Criminalisation of Marital Rape

In News

  • Recently, Supreme Court sought Centre’s response on Criminalisation of marital rape.

More about the news

  • Petitions:
    • Several petitions are pending in the apex court regarding the issue of criminalisation of marital rape.
      • The petitioners had challenged the constitutionality of the marital rape exception under Section 375 IPC (rape) on grounds that it discriminated against married women who are sexually assaulted by their husbands.
    • The appeals follow a split decision from the Delhi High Court on whether or not to prosecute husbands for non-consensual sex with their wives.
Marital Rape:Marital rape (or spousal rape) is an act in which one of the spouses indulges in sexual intercourse without the consent of the other.Today, more than 100 countries have criminalized marital rape but, unfortunately, India is one of the only 36 countries where marital rape is still not criminalized.Law on Marital RapeSection 375 of IPC defines rape The section lists seven notions of consent that, if vitiated, would constitute the offence of rape by a man. However, the provision contains a crucial exemption: Sexual intercourse or sexual acts by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under eighteen years of age, is not rape.The only recourse against non-consensual sex for married women are civil provisions under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act or Section 498-A of the IPC on cruelty against a wife by the husband or a husband’s relatives.
  • The issue:
  • The issue focuses on the exception in rape law in the Indian Penal Code which dismisses the idea of rape within marriage
  • The questions raised include whether or not a married woman has bodily autonomy
  • In short, whether a husband should accept that his wife’s “no means no”, and any transgression would amount to rape.
  • Delhi High Court judgement:
    • Delhi High Court Bench which delivered a split opinion, had favoured striking down the marital rape exception for being “unconstitutional”
    • Court said it would be “tragic if a married woman’s call for justice is not heard even after 162 years” since the enactment of the IPC.

Arguments Against Criminalising Marital Rape

  • Destabilise marriage as an institution: 
    • It may create absolutely anarchy in families and destabilise the institution of marriage.
  • Misuse of law: 
    • It may become an easy tool for harassing the husbands by misusing the law similar to the growing misuse of section 498A (harassment caused to a married woman by her husband and in-laws) of the IPC.
  • Law Commission has not recommended: 
    • Indian Law Commission and the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs after thoroughly examining the matter did not recommend the criminalization of marital rape.
  • Implementation issues: 
    • Criminalizing marital rape will create serious implementational issues like veracity of testimony, evidences in the courts etc.
  • Diversity in Culture: 
    • India has its unique problems due to various factors like literacy, lack of financial empowerment of the majority of females, the mindset of the society, vast diversity, poverty, etc. and these should be considered carefully before criminalizing marital rape.
  • Awareness is more important: 
    • Merely criminalizing marital rape may not stop it as “moral and social awareness” plays a vital role in stopping such an act.

Arguments For Criminalising Marital Rape

  • Ensuring Security of Women: 
    • It will ensure that women remain safer from abusive spouses and they can receive the help needed to recover from marital rape and can save themselves from domestic violence and sexual abuse.
  • Marriage is not a license: 
    • A marriage should not be viewed as a license for a husband to forcibly rape his wife with impunity. Further, a married woman has the same right to control her own body as does an unmarried woman.
  • Bodily Integrity is intrinsic to Article 21: 
    • A woman is entitled to refuse sexual relations with her husband as the right to bodily integrity and privacy is an intrinsic part of Article 21 of the Constitution. 
    • Supreme Court has included sanctity of women, and freedom to make choices related to sexual activity under the ambit of Article 21.
      • Article 14: 
        • Indian women deserve to be treated equally under article 14 and an individual’s human rights do not deserve to be ignored by anyone, including by their spouse.
  • Torture for Life: 
    • A woman who is raped by a stranger lives with a memory of a horrible attack; a woman who is raped by her husband lives with her rapist throughout her life.
Global PracticeThe marital rape immunity is known to several post-colonial common law countries. Australia (1981), Canada (1983), and South Africa (1993) have enacted laws that criminalise marital rape.In the United Kingdom, the House of Lords overturned the exception in 1991. In their landmark decision in the case known as R v R, the Lords took the view that the time had “arrived when the law should declare that a rapist remains a rapist subject to the criminal law, irrespective of his relationship with his victim”. The European Court of Justice reviewed the ruling and upheld the decision of the Lords as a “foreseeable evolution” of the law.Subsequently, in 2003 marital rape was outlawed by legislation in the UK.

