Impact of Climate Change on Monsoon

In Context

  • Monsoon in India has undergone several changes over the recent years, especially on account of climate change. 

More about the news

  • The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has sighted that 2022 has seen the second highest extreme events since 1902. 
    • Persistence of intense La Nina conditions, 
    • The abnormal warming of East Indian Ocean, 
    • Negative Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), 
    • Southward movement of most of the monsoon depressions and lows and 
    • Pre-monsoon heating over the Himalayan region are melting glaciers. 
    • This is a very complex mix.
  • Recent research indicates that monsoon rainfall became less frequent but more intense in India during the latter half of the 20th century. 
Indian Monsoon The monsoons are experienced in the tropical area roughly between 20° N and 20° S. Following are a few reasons for the formation of monsoons in the Indian Subcontinent:The differential heating and cooling of land (Indian subcontinent) and water (Ocean around subcontinent).The shift of the position of the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) in summer.The Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ,) is a broad trough of low pressure in equatorial latitudes. This is where the northeast and the southeast trade winds converge. This convergence zone lies more or less parallel to the equator but moves north or south with the apparent movement of the sunThe presence of the high-pressure area, east of Madagascar over  the Indian Ocean.The Tibetan plateau gets intensely heated during summer, which results in strong vertical air currents.The movement of the westerly jet stream to the north of the Himalayas and the presence of the tropical easterly jet stream over the Indian peninsula during summer.Effects of Monsoon on Indian SubcontinentThe Indian landscape, it’s animal and plant life, its entire agricultural calendar and the life of the people, including their festivities, revolve around this phenomenon.Agriculture:It accounts for 18 percent of India’s growth domestic product (GDP) and employs around half of its total workforce. The monsoon rains are the main source of water for 55 percent of the country’s arable land. This means the rains are crucial — not only for India’s farmers but for its economy as a whole.Rivers:The monsoon brings water and sediment not only to Indian rivers but also to rivers in China, Bangladesh, etc. Festivals:There are numerous traditional fasts and festivals celebrated during the wet season, some of them are Ganga Dussehra, Rath Yatras, Kanwarias, Janmashtami, Barsha Mongol Ramadan and Splash fairs are one of the most important parts of all monsoon festivals.

Impact of Climate Change on monsoon

  • Overall:
    • A shift in the track of monsoon systems, like low pressure and depression travelling south of their position and flash floods are a result of this change. 
  • And these changes spell intense and frequent extreme unprecedented weather events over the places which once struggled to record even normal monsoon rains.
  • Shift of monsoon weather systems:
    • Usually, monsoon systems move across Northwest India giving rains over the region there. 
    • But this year most of the monsoon weather systems have been travelling across central parts of the country, changing the area of rainfall. 
      • As a result, States such as Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan and parts of Maharashtra have been recording excess rainfall this season. 
      • West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh are experiencing the worst monsoon season of the century.
      • Experts believe that these changes are here to stay, which would continue to propel extreme weather events over the entire South Asian region.
    • Worldwide implications:
      • During the last six months, entire South Asia has been reporting a series of extreme weather events. 
      • While Bangladesh, India and Pakistan have battled severe floods, China is reeling under massive drought conditions.
  • Rice production:
    • One of the major impacts of changes in track of monsoon systems can be seen on kharif crops, particularly rice production. 
      • They form a significant share of more than 50% of total food grain production during this period.
    • The state experiencing monsoon deficit, West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand and east Uttar Pradesh are all rice-producing states.
  • Overall impacts on crops:
    • These uneven distribution rains along with increasing temperatures and humidity give rise to pest attacks and diseases. 
      • This will, in turn, impact the quality of the grain as well as the nutrition value may vary. 
    • According to a study, ‘Climate change, the monsoon, and rice yield in India’very high temperatures (> 35°C) induce heat stress and affect plant physiological processes, leading to spikelet sterility, non-viable pollen and reduced grain quality
    • Drought, on the other hand, reduces plant transpiration rates and may result in leaf rolling and drying, reduction in leaf expansion rates and plant biomass, immobilisation of solutes and increased heat stress of leaves.

