Wednesday, 26th April 2023

Table of contents

1   Editorial of the day


India and the SCO Paradox

2   Daily Current Affairs


Small Saving Instrument


EU’s new crypto-legislation MiCA


Safe City Project


National Generic Document Registration System




Operation Kaveri


Armenian Genocide


LockBit Ransomware


Notifiable Disease


Zafar Mahal


Talle Wildlife Sanctuary (Talle WLS)

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Editorial of the day

India and the SCO Paradox

Exam View: The SCO paradox; India’s engagement with the SCO.

Context: The Chinese and Russian defence ministers visited Delhi to attend a ministerial meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. Also, India is chairing the Eurasian regional forum this year, under which it will have a range of bilateral problems to discuss with its fellow SCO members.

The SCO paradox:

Clamour for membership of SCO can be considered a measure of the forum’s success.

  • Several important regional states in India’s neighbourhood are queuing up to join the SCO, which now has eight members, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan.
  • Iran is set to join the SCO and Afghanistan, Belarus, and Mongolia are observers and would like to follow Tehran.
  • The current and incipient dialogue partners includes Azerbaijan, Armenia, Egypt, Qatar, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates from the Middle East and Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka from the Subcontinent.
  • The SCO is inclusive, and its attractiveness underlines the rise of non-Western security institutions. Turkey, a long-standing member of NATO, wants to be part of SCO, highlights the value of being part of a forum led by Russia and China that today are at loggerheads with the West.

Failure of SCO to promote peace in Eurasia despite its main objective being the same.

  • Russia’s war in Ukraine is raising questions about Moscow’s capacity to sustain primacy in its backyard.
    • Russian leaders have often dismissed Central Asian states as artificial nations.
    • No Central Asian neighbour has endorsed the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
    • Many Central Asians work in Russia and send valuable remittances home. Yet after Ukraine, the Central Asian states are looking to intensify their diversification strategies to reduce their reliance on Russia.
    • Akin to India’s “multi-alignment”, Kazakhs for example, talk about “multivector diplomacy”.
  • China’s rise is increasing the prospects for Beijing’s emergence as the dominant force in inner Asia. There are several outcomes:
    • China’s growing regional influence will come at Russia’s expense, as Beijing becomes the senior partner in the bilateral relationship with Moscow after Ukraine.
    • Russia and China have drawn closer than ever before and that they have little reason to quarrel over Central Asia. Moscow’s muscle and Beijing’s money provide a sensible basis for their strategic division of labour in Central Asia to keep the Western powers out of the region.
    • China has no reason to replace Moscow as the main power in Central Asia in the near term, but it warns against underestimating Beijing’s long-term ambitions in the region.
  • There are serious conflicts between India and China, Delhi and Islamabad, as well as Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
  • There is deepening tensions between the Taliban-led Afghanistan and Pakistan.
    • Counter-terrorism has been the principal preoccupation of the SCO, yet it was a direct deal between the US and the Taliban that reshaped the Afghan dynamic.

India’s engagement with the SCO

  • Expectation: India’s engagement was premised on Russian primacy in the region and Moscow’s support of India’s regional interests. For India, a strong and independent Russia is critical for maintaining the inner Asian balance.
  • Reality: But India is in no position to ensure Moscow’s strategic autonomy from Beijing; that depends on Russian strategic choices.
  • Goal: India’s goal in SCO must now be to protect its own interests amidst a rapidly changing regional power distribution in China’s favour.
  • Challenge: India does not have direct geographic access to the landlocked region makes the goal a demanding one.



Keywords: GS Paper 2: Important International Institutions
Daily Current Affairs

Small Saving Instrument

In News: The returns on Small Saving Instrument five schemes are still significantly lower than what they should have fetched as per the formula adopted for them.

About Small Saving Instruments

  • Small saving Instruments are designed to provide safe and attractive investment options to the public and at the same time to mobilize resources for development. Small saving schemes are operated through post offices throughout the country.
  • These schemes are rolled out by the public/private sector banks, the government of India, and financial institutions. The interest rate for small saving schemes is decided by the banks or the government and it is updated periodically.
  • The rates for small saving instruments are announced quarterly. It is based on yields of G-Secs of corresponding maturity but political factors also influence the rate change.
  • The Shyamala Gopinath panel (2010) constituted the Small Saving (SS) Scheme had suggested a market-linked interest rate system for SS Schemes.
  • Collections from all small savings instruments are credited to the National Small Savings Fund (NSSF).
  • Some of the small saving schemes are Sukanya Samriddhi Account Scheme, Senior Citizens’ Savings Scheme, Monthly Income Scheme, Public Provident Fund (PPF), Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP) and Mahlia Samman Savings Certificate.


