Tuesday, 18th April 2023

Table of contents

1   Editorial of the day


Cohesion to Save Young life on campus

2   Daily Current Affairs


Extra Judicial Killing


Guidelines for assessment of child suspects






SpaceX Starship


Mangrove pitta


Cascade Frog -Amolops Siju


Uttaramerur Inscription


Farm Distress Index


Jigyasa Programme


Supercritical Carbon Dioxide



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Editorial of the day

Cohesion to Save Young life on campus

Exam View: Status of campus suicides in India; Formal mechanism to address campus suicides in India; reasons suicides still prevail; A comparative study USA vs India; Conditions for cohesion.

Context: Counselling and therapies are crucial measures, but what institutions of learning need to do is to ensure respect for academic and socio-economic diversity on their campuses.


  • During 2018-23, there were as many as 61 student suicides in the Indian Institutes of Technology, or IITs (33), the National Institutes of Technology, or NITs (24) and the Indian Institutes of Management (4).
  • Most students were from the Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST), Other Backward Castes (OBC) and Economically Weaker Sections (EWS).
  • Marginalisation and deprivation are factors but one also finds a wide spectrum of students.

Decoding the editorial:

Formal mechanism to address suicides:

  • Most of the IITs, NITs and the like have put in place online and offline mechanisms to access personal counselling and therapies in a confidential manner.
  • Apps such as Dost, Saathi, and Mitr have also been launched to access their services anonymously.
  • Most of these institutions also organise awareness and sensitisation programmes for students.
  • A few of them have arrangements with external agencies to provide psychological counselling.

Campus suicides still prevail as:

  • Individualism is all pervasive in society.
    • The campuses have become large and impersonal spaces.
    • Family support is dwindling as there are more nuclear families now with working parents who are unable to provide the kind of parenting and mentoring that joint families provide.
    • Early signs of emotional distress go unnoticed, unrecognised, and unaddressed.
    • Generally, institutions are in denial mode and prefer to hush things up.
  • A highly formalised, standardised and hierarchical structure of institutions.
    • In institutions of higher education the system is such that there is hardly any free and fair communication between students, their seniors, teachers, and the administration.
    • Classroom interactions are confined to academics, with recurrent exhortations to students to be committed, dedicated and hard working, adding to the stress emotionally distressed students are already under.
    • Teachers may hardly have the time, the inclination or even the expertise to notice and address any disturbing traits among their students.
  • Most institutions still lack preventive measures.
    • It is only when tragedy occurs that actions are triggered, ie, an inquiry and then a prescription of remedial and preventive measures.
  • The onus is on students ‘in need’ to seek help with the formal mechanism set in place.
  • The formal mechanism works most of the time during office hours, and on working days, and are often unable to respond in a prompt manner.
  • Institutions of national importance are still in a much better situation than most central and State universities.
    • The lack of information implies that they usually assign the task of counselling to faculty members and are yet to embrace the idea of professionally trained counsellors.
  • Prejudice still prevails on campus.
    • A few fringe elements on campus might be prejudicial about reservations in admission and differential fee policies.





Universities have dedicated counselling centres with a range of psychological services such as evaluation, counselling, consultation, and therapies.

The psychological counselling services in campuses are limited to providing some physical space in a corner of the institution.

They are accredited by the International Accreditation of Counseling Services (IACS) and are manned by licensed psychologists, psychiatrists, clinical therapists, mental health workers and social workers.

There are hardly any standards.

The counsellor-to-student ratio is carefully established through a combination of empirical analysis and judgments of experienced counselling directors.

There is no such ratio. There are a limited number of professionally trained psychologists and psychotherapists.

Creating conditions for cohesion:

It is critical to promote respect for academic and socio-economic diversity.

  • Institutions must deter and curb all forms of discrimination, howsoever subtle and done even in jest.
  • Institutions must be discreet about personal sensitive information.
    • At times, the inability to cope with academic pressure and get good grades is linked to the category and ranks of students.
  • Institutions must evolve a code of campus ethics prescribing standards and protocols of what can and cannot be discussed even in informal social settings.




