Collection of Voice Samples

In News

  • Recently, a Congress leader appeared before the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to submit samples of his voice in connection with his alleged role in three murders by a mob during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. 

Process of Collecting Voice Samples 

  • An investigating agency generally moves to court, seeking permission to collect a person’s voice sample in connection with a case.
    • Such forensic analysis is used to corroborate other aspects of the case.
  • A voice sample is generally taken in an echo-proof room for a controlled and noise-free environment and a voice recorder is used
  • Forensic officials use international phonetic alphabets while recording a voice sample and ask the subject to pronounce only a small part of the original statement so that both vowels and consonants in the spoken bit can be alternatively analysed.


  • The semi-automatic spectrographic method of voice sampling is used in Indian forensic labs while some countries use the automatic method where a likelihood ratio of the voice samples is developed, which increases accuracy.
  • The spectrographic method for speaker recognition makes use of an instrument that converts the speech signal into a visual display.

First Instance of Usage 

  • The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) first used the technique of voice identification analysis, also known as spectrographic at the time, as early as in the 1950s, but the procedure gained legitimacy in 1962.

The legality behind collecting voice samples

  • India’s criminal procedure laws do not contain a specific provision for testing voice samples because it is a relatively new technological tool. 
  • Collection of semen, and hair samples for DNA analysis or taking general body measurements is routine and has specific provisions under law but for collection of voice samples, the police have to move to court or seek the consent of the accused.
  • Section 53 (1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure allows the examination of the accused by a medical practitioner at the request of a police officer. 
  • The word examination in this provision includes “the examination of blood, blood stains, semen, swabs in case of sexual offences, sputum and sweat, hair samples, and fingernail clippings by the use of modern and scientific techniques including DNA profiling and such other tests which the registered medical practitioner thinks necessary in a particular case.”
    • Here, the phrase “such other tests” is read to include a collection of voice samples.

Observations of Court’s 

  • In a 2013 case, the Supreme Court considered whether compelling an accused to give his voice sample in the course of an investigation would be violative of the fundamental right against self-incrimination or the right to privacy.
    • The SC said that the fundamental rights of the accused would not be violated by collecting a voice sample for investigation.
  • In a ruling in  2022, the Punjab and Haryana High Court observed that “voice samples in a sense resemble fingerprints and handwriting, each person has a distinctive voice with characteristic features dictated by vocal cavities and articulates.
    • The samples are collected after having permission in accordance with the law. The sample taken itself would not be evidence, rather they are for comparing the evidence already collected.”

Targets for PM Jeevan Jyoti Bima and PM Suraksha Bima Yojana

In News

  • Public sector banks (PSBs) have set a target for the sale of flagship government insurance schemes Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY) in FY24.
    • They have also set goals for other financial inclusion schemes like Mudra Yojana and StandUp India Scheme.


  • There are about 8.3 crore beneficiaries under PMJJBY and 23.9 crores under PMSBY, as of now. 
  • Since the launch of the schemes in 2015, 15.99 crore enrolment has taken place under PMJJBY, while 33.78 crores under PMSBY as of March 31, 2023. 
  • To achieve saturation under PMJJBY and PMSBY, the finance ministry launched a three-month campaign, starting April 1.
    • Under the campaign, camps are being organised at the Gram Panchayat level across all districts in the country by the banks, with the active participation of the state administration and other ministries of the central government to ensure that the benefits of the two Jan Suraksha schemes reach the masses


  • Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY): It is a one-year life insurance scheme renewable from year to year offering coverage for death due to any reason.
    • Eligibility: Individuals in the age group of 18-50 years having a savings bank or a post office account are entitled to enroll under the scheme. People who join the scheme before completing 50 years of age can continue to have the risk of life cover up to the age of 55 years upon payment of the premium.
    • Benefits: Life cover of Rs. 2 Lakh in case of death due to any reason against a premium of Rs. 330/- per annum.
      • the finance ministry revised rates from Rs 330 to Rs 436 under PMJJBY effective June 1, 2022.
    • Enrolment: Enrolments under the scheme can be done by visiting the branch/ BC point or website of the bank of the account holder or at the post office in case of a post office savings bank account.
      • The premium under the scheme is auto-debited every year from the subscriber’s bank account based on a one-time mandate from the account holder. 
  • Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY):It is a one-year accidental insurance scheme renewable from year to year offering coverage for death or disability due to an accident.
    • Eligibility: Individuals in the age group of 18-70 years having a savings bank or a post office account are entitled to enroll under the scheme.
    • Benefits: Accidental death cum disability cover of Rs.2 lakh (Rs.1 lakh in case of partial disability) for death or disability due to an accident.
      • the finance ministry revised rates from Rs 12 to Rs 20 for PMSBY, effective June 1, 2022.
    • Enrolment: Enrolment under the scheme can be done by visiting the branch/ BC point or website of the bank of the account holder or at the post office in case of a post office savings bank account.
      •  The premium under the scheme is auto-debited every year from the subscriber’s bank account based on a one-time mandate from the account holder. 

