Daily Current Affairs : 11th and 12th April 2023

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE

Topics Covered

  1. 3D Printing
  2. National Party / State Party Status
  3. EL-NINO
  4. IMF January Forecast
  5. Digital Personal Data Protection Bill
  6. Facts for  Prelims

1 . 3D Printing

Context: The Postal Department has set social media abuzz after a picture of a building being 3D printed in Cambridge Layout of Bengaluru went viral

What is 3D Printing?

  • 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is a method of creating a three – dimensional object layer-by-layer using a computer created design.
  • 3D printing is an additive process whereby layers of material are built up to create a 3D part. This is the opposite of subtractive manufacturing processes, where a final design is cut from a larger block of material. As a result, 3D printing creates less material wastage.
  • It was first developed in the 1980s, but at that time was a difficult and expensive operation and so had few applications. It is only since 2000 that it has become relatively straightforward and affordable and so has become viable for a wide range of uses including product design, component and tool manufacture, consumer electronics, plastics, metalworking, aerospace engineering, dental and medical applications, and footwear.

3D Printing Technologies

  • There are three broad types of 3D printing technology;
    • sintering,
    • melting, and
    • stereolithography.
  • Sintering is a technology where the material is heated, but not to the point of melting, to create high resolution items. Metal powder is used for direct metal laser sintering while thermoplastic powders are used for selective laser sintering.
  • Melting methods of 3D printing include powder bed fusion, electron beam melting and direct energy deposition, this use lasers, electric arcs or electron beams to print objects by melting the materials together at high temperatures.
  • Stereolithography utilises photopolymerization to create parts. This technology uses the correct light source to interact with the material in a selective manner to cure and solidify a cross section of the object in thin layers.

Rapid prototyping

  • The 3D Printing technology was developed on the basic principle of Rapid Prototyping. Prototyping is the process of building an early stage model, sample, or testing version of the actual product to be developed. Prototyping helps in the development process of the product and ensures the optimum output of the final product. Prototyping is still one of the most common applications of 3D printing.

Applications of 3D Printing Technology

  • Aerospace/Aviation : Aerospace and aviation industry were amongst the early adopters of the 3D printing technology. Numerous 3D printed aircraft components are now manufactured and tested successfully and even used in the industry. 3D printing is commonly used to manufacture structural, low-volume metal brackets (with DMSL/SLM) that mount complex life-saving systems to the interior wall of a plane.
  • Automotive : Some of the commonly used 3D printing technology in Automotive industry are
    • Customized parts – manufacturers can tailor the parts to specific vehicles, making them bespoke and lightweight. This could also be developed for more personal benefits for the driver, for example, seats for racing cars, key fobs or gear sticks.Conceptual designs – 3D printed scale models can be used to demonstrate concepts and designs of new vehicles on a complex and intricate level. This helps to diagnose any future design problems as the model is to scale.Prototypes and testing – additive manufacturing allows for speedy prototyping, meaning validating a prototype can be quicker and more accurate.Spare parts – any part can be replicated and replaced quickly with the assistance of 3D printing, in a variety of materials.
    • Tooling – 3D printing can also be used to develop molds and thermoforming tools, as well as contributing to the rapid manufacturing of grips, jigs, and fixtures.
  • Medical Industry : Medical industry uses 3D printing to create critical items, such as : creating tissues and organoids, surgical tools, patient-specific surgical models and custom-made prosthetics.
    • Bioprinting tissues and organoids- One of the many types of 3D printing that is used in the medical device field is bioprinting. Rather than printing using plastic or metal, bioprinters use a computer-guided pipette to layer living cells, referred to as bio-ink, on top of one another to create artificial living tissue in a laboratory. These tissue constructs or organoids can be used for medical research as they mimic organs on a miniature scale. They are also being trialled as cheaper alternatives to human organ transplants.
    • Another application of 3D printing in the medical field is creating patient-specific organ replicas that surgeons can be use to practice on before performing complicated operations. This technique has been proven to speed up procedures and minimise trauma for patients.
    • 3D printing of surgical instruments- Sterile surgical instruments, such as forceps, hemostats, scalpel handles and clamps, can be produced using 3D printers.
    • Custom-made prosthetics using 3D printing- 3D printing in the medical field can be used to produce prosthetic limbs that are customised to suit and fit the wearer. It is common for amputees to wait weeks or months to receive prosthetics through the traditional route; however, 3D printing significantly speeds up the process, as well as creating much cheaper products that offer patients the same functionality as traditionally manufactured prosthetics.
  • Jewellery Industry : Jewellery sector has always been a complex and labour intensive sector. Highly specialized knowledge and expertise is required in each of the many processes involved in it. 3D printing has disrupted the jewellery industry and it is now rationalising the traditional processes to optimise and utilize the potential of 3D printing.  It has made it easier to rapidly prototype jewellery designs that accurately fit customers and has made it possible to produce large batches of ready-to-cast pieces.
  • Art and Sculpture : 3D printing technology allows artists to use their sketches or photographs to create amazing works of sculpture straight from a computer.  
  • Construction Industry : 3D printing in construction is when companies or projects sequentially layer materials via computer-controlled processes to create three-dimensional shapes. 3D printers are useful for creating new structures on-site or manufacturing components off-site for later assembly. The printer receives dimensions from a software program and builds the structure on a platform using materials, such as cement, plastic or liquid metals.

