Current Affairs

KAZA Summit
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Why in News?


Leaders decide to fight ivory trade ban at CITES CoP20


KAZA Summit 2024:


Summit Objectives:


Assess the progress made since the establishment of the KAZA-TFCA.

Review the implementation of the 2016 Memorandum of Understanding and 2011 KAZA treaty.

Seek renewed commitment from current leaders for regional cooperation and further development.


Theme and Issues:


• The summit’s theme: “Leveraging KAZA’s natural capital and cultural heritage resources as catalysts for inclusive socio-economic development of the eco-region.”

• Emphasis on managing wildlife resources to benefit local communities.

• Ensuring KAZA becomes and remains the best managed conservation area globally.


KAZA Summit (UPSC)

World’s Mangrove Ecosystems
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Why in News?


South India’s mangrove ecosystems under risk of collapse, warns study


World’s Mangrove Ecosystems


• Published by IUCN

Data source: IUCN’s Red List of Ecosystems.

Prepared by: Experts from various research institutions, including the IUCN Species Survival Commission and the Global Mangrove Alliance.

Coverage: World’s mangrove ecosystems in 36 different regions.


Findings :

• The world’s mangrove ecosystems cover about 150 thousand square km along mainly tropical, sub-tropical and some warm temperate coasts of the world.

• About 15% of the world’s coastlines are covered by mangroves.

• 50% of the mangrove ecosystems assessed are at risk of collapse under vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered category.

• Nearly 20% are at high risk, classed as either endangered or critically endangered

World’s top 2 mangrove ecosystems ‘Warm Temp North West Atlantic’ and ‘South India and Sri Lanka, and Maldives’ are in the critically endangered category.

5 regions in the endangered and 10 in the vulnerable categories.

In India – They are in high risk of collapse in South India due to Pollution, deforestation and development activities at the coast.

• However, mangrove ecosystems in western and eastern India are less susceptible to risk.


World’s Mangrove Ecosystems (UPSC)

Small Island Developing States
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Why in News?


4th International Conference on Small Island Developing States


Small Island Developing States


SIDS are a distinct group of 39 States and 18 Associate Members of United Nations regional commissions that face unique social, economic, and environmental vulnerabilities.


• The five geographical regions in which SIDS are located are: the Caribbean, the Pacific, and the Atlantic, Indian Ocean and South China Sea (AIS).

• SIDS were recognized as a special case both for their environment and development at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

• They are highly vulnerable developing countries as they suffer from low economic diversification, often characterised by high dependence on tourism and remittances, volatility due to fluctuations in private income flows and the prices of raw materials, and debt stress situations.

• For SIDS, the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ): the ocean under their control is, on average, 28 times the country’s land mass.

• Thus, for many SIDS, the majority of the natural resources they have access to come from the ocean.


Small Island Developing States (UPSC)

Tropical Cyclone
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Why in News?


Tropical cyclone “Remal” to strike India-Bangladesh border region


Tropical Cyclone


• It is an intense circular storm that originates over warm tropical oceans and is characterized by low atmospheric pressure, high winds, and heavy rain.

• Cyclones are formed over slightly warm ocean waters. The temperature of the top layer of the sea, up to a depth of about 60 meters, need to be at least 28°C to support the formation of a cyclone.

• This explains why the April-May and October-December periods are conducive for cyclones.

• Then, the low level of air above the waters needs to have an ‘anticlock-wise’ rotation (in the northern hemisphere; clockwise in the southern hemisphere).

• During these periods, there is an ITCZ in the Bay of Bengal whose southern boundary experiences winds from west to east, while the northern boundary has winds flowing east to west.

• Once formed, cyclones in this area usually move northwest. As it travels over the sea, the cyclone gathers more moist air from the warm sea which adds to its heft.


Tropical Cyclone (UPSC)

Global Report on Internal Displacement 2024
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Global Report on Internal Displacement:


– It is annual report published by the Geneva-based Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC).

– It records internal displacements due to conflict, violence and disasters.


• Internally displaced people are those who have been forced to flee their homes as a result of conflict, violence, or disasters and who have not crossed an internationally recognized State border.

• This figure continues to rise as more people flee each year, adding to the numbers of those who have been living in displacement for years or even decades and have not yet achieved a durable solution.


Highlights of GRID-2024:


• In 2023, the number of internally displaced people (IDP) increased to 75.9 million, from 71.1 million in the preceding year.

• Report says 7.7 million displaced by disasters (one-fourth of it was caused by earthquakes) and 68.3 million by conflict and violence.

Sudan, Syria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Colombia, and Yemen host nearly half of the world’s IDPs.

• At 1 million, Sudan has the highest number of IDPs recorded for a single country.

• Most of the new displacement this year happened in Sudan, the Palestinian territories, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, accounting for almost two-thirds of all new displacement.


South Asia:


• The IDMC said around 3 million people were living in internal displacement as a result of conflict and violence across South Asia at
the end of 2023, 80 percent of whom were in Afghanistan.

Conflict and violence triggered 69,000 displacements in South Asia in 2023, with Manipur violence alone accounting for 67,000.

• It is the highest number of displacements triggered by conflict and violence in India since 2018.

