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10th February 2023

India discovers huge deposits of Lithium critical for electric mobility


Geological Survey of India for the first time established Lithium inferred resources (G3) of 5.9 million tonnes in the Salal-Haimana area of the Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir.

Why lithium is a significant metal?

About lithium (Properties)

  • Lithium is a non-ferrous metal and is one of the key components in EV batteries.
  • It has the symbol Li and is a chemical element.
  • It's a silvery-white metal with a delicate texture.
  • It is the lightest metal and the lightest solid element under normal circumstances.
  • It must be kept in mineral oil since it is very reactive and combustible.
  • It is both an alkali and a rare metal.
  • Increased applicability: In order to take advantage of renewable energy, the need for bulk energy storage applications has been increasing. This includes electric vehicles (EVs) and backup electric storage systems.
  • The good life: Lithium-ion-based batteries have a good rate of charging and they last longer.
  • Higher energy density: The energy density of the Li-ion batteries is higher.
  • Wide usage: Being primarily used in batteries, it also finds its use in glass, ceramics, rocket fuel and lasers.

How critical is lithium for India?

  • The lithium deposits are critical for India as the country puts its focus on electric mobility for both public and private transport, especially in the country's prime cities such as New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, and Chennai.
  • These metals are strategic in nature and have a wide range of applications in nuclear and other high-tech industries, including electronics, telecommunications, information technology, space, and the military.
  • India's Ministry of Mines further stated that 51 mineral blocks including Lithium and Gold were handed over to respective state governments.
    • Out of the 51 mineral blocks, 5 blocks are of gold. 
    • Other blocks pertain to commodities like potash, molybdenum, and base metals.

India’s lithium reserves

  • According to the Indian Mines Ministry, the government agencies made the small discovery of lithium resources at a site in Mandya, Karnataka. It is the country’s first lithium reserve.
  • Now, Lithium inferred resources have been found in the Reasi District of Jammu & Kashmir (UT).

Lithium Production in the world

  • According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), global lithium production in 2019 stood at 77,000 tonnes.
  • Australia, Chile, China and Argentina are the world’s top four lithium-producing countries.
  • Australia is by far the world’s top producer of lithium, with an output of 42,000 tonnes in 2019.

What is the Lithium Triangle?

  • The Lithium Triangle is a region of the Andes rich in lithium reserves around the borders of Argentina, Bolivia and Chile.
  • The lithium in the triangle is concentrated in various salt pans that exist along the Atacama Desert and neighbouring arid areas.
  • The area is thought to hold around 54% of the world's lithium reserves.
  • The Indian Navy has shown interest in the Lithium Triangle as lithium will be required on Li-ION batteries that are planned to be fitted in future submarines.

About the Geological Survey of India (GSI)

  • The Geological Survey of India (GSI) was established in 1851 to serve British interests in exploring coal deposits for the expansion of the railway network in the country. 
    • After independence in 1947, it has come under the ambit of the mining ministry and also serves as the top scientific base for geological explorations. 
  • The Geological Survey of India (GSI) is a scientific agency of India.
  • The main functions of the GSI relate to the creation and update of national geo-scientific information and mineral resource assessment.
  • It is headquartered in Kolkata and has six regional offices located at Lucknow, Jaipur, Nagpur, Hyderabad, Shillong and Kolkata. 
    • Every state has a state unit.

Bru community pins hopes on Tripura assembly polls


Displaced from their decades-old inhabited villages in Mizoram 26 years ago following ethnic troubles, around 14,000 of the total 37,136 Bru janjatiyas are likely to cast their votes in the February 16 assembly polls to elect a new government in Tripura.

Who are Bru refugees?

  • Brus also referred to as Reangs, is a tribal community indigenous to northeast India and has historically resided in parts of Mizoram, Tripura, and Assam.
  • In the state of Tripura, the Brus are a designated Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG). 

Brief Background

Being ethnically distinct from the majority of Mizos, the Brus are often referred to as “Vai” in the state, meaning outsiders or non-Mizos. 

  • Most Brus residing in Tripura today have suffered more than two decades of internal displacement, fleeing ethnic persecution primarily from the neighbouring state of Mizoram.
  • In 1995, the Young Mizo Association and the Mizo Students' Association demanded that Brus be eliminated from Mizoram’s electoral rolls as they were not indigenous inhabitants.
  • Tensions escalated after the Brus retaliated against the Mizos’ attempts to disenfranchise them, and organized themselves into an armed group, the Bru National Liberation Front, and a political entity, the Bru National Union.
  • They also demanded the creation of a separate Bru Autonomous District Council (ADC) in western Mizoram as per the provisions of the sixth schedule of the Indian Constitution. 
  • However, their attempts at seeking greater autonomy were foiled and resultant ethnic clashes forced many Reangs in the Mamit, Kolasib and Lunglei districts of Mizoram to migrate to neighbouring Tripura in 1997.
  • Thousands of Brus fled to North Tripura where they were given shelter in relief camps. Today, roughly 35,000 Reangs continue to reside in north Tripura’s Kanchanpur camp as refugees, as per Home Ministry estimates.

The 2020 Pact

  • In 2020, an agreement was signed between the Centre, Tripura and Mizoram governments and the Bru leaders.
  • Under the 2020 pact, the governments identified 16 potential resettlement locations in four districts of Tripura — North Tripura, Dhalai, South Tripura and Gomati.
    • Over 37,130 displaced Brus comprising 6,959 families are being rehabilitated in 12 locations in four of Tripura’s eight districts — North Tripura, Dhalai, Gomati and South Tripura.

