Wednesday, 25th October 2023

Table of contents

1   Daily Current Affairs

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States to Appoint Officers under POSH Act, 2013

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Reforms in Special and Local Laws

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Suistainable Development Goals Summit 2023

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Climate Adaptation of Marine Microalgae

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Proposed Reforms for Multilateral Development Banks

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Curb Exports of Graphite Material by China

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Puri Jagannath Temple's Ratna Bhandar

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Dhordo, Gujarat - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Cyclone Tej - Edukemy Current Affairs

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South China Sea Tension: China Blocks Philippine Supply Boat

2   Daily Editorial Analysis

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Sustaining India’s, the marine economy with blue bonds

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Daily Current Affairs

States to Appoint Officers under POSH Act, 2013


In News: Recently The Supreme Court of India has instructed all states/UTs to appoint district officers under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, to ensure the law's effective enforcement. 

Supreme Court's Directives to States 

Background and Necessity 

  • Recognizing the unavailability of a recourse for women facing workplace sexual harassment due to the absence of designated authorities, the Supreme Court mandated that all states promptly appoint district officers under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 (POSH Act). 

Role of District Officers Under the POSH Act 

  • The POSH Act mandates the appointment of district officers in each district, who are pivotal in executing the Act.  
  • Their duties encompass establishing Local Complaints Committees (LCCs) for women employed in small establishments with fewer than 10 workers or cases where the employer is the perpetrator.  
  • Additionally, district officers are responsible for designating nodal officers in rural, tribal, and urban areas. 

Appointment of Nodal Persons 

  • The Supreme Court directed the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MoWCD) in every State/UT to designate a 'nodal person' within the Department.  
  • This individual would oversee and facilitate coordination as specified in the POSH Act and interact with the Union Government on matters concerning the Act and its implementation. 

Deadline for Report Submission 

  • Furthermore, each State/UT Government must submit a consolidated report detailing its compliance with the aforementioned directives to the Union Government within eight weeks. 

Overview of the PoSH Act, 2013 

  • The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act, 2013, is a significant piece of legislation enacted by the Government of India in 2013 to address the pressing issue of sexual harassment experienced by women in the workplace 
  • The primary objective of this Act is to establish a safe and supportive work environment for women, offering them protection against sexual harassment.  
  • It defines sexual harassment broadly, encompassing various unwelcome behaviours such as physical contact, sexual advances, demands for sexual Favors, making sexually coloured remarks, displaying pornography, and any other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, be it verbal, non-verbal, or physical. 

Historical Context and Legal Foundation 

  • The foundation for the PoSH Act lies in a landmark judgment by the Supreme Court of India in the Vishakha and others v State of Rajasthan case in 1997 
    • This case gave rise to the "Vishakha guidelines," which subsequently laid the groundwork for the 2013 Act.  
  • The Supreme Court drew its authority from multiple sources, including the Indian Constitution's Article 15 (which prohibits discrimination based on religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth) and international conventions and norms such as the General Recommendations of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), which India ratified in 1993. 

Key Provisions of the Act 

  • Prevention and Prohibition:  
    • The Act places a legal obligation on employers to take proactive measures to prevent and prohibit sexual harassment in the workplace. 
  • Internal Complaints Committee (ICC): 
    • Employers are mandated to establish ICCs at workplaces with ten or more employees.  
    • These committees are responsible for receiving and addressing complaints of sexual harassment and have the authority to gather evidence, similar to civil courts. 
  • Duties of Employers:  
    • Employers are required to conduct awareness programs, ensure a secure working environment, and prominently display information about the PoSH Act within the workplace. 
  • Penalties:  
    • Non-compliance with the Act's provisions can lead to penalties, including fines and the cancellation of business licenses. 

Potential Reforms and Future Steps 

  • Employment Tribunal:  
  • One proposed reform is the establishment of an employment tribunal to replace the internal complaints committee (ICC) under the Sexual Harassment at the Workplace Act.  
  • This tribunal could adopt a more flexible procedure for swift complaint resolution. 
  • Expanding the Act's Scope:  
  • Advocates have called for the inclusion of domestic workers within the Act's purview. Furthermore, there is a suggestion to broaden the definition of sexual harassment by considering "unwelcome behaviour" from the subjective perception of the complainant, thus expanding the scope of protection. 
  • Employer Responsibility:  
  • It is recommended that employers be held accountable if they facilitate sexual harassment, allow a workplace culture conducive to systematic misconduct, or fail to disclose the company's sexual harassment policy and complaint procedures.  
  • Additionally, the proposed removal of the three-month time limit for filing complaints and ensuring that complainants are not transferred without their consent are significant considerations for reform. 

