Daily Current Affairs 6 March 2024- Top News Of The Day

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Daily Current Affairs 6 March 2024- Top News Of The Day

1. Bombay High Court Upholds G N Saibaba’s Acquittal, Stressing Procedural Protections in Anti-Terror Cases

Topic: GS2 – Polity – Judiciary
Understanding the facts about how India’s legal system operates, especially with regard to procedural requirements and due process under anti-terror laws, makes this topic pertinent for both Prelims and Mains.

– In a major ruling, the Bombay High Court’s Nagpur Bench overturned a trial court’s decision and cleared former Delhi University professor G N Saibaba and five other defendants. This underscored the injustice of conducting a trial in accordance with India’s strict anti-terror law without following procedural procedures.
– This exposes procedural irregularities in the trial process and is the second time an appellate court has highlighted the prosecution’s disregard for due process in the case.

More about the news:Grounds for Acquittal: Procedural Safeguards and Due Process:

  • The conviction of the trial court was overturned by a division bench of Justices Vinay G. Joshi and Valmiki SA Menezes, who emphasised the importance of following procedural safeguards.
  • The Supreme Court’s directives were followed by the High Court in its ruling, highlighting the importance of due process in defending the rights of the accused.
  • Examining the evidence and procedural irregularities that marred the trial proceedings, the appellate court reexamined the case.

Importance of Procedural Safeguards: Judicial Observations:

  • A bench of the Bombay High Court had emphasised the significance of procedural safeguards passed to protect citizens’ rights in its earlier ruling in 2022, especially in cases involving strict anti-terror laws.
  • The court noted that although stopping terrorism is important, giving up procedural protections is against the fundamentals of civil democracy.
  • One important procedural safeguard to prevent abuse of anti-terror laws is the requirement for prior sanction from the federal or state government, as provided by Section 45 of the UAPA.

Challenges and Legal Wrangling: State’s Response:

  • The state government’s desperate attempt to overturn the Bombay High Court’s initial acquittal by forming a special bench and requesting a stay from the Chief Justice of India highlights the case’s political sensitivity and intricate legal issues.
  • But the Supreme Court’s later orders to review the case on its merits highlighted the judiciary’s dedication to protecting due process and constitutional values.

High Court’s Ruling on Subsequent Consideration: Invalid Sanctions and Jurisdictional Issues:

  • The High Court emphasised the importance of following procedural safeguards in its most recent decision, especially with regard to the legitimacy of sanctions obtained for prosecution.
  • The court noted the lack of an independent review and the timing of the sanctions in relation to the charges’ framing as fundamental errors in the sanctioning process.
  • The accused was found not guilty as a result of these procedural errors, which were judged to be fatal to the prosecution’s case.


  • The acquittal of G N Saibaba and others by the Nagpur Bench highlights the judiciary’s dedication to maintaining procedural safeguards and due process, even in cases involving serious charges under anti-terror laws.
  • The decision emphasises how crucial it is to uphold constitutional values and legal requirements in order to protect people’s rights and maintain justice.
  • Because of this, the case is a crucial reminder of the judiciary’s duty to defend the rule of law and defend the rights of citizens against alleged threats to national security.

PYQ: Through amendments to the NIA Act and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), 1967, the Indian government has reinforced the country’s anti-terrorism laws. Examine the modifications in light of the current security environment and talk about the extent and justifications of human rights organisations’ opposition to the UAPA. (15 minutes, 250 words) (2019 UPSSC CSE (M) GS-3)
Practice Question: Examine how procedural protections and due process contribute to the preservation of constitutional values in situations where strict legal guidelines are involved. In what ways can legal developments of this nature aid in augmenting the transparency, accountability, and equity inherent in the legal system of India? (15 m/250 words)

2. India Increases Naval Presence: INS Jatayu’s Commissioning Strengthens Lakshadweep’s Security

Topic: GS3 – Internal Security 
Given the state of India’s defence infrastructure and naval capabilities, this topic is pertinent to both the Prelims and Mains exams.

– The Indian Navy will achieve a major milestone in its efforts to strengthen security infrastructure at the strategically important Lakshadweep Islands with the commissioning of the Naval Detachment Minicoy as INS Jatayu.
– This latest development highlights India’s dedication to augmenting its naval presence and capabilities within the region, especially considering the geopolitical landscape and strategic imperatives.

