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11th May 2023

May 10 1857: The Sepoy Mutiny ignites the 1st War of Indian Independence


On May 10th, 1857, the Indian Rebellion of 1857, also known as the First War of Indian Independence, erupted with the Sepoy Mutiny in Meerut, forever changing the course of Indian history.

About the Indian Rebellion of 1857
  • The Indian Rebellion of 1857, also known as the Indian Mutiny, the Sepoy Mutiny, or the First War of Indian Independence, was a widespread uprising against British rule in India that began in May 1857.
    • The rebellion was sparked by the sepoys' mutiny in Meerut on May 10, 1857, and quickly spread to other parts of India.
    • On May 10, 1857, Indian soldiers, known as sepoys, rebelled against their British officers in the town of Meerut, triggering the rebellion.
  • Issue: The sepoys had grievances against the British, including the introduction of new Enfield rifles that required the sepoys to bite off the ends of cartridges greased with animal fat, which was offensive to both Hindus and Muslims.
  • Indian rulers in the war: The sepoys in Meerut were joined by other Indian soldiers and civilians, and together they marched towards Delhi, where they declared the last Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar, as their leader. The rebellion quickly spread to other parts of India, with many Indian princes and soldiers joining the uprising.
  • Outcome: The rebellion was eventually suppressed by the British, but it had far-reaching consequences.
    • The British government, recognising the failure of the East India Company in managing its Indian territories, dissolved the company and took direct control of India. This marked the beginning of the British Raj, which lasted until India gained independence in 1947.

The Demise of the East India Company

  • The East India Company had been active in India for nearly 250 years, but the violence of the 1857 uprising led to the British government dissolving the company and taking direct control of India.
  • Following the fighting of 1857–58, India was legally considered a colony of Britain, ruled by a viceroy. The uprising was officially declared over on July 8, 1859.

Centre launches ‘Poshan Bhi Padhai Bhi’


The government has launched the ‘Poshan Bhi Padhai Bhi’, with an objective to ensure that India has a high-quality preschool network.

About Poshan Bhi Padhai Bhi
  • ‘Poshan Bhi Padhai Bhi’ is Ministry of Women and Child Development’s (MCWD) latest endeavour for strengthening Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE).

ECCE is a significant component of Mission Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0 (Mission Poshan 2.0) and is envisaged under the National Education Policy.

  • It aims to ensure that India has the world’s largest, universal, high-quality pre-school network, as suggested by the National Education Policy.
  • Target: The scheme aims to target the development of children in every domain that is mentioned in the National Curriculum Framework, which includes- physical and motor development, cognitive development, and socio-emotional-ethical development, among others. 

India’s Anganwadi centres playing crucial role in child development

  • India Anganwadi centres are an integral part of India’s Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) program.
  • The centres provide supplementary nutrition, early care, and education to around 8 crore beneficiary children under the age of 6 years across the country.
  • Given the huge network of around 13.9 lakh operational centres, the Anganwadi eco-system becomes a critical access point for building a solid foundation for children in order to secure their future.

LIGO-India Project


Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory – India (LIGO-India), on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Pokhran-II nuclear tests.

What is LIGO-India?

  • LIGO-India will be an advanced gravitational-wave observatory to be located in India as part of a worldwide network.

Brief about LIGO

  • LIGO is a network of laboratories, spread around the world, designed to detect gravitational waves produced by the movement of large celestial objects like stars and planets.
  • These ripples were first postulated in Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity that encapsulates our current understanding of how gravitation works.
  • In 2015, LIGO made history by detecting gravitational waves for the first time. 
  • Background: LIGO-India had received the government’s in-principle approval in February 2016. Since then, the project reached several milestones towards selecting and acquiring a site and building the observatory.
  • Collaboration: It is envisaged as a collaborative project between a consortium of Indian research institutions and the LIGO Laboratory in the USA, along with its international partners.
    • The United States will provide key components for the lab worth USD 80 million, which amounts to Rs 560 crore.
  • Built by: The LIGO-India project will be built by the Department of Atomic Energy and the Department of Science and Technology, with a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the National Science Foundation, the US, along with several national and international research and academic institutions.
  • Location: Hingoli district of Maharashtra, about 450 km east of Mumbai

Gravitational waves are 'ripples' in space-time caused by some of the most violent and energetic processes in the Universe.

