Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE
- Criteria for appointment of DGPs
- Creative Cities
- Fuel Cell Technology
- Nexcar 19
- Powers of Governor wrt Bills
- Deep Ocean Mission
- Facts for Prelims
1 . Criteria for appointment of DGPs
Context: UPSC tightens guidelines for appointment of State DGPs.
Process of appointment of DGP
- As per the UPSC guidelines, states are required to compile and forward a list of eligible officers to the UPSC.
- These officers should have a minimum of 30 years of service and must provide their service record, performance evaluations, and clearance regarding vigilance issues.
- The eligible officers should hold the rank of Additional Director General (ADG) or the rank of the police chief, which is one level below, as specified by the state.
- This list should be submitted to the UPSC six months prior to the retirement of the incumbent Director General of Police (DGP).
- An empanelment committee, led by the UPSC chairman and comprising the Union Home Secretary, State Chief Secretary, State DGP, and the head of a central police organization, is responsible for selecting a panel of three officers based on their merit. In the case of smaller states with only one cadre post of DGP, the committee should put forward two names.
- There are certain important rules related to appointments. Officers do not need to provide consent for their postings, and the central government has the authority to refuse to relieve an officer for a state posting.
- The UPSC also noted that the 30-year service rule could be relaxed to 25 years for states like Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland, Uttarakhand, Tripura, and Sikkim if an insufficient number of officers meet the 30-year criterion. However, this relaxation should be approved by the central government.
- Additionally, as per two orders issued in 2018 and 2019, the Supreme Court has directed the UPSC not to include any officer with less than six months remaining until retirement in the panel.
- Only police officers with at least six months of service left before retirement will be considered for appointment as the Director General of Police of a State.
- Empanelment Committee constituted by the UPSC will not assess Indian Police Service (IPS) officers on central deputation for a State DGP’s post if the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) informs the State government that “it will not be possible to relieve the officers.”
- The guidelines also allow officers with 25 years experience to be appointed as a DGP, against the earlier requirement of a minimum 30 years of service.
- The number of shortlisted officers cannot exceed three, but may consist of less than three officers in “exceptional circumstances”.
- Officers will not be included in the panel unless they themselves are willing.
- It requires ten years of experience in areas such as law and order, crime branch, economic offences wing, or intelligence wing, and deputation to central bodies such as the Intelligence Bureau, Research and Analysis Wing, or Central Bureau of Investigation, among others to be considered for the post of DGP.
2 . UNESCO Creative Cities
Context: Kozhikode in Kerala and Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh have made it to the prestigious creative cities list of UNESCO for contributions in the fields of literature and music, respectively.
About UNESCO Creative Cities
- The UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) was created in 2004 to promote cooperation with and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development.
- The Creative Cities Network’s aim is to “promote the social, economic and cultural development of cities in both the developed and the developing world.”
- The cities in the network promote their local creative scene and conform to UNESCO’s goal of fostering cultural diversity. They recognise past, present and future: a strong cultural heritage, a vibrant and diverse contemporary cultural scene, and aspirations to extend culture to the next generation at home and to other cities in a global partnership.
- Almost 300 cities around the world which currently make up the network
- The cities which make up this network work together towards a common objective:
- placing creativity and cultural industries at the heart of their development plans at the local level and cooperating actively at the international level.
- By joining the Network, cities commit to sharing their best practices and developing partnerships involving the public and private sectors as well as civil society in order to:
- strengthen the creation, production, distribution and dissemination of cultural activities, goods and services;
- develop hubs of creativity and innovation and broaden opportunities for creators and professionals in the cultural sector;
- improve access to and participation in cultural life, in particular for marginalized or vulnerable groups and individuals;
- fully integrate culture and creativity into sustainable development plans.
Creative fields covered by the network
- The Network covers seven creative fields:
- Crafts and Folk Arts,
- Media Arts,
- The Creative Cities Network is a privileged partner of UNESCO, not only as a platform for reflection on the role of creativity as a lever for sustainable development but also as a breeding ground of action and innovation, notably for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Creative Cities in India:
- Kozhikode- Literature (2023)
- Gwalior- Music (2023)
- Srinagar – Craft and Folk Art (2021).
