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Table of Contents:

GS Paper 1:

1. Savitribai Phule.

2. Lord Curzon.

3. Northeast monsoon.


GS Paper 2:

1. Parliamentary Privileges.

2. Kalapani Territory.


GS Paper 3:

1. Indian Science Congress.


Facts for Prelims:

  1. MiG-27.
  2. Year of the Nurse and the Midwife 2020.


GS Paper  : 1


Topics Covered: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

Savitribai Phule

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: Key contributions.

Context: Birth anniversary of Indian Social Reformer Savitribhai Phule is observed on January 3.

Key facts:

  1. Born in Naigaon in Maharashtra on January 3, 1831, Phule is widely regarded as one of India’s first generation modern feminists for her significant contributions in ensuring equal education opportunities under the British raj.
  2. She became the first female teacher in India in 1848 and opened a school for girls along with her husband, social reformer Jyotirao Phule.
  3. The two also worked against discrimination based on caste-based identity, something vehemently opposed by the orthodox sections of society in Pune.
  4. She went on to establish a shelter for widows in 1854 which she further built on in 1864 to also accommodate destitute women and child brides cast aside by their families.
  5. Phule also played a pivotal role in directing the work of the Satyashodhak Samaj, formed by her husband with the objective to achieve equal rights for the marginalised lower castes.
  6. Savitribai opened a clinic in 1897 for victims of the bubonic plague that spread across Maharashtra just before the turn of the century.
  7. She also set up “Balhatya Pratibandhak Griha”.
  8. In her honour, University of Pune was renamed Savitribai Phule University in 2014.

Sources: The Hindu.  


Topics Covered: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

Lord Curzon

What to study?

For Prelims: Reforms and key events during his rule.

For Mains: Implications of his policies.

Context: Bengal Governor Tweets About “Iconic” Lord Curzon Table, Gets Trolled.

The table was apparently used by Lord Curzon to sign papers pertaining to the Partition of Bengal in 1905.

Who was Lord Curzon?

He was a true successor of Lord Dalhousie. He was great imperialist, authoritarian in temperament, ruthless in his ways and wanted to achieve too much at too great pace.

The time of his governorship (1899-1905), was the formative phase of Indian national movement. Thus he tried to strangulate Indian nationalism and freedom movement by all fair and foul means.

Reactionary policies of Lord Curzon:

Through Calcutta Corporation act 1899 he reduced the number of elected legislatures to deprive Indians from self-governance.

He looked at Indians with contempt and insulted and injured their feelings. He described Bengalis as cowards, windbags, impracticable talkers and mere frothy patriots. He even refused to meet to president of Indian national congress.

The biggest blunder he committed was the partition of Bengal. Although it was a political masterstroke to break growing Indian nationalism among Bengalis, it proved disastrous for British in longer term.

Impact of Curzon’s reactionary policies:

Curzon by his impolitic utterances and imperialist designs brought political unrest in India to a bursting point. Curzon’s imperialistic policies provoked reaction which in turn stung political life in India. Out of his tyranny was born a stronger sense of nationhood. Taken in this light Curzon proved to be a benefactor of India without intending to do so.

Reforms by Lord Curzon:

  1. Educational:To set the educational system in order, he instituted in 1902, a Universities Commission to go into the entire question of university education in the country. On the basis of the findings and recommendations of the Commission, Curzon brought in the Indian Universities Act of 1904, which brought all the universities in India under the control of the government.
  1. Scientific: The Agriculture Research Institute in Pusa (Bihar – Bengal Presidency) was established.
  1. Administrative:He made efforts for police reforms, eliminating the corruption and to promote the economic development. He provided a revival to conservatism in India by refurbishing the main features of Lord Mayo’s policies. He instituted a Police Commission in 1902 under the chairmanship of Sir Andrew Frazer. Curzon accepted all the recommendations and implemented them. He set up training schools for both the officers and the constables and introduced provincial police service. During Curzon regime, the Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP) was established which covered roughly the areas of upper course of River Indus.
  1. Military: Imperial cadet corps was set up which became an instrument for  Indianisation of army later.
  1. Other reforms: He passed a law called the Ancient Monuments Act, 1904 which made it obligatory on the part of the government and local authorities to preserve the monuments of archaeological importance and their destruction an offence.

Sources: Indian Express.


Topics Covered: Important Geophysical phenomena.

Northeast monsoon

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: Meaning, impacts and significance.

Context: The northeast, or winter, monsoon has ended on a high, with an overall surplus rainfall being recorded for the season.

The year that just went by witnessed the rare meteorological coincidence of the northeast (winter) monsoon making its onset on the same day as the southwest monsoon withdrew officially.

What is the northeast (winter) monsoon?

