9 PM Daily Current Affairs Brief – September 3rd, 2022

Dear Friends,

We have initiated some changes in the 9 PM Brief and other postings related to current affairs. What we sought to do:

  1. Ensure that all relevant facts, data, and arguments from today’s newspaper are readily available to you.
  2. We have widened the sources to provide you with content that is more than enough and adds value not just for GS but also for essay writing. Hence, the 9 PM brief now covers the following newspapers:
    1. The Hindu  
    2. Indian Express  
    3. Livemint  
    4. Business Standard  
    5. Times of India 
    6. Down To Earth
    7. PIB
  3. We have also introduced the relevance part to every article. This ensures that you know why a particular article is important.
  4. Since these changes are new, so initially the number of articles might increase, but they’ll go down over time.
  5. It is our endeavor to provide you with the best content and your feedback is essential for the same. We will be anticipating your feedback and ensure the blog serves as an optimal medium of learning for all the aspirants.
    • For previous editions of 9 PM BriefClick Here
    • For individual articles of 9 PM BriefClick Here

Current Affairs Compilations for UPSC IAS Prelims 2022

Mains Oriented Articles

GS Paper 2

GS Paper 3

Prelims Oriented Articles (Factly)

Mains Oriented Articles

GS Paper 2

The NPT is beginning to look shaky

Source: The post is based on the article “The NPT is beginning to look shaky published in The Hindu on 3rd September 2022.

Syllabus: GS 2 – Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests.

Relevance: About the present state of the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) Treaty.

News: Recently, the Tenth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) concluded. After four weeks of debate and discussion, the delegates failed to agree on a final document.

What is the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) Treaty?
Read here: 50 years of Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty(NPT)

The NPT was negotiated during the 1960s to reconcile three competing objectives 1) Controlling the further spread of nuclear weapons beyond the P-5 countries that had already tested; 2) Committing to negotiating reductions of nuclear arsenals leading to their elimination; and 3) Sharing benefits of peaceful applications of nuclear science and technology.

What are the successes of NPT?

The first objective was strongly supported by the nuclear-haves; the other two were demands made by the nuclear have-nots.

Achievement of the non-proliferation objective: This objective has been achieved in large measure. In the last 50 years, only four more countries have gone on to test and develop nuclear arsenals. These are India, Israel, North Korea and Pakistan.

Note: South Africa developed nuclear weapons, but the apartheid regime destroyed them and joined NPT in 1991.

Non-proliferation post-1991: After the end of the Cold War, non-proliferation remained a shared priority for the major powers and the International Atomic Energy Agency, set up originally to promote international co-operation became better known as the non-proliferation watchdog.

Read more: The role of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in preventing the spread of nuclear weapons
What are the failures of NPT?

Progress on the other two objectives took a back seat.

No meaningful discussions or negotiations on nuclear disarmament have ever taken place in the NPT framework. For instance, since 1970, when the NPT entered into force, only four of the 10 review conferences have concluded with a consensus document.

Unity of P5 against universal condemnation: When the nuclear have-nots suggested a universal condemnation of all threats of nuclear use, all five nuclear haves joined together to resist such moves.

Halt in progress between US and Russia: Arms control talks between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R./Russia did bring down their collective arsenals from a high of nearly 65,000 in the early 1980s to less than 12,000 warheads. But this process has been halted.

For example, the U.S. withdrew from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty in 2002 and from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty in 2019.

The only surviving arms control treaty between Russia and the U.S. is the New START Treaty which imposes a ceiling on operational strategic nuclear weapons of 700 launchers and 1,550 warheads each. It expires in 2026 and there are no signs of any follow-on discussions.

Rising China and associated nuclear threats: While withdrawing from INF, the US stated that China’s missile developments created new security threats that needed to be addressed. The US even invited China to join in the arms control process. But the requests were rejected. Analysts suggest that China may be on track to expand its arsenal from current levels of approximately 350 warheads to over 1,000 by 2030.

Read more: Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) and India’s Stance – Explained, pointwise
What is the status of other treaties on nuclear non-proliferation?

Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW): It is also called Ban Treaty. Frustrated by the absence of progress on nuclear disarmament, the nuclear have-nots successfully negotiated this Treaty in 2017.

All 86 signatories are nuclear have-nots and parties to the NPT. The TPNW creates a new legal instrument. But the nuclear-haves and their allies ignored the Vienna meeting.

Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT): It was concluded in 1996 but has yet to formally enter into force because two major powers, the U.S. and China, have yet to ratify it.

1985 Reagan-Gorbachev declaration states that ‘a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought’. The statement remains valid. Nobody wants a breakdown of the NPT but sustaining it requires facing up to today’s political realities. Without addressing the new challenges, the NPT will weaken.


Stop the stalker: Plug legal loopholes, tell cops to adopt zero tolerance

Source: The post is based on an article Stop the stalker: Plug legal loopholes, tell cops to adopt zero tolerance” published in The Times of India on 3rd September 2022.

Syllabus: GS 2 – Criminal Justice System

Relevance: stalking and problems associated with it

Context: This article discusses about the problems related to stalking and police in India.

Since 2013, Stalking has been a clearly defined criminal offence. However, stalking incidents are still taking place.

Recently two stalking incidents took place – one in Jharkhand where a schoolgirl was burnt to death by a young man. In another such incident, in Delhi, a schoolgirl was shot despite a complaint to the police.

What are the issues associated with stalking?

The cases of stalking have increased from 1,091 in 2014 to 9,285 in 2021 and there are many cases with pending trial.

Section 345D of IPC criminalizes stalking but the problem with the law is that it is bailable.

Stalking should be made non-bailable like Sections 354 and 506 of IPC. The police should adopt zero tolerance against stalkers.

What are the problems faced by the police?

The police are exhausted due to the large amount of work. The ratio of police to population is also very less.

There are fewer women police compared to men police.

GS Paper 3


India’s cyber infrastructure needs more than patches

Source: This post is created based on the article India’s cyber infrastructure needs more than patches”, published in The Hindu on 3rd September 2022.

Syllabus Topic: GS Paper 3 – Cybersecurity

Context: Cybercrime is increasing with the increased use of information and communication technology (ICT). However, the capacity of enforcement agencies to investigate cybercrime remains limited.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), from 12,317 cases of cybercrime in 2016, there were 50,035 cases registered in 2020.

In Arjun Pandit Rao Khotkar vs Kailash Kushanrao Gorantyal case, SC settled the rules on the admissibility of electronic evidence.

The Court held that a certificate under Section 65B(4) of the Indian Evidence (IE) Act was a mandatory prerequisite for the admissibility of (secondary) electronic records if the original record could not be produced.

States are responsible for creating the infrastructure for cybersecurity, whereas the center is responsible for providing uniformity in the legislation.

What are the challenges in dealing with cyber or computer-related offences?

No separate procedural code: There is no separate procedural code for the investigation of cyber or computer-related offences. The nature of electronic evidence is entirely different compared to the traditional crime.

A five-judge committee suggested Draft Rules for the Reception, Retrieval, Authentication, and Preservation of Electronic Records. However, it is yet to be given statutory force.

Recruitment of technical staff for the investigation of cybercrime is not happening at the required pace. Any person with an academic background in the arts, commerce, literature, or management cannot identify digital evidence.

Authority to investigate: As per the Information technology Act, offenses registered under the act, cannot be investigated, by an officer, below the rank of an inspector. However, there are not enough inspectors in a district for that purpose.

Examiner of Electronic Evidence: While most State cyber labs are sufficiently equipped to analyze hard disks and mobile phones, many are yet to be notified as ‘Examiner of Electronic Evidence’ (by the central government) to enable them to provide expert opinions on electronic records.

Trans-national cybercrime: It is very difficult to investigate Transnational cybercrimes. In these cases, blocking an objectionable website or suspect’s account is the only option available to the authorities.

What should be the future course of action?

First, the broad ‘guidelines for the identification, collection, acquisition, and preservation of digital evidence’ are given in the Indian Standard IS/ISO/IEC 27037: 2012. Which are issued by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). The guidelines are sufficient to ensure that electronic evidence is neither tampered with nor subject to spoliation during the investigation.

Second, a sufficient capacity build-up is required to handle cybercrimes. It could be done either by setting up a separate cyber police station in each district or range or by having technically qualified staff in every police station.

Third, Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000 should be amended and make the officers of the rank of sub-inspector, eligible to investigate the cybercrimes.

Fourth, the central government has proposed launching a digital rupee using blockchain technology soon. State enforcement agencies need to be ready for these technologies. Cyber forensic laboratories of States should be upgraded by providing modernization funds by the center.

