9 PM Daily Current Affairs Brief – February 13th, 2023

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 1

GS Paper 2

GS Paper 3

Prelims Oriented Articles (Factly)

Mains Oriented Articles

GS Paper 1


Lithium reserves: Our J&K find could put India on the lithium map

Source: The post is based on the article “Our J&K find could put India on the lithium map” published in the Livemint on 13th February 2023.

Syllabus: GS 1 – Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian sub-continent).

Relevance: About Lithium reserves.

News: Recently, the Geological Survey of India has for the first time discovered Lithium reserves in the Salal-Haimana area of Reasi District of Jammu & Kashmir(UT).

About the Lithium reserves around the globe

According to the US Geological Survey, the world has 98 million tonnes of Lithium reserves. Of that, half of it is in South America’s ‘lithium triangle’ of Bolivia, Chile and Argentina. Apart from that, the US, Australia and China also have some Lithium reserves.

The recent Lithium discovery in Jammu & Kashmir is about 5.9 million tonnes which is about 5.5% of the world’s total Lithium reserves.

What is Lithium?

Read here: Facts about Lithium

What are the applications of Lithium?

Read here: Uses of Lithium

What is the importance of Lithium reserves in India?

Read here: Geological Survey of India Finds Lithium and Gold Deposits

Reduce Chinese dominance: China dominates the lithium supply chain. China has agreements with South American suppliers, and it is refining about two-thirds of the world’s lithium cell assembly.

What is the importance of Lithium reserves?

Reducing global warming: The aim of carbon neutrality has begun to set economic terms amid global trade wars and outright de-globalization.

Ability to pack energy: Lithium’s lightness and ability to pack in energy make it a good pick for vehicles and devices that run on rechargeable batteries since lithium ions can store and release electricity without adding much body weight.

Hence, according to McKinsey report, annual demand for lithium could reach 3-4 million tonnes by 2030 (about five times the usage estimate of 2022).

The discovery of reserves in India relieves us of a key import dependency and helps to electrify Indian traffic faster.

GS Paper 2


The demand for a Greater Tipraland by the TIPRA Motha

Source: The post is based on the article “The demand for a Greater Tipraland by the TIPRA Motha” published in The Hindu on 13th February 2023.

Syllabus: GS 2 – Governance

Relevance: Demand for new statehood

News: The Tipraha Indigenous Progressive Regional Alliance (TIPRA) Motha has come up with the demand for a Greater Tipraland in the current election of Tripura.

What is Greater Tipraland and what are the demands of TIPRA?

The party released its Vision Document in which it said that it was committed in seeking a permanent solution for the rights of the indigenous people of Tripura as per the Constitution of India.

The Greater Tipraland would be carved out as a new State for the 19 indigenous tribes of Tripura under Articles 2 and 3 of the Constitution. 

This new state would go beyond the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) areas and include other villages where the Tiprasa (indigenous people of Tripura) reside in large numbers.

The party would also set up task forces to connect with the Tiprasa living in other regions of the country and the world to help them with their linguistic, cultural, social, and economic development.

What is the genesis of this demand?

The demand for Greater Tipraland has emerged from the demand for Tipraland put forth by the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) in 2009.

The demand for Tipraland was to carve out a separate State for the tribal population of Tripura from the TTAADC areas.

Whereas, the demand for Greater Tipraland goes beyond the TTAADC areas and includes at least 36 more villages where the tribal population is in the range of 20% to 36%. This also includes Muslims and Hindu population living in those regions.

Moreover, the demand for a separate statehood escalated after the refugees from East Pakistan came in Tripura between 1950 and 1952.

The conflict between the tribals and non-tribals escalated in 1980 and it took the shape of armed insurgency. However, after an agreement between the government and tribal group the matter was settled up.

Hence, from those time there has been conflict between the two and the demand for autonomous region has been emerging.

What is the implication of this demand on Tripura?

The demand for Greater Tipraland put forth by TIPRA has further deteriorated the relation between tribals and non-tribals living in the state.


