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Current Affairs 10th February 2024 for UPSC Prelims Exam

Bharat Ratna

Context: The Bharat Ratna will be conferred on former Prime Ministers P.V. Narasimha Rao and Chaudhary Charan Singh, M.S. Swaminathan.

Bharat Ratna 2024

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Tally of five awardees makes this year’s list the longest ever, surpassing four awardees in 1999

P.V. Narasimha Rao

  • Early Life and Education:
    • Born on June 28, 1921, in Hyderabad state.
    • Freedom fighter, academician, and literary figure.
    • Translated the famous Telugu novel “Veyi Padagalu” to Hindi as “SahasraPhan”.
  • Political Career: 9th Prime Minister of India (1991-1996).
  • Credited with ushering in economic liberalisation in India.

Chaudhary Charan Singh

  • Early Life and Background:
    • Born in 1902, Noorpur, Meerut district, Uttar Pradesh.
    • Champion of rural and agricultural development.
  • Political Career:
    • Prime Minister of India (July 1979 – January 1980).
  • Contributions to Agriculture:
    • Played a key role in formulating the Debt Redemption Bill of 1939, providing relief to debt-burdened farmers.
    • Instrumental in implementing the Land Holding Act of 1960, aiming for uniform land ceiling limits across the state.
  • Literary Contributions:
    • Notable works include “Abolition of Zamindari”, “Co-operative Farming X-rayed”, and “India’s Poverty and its Solution”.

Dr. M.S. Swaminathan

  • Birth: Aug 7, 1925, Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu
  • Influenced by: Mahatma Gandhi’s principles
  • Career shift: From medicine to agriculture after witnessing the Bengal famine of 1942-43
  • Key roles:
    • Director General of ICAR
    • Independent Chairman of FAO Council
    • Leadership positions in international agricultural organizations
  • Legacy:
    • Father of India’s Green Revolution
    • Pioneered the introduction of high-yielding varieties of wheat and rice
    • Emphasised farmer education and sustainable agricultural practices

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Preamble – Amendability

Context: The Supreme Court is looking into the amendability of the Preamble based on the petition for deletion of words secular and socialist from the Preamble.

Amendment to the Preamble

  • Can the Preamble be Amended?: Yes, but with limitations.
  • Key Points:
  • Landmark case: Kesavananda Bharati (1973) established the Preamble as part of the Constitution, open to amendment under Article 368.
  • Restriction: Amendments cannot alter the “Basic Structure” of the Constitution.
  • Basic Structure: Not explicitly defined, but generally understood to include core principles like democracy, federalism, secularism, rule of law, and fundamental rights.
  • Number of amendments: Only one amendment has been made to the Preamble through the 42nd Amendment Act (1976).
  • Basis: Recommendations by the Sardar Swaran Singh Committee.
  • Additions: Three new words:
    • Socialist
    • Secular
    • Integrity

India – Saudi Military Exercise

Context: Sada Tanseeq (maiden joint military exercise) between the Indian Army and the Royal Saudi Land Force was concluded in Jaipur.

About Sada Tanseeq

  • Objective:
    • Improve interoperability between the Indian and Saudi Arabian armies.
    • Familiarise both forces with each other’s operational procedures and combat drills under UN mandate.
  • Participants:
    • India: 20th Battalion of The Brigade of Guards Regiment.
    • Saudi Arabia: 45 soldiers of the Royal Saudi Land Force.
    • Duration: 12-day exercise

HAPS

Context: The National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) had completed the first test of High Altitude Pseudo Satellite (HAPS).

About HAPS

  • Developed by: National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), Bengaluru, India
  • Purpose: Enhance India’s surveillance and monitoring capabilities, especially in border areas.
  • Key Features:
    • It is capable of flying at altitudes of 18-20 kilometres above the ground.
    • It’s designed to be solar-powered, allowing it to remain airborne for extended periods, potentially for months, without needing to land.
    • Dubbed a “pseudo-satellite” for functionalities similar to satellites, including sustained high-altitude surveillance.
  • Potential Applications: Border security, telecommunications, weather monitoring, aerial imaging, and more.

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