Additional information about the story: History and Importance of the Lakshadweep Islands:

  • Because of its location in the Indian Ocean, the 36-island archipelago of Lakshadweep, which is located between 220 and 440 kilometres from Kochi, is of great strategic significance.
  • The islands are essential for marine navigation and security because they straddle vital Sea Lines of Communications (SLOCs), even though their total area is only 32 sq km.
  • The significance of the area is further highlighted by Minicoy, which is positioned strategically at important maritime highways such as the Eight Degree Channel and the Nine Degree Channel.

Transformation of Naval Detachment to INS Jatayu:

  • Now that it has been upgraded to INS Jatayu, Naval Detachment Minicoy, which has been in service since the 1980s, will essentially become the nation’s second naval base in Lakshadweep.
  • This change is in line with India’s larger strategic goals and security priorities and represents the country’s efforts to bolster its naval capabilities and infrastructure in the area.

Infrastructure Development and Operational Enhancement:

  • More than just a name change, the commissioning of INS Jatayu indicates a substantial infrastructure and resource upgrade.
  • With extra amenities like an airstrip, housing, and staff, INS Jatayu will be a crucial part of the Navy’s operations in the area.
  • The government’s emphasis on the complete development of the islands and its emphasis on a comprehensive strategy to improve security and prosperity in the area are aligned with the establishment of this base.

Strategic Implications and Geopolitical Dynamics:

  • Broader strategic implications stem from the commissioning of INS Jatayu, especially in light of India’s maritime security issues and the geopolitical landscape of the Indian Ocean region.
  • In addition to expanding the Navy’s operational reach and bolstering its surveillance capabilities, the proposed airfield will act as a deterrent against new threats like drug trafficking and piracy.
  • Furthermore, it highlights the significance of preserving maritime supremacy and regional stability while reinforcing India’s strategic stance in the face of growing Chinese influence in the area.


  • In order to strengthen India’s maritime security and strategic presence in the Indian Ocean region, INS Jatayu, the second naval base in Lakshadweep, was put into service.
  • India’s commitment to protecting its maritime interests and maintaining regional stability is reaffirmed by INS Jatayu, which is strengthening its operational capabilities and infrastructure.
  • Initiatives like INS Jatayu are essential for protecting national security and advancing peace and prosperity in the maritime sector as India navigates changing geopolitical challenges.

INS Jatayu Key Features
INS Jatayu, situated on the Minicoy islands within the Lakshadweep archipelago, is poised to become India’s strategic naval base, effectively serving as a stationary aircraft carrier in the expansive waters of the high seas. 

Here are the salient features of INS Jatayu:
– Power Projection: With its advantageous position, INS Jatayu is able to project power across the Arabian Sea all the way to the strategically significant Malacca Straits.
– A variant of INS Baaz Replacing: the front-line naval airbase INS Baaz, which is situated in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, INS Jatayu considerably strengthens India’s maritime defence posture.
– Adaptable Aircraft Facilities: With the capability to handle every kind of fighter jet and aircraft, INS Jatayu is prepared to assist with a wide variety of aerial operations.
– Enhanced Maritime Operations: INS Jatayu increases the Indian Navy’s operational capacity in carrying out maritime security missions, especially in the Western Arabian Sea, with an emphasis on strengthening anti-piracy and anti-drug initiatives.
– First Responder Capability: INS Jatayu enhances the Navy’s ability to respond quickly and effectively to emerging maritime threats in the area, in addition to its strategic importance.

With the ability to strengthen India’s maritime security framework, project power across strategic sea lanes, and enhance its standing as a proactive maritime force in the Indo-Pacific area, INS Jatayu becomes an indispensable asset.

PYQ: Which of the following sums up “INS Astradharini,” the recent news story the most accurately? (2016)   
(a) Amphibious warfare ship
(b) Nuclear-powered submarine
(c) Torpedo launch and recovery vessel
(d) Nuclear-powered aircraft carrier 
Ans: (c)
Practice Question: Talk about the importance of INS Jatayu’s commissioning for India’s maritime security and strategic interests in the Lakshadweep Islands. Analyse the opportunities and difficulties of increasing naval presence in isolated island regions and how they will affect India’s maritime dominance and defence readiness. (15 m/250 words)

3. MethaneSAT is Launched to Track Global Methane Emissions, Marking a Milestone in Climate Monitoring

Topic: GS3 – Science & Technology
GS3 – Environment 
Knowing about MethaneSAT’s cutting-edge technology, such as its high-resolution sensors and AI-driven data analysis, which emphasises the convergence of science and technology in tackling environmental issues, makes this topic pertinent for both the Prelims and Mains exams.

– MethaneSAT, a satellite intended to monitor and quantify methane emissions worldwide, was launched from California on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
– This development represents a critical turning point in the fight against climate change and the effects of greenhouse gas emissions—especially methane, which is a major contributor to global warming—by reducing their impact.

More about the news:Significance of Tracking Methane Emissions:

  • Methane plays a major role in climate change and is the second most common greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide.
  • Since the Industrial Revolution, its atmospheric concentration has doubled, accounting for about 30% of the global warming that has occurred.
  • Reducing methane emissions is essential to halting climate change and its detrimental effects on the environment and public health because of its effectiveness in retaining heat.

Objectives and Purpose of MethaneSAT:

  • The Environmental Defence Fund (EDF), in partnership with Harvard University and other partners, developed MethaneSAT with the goal of tracking methane emissions, specifically from fossil fuel operations, which make up a significant amount of methane emissions caused by humans.
  • MethaneSAT aims to track changes over time, identify sources of emissions, and empower regulators and stakeholders to take targeted action to effectively reduce emissions by supplying real-time data on methane emissions.

Technical Features and Capabilities:

  • MethaneSAT can identify methane concentrations in the atmosphere as low as three parts per billion thanks to its cutting-edge technology, which includes a high-resolution infrared sensor and spectrometer.
  • The satellite’s sensitivity allows it to detect and follow smaller emissions sources that might not have been noticed in the past.
  • MethaneSAT can also detect bigger emissions sources, or “super emitters,” and monitor changes in emissions over time thanks to its wide-angle camera view.

Addressing Challenges in Methane Emission Monitoring:

  • Satellite technology has historically made it difficult to track methane emissions and measure their sources.
  • The resolution of current satellites frequently makes it difficult to precisely identify smaller emissions sources, which causes an underreporting of methane emissions worldwide.
  • MethaneSAT provides high-resolution data and sophisticated monitoring capabilities to address these issues and provide a more precise and thorough understanding of methane emissions globally.

Data Analysis and Accessibility:

  • A mission partner, Google, has developed AI and cloud computing technologies that will be used to analyse the data that MethaneSAT has collected.
  • Through Google’s Earth Engine platform, this data will be made publicly available, allowing the public, researchers, and decision-makers to access and use the information for well-informed decision-making and climate action.
  • MethaneSAT wants to spur global efforts to cut methane emissions and slow down climate change by encouraging openness and accessibility.


  • A major advancement in the fight against climate change and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, especially methane, has been made with the launch of MethaneSAT.
  • MethaneSAT provides precise, up-to-date data on methane emissions globally, enabling stakeholders to take focused action to reduce climate change and safeguard the environment and public health.
  • Innovative projects like MethaneSAT are vital to advancing climate action and fostering international cooperation in addressing the challenges of climate change as nations work to meet their climate goals and make the transition to a sustainable future.

Human activity: Human activity is responsible for about 60% of methane emissions. 
Wetlands: Of natural sources, wetlands account for about 40%.
Agriculture: Accounting for nearly 25% of emissions, agriculture is the primary offender.
– Methane is mostly released by livestock, such as cows and sheep, during digestion and in their manure.
– rice farming, where flooded fields provide the perfect environment for bacteria that release methane.

Energy sector: The second-largest source of methane emissions caused by humans is coal, oil, and gas.
Energy infrastructure: Leaks of methane from pipelines that carry gas.
from intentional releases made during maintenance.

Household waste: If allowed to rot in landfills, it also releases a significant amount of methane during its decomposition.