Keywords: GS Paper-1: Population and Associated issues, GS Paper-2: Health
Daily Current Affairs

Extra Judicial Killing

In News: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the Supreme Court have issued guidelines and procedures with respect to encounters or extrajudicial killings in India.

About Guidelines for Encounters in India:

Guidelines by the Supreme Court:

  • The Supreme Court issued detailed guidelines in 2014 in "People's Union for Civil Liberties v State of Maharashtra" case.
  • An FIR must be registered and magisterial inquiry must be held in all cases of death that occur during police action.
  • Next of kin of the deceased must be involved in the inquiry.
  • Complaints against police must be registered under appropriate sections of the IPC, and inquiry under Section 176 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, must be conducted to ascertain if the use of force was justified.
  • An independent investigation by CID or police team of another police station under the supervision of a senior officer is necessary.
  • Information about the incident must be sent to NHRC or the State Human Rights Commission.

Guidelines by NHRC:

  • In 1997, Justice MN Venkatachaliah and Chairperson of NHRC issued guidelines to be followed by states about fake encounters by the police.
  • Under Indian laws, police do not have the right to take away the life of another person.
  • If the policeman kills a person, he commits the offense of culpable homicide unless it is proved that such killing was not an offense under the law.
  • All states and Union Territories must ensure that police are given training to handle their weapons, and not to cause any harm to innocent people.
  • The NHRC does not need to be involved in cases unless there is serious doubt about independent and impartial investigation.

Major issues with encounters:

  • Lack of due process: Encounters involve the use of force by law enforcement agencies that violates the principles of due process, as it denies an opportunity for the accused to defend themselves.
  • Misuse of power: Encounters have often been misused by law enforcement agencies to settle personal scores or to show high rates of success in solving cases.
  • Violation of human rights: Encounters also raise questions about human rights violations, as they involve the use of force resulting in extrajudicial killings, torture, and other forms of abuses.
  • Need for proper guidelines: Encounters often lacks transparency as National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the Supreme Court guidelines and procedures are not often followed.
  • Flawed legal system: The Indian legal system has been criticized for being slow and ineffective in dealing with criminal cases, leading some police officers to take matters into their own hands.
  • Public support: Despite the concerns raised by human rights activists, encounters often enjoy public support in India, with many people viewing them as a necessary measure to combat crime.

What more can be done?

  • Address underlying social and economic issues: Addressing issues around encounters can help to reduce the need for police intervention.
  • Improve police training and procedures: Police officers should receive comprehensive training on how to de-escalate situations and use non-lethal force when necessary.
  • Increase accountability: Police officers who use excessive force or engage in misconduct should be held accountable for violating policies and laws.
  • Promote community policing: Police departments should work to build trust and positive relationships with the communities through initiatives such as community outreach programs, citizen advisory boards, and regular meetings between police officers and community members.
  • Use of technology: Technology such as body cameras and dashcams can help to hold police officers accountable and provide transparency in police interactions with the public.




Keywords: GS-II: Polity & Governance
Daily Current Affairs

Guidelines for assessment of child suspects

In News: The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) issued guidelines for conducting “preliminary assessment’’ to determine whether a child should be treated as a minor or not “heinous” offences category of the Juvenile Justice(JJ) Act, 2015.

About JJ Act, 2015 and categories of offences:

  • JJ Act, 2015 defines child, as a person who has not completed 18 years of age, requiring the court to treat the convict as child in conflict with law and are sent to corrective homes rather than prisons with an aim to reintegrate with the society.
  • However there is a specific provision under which initiation of an inquiry into a heinous crime has been differentiated based on age of the child.
  • According to Section 15(1) of JJ Act, Juvenile Justice Board “shall conduct a preliminary assessment of a child if two essential conditions are fulfilled:
    • The offence is in the category of “heinous” as defined in the Act.
    • The child who has allegedly committed the crime is in the age group of 16-18 years.
  • The Board after preliminary assessment may then pass an order that there is a need for trial of the child as an adult.
  • The JJ Act categorises offences committed by children into three categories:
    • Petty Offences include those for which the maximum punishment under any law is imprisonment up to three years
    • Serious offences include crimes for which the punishment is a minimum imprisonment for a term of more than three years and not exceeding seven years.
    • Heinous offences include those for which the minimum punishment under the Indian Penal Code or any other law is imprisonment for seven years or more.

