Daily Current Affairs for UPSC – 22nd July 2023

GS 2

Why is the Kerch Bridge attack significant?

Relevance: GS 2 International Relations

Context: The Kerch Bridge, linking the Russian mainland to the Crimean Peninsula, was attacked by two Ukrainian sea drones.

Importance of Kerch Bridge:

  • The bridge is crucial for Russia, providing a logistical supply link for its troops in the south.
  • After annexing Crimea in 2014, Russia lacked direct connectivity between the mainland and Crimea, prompting the construction of the bridge.
  • Ukraine targeted the bridge during its planned offensive to retake Kherson, aiming to disrupt Russian supplies and secure a land bridge for Crimea.

Ukraine’s Counteroffensive:

  • Ukraine launched a counteroffensive using advanced weapons supplied by the West.
  • The U.S. and European allies provided various military aid packages, including armaments and training.
  • Despite some territorial gains in the southeast, Ukraine hasn’t achieved a breakthrough victory.
  • The counteroffensive faced challenges due to well-fortified Russian positions and significant weaponry losses for Ukraine.

Pressure on Ukraine:

  • Ukraine received assurances of further weapons and training from Western allies during the NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania.
  • Ukraine’s major thrust in the counteroffensive was yet to begin before the attack on the Kerch Bridge.

Should delimitation be delayed further?

Relevance: Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

Context: Delimitation process

Background and Delimitation History:

  • Delimitation involves redrawing boundaries of Lok Sabha and State Assembly constituencies based on Census data to achieve almost equal voter representation.
  • Last delimitation exercise took place in 1976, using 1971 Census data.
  • A freeze was placed on delimitation until the first Census after 2026 due to population imbalances between northern and southern states.
  • Current Lok Sabha boundaries are based on the 2001 Census, but the number of seats remains frozen based on the 1971 Census.

Delimitation Process and Parliament’s Role:

  • Parliament specifies the total number of Lok Sabha and Legislative Assembly seats.
  • Delimitation Commission, appointed under a Delimitation Commission Act, redistributes seats among states based on population.
  • Parliament can make exceptional arrangements for specific cases, but the principle of one person, one vote, and one value cannot be eliminated.

Regional Variations in Population Trends:

  • Population count shows demographic divergence between northern and southern states.
  • Suggestions for a fixed proportionality in representation based on population, with room for deviation in specific circumstances.
  • Representation should also consider the voices of marginalized communities, like tribal people and the elderly.

Balancing Representation and Marginal Voices:

  • Representation should not solely be based on headcount, but also consider characteristics of representation.
  • Political decisions and negotiations will determine the final formula for representation.
  • The process should not introduce colonial concepts of different categories of voters.

Concerns of Southern States and Impact of Migration:

  • Some calculations suggest that redistribution of seats according to current population distribution may impact the representation of northern and southern states.
  • Migration patterns show significant mobility from the east to the south and from the north to the west.
  • Migrants’ agency is becoming increasingly important in political outcomes, and candidates are addressing migrant-related issues in elections.

In impasse in wrestlers’ case, the loser is the rule of law

Context: Women trainee wrestlers, including award-winning sportspersons, faced alleged sexual advances and indignities during training for almost a decade.


  • The rule of law and autonomy cannot be taken for granted; it depends on political commitment and a robust rule of law culture.
  • Contemporary Indian society faces weakening of the rule of law due to a trust deficit in the colonial model of the rule of law and a faith-oriented majoritarian re-imagination of laws.

Case of Wrestlers’ Alleged Sexual Harassment:

  • In January 2023, they began a sit-in protest at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi, seeking resolution.
  • The Sports Ministry referred the complaints to an oversight committee, but no satisfactory outcome was achieved.
  • The wrestlers approached the Supreme Court, leading to the registration of FIRs under relevant laws and judicial oversight.
  • The alleged perpetrator, a politician in a top sports position, started a vilification campaign against the wrestlers.
  • Slothful and Selective Investigation:
  • Delhi Police took time in investigating the crime and focused on the complainants’ credentials while being lenient towards the accused.
  • The police filed a closure application under the POCSO Act based on the withdrawal application of a minor wrestler, raising questions about police selectivity.