Fifth, Data localization must be implemented to deal with the transnational crimes happening in India.

Sixth, the Indian police receives a CyberTipline report on online Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) from the U.S.’s non-profit agency, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC). India should develop its in-house capacity and/or makes intermediaries accountable to identify and remove online CSAM for immediate action by the police.


INS Vikrant sets sail: Why it is key to India’s maritime strategy

Source: The post is based on the following article “Wind in the sail published in The Hindu on 3rd September 2022.“INS Vikrant sets sail: Why it is key to India’s maritime strategy published in the Indian Express on 3rd September 2022.

India needs to get cracking on the next aircraft carrier published in The Times of Indiaon 3rd September 2022. 

Syllabus: GS 3 – Indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

Relevance: About the present state of the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) Treaty.

News: India commissioned its first indigenously designed and built aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant.

About IAC Vikrant
Read here: IAC Vikrant

The Navy has taken an active interest in procuring either the French Rafale M or the American F/A-18 Super Hornet. This would need structural modifications in the ship which would allow the operation of these more capable aircraft from its deck.

What are the strategic advantages of aircraft carriers like IAC Vikrant?

Access to littoral spaces: In peace and in war, no platform provides access to littoral spaces as thoroughly and emphatically as the aircraft carrier.

India’s proactive maritime strategy: Vikrant will boost India’s maritime capability in the Indo-Pacific and the Indian Ocean Region. It will also aid India’s ‘SAGAR’ or Security and Growth for All in the Region initiative.

Trade benefits: A strong Navy is critical to India’s ambition to grow its share in global trade. This is because India’s merchandise exports are largely maritime.

Economic empowerment: One shipyard job leads to the creation of 5-6 jobs in ancillary industries. Over 500 Indian firms and 100 MSMEs contributed to building INS Vikrant. For example, Vikrant generated employment opportunities for almost 15,000 personnel across various segments including 2,000 personnel at the Cochin Shipyard.

The versatility of aircraft carriers: With Vikrant, India’s aircraft carriers can be been used as versatile assets, switching between power projection, soft and hard power diplomacies. This is because the navy earlier has only one aircraft carrier.

Counter China: INS Vikrant significantly expands the Indian Navy’s footprint in the backdrop of increasing Chinese activity in the region. For instance, Under the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s (PLAN) “far-seas” strategy, China deploys 7-8 vessels in the IOR at any given time. There will be a Chinese Carrier battle group (CBG) moving into the IOR on a near-permanent basis in the future.

What is a Carrier battle group (CBG)?

A Carrier battle group (CBG) is a floating airfield capable of moving 400-500 nautical miles a day.  CBG also provide operational flexibility on a ‘here and now’ basis to launch air defence operations, anti-submarine and anti-ship warfare, and also strikes on land-based targets. CBGs have the inherent capability to prevent emerging threats at standoff ranges. 

What are the challenges raised while building aircraft carriers?

Critics were concerned about the relevance of aircraft carriers in the contemporary world. They say there is little point in spending billions for a carrier strike force to protect the Bay of Bengal or the Arabian Sea. This is because a) The near-seas defence can be easily ensured from airbases on India’s island territories, b) Aircraft carriers are logistically unviable and highly vulnerable to new hypersonic weapons and disruptive technologies, c) Susceptibility to enemy attack: The flattop of aircraft carriers is defenceless(a virtual sitting duck) against modern-day underwater attacks, long-range strategic airpower and ballistic missiles; d) Prized target for enemies: In a conflict scenario, the destruction of the opponent’s aircraft carrier is a priority mission.

How can India move ahead after IAC Vikrant?

Increase indigenous content: The IAC Vikrant has 76% of indigenous content overall, but its critical technology has been imported. This points out the need for persistence and increases further indigenisation.

Build second indigenous aircraft carrier: The Indian Navy’s ambition is to have three aircraft carriers. (INS Vikramaditya procured from Russia is undergoing a major repair-and-maintenance cycle). The expertise gained from building Vikrant could now be used to build a second, more capable, indigenous carrier.

Solve the fighter jet conundrum: India’s plans to develop its own twin-engine deck-based fighter remain a distant dream. So, India should resolve the fighter jet conundrum while also taking a call on the second indigenous aircraft carrier.

