Wednesday, 17th May 2023

Table of contents

1   Editorial of the day


Right to default bail

2   Daily Current Affairs


Digital Payment Infrastructure


Carbon Dating and its Working


Water footprint of AI


Cyclone Mocha


Protection of Women from Sexual Harassment Act, 2013


Meri LiFE App


Palghat Gap


Positive Indigenisation List


Data Governance Quality Index (DGQI)


Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR)


Unsponsored Depository Receipts (UDR)


Middle East to India Deepwater Pipeline



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Editorial of the day

Right to default bail

Exam View: Ethical concerns; Right to default bail.

Context: The Supreme Court of India has given an order to recall its own decision in Ritu Chhabaria vs Union of India upon the insistence of the Solicitor-General of India as the central investigation agencies were ‘facing difficulties’. This has caused concern among legal professionals.

Decoding the editorial: Right to default bail

  • Under Section 167(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), the maximum time available to investigators is 60 or 90 days, depending on the seriousness of the offence.
    • If the authorities are unable to complete the investigation within this time period, the accused can seek to be released from custody by applying for default bail under the first provision to Section 167(2) of the CrPC.
    • The ‘default’ characteristic of this bail comes from the fact that the application is unrelated to the merits of the case, and is designed to prevent long-term detention of the accused.
    • The right to default bail has been characterised by the Court in multiple judgments as an indefeasible right, flowing from Article 21 of the Constitution which guarantees the right to life and personal liberty.
  • History: It has its roots in a recommendation of the 41st Report of the Law Commission.
    • Under the older version of the CrPC, accused persons could be detained for a maximum of 15 days.
    • Noting the abuse of this provision by the police, who kept the accused under extended periods of custody by misusing other provisions pertaining to trial, the Law Commission recommended extending the period for which an accused could be detained in custody.
    • To counter the powers granted to investigating authorities through extended detention, a provision for statutory bail was also introduced so as to ensure that the accused is not detained in custody for long periods of time.

  • These protections that were guaranteed to the accused were also whittled away in practices such as
    • investigating authorities routinely filed incomplete or supplementary charge sheets within the 60/90 day period, to prevent the accused from seeking default bail.
    • investigating authorities would file charge sheets, incomplete or otherwise, after the 60/90 day period, but before the default bail application could be filed by the accused.
  • In the Ritu Chhabaria case, such illegal practices were delegitimized and the Supreme Court held that incomplete charge sheets filed by the police would not bar an accused from applying for default bail.
    • The Court did not lay down any radically new proposition. It drew from prior judgments, such as Uday Mohanlal Acharya v. State of Maharashtra, which delineated the constitutional foundations of the right of an accused to avail statutory bail.
    • Thus, Ritu Chhabaria did not create any additional hurdles in the investigation.

Ethical concerns

  • The questionable legality of the Court ‘recalling’ its own decision.
    • It deviates from fundamental principles of criminal procedure.
  • The impact on the rights to default bail.
    • On May 12, in its interim order, the Supreme Court clarified that courts could grant default bail independent of and without relying on the Ritu Chhabaria judgement.
    • However, the Court’s decision to suspend the rights of defendants in criminal cases would lead to further erosion of the constitutional rights of the accused.
  • Sacrifice of procedural propriety at the altar of administrative convenience
    • Right to default bail, which has been interpreted so far as flowing from the Indian Constitution, could possibly be made subservient to concerns of ‘difficulties’ faced by investigative authorities.



Keywords: GS-Paper 2: Judiciary, Indian Constitution
Daily Current Affairs

Digital Payment Infrastructure

In News: Recently, Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) adopted India’s proposal to support the development and adoption of the country’s digital public infrastructure.


  • Digital Payment Infrastructure refers to blocks or platforms such as digital identification, payment infrastructure, and data exchange solutions that help countries deliver essential services to their people, empowering citizens and improving lives by enabling digital inclusion.
  • India, through India Stack, became the first country to develop all three foundational DPIs, Digital identity (Aadhar), Real-time fast payment (UPI), and Account Aggregator built on the Data Empowerment Protection Architecture (DEPA).

