Prelim Bits 12-02-2024 | UPSC Daily Current Affairs

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February 12, 2024

Polygamy in India

Recently, Uttarakhand government has passed Uniform Civil Code bill and bans polygamy.

  • Polygamy – It is the practice of having more than one married spouse (wife or husband).

The last major Indian government study on polygamy was conducted in 1974, which had found that Buddhists, Jains and Hindus had higher rates of polygamy than Muslims.

  • Census 2011 – There are 28.65 crore married men in India, compared to 29.3 crore married women whose difference can be either due to incidence of polygamy or by men going abroad.
  • In absolute value, it is high among Hindus followed by Muslims while in % of population to the total population, Muslims lead followed by Christians.
  • NFHS – It asks women a more direct question regarding polygamy and found to be highest among Christians followed by Muslims.
  • Overall, Scheduled Tribes reported the highest incidence at 2.4%.
  • IIPS Study – International Institute of Population Sciences (IIPS) analysed data from the NFHS-3, NFHS-4 and NFHS-5 in 2022.
  • It showed that polygynous marriages (1 man married to more than 1 woman at a time) have decreased from NFHS-3 to NFHS-5, among the whole population.
  • The sharpest dip is among Buddhists.


  • LimitationsCensus does not directly collect data, and the most recent census was held in 2011, more than a decade back.
  • Unlike the census, NFHS does not look at the whole population, NFHS-5 (2019-21) sampled approximately 6.1 lakh households, less than 1% of the total number of households in India.

Laws governing Polygamy in India

  • The Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act 1936 - Prohibited polygamy in the Parsi community.
  • Shariat Act 1937 - Governs the marriage in Islam. The act allows Muslim man to have 4 wives.
  • The Special Marriage Act 1954 - A radical legislation that proposed the requirement of monogamy.
  • The Hindu Marriage Act 1955 - Outlawed the concept of having more than one spouse.

The State of Goa has its own Uniform Civil Code which allows bigamy of Hindu man under specific circumstances mentioned in their code.


The Indian Express| Uttarakhand bans Polygamy


Contributions of Charan Singh

Former Indian Prime Minister Chaudhary Charan Singh (1902-87) has been conferred the Bharat Ratna in 2024.

Charan Singh was Uttar Pradesh’s 1st non-Congress chief minister, and went on to become Prime Minister of India in 1979. He remains 1 of only 2 CMs of UP, alongside V P Singh, who became PM.

  • A Jat leader - Today, the politically powerful Jats have nearly 40 Lok Sabha seats and around 160 Assembly seats, spread across UP, Haryana, Rajasthan and Delhi.
  • He remains UP’s only Jat CM ever.
  • Champion of peasants – Even before independence, he was building up a political position against the exploitation of peasants by big landlords.
  • As a Minister in Uttar Pradesh 1st Cabinet after independence, he was instrumental in the implementation of historic legislation for zamindari abolition and land ceiling.
  • He not only proposed 60% reservations for farmers’ children in public employment.
  • Thus championed for North Indian farmer communities such as Jats, Yadavs, Gujjars, and Kurmis, as well as Muslims.
  • Boosted village economy – He was pivotal in 3 major legislation that transformed the agricultural economy of UP.
    • UP Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act, 1950 (ZALR)
    • UP Consolidation of Holdings Act, 1953.
    • UP Imposition of Ceiling on Land Holdings Act, 1960
  • It helped in creating a socially and politically empowered middle peasantry who saw their economic fortunes rise as well with the Green Revolution.

Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian Award in India was instituted in 1954, in recognition of exceptional service/performance of the highest order in any field of human endeavour.


  1. The Indian Express| Bharat Ratna to Charan Singh
  2. The Indian Express| Contributions of Charan Singh


Kokborok Language

The recent announcement of Tripura Board of Secondary Education (TBSE) President that ‘students taking the Kokborok exam will be permitted to use the Bengali script alone’ sparked controversy in the state.

  • Native SpeakersBorok people or Tripuris.
  • It is spoken by 9 sub-tribe or clan of Borok community namely Debbarma, Reang, Jamatias, Tripura, Noatia, Kalai, Murasing, Rupini, Uchai.

According to 2011 census the total population of Kokborok is 8, 80,537 (23.97% of total population).

  • Lingua franca – For Tripura’s 19 tribal communities.
  • Language familyTibeto-Burman, also has close affinity with other language family like Bodo, Garo, Dimasa etc.
  • Written form – It started in 1897 as Doulot  Ahammad  a muslim scholar wrote the 1st Kokborok Grammar ‘Kokboroma And Tripura – Vyakaran Grammer’.
  • Recognition – As the state language of Tripura in 1979.

