05 MARCH 2024


Syllabus : GS II Polity

Why it’s in the News:

The seven judge bench of SC overrules the 25 year old JMM bribery case judgement by ending immunity for legislators taking bribes. The criminal liability would lie even if a legislator, after accepting the corruption money, chooses to not vote or speak in favour of the bribe-giver, the Constitution Bench clarified.

Observations made by SC:

Supreme Court announced on Monday that legislators who accept bribes to vote or speak in Parliament or State Legislative Assemblies cannot hide behind parliamentary privilege or immunity to avoid criminal prosecution. The Supreme Court emphasized that privileges and immunities do not exempt lawmakers from the general laws of the country. It stated that corruption and bribery among members of the legislature undermine the core principles of Indian parliamentary democracy.

Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud authored the unanimous verdict, overturning the 25-year-old majority view of the Supreme Court established in the infamous JMM bribery case judgment of 1998. According to the new ruling, lawmakers who accept bribes can be prosecuted for corruption regardless of whether they make speeches or vote in favor of the bribe-giver. The offense of bribery is considered complete upon the acceptance of money or upon the agreement to accept money. The Supreme Court clarified that the freedom of speech and expression, including voting in the House, and the associated immunities granted to legislators under Article 105 and 194 do not extend to the giving or taking of bribes.

The Supreme Court outlined a two-fold test for claiming immunity or parliamentary privilege. Firstly, the actions of a legislator must aim to enhance the dignity and authority of the House and its members as a collective body. Secondly, they must be in exercise of the legislator’s rights to free speech, protest, and freedom from arrest, among others. Any claim for immunity would be invalidated if it fails to meet this two-fold test.

Case of PV Narasimha Rao v/s State,1998


The P V Narasimha Rao case refers to the 1993 Jharkhand Mukti Morcha(JMM) bribery case. In this case, Shibu Soren and some of his party MPs were accused of taking bribes to vote against a no-confidence motion against the then P V Narasimha Rao government. No-confidence motions are significant political events that usually occur when there is a perception of the government losing majority support. The Supreme Court had quashed the case against the JMM MPs, citing immunity under Article 105(2) of the Constitution.

Articles 105(2) and 194(2) of the Constitution:

Article 105(2):

No member of Parliament shall be liable to any proceedings in any court in respect of anything said or any vote given by him in Parliament or any committee thereof, and no person shall be so liable in respect of the publication by or under the authority of either House of Parliament of any report, paper, votes or proceedings.

The purpose of Article 105(2) is to ensure that members of Parliament can perform their duties without fear of consequences.

Article 194(2):

No member of the Legislature of a State shall be liable to any proceedings in any court in respect of anything said or any vote given by him in the Legislature or any committee thereof, and no person shall be so liable in respect of the publication by or under the authority of a House of such a Legislature of any report, paper, votes or proceedings

Why did the Supreme Court Refer the Matter to a 7-Judge Bench?

The Supreme Court referred the matter to a 7-judge Bench because it recognized the need to reexamine the correctness of its previous 1998 constitution bench ruling in the PV Narasimha Rao case.

The purpose of Articles 105(2) and 194(2) is to ensure that members of Parliament and the State Legislatures can discharge their duties freely, without fear of consequences for their speech or vote. The objective is not to give legislators higher privileges in terms of immunity from the general criminal law of the land.

What are the Parliamentary Privileges?

Parliamentary privileges are special rights, immunities and exemptions enjoyed by the two Houses of Parliament, their committees and their members. These privileges are defined in Article 105 of the Indian Constitution.

Under these privileges, the members of Parliament are exempted from any civil liability (but not criminal liability) for any statement made or act done in the course of their duties.

The privileges are claimed only when the person is a member of the house. 

As soon as s/he ends up being a member, the privileges are said to be called off.


  • Freedom of Speech in Parliament:

The freedom of speech and expression guaranteed to a citizen under Article 19(2) is different from the freedom of speech and expression provided to a member of the parliament. 

It has been guaranteed under Article 105(1) of the Indian constitution. However, freedom is subject to rules and orders that regulate the proceedings of the parliament.