The Government of India has implemented a number of safety schemes for women, including: 

  • One Stop Centre (OSC): OSCs are designed to provide integrated support and assistance to women affected by violence, under one roof. They provide services such as medical aid, police assistance, legal aid, psychological counselling, and temporary shelter. 
  • Mahila Police Volunteer (MPV): MPVs are women volunteers who are trained to assist the police in preventing and responding to crimes against women. They are deployed in public places such as markets, bus stops, and railway stations, and play an important role in creating a sense of security for women. 
  • Women Helpline: The Women Helpline is a toll-free 24/7 helpline that provides assistance to women in distress. It provides information and support on a range of issues, including domestic violence, sexual harassment, and trafficking. 
  • Self-Défense Training Programs: The government offers a number of self-defence training programs for women, which help them to learn how to protect themselves in case of an attack. 
  • Public Awareness Campaigns: The government regularly conducts public awareness campaigns to educate people about women's safety and to promote gender equality. 

 UPSC CSE Previous Year Question (PYQ) 

Prelims (2010) 

Q. Two of the schemes launched by the Government of India for Women’s development are Swadhar and Swayam Siddha. As regards the difference between them, consider the following statements:

  1. Swayam Siddha is meant for those in difficult circumstances such as women survivors of natural disasters or terrorism, women prisoners released from jails, mentally challenged women etc., whereas Swadhar is meant for holistic empowerment of women through Self Help Groups. 
  2. Swayam Siddha is implemented through Local Self Government bodies or reputed Voluntary Organizations whereas Swadhar is implemented through the ICDS units set up in the states. 

Which of the statements given above is/are correct? 

(a) 1 only 
(b) 2 only  
(c) Both 1 and 2 
(d) Neither 1 nor 2 

Answer: (d) 

Source: TH 

Keywords: GS-2 Polity
Daily Current Affairs

Reforms in Special and Local Laws


In News: Recently, there has been a focus on introducing Bills to reform the substantive criminal law contained in the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), and Indian Evidence Act (IEA).  

What are Special and Local Laws (SLLs)? 

  • SLLs, or Special and Local Laws, are legal provisions designed to address region-specific, cultural, or unique legal matters within a particular state or local area.  
  • They differ from the general laws and regulations outlined in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and serve to identify and address criminal activities framed by the state government for specific issues. 

Significance: 

  • SLLs constitute a vital part of India's Criminal Justice System, encompassing the most critical offenses and procedures.  
  • They hold immense relevance in the Indian Criminal Justice System, with nearly 39.9% of all Cognizable Offenses registered in 2021 falling under SLLs.  
  • In Cognizable Offenses, a law enforcement officer can take cognizance of and arrest a suspect without requiring a court warrant if there is "reason to believe" the person committed the offense and if the arrest is deemed necessary based on certain enumerated factors.  
  • The detention must be ratified by a judicial magistrate within 24 hours of the arrest. 

Requirement of Reforms in Special and Local Laws (SLLs) in India: 

Ambiguous Definitions: 

    • Some SLLs, such as the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, suffer from deficient, ambiguous, and vague definitions of offenses and terms like 'terrorist act,' 'unlawful activity,' and 'organized crime.'  
    • These ambiguities can lead to misuse and misinterpretation, impacting due process. 

Variability in Legal Processes: 

    • SLLs can result in different legal treatment for individuals or groups based on their geographical location, leading to disparities in access to justice and legal protection.  
    • Legal inconsistencies can create uncertainty for individuals and businesses, affecting their understanding of legal rights and obligations. 

Inherent Indiscretion: 

    • The lack of contemplative considerations in SLLs can lead to inefficiencies and uncertainties.  
    • For instance, the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act, 2012, has been criticized for its application to consensual sexual activities between minors, raising concerns about criminalizing such conduct. 

