Daily Current Affairs : 5th and 6th September 2023

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE

Topics Covered

  1. Bharat 
  2. Ecocide
  3. CBDC
  4. Aditya – L 1
  5. Asessment Report on Invasive Alien Species and their Control

1 . Bharat

Context: The invitation to a G20 dinner referred to the head of state as ‘The President of Bharat’ instead of the customary ‘President of India.  There is speculation of an official change in the name of the country from India to Bharat, even though Article 1 of the Constitution uses the two names interchangeably: “India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States.”  

Where does the name ‘Bharat’ come from?  

  • The origins of “Bharat,” “Bharata,” or “Bharatvarsha” can be found in Puranic texts and the epic Mahabharata. These scriptures define Bharata as the region situated between the southern sea and abode of snow in the north. 
  • Bharata is also the name of an ancient king considered as the forefather of the Bharatas, a Rig Vedic tribe, and consequently, the progenitor of all peoples of the subcontinent.  

Origin of “Hindustan” and “India”

  • The term “Hindustan” likely originated from ‘Hindu,’ the Persian version of the Sanskrit ‘Sindhu’ (Indus), dating back to the Achaemenid Persian conquest of the northwestern part of the subcontinent around the 6th century BC.
  • Initially, the Achaemenids used “Hindu” to describe the lower Indus basin. Later, around the 1st century CE, the suffix “stan” was added to form “Hindustan.” 
  • The Greeks then transliterated it as ‘Indus.’ By Alexander the Great’s 3rd-century BC invasion, ‘India’ had become synonymous with the region beyond the Indus. 
  • During the early Mughal era in the 16th century, ‘Hindustan’ was used to refer to the entire Indo-Gangetic plain. But in the late 18th century, British maps started using ‘India’ more, and the word ‘Hindustan’ started to lose its association with all of South Asia. 

How did ‘Bharat’ and ‘India’ come in the Constitution?  

  • In 1949, Dr B R Ambedkar presented to the House the final version of the provision, which included both ‘Bharat’ and ‘India’. Several members objected to the use of ‘India’, which they saw as a reminder of the colonial past.  
  • Members like Seth Govind Das preferred to place Bharat over India. Another member , Hargovind Pant said people “wanted Bharatvarsha and nothing else” 
  • However, eventually both the words, “Bharat” and “India” were incorporated into the Article 1 of the constitution. 
  • Article 1 uses the two names interchangeably: “India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States.” 

Judiciary’s take on the issue

  • In 2016, Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur told activist Niranjan Bhatwal from Maharashtra that the choice was his, to call his country ‘Bharat’ or ‘India’. Nobody, no authority, State or court, had the power to dictate to citizens what they should call their country. 
  • An identical petition again came up before the Supreme Court, this time before Chief Justice of India S.A. Bobde, in 2020. The petition asked for the removal of ‘India’ from Article 1, arguing that there should be uniformity in the nation’s name. Chief Justice Bobde explained to the petitioner that both ‘Bharat’ and ‘India’ are names specified in the Constitution. In fact, ‘India’ is already referred to as ‘Bharat’ in the Constitution. 

2 . Ecocide  

Context: Mexico’s ‘Maya train’ project has acquired a contradictory reputation. Some describe it as a “Pharaonic project”, with a route spanning 1,525 km, connecting tourists in the Caribbean With historic Maya sites and costing $20 billion to build. It has also been described as a “megaproject of death” because it imperils the Yucatán peninsula and its rich wilderness, ancient cave systems, and Indigenous communities. The Tribunal for the Rights of Nature in August said the project caused “crimes of ecocide and ethnocide”. 

What is Ecocide

  • Ecocide, derived from Greek and Latin, translates to “killing one’s home” or “environment”. Such ‘killing’ could include port expansion projects that destroy fragile marine life and local livelihoods; deforestation; illegal sand-mining; and polluting rivers with untreated sewage.  
  • Mexico is one of several countries mulling ecocide legislation. There is also a push to elevate ecocide to the ranks of an international crime, warranting similar legal scrutiny as genocide. 
    • The biologist Arthur Galston in 1970 is credited with first linking environmental destruction with genocide, which is recognised as an international crime, when referring to the U.S. military’s use of Agent Orange in the Vietnam War.  
    • Two years later, Sweden Prime Minister Olof Palme used the term in a speech at the U.N. British lawyer Polly Higgins became the linchpin when in 2010 she urged the International Criminal Court (ICC) to recognise ecocide as an international crime. 
    • Today, the Rome Statute of the ICC deals with four atrocities: genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression. 
  • The provision on war crimes is the only statute that can hold a perpetrator responsible for environmental damage, but only if it is intentional and in wartime. 
  • There is no accepted legal definition of ecocide, but a panel of lawyers in June 2021 for the Stop Ecocide Foundation prepared a 165-word articulation. 
  • Ecocide, they proposed, constitutes the “unlawful or wanton acts committed with knowledge that there is a substantial likelihood of severe and either widespread or long-term damage to the environment being caused by those acts.” 

