Daily Current Affairs for UPSC Civil Services Exam – 26 July 2020

In Today’s News:

  1. GI certificate for Kashmir Saffron.
  2. Anti-Defection Law.
  3. Tiny bug slayer – an ancient relative of dinosaurs and pterosaurs.

1. GI certificate for Kashmir Saffron

News Summary

The J&K administration issued the certificate of geographical indication (GI) registration for saffron grown in the Kashmir Valley. Hon’ble J&K Lieutenant-Governor G.C. Murmu described it as “a momentous decision of the Centre” and said that this was the first major step to put saffron produced in the Kashmir Valley on the world map with authentication.

Prelims GS – Economic Development

GI tags:
  • GI tags are known as Geographic Indication tags.
  • It is an indication or a sign which specifies that it originates from a definite geographical territory.
  • GI tags are used to identify agricultural, natural, handicrafts or manufactured goods.
  • In December 1999, the Parliament had passed the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act,1999 in order to comply with the obligations to WTO i.e. World Trade Organization.(UPSC Prelims Question 2018)
  • The Act would be administered by the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks- who is the Registrar of Geographical Indications
  • Geographical Indications are covered as an element of Intellectual Property Rights(IPR) under the TRIPS Agreement (WTO Agreement).
  • GI tags registration is valid for 10 years.
  • Darjeeling Tea is the first product to receive GI tag in India
Some Examples of GI tags:(Match type Questions have been asked in UPSC Prelims)
  • Tirupathi Laddu – Andhra Pradesh
  • Dindigul Locks – Tamilnadu
  • Arumbavur Wood Carvings – Tamilnadu
  • Kandangi saree  – Tamilnadu
  • Sohrai – Khovar Painting – Jharkhand
  • Telia Rumal – Telangana
  • Kashmir Saffron – J&K
  • Chak Hao – Manipur

For more information on the GI tag products, click here to view the pdf list.

Mini Insights

Mains GS3 – Economic Development(IPR)

Benefits of GI Tags:
  • It confers legal protection to Geographical Indications in India
  • It helps farmers/producers to get the best remunerative prices.
  • It helps the product to acquire more prominence in the export market.
  • It also prevents the adulteration prevalent in the trade.
  • It prevents unauthorized use of a Registered Geographical Indication by others
  • It promotes the economic prosperity of producers of goods produced in a geographical territory.

2. Anti-Defection Law

News Summary

There is a political news article regarding the Anti-Defection Law.

Prelims GS – Polity

Anti-Defection Law:
  • Anti-Defection law contains provisions regarding disqualification on ground of defection.
  • It is available in the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution of India.
  • This was brought through the 52nd Amendment Act, 1985.

Mini Insights

Mains GS2 – Polity

(Note: Some of the points here are directly taken from the Constitution of India book for conveying the exact meaning)

Anti-Defection Law and Features:
Conditions for Disqualification:
  • A member of a House belonging to any political party shall be disqualified for being a member of the House—
    (a) if he has voluntarily given up his membership of such political party; or
    (b) if he votes or abstains from voting in such House contrary to any direction issued by the political party to which he belongs or by any person or authority authorized by it in this behalf, without obtaining, in either case, the prior permission of such political party, person or authority and such voting or abstention has not been condoned by such political party, person or authority within fifteen days from the date of such voting or abstention.
  • An elected member of a House who has been elected as such otherwise than as a candidate set up by any political party shall be disqualified for being a member of the House if he joins any political party after such election.
  • i.e. An independent candidate after elections, if he joins any political party he will be disqualified.
  • A nominated member of a House shall be disqualified for being a member of the House if he joins any political party after the expiry of six months from the date on which he takes his seat after complying with the requirements of article 99 or, as the case may be, article 188.
Decision on questions as to disqualification on ground of defection:
  • If any question arises as to whether a member of a House has become subject to disqualification under this Schedule, the question shall be referred for the decision of the Chairman or, as the case may be, the Speaker of such House and his decision shall be final.
  • However, this decision is subject to judicial review. (Kihoto Hollohon case 1993 judgment)
Some cases where disqualification on ground of defection will not apply:
  • If the merger of the original party to which a member belongs happens with another party, then those members who go out of the original party and join another party will not be disqualified. But in that case, the merger will be considered only when two-thirds or above of the members of the party have agreed to such a merger.
  • If a person has been elected as the Presiding officer of the house and if he voluntarily gives up the membership of his political party, he will not be disqualified.  And if he rejoins the political party after he ceases to hold the office of Presiding officer of house, then also he will not be disqualified.
Significance of Anti-Defection Law:
  • This helps in ensuring political stability as the members won’t jump from one party to another after elected as a member of the Houses from one party.
  • This will help in enhancing the governance mechanism and ensures the political accountability of members of the Houses to the people.
  • It promotes party discipline among the members of the party as they need to vote according to the Whip’s order.
  • It ensures that candidates elected with party support and on the basis of party manifestoes remain loyal to the party policies.
Limitation of Anti-Defection Law:
  • Interferes with the member’s freedom of speech and expression by curbing dissent against party policies.

To understand more about the intent and impact of Anti-Defection law, visit the official prs website.

3. Tiny bug slayer – an ancient relative of Dinosaurs and Pterosaurs

News Summary

A newly discovered species has shown that gigantic species of Dinosaurs and Pterosaurs had very small ancestors of 10cm tall.

Prelims GS – Environment

Tiny bug slayer:
  • Tiny bug slayer fossils have been discovered in Madagascar.
  • It was actually named as Kongonaphon kely which translates from the Malagasy language as ‘tiny bug slayer’ — a reference to its insect diet.
  • The fossils were discovered in 1998 as part of an expedition by an American–Malagasy crew.
  • It took almost 22 years for the publication of results after discovery.
  • This animal seems to the ancestor of the gigantic Dinosaurs and Pterosaurs and was just 10cm tall and 30cm long.
  • All flying animals have evolved from the smallest animals as ancestors.


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