Undermining of Due Process: 

    • SLLs have led to the erosion of due process values, exemplified by increased powers of search and seizure and admissibility of confessions recorded by police officers.  
    • Inadequate safeguards for the rights of the accused raise concerns about fairness and the protection of individual liberties.  
    • Restrictive bail provisions in SLLs often make obtaining bail nearly impossible, infringing on the rights of the accused. 

To address the deficiencies in the current legal framework, SLLs that criminalize specific conduct should be integrated into the penal code as separate chapters. Additionally, SLLs with distinct procedures for reporting, arrest, investigation, prosecution, trial, evidence, and bail should be included in the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) or treated as exceptions. The ongoing reform process should be extended to rectify these deficiencies, as the exclusion of SLL aspects poses a significant limitation. 

Source: TH  

Keywords: GS-2 Polity
Daily Current Affairs

Suistainable Development Goals Summit 2023


In News: During the SDG Summit in New York, USA, global leaders voiced their concerns about the sluggish advancement in attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Key Highlights of the SDG Summit 2023 

At the SDG Summit in New York, global leaders addressed several crucial issues: 

  • Recognizing the Funding Gap: The funding gap for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has grown from USD 2.5 trillion to an alarming USD 4.2 trillion, underscoring the urgent need for substantial investments in SDG attainment. 
  • Addressing the Finance Challenge: Emphasizing the significance of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA), leaders stressed the efficient utilization of all financial resources, both public and private, for sustainable development. They called for a significant increase in funding by USD 500 billion annually, endorsing the UN Secretary-General's proposal for an SDG stimulus. 
  • Multilateral Actions and Debt Swaps: To bolster SDG implementation, leaders called for multilateral actions and coordination among creditors, with a focus on scaling up Debt Swaps for SDGs, including climate and nature-related debt swaps, to facilitate green growth. 
  • Impact of Covid-19: The declaration acknowledged the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the SDGs, particularly in the world's most vulnerable nations.  It stressed the need for urgent corrective actions to expedite SDG progress. 
  • Integrating Climate Action and Disaster Risk Reduction: Leaders recommitted to the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and pledged to intensify efforts to combat climate change. They also committed to operationalize new finance mechanisms to address loss and damage while aligning with climate objectives. 
  • Commitment to 2030 Agenda: Despite numerous challenges, leaders reaffirmed their commitment to fully implementing the 2030 Agenda and the 17 SDGs, aiming to protect the rights and well-being of all for a sustainable world. 

Concerns Related to SDG Progress: 

  • Despite commitments, progress toward achieving the 17 SDGs, consisting of 169 targets, has reached only 15% at the midway point. Concerns arise regarding substantial progress in the second half of the commitment period. 
  • Funding Adequacy and Accessibility:  
    • The estimated investment gap for SDG achievement in developing countries has soared to over USD 4 trillion, especially with a significant portion earmarked for the transition to sustainable energy.  
    • This immense financial demand raises questions about funding adequacy and accessibility. 
  • Dis-synergies and Barriers: 
    • Dis-synergies in SDG interventions, combined with barriers such as knowledge gaps, political and institutional obstacles, and economic challenges, hinder the realization of synergies in SDG implementation. 
  • Challenges in Policy Implementation: 
    • Policy inconsistencies and misalignment pose challenges, particularly in renewable energy targets and small-scale applications due to a lack of integration and clear objectives. 
  • Climate Change and Environmental Impact: 
    • Climate change remains a significant challenge, imperilling the achievement of SDG targets as greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise globally, accompanied by concerns over climate change vulnerability. 

Way Forward 

  • Prioritizing the fight against climate change and its environmental repercussions is imperative, necessitating global cooperation and coordination. 
  • Encouraging multilateral actions and collaboration among nations is essential to drive progress in realizing the Sustainable Development Goals. 
  • Leaders must maintain their dedication to the 2030 Agenda, with a focus on safeguarding the rights and well-being of all in the pursuit of a sustainable world.

   UPSC CSE Previous Year Question (PYQ) 

 Q. Sustainable development is described as the development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. In this perspective, inherently the concept of sustainable development is intertwined with which of the following concepts? (2010)

(a) Social justice and empowerment 
(b) Inclusive Growth 
(c) Globalization 
(d) Carrying capacity 

Answer: (d) 

Q. The Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE), a UN mechanism to assist countries transition towards greener and more inclusive economies, emerged at (2018)

(a) The Earth Summit on Sustainable Development 2002, Johannesburg. 