Rule of Law Course Correction:

  • The rule of law requires universal and equal applicability, ensuring a fair and impartial investigation.
  • Judicial oversight is crucial to check police powers and monitor the investigation.
  • Survivors’ protests for justice have not yielded adequate relief, raising concerns about the weakening of the rule of law in the country.
  • The need is to stand up and resort to course correction to save the soul of the rule of law.

Broader Context:

  • Similar threats to the rule of law are faced in other democracies worldwide.
  • The Stockholm Criminology Symposium highlighted the theme of principled and equitable law enforcement.

India’s data protection law needs refinement

Context: India’s Digital Personal Data Protection (DPDP) Bill, 2022 is likely to be tabled in Parliament, but critical gaps remain.


  • Drafting a data protection law for over 1.4 billion Indians is challenging.
  • The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has faced implementation challenges and risks being ineffective.

Scope and Definition:

  • The DPDP Bill only protects personal data, leaving out non-personal data.
  • Non-personal data, when combined with other datasets, can lead to identification and privacy risks.
  • The previous drafts accounted for this, but the latest version lacks provisions for penalizing re-identification of non-personal data as personal data.

Limited Reach of Data Protection Board:

  • The proposed data protection board cannot initiate proceedings on its own.
  • Users have limited control and knowledge of data transfers, making it difficult for them to approach the board.
  • Allowing the board to take action on behalf of affected users would be beneficial.

Solutions for Implementation Challenges:

  • Including penalties for re-identification of non-personal data as personal data would enhance the scope and effectiveness of the DPDP Bill.
  • Allowing the data protection board to initiate complaints on its own would provide better enforcement capabilities.

Future-Proof Legislation:

  • Addressing the gaps in the DPDP Bill will improve its implementation and ensure it remains relevant in the rapidly evolving data economy.

GS 3

SC asks Centre to transfer cheetahs to other location

Context: The court urged the government to consider moving the remaining cheetahs to a more suitable environment if needed and not turn the issue into a “prestige” matter.

Disturbing Cheetah Mortality Rates at Kuno National Park:

  • Within a year, 40% of the 20 cheetahs brought from South Africa and Namibia to Kuno National Park (KNP) have died, raising serious concerns.
  • Eight cheetahs have died in a short span, with two deaths occurring just last week.
  • Alarming cheetah mortality rates indicate a precarious situation for the translocated big cats.

Supreme Court Urges Relocation:

  • The Supreme Court advised the Union government to consider moving the cheetahs to a more suitable environment, if necessary.
  • The welfare and survival of the cheetahs should take precedence over any prestige associated with the conservation project.

Centre’s Response and Measures:

  • The Additional Solicitor General acknowledged the unfortunate deaths of the cheetahs and attributed them to several reasons.
  • The cheetah conservation project is considered prestigious, and authorities are exploring various options to ensure the well-being and survival of the remaining cheetahs at Kuno National Park.
  • The Centre assures that efforts are being made to address the situation and protect the cheetahs.

Centre bans export of non-basmati white rice to control price rise in India

Context: The Directorate General of Foreign Trade, under the Union Commerce Ministry, announced an immediate ban on the export of non-basmati white rice.

Reasons for the Ban:

  • The ban was implemented to ensure sufficient availability of non-basmati white rice in the domestic market and to curb price rise.
  • Retail prices had increased by 11.5% over a year and 3% over the past month, necessitating measures to stabilize prices.

Previous Measures and Their Impact:

  • Export duty of 20% on non-basmati white rice was imposed earlier to lower prices and ensure availability in the domestic market.
  • However, despite the imposition of export duty, exports of this rice variety increased significantly.
  • Factors contributing to the surge in exports include high international prices due to geopolitical scenarios, El Nino sentiments, and extreme climatic conditions in other rice-producing countries.

Impact on Exports:

  • In 2023-24, about 15.54 lakh tonnes of non-basmati white rice were exported, compared to only 11.55 lakh tonnes during 2022-23.
  • The sharp increase in exports has been attributed to various external factors impacting rice prices in the global market.

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