Kokborok Grammar book “KOKBOROKMA” written by Radha Mohan Thakur in 1900 was recognized and observed by the state as 1st ever Kokborok publication.

  • The Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) has declared the Kokborok as official language in 1999.
  • Language of instructionIn 1981, it was introduced as a medium of instruction at primary level.
  • Presently, it is being taught as language subject in schools.
    • In 1244 elementary schools, 114 Madhyamik schools and in 59 Higher Secondary (+2stage) schools.
  • As elective subject for UG degree in 2012 and in post graduate degree at Tripura (central) University in 2015.

The Borok or Tripuris

  • Spread – Mainly in Tripura state, some in North-Eastern states, Pithoragarh of Uttarakhand.
  • They are also present in countries like Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal and Bhutan comprising about 1.5 million in numbers.
  • Lineage – A branch of Boro people of Assam belonging to the Sino-Tibetan linguistic group and racially Mongoloids.
  • The British Historians has recognized this people as Tibeto-Burmise linguistic group.


  1. The Indian Express| Kokborok Language Controversy in Tripura
  2. Tripura.Gov.In| Kokborok Language
  3. TTAADC| The Borok or Tripuris


Foreign law firms in India

Recently, Delhi High Court issued a notice to the Bar Council of India (BCI) and Law Ministry to respond to petition filed against BCI notification allowing foreign lawyers and firms to practice in India.

  • Case Basis – The petition was filed questioning the authority of BCI in changing the rules pertaining to Advocates Act and overriding 2018 Supreme Court order.

In the case of Bar Council of India vs A.K. Balaji in 2018, Supreme Court judgment forbade foreign law firms or foreign lawyers from practising in litigation or non-litigation in India.

  • 2023 BCI Rules – It allows foreign lawyers and law firms to register with BCI to practice in India if they are entitled to practice law in their home countries.

According to the Advocates Act 1961, advocates enrolled with the Bar Council alone are entitled to practise law in India.

  • They shall be allowed to practice only non-litigious practice.
  • Foreign Lawyers – Lawyers who are registered outside India for practising law in that country and not registered with Indian Bar.
  • Foreign Law firms – The firms that are based outside India.

Bar Council of India

  • It is created by Parliament to regulate and represent the Indian Bar.
  • Statutory Body – Under the Advocates Act, 1961.
  • Composition – It consists of
    • Members elected from each state bar council
    • Attorney General of India (ex-officio member)
    • Solicitor General of India (ex-officio members)
  • It elects its own chairman and vice-chairman for a period of 2 years from among its members.
  • Regulatory functions – It prescribes standards of professional conduct, etiquette and exercises disciplinary jurisdiction over the bar.
  • It also sets standards for legal education and grants recognition to law universities.
  • Representative functions – It protects the rights, privileges of advocates and also provides financial assistance to organise welfare schemes.


  1. The Hindu| Delhi HC notice to BCI
  2. Bar Council of India| Background of BCI


World Peace Summit

The 2024 World Peace Summit to be held in February 10 and 11 in Thiruvananthapuram as part of the United Nations Religious Harmony Week.

World Interfaith Harmony Week is celebrated on February 1-7 each year as designated by the United Nations (UN). It was launched in 2011 to promote inter-faith harmony among people at a time when interreligious conflict is claiming lives and livelihoods all over the world.

  • It is a 2-day event.
  • Aim – To promote interfaith harmony and world peace and to discuss about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Theme – Unity, Power of Peace and Redefining Sustainable Development of Humanity.
  • Organised under
    • United Religious Initiative (URI) South India Region
    • World Yoga Community New York
    • Interfaith Dialogue for Sustainable Development Goals (IRD4SDG)
    • Santhigiri Ashram
    • University of Madras and Cosmic Community Centre.
  • Activities – Presentations, panel discussions and various cultural programs will be held.

The International Day of Peace is celebrated annually on 21st September. Established by the United Nations, this day epitomises our joint aspiration for a world devoid of discord and turmoil.


The Hindu| World Peace Summit 2024                                                                                          


Other Important Topics

National Creators Award

  • The National Creators Award is an initiative by the Indian government to recognize the contributions of digital creators and influencers.
  • It will recognize content creators across more than 20 categories.
  • The award aims to highlight the voices and talents that are shaping India's digital landscape and cultural fabric.
  • The award will recognize influencers in a variety of sectors, including- Education, Social change, Environmental sustainability, Gaming.

