La Excellence IAS Academy

Top Bhutan honour for PM Modi: ‘transforming ancient civilisation to dynamic tech centre’

Syllabus: GS-II; Subject: International Relations  Topic: India and its neighborhood Issue: India-Bhutan relationship

Context: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Bhutan.

Highlights of the visit:

  • PM Modi was honoured with Bhutan’s highest civilian award, the Order of the Druk Gyalpo.
  • Establishment of two proposed rail links:Kokrajhar-Gelephu link and Banarhat-Samtse link.
  • Several other agreements and memoranda of understanding (MoUs) were exchanged.
  • +1 advantage for mains(Statement): “India and Bhutan enjoy long-standing and exceptional ties characterised by utmost trust, goodwill, and mutual understanding at all levels.”

Source: Indian Express

ED is required to furnish grounds of arrest in writing: SC

Syllabus: GS-II; Subject: Polity; Topic: Judiciary and Tribunals Issue: Review petition

Context: The Supreme Court dismissed the review petition filed by the central government.

  • The petition sought review of the court’s order which mandated the Enforcement Directorate to furnish grounds of arrest in writing to the accused at the time of arrest.

Review petition:

It is a legal mechanism to ask the court to reconsider its own judgment or order.

  • Under Article 137 of the Constitution, the Supreme Court has the power to review any of its judgments or orders.
  • A review petition can be filed only on specific grounds. These include:
  • Error apparent on the face of the record: This refers to a clear legal mistake evident from the court documents themselves.
  • Breach of the principles of natural justice
  • Discovery of new and important evidence that could not be presented earlier.

Prelims connect(Institutions in news)

Enforcement directorate (ED):

●       It is India’s primary agency responsible for enforcing economic laws and fighting financial crimes.

●       Operates under the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance.

Key functions:

●       The ED enforces three main Acts:

➢       The Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002

➢       The Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), 1999

➢       The Fugitive Economic Offenders Act (FEOA), 2018

●       Investigates financial crimes, trace and seize assets derived from illegal activities, and prosecute offenders in special courts.

●       The ED can also attach suspicious assets before trial to prevent them from being transferred or hidden.

Source: Indian Express

Australia, Britain to build AUKUS subs

Syllabus: GS-II  Subject: International Relations Topic: Regional and global groupings Issue: AUKUS

Context: A landmark deal between Australia and Britain to develop nuclear-powered submarines under AUKUS grouping.

  • Plan to supply Australia with a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines to beef up military muscle in a bid to counter China’s rise.
  • These submarines offer greater range, stealth, and endurance compared to conventional diesel-electric ones.

AUKUS group:

  • AUKUS stands for Australia, United Kingdom, United States
  • It’s a trilateral security partnership formed in 2021, focusing on the Indo-Pacific region.
  • Goal: Collective Security-To strengthen the ability of each member to address security challenges, particularly in the Indo-Pacific.
  • Key Initiative: Nuclear-Powered Submarines for Australia with assistance from the USA and UK.

Source: The Hindu

India now eyes Africa for critical minerals

Syllabus: GS-I  Subject: Geography Topic: Resources – World and India Issue: Critical minerals

Context: India is looking at Africa for critical minerals.

  • India is looking at Zambia, Namibia, Congo, Ghana and Mozambique for minerals.
  • The Geological Survey of India found 9 million tonnes of lithium-inferred resources in Salal-Haimana area of Reasi district of J&K.

Critical Minerals are a type of mineral resource that meet two key criteria:

  • Essential for Modern Technologies like clean energy technologies, electronics, and defense systems.
  • Supply Chain Risks due to factors like:
    • Limited geological availability
    • Concentration of their extraction or processing in just a few countries
    • Geopolitical issues or trade policies

Examples: Lithium, nickel, cobalt, and graphite which are vital for battery performance in electric vehicles and electronics.

Source: The Hindu

HC says Uttar Pradesh Madrasa Education Act ‘unconstitutional’

Syllabus: GS-II  Subject: Polity  Topic: Legal issues Issue: Uttar Pradesh Madrasa Education Act, 2004

Context: The Allahabad High Court declared Uttar Pradesh Madrasa Education Act, 2004 unconstitutional for violating principles of secularism.

  • The act established a board of madrasa education in the state,aimed to regulate madrasas(Islamic schools) in Uttar Pradesh.

Judgement highlights:

  • The State has no power to create a board for religious education only for a particular religion and philosophy associated with it.
  • It is the duty of the state to provide education which is secular in nature, particularly to minors.

The court directed the government to take steps for accommodating these students in regular schools recognised under state education boards.

Can Arvind Kejriwal continue to be CM while in custody?


Syllabus: GS-II  Subject: Polity Topic: Executive Issue: Public office

Context: Arvind Kejriwal continuing to occupy public office (office of chief minister) while being in judicial custody.

