Daily Prelims Newsletter(UPSC)|14 May 2021 | RaghukulCS

Daily Prelims Newsletter For UPSC
| RaghukulCS

14 May 2021

Table Of Contents

Science and Technology
  • Iron Dome
  • Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme 2021-22 Series 
Polity and Governance
  • Overseas Citizens of India (OCI)
  • National Human Rights Commission  

Science and Technology

Iron Dome

Why in News?

In the raging conflict between Israel and Palestine, both sides have resorted to air strikes and rocket attacks. The rockets fired from Gaza strip were intercepted and neutralised by the Israeli Iron Dome air defence system.

About Iron Dome:

  • It is a short-range, ground-to-air, air defence system.
  • It comprises of a radar and Tamir interceptor missileswhich track and neutralise any rockets or missiles aimed at Israeli assets.
  • It can be used to counter
    • rockets,
    • artillery & mortars,
    • aircraft, helicopters,
    • unmanned aerial vehicles.
  • Its success rate is over 90%.

Mechanism and Properties:

  • The Iron Dome has three main systems which work together to provide an invisible shield over the area where it is deployed:
    • Detection and tracking radar to spot any incoming threats,
    • Battle management and weapon control system (BMC),
    • A missile firing unit.
  • It can be used in all weather conditions, including during the day and night.
  • It is capable to handle multiple threats simultaneously.


Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme 2021-22 Series

Why in News

The GoI, in consultation with the RBI, has decided to issue Sovereign Gold Bonds in six tranches from May 2021 to September 2021.

About Sovereign Gold Bond (SGB) Scheme:

  • SGB scheme was launched in November 2015 with aiming to reduce the demand for physical gold and to shift a part of the domestic savings (used for the purchase of gold) into financial savings.
  • The Gold Bonds are issued as GoI Stock under the Government Securities (GS) Act, 2006.
  • These are issued by the Reserve Bank on behalf of the GoI.
  • These Bonds can be sold through:
    • Commercial banks,
    • Stock Holding Corporation of India Limited (SHCIL),
    • designated post offices
    • Recognised stock exchanges viz., NSE and BSE, either directly or through agents.

Key Features:

  • Issue Price: The Gold bond prices are linked to the price of gold of 999 purity (24 carats) as published by India Bullion and Jewellers Association), Mumbai.
  • Investment Limit: These can be purchased in the multiples of one unit, up to certain limit for different investors.
  • Minimum permissible investment: 1 gram of gold.
  • Term: These gold bonds come with a maturity period of eight years.
    • It also has an option to exit the investment after first five years.
  • Interest Rate: A fixed rate of 5% per annum is applicable on the scheme, which is payable semi-annually.
  • The interest on these Gold Bonds are taxable as per the provision of Income Tax Act, 1961.
  • These Bonds can be used as collateral for loans.
  • The capital gains tax arising with the redemption of SGB to an individual has been exempted.
  • Sovereign gold bonds are also listed on exchange but the trading volumes are not high, thus it is difficult to exit before maturity.

Polity and Governance

Overseas Citizens of India (OCI):

Why in News?

The Home Ministry’s recent order which required professional OCIs, such as journalists, engineers and researchers, to notify the Ministry about their activities in India has left them in the lurch.

About OCI:

  • Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) Scheme was started in 2005 by making amendments to Citizenship Act, 1955.
  • In 2015, the Government of India merged PIO (Person Of Indian Origin) card with OCI card.


  • Person applying for OCI card must hold a valid Passport of another country.
  • Individuals who do not have citizenship of any other country are ineligible to apply for OCI status.
  • Individuals whose parents or grandparents hold/held citizenship of Pakistan and Bangladesh are ineligible to apply for OCI status.

Benefits for OCI cardholders:

  • Lifelong Visa to visit India multiple times.
  • No need to register with Foreigners Regional Registration Officer (FRRO) or Foreigners Registration Officer (FRO) for any duration of stay.
  • Except for acquisition of agricultural and plantation properties, they have similar facilities which are extended to NRIs in economic, financial and educational fields.
  • Treated at par with NRIs regarding – entry fees for national monuments, practice of professions like nurses,doctors, dentists, advocates, architects, etc.

Restrictions for OCI Card Holders:

  • Do not have right to vote.
  • Do not have right to any public service/government jobs.
  • Cannot hold offices of – Prime Minister, President, Vice -President, Judge of Supreme Court and High Court, MP or MLA or MLC.
  • Cannot own agricultural property.

National Human Rights Commission

Why in News?

NHRC has asked for response from centre, Bihar and UP on the issue of bodies floating in water.

About NHRC:

  • Members:
    • Chairman (Retd. Supreme Court Chief Justice or Judge), and
    • Seven other members (of which three are ex-officio members)
  • Appointed by: President, on recommendation of high-powered committee headed by Prime Minister.
  • Selection Committee Members:
    • The Prime Minister (chairperson)
    • The Home Minister
    • The Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha
    • The Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha
    • The Speaker of the Lok Sabha
    • The Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha
  • Tenure of Service: The Chairperson and the members are appointed for 3 years or till the age of 70 years, whichever is earlier.
  • They are eligible for re-appointment in NHRC, but not under any other central or state government.

Key Takeaways:

  • NHRC caninvestigate grievances pertaining to the violation of human rights either suo moto or after receiving a petition.
  • It has the power to interfere in any judicial proceedings involving allegation of violation of human rights.
  • It can visit any jail or any other institution under the control of government to see the living conditions of the inmates and to make recommendations.
  • It can review the safeguards provided under the constitution or any statute for the protection of the human rights and can recommend appropriate measures.
  • It has the powers of a civil court.
  • It can recommend to both the central and state governments to take suitable steps to prevent the violation of Human Rights in the country.
  • It submits its annual report to the President who causes it to be laid before each House of Parliament.

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