UPSC Key- April 28, 2023: Know about LAC, South China Sea, Milton Friedman, Section 154 of CrPC, and State’s arguments on same sex-marriage


India to China: Violation of pacts eroded the basis of ties


Preliminary Examination: Current events of national and international importance.

Mains Examination: General Studies II: India and its neighbourhood- relations.

Key Points to Ponder:

• What’s the ongoing storyIn a strongly-worded public articulation of the state of Sino-Indian bilateral ties, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh told General Li Shangfu, the visiting Chinese State Councillor and Minister of National Defence, Thursday that Beijing’s “violation of existing agreements has eroded the entire basis of bilateral relations”. Referring to the nearly three-year military standoff along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh, Singh said “all issues at the LAC need to be resolved in accordance with existing bilateral agreements and commitments” and “disengagement at the border will logically be followed with de-escalation”.

• For your information:

The bilateral meeting took place ahead of the gathering Friday of Defence Ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). This is General Li’s first visit to India since he took charge. It is also the first time that a Chinese Defence Minister is visiting India after the military standoff began in May 2020. In September 2020, Singh met General Wei Fenghe in Moscow, on the sidelines of the SCO Defence Ministers’ meeting, where he sought restoration of status quo ante at all friction points along the LAC.

What is SCO? Which countries are its members?

For your information: What are the historical key points of SCO ?

—Before creation of SCO in 2001,Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan were members of the Shanghai Five.

—Shanghai Five (1996) emerged from a series of border demarcation and demilitarization talks which the four former Soviet republics held with China to ensure stability along the borders.

It was after the accession of Uzbekistan to the organization in 2001, the Shanghai Five was renamed the SCO.

—Note that India and Pakistan became members in 2017. Also on 17th September, 2021, it was announced that Iran would become a full member of the SCO.

Do you know: SCO RATS

—It was established to combat terrorism, separatism and extremism.

—The Executive Committee of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is the permanent body of the SCO RATS based in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan.

—The Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure operates in accordance with the SCO Charter, the Shanghai Convention on Combating Terrorism, Separatism and Extremism, the Agreement among the SCO member states on the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure, as well as documents and decisions adopted in the SCO framework.

• Line of Actual Control (LAC): Where it is located, and where India and China differ?

• What are China’s claims over Arunachal?

• Map work: LAC and members of SCO

• Historical Tidbits:

As China announced a ceasefire in November 1962, it had suggested the setting up of an agreed demilitarised zone and check-posts at agreed points along the ceasefire line to avoid any future misunderstandings on the border. India’s then Prime Minister, however, did not accept the suggestion, and the problem on the border continues to exist. If China’s offer had been accepted, it is possible that some agreed line would have emerged as a Line of Actual Control.

The non-aligned countries led by the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka Sirimavo Bandaranaike, along with the representatives of some other non-aligned countries, made efforts to bring the two countries to the negotiating table. But the efforts did not bear fruit, and the problem remained unresolved. The situation on the border remained fluid, which left scope for such incidents.

In 1996 the two countries signed an important agreement on ‘Confidence Building Measures in the Military Field along the Line of Actual Control in the India-China Border Areas’. The first nine articles define a series of measures which both countries would take or not take towards ‘confidence building’ along the LAC. But Article X is crucial for the operation of the first nine articles. It said:

“Recognising that the full implementation of some of the provisions of the present agreement will depend on the two sides arriving at a common understanding of the alignment of the Line of Actual Control in India-China border areas, the two sides agree to speed up the process of clarification and confirmation on the Line of Actual Control…”

Both countries also agreed to exchange maps indicating their respective perception of the entire alignment of the Line of Actual Control.

In the last quarter century, the two countries have failed to define the all-important LAC required to implement the agreement. This failure stands as a testimony to the lack of confidence between them.

It is the absence of this line that lies at the heart of the problem. Despite several round of talks at various levels including the highest level, the two countries remain at loggerheads, and the border problem continues to bedevil their relations.

The Sikkim-Tibet border which was delimited in 1896 and is well defined and recognised by both countries had one snag — China had not accepted the 1975 merger of Sikkim with the Indian Union. Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee deserves kudos for making China tacitly accept Sikkim as part of India during his 2003 visit to Beijing. This has helped in preventing any border incident on the Sikkim-Tibet border where the border is firmly delimited.

