Prelims Booster

6th August – Prelims Booster


Goa has become the recent state to join the MyGov Citizen Engagement Platform for enabling participative governance.

What is MyGov?

  • MyGov (mygov.in), the Government of India’s citizen engagement and crowdsourcing platform, aims to promote active citizen participation in governance and policymaking.
  • Since its launch on 26th July 2014, MyGov has adopted multiple engagement methodologies like discussions, tasks, innovation challenges, polls, surveys, blogs, talks, quizzes and on-ground activities by innovatively using internet, mobile apps, IVRS, SMS and outbound dialling (OBD) technologies.
  • MyGov user base has expanded to more than 1.25 Crores and millions of citizens engage with MyGov on its social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, LinkedIn and Twitter.
  • MyGov’s Helpdesk on WhatsApp and Newsdesk on Telegram has greatly augmented Govts communications on COVID19.

MyGov for States –

  • In order to engage with citizens at the State level, MyGov has enabled state instances to crowdsource ideas and creative content for state specific initiatives in a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) mode.
  • 12 states had already launched their MyGov platforms State Instance, namely, Maharashtra, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Nagaland, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

Ammonium Nitrate

A blast at Beirut (the capital of Lebanon) has killed at least 100 people and injured around 4,000 with an unknown number feared trapped under rubble. It was caused by over 2,700 tonnes of ammonium nitrate in storage for over six years.

What is ammonium nitrate?

  • A common chemical ingredient of agricultural fertilisers, the nitrogen rich compound is also the main component of the explosive composition known as ANFO — ammonium nitrate fuel oil.
  • In its pure form, ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3) is a white, crystalline chemical which is soluble in water. It is the main ingredient in the manufacture of commercial explosives used in mining and construction.

Rules in India –

  • In India, The Ammonium Nitrate Rules, 2012, under The Explosives Act, 1884, define ammonium nitrate as the “compound with formula NH4NO3 including any mixture or compound having more than 45 per cent ammonium nitrate by weight including emulsions, suspensions, melts or gels but excluding emulsion or slurry explosives and non explosives emulsion matrix and fertilisers from which the ammonium nitrate cannot be separated”.
  • The manufacture, conversion, bagging, import, export, transport, possession for sale or use of ammonium nitrate is covered under The Ammonium Nitrate Rules, 2012. The rules also make storage of ammonium nitrate in large quantities in populated areas illegal in India.
  • For the manufacture of ammonium nitrate, an Industrial licence is required under the Industrial Development and Regulation Act, 1951. A license under the Ammonium Nitrate Rules, 2012 is also required for any activity related to ammonium nitrate.


Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has recently unveiled a new political map that includes all of Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Sir Creek and Junagadh. Pakistan has said that it would be the new map of Pakistan.

Junagadh issue –

  • Junagadh’s decision to join India in 1947, formalised through a Plebiscite in 1948, was not accepted by Pakistan then, but was overtaken by the first India-Pakistan war over Kashmir that began at the end of October 1947 and continued for over a year.
  • Junagadh was mentioned by Pakistan when the Security Council took up the issue of the hostilities in J&K in January 1948. Under the UN Security Council resolution 39, a commission was set up for the “peaceful resolution of the Kashmir conflict”, and the mandate of this commission was to investigate allegations by India of the situation in J&K, as well as “other issues” raised by Pakistan, which included Junagadh that Pakistan accused India of “annexing and occupying by force”.
  • But after the initial resistance from Pakistan, Junagadh has been seen as a settled matter in the bilateral relationship, brought up sometimes in conversations in Pakistan by those wishing to make the point that when India could not countenance the accession of a Hindu-majority state with a Muslim ruler to Pakistan, it should have applied the same yardstick in Kashmir and accepted Pakistan’s claim on a Muslim-majority state with a Hindu ruler.

