Daily News Analysis

Daily News Analysis

International Big Cat Alliance

Overview: The Union Cabinet formally announced the establishment of International Big Cat Alliance (IBCA) with one-time budgetary support of Rs 150 crore from the central government until 2028. About International Big Cat Alliance: It is an initiative launched by the Prime Minister of India in April 2023 in Mysuru commemorating the 50th anniversary of Project Tiger. The objective of

Juice jacking

Overview: Recently, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has issued a cautionary message to mobile phone users about juice jacking. About Juice jacking: The term “juice jacking” was first coined in 2011 by investigative journalist Brian Krebs. It is a form of cyberattack where a public USB charging port is tampered with and infected using hardware and software changes to steal d

A recent study has claimed that BioTRIG, a new waste management technology could help rural Indians.

About BioTRIG: It is a new waste management technology based on the pyrolysis system. It works by sealing the waste inside an oxygen-free chamber and heating it above 400 degrees Celsius. Useful chemicals are produced in the process. In the study, the researchers outlined that three products of pyrolysis — bio-oil, syngas and biochar fertilizer — could help rural Indians live

Jacaranda Bloom

Overview: The early onset bloom of jacaranda set off alarm bells among residents and scientists in Mexico City. About Jacaranda Bloom: It’s also known by its synonym Jacaranda acutifolia. It is a deciduous tree, Jacaranda mimosifolia comes from the Bignoniaceae family. Blue jacaranda is native of Brazil and North West Argentina. These are hardy trees that grow well in tropical

What is Melanochlamys Droupadi

Overview: Researchers of the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) recently discovered a new species of head-shield sea slug from Odisha and the West Bengal coast named ‘Melanochlamys Droupadi’. About Melanochlamys Droupadi It is a new marine species of head-shield sea slug with ruby red spot. This species belonging to Melanochlamys genus was discovered from Digha of West Beng

What is a Very Short-Range Air Defence System (VSHORADS)

Overview: The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully conducted two flight tests of the Very Short-Range Air Defence System (VSHORADS) missile. About Very Short-Range Air Defence System (VSHORADS) VSHORADS is a fourth-generation Man Portable Air Defence System (MANPAD) specially designed to counter low-altitude aerial threats over short distances. These ar

What is Roen olmi

Overview: Two researchers in Goa have said that they synthesised gold nanoparticles from a wild mushroom species that is widely eaten as a delicacy in the coastal state. About Roen olmi It is a mushroom of the Termitomyces species. It grows on termite hills and is locally known as ‘roen olmi’ in Goa. It is an edible wild mushroom popular among Goans and consumed during t

Hemophilia A

Overview: Recently, the Union Science and Technology Minister told that India has conducted the first human clinical trial of gene therapy for ‘haemophilia A’ at Christian Medical College – Vellore. About Hemophilia A It is a genetic disorder that affects the body’s ability to form blood clots. It is a rare disorder in which the blood doesn't clot in the typ

What is Gene therapy

It is a technique that modifies a person’s genes to treat or cure disease. Gene therapies can work by several mechanisms: Replacing a disease-causing gene with a healthy copy of the gene   Inactivating a disease-causing gene that is not functioning properly Introducing a new or modified gene into the body to help treat a disease Gene therapy products are being studied to

Kulasekarapattinam Spaceport

Overview: The Prime Minister recently laid the foundation stone for a new spaceport at Kulasekarapattinam in southern Tamil Nadu. About Kulasekarapattinam Spaceport It is a new spaceport coming up at Kulasekarapattinam, a coastal hamlet near the temple town of Tiruchendur in Thoothukudi district in southern Tamil Nadu. It will be second after the space agency’s existing Satish

Forex reserves

Context: Recently, Forex reserves jumped $2.816 billion to $606.859 billion. About forex reserves Foreign Exchange Reserves refer to assets kept in reserve by a central bank, comprising foreign currencies such as bonds, treasury bills, and government securities. These reserves, expressed in the US dollar, the international standard, are managed by the RBI, serving as the cust

The evolving role of the Colombo Security Conclave

Context: Recently, India’s National Security Adviser (NSA), took part in the 6th NSA meeting of the Colombo Security Conclave (CSC) which agreed upon a road map for the year 2024. About: Originally known as the Trilateral for Maritime Security Cooperation, this regional security grouping was established in 2011. The primary aim is to foster a safe, secure, and stable Indian Ocean

Opportune pause - Indian Science Congress (ISC)

Context: The Indian Science Congress (ISC) 109th edition, originally to be held in  Lucknow University in 2024, has been cast in doubt after the University pulled out citing an  ongoing dispute between the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the ISC Association.  News: The Indian Science Congress (ISC) is an annual event for scientific discussions

Milli-second burst detected by AstroSat

Context: AstroSat, India’s first multi-wavelength space-based observatory, has detected bright sub-second X-ray bursts from a new and unique neutron star with ultrahigh magnetic field (magnetar), which can help understand the intriguing extreme astrophysical conditions of magnetars. Magnetars They are neutron stars having an ultrahigh magnetic field that are much stronger

Science communication- how to promote

Steps taken by India to promote Science Communication Publications and Information Directorate (PID) - An organisation under Council of Science and Industrial Research (CSIR) established in 1951 for publishing and disseminating scientific information in India. National science magazines- The PID published magazines to popularize science among

Voice clone-AI

Voice clone fraud has been on the rise in India. AI voice cloning – It is the process of creating a synthetic replica of a person’s voice through machine learning and speech synthesis technology.It is called as voice deepfakesor audio deepfakes. Objective – To achieve a high level of naturalness that sounds exactly like a person&r

Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA)- NGO 

The Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010 (FCRA) registration of two prominent non-governmental organisations (NGOs) — Centre for Policy Research (CPR) and World Vision India (WVI) have been cancelled this month. What is FCRA? Key provisions of FCRA, 2010 Key aspects Description About It regula

Pradhan Mantri Suryodaya Yojana

Recently, Prime Minister announced Pradhan Mantri Suryodaya Yojana under which 1 crore households will get rooftop solar power systems.  India’s Status of Current Solar Capacity India currently stands at 4th place globally in solar power capacity. As per Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), solar power insta

Syndiniales & Corallicolids

The international team of researchers collected samples of corals from across the Mediterranean Sea and analysed the bacteria that live with the corals. The researchers found that the presence of a group of parasitic single-celled organisms called Syndiniales made it more likely that a coral could survive heat stress. The presence of Corallicolids, a group of single-c

India's stock market

India overtakes Hong Kong to become 4th-largest stock market recently. India's stock market capitalization crossed USD 4 trillion for the first time, with about half of that reportedly coming in the past 4 years. The top 3 stock markets are the U.S., China, and Japan.

AI-powered misinformation biggest short-term threat to global economy

Context: False and misleading information supercharged with cutting-edge artificial intelligence that threatens to erode democracy and polarise society is the top immediate risk to the global economy, the World Economic Forum said in a report on Wednesday. About the report: The World Economic Forum (WEF) report identifies misinformation and disinformation  as the most severe risk ove

Indian start-ups

Context: Funding slowed, jobs were lost, and only 2 unicorns were created in 2023. A number of firms cropped up hoping to ride the ongoing generative AI wave. Background: Indian start-ups experienced a significant drop in funding, reaching $8.3 billion in the past year, marking the lowest since 2016. The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of funding in the last three years witnessed a s

Pinanga Subterranea

Pinanga subterranea is a species of palm tree native to Borneo. It's the 1st known species of palm to flower and fruit almost exclusively underground. This rare phenomenon has only been recorded in one other plant group, the orchid Rhizanthella.

Peregrine Lunar Lander

The Peregrine Lunar Lander, also known as Peregrine Mission One, is a lunar lander built by Astrobotic Technology, U.S. It was launched recently carrying payloads for NASA's Commercial Lunar Payload Services program.

National Multidimensional Poverty Index

Over 24.8 crore people moved out of poverty in India in nine years: NITI report. The Index Released by - Niti Aayog, which is the nodal agency to release Multidimensional Poverty (MDP) report for States and Union Territories. Purpose - Plays a role in assessing advancements towards Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 1.2. SDG 1.2. - By 2030, reduce at leas

Vijay Raghavan Panel Report

A 9-member panel headed by the former principal scientific advisor to the government Prof. Vijay Raghavan have submitted its report. Aim of the committee - To review the functioning of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). Reasons - Several projects of DRDO suffer from huge delays and cost overruns. According to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on

Task Force To Resolve Trade Barrier

Context: The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has set up a task force to identify and resolve trade barriers being faced by foreign exporters. News: Indian exports encounter significant barriers in certain products such as chillies, tea, basmati rice, milk, and poultry in the European Union, sesame seeds and apparel in Japan, and food, meat, fish, dairy, and industrial pro

Ingenuity helicopter on Mars- USA

NASA has re-established contact with its Ingenuity helicopter on Mars, the US space agency said recently. Ingenuity Mars Helicopter It is a small, autonomous aircraft. that flew to Mars aboard NASA’s Perseverance rover. It was sent to Mars to perform experimental flight tests to determine if powered, controlled flight at the Red Planet was possible. Ingenuity&rsqu

Strategic Interventions for Green Hydrogen Transition (SIGHT) program

Rs 17,490 crore has been set aside for the Strategic Interventions for Green Hydrogen Transition (SIGHT) programme, to bolster domestic electrolyser manufacturing, green hydrogen production. About Strategic Interventions for Green Hydrogen Transition (SIGHT) Programme It is a subcomponent of National Green Hydrogen Mission. Aim: To bolster domestic electrolyser manufacturing and

Hepatitis A vaccine ‘Havisure’ 

Recently, the Indian Immunologicals Ltd (IIL) a wholly owned subsidiary of National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) launched India’s first indigenously developed Hepatitis A vaccine ‘Havisure’ in Hyderabad. About Havisure vaccine It is a two-dose vaccine — first dose administered at above 12 months of age and the second at least six months after the first

RBI Governor pushes for group insolvency mechanism

Context: RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das advocates for a specified framework for the group insolvency mechanism and a vibrant market for stressed assets in India to enhance the functionality of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC). News: Legislative changes to establish appropriate principles for the group insolvency mechanism, addressing challenges like intermingling of assets, defining

The National Mission for Clean Ganga

Context: The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), has assumed new powers under which it may now permit the discharge of treated sewage and effluent that conforms to the prescribed “norms” into the river, canal or water bodies. News: The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), under the Ministry of Jal Shakti, issued a notification to amend the River Ganga (Rejuvenation,

Logistics costs in India

Context: Accurate data is the first step in bringing down logistics costs in India. Accurate data is crucial for reducing logistics costs in India for several reasons: Improved decision-making: Accurate data enables logistics managers to make informed decisions based on real-time information, leading to more efficient supply chain management and reduced costs Optimized routes: By analyzing

How India can balance its water demand and supply

Context: In 2020, while India’s domestic sector required 54,000 billion litres water, the agriculture sector needed 14 times more—776,000 billion litres. Water crisis in India: The long-standing Cauvery dispute and depleting water reservoir reports highlight the  importance of fair water allocation for water, food, and livelihood security in India. Water's significa

ReTro

Chinese scientists recently announced that they have cloned a Rhesus monkey named ReTro that lived to adulthood. The scientists created ReTro using a slightly modified version to create Dolly the Sheep and other mammals like the long-tailed macaque, which was the first primate to be cloned.

Gangetic dolphin – Fresh water Dolphins

River dolphins are a group of freshwater cetaceans that inhabit various river systems across Asia and South America. The Six Surviving River Dolphin Species include: Amazon, Ganges, Indus, Irrawaddy, Tucuxi, and the Yangtze finless porpoise.The Chinese river dolphin was deemed 'probably extinct' in 2007. As per the IUCN Red list, Yangtze finless po

Kanger Valley National Park 

In a first-of-its-kind model of convergence, Kanger Valley National Park is working with a coalition of various organizations and government departments to prepare a landscape-based ecological restoration plan for the national park. About Kanger Valley National Park Location: It is located in Jagdalpur, in the Bastar district of Chhattisgarh state. It is located on the bank

Lamprey fish

A recent study has uncovered two potential new species of lamprey fish in California waters. About Lamprey Fish Lampreys are boneless, jawless fish with eel-like bodies that date back over 350 million years. They belong to a relic (primitive) group of jawless fish called Agnathans. They live in coastal and fresh waters and are found in temperate regio

Post Payments Bank

Context: India Post Payments Bank enter into MoU with Hindustan Zinc to offer financial inclusion services to its CSR beneficiaries. Significance of the MOU: The collaboration will ensure in creating a lasting impact on the lives of community beneficiaries around Hindustan Zinc’s operational areas.  The key services provided by the IPPB will ensure Financial Inclusion and ens

Bharat stage emission standards

Context: The Supreme Court Thursday asked the Centre to formulate a policy to phase out heavy-duty diesel vehicles and to replace them with BSVI vehicles. News: The Supreme Court directed the Centre to formulate a policy within six months regarding the use of the Inland Container Depot (ICD) at Tughlaqabad, Delhi, to address air pollution concerns. The order followed a plea by the Conta

National workshop on mental health services

Context:  NITI Aayog organized a National Workshop on "Strengthening Mental Health Services and Care in India" at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore. Objective: The purpose of the workshop was to elicit the views of States and other stakeholders on existing gaps and challenges under the District Mental Health Program (DMHP) and

Are antibiotics over-prescribed in India?

Context: The National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) recently found that over half of the nearly 10,000 hospital patients surveyed for a study were given antibiotics to prevent, rather than treat, infection.  The survey mapped patients treated on one to five days each at 20 tertiary care institutes across 15 States and two Union Territories between November 2021 and April 2022. It

Union Budget 2024-25: Highlights –Interim Budget

Union Budget 2024-25: Highlights –Interim Budget A budget is a forecast of the government’s revenue and expenses for a future period, typically the upcoming financial year. The Union Budget gives a detailed account of the government's finances over the previous fiscal year, summarises new tax proposals for the upcoming fiscal year, and estimates revenue and expend

Tomahawk Missile

It is a US-made long-range cruise missile used for deep-land attack warfare.It can be launched from a ship or submarine and deliver its warhead precisely to a target at a long range. It flies at low altitudes to strike fixed targets, such as communication and air-defense sites, in high-risk environments where manned aircraft may be vulnerable to surface-to-air missiles.

Equipment for Recycling of Waste Thermoplastic Polymers

Context: Indigenous equipment called single screw extruder developed for mechanical recycling through melt-mixing of waste thermoplastic polymers and inorganic particulate fillers can help manufacture and characterize polymer composites that can be molded to the required shape for making paver blocks, tiles, and bricks. Present status of recycling:  At present, commercially available melt-

Cybercrime

Context: According to a report from Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) around 50% of cybercrime complaints received on the national cybercrime helpline every day have their origin in China and pockets of Cambodia and Myanmar. Cybercrime It is characterized as a criminal activity in which a computer serves as either the target or the instrument for committing an offense. In accordance with

Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park (PNHZP)

The Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park (PNHZP) is a zoo in Darjeeling, India. It's also known as the Darjeeling Zoo and is the largest high-altitude zoo in the country. The zoo is dedicated to wildlife conservation and is known for its breeding programs for red pandas, Himalayan salamanders, Tibetan wolves, and snow leopards. World Association for Zoos and Aquar

India’s way forward: Services or manufacturing?

