Wednesday, 26th July 2023

Table of contents

1   Daily Current Affairs


Managing microplastic pollution in India


Initiatives launched under PMFBY


Stem Cell Transplant for Leukemia


Controlled Human Infection Studies (CHIS)


Unifying Quantum Theory and General Relativity


India’s First Cannabis Medicine Project


Satellite network portal site


Kurnool (Andhra Pradesh)




WHO new guidelines for HIV


Ludwigia peruviana


Godda (Jharkhand)



2   Daily Editorial Analysis


Taming inflation

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Daily Current Affairs

Managing microplastic pollution in India

In News: Managing microplastic pollution is important for meeting sustainable development goals in India.


Microplastics are tiny pieces of plastic less than 5mm in size. They can be found in the environment, in our food and water, and even in our bodies. Microplastics are a growing concern because of the potential threats they pose to human health and the environment.

Threats to human health and Environment

Microplastics can be ingested or inhaled, and they can accumulate in the body. They have been linked to a number of health problems, including:

  • Inflammatory responses
  • Damage to the immune system
  • Cancer
  • Reproductive and developmental problems

Microplastics can also have a negative impact on the environment. They can harm marine life, pollute our water supplies, and disrupt ecosystems. Microplastics can also absorb toxins from the environment, which can make them even more harmful to living organisms.

Sources of microplastics

  • Wastewater: Microplastics can enter the environment through wastewater treatment plants. They can also be released from washing synthetic clothing.
  • Cosmetics: Some cosmetics and personal care products contain microplastics. These microplastics can be released into the environment when the products are washed off.
  • Food packaging: Microplastics can also be found in food packaging. They can come from the plastic itself, or they can be released from the packaging during processing or transportation.
  • Industrial waste: Microplastics can also be released into the environment from industrial processes. These processes can release microplastics into the air, water, or soil.

Factors contributing to microplastic pollution in India:

  • Rapid Development: Rapid industrialisation, urbanisation and population growth have led to increased plastic consumption and waste generation.
  • Inadequate waste management systems: Limited recycling infrastructure and improper disposal practices. For example, Municipal areas in India generate 133,760 metric tonnes per day (TPD) of municipal solid waste (MSW).
  • Low recycling rates: India has low recycling rates for plastic waste. This means that a lot of plastic waste ends up in the environment, where it can break down into microplastics.Of which only 91,152 TPD waste is collected and 25,884 TPD treated and 9,250 TPD plastic waste is recycled.
  • Transport from in land to water bodies: The vast coastline and numerous rivers make it susceptible to the transport of microplastics from inland areas to the marine environment.
  • Lack of government regulations: There are currently no government regulations in India that specifically address microplastic pollution. This makes it difficult to hold polluters accountable and to enforce compliance with environmental regulations.

Challenges India is facing:

  • With a population of 1.42 billion, the world's most populous country is facing a significant challenge as the demand for water continues to rise.
  • Access to water plays a crucial role in all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), either through direct or indirect impacts.
  • Water stress has been exacerbated by issues such as misuse, inadequate management, and contamination of freshwater systems.
  • Meeting the SDGs by 2030 is an enormous undertaking, particularly in light of the pressing issue of microplastic pollution. 

In 2021, MoEFCC notified the Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021, which prohibited single-use plastic items by the end of 2022. The permissible thickness of plastic carry bags was increased from 50 to 75 microns and then 120 microns from December 31, 2022.

Way Forward

  • Raising awareness: Raising awareness about the dangers of microplastic pollution is essential to addressing the problem. This can be done through public education campaigns, school programs, and other outreach efforts.
  • Gathering data: More data is needed on the extent of microplastic pollution in India. This data can be used to develop effective policies and solutions to the problem.
  • Improving waste management: India's waste management system needs to be improved to better deal with the problem of microplastic pollution. This includes increasing recycling rates, improving waste collection and disposal, and reducing the use of single-use plastics.
  • Regulating microplastics: Government regulations are needed to specifically address microplastic pollution. These regulations should set limits on the amount of microplastics that can be released into the environment, and they should hold polluters accountable for their actions.

Keywords: GS-3 Environment
Daily Current Affairs

Initiatives launched under PMFBY

Why in News: The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare launched several new technological initiatives under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) to empower farmers and streamline the operations.

Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY):

  • It is a crop insurance scheme launched in 2016 to provide financial support and risk coverage to farmers against crop losses due to natural calamities, pests, and diseases.
  • It replaced the National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (NAIS) and Modified National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (MNAIS).