Why should ecocide be a crime? 

  • Ecocide is a crime in 11 countries, with 27 others considering laws to criminalise environmental damage that is willfully caused and harms humans, animals, and plants. 
  • The European Parliament voted unanimously this year to enshrine ecocide in law. Most national definitions penalise “mass destruction of flora and fauna”, “poisoning the atmosphere or water resources” or “deliberate actions capable of causing an ecological disaster.” 
  • The ICC and Ukraine’s public prosecutor are also investigating Russia’s role in the collapse of the Nova Kakhovka dam, which unleashed a flood that drowned 40 regions, and released oils and toxic fluids into the Black Sea. 
  • Ecocide laws are legal instruments to plug a loophole in environmental protection. 
  • Ecocide in their laws could in turn build pressure on the ICC. 
  • Deforestation of the Amazon, deep-sea trawling or even the catastrophic 1984 Bhopal gas disaster could have been avoided with ecocide laws in place. These laws could also hold individuals at the helms of corporations accountable.  
  • Ecocide laws could also double up as calls for justice for low- and middle-income countries disproportionately affected by climate change. Small nation-states like Vanuatu and Barbuda are already lobbying the ICC to declare crimes against the environment to be violations of international law. 

Limitations to defining ecocide 

  • Some experts have called the 2021 definition ambiguous and as setting a very low threshold to implicating an entity. Words like “long-term” or “widespread damage” are abstract and leave room for misinterpretation. 
  • The definition describes “wanton” as damage that is “clearly excessive in relation to the social and economic benefits anticipated.” But this constructs a development-versus-environment narrative – one that others have argued could mean that it is ‘okay’ to destroy the environment as long as it benefits humans. 
  • The threshold to prove ‘ecocide’ may also be too high. Countries like Belarus and Moldova specify “intentional” or “deliberate” destruction,  This wording may have the effect of limiting, if not excluding, the liability of corporations’ top managers’ and Governments’ officials’. 
  • The ICC also has limited legal powers as well as an uneven track record of converting prosecutions into convictions. Specifically, the court’s power is limited to “natural persons,” so without any significant changes, the ICC will not be unable to hold corporate entities criminally liable. 
  •  Experts have noted that most ‘crimes’ are transnational in nature: corporations have private or State-owned corporations in other countries (which are not members of the Rome Statute) that are responsible for polluting activities. For example, Coca-Cola was accused of poisoning land in South India with waste sludge and pushing thousands of farmers out of work by draining the water that fed their wells. 

What has been India’s stance ?

