UN High Seas Treaty

In News

  • Recently, for the first time, United Nations members have agreed on a unified treaty to protect biodiversity in the high seas.


  • The treaty is negotiated under the United Nations Convention on Laws of the Sea (UNCLOS) of 1982 which governs the rights of countries regarding marine resources.
  • 2/3rd of the world’s oceans are currently considered international waters/high seas. But until now only about 1% of these waters have been protected
  • It aims to create an updated framework to protect marine life in high seas, which are regions outside national boundary waters.
  • It will create a new body to manage the conservation of ocean life and establish marine protected areas on the high seas. 
  • The treaty also establishes ground rules for conducting environmental impact assessments for commercial activities in the oceans.

Importance of High Seas:

  • Ninety per cent of global warming occurs in the ocean, deeply affecting Marine life.
  • Comprehensive protection of endangered species and habitats is not possible without High Seas which cover more than 40% of the Earth’s surface and two-thirds of the ocean.
  • Several marine species — including dolphins, whales, sea turtles and many fish — make long annual migrations, crossing national borders and the high seas. 
  • High seas are the  crucial component in global efforts to bring 30% of the world’s land and sea under protection by the end of the decade, a target known as “30 by 30”.
  • The treaty can have benefits for society (pharmaceuticals and food) and will help reverse biodiversity losses and ensure sustainable development.
  • The high seas treaty has also been an important matter pertaining to the North-South divide between poor and rich. Those who had resources have always been at an advantage from the activities in the high seas.


  • Developing nations were disappointed by the limited funding options included in the text of the treaty.
  • If the MPAs are not properly connected, it might not have the desired impact as many species are migratory.


  • The newly established treaty will permit the establishment of marine protected areas within international waters. This will build resilience from climate change, protect marine life, and will also oblige countries to conduct environmental impact assessments of proposed activities on the high seas.
United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)The ‘Law of the Sea Treaty’, formally known as the United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Sea (UNCLOS) was adopted in 1982 to establish jurisdictional limits over ocean areas.The convention defines a distance of 12 nautical miles from the baseline as the Territorial Sea limit and a distance of 200 nautical miles distance as the Exclusive Economic Zone limit.It provides for technology and wealth transfer from developed to underdeveloped nations and requires parties to implement regulations and laws to control marine pollution.India became a signatory to the UNCLOS in 1982.UNCLOS created three new institutions:International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea: It is an independent judicial body established by UNCLOS to adjudicate disputes arising out of the convention.International Seabed Authority: It is a UN body set up to regulate the exploration and exploitation of marine non-living resources of oceans in international waters.Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf: It facilitates the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (the Convention) in respect of the establishment of the outer limits of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles.

Nano-DAP included in Fertilizer Control Order

Syllabus: GS2/ Government policies & intervention

In News

  • Centre has recently notified nano Di-Ammonia Phosphate (DAP) in the Fertilizer Control Order, allowing its commercial release for farmers.


  • Fertiliser cooperative Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO) introduced nano liquid urea in 2021.
  • With this step, Nano DAP is expected to be priced at around Rs 600 for a 500 litres bottle, half the present subsidized rate of a 50-kilogram bag of DAP.
  • They have the potential to increase crop yield by up to 30% compared to traditional fertilisers, especially in areas with poor soil quality or limited access to water.
  • As with any new technology, there are concerns about the long-term environmental and health impacts of Nano DAP, and more research is needed to fully understand these risks.
  • Previously, the Centre has told fertiliser companies and states to promote Nano Urea and Nano DAP use which might hit the market by the next Kharif season.

What is Nano DAP?

  • Nano-DAP is jointly manufactured by IFFCO in association with a private player Coromandel and is expected to contribute to bringing down the annual subsidy on non-urea fertilizers.
  • DAP stands for diammonium phosphate, which is a type of fertiliser that contains both nitrogen and phosphorus.
  • Nano DAP is a variation of DAP that has been modified at the nano-scale to improve its effectiveness in agriculture to enhance crop growth and yield.
  • It is produced by reducing the size of the DAP particles to the nano-scale (1-100 nanometres).
  • The small size of the particles allows for better absorption of the fertiliser by plant roots, resulting in increased crop growth and yield.
  • It is more efficient than traditional DAP, which means that less fertiliser is needed to achieve the same results.
  • It is also less likely to leach into groundwater or be washed away by rainfall, which can help reduce environmental pollution.