ISRO launches new rocket SSLV-D2


The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched the second edition of the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV-D2) from the first launch pad of Satish Dhawan space centre at Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.

Key highlights of the launch

  • It placed the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) earth observation satellite EOS-07 and two co-passenger satellites — Janus-1 and AzaadiSat2 — developed by start-ups, in a 450-km circular orbit around the Earth.
  • The objectives of the SSLV-D2 mission are the demonstration of a designed payload capacity of SSLV in low-Earth orbit, and the injection of an Earth Observation Satellite and two passenger satellites into a 450.7-kilometre circular orbit.


  • EOS-07 is a 156.3 kg satellite designed, developed and realized by ISRO.
  • EOS-07’s primary mission objective would be to gather data for Geographic Information Systems (GIS) applications, such as cartography, regulation of the use of coastal land, urban and rural management, and many more.


  • Janus-1 is a technology demonstrator satellite built by United States-based Antaris and its Indian partners XDLinks and Ananth Technologies.
  • It is a standardised satellite bus on which multiple payloads can be attached just like lego blocks. This will enable companies to quickly and cheaply launch their payloads. 
  • A satellite bus is the main structure of a satellite on which the payloads — which can be used for multiple applications such as earth observation, signal monitoring, or ship tracking — rest. 


  • The payloads have been built by 750 girl students from across India. A similar satellite by SpaceKidzIndia was launched aboard SSLV-D1 in August last year. 
    • The payloads remain the same — LoRa amateur radio, a sensor to measure radiation levels in space, and sensors to measure the health of the satellite such as temperature, reset count, and inertial data — but this second satellite has an additional feature.
  • SpaceKidzIndia — which aims to promote space awareness among children — has made the satellite expandable: the 8-unit satellite will have a spring mechanism-based external frame, which will open up once the satellite is in orbit. 
    • After the frame opens up, the satellite will become four times its size.

About SSLV

  • SSLV is a three-stage launch vehicle configured with three solid propulsion stages and a terminal stage.
    • A solid propulsion rocket stage uses solid propellants as fuel.
    • The terminal stage is a liquid propulsion-based Velocity Trimming Module (VTM). 
  • The key features of SSLV are
    • low cost, flexibility in accommodating multiple satellites
    • 'launch on demand' feasibility
    • low turnaround time (the time taken to complete a process)
    • minimal launch infrastructure requirements
    • increased production rate from industries
  • Also, SSLV has the minimum launch pad occupancy, which means that integration of the vehicle and subsequent launch can be completed within 24 hours. 
  • SSLV has multiple satellite mounting options for nanosatellites, microsatellites, and mini-satellites. The launch vehicle can carry a single satellite weighing up to 500 kilograms to a 500-kilometre planar orbit. 

Global Kelp forests declining at 1.8% annually


Large underwater forests of kelp, brown marine algae seaweeds, are declining by roughly 1.8 per cent annually.

About Kelp Forests
  • Kelp forests are under water areas with a high density of kelp, which covers a large part of the world's coastlines.
  • They are recognized as one of the most productive and dynamic ecosystems on Earth.
    • Smaller areas of anchored kelp are called kelp beds.
  • Kelp forests occur worldwide throughout temperate and polar coastal oceans.

Kelps cover 25 percent of the world’s coastlines and provide food and shelter for fish, invertebrates and marine mammal species.

  • Kelp forests are underwater forests that thrive well in cold, nutrient rich waters.
  • Kelps are large brown algae seaweeds attached to the seafloor and eventually grow to the water’s surface and rely on sunlight to generate food and energy.
  • These forests are always coastal and require shallow, relatively clear water.
  • These forests harbor a greater variety and higher diversity of plants and animals than almost any other ocean community.


  • Kelps function underwater in the same way trees do on land. They create habitat and modify the physical environment by shading light and softening waves.
  • These forests provide important three-dimensional, underwater habitat that is home to hundreds or thousands of species of invertebrates, fishes, and other algae.
  • These forests comprise one of the ocean’s most diverse ecosystems. Many fish species use kelp forests as nurseries for their young, while seabirds and marine mammals like sea lions, sea otters and even gray whales use them as shelter from predators and storms.

Short News Article

Polity & Governance

 SC regains its full strength

With the appointment of 2 New Judges, Supreme Court Regains Full Strength Of 34.


  • The sanctioned judge strength of the Supreme Court is 34 (including Chief Justice of India). 
  • The Chief Justice of India and the Judges of the Supreme Court are appointed by the President under clause (2) of Article 124 of the Constitution.

Science & Technology

Agnikul Cosmos’s 3D printed engine completes flight test


Chennai-based rocket startup Agnikul Cosmos Private Ltd successfully completed the flight acceptance test of its 3D printed Agnilet engine.


  • Agnilet claims to be the world's first single-piece 3D-printed rocket engine.

The Agnilet rocket engine is designed to be used in Agnibaan—a small satellite launch vehicle that can carry payloads of up to 300 kilograms to a low-Earth orbit—which the company is currently developing.


India’s green hydrogen challenge


Green Hydrogen fuel has the potential to maximize decarbonisation of the energy sector and use of energy in sectors such as transport, buildings and industry moving India towards Sustainable development.

Green Hydrogen:

  • Background: The mission was announced this year to make India a production and export hub of green hydrogen.
  • Process: Green hydrogen is produced through water electrolysis, through the use of renewable energy is termed green hydrogen.
  • Benefits: Savings to the tune of $12.5 billion from fuel imports, averting 50 MMTs of annual emissions of Carbon dioxide, fresh investments to the tune of $100 billion, and 6,00,000 green jobs.
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