Monday, 13th March 2023

Table of contents

1   Editorial of the day


Not So Local Government

2   Daily Current Affairs


IBSA And Digital Governance


Japan joins Multi-Party Interim Appeal Arbitration Arrangement


Report On “Production and Promotion of Organic and Biofertilizers - Niti Aayog


Global Malnutrition Crisis


First India-Australia Annual Summit


Joint Statement of India-US Commercial Dialogue


Global Greenhouse Gas Monitoring Infrastructure (Gggmi) Plan – WMO


Ministry Of Finance Notified 2023 Amendment To Prevention Of Money-Laundering (Maintenance Of Records) Rules, 2005


Breakthrough in Room-Temperature Superconductor Research


India To Have a Modern and Smart Power Transmission System


Kalakkad-Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve (KMTR)


Sodium Intake Reduction


Gateway Of India


Macquarie Island Australia


National Bamboo Mission (NBM)


High Price Day Ahead Market (Hp-Dam) And Surplus Power Portal (Pushp)

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Editorial of the day

Not So Local Government

Exam View: Panchayati Raj Institutions, Urban Local Bodies

In News: This year marks the 30th anniversary of passing of the 73rd and 74th Amendments to the constitution, which introduced local self-governance in rural and urban India.

About Local Self Governance:

  • Local Self Government is the management of local affairs by such local bodies who have been elected by the local people.

  • Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) were constitutionalized through the 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act, 1992 to build democracy at the grass roots level and were entrusted with the task of rural development in the country. It added Part-IX with Articles 243 to 243 O and schedule XI to the Constitution.
  • Urban Local Bodies (ULB) were constitutionalized by the 74th Amendment Act in 1992. It added Part IX -A which consists of articles 243-P to 243-ZG along with the 12th Schedule to the Constitution. The 12th schedule has18 functional items of Municipalities and deals with Article 243 W.
  • ULB and PRI are the third level of the government
  • Despite enacting the 73rd and 74th CAA, decentralisation for long did not mean devolution of power and resources. It created an idealistic imagined space that would be above the usual give and take of politics.

Achievements of 73rd and 74th amendments

  • It led to the state acquiring a distinct presence on the ground and giving millions of citizens an identity of representative sharing power with central and state governments
  • It provided a conduit for sharing power and created deliberative spaces which led to the creation of new norms, especially around the participation of women and a churn in the local elite.
  • It slowly built up local capacities, and led to a wide range of functions being devolved to local government.
  • Affirmative actions for women in local self-governance institutions has led to women empowerment.

Challenges associated with Local Self-Governance:

  • Inequitable distribution of resources by the existing tiers of government, both central and state, has resulted in the lowest spending on local government as a proportion of resources.
  • Lack of autonomy, bureaucratic control, deliberate underinvestment in capacity, and the lack of political pathways for successful panchayat performers to rise in their parties has constrained LSGs to realise their true potential as meaningful governing bodies.
  • Technology is a double-edged sword where on the one hand, it creates local capacity and on the other, it is used to largely bypass political negotiation and control.
  • Demand side need of decentralisation: Despite significant institutional reforms there has been a limited demand side need for decentralisation and reluctance in exercising powers.
  • Declining faith in LSG institutions which were meant to be the pathways to inclusive growth and active citizenship. However, faith in these institutions have been declining as they are unable to withstand concerted social and ideological forces.

Way Forward

  • Local government requires many technical, administrative and financial fixes.
  • A unified district-level local government needs to be introduced rather than a distinct urban and rural bodies because many important decisions for urbanisation, like land use change are being made in panchayats leading to arbitrage over how a settlement gets classified.




Keywords: GS-2 Devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein
Daily Current Affairs

IBSA And Digital Governance

In News: According to a report by DiploFoundation, India, Brazil, and South Africa have the potential to play a crucial role in the reformation of digital governance.