Guidelines prescribed for the preliminary assessment:

  • Aim of the preliminary assessment is not to seek confession from the child nor to reach at a conclusion of any sort, but to determine whether the child in the age of 16-18 years should be tried as an adult in case of heinous crimes.
  • Age of the alleged offender should be determined by JJ Board either by obtaining a date of birth certificate from school, or the matriculation or equivalent certificate. In case neither of the two are available, age shall be determined by an ossification test or any other medical age determination test.
  • Determinants of a preliminary assessment:
    • physical and mental capacity of the child to commit alleged offence
    • ability to understand the consequences of the offence
    • the circumstances in which the child allegedly committed the offence
  • Child suspects should be assessed by a team of experts, including a child psychologist or psychiatrist, a medical doctor, and a social worker. The assessment should take into account the child's age, developmental stage, and maturity level, as well as any history of trauma or abuse.
  • Preliminary assessment is to be disposed of by JJB within three months from the date of first production of the child before the Board.
  • During the assessment, the Board and experts shall also analyse and take into consideration the Social Investigation Report (SIR), Social Background Report (SBR) and Interaction with parents/guardians, peer groups and neighbours.



Keywords: GS-2 Issues related to children
Daily Current Affairs


In News: Recently, A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court has held that the Lok Ayukta cannot investigate matters relating to the selection of candidates by political parties for contesting elections.

About Lokayukta

  • The Lokayukta is the Indian Parliamentary Ombudsman established by each State Government of India, with the aim of combatting corruption. The primary objective of the Lokayukta system within a state is to investigate complaints and allegations against public servants.
  • The inception of the Lokayukta can be traced back to the concept of the Ombudsman in Scandinavian countries. In India, the Administrative Reforms Commission (1966-70) suggested the establishment of the Lokpal at the central level and the Lokayukta in the states.
  • Maharashtra was first in this respect with its Lokayukta body established in 1971.

Appointment and Tenure:

  • The Lokayukta and upalokayukta are appointed by the Governor of the state. While appointing, the governor in most of the states consults:
    • the chief justice of the state high court, and
    • Leader of opposition in the state legislative assembly.
  • In most of the states, the term of office fixed for Lokayukta is of 5 years duration or 65 years of age, whichever is earlier. He is not eligible for reappointment for a second term.





Keywords: GS-2 Indian Polity and Constitution
Daily Current Affairs


In News: Recently, a stretch of the beach at Bheemili near Visakhapatnam glows due to bioluminescence.

About Bioluminescence

  • Bioluminescence is light produced by a chemical reaction within a living organism.
  • Bioluminescence is a type of chemiluminescence, which is simply the term for a chemical reaction where light is produced. (Bioluminescence is chemiluminescence that takes place inside a living organism.)
  • The chemical reaction that results in bioluminescence requires two unique chemicals: luciferin and either luciferase or photoprotein. Luciferin is the compound that actually produces light.
  • In a chemical reaction, luciferin is called the substrate. The bioluminescent color (yellow in fireflies, greenish in lanternfish) is a result of the arrangement of luciferin molecules.
  • Bioluminescence occurs due to the presence of single-celled organisms called dinoflagellates that produce light when they are disturbed.
  • Bioluminescence is a "cold light means less than 20% of the light generates thermal radiation or heat.
  • Most bioluminescent organisms are found in the ocean. These bioluminescent marine species include fish, bacteria, and jellies. Some bioluminescent organisms, including fireflies and fungi, are found on land. There are almost no bioluminescent organisms native to freshwater habitats.




Keywords: GS-3 Environment and Ecology
Daily Current Affairs

SpaceX Starship

In News: SpaceX postpones maiden test flight of the world’s biggest rocket Starship.