(b) The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development 2012, Rio de Janeiro. 

(c) The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 2015, Paris. 

(d) The World Sustainable Development Summit 2016, New Delhi. 

Answer: (b) 

Q. Consider the following statements: (2016)

  1. The Sustainable Development Goals were first proposed in 1972 by a global think tank called the ‘Club of Rome’. 
  2. The Sustainable Development Goals have to be achieved by 2030. 

Which of the statements given above is/are correct? 

(a) 1 only 
(b) 2 only 
(c) Both 1 and 2 
(d) Neither 1 nor 2 

Answer: (b) 

Source: TH 

Keywords: GS-3 and GS-2 Environment, Climate change and Inclusive Development
Daily Current Affairs

Climate Adaptation of Marine Microalgae


In News: Researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in England have recently discovered that eukaryotic phytoplankton, also known as microalgae, have evolved to cope with global warming and changing ocean conditions. 

About 

  • Eukaryotic phytoplankton are microscopic organisms that live in water and are responsible for about half of the world's photosynthesis 
  • They are a vital part of the marine food chain and play an important role in the global climate system. 

Marine Microalgae 

  • Marine microalgae, also known as eukaryotic phytoplankton, are photosynthetic microorganisms that thrive in various natural environments, including water, rocks, and soil.  
  • They exhibit superior photosynthetic efficiency compared to terrestrial plants and play a crucial role in both oxygen production and the oceanic ecosystem. 

Their Vital Role: 

  • Marine microalgae are instrumental in the oceanic food chain and carbon dioxide absorption.  
  • They serve as the foundational primary producers, responsible for generating a significant portion of the world's oxygen.  
  • However, the ongoing impact of climate change, particularly global warming, is causing surface ocean waters to heat up.  
  • This results in reduced nutrient availability, primarily due to decreased mixing between the surface waters and the nutrient-rich deeper layers. 

Nutrient Scarcity: 

  • As a consequence of warming waters, nutrients, including vital elements like iron, become scarce in the surface layer.  
  • This scarcity significantly affects primary producers, such as microalgae, as it limits their capacity to produce food and capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. 

Examples of Marine Microalgae: 

  • Marine microalgae come in various forms, including diatoms, dinoflagellates, chlorella, and many others, each contributing uniquely to the intricate balance of oceanic ecosystems. 

Key Findings of the Study: 

  • Activation of Rhodopsin Protein: 
    • Marine microalgae respond to changing ocean conditions by activating a protein known as rhodopsin, akin to the protein responsible for low-light vision in the human eye.  
    • This adaptation enables these microalgae to thrive by utilizing sunlight as an alternative energy source, distinct from traditional chlorophyll-based photosynthesis.  
    • This mechanism becomes particularly critical for their survival in regions with nutrient-poor surface waters caused by ocean warming. 
  • Light Capture for Energy: 
    • Rhodopsin’s play a pivotal role in capturing light in the ocean and are capable of absorbing as much light as chlorophyll-based photosynthesis.  
    • Through rhodopsin, microalgae harness light to generate energy, primarily in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP).  
    • This process allows them to produce sustenance and sequester carbon dioxide. 

Implications of the Study: 

  • Environmental Adaptation: 
    • Understanding the significance of rhodopsin in microalgae's adaptation to changing ocean conditions offers potential solutions to mitigate the adverse impacts of ocean warming on marine ecosystems.  
    • This knowledge holds essential implications for preserving ecosystems reliant on microalgae as a primary food source. 
  • Biotechnology Applications: 
    • The mechanisms identified in this study can be applied in biotechnology to enhance the activity of non-light-dependent microbes, such as yeast.  
    • This innovation has the potential to enhance the production of various biotechnological products, including insulin, antibiotics, enzymes, antivirals, and biofuels. 
  • Global Agriculture: 
    • These findings resonate with land-based agriculture, where reduced nutrient availability can lead to diminished crop yields.  
    • Much like microalgae's reliance on rhodopsin to adapt to shifting conditions, there is an opportunity to explore strategies for bolstering crop resilience in the face of climate change.