Initiatives Launched:

  • WINDS (Weather Information Network Data Systems) portal: It is a centralized platform that hosts, manages, and processes hyper-local weather data collected by Automatic Weather Stations and Rain Gauges at Taluk/Block and Gram Panchayat levels. It enhances risk assessment and decision-making in crop insurance, agriculture advisories, and disaster mitigation, supporting the agricultural sector and rural economy.
  • AIDE (App for Intermediary Enrolment) mobile app: It is a mobile application specifically developed to streamline the enrollment process for farmers in crop insurance schemes like Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) and Restructured Weather-Based Crop Insurance Scheme (RWBCIS).
  • YES-TECH (Technology-based Yield Estimation System) Manual: A manual aimed at implementing a technology-based system for yield estimation in agriculture. The initiative leverages technology to accurately estimate crop yields, helping farmers make informed decisions and plan effectively.

Other similar initiatives available:

  • Forecasting Agricultural output using Space, Agro-meteorology and Land based observations (FASAL) project: It forecasts accurate agricultural output using space technology, agro-meteorology, and land-based observations.
  • National Agricultural Drought Assessment and Monitoring System (NADAMS): It helps in identifying regions facing drought conditions and facilitates appropriate drought management strategies to support farmers.
  • National e-Governance Plan in Agriculture (NeGPA): It enables farmers to access vital agricultural data and services through digital platforms.
  • ISRO’s Geo-platform, Bhuvan: It offers data on plantation, pest surveillance, and weather conditions. It also promotes the use of Kisan Drones for crop assessment and facilitates the digitization of land records to improve agricultural practices.,Enrolment)%20dedicated%20to%20the%20farmers.

Keywords: GS – 2: Government Schemes, GS – 3: Indian Economy (Agriculture)
Daily Current Affairs

Stem Cell Transplant for Leukemia

Why in News: Recently, a sixth person, known as the Geneva patient, has likely been cured of HIV after receiving a stem cell transplant for leukaemia.

Stem Cell Transplant (SCT):

  • It is a medical procedure in which healthy stem cells are infused into a patient to replace damaged or diseased stem cells.
  • Stem cells are special human cells that can replicate and differentiate into various types of cells in the body.
  • The transplant aims to restore the body’s ability to produce healthy blood cells, boost the immune system, and treat certain diseases like leukaemia and lymphoma.
  • The recovery of HIV through stem cell transplantation has been more commonly observed in Caucasians because a specific gene mutation known as CCR5 delta 32 is more prevalent in this racial group.
  • People who inherit two copies of this mutation (one from each parent) are naturally resistant to certain strains of HIV due to the lack of receptors on their immune cells that the virus uses to enter and infect the cells.


Challenges with SCT:

  • Challenges in finding matching donors and the mutation being mainly found in Caucasians.
  • Stem cell transplantation also comes with risks, such as the risk of patient rejection and the virus finding other ways to infect cells.

Keywords: GS – 3: Science and Technology (Bio-Technology)
Daily Current Affairs

Controlled Human Infection Studies (CHIS)

In News: India takes first step towards Controlled Human Infection Studies (CHIS)

About Controlled Human Infection Studies (CHIS):

  • Controlled Human Infection Studies (CHIS) is a research method which includes deliberate exposing of healthy volunteers to pathogens in a controlled setting.
  • Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)'s Bioethics Unit aims to introduce Controlled Human Infection Studies (CHIS) addressing ethical concerns to protect participants.
  • It has formulated a policy statement on CHIS to include informed consent, risk mitigation, and fair compensation for participants.
  • CHIS is used in other countries for research to study diseases, test vaccines, and develop treatments of various diseases like malaria, typhoid, and influenza.
  • There is need for collaboration between researchers, institutions, and international partners to conduct CHIS safely and effectively.
  • Overall, CHIS has potential benefits including improved disease understanding, faster medical advancements, and pandemic preparedness.,is%20set%20to%20change%20this.

Keywords: GS-III: Health
Daily Current Affairs

Unifying Quantum Theory and General Relativity

In News: Delhi Scientists explore quantum effects on radiation emitted from a black hole to help understand the unifying link of quantum mechanics with Einstein's theory of relativity.

