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Current Affairs January 2023

Current Affairs January 2023


  • STATE’s News


United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA)

  • Recently, India deploys an all women platoon of peacekeepers to the UN Mission in Abyei on the border of Sudan and South Sudan as part of the Indian Battalion in the United Nations Interim Security Force, Abyei (UNISFA). The Indian contingent, consists of two officers and 25 other ranks.
  • Abyei is a volatile oil-rich region of Africa located on the border of Sudan and South Sudan.
  • This time India is deploying the largest single unit of female Blue Helmets in a UN mission since 2007.
  • Note: The UN Peacekeepers are known as ‘Blue Helmets’ or ‘Blue Berets’. What is UNISFA?
  • It was established by the UN Security Council in response to the critical situation in the Abyei area of Sudan by resolution 1990 of 27 June 2011.

United Nations Peacekeeping Mission?

  • This Peacekeeping operation is policing and peacebuilding actions carried out by the UN to bring order and stability to war-torn nations.
  • Peacekeepers are the military personnel of the UN that work alongside the UN Police and civilian colleagues to promote “stability, security, and peace processes”.
  • India’s role: India is one of the largest troop-contributing nations to the U.N. peacekeeping missions. India is the second-highest military and fifth-highest police contributing country to the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO).

Croatia comes under Eurozone and Schengen Area

  • Croatia adopted the European Union’s (EU) common currency, the euro, and joined the Schengen Area, Europe’s visa-free travel area, on January 1.
  • Note : Croatia entered the EU in 2013. It becomes the 27th country to join the Schengen area and the 20th to adopt the euro currency.

What is the Eurozone or Euro area?

  • Euro area or ‘eurozone’ is a bloc of the member states of the European Union (EU) that have replaced their national currencies with a single currency – the euro.
  • To become a member of the euro area, an EU nation has to meet the convergence criteria – economic and legal conditions such as low inflation, and a stable exchange rate, among others.
  • Currently, the euro (€) is the official currency of 20 out of 27 EU member countries. How will Croatia benefit from joining the Eurozone?
  • Croatia becoming a member of the euro area will help the nation to protect its economy amid soaring inflation in the wake of the Russian war in Ukraine.
  • Note: This is the first expansion of the eurozone in almost eight years after Lithuania joined it in 2015.
  • As of January 2023, the eurozone consists of 20 countries in the European Union (EU):
  • Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain.

What is Schengen area?

  • Schengen Area signifies a zone where 27 European countries, abolished their internal borders, for the free and unrestricted movement of people.
  • Croatia became the 27th nation in the passport free Schengen zone.
  • Member of this area include: 23 of the 27 European Union (EU) member states and all members of the European Free Trade Association (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland).
  • Being part of this area means that countries: o do not carry out checks at their internal borders, except in cases of specific threats; o carry out harmonised controls at their external borders, based on clearly defined criteria.

Voice of Global South Summit 

  • On 12th and 13th January, India is, virtually, hosting the Voice of Global South Summit.
  • More than 120 countries have been invited to participate in this summit.
  • Voice of Global South Summit is an initiative by India.
  • It is an effort to give “voice to the unheard”, and thereby leverage India’s role as the current G20 president.
  • The idea behind the summit is that India will work to ensure that inputs generated from partner countries in the Voice of Global South Summit deliberations will be pushed forward at the G20 summit which will be hosted by India later this year.
  • India is hosting the summit under the theme“Unity of Voice, Unity of Purpose”.
  • The initiative is inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas and Sabka Prayaas, and is underpinned by India’s philosophy of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”.

    What is the Global South?
  • The term ‘Global South’ began by loosely referring to those countries that were left out of the industrialization era. These countries had a conflict of ideology with the capitalist and communist countries, accentuated by the Cold War. It includes countries that are in Asia, Africa and South America.
  • ‘Global South’ is just the opposite of ‘Global North’ (North America, Europe and Australia), defined essentially by an economic division between the rich and poorer countries.

Machu Picchu and Protests in Peru

  • The iconic tourist site Machu Picchu in Peru was shut down recently, due to the ongoing anti-government protests in Peru (South American nation).
  • Recently, protests and road blockades against President and in favor of former President were observed in 41 provinces, mainly in Peru’s south.

About Machu Picchu:

  • It is a 15th-century Inca site.
  • Location: Machu Picchu is located 50 miles (80 km) northwest of Cuzco, Peru, in the Cordillera de Vilcabamba of the Andes Mountains.
  • Machu Picchu is believed to have been built by Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui, the ninth ruler of the Inca, in the mid1400s. It is made up of temples, palaces, terraces, monuments, complexes and walls.
  • Machu Picchu was abandoned when the Inca Empire was conquered by the Spaniards in the sixteenth century. Machu Picchu was rediscovered in 1911 by the American explorer Hiram Bingham. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983.

Sweden discovers biggest rare earths deposit in EU

  • Swedish state-owned mining company, LKAB, announced that it has discovered more than one million tonnes of rare earth oxides in the northern area of Kiruna in Sweden.
  • The deposit, found next to its iron ore mine, was the largest of rare earth oxides in Europe.

What Rare Earths Elements ?

  • REEs or rare earth metals are a set of 17 chemical elements in the periodic table — the 15 lanthanides, plus scandium and yttrium. REEs are classified as light RE elements (LREE) and heavy RE elements (HREE). These metals tend to occur in the same ore deposits as the lanthanides, and have similar chemical properties.
  • The 17 rare earths are: cerium (Ce), dysprosium (Dy), erbium (Er), europium (Eu), gadolinium (Gd), holmium (Ho), lanthanum (La), lutetium (Lu), neodymium (Nd), praseodymium (Pr), promethium (Pm), samarium (Sm), scandium (Sc), terbium (Tb), thulium (Tm), ytterbium (Yb), and yttrium (Y).


  • These elements are important in technologies of consumer electronics, computers and networks, communications, clean energy, advanced transportation, healthcare, environmental mitigation, and national defence, among others.
  • Scandium is used in televisions and fluorescent lamps, and yttrium is used in drugs to treat rheumatoid arthritis and cancer.
  • Rare earth elements are used in space shuttle components, jet engine turbines, and drones.
  • , Cerium is essential to NASA’s Space Shuttle Programme.

Why rare earths have become even more important in recent years?

  • In recent years, there has been an increase in demand for green energy. Hence the demand for elements like neodymium and dysprosium, which are used in wind turbine motors, has increased.
  • Also, the push for switching from internal combustion cars to electric vehicles has also led to a rise in demand for rare earth magnets — made from neodymium, boron, and iron — and batteries.
  • Breaking Chinese monopoly: Globally, China holds a monopoly over rare earths production, following the withdrawal of USA from this business due to environmental and health issues.

India and Rare Earth (RE) Metals

  • India has 6% of the world’s rare earth reserves but it produces 1% of global output.
  • Some REE are available in India such as Lanthanum, Cerium, Neodymium, Praseodymium and Samarium.
  • Others such as Dysprosium, Terbium, Europium that are classified as HREE are not available in Indian deposits in extractable quantity.
  • Hence, there is a dependence on countries such as China for HREE, which is one of the leading producers of RE with an estimated 70 per cent of the global production.
  • Indian Rare Earths Ltd has been engaged in the mining and beneficiation of the heavy minerals.
  • As per the Foreign Trade Policy, 2015-2020, the import of ores and concentrates of rare earth metals and of rare earth oxides including rutile sand are permitted freely.

UNSC (1267 Committee)  

  • The ISIL and Al Qaida Sanctions Committee of the UNSC (1267 Committee) has placed Abdul Rehman Makki – the key planner of the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), on its sanctions list.
  • The move was made possible after China withdrew the “technical hold” that it had imposed in June 2022 when the US and India tried to get Makki on the global terror blacklist.
  • Note : Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), also called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is the Islamic State, transnational Sunni insurgent group operating primarily in western Iraq and eastern Syria.
  • Background
  • In June 2022, India and the US jointly proposed to list Makki, a top LeT (Lashkar-e-Taiba) Militant, under the UN Security Council’s Al-Qaeda and ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) Sanctions Committee which is also known as the UNSC 1267 Committee. But, China, placed a “technical hold” on the proposal to list Makki and this measure can last for up to six months at a time. What is UNSC 1267 committee ?
  • It was first set up in 1999, and strengthened after the September, 2001 attacks. It is now known as the Da’esh and Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee.
  • Members : 15 (It comprises all permanent and non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council / UNSC).
  • The 1267 list of terrorists is a global list, with a UNSC stamp. It is full of Pakistani nationals and residents.
  • It is one of the most important and active UN subsidiary bodies working on efforts to combat terrorism, particularly in relation to Al Qaeda and the Islamic State
  • Sanction measures: If an individual or an organisation is included in the list,it leads to: o countries to freeze the targeted groups or individual’s assets  o     ban designated individuals from travelling and  o   prevent the supply of weapons, technology and other aid.

India-Maldives Pact

  • Recently, India and Maldives have signed pacts on development projects in Maldives.
  • Both the Maldives and Sri Lanka are India’s key maritime neighbours in the Indian Ocean Region and occupy a special place in the Prime Minister’s vision of ‘SAGAR’ (Security and Growth for All in the Region) and ‘Neighbourhood First’. What is the Pact?
  • Grant Assistance: It includes grant assistance of 100 million Rufiyaa (currency of Maldives) for the High Impact Community Development Project (HICDP) scheme. A number of socio-economic development projects are planned to be implemented throughout the country under this funding.
  • Sports Complex and Academic Collaboration: It also included the development of a sports complex in Gahdhoo, and academic collaboration between Maldives National University and Cochin University of Science and Technology.

8th India-Oman strategic dialogue   

  • Recently, the 8th India-Oman strategic dialogue was held in India, where both countries have underlined the need to work collectively to fight the challenge of terrorism, terrorist propaganda, abuse of cyberspace and misuse of new and emerging technologies.
  • They agreed to hold the next round of the strategic dialogue in Oman in 2024. 

Dam Diplomacy of China

  • China is constructing a new dam on the Mabja Zangbo river in Tibet, close to the tri-junction which is a matter of concern for both India and Nepal. The new dam is located around 16 km north of the tri-junction and is opposite the Kalapani area of Uttarakhand.
  • The Mabja Zangbo river originates in Nagari county of Tibet and flows through Nepal into the Ghaghara River (Karnali) before joining the Ganga in India.


  • China’s upstream actions like dams (on Brahmaputra, Indus, tributaries of the Ganga), diversion of water, hydropolitics, and power asymmetry poses a security threat to India and water scarcity downstream.
  • There is no legally binding international treaty on water sharing between India and China.
  • Under CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor), China plans to build two mega-dams on the Indus, named Bunji Dam and Bhasha Dam.
  • In 2021, China announced that it would construct a massive dam on the lower reaches of Yarlung Zangbo (known as Brahmaputra in India) to generate up to 70 GW of power, three times that of the country’s Three Gorges dam, which is the world’s largest hydropower plant in terms of installed capacity.
  • Hydropolitics or Water Politics: The politics of allocating and managing water resources, particularly between countries. 

India Sri Lanka Relations

  • India sent written financing assurances to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), becoming the first bilateral creditor of the island nation to officially support its crucial debt restructure programme after last year’s economic meltdown.

Significance of India’s Financing Assurance?

  • The International Monetary Fund’s provisional USD 2.9 billion package to Sri Lanka will be cleared only after Sri Lanka’s official creditors — China, Japan and India — have provided adequate financing assurances.
  • The decision of financing assurance was also a reassertion of India’s belief in the principle of “neighborhood first”, and not leaving a partner to fend for themselves.
  • Reports published by IMF: Global Financial Stability Report, World Economic Outlook.

Chin-Kuki-Mizo communities of Bangladesh

  • Recently, the Zo Reunification Organisation (ZORO), representing the Chin-Kuki-Mizo communities, has sought the help from India in ending the “policy of extermination” of Ethnic Minorities inhabiting the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) of Bangladesh.
  • In November 2022, More than 200 people belonging to the Kuki-Chin-Mizo community from Bangladesh’s Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) have entered Mizoram’s Lawngtlai district illegally following an alleged offensive by the Bangladesh army in collusion with the Arakan Army, a Rohingya Muslim extremist group.

Demands :

  • The Kuki-Chin tribes of the CHT have been demanding a separate State due to the large-scale influx of non-tribal people into the hills. But the Bangladesh government chose to step up its oppressive measures.
  • The ZORO asked India to advise his Bangladeshi counterpart to declare a ceasefire with the Kuki-Chin National Army (KNA) and stop abusing the rights of the Kuki-Chin people in the CHT.
  • The organisation also appealed India to direct the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Border Security Force not to drive away the Kuki-Chin people who are fleeing Bangladesh and taking refuge among their “blood-related tribes” in Mizoram.


108th Indian Science Congress : Nagpur

  • PM Modi inaugurated the 108th Indian Science Congress (ISC) being held in Nagpur via video conferencing.
  • The focal theme of this year’s ISC is “Science and Technology for Sustainable Development with Women Empowerment”.
  • Indian Science Congress (ISC) is a one-of-its-kind event in the country which brings together the scientific communities on a platform for their interaction with students and the general public on matters related to science. The event is organized by the Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA).
  • ISCA is an independent body functioning with the support of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) in the central government.
  • Dubbed as the largest gathering of scientists and students in the country, the Science Congress is an annual fiveday event from January 3 to 7
  • The first session of the Indian Science Congress was held in 1914 at the premises of the Asiatic Society, Calcutta. 

Draft rules for online gaming companies

  • The Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology(MeitY) has released draft rules for online gaming companies.
  • It has also proposed an amendment to bring online gaming within the ambit of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.

What are the Draft Rules for Online Gaming?

  • Aim: 1) To safeguard users against potential harm from skill-based games, 2) To regulate online gaming platforms as intermediaries and place due diligence requirements on them and 3) To grow the online gaming sector and encourage innovation. Key Provisions of the rules
  • Register with a self-regulatory body: Online games will have to register with a self-regulatory body and only games that are cleared by the body will be allowed to legally operate in India.
  • Composition of the self-regulatory body: The self-regulatory body will have a board of directors with five members from diverse fields including online gaming, public policy, IT, psychology and medicine.
    • The body must ensure that the registered online games don’t have anything which is not in the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of the state, friendly relations with foreign states or public order or incites the commission of any cognizable offence relating to the aforesaid.
    • There could be more than one self-regulatory body and all of them will have to inform the Centre about the online games they have registered.
  • No betting on the outcome of the game: Online gaming companies will not be allowed to engage in betting on the outcome of a game.
  • Self-due diligence: Online gaming firms will be required to undertake additional due diligence, including KYC of users, transparent withdrawal and refund of money, and a fair distribution of winnings.
    • They will also have to appoint a compliance officer who will ensure that the platform is following the norms, a nodal officer who will act as a liaison official with the government and assist law enforcement agencies and a grievance officer who will resolve user complaints.

National Exit Test (NExT)

  • Recently, the National Medical Commission (NMC) issued the proposed draft regulations related to the National Exit Test (NExT).
  • The National Exit Test (NExT) is a proposed examination for granting a license and registration for practising medicine in India, similar to the USMLE (United States Medical Licensing Examination) for those wishing to practice in the US.
  • The exam will act as a country-wide standardized test for passing MBBS, for granting of the license, as well as a qualification test for post-graduation courses instead of the current NEET-PG that students have to sit for after they have completed their MBBS and one-year internship.
  • Note : NExT will take the place of tests like FMGE and NEET PG.
  • NExT will not be a theory paper, like MBBS finals or NEET PG test. Instead, It will be held in two parts – one written and one practical exam where the students will be judged on their clinical acumen.
  • Students will have to appear for the first NExT test after completion of MBBS and the second one after completion of the internship. The government expects to conduct the NExT from 2024.
  • Objective of Next: to improve the quality of healthcare in India by ensuring that all doctors have a minimum level of competency and knowledge before they begin practicing medicine.

Who is Eligible to Appear in the NExT ?

  • All the students who have completed the final MBBS course from a Commission-recognised medical college (India and Abroad) would be eligible to appear in the exam.
  • There is no restriction in the number of attempts provided that the candidate passes both the steps within 10 years of joining MBBS.
  • Just by clearing the NExT exam the foreign medical graduates will get licentiate to become practicing doctors.

What is the National Medical Commission?

  • The National Medical Commission (NMC) is a statutory body in India that was established in 2019 by the Indian government to replace the Medical Council of India (MCI).
  • The NMC has been constituted by an act of Parliament known as National Medical Commission Act, 2019 ▪ The NMC is a regulatory body for the medical education sector in India.

Nationwide protests by Jain community 

  • Members of the Jain community have been staging protests over demands related to two holy sites — Sammed Shikhar on Parasnath hill in Jharkhand and Shetrunjay hill in Palitana of Gujarat.

What is Parasnath Hills

  • Parasnath Hills are a range of hills located in Giridih district of Jharkhand. The highest peak is 1350 meters.
  • It is one of the most important pilgrimage centres for Jains. They call it Sammed Sikhar.
  • The hill is named after Parasnath, the 23rd Tirthankara. Twenty of Jain Tirthankaras attained salvation on this hill. For each of them, there is a shrine (gumti or tuk) on the hill. Some of the temples on the hill are believed to be more than 2,000 years old.
  • The Santhals call it Marang Buru, the hill of the deity. They celebrate a hunting festival on the full moon day in Baisakh (mid-April).
  • Every year, thousands of Jains from across the world undertake the 27 km long trek of climbing the hills to reach the summit.

What are Palitana And Shatrunjaya Hill?

  • Shatrunjaya Hill is a sacred Jain site located in Palitana town, Bhavnagar District, Gujarat.
  • The sacred site contains hundreds of shrines that were sanctified when Rishabha, the first Tirthankara of Jainism, gave his first sermon in the temple on the hilltop.
  • The Palitana temples on Shatrunjaya Hill were built over a period of 900 years starting from the 11th century. It was Kumarpal Solanki, a great Jain patron, who built the first temples on this site.
  • It is said that Adinath (also known as Rishabha), the founder of Jainism, meditated beneath the Rayan tree at the summit.

