France Pulls Out of P-75I Project


Recently, France’s Naval Group, one of five shortlisted Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) for the Navy’s P-75 India (P-75I) project to build six conventional submarines within the country, announced it would not bid for the project. The reason, Naval Group said, was that the Request for Proposal (RFP) “requires that the fuel cell AIP be sea proven, which is not the case for us yet since the French Navy does not use such a propulsion system.”

  • AIP refers to Air-Independent Propulsion, a technology for conventional — that is, non-nuclear — submarines.


GS III- Science and Technology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is the P-75I project?
  2. What is the status of the project?
  3. Why does the Navy want AIP subs?

What is the P-75I project?

  • In June 1999, the Cabinet Committee on Security approved a 30-year plan for the Navy to indigenously build and induct 24 submarines by 2030.
  • In the first phase, two lines of production were to be established — the first, P-75; the second, P-75I.
  • Each line was to produce six submarines.
  • The contract for P-75 was signed in 2005 with the Naval Group, then known as DCNS, in partnership with Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd (MDL).
  • The first Kalvari Class (Scorpene Class) submarine under the project was commissioned in December 2017. Another five submarines have been built since; the final one, Vagsheer, was launched last month, and will be commissioned by late 2023.

What is the status of the project?

  • On the P-75I, the navy is a little behind the times.
  • The project is in trouble; the Naval Group has already announced its withdrawal, and sources say the Russian and Spanish companies may also abandon their bids.
  • The requirement to demonstrate a sea-proven fuel cell AIP is one of the problems.
  • Some manufacturers may have the technology, but it has yet to be tested at sea.
  • Another issue for OEMs is technology transfer, which is a necessary part of the process.

Why does the Navy want AIP subs?

  • AIP technology allows a conventional submarine to stay submerged for a substantially longer period of time than normal diesel-electric submarines.
  • All conventional submarines must surface in order to run their generators, which recharge the batteries that allow the boat to operate underwater.
  • However, the more often a submarine appears, the more likely it is to be discovered.
  • AIP allows a submarine to stay submerged for more than a fortnight, whereas diesel-electric vessels can only stay below for two to three days.
  • IP has a force multiplier impact on a diesel electric submarine’s lethality because it increases the boat’s submerged endurance by many times.

Significance of P-75 I

  • ‘Make in India’ Projects: It will serve to facilitate faster and more significant absorption of technology and create a tiered industrial ecosystem for submarine construction in India.
  • Self-Reliance: From a strategic perspective, this will help reduce current dependence on imports and gradually ensure greater self-reliance and dependability of supplies from indigenous sources.
  • Securing Indo-Pacific: China is increasing its presence in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and this is creating pressure on the Indian Navy in sprucing up the submarine arm.

Project Elephant


At the 16th Steering Committee meeting of Project Elephant, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change launched a field manual named-Field Manual for Managing Human-Elephant Conflicts (HEC) in India-to guide forest staffers dealing with HEC in major elephant range states.


GS II- Environment and Ecology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Details about the manual
  2. Current Elephant Population in India
  3. Asian Elephants
  4. African Elephants
  5. Threats
  6. What is Project Elephant?
  7. Way Forwards to prevent Man – Animal Conflicts

Details about the manual:

  • The ministry collaborated on the manual with the Wildlife Institute of India (WWI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF India).
  • It outlines the best techniques for reducing human-elephant conflict in great detail.
  • It is written with the goal of providing forest officials/departments, as well as other stakeholders, with direction on how to help mitigate Human Elephant Conflict, both in emergencies and when it is a regular issue.

Current Elephant Population in India:

  • India has roughly 27,000 Asian Elephants, making it the world’s largest population of the species.
  • According to the Elephant Census (2017), Karnataka has the most elephants (6,049), followed by Assam (5,719) and Kerala (5,719). (3,054).