PYQ: Which of the following statements is/are correct about the deposits of ‘methane hydrate’? (2019) 
1) These deposits may release methane gas as a result of global warming.
2) The Arctic tundra and the ocean floor contain significant “methane hydrate” deposits.
3) After a decade or two, methane in the atmosphere oxidises to carbon dioxide.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3 
Ans: (d)
Practice Question: Talk about the importance of MethaneSAT in relation to international initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fight climate change. Examine MethaneSAT’s technological prowess and possible implications for global methane emission monitoring. (15 m/250 words)

4. The worst-ever global mass coral bleaching event is imminent, according to NOAA.

Topic: GS3 – Environment – Environment pollution and degradation
Knowing the facts about coral reefs, which are essential ecosystems and whose degradation due to coral bleaching has major implications for biodiversity, climate regulation, and marine resources, makes this topic relevant for both the Prelims and Mains exams.

– Marine biologists are on high alert following the NOAA’s warning of an impending fourth mass coral bleaching event. This is especially because of the months of unprecedented ocean heat brought on by climate change and the El Niño climate pattern.

More about the news:

Global Coral Bleaching Risk:

  • Coral bleaching is expected to occur throughout the Southern Hemisphere this year, according to experts coordinating NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch. This suggests a severe global event that may be unprecedented in history.

Causes and Impact of Coral Bleaching:

  • When heat stress causes corals to expel symbiotic algae that are living in their tissues, the result is coral bleaching.
  • Corals become pale and prone to illness and hunger as a result of this process.
  • Beyond coral health, the effects also affect fisheries, ocean ecosystems, and tourism-driven economies that depend on healthy coral reefs to draw tourists.

Historical Context:

  • The two previous major global coral bleaching events, which happened in 2010 and 1998, had catastrophic effects on coral reefs all over the world.
  • During the most recent event, which took place between 2014 and 2017, the Great Barrier Reef specifically lost almost one-third of its coral cover.

Assessment Methods:

  • To evaluate the risk of coral bleaching, scientists use satellite imagery and data on sea surface temperatures.
  • Through reef pixel monitoring and the identification of critical heat stress thresholds, researchers can pinpoint areas that are undergoing widespread bleaching.
  • In order for an occurrence to be labelled as a worldwide mass bleaching, a specific proportion of reef pixels within every ocean basin must demonstrate notable heat stress.

Implications and Concerns:

  • Concerns concerning the long-term sustainability of coral reef ecosystems and the ensuing socio-economic effects are raised by the impending fourth mass coral bleaching event.
  • In order to protect these essential marine habitats for future generations, immediate action is required to mitigate climate change and reduce stressors on coral reefs.

What are Coral reefs?
– Marine invertebrates, or animals without spines, are known as corals.
– Every coral is referred to as a polyp, and thousands of these polyps coexist to form colonies, which expand as polyps divide to create more of themselves.
– Corals and single-celled algae known as zooxanthellae are symbiotic.
– The algae use the light from the sun to produce food and nutrients for the coral through a process called photosynthesis.
– The algae, in turn, receive vital nutrients and a home from the corals. The vibrant colour of corals is also attributed to zooxanthellae.
– With a length of 2,300 km, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia is the largest reef system in the world.
– It supports 400 varieties of coral, 1,500 fish species, and 4,000 different kinds of mollusks.

What Causes Coral Bleaching?
– Ocean Temperature Change: The primary cause of coral bleaching is an increase in ocean temperature brought on by climate change.
– Runoff and Pollution: Runoff carries pollutants that can bleach corals close to the coast, and precipitation from storms can quickly dilute ocean water.
– Overexposure to sunlight: Shallow water corals are susceptible to bleaching during hot weather due to high solar irradiance.
– Abrupt low tide: Shallow corals may bleach if they are exposed to the air during an abruptly low tide.

PYQ: Consider the following statements: (2018)
1) The majority of coral reefs on Earth are found in tropical waters.
2) Australia, Indonesia, and the Philippines contain more than one-third of the world’s coral reefs.
3. Compared to tropical rainforests, coral reefs are home to a far greater variety of animal phyla.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: (d)
Practice Question: Talk about the implications of the possible fourth mass coral bleaching event for international environmental conservation initiatives. Examine how ocean warming and climate change contribute to coral bleaching events and the effects they have on marine biodiversity and ecosystem resilience. (15 m/250 words)

5. The Centre Defines the Scope of AI Advisory; It Is Aimed at Important Platforms, Not Startups

Topic: GS2 – Governance – Government policies – Interventions for development in various sectors
This subject is pertinent to both the Prelims and Mains since it deals with the details of government regulations and the difficulties of striking a balance between innovation and oversight.

