Essential Facts (Prelims): 21 January, 2019

Citizenship Bill

  • After hundreds of Hindus and Sikhs came to India alleging persecution in Pakistan, the then UPA government decided to give them long-term visas.
  • Most of them had come on pilgrim visa, which expired.
  • Long-term visas were given to Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Parsis, Christians and Buddhists from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
  • Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019, proposes to grant citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Parsis, Christians and Buddhists from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who came to India before December 31, 2014.
  • In 2015, the Home Ministry had empowered the District Collectors in Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi to grant citizenship and naturalisation certificates to the non-Muslim migrants from the three neighbouring countries under Section 5 and 6 of the Citizenship Act, 1955.
  • Under the Citizenship Act, 1955, one of the grounds to acquire citizenship by naturalisation is that the applicant must have resided in India during the past 12 months and for 11 out of 14 years in India.
  • The Bill proposes to relax the duration from 11 to seven years, only for persons belonging to the six religions from the three countries..
  • The Bill faces resistance in Assam as it would negate the Assam Accord of 1985 paving the way for giving citizenship, mostly to illegal Hindu migrants from Bangladesh.

Humpback dolphins

  • These dolphins usually live in shallow, coastal waters.
  • The Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphin is known to occur within the Indian Ocean from South Africa to India. T
  • he habitat preference of the dolphins for shallow waters places them in some of the world’s most intensively utilised, fished, shipped, modified and polluted waters.
  • IUCN currently categorises the Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphin as Endangered.
  • Dolphins are endangered cetacean species, protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
  • There have been reports of dolphin sightings on the west coast of Mumbai
  • .Dolphins are hardly spotted near Mumbai coast as there is silt in the water. During winters, the wind is from land to sea (northerly winds), which carry silt away from the shore and that is possibly the reason that the dolphins were spotted near the shore.

e-way bills

  • Non-filers of GST returns for six consecutive months will soon be barred from generating e-way bills for movement of goods.
  • The move would help check Goods and Services Tax evasion.
  • The e-way bill system was rolled out on April 1, 2018, for moving goods worth over ₹50,000 from one State to another.
  • The system for within the State movement was rolled out in a phased manner from April 15.
  • The revenue department is working towards integrating the e-way bill system with NHAI’s FASTag mechanism beginning April to help track movement of goods.


  • Maharashtra is all set to roll out the World Health Organization (WHO)-recommended triple-drug therapy for lymphatic filariasis to speed up elimination of the disease.
  • Lymphatic filariasis, commonly known as elephantiasis, is a neglected tropical disease.
  • Infection occurs when filarial parasites are transmitted to humans through mosquitoes.
  • The infection is usually acquired in childhood, causing hidden damage to the lymphatic system.

Pulicat lake

  • It is a safe haven for migratory birds.
  • The lake is the second largest brackish water ecosystem in the country after the Chilika lake in Odisha.


  • Aadhaar is now passport to Nepal and Bhutan.
  • Indians under 15 and over 65 can use it.


Archaeologists have unearthed artefacts believed to be 2,300-year-old while carrying out excavation at the Asurgarh Fort in Odisha’s Kalahandi district.


Rajasthan govt issued a strict order to stop the sale of liquor after 8 p.m at all shops in the State.