Aug. 31, 2023

Mains Article
31 Aug 2023

Cross the Boulders in the Indus Water Treaty


  • In January this year, Pakistan ‘unilaterally’ initiated arbitration at the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) to address the interpretation and application of the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT).
  • India raised objections as it views that the Court of Arbitration is not competent to consider the questions put to it by Pakistan and that such questions should instead be decided through the neutral expert process.

Indus Water Treaty (IWT)

  • IWT was signed in 1960 between India and Pakistan and was brokered by the World Bank, which too is a signatory to the treaty.
  • The treaty fixed the rights and obligations of both countries concerning the use of the waters of the Indus River system.
  • It gives control over the waters of the three ‘eastern rivers’ -the Beas, Ravi, and Sutlej - to India, while control over the waters of the three ‘western rivers’ -the Indus, Chenab, and Jhelum - to Pakistan.
  • The treaty allows India to use the western river waters for limited irrigation use and unlimited non-consumptive use for such applications as power generation, navigation, fish culture, etc.
  • It lays down detailed regulations for India in building projects over the western rivers. 

A Background of Conflict over IWT

  • Indian Decision to Modify IWT
    • In January, India announced the desire to modify the 62-year-old IWT with Pakistan, citing what it called Pakistan's unwillingness to find a solution to disputes over the Kishanganga and Ratle hydropower projects, both in J&K.
    • Two hydroelectric power projects, one on the Kishanganga river (a tributary of the Jhelum), and the other on the Chenab (Ratle), have been the subject of a prolonged controversy.
    • India called for modifications to the treaty as per Article XII (3) of the IWT which specify that provisions of the treaty may from time to time be modified for any specific purpose between the two Governments.
    • The notice comes as a result of Pakistan's continuous inaction in enforcing the IWT by repeatedly objecting to the development of hydroelectric projects on the Indian side.
  • Pakistan’s Decision to Approach Arbitration Court
    • Pakistan initiated arbitration at the PCA to address the interpretation and application of the IWT to certain design elements of two run-of-river hydroelectric projects.
    • Pakistan first raised its concerns over the Kishanganga project in 2006 and the Ratle project on the Chenab in 2012.Pakistan contended that India’s plan is not in line with the IWT. 
  • India’s Objection to Arbitration
    • India protested Pakistan’s “unilateral” decision to approach a court of arbitration at The Hague in the Netherlands.
    • India raised objections as it views that the Court of Arbitration (CoA) is not competent to consider the questions put to it by Pakistan and that such questions should instead be decided through the neutral expert process.

Outcome of the Arbitration

  • India can Divert Water for Power Generation
    • In 2013, the CoA delivered the final judgment, ruling that the Kishanganga hydroelectric project is a run-of-river dam, and India under the IWT can divert water from the river Kishanganga/Neelum for power generation.
    • However, the court stated that India has to maintain a minimum flow of water in the Kishanganga/Neelum river to nine cusecs (cubic metre of water per second).
  • No Resolution Between India and Pakistan
    • After the Court of Arbitration (CoA)’s judgment, the two countries reached an amicable resolution on only one out of four issues that were expected to be resolved.
    • Despite several rounds of talks between the Indus Water Commissioners, Delhi and Islamabad could not resolve the other three matters relating to pondage and spillway configuration.
    • Consequently, Pakistan went to the World Bank accusing India of violating the IWT and the court’s verdict.
  • Rejection of India’s Objections to the Arbitration
    • On July 6, 2023, the PCA unanimously rejected India’s objections and said that it is competent to consider and determine the disputes set forth in Pakistan’s Request for Arbitration.

India’s Stand on PCA’s Decision

  • India has been abstaining from participating in the proceedings at the PCA and did not attend the present proceedings as well.
  • After the PCA made its observations, India said that it cannot be compelled to recognise or participate in illegal and parallel proceedings not envisaged by the Treaty.
  • India has been participating in the neutral expert’s proceedings whose first meeting was held at The Hague on February 27-28; the next meeting is scheduled in September.

Way Forward

  • Revisit the Treaty Rather than Court Action
    • The IWT is cited by many as an example of cooperation between two unfriendly neighbours for many reasons.
    • These include the IWT having survived several wars and phases of bitter relations, and it’s laying down of detailed procedures and criteria for dispute resolution.
    • In an atmosphere of a lack of trust between the two neighbours, the World Bank, a party to the IWT, may use its forumto forge a transnational alliance of epistemic communities (who share a common interest and knowledge to the use of the Indus waters).
    • This will help in building convergent state policies. Thus, revisiting the IWT is a much-needed step.
  • Address the Issue of Trust Deficit
    • Due to a wide trust deficit between the two countries, there is a remote chance of Pakistan accepting India’s request to renegotiate to modify some of the provisions in the IWT.
    • Hence, any such revisiting requires better ties and enduring trust between India and Pakistan.
  • Need to Involve Local Stakeholders: There is a need to involve local stakeholders also in any negotiation process between India and Pakistan on shared water issues.
  • A joint group comprising technocrats, climate experts, water management professionals, and scientists from both countries can be set up to look at the core of the problem.
  • Recognise common interests: To make the IWT work there is a need for the two countries to recognise their common interest in the optimum development of the Indus Rivers System.
  • Need New Amendments: The IWT was signed more than 60 years ago, therefore amendments may be needed due to changes in the situation in the Indus River Basin region.


  • The two countries should use bilateral dispute settlement mechanisms to discuss the sustainable uses of water resources.
  • Given the broad contours of the IWT, discussing and broadening transboundary governance issues in holistic terms could be the starting point for any dialogue regarding water disputes.
Editorial Analysis

Mains Article
31 Aug 2023

Understanding curbs on Rice Exports

Why in News?

  • In a move to check domestic rice prices and ensure domestic food security, the Union government has imposed certain restrictions on rice exports.

What’s in Today’s Article?

  • Rice Production (Current Season, Rice Exports, Government’s Intervention, Exporters’ Opinion, etc.)

Rice Production in the Current Season:

  • According to the Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, during the Rabi season 2022-2023, rice production was 13.8% less, at 158.95 lakh tonnes against 184.71 lakh tonnes during Rabi 2021-2022.
  • Kharif sowing data show that rice is sown on 384.05 lakh hectares this year as on August 25 compared with 367.83 lakh hectares during the same period last year.
  • Trade and rice millers say that new season crop arrivals will start after the first week of September and that El Nino effects are likely to impact arrivals to some extent.
  • Paddy prices that were ₹27 a kg last year this month are at ₹33 a kg now.

India’s Rice Exports:

  • India is the largest rice exporter globally with a 45% share in the world rice market.
  • Overall rice exports in April-May of 2023 were 21.1% higher compared with the same period last financial year.
  • In May alone, export of Basmati rice was 10.86% higher than its exports in May 2022.
  • The shipment of non-Basmati rice has been on the rise for the last three years and the export of Basmati rice in 2022-2023 was higher than the previous year.
  • The data shared by the government says that till August 17 this year, total rice exports (except broken rice) were 15% more at 7.3 million tonnes as against the 6.3 million tonnes during the corresponding period last year.
  • Thailand expects nearly 25% lower production in 2023-2024; Myanmar has stopped raw rice exports; and it is said to be low in Iraq and Iran as well.

What can Indian Farmers/Consumers Expect?

  • The government has increased the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for rice, and the paddy procured now by rice millers are at a price higher than the MSP.
    • Hence, the prices will not decline for farmers.
  • The restrictions on exports will ensure that there is no steep climb in rice prices in the market.
  • For domestic consumers, though there is a slight increase in rice prices at present, in the long run, availability is secured and prices are not expected to spiral.

Steps Taken by the Union Government:

  • To check domestic rice prices and ensure domestic food security, the Union government has prohibited the export of white (non-basmati) rice, levied a 20% export duty on par-boiled rice till October 15.
  • The government has also permitted the export of Basmati rice for contracts with value of $1,200 a tonne or above.
  • The export of broken rice has been prohibited since last September.
  • However, it is allowed on the basis of permission granted by the government to other countries to meet their food security needs and based on the request of their government.

What are Rice Exporters Saying?

  • Prices of Indian par-boiled rice in the international market is competitive even with the levy of a 20% duty.
  • When the global rice market is bullish, it will absorb volume in high prices too. Overall, the international demand is very high.
  • Also, countries such as Indonesia, which are rice exporters, are looking at imports (raw rice) now.
  • As per the rice exporters, the government should look at classifying rice as common rice and speciality rice for export policy decisions rather than classifying as Basmati and non-Basmati.
  • As many as 12 varieties of rice have Geographical Indication (GI) recognition and these should be insulated from general market interventions.
  • In the case of Basmati rice, the government should have permitted exports to continue or fixed the minimum value for exports at $900 a tonne.
    • Basmati is a speciality rice and new crop arrivals will start soon and there is no need for restrictions.
  • Since Indian rice quality and the consistency in supply is good, export demand is only going to increase further.

Mains Article
31 Aug 2023

Maritime Security in Pacific region: US ink new pact with Palau

Why in News?

  • The United States has signed a new agreement with Palau, which gives American ships the authorisation to unilaterally enforce maritime regulations in the tiny Pacific Island nation’s exclusive economic zone.
  • The agreement comes as both the U.S. and China are seeking to expand their influence in the Pacific, and follows pleas from Palau’s president for Washington’s help to deter Beijing’s “unwanted activities” in its coastal waters.

What’s in Today’s Article?

  • Where is Palau Located?
  • Role Played by the US in the Maritime Security of the Pacific Region
  • Challenges faced by the US’ Maritime Security Goals in the Pacific Region
  • About the Maritime Security Agreement signed by US with Palau
  • Significance of the Agreement between US and Palau 

Where is Palau Located?

  • Palau (officially the Republic of Palau with capital Ngerulmud) is an island country in the Micronesia sub-region of Oceania in the western Pacific.
  • The republic consists of approximately 340 islands and has a total area of 466 sq kms, making it one of the smallest countries in the world.
  • Having voted in a referendum against joining the Federated States of Micronesia in 1978, the islands gained full sovereignty in 1994 under a Compact of Free Association with the United States.
  • Politically, Palau is a presidential republic in free association with the United States, which provides defense, funding, and access to social services.

Role Played by the US in the Maritime Security of the Pacific Region:

  • The US is an Indo-Pacific power. The region stretches from the USA's Pacific coastline to the Indian Ocean.
    • The region is home to more than half of the world’s people, nearly two-thirds of the world’s economy, and 7 of the world’s largest militaries.
  • The 2nd World War reminded the US that its country could only be secure if Asia was secure as well.
  • So, in the post-war era, the US solidified its ties with the region, through ironclad treaty alliances with Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea (ROK), the Philippines, and Thailand.
    • This laid the foundation of security that allowed regional democracies to flourish through close trade and investment relationships with the US.
    • The passage of time has underscored the strategic necessity of the US’ consistent role.
  • At the end of the Cold War, the US considered but rejected the idea of withdrawing its military presence, understanding that the region held strategic value that would only grow in the 21st century.
  • Since then, administrations in the US have shared a commitment to the region.

Challenges faced by the US’ Maritime Security Goals in the Pacific Region:

  • In a quickly changing strategic landscape, American interests can only be advanced by anchoring itself in the region and strengthening the region itself, alongside its closest allies and partners.
  • This intensifying American focus is due in part to the fact that the Indo-Pacific faces mounting challenges, particularly from China (PRC).
  • The PRC is combining its economic, diplomatic, military, and technological might as it pursues a sphere of influence in the Indo-Pacific and seeks to become the world’s most influential power.
  • The PRC’s coercion and aggression spans the globe, but it is most acute in the Indo-Pacific.
  • From the conflict along the Line of Actual Control with India to the growing pressure on Taiwan and bullying of neighbors in the East and South China Seas, US’ allies bear much of the cost of the PRC’s harmful behavior.
  • In the process, the PRC is also undermining human rights and international law, including freedom of navigation, as well as other principles that have brought stability and prosperity to the Indo-Pacific

About the Maritime Security Agreement signed by US with Palau:

  • In the agreement, the US Coast Guard ships can enforce regulations inside Palau’s exclusive economic zone on behalf of the nation without a Palauan officer present.
  • This agreement helps Palau monitorits exclusive economic zone, protect against illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, and deter uninvited vessels from conducting questionable maneuvers within its water.
  • The partnership will help toward achieving the common goal of peace and prosperity in the region.