• There is a sharp decline in IDP in 2023 from 2.5 million internal displacements due to natural disasters in India in 2022. Internal displacements by natural disasters in 2023 was 528,000.


Global Report on Internal Displacement 2024 (UPSC)

Chabahar Port
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Why in News?


The new 10 years agreement between India & Iran to develop Chabahar Pot not exempt from Iran Sanctions: US


• It is located on the Makran coast, Chabahar in southeastern Iran.

• Its location lies in the Gulf of Oman.

• This coast is a relatively underdeveloped free trade and industrial zone, especially when compared to the sprawling port of Bandar Abbas further west.

• Also, it is the only Iranian port with direct access to the ocean.


Significance of Chabahar Port:


• It gives a boost to India’s bilateral ties with Iran which is a major oil supplier for India.

• It will give India access to Afghanistan, Russia and Europe, thus circumventing Pakistan.

The port and the rail project (Chabahar to Zahedan to Zarang near Afghanistan border) will enhance connectivity, energy supplies and trade

• The port is also a key link in the International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC), a multi-modal network of ships, rail and road routes to move freight between India to Russia via Iran.


Significance of Chabahar Port:


• It will facilitate India’s role in Afghanistan’s development through infrastructure and education projects.

• It is the nearest port to India on the Iranian coast, which provides access to the resources and markets of Afghanistan and Central Asia.

• It is located 76 nautical miles (less than 150km) west of the Pakistani port of Gwadar, being developed by China; this makes it ideal
for keeping track of Chinese or Pakistani military activity based
out of Gwadar.


Chabahar Port (UPSC)

Leopard Cat
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Leopard Cat :


Why in News?


Rare Leopard cat spotted in Maharashtra’s Pench Tiger Reserve


Leopard Cat:


• A species of forest-dwelling cat, of the family Felidae.

• It is noted for its leopard-like coloring.

• Most widely distributed Asian small cats.


Range extends from the Amur region in the Russian Far East over the Korean Peninsula, China, Indochina, the Indian Subcontinent, to the West in north-ern Pakistan, and to the south in the Philippines and the Sunda Islands of Indonesia.


Leopard Cat:


• They live in tropical evergreen rainforests.

• Vary widely in size and appearance across their range. The coloration ranges from pale tawny to yellow, red, or grey above, with
the underparts white and spotted.

• There are usually four black stripes running down the forehead to the nape, breaking up into short bands and elongating spots on
the shoulders.

• They are solitary, nocturnal carnivores.

Conservation Status: IUCN
Red List: Least Concern


Leopard Cat (UPSC)

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DigiLocker :


• DigiLocker is a flagship initiative of the Ministry of Electronics & IT (MeitY) under the Digital India programme.

• DigiLocker aims at ‘Digital Empowerment’ of citizens by providing access to authentic digital documents to citizen’s digital document

• The issued documents in DigiLocker system are deemed to be at par with original physical documents as per Rule 9A of the Information Technology (Preservation and Retention of Information by Intermediaries providing Digital Locker facilities) Rules, 2016.


Benefits to Citizens:


• Important Documents Anytime, Anywhere!

Authentic Documents, Legally at Par with Originals.

Digital Document Exchange with the consent of the citizen.

Faster service Delivery– Government Benefits, Employment, Financial Inclusion, Education, Health.


DigiLocker (UPSC)

Jiadhal River
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Why in News?


The tranquil flow of the Jiadhal river is now being disrupted by the harsh realities of climate change.


Jiadhal River :

It is a Northern Sub-tributary of the river Brahmaputra originates in the sub-Himalayan rough a narrow gorge in Arunachal Pradesh, the river enters the plains of Assam in Dhemaji district where it flows in braided channels.


Key facts about Jiadhal River:


• Jiadhal river is known for frequent changing of its course and devastating floods.

• Also known as ‘Sorrow of Dhemaji’ for the heavy damage caused by annual flood and erosion.

• The river is known as ‘Kumotiya’ from the Railway line to the Gogamukh – Ghilamara P.W.D. road wherefrom it is known as the river ‘Sampara’.

• The river finally debouches into the river Brahmaputra near Selamukh.

• But after construction of the embankment over the Kherkutiya Suti of the Brahmaputra, the river falls into the Subansiri River.


Key facts about Jiadhal River:


• The river Jiadhal carries heavy silt load from the catchment area during the flood season and deposits the silt on its bed in the plains.

• Due to this fact, the riverbed has risen up considerably.

• As a result the river follows a braided pattern and its width is more than 3km in some of the reaches.


Jiadhal River (UPSC)

Nagarjunasagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve
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Nagarjunasagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve:


• Two major dams located in the region, namely Nagarjuna Sagar Dam and the Srisailam Dam, are contributors to the name of Tiger Reserve Nagarjuna-Srisailam.

•Nagarjunasagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve is situated in the Nallamala hill range, part of the Eastern Ghats in Andhra Pradesh.

• It attained tiger status in 1983.


Lumpy Skin Disease:


• The tiger reserve encompasses Nallamala Hill and spans across five districts of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

• The Krishna River bisects it.

Area: It is the largest tiger reserve in the country. The total area of the tiger reserve is 3727 km sq.


Nagarjunasagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve (UPSC)

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Location: Situated in the southern part of Delhi and extends into Faridabad and Gurugram districts of Haryana.

Spread: Occupies 32.71 sq. km on the Aravalli hill range’s Southern Delhi Ridge, bordering Delhi and Haryana.

Connectivity: Forms a part of Rajasthan’s Sariska Tiger Reserve to the Delhi Ridge.

Vegetation: Classified under Northern Tropical Thorn Forests.

Plant Adaptations: Features plants with xerophytic characteristics like thorns, wax coated and succulent leaves.

Flora: Characterized by the presence of the exotic Prosopis juliflora and the native Diospyros montana.

Wildlife Diversity: Home to species such as Golden Jackals, Striped-Hyenas, Indian Crested-Porcupines, Civets, Jungle Cats, various snakes, Monitor Lizards, and Mongoose.



Demographic Dividend
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Demographic shift refers to a change in the composition of a population over time.


Main Reasons:


1. Changes in birth and death rates,
2. Migration patterns
3. changes in socio-economic conditions


Demographic dividend is a phenomenon that occurs when a country’s population has a higher proportion of working-age adults.




» India entered the demographic dividend opportunity window in 2005-06 and will remain there till 2055-56.

» India’s median age is markedly lower than that of the US(38) or China(39).


Challenges of Demographic Dividend:


» Low Female Labour Force Participation: As per Periodic Labour Force Survey 2020- 2021 only 25.1%.

» Environmental Degradation: due to India’s rapid economic growth and urbanisation

» High Dropout Rate due to lack of trained teachers, poverty etc.

» Lack of Employment Opportunities

» Lack of Adequate Infrastructure makes it challenging for people particularly in rural areas to reap benefits of economic development.

» Brain Drain: Many of highly skilled Indians choose to leave the country in search of better job opportunities.


Demographic Dividend (UPSC)

Gulf of Tonkin
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Why in News?


China draws Gulf of Tonkin baseline allegedly violating international law


About Gulf of Tonkin:


Situated northwest arm of the South China Sea, bounded by China (north and east), Hainan Island (east), and northern Vietnam (west).


⇒ The gulf is 300 miles (500 km) long, 150 miles (250 km) wide, and up to 230 feet (70 metres) deep.

⇒ The main shipping route is via the Hainan Strait, between China and Hainan Island.

⇒ The gulf receives the Red River, and its main ports include Ben Thuy and Haiphong in northern Vietnam and Beihai (Pakhai) in China.


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Gulf of Tonkin (UPSC)

Gaganyaan Mission
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Why in News?


4 IAF pilots named as possible Gaganyaan crew.


Indian Air Force pilots selected:


1. Group Captain Prasanth Balakrishnan Nair,
2. Group Captain Ajit Krishnan,
3. Group Captain Angad Pratap, and
4. Wing Commander Shubhanshu Shukla.


Training and Selection:


» Training in various aspects of space flight, initially in Russia and later at ISRO’s Astronaut Training Facility in Bengaluru.

» Astronauts presented with ‘astronaut wings’ by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.


Gaganyaan Mission Objectives:


» Designed to demonstrate India’s capability for human space flight to Low Earth Orbit (LEO).

» Aiming to establish a sustained Indian human space exploration program.


Preparation and Tests:


» Various tests in progress, including Integrated Air Drop tests, Test Vehicle Missions, and pad Abort Tests.

» Unmanned flights scheduled before the actual crewed mission.

» ISRO plans to send astronauts to the moon by 2040.


ISRO’s Technological Developments:


⇒ Integration Facilities (PIF) at Sriharikota to increase PSLV missions from 6 to 15 annually.

⇒ SIET for testing SCE-2000 semi-cryogenic engine to enhance payload capability.


Display of Equipment:


⇒ ISRO chairman S. Somanath showcased equipment related to Gaganyaan, including ‘Vyommitra,’ a humanoid robot.

⇒ Display included the Trisonic Wind Tunnel, aiding in assessing aerodynamic characteristics of rockets and aircraft.


Gaganyaan Mission (UPSC)

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Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment
Guarantee Act, 2005 (MGNREGA):
Demand-driven & Right-based program.


Why in News?


Budget progressively came down from 2021 but increased in 2024.


Key Provisions of MGNREGA:


» Eligibility Criteria: Includes citizenship, 18+ age, rural household status, and willingness to do unskilled work.

» Application must be made with local Gram Panchayat.

» Guaranteed Employment: Ensures 100 days of unskilled employment.

» Wages: Varies state to state; Rs. 234 (lowest) to Rs. 374 (Highest)

» Unemployment Allowance: If work is not assigned within 15 days. It is at least one-fourth of the minimum wage for the first 30 days & half of the minimum wage thereafter.


Category of works:


→ Water conservation and water harvesting

→ Drought proofing, plantation and afforestation

→ Irrigation canals, Micro and minor irrigation works

→ Renovation of traditional water bodies

→ Land development, flood control and protection

→ Rural connectivity



Vaikom Satyagraha
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Background of Satyagraha:


» Christian missionaries, supported by the East India Company, had expanded their reach and many lower castes converted to Christianity.

» Maharaja Ayilyam Thirunal, took many progressive reforms (Introduction of a modern education system with free primary education for all – even lower castes).