Global Terrorism Index (GTI)

In News

  • The 2023 edition of the Global Terrorism Index (GTI) was recently released.

About the Global Terrorism Index (GTI)

  • About:
    • The Global Terrorism Index (GTI) is a comprehensive study analysing the impact of terrorism for 163 countries covering 99.7 percent of the world’s population.
    • The GTI report is produced by the Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP) using data from Terrorism Tracker and other sources. 
  • GTI Score:
    • The GTI produces a composite score so as to provide an ordinal ranking of countries on the impact of terrorism. 
    • The GTI scores each country on a scale from 0 to 10;
      • Where 0 represents no impact from terrorism and 10 represents the highest measurable impact of terrorism.
    • The GTI considers deaths, incidents, hostages and injuries from terrorism. 
  • Aim:
    • Given the significant resources committed to counter terrorism by governments across the world, it is important to analyse and aggregate the available data to better understand its various properties.
      • One of the key aims of the GTI is to examine these trends
    • It also aims to help inform a positive, practical debate about the future of terrorism and the required policy responses.

Key findings from the Global Terrorism Index 2023 report

  • Deaths & attacks of terrorism:
    • Terrorist attacks and deaths caused by them decreased by 28 per cent and 9 per cent respectively, but average deaths per attack increased from 1.3 to 1.7 from the previous year in 2022.
      • Attacks have become more deadly with the lethality rising by 26%.
        • This is attributed to the Taliban’s transition from terror group to state actor
        • Afghanistan continues to be the country most affected by terrorism.
    • Outside Afghanistan, terrorism deaths rose 4% in the rest of the world.
  • Islamic State (IS) – the deadliest terrorist group:
    • Islamic State (IS) and its affiliates remained the world’s deadliest terrorist group in 2022 for the eighth consecutive year, with attacks in 21 countries.
  • Sahel and Af-Pak region:
    • Deaths from attacks by unknown Jihadists globally are eight times higher than 2017, representing 32% of all terrorism deaths and 18 times higher in the Sahel.
    • The Sahel is the most impacted region, representing 43% of global terrorism deaths, 7% more than the year prior.
    • Jihadi upheavals in the Sahel and Af-Pak region remain key drivers of the increase in lethality.
  • Global trends:
    • Declining terrorism in the West is met with intensified attacks in other regions.
    • Far-right extremist groups are gaining ground in Europe and North America.
    • Terrorism thrives in countries with poor ecologies and climate induced shocks.
  • Formalisation of terrorism:
    • Many states continue to use armed non-state actors for their own objectives, indicating a worrying trend in the formalisation of terrorism.
  • Technology use:
    • Drone technology and its use continues to rapidly evolve, especially with groups such as IS, Boko Haram and Houthis.
Terrorism in Sahel & Af-Pak regionAbout the Sahel region:The Sahel is a thin stretch of semi-arid land from Africa’s west coast to Ethiopia’s mountains in the east, dividing the Sahara Desert from the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa. It passes through all the states in its way where there is no proper governance, and the people suffer from poverty, extreme malnutrition, regular famines and environmental degradation. It is a perfect breeding ground for extremist ideologies whose demographic is also conducive to spreading Salafi-jihadism.Terrorism in the region:The Horn of Africa, the Sahel, Afghanistan and Pakistan have emerged as significant theatres in the terrorism landscape after the subsidence of the Syrian civil war and in the aftermath of the Taliban’s victory. There is an increasingly growing ideological and political competition among the affiliates of al-Qaeda and Da’esh in these regions. The social and political stresses that this dynamic is bringing to the Horn of Africa, Sahel, and the newly proclaimed Islamic Emirate of the Taliban in Afghanistan, have implications for Pakistan that are detrimental to India’s national security and the wider world.