Way Ahead

  • The continuous exemption of marital rape from the purview of criminal law sustains the assumption of the wife as exclusive property of the husband.
  • Can the state really enter the realm of the home?
    • It already does, in the cases of cruelty, divorce and dowry demands, then why leave the most atrocious and heinous crime outside the ambit of the State and laws. Why the area of marital rape remain beyond its pale? 
  • The immediate need is criminalization of marital rape under the Indian Penal Code.
  • There is also a need to educate the masses about this crime, as the real objective of criminalizing marital rape can only be achieved if the society acknowledges and challenges the prevailing myth that rape by one’s spouse is inconsequential

Samarkand SCO Summit

In News

  • Recently, the 22nd Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit was held in Samarkand.

Meeting highlights

  • Upcoming Presidency of India:
    • Uzbek President chaired the 22nd SCO summit of Samarkand.
    • Uzbekistan in this summit handed over the rotating presidency of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) to India.
      • As a result India will host the next SCO summit as a chairman of the Organisation in 2023.
  • Ukraine war:
    • Indian and Chinese leaders expressed their concerns to the Russian President over the Ukraine war 
      • It is reflective of the global worries about the effects of Moscow’s aggression against the interests of people across the planet. 
  • About Indian Economy:
    • Speaking at the SCO summit PM said the Indian economy is expected to grow by 7.5 percent this year and thus will be the highest among the largest economies in the world
    • In his address the prime minister also said India is progressing towards becoming a manufacturing hub.
  • Iran:
    • Iran has been admitted as a permanent member of the SCO at the Samarkand summit.
      • Iran will attend the SCO as a full member from the Summit to be hosted by India in 2023.

India’s Bilateral meetings on the sidelines of SCO summit

  • India- Russia:
    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Uzbekistan pressed him to end the conflict in Ukraine soon, saying “today’s era is not of war”.
  • India- Turkey:
    • The leaders reviewed bilateral relations and appreciated recent gains in bilateral trade. 
    • They also exchanged views on regional & global developments.
    • India has had tense ties with Turkey’s criticism over the Kashmir issue.
  • India-Iran:
    • Both the countries discussed connectivity through Chabahar and energy cooperation
      • But they did not confirm whether India intended to restore oil imports that were cancelled in 2018-2019 due to the threat of U.S. sanctions.
Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO):About:It is a permanent intergovernmental international organisation of Eurasian Nations with a secretariat in Beijing.Aim:It is a political, economic and military organisation that aims at maintaining peace, security and stability in the region.Origin: Journey from Shanghai Five to SCO Shanghai Five emerged in 1996 from a series of border demarcation and demilitarization talks between 4 former USSR republics and China.Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan were members of the Shanghai Five.With the accession of Uzbekistan to the group in 2001, the Shanghai Five was renamed the SCO.The SCO Charter was signed in 2002 and entered into force in 2003.Inclusion of India & Pakistan:India and Pakistan both were initially observer states.Both were given full membership in 2017.Iran and Belarus:2021 SCO summit in Dushanbe agreed for Iran to join in SCO. Belarus has also begun the membership process for SCO. Member statesObserver StatesDialogue PartnersKazakhstanChinaKyrgyzstanRussiaTajikistanUzbekistanIndiaPakistanAfghanistanBelarusIranMongoliaAzerbaijanArmeniaCambodiaNepalTurkeySri LankaLanguage: The SCO’s official languages are Russian and Chinese.Structure of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation:Heads of State Council:It is the supreme SCO body that decides its internal functioning and its interaction with other States & international organisations.It also considers contemporary international issues.Heads of Government Council:It approves the budget, considers and decides upon issues related to economic spheres of interaction within SCO.Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs:It considers issues related to day-to-day activities.Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS):It was established to combat terrorism, separatism and extremism.SCO Secretariat: It is based in Beijing. It provides informational, analytical & organisational support.

Significance of Iran’s membership:

  • Iran’s membership:
    • As a country that has been long sanctioned and isolated by the US-led West, Iran, by joining the SCO that accounts for 40 percent of the world’s population and 28 percent of global GDP, could expect a breakthrough in its geopolitical and economic status quo.
  • Iran’s proposal for a single currency:
    • Iran has also approached the SCO with a proposal to create a new single currency for carrying out trade among SCO members, in a push to counter the increasing weaponization of the US dollar-dominated global financial system.
  • For India:
    • Iran’s entry into the SCO will boost India’s Eurasian outreach ensuring seamless coordination between India and Iran. 
    • India also maintains that entry of Iranian oil in the market will address global energy security to some extent.