– The Centre clarified that its advice on generative artificial intelligence (AI) services was primarily directed towards “significant” platforms and not start-ups after receiving a lot of negative feedback.
– Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the Minister of State for Electronics and IT, stressed that the advice only pertains to established platforms that are requesting authorization from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), not to startups.
– This explanation attempted to allay worries, but it also brought to light some errors in the discussion of the advisory fallout.

More about the news:

Advisory Content and Backlash:

  • With the Lok Sabha elections approaching, the IT Ministry’s advisory advised generative AI firms like Google and OpenAI, along with platform operators, to make sure that their services do not generate responses that break Indian laws or compromise the integrity of the electoral process.
  • It was mandatory for platforms providing large language models or “under-testing/unreliable” AI systems to Indian users to obtain express permission from the Centre and to duly disclose any potential fallibility or unreliability of the generated output.
  • However, some domestic and foreign start-ups in the generative AI space opposed this directive, fearing regulatory overreach and stifling innovation.

Government’s Messaging Intent:

  • After the clarification, it is clear that the advisory was not so much a legally binding directive as it was a political messaging tool.
  • It stood for the government’s commitment to control and protect Indian internet users from risks related to generative AI platforms.
  • The advice expressed the government’s position on user protection even though its efficacy and legal foundation are unclear, and its actual applicability is still unknown.

Critique and Missing Acknowledgment:

  • Although the criticism focused on the need for government approval prior to implementing unproven AI services in India, the critics neglected to mention the possible issues related to these platforms.
  • Few people have openly acknowledged the difficulties with regulations and the requirement for supervision, particularly in a nation the size of India.
  • The lack of a fair discussion draws attention to the difficulties in establishing policies in the field of artificial intelligence, where trade-offs between innovation and regulation need to be carefully considered.

Call for Balanced Approach:

  • A balanced approach is required to navigate the regulatory landscape for AI services, necessitating cooperation between companies and lawmakers.
  • An equilibrium between promoting creativity and guaranteeing regulatory supervision is essential for the conscientious advancement and application of artificial intelligence technologies.
  • Meeting these challenges head-on will require legislators and business leaders to come to a consensus on how to effectively regulate without stifling innovation.

About Generative Artificial Intelligence
– Deep learning models that can “learn” to produce statistically likely outputs when given instructions are referred to as generative AI.
– The foundation models (big AI models) that drive generative AI are capable of multitasking and executing custom tasks like classification, Q&A, summarization, and more.
– Very little example data is needed to adapt foundation models for specific use cases, requiring very little training.

How Does Generative AI Work?
– A machine learning model is used in generative AI to identify patterns and relationships in a dataset of content that has been created by humans.
– It then creates new content by applying the patterns it has learned.
– Using supervised learning, which involves providing the model with a set of human-generated content and associated labels, is the most popular method for training generative AI models.
– Subsequently, it gains the ability to produce content that bears similarities to human-generated content and is labelled accordingly.

Common Generative AI Applications
– Large volumes of data are processed by generative AI, which then produces answers and insights in text, picture, and user-friendly format. Enhanced chat and search experiences for customers can be achieved through the use of generative AI.
– Investigate enormous volumes of unstructured data using summaries and conversational interfaces.
– Help with repetitive duties such as responding to RFPs, translating marketing materials into five different languages, ensuring that customer contracts are compliant, and more.

