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UPSC Prelims News 3 January 2023


UPSC Prelims News of 3 January 2023

Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT)

Context: India and Saudi Arabia are in discussion to sign a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) to obtain formal assistance from each other in investigations related to criminal cases.

More on the News:

  • So far, India has signed MLATs with 45 countries, and is also in talks to finalise MLATs with Italy and Germany.
  • Saudi Arabia is only among a few countries that does not have either an MLAT or any other bilateral agreement with India to facilitate such investigations.
  • In absence of any bilateral or multilateral treaty or agreement or international convention, the summons, notices and judicial processes are served on the basis of an “assurance of reciprocity.”

Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT):

  • MLAT is a mechanism whereby countries cooperate with one another in order to obtain and provide formal assistance in criminal investigation to ensure that the criminals do not escape the due process of law for want of evidence available in different countries.
  • MLATs are used to send a formal request for investigation in foreign countries for collection of evidence, examination of witness and execution of orders of attachment and confiscation of assets.
  • Significance: Signing of MLAT would help in getting a conviction for an accused in a court of law, based on evidence gathered through the mutual agreement.
    • MLAT will help in gaining better inputs and insights in the modus operandi of organized criminals and terrorists.
  • Nodal ministry: In India, Ministry of Home Affairs is the nodal Ministry and the Central authority for seeking and providing mutual legal assistance in criminal law matters.

UPSC Prelims News 2 January 2023


Prajjwala Challenge

Context: DAY-NRLM has launched the Prajjwala Challenge inviting ideas, solutions and actions to transform rural economy.

About Prajjwala Challenge:

  • It is one of the platforms where individuals, Social Enterprises, Start up, Private Sector, Civil Society, Community Based Organization, Academic Institution, Start-ups, Incubation centres, Investors etc give ideas having potential to transform the rural economy.
  • Focus areas: Innovative Technology Solution, Inclusive Growth, Value Chain Interventions, Sustainability, Enhanced Women Entrepreneurship, Cost effective Solutions, place-based employment, localised models etc.
  • Recognition and award: Shortlisted ideas will be recognised by the Mission and will be provided mentorship support from an expert panel and incubation support to scale up.
    • The top 5 ideas will be rewarded with Rs. 2 Lakh each.


  • Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana- National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY- NRLM) is one of the flagship poverty alleviation programs of the Ministry of Rural Development.
  • The programme aims at creating efficient and effective institutional platforms of the rural poor, allowing them to increase household income through sustainable livelihoods enhancements and improved access to financial services.
  • Notable achievement: The mission has been able to mobilise more than 87 Million women in to the Self Help Groups and their federations.


Wassenaar Arrangement

Context: India will assume the chairmanship of the plenary of the Wassenaar Arrangement for one year.

About Wassenaar Arrangement

  • It is a voluntary export control regime that monitors transfers of conventional weapons and dual-use goods.
  • Establishment: It was formally established in July 1996. It is a successor to the Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls (COCOM) from the Cold War era.
  • Headquarters: Vienna, Austria.
  • Aim & Objectives:
    • It works to promote transparency and greater responsibility in transfers of conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies through regular exchanges of information among its members.
    • The regime is aimed at tracking such transfers and preventing “destabilizing accumulations”.
    • The aim is also to prevent the acquisition of these items by terrorists.
  • Members: It has 42 member states comprising mostly NATO and EU states. India joined the group in December 2017.
    • Every six months member countries exchange information on deliveries of conventional arms to non-Wassenaar members.
  • The plenary of the Wassenaar Arrangement is the main decision-making body that operates on consensus.

Other Important Multilateral Export Control Regimes

The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) For the control of nuclear related technology.
The Australia Group (AG) For control of chemical and biological technology that could be weaponised.
The Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) For the control of rockets and other aerial vehicles capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction.


Sammed Shikharji

Context: Members of the Jain community have been protesting against Jharkhand government’s decision to convert the Jain pilgrimage site Sammed Shikharji into a tourist place.

About the Sammed Shikharji

  • Shikharji, also known as Sammed or Sammet Shikharji, is a Jain pilgrimage site in Giridih district, Jharkhand, India.
  • It is located on Parasnath hill, the highest mountain in the state of Jharkhand.
Sammed Shikharji
Sammed Shikharji
  • Significance:
    • It is considered to be the biggest pilgrimage site by both the Digambaras and the Svetambaras.
    • It is believed that it is the place where 20 of the 24 Jain tirthankaras, who are Jain spiritual leaders, along with many other monks attained ‘moksha’ or salvation after meditating.
    • According to beliefs of the Jain community, Shikharji is ranked with Ashtapad, Girnar, Dilwara Temples of Mount Abu and Shatrunjaya as the ‘Svetambara Pancha Tirth’ or the five principal pilgrimage shrines.

Important Jain Temples in India

Ranakpur Jain Temple Rajasthan Sri Digambar Temple Delhi Kulpakji Temple Telangana
Gomateshwara Temple Karnataka Palitana Temple Gujarat Dharmanath Temple Kerala
Dilwara Temple Rajasthan Sonagiri Temple Madhya Pradesh Shikharji Temple Jharkhand
Hanumantal Bada Jain Temple Madhya Pradesh Parshvanatha Temple Madhya Pradesh Saavira Kambada Temple Karnataka
Badami Cave Temple Karnataka Ellora Jain Caves Maharashtra Navagraha Temple Karnataka
Bawangaja Temple Madhya Pradesh Girnar Temple Gujarat Sri Humcha Temple Karnataka


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