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Current Affairs 24th March 2023 for UPSC Prelims Exam

Current Affairs 25th March 2023 for UPSC Prelims Exam

Shaheed Diwas and Bhagat Singh

Context: Bhagat Singh was hanged on March 23, 1931, and hence the day is observed as Shaheed Diwas.

About Shaheed Diwas

  • March 23 is celebrated as Shaheed Diwas along with January 30, as it was on this day in 1931, that revolutionaries Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev Thapar and Rajguru were hanged in Lahore.
  • They were convicted in the ‘Lahore Conspiracy Case’, which involved the murder of British police officer John Saunders in 1928.
  • Bhagat Singh:
    • Birth: Bhagat Singh was born on 28 September 1907 in Punjab province, which is now in Pakistan.
  • Contributions to Indian freedom struggle
    • In his early days, Bhagat Singh was a follower of the ideals of non-violence popularized by Mahatma Gandhi, and hence supported him in the Non-Cooperation Movement.
    • He founded the Naujawan Bharat Sabha in the year 1926 to encourage the peasants and workers to fight against British rule.
    • In 1928, the Hindustan Socialist Republic Association (HSRA) was also established by him, along with Sukhdev, Chandrasekhar Azad and others.
  • Anti-British activities:
    • In 1928, Bhagat Singh, along with Sukhdev and Rajguru, planned to avenge the death of Indian nationalist leader Lala Lajpat Rai by assassinating the Superintendent of Police James Scott in Lahore.
    • Due to mistaken identity, they shot John Saunders.
    • In 1929, Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt bombed the Central Assembly Hall in Delhi to scare British, and shouted the slogan of “Inquilab Zindabad”.
  • Honour: As a tribute to his legacy, the Chandigarh airport will be named after Shaheed Bhagat Singh.
  • Literature: Bhagat Singh wrote the book ‘Why I am an Atheist?’.

Current Affairs 23rd March 2023 for UPSC Prelims Exam



Context: Considering the limited time and cruciality of the Budget session of Parliament, the Speaker is likely to use the guillotine route to ensure the passage of the financial Bills.

About Guillotine

  • It is a procedure to group together and expedite the passage of financial business in Parliament or state Assembly.
  • During the Budget session, it is a fairly frequent procedural exercise in Parliament.

Mechanism of Guillotine

  • Government during the Budget session reveals the amount of expenditure expected in the upcoming financial year, so that funds can be allotted to them for the future.
  • After a discussion, voting is conducted during the Union Budget session.
  • If in case there is no time for discussion, then the Centre imposes the Guillotine method under which all the grants, proposals, and funds are passed without any voting or debate.
    • Once the allotted time to discuss the clauses of the Bill is over, the Speaker of the House rolls out guillotine closure.
    • When the Speaker of the House applies the guillotine, all the outstanding demands for grants, whether discussed or not, are put to vote at once.
  • However, if the voting of these bills goes against the government, then it is treated as a no-confidence motion against the government.
    • This means that if the money bill is voted out, the government can also fall.


Electoral Bond

Context: Supreme Court will examine whether petitions challenging the validity of the electoral bonds scheme need to be referred to a Constitution Bench.

About Electoral Bond

  • An electoral bond is like a financial tool used for making donations to political parties. The general public can also issue these bonds to fund eligible political parties.
  • Eligibility: A political party eligible to run campaigns must register in the Representation of the People Act, 1951, under Section 29A.
    • Only the Political Parties registered under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (43 of 1951) and which secured not less than one per cent of the votes polled in the last General Election to the Lok Sabha or the State Legislative Assembly, shall be eligible to receive the Electoral Bonds.
  • The bonds play a similar role as banknotes that are payable to the bearer free of interest and demand.
  • Encashing: Electoral Bonds shall be encashed by an eligible Political Party only through a Bank account with the Authorized Bank.
Electoral Bond
Electoral Bond

Concerns with Electoral Bond

  • Transparency: Finance Act of 2017 has introduced the use of electoral bonds which are exempt from disclosure under the Representation of Peoples Act, 1951.
    • This could have led to unchecked, unknown funding to political parties.
  • Foreign Funding: Finance Act, 2016 has amended the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), 2010, to allow foreign companies with subsidiaries in India to fund political parties in India.
    • It could expose Indian politics and democracy to international lobbyists.
  • Taxpayer Money: Electoral bonds were sold from March 2018 to December 2022 in 24 phases at a total cost of Rs 10.23 crore to the taxpayer.

Constitution Bench

  • Constitution bench is the name given to a bench of the Supreme Court of India that requires a provision or provision of the Constitution to be interpreted.
  • It must involve minimum of five judges of the Supreme Court.
  • Article 145(3) of the constitution provides for the setting up of a Constitution Bench.
  • The Chief Justice of India has the power to constitute a Constitution Bench and refer cases to it.


One Rank One Pension (OROP)

Context: The Supreme Court asked the government to clear One Rank One Pension (OROP) dues of 10-11 lakh pensioners.

About One Rank One Pension (OROP)

  • Government implemented the OROP for Armed Forces personnel and family pensioners in 2015.
  • OROP means that any two military personnel retiring at the same rank, with the same years of service, must get an equal pension.
  • Eligibility: Military personnel across the three services fall under two categories, the officers and the other ranks.
    • The other ranks, which are soldiers, usually retire at age 35.
    • Unlike government employees who retire close to 60, other ranks miss out on the benefits from subsequent pay commissions.
  • And since pensions are based on the last drawn salary, other ranks are impacted adverse

Significance of One Rank One Pension

  • Bridges pension gap: OROP bridges the gap between the rates of pension of current and past pensioners at periodic intervals.
  • Retrospective coverage: The scheme was implemented with retrospective effect from July 1st, 2014 with 2013 as the base year.
  • Supreme Court in March, 2022, upheld the One Rank, One Pension scheme for armed forces personnel.