- Hyderabad – Gastronomy (2019).
- Mumbai – Film (2019).
- Chennai – Creative city of Music (2017).
- Jaipur – Crafts and Folk Arts (2015).
- Varanasi – Creative city of Music (2015).
- UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
- It is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN)
- It is Headquartered in Paris, France
- It seeks to build peace through international cooperation in Education, the Sciences and Culture. UNESCO’s programmes contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals defined in Agenda 2030, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015.
- It has 195 member countries, and it pursues its objectives through five major programs: education, natural sciences, social and human sciences, culture, and communication and information.
- As early as 1942, in wartime, the governments of the European countries, which were confronting Nazi Germany and its allies, met in the United Kingdom for the Conference of Allied Ministers of Education (CAME).
- The Second World War was far from over, yet those countries were looking for ways and means to reconstruct their systems of education once peace was restored. Very quickly, the project gained momentum and soon took on a universal note.
- New governments, including that of the United States, decided to join in.
- Upon the proposal of CAME, a United Nations Conference for the establishment of an educational and cultural organization (ECO/CONF) was convened in London from 1 to 16 November 1945.
- It gathered together the representatives of forty-four countries who decided to create an organization that would embody a genuine culture of peace.
3 . Fuel Cell Technology
Context: The DGCA says breath analyser equipment with fuel cell technology has been made mandatory.
What are fuel cells ?
- Fuel cells are devices that generate electricity through electrochemical redox reactions, not combustion.
- They convert the chemical energy of fuels, such as hydrogen or methane, directly into electrical energy by combining them with oxygen.
How Fuel Cells Work
- Fuel cells work like batteries, but they do not run down or need recharging.
- They produce electricity and heat as long as fuel is supplied. A fuel cell consists of two electrodes—a negative electrode (or anode) and a positive electrode (or cathode)—sandwiched around an electrolyte.
- A fuel, such as hydrogen, is fed to the anode, and air is fed to the cathode.
- In a hydrogen fuel cell, a catalyst at the anode separates hydrogen molecules into protons and electrons, which take different paths to the cathode.
- The electrons go through an external circuit, creating a flow of electricity.
- The protons migrate through the electrolyte to the cathode, where they unite with oxygen and the electrons to produce water and heat.
- Clean Energy: Fuel cells produce electricity through an electrochemical process, typically using hydrogen and oxygen, resulting in clean and environmentally friendly energy. The only byproduct is water vapor.
- High Efficiency: Fuel cells are highly efficient in converting the energy in fuel to electricity, often exceeding 50% efficiency, compared to combustion engines with lower efficiency.
- Low Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Since the primary fuel for fuel cells is hydrogen, and hydrogen can be produced from renewable sources, fuel cells can have low or zero greenhouse gas emissions.
- Versatility: Fuel cells can be used in a wide range of applications, including stationary power generation, transportation (e.g., hydrogen fuel cell vehicles), and portable electronics.
- Reduced Dependence on Fossil Fuels: Hydrogen, a common fuel source for fuel cells, can be produced from a variety of sources, including renewable energy and natural gas, reducing dependence on fossil fuels.
- Fast Charging Times: The charge time for hydrogen fuel cell power units is extremely rapid, similar to that for conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles and markedly quicker in comparison tobattery-powered electric vehicles. Where electric vehicles require between 30 minutes and several hours to charge, hydrogen fuel cells can be recharged in under five minutes. This fast charging time means that hydrogen powered vehicles provide the same flexibility as conventional cars.
- Cost: The production and implementation of fuel cells can be expensive. The cost of materials, manufacturing, and infrastructure for hydrogen storage and distribution can be significant.
- Hydrogen Production: A major challenge is the production of hydrogen, the most common fuel for fuel cells. Currently, most hydrogen is derived from fossil fuels, which can contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.