Must read: Need for a New Aircraft Carrier for the Indian Navy – Explained, pointwise

The deployment of maritime power needs to be anchored in the logic of geopolitics and long-term state interests, and not on contingent assessments of imminent needs.


Fungi form a kingdom of life — they show us how we all need others to live

Source: The post is based on an article “Fungi form a kingdom of life — they show us how we all need others to live” published in The Times of India on 3rd September 2022.

Syllabus: GS 3 – Biodiversity

Relevance: fungi and its uses

News: This article discusses the fungi and problem associated with it.

What are fungi?

1) They are neither plants nor animals. They are a body of species. They vary in size. 2) Yeast, moulds, lichens, mushrooms, and conks or wood are types of fungi.3) Fungi decompose matter. They also perform a symbiotic role. Plants can only synthesize nutrients from the soil with the help of fungi. 4) Fungi are impacted by climate change, use of chemicals, habitat loss, and fragmentation. 5 Some fungi are critically endangered.

What are the uses of fungi?

Some fungi cause diseases and some provide essential goods. For example, Yeasts give us food preservation and liquid sterilization technique. Antibiotics come from moulds and penicillin and statins from fungus. Medicines needed for organ transplants come from fungi.

What can be done to save fungi?

The IUCN Red List should be applied to fungi as well.

They need to be added to flora and fauna in environment legislation.

Fungi are dependent on plants and animals to grow in order to preserve fungi we should preserve those trees and animals.

Fungal conservation is integrally habitat conservation.


Microbes enable all life — and they adapt constantly

Source: The post is based on an article Microbes enable all life — and they adapt constantly published in The Times of India on 3rd September 2022.

Syllabus: GS 3 – Biodiversity

Context: This article discusses microbes and issues related to them.

Microbes

1) They have the ability to respond to the environment by constantly adapting to the environment. 2) Microbes have groups of molecules or proteins that behave like sensors when they see sugar and light. 3) They pass this information to cells and they move in that direction. 4) This process of movement is called taxis. 5) They have photoreceptor that senses different molecules and light wavelengths including infrared.

What are the problems with microbes?

Fertilizers entering into lakes allow microbes to grow into algal blooms.

Algal blooms expand very fast and suck up nutrients and release virus and toxins which can poison animals.

Cyanobacteria

It is a type of microbe.

They are blue-green in colour because they have pigments which let them absorb lights for photosynthesis.

They have existed for about two billion years and over the time they became mineralized.


India needs to get cracking on the next aircraft carrier: INS Vikrant is a necessary but not sufficient condition to offset China’s string-of-pearls threat

Source: The post is based on an article India needs to get cracking on the next aircraft carrier: INS Vikrant is a necessary but not sufficient condition to offset China’s string-of-pearls threat published in The Times of India on 3rd September 2022.

Syllabus: GS 3 – Security and associated issues

Context: The article discusses about challenges faced by Indian in Indian Ocean Region and benefit of indigenous warships to Indian economy.

The indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant constructed will boost India’s maritime power and sea control capabilities.

What are the problems being faced by Indian navy?

The country has been without an operational aircraft carrier for the last two years. Its only carrier INS Vikramaditya inducted from Russia in 2013 has been undergoing a major repair-and-maintenance cycle.

India needs at least three carriers while one undergoes the periodic maintenance, the other two can be operationally available for the eastern and western seaboards.

Another problem is associated with the serviceability-maintenance of the jets acquired for the carriers.

India had acquired 45 MiG-29Ks from Russia to operate from the deck of INS Vikramaditya.

The navy is now looking to import 26 new jets to meet the shortfall till the indigenous twin engine deck based fighter is ready in around 10 years.

What are the maritime threats to India?

1) There has been increasing threat from China in the Indian Ocean Region. China has world’s largest navy of 355 warships and submarines. It can deploy 7-8 vessels in the IOR at any given time. 2) It is building two more carriers at an astonishing speed. There will be a Chinese CBG moving in the IOR on a near permanent basis in the future. This will erode India’s traditional maritime combat edge in its own strategic backyard.

Which is more useful a shore based field or aircraft carriers?

IOR is getting increasingly militarized along with the expanding military bases therefore it is necessary for India to deploy aircraft carrier.

Fighters jets taking off from shore-based airfields will have relatively limited combat ranges.

Carrier battle group (CBG) is a floating airfield capable of moving 400-500 nautical miles a day.