Asian Elephants:

  • The Asian elephant is divided into three subspecies: Indian, Sumatran, and Sri Lankan.
  • The Indian subspecies has the largest territory and is home to the majority of the continent’s remaining elephants.
  • The eldest and largest female elephant in the herd is in charge (known as the matriarch). The matriarch’s daughters and their children make up this herd.
  • Elephants have the longest known gestation period of any mammal, extending up to 680 days (22 months).
Protection Status:
  • IUCN Red List: Endangered.
  • Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972: Schedule I.
  • CITES: Appendix I

African Elephants:

The Savanna (or bush) elephant and the Forest elephant are two subspecies of African elephants.

Protection Status:

IUCN Red List Status:

  • African Savanna Elephant: Endangered.
  • African Forest Elephant: Critically Endangered
  • CITES: Appendix II


  • Escalation of poaching.
  • Habitat loss.
  • Human-elephant conflict.
  • Mistreatment in captivity.
  • Abuse due to elephant tourism.
  • Rampant mining, Corridor destruction.

Human-Elephant Conflicts

  • Elephant-human conflict is a result of habitat loss and fragmentation.
  • When elephants and humans interact, there is conflict from crop raiding, injuries and deaths to humans caused by elephants, and elephants being killed by humans for reasons other than ivory and habitat degradation.
  • Such encounters foster resentment against the elephants amongst the human population and this can result in elephants being viewed as a nuisance and killed.
  • In addition to the direct conflicts between humans and elephants, elephants also suffer indirect costs like degradation of habitat and loss of food plants.

What is Project Elephant?

  • Project Elephant is a Central Government sponsored scheme launched in February 1992.
  • Through the Project Elephant scheme, the government helps in the protection and management of elephants to the states having wild elephants in a free-ranging population.
  • It ensures the protection of elephant corridors and elephant habitat for the survival of the elephant population in the wild.
  • This elephant conservation strategy is mainly implemented in 16 of 28 states or union territories in the country which includes Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh Jharkhand, Kerala, Karnataka, Meghalaya, Maharashtra, Nagaland, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal.
  • The union government provides technical and financial help to these states to carry out and achieve the goals of project elephant. Not just that, assistance for the purpose of the census, training of field officials is also provided to ensure the mitigation and prevention of man-elephant conflict.

Way Forwards to prevent Man – Animal Conflicts

  • Surveillance- Increased vigilance and protection of identified locations using hi-tech surveillance tools like sensors can help in tracking the movement of animals and warn the local population.
  • Improvement of habitat- In-situ and ex-situ habitat conservation measures will help in securing animals their survival.
  • Re-locating of animal habitats away from residential and commercial centres will serve to minimize animal-man conflict for illegal and self-interested motives
  • Awareness Programmes- To create awareness among people and sensitize them about the Do’s and Don’ts in the forest areas to minimize the conflicts between man and animal.
  • Training programs- Training to the police offices and local people should be provided for this purpose forest department should frame guidelines.
  • Boundary walls- The construction of boundary walls and solar fences around the sensitive areas to prevent the wild animal attacks.
  • Technical and financial support- For the development of necessary infrastructure and support facilities for immobilization of problematic animals through tranquilization, their translocation.
  • Part of CSR- Safeguarding Tiger corridors, building eco-bridges and such conservation measures can be part of corporate social responsibility.   

World Press Freedom Index


India has reached 150th position in the World Press Freedom Index, dropping further from its last year’s 142nd rank out of 180 countries.


GS II- Indian Constitution – historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is the World Press Freedom Index?
  2. Highlights of the 2022 report
  3. Freedom of Press in India
  4. Freedom of Speech and Expression actually covers
  5. Status of Freedom of Press

What is the World Press Freedom Index?

  • World Press Freedom Index is an index published each year by the international journalism (non-profit body), Reporters Without Borders [also called Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF)].
  • RSF is an independent NGO with consultative status with the United Nations, UNESCO, the Council of Europe and the International Organization of the Francophonie (OIF).
  • The World Press Freedom Index ranks countries and regions according to the level of freedom available to journalists.
  • It is NOT an indicator on the quality of journalism.
  • The parameters used in the World Press Freedom Index include pluralism, media independence, media environment and self-censorship, legislative framework, transparency, and the quality of the infrastructure that supports the production of news and information.