Successive governments, with the exception of Vajpayee’s government, chose to follow the position taken by Jawaharlal Nehru, which had led to the 1962 war in the first place. Several opportunities to resolve the dispute were squandered. The offer made by China for a settlement on a quid pro quo basis in 1960, which was repeated in 1980 when Indira Gandhi was Prime Minister, were allowed to slip. Since 2014, the present government too has chosen to remain wedded to the old narrative, and has declared the recovery of lost territories as the cornerstone of its China policy. (Source:Resolving LAC dispute with China needs an honest reassessment)

Point to ponder: What SCO means for India’s global and regional interest?

Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:

📍Line of Actual Control (LAC): Where it is located, and where India and China differ

📍The new India-China Tawang crisis: Where, why and what now

📍UPSC Essentials: One word a day – SCO


Nation and its people


Preliminary Examination: Current events of national and international importance.

Mains Examination: General Studies I: Population and associated issues

Key Points to Ponder:

• What’s the ongoing story India has now become the world’s most populous nation, overtaking China, stands in sharp contrast to a widely-shared view in our student days that rapid population growth was India’s biggest problem.

Why in news?

— India is now the most populous country in the world, having overtaken China in population, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) said in its State of World Population (SOWP) report, ‘8 Billion Lives, Infinite Possibilities’, released on April 19. In November 2022, the UN had announced that the world’s population had crossed the 8 billion mark.

— The UNFPA has said the population of the world is 8,045 million, of which the largest share (65 per cent) is of people between the ages of 15 and 64 years, followed by those in the 10-24 years group (24 per cent). 10 per cent of the population is above 65 years of age.

— According to the UN’s 2022 report, the world’s two most populous regions are Eastern and South-Eastern Asia, with 2.3 billion people, representing 29 per cent of the global population; and Central and Southern Asia, with 2.1 billion (26 per cent). China and India accounted for the largest populations in these regions, with more than 1.4 billion each in 2022.

— Central and Southern Asia is expected to become the most populous region in the world by 2037.

— Earlier UN reports had said that the population growth in South Asia will begin to decline before 2100. The latest UN projections suggest that the global population could grow to around 8.5 billion in 2030, 9.7 billion in 2050 and 10.4 billion in 2100.

— More than half of the projected increase in global population up to 2050 will be concentrated in eight countries — the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines and the United Republic of Tanzania. Countries of sub-Saharan Africa are expected to continue growing through 2100 and to contribute more than half of the global population increase anticipated through 2050.

When China declared its One Child policy, many among the Indian elite campaigned in favour of such a policy at home. What was India’s policy on population control?

Worth noting down: When would all Indians become assets for their homeland?

Friedman wrote to Nehru, invest in human capital. Convert people from being liabilities into assets. An ill-educated, ill-equipped, socially and culturally backward people are an economic liability. Educated, healthy, productive and capable people are a national asset. Indeed, an asset to humanity. 

Who was Nobel Prize-winning economist, Milton Friedman? What did he write in  “A Memorandum to the Government of India 1955”?

• What is the outlook for population growth?

• How has life expectancy contributed to the global population growth?- What is National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) data on Total Fertility Rate (TFR)?

• Where does India stand in the big population picture?

The pattern of population growth has had many consequences for economic policy, including for trade policy, internal and external migration, political demographics, demand for public services, the use of natural resources and inter-regional variations in growth. How?

• What else you should know?

Faster growth than India’s own estimates

— The most reliable figures for India’s population comes from the Census that happens every 10 years. The last Census took place in 2011, and the 2021 exercise had to be postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. The process has not yet been initiated.

— The 2011 Census had put India’s population at 1,210 million (121.08 crore, 1,210,854,977 to be exact). In July 2020, the Census office had released population projections for years 2012-2036, which remain the official estimates of India’s current population.

— According to these projections, India’s population in 2023 was expected to be only 1,388 million (about 139 crore), significantly less than what the UNFPA’s State of World Population report and several other estimates have been suggesting. In fact, according to these projections, India’s population even in 2026 would be smaller than what UNFPA has estimated for the middle of this year.

An authoritative assessment of India’s current population has been hampered by an intriguing delay in carrying out the Census 2021 exercise. Comment.

• Point to ponder: Is India’s large population a good thing or a bad thing?

Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:

📍 UN population report: Key takeaways for India and the world

📍 India becomes world’s most populous nation: What’s behind the population numbers?


What the law says about filing of FIR in sexual harassment cases


Preliminary Examination: Current events of national and international importance.