Way Ahead

  • Slow onsets can still be taken care of through adaptation and resilience ideas but these kinds of big events are very difficult to cope with
    • That is where the main issue lies as the country would then have to divert development money to climate finance to combat climate change.
  • India’s hundreds of millions of rice producers and consumers are being affected negatively with these unprecedented changes which are also raising concerns over food security.
    • Short-term actions & solutions:
      • In UP, the Agriculture Meteorology division has advised carrying out the transplantation of rice and suggested the use of short-duration rice varieties
        • Experts have encouraged the cultivation of red gram.
        • Farmers are also recommended to opt for inter-cropping.
      • For farmers in Jharkhand, the Agrimet has suggested adopting measures to conserve moisture in the soil. 
        • No sowing is advised until there is 50 to 60mm rainfall and sufficient moisture for at least three consecutive days. 
      • Short-duration rice, millet, maize, and arha

CBI Functioning and CVC

In News

  • The Supreme court has been criticising the CBI for its “actions and inactions” on several occasions and flagged fundamental problems with the functioning of the agency.

Efforts to restructure law-enforcement agencies

  • The struggle to free elite law-enforcement agencies such as the CBI and Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) from the stranglehold of governments and political parties has been ongoing since the 1990s.
    • For CBI:
      • The Supreme Court fixed the tenure of the CBI Director at two years
      • The Lokpal Act, 2013, laid down that the CBI Director should be chosen, unanimously or by majority vote, by a search committee headed by the Prime Minister and also comprising the Leader of Opposition and the CJI or his representative, from a list of candidates drawn up by the Home Ministry and examined by the Department of Personnel and Training.
    • For CVC:
      • The apex Court gave statutory status to the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC).
      • It also stipulated that a panel headed by the CVC and including top secretaries to the Union government would draw up a panel from which the Director of the ED would be selected.

Major Criticisms 

  • Functioning and dilution:
    • According to critics, central agencies such as CVC and CBI have become completely defunct.
    • The SC judgment and the CVC Act (of 2003) have been progressively diluted by various governments over the years. 
      • The advent of Lokpal diluted it even more.
  • Political interference:
    • Since all these sanctioning authorities have links to the ruling dispensation, Opposition parties feel they are unfairly targeted.
    • Ruling governments dangle carrots before agency Directors in terms of post-retirement appointments is damaging the institution. 
About Central Vigilance CommissionIt was set up by the Government of India (Ministry of Home Affairs) vide Resolution in 1964 on the recommendation of the Santhanam Committee.It is an apex body for the prevention of corruption and exercising general superintendence over vigilance administration.Composition:The Commission was given statutory status by an enactment of the CVC Act, 2003 and vested with autonomy and insulation from external influences.After the enactment of the CVC Act, 2003, the Commission became a multi-member body consisting of a Central Vigilance Commissioner (Chairperson) and not more than two Vigilance Commissioners (Members).

Structural constraints of CBI

  • Frequently highlight constraints:
    • The CBI has been stymied both by the legal structure within which it functions and by the changes made by governments in the Rules governing it. 
    • Over the years, these have progressively made the agency subservient to the Union government.
      • To prosecute any MLA, state minister, or MP, the CBI needs sanction from the Speaker of the state Assembly (in case of MLAs) or the Governor (for state ministers). 
      • In the case of an MP, sanction is sought from the Speaker of Lok Sabha or Vice Chairman of Rajya Sabha. 
    • Withdrawal of general consent:
      • The work of the agency has been further constrained by the increasingly hostile relations between the Centre and the state governments. 
      • As many as nine states have withdrawn general consent to the CBI. 
      • Most of these are Opposition-ruled states, which have alleged that the CBI is being used by the Centre to target the Opposition.
  • The Chief Justice of India listed several issues that were affecting the CBI’s functioning:
    • General issues:
      • Lack of infrastructure, sufficient manpower and modern equipment; 
      • In-human conditions, especially at the lowest rung; 
      • Questionable methods of procuring evidence; 
      • Officers failing to abide by the rule book; and 
      • Lack of accountability of erring officers.
    • The issues leading to delay in trials were: 
      • Lack of public prosecutors and standing counsels; seeking adjournments; arraying hundreds of witnesses and filing voluminous documents in pending trials; undue imprisonment of undertrials; change in priorities with the change in the political executive; cherry picking of evidence; and repeated transfers of officers leading to a change in the direction of the probe.
    • These issues often lead to the acquittal of the guilty and incarceration of the innocent
    • This severely affects the public trust in the system and the courts cannot simply monitor every step.
About Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)About:It is the premier investigating police agency in India. It is an elite force playing a major role in preservation of values in public life and in ensuring the health of the national economy. It is also the nodal police agency in India, which coordinates investigations on behalf of Interpol Member countries.Origin:It has its origin in the Special Police Establishment set up in 1941 to probe bribery and corruption during World War II.It was set up by a resolution of the Ministry of Home Affairs in 1963 after Santhanam committee recommendation.Ministry:It functions under the Department of Personnel, Ministry of Personnel, Pension & Public Grievances, Government of India.General Consent:CBI needs consent of a state to probe offences in the state’s jurisdiction, a general consent is given to the agency so that consent is not required for every individual case. Withdrawal of consent means CBI cannot investigate even a central government employee stationed in a state without the consent of the state government.

