Daily Current Affairs : 16th & 17th June 2023

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE

Topics Covered

  2. NCBC & OBC list inclusion process
  3. Non Communicable Disease
  4. India – US Relationship 
  5. Tropical Cyclones
  6. Yoga
  7. Facts for Prelims


Context: The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) summit at end of this year will adopt Bangkok Vision 2030, according to Saurabh Kumar, Secretary (East) in the Ministry of External Affairs.

Bangkok Vision 2030

  • The draft text of BIMSTEC Bangkok Vision 2030, a leader-level document proposed by Thailand to guide BIMSTEC towards a prosperous, resilient and open region by 2030
  • Aim– The document aims to further promote BIMSTEC as a region of peace, stability, and economic sustainability. The goals found in the vision are also in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and Thailand’s bio-circular-green economic model.
  • The Vision sets a clear direction and priorities as well as a goal for BIMSTEC collaboration to tackle challenges and seize opportunities for the coming decade
  • It is an overarching kind of document and give direction to the organisation and the eminent persons group would also be guided by this document.


  • The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is a regional organization comprising seven Member States lying in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal constituting a contiguous regional unity.
  • This sub-regional organization came into being on 6 June 1997 through the Bangkok Declaration.
  • It constitutes seven Member States: five deriving from South Asia, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and two from Southeast Asia, including Myanmar and Thailand.
  • Initially, the economic bloc was formed with four Member States with the acronym ‘BIST-EC’ (Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Thailand Economic Cooperation). Following the inclusion of Myanmar on 22 December 1997 during a special Ministerial Meeting in Bangkok, the Group was renamed ‘BIMST-EC’ (Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand Economic Cooperation).
  • With the admission of Nepal and Bhutan at the 6th Ministerial Meeting (February 2004, Thailand), the name of the grouping was changed to ‘Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation’ (BIMSTEC).
  • The regional group constitutes a bridge between South and South East Asia and represents a reinforcement of relations among these countries.

Purpose of BIMSTEC

  • To create an enabling environment for rapid economic development through identification and implementation of specific cooperation projects in the already agreed areas of cooperation and such other areas that may be agreed upon by the Member States. Member States may periodically review the areas of cooperation.
  • To accelerate the economic growth and social progress in the Bay of Bengal region through joint endeavours in a spirit of equality and partnership.
  • To promote active collaboration and mutual assistance on matters of common interest in the economic, social, technical and scientific fields.
  • To provide assistance to each other in the form of training and research facilities in the educational, professional and technical spheres.
  • To cooperate more effectively in joint efforts that are supportive of and complementary to national development plans of the Member States which result in tangible benefits to the people in raising their living standards, including through generating employment and improving transportation and communication infrastructure.
  • To cooperate in projects that can be dealt with most productively on a regional basis among the BIMSTEC Member States and that make best use of available synergies.
  • To maintain peace and stability in the Bay of Bengal region through close collaboration in combating international terrorism, transnational organized crimes as well as natural disasters, climate change and communicable diseases
  • To maintain close and beneficial cooperation with existing international and regional organizations with similar aims and purposes.
  • To endeavour to eradicate poverty from the Bay of Bengal region.
  • To establish multidimensional connectivity, promote synergy among connectivity frameworks in the region, as a key enabler to economic integration for shared prosperity.
  • To promote trade and investment as a major contributing factor for fostering economic and social development in the region.

Significance of BIMSTEC for India

  • As the region’s largest economy, India has a lot at stake. BIMSTEC connects not only South and Southeast Asia, but also the ecologies of the Great Himalayas and the Bay of Bengal. For India, it is a natural platform to fulfil our key foreign policy priorities of ‘Neighborhood First’ and ‘Act East
  • Connectivity. Almost 300 million people, or roughly one-quarter of India’s population, live in the four coastal states adjacent to the Bay of Bengal (Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal). And, about 45 million people, who live in landlocked Northeastern states, will have the opportunity to connect via the Bay of Bengal to Bangladesh, Myanmar and Thailand, opening up possibilities in terms of development.
  • Asian Trilateral Highway connecting India and Thailand through Myanmar, Kaladan Multimodal project that seeks to link India and Myanmar, the project envisages connecting Kolkata to Sittwe port in Myanmar, and then Mizoram by river and road Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) pact for movement of goods and vehicles are the projects undertaken by BIMSTEC countries which will provide connectivity especially in the North Eastern States.
  • From the strategic perspective, the Bay of Bengal, a funnel to the Malacca straits, has emerged a key theatre for an increasingly assertive China in maintaining its access route to the Indian Ocean. Beijing has undertaken massive drive to finance and develop infrastructure in South and Southeast Asia through the Belt and Road Initiative in almost all BIMSTEC countries, except Bhutan and India. As China mounts assertive activities in the Bay of Bengal region, with increased submarine movement and ship visits in the Indian Ocean, it is in India’s interest to consolidate its internal engagement among the BIMSTEC countries

What are the Challenges and setbacks?