Freedom of speech should be in accordance with the constitutional provisions and subject to rules and procedures of the parliament, as stated under Article 118 of the Constitution.

Article 121 of the Indian Constitution states that members of parliament cannot discuss the conduct of Supreme Court or High Court judges while they are performing their duties.

The only exception is if there is a motion to present an address to the President requesting the judge’s removal.

  • Freedom from Arrest:

Members enjoy immunity from arrest in any civil case 40 days before and after the adjournment of the house or during a session.

Arrest within the Parliament’s limits requires the house’s permission.

If the detention of any members of the parliament is made, the chairman or the speaker should be informed by the concerned authority, of the reason for the arrest.

But a member can be arrested outside the limits of the house on criminal charges against him under the Preventive Detention act, the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA), the National Security Act (NSA), or any such act.

  • Right to Prohibit the Publication of Proceedings:

Article 105(2) of the Constitution, no person shall be held liable for publishing any reports, discussions etc. of the house under the authority of the member of the house. 

For paramount and national importance, it is essential that the proceedings should be communicated to the public to aware them of what is going on in the parliament.

  • Right to Exclude Strangers:

The members of the house have the power and right to exclude strangers who are not members of the house from the proceedings. This right is very essential for securing free and fair discussion in the house.


Syllabus: Polity – Privacy

Why it’s in the News:

The Department of Telecommunications launched the Chakshu portal and Digital Intelligence Platform (DIP) through virtual conferencing.

Chakshu portal

The launch was aimed at safeguarding the citizens from mobile phone frauds.

The Telecommunications Department has been actively implementing various measures to raise awareness about telecom frauds. A recent initiative is the Chakshu portal, where the public can report any suspected cyber-crime, financial fraud, or impersonation through the Sanchar Saathi portal ( Launched in March last year, this portal has facilitated the recovery of seven lakh lost and stolen mobile phones. Additionally, the Chakshu portal enables reporting of telecommunication-related crimes such as wallet payment scams, gas connection frauds, and extortion activities.

DIP (Data Intelligence Platform)

Similarly, the DIP (Data Intelligence Platform) is a secure and integrated platform developed by the department to combat the misuse of telecom resources and data. It facilitates intelligence sharing and information exchange among stakeholders, including telecom service providers, law enforcement agencies, banks, and financial institutions.

Through the Sanchar Saathi portal, the department has disconnected 18 lakh unsolicited call numbers and deactivated 67 lakh mobile connections involved in suspicious activities.


Syllabus : GS III Science and Tech , Health

Why it’s in the News:

January was observed as Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. Additionally, every year, March 4 is observed as International HPV Awareness Day.

About Cervical cancer

Protecting women’s health involves safeguarding the cervix, which is the lower part of the uterus. HPV vaccination offers a means to prevent cervical cancers, which pose significant risks to women’s well-being. Cervical cancer ranks as the fourth most prevalent cancer among women globally, claiming over 300,000 lives annually, equating to one life lost every two minutes. The vast majority of these deaths occur in lower- and middle-income nations. In India, cervical cancer is the second most common cancer after breast cancer, posing a significant threat to the approximately 500 million women aged 15 and above. Without intervention, the incidence and mortality rates of cervical cancer are expected to surge dramatically in the coming years. Based on current population trends, it’s estimated that India will witness a 54% increase in new cervical cancer cases by 2040 compared to 2020, with an estimated total of 191,347 new cases across all age groups.

It starts in the cells of the cervix. The cervix is the lower, narrow end of the uterus (womb).

In a small percentage of people the virus survives for years, contributing to the process that causes some cervical cells to become cancer cells.


  • Various strains of the Human papillomavirus (HPV) play a role in causing most cervical cancer.
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a common sexually transmitted infection which can affect the skin, genital area and throat.
  • When exposed to HPV, the body’s immune system typically prevents the virus from harming.

Types of HPV Vaccines available

  • Quadrivalent vaccine (Gardasil): It protects against four types of HPV (HPV 16, 18, 6 and 11).
  • Bivalent vaccine (Cervarix): It protects against HPV 16 and 18 only.
  • Non-valent vaccine (Gardasil 9): It protects against nine strains of HPV.