Highlights of the 2022 report

(a) Best performing countries

  • Norway– 1st
  • Denmark– 2nd
  • Sweden– 3rd

(b) Worst performers

  • North Korea remained at the bottom of the list, while Russia was placed at 155th position, slipping from 150th last year.
  • As per the global media watchdog, China climbed up by two positions ranking at 175th position, as compared to 177th position last year.

 (c) Performance in our neighbourhood

  • Besides India, its neighbours except Nepal have also slid down.
  • While Pakistan is at 157th position, Sri Lanka ranks at 146th, Bangladesh at 162nd and Maynmar at 176th position.

Freedom of Press in India

  • Article 19, said to be the foundation of Democratic rule in India, guarantees freedom of speech and expression to Indian citizens only.
  • These freedoms are not absolute and they can all be curtailed by imposing some reasonable restriction.
  • Reasonable restrictions can be imposed (imposed only on the grounds mentioned in the constitution) only by authority of law and NOT by executive action alone.

Freedom of Speech and Expression actually covers:

  • Right to Information
  • Freedom of press
  • Right to privacy
  • Right to hoist the national flag
  • Right to demonstration or picketing, but not right to strike
  • Rights to Not Speak

Status of Freedom of Press

  • Unlike several countries such as USA, there is no separate provision guaranteeing the freedom of press, but the Supreme Court in Sakaal paper vs. Union of India case, has held that the freedom of press is included in the “freedom of expression” under Article 19(1) (a).
  • In Brij Bhushan case, SC clarified that there is no prior censorship on the media, i.e., no prior permission is needed.
  • 44th amendment, 1976 introduced Article 361A that provides protection to a person publishing proceeding of the Parliament and State Legislatures.
  • In the Indian Express case, it was clarified that the Freedom of Press includes:
    • Right to Information
    • Right to Publish
    • Right to Circulate
  • In 1997, the Prasar Bharti Act grants autonomy to Doordarshan and All India Radio (which means it can criticize the state policies and actions).
  • In 1966, Press Council of India was created to regulate the print media.
  • The National Commission to Review the Working of Constitution (NCRWC) recommended that Freedom of Press be explicitly granted and not be left implied in the Freedom of Speech.

Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS)


The indigenous Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully completed the validation trials.


GS III- Science and Technology (Indigenization Of Technology)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. ATAG System
  2. Features

ATAG System

  • The ATAGS is a 155-mm, 52-calibre artillery gun jointly developed by the DRDO in partnership with Bharat Forge of the Kalyani Group and the Tata Power SED.
  • ATAGS has greater than 95% of indigenous content. It set a world record for the longest unassisted projectile range of 48 kilometres.
  • The ATAGS has demonstrated a range of over 45 km, making it the “most consistent and accurate gun in the world”.


  • The gun has a barrel, breech mechanism, muzzle brake, and recoil system, and can fire 155 mm calibre ammunition with a range of 48 kilometres.
  • It includes an all-electric drive to assure long-term dependability and minimal maintenance.
  • It has advanced features such as high mobility, quick deployment, auxiliary power mode, sophisticated communication system, automatic command and control system with night capabilities in direct fire mode, and automatic command and control system.

Sloth Bear


Forest officers recently rescued two sloth bears from a village in Jharkhand by the People for Animals organisation.


GS III- Environment and Ecology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Sloth bear
  2. Protection Status
About Sloth bear
  • Sloth bears can be found in lowland parts of Sri Lanka, India, Bhutan, and Nepal.
  • Sloth bears consume termites and ants mostly, and unlike other bear species, they regularly carry their young on their backs.
  • Honey is also a favourite food of theirs, hence the nickname “honey bear.”
  • Sloth bears do not go into hibernation.
  • Melursus ursinus is the scientific name for this species.
  • It is a forest-dwelling bear from the Ursidae family (which includes eight species of bears) that lives in India and Sri Lanka’s tropical and subtropical climates.
Protection Status:
  • IUCN Red List: Vulnerable’
  • CITES listing: Appendix I
  • Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: Schedule I
  • Threats: Habitat loss, poaching for body parts and are sometimes captured for use in performances or hunted because of their aggressive behavior and destruction of crops.


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