  • Some Indian judgments have affirmed the legal personhood of nature by recognising rivers as legal entities with the right to maintain their spirit, identity, and integrity. 
  • Some others have used the term ‘ecocide’ in passing but the concept hasn’t fully materialised in law.  
  • In Chandra CFS and Terminal Operators Pvt. Ltd. v. The Commissioner of Customs and Ors (2015), the Madras High Court noted: “the prohibitory activities of ecocide has been continuing unbridledly by certain section of people by removing the valuable and precious timbers”. 
  • In an ongoing case, T.N. Godavarman Thirumulpad vs Union Of India & Ors, the Supreme Court called attention to an “anthropogenic bias” and argued that “environmental justice could be achieved only if we drift away from the principle of anthropocentric to ecocentric” – echoing an argument advanced by many activists, that criminalising ecocide could replace the anthropocentric legal view with a value for nature as a thing unto itself. 
  • India’s legislative framework vis-à-vis environmental and ecological governance includes the Environmental (Protection) Act 1986, the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972, and the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Act (CAMPA) 2016, as well as separate Rules to prevent air and water pollution. These separate laws have to be consolidated into a unified code and institutions have to be streamlined so that debates like the one about ecocide and rights of nature find “their proper way through legal channels”. 
  • Notably, the National Green Tribunal, India’s apex environmental statutory body, does not have the jurisdiction to hear matters related to the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972, the Indian Forest Act 1927, and other State-enacted laws. 
  • As a result, mining of sand on the banks of the Chambal river or the Himachal floods would qualify as being environmental crimes under the current articulation. Indian laws are themselves in a state of conflict: the Parliament passed the controversial Forest Conservation (Amendment) Bill 2023 and Biodiversity (Amendment) Bill 2023, which experts have said will dilute current legal protections and will lead to the loss of 20-25% of forest area in the country and the attendant biodiversity and ecosystem issues. 
  • one critical challenge is to tackle problems of liability and compensation – an example of the “friction between committing to environmental protection and actual action.” For example, survivors of the Bhopal gas disaster are still fighting for compensation. The disaster’s aftermath has been characterised by an intergenerational impact on health and widespread contamination of soil and groundwater. 
  • Several independent investigations have also alleged that funds earmarked for CAMPA have been misused and/or diverted for other purposes. But despite the National Green Tribunal having slapped fines worth Rs 28,180 crore on seven States, there is little clarity on the total fines collected and the way they were used, according to a 2022 report by Down to Earth. 

3 . CBDC

Context: CBDCs can make payments across borders efficient: RBI Governor. 

What is CBDC? 

  • CBDC or Central Bank Digital Currency is a legal tender issued by the Reserve Bank of India. 
  • A CBDC is an electronic record or digital token of a country’s official currency, which fulfils the basic functions as a medium of exchange, unit of account, store of value, and standard of deferred payment. 
  • According to the RBI website, CBDC is the same as currency issued by a central bank but takes a different form than paper (or polymer). 
  • It is sovereign currency in an electronic form and will appear as liability (currency in circulation) on a central bank’s balance sheet. CBDCs should be exchangeable at par with cash. 

Why are central banks issuing digital currencies? 

Adoption of CBDC has been justified for the following reasons:- 

  • Central banks, faced with dwindling usage of paper currency, seek to popularize a more acceptable electronic form of currency 
  • Central banks seek to meet the public’s need for digital currencies, manifested in the increasing use of private virtual currencies, and thereby avoid the more damaging consequences of such private currencies. 
  • Central banks also believe that the cost of issuing digital currencies is far lower than the cost of printing and distributing physical cash. The RBI can create and distribute the digital rupee at virtually zero cost since the creation and the distribution of the digital rupee will happen electronically. 
  • Another likely reason for the introduction of digital cash may be to bring down the use of physical cash. Unlike physical cash, which is hard to trace, a digital currency that is monitored by the RBI can be more easily tracked and controlled by the Central bank. This feature of digital currencies, however, has raised various concerns regarding their privacy and could slow down their adoption. In fact, it is worth noting that the need for privacy has been one of the primary reasons behind the switch to private digital currencies. 
  • The use of local currencies in cross-border payments could help to shield emerging market currencies from global shocks, protect against exchange rate fluctuations and encourage the development of local forex and capital markets. 

What are the risks in adopting digital currencies issued by Central banks? 

  • Many, including various central bankers, fear that people may begin withdrawing money from their bank accounts as digital currencies issued by Central banks become more popular When the digital wallet offered by the RBI can serve the same purpose, people could very well begin converting their bank deposits into digital cash. 
  • One thing that could prevent any large flight of capital from bank accounts to digital currencies is the fact that bank accounts, unlike digital currencies, offer interest on deposits. But in developed economies, where interest rates are near zero or even negative, the risk of people rushing their money out of bank accounts and into digital currencies is real. This may not be an immediate concern for banks in India which still offer returns that are positive, at least in nominal terms, to their depositors. 
  • The withdrawal of bank deposits can also affect the amount of loans created by banks. However, this could happen not simply because banks will have fewer cash deposits to lend to borrowers. Contrary to popular belief, banks do not loan out actual cash deposits. Instead, they use cash deposits as a base on which they create a pyramid of electronic loans far in excess of the cash deposits. So banks hold lower amounts of cash in their vaults than what their depositors and borrowers could demand from them anyway. The real reason banks will be able to create fewer loans is that when customers convert their bank money into CBDCs, banks will be forced to surrender at least some cash and will thus possess an even smaller base on which to create loans. Also, when bank customers convert their deposits into digital rupee, the RBI will have to take these liabilities from the books of banks and onto its own balance sheet. 