Advantages and Disadvantages

The advantages of 3D printing include:

  • Bespoke, cost-effective creation of complex geometries: This technology allows for the easy creation of bespoke geometric parts where added complexity comes at no extra cost. In some instances, 3D printing is cheaper than subtractive production methods as no extra material is used.
  • Affordable start-up costs: Since no moulds are required, the costs associated with this manufacturing process are relatively low. The cost of a part is directly related to the amount of material used, the time taken to build the part and any post processing that may be required.
  • Completely customisable: Because the process is based upon computer aided designs (CAD), any product alterations are easy to make without impacting the manufacturing cost.
  • Ideal for rapid prototyping: Because the technology allows for small batches and in-house production, this process is ideal for prototyping, which means that products can be created faster than with more traditional manufacturing techniques, and without the reliance on external supply chains.
  • Allows for the creation of parts with specific properties: Although plastics and metals are the most common materials used in 3D printing, there is also scope for creating parts from specially tailored materials with desired properties. So, for example, parts can be created with high heat resistance, water repellency or higher strengths for specific applications.

The disadvantages of 3D printing include:

  • Can have a lower strength than with traditional manufacture: While some parts, such as those made from metal, have excellent mechanical properties, many other 3D printed parts are more brittle than those created by traditional manufacturing techniques. This is because the parts are built up layer-by-layer, which reduces the strength by between 10 and 50%.
  • Increased cost at high volume: Large production runs are more expensive with 3D printing as economies of scale do not impact this process as they do with other traditional methods. Estimates suggest that when making a direct comparison for identical parts, 3D printing is less cost effective than CNC machining or injection moulding in excess of 100 units, provided the parts can be manufactured by conventional means.
  • Limitations in accuracy: The accuracy of a printed part depends on the type of machine and/or process used. Some desktop printers have lower tolerances than other printers, meaning that the final parts may slightly differ from the designs. While this can be fixed with post-processing, it must be considered that 3D printed parts may not always be exact.
  • Post-processing requirements: Most 3D printed parts require some form of post-processing. This may be sanding or smoothing to create a required finish, the removal of support struts which allow the materials to be built up into the designated shape, heat treatment to achieve specific material properties or final machining.

2 . National party/ State Party Status

Context: The Election Commission recognised the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) as a national party, while revoking that status of the All-India Trinamool Congress, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Communist Party of India (CPI).

The Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968

  • A registered political party is accorded the status of a recognized state or national party as per the criteria listed in ‘The Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968’. This order was amended from time to time.

Recognition as a National Party

  • A national party has a presence across the nation as opposed to a state or regional party whose presence is restricted to a state or a region.
  • To be a national party, the collective has to fulfil any of the three following conditions:
    • it should be recognised as a state party in at least four states,
    • the party should win two per cent of seats in the Lok Sabha from at least three different states, or
    • it should poll six per cent of the total votes in the last Lok Sabha or Assembly election and should win at least four Lok Sabha seats.

Recognition as a State Party

  • For any political party to be eligible for recognition as a State Party in a state, it has to satisfy any of the five conditions listed below.
    • Secure at least 6% of the valid vote & win at least 2 seats in an Assembly General Election
    • Secure at least 6% of the valid vote & win at least 1 seats in a Lok Sabha General Election
    • Win at least 3% of the seats or at least 3 seats , whichever is more, in an Assembly General Election
    • Win at least 1 out of every 25 seats from a state in a Lok Sabha General Election
    • Secure at least 8% of the total valid vote in an Assembly

What are the benefits of being a national party or State Party?