What is the Jharkhand issue?

  • In February 2019, the Jharkhand government notified the Parasnath area, in Giridih district, as a ‘tourist spot’ (instead of Pilgrim spot)
  • In August 2019, the Union environment ministry declared the hill an eco-sensitive zone and added that the area had tremendous potential to support thriving eco-tourism.
  • Members of Jain community contend that neither the Centre nor the state consulted them while declaring the hill an eco-sensitive zone and a tourist spot.
  • They are opposing these moves on following grounds: o The decision to convert the site into a tourist spot will impact the sanctity of the site as a person coming here as a tourist will be looking for fun. Various tourist promoting activities such as selling of meat, alcohol etc. in the region will hurt the religious sentiments of the community.

▪   Note : if a pilgrimage shrine is declared a tourist spot, even people who may not have the distinct sensibilities for the shrine may enter the sacred place, thus affecting the sanctity and the “purity” of the place.

o Declaring the hill as an eco-sensitive zone is also a problem, as locals will be given employment through poultry farms etc., which Jains don’t want at their holy site. What happened in Gujarat?

  • In Gujarat, the Jain community took out a rally seeking action against anti-social elements allegedly desecrating the sacred Shetrunjaya Hills. CCTV TV footage emerged of miscreants vandalising the steps and pole of a temple in Palitana, Shatrunjaya Hills.
  • The Jains are demanding that Shetrunjaya hill and the area around it be protected so as to maintain its holiness. They also want further probe in the vandalism case.

National Green Hydrogen Mission 

  • The Union Cabinet has approved the National Green Hydrogen Mission.
  • The initial outlay for the Mission will be 19,744 crore, including an outlay of Rs.17,490 crore for the SIGHT programme, Rs.1,466 crore for pilot projects, Rs.400 crore for R&D, and Rs. 388 crores towards other Mission components.
  • Aim: To make India a global hub for the production of green hydrogen.
  • Implementing Ministry: Ministry of New and Renewable Energy(MNRE)

Key Components of the mission

  • Strategic Interventions for Green Hydrogen Transition Programme(SIGHT): Under this, two distinct financial incentive mechanisms – targeting domestic manufacturing of electrolysers and production of Green Hydrogen – will be provided.
  • Support to pilot projects: The Mission will support pilot projects in emerging end-use sectors and production pathways.
  • Research and Development(R&D): A public-private partnership framework for R&D (Strategic Hydrogen Innovation Partnership – SHIP) will be facilitated under the Mission.
  • Other components: A coordinated skill development programme will be undertaken under the Mission.

– Regions capable of supporting large-scale production and/or utilization of Hydrogen will be identified and developed as Green Hydrogen Hubs.

  • What are the expected benefits of the National Green Hydrogen Mission?

1) Creation of export opportunities for Green Hydrogen and its derivatives, 2) Decarbonisation of industrial, mobility and energy sectors, 3) reduction in dependence on imported fossil fuels and feedstock, 4) development of indigenous manufacturing capabilities, 5) creation of employment opportunities and 6) development of cutting-edge technologies.

What are the steps taken by other stakeholders to promote green hydrogen?

  • Kerala has set up a high-level working group for its own Hydrogen Economy Mission to devise a strategic roadmap, policy formulations, and implementation plans for facilitating investments in green hydrogen and making the state “a green hydrogen hub”.
  • Indian Oil Corporation Ltd R&D centre, in collaboration with Tata Motor Limited, had earlier carried out trials of hydrogen fuel cell buses.
  • US-based Ohmium International has commissioned India’s first green-hydrogen factory in Karnataka.

What is Green hydrogen?

  • It is the gas produced by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen using an electrolyzer that may be powered by electricity generated from renewable energy sources.

Need for Producing Green Hydrogen:

  • Hydrogen is a great source of energy because of its high energy content per unit of weight, which is why it is used as rocket fuel.
  • Green hydrogen in particular is one of the cleanest sources of energy with close to zero emission. It can be used in fuel cells for cars or in energy-guzzling industries like fertilizers and steel manufacturing.
  • Countries across the world are working on building green hydrogen capacity as it can ensure energy security and also help in cutting carbon emission.
  • Green hydrogen has become a global buzzword, especially as the world is facing its biggest-ever energy crisis and the threat of climate change is turning into a reality.

Mali Parwat Bauxite Mining Lease 

  • local people have been demanding permanent cancellation of the Mali Parwat Bauxite Mining Lease in Odisha.
  • Background: The Mining lease was granted to Hindalco in 2007. Till 2011 the company failed to carry out mining and subsequently, its environmental clearance expired. But, in 2012-2014 it started mining illegally without going in for renewal of environmental clearance.
  • As per Villagers, 36 perennial streams flow down from the Maliparvat, which was the source of water for villagers for their agricultural and drinking purposes and the bauxite mining project should be cancelled.
  • The Mali and forest area are inhabited by members of Kondha, Paraja and Gadaba tribes.
  • Note : Bauxite is an ore of aluminum. It is a rock consisting mainly of hydrated aluminium oxides.
  • Reserves: By States, Odisha alone accounts for 51% of country’s resources of bauxite followed by Andhra Pradesh (16%), Gujarat (9%), Jharkhand (6%), Maharashtra (5%) and Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh (4% each) in 2019. Major bauxite resources are concentrated in the East Coast bauxite deposits in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.
  • Production: In terms of production, in 2020, Odisha accounted for 71% of the total output followed by Gujarat (9%) and Jharkhand (6%).


  • Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) completed 76 glorious years of its existence on 6th January 2023.
  • BIS came into existence as Indian Standards Institution (ISI) in 1947.
  • Its 76th Foundation Day was celebrated in New Delhi and various initiatives were launched by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution. About BIS :
  • The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is the National Standards Body of India under Department of Consumer affairs, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Government of India.
  • It is established by the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 2016 which came into effect on 12 October 2017.
  • The Minister in charge of the Ministry or Department having administrative control of the BIS is the ex-officio President of the BIS.

What are the Various Initiatives Launched on 6 Jan 2023 ?

  • Portal for Mapping of Industrial Units and Laboratories: This will enable analysis of test facilities in the country and help entrepreneurs in accessing information about testing facilities.
  • Standards National Action Plan (SNAP) 2022- 27: This is a document to serve as strong foundation for standardization to meet the emerging technologies and concerns of sustainability and climate change.
  • Revision Exercise of National Building Code of India 2016 (NBC 2016): Published by the BIS, NBC is a “recommendatory document”, and state governments are expected to incorporate it into their local building by laws, making the recommendations a mandatory requirement.
  • Revised National Electrical Code of India 2023 (NEC 2023): NEC 2023, a comprehensive electrical installations Code prepared by BIS, is a national instrument providing guidelines for regulating the Electrical Installations practices across the country.
  • Training Courses on National Building Code of India 2016 and National Electrical Code of India: BIS through its training arm, the National Institute of Training for Standardization (NITS) has designed training courses on NBC 2016 and NEC 2023 for national capacity building.
  • Standards Clubs in Schools: Through Standards Clubs, BIS aims to expose science students of class 9th and above to the concepts of Quality and Standardization through student centric activities.

Draft Norms announced by UGC for Foreign Universities

  • The University Grants Commission (UGC) has announced draft norms for facilitating foreign universities and educational institutions to set up campuses in India which allow them autonomy in decision making.
  • The final norms will be notified by the end of the month after feedback from all stakeholders.

What are the Draft Norms announced by the UGC?

  • University Grants commission chief M Jagadesh Kumar has stated draft regulations for foreign universities setting up campuses in India. The draft includes the following guidelines –
  • Criteria – A foreign university with a rank among the top 500 global rankings or a foreign educational institution of repute in home jurisdiction can apply to the UGC to set up a campus in India.
  • Application Process – The application will be considered by a standing committee appointed by the UGC which will submit its recommendations within 45 days after examining the institution’s credibility. Subsequently, within 45 days, the UGC may grant in-principle approval to the foreign institution to set up campuses in India within two years. The initial approval will be for 10 years, which can be extended.
  • Reasonable Fees – Such a campus can evolve its own admission process and criteria to admit domestic and foreign students. It will also have autonomy to decide its fee structure, and will face no caps that are imposed on Indian institutions. The fee should be “reasonable and transparent”.
  • Mode of Teaching – It will also have autonomy to recruit faculty and staff from India and abroad. The courses to be offered cannot be in online and open and distance learning mode. The qualifications awarded to the students in the Indian campus should have equivalence with those awarded by the institutions in their country of origin.
  • Fund Management – Foreign universities will be allowed to repatriate funds to parent campuses. Cross-border movement of funds and maintenance of Foreign Currency Accounts, mode of payments, remittance, repatriation, and sale of proceeds, if any, will be as per the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) 1999 and its Rules.

About University Grants Commission:

  • The University Grants Commission of India is a statutory body under the provisions of UGC Act, 1956. It is responsible for coordination, determination and maintenance of standards of higher education. It provides recognition to universities in India, and disburses funds to such recognized universities and college.
  • Nodal Ministry: Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Education


  • Recently, the National Council for Education Research and Training (NCERT) has notified India’s first national assessment regulator, PARAKH (Performance Assessment, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development), which aims to set up assessment guidelines for all boards.


  • The benchmark assessment framework – PARAKH, has been proposed by the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.
  • It will function as a standard-setting body for student assessment and evaluation for all school boards in the country and will put an end to the emphasis on rote learning.
  • While the NCERT is an autonomous organisation under the Ministry of Education, PARAKH will act as a constituent unit of the NCERT. PARAKH will be tasked with –
  • Setting norms, standards and guidelines for student assessment and evaluation for all recognised school boards of India.
  • Holding periodic learning outcome tests like the National Achievement Survey (NAS) and State Achievement Surveys.
  • If the plans are on track, the NAS in 2024 will be conducted by PARAKH.
  • PARAKH will manage India’s participation in international assessments such as the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) in addition to NAS.
  • PARAKH will eventually become the national single-window source for all assessment-related information and expertise, with a mandate to assist all forms of learning assessment, both nationally and globally.


  • Uniformity: PARAKH would be expected to address the issue of differences in scores among students associated with different boards, who are at a disadvantage during college admissions when compared to their CBSE peers.
  • Standardisation: It will establish and implement technical standards for test design, administration, analysis and reporting at all levels of schooling.
  • Skill development: It will encourage and help school boards to shift their assessment patterns towards meeting the skill requirements of the 21st century.

Command Roles for women in the Indian Army

  • Recently, in a significant development the Indian Army cleared the 108 women officers eligible to command units and troops in their respective arms and services for the first time. In other words, 108 Indian Army Women Officers To Be Promoted As Colonels
  • This would be a major step forward in terms of gender equality.
  • This decision will also encourage more women to join the Indian Army and will help to promote diversity and inclusivity within the organization.

What did the Supreme Court Order in 2020?

  • In 2019, the Army changed its rules allowing Short Service Commission (SSC) officers women officers to opt for permanent commission who would have otherwise retired after 14 years of service.
  • However, this was not retrospective, and applied only to the batches of women officers starting their career in the Army in 2020.
  • With the landmark Supreme Court judgment of 2020, permanent commission was granted to women officers with retrospective effect.
  • This opened the doors for their further growth and promotions in the Army, which has been of late opening leadership and higher management courses for women.

What Does Commanding a Unit Mean?

  • Once promoted to the rank of Colonel, an officer is eligible to command troops dire
  • The position of Colonel is considered a coveted appointment because it is a high-ranking position within the military, but it also allows the officer to interact directly with troops on the ground.
  • This interaction allows the Colonel to have a more hands-on approach to leadership and decision making, which is a unique opportunity not found in higher-ranking positions like Brigadier or Major General.


  • Initially, woman officers were permitted permanent commission (PC) in only two services – the Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Branch and the Army Education Corps.
  • In February 2020, the defence ministry permitted SSC women officers in another eight arms/services to be granted PC.
  • This happened after the Supreme Court, in February 2020, granted women the right to permanent commission (PC), and the right to command.
  • Hence, at present, the women are being commissioned in Indian Army in ten Streams.
  • Now the prestigious National Defence Academy (NDA) has started accepting women cadets.
  • In 2021, the Supreme Court allowed women to appear for the upcoming entrance exam of the National Defence Academy (NDA).
  • Women are still not eligible in core combat arms such as Infantry, Mechanized Infantry and Armored Corps as Army is not open to women fighting wars at the borders as foot soldiers. Much of this resistance stems from past instances of male soldiers being taken as prisoners of war and tortured by the enemy.
  • However, the Army has recently decided to open the Corps of Artillery, a combat support arm, to women.

What about Women officers  in Indian Navy ?

  • The induction of women as officers in the Indian Navy commenced in the year 1991.
  • Since then, the Indian Navy has gradually opened all branches to women officers including induction through NDA.
  • In Navy, women are engaged in activities such as firing torpedoes and missiles at enemy warships.
  • Women officers also serve on board naval warships in combat, although discharging non-combat roles.
  • In 2020, the Indian Navy started deploying its first batch of women pilots on the Dornier maritime aircraft.
  • Further, for the first time, women are also being recruited for sailors’ entries under the Agnipath Schemee.f. 2022. 20% vacancies are reserved for women.

What about Women officers  in Indian Air Force (IAF)

  • Officers’ recruitment in the IAF is gender neutral. Women officers are inducted in all the branches and streams of IAF.
  • In 2015, Indian Air Force had opened new combat roles for women as fighter pilots.
  • This experimental scheme to induct women officers in all combat roles has now been regularised into a permanent scheme.

Indianisation of Judiciary  

  • Recently, during the inauguration of online e-inspection software the Chief Justice of India (CJI) stated that the judgments delivered by the Supreme Court will now be translated into four languages —Hindi, Tamil, Gujarati and Odia.
  • This initiative will result in the Indianisation of Judiciary which is the need of the hour.

POLITY (Articles or Sections in News)

National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) 

  • Recently, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, which was set up in 2007 under the Commission for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005 celebrated its 18th Foundation Day on 12th January.

Proposal of Remote Electronic Voting Machine (RVM)

  • The Election Commission of India (ECI) recently said that it was ready to pilot remote voting for domestic migrants through newly devised remote electronic voting machines (RVMs).

About Remote Electronic Voting Machine (RVM)

  • RVM is a modified version of the existing Electronic Voting Machine (EVM).
  • The special remote polling booths would be set up in different states when elections are on in the home state of migrants.
  • The RVM can handle multiple constituencies from a single remote polling booth.
  • The new RVM prototype will enable a voter, who is listed in constituencies, to exercise voting rights from a single machine.
  • The multi-constituency remote EVM, developed by a public sector undertaking, can handle up to 72 constituencies from a single remote polling booth.
  • Migrant voters would not need to travel to their home districts to exercise their franchise if the remote electronic voting machine is implemented properly.
  • The remote e-voting machine will be a standalone device which doesn’t need connectivity to operate.
  • The Representation of the People Act, The Conduct of Election Rules and The Registration of Electors Rules will need to be amended to introduce remote voting. How does it work?
  • The RVMs will have the same security system and voting experience as the EVM, with the modification of an electronic ballot display with candidates and symbols instead of a fixed ballot paper sheet.
  • When the voter scans his/her constituency card in the presence of the Presiding Officer at the station, their respective constituency and candidate list will appear on the RVM display.
  • As for counting the votes, the electronic system will also count and store the votes for each candidate in a constituency. Need:
  • As per the 2011 census, 45.36 crore Indians (37% of the population) were internal migrants, settled in a place different from that of their registered residence.
  • While 67.4% of the eligible 91.2 crore Indians voted in the 2019 Lok Sabha election, about one-third or close to 30 crore voters did not cast their vote.
  • Inability to vote due to internal migration (domestic migrants) is one of the prominent reasons to be addressed to improve voter turnout and ensure participative elections.

IT Amendment Rules 2022

  • Under the notified amendments to the IT Rules, 2021, MeitY proposed a draft rule [Rule 3(1)(b)(v)] under which social media platforms will have to take down content that has been “fact-checked” as false by the PIB’s (Press Information Bureau) fact check unit.

Chargesheet : denied access to Public 

  • Recently, the Supreme Court (SC) ruled that chargesheets are not ‘public documents’ and enabling their free public access violates the provisions of the Criminal Code of Procedure (CrPC) as it compromises the rights of the accused, victim, and the investigation agencies.
  • About Chargesheet : A chargesheet, as defined under Section 173 CrPC, is the final report prepared by a police officer or investigative agency after completing their investigation of a case.
  • In the K Veeraswami vs Union of India & Others (1991) case, the SC ruled that the chargesheet is a final report of the police officer under section 173(2) of the CrPC.
  • A chargesheet must be filed against the accused within a prescribed period of 60-90 days, otherwise, the arrest is illegal, and the accused is entitled to bail.

No statutory exemption in India to journalists from disclosing their sources 

  • Recently, while rejecting a closure report filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), a Delhi court stated that there is no statutory exemption in India to journalists from disclosing their sources to investigating agencies.
  • In India, there is no specific legislation that protects journalists from being asked to disclose their sources.
  • However, Article 19 of the Constitution guarantees the right to freedom of speech and expression to all citizens.
  • Investigative agencies can issue notices to anyone, including journalists, to provide information.
  • Like any citizen, a journalist can be compelled to give evidence in Court. If she does not comply, the journalist can face charges of Contempt of Court. 

Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Act 2021

  • Recently, Bombay HC allowed a married woman to get her 33-week pregnancy medically terminated citing that the length of the pregnancy does not matter in cases of severe foetal abnormalities.
  • Under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Act, 2021, the maximum gestational age at which a woman may obtain a medical abortion in India was raised from 20 weeks to 24 weeks (with the recommendation of two registered medical practitioners). And for beyond 24 weeks of gestational stage, medical termination of pregnancy is allowed if serious foetal abnormalities are found.

