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22nd March 2024 (10 Topics)

22nd March 2024

QUIZ - 22th March 2024

5 Questions

5 Minutes


Great Indian Bustard (GIB) is facing threat of extinction due to their entanglement in power lines build to evacuate renewable energy. The Supreme Court constituted an expert committee to balance the conservation and protection of the endangered Great Indian Bustard bird population with the country’s international commitments to promote renewable sources of energy.

1: Dimension- Constitution of the Expert Committee

    • Multidisciplinary Expertise: The committee comprises experts from the Wildlife Institute of India, forest conservationists, and officials from Renewable Energy and Environment Ministries.
    • Inclusive Representation: Eminent personalities from diverse backgrounds, including academia, government, and conservation organizations, ensure comprehensive deliberations.
    • Special Invitations: Inclusion of representatives from Central Electrical Authority and Central Transmission Utility reflects a holistic approach towards addressing the issue.

2: Dimension- Scope and Objectives of the Committee

    • Feasibility Assessment: The committee will assess the viability of transitioning power cables underground, considering technical, economic, and ecological factors.
    • Identification of Priority Areas: Through scientific evaluation, priority spots for the birds in Rajasthan and Gujarat will be identified to focus conservation efforts effectively.
    • Sustainable Solutions: The committee's mandate extends beyond mitigating immediate threats to recommending long-term strategies that harmonize biodiversity conservation with sustainable development goals.

Analysis and Required Measures

3: Dimension- Mitigating Human-Wildlife Conflict

    • Technological Solutions: Transitioning power cables underground can significantly reduce bird mortality rates by eliminating collision risks.
    • Awareness and Education: Public awareness campaigns about the importance of biodiversity conservation and responsible infrastructure development are essential to mitigate conflicts.
    • Ecological Corridor Protection: Establishing protected ecological corridors can facilitate safe passage for wildlife, reducing human-wildlife conflicts in the long term.

4: Dimension- Integration of Sustainable Development Goals

    • Renewable Energy Transition: Promoting renewable energy sources such as solar and wind while minimizing ecological impact is crucial for achieving sustainable development objectives.
    • Green Infrastructure: Investing in eco-friendly infrastructure designs, such as wildlife-friendly power lines and green corridors, can promote biodiversity conservation alongside economic growth.
    • Policy Alignment: Harmonizing environmental regulations with developmental policies ensures that conservation efforts are integrated into broader national agendas.

5: Dimension- Enhanced Conservation Efforts

    • Habitat Restoration: Besides mitigating immediate threats, restoring degraded habitats and creating protected areas are essential for the long-term survival of the Great Indian Bustard.
    • Community Engagement: Involving local communities in conservation initiatives fosters stewardship and ensures the sustainable management of natural resources.
    • Research and Monitoring: Continued scientific research and monitoring are vital to understanding the ecological needs of the species and adapting conservation strategies accordingly.

Great Indian Bustard

  • The great Indian bustard (Ardeotis nigriceps) is a large, ground bird native to central and western India. It has a horizontal body, long bare legs, and an ostrich-like appearance. The great Indian bustard is one of the heaviest flying birds in the world.
  • It is considered the flagship grassland species and state bird of Rajasthan.
  • IUCN Status:Critically endangered

Mains Practice Question

Analyze the role of public-private partnerships in promoting sustainable development initiatives that balance environmental conservation with economic growth.


The recent Nuclear Energy Summit held in Brussels underscores the growing recognition of nuclear power as a critical component in the global effort to combat climate change and achieve sustainable development goals.

1: Dimension- Global Acknowledgment of Nuclear Energy's Role

  • COP28 Declaration: The declaration signed by 22 world leaders at the UN Climate Change Conference emphasized the indispensable role of nuclear energy in meeting climate goals.
  • Triple Nuclear Energy Capacity: The declaration highlighted the need to triple nuclear energy capacity by 2050 to facilitate the transition towards a low-carbon future.
  • Atoms4Netzero Programme: The Nuclear Energy Summit, in collaboration with the IAEA's 'Atoms4Netzero' programme, signifies a multilateral approach to decarbonization.

2: Dimension- Technological Advancements and Financial Considerations

  • Innovative Nuclear Technologies: Recent developments in nuclear technology, including Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) and extended fuel cycles, mitigate risks associated with nuclear power.
  • Financial Challenges: Despite technological advancements, the nuclear industry faces significant challenges in securing financing from Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) and private investors.
  • Cooperative Funding Models: Successful cooperative funding models in countries like France, South Korea, and Russia demonstrate alternative financing mechanisms for nuclear projects.