  • The biggest advantage of being recognized is getting the reserved symbol. A party recognized as a state party gets a reserved symbol within the state.  All the candidates contesting from that party will get the same symbol throughout the state. For National Parties, the reserved symbol can be used across the country by its contesting candidates. This is one of the biggest advantages since symbols play a very important role in elections.
  • Candidates from a national party require only one proposer to file their nominations.
  • Such a party also benefits from having a maximum of 40 “star campaigners” during a general election.
  • It also gets dedicated broadcast slots on public broadcasters Doordarshan and All India Radio during the general elections.
  • Recognised parties are eligible for the supply of electoral roll copies free of cost during elections.
  • The “national party” tag also comes with a government bungalow in New Delhi for its national president and office space at a subsidised rate in the national capital.
    • AAP has been recognised as a state party in Delhi, Punjab, Goa and Gujarat, fulfilling one of the eligibility conditions to become the national party.

3 . El Nino

Context: According to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s most recent update, ENSO-neutral conditions are likely to “persist through the Northern Hemisphere early summer [of] 2023”. In other words, at least till June. However, “a transition to El Niño is favoured by July-September 2023”, with its chances “increasing through the fall (September-November)”.

What is El Nino?

  • El Niño is a climate pattern that describes the unusual warming of surface waters in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.
  • El Nino is a name given to the periodic development of a warm ocean current along the coast of Peru as a temporary replacement of the cold Peruvian current.
  • El Niño is the “warm phase” of a larger phenomenon called the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO).
  • ‘El Nino’ is a Spanish word meaning ‘the child’, and refers to the baby Christ, as this current starts flowing during Christmas.
  • The presence of the El Nino leads to an increase in sea-surface temperatures and weakening of the trade winds in the region.

What Causes El Niño?

The following are the conditions in the equatorial Pacific Ocean prior to the occurrence of El Niño:

  • The tropical pacific has consistent westerly moving trade winds. The trade winds push warm water on the surface of the ocean from east to west (westerly). This causes warm water to build upon the western side of the ocean near Asia.
  • Meanwhile, on the eastern side of the ocean, near Central and South America, cold waters are pushed up towards the surface. Because of this, there is a difference in temperature across the equatorial pacific, with warm water to the west and cold water to the east.
  • The warm water in the west heats the air, making the warm air rise and leading to drastic weather, including rain and thunderstorms. The rising warm air causes a circulation between east and west in the Pacific, with the warm, moist air rising in the west, and cool, dry air descending in the east.
  • All of these natural occurrences lead to a reinforcement of the easterly winds and cause a self-perpetuating motion in the air in the Pacific.
  • This self-perpetuating motion in the air in the Pacific continues until the slow changes in the ocean around the equator lead to a series of events known as El Niño:
  • Under the proper conditions, the trade winds are weakened, causing less warm surface water to be pushed to the west, and less cold water to be pulled to the surface in the east. Parts of the ocean that are cold during the usual self-perpetuating cycle become warmer, canceling out the normal difference in temperature in the equatorial Pacific between east and west.
  • With the ocean, temperature evened out, and the warmest waters being more toward the center of the ocean, the cloudy, rainy weather that typically occurs in the east now occurs in the center of the ocean.
  • Rainfall patterns over the equatorial pacific are changed due to the diminishing of the trade winds and movement of warm water.
  • This movement of the warm waters also causes a change in the wind cycles. The wind is now blowing out from the center of the ocean to the east and to the west.
  • All of this leads to drastic changes in temperature and weather around the world.

What are The Global Effects of El Niño on the Weather?

  • In South America, there is a drastic increase in the risk of flooding on the western coast, while there is an increase in the risk of droughts on parts of the eastern coast.
  • In eastern countries, like India and Indonesia, there is an increase in droughts.
  • In general, El Niño causes vast amounts of rainfall in the eastern parts of the Pacific (the western coast of South America), and very dry weather on the western parts (India, Indonesia).
  • This thick layer of warm water does not allow normal upwelling to occur. Without an upwelling of nutrient-rich cold water, the euphotic zone of the eastern Pacific can no longer support its normally productive coastal ecosystem. Fish populations die or migrate. El Nino has a devastating impact on Ecuadorian and Peruvian economies.
  • Stronger El Niño events also disrupt global atmospheric circulation. Global atmospheric circulation is the large-scale movement of air that helps distribute thermal energy (heat) across the surface of Earth. The eastward movement of oceanic and atmospheric heat sources cause unusually severe winter weather at the higher latitudes of North and South America.
  • With all the extra heat at the surface of the Pacific Ocean, energy is released into the atmosphere, causing an overall warming of the global climate temporarily. Years in which El Niño occurs tend to feature higher temperatures across the globe.
  • The effects of El Niño on the weather peak in December and can last for several months after that.
  • After El Niño, the trade and easterly winds often fall back into their normal, self-perpetuating cycle. However, on some occasions, the effect is reversed in a process called La Niña. During La Niña, the trade winds are strengthened, causing the normal cycle to be more dramatic and having the reverse effect of El Niño.