Significance of the Agreement between US and Palau:

  • Palau is one of the few countries that recognises Taiwan and maintains diplomatic relations with the island.
  • Elsewhere in the Pacific, the government of the Solomon Islands was persuaded to switch its diplomatic recognition of Taiwan to China in 2019.
  • Since then, the Solomons signed a secretive security pact with China that has given rise to concerns it could give Beijing a military foothold in the South Pacific.
    • The US has countered with diplomatic moves of its own, including opening an embassy in the Solomon Islands.
  • The agreement with Palau is similar to one concluded with the Federated States of Micronesia at the end of 2022. The US also signed a bilateral defense agreement with Papua New Guinea.
  • The agreements show the US’ ongoing investment in protecting shared resources and an interest in maritime safety and security.
  • This unity of effort with Pacific Island countries, including Palau, amplifies the US' collective ability to protect resources and maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific for all nations who observe the rule of law.
International Relations

Mains Article
31 Aug 2023

Super Blue Moon

Why in news?

  • The Raksha Bandhan full moon on August 30-31 will be unusual: it will be both a “blue moon” and a “super moon.
    • Rakhi is celebrated on the Purnima of the month of Shravan.
  • Hence, it will witness the occurrence of a "Super Blue Moon," an extraordinary convergence of three celestial phenomena.

What’s in today’s article?

  • Super Moon
  • Blue Moon

What is a super moon?

  • The orbit of the moon around the earth is not circular; it is elliptical, that is, an elongated or stretched-out circle. It takes the moon 27.3 days to orbit the earth.
    • It is 29.5 days from new moon to new moon, though.
    • This is because while the moon is orbiting the earth, both the earth and the moon are also moving around the sun.
    • Hence, it takes additional time for the sun to light up the moon in the same way as it does at the beginning of every revolution around the earth.
    • The new moon is the opposite of the full moon — it is the darkest part of the moon’s invisible phase, when its illuminated side is facing away from the earth.
  • The point closest to earth in the moon’s elliptical orbit is called perigee, and the point that is farthest is called apogee.
  • A super moon happens when the moon is passing through or is close to its perigee, and is also a full moon. This happens with a new moon as well, just that it is not visible.
    • A full moon occurs when the moon is directly opposite the sun (as seen from earth), and therefore, has its entire day side lit up.
    • The full moon appears as a brilliant circle in the sky that rises around sunset and sets around sunrise.
    • According to NASA, a full moon at perigee (super moon) is about 14% bigger and 30% brighter than a full moon at apogee (called a “micro moon”).

What is a blue moon?

  • Blue moon describes the situation when a full moon is seen twice in a single month.
  • Because the new moon to new moon cycle lasts 29.5 days, a time comes when the full moon occurs at the beginning of a month, and there are days left still for another full cycle to be completed.
    • Such a month, in which the full moon is seen on the 1st or 2nd, will have a second full moon on the 30th or 31st.
    • According to NASA, this happens every two or three years.
  • It is important to note that the term Blue Moon has nothing to do with the actual colour of the moon.
  • Moons can appear in various shades depending on atmospheric conditions, but a Blue Moon is not necessarily blue in colour.
    • Sometimes, smoke or dust in the air can scatter red wavelengths of light, as a result of which the moon may, in certain places, appear more blue than usual.
    • But this has nothing to do with the name “blue” moon.

How rare is a blue supermoon?

  • According to NASA, the blue supermoons are a very rare phenomenon. It mentions that these moons often only appear once every ten years due to astronomical conditions.
  • But occasionally, the interval between blue supermoons can be as long as twenty years.
  • The following super blue moons will take place in pairs in 2037, in January and March.

Mains Article
31 Aug 2023

DSA: How the pioneering EU law is forcing big tech to reduce digital surveillance

Why in news?

  • Recently, the European Union’s groundbreaking Digital Services Act (DSA) came into effect.
  • As the provisions of this act kick in, a number of companies including Meta, Google, and Snap, have been forced to make changes to their platforms.
  • These changes include:
    • more disclosures on how they use artificial intelligence (AI) to offer personalised content to users, and
    • allowing the users, the option to opt out of being subjected to digital surveillance by these platforms.

What’s in today’s article?

  • Digital Services Act (DSA)

What is Digital Services Act (DSA)?

  • The Digital Services Act (DSA) is an EU regulation which came into force in EU law in November 2022 and will be directly applicable across the EU.
  • The act aims to address several issues related to digital services, including online safety, content moderation, and the responsibilities of online platforms.
  • The legislation includes new rules for large online platforms, such as social media networks and online marketplaces, to ensure greater accountability and transparency in their operations.
  • Goals
    • To create a safer digital space in which the fundamental rights of all users of digital services are protected;
    • To establish a level playing field to foster innovation, growth, and competitiveness, both in the European Single Market and globally.

What are the key features of the Digital Services Act?

  • Faster removals and provisions to challenge
    • Social media companies will have to add new procedures for faster removal of content deemed illegal or harmful.
    • They will also have to explain to users how their content takedown policy works.
    • The DSA also allows for users to challenge takedown decisions taken by platforms and seek out-of-court settlements.
  • Bigger platforms have greater responsibility
    • Very Large Online Platforms and Very Large Online Search Engines, that is platforms, having more than 45 million users in the EU, will have more stringent requirements.
    • Hence, the law avoids a one-size fits all approach and places increased accountability on the Big Tech companies.
  • Direct supervision by European Commission
    • These requirements and their enforcement will be centrally supervised by the European Commission itself.
    • This is to ensure that companies do not sidestep the legislation at the member-state level.
  • More transparency on how algorithms work
    • Very Large Online Platforms (VLOP) and Very Large Online Search Engines will face transparency measures and scrutiny of how their algorithms work.
    • They will be required to conduct systemic risk analysis and reduction to drive accountability about the society impacts of their products.
  • Clearer identifiers for ads and who’s paying for them
    • Online platforms must ensure that users can easily identify advertisements and understand who presents or pays for the advertisement.
    • They must not display personalised advertising directed towards minors or based on sensitive personal data.
  • Heavy penalties
    • The DSA imposes heavy penalties for non-compliance, which can be up to 6 per cent of the company’s global annual turnover.
    • Companies that do not wish to abide by the rules cannot function within the EU.

What are the changes big tech has been forced to make?

  • Due to the harsh repercussions and the threat of losing a market of around 450 million users, major social media companies have fallen in line.
  • These companies have announced they will allow more freedom to users in the way they interact with their platforms.
  • Meta: The company that operates Facebook and Instagram has said it will introduce non-personalised digital feeds.
  • Google: The Internet search giant has said it will increase how much information it provides about ads targeted at users in the EU.
    • It will also expand data access to third party researchers studying systemic content risks in the region.
  • Amazon: The e-commerce giant sued the EU last month over its classification as a VLOP, which would require the company to comply with the DSA’s stringent norms.
    • This was the first legal challenge to the law.

How does the EU’s DSA compare with India’s online laws?

  • Information Technology Rules, 2021
    • In February 2021, India had notified extensive changes to its social media regulations in the form of the Information Technology Rules, 2021 (IT Rules).
    • These rules placed significant due diligence requirements on large social media platforms such as Meta and Twitter. This included:
      • Appointing key personnel to handle law enforcement requests and user grievances,
      • Enabling identification of the first originator of the information on its platform under certain conditions,
      • Deploying technology-based measures on a best-effort basis to identify certain types of content.
  • Amendments to the IT Rules
    • In 2023, with a view to make the Internet open, safe and trusted, and accountable, the IT Ministry notified the creation of government-backed grievance appellate committees.
    • These committees would have the authority to review and revoke content moderation decisions taken by platforms.
  • Other laws
    • India is also working on a complete overhaul of its technology policies and is expected to soon come out with a replacement of its IT Act, 2000.
    • This law is expected to look at ensuring net neutrality and algorithmic accountability of social media platforms, among other things.


International Relations

Aug. 30, 2023

Mains Article
30 Aug 2023

India’s G20 Presidency: Financing the Green Transition


  • As India is set to host G20 summit on September 9 and 10, the subject of climate change and its finance is going to be areas of major discussion.
  • The present commitments made by the developed world, climate financing mechanism in particular, are insufficient to counter climate change.

Climate Finance

  • Climate finance refers to local, national, or transnational financing.
  • The UNFCCC, the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement call for financial assistance from Parties with more financial resources to those that are less endowed and more vulnerable.
  • This recognises that the contribution of countries to climate change and their capacity to prevent it and cope with its consequences vary enormously.
  • Climate finance is needed for mitigation, because large-scale investments are required to significantly reduce emissions.
  • Climate finance is equally important for adaptation, as significant financial resources are needed to adapt to the adverse effects and reduce the impacts of a changing climate.

Issues with the Current Mechanism of Climate Financing

  • The Figure of $100 Billion is Insufficient Amount
    • At COP15 in 2009 (Copenhagen, Denmark), developed countries committed to a collective goal of mobilising USD 100 billion per year by 2020 to support climate action in developing countries.
    • The figure of $100 billion for projects in developing nations, which was arrived at about 13-14 years ago had no basis and is devoid of any logic.
    • When it was estimated, at that time too, it was too small as compared to the need. For the past 10 years, there has been too much debate on this figure.
    • Moreover, the developing world has been complaining that this meagre amount of $100 billion per year is not forthcoming from the developed world.
    • The need for climate finance today is estimated to be around $4.35 trillion in order to meet the Paris Agreement targets.
    • What is being actually spent is about one-seventh of this amount. 
  • Inclusion of Commercial Loans as Grants by the Developed World
    • The developed world (OECD) has been trying to prove that close to $80 billion was provided to the developing world for climate finance in 2020.
    • On the other hand, the actual transfer of resources would be in the range of $19-22 billion only.
    • While stating that they are providing close to $80 billion per year, the developed world is including the normal commercial debt for climate-related activities in its calculations.
    • It shows that the developed world is evading its responsibility because $100 billion is supposed to be in the form of concessional finance or grants only.
  • Difficulty in Financing Adaptation Projects as Compared to Mitigation Projects
    • There are two main components of climate finance — mitigation and adaptation.
    • Most of the money that is flowing into climate finance is actually for mitigation (93 per cent) and it is not difficult to see why.
    • Mitigation projects usually have a revenue stream and are thus considered to be bankable.
    • So financial institutions have no problem in extending loans on pure market terms and conditions.
    • On the other hand, adaptation projects have high upfront costs, have a long gestation period and no defined income stream.
    • Therefore, they are considered risky by banks and other financial institutions.
  • Very Little Progress on Delivery Towards Providing Grants
    • The resolve to provide $100 billion per year is repeated in every meeting of the Conference of Parties (CoP), has seen little movement on the ground.
    • In the last meeting of the CoP (CoP27 at Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt) it was agreed that a loss and damage fund would be set up. But, the quantum of this fund and other details would be finalised subsequently.
    • This fund is expected to investigate what must be done immediately to take care of rising sea levels, desertification, etc.
    • If the past experience of concessional finance is any indication, nothing is likely to come from this proposed fund soon.
    • Moreover, for countries like India, it is unclear whether they would be in the category of receiving assistance or offering assistance.

Steps Taken Towards Meeting the Climate Finance Goals

  • New Global Financing Pact 2023
    • The French President convened a summit in June 2023 to provide finance for tackling climate change (and poverty alleviation) in the Global South.
    • The Summit announced the unlocking of an additional USD 200 billion lending capacity for emerging economies.
    • The Summit indicated that the long-awaited USD 100 billion climate finance goal would be achieved this year.
  • Introduction of Disaster Clauses: The World Bank introduced disaster clauses to suspend debt payments during extreme weather events.
  • Investment in Special Drawing Rights (SDRs): The IMF announced the allocation of USD 100 billion in SDRs for vulnerable countries, although some SDRs still require approval from the US Congress. 