About SpaceX Starship:

  • SpaceX’s Starship spacecraft and Super Heavy rocket – collectively referred to as Starship – represent a fully reusable transportation system designed to carry both crew and cargo to Earth orbit, the Moon, Mars and beyond.
  • It is built by SpaceX, which is an American spacecraft manufacturer.
  • Starship will be the world’s most powerful launch vehicle ever developed, capable of carrying up to 150 metric tonnes fully reusable and 250 metric tonnes expendable.
  • Starship consists of a 50-metre-tall spacecraft designed to carry crew and cargo that sits atop a 230-foot-tall first-stage Super Heavy booster rocket.
  • Starship is intended to evolve into a fully reusable launch and landing system.

Power and thrust:

  • Powered by methane and liquid oxygen fueled Raptor engines, a reusable methalox staged-combustion engine.
  • Generates 17 million pounds of thrust more than twice that of the Saturn V rockets used for the Apollo missions.




Keywords: GS –3 Science and Technology
Daily Current Affairs

Mangrove pitta

Context: In the first-ever census of mangrove pitta birds carried out in two coastal districts of Odisha, 179 such birds were sighted.

About Mangrove pitta:

  • The mangrove pitta (Pitta megarhyncha) belongs to the family of pittas, the Pittidae.
  • The mangrove pitta species is distributed in India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.
  • In India, mangrove pitta birds are found in a few pockets of eastern part, including Bhitarkanika in Odisha and the Sundarbans in West Bengal.
  • IUCN Status: 'Near Threatened'
  • Mangrove pitta are colourful birds which have black head with brown crown, white throat, greenish upper parts, buff under-parts and reddish vent area.
  • The mangrove pitta is a small mangrove bird, measuring 18 to 20 cm in length and weighing 90 to 120 grams.


  • The breeding season of the mangrove pitta species is from April to August in Indian subcontinent. In southeast Asia the breeding season is from April to June.
  • These mangrove pitta species are non-migratory resident birds.
  • The highest concentration of the birds has been found in the mangroves near the Mahipura river mouth inside the Bhitarkanika National Park.
  • The natural ecosystems and habitats of these mangrove species include tropical and subtropical mangrove forests, tropical and subtropical wetlands, rivers, coastal marshlands, streams, creeks and estuaries.




Keywords: GS –3 Environment & Ecology
Daily Current Affairs

Cascade Frog -Amolops Siju

Why in news? Recently, Researchers from the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) have discovered a new species of frog from deep inside a cave in Meghalaya's South Garo Hills district.


  • The Cascade Frog, also known as Amolops siju, is a species of frog found in Asia, specifically in the high-elevation regions of the eastern Himalayas, including northeastern India, Bhutan, and southwestern China.
  • Habitat: This species is typically found in rocky streams and waterfalls at elevations between 1,200 and 3,800 meters above sea level. Frogs are generally dark brown or gray in color with scattered black spots on their backs. Their underside is lighter in color and may have small spots as well.
  • Features: Cascade Frogs are known for their distinctive vocalizations, which are used for communication and to attract mates during the breeding season. They are also active during the day and feed on a variety of small invertebrates, including insects and spiders.
  • Threat: Like many amphibians, Cascade Frogs are facing threats from habitat loss, pollution, and disease. Conservation efforts are underway to protect their natural habitats and populations.



Keywords: GS-3 Environment and Ecology
Daily Current Affairs

Uttaramerur Inscription

Why in news? Recently, Prime Minister referred to the Uttaramerur inscription in Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, while discussing India’s democratic history,


  • Uttaramerur is known for its historic temples built during the Pallava and Chola It dates back to the ninth century CE and is an invaluable source of information about the functioning of the village assembly.
  • The inscription is significant because it provides insight into the governance structure of that era, which was characterized by decentralization of power.
  • The inscription describes the functioning of the local sabha, i.e., the village assembly.
  • It mentions the qualifications for being a representative to the sabha, which includes ownership of a certain amount of land, having a house, being between the age of 35 and 70, and knowing mantras and Brahmanas.
  • The representative is chosen for the village assembly through an elaborate draw of lots conducted by priests. Once elected, the member serves on important committees within the sabha, such as the garden committee, the tank committee, the annual committee, the committee for supervision of justice, the gold committee, and the five-fold committee.
  • The committee assignments last for 360 days, and any committee member implicated in any wrongdoing is removed instantly.