» Forces of capitalism and these reforms created new social hierarchies.

» Role of Women: Periyar’s wife Nagammai and sister Kannammal, played an unprecedented role in the fight.

» Arrival of Gandhi ji: Mahatma Gandhi arrived at Vaikom in March 1925, held a series of discussions with leaders of various caste groups and met Maharani Regent at her Varkala camp.

» The Vaikom Satyagraha was officially withdrawn on November 30, 1925 after consultations between Gandhi ji and W.H. Pitt (Police commissioner of Travancore)


Outcome of Satyagraha:


Three out of the our roads surrounding the temples were opened up for everyone, but the fourth (eastern) road was kept reserved for brahmins.


Vaikom Satyagraha (UPSC)

Katchatheevu Island
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Katchatheevu Island


Katchatheevu, an uninhibited offshore island in the Palk Strait,is administered by Sri Lanka.


⇒ Though the island was jointly managed by India and Sri Lanka allowing the fishermen of both countries to dry their nets there, it was ceded to Sri Lanka in 1974.

⇒ Since then, Katchatheevu has remained an issue with some political parties in Tamil Nadu demanding that the island be returned to benefit the fishermen of India.


Historical background:


• In 1974, Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi of India and Sirima R.D. Bandaranaike of Sri Lanka signed an agreement that recognized Katchatheevu as part of Sri Lanka’s territory, resulting in a change of ownership.

• The agreement also allowed Indian fishermen to fish around the island, dry their nets on it, and permitted Indian pilgrims to visit the Catholic shrine located on the island.


Katchatheevu Island (UPSC)

Core Sector
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Why in News?


India’s core sector output rose to a three-month high of 6.7% in February.


What is Core Sector?


» It comprises eight core industries namely cement, coal, crude oil, electricity, fertilizers, natural gas, refinery products and steel.

» The Eight Core Industries comprise 40.27 percent of the weight of items included in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP).


IIP (Index of Industrial Production):


1. IIP is an index that indicates the performance of various industrial sectors of the Indian economy.

2. List of sectors: Use-based sectors like capital goods, basic goods, intermediate goods, infrastructure goods, consumer durables, and consumer non-durables.

3. It is calculated and published by the Central Statistical Organization (CSO) every month.

4. Base year : 2011-12


Core Sector (UPSC)

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
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Why in News?


Rohingya Refugee crisis




⇒ It is a UN Refugee Agency and a global organization dedicated to saving lives, protecting the rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people.
⇒ Establishment: 1950

⇒ Headquarter: Geneva, Switzerland

⇒ UNHCR is governed by the UNGA and the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)

⇒ It is guided by and acts as the guardian of the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol.


Note: India is not a party to the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol.


Rohingya refugees:


» Rohingya, an ethnic group, mostly Muslim, hail from the Rakhine province of western Myanmar and speak a Bengali dialect.

» Myanmar has classified them as “resident foreigners” or “associate citizens.

» They were forced to leave Myanmar in large numbers after several waves of violence, which first began in 2012.


United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) (UPSC)

Juice Jacking
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Juice Jacking


⇒ Term “juice jacking” was first coined in 2011 by investigative journalist Brian Krebs.

⇒ A form of cyberattack where a public USB charging port is tampered.

⇒ Attack is used by hackers to steal users’ passwords, credit card information, addresses, and other sensitive data stored on the targeted device.

⇒This type of attack has been a growing concern, with incidents reported in various public spaces such as airports, hotels, and shopping centres.

⇒ RBI emphasised the importance of protecting personal and financial data while using mobile devices.



Juice Jacking (UPSC)

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BIMA SUGAM is an online platform where customers can choose a suitable insurance service from multiple options given by various insurance companies.


Key points:


» All insurance requirements, including those for life, health, and general insurance (including motor and travel) will be met by Bima Sugam.


»This platform will help in the settlement of claims, whether it is health coverage or death claims, in a paperless manner.


• Platform to be launched by June 2024.


Steps taken by IRDAI related to BIMA SUGAM:


⇒ IRDAI has appointed a committee for the creation of the platform.

⇒ It now plans to go for requests for proposals soon to appoint a service provider for the platform.

⇒ The service providers will be the technological partners for creating and running a platform to provide all the services in one place.


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Global Women’s political Participation
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Why in News?


Charting women’s trajectory in parliaments globally.


Historical Context:


Women’s political participation improved in the latter 20th century, marked by progress in securing voting rights and parliamentary seats, but women remain underrepresented in top political leadership positions.




1. Universal Right to Vote:

(a) New Zealand granted universal suffrage to women in 1893, pioneering gender equality in voting rights.

(b) By World War II, men had voting rights in a higher proportion of countries compared to women, but the gap rapidly closed afterward.


2. Gender Gap in Chief-executive Roles:

(a) V-Dem Project Data: Most political chief executives globally have been men, with limited increases in female leadership over the past three decades.

(b) Persistent Disparity: Women remain underrepresented in top political leadership positions.


Global Scenario for Women’s Parliamentarian Share:


1.Rwanda’s Milestone: Rwanda achieved over 50% women’s representation in parliament in 2008, setting a precedent for gender equality.