Role/Influence of GenAI on Elections in 2024
– High-stakes elections are scheduled for over 50 countries in 2024, including Taiwan, South Africa, Russia, Indonesia, the US, and the UK.
– The prevalence of fake news will be one of the main issues for voters in this election, as it has in previous ones, especially as AI technology makes it easier to produce and distribute.
– Misinformation generated by artificial intelligence (AI) and its potential to polarise society were listed as one of the top 10 risks for the next two years in the World Economic Forum 2024 Global Risk Report.
– Generative AI tools can be used by people with very little technical knowledge to spread fake text, images, videos, and audio across a large digital base in multiple languages.
– AI poses serious challenges for governments and organisations worldwide because it can produce deepfakes and voice-cloned audio in addition to disseminating propaganda with a limited dataset.
– AI is capable of developing close relationships with humans through its command of language, and it can use these relationships to customise messages and shape people’s perspectives.
– Politicians in India are also using AI to connect with more people, particularly in rural areas.
– For instance, in December 2023, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech was translated from Hindi to Tamil at an event in Uttar Pradesh using a real-time AI-powered tool.
– Like any new technology, there are potential uses and misuses for artificial intelligence.
– While some are alarmed by the idea, others believe it could be a good thing.

PYQ: 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

Ans: (b)
Practice Question: Examine and discuss the implications for technology regulation and governance of the recent advisory on generative artificial intelligence (AI) services in India released by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY). (15 m/250 words)

6. Karnataka CM: There is a drinking water crisis in nearly 100 talukas.

Topic: GS3 – Environment – Environmental pollution and degradation 
UPSC-relevant: Water crisis sheds light on the effects of the drought, government responses, and agricultural difficulties; these are essential for comprehending environmental issues and regional governance.

– Tankers are deployed as a result of a severe drinking water crisis that affects almost 100 talukas in Karnataka.
– In response, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah mentions the effects of the drought and offers financial support to impacted farmers.

Additional information on this news:

  • There is a serious drinking water crisis in about 100 talukas in Karnataka, which has led to the deployment of water tankers for supply.
  • During a videoconference to assess the situation, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah revealed that drought is causing drinking water shortages in 98 out of 236 talukas.
  • There will soon be a shortage of drinking water in 1,115 urban local body wards and 7,408 villages across 223 talukas that the state declared to be affected by the drought.
  • Water supply agreements have been reached with private borewell owners for villages and towns affected by the drought.
  • Recognising significant crop losses, the Chief Minister revealed that 33.25 lakh impacted farmers would receive ₹631 crore in payments.

India’s water crisis
– Restricted Resources: Despite having a population of over 1.4 billion, India only possesses 4% of the world’s freshwater, which causes severe stress.
– Millions Affected: 200 million people lack better access to sanitary facilities, and over 160 million people lack access to safe drinking water [Source: Water.org]..
– Health Impact: Unsafe water is associated with 21% of communicable diseases, and diarrhoea kills 500 children under five every day [Source: SIWI].
– Polluted Rivers: Due to severe pollution, more than half of India’s rivers are no longer suitable for human use.

– Water Scarcity: Dependence on the monsoon and uneven rainfall patterns make water shortages worse, particularly in drier areas.
– Overexploitation: Aquifers are depleted more quickly than they can be refilled when excessive groundwater is extracted for industrial and agricultural purposes.
– Pollution: Surface water sources are contaminated by untreated sewage, industrial waste, and agricultural runoff.
– Infrastructure Gaps: Significant water loss occurs before water reaches homes due to leaking pipes and ineffective water distribution systems.

Way Forward:
– Campaigns to raise public awareness about water conservation that encourage water-saving techniques in households and agriculture
– Modern water treatment facilities, leak detection, and effective distribution networks are all examples of infrastructure upgrades.
– Sustainable management is the practice of encouraging wastewater treatment for reuse, groundwater recharge, and rainwater collection.
– Policy & Regulation: Stricter laws governing water use and pollution prevention in various industries.
– Public-Private Partnerships: Working together to create cutting-edge water management strategies between public and private organisations.
– India can take steps towards a more secure water future for its people and environment by tackling these issues.

PYQ: Why is there currently a freshwater resource availability and access crisis in the world?(150 words, 10 seconds) (UPSC GS-1 2023 CSE (M))
Practice Question: Analyse the seriousness of India’s water crisis, emphasising its root causes and offering possible remedies. (10 m / 150 words)

7. Maldives signs defence agreement with China; Indian troops withdraw

Topic: GS2 – International Relations – Bilateral relations 
Important for UPSC: The tension between India and the Maldives highlights changing geopolitical dynamics in the Indian Ocean and has an impact on maritime security and regional stability.