4 . IMF January Forecast

Context: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected that India’s economy will grow by 5.9% for the current fiscal year April 2023 – March 2024, a downward revision of 0.2 percentage points since the January forecast. The IMF estimated a 6.3% economic growth rate for India for the next fiscal year, a downward revision of 0.5 percentage points from the last forecast.

About IMF Forecast

  • World Economic Outlook (WEO): A Rocky Recovery report, was released by the International Monetary Fund. It was launched at the start of the World Bank and IMF Spring Meetings here in Washington DC.  
  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) lowered India’s economic growth projection for the current financial year to 5.9 per cent from its earlier estimate of 6.1 per cent.
  • Leading multilateral agencies, including the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have recently lowered India’s economic growth projection for the current financial year citing increase in borrowing costs and risks arising from global factors.
  • The IMF’s projection of India’s economic growth for the current financial year is the lowest among the forecasts by the multilateral agencies. The World Bank has pegged India’s GDP growth for the current fiscal at 6.3 percent while the ADB has put it at 6.4 percent.
  • However, in its monetary policy review announced on April 6, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) hiked GDP growth projection for the current fiscal by 10 basis points to 6.5 per cent. 
  • Inflation- As per the IMF’s bi-annual World Economic Outlook report, India’s headline retail inflation is expected to ease to 4.9 per cent in 2023-24 from 6.7 per cent in the previous year
  • In purchasing power parity terms, India’s growth in per capita output is projected to decline to 4.9 per cent in 2023-24 from 5.8 percent in 2022-23.
  • Current Account deficit- The country’s current account deficit is estimated to come down to 2.2 percent of GDP in the current fiscal from the projected 2.6 percent in the financial year ended March 2023.
  • World economic growth projection- The IMF cut the world economic growth projection for 2023 by 10 basis points at 2.8 percent. The global economic growth is estimated to accelerate to 3 percent in 2024. This is 10 basis points lower than its earlier projection announced in January. The world economy expanded by 3.4 percent in 2022. Advanced economies are expected to see an especially pronounced growth slowdown, from 2.7 per cent in 2022 to 1.3 per cent in 2023.
  • Global Headline Inflation- Global headline inflation in the baseline is set to fall from 8.7 per cent in 2022 to 7 per cent in 2023 on the back of lower commodity prices but underlying (core) inflation is likely to decline more slowly. Inflation’s return to target is unlikely before 2025 in most cases

About World Economic Outlook Report

  • World Economic outlook is a survey conducted by the IMF staff usually published twice a year. It presents IMF staff economists’ analyses of global economic developments during the near and medium term. Chapters give an overview as well as more detailed analysis of the world economy; consider issues affecting industrial countries, developing countries, and economies in transition to market; and address topics of pressing current interest

5 . Digital Personal Data Protection Bill

Context:  The Union government informed the Supreme Court that a new law, namely the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill 2022, to enforce individual privacy in online space is “ready”.

Background of the Bill

  • Personal data is information that relates to an identified or identifiable individual.  Businesses as well as government entities process personal data for delivery of goods and services. 
  • Processing of personal data allows understanding preferences of individuals, which may be useful for customisation, targeted advertising, and developing recommendations.   Processing of personal data may also aid law enforcement.
  • Unchecked processing may have adverse implications for the privacy of individuals, which has been recognised as a fundamental right. It may subject individuals to harm such as financial loss, loss of reputation, and profiling.
  • Currently, India does not have a standalone law on data protection.  The usage of personal data is regulated under the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000. It has been observed that this framework is not adequate to ensure the protection of personal data.
  •  In November 2022, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology released the Draft Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2022 for public feedback.

Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2022

  • Purpose- The purpose of the 2022 Bill is to “provide for the processing of digital personal data in a manner that recognises both the right of individuals to protect their personal data and the need to process personal data for lawful purposes”.
  • Applicability:  The Bill will apply to the processing of digital personal data within India where such data is: (i) collected online, or (ii) collected offline and is digitised. It will also apply to the processing of personal data outside India, if it is for offering goods or services or profiling individuals in India. 
    • Personal data is defined as any data about an individual who is identifiable by or in relation to such data. 
    • Processing has been defined as an automated operation or set of operations performed on digital personal data.  It includes collection, storage, use, and sharing.
  • Consent:  Personal data may be processed only for a lawful purpose for which an individual has given consent. 
  • A notice must be given before seeking consent.  Notice should contain details about the personal data to be collected and the purpose of processing.
  • Consent may be withdrawn at any point in time. 
  • Consent will be deemed given where processing is necessary for:
    • (i) performance of any function under a law,
    • (ii) provision of service or benefit by the State,
    • (iii) medical emergency,
    • (iv) employment purposes, and
    • (v) specified public interest purposes such as national security, fraud prevention, and information security.
  • For individuals below 18 years of age, consent will be provided by the legal guardian.
  • Rights and duties of data principal:  An individual, whose data is being processed (data principal), will have the right to:
    • (i) obtain information about processing,
    • (ii) seek correction and erasure of personal data,
    • (iii) nominate another person to exercise rights in the event of death or incapacity, and
    • (iv) grievance redressal. 
  • Data principals will have certain duties.  They must not: (i) register a false or frivolous complaint, (ii) furnish any false particulars, suppress information, or impersonate another person in specified cases.  Violation of duties will be punishable with a penalty of up to Rs 10,000.
  • Obligations of data fiduciaries:  The entity determining the purpose and means of processing, called data fiduciary, must: (i) make reasonable efforts to ensure the accuracy and completeness of data, (ii) build reasonable security safeguards to prevent a data breach and inform the Data Protection Board of India and affected persons in the event of a breach, and (iii) cease to retain personal data as soon as the purpose has been met and retention is not necessary for legal or business purposes (storage limitation).  The storage limitation requirement will not apply in case of processing by government entities.
  • Transfer of personal data outside India:  The central government will notify countries where a data fiduciary may transfer personal data.  Transfers will be subject to prescribed terms and conditions.
  • Exemptions:  Rights of the data principal and obligations of data fiduciaries (except data security) will not apply in specified cases including prevention and investigation of offences, and enforcement of legal rights or claims.   The central government may, by notification, exempt certain activities from the application of provisions of the Bill.  These include: (i) processing by government entities in the interest of the security of the state and public order, and (ii) research, archiving, or statistical purposes.
  • Data Protection Board of India: The central government will establish the Data Protection Board of India. Key functions of the Board include: (i) monitoring compliance and imposing penalties, (ii) directing data fiduciaries to take necessary measures in the event of a data breach, and (iii) hearing grievances made by affected persons.  The central government will prescribe: (i) composition of the Board, (ii) selection process, (iii) terms and conditions of appointment and service, and (iv) manner of removal.
  • Penalties: The schedule to the Bill specifies penalties for various offences such as: (i) up to Rs 150 crore for non-fulfilment of obligations for children and (ii) up to Rs 250 crore for failure to take security measures to prevent data breaches.  Penalties will be imposed by the Board after conducting an inquiry.

Key issues of the Bill

  • The Bill empowers the central government to exempt processing by government agencies from any or all provisions, in the interest of aims such as the security of the state and maintenance of public order.  None of the rights of data principals and obligations of data fiduciaries (except data security) will apply in certain cases such as processing for prevention, investigation, and prosecution of offences.  The Bill does not require government agencies to delete personal data, after the purpose for processing has been met.  Using the above exemptions, on the ground of national security, a government agency may collect data about citizens to create a 360-degree profile for surveillance.  It may utilise data retained by various government agencies for this purpose.  This raises the question whether these exemptions will meet the proportionality test.  
  • Proportionality Test- The Supreme Court (2017) has held that any infringement of the right to privacy should be proportionate to the need for such interference.1  The exemptions may lead to data collection, processing, and retention beyond what is necessary.  This may not be proportionate, and may violate the fundamental right to privacy.
  • The Bill accords differential treatment towards public and private entities performing the same function
  • The Bill may not ensure the independence of the Data Protection Board of India