Significance of SCO for India

  • India’s upcoming Presidency:
    • India will take over the SCO Presidency in 2023.
    • India will also host the upcoming SCO Summit in 2023, which will be held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan
  • Varanasi – Cultural and Tourism Capital of SCO:
    • The holy city of Varanasi, showcasing India’s culture and traditions over the ages, will be declared the first “Cultural and Tourism Capital” of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation for 2022-23.
    • The new initiative will come into force after the Samarkand summit.
    • It is a new initiative by the eight-member organisation to promote people-to-people contacts and tourism among the member states.
      • The title of ‘Cultural and Tourism Capital’ will be rotated among the member states.
  • Security:
    • RATS can help India to improve its counterterrorism abilities by working toward intelligence sharing, law enforcement and developing best practices and technologies.
    • Through the SCO, India can also work on anti-drug trafficking and small arms proliferation.
  • Regional Integration:
    • SCO can help in achieving regional integration and promote connectivity and stability across borders.
    • Further, it also helps India to have a multilateral talk with friends like Russia and adversaries like China and Pakistan.
  • Geopolitical Advantage:
    • Central Asia is a part of India’s Extended Neighbourhood.
    • And SCO provides India with an opportunity to pursue the “Connect Central Asian Policy”.
    • It will also help India to check on the ever-growing influence of China in Eurasia.

International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer

In News

  • Recently, India organised a programme to observe the 28th World Ozone Day

Publications of the Ozone Cell

  • The 23rd edition of “The Montreal Protocol: India’s Success Story” was released. 
  • Action Plan for implementing the recommendations of the India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP) for the thematic Area Space Cooling in Buildings
  • Study Report on Public Procurement Policies for Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning (RAC) Equipment using non-ODS based refrigerants
  • Study Report on Cold Chain sector in India for Promoting non-ODS and Low-GWP Refrigerants
  • Booklet on Good Servicing Practices for Energy Efficient operation of Room Air conditioners
About World Ozone DayWorld Ozone Day is celebrated on 16th September each year to commemorate the signing of the Montreal Protocol that came into force on this day in 1987. It is celebrated every year to spread awareness among people about the depletion of Ozone Layer and the measures taken and to be taken to preserve it.  The theme of World Ozone Day 2022 is “Montreal Protocol@35: global cooperation protecting life on earth”.

India’s Efforts & Achievements 

  • Montreal Protocol:
    • India has played a proactive role in the phase-out of production and consumption of Ozone Depleting Substances
    • India has not been a traditional contributor to global emissions, but in its actions, it is showing the intent to be a problem solver
    • India phased out Chlorofluorocarbons, Carbon tetrachloride, Halons, Methyl Bromide and Methyl Chloroform for controlled uses as on 1 January 2010, in line with the Montreal Protocol schedule.
    • India is among the countries which has stated that the country’s sustainable development will be such that net zero is achieved by 2070
  • Phasing out of Hydrochlorofluorocarbons: 
    • Currently, Hydrochlorofluorocarbons are being phased out as per the accelerated schedule of the Montreal Protocol.  
    • Hydrochlorofluorocarbons Phase-out Management Plan (HPMP) Stage – I has been successfully implemented from 2012 to 2016 and Hydrochlorofluorocarbons Phase-out Management Plan (HPMP) Stage – II is under implementation since 2017 and will be completed by 2023.  
    • Stage III of the HPMP, the last of the HPMPs to phase out remaining HCFCs, will be implemented from 2023 – 2030. 
    • The phase-out of HCFCs in all manufacturing sectors, comprising refrigeration and air-conditioning manufacturing sectors, will be completed by 1.1.2025 and the activities relating to the servicing sector will be continued till 2030.
  • Kigali Amendment:
    • India played a key role in the finalization of the Kigali Amendment. 
    • After ratifying the same in September 2021, the central government is working towards developing a national strategy, in close consultation with the industry stakeholders, for phasing down Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).
  • Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions: 
    • The study on reduction of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions through phase-out of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) was carried out by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC).
    • It estimates that the reduction of GHG emissions due to phase-out of ODS till 2022 is 465 million tonne CO2 equivalent. 
    • It is expected that the reduction of GHG emissions till 2030 is expected to be 778 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent.
  • India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP):
    • The goal is to provide socio-economic and environmental benefits related to reduced refrigerant use, climate change mitigation and Sustainable Development Goals over the period 2037-38. 
    • This will significantly contribute to India’s climate action in achieving the net zero emissions by 2070, through the ‘Panchamrita’, committed by the Prime Minister of India, at the Climate Change Conference of Parties in 2021.
  • Research and Development: 
    • The Environment Ministry will soon be entering into collaboration with eight Indian Institutes of Technology (Bombay, Roorkee, Hyderabad, Kanpur, Guwahati, Banaras, Madras and Delhi) to promote research and development of chemicals with low global warming potential, including blends. 
    • These can be used as alternatives to substances controlled under the Montreal Protocol. 
    • The collaborative research will be done in line with industry requirements through engagement of research scholars, leading to the development of a robust R&D ecosystem in this area, and will also help promote the Make in India initiative of the Government.