Context: India's economic development strategy has been debated for a long time, with some arguing for a service-led growth model and others for a manufacturing-led model. The country's current development path has seen growth primarily in the service sector, with the manufacturing sector's share of output and employment plateauing at or below 20%. Service sector model: The s

The blood management system needs a fresh infusion

Context: The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted global health inequalities, prompting policymakers worldwide to advocate for enhanced global health infrastructure as a means to drive economic growth and ensure planetary well-being. However, amid these critical efforts, prioritizing access to blood and its products is deemed essential for establishing a robust global health architecture. The issue of

Snow leopard

Context: Sadyr Zhaparov, the president of Kyrgyzstan signed a decree to declare the snow leopard as the national symbol of Kyrgyzstan. About Snow Leopard: Scientific Name: Panthera uncia Indicator Species: Snow leopards serve as crucial indicators of the mountain ecosystem's health due to their role as the top predator in the food web. Habitat: Found in the mountains of central A

Buxa National Park

Context: Recently, a tiger has been observed in West Bengal’s Buxa National  Park. The previous  sighting of Tiger was after 23 years on December 12, 2021. News: Possible Factors Contributing to the Tiger Population Recovery: Growth in the number of prey animals for tigers. Increase in the size of grassland habitats, providing more suitable areas for tiger popula

W1935

W1935 is a brown dwarf star that is 47 light-years away from Earth. It is the 1st auroral candidate outside of the solar system that has been identified through methane emission signatures. It is also the coldest auroral candidate outside of our solar system, with a temperature of about 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius). Astronomers using NASA&#

Vondy

It is an all-in-one AI platform that can create content as well as enhance productivity. The application has been developed by New York-based software engineer Rohit Das and New Jersey-based software engineer David Laub. Vondy is free and there are no message limits unlike ChatGPTand also has an AI assistant that’s a social media influencer.

Green Hydrogen from Whisky Distillery

Researchers at the Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh used wastewater from the whisky distilling industry to produce green hydrogen, which is a type of sustainable fuel. They did this by developing a new nanoscale material, nickel selenide that allowed distillery wastewater to replace fresh water in the green hydrogen production & it treats the wastewater.

SLIM (Smart Lander for Investigating Moon)- Japan

Japan recently landed a spacecraft called SLIM (Smart Lander for Investigating Moon) on the lunar surface, becoming the 5th country after the Soviet Union, the US, China and India to achieve a soft landing on the moon. About SLIM SLIM was launched by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) in September 2023 aboard the H-IIA rocket from the Tanegashima spaceport. It aims to de

Minimum Support Price (MSP)

Minimum Support Price (MSP) is a form of market intervention by the Government of India to insure agricultural producers against any sharp fall in farm prices. The minimum support prices are announced by the Government of India at the beginning of the sowing season for certain crops on the basis of the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP). At presen

Day and Night Microphysics

Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has been issuing alerts with maps from various weather monitoring satellites. Day and Night Microphysics RGB Imager It is image created by combination of Red, Green and Blue colours. Aim – To study various atmospheric characteristics. Radiometer – A device that measures the p

Global Carbon Project (GCP) Report

The Global Carbon Project report for 2023 was released during the recent COP28 summit held in Dubai, UAE. It is a Global Research Project of Future Earth and a research partner of the World Climate Research Programme. Established in – 2001 It is prepared every year by a global consortium of scientists. Aim – To develop a complete picture of

Aditya-L1

Context: With the Aditya-L1 spacecraft expected to reach the Lagrangian Point (L1) on Saturday, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will attempt a crucial manoeuvre to bind the spacecraft to an orbit around L1. About the mission: - Aditya-L1 marks India's inaugural space-based observatory-class solar mission designed to scrutinize the Sun from a considerable distance of 1.5 mil

Cyber kidnapping

Context: A Chinese student who was a victim of ‘cyber kidnapping’ has been found in rural Utah, unharmed. The 17-year-old, Kai Zhuang, was reported missing on December 28. By the time the police traced him, his parents back in China had paid $80,000 in ransom. What is cyber kidnapping? Cyber kidnapping is a criminal activity wherein the perpetrators persuade the victim to go i

Internet cable project in Lakshadweep

Context: recently Kochi–Lakshadweep submarine optical fibre cable project was inaugurated , implemented at a cost of ₹1,072 crore, which will connect the islands to high-speed internet for the first time, after years of relying on limited satellite bandwidth. About the project: Objective   The KLI project involves extending submarine cable connectivity from Kochi to eleve

SpaceX’s Falcon-9 to launch India’s GSAT-20; satellite to spread broadband coverage

Context: NewSpace India Ltd. (NSIL), the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation, will launch GSAT-20 (renamed GSAT-N2), on board SpaceX’s Falcon-9 rocket during the second quarter of 2024. About GSAT-20 Satellite: Features: GSAT-20 is a high-throughput Ka-band satellite equipped with 32 beams, providing comprehensive coverage across India, including remote regio

‘Swayam Siddha’

Swayam Siddha is a financial product from the State Bank of India (SBI) that provides loans to women entrepreneurs from Self Help Groups (SHGs). The loans can be up to 5 lakh rupees.

Bhitarkanika National Park

Odisha’s Bhitarkanika national park will soon be connected by rail as the proposed Jajpur Road-Dhamra railway line will pass through the park. Location: It is located in Kendrapara district in the state of Odisha. It is India’s second-largest mangrove ecosystem after the Sunderbans.  The national park that is sprawling across 672 km² of mangrove swamp

Isopod 

An international team of marine biologists recently discovered a unique isopod, a form of crustacean, that has been formally identified as a new species of the genus Booralana. Isopods are an order of invertebrates (animals without backbones) that belong to the greater crustacean group of animals, which includes crabs and shrimp. Scientists estimate that there are around 10,0

Chandaka-Dampara wildlife sanctuary

After relocating deer from Cuttack, the Odisha state government is planning to introduce Sambar and Gaur (bison) in the Chandaka-Dampara wildlife sanctuary. It is located in Khurda district of Odisha represents the north-eastern limits of Eastern Ghats.  It is also a home to a number of threatened wild animals and birds. This landscape got sanctuary status in 1982. The climat

Pulikulam Cattle breed

Interest in indigenous cattle breeds like the Pulikulam is reviving which is famous for a local game called Jalikattu in TamilNadu. It is a popular draught and game breed of Tamil Nadu. The cattle originated from Pulikulam, a village located in Sivaganga district of Tamil Nadu. It is also known as Palingu maadu, Mani maadu, Jallikattu maadu, Mattu maadu and Kilakattu maadu.

Ugram

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) lab and a Hyderabd based private firm launched an indigenous assault rifle named Ugram recently. The rifle is weighing less than 4 kg with a 500-meter firing range. It is designed and developed to meet the operational requirements of the Indian armed forces, Para military forces, and state police forces.

How AI is changing what sovereignty means

Context: Amidst competitive global politicking, as the world struggles to contain the toxic legacies of 2023 — cruel regional wars, civic conflicts and undeniable stories of anthropogenic harms — technocrats, ecocrats, and bureaucrats across the world continue to device and launch quiet initiatives portending a better and larger future for human rights. Relationship between AI and s

Gulf of Aden

Context: The Indian Navy has deployed ships and aircraft to maintain enhanced surveillance and maritime security operations in the North/Central Arabian Sea and Gulf of Aden.  News: The Navy is actively observing the situation in collaboration with national maritime agencies and is dedicated to guaranteeing the well-being of merchant shipping and seafarers in the area. Cu

Efficacy of nano urea

Context: A two-year field study conducted by Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) scientists on the effectiveness of Liquid Nano Urea has revealed a significant reduction in rice and wheat yields compared to the application of conventional nitrogen (N) fertilizer. News: These results highlight the importance of conducting extended, long-term field assessments spanning 5-7 years to determine

MSMEs in India

A recent report of CBRE-CREDAI says that Maharastra, TamilNadu and Uttar Pradesh (top 3 States) contribute 40% of registered MSMEs in India. Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises are known by the acronym MSME.

Peregrine & Vulcan

The Peregrine lander was built by Pittsburgh-based space robotics firm Astrobotic and aimed to become the first lunar lander constructed by a private company. This is also the first mission to fly under NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative, where NASA pays private companies to send scientific equipment to the moon. Vulcan Centaur is a two-stage-to-orbit, heavy

Sisal

Sisal is a species of flowering plant native to southern Mexico. Sisal, (Agave sisalana), plant of the family Asparagaceae and its fibre, the most important of the leaf fibre group. The leaves have been used to make twine, cloth, carpets and mezcal, a distilled alcoholic beverage. A recent study suggests that the sisal leaves could make sanitary napkins more sustainable in India.

Qanat system- Water Conservation

Some of Africa’s dry areas face serious water shortages due to minimal rainfall. An ancient system of drawing water from aquifers, the “qanat system”, could help. Qanat system It is an ancient type of water-supply system, developed and still used in arid regions of the world.It taps underground mountain water sources trapped in and beneath the upper reaches of allu

National Essential Diagnostics List

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has begun the process of revising the current National Essential Diagnostics List (NEDL) and invited relevant stakeholders to offer suggestions on adding or deleting diagnostic tests to the current list by the end of February. National Essential Diagnostics List The NEDL lists the essential and most basic tests that should be available at va

Vulture Facts

The crash in their population from estimated 4 crores in the early 1980s to less than a lakh by 2007 in India is unprecedented in the animal world. Outside of the oceans, vultures are the only known obligate scavengers. The ecological, social and cultural significance of vultures in India may be summed up as: scavenging on animal carcasses and thereby helping keep the env

Prithvi programme

Context: The Union Cabinet cleared a ₹4,797-crore programme called ‘Prithvi’ (Earth) that is expected to subsume five existing schemes of the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES). About Prithvi Vigyan Scheme: The Prithvi scheme consolidates five existing sub-schemes, namely: Atmosphere & Climate Research-Modelling Observing Systems & Services (ACROSS) Ocean Service

African dream herb

A dying traditional game, given a fresh lease of life at the ongoing Karbi Youth Festival (KYF) in central Assam’s Karbi Anglong district, has fuelled a drive for conserving a creeper known as the African dream herb. About African dream herb A perennial climbing vine that is used by African traditional healers to induce vivid dreams that enables them to communicate efficien

Senna spectabilis

It is a species of the legume family. It is native to South and Central America and is grown as an ornamental plant as it has bright yellow flowers.  It was introduced as shade trees for coffee and firewood in the country; it soon became a threat to native tree species as its dense foliage prevented the growth of other indigenous trees and grass species. It is considere

Chang’e 6 Mission

The China National Space Administration (CNSA) recently announced that the Chang’e 6 sample return mission is on track to land on the surface of the Moon in the first half of 2024. The Chang'e 6 mission is a planned lander designed to return samples from the lunar south pole.The mission aims to land on the Moon, collect samples from the lunar surface, and retu

Centre Plans Interest-free Loans for Andhra’s Cyclone-hit Tobacco Farmers

Context: The Central government is considering a proposal to provide interest-free loans to tobacco farmers of Andhra Pradesh impacted by Cyclone Michaung. News: Interest-Free Loans for Andhra Tobacco Farmers: Loan Details: Andhra Tobacco farmers are set to receive interest-free loans ranging from ₹10,000 to ₹20,000, with a repayment period of six months. These loans

Digi Yatra

Context: Recently, air travellers took to social media to express their shock and anger because their privacy was being violated at airports.This was mainly happening due to the forceful promotion of the Digi Yatra initiative by the Union government. About: It was  introduced in December 2022 as a completely voluntary program, commenced its rollout at three airports, including Delhi

Yen Denominated Green Bonds

Ministry of Power, has achieved a significant milestone by issuing its inaugural Japanese Yen (JPY) 61.1 billion green bonds under Global Medium Term Notes Programme. Yen Denominated Green Bonds It is REC Limited’s eleventh venture into the international bond market and inaugural Yen Bond issuance, which is also the first Yen Green Bonds issuance by any Indian PSU Time period

Light-emitting diodes (LEDs)-FACTS

Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) succeed the incandescent bulbs and fluorescent lamps of previous centuries as the world’s light-source of choice. About Light-Emitting Diodes A diode is an electronic component which has two points of contact, or terminals, called its anode and cathode. A diode’s primary purpose is to allow current to flow in only one direction. A

Revival of the tiger: A joint effort, a cultural renaissance

Context: Its near extinction in 1973 was a pivotal moment in India’s conservation history. Now, Corbett has the highest density of wild tigers in the world Corbett Tiger Reserve: Corbett Tiger Reserve (CTR) manages tiger reserves based on a comprehensive Tiger Conservation Plan, covering core and buffer zones across three districts in Uttarakhand. Over the past four years, the reserve

Drug war: On use of antibiotics and antimicrobial resistance

Context: Antimicrobial resistance is a health issue that will negate advances in medicine News: The 'First Multicentric Point Prevalence Survey of Antibiotic Use at 20 NAC-NET Sites India 2021-22,' conducted by the National Centre for Disease Control under the Health Ministry, has revealed alarming statistics. More than 70% of patients in tertiary-care hospitals across 15 Sta

Mayurbhanj’s Red Ant Chutney Receives GI Tag

Context:  Recently, the Similipal Kai Chutney made with kai pimpudi (red weaver ants) by the tribal people of Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district received the geographical identity tag. News: The application was made by The Mayurbhanj Kai Society Ltd in 2020 for registration in Class 30 under sub-section (1) of section 13 of Geographical Indications of Goods (Re

Humboldt’s Enigma

Explorers and naturalists have been curious why some areas are more biodiverse than others. What is Humboldt’s enigma? It is a term used to describe the puzzle of why some mountain regions, especially in the tropics, have exceptionally high biodiversity, contrary to the expected decrease in diversity away from the equator. It is named after Alexander von Humboldt, a 19th-cent

Anti-Microbial Resistance Cause and Solution

Recently the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in a study found that over half of the nearly 10,000 hospital patients surveyed were given antibiotics to prevent, rather than treat, infection. What is Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)? Antimicrobials - including antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals and antiparasitic - are medicines used to prevent and treat infections in humans, ani

Snow Leopard

The Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park (PNHZP), also known as Darjeeling zoo was successful in breeding 77 snow leopards since the 1980s. Darjeeling Zoo is the world’s 2nd largest Snow Leopard breeding program next to New York’s Bronx Zoo. Scientific Name – Panthera uncia They are referred as the ‘ghost of the mountains’ fo

Windfall tax – Petroleum

India cut its windfall tax on petroleum crude to 1,700 rupees ($20.53) a tonne from 2,300 rupees a tonne, according to a recent government notification. Windfall Tax It is a tax levied by governments against certain industries when economic conditions allow those industries to experience significantly above-average profits. The term “windfall” refer

Tibetan brown bear-SIKKIM

A rare and elusive bear, the Tibetan brown bear, has been recently sighted in Sikkim, making it the first confirmed record of the animal being sighted in India. Tibetan Brown Bear The Tibetan brown bear, also known as the Tibetan blue bear, is one of the rarest subspecies of bears in the world and is rarely sighted in the wild.  Scientific Name: Ursus arctos

Gentoo penguin-Chilean Antarctica

Recently, a photographer has spotted an extremely rare all-white Gentoo penguin in Chilean Antarctica. Gentoo penguin It is exclusively found in the Southern Hemisphere between 45 and 65 degrees south latitude. Within this range, gentoos are found on the Antarctic Peninsula as well as many sub-Antarctic islands. One of the most predominant locations gentoos inhabit is the&nb

Paramyrothecium indicum- Fungus

Scientists recently discovered a new species of fungus in Kerala, named ‘Paramyrothecium indicum’. Paramyrothecium indicum It is a new species of phytopathogenic fungus. Phytopathogens are parasites surviving on a plant host.  Most of Paramyrothecium are phytopathogens. They are responsible for “serious plant diseases which might negatively affe

Schedule M of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945: Updated

Context: On January 8, 2024, the Union Health Ministry introduced updated regulations in Schedule M of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945, aiming to strengthen the oversight of pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical products. Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) for Pharmaceutical Companies: GMP functions as a framework ensuring consistent production and control of products in adherence to q

Cassava(Tapioca)

Context: On January 8, 2024, the ICAR-Central Tuber Crops Research Institute (CTCRI) issued a cautionary advisory regarding the feeding of animals with cassava, commonly known as tapioca. About Tapioca Plant: Tapioca is a significant horticulture crop extensively cultivated on nearly 3 lakh hectares in Tamil Nadu, yielding an annual production of 60 lakh tonnes. It holds global importa

MV Vasiliy Golovnin

MV Vasiliy Golovnin, an expedition vessel chartered by India, commenced its journey recently. The journey is from Cape Town to Antarctica for the 43rd Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica (ISEA) Voyage. The expedition includes 21 members from India, two from Mauritius, and one from Bangladesh.

