Current Affair



1. Context 

Both Gujarat and Maharashtra celebrate their 63rd foundation day on May 1.
Public functions are being held across the two states to mark the day of their creation.

2. Key points

  • The two states were created out of the bilingual Bombay State, which used to cover nearly one-sixth of all land in India.
  • But Gujarati and Marathi linguistic sub-nationalism eventually won out, leading to the bifurcation of the Bombay State into a Gujarati-speaking and a Marathi-speaking state.
  • The history of the two States' creation and how the city of Bombay came to be at the centre of the struggle for statehood.

3. The situation in 1947

  • At the time of independence, present Gujarat comprised over half of India's 565 princely states and the centrally administered Baroda, Western India and Gujarat States Agency.
  • In 1948, over 220 princely states in the Kathiawar region came together to form the Saurashtra state.
  • Except for Junagadh, whose Nawab initially attempted to join Pakistan, the creation of the Saurashtra state largely went without a hitch.
  • The northern Kutch region was given the status of a Part C state, remaining under the direct administration of the union government.
  • However the eastern region of present-day Gujarat, again a patchwork of tiny princely states with Baroda being the largest, merged with the erstwhile Bombay State in 1949.
  • Leading up to 1947, the Bombay Province was one of British India's three large administrative regions stretching from Mysore in the south beyond Karachi in the West.
  • It enveloped the patchwork of princely states that would later become a part of Gujarat but did not include Marathi-speaking regions of Vidarbha (in Central Provinces) and Marathwada (Hyderabad State).
  • Present-day Maharashtra would be formed via the integration of these Marathi-speaking regions with a large part of the erstwhile Bombay state.
The red outline marks the bilingual Bombay State created in 1956. In green are the Marathwada districts which were previously a part of Hyderabad State, in blue are the Vidarbha districts previously a part of the Central Provinces and in the two shades of yellow are the Kutch (north) and Saurashtra regions. In red is the erstwhile Bombay province unified with Baroda and other princely states in present-day eastern Gujarat. Outside the red outline, to the south, in pink are Kannada-speaking districts that were transferred from Bombay to what today is known as Karnataka. 

4. The Question of Bombay City

  • Movements to unify Marathi-speaking regions into a single administrative unit went as far back as 1918.
  • In 1953, the Nagpur Pact was signed by representatives of Bombay State, Vidarbha and Marathawada formally proposing the creation of a unified Marathi-speaking state. However, there was a fundamental problem with this plan.
  • While Southern and Eastern regions of the proposed state were overwhelmingly Marathi-speaking, Bombay City and north-western regions of the proposed state (Baroda and surrounding territories) had a heavy Gujarati presence.
  • The proposal to create a unified Marathi state saw bitter opposition from Gujaratis, especially around the question of the cosmopolitan Bombay City.
  • While the city too consisted of a majority Marathi population and was surrounded by Marathi-speaking districts from which it drew much of its resources, Gujaratis argued that it was their contributions which gave Bombay much of its financial might.
  • Instead of handing over the city of Bombay to Marathis, Gujaratis argued for a trifurcation of the region into a Gujarati state, a Marathi state and the union territory of Greater Bombay.
  • However, the matter remained inconclusive until the States Reorganisation Commission (SRC) adjudicated upon the issue in its 1955 report.