Way Ahead

  • The world is facing a climate crisis because of wasteful use of energy, calling for adopting the mantra of L.I.F.E (Lifestyle for Environment) which was coined by the Prime Minister of India. 
  • The mantra is in line with the concept of sustainable lifestyle, encouraging us to adopt mindful and not mindless consumption and utilization of resources.
Ozone LayerThe ozone layer, a fragile shield of gas, protects the Earth from the harmful portion of the rays of the sun, thus helping preserve life on the planet.Good Ozone:Ozone occurs naturally in the Earth’s upper atmosphere (Stratosphere) where it forms a protective layer that shields us from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays.This “good” ozone is gradually being destroyed by man-made chemicals referred to as Ozone-Depleting Substances (ODS), including chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), halons, methyl bromide, carbon tetrachloride, and methyl chloroform.Bad Ozone:In the Earth’s lower atmosphere (troposphere) near ground level, ozone is formed when pollutants emitted by cars, power plants, industrial boilers, refineries, chemical plants, and other sources react chemically in the presence of sunlight.Surface level ozone is a harmful air pollutant.Montreal Protocol at 35: Global cooperation protecting life on earthThe Montreal Protocol ended one of the biggest threats ever to face humanity as a whole: the depletion of the ozone layer. When the world found out that ozone-depleting gases used in aerosols and cooling were creating a hole in the sky, they came together. The world showed that multilateralism and effective global cooperation worked and they phased out these gases. Now the ozone layer is healing, allowing it once again to shield humanity from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation.Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone LayerThe scientific confirmation of the depletion of the ozone layer prompted the international community to establish a mechanism for cooperation to take action to protect the ozone layer. This was formalized in the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer.It was adopted and signed by 28 countries, on 22 March 1985. In September 1987, this led to the drafting of The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.

Project Cheetah

In News

  • Recently, eight cheetahs have landed in Gwalior from Namibia’s capital Windhoek and reintroduced in Kuno National Park. The day also marks PM Modi’s 72nd birthday.  

Timeline/ History of cheetah reintroduction in India

  • Cheetah or Acinonyx Jubatus: It is the fastest terrestrial animal on earth. The cheetah is the only large carnivore that got completely wiped out from India, mainly due to over-hunting and habitat loss. 
  • Meaning: The word ‘Cheetah’ is of Sanskrit origin meaning ‘variegated’, ‘adorned’ or ‘painted’.
  • Earliest historical references:
    • They are found in classical Greek records of India, from Strabo, about 200 years before the Common Era.
    • In the Mughal Period, cheetahs were used very extensively for hunting. Emperor Akbar had 1,000 cheetahs in his menagerie.
    • Central India, particularly the Gwalior region, had cheetahs for a very long time. Various states including Gwalior and Jaipur used to hunt cheetahs.
  • 1947: 
    • The country’s last spotted cheetah died in Sal forests of Chhattisgarh’s Koriya district in 1948 and the wild animal was declared extinct in the country in 1952.
    • Maharaja Ramanuj Pratap Singh, the ruler of a small princely state in today’s Chhattisgarh shot India’s last 3 surviving cheetahs. 
  • 1st plan to reintroduce the cheetah: First solid steps were taken in the 1970s, during negotiations with Iran, then under Shah Muhammad Reza Pahlavi. Iran’s cheetahs were Asiatic, like India’s extinct animals.
    • The plan was to exchange Asiatic lions for Asiatic cheetahs.
  • 2009: Another attempt to source Iranian Cheetahs was made in 2009 without success. Iran would not permit even cloning of its Cheetahs.
  • 2012: Supreme Court ordered a stay on the reintroduction project.
  • 2020: South African experts visited four potential sites: Kuno-PalpurNauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary, Gandhi Sagar Wildlife Sanctuary and Madhav National Park.