Though much less heard of, especially in the north of the country, the northeast monsoon is as permanent a feature of the Indian subcontinent’s climate system as the summer monsoon.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) recognises October to December as the time for the northeast monsoon.

During this period, rainfall is experienced over Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Andhra Pradesh, along with some parts of Telangana and Karnataka.


 Difference between Northeast and Southwest monsoons?

The Northeast monsoon derives its name from the direction in which it travels — from the northeast to the southwest.

Similarly, the summer monsoon moves in exactly the opposite direction — from the southwest to the northeast. That is why it is called the southwest monsoon.

When does the northeast monsoon set in?

Although October, November, and December are supposed to comprise the northeast monsoon season, the rains normally set in only around October 20.

The southern peninsular region receives rain in the first half of October as well, but that is attributable to the retreating summer monsoon.

  • The summer monsoon season ends on September 30 but the withdrawal does not happen overnight.
  • The southward withdrawal takes place over a period of three to four weeks. It usually starts around the second week of September and continues till about the second week of October, bringing rain as it retreats.

Where does it rain during the northeast monsoon season?

The northeast monsoon brings rain to just five of the 36 meteorological divisions in the country — Tamil Nadu (which includes Puducherry), Kerala, Coastal Andhra Pradesh, Rayalaseema and South Interior Karnataka.

As such, this season contributes only 11 per cent to India’s annual rainfall of 1,187 mm, compared to about 75 per cent in the summer monsoon season (the remaining rain comes in other non-monsoon months).

Impact on northern states:

Many other parts of the country, like the Gangetic plains and northern states, also receive some rain in November and December but this is not due to the northeast monsoon.

It is caused mainly by the Western Disturbances, an eastward-moving rain-bearing wind system that originates beyond Afghanistan and Iran, picking up moisture from as far as the Mediterranean Sea, even the Atlantic Ocean.

In the higher reaches of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand, the precipitation is often in the form of snow.

Sources: Indian Express.


GS Paper  : 2


Topics Covered: Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.

Parliamentary Privileges

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: All about Parliamentary Privileges, Privilege motion and privilege committee.

Context: A Rajya Sabha member has filed a petition with the Chairman of the House seeking to initiate breach of privileges and contempt proceedings against the Chief Minister of Kerala after the Kerala Assembly passed a resolution against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

What are they?

Parliamentary privileges are certain rights and immunities enjoyed by members of Parliament, individually and collectively, so that they can “effectively discharge their functions”.

Parliamentary privileges are defined in Article 105 of the Indian Constitution and those of State legislatures in Article 194.

When any of these rights and immunities are disregarded, the offence is called a breach of privilege and is punishable under law of Parliament.

Besides, Rule No 222 in Chapter 20 of the Lok Sabha Rule Book and correspondingly Rule 187 in Chapter 16 of the Rajya Sabha rulebook govern privilege.

 Privileges of Parliamentarians:

  1. Freedom of Speech: According to the Indian Constitution, the members of Parliament enjoy freedom of speech and expression. No member can be taken to task anywhere outside the four walls of the House (e.g. court of law) or cannot be discriminated against for expressing his/her views in the House and its Committees.


  1. Freedom from Arrest:It is understood that no member shall be arrested in a civil case 40 days before and after the adjournment of the House (Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha) and also when the House is in session. It also means that no member can be arrested within the precincts of the Parliament without the permission of the House to which he/she belongs.


  1. Exemption from attendance as witnesses:The members of Parliament also enjoy freedom from attendance as witnesses.

 Privileges of Parliament:

Right to publish debates and proceedings:

  • Though by convention, the Parliament does not prohibit the press to publish its proceedings, yet technically the House has every such right to forbid such publication.
  • Again, while a member has the privilege of freedom of speech in Parliament, he has no right to publish it outside Parliament.
  • Anyone violating this rule can be held responsible for any libellous matter it may contain under the common law rules.

Right to exclude strangers:

Each house of Parliament enjoys the right to exclude strangers (no-members or visitors) from the galleries at any time and to resolve to debate with closed doors.

Right to punish members and outsiders for breach of its privileges:

  • In India, the Parliament has been given punitive powers to punish those who are adjudged guilty of contempt of the House.
  • Such contempt can be committed by the members of any House or any outsider. When a member of the House is involved for parliamentary misbehaviour or commits contempt he can be expelled from the House.

Right to regulate the internal affairs of the House:

The House has the right to regulate its internal affairs. A member of the House is free to say whatever he likes subject only to the internal discipline of the House or the Committee concerned.

What is the privileges committee?

In the Lok Sabha, the Speaker nominates a committee of privileges consisting of 15 members as per respective party strengths. A report is then presented to the House for its consideration. The Speaker may permit a half-hour debate while considering the report. The Speaker may then pass final orders or direct that the report be tabled before the House.

