October 2023 Current Affairs

Table of contents

1   Monthly Current Affairs


The power of green methanol - Edukemy Current Affairs


Taming Food Inflation in India


Improving Relations: Bhutan-China Ties and India's Apprehensions


Sustaining India’s, the marine economy with blue bonds


Supreme Court’s verdict on same-sex marriage


Centralised drug procurement - Edukemy Current Affairs


India’s economy, on the upswing


Increase in Glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) in India


India and Maldives ties - Edukemy Current Affairs


Minimise climate risk - Edukemy Current Affairs


Green Revolution and Beyond - Edukemy Current Affairs


State’s seizure of India’s press


India's Changing Stance on Israel-Palestine Issue


Attack of Hamas on Israel - Edukemy Current Affairs


The Digital India Act 2023 - Edukemy Current Affairs


Handling the climate Polycrisis - Oct 15, 2023 - Edukemy Current Affair


Biofuels a Viable Energy Source


Women in Police - Edukemy Current Affairs


Safeguarding Children in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

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Monthly Current Affairs

The power of green methanol - Edukemy Current Affairs

Exam View: Laura Maersk; What are green methanol’s advantages over conventional fuels? What are the concerns regarding green methanol? Global initiatives; Domestic initiatives.  

Context: The Laura Maersk is the world’s first green-methanol-run freight vessel. NITI Aayog believes green methanol can be used to power rail, road and shipping.  

Decoding the editorial: The Laura Maersk Container ship 

  • It is a 2,100-tonne container ship that will sail around the Baltics and is the world’s first green-methanol-run freight vessel.  
  • Launched by the EU Commission President, it is a significant addition to the giant Maersk shipping line’s 700-strong fleet. 
  • Maersk originally planned to launch its first green ships only by 2030 so it’s now seven years ahead of schedule. 

  • It is the beginning of a green revolution in global supply-chains. 

What are green methanol’s advantages over conventional fuels? 

  • Green Methanol is a methanol produced from renewable sources and without polluting emissions, such as green hydrogen.  
  • It’s an available technology with a scalable solution which helps in pollution control. 
    • Highly polluting container ship fuels contribute 3% of global carbon dioxide emissions.  
    • Green methanol can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 95% and nitrogen oxide by 80%.  
    • Also, it eliminates sulphur-oxide and particulate matter emissions.  
  • Crucially for the shipping industry, it can be transported and used at room temperatures. 
  • Blending of 15%  methanol in gasoline can result in at least 15% reduction in the import of gasoline/crude oil. 
  • NITI Aayog believes it can be used to power rail, road and shipping. Besides that, it reckons it can partially replace LPG for cooking 

Benefits of Methanol:  

  • Cost-Effective Production: Methanol Offers a More Affordable Fuel Alternative for a Range of Applications. 
  • Environmental Advantages: Utilising Green Hydrogen and Carbon Capture in Methanol Production yields reduced greenhouse gas emissions and cleaner air. A sustainable choice for fuel and energy. 
  • Emission Management: Incorporating water in methanol combustion facilitates compliance with stringent emission standards, including Tier III for NOx. It is an effective solution for emission control in various applications. 
  • Ease of Handling and Transport: Methanol offers convenient management and transportation within standard temperature and pressure parameters. 
  • Flexible Applications: Methanol's versatility as an engine fuel extends to dedicated methanol engines. Its applicability extends to shipping, aviation, engine waste heat fuel reforming, and industrial power generation. 

What are the concerns regarding green methanol? 

  • Green-methanol production is still low, with less than 0.2 million tonnes produced annually.  
  • Methanol production costs are significantly higher and won’t beat fossil fuels in price until capacity starts to catch up. 

Global initiatives 

Cargo and container fleets run mainly on dirty diesel-based bunker fuels. It’s estimated there are some 100 green methanol-powered ships already ordered across the industry.  

  • Maersk’s initiatives: 
    • Maersk aims to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.  
    • Maersk has formed a joint venture, C2X, that will develop and run production facilities.  
    • Maersk has tied up with Norwegian company, Equinor, to keep the Laura Maersk on the high seas.  
    • In the US, it has struck a deal with a company, Carbon Sink, to supply the fuel at different ports.  
  • China’s initiatives: 
    • Chinese shipping company Cosco has ordered 12 green-methanol ships.  
    • Cosco has tied up with three other firms, including the Shanghai International Port Group, to create what it calls a green-methanol industrial chain. 
    • China is looking at green methanol to power everything from automobiles to trucks and public transport, aware that carbon-neutral fuel could help them to achieve climate targets. 

Domestic initiatives 

  • Umwelt, a Danish company, has plans for an $850-million Tamil Nadu plant to produce 100,000 tonnes of green methanol annually.  
  • In Madhya Pradesh, a company, Jakson Green, has tied up with NTPC for a methanol facility at the Vindhyachal Thermal Power Plant. 
  • Maersk is looking at all elements of its logistics chain. In India, it has a fleet of electric-powered three-wheelers and small vans.  


Keywords: GS 3: Growth & Development; Environmental Pollution & Degradation.
Monthly Current Affairs

Taming Food Inflation in India


  • As state elections draw near, the central government is intensively working to manage rising food prices.  
  • While their goal is to prevent inflation from becoming a focal point in election campaigns, it's important to evaluate the strategies employed to control food inflation and their policy impacts. 

The Government's Imposition of a Minimum Export Price (MEP) for Basmati Rice. 

  • The government introduced a Minimum Export Price (MEP) for basmati rice at a minimum of USD 1,200 per tonne in August.  
  • This move was motivated by the desire to prevent potential unauthorized exports of regular white non-basmati rice being passed off as premium basmati rice.  
  • Typically, India exports around 4.5 million tonnes of this premium rice annually, which is favoured by the upper middle class and the affluent, and is shipped to Gulf countries, parts of Europe, and the United States, with Punjab and Haryana as the primary producers.  
  • The MEP of $1,200 essentially curtails a significant portion of basmati rice exports, as the usual export price falls within the range of $800 to $1,000 per tonne. 

Potential Outcomes of Enforcing an MEP on Basmati Rice Exports: 

  • The introduction of this Minimum Export Price (MEP) is expected to lead to a substantial decrease in India's basmati rice exports for the current year. 
  • In various agricultural markets in Punjab and Haryana, traders have become hesitant to purchase basmati rice, resulting in lower prices for farmers compared to the times when exports were unrestricted.  
    • Consequently, farmers in these regions are the primary losers, while urban consumers in the higher income bracket stand to benefit. 
  • By setting a relatively high MEP, India risks surrendering its hard-earned export markets to Pakistan, the primary competitor in the basmati rice industry, a process that can take years to establish. 

Study on India’s Restrictive Export Regime and its implications 

  • The study highlights India's historical use of export control measures during periods of elevated global prices, particularly in the realm of agricultural products.  
  • It points to instances like the food price crises in 2007-08 and 2010-11, where India implemented bans on rice exports, and more recently, imposed export restrictions on wheat due to global market disruptions linked to Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022. 
  • India, as the world's largest rice exporter, relies heavily on its reputation in global agricultural markets.  
    • Imposing bans on essential food items, like non-basmati rice, can negatively impact India's image, especially among key importers like African nations. 
  • India's goal of doubling agricultural exports faces challenges under such restrictive export policies.  
  • While Agri-exports grew significantly between 2004-05 and 2013-14, achieving the government's export targets may be unattainable with the current approach, potentially leading to a significant shortfall in export revenues. 

The Path Ahead 

  • Urgent revision of the Minimum Export Price (MEP) for basmati rice to provide relief to farmers and traders, aiming for a range of $800 to $850 per tonne. 
  • Emphasizing the need for well-planned, predictable export policies to enable informed decisions for both exporters and importers, rather than abrupt and reactive changes. 
  • Addressing the bias in export restrictions that Favor urban consumers at the expense of farmers, suggesting targeted domestic income policies for vulnerable sections of society. 
  • Advocating the development and long-term maintenance of export markets, highlighting the importance of these premium markets. 
  • Calling for increased investments in agriculture research and development (R&D), seeds, irrigation, fertilizers, and improved farming practices to enhance India's agricultural competitiveness. 
  • Discussing the issue of excessive and suboptimal spending on agriculture and consumer subsidies, particularly during election times, and the need for more effective policy design. 

The government should consider the potential ramifications of its export restrictions and weigh the balance between inflation control and its impact on various stakeholders during policy formulation. A nation's strength is demonstrated by its ability to innovate, produce, and competitively export to the global market, and India must rise to meet this challenge. 

Source: IE 

Keywords: GS-3 Indian Economy
Monthly Current Affairs

Improving Relations: Bhutan-China Ties and India's Apprehensions

Context: This editorial, derived from "Warming ties: On Bhutan-China relations and India’s concerns" published in The Hindu on 25/10/2023, explores the consequences of the recent trip by Bhutan's Foreign Minister to China. 

Deepening of the relations between China-Bhutan 

  • The Bhutanese Foreign Minister's groundbreaking visit to China represents a historic milestone in diplomatic relations between the two countries, as they do not have formal ties.  
  • During this visit, China and Bhutan held their 25th round of boundary talks and signed a Cooperation Agreement related to the Bhutan-China Boundary.  
  • This agreement is a significant step in their 3-Step Roadmap initiated in 2021 for resolving border issues, which includes reaching an agreement on the border, conducting on-site visits, and formally demarcating the boundary.  
  • This builds on the positive momentum established since their last discussions in 2016. 

India’s apprehensions 

  • India's distinctive connection with Bhutan has led it to exercise caution when it comes to establishing diplomatic relations and entering into a boundary agreement with China. 
  • However, recent developments suggest that Bhutan is moving towards normalizing relations with China.  
  • The Bhutanese Prime Minister has reassured India that any agreement with China will not harm India's interests, and it's likely that Bhutan has involved India in these efforts to guarantee its security interests and red lines, including keeping China away from strategic areas near the "Siliguri corridor."  
  • Another red line involves Bhutan proceeding cautiously with normalizing ties and allowing a permanent Chinese diplomatic presence while continuing border talks. 

What potential consequences could India face as a result of the deepening relationship between Bhutan and China? 