Importance of Nano DAP for India

  • Cost Advantage: Nano-DAP is expected to be priced at around half the subsidized rate of traditional DAP, thus providing cost advantages to farmers.
  • Contribution to reducing subsidies: With the inclusion of Nano-DAP in the Fertilizer Control Order, it is expected to bring down the annual subsidy on non-urea fertilizers.
  • Increase in Farmer Income: Nano-DAP is expected to lead to an increase in farmer income by reducing input costs, increasing crop yield, and improving crop quality.
  • Better crop quality: The use of Nano-DAP is expected to improve crop quality, leading to better prices for farmers.
  • Nitrogen Use Efficiency: Nano-DAP has a high nutrient use efficiency of more than 85%, which helps to fulfil the nitrogen requirement of plants.
  • Reduction in Chemical Fertilizers: Nano-DAP can help reduce the injudicious use of chemical fertilizers like urea by 50%, thus promoting efficient use of plant chemicals.

Challenges with Nano-DAP

  • Cost: While Nano-DAP is expected to be cost-effective in the long run, the initial investment can be higher for farmers who may not have the resources to invest in new fertilizers.
  • Limited availability: The production of Nano-DAP is currently limited and may not be sufficient to meet the demand of all farmers across India.
  • Awareness and education: The government and private sector will need to invest in educating farmers about the benefits of the new fertilizer and how to use it correctly.
  • Infrastructure: The government and private sector will need to invest in building the necessary infrastructure to ensure that the fertilizer reaches farmers in a timely and efficient manner.
  • Resistance: While Nano-DAP is expected to be more efficient than traditional fertilizers, farmers will need to use it responsibly to prevent resistance from developing.

Way ahead

  • Nano DAP is a promising technology that has the potential to revolutionize the agriculture industry, especially for a country like India which needs to ensure food security for its billion-plus population.
  • However, further research is needed to fully understand these risks and ensure that the benefits of this technology outweigh any potential drawbacks.
  • Overall, Nano DAP presents a promising solution for improving crop productivity and addressing food security challenges around the world.

 Source: TH

‘Cyber warrior’

In Context

  •  ‘Cyber Warrior’ Teams and Help Desks to Combat Rising Cybercrime in Visakhapatnam.


  • During the year 2022, visakhapatnam had reported as many as 610 cybercrime cases, as against 316 during the year 2021, which is almost a 93% increase.
  • To combat the rise in cybercrime, all police stations in the city will soon have exclusive ‘cyber warriors’ teams to handle such cases.
  • Additionally, cybercrime help desks will be set up in all police stations within the next two months.

What are Cyber Warriors?

  • As part of the initiative, around 70 police personnel, including around 20 sub-inspectors and several ASIs will be undergoing virtual and offline training on various aspects of cybercrime.
  • The cyber warriors team will be headed by a Sub-Inspector and staff.
  • The personnel will be trained on various aspects of cybercrime cases being reported, including the modus operandi of cyber fraudsters.
  • The police are planning to introduce the cyber sentinel concept in which at least one person in each colony or area will be trained with basic skills to handle cybercrime and create awareness among people.
  • Personnel will also be trained in technical skills to launch immediate communication with data operators and bank authorities after a cybercrime is committed.
  • The aim is to freeze accounts or stop money transfers and retrieve call data records to prevent money from being transferred to fraudsters.