Various types of Digital Payment Infrastructure

India Stack:

  • India Stack is the moniker for a set of open APIs and digital public goods that aim to unlock the economic primitives of identity, data, and payments at a population scale. The Open API team at iSPIRT has been a pro-bono partner in the development, evolution, and evangelisation of these APIs and systems.

APIs included in India Stack: The following APIs are considered to be a core part of the India Stack.

  • Aadhaar Authentication
  • Aadhaar e-KYC
  • eSign
  • Digital Locker
  • Unified Payment Interface (UPI)
  • Digital User Consent – still work in progress.

Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AEPS):

  • AEPS is a bank-led model which allows online interoperable financial transactions at PoS (Point of Sale / Micro ATM) through the Business Correspondent (BC)/Bank Mitra of any bank using the Aadhaar authentication.

Bharat QR:

  • Bharat QR is a quick response (QR) code to enable digital payments without card-swiping It is the world’s first interoperable payment acceptance solution launched by Indian Government to move towards a less-cash economy.
  • Bharat QR code has been developed by jointly by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), Visa, MasterCard and American Express under instructions from Reserve Bank of India (RBI). It works as common interface for the MasterCard/Visa/RuPay platforms and also facilitate acceptance of Aadhaar-enabled payments and Unified Payments Interface (UPI).
  • It enables person to make payments to retailers without using the merchant’s ID or number. It eliminated need of using card swiping machines making digital payments. Using, BharatQR code merchants will be required to only display one QR code instead of multiple ones.

Aadhaar Pay

  • Aadhaar Pay is a payment system that allows merchants to collect payments from a customer using his Aadhaar number and biometric authentication. The Aadhaar seeded account of the customer gets debited and the merchant account gets credited.

Features of Aadhaar Pay

  • Inter-operable
  • Instant transfer, 24X7 availability
  • No peripherals required for customers to make payments like cards and smart phone
  • Secure and safe as it is based on biometric authentication.


Keywords: GS- 3 Indian Economy
Daily Current Affairs

Carbon Dating and its Working

In News: Allahabad High Court ordered a “scientific survey”, including carbon dating, of a “Shivling” said to have been found at the Gyanvapi mosque complex in Varanasi after setting aside a lower court order on the issue.

About Carbon Dating:

  • After the court-ordered videographic survey of the Kashi Vishwanath temple-Gyanvapi mosque complex last year a Shivling and fountain was found in the mosque premises. Hindu petitioners claimed that the mosque was built on an ancient Hindu temple and Shivling existed before the mosque that came up in 1669.
  • Carbon dating is a method to establish the age of organic materials i.e. things that were once living. Living things have carbon in them in various forms.
  • The dating method is based on the fact that Carbon-14 (C-14), an isotope of carbon with an atomic mass of 14, is radioactive, and decays at a well-known rate.
  • C-12 is the most abundant isotope of carbon. A small amount of C-14 is also present. The ratio of C-12 to C-14 in the atmosphere is almost static, and is known.
  • Plants get their carbon through photosynthesis; animals get it mainly through food. Because plants and animals get their carbon from the atmosphere, they too acquire C-12 and C-14 in roughly the same proportion as is available in the atmosphere.
  • When they die, their interactions with the atmosphere stop. While C-12 is stable, the radioactive C-14 reduces to one half of itself in about 5,730 years, known as its ‘half-life’.
  • The changing ratio of C-12 to C-14 in the remains of a plant or animal after it dies can be measured, and can be used to deduce the approximate time when the organism died.
  • In the case of non-living things, carbon dating does not work. However, the two commonly employed methods for dating rocks are potassium-argon dating and uranium-thorium-lead dating



Keywords: GS-3 Science and Technology
Daily Current Affairs

Water footprint of AI

In News: While AI tools such as ChatGPT, Google BARD etc. are gaining massive popularity, a recent study revealed that Water footprint of these tools are extremely large.