  • LIGO-India will be an extremely sensitive interferometer capable of sensing gravitational waves generated during the merger of massive astrophysical objects such as black holes, and neutron stars.
  • The observatory comprises two 4-km-long vacuum chambers, built perpendicular to each other. Highly reflective mirrors are placed at the end of the vacuum chambers.
  • Fifth node: LIGO India would be the fifth node of this international network of gravitational wave observatories. Currently, there are following operational gravitational wave observatories around the world–
    • two in the United States (Hanford and Livingston)
    • one in Italy (Virgo)
    • one in Japan (Kagra)

National Technology Day

May 11 marks the 25th anniversary of the 1998 nuclear tests carried out at Pokhran test range, including its first test of a thermonuclear device, which has since been celebrated as the National Technology Day to honour scientists, engineers and technologists who made the tests possible.

Central Asian Flyway: India leads global effort to save migratory birds


In one of its kind continent-wide effort to save migratory birds, eleven countries have agreed on an institutional framework. The framework, known as Central Asian Flyway (CAF), is aimed to strengthen efforts for migratory birds and their habitats in a coordinated manner.

What is Central Asian Flyway?

  • Countries: The Central Asian Flyway is a major migratory route for birds, covering 30 countries from the Arctic Ocean to the Indian Ocean.
    • Of these 30 countries, 11 have come on-board for coordinated efforts to save migratory birds within the Central Asian flyway.
      • These eleven countries are India, Armenia, Bangladesh, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Mongolia, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
      • Other than these eleven countries, more nations must also come on-board for the formalisation of complete Central Asian Flyway within one single mechanism. 
    • Biodiversity: It is home to more than 400 species of migratory birds, including threatened and endangered species such as the Siberian crane and the lesser white-fronted goose.

What is flyway?

  • A flyway is a geographical region within which a number of migratory bird species complete their annual cycle.
    • The annual cycle includes breeding, moulting, staging and non-breeding
  • A total of 370 species of migratory birds visit the Indian subcontinent annually.

What is India’s role?

  • Once agreed upon by all the countries, India may serve as secretariat of the Central Asian Flyway in due course.
  • India has been taking proactive steps in the conservation of migratory birds and their habitats and has been advocating establishment of a Central Asian Flyway initiative that first began in 2005 in New Delhi.

Important Migratory Species in India

  • Pallikaranai in Chennai attracts a large number of flamingoes, ducks and waders.
  • Pulicat Lake on the Tamil Nadu-Andhra border hosts flamingoes; ducks and waders can be seen in Chilika lagoon in Odisha.
  • Other notable sites to see migratory birds are the Keoladeo National Park in Bharatpur in Rajasthan and Khijadia Bird Sanctuary in Jamnagar in Gujarat.
  • Some birds are passage migrants, like the spotted flycatcher, rufous-tailed scrub robin and European roller. They migrate through a large part of western India and over winter in Africa.
  • Amur Falcons pass through India in December.
  • Many birds arrive from temperate regions; the Siberian Cranes come to India in winter. 

Government Initiative for migratory birds

World Migratory Bird day is a bi-annual global campaign organised to raise awareness about migratory birds, the need for their conservation, and the importance of the preservation of their habitat. It is celebrated on the second Saturday in May and then in October.

  • National Action Plan: India has launched the National Action Plan for the Conservation of Migratory Birds (2018-2023) along the central Asian flyway to reduce population decline of migratory birds and secure their habitat. 
    • The plan have set the national goal of halting and reversing the decline migratory bird population by 2027.

India is heating up slower than the world average


The annual mean temperature of the world is known to have increased by 1.1 degree Celsius from the average of the 1850-1900 period. But this increase, as can be expected, is not uniform.

Warming trend over the Indian region

  • The warming trends over the Indian region are very different.

Temperature rise (land vs oceans)

  • Temperature rise over land is much higher than over oceans.
  • Over land, the annual mean temperatures have risen by as much as 1.59 degree Celsius since preindustrial times, according to the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
  • Oceans, in contrast, have warmed by about 0.88 degree Celsius.
  • An assessment of climate change over the Indian subcontinent, published by the Ministry of Earth Sciences in 2020, said annual mean temperatures had risen by 7 degree Celsius from 1900.
  • This is significantly lower than the 59 degree Celsius rise for land temperatures across the world.
  • It could give the impression that the problem of climate change over India was not as acute as other parts of the world. But that is not entirely accurate.

Why is warming over India lower?

  • The relatively lower rise in temperatures over India is not a surprise. Also, India is not a special case.
  • The increase in temperatures is known to be more prominent in the higher altitudes, near the polar-regions, than near the equator.
  • Location: India happens to be in the tropical region, quite close to the equator.
  • Impact of aerosols: Aerosol concentration over the Indian region is quite high, due to natural as well as man-made reasons. Emissions from vehicles, industries, construction, and other activities add a lot of aerosols in the Indian region.

