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Prelim Bits 15-09-2023 | UPSC Daily Current Affairs

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September 15, 2023

Operation Polo

Operation Polo, the military action launched by the Indian Army on September 13, 1948 commemorated 75th anniversary recently.

Background

  • Sardar Vallabai Patel the then States department secretary in 1947, approached the princely states to accede to the Indian Union in 3 subjects, namely foreign relations, defense and communications.
  • All states except Kashmir, Hyderabad, and Junagarh had signed an ‘instrument of accession’ with the Indian government.

Instrument of accession is an agreement by which the ruler of the princely states agreed to the accession of his kingdom to independent India.

Hyderabad’s stand

  • The Nizam of Hyderabad state, Mir Osman Ali Shah, had the intention of keeping his state as an independent entity and did not join India or Pakistan after Independence.
  • The Nizam signed a standstill agreement with India in November 1947.
  • This means that status quo should be maintained between Indian dominion and Hyderabad.
  • The agreement was signed for a period of 1 year, Indian government could not exercise any authority over Hyderabad.

Operation Polo

  • Operation Polo was the code name for the police action against the Princely State of Hyderabad in September 1948 by the newly Independent republic of India.
  • The landlocked state had a majority Hindu population with the state administration almost entirely run by its Muslim rulers.
  • The Nizam’s administration in Hyderabad had taken advantage of the standstill agreement & it increased the number of its irregular force called Razakars.
  • The Indian Army marched into Hyderabad following the outbreak of hostilities, overwhelming the Hyderabadi military and annexed Hyderabad into the Indian Union.
  • The Nizam of Hyderabad and Razakars surrendered to the Indian army in September 13, 1948.
  • Thus the princely state of Hyderabad was attached to the Indian dominion.

References

  1. The Indian Express | Operation Polo
  2. The Hindu | Operation Polo

National Judicial Data Grid platform

Supreme Court to soon come under National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG) platform.

  • About - It is an online repository of data related to the backlog of cases and the pace at which courts at various levels, from taluka to the national level, process and resolve these cases.
  • It is established as part of the “eCourts Project” in 2020.
  • Developed by - National Informatics Centre (NIC) and in house team of Supreme Court.
  • Ministry - It gets its data from Ministry of law and justice.
  • Updation - Until now, the platform has been collecting data only up to the level of high courts, and now the top court will be uploading cases to the platform in real-time.
  • Technology - The platform allows litigants to access case status information for a vast number of cases by utilising elastic search technology.

Elasticsearch is a distributed search and analytics engine built on Apache Lucene, which is commonly used for log analytics, full-text search, security intelligence, business analytics, and operational intelligence use cases.

  • NJDG provides case data for both civil and criminal cases.
  • Functions - The NJDG operates as a monitoring tool with the primary functions of identifying, managing, and reducing case backlog.
  • Furthermore, in the context of land disputes, NJDG has integrated Land Records data from 26 States to track related cases.

World Bank praised the National Judicial Data Grid in the Ease of Doing Business report for 2018, that it made possible to generate case management reports, thereby making it easier to enforce contracts.

References

  1. PIB | National Judicial Data Grid platform
  2. The Hindustan Times | National Judicial Data Grid platform

Munshi-Ayyangar formula

September 14 is observed as Hindi Diwas, or Hindi Day, to commemorate the Constituent Assembly of India making Hindi the official language of the Union government.

The Munshi-Ayyangar formula

  • The Munshi-Ayyangar formula is named after Drafting Committee members K M Munshi and N Gopalaswamy Ayyangar.
  • The Munshi-Ayyangar Formula was proposed in 1950, which recommended Hindi in Devanagari Script to be the Official Language in India along with English for a period of 15 years.
  • This formula faced opposition from non-Hindi speaking states, who demanded the use of their respective regional languages.
  • As part of the Munshi-Ayyangar formula, Article 343 of the Constitution was adopted in 1950.