About the recent translocation programme 

  • Project Cheetah: The introduction of cheetahs in India is being done under Project Cheetah, which is the world’s first intercontinental large wild carnivore translocation project.
  • Coexistence approach: India has opted for this approach. It is even more unique because this is the first time cheetahs will be reintroduced in an unfenced protected area (PA).
    •  Significance of Coexistence approach
      • The Coexistence approach is considered more favourable by social scientists.
      • Fencing has proven to be a valuable tool in eliminating cheetahs’ tendency to range over wide distances in South Africa and Malawi, thus allowing for population growth.
      • The core conservation area of KNP is largely free of anthropogenic threats.
    • Challenges associated with Coexistence approach 
      • Kuno NP will be more challenging, as it is not enclosed / fenced.
      • There have been no successful cheetah reintroductions into unfenced systems.
      • Anthropogenic threats to cheetah survival include snaring for bush meat and retaliatory killings due to livestock depredation.
      • This would place them at the risk of human-related mortality including snaring and retaliatory killings by livestock farmers.
  • Fortress conservation: Cheetahs have been reintroduced several times in various African countries
    • But these reintroductions were all done in fenced PAs as fencing provides safety from human-animal conflict caused due to cheetahs killing livestock. 
Kuno National ParkKuno National Park is a national park in MP established in 1981 as a wildlife sanctuary. In 2018, it was given the status of a national park. It is part of the Khathiar-Gir dry deciduous forests.KunoPalpur Wildlife Sanctuary is underway to become India’s second home for the Asiatic lion. 

Significance of Cheetah reintroduction

  • India as historical Cheetah habitat: The Cheetah habitat in India historically is from Jammu to Tamil Nadu, very widespread and they were found in any habitat dry forests, grasslands, scrub forest, etc.
  • Pray base: Experts believe that as long as there is enough food and there is protection they will regenerate on their own. A‘prey base’ that can sustain the population and that has already been prepared at the Kuno-Palpur sanctuary.
  • Cheetahs will help in the restoration of open forest and grassland ecosystems in India. 
  • The cheetah is a flagship grassland species; whose conservation also helps in preserving other grassland species in the predator food chain. 
  • This will help conserve biodiversity and enhance the ecosystem services like water security, carbon sequestration and soil moisture conservation, benefiting society at large.
  • It will also lead to enhanced livelihood opportunities for the local community through eco-development and ecotourism activities.


  • Coexistence with tigers and leopards: 
    • There may be intra-guild competition between the big cats in Kuno. 
    • More aggressive predators such as tigers and leopards will compete with the cheetahs. 
    • They may be driven to the outskirts of the park, where they could come into conflict with humans.
  • Locational Challenges of Kuno-Palpur National Park:
    • Different vegetation type:
      • The protected area of Kuno-Palpur National Park is largely dry, deciduous forest. 
      • The initial criticism was if the African cheetahs who are more used to the savannahs of that continent adapt well to Kuno.
    • Specific prey base:  
      • Indian cheetahs were largely dependent on blackbucks and chinkaras, sometimes on chital and rarely on nilgai. 
      • Few of these species are believed to have disappeared from Kuno.
    • Asiatic lion project: 
      • Some 24 villages have been relocated and rehabilitated from Kuno for this project. 
      • But now, Cheetah reintroduction may delay this project.