5. A bilingual state fails to assuage any community

  • Going against the principle of linguistic states, the SRC recommended the creation of a single, bilingual Bombay state which included all Marathi and Gujarati-speaking territories.
  • At the time of its creation in 1956, it was by far the biggest state in India, covering roughly one-sixth of India's total landmass. But the compromise left both linguistic groups unsatisfied.
  • From 1956 onwards, powerful linguistic sub-nationalist movements gathered steam in the state.
  • On one hand, was the Mahagujarat Andolan, led by Indulal Yagnik, and on the other was the Samyukta Maharashtra Samiti, led by Keshavrao Jedhe.
  • The movements were marked by massive demonstrations on the streets some of which even turned violent.
  • Finally, in 1959, the ruling Congress government succumbed to political pressure and acknowledged that the creation of the bilingual state had been a failure.
  • Finally, on May 1, 1960, the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra were carved out of the united Bombay State.
  • Notably, while Gujarat was able to secure the region around Baroda for itself, Bombay City went on to become the capital of the new Marathi-speaking state.
  • This was a major loss for Gujarat which set up its capital first in Ahmedabad and later in the newly built city of Gandhinagar.
For Prelims: Gujarat, Maharashtra, Baroda, Nagpur Pact, States Reorganisation Commission, 
For Mains:
1. What is the States Reorganisation Commission report said about the Bificuraction of states? Discuss the pros and cons of bifurcations of states (250 Words) 
Previous Year Questions
1. A Commission for the Re-organisation of States, according to language and culture was set up by the Indian Government, in the year 1953, under the Chairmanship of  (HSSC Group D 2018)
A. Syed Fazal Ali Mahatma
B. Gandhi
C. Jawaharlal Nehru
D. Subhaschandra Bose
Answer: A
2. In 1960, the erstwhile state of Bombay was bifurcated to create the present-day states of Maharashtra and ______.  (RRB NTPC 2022) 
A. Chhattisgarh         B. Karnataka          C. Gujarat           D. Goa
Answer: C
Source: The Indian Express


1. Context

With Britain’s King Charles III set to have his coronation ceremony later this week on May 6 2023 (Saturday), preparations are afoot for a day associated with specific objects and traditions as part of the world’s few remaining monarchies.

The event is expected to draw a significant audience from across the world. The interest here may also be because of the fact that the last time a coronation happened in the UK royal family was in 1953, after Charles’s mother Queen Elizabeth II was crowned Queen following the death of her father, King George VI, around a year prior. The Queen passed away on September 8, 2022. Given the scale of the coronation ceremonies, they take place some months after the monarch’s death. Although, the proclamation of Charles as King happened soon after the Queen’s death in a small ceremony

coronation chair

2. What is Stone Scone?

  • The 150kg red sandstone slab has some marks on it, along with two attached metal rings
  • Also known as the Stone of Destiny, the stone has long resided in Scotland and is seen as a sacred, historic symbol of its monarchy and nationhood
  • It was believed to have been used in the inauguration of Scottish kings as far back as the early 9th century
  • Many of these inaugurations took place at the Scone Palace in the city of Perth in Scotland, hence the name of the stone
  • The monarchs would have their inauguration as kings while sitting on it
  • The stone, as one of the few objects present in the inauguration, therefore became an important symbol of the Scottish royals, representing a solid foundation to the kingdom
  • In 1296, King Edward I of England seized the stone from the Scots, and had it built into a new throne at Westminster
  • It was incorporated into a small section underneath the wooden Coronation Chair, ordered in 1308 for London’s Westminster Abbey
  • That chair has since been used in the coronation ceremonies of English and British monarchs since Henry IV in 1399. It was used in Elizabeth II’s coronation as well.
  • There have also been instances of the stone disappearing or suffering damage. Suffragettes, or women activists campaigning for voting rights in the country, once set off a bomb near the chair in the early 20th century, and as a result, both the chair and the stone sustained some damage
  • On Christmas Day in 1950, four nationalist Scottish students removed the stone from Westminster Abbey
  • Three months later it turned up nearly 800 kilometres away, in the Arbroath Abbey in Scotland, a building long associated with Scottish independence, as Scottish nobles swore their independence from England here in the 14th century
  • The stone, therefore, also became embroiled in the cause of Scottish nationalism
  • In 1996, the stone was officially returned to Scotland. Today, it is on display in the Crown Room of the Castle and is only “borrowed” for coronations

3. Significance of Stone Scone

  • It was believed to be the same stone used by the biblical figure of Jacob (the father of the Israelites) as a pillow when he dreamed of a ladder reaching up to heaven
  • From here, one of Jacob’s sons is said to have taken it to Egypt, from where it travelled to Spain and later to Ireland when the Spanish king’s son, Simon Brech, invaded the island in 700 BCE
  • There it was placed upon the sacred Hill of Tara, and called “Lia-Fail”, the “fatal” stone, or “stone of destiny”
  • The Westminster Abbey website states that Fergus Mor MacEirc, the founder of the Scottish monarchy, and one of the Blood Royal of Ireland, received it in Scotland
  • King Edward seizing the stone, monks at the Scone Palace hid the “real stone” in a nearby river and gave English soldiers a replica.
Source: indianexpress