About Unifying Quantum Theory and General Relativity:

  • Scientists deliberate on the challenge of merging two powerful scientific theories of Quantum Theory and General Relativity.
  • Quantum Theory describes the microscopic behavior of fundamental particles and their interactions while General Relativity describes gravity as the curvature of spacetime caused by mass and energy.
  • Although both theories have been incredibly successful in their respective domains, they have different frameworks and mathematical descriptions, making unification difficult.
  • Major issues:
    • Unifying the two theories is crucial for a complete understanding of the universe as quantum effects become significant at extremely small scales, while gravity dominates at cosmic scales.
    • Currently, general relativity breaks down at the quantum level and thus understanding gravity's behavior at the tiniest scales requires a quantum description.
    • Quantum theory does not provide a comprehensive explanation for gravitational interactions on cosmological scales.
    • Black holes, being massive objects, require a unified description of quantum mechanics and gravity to provide insights into the unification problem.
    • Unification theories often lack experimental confirmation due to large scale which is essential to validate and refine potential unifying theories.
  • Overall, Unifying the theories will go a long was to clarify the behavior of the universe and may eventually lead to a breakthrough in understanding the fundamental nature of the universe.

Other important theories:

  • String Theory: It is one of the leading attempts at unification which treats particles as tiny vibrating strings.
  • Loop Quantum Gravity: It is a rival approach that quantizes space and time, suggesting discrete spacetime fabric.
  • Grand Unified Theories (GUTs): It aims to unify three of the four fundamental forces (excluding gravity)

Keywords: GS-III: Science and Technology
Daily Current Affairs

India’s First Cannabis Medicine Project

In News: Jammu is all set to pioneer India's first Cannabis Medicine Project of CSIR-IIIM Jammu, a first of its kind in India initiated in Private Public Partnership with a Canadian firm.

About Cannabis Research Project:

  • The Cannabis Research Project has a great potential to put substance to abuse for the good of mankind, especially for patients suffering from neuropathies, cancer and epilepsy.
  • The Cannabis Cultivation Farm of CSIR-Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine at Chatha near Jammu is a protected area of the institute where research works are carried out on this important plant.
  • The plants are reared and grown in glass houses with climate control facilities where research work on improving the varieties for desired cannabinoid content is being performed.
  • The scientists are working in different directions to provide the end-to-end technology for Cannabis cultivation, drug discovery with emphasis on disease conditions like pain management in cancer and epilepsy.

About Cannabis and its legality:

  • Cannabis is a wonder plant from which FDA has approved the drugs such as Marilnol and Cesamet for treatment of nausea and vomiting, Sativex for neuropathic pain and spasticity, Epidiolex, Cannabidiol for epilepsy.

  • The NDPS (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances) Act defines cannabis (hemp) as a narcotic drug based on the parts of the plant that come under its purview.
    • The Act, excludes seeds and leaves “when not accompanied by the tops” such as Bhang, which is made with the leaves of the plant,
    • Charas is the separated resin obtained from the cannabis plant and also includes concentrated preparation
    • Ganja is the flowering or fruiting tops of the cannabis plant excluding the seeds and leaves.

Significance of Cannabis Medicine Project:

  • The project is important from the perspective of Atma- Nirbhar Bharat as it augments the ability to produce export quality drugs meant for different kinds of neuropathies, diabetic pains etc.
  • J&K and Punjab are affected by drug abuse, and such projects will spread awareness that this substance of abuse has diverse medicinal uses.
  • This will give an impetus for huge investment in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The project will encourage other states like Uttrakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Manipur, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh to make policies and rules for scientific use of Cannabis.


Keywords: GS-3 Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life
Daily Current Affairs

Satellite network portal site

In News: OneWeb India Communications signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the government of Gujarat to build India's first satellite network portal, at Mehsana.

About the Satellite Network Portal:

  • The satellite network portal (SNP) site will be serving as a signal and data downlink and uplink terminal or base station on the ground.
  • OneWeb has 648 satellites orbiting at 1,000-1,200 km making 13 orbits per day, covering the entire globe.
  • These low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites, have high-speed and low latency, i.e. a lower time lag between a user seeking data and the server sending that data, compared to geostationary Earth orbit satellites.
  • To cover the entire Earth, 40 such SNPs are required, but for India only 2 such SNPs are needed. One is being located in Gujarat and the other one is being planned to be located in Southern India.
  • Setting up the SNP requires civil infrastructures along with a slew of regulatory approvals from the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) and spectrum allocation from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

Reason behind selecting Gujarat as a location:

  • Geographical: It is a suitable location as it enables covering the maritime sector too.
  • Business: Gujarat is providing incentives and provides a favourable business climate

Significance of setting up SNPs:

  • Job Creation: OneWeb India Communications plans to invest up to Rs 100 crore in this project, which would create 500 direct and indirect jobs, including jobs for telecom, electronics and instrumentation engineers.
  • Better connectivity: It will provide high-speed, low-latency and affordable connectivity to the government, businesses, consumers, schools and more.
  • Improved infrastructure: Setting up of SNP requires building up of new civil infrastructure.