CBG also provide operational flexibility on a ‘here and now’ basis to launch air defence operations, anti-submarine and anti-ship warfare, and also strikes on land-based targets.

Land based airbases can also be more vulnerable to pre-emptive strikes compared to the mobile airfields on CBGs.

CBGs have the inherent capability to prevent emerging threats at standoff ranges.

How indigenous warships help the economy?

One shipyard job leads to creation of 5-6 jobs in ancillary industries.

Over 500 Indian firms and 100 MSMEs contributed towards building INS Vikrant which has a 76% indigenous content.

It generated employment opportunities for almost 15,000 personnel across various segments which included direct employment of 2,000 personnel at the Cochin Shipyard.


Prelims Oriented Articles (Factly)

State of the Climate Report: Greenhouse gas, sea levels reached record highs in 2021: NOAA Report

Source: The post is based on the articleGreenhouse gas, sea levels reached record highs in 2021: NOAA Report published in Down To Earth on 2nd September 2022.

What is the News?

The 32nd annual State of the Climate Report has been released.

What is the State of the Climate Report?

Published by: The report has been compiled by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and published by the American Meteorological Society(AMS).

Purpose: The report provides a comprehensive update on global climate and points out 2021 as a year of extremes and rapid swings bringing both record highs and lows. 

What are the key findings of the report?

Greenhouse Gas (GHG) concentrations are the highest in 2021. The amount of the 3 most dominant GHG (carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide) and the rate of its increase are the biggest concern. 

Year 2021 was among the six warmest years. The last seven years (2015-2021) have been the hottest years on record. 

Sea Levels: Sea levels rose for the tenth year in a row. They reached a new record of 3.8 inches or 97 millimetres above the average for 1993 when satellite measurements began.

Antarctica: Antarctica has been losing 140-160 billion tons of ice each year since 1993. In 2021, it only lost 50 billion tons because the continent also experienced an unusually high number of extreme weather events that brought large dumps of snow to inland areas.

Arctic: The Arctic had its coolest year since 2013, but 2021 was still the 13th warmest year in the 122-year record.

La Nina: La Niña conditions that began in mid-2020 continued for most of 2021. The annual global sea surface temperature in 2021 was lower than both 2019 and 2020 due in part to La Niña but was still higher than the 1991–2020 average.

Tropical Cyclones: There were around 97 tropical cyclones in 2021 above the 1991-2020 average of 87. 


Can civil servants express their views on law, governance?

Source: The post is based on the articleCan civil servants express their views on law, governance?published in The Hindu on 2nd September 2022.

What is the News?

A senior IAS officer from Telangana tweeted from her personal account in support of Ms. Bilkis Bano and questioned the Gujarat government’s decision of releasing 11 men convicted on charges of gang-raping during the 2002 Gujarat riots.

This has prompted a debate about whether the officer breached the Civil Service (Conduct) Rules of 1964 and revived the debate about civil servants’ right to express their personal views on matters of law and governance.

Can Civil Servants express their personal views on matters of law and governance?

The citizens of this country have the fundamental right of free speech guaranteed by the Constitution, subject to reasonable restrictions.

Hence, civil servants also have the right to tweet but disciplinary rules prevent a government servant from becoming a member of a political organization or expressing herself freely with regard to anything that has to do with the governance of the country.

But in a democracy, the right to criticize the government is a fundamental right and nobody can muzzle that.

What are the court’s judgements related to this?

Lipika Paul v. The State Of Tripura: The court said that a civil servant (the petitioner) is not devoid of her right to free speech, a fundamental right which can be curtailed only by a valid law. However, this is subject to the civil servant not crossing the borders laid down in the Conduct Rules.

​​Kerala High Court Judgement: The court said that one cannot be prevented from expressing his views merely because he is an employee. In a democratic society, every institution is governed by democratic norms.

What is Rule 9 of the Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules?

Rule 9 says that “No Government servant shall make any statement of fact or opinion, which has the effect of an adverse criticism of any current or recent policy or action of the Central Government or a State Government”.

Does Rule 9 violate Article 19 of the Indian Constitution?

No, Rule 9 does not violate Article 19. This is because freedom of speech is given in the Constitution, but these are Conduct Rules and they are imposed because there has to be some discipline in an organization for that organization to function.


India soars ahead of UK to become world’s fifth biggest economy

Source: The post is based on the article India soars ahead of UK to become world’s fifth biggest economypublished in Indian Express on 3rd September 2022.