  • Lack of efficiency
  • BIMSTEC secretariat suffers from inadequate financial and manpower assistance for its operational activities.
  • The progress of BIMSTEC has been underscored by Bangladesh-Myanmar relations over the Rohingya refugee crisis, the India-Nepal border issue, and most recently, the political situation in Myanmar after the military took over in February last year.  

2 . NCBC and OBC list inclusion Process

Context: Approximately 80 more castes in six States are now likely to be added to the Central List of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in the coming months, with the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) already processing the approval for most of them

National Commission for Backwards Class

  • National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) was initially constituted by the Central Govt by the National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993 and so far the Commission had been reconstituted 7 times up to 2016. The National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993 (27 of 1993) has been repealed through the National Commission for Backward Classes (Repeal) Act, 2018
  • The present Commission (8th) has been accorded Constitutional Status and constituted through “The Constitution (One Hundred and Second Amendment) Act, 2018” Act, whereby Article 338B has been inserted, forming a Commission for the socially and educationally backward classes to be known as National Commission for Backward Classes.
  • The Commission consists of a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and three other Members in the rank & pay of Secretary to the Govt of India


  • To review the efficiency of the protections created for the socially and educationally backward classes (SEBC) under the Constitution or any other law, the commission investigates and oversees all matters relevant to such safeguards.
  • It takes part in and advises on the socioeconomic development of the socially and educationally disadvantaged groups, as well as assessing their progress under the Union and any State.
  • NCBC reports to the President on the implementation of those safeguards on an annual basis and at such other times as the Commission deems appropriate.
  • NCBC reports on the operation of those safeguards to the President on an annual basis and at such other times as the Commission deems appropriate. The President presents these reports to each House of Parliament. A copy of any such report, or any part of it, should be provided to the State Government if it pertains to any topic with which the State Government is concerned.
  • NCBC must carry out any additional tasks related to the protection, welfare, development, and progress of the socially and educationally backward groups that the President may designate by regulation, subject to the terms of any legislation established by Parliament.


  • NCBC has powers similar to that of a civil court.
  • The NCBC Act laid down the remedy for the socially and educationally backward class citizens.
  • The need for commission was formed to maintain equality and peace among the citizens of India. Some backward class citizens don’t have any idea about their rights and what benefit they can get because there are some though backward classes but are with the creamy layer which means they are advanced educationally and socially because of them the real backward class citizens are left out. The Act’s purpose is to maintain the inclusion and exclusion of these types of citizens.

What is the Procedure of Addition to OBC list?

  • As per the Procedure for Addition prescribed in the NCBC Act, 1993, the panel is mandated to constitute a Bench to examine proposals and then forward the decision to the Union government (with dissent, where applicable).
  • The Cabinet then needs to approve the additions and bring legislation to this effect, following which the President is empowered to notify the change.
  • Unlike the procedure to add communities to the SC or ST lists, additions to the Central OBC list do not have to rely on the concurrence of the Office of the Registrar General of India or any authority other than the NCBC.
  • The NCBC considers additions to the Central OBC list based on social, educational and economic indicators suggested by the Mandal Commission established in 1979

3 . Non communicable diseases

Context: The new national estimates for diabetes and other non-communicable diseases (NCD) shows that 31 million more Indians became diabetic in four years (2019-2021).

What were the findings?

  • In 2021, a study found that India has 101 million people with diabetes and 136 million people with prediabetes. Additionally, 315 million people had high blood pressure; 254 million had generalised obesity, and 351 million had abdominal obesity. 213 million people had hypercholesterolaemia (wherein fat collects in arteries and puts individuals at greater risk of heart attack and strokes) and 185 million had high low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.
  • The decade-long nationwide study was funded by the Indian Council of Medical Research and Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and co-ordinated by the Madras Diabetes Research Foundation

What is the significance of the study?

  • The study is the first comprehensive epidemiological research paper which includes participants from 31 States and some Union Territories, with a large sample size of 1,13,043 individuals. There are two big trend indicators in the study.
    • First, diabetes and other metabolic non-communicable diseases, such as hypertension, obesity and dyslipidemia are much more common than estimated previously in India and
    • Second, while currently urban regions had higher rates of all metabolic NCDs than rural areas, with the exception of prediabetes, rural India will see a diabetes explosion in the next five years if left unregulated.
  • The study also highlights interstate and inter-regional variations.  This cross-sectional, population based survey of adults aged above 20 years, across the country uses a stratified, multistage sampling design in the study titled — “Metabolic non-communicable health report of India-the ICMR-INDIAB National Cross-sectional Study.”
  • While the diabetes epidemic is stabilising in the more developed States of the country, it is still increasing in most of the other States. Thus, there are serious implications for the nation, warranting urgent State-specific policies and interventions to arrest the rapidly rising epidemic of metabolic NCDs in India.

How does this study impact India?

  • While India in the past four years has substantially added to its burden of diabetics and hypertensive persons with generalised and abdominal obesity, the study gives us an early warning that if not controlled, this population is predisposed to NCDs and life-altering medical conditions including strokes.
  • India is facing the dual problem of malnutrition and obesity. There is availability of surplus food, but after being exposed to fast foods, a lack of sleep, exercise and stress creates a perfect setting for NCDs to latch-on.