Article 343

  • According to Article 343:
    1. The official language of the Union shall be Hindi in Devanagari script.
    2. The form of numerals to be used for the official purposes of the Union shall be the international form of Indian numerals.
    3. For a period of 15 years from the commencement of this Constitution, the English language shall continue to be used for all the official purposes of the Union.
  • When the 15-year period came to an end, protests broke out over the fear of imposition of Hindi in large parts of non-Hindi-speaking India, particularly in Tamil Nadu.

The outcome

  • The resistance resulted in the Centre passing the Official Languages Act, which stated that English would continue to be upheld as an official language along with Hindi.
  • Hence there is no national language for India.

English, alongside Hindi, is one of the two official languages of the central government, but it is not among the 22 languages in the 8th Schedule.

References

  1. The Indian Express | Munshi-Ayyangar formula
  2. Outlook India | In The Spirit Of Hindi Diwas

International Organization of Legal Metrology

India can now issue the International Organization of Legal Metrology (OIML) Certificates.

International Organization of Legal Metrology

  • It is an Intergovernmental organization established in 1955. 
  • The International Organization of Legal Metrology is an intergovernmental treaty organization which:
    1. Develops model regulations, standards and related documents for use by legal metrology authorities and industry.
    2. Provides mutual recognition systems which reduce trade barriers and costs in a global market.
    3. Promotes and facilitates the exchange of knowledge and competencies within the legal metrology community worldwide,
    4. Cooperates with other metrology bodies to raise awareness of the contribution that a sound legal metrology infrastructure can make to a modern economy.
  • Headquarters – Paris, France.
  • It is international standard-setting body in the sense of the World Trade Organization's Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement.
  • Members - It has 63 Member States and 64 Corresponding Members. India became the member in 1956.

To sell a weight or measure in the International market an OIML Pattern Approval certificate is mandatory.

India and the OIML

  • India has now become authority for issuing OIML certificate for selling weights & measures anywhere in the world and Department of Consumer Affairs can issue the certificate now.
  • India now joins as a 13th country to issue OIML approval certificates.
  • Other countries - Australia, Switzerland, China, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, France, United Kingdom, Japan, Netherlands, Sweden, and Slovakia, can also issue this certificate.

The OIML-Certificate System is a system for issuing, registering and using OIML certificates, and their associated OIML type evaluation/test reports.

  • Advantages for India - Increase in exports, earning of foreign exchange, and generation of employment.

References

  1. PIB | International Organization of Legal Metrology
  2. The Indian Express | India can now issue OIML certificates
  3. OIML | About

Beijing convention on the judicial sale of ships

15 countries join UN convention to promote legal certainty in judicial sale of ships.

  • Developed by - The Beijing Convention on the Judicial Sale of Ships, as it is now known, was developed by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL).
  • Aim - It addresses the problem of new owners and those financing the purchase of vessels who, for instance, find themselves dealing with previous creditors laying claim to the ship as security for a loan.
  • The UN General Assembly has called on all states wishing to strengthen the international legal framework for shipping and navigation to consider becoming a party to the convention.

UNCITRAL is a subsidiary body of the U.N. General Assembly responsible for helping to facilitate international trade and investment.

  • IMO - The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) was supporting the establishment of the convention by acting as the repository for these notices and certificates of judicial sale.
  • GISIS - Information on pending and completed judicial sales of ships will be accessible online on IMO’s Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS) platform.
  • Article 21 - Article 21 of the convention provides that it will enter into force 180 days after the date of deposit of the third instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.
  • As of now, 15 States signed the Convention recently.

15 countries, including China, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Switzerland, signed the UN Convention on the International Effects of Judicial Sales of Ships and the convention is not signed by India yet.

References

  1. The Hindu Business Line | 15 countries join UN convention
  2. UNCITRAL | Judicial sale of ships
  3. UN | Beijing Convention on the Judicial Sale of Ships
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