Growing Bhutan-China relations could have several significant impacts on India: 

  • Geostrategic Implications 
    • Increased Chinese influence in Bhutan, especially in the strategic Doklam plateau, may threaten India's security interests and potentially affect its access to northeastern states through the Siliguri Corridor. 
  • Implications on Energy security 
    • Bhutan's diversification of economic ties with China could reduce its dependence on India, impacting India's energy security, as it imports a significant portion of Bhutan's surplus electricity. 
  • Diplomatic Implications 
    • Bhutan establishing formal diplomatic relations with China may challenge India's historical influence in the region and affect its traditional pro-India foreign policy. 
  • Implications on Connectivity and Infrastructure 
    • Bhutan's participation in China's Belt and Road Initiative could impact regional infrastructure development and connectivity, raising India's concerns over strategic and security implications. 
  • Implications on Regional Organizations 
    • Bhutan's alignment with China could influence India's role in regional organizations like SAARC and BIMSTEC. 

What should be India’s stance? 

In dealing with the evolving Bhutan-China relationship, India should: 

  • Prioritize Diplomacy 
    • India should engage in open and transparent diplomacy with Bhutan to understand their relationship with China and address any concerns that may arise. 
  • Collaborate on Borders 
    • India and Bhutan should work together on border negotiations, aiming for a mutually acceptable deal that serves the interests of both nations. 
  • Consider Bhutan's Perspective 
    • India should understand Bhutan's motivations and objectives in its dealings with China, acknowledging Bhutan's goals for economic development and security. 
  • Build Mutual Confidence 
    • Trust between India and Bhutan is crucial, and India should have confidence that Bhutan will consider both nations' interests when making decisions about its relationship with China. 
  • Strengthen Bilateral Ties 
    • India should continue to enhance its bilateral relationship with Bhutan through various forms of cooperation, such as development assistance, cultural exchanges, and security collaboration. 
  • Explore Regional Cooperation 
    • Investigate opportunities for trilateral or multilateral cooperation involving Bhutan, India, and China to address common regional challenges like environmental conservation, disaster management, and trade. 


India should carefully manage the complex effects of Bhutan's deepening ties with China by balancing security, economic diversification, and regional diplomacy. Maintaining strong relations with Bhutan, open dialogue, and regional cooperation will help India safeguard its interests in the region. 

Source: TH 

Keywords: GS-2 IR
Monthly Current Affairs

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. 
  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. 
  3. Trade and Connectivity:
    • Enhancing maritime connectivity boosts India's trade and investment opportunities, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region. 
  4. Ecological Resilience and Climate Adaptation:
    • It helps India adapt to climate change by conserving and restoring marine ecosystems and biodiversity. 
  5. National Security and Strategic Interests:
    • Strengthening maritime boundaries and assets protects India's national security and strategic interests. 
  6. 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. 
  2. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ):
    • India's EEZ spans over 2 million square km and contains valuable resources like oil and gas. 
  3. Fisheries:
    • India supports 4 million fishermen and coastal communities, making it the world's second-largest fish producer. 
  4. Ports and Connectivity:
    • India has 200 ports, with initiatives like the Sagarmala Project, promoting maritime trade and infrastructure development. 
  5. 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. 
  2. Marine Pollution:
    • Coastal waters are polluted by various sources, affecting marine ecosystems and seafood quality. 
  3. Overexploitation of Resources:
    • Overfishing and illegal fishing deplete fish stocks, threatening food security and sovereignty. 
  4. 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. 
  2. Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning:
    • Implement planning to optimize resource allocation and avoid conflicts. 
  3. Ocean Governance Framework:
    • Strengthen legal and institutional frameworks to ensure compliance with laws and regulations. 
  4. Research and Innovation:
    • Enhance research and innovation capacities to explore emerging marine sectors. 
  5. Cooperation and Partnerships:
    • Collaborate with other countries and organizations to address common challenges. 
  6. 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
Monthly Current Affairs

Supreme Court’s verdict on same-sex marriage


The Supreme Court's recent decision not to grant legal recognition to same-sex marriages is perceived as a setback for the LGBTQ+ community in India. Despite advancements in the law and an evolving understanding of individual rights, there was a widespread expectation that the five-judge Constitution Bench would interpret the Special Marriage Act (SMA) in a gender-neutral manner, encompassing same-sex couples. 

Key observations made by the Supreme Court: 

  • It emphasized that the responsibility to enact laws for same-sex marriages lies with the legislature. While there is no central law, state legislatures have the authority to create laws recognizing and regulating such marriages. 
  • The minority opinion advocated for recognizing queer unions, even if not as marriages, as the right to form unions should not be limited by sexual orientation. However, the majority did not support recognizing the bouquet of rights associated with such unions. 
  • The Court upheld transgender individuals' right to marry within existing legal frameworks and highlighted the distinction between gender identity and sexual orientation. It also recognized intersex individuals' right to marry. 
  • The majority opinion refused to strike down the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) regulations that restrict same-sex couples from adopting children. They cited the need to explore various options for the benefit of children in need. 
  • The Court acknowledged the need for equal rights for queer couples in areas like ration cards, joint bank accounts, pensions, and gratuity, although there was a difference of opinion on whether the judiciary or the legislative and executive branches should address these issues. 
  • The judgment also addressed the issue of violence faced by LGBTQ+ individuals from their natal families and issued directives to prevent such coercion and violence. 
  • The verdict rejected the government's argument that same-sex unions are unnatural or non-Indian and acknowledged the historical presence of queer love in India. 

However, there are several issues related to the judgment: 

  • Critics argue that the verdict violates the fundamental rights of LGBTQIA+ individuals, including the right to equality, dignity, and autonomy as recognized in previous Supreme Court judgments. 
  • The judgment fails to consider the lived experiences of LGBTQIA+ individuals who face discrimination, violence, and stigma due to their sexual orientation and gender identity. 
  • Some believe the verdict undermines the principle of constitutional morality and imposes the views of the majority on minority groups. 
  • Same-sex couples are denied the legal and social benefits of marriage, such as inheritance, adoption, and insurance. 
  • The verdict is seen as contradictory to international human rights standards, which uphold the right to marry and establish a family for all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity. 

For the LGBTQ+ community, there are several options moving forward: 

  • Pursuing legal avenues, including waiting for the government committee's report and potentially filing new cases if it aligns with their arguments. 
  • Challenging discrimination through individual battles for specific rights associated with marriage, like joint bank accounts or pension rights. 
  • Engaging in political activism, making queerness a part of political discussions and demands, particularly in the lead-up to the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. 
  • Exploring alternative ways to expand LGBTQ+ rights, including community-building, education, and public awareness campaigns. 

The Supreme Court's decision to not grant legal recognition to same-sex marriages has shifted the responsibility to the legislature. While personal choice is protected by the Constitution, the path to legal equality for the LGBTQIA+ community remains challenging. 

Keywords: GS-2 Policies for Vulnerable Section
Monthly Current Affairs

Centralised drug procurement - Edukemy Current Affairs

Exam View: Pooled buyer model for drug procurement; Issues with drug procurement in India; Success of pooled procurement in India. 

Context: Pooled procurement by the central government when it comes to drug procurement can revolutionise the health-care system in India. 

Decoding the editorial: Pooled buyer model for drug procurement 

  • Pooled procurement, also known as collective procurement or group purchasing, refers to a procurement strategy in which multiple organisations, typically from the public or private sector, come together to jointly purchase goods or services. 
  • A recent paper, “A National Cancer Grid pooled procurement initiative, India”, demonstrates the viability of such a model.  
    • Group negotiation, uniform contracts, and, finally, purchases by hospitals associated with the National Cancer Grid for 40 drugs resulted in savings of ₹13.2 billion.  
    • Without pooled procurement, the cost would have been ₹15.6 billion, with savings ranging from between 23% to 99%.  
    • This study reveals the advantages of group negotiation in pooled procurement for high-value medicines.  

Issues with drug procurement in India 

  • Price inefficiency: 
    • The Central Government chooses to ignore the pooled buyer model when it comes to schemes such as the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS), the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna (PMJAY) and the Employees’ State Insurance Scheme (ESI).  
      • This means that each government authority or hospital has to negotiate with suppliers individually, resulting in higher prices, lower quality and stock-outs. 
    • Corporate hospital chains follow the pooled procurement model.  
      • For years on end, they have conducted direct negotiations with pharmaceutical companies, and availed of significant discounts. 
  • Inconsistent coverage: 
    • The government is not consistent in how it covers different categories of beneficiaries under the CGHS, ESI and PMJAY. The same procedure, for example, might be available in one scheme, but not the other.  
  • Quality concerns: 
    • With every authority or hospital fending for itself, there is a lack of centralised quality control. 
  • Stock-outs: 
    • Since there is no centralised pool of resources, lack of inventory in one hospital could lead to its stock-out. 
    • Inventory stock-outs can be a nightmare with large scale loss of lives. 

Many countries and international organisations (including McDonald’s) have shown that a pooled buyer model for drug procurement addresses many such issues. 

Success of pooled procurement in India 

  • When the government (through the National Aids Control Organization) procures male contraceptives, it invites tenders from private manufacturers and then offers to buy from all those who are willing to match the lowest price.  
    • HLL Lifecare Ltd., a public sector unit (PSU), with the highest manufacturing capacity in India, provides a benchmark price.  
    • All the bidders know that if they are not competitive on price, the government will just procure all its requirements from HLL and they will be left with unused manufacturing capacity, and as a result, face huge fixed costs and overheads.  
  • The government can follow the pooled buyer model for most of the drugs it procures.  
    • Price efficiency:  
      • It has many pharma PSUs that can provide benchmark prices and also ensure that the government has leverage.  
      • Such leverage ensures that the government is not forced to buy from private manufacturers, given that there is competition from PSUs which can make supplies at a competitive price. 
    • The issue of better quality: 
      • Buyers’ clubs can ensure better quality by having the supplies tested independently rather than having to rely on the drug regulator to ensure quality.  

Centralised procurement, or pooled procurement, is a simple yet powerful idea that has the power and the potential to reduce costs, ensure better deployment of funds in other areas related to health care, and ensure availability of life-saving drugs in this country.  


Keywords: GS Paper – 2: Health; Government Policies & Interventions.
Monthly Current Affairs

India’s economy, on the upswing

Context: India is likely to grow at a faster-than-expected pace despite the conflict in West Asia due to the near normal monsoon, government’s thrust on capital spending and increase in credible borrowing.  

Decoding the editorial: Status of Indian economy 

  • The International Monetary Fund has recently upgraded India’s GDP growth forecast to 6.3 percent for 2023-24, up 40 basis points from its April forecast.  
  • The RBI’s forecast remains unchanged at 6.5 percent.  