Way Ahead

  • Creation of Independent umbrella institution:
    • There is an immediate need for the creation of an independent umbrella institution, so as to bring various central agencies like the CBI, CVC, Enforcement Directorate and the Serious Fraud Investigation Office under one roof.
    • This body is required to be created under a statute, clearly defining its powers, functions and jurisdictions. 
    • Independence: 
      • The organisation should be headed by an independent and impartial authority, appointed by a committee akin to the one which appointed the CBI Director. 
      • Its head could be assisted by deputies having specialisation in different domains.
  • Relationship between the State and Central agencies:
    • There should be a harmonious relationship between the State and Central agencies and collaboration was the key, given that the goal of all those organisations was to secure justice.
  • Upgradation of knowledge:
    • There is a need for regular upgradation of knowledge, deployment of state-of-the-art technology, and international exchange programmes to learn the best practices.
  • The role, jurisdiction and legal powers of the CBI need to be clearly laid down.

Death Penalty

In News

  • The Supreme Court referred to a Constitution Bench on the question of how to provide accused in death penalty cases a “meaningful, real and effective” hearing of their mitigating circumstances before a trial judge.


  • Considered Mitigation Investigator: Earlier this year, the court, while reducing the death sentence awarded to a Madhya Pradesh man for raping a seven-year-old girl to life imprisonment, had taken on record the report of a mitigation investigator who went into the background of the convict.
  • Suo motu Petition: The Supreme court also registered a suo motu petition titled ‘In re-framing guidelines regarding potential mitigating circumstances to be considered while imposing death sentences’ to streamline the process of considering mitigating circumstances in such matters.
  • Supreme Court’s stand: 
    • Its latest ruling has highlighted a clear conflict of opinions between some of its earlier decisions on granting hearing in such cases.
    • A uniform approach is needed in granting real and meaningful opportunities to convicts on Death Row as opposed to a formal hearing, to the accused/ convict, on the issue of sentence.
    • The bench pointed out that its May 1980 decision in the Bachan Singh vs State of Punjab case, said the question of what constitutes sufficient time at the trial court stage, in this manner appears not to have been addressed. 
      • This, in the court’s considered opinion, requires consideration and clarity”
      • In the case it had upheld the constitutional validity of death penalty for murder while stating that it will be imposed only in the rarest of rare cases.
    • Machhi Singh vs State of Punjab (1983):
      • In this case , the Court indicated that inadequacy of other punishments could justify the death penalty. 
      • This too negated the humanistic liberalism in Bachan Singh.
    • The suo motu writ petition was initiated by the Supreme Court noticing the lack of a uniform framework in this regard.
  • Section 235(2) of the Criminal Procedure Code: 
    • If the accused is convicted, the Judge shall, unless he proceeds in accordance with the provisions of Section 360 (order to release on probation of good conduct or after admonition), hear the accused on the question of sentence, and then pass sentence on him according to law.
Mitigation Experts‘Mitigation expert’ would be a qualified professional with unhindered access to the convict’s past, ought to be at the center of this change in outlook.He would have expertise in fields as varied as social work, sociology, anthropology, criminology, psychology and other social sciences.They would interview the convicts, their families, friends and others associated with the prisoners and their past to draw a complete picture.The data would then be placed before a trial judge to aid in the judicial process of determining the punishment.