2.Other Countries’ Progress: Several nations saw significant proportions of women parliamentarians in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

3.Recent Trends (Since 2022): Despite progress, women’s political representation remains low and inconsistent globally, with extreme gender disparities in some countries.


Significant Steps Taken:


1.Gender Quota Legislation in India: Approval of a landmark bill reserving 33% of parliament seats for women.

2.Political Will: Some political parties are actively nominating more women for assembly and parliament elections.

3.Empowerment Through Representation: Increasing women’s representation in political parties is crucial for enhancing political participation.




Despite progress, women’s political representation globally remains low. Quotas, combating violence, media reform, and supporting women’s caucuses are essential for fostering inclusive democracy and enhancing female participation in parliaments.


Global Women’s political Participation (UPSC)

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Why in News?


Prime Minister’s visit to Bhutan


Equality and Respect:

» Respectful relationship for over 50 years.
» Treating each other as equals, respecting each other’s sovereignty and unique identities.


Mutual Trust and Cooperation:

» India has consistently respected Bhutan’s identity, religious practices, and economic aspirations, while Bhutan has looked to India for support in its growth and development.
» Mutual trust leading to a unique level of cooperation.


Gelephu Mindfulness City Project:

1. Aim to attract foreign investment and promote prosperity, with India expected to play a significant role.
2. Sustainability and environmental concerns are prioritized, aligning with Bhutan’s status as a carbon-negative country.
3. The project emphasizes human well-being, including yoga, spa therapies, and mental relaxation channels.


Hydropower Cooperation:

Punatsangchhu River

1. Punatsangchhu Stage-I (Puna-I) : 1,200 MW
2. Punatsangchhu Stage-II (Puna-II) : 1,020 MW


Future Measures:

1.India can further contribute to the success of the Gelephu Mindfulness City by initiating direct flights, providing technology and infrastructure expertise, and encouraging tourism and business ventures.
2.The success of Gelephu will have positive socio-economic impacts on neighboring regions, exemplifying the mutually beneficial nature of India-Bhutan cooperation.



Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI)
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Why in News?


India’s manufacturing PMI inched up to 56.9 in February.


Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI)


» It is an index of the prevailing direction of economic trends in the manufacturing and service sectors.

» It is an economic indicator, which is derived after monthly surveys of different companies.


There are two types of PMI:


– Manufacturing PMI and
– Services PMI.


• A combined index is also made using both manufacturing PMI and services PMI.


Calculation of PMI:


» It is indicated by a number from 0 to 100.

» A print above 50 means expansion while a score below 50 denotes contraction.

» A reading at 50 indicates no change.

»If the previous month PMI is higher than the current month PMI, it represents that the economy is contracting.



Purpose of PMI:


» To provide information about current and future business conditions to company decision-makers, analysts, and investors.

» The index helps in determining whether the market conditions, as seen by purchasing managers, is expanding, contracting or staying
the same.


Significance of PMI:


⇒ The index is released much before most of the official data on industrial output, manufacturing and GDP growth becomes available.
Hence, it is considered a good leading indicator of economic activity.

⇒ Central banks of many countries also use the index to help make decisions on interest rates.

⇒ It also gives an indication of corporate earnings and is closely watched by investors as well as the bond markets.

⇒A good reading of index enhances the attractiveness of an economy vis-a-vis another competing economy.


Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) (UPSC)

Parliamentary Immunity
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Why in News?


Legislatures are no noger immune to bribery charges even within the Legislative house


Supreme Court’s Landmark Order on Parliamentary Immunity


» SC overruled its 1998 judgment in the JMM bribery case, which granted immunity to Members of Parliament (MPs) and State Legislatures against prosecution for taking bribes to vote or speak in a certain manner in the House.


Scope of Judicial Review:


• The Supreme Court extended the scope for judicial review of the actions of MPs and MLAs, stating that claims to parliamentary privilege can be subject to judicial review.

• It emphasized that only Parliament cannot have the final say on the issue, allowing the judiciary to intervene when necessary.


Interpretation of Constitutional Provisions:


» The case deals with the interpretation of Articles 105(2) and 194(2) of the Constitution, which provide parliamentary privilege and immunity to MPs and MLAs against criminal prosecution for any speech or vote in the House

» Article 105(2) & 194(2) ensures that MPs & MLAs can perform their duties without fear of legal consequences.





⇒ A significant shift in the interpretation of parliamentary privilege, emphasizing the importance of accountability & transparency in democratic institutions.

⇒ It reaffirms the principle that no one is above the law, including elected representatives.


Parliamentary Immunity (UPSC)

Article 371 and Part XXI of the Indian Constitution
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Article 371 – 371J


Why in News?

In a meeting with representatives from Ladakh, which has been witnessing protests recently, Union Home Minister Amit Shah offered to extend Article 371-like protections to the region.


Article 371 and Part XXI of the Indian Constitution:


• Article 371 of the Indian Constitution encompasses special provisions for twelve states, including Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Telangana, Sikkim, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Nagaland, Goa, Manipur, and Karnataka.

• Each sub-article from Article 371A to 371J contains specific provisions tailored to address the unique needs and concerns of these states.


Purpose and Objectives:


⇒ The creation of Article 371 aimed to safeguard the interests of populations residing in backward regions.

