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Insights Daily Current Events, 05 April 2016

Insights Daily Current Events, 05 April 2016

Paper 2 Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Government backs verdict denying AMU minority status

The government has backed out of challenging an Allahabad High Court order denying the historic Aligarh Muslim University the minority status.

  • The government has made it clear in the Supreme Court that the government is convinced that the 1967 Constitution Bench judgment, which had held that AMU was not “established” by Muslims, still held sway.


The Azeez Basha versus Union of India verdict of the Supreme Court had denied AMU protection under Article 30 of the Constitution. Article 30 provides minority communities the fundamental right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice. The verdict was criticised as AMU was not even a party to or heard in that case.

In 1981, Parliament restored the minority status to the university. But the Allahabad High Court in January 2006 struck down the provision of the AMU (Amendment) Act, 1981, according minority status to the university. This order was challenged in the Supreme Court by the UPA government.

For detailed analysis, please visit:

Sources: the hindu.


Paper 1 Topic: art and culture.

PM’s gift to the King of Saudi Arabia

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, during his recent visit to Saudi Arabia, gifted His Majesty King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud a gold-plated replica of the Cheraman Juma Masjid in Kerala.

  • The Prime Minister also visited the All Women IT and ITES Centre of Tata Consultancy Services in Riyadh during the tour.

About the Masjid:

Situated in Thrissur district, the Cheraman Juma Masjid is believed to be the first mosque built in India by Arab traders around 629 AD, and symbolic of active trade relations between India and Saudi Arabia since ancient times.

  • According to oral tradition, Cheraman Perumal was the Chera King and a contemporary of the Holy Prophet who went to Arabia and embraced Islam after meeting the Holy Prophet at Mecca.
  • Some years later, he sent letters to his relatives and the ruling chieftains of Malabar through his friends Malik bin Dinar and Malik bin Habib who, along with their companions, were then given permission by the local rulers to build the mosque at Kodungallur.
  • The mosque has an ancient oil lamp that is always kept burning and believed to be over a thousand years old. People from all religions bring oil for the lamp as an offering.

Sources: pib.


Paper 3 Topic: conservation.

The World’s First White Tiger Safari Opened in Madhya Pradesh

World’s First White Tiger Safari has been opened in Madhya Pradesh.

Key facts:

  • The sanctuary is spread over an area of 25 crore and is built at a cost of Rs 50 crore.
  • Presently, there are three white tigers and two Royal Bengal tigers. The safari will get nine white tigers in the coming months.
  • Vindhya region holds a special relevance because the world’s first white tiger was discovered here around 100 years ago. However, in 1976, the region lost its lone white tiger named Virat.
  • The safari will be named after Rewa princely state’s ruler Maharaja Martand Singh who had a ‘pet’ white tiger named Mohan in 1951. It later became the progenitor of all known white tigers in the world after the ruler arranged for its breeding.

Sources: toi.


Facts for Prelims from “The Hindu”:

India Rankings 2016

India Rankings 2016‘ have been released by the Union Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani. This is the first-of-its-kind indigenous ranking framework for higher education institutions. The National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) has put IIT Madras on the top spot, as the topmost engineering college, followed by IIT Mumbai and IIT Kharagpur. The top management institution is IIM Bangalore, while Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore is the best university in India. While the JNU has been ranked third, Hyderabad University has been named fourth best institute.

All 122 centrally-funded institutions – including all central universities, IITs and IIMs – participated in the first round of ranking. The framework is primarily divided into two categories:

  1. Category A covered institutions with academic autonomy and a greater focus on research.
  2. Category B comprised colleges and centres affiliated to a university and more focused on teaching. An institution can volunteer to be ranked in both categories.

Ranking criteria:

The criteria for ranking included teaching/learning resources, research, graduation outcomes, outreach/inclusivity and perception. The data for the first four parameters, which account for 90% of the weightage, was submitted by the institutions and verified by National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), a body constituted by the HRD ministry last year to conduct annual surveys.

For the perception criterion, various stakeholders including parents, teachers, and alumni were engaged to give their feedback. More than 3,500 top higher educational institutions are under consideration for the ranking.


First woman CM

Mehbooba Mufti, who succeeded her father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed as the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, has become the 16th woman CM in post-Independent India after taking the oath of office. She is also Jammu’s first woman CM.

  • Sucheta Kriplani was the first woman to become chief minister of an Indian state, Uttar Pradesh, in 1963.
  • Of the 29 states and seven Union territories, only 11 states and one UT have seen woman chief ministers in the last seven decades.
  • Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Delhi have had two women chief ministers. Haryana and Himachal Pradesh are yet to have a woman chief minister.


Semi high speed train to start operations

India’s first semi-high speed train christened as Gatimaan Express capable of running at a maximum speed of 160 KMPH is all set to be introduced on the Indian Railway system on 5th April, 2016. It’ll start operations from Delhi to Agra, covering the distance between the two cities in around 100 minutes.


World’s first mass dengue vaccination

The Philippines has launched the first public immunization program for dengue fever, seeking to administer to a million schoolchildren the world’s first licensed vaccine-Dengvaxia- against a mosquito-borne disease that the World Health Organization estimates infects 390 million people a year globally. The Philippines had the highest dengue incidence in the WHO’s Western Pacific region from 2013 to 2015, recording 200,415 cases last year. Dengvaxia is developed by the French pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur and has already been tested in Mexico.


UNIDO places India at 6th position in top-10 manufacturers list

United Nations Industrial Development Organization in its report has placed India at 6th among the world’s top 10 largest manufacturing countries. China tops the list of 10-top industrial producers followed by the US, Japan, Germany and Korea. Indonesia was at the bottom of the list.