Monday, 17th April 2023

Table of contents

1   Daily Current Affairs


Large Hadron Collider


Role of Parliamentary Committees in Indian Democracy


Quantum Technology for Securing Maritime Communications


Ranganath Report and Quota for Dalit Converts


Agnipath Scheme and Doctrine of Promissory Estoppel


Solar Energy Corporation of India Limited


The Status of Women in Agrifood Systems


Withdrawal of consent by Tribal council for contentious Great Nicobar Project




Indelible Ink


Bihu Dance


Exercise ORION




Malaria Vaccine

2   Daily Editorial Analysis


India and Consumer Food Price Index

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Daily Current Affairs

Large Hadron Collider

In News: Engineers at CERN are warming up the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) for its third season of operations, following upgrades that will have made the collider and its detectors more sensitive and accurate.

About Large Hadron Collider (LHC):

  • The LHC is a giant, complex machine built to study particles that are the smallest known building blocks of all things. It is operated by CERN (European Organisation for Nuclear Research).
  • Structurally, it is a 27-km-long track-loop buried 100 metres underground on the Swiss-French border. In its operational state, it fires two beams of protons almost at the speed of light in opposite directions inside a ring of superconducting electromagnets.
  • The magnetic field created by the superconducting electromagnets keeps the protons in a tight beam and guides them through beam pipes and finally collide.
  • Just prior to collision, another type of magnet is used to ‘squeeze’ the particles closer together to increase the chances of collisions.
  • Since LHC’s powerful electromagnets carry almost as much current as a bolt of lightning, they must be kept chilled. The LHC uses a distribution system of liquid helium to keep its critical components ultracold at minus 271.3 degrees C, which is colder than interstellar space.

Working of LHC

  • LHC accelerates two beams of particles called hadrons, in opposite directions and smashes them head on.
  • Hadron is a subatomic particle made up of smaller particles such as quarks, gluons and anti-quarks. They react through the agency of the strong force and embrace mesons, baryons.
  • The LHC typically uses protons, which are made up of quarks and gluons. It energises the protons by accelerating them through a narrow circular pipe that is 27 km long.
  • This pipe encircles two D-shaped magnetic fields, created by almost 9,600 magnets whose alternatively changing magnetic polarity causes the protons in its field to accelerate and move in an anticlockwise direction.
  • By switching the direction of the magnetic field more rapidly, protons can be accelerated through the beam pipe.
  • Eventually, the protons move at 99.999999% of the speed of light, thus enhancing their energy as per the special theory of relativity.

Significance of LHC

  • At high energies LHC can create conditions that existed only fractions of a second after the Big Bang.
  • Generation of huge amounts of data by detectors i.e. up to 30,000 TB every year helps Physicists to analyze specific patterns and look for new particles.
  • Discovery of ‘God Particle’: Scientists at CERN had discovered the Higgs boson or the ‘God Particle’ during the LHC’s first run in 2012.
  • ‘New Physics’ beyond Standard Model: After the discovery of the Higgs boson, scientists have started using the data collected as a tool to look beyond the Standard Model, which is currently the best theory of the most elementary building blocks of the universe and their interactions.

Future of LHC

  • LHC can expand the purview of ‘new physics’, the collective name for particles or processes that can explain the nature of dark matter or why gravity is a weak force, etc.
  • Scientists are looking to improve the LHC’s luminosity (a measure of the machine’s ability to produce particle interactions of interest) by 10x by 2027 through upgrades to observe short-lived subatomic particles.
  • CERN has plans for a future machine, the Future Circular Collider which will work at energy levels of up to 100 trillion electron volts.


Keywords: Science and Technology- developments and their applications
Daily Current Affairs

Role of Parliamentary Committees in Indian Democracy

In News: Parliamentary committees are constituted to delve deeper into matters of public concern and develop expert opinion.


Parliamentary committees are constituted to delve deeper into matters of public concern and develop expert opinions. The structured committee system was established in 1993, but individual committees have been formed since independence.

Five crucial committees of the Constituent Assembly were:

  • Ad Hoc Committee on the Citizenship Clause was formed to discuss the nature and scope of Indian citizenship.
  • The Northeast Frontier (Assam) Tribal and Excluded Areas Sub-Committee
  • Excluded and Partially Excluded Areas (Other than Assam) Sub-Committee were significant committees during independence.
  • The Expert Committee on Financial Provisions of the Union Constitution
  • Advisory Committee on the Subject of Political Safeguards for Minorities

About Parliamentary committee

  • A parliamentary committee means a committee that is appointed or elected by the House or nominated by the Speaker / Chairman.
  • It works under the direction of the Speaker / Chairman and presents its report to the House or to the Speaker /Chairman.
  • Parliamentary committee has a secretariat provided by the Lok Sabha / Rajya Sabha. The consultative committees, consist of members of Parliament, are not parliamentary committees as they do not fulfill the above four conditions.