 4 . Aditya L 1

Context: Aditya L1 will function as a space weather station. Understanding space weather is an international issue, and the data from the spacecraft will aid in making models and predicting storms in advance. 


  • Aditya-L1 would be the first space-based Indian observatory to study the Sun. 
  • According to the ISRO, the spacecraft was assembled and integrated at the U.R. Rao Satellite Centre (URSC) in Bengaluru and delivered to the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. 

What is the Aditya L1 mission? 

  • The Aditya L1 mission will be the first space-based observatory Indian solar mission to study the Sun. 
  • The spacecraft is planned to be placed in a halo orbit around the Lagrange point 1 (L1), around 1.5 million km from the Earth, of the Sun-Earth system. 
  • As per the ISRO, the mission will be launched by PSLV rocket from the Sathish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR (SDSC SHAR) in Sriharikota. While the spacecraft will initially be placed in a low earth orbit. Further, as the orbit is made more elliptical, the spacecraft will then be launched towards the L1 point by using an on-board propulsion. 
  • The ISRO said as the spacecraft moves towards L1, it will exit the Earth’s gravitational Sphere of Influence (SOI), after which the cruise phase will begin. The spacecraft will then be injected into a huge halo orbit around L1. 
  • The total time of travel from the launch to the L1 point would take around four months for Aditya-L1. 
  • According to the ISRO, a satellite which will be placed around the L1 will have a significant advantage of continuously having the Sun’s view without being obstructed by any occultation or eclipses. 
  • The mission will also provide another advantage of observing solar activities and witnessing their impact on space weather in real-time. 
  • The spacecraft will be carrying seven payloads in order to observe the photosphere, chromosphere and the topmost layers of the Sun (the corona) by using electromagnetic and particle and magnetic field detectors. 
  • The satellite will use the L1 special vantage point to directly view the sun with four payloads and three payloads will study the particles and fields at the L1 point, “thus providing important scientific studies of the propagatory effect of solar dynamics in the interplanetary medium. 

About Aditya L1 Mission 

  • The Aditya L1 mission will be the first space-based observatory Indian solar mission to study the Sun. 
  • The spacecraft is planned to be placed in a halo orbit around the Lagrange point 1 (L1), around 1.5 million km from the Earth, of the Sun-Earth system.  A satellite placed in the halo orbit around the L1 point has the major advantage of continuously viewing the Sun without any occultation/eclipses. This will provide a greater advantage of observing the solar activities and its effect on space weather in real time.  
  • The total time of travel from the launch to the L1 point would take around four months for Aditya-L1. 

About the Satellite & Payloads 

  • ISRO categorises Aditya L1 as a 400 kg-class satellite, that will be launched using the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) in XL configuration. 
  • Spacecraft carries seven payloads to observe the photosphere, chromosphere and the outermost layers of the Sun (the corona) using electromagnetic and particle and magnetic field detectors. Using the special vantage point L1, four payloads directly view the Sun and the remaining three payloads carry out in-situ studies of particles and fields at the Lagrange point L1, thus providing important scientific studies of the propagatory effect of solar dynamics in the interplanetary medium 
  • The suits of Aditya L1 payloads are expected to provide most crucial informations to understand the problem of coronal heating, coronal mass ejection, pre-flare and flare activities and their characteristics, dynamics of space weather, propagation of particle and fields etc. 
  • The mission will be undertaken in collaboration between various labs of ISRO, along with institutions like the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), Bengaluru, Inter University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Pune, and Indian Institute of Science, Education and Research (IISER), Kolkata. Aditya L1 will be ISRO’s second space-based astronomy mission after AstroSat, which was launched in September 2015. 

Importance of Mission  

  • According to the ISRO, a satellite which will be placed around the L1 will have a significant advantage of continuously having the Sun’s view without being obstructed by any occultation or eclipses. 
  • The mission will also provide another advantage of observing solar activities and witnessing their impact on space weather in real-time. 
  • What makes a solar mission challenging is the distance of the Sun from Earth (about 149 million km on average, compared to the only 3.84 lakh km to the Moon) and, more importantly, the super hot temperatures and radiations in the solar atmosphere. 