The reasons for optimism 

  • The monsoon: 
    • While the overall rainfall was 6 percent below the expected during the monsoon season (due to 36 percent deficit rains in August), the spatial distribution is quite even.  
    • Out of 36 states/UTs, 29 received normal/above-normal rains.  
    • The SBI Monsoon Impact Index, which considers the spatial distribution, has a value of 89.5, faring much better than the full season index value of 60.2 in 2022. 
  • The thrust on capital expenditure continues: 
    • During the first five months of the current year, the capital expenditure of the states as a percentage of the budgeted target is at 25 percent, while the Centre’s is at 37 percent.  
    • Nearly all states are on a spending spree, with Andhra Pradesh leading the pack, spending as much as 51 percent of the budgeted amount. 
  • The robust new companies’ registration: 
    • It depicts strong growth intentions.  
    • Around 93,305 companies were registered in the first half of 2023-24 as compared to 59,241 five years back.  
    • The average daily registration of new companies increased to 622 in 2023-24 (an increase of 58 per cent) from 395 in 2018-19. 
  • The continued traction in credit growth: 


    • All scheduled commercial banks’ (ASCB’s) credit growth (year-on-year) has been accelerating since early 2022. 
      • If the 2023-24 trends are included, the incremental growth for the banking system for the current decade ending March 2024 could be close to 1.9 times higher than the last decade.  
      • The ASCB data for the period 2000-2010 indicates that bank credit grew at an average of 1.86 times of nominal GDP growth, during a period of high growth. However, in 2010-2020, the relationship weakened, and credit to GDP growth declined to 0.99 times, largely because of the severe asset quality issues of banks post the 2008 global crisis. The relationship broke down during the pandemic years of 2020-21 and 2021-22 as DP contracted. 
      • In 2023-24, the credit to nominal GDP ratio may end up being around 1.7 times, up from 0.93 times in 2022-23, boosting the flow of funds to the broader economy, and helping to sustain the momentum. 
      • This incremental growth, even after accounting for the exceptional years of the Covid pandemic, is staggering. 
    • The driving force behind this credit growth is the rapid formalisation of the economy over the past decade.  
      • Programmes like Jan Dhan Yojana allow banks to meet the demand for credit for households that were operating outside the formal banking sector. 
    • Doubts have been expressed about the jump in the outstanding credit card portfolio and the unsecured portfolio.  
      • However, household debt as measured by credit card outstanding per credit card in India has been either static or declining both in nominal and real terms (after adjusted for CPI inflation) in 2023.  
    • In fact, through schemes like PM SVANidhi, credible borrowers can have continued access to the financial system in the form of repeat loans, provided that they have a good credit repayment history. 

If the banking sector’s indicators are taken as a new normal, India is in for a sustained period of growth. 


Keywords: India’s economy, on the upswing
Monthly Current Affairs

Increase in Glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) in India

Exam View: The Sikkim story; Glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF); Glacial Lake atlas; Way forward. 

Context: India has witnessed at least three highly devastating GLOF events in the Ganga and Brahmaputra basins over the last decade that include the ones at Kedarnath in 2013, Chamoli in 2021 and Sikkim in 2023. 

Decoding the editorial: The Sikkim story 

  • The southern bank of the South Lhonak Lake in Sikkim burst open, leading to an outflow of huge amounts of water.  
    • Since the lake region is too remote and has scarcely any monitoring network, the exact cause of this glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) is not known yet. 
  • Damages: 
    • The floods caused heavy damage to the Chungthang Dam and hydropower projects of NHPC.  
    • More than 35 people were killed. 
    • 14 bridges were washed away or submerged.  
    • 1,320 houses were severely damaged.  
    • Drinking water supply lines and sewage networks were damaged. 
    • Widespread damage to highways was reported in North Sikkim, Gangtok, Pakyong, and Namchi districts. The floods damaged sections of National Highway 10, connecting Sikkim with the rest of India. 

Glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) 

  • Glacial lakes are formed near the snout of glaciers when meltwater accumulates.  
    • In recent times, such lakes have been forming with increased frequency because the increased warming of the troposphere has glacier melting.  
    • The embankments of these lakes consist of loose deposits of glacier moraine, rocks, boulders, soil and ice.  
    • Since these embankments are not properly compacted, they have a high vulnerability quotient.  
  • Floods occur when these embankments fail in certain situations: 
    • The lake water level rises rapidly due to intense rainfall or 
    • A portion of the glacier is detached from the main body and plunges into the lake, generating high waves. These waves could hit the embankment forcefully.  
    • Earthquakes destabilise the embankment and water seeping in through the embankment could cause erosion. 

Glacial lake atlas 

  • The ISRO’s National Remote Sensing Centre (NSCRC) released a glacial lake atlas of the Himalayan River Basins.  
    • NRSC used images acquired by RESOURCESAT-2 satellite during 2016-17 to prepare this atlas, which has identified more than 28,000 glacial lakes of more than 0.25 ha. 
    • Catchments of the three river basins in north and northeast India have a large number of glacial lakes.  
  • In a widely quoted scientific paper in Nature Communications, the authors concluded that more than nine million people in High Mountain Asia (HMA), are vulnerable to glacial lake outbursts 
  • The Sikkim State Disaster Management Authority has identified more than 300 glacial lakes in the state. Of these, 10 have been identified as vulnerable to outburst floods.  
  • The Geological Survey of India has found that 13 of the 486 glacial lakes in Uttarakhand are vulnerable to GLOFs.  
  • A 2021 study led by Delhi University scientist Suraj Mal reported that Jammu and Kashmir has the highest number of vulnerable glacial lakes followed by Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim.  

Different studies use different data and methodologies. Hence, their outcomes are not always comparable.  

Way forward 

Threats from GLOFs are likely to increase with time due to global warming. Multi-pronged action is required  

  • Intense monitoring of meteorological events near the snout of vulnerable glacier lakes is an urgent necessity.  
  • Data should be gathered at observatories and communicated to a centralised office.  
  • It should be processed in real-time to forecast the behaviour of glacial lakes and alert people.  
  • Water levels in rivers downstream of vulnerable lakes should also be monitored continuously.  
  • A nationwide programme to regularly monitor vulnerable glacier lakes by satellites and drones should be initiated.  
  • Hydrometeorological information and data gathered through monitoring should be combined to issue forecasts and warnings. 
  • Infrastructure projects in mountains like dams, bridges and highways, must be subjected to stringent quality control measures 
  • Scientific studies on glaciers in the country must be scaled up. Lack of funds and skilled personnel today mean that very few glaciers are monitored.  

The Himalayan region requires a comprehensive risk assessment that accounts for projected temperature rise, changes in precipitation patterns, and land-use/cover changes. This assessment should inform disaster risk-reduction strategies. 


Keywords: GS Paper – 1: Geographical Features and their Location; Disaster Management.
Monthly Current Affairs

India and Maldives ties - Edukemy Current Affairs

Exam View: India and Maldives ties; Issues in Maldives. 

Context: The President designate of Maldives, Mohamed Muizzu, is unlikely to take drastic measures that alter relations with India. China’s entry in Maldives is solely to advance its own gains. A strong relationship with India will be to Maldives's benefit. 

Decoding the editorial: India and Maldives ties 

  • Historical: Earlier, there was only Buddhism in Maldives which was replaced in the 12th century by Islam.  
    • Even during the British protectorate years (1887-1965), Maldives depended on India for essentials as well as communication with the outside world.  
    • From Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s years till today, the relations, despite a few hiccups, have been close and friendly.  
  • Geographic: Maldives has an area of 90,000 sq km that encompasses 99.6 percent of the sea. 
    • The remaining land is distributed over more than 1,200 islands.  
    • Experts predict that 80 percent of the Maldives will cease to exist by 2050 due to “Global Boiling”.  
    • India is the closest neighbour at a distance of 70 nautical miles, who could come to assist Maldives in an hour of need.  
  • Economic: The State Bank of India was the major financer that helped build the edifice of the country’s tourist economy. Even today, it is the largest bank in the island country.  
    • The dependence of Maldives on India and its unconditional support, has helped it become a country with the highest per capita in south Asia. 
    • Whether it is trade or tourism, India remains the biggest partner. 
  • Strategic: The defence cooperation includes gifting of helicopters and capacity building through joint exercises like the Ekuverin, Ekatha, surveillance assets, training of 1,400 MNDF trainers and disaster management.  
    • For decades, India has provided effective security assistance to Maldives in exchange of its hand of friendship and trust. 
    • In three different crises in 1988 (the coup), 2004 (the tsunami), and 2014 (water shortage), Maldives witnessed that India was the first one to assist it. 
    • With projects like greater Male connectivity, India is committed to take the infrastructure in Maldives to a different level altogether. 
    • For India, Maldives is a first line of defence against terrorism, piracy on the high seas, drug trafficking, narcotics, and other maritime crime. 
  • Social: Indian teachers and doctors play a critical role in the country including in the remote inhabited islands. 
    • India provides most essential items in bulk like rice, wheat flour, sugar, potatoes and onions, eggs, vegetables and even river sand and construction material as special dispensation. 

Issues in Maldives 

Maldives with 98 percent literacy is a nation of contradictions and these pose challenges to democratic governance.  

  • A constitution that bars anyone non-Sunni to become a Maldivian citizen; 
  • A nascent civil society; 
  • A tradition of patronage 
  • A problem of increasing drug abuse 
  • A distorted labour market 
  • Growing inequality; 
  • An economy dependent on external factors 
  • Growing trend of religious extremism. 
  • China angle 
    • China’s entry is solely to advance its own interests.  
    • It has done so through debt financing, leading to debt traps and consequent hegemony of China.  
    • China’s policy of interference in the internal politics and support to conservative elements in Maldives has the potential of becoming a barrier to the development of a vibrant democracy in Maldives.  

Any impulsive steps to undo the carefully nurtured all encompassing partnership with India is likely to harm Maldives more than it would India. The 2012 “GMR out” campaign cost Maldives a $ 270 million in payout to GMR. The Yameen years were marred by a pro-China policy that led Maldives into a debt crisis. 


Keywords: GS Paper – 2: Groupings & Agreements Involving India and/or Affecting India's Interests; Effect of Policies & Politics of Countries on India's Interests.
Monthly Current Affairs

Minimise climate risk - Edukemy Current Affairs

Exam View: India’s food security; India’s food insecurity; Water in agriculture; Strategy with respect to water in agriculture. 

Context: October 16 is observed as World Food Day to mark the founding of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in 1945. This year’s theme for the World Food Day is “Water is Life. Water is Food”. 

Decoding the editorial: World Food Day 

The World Food Day theme requires evaluation of India’s success in food security and water sustainability. 