Keywords: GS-3 Economy
Daily Current Affairs

EU’s new crypto-legislation MiCA

In News: The European Parliament has approved the world’s first set of comprehensive rules to bring cryptocurrency markets under the ambit of regulation through Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA), which will come into force after approval by 27 member states.

Need for Comprehensive regulations:

  • It harmonises the crypto industry and gives the EU a competitive edge in its growth compared to other nations lacking clarity.
  • Shocks in the unregulated crypto industry have caused liquidity shortage, bankruptcy of crypto-lending platforms and losses to investors. Ex Crypto exchange FTX, Terra LUNA etc.
  • To ensure stability and financial sector resilience, regulation of the crypto sector is necessary, given the size of the crypto market.

Assets covered under MiCA

  • MiCA legislation will apply to ‘cryptoassets’, which are “a digital representation of a value or a right that uses cryptography for security and is in the form of a coin or a token or any other digital medium which may be transferred and stored electronically, using distributed ledger technology or similar technology”. It includes Bitcoins, Ethereum and Stablecoins.
  • MiCA will establish new rules for three types of stablecoins i.e. asset-referenced tokens, e-money Tokens and utility tokens.
  • MiCA will not cover non-fungible tokens (NFTs), central bank digital currencies and digital assets issued by national central banks of EU member countries

About the MiCA rules

  • The base regime will require every cryptoasset service provider (CASPs) to get incorporated as a legal entity in the EU.
  • They can get authorized in any one member country and will be allowed to conduct their services across the 27 countries
  • They will then be supervised by regulators like the European Banking Authority and European Securities and Markets Authority.
  • Another legislation requires crypto companies to send information of senders and recipients of crypto assets to their local anti-money laundering authority.



Keywords: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers
Daily Current Affairs

Safe City Project

In News: Delhi Lieutenant Governor has asked the Delhi Police to implement the ambitious Safe City Project in the city by August, in the run-up to the G20 Summit in September.

About Safe City Project

  • Safe City Project is an initiative of the Ministry of Home Affairs in collaboration with the Ministry of Women and Child Development to be piloted in 8 cities.
  • The cost of the project is Rs 798 crore and is being funded by the Centre under the Nirbhaya fund.
  • It aims to curb crime against women and address safety issues to ensure a safe, secure, and empowering environment for women and girls in public spaces.

Features of Safe City Project:

  • It envisages to use technology and ensure the prompt availability of professionally equipped police personnel to reach women in distress.
  • 10,582 CCTV cameras will be installed in places frequented by women.
  • A command and control centre will be set up with facilities like video analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, facial recognition system, etc. at police headquarters, district headquarters and police stations.
  • Integration of various data sets (32) and CCTV projects under various schemes of Delhi Police, with the Safe City Project platform.
  • 88 Prakhar Vans equipped with MDT (mobile data terminal), communication devices, body worn cameras, vehicle mounted cameras, GPS, etc, to be deployed.
  • Provision for collaborative monitoring by integration of CCTV projects of other departments, in future.
  • Integration of location-based services and crime and criminal databases with CCTV feeds for prompt and effective resolution of women’s safety issues at public places.
  • Analysis of video and creation of actionable warnings or alerts for preventive and curative actions.



Keywords: GS-1 Issues related to Women
Daily Current Affairs

National Generic Document Registration System

In News: 28 States / UTs adopt the National Generic Document Registration System for Land Records

About New system for Land Records

National Generic Document Registration System (NGDRS) for land records has been developed by the Ministry of Rural Development.