Why the outrage at a minor domestic worker’s abuse is unlikely to change things

Source- The post is based on the article “Why the outrage at a minor domestic worker’s abuse is unlikely to change things” published in The Indian Express on 13thFebruary 2023.

Syllabus: GS2- Vulnerable sections of the population

Relevance– Issues related to child labor

News– Recently, inhuman treatment was experienced by a minor live-in worker at her employer’s home in Gurgaon.

What is Domestic work?

According to ILO, domestic work refers to housework such as sweeping, cleaning utensils, washing clothes, cooking, caring for children and such other work which is carried out for an employer for remuneration.

What are the problems faced Domestic workers?

They face multiple forms of violence. It includes physical abuse, intimidation, threats, bullying, sexual assault, harassment, being provided poor-quality food and a lack of privacy.

What are the laws available in India to protect the Minor from Domestic Abuse?

The Factories Act of 1948 sets limits on working hours for children aged 6 to 14. It Requires parental permission for any work over 8 hours a day.

The Employment of Children (Prohibition) Act of 1973 sets similar restrictions on ages 9 to 14. It makes it illegal to employ a child in a hazardous or dangerous occupation.

The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act of 1986 provides special protections for children below the age of 18 who have been involved in criminal activity.


Moving With Times – SC’s flexible approach to interpreting the Constitution has enhanced its relevance to governance

Source: The post is based on the article “Moving With Times – SC’s flexible approach to interpreting the Constitution has enhanced its relevance to governance” published in The Times of India on 13th February 2023.

Syllabus: GS 2 – Indian Constitution—historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

Relevance: About Constitution as a living document.

News: Recently, the Supreme Court highlighted the universal debate on how a country’s Constitution should be interpreted.

About the Case recognising Constitution as a living document

There are two types of interpretations of the Constitution. a) One who believes in prism of originalism, a theory which advocates sticking to an interpretation of the Constitution’s drafters, and b) One who believes in seeing the constitution as a living document where interpretation adapts to changes in society.

The Supreme Court recently referred the writ petition to a larger bench which involves the right of a religious community to excommunicate followers.

While referring to it, the court implied the constitution as a living constitution. Such as a) The idea of freedom is not static, b) Judicial interpretation needs to keep pace with changing social mores.

How Supreme Court accepted the Constitution as a living document?

The first draft of the Constitution might not be conceptualized in every scenario. The gaps have been interpreted in light of social and economic changes.

Many landmark verdicts reflect underlying changes in society and interpreted the constitution as a living document. Four key judgments include a) Kesavananda Bharati case in 1973 led to the establishment of the basic structure doctrine. It ensured that a parliamentary majority would not lead to constitutional amendments that could undermine its essence, b) Vishaka case led the court to frame guidelines to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. In this, the court was way ahead of the legislature in responding to a big social and economic change, c) The private agreements override government control over natural resources. But in 2010, the court allowed the state to continue to exercise its grip on key areas of economic activity, and d) In 2017, in a unanimous verdict the court held the right to privacy as fundamental.

Overall, the court allowed a gradual change in the way constitutional principles are understood and applied by both the legislature and executive. In India, a flexible approach to interpretation has gradually allowed individual rights to come to the fore.

GS Paper 3


India’s fiscal dilemma

Source– The post is based on the article “India’s fiscal dilemma” published in The Indian Express on 13th February 2023.

Syllabus: GS3- Government budgeting

Relevance– Fiscal situation of economy

News– The recently announced budget provides a good opportunity to study the fiscal situation of the country.

What is the good news for the fiscal scenario of the country?

The fiscal situation has proved resilient to the successive shocks.

Tax collections as a percent of GDP are actually marginally higher than they were in 2018-19. On the spending side, the composition has improved. Capital expenditure has increased from 1.5% of GDP to a budgeted 3.5% of GDP.

Sizable amount of off-budget expenditures were brought back onto the budget.

The fiscal deficit is now on a downward trajectory. It is budgeted to fall to about 6% of GDP next year from a Covid peak of more than 9%.

What are the mixed developments related to the fiscal situation?