Changes in Guidelines of Passive Euthanasia’s living document

  • The Supreme Court in India has made changes to the rules for passive euthanasia with the primary objective to make the process less difficult and less time-consuming.
  • The Supreme Court changed the previous judgement to do away with the necessity of a judicial magistrate to attest or countersign a living will.
  • SC held that an attestation by a notary or a gazetted officer would be sufficient for a person to make a valid living will.
  • Instead of the living being in the custody of the district court concerned, SC said that the document will be a part of the National Health Digital Record which can be accessed by hospitals and doctors from any part of the country.
  • If the hospital’s medical board denies permission to withdraw medical treatment, the family members of the patient can approach the relevant high court, which forms a fresh board of medical experts to enable the court to take a final call.

Passive Euthanasia –

  • Passive euthanasia refers to withholding or withdrawing treatment which is necessary for maintaining life. What is ‘Living Will’?
  • The “living will” is a person’s right to issue advance directive on the course of his/her treatment, including withdrawal of life support, should such a situation arise.
  • However, there is no way a living will provision can be made fool-proof requiring no intervention of the doctor or immediate decisionmakers around a person. Is Euthanasia Legal in India?
  • A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court in Common Cause vs Union of India (2018) recognised a person’s right to die with dignity.
  • It said that a terminally ill person can opt for passive euthanasia and execute a living will to refuse medical treatment.
  • The Court permitted an individual to draft a living will specifying that she or he will not be put on life support if they slip into an incurable coma.
  • The Court recognised the right to die with dignity as a fundamental right and an aspect of Article 21 (Right to Life).

Is Active Euthanasia Legal?

  • In India, active euthanasia is a crime. Active euthanasia refers to the physician deliberate act, usually the administration of lethal drugs, to end an incurably or terminally ill patient’s life.
  • Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) deals with the attempt to commit suicide and Section 306 of the IPC deals with abetment of suicide – both actions are punishable.
  • Only those who are brain dead can be taken off life support with the help of family members.
  • Note : Netherland, Luxembourg, Belgium allows both euthanasia and assisted suicide for anyone who faces “unbearable suffering” that has no chance of improvement.


Purchasing Managers Index

  • It is a survey-based measure that asks the respondents about changes in their perception about key business variables as compared with the previous month. The purpose of the PMI is to provide information about current and future business conditions to company decision makers, analysts, and investors.
  • It is calculated separately for the manufacturing and services sectors and then a composite index is also constructed.
  • The PMI is a number from 0 to 100. A print above 50 means expansion, while a score below that denotes contraction. A reading at 50 indicates no change.
  • If PMI of the previous month is higher than the PMI of the current month, it represents that the economy is contracting.
  • It is usually released at the start of every month. It is, therefore, considered a good leading indicator of economic activity.
  • PMI is compiled by IHS Markit for more than 40 economies worldwide.
  • IHS Markit is a global leader in information, analytics and solutions for the major industries and markets that drive economies worldwide. IHS Markit is part of S&P Global. 

Constitution Bench  of Supreme Court gives Verdict on Demonetisation

  • Recently, the Supreme Court has passed a verdict on the Demonetisation of currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 in a majority 4-1 by a five-judge Constitution Bench. The majority (4 out of 5 judges) held that Centre’s notification dated November 8, 2016 is valid and satisfies the test of proportionality.
  • The RBI and the Centre had been in consultation with each other for six months prior to the November 8 notification issued under Section 26(2) of the RBI (Reserve Bank Of India) Act, 1934.
  • The statutory procedure under Section 26(2) of the RBI Act was not violated merely because the Centre had taken the initiative to “advice” the Central Board to consider recommending demonetisation.
  • The government was empowered under the provision to demonetise “all series” of banknotes.
  • On hasty decision, the court said such measures undisputedly are required to be taken with utmost confidentiality and speed. If the news of such a measure is leaked out, it is difficult to imagine how disastrous the consequences would be.
  • Demonetisation was done for the “proper purposes” of eliminating fake currency, black money and terror financing.

What is the Test of Proportionality?

  • The test of proportionality is a commonly employed legal method used by courts around the world, typically constitutional courts, to decide cases where two or more legitimate rights clash.
  • When such cases are decided, one right typically prevails at the expense of the other and the court thus has to balance the satisfaction of some rights and the damage to other rights resulting from a judgment.
  • The principle of proportionality ordains that the administrative measure must not be more drastic than is necessary for attaining the desired result.

Corporate tax collections   

  • Recently, corporate tax collections exceeded 3% of the GDP after a gap of two years in 2021-22.
  • It is reflecting overall improvement in profitability of India Inc propelled by an increase in demand for goods and services. (However, the corporate tax collection was 3.51% of GDP recorded in 2018-19).
  • Note: Corporation tax is payable by both public and private companies registered in India under the Companies Act 1956.
  • Corporation tax is a direct tax placed on a company’s net income or profit from its operations. The tax is imposed on the net profits of the corporation, which is calculated by subtracting allowable expenses such as the cost of goods sold, operating expenses, and depreciation from the corporation’s total revenue.

Sugar  Export

  • According to the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA), sugar mills in India have entered into contracts to export 55 lakh tonnes of Sugar.
  • The government has allowed sugar mills to export 60 lakh tonnes of sugar till May in the 2022-23 marketing year of sugar (October-September).
  • Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP): The FRP is the minimum price that sugar mills have to pay to sugarcane farmers for procurement of sugarcane. It is determined on the basis of recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) and after consultation with State Governments and other stakeholders.

Additional Tier-1 (AT1) bonds

  • Recently, the Bombay High Court Friday quashed the write-off of Additional Tier-1 (AT1) bonds worth Rs 8,400 crore issued by Yes Bank Ltd, bringing relief to investors.
  • These bonds are unsecured bonds that have perpetual tenors, are issued by banks and have no maturity date. They have a call option, which can be used by the banks to buy these bonds back from investors. These bonds are typically used by banks to bolster their core or tier-1 capital.
  • These AT1 bonds are subordinate to all other debt and only senior to common equity.
  • These bonds were introduced by the Basel accord after the global financial crisis to protect depositors.

Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF)  

  • Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF) crosses 30,000 crore mark of capital mobilisation for projects in agriculture sector for creation of post-harvest management infrastructure and community farming assets.

What is Agriculture Infrastructure Fund?

  • AIF is a financing facility launched in July 2020. (Duration of the Scheme: FY2020 to FY2029 (10 years)
  • It aims to provide all-around financial support to the farmers, agri-entrepreneurs, farmer groups like Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs), Self Help Groups (SHGs), Joint Liability Groups (JLGs) etc. and many others to create post-harvest management infrastructure and build community farming assets throughout the country.
  • Features:
  • AIF provides support of 3% interest subvention, credit guarantee support through Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE) scheme for loan of up to Rs. 2 crore and facility of convergence with other Central and State Government schemes.
  • AIF is helping in reducing post-harvest losses by creating and modernising agriculture infrastructure, which includes primary processing centres for vegetables, hi-tech hubs for rental of agricultural machinery. 

T+1 Settlement

  • Indian stock markets have embarked on a shorter settlement cycle or T+1 regime for the final list of large stocks – a move that will help reduce margin requirements for clients and boost retail investment.
  • T+1 (trade plus one) means that market trade-related settlements will need to be cleared within one day of the actual transactions taking place. Earlier, trades on the Indian stock exchanges were settled in 2 working days after the transaction was done (T+2).


205th anniversary of the Bhima -Koregaon Battle

  • It was celebrated at the Jaystambh in Pune’s Perne village amidst heavy police deployment. Background of Battle of Koregaon Bhima :
  • A small village in Pune district of Maharashtra, Bhima-Koregaon is associated with an important phase of Maratha history.
  • The people of Dalit communities gather in Bhima Koregaon on 1 January every year to pay tribute to the Dalit heroes who died in the war between the British and the Peshwas on 1 January 1818.

Battle of 1818

  • The battle of Bhima Koregaon was fought on January 1, 1818, between Peshwa Bajirao II and British army commanded by Captain F F Staunton of the East India Company. The battle was a part of the Third AngloMaratha War. The British army was largely dominated by Mahars – the most populous of the Dalit sub-castes in Maharashtra.The Dalit-dominated British Army had defeated a Peshwa armyIt resulted in losses to the Maratha empire, then under Peshwa rule, and control over most of western, central and southern India by the British East India Company.
  • Koregaon Pillar (Jaystambh): In the memory of Battle, the British built squared-pillar to pay homage to the martyr soldiers, which is popularly known as ‘Koregaon Pillar’. The pillar symbolises the courage of Mahar Regiment. The names of the martyred soldiers were engraved on the pillars and soldiers were honoured with a medal by the British in 1851. Significance
  • Mahar relates this battle to their self-respect because they were insulted by the Peshwa Baji Rao II on their identity and caste when they offered their services to the Peshwa. Many historians have termed this incident as the first historic step towards making India free of caste, which happened almost two hundred years ago.
  • After Dr. Ambedkar visited the site on January 1, 1927, it became a place of pilgrimage for Dalits, an assertion of pride. In recent years, attendance has been in the lakhs, with Dalits coming from all over India.

What happened at Bhima Koregaon on January 1, 2018?

  • 2018 marked the 200th year of battle and hence there was a larger gathering at Bhima Koregaon as compared to previous years. During the celebrations there were violent clashes between Dalit and Maratha groups, resulting in the death of at least one person and injuries to several others.
  • Every year since then, the district administration and police machinery has been taking stringent steps to prevent any law-and-order situation in the area.

Mannathu Padmanabhan

  • The Prime Minister has paid tributes to Sri Mannathu Padmanabhan on his birth anniversary.
  • Born on 2nd January 1878 in Perunna, Kottayam district of Kerala, he was an Indian social reformer and freedom fighter. Sardar K M Panicker called him Madan Mohan Malaviya of Kerala.
  • He took part in the Vaikom (1924) and Guruvayoor (1931) temple-entry Satyagrahas and the anti-untouchability agitations.
  • He is regarded as the reformer and moral guide of the members of Nair community. He inspired the Nair community members to end practicing bad and orthodox customs. He led the Nairs to demand temple entry for all castes and to put an end to untouchability. In 1914 he established the Nair Service Society.
  • In 1964 he was instrumental in the formation of Kerala Congress, the first regional party in India.
  • He received Padma Bhushan in 1966. He was honoured with the title Bharata Kesari by the President of India.

Rani Velu Nachiyar 

  • The Prime Minister has paid tributes to Rani Velu Nachiyar on her birth anniversary.
  • Rani Velu Nachiyar was the 18th century queen from Sivagangai district in Tamil Nadu, who fought against British rule to recapture her kingdom. She was known as the first queen to fight against the colonial power during that time. She is widely known as Veeramangai (brave woman).
  • In 1772, the British troops and the Nawab of Arcot came together and invaded Sivagangai. During the Kalaiyar Koil war, her husband died fighting for his kingdom.
  • Velu Nachiyar somehow escaped with her daughter Vellachi and lived in Dindigul for a few years. During this time, she formed an alliance with other kingdoms and plotted her revenge against the British.
  • Following a strong fight, Velu Nachiyar was successful in recapturing her kingdom and hence becoming the queen of Sivagangai again. She proudly ruled Sivagangai for more than 10 years. During her reign, the queen also created a women’s only army called Udaiyaal.

Savitribai Phule 

  • Prime Minister has paid tributes to Savitribai Phule on her birth anniversary.
  • Savitribai Phule was an Indian activist, thinker, social reformer and writer from Maharashtra. She along with her husband Jyotirao Phule had played an important role in improving women’s rights in India.
  • She established the Mahila Seva Mandal in 1852 to raise awareness for issues concerning women’s rights.
  • She became the first female teacher in India in 1848 and opened a school for girls along with her husband Jyotirao Phule.
  • She opened a women’s shelter called Balhatya Pratibandhak Griha or the Home for the Prevention of Infanticide where Brahmin widows could safely deliver their children and leave them there to be adopted if they so desired.
  • She had published Kavya Phule in 1854 and Bavan Kashi Subodh Ratnakar in 1892. In her poem, ‘Go, Get an Education’, she urges the oppressed communities to get an education and break free from the chains of oppression.
  • She had also played an important role in directing the work of Satyashodhak Samaj which was founded by Jyotirao Phule in 1873. Satya shodhak samaj was founded with a purpose to give education to the lower castes, scheduled caste, scheduled tribes and made them aware of the exploiting tradition of society.


  • Jallikattu is a traditional sport that is popular in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
  • Jallikattu (or sallikkattu) is also known as eru thazhuvuthal and mañcuvirattu.
  • The bull-taming sport is popular in Madurai, Tiruchirappalli, Theni, Pudukkottai and Dindigul districts — known as the Jallikattu belt.
  • The sport involves releasing a wild bull into a crowd of people, and the participants attempt to grab the bull’s hump and ride it for as long as possible, or attempt to bring it under control.
  • It is celebrated in the month of January, during the Tamil harvest festival, Pongal.
  • A tradition over 2,000 years old, Jallikattu is a competitive sport as well as an event to honour bull owners who rear them for mating.
  • It is a traditional sport in which contestants try to tame a bull for a prize; if they fail, the bull owner wins the prize.
  • Jallikattu is considered a traditional way for the peasant community to preserve their pure-breed native bulls.
  • Kangayam, Pulikulam, Umbalachery, Barugur and Malai Maadu are among the popular native cattle breeds used for Jallikattu.
  • In 2011, the Centre added bulls to the list of animals whose training and exhibition is prohibited.
  • The Supreme Court banned Jallikattu through a judgment in May 2014 in the Animal Welfare Board of India vs A. Nagaraja case on the grounds of cruelty to animals.
  • In 2018, the Supreme Court referred the Jallikattu case to a Constitution Bench, where it is pending now.
  • Why in News now: Petitions have been filed in the Supreme Court to strike down a 2017 Tamil Nadu law that protects Jallikattu. SC will give the verdict in a few days. Which Tamil Nadu law protects Jallikattu ?
  • Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Tamil Nadu Amendment) Act of 2017 and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Conduct of Jallikattu) Rules of 2017 protect Jallikattu by claiming that the bull-taming sport is a cultural heritage of the State and is protected under Article 29 (1) of the Constitution.
  • Note: Like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka too passed a law to save a similar sport, called Kambala (buffalo race). What were the arguments presented for and against Jallikattu?
  • For – a) jallikattu is both a religious and cultural event celebrated by the people of the State and its influence extends beyond the caste and creed, b) it is centuries-old and symbolic of a community’s identity which can be regulated and reformed rather than completely banning, c) any ban on such a practice would be viewed as hostile to culture and against the sensitivities of the community, d) it is a tool for conserving this precious indigenous breed of livestock and does not violate principles of compassion and humanity, e) children are also being taught in school about the significance of the culture to preserve it beyond generations.
  • Against – a) Liberty is necessary for every living being, an aspect that had been recognised by the Constitution, b) there are deaths and injuries caused to humans as well as bulls in the event, c) animals face extreme cruelty and there is no evidence to justify jallikattu as a part of culture.

Asia’s First Palm-Leaf Manuscript Museum : Kerela

  • Kerala Chief Minister inaugurate a palm-leaf manuscript museum with modern audio-visual technology at the renovated Central Archives, Fort in Thiruvananthapuram.
  • It was set up by the Department of Archives, Kerala Government.
  • The ₹3-crore museum has eight theme-based galleries where select manuscripts from one of the biggest palmleaf collections in the country will be displayed.
  • The manuscripts in ancient scripts such as Vattezhuthu, Kolezhuthu, Malayanma, and ancient Tamil and Malayalam are present in the museum.
  • Besides palm-leaf manuscripts, scrolls, bamboo splints, and copper plates are included in the collection.

Paigah Tombs 

  • The US Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation will extend financial support of $250,000 towards the conservation and restoration of six of the Paigah tombs. The Aga Khan Trust for Culture will implement the project.
  • Paigah Tombs or Maqhbara Shams al-Umara are a necropolis (a large, designed cemetery with elaborate tomb monuments) located in Hyderabad, Telangana. They were built in the 18th and 19th centuries and belonged to the nobility of the Paigah family who served the Nizam of Hyderabad in various capacities.
  • Architecture: These tombs are made out of lime and mortar with beautiful inlaid marble carvings. It consists of marvelous carvings and motifs in floral designs and inlaid marble tile works.
    • The tombs are the finest examples of the enthralling Indo-Islamic architecture, which is a blend of both features of Asaf Jahi and Rajputana style.
    • Stucco work found in Paigah Tombs doesn’t exist anywhere else in India. It has incredible lattice screens, minarets and detailing.

Ashtadhyayi  of Panini

  • Recently, a Cambridge scholar Dr Rishi Rajpopat’s has claimed to have solved Sanskrit’s biggest puzzle—a grammar problem found in the ‘Ashtadhyayi’.
  • Written more than 2,000 years ago, Ashtadhyayi or ‘Eight Chapters’, is an ancient text written by the scholar Panini towards the end of the 4th century BC. It is a linguistic text that set the standard for how Sanskrit was meant to be written and spoken. It laid down more than 4,000 grammatical rules
  • Later Indian grammars such as the Mahabhasya of Patanjali (2nd century BC) and the Kasika Vritti of Jayaditya and Vamana (7th century AD), were mostly commentaries on Panini.