Issues/ Challenges

  • Inconsistency in application: 
    • The Supreme Court has repeatedly lamented the inconsistency in application of the Bachan Singh framework.
    • Similar concerns have been expressed by the Law Commission of India (262nd Report).
  • Crime-centred approach to sentencing: 
    • Often in violation of the mandate in Bachan Singh that factors relating to both the crime and the accused have to be considered.
  • Arbitrary action: 
    • There has been widespread concern that the imposition of death sentences has been arbitrary.
    • A study by Project 39A looking at 15 years of death penalty sentencing in trial courts has shown that the Bachan Singh framework has broken down, with judges attributing to it multiple and inconsistent meanings.
    • A study of the 595 death sentences imposed in the last five years shows that this concern is intensifying.
  • Sparse sentencing information about the accused is brought before the judges:
    • While the judgement in Bachan Singh did develop a framework, it was a framework that depended on the relevant information brought before the court.
    • But the framework did not have any mechanisms to ensure the actual collection of such information and its presentation before judges.
  • It is an empirical reality that the vast majority of death row prisoners are economically vulnerable and very often receive poor legal representation.
    • As a result, they do not have access to professionals and experts with the necessary training and skill sets to undertake the complex exercise of collecting mitigation information.
  • There has been no real guidance on how judges must go about assigning weight to aggravating and mitigating factors, and how they should approach weighing one factor against another.

Way Ahead

  • There is a necessity of working out the modalities of psychological evaluation, the stage of adducing evidence in order to highlight mitigating circumstances, and the need to build institutional capacity in this regard.
  • It is important to have a separate hearing and necessary to have a background analysis of the accused.
  • The entire proceedings should be adjourned after the stage of conviction in cases in which a person can be put to death as a form of punishment if found guilty. The defense team could use the time to collect mitigating factors.
Death PenaltyAbout:Death penalty or capital punishment is the highest degree of punishment that can be awarded to an individual under specified penal law in force.It is a legally backed instrument used by the state to take an individual’s life.It has been in existence since the inception of the State itself.History in India:During the British raj, there were countless instances of Indians being hanged after trial or even before it. The dawn of Independence brought about a new era in the judicial system of IndiaPost Independence, India became a democratic state, and the system of awarding death penalties too changed drastically. Constitutional Validity: The Indian Penal Code in accordance with the provisions enshrined in the Constitution of India provided for awarding of capital punishment for certain specific offences.According to Section 354(3) in the Code of Criminal Procedure, while imposing the capital punishment, the judge should specify “the special reasons” for doing so.

Amendments to Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI)

In News

  • Recently, the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) has amended the regulations with the objective to maximise value in resolution. 

Recent Amendments

  • Sale of assets:
    • IBBI has amended its regulations to allow sale of one or more assets of an entity undergoing the insolvency resolution process.
  • Committee of Creditors (CoC):
    • The Committee of Creditors can now examine whether a compromise or an arrangement can be explored for a corporate debtor during the liquidation period.
  • Corporate Debtor:
    • The resolution plan to include sale of one or more assets of Corporate Debtor to one or more successful resolution applicants submitting resolution plans for such assets and providing appropriate treatment of the remaining assets.
      • It will help in wider dissemination of information to a wider and targeted audience of potential resolution applicants.
  • Timeframe:
    • The amendment also enables a longer time for the asset in the market.
Facts/ DataAs many as 1,703 Corporate Insolvency Resolution Processes (CIRPs) ended up in liquidation till the end of June this year.These processes took an average of 428 days for conclusion.

Significance of the recent amendments  

  • Market-linked solutions: It will provide better market-linked solutions for stressed companies.
  • The amendments will ensure that better quality information about the insolvent company and its assets is available to the market including prospective resolution applicants in a timely manner.
  • Clearer picture about the debt: a resolution professional will have to actively seek claims from known creditors of the company concerned, a move that will help in making available a clearer picture about the debt. 
  • Avoidance of transactions: Details of any applications filed for avoidance of transactions will be made available to resolution applicants before submission of resolutions plans and can be addressed by the applicants in their plans.
  • Information memorandum: is required to contain material information which will help in assessing its position as a going concern, and not only information about its assets, thereby addressing a critical need of the market.

Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC)

  • It was enacted in 2016, against the backdrop of mounting non-performing loans, with a view to establishing a consolidated framework for insolvency resolution of corporationspartnership firms and individuals in a time-bound manner
    • The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) provides for a market-linked and time-bound resolution of stressed assets.
  • Companies have to complete the entire insolvency exercise within 180 days under IBC and the deadline may be extended if the creditors do not raise objections to the extension.
  • It seeks to tackle the non-performing asset (NPA) problem in two ways.
    • Behavioural change on part of the debtors to ensure sound business decision-making and prevent business failures is encouraged. 
    • It envisages a process through which financially ailing corporate entities are put through a rehabilitation process and brought back up on their feet.
  • The IBC sets out three classes of persons who can trigger the corporate insolvency resolution process (CIRP) – financial creditors, operational creditors and corporate debtors.
  • The most important aspect under the IBC is the timeliness of insolvency resolution. 
    • The Supreme Court in Kridhan Infrastructure Vs Venketesan Sankaranarayan, observed that the insolvency resolution should not suffer from an indefinite delay in complete abeyance of the timelines fixed under the IBC.

Aims and Objectives

  • To protect the interests of small investors and make the process of doing the business less cumbersome
  • To promote entrepreneurship, availability of credit and balance the interests of all the stakeholders.


  • The IBC has undoubtedly revived India’s insolvency regime and it has been successful in combating the growing threat of NPAs.
  • It has also benefited the economy in a variety of nuanced ways, including improving credit discipline. 
    • As per reports, a total of 2.5-lakh crore has been introduced back into the banking system from 2016 upon resolution of insolvencies under IBC.
  • Post the implementation of IBC, as per the World Bank’s report, India’s rank in resolving insolvency went from 136 in 2017 to 52 in 2020

Criticism & Challenges

  • There have been more liquidations than resolutions.
  • The recovery amounts under IBC are not substantial, making it more of a talking point than an effective structural reform.
  • The recovery rates under the IBC are low. There are matters where haircuts of as much as 95 per cent are being granted during the insolvency resolution.
    • Since 2016, the lenders took an average of 61 per cent haircut on claims.
  •  There are inordinate delays in the resolution procedure
    • Around 71 per cent of the cases are pending for more than 180 days which is a marked deviation from the intent of swiftly resolving insolvency.
  • Another important challenge is the digitisation of the IBC ecosystem. 
    • The lack of digitisation has led to the insolvency process being stymied with long delays much beyond the statutory limits. 

Way Forward

  • The IBC has reformed the Indian insolvency law landscape to a great extent.
  • It is important for the key stakeholders to make their best endeavours to ensure that the power of the IBC does not diminish. 
  • The goal must be to fill the voids that are discovered and move towards a more complex legal system over time. 
  • The government needs to cater appropriate budgetary allocations to upskilling insolvency professionals, improvement of tribunal infrastructure and digitisation of the insolvency resolution process.
  • There is a long way ahead for the Indian insolvency regime to meet the standards of other mature global jurisdictions.

Ethereum Merger

In News

  • Ethereum, the world’s second most valuable cryptocurrency, has completed a significant software overhaul recently.