About Water footprint of AI tools:

  • The water footprint of AI is the amount of water that is used to generate electricity and provide cooling facilities for the data centres that run AI models.
  • Water footprint is measured under two components:
    • Direct water consumption: Water that is evaporated or discharged as waste during the cooling process of data centre servers.
    • Indirect water consumption: Water used to produce the electricity that powers data centre servers.
  • ChatGPT-3’ training alone required 700,000 litres of freshwater, which is about the same amount of water as used in manufacture of about 370 BMW cars or 320 Tesla electric vehicles.
  • ChatGPT uses half a litre of water for answering every 20-50 questions.

Need of Water in managing AI tools:

  • For managing large data centres which produce a lot of heat, and needs cooling systems to prevent equipment failure.
  • These centres utilise water-intensive evaporative cooling towers to assist with cooling.
  • In order to prevent corrosion and the formation of microorganisms, the water used in this procedure is pure freshwater.
  • In addition to cooling systems, data centres also require a significant amount of water for power generation.

Measures to reduce Water footprint of AI:

  • Training of AI during cooler hours when less water is lost to evaporation.
  • Using renewable energy sources to generate electricity.
  • Developing efficient algorithms which do not require massive computational power and thus requires less cooling.


Keywords: GS-3 IT and Computers, Scientific Innovations & Discoveries, Artificial Intelligence
Daily Current Affairs

Cyclone Mocha

In News: Cyclone Mocha that recently made landfall in Myanmar has been categorised as an Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm by the IMD and as a ‘Super Cyclone’ by global weather website Zoom Earth.

About Cyclone Mocha:

  • A cyclone is a low-pressure system that forms over warm waters. As air warms over hotter regions it ascends, leading to low pressure at the surface it is covering.
  • In a depression or low-pressure situation, the air rises and blows in an anticlockwise direction in the northern hemisphere and in a clockwise direction in the southern hemisphere because of the Coriolis Effect.
  • Cyclone Mocha became the strongest cyclone ever recorded in the North Indian Ocean, including for all seasons and in both Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal, since 1982.
  • Mocha, with a recorded wind speed of 150 knots or 277 kilometres per hour, also became the strongest cyclone in the North Indian Ocean during the pre-monsoon season, tying with Cyclone Fani.
  • Mocha made landfall on May 14 on the Myanmar coast near Sittwe at a speed of 180-190 kmph, gusting to 210 kmph.
  • The cyclone did not undergo ‘stalling’, a phenomenon where a cyclone sustains on a water body, gaining moisture for a longer time before entering the land.

Conditions required for Cyclone formation: There are six main requirements for tropical cyclogenesis:

  • Sufficiently warm sea surface temperatures
  • Atmospheric instability
  • High humidity in the lower to middle levels of the troposphere
  • Enough Coriolis force to develop a low-pressure centre
  • Low vertical wind shear


Keywords: GS-1 Important Geophysical Phenomena such as cyclones
Daily Current Affairs

Protection of Women from Sexual Harassment Act, 2013

In News: Supreme Court flags ‘serious lapses’ in implementation of Protection of Women from Sexual Harassment Act

About Protection of Women from Sexual Harassment Act, 2013:

  • It is a legislation in India aimed at preventing and addressing sexual harassment against women in the workplace to provide women with a safe and secure work environment.
  • It applies to all workplaces, including both public and private sectors, and covers employees, interns, and even volunteers.
  • The Act defines sexual harassment broadly and includes unwelcome physical contact, sexually colored remarks, showing pornography, and making sexually explicit gestures or advances.
  • It mandates the establishment of Internal Complaints Committees (ICCs) in organizations with 10 or more employees to handle complaints of sexual harassment.
  • ICCs are responsible for receiving and redressing complaints, conducting inquiries, and recommending appropriate action against the harasser.
  • The Act also provides for the establishment of Local Complaints Committees (LCCs) at the district level to address complaints in workplaces with fewer than 10 employees or where no ICC has been constituted.
  • Employers are required to disseminate information about the provisions of the Act to all employees and conduct regular awareness programs.
  • The Act prohibits retaliation or victimization against the complainant and ensures strict confidentiality throughout the complaint-handling process.
  • Non-compliance with the provisions of the Act can lead to penalties, including monetary fines and cancellation of licenses or registration of the organization.
  • In this regard, the Supreme Court has recently highlighted serious lapses and called for affirmative action by the government and other stakeholders to ensure the Act's effective implementation.


