question:  Discuss the potential implications and challenges associated with the proposed Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in Uttarakhand, considering its recommendations on tribal exemption, gender equality, and reforms in personal laws. (250 words/15 m)

2. Ministry of Home Affairs Introduces Kendriya Grihmantri Dakshata Padak by Merging Four Prestigious Medals

Topic: Prelims
Important Facts for Prelims
  • The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has recently unveiled a new medal, the Kendriya Grihmantri Dakshata Padak, consolidating four existing medals.
  • This strategic move is aimed at recognizing and honoring exceptional contributions within the police forces, security organizations, and intelligence branches across the country.

More about the news:
Objectives of the Pre-proposals:

  • The newly introduced Kendriya Grihmantri Dakshata Padak is the result of merging four prestigious medals, namely:
    • The Union Home Minister’s Special Operation Medal,
    • Union Home Minister’s Medal for Excellence in Investigation,
    • Asadharan Aasuchana Kushalata Padak,
    • Union Home Minister’s Awards for Meritorious Service in Forensic Science.

This consolidation streamlines the recognition process and underscores the multifaceted contributions made by various units within the security apparatus.
Criteria for Conferment:

  • The Kendriya Grihmantri Dakshata Padak will be awarded to individuals and units demonstrating excellence in a wide range of operations.
  • Recipients include members of police forces, security organizations, intelligence wings, branches, special branches of states and Union Territories, Central Police Organizations, Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs), National Security Guard (NSG), Assam Rifles, and those contributing significantly to forensic science.

Areas of Excellence:

  • The medal will be conferred for outstanding achievements in various operational domains such as counter-terrorism, border actions, arms control, countering Left Wing Extremism (LWE), prevention of narcotics smuggling, and commendable performances in rescue operations.
  • This indicates a comprehensive approach towards recognizing excellence in diverse fields critical to national security.

Inclusion of Customs Personnel:

  • Personnel from the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs might be considered for the Kendriya Grihmantri Dakshata Padak, emphasizing the cross-functional collaboration and coordination required in addressing modern-day security challenges.


  • The introduction of the Kendriya Grihmantri Dakshata Padak reflects a strategic effort by the Ministry of Home Affairs to streamline and acknowledge exceptional contributions within the security and intelligence apparatus.
  • The consolidation of medals and the recognition of excellence across various operational areas demonstrate a holistic approach to honoring the diverse and crucial roles played by security personnel in safeguarding the nation.

3. Finance Minister Claims 25 Crore Indians Lifted Out of Multidimensional Poverty in the Past Decade: Basis and Analysis

Topic: GS1 – Society – Poverty and developmental issues

GS2 – Social Justice –  Issues relating to poverty and hunger.

This topic is relevant for both Prelims and Mains in the context of understanding the dynamics of poverty alleviation, especially through multidimensional measures.
  • The Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, announced in her Interim Budget speech that 25 crore Indians were lifted out of poverty over the past decade, attributing it to the government’s pursuit of ‘Sabka Saath.’
  • This claim is based on a discussion paper titled “Multidimensional Poverty in India Since 2005-06,” authored by Ramesh Chand and Yogesh Suri from NITI Aayog, with technical inputs from UNDP and OPHI.

More about the news:
Basis of Assessment:

  • The discussion paper reveals a decline in multidimensional poverty in India from 29.17% in 2013-14 to 11.28% in 2022-23, with approximately 82 crore people escaping poverty during this period.
  • State-wise, Uttar Pradesh led with 5.94 crore people escaping poverty, followed by Bihar and Madhya Pradesh.
  • The assessment aligns with the BJP-led government’s ten-year tenure.

Understanding Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI):

  • Traditionally, poverty is gauged based on income or expenditure levels.
  • However, the MPI considers a different approach, incorporating 10 indicators covering health, education, and standard of living, each having a one-third weight in the final index.
  • The health dimension includes nutrition and child & adolescent mortality, education involves schooling and attendance, and the standard of living comprises various household-specific indicators.

