Wednesday, 22nd March 2023

Table of contents

1   Editorial of the day


New Global Disorder

2   Daily Current Affairs


Net Neutrality in India


Holistic Development of Great Nicobar Island


Guideline for Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Health Sector


Global Terrorism Index


Outcome budgeting


Vaikom satyagraha


Gandak River


World Happiness report


Sealed cover jurisprudence


Trade Receivables Discounting System (TReDS)


Keibul Lamjao National Park


Butterfly Ecopark in Tripura

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Editorial of the day

New Global Disorder

Exam View: Changing Global order, Concerns and expectations from Indian diplomacy, future of Sino-Russian relations.

Context: Japanese PM Fumio Kishida’s visit to India for elevation of the Indo-Pacific partnership and Chinese PM Xi Jinpings’s visit to Russia to consolidate the Eurasian alliance have unfolded a global geopolitical churn.


  • Fumio Kishida visited India to discuss global challenges like international security, food security, climate and energy, fair and transparent development finance.
  • The Chinese PM landed in Moscow to show support for Russian leader Vladimir Putin and probe possible steps toward peace in Ukraine.
  • Recently both west and East has witnessed geopolitical realignments and diffusion of tension between various countries, potentially creating global disorder.

Decoding the Editorial:

  • Iran and Saudi Arabia détente:
    • The deal was brokered considering the strategic realignments in West Asia and U.S. 's de-prioritization of West Asia. Iran also agreed due to economic isolation from the world and rising domestic pressure to realign.
    • The deal placed China as a new influencer in the Middle East replacing traditional power USA.
    • However it might also be considered as a photo-op given deep contradictions between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
  • South Korea and Japan
    • The US brokered the first summit in nearly twelve years between Japan and South Korea, thus ending the prolonged political chill. This is being hailed as a major diplomatic win for the US and a big loss for China.
    • However there are concerns over sustainability of the relationship due to volatile domestic politics of South Korea. Furthermore, South Korea’s deep economic relationship with China be overturned in the immediate future
  • US and Philippines
    • The US has managed to improve its relationship with the current president of the Philippines, which has been an old treaty ally of the US that was drifting towards China under the last president.
  • Germany and Japan
    • Both the countries agreed to coordinate their policies on Russia and reduce their excessive dependence on China-centred supply chains.
  • Israel, UAE and Bahrain
    • USA brokered a peace deal through Abraham Accord between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, first Arab-Israeli peace deal in 26 years.
    • The deal was brokered to contain Iran’s rising influence in the region and development of ballistic missiles.

Beyond the Editorial:

  • Concerns for Indian Diplomacy
    • India needs to adapt to the breakdown of the old order at different speeds and with varying senses of urgency for enduring both long term and short term adjustments.
    • Indian diplomacy needs to be nimble, flexible and open-ended to accommodate the shifting regional dynamic to the east and west of India.
    • Profound transformation of the partnership between Russia & China and Putin’s growing dependence on Xi has become a concern for Indian diplomacy.
    • Balancing the relationship between West and Russia, where India walks on a tightrope of diplomatic parleys.
  • Different Possible future of Sino-Russian relationships
    • Weakened Russia will become a junior partner to China, making Moscow a less reliable partner for Delhi in balancing Beijing.
    • Russia-India relations could remain essentially immune to change and Russia will remain an independent great power. Moscow can keep the ties with Beijing and Delhi on separate tracks despite the growing Sino-Indian contradictions and deepening strategic bonds between Russia and China.

India needs to strengthen its position with historical partners amidst the growing global uncertainty and should also try to increase cooperation with new allies through multilateral fora such as QUAD, SCO, G-20, BRICS, I2U2.