Keywords: GS-II: Important Acts & Policies
Daily Current Affairs

Meri LiFE App

In News: Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change (MoEF& CC) launches Meri LiFE App

About Meri LiFE App:

  • The Meri LiFE app is a mobile application inspired by the concept of LiFE, which promotes mindful utilization and reducing wasteful consumption.
  • The app aims to showcase the power of citizens, particularly young people, in saving the environment.
  • It encourages individuals to take simple actions in their daily lives that can have a significant climate impact.
  • The app is part of the Mission LiFE initiative, which focuses on bringing about behavior changes in individuals through easy-to-do actions.
  • Users can participate in LiFE-related tasks under five themes: Save Energy, Save Water, Reduce Single Use Plastic, Adopt Sustainable Food Systems, and Adopt Healthy Lifestyle.
  • The app provides a gamified experience, nudging people to take the 5 for 5 challenge - five LiFE actions leading up to June 5th.
  • It helps track the progress of Mission LiFE and promotes a national movement for environmental protection.
  • The Meri LiFE app is available on the Google Play Store for download.


Mission LiFE

  • Mission Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE) is an initiative launched by the Prime Minister of India to focus on bringing about behavior changes in individuals through simple and easy-to-do actions.
  • The mission aims to mobilizes various stakeholders, including central ministries, state governments, institutions, and private organizations, to align their activities with LiFE.
  • It also aims to create awareness about sustainable actions that individuals can undertake to protect the environment.

Keywords: GS II&III: Government policies, Environment Protection
Daily Current Affairs

Palghat Gap

In News: Scholars deliberate on the importance of Palghat gap of the Western Ghats

About Palghat Gap:

  • It is a prominent geographical feature located in the Western Ghats and is approximately 40 km wide and is characterized by the steep Nilgiris and Anamalai hills on either side.
  • Its origin can be traced back to the drift of continental shelves after the separation of Australia and Africa from the Gondwana landmass.
  • It is speculated to have formed before the split between India and Madagascar, which occurred about 100 million years ago.
  • The present physiography of Gap may have been influenced by ancient river incursions or sea intrusions marking a divide in the flora and fauna of the region, leading to biogeographic distinctions.
  • The Gap has been historically significant as a gateway into the State of Kerala and today serves as a vital corridor for both roads and railways, connecting Coimbatore with Palakkad.
  • While the gap is traversed by the Bharathappuzha river, the vegetation in the Gap is classified as dry evergreen forest, distinct from the tropical rainforests of the Western Ghats.
  • The Gap is a geological shear zone running from east to west, causing occasional tremors in the Coimbatore region.
  • Its presence has affected the distribution of species, including frogs and elephants, with genetic differences observed on either side of the Gap.

Keywords: GS-I: Geography, PHYSIOGRAPHY
Daily Current Affairs

Positive Indigenisation List

Why in news? Recently, Defence Ministry approved 4th Positive Indigenisation List for Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSU).


  • The list comprises 928 components and subsystems which will only be procured from the domestic industry.
  • The concept of the positive indigenization list entails that the Indian Armed Forces, comprising the Army, Navy, and Air Force, will exclusively source the listed items from domestic manufacturers.
  • These manufacturers may include entities from the private sector or Defense Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs).
  • This initiative is in line with India's vision of 'Atma Nirbharta' (self-reliance) and aims to boost the domestic defence industry, enhance investment, and reduce dependency on imports.
  • This list is in continuation to the three similar PILs that were brought out in December 2021, March 2022 and August 2022
    • So far, 310 items have been successfully indigenised, with the breakdown as follows: 262 items from the first PIL, 11 items from the second PIL, and 37 items from the third PIL.


Keywords: General Studies –3 Defence Technology, Indigenization of Technology
Daily Current Affairs

Data Governance Quality Index (DGQI)

Why in news? Recently, The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW) has been ranked second among 66 ministries in the Data Governance Quality Index (DGQI) assessment for the quarter (Q3) of FY23.


