1 Jan 2024 : Indian Express

1. Govt bans J&K outfit Tehreek-e-Hurriyat for 5yrs under UAPA

Topic: GS3 – Internal Security- Role of Non-State actors in creating challenges to internal security.

This topic is not much relevant in the context of Prelims but more for Mains in the context of challenges posed by extremist organizations.

  • Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, Jammu and Kashmir (TeH), a separatist organisation started by Syed Ali Shah Geelani in 2004, has been banned for five years by the Indian government.
  • After splitting from the Jamat-e-Islami in 2004, prominent separatist patriarch Geelani founded TeH, causing a rift within the group. Before stepping down in 2018, Geelani oversaw TeH for 15 years.
  • His deputy, Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai, assumed leadership of the organisation. But the group had problems within and with its leadership, which got worse when Geelani and Sehrai passed away in 2020 and 2021, respectively.

Government’s Decision and Amit Shah’s Statement:

  • TeH was deemed an “Unlawful Association” by Union Home Minister Amit Shah in a statement issued in accordance with the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
  • Shah emphasised TeH’s role in efforts to incite secessionism in the area, disseminate anti-Indian propaganda, and split Jammu and Kashmir from India.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s zero-tolerance policy against terrorism was emphasised by Shah, who also threatened to take prompt action against any person or group involved in anti-Indian activities.

NIA’s Investigation and Allegations:

  • According to the NIA, TeH members were financing terrorist activities and maintaining stone-pelting events against security personnel in Jammu and Kashmir by obtaining money from a variety of sources, including Pakistan and its proxy organisations.

Unlawful Activities and Ban Justification:

  • TeH’s role in inciting terrorism, spreading misinformation against India, and encouraging secessionist acts was detailed in the government’s gazetted notification.
  • It claimed that members of TeH supported terrorist actions, gave tribute to terrorists, and wanted to establish a reign of terror, putting the state’s security and public order in jeopardy.
  • The Central government immediately declared the group to be a “unlawful association” for five years under the UAPA, citing TeH’s actions as justification.

Similar Action and Historical Context:

  • Shortly after the government acted similarly against the Jammu and Kashmir Muslim League’s Masarat Alam faction, TeH was banned.
  • This action is consistent with the government’s resolve to stop groups or people engaged in activities that compromise India’s security and integrity.
  • The historical background includes a 2017 FIR from the NIA, alleging that funding from Pakistan-based companies were received by Kashmiri separatists, including members of TeH, causing turmoil in the Valley.


  • The government’s move to ban Tehreek-e-Hurriyat is indicative of its determination to suppress any actions that could jeopardise the security of India, especially in the strategically important area of Jammu and Kashmir.
What is Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA)?
  • It was first enacted in 1967 to deal with secessionist movements and anti-national activities.
  • It was amended several times, most recently in 2019, to include provisions related to terrorist financing, cyber-terrorism, individual designation, and seizure of property.
  • It empowers the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to investigate and prosecute cases under UAPA across the country.
  • It provides for the death penalty and life imprisonment as the highest punishments for terrorist acts.
  • It allows for the detention of suspects without charge or trial for up to 180 days, and for the denial of bail to the accused unless the court is satisfied that they are not guilty.
  • It defines unlawful activity as any action that supports or incites the cession or secession of any part of India, or that questions or disrespects its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
  • It defines terrorism as any act that causes or intends to cause death or injury to any person, or damage or destruction to any property, or that threatens the unity, security or economic stability of India or any other country. 
PYQ: The Indian government has recently strengthened the anti-terrorism laws by amending the unlawful activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), 1967 and the NIA Act. Analyze the changes in the context of prevailing security environment while discussing the scope and reasons for opposing the UAPA by human rights organizations. (250 words/15m) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-3 2019)


Practice Question: What factors and events led to the Indian government’s decision to ban Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, Jammu and Kashmir (TeH), and how does this action align with the government’s broader strategy in addressing separatist movements and ensuring national security in the region?                 (200 words/12.5 m)

2. ISRO Set to Launch X-ray Polarimeter Satellite (XpoSat)

Topic: GS3 – Science and Tech- Developing new technology- Space

This topic is relevant for both Prelims and Mains in the context of Space Technology 

  • The first X-ray Polarimeter Satellite (XpoSat) from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is scheduled to launch early in the new year.
  • Monday at 9.10 a.m., the PSLV-C58 rocket, carrying XpoSat as its primary payload along with ten smaller satellites, is set to blast off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.
  • In order to research X-ray polarisation and its cosmic sources, which include objects like black holes, neutron stars, and magnetars, XpoSat intends to function as a space-based observatory.

XpoSat and Its Significance:

  • XpoSat is the second mission of its kind in the world, the first being NASA’s Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE), which was launched in 2021.
  • XpoSat will perform in the medium X-ray band, whereas IXPE operates in the soft X-ray range.
  • POLIX (Polarimeter Instrument in X-rays) and XSPECT (X-ray Spectroscopy and Timing) are the two main payloads carried by the spacecraft.
  • About forty brilliant astronomical sources of various types are anticipated to be observed by POLIX, while XSPECT will investigate the electromagnetic spectrum produced by various materials.

Crucial Role of X-ray Polarization:

  • An essential diagnostic technique for analysing the geometry and radiation process of astronomical sources is X-ray polarisation.
  • The knowledge gained from X-ray polarisation measurements of phenomena such as neutron stars and black holes could greatly advance our comprehension of their mechanics.
  • ISRO’s URRao Satellite Centre and the Raman Research Institute, both located in Bengaluru, conceptualised and developed XpoSat fully.
  • The formal agreement was signed in 2015.