1. About Psychedelics substances

  • Psychedelics are a group of drugs that alter perception, mood and thought processing while a person is still clearly conscious. Usually, the person's insight also remains unimpaired.
  • Psychedelics are non-addictive, non-toxic and compared to illicit drugs, they are less harmful to the end user.
  • In India, the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act 1985 prohibits the use of psychedelic substances.
  • Ketamine, a dissociative anaesthetic with psychedelic properties is used under strict medical supervision, for anaesthesia and treatment-resistant depression.

2. History of psychedelics

  • A psychiatrist named Humphrey Osmond first used the term Psychedelic in 1957.
  • The word is derived from the Greek words psyche, meaning "mind", and deloun, meaning "to manifest".
  • Humans have used psilocybin and mescaline for ceremonies, healing and spiritual rituals for millennia.
  • Temples built for mushroom "deities" in indigenous cultures in Mexico and Guatemala date back to 7000 BC.
  • Records of the Greek "Eleusinian Mysteries" indicate that psychedelics were used in ceremonial rituals.

3. The modern-day use of psychedelics 

  • The modern-day use of psychedelics is commonly associated with the German chemist Arthur Heffter isolating mescaline from the peyote cactus in 1897.
  • In 1938, while investigating compounds related to ergotamine (one of the ergot alkaloids) the Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann accidentally contaminated himself with a small dose of LSD, he experienced what was likely the world's first "acid trip".
  • On a hunch, he synthesised LSD in 1943 and with further testing, found LSD to be extremely potent and physiologically relatively safe.

4. War on drugs

  • Between 1947 and 1967, LSD was widely used as a therapeutic catalyst in psychotherapy.
  • The Harvard Psilocybin Project, founded by psychologist Timothy Leary, further proselytised LSD and psilocybin which led to the increasing recreational use of these substances.
  • Around this time, medical concerns and the Vietnam War prompted the conservative Richard Nixon administration to criminalise the use of psychedelics and other psychoactive drugs.
  • This "war on drugs" stopped all medical use and pushed recreational use underground.
  • Media campaigns in the 1960s and 1970s further stigmatised the use of all psychoactive drugs.

5. Drugs work in the body

  • Users of psychedelic substances report changes in perception, somatic experience, and mood, through processing and entheogenic experiences.
  • Perceptual distortions most commonly include the visual domain.
  • An intriguing phenomenon called synaesthesia may occur, where the sensory modalities cross and the user may hear colour or see sounds.
  • About half of the ingested psilocybin is absorbed via the digestive tract.
  • In the body, psilocybin is converted to psilocin, which is then metabolised in the liver.
  • LSD is completely absorbed in the digestive tract and then metabolised in the liver.
  • Classical psychedelics boost brain serotonin levels.
  • Psilocybin's therapeutic effects require a trip that is mediated by the activation of serotonin receptors.
  • A recent case report published in the American Journal of Psychiatry demonstrated that robust and sustained antidepressant effects can occur even in the absence of psilocybin's psychedelic effects.
  • This finding, if replicated in larger trials, will have major implications for people with treatment-resistant depression. They can then get better without having to endure a trip.
  • Modern neuroimaging suggests that psychedelics are neither stimulants nor depressants of brain activity.
  • Instead, they increase the crosstalk between different brain networks and this correlates with the subjective effects of psychedelics.