- Infrastructure: The lack of a comprehensive hydrogen infrastructure, including refueling stations, distribution networks, and storage facilities, limits the widespread adoption of fuel cell vehicles.
- Storage and Transportation: Storing and transporting hydrogen can be challenging due to its low energy density, which requires compression, liquefaction, or advanced materials for safe and efficient storage.
- Environmental Impact: The production and disposal of materials used in fuel cells can have environmental impacts, particularly if not managed properly.
4 . Nexcar 19
Context: The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) this month granted market authorisation for NexCAR19, India’s first indigenously-developed CAR-T cell therapy, to ImmunoACT, a company incubated by IIT Bombay.
- NexCar19 is a type of CAR-T and gene therapy developed indigenously in India by ImmunoACT, which is a company incubated at IIT Bombay.
- The therapy is designed to target cancer cells that carry the CD19 protein. This protein acts like a flag on cancer cells, which allows CAR-T cells to recognise and attach themselves to the cancer cells and start the process of elimination.
- India is now one of the first developing countries to have its indigenous CAR-T and gene therapy platform. Some developed nations don’t even have their own CAR-T therapies; they import them from the United States or Europe.
Who can get the NexCAR19 therapy?
- The therapy is for people with B-cell lymphomas who didn’t respond to standard treatments like chemotherapy, leading to relapse or recurrence of the cancer.
- The patient’s treatment starts with a doctor’s prescription at the clinic, followed by donation of blood by the patient at a transfusion centre. The blood goes to the lab, where the T-cells are genetically modified. In a week to 10 days, these cells return to the clinic for patient reinfusion. Essentially, patients only need to give a blood sample at their clinic, and come back in 7-10 days for reinfusion.
- Recovery typically occurs within two weeks after one cycle of the treatment. In our data, approximately 70% of patients respond to the treatment, with variations between leukaemia and lymphoma cases. About 50% of these responsive patients achieve a complete response.
Is India’s indigenous CAR-T cell therapy any more or less effective than CAR-T cell therapies abroad?
- Laboratory and animal studies have shown a unique quality of product. Specifically, it leads to significantly lower drug-related toxicities. It causes minimal damage to neurons and the central nervous system, a condition known as neurotoxicity. Neurotoxicity can sometimes occur when CAR-T cells recognise the CD19 protein and enter the brain, potentially leading to life-threatening situations.
- The therapy also results in minimal Cytokine Release Syndrome (CRS), which is characterised by inflammation and hyperinflammation in the body due to the death of a significant number of tumour cells, as CAR-T cells are designed to target and eliminate cancer cells.
Topics for 1st
- Powers of Governor wrt Bills – https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/2023-11-01/th_chennai/articleGI6BV1RP2-4728980.ece
- Deep Ocean Mission – https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/2023-11-01/th_chennai/articleGFJBV12S4-4729109.ece
- Facts for Prelims – Indian Navy’s Information Fusion Centre for Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR)
5 . Snooping
Context: Over a dozen Opposition leaders and journalists received email alerts from U.S.-based tech giant Apple recently , informing them that their digital devices were being targeted by “state-sponsored attackers.”
What is Snooping?
- Snooping, in the realm of security, refers to the unauthorized intrusion into an individual’s or a company’s data. This activity resembles eavesdropping but extends beyond intercepting data during its transmission.
- Snooping encompasses a wide range of actions, including casually glancing at an email displayed on someone else’s computer screen or monitoring what another person is typing.
- It can also involve more advanced methods, such as using software to remotely track computer activity or monitor data as it moves across a network.
Types of Snooping
- Eavesdropping: Listening in on private conversations or communications without the knowledge or consent of the parties involved. This can occur in person, over the phone, or through digital channels.
- Email Snooping: Unauthorized access to someone’s email account to read, copy, or intercept their email messages. This can be done by knowing the person’s password or using other hacking techniques.
- Network Sniffing: Intercepting and capturing data as it travels over a network, such as the internet. This can include capturing unencrypted data packets for analysis.
- Keylogging: Using software or hardware to record a person’s keystrokes, potentially capturing sensitive information like passwords and credit card details.