Way Forward for India and Other Developing Countries Amidst Lack of Commitment from Developed Nations

  • Mobilisation of Resources for Climate Finance
    • It is now time for countries, especially those like India, to look within and mobilise resources for climate finance.
    • It would require different institutions to come together and complement each other.
    • The financial institutions will have to fund technologies that are commercially mature, like wind and solar.
  • Invest in Futuristic Technology
    • The governments will have to step in for technologies that are not yet ripe for commercial ventures like green hydrogen where direct financial support needs to be given for the installation of electrolysers.
    • The cost of electrolysers today is prohibitive and only large-scale orders can bring down costs through economies of scale.
  • Engage Private Sector for Adaptation Projects
    • As far as adaptation measures are concerned, the private sector has to be roped in. But this will require government intervention.
    • Worldwide, the major chunk of adaptation finance comes from multilateral development banks in the form of loans. Private sector participation in adaptation projects is less than 2 per cent.
    • The reason is that the private sector views investments in adaptation projects as risky because there are not enough incentives available for the private sector to get involved with adaptation projects.
    • In case the government co-funds adaptation projects with the private sector, it will help in risk mitigation of such projects.
    • But the government will need additional resources. These can possibly be raised through the imposition of carbon taxes, issue of green bonds and catastrophe (CAT) bonds etc.


  • For climate finance, countries will have to mostly look within, since the developed world does not seem to be fully committed in providing the needed assistance.
  • For countries like India, this is especially important because they are unlikely to be eligible for concessional financing.
Editorial Analysis

Mains Article
30 Aug 2023

Supreme Court order on the validity of ‘self-respect’ marriages

Why in news?

  • Recently, the Supreme Court said that the advocates can solemnise these marriages in their personal capacity as friends or relatives of the couple.
  • It ruled that not every valid marriage requires a public declaration or solemnisation in a particular manner.
    • Couples intending to marry may refrain from making a public declaration due to various reasons, such as familial opposition or fear for their safety.
    • In such cases, enforcing a public declaration could put lives at risk and potentially result in forced separation.
  • The apex court also underlined the importance of autonomy in choosing life partners and approved a Tamil Nadu law that allowed “self-respect” marriages.


  • A 2014 ruling of the Madras High Court had held that marriages performed by the advocates are not valid.
  • It also said that “suyamariyathai” or “self-respect” marriages cannot be solemnised in secrecy.
  • This was challenged in the Supreme Court, which set aside the Madras HC Judgement.

What’s in today’s article:

  • Self-respect marriages

What are ‘self-respect’ marriages?

  • Background:
    • In 1968, the Hindu Marriage (Tamil Nadu Amendment) Act, 1967, received the President’s approval and became the law.
    • This amendment modified the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955, by inserting Section 7-A into it.
      • However, it extended only to the state of Tamil Nadu.
    • Section 7-A deals with the special provision on “self-respect and secular marriages”.
      • It legally recognises any marriage between any two Hindus, which can be referred to as “suyamariyathai” or “seerthiruththa marriage” or by any other name.
  • About
    • Such marriages are solemnised in the presence of relatives, friends, or other persons, with parties declaring each other to be husband or wife, in a language understood by them.
    • Further, each party to the marriage garlands the other or puts a ring on the other’s finger or ties a “thali” or mangal sutra.
    • However, such marriages are also required to be registered as per the law.
  • Rationale behind the Tamil Nadu government amending the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955
    • The idea was to radically simplify weddings by shunning the need for mandatory Brahmin priests, holy fire and saptapadi (seven steps).
    • This allowed marriages to be declared in the presence of the couple’s friends or family or any other persons.
    • In a nutshell, the amendment was made to do away with the need for priests and rituals, which were otherwise required to complete wedding ceremonies.

What has the top court ruled on ‘self-respect’ marriages in the past?

  • In “S. Nagalingam vs Sivagami” (2001), the apex court recognised the petitioner’s marriage with his wife to be a valid one despite the ceremony of “saptapadi” or seven steps around the sacred fire, not taking place.
  • As per the court, the main thrust of this provision is that the presence of a priest is not necessary for the performance of a valid marriage.
  • Parties can enter into a marriage in the presence of relatives or friends or other persons.
Social Issues

Mains Article
30 Aug 2023

Dengue Fever: Prevalence and efforts made to fight the disease

Why in News?

  • With the expanding geography of dengue infections in India as well as the world an increasing need has been felt for an effective vaccine that can protect against all four serotypes.

What’s in Today’s Article?

  • Dengue Fever (About, spread, symptoms, treatment, protection, fighting dengue)
  • Situation in India
  • Development of Dengue Vaccines
  • Fighting Dengue

Dengue Fever:

  • About: It is a mosquito-borne tropical disease caused by the dengue virus, which belongs to the family Flaviviridae, having four serotypes that spread by the bite of infected Aedes mosquitoes.
  • How is Dengue spread?
    • Primary vectors: Infected female Aedes (especially Aedes aegypti) mosquitoes, which are found (in urban habitats) in tropical and subtropical regions around the world.
      • These mosquitoes breed primarily in man-made containers such as buckets of water, potted plants, and other similar items.
    • Role of weather: Unlike the malaria mosquito (Anopheles), which grows in stagnant water in open settings, the Aedes aegypti mosquito breeds in freshwater, bringing mosquitoes closer to humans.
      • Water continuously accumulates and is washed away during heavy rainfall, sweeping any mosquito larvae away.
      • Dry conditions, on the other hand, cause rainwater to remain stagnant, which is ideal for mosquito breeding and multiplication.
    • Symptoms:
      • 75% of dengue infections are asymptomatic (showing no symptoms), 20% of dengue infections are mild-to-moderate, while 5% of cases are severe dengue.
      • Severe dengue can lead to dengue hemorrhagic fever, which causes bleeding, low blood platelet levels and blood plasma leakage, or dengue shock syndrome, which causes dangerously low blood pressure.
    • Treatment: There is no specific treatment for dengue or severe dengue, but early detection and access to proper medical care lowers fatality rates to below 1%.

Situation in India:

  • Nearly half the population of the world lives at risk of the disease at present.
  • The disease in India has spread from just 8 states and UTs in 2001 to all states by 2022. Ladakh was the last bastion from where two infections were reported last year.
  • As per the latest data, there have been 31,464 cases and 36 deaths due to dengue reported across the country till the end of July this year.
    • The reason for the larger number of cases in these states is not just the weather, but also the lack of infrastructure for confirming dengue diagnosis.
  • There are several efforts ongoing within the country to develop an effective vaccine against the mosquito-borne disease that can lead to internal bleeding, circulatory shock, and death.

Development of Dengue Vaccines:

  • At present, there are some vaccine candidates that are being tested in humans in India. For example,
    • A vaccine developed by Panacea Biotec based on live weakened versions of the four dengue serotypes developed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the US.
    • A second vaccine candidate was developed by the Serum Institute of India with the same weakened virus from the US.
    • There are at least two indigenous vaccines against dengue under development in research institutes.
  • One of the main challenges of developing a dengue vaccine is antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE).
    • A person with low levels of antibodies against one serotype of dengue, may end up getting a more severe infection with another serotype of dengue.
  • To do away with this problem, both the Indian research teams selected a specific part of the envelope protein known to not cause ADE.
    • For example, the team from the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) created a Virus-Like Particle using these parts of the virus.
    • The vaccines were shown to offer almost 100% protection against all four serotypes.

Fighting Dengue:

  • At the global level: The WHO’s strategy for dengue prevention and control aims to reduce mortality by 50% and reduce morbidity by 25% by 2020.
    • It focuses on 5 elements - Diagnosis and case management; Integrated surveillance and outbreak preparedness; Sustainable vector control; Future vaccine implementation; Research.
    • To achieve these goals, a globally coordinated and integrated approach to addressing dengue fever is required.
  • Steps taken by Indian government:
    • Creating awareness: National Dengue Day is observed in India on May 16 with the recommendation of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), to create awareness about dengue.
    • Prevention and control: National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme is the nodal centre for the surveillance and prevention of dengue in India.
    • Integrated disease surveillance programme: It also helps in disease surveillance and outbreak detection or investigation of dengue in the country.
    • Notification of dengue cases: MoHFW has made notification of dengue cases essential.
    • Genome sequencing:
      • In a first, Pune’s B J Government Medical College to undertake genome sequencing of dengue virus.
      • Genome sequencing will involve analysing the genetic makeup of the virus and aims to create a comprehensive understanding of dengue.
Science & Tech

Mains Article
30 Aug 2023

News Media versus OpenAI’s ChatGPT

Why in News?

  • A group of news media organisations recently shut off OpenAI’s ability to access their content.
  • New York Times is planning on suing OpenAI over copyright violations.

What’s in Today’s Article?

  • About Artificial Intelligence
  • About OpenAI (ChatGPT, How it Works)
  • OpenAI vs News Media Controversy

About Artificial Intelligence:

  • Artificial intelligence (AI) is the ability of a computer or a robot controlled by a computer to do tasks that are usually done by humans because they require human intelligence and discernment.
  • The term is frequently applied to the project of developing systems endowed with the intellectual processes characteristic of humans, such as the ability to reason, discover meaning, generalize, or learn from past experience.
  • AI algorithms are trained using large datasets so that they can identify patterns, make predictions and recommend actions, much like a human would, just faster and better.

About OpenAI:

  • OpenAI is an artificial intelligence research company.
  • The company is best known for creating ‘ChatGPT’, which is an AI conversational chatbot.
  • Users can ask questions on just about anything to ChatGPT and the chatbot will respond accurately with answers, stories and essays.
  • It can even help programmers write software code.

Debate over ChatGPT’s Source for Data:

  • Software products like ChatGPT are based on what AI researchers call ‘Large Language Models’ (LLMs).
  • LLMs require enormous amounts of information to train their systems.
  • If chat bots or digital assistants need to be able to understand the questions that humans throw at them, they need to study human language patterns.
  • Tech companies that work on LLMs like Google, Meta or OpenAI are secretive about what kind of training data they use.
  • Tech companies use software called ‘crawlers’ to scan web pages, hoover up content and put it together in a dataset that can be used to train their LLMs.
  • This is what news outlets took a stand against last week when The New York Times and others blocked a web crawler known as GPT bot.
    • Through GPT bot, OpenAI used to scrape data.
  • News outlets told OpenAI that the company can no longer use their published material and their journalism, to train their chat bots.

Reason Behind News Outlets’ Decision:

  • Search engines like Google or Bing also use web crawlers to index websites and present relevant results when users search for topics.
  • However, these search engines represent a mutually beneficial relationship.
  • Google, for instance, takes a snippet of a news article (a headline, a blurb and perhaps a couple of sentences) and reproduces them to make its search results useful.
  • And while Google profits off of that content, it also directs a significant amount of user traffic to news websites.
  • On the other hand, OpenAI provides no benefit, monetary or otherwise, to news companies.
  • It simply collects publicly available data and uses it for the company’s own purposes.

Way Forward:

  • Lat month, OpenAI signed a licensing arrangement with The Associated Press, in a deal that would allow the company to use the news agency’s archival content as a training dataset.
  • However, it remains to be seen if people refuse to accept payment and sue OpenAI for copyright infringement, the way a group of novelists did last year.
  • The legal battles ahead will have interesting implications for journalism, intellectual property and the future of artificial intelligence.
Science & Tech

Mains Article
30 Aug 2023

China includes Arunachal Pradesh, Aksai Chin area in new map

Why in news?

  • China has released the 2023 edition of its “standard map”, staking a claim over Arunachal Pradesh, Aksai Chin region, Taiwan and the disputed South China Sea.
  • Hours after the release of map, India lodged a strong protest through diplomatic channels.

What’s in today’s article?