Astra Missile- Indian Missile development

The Minister of State for Defence recently flagged off the indigenously developed Astra Missiles for supply to the Indian Air Force (IAF) at Bharat Dynamics in Hyderabad. Astra Missile Astra is a beyond-visual-range (BVR) air-to-air missile designed to be mounted on fighter aircraft.  It is indigenously developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation&n

Gut Microbiota and Human Health

Scientists are finding that the gut microbiota may be linked to heart health, some cancers, and even the colour of urine. Gut Microbiota The human gut microbiota refers to the trillions of microbes, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites, that live in the human gut. Previously, people referred to the gut microbiota as the microflora of the gut. The gut microbiome i

A new high: On the Aditya-L1 mission and ISRO outreach

Context: On January 6 Aditya-L1 reached its destination, around the L1 Lagrange point, from where it will have an unfettered view of the sun for its expected lifetime of five years. Overview of ISRO: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is the space agency of the Government of India, established in 1969, with headquarters in Bengaluru, Karnataka. It is recognized for its cost-e

Himalayan Wolf

Himalayan Wolf has been assessed for the first time in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)’s Red List and categorised as ‘Vulnerable’. Himalayan Wolf The Himalayan Wolf (Canis lupus chanco), a prominent lupine predator found across the Himalayas. It is also called Tibetan wolves, which live at more than 4,000 metres altitudes and are gene

Punganur cows

Standing at just around 70-90 cm tall and weighing less than 200 kg, it is among the world’s most dwarf cattle breeds. It is native to Punganur village in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. It has high resilience to drought and can adapt to low-quality feed. It is also prized for its milk, which boasts a higher fat content, mak

Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee- Bio pollution

The Supreme Court recently questioned the Centre on why reports of the court-appointed Technical Experts Committee (TEC) on the biosafety of genetically modified (GM) crops were not looked into by the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC). GEAC It is the statutory committee constituted under the “Rules for the Manufacture, Use/Import/Export and Storage of Hazardous Microo

Superconductivity

Context: A group of scientists affiliated with research institutes in China and Japan have reported finding a sign of superconductivity in a material that was at the centre of a controversy last year over similar claims. The sign in question is called the Meissner effect.  About: Superconductivity is an inherent property found in various materials, including chemical elements (e.g., mer

Investment bankers

An investment banker is an individual who often works as part of a financial institution and is primarily concerned with raising capital for corporations, governments, or other entities. Examples of investment banker employers - Goldman Sachs (GS), Morgan Stanley (MS), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAC), and Deutsche Bank (DB).

Light Detection and Ranging – LiDAR

Lidar, which stands for Light Detection and Ranging, is a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure ranges (variable distances) to the Earth. These light pulses—combined with other data recorded by the airborne system — generate precise, three-dimensional information about the shape of the Earth and its surface characte

Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT)

Recently, an official delegation from the Department of Science and Technology visited Mauna Kea to discuss “challenges” to the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) project. Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) It has been conceived as a 30-metre diameter primary-mirror optical and infrared telescope that will enable observations into deep space. It is proposed as a joint

Conjoined Silverline (Cigaritis conjuncta)

Researchers from the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) found a new butterfly species in Karnataka’s Bramhagiri Wildlife Sanctuary, Kodagu. Conjoined Silverline butterfly The butterfly species -- Conjoined Silverline (Cigaritis conjuncta) found from the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot, India.  Features The new butterfly is the size of a one

India’s great grain mystery

Context: India's cereal production, mainly rice and wheat, crossed 300 million tonnes for the first time in 2022-23, reaching 304 million tones.There is a large and growing gap between cereal production and the known uses of it. Data gaps make an assessment more difficult. The gap: The latest estimates of per capita cereal consumption (PCCC) pertain to 2011-12, with figures ranging f

National Birds Day

January 5 is observed as National Birds Day introduced by U.S.A in 2002 and followed in some parts of the world. It is aimed at raising awareness for the conservation of avian species that have been adversely affected by habitat destruction, reducing food choices and climate change. The theme of the National Birds Day 2024 is ‘Right to Fight’. Birds in N

Poppy straw

Over 10,000 kg of poppy straw, under the cover of cattle feed, has been seized by the Central Bureau of Narcotics in the last 1 year. Poppy straw – It is the husk left after the opium is extracted from the pods which also contains a very small morphine content. Drug – It is one of the narcotic drugs under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substan

National Mission for Clean Ganga- River Conservation

On 12th August 2011, the NMCG was listed as a society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. It acted as the implementation arm of the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) which was constituted under the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act (EPA),1986. NGRBA was dissolved in 2016 and replaced by the National Council for Re

India’s First Dark Sky Park

The Pench Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra has been designated as India's first Dark Sky Park and the fifth in Asia, protecting the night sky and preventing light pollution. India’s First Dark Sky Park The Pench Tiger Reserve (PTR) in Maharashtra is India's first Dark Sky Park within a tiger reserve for earmarking areas around the park that restrict light pollutio

Show Cause Notice by Financial Intelligence Unit

Context: India’s Financial Intelligence Unit has issued show-cause notices to nine offshore crypto-currency operators, including Binance, for not complying with the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA). News: Show Cause Notices for compliance have been sent to nine offshore Virtual Digital Assets Service Providers (VDA SPs) under Section 13 o

Sixteenth Finance Commission

Context: The Centre has appointed Arvind Panagariya, a renowned trade economist and former Niti Aayog vice chairman, as the chairman of the Sixteenth Finance Commission.  About Finance Commission The Finance Commission (FC) of India was established by the President in 1951 according to Article 280 of the Indian Constitution. Its primary purpose is to define and regulate the financi

NITI AYOG

Context: Recent studies by NITI Aayog show that the levy of 20-30% health tax on food high in sugar, salt, and fat. The study by Niti Aayog, studied the impact of imposing health taxes and warning labels on food products to encourage healthy eating practices. About NITI Aayog: Establishment: Formed in 2015. Headquarters: Located in New Delhi. Objectives: Develop a s

Small finance bank

Context: Recently, Small finance bank (SFB) campaigns were launched.The initiative aims to showcase the achievements of Small Finance Banks (SFBs) in terms of their business models to various stakeholders. About Small Finance Bank (SFB): Small Finance Banks are financial institutions dedicated to providing financial services in regions that are underserved and unbanked. They are i

X-65

The X-65 is an experimental jet aircraft developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) Control of Revolutionary Aircraft with Novel Effectors (CRANE) program. It is a full-scale aircraft to demonstrate a new method of flight control that uses no external moving parts.

Hot Jupiters

Hot Jupiters are a class of exoplanets that have features similar to Jupiter, but are much closer to their host star & its upper atmosphere is hotter than 1,800 degrees Celcius. The harsh ultraviolet radiation from its star is heating the planet’s upper atmosphere, which in turn causes magnesium and iron gas to escape into space. The star’s powerful gr

Swachh Survekshan Awards

Recently Union government announced the Swachh Survekshan Awards 2023. An annual cleanliness ranking for urban areas since 2016. Released by – Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. Coverage – Originally 73 cities in 2016, now has increased along with 4,416 urban local bodies, 61 cantonments and 88 Ganga towns. About 1.58 cr

Cervical Cancer Vaccine

Indian government is set to roll out a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination campaign for girls in the 9-14 years age group. Cervavac is an indigenously developed quadrivalent vaccine by the Serum Institute of India (SII) in Pune, is already available commercially. Immunisation drive – It will be conducted through schools and existing vaccination points, pl

Anamalai Tiger Reserve

Context: Forest officials in the Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR) rescued a wild elephant calf who was found separated from the herd About Anamalai Tiger Reserve: - Location:         The Anamalai Tiger Reserve is a protected area situated at an elevation of 1400 m in the Anamalai Hills within Pollachi and Coimbatore Districts of Tamil Nadu. Positioned to the s

Series of earthquakes strikes Japan, tsunami warning issued

context: The Japan Meteorological Agency issued a tsunami warning along coastal regions of Ishikawa, Niigata and Toyama prefectures. The Japan Meterological Agency reported quakes off the coast of Ishikawa and nearby prefectures one of them with a preliminary magnitude of 7.6. Earthquakes An earthquake is the shaking of the earth, a natural occurrence caused by the release of energy t

Critically Important Antimicrobials (CIA)

The findings of a new survey by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) underscored the need for properly monitoring critically important antimicrobials to mitigate AMR. CIAs – They represent a class of antimicrobials. Categorised by – World Health Organisation (WHO). 3 groups – Based on their importance to human medicine and the&n

Up skilling Rural Youth of India

In a recent group discussion held by Life Skills Collaborative, most of the rural youth preferred to stay in their village which necessitates the importance of upskilling them. Why is upskilling necessary for the rural youth? UN projects that almost 50% of the Indian population will be living in urban areas by 2047. To overcome agrarian crisis ­– Farming is the main sour

Floods and a ‘preventive measure’ that needs review

Context: The article underscores the enduring consequences of choices made post-Cyclone Michuang in Chennai, particularly concerning electricity disruptions. The core concept emphasizes the importance of accountability in decision-making during crises, underscoring the delicate equilibrium between safety precautions and potential risks for vulnerable groups, notably the elderly. Moving forward ent

PSLV-C58 XPoSat mission

Context:  The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) kicked off the new year with the launch of the PSLV-C58 X-ray Polarimeter Satellite (XPoSat) on January 1, 2024. On January 1, 2024, the PSLV-C58 mission achieved success, placing the primary satellite, XPoSat, into the intended orbit of 650 km with a 6-degree inclination The successful launch of XPoSat makes India the second

Domestic Systemically Important Banks (D-SIBs)

Context: Recently, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued its list of Domestic Systemically Important Banks (D-SIBs). News: In the recent update by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), both the State Bank of India (SBI) and HDFC Bank have been reclassified to higher tiers, while ICICI Bank maintains its existing categorization from the previous year The revised classifications pla

Radiocarbon dating

Context: The technology allowed scholars a clearer and measurable view of the past, clarifying the history of human migration, the rise and fall of civilisations, and undulations of the earth’s climate About: Radiocarbon dating, also known as carbon-14 dating, is a scientific method employed to precisely ascertain the age of organic materials, with its accuracy extending to around 6

First advance estimates of national income released by the National Statistical Office (NSO)

Context: India’s real GDP growth in 2023-24 is estimated at 7.3%, compared to 7.2% a year ago, as per the first advance estimates of national income released by the National Statistical Office (NSO), which reckon the economy will outperform the 7% uptick recently projected by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). About NSO (National Statistical Office): Role and Affiliation: The NSO ser

Tur dal procurement portal

Cooperation ministry recently launched a portal through which farmers can sell tur dal to government procurement agencies at the minimum support price (MSP) or market price, whichever is higher. Govt. Procurement agencies - National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (Nafed) or National Cooperative Consumers’ Federation of India (NCCF).

Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Observatory

India had decided to formally join the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project, an international scientific collaboration working to build the world’s largest radio telescope. What is SKA? SKA – It will be the world's biggest and most advanced radio telescope ever constructed. It will not be a single large telescope, but a collection of thousands of dis

First Advanced Estimate (FEA) of GDP and GDP CALCULATIONS

Recently, the 1st Advance Estimates (FAEs) released by the government showed that India’s GDP will grow by 7.3% in the current financial year (2023-24), slightly faster than the 7.2% growth in 2022-23. What is GDP? Gross Domestic Product – GDP is defined as total market value of all final goods and services in an economy. It is used to assess the size of

World Employment and Social Outlook Report 2023

Released by- International Labour Organisation Publication- Annually Theme- The value of essential work. About- It details the impact of economic slowdown on the global labour market. 2023 report- It calls for a revaluation of the work of key workers to reflect their social contribution and greater investment in key sectors. Key workers- Food system worke

TM Module-2 in ICD-11

Recently ICD-11 was launched with the inclusion of Traditional Medicine Module 2. ICD-11 – International Classification of Diseases 11th Revision, the global standard for diagnostic health information. Launched by – World Health Organisation (WHO). Prepared by – WHO in collaboration with Ministry of AYUSH. Aim - To modernize

ISRO launches XPoSat

Context: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully placed its inaugural X-ray Polarimeter Satellite (XPoSat) into a meticulous circular orbit at an altitude of 650 km following a 21-minute flight on January 1. XPoSat represents the globe's second satellite mission exclusively focused on conducting X-ray polarimetry measurements. About  XPoSat: XPoSat, India's

GolDN

IIT Bombay has developed an instrument, GolDN (pronounced as Golden) for melt-mixing of waste thermoplastic polymers and inorganic particulate fillers to manufacture polymer composites. GolDN is a single screw extruder that mechanically recycles waste plastic polymers through melt-mixing. The instrument can manufacture composites from thermoplastic waste that can be molded

Zosurabalpin

Researchers have identified a new class of antibiotics named Zosurabalpin with the potential to tackle a drug-resistant bacterium, Acinetobacter baumannii recently. It inhibits the transport of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) molecules. Zosurabalpin was found to be effective against CRAB (carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii)-induced pneumonia and sepsis in mice

Halo orbit

Aditya-L1 spacecraft was successfully placed in halo orbit around the Lagrangian point (L1).A halo orbit is a periodic, 3-dimensional orbit that occurs near one of the L1, L2, or L3 Lagrange points. These points are locations in space where the gravitational pull from two celestial bodies is equal. It is called a halo orbit because the tracked orbit looks like a halo

Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME)

It is the apex executive body for the formulation and administration of rules, regulations and laws relating to MSMEs in India.MSME sector has emerged as a highly vibrant and dynamic sector of the Indian economy, fostering entrepreneurship and self-employment opportunities at comparatively lower capital cost, next only to agriculture. Union minister- Shri Narayan Rane Key Initiativ

SMART 2.0

Context: The Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS) along with National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (NCISM) has launched 'SMART 2.0' (Scope for Mainstreaming Ayurveda Research among Teaching professionals) program to promote robust clinical studies in priority areas of Ayurveda with Ayurveda academic institutions/hospitals across the country throu

North India's 1st Biotech Industrial Park

North India’s 1st industrial biotech park inaugurated in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua recently. Biotech Parks offer facilities to scientists and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for technology incubation, demonstration, and pilot plant studies. The parks are established to facilitate product advancement and innovation through the development of biot

Effects of industries on Dahej

Industrial pollution has destroyed local fisheries in Dahej near Bharuch, Gujarat. Dahej Location - Near the ancient port site of Barygaza (near today’s Bharuch) on the Gulf of Khambhat, Gujarat. Economic importance - It began to be developed as a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in 1990. It is one of the four Petroleum, Chemical and Petro

The global nuclear order is under strain

Context: The current nuclear order has evolved over time, with nine states possessing nuclear weapons: the United States, Russia, France, the United Kingdom, China, India, Pakistan, Israel, and North Korea Background: The global nuclear order is the process by which nuclear weapons affect the world order, dominated by powerful states, mostly from the Global North, with excessive  influence

Vazhakulam variety

Vazhakulam pineapple is a pineapple grown in the Vazhakulam area of Kerala, India. The pineapple is unique in aroma, flavour and sweetness due to its high sugar content and low acidity. Vazhakulam is considered as the biggest pineapple market in India. It got its GI tag in 2009.

Education and Research Network (ERNET)

The Education and Research Network is an autonomous scientific society of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. ERNET was established in 1986 to provide a networking infrastructure for the research and education community with its headquarters are in New Delhi. ERNET's mandate is to support the needs of academic and research institutions thr

Status of GI tag in India 

GI tag - A GI tag is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. Ownership - Any trader's body, association, or organization can apply for a GI tag. Major Categories - The products in the GI registry fall under five major categories. Agriculture Food Stuff

Inland Waterways Development Council (IWDC)

Harit Nauka guidelines and the River Cruise Tourism Roadmap 2047 were launched at the recently held inaugural Inland Waterways Development Council (IWDC) in Kolkata. IWDC – It is hosted by the Inland Waterways Authority of India. Establishment in – 2023 Objectives – For comprehensive development of inland waterways and associated ecosyst

DRDO anti-drone technology

With rising use of drones, DRDO develops own counter technology. Indigenous - The DRDO is developing an indigenous counter-drone technology, which is capable of counter-attacks including detection, soft kill and hard kill of all types of drones. The counter-drone system is ready for production and is already demonstrated to armed services and other internal security agencies. Te

Supreme Court gives 3 months to SEBI to wrap up Adani probe.