What is the News?

India has gone ahead of the UK to become the world’s fifth biggest economy.

About India becoming fifth-biggest economy
India - Fifth largest economy
Source: Indian Express

India has become the fifth biggest economy during the last three months of 2021 pushing the United Kingdom to the sixth spot.

This is the second time India has beaten the UK in terms of economy with the first one being in 2019.

The size of the Indian economy in “nominal” cash terms in the quarter through March was $854.7 billion. On the same basis, the UK was $816 billion.

Hence, now India trails behind the United States, China, Japan and Germany in terms of economy.

A decade ago, India’s rank was 11th among the world’s largest economies, while the UK used to stand firm at Number five.

Moreover, the UK is currently seeing its inflation grow at the fastest pace in four decades, and also faces a threat of a recession that may last well into 2024. On the contrary, the Indian economy is forecast to grow more than 7% this year.


MH60-R choppers a game changer in naval aviation

Source: The post is based on the article “MH60-R choppers a game changer in naval aviation” published in TOI on 3rd September 2022.

What is the News?

India is procuring 24 MH-60 Romeo(MH-60R) helicopters by 2025 as part of a Rs 15,000-crore deal with the US government. 

As part of this deal, the Indian Navy has received two MH-60 R multirole helicopters from the United States at Cochin International Airport.

What is MH-60R?
MH-60R
Source: Lockheed Martin

MH-60R is an all-weather helicopter manufactured by Lockheed Martin Corporation

They are the US Navy’s primary anti-submarine warfare anti-surface weapon system for open ocean zones.

They can be deployed for anti-submarine warfare, anti-ship strikes, specialized maritime operations as well as search and rescue missions.

The helicopters are designed to operate from frigates, destroyers, cruisers and aircraft carriers.

What is the significance of MH-60R helicopters for India?

MH-60R helicopters will provide India with the capability to perform anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare missions along with the ability to perform secondary missions including vertical replenishment, search and rescue, and communications relay.


MOXIE: Oxygen on Mars? Lunchbox-sized gadget makes it possible

Source: The post is based on the article “MOXIE: Oxygen on Mars? Lunchbox-sized gadget makes it possible” published in Down To Earth on 31st August 2022.

What is the News?

Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment(MOXIE) has produced oxygen on Mars with components from the planet’s atmosphere.

What is MOXIE?

MOXIE is a small box sent by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology(MIT) with NASA’s Perseverence rover.

It has produced oxygen on Mars with components from the planet’s atmosphere.

MOXIE makes oxygen like a tree does. It inhales carbon dioxide and exhales oxygen. 

Note: Carbon dioxide makes up ~96% of the gas in Mars’ atmosphere (Oxygen is only 0.13%).

Significance: MOXIE will help demonstrate a way that future explorers might produce oxygen from the Martian atmosphere for propellant and for breathing.

Note: A substantial amount of oxygen supply on Mars is essential for crewed missions that plan to go there– not just for astronauts to breathe but for rockets to use as fuel while coming back to Earth.


New edible coating to prolong shelf life of fruits and vegetables

Source: The post is based on the article “New edible coating to prolong shelf life of fruits and vegetables” published in Down To Earth on 29th August 2022.

What is the News?

Researchers at the IIT Guwahati have developed an edible coating that can extend the shelf-life of fruits and vegetables. This coating can keep the produce fresh for much longer than it was possible without it.

How did the researchers develop this edible coating?

Researchers used a mix of an extract of a marine microalga called Dunaliella tertiolecta and polysaccharides to produce it. 

The microalga is known for its antioxidant properties and has various bioactive compounds such as carotenoids and proteins.

It is also used to produce algal oil, a non-animal source of omega-3 fatty acid and is considered a good source of biofuel.

Usually, after the oil is extracted, the residue from the process is discarded. The researchers used extracts from this residue in formulating their film coating in combination with chitosan which is a carbohydrate.

What is the significance of this development?

According to the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, between 4.6 and 15.9% of fruits and vegetables go waste post-harvest, partly due to poor storage conditions.

In fact, post-harvest loss in certain produce items like potato, onion, and tomato could even be as high as 19%, which results in high prices for this highly consumed commodity.

Hence, the development of this edible coating can help extend the shelf-life of fruits and vegetables.