Type of Parliamentary Committees

  • Standing Committees: Permanent (constituted every year or periodically) and work on a continuous basis. Standing Committees can be classified into the following six categories:

Financial Committees, Departmental Standing Committee, Committees to Enquire, Committees to Scrutinise and Control, Committees Relating to the Day-to-Day Business of the House and House-Keeping Committees or Service Committees

  • Ad Hoc Committees: Temporary and cease to exist on completion of the task assigned to them. E.g. Joint Parliamentary Committee.

Constitutional Provisions related to Parliamentary Classes

  • Article 105 and Article 118 - Parliamentary committees draw their authority from Article 105 (on privileges of Parliament members) and Article 118 (on Parliament’s authority to make rules for regulating its procedure and conduct of business).

Role of Parliamentary Committee

  • In Depth Examination: The primary role of parliamentary committees is to provide a detailed and in-depth examination of the various aspects of proposed legislation. They scrutinize the bills and make recommendations on their suitability, desirability, and effectiveness. Committees also have the authority to call witnesses, experts, and stakeholders to provide testimony and input on the proposed legislation.
  • Detailed Discussion and debate: Parliamentary committees also provide a platform for parliamentarians to engage in detailed discussions and debates on issues of national importance. They allow for a more comprehensive and nuanced discussion of complex issues and enable the parliament to arrive at informed decisions.
  • Oversight functions: In addition to legislative work, parliamentary committees also have an oversight function. They monitor the functioning of the government, its agencies, and departments, and hold them accountable for their actions. Through this function, committees can investigate issues of public concern, such as corruption, maladministration, or human rights violations.
  • Act as a Mini-Parliament: These committees act as a mini parliament, as they have MPs representing different parties are elected into them through a system of the single transferable vote, in roughly the same proportion as their strength in Parliament. committees/article66730595.ece


Keywords: GS-3, Polity and Governance
Daily Current Affairs

Quantum Technology for Securing Maritime Communications

In News: RRI under the Ministry of Science & Technology partners with the Indian Navy to develop secure maritime Communications using Quantum Technology

About Quantum Information and Computing (QuIC) lab

  • The Raman Research Institute (RRI)’s QuIC lab and the Indian Navy have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for 5 years to develop secure maritime communications using quantum technology.
  • Quantum communication is an applied quantum physics field related to quantum information processing and quantum teleportation.
  • QuIC Lab has developed an end-to-end simulation toolkit named “qkdSim” to ensure safety in communication platforms.
  • It is also India’s first laboratory to use single and entangled photons, particularly towards establishing secure communications in strategic areas like banking, defence, and cyber security.
  • It will lead the research efforts towards developing quantum key distribution techniques that the Indian Navy could leverage in securing free space communications.
  • Indigenously developed technology to secure quantum communications will help foster cutting-edge research towards identifying potential maritime use-cases for the Indian Navy.


Keywords: GS-III: Science and Tech: Quantum Communication
Daily Current Affairs

Ranganath Report and Quota for Dalit Converts

In News: SC's observation on 2007 Mishra Commission report for quota to Dalit converts

About :

  • Justice Ranganath Mishra Commission report for Religious and Linguistic Minorities was set up in 2005 and had submitted its findings to the government in 2007.
  • The report had recommended Scheduled Caste reservation for Dalit converts to Christianity and
  • The commission examined the social, economic and educational conditions of the Muslim community in India, particularly with respect to their representation in government jobs and other institutions.
  • One of the key findings of the report was that muslims in India were significantly underrepresented in government jobs, despite being one of the largest minority communities in the country.
  • The report recommended that a quota system be implemented to address this imbalance, similar to the system that was already in place for other minority communities, such as Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
  • However, the recommendation was controversial and was not implemented, and the report remains a controversial and sensitive issue in Indian politics today.
  • The government had recently constituted a new Commission headed by G. Balakrishnan to prepare a report on the question of granting SC status to new converts.
  • The committee will look into the status of new persons who have historically belonged to the Scheduled Castes but have converted to religions other than Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism.