3: Dimension- Maximizing Nuclear Energy's Potential

  • Public Perception and Education: Addressing public concerns about nuclear safety and radiation risks through public awareness campaigns and education initiatives.
  • Regulatory Reforms: Streamlining regulatory processes to expedite project approvals while ensuring safety standards and environmental protection.
  • Research and Development: Investing in research and development to enhance nuclear technology, improve safety features, and reduce costs.

4: Dimension- Financial Mobilization and Investment

  • Role of Multilateral Institutions: Encouraging MDBs to reassess their nuclear financing policies and explore blended finance models to attract private capital.
  • Public-Private Partnerships: Promoting public-private partnerships to share risks and mobilize resources for nuclear projects, thereby diversifying funding sources.
  • Incentives and Subsidies: Providing financial incentives and subsidies to incentivize private investments in nuclear energy infrastructure and technology development.

5: Dimension- International Collaboration and Cooperation

  • Knowledge Sharing: Facilitating knowledge sharing and technology transfer between countries to accelerate nuclear energy deployment and capacity building.
  • Joint Research Initiatives: Collaborating on joint research initiatives to address common challenges, such as waste management, nuclear security, and proliferation concerns.
  • Policy Harmonization: Harmonizing international policies and regulatory frameworks to create a conducive environment for nuclear energy development while ensuring global safety and security standards.

Small Modular Reactor

  • Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) are nuclear reactors with a maximum capacity of 300 MW.
  • They are characterized by their compact size and modular design, which allows for factory assembly of components and transportation as a unit to installation sites.
  • SMRs offer advantages such as flexibility in siting, affordability in construction, and enhanced safety features compared to conventional nuclear power plants.

Mains Practice Question

Discuss the challenges and opportunities associated with nuclear energy expansion in the context of sustainable development goals.


Amidst escalating concerns about climate change, the concept of Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) emerges as a potential solution to align economic growth with environmental sustainability.

1: Dimension- Recognizing Ecosystem Value

  • Economic Incentives: PES incentivizes local communities and indigenous peoples for their role as stewards of the environment by assigning economic value to ecosystem services.
  • Transformative Narrative: By acknowledging the invaluable contributions of forests and other ecosystems, PES shifts the narrative from exploitation to conservation, integrating environmental stewardship into economic decision-making processes.
  • Global Significance: PES initiatives worldwide highlight the universal recognition of the need to preserve natural resources and mitigate the adverse effects of climate change.

2: Dimension- Empowering Communities for Sustainable Development

  • Agroforestry and Land Management: PES encourages farmers to adopt sustainable practices such as agroforestry, integrating trees with crops and livestock to enhance land productivity and biodiversity.
  • Sustainable Practices: Encouraging communities to adopt sustainable land management practices, such as agroforestry, fosters biodiversity conservation and climate resilience.
  • Community Ownership: PES fosters a sense of ownership and responsibility among communities, empowering them to actively participate in conservation efforts and ensuring the long-term sustainability of ecosystems.

3: Dimension-Technological Integration and Transparency

  • Monitoring and Accountability: Technological advancements, including satellite imagery and drones, facilitate transparent monitoring of conservation efforts, ensuring fair compensation for communities and promoting ethical practices.
  • Preventing Greenwashing: Robust regulations and ethical standards are essential to combatting fraudulent practices such as "carbon cowboys" and ensuring that PES initiatives deliver tangible environmental benefits.
  • Scaling Up PES: While PES holds promise, scaling up initiatives requires strategic market engagement, innovative financing mechanisms, and strong policy frameworks to mobilize resources effectively and address evolving challenges.

Mains Practice Question

How can Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) contribute to sustainable development and environmental conservation in India?


MeitY successfully unveiled BhasaNet portal

What is BhasanNet Portal

  • The BhashaNet portal is designed to support the cause of Universal Acceptance by providing resources, tools, and information to help developers, businesses, and organizations make their applications and systems UA-compliant.
  • It works to provide a truly multilingual internet, where local language website name and local language email id, work everywhere seamlessly.


  • Encouraging use of local language website name and email id.
  • Promoting awareness of local language url and email id.
  • Developing policies and regulations.
  • Supporting technical collaboration.
  • Engagement of Website owners, Web-Developer Community, Web Security experts.

What is Universal Acceptance?