 

Lessons unlearnt: The deadly football tragedy in Indonesia raises serious questions

Source: The post is based on an article “Lessons unlearnt: The deadly football tragedy in Indonesia raises serious questions” published in The Indian Express on 4th October 2022. Syllabus: GS 3 – Disaster Management Relevance: Indonesia’s football stampede and concerns associated with it News: The crowd at Indonesia’s Kanjuruhan stadium ran onto the pitch after their team lost. This led… Continue reading Lessons unlearnt: The deadly football tragedy in Indonesia raises serious questions

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FABS: The East Asian lesson for India

Source– The post is based on the article “FABS: The East Asian lesson for India” published in the mint on 4th October 2022. Syllabus: GS3- Economy Relevance– Semiconductor manufacturing News– The article explains the experience of East Asian countries in promoting semiconductor manufacturing. Recently the central government has announced some changes in the production-linked incentive… Continue reading FABS: The East Asian lesson for India

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Livestreaming Supreme Court proceedings: A step closer to a stronger democracy

Source: The post is based on the article “Livestreaming Supreme Court proceedings: A step closer to a stronger democracy” published in The Indian Express on 4th October 2022. Syllabus: GS 2 – Functioning of Judiciary Relevance: benefits of live-streaming of SC hearing. News:  The Supreme Court has allowed the live streaming of the hearing of cases from 27th September 2022.… Continue reading Livestreaming Supreme Court proceedings: A step closer to a stronger democracy

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There are precedents to help the EC decide which is the real Shiv Sena

Source– The post is based on the article “There are precedents to help the EC decide which is the real Shiv Sena” published in The Indian Express on 4th October 2022. Syllabus: GS2- Polity Relevance– Political parties in India News– The article explains the procedure for allotting symbols in case of conflict between two rival… Continue reading There are precedents to help the EC decide which is the real Shiv Sena

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As India prepares to take over the G20 presidency, it can learn from Indonesia

Source– The post is based on the article “As India prepares to take over the G20 presidency, it can learn from Indonesia” published in The Indian Express on 4th October 2022. Syllabus: GS2- International Relations Relevance– India multilateral engagement News– The article explains the lessons India can learn from Indonesia on economic engagement. These will… Continue reading As India prepares to take over the G20 presidency, it can learn from Indonesia

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Kohinoor and other quarrels over stolen artefacts

Source: The post is based on an article “Kohinoor and other quarrels over stolen artefacts” published in The Times of India on 4th October 2022. Syllabus: GS 1 – Art and Architecture Relevance: concerns associated with repatriation artefacts in India News:  There has been a demand to return the Kohinoor diamond to India after the death of Queen Elizabeth II.… Continue reading Kohinoor and other quarrels over stolen artefacts

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The evolution of the Mahatma’s thought and philosophy

Source: The post is based on an article “The evolution of the Mahatma’s thought and philosophy” published in The Hindu on 4th October 2022. Syllabus: GS 1 News:  The article discusses the change in the views of Gandhiji after returning to India from South Africa. Gandhi was greatly influenced by the writings of Leo Tolstoy and John Ruskin.He adopted… Continue reading The evolution of the Mahatma’s thought and philosophy

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India’s Ukraine destiny: A foreign policy test

Source: The post is based on the article “India’s Ukraine destiny: A foreign policy test” published in the Business Standard on 4th October 2022. Syllabus: GS 2: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests. Relevance: Russian war and India’s stand. News: Recently, India abstained from a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning… Continue reading India’s Ukraine destiny: A foreign policy test

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Yunqing Tang bags SASTRA Ramanujan Prize 2022 for her contribution in maths

Source: The post is based on the article “Yunqing Tang bags SASTRA Ramanujan Prize 2022 for her contribution in maths” published in The Hindu on 4th October 2022. What is the News? The SASTRA Ramanujan Prize for 2022 will be awarded to Yunqing Tang, Assistant Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, U.S.A. About SASTRA… Continue reading Yunqing Tang bags SASTRA Ramanujan Prize 2022 for her contribution in maths

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MGNREGS to fund work to reverse desertification of land across the States

Source: The post is based on the article “MGNREGS to fund work to reverse desertification of land across the States” published in The Hindu on 4th October 2022. What is the News? The government is now planning to bring convergence between the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) and the Pradhan Mantri Krishi… Continue reading MGNREGS to fund work to reverse desertification of land across the States

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