About India-Brazil-South Africa Trilateral Cooperative Forum (IBSA)

  • IBSA Dialogue Forum is a distinctive platform that brings together three significant democracies and major economies from different continents, namely India, Brazil, and South Africa, who share similar challenges.
  • These nations are developing, diverse, and inclusive societies that encompass multiple ethnicities, cultures, languages, and religions.
  • The Forum's creation was formalized and named after the Brasilia Declaration, which was issued during a meeting between the Foreign Ministers of the three countries on June 6, 2003.
  • IBSA represents the essence of South-South cooperation, and the IBSA Fund is a unique aspect of its partnership.


  • Established in 2004, IBSA Fund (India, Brazil and South Africa Facility for Poverty and Hunger Alleviation) is a unique Fund through which development projects are executed with IBSA funding in fellow developing countries.
  • The fund is managed by the United Nations (UN) Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC).

IBSA Contribution to Global Digital Governance

Digital Inclusion

Digital Governance

  • Digitalisation is driving growth in the IBSA economies.
  • Spearheaded digital inclusion by prioritising affordable access to citizens, supporting training for digital skills.
  • Create a legal framework for the growth of small digital enterprises
  • India’s G-20 presidency aims to take strategic leadership with practical initiatives, such as a self-evaluation of nations’ data governance architecture.
  • Modernisation of national data systems to regularly incorporate citizen voices and preferences, and transparency principles for governing data.

Issues related to IBSA

  • Issues of Digital Divide: India, Brazil, and South Africa have made significant strides in digital infrastructure and connectivity, there are still significant disparities in access to digital technologies and skills, particularly among marginalized communities.
  • Concern of Cyber Security: IBSA has been collaborating on this issue to promote a safe and secure digital environment.
  • Geopolitical Rivalry: Satellite collisions, cyber-resilience and security of space services, exploration of space resources has increased competition between countries with a potential of weaponization of outer space.
  • Sovereignity Issues: The Foundation observes that many countries will have to balance data sovereignty and integration in the global economy.


Keywords: General Studies – 2, Governance, General Studies – 3 Growth and Development
Daily Current Affairs

Japan joins Multi-Party Interim Appeal Arbitration Arrangement

In News: Japan has become the latest country to join an alternative mechanism, Multi-Party Interim Appeal Arbitration Arrangement (MPIA) for resolving disputes to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

About MPIA:

  • MPIA, is an alternative system for resolving WTO disputes that are appealed by a Member in the absence of a functioning and staffed WTO Appellate Body.
  • WTO members can resort to the use of the MPIA under Article 25 of the WTO Dispute Settlement Understanding, as an alternative mechanism for dispute settlement.
  • The MPIA embodies the WTO appellate review rules and in a dispute between members, it will supersede the previous appeal processes and also apply to future disputes between members.
  • Any member can join the MPIA by notifying the Dispute Settlement Body and a range of members have done so.

Reasons for expansion of MPIA:

  • The top appeals bench of the global trade watchdog which rules on trade disputes has been idle for more than two years because of holds on appointments during the administration of former President Donald Trump.
  • Global trade rules are considered as the best guard rail against economic fragmentation.
  • Japan's membership may increase pressure on wavering potential members, like the United Kingdom and South Korea to join.
  • The paralysis of the WTO's top dispute bench means that the losing side can appeal the outcome from the lower court into a legal void, as has happened to Japan twice.



Keywords: GS-2 Important International Institutions
Daily Current Affairs

Report On “Production and Promotion of Organic and Biofertilizers - Niti Aayog

In News: NITI Aayog released the Task Force report titled “Production and Promotion of Organic and Biofertilizers with Special Focus on Improving Economic Viability of Gaushalas”.

About the Task Force:

The Task Force was constituted by NITI Aayog to suggest measures to make gaushalas economically viable, address the problem of stray and abandoned cattle and effective utilisation of cow dung and cow urine in agriculture and energy sectors.