Keywords: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
Daily Current Affairs

Net Neutrality in India

In News: Over the past few months, various stakeholders have been debating the issues with Net Neutrality debate in India


  • Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) comprising of Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea, and Reliance Jio has been demanding platforms like YouTube and WhatsApp to pay a share of revenue to make up for the network costs.
  • The Broadband India Forum (BIF), which represents Internet firms such as Meta, Google has in response wrote to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) rebutting the COAI’s demands.
  • The BIF says that the revenues earned by the infra provider should also be shared with the entity using it in the same proportion.
  • This has reignited the debate around net neutrality which is the concept that all traffic on an Internet network has to be treated equally.
  • Previously, many countries, including India and the European Union, have enacted their own net neutrality laws to protect internet users and promote a level playing field for online businesses.

What is Net Neutrality?

  • Net neutrality is a concept that all internet traffic should be treated equally, without any discrimination or preference given to certain types of content or websites over others.
  • It means that internet service providers (ISPs) should not block, throttle, or prioritize any content or services based on their own interests or those of third-party entities.

Major issues with net neutrality:

  • Discrimination by ISPs: Without net neutrality regulations, ISPs could discriminate against certain types of traffic or websites, such as by blocking or slowing down access to websites or services that compete with their own offerings.
  • Paid prioritization: ISPs could also charge content providers for faster access to consumers, creating a "fast lane" for some and a "slow lane" for others thus favouring large companies that can afford to pay for faster access and hurt smaller companies and startups that cannot.
  • Lack of competition: In many areas, consumers have limited choices for ISPs, so if one provider chooses to violate net neutrality principles, consumers may have no other option for internet access.
  • Innovation: If net neutrality is not protected, it could stifle innovation and limit the ability of new companies and technologies to emerge, since they may not be able to compete on an uneven playing field.
  • Free speech: Net neutrality is also important for free speech, as it ensures that all voices have equal access to the internet and are not silenced by ISPs or content providers.

History of Net Neutrality in India

  • 2016: Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) ruled in favour of Net neutrality, which prohibited programs such as Free Basics by Facebook (now Meta) and plans to charge extra for data calls using apps like Viber.
  • 2017: TRAI provided recommendations on net neutrality to the Department of Telecommunications which include keeping the internet accessible and available to all without discrimination.
  • 2018: India banned "any form" of data discrimination and provide equal access to all assuring the importance of a free and open internet.

Way ahead:

  • Net neutrality is essential to protect the open internet, without stifling innovation and investment in broadband infrastructure.
  • As technology continues to advance, there is need to strike a universal to harness the potential of emerging technologies such as 5G networks which may lead to new types of traffic management.


Keywords: GS-III: Technology
Daily Current Affairs

Holistic Development of Great Nicobar Island

In News: The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has cleared the decks for the ‘Holistic Development of Great Nicobar Island’ mega project at the cost of about Rs 70,000 crore at the southern tip of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.


NITI Aayog is piloting the ‘Holistic Development of Great Nicobar Island’ project and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Integrated Development Corporation is the project proponent. The project aims to develop:

  • An international transhipment port of 14.2 mTEU cargo capacity at Galathea Bay along the island’s south-eastern coast;
  • An international airport to support 4,000 passengers during peak hours, a 450 MVA gas and solar-based power plant; and
  • An ecotourism and residential township of about 160 sq km.

Ethical concerns regarding the project:

  • Quick clearances of the Project: The process towards implementation of this free trade zone and transhipment facility in Great Nicobar started in September 2020 when the NITI Aayog issued a request for proposals for preparing the master plan for the project.

The quick approvals, clearances, exemptions and de-notifications show that the Union government is keen to implement this project without taking all stakeholders into account.

  • Ecological and environmental cost of new project: The island, which is spread over 900 sq km, was declared a biosphere reserve in 1989 and included in the UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere Programme in 2013.
    • The Great Nicobar Island has a population of about 8,000. Once completed, the project is expected to attract more than 3 lakh people.
    • The project will end up destroying vast stretches of coral reefs. The EIA report recommends ‘translocation’ of these organisms which are facing an existential threat due to climate change-induced ocean warming. Transplanted corals do not have a high survival rate and are susceptible to bleaching, according to various studies.