Drug Patent in India

Context: Assistant Controller of Patents and Designs has rejected J&J plea for patent extension on TB drug.

About Drug Patent in India:

  • Types of drug patents:
    • Primary patent: Patents given for active ingredients are referred to as primary patents.
    • Secondary patent: Patents filed on other aspects such as different dosage forms, formulations, production methods etc. of the active ingredient are referred to as secondary patents.
  • Indian Patents Act, 1970:
    • The Patents Act, 1970 governs patents in India. The Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks is responsible for the implementing the Indian Patent Act.
  • Eligibility for drug patents
    • The law provides patent protection for pharmaceutical items and pharmaceuticals.
    • Medicinal substances are patentable to the extent that patents would only apply to novel chemical entities.
  • Non-eligibility
    • Section 3(d) of the Patents Act categorically states that salt forms and derivatives of known substances are not patentable.
    • Known procedure is not patentable and cannot be regarded as distinct from the known substance.
    • Inventions involving well-known chemicals cannot be patented unless the invention exhibits a significant increase in efficacy.
  • Significance
    • Section 3 (d) of the act prevents the “evergreening of patents” by providing that only those pharmaceutical compounds that demonstrate significantly improved “efficacy” can be patented.


  • Patent is a form of Intellectual Property Right (IPR) in which an inventor agrees to disclose the entire invention, in return for an exclusive right to stop others from using or making that invention.
Different types of patient in India
Different types of patient in India
  • Getting Patents in India:
    • The inventor must apply to the government by describing the invention in writing to get a patent, through a patent application.
    • If there is no pre-granted opposition to the patent, application will be accepted, and patent is granted. After being granted patent, the applicant can get a royalty from such inventions.
  • Need for Patents:
    • It ensures that an innovation of an individual is protected at least for a certain period.
    • It gives the inventor right to stop others from copying, manufacturing, selling or importing your invention without your permission.
    • Scientific innovations by one inventor may inspire and motivate others to work in this regard.
    • In absence of patents, discoveries would have been kept secret, stagnating industries and scientific research.
Intellectual Property Right
Intellectual Property Right


Right to Property

Context: The Goa Bench of the Bombay High Court recently held that a daughter’s right to family property will not extinguish even if dowry was provided to her at the time of marriage.

About Right to Property:

  • The Right to Property guarantees a person’s right to possess private property unless it is explicitly barred by law.

Article of Right to Property (Article 300A):

  • In the Indian Constitution, Article 300A guarantees the Right to Property to people. It falls in Part XII of the Constitution.
  • It is not a fundamental right, but rather a legal right.
    • This means that it can be regulated, abridged, or curtailed by law without the constitutional amendment.
  • Right to Property ceased to be a fundamental right with the 44th Constitution Amendment in 1978.
  • Article 300A states that no person can be deprived of his/her property save by the authority of law.

Right to Property in the original constitution:

  • The Constitution of India originally provided for the right to property under Article 19(1)(f) and Articles 31.
  • Article 19 guaranteed to all citizens the right to acquire, hold and dispose of property.
  • Article 31 provided that “no person shall be deprived of his property save by authority of law.” It also provided that compensation would be paid to a person whose property has been taken for public purposes.
  • The 44th Amendment of 1978 removed the right to property from the list of fundamental rights.
  • Before 1949, the Government of India Act of 1935 had provisions with respect to the Right to Property. Under this law, the property of zamindars and peasants was protected. The government could take away the property only for public purposes.
  • Under the First Amendment to Indian Constitution, Article 31A and Article 31B which made legislation granting zamindars possession over their property unchallengeable in the court of law.


GST Appellate Tribunal (GSTAT)

Context: The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Appellate Tribunal is likely to be headed by a former Supreme Court judge or a former Chief Justice of a High Court.

About GSTAT:

  • The GST Appellate Tribunal (GSTAT) is the second appeal forum under GST for any dissatisfactory order passed by the First Appellate Authorities.
  • The National Appellate Tribunal is also the first common forum to resolve disputes between the centre and the states.
  • Being a common forum, it is the duty of the GST Appellate Tribunal to ensure uniformity in the redressal of disputes arising under GST.

Powers of the Appellate Tribunal under GST

  • As per the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, the GST Appellate Tribunal holds the same powers as the court and is deemed Civil Court for trying a case.
  • The Tribunal also has the power to impose penalties, revoke or cancel registrations, and take such other measures as may be necessary to ensure compliance with the GST laws.

Constitution of the GST Appellate Tribunal

  • National Bench: The National Appellate Tribunal is situated in New Delhi, constitutes a National President (Head) along with 2 Technical Members (1 from Centre and State each)
  • Regional Benches: On the recommendations of the GST Council, the government can constitute (by notification) Regional Benches, as required.
    • As of now, there are 3 Regional Benches (situated in Mumbai, Kolkata and Hyderabad) in India.
  • State Bench and Area Bench: The Government, on the recommendations of the GST council, has notified the number of State Benches.

Goods and Services Tax (GST)

  • The GST is a value-added tax levied on most goods and services sold for domestic consumption.
  • It was launched on 1st July 2017.
  • It subsumed almost all domestic indirect taxes under one head.
  • The GST is paid by consumers, but it is remitted to the government by the businesses selling the goods and services.
  • GST is levied at four rates – 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%.

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