Aerosols refer to all kinds of particles suspended in the atmosphere. These particles have the potential to affect the local temperature in multiple ways. Aerosols also affect cloud formation. Clouds, in turn, have an impact on how much sunlight is reflected or absorbed.

Which region is warming faster?

  • The planet as a whole has warmed by 1.1 degree Celsius compared with preindustrial times.

The IPCC report says the Arctic region has warmed at least twice as much as the world average.

  • But, this is just the average. Different regions have seen very different levels of warming.
  • The polar-regions, particularly the Arctic, have seen significantly greater warming.
  • This is attributable to a complex set of atmospheric phenomena, including
    • Heat Transfer: Heat transfers from the tropics to the poles through prevailing systems of air circulation.
    • Albedo effect: Albedo effect, or how much sunlight a surface reflects. The ice cover in the Arctic is melting, because of which more land or water is getting exposed to the Sun. Ice traps the least amount of heat and reflects most of the solar radiation when compared with land or water.
    • Changes in clouds, water vapour and atmospheric temperatures
  • The warming in the polar-regions account for a substantial part of the 1.1 degree Celsius temperature rise over the entire globe.

Short News Article

Science & Technology (GS-III)

IBM unveils Watsonx Platform

IBM has unveiled the ‘Watsonx Platform’ to power next-generation foundation models for Business.


  • Watsonx is a new platform to be released for foundation models and generative AI, offering a studio, data store, and governance toolkit.

Generative AI is a type of artificial intelligence technology that can produce various types of content, including text, imagery, audio and synthetic data.

Science & Technology (GS-III)

Dhruv Helicopters Grounded

A government regulatory body has called for a design review of a "safety-critical system" on the Dhruv advanced light helicopter.


  • Built by: Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL)
  • The Dhruv ALH is a multi-mission helicopter in the 5.5-tonne class.
  • Advanced Light Helicopter or ALH-DHRUV is an indigenously developed utility aircraft with a twin-engine.
  • It has a multi-role, multi-mission dimension to it.  

Science & Technology (GS-III)

India’s 1st Supersonic Fighter set to ‘Hang Its Boots’

An Indian Air Force (IAF) MiG-21 recently crashed in Rajasthan's Hamumangarh district.

  • The incident, the latest in a long list of MiG-21 tragedies, brought back questions that have been haunting the Indian Air Force for years now.

About MiG-21

  • The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 is India’s longest-serving fighter plane.
  • India got its first single-engine MiG-21 in 1963, since then, the country has sourced 874 MiG-21s.
  • The aircraft was originally designed for high-speed and high-altitude air defence operations.
  • Variants: After the first MiG-21s, six MiG-21PFs (Type 76) were inducted in 1965.
    • Another 250 machines of the MiG-21 FL (Type 77) variant were added
    • The plane saw another variants called MiG-21M/MFs (Type 96).
    • The most recent variants is MiG-21 Bis (Type 75).
  • It has earned the aircraft grim epithets like 'flying coffin' and 'widowmaker'.
  • 874 MiG-21s sourced since 1963
  • 657 of these licence-produced by HAL
  • 491 jets involved in accidents or crashes
  • 170 pilots killed
  • 50 MiG-21s continue to be in service


A ground view of the Indian Space Policy 2023


The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) released the Indian Space Policy 2023 that had been in the works for some years.

What is different?

  • Vision: The ‘Vision’ is to “enable, encourage and develop a flourishing commercial presence in space” that suggests an acceptance that the private sector is a critical stakeholder in the entire value chain of the space economy.
  • Multiple role: It defines its role in India’s “socio-economic development and security, protection of environment and lives, pursuing peaceful exploration of outer space, stimulation of public awareness and scientific quest”.
  • Roles of institution: It clearly spells out the roles of the Department of Space, ISRO, IN-SPACe, and the NewSpace India Limited (NSIL).

Role of Private sector

  • End-to-end activities: Non-government entities (this includes the private sector) are “allowed to undertake end-to-end activities in the space sector through establishment and operation of space objects, ground-based assets and related services, such as communication, remote sensing, navigation, etc.
  • Launch and operate Vehicles: NGEs can design and operate launch vehicles for space transportation and establish their own infrastructure.
  • Regulation by IN-SPACe: The activities of the NGEs will be in keeping with guidelines and regulation to be issued by IN-SPACe. It is expected to act as the single window agency for authorising space activities “by government entities and NGEs”.
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