6. The harm of the substances

  • Death due to direct toxicity of LSD, psilocybin or mescaline has not been reported despite 50-plus years of recreational use.
  • An overdose requires cardiac monitoring and supportive management in a low-stimulus and reassuring environment.
  • Synthetic psychedelics (such as 25INBOMe) have been associated with acute cardiac, central nervous system, limb ischaemia, as well as serotonin syndrome.
  • There have also been reports of death attributed directly to synthetic psychedelic use.
  • The psychological effects of psychedelics depend on the interaction between the drug and the user's mindset (together called a set) and the environmental setting.
  • People with a personal or family history of psychosis are strongly discouraged from experimenting with psychedelics.
  • There is also no evidence that psychedelics cause physiological or psychological dependence nor has any withdrawal syndrome been identified.
  • Tension headaches are common in the 24 hours after use and offset by the use of simple analgesics.
  • This said, brief and self-limiting psychotic episodes can occur when a user is intoxicated with psychedelics, particularly LSD.
  • They are more common among first-time users and those with a personal or family history of psychiatric illness.
  • Users describe these experiences as a bad trip and they are more likely to occur in unfavourable environments.

7. Psychedelics used to treat neuropsychiatric disorders

  • In November 2022, the results from a phase-II psilocybin trial were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
  • The trial found that a single 25 mg dose of psilocybin reduced depression scores over three weeks in people with treatment-resistant depression.
  • Adverse events included headache, nausea, and dizziness which occurred in 77 per cent of the participants.
  • Suicidal ideation, suicidal behaviour and self-injury occurred in all dose groups (1 mg, 10 mg and 25 mg).
  • In 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) designated the use of 3, 4 methylenedioxy methamphetamine, also known as MDMA, to be the breakthrough therapy in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Under its expanded access program the FDA has allowed a small number of people particularly those seriously ill with PTSD and who have not responded to other treatments to use MDMA.
  • Recently, the U.S. non-profit Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) also announced positive results from its observational study on MDMA-assisted therapy for patients with PTSD, echoing the findings of its phase III MDMA trial, published in Nature Medicine in May 2021.
  • In 2018, the FDA granted breakthrough therapy status to psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression as well. 

8. The usage of psychedelics

  • Although recent findings are encouraging, there remains uncertainty about where the psychedelic renaissance will take us.
  • Psychedelic substances provide an intriguing avenue through which one can probe the broader constructs of creativity, spirituality and consciousness aside from their therapeutic effects.
  • While not a panacea, psychedelic substances have certainly reinvigorated clinical and research interests and have added to psychiatry's ever-expanding therapeutic armamentarium.
  • If larger phase III trials establish their safety and therapeutic efficacy, the FDA and other regulatory bodies may clear these agents for routine clinical use.
For Prelims: Psychedelics substances, Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act 1985, Vietnam War, 
For Mains: 
1. Psychedelic drugs, banned in India under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, are emerging in research as promising ways to treat treatment-resistant depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Comment. (250 Words)
Previous Year Questions
1. Read the following passage and answer the question that follows. Your answers to these items should be based on the passage only.
There are reports that some of the antibiotics sold in the market are fed to poultry and other livestock as growth promoters. Overusing these substances can create superbugs, pathogens that are resistant to multiple drugs and could be passed along humans. Mindful of that, some farming companies have stopped using the drugs to make chickens gain weight faster. Since Denmark banned antibiotic growth promoters in the 1990s, the major pork exporter says it is producing more pigs - and the animals get fewer diseases.
Which one of the following statements best reflects the critical message conveyed by the passage given above?  (UPSC 2021)
A. People should avoid consuming the products of animal farming.
B. Foods of animal origin should be replaced with foods of plant origin.
C. Using antibiotics on animals should be banned.
D. Antibiotics should only be used to treat diseases.
Answer: D
2. Consider the following statements: (UPSC 2022)
1. Vietnam has been one of the fastest-growing economies in the world in the recent years.
2. Vietnam is led by a multi-party political system.
3. Vietnam's economic growth is linked to its integration with global supply chains and focus on exports.
4. For a long time Vietnam's low labour costs and stable exchange rates have attracted global manufacturers.
5. Vietnam has the most productive e-service sector in the Indo-Pacific region.
Which of the statements given above are correct?
A. 2 and 4    B. 3 and 5     C. 1, 3 and 4     D. 1 and 2
Answer: C
Source: The Hindu