India’s food security 

  • Cereals 
    • Having been through a journey of “ship to mouth” in the mid 1960s, India has come a long way.  
    • Only in the last three years, 2020-21 to 2022-23, India exported 85 million tonnes (MT) of cereals, mainly rice, wheat and corn.  
    • It did this even after giving free food (rice or wheat) to more than 800 million people under the PM Garib Kalyan Yojana.  
  • Milk 
    • India has also made major strides in milk production which has shot up from 17 MT in 1951 to 222 MT in 2022-23. 
    • The country is the largest producer of milk by far.  
  • Poultry and fishery 
    • Since 2000-01, poultry and fishery production has been growing at a fast rate.  
    • India has now ushered in a pink (poultry) and blue (fishery) revolution.  

India’s food insecurity 

  • India will not be able to achieve its Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of zero hunger (including malnutrition) by 2030.  

Water in agriculture  

  • Water deficiency: While India is home to almost 18 percent of the world’s population, it has only 4 percent of global freshwater resources.  
    • Much of this water is used in agriculture. While FAO puts this figure at 90 percent, the Indian Central Water Commission says it is 78 percent.  
  • Structural problems: India has not succeeded in attracting private sector investments in reservoirs and canal networks as water is almost free.  
    • The government does not have enough funds to invest in this, after doling out large food and fertiliser subsidies costing more than Rs 4 lakh crore.  
    • The state governments do not have the political will to charge for power that is used for groundwater irrigation.  

Strategy with respect to water in agriculture 

  • On the supply side, India must augment buffer stocking of water during the monsoon season in its reservoirs, and recharge groundwater through check dams and watersheds, etc.  
    • While almost half of India’s gross cropped area is irrigated today, we need to take it to at least 75 percent if we have to cope with weather vagaries associated with climate change. 
  • India must work on the demand side to ensure more rational allocation and efficient use of water across crops. 
    • This calls for not only institutional reforms in the Indian irrigation sector but also in the pricing of water and power for irrigation.  
  • Focus needs to shift from land productivity to water productivity.  
    • Research at ICRIER on water productivity of 10 major crops showed significant results. 
    • It was found that while in Punjab land productivity of rice is one of the highest, its irrigation water productivity is the lowest. 
    • On top of this, Punjab also emits the highest levels of carbon emissions (CO2eq), almost 5 tonnes/ha of paddy cultivation.  
    • In this research on Punjab, it was found that the subsidy from power and fertilisers in paddy cultivation amounts to roughly Rs 30,000/ha.  
    • This amount can be given to farmers in Punjab who are willing to switch from paddy to pulses, oilseeds, and millets.  
    • This will create a level playing field across crops and would be good for the environment as well as nutrition.  
    • Above all, it will save Punjab from water disaster as roughly 78 percent of its blocks are over-exploiting groundwater. 
  • Certain farming practices can be rewarded  
    • Direct seeded rice (DSR), 
    • Alternate wet and dry (AWD) irrigation,  
    • Zero till, and 
    • Drip irrigation. 

The bottom line is that unless we use water efficiently, ensuring sustainable food security is difficult. 


Keywords: GS Paper-3: Agricultural resources; Water resources; Food security.
Monthly Current Affairs

Green Revolution and Beyond - Edukemy Current Affairs

In News: M S Swaminathan is no more. But his legacy remains with every student and scientist of agriculture. He is most widely known for working with Norman Borlaug to usher in the Green Revolution in India in the mid-1960s when India was facing back-to-back droughts. 

Green Revolution was a necessity for India due to several pressing reasons.  

  • India was grappling with a severe food crisis during the 1960s, primarily driven by rapid population growth, inadequate agricultural productivity, recurrent droughts, and a heavy reliance on food imports. 
  • India was highly vulnerable to external pressures and political interference from food-exporting nations, particularly the United States, which often used food aid as a means of exerting diplomatic influence and leverage. 
  • India had a strong desire to attain self-sufficiency and ensure food security for its burgeoning population while simultaneously reducing poverty and malnutrition levels. 
  • India aimed to modernize its agricultural sector, making it more efficient, and profitable, competitive in the global market. 

Green Revolution 

The Green Revolution was a significant initiative aimed at enhancing the production and quality of food crops, particularly wheat and rice, in India. This was achieved by introducing various technological advancements such as high-yielding varieties of seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, irrigation, and mechanization. 

Key Objectives: 

  • Achieving Self-Reliance and Food Security: One of the primary goals was to attain self-sufficiency in food production and reduce reliance on food imports. 
  • Improving Livelihoods: The Green Revolution sought to elevate the income and living standards of millions of farmers and rural residents, thereby reducing poverty and hunger. 
  • Modernizing Agriculture: Another objective was to modernize the agricultural sector, making it more efficient, profitable, and competitive on a global scale. 

Key Features: 

  • High-Yield Variety (HYV) Seeds: The adoption of HYV seeds, developed by agricultural scientists like M. S. Swaminathan, played a pivotal role in increasing food production. 
  • Irrigation Methods: Various irrigation techniques, including tube wells, canals, dams, and sprinklers, were implemented to reduce dependence on rainfall and ensure a consistent water supply for crops. 
  • Mechanization: Major agricultural processes such as plowing, sowing, harvesting, and threshing were mechanized using tractors, harvesters, and drills, leading to reduced labor costs and increased efficiency. 
  • Chemical Fertilizers and Pesticides: The use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides helped enhance soil fertility and protect crops from pests and diseases. 
  • Double Cropping: The practice of cultivating two crops in the same field within a single year, known as double cropping, increased cropping intensity and overall yield. 
  • Expansion of Farming Areas: Additional land was brought under cultivation, particularly in semi-arid and arid regions, through the use of irrigation and HYV seeds.  

Impacts of Green Evolution 

  • Increased Food Production: The adoption of high-yielding crop varieties and modern farming techniques led to a substantial increase in agricultural productivity. This increase in food production helped meet the growing global demand for food, making countries like India major agricultural producers. 
  • Reduced Food Imports: As a result of increased food production, India transitioned from a country heavily reliant on food imports to being a net exporter of various food grains like wheat and rice. This reduced the need for importing food and enhanced food security. 
  • Poverty Alleviation: The Green Revolution contributed to poverty reduction by raising the incomes of small-scale farmers. Higher crop yields and increased income levels helped many farmers improve their standard of living. 
  • Technological Advancements: The Green Revolution introduced farmers to new agricultural technologies, including improved seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides. These advancements not only boosted productivity but also promoted sustainable agricultural practices and greater efficiency. 
  • Rural Development: Increased agricultural productivity often leads to rural development. As farmers earn more income, they can invest in their communities, leading to improved infrastructure, education, and healthcare in rural areas. The Green Revolution in India, for example, stimulated rural development through infrastructure improvements. 
  • Reduction in Land Conversion: Higher crop yields resulting from the Green Revolution reduced the pressure to convert forests and natural habitats into agricultural land. This contributed to preserving biodiversity and curbing deforestation, which are crucial for environmental conservation. 
  • Economic Growth: The increased agricultural productivity driven by the Green Revolution has been linked to overall economic growth in many countries. Agriculture is a vital sector for economic development, and higher yields can have a positive impact on the entire economy. 

 Challenges brought by the Green Revolution 

  • Environmental Degradation: The extensive use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides during the Green Revolution led to environmental problems such as soil degradation, erosion, and water pollution. The overuse of these chemicals can have long-term negative impacts on ecosystems and water quality. 
  • Loss of Biodiversity: The focus on high-yielding crop varieties like wheat and rice often resulted in the neglect of traditional and indigenous crops. This led to a loss of biodiversity and genetic diversity among crops, making agriculture more vulnerable to pests and diseases in the long run. 
  • Dependency on External Inputs: Modern agricultural technologies introduced during the Green Revolution, including fertilizers and pesticides, made some regions and communities dependent on costly external inputs. This dependency can be financially burdensome and susceptible to market fluctuations, affecting the economic stability of farmers. 
  • Social and Economic Inequalities: The benefits of the Green Revolution were not evenly distributed, leading to social and economic disparities among farmers, regions, and countries. Some farmers benefited significantly, while others struggled to adapt, leading to conflicts and tensions within communities. 
  • Displacement of Indigenous Crops: The emphasis on high-yielding varieties often displaced traditional crops and farming practices. This shift away from indigenous crops had cultural and nutritional implications, affecting the diversity of diets and local food traditions. 
  • Vulnerability to Pests and Diseases: The promotion of monoculture, where a single crop is grown extensively, increased the vulnerability of crops to specific pests and diseases. For example, the monoculture of rice and wheat made them more susceptible to outbreaks of pests like the brown plant hopper and diseases like wheat rust. 
  • Climate Change Vulnerability: The Green Revolution's focus on specific crop varieties and practices may not be well-suited to changing climatic conditions. Climate change poses new challenges for agriculture, requiring adaptation and the development of more resilient crop varieties. 

Green Revolution 2.0 

Green Revolution 2.0 represents a modern approach to agriculture with a focus on adaptability, sustainability, and food security in the face of changing climate and socio-economic conditions. Some key features of Green Revolution 2.0 include 

  • Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering: Green Revolution 2.0 leverages biotechnology and genetic engineering to create crops that are more resilient to climate change, pests, and diseases. Genetically modified (GM) crops are considered as part of the solution, with responsible adoption potentially leading to increased productivity and reduced environmental impact. 
  • Precision Agriculture: This approach integrates advanced technologies like GPS-guided tractors and drones to optimize resource use, including water, fertilizers, and pesticides. Precision agriculture enhances efficiency and minimizes the environmental footprint of farming practices. 
  • Sustainability: Green Revolution 2.0 places a strong emphasis on sustainable farming practices. It promotes techniques that preserve soil health, reduce chemical inputs, and minimize agriculture's environmental impact. Approaches such as organic farming, agroecology, and integrated pest management are encouraged. 
  • Diversification: In contrast to the original Green Revolution's focus on a limited range of staple crops, Green Revolution 2.0 advocates for crop diversification. Encouraging the cultivation of a wider variety of crops can improve nutrition, reduce the risks associated with mono-cropping, and contribute to biodiversity conservation. 
  • Holistic Approach: Green Revolution 2.0 recognizes that agriculture is more than just crop production. It takes a holistic view that includes aspects like soil health, food processing, marketing, and value addition. Integrated approaches address the entire food supply chain. 
  • Environmental Considerations: Efforts are made to mitigate the negative environmental impacts associated with modern agriculture, such as soil erosion, water pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions. Sustainable practices aim to minimize these detrimental effects on the environment. 
  • Adaptation to Climate Change: Given the challenges posed by climate change, Green Revolution 2.0 focuses on developing climate-resilient crop varieties and farming practices. These adaptations are designed to cope with changing weather patterns and extreme conditions, ensuring the sustainability of agriculture. 