Mains Examination: General Studies II: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

Key Points to Ponder:

• What’s the ongoing story–The Supreme Court Tuesday issued notice to Delhi Police on a petition filed by seven wrestlers seeking an FIR against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president and BJP MP, on allegations of sexual harassment. On Wednesday, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted to the court that the Delhi police feels there is a need to conduct a ‘preliminary inquiry’ before registering the FIR.

• What does the law say about registration of an FIR once a sexual harassment complaint is received by the police?

For your information: Section 154 (1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure enables the police to register an FIR after information is received about a cognizable offence. A cognizable offence/case is one in which a police officer may make an arrest without a warrant. Sections pertaining to sexual harassment and sexual assault of the Indian Penal Code fall within the category of cognizable offences.

The registration of an FIR is the first step towards the probe. It sets into motion the investigation and the police may seek custodial interrogation of the accused, file a chargesheet based on the evidence, or file a closure report if the probe reveals no merit in the allegations made in the FIR.

The law also has provision for the registration of a ‘Zero FIR’, where even if the alleged offence has not been committed within the jurisdiction of the police station approached, the police can file an FIR and transfer it to the police station concerned.

What were the recommendations in the Report of the Committee on Amendments to Criminal Law, popularly known as the Justice J S Verma Committee, formed in the aftermath of the December 16, 2012 Delhi gangrape case?

• What is Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and why is it news in this particular case?

• What else you should know? Section 154 (3) says that a person who has been aggrieved after a police in-charge refused to file an FIR can send the information to the Superintendent of Police. The SP, after verification that the information discloses the commission of an offence, shall either investigate the case herself or direct for a probe by any police officer subordinate to her.

For your information: On Preliminary enquiry and FIR

The Constitution bench concluded that registration of an FIR under section 154 CrPC is mandatory if information of a cognizable offence is received. “… Other considerations are not relevant at the stage of registration of FIR, such as, whether the information is falsely given, whether the information is genuine, whether the information is credible etc,” the court said.

It also said, “The scope of preliminary inquiry is not to verify the veracity or otherwise of the information received but only to ascertain whether the information reveals any cognizable offence.”

It gave an illustrative list of categories of cases where such an inquiry can be made, including family disputes, commercial offences, medical negligence and corruption cases or cases where there is an abnormal delay in reporting the matter. The court said that an inquiry should not exceed seven days.

• How does the issue connects to Sports Ethics and Acccountability?

Point to ponder:

1. Though women have converted challenges into opportunities in the sports sector, certain hurdles still remain.

2. The ongoing protest at Jantar Mantar highlights the state of affairs in the institutional set up of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI). What measures do you suggest?

State on same-sex marriage


Preliminary Examination: Current events of national and international importance.

Mains Examination: General Studies II: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests.

Key Points to Ponder:

• What’s the ongoing storyThe Supreme Court heard arguments on Thursday on behalf of the government from Solicitor General Tushar Mehta in the case seeking legal recognition of same sex marriage. While urging the Court to leave the issue to Parliament, Mehta argued that the law cannot be re-drafted again to allow same-sex marriage.

What are the six key arguments of the Centre?

Religious definitions of marriage, ‘Legitimate’ interest of state, The right to privacy, Parliament must decide, Interpreting the law, Effect on personal laws. Elaborate.

• For your information:

The Special Marriage Act of 1954 (SMA) was passed by the Parliament on October 9, 1954. It governs a civil marriage where the state sanctions the marriage rather than the religion.

Issues of personal law such as marriage, divorce, adoption are governed by religious laws that are codified. These laws, such as the Muslim Marriage Act, 1954, and the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, require either spouse to convert to the religion of the other before marriage.

However, the SMA enables marriage between inter-faith or inter-caste couples without them giving up their religious identity or resorting to conversion.

The Indian system, where both civil and religious marriages are recognised, is similar to the laws in the UK’s Marriage Act of 1949. An earlier version of the SMA was enacted in 1872 and was later re-enacted in 1954 with provisions for divorce etc.

• What are the arguments in favor of same sex marriage?

What is the difference between civil union and marriage?

FYI: The CJI clarified that the hearing’s scope would be limited to developing a notion of a “civil union” that finds legal recognition under the Special Marriage Act.

• What else you should know?

The Supreme Court continued to hear a batch of pleas seeking legal recognition for same-sex marriages. The court heard arguments on the changing legal landscape on LGBTQ rights and the evolution of the right to choose one’s partner.

— Here are some of the key cases that trace the shift in the law over the years.

Point to ponder: Recently, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) opposed the granting of adoption rights to same-sex couples and claimed that doing so is akin to “…endangering the children”. Comment.