Jagannath Temple, Puri, Odisha 

  • The Odisha Governor has backed the entry of foreign nationals inside the world-famous Jagannath Temple in Puri.
  • Lord Jagannath Temple is located in Puri, Odisha. This temple was called the “White Pagoda” and is a part of Char Dham pilgrimages (Badrinath, Dwaraka, Puri, Rameswaram).
  • Jagannath Puri temple is called ‘Yamanika Tirtha’ where, according to the Hindu beliefs, the power of ‘Yama’, the god of death has been nullified in Puri due to the presence of Lord Jagannath.
  • It is one of the four dhams (char dham) where Lord Jagannath, a form of Lord Vishnu, is worshipped along with his elder brother Lord Balabhadra and sister Devi Subhadra.
  • The temple was constructed by a famous king of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty Ananta Varman Chodaganga Deva dating back to the 12th century.
  • The temple’s main attraction is the Annual Rath Yatra festival, in which the three main deities of the temple, Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra are taken out in a grand procession on a chariot.
  • The temple is also known for its unique food offering, the Mahaprasad, which is prepared in the temple kitchen and is distributed among the devotees.
  • Only Hindus are allowed inside the shrine to offer prayers to the sibling deities in the sanctum sanctorum.

Why are non-Hindus not allowed inside the temple?

  • It has been the practice for centuries — even though there is no clearly articulated reason for it.
  • A sign at the Lion’s Gate (main entrance) of the Temple clearly states: “Only Hindus are allowed.”
  • Some historians believe that multiple attacks on the Temple by Muslim rulers might have led the servitors to impose restrictions on the entry of non-Hindus. Others have said that this was the practice from the time the Temple was built.
  • Lord Jagannath is also known as Patitapaban which literally means “saviour of the downtrodden”.
  • So, it is believed that, all those who are barred from entering the Temple because of religious reasons get the privilege of a darshan of the Lord in the form of Patitapaban at the Lion’s Gate.


  • In 1984, servitors of the Temple opposed Indira Gandhi’s entry due to her marriage to a non-Hindu.
  • In 2005, a Thai princess was only able to view the Temple from the outside as foreigners are not allowed. ▪ Also in 2006, a Swiss citizen was denied entry due to her Christian faith despite her large donation.

Mughal Gardens Renamed as Amrit Udyan

  • In keeping with the theme of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, the Government of India recently renamed the Mughal Gardens at Rashtrapati Bhavan as ‘Amrit Udyan’.
  • Mughal Gardens or now, Amrit Udyan, draw inspiration from the Mughal Gardens of Jammu & Kashmir, the gardens around the Taj Mahal and miniature paintings of India and Persia.
  • The design of Mughal Gardens was finalised by Sir Edwin Lutyens in 1917 in collaboration with William Mustoe, Director of Horticulture.
  • These gardens were never officially named Mughal Gardens; rather, came to be known so owing to the style of architecture – influenced by the Persian gardens, particularly the Charbagh structure. Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan have a number of Mughal gardens.
  • Mughals were known to appreciate gardens; Babur Nama mentions Babur’s favourite kind of garden – Persian Charbagh style which was intended to create a representation of an earthly utopia – jannat.


Chetan Sharma reappointed as the chairman of the senior selection committee (BCCI).
Manpreet Monica Singh Indian-origin Sikh woman, became the first ever female Sikh judge in the US after she was sworn in as a Harris county judge.
Vinaya Prakash Singh Elected as the Secretary General of the Asian Pacific Postal Union (APPU) for a tenure of 4 years (from Jan 2023). This is the first time an Indian is leading an international organization in the postal sector.

APPU, headquartered in Bangkok (Thailand), is an intergovernmental organization of 32member countries of the Asian-Pacific region. It is the only Restricted Union of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) (a UN specialised agency) in this region. APPU aims to extend, facilitate and improve postal relations between member countries and to promote cooperation in the field of postal services.

Pankaj Kumar Singh

(retired DG of the BSF)

Appointed as Deputy National Security Advisor (D-NSA) ) in the National Security Council Secretariat for a period of 2 years.
As a D-NSA, he will assist the NSA – Ajit Doval, in creating and implementing India’s national security strategies – assessing threats posed by terrorism, data security, cyber threats, readiness of concerned agencies and cooperation between different organisations dealing with security issues.
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva Sworn in as President of Brazil for the 3rd third (He replaced Jair Bolsonaro)



  • Recently, six children with rare disorders caused by deletion in the genomes of their mitochondria were successfully treated for the first time by Stem-cell derived Mitochondria Transplantation.
  • The process involved the mitochondrial transplant from donor mothers into children’s haematopoietic stem cells, which give rise to all types of blood cells.
  • Stem cells are undifferentiated biological cells that can differentiate into specialized cells and can divide to produce more stem cells. Treatments or therapies are used stem cells to prevent or treat any disease are known as stem cell therapy. Stem cell therapy promotes the reparative treatment of diseased, dead or injured tissue. Stem cells are found in mammals, plants and other organisms.

According to the scientists, stem cells can be used to:

  • Grow new cells in a laboratory to replace damaged organs or tissues. ▪ Correct parts of organs that do not work properly
  • Research causes of genetic defects in cells.
  • Research how diseases occur or why certain cells develop into cancer cells.
  • Test new drugs for safety and effectiveness.
  • To carry out medical therapies.


  • Researchers have found the first known “Virovore”, an organism that eats viruses.
  • A virovore is an organism which obtains energy and nutrients from the consumption of viruses.
  • Scientists found a species of Halteria. These are microscopic ciliates (Protist) that lives in freshwater throughout the world. These can eat huge numbers of infectious chloroviruses. Both share an aquatic habitat.
  • The new findings may change human understanding of the role viruses play in the food chain at a microscopic level. 

Macro/microporous ionic organic framework – iVOFm  

  • In order to tackle the problem of water contamination and enhance access to clean and drinkable water, the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune has introduced a macro/microporous ionic organic framework – iVOFm – to clean polluted water.

About iVOFm

  • Viologen-unit grafted organic-framework (iVOFm) is a unique molecular sponge-like material to clean polluted water by soaking up the contaminants in it.
  • There are carcinogenic pollutants in freshwater sources that are removed using sorbent materials and ionexchange techniques, but these techniques are not effective enough. iVOFm aims to improve this.
  • iVOFm employs amalgamation of electrostatics driven ion-exchange combined with nanometer-sized macropores and specific binding sites for the targeted pollutants. 

Kala Azar Disease

  • Kala Azar or black fever is a disease caused by infection with Leishmania parasites. It is transmitted by female sandfly – Phlebotomus argentipes. It is also known as visceral leishmaniasis or black fever or Dum-Dum fever.

There are three types of Leishmaniasis:

  • Visceral Leishmaniasis, which affects multiple organs and is the most serious form of the disease.
  • Cutaneous Leishmaniasis, which causes skin sores and is the most common form.
  • Mucocutaneous Leishmaniasis, which causes skin and mucosal lesions.
  • Symptoms : Initially, leishmania parasites cause skin sores or ulcers at the site of the bite. If the disease progresses, it attacks the immune system. Kala azar presents after two to eight months with more generalized symptoms including prolonged fever and weakness.
  • Treatment: Treatment of Kala Azar is done through liposomal AmB – this is the drug of choice for immunocompetent patients. There are other treatment options available such as paromomycin, miltefosin and multidrug therapy treatment. Present Status
  • According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Kala-azar is the second deadliest parasitic disease in the world, and as of November, 2022, about 89% of global cases are reported from eight countries: Brazil, Eritrea, Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, and Sudan.
  • India contributes about 11.5% of total cases of Kala-azar reported globally.
  • Over 90% of kala-azar cases in India are reported from Bihar and Jharkhand, while Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal have achieved their elimination targets at the block level. Why in News
  • Prime Minister recently said that India will completely eradicate Kala Azar disease soon.
  • Kala-azar cases in India declined by 98.7% between 2007 and 2022, from 44,533 to 834.
  • 632 endemic blocks (99.8%) spread across Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, and West Bengal have received elimination status (less than one case per 10,000).
  • The only block that is still in the endemic category is Littipara in the Pakur district of Jharkhand (1.23 cases per 10,000 population).

Lecanemab  : Medicine for Alzeimer disease

  • The US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) has granted fast-track approval to an Alzheimer’s medicine – Lecanemab (marketed as Leqembi). In its initial tests, it has shown reduction in amyloid beta protein deposition in the brain (a classic symptom of the disease) in mild cases.
  • Alzheimer’s Disease is a neurological disorder which causes brain cells to degenerate and die resulting in memory loss (dementia), speaking/writing problems, poor judgement, changes in mood and personality, confusion with time or place, etc. it is the most common cause of dementia among older adults.
  • In India, only 1 in 10 people with dementia receive any diagnosis, treatment or care for the disease, according to the World Alzheimer’s Report, 2021.

Uganda’s Worst Ebola Outbreak Ends: WHO

  • After 4 months and 55 deaths, the latest Ebola epidemic in Uganda (worst in 2 decades) was declared over by the WHO. The outbreak was caused by the Sudan strain of the virus.
  • Ebola virus disease is a hemorrhagic fever that is transmitted through body contact with sick or dead people or animals (a “viral hemorrhagic fever” is a condition that damages the overall cardiovascular system, and reduces the body’s ability to function on its own).
  • Its symptoms include fever, fatigue and headaches, followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, and internal and external bleeding.
  • Ebola virus was first discovered in 1976 near the Ebola River in DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo).
  • While there are existing Ebola vaccines (Ervebo vaccine), they do not protect against the Sudan strain.

Local Bubble

  • Researchers from the Center for Astrophysics (CfA) Harvard & Smithsonian have recently generated a 3D magnetic map of the cavity called Local Bubble.
  • The Local Bubble is a 1,000-light-year-wide cavity or a super bubble. Which exist in the Milky Way.
  • It is thought to have originated from supernovae roughly 14 million years ago.
  • Supernova: It is a class of violently exploding stars whose luminosity after eruption suddenly increases many millions of times its normal level. Supernovae explosions release tremendous amounts of radio waves and Xrays and also cosmic rays.

LHS 475 b

  • Recently, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced that the James Webb Space Telescope has discovered its first new exoplanet.
  • Researchers have labelled the new exoplanet as LHS 475 b, and it’s roughly the same size as Earth, the agency added. It is located just 41 light-years away, the planet orbits very close to a red dwarf star and completes a full orbit in just two days.
  • About Exoplanets: These are planets that orbit other stars and are beyond our solar system. Exoplanets come in a host of different sizes. They can be gas giants bigger than Jupiter or as small and rocky as Earth. They are also known to have different kinds of temperatures; boiling to cold.
  • Scientists rely on indirect methods to discover exoplanets such as the transit method, which is “measuring the dimming of a star that happens to have a planet pass in front of it”.

Doppler Weather Radar Network

  • On the Occasion of 148th Foundation Day of India Meteorological Department (IMD), the Ministry of Earth Science has inaugurated the Doppler Weather Radar (DWR) Systems in Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand, and Himachal Pradesh.
  • The Ministry of Earth Science.is also preparing to cover the entire Country the Doppler weather radar network by 2025 for more accurate forecasts related to extreme weather events.

What are Doppler Weather Radars?

  • Based on Doppler principle, the radar is designed to improve precision in long-range weather forecasting and surveillance using a parabolic dish antenna and a foam sandwich spherical radome.
  • DWR has the equipment to measure rainfall intensity (Cloudburst event) , wind shear and velocity and locate a storm centre and the direction of a tornado or gust front.


  • ISRO’s Venus mission, Shukrayaan I may be postponed to 2031.
  • Note : ISRO had originally planned to launch Shukrayaan I in mid-2023 but the pandemic pushed the date to December 2024.
  • SHUKRAYAAN-1 is also called the Venus Mission. It will be an orbiter mission. Its scientific payloads currently include a high-resolution synthetic aperture radar and a ground-penetrating radar.
  • The mission is expected to study Venus’s geological and volcanic activity, emissions on the ground, wind speed, cloud cover, and other planetary characteristics from an elliptical orbit.

Key facts about Venus

  • Venus is often called “Earth’s twin” because they’re similar in size and structure, but Venus has extreme surface heat and a dense, toxic atmosphere. It rotates very slowly on its axis – one day on Venus lasts 243 Earth days. The thick atmosphere of Venus traps heat creating a runaway greenhouse effect – making it the hottest planet in our solar system. Phosphine, a possible indicator of microbial life, has been observed in the clouds of Venus. Unlike the other planets in our solar system, Venus spins clockwise on its axis.

Aditya-L1 : India’s first Solar Mission

  • Recently, the Visible Line Emission Coronagraph (VLEC), the primary payload on board Aditya-L1, was handed over to Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA).
  • ISRO is planning to launch the Aditya-L1 mission, first Indian space mission to observe the Sun by June or July 2023 to observe the Sun and the solar corona.
  • Launch Vehicle: Aditya L1 will be launched using the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) with 7 payloads (instruments) on board.
  • Objective: Aditya L1 will study the Sun’s corona, Sun’s photosphere, chromosphere, solar emissions, solar winds and flares, and Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs), and will carry out round-the-clock imaging of the Sun.
  • The mission will be launched by ISRO to the L1 orbit which is about 1.5 million km from the Earth. The orbit allows Aditya-L1 to look at the Sun continuously.
  • L1 refers to Lagrangian/Lagrange Point 1, one of 5 points in the orbital plane of the Earth-Sun system. Lagrange Points are positions in space where the gravitational forces of a two-body system like the Sun and Earth produce enhanced regions of attraction and repulsion.

Antimicrobial-resistantGonorrheain Kenya

  • Recently, a strand of antimicrobial-resistant gonorrhea outbreak has hit Kenya.
  • Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. It can infect both men and women and can occur in the genitals, rectum, and throat. If left untreated, gonorrhea can cause serious health problems, including infertility and an increased risk of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection.
  • According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Gonorrhea is the second-most common disease to be sexually transmitted across the world after chlamydia.
  • Gonorrhea is typically treated with antibiotics, but the bacteria have become increasingly resistant to many of the drugs that were once effective.

About Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR)

  • Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is the ability of microorganisms (such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites) to resist the effects of antimicrobial drugs (such as antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals, and antiparasitics). Also, Microorganisms that develop antimicrobial resistance are sometimes referred to as “superbugs”.
  • Causes of AMR: o Poor infection control and inadequate sanitation and hygiene.
    • Overuse of antibiotics and repeated use of poor-quality drugs. o Genetic mutations of the bacteria.
    • Lack of investment in research and development of new antimicrobial drugs.

Recognition in India

  • The National Health Policy 2017 highlights the problem of antimicrobial resistance and calls for effective action to address it.
  • The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) identified AMR as one of the top 10 priorities for the ministry’s collaborative work with the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • India has instituted surveillance of the emergence of drug resistance in disease causing microbes in programmes on Tuberculosis, Vector Borne diseases, Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), etc.

Governement Initiatives :

  • National Programme on AMR containment: Launched in 2012. Under this programme, AMR Surveillance Network has been strengthened by establishing labs in State Medical College.
  • National Action Plan on AMR: It focuses on One Health approach and was launched in April 2017 with the aim of involving various stakeholder ministries/departments.
  • AMR Surveillance and Research Network (AMRSN): It was launched in 2013, to generate evidence and capture trends and patterns of drug resistant infections in the country.
  • Antibiotic Stewardship Program: Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Has initiated Antibiotic Stewardship Program (AMSP) on a pilot project across India to control misuse and overuse of antibiotics in hospital wards and ICUs. Conclusion
  • Controlling antimicrobial resistance is crucial for maintaining public health and preventing the spread of drugresistant infections. To achieve this, it is important to implement measures such as limiting the use of antimicrobial drugs to only reasonable cases, improving infection control, investing in research and development, and promoting international cooperation.

Lumpy Skin Disease(LSD)  

  • Recently, the Punjab State government has airlifted 25 lakh doses of goat pox vaccine to carry out a free vaccination campaign for early prevention of cattle from lumpy skin disease.
  • Lumpy Skin Disease(LSD) had affected the cattle on a large scale in July, 2022. About 1.75 lakh cattle were affected across the Punjab state and about 18,000 cattle died.
  • Cause: Lumpy skin disease (LSD) is an infectious disease in cattle caused by a virus of the family Poxviridae, also known as Neethling virus.
  • The disease is characterized by fever, enlarged superficial lymph nodes and multiple nodules (measuring 2–5 centimetres (1–2 in) in diameter) on the skin and mucous membranes (including those of the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts).
  • Infected cattle also may develop edematous swelling in their limbs and exhibit lameness.
  • The virus has important economic implications since affected animals tend to have permanent damage to their skin, lowering the commercial value of their hide.
  • Additionally, the disease often results in chronic debility, reduced milk production, poor growth, infertility, abortion, and sometimes death.
  • The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that its mortality rate is less than 10%.
  • The first reported outbreak of LSD occurred in Zambia in 1929, and it was initially believed to be caused by poisoning or an allergic reaction to insect bites.
  • Transmission: LSD is primarily spread between animals through the bite of vectors, such as mosquitoes and flies.

Prevention and Treatment:

  • Goat pox vaccine : Currently, India is administering the goat pox vaccine and sheep pox virus vaccines for LSD.

It’s a heterologous vaccine that offers cross-protection for cattle against the disease.

  • Goat pox, sheep pox and LSD belong to the same capripoxvirus genus.
  • Lumpi-ProVacInd is a live attenuated vaccine developed jointly by ICAR’s National Research Centre on Equines and the Indian Veterinary Research Institute, which is targeted to protect cattle against the LSD virus, and provides 100% protection.
  • It is expected to be commercially launched in a few months.

Hyderabad :  Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR)

  • Recently, the World Economic Forum (WEF) has chosen Hyderabad, Telangana for establishing its Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR).