Keywords: GS-3 Agriculture
Monthly Current Affairs

State’s seizure of India’s press

Exam View: Constitutional background of press freedom in India; Status of press freedom in India today; Challenges obstructing press freedom in India;  Protective measures for the press. 

Context: Recent actions against journalists from the online portal NewsClick, such as raids, seizures, and arrests, amplify the calls for protections of digital data and press freedom. 

Constitutional background of press freedom in India 

  • Freedom of press or media refers to the rights given by the Constitution of India under the freedom and expression of speech in Article 19(1)(a).  
  • Article 19 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights enshrined that everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression. 

Status of press freedom in India: 

  • The NewsClick incident: 
    • The interrogations pivot on three significant events: the anti-farm law protests, the North East Delhi riots of 2020, and the response to COVID-19.  
    • All these events are not just matters of public interest demanding accountability from the Union Government but also subjects of criminal prosecutions by the Delhi police.  
    • The very entity they report on now investigates and knows everything about them. 

  • By May 2023, 44 media entities and journalists had faced scrutiny from investigative and tax agencies over the previous five years. 

Challenges obstructing Press Freedom in India: 

  • Archaic laws: 
    • The Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), rooted in the time of telegraphs and wooden chests, guides India’s criminal justice process.  
    • This approach not only ignores the invasiveness of modern technological advances but also struggles to uphold democratic rights within the Constitution of India. 
  • Self-incrimination:  
    • Specific laws such as the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and the Income-Tax Act clash with the right to privacy and protection against self-incrimination, as stated in Part III and Article 20(3) of the Constitution.  
  • Legal Vacuum: 
    • The Karnataka High Court, in the Virendra Khanna vs State of Karnataka case determined that an arrested individual can indeed be coerced to unlock their smartphone, granting law enforcement unrestricted access to personal data.  
    • While a Central Bureau of Investigation special court has ruled to the contrary and the law is in flux, the confusion results in a guarantee of investigatory oppression. 
  • Police misbehaviour: 
    • Chapter 8 of the CrPC houses the essence of the search and seizure powers.  
    • The law provides for voluntary document submission and police actions based on warrants, but people often comply with law enforcement demands without warrants, fearing negative consequences. 
    • The Lokniti-CSDS-Common Cause ‘Status of Policing in India’ report shows that 47% believe that the police can access their phones without consent. 
  • Forceful disclosure of sources: 
    • The forceful unlocking of their devices and subsequent cloning of their content uncovers information far beyond the scope of typical criminal investigations.  
    • Such access lays bare years of their personal and professional communications, exposing intricate relationships, networks, and confidential sources.  
  • The quiet judiciary: 
    • Journalist Paranjoy Guha Thakurta. consulted with NewsClick and was interrogated by the Delhi police.  
      • Even before this incident, the Pegasus spyware compromised his phone, prompting him to seek the Supreme Court’s intervention.  
      • Yet, his case, among others, has not seen a hearing in over a year, even with an order specifying a listing within four weeks.  

Protective measures for the press 

  • Shielding the press: Strengthen legal protections against censorship and reform laws that can be misused to restrict press freedom. 
  • Create impartial media regulators: Establish independent media regulatory bodies that are free from government control and political influence. 
  • Safeguarding journalists and whistleblowers from harassment, violence, and threats, both online and offline. 
  • Uphold journalistic integrity: Media organisations should be trained to uphold journalistic integrity along with ensuring accuracy, fairness, and balanced reporting. 


Keywords: GS-2: Fundamental rights; Indian Constitution; Right to Information; Transparency & accountability.
Monthly Current Affairs

India's Changing Stance on Israel-Palestine Issue

Exam View: History of India-Israel Relationships; Recent Shifts of India’s foreign policy; India's stand on the Israel-Palestine conflict 

Context: India’s response to the Hamas attack in Israel has been unambiguous. India has condemned the terror attack and expressed solidarity with Israel moving away from its long held stance of neutrality.  

History of India-Israel Relationships: 

  • Post Independence Stance: India firmly backed the Palestinian cause, with leaders like Nehru and Gandhi advocating against religious exclusivism.  
    • In UN decisions, India opposed the division of Palestine and the entry of Israel into the UN. However, India acknowledged Israel in 1950, following Turkey and Iran's recognition. 
  • Strengthening Bonds with Palestine: Under Indira Gandhi's leadership, India remained steadfast in backing the Palestinian cause, endorsing the PLO as Palestine's only legitimate voice.. 
  • Evolution of India-Israel Ties in the 1990s: India established full diplomatic ties with Israel in 1992, influenced by the end of the Cold War and BJP's ascendancy. The bilateral relationship further solidified in 1999 when Israel aided India during the Kargil conflict. 
  • Balancing Israel and West Asia: India’s foreign policy has adeptly managed India's relations with both Israel and Palestine, evidenced by separate visits in 2017 and 2018 respectively.  

Recent Shifts of India’s foreign policy: 

  • Acknowledgement of India-Israel Relationship: India’s foreign policy shifted towards openly embracing India's ties with Israel, breaking from traditional hesitations. 
  • Realignment Towards Ground Realities: The current government recognizes that many Arab nations are forming relations with Israel without prior conditions. However India still officially backs the two-state solution for Israel-Palestine. 
  • Strengthening Ties with the Arab World: Despite earlier regimes claiming to support Arab causes, the current foreign policy has strengthened and modernised India's relations with major Arab nations, making UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt key strategic allies. 
  • Abandonment of the Anti-Western Stand: The current government moved away from India's traditional resistance to the West's role in the Middle East, partnering with countries like the US, Israel, and UAE in new alliances and initiatives such as I2U2. 
  • Diplomacy Beyond Religion: A major shift has been the separation of India's regional diplomacy from religious considerations. While India has benefited from pragmatic ties with the Arab world, religious-based diplomacy has not been as beneficial for Pakistan. 

India's stand on the Israel-Palestine conflict: 

  • Support for a Two-State Solution: India supports a negotiated solution leading to a sovereign, independent, viable, and united State of Palestine coexisting peacefully with Israel. 
  • Maintained Relations with Both Parties: India has diplomatic relations with both Israel and Palestine, which reflects its balanced approach to the Middle East conflict. 
  • Condemnation of Violence: India condemns all acts of violence, especially against civilians. 
  • Emphasis on Dialogue: India emphasizes the importance of dialogue for lasting peace and reconciliation. 
  • Historical Ties with Palestine: India has traditionally supported the Palestinian cause at international forums. 
  • Deepening Ties with Israel: Over the past couple of decades, India and Israel have cultivated strong bilateral relations, especially in areas of defence, agriculture, and technology. 
  • Call for immediate cessation of violence and de-escalation of the situation. 
  • Protection of civilians on both sides: India calls for safeguarding the rights of civilians on both sides of the border.  

Source: C Raja Mohan writes: Why Modi government condemned Hamas attack – and Congress did not | The Indian Express 

Keywords: GS-2 International relations
Monthly Current Affairs

Attack of Hamas on Israel - Edukemy Current Affairs

Exam View: About the Hamas Attack; History of Israel-Palestine Conflict; Impact of the Conflict on the World; Impact of the Conflict on India. 

Context: A state of war has been declared by Israel, after the Hamas militants infiltrated the Israeli territory and took many citizens hostage.  

About the Hamas Attack:  

  • The current escalation began on October 7, when Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel, firing thousands of rockets and infiltrating its border with armed militants. 
  • Over 600 deaths and 1,600 injuries were recorded. Coordinated infiltration at 22 places by about a thousand militants was also observed.  
  • More than 5,000 rockets were launched from Gaza Strip, which cause havoc in Israel despite the presence of Iron Dome for intercepting short range missiles. 
  • Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have launched Operation ‘Iron Swords’ in retaliation for an unprecedented and “surprise” attack by Hamas. 
  • Hamas is a Palestinian Islamist militant group, supported and funded by Iran. Hamas rules the Gaza Strip and has been designated as a terrorist group by Israel, and Western world. 

History of Israel-Palestine Conflict: 

  • The conflict between Jews and Arabs in Palestine began in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when Jewish immigration to the region increased. This led to tensions between the Jewish settlers and the Arab population, who saw the influx of Jews as a threat to their homeland. 
  • The Israeli-Palestinian conflict began in the late 19th century, when the British government promised to support the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. After World War II, the UN proposed a plan to divide Palestine into two states, but the Arab leaders rejected it. 
  • Israel declared independence in 1948, leading to a war with neighbouring Arab states and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians. The conflict has continued ever since. 

Impact of the Conflict on the World: 

  • Rise in Shipping cost: The Israel-Palestine conflict could lead to higher shipping costs around the world. This is because shipping companies will have to pay higher insurance premiums to cover the risk of their ships being damaged or attacked in the region. 
  • Rise in Oil Prices: The conflict could also trigger a global oil crisis as the middle-east supply chain will be affected due to instability. This could escalate the cost of crude oil. 
  • Regional war: The Israel-Palestine conflict could escalate into a regional war, drawing in global powers such as Russia, the US, and Iran causing regional instability. 
  • Israel-Arab World Relations: Israel’s relations with the Arab world, which was moving towards normalisation, could witness a reversal as an effect of these events. 
  • Deepend global Recession: The Israel-Palestine conflict could deepen the global recession and further destabilise the global economy which is already suffering due to the Ukraine Russia war.  
  • Threat of Nuclear War: Iran and Israel both are nuclear powers. Escalation of conflict could pose a threat of nuclear war affecting the entire humanity. 

Impact of the Conflict on India:  

  • Defence Supplies: India heavily relies on Israel for defence equipment. The ongoing conflict may disrupt India's defence supplies.  
  • Export Challenges Amid Conflict: Indian exporters face heightened insurance expenses, potentially eroding the competitiveness of their products. India currently has a trade volume of around $10.7 billion which can be impacted. 
  • Diplomacy Dilemma: It will be a challenging task to walk the diplomatic tightrope of balancing neutrality between Israel and Arab States amid escalating conflict. 
  • Crucial Middle East Links: India's Expanding Economic and Strategic connections with the Middle East, emphasised by the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor, face instability risk amid escalating conflict. 
  • Energy Security: The West Asian area serves as a vital supplier of energy imports for India. Any instability in the region may have the potential to affect India's energy provision, resulting in economic difficulties. 
  • Safety and welfare of Diaspora: Indian citizens stranded in Israel would need to be evacuated as soon as possible to prevent loss of lives. 