India’s Advancements in Space-Based Observatories:

  • XpoSat is India’s third space-based observatory, following the 2015 launch of AstroSat and the recently launched solar mission Aditya-L1.
  • With former ISRO scientists expressing excitement about having a regular supply of science satellites, preferably one per year, the discovery is seen as a big step forward in the area.

Global Context and XPoSat’s Potential Impact:

  • There have only been a few balloon-based, brief-duration X-ray polarisation measuring studies carried out by NASA and its partners worldwide.
  • AstroSat has allowed Indian astronomers to do timing and broadband spectroscopy of X-ray sources; nevertheless, there haven’t been any studies on X-ray polarisation.
  • It is expected that XPoSat would revolutionise this sector by bringing a fresh perspective to X-ray frequency range research globally.
  • It’s anticipated that the satellite will solve difficulties in sensitive sensor development, opening the door for further developments in X-ray polarisation research.
What is Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer?
  • NASA and the Italian Space Agency are working together on the IXPE Space Observatory.
  • In addition to supernova remnants and supermassive black holes, it investigates “the most extreme and mysterious objects in the universe.”


  • It will be useful for observing polarised X-rays coming from supermassive black holes and neutron stars.
  • X-ray polarisation measurement tells the tale of the light’s origin, including the structure and internal dynamics of the source.
  • It will also help scientists figure out why pulsars light so brightly in X-rays and how black holes spin and where they were located in the past.
PYQ: Which of the following pairs is/are correctly matched? (2014)


Spacecraft -Purpose


Cassini-Huygens Orbiting the Venus and transmitting data to the Earth

Messenger- Mapping and investigating the Mercury

Voyager 1 and 2 -Exploring the outer solar system

Select the correct answer using the code given below:


(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3


Ans: (b)

Practice Question: Discuss the significance of X-ray polarimetry in modern astrophysics. How does the launch of India’s first X-Ray Polarimeter Satellite (XPoSat) by ISRO mark a substantial advancement in India’s space exploration efforts? (250 words/15 m) 

2. Indian Navy Boosts Maritime Security Amid Rising Threats

Topic: GS3 – Internal Security 

This topic is not much relevant in the context of Prelims but more for Mains in the context of India’s maritime security. 

  • The Indian Navy has declared increased maritime security measures in the central and north Arabian Sea in response to recent attacks on cargo vessels in the area.
  • To improve security and surveillance, frigates, frontline destroyers, and long-range marine patrol aircraft have been sent into service.
  • Destroyers and frigates make up task groups that are engaged in maritime security activities and prepared to support merchant vessels in the event of an emergency.

Comprehensive Surveillance:

  • In order to attain total maritime domain awareness, the Indian Navy has increased aerial surveillance using remotely piloted aircraft (RPAs) and long-range maritime patrol aircraft.
  • With the Indian Coast Guard, the Navy is closely cooperating to guarantee efficient monitoring of its exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

Deployment of Warships and Aircraft:

  • The Arabian Sea off the Gulf of Aden is home to five warships: INS Kochi, INS Mormugao, INS Kolkata, INS Chennai, and a Talwar Class frigate.
  • Enhanced monitoring is being carried out in the area by Dornier planes, MQ-9B Predator drones, P8I maritime patrol aircraft, and the warships.

Active Investigation and Deterrence:

  • In the Arabian Sea, the Navy is actively looking into ships, including dhow boardings.
  • So far, though, there hasn’t been a requirement to board merchant vessels.
  • The purpose of the expanded naval presence is to prevent any worsening of the security risks in the area.

Maritime Security Incidents and Response:

  • The statement from the Navy comes in the wake of many maritime security incidents that occurred in December, such as a drone attack on the merchant vessel MV Chem Pluto and a pirate incident on the Malta-flagged vessel MV Ruen.
  • The attacks suggested that maritime occurrences were shifting towards the Indian EEZ.
  • The Indian Coast Guard and the Navy are working together to perform operations aimed at fostering confidence and lowering the likelihood of such accidents in the future.

Addressing Grey-Zone Tactics:

  • Defence officials admit that attributing specific events to individual organisations in grey-zone operations can be challenging.
  • The utilisation of naval resources is perceived as a preventive measure against possible intensifications, especially when there are no uniformed personnel engaged in these occurrences.

Government’s Warning and Ongoing Monitoring:

  • Rajnath Singh, the Union Minister of Defence, had already issued a warning about tracking down those who carry out marine strikes.
  • In cooperation with national maritime agencies, the Indian Navy is closely monitoring the general situation as part of its ongoing commitment to guaranteeing the security of commerce shipping in the area.
What is Maritime Piracy?
  • Article 101 of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) outlines acts constituting piracy.
  • These acts include violence, detention, or depredation committed for private ends on the high seas or outside the jurisdiction of any state.
  • These acts are carried out with the intent of personal gain and may include the seizure of another ship, its cargo, or the kidnapping of its passengers or crew.
  • It is considered a serious maritime crime and is subject to international laws and conventions.
Practice Question: How is the Indian Navy responding to the recent surge in maritime security incidents in the central and north Arabian Sea, and what measures have been taken to enhance surveillance, deter potential threats, and ensure the safety of merchant vessels in the region? (200 words/12.5 m)

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