Significance of report:

  • Cattle were an integral component of the traditional farming system in India and Gaushalas can be of great help in promoting natural farming and organic farming.
  • The agri-inputs developed from cattle wastes- cow dung and cow urine can reduce or replace agro chemicals, serving as plant nutrients and plant protection, on economic, health, environmental and sustainability reasons.
  • The effective utilisation of the cattle waste is an ideal example of a circular economy that harnesses the waste to wealth concept.
  • Moreover, cow dung­ based organic fertilisers would have a huge impact in fulfilling the constitutional mandate under Article 48 which states that the State shall take steps for preserving and improving cattle breeds and prohibiting the slaughter of cows and calves,
  • Gaushalas could also address the problem of stray cattle that damaged crops in many parts of the country.




Keywords: GS-2 Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors
Daily Current Affairs

Global Malnutrition Crisis

In News: A report by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), revealed rising incidences of malnourishment in adolescent girls and women between the ages of 15 and 49 in Nigeria.

Key Highlights of the UNICEF report:

  • Undernourished and Overlooked: A Global Nutrition Crisis in Adolescent Girls and Women, the report published by UNICEF revealed an increase in malnutrition incidence from 5.6 million in 2018 to 7.3 million in 2021.
  • 12 countries which include Afghanistan, Kenya, Nigeria, Sudan etc. are the hardest hit by malnutrition aggravated by COVID-19 coupled with war in Ukraine, ongoing drought, conflict and political instability in some countries.
  • The report examined the current status, trends and inequities in the nutritional status of adolescent girls and women of reproductive age and the barriers they face in accessing nutritious diets, utilising essential nutrition services and benefiting from positive nutrition and care practices.
  • The report analysed the data on inequities in weight, height, susceptibility to anaemia, dietary diversity and access to essential nutrition services for more than 190 countries and territories, representing more than 90 per cent of adolescent girls and women globally.
  • It found that adolescent girls and women are unable to consume at least five out of 10 recommended food groups.

Impact of malnutrition:

  • Inadequate nutrition can lead to weakened immunity, poor cognitive development and an increased risk of life-threatening complications, including during pregnancy and childbirth.
  • It can risk mothers’ lives and may have dangerous and irreversible consequences on the child’s survival, growth, learning and future earning capacity.




Keywords: GS-2 Issues relating to poverty and hunger
Daily Current Affairs

First India-Australia Annual Summit

In News: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese held a delegation level bilateral talks during the first India-Australia Annual Summit.

Key Highlights of the India-Australia Annual Summit:

  • Both countries shared their commitment towards further deepening of Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and agreed on early conclusion of India-Australia Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA).
  • MoU for cooperation in sports and audio-visual co-production were exchanged.
  • Terms of Reference for India-Australia Solar Task Force, Letter of Intent between Atal Innovation Mission and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization were also exchanged.
  • Discussions were carried out on further strengthening their security and defence cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, with special focus on Quad.
  • India and Australia also talked about developing credible and robust global supply chains.
  • The issue of attacks on temples in Australia was also raised and assurance was given by the Australian PM regarding the safety and well-being of the Indian diaspora in Australia.

India Australia relationship:

  • India and Australia share warm and friendly relations. The Strategic Partnership between the two countries was elevated to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in 2020.
  • In 2022, both the countries had signed a free trade agreement called the Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement which has opened up new opportunities in trade and investment between the two countries.
  • The bilateral trade between the two countries amounts to nearly 27 billion dollars in 2021-22.



Keywords: GS-2 Bilateral, Regional and Global Groupings and Agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
Daily Current Affairs

Joint Statement of India-US Commercial Dialogue

In News: A joint statement by India and the USA was released at the 5th Ministerial level meeting of the bilateral Commercial Dialogue in New Delhi, to strengthen the U.S.-India Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership and develop inclusive and fair trade and investment policies.