UPI services in Sri Lanka and Mauritius

Prime Minister of India, President of Sri Lanka and Prime Minister of Mauritius to witness launch of UPI services in Sri Lanka and Mauritius.

  • The launch will enable availability of UPI settlement services for Indian nationals travelling to Sri Lanka and Mauritius as well as for Mauritian nationals travelling to India.
  • The extension of RuPay card services in Mauritius and facilitate usage of RuPay Card for settlements both in India and Mauritius.

200th Birth Anniversary of Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati

  • Dayanand Saraswati was a 19th -century social leader, Indian philosopher, and the founder of the Arya Samaj in 1875, a Vedic dharma reform movement.
  • Arya Samaj means “Make this world noble” and he gave the clarion call “Go back to Vedas”.
  • Shuddhi Movement- It was introduced by him to bring back the individuals to Hinduism who were either voluntarily or involuntarily converted to other religions like Islam or Christianity.
  • Publications- Satyarth Prakash, Sanskarvidhi and Yajurved Bhashyam.

Ayushman Bharat Scheme

  • The Central government recently announced its decision to include Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs), Anganwadi workers into the free cover for health treatment under Ayushman Bharat Scheme.
  • The Ayushman Bharat Yojana, also called Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY), is a government scheme that provides health coverage to low-income people.
  • It was launched in 2018 and is the world's largest government-funded healthcare program.
  • The scheme covers up to 5 lakh per year for each family member at all public and government-based hospitals.

Precision Approach Radar (PAR)

  • Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) Admiral inaugurated a Precision Approach Radar (PAR) at INS Utkrosh in Andaman and Nicobar Islands recently.
  • Precision approach radar (PAR) is a radar guidance system that helps pilots land.
  • It provides vertical and lateral guidance to pilots during final approach, until the landing threshold is reached.
  • PAR is the most precise radar approach available, similar to the Instrument Landing System (ILS) approach.

Footballs for Schools (F4S)

The Ministry of Education has tied up with the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) to distribute 11 lakh footballs across the country in a phased manner.

  • Aim - To significantly broaden the accessibility of football within the school setting for students under the Footballs for Schools (F4S) programme.
  • The exercise is slated to benefit more than 1.5 lakh schools.

Sitting days of 17th Lok Sabha

  • The average annual sitting days of the 17th Lok Sabha, which concluded recently, sat only for 55 days on average in a year, Fewest sittings amongst all full-term Lok Sabhas.
  • 11 out of the 15 sessions held during this Lok Sabha were adjourned early and the Deputy Speaker not elected for the first time.
  • As a result, 40 scheduled sittings did not take place (13% of scheduled sittings).
  • The Lok Sabha, or the House of the People, is the lower house of the Indian Parliament with the duration of 5 years.

Sathumurai Festival

Madras High Court refuses to interfere with Sathumurai festival for Sri Thatha Desigan in Devarajaswamy Temple.

  • The Sathumurai festival is a celebration of Alwars and Acharyas on the annual Thirunakshatram day of the saints.
  • The festival is performed to Sri Thatha Desigan in Arulmigu Sri Devaraja Swamy Temple.
  • The Arulmigu Devarajaswamy Temple, also known as the Varadharaja Perumal Temple, is a Hindu temple in Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu.
  • It was originally built in 1053 by the Chola Kings and later expanded by King Kulottunga Chola I and King Vikrama and is one of the 108 temples of Vishnu, known as Divya Desams.

International Day of Women and Girls in Science

The 2024 International Day of Women and Girls in Science took place recently at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

  • The International Day of Women and Girls in Science is celebrated on February 11th annually.
  • Theme, 2024- Women and Girls in Science Leadership – a New Era for Sustainability.
  • The day is celebrated by UNESCO and UN-Women in collaboration with civil society partners and institutions to promote women and girls in science.
  • The day was declared by the UN in 2016 to encourage more girls and women to pursue jobs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Thanthai Periyar Sanctuary

  • Thanthai Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is a proposed protected area in the Erode, Tamil Nadu.
  • The Government of Tamil Nadu notified it in March 2023, making it the 18th wildlife sanctuary in TamilNadu.
  • It is located between the Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve of Tamil Nadu and the Male Mahadeshwara Wildlife Sanctuary and the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary of Karnataka.
  • The landscape is also a tiger corridor identified by the National Tiger Conservation Authority.


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