- Cloud Account Hacking: Unauthorized access to a person’s cloud storage or email accounts to view, steal, or manipulate their stored data.
- Smartphone Snooping: Installing spyware or unauthorized apps on a smartphone to track calls, messages, GPS location, and other activities.
- Physical Surveillance: Monitoring someone’s physical activities, location, or conversations through the use of hidden cameras, microphones, or other surveillance devices.
- Packet Sniffing: Capturing and analyzing data packets as they travel across a network, which can reveal information about the content and source of the data.
History of Snooping in India
- Over the years, snooping scandals in India have emerged through the outing of a variety of material. It could be the leak of interception orders (leading to the resignation of then Karnataka Chief Minister Ramakrishna Hegde in 1988); the physical sighting of intelligence operatives (which led to the fall of the Chandra Shekhar government in 1991); the leak of audio tapes (Tata Tapes, first reported in 1997); or the leak of entire transcripts on pen drives of a target put under lawful interception (Radia Tapes, 2010).
- There have been other scandals such as the leak of the secret letter written by then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, informing him that he suspected his office was being bugged (2011); and the “snoopgate” in Gujarat (2013), when audio tapes, recorded allegedly at the behest of then Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s aide Amit Shah, of purported conversations of a woman architect were leaked.
- There was also the leak of Blackberry Messenger (BBM) messages recovered by Income Tax officials from the laptop of meat exporter Moin Qureshi. ( 2014).
- At that time, BBM services were considered impenetrable to surveillance — just as messaging services like WhatsApp, Telegram and Signal, which promise end-to-end encryption, were, until recently, considered safe.
- In the 2019 case involving Pegasus, metadata comprising thousands of telephone numbers, belonging to targets of the government clients of NSO, has been leaked. The surveillance was carried out using a spyware tool called Pegasus, which has been developed by an Israeli firm, the NSO Group.
Legality of Snooping:
- Communication surveillance in India takes place primarily under two laws — the Telegraph Act, 1885 and the Information Technology Act, 2000.
- While the Telegraph Act deals with interception of calls, the IT Act was enacted to deal with surveillance of all electronic communication, following the Supreme Court’s intervention in 1996.
- Under this law, the government can intercept calls only in certain situations — the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the state, friendly relations with foreign states or public order, or for preventing incitement to the commission of an offence. These are the same restrictions imposed on free speech under Article 19(2) of the Constitution.
- Significantly, even these restrictions can be imposed only when there is a condition precedent — the occurrence of any public emergency, or in the interest of public safety.
- Additionally, a proviso in Section 5(2) states that even this lawful interception cannot take place against journalists. “Provided that press messages intended to be published in India of correspondents accredited to the Central Government or a State Government shall not be intercepted or detained, unless their transmission has been prohibited under this sub-section.”
- The Supreme Court’s guidelines formed the basis of introducing Rule 419A in the Telegraph Rules in 2007 and later in the rules prescribed under the IT Act in 2009.
- Rule 419A states that a Secretary to the Government of India in the Ministry of Home Affairs can pass orders of interception in the case of Centre, and a secretary-level officer who is in-charge of the Home Department can issue such directives in the case of a state government.
- In unavoidable circumstances, Rule 419A adds, such orders may be made by an officer, not below the rank of a Joint Secretary to the Government of India, who has been duly authorised by the Union Home Secretary or the state Home Secretary.
Information Technology Act
- Section 69 of the Information Technology Act and the Information Technology (Procedure for Safeguards for Interception, Monitoring and Decryption of Information) Rules, 2009 were enacted to further the legal framework for electronic surveillance.
- Under the IT Act, all electronic transmission of data can be intercepted. So, for a Pegasus-like spyware to be used lawfully, the government would have to invoke both the IT Act and the Telegraph Act.
- Apart from the restrictions provided in Section 5(2) of the Telegraph Act and Article 19(2) of the Constitution, Section 69 the IT Act adds another aspect that makes it broader — interception, monitoring and decryption of digital information “for the investigation of an offence”.