  UPSC CSE Previous Year Question (PYQ) 

Prelims (2016) 

Q. Which one of the following is the correct sequence of a food chain? 

(a) Diatoms-Crustaceans-Herrings 

(b) Crustaceans-Diatoms-Herrings 

(c) Diatoms-Herrings-Crustaceans 

(d) Crustaceans-Herrings-Diatoms 

Answer: (a) 

Source: DTE 

Keywords: GS-3 Environment and Climate Change
Daily Current Affairs

Proposed Reforms for Multilateral Development Banks


In News: Recently An expert panel convened by the G20 to enhance the effectiveness of Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), including institutions like the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, has put forth a series of reform proposals.  

About Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) 

  • MDBs are international institutions comprised of member countries, encompassing both developed and developing nations.  
  • Their core role involves providing financial and technical assistance to support projects across various sectors, including transportation, energy, urban infrastructure, and waste management.  
  • Traditionally, developed nations contribute to the lending pool, while developing countries primarily borrow from these institutions to fund their development initiatives. 

Challenges and Reforms Proposed by Experts 

1. Addressing Global Challenges:

  • The G20 expert group highlights the pressing need for MDBs to address global challenges, particularly concerning the climate crisis.  
  • They stress that while the solutions are known, there is a lack of mechanisms to execute them on a global scale, especially in emerging markets and developing economies (EMDEs). 

2. Engaging the Private Sector:

  • The existing perceptions and practices of MDBs have hindered their engagement with the private sector.  
  • MDBs are often seen as bureaucratic and risk-averse, discouraging greater private sector involvement in financing development projects.  
  • Given the substantial financing requirement of MDBs, which is expected to reach $390 billion by 2030, the private sector can play a pivotal role in achieving this goal.  
  • This, however, requires a shift from the current trend of low private financial flows to EMDEs.  

Achieving this shift necessitates MDBs to: 

    • Embrace partnerships with the private sector. 
    • Be willing to take on more risk, including credit and policy risk. 
    • Effectively manage these risks, which calls for significant reforms within the MDBs. 

Traditional Lending in Countries like India 

  • World Bank:  
    • The World Bank, established in 1944, has committed to lending approximately $97.6 billion to India for various projects, spanning sectors such as public administration, agriculture, transportation, and more. 
  • Asian Development Bank: 
    • The Asian Development Bank (ADB), formed in 1969, has committed around $59.7 billion in project and technical assistance to India.  
    • In 2022, it allocated $1.8 billion to sovereign projects and $0.2 billion to non-sovereign projects. 
  • Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB): 
    • The AIIB, established in 2016, has approved financing of approximately $9.9 billion in India, covering both sovereign and non-sovereign projects.
  • European Investment Bank:  
    • The European Investment Bank, established in 1958, has signed off on 22 projects in India with a cumulative value of Euro 4.5 billion, primarily in the transport and energy sectors. 

Proposed Reforms for MDBs: 

  • The G20 expert group has presented a comprehensive 30-point roadmap for reinvigorating MDBs, aiming for "bigger, bolder, better" institutions. The recommended reforms include: 
    • Shifting from project-based financing to focusing on programs with sectoral emphasis and long-term transformation plans. 
    • Elevating private sector engagement to a central position in MDB operations. 
    • Tripling annual sustainable lending levels to $390 billion by 2030. 
    • Adopting a triple mandate to eradicate extreme poverty, promote shared prosperity, and contribute to global public goods. 
    • Modernizing funding models to attract a broader range of investors through flexible and innovative means. 
  • The overarching goal of these reforms is to enable MDBs to play a more effective and substantial role in addressing global challenges, particularly in the context of sustainable development and climate change. 

UPSC CSE Previous Year Question (PYQ) 

Prelims (2019) 

Q. With reference to Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), consider the following statements:  

  1. AIIB has more than 80 member nations. 
  2. India is the largest shareholder in AIIB. 
  3. AIIB does not have any members from outside Asia. 

Which of the statements given above is/are correct? 

(a) 1 only 
(b) 2 and 3 only 
(c) 1 and 3 only 
(d) 1, 2 and 3 

Answer: (a) 

Mains: 

Q. India has recently signed to become a founding member of New Development Bank (NDB) and also the Asian Infrastructure Bank (AIIB). How will the role of the two Banks be different? Discuss the strategic significance of these two Banks for India. (2012) 

Source: IE 

Keywords: GS-2 International Bodies
Daily Current Affairs

Curb Exports of Graphite Material by China


In News: Recently China, the leading global producer and exporter of graphite, has implemented restrictions on its exports of this vital battery material. These measures resemble those enforced since August 1, 2023, for gallium and germanium, essential metals used in chip production, which resulted in price increases beyond China. 