Context: Refusing to hand over a probe into allegations of the Hindenburg Research report on Adani Group to a Special Investigation Team, the Supreme Court asked market regulator SEBI to continue with its investigations and complete the probe in three months. Background: In late January, Hindenburg Research, which specialises in short selling, published a report critical of

Cyber kidnapping

Cyber kidnapping is a type of cybercrime where attackers gain unauthorized access to computer systems or data and then demand ransom. In cyber kidnapping, online attackers target victims and force them into isolating themselves to demand ransom from their families. They monitor the victims through video chat and use pictures captured by them in isolated conditions to extort money from th

Starlink

Starlink is a satellite internet network operated by SpaceX, an American aerospace company. It provides coverage to over 70 countries and aims to provide high-speed internet coverage to every part of the world. It also aims to provide global mobile phone service after 2023.

Elasmobranch Species

Shark & ray meat (elasmobranch meat) consumption no longer restricted to India’s tribal & coastal peoples. Elasmobranch is a subclass of the Class Chondrichthyes: Cartilaginous Fishes, which consists of sharks, rays, skates, and chimaeras. The rise in demand for elasmobranch meat could lead to more unsustainable fishing of shark species. Difference - The other

Nathapodytes nimmoniana

Researchers at the Indian Institutes of Technology Madras and Mandi have metabolically engineered plant cells to increase production of anti-cancer drug camptothecin (CPT). Nathapodytes nimmoniana Nathapodytes nimmoniana is an endangered medicinal plant widely distributed throughout the Western Ghats of India. The plant contains camptothecin (CPT) which is renowned anticancer drugs.

A look back at AI in 2023: The dangers and the hope

CONTEXT: In 2023, the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on social and economic relations was significant, attributed to the success of large language models (LLMs), such as ChatGPT, in solving complex tasks. Concerns about the dangers of LLMs and publicly deployed AI systems started to be voiced by both industry and state actors, highlighting potential perils that were previously ignored by t

Sanjauli-Dhalli Tunnel

Context: Recently, the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh inaugurated the newly-constructed Sanjauli-Dhalli tunnel. About  Sanjauli-Dhalli Tunnel: Description: A double-lane tunnel spanning approximately 150 meters, constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 47 crore. Existing Dhalli Tunnel: Originally built in 1852 as a single-lane passage, the older Dhalli tunnel had exceed

Cosmic Distances

Context: While no human probe has ventured far beyond the boundaries of the Solar System, we possess the capability to measure distances spanning billions of light-years. About: The expanse of space beyond Earth is immensely large, leading to the impracticality of using everyday units of measure. Distances between planets and, more notably, between stars become staggering when expressed

Card-on-file tokenization

Context: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has authorized the implementation of card-on-file tokenization (CoFT) in collaboration with card-issuing banks and institutions, aiming to enhance the security and safety of digital payments. Card-on-File Tokenization (CoFT): The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) introduced Card-on-File Tokenization in September 2021, and its implementation commenced on Oct

Scope for Mainstreaming Ayurveda Research among Teaching professionals (‘SMART 2.0’)

The Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS) along with National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (NCISM) has launched 'SMART 2.0' recently. The program aims to promote robust clinical studies in priority areas of Ayurveda with Ayurveda academic institutions/hospitals across the country through mutual collaboration.

Fog Pass Device

A Fog Pass Device is a GPS-based navigation device that helps train loco pilot navigate through dense fog. It provides on-board real-time information (Display as well as voice guidance) to Loco Pilots. It gives information regarding location of fixed landmarks such as Signal, Level Crossing gate (Manned & Unmanned), Permanent Speed Restrictions, Neutral Sections e

Mountain Green Cover Index (MGCI)

Recently National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) signed a 3-year MoU with the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) to develop & report a Green Cover Index for National highways. MGCI is a metric that measures the amount of green vegetation in mountain areas (forest, shrubs, trees, pasture land, crop land, etc.) in order to monitor progress towards the mountain targe

Lancet Countdown Report 2023

A new report by the Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change warns of the severe health consequences of climate change in India.  Lancet Countdown Report The Lancet Countdown is global research collaboration that tracks the relationship between public health and climate change. 2023 report- It tracks the relationship between healt

AI Copyright Lawsuit

The New York Times (NYT) filed a lawsuit against OpenAI and Microsoft for using its copyrighted work to train and generate Artificial Intelligence products. Why NYT filed allegation against AI firms? Use of copyrighted materials- NYT claims that Open AI and Microsoft are free-riding on its journalism, stealing its audience. It argues that Open AI and Microsoft’s use is not transfo

ULFA peace accord

Context: The pro-talks faction of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) on Friday  signed a historic tripartite peace deal with the Government of India and the state government of Assam.  Background: Roots in Assamese anxieties Assamese people have a unique culture, language, and strong identity. In the 19th century, the region's economic growth in tea, coal, and

Status of persons with disabilities

Context: There needs to be a focus on solutions that enhance the activities of daily life and the quality of life for the disabled News: The United Nations has emphasized the need for "transformative solutions" that promote inclusive development and leave no one behind, refocusing attention on disability-reducing innovations. The field of "neuropsychiatry," situated

Zero coupon zero principle

Context: Capital markets regulator Sebi on Thursday came out with a procedure for public issuance of 'zero coupon zero principle' instruments by not-for-profit organisations (NPOs) and listing of such instruments on the Social Stock Exchange (SSE). News: Instruments issued in dematerialized form are non-transferable. The minimum issue size for such instruments is set a

Amrit Dharohar Scheme

Recently, Ministry of Tourism started training in Bhitarkanika National Park, Odisha under Amrit Dharohar Capacity Building Scheme. Goal – To promote unique conservation values of Ramsar Sites’. Ramsar Convention of 1971, an intergovernmental treaty for conservation and wise use of wetlands, was ratified by India in 1982. Purpose – To maintain he

PRITHvi VIgyan (PRITHVI)

The Union Cabinet Chaired by the Prime Minister of India has approved the overarching scheme ‘PRITHvi Vigyan’ (PRITHVI). Implemented by – Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES). The research & development and operational (services) activities of MoES are carried out by 10 Institutes of MoES. Timeline – 2021-26, at an overall cost of Rs. 4,79

One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC)

Context: Ration card portability gained traction across India this year, as 28 crore transactions were recorded in the first 11 months of 2023, according to the food ministry. About: Poor migrant workers will have the opportunity to purchase subsidized rice and wheat from any ration shop in the country, provided their ration cards are linked to Aadhaar. To be eligible for subsidies su

South Coast Railway Zone

The South Coast Railway (SCoR) Zone is India's 18th railway zone, and its headquarters are in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. It was announced in 2019 and still not started yet.

Wetland City Accreditation

Recently, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has submitted three nominations from India for Wetland City Accreditation (WCA) of Indore (Madhya Pradesh), Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh) & Udaipur (Rajasthan) under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. WCA – A voluntary scheme that recognizes cities which have taken exceptional steps to safeguard their urban wetl

Plasma waves

The researchers at Indian Institute of Geomagnetism (IIG) have examined the existence of high-frequency plasma waves in the Martian plasma environment. IIG is an autonomous institute of Department of Science and Technology. Plasma waves – A type of electromagnetic wave that propagates through plasma, a state of matter. Plasma is formed when a gas is heated t

Enhanced tiger population at Valmiki Tiger reserve

Context: The increase in tiger numbers in the Valmiki Tiger Reserve in Bihar was facilitated by diminished human activity, including bans on mining. In VTR, the status of tiger conservation has seen significant improvements: Mining Restrictions: Strict measures, including a complete ban on sand and stone mining within VTR, along with rigorous restrictions on mining activities in its eco-sens

Perovskite

Context: Indian scientists have indigenously developed organic-inorganic halide perovskite self-powered broadband photodetector with partial substitution of lead by magnesium which can be useful for solar energy generation. News: Introduction of Eco-Friendly Alternative: The research address issues with toxic lead in organic-inorganic halide perovskite (MAPbI3). It propose a

Mushroom derived bioactive compounds

Context: Natural anti-infective, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antithrombotic products derived from a wide range of easily SOURCEd mushrooms and their bioactive molecules have the potential to combat covid, according to a new paper. News: Bioactive Ingredients and Immune System Boost: The COVID-19 pandemic prompted increased research on bioactive compounds to enhance the immune system

Pegasus spyware

Context: The Washington Post and human rights non-profit Amnesty International have alleged that the spyware instance known as Pegasus continues to be in use, on this occasion targeting journalists in India. Based on newfound data the two organisations have said the phones of founding editor of The Wire, Siddharth Varadarajan, and South Asia editor of the Organised Crime and Corruption Report

Indian Railways in 2023 – Year Review

The Performance of Indian Railways in 2023 showed significant strides in infrastructure but reveals underwhelming freight loading and financial performance. How Indian Railways performed in 2023? Near completion of DFC – Dedicated Freight Corridors are nearing completion with more than 200 freight trains already running on the corridors.  De

CZA allows Odisha’s Nandankanan to receive cheetah, African lion from Dubai Safari

Context: The Central Zoo Authority has allowed the Odisha government to carry out the planned transfer of a cheetah, African lion and Chimpanzee from Dubai Safari Park (DSP) to Nandankanan Zoological Park (NZP), Bhubaneswar. The CZA has asked the wildlife wing of the State Forest and Environment Department to keep requisite housing facilities ready in accordance with its guideline. News: &

Noma

Context: The World Health Organization (WHO) on December 15, 2023 added one of the world’s most underrecognised health challenges, noma, to its official list of neglected tropical diseases (NTD). Context: The World Health Organization (WHO) on December 15, 2023 added one of the world’s most underrecognised health challenges, noma, to its official list of neglected tropical diseases

Credit Rating Agencies and INDIA

Recently, India released a document titled ‘Re-examining Narratives: A Collection of Essays’ to present alternate perspectives on economic policy that have long-term implications for India’s growth and development priorities. What are credit rating agencies? Credit Rating Agencies (CRA) – According to IMF, they are private companies that assess credit risk&n

Regulation of Virtual Digital Asset

Recently, the Financial Intelligence Unit India (FIU IND) issued show-cause notices to 9 offshore virtual digital asset service providers (VDA SPs) like Bitfinex and MEXC Global, among others. What is FIU-IND? Established in – 2004 under the Finance Ministry. Aim – To act as a nodal agency for receiving, analysing and disseminating information relating to suspected

Asset quality of Indian banks improves to decadal high: RBI

Background: As per the Financial Stability Report by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Gross Non-Performing Assets (GNPA) ratio reached 5% in September 2022. Concurrently, the ratio of Net Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) to net advances has decreased to 1.3% in September 2022, marking the lowest point in the last decade. The NPAs had experienced an increase from 3.8% in 2014 to 11.4% in 2018. H

The New York Times sues OpenAI and Microsoft for using its stories to train chatbots

Context: The Times says the companies are threatening its livelihood by effectively stealing billions of dollars worth of work by its journalists, in some cases spitting out Times' material verbatim to people who seek answers from generative artificial intelligence like OpenAI's ChatGPT. The newspaper's lawsuit was filed in federal court in Manhattan and follows what appears to be a br

First account of Indian scientists on winter expedition to Arctic

Context: India embarks on its first-ever winter expedition to the Arctic. With this initiative, India’s Himadri becomes the fourth research station in the Arctic to be manned year-round. India's Winter Expedition Plan: Expedition Team: A team comprising four scientists, financially supported by the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences, is scheduled to carry out the expedition. The e

Ennore ammonia gas leak | NGT takes suo motu cognisance

Context: Based on media reports of several people from Periakuppam, Ernavur, Burma Nagar experiencing breathlessness and eye and skin irritation after leakage of ammonia from gas pipelines of the unit, the NGT on December 27 issued directions to the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) to file a report on the incident.  News: A gas leakage occurred in the subsea pipeline of Cor

X-Ray Polarimeter Satellite (XPOSAT)

ISRO's XPoSat was successfully launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. About- India's inaugural scientific satellite to measure space-based polarization of X-ray emissions from celestial sources such as black holes and neutron stars in the medium energy band (8-30 keV). Orbit location - Low earth orbit (650 km), low inclination o

Litchi

National Research Centre on Litchi (NRCL) has successfully expanded litchi cultivation in India by providing technical help, plants and training to farmers. It is a sweet juicy fruit which is also known as lychee or lichee. Scientific name – Litchi chinensis under soapberry family (Sapindaceae). It is a small, oval roundish fruit that is native to

Inoperative account by RBI

A savings or current account is treated as inoperative, if there are no ‘customer induced transactions’ in the account for a period of over 2 years. A customer induced transaction can be a financial transaction initiated by or done at the Behest of the account holder by the bank or third party, or A non-financial transaction, or A KYC (know your

Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA)

RGIA in Hyderabad was ranked 2nd among the top 20 global airports with the highest On-Time Performance (OTP), according to Cirium’s annual report released recently. On-time performance (OTP) is a measure of how punctual an airline's flights are compared to their scheduled times. A flight is considered on-time if it arrives or departs within 15 minutes of its sche

Site for Maitri-II identified in Antarctica

CONTEXT: The new research station will be located just a few kilometres away from the Maitri station currently operating in the eastern Antarctica region. A team of Indian polar scientists has identified a site for India's new research station in Antarctica, called Maitri-II. The research base will be located near the existing Maitri station in eastern Antarctica. India has been cond

Japan’s SLIM ‘moon sniper’ reaches lunar orbit ahead of landmark landing

CONTEXT: Japan will attempt to become just the fifth country in the world to soft-land a spacecraft on the Moon. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) announced the successful insertion of its "Smart Lander for Investigating Moon" (SLIM) into lunar orbit at 1:21 PM IST. SLIM's elliptical lunar orbit connects the Moon's south and north poles with a period of about

There is no substitute for an industrial policy

 Key words: Make in India (MII), Self-sufficiency, Protectionism, Jobs, Exports, PLI, NIP, Informal Economy, MSMEs, China Background: For decades, the role of government intervention in shaping economic development has been fiercely contested. While free-market proponents advocate for minimal interference, others argue for strategic government involvement to guide and

Electronic soil

Context: Researchers have developed a new electronics soil that was found to increase the growth of barley seedlings by 50 per cent in a new study. News: A new eSoil, developed by the Electronic Plants group at Linköping University, enhances barley seedling growth by an average of 50% in hydroponic cultivation. The low-power bioelectronic scaffolding, called eSoil, is designed for

Govt directs social media platforms to comply with IT rules amid concerns over deepfakes

Context: The advisory by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) mandates that intermediaries communicate prohibited content, particularly those specified under Rule 3(1)(b) of the IT Rules, clearly and precisely to users. News: The Indian government issued an advisory to social media platforms regarding compliance with IT rules, specifically addressing concerns abo

Project Kusha-Defence

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is working on the Project Kusha to operationally deploy its own long-range air defense system by 2028-29. Aim – To develop India’s own Long-Range Surface-to-Air Missiles (LR-SAM) Jointly developed with - Israel Aerospace Industries, Israel’s major aerospace and aviation manufacturers Ranges - Hi

GLOBAL GOAL ON ADAPTATION AND THE ROAD FROM DUBAI

NEWS: The recent UNFCCC conference in Dubai (COP28) marked a significant shift in addressing climate change.Instead of the usual lip service to adaptation, a critical issue often neglected by the international community, COP28 finally pushed this concern into the spotlight. This suggests a potential move away from the traditional focus on mitigation (reducing emissions) towards a more balanced app

Plane grounded in France over human trafficking

CONTEXT: According to local officials, when the flight landed at France’s Vatry airport on Thursday, it had 303 Indian passengers, including 11 minors. Charter plane grounded in France with 276 passengers, mostly Indians, suspected of human trafficking. Flight landed in Mumbai after four days in France; 303 passengers initially, 25 stayed for asylum, 2 held. Passengers from Punjab

A strawberry success story from Odisha

CONTEXT: The idea to switch to strawberry farming was put forward by Chuktia Bhunjia Development Agency (CBDA), a body set up by the Odisha government in 1994-95 for the welfare of the Chuktia Bhunjia tribes. Chuktia Bhunjia farmers in Odisha's Nuapada district have successfully transitioned to strawberry farming, improving their income significantly. The switch to strawberry farming w

