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Current Affairs 2nd May 2023 for UPSC Prelims Exam

Current Affairs 2nd May 2023 for UPSC Prelims Exam

Achanakmar Tiger Reserve

Context: A captured tigress was released into Achanakmar Tiger Reserve in Bilaspur district of Chhattisgarh.

Achanakmar Tiger Reserve

  • Location: Achanakmar Tiger Reserve in Chhattisgarh is a tropical moist deciduous and tropical dry deciduous forest.
    • The reserve is also a part of the much larger Achanakmar-Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve.
    • The Maniyari river flows through the Achanakmar Tiger Reserve.
    • Achanakmar has a corridor connecting to Kanha and Bandhavgarh Tiger reserve and plays a critical role in dispersal of tigers among these reserves.
  • Establishment: Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1975 and was declared as a tiger reserve in 2009.
  • Flora: Sal, bija, saja, haldu, teak, tinsa, dhavara, lendia, khamar and bamboo flourish here along with over 600 species of medicinal plants.
  • Fauna: Bengal tiger, Indian leopard, striped hyena, Indian jackal, Dhole, Sloth bear, Gaur, Sambar, Spotted Deer, Nilgai, Four horned antelope, Barking Deer, Wild boar, among many other species.

Tiger Reserves in Chhattisgarh

  • Indravati National Park:  It is located in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh.
    •  The Park derives its name from the Indravati River, which flows from east to west and forms the northern boundary of the reserve with the state of Maharashtra.
    • Indravati attained the status of a National Park in 1981 and a Tiger Reserve in 1983 under the famous Project Tiger of India.
    • It is home to one of the last populations of rare wild buffalo.
  • Guru Ghasidas National Park & Tamor Pingla Wildlife Sanctuary:  The new Reserve is located in the northern part of Chhattisgarh bordering Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand.
    •  Guru Ghasidas National Park is the habitat of the Asiatic cheetah.
  • Udanti-Sitanadi Tiger Reserve: It is located in the Gariyaband district of Chhattisgarh.
    • Asiatic Wild Buffalo is the key endangered species found here.
    • Apart from the tiger other endangered and rare species are Indian Wolf, Leopard, Sloth Bear and Mouse Deer.

Current Affairs 1st May 2023 for UPSC Prelims Exam


Laundromat Countries

Context: India leads five countries named as the “Laundromat” countries that buy Russian oil and sell processed products to European countries.


  • Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) has mentioned that India is among the top five countries, including China, that is purchasing cheap Russian crude oil and converting it into refined petroleum products, which are “laundered” in Europe and G7 countries.
  • Russia is forced to offer discounted oil to ensure it is able to find buyers; the laundromat countries are refining larger volumes of imported Russian crude to then export refined products to sanction imposing countries.
  • European Union (EU) countries are all part of the “price cap coalition” that bars trade and insurance for any oil purchased above a certain price from Russia.

The Laundromat Countries

  • Laundromat: Laundromats’ is a term used to describe a type of financial fraud where large amounts of money, often obtained through illegal means, are moved through a complex web of transactions and accounts to disguise their origin and make them appear legitimate.
  • The Laundromat Countries: CREA identifies China, India, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Singapore as “laundromat countries”.
  • Import of Russian Oil: The Laundromat countries increased imports of Russian oil after the Ukraine invasion.
    • They also increased exports of refined products to the “price-cap countries” that sanctioned Russian oil, including the European Union, Australia, Japan, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States.
    • The EU, G7 and Australia continue to import Russian fossil fuels as refined oil products from third countries and allow transportation on their vessels and insurance.
    • The EU has been the largest importer of these refined products, followed by Australia. And most of the laundered products are traveling on European ships.
    • This is currently a legal way of exporting oil products to countries that are imposing sanctions on Russia as the product origin has been changed. This process provides funds to Russia.
  • India as a Laundromat Country: In April 2023, India remained the highest global consumer of seaborne Russian crude for a fifth month.
    •  India is ahead of all others in the export of crude products to the coalition countries, exporting nearly 3.8 million tonnes of oil products to price cap coalition countries, which include the EU, G-7 countries, Australia and Japan.
    • Sikka and Vadinar ports in Gujarat are among the top ports that are importing Russian crude oil and exporting refined petroleum products to Europe.
      • Sikka port is the biggest oil product export port to the price-cap coalition countries, and the largest importing port in the world of seaborne crude oil from Russia.
      •  Vadinar port ships oil products from Nayara energies, which is partly owned (49.13%) by Rosneft, a Russian integrated energy company.
    • India imported about a third or 35% of its oil imports from Russia in March 2023, buying about 1.6 million barrels per day from Russia over the past year.


Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR)

Context: A rare melanistic tiger was found dead in the core area of Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR).

Similipal Tiger Reserve

  • Location:  Similipal Tiger Reserve is located within the Mayurbhanj District, in the Northern-most part of Odisha.
  • Vegetation:  The forest is predominantly moist mixed deciduous forest with tropical semievergreen forest in areas with suitable microclimatic conditions and sporadic patches of dry deciduous forests and grasslands. Major flora type:
    • Northern Tropical Moist Deciduous Forest
    • Dry Deciduous Hill Forests
    • High Level Sal Forest
    • Grassland and Savanna
    • Tropical pines and Eucalyptus
  • Two tribes, the Erenga Kharias and the Mankirdias inhabit the reserve’s forests and practice traditional agricultural activities. Other dominant tribes in the region include the Ho, Gonda and Munda, among others.
  • It was formally designated a tiger reserve in 1956, brought under Project Tiger in 1973, and was declared a biosphere reserve in 1994.
  • It has been part of the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves since 2009.
  • Fauna: Similipal harbours the largest population of elephants in Odisha. Indian Bisons, chital, sambar, barking deer, mouse deer etc are also found.

Satkosia Tiger Reserve

  • Satkosia Tiger Reserve is located in Odisha.
    • The river Mahanadi flows through the valleys in the mid of the Reserve.
    • The Satkosia gorge is the natural habitat of two endangered species viz. fresh water crocodile and the gharial.


Meitei Community

Context: Meitei community members will be filing contempt proceedings against the Hill Areas Committee (HAC) of the Manipur Assembly for passing a resolution opposing their inclusion under Scheduled Tribe (ST).

About Meitei Community:

  • Meiteis are the dominant community of Manipur, found majorly in Imphal plains. They can also be found in the states of Assam, Tripura, Nagaland, Meghalaya, and Mizoram. Some of them reside in Myanmar and Bangladesh.
  • Religious affiliation: A majority of them identify as Hindu, while about 8% are Muslim.
  • Language: They speak the Meitei language, which is officially known as Manipuri. It belongs to the Tibeto-Burman language family.
    • Manipuri was included in the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution in 1992.
  • Art and Culture:
    • Maliyafam Palcha Kumsing is the traditional calendar of the Meitei community, which has 12 months and a 7-day week, like the Gregorian calendar.
    • The classical Manipuri dance form has its roots from the Lai Haraoba dance form.
    • Martial art form Tang-ta originated from Meitei Knights.
    • Sagol Kangjei, which is the earliest form of modern-day Polo, traces its origin to Manipur and Meiteis.
    • Mukna Kangjei is a type of traditional wrestling popular amongst the Meiteis.

Hill Areas Committee (HAC):

  • HAC is the highest decision-making body in Manipur at the legislative level to oversee the planning, implementation and monitoring of all development activities in the hill areas.
  • HAC is constituted under the Manipur Legislative Assembly (Hill Areas Committee) order, 1972. It comprises of all MLAs elected from the hill areas of the State as its members.
  • Powers: Manage resources, sanitation services and primary education, public health and undertake administrative and welfare services including development and economic planning.


Article 25

Context: The Tamil Nadu government told the Supreme Court that there is nothing illegal in the acts of missionaries spreading Christianity since Article 25 of the Constitution guarantees every citizen the right to propagate his religion.

Views expressed by the Tamil Nadu Government

  • The acts of missionaries spreading Christianity by itself cannot be seen as something against law.
  • But if their act of spreading their religion is against public order, morality and health and to the other provisions of Part III of the Constitution, it must be viewed seriously.

Right to Freedom of Religion

  • The Constitution of India guarantees the right to freedom of religion to not only individuals but also religious groups in India.
  • This is enshrined in Articles 25 to 28.

Article 25 (Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice, and propagation of religion)

  • Article 25 says that all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right to freely profess, practice and propagate religion.
  • The implications of this are:
    • Freedom of conscience: Inner freedom of an individual to mould his relation with God or Creatures in whatever way he desires.
    • Right to Profess: Declaration of one’s religious beliefs and faith openly and freely.
    • Right to Practice: Performance of religious worship, rituals, ceremonies and exhibition of beliefs and ideas.
    • Right to Propagate: Transmission and dissemination of one’s religious beliefs to others or exposition of the tenets of one’s religion.
  • Scope:
    • Article 25 covers religious beliefs (doctrines) as well as religious practices (rituals).
    • Moreover, these rights are available to all personscitizens as well as non-citizens.