6 . Facts for Prelims

Mission DefSpace

  • Mission DefSpace has been launched by the Indian government with 75 Defence Space Challenges aimed at encouraging the indigenous design, development, and manufacture of defence equipment.
  • Private industries, including start-ups and MSMEs, are eligible to apply for the challenges, which are divided into five categories viz. Launch System, Satellite System, Communication & Payload System, Ground System and Software System, provide a holistic 3600 overview of space.
  • Aim- The government has also implemented several policy initiatives to promote self-reliance in defence manufacturing and technology.
  • It will encourage technology development in space for defence applications by startups and young entrepreneurs through 75 Defence Space Challenges launched across various Department for Defence Production (DDP) initiatives viz iDEX, ‘Make 1’, and ‘Make 2’. 
  • These technologies, with dual-use applications, will accelerate the all-round development of India while safeguarding our national interests.
  • The Indian government has taken several policy initiatives in recent years to encourage the indigenous design, development, and manufacture of defence equipment, promoting self-reliance in defence manufacturing and technology in the country.
  • These initiatives include prioritizing the procurement of capital items from domestic sources under the Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP)-2020;
    • announcing 18 major defence platforms for industry-led design and development in March 2022;
    • issuing four ‘Positive Indigenization Lists’ of a total of 411 items for services, and three ‘Positive Indigenization Lists’ of a total of 3738 items for Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs), for which there will be an embargo on imports beyond the indicated timelines;
    • simplifying the industrial licensing process with a longer validity period;
    • liberalizing the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy to allow 74% FDI under the automatic route;
    • simplifying the Make Procedure; launching the Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) scheme involving start-ups and Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs);
    • implementing the Public Procurement (Preference to Make in India) Order, 2017;
    • launching an indigenization portal called SRIJAN to facilitate indigenization by Indian industry, including MSMEs;
    • reforming the offset policy with a focus on attracting investment and transferring technology for defence manufacturing by assigning higher multipliers;
    • establishing two Defence Industrial Corridors, one in Uttar Pradesh and one in Tamil Nadu;
    • opening up defence research and development (R&D) for industry, start-ups, and academia with 25% of the defence R&D budget;
    • and progressively increasing the allocation of the defence budget for military modernization for procurement from domestic sources, among others.

Weapon of Mass Destruction

  • A weapon of mass destruction is a nuclear, radiological, chemical, biological, or other device that is intended to harm a large number of people.
  • It is something capable of inflicting mass casualties and/or destroying or rendering high-value assets as useless.
  • Weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) constitute a class of weaponry with the potential to:
    • Produce in a single moment an enormous destructive effect capable to kill millions of civilians, jeopardize the natural environment, and fundamentally alter the lives of future generations through their catastrophic effects;
    • Cause death or serious injury of people through toxic or poisonous chemicals;
    • Disseminate disease-causing organisms or toxins to harm or kill humans, animals or plants;
    • Deliver nuclear explosive devices, chemical, biological or toxin agents to use them for hostile purposes or in armed conflict.
  • Control over use of WMDs
    • The use of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons is regulated by a number of international treaties and agreements.
    • Among them are the Geneva Protocol, 1925, that banned the use of chemical and biological weapons; and the Biological Weapons Convention, 1972, and Chemical Weapons Convention, 1992, which put comprehensive bans on the biological and chemical weapons respectively.
    • India has signed and ratified both the 1972 and 1992 treaties. There are very few non-signatory countries to these treaties, even though several countries have been accused of non-compliance.
    • The use and proliferation of nuclear weapons is regulated by treaties such as Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).

Indian History Congress

  • Indian History Congress is the largest professional and academic body of Indian historians with over 35,000 members.
  • Founded in 1935, the Indian History Congress(IHC) is the largest association of professional historians in South Asia.
  • It has about 35000 members of which over 2000 delegates participate in its session every year.
  • It has been holding its sessions very regularly from its inception and publishing its proceedings every year since 1935.
  • Its main objective is to promote secular and scientific writing of history.
  • Contributions- It passed significant resolutions regarding the protection of monuments of historical importance and the role the government and Archaeological Survey of India should play in their preservation.
  • The ‘Proceedings of the Indian History Congress’ have been published annually without any break, a rare achievement for any independent professional body.

 Cope India

  • Exercise Cope India 23, a bilateral Air Exercise between the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the United States Air Force (USAF) is being held at Air Force Stations Arjan Singh (Panagarh), Kalaikunda and Agra
  • The exercise aims to enhance mutual understanding between the two Air Forces and share their best practices.
  • This phase of the exercise will focus on air mobility and will involve transport aircraft and Special Forces assets from both the Air Forces. Both sides will field the C-130J and C-17 aircraft, with the USAF operating an MC-130J, as well. The exercise also includes the presence of Japanese Air Self Defence Force aircrew, who will participate in the capacity of observe

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