What is the way forward?

  • The answer to this developing problem, is in wellness and in having a lifestyle that encompasses healthy diet and exercise.
  • NCDs have also been one of the major concerns of the Health Ministry. It has identified the four major NCDs — cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes.
  • They all share four behavioural risk factors — unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity, and use of tobacco and alcohol.
  • Programmes have been brought in to strengthen health infrastructure, human resource development, health-promotion and awareness-generation for prevention, early diagnosis and ensuring referrals to appropriate healthcare facilities for NCDs.

What are Non- Communicable Diseases?

  • Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), also known as chronic diseases, tend to be of long duration and are the result of a combination of genetic, physiological, environmental and behavioural factors.
  • The main types of NCD are cardiovascular diseases (such as heart attacks and stroke), cancers, chronic respiratory diseases (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma) and diabetes.

National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke

  • The Government of India has been implementing National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS) since 2010 up to District level under the National Health Mission.
  • NPCDCS has a focus on awareness generation for behaviour and life-style changes, screening and early diagnosis of persons with high level of risk factors and their referral to appropriate treatment facilities i.e. Community Health Centres and District Hospital for management of non-communicable diseases including cardiovascular diseases.
  • The strengthening of infrastructure for screening, early detection, treatment and referral is also envisaged.


  • Health promotion through behaviour change with involvement of community, civil society, community based organizations, media etc.
  • Screening at all levels in the health care delivery system from sub-centre and above for early detection of diseases covered under the program including management and follow up.
  • To build capacity at various levels of health care for prevention, early diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, IEC/BCC, operational research and rehabilitation.
  • To provide logistic support for diagnosis and cost effective treatment at primary, secondary and tertiary levels of health care.
  • To support for development of database of NCDs through Surveillance System and to monitor NCD morbidity and mortality and risk factors.

4 . India – US Relationship 

Context: The war in Ukraine is expected to be among the major talking points when Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets U.S. President Joe Biden in Washington. 

India- US Relationship 

  • The India- US strategic partnership is founded on shared values including a commitment to democracy and upholding the rules-based international system.  
  • India and US have shared interests in promoting global security, stability, and economic prosperity through trade, investment, and connectivity. 

Historical Background 

  • The relationships between India in the days of the British Raj and the United States were thin. Swami Vivekananda promoted Yoga and Vedanta in the United States at the World’s Parliament of Religions in Chicago, during the World’s Fair in 1893. 
  • Regarding India, Americans learned more from English writer Rudyard Kipling. Mahatma Gandhi had an important influence on the philosophy of non-violence promoted by American civil rights movement leader Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1950s. 
  • In the 1930s and early-1940s, Roosevelt voiced strong support to the Indian independence movement despite being allies with Britain.  
  • The first significant immigration from India before 1965 involved Sikh farmers going to California in the early-twentieth century. 
  • During Cold War – Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru meets with U.S. president Harry S. Truman on a tour of the United States. The trip precedes India’s formal proclamation of neutrality in the developing Cold War, in which it would take a leadership role within the Non-Alignment movement. This sets the tone for U.S.-India relations throughout the Cold War, creating constraints within the relationship, as well as opportunity for amity between Delhi and Moscow. 

Political Relations:  

  • The frequency of high-level visits and exchanges between India and the U.S. has gone up significantly of late. 
  • For example, President Biden and Prime Minister Modi have held two in person bilateral meetings during which they reaffirmed their commitment to a resilient, rules-based international order that safeguards sovereignty and territorial integrity, upholds democratic values, and promotes peace and prosperity for all. President Biden and Prime Minister Modi have also participated in multiple engagements of the Quad Leaders mechanism with Japan and Australia 
  • Ministerial dialogue- The 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue between the India and US secretaries is the premier recurring dialogue mechanism between the United States and India.   
  • Bilateral Dialogues and working groups- In addition to the 2+2 Dialogue, India and US cooperated in dozens of bilateral dialogues and working groups, which span all aspects of human endeavor, from space and health cooperation to energy and high technology trade. These include the India- U.S Counterterrorism Joint Working Group, which was established in 2000, as well as the Strategic Clean Energy Partnership, Climate Action and Finance Mobilization Dialogue, Cyber Dialogue, Civil Space Working Group, the Education and Skills Development Working Group, Trade Policy Forum, Defense Policy Group, and Counternarcotics Working Group. 

Economic Relations 

  • In 2021, overall India- U.S bilateral trade in goods and services reached a record $157 billion. The United States is India’s largest trading partner and most important export market. Many U.S. companies view India as a critical market and have expanded their operations there. Likewise, Indian companies seek to increase their presence in U.S. markets. The nearly 200,000 Indian students in the United States contribute $7.7 billion annually to the U.S. economy. 
  • India and the US have set up a bilateral Investment Initiative in 2014, with a special focus on facilitating FDI, portfolio investment, capital market development and financing of infrastructure.  
  • U.S.-India Infrastructure Collaboration Platform has also been set up to deploy cutting edge U.S technologies to meet India’s infrastructure needs.  