1. Context
More problems. More money. That is a key takeaway from the latest data published today by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), a leading global security think tank
2.Key takeaways
  1. For 2022, researchers recorded a year-on-year jump of 3.7 per cent in worldwide military expenditure
  2. That marks an all-time high and follows several years of continuously higher spending
  3. For those who follow world events, the doubling down on defense likely comes as no surprise
  4. Russia’s all-out war against Ukraine has particularly led European countries to pay their military budgets renewed attention
  5. Ever since the first Russian missiles struck Ukrainian cities in February 2022, country after country has announced new spending
3. Spending Data
  • Defense outlays among NATO members  the Euro-Atlantic military alliance incorporating most European countries  have been going up since at least 2014
  • That is when Russia initially attacked Ukraine, illegally annexing the Crimean Peninsula and backing separatists in the eastern part of the country
  •  NATO members agreed to meet a defense spending goal of 2 per cent of national GDP by 2024, and many of them have been slowly working toward that target.
  • The Russian threat that all this money is meant to counter, however, has not materialized as frightfully as first imagined
  • The fact that Ukraine has so far managed to counter the Russian forces, which are theoretically superior, and hem them into a corner of the country, casts serious doubt on a broader danger to the rest of Europe
  • Still, money for new military kit, and other defense-related spending, keeps pouring in
  • Russia may be a flop on the battlefield but it could still be a potent adversary in cyberspace
  • Infiltration of and attacks on digital infrastructure can be low-cost, but high-damage. And, of course, Russia maintains a considerable nuclear arsenal
4. What does Statistics mean?
  • As governments respond to a growing sense of unraveling security, they contribute to its further deterioration
  • At the same time, however, the SIPRI data shows that the spending spree may not be as pronounced as headlines and policymakers sometimes make it out to be
  • While actual spending is up, topping a combined $2.2 trillion (€2 trillion) in 2022, as a share of GDP it is 0.1 per cent lower than it was in 2013
  • That is despite double-digit increases over the past decade across many countries, including nuclear powers and those known for prioritizing armed forces, such as China (63 per cent), India (47 per cent), and Israel (26 per cent)
  • In each of these countries, however, defense spending has declined as a percentage of national economic output
  • The discrepancy suggests economic expansion has outpaced national budgets in areas such as defense, even if dollar figures can appear eye-popping; and rapid, record inflation has forced governments to spend more just to keep up
  • A defense ministry faces similar price pressures when shopping for a squadron of fighter jets that a normal household does for buying a carton of eggs
  • Countries looking not just to maintain, but grow or upgrade their militaries, have to spend even more, which SIPRI’s reporting reflects
  • Inflation has also been a political problem, particularly in Germany, which early last year pledged an additional €100 billion for its armed forces in response to Russian aggression
  • After years of facing criticism for not spending enough, higher prices have muted its efforts to finally do so
5. Indian Scenario
  • Despite an 11 per cent drop in its arms import between 2013-17 and 2018-22, India remained the world’s largest arms importer from 2018 to 2022 followed by Saudi Arabia, according to the latest report by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)
  • The data released Monday showed Russia was India’s largest arms supplier in the periods between 2013-17 and 2018-22, but its share of arms imports to India fell from 64 per cent to 45 per cent while France emerged as the second-largest arms supplier to India between 2018-22 at 29 per cent, followed by the US at 11 per cent
  • The report said India’s tensions with Pakistan and China largely drive its demand for arms imports
  • With an 11 percent share of total global arms imports, India was the world’s biggest importer of major arms in 2018–22, a position it has held for the period 1993–2022
  • However, it added that the 11 per cent drop in arms imports can be attributed to several factors including India’s slow and complex arms procurement process, and efforts to diversify its arms suppliers, among others
  • Aside from Russia and France, India also imported arms during this five-year period from Israel, South Korea, and South Africa which are among the top arms exporters globally
  • The report said Russia’s position as India’s main arms supplier is under pressure owing to strong competition from other supplier states, increased Indian arms production, and, since 2022, constraints on Russia’s arms exports related to its invasion of Ukraine
  • Under two-thirds of Russian arms exports went to India, China, and Egypt in 2018-22 — at 31 per cent, 23 per cent, and 9.3 per cent, respectively. It said while Russian arms exports went down by 37 per cent between the two periods, exports to China and Egypt increased by 39 per cent and 44 per cent, respectively, within the same time frame
  • It, however, said that Russia made no deliveries to Egypt in 2021-22 and the volume of deliveries to China in 2020-22 was lower than in 2018-19
  • India’s arms import from France, SIPRI said, included 62 combat aircraft and four submarines and increased by 489 per cent between 2013-17 and 2018-22
  • As per the data, India was the third-largest arms supplier to Myanmar during this period after Russia and China and comprised 14 per cent of its imports. It also stated that 77 per cent of Pakistan’s arms supply in 2018-22 came from China
For Prelims: Defence Procedure Acquisition, SIPRI
For Mains: 1. Expenditure on armed forces should not be viewed as burden on economy. Do you agree? (250 Words)
Source: indianexpress