Personal income taxes have shown an encouraging rise. But, this is accompanied by increases in exemption limits. It means that taxation is now resting on a narrower base of taxpayers.

The GST’s promise has not yet been realised. The collection ratio has remained essentially the same as it was five years ago. It is because efficiency gains have been offset by repeated reductions in rates.

Furthermore, corporate tax revenues have declined significantly, because tax rates have been reduced.

What are bad signals for the fiscal situation?

There has been a notable increase in expenditures over the past five years. The true increase in expenditure remains substantial, exceeding 1.5%of GDP.

The structural fiscal deficit is budgeted to 6% of GDP next fiscal due to high expenditure.

The large deficits since 2018-19 have necessitated large amounts of borrowing. It has led to an increase in interest obligations. They now absorb nearly half of the centre’s tax revenues.

The second issue is centralisation. The states will receive just 31% of gross tax revenues next fiscal, compared with 37% in 2018-19. This reflects the centre’s increasing use of cesses, which are not shared with the states.

A subtler form of centralisation is taking place on the expenditure side. Non-interest, non-subsidy current expenditure is being compressed by 1% of GDP in 2022-23 and  0.5 % of GDP next year.

The centre is scaling back its transfers to states for various centrally sponsored schemes. Some of the reduction can be justified because it is aimed at forcing the states to improve their efficiency in their spending and managing their funds.

What are the limitations of centralisation for fiscal consolidation?

In an optimistic scenario, Centralisation can lead to improvement in state government efficiency. But,the centre will need to find other ways to reduce the deficit to its target of 4.5% of GDP.

Centralisation may not succeed in improving efficiency. In that case, states would either need to reduce the services provided to their people or increase their borrowing. The overall fiscal position might not improve at all.


India-U.S. space cooperation, from handshake to hug

Source– The post is based on the article “India-U.S. space cooperation, from handshake to hug” published in The Hindu on 13th February 2023.

Syllabus: GS3- Awareness in the field of space

Relevance– International cooperation in space for India

News– Recently, India and the United States have agreed to advance space collaboration in several areas  under the ‘initiative on critical and emerging technology’ umbrella.

What shows convergence of interests for space collaboration between the US and India?

In November 2022, the USA started its Artemis programme by launching the Orion spacecraft towards the moon. India is set to embark on its first human spaceflight mission in 2024.

The two countries have also taken significant efforts in advancing the private space sector.

What are structural factors limiting US and India collaboration in space?

Mismatch in interests– The U.S. has committed to returning to the moon. They plan to stay there for the long term. Their ambitions are firmly set on the moon.

India’s scientific community focuses on building the nation’s capability in and under earth orbits. India’s top priority is to substantially increase its satellite and launch capabilities in earth orbits and catch up with other nations such as China.

Asymmetry in capabilities– The U.S. has the highest number of registered satellites in space. It also has a range of launch vehicles serving both commercial and national security needs. SpaceX managed to achieve a record 61 launches in 2022.

India has just over 60 satellites in orbit. It cannot undertake double digit launches annually. The Indian government also opened the space industry to the private sector only in 2020.

Disagreements on space governance– Even though countries have a mindset to collaborate, the structural factors overpower diplomatic incentives to pursue long term Cooperation.

What is the way forward for India and the US to collaborate in the space sector?

There is a need for long term cooperation to sustain the engagement between academics, the private sector and state­led entities in the two countries.

Sustained engagement could also take the form of collaborating on highly specialised projects such as the NASA­-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar Mission.

India and the U.S. must find novel solutions to cooperate in the new space age to achieve a meaningful partnership.

One form of cooperation is a partnership between state and private entities. India could send its astronauts to train at American private companies. This could help India reduce its dependence on Russia.

Another novel arrangement could be a consortium led by the government owned New Space India Limited which involves private companies in the U.S.

This setup could accelerate India’s human spaceflight programme and give the U.S. an opportunity to accommodate Indian interests in earth orbits.


A question of quorum

Source– The post is based on the article “A question of quorum” published in the Business Standard on 13th February 2023.