Cybercrime in India: (NCRB Report)

  • India reported nearly 52,974 cybercrime incidents in 2021 which was an increase of nearly 6% from 2020.
  • Telangana was the state with the highest number of cybercrime cases, accounting for more than 19% of the total.
  • Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka saw a decrease in the number of cybercrime cases by 20% and 24%, respectively.
  • The main challenges in prosecuting cybercrime cases are jurisdictional issues and difficulty in obtaining electronic logs from foreign service providers.
  • Bengaluru had the highest number of cybercrime cases, but there has been a decline in cases over the past three years.
  • Fraud was the most common motive for committing cybercrime, accounting for nearly 61% of cases.
  • Karnataka recorded the highest number of cybercrimes against women in 2021, with 2,243 cases.
  • The police pendency percentage in cybercrime cases improved from 71.3% in 2020 to 56.4% in 2021.
  • The conviction ratio for cybercrime cases remains poor, and the charge-sheeting rate declined from 47.5% in 2020 to 33.8% in 2021.
  • The court pendency percentage remained high, with 81.4% of total cases in trial in 2021 remaining. pending at the end of the year.

Challenges of Cybercrime

  • Lack of Awareness: Many people in India are still not aware of the risks associated with cybercrime, making them more vulnerable to attacks.
  • Low Cybersecurity Awareness: A large number of individuals and organizations in India lack basic cybersecurity awareness, making them easy targets for cybercriminals.
  • Rapidly Evolving Cyber Threat Landscape: Cybercrime is evolving at a rapid pace, with new threats emerging regularly. It is challenging for law enforcement agencies to keep up with these developments.
  • Limited Cybersecurity Infrastructure: India’s cybersecurity infrastructure is still developing, and many organizations do not have adequate security measures in place to protect their networks and data.
  • Increasing Use of Technology: With the widespread adoption of technology in India, more people are becoming vulnerable to cybercrime, making it even more challenging to combat.
  • Lack of Cybercrime Laws: India has outdated cybercrime laws that are not in line with current threats. There is a need for updated laws to be enacted to combat the ever-changing cybercrime landscape.

Need for controlling cyber crimes in India

  • Increasing Digitalization: With the growing digitalization of India, more people are using online services and technology, which has led to an increase in cybercrime incidents.
  • Economic Impact: Cybercrime has a significant economic impact on India, with losses amounting to billions of dollars annually. The country is also losing out on potential investments due to concerns about cybersecurity.
  • National Security: Cybercrime can have severe consequences for national security, as it can compromise sensitive information and infrastructure, leading to potential political instability.
  • Personal Privacy: Cybercrime can violate personal privacy, leading to identity theft, financial fraud, and other forms of cyberstalking.
  • Cyber Security Jobs: With the growing importance of cybersecurity, there is a need for skilled professionals in the field, creating job opportunities in India.
  • Digital India Initiative: The Indian government’s Digital India initiative aims to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. However, cybercrime can hinder the initiative’s progress and undermine public trust in digital technologies.

Laws governing Cybercrime in India

  • Information Technology Act, 2000: This is the primary law governing cybercrime in India. The act provides legal recognition for electronic transactions, penalties for cybercrime, and procedures for handling cybercrime investigations and prosecutions.
  • Indian Penal Code (IPC): The IPC has provisions for dealing with cybercrime, including identity theft, online stalking, hacking, and dissemination of obscene materials.
  • Aadhaar Act, 2016: This law regulates the use of Aadhaar, a biometric identification system, and provides penalties for unauthorized access or misuse of Aadhaar information.
  • Copyright Act, 1957: This law protects intellectual property rights, including copyrights, patents, and trademarks, and provides penalties for cybercrime related to intellectual property theft.
  • Right to Information Act, 2005: This law empowers citizens to access information from public authorities and provides penalties for cybercrime related to unauthorized access to public information.
  • Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002: This law aims to prevent money laundering and provides penalties for cybercrime related to money laundering activities.

Way ahead

  • Cybercrime is a crucial issue in India due to its economic, national security, and personal privacy implications. 
  • It is necessary to take proactive steps to combat cybercrime and create a safe and secure digital environment in the country.
  • In this regard, Cyber warriors are significant especially when India ranks fifth globally in terms of the number of incidents reported.

Raisina Dialogue 2023

In News

  • Recently, the eighth edition of the Raisina Dialogue was held in New Delhi.
    • This year saw the participation of intelligence and security chiefs from over 26 countries.