Calculation of MPI:

  • The MPI identifies individuals as “MPI poor” if they are deprived in a third or more of the weighted indicators.
  • The index value is derived through three calculations:
    • incidence of multidimensional poverty (H),
    • intensity of poverty (A), and
    • the MPI itself, which is the product of H and A.
  • This approach measures both the proportion of the poor in the population and the intensity of their deprivation. 

Data Calculation for 2013-14 and 2022-23:

  • Health metrics depend on National Family Health Survey (NFHS) rounds, conducted every five years.
  • To calculate the MPI for 2013-14 and 2022-23, interpolation and extrapolation were employed, considering the impact of initiatives launched during the previous decade on poverty and deprivation.
  • The estimates suggest an acceleration in the reduction rate of MPI after 2015-16 compared to the period from 2005-06 to 2015-16.
What is the National Multidimensional Poverty Index?

  • NITI Aayog, as the nodal agency for MPI, has been responsible for constructing an indigenised index for monitoring the performance of States and Union Territories (UTs) in addressing multidimensional poverty.
  • In order to institutionalise this, NITI Aayog constituted an inter-ministerial MPI Coordination Committee (MPICC) including Ministries and departments pertaining to areas such as health, education, nutrition, rural development, drinking water, sanitation, electricity, and urban development, among others.

MPI Coordination Committee (MPICC):

  • Committee with support of others such as the survey implementers of the NFHS — International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS) of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, has been critical in developing the national MPI and ensuring its technical rigour and robustness.
  • It also included experts from the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) and technical partners – OPHI and UNDP.
  • The composition of the MPICC drew from the multidimensional nature of the indicators and sub-indicators within the index.
  • This brought forth cross-sectoral perspectives on policies and interventions needed to improve achievements at the level of households.
PYQ: The Multi-dimensional Poverty Index developed by Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative with UNDP support covers which of the following? (2012)
1) Deprivation of education, health, assets and services at household level
2) Purchasing power parity at national level
3) Extent of budget deficit and GDP growth rate at national level
Select the correct answer using the codes given below:
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
Ans: (a)
Practice Question:  Discuss the significance of the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) as highlighted in the recent report by NITI Aayog. (150 words/10 m)

4. Centre likely to foot bill for PM rooftop solar scheme.

Topic: GS2 – Governance – Government policies – Interventions for development in various sectors

Critical for UPSC as it addresses renewable energy, economic policies, public sector involvement, and sustainable development in India’s context.
  • The news discusses the Pradhan Mantri Suryoday Yojana, outlining a scheme where the Indian government plans to cover the entire setup cost for household rooftop solar systems (h-RTS), potentially costing ₹1 lakh crore.
  • PSUs will take charge of implementation, targeting one crore households. 

Additional information on this news:
Pradhan Mantri Suryoday Yojana for Household Rooftop Solar Systems:

  • The scheme aims to promote household rooftop solar systems (h-RTS) adoption through the Pradhan Mantri Suryoday Yojana.
  • The Centre plans to cover the entire setup cost for households consuming less than 300 units of electricity a month, potentially costing around ₹1 lakh crore.

Government Companies to Take Charge:

  • In a departure from the current approach, Union government companies, including the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), will handle the responsibility instead of individual State-run power distribution companies.

Free Electricity for 1 Crore Families:

  • Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced in the Budget speech that one crore households would receive up to 300 units of free electricity every month, benefiting ₹15,000 to ₹18,000 annually.

Implementation and Funding Model:

  • PSUs like NTPC will identify eligible households in states, install RTS, and subsidize 60% of the installation cost.
  • Beneficiary households pay nothing initially; the PSU takes a loan to cover the remaining cost, repaid from electricity charges exceeding 300 units.

Inclusive Approach for Households with Over 300 Units Consumption:

  • Households exceeding 300 units can participate but must fund the 40% themselves through a loan or self-financing, with potential long-term benefits.