Syllabus: GS3- Indian economy

Relevance– Regulation of economic activities

News–  Competition Commission of India has invoked the “doctrine of necessity” to clear six deals involving mergers & acquisitions and investment proposals.

What are the issues raised by this event?

It lacked the requisite three-member quorum after the Chairperson retired. The Competition Act provides that there should be at least three members to approve deals.

But, the CCI obtained a green signal for a two-member quorum from the law ministry to the corporate affairs ministry.

What is the legality of action by CCI?

CCI’s actions were not a violation of the law.

Section 15 of the Competition Act provides that no proceeding of the commission shall be invalid due to any vacancy in, or any defect in the constitution of the Commission.

As per section 15, any irregularity in the procedure of the Commission not affecting the merits of the case shall not make the proceeding invalid.

What are the important questions raised by CCI action?

The first is the delay in the appointment of a new chairperson.

The second is that the government was unable to find a suitable successor by the time of Chairman retirement. In this scenario, a reference to the law ministry on the issue of a quorum ahead of the event would have also reduced the anxiety for companies and investors waiting for their deals to be cleared.

The third is whether a two-member commission has the ability to scrutinise the merits of so many deals.


Challenging Google – New AI-driven search can be disruptive

Source: The post is based on the article “Challenging Google – New AI-driven search can be disruptive” published in the Business Standard on 13th February 2023.

Syllabus: GS 3 – Science and Technology developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.

Relevance: About AI-driven search engines.

News: Artificial intelligence (AI) programs involving Natural Language Processing (NLP) have caused a shift in the way people use web searches. AI-driven search engines may lead to radical changes in the way search is monetised via advertising, and it could challenge Google’s dominant search engine.

What is ChatGPT?

Must read: What is OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot, why it has become a viral sensation

What is the potential of Generative AI?

Read more: The potential of generative AI: creating media with simple text prompts

How AI-driven search engines are different from Conventional engines?

Conventional engines list only relevant links. But the AI-driven search engines such as ChatGPT and Bard are different from Conventional engines as a) They have behavioural sense and they offer more “human” filtering of search results, b) They present search results in an essay format rather than just displaying links, c) They have the ability to write essays or even poetry on demand. AI-assisted fiction is another possibility that may change the publishing industry.

They also have other applications such as one can use ChatGPT to write software code to perform various functions, or perhaps using NLP to build an autonomous driving application.

What are the challenges with AI-driven search engines?

The AI-driven search engines have the following concerns, a) Though their searches are plausible and comprehensive, they are not necessarily accurate, b) There is a possibility that they will over-reach assertions. Conspiracy theories and opinions can be presented as facts if they are stated by “authorities”. For instance, Bard asserted the James Webb Space Telescope was the first telescope to take pictures of an exoplanet, which is wrong, c) Their ability to write essays and poems might create a new kind of plagiarism.

What do AI-driven search engines mean as a business activity?

NLP-based searches could lead to an entirely new revenue model for one of the Web’s biggest market segments. Advertising revenue share might move to new players, or perhaps create some entirely different revenue model.

Google has been dominating search and it has built an empire around the cash cow of resulting advertising revenues. This is finally being challenged now with AI-driven search engines.


Prelims Oriented Articles (Factly)

PM Modi’s push for sustainable clothing: Why India can’t move away from fast fashion

Source: The post is based on the article PM Modi’s push for sustainable clothing: Why India can’t move away from fast fashion” published in The Indian Express on 13th February 2023.

What is the news?

The Prime Minister of India has recently worn a blue vest made of recycled bottles. He was trying to highlight the need for the adoption of sustainable clothing to save the environment.

How has the blue vest been manufactured?

The vest has been made out of fibers and yarn crushed and melted from PET bottles.

Its production process saves at least 90 percent water and 50 percent energy when compared with traditional methods making it environmentally friendly.

What are the problems with manufacturing clothes by traditional methods?

The fashion industry globally causes 10 percent of total carbon emissions and is a big pollutant. It uses 93 billion cubic meters of water annually.

As per the reports, textile manufacturing is one of the most polluting sectors, emitting 1.2 billion tons of greenhouse gases.