More about the news

  • Need for multilateralism:
    • India’s Minister of State for External Affairs highlighted the importance of multilateralism in the context of changing geopolitics at the ongoing Raisina Dialogue.
    • She added that India would work towards reforming multilateralism.
      • There is a better methodology for resolving conflicts and not letting them happen in the first place in the interest of maintaining social order.
  • Peaceful and just international order:
    • The minister of State for External Affairs stressed on the need of shaping the New World on the pillars of multilateralism, security and prosperity, alleviation of poverty, sustainable development, equal opportunities, human rights, democracy and commitment to a peaceful and just international order.
    • India’s theme for G20 Presidency:
      • She also mentioned that India’s theme of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam- One Earth, One Family, One Future for its G20 Presidency, signals the need for unity of purpose and unity of action.
  • Fundamental technological reset:
    • Minister of State for IT speaking at a panel discussion on `Democracy’s Eleven: Protecting our Technology Future’, said there is a fundamental reset underway in semiconductor, electronics and innovation world order post-COVID, and like-minded nations need to work together on a cooperative framework to shape the future of technology.
  • Regional Security:
    • The Chief of Navy Staff said working in smaller groups and regional frameworks is helpful in building trust, interoperability and overall outcome.
    • He also highlighted the vision of SAGAR or security and growth for all in the region.
  • Government presence in strategic sectors:
    • Speaking at the Raisina Dialogue, Finance Minister said that the country will have government-owned professionally run companies in four broad strategic sectors.
    • The four broad strategic sectors are: 
      • Atomic energy, space and defence; 
      • Transport and telecommunication; 
      • Power, Petroleum, Coal and other minerals; and 
      • Banking, Insurance and Financial Services.

About the Raisina Dialogue

  • About:
    • The Raisina Dialogue is India’s premier foreign policy conference on geopolitics and geoeconomics committed to addressing the most challenging issues facing the global community.
      • The first session was held in 2016.
    • It is organized on the lines of the Shangri La Dialogue (which takes place annually in Singapore) & the Munich Security Conference (the 59th edition of which took place in February 2023). 
    • It is co-hosted by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and the Observer Research Foundation (ORF).
  • Raisina Hills:
    • The name of the dialogue is derived from Raisina Hills, the place where India’s seat of power resides.
      • It is an area in Delhi where the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and other important government offices are situated.

Significance of Raisina Dialogue

  • Leading global conference:
    • With the first session in 2016, the Raisina Dialogue has grown in stature and profile to emerge as a leading global conference on international affairs
    • It brings together leaders from the global strategic and policy-making community to discuss key geopolitical developments and strategic issues facing the world.
  • Aligned to the significant issues:
    • The theme every year at the Conference is aligned to issues of utmost importance for the global community. The brainstorming ensuing helps policymakers across countries to tinker with their policy regime to rectify the issue.
    • It maps the evolving geopolitical and geoeconomic trendlines questions the persisting dogma and encourages future-oriented thinking.
  • Focus on the  rules-based international order:
    • It reinforces rules based international order by having on board different voices and opinions and bringing forth a consensus amongst them.
  • Led by India:
    • It has helped India come on the world map when it comes to having a global think tank and a seat for setting up rules for multilateral institutions.
Observer Research FoundationIt is an independent think tank that aims to encourage voices from all quarters, geographies and gender, both those that fall in and those that question dominant narratives.It seeks to lead and aid policy thinking towards building a strong and prosperous India in a fair and equitable world.It carries Indian voices and ideas to forums shaping global debates.It provides non-partisan, independent, well-researched analyses and inputs to diverse decision-makers in governments, business communities, and academia and to civil society around the world.


In News

  • Recently scientists have taken initial steps to create an ‘organoid intelligence’ which aims to create “biocomputers”.


  • “Organoid intelligence” like Artificial intelligence is an area of study to create independent decision-making units using organoids.
  • Brain organoids are 3D cultures of brain tissue prepared in the lab using human stem cells. These capture many structural and functional features of a developing human brain.
  • The scientists ultimately aim to create “biocomputers”: which are brain cultures grown in the lab and coupled to real-world sensors and input/output devices.