About the Centre of Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR):

  • C4IR Telangana is the 18th centre to join the World Economic Forum’s Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR) Network, which is spread in four continents.
  • C4IR will be an autonomous non-profit organization that will focus on healthcare and life sciences. What is the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ (4IR) ?
  • It is characterised by the use of technology to end the boundaries between the digital, physical, and biological worlds, and is driven by data.
  • Key technologies include cloud computing, big data, autonomous robots, cybersecurity, simulation, additive manufacturing, and the internet of things (IoT).
  • The term 4IR was coined by Klaus Schwab, executive chairperson of the WEF, in 2016.
  • Major Examples of its Application:
  • Pacemaker: The pacemaker is a near-perfect example of the ongoing fourth industrial revolution (4IR).
  • The four wireless sensors of the pacemaker monitor vitals such as temperature, oxygen levels and the heart’s electrical activity. The device then analyses the vitals and decides when to pace the heart and at what rate. Doctors can wirelessly access the information on a tablet or smartphone.
  • Xenobots: Xenobots, which are less than a millimetre long, are known to be the first living robot, were created in 2020 from the stem cells of the African clawed frog and can be programmed using artificial intelligence. It has a reproductive ability demonstrated in October 2021 by a team of US scientists. When the researchers put the xenobots into a petri dish, they were able to gather hundreds of tiny stem cells inside their mouths and create new xenobots a few days later. Once perfected, xenobots could be useful for tasks like cleaning up microplastics and regrowing or replacing dead cells and tissues inside human bodies.
  • Smart Railway Coaches: In November 2020, the Modern Coach Factory (MCF) at Raebareli, Uttar Pradesh, rolled out smart railway coaches that are fitted with a battery of sensors to provide a comfortable experience to passengers. The sensors monitor odour levels in toilets, check if the doors are safely closed, avoid fire outbreaks and stop unauthorised travel using CCTV cameras with face recognition capabilities, among other technologies.

Other Industrial Revolutions?

  • First Industrial Revolution (1800s): It used water and steam power to mechanise production. Example: Steam engine.
  • Second Industrial Revolution (early 1900s): It used electric power to create mass production.

Example: Electricity.

  • Third Industrial Revolution (late 1900s): It used electronics and information technology to automate production. Example: Computer and Internet.


  • Recently, physicists at the University of L’Aquila in Italy have recently made a breakthrough by achieving a full microscopic understanding of the superconductivity of Mercury for the first time.
  • Superconductivity was first discovered in mercury, yet scientists required 111 years to explain how it becomes superconducting.
  • Superconductivity: it refers to a state when a material can conduct electricity without any resistance. It is observed in many materials when they are cooled below a critical temperature.

Hybrid Immunity

  • A recent study in the journal the Lancet Infectious Diseases held that “hybrid immunity” provides better protection against severe Covid-19. What is Immunity?
  • Immunity refers to the body’s ability to prevent the invasion of pathogens. Pathogens are foreign disease-causing substances, such as bacteria and viruses.

Types of Immunity

  • There are broadly two types of immunity: active and passive.
  • Active Immunity: It develops from the exposure to a disease thereby triggers the immune system to produce antibodies to that disease. Active immunity can be acquired through natural immunity or vaccine-induced immunity.
    • Infection-induced immunity is defined as the immune protection in an unvaccinated individual after one or more infections.
    • Vaccine-induced immunity is acquired through the introduction of a killed or weakened form of the disease organism through vaccination. For Example COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Passive immunity: It is provided when a person is given antibodies to a disease rather than producing them through his or her own immune system. For example, A newborn baby acquired passive immunity from its mother through the placenta.

Hybrid Immunity

  • Hybrid immunity is defined as the immune protection in individuals who have had one or more doses of a COVID-19 vaccine and experienced at least one SARS-CoV-2 infection before or after the initiation of vaccination. 


  • Recently an artificial intelligence tool called ChatGPT was released on the internet.
  • The tool has been developed by OpenAI, a research institute founded in 2015.
  • This tool ‘knew’ every topic under the sun; it could answer questions and carry on a conversation.
  • This tool interacts with humans in natural language and is impressive because aside from answering general queries, it has many other functions.
  • ChatGPT is much more than a chat bot.
  • For example, you can ask it to write a program or even a simple software application.
  • It can also do creative tasks such as writing a story. It can explain scientific concepts and answer any question that needs factual answers.

o Chatbots are computer programs designed to simulate conversation with human users, usually through text-based interfaces like messaging apps or websites.

Language Model:

  • ChatGPT is what is called a Language Model, rather than a chat bot.
  • A language model is a software that prints out a sequence of words as output that are related to some words given as input with appropriate semantic relation; in practical terms, it means that it can perform tasks like answering questions and carrying on a conversation with humans.
  • It is often used in natural language processing (NLP) applications, such as speech recognition, automatic translation, and text generation.
  • There are a few other language models like: o BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) from Google.

How can it be useful?

  • ChatGPT can be used in real-world applications like generating content for websites, answering customer inquiries, providing recommendations as well as creating automated chatbots. It can even discover new knowledge for the user and can play the role of a virtual assistant. What are ChatGPT’s limitations?
  • OpenAI claims ChatGPT will occasionally produce inaccurate information and that its knowledge is restricted to global events that occurred before 2021. AI technology can also perpetuate societal biases like those around race, gender, and culture.


  • OpenAI is a research institute and company that focuses on developing artificial intelligence technology in a responsible and safe way. It was founded in 2015 by a group of entrepreneurs and researchers, including Elon Musk, Sam Altman, and Greg Brockman.

India’s plan to eradicate measles, rubella

  • In 2019, the Central government adopted the goal of measles and rubella elimination by 2023.
  • Earlier, the goal was to eliminate measles and rubella by 2020. However, due to variety of reasons it had been delayed.

What is Measles?

  • Measles is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus. Measles is caused by a virus found in the nose and throat of an infected child or adult. It is caused by a single-stranded, enveloped RNA virus with 1 serotype. It is classified as a member of the genus Morbillivirus in the Paramyxoviridae family.
  • It is particularly dangerous for children from the economically weaker background, as it attacks malnourished children and those with reduced immunity. It can cause serious complications, including blindness, encephalitis, severe diarrhoea, ear infection and pneumonia.
  • Who is at risk : Unvaccinated young children are at highest risk of measles and its complications, including death. Unvaccinated pregnant women are also at risk. Any non-immune person (who has not been vaccinated or was vaccinated but did not develop immunity) can become infected.
  • Measles is still common in many developing countries – particularly in parts of Africa and Asia.

What is Rubella?

  • Rubella is a contagious infection caused by a virus. It is best known by its distinctive red rash. It’s also called German measles or three-day measles. This infection may cause mild or no symptoms in most people.
  • It is caused by the rubella virus which is an enveloped single-stranded RNA virus.
  • Rubella infection in pregnant women may cause death or congenital defects known as Congenital Rubella Syndrome (CRS) which causes irreversible birth defects.

What is the Difference between Rubella and Measles?

  • Rubella isn’t the same as measles, but the two illnesses share some signs and symptoms, such as the red rash.

Rubella is caused by a different virus than measles, and rubella isn’t as infectious or as severe as measles.

Are Measles & Rubella Preventable?

  • Both measles and rubella can be prevented by just two doses of a safe and effective vaccine.
  • Over the past two decades, the measles vaccine is estimated to have averted more than 30 million deaths globally, as per the World Health Organization’s statistics. India’s Plan to Eliminate Measles & Rubella (MR):
  • Mission Indradhanush was launched in 2014 to ramp up vaccinating the unvaccinated population.
  • During 2017–2021, India adopted a national strategic plan for measles and rubella elimination.
  • During the same period, the Government introduced rubella-containing vaccine (RCV) into the routine immunisation programme.
  • Disruptions caused by the Covid-19 Pandemic: millions of children didn’t get vaccinated in 2020, owing to the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Positive Takeaway:

What is Mission Indradhanush?

  • Mission Indradhanush (MI) was launched in December 2014 as a special drive to vaccinate all unvaccinated and partially vaccinated children under UIP. The Mission focuses on interventions to improve full immunization coverage for children in India from 65% in 2014 to at least 90% earlier than 2020.
  • Till date, ten phases of Mission Indradhanush have been completed covering 701 districts across the country.
  • No separate funds are allocated for Mission Indradhanush. Funds allocated for Routine Immunization are being utilized by the states to carry out activities under Mission Indradhanush.


  • Recently, the Norovirus infection was confirmed in two schoolchildren in Kerala.
  • About Norovirus
  • Norovirus is a group of viruses that leads to gastrointestinal illness. It causes inflammation of the lining of the stomach and intestines, in addition to severe vomiting and diarrhoea.
  • The Norovirus, also known as the “winter vomiting bug,” causes vomiting and diarrhoea.
  • Infection agents: The most common infective agent is contaminated water or food.
  • The virus spreads via faeces to the mouth. Consuming contaminated food or liquids, touching contaminated surfaces or objects, or coming into direct contact with an infected person.
  • Symptoms: Acute gastroenteritis is caused by inflammation of the stomach or intestine. Diarrhoea, vomiting, nausea, and stomach ache are also symptoms. Fever, headaches, and muscle pain may also persist.
  • The symptoms usually appear 12 to 48 hours after the virus has been exposed.
  • It affects particularly children, the elderly, and people suffering from other illnesses.
  • Severity: Although these virus outbreaks are rarely severe, they can spread quickly if proper precautions are not taken.

BharOS system

  • Recently, BharOS, an indigenous mobile operating system was developed by JandK Operations Private Limited, a non-profit organization incubated at IIT Madras and funded by the Department of Science and Technology.

What is the BharOS System?

  • BharOS is an indigenous, or homegrown, mobile operating system(OS) like Android or iOS.
  • It has been developed to reduce the dependence on foreign OS in smartphones and promote the use of locally developed technology.

Features of BharOS system

  • Native Over the Air: BharOS would offer Native Over the Air (NOTA) updates, meaning that security updates and bug fixes will be automatically installed rather than users having to check for updates and implement them on their own.
  • No Default Apps(NDA) setting: It means that users do not have to keep or use pre-installed apps in this mobile operating system.
    • Going with an NDA design for BharOS was intentional as it will let users have more control over the

apps on their mobile phones based on the user’s trust in the app and the kind of data they store on their phone.

Private App Store Services: It will use a system known as Private App Store Services (PASS), which will examine and curate the apps that are safe for the users.Users will be able to use other apps, as long as they meet BharOS’ PASS standards.

Who is using BharOS currently?

  • BharOS Services are currently being provided to organizations that have stringent privacy and security requirements and whose users handle sensitive information that requires confidential communications on restricted apps on mobiles.
  • Such users require access to private cloud services through private 5G networks.

How BharOS is Different from Google Android?

  • Technically, BharOS is very similar to Android because they share the same basics. Because BharOS uses AOSP or Android Open Source Project, the functionalities and the methodologies both OS use are essentially the same.
  • What sets BharOS apart from Android, is that it is free from Google Services and Apps. Google has used its preinstalled apps and services to collect data, sometimes without explicitly asking a user. Similarly, other apps from Google’s PlayStore share data with third-party services.
  • BharOS does not come with any such preinstalled services or apps, and hence, is deemed to be more secure.


Prithvi-II missile

  • Recently, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), successfully carried out a training launch of, Prithvi-II from the Integrated Test Range, Chandipur off Odisha.
  • It is a surface-to-surface, nuclear-capable short-range ballistic
  • It has a carrying 500-1,000 kilograms of warheads and is powered by liquid propulsion twin engines.
  • Range: It has a strike range of 350 km.
  • The missile is a proven system and is capable of striking targets with a very high degree of precision.
  • The state-of-the-art missile uses an advanced inertial guidance system with manoeuvering trajectory to hit its target.
  • It was one of the first missiles developed under the Government of India’s IGMDP. 

VARUNA Exercise 2023

  • Recently the 21st Edition of the India- France Bilateral Naval Exercise Varuna-2023 commenced on the Western Seaboard.
  • While the bilateral exercise between the two navies was initiated in 1993, it was adopted as ‘VARUNA’ in 2001 and has become a hallmark of the India – France strategic bilateral relationship. The exercise will be conducted over five days from January 16-20, 2023.
  • Other Indo-French Joint Exercises:
    • Exercise Shakti (Army)
    • Exercise Garuda (Air Force)


  • The 2023 edition of Indian Navy’s major maritime exercise TROPEX, was conducted in the Indian Ocean Region. The Theatre Level Operational Readiness Exercise (TROPEX) is conducted biennially and witnesses participation from all Indian Navy units and also Indian Army, Indian Air Force and Indian Coast Guard. 

Exercise Veer Guardian (1st edition) : India-Japan

  • The inaugural edition of the bilateral air exercise ‘Veer Guardian 2023’ between the Indian Air Force (IAF) and

Japan Air Self Defence Force (JASDF) concluded recently in Japan. This is Indo-Japan’s maiden bilateral air exercise. The IAF contingent participated in the exercise with the Su-30 MKI aircraft complemented by one IL78 Flight Refuelling Aircraft and two C-17 Globemaster strategic airlift transport aircrafts.

  • It was also the first time when an IAF woman fighter pilot was a part of the Indian contingent for aerial wargames in a foreign land. 

Ops Alert Exercise : BSF

  • In view of the upcoming Republic Day celebrations, the Border Security Force (BSF) has started an “Ops Alert” exercise (21-28 Jan 2023) to enhance security along the India-Pakistan border from from Sir Creek (marshy area) to Kutch (Gujarat) and Barmer (Rajasthan) with the objective of “thwarting any ill designs of anti-national elements”.
  • To enhance its security, “permanent vertical bunkers” of concrete are being constructed for the first time to station BSF troops right at the strategically significant Sir Creek and ‘Harami Nalla’ marshy area.
  • The Union Home Ministry has sanctioned a 50-crore fund for the construction of 8 multi-storey bunkers cum observation posts in this area in view of the “constant infiltrationof Pakistani fishermen and fishing boats in the area”. 


  • Recently, the Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited (IRRPL), has started producing AK-203 Kalashnikov assault rifles at Korwa (in Amethi district) in Uttar Pradesh.
  • The Rs 5,124 crore deal was signed between India and Russia in December 2021. India and Russia had inked an agreement in December 2021 for procurement of 6,01,427 AK 203 assault rifles through Korwa Ordnance Factory.

About AK-203:

  • The AK-203 rifles are manufactured in a joint venture between India and Russia.
  • AK-203 assault rifle is considered to be the latest and most advanced version of the AK-47 rifle.
  • These are high-quality, convenient and modern small arms.
  • This model combines excellent ergonomics, adaptability to different shooters and high-performance characteristics, it is one of the best assault rifles in the world.
  • The joint venture plans to ensure 100% localisation of the production of AK-203 rifles in India.
  • It is expected to replace the Indian Small Arms System (INSAS) 56×45 mm assault rifle, which are presently being used by Army, Navy and the Air Force besides other security forces.
    • INSAS rifles are not suitable for use at high altitude. Several other issues with these rifles include gun jamming, oil leakage etc.

What is Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited (IRRPL)?

  • The IRRPL was set up in 2019 jointly between erstwhile Ordnance Factory Board [now Advanced Weapons and Equipment India Limited (AWEIL) and Munitions India Limited (MIL)] of India and Rosoboronexport and Kalashnikov of Russia. 

IL-38 Aircraft  

  • Indian Navy’s IL-38 Aircraft will take part in the 74th Republic Day celebrations at the Kartavya Path for the first time and perhaps the last time.
  • It will be among the 50 aircraft including 9 Rafales of the Indian Air Force- will take part in the event.
  • IL-38 is a maritime reconnaissance aircraft that was commissioned into the Indian Navy in 1977 and remained a formidable air asset throughout its service life for nearly 44 years. 

Leopard 2 Tank : Germany

  • The U.S. Defense Secretary recently said that Germany has not decided whether to allow its Leopard 2 tanks to be sent to Ukraine, after a recent U.S.-led meeting of Ukraine’s allies ended with no consensus.
  • The Leopard 2 is one of the world’s leading battle tanks, used by the German Army for decades and by the militaries of Canada, Indonesia and many other European nations (as they purchased it from Germany). It has served in conflicts in Afghanistan, Kosovo and Syria. Germany believes re-exporting German-made tanks without its permission would be illegal.
  • Leopard was first produced in the late 1990s for the West German army in response to Soviet threats during the Cold War.
  • Range: 500km (311 miles) ; Weight: 55 tonne ; Top speed: 68 km/h (42mph).
  • These tanks are armed with a 120mm smoothbore cannon. It is also armed with two coaxial light machine guns. They also provide “all-round protection” for troops from threats such as mines, anti-tank fire, and improvised explosive devices
  • Leopard 2, powered by a diesel engine, features night-vision equipment and a laser range finder enabling it to better aim at a moving target while travelling over rough terrain.
  • Until now, both Ukraine and Russia have used Soviet-era tanks in battle. Supplies of the Leopard 2 would help Ukraine offset Russia’s superiority in artillery firepower. 


WEF Davos

  • The 53rd edition of the annual World Economic Forum summit was held in Davos, Switzerland.
  • Theme: Cooperation in a Fragmented World.
  • Note: The WEF is a Swiss nonprofit foundation established in 1971, based in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • Some major reports published by WEF are: Energy Transition Index, Global Competitiveness Report, Global IT Report, Global Gender Gap Report, Global Travel and Tourism Report.

Note :

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has agreed to make changes in criteria for Global Gender Gap Reports by taking into account the participation of women at panchayat level to rank countries in its future reports. It will better India’s position at the global level. 

18th Edition of Global Risks Report 2023 

  • Recently, the World Economic Forum (WEF) has released the 18th Edition of Global Risks Report 2023 which seeks that the world be prepared for ‘Natural disasters and extreme weather events’ in the next two years.

Oxfam’s Report “Survival of the Richest 

  • According to the Oxfam’s Report “Survival of the Richest: The India story”, the richest 1% in India now own more than 40% of the country’s total wealth, while the bottom half of the population together share just 3% of wealth between 2012 and 2021.
  • Oxfam International released the India supplement of its annual inequality report on the first day of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting at Davos.
  • The report states that taxing India’s ten-richest individuals at 5% could generate enough money to bring children back to school.
  • Note: Oxfam International is a confederation of 21 independent charitable organizations working together with partners and local communities in more than 90 countries. Its mission is to end the injustices that cause poverty.