What are the challenges with green clothing in India?

The challenges associated with green clothing are – a) high cost of raw materials, b) high production cost, c) new and costly technologies.

Furthermore, green wear is a new concept in India whereas fashion and clothing in India is mostly associated with brands.

However, with the expanding e-commerce and India’s consumer demographics becoming younger, there is potential for green clothing to be adopted among the masses.

What can be done to promote green clothing?

There is a need for a) incentives given to green cloth manufacturing industry, b) rationalization of the cost structure, c) endorsement by Bollywood and sports ambassadors and d) a nationwide campaign to spread awareness.


Earth sciences ministry made progress but has been ‘sluggish’ on a few counts: Parliamentary report

Source: The post is based on the article Earth sciences ministry made progress but has been ‘sluggish’ on a few counts: Parliamentary reportpublished in Down To Earth on 12th February 2023.

What is the News?

According to a Parliamentary committee report, the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) made progress but has been ‘sluggish’ on a few counts.

What are the key findings of the report?

District Agro-meteorological Field Units(DAMU): They are responsible for preparing and disseminating district and sub-district-level agro-met advisories.

– So far, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has established a total of 199 DAMUs in the country. It has set a target of setting up 660 DAMUs by 2025.

However, the IMD has been “sluggish” in establishing DAMU’s due to limited funds.

Doppler Weather Radars(DWR): It is designed to predict extreme weather events.

– The Ministry is prioritizing installing DWR in the Himalayan states which are particularly vulnerable to extreme weather events. So far, six DWRs have been installed.

– The Government has set a target to cover the entire country by Doppler Weather Radar Network by 2025 to predict extreme weather events accurately.

ACROSS Scheme: ACROSS stands for Atmosphere and Climate Research-Modelling Observing Systems and Services.

– It works on weather and climate services, including disseminating warnings for cyclones, storm surges, heat waves, thunderstorms and the like.

– The committee recommends the ministry to revisit its performance in terms of the realization of physical targets set under the ACROSS scheme and strive hard to improve it.

Upgrade Station in Antarctica: The committee highlighted the need to replace or upgrade the Maitri Station in Antarctica which was set up in 1988. It is home to Indian scientists working at the South Pole.

– The Station has not only outlived its life as it was designed for an estimated life of 10 years. The committee hopes the proposed new Station — Maitri-II — will be completed on time.


How the e-waste you produce is providing poor children with a dangerous living

Source: The post is based on the article “How the e-waste you produce is providing poor children with a dangerous living” published in Indian Express on 13th February 2023.

What is the News?

The extraction of e-waste is usually performed by Children. This is a crude and hazardous process that goes unregulated.

What is e-waste?

Click Here to read

What is the present state of India’s e-waste problem?

According to the Global E-waste Monitor 2020, the world dumped 53.6 million metric tons of e-waste in 2019. India produced 3.2 million metric tons of e-waste, much of which is dumped for dismantling and recycling with no regulations.

India has tried to tackle this unregulated industry and introduced a series of laws in 2011 and 2016 mandating the authorization and registration of all e-waste recycling facilities, along with directives for workers to use protective equipment while dismantling the waste.

However, activists say these laws are not strongly enforced and the majority of the e-waste market in India remains unregulated.

How Children are vulnerable to e-waste?

Children are particularly vulnerable due to their smaller size, less developed organs and immune systems, and rapid rate of growth and development. 

For instance, children breathe more rapidly and ingest more food and water relative to their size than adults, thus absorbing relatively higher proportions of pollutants. Children are also less able to metabolize and eliminate hazardous substances from their bodies compared to adults.

Every day, many children suffer from serious skin diseases and chronic lung infections due to continuous exposure to chemical-laden toxins found in the metals.


Global Biofuel Alliance: One of the priorities under India’s G20 Presidency

Source: The post is based on the articleGlobal Biofuel Alliance: One of the priorities under India’s G20 Presidencypublished in PIB on 12th February 2023.

What is the News?

India, Brazil and the US as leading biofuel producers and consumers will work towards establishing Global Biofuels Alliance.