Keywords: GS-II: Important committees
Daily Current Affairs

Agnipath Scheme and Doctrine of Promissory Estoppel

In News: SC Ruling on Agnipath Scheme: Promissory Estoppel under Contract Law

Tags: GS-II: Polity & Governance: Government schemes

About Agnipath Scheme:

  • The Agnipath scheme is a new defence recruitment by the Indian government to recruit around 45,000 to 50,000 soldiers annually across the three services.
  • Most soldiers will leave the service after four years, and only 25% of the total annual recruits will be allowed to continue for another 15 years under permanent commission.
  • The scheme is only for personnel below officer ranks, and aspirants between the ages of 17.5 years and 21 years will be eligible to apply.
  • Once selected, aspirants will undergo six months of training and then will be deployed for three and a half years, during which they will receive a starting salary of Rs 30,000 along with additional benefits.
  • 30% of their salary will be set aside under a Seva Nidhi programme, and the government will contribute an equal amount every month, and it will also accrue interest.
  • At the end of the four-year period, each soldier will get Rs 11.71 lakh as a lump sum amount, which will be tax-free.
  • Soldiers will also get a Rs 48 lakh life insurance cover for the four years and in case of death, the pay-out will be over Rs 1 crore, including pay for the unserved tenure.

Agnipath scheme and Doctrine of Promissory Estoppel

  • The Supreme Court has recently dismissed petitions on grounds of doctrine of promissory estoppel against the Delhi High Court’s decision to uphold the Agnipath scheme for recruitment to forces.
  • Promissory estoppel is a concept developed in contractual law and essentially prevents a promisor from backing out of an agreement on the grounds that there is no consideration.
  • The doctrine is invoked in court by a plaintiff against the defendant to ensure execution of a contract or seek compensation for failure to perform the contract.
  • The court has argued that Agnipath scheme is not a contract matter where promissory estoppel in public law was applied and rather it is a public employment and thus principle will not apply.


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

Solar Energy Corporation of India Limited

In News: SECI attains Miniratna Category-I Status and AAA Credit Rating

About SECI:

  • Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) was established in 2011 as the primary implementing agency of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy in India for Renewable Energy schemes and projects.
  • It is responsible for fulfilling India's international commitments in the field of renewable energy.
  • Since its inception, it has awarded RE project capacities of over 56 GW besides being active in setting up projects through its own investments, as well as for other public sector entities.
  • It has been given the highest credit rating of AAA by the credit rating agency Investment Information and Credit Rating Agency (ICRA).
  • It has been recently granted “Miniratna Category-I” status by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE)
  • SECI also aims to achieve the 'Panchamrita' goal which aims of achieving the target of 500 GW of non-fossil fuel-based capacity by 2030.

Keywords: GS-III: Environment: Important Bodies
Daily Current Affairs

The Status of Women in Agrifood Systems

In News: According to a new UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) report titled "Status of Women in Agrifood Systems", tackling gender inequality in agri-food systems can reduce hunger, boost the economy and reinforce resilience to shocks like climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Key Highlights of the Report:

  • Gender inequalities like less pay and limited access to education for women account for a 24% gap in productivity between women and men farmers on farms of equal size.
  • Women face several challenges in agrifood ecosystem such as:
    • They are significantly disadvantaged in landownership compared with men, including weak protection for women's land rights.
    • They are often held back by inequality and discrimination, marginalised and denied agency and work in poorer conditions with lower wages.
    • Women carry a greater burden of care and unpaid work.
    • Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the gap between women’s and men’s food security has grown to 4.3 % with significantly higher food insecurity among rural women.
    • Women and girls face barriers and constraints as a consequence of rigid gender norms and roles, unequal power dynamics and discriminatory social structures.
    • Women’s access to land, inputs, services, finance and digital technology, which is key to working in agrifood systems continues to lag behind.
    • In India, female participation in the labour force is low but labour-force participation is relatively high among the poorest women
  • Closing the gender gap and empowering women would increase global GDP by nearly $1 trillion and address the goals of ending poverty and reducing food-nutritional insecurity.
  • Schemes like MNREGA, empowerment of women entrepreneurship and rise of participatory village committees have facilitated shifts in discriminatory norms, enabling women to speak in front of men and take on public roles.


Keywords: GS-1 Role of women and women’s organization
Keywords: GS-3 Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, Environmental Impact Assessment
Daily Current Affairs


Why in news? Recently, researchers in the U.K., led by Nobel laureate Andre Geim, have discovered another property of graphene known as magnetoresistance.