Keywords: GS-3 Space Technology
Daily Current Affairs

Kurnool (Andhra Pradesh)

In News:  Recently, the Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation lays the foundation stone of 108 feet tall statue of Lord Shri Ram in Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh.


  • 108 feet tall statue of Lord Shri Ram to be installed in Mantralayam will give the message of our Sanatan Dharma to the entire world for many ages and will strengthen the Vaishnava tradition in the country and the world.
  • This project is spread over an area of 10 acres in Mantralayam village situated on the banks of Tungabhadra river.
  • The great Vijayanagara Empire was originated on the banks of the Tungabhadra river, it restored Swadesh and Swadharma by driving out the invaders from the entire South.
  • Mantralayam village is very famous for the temple of Raghavendra Swamy.

Keywords: GS-1 Geography
Daily Current Affairs


In News: Recently, Cambodia holds an election that is almost certain to be won by the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) of Prime Minister Hun Sen.


  • Cambodia, country on the Indochinese mainland of Southeast Asia. Cambodia is largely a land of plains and great rivers and lies amid important overland and river trade routes linking China to India and Southeast Asia.
  • Cambodia is bordered to the west and northwest by Thailand, to the northeast by Laos, to the east and southeast by Vietnam, and to the southwest by the Gulf of Thailand.,the%20world's%20longest%2Dserving%20premiers.


Keywords: GS-1 Geography
Daily Current Affairs

WHO new guidelines for HIV

In News: Recently, WHO Integrate mpox with HIV, STI prevention & control programmes.


  • The importance of achieving HIV viral suppression and maintaining undetectable virus levels is emphasized for both individual health improvement and preventing HIV transmission.
  • Countries are incorporating Mpox (monkeypox) detection, prevention, and care into existing HIV and sexually transmitted infection prevention and control programs, leveraging innovative approaches.
  • People living with HIV who consistently use antiretroviral therapy (ART) to achieve an undetectable viral load do not transmit HIV to their sexual partner(s) and have a low risk of vertically transmitting HIV to their children.


Keywords: GS-3 Health
Daily Current Affairs

Ludwigia peruviana

In News: Ludwigia peruviana, an aquatic plant native to South America, has become a menace for Tamil Nadu’s elephant habitats.


  • Ludwigia peruviana has invaded the swamps and grass covers in the Valparai region, which serves as a key habitat for elephants within the Annamalai Tiger Reserve.
  • Aggressive growth in swamps poses a unique challenge, the dense and waterlogged nature of swamps makes the usage of machinery difficult, requiring alternative strategies for effective control.
  • Tamil Nadu has launched a drive to remove exotic species from its forests to protect the native ecosystems. Some of the targeted invasive species include Lantana camara, Senna spectabilis, and Acacia mearnsii.


Keywords: GS-3 Environment
Daily Current Affairs

Godda (Jharkhand)

In News:  Gautam Adani called on Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka following the full load commencement of power supply to Bangladesh from the 1600 MW Ultra Super-Critical Thermal Power Plant (USCTPP) at Godda in Jharkhand.


  • Godda project is India’s first commissioned transnational power project, where 100% of the generated power is supplied to another nation.
  • The plant’s operations include 100% flue gas desulphurization, selective catalytic reconverter, and zero water discharge for minimizing emissions and ensuring environment-friendly operations.
  • Godda is mostly famous for the Rajmahal coalfield in Lalmatia. It is known for its hills and small forests. The mine present here is an integral part of ECL coalfields and is among the biggest in the whole of Asia.,%2Da%2Dhalf%20years.%E2%80%9D

Keywords: GS-1 Geography
Daily Current Affairs


In News: In latest move towards growing ties, India hands over missile corvette INS Kirpan to Vietnam.