Civil Nuclear Cooperation:  

  • The bilateral civil nuclear cooperation agreement was finalized in July 2007 and signed in October 2008. During Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the U.S. in September 2014, the two sides set up a Contact Group for advancing the full and timely implementation of the India-U.S. Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement, and to resolve pending issues. 

Defence Cooperation:  

  • Defence relationship has emerged as a major pillar of India-U.S. strategic partnership with the signing of ‘New Framework for India-U.S. Defense Relations’ in 2005 and the resulting intensification in defence trade, joint exercises, personnel exchanges, collaboration and cooperation in maritime security and counter-piracy, and exchanges between each of the three services.  
  • The Defence Framework Agreement was updated and renewed for another 10 years in June 2015. The two countries now conduct more bilateral exercises with each other than they do with any other country.  

Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI)–  

  • Aggregate worth of defence acquisition from U.S. Defence has crossed over US$ 13 billion. India and the United States have launched a Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) aimed at simplifying technology transfer policies and exploring possibilities of co-development and co-production to invest the defence relationship with strategic value.  
  • The DTTI Working Group and its Task Force will expeditiously evaluate and decide on unique projects and technologies which would have a transformative impact on bilateral defence relations and enhance India’s defence industry and military capabilities. 
  • Major defence partner– The United States elevates India to a major defense partner a status no other country holds. An expansion of the ten-year defense agreement renewed in 2015, the designation, which became law in August 2018, means that India will enjoy some of the benefits of being a U.S. treaty ally, such as access to defense technology, though the alliance is not a formal one.   
  • The Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) gives India access to advanced communication technology used in U.S. defense ) equipment and allows real-time information sharing between the two countries’ militaries. The agreement had been under negotiation for nearly a decade. 
  • The Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) – The top U.S. and Indian defense and foreign affairs officials sign an intelligence-sharing agreement during the third round of their two-plus-two dialogue.  
  • The Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) is the last of four foundational military agreements signed by both countries over the past two decades.  
  • It allows for the sharing of sensitive geospatial data to boost the accuracy of Indian drones and cruise missiles.   

Counterterrorism and internal security:  

  • Cooperation in counterterrorism has seen considerable progress with intelligence sharing, information exchange, operational cooperation, counter-terrorism technology and equipment.  
  • India-U.S. Counter-Terrorism Cooperation Initiative was signed in 2010 to expand collaboration on counterterrorism, information sharing and capacity building.  
  • A Homeland Security Dialogue was announced November 2010 to further deepen operational cooperation, counter-terrorism technology transfers and capacity building. 

Energy and Climate Change:  

  • The U.S.-India Energy Dialogue was launched in May 2005 to promote trade and investment in the energy sector. 
  • As a priority initiative under the PACE (Partnership to Advance Clean Energy), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Government of India have established the Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Center (JCERDC) designed to promote clean energy innovations by teams of scientists from India and the United States, with a total joint committed funding from both Governments of US$ 50 million.  
  • India and the U.S. are advancing cooperation and dialogue on climate change through a highlevel Climate Change Working Group and a Joint Working Group on Hydroflurocarbon. 


  • Cooperation in education sector has been made an integral part of the strategic partnership between the two countries.  
  • The Fulbright program was renewed in 2008, with enhanced mandate and joint funding, to provide more student and scholar exchange grants. 
  • India is learning from the U.S. experience in community colleges in order to meet our demands for skill-development. It has been agreed to collaborate with U.S. institutions in the area of Technology Enabled Learning and Massive Open On-line Courses (MOOCs) to extend the reach of education in India. Under the Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN) launched by India, upto 1000 American academics will be invited and hosted each year to teach in Indian universities at their convenience.  
  • The two sides are also collaborating to establish a new Indian Institute of Technology in Ahmedabad. 


  • A bilateral Joint Working Group on Civil Space Cooperation provides a forum for discussion on joint activities in space, including (i) exchange of scientists; (ii) OCM2, INSAT3D collaboration; (iii) Cooperation on Mars mission; (iv) nano-satellites; (v) carbon /ecosystem monitoring and modeling; (vi) feasibility of collaboration in radio occultation: (vii) Earth Science Cooperation: (viii) international space station; (ix) global navigation satellite systems; (x) L&S band SAR; (xi) space exploration cooperation; (xii) space debris mediation. NASA and ISRO are collaborating for India’s Mars Orbiter Mission and for a dual-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) 

Agriculture Sector-  

  • Norman Borlaug travels to India to begin testing high-yield wheat varieties. His collaboration with Indian scientist Dr. M.S. Swaminathan results in the “Green Revolution,” and India goes from food scarcity to self-sufficiency within a decade. 

Science & Technology (S&T):  

  • The India-U.S. S&T cooperation has been steadily growing under the framework of U.S.-India Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement signed in October 2005.  
  • There is an Indo-U.S. Science & Technology Joint Commission, co-chaired by the Science Advisor to U.S. President and Indian Minister of S&T. 
  • Collaboration between the Ministry of Earth Sciences and U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration has been strengthened under the 2008 MOU on Earth Observations and Earth Sciences.  
  • A “monsoon desk” has been established at the U.S. National Centers for Environmental Prediction.  
  • India’s contribution of $250 million towards Thirty-Meter Telescope Project in Hawaii and Indian Initiative in Gravitational Observations (IndiGO) with U.S. LIGO Laboratory are examples of joint collaboration to create world-class research facilities. 