How does the vaccine prevent cancers?

The quadrivalent vaccines, including the Serum Institute of India’s Cervavac, prevent the entry of four of the most common types of HPV 16, 18, 6 and 11 thereby preventing infections, genital warts, and eventually cancer.

The indigenously developed, cheaper Cervavac will be used in the government campaign.

At least 14 HPV types have been identified to have the potential to cause cancer. Among these, HPV types 16 and 18 are considered to be the most oncogenic, causing about 70 per cent of all cervical cancer cases globally.

The vaccine has to be administered in adolescent girls before they are sexually active. This is because the vaccine can only prevent the entry of the virus.


  • Boosting public awareness, access to information and services are key to prevention and control across the life course.
  • Being vaccinated at age 9–14 years is a very effective way to prevent HPV infection, cervical cancer and other HPV-related cancers.
  • Screening from the age of 30 can detect cervical disease, which when treated, also prevents cervical cancer.

What is qHPV Vaccine?

The qHPV vaccine is a quadrivalent vaccine that protects against four strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV): HPV types 16, 18, 31, and 6. These four strains are responsible for causing approximately 70% of cervical cancers.

History of HPV Vaccine In India

India approved the quadrivalent HPV vaccine (qHPV vaccine) in 2010 for use in the private market. At the time, it could only be accessed through private healthcare facilities at a cost. In 2012, the WHO recommended HPV vaccination be included in national immunization programs globally to prevent cervical cancer.

Some key developments in India’s HPV vaccination program:

  • 2014: The Drug Controller General of India licensed the bivalent HPV vaccine (Cervarix) for use in India in addition to the qHPV vaccine (Gardasil).
  • 2016: The Government of India launched the National HPV Vaccination Demonstration Project in Kerala, Gujarat, and Tamil Nadu under the National Health Mission. This made HPV vaccines (both qHPV and bivalent) available freely through public healthcare centres in these pilot project states.
  • 2017: The HPV vaccination drive was scaled up nationwide by the Government by including it in the routine immunization program under Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram for 9-15-year-old girls.
  • 2018: Coverage expanded to include boys in the pilot project states to assess the impact of gender-neutral vaccination.
  • 2021: Following the success of pilots, the HPV vaccination program will be scaled up nationally across India for girls and boys aged 9-14 years through routine healthcare services.

India’s demonstration projects revealed high HPV vaccine acceptability by parents and the feasibility of school-based delivery models. This helped in the full integration into the national immunization program to ensure widespread protection against HPV-related cancers in the coming decades.


Syllabus : GS II Global Groupings

Why it’s in the News:

Under AUKUS, the U.S. and U.K. partners announced the implementation plan to equip Australia with Nuclear Attack Submarines. And AUKUS assured to  ensure safety, security, and peace in the regions of Indo-Pacific.

About AUKUS:

Established in 2021, the AUKUS is intended to be a strategic partnership among Australia, the United Kingdom (UK), and the United States to bolster their allied deterrence and defense capabilities in the Indo-Pacific.

The trilateral partnership, which builds on their decades-long security cooperation, has two pillars.

  • Pillar I revolves around the acquisition and development of conventionally armed nuclear-powered submarines for the Royal Australian Navy;
  • Pillar II calls for collaboration on advanced capabilities that will involve technology and information sharing;

What is the submarine component?

  • It is designed to equip Australia with nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs).
  • In total, Australia will end up with eight of the new nuclear submarines, called SSN-AUKUS.
  • Those submarines will be based on a British design but have American technology or an American combat system.
  • The deal marks the first time the US has shared nuclear propulsion technology with an ally other than the UK.
  • It will significantly enhance Australia’s undersea capabilities in the Indo-Pacific.
  • These countries, however, made it clear that their aim is not to arm the new submarines with nuclear weapons. This is because Australia is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT), which bans it from acquiring or deploying nuclear weapons.


Syllabus: GSIII Science And Tech, Energy

Why it’s in the News:

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, witnessed the commencement of “core loading” of India’s first and totally indegenous fast breeder reactor at Kalpakkam.