World Social Report 2023 : UN

  • According to the United Nations (UN) World Social Report 2023: Leaving no one behind in an ageing world, the number of persons aged 65 years or older worldwide is expected to double over the next three decades.
  • The elderly population will reach 6 billion in 2050, accounting for more than 16% of the global population.
  • North Africa, West Asia and sub-Saharan Africa are expected to experience the fastest growth in the number of older people over the next three decades.
  • Also, Europe and North America combined now have the highest share of older persons.
  • This demographic shift brings into question current arrangements of old-age support in young and old countries.
  • Gender inequality also persists into old age. Economically, women’s lower levels of formal labour market participation, shorter working lives and lower wages during working years lead to more economic insecurity in later life. 

17th ASER 2022

  • Recently, the 17th Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2022 was released by NGO Pratham, which highlights the impact of the pandemic on education.
  • The report unveils high enrolment of children in schools which is a good performance indicator for government programmes like Nipun Bharat Mission.

What is ASER?

  • The ASER, is an annual, citizen-led household survey that aims to understand whether children in rural India are enrolled in school and whether they are learning. ASER has been conducted every year since 2005 in all rural districts of India. It is the largest citizen-led survey in India.
  • ASER surveys provided representative estimates of the enrolment status of children aged 3-16 and the basic reading and arithmetic levels of children aged 5-16 at the national, state and district level.

What are the Findings of the Report?

  • Enrollment in Government Schools: According to the ASER, 2022 the country has seen an increase in the enrollment of children in government schools.
  • Basic Reading and Arithmetic Skills: There has been a decline in the basic reading and arithmetic skills of young children in Class 3 and Class 5 in India.
  • Proportion of Girls not Enrolled: The decrease in the proportion of girls not enrolled in schools for the age group 11-14 from 4.1% in 2018 to 2% in 2022 is a significant improvement and a positive development.
  • This indicates that efforts to promote gender equality in education have been effective and have helped to increase the enrollment of girls in schools. 

WHO report on Trans Fats

  • A new report from the World Health Organization (WHO) has found that 5 billion people globally remain unprotected from harmful trans fats, increasing their risk of heart disease and death.
  • WHO first called for the global elimination of industrially produced trans fats in 2018, with an elimination target set for 2023.
  • According to WHO, the consumption of trans fats, which can be found in packaged foods, baked goods, cooking oils and spreads, is responsible for up to half a million premature deaths from heart disease every year.

About Trans Fats :

  • Trans fat, or trans-fatty acids, are unsaturated fatty acids that come from either natural or industrial sources.
  • Naturally-occurring trans-fat come from ruminants (cows and sheep).
  • Industrially-produced trans-fat is formed in an industrial process that adds hydrogen to vegetable oil converting the liquid into a solid, resulting in “partially hydrogenated” oil (PHO).


  • Trans fats have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, as they can raise bad cholesterol (LDL) levels in the blood and lower good cholesterol (HDL) levels.
  • They can also contribute to the development of other health conditions such as diabetes and obesity.

Challenges in Eliminating Trans Fat:

  • Trans fats are a cheap and easy way to stabilise and extend the shelf life of food products, which is why they are widely used by food manufacturers.
  • Many small and medium-sized food manufacturers may not have the resources or technical expertise to reformulate their products to remove trans fats.
  • Trans fats are often used in food service and restaurant settings, which can be harder to regulate than retail food products.
  • Changing consumer habits and taste preferences can be difficult, as people have become accustomed to the taste and texture of foods that contain trans fats.
  • Some countries or regions may have limited infrastructure and resources to monitor and enforce the ban of trans fats.

Indian Initiatives to Eliminate Trans Fat:

  • Eat Right Movement: Launched in 2018, the programme is built on two broad pillars of ‘Eat Healthy’ and ‘Eat Safe’.
  • Swachh Bharat Yatra: A Pan-India cyclothon, was launched under the movement to educate citizens on issues of food safety, combating food adulteration and healthy diets.
  • Heart Attack Rewind: It is a 30-second public service announcement which was broadcasted in 17 languages on social media platforms. The objective of the campaign was to warn citizens about the health hazards of consuming trans fats and offer strategies to avoid them through healthier alternatives.
  • The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has stated that all food items should contain less than 2% of trans fat from Jan 2022.

Global Initiatives to Eliminate Trans Fat::

  • WHO released REPLACE, a step-by-step guide for the elimination of industrially-produced trans-fatty acids from the global food supply.
  • REPLACE provides six strategic actions to ensure the prompt, complete, and sustained elimination of industrially-produced trans fats from the food supply. 

Henley Passport Index 2023

  • Japan has retained its position as the most favourible passport in the world, allowing visa-free entry to 193 global destinations. which the country tops for the fifth consecutive year.
  • Singapore and South Korea came in a joint second on the ranking, followed by Germany and Spain, and then a slew of other European nations.
  • The Indian passport was ranked 85th, giving visa-free entry to 59 destinations worldwide. In 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022, the country ranked at 82nd spot, 84th, 85th and 83rd respectively.
  • The ranking, published by London-based immigration consultancy Henley & Partners 


Aspirational Block Programme (ABP)

  • The Prime Minister of India recently launched the Aspirational Block Programme (ABP), which is aimed at improving performance of blocks lagging on various development parameters.
  • In her Budget (2022-23) speech, the Finance Minister had announced the government’s intention to launch the ABP.

About the ABP:

  • The ABP will take the aspirational district model up to block level and will enable holistic development in those areas that require added assistance.
  • The programme will cover 500 districts across 31 states and UTs initially and over half of these blocks are in 6 states – Uttar Pradesh (68 blocks), Bihar (61), Madhya Pradesh (42), Jharkhand (34), Odisha (29) and West Bengal (29).

Aspirational District Programme (ADP).

Launched in 2018, the ADP aims to quickly and effectively transform (socio-economic status of) 112 most under-developed districts across the country, with a vision of a New India by 2022.

The focus is to improve India’s ranking under the Human Development Index (HDI) and localising Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), leading to the progress of the nation. 

BIND Scheme 

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the “Broadcasting Infrastructure and Network Development” (BIND) Scheme, which was proposed by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

About BIND Scheme

  • Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Information and Broadcasting
  • Type: Central Sector Scheme
  • Aim: To bring modernisation to the public broadcaster Prasar Bharati i.e. All India Radio (AIR) and Doordarshan (DD).
  • Under the scheme, financial support will be provided to Prasar Bharati for expenses related to the expansion and upgradation of its broadcasting infrastructure, content development and civil work related to the organization.
  • Significance of the scheme: The scheme will enable the public broadcaster to undertake a major upgradation of its facilities with better infrastructure which will widen its reach, including in the Left Wing Extremism, border and strategic areas and provide high-quality content to the viewers.

What is Prasar Bharati?

  • Prasar Bharati is India’s state-owned public broadcasting agency. It is a statutory autonomous body set up by an Act of Parliament and comprises the Doordarshan Television Network and All India Radio. 

SMART  Programme 

  • Recently, the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (NCISM) and the Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS), the two prominent institutions under the Ministry of Ayush, have launched ‘SMART’ program.
  • SMART stands for ‘Scope for Mainstreaming Ayurveda Research in Teaching Professionals’.
  • Aim: to boost scientific research through Ayurveda colleges and hospitals.
  • About Ayush: Ayush is Traditional & Non-Conventional Systems of Health Care and Healing which includes Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homoeopathy.

Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN)

  • Under the scheme, the Centre transfers an amount of Rs 6,000 per year, in three equal instalments, directly into the bank accounts of all landholding farmers irrespective of the size of their land holdings. It was launched in February 2019.
  • It is a Central Sector Scheme with 100% funding from the Government of India.
  • It is being implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
  • Identification of Beneficiaries: The entire responsibility of identification of beneficiary farmer families rests with the State / UT

Monument Mitra Scheme

  • Monument Mitra’ is the term coined for an entity partnering with the government under the ‘Adopt A

Heritage’ project.

  • It was launched in September 2017 under the Ministry of Tourism earlier and then transferred to the Ministry of Culture.
  • The project aims to develop monuments, heritage and tourist sites across India by inviting corporate entities, public sector companies or individuals to ‘adopt’ them

Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS)

  • FCI sells surplus stocks of wheat and rice at predetermined prices through e-auction in the open market from time to time to enhance the supply of food grains.
  • The purpose of OMSS is to dispose of surplus stocks of wheat and rice held by FCI, and to regulate the prices of wheat in the open market.
  • FCI conducts weekly auctions for the OMSS for wheat on the platform of the National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange Limited (NCDEX).
  • NCDEX is a commodity exchange platform in India that provides a platform for trading in various agricultural and other commodities.

About Food Corporation of India

  • The FCI is a government-owned corporation that manages the food security system in India.
  • It was established in 1965 under the Food Corporation’s Act 1964 with the objective of ensuring adequate availability of food grains throughout the country, and to maintain price stability in the market.

The FCI also maintains buffer stocks of food grains to ensure food security during times of scarcity or crisis.

  • The FCI is also responsible for distributing foodgrains throughout the country for public distribution system.


Wildlife Conservation Bond

  • The world’s first wildlife bond has been issued by the World Bank (IBRD), raising USD 150 million that will partly be used for the conservation of South Africa’s black rhinos.
  • The Wildlife Conservation Bond is the world’s first-of-its-kind financial instrument that is outcome-based to conserve black rhino populations.
  • International Bank for Reconstruction and Development of the World Bank has announced that the returns paid by the five-year bond will be determined by the rate of population growth of animals in two reserves of South Africa- the Great Fish River Nature Reserve and the Addo Elephant National Park.
  • If this program is successful it could be expanded for the protection of black rhinos in Kenya along with other wildlife species like tigers, lions, orangutans, and gorillas.
  • Globally, there are five species of rhino. Most of the rhinoceros are concentrated in South Africa with most of them being white rhinos. 


  • Microplastics are defined as plastics less than five millimeters in diameter—smaller in diameter than the standard pearl used in jewelry. It can be harmful to our ocean and aquatic life.
  • Recently, Scientists from South Korea have developed a new water purification system that can quickly and efficiently filter out microplastics. In an experiment, over 99.9% of contaminants were taken out of the water in just 10 seconds. The polymer used is relatively inexpensive with excellent adsorption performance and good photothermal properties. 

SAIME Initiative 

  • In Sundarbans, a new shrimp farming initiative named “SAIME Initiative” offers hope for mangrove restoration.
  • Sustainable Aquaculture In Mangrove Ecosystem(SAIME) initiative was started in 2019. It is a communitybased initiative for sustainable shrimp cultivation. The initiative was conceived by NGOsNature Environment and Wildlife Society (NEWS) and Global Nature Fund (GNF), Naturland, Bangladesh Environment and Development Society (BEDS).
  • Under the initiative, farmers have taken up the cultivation of shrimp at 30 hectares in West Bengal.

Additionally, they are restoring mangroves.

  • What is shrimp cultivation?
  • Shrimp farming is an aquaculture business that exists in either a marine or freshwater environment, producing shrimp or prawns for human consumption.
  • Shrimp cultivation is practised in about 15,000 to 20,000 hectares of the unique ecosystem in India. 

Phytorid technology 

  • The Municipal Corporation of Tirupati (MCT), Andhra Pradesh is set to take a significant step in water treatment by establishing India’s largest liquid waste treatment plant to use phytorid technology.
  • The phytorid technology is developed by the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research’s (CSIR) National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI). It is being used increasingly for various types of biodegradable wastewater across India.
  • The phytorid technology involves a constructed wetland exclusively designed for the treatment of municipal, urban, agricultural and industrial wastewater. This technology works without electricity, minimum maintenance, less manpower and importantly self-sustainable. 

Sinking of Joshimath

  • Due to land subsidence, roads and over 560 houses in Joshimath – a key transit point for tourists travelling to Badrinath and Hemkund Sahib – developed cracks, causing panic and protests among the local population.

Where is Joshimath located?

  • Joshimath/ Jyotirmath is a hilly town in Chamoli District in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, located on the Rishikesh-Badrinath National Highway (NH-7) at a height of 6150 feet (1875 m).
  • The town (fall in high-risk seismic Zone-V) is traversed by running streams with a high gradient from Vishnuprayag, a confluence of the Dhauliganga and the Alaknanda rivers.
  • It is a gateway to several Himalayan Mountain climbing expeditions, trekking trails (Auli, Valley of Flowers) and pilgrim centres like Badrinath and Hemkund Sahib.

Joshimath is also of great strategic importance to the Indian armed forces and is home to one of the Army’s most important cantonments.

  • It is home to one of the four cardinal maths or monasteries established by Adi Shankara – Sringeri in Karnataka, Dwarka in Gujarat, Puri in Odisha and Joshimath near Badrinath in Uttarakhand.
  • A 2022 report (by the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology) stated that the area around Joshimath is covered with thick layers of overburdened material.

Why is Joshimath sinking?

  • Joshimath is located on the site of an ancient landslide: This was found in a 1976 report (by governmentappointed Mishra Commission), meaning scientists and geologists working in the area have been sounding the alarm for decades.
  • Geography of the town: Scattered rocks in the area are covered with old landslide debris comprising boulders, gneissic rocks (highly weathered), and loose soil (due to seepage from streams uphill), with a low bearing capacity.
  • High rate of construction: Increased construction, hydroelectric projects, and the widening of the NH have made the slopes highly unstable in the last couple of decades.
  • Erosion: Due to the running streams from Vishnuprayag and sliding along the natural streams are the other reasons behind the city’s fate.
  • The Rishi Ganga flood disaster: This has worsened the situation, followed by incessant rainfall between August to October in 2021.

What can be done to save Joshimath?

  • The urgent need is to relocate the residents to a safer place and then reimagine the town’s planning to accommodate the new variables and the changing geographical factors.
  • Drainage and sewer planning (as more and more waste is seeping into the soil, loosening it from within) is one of the biggest factors that needs to be studied and redeveloped.
  • Experts recommend a complete shutdown of development and hydroelectric projects in the region.
  • Experts have also suggested replantation in the region, especially at the vulnerable sites to retain soil capacity.
  • There is a need for a coordinated effort between the government and civil bodies with the aid of military organisations like the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) to save Joshimath.
  • A sufficient number of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State DRF teams should be deployed and helicopter facilities should be provided, if required.

Blackbuck Population on rise

  • According to a new study from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), blackbucks in India have adapted well to natural and human-induced challenges to their survival. In spite of immense losses in grassland habitats across India, the data showed an increasing trend in blackbuck population numbers as compared to the recent past.
  • The Blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra), or the Indian Antelope, is a species of antelope native to India and Nepal. It is widespread in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, and other areas throughout peninsular India. It is considered as the epitome of grassland. The blackbuck is a diurnal antelope (active mainly during the day).
  • It has been declared as the State Animal of Punjab, Haryana, and Andhra Pradesh.
  • Cultural Importance: It is a symbol of purity for Hinduism as its skin and horns are regarded as sacred objects. For Buddhism, it is a symbol of good luck.
  • Protection Status: Wildlife Protection Act 1972: Schedule I, IUCN Status: Least Concern, CITES: Appendix III
  • Threat : Habitat Fragmentation, Deforestation, Natural Calamities, Illegal Hunting.

Related Protected Areas:

  • Velavadar Blackbuck Sanctuary – Gujarat
  • Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary – Tamil Nadu
  • Tal Chhapar Sanctuary- Rajasthan
  • In 2017, the Uttar Pradesh State Government approved the plan of setting up the Blackbuck Conservation Reserve in the trans-Yamuna belt near Prayagraj. It would be the first conservation reserve dedicated to the blackbuck.

Asian Waterbird Census

  • It is a citizen-science programme supporting conservation and management of wetlands and waterbirds worldwide.
  • AWC is part of the global International Waterbird Census (IWC) coordinated by Wetlands International.
  • AWC runs in parallel with other regional programmes of the IWC in Africa, Europe, West Asia, the Neotropics and the Caribbean.

AWC in India:

  • It was initiated in the Indian subcontinent in 1987 and since then has grown rapidly to cover major regions of Asia, from Afghanistan eastwards to Japan, Southeast Asia and Australasia.
  • In India, AWC is jointly coordinated by the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) and Wetlands International.
  • Significance: It gives an idea of the birds at the wetland and the health of the wetland; the more the waterbirds, the more suitable the wetland is.
  • A survey conducted as part of the Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) 2023 shows the populations of some migratory waterbirds, especially duck species visiting the Alappuzha region of Kerala, are falling.

Indian Skimmer   

  • As per the Asian Waterbird Census 2023 which has been started recently, the Godavari estuary in Andhra Pradesh has become a prime and safe habitat for the Indian Skimmer ( Rynchops albicollis).
  • Around 250 Indian Skimmers, were sighted in Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • Another common name for Indian skimmers is Indian scissors bill. They are more widespread in winter; the Indian skimmer is found in the coastal estuaries of western and eastern India. The species can be sighted near the Chambal River in Central India, in few parts of Odisha and in Andhra Pradesh.
  • Major Threats: Habitat degradation, excessive and widespread increases in disturbances near the rivers.
  • IUCN Red List Status: Endangered

White Tufted Royal Butterfly 

  • Recently, a team of butterfly observers and researchers have found the White Tufted Royal Butterfly, a rare butterfly species in Kannur, Kerala which was earlier spotted in Agasthyakoodam in 2017 and Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary in 2018. The butterfly is protected under Schedule 2 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

Spot Bellied Eagle Owl 

  • Recently, Spot Bellied Eagle Owl (Bubo nipalensis) was spotted for the first time in Seshachalam forest, and for the third time in Andhra Pradesh. It was sighted twice earlier at Nagarjunasagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve(NSTR).
  • The Spot-bellied Eagle Owl, also known as the Forest eagle-owl is a large owl species typically found in wooded areas, such as forests and rocky hillsides, and are known for their distinctive spots on their belly. They are large, very powerful and bold predatory birds. The bird makes a strange scream similar to humans and it is hence called the ‘Ghost of the Forest’ in India.
  • Distribution: These eagle-owl species are distributed in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, China, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.
  • Prey: They are known to prey on large birds and also on mammals like golden jackals, hares, civets and chevrotains.
  • Conservation Status: IUCN Red list: “Least Concern”, CITES : Appendix II.
  • Note: Nagarjunsagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve is the largest tiger reserve in India. In 1992, it was retitled as Rajiv Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary. The Tiger reserve is spread over 5 districts in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The area consists mostly of the Nallamala Hills. The Krishna River cuts the basin of this reserve.