Accession to India –

  • Junagadh was in the Kathiawar region, where most other princely states had already acceded to India.
  • The ruler of Junagadh was Nawab Mahabatkhan Rasulkhanji.
  • The state was not contiguous with Pakistan. Eighty per cent of the population was Hindu. Somnath, where the famous Shiva temple was ransacked by Mahmud Ghazni, is located in Junagadh, near the port of Veraval.
  • In May 1947, the Dewan-ship of the state changed hands through palace intrigue to a Muslim Leaguer from Karachi, Shah Nawaz Bhutto (his son Zulfikar Ali Bhutto would become the Prime Minister of Pakistan). Under his influence, the Nawab decided to accede to Pakistan on August 15, though he had earlier given the impression that the future of his Kathiawari state lay in joining India.
  • After failing over a month to get a response from Pakistan to an offer by Nehru “to accept and abide by the verdict of the people of Junagadh in respect of the accession of the State to either of the Dominions”, starting from the last week of September to the end of October, India put in place a series of measures that held the threat of military action against Junagadh, mainly by deploying troops around the state, in an effective blockade. The Nawab of Junagadh fled to Karachi by air, with his family and his valuables.

Plebiscite in Junagadh –

  • In September, a parallel government of Junagadh called Arzi Hukumat had been formed in Mumbai, and when the Nawab fled, they began to take over parts of Junagadh, and some of them also indulged in looting and arson.
  • On November 7, Bhutto held talks with Samaldas Gandhi, head of the Arzi Hukumat, asking him to take over the administration and restore law and order. But a day later, on the urging of Muslim residents, he asked the government of India to directly take over the administration of Junagadh through the regional commissioner at Rajkot. The handover to M N Buch, Rajkot Commissioner, took place on November 9.
  • Pakistan characterised the takeover as a “direct act of hostility”, and asked India to relinquish charge to the rightful ruler and withdraw its troops.
  • India replied it had stepped in to restore law and order and prevent a complete breakdown of the administration only at the request of the Dewan of Junagadh who was acting on behalf of the Nawab, who was himself in Karachi. India had indicated that it would want to formalise the arrangement through a plebiscite.
  • This was held on February 20, 1948. Of 2,01,457 registered voters, 1,90,870 cast their votes. Of this number only 91 cast their votes in favour of accession to Pakistan. A referendum was also held in five neighbouring territories. Out of 31,434 votes cast in these areas, only 39 were for accession to Pakistan.

Parivar Pehchan Patra

Haryana Chief Minister has launched a unique identity card – called Parivar Pehchan Patra (PPP) – through which the state government aims to monitor each of the approximately 54 lakh families living across the state. Under this, each family will be considered a single unit and allotted a 8-digit unique identification number. Telangana, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh are also exploring the possibility of implementing a similar PPP project.

Need –

  • In order to avail the benefits of social security schemes of the state government, it is mandatory for each family to register themselves on the Parivar Pehchan Patra portal. Also, the government has made it mandatory for employees to go for this PPP, failing which their salaries may also be withheld.
  • It will not be mandatory for every family of the state to obtain a PPP. But, yes, PPP is mandatory for families availing benefits under government schemes. Also, whenever a family wants to avail any government scheme, it will have to first get a PPP to be eligible.
  • The government will establish the scheme-wise eligibility of a particular family using this 8-digit code according to the information available in the Parivar Pehchan Patra of the family. The benefits, according to the schemes, shall automatically be transferred to the family using the same code. Government says it will ensure that not a single beneficiary is left out from the government benefits that they are entitled to.

How is it different from Aadhaar card?

  • While Aadhaar represents an individual as a unit, a PPP represents a family as a unit. Most of our government schemes are structured around the family. It is not structured around an individual.
  • Aadhaar, due to its litigation history, has not served the purpose of linking different databases because it cannot be shared. For instance, if we have a database on PM Kisan scheme and we want to correspond it to see how many of PM Kisan scheme beneficiaries are registering on Meri Fasal Mera Byora, we are unable to do that.
  • As part of the PPP, the government will take the Aadhar once and put it into a vault called an Aadhaar vault. Aadhaar will not be exposed. But the PPP will be linked to all the family schemes. Thus, the sensitivity to legal requirements diminishes because Aadhar will not be exposed.

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