  • Revamping of Ethereum:
    • It is known as ‘The Merge’
    • It will cast aside the need for crypto miners and gigantic mining farms, who had previously driven the blockchain under a mechanism called ‘proof-of-work’ (PoW)
    • Instead, it has now shifted to a ‘proof-of-stake’ (PoS) mechanism that assigns ‘validators’ randomly to approve transactions and earn a small reward.
  • How it worked till now: 
    • Ethereum is a decentralised cryptocurrency, meaning that it does not have institutions like banks approving the transactions that happen on its network. 
    • The approvals were earlier happening under the PoW consensus mechanism which was essentially done by miners. 
    • Miners would compete to solve complex mathematical puzzles using a massive infrastructure of cutting edge computer hardware, and the first one to solve the puzzle would be chosen as the validator. 
    • This method was almost entirely dependent on crypto farms, which are massive warehouses lined with rows of computers which would solve the puzzles.
    • Problem: These mining farms were energy guzzlers, leading to one of the biggest criticisms of the crypto industry that they sometimes consumed more electricity than entire countries, and were therefore a big concern in terms of environmental sustainability.
  • New Change: 
    • ‘The Merge’ and the shift to the PoS consensus mechanism. 
    • Ethereum is still a decentralised platform, but under the new concept, it would not need miners and mining farms to authenticate transactions anymore. 
    • Instead, a validator will be randomly assigned using an algorithm from a pool of people who ‘stake’ their coins, which essentially means pledging at least 32 Ethereum tokens on the network. 
    • This would entirely eliminate the need for miners on the Ethereum network.
    • Cryptocurrencies that use proof of stake include Cardano, Binance Coin, and Solana.

Significance of Merge

  • Enhanced Security: It will make transactions on the Ethereum network extremely secure.
  • Supporting Network: Given that some of the most popular applications of cryptocurrencies such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and decentralised finance (DeFi) are based on the Ethereum network, the overhaul could have far-reaching consequences in the future.
  • Reduced Energy Consumption: The move to PoS will reduce ethereum’s energy consumption by nearly 99.95 percent.
  • Environmentally Beneficial: It is also being seen as an environmentally conscious move as it claims to cut down on its carbon footprint, nearly entirely.
  • Lower Cost: It will help in reducing the cost per transaction, charged by miners and validators. 
  • More Returns: It will also allow ordinary people to earn returns on ethereum by participating in this new process of validation (staking). 
EthereumEther (ETH), the cryptocurrency of the Ethereum network, is the second most popular digital token after bitcoin (BTC).It is open access to digital money and data-friendly services for everyone.Ethereum is programmable which can be useful for lots of different digital assets – even Bitcoin.BitcoinIn 2009, an anonymous hacker or hacker group called Satoshi Nakamoto introduced Bitcoin.It was described as a ‘peer-to-peer electronic cash system.’It was a completely decentralized system due to the absence of any servers and central authority.Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency which became widely popular. Later other cryptocurrencies also came up like Litecoin, Namecoin and PPcoin.Ether and bitcoin are similar in many waysThey both are digital currency traded via online exchanges and stored in various types of cryptocurrency wallets. Both of these tokens are decentralized, meaning that they are not issued or regulated by a central bank or other authority. Both make use of the distributed ledger technology known as the blockchain.Crypto CurrencyIt is a digital currency which can be used in place of conventional money.In the cryptocurrencies, cryptography is used to secure and verify the transactions. It is also used to control the supply of cryptocurrencies.Characteristics of Cryptocurrencies:Irreversible: A transaction done by cryptocurrency is irreversible and cannot be reversed.Intangible: The cryptocurrencies are not backed by any tangible good or any kind of guarantee.Instant and global: The transaction is instantaneous and since the network is global, the transaction can be done across the globe without restrictions.Secure: It uses cryptography technology which is almost impossible to break.No central authority: There is no gatekeeper like that of government and central banks and users are responsible for all the transactions.

Kedarnath Temple

In News

  • Recently, A section of priests opposed the gold plating being done on the sanctum sanctorum of Kedarnath temple.
    • Currently, the sanctum sanctorum  is covered with 230 kilogram of silver.

Kedarnath Temple

  • Kedarnath Temple is a Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva.
  • It is located in Uttarakhand on the Garhwal Himalayan range near the Mandakini river and is an integral part of the famous Char Dham Yatra.
  • It was built in the 8th century A.D. by Adi Shankaracharya and is one of the 12 jyotirlingas in India.
  • The temple is closed during winter, since during the winter season the deity is brought down to a village called Ukhimat.
  • The deity is carried back to the temple in summer, when the weather improves, amid much fanfare and rituals.
  • Outside the temple door a large statue of the Nandi Bull stands as guard.

Mandakini river

  • The Mandakini River is a tributary of the Alaknanda River.
  • The river runs between the Rudraprayag and Sonprayag areas and emerges from the Chorabari Glacier.
  • The Mandakini River merges with Songanga river at Sonprayag.
  • At the end of its course it drains into the Alaknada, which flows into the Ganges. 