  • Vietnam is bordered by China to the north, the South China Sea to the east and south, the Gulf of Thailand (Gulf of Siam) to the southwest, and Cambodia and Laos to the west.
  • Red (Hong) River in the north and the Mekong (Cuu Long) River in the south are major river of Vietnam.,between%20New%20Delhi%20and%20Hanoi.

Keywords: GS-1 Geography
Daily Editorial Analysis

Taming inflation

Exam view: Areas of concern; Ban on Export; A better way to tame non-PDS inflation.

Context: Export bans, stocking limits can be counterproductive to stabilise prices of commodities. India needs to use import policy liberally.


Decoding the editorial: Areas of concern

The June Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation figure of 4.8 percent is discomforting for the RBI as well as the government.

  • The erratic monsoon has raised the risk of inflation.
  • The cereals and products inflation is high at 12.71 percent. It contributes about 22.8 percent to CPI inflation, as it has a high weight of 9.7 percent in the food group in the CPI basket.
  • The inflation rate for wheat stands at 12.37 percent despite the recent ban on exports and the stocking limits on traders and processors.
  • Furthermore, rice inflation stands at 11.78 percent, and the FCI’s open market operations have elicited a lukewarm response.
  • Tomato prices are showing a negative inflation of (-) 34.7 percent in June 2023.
    • It is because last year in June 2022, tomatoes inflation was 158 percent, and therefore when one compares, year-on-year (YoY) inflation, it turns out to be negative for tomatoes.
    • But month-on-month (MoM) (June over May 2023) basis, inflation is 64.5 percent for tomatoes.
  • Milk and milk products recorded an inflation rate of 8.56 percent in June 2023 and contributed 11.2 percent to the overall CPI inflation.
    • Among the 299 commodities in the CPI basket, liquid milk has the highest contribution of 11 percent to CPI inflation.
    • Rising feed costs and lumpy skin disease have led to milk production stagnating (222 MT) in FY23 over (221 MT) in FY22.
  • Pulses and products inflation in June 2023 was also at double digits (10.53 percent).
    • Regions dependent on rainfall for pulses cultivation, such as Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Maharashtra, may see a reduced output due to anticipated adverse weather conditions caused by El Nino.

Ban on Export

The government has imposed a ban on exports of white rice with the hope of taming cereal inflation. Its probable impacts are:

  • Globally: India is the largest exporter of rice, accounting for almost 40 percent of the global rice trade.
    • Such bans on exports and strangulation of domestic markets will not be appreciated at all by G20 countries.
    • The rice export ban will hurt the African countries most as rice prices are likely to go up internationally.
  • Domestically: It reflects a knee-jerk reaction and a strong pro-consumer bias, which is also anti-farmer.
    • These are instruments of the 1960s.
    • Export bans and stocking limits also make a mockery of the agri-marketing reforms that the now-withdrawn farm laws were trying to achieve.
    • India imposed a ban on wheat exports in May 2022, and in June this year. Yet, inflation in wheat has been in double digits.
    • The government is already giving free rice or wheat (5kg/person/month) to more than 800 million people under its PM Garib Kalyan Yojana.
    • In the case of rice, the export ban is puzzling as the government has stocks of more than 40 million tonnes (MT) , almost three times the buffer stock norms of 13.5 MT as on July 1.

A better way to tame non-PDS inflation

  • Reduce the import duty on wheat from 40 percent.
  • Unload excess rice stocks in the open market at lower prices than what the FCI has been doing recently.
  • There is also a need to revise the weight of food and beverages in the CPI basket.
    • This is outdated and based on the 2011 consumption survey.
    • Engel’s law clearly shows us that with rising per capita income, people will spend less on food.
  • There needs to be accountability from Operation Green, which was set up to stabilise value chains and prices of tomatoes, onions, and potatoes (TOP).
  • With respect to milk products, the policy solution lies in reducing import duties on skimmed milk powder (SMP) from 60 percent to 10 percent and on butter from 40 percent to 10 percent.
  • Importing tur from Mozambique, Malawi and Myanmar can help tame tur prices.
  • Also, India needs to abolish the minimum import price for yellow peas, which currently stands at Rs 200/kg. Yellow pea is the cheapest pulse; it can act as an anchor and check the spurt in pulses prices.

To sum up, India can contain CPI inflation within 6 percent, provided it uses import policy for food products liberally and well in time.


Keywords: GS Paper-3: Growth & Development; Monetary Policy.
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