Invasive Tree Species

  • Delhi’s State EIA Authority has asked the State Forest Department to take steps to contain and exterminate 3 rapidly growing invasive tree species – Vilayati Kikar (Prosopis Juliflora), Subabul (River tamarind) and Eucalyptus as they are adversely affecting the local ecology.
  • Vilayati Kikar – the Mexican invasive species introduced by the British in 1930s, is the most harmful. It is the only form of vegetation visibly thriving on the Delhi Ridge.
  • Eucalyptus, which came from Australia, is not invasive in nature, but uses a lot of water as it is a fast-growing tree. It also shows allelopathic effects (releases compounds which make it difficult for other native species to grow nearby).
  • Subabul also comes from Mexico and was introduced by the forest department for fuel and fodder. All three species are depleting the groundwater table.

Etalin Hydroelectric Project

  • The Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) has recently asked the Arunachal Pradesh Government to review the Etalin hydropower project.

About Etalin Hydroelectric Project (EHEP):

  • It is a 3,097 MW hydropower project planned in the Dibang Valley of Arunachal Pradesh.
  • It is one of the largest hydropower projects proposed in the country in terms of installed capacity.
  • EHEP is proposed to be developed as a combination of two run-of-the-river schemes.
  • The project involves the construction of concrete gravity dams on the Tangon and Dri rivers which are tributaries of Dibang river.
  • The project area falls under the “richest bio-geographical province of the Himalayan zone” and “one of the mega biodiversity hotspots of the world”.
  • The project area is dominated by indigenous population belonging to Idu-Mishmi tribes.
  • About Idu-Mishmi Tribe: A major sub-tribe of the Mishmi group,  they are the lone inhabitant tribe of Dibang Valley district, Arunachal Pradesh. They are of mongoloid race and have a distinctive dialect of Tibeto-Burman language. Traditionally, Idu-Mishmis believe in animism.
  • About Dibang River: It flows through Arunachal Pradesh and Assam states of India. It is an upstream tributary of Brahmaputra. It originates near Keya pass on the Indo-Chinese border in the Upper Dibang Valley district of Arunachal Pradesh. The Mishmi Hills is found along the upper courses of the Dibang River.

Forest Advisory Committee:

  • FAC is a statutory body of the Ministry of Environment Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) formed under the Forest Conservation Act of 1980. It considers questions on the diversion of forest land for non-forest uses such as mining, industrial projects, townships and advises the government on the issue of granting forest clearances. However, its role is

AI-AQMS v1.0

  • The Union Ministry for Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has launched Technology for Air Quality Monitoring System(AI-AQMS v1.0).
  • Developed by: Centre for Development of Advanced Computing(C-DAC), Kolkata in collaboration with TeXMIN, ISM, Dhanbad.
  • Purpose: It is an outdoor air quality monitoring station to monitor environmental pollutants which includes parameters like PM 1.0, PM 2.5, PM 10.0, SO2, NO2, CO, O2, ambient temperature, relative humidity etc.
  • Funded under: National programme on Electronics and ICT applications in Agriculture and Environment (AgriEnIcs).
  • What is AgriEnIcs: National Programme on Electronics and ICT Applications in Agriculture and Environment?
  • It is a national-level programme initiated to reform the agriculture and environment sectors with the interventions of IoT, ICT, machine learning and robotics technology.

Biosensing based EDC Detection System

  • MeitY has recently launched the Technology for Biosensing system for the detection of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDC) in aquatic ecosystems. The technology has been developed by ‘C-DAC, Kolkata’ in collaboration with ICAR-CIFRI for qualitative and quantitative analysis of EDC content in water bodies.
  • Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that may interfere with the body’s endocrine system and produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects in both humans and wildlife.

Proposed Aravali safari park Project and the Environmental concerns

  • Recently, some Environmental Activists have raised concerns over the 10,000-acre Aravali safari park Project proposed in Haryana.
  • This project will be the largest such project in the world. Currently the largest curated safari park outside Africa is in Sharjah, which opened in February 2022, with an area of about two thousand acres.
  • It aims to boost tourism and employment opportunities for the local people.


  • The Aravalli safari project is being conceived and designed as a zoo safari and not a natural jungle safari to see native Aravalli wildlife in their natural habitat.
  • Conservation of the Aravallis does not even get a mention in the aims of the project mentioned in the Proposition.
  • Vehicular traffic and construction in the area, the proposed safari park will also disturb the aquifers under the Aravalli hills that are critical reserves for the water-starved districts. These aquifers are interconnected and any disturbance or alterations in the pattern can significantly alter the groundwater table.
  • The group has especially objected to the ‘underwater zone’ envisioned in the park since the site is a “water-scarce region”.
  • In Nuh district, the groundwater table is already below 1,000 feet at many places; the tube wells, borewells and ponds are running dry; Gurugram district has many areas in the ‘red zone’.
  • The location falls under the category of ‘forest’, according to many orders by the Supreme Court and the National Green Tribunal, and is protected under the Forest Conservation Act 1972. As such, cutting of trees, clearing of land, construction and real estate development is prohibited on this land.
  • The group also highlighted that the construction proposed by the Haryana tourism department in May 2022 would be illegal and further damage the already damaged Aravalli ecosystem.


  • Recently, a new study has found that non-natural light had increased the brightness of Skyglow, by 9.2-10% every year between 2011 and 2022 with significant ecological, health and cultural implications.
  • Researchers have analyzed a global database of what the dimmest star visible from a particular location is; the database had more than 51,000 entries submitted by citizen scientists.

What is Skyglow?

  • The Skyglow, is an omnipresent sheet of light across the night sky in and around cities that can block all but the very brightest stars from view. The brightening of the night sky over inhabited areas because of streetlights, security floodlights and outdoor ornamental lights cause the Skyglow.
  • This light floods directly into the eyes of the Nocturnal (active at night) and also into the skies and misleads their path. ‘Skyglow’ is one of the components of light pollution.

Water Hyacinth Invasion in Sankhya Sagar : MP

  • Sankhya Sagar – an artificial lake in Madhya Pradesh has virtually disappeared under a thick layer of Water Hyacinth – an invasive aquatic plant. Sankhya Sagar was declared a Ramsar site in July 2022, and helps maintain the ecological balance of the Madhav National Park.
  • Water Hyacinth, though, native to South Africa, has naturalised itself in many other parts of the world
  • The water hyacinth in Sankhya Sagar is leading to the death of native species; its presence also indicates high nitrogen levels in the lake. 

Yellow band disease 

  • band disease, is killing corals over vast stretches of the sea floor of Thailand.
  • Scientists believe overfishing, pollution and rising water temperatures because of climate change may be making the reefs more vulnerable to yellow-band disease.
  • Yellow-band disease – named for the colour it turns corals before destroying them -was first spotted decades ago and has caused widespread damage to reefs in the Caribbean. There is no known cure.
  • The Yellow Band disease is caused by a combination of environmental stressors, including increased water temperatures, pollution, and sedimentation, as well as increased competition for space from other organisms.
  • These factors can weaken the coral and make it more susceptible to infection by pathogens, such as bacteria and fungi. The disease’s impact cannot be reversed, unlike the effects of coral bleaching.

Kelp forests  

  • A recent study has revealed that Kelp forests are declining because of climate change.
  • Kelp forests are underwater ecosystems formed in shallow water by the dense growth of several different species.
  • Kelp are large brown algae that live in cool, relatively shallow waters close to the shore.
  • They attach to the seafloor and eventually grow to the water’s surface and rely on sunlight to generate food and energy, kelp forests are always coastal and require shallow, relatively clear water.

Hepatorenal Infection

  • One of the 8 cheetahs that were introduced in Kuno National Park (MP) has been detected with a hepatorenal infection. Hepatorenal Infection is a condition in which there is progressive kidney failure that occurs in a patient with poor functioning of the liver.
  • In September 2022, 8 Cheetahs were relocated from South Africa and Namibia into the wild at Kuno Palpur National Park (MP). It was the world’s first inter-continental large wild carnivore translocation project. 

India’s forest and tree cover 

  • India is lagging behind in the targets to increase the number and quality of tree- and forest-cover plantations set in the National Mission for a Green India (GIM).
  • States with significant shortfall in tree cover include Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, and Kerela.

Status of Forests in India?

  • As per the India State of Forest Report-2021, forest and tree cover in the country increased by 2,261 square kilometres since the last assessment in 2019.
  • India’s total forest and tree cover was 80.9 million hectares, which accounted for 24.62% of the geographical area of the country.
  • The report said 17 States and Union Territories had more than 33% of their area under forest cover.
  • Madhya Pradesh had the largest forest cover, followed by Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Maharashtra.
  • The top five States in terms of forest cover as a percentage of their total geographical area were Mizoram (84.53%), Arunachal Pradesh (79.33%), Meghalaya (76%), Manipur (74.34%) and Nagaland (73.90%).

Tree Cover Vs Forest Cover?

  • Tree cover refers to the total area of land that is covered by trees, regardless of whether or not the trees are part of a forest ecosystem.
  • Forest cover, on the other hand, refers specifically to the area of land that is covered by a forest ecosystem, which is defined as an area with a tree canopy density of more than 10% and an area of more than 1 hectares. So, all forest cover is tree cover, but not all tree cover is forest cover. 

India’s Newest Butterfly

  • A swallowtail butterfly disappearing from its previously known ranges from Myanmar and southern China to Vietnam has been recorded for the first time in India.
  • The butterfly is “extremely rare” Noble’s Helen (Papilio noblei), identified from three locations in the Namdapha National Park (Arunachal Pradesh).
  • Note – Arunachal Pradesh also has a state butterfly – Kaiser-i-Hind. 


Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar 2023

  • Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar (SCBAPP) 2023 was announced on 23 January 2023.
  • For 2023, Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA) and Lunglei Fire Station (LFS), Mizoram, both in the Institutional category, have been selected for their excellent work in Disaster Management.
  • SCBAPP is conferred annually to recognize and honour the invaluable contribution and selfless service in the field of disaster management. The award carries a cash prize of Rs. 51 lakh and a certificate in case of an institution and 5 lakh and a certificate in the case of an individual. 

Golden Globe Award

  • Golden Globe Award, presented annually by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), is a recognition of outstanding achievement in motion pictures and television during the previous year. The Golden Globes are considered second in importance both to the Academy Awards (or Oscars) for films.
  • In News: Recently, music composer M M Keeravani accepted the award for Best Original Song for Telugu film RRR (directed by SS Rajamouli) at the 80th Golden Globe Awards. ‘Naatu Naatu’ becomes the first Asian song to win the coveted award. Note : Vivek Agnihotri’s film ‘The Kashmir Files’ has been shortlisted for Oscars 2023. 

BOOKS  and Auhors

Book Author
 “Breaking Barriers: the Story of a Dalit Chief Secretary”. Kaki Madhava Rao
Ambedkar: A Life Shashi Tharoor


Pope Benedict XVI
  • the former Pope Benedict XVI has passed away.
  • Pope Benedict was the first German to become pope in 1000 years. He was the head of the Vatican City from 19 April 2005 until his resignation on 28 February 2013
Keshari Nath Tripathi
  • former West Bengal governor.


Allegations of Sexual harassment

  • Recently, some sportspersons made allegations of sexual harassment against WFI (Wrestling Federation of India) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.
  • Sports Ministry demands explanation from WFI within 72 hours, if WFI fails to furnish the reply, the Ministry will proceed to initiate action against the Federation in terms of the provisions of the National Sports Development Code, 2011. 

5th Khelo India Youth Games

  • The Union Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs inaugurated the 5th edition of Khelo India Youth Games 2022 in Madhya Pradesh at the Tatya Tope Nagar Stadium (Bhopal).
  • Around 6000 players from across the country will try their sports skills for more than 900 medals in 27 sports events of these games. For the first time sports like kayaking, canoeing, canoe slalom and fencing will be part of the Khelo India Youth Games.
  • The theme for this edition is‘Hindustan Ka Dil Dhadka Do’.
  • The Khelo India Youth Games was started in 2018 under the name Khelo India School Games. The aim of these games is to find and groom sports talents at the local level and train them for national and international sports events.
  • India’s sports budget has also been increased to Rs. 2000 crores and in the next 5 years, a budget of Rs. 3200 crores will be given for Khelo India. 

India won U19 Women’s T20 World Cup

  • The Indian Under-19 women’s cricket team created a new history on 29th January, 2023 by becoming the first champions of the ICC U-19 T20 Women’s World Cup (defeated England in Finals). The team was led by Shafali Verma.
  • This victory is significant because it is the first time that the Indian women’s team has won the World Cup title. In the past, the senior Indian women’s team has reached the finals of the T20 and 50 over World Cups. The BCCI General Secretary announced a reward of Rs. 5,00,00,000. 

India’s Grandmasters

  • Nineteen-year-old Kolkata-based chess player, Koustav Chatterjee became India’s 78th
  • Pranesh M became India’s 79th 


1st January 2023: 65th foundation day of DRDO celebrated

▪ DRDO was formed in 1958 from the amalgamation of the Technical Development Establishment (TDEs) of the Indian Army and the Directorate of Technical Development & Production (DTDP) with the Defence Science Organisation (DSO). DRDO’s HQ is located in New Delhi.

4th January : World Braille Day

  • The day commemorates the birth anniversary of French educator Louis Braille, who invented the Braille language.
  • Louis Braille developed the Braille system by modifying Charles Barbie’s Night Write system.
  • The first Braille system was published in 1829 – and was adopted by the National Institute for Blind Youth.
  • The day was recognised in 2019 by the United Nations.
  • The Braille system, which is based on a series of raised dots that can be read with the fingertips, has given millions of people who are blind or visually impaired the ability to read and write, and has greatly increased their independence and ability to participate fully in society.

9th January : 17th Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas Convention : Indore

  • Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) is celebrated on 9th January to mark the contribution of the Overseas Indian community to the development of India.
  • The Prime Minister inaugurated the 17th three-day Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention in Indore, Madhya Pradesh and a digital exhibition on the contribution of the diaspora in the freedom struggle. He also released a commemorative stamp, ‘Surakshit Jaayen, Prashikshit Jaayen’ on the occasion.
  • Background: 9th January was chosen as the day to celebrate PBD since it was on this day in 1915 that Mahatma Gandhi, the greatest Pravasi, returned to India from South Africa, led India’s freedom struggle and changed the lives of Indians forever.
  • This day came into effect in 2003, but in 2015 it was revised and was decided to be celebrated every two years. It was then a theme-based conference that was set up every year during the interim period.
  • PBD Conventions are held once every two years.
  • PBD 2023: The theme is “Diaspora: Reliable partners for India’s progress in Amrit Kaal”.

Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award :

  • On this day, the Government also confers Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award. It is the highest honour conferred on a Non-Resident Indian (NRI), Person of Indian Origin (PIO); or an organisation or institution established and run by NRI OR PIO, who have made significant contributions to a better understanding of India abroad, support India’s causes and concerns in a tangible way. Significance:
  • This day plays a significant role as the overseas Indian community gets a shared platform to get themselves engaged with the government and the native people of the land.

Young Professionals Scheme

  • On the 17th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, India and the UK have decided to launch Young Professionals Scheme (YPS) under which, up to 3,000 of their degree-holding citizens (age 18-30) will be permitted to live and work in each other’s countries for a period of 2 years.
  • The YPS was conceived as part of an India-U.K. Migration and Mobility MoU (signed in 2021). The scheme will have an initial running period of 3 years and is expected to be launched by March 2023.

10 January : World Hindi Day (WHD) / Vishwa Hindi Diwas

  • It was first celebrated in 2006 to commemorate the anniversary of the first World Hindi Conference which was held in Nagpur on 10th January, 1975.
  • It marks the day when Hindi was first spoken in the United Nations’ General Assembly in 1949. It is also celebrated by Indian embassies located in various parts of the world.
  • The World Hindi Secretariat building was inaugurated in Port Louis, Mauritius in 2018.
  • World Hindi day is different from National Hindi day.
  • National Hindi Day: it is celebrated every year in India on September 14 to mark the day of adoption of Hindi as the official language by the Constituent Assembly of India in 1949.
  • Hindi is also an eighth schedule language. Article 351 pertains to ‘Directive for development of the Hindi language’.

12 January : National youth day (NYD)

  • NYD is celebrated every year to mark the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda since 1984.
  • Theme for 2023 – ‘Viksit Yuva – Viksit Bharat’. 

15 January : India’s 75th Army Day

  • The Indian Army commemorated 75th Army Day on 15th January at the Parade Grounds in Hyderabad.
  • On this day in 1949, Field Marshal M. Cariappa took over as the first Indian Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army, replacing his British predecessor (General Sir Francis Butcher).
  • Note: General Cariappa was second of the only two Army officers to have held the five-star rank of Field Marshal (first being Sam Manekshaw).
  • The day honours the soldiers of the country, who have set the greatest example of selfless service and brotherhood and more than anything the love for the country.
  • Note – Army Day is different from the Veterans Army Day celebrated on 14 January which marks the formal retirement of Field Marshal KM Cariappa from the Services.

16 January : National Startup Day

  • Recently, on the occasion of National Startup Day, Startup India Innovation week culminated along with National Start up Awards 2022.
  • National Startup Awards 2022 given by Ministry of Commerce and Industry acknowledges startups and enablers who have been instrumental in revolutionizing the development story of India.
  • Startup India organized industry-focused webinars on the topic “Championing the billion-dollar dream”. ▪ Note:  The Start-up ecosystem in India ranks third after that of the United States (US) and China. 