New Android malware can steal your password by disabling fingerprint and face unlock

CONTEXT: Dubbed 'Chameleon Trojan', the malware uses the 'Accessibility service' on Android devices to disable fingerprint and face unlock and even tracks the user's app usage habits so it can run when the device is not in use. A new version of the 'Chameleon Trojan' malware has been identified by security researchers. The malware is capable of disabling biometr

INS Imphal

CONTEXT: INS Imphal to be commissioned today. Its capabilities, and the strategic significance of Visakhapatnam class of destroyers Commissioning marks the day that a ship joins active service. INS Imphal, the third ship of the Visakhapatnam class stealth-guided missile destroyers (Project 15B), is set to be commissioned into the Indian Navy. The class is designed by the Indian Navy

Nation’s first interstate multi-modal transport hub coming up near Delhi airport

CONTEXT: The proposed hub located near the GMR Aerocity will provide connectivity through an Interstate Bus Terminus, Delhi Metro, the proposed Passenger Transport Centre, and proposed Rapid Rail Transit System station. Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) plans to develop India's first multi-modal interstate transport hub near Aerocity, focusing on integrating bus, metro, and air

Chipko movement

The Chipko movement was a non-violent agitation in 1973 that was aimed at protection and conservation of trees. Gandhian social activist Chandi Prasad Bhatt, founder of the cooperative organisation Dasholi Gram Swarajya Sangh, led the first Chipko movement near the village of Mandal in 1973. The movement is an uprising against the felling of trees in Uttar Pradesh’s Chamoli district

Sikki or Golden Grass

Sikki artisans suffer livelihood losses amid climate change & state apathy. Family - Zizanoides grass family. Scientific name - Chrysopogon zizanioides Sikki finds mention in ancient Sanskrit texts such as the Ramayana, where it is referred to as viran, sugandhimool, ushir and nalad. Tarai Region - This grass grows indigenously in the Tarai regions of Uttar P

Mayurbhanj’s Red Ant Chutney

Mayurbhanj’s red ant chutney receives GI tag. The Chutney Made with - The chutney is made with read weaver ants by the tribal people of Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district. Other name - It is also known by the name Similipal kai Chutney. Making - Red weaver ants are collected from the nests along with their eggs and cleaned. After that, the chutney is prepared by

Leap Year, 2024

A leap year has 366 days in a year as opposed to the regular 365 days. The extra day is added to February, the shortest month of the year, as February 29.

Ketamine

Context: Ketamine drug was reported to be involved in actor Matthew Perry’s death recently.In recent years, ketamine has been a subject of widespread debate due to its growing use for treating depression and other serious mental health issues. About ketamine: Ketamine, classified as an anaesthetic and hallucinogen by the US Drug Enforcement Administration, is derived from Phenc

DFRP and Nuclear Energy

Prime Minister dedicated to the nation, indigenously developed Demonstration Fast Reactor Fuel Reprocessing Plant (DFRP) at the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR), Kalpakkam, Tamil Nadu. The plant - It is a pilot for the bigger facility that would come up to reprocess the fuel that would come out of the two more 500 MW Prototype Fast Breeder Reactors (PFBR) that would come

Darien Jungle Gap

It is a sparsely populated geographic region of the easternmost Isthmus of Panama that extends into northwestern Colombia, around the Gulf of Urabá.It forms the physiographic link between Central and South America. Over 100,000 minors crossed Darien gap in 2023 to reach US. Features - A hot, humid area typified by tropical rainforests, mangrove swamps, and low mountain ranges

Free Movement Regime (FMR)

The Centre has decided to start an advanced smart fencing system for the entire India-Myanmar border with the end of free movement regime. Free Movement Regime – It is a mutual pact between India and Myanmar to allow tribes dwelling along the border on either side to travel up to 16 km inside the other without a visa. India shares a 1,643 km-

Bio Credits – Biodiversity credits

There is an urgent need to regulate frameworks to ensure the effective implementation of biodiversity credits. Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (KMGBF) Aim - KMGBF aims to catalyze transformative action by governments, and subnational and local authorities, with the involvement of all of society, to halt and reverse biodiversity loss. Adoption - KMGBF was adopte

Tanker ship off India hit by drone

Context: A Japanese-owned chemical tanker off the coast of India was targeted by a drone, allegedly fired from Iran, marking the seventh Iranian attack on commercial shipping since 2021, according to the Pentagon. News: A recent report indicates that the drone assault on a vessel near Gujarat originated from Iran. The targeted ship, MV Chem Pluto, is a chemical tanker with a Liberia flag

Year End Review – Environment

MoEFCC is the nodal agency for planning, co-ordination and overseeing the implementation of India’s environmental and forestry policies and programmes. Updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) The updated NDCs seeks to enhance India’s contributions towards achievement of the strengthening of global response to the threat of climate change, as agreed und

UAPA - Designated Terrorist

Gangster Goldy Brar, the mastermind behind the murder of Punjabi singer Sidhu Moosewala, was declared a designated terrorist by the Centre under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). UAPA The UAPA aims to prevent unlawful activities and terrorist activities in the country. Terrorist Act - Any act committed with intent to threaten or likely to threaten the unity,

National Maritime Domain Awareness Centre (NMDAC)

India is poised to establish a National Maritime Domain Awareness Centre (NMDAC) in response to emerging threats in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). NMDAC The Indian Navy’s Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC) in Gurugram, is on track to upgrade into the National Maritime Domain Awareness Centre in about three years. Objective - The primary objective of the NMDA

Turtles and status

Sea Turtle These are large, air-breathing reptiles that live in tropical and subtropical seas all over the world. Their shells are made up of an upper section (carapace) and a lower section (plastron). Hard scales or scutes cover all but the leatherback, and the number and arrangement of these scutes can be used to identify the species. The upper shell, or carapace, of each sea tur

MedTech Mitra

Context: The Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare and Chemicals & Fertilizers, Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya, virtually inaugurated 'MedTech Mitra,' a strategic initiative aimed at empowering MedTech innovators and advancing healthcare solutions. About: The platform, MedTech Mitra, serves as a support system for young talents, guiding them in shaping their research, knowledge

THE SHAPE OF CLIMATE JUSTICE IN A WARMING INDIA

Why in the News? The recently held G-20 summit at Delhi decided upon tripling renewable energy capacity and voluntary doubling of the rate of energy efficiency improvement by 2030, as a part of the Delhi Declaration.       What should be the ideals for a just energy-transition? Here are some key ideals for ensuring a just and equitable ener

AN OPPORTUNITY TO RECAST INDIA’S FOOD SYSTEM

Why in the News? The World Food Day was celebrated on October 16. India’s food system: India feeds the largest population in the world.  The primary goal of a food system is to ensure nutrition security for all. To achieve the primary goal, the producers producing the food should make reasonable economic returns that are resilient over time. Such resilience is dep

SAFETY TEST FOR GAGANYAAN

Why in the News? ISRO is set to carry out the first of a series of tests of systems and procedures of Gaganyaan mission, in less than two months after the Chandrayaan-3 Moon landing. The safety test: The Flight Test Vehicle Abort Mission-1 (TV-D1): It will demonstrate the performance of the Crew Escape System of the Gaganyaan project.  The flight will be the first

CENTRE ROLLS BACK PLAN ON PC IMPORT CURBS

Why in the News? The central govt. has rolled out an ‘import management system’ for IT hardware, including laptops and computers, withdrawing its earlier notification on import curbs. This comes after concerns were raised by US, China, South Korea and Taiwan at a recent World Trade Organisation (WTO) meeting. However, India introduced the curbs as a security measure, ra

PUNJAB VS DRUGS

Why in the News? Recently, Punjab Chief Minister led a large prayer gathering of schoolchildren, in which they pledged to reject the scourge of drugs citing that Punjab continues to grapple with the menace that has plagued the state for over a decade.  Drug Menace in Punjab: Substance abuse is major public health problem in Punjab with One in seven (~15%) people in Punjab are

NUCLEAR BRIEF CASE

1. The Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent visit to China was witnessed by his officers carrying the “nuclear briefcase”. The ‘nuclear briefcase’, also known as the ‘Cheget’ is named after a mountain in Russia. It forms a part of a larger system in place for authorising the launch of nuclear strikes. It’s part of a secured communicatio

DOUBLE TAXATION AVOIDANCE AGREEMENTS (DTAAS)

It is a mutually consented upon agreement between two countries on the taxability of specified incomes which both countries claim to have the right to levy tax on. Most countries have DTAAs to overcome the issue of double taxation arising due to cross border incomes. It is also aimed to promote international trade and amplify economic relations.  DTAAs ensures that the same income is

THE EXPLOSION OF DIGITAL UNCERTAINTY

Why in the News? The Government of India, recently released a comprehensive report on the opportunities afforded by this current wave of Artificial Intelligence (AI).  What is Digital Uncertainity? Digital uncertainty involves unpredictability and ambiguities regarding the socio-economic impacts of rapidly evolving digital technologies such as AI, social media, cryptocurrencies, and

MARSQUAKE-MARS MISSIONS

Why in the News? Just like on Earth, the surface of Mars sometimes vigorously shakes and unsurprisingly, that is called a marsquake and the largest ever such marsquake was recorded in history happened in 2022. Reason behind the Marsquake: The quake had a magnitude of 4.7 and had seismic signal similar to previous quakes that were caused by meteoroid impacts. However, the po

LEFT-WING EXTREMISM IS AGAINST INDIA’S DEVELOPMENT

Why in the News? The Union Home Minister said that Left-wing extremists and their ideology are “against the country’s development and bright future” during a Tribal Youth Exchange Programme.  Tribal Youth Exchange Programme: It is run through Nehru Yuva Kendras of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. The programme targets tribal youth from LWE-affe

DROUGHT IN THE AMAZON

Why in the News? The Amazon rainforest has been witnessing intense drought with numerous rivers vital for travel having dried up which has deprived Indigenous communities living in the area of water, food, or medicine in villages. News in Detail:  The Rio Negro, one of the world’s largest rivers by discharge levels, has fallen to a record low level of 13.59 metres in Brazil.

MINIMUM SUPPORT PRICE (MSP)

MSP is the minimum price set by the government for certain agricultural products, at which the products would directly be bought from the farmers if the open market prices are less than the cost incurred. It fosters to insure the farmers against a steep decline in the prices of their goods and to help them prevent losses. MSP is set by the government of India twice a year for 24 commodi

WHEN TIGERS AND JACKALS GET THE SAME PROTECTION-Wildlife protection act

Why in the News? The number of species included in the new schedules of the Wildlife Protection (Amendment) Act, 2022 has been increased, recently. Schedule 1 confers the highest protection and contains about 600 species of vertebrates and hundreds of invertebrates. Schedule 2 contains about 2,000 species (with 1,134 species of birds alone) The Wildlife Protection (Amendment) Act,

SYNERGISTIC BARRIERS AFFECTING THE PROGRESS ON SDGS

Why in the News? At the SDG Summit in New York, which was held on September 18 and 19, the world leaders reaffirmed their shared commitment to eradicate poverty and end hunger. It was observed that only 15% of the 169 SDG targets that make up the 17 goals can be met by the world. The investment gap in SDGs in developing countries stands greater than $4 trillion, out of which nearly

Kanha National Park

It is also known as Kanha–Kisli National Park. It is one of the tiger reserves of India and the largest national park of the state of Madhya Pradesh and in Central India. The park hosts fauna such as Bengal tiger, Indian leopard, sloth bear, barasingha (adapted to swampy areas) and dhole. The reserve has lowland forest of a

GAGANYAAN MISSION

The mission involves sending astronauts into a low-earth orbit in 2025, using Launch Vehicle Mark-3 (LVM-3). The rocket LVM-3, which will take the crew to orbit. The rocket will have ‘human rating’ of the vehicle.  An environmental control and life support system ‘ECLSS’ has been developed as a part of the system which is basically for controlling the temperat

CLOSING GENDER PAY GAP IN THE WORKFORCE

Professor Goldin’s work: Goldin demonstrated how and why gender differences in earnings and employment rates have changed over time, by analysing 200 years of the United States’ archives. Significant observations from her work: Female participation in the labour market exhibited a U-shaped curve rather than an upward trend over the entire period. The economic growth oc

DHANAURI WETLAND

The Dhanauri Wetlands is a birdwatching area located in Dhanauri village near Dankaur in Uttar Pradesh, India. The Dhanauri Wetlands is home to over 120 Sarus cranes Sarus Cranes is the state bird of Uttar Pradesh. IUCN status - Vulnerable CITES -Appendix ll Omnivorous, eating insects (especially grasshoppers), aquatic plants, fish (perhaps only in captivity), frogs, crus

Estivation

``   Estivation is when animals are dormant because weather conditions are very hot and dry. Their breathing rate, heart rate and metabolic rate decrease to conserve energy under these harsh conditions. Humans estivate during the winter months as well as some of these animals.  A few animals on this list include water-holding frog the desert tortoise

KAZIRANGA SANCTUARY

KAZIRANGA SANCTUARY     Kaziranga National Park is a national park of the state of Assam, India. The park, hosts two-thirds of the world's Indian rhinoceroses It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site It is recognized as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International for conservation of avifaunal species. The park area

ISRAEL’S MISSILE DEFENCE SHIELD- IRON DOME

ISRAEL’S MISSILE DEFENCE SHIELD- IRON DOME Why in the News? Around 2,200 rockets were fired towards southern and central Israel through a multi-pronged attack by Gaza-based militant group Hamas from land, sea and air, which was shot down by ‘Iron Dome’ defensive shield of Israel. Israel’s Iron Dome air defence system: Iron Dome is a short-range anti-rocket, a

Green Credit

Green Credit     It is a special programme that allows an individual or entity to earn Green Credit and trade it on a dedicated exchange. Green Credit refers to a unit of an incentive provided for specified activities that deliver a positive impact on the environment. It is launched at the national level to leverage a competitive market-based approach for incentiv

HEPATITIS C

HEPATITIS C     Hepatitis C is an infectious disease caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV) that primarily affects the liver, a type of viral hepatitis. HCV is spread primarily by Blood-to-blood contact associated with injection drug use Poorly sterilized medical equipment Needlestick injuries in healthcare Tran

The Feminisation of Economic Enquiry - Economics Nobel

Why in News? Professor Claudia Goldin became the 3rd woman to be awarded the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences which is commonly referred to as the Nobel Prize for Economics. Highlights of her work: Goldin demonstrated how and why gender differences in earnings and employment rates have changed over time, by analysing 200 years of the United States’ archives.

Criticism of Global Hunger Index Methodology

  Why in the News? The Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2023 ranked India 111 among 125 nations, a fall of four places from last year has received a push-back by the Indian government. India scored poorer than several of its neighboring countries on the index, including Pakistan (102nd), Bangladesh (81st), Nepal (69th), and Sri Lanka (60th). Global Hunger Index (GHI): Th

PPP in Semiconductor manufacturing

Why in the News? Six working groups’ report on framing Indian government’s artificial intelligence (AI) roadmap have recommendations for public-private partnerships to make semiconductors for AI applications. PPP in Semiconductor manufacturing: The PPP model would be leveraged to build so-called “GPU clusters”. Such GPU clusters shall act as masses o

ImmunoACT

Why in News? IIT Bombay-incubated Immunoadoptive Cell Therapy (ImmunoACT) has received Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation’s (CDSCO) marketing authorisation approval. ImmunoACT shall be the ‘first’ humanised CD19-targeted Chimeric Antigen Receptor T cell (CAR-T cell) therapy product for relapsed/refractory B-cell lymphomas and leukaemia (blood cancer) in India.

Large ozone hole detected over Antarctica

Why in the News? Recent satellite measurements by European Space Agency Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite as part of the EU’s environmental monitoring program over Antarctica have detected a giant hole in the ozone layer. The hole i.e., the “ozone-depleted area” was 26 million square kilometers (10 million square miles) in size, roughly three times the size of Brazil.