India has built a really advanced nuclear reactor called PFBR. It’s special because it can make its own fuel. This reactor uses something called Uranium-Plutonium Mixed Oxide for fuel. It also has plans to use Thorium in the future. This reactor is safe and can shut down quickly if there’s an emergency. Plus, it produces less nuclear waste than other reactors.

Once it’s all set up, PFBR will start making electricity. Even though it’s really high-tech, it doesn’t cost more than other types of power plants.

India needs this kind of power to make sure there’s enough electricity for everyone and to keep the environment healthy

India has established comprehensive capabilities across the nuclear fuel cycle. In 2003, the government approved the creation of Bhartiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Ltd (BHAVINI) to construct and operate the Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR), India’s most advanced nuclear reactor.

PFBR, developed indigenously by BHAVINI with contributions from over 200 Indian industries, including MSMEs, epitomizes the spirit of Aatmanirbhar Bharat. Once operational, India will become the second country, after Russia, with a commercial operating Fast Breeder Reactor.

Initially utilizing Uranium-Plutonium Mixed Oxide (MOX) fuel, PFBR employs a Uranium-238 “blanket” for nuclear transmutation to generate more fuel, hence its ‘Breeder’ designation. Future stages envision the use of Thorium-232, which transforms into fissile Uranium-233 for the subsequent phase. FBR serves as a precursor to the third stage, facilitating India’s extensive use of abundant thorium reserves.

In terms of safety, PFBR features advanced third-generation technology with inherent passive safety mechanisms, ensuring swift and secure shutdown during emergencies. Additionally, by utilizing spent fuel from the first stage, FBR significantly reduces nuclear waste production, obviating the need for extensive disposal facilities.

Upon core loading completion, PFBR will undergo the criticality phase, leading to subsequent power generation. Remarkably, despite its advanced technology, both capital and per unit electricity costs are comparable to other nuclear and conventional power plants.


 Syllabus: GS III environmental pollution and degradation

Why it’s in the News:

About 90 percent of the Himalayan region will experience drought lasting over a year if global warming increases by 3 degrees Celsius, according to new research.

A study published in the journal Climatic Change reveals that following the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius could prevent 80 percent of the increased human exposure to heat stress in India, compared to a warming of 3 degrees Celsius.

Led by researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in the UK, the study examines how climate change impacts on human and natural systems escalate as global warming levels rise.

The research, comprising eight studies focused on India, Brazil, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, and Ghana, demonstrates that with each additional degree of global warming, the risks of droughts, floods, reduced crop yields, and biodiversity loss significantly escalate at a national level.

For instance, in India, pollination is halved at 3-4 degrees global warming compared to a quarter reduction at 1.5 degrees. Keeping warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius could protect half the country’s biodiversity, whereas only 6 percent would be preserved at 3 degrees.

Furthermore, limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius would substantially reduce agricultural land exposure to droughts and economic damages from flooding. This is crucial as it helps minimize human exposure to severe droughts and slow down economic losses associated with sea-level rise.

The researchers emphasize the need for more ambitious efforts to mitigate global warming, as current policies are likely to result in 3 degrees Celsius of global warming. Additionally, they suggest expanding protected area networks to ensure climate-resilient biodiversity conservation.

While the studies primarily focus on six countries, the researchers note that similar issues are expected to affect other nations as well.

Paris Agreement

The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international treaty on climate change. It was adopted by 196 Parties at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris, France, on 12 December 2015. It entered into force on 4 November 2016.

Its overarching goal is to hold “the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels” and pursue efforts “to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.”

However, in recent years, world leaders have stressed the need to limit global warming to 1.5°C by the end of this century.

That’s because the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change indicates that crossing the 1.5°C threshold risks unleashing far more severe climate change impacts, including more frequent and severe droughts, heatwaves and rainfall.

To limit global warming to 1.5°C, greenhouse gas emissions must peak before 2025 at the latest and decline 43% by 2030.

The Paris Agreement is a landmark in the multilateral climate change process because, for the first time, a binding agreement brings all nations together to combat climate change and adapt to its effects.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top