Health Sector 

  • Under the 2010 U.S.-India Health Initiative, four working groups have been organized in the areas of Non-Communicable Diseases, Infectious Diseases, Strengthening Health Systems and Services, and Maternal and Child Health.  
  • In order to build up the disease surveillance and epidemiological capacity in India, Global Disease Detection-India Centre was established in 2010 and an Epidemic Intelligence Service program launched in Oct 2012.  
  • U.S. National Institutes of Health, the Indian Council of Medical Research, and India’s Department of Biotechnology have developed a robust relationship in the biomedical and behavioural health sciences, research related to HIV/AIDS, infectious diseases, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, eye disease, hearing disorders, mental health, and low-cost medical technologies.  

People to People Ties 

  • The 3.5-million-plus strong Indian American community is an important ethnic group in the U.S., accounting for about 1% of the total population in the country. Indian American community includes a large number of professionals, business entrepreneurs and educationalists with increasing influence in the society. 
  • The 3.5-million-plus strong Indian American community is an important ethnic group in the U.S., accounting for about 1% of the total population in the country. Indian American community includes a large number of professionals, business entrepreneurs and educationalists with increasing influence in the society. 

Recent Developments 

First in Person Quad Leaders’ Summit 

  • President Joe Biden hosts Prime Minister Modi at the White House alongside the prime ministers of Australia and Japan for the first in-person leaders’ summit of the informal security dialogue known as the Quad.  
  • The leaders agreed to coordinate their strategic goals, including by donating more than one billion COVID-19 vaccines globally and forming a low-carbon shipping network. A year earlier, the group convened their largest joint military exercise in a decade amid heightened regional tensions with China 
  • Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET)- U.S. and Indian officials announce the Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET), an agreement that aims to expand bilateral technology and defense cooperation.  
  • The initiative includes provisions on weapons, artificial intelligence, and semiconductors, and is followed by the launch of the U.S.-India Strategic Trade Dialogue, which aims to implement iCET.  
  • As part of the deal, U.S. officials seek to reduce India’s purchase of Russian arms, which they say helps finance Russia’s war in Ukraine. Russia remains the largest supplier of Indian matériel in mid-2023, but sales slow as India seeks to avoid violating U.S. sanctions. 

 5 . Tropical Cyclones 

Context: India Meteorological Department (IMD) has over the years been largely accurate in forecasting the direction and intensity of cyclones into the country, data suggest that it takes more time for the agency to accurately forecast the trajectory of storms that originate in the Arabian Sea, than those in the Bay of Bengal. Warming oceans make it harder to forecast cyclones in Arabian Sea 

About the News 

  • Historically, most cyclones around India tend to originate in the Bay of Bengal but global warming, as scientists have been pointing out for a while now, is causing the Arabian Sea to be heating up more than average 
  • The cyclones in the Bay of Bengal, being far more frequent, were better understood. The Arabian Sea cyclones historically have been fewer because of relatively colder sea surface temperatures. Nearly 48% of cyclones here never reached land, as opposed to 13% in the Bay of Bengal. 
  • Reason Why Arabian Sea Cyclones are hard to forecast– It is the winds in the upper reaches of the atmosphere, called steering winds, that influence the direction and recurving, whereas the heat within the ocean layers determines the strength and duration of cyclones. There are factors unique to the Arabian Sea that influence a cyclone’s intensity and movement.  
  • The Arabian Sea has a much deeper — up to 40 metres – layer of warm water compared to the Bay of Bengal. Many times, these sub-surface values aren’t captured in the prediction models and that’s why the strength and speed of cyclones aren’t accurately captured in advance 

About Tropical Cyclones

  • Tropical cyclones are violent storms that originate over oceans in tropical areas and move over to the coastal areas bringing about large scale destruction due to violent winds (squalls), very heavy rainfall (torrential rainfall) and storm surge.
  • They are irregular wind movements involving closed circulation of air around a low pressure center. This closed air circulation (whirling motion) is a result of rapid upward movement of hot air which is subjected to Coriolis force. The low pressure at the center is responsible for the wind speeds.