Unemployment in India

Unemployment in India     Why in the News? The Prime Minister has said unemployment rate in the country is at its lowest level in the last six years and India's expanding economy is creating new possibilities for the youth. Unemployment is decreasing rapidly in both rural and urban areas of India. The benefits of development are reaching both villages and

Accidents in Indian Railways

Accidents in Indian Railways     Why in the News? 23 coaches of the Assam-bound North East Superfast Express derailed in Buxar district of Bihar recently, which has been caused due to cracks in the railway track as per primary investigation. Accidents in Indian Railways: Indian Railways (IR) has classified accidents, as an occurrence in the course of wo

Developing Border Infrastructure

Developing Border Infrastructure     Why in the News? Prime Minister of India has inaugurated and laid the foundation for multiple development projects in Uttarakhand worth around Rs 4,200 crore, which included those related to border roads. Infrastructure in the border areas: The development of infrastructure in the border areas include construction of,

Global hunger Index

Global hunger Index       India has been ranked 111th out of 125 countries in the Global Hunger Index 2023. The index is published on an annual basis by Concern Worldwide and Welthungerhilfe. India has a score of 28.7, indicating a serious level of hunger, ranking after neighbouring countries of Pakistan (102nd), Bangladesh (81st), Nepal (69th) and Sri Lan

P20 Summit

P20 Summit     The 9th G20 Parliamentary Speakers' Summit (P20) will be inaugurated by India and will be hosted by the Parliament of India under the broader framework of India's G20 presidency. It will have 4 main sessions: Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Showcasing Achievements, Accelerating Progress Sustainable Energy Transit

Role of structural inequalities in the incidence of hypertension

    Why in the News? September 29 was observed as the World Heart Day to raise awareness about prevention, detection and treatment of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and promote heart-healthy lifestyles.   Prevalence of Hypertension in India: National Family Health Survey-5 (2019–2021) revealed that 18.3% of the country’s population ha

New royalty rates for strategic minerals

New royalty rates for strategic minerals     Why in the News? The centre has recently approved royalty rates of 3% each for lithium and niobium and 1% for Rare Earth Elements (REEs). What does the new royalty rates imply? The Second Schedule of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 (MMDR Act) was amended to specify the rate of royalty

INDIA NEEDS TO GO NUCLEAR

INDIA NEEDS TO GO NUCLEAR India’s growing energy needs: India has been registering rapid economic growth and is expected to surpass Germany and Japan to become the third largest economy by the end of this decade. The economic growth triggers demand for energy, which is reflected in India’s primary energy consumption being the third-highest globally, and most of which is base

THE COST OF CHEAP DRUGS

THE COST OF CHEAP DRUGS     Why in the News? Lack of information about effects of unbranded generic medicines hampers patients’ freedom of choice. Generic Medicines: As per FDA, “A generic drug is a medication created to be the same as an already marketed brand-name drug in dosage form, safety, strength, route of administration, quality, performan

GI tag for Goan Cashew

GI tag for Goan Cashew     Goan cashew, derived from the Portuguese name ‘caju’ or ‘kaju’ in Konkani. Cashew, native to northeast Brazil in Latin America was introduced to Goa by the Portuguese in the 16th century (1570). Significance of providing GI tag for Goan Cashew: Traders and processors have to comply with the norms of quality,

Need for an evidence-based traditional medicine

Need for an evidence-based traditional medicine     Why in the News? A plea has been filed by a manufacturer of indigenous drugs against a medical practitioner alleging that his social media thread affected their business. Modern medicine It became science-based in the 19th century, where advances in technology was utilised to study the functioning of the hum

The impact of Claudia Goldin’s work-Nobel Prize in Economics

The impact of Claudia Goldin’s work-Nobel Prize in Economics Why in the News? The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences for 2023 by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences was awarded to Harvard University Professor Claudia Goldin. She was awarded for “having advanced our understanding of women’s labour market outcomes”. Her work “first compreh

Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary

Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary     The sanctuary lies in the Indo-Chinese transition zone and so has highly endemic and significant flora and fauna species. The sanctuary has been named after the Dibang River, a tributary of Brahmaputra River.  It lies adjacent to the Mouling National Park. Has been declared as one of the major bio-diversity hotspots of the

Kamlang Tiger Reserve (TR)

Kamlang Tiger Reserve (TR)     The Kamlang TR is present in Lohit district of Arunachal Pradesh and is contiguous to the Namdhapa Tiger Reserve. It is home to all four big cats - tiger, leopard, clouded leopard and snow leopard. It also has several species of hornbills such as Rufous-necked hornbills and Wreathed hornbills that visits in the winters. 

Tele Manas Seva

Tele Manas Seva     Tele Mental Health Assistance and Networking Across States (Tele MANAS) was introduced in the Union Budget 2022. The Tele MANAS entrusted the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) to guide its overall implementation.  Ranking from first to third, in the larger States category, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, and Uttar Pradesh were aw

PHONOTAXIS

PHONOTAXIS     Phonotaxis is defined as the movement by an animal in response to a sound. It has usually observed among crickets, moths, frogs, and toads, among a few other creatures. Two types of phonotaxis include: Positive phonotaxis Its purpose is attraction It happens when the females of a particular species are attracted to the sounds mad

THE DHOLE OR ASIATIC WILD DOG 

THE DHOLE OR ASIATIC WILD DOG      It is the only endangered wild pack-living canid in the tropical Indian forests It is considered at high risk of extinction with endangered category on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List The diurnal activity of the dholes had the highest temporal overlap with leopards and the lowest with clou

Significance of quantum dots in nanotechnology

Significance of quantum dots in nanotechnology     Why in the News? The Nobel Prize for chemistry 2023 was awarded to Alexei I. Ekimov, Louis E. Brus, and Moungi G. Bawendi “for the discovery and synthesis of quantum dots”. What is a quantum dot? It is a small assembly of atoms around a few nanometres wide. The small assembly of atoms gives 

mRNA research that was used to fight COVID

mRNA research that was used to fight COVID Why in the News? The Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, 2023 was awarded to Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman for their “discoveries concerning nucleoside base modifications that enabled the development of mRNA vaccine technology. What are mRNA vaccines? mRNA (messenger RNA) is a form of nucleic acid which carries genetic i

New tools to fathom the world of electrons

New tools to fathom the world of electrons Why in the News? Recently Pierre Agostini, Ferenc Krausz and Anne L’Huillier have been awarded Nobel Prize in physics, 2023 for their contribution to making it possible to watch electrons move using experimental methods that generate attosecond pulses of light. What is an attosecond? An attosecond is

LIDAR

LIDAR     LIDAR stands for “light detection and ranging” or “laser imaging, detection, and ranging”. It is a method for determining ranges by targeting a surface with a laser and measuring the time for the reflected light to return to the receiver (time of flight). LIDAR scanning or 3D laser scanning involves s

Radiocarbon dating

Radiocarbon dating       Radiocarbon dating (carbon dating or carbon-14 dating) is a method for determining the age of an object containing organic material by using the properties of radiocarbon, a radioactive isotope of carbon. Radiocarbon (14C) is constantly created in the Earth’s atmospher

OTOP1 protein

OTOP1 protein     Japanese scientist Kikunae Ikeda first proposed umami as a basic taste in addition to sweet, sour, salty and bitter which was officially agreed the scientific community after 80 years. Now, it has been found that the tongue responds to ammonium chloride (salmiak salt), which has been recognised as a 6th basic sense. The tongue responds

R21 Malaria vaccine

R21 Malaria vaccine     The R21/Matrix-M™ malaria vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and the Serum Institute of India has been recommended for use by the World Health Organization (WHO). The vaccine was developed by leveraging Novavax’s adjuvant technology. The vaccine has met the requirements of safety, quality and effectiveness standards.

Left-Wing Extremism in India

Left-Wing Extremism in India Why in the News? The Home Minister has said that Left Wing Extremism (LWE) will be totally eliminated from the country in two years, in a meeting to review the security situation in LWE-affected States. Incidence of LWE in India: The lowest number of incidents of violence and deaths in Naxal-hit areas in last four decades was recorded in 2022. The viol

RBI’s Monetary Policy

RBI’s Monetary Policy     Why in the News? The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) maintained the status quo on interest rates during its review meeting in October. The RBI prefers higher rates for longer periods for both domestic and external reasons: External factors include: Higher US inflation rates (they

Global amphibian assessment

Global amphibian assessment     The assessment is coordinated by the Amphibian Red List Authority, a branch of the Amphibian Specialist Group of the IUCN’s Species Survival Commission. The assessment has revealed that, 2 out of every 5 amphibians are threatened with extinction.  Between 2004 and 2022, a few critical threats have pushed more than

India Steel

India Steel     Indian steel companies plan to raise prices of various grades of the alloy due to rising import costs of coking coal.  Australia accounts for over 50% of its coking coal imports of around 55-60 million metric tonne a year. India also meets its coking coal requirements by importing from Russia and the United States. India su

Open Market Operations (OMO)

Open Market Operations (OMO)     It refers to the purchase and sale of securities (treasury bills and government securities) in open market by the central bank of any country. This is done to regulate money supply in the economy. OMO is one of the most important ways of monetary control that is exercised by the central banks.  The central bank sells securit

Counting Rural women’s labor

Why in the News? India has one of the lowest female labour force participation rates (LFPR) in the world which is disheartening as the International Day of Rural Women is approaching. The Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) data: It indicates that LFPR (women in the working age group of 15-59 years) is only 35.6% in India. The LFPR of India is lower than other South Asi

India’s Banking sector

  Transformative reforms undertaken: Consolidation in the public sector banking space Emergence of private banks Specialised non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) Emerging fintech ecosystem have increased the diversity quotient of the financial sector and made it inclusive. The legacy issues of non-performing assets (NPAs) have been left behind by banks. Interna

Internet Shutdowns in Manipur

Internet Shutdowns in Manipur Why in the News? Recently, full internet access was restored in Manipur attributing it to the “improved” law and order in the state. The announcement comes after 143 days (since May 3) registering India’s second-longest internet blackout (after 552-day shutdown in Jammu and Kashmir). The pattern of Internet ban: &nb

India- the Diabetic capital of the world

India- the Diabetic capital of the world     Why in the News? A recent study conducted by the Madras Diabetes Research Foundation in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research and the Union Health Ministry has revealed that 11.4% of India’s population or 10.13 crore people are living with diabetes. 15.3% of the population or an additional 13

India’s Anti-terrorism Structure

India’s Anti-terrorism Structure     Why in the News? The Union Home Minister suggested at the Anti-Terror Conference that along with a ruthless approach, an uniform anti-terrorism structure should be established under the purview of National Investigation Agency (NIA) in all the States. Definition of Terrorism: The new criminal law bill (Bharatiya Nyaya S

Elder Mental healthcare

Elder Mental healthcare     Why in the News? The World Elders Day (1st) and Mental Health Day (10th) has been observed in the month of October, which is significant given the increasingly greying population of India. Increasing old-age population: In the history of humanity, there ar

Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI)

Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) IRDAI cuts minimum capital requirement for foreign reinsurance branches from Rs 100 crore to Rs 50 crores with the provision to repatriate any excess assigned capital. The move is intended to Increase the overall capacity of the reinsurance sector to accommodate growing demand and manage larger risks. broader goa

An Accounting System for Carbon

An Accounting System for Carbon   Climate ‘polycrisis’: It was a term made popular by Adam Tooze. It refers to the interconnected and compounding crises related to climate change that are affecting the planet not only in few sectors but across several sectors and domains. It encompasses all dimensions of impacts of climate change such as physical, social, e

Chemistry Nobel Prize 2023

Chemistry Nobel Prize 2023     Why in the News? The 2023 Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to Moungi G. Bawendi, Louis E. Brus and Alexei I. Ekimov “for the discovery and synthesis of quantum dots” and have been lauded as pioneers in the exploration of the nanoworld. Work of the Awardees: In 1980s, Louis Brus and Alexei Ekimov succeeded in

Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967

  Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967     Why in the News? A news portal NewsClick founder and editor-in-chief have been arrested under UAPA due to alleged connections to illegal funding from India. Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967: Prior to UAPA amendment 2004, terrorist activities were dealt by the now repealed Terrorist

National Action Plan for Green Shipping

National Action Plan for Green Shipping Why in the News? At the INMEX SMM India 2023 maritime industry exhibition, the potential benefits of National Action Plan for Green Shipping were projected by the Director General of Shipping Shyam Jagannathan. The initiative shall help in promoting eco-friendly practices and incentives for low-emission ships. It shall also help position I

Glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF)

Glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF)     Why in the News? Incessant rains have caused flash floods in north Sikkim after the South Lhonak Lake burst, which has killed 14 people so far and 102, including at least 23 Army personnel, are missing.  The South Lhonak Lake outburst: It is a glacial lake situated in the state’s northwest

BlueWalker 3 satellite

BlueWalker 3 satellite     It is a prototype satellite, part of a satellite constellation planned by its owner AST SpaceMobile. The satellite is intended to deliver mobile or broadband services anywhere in the world. BlueWalker 3 was observed as one of the brightest objects in the night sky, outshining all but the brightest stars. However, concerns are raised ar

National Turmeric Board

National Turmeric Board     Aims to provide leadership in all matters related to turmeric, coordinate with relevant government agencies, particularly the Spices Board, and spearhead efforts to advance the turmeric sector within the country.  The key objective of the board is to raise awareness and consumption of turmeric domestically and internationally. 

National Investment Infrastructure Fund (NIIF)

National Investment Infrastructure Fund (NIIF)     The NIIF was launched in 2015 as India’s first state-backed fund. JBIC will contribute 51 per cent of that figure and the rest will be contributed by India. for enhancing infrastructure financing by investing in greenfield (new), brownfield (existing) and stalled projects. The fund was set up as Category II

The trouble with a Nobel for mRNA COVID vaccines

The trouble with a Nobel for mRNA COVID vaccines   Why in the News? The Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, 2023 was given to Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman for developing the mRNA vaccine technology. The mRNA technology developed by the awardees: messenger RNA (mRNA) is a template used for protein production when genetic information encoded in DNA is tr

Nobel Prize for Physics 2023

Nobel Prize for Physics 2023   Why in the News? Recently Pierre Agostini, Ferenc Krausz and Anne L’Huillier have been awarded Nobel Prize in physics, 2023 for their contribution to making it possible to watch electrons move. Significance of their work: Atoms or molecules make movements, or changes took place generally in picoseconds (10^-12) or femtosecond

Purchasing Manager’s Index

Purchasing Manager’s Index   It is an index that reflects the prevailing direction of economic trends in the manufacturing and service sectors. It has a diffusion index that summarizes whether market conditions are expanding, staying the same, or contracting as viewed by purchasing managers. It is a monthly survey released by the Institute for Supply Manag

The FDI of India has been falling

The FDI of India has been falling     Why in the News? Though the figures of GDP growth and geopolitical scenario indicate the economic rise of India, its FDI has been falling. India’s falling Foreign Direct Investment (FDI): India’s growth prospects: The Indian economy grew at 7.8% in the first quarter of the ongoing financial year and is

A plan for the Winter Crop

A plan for the Winter Crop     Why in the News? The Rabi conference was recently held by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW), to discuss about the problems and prospects of rabi crops in the upcoming winter season. India’s food production: The Indian monsoon (June to September) recorded a 5.6% deficit rainfall compared to the lo

Cholera cases

Cholera cases   Cholera is a water-borne disease affecting the small intestine of a person, which can be diagnosed by a stool test or a rapid dipstick test. It is caused by two strains of the bacteria Vibrio cholerae called O1 and O139. While O1 is responsible for almost all outbreaks, outbreaks of O139 have been rare and none recorded outside Asia so far.&

Lagrange Points

Lagrange Points   They are points in space between celestial bodies where a spacecraft stays more or less stationary. Lagrange points are found along the plane of two objects in orbit around their common centre of gravity, where their gravitational forces cancel each other, so that a third body of negligible mass w

R21 Malaria vaccine

R21 Malaria vaccine   The R21/Matrix-M™ malaria vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and the Serum Institute of India has been recommended for use by the World Health Organization (WHO). The vaccine was developed by leveraging Novavax’s adjuvant technology. The vaccine has met the requirements of safety, quality and effectiveness standards. Malaria:

Household savings

Household savings   Why in the News? The RBI Monthly Bulletin in September has revealed that households’ net financial savings had fallen to 5.1% from 11.5% in 2020-21. Financial liabilities of households rose faster than their assets which might be an indication of rising indebtedness and increasing distress.  Government’s claim: The househo

How government agencies use commercial spyware to target opponents

How government agencies use commercial spyware to target opponents   Why in the News? Recently, former Egyptian MP Ahmed Eltantawy was targeted with Cytrox’s Predator spyware sent via links on SMS and WhatsApp. This attack came after Mr. Eltantawy stated plans publicly to run for President in the 2024 Egyptian elections. This is concerning as Egypt is a known cu

Faulty policies on invasive exotics

Faulty policies on invasive exotics   Why in the News? The invasive Conocarpus species of trees have been banned by Gujarat recently due to concerns over its management. This comes after the invasive species was banned by Telangana last year. There is a possibility of several other states following the suit. This can discourage horticulturists and nurseries from mul

Bacteria Wolbachia

Bacteria Wolbachia   It is a genus of intracellular bacteria that infects mainly arthropod species, including a high proportion of insects, and also some nematodes. It is the most common parasitic microbes, and is possibly the most common reproductive parasite, with as many as 25 to 70% of all insect species are

NASA’s asteroid-hunting spacecraft OSIRIS-Rex

NASA’s asteroid-hunting spacecraft OSIRIS-Rex   Why in the News? Recently, NASA’s asteroid-hunting spacecraft OSIRIS-REx (Origins-Spectral Interpretation-Resource Identification-Security-Regolith Explorer) collected samples from asteroid 101955 Bennu and landed in the Utah desert.  What was OSIRIS-REx’s mission? The OSIRIS-REx spacecr

Tuberculosis (TB)

Tuberculosis (TB)   Why in the News? Recent studies have indicated that nutritional deficiency has led to an increase in TB cases in India, which has been compounded by drug shortages recently. Shortage of Rifampicin, a medicine used for treating drug sensitive TB was not available in many parts of India

TrueNat Test

TrueNat Test   TrueNat is a is a chip-based, battery-operated RT-PCR kit for point-of-care and rapid molecular test for diagnosis of infectious diseases. RT-PCR (Reverse Transcriptase- Polymerase Chain Reaction) employs reverse transcription process that converts RNA into DNA molecule before the gene can be captured in the test. It was used as a screening test during COVI

Jellyfish

Jellyfish Jellyfish are mainly free-swimming marine animals with umbrella-shaped bells and trailing tentacles, while some tend to be immobile anchored to the seabed by stalks. The tentacles are armed with stinging cells and used to capture prey and defend against predators. They are found all over the world, from surface waters to the deep sea, from marine to freshwater, b

Global dispute settlement, India and appellate review

Global dispute settlement, India and appellate review     Why in the News? The New Delhi Leaders Declaration at G20 reiterated the need to pursue reform of the WTO “to ensure a fully and well-functioning dispute settlement system accessible to all members by 2024”. Issues with World Trade Organization (WTO): The dispute settlement system, a two-ti

The threat from Illicit trade in India

The threat from Illicit trade in India Why in the News? Around 3.5 tonnes of gold, 18 crore cigarette sticks, 140 metric tonnes of red sanders and 90 tonnes of heroin were seized along with other drugs during the last financial year. Highlights of a report released by FICCI CASCADE: In the organised crime segment, India has a lower score of 4.3 against 5.2 for an average of 122 coun

India’s Semiconductor Industry

India’s Semiconductor Industry     Why in the News? India has geared up to set up its first ever semiconductor fabrication unit and is poised for a vibrant chip industry in the next 3-4 years with an aim to grow the manufacturing ecosystem in India. India’s Manufacturing ecosystem: Presently, 99% of mobile phones for domestic use are made in

India’s kidney transplant deficit

India’s kidney transplant deficit Why in the News? India’s organ shortage has increased alarmingly, for which government’s recent reforms (February 2023) allow more flexibility in age and domicile requirements while registering to obtain an organ. Kidney transplantation in India: There is a high prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in India, affecting about 1

The digital world of cookies

The digital world of cookies     What are cookies? These are bits of code, stored on a device when one visits websites online. Cookies help in personalisation and user convenience and therefore, play a pivotal role in shaping any online experience. How do cookies work? Cookies remember a user’s login information on websites, which prevents the ne

M.S. Swaminathan: Man of Science & Humanity

M.S. Swaminathan: Man of Science & Humanity     Why in the News? The Father of Green Revolution of India, Dr.M.S. Swaminathan passed away recently. Green Revolution (GR) in India: M S Swaminathan worked closely with Norman Borlaug to usher in the Green Revolution in India in the mid-1960s. India’s food insecurity in the 1960s: I

Mahendragiri stealth frigate

Mahendragiri stealth frigate       It is the 7th stealth frigate under the Indian Navy's Project named after Mahendragiri mountain peak of the Eastern ghats, located in Odisha. It is also the last Nilgiri-Class stealth frigate for Indian navy. It was built by Mazagaon dock shipbuilders Ltd. as a part of achieving the goal of AtmaNirbhar Bharat and

Kakrapar Atomic Power project (KAPP3)

Kakrapar Atomic Power project (KAPP3)     It is the largest indigenously developed 700-megawatt electric (MWe) nuclear power reactor unit in Gujarat attained it first criticality in 2020, has started operations in 2023. First criticality signifies the initiation of a controlled, but sustained nuclear fission reaction in the nuclear power plant. It is a variant of

Monoclonal Antibodies

Monoclonal Antibodies     Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-made proteins that mimic the behaviour of antibodies produced by the immune system to protect against diseases and foreign substances It attaches itself to an antigen such as Glycoproteins (a foreign substance, usually a disease-causing molecule) and helps the immune system eliminate it from the body.

Leveraging air power is critical to India’s big power ambitions

    The Indian air force has been looked upon as a mere support service, adjunct to the service-specific operational strategies of the continental and maritime domains, thus portraying India as a surface-centric security force.   Key advantages offered by Air force: Creating a unique hard power deterrence over the South China Sea. Ensuring maritime and ae

Aditya L1 Mission

Why in the News? The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is set to launch its spacecraft Aditya-L1 to study the Sun, on September 2,2023.   What is the Aditya-L1 mission? The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) will carry the 1,475-kg spacecraft to an elliptical orbit around the Earth. The spacecraft will travel 1.5 million km from the Earth to the

MSP Hike and related concerns

Why in the News? Central Govt. ministries and departments recently casted apprehensions to the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare’s proposal to hike the minimum support price (MSP) for kharif crops in the 2023-24 season.   MSP hike: The cabinet approved the increase in MSP ranging from 6% to 10% as per the recommendations of the Commission for Agricu

News media versus Open AI’s ChatGPT

  Why in the News? Recently, a group of news media organisations, including The New York Times, Reuters and CNN blocked the OpenAI’s ability to access their content. This comes on the background that The New York Times is planning on suing the artificial intelligence (AI) research company over copyright violations.   What is OpenAI? OpenAI

Short Selling

Short Selling     The Enforcement Directorate’s preliminary investigation has concluded that the “top beneficiaries” of short selling in shares of Adani Group companies, post release of the Hindenburg Research report and the subsequent market crash, are based in tax havens. Short sellers are investors who believe and bet that sh

Shiv Shakti, Tiranga, Jawahar Sthal

Shiv Shakti, Tiranga, Jawahar Sthal       The touch down sites of spacecrafts send to the lunar surface has been named recently. After Chandrayaan-1 mission of 2008, the site where the probe crashed (as it was meant to for the purposes of the mission), was named “Jawahar Sthal” after the first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. Chandrayaan-3 lan

Echolocation

Echolocation     A technique in which animals or devices emits sound waves, and listens for their reflections by objects in their surroundings. The sound waves emitted will be in the nature of high-frequency sound pulses, often beyond the range of human hearing.  Bats due to their poor eyesight uses this ability to hunt and navigate in the dark, while do

After Chandrayaan-3, what are ISRO’s plans?

After Chandrayaan-3, what are ISRO’s plans?     Why in the News? India became the 4th country to have soft-landed a robotic instrument on the moon and the 1st to land in the moon’s south polar region, by the touch down of Chandrayaan-3 on Aug 23, 2023. What are ISRO’s focus areas?   Focus areas of ISRO: Gaganyaan

How wastewater can help tackle water shortages

How wastewater can help tackle water shortages     Why in the News? Water shortages are causing tensions in Europe as it is experiencing severe heat and drought due to lack of rainfall in 2023. In Spain, water reserves have dropped to 41% leading to severe crop losses and water restrictions in place in some regions. Human-induced climate change has led to in

Omega Fatty acids

Omega Fatty acids Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) or called as “essential” fatty acids are Omega-3 and Omega-6. They play in controlling two key body processes: Blood clotting Inflammation. It prepares the body to fight back infection and injury but for prolonged periods can also cause severe damage and chronic illnesses. Both have to be in right ratio to

Picoflare jets

Picoflare jets     Picoflare jets are small jets of charged particles that are expelled intermittently from the corona of the Sun, at supersonic speeds. They could emanate from coronal holes where the sun’s magnetic field stretches into the space. The picoflare jets could supply energy and plasma to the solar wind (a c

Cleantech, for an inclusive green future in India

Cleantech, for an inclusive green future in India Green economy paradigm: It involves adoption of climate action that aligns with the development aspirations of the population and contributes to overall economic growth. It provides an optimistic pathway to align development and environmental outcomes Building a solar park or an e-vehicle charging station shall expand infrastructur

The State of India’s Birds-2023 report

The State of India’s Birds-2023 report     The State of India’s Birds report: The report is an assessment of the distribution range, trends in abundance and conservation status of 942 of India’s 1,200 bird species Carried out by 13 partner organisations, including the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and Zoological Survey of India (ZSI). It h

India’s hidden adversary, Lead poisoning

India’s hidden adversary, Lead poisoning     Lead poisoning: More than half of the children in India (close to 20 crore) have lead levels in their blood >5 micrograms per decilitre (µg/dL) as per 2021 study. WHO:  Any level >5 µg/dL is “a trigger for a thorough review of the ways in which a person is being exposed to lead and

The House Crow

The House Crow     The house crow (Corvus splendens), also known as the Indian, greynecked, Ceylon or Colombo crow, is a common bird of the crow family that is of Asian origin. Its size ranges in size  of 40 cm (16 in) in length. It has a widespread distribution in southern Asia, being native to

Infrastructure investments and the slowing job creation

Infrastructure investments and the slowing job creation     Unemployment in India: India is the fastest-growing large economy in the world, but the unemployment rate has also increased. More than 50% of India’s population is <25 years and more than 65% is >35 years of age. The unemployment rate of India stands at 8% as per the data of Centre for Mon

ICMR study on long COVID

ICMR study on long COVID     Why in the News? A recent study was conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on the post Covid-19 conditions and its report has been recently published. The WHO estimates that 10 to 20 per cent of Covid patients develop prolonged symptoms. Key findings of the Study: Nearly 6.5% people hospitalised

Sodium-ion battery packs

Sodium-ion battery packs  Na-ion cells offers an efficient alternative to lithium-ion phosphate (LFP) as the latter has disadvantage over lithium and other battery raw material prices. The three main Na-ion cathode type that uses low-cost materials than Li-ion cathodes. Prussian white layered oxide polyanion Therefore, Na-ion is expected to b

Honey Bees

Honey Bees     The Muğla region in Bayram mountains of Turkey which produces almost all of the world's pine honey from Mugla Bees, ravaged by 2021 wildfires is yet to recover to pre-wildfire production levels. Honey bees are all native to mainland Afro-Eurasia. The western honey bee, (Apis mellifera) has been domesticated for honey production and cr

Implementing a car safety programme

Implementing a car safety programme     Why in the News? The Bharat New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP) was rolled out by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to create a rating system indicating the safety of cars in a collision and is planned to come into effect from October 1, 2023. What is Bharat NCAP? An indigenous star-rating system for crash tes

One Health can help India respond better to health crises

How One Health can help India respond better to health crises   Why in the News? India has been taking significant strides for the adoption of a ‘National One Health Mission’ to be led by the Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor. The concept of ‘One Health Strategy’: It is a holistic approach recognises the problems among the inte

Chandrayaan-3’s landing, the experiments: lunar quakes and water-ice on Moon

After Chandrayaan-3’s landing, the experiments: lunar quakes and water ice on Moon   Why in the News? India has successfully made the Chandrayaan-3 landing on the lunar surface, becoming the first country to land on lunar south pole and 4th country to land on moon (after the US, Soviet Russia and China). The Mission Experiments: Four experiments to be conducted

ASTRA Missile

ASTRA Missile     LIGHT COMBAT Aircraft (LCA) Tejas has successfully fired the ASTRA indigenous Beyond Visual Range (BVR) air-to-air missile. ASTRA is a state-of-the-art BVR air-to-air missile. It is developed to engage and destroy highly manoeuvring supersonic aerial targets. It has been designed and developed by Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRD

Sugar industry in ethanol sourcing

Sugar industry in ethanol sourcing The Niti Aayog envisages requirement of 1,400 crore litres of ethanol to achieve 20% blending by 2025-2026.  Nearly 550 crore litres of ethanol have been produced and 450 crore litres of it came from the sugar industry and the remaining from maize and damaged grain, in 2022. Molasses, a byproduct of sugar processing, are currently being used for bi

DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation)

DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation)     A Research & Development wing of the Ministry of Defence, Govt of India. It aims to empower India with cutting-edge defence technologies to achieve self-reliance in critical defence technologies and systems. It also intends to equip the armed forces with state-of-the-art weapon systems and equipment

Consumption-based poverty Estimation is still relevant

Why in the news? A recent report by NITI Aayog on multidimensional poverty and the Global Multi-dimensional Poverty Index Report, 2023 have shown a declining trend of Poverty in India. The NITI Aayog report on multidimensional poverty Decline of percentage of poor from 25% in 2015-16 to 15% in 2019-21. 135 million people were lifted out of poverty during this period. Th

Turning a Deaf ear to Himalayas

Tourism in Himalayas: As per the NITI Aayog report, the growth of tourism in Indian Himalayan Region is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 7.9% from 2013 to 2023.   The Indian Himalayan Region (IHR): The Himalayan landscapes spans across three regions – Western Himalayas, Sikkim and Western Arunachal Pradesh. IHR extends from the Indus River in the

India and Russia’s Moon missions

    Why in the News? Russia has launched a mission to the moon name Luna-25 that could land on the moon days before Chandrayaan-3 in the Lunar South Pole, likely to take away the title of the first country soft -land close to the South Pole   Why is Russia reaching the moon earlier than India? Luna-25 was launched in Soyuz rocket almost a month afte

Survey at Corbett Tiger Reserve

About 275 bird species, including two critically endangered, four vulnerable ones and two endangered species, were counted during a survey at Corbett Tiger Reserve. Two endangered species — Pallas’s fish-eagle, Egyptian vulture and four vulnerable bird species — great hornbill, great slaty woodpecker, grey-crowned prinia and river tern — have been counted in the survey

Biological Diversity Amendment Bill,2021

Why in the News? Lok Sabha has passed the Biological Diversity (Amendment) Bill,2021 replacing Biological Diversity Act, 2002.   News in detail: Rationale for introduction of Biological Diversity Act, 2002: Anthropogenic activities leading to loss of biodiversity and extinction of species. Concerns of bio-piracy- unauthorized appropriation of biological resources and relat

The Khalistan Issue

Why in the News? The United Kingdom has announced ~1 Crore to tackle pro-Khalistan extremism that has threatened to damage Indian missions and its employees in the UK.   Khalistani separatist activities in Western countries: Though the issue of pro-Khalistan separatist movements has emerged in the last two decades intermittently, it has gained a new momentum in the last two years.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Why in the news? The number of organisations adopting AI technology in India has gone up by 2.5 times with widespread applications in education, health, finance, mobility and e-commerce among others.   What is AI? AI is the intelligence of a machine to work based on human cognitive skills that has the ability to reason, discover meaning, generalize or learn from past experience, d

Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs)

It is an international financial institution established by two or more countries for the purpose of encouraging economic development in poorer nations. It consists of member nations from both developed and developing countries. It intends to provide loans and grants to member nations to fund projects to support social and economic development in the areas of infrastructu