Image Courtesy: TH


  • These biocomputers like human brains can be used for complex information processing.
  • These organoids can reveal the biological basis of human cognition, learning, and memory.
  • They can help in drug development and in decoding the pathology of degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and microcephaly. 

Seahorses (Hippocampus kelloggi)

In News

  • Extensive fishing off the Coromandel coast could be forcing the great seahorse to migrate laboriously toward Odisha


  • The 1,300 km northward migration of the great seahorse from Palk Bay and the Gulf of Mannar to Odisha is likely a response to extensive fishing activities around the southern coast of India. The species is abundant off the Coromandel coast (Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu) but is under extensive fishing pressure.
  • Seahorses are poor swimmers but migrate by rafting — clinging to floating substrata such as macroalgae or plastic debris for dispersal by ocean currents – to new habitats for successful maintenance of their population. 
  • But the great seahorse is not migrating in large numbers, as the Odisha coast does not have coral reefs or seagrass meadows that the species can call home, except within the Chilika region.


  • About:
    • Seahorses are a type of marine fish that are named for their distinctive head and neck, which resemble those of horses. 
  • Geographical Distribution:

Generally found in shallow tropical and temperate waters throughout the world.

  • There are 46 species of seahorses reported worldwide. The coastal ecosystems of India house nine out of 12 species found in the Indo-Pacific, one of the hotspots of seahorse populations that are distributed across diverse ecosystems such as seagrass, mangroves, macroalgal beds, and coral reefs.
  • These nine species are distributed along the coasts of eight States and five Union Territories from Gujarat to Odisha, apart from Lakshadweep and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
  • Conservation status:
    • Twelve seahorse species are listed as “vulnerable” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, one step down from endangered. An additional 17 species are understudied, and listed as “data deficient.” Two are endangered.
    • Appendix II of CITES
  • Threats:
    • They are declining due to the overexploitation for traditional Chinese medicines and ornamental fish.
    • Habitat degradation by anthropogenic activities.
    • Despite the ban on fishing and trading activities on seahorses from 2001, clandestine fishing and trading still take place in India.

One Nation One Challan Initiative

In Context

  • The Gujarat government is in the process of setting up virtual traffic courts in the state under the One Nation, One Challan initiative.


  • One Nation, One Challan is an initiative of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
  • Aim:
    • It aims to bring all related agencies, such as the traffic police and the Regional Transport Office (RTO), on one platform, to enable the seamless collection of challans as well as data transfer.


  • The system involves the detection of traffic violations through the CCTV network and getting the registration number of the erring vehicle from applications like VAHAN (detecting the vehicle’s ownership details) and SARATHI (compilation of driving licenses). 
  • An e-challan is then generated with the relevant penalty amount, and sent to the mobile number linked with the vehicle.
  • If someone doesn’t pay the challan amount within 90 days, the challan will be automatically forwarded to a virtual court and proceedings will be initiated. 

Virtual traffic courts

  • Virtual courts are aimed at eliminating the presence of litigants in the court. 
  • An accused can search their case on the virtual court’s website. Upon successful payment of the fine, the case will be shown as disposed of.

SWAMIH Investment Fund

In News

  • SWAMIH has so far provided final approval to about 130 projects with sanctions worth over Rs 12,000 crore.
    • In three years since its inception in 2019, the Fund has already completed 20,557 homes and aims to complete over 81,000 homes in the next three years across 30 tier 1 and 2 cities.

About SWAMIH Fund

  • The Special Window for Affordable and Mid-Income Housing (SWAMIH) Investment Fund I is a social impact fund specifically formed for completing stressed and stalled residential projects.
  • The Fund is sponsored by the Ministry of Finance, Government of India, and is managed by SBICAP Ventures Ltd., a State Bank Group company.
  • The fund considers first-time developers, established developers with troubled projects, developers with a poor track record of stalled projects, customer complaints and NPA accounts, and even projects where there are litigation issues
  • It is considered the lender of last resort for distressed projects.


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