State sponsored terrorism

  • States have been employing armed non-state actors to further their otherwise questionable objectives. For example,
  • Russia & Ukraine:
    • Violent extremists are belligerents to the ongoing war in Ukraine
    • Chechen fighters who once declared ‘jihad’ against Moscow are fighting for Russia under Ramzan Kadyrov’s leadership. 
    • Islamists who are upset with this and are against Russia have been fighting for Ukraine.
  • Turkey:
    • Turkey allegedly backs Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), a breakaway from Da’esh, in Syria because they serve as a proxy to their regional interests.
  • China:
    • China is also increasingly deploying its Private military and security company (PMSC) along the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) for security purposes.
    • The Chinese, though warily, are courting the Taliban to fulfil their interests in the region.
  • Pakistan:
    • Pakistan, a long-time proven state sponsor of terrorism, is having to deal with the ghosts that have come back to haunt them in the form of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). 
  • This trend in the formalisation of terrorist and violent extremist groups by legitimate nation-states does not seem to wane any time soon, which is quite alarming.

Implications for India

  • Kashmir:
    • The security situation in Kashmir did take a turn for the good after the abrogation of Article 370 with respect to organised terror, but new challenges emerged in the form rise in lone-wolf attacks and increased use of drones for cross-border terrorism.
  • Sikh separatism:
    • The dormant sentiments of Sikh separatism are increasingly showing signs of revival, with the socio-political situation in Punjab taking a radical turn.
  • Cross-border narco-terror networks:
    • In both Kashmir and Punjab, a growing trend of increased drug abuse is fuelled by cross-border narco-terror networks.
  • Terror drones:
    • India is still not adequately equipped to tackle the challenge of terror drones, whose sightings had multiplied significantly in 2022.

Way ahead

  • All nations worldwide must keep up with their counter-terrorism efforts and address real or perceived grievances that make radicalisation possible.
  • On the virtue of India’s chairmanship of the UNSC’s Counter-Terrorism Committee and its joining of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) concentrating on extensive Counter-Terrorism cooperation through its Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS), it can take the leading role in tackling terrorist challenges.

G7 Commit to Produce Carbon-free Electricity by 2035

In News

  • G7 countries concluded two days of meetings on climate, energy and environmental policy in the northern Japanese city of Sapporo.
    • Renewable fuel sources and energy security have taken on a new urgency following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Key Highlights of the Meeting

  • Carbon-free electricity production by 2035:
    • The Group of Seven (G7) countries are committed to working towards ensuring carbon-free electricity production by 2035 and “accelerating” the phase-out of coal.
  • Impetus to Solar Power:
    • They agreed to accelerate solar and wind energy investments to produce 1,000 gigawatts (GW) by 2030 from solar power and 150 GW of wind power from off-shore platforms.
  • Removal of Fossil Fuel Subsidies:
    • They reaffirm the commitment to the elimination of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies by 2025.
  • Net zero in energy systems by 2050: 
    • The members agreed to accelerate “the phase-out of unabated fossil fuels” – the burning of fossil fuels without using technology to capture the resulting C02 emissions – to achieve net zero in energy systems by 2050

 Other Key Facts relating to Carbon Emission

  • Temperatures have already risen by 1.1C since the pre-industrial era.
  • The G-7 nations account for 40% of the world’s economic activity and a quarter of global carbon emissions.
  • Emerging markets and developing economies now account for more than two-thirds of global carbon emissions
  • Russia is one of the world’s largest suppliers of enriched uranium for civilian nuclear programs, with more than 40 per cent of enrichment capacity globally.
  • India and China are significantly dependent on coal for electricity, whereas several developed countries, including the United States, Japan, Canada and Europe are reliant on gas reserves.
Related termsPhase Out = to discontinue a process, project, or service in phases i.e., Zero carbon emissionPhase Down = to slow down the process, project, or service in phases i.e., reducing carbon emission

Challenges in Phasing out coal in India

At the United Nations-Conference of Parties (COP) meeting in Glasgow in 2021, India had objected to language in the agreement to “phase out” and pushed instead for a “phase down” of coal.