Legionella bacteria

The UK govt has put the asylum-seekers on a housing barge after the detection of traces the bacteria causing Legionnaire’s disease were found in the onboard water system. The bacteria can be found in lakes and Ponds and also in other water systems. If such water containing thus bacteria is consumed, the bacteria can reach the lungs and cause pneumonia and a mild flu-like illn

Tackling Deepfakes

What are Deepfakes? Deepfakes are videos, images and audios created or edited with a form of artificial intelligence (AI) model to create a convincingly true version of a real video/image or audio.   How are deep fakes created? It is created using techniques in machine learning (ML), a subfield of AI especially Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) In the GAN process, two ML s

Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in India

Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in India Why in the News? The Parliamentary Standing committee on Commerce has flagged that the five SEZs approved in the Northeast India between 2007-21 have not started the operations yet.   The SEZs approved in the Northeast India and not yet operational: Information Technology SEZs approved in Manipur and Sikkim in 2013 and 2021 respectively

Preservation of Amazon Rainforests

Preservation of Amazon Rainforests Why in the News? Brazil’s Amazon Summit has concluded recently with a hope to protect the tropical rainforests of the Amazon forests that has been facing a threat to its existence.   The Brazil’s Amazon Summit: The 2-day Summit aimed at bringing convergence among countries for conserving the Amazon and other rainforests around t

Centre to launch national portal for online drug sale

Centre to launch national portal for online drug sale Why in the News? The government seeks to launch a national portal for online sale of medicines dur to concerns of over-the-counter sale of prescription drugs and data misuse. This was on the background of the Ministry of Health sending show cause notice to 20 companies such as 1mg, Flipkart, Apollo, Pharm Easy, Amazon and Reliance Net

NavIC

    Aadhar enrolment devices across the country is set to be integrated with NavIC. Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC), a regional navigation satellite system was formerly known as Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) is an Indian version of the American GPS. It was established to meet the positioning, navigation and timing requirements of th

Lymphatic Filariasis

Lymphatic Filariasis India is committed to eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis by the year 2027, three years ahead of the global target of 2030. Lymphatic filariasis, commonly known as elephantiasis, is a neglected tropical disease.     It is caused by mosquitoes when they transmit filarial parasites (classified as nematodes) to humans causing infection. Three

Hydrogen for Heritage Scheme

Hydrogen for Heritage Scheme The scheme aims to revolutionise the railway industry by incorporating hydrogen fuel cells as an alternative to diesel engines. The Indian Railways has planned to operate 35 Hydrogen-powered trains to run across 8 heritage routes that are environmentally sensitive hilly regions with a potential for tourism. The project thus promotes clean energy sources with

Seeds for Growth

Seeds for Growth   Gap between potential and achievable food productivity in India: Reasons for the gap in productivity especially in grain crops and vegetables: High cost of production Uncertain monsoon Deterioration of soil fertility Subsistence nature of farming Increasing population year-on-year thus increasing the demand Non-availability of quality see

Start-ups in India

Start-ups in India Why in the News?                                       The recognized start-ups in India approximating to 98,000 have created 10.34lakh direct jobs in India excluding the jobs created

Fertilizers in India

Fertilizers in India Why in the News? The Standing committee of Parliament on chemicals and Fertilizers has asked the govt. to ensure fertilizer availability and increase the local production. Observations of the Panel: There is a deficit of 119 lakh tonnes of fertilizers comparing the overall production and consumption of fertilizers in India. There is a shortage of fertilizers i

Coastal Aquaculture Authority Bill

Coastal Aquaculture Authority Bill The bill seeks to amend the Coastal Aquaculture Authority Act, 2005. The bill expands the scope of coastal aquaculture by including allied activities also, Shrimp Prawn Fish Any other Aquatic life in saline or brackish water Newly included allied activities

Climate Events and an umbrella for Urban Health

Climate Events and an umbrella for Urban Health The Monsoon season in India has led to large scale devastation with events of Cyclonic storm Biparjoy, floods in the state of Assam and heavy rain led damages in parts of North India. But the climate events also pose a challenge of common water and Vector-borne diseases especially in the Urban centres. Disease Vulnerability in the urban areas:

Learning from the CHIPS Act of the US

Learning from the CHIPS Act of the US Why in the news? The United States’s Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors and Science (CHIPS) Act, 2022 which aims to strengthen its semiconductor industry, has completed one year as a law. What are the Provisions of the law and what lessons can India learn from it?     Provisions o

India’s Ballistic Missile Mission

India’s Ballistic Missile Mission Ballistic missile: A ballistic missile is rocket-propelled self-guided strategic weapon system that follows a ballistic trajectory to deliver a payload from its launch site to a predetermined target.       A Ballistic Missile Trajectory   India&rsqu

The State of Elementary education In Rural India Report, 2023

The State of Elementary education In Rural India Report, 2023 Why in the News? The State of Elementary education In Rural India Report, 2023 was released based on a pan-India survey conducted by the Development intelligence Unit (DIU) which highlights the usage of smartphones among students. Findings of the Report: More children used smartphones for entertainment rather than for edu

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis Why in the News? A large trial involving ~2800 people conducted in India has revealed that nutritional support plays a key role in cutting down tuberculosis (TB) disease rate and mortality reduction in TB infected patients. TB and Nutritional deficit: Severe undernutrition is one of the contributing causes of deaths in TB patients. Undernutrition as a risk factor acc

Cyber and Malware attacks in India

Cyber and Malware attacks in India Why in the News? With increasing incidents of cyber and malware attacks on critical infrastructure across the country, the Defence ministry has decided to replace the Microsoft Operating system (OS) with a locally built OS Maya. Maya Operating system: A new locally developed OS based on a free, open-source software called

Assam Rifles

Assam Rifles The Manipur police has registered a Criminal case against the Assam Rifles on the charges of ‘arrogant act’ of letting the accused Kuki militants to escape freely to a safe zone, ‘obstruction of duty’ and ‘criminal intimidation’ in the ongoing Manipur violence. History of Assam Rifles: The Assam Rifles (AR) is the oldest paramilitar

Jammu and Kashmir: Four years on

Jammu and Kashmir: Four years on Why in the News? The Fourth anniversary of the decision of abrogation of Article 370 and the reorganization of J&K into a Union Territory on Aug 5, 2019, has been observed recently. Article 370 and Article 35A: Article 370 was introduced as a temporary provision that conferred special status to J&K a. Only those aspects of the Indian Co

Superconductors

Superconductors Why in the news? The South Korean scientists have reported to have found a material called LK-99 capable of being a superconductor at room temperature and ambient pressure. LK-99 Superconductor: LK-99 is a copper-substituted apatite, capable of exhibiting superconducting property. The material can exhibit superconductivity without the need to cool it to a very low

Infrastructure Developments at the LAC

Infrastructure Developments at the LAC Why in the News? External Affairs Minister Dr. Jaishankar briefed on the current infrastructural developments along LAC that can act as a strategic control in the border regions. Infrastructure at LAC (Line of Actual Control): To improve the connectivity and accessibility to the rough terrains along LAC, extensive construction of Roads has bee

Block chain Technology

Block chain Technology A distributed ledger technology that enables a layer of trust and eliminates the need for a third party to validate the transactions. It is an amalgamation of various technologies such as distributed systems, cryptography. Blocks are secured with proper security against tampering using any cryptographic hash algorithms. Transactions are validated and ve

Royal Bengal Tiger

Royal Bengal Tiger                                                             The 5

Manipur Violence

Manipur Violence   Why in the News?             The State of Manipur is registering fresh cases of violence with one man shot and 15 houses burnt. Manipur: The Northeastern state of India, sharing borders with Nagaland, Mizoram and Assam and international border with Myanmar (2 regions- Sagaing region and Chin state) wit

Communal Violence in India

Communal Violence in India Why in the News?             Cases of Communal violence have been registered in Nuh and Mewat of Haryana has raised the issue of communal violence, triggered by clashes that erupted during a Hindu religious procession in a Muslim dominated region of Nuh. Communal violence in India: It involves people b

Border forces at Siliguri corridor

Border forces at Siliguri corridor Why in the News?        The border guarding forces of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) shall be deployed along the Siliguri corridor for safeguarding the strategic area during peacetime. Siliguri corridor and its significance: The Siliguri corridor is narrow stretch adjoining Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh measu

Issues with India’s Pharmaceutical sector

Issues with India’s Pharmaceutical sector Why in the News? USFDA has issued a warning letter to a Gujarat-based Pharma manufacturing company citing serious violations of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). India’s Pharma Sector: Indian pharma sector is set to achieve $130 billion by value, in the year 2030. The domestic Pharma companies are expected to report a steady

Research linked Incentive scheme

Research linked Incentive scheme Why in the News? The Ministry of Science and Technology has written to the Finance Ministry to introduce a Research Linked Incentive (RLI) scheme for the Pharma sector in the upcoming budget of 2024-25. What is Research linked Incentive scheme? The RLI scheme has been envisaged on the lines of production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme, to give stimulu

Recalibrating India’s clean-cooking strategy

Rationale behind introduction of PMUY scheme: LPG connections are concentrated in Urban and Semi-urban areas mostly to middle class and upper middle-class households. Low-income households depend on use of fossil fuels such as Kerosene, coal and wood for regular cooking usage. The burning of fossil fuels in a closed or partially closed environments can cause acute respiratory illnesses,

National Deep Tech Startup Policy

A.  Aims to bolster the growth of Startup ecosystem through optimal policy interventions access to funding strengthening Intellectual Property Regime (IPR) Sustaining Deep tech startups. Enabling shared infrastructure and resource sharing. B. The draft outlines four key pillars Securing India’s economic future. Knowledge-driven economy bolstering national c

CPI BASKET CONCEALS THE INFLATION PICTURE

CPI BASKET CONCEALS THE INFLATION PICTURE India's consumer price index (CPI) inflation rose to 4.81% in June 2023, higher than expectations but still below the RBI's upper tolerance limit of 6%. The spike was driven by a less supportive base and a surge in vegetable prices.  India's consumer price index (CPI) inflation rises for the first time in five months to 4.81% in J

GST ON ONLINE GAMING & ITS IMPLICATIONS

UNIFORM 28% GST ON ONLINE GAMING & ITS IMPLICATIONS Why in the news? The GST Council has decided to levy a uniform 28% GST on Online gaming, casinos and horse-racing. What are the new changes? The 28% taxation will be applicable on the entire face value of the bet. This is a deviation from the earlier 18% GST on the platform value of the bet. Online gaming, Casinos and horse-r

Disaster preparedness during floods

Disaster preparedness during floods Extreme rainfall events during monsoon along with climate change adversaries, both proactive measures and reactive strategies becomes essential. A Multi-pronged disaster preparedness approach: Robust early warning system about heavy rainfall and flash floods to people.  AI/ML augmented meteorological observations such as Doppler weather radar (D

Engel's law

Engel's law It states that, as income increases, the proportion of income spent on food decreases, even if absolute expenditure on food rises. As the economy grows with increases income in the hands of the people, this trend can be witnessed. This formed the basis for reduction in weightage of food in the CPI basket from 60.9 (1960) to 46.2 (2001).

Nature Restoration Law

Nature Restoration Law A biodiversity bill initiated by the European Commission in the EU Parliament was passed. It aims to recover degraded ecosystems by reclamation of forested areas, marine habitats and growing birds, bees in the farmlands. Indicates Europe's commitment to achieving green goals and climate adaptation goals.

Matsya-6000

In an undersea implosion, the Titan submersible's entire crew perished. In a locally developed vehicle called the Matsya-6000, Indian scientists are getting ready to make a similar plunge. Similar to the Titan submersible, which just vanished, scientists are getting ready for a Deep Sea Dive with the Vehicle Matsya-6000 in late 2024. In late 2024, the Matsya-6000

Textile Wastewater Treatment Plant

  New, inexpensive method that significantly decreases textile effluent pollution has been developed by NIT Warangal. In an effort to treat wastewater in the textile and apparel industry located in the Hanumakonda area of Telangana in an environmentally responsible manner, NIT Warangal, Prime Textiles, and IMPRINT have created a pilot-scale textile effluent treatment faci

Medicines Patent Pool Agreement for Leukaemia

Three firms with headquarters in India have inked sub-licence agreements with the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP), a United Nations-backed organisation, to make some cancer medications more affordable and available to patients. These agreements permit the manufacturing of generic versions of the cancer medication Nilotinib, which is primarily used to treat Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (CML)

Aero India 2023

At Air Force Station Yelahanka in Bengaluru, the 14th edition of India's five-day biannual air show, "Aero India," recently took place. About Aero India 2023 About: Aero India is a renowned international aviation trade event that gives the Indian aviation-defence sector, particularly the aerospace sector, a chance to present its goods, technologies, and solutions to nationa

National Guidelines for Organ Transplantation

The National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization's guidelines contained a stipulation that only allowed patients under the age of 65 to register for transplants. This rule has been abolished by the Union Health Ministry. The Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1994 in India sets up a number of rules regarding the removal and preservation of human organs. Additionally, it controls th

lead poisoning

The enormous environmental damage, human exposure, and serious public health issues brought on by the widespread use of lead have affected many regions of the world. Regarding Lead Poisoning: Lead poisoning, also known as chronic intoxication, is brought on by the body absorbing lead, and symptoms include weakness or paralysis of the muscles, as well as weariness, nausea, diarrhoea,

Chapter 6: Youth for Environment Sustainability

Introduction •    To combat climate change, preserve environmental resources, and reverse the decline of biodiversity, immediate action is needed. •    Initiatives to combat climate change spearheaded by youth could improve education generally and help the world reach net-Zero Emissions by 2030. Also, it would contribute to ensuring the standard of livin

Chapter 7: Shaping Digital Economy

Introduction •    Millennials, those born between 1980 and 2000, have spent their entire lives surrounded by electronic devices. •    These millennials depend on digital tools for their daily activities, and because of this, they are ideal candidates to help India's Digitised Economy take shape. The Success of the Indian Youth •  

Chapter 9: Leading India towards Techade

Introduction •    Participation in governance is one of the characteristics of good government. As 66% of the population is under the age of 65, young participation in governance is essential to the development of civic skills and the sustainability of long-term communities. •    Government launched the MyGov App, which centres the citizen. • 

Chapter 1: ZOOLOGICAL DIVERSITY

Introduction •    India is one of the mega-biodiversity countries in the world with unique biogeographical locations, diversified climatic conditions and wide array of ecosystems from deep sea to high mountain ranges at Himalayas. •    According to world biogeographic categorization, India represents two of the major realms, the Palearctic and Indo-Malay

Chapter 3 : Safeguarding Ocean

Introduction •    The majority of our current and future energy needs are derived from the oceans. •    Around 96.5 percent of the water on Earth is contained in the seas, which cover about two-thirds of the planet's surface. •    Millions of cells, the fundamental biological unit of both plants and humans, contain roughly 70% wa

Chapter 5: Wonder in the West

Introduction •    Gujarat is fortunate to have a diverse ecosystem that supports a large number of wildlife species. The State is home to numerous migrating birds, unique and endangered species of flora and animals, and many ecological hotspots.  •    The presence of 7,500 species of flora and fauna, of which 2,550 are angiosperms and 1,366 are vert

Chapter 6: Water Governance

Introduction Gujarat has historically been a state with limited water resources. Its evolution from a water-scarce to a water-secure condition is a tale in and of itself. The Transformation: Because of numerous droughts in Gujarat's western and northern districts, a significant number of people have migrated there. Every development project in those areas is centred on water manageme

Chapter 7: Green Telecom

Introduction •    With the introduction of 5G technology, it is anticipated that the number of towers, small cells, and BTS (or equivalent electronics) would significantly increase, which will accelerate GHG and carbon emissions and have a knock-on effect on global warming. •    In order to lessen the telecom industry's negative impact on the ecosyst

Chapter 8: Our Water Heroes

Introduction •    We have a long tradition of conserving water. •    A prime example of that is the Ahar-Pyre system. •    Indians' role in water conservation during British rule is examined in three groups. •    These are "Water Services," "Water Structures," and "Jal Satyagraha.&quo

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ACQ IAS
ACQ IAS