Key Highlights of India-US joint statement:

  • The ministers noted that the bilateral goods and services trade has almost doubled since 2014. USA has become India’s largest trading partner in 2022 with both sides taking further steps to enhance their commercial collaboration and tap into market potential across multiple sectors.
  • India acknowledged the ambitious nature of U.S. initiatives such as the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, Inflation Reduction Act, and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which provide investment opportunities in domestic manufacturing and strengthen supply chains.
  • India’s active partnership in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) was appreciated
  • The launch of S.-India initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET), which elevates and expands the strategic technology partnership between the governments, businesses, and academic institutions of our two countries was noted.
  • Building Supply Chain Resilience by increased bilateral strategic and high technology trade and collaboration for building resilient and trusted global supply chains and the mutual interest in taking forward the outcomes of iCET.
  • Facilitating Climate and Clean Technology Cooperation
    • S.-India Energy Industry Network (EIN), a broad platform for facilitating U.S. industry involvement in the Clean EDGE Asia initiative, the U.S. government’s signature initiative to grow sustainable and secure clean energy markets throughout the Indo-Pacific region.
    • Strong impetus being given to comprehensive green energy development under the S.-India Strategic Clean Energy Partnership (SCEP)
  • Inclusive Digital Growth:
    • India’s ambitions to increase ICT connectivity, promote digital inclusion, and improve efficiency in the delivery of government services through the use of digital tools were appreciated. Interest were expressed in working together in developing next generation standards in telecommunications, including 6G and Open RAN.



Keywords: GS-2 Bilateral, Regional and Global Groupings and Agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
Daily Current Affairs

Global Greenhouse Gas Monitoring Infrastructure (Gggmi) Plan – WMO

In News: The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Executive Council has recently endorsed plans for a new Global Greenhouse Gas Monitoring Infrastructure.


  • As per WMO, the increase in CO2 levels from 2020 to 2021 was higher than the average growth rate over the past decade and methane saw the biggest year-on-year jump since measurements started.
  • This infrastructure aims to reduce heat-trapping gases and fill critical information gaps which will provide vital information and support for implementation of the Paris Agreement.

Key Points:

  • The proposed GHG monitoring infrastructure will provide sustained delivery of consolidated, top-down, monthly, global estimates of net GHG fluxes into and out of the atmosphere.
  • It will provide critical and timely input to the global stocktake, work program for scaling up mitigation ambition and implementation, IPCC assessment reports, enhanced transparency framework, and national inventories.
  • Greenhouse gas monitoring will help in improving scientific understanding of the Earth System which is in urgent need for scientific underpinning of mitigation actions.
  • In its initial configuration, it is envisaged that the Greenhouse Gas Monitoring Infrastructure will consist of four main components.
  • Output will produce gridded net monthly fluxes of CO2, CH4 and N2O at the special resolution of 100 km by 100 km with a minimum possible delay.
  • CO2 remains in the atmosphere for many decades while methane is more potent but has a shorter life-span of about 10 years.


Keywords: GS-3 Environment and Ecology
Daily Current Affairs

Ministry Of Finance Notified 2023 Amendment To Prevention Of Money-Laundering (Maintenance Of Records) Rules, 2005

In news: India's Ministry of Finance has tightened the definition of beneficial ownership under its anti-money laundering law. According to new amendment, crypto has been brought under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Key highlights:


                                                                                Key points           

Changes to Record-Keeping Rules

  • The ownership threshold has been reduced to 10% from 25% earlier, meaning any individual or group having 10% ownership in the client of a "reporting entity" will now be considered a beneficial owner.
  • Reporting entities include banks, financial institutions, casinos, and crypto or virtual digital assets.
  • Intermediaries will now have to submit details such as names of persons, partners, beneficiaries, trustees etc., depending upon the legal form of organisation.
  • Reporting entities must also maintain records of all transactions, including cash transactions of more than Rs 10 lakh.

Expanded Definition of Non-Profit Organizations

  • The amendment also widened the definition of "Non-profit organization" to include any entity or organization constituted for religious or charitable purposes.
  • It will cover entities under the Income-tax Act, 1961, Societies Registration Act, 1860 or any similar State legislation, or a company registered under the Companies Act, 2013.

Politically Exposed Persons

  • Amendments have been made for "Politically Exposed Persons" (PEPs), defined as individuals who have been entrusted with prominent public functions by a foreign country.
  • It will now include heads of states or governments, senior politicians, senior government or judicial or military officers, senior executives of state-owned corporations, and important political party officials.