China’s Decision to Curb Exports of Graphite and Its Impacts 

Significance: 

  • This move is aimed at protecting China’s national security and controlling supplies of critical minerals in response to challenges over its global manufacturing dominance. 
  • Graphite, Cobalt, Nickel etc are important critical minerals as reflected in Mineral Security Partnership which India is not part of. 
  • It also becomes important for major Electric vehicles (EVs) manufacturers across the world and also India due to its National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) where Graphite is a key component. 

Restrictions: 

  • China will require as of December 1st that exporters apply for permits to ship two types of graphite, including high-purity, high-hardness and high-intensity synthetic graphite material, and natural flake graphite and its products. 
  • Meanwhile, it dropped temporary controls on five less sensitive graphite items used in basic industries such as steel, metallurgy, and chemicals. 

Concern for EV Manufacturers: 

  • South Korean firms which heavily rely on China for graphite imports would need to seek alternatives, such as mines from the United States or Australia. 
  • With rising sales of EVs, automakers are racing to lock in supplies from outside China, but shortages are looming, which is all set to push the costs manifold. 

What is Graphite?

About: 

  • Graphite is a naturally occurring mineral composed of carbon.  
  • It is one of the three crystalline forms of carbon, with the other two being diamond and amorphous carbon (such as charcoal or carbon black). 

Structure: 

  • Graphite has a hexagonal crystal structure in which carbon atoms are arranged in layers or sheets.  
  • These layers are weakly bonded together, allowing them to easily slide past each other, giving graphite its lubricating properties. 

Properties: 

  • Graphite is a good conductor of both electricity and heat.  
  • It is used in the production of electrodes for batteries and in the electronics industry. 

Applications: 

  • Graphite is commonly known for its use in pencils.  
  • The "lead" in pencils is actually a mixture of graphite and clay. 
  • Other applications include crucibles, foundry facings, polishes, arc lamps, batteries, brushes for electric motors, and cores of nuclear reactors. 

Global Reserves: 

  • China produces two-thirds of the world’s graphite, but compared to global reserves, the Asian country is not the only option. 
  • According to the United States Geological Survey, Turkey (27.3%) and Brazil (22.4%) together own half of the world's natural graphite resources. 
  •  China comes third, sitting on 16%, followed by Madagascar (7.9%)

  UPSC CSE Previous Year Question (PYQ) 

Prelims (2012) 

Q. Recently, there has been a concern over the short supply of a group of elements called ‘rare earth metals. Why?  

  1. China, which is the largest producer of these elements, has imposed some restrictions on their export. 
  2. Other than China, Australia, Canada and Chile, these elements are not found in any country. 
  3. Rare earth metals are essential for the manufacture of various kinds of electronic items and there is a growing demand for these elements. 

Which of the statements given above is/are correct? 

(a) 1 only 
(b) 2 and 3 only 
(c) 1 and 3 only  
(d) 1, 2 and 3 

Answer: (c) 

Mains: 

Q. Despite India being one of the countries of Gondwanaland, its mining industry contributes much less to its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in percentage. Discuss. (2021) 

 Source: TH 

Keywords: GS-3 Environment
Daily Current Affairs

Puri Jagannath Temple's Ratna Bhandar


In News: Recently, the call to unlock the treasure room, known as the Ratna Bhandar, within the Jagannath Temple has resurfaced, with the room remaining sealed for over three decades. 

Ratna Bhandar of the Jagannath Temple 

About: 

  • The Ratna Bhandar of the Jagannath Temple houses the valuable ornaments gifted by devotees and past rulers to the deities, Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, and Goddess Subhadra.  
  • It consists of two chambers: the outer one used for fetching ornaments during rituals and festivals, and the inner one, unopened for 38 years.  

Demands of Opening the inner chamber of the Ratna Bhandar: 

  • Calls to open the inner chamber have grown due to concerns about its structural stability, prompting the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), the temple's custodian, to seek access for repairs, safeguarding the priceless treasures contained inside due to potential wall cracks.