- Significantly, it dispenses with the condition precedent set under the Telegraph Act that requires “the occurrence of public emergency of the interest of public safety” which widens the ambit of powers under the law.
R V Raveendran Committee:
- Supreme Court ordered a probe headed by former SC judge R V Raveendran to look into the allegations of unauthorised surveillance using the Israeli-built Pegasus spyware.
- The court has set seven terms of reference for the committee, which are essentially facts that need to be ascertained to decide the issue.
- These range from determining who procured Pegasus and whether the petitioners in the case were indeed targeted by use of the software, to what laws justify the use of such spyware against citizens.
- The court has also asked the committee to make recommendations on a legal and policy framework on cyber security to ensure the right to privacy of citizens is protected.
- The committee is expected to submit its report in eight weeks.
SC’s Verdict on the issue
- In a ruling on the Pegasus snooping case, a panel headed by Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana emphasized that conducting surveillance to uncover terrorist activities is crucial for safeguarding the lives and freedoms of individuals.
- There may be circumstances where it becomes necessary to intrude into an individual’s privacy in order to obtain crucial information that is vital for preventing acts of violence and terrorism.
- However, the state can violate a person’s privacy only if it is “absolutely necessary” to protect national security and interests. The necessity to trespass on individual privacy should be proportional.
- It reiterated that the use of technology for surveillance by the State must be evidence-based.
6 . Powers of Governor wrt Bills
Context: The Tamil Nadu government has moved a writ petition in the Supreme Court against Governor R.N. Ravi for creating a “constitutional deadlock” by inexplicably delaying or even failing to consider and give assent to crucial Bills passed by the Assembly, and stymieing day-to-day governance in a way which is threatening to bring administration in the State to a grinding halt.
- Article 200 provides that when a Bill passed by the State Legislature, is presented to the Governor, the Governor shall declare—
- (a) that he assents to the Bill; or
- (b) that he withholds assent therefrom; or
- (c) that he reserves the Bill for the President’s consideration; or
- (d) the Governor may, as soon as possible, return the Bill (other than a Money Bill) with a message for re-consideration by the State Legislature. But, if the Bill is again passed by the Legislature with or without amendment, the Governor shall not withhold assent therefrom (First Proviso); or
- (e) if in the opinion of the Governor, the Bill, if it became law, would so derogate from the powers of the High Court as to endanger its constitutional position, he shall not assent to but shall reserve it for the consideration of the President (Second Proviso).
- If the Governor reserves a Bill for President’s consideration, the enactment of the Bill then depends on the assent or refusal of assent by the President.
- In the case of a reserved Bill, the President shall, under Article 201—, either declare his assent or withhold his assent thereto. Instead of following either of these courses, the President may (if the Bill is not a Money Bill) direct the Governor to return the Bill together with a message to the State Legislature for reconsideration. The State Legislature shall then reconsider the Bill within 6 months of its receipt and, if it is again passed, it shall be presented again to the President for his consideration. In contrast with the power of the Governor regarding a reconsidered Bill, it is not obligatory for the President to give his assent to a reconsidered Bill.
State Bills reserved for President’s Consideration
- State Bills reserved for Presidents’s consideration under the Constitution, may be classified as follows:—
- Bills which must be reserved for President’s consideration In this category come Bills—
- Which so derogate from the powers of the High Court, as to endanger the position which that Court is by this Constitution designed to fill (Second Proviso to Article 200);
- Which relate to imposition of taxes on water or electricity in certain cases, and attract the provisions of Clause (2) of Article 288; and
- Which fall within clause (4) (a) (ii) of Article 360, during a Financial Emergency.
- Bills which may be reserved for President’s consideration and assent for specific purposes
- To secure immunity from operation of Articles 14 and 19. These are Bills for—
- Acquisition of estates, etc. [First Proviso to Article 31A(I)];
- Giving effect to Directive Principles of State Policy (Proviso to Article 31C).
- A Bill relating to a subject enumerated in the Concurrent List, to ensure operation of its provisions despite their repugnancy to a Union law or an existing law, by securing President’s assent in terms of Article 254(2).