Universal Acceptance (UA) is a concept that aims to ensure that all domain names and email addresses, regardless of language or script, can be used by all internet-enabled applications, devices, and systems. The goal of UA is to create a more inclusive digital world where individuals can fully participate without facing linguistic barriers.


Scientists have found a twin star pair which gobbles planets

What are twin stars?

  • Twin stars are formed within the same intersteller cloud of gas and dust.
  • Also called as co-natal stars as they have same chemical makeup, and roughly equall mass and age.
  • They are not binary system as they are not gravitationally bound to each other.


The species is being in news due to ongoing effort to count it in spite of its elusive nature


  • The clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) is a wild cat that lives in the cloud forests of Southeast Asia, from the foothills of the Himalayas through Northeast India and Bhutan to mainland Southeast Asia into South China.
  • They are named for their cloud-like spots, and are one of the oldest cat species.
  • Clouded leopards are stocky, larger than small cats, and smaller than large cats.
  • They have large paws with specialized footpads for gripping branches, and specialized anklebones that allow them to climb in different positions.
  • They can open their mouths to a 100-degree angle, and are one of only two cat species that can climb down trees headfirst.
  • IUCN Status: Vulnerable

S. No.




Flash PMI

The flash PMI data comprises responses from 85% to 90% of the total monthly Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) and is released every month (a few days before the total PMI). It is based on key figures comprising production, new orders, inventories, supplier deliveries, and employment.



The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN /?a?kæn/ EYE-kan) is a global multistakeholder group and nonprofit organization head-quartered in the United States responsible for coordinating the maintenance and procedures of several databases related to the namespaces and numerical spaces of the Internet, ensuring the Internet's stable and secure operation.



  • Microplastics are plastic pieces that are less than five millimeters long.
  • Microplastics come from a variety of sources, including from larger plastic debris that degrades into smaller and smaller pieces. In addition, microbeads, a type of microplastic, are very tiny pieces of manufactured polyethylene plastic that are added as exfoliants to health and beauty products, such as some cleansers and toothpastes.


Omnibus Framework

The omnibus framework contains broad parameters viz., objectives, responsibilities, eligibility criteria, governance standards, application process and other basic conditions for grant of recognition to SRO by RBI.



Lobbying is a political activity where individuals or groups attempt to influence the decisions of government officials.


World Water Day, observed annually on March 22 since 1993, aims to raise awareness about freshwater issues. The theme for this year, "Water for Peace," underscores the significance of water in maintaining peace and stability globally.

Challenges of Water Crisis:

  • Multifaceted Challenges: Factors such as rapid urbanization, industrialization, unsustainable agricultural practices, and climate change contribute to the global water crisis.
  • Impact on Peace and Stability: Seventeen countries face 'extremely high' water stress, threatening peace and stability, according to the World Resources Institute.
  • India's Water Scarcity: India faces water scarcity issues, with projections indicating a further decline in availability by 2025 and 2050.

Impacts on Ecosystems and Agriculture:

  • Ecosystem Disruption: Water scarcity disrupts ecosystem functions, jeopardizing food and water security and ultimately undermining peace.
  • Threat to Agricultural Sustainability: Groundwater depletion, exemplified by cases like Bengaluru and Punjab, poses a severe threat to agricultural sustainability.
  • Vulnerability of Rainfed Regions: Rainfed regions in India, crucial for agricultural output, are vulnerable to water scarcity, impacting food production.

Water Crisis and its Implications:

  • India's Water Crisis: Rapid urbanization, industrialization, unsustainable agricultural practices, and climate change have contributed to India's water scarcity issues. According to the World Resources Institute, India is categorized as water-stressed, with projections indicating further reduction in water availability by 2025 and 2050.
  • Groundwater Depletion: Groundwater depletion is a severe concern in many Indian states, leading to negative consequences such as reduced agricultural productivity, ecosystem degradation, and social tensions. Instances like the depletion of the groundwater table in Bengaluru and other major cities highlight the urgent need for action.
  • Impact on Peace: Water scarcity poses a threat to peace and stability, as seen in the case of 17 countries facing 'extremely high' water stress levels. Competition over limited water resources could exacerbate tensions, leading to conflicts and unrest.