The Jagannath Temple 

About: 

  • The Jagannath Temple, also known as the Shree Jagannath Temple, is a significant Hindu temple located in Puri, Odisha, India.  
  • It is one of the most revered and sacred temples in the country and is a prominent pilgrimage destination for Hindus. Here are some key details about the Jagannath Temple 

Deities:  

  • The temple is dedicated to Lord Jagannath, who is considered an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, along with his siblings, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra.  
  • These deities are worshipped as part of the Holy Trinity or the "Purushottama," where Lord Jagannath represents the Supreme Being. 

Architecture: 

  • The temple is renowned for its impressive Kalinga architecture, characterized by a towering spire (shikara) and intricate stone carvings.  
  • The temple complex covers a vast area and is enclosed by a high fortified wall. 

Rath Yatra: 

  • The annual Rath Yatra, or Chariot Festival, of Puri is one of the most famous religious processions in the world. 
  • During this festival, the deities are placed on grand chariots and pulled by thousands of devotees through the streets of Puri.  
  • The Rath Yatra attracts millions of pilgrims and tourists from all over India and abroad. 

Legend: 

  • According to Hindu mythology, the Jagannath Temple was established over 2,000 years ago.  
  • The temple has its own set of legends and stories, including the story of Lord Jagannath's wooden idols and the construction of the temple by King Indradyumna. 

The Jagannath Temple is not just a place of worship but also an architectural marvel and a cultural landmark in India. It has a rich history, traditions, and rituals that make it a symbol of devotion and spirituality.

Source: IE 

Keywords: GS-1 Art and Culture
Daily Current Affairs

Dhordo, Gujarat - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: 

  • Recently Dhordo has been honoured with the esteemed designation of "Best Tourism Village" by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) 
  • This recognition was bestowed upon Dhordo during the UNWTO's Best Tourism Village - 2023 award ceremony held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.  
  • The village has gained popularity as a tourist destination due to its rich cultural heritage, artisanal crafts, and the renowned Rann Utsav. 
  • The UNWTO bestows the "Best Tourism Village" title to villages that fulfil specific criteria: 
    • Promotion of sustainable tourism, 
    • Preservation of local culture and heritage 
    • Provision of a safe and hospitable environment for tourists 
    • Offering of unique experiences to visitors.  
  • Moreover, these villages are expected to possess a well-developed tourism infrastructure and demonstrate their commitment to responsible tourism practices. 

Source: TOI 

Keywords: GS-1 Art and Culture
Daily Current Affairs

Cyclone Tej - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: 

  • Cyclone Tej, initially forming over the Arabian Sea, has now intensified into an extremely severe cyclonic storm.  
  • Projections suggest a north-westward path with an expected landfall near Al Ghaidah in Yemen.  
  • The name 'Tej,' meaning 'speed' in Hindi, was chosen by India. 
  • The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a yellow alert for eight districts in Kerala, warning of heavy rains.  

IMD 

  • Established in 1875, the IMD operates as an agency under the Ministry of Earth Sciences.  
  • It utilizes a color-coded weather warning system to alert people in advance of severe or hazardous weather conditions that could lead to damage, widespread disruption, or pose a danger to life. 

Source: FE

Keywords: GS-3 and GS-1 Environment, Geography
Daily Current Affairs

South China Sea Tension: China Blocks Philippine Supply Boat


In News: 

Recently China and Philippines are involved in a dispute over a collision in south China sea, where Chinese vessels blocked Philippine boat supplying forces. 

Significance of the South China Sea: 

  1. Strategic Location:
  • The South China Sea is strategically located, bordered by China, Taiwan, the Indo-Chinese peninsula, Indonesia, Brunei, and the Philippines.  
  • It connects to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea, making it a vital maritime crossroads. 
  1. Trade Importance:
  • In 2016, the South China Sea saw around USD 3.37 trillion in trade, making it a critical global trade route.  
  • Approximately 80% of global trade by volume and 70% by value is transported by sea, with 60% passing through Asia and one-third through the South China Sea. China, as the world's second-largest economy, relies heavily on this route, with 64% of its trade flowing through the region.  
  • India also depends on the area for about 55% of its trade. 
  1. Fishing Ground:
  • The South China Sea is a rich fishing ground, providing livelihood and food security for millions of people in the region. 