Way forward/ Government’s efforts

  • Livestock losses
    • India should have a functional compensation scheme in place to deal with this potential threat. 
  • Monitoring
    • Radio collars have been installed in all the cheetahs and will be monitored through satellite. There will also be a dedicated monitoring team behind each cheetah who will keep monitoring location for 24 hours.
  • Increasing prey base:
    • To increase prey base inside the 500-hectare enclosure, the Kuno National Park has brought in 238 chitals or spotted deer (Axis axis) from Pench and Narsinghgarh Wildlife Sanctuaries of the state and are planning to bring in around 300 more deer.
  • Gradual coexistence:
    • Over time, says the action plan by the Centre, cheetah and leopard populations will be able to coexist.  
More about CheetahsAbout:The cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) is a large cat native to Africa and central Iran. It is the fastest land animal, estimated to be capable of running at 80 to 128 km/h.There are four recorded subspecies of Cheetahs.Threats:The cheetah is threatened by several factors such as habitat loss, conflict with humans, poaching and high susceptibility to diseases.Asiatic Vs African Cheetahs:Research found that Asiatic cheetahs split from the African cheetah between 32,000 and 67,000 years ago. African CheetahAsiatic CheetahIUCN status: They are vulnerable under the IUCN Red List. Distribution: Around 6,500-7,000 African cheetahs present in the wild. Characteristics: They are bigger in size as compared to Asiatic Cheetah.IUCN status: The Asiatic cheetah is classified as a “critically endangered” species by the IUCN Red List. Status in India: The Asiatic Cheetah was declared extinct in India in 1952. Distribution: They are only 40-50 and found only in Iran. Characteristics: Smaller and paler than the African cheetah.

National Programme on Advanced Chemistry Cell (ACC) Energy Storage

In News

  • Recently, NITI Aayog presented a report on the current status and future trends in the ACC battery sector.


  • The report emphasises the potential role of the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme on ACC energy storage in creating domestic economic value.
  • The policies and incentives recommended in this report could pave the way for top-level battery manufacturers to invest in India.

National Programme on Advanced Chemistry Cell (ACC) Energy Storage

  • Nodal Ministry: the Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises, Government of India
  • Budget allocation: Rs. 18,100 crores 
  • Target: Manufacturing capacity of 50 GigaWattHour (GWh) of ACC and 5 GWh of niche ACC.
  • Key Features:
    • The cash subsidy will be offered on output, i.e. the volume of cells manufactured and sold by the beneficiaries. 
    • Technology agnostic initiative – only cells with higher performance specifications (i.e., Energy Density & Cycle Life) will be eligible to avail the incentives. 
    • There is an optimal sharing of risk between the beneficiary firm and the Government, and thus will bolster investors’ confidence.
  • Benefits:
  • Direct investment of around Rs. 45000 crore in ACC Battery storage manufacturing projects.
  • It will give a boost to the Make in India Programme and attract global investments into setting-up of ‘Gigafactories’ here.
  • Promoting newer and niche cell technologies.
  • The manufacturing of ACCs will facilitate production and use of Electric Vehicles.
  • Import substitution of around Rs.20,000 crore every year.
  • Exploitation of non-renewable resources and dependency on oil imports will reduce.
  • It will assist in reducing emissions and hence enabling us to achieve our INDCs.
  • It will encourage the manufacturers to invest into Research & Development and to manufacture such cells in India. 

Green Fins Hub

In News 

  • The United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), along with UK-based charity Reef-World Foundation, recently launched the Green Fins Hub.

About Green Fins Hub

  • It is the first-ever global marine tourism industry platform, helping operators to make simple, cost-efficient changes to their daily practices by utilising tried and tested solutions, keep track of their annual improvements and communicate with their communities and customers. 
  • It aims to overcome the biggest sustainability challenges in the marine conservation tourism industry.  
  • It  would give sustainable marine tourism a ‘major boost’.
  • Additional features :
    • The Green Fins Community Forum for operators around the world to raise industry needs, discuss environmental issues and share lessons and ideas with like-minded industry leaders, NGOs and governments. 
    • The Green Fins Solutions Library gives access to over 100 proven environmental solutions to common daily operational challenges, tried and tested by the Green Fins network for over two decades.  
    • The Action Plan Tracker: Members will receive an annual sustainability action plan with set goals. An advanced user interface now allows them to track their progress over time. 

India’s First Lithium Cell Plant

In News 

  • The Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY)will inaugurate India’s first lithium cell manufacturing facility at Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh.

About plant

  • The  state-of-the-art facility has been set up by the Chennai based Munoth Industries Limited with an outlay of Rs. 165 crores. 
  • The facility is located in one of the two Electronics Manufacturing Clusters set up in the temple town, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2015.
  • The installed capacity of the plant at present is 270 Mwh and can produce 20,000 cells of 10Ah capacity daily. 
  • These cells are used in power banks and this capacity is around 60 percent of India’s present requirement.
    • Currently India imports complete requirements of lithium-ion cells primarily from China, South Korea, Vietnam and Hong Kong.
  • Cells for other consumer electronics like Mobile Phones, hearable and wearable devices will also be produced.


