Pratap Singh I, popularly known as Maharana Pratap (9 May 1540 – 19 January 1597), was a king of Mewar from the Sisodia dynasty.
Pratap became a folk hero for his military resistance against the expansionism of the Mughal Empire under Akbar through guerrilla warfare which proved inspirational for later rebels against Mughals including Shivaji.
The bloody Siege of Chittorgarh in 1567-1568 had led to the loss of the fertile eastern belt of Mewar to the Mughals.
However, the rest of the wooded and hilly kingdom in the Aravalli range was still under the control of Maharana Pratap.
Mughal Emperor Akbar was intent on securing a stable route to Gujarat through Mewar; when Pratap Singh was crowned king (Maharana) in 1572, Akbar sent a number of envoys, including one by Raja Man Singh of Amer, entreating him to become a vassal like many other rulers in Rajputana. When Pratap refused to personally submit to Akbar, war became inevitable.
The Battle of Haldighati was fought on 18 June 1576 between Pratap Singh and Mughal forces led by Man Singh I of Amer.
The Mughals were victorious and inflicted significant casualties among the Mewaris but failed to capture the Pratap.
The site of the battle was a narrow mountain pass at Haldighati near Gogunda, modern day Rajsamand in Rajasthan.
2. EUROPEAN UNION’S BAN ON RUSSIAN OIL
News: The EU on May 30 reached an agreement to ban 90% of Russian crude oil imports by the end of the year.
The proposal to completely phase out Russian crude and refined products from EU territory within a time frame of six to eight months was first mooted by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in early May.
Addressing European lawmakers, she sought a “complete import ban on all Russian oil, seaborne and pipeline crude and refined.”
It needed the agreement of all the 27 EU member states in order to be implemented.
The Russian economy is heavily dependent on energy exports, with the EU paying billions of dollars every month to Russia for its crude and refined products.
The EU wants to block this massive revenue inflow which, as repeatedly pointed out by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, is akin to Europeans bankrolling Russia’s war.
The EU has been attempting, ever since the Ukraine invasion, to build consensus on ways to hurt Russia economically so that it is forced to roll back its military offensive. The most obvious route was to stop buying Russian energy, which isn’t easy given European households’ dependence on Russian oil and gas.
However, in the context of two long term EU objectives — reducing fossil fuel dependence in favour of renewables, and eliminating dependence on Russian energy for greater strategic autonomy and energy security — member states agreed to make a start by phasing out Russian oil.
The main departure from the original proposal is the “temporary exemption” from the oil embargo for countries that import Russian crude via pipeline.
In other words, EU leaders have, in principle, agreed to ban all seaborne imports of Russian crude, which account for two-thirds of EU’s oil imports from Russia.
However, with Germany and Poland pledging to phase out even their pipeline imports from Russia by the end of the year, the embargo would eliminate 90% of Russian oil imports.
The remaining 10% that’s been allowed represents a free pass for Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Bulgaria to continue imports via the Druzhba pipeline, the world’s largest oil pipeline network.
Additionally, Hungary has obtained a guarantee that it could even import seaborne Russian oil in case of a disruption to their pipeline supplies.
While Hungary imports 65% of its oil via pipeline from Russia, 50% of the Czech Republic’s oil imports are Russian, while Slovakia gets 100% of its oil from Russia. Bulgaria, which gets 60% of its oil from Russia, is not landlocked.
About European Union:
The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of 27 member states that are located primarily in Europe.
An internal single market has been established through a standardised system of laws that apply in all member states in those matters, and only those matters, where the states have agreed to act as one.
EU policies aim to ensure the free movement of people, goods, services and capital within the internal market; enact legislation in justice and home affairs; and maintain common policies on trade, agriculture, fisheries and regional development.
Passport controls have been abolished for travel within the Schengen Area.
The eurozone is a monetary union established in 1999, coming into full force in 2002, that is composed of the 19 EU member states that use the euro currency.
The EU has often been described as a sui generis political entity (without precedent or comparison) with the characteristics of either a federation or confederation.
The union and EU citizenship were established when the Maastricht Treaty came into force in 1993.
Containing some 5.8 percent of the world population in 2020, the EU had generated a nominal gross domestic product (GDP) of around US$17.1 trillion in 2021, constituting approximately 18 percent of global nominal GDP
3. GIG ECONOMY
News: Concerned at the lack of job and social security among gig and platform workers, the Centre has decided to train officials of the Union and State governments on technological change, new forms of employment, working conditions and mechanisms to protect labour and social security rights of these workers.
About Gig Economy:
In a gig economy, temporary, flexible jobs are commonplace and companies tend to hire independent contractors and freelancers instead of full-time employees. A gig economy undermines the traditional economy of full-time workers who often focus on their career development.
The gig economy is based on flexible, temporary, or freelance jobs, often involving connecting with clients or customers through an online platform.
The gig economy can benefit workers, businesses, and consumers by making work more adaptable to the needs of the moment and the demand for flexible lifestyles.
At the same time, the gig economy can have downsides due to the erosion of traditional economic relationships between workers, businesses, and clients.
4. APPOINTMENT OF HIGH COURT JUDGES
News: Four years after the Supreme Court Collegium first recommended his name, the Union Law Ministry on Wednesday notified the appointment of advocate Wasim Sadiq Nargal as an additional judge of the Jammu & Kashmir High Court.
About the Appointment of High Court Judges:
Article 217 of the Constitution: It states that the Judge of a High Court shall be appointed by the President in consultation with the Chief Justice of India (CJI), the Governor of the State.
In the case of appointment of a Judge other than the Chief Justice, the Chief Justice of the High Court is consulted.
Consultation Process: High Court judges are recommended by a Collegium comprising the CJI and two senior-most judges.
The proposal, however, is initiated by the Chief Justice of the High Court concerned in consultation with two senior-most colleagues.
The recommendation is sent to the Chief Minister, who advises the Governor to send the proposal to the Union Law Minister.
The Chief Justice of the High Court is appointed as per the policy of having Chief Justices from outside the respective States.