What is the Global Biofuels Alliance?

To be established by: India, Brazil and US

Aim: To facilitate cooperation and intensify the use of sustainable biofuels, including in the transportation sector. 

– The alliance will place emphasis on strengthening markets, facilitating global biofuels trade, development of concrete policy lesson-sharing and provision of technical support for national biofuels programs worldwide. 

– It will also emphasize the already implemented best practices and success cases.

The Alliance shall work in collaboration with and complement the relevant existing regional and international agencies as well as initiatives in the bioenergy, bioeconomy, and energy transition fields more broadly including the Clean Energy Ministerial Biofuture Platform, the Mission Innovation Bioenergy initiatives and Global Bioenergy Partnership (GBEP).

What is Global Bioenergy Partnership(GBEP)?

Founded in: 2006 

Purpose: GBEP brings together public, private and civil society stakeholders in a joint commitment to promote bioenergy for sustainable development.

Focus areas: The Partnership focuses its activities on three strategic areas: Sustainable Development – Climate Change – Food and Energy Security

India is one of the observer countries.


Centre proposes hefty hike in charges at small airports

Source: The post is based on the article “Centre proposes hefty hike in charges at small airports” published in Livemint on 13th February 2023.

What is the News?

The Ministry of Civil Aviation has proposed to hike the parking and user development fees at small airports.

What has the Ministry of Civil Aviation proposed for non-major airports?

The Ministry of Civil Aviation has proposed a hike in the parking and user development fees at non-major airports (those with less than 3.5 million passengers per annum).

It has created three non-major airports sub-categories based on passengers—cluster 1 with passengers above 1 million per annum, cluster 2 with passengers between 100,000 and 1 million per annum and cluster 3 with passengers less than 100,000 per annum.

The ministry has suggested a 30% increase in landing and parking charges at the first two clusters while these charges are to remain the same for the third category.

The user development fee or UDF which is charged to bridge the revenue shortfall at airports, has been proposed to be increased by ₹500 per passenger for the first two categories from ₹175 now and no increase has been proposed for the third category.

Note: These rates will also be applicable for airports made operational under the government’s flagship Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik(UDAN) airports after three years of the scheme—airlines are offered discounts on airport charges for a duration of three years.


G-20 tourists can use UPI at select Indian airports: How?

Source: The post is based on the article “G-20 tourists can use UPI at select Indian airports: How?” published in Indian Express on 13th February 2023.

What is the News?

Reserve Bank of India(RBI) has permitted all inbound travellers from the Group of Twenty (G-20) countries and non-resident Indians to access Unified Payment Interface (UPI) for their merchant payments (P2M) at select airports while they are in India.

What has been announced by the RBI?

Banks and non-banks authorized to issue prepaid payment instruments (PPIs), can issue rupee-denominated full-KYC PPIs to foreign nationals and NRIs visiting India. 

Such PPIs can also be issued in a co-branding arrangement with entities authorized to deal in foreign exchange under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).

The PPIs can be issued in the form of wallets linked to UPI — like Google Pay and PhonePe — and can be used for merchant payments (P2M) only.

Loading and reloading of such PPIs will be against receipt of foreign exchange by cash or through any payment instrument.

Who can utilize this system?

To start with, this facility will be extended to travellers from the G-20 countries, arriving at select international airports.

Going forward, this facility will be enabled across all other entry points in the country.

How will the PPIs be issued?

The PPIs can be issued after physical verification of the Passport and Visa of the customers at the point of issuance.

The conversion to the Indian rupee can be carried out only by entities authorized to deal in foreign exchange under FEMA.

The unutilised balances in such PPIs can be encashed in foreign currency or transferred ‘back to source’ (payment source from where the PPI was loaded), in compliance with foreign exchange regulations.


What are microLED displays, and why is Apple shifting to it?

Source: The post is based on the article “What are microLED displays, and why is Apple shifting to it?” published in The Hindu on 13th February 2023.

What is the News?

Apple is reportedly shifting to microLED display technology, which is considered as the next big transition in display technology.