  • An MLA/MP does not suffer disqualification for merely being in judicial custody.
  • However, Madras High court in Senthil Balaji case said that citizens expect that persons in power had high standards of moral conduct.

+1 advantage for mains(case law):

  • Manoj Narula versus Union of India 2014: Supreme court declared three basic norms for holding a public office.
  • Constitutional morality, that is, to avoid acting in a manner contradictory to the rule of law.
  • Good governance,that the government has to rise above narrow private interests and aim at doing good for the larger public interest
  • Constitutional trust that is, to uphold the high degree of morality attached to a public office.

Source: The Hindu

Daily Editorials

Relevant to case : predicate offense, proceed of crime.

Syllabus: GS-III Subject: Internal Security Topic: Money Laundering and prevention Issue: PMLA

Context: Arrest of a Chief Minister accused of money laundering.

Predicate Offense:

  • The Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) criminalizes money laundering.
  • Money laundering involves any process or activity related to proceeds of crime, including concealment, possession, acquisition, or use of such proceeds.
  • “Proceeds of crime” refers to property derived from criminal activity related to scheduled offences.
  • Scheduled offences, listed in the PMLA schedules, are also known as predicate offences.
  • Accusations of money laundering require a connection to the scheduled offence.
+1 advantage for mains(case laws)

●        In the Vijay Madanlal Choudhary & Ors v Union of India case, the Supreme Court ruled that if an accused in the predicate offence is acquitted or discharged, they cannot be prosecuted under the PMLA.

●        In the Pavana Dibbur v Enforcement Directorate case, the Supreme Court stated that an accused in a PMLA case, who assists in concealing or using proceeds of crime, need not be named in the scheduled offence.

Source: Indian Express

Free Speech Check Unit

Syllabus: GS-II Subject: Polity Topic: Legal issues Issue: Bills/Acts/Rules

Fact Check Unit:

  • 2021 IT Rules allowed for Fact Checking Unit (FCU).
  • FCU targets online content concerning central government businesses.
  • The supreme court halted the government’s attempt to establish FCU as a statutory body under PIB.

Concerns with FCU:

  • Gives government unchecked authority with vague definitions of “fake” and “misleading”.
  • Absence of written orders and detailed reasoning raises concerns of possible suppression of journalism and dissent.
  • FCU’s timing, amidst legal challenges and impending elections.
  • Violates Article 19(Free speech) and amounts to censorship.

Source: Indian Express

The CAA, Muslim exclusion and the lens of the right

Syllabus: GS-II Subject: Polity Topic: Legal Issues Issue: Bills/Acts/Rules

Context: Rules of Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) 2019 notified.

  • Government argued that since Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh are Islamic states, Muslims there would not face persecution.

Partition 1947

  • Numerous Indian Muslims opposed Partition.
  • During Partition, a significant number of Muslims chose to remain in India.
  • Efforts by Maulana Azad and Nehru secured rights for Muslims who opted to stay.

The truth of persecution:

  • Religious minorities, including some Muslim sects like the Ahmedias, face significant persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan.


  • Well-crafted political response to correct the narrative is needed.

Source: The Hindu

Two wars, the consequences for America’s standing

Syllabus: GS II Subject: International Relations Topic: Global Issues Issue: USA’s stance towards war in Ukraine and Israel conflict

Ukraine war

  • Despite EU assistance, the U.S. is the primary provider of military aid to Ukraine.
  • The U.S. is wary of Russian victory but aims to avoid prolonged conflict in Ukraine.

Israel and its Gaza actions:

  • The USA stands as the sole major supporter of Israel during the Gaza conflict.

Conclusion: Trump’s victory could disrupt U.S. policy towards both Ukraine and Israel wars, affecting NATO and could damage U.S. credibility as a European security guarantor.

Source: The Hindu

Blowback: On Pakistan, Afghanistan and insurgency

Syllabus: GS- II Subject: International Relations Topic: India and its neighborhood Issue: Border skirmishes between Pakistan and Afghanistan

Context: Pakistan and Afghanistan carried out retaliatory airstrikes against each other.

  • Pakistan alleged it struck the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in response to terror attacks.
  • The Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan(Pakistani Taliban) is a militant group with the goal to overthrow the Pakistani government and establish a strict Islamic state.

Pakistan’s historic support to Afghanistan:

  • Pakistan historically supported the Taliban against U.S. backed Afghan governments.
  • Pakistan expected to strengthen its strategic presence through a client regime in Kabul after the Taliban’s return but faced setbacks.

Key concerns in Pakistan Afghanistan relation:

  • The Durand Line, a contested border, between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
  • The Taliban’s return has strengthened the TTP security concern for Pakistan.
  • Taliban and TTP share Pashtun ethnicity and Deobandi interpretation of Islam.

Source: The Hindu