Magnetoresistance refers to the change in the electrical resistance of a material when it is subjected to an external magnetic field. This phenomenon is observed in a wide range of materials, including metals, semiconductors, and insulators.

There are two types of magnetoresistances:

    • Giant magnetoresistance (GMR)
    • Tunnel magnetoresistance (TMR).
  • GMR is observed in thin metallic films that are separated by a non-magnetic spacer layer, while TMR is observed in magnetic tunnel junctions, which consist of two magnetic layers separated by an insulating layer.
  • In GMR, the resistance of the material changes as the orientation of the magnetic fields of the two layers changes. When the magnetic fields are aligned parallel to each other, the resistance is low, and when they are antiparallel, the resistance is high. This change in resistance is used in various technological applications, such as magnetic sensors, magnetic read heads in hard disk drives, and magnetic random-access memory (MRAM).
  • In TMR, the resistance of the material changes due to the quantum mechanical tunneling of electrons across the insulating layer. When the magnetic fields of the two layers are parallel, the tunneling probability is high, and when they are antiparallel, the tunneling probability is low, resulting in a change in resistance.
  • TMR is used in various applications, including MRAM, magnetic field sensors, and spintronics.


Keywords: GS-3 Science and Technology
Daily Current Affairs

Indelible Ink

Why in news? Mysore Paints and Varnish Ltd. (MPVL) Modernisation To Help Explore New Markets.


  • Indelible ink is a type of ink that cannot be easily removed or erased, making it useful for a variety of purposes where the permanence of the ink is desired.
  • This ink is commonly used for marking people who have already voted in an election to prevent them from voting multiple times.
  • Indelible ink typically contains a chemical compound called silver nitrate, which reacts with the skin to produce a dark, permanent stain.
  • The ink is usually applied to the fingertip or another part of the body using a brush or a pen. Once the ink dries, it is resistant to water, soap, and other cleaning agents, and can only be removed by the natural process of skin shedding.
  • Indelible ink is also used in the banking industry to mark people who have already received a certain service, such as exchanging currency or depositing a check, to prevent them from repeating the transaction.
  • It can also be used in the medical industry to mark a patient who has already received a certain medication or treatment, to prevent them from receiving an overdose.


Keywords: GS- 3 Science and Tech
Daily Current Affairs

Bihu Dance

Why in news? Assam created history and marked its entry in the Guinness Book of World Records on Thursday, with more than 11000 dancers and drummers performing 'Bihu' dance and playing 'dhol' in a single venue.


  • Bihu is a popular Assamese dancethat is done by both men and women in groups.
  • Bihu is also used to refer to Bihu dance, also known as Bihu Naas, and Bihu folk music, also known as Bihu Geet.
  • To highlight the pomp and gaiety, the dancers are clothed in colourful traditional costumes.
  • Group formations, fast hand movements,and brisk footsteps are all part of the dancing performance.
  • The dance form's roots are unknown, but it has long played an important role in the culture of Assam's many ethnic groups, including the Kaivarttas, Deoris, Sonowal Kacharis, Chutias, Boros, Misings, Rabhas, Moran, and Borahis, among others.


Keywords: GS-1, Culture
Daily Current Affairs

Exercise ORION

Why in news? Indian Airforce participated in multilateral international exercise, Orion in France


  • ORION 2023 is the first exercise in what French Joint Forces Command hopes will be a triennial cycle of exercises aimed at reinforcing joint forces operational readiness.
  • ORION is based on a scenario developed by NATO to apprehend the different phases of a modern conflict and will be on a scale unprecedented in recent decades.
  • Orion is reportedly the largest ever multinational exercise being carried out by the French defence forces which have involved their Army, Navy and Air Force along with their allies the US and the UK.
  • Besides the IAF and the FASF, Air Forces from Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Spain and United States of America would also be flying in this multilateral exercise.


Keywords: GS-3 Science, Defence exercise
Daily Current Affairs


Why in news? Recently, Keralites celebrated Vishu with traditional pomp and gaiety.

About Vishu

  • Vishu is a Hindu festival celebrated in the Indian state of Kerala, Tulu Nadu region in Karnataka, Mahé district of Union Territory of Pondicherry, neighbouring areas of Tamil Nadu and their diaspora communities.
  • The Vishu arrangement typically includes an image of Krishna.
  • It is also known as the Malayalam New Year and is celebrated on the first day of the Malayalam month of Medam, which usually falls in April.
  • The highlight of the Vishu celebration is the "Vishu Sadya," a grand feast comprising of various vegetarian dishes, served on a banana leaf.