Condition favourable for tropical cyclone formation

  1. Large sea surface with temperature higher than 27° C
  2. Presence of the Coriolis force enough to create a cyclonic vortex
  3. Small variations in the vertical wind speed
  4. A pre-existing weak low-pressure area or low-level-cyclonic circulation
  5. Upper divergence above the sea level system

Reasons for less cyclones originating in Arabian Sea compared to Bay of Bengal

  • Most of Indian coasts lie in tropical region. Tropical cyclones need a temperature of around 25-27 degree Celsius. Greater the temperature over sea, more powerful is cyclone.
  • The Arabian Sea is relatively cooler than this temperature range, which the Bay of Bengal offers. This is why Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal face more cyclones than Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra and Gujarat.
  • Greater frequency of Bay of Bengal cyclones and more strength to them come from a foreign source as well. Neighbouring Pacific Ocean seas are more prone to cyclones. Typhoons originating in near Philippines, China, Thailand and Malaysia enter the Andaman Sea of Bay of Bengal after they weaken in their native regions.
  • Most of the cyclones in the Arabian Sea are local. They collapse a little after making landfall as there is no back-up supply. Recent Ockhi cyclone was one of the exceptions that remained strong for some time even after hitting Maharashtra and Gujarat coasts.
  • Also, the hills along the eastern coasts are not high enough to stop cyclones making much inroad into the coastal states. The Western Ghats run almost the entire distance of the western coasts preventing the cyclonic storms to go in the hinterland.

Cyclone Warning System

  • The cyclone warnings are issued to state government officials in four stages. The First Stage warning known as “PRE CYCLONE WATCH” issued 72 hours in advance contains early warning about the development of a cyclonic disturbance in the north Indian Ocean, its likely intensification into a tropical cyclone and the coastal belt likely to experience adverse weather. This early warning bulletin is issued by the Director General of Meteorology himself and is addressed to the Cabinet Secretary and other senior officers of the Government of India including the Chief Secretaries of concerned maritime states.
  • The Second Stage warning known as “CYCLONE ALERT” is issued at least 48 hrs. in advance of the expected commencement of adverse weather over the coastal areas. It contains information on the location and intensity of the storm likely direction of its movement, intensification, coastal districts likely to experience adverse weather and advice to fishermen, general public, media and disaster managers. This is issued by the concerned ACWCs/CWCs and CWD at HQ.
  • The Third Stage warning known as “CYCLONE WARNING” issued at least 24 hours in advance of the expected commencement of adverse weather over the coastal areas. Landfall point is forecast at this stage. These warnings are issued by ACWCs/CWCs/and CWD at HQ at 3 hourly interval giving the latest position of cyclone and its intensity, likely point and time of landfall, associated heavy rainfall, strong wind and storm surge alongwith their impact and advice to general public, media, fishermen and disaster managers.
  • The Fourth Stage of warning known as “POST LANDFALL OUTLOOK” is issued by the concerned ACWCs/CWCs/and CWD at HQ at least 12 hours in advance of expected time of landfall. It gives likely direction of movement of the cyclone after its landfall and adverse weather likely to be experienced in the interior areas.

Colour Code

Different colour codes as mentioned below are being used since post monsoon season of 2006 the different stages of the cyclone warning bulletins as desired by the National Disaster Management.

Stage of warningColour code
Cyclone AlertYellow.
Cyclone WarningOrange.
Post landfall out lookRed.

How Cyclones are Named

  • Each Tropical Cyclone basin in the world has its own rotating list of names.
  • Worldwide there are six regional specialised meteorological centres (RSMCs) and five regional Tropical Cyclone Warning Centres (TCWCs) mandated for issuing advisories and naming of tropical cyclones.
  • India Meteorological Department is one of the six RSMCs to provide tropical cyclone and storm surge advisories to 13 member countries under WMO/ESCAP Panel including Bangladesh, India, Iran, Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
  • RSMC, New Delhi is also mandated to name the Tropical Cyclones developing over the north Indian Ocean (NIO) including the Bay of Bengal (BoB) and the Arabian Sea (AS).
  • For cyclones in the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea, the naming system was agreed by eight member countries of a group called WMO/ESCAP and took effect in 2004. These countries submitted eight names each, which are arranged in an 8×8 table
  • During WMO/ESCAP PTC 45th Session held at Muscat, Oman in September, 2018 it was decided to prepare a fresh list of names of tropical cyclones including representation from five new member countries, viz., Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen (Total 13 member countries).
  • The current list has a total of 169 names including 13 names each from 13 WMO/ESCAP member countries. It is arranged in a coloumn format
  • The first cyclone after the list was adopted was given the name in the first row of the first column
  • Subsequent cyclones are being named sequentially, column-wise, with each cyclone given the name immediately below that of the previous cyclone.
  • Once the bottom of the column is reached, the sequence moves to the top of the next column.

Rotation of Name

  • The lists for storms is not rotated in Arabian sea and Bay of Bengal however in the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific basins are, however, rotated. Exception are made in certain cases — if a storm causes excessive death and destruction, its name is considered for retirement and is not repeated; it is replaced with another name.

Landfall of a cyclone

  • Landfall is the event of a tropical cyclone coming onto land after being over water. As per the IMD, a tropical cyclone is said to have made a landfall when the center of the storm – or its eye – moves over the coast.
  • Landfall should not be confused with a ‘direct hit’, which refers to a situation where the core of high winds (or eyewall) comes onshore but the centre of the storm may stay remain offshore. As per the US’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), because the strongest winds in a tropical cyclone are not located precisely at the centre, it is possible for a cyclone’s strongest winds to be experienced over land even if landfall does not occur.
  • The damage caused by the landfall will depend on the severity of the cyclone – marked by the speed of its winds. Factors behind of damage include extremely strong winds, heavy rainfall and the storm surge which cause devastating floods in the coast.
  • Landfalls can last for a few hours, with their exact duration depending on the speed of the winds and the size of the storm system. Cyclones lose their intensity once they move over land because of sharp reduction of moisture supply and increase in surface friction. This means that while landfalls are often the most devastating moments of cyclones, they also mark the beginning of its end.

