What's New :

27th February 2023

Transparency in OTT regulation


A survey of OTT regulation in different countries suggests that most of them are yet to come up with a clear statute-backed framework.


Key findings:

  • For India:
    • The survey highlighted that India’s OTT regulations policy needs clarification and a more transparent framework.
    • There is no specific body, to scrutinise the misdeeds and loopholes in policy.
  • In other Countries like Singapore, the Infocomm Media Development Authority is the common regulator for different media.
    • Aside from instituting a statutory framework and promoting industry self-regulation, its approach to media regulation emphasises promoting media literacy through public education.

What are OTT platforms?

  • The acronym OTT stands for Over-the-Top. This convenient term explains the new delivery method of film and TV content over the internet whenever we want, across many different devices, without the need for traditional broadcast, cable or satellite pay-TV providers.
  • In simple terms, OTT streaming means paying an internet provider, like Xfinity, for internet access to watch Netflix, without paying for cable TV.

India’s OTT regulations:

  • In India, the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021, through which the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) was given the task of regulating content on OTT and online platforms.
  • India’s approach can be termed as a light-touch ‘co-regulation’ model where there is ‘self-regulation’ at the industry level and the final ‘oversight mechanism’ at the Ministry level.

The Rules mandate access control mechanisms, including parental locks, for content classified as U/A 13+ or higher and a reliable age verification mechanism for programmes classified as ‘A’ (18+).

What are IT Rules, 2021?

  • The Rules aim to empower ordinary users of social media and OTT platforms with a mechanism for redressal and timely resolution of their grievances with the help of a Grievance Redressal Officer (GRO) who should be a resident in India.
  • Safety measures: Special emphasis has been given to the protection of women and children from sexual offences, fake news and another misuse of social media.
  • Source identification: Identification of the “first originator of the information” would be required in case of an offence related to the sovereignty and integrity of India.
  • Appointment of Chief Compliance Officer: A Chief Compliance Officer, a resident of India, also needs to be appointed and that person shall be responsible for ensuring compliance with the Act and Rules.
  • Complaint monitoring: A monthly compliance report mentioning the details of complaints received and action taken on the complaints would be necessary.
  • Code of Ethics: The OTT platforms, online news and digital media entities, on the other hand, would need to follow a Code of Ethics.
  • Self-classification: OTT platforms would be called ‘publishers of online curated content’ under the new rules.
  • They would have to self-classify the content into five categories based on age and use parental locks for ages above 13 or higher. They also need to include age verification mechanisms for content classified as ‘Adult’.
  • Redressal mechanism: A three-level grievance redressal mechanism has been mandated. This includes the appointment of a GRO, self-regulatory bodies registered with the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) to look after the Code of Ethics and a Charter for the self-regulating bodies formulated by the MIB.

Challenges in existing policy:

  • The Rules require disclosure of grievance details by publishers and self-regulating bodies, the reporting formats only capture the number of complaints received and decided.
    • Instead, the full description of complaints received by OTT providers and self-regulatory bodies and decisions given thereon may be published in the public domain.
  • OTT providers and appellate/self-regulatory bodies should be made to upload the details of grievances and redressal decisions, which will be visible to the public and government authorities.
  • The current Rules provide for the third/final tier as the Inter-Departmental Committee (IDC) comprising officer-nominees from various ministries of Central government, and domain experts.
  • There is no provision for the disclosure or publication of an apology/warning/censure on the platform or website.

Friendshoring strategy


In a meeting of US and Indian tech business leaders, the United States have shown interest to strengthen US-India ties in the technology sector and said that India is an important part of a US business strategy of “friend shoring” where supply chains to the US are being made resilient.


What is a Friend shoring strategy?

  • Friend-shoring means encouraging companies to shift manufacturing away from authoritarian states and toward allies.
  • Objective: The idea of ‘friend-shoring’ supply chains is gaining purchase among economic policymakers concerned about relying on geopolitical competitors for accessing critical materials and technologies.
  • Benefits:
    • Friend-shoring is about deepening relationships and diversifying our supply chains with a greater number of trusted trading partners to lower risks for our economy and theirs.
    • It will also encourage domestic production, which could substitute for imports.

India-US trade relations:

  • The US is India’s biggest trading partner.
  • In 2021, our bilateral trade was over $150 billion.

Upcoming Agreements:

  • Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment, or PGII:
    • Under PGII, the United States has announced investments in Agri-tech to enable climate-smart agricultural production and in digital payments systems for micro-entrepreneurs.
    • The US aims to mobilize $200 billion through 2027 for PGII and will look at India as a partner to invest in for its future.

Impacts for ‘Freindshoring’:

  • This would reduce overdependence on countries which could pose a security risk and are a single source of critical inputs and raw materials.
  • However, limiting the trade of key inputs to trusted countries could reverse the gains of globalization.

Tiger deaths and Conservation efforts


Nearly after two months of this year, India has already recorded 30 tiger deaths.

Tiger deaths have so far been reported from Kanha, Panna, Ranthambore, Pench, Corbett, Satpura, Orang, Kaziranga and Sathyamangalam reserves.

  • Of the 30 deaths, 16 have been reported outside the reserves.

The Tiger Count in India:

  • Every 4 years the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) conducts a tiger census across, The first was conducted in 2006.
  • The Census (2014) reported 2,226 tigers in the country, up from 1,706 in 2010.
  • The fourth cycle of All-India Tiger Estimation was released in 2019 according to which the Tiger count remained at 2,967.
  • Officials said the 33% rise in tiger numbers from the last estimation (an estimation is carried out every four years) was the highest-ever recorded between cycles, which stood at 21% between 2006 and 2010 and 30% between 2010 and 2014.

Declining Tiger numbers:

  • The official said that the tiger population in the country has been growing at a rate of 6% annually.
  • In the last 10 years (2012-22), January has seen the highest number of tiger deaths in the country at 128, followed by 123 deaths in March, according to NTCA figures.
  • There were 