Ambedkar Circuit

In News

  • A special tourist train, to cover Ambedkar Circuit, was announced


  • The Ambedkar Circuit was proposed in 2016 and it  covers Madhya Pradesh’s MhowAmbedkar’s birthplaceNagpur, where he converted to Buddhism; the residence in Delhi where he lived during his last years; and Dadar in Maharashtra, where his body was cremated.
    • Like the Ramayana and Buddhist Circuits, a special train will be run on the Ambedkar Circuit.
    • Earlier, a special train was run on the Ramayana Circuit, which covered prominent places associated with the life of Lord Ram, including Ayodhya and Janakpur in Nepal.

Colour Revolutions

In Context

  • China has recently appealed to Russia, India, and other Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) members to cooperate in preventing foreign powers from destabilising their countries by inciting “Colour revolutions”.

Colour Revolutions

  • Colour revolutions refer to a series of uprisings that first began in former communist nations in Eastern Europe in the early 2000s, but are also used in reference to popular movements in the Middle East and Asia. 
  • Most have involved large-scale mobilisation on the streets, with demands for free elections or regime change, and calls for removal of authoritarian leaders.
  • Protesters often wear a specific colour, such as in Ukraine’s Orange Revolution, but the term has also been used to describe movements named after flowers like the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia
Some of the Better known “color revolutions”Orange Revolution:It refers to a series of protests that occurred in Ukraine between November 2004 and January 2005. The movement was in response to reports from international and domestic observers that claimed that the country’s 2004 Presidential election runoff.Tulip Revolution:Also called the First Kyrgyz Revolution, the movement led to the ouster of Kyrgyzstan’s President Askar Akayev in early 2005. These protests were in response to the parliamentary elections in which Akayev’s allies and family members won.Foreign observers argued that the election process was deeply flawed.Jasmine Revolution:The popular uprising that occurred between December 2010 to January 2011 in Tunisia was in response to the underlying corruption, unemployment, inflation and lack of political freedoms in the country.This movement inspired a wave of similar protests throughout the Middle East and North Africa known as the Arab Spring.

Hackathon 3.0 ‘’KRITAGYA”

In News

  • Indian Council of Agricultural Research with its National Agricultural Higher Education Project and Crop Science Division is organizing Hackathon 3.0 ‘’KRITAGYA” on promoting ‘speed breeding for crop improvement’.


  • The definition of KRITAGYA is: 
    • KRI for Krishi meaning Agriculture, 
    • TA for Taknik meaning Technology and
    •  GYA for Gyan meaning Knowledge. 
  • In this competition, students, faculty and innovators/entrepreneurs from any university/technical institute across the country can apply and participate in the program as a group. 
  • During 2020-21 and 2021-22 NAHEP in association with Agricultural Engineering and Animal Science Divisions of ICAR organized Hackathon 1.0 and 2.0 to promote the innovation in Farm Mechanization and in Animal Science, respectively. 
  • Significance: This program will provide an opportunity to students/faculties/entrepreneurs/innovators and others to showcase innovative approaches and technology solutions to promote innovation for crop improvement.
    • It will give impetus to the desired rapid results in the crop sector with the ability to learn, innovation and solutions, employability and entrepreneurship. It will also encourage greater adoption of technology enabled solutions in the country.

Hedge Fund


  • The term has been in the news.

What Is a Hedge Fund?

  • A hedge fund is a limited partnership of private investors whose money is managed by professional fund managers who use a wide range of strategies, including leveraging or trading of non-traditional assets, to earn above-average investment returns.
  • Hedge fund investment is often considered a risky alternative investment choice and usually requires a high minimum investment or net worth, often targeting wealthy clients.

Regulatory requirements

  • Hedge funds in India do not need to be necessarily registered with the Securities and Exchange Board of India.