Source: What the attacks by Hamas mean for Israel — and Prime Minister Netanyahu | The Indian Express 

Keywords: GS- 2 Bilateral Groupings & Agreements; Regional Groupings; Indian Diaspora
Monthly Current Affairs

The Digital India Act 2023 - Edukemy Current Affairs

Exam View: Objective of Digital India Act, 2023; Key Provisions of Digital India Act, 2023; Significance of Digital India Act 2023; Challenges in Implementation of DIA 2023. 

Context: The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY)’s recent announcement of the Digital India Act, 2023 (DIA) is a timely and significant step towards establishing a comprehensive legal framework for the country’s rapidly growing digital ecosystem.  

Objective of Digital India Act, 2023: 

  • Establish a comprehensive legal framework for the digital ecosystem in India, including emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchain. 
  • Promote online safety and trust by safeguarding citizen's rights in the digital realm. Protect users from cyber harms such as cyberstalking, trolling, and doxing to promote data privacy and protection. 
  • Support innovation and the growth of the digital economy. 
  • Align India's digital regulatory landscape with international standards and best practices. 
  • Regulate online content to ensure that it is safe and ethical and foster responsible innovation in the digital sector. 
  • Establish mechanisms for accountability and redressal in the digital realm. 

Key Provisions of Digital India Act, 2023 

  • Prioritising Online Safety and Trust: The DIA 2023 places strong emphasis on online safety and trust, with a commitment to safeguarding citizen’s rights in the digital realm while remaining adaptable to shifting market dynamics and international legal principles. 
  • Guiding Responsible Innovation in New-Age Technologies: DIA recognises the growing importance of new-age technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchain and provides guidelines for their responsible utilisation.  
  • Shaping development of technology in an ethical manner: Adoption of technologies is being encouraged but DIA ensures that their deployment is in line with ethical and legal principles. Market should not be the sole determiner of the use of technologies. 
  • DIA strikes a balance between fostering innovation and safeguarding against potential harms. It promotes ethical AI practices, data privacy in blockchain applications, and mechanisms for accountability in the use of these technologies. 
  • Open Internet: DIA upholds the concept of an open internet, striking a balance between accessibility and necessary regulations to maintain order and protect users.  
  • DIA mandates stringent Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements for wearable devices, accompanied by criminal law sanctions. 
  • Safe Harbour Principle: DIA reviews the safe harbour principles which shields online platforms from liability related to user-generated content, indicating a potential shift in online accountability standards.  

Significance of Digital India Act 2023: 

  • Comprehensive legal framework: The DIA is a comprehensive legal framework that encompasses the entire digital ecosystem, including emerging technologies such as AI and blockchain.  
  • Obsolete Regulatory framework: The existing IT Act of 2000 was developed when the internet had only 5.5 million users. Today there are more than 850 million users and the current framework is ill-equipped to handle the complex and evolving challenges.  
  • Alignment with international standards: The DIA is aligned with international standards and best practices in digital regulation. This is important to ensure that India remains a competitive player in the global digital landscape. 
  • Boost India’s digital economy: The DIA is expected to boost the Indian digital economy by creating new opportunities for businesses and entrepreneurs.It is also necessary for the success of Digital India mission.  
  • Ensure a secure, accountable, and innovative digital future: DIA represents a forward-looking approach to regulation in an age of constant change and has the potential to shape the country’s digital landscape for generations to come. 

Challenges in Implementation of DIA 2023: 

  • Impact on innovation and the ease of doing business: Stricter regulations, particularly in emerging technologies, could inadvertently stifle entrepreneurial initiatives and deter foreign investments. 
  • Freedom of expression: The review of the “safe harbour” principle, could lead to a more cautious approach among platforms, impinging on freedom of expression. 
  • Effective enforcement: The DIA’s success hinges on effective enforcement, which will require substantial resources, expertise, and infrastructure. 
  • Balancing stakeholder interests: Balancing the interests of various stakeholders, including tech giants, while ensuring the protection of citizen rights, poses a significant challenge. 

Way Forward:  

  • Stakeholder consultation and wide scale engagements are necessary to develop a comprehensive and balanced regulatory framework. 
  • Effective implementation through capacity building and collaboration with other countries and international organisations to align with global best practices.  

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Questions (PYQs) 


Q1. ‘Right to Privacy’ is protected under which Article of the Constitution of India? (2021) 

(a) Article 15 
(b) Article 19 
(c) Article 21 
(d) Article 29 

Answer: (c) 

Q2. Right to Privacy is protected as an intrinsic part of Right to Life and Personal Liberty. Which of the following in the Constitution of India correctly and appropriately imply the above statement? (2018) 

(a) Article 14 and the provisions under the 42nd Amendment to the Constitution. 
(b) Article 17 and the Directive Principles of State Policy in Part IV. 
(c) Article 21 and the freedoms guaranteed in Part III. 
(d) Article 24 and the provisions under the 44th Amendment to the Constitution. 

Answer: (c) 

Mains: 2017 

Q. Examine the scope of Fundamental Rights in the light of the latest judgement of the Supreme Court on Right to Privacy. 

 Source: How the Digital India Act will shape the future of the country’s cyber landscape - The Hindu. 

Keywords: GS-2 Government Policies and Interventions in DIgital Space
Monthly Current Affairs

Handling the climate Polycrisis - Oct 15, 2023 - Edukemy Current Affair

Exam view: Climate Polycrisis: Effects of Climate Polycrisis and Ways to tackle; Government initiatives, National Adaptation Fund on Climate Change (NAFCC), State Action Plan on Climate Change (SAPCC) 


Climate Polycrisis, a term popularized by Adam Tooze, refers to the interconnected and compounding crises stemming from climate change that affect multiple sectors and domains. This concept encompasses not only the physical impacts of climate change, such as rising temperatures, sea-level rise, and extreme weather events but also the social, economic, and political challenges that arise from these impacts. In India, the climate polycrisis is evident in the interconnections between various sectors like energy, infrastructure, health, migration, and food production, all of which are being influenced by climate change. 

Causes of Climate Polycrisis: 

  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Human activities, including the burning of fossil fuels, deforestation, agricultural practices, and industrial processes, release greenhouse gases (GHGs) like CO2, methane, and nitrous oxide into the atmosphere. These GHGs trap heat, leading to global warming and climate system alterations. 
  • Unsustainable Consumption and Production: Unsustainable consumption patterns deplete natural resources faster than they can regenerate, while unsustainable production practices generate waste and pollution, harming the environment and reducing its capacity to provide essential services. 
  • Lack of Political Will and Collective Action: Addressing the climate crisis requires coordinated efforts at local, national, and global levels. A lack of political will and inadequate collective action can hinder the implementation of effective policies and measures to combat climate change. 

Effects of Climate Polycrisis: 

  • Extreme Weather Events: India is experiencing more frequent and severe extreme weather events like cyclones, floods, droughts, and heatwaves due to the climate polycrisis. These events damage infrastructure, agriculture, and human settlements. 
  • Agriculture: Erratic rainfall patterns, prolonged droughts, and flooding disrupt crop cycles, leading to reduced yields and food insecurity. This can result in higher food prices and economic challenges for farmers. 
  • Water Scarcity: Rising temperatures and changing precipitation patterns can reduce the availability of freshwater, leading to conflicts over water resources and impacting public health. 
  • Sea-Level Rise: Coastal cities in India are at risk from sea-level rise, coastal erosion, and increased storm surges, which can displace communities and cause economic losses. 
  • Health Impact: Climate change can increase the risk of health problems such as heat-related illnesses, vector-borne diseases, and respiratory issues due to air pollution and wildfires, with vulnerable populations being particularly at risk. 
  • Economic Disruptions: Disruptions in sectors like agriculture or infrastructure can have cascading effects on the overall economy, including reduced agricultural productivity, infrastructure damage, and increased healthcare costs. 
  • Increased Energy Demands: Higher temperatures can lead to increased energy demands for cooling, straining the electricity grid and contributing to greenhouse gas emissions if fossil fuels are used for power generation. 
  • Climate Feedback Loops: Climate polycrises can trigger feedback loops, where one crisis exacerbates another, as seen with wildfires releasing stored carbon. 
  • Political Instability: Resource scarcity, displacement, and economic hardships can contribute to political instability and social unrest. 
  • National Security: Climate-related challenges can exacerbate tensions and conflicts over resources, impacting national security. 

Tackling Climate Polycrisis: 

  • Implement National Carbon Accounting (NCA) systems to measure and track carbon emissions comprehensively. 
  • Promote carbon awareness and make carbon emissions more visible to the public. 
  • Introduce carbon taxation to incentivize carbon reduction efforts. 
  • Set science-based carbon reduction targets aligned with global climate goals. 
  • Predict and track progress using NCA data and adjust policies accordingly. 
  • Encourage innovation in carbon reduction technologies and practices. 
  • Introduce "carbon GDP" alongside traditional economic GDP to promote ecological sustainability. 
  • Foster public discourse and engagement on carbon emissions and sustainability. 
  • Align economic development and sustainability goals. 
  • Promote global adoption of NCA systems and international cooperation to address climate change collectively. 
  • Create new livelihoods related to carbon reduction. 
  • Integrate carbon accounting into various policy areas. 
  • Collaborate with other countries to address the global nature of the climate polycrisis. 

Addressing the climate polycrisis necessitates a thorough and interconnected strategy that engages diverse segments of society, including individuals, businesses, governmental bodies, and international entities. The adoption of a national carbon accounting system stands as a pivotal measure within this collective effort, offering the necessary information and structure to facilitate informed choices and monitor advancements toward a more sustainable future. 


Keywords: GS-3 Environment
Monthly Current Affairs

Biofuels a Viable Energy Source

Exam view: Global Biofuels Alliance, Biofuels, Different Categories of Biofuels, Pradhan Mantri JI-VAN Yojana 2019, National Policy on Biofuels, 2018, Ethanol Blending. 


Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Global Biofuel Alliance (GBA) on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in New Delhi. The GBA intends to expedite the global uptake of biofuels through facilitating technology advancements, intensifying the utilization of sustainable biofuels, shaping robust standard setting and certification through the participation of a wide spectrum of stakeholders. 