Promoting Water Security and Peace:

  • Role of Rainwater Harvesting: Implementing rainwater harvesting techniques, both in-situ and ex-situ, is crucial for augmenting water resources and enhancing resilience against drought and water scarcity. This approach aligns with initiatives like "per drop more crop" and "Gaon ka pani gaon mein" under the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY).
  • Government Initiatives: The government's emphasis on water conservation and management through programs like Mission Amrit Sarovar and Jal Shakti Abhiyan is commendable. However, there's a need for a comprehensive protocol for the revival of water bodies and ponds to address the underlying issues effectively.
  • Additional Interventions: Implementing measures such as groundwater monitoring, water quality reclamation, efficient irrigation techniques, community awareness campaigns, and promoting water-neutral practices are essential for ensuring long-term water security and fostering peace.
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    Understanding the Global Water Crisis:

    • Persistent Scarcity: Approximately two billion people worldwide lack access to clean water, posing risks to both individual needs and collective prosperity.
    • Historical Context: Throughout history, water has been central to the rise and fall of civilizations, often leading to conflicts such as the ancient tensions between Mesopotamian cities over fertile land and water resources.
    • UN's World Water Day: The 31st World Water Day, themed "Leveraging Water for Peace" in 2024, highlights the importance of water diplomacy in addressing global water challenges.

    Water Diplomacy in a Time of Extremities:

    • Climate Change Impacts: Climate-related extremes like heatwaves and floods exacerbate water insecurity, particularly in regions like India where the monsoon's unpredictability affects agriculture, a key sector of the economy.
    • Need for Cooperation: Improved cooperation on water-sharing and adherence to International Water Law principles are essential for sustainable water management and fostering regional stability.
    • Inclusive Approaches: Involving indigenous communities, civil society, and academic networks in water diplomacy processes ensures equitable and effective governance of shared water resources.

    Addressing Rural India's Water Needs:

    • Rural Water Dependence: Seventy percent of India's rural population relies on water for livelihoods, primarily in agriculture, which accounts for 70% of global freshwater use.
    • Potential of Water Investments: Increased water accessibility in rural areas can yield positive outcomes in health, education, and employment, besides addressing basic human needs.
    • Role of Technology: Leveraging emerging AI technology in agriculture can promote efficient water use, crop management, and sustainability, contributing to rural development.

    Transboundary Water Governance:

    • Extent of Transboundary Waters: A significant portion of the world's freshwater resources lies in transboundary waters, including rivers shared among nations like India and its neighbours.
    • Challenges and Progress: The worsening water pollution in South Asian rivers underscores the need for sophisticated cross-border water governance. Despite progress, only 24 out of 153 water-sharing nations have reached full cooperation agreements.
    • Importance for Peace: Effective transboundary water cooperation is crucial for achieving the SDGs and fostering peace, offering benefits across various sectors and ecosystem services.
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    India entered a small club of countries capable of delivering nuclear warheads on a single missile. This greatly enhances India’s second strike capability and acts as a deterrence measure.

    Technological Breakthrough:

    • Introduction of MIRV on Agni-V: India's recent test of the Agni-V missile equipped with multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicle (MIRV) technology marks a significant milestone in its nuclear weapons program.
    • Mission Divyastra: Conducted under the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), this test underscores India's entry into the small club of countries capable of delivering multiple nuclear warheads on a single missile.
    • Enhanced Strategic Capability: The indigenous avionics systems and high accuracy sensor packages of the MIRV system ensure improved precision and strengthen India's second-strike capability, crucial for maintaining deterrence.

    Strategic Significance:

    • Focus on China: The choice of MIRV on Agni-V is strategically aimed at addressing security concerns vis-à-vis China, given the missile's extended range and ability to penetrate missile defenses.
    • Completion of Nuclear Triad: India's development of MIRV technology follows the declaration of INS Arihant's successful deterrence patrol, completing India's nuclear triad and enhancing its strategic deterrence posture.
    • Escalation Dynamics: However, this advancement raises concerns about escalation dynamics in the region, especially with neighbouring countries like China and Pakistan also pursuing MIRV technology, leading to a potential arms race.

    Future Implications and Challenges:

    • Deployment on Submarine-launched Missiles: The deployment of MIRV on submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) is the logical next step, further enhancing India's nuclear capabilities and strategic flexibility.
    • Regional Dynamics: The development of MIRV technology by India, China, and Pakistan intensifies regional security dynamics, requiring careful management to prevent unintended escalation.
    • Cost and Technology Intensiveness: The pursuit of advanced nuclear capabilities entails significant costs and technological investments, posing challenges in terms of resource allocation and sustainability.
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