  • India – China Border Dispute
  • News Summary

India – China Border Dispute

  • Western Sector (Disputed sector) –
    • This comprises the Aksai Chin sector. A region that originally was a part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir is claimed by China as part of its autonomous Xinjiang region.
    • After the 1962 war, it is administered by China. It is the second largest Indo-China border area covering over 38000 sq. km. However, it is an uninhabited land.
    • While India claims the entire Aksai Chin territory as well as the Shaksgam valley (Indian territory gifted to China by Pakistan), China contests Indian control over Daulat Beg Oldi (a tehsil in Leh, south of Aksai China - it is believed to host the world’s highest airstrip).
  • Central Sector
    • The 625 km boundary of this sector is least controversial between two nations.
    • There is no major disagreement over boundary in this region between two countries.
  • Border Dispute in Eastern Sector: McMahon Line
    • The disputed boundary in the Eastern Sector of the India-China border is over the McMahon Line.
      • Representatives of China, India and Tibet in 1913-14 met in Shimla to settle the boundary between Tibet and India, and Tibet and China.
      • During the Shimla conference, Sir Henry McMahon, the then foreign secretary of British India, drew up the 550 mile (890 km) McMahon Line as the border between British India and Tibet.
    • The McMahon line moved British control substantially northwards. This agreement ceded Tawang and other Tibetan areas to the imperial British Empire.
      • Though the Chinese representatives at the meeting initialled the agreement, they subsequently refused to accept it.
      • Subsequently, the Chinese government stated that it does not recognize the "illegal" McMahon Line.
      • China accuses India of occupying areas in Arunachal, which it calls part of Southern Tibet.
    • The Arunachal Pradesh border, that China claims to be its own territory, is the largest disputed area, covering around 90000 sq. km.
    • During the 1962 war, the People’s Liberation Army occupied it but they announced a unilateral ceasefire and withdrew respecting the McMahon Line.
  • Recent aggressive actions of China in eastern sector
    • As part of the Chinese strategy to assert its territorial claims over Indian territory, Beijing, in January 2022, announced Chinese names for 15 places in Arunachal Pradesh.
    • China’s national legislature in October 20221 adopted a new law on the protection and exploitation of the land border areas that came into effect on January 1, 2022.
      • The new law formalises some of China’s recent actions in disputed territories with both India and Bhutan.
    • It has deployed a high number of reserve troops along the LAC in the Eastern Command and has conducted annual training exercises of longer duration in depth areas.
    • Besides increased patrolling activities in the region, it has constructed dual-use border villages and troop habitats which can be used by both military and civilians.
    • It also provides stapled visa to the people from Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Steps taken by India to counter Chinese threat in eastern sector
    • India is ensuring full operational preparedness to take care of any contingency.
    • It is working towards mitigating the threat to the vulnerable Chicken’s Neck area.
      • Chicken’s Neck area or the Siliguri Corridor is the narrow strip of land that connect the North-east with rest of India.
    • India has also miximised the use of for ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance).
    • India raised a new aviation brigade in the eastern sectorin 2021.
      • Situated at at Missamari in Assam,the brigade is mandated with the task of increasing surveillance along the LAC in the eastern sector.
    • India has based the second Rafale fighter squadron in Hasimara (close to the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction).
      • Sukhoi-30MKI jets are already deployed at air bases like Tezpur and Chabua.
      • Akash surface-to-air missile systems along with Bofors howitzers have been deployed.

News Summary: China includes Arunachal Pradesh, Aksai Chin area in new map

  • China released the 2023 edition of its standard map based on the drawing method of national boundaries of China and various countries in the world.
  • The map showed Arunachal Pradesh, which China claims as South Tibet, and Aksai Chin occupied by it in the 1962 war.
    • The map also incorporated Taiwan, which China claims as part of its territory though the island sees itself as a sovereign nation, and the nine-dash line, claiming a large part of the South China Sea.
  • In a rebuttal to newly released Chinese map, Union External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that making absurd claims over territories wouldn’t make them theirs.
International Relations

Aug. 29, 2023

Mains Article
29 Aug 2023

Shoring Up the Foundations: Why duration of early literacy and numeracy programmes must be increased


  • More than half the children in India are unable to read fluently with comprehension or do basic mathematical operations by the end of primary schooling.
  • To address this, the National Education Policy (NEP 2020) suggested a national mission, NIPUN Bharat Programme, to ensure that all children attain foundational literacy and numeracy by the end of Grade 3.

Highlights of the New Education Policy 2020

  • The new National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 is the first education policy of the 21st century in India, which replaces the previous National Policy on Education (NPE) 1986.
  • The Ministry of Education formed a committee under  Dr. K Kasturirangan, which outlined this new policy. 
  • The NEP 2020 proposes various reforms in school and higher education, including technical education, that are suited to 21st-century needs. 
  • There are 5 foundational pillars of NEP 2020:Access, Equity, Quality, Affordability, and Accountability.
  • This policy is aligned with the 2030 SDGs and aims to transform India into a vibrant knowledge society and global knowledge superpower by making both school and college education more holisticflexible, and multidisciplinary, bringing out the unique capabilities of each student.

NIPUN Bharat Programme Under NEP 2020

  • Objective
    • To create an enabling environment to ensure universal acquisition of foundational literacy and numeracy, so that every child achieves the desired learning competencies in reading, writing and numeracy by the end of Grade 3, by 2026-27.
  • Focus Areas: It will focus on -
    • Providing access and retaining children in foundational years of schooling;
    • Teacher capacity building; 
    • Development of high quality and diversified Student and Teacher Resources/Learning Materials; and 
    • Tracking the progress of each child in achieving learning outcomes.
  • Implementation
    • NIPUN Bharat will be implemented by the Department of School Education and Literacy.
    • A five-tier implementation mechanism will be set up at the National- State- District- Block- School level in all States and UTs, under the aegis of the centrally sponsored scheme of Samagra Shiksha.
    • Samagra Shiksha programme was launched subsuming 3 existing schemes - Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) and Teacher Education (TE) - to treat school education holistically, from pre-school to Class XII.

Recent Decision/Rationale to Roll back the Scope of the Nipun Bharat Mission

  • In a recent decision, the Ministry of Education has rolled back the scope of NIPUN Bharat to children in Grades 1-2, leaving out children in Grade 3.
  • The rationale provided for this shift is to bring about the alignment between NIPUN Bharat and the curricular structure suggested by the NEP 2020 and the National Curricular Framework (NCF 2023).
  • These latter documents envisage a foundational stage of learning that would include three years of preschool education and the first two years of primary schooling.
  • Hence, the argument is that the NIPUN Bharat programme should also end at Grade 2.

Why Duration of Early Literacy and Numeracy Programmes Must be Increased?

  • Due to Limited Role of Aanganwadi Centres
    • Anganwadi centres catering to 3–6-year-olds focus largely on health, immunisation, and nutrition, and only a small proportion of centres provide pre-school education with any regularity or quality.
    • In this context, the setting up of 3–8-year block in which children receive well-planned, high-quality educational services is still a distant goal.
  • Due to Lack of Access to Education for 3-6 age Group Children
    • Approximately 68 per cent of children in the three to six-year age group are not able to access educational services in India.
    • Most children come from poorly literate background and encounter literacy for the first time in Grade 1.
  • Complex Gap Between Home and School Languages
    • Thirty-five per cent of children spend several years of primary schooling navigating complex gaps between home and school languages.
    • Therefore, to roll back a programme that supports the learning of children in Grade 3 does not seem to be a good decision. 

Suggestions to Increase Support for Early Literacy and Numeracy

  • Extra Support for Children Through Grades 1-5
    • So that they have enough time to establish robust foundations for language and numeracy learning.
    • On the contrary, the NCF has merely argued for appropriate pedagogical practices to be followed for children in the three to eight-year age group, for example, a focus on play-based learning, flexible pace of learning.
  • Need to Target the Development of Whole Range of Literacy
    • The foundational stage described in the NEP and NCF does not intend to target the development of the whole range of literacy and numeracy skills, attitudes and knowledge required for all future learning in school by the end of Grade 2.
    • Most research conducted across the world and especially in Indian contexts show that these understandings develop slowly during the first four or five years of schooling.
  • Need to Broaden the Vision of Early Foundational Learning
    • The decision to restrict the NIPUN Bharat stems from inadequate understanding of what it means to establish strong foundations for early literacy and numeracy.
    • It is possible that literacy, for example, is being understood as the ability to blend letters to read words at a certain pace by a certain age.
    • Therefore, it becomes even more important to broaden our vision of early foundational learning to include a focus on the relevance of literacy to children’s lives, strong oral expression, deep, inferential comprehension, etc.
  • Need to Increase the Scope of NIPUN Bharat to Grade 5: To strengthen early literacy and numeracy learning and broaden children’s vision in terms of educational aims and outcomes.


  • NIPUN Bharat, despite certain limitations, has begun to slowly improve the learnings of children in Grades 1-3 in several states.
  • Therefore, rather than cutting back on such programmes, it is important to broaden our vision of early foundational learning to include a focus on the relevance of literacy to children’s lives.


Editorial Analysis

Mains Article
29 Aug 2023

Wrestling Federation of India membership suspended on world stage

Why in news?

  • The United World Wrestling (UWW) has indefinitely suspended the membership of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) due to the federation's failure to conduct the necessary elections.
    • UWW is the international governing body for the sport of wrestling.
    • Its duties include overseeing wrestling at the World Championships and Olympics.

What’s in today’s article?

  • Wrestling Federation of India (WFI)
  • Background of the case
  • News Summary

Wrestling Federation of India (WFI):

  • About
    • Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) is a governing body of wrestling based in New Delhi.
    • It promotes wrestling players for the Olympics, Asian Games, National Wrestling Championships, and World Wrestling Championships.
  • WFI’s Contract System for Wrestlers:
    • In 2018, the WFI rolled out its revolutionary contracts system for the grapplers.
    • Under the system, the wrestlers have been placed in four grades –
      • Grade A offers financial assistance of 30 lakh rupees;
      • Grade B offers a financial assistance of 20 lakh rupees;
      • The C category offers support of 10 lakh rupees;
      • The D category offers support of 5 lakh rupees.
    • The contracts are reviewed after one year.

Background of the case

  • India’s Top Wrestlers Protesting
    • Veteran Indian wrestler Vinesh Phogat had alleged that WFI President Brij Bhushan has been involved since many years in sexually exploiting women wrestlers.
    • She further claimed that several coaches at the national camp in Lucknow have also exploited women wrestlers.
    • The wrestlers have also alleged financial mismanagement and arbitrariness in the functioning of the WFI.
  • Demands of the protestors
    • The wrestlers demanded that:
      • an FIR be registered against Brij Bhushan on the basis of their police complaint, and
      • he be arrested under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act as one of the complainants is a minor.
    • They have also demanded that he should be removed as the WFI president, and that the federation should be dissolved.
  • Formation of Oversight Committee
    • In January 2023, the government persuaded the wrestlers to call off their protest by forming an Oversight Committee.
    • The six-member committee, headed by boxing legend MC Mary Kom, was given four weeks to come up with its findings. However, it submitted its report only in the first week of April.
    • The committee has since been disbanded.
  • Election in WFI
    • Following the fresh protests, the Government declared the ongoing process for the WFI elections, which were scheduled for May 7th, null and void.
    • Later, the federation was supposed to hold elections in June 2023. However, the elections have been repeatedly postponed.
    • The Sports Ministry halted the polls and asked the IOA (Indian Olympic Association) to form an ad-hoc committee to complete the election process within 45 days.
      • The IOA appointed Justice (retd.) M.M. Kumar as the returning officer for the WFI elections on June 12 after which the polls were scheduled for July 6.
    • In May, both the International Olympic Committee (I0C) and UWW (United World Wrestling) asked the IOA to conduct the WFI polls within the stipulated time frame.
    • However, polls could not be held in the stipulated timeframe due to:
      • Demand of the protestors that Brij Bhushan’s family members should be stopped from contesting the elections.
        • Brij Bhushan himself was not eligible to contest the WFI polls after completing three terms (12 years).
      • Disgruntled state associations seeking voting rights filed petitions in the respective High Courts.
    • The stays on the elections, first by the Guwahati High Court on June 25 and then by the Punjab and Haryana High Court on August 11 (a day before the latest date fixed for the elections), further caused the delay.

News Summary: Wrestling Federation of India membership suspended on world stage

  • The United World Wrestling (UWW) has taken the decision to suspend the membership of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) indefinitely.
  • It has been suspended due to the postponement of Elections to designations in WFI due to Protests and Legal Battles.

Why did UWW take this decision?

  • The UWW Disciplinary Chamber found sufficient grounds to provisionally suspend the WFI due to the prevailing situation for at least six months.
  • The absence of an elected president and a board did not comply with UWW regulations and its conditions for membership.
  • The Chamber also considered the protection of athletes after the allegations against the former WFI president and the necessity to restore the functioning of the federation as another ground to suspend the national body.

What is the impact?

  • Wrestlers and their support personnel will be able to participate in all UWW sanctioned events.
    • This includes the World championships to be held in Belgrade in September 2023.
  • However, they will not be able to compete in these events with an Indian flag. They will have to compete as 'neutral athletes'under the UWW flag.”
    • No national anthem will be played if an Indian wrestler wins a gold medal.

What next?

  • Different factions of the WFI need to realise the immense loss the sport has suffered because of the ongoing issue.
  • The only way to bail the country out of international embarrassment and give the athletes their right to compete under the Tricolour is to conduct the WFI elections in a free and fair manner.
Polity & Governance

Mains Article
29 Aug 2023

Article 35A: Gave special rights to permanent residents of J&K while took away fundamental rights of others

Why in News?