  • High Energy dependence: Coal is Primary energy contributor with a 57% share of India’s energy mix and Coal demand is expected to not peak until the early?2030s. 
  • Very high Economic cost in phasing out, for example Germany coal phaseout needs investment of more than 50 billion euros.
  • Resources richness: According to the Geological Survey of India, India has 319.02 billion tones(bt) cumulative coal reserves in India and the economy of states like Jharkhand, Orissa depends on coal mining.
  • Negative impact on tax: In FY20, the Centre alone collected approximately Rs 29,200 crore in GST compensation cess from coal.
  • Job loss: one study has mentioned direct coal jobs at 7,44,984 excluding contract employees.
  • Issue of NPA: Economic shifts and policy changes may turn coal-fired power plants into stranded assets (non-performing assets). This will rapidly decrease their value, or they may turn into liabilities. This process is already observed in some G20 countries.

India’s Efforts

  • Revised NDCs:
    • India is now committing itself to at least 45% reduction in emissions intensity of GDP by 2030 from 2005 level.
    • India is committing to ensure that at least 50% of installed electricity generation capacity in 2030 would be based on non-fossil fuel-based sources
    • Increase non-fossil energy capacity to 500 GW (gigawatts) by 2030.
    • Reduce the total projected carbon emissions by 1 billion tones (BT) by 2030.
    • Achieve net zero carbon by 2070.
  • The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana: It helped 88 million households to shift from coal-based cooking fuels to LPG connections.
  • Hydrogen Energy Mission: Focus on generation of hydrogen from green power resources.
  • E-Vehicle: India is accelerating its e-mobility transition with the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles (FAME Scheme).
  • Vehicle scrapping policy to phase out old and unfit vehicles complements the existing schemes.
  • Perform, Achieve and Trade (PAT): It is a market-based mechanism to further accelerate as well as incentivize energy efficiency in the large energy-intensive industries.
  • Major Programmes in Renewable Energy Sector 
    • National Solar Mission (NSM) 
    • Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM):PM-KUSUM provides farmers with incentives to install solar power pumps and plants in their fields. 
    • Solar Parks Scheme: To facilitate large scale grid-connected solar power projects.
    • Green Energy Corridor (GEC): To facilitate renewable power evacuation and reshaping the grid for future requirements.
    • International Solar Alliance (ISA): It has 122 sun-belt countries as its prospective member countries and currently boasts a membership of 86 countries globally.
    • It is the largest grouping of states, after the United Nations
    • National Action Plan on Climate Change
    • National Clean Air Programme (NCAP)
    • National Biofuel Policy, etc.
Group of Seven (G7)It is an intergovernmental organization of seven countries that are the world’s most industrialized and developed economies.It does not have a formal constitution or a fixed headquarters and the decisions taken by leaders during annual summits are non-binding.Together the member countries represent 40% of global GDP and 10% of the world’s population. Unlike other bodies such as NATO, the G7 has no legal existence, permanent secretariat or official members. Present Members: France, Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, United States of America, Canada and Japan.Genesis:It traces its origin to an informal meeting of the Finance Ministers of France, West Germany, the US, Great Britain and Japan (Group of Five) in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis.

Giant Magnetoresistance (GMR)

In News

  • Researchers found that graphene displays an anomalous Giant magnetoresistance (GMR) at room temperature.

What is Magnetoresistance & Giant Magnetoresistance (GMR)? 

  • Magnetoresistance is the tendency of a material to change the value of its electrical resistance in an externally-applied magnetic field.
  • Giant Magnetoresistance (GMR) is the large change in the electrical resistance which is induced by the application of a magnetic field to thin films composed of alternating ferromagnetic and nonmagnetic layers.
  • The 2007 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Albert Fert and Peter Grünberg for the discovery of GMR.

More about Study

  • The magnetoresistance observed in the graphene-based device was “almost 100 times higher than that observed in other known semimetals in this magnetic field range.” 
  • The team attributed this to the presence of a ‘neutral’ plasma and the electrons’ mobility.