1. Context
A five-judge or constitution bench of the Supreme Court Monday (May 1 2023) held that a court can directly grant divorce under Article 142 of the Constitution, in cases where the marriage has irretrievably broken down, without referring the parties to a family court first, where they must wait for 6-18 months for a decree of divorce by mutual consent.

2.What is Article 142?

Article 142 provides a unique power to the Supreme Court, to do “complete justice” between the parties, where at times law or statute may not provide a remedy. In those situations, the Court can extend itself to put a quietus to a dispute in a manner that would fit the facts of the case.

3. Article 142 in the constitution?

Article 142(1) states that “The Supreme Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction may pass such decree or make such order as is necessary for doing complete justice in any cause or matter pending before it, and any decree so passed or order so made shall be enforceable throughout the territory of India in such manner as may be prescribed by or under any law made by Parliament and, until provision in that behalf is so made, in such manner as the President may by order prescribe”

4.The idea behind Article 142?

Article 142 of the Constitution of India provides a special and extraordinary power to the Supreme Court to do complete justice to the litigants who have suffered traversed illegality or injustice in the proceedings

5.Incorporating Article 142?

The necessity for incorporating such an article into the Constitution was spelt out in the Constituent Assembly. The framers of the Constitution felt that this provision is of utmost significance to those people who have to suffer due to the delay in getting their necessary reliefs due to the disadvantaged position of the judicial system. According to  Shri Thakur Das Bhargava, natural justice is above law, and the Supreme Court will also be above law, in the sense that, it shall have full right to pass any order that it considers just. This gives almost unlimited powers to the Supreme Court. Therefore, the Supreme Court shall exercise these powers and will not be deterred from doing justice by the provision of any rule or law, executive practice or executive circular or regulation etc.

6. important instances where the Supreme Court has invoked its plenary powers under Article 142?

6.1.Manohar Lal Sharma v. Principal Secretary- the Supreme Court can deal with exceptional circumstances interfering with the larger interest of the public in order to fabricate trust in the rule of law.

6.2.A.R. Antulay v. R.S. Nayak the Supreme Court held that any discretion which is given by the court should not be arbitrary or in any way be inconsistent with provisions of any statute laid down. 

6.3.Laxmi Devi v. Satya Narayan- Supreme Court had ordered the accused, under Article 142, to award compensation to the victim with whom he had sexual intercourse with a promise to marry and had later retracted his promise. Also, the order made clear that the accused should not be convicted of rape.

6.4.Union Carbide Corporation v. Union of India In Bhopal Gas Tragedy Case, the court ordered to award compensation to the victims and placed itself in a position above the Parliamentary laws.

6.5.Siddiq v. Mahant Suresh Das popularly known as the Ayodhya dispute, the Supreme Court had exercised the powers mentioned under Article 142 of the Constitution. It first refused to make two divisions of the land and it entirely handed over 2.77 Acre of land to Hindus



For Prelims: Article 142, Article 142(1)

For Mains:

1.What is the relation between Article 142, judicial activism and judicial restraint?


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