19 January : 18th Raising Day of NDRF

  • The Union Minister of Home Affairs recently greeted the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) on its 18th Raising Day (January 19). NDRF is the world’s largest rapid reaction force dedicated to disaster response.
  • NDRF was formed in 2006 under the Disaster Management Act, 2005 with the purpose of a specialised response to natural and man-made disasters. The Kosi Floods in 2008 were NDRF’s first such mission. 

23 January – Parakram Diwas

  • On the Occasion of Parakram Diwas (23rd January) 2023, 21 unnamed islands of Andaman and Nicobar have been named after Param Veer Chakra awardees.
  • Netaji’s Memorial, a National Memorial dedicated to Netaji will be built on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Dweep.
  • Parakram Diwas is celebrated to commemorate the 126th birth anniversary of freedom fighter Subhas Chandra Bose. 

24 January : National Girl Child Day

  • The day was established in 2008 by the Ministry of Women and Child Development. 

25 January: National Tourism Day

  • Theme 2023 : ‘Rural and Community Centric Tourism’.

25 January: 13th National Voters’ Day (NVD)

  • Theme: Nothing Like Voting, I Vote for Sure.
  • The day has been celebrated every year since 2011 across the country to mark the foundation of the Election Commission of India (25th January 1950). 

26 January : Republic day

  • President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, was the chief guest this year.
  • He was on his second State Visit to India.
  • This is for the first time that President of the Arab Republic of Egypt has been invited as Chief Guest on our Republic Day.
  • A military contingent from Egyptian Army also participated in the Republic Day parade.
  • Bharat Parv  : Government of India is organising the six-day mega event “Bharat Parv” event from January 2631, 2023, as part of the Republic Day celebrations.

Bharat Parv

  • It was started in 2016 and has been held annually at the lawns and Gyan Path in front of Red Fort until 2020. In 2021, it was held virtually. The Ministry of Tourism has been designated as the nodal ministry for the event.
  • The event includes a food festival, a handicraft mela, folk and tribal dance performances, cultural troupe performances, a display of Republic Day tableaux, and the illumination of the Red Fort, among other things. 

29 January : World Leprosy Day 2023

  • Every year last Sunday in January is observed as Leprosy Day. This year, it falls on 29th January. Leprosy is also known as Hansen’s disease.
  • The day is observed to provide an opportunity to lift up the voices of people affected by leprosy across the world.
  • Theme 2023: Act Now, End Leprosy.
  • About Leprosy : Leprosy is a chronic infectious disease which is caused by a type of bacteria called Mycobacterium leprae. Leprosy is a Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) which still occurs in more than 120 countries, with more than 200000 new cases reported every year. 

30 January:  Martyrs’ Day or Shaheed Diwas

  • This day is observed to pay tribute to all the freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives for the country. The day is also marked as the death anniversary of the nation’s ‘Bapu’, Mahatma Gandhi.
  • The Nation pays tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 75th death anniversary on 30th January 2023.
  • Martyrs’ Day or Shaheed Diwas or Sarvodaya Day is celebrated in India several times a year.
  • On 30 January in 1948 Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated in the Birla House in New Delhi by Nathuram Godse.
  • India celebrates Martyrs’ Day by paying tribute to Mahatma Gandhi’s Samadhi at Raj Ghat in Delhi.
  • Note : March 23 is also celebrated as Martyr day as on this day Bhagat Singh, Shivaram Rajguru, and Sukhdev Thapar were hanged to death by the British in Lahore Jail. 


 Himachal Pradesh

  • On 25th January, Himachal Pradesh observed its Statehood
  • On 18th December 1970 the State of Himachal Pradesh Act was passed by Parliament and HP became the 18th state of the Indian Union on 25th January 1971.

Chief Minister Sukhashray Sahayata Kosh

  • Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu announced to set up of Rs 101 crore CM’s Sukhashraya Sahayata Kosh for the destitute in the state. Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh informed that 40 Congress MLAs agreed to contribute Rs one lakh each from their first salary for the fund and also requested the MLAs from BJP and other parties to contribute.
  • The collected fund will be spent on the higher education of destitute children to encourage them to pursue courses such as engineering, medicine, management, and other streams from reputed institutions like IIT, IIM, AIIMS, and NIT.
  • CM Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu announced that there are 6,000 destitute children in Himachal Pradesh.
  • Through the CM’s Sukhashraya Sahayata Kosh other than bearing the educational expenses, the government would also provide Rs 4000 monthly pocket money to the destitute children and women pursuing higher education.

Kuldeep Singh Pathania : Speaker in HP

  • MLA from Bhattiyat (Chamba) Kuldeep Singh Pathania becomes the next Speaker of the Himachal Pradesh Assembly. (Jaiwant Ram was the first speaker of the Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly).


  • As per a CPCB air quality data analysis by the National Clean Air Programme, in 2022, Delhi was the top polluted city with an annual avg. PM 2.5 concentration of 99.7 ug/m3. This is much above the CPCB standard of 40 ug/m3 of air.
  • Recently, SPIC MACAY organised its very popular ‘Music in the Park’ series under the name “Shruti Amrut” in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and the New Delhi Municipal Council. In this series, the first event of 2023 was held in New Delhi. (The Society for the Promotion of Indian Classical Music And Culture Amongst Youth (SPIC MACAY) is a voluntary youth movement which promotes intangible aspects of Indian cultural heritage by promoting Indian classical music, classical dance, folk music, yoga, meditation, crafts and other aspects of Indian culture; it is a movement with chapters in over 300 towns all over the world.

SPIC MACAY was established by Dr. Kiran Seth in 1977 at IIT Delhi).

Karnataka : Hakku Patra

  • Recently, the Prime Minister of India symbolically distributed Hakku Patra (land title deeds or property ownership document) to five families of the Banjara (Lambani) community, a nomadic Scheduled Caste group, at an event organised by the state Revenue Department in Karnataka. The title deeds enable owners to avail of bank loans with the documentation.


  • Union Home Minister Amit Shah inaugurated a 120-foot-tall statue of a polo player riding a polo at Marjing Polo Complex in Imphal, Manipur. Manipur is known as the birthplace of the game polo.

Jammu & Kashmir

Village Defence Committees (VDC)

  • Lieutenant Governor of the Jammu and Kashmir declared to revive Village Defence Committees (VDC) amid recent militant attacks.
  • The VDC were set up in the mid – 1990s as a force multiplier against militant attacks. Its aim was to provide residents of remote hilly villages with weapons and give them arms training to defend themselves.


  • Kerala has come out with a management plan to eradicate Senna spectabilis, the exotic invasive plant that is posing a severe threat to the State’s wildlife habitat.
  • Kerala as the first state in the country to go fully digital in its banking service.
  • Recently, a Human-Animal Conflict occurred where a local man was attacked by an Elephant and a herd of elephants raided a field of 500 plantains near Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala.
  • The first of its kind initiative in Kerala, a constitution literacy campaign jointly organised by the Kollam district panchayat, District Planning Committee, and the Kerala Institute of Local Administration (KILA). The aim is to declare Kollam as the first totally Constitution literate district.
  • Kerala government have planned to turn the Aymanam village (a Responsible Tourism (RT) village) as a hub of women friendly destinations along with showcasing women’s talent. 80% of the RT units in the village are already run by women. The village has also been included under the Agri Street project of the State. (Responsible Tourism requires operators, hoteliers, governments, local people and tourists to take responsibility, take action to make tourism more sustainable. It is about “making better places for people to live in and better places for people to visit)”.
  • Recently, the Wall of Peace, a great work of modern mural art on the 700-feet long compound wall of Government Vocational Higher Secondary School at Cherpulassery (Kerala), was inaugurated.

Kerala to Provide Pension to MGNREGS Workers

  • In a first of its kind initiative, the Kerala govt. has launched a welfare fund board for the workers registered for the MGNREGS and Kerala govt’s Ayyankali Urban Employment Guarantee Scheme. They will receive a monthly pension from the board once they turn 60.
  • As per the norm, any worker (age 18-55) can take membership in the fund board. They have to pay a monthly premium amount (₹50 tentatively fixed) until the age of 55 and a member who has paid the contribution for at least 10 years will be eligible for pension. Apart from the workers’ monthly contribution, the govt. will also make an equivalent contribution towards the fund (which may be revised triannually).

Uttar Pradesh

Saansad Khel Mahakumbh

  • The Prime Minister of India inaugurated the second phase of Saansad Khel Mahakumbh 2022-23.
  • Saansad Khel Mahakumbh has been organised in Basti district (UP) by Shri Harish Dwivedi, Member of Parliament from Basti since 2021.
  • The Khel Mahakumbh organises various competitions in both indoor and outdoor sports like wrestling, kabaddi, kho kho, basketball, football, hockey, volleyball, handball, chess, carrom, badminton, table tennis etc. Apart from these, competitions in essay writing, painting, rangoli making etc are also organised during the Khel Mahakumbh.
  • Significance: The Khel Mahakumbh is a novel initiative that provides an opportunity and a platform for the youth of District Basti and neighbouring areas to showcase their sporting talent, and motivates them to take sport as a career option.
  • It also endeavours to inculcate the spirit of discipline, teamwork, healthy competition, self-confidence and nationalism among the youth of the region.


  • A ‘Soul of Steel’ challenge was launched in Uttarakhand on 14 January which aims to test one’s high-altitude endurance. The general area of the expedition would be the Nanda Devi National Park.


India’s First Centre of Excellence in Online Gaming

  • Software Technology Parks of India (STPI, an autonomous society under MeitY) will facilitate in setting up India’s first Centre of Excellence in Online Gaming at Shillong by March 2023. This will help to catalyse startups and entrepreneurs from the entire North East Region to build the Next Generation Online Gaming Ecosystem.


  • Recently, Guwahati Wildlife Division of the Assam Forest Department conducted the 2nd Bird Species Count Exercise after February 2022 in Deepor Beel Wetland, which is the only Ramsar Site in Assam. Altogether 26,747 birds belonging to 96 species were recorded during a bird count at the Deepor Beel wetland. There were 10,289 individuals across 66 species in 2022. Deepor Beel is one of the largest freshwater lakes in Assam and an Important Bird Area by Birdlife International.


‘Saharsh’ Scheme for Social and Emotional Learning

  • The state govt. of Tripura, in an effort to encourage social and emotional learning, introduced a special education programme – ‘Saharsh’. Launched in pilot mode in Aug 2022 in 40 schools, now it will be extended to all govt. and aided schools of the state. It aimed at empowering children to learn with happiness. Tripura currently ranks in the Grade-I category in the Performance Grading Index. Odisha
  • Ahead of Men’s Hockey World Cup 2023, Odisha Chief Minister has inaugurated Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium, one of the largest hockey stadiums in Rourkela. The 15th edition International Hockey Federation (FIH) Hockey World Cup 2023 will be held in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela from January 13 to 29.
  • According to the annual reptile census, the population of saltwater crocodiles in the water bodies of Bhitarkanika National Park and its nearby areas in Odisha’s Kendrapara district has marginally increased. In 2023, forest officials counted 1,793 crocodiles. In 2022 officials sighted 1,784 reptiles.

West Bengal

  • West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee launched a new campaign “Didi’r Surakha Kavach” for her party, Trinamool Congress.


Rajasthan’s ‘Tree Teacher’

  • Bheraram Bhakhar ( “tree teacher”), a primary school teacher in Rajasthan’s Barmer district has achieved a record in the family forestry campaign by planting four lakh trees and connecting 1.2 lakh people with his drive during the last 24 years. He works to prevent desertification in western Rajasthan through his diligent work. He introduced Harit Pranam (green salutation). 

Madhya Pradesh

  • Recently, Vidisha, an aspirational district of Madhya Pradesh became the first-ever district in India for on-ground deployment of innovative 5G use cases offered by startups. 


  • Folk singer Maithili Thakur was appointed the state icon for Bihar by the Election Commission.


 18th National Scout Guide Jamboree

  • The Bharat Scouts & Guides (voluntary organisation) are hosting the 18th National Jamboree at Rajasthan from 4th January to 10th January, 2023 with the theme of “Progress with Peace”.
  • Note : The 1st National Jamboree was hosted by Andhra Pradesh in 1953-54.
  • The Jamboree is a national level gathering of the Scouts and Guides conducted once in 4 years or to mark special occasions. The Jamboree gives the Scouts and Guides an opportunity to interact with the youth from different states of India and from abroad.
  • About 35000 Scouts, Guides and Adult Leaders of the Organization from different corners of the country and South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries are participating in this Mega Event. 

MV Ganga Vilas : world’s longest river cruise

  • Prime Minister of India has flagged off the world’s longest river cruise ‘MV Ganga Vilas’ from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh on 13th of January 2023.
  • The luxury cruise will cover a distance of more than 3,200 kilometres across 27 river systems in five States in India and Bangladesh.
  • Besides connecting National Waterway 1 (NW-1) which includes Ganga and National Waterway 2 (NW-2) on Brahmaputra, the cruise will cross 27 river systems.
  • The 51 days cruise is planned with visits to 50 tourist spots including World Heritage Sights, National Parks, river Ghats, and major cities like Patna in Bihar, Sahibganj in Jharkhand, Kolkata in West Bengal, Dhaka in Bangladesh and Guwahati in Assam.
  • The MV Ganga Vilas vessel is 62 meters in length and 12 meters in width. It has three decks, and 18 suites on board with a capacity of 36 tourists, with all the amenities to provide a memorable and luxurious experience for the tourists.
  • The ship follows sustainable principles at its core as it is equipped with pollution-free mechanisms and noise control technologies.

‘Bharat Pravah-India along its Shores’

  • The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways has launched the ‘Bharat Pravah’ initiative.
  • Its aim to demonstrate the role of rivers-ports and shipping in the everyday life of the general public through literature, dialogue and communication.
  • Under this initiative, programs will be organized on various themes such as rivers and sea-centred development in India, folk culture and literature on the sea, rivers, ports and ships.

Shiva Chauhan

  • Captain Shiva Chauhan from the Corps of Engineers has been posted at a frontline post in Siachen Glacier, in first such operational deployment of an woman Army officer at the world’s highest battlefield.
  • Captain Shiva Chouhan, who hails from Rajasthan, is a Bengal Sapper Officer.



Spear phishing  : it is a social engineering attack where a hacker sends a fraudulent message or mails which is designed to trick a victim into revealing confidential information or infect their device with malicious software.
As per the Minister of Road Transport and Highways, the Indian road accidents cause 415 deaths and many injured every day.
India is the world’s second-biggest wheat producer after China. But it accounts for less than 1% of the global wheat trade.
According to a new study by the United Nations, around 3,700 dams in India will lose 26% of their total storage by 2050 due to accumulation of sediments which can undermine water security, irrigation and power generation in future. The study was conducted by the United Nations University Institute on Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH), also known as the UN’s think tank on water.
After 3 consecutive years of rise, India’s forex reserves declined by $70 bn in 2022 on account of rising inflation and interest rates.
Recently, Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano erupted again after a brief pause. The eruption in the volcano’s crater started in Jan 2022.
Tamil Nadu government shunned the usage of the term ‘Central government’ in its official communications by replacing it with ‘Union government in 2021.
The All India Football Federation unveiled its strategic roadmap with ‘Vision 2047’, hoping that in the country’s centenary year of independence, India will emerge as a new powerhouse of Asian football.
The second phase of the Sari Festival “VIRAASAT”- Celebrating 75 handwoven Saris of India organised by the Ministry of Textiles will held from 3rd to 17th January 2023 in New Delhi.
Recently, a report titled “Global glacier change in the 21st century: Every increase in temperature matters”, which states half the Earth’s glaciers may disappear by 2100.
Recently, the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry of India and the US Trade Representative Ambassador co-chaired the 13th Ministerial-level meeting of India – US Trade Policy Forum (TPF) in Washington D.C.
Recently, thousands of flights were grounded in the US after a major glitch in the computer system. The flights were grounded due to the failure of a key pilot notification system called Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM).
Recently, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has released a report titled “State Finances: A Study of Budgets of 2022-23” which  states that the Gross Fiscal Deficit (GFD) of states is expected to decrease to 3.4% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2022-23, from 4.1% in 2020-21.
The Centre has released endorsement guidelines for celebrities and social media influencers that mandates compulsory disclosure of monetary or material benefits of a product or a brand they are promoting through their social media platforms.
Recently, on 21 January, the states of Manipur, Tripura and Meghalaya observed their 51st statehood day. The three states gained their statehood in 1972 under the North-Eastern Areas (Re-organisation) Act, 1971.
Recently, new research suggested that Earth’s inner core has stopped spinning faster than its surface and might now be rotating slower than it.
Low-Altitude Basalt Plateau :
Recently, a rare low-altitude basalt plateau discovered in Maharashtra in the Western Ghats can help study the effects of climate change on species survival and increase awareness of the conservation needs of rock outcrops and their immense biodiversity value in the global context.
This is the fourth type of plateau to be identified in the region; the previous three are laterites at high and low altitudes and basalt at high altitudes.
A new study on the Indian Star Tortoise (Geochelone elegans) has found that illegal trade and unscientific translocations are causing major losses to the species’ genetic diversity and habitat.
According to World Health Organisation, India’s suicide rate in 2019, at 12.9/1,00,000, was higher than the regional average of 10.2 and the global average of 9.0.
India and Pakistan exchanged lists of nuclear installations that cannot be attacked in the event of hostilities, maintaining a tradition dating back to 1992 despite bilateral ties being at an all-time low.
India’s first underwater metro service, The Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation (KMRC) said that the East-West Metro Corridor project, is expected to be completed by December 2023.
Indonesia issued a tsunami warning for almost three hours after a powerful 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck off Indonesia’s Tanimbar islands.

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