Applications of GMR

  • It is used in hard disk drives and magneto-resistive RAM in computers, biosensors, automotive sensors, micro-electromechanical systems, and medical imagers.
  • GMR-based devices are particularly used to sense magnetic fields.
GrapheneGraphene is an allotrope of carbon consisting of a single layer of atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice.It has exceptionally high tensile strength, electrical conductivity, transparency, and thinnest two-dimensional material in the world. It is almost perfectly transparent since it only absorbs 2 percent of light.Graphene is also known as a wonder material due to its vast potential in the energy and medical world.Applications of GrapheneElectronics: It has the potential to create the next-generation of electronics like Faster transistors, bendable phones etc.Biomedical: ??Graphene’s unique properties allow for ground-breaking biomedical applications. Targeted drug delivery, improved brain penetration etc.Battery: Graphene could dramatically increase the lifespan of a traditional lithium-ion battery i.e., devices can be charged quicker – and hold more power for longer.Sensors: Ultra-sensitive sensors made from graphene could detect minute dangerous particles, helping to protect potentially dangerous environments.Graphene Membranes: Graphene oxide membranes are capable of forming a perfect barrier when dealing with liquids and gasses. They have even been proven to stop helium, the hardest gas to block. 

Bailey bridges

In News

  • The Army may help build Bailey bridges in the Kaziranga National Park. 

What is Bailey Bridge?

  • A Bailey bridge is a type of portable, pre-fabricated, truss bridge. It was developed in 1940–1941 by the British for military use during the Second World War.
  • A Bailey bridge has the advantage of requiring no special tools or heavy equipment to assemble. The wood and steel bridge elements were small and light enough to be carried in trucks and lifted into place by hand, without the use of a crane.
  • The bridges are strong enough to carry tanks. 

Other types of bridges

Kaziranga National Park

  • The Park is the abode of more than 70% of One Horned Rhinoceros in the world. According to the 2022 count, the park has an estimated 2,613 rhinos. Kaziranga also has the highest density of tigers in India.
  • It was declared a Wildlife Sanctuary in 1950 and notified as Kaziranga National Park in 1974 under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, of 1972.
  • It was declared a World Heritage Site back in 1985. It is recognized as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International.

Know about the Rhinoceroses

  • Rhinoceroses are large, herbivorous mammals identified by their characteristic horned snouts. 
  • There are five species and 11 subspecies of rhino; some have two horns, while others have one.

Geographical Location

  • White rhinos and black rhinos live in the grasslands and floodplains of eastern and southern Africa. 
  • Greater one-horned rhinos can be found in the swamps and rain forests of northern India and southern Nepal. 
  • Sumatran and Javan rhinos are found only in small areas of Malaysian and Indonesian swamps and rainforests.


In News

  • The bioluminescence phenomenon was seen in the Visakhapatnam beaches.

What is Bioluminescence?

  • It is the production and emission of light by a living organism.
  • The chemical reaction that results in bioluminescence requires two unique chemicalsluciferin and either luciferase or photoprotein. Luciferin is the compound that actually produces light. 
  • In a chemical reaction, luciferin is called the substrate. The bioluminescent color (yellow in fireflies, greenish in lanternfish) is a result of the arrangement of luciferin molecules.

Reason for Bioluminescence of Beaches.

  • The glow of the waves is caused by tiny marine organisms called phytoplankton, which emit light on the ocean surface at night. It is best experienced during a moonless night.
  • Bioluminescence is widespread among deep sea animals in general. Many marine creatures like sponges, jellyfish, worms, species of fish, arthropods, echinoderms and unicellular alga exhibit bioluminescence to either evade predators, attract prey or during mating.
  • In Visakhapanam, this phenomenon is most likely the result of an algal bloom (significant accumulation) of the dinoflagellate species of noctiluca and ceratium.

Species in News: Amolops siju

In News

  • Researchers from the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) have discovered a new species of frogs from deep within the Siju cave in the South Garo Hills of Meghalaya.
    • This is the second time such a discovery has been made in India — the first being the discovery of the Micrixalus spelunca in 2014 from a cave in Tamil Nadu.
    • This is the fourth new species of a cascade frog (Amolops) published by the same team recently. Amolops chanakya, Amolops terraorchis and Amolops tawang were discovered in Arunachal Pradesh.

About Amolops Siju

  • The Species was named Amolops siju after the cave. 
  • The genus Amolops is one of the largest groups of ranid frogs (family Ranidae) with currently over 70 known species that are widely distributed across northeast and north India, Nepal, Bhutan, China, through Indochina, to the Malaya Peninsula.

Key facts about the Suji caves

  • The cave is a natural limestone cave located in the South Garo Hills District of Meghalaya, Northeast India.
  • It is a 4 km long natural limestone cave.


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