- Legislation imposing restrictions on trade and commerce requiring Presidential sanction under the
- Proviso to Article 304(b) read with Article 255.
- Bills which may not specifically fall under any of the above categories, yet may be reserved by the Governor for President’s consideration under Article 200.
- To secure immunity from operation of Articles 14 and 19. These are Bills for—
Issues with it
- Halt in Administration: The Governor by not signing remission orders, day-to-day files, appointment orders, approving recruitment orders, granting approval to prosecute Ministers and MLAs involved in corruption including transfer of investigation to the CBI by the Supreme Court and Bills passed by the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly is bringing the entire administration to a grinding halt.
- Rift between State and Governor: The delayed assent by the Governor creates adversarial attitude by not cooperating with the State administration.
- In Purushothaman Nambudiri v State of Kerala, while deciding whether a Bill pending the Governor’s assent would lapse upon the dissolution of the House, the Court considered the provisions of Article 200 and 201 to hold that it would not. It held that since there is no time limit prescribed under Articles 200 and 201 for the Governor or the President to give their assent, unlike the House which has six months to decide the recommendations of the Governor or the President as the case may be, it suggests that the framers of the Constitution did not want a Bill pending assent from the Governor to be at risk of lapsing on dissolution of the House. Though the Constitution prescribes no express time limit, the first proviso does mention that the Governor ought to either give his assent or send the Bill back to the House as soon as possible.
- In Shamsher Singh, the Court held, though not explicitly, that it is only with respect to the second proviso that the Governor exercises discretion independent of the Council. It held that the Governor’s power, to reserve Bills for the President’s consideration, is one such discretionary power. The Court also highlighted the exceptional circumstances of the Governor acting independent of the Council of Ministers. It held that de Smith’s statement on royal assent would hold good even in the context of Indian democracy for both Presidents and Governors (“Refusal of the royal assent on the ground that the monarch strongly disapproved of a bill or that it was intensely controversial would nevertheless be unconstitutional.”)
- In Nabam Rebia and Bamang Felix vs Dy. Speaker, the Court also held that in so far as Article 200 is concerned, the Governor exercises discretion only with regard to whether a Bill ought to be reserved for consideration of the President or not. This is important because the Court has also held that Article 163(2) has to be understood in the context of Article 163(1), meaning only those matters where the Constitution expressly permits the Governor to act autonomously cannot be challenged before a court of a law. The judgment in Nabam Rebia has been referred to a larger bench of the Court with regard to the issue of whether a Speaker is barred from proceeding with deciding matters under Schedule X while a motion for his removal is pending before the House.
- The Governor, therefore, has no discretion to indefinitely withhold assent to a Bill. If a Bill is presented to him, it has to be returned with recommendations or given assent as soon as possible. If it takes away the power of the High Court, the Governor has the discretion to refer it for the President’s consideration. Refusing to act on a Bill is in violation of the Constitution, and a Governor’s action or inaction in this regard would be susceptible to judicial review.
7 . Deep Ocean Mission
Context : The Deep Ocean Mission (DOM) is India’s ambitious quest to explore and harness the depths of the ocean.
About the Mission
- DOM is India’s ambitious programme for underwater exploration, chiefly implemented by the MoES.
- It was approved by the Union Cabinet in 2021 at a cost of nearly ₹ 4,077 crore over a five-year period in a phased manner. The mission has six pillars:
- Development of technologies for deep-sea mining and a manned submersible to carry three people to a depth of 6,000 metres in the ocean. The submersible will be equipped with a suite of scientific sensors, tools and an integrated system for mining polymetallic nodules from the central Indian Ocean;
- Development of ocean climate change advisory services, involving an array of ocean observations and models to understand and provide future climate projections;
- Technological innovations for the exploration and conservation of deep-sea biodiversity;
- Deep-ocean survey and exploration aimed at identifying potential sites of multi-metal hydrothermal sulphides mineralisation along the Indian Ocean mid-oceanic ridges;
- Harnessing energy and freshwater from the ocean; and
- Establishing an advanced Marine Station for Ocean Biology, as a hub for nurturing talent and driving new opportunities in ocean biology and blue biotechnology.