The National Anthem Case

  • The judgment of the case of Bijoe Emmanuel v. the State of Kerala holds a strong position in dealing with aspects of Article 25 of the Indian Constitution.
  • Brief facts of the case:
    • Three students belonging to Jehova’s witnesses refused to sing the national anthem.
    • Even though they stood straight in respectful silence, but still they were expelled from the school for refusing to sing the National Anthem.
    • Further the aggrieved challenged this order of expulsion on the grounds of Article 25 and Article 19.
  • Judgment: The Supreme Court found the order of expulsion as against Article 25 of the Indian Constitution and held that no person can be forced to sing the national anthem if there is any genuine, conscientious religious objection.
Article 26 (Freedom to manage religious affairs) This Article provides that every religious denomination has the following rights, subject to morality, health, and public order.

  • The right to form and maintain institutions for religious and charitable intents.
  • The right to manage its own affairs in the matter of religion.
  • The right to acquire the immovable and movable property.
  • The right to administer such property according to the law.
Article 27 (Freedom as to payment of taxes for promotion of any particular religion)
  • According to Article 27 of the Constitution, there can be no taxes, the proceeds of which are directly used for the promotion and/or maintenance of any particular religion/religious denomination.
Article 28 (Freedom as to attendance at religious instruction or religious worship in certain educational institutions)
  • This article permits educational institutions that are maintained by religious groups to disseminate religious instruction.
  • This provides that no religious instruction shall be provided in State-run educational institutions.
  • Educational institutions administered by the State but that were established under any endowment or trust which requires that religious instruction shall be imparted in such institutions are exempt from the above clause (that no religious instruction shall be provided).
  • Any person who attends any educational institution recognized by the State or receiving State aid shall not be required to participate in any religious instruction that may be imparted in such institution, or also attend any religious worship in such institutions unless he/she has given consent for the same. In the case of minors, the guardians should have given consent for the same.

Restriction on the freedom of religion

  • The Constitution of India grants to all its citizens the fundamental right to freedom of religion. But just like all other fundamental rights, this freedom is not absolute.
  • The freedom of religion is subject to public order, health and morality. Thus, it means no action should be done in name of freedom of religion that is against the public policy, health, or morality of the society.
  • Further, these rights are subject to some reasonable restrictions as dealt with under clause (2) of Article 19 of the Indian Constitution.
  • Some examples of valid restrictions are as follows:
    • Cow slaughter or indecent exposure of one’s person in a public place is prohibited as under Section 34 of the Police Act.
    • Untouchability or trafficking of humans in name of religion is completely prohibited.
    • Forcibly converting one’s religion is a punishable offence.
  • It is also the duty of the state to ensure that, the freedom to practice religion does not affect the exercise of this freedom by others.


Procedure for Blocking Mobile Apps

Context: Recently, Union government has banned 14 apps in J&K, citing their use by terror groups.

About Procedure for Blocking Mobile Apps:

  • Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000, was introduced by an amendment to the Act in 2008.
  • It gives the Central government the power to block public access to any information online whether on websites or mobile apps.
  • Under Section 69A, if a website threatens India’s defence, its sovereignty and integrity, friendly relations with foreign countries and public order, the government can ban it, after following due procedure.
  • Detailed procedures to do so are listed under the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking Access of Information by Public) Rules, 2009.
  • Judicial route– Courts in India, also have the power to direct intermediaries to make content unavailable in India to provide effective remedy to the victim/plaintiff.
  • For example, courts may order internet service providers to block websites which provide access to pirated content and violate the plaintiff’s copyright.


Kalesar National Park

Context: Recently, A tiger was caught on camera-trap at the Kalesar National Park in Haryana’s Yamunanagar district.

About Kalesar National Park

  • The Kalesar park is adjacent to Simbalbara National Park in the Himachal’s Sirmaur district.
  • Kalesar National Park shares a corridor with Himachal Pradesh’s Simbalbara National Park and Uttarakhand’s Rajaji National Park.
  • A part of Kalesar Wildlife Sanctuary was declared as Kalesar national park in the year 2003.
  • The national park covers a total area of 46.82 sq. Km.
  • In 1996, it was designated as a Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • Kalesar National Park is named after the Kalesar (shiva) temple located in protected area.


  • Kalesar National Park is situated in the foothills of Shiwalik ranges of mighty Himalayas.
  • It falls under Yamunanagar District of Haryana, sharing boundary with three States viz., Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand & U.P.
  • The Yamuna River forms the Eastern boundary with Uttar Pradesh, the main Shiwalik ridge separates State boundary among Haryana, Himachal Pradesh & Uttaranchal in the north.


  • The entire region is rich in biodiversity, with deep Sal forests, Khair woodland, and sward lands covers that sustain a diverse range of flora and wildlife.


  • It is home to several endangered species like as leopards, elephants, barking deer, sambars, chitals, pythons, king cobras, monitor lizards, and several species of birds.

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