Crypto Under PMLA

  • Crypto exchanges and intermediaries dealing with virtual digital assets will now be required to perform KYC of their clients and users of the platform.
  • Entities involved in the exchange between VDAs and Fiat currencies, will now be considered "reporting entity" under the PMLA.
  • These entities will have to keep mandatory records of clients for five years even after the closing of business.


Keywords: GS – 3 Indian Economy
Daily Current Affairs

Breakthrough in Room-Temperature Superconductor Research

In News: Researchers at the University of Rochester have made progress in developing materials that could conduct electricity effortlessly under everyday conditions. This discovery is expected to transform the technology of electric energy, making it applicable in various technologies from smartphones to fusion power plants.

Key Points:

  • The New Superconductor is composed of lutetium, a rare earth metal, mixed with hydrogen and nitrogen.
  • The research began with a small, thin foil of lutetium pressed between two interlocking diamonds, then hydrogen and nitrogen were pumped into the tiny chamber.
  • The material was compressed to a pressure of 145,000 pounds per square inch and heated overnight at 150 degrees Fahrenheit, leading to production of a small vibrant blue crystal.
  • The crystal has showed that the material had superconductive properties at temperatures up to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • This amount of pressure is ten times lower than the previous superconducting material, making it more practical for future applications.
  • The discovery will be a significant milestone in developing superconductors that function at room temperature and could lead to many future practical applications of electric energy.


Keywords: GS-3, Science and Technology
Daily Current Affairs

India To Have a Modern and Smart Power Transmission System

In News: The Indian government has accepted a report by the Task Force on Future-ready Transmission System to modernize and make the power transmission system smart.


  • The Ministry of Power will focus on greater utilization of existing transmission capacity, increased share of renewable energy, fewer outages, and resilience against cyber-attacks and natural disasters.
  • Modern transmission grid is necessary to achieve the government's vision of providing 24x7 reliable and affordable power to the people and meet sustainability goals.

Key Recommendations and Solutions:



Modernization of the Existing Transmission System

  • Centralized Remote Monitoring, Operation of Substations including SCADA
  • Flexible AC Transmission devices (FACTs), Dynamic Line Loading system (DLL)
  • Wide Area Measurement System (WAMS) using PMUs and data analytics.
  • Hybrid AC / HVDC system, Predictive maintenance technique using AI/ML algorithms.
  • HTLS Conductors, Process Bus based Protection Automation and Control GIS/Hybrid Substation, Cyber Security, Energy Storage System

Advanced Technology in Construction and Supervision

  • Robots and Drones in construction and inspection of transmission assets                                              

Smart and Future-ready Transmission System

  • Real-time monitoring and automated operation of the grid
  • Better situational assessment
  • Enhanced utilization of transmission capacity
  • Centralized and data-driven decision-making.
  • Reduction in forced outages through self-correcting systems
  • Isolation of specific areas in case of any contingency

Up-skilling of the Workforce

  • Benchmarks for transmission network availability and voltage control based on the performance of global transmission utilities.


Keywords: GS – 2 Government policies and intervention
Daily Current Affairs

Kalakkad-Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve (KMTR)

Why in news? Recently, two researchers from Tamil Nadu have spotted a rare moth species (Mimeusemia ceylonica) for the first time in India in the buffer zone of Kalakkad–Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve (KMTR).

About KMTR

  • Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve (KMTR) lies in Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari District of Tamil Nadu. Kalakad Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1976 primarily for the conservation of Lion Tailed Macaque. Mundanthurai Tiger Sanctuary was declared as Nation’s first Tiger Sanctuary during 1962.

  • Vegetation types gradually change from dry thorn forest to dry deciduous. River Thamirabarani and 13 other rivers originate from KMTR. Hence, KMTR is called popularly as River Sanctuary. This sanctuary also forms a part of Agasthiyarmalai Biosphere Reserve.
  • Apart from tigers, the forest is home to Sambar, spotted deer, elephants, leopards, wild dogs, etc., and a large number of bird species, reptiles, etc.