Science Objectives 

The major science objectives of Aditya-L1 mission are: 

  • Study of Solar upper atmospheric (chromosphere and corona) dynamics. 
  • Study of chromospheric and coronal heating, physics of the partially ionized plasma, initiation of the coronal mass ejections, and flares 
  • Observe the in-situ particle and plasma environment providing data for the study of particle dynamics from the Sun. 
  • Physics of solar corona and its heating mechanism. 
  • Diagnostics of the coronal and coronal loops plasma: Temperature, velocity and density. 
  • Development, dynamics and origin of CMEs. 
  • Identify the sequence of processes that occur at multiple layers (chromosphere, base and extended corona) which eventually leads to solar eruptive events. 
  • Magnetic field topology and magnetic field measurements in the solar corona . 
  • Monitoring the Sun: From the  vantage point L1, Aditya L1 can observe the Sun 24X7 using its four remote sensing payloads, and measure in-situ the various parameters of space weather. 
  • To understand climate variability: The Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (SUIT) developed by the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy & Astrophysics, in close collaboration with the ISRO, the Center of Excellence in Space Sciences India, Mohanpur, the Manipal Academy of Higher Education etc, will observe the UV radiation from different zones of the solar atmosphere. The onboard intelligence system will detect any sudden appearance of bright spots, such as solar flares (a sudden burst of high energy visible light, UV rays, X rays and Gamma rays) on the disc. The automated system will trigger the rapid imaging of different layers, and  will obtain a 3D tomographic view of the Sun.  
  • Looking deeper: Usually, the corona is not visible in the glare of the radiant Sun, except during the brief moment of a total solar eclipse.  Hitherto, no space telescope could peer at the inner corona, closer to the Sun. The Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC) developed by the Bengaluru-based Indian Institute of Astrophysics in close collaboration with the ISRO can peek as close as 1.05 solar radii, a region never imaged by any solar telescope.  
  • When a solar storm brews: The changes in the solar wind’s density, speed and direction is called space weather. Solar storms result in inclement space weather. Aditya L1 will function as a space weather station. The Aditya Solar Wind Particle Experiment (ASPEX) developed by the ISRO’s Ahmedabad-based Physical Research Laboratory, the Plasma Analyser Package For Aditya (PAPA) developed by the Thiruvananthapuram based Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre and the advanced Tri-axial High-Resolution Digital Magnetometers developed by the Bengaluru based ISRO’s Laboratory for Electro-Optics Systems keep a constant watch over the parameters of space weather near Aditya L1. Using the data from these instruments, scientists can predict probable geomagnetic storms and better understand space weather dynamics. 
  • The data from Adtiya L1 will aid in making models and predicting storms in advance. 

Why is studying the Sun important? 

  • Every planet, including Earth and the exoplanets beyond the Solar System, evolves — and this evolution is governed by its parent star. The solar weather and environment, which is determined by the processes taking place inside and around the sun, affects the weather of the entire system. Variations in this weather can change the orbits of satellites or shorten their lives, interfere with or damage onboard electronics, and cause power blackouts and other disturbances on Earth. Knowledge of solar events is key to understanding space weather. 
  • To learn about and track Earth-directed storms, and to predict their impact, continuous solar observations are needed. Every storm that emerges from the Sun and heads towards Earth passes through L1, and a satellite placed in the halo orbit around L1 of the Sun-Earth system has the major advantage of continuously viewing the Sun without any occultation/eclipses, ISRO says on its website. 

Lagrange Point 1 

  • L1 refers to Lagrangian/Lagrange Point 1, one of five points in the orbital plane of the Earth-Sun system. Lagrange Points, named after Italian-French mathematician Josephy-Louis Lagrange, are positions in space where the gravitational forces of a two-body system (like the Sun and the Earth) produce enhanced regions of attraction and repulsion. These can be used by spacecraft to reduce fuel consumption needed to remain in position. The L1 point is home to the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory Satellite (SOHO), an international collaboration project of NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA). 
  • The L1 point is about 1.5 million km from Earth, or about one-hundredth of the way to the Sun. Aditya L1 will perform continuous observations looking directly at the Sun. NASA’s Parker Solar Probe has already gone far closer — but it will be looking away from the Sun. The earlier Helios 2 solar probe, a joint venture between NASA and space agency of erstwhile West Germany, went within 43 million km of the Sun’s surface in 1976. 