  • Article 35A, which empowered the J&K Legislature to define permanent residents of the State and provide them special privileges, denied fundamental rights to others.
  • This remark was made by the CJI while heading a Constitution Bench, which is currently hearing pleas against the Centre’s move to abrogate Article 370.

What’s in Today’s Article?

  • What is Article 35A?
  • Controversies Around Article 35A
  • Current Status of Articles 370 and 35A
  • CJI (D.Y. Chandrachud) on Article 35A

What is Article 35A?

  • Article 35A gives the J&K Legislature a carte blanche/ complete freedom to decide who all are ‘permanent residents’ of the State.
    • ‘Permanent residents’ included people who were hereditary State subjects as in 1927, when J&K was a princely state prior to its accession to the Indian Dominion in 1947.
  • Article 35A confer on them special rights and privileges in
    • Public sector jobs,
    • Acquisition of property in the State,
    • Scholarships and
    • Other public aid and welfare.
  • It was incorporated into the Constitution of India in 1954 by a Presidential Order, following the 1952 Delhi Agreement [between the then central govt, and the then PM of J&K Sheikh Abdullah].
    • The Delhi Agreement extended Indian citizenship to the ‘State subjects’ of J&K.
  • The Presidential Order was issued under Article 370 (1) (d) of the Constitution, allowing the President to make certain “exceptions and modifications” to the Constitution for the benefit of ‘State subjects’ of J&K.
  • Article 35A was added to the Constitution as a testimony of the special consideration the Indian government accorded to the ‘permanent residents’ of J&K.

Controversies Around Article 35A:

  • Article 35A is unique in the sense that -
    • It does not appear in the main body of the Constitution.
    • It by passed the parliamentary route of lawmaking. Article 368 of the Constitution empowers only Parliament to amend the Constitution.
  • Article 370 was only a ‘temporary provision’ to help bring normality in J&K and strengthen democracy in that State.
    • The Constitution-makers did not intend Article 370 to be a tool to bring permanent amendments, like Article 35A, in the Constitution.
  • Article 35A was against the “very spirit of oneness of India” as it creates a “class within a class of Indian citizens”.
    • Restricting citizens from other States from getting employment or buying property within J&K is a violation of fundamental rights under Articles 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution.
  • It was against gender equality. For example, Article 35A restricts the basic right to property if a native woman marries a man not holding a permanent resident certificate.
    • Her children are denied a permanent resident certificate, thereby considering them illegitimate.
  • Violates judicial review principle. For example, Article 35A mandates that no act of the legislature coming under it can be challenged for violating the Constitution or any other law of the land.

Current Status of Articles 370 and 35A:

  • The Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order 2019 withdrew the special status of J&K and extended all provisions of the Indian Constitution (including Part III - Fundamental Rights) to J&K.
  • As Article 35A stems from Article 370, the discriminatory provisions under Article 35A are now unconstitutional.

CJI (D.Y. Chandrachud) on Article 35A:

  • Article 35A gave special rights and privileges to permanent residents and virtually took away the rights for non-residents.
  • This artificially created class of ‘permanent residents’ alienated people who did not fall within the category.
  • Article 35A had even granted immunity from judicial review to these special privileges, as any law which provides for these special privileges would not violate fundamental rights like
    • Articles 14 (right to equality),
    • Article 19(1)(e) (right to settle anywhere in the country)
    • Article 21 (right to life and personal liberty) and
    • Article 22 (protection against preventive detention).
  • However, the CJI asked the government whether the Centre had adhered to the principle of federalism while abrogating Article 370 and abolishing J&K as a full-fledged State.
    • Article 3 made it mandatory for the President to consult the State Legislature before altering the status of a State.
    • The abrogation was facilitated by first dissolving the J&K State Legislature and then proclaiming President’s Rule under Article 356.
    • The Parliament assumed the role of the J&K State Legislature and gave its views to itself about the alteration of J&K from a State to 2 UTs.
Polity & Governance

Mains Article
29 Aug 2023

Hindenburg Report Probe & Findings

Why in News?

  • The Enforcement Directorate has concluded its preliminary investigation into the Hindenburg Research report.

What’s in Today’s Article?

  • About Hindenburg Research (Purpose)
  • Report on Adani Group (Key Highlights of the Report, Adani’s Response, etc.)
  • News Summary (ED’s Findings, Short Selling)

About Hindenburg Research:

  • Hindenburg Research is a US-based research team that offers services in forensic financial research, with a focus on equity, credit and derivatives analysis.
  • Their fundamental research often includes studying and reporting on companies with accounting irregularities, unethical practices in business/related-party transactions, bad management etc.
  • Its primary method for investment is said to be short-selling.
    • Short selling basically involves borrowing an asset now in order to sell it, only to buy it back at a lower price and then return the borrowed asset.
    • The view taken basically is bearish one.

Hindenburg’s Report on Adani Group:

  • Usually, they write reports on western companies such as Nikola, Genius Brands, etc.
  • However, on 24th January, 2023 they wrote a report on the Adani Group, claiming that the latter were pulling the “largest con in corporate history”.
  • They also revealed that they were holding a short position on the Adani stocks, signalling their belief that the shares are overpriced and will dip in value soon.

Key points in the Hindenburg Research report on Adani Group:

  • Overvalued Shares –
    • The report cites data from FactSet and Hindenburg’s own analysis to claim that the Adani shares are highly overvalued by conventional metrics.
    • Some of the extreme cases include the P/E Ratio of Adani Enterprises being 42 times the industry average and the Price/Sales ratio of Adani Total Gas being 139.3 times the industry average of 1.0x etc.
  • Debt-Fuelled Business –
    • 5 out of the 7 key listed companies mentioned have reported a current ratio of less than 1.
    • This means that the total amount of current assets is less than the total amount of current liabilities in those companies.
    • This is not a healthy financial practice as this means that the companies are unlikely to have adequate assets to pay off their liabilities in the short run.
  • Promoters Pledging their Stocks –
    • This means that the promoters of the company have taken on additional debt on the basis of the shares that they own.
    • As seen above, the share prices are claimed to be already high and so is the debt – therefore, promoters pledging stocks to take on more debt is not a healthy financial practice in such a context.
  • Doubts regarding the Management team –
    • The report claims that some members of the management have a questionable past which includes allegations of fraud, duty evasions, scams etc.
  • Excess Promoter Control of Shares –
    • It has been alleged that in addition to the already high proportion of promoter holding in shares (close to 74% in multiple cases), significant portions of the remaining public shares are also controlled by shell companies that have ties with the Adani group.
    • Many of these companies have a large majority of their shares invested solely in firms under the Adani Group.
  • Pumped up Demand –
    • The preceding point also hints at deliberate pumping of the Adani stock prices through excessive buying pressure from companies that seem to be biased towards (or perhaps connected with) the Adani Group itself.
    • It is claimed that the delivery volume of Adani stocks may have been high because of possible wash trading.
      • Wash trading is the practice of buying/selling of a share by the same or related entities to pump up the trading volume numbers.
  • Inadequate Compliance –
    • The report claims that one of the firms hired to book run the Adani Green Energy has had past problems with the SEBI.
    • Moreover, one of the independent auditors hired to audit Adani Enterprise and Adani Total gas seems to be too
    • small a company.
      • It comprises of professionals too young to be able to handle the auditing of such a large array of companies.

News Summary:

  • The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has completed its preliminary investigation into the Hindenburg Research report and the subsequent stock market crash.
  • The investigation has revealed that around 12 companies, including foreign portfolio investors and foreign institutional investors (FPIs/FIIs) based in tax havens, emerged as the main beneficiaries of short selling in shares of Adani Group companies.
  • According to the ED, some of these short sellers allegedly took positions just 2-3 days before the Hindenburg Research report was published on January 24, and some others were taking short positions for the first time ever.
  • The conclusion of the ED is that transactions and income tax data throw up the possibility of the FPIs and FIIs not being the “end beneficiaries” of the gains made from short selling, but actually acting as brokers for bigger players located overseas.

What is Short Selling?

  • Short sellers are investors who predict and bet that share prices will decline.
  • They borrow shares, sell them, and repurchase them later at a lower price, thus gaining a profit in the process.
  • Both domestic investors and FPIs/FIIs registered with SEBI are allowed to participate in trading derivatives, which enable investors to hedge market risks by taking short positions.
  • SEBI advocates for regulated short selling, believing that imposing restrictions may distort effective price discovery and potentially provide manipulative power to promoters.

Mains Article
29 Aug 2023

Aditya-L1 to be launched on September 2

Why in news?

  • ISRO has announced that the Aditya-L1 mission, will be launched on September 2 from Sriharikota.
  • Aditya L1 will be the first space-based Indian observatory to study the Sun.

What’s in today’s article?

  • What is the Aditya-L1 Mission?
  • What is the Lagrange point 1?
  • Why is it important to study the Sun?

What is the Aditya-L1 Mission?

  • About
    • Aditya (in Sanskrit means Sun) is a planned coronagraphy spacecraft to study solar atmosphere (solar corona - outermost part).
    • It has been designed and developed by ISRO and various other Indian research institutes.
    • It is the first dedicated Indian mission to observe the Sun, and will be launched aboard a PSLV-XL launch vehicle.
  • Objectives
    • The suits of Aditya L1’s payloads are expected to provide crucial information for understanding the phenomenon of:
      • coronal heating, coronal mass ejection(CME), pre-flare and flare activities and their characteristics,
      • the dynamics of space weather, propagation of particles and fields etc.
  • Placement of the spacecraft
    • According to ISRO, the spacecraft will be placed in a halo orbit around the Lagrange point 1 (L1) of the Sun-Earth system.
      • A satellite placed in the halo orbit around the L1 point has the major advantage of continuously viewing the Sun without any occultation/eclipses.
      • This will provide a greater advantage of observing the solar activities and its effect on space weather in real time.
    • L1 is about 1.5 million km from the Earth. It is expected to take more than 120 days for the spacecraft to reach the L1.
  • Study conducted by Aditya L1
    • The spacecraft carries seven payloads to observe:
      • the photosphere [deepest layer of the sun we can directly observe],
      • chromosphere [the layer about 400 km and 2,100 km above the photosphere], and
      • outermost layers of the Sun (the corona), using electromagnetic and particle and magnetic field detectors.
    • Of the seven playloads, four will directly study the Sun, and the remaining three will in situ study particles and fields at the Lagrange point L1.
  • Remote sensing payloads which will study the sun
    • Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC) for corona/imaging and spectroscopy and CME;
    • Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (SUIT) for photosphere and chromosphere imaging;
    • Solar Low Energy X-ray Spectrometer (SoLEXS), which is a soft X-ray spectrometer for Sun-as-a-star observation; and
    • High Energy L1 Orbiting X-ray Spectrometer (HEL1OS), which is a Hard X-ray spectrometer for Sun-as-a-star observation
  • The payloads to study the L1 in situ
    • Aditya Solar wind Particle Experiment (ASPEX), for solar wind/particle analyzer protons and heavier ions with directions;
    • Plasma Analyser Package For Aditya (PAPA), for solar wind/particle analyzer electrons and heavier ions with directions; and
    • Advanced Tri-axial High Resolution Digital Magnetometers for in situ magnetic field study.

What is the Lagrange point 1?

  • A Lagrange pointis a position in space where the gravitational pull of two large masses precisely equals the centripetal force required for a small object to move with them.
    • i.e., at that point, the gravitational attraction and repulsion between two heavenly bodies is such that an object placed between them will effectively stay in the same relative position while moving with them.
  • These points in space can be used by spacecraft to reduce fuel consumption needed to remain in position.
  • The Lagrange points are named in honour of Italian-French mathematician Josephy-Louis Lagrange, and there are five of them: L1, L2, L3, L4, and L5.
    • L1 point of the Earth-Sun system affords an uninterrupted view of the Sun.
    • It is currently home to the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory Satellite SOHO.
    • NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope is at L2.

Why is it important to study the Sun?

  • Every planet, including Earth and the exoplanets beyond the Solar System, evolves — and this evolution is governed by its parent star.
  • The solar weather and environment affect the weather of the entire system.
  • Variations in this weather can change the orbits of satellites or shorten their lives, interfere with or damage onboard electronics, and cause power blackouts and other disturbances on Earth.
  • Knowledge of solar events is key to understanding space weather.
  • To learn about and track Earth-directed storms, and to predict their impact, continuous solar observations are needed.
    • Every storm that emerges from the Sun and heads towards Earth passes through L1.
Science & Tech

Aug. 28, 2023

Mains Article
28 Aug 2023

The Reality of Scholarship Schemes for Religious Minorities in India


  • Highlighting the significance of education for religious minorities in India, Niti Aayog released a policy document in 2017 calling for measures to improve the implementation of current programmes. 
  • However, in the past five years, centre has discontinued, narrowed the scope and gradually cut down on the expenditure incurred on multiple programmes of the Ministry of Minority Affairs. 