  • Rights violation of indigenous tribes: More than three-fourth of the island is designated as a tribal reserve under The Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Protection of Aboriginal Tribes) Amendment Regulation.
    • This project will run counter to the rights of vulnerable tribal communities, such as the Nicobarese and Shompen, who have been living in these areas for thousands of years and who depend on the forests for survival.
  • Cosmetic cover-up: The EIA report states that compensatory afforestation will be carried out in Haryana and Madhya Pradesh. The ecological comparison of these states to Great Nicobar is farcical.
  • Tectonic instability: The EIA report admits that the Great Nicobar lies in close proximity to the Ring of Fire and the Tsunami of 26 December 2004 is a clear demonstration of how prone it is to severe natural disasters.
  • Lack of scientific studies: The EIA report does not mention any scientific studies conducted during and prior to the 2004 earthquake.
    • The coastline of the Great Nicobar Islands, which was raised earlier, sank several meters during the earthquake. Post-earthquake satellite measurements show that the island topography is slowly regaining its original height relative to the sea level. This makes the Great Nicobar Island unsuitable to be developed as an urban port city.


Source: ws/th/th_delhi/issues/29551/OPS/GVEB1347V.1+GIOB13H0R.1.html

Keywords: GS – 3, Environmental Pollution & Degradation
Daily Current Affairs

Guideline for Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Health Sector

In News: ICMR has released Ethical Guidelines for AI in Healthcare and Biomedical Research to guide effective yet safe development, deployment and adoption of AI-based technologies.

About AI in Healthcare:

  • Application of AI in Healthcare:
    • Diagnosis, screening, therapeutics, preventive treatments, clinical decision-making, public health, predicting disease outcomes and health management systems.
  • Requirement for guidelines in AI:
    • Since AI cannot be held accountable for the decisions it makes, so an ethically sound policy framework is essential to guide the AI technologies development and its application in healthcare.
    • As AI technologies get further developed and applied in clinical decision making, it is important to have processes that discuss accountability in case of errors.

  • 10 key ethical principles for AI application in healthcare:
    • Accountability and liability, autonomy, data privacy, collaboration, risk minimization and safety, accessibility and equity, optimization of data quality, non-discrimination and fairness, validity and trustworthiness.
  • Role of Ethics committee:
    • Ethics committee carries out an ethical review process for AI which assess various factors including data source, quality, safety, anonymization, data piracy, data selection biases, participant protection, possibility of stigmatisation etc.
    • The body is responsible for assessing both the scientific rigour and ethical aspects of all health research.
    • It should ensure scientific soundness of the proposal and weigh all potential risks and benefits for the population.
  • Other frameworks which marry technological advances with healthcare:
    • Digital Health Authority for leveraging Digital health Technologies under the National Health Policy (2017)
    • Digital Information Security in Healthcare Act (DISHA) 2018
    • Medical Device Rules, 2017


Keywords: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health
Daily Current Affairs

Global Terrorism Index

In News: According to The Global Terrorism Index (GTI), India holds the 13th position, while Afghanistan remains the country worst hit by terrorism for the fourth consecutive year, despite a decline in both attacks and fatalities.


  • Global Terrorism Index published annually by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), a global think tank headquartered in Sydney, Australia.
  • The index provides a comprehensive summary of the key global trends and patterns in terrorism over the past 15 years.
  • The report ranks 163 countries (99.7% of the world's population) on the impact of terrorism.
  • Globally, deaths from terrorism fell by 9% to 6,701 deaths, marking a 38% decrease from its peak in 2015.
  • Pakistan recorded the second-largest surge in terror-related deaths worldwide in 2022, with the toll increasing significantly to 643.
  • South Asia remains the region with the worst average GTI score, and also recorded 1,354 deaths from terrorism in 2022.
  • Islamic State (IS) and its affiliates were the deadliest terror group globally for the eighth consecutive year, recording the most attacks and deaths of any group in 2022.
  • Indicators: Include the number of terrorist incidents, fatalities, injuries, and hostages.
  • The index is produced using data from TerrorismTracker of Dragonfly-- which provides event records on terrorist attacks since January 1, 2007 -- and other sources.