A resolution may then be moved relating to the breach of privilege that has to be unanimously passed. In the Rajya Sabha, the deputy chairperson heads the committee of privileges, that consists of 10 members.

Sources: the Hindu.


Topics Covered: India and its neighbourhood- relations.

Kalapani Territory

What to study?

For Prelims: Location of Kalapani.

For Mains: The dispute and ways to address them.


Context: Nepal and India are planning to resolve the Kalapani border issue through dialogue. India has clarified that the latest political map of India reflects the sovereign territory of India.


The issue was raised by Nepal after India published a new political map that showed the creation of two Union Territories in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh after revoking the special status of Kashmir on August 5. Ever since, diplomatic sources have maintained that both sides have made conciliatory statements which has so far fallen short of producing a solution to the Kalapani issue.

What’s the issue?

In the latest map, India included Kalapani into the Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand.

Nepal government says that Kalapani is an integral part of the country and that talks are still on between New Delhi and Kathmandu over this “unresolved” area.

Foreign secretaries of both countries have been assigned the responsibility to resolve the remaining border-related issues between India and Nepal.

Where is it located?

Kalapani is located at an altitude of 3600m on the Kailash Manasarovar route.

It borders Uttarakhand in India and Sudurpashchim Pradesh in Nepal.

Since the Indo-China war of 1962, Kalapani is controlled by India’s Indo-Tibetan Border Police.

Nepal claims that the river located towards the west of the territory is the main Kali river and thus it falls in its territory, India claims a ridgeline towards the east of the Kalapani territory and hence, includes it in the Indian Union.

Genesis of the dispute:

Under the treaty of Sugauli signed between Nepal and the British East India Company in 1816, the Kali River was located as Nepal’s western boundary with India. It, however, made no mention of a ridgeline and subsequent maps of the areas drawn by British surveyors showed the source of the Kali river at different places.

This discrepancy has led to the boundary disputes between India and Nepal, with each country producing maps including the territory in their own area to support their claims. The exact size of the Kalapani territory also varies in different sources.

Way ahead:

While the two countries have made a lot of headway in ties, sensitive issues such as border need to be handled carefully and New Delhi has to be mindful of Nepal’s concerns.

Sources: the Hindu.



GS Paper  : 1

Topics Covered: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

Indian Science Congress

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: Indian science congress- theme, features and significance of such platforms.

Context: 107th Indian Science Congress is being held at the University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS) in Bengaluru, Karnataka.

Theme: “Science & Technology: Rural Development”.


Indian Science Congress is organised by the Indian Science Congress Association every year in the first week of January.

About Indian Science Congress Association:

The Indian Science Congress Association was started in the year 1914 in Kolkata and has a membership of more than 30,000 scientists.

Origin: It owes its origin to the foresight and initiative of two British chemists, namely, Professor J. L. Simonsen and Professor P. S. MacMahon. It occurred to them that scientific research in India might be stimulated if an annual meeting of research workers somewhat on the lines of the British Association for the Advancement of Science could be arranged.


  1. To advance and promote the cause of science in India.
  2. To hold an annual congress at a suitable place in India.
  3. To publish such proceedings, journals, transactions and other publications as may be considered desirable.
  4. To secure and manage funds and endowments for the promotion of Science including the rights of disposing of or selling all or any portion of the properties of the Association.
  5. To do and perform any or all other acts, matters and things as are conductive to, or incidental to, or necessary for, the above objects.

Sources: the Hindu.


Facts for Prelims:


Context: On December 27, the Indian Air Force retired its fleet of MiG-27s.

Key facts:

  • Commissioned into the Indian Air Force in 1985.
  • It was due to the jet’s heroics during the Kargil war that the aircraft earned the nickname “bahadur” from Air Force pilots.
  • It is a single-engine, single-seater tactical strike fighter aircraft.
  • Initially developed in the erstwhile Soviet Union and later indigenously manufactured by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited in India.
  • The MiG-27 is primarily a ‘ground attack’ aircraft, whose main role is to conduct precision air strikes in battle while tackling the adversary’s air defences.


Year of the Nurse and the Midwife 2020:

The World Health Assembly has designated 2020 the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife. 

Key facts:

  • This marks the bicentenary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.
  • It celebrates professionals who provide a broad range of essential services to people everywhere.
  • Besides preventing, diagnosing and treating diseases, and providing expert care during childbirth, nurses and midwives also serve people caught in humanitarian emergencies and conflicts.

Existing gaps: Currently, there are 22 million nurses and two million midwives worldwide. The world will need an additional nine million nurses and midwives to achieve the commitment of providing all people with access to health care by 2030, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned.