What's New :
ITS 2025: Integrated Test Series & Mentorship Program for Prelims and Mains. Get Details
15th April 2024 (14 Topics)

15th April 2024

QUIZ - 15th April 2024

5 Questions

5 Minutes


Many countries in East and Southeast Asia are in the middle of a population crisis, with fewer births every year and record-low fertility rates.

1: Dimension- Declining Fertility Rates in Asian Nations
  • Crisis in Population Dynamics:Many countries in East and Southeast Asia are facing a severe population crisis, characterized by a steady decline in birth rates and record-low fertility rates.
  • Current Situation:In recent times, several hospitals in China have ceased offering newborn delivery services due to declining demand, showcasing the stark reality of diminishing birth rates.
  • Historical Context:Between 1950 and 1970, fertility rates in East Asian and Southeast Asian nations ranged from 3.5 to 7.5, illustrating a significant shift over time.
  • Current Fertility Rates:Countries like South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan are witnessing fertility rates lower than one, indicating a critical situation where the average number of children per woman falls below the replacement level.
2: Dimension-Factors Contributing to Declining Fertility
  • Changing Societal Trends:Factors such as couples opting to remain childless, individuals choosing to stay single, and the escalating costs associated with raising children have contributed to the decline in fertility rates.
  • Policy Impact:Historical slogans promoting strict family planning measures in countries like South Korea and Singapore have influenced societal norms and impacted fertility rates.
  • Economic Considerations:The increasing opportunities for women in the workforce, declining marriage rates, and the financial burden associated with raising children have further exacerbated the decline in fertility rates.
3: Dimension- Implications of Declining Fertility Rates
  • Population Imbalance:The imbalance created by poor fertility rates results in an aging population, with older individuals forming a significant proportion of the demographic landscape.
  • Socioeconomic Challenges: The aging population poses various socioeconomic challenges, including increased dependency ratios and strains on healthcare and pension systems.
  • Financial Burden:Governments are implementing costly programs and incentives to encourage childbirth, but the effectiveness of these initiatives in reversing fertility trends remains uncertain.
4: Dimension-Addressing the Population Crisis
  • Policy Interventions:There is a pressing need for innovative policy interventions that address the root causes of declining fertility rates while ensuring sustainable population growth.
  • Investment in Social Support:Governments should prioritize investments in social support systems, including childcare facilities, parental leave policies, and financial assistance programs, to alleviate the financial burden associated with raising children.
  • Promoting Work-Life Balance:Creating conducive environments that support work-life balance, flexible employment opportunities, and gender equality in the workplace can encourage individuals to pursue both career and family aspirations.
  • Maintaining Cultural Resilience:Efforts should be made to preserve cultural values and traditions surrounding family and parenthood while adapting to evolving societal norms and economic realities.

Mains Practice Question

Q: "Declining fertility rates pose significant challenges to the socio-economic fabric of societies”. Discuss the implications of this trend and suggest measures to address the population crisis.


The Election Commission of India has attracted criticism for reducing the Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) based audit of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) to an exercise in tokenism and for its lack of transparency in the matter.

1: Dimension-Critique of the VVPAT-based Audit of EVMs
  • Tokenism vs. Transparency:The Election Commission of India (ECI) has faced criticism for its approach to the Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) based audit of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), with concerns raised about its transparency and effectiveness.
  • Uniform Sample Size Issue:The prescribed uniform sample size of "five EVMs per Assembly constituency" lacks adherence to statistical sampling principles, leading to significant margins of error and diminishing the audit's credibility.
  • Arbitrary Demands:Critics, while pointing out flaws in the ECI's approach, have also advocated for arbitrary and non-statistical sample sizes like "25 per cent" or "50 per cent," without considering statistical viability, thereby complicating the resolution of the issue.
2: Dimension-Statistical Sampling Approach
  • Quality Control Analogy:The VVPAT-based audit of EVMs mirrors a problem of statistical quality control akin to lot acceptance sampling techniques used in industry, where sample inspection determines the acceptance or rejection of an entire population.
  • Defining Defects: In the electoral context, a "defective EVM" signifies any discrepancy between the EVM count and the manual count of VVPAT voter slips, necessitating a "zero defective EVM" acceptance criterion for electoral integrity.
  • Decision Rule Implementation: A clear decision rule must outline the course of action in case of a discrepancy, mandating manual counting of VVPAT slips for the entire population if even a single defective EVM is detected in the sample.
3: Dimension-Challenges and Solutions
  • Ambiguity in ECI's Approach: The ECI's failure to specify the population, justify the sample size, and articulate the decision rule in case of discrepancies undermines the credibility of the VVPAT-based audit and raises questions about electoral integrity.
  • Statistical Viability Considerations:Utilizing the hypergeometric distribution model provides a statistically sound basis for determining sample sizes, ensuring robustness and accuracy in the audit process.
  • Administrative Viability: Dividing larger states into manageable regions for sampling purposes balances statistical robustness with administrative feasibility, allowing for effective audit implementation without overwhelming resources.

Mains Practice Question

Q: "Effective oversight of electoral processes is essential for maintaining democratic integrity”. Discuss the challenges in implementing a credible VVPAT-based audit of EVMs and propose strategies to address these challenges.


In recent years, the proliferation of digital platforms has facilitated the rapid dissemination of personal information, leading to an alarming rise in instances of doxxing. It has emerged as a significant threat to online privacy and security. From cyberbullying and harassment to identity theft and real-world violence, the consequences of doxxing are far-reaching and profound.

1: Dimension-Understanding Doxxing
  • Case Example: The recent incident involving the Mumbai Police underscores the prevalence and seriousness of doxxing. A woman's private video circulated without her consent, leading to online harassment and distress.
  • Definition and Scope: Doxxing encompasses the deliberate act of publicly revealing an individual's private information, obtained through illicit means such as hacking or theft. This includes personal data like home addresses, phone numbers, and email IDs.
  • Methods and Motivations: Perpetrators of doxxing often exploit vulnerabilities in online security to obtain sensitive information, which they then disseminate with malicious intent. Motivations can range from personal vendettas to ideological conflicts or financial gain.
2: Dimension-Implications of Doxxing
  • Digital Harassment:Doxxing amplifies the scope and intensity of online harassment, exposing victims to threats, defamation, and invasion of privacy. The dissemination of personal information can lead to real-world consequences, including stalking and physical harm.
  • Disproportionate Impact: Vulnerable groups, such as women, children, and marginalized communities, bear a disproportionate burden of harm from doxxing. They face heightened risks of exploitation, discrimination, and social ostracism due to the exposure of their private information.
  • Psychological Toll: The psychological impact of doxxing extends beyond immediate threats, causing long-term emotional distress and trauma. Victims may experience anxiety, depression, and feelings of vulnerability, impacting their mental well-being and quality of life.
3: Dimension-Responding to Doxxing Incidents
  • Legal and Technological Solutions:Victims of doxxing can pursue legal recourse by filing complaints through cybercrime reporting portals and seeking protective measures against further harassment. Technological safeguards, such as encryption and secure authentication, can enhance digital security and privacy.
  • Platform Responsibility: Social media platforms play a crucial role in combating doxxing by enforcing stringent policies against the dissemination of private information. They should prioritize user safety and swiftly respond to reports of doxxing, including removing offending content and suspending accounts.
  • Public Awareness and Support: Raising awareness about the risks of doxxing and educating users on best practices for safeguarding personal information are essential preventive measures. Additionally, providing support networks and resources for victims of doxxing can help mitigate the emotional and practical impacts of such incidents.

Mains Practice Question

Q:Discuss the impact of doxxing on individual privacy and safety, and evaluate the effectiveness of legal and technological measures in addressing this issue.


Israel's multilayered air-defence system is credited with protecting the country from serious damage or casualties from an Iranian strike by more than 300 drones and ballistic missiles.


  • Iron Dome is a short-range anti-rocket, anti-mortar, and anti-artillery system with an intercept range of 2.5 to 43 miles and was developed by Rafael Advanced Defence Systems of Israel.
  • Each Iron Dome battery is designed to defend a 60-square-mile populated area and can be moved as threats change.

Israel has a four-layered air defence network to tackle a range of projectiles, short-range mortars, rockets and long-range ballistic missiles.

  • Iron Dome (short range)
  • David’s Sling (low to mid-range)
  • Arrow II (upper-atmospheric)
  • Arrow III (exo-atmospheric)

India’s Missile Defence Systems

  • 1st layer (Endo): The single stage solid rocket-propelled Advanced Air Defence (AAD) low-altitude interceptormissile. (Ashwin)
  • 2nd layer(Exo): Prithvi Air Defense Vehicle known as Pradyumna Ballistic Missile Interceptor is designed to destroy missiles with ranges 300-2000 km at exo-atmosphere (about 80km altitude).
  • For higher altitudes upto 150 km, Agni-V-based ballistic interceptors would be used. (because of 5000km range)
  • S-400: It has a range of up to 400 km, at an altitude of up to 30 km and can engage up to 36 targets simultaneously, with four different types of missiles.
  • Project Kusha: Project Kusha led by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is an ambitious defence initiative by India aimed at developing its long-range air defence system by 2028-29.


IAF celebrates 40th Anniversary of ‘Operation Meghdoot’ with continued dominance in Northern Ladakh region.


About Operation Meghdoot

  • Meghdoot was launched on 13 April 1984, when the Indian Army and Indian Air Force (IAF) advanced to the Siachen glacier to secure the heights dominating the Northern Ladakh region.
  • The operation involved the airlifting of Indian Army soldiers by the IAF and dropping them on the glacial peaks.
  • Siachen is the highest battlefield ever or the world’s highest helicopter landing.


Russia test-launched its Angara-A5 space rocket for the first time from the VostochnyCosmodrome in the Far East, successfully putting a test load in low orbit as part of an effort to develop a new post-Soviet launch vehicle.


  • It is a Russian heavy lift launch vehicleWeighing 773 tonnes at lift-off, Angara A5 has a payload capacity of 24.5 tonnes to a 200 km (120 mi) x 60° orbit.
  • Angara A5 is able to deliver 5.4 tonnes to GTO with Briz-M, or 7.5 tonnes to the same orbit with KVTK.
  • The Angara A5 is said to be much more environmentally friendly compared with Proton M.

India’s LVM 3

  • LVM-3 or Launch Vehicle Mark-III, is a three-stage medium-lift launch vehicle developed by ISRO and earlier known as the GSLV Mark III.
  • It is the most powerful rocket in the space agency.
  • Lift-off mass: 640 tonnes.
  • Payload capacity:
    • upto 8,000 kilograms to a low-Earth orbit.
    • Upto 4,000 kilograms of payload to a geostationary transfer orbit
  • Its cryogenic upper stage is powered by CE-20 (India’s largest cryogenics engine).
  • The core stage is powered by two L110 liquid-stage Vikas rockets.


The Centre may borrow a total of ?20,000- 25,000 crore through sovereign green bonds in FY25.


What Are Green Bonds?

  • Category:Debt Instruments
  • Simply put, Green bonds are financial instrumentsthat finance green projects and provide investors with regular or fixed income payments.
  • Inception:The first green bondwas issued in 2007 by the European Investment Bank, the EU’s lending arm.
  • Issued by: Green bonds are the bonds issued by any sovereign entity, inter-governmental groups or alliances, and corporates.
  • Aim:The proceeds of the bonds are utilized for projects classified as environmentally sustainable.


Acidification may strip Indian soils of 3.3 billion tonnes of essential carbon, affecting crop growth, sequestration


  • Over 30 per cent of cultivable land in India is said to carry acidic soil, impacting plant growth.
  • Acidic soil also leads to loss of soil inorganic carbon
  • Soils are turning acidic due to industrial activities and intense farming.
  • Acidic soils affect crop growth and productivity by reducing the availability of plant nutrients.
  • Soil acidity can be improved by adding lime or limestone (calcium carbonate) and similar compounds.


Exports of Ashwagandha (Indian Ginseng) have risen by eight times in the last six years with the herb reaching overseas markets like the United States, Czech Republic and Canada.


  • It is an evergreen shrub in the Solanaceae or nightshade family that grows in India, the Middle East, and parts of Africa.
  • The plant, particularly its root powder, has been used for centuries in traditional Indian medicine.
  • It is classified as an adaptogen, which means that it can help the body to manage stress.
  • Ashwagandha has shown clinical success in treating both acute and chronic rheumatoid arthritis.
  • IUCN Status: Data deficient


Recently Indian airforce has celebrated 40 years of operation Meghdoot which led to the capture of Siachen glacier.


  • The Siachen Glacier is a glacier located in the eastern Karakoram range in the Himalayasjust northeast of the point NJ9842 where the Line of Control between India and Pakistan ends.
  • The Siachen Glacier lies immediately south of the great drainage divide that separates the Eurasian Plate from the Indian subcontinent in the extensively glaciated portion of the Karakoram sometimes called the "Third Pole".
  • The entire Siachen Glacier, with all major passes, is currently under the administration of India since 1984 (Operation Meghdoot).






It is a public declaration of policy and aims, especially one issued before an election by a political party or candidate.


Quantum Supremacy

It is the ability of a quantum computer to perform calculations faster than a classical computer on a problem that no classical computer can solve in any feasible amount of time.


All We Imagine As Light

It is the first Indian title in over 40 years to feature in the prestigious In Competition section of the Cannes Film Festival


Toll Operate Transfer (TOT)

It is a public-private partnership that allows private entities to collect tolls on infrastructure projects for a set period of time, after which the ownership and operation are transferred back to the government.


Non-Tariff Barrier

These are methods that restrict the import or export of goods or services through mechanisms other than tariffs. These barriers can include quotas, embargoes, sanctions, levies, regulations, and rules of origin.



Cryogenics is the science of materials at temperatures below negative 153 degrees C


Hubble Tension

the current rate of the expansion of the universe is faster than what astronomers expect it to be, based on the universe's initial conditions and our present understanding of the universe's evolution which is termed as Hubble tension.


The discussion on urbanisation and Dalit liberation in India encompasses debates on caste discrimination, urban governance, and promises of development. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar's view of urbanisation as a means of Dalit empowerment contrasts with the realities faced by Dalit communities in modern cities. Persistent caste-based segregation, discrimination, and unequal access to resources highlight the challenges in addressing caste oppression in urban areas.

Caste Dynamics in Urban Spaces

  • Ambedkar's Perspective:Ambedkar viewed urbanisation as a potential avenue for Dalit liberation, seeing cities as spaces where the grip of caste oppression could weaken due to factors like anonymity and opportunities for economic advancement.
  • Persistence of Caste in Cities: Despite the hopes pinned on urbanisation, caste-based segregation and discrimination continue to shape the spatiality of Indian cities, manifesting through practices like housing discrimination and Brahminical regulations on public spaces.
  • Impact on Dalit Communities: Studies reveal that Dalits and Muslims face severe segregation and lack access to basic municipal services in urban areas, highlighting how urbanisation has not lived up to the expectations of Dalit liberation.

Challenges in Urban Governance and Caste Segregation

  • Policy Implications: Urban governance policies and housing crises contribute to sustaining caste-based segregation, with Dalits and Muslims facing the most severe impacts according to research.
  • State-Sanctioned Discrimination: Government regulations on issues like meat shops and street food further perpetuate caste-based discrimination, reflecting a Brahminical influence on public spaces and reinforcing purity-pollution ideologies.
  • Inequitable Access to Services: Dalit and Muslim ghettos often lack access to essential services like clean drinking water, while forced evictions disproportionately affect these communities, indicating systemic failures in urban governance.

Challenges for Dalit Liberation in Urban Spaces

  • Failed Promise of Urbanisation: Despite the belief in urbanisation as a liberating force, the persistence of caste-based discrimination and segregation in cities highlights the shortcomings of this transition for Dalit communities.
  • Evolution of Caste Structures: Caste oppression in urban areas has evolved through language, policy, and state sanction, allowing caste to thrive despite attempts at liberation through urbanisation.
  • Persistent Marginalisation: Even after a century of urban development, Dalits continue to face marginalisation and discrimination, indicating a failure of Indian cities to fulfill the promises of equality and liberation.
You must be logged in to get greater insights.

Context: The Supreme Court's recent ruling on the felling of 6,000 trees in the Jim Corbett National Park sheds light on the intersection of conservation goals, revenue interests, and environmental protection laws in India's forest management.

The judgment:

  • Upholding Conservation Principles: Despite existing conservation laws, the ruling exposes the prioritization of revenue over environmental protection, highlighting a departure from the principles laid down in landmark judgments such as Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra vs. State of Uttar Pradesh.
  • Emphasis on Eco-Centrism: The Supreme Court's directive to shift from anthropocentrism to eco-centrism underscores the need to reevaluate ecotourism practices in national parks like Jim Corbett. The ban on tiger safaris in core areas aims to minimize environmental damage and protect biodiversity.
  • Application of Precautionary Principle: By invoking the precautionary principle, the Court emphasizes the urgency of preventing irreversible environmental degradation. The decision not only safeguards tigers but also underscores the need to protect other endangered species and biodiversity hotspots.

What the court missed:

  • Lack of Methodological Clarity: While the Court seeks to recover the cost of restoration from responsible parties, the absence of a well-defined methodology for assessing environmental damage poses challenges. Current valuation methods like compensatory afforestation levy and net present value fail to account adequately for ecosystem services.
  • Need for Ecosystem-Based Valuation: The Court missed an opportunity to prioritize ecosystem services over revenue-generating activities like ecotourism. A valuation method based on ecosystem services could better capture the true environmental cost and generate more revenue in the long term.
  • Reference to International Precedents: Drawing from international precedents, such as the reasoning provided by the International Court of Justice in Costa Rica v. Nicaragua, could have enriched the understanding of methodologies for evaluating environmental damage and compensating for loss.
You must be logged in to get greater insights.

Context: India's commitment to achieving net zero emissions by 2070, as declared at COP26, highlights the need for large-scale investments in renewable energy infrastructure. However, the transition to decarbonisation raises concerns about its socio-economic impact, particularly on marginalized communities.

The Disbenefits of Solar Energy

  • Inequitable Land Acquisition: The establishment of solar parks often involves acquiring large tracts of land from rural communities, leading to displacement and loss of livelihoods. Existing laws like the Land Acquisition Act 2013 are inadequately enforced, leaving affected communities vulnerable to exploitation.
  • Double Marginalisation: Marginalized groups, including women, lower-caste individuals, and landless laborers, bear the brunt of land acquisition for solar projects. Women, in particular, face job losses and increased vulnerability due to changes in traditional roles and inadequate safety measures.
  • Unfulfilled Promises: Despite promises of benefits such as free electricity and job opportunities, communities impacted by solar projects often find these commitments unmet. Lack of accountability and legal recourse further exacerbates their plight.

Overlooked Human and Biodiversity Externalities

  • Water Scarcity: Solar projects in drought-prone areas exacerbate water scarcity issues, with inadequate planning for water use and environmental impact assessments exempting solar farms from scrutiny.
  • Biodiversity Impact: Large-scale solar installations disrupt regional biodiversity, leading to declines in pollinator populations and crop yields. Policy exemptions and ambiguities exacerbate these environmental concerns.
  • Social Justice and Governance:Strengthening laws and regulations to enforce accountability enhance community participation, and monitor project outcomes is essential to address the human and environmental costs of energy transition.

Harnessing Energy Justice for Holistic Decarbonization Policies

  • Socially Equitable Transitions: Policymakers must prioritize social justice in decarbonization efforts, ensuring equitable distribution of benefits and mitigation of adverse impacts on marginalized communities.
  • Improved Governance: Strengthening laws and regulations to enforce accountability, enhance community participation, and monitor project outcomes is essential to address the human and environmental costs of energy transition.
  • Inclusive Decision-making: Local communities should be actively involved in decision-making processes concerning the use of their land and resources, promoting transparency and accountability in sustainable energy projects.
You must be logged in to get greater insights.

Verifying, please be patient.

Enquire Now