Formation of Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV):

  • Each PSU will form SPVs with private companies to execute the program, ensuring efficient outreach and implementation.

No Specified Budgetary Outlay:

  • While there is no specified budgetary allocation, estimates suggest the scheme might cost at least ₹1.5 lakh crore to electrify one crore households.

Exponential Expansion and Increased Installation Speed:

  • India currently has 6.7 lakh households with rooftop solar systems; the scheme envisions an exponential expansion with increased installation speed due to PSU outreach.
PYQ: To what factors can the recent dramatic fall in equipment costs and tariff of solar energy be attributed? What implications does the trend have for the thermal power producers and the related industry? (UPSC CSE (M) GS-3 2015) (200 words/12.5m)
Practice Question:  Examine the significance of the Pradhan Mantri Suryoday Yojana in promoting household rooftop solar systems, considering its economic, environmental, and implementation implications for India.
(150 words/10 m)

5. Law panel suggests retaining criminal defamation provision

Topic: GS2 – Indian Polity

Significant for UPSC as it involves constitutional considerations, legal framework evaluation, and the delicate balance between freedom of speech and reputation protection.
  • The 22nd Law Commission recommends retaining criminal defamation in India’s legal framework, emphasizing the protection of the right to reputation, derived from Article 21 of the Constitution.

Additional information on this news:
Law Commission’s Recommendation on Criminal Defamation:

  • The 22nd Law Commission advocates retaining criminal defamation within India’s criminal laws, as per the report submitted to the Law Ministry.

Constitutional Basis and Protection of Reputation:

  • The report argues that the right to reputation, integral to Article 21 of the Constitution, must be safeguarded, as reputation is an intangible asset earned over a lifetime.

Essence of Criminal Defamation:

  • Criminal defamation law revolves around protecting one’s reputation, an asset built over time and easily destroyed, aligning with the essence of Article 21.

Referral and Caution on Freedom of Speech:

  • The Law Ministry referred the matter to the Law Commission in August 2017, acknowledging potential conflicts with freedom of speech.
  • The law panel emphasizes caution, suggesting that speech should be deemed illegal only when causing substantial harm.

Balancing Approach and Community Service Punishment:

  • The Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita proposes community service as an additional punishment, balancing the interests of victims and preventing potential misuse of the law.

Recommendation for Caution and Substantial Harm:

  • The law panel advises caution in criminalizing speech, advocating prosecution only when it is intended to cause substantial harm, ensuring a balanced legal approach.
Defamation law in India
Arguments in Favor of Defamation Laws in India:

  • Protection of Reputation: Defamation laws safeguard individuals’ reputations from false and damaging statements.
  • Social Harmony: Prevents the spread of false information that may lead to discord and disruption in society.
  • Legal Recourse: Provides a legal avenue for individuals to seek redress and compensation for harm caused by defamatory statements.
  • Preservation of Public Confidence: Maintains public trust by holding individuals accountable for spreading false and harmful information.
  • Deterrence: Acts as a deterrent, discouraging individuals from making false and damaging statements.

Arguments for Removal or Reform of Defamation Laws:

  • Freedom of Expression: Critics argue that defamation laws may restrict freedom of expression and impede open discourse.
  • Chilling Effect: Fear of defamation suits may stifle investigative journalism and dissenting opinions.
  • Overreach: Some contend that defamation laws can be misused to suppress legitimate criticism and dissent.
  • Modernization: Advocates for reform argue for updating laws to align with contemporary free speech standards.
  • Alternative Remedies: Suggest exploring non-legal remedies, such as public apologies or retractions, instead of legal action.
PYQ: What do you understand by the concept “freedom of speech and expression”? Does it cover hate speech also? Why do the films in India stand on a slightly different plane from other forms of expression? Discuss. (UPSC CSE (M) GS-2 2014)  (200 words/12.5 m)
Practice Question:  Discuss pros and cons of defamation laws in India. (150 words/10 m)

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