  • Data Governance Quality Index (DGQI) survey aims to measure the maturity level of administrative data systems and their use in decision-making of various Ministries and Departments on implementation of Central Sector Schemes (CS) and Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS).
  • The DGQI assessment is conducted by the Development Monitoring and Evaluation Office (DMEO), NITI Aayog.
  • The DGQI assessment encompasses six pivotal themes, including Data Generation, Data Quality, Use of Technology, Data Analysis, Use and Dissemination, Data Security and HR Capacity, and Case Studies.


Keywords: General Studies –2 Polity & Governance
Daily Current Affairs

Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR)

Why in news? Recently, The Indian government has launched the Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR) tracking system to combat mobile phone theft.


  • Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR) is the citizen centric portal of Department of Telecommunications for tracing the lost/stolen mobile
  • This also facilitates for blocking of lost/stolen mobile devices in network of all telecom operators so that lost/stolen devices cannot be used in India.
  • CEIR serves as a central depository or database of International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers, models, versions, and other details of mobile devices.

International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers:

  • IMEI is a unique 15-digit code that precisely identifies the device.
  • Mobile phone manufacturers assign IMEI numbers to each device based on ranges allotted to them by the Global System for Mobile Communications Association.
  • Dual SIM phones will have two IMEI numbers.


Keywords: General Studies –2 Government Policies & Interventions
Daily Current Affairs

Unsponsored Depository Receipts (UDR)

Why in news? Recently, The International Financial Services Centre Authority (IFSCA) in GIFT city is examining the possibility of permitting unsponsored depository receipts (UDRs) for Indian shares.


  • Unsponsored Depository Receipts (UDR) is a type of Depository Receipt in which foreign firm has no involvement in the issuance.
    • A custodian buys shares from investors (and not the company) in the local market, creates a pool and facilitates trading of these shares abroad.
    • Investor does not have any voting rights and is retained by the depository.
  • International Financial Services Centre Authority (IFSCA) in GIFT city is examining the possibility of permitting UDRs for Indian shares.
    • This move will help to boost liquidity, attracting foreign funds etc. 


Keywords: General Studies –2 Government Policies & Interventions
Daily Current Affairs

Middle East to India Deepwater Pipeline

Why in news? Recently, South Asia Gas Enterprise (SAGE) has sought the support of the Ministry of Petroleum to develop an undersea gas pipeline from Gulf to India.


  • South Asia Gas Enterprise (SAGE) is an international consortium of companies in deepwater pipeline projects.
  • SAGE is a joint venture between India and UK based companies.
  • The proposed 2,000-km-long energy corridor connecting the Middle East and India, this project, can lead to an annual saving of about 7,000 crores.
  • The route being looked at is via Oman and UAE through the Arabian Sea to avoid geopolitically sensitive regions.
  • It will allow options to import gas from Oman, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkmenistan, and Qatar.


Keywords: General Studies – 3 Infrastructure, Mineral & Energy Resources, Government Policies & Interventions
Daily Current Affairs


Why in news? Recently, A gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) has been seen in Pakistan’s Punjab province for the first time after three decades.


  • Gharials, sometimes called gavials, are a type of Asian crocodilian distinguished by their long, thin snouts.
    • Crocodilians are a group of reptiles that includes crocodiles, alligators, caimans, and more.
  • Population of Gharials are a good indicator of clean river water.
  • India has three species of Crocodilians namely:
    • Gharial (Gavialis gangeticus): IUCN Red List- Critically Endangered
    • Mugger crocodile (Crocodylus palustris): IUCN- Vulnerable.
    • Saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus): IUCN- Least Concern.
  • All the three are listed on Appendix I of CITES and Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
  • Exception: Saltwater Crocodile populations of Australia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea are included in Appendix II of CITES.
  • Habitat of Gharials:
    • Natural Habitat: Fresh waters of the northern part of India.
    • Primary Habitat: Chambal River (a tributary of Yamuna).
    • Secondary Habitat: Ghagra, Gandak river, Girwa river (Uttar Pradesh), the Ramganga river (Uttarakhand) and the Sone River (Bihar).


Keywords: General Studies –3 Environment & ecology, Conservation
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