What is MicroLED display technology?

MicroLEDs are self-illuminating diodes that are brighter and provide better colour reproduction than OLED display technology.

The basis of MicroLED technology is sapphire. Sapphire can shine on its own forever. A MicroLED screen is so small but packed with bright light. The picture in a MicroLED screen is generated by a number of individual light-emitting diodes.

What are the benefits of MicroLED display technology?

a) Brighter with better colour reproduction and viewing angles, b) Limitless scalability as they are resolution, bezel, ratio, and size-free, c) Self-emissive and produces colors without backlighting or color filters.

What are the challenges with MicroLED display technology?

Apple’s plan to transition to microLED displays was planned for 2020 but was delayed due to high costs and technical challenges.


New broadband definition highlights the plight of India’s barely connected “grey spots”

Source: The post is based on the article “New broadband definition highlights the plight of India’s barely connected grey spots” published in The Hindu on 13th February 2023.

What is the News?

Recently, the definition of broadband was upgraded to mandate a minimum speed of 2Mbps. But telecom companies rarely prioritize the connectivity of users in small towns with a few overloaded towers.

What are White and Grey spots?

Places without cellular connectivity at all are called “white spots”. 

Places which show simply being “connected” but may not let users get enough out of their access are called “Grey Spots”.

What is the definition of Broadband?

The Government of India has revised the definition of broadband connectivity. 

As per the new definition, Broadband is a data connection that is able to support interactive services, including internet access and has the capability of the minimum download speed of 2 Mbps to an individual subscriber from the point of presence (POP) of the service provider intending to provide broadband service.

This means that the definition of broadband connectivity now requires a minimum download speed of 2 Mbps (megabits per second). 

Note: Earlier, the minimum download speed was previously 512 kbps (kilobits per second).


MeitY may soon integrate ChatGPT with WhatsApp for key government schemes

Source: The post is based on the article “MeitY may soon integrate ChatGPT with WhatsApp for key government schemes” published in Indian Express on 13th February 2023.

What is the News?

Bhashini, a small team at the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY), is currently building a WhatsApp-based chatbot that relies on information generated by ChatGPT to return appropriate responses to queries. 

What is the Government of India working on?

The Government of India is reportedly working on a ChatGPT-powered WhatsApp chatbot to help Indian farmers learn about various government schemes.

The chatbot will also let users send a question via voice notes. This will help numerous farmers in India who may not be familiar with typing on smartphones. 

What is ChatGPT?

Click Here to read

What is BHASHINI?

BHASHINI is a local language translation mission that aims to break the barrier between various Indian tongues by using available technology.

It seeks to enable easy access to the internet and digital services in Indian languages, including voice-based access, and help the creation of content in Indian languages.

Click Here to read more

What is Bhasha Daan?

It is an ambitious project which aims to crowdsource voice datasets in multiple Indian languages as part of Project BHASHINI. 

On the project’s website, people can contribute in three key ways: by recording their voice samples in multiple Indian languages by reading out a piece of text, typing out a sentence being played, and translating text in one language into another.


India lends help as earthquake shakes Turkey, Syria to the core: What is Operation Dost?

Source: The post is based on the article “India lends help as earthquake shakes Turkey, Syria to the core: What is Operation Dost?” published in TOI on 12th February 2023.

What is the News?

India has launched ‘Operation Dost’ to extend assistance to Turkey and Syria, the nations hit by an intense 7.9-magnitude earthquake.

What is Operation Dost?

Operation Dost is an ongoing search and rescue mission initiated by the Government of India to help Syria and Turkey after they witnessed a massive earthquake that left thousands dead, injured and trapped under the rubble.

Under the operation, India has sent search and rescue teams, mainly three teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), a field hospital, materials, medicines and equipment to Turkey and Syria.

What are the other operations launched by India recently?