Keywords: GS-1 Culture
Daily Current Affairs

Malaria Vaccine

Why in news? Ghana becomes first country to approve Oxford’s malaria vaccine for children.


  • R21/Matrix-M, malaria vaccine has become the first to exceed the World Health Organisation's target of 75 per cent efficacy.
  • The vaccine has been developed at Oxford University and has been approved by Ghana's Food and Drugs Authority in children aged 5-36 months, the group at highest risk of death from malaria.
  • The researchers report a vaccine efficacy of 77 per cent in the higher-dose adjuvant group, and 71 per cent in the lower-dose adjuvant group.
  • Serum Institute of India is manufacturing the R21 vaccine.


Keywords: GS-3 Science
Daily Editorial Analysis

India and Consumer Food Price Index

Exam View: Monetary Policy of RBI; WPI vs CPI; India and CPI; Policy needs to manage the CPI.


  • The Reserve Bank of India’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has hit a pause in raising the repo rates, which is against the majority view in the market. It has served two important purposes:
    • It has shown that the RBI is not blindly following the US Fed in raising interest rates to tame inflation;
    • It reflects RBI’s confidence in containing inflation below 6 percent while keeping overall GDP growth well above 6 percent.
  • Apart from RBI’s Monetary policy, Government of India’s Fiscal and Trade policy are also needed to manage the inflation in India.

India and CPI:

  • RBI has adopted CPI (Combined) as nominal anchor for conduct of monetary policy in India.
  • The Monetary Policy Committee is mandated to keep CPI (C) in range 2% – 6%.
  • The CPI data of March 2023 reveals that inflation has dropped to 5.66 per cent (y-o-y).
  • This drop in overall inflation has been significantly brought about by food inflation (CFPI), which is at 4.79 percent.

Decoding the editorial: Policy needs to manage CPI Food inflation

  • Vegetables price inflation is in the negative zone at -8.51 per cent, followed by oils and fats at -7.86 per cent. This has caused some stress to farmers.
    • Maharashtra has extended some support to onion farmers.
    • RBI has turned out to be timely in containing inflationary expectations.
  • Inflationary concerns remain high in case of cereals, milk and milk products, and spices where inflation is still roaring at 15.3 percent, 9.3 per cent, and 18.2 per cent, respectively.
    • Milk and milk products have the highest weight in CPI and so contribute the most to CPI inflation.
    • Milk production in the country, which normally has been growing at 5 to 6 percent per year over the last few years, suddenly came to almost a halt in FY23. This has been attributed to the lumpy skin disease that has impacted a large number of animals. The recent reports suggest that growth in milk production is gaining momentum.
    • Short-term policy measure: The logical option is to reduce import duties on skimmed milk powder (SMP) and butter to about 15 percent.
    • Long-term policy measure: In the medium to long run, the GoI should have a plan to augment good quality fodder supplies and raise productivity of milch animals.
  • Wheat inflation (non-PDS) is still roaring at about 20 per cent, though it is likely to come down in the next two months as harvesting and procurement picks up in Punjab-Haryana belt.
    • The unseasonal rains in March end played spoilsport, and created uncertainty about the wheat output.
    • Policy measure: The government can lower import duties on wheat and let traders import if they find it cheaper.
  • The prospect of El Nino hitting India towards the later half of monsoon season has created a new uncertainty about kharif crops. However, policy measures are already in place to combat the changes.
    • Rice stocks in the country are more than three times the buffer stock norms.
    • Edible oil prices are already collapsing due to cheaper global prices of palm and other oils.
    • Pulses, especially tur and urad, can create inflationary pressure. But, the import duties are already low, and thus no further policy action needed.
    • It is unsure if the El Nino has to fight the Indian Ocean Dipole. Hence, the Indian monsoon could be just as normal.
  • Futures market:
    • Several agri-commodities have been suspended from futures platforms due to sheer ignorance about how futures markets function.
    • In the absence of any future signals, therefore, the reaction of policy makers is often abrupt, crude, and irrational.
    • Policy measure: India needs to invest in building trust in futures markets. Improving their efficiency with information symmetry, and bringing transparency through better technologies and regulatory institutions needs to be a priority.

Keywords: GS-Paper 3: Indian Economy
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