Which Article of the Constitution of India safeguards one’s right to marry the person of one’s choice? (2019)

(a) Article 19

(b) Article 21

(c) Article 25

(d) Article 29

Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:

📍What is civil union, how is it different from marriage


Philippines confronts China over disputes in South China Sea


Preliminary Examination: Current events of national and international importance.

Mains Examination: General Studies II: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests.

Key Points to Ponder:

• What’s the ongoing storyA Chinese coast guard ship blocked a Philippine patrol vessel steaming into a disputed shoal in the South China Sea, causing a frightening near-collision in the latest act of Beijing’s aggression in the strategic waterway. The high seas face-off on Sunday between the larger Chinese ship and the Philippine coast guard’s BRP Malapascua near the Second Thomas Shoal was among the tense moments it and another Philippine vessel encountered in a weeklong sovereignty patrol in one of the world’s most hotly contested waterways. The Philippine coast guard had invited a small group of journalists, including three from The Associated Press, to join the 1,670-kilometre (1,038-mile) patrol for the first time as part of a new Philippine strategy aimed at exposing China’s increasingly aggressive actions in the South China Sea, where an estimated USD 5 trillion in global trade transits each year.

• Map work: South China Sea, Second Thomas Shoal

• What’s behind tensions in the South China Sea?

The South China Sea lies just south of the Chinese mainland and is bordered by the countries of Brunei, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam. As early as the 1970s, these countries began to claim islands (mostly uninhabited) throughout the sea to lay control over the various resources that the region possessed, such as untapped oil reserves, natural gas, and fishing areas. It also has some of the most active shipping lanes on the planet.

Today, China’s sweeping claims over the sea have antagonised other countries in the region. China claims the sea as its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), arguing that other countries do not have the right to conduct any military or economic operation without its consent.

This claim is disputed by the southeast Asian countries and in 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague issued its ruling on a claim brought against China by the Philippines under UNCLOS. It ruled in favour of the Philippines on almost every count. However, China, which itself is a signatory to UNCLOS, refused to acknowledge the court’s authority.

Recent satellite imagery of the region has had destabilising effects, showing China’s efforts to not only increase the size of existing islands but create artificial islands across the region. According to the Council on Foreign Relations, China has constructed ports, military installations, and airstrips in these islands — particularly in the Paracel and Spratly Islands, where it has twenty and seven outposts, respectively. China has also militarised Woody Island by deploying fighter jets, cruise missiles, and a radar system.

To protect the balance of power in the region, countries like the United States and Japan have come to the aid of the south-east Asian countries, providing them with military and economic aid.

• What is the Spratly Islands dispute about?

• What is the Paracel Islands dispute about?

• Connecting the dots: In the past few years, China has stepped up military aggression and has created artificial islands for military and economic purposes in the South China Sea, drawing criticism from neighbouring countries and other western powers. A few weeks ago, Vietnam had lodged a complaint at the UN stating that China had illegally sunk a fishing trawler near Paracel Islands, killing eight people on board. China has also built two research stations on territory claimed by the Philippines.

Following China’s renaming of the islands, the US sent in an assault ship and a guided missile cruiser into the waters near Spratly and Paracel Islands, off the coast of Malaysia. Soon after, Chinese and Australian warships also entered the fray. Following the arrival of American warships, regional observers expressed concern that the US’s presence may only serve to heighten tensions. The US has no territorial claims in the South China Sea, but is known to send its naval force into the waters each time there are provocative developments in the waters, particularly angering China.

• What is the Code of Conduct for the South China Sea?

• Point to ponder: How the South China Sea situation plays out will be critical for India’s security?

Other Important Articles Covering the same topic:

📍With Rajnath Singh’s comments at ASEAN meeting, a look at the attempts for a ‘Code of Conduct’ in the South China Sea.

📍How the South China Sea situation plays out will be critical for India’s security

For any queries and feedback, contact [email protected]

The Indian Express UPSC Hub is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest Updates.


  • Adam Gray

    Adam Gray is an experienced journalist with a passion for breaking news and delivering it to the masses. With over a decade of experience in the field, he has covered everything from local stories to national events, earning a reputation for his accuracy, reliability, and attention to detail. As a reporter, Adam is always on the lookout for the next big story, and his dedication to uncovering the truth has earned him the respect of his peers and readers alike. When he's not chasing down leads, Adam can be found poring over the latest headlines, always on the lookout for the next big scoop. Contact [email protected]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *