13th November 2020

Swami Vivekananda  statue unveiled

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has unveiled a statue of Swami Vivekananda in JNU Campus, New Delhi.

  • Swami Vivekananda was born Narendra Nath Datta, on 12th January, 1863. He was a monk and chief disciple of Ramakrishna Paramhansa.
  • He introduced Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the Western world and is credited with raising interfaith awareness, bringing Hinduism to the world stage during the late 19th century.
  • He established Ramakrishna Mission in 1987, named after his Guru Swami Ramakrishna Paramhansa. The institution did extensive educational and philanthropic work in India.
  • He also represented India in the first Parliament of Religion held in Chicago (U.S.) in 1893.

Philosophy of Vedanta

  • It was based on Upanishads and their interpretation.
  • Its aim was to enquire about ‘Brahman’ (ultimate reality) which was the central concept of Upanishads.
  • It saw Veda as the ultimate source of information and whose authority could not be questioned.
  • It emphasised on path of knowledge (jnana) as opposed to that of sacrifice (karma).
  • Ultimate aim of knowledge was ‘Moksha’ i.e. liberation from ‘sansara’.

Swami Vivekananda

  • He was initially a western educated Brahmo Samajist in his young age. But the Brahmo movement failed to provide solutions to his spiritual quests.
  • He became the disciple of Sri Ramakrishna whose Bhakti appealed to him more than the high intellectualism of Brahmos.
  • He was a proponent of Practical Vedanta which he considered as a religion most suited to the needs of modern man. He believed in the essential unity of man and god (Advaita).
  • He believed that it was only in selflessness and in consciously trying to serve the larger humanity that one truly gained a perspective on religion and God. This thought laid emphasis on the Karma Marga of Bhagavad-Gita.
  • He reoriented the traditional Advaita of world renunciation to a new world affirmation ideal. He searched for salvation in selflessness.
  • Many rivers flow by many ways but they fall into the same sea. This is the basis of Swamijis religious universalism and eclecticism.

Social reformer 

  • In the first place he did not think man’s thought could truly turn to God unless his basic social needs had been reasonably met. He also considered it a sin to teach spirituality to a starving man.
  • God is everywhere but he is most manifest in man. So serve man as God. That is as good as worshipping God. He joined together the ideals of one’s own salvation and welfare of the world.
  • There is infinite moral and spiritual potential in man. To develop that potential is man’s foremost duty in life. He declared education to be the manifestation of divinity inherent to man.
  • He was a critic of – Idolatry, Polytheism, Religious superstitions, Exploitation by priests in the religious sphere.
  • He envisaged an equal role to women in society and promoted women emancipation and empowerment.
  • He wanted a new man to emerge from the confluence of the spiritualism of the east and materialism of west.

Contribution to nationalism 

  • Swami Vivekananda contributed enormously to the strengthening of Hindu self-pride and cultural nationalism.
  • Vedanta was all about man-making. Manliness and activism are the gospels of swamiji for the resurgence of India.
  • Young men and women, in his vision, were to be the building blocks of a resurgent, Vedantic India.
  • He gave the call of self-sufficiency and self-help which he considered necessary for national regeneration.
  • He inspired a whole generation of patriots and revolutionaries. He is considered a patron prophet by the revolutionaries of Bengal.
  • He declared that India needs muscles of iron and nerves of steel to retain its lost glory and pride.


Contempt of Court against stand-up comedian Kunal Kamra

Attorney General K K Venugopal has given his consent for the initiation of criminal contempt proceedings against stand-up comedian Kunal Kamra for his tweets following the Supreme Court’s decision to grant interim bail to television anchor Arnab Goswami.