Different types of hedge funds in the market

  • Domestic hedge funds: Domestic hedge funds are open to only those investors that are subject to the origin country’s taxation. 
  • Offshore hedge funds: An offshore hedge fund is established outside of your own country, preferably in a low taxation country. 
  • Fund of funds: Fund of funds is basically mutual funds that invest in other hedge mutual funds rather than the individual underlying securities.
Hedge Fund vs. Mutual FundHedge funds differ from mutual funds and hedge funds are not as strictly regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as mutual funds are.Mutual funds are a practical cost-efficient way to build a diversified portfolio of stocks, bonds, or short-term investments and are available to the general public and average investor.Hedge funds can only accept money from accredited investors which includes individuals with an annual income that exceeds $200,000 or a net worth exceeding $1 million, excluding their primary residence.A hedge fund can invest in land, real estate, stocks, derivatives, and currencies while mutual funds use stocks or bonds as their instruments for long-term investment strategies.Unlike mutual funds where an investor can elect to sell shares at any time, hedge funds typically limit opportunities to redeem shares and often impose a locked period of one year before shares can be cashed in.

Current Account Deficit

In News

  • Recently, the current account deficit has hit a 36-quarter high of 3.4 percent of GDP or USD 28.4 billion against a 0.9 percent surplus a year ago.

About Current Account Deficit

  • It is the shortfall between the money flowing in on exports, and the money flowing out on imports.
  • It measures the gap between the money received into and sent out of the country on the trade of goods and services and also the transfer of money from domestically-owned factors of production abroad
  • It is slightly different from the Balance of Trade, which measures only the gap in earnings and expenditure on exports and imports of goods and services. 
    • Whereas, the current account also factors in the payments from domestic capital deployed overseas. 
    • For example, rental income from an Indian owning a house in the UK would be computed in the Current Account, but not in the Balance of Trade.
  • Causes: 
    • Existing exchange rate, consumer spending level, capital inflow, inflation level, and prevailing interest rate. 
      • For the Current Account Deficit in India, crude oil and gold imports are the primary reasons behind high CAD.
  • Implications: 
    • Current Account Deficit may be a positive or negative indicator for an economy depending upon why it is running a deficit. 
    • It may help a debtor nation in the short term, but it may worry in the long term as investors begin raising concerns over adequate return on their investments.
  • Method to deal: 
    • It could be reduced by boosting exports and curbing non-essential imports such as gold, mobiles, and electronics. 
    • Currency hedging and bringing easier rules for manufacturing entities to raise foreign funds could also help. 
    • The government and RBI could also look to review debt investment limits for FPIs, among other measures.
What is a Current Account?A nation’s Current Account maintains a record of the country’s transactions with other nations. It comprises the following components:trade of goods and services,net earnings on overseas investments and net transfer of payments over a period of time, such as remittancesThis account goes into a deficit when money sent outward exceeds that coming inward.Calculation:It is measured as a percentage of GDP.Trade gap = Exports – ImportsCurrent Account = Trade gap + Net current transfers + Net income abroad

International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA)

In News 

  • India will host the 9th Session of the Governing Body of the ‘International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture’ (ITPGRFA). 


  • It is a legally binding comprehensive agreement adopted in November, 2001 at Rome during the 31st session of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, which entered into force on June 29, 2004 and currently has 149 Contracting Parties, including India.
  • The treaty provides solutions to achieve food and nutritional security as well as climate resilient agriculture. Countries are inter-dependent for PGRFA and consequently a global order is essential to facilitate access and benefit sharing.
  • It formally acknowledges the enormous contribution of indigenous people and small-holder farmers as traditional custodians of the world’s food crops. 
  • The treaty was aimed at:
    • recognizing the significant contribution of farmers to the diversity of crops that feed the world;
    • establishing a global system to provide farmers, plant breeders and scientists with access to plant genetic materials; and
    • ensuring that recipients share benefits they derive from the use of these genetic materials with the countries where they have originated.

International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

In News

  • Recently ,the work of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)in India was highlighted.

About IFAD

  • It is an international financial institution and a specialized agency of the United Nations dedicated to eradicating poverty and hunger in rural areas of developing countries. 
  • It works in the area of agriculture, agricultural productivity. It is focused on small-holder farmers
  • India: It has been working in India for more than 30 years. The current country strategic opportunities programme is fully aligned with the government’s policy framework of doubling farmers’ incomes in real terms by 2022. 


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