Reason Behind the Introduction of Scholarships for Religious Minorities

  • 20% Population Belong to Minority Communities
    • India is home to over 30 crore (20%) people from religious minority communities.These include six religions notified under the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992.
    • Muslims constitute 14.2%, followed by Christians at 2.3%, Sikhs (1.7%), Buddhists (0.7%), Jains (0.4%) and Zoroastrians (around 57,000).
  • Socio-Economic Challenges Faced by Minorities Especially Muslim Community
    • Muslims make up the largest religious minority but face challenges in economic, health, and education.
    • Their participation in salaried jobs is low. Many are engaged in the informal sector, characterised by low wages, weak social security, and poor working conditions.
  • Sachar Committee’s Conclusions on the Socio-economic, educational status of the Muslims in India
    • Tabled in Parliament in 2006, the report concluded that the minority was deprived and neglected and behind the mainstream in several social and economic sectors.
    • According to the report, by and large, Muslims rank somewhat above SC/ST but below Hindu OBCs [Other Backward Classes], Other Minorities and Hindu General [mostly upper castes] in almost all indicators considered.

The Creation of Ministry of Minority Affairs (MoMA)

  • The new Ministry was carved out of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in 2006 to ensure a more focused approach towards issues affecting the notified minorities.
  • The primary focus was on educational-economic empowerment, infrastructure development and special needs.
  • The Ministry’s mandate included formulation of policy and planning, coordination, evaluation and review of the regulatory framework and development programmes for the benefit of the minority communities.
  • Subsequently, the government revised its 15-point programme for the Welfare of Minorities.
  • As part of educational empowerment, the new plan included a provision for scholarships for students from minority communities.

Welfare Schemes for the Educational Empowerment of Minorities and their Status

  • Pre-Matric Scholarship Scheme
    • One of the first central sector programmes implemented by the MoMA, the pre-matric scholarship was initially awarded to minority students from class 1 to 10.30% of the scholarships were earmarked for girls.
    • The scheme has been discontinued from classes 1 to 8, as the Right to Education Act (RTE Act) covered compulsory education up to class 8 for all students.
  • Post-Matric Scholarship Scheme
    • The programme was for students of class 11 and above (till Ph.D.). It aimed to give minority students access to quality higher education, with a scholarship ranging between Rs 2,300 and Rs 15,000.
    • The funds for the post-matric scheme increased from Rs 515 crore to Rs 1,065 crore this fiscal year.
  • Merit-cum-Means based Scholarship Scheme
    • Launched in 2008, this scheme targeted professional and technical courses at undergraduate and post-graduate levels, with 30% earmarked for girl students.
    • The scholarship scheme saw a major reduction in funds in 2023-24, with a dip of Rs 321 crore in spending over last year.
  • Maulana Azad National Fellowship (MANF) 
    • The MANF provided financial assistance for five years to research scholars pursuing M.Phil and Ph.D. from institutions recognised by the University Grants Commission (UGC).
    • The MANF benefitted over 6,700 candidates between 2014-15 and 2021-22, with Rs 738.85 crore paid before it was cancelled in 2022.
  • PadhoPardesh
    • The scheme provided an interest subsidy on education loans for overseas studies to students belonging to economically weaker sections of minority communities.
    • The interest subsidy scheme was discontinued from 2022-23andbenefitted 20,365 beneficiaries since its inception (as part of the 15-point programme) in 2006.
  • Begum Hazrat Mahal National Scholarship
    • The scholarship was for meritorious girls for higher secondary education and was provided by the Maulana Azad Education Foundation (MAEF).
    • The scholarship had zero allocation this year.
  • Naya Savera
    • Naya Savera providedfree coaching to minority students for entrance to technical and professional courses and competitive examinations.
    • The Naya Savera - Free Coaching and Allied scheme added a new component in 2013- 14 which focused on students of classes 11-12 with science subjects.
    • The Centre discontinued the scheme earlier this year, saying the New Education Policy 2020 does not support coaching programmes.
  • Nai Udaan
    • This scheme supported minority students preparing for the preliminary examinations conducted by the UPSC, SSC and State PSCs.
    • No funds were allocated for the Nai Udaan scheme in the ongoing financial year.
  • Scheme for Providing Education to Madarsas and Minorities (SPEMM)
    • The scheme supported Quality Education in Madrasas, under which recognised madrasas receive financial assistance to introduce ‘modern’ subjects.
    • The scheme was allocated Rs 10 crore for the financial year 2023-24 more than 90% less than the allocation in 2022-23, which was ₹160 crore.
  • Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram (PMJVK)
    • The PMJVKwas earlier known as the Multi-sectoral Development Programme (MsDP).
    • It has provided infrastructure in identified minority concentration areas, including for education and skill development.
    • The budgetary allocation for the PMJVK reduced from Rs 1,650 crore last year to Rs 600 crore this year.

The Need for Strengthening the Educational Aid

  • To Improve the Socio-Economic Status of Religious Minorities: The Niti Aayog in its Strategy Document-2018 says that affirmative actions are needed to improve the socio-economic status of Muslim community, as they lag behind the rest in several areas.
  • To Improve the Enrolment of Muslim Community
    • There is a significant disparity in education accessibility between Muslims and the general population, with Muslim representation in total enrolment declining as one moves to higher levels of education
    • The highest proportion of out-of-school children in the country belong to Muslim communities (4.43%), followed by Hindus (2.73%), Christians (1.52%) and others (1.26%), according to the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan data.
    • As per the All-India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) 2020-2021,of the total 4.13 crore college students, less than 20 lakh Muslims are enrolled in higher education
    • The survey also revealed a divide between the North and South regions in terms of minority representation, with Kerala and Telangana showing an increase in Muslim student enrolment, while UP and J&K had the lowest numbers. 

Way Forward

  • Enhance Scholarships
    • In its 2018 policy document, Niti Aayog suggested enhancing pre-matric, post-matric and merit-cum-means scholarships as well as the Maulana Azad National Fellowships and national overseas scholarships
    • The policy document recommended a 15% annual increase from 2019-20. It also recommended increasing the number of scholarships for girls from minority communities by 10% every year.
  • Proper Utilisation of the 15-Point Programme: To devise customised interventions for the development of minorities, by identifying development gaps in minority-concentrated localities and areas.


  • In recent times, the restructuring of programmes, under-utilisation of funds, and reduced budgetary allocations have impacted the implementation and goals of educational schemes for minorities.
  • Millions of students have benefited from the scholarship programmes of the MoMA. Therefore, the decision to discontinue the scholarships is especially concerning the Muslim students.
Editorial Analysis

Mains Article
28 Aug 2023

Global Framework on Expansion of Ethical AI Tools

Why in News?

  • With the G20 Summit on the corner, the Indian PM’s call for a global framework on expansion of “ethical” artificial intelligence (AI) tools aims at taking a leadership position on the need for regulating sectors such as AI and cryptocurrencies.
  • The PM was speaking at the Business 20 (B20) Summit organised by the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), ahead of the G20 Summit next month.

What’s in Today’s Article?

  • Responsible AI for All
  • Governing AI - A Blueprint for India
  • Shift in India’s own Position on Regulating AI
  • Highlights of the PM Address at the B20

Responsible AI for All:

  • In 2018, NITI Aayog released the National Strategy on Artificial Intelligence (NSAI), highlighting the roadmap to adopt AI in five public sectors in a manner that is safe and dispenses benefits to all citizens.
  • The strategy document coined the “AI for All” mantra, to be the governing benchmark for future AI design, development, and deployment in India.
    • A part of this strategy was to ensure the safe and responsible use of AI.
  • As a follow-up to NSAI, the NITI Aayog identified principles (RAI principles) for responsible design, development, and deployment of AI in India, and set out enforcement mechanisms to operationalise these principles.
  • As the next step 7 principles were formulated:
    • Safety and reliability,
    • Inclusivity and non-discrimination,
    • Equality, privacy and security,
    • Transparency,
    • Accountability,
    • Protection and
    • Reinforcement of positive human values were identified to determine the efficacy of the approach recommended and identify challenges.

Governing AI - A Blueprint for India:

  • India is experiencing a significant technological transformation that presents a tremendous opportunity to leverage innovation for economic growth.
  • Policymakers across jurisdictions have stepped up regulatory scrutiny of generative AI tools, prompted by Chat GPT’s explosive launch.
  • The concerns being flagged fall into three broad heads: privacy, system bias and violation of intellectual property rights.
  • In this backdrop, Tech major Microsoft (which has a stake in OpenAI) had recently floated a blueprint for AI governance in India titled “Governing AI: A Blueprint for India”.
  • This paper offers some of our ideas and suggestions as a company, placed in the Indian context.
  • The paper proposed regulations prescribing safety and security requirements, with post-deployment safety and security monitoring and protection.
  • Microsoft has offered to share its “specialised knowledge” about advanced AI models to help the government define the regulatory threshold.

Shift in India’s own Position on Regulating AI:

  • Recently, the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MietY) had said that it is not considering any law to regulate the AI sector.
    • The MeitY admitted that though AI had ethical concerns and associated risks, it had proven to be an enabler of the digital and innovation ecosystem.
  • The PM’s address at the B20 shows a shift in New Delhi’s own position - from not considering any legal intervention on regulating AI in the country to moving in the direction of formulating regulations based on a “risk-based, user-harm” approach.
  • Part of this shift was reflected in a TRAI’s consultation paper, which said that the Centre should set up a domestic statutory authority to regulate AI in India through the lens of a “risk-based framework”.
  • TRAI also called for collaborations with international agencies and governments of other countries for forming a global agency (with regulatory oversight) for the “responsible/ ethical use” of AI.
    • The TRAI’s recommendation is broadly in line with an approach enunciated by Sam Altman, the founder of OpenAI (the company behind ChatGPT).
    • He had called for an international regulatory body for AI, akin to that overseeing nuclear non-proliferation.
  • This also comes amid indications that Centre is looking to introduce the Digital India Bill that is expected to replace the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000.
    • The Bill draws a clear distinction between different types of online intermediaries, including AI-based platforms, and issues specific regulations for each of these intermediaries.

Highlights of the PM Address at the B20:

  • The PM called for a global framework to ensure the ethical use of AI as he flagged challenges of skilling and reskilling, and algorithmic bias and its impact on society.
  • Global business communities and governments have to ensure the expansion of ethical AI across different sectors.
  • Emphasising the need to deepen mutual trust and cooperation between countries, he called for a similar, integrated approach to deal with issues related to cryptocurrencies.
  • He cited the examples of the aviation and financial sectors which have seen global coordination.
  • Cautioning against a “self-centric” approach, he said that if businesses and governments don’t shoulder global responsibility, it could result in a “new colonial model”.
Polity & Governance

Mains Article
28 Aug 2023

Global South | Significance, Challenges & India’s Role

Why in News?

  • Recently, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said that the disruptions caused by the corona virus pandemic and recent geopolitical conflicts call for a realignment of the world order.
  • He said that the “Global South” can no longer be at the mercy of a few suppliers.

What’s in Today’s Article?

  • About Global South (Meaning, Purpose, Challenges, India’s Leadership)
  • News Summary

What is the Global South?

  • The term ‘Global South’ began by loosely referring to those countries that were left out of the industrialisation 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’, defined essentially by an economic division between the rich and poorer countries.

What are the Challenges before the Global South?