6 . Yoga 

Context: Prime Minister Modi to lead Yoga Day celebrations at UN headquarters 

Yoga and Indian Systems of Philosophy 

  • The Indian system of philosophy is a set of philosophies or darshans which emerged in the ancient India. This ancient Indian philosophy system comprises of six darshans namely Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Sankhya, Yoga, Mimamsa and Vedanta.
  • These philosophies form the foundation of the Indian civilization and are also responsible for keeping its roots grounded. 

What is Yoga?  

  • The word ‘Yoga’ is derived from Sanskrit root yuj which means ‘join’ or ‘unite’. This may be taken as the union of body, mind and soul, and is used in the literature both as an end as well as means. As an end, yoga signifies ‘integration of personality’ at the highest level. As means, yoga includes various practices and techniques which are employed to achieve the development of such integration.  These practices and techniques are means in the yogic literature and are also referred collectively as ‘Yoga’. 

Yoga Philosophy

  • Yoga and Samkhya School of philosophy are allied schools. The yoga philosophy existed during the Vedic as well as the pre-Vedic period, but it wasn’t formally systematized until its codification in about 200 BC.   
  • The metaphysics of Yoga is Samkhya’s dualism in which the universe is conceptualized as composed of two realities: Puruṣa (witness-consciousness) and Prakṛti (nature). Jiva (a living being) is considered as a state in which puruṣa is bonded to Prakṛti in some form, in various permutations and combinations of various elements, senses, feelings, activity and mind.  
  • During the state of imbalance or ignorance, one or more constituents overwhelm the others, creating a form of bondage. The end of this bondage is called liberation, or mokṣa, by both the Yoga and Samkhya schools of Hinduism, and can be attained by insight and self-restraint. 
  • Yoga understands all the aspects of the human personality and controls the mind through meditation, detachment, and surrender to almighty.  
  • The ethical theory of Yoga-philosophy is based on Yamas and Niyama, as well as elements of the Guṇa theory of Samkhya.  
  • The epistemology of Yoga-philosophy, like the Sāmkhya school, relies on three of six Pramanas as the means of gaining reliable knowledge. These include Pratyakṣa (perception), Anumaṇa (inference) and Sabda (word/testimony of reliable sources).  
  • Yoga-philosophy differs from the closely related non-theistic/atheistic Samkhya school by incorporating the concept of a “personal, yet essentially inactive, deity” or “personal god” (Ishvara) 
  • A systematic collection of ideas of Yoga is found in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, a key text of Yoga which has influenced all other schools of Indian philosophy. 

What are the initiative taken by the government to promote Yoga? 

  • Government has taken several steps to promote Yoga.  
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address at the United Nations General Assembly in 2014, suggested an International Day of Yoga on 21st June. It received support of 177 countries. Since then International Day of Yoga is being celebrated across the globe in every country.  
  • Yoga Festivals are being organised to sensitize masses on Yoga.  
  • The mind-body discipline based on ancient Indian philosophy Yoga was included in the UNESCO’s list of intangible world heritage.  
  • Government has recognised yoga as a sports discipline and has put it in priority category.  
  • Yoga has been included in the school curriculum.  
  • Many Universities have included courses on Yoga.  
  • AYUSH Ministry has brought the Namaste Yoga App, a one stop health solution that enables people to access yoga related information, yoga events and Yoga classes at their fingertips. 
  • The Ministry of AYUSH has launched a scheme for Voluntary Certification of Yoga Professionals which aims at certifying the competence level of Yoga professionals through certification process and promoting authentic Yoga as a preventive and health promoting drugless therapy.  
  • Realising the spread and importance of yoga world over, the Government has included “attending a short-term yoga programme” in the list of permissible activities under the tourist and e-tourist visas. 

7 . Facts for Prelims 

Nehru Memorial Museum & Library (NMML) 

  • The nomenclature of the Nehru Memorial Museum & Library (NMML) situated in the Teen Murti Complex was changed to Prime Ministers’ Museum & Library (PMML) 
  • Built in 1929-30 as part of Edwin Lutyens’ imperial capital, Teen Murti House, then known as Flagstaff House, was the official residence of the Commander-in-Chief of the British armed forces in India. 
  • In August 1948, it became the official residence of India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, who lived there for 16 years until his death on May 27, 1964. Soon after, the government decided that the Teen Murti House should be dedicated to him and house a museum and a library. 
  • On Nehru’s 75th birth anniversary on November 14, 1964, President S Radhakrishnan dedicated the Teen Murti House to the nation and inaugurated the Nehru Memorial Museum. Two years later, the NMML Society was set up to manage the institution, and has remained in charge since then. The society aims to foster academic research on modern and contemporary history. 

