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UPSC Prelims News 12 December 2022


UPSC Prelims News of 12 December 2022


Context: An astronomical event known as kilonova has produced a flash of light in the sky, generating curisoty among scientists.

More on the News:

The event ocured on the outskirts of the Milky Way located approximately 1 billion light-years away from Earth.

About Kilonova:

  • Kilonova is an explosion caused during the merger of two neutron stars or a neutron star and a black hole.
  • Both kilonova and supernova produce energetic form of light called Gamma-ray burst (GRB). Kilonova usually generates shorter pulses, lasting less than 2 seconds.
  • Kilonovae explosion are also known for red colours, which is a sign of the rare, heavy elements like gold, platinum and thorium produced in their ejecta.

Gamma-Ray Burst (GRB):

  • The Powerful astronomical cosmic bursts of high-energy gamma-rays are called GRBs. They are usually associated with supernovae explosion.
  • GRBs are of two varieties, long and short. Long GRBs (couple of seconds to a minute) form when a star at least 10 times the mass of our Sun explodes as a supernova.
  • Short GRBs (less than 2 seconds) occur when two compact objects, like two neutron stars or a neutron star and a black hole, collide to form a kilonova.

UPSC Prelims News 10 December 2022


Private Member Bill

Context: A MP from the ruling party has introduced a private member bill on UCC in the Rajya Sabha.

What is a Private Member Bill?

  • A Private Member is a Member of Parliament (MP), who is not a minister. The bill introduced by a private member is called private members’ bill.
  • The bill introduced by a minister is termed a Public Bill.

Features of Private Member Bill:

  • Introduction: Introduced by non-minister member (ruling party or opposition). It can be introduced in either house of the Parliament.
  • Notice: One month’s advance notice has to be given before introduction. These bills can be introduced and discussed only on Fridays.
  • Drafting: The introducing member is responsible for drafting the bill.
  • Approval: A private member bill has less chance of approval.
  • Capping: A maximum of 3 private member bills can be introduced per session of Parliament.
  • Listing: The Parliamentary Committee on Private Member’s Bills and Resolutions is responsible for going through such Bills and classifying them based on their urgency and importance.


  • A private member bill draws the government’s attention to certain issues and gaps in the existing legal framework, which require legislative intervention.


Ad-Hoc Judges

Context: Supreme Court observed that the appointment of ad-hoc judges in the High Courts needs to be simplified.

About Ad-Hoc Judges:

  • Article 127: It deals with the appointment of ad-hoc judges.
    • They are appointed by the chief justice of India in consultation with the president of India.
    • The retired judges of the supreme court can be appointed as Adhoc judges but they are not deemed to be judges.
  • Article 224A: Chief justice of a high court can request a retired judge of any high court to become a judge of that particular high court.
    • Such appointment would come into effect with the approval of the President of India.
  • Need: Supreme Court in 2021 noted that across high courts, 56.4% cases were pending for less than five years whereas 40% of the pending cases were 5 to 20 years old.

Supreme Court on Ad-Hoc Judges:

  • Article 224A has largely been a “dormant provision” with only three recorded instances of its invocation in 1972 (Madhya Pradesh high court), 1982 (Madras high court) and 2007 (Allahabad high court).
  • In April 2021, the Supreme Court laid down certain guidelines for making appointment of ad hoc judges on a petition filed by NGO Lok Prahari.
    • Ad hoc judges may be appointed for a minimum period of two to three years.
    • It should be invoked where vacancies are more than 20% of the sanctioned strength, Or
    • Where more than 10% of pending cases in a high court are more than five years old.
    • Primary Purpose: To deal with cases pending for over five years.


New Threatened Species

Context: White-cheeked Dancing Frog, Andaman Smoothhound shark and Yellow Himalayan Fritillary are among 29 new species assessed in India that are under threat, according to the latest update to the IUCN’s Red List.

White-Cheeked Dancing Frog

  • It has entered the Red List as endangered.
  • It is endemic to the Western Ghats in Karnataka.
  • They are endangered with extinction due to loss of their habitat, pollution, changes in temperature, diseases, pests, invasive species among others

The Andaman Smoothhound Shark

  • It has been included in the Red List as Vulnerable.
  • It is found in the Andaman Sea in the Eastern Indian Ocean off the coast of Myanmar, Thailand, and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
  • It is subject to fishing pressure across its spatial and depth

The Yellow Himalayan Fritillary plant

  • It has been included in the Red List as Vulnerable.
  • It is mostly found in the Himalayas. It occurs in Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan.
  • In the Indian Himalayas, the species is threatened due to unorganized harvest, over-extraction, unsustainable and premature harvesting of bulbs, coupled with illegal hidden

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

  • IUCN is a membership union uniquely composed of both government and civil society organizations.
  • Created in 1948, it is the global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it.
  • Headquarters: Gland, Switzerland
  • The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, is the world’s most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of plant and animal species.

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