Keywords: GS-2, International Relation, Terrorism
Daily Current Affairs

Outcome budgeting

In News: As per the outcome budget presented by the finance minister of Delhi, almost 68% of the public works department (PWD) projects undertaken by the city government are progressing as planned.


  • Outcome budget is a unique system to track the status of the budget promises.
  • It effectively monitors the progress of the schemes regularly.
  • It is a progress card on what various Ministries and Departments have done with the outlays in the previous annual budget.
  • It measures the development outcomes of all government programs and whether the money has been spent for the purpose it was sanctioned including the outcome of the fund usage.

  • It is a means to develop a linkage between the money spent by a government and the results which follow.
  • An interesting feature of outcome-based budgeting is that the outcomes of programmes are measured not just in terms of Rupees but also in terms of physical units like Kilowatt of energy produced or tonnes of steel produced.
  • Also, outcomes are expressed in terms of qualitative targets and achievements to make the technique more comprehensive.
  • In India, it was first introduced in 2005-06 by the then finance minister P. Chidambaram. Such a method acts as a micro-level performance-based finance planning and management tool in economic terminology.
  • It makes the budget more accountable and transparent.




Keywords: GS – 2 Economy, Government Budgeting
Daily Current Affairs

Vaikom satyagraha

In News: The Vaikom Satyagraha, which marked its 100th anniversary, played a pivotal role in bringing attention to the infringement of human rights under the caste system in colonial India.

About Vaikom satyagraha:

  • Vaikom Satyagraha was a movement in Travancore (modern-day Kerala) for temple entry of the depressed classes.
  • It took place near the Shiva Temple at Vaikom, Kottayam district, Kerala during 1924-25.
  • Vaikom was at that time a part of the princely state of Travancore.
  • Gandhiji, Chatampi Swamikal and Sree Narayana Guru supported the movement.
  • The movement gained prominence in the whole of India and support came from far and wide.
  • The Akalis of Punjab supported by fixing kitchens to supply food to the Satyagrahis.
  • Even Christian and Muslim leaders were in support of the movement. However, Gandhiji was not entirely convinced by this as he wanted the movement to be an intra-Hindu affair.
  • On Gandhiji’s advice, the movement was taken back temporarily in April 1924.
  • After discussions with caste Hindu people failed, the leaders again started the movement. Leaders T K Madhavan and K P Kesava Menon were arrested.
  • E V Ramaswami Naicker (Periyar) came from Tamil Nadu to support the movement and then he was arrested.


  • On 23rd November 1925, all the gates of the temple were opened to Hindus except the eastern gate.
  • In 1928, backward castes got the right to walk on public roads leading to all temples in Travancore.
  • This was the first time that an organized movement was being conducted on such a massive scale for the basic rights of the untouchables and other backward castes in Kerala.




Keywords: GS –1 Modern History
Daily Current Affairs

Gandak River

Why in news? Recently, under Namami Gange Program, the development of river front on Gandak River in the district of Gopalganj, Bihar has been undertaken and two Ghats have been constructed.


  • The river Gandak, is also known as the Gandaki and Narayani River in Nepal.
  • It is a significant river that flows through the northern part of India and Nepal.
  • Valmiki National Park and Tiger Reserve in Bihar is located on the banks of this river.
  • Source: The river Gandak originates in the north of Dhaulagisi in Tibet near Nepal border.
  • The river flows through the Indian states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh and joins the Ganges near Patna just downstream of Hajipur.
  • Tributaries: The major tributaries of the Gandak River include the Mayangadi, Bari, Trisuli, Panchand, Sarhad, Budhi Gandak.,vide%20National%20Waterways%20Act%2C%202016


Keywords: General Studies –1 Water Resources
Daily Current Affairs

World Happiness report

Why in news? Finland ranks as the world’s happiest country for the sixth consecutive year.