Major Disputes in the South China Sea: 

1.Territorial Claims:  

  • The core of the South China Sea dispute revolves around territorial claims to islands, reefs, and their associated territorial waters.  
  • The Spratly Islands, Paracel Islands, Pratas, Natuna Islands, and Scarborough Shoal are among the key contested features.  
  • China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Taiwan have competing claims, with various outposts established on these disputed  features. 
  •  China asserts up to 90% of the sea with its "nine-dash line" map. 
  1. Efforts to Resolve the Dispute:
  • Efforts to address the dispute include talks for a Code of Conduct (CoC) between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), but progress has been slow.  
  • The Declaration on the Conduct of Parties (DoC) was adopted in 2002, reaffirming a commitment to peaceful dispute resolution.  
  • Arbitral proceedings initiated by the Philippines in 2013 led to a 2016 ruling against China's "nine-dash line" claim by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA).  
  • However, China rejected the arbitration ruling, asserting its sovereignty and historical rights.  The quest for a comprehensive resolution continues

Source: TOI

Keywords: GS-3 Environment
Daily Editorial Analysis

Sustaining India’s, the marine economy with blue bonds


Exam View: Marine Economy: Significance, Prospects, Challenges and Way forward; Blue Bond and how can they help India. 

India's Marine Economy and the Role of Blue Bonds 

Significance of the Marine Economy: 

  1. Food Security and Livelihood:
  • India's marine economy significantly contributes to food security, poverty alleviation, and employment generation for coastal communities. 
  1. 2. Energy Security and Environmental Sustainability:
  • It aids India in achieving energy security and reducing carbon emissions through renewable energy sources like offshore wind and ocean thermal energy. 
  1. Trade and Connectivity:
  • Enhancing maritime connectivity boosts India's trade and investment opportunities, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region. 
  1. Ecological Resilience and Climate Adaptation:
  • It helps India adapt to climate change by conserving and restoring marine ecosystems and biodiversity. 
  1. National Security and Strategic Interests:
  • Strengthening maritime boundaries and assets protects India's national security and strategic interests. 
  1. Mineral Resources:
  • India holds exclusive rights to explore polymetallic nodules in the Central Indian Ocean Basin, contributing to its mineral resources. 

Prospects of the Marine Economy in India: 

  1. Maritime Coastline:
  • India boasts a 7,500 km coastline, nine coastal states, and 1,382 islands. 
  1. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ):
  • India's EEZ spans over 2 million square km and contains valuable resources like oil and gas. 
  1. Fisheries:
  • India supports 4 million fishermen and coastal communities, making it the world's second-largest fish producer. 
  1. Ports and Connectivity:
  • India has 200 ports, with initiatives like the Sagarmala Project, promoting maritime trade and infrastructure development. 
  1. Abundant Ocean Resources:
  • The Indian Ocean is known for its rich oil and mineral resources. 

Challenges Faced by India's Marine Economy: 

  1. Lack of Infrastructure:
  • India must invest more in coastal infrastructure to meet growing port traffic demands. 
  1. Marine Pollution:
  • Coastal waters are polluted by various sources, affecting marine ecosystems and seafood quality. 
  1. Overexploitation of Resources:
  • Overfishing and illegal fishing deplete fish stocks, threatening food security and sovereignty. 
  1. Climate Change:
  • Rising sea levels, coastal erosion, and oceanic changes pose significant threats to the marine economy. 

Measures to Strengthen India's Marine Economy: 

  1. National Accounting Framework:
  • Develop a framework to measure the marine economy's contribution to various indicators. 
  1. Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning:
  • Implement planning to optimize resource allocation and avoid conflicts. 
  1. Ocean Governance Framework:
  • Strengthen legal and institutional frameworks to ensure compliance with laws and regulations. 
  1. Research and Innovation:
  • Enhance research and innovation capacities to explore emerging marine sectors. 
  1. Cooperation and Partnerships:
  • Collaborate with other countries and organizations to address common challenges. 
  1. Blue Bonds:
  • Blue bonds can fund sustainable ocean projects like clean energy initiatives and marine conservation, creating jobs and aiding environmental conservation in India. 

Source: BL

Keywords: GS-3 Indian Economy, Blue Economy, environment
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