Operation Ganga: It was launched to help stranded Indian nationals come back to India from Ukraine through special flights amidst the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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Government’s new announcements for the labor market

Source: The post government’s new announcements for the labor market has been created, based on the article “Govts have limited impact on jobs: Policy reforms would work better than programmes or projects” published in “Business standard” on 24th July 2024 UPSC Syllabus Topic: GS Paper3- Economy- Employment Context: The article discusses how government programs aimed… Continue reading Government’s new announcements for the labor market

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How has India lowered its fiscal deficit estimate to 4.9% of GDP

Source: The post how has India lowered its fiscal deficit estimate to 4.9% of GDP has been created, based on the article “Deficit numbers signal: PRUDENT PATH” published in “Live Mints” on 24th July 2024 UPSC Syllabus Topic: GS Paper3- Indian Economy – Fiscal Consolidation in India Context: The article discusses how Finance Minister Nirmala… Continue reading How has India lowered its fiscal deficit estimate to 4.9% of GDP

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India’s plans for energy transition

Source: The post India’s plans for energy transition has been created, based on the article “For clean energy, govt rolls: OUT POWER TOOLS” published in “Live Mints” on 24th July 2024 UPSC Syllabus Topic: GS Paper 3-infrastructure-energy Context: The article discusses India’s plans for a balanced energy transition, including policies for green finance, renewable energy… Continue reading India’s plans for energy transition

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Focus of the India’s budget 2024-25

Source: The post focus of the India’s budget 2024-25 has been created, based on the article “An overdue pivot to human capital and employment” published in “Live Mint” on 24th July 2024 UPSC Syllabus Topic: GS Paper3- Economy-budget Context: This article discusses the first of Narendra Modi’s third term. It emphasizes job creation, small business… Continue reading Focus of the India’s budget 2024-25

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Agricultural Initiatives in the 2024-25 Union Budget

Source-This post on Agricultural Initiatives in the 2024-25 Union Budget has been created based on the article “To tackle climate risk, agri gets A RESEARCH RESET” published in “Live Mint” on 24 July 2024. UPSC Syllabus-GS Paper-3- Government Budgeting. Context– The 2024-25 Union Budget introduces ambitious agricultural initiatives alongside modest financial allocations. It highlights research,… Continue reading Agricultural Initiatives in the 2024-25 Union Budget

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Research and Development in Agriculture

Source-This post on Research and Development in Agriculture has been created based on the article “Neglect of agriculture R&D in budget risks India’s food security and growth” published in “The Indian Express” on 24 July 2024. UPSC Syllabus-GS Paper-3- Government Budgeting Context – Nearly two-thirds of India’s population resides in rural areas, where agriculture employs… Continue reading Research and Development in Agriculture

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Social Sector Allocations in Budget 2024

Source-This post on Social Sector Allocations in Budget 2024 has been created based on the article “For the social sector, it is old wine in an old bottle” published in “The Hindu” on 24 July 2024. UPSC Syllabus-GS Paper-3- Government Budgeting. Context-The Budget 2024 continues the trend of previous years regarding social sector allocations, despite… Continue reading Social Sector Allocations in Budget 2024

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Union Budget 2024-25- Analysis- Explained Pointwise

The Union Budget for 2024-25 was presented in the Parliament yesterday by the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The Finance Minister asserted in her budget speech that the focus of the government remained on serving the four ‘castes‘- poor, women, youth and farmers. It was also stressed by the Finance Minister that this year’s Budget… Continue reading Union Budget 2024-25- Analysis- Explained Pointwise

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Employment-Linked Incentive Schemes

Source- This post on the Employment-Linked Incentive Schemes has been created based on the article “Five new schemes to aid job creation” published in “The Hindu” on 24 July 2024. Why in the news? The Union Budget allocates ₹2 lakh crore for employment and skilling schemes. About Employment-Linked Incentive Schemes 1. The Centre will implement… Continue reading Employment-Linked Incentive Schemes

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Road Map for ‘Hard to Abate’ Industries

Source- This post on the Road Map for ‘Hard to Abate’ Industries has been created based on the article “Emission standards may be imposed on polluting industries” published in “The Hindu” on 24 July 2024. Why in the news? Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s Budget speech indicated that “hard to abate” industries such as iron, steel,… Continue reading Road Map for ‘Hard to Abate’ Industries

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