⇒ Its provisions are designed to protect the economic and cultural interests of backward classes within these states, ensuring that their development is not compromised in any way.


Coverage and Significance:


⇒ Article 371 is integral to the functioning of various states, providing them with essential provisions to support their governance and development.

⇒ It ensures that the law is applied in these regions without undermining the socio economic and cultural fabric of the communities residing there.


Part 21 of the Indian Constitution:


⇒ Part XXI of the Indian Constitution encompasses both temporary and permanent provisions related to different states across the country.

⇒ It includes a range of articles from Article 371 to Article 392, each addressing specific aspects of governance, administration, and special provisions for states.


Scope and Content:


⇒ Part 21 earlier also featured Article 370, a controversial provision that was revoked in 2019, thereby altering the landscape of special provisions within the Indian Constitution.

⇒ Apart from the provisions related to states under Article 371, Part 21 also covers articles concerning the powers of the President and their authority to address challenging situations during times of crisis..


Article 371 and Part XXI of the Indian Constitution (UPSC)

Project Seabird
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Why in News?


Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurate infrastructure projects at Indian navy’s Karwar project.


Project Seabird :


⇒ It involves creation of a naval base at Karwar, Karnataka, on the west coast of India.


Key Points :


• In the post-Indo-Pak War of 1971 scenario, India learned that the Indian Navy needs an additional naval base since Mumbai Harbour faced congestion, which led to security issues for its Western Fleet.

•It was initially sanctioned in 1985, and the foundation stone was laid on October 24, 1986, by Rajiv Gandhi.

•This is a massive project with the first sealift facility in the country and a transfer system for docking and undocking ships and submarines.


Project Seabird :


• Its first phase, which included the construction of a deep-sea harbour, breakwaters dredging, a township, a naval hospital, a dockyard uplift center and a ship lift, was commissioned in 2005.

• The development of phase 2 of INS Kadamba commenced in 2011.

• This phase is further divided into 2A and 2B. It was planned to expand the facilities to dock additional warships and a new Naval Air Station, among other projects.

• Once completed, it will be the largest naval base in the Eastern Hemisphere.

• It will be able to accommodate around 32 warships, 23 submarines and hangers for several aircraft.


Project Seabird (UPSC)

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Why in News?


The High-level Committee on Simultaneous Elections constituted under the Chairman-ship of Shri Ram Nath Kovind, former President of India, met the Hon’ble President of India, Shrimati Droupadi Murmu, and submitted its Report.


Simultaneous Elections :


‘Simultaneous Elections’ is defined as structuring the Indian election cycle in a manner such that elections to Lok Sabha and State Assemblies are synchronized together.




Simultaneous elections reduce distractions to governance and allow elected governments to focus on developmental and welfare activities. Voters are spared from multiple rounds of voting throughout the year, ensuring better turnout and convenience.


Fulfilling the idea of one nation one election  (ONOE)?


The concept of “one nation, one election” refers to holding elections to Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies simultaneously, once in five years.




1.  First General Elections to the House of People (Lok Sabha) and all State Legislative Assemblies were held simultaneously in 1951-52.
2. That practice continued in three subsequent General Elections held in the years 1957,1962 and 1967. However, due to the premature dissolution of some Legislative Assemblies in 1968 and 1969, the cycle got disrupted.
3. In 1970, the Lok Sabha was itself dissolved prematurely and fresh elections were held in 1971. Thus, the First, Second and Third Lok Sabha enjoyed full five year terms.
4. The term of the Fifth Lok Sabha was extended till 1977 under Article 352. After that, the Eighth, Tenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth Lok Sabha could complete their full five year terms. The Sixth, Seventh, Ninth, Eleventh, Twelfth and Thirteenth Lok Sabha was dissolved prematurely.
5. As a result of premature dissolutions and extension of terms of both the Lok Sabha and various State Legislative Assemblies, for the last forty-eight years there have been separate elections to Lok Sabha and States Legislatures.




1. Reducing Election expenditure.
2. Better Governance.
3. Voter convenience.
4. Reducing Security concerns.
5. Level playing field.
6. Reducing impact on education.



1. Recommendation of Parliamentary Standing Committee, according to which elections to some legislative assemblies whose term end within six months to one year before or after the election date could be held during the midterm of the Lok Sabha.
2. For the rest of the states, elections could be held along with the general elections to Lok Sabha.
3.Cost can be brought under control by ensuring that the legal cap on the expenditure of candidates is followed by all parties.



Electoral bonds Scheme
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Why in News?


The Supreme Court mandated the SBI to disclose details of electoral bonds to the ECI for transparency by March 31, 2024.

What are electoral bonds? 


> Electoral bonds are a financial instrument introduced by the Government of India in 2018 to facilitate anonymous political donations.

> With a objective to cleanse the system of political funding in the country and brining about ‘transparency in electoral funding’ in India.

> Electoral bounds will allow donors to pay political parties using banks as an intermediary.

> Although called a bond, the banking instrument resembling promissory notes will not carry any interest.

> The electoral bond, which will be a bearer instrument, will not carry the name of the payee and can be bought for any value, in multiples of Rs 1,000, Rs 10,000, Rs 1 lakh, Rs 10 lakh or Rs 1 crore.