  • This plant will be a step in the direction of realising Prime Minister Modi’s vision of making India the global hub of electronic manufacturing.
Lithium Discovered in 1817 by Swedish chemist Johan August Arfwedson in the mineral petalite, lithium is also found in brine deposits.Lithium is also found in pegmatite ores, such as spodumene (LiAlSi2O6) and lepidolite (of varying structure), or in amblygonite (LiAlFPO4) ores.

Manasbal Lake and Vembanad Lake

In News

  • Recently, after more than three decades Kashmir’s Manasbal Lake is once again open for training drills; after raging militancy forced the Navy to abandon it. 
    • The demolition of the illegally constructed villas of Kapico Resorts Pvt. Ltd on Nediyathuruthu Island on Vembanad Lake has begun. 

About Manasbal Lake and Vembanad Lake

  • Manasbal Lake
    • It is a freshwater lake located in Ganderbal District in the State of Jammu and Kashmir in India.
    • The name Manasbal is said to be a derivative of Lake Manasarovar.
    • The Mughal garden, called the Jaroka built by Nur Jahan overlooks the lake.
    • It is one of the largest natural stamping grounds of Aquatic birds in Kashmir.
  • Vembanad Lake
    • Vembanad is the longest lake in India, and the largest lake in the state of Kerala.
    • With an area of 2033 square kilometres, it is the second-largest Ramsar site in India only after the Sunderbans in West Bengal.
    • It receives water from rivers like the Pamba and Periyar.
    • The lake is a major source of freshwater for the state but also has brackish water areas.
    • It is also known as Vembanad Kayal, Vembanad Kol, Punnamada Lake (in Kuttanad) and Kochi Lake (in Kochi)
    • The lake witnessed a Snake boat race known as Nehru Trophy Boat Race (locally known as Vallam Kali) in August.
    • The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is located on the east coast of the lake.


In News

  • Recently, the Finance Minister was addressing the 75th Annual General Meeting of Indian Banks’ Association in Mumbai where she highlighted the use of Web3 and Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology in fraud detection and to generate early warning signs in an unforeseen event.

About Web3

  • It is also called Web 3.0.
  • It is a decentralised internet to be run on Blockchain technology.
    • Gavin Wood, the founder of Ethereum (a blockchain technology company) used the term Web3 first in 2014 and the past few years, many others have added to the idea of Web3. 
  • It would be different from the versions in use, Web 1.0 and Web 2.0. 
  • In web3, users will have ownership stakes in platforms and applications unlike now where tech giants control the platforms.

Benefits of Web3

  • Web3 will deliver a “decentralized and fair internet where users control their own data”. 
  • Web3 enables peer to peer (seller to buyer) transactions by eliminating the role of the intermediary.
    • Currently, if a seller has to make a business to the buyer, both the buyer and seller need to be registered on a “shop” or “platform” like Amazon or Ebay or any such e-commerce portal.
    • Platform authenticates that the buyer and seller are genuine parties for the transaction. 
    • Web3 tries to remove the role of the “platform”.
  • The spirit of Web3 is Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) which is that all the business rules and governing rules in any transaction are transparently available for anyone to see and software will be written conforming to these rules.  
    • With DAO, there is no need for a central authority to authenticate or validate. 

Present status of its development 

  • Web3 is in its very initial days and there is no consensus if it will take off like Web 1.0 or Web 2.0 did.
  • There is much scepticism from top tech brains in the industry and the academic community that Web3 does not solve the problems it purports to solve.
    • For example, Elon Musk and Jack Dorsey do not foresee a future for Web3. 
  • From a technology perspective, Web3 will require deviation from the current architecture where there is a front-end, middle layer and back-end.
  •  Web3’s architecture will need backend solutions for handling blockchain, persisting and indexing data in the blockchain, peer to peer communications and so forth. 
  • Similarly, the middle layer, also called the business rules layer, will need to include handling blockchain-based backend. 
  • It is not known yet if Web3 will become the dominant mode of handling the internet but the questions it raises are relevant.
Blockchain Technology:A blockchain is a distributed database that is shared among the nodes of a computer network. As a database, a blockchain stores information electronically in digital format.Blockchains are best known for their crucial role in cryptocurrency systems, such as Bitcoin, for maintaining a secure and decentralized record of transactions.  It guarantees the fidelity and security of a record of data and generates trust without the need for a trusted third party.


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