– In response to India’s troop withdrawal, the Maldives and China sign a military alliance. Stronger relationships and military cooperation are fostered by the undisclosed agreement.
– Simultaneously, India substitutes a technical team for troops. President Muizzu’s diplomatic remarks and assurances regarding troop withdrawal are among the bitter exchanges.

Additional information on this news:

  • After India replaces troops, the Maldives signs a military agreement with China, promoting closer bilateral relations and military cooperation.
  • The agreement’s specifics are kept under wraps, but it was signed at a time when China-Maldives relations were elevated and characterised by a broad strategic cooperative partnership.
  • China aligns with the enhanced partnership and commitment to economic and security collaborations by donating 12 ambulances to the Maldives.
  • President Muizzu keeps calling for India to remove its troops from the Maldives, so India makes a compromise and removes its troops, sending in a technical team in their place.
  • In response to critics, Muizzu assures that all Indian troops will leave by May 10. He also allays concerns that soldiers may return wearing civilian clothes.
  • acrimonious exchanges between China and the Maldives, with Muizzu stressing non-bullying and Minister Jaishankar’s remarks.
  • With 12.8% of visitors from China compared to 6.4% from India, China emerges as a major player in the Maldives tourism industry, establishing a new historical beginning in relations.

Deterioration of India – Maldives ties
– Election of President Mohamed Muizzu: Following President Mohamed Muizzu’s election, relations between India and the Maldives have deteriorated.
– Public Criticisms: Maldivian ministers made comments that were interpreted as demeaning to Prime Minister Modi in their public criticism of India.
– Alliances are changing: The Maldives may be moving towards closer relations with China, which could lead to a regional strategic rivalry.
– Influence of Domestic Politics: The strain in bilateral relations may be a result of Maldivian domestic politics influencing foreign policy positions.
– Decreased Cooperation: Working together on important issues like economic development and maritime security is threatened by the tense relations.
– Impact on Regional Stability: A decline in relations between India and the Maldives may have wider ramifications and impact the stability of the Indian Ocean region.
– Maritime Security Issues: Limited collaboration could impede concerted attempts to tackle maritime security issues, a crucial facet for both countries.
– Economic Development Hindered: The prospects for growth in India and the Maldives may be affected by a lack of cooperation on economic development projects.
– Potential Security Risks: Because of the changing alliances and regional dynamics, the strained relations give rise to concerns about possible security risks in the Indian Ocean region.
– Resolving the tensions and reestablishing a more stable relationship between India and the Maldives may require diplomatic efforts.

PYQ: Talk about the Maldives’ political changes over the past two years. Does India have any reason to be concerned about them? (two hundred words, ten seconds) (2013, UPSSC CSE (M) GS-2)
Practice Question: Analyse the possible effects on regional security and economic dynamics as well as the geopolitical ramifications of the recent strain in relations between India and the Maldives. (10 m / 150 words)

8. Algorithms can assist, but AI has a significant and expanding carbon footprint.

Topic: GS3 – Science and Technology 
Examining AI’s carbon footprint and investigating energy-efficient solutions that are in line with environmental, technological, and global challenges are crucial for UPSC.

– The article emphasises how AI is having an adverse effect on the environment, especially with regard to large language models like GPT-3 that emit carbon equivalent to that of a car.
– Energy-efficient Spiking Neural Networks and Lifelong Learning are two suggested remedies.


  • The potential of AI to mitigate the climate crisis stands in stark contrast to its environmental cost.
  • The energy requirements of AI models, such as GPT-3, present a major difficulty.

Emissions and Energy Consumption:

  • A year’s worth of driving 112 gasoline-powered cars is equal to 502 metric tonnes of carbon emissions from GPT-3 training.
  • The inference stage of GPT-3 emits 8.4 tonnes of CO2 annually.
  • Since the early 2010s AI boom, the energy requirements of large language models have increased by a factor of 300,000.

Technological Approaches to Mitigate Carbon Footprint:

  • Two technologies that show promise in lowering carbon footprint are Lifelong Learning (L2) and Spiking Neural Networks (SNNs).
  • ANNs, which are widely used in modern AI systems, use more energy as they get bigger and more complex.