  • The World Happiness Report is a publication of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network powered by the Gallup World Poll data.
  • Published since 2012, the World Happiness Report is based on two key ideas:
    • Happiness or life evaluation measured through opinion surveys and
    • Identifying key elements that determine well-being and life evaluation across countries.

  • The report usually ranks 150 countries based on several factors such as real GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity and perceptions of corruption.
  • Every year, each variable measures a populated-weighted average score on a scale of 0-10 that is tracked over a period of time and further compared with other countries.
  • India ranked 125th in the Sustainable Development Solutions Network's World Happiness Report.


Keywords: General Studies – 3, Important International Institutions and Report
Daily Current Affairs

Sealed cover jurisprudence

Why in news? In one Rank One Pension (OROP) case, Supreme Court refused to accept ‘sealed cover’.


  • It is the practice of seeking and accepting information from government agencies in sealed envelopes that can only be perused by judges.
  • While a specific law does not define the doctrine of sealed cover, the Supreme Court derives its power to use it from Rule 7 of order XIII of the Supreme Court Rules and Section 123 of the Indian Evidence Act of 1872.
  • It has been followed by the Supreme Court in the past, and sometimes lower courts as well.
  • This can happen in broadly two kinds of cases:
    1. when the information is connected to an ongoing investigation and,
    2. when the information is personal or confidential in nature.,sometimes%20lower%20courts%20as%20well


Keywords: General Studies –2 Judiciary, Indian Constitution, fundamental rights
Daily Current Affairs

Trade Receivables Discounting System (TReDS)

Why in news? The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor recently said that the TReDS platform— finances around 35,000 factoring units (FUs) monthly.


  • It is an electronic platform introduced in 2014 for facilitating the financing/discounting of trade receivables of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) through multiple financiers.
  • These receivables can be due from corporates and other buyers, including Government Departments and Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs).
  • Purpose: To allow MSME sellers to discount invoices raised against major corporations, which helps them manage their working capital demands.
  • Participants:
    • Sellers, buyers, and financiers are the participants on a TReDS platform.
    • Only MSMEs can participate as sellers in TReDS.
    • Corporates, Government Departments, PSUs, and any other entity can participate as buyers in TReDS.
    • Banks, NBFC - Factors, and other financial institutions, as permitted by the RBI, can participate as financiers in TReDS.


Keywords: General Studies –3 Growth & Development, Employment, Government Policies & Interventions
Daily Current Affairs

Keibul Lamjao National Park

Why in news? Centre advises state government to take steps for protection of Loktak Lake and Keibul Lamjao National Park.


  • It is the only floating National Park in the world, located on the Loktak Lake is the last natural habitat of the 'Sangai' (Rucervus eldii eldii), the dancing deer of Manipur.
  • The national park is characterized by floating decomposed plant material locally called phumdi.
  • It was created in 1966 as a wildlife sanctuary to preserve the natural habitat of the endangered Sangai/Brow antlered deer/Dancing Deer.
  • In 1977, it was gazetted as national park.
  • Hog Deer, Otter, a host of waterfowls and migratory birds are found here.


Keywords: General Studies –3 Environement, Conservation
Daily Current Affairs

Butterfly Ecopark in Tripura

Why in news? The Butterfly EcoPark at Chottakhola in Tripura is now a major attraction for tourists from different parts of the country and also Bangladesh.


  • It is nestled in a village near the India-Bangladesh international border in Tripura’s South district.
  • It is the first butterfly park in the northeast.
  • It was inaugurated in 2016 on 5.5 hectares of land having 250 species of butterflies.
  • The park is near the endangered bison park at Trishna wildlife sanctuary and Indo-Bangla Maitri Park to commemorate the Bangladesh liberation war.


Keywords: General Studies –3 Environment
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