  • The status-quo nature of global geopolitics got disrupted following the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent Ukraine-Russia War that is now in its second year.
  • These paved the way for new challenges, including supply securitisation of food and energy, technology transfer, energy transition, and climate change issues and their impact on the global community.
  • Securing Supply Chain –
    • The rise in energy costs and fertilizer prices also pose a substantial challenge to the Global South.
    • Hence there is a need to relook at how essential commodities can reach the Global South and there is a need for securitisation of the supply chain for the Global South is paramount.
  • Adequate Energy Supply –
    • The second most important problem confronting the Global South in the context of energy security is ensuring a sustainable energy transition.
    • Since energy transition is a costly affair involving technology and finance, the countries of the Global South are the hardest hit in this regard.
    • The need of the hour is to ensure a sustainable energy transition which can bring overall socio-economic development to the countries of the Global South.
  • Climate Change –
    • It is a fact that the countries of the Global South are facing the adversarial consequences of climate change largely due to the historical polluters of the Global North.
    • Hence there is a need to look at the process of climate change repercussions on the Global South from a broader perspective.
  • Multilateralism –
    • The other important challenge in global geopolitics is in the form of the need for “genuine multilateralism” of the institutions of global governance, which will provide an equitable voice to all the countries.
    • There is a need to need to reform the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) along with other multilateral bodies to ensure equitable representation from the Global South.

India’s Approach to Global South:

  • India’s rich history as the leader of the Non-Aligned Movement and its economic and geopolitical clout in global politics are propelling New Delhi to play a greater role in global geopolitics.
  • Assuming the position of G-20 Presidency in 2022-23 is a testimony to this.
  • At the same time, being the leader of the Global South, India provides a voice to the Global South Movement.
  • Whether on the question of climate change, energy transition, taking a stand on normative issues or protecting the Global South's interest, India played a proactive role in international forums over the years.
  • By giving voice to the Global South countries, India helped in bringing out an alternative narrative to global geopolitics.
  • At various climate Summits, India resisted the onslaught from the Global North and protected the interest of the Global South be it on the question of climate financing, limiting the emission norms, or highlighting the Global North’s responsibility as the historical polluter.
  • India has been the key player in the global energy transition discourses over the years.
    • Some of the significant contributions to the arena of energy transition framework are International Solar Alliance and the push to hydrogen-based fuel.
  • India’s approach to global energy security as well as energy transition was aptly highlighted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the G-20 Summit in Bali in November 2022 where he underlined the need for “stability in the energy market”.
  • Similarly, India’s approach to democratising international relations and reforming the United Nations has been consistent with the demand of the Global South over the years.
  • India has provided the necessary leadership to the Global South and a new narrative to global geopolitics.

News Summary:

  • Addressing the B20 Summit in New Delhi, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar made a strong pitch for a more diversified and more democratic re-globalisation, saying the Global South can no longer be at the mercy of a few suppliers.
  • He said the Global South was largely reduced to being a consumer rather than being a producer and could not reap the full benefits of economic change.
  • He said the core mandate of G20 was to promote economic growth and development and it cannot advance if the crucial concerns of the Global South were not addressed.
  • The minister said a more just, equitable and participative global order would only happen when there was commensurate investment, trade and technology decisions directed at the Global South.
International Relations

Mains Article
28 Aug 2023

NASA, SpaceX launch sends four astronauts from four countries to ISS

Why in news?

  • NASA and SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft has blasted off carrying four astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS).
  • Known as Crew-7, the mission includes four astronauts from four countries - the US, Denmark, Japan, and Russia.
    • This was the first US take-off in which all the astronauts atop the spacecraft belonged to a different country.
      • Until now, NASA had always included two or three of its own on its SpaceX flights.

What’s in today’s article?

  • International Space Station (ISS)
  • News Summary

International Space Station (ISS)

  • ISS is a large spacecraft in low Earth orbit largely by the United States and Russia, with assistance and components from a multinational consortium.
  • It is habitable spacecraft that orbits Earth at an average altitude of approximately 420 kilometers (260 miles).
  • It serves as a unique and collaborative space laboratory, research facility, and living space for astronauts and cosmonauts from various countries.

Features of ISS

  • Construction and Ownership
    • The ISS is a joint project involving space agencies from multiple countries.
    • The major partners include NASA (United States), Roscosmos (Russia), ESA (European Space Agency), JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), and CSA (Canadian Space Agency).
      • In 2022, Russia announced that it will pull out of ISS after 2024 and focus on building its own orbiting outpost.
    • These agencies have contributed modules, components, and resources to construct and maintain the station.
  • Size and Structure
    • The ISS is quite large, with a mass of around 460 tons and a habitable volume roughly equivalent to the interior of a Boeing 747 aircraft.
    • It consists of various interconnected modules and components, including laboratories, living quarters, and docking ports.
  • Orbit and Duration
    • It travels at 17,500 mph. This means it orbits Earth every 90 minutes.
      • This means that crew members on board experience multiple sunrises and sunsets each day.
    • Missions typically last six months, although some crew members may stay for shorter or longer durations.
  • International Crew
    • The ISS is continuously inhabited by a rotating crew of astronauts and cosmonauts from different nations.
    • These crew members live and work on the station for several months at a time, conducting experiments, maintaining systems, and performing various tasks necessary to keep the station operational.

Why Is the Space Station Important?

  • One of the primary purposes of the ISS is to conduct scientific research and experiments in the unique microgravity environment of space.
    • Microgravity is often referred to as near zero gravity or weightlessness.
  • Researchers from around the world use the station to study a wide range of fields, including biology, physics, astronomy, and Earth sciences.
  • The ISS has contributed to our understanding of topics such as human health in space, materials science, and climate change.
  • The space station has made it possible for people to have an ongoing presence in space. Human beings have been living in space every day since the first crew arrived.

News Summary: NASA, SpaceX launch sends four astronauts from four countries to ISS

Why has such a diverse group of astronauts gone to ISS?

  • The Crew-7 mission is a result of the ongoing cooperation among different countries in space, especially since the launch of the space station in 1998.
  • ISS Program involves the US, Russia, Canada, Japan, and the participating countries of the European Space Agency.
  • It is one of the most ambitious international collaborations ever attempted.

What is the mission?

  • The Crew-7 is the eighth flight operated by NASA and Elon Musk-owned SpaceX as part of the agency’s commercial crew program, which has been taking astronauts to the ISS since SpaceX’s first crewed mission in 2020.
  • During their stay at the space station, the Crew-7 astronauts will conduct more than 200 science experiments and technology demonstrations to prepare for missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.
  • The research will include a collection of microbial samples from the exterior of the space station.
  • The team will also analyse how sleeping in the microgravity environment differs from Earth by examining astronauts’ brain waves while they sleep.
  • Another experiment will look at the formation of biofilms in wastewater on the space station, which could be key to finding better ways to recycle water for drinking and hygiene while in space.
Science & Tech

Mains Article
28 Aug 2023

Naming of sites on the Moon

Why in news?

  • While speaking at the ISRO headquarters in Bengaluru, PM Modi announced that the point where the Chandrayaan-3 lander touched down on the lunar surface would be named Shiv Shakti.
  • Later, ISRO chief K Somnath said that the country has every right to name the landing site.
  • The Moon does not come under the jurisdiction of any one country. This raises the question about naming of points on moon’s surface.
    • In 1966, the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs came out with the Outer Space Treaty.
    • Setting some common principles for space exploration, the Treaty said in its Article II:
      • Outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means.

What’s in today’s article?

  • Existing Indian Names on the Moon
  • Who names landing sites on the Moon?
  • How does IAU consider names for planetary objects?
  • Are there any norms for naming Space objects?

Existing Indian Names on the Moon

  • The naming of the landing site is not the first incident.
  • Several Indian names are already there on the Moon. We have a Sarabhai crater on the Moon.
  • Following the 2008 mission Chandrayaan-1, a spot where the probe crashed (as it was meant to for the purposes of the mission), was named “Jawahar Sthal” after the first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru.
    • ISRO had suggested to name the impact site after Nehru. It was on his birthday the landing was made, and he had long championed undertaking scientific developments and research in India.
    • International Astronomical Union (IAU) later accepted it, making it official.

Who names landing sites on the Moon?

  • International Astronomical Union (IAU)
    • The IAU is the primary organization responsible for the official naming of celestial bodies and their surface features, including those on the Moon.
      • IAU was founded in 1919. It determines some other rules for Space activities. India is among its 92 members countries.
      • Its mission is to promote and safeguard the science of astronomy in all its aspects, including research, communication, education and development, through international cooperation.
    • They have established guidelines and procedures for naming lunar craters, mountains, valleys, and other features.
  • An informal practice of naming
    • Many mission sites first see names being given to them informally.
    • An informal practice of naming landmarks was common during the Apollo missions.
    • Names were given to the small craters and mountains near each landing site (e.g., Shorty, St. George, Stone Mountain) but official names were used as well (e.g., Hadley Rille).
      • Most of the informal names assigned during Apollo were later given “official” status by the IAU.
  • Historical and Cultural References
    • Lunar features are sometimes named after historical figures, scientists, astronauts, or cultural references.
    • For example, many lunar craters are named after famous scientists and explorers.
  • Space Agencies
    • National and international space agencies, such as NASA and ESA (European Space Agency), may play a role in suggesting names for lunar sites, especially those of significant scientific or historical importance.

How does IAU consider names for planetary objects?

  • IAU’s Working Groups normally handle this process.
  • These groups are made up of experts in planetary science, lunar geology, and related fields. They propose and review names for lunar features.
  • Upon successful review by vote of the members of the Working Group, names are considered approved as official IAU nomenclature, and can be used on maps and in publications.
  • Any objections to them can be raised by mailing the IAU General-Secretary within three months from the time the name was placed on the website.

Are there any norms for naming Space objects?

  • Yes, the IAU gives several suggestions.
  • For planetary objects, it states the name should be simple, clear, and unambiguous and should not duplicate existing names.
  • It has a host of other rules, such as:
    • No names having political, military or religious significance may be used, except for names of political figures prior to the 19th century.
    • Commemoration of persons on planetary bodies should not normally be a goal in itself, but may be employed in special circumstances.
      • Persons being so honored must have been deceased for at least three years, before a proposal may be submitted.


International Relations

Aug. 27, 2023

Mains Article
27 Aug 2023

Kashi Culture Pathway: G-20 nations arrive at consensus on issues of cultural heritage

Why in News?

  • After the meeting of G-20 Culture Ministers in Varanasi, the Outcome Document titled ‘Kashi Culture Pathway’ was unanimously agreed to by all G-20 members.
  • The G-20 nations arrived at a consensus on cultural issues, however, there was no unanimity on “geopolitical issues” like the war in Ukraine.

What’s in Today’s Article?

  • Culture in the G20
  • Culture under India's G20 Presidency
  • Highlights of the Outcome Document ‘Kashi Culture Pathway’

Culture in the G20:

  • At the global level, culture has been recognised as an enabler of growth and sustainable development.
    • The UNESCO World Conference on Cultural Policies and Sustainable Development - MONDIACULT 2022, adopted a Declaration affirming culture as a 'global public good'.
  • The G20 Culture Ministers met for the first time in 2020 and highlighted culture’s cross-cutting contribution to advancing the G20 agenda.
  • Recognising the synergies between culture and other policy areas, culture was integrated into the G20 agenda as a Culture Working Group in 2021.
  • In 2021, the Rome Declaration of G20 Ministers firmly positioned culture as an engine for propelling sustainable socio-economic recovery.
  • This historic declaration has anchored culture at the heart of public policy and international cooperation by -
    • Recognising its intrinsic value for sustainable development.
    • Considering the impact of culture, cultural heritage and the creative economy on the economic, social and environmental dimensions of development.

Culture under India's G20 Presidency:

  • India firmly believes in the philosophy of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam - the earth is one family,and all individuals are collectively responsible towards each other and their shared future.
    • This shapes India's vision of sustainable living.
  • India's G20 Presidency aims to nurture, celebrate, and incorporate the cultural diversity of the member states while striving towards achieving holistic living and building a pro-planet society.
  • The G20 Culture Working Group stands among the 13 thematic Working Groups set up by the Indian Presidency to frame the G20 process in 2023.
  • The Culture Working Group brings together representatives from G20 Member countries, etc., to discuss priorities and provide recommendations.
  • Four culture-related priorities set forth by the Indian Presidency are -
    • Protection and Restitution of Cultural Property
    • Harnessing Living Heritage for a Sustainable Future
    • Promotion of Cultural and Creative Industries and the Creative Economy
    • Leveraging Digital Technologies for the Protection and the Promotion of Culture
  • The working group is expected to meet 4 times across the working process in Khajuraho, Bhubaneshwar, Hampi and Varanasi, leading up to a G20 culture ministerial meeting.
  • The outcomes of the Culture Working Group will also feed into the 18th G20 Summit to be held in September 2023. 