Mimeusemia ceylonica

  • Mimeusemia ceylonica is a moth species belonging to the subfamily Agaristinae and family Noctuidae.
  • It was last sighted 127 years ago - at Trincomalee in Sri Lanka in 1893.
  • It was first illustrated and described by English entomologist George Hampson in 1893.


Keywords: GS – 3 Environment, Conservation
Daily Current Affairs

Sodium Intake Reduction


Why in news? A WHO report highlights that world is off-track to achieve its global target of reducing sodium

intake by 30% by 2025.

  • Sodium, an essential nutrient, increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and premature death when eaten in excess.
  • Main source of sodium is table salt e Sodium Chloride.
  • Global average salt intake is estimated more than double of WHO recommendation of less than 5 grams of salt per day (one teaspoon).

Issues with Sodium Deficiency


  • inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (ADH), caused by disorders that affect hormone balance, certain drugs, and certain medical conditions.
  • excessive water intake
  • prolonged vomiting or diarrhoea
  • use of some diuretics
  • some kidney diseases


Keywords: GS-3 Science and Technology
Daily Current Affairs

Gateway Of India

Why in news? A recent structural audit of the Gateway of India has revealed cracks along the façade.


  • Gateway of India is located in South Mumbai and overlooks the Arabian Sea.
  • It is an architectural monument in the Indo-Saracenic style.
  • It was built to commemorate landing of Emperor George V, first British monarch to visit India,in 1911 and was completed in 1924.
  • The monument has also been the site of many political and social events throughout history, including the departure of the last British troops from India in 1948.
  • It was later used as a symbolic ceremonial entrance to India for Viceroys and the new Governors of Bombat

Keywords: GS -1 Art and Architecture
Daily Current Affairs

Macquarie Island Australia

Why in news? The Federal government of Australia proposed the expansion of the marine park covering Macquarie Island’s Economic Exclusion Zone. This island is also declared as world heritage area.


  • Macquarie Island is located around 1,500km southeast of Tasmania.
  • Macquarie Island is the exposed crest of the 1,600km-long undersea Macquarie Ridge.
  • Macquarie Island the only piece of land in the world formed entirely of oceanic crust.

Physical Features

  • Several seabird species, including penguins and albatross, have been recorded on Macquarie Island.
  • It is the only place on earth where rocks from earth’s mantle are being actively exposed above sea-level.
  • Island is exposed crest of undersea Macquarie Ridge, raised to its present position where Indo-Australian tectonic plate meets Pacific plate.
  • Macquarie Ridge impedes the eastward flow of a current called Antarctic Circumpolar Circulation.


Keywords: GS-1 Geography
Daily Current Affairs

National Bamboo Mission (NBM)

Why in news? Recently, National Bamboo Mission (NBM) conducted “The National Workshop of Bamboo Sector Development” in New Delhi.


  • It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS).
  • NBM is carried out as a sub-plan of the Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH).
  • NBM mainly focuses on the development of the complete value chain of Bamboo sector to link growers with consumers.
  • The Department of Agriculture & Cooperation (DAC) under the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare implemented the scheme, to harness the potential of the bamboo crop.


Keywords: GS – 3 Environment and Agriculture
Daily Current Affairs

High Price Day Ahead Market (Hp-Dam) And Surplus Power Portal (Pushp)

Why in news? Recently, India launches portal to ensure availability of power during peak demand at high price.


  • HP-DAM segment, on power exchanges, will offer costly power from gas-based and imported-coal-based power plants.
  • HP-DAM is part of the overall strategy to ensure that all available power capacity is utilised.
  • Only those generating capacities which have a cost of producing power of more than Rs 12 per unit would be allowed to operate in HP-DAM.In HP-DAM power can be sold at a price as high as Rs 50 per unit.
  • PUShP will ensure greater availability of power during the peak demand season. It aggregates excess power generation capacity on a national basis, offering Discoms a view of the supply and demand scenario.
  • New segment will also ensure availability of electricity through an expensive battery energy storage system.


Keywords: GS-3 Indian Economy
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