Important features:

  • eRegistration and Data Sharing:
    • eRegistration is being done in the 28 States/UTs or they have started sharing data with the national portal of NGDRS through User Interface / API.
  • Unique Land Parcel Identification Number (ULPIN)
    • ULPIN or Bhu-Aadhar has been adopted by 26 States/UTs and pilot testing done in 7 more States /UTs while some States are also using ULPIN in SVAMITVA portal.
  • Computerization of Record of Rights (RoRs)
    • Computerization of Record of Rights (RoRs) has been completed in nearly 94.62% or 6,22,030 villages in India.
    • Cadastral maps/FMBs have been digitized in 1,28,72,020 (75.62%) out of 1,70,22,935 Maps/FMBs.
    • Nearly 92.82% Sub Registrar Offices (SROs) have been computerized and 76.01% SROs integrated with Revenue Offices out of a total of 5303 SROs.
    • 73% of Modern Record Rooms (MRRs) have been established out of sanctioned 3846 MRRs.

Digital India Land Records Modernisation Programme (DILRMP)

  • It is a central sector scheme stated in 2008 by the Department of Land Resources to modernize land records and make them digital.
  • It provides a single-window system for all land-related information, including record of rights, tenancy and crops (RTC), maps, and other relevant documents.
  • The program also aims to establish a National Land Records Modernization Programme (NLRMP) to act as a unified platform for all land-related services across the country.
  • The program is funded entirely by the central government, and the expenditure target for 2022-23 is ₹239.25 crore.


Keywords: GS
Daily Current Affairs


In News: Economy Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) releases report titled “INDIA’S TRYST WITH A CIRCULAR ECONOMY”

About Circular Economy:

  • Circular economy is a term used to describe an economic model that is designed to be restorative and regenerative.
  • It aims to keep resources in use for as long as possible, minimize waste, and reduce the consumption of finite resources.
  • In a circular economy, resources are used in a closed loop, where products and materials are repurposed or recycled, rather than being disposed of.
  • Transitioning to a circular economy will reduce global carbon footprint and address environmental challenges.

Important features:

  • Design for longevity: Products are designed to last longer, be easily repairable, and have the potential to be reused, repurposed or recycled.
  • Closed-loop systems: Resources are reused and recycled within the system, reducing the need for new resources.
  • Resource efficiency: The use of resources is optimized, reducing waste and reducing the consumption of finite resources.
  • Regenerative processes: Circular economy systems aim to restore natural systems and regenerate resources.

Importance for India:

  • India's rapidly increasing material consumption has increased six-fold from 1970 to 2015, reaching 7 billion tonnes and is expected to double to 14.2 billion tonnes by 2030.
  • India's resource extraction is 1,580 tonnes/acre which is 251% higher than world average of 450 tonnes/acre.
  • Percentage of goods recycled in India is only 20% while in Europe nearly 70% of goods are recycled.
  • India is the third highest emitter of greenhouse gases, accounting for 9.2% of total world emissions.
  • Intensity of consumption of raw materials will increase exponentially as India pursues becoming a leading economic power.


Keywords: GS-III: Economy
Daily Current Affairs

Operation Kaveri

Why in news? India has started ‘Operation Kaveri’ to evacuate its nationals owing to the Current Crisis in Sudan.


  • Operation Kaveri is a codename for India's evacuation effort to bring back its citizens stranded in Sudan amid intense fighting between the army and a rival paramilitary force there.
  • The operation involves the deployment of Indian Navy's INS Sumedha, a stealth offshore patrol vessel, and two Indian Air Force C-130J special operations aircraft on standby in Jeddah.
  • This is on the same lines as that the PM chose to name the operation in Ukraine as Operation Ganga.
  • The Kaveri is one of the major Indian rivers flowing through the southern states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.


Keywords: General Studies – 2 Effect of Policies & Politics of Countries on India's Interests
Daily Current Affairs

Armenian Genocide

Why in news? Recently, April 24, 1915, marks the beginning of what came to be known as the Armenian genocide.


  • The Armenian Genocide was the mass murder of at least 664,000 and up to 1.2 million Armenians by the nationalist ruling party of the Ottoman Empire, the Committee of Union and Progress, between 1915 and 1916.


  • It is defined as an act committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group.
  • The term ‘genocide’ was coined in 1944 by the Polish-Jewish lawyer Raphael Lemkinin his book Axis Rule in Occupied Europe.
  • Genocide became a crime in itself following the adoption of the ‘Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide’ by the United Nations General Assembly on 9 December 1948.
  • The Convention came into force on 12 January 1951.