Highlights of the Outcome Document ‘Kashi Culture Pathway’:

  • It highlights the need to address -
    • The destruction of cultural heritage in situations of conflict,
    • The curbing of illicit trafficking of artifacts,
    • The restitution of cultural property and
    • The need to protect living heritage, especially of indigenous people.
  • The document said the nations were united against destruction of cultural heritage whether intentional or collateral, notably in situations of conflict.
  • They called for a strengthened and effective global coalition to bolster the fight against the illicit trafficking of cultural property.
  • The document sought cooperation among nations and strengthening of appropriate tools to increase the effectiveness of law enforcement collaboration through voluntary data and information exchange.
  • It sought enhanced research, documentation, awareness-raising and capacity-building of specialised cultural professionals, judiciary and law enforcement authorities, etc., to the fight against the illicit trafficking of cultural property.
  • The document also sought preventive action and regulation of illicitly exported cultural property specially in online trade.
  • It sought an inclusive dialogue on the return and restitution of cultural property by enabling alternate dispute resolution mechanisms.
  • The G-20 nations also reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen institutional and policy frameworks to harness living heritage for sustainable development.
  • The countries recognised the misuse and misappropriation of living cultural heritage, particularly of local communities as well as of indigenous peoples, especially for commercial use.
International Relations

Mains Article
27 Aug 2023

What is the Care Protocol for Babies in India?

Why in News?

  • Former British nurse Lucy Letby was sentenced to life in prison earlier this week after being found guilty in the worst child serial killer case in the history of the U.K.
  • Letby killed infants by injecting them with air, others were force-fed milk and two were poisoned with insulin.

What’s in Today’s Article?

  • Patient Safety Provisions in India (Laws & Regulatory Bodies Concerned)
  • Neonatal Safety (Meaning, Issues Neonates Face, Conclusion)

What are Patient Safety Provisions in India?

  • Patient safety is a fundamental element of public healthcare.
  • As per the Union Health Ministry document titled, ‘National Patient Safety Implementation Framework (2018-2025)’, patient safety is defined as the freedom for a patient from unnecessary harm or potential harm associated with provision of healthcare.
  • Patients in India are protected under multiple layers of law that are largely fragmented.
  • The first idea of patient safety is enshrined in the Hippocratic Oath
  • Additionally, the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 deals with medical negligence and deficiency of services.
  • Legal rights of the patients are set out in the Clinical Establishment Act, 2010.
  • The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority and Drugs Controller General of India have mechanisms to see that patients’ rights in terms of medication and devices are protected and that they are not overcharged, among other things.

How is Neonatal Safety Maintained in India?

  • A new-born infant, or neonate, is a child under 28 days of age. During these first 28 days of life, the child is at highest risk of dying.
  • There are no exclusive rules for neonatal care and safety, or protection against external harm in Indian hospitals.
  • However, there are provisions and checks against issues like inadvertent mix-up of babies at birth and abduction.

What are the Issues Neonates Face?

  • Infant Mortality Rate –
    • World Health Organization data shows that in 2019, 47% of all under-five deaths occurred in the new-born period with about one third dying on the day of birth and close to three quarter dying within the first week of life.
    • The current infant mortality rate for India in 2023 is 26.6 deaths per 1,000 live births, a 3.89% decline from 2022.
    • The infant mortality rate for India in 2022 was 27.6 deaths per 1,000 live births.
    • Children who die within the first 28 days of birth suffer from conditions and diseases associated with lack of quality care at birth or skilled care and treatment immediately after birth and in the first days of life.
  • Pre-term Birth –
    • Pre-term birth, intrapartum-related complications (birth asphyxia or lack of breathing at birth), infections and birth defects cause most neonatal deaths.
    • Women who receive midwife-led continuity of care (MLCC) provided by professional midwives, educated, and regulated to internationals standards, are 16% less likely to lose their baby and 24% less likely to experience pre-term birth.


  • The WHO has advised families that prompt medical care should be sought in case of danger signs, including feeding problems, or if the new-born has reduced activity, difficult breathing, a fever, fits or convulsions, jaundice in the first 24 hours after birth, yellow palms and soles at any age, or if the baby feels cold.
  • Families are also required to register the birth and bring the baby for timely vaccination, according to national schedules. Some new-borns require additional attention and care during hospitalisation and at home to minimise their health risks.
Social Issues

Mains Article
27 Aug 2023

India, Asian Development Bank to set up climate change and health hub in Delhi

Why in news?

  • India is now all set to open a climate change and health hub in the national capital in partnership with the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
  • Earlier, India had bagged the first WHO Centre for Global Traditional Medicine.
    • WHO Centre for Global Traditional Medicine was set up in Jamnagar, Gujrat.
  • The new hub for climate change and health will facilitate knowledge sharing, promote partnerships and innovations, and also help countries beyond the G-20, especially developing countries.

What’s in today’s article?

  • Asian Development Bank (ADB)
  • WHO Centre for Global Traditional Medicine
  • News Summary

Asian Development Bank (ADB)

  • ADB (founded in 1966) is an international development finance institution.
  • Its mission is to help its developing member countries reduce poverty and improve the quality of life of their people.
  • Headquartered in Manila, ADB is owned and financed by its 68 members, of which 49 are from the region and 19 are from other parts of the globe.
  • The two largest shareholders of the Asian Development Bank are the United States and Japan.
  • ADB is an official United Nations Observer.
  • Voting rights in ADB are distributed in proportion with members’ capital subscriptions.

WHO Global Centre for Traditional Medicine (GCTM)

  • About
    • GCTM is a knowledge centre for traditional medicine which is being termed as the first and only global outpost centre for traditional medicine across the world. The Centre is located at Jamnagar, Gujarat, India.
    • As lead investor in the WHO GCTM, India has committed an estimated US$ 250 million to support the Centre’s establishment, infrastructure and operations.
  • 5 Goals of GCTM
    • It aims to create a database of traditional knowledge system using technology.
    • it will create international standards for testing and certification of traditional medicines so that confidence in these medicines improves.
    • GCTM should evolve as a platform where global experts of traditional medicines come together and share experiences.
    • GCTM should mobilize funding for research in the field of traditional medicines.
    • GCTM should develop protocols for holistic treatment of specific diseases so that patients could benefit from both traditional and modern medicine.

News Summary: India, ADB to set up climate change and health hub in Delhi

  • India is now all set to open a climate change and health hub in New Delhi.
  • This centre will be opened in partnership with the ADB.


  • Climate change affects all and this centre will give an opportunity to have different partners discussing this important issue and learning from each other.
  • In its recently released G-20 outcome document, India noted that climate change will continue to drive health emergencies, including the emergence and re-emergence of infectious diseases.
    • It will also increase the severity and frequency of natural disasters, thereby threatening health systems’ ability to deliver essential services.
    • Against this backdrop, there is need to enhance the resilience of health systems against the impact of climate change.
  • The outcome document committed to:
    • prioritize climate-resilient health systems development,
    • build sustainable and low-carbon/low greenhouse gas (GHG) emission health systems and healthcare supply chains that deliver high-quality healthcare,
    • mobilize resources for resilient, low-carbon sustainable health systems, and
    • facilitate collaboration, including initiatives such as the WHO-led Alliance for Transformative Action on Climate and Health (ATACH).
  • The recently concluded G-20 Health Ministers’ meet also expressed the concern about the rising cases of zoonotic spill overs, and consequently emerging and re-emerging diseases.
  • In this context, there is need to identify new drivers and address the existing drivers using a science and risk-based approach, and to strengthen existing infectious disease surveillance systems.
  • The new Climate Change and Health Hub in New Delhi will help countries all over the world to address the above-mentioned issues.


International Relations

Mains Article
27 Aug 2023

Chandrayaan-3’s landing spot on Moon to be known as Shiv Shakti point

Why in news?

  • PM Modi announced that the point where the Chandrayaan-3 lander touched down on the lunar surface would be named Shiv Shakti.
  • He was addressing the ISRO scientists at the ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) in Bengaluru after his arrival from Greece.

What’s in today’s article?

  • Chandrayaan-3
  • ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC)
  • News Summary


  • About
    • The Chandrayaan-3 is India’s third lunar mission.
    • It consists of an indigenous lander module (LM), propulsion module (PM), and a rover.
    • Its objective is to develop and demonstrate new technologies required for inter-planetary missions.
  • Objectives
    • The mission had 3 objectives:
      • Demonstration of a Safe and Soft Landing on the Lunar Surface is accomplished☑️
      • Demonstration of Rover roving on the moon is accomplished☑️
      • Conducting in-situ scientific experiments – This step is going on. All payloads are performing normally.
  • Modules
    • The propulsion module is the one that will take the lander and the rover to the moon.
    • The lander module contains the rover. After the touchdown, the lander will remain stationary at the landing site, while the rover will explore the moon.
  • Payloads
    • The Chandrayaan-3 carries six payloads that would help ISRO understand the lunar soil and also get the blue planet’s photographs from the lunar orbit.
      • Radio Anatomy of Moon Bound Hypersensitive ionosphere and Atmosphere (RAMBHA) will measure the near-surface plasma density and its changes with time.
      • Instrument for Lunar Seismic Activity (ILSA) will measure seismicity around the landing site and delineate the structure of the lunar crust and mantle.
      • The Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscope (LIBS) will determine the elemental composition of lunar soil and rocks around the landing site.
      • Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) will derive the chemical composition and infer the mineralogical composition of the moon’s surface.
      • Spectro-polarimetry of HAbitable Planet Earth (SHAPE) will study the spectro-polarimetric signatures of the earth in the near-infrared wavelength range.
        • This could be used in the search for life on exo-planets beyond the solar system.
      • Lunar lander Vikram will click photos of the rover Pragyaan as it studies the seismic activity on the moon.
        • Using laser beams, it would try to melt a piece of the lunar surface -- the regolith -- to study the gases emitted during the process.
  • ISRO’s previous moon missions
    • Chandrayaan-3 is largely a replica of its predecessor, Chandrayaan-2, that was launched in July 2019 in the form of an orbiter and a lander (‘Vikram’) bearing a rover (‘Pragyan’).
    • Chandrayaan-1 was launched by ISRO in October, 2008.
      • The ISRO lost communication with Chandrayaan-1 on August 29, 2009, almost a year after it was launched.

ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC)

  • ISTRAC is located in Bengaluru.
  • It is entrusted with the major responsibility to provide tracking support for all the satellite and launch vehicle missions of ISRO.
  • The major objectives of the centre are:
    • carrying out mission operations of all operational remote sensing and scientific satellites;
    • providing Telemetry, Tracking and Command (TTC) services from launch vehicle lift-off till injection of satellite into orbit;
    • to estimate its preliminary orbit in space; and
    • hardware and software developmental activities that enhance the capabilities of ISTRAC for providing flawless TTC and Mission Operations services.
  • Towards, these objectives, ISTRAC has established a network of ground stations at Bengaluru, Lucknow, Mauritius, Sriharikota, Port Blair, Thiruvananthapuram, Brunei, Biak (Indonesia) and the Deep Space Network Stations.

News Summary: Chandrayaan-3’s landing spot on Moon to be known as Shiv Shakti point

Key highlights of the speech delivered by PM Modi

  • Naming of landing spots of Chandrayaan-3 and Chandrayaan-2
    • PM Modi announced that the point where the Moon lander of Chandrayaan-3 touched down will now be known as Shiv Shakti.
      • In Shiv, there is resolution for the welfare of humanity and Shakti gives us strength to fulfil those resolutions.
      • This Shiv Shakti point of the moon also gives a sense of connection with Himalaya to Kanyakumari.
    • Also, the point where the Chandrayaan-2 left its footprints will now be called
      • It will serve as an inspiration for every effort that India makes and remind us that failure is not the end.
  • National Space Day
    • He announced that August 23, the day the Chandrayaan-3’s lander made a historic soft-landing on the Moon will be commemorated as National Space Day.
    • National Space Day will celebrate the spirit of Science, Technology and Innovation, and inspire us for an eternity.
    • He asked ISRO to organise national hackathons on space technology in governance in collaboration with various departments of the Centre and the State governments.
    • He also called upon students across the country to take part in a huge quiz competition on the Chandrayaan mission organised by MyGov from September 1.
  • India now among first-world countries
    • India has become the fifth-largest economy in the world and it is now among the first-world countries.
    • In the journey from third row to first row, institutions like our ISRO have played a huge role.
  • Scientifically prove the astronomical formulas in the scriptures of India
    • He urged the younger generation of the country to come forward to scientifically prove the astronomical formulas in the scriptures of India.
Science & Tech
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