Jan Aushadhi Kendra 

  • With an objective of making quality generic medicines available at affordable prices to all, Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) was launched by the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers, Government. 
  • Under this scheme, dedicated outlets known as Janaushadhi Kendra are opened to provide generic medicines at affordable prices. 
  • This scheme provides an excellent opportunity of self-employment with sustainable and regular earnings. Under PMBJP, an incentive of Rs. 5.00 lakh is provided to the Jan Aushadhi Kendras as financial assistance and one-time additional incentive of Rs. 2.00 lakh (as reimbursement for IT and Infra expenditure) is provided to Jan Aushadhi Kendras opened in North-Eastern States, Himalayan areas, island territories and backward areas identified as aspirational districts by NITI Ayog or if opened by Women Entrepreneur, Ex-serviceman, Divyang, SCs & STs. 
  • This scheme is implemented by Pharma & Medical Bureau of India 

Grammy Awards 

  • The Grammy Awards are awards presented by the Recording Academy of the United States to recognize “outstanding” achievements in the music industry.  
  • They are regarded by many as the most prestigious and significant awards in the music industry worldwide.  
  • They were originally called the Gramophone Awards, as the trophy depicts a gilded gramophone.  
  • The Grammys are the first of the Big Three networks’ major music awards held annually and are considered one of the four major annual American entertainment awards with the Academy Awards (for films), the Emmy Awards (for television), and the Tony Awards (for theater). 

Pharmaceuticals & Medical Devices Bureau of India  

  • Pharmaceuticals & Medical Devices Bureau of India (PMBI) is the implementing agency of Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP). PMBI [earlier called Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI)] was established in December, 2008 under the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Government of India. The Bureau has been registered as an independent society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 as a separate independent legal entity in April, 2010. 

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

  • The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is a multilateral development bank that aims to improve economic and social outcomes in Asia.
  • It is the world’s second-largest multilateral development institution.
  • Members- The bank currently has 106 members, including 14 prospective members from around the world.
  • The AIIB began with 57 founding members — including many Western countries. AIIB operations began in January 2016.
  • The bank has maintained AAA ratings from major rating agencies, and holds Permanent Observer status at the United Nations.
  • Sixteen of the G20 members are AIIB members or prospective ones — only the United States, Japan, Mexico and the European Union are not.
  • Chinese President Xi Jinping first mentioned the concept of a China-led multilateral financial institution in 2013, at an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Indonesia.
  • The idea was widely seen as a move to counter Western dominance of lending funds such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
  • Shareholders- China is the main shareholder and commands 27 per cent of voting power — substantially greater than the second-largest shareholder India, which holds only eight per cent.
  • This is the largest gap between the top two shareholders at any existing multilateral development bank
  • Russia is the third largest, followed by Germany, South Korea, Australia, France, Indonesia, the United Kingdom and Turkey
  • Concerns- Critics led by the United States worried that the AIIB would set much lower standards for projects that would undermine principles of social, environmental and economic sustainability adhered to by other lenders.

Generative AI

  • Generative AI (GenAI) is a type of Artificial Intelligence that can create a wide variety of data, such as images, videos, audio, text, and 3D models.
  • It does this by learning patterns from existing data, then using this knowledge to generate new and unique outputs.
  • GenAI can produce highly realistic and complex content that mimics human creativity, making it a valuable tool for many industries such as gaming, entertainment, and product design.
  •  Recent breakthroughs in the field, such as GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) and Midjourney, have significantly advanced the capabilities of GenAI.
  • These advancements have opened up new possibilities for using GenAI to solve complex problems, create art, and even assist in scientific research


  • MQ9 Reaper drone is employed primarily as an intelligence-collection asset and secondarily against dynamic execution targets. The ‘M’ is the DoD designation for multi-role, the ‘Q’ stands for remotely piloted aircraft system, while the ‘9’ indicates it is the ninth in the series of remotely piloted aircraft systems.
  • Originally, the US air force had proposed the MQ-9 Reaper system in response to the Department of Defense directive to support initiatives of overseas contingency operations.
  • Features- It provides a unique capability to perform strike, coordination, and reconnaissance against high-value, fleeting, and time-sensitive targets, and also makes it uniquely qualified to conduct irregular warfare operations in support of combatant commander objectives.
  • The Reapers can also perform several missions and tasks including – intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, close air support, combat search and rescue, precision strike, buddy lase, convoy and raid overwatch, route clearance, target development, and terminal air guidance.
  • The drones’ baseline system carries the Multi-Spectral Targeting System (MTS-B) which integrates an infrared sensor, color, monochrome daylight TV camera, shortwave infrared camera, laser designator, a robust suite of visual sensors for targeting, and laser illuminator. It also has a laser rangefinder/designator, which precisely designates targets for the employment of laser-guided munitions and a synthetic aperture radar.
  • The MQ-9 can also employ up to eight laser-guided missiles, Air-to-Ground Missile-114 Hellfire, which possesses highly accurate, low-collateral damage, anti-armor, and anti-personnel engagement capabilities. It can also be disassembled and loaded into a single container for deployment, and transported in the C-130 Hercules or larger aircraft.

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