- It is one of nine missions under the Prime Minister’s Science, Technology, and Innovation Advisory Council(PMSTIAC).It is imperative that DOM supports the blue-economy priority area, blue trade, and blue manufacturing in India.
- Under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Centre for Marine Living Resources and Ecology, Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services, National Centre for Coastal Research, National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research and National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) will collaborate with national institutes and academia to achieve objectives outlined in DOM, albeit with well-segregated responsibilities.
- Matsya 6000 is an Indian crewed deep-submergence vehicle intended to be utilised for deep-sea exploration of rare minerals under the Deep Ocean mission.
- Currently under development, the vehicle would consist of a titanium alloy sphere of 80mm thickness along with a diameter of 2.1m which can withstand the pressure of 600 bar.
- Accompanied by three crew members, the submersible carries a suite of scientific tools and equipment designed to facilitate observations, sample collection, basic video and audio recording, and experimentation.
- The primary mission of Matsya6000 is exploration. The U.S.A., Russia, China, France, and Japan have already achieved successful deep-ocean crewed missions. India is poised to join the ranks of these nations. The focus remains on developing these technologies indigenously, aligned with the vision of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’.
- It combines the best and most feasible features of remote operated vehicles (ROVs) and autonomous remote vehicles (AUVs)
Why has a depth of 6,000 m been chosen for the mission ?
- The decision to target a depth of 6,000 m for the DOM holds strategic significance. India has committed to the sustainable extraction of valuable resources, including polymetallic nodules and polymetallic sulphides.
- International Seabed Authority has allocated a 75,000-sq.-km in the central Indian Ocean and an additional 10,000 sq. km at 26° S to India for this.
- Polymetallic nodules, which contain precious metals like copper, manganese, nickel, iron, and cobalt, are found approximately 5,000 m deep, and polymetallic sulphides occur at around 3,000 m in the central Indian Ocean. Therefore, our interests span depths of 3,000-5,500 m. By equipping to operate at a depth of 6,000 m, it can effectively cater to both the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone and the central Indian Ocean.
Important challenges of the mission
- High Pressure : exploring the depths of the oceans has proved to be more challenging than exploring outer space. The fundamental distinction lies with the high pressure in the deep oceans. While outer space is akin to a near-perfect vacuum, being one metre underwater puts as much pressure on an object of one square metre area as if it were carrying 10,000 kg of weight.Operating under such high-pressure requires the use of meticulously designed equipment crafted from durable metals or materials.
- Issues with Equipment: electronics and instruments find it simpler to function in a vacuum or in space. Conversely, inside the water, poorly designed objects collapse or implode.
- Issues with landing: Landing on the ocean bed also presents challenges due to its incredibly soft and muddy surface. This factor renders it exceedingly difficult for heavy vehicles to land or manoeuvre, as they would inevitably sink.
- Visibility : Visibility also poses a significant hurdle as natural light can penetrate only a few tens of metres beneath the surface, whereas space observations are facilitated through telescopes.
8 . Facts for Prelims
Indian Navy’s Information Fusion Centre for Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR):
- The Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) is a regional maritime security centre hosted by the Indian Navy.
- Launched in 2018, the centre works towards enhancing maritime security and safety in the Indian Ocean.
- Currently, the IFC-IOR has International Liaison Officers (ILO) from 12 partner nations. It also has more than 65 international working-level linkages with nations and multi-national/ maritime security centres.
- It is headquartered in Gurugram.
- A breakthrough discovery has revealed that haemoglobin isn’t used by red blood cells alone.
- In a study, scientists from China reported that chondrocytes, cells that make cartilage, the connecting tissue between bones, also make haemoglobin and seem to depend on it for their survival.
- Haemoglobin (Hb) is a protein found in the red blood cells that carries oxygen in your body and gives blood its red colour. Haemoglobin levels vary from person to person.