Keywords: General Studies –2 International Relations
Daily Current Affairs

LockBit Ransomware

Why in news? Recently, it has been found that LockBit ransomware was found to be targeting Mac devices.


  • LockBit, formerly known as “ABCD” ransomware, is a type of computer virus that enters someone's computer and encrypts important files so they can't be accessed.
  • The virus first appeared in September 2019 and is called a "crypto virus", because it asks for payment in cryptocurrency to unlock the files.
  • LockBit is usually used to attack companies or organizations that can afford to pay a lot of money to get their files back.
  • The people behind LockBit have a website on the dark web where they recruit members and release information about victims who refuse to pay.
  • LockBit has been used to target companies in many different countries, including the U.S., China, India, Ukraine, and Europe.
  • Ransomware:
    • A ransomware is a type of malware that hijacks computer data and then demands payment (usually in bitcoins) in order to restore it.


Keywords: General Studies – 3 Cyber Security, cyber warfare, Challenges to Internal Security Through Communication Networks
Daily Current Affairs

Notifiable Disease

Why in news? Malaria is all set to become a notifiable disease across India, with Bihar, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Meghalaya too in the process of putting this vector-borne disease in the category.


  • A notifiable disease is any disease that is required by law to be reported to government authorities.
  • This will allow authorities to gather information to monitor the disease and provides early warning of possible outbreaks.
  • The process will also help the government to keep track and formulate a plan for elimination and control.
  • The Centre has notified several diseases such as cholera, diphtheria, encephalitis, leprosy, meningitis, pertussis (whooping cough), plague, tuberculosis, AIDS, hepatitis, measles among others.


  • Malaria is a potentially life-threatening disease caused by parasites (plasmodium vivax, plasmodium falciparum, plasmodium malariae and plasmodium ovale) that are transmitted through the bite of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes.
  • Symptoms: Fever, chills, headache, muscle pain, fatigue, nausea, vomiting
  • Prevention: Insecticide-treated bed nets, indoor residual spraying, wearing protective clothing, using mosquito repellent, avoiding mosquito bites
  • Vaccine : RTS, S/AS01 (Mosquirix)
  • Currently malaria is a notifiable disease in 33 States and Union Territories in India.


Keywords: General Studies –3 Health
Daily Current Affairs

Zafar Mahal

Why in news? The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is set to initiate conservation works at Zafar Mahal in south Delhi’s Mehrauli.


  • Zafar Mahal was originally built by Akbar Shah II in 1820.
  • It was expanded during Bahadur Shah Zafar’s (last Mughal ruler) reign, with new structures including a gateway (hathi gate) built under him.
  • It is made out of red sandstone.
  • It also has Moti Masjid (situated adjacent to wall of Dargah of Hazrat Qutubuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki) and Naubat Khana.
  • Zafar Mahal was built in memory of the Hazrat Khwaja Qutubuddin Bakthiar Kaki, the renowned Sufi saint to whom almost all the Mughal Emperors were disciples.
  • This is the last structure built by the Mughals.
  • Zafar Mahal stands next to the Dargah of Qutubuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki.
  • The famous festival or the annual procession known as Phulon ki Sair also starts from here and is a festival that had long ago been started by the Khawja Bhaktiyar Kaki himself as a protest against the British.


Keywords: General Studies –1 Modern Indian History
Daily Current Affairs

Talle Wildlife Sanctuary (Talle WLS)

Why in news? Recently, Researchers have discovered a new moth species (belonging to the genus Piarosoma) from Talle WLS in Arunachal Pradesh.


  • Talle Wildlife Sanctuary lies between Subansiri, Sipu and Pange rivers surrounded by densely forested mountains ranging for 2,000 to 4,000 mtr. altitude.
  • Forest types: Sub-tropical broad leafed, temperate broad leafed, and temperate conifer types.
  • Biodiversity includes clouded leopards, Himalayan black bears, Indian elephants, Flying Squirrels, etc.
  • Arunachal Pradesh as a whole contains 40% of floral and faunal species in India. The Ziro valley has a good share of this biodiversity. Situated, 30 kilometres from the town of Ziro, Talley is a plateau that has a good mixture of dense forest filled with silver fir trees, pine, and a vast grassland.


Keywords: General Studies –3 Environment
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