About Biofuels 

  • Biofuels encompass hydrocarbon fuels derived from organic matter within a relatively short timeframe, typically spanning days, weeks, or months.  
  • Biofuels find utility in powering vehicles, heating residences, and generating electricity. The renewable nature of biofuels is attributable to their production from plants, which can be repeatedly cultivated. 
  • Biofuels come in diverse forms, including solid, liquid, and gaseous varieties.  
  • Solid biofuels comprise materials like wood, dried vegetation, and manure. 
  • Liquid biofuels encompass bioethanol and biodiesel 
  • Gaseous biofuels include biogas. 
  • Biofuels serve as substitutes or complementary options to traditional fossil fuels across multiple applications, such as heat and electricity generation.  
  • The rationale for transitioning to biofuels stems from factors like escalating oil prices, the emission of greenhouse gases resulting from fossil fuel usage, and the desire to provide farmers with an additional source of income by producing fuel from agricultural crops. 

Advantages of Biofuels: 

  • Renewable Source: Biofuels are derived from biomass, which can be regrown, making them a sustainable and renewable energy source. This reduces the reliance on finite fossil fuel reserves. 
  • Enhanced Energy Security: Utilizing biofuels reduces dependence on foreign oil imports, thereby enhancing energy security by decreasing the vulnerability to international oil supply disruptions and fluctuating oil prices. 
  • Reduced Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Biofuels typically emit fewer greenhouse gases (GHGs) compared to fossil fuels when burned, contributing to mitigating climate change and improving air quality. This cleaner energy option helps reduce the overall carbon footprint. 
  • Increased Farmer's Income: Biofuel production often involves agricultural crops, providing an additional source of income for farmers. This can contribute to the economic well-being of rural communities and align with the goals of increasing farmers' income. 
  • Diverse Feedstock Sources: Biofuels can be produced from a wide range of feedstock sources, including various crops, agricultural waste, and algae. This diversity of sources offers flexibility and adaptability in biofuel production, helping to meet different energy needs and reduce competition for resources. 

Challenges and Concerns Regarding Biofuels Viability: 

  • Land and Water Resource Utilization: Biofuel production often demands significant amounts of land and water resources. In regions with limited agricultural surplus, diverting arable land for biofuel crops can be impractical, potentially leading to conflicts over land use. 
  • Competition with Food Production: A key concern is the competition between biofuel production and food production for land and resources. If biofuels are prioritized over food crops, it may result in higher food prices, food scarcity, and food security issues, which can have negative social and economic implications. 
  • Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC): Some biofuels, especially those produced from crops grown on land that was previously forested or converted from natural habitats, can inadvertently contribute to deforestation and habitat loss. This, in turn, can lead to higher greenhouse gas emissions than those associated with fossil fuels, a phenomenon known as ILUC. 
  • Energy Input vs. Energy Output: If the energy input required for cultivating, processing, and transporting biofuel crops exceeds the energy output from the resulting biofuels, it can undermine their environmental and economic benefits. 
  • Impact on Biodiversity: The large-scale cultivation of biofuel crops can impact biodiversity by displacing natural ecosystems and reducing habitat availability for wildlife. 
  • Water Scarcity: Biofuel production, especially in water-scarce regions, can exacerbate water stress and competition for water resources. This can have negative environmental and social consequences. 
  • Technological Advancements: Advances in biofuel production technologies are essential to address some of these concerns, such as improving energy efficiency, minimizing land and water use, and reducing GHG emissions. 

Global Biofuel Alliance 

Global Biofuel Alliance (GBA) alliance brings together major biofuel producers and consumers, such as the US, Brazil, and India. Nineteen countries and 12 international organizations have already agreed to join or support the GBA. The GBA aims to strengthen global biofuels trade for a greener sustainable future. 

Significance for India: 

  • Learning and Technology Transfer: GBA provides India with the opportunity to learn from the best practices of other member countries, facilitating the transfer of advanced biofuel technologies. This can help India accelerate progress in areas like compressed biogas and third-generation ethanol production. 
  • E-20 Target: India's goal of achieving E20 by 2025-26 aligns with the objectives of GBA. Learning from Brazil's success in achieving E-85 can expedite India's efforts to increase ethanol blending in gasoline. 
  • Flex Fuel Vehicles: The alliance could promote the adoption of flex fuel vehicles in India, which can run on a range of biofuels, reducing emissions and decreasing the country's crude oil import bill. 
  • Climate Action: By promoting biofuels and reducing the usage of fossil fuels, GBA reinforces India's commitment to climate action and contributes to global efforts to combat climate change. 
  • Promotion of Biofuel Exports: GBA presents an opportunity for India to increase its biofuel production and become a major exporter, enhancing energy independence and bolstering its share in the global biofuel market. 
  • Employment Opportunities: Investments in the biofuel sector can create employment opportunities, particularly in rural areas, benefiting farmers and contributing to the government's goal of doubling farmers' income. 

Concerns about Viability of Global Biofuels Alliance: 

  • Transfer of Technology: Some developed countries may be reluctant to share advanced biofuel technology, potentially hindering the alliance's objectives. Technological secrecy can pose a challenge to technology transfer. 
  • Geopolitical Contestation: Opposition from countries like China and Russia, as well as concerns from major oil producers like Saudi Arabia and Russia, could create geopolitical challenges for the alliance. 
  • Funding Limitations: Structuring sustainable financing mechanisms for biofuel projects is crucial, and global financial institutions like the World Bank and IMF may have limitations in providing sufficient resources. 
  • Import Restrictions: India's policies restricting the import of biofuels could impact the development of the global biofuels market and hinder the alliance's goals of trade expansion. 
  • Environmental Implications: The growing demand for biofuels can have environmental implications, including increased water and land requirements, which may deter participation from water-scarce countries and necessitate careful environmental management. 

Biofuels, though having the potential to be a significant source to combating climate change, face uncertainty regarding their practicality. The Global Biofuel Alliance offers hope for a more environmentally friendly future, but its real-world impact is yet to be determined. In countries like India, where agricultural surplus is scarce, the feasibility of biofuels as a primary energy source may be limited. Nonetheless, they can still contribute to a more sustainable future by focusing on responsible production and consumption practices. 

UPSC CSE Previous Year’s Question (PYQs) 


Q. According to India’s National Policy on Biofuels, which of the following can be used as raw materials for the production of biofuels? (2020)

  1. Cassava 
  2. Damaged wheat grains 
  3. Groundnut seeds 
  4. Horse gram 
  5. Rotten potatoes 
  6. Sugar beet 

Select the correct answer using the code given below: 

(a) 1, 2, 5 and 6 only 
(b) 1, 3, 4 and 6 only 
(c) 2, 3, 4 and 5 only 
(d) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 

Answer: (a) 


Keywords: GS-3 Economy, Renewable Energy
Monthly Current Affairs

Women in Police - Edukemy Current Affairs

Exam View: Women’s representation in police: Status, Significance, Challenges, and Way Forward; 128th Constitutional Amendment Bill (Women Reservation Bill), National Crime Records Bureau. 


The Constitution (106th Amendment) Act 2023 provides for one-third of the total seats in the House of the People, the Legislative Assembly of every State and the Legislative Assembly of the National Capital Territory of Delhi to be reserved for women for 15 years. The purpose of this amendment is to increase women’s participation in policymaking. 

Status of Women in Police 

  • According to the information disclosed by the Minister of State for Home Affairs (MHA) in February 2023 during a Rajya Sabha session, as of January 1, 2022, the inclusion of women within the police force stood at a mere 11.7% of the total State police force.  
  • Despite several states implementing policies that require anywhere from 10% to 33% reservation for women in the police, none of these states has successfully achieved their respective targets.  
  • The proportion of women in higher-ranking positions within the police force was even more dismal, standing at just 8.7%. 

Significance and Need of Women in Police 

  • Legal Mandates and Specialized Roles: Women in the police force are indispensable because legal mandates often require certain procedures, such as recording reports and conducting arrests, to be handled by women officers in cases involving women. Specialized legislation like the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act necessitates the presence of women officers to ensure that sensitive cases are managed with the required empathy and professionalism. 
  • Addressing Crimes Against Women: Statistics from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) reveal that a significant portion of crimes defined under the Indian Penal Code is committed against women. Having women police officers is crucial for effectively addressing these crimes, providing support to victims, and ensuring that justice is served. Their presence can lead to increased reporting of such crimes and a more empathetic response to survivors. 
  • Insufficient Female Police Force: The NCRB data also highlights that the existing women police force is insufficient, even for cases related to women. Increasing the number of women officers is necessary to bridge this gap and provide adequate coverage for all types of incidents, including day-to-day law enforcement activities. 
  • Proven Competence: Women in the police force have demonstrated their competence in various roles and responsibilities. They are fully capable of handling any assignment within a police institution, proving that gender should not be a barrier to their involvement in law enforcement. 
  • Representation and Trust: In a democratic country like India, it is essential for every institution, including the police, to be representative of the populace they serve. Increasing the number of women in the police force is a step towards building trust and confidence in the community. It sends a message that the police are accessible and responsive to the needs of all citizens. 

Issues in Recruiting Women in Police 

In Recruitment: 

  • Filling the Gap: Horizontal reservation policies often lead to women being recruited primarily to meet quotas or fill gaps in the workforce rather than based on merit alone. This can undermine the quality of recruitment and may not always attract the most qualified candidates. 
  • Lack of Permanent Recruitment Boards: Many states lack permanent police recruitment boards, which can result in irregular recruitment processes and delays in filling vacancies. 
  • Inconsistent Reservation Policies: Inconsistencies in reservation policies across states can lead to variations in women's representation in the police force, with some states not having any reservation policies at all. 
  • Poor Implementation: Even in states with reservation policies, poor implementation can result in a lower-than-expected representation of women in the police force. 
  • Slow Filling of Vacancies: The slow pace at which police positions are filled each year, coupled with attrition rates, can make it challenging to significantly increase the number of women in the police force in a short period. 

After Recruitment: 

  • Poor Support and Infrastructure: Women officers often face inadequate infrastructure and support within police departments. Lack of separate facilities, including toilets and changing rooms, can create uncomfortable working conditions. 
  • Socio-cultural Perceptions: Stereotypes about policing being a male-dominated, physically demanding profession persist. This can lead to discrimination and harassment from male colleagues, supervisors, and the public, making the workplace hostile for women. 
  • Balancing Family and Career: The expectation for women to balance family responsibilities, particularly childcare, can hinder their career advancement in policing. Long working hours and the traditional culture within police departments can make it difficult for women to maintain a work-life balance. 
  • Macho Culture: The prevailing macho culture in some police departments can create a hostile environment for women officers, where traits associated with masculinity, such as physical strength and aggression, are highly valued, and women may face resistance or bias. 