  • The Parker Solar Probe’s January 29 flyby was the closest the spacecraft has gone to the Sun in its planned seven-year journey so far. Computer modelling estimates show that the temperature on the Sun-facing side of the probe’s heat shield, the Thermal Protection System, reached 612 degrees Celsius, even as the spacecraft and instruments behind the shield remained at about 30°C, NASA said. During the spacecraft’s three closest perihelia in 2024-25, the TPS will see temperatures around 1370°C. 
  • Aditya L1 will stay much farther away, and the heat is not expected to be a major concern for the instruments on board. But there are other challenges. 
  • Many of the instruments and their components for this mission are being manufactured for the first time in the country, presenting as much of a challenge as an opportunity for India’s scientific, engineering, and space communities. One such component is the highly polished mirrors which would be mounted on the space-based telescope. 
  • Due to the risks involved, payloads in earlier ISRO missions have largely remained stationary in space; however, Aditya L1 will have some moving components, scientists said. For example, the spacecraft’s design allows for multiple operations of the front window of the telescope — which means the window can be opened or shut as required. 

5 . Assessment Report on Invasive Alien Species and their Control

Context:- Biodiversity loss: 37,000 ‘alien species’ introduced by human activities, says report by the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).  


  • The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) is an independent intergovernmental body established by States to strengthen the science-policy interface for biodiversity and ecosystem services for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, long-term human well-being and sustainable development. 
  •  It was established in Panama City, on 21 April 2012 by 94 Governments. 
  •  It is not a United Nations body.  However, at the request of the IPBES Plenary and with the authorization of the UNEP Governing Council in 2013, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) provides secretariat services to IPBES. 
  • It’s new publication – the “Assessment Report on Invasive Alien Species and their Control’’- is the most extensive study on invasive species carried out till date.  

What are invasive Alien Species?  

  • Invasive alien species, often referred to as invasive species, are non-native organisms that, when introduced to a new environment, can cause significant harm to ecosystems, human health, and the economy.  
  • These species can outcompete native species, disrupt ecological balance, and spread rapidly, often due to the absence of natural predators or controls in their new habitat. 
  •  Invasive species can include plants, animals, insects, and microorganisms. 
  • Efforts are made worldwide to manage and control invasive species to protect native ecosystems and biodiversity. 
  • The water hyacinth is the world’s most widespread invasive alien species on land. Lantana, a flowering shrub, and the black rat are the second and third most widespread globally. The brown rat and the house mouse are also widespread invasive alien species. 
  • Invasive alien species like Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegyptii spread diseases such as malaria, Zika and West Nile Fever, while others also have an impact on livelihood such as the water hyacinth in Lake Victoria in East Africa led to the depletion of tilapia, impacting local fisheries. 

Findings of the report

  • The report has found that there are 37,000 alien species, including plants and animals, that have been introduced by many human activities to regions and biomes around the world, including more than 3,500 invasive alien species and that invasive alien species have played a key role in 60% of global plant and animal extinctions recorded. 
  • The report, further said that invasive alien species are one of the five major direct drivers of biodiversity loss globally, alongside land and sea use change, direct exploitation of organisms, climate change, and pollution. 
  • The report has noted that the number of alien species (species introduced to new regions through human activities) has been rising continuously for centuries in all regions, but are now increasing at unprecedented rates, with increased human travel, trade and the expansion of the global economy. 
  • About 6% of alien plants; 22% of alien invertebrates; 14% of alien vertebrates; and 11% of alien microbes are known to be invasive, posing major risks to nature and to people. 
  • The report further noted that many invasive alien species have been intentionally introduced for their perceived benefits, “without consideration or knowledge of their negative impacts’’ – in forestry, agriculture, horticulture, aquaculture, or as pets. 
  • Nearly 80% of the documented impacts of invasive species on nature’s contribution to people are negative. 
  • The report said that the annual costs of invasive alien species have at least quadrupled every decade since 1970, as global trade and human travel increased. In 2019, the global economic cost of invasive alien species exceeded $423 billion annually. These trends are projected to accelerate as the global economy expands, land and seas are used more intensively, and demographic change takes place. 
  • The reduction of food supply, has been cited by the report as the most common impact of alien invasive species. For example the European shore crab impacting commercial shellfish beds in New England or the Caribbean false mussel damaging locally important fishery resources in Kerala, by wiping out native clams and oysters. The Caribbean false mussel was originally from the Atlantic and Pacific coast of South and Central America, but are believed to have travelled to India via ships, later spreading to estuaries through smaller fishing vessels. 
  • The report has further warned that warming temperatures and climate change could favour the “expansion of invasive species’’. 
  • The report found that 34% of the impacts of biological invasions were reported from the Americas, 31% from Europe and Central Asia, 25% from Asia and the Pacific and about 7% from Africa. 
  • Most negative impacts are reported on land (about 75%) – especially in forests, woodlands and cultivated areas – with considerably fewer reported in freshwater (14%) and marine (10%) habitats . 
  • Invasive alien species are most damaging on islands, with numbers of alien plants now exceeding the number of native plants on more than 25% of all islands. 
  • Most countries (80%) have included targets related to managing invasive alien species in their national biodiversity plans. 
  • Only 17% specifically address the issue in national legislation, although more (69%) include it as a part of legislation in other areas. 
  •  Nearly half of all countries (45%) do not invest in management of biological invasions. 