>> As per provisions of the Scheme, electoral bonds may be purchased by a citizen of India, or entities incorporated or established in India.

>> A person being an individual can buy electoral bonds, either singly or jointly with other individuals.

>> Only the registered Political Parties which have secured not less than one per cent of the votes polled in the last Lok Sabha elections or the State Legislative Assembly are eligible to receive the Electoral Bonds.


Features :

• State Bank of India (SBI) issues the bonds in denominations of Rs 1,000, Rs 1 lakh, Rs 10 lakh, and 1 Crore.

• Payable to the bearer on demand and interest-free.

• Valid for 15 calendar days from the date of issue.

• State Bank of India (SBI) is the authorized issuer.


Why we need Electoral bond?


The electoral bonds are aimed at rooting out the current system of largely anonymous cash donations made to political parties which lead to the generation of black money in the economy.


Associated problems :


1.The move could be misused.
2.Electoral bonds make electoral funding even more opaque. It will bring more and more black money into the political system.
3. With electoral bonds there will be legal challenges for companies  to round trip their tax heaven cash.




1.Implement partial state funding for political parties.
2.Consider a Nayional Electoral fund(where donors contribute anonymously, and funds are allocated to parties based on their vote share).
3.Enforce a complete ban on cash donations.
4.Strengthen auditing of party accounts.


Electoral bonds (UPSC)

National Creators Award
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Why in News?


Prime Minister Narendra Modi presented the inaugural National Creators Award at Bharat Mandapam in New Delhi.


Creators Award


⇒ The awards were given to recognize young talent across 20 categories, including storytelling, social change advocacy, environmental sustainability, education, gaming, and more.

⇒ Over 1.5 lakh nominations were received across 20 categories, with approximately 10 lakh votes cast for digital creators.


Award Categories and Winners:


The awards recognized skills, excellence, and impact across various domains. Some notable winners include:


> Best Creator for Social Change: Jaya Kishori
> Best International Creator: Drew Hicks
> Disruptor of the Year: Ranveer Allahbadia (BeerBiceps)
> Celebrity Creator of the Year: Aman Gupta
> Favourite Travel Creator: Kamiya Jani
> Best Creator in Food Category: Kabita Singh (Kabita’s Kitchen)
> Most Creative Creator (Male): RJ Raunac (Bauaa)
> Most Creative Creator (Female): Shraddha Jain
> Heritage Fashion Icon Award: Jahnvi Singh
> Swachhta Ambassador Award: Malhar Kalambe




Encouraging “Create on India” Movement :

– During the event, PM Modi urged digital content creators to showcase India’s culture and heritage through their content.
– He called for a “Create on India” movement, encouraging creators to share.


Celebrating Women’s Contributions:

– Coinciding with International Women’s Day, PM Modi praised the rise of women and their contributions to India’s economy.
–  He noted that several award winners were women and acknowledged the significant economic activity performed by women in villages, tribal belts, and mountain areas.


India’s Leadership in Fashion:

– While presenting the “Heritage Fashion Icon Award” to Jahnvi Singh, PM Modi asserted that India has been a leader in the world of fashion.


Recognizing Talent and Impact:

– PM Modi commended the content creators’ talent and the significant impact their work has on the country, referring to them as the “internet’s MVP” (Most Valuable Person).


National Creators Award (UPSC)

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Why in News?


WHO issues report for Tobacco control, key findings how India flares.


MPOWER measures :


In line with the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), WHO introduced the MPOWER measures in 2008. MPOWER are a set of six cost-effective and high impact measures that help countries reduce demand for tobacco.

These measures include:

1.Monitoring tobacco use and prevention policies.
2.Protecting people from tobacco smoke.
3.Offering help to quit tobacco use.
4.Warning about the dangers of tobacco.
5.Enforcing bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.
6.Raising taxes on tobacco.



There are at least 44 countries in the world that still do not implement any MPOWER measure. There are 53 countries that do not completely ban smoking in healthcare facilities. And only half of the countries have smoke-free workplaces and restaurants.



1.When it comes to India, the report states that the country has the highest level of achievement when it comes to putting health warning labels on tobacco products and providing tobacco dependence treatment.
2.With 85% of cigarette packs carrying health warnings both on the front and back, India figures among the top 10 countries in terms of the size of health warnings.
3. The cigarette packets in the country also carry a toll-free number.


Other initiatives of India


Government of India launched the National Tobacco Control Programme (NTCP) in the year 2007-08 during the 11th Five-Year-Plan, with the aim to

(i) create awareness about the harmful effects of tobacco consumption,
(ii) reduce the production and supply of tobacco products.


⇒The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 (COTPA 2003) to discourage the consumption of tobacco products in order to protect the masses.



WHO urges all countries to put in place all of the MPOWER measures at best-practice level to fight the tobacco epidemic, which kills 8.7 million people globally, and push back against the tobacco and nicotine industries, who lobby against these public health measures.



Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019
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Why in News?

The Union Home Ministry notified the rules for implementation of the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) 2019 on Monday.



The Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAA Bill) was first introduced in 2016 in Lok Sabha by amending the Citizenship Act of 1955.
It exempts the members of the six communities from any criminal case under the:
1. Foreigners Act, 1946
2. Passport Act, 1920.


Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), 2019:
Key Provisions
  • Basic idea: CAA, 2019, aims to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955, to grant Indian citizenship to specific categories of illegal migrants.
  • Eligible Religions: CAA targets Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, and Christian illegal migrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, making them eligible for Indian citizenship.
  • Residence Requirement: The Citizenship Act, 1955, normally requires 11 of the previous 14 years of residence in India as a condition for naturalization.
  • Amendment: The CAA reduces this requirement to 6 years for applicants belonging to the specified religions and countries.
  • Exemption from Criminal Cases: Members of the designated communities are exempted from criminal cases under the Foreigners Act, 1946, and the Passport Act, 1920, if they entered India before December 31, 2014.


Defining Illegal Migrants:
  • Status under Present Laws: Existing laws prohibit illegal migrants from acquiring Indian citizenship.
  • CAA’s Definition: CAA classifies an illegal migrant as a foreigner who enters India without valid travel documents (passport and
    visa) or overstays beyond the allowed period.
  • Penalties: Illegal migrants can face imprisonment or deportation under the Foreigners Act, 1946, and The Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920.


Exceptions under CAA:
  • The Act does not apply to tribal areas of Tripura, Mizoram, Assam and Meghalaya because of being included in the 6 schedule of Constitution.
  • Also areas that fall under the Inner Limit notified under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873, will also be outside the Act’s purview.
  • At present, four Northeastern states are covered, namely, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur and Nagaland.
  • Inner Line Permit is also mandatory for entering Lakshadweep.


Related laws:

Foreigners Act, 1946,
⇒ Registration of Foreigners Act, 1939,
⇒ Passports Act (1967),
⇒ Extradition Act, 1962,
⇒ Citizenship Act, 1955 (including its controversial 2019 amendment).
⇒ Foreigners Order, 1948:

All of which club all foreign individuals together as “aliens”.


Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (UPSC)

Bengaluru's Severe Water Scarcity
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What is causing it?


Reduced Rainfall and Empty Water Reservoirs:

1. Insufficient rainfall in recent monsoons has impacted the Cauvery River, a primary
water source for Bengaluru.
2. Karnataka experienced a 38% deficit in north-east Monsoon and a 25% deficit in
southwest monsoon rain.
3. Water levels in key reservoirs like Harangi, Hemavathi, and Kabini are at only 39% of their total capacity.


Depletion of Groundwater Sources:

1. Rapid urbanization has led to the concretization of natural landscapes, reducing groundwater recharge.
2. Increased reliance on borewells for water exacerbates groundwater depletion, with many borewells drying up.


Inadequate Infrastructure:

1.Bengaluru’s infrastructure has not kept pace with its population growth, hindering efficient water distribution.
2. The completion of Phase-5 of the Cauvery project is expected to alleviate some water supply issues by May 2024.


Climate Change:

1.Changing weather patterns, including erratic rainfall and prolonged droughts,
attributed to climate change, reduce water availability.
2. The El Niño phenomenon has been linked to poor rainfall in the region.


Pollution of Water Bodies:

1. Industrial discharge, untreated sewage, and solid waste dumping have polluted water sources, making them unfit for consumption.
2. Around 85% of Bengaluru’s water bodies are contaminated, according to a study by EMPRI.


Legal and Political Challenges:

1. Disputes over water sharing between Karnataka and neighbouring states, particularly regarding rivers like the Cauvery, complicate water resource management.
2. Tussles between central and state governments over funds allocation for drought  relief exacerbate the situation.


Bengaluru’s water scarcity crisis stems from a combination of natural factors, urbanization, inadequate infrastructure, pollution, mismanagement, and legal disputes. Addressing these challenges requires comprehensive measures and collaboration between stakeholders to ensure sustainable water management.


Bengaluru’s Severe Water Scarcity (UPSC)

Can a justice system without women can deliver justice to women?


State of Women in Judiciary

1. Last 70 years, no significant attempt has been made to provide adequate representation for women.
2. Only 11 women judges on the Supreme Court since its inception, and no women Chief Justices.
3. Just 83 of the 680 judges in the high courts are women.
4. Only 30% of subordinate judges are female.
5.There are three women judges in the top court at present including Justice Kohli, B V Nagarathna, and Trivedi.
6.Justice Nagarathna is also set to become first woman Chief Justice in 2027.
7. The first all-women bench was set up in 2013 when a bench of Justices Gyan Sudha Misra and Ranjana Prakash Desai was constituted followed by a bench of Justices R Banumathi and Indira Banerjee in 2018.


Reasons for Low Women Representatives

1.Patriarchy in Society
2. Opaque Collegium System Functioning
3.No Women Reservation
4. Familial Responsibilities
5. Not Enough Women in Litigation
6.Judicial Infrastructure


Why is High Women’s Representation Important

1.Will substantially improve the justice delivery system.
2.Bring to the law a different perspective, one that is built upon their experience.
3.They also have a more nuanced understanding of the differing impacts
4. Enhance the legitimacy of courts, sending a powerful signal that they are open and accessible to those who seek recourse to justice.
5.To take a balanced and empathic approach to cases surrounding sexual violence.