Spiking Neural Networks (SNNs):

  • Because SNNs imitate the sporadic electrical signals found in the brain, they provide an energy-efficient substitute for ANNs.
  • SNNs are up to 280 times more energy-efficient than ANNs because their neurons only use energy during spikes.
  • In order to improve SNNs’ decision-making speed and energy efficiency, researchers are creating learning algorithms.
  • SNNs could be used in defence, space exploration, and autonomous vehicles—applications where scarce energy resources are critical.

Lifelong Learning (L2):

  • By allowing AI models to learn sequentially on various tasks without forgetting prior knowledge, L2 seeks to lower overall energy requirements.
  • In contrast to ANNs’ sequential training, which causes forgetting, L2 enables models to expand on prior knowledge over the course of their lifetime.
  • When changes in the operating environment lead to an increase in AI-related emissions, ANNs must be retrained from scratch.

Future Solutions and Advancements:

  • Developing more compact AI models with comparable prediction power could help cut down on energy use.
  • Improvements in quantum computing could lead to faster inference and training for both SNNs and ANNs.
  • Greater computing power may be possible with quantum computing, opening the door to more extensive use of energy-efficient AI solutions.


  • In order to prevent a sizable carbon footprint, addressing the climate change challenge requires finding sustainable solutions for quickly developing AI technologies.

Practice Question: Examine the environmental issues raised by the energy requirements of large language models in artificial intelligence and suggest viable remedies. (10 m / 150 words)

9. Have India’s health centres really ‘collapsed’?

Topic: GS2 – Social Justice – Health 
UPSC Significance: Analysing India’s health facilities is essential to comprehending the country’s governance problems, policy ramifications, and public health obstacles.

– A study that refutes the widely held belief that India’s public health centres have collapsed is discussed in the news. A balanced perspective is offered by the researchers, who point out promising developments, difficulties, and opportunities for health centre revitalization in five north Indian states.


  • India’s public health facilities have a terrible reputation for being inadequate and dilapidated.
  • The news, however, offers a complex picture of five north Indian states’ health centres.

Why Health Centres Matter:

  • The lowest level of India’s public health system consists of health centres, which provide easily accessible primary care.
  • Though designed as a three-tier system, less than 20% of them actually work well, forcing communities to turn to pricy private healthcare.
  • According to the Economic Survey, patients bear nearly half of the cost of healthcare, which exacerbates poverty.

Study Overview:

  • Comparing data from 2002 and 2013 to 2022, researchers looked at 241 health centres in Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Rajasthan.

Positive Trends and Case Studies:

  • Notable positive trends include expanded service offerings, more medications, and better facilities.
  • As a “trailblazer,” Himachal Pradesh is followed closely by Chhattisgarh, which has drastically expanded public healthcare.
  • Bihar is not up to par, with poor quality that emphasises regional differences.

Factors Contributing to Change:

  • increased funding for the National Rural Health Mission and the Union Budget for health.
  • With the 2018 launch of Ayushmann Bharat, health insurance and wellness centres were included.
  • State-specific programmes in Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, as well as COVID-19, are boosting public trust in health facilities.

Challenges and Flip Side:

  • With underutilised centres, high employee absenteeism, few services, and probably subpar quality, progress is still only moderate.
  • Lack of personnel, erratic funding, subpar facilities, and social discrimination are examples of neglected issues.
  • Recognising the critical role that women play in rural health settings, they advocate for more funding for front-line healthcare providers.

Healthcare Budget Allocation Critique:

  • There have been sporadic improvements in the distribution of healthcare funds, with tertiary care receiving priority over primary care.
  • The allocation trends are questioned, highlighting the necessity of significant backing to replicate successful initiatives.


  • Health centres provide hope in spite of obstacles by highlighting achievements in some states.
  • Make a strong case for significant funding above and beyond token contributions to help wealthy states replicate successful programmes.

PYQ: To achieve “Health for All” in India, appropriate local community-level healthcare intervention is necessary. Describe. (150 words, 10 seconds) (UPSC GS-2 2018 CSE (M))
Practice Question: Talk about the dynamics, difficulties, and possible reforms in India’s public health centres, with a focus on policy interventions, resource allocation, and governance. (10 m / 150 words)

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