Keywords: GS-1 History
Daily Current Affairs

Farm Distress Index

Why in news? Recently, CRIDA scientists released the farm distress index.


  • Farm distress Index is an early system to identify stress (and its level) among farmers at least 3-4 months ahead of its actual occurrence.
  • It is developed by the Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).
  • It was developed as part of NABARD-funded project on ‘Farmers Distress and Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY).
  • It is built on questions around seven key pillars that capture their financial, emotional, and other parameters.
  • The index will be integrating high-frequency data regarding climatic conditions, weather conditions, agricultural commodities, the debt burden on farmers, and the market.
  • This index will be measuring variables like excessive rainfalls, monsoon rains, variations in soil moisture and temperature, dry spells and drought, the area under irrigation, the yield of major crops in each district, unusual frost, and depth of underground water.
  • The marketing opportunities that are available to the farmer such as MSP support will also be assessed by this index.




Keywords: GS-3 Economy
Daily Current Affairs

Jigyasa Programme

Why in news? Recently Indian Institute of Petroleum (IIP), one of the premier research laboratories of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), is launched its One Week One Lab (OWOL) campaign.


  • Jigyasa is a Student – Scientist connect programme from CSIR as Scientific Social Responsibility (SSR).
  • SSR is moral and ethical obligation of scientific community to give back benefits they derive from science to the less endowed stakeholders and society.
  • In 2017, CSIR signed the MoU with Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) on Jigyasa with the objective of ‘teaching the scientific temperament among school children.
  • The “JIGYASA” is inculcating the culture of inquisitiveness on one hand and scientific temper on the other, amongst the school students and their teachers.




Keywords: GS-3 Science and Tech
Daily Current Affairs

Supercritical Carbon Dioxide

Why in news? Recently a study found that, supercritical carbon dioxide can flush out oil from depleting wells.


  • Supercritical Carbon Dioxide is a fluid state of carbon dioxide where it is held at or above its critical temperature and critical pressure.
  • Having properties midway between a gas and a liquid, supercritical carbon dioxide helps in simultaneous carbon dioxide sequestration and enhanced oil recovery (EOR) from depleted reservoirs.
  • Carbon dioxide usually behaves as a gas in air at standard temperature and pressure (STP), or as a solid called dry ice when frozen.

Benefits Of the Sco2 Brayton Cycle For Energy Production Economic And Environmental Benefits Of The Technology Include:

  • Broad applicability to variety of heat sources
  • Higher plant efficiency
  • Reduced fuel consumption and emissions
  • Low cooling water consumption
  • Compact design/footprint lowers capital cost



Keywords: GS-3 Science and Tech
Daily Current Affairs


Why in news? The fight between the military and a powerful paramilitary force in Sudan has left at least 31 tribals from Karnataka stuck in the Sudanese city of El-Fasher.


  • Sudan is Situated in north-eastern Africa, Sudan shares its border with Egypt, Libya, Chad, Central African Republic, South Sudan, Ethiopia and Eritrea.
  • South Sudan was bifurcated from it in 2011.
  • Sudan shares its maritime border with Saudi Arabia in Red Sea.

Geographical Features:

Highest Peak of Sudan: Deriba Caldera (Jabel marra Mountain).

Major River of Sudan: Nile River (White Nile and Blue Nile merge in Khartoum).

About Halayeb Triangle

  • Halayeb Triangle is an area of disputed land located on the border between Egypt and Sudan. This land covers an area of 7,945 square miles. There is a political boundary that was set in 1899 between Egypt and Sudan. There is another administrative boundary that was set in 1902. The area between the difference of the two boundaries is disputed. Egypt used to have control over this area in the mid-1990s. Egypt has also rejected Sudan’s requests to resort to international arbitration and insists that The land belongs to Egypt.




Keywords: GS-2 IR, location in news
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