Steps can be taken to Improve the Number of Women in Police 

  • Foster an Inclusive Work Environment: Create a supportive and inclusive workplace by implementing policies addressing issues like equal pay, career advancement opportunities, and sexual harassment prevention. Conduct gender sensitization training programs to promote respectful and effective collaboration between male and female officers. 
  • Prevent Sexual Harassment: Establish a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination and harassment within police departments. Ensure the creation and operation of Internal Complaints Committees, as mandated by the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act of 2013, to maintain a safe and welcoming work environment for women in policing. 
  • Provide Necessary Infrastructure: Offer essential infrastructure to accommodate the unique needs of female police officers. This includes safe and separate living arrangements, changing facilities, and childcare services for officer-mothers. Ensure the availability of secure transportation options, especially for female officers working during late shifts. 
  • Implement a Uniform Police Act: Enact a consistent Police Act applicable across the country to standardize recruitment, training, and working conditions for police officers, including women. This guarantees equal treatment and opportunities for female officers, regardless of the state they serve in. 
  • Strengthen Recruitment Boards: Enhance the efficiency and transparency of the recruitment process by establishing state-level recruitment boards. Encourage these boards to actively promote the recruitment of women, ensuring fairness and impartiality throughout the selection process. 
  • Launch Special Recruitment Initiatives: Initiate dedicated recruitment drives designed to boost the representation of women in the police force. These efforts can encompass targeted outreach campaigns, awareness programs, and mentorship schemes aimed at attracting and retaining more female candidates. 

"It is vital to confront and challenge societal stereotypes and perceptions that may discourage women from considering a career in law enforcement. Launching educational and awareness campaigns can help debunk these stereotypes and highlight the diverse range of roles and opportunities available within the police force. Additionally, providing reservations for women in legislative bodies can set a valuable precedent for enhancing women's representation in various fields, including law enforcement. Such initiatives can serve as an inspiration for policymakers and authorities to take concrete steps toward achieving gender diversity and equity within the police force." 


Keywords: GS-2, Issue Related to Indian Women
Monthly Current Affairs

Safeguarding Children in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

In News: India is preparing to host international AI summits to underscore the strategic significance of AI for its economy. In the latter part of 2023, India will organize two important gatherings dedicated to Artificial Intelligence (AI).  

However, as AI technology advances, there is an urgent need for robust regulation, especially to protect children and adolescents who are susceptible to various risks associated with AI. India's current data protection laws may not be adequate to address these emerging challenges. 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Regulation 

AI regulation involves the establishment of rules, laws, and guidelines by governments and regulatory bodies to oversee the development, deployment, and utilization of artificial intelligence technologies. 

The primary goal of AI regulation is to guarantee that AI systems are created and utilized in a manner that is safe, ethical, and advantageous to society while mitigating potential risks and harms. AI regulation can encompass various aspects, including: 

  • Safety and Reliability: Regulations may mandate that AI developers adhere to safety standards to prevent accidents or malfunctions caused by AI systems, particularly in critical domains such as autonomous vehicles or medical diagnostics. 
  • Ethical Considerations: In certain AI applications, especially those in critical areas like healthcare or finance, human oversight may be required to ensure that AI decisions align with human values and ethical principles. 
  • Data Privacy: Many AI systems rely on vast amounts of data. Regulations such as the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) establish guidelines for how personal data should be handled and safeguarded in AI applications. 
  • Transparency and Accountability: Some regulations may demand that AI developers provide transparency into their algorithms, facilitating an understanding of how AI systems make decisions. 
  • Export Controls: Governments may regulate the export of AI technologies to prevent sensitive AI capabilities from being acquired by unauthorized entities. 
  • Compliance and Certification: AI developers may need to meet specific certification requirements to ensure their AI systems meet regulatory standards. 
  • International Cooperation: Given the global nature of AI, there is a growing need for international collaboration on AI regulation to avoid conflicts and maintain consistent standards across borders. 

Artificial Intelligence Regulation Around the world 

  • European Union (EU): The EU is working on the draft Artificial Intelligence Act, which aims to comprehensively regulate AI. It addresses various aspects of AI, including risk classification, data subject rights, governance, liability, and sanctions. The EU has also implemented the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which has implications for AI systems that process personal data. 
  • Brazil: Brazil is in the process of developing its first AI regulation. The proposed regulation focuses on protecting the rights of individuals affected by AI systems, classifying the level of risk, and implementing governance measures for AI operators. It shares similarities with the EU's draft AI Act. 
  • China: China has actively regulated AI, with specific provisions for algorithmic recommendation systems and deep synthesis technologies. China's Cyberspace Administration is also considering measures to ensure the safety and accuracy of AI-generated content. 
  • Japan: Japan has adopted a set of social principles and guidelines for AI developers and companies. While these measures are not legally binding, they reflect the government's commitment to responsible AI development. 
  • Canada: Canada has introduced the Digital Charter Implementation Act 2022, which includes the Artificial Intelligence and Data Act (AIDA). AIDA aims to regulate the trade in AI systems and address potential harms and biases associated with high-performance AI. 
  • United States: In the United States, there are non-binding guidelines and recommendations for AI risk management. The White House has published a Blueprint for the Development, Use, and Deployment of Automated Systems, outlining principles for responsible AI development. 
  • India: India is considering the establishment of a supervisory authority for AI regulation. Working papers suggest the government's intention to introduce principles for responsible AI and coordination across various AI sectors. India also recognizes the need to address the unique challenges AI poses to children and adolescents. 

Need for Robust AI Regulation for Child Safety 

  • Regulating AI for Overall Safety: Regulations should prioritize addressing addiction, mental health issues, and general safety concerns related to AI. AI services, especially those targeting youth, might employ deceptive practices to exploit vulnerable individuals. Robust regulations can help prevent such exploitation. 
  • Body Image and Cyber Threats: AI-driven distortions of physical appearance can negatively affect young people's body image. Additionally, AI can play a role in spreading misinformation, promoting radicalization, facilitating cyberbullying, and enabling sexual harassment, all of which pose serious threats to children and adolescents. 
  • Impact of Family's Online Activity: Parents sharing their children's photos online can inadvertently expose adolescents to risks, including privacy concerns and the potential misuse of their personal information. Regulations can help raise awareness about these risks and encourage responsible online behavior by parents. 
  • Deep Fake Vulnerabilities: AI-powered deep fakes can target young individuals, including the distribution of morphed explicit content. Effective regulations are needed to prevent the creation and dissemination of harmful deep fakes, especially those that target children. 
  • Intersectional Identities and Bias: India is characterized by a diverse landscape of gender, caste, tribal identity, religion, and linguistic heritage. There's a risk that real-world biases may be transposed into digital spaces, disproportionately affecting marginalized communities. AI regulations should address bias and ensure equitable treatment. 
  • Reevaluating Data Protection Laws: India's current data protection framework may not effectively protect children's interests. While banning the tracking of children's data by default can offer privacy protection, it may also limit the benefits of personalization in online services. Striking the right balance between privacy and personalization is a key regulatory challenge. 

How India can Protect Young Citizens while preserving the Benefits of Artificial Intelligence 

  1. Child-Centric AI Principles: Embrace UNICEF's guidance based on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which outlines nine requirements for child-centric AI. These principles should form the foundation for creating a digital environment that prioritizes children's well-being, fairness, safety, transparency, and accountability. 
  2. Transparency and Assessment: Follow the example of the Californian Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which advocates for transparency in default privacy settings and assesses potential harm to children arising from algorithms and data collection. Such provisions should be integrated into Indian AI regulations. 
  3. Institutional Support: Consider establishing institutions similar to Australia's Online Safety Youth Advisory Council to provide insights into the specific challenges faced by young users in the digital age and inform policy decisions accordingly. 
  4. Age-Appropriate Design Code: Encourage research to gather evidence on how AI impacts Indian children and adolescents. This evidence can serve as the foundation for developing an Indian Age-Appropriate Design Code for AI, ensuring that AI systems are designed with the unique needs and vulnerabilities of young users in mind. 
  5. Digital India Act (DIA): When implementing the upcoming Digital India Act (DIA), prioritize the protection of children interacting with AI. The DIA should promote safer platform operations, user interface designs, and stricter measures to safeguard children's data and online experiences. 
  6. Child-Friendly AI Products and Services: Encourage AI-driven platforms to provide age-appropriate content and services that enhance education, entertainment, and overall well-being for children. Robust parental control features should be implemented to allow parents to monitor and limit their children's online activities effectively. 
  7. Digital Feedback Channels: Develop child-friendly online feedback channels where children can share their AI-related experiences, concerns, and suggestions. Interactive tools like surveys and forums can be utilized to gather inputs directly from young users. 
  8. Public Awareness Campaigns: Launch public awareness campaigns emphasizing the importance of involving children in shaping AI's future. Collaborate with influencers and role models to amplify the message and engage with young audiences effectively. 

In the age of rapidly advancing Artificial Intelligence (AI), prioritizing the interests and safety of young citizens is of paramount importance for India. By incorporating global best practices, engaging in a dialogue with children and adolescents, and developing adaptable and forward-thinking regulations, India can take significant steps toward creating a secure and beneficial digital environment for its youth. This approach not only safeguards their well-being but also harnesses the potential of AI to positively impact their lives and future opportunities. 

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Question (PYQ) 

Q1. With the present state of development, Artificial Intelligence can effectively do which of the following? (2020) 

  1. Bring down electricity consumption in industrial units 
  2. Create meaningful short stories and songs 
  3. Disease diagnosis 
  4. Text-to-Speech Conversion 
  5. Wireless transmission of electrical energy 

Select the correct answer using the code given below: 

(a) 1, 2, 3 and 5 only 
(b) 1, 3 and 4 only 
(c) 2, 4 and 5 only 
(d) 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 

Answer: (b) 


Keywords: GS-3, Artificial Intelligence, Science and Technology
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UPSC Monthly Current Affairs refers to a compilation of relevant and significant news, events, and developments from various fields that are important for the UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) civil services examination. This curated collection helps aspirants stay updated with recent happenings, enhancing their knowledge and analytical skills, which are crucial for various stages of the UPSC exam, including the Preliminary, Main, and Interview rounds.

UPSC Monthly Current Affairs plays a crucial role in UPSC preparation as it helps aspirants cover a broader range of current affairs topics within a specific time frame. By reviewing monthly current affairs, aspirants can gain a deeper understanding of significant events and issues, analyze their implications, and connect them with the UPSC syllabus. It aids in building a holistic perspective and enhances the ability to answer questions effectively.

UPSC Monthly Current Affairs provides a comprehensive overview of important events and developments across various domains. It covers national and international news, government policies, economic updates, scientific advancements, environmental issues, social issues, sports events, cultural festivals, and more. The content typically includes summaries, analysis, infographics, and practice questions to facilitate effective learning and revision.

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