6 . Facts for Prelims


  • It is an annual mega training exercise of the Indian Air Force as part of which its Western Air Command (WAC) will activate all its combat assets from Leh in Kashmir to Nal in Rajasthan. 
  • All frontline assets under the command such as fighter jets, transport aircraft and helicopters will be deployed 
  • The exercise is aimed at testing the command’s operational preparedness and given its scale and complexity, a high-level of coordination and preparedness involved.  

NASA’s Surveyor 6

  • NASA’s Surveyor 6 was part of the highly successful series of landers sent to the Moon to study whether a future human mission was possible.  
  • Surveyor 6 was the first spacecraft to be launched from the surface of the moon.  
  • The spacecraft returned nearly 30,000 images of the Moon. 
  • It also sent back pictures of the bar magnet at the footpad allowing investigators to determine the concentration of magnetic material on the lunar surface. 
  • India has recently joined the elite club of nations that have developed the technology for return missions from the Moon. US’s Surveyor-6 mission was the first to have demonstrated this technology in 1967.

Maritime Infrastructure Perspective Plan (MIPP)

  • Ministry of Defence released the Maritime Infrastructure Perspective Plan (MIPP), 2023-37 at the second edition of the biennial Naval Commanders Conference also released were the Indian Register for Shipping (IRS) rules and regulations handbook, family logbook, and electronic service document project. 
  • The MIPP aims to synchronize and enmesh the infrastructure requirements of the Navy, over the next 15 years, through a comprehensive perspective plan model. 
  •  The Plan Document is aligned with the government’s vision on creation of sustainable infrastructure, and encompasses salient for compliance with broader policy directives on PM Gati Shakti project, disaster resilience, transition to net zero, among others. 


  • Hubble’s law, also known as the Hubble–Lemaître law,is the observation in physical cosmology that galaxies are moving away from Earth at speeds proportional to their distance. 
  • In other words, the farther they are, the faster they are moving away from Earth. The velocity of the galaxies has been determined by their redshift, a shift of the light they emit toward the red end of the visible spectrum. 
  • Hubble’s law is considered the first observational basis for the expansion of the universe, and today it serves as one of the pieces of evidence most often cited in support of the Big Bang model. The motion of astronomical objects due solely to this expansion is known as the Hubble flow. 
  • It is described by the equation v = H0D, with H0 the constant of proportionality, also known as the Hubble constant. 
  • Two details are required to calculate the value of the Hubble constant: the distance between the observer and astronomical objects, and the velocity at which these objects are moving away from the observer as a result of the expansion of the universe. 
  • So far, scientists have used three methods to get these details: 
    • They compare the observed brightness of a stellar explosion, called a supernova,with its expected brightness to figure how far away it could be. Then they measure how much the wavelength of the light from the star has been stretched by the expansion of the universe – i.e. the redshift – to figure how much it’s moving away. 
    • They use changes to the cosmic microwave background (CMB) – radiation leftover from the Big Bang event – to estimate the Hubble constant. 
    • They use gravitational waves, ripples in spacetime produced when massive astronomical objects – like neutron stars or black holes – collide with each other. Detectors that observe gravitational waves record the data in the form of curves. 
    • Using the shape of these curves, astronomers can calculate the amount of energy that the collision released.

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