‘Contempt of court’

  • Contempt of court, often referred to simply as “contempt“, is the offence of being disobedient to or disrespectful toward a court of law and its officers in the form of behaviour that opposes or defies the authority, justice and dignity of the court.
  • Article 129 and 215 of the Constitution of India empowers the Supreme Court and High Court respectively to punish people for their respective contempt. Article 19 that empowers the citizens with freedom of speech has put a reasonable restriction over their speech with contempt of court added as a reasonable restriction on the same.
  • In India contempt of court is of two types –
    • Civil contempt – Under Section 2(b) of the Contempt of Courts Act of 1971, civil contempt has been defined as wilful disobedience to any judgment, decree, direction, order, writ or other process of a court or wilful breach of an undertaking given to a court.
    • Criminal contempt – Under Section 2(c) of the Contempt of Courts Act of 1971, criminal contempt has been defined as the publication (whether by words, spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise) of any matter or the doing of any other act whatsoever which –
      • Scandalises or tends to scandalise, or lowers or tends to lower the authority of, any court, or
      • Prejudices, or interferes or tends to interfere with the due course of any judicial proceeding, or
      • Interferes or tends to interfere with, or obstructs or tends to obstruct, the administration of justice in any other manner.

Why Attorney General’s consent is required?

Subsection 1 of Section 15 (Cognisance of criminal contempt in other cases) of The Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 reads: “In the case of a criminal contempt, other than a contempt referred to in Section 14 (“Procedure where contempt is in the face of the Supreme Court or a High Court”), the Supreme Court or the High Court may take action on its own motion or on a motion made by (a) the Advocate-General, or (b) any other person, with the consent in writing of the Advocate-General…”.

Contempt of court

  • While the apex court has made the application of the sedition law subject to certain conditions, it has hardly demonstrated similar willingness to make contempt of court contingent upon, say, obstruction of justice.
  • In 1998, the apex court had ruled that no Act of Parliament can take away the power of the SC and the High Courts to punish for contempt and, in 2000, in T Sudhakar Prasad, it ruled that the powers of contempt are inherent in nature and the Contempt of Court Act is merely in addition to the Articles 129 and 215 of the Constitution.
  • It is true that a strong judiciary, one that is not maligned simply by pleading freedom of speech, is vital to a democracy. But, the SC itself, in Shreya Singhal (2015), had nuanced what freedom of speech meant in the context of social media.
  • Besides, while the 274th report of the Law Commission notes that “attacks on the personal character of a judge is punishable contempt”, it also says that the ‘very nature of the power (to determine and punish contempt) casts a sacred duty on the Courts to exercise the same with greatest care and circumspection’.
  • The SC itself, in Baradakanta Mishra (1974), had laid down a litmus test for determining contempt; it should be seen if the alleged matter does wrong to the judge personally or to the public—“the key word is justice, not judge’”.


INS Vagir – INS Kalvari-class attack submarine

Indian Navy’s fifth Kalvari-class Diesel Electric attack submarine INS Vagir was launched at Mazgaon Dock in Mumbai. A look at this modern and stealthy class of submarines having been built under Project 75 and whose design is based on the Scorpene class of the submarines.

  • Indian Naval Ship (INS) Vagir is the fifth among the six Kalvari-class submarinesbeing constructed by the public sector shipbuilder Mazagon Dock Ltd (MDL) in Mumbai.
  • The other vessels in the class are INS Kalvari, INS Khanderi, INS Karanj, INS Vela and INS Vagsheer. Of these Kalvari and Khanderi have been commissioned in 2017and 2019, Vela and Karanj and undergoing sea trials, Vagir has now been launched and Vagsheer is under construction.
  • After its launch, Vagir will commence with the setting to work of various equipment and the Harbour Acceptance Trials. The crew will subsequently sail the submarine for the Sea Acceptance Trials after which the submarine would be delivered to the Navy.
  • The submarines in the current Kalvari-class take their names from erstwhile decommissioned classes of submarines named Kalvari which included Kalvari, Khanderi, Karanj and Vela class — which included Vela, Vagir, Vagshir. The now-decommissioned Kalvari and Vela classes were one of the earliest of the submarines in post independence Indian Navy, which belonged to Soviet origin Foxtrot class of vessels.
  • Launch of a vessel is the process of transferring the ship from dockyard to water and is different from the commissioning of the ship, when it actually enters the active service.

Naming of the vessel

  • In maritime parlance a class of ships is a group of vessels which have the same make, purpose and displacement. In the Navy and Coast Guard in India, the ships belonging to a particular class are named in a specific manner.
  • Many times the names have the same first letters, prefixes, similar meanings or the names belong to a particular type of words for example names of cities, persons, mythological concepts, animals, rivers, mountains, weapons, etc.
  • The class is generally named after the first vessel in the category. In some cases, a particular class of vessels take their names from an earlier class of vessels which are now decommissioned.
  • Like Kalvari – which means Tiger Shark, Vagir has been named after a Sand Fish, a predatory marine species. Khanderi has been named after an Island Fort built by Chhatrapati Shivaji, which played a key role in his Navy. Karanj has also been named after an Island located South of Mumbai.

Technical details 

  • The design of Kalvari class of submarines is based on Scorpene class of submarinesdesigned and developed by French defence major Naval Group formerly DCNS and Spanish state owned entity Navantia. This class of submarines have Diesel Electric transmission systems and these are primarily attack submarines or ‘hunter-killer’ type which means they are designed to target and sink adversary naval vessels.
  • The Kalvari-class submarines have capability of operating in a wide range of Naval combat including anti-warship and anti-submarine operations, intelligence gathering and surveillance and naval mine laying. These submarines are around 220 feet long and have a height of 40 feet. It can reach the highest speeds of 11 knots when surfaced and 20 knots when submerged.
  • The modern variants of the Scorpene class of submarines have what is called the Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) which enables non-nuclear submarines to operate for a long time without access to surface oxygen. Two of six submarines in Kalvari class are equipped with AIP. It also needs to be noted that the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has an ongoing programme to build a fuel cell-based AIP system for Indian Naval Submarines.
  • The Kalvari class of submarines are capable of launching various types of torpedoes and missiles and are equipped with a range of surveillance and intelligence gathering mechanisms.

Strategic importance

  • India currently operates one submarine each in nuclear powered Classes of Chakra and Arihant and in addition to 14 submarines belonging to three classes of Diesel Electric category — Kalvari, Shishumar and Sindhughosh, some of which are ageing.
  • The nuclear powered and diesel electric submarines have their designated roles in the Carrier Battle Groups, which are formations of ships and submarines with Aircraft Carriers at the lead role. As per the basic principles of submarine deployment and minimum requirement for India to create a strategic deterrence, there is a specific number of submarines of both types that India needs to have in active service. Currently India has less number of submarines than what is required with some more of those from both types being at various stages of construction.


Gujarat Maritime Cluster – GIFT City

The concept of maritime cluster is new to India, but these clusters have been driving some of the most competitive ports of the world like Rotterdam, Singapore, Hong Kong, Oslo, Shanghai, and London.

What is a ‘maritime cluster’?

  • Simply put, a maritime cluster is an agglomeration of firms, institutions, and businesses in the maritime sector that are geographically located close to each other.
  • The Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB), a nodal agency of the Gujarat government, has been trying to develop such a cluster at GIFT City in the state capital Gandhinagar through its subsidiary Gujarat Ports Infrastructure and Development Company Ltd (GPIDCL).
  • This cluster will initially consist of Gujarat-based shipping lines, freight forwarders, shipping agents, bunker suppliers, stevedores, and ship brokers with chartering requirements.
  • In the second stage, the cluster would attempt to bring Indian ship owners, ship operators, Indian charterers and technical consultants scattered in cities like Mumbai, Chennai, and Delhi to Gujarat. Thereafter it would target to attract global players in the maritime sphere.

This project will try to bring back businesses that have migrated over the years to foreign locations due to the absence of the right ecosystem in the country. Large corporates like the Aditya Birla Group and Tata Group tap clusters in Dubai and Singapore for their maritime needs.


  • An Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) Centre will be set up under the aegis of the Gujarat Maritime University, which will come up at the maritime cluster. A centre such as this does not currently exist in India.
  • This sector is international in character and hence is a breeding ground for arbitration and mediation in cases revolving around bunker disputes, ship sales, shipbuilding and repairs, commodities, etc.
  • This centre in Gujarat will provide an option to Indian players seeking to avoid availing the services of international alternate dispute resolution hubs which entail huge costs, time, and travel.
  • The cluster is also expected to house the office of the Director General of Shipping.
  • This office, which is expected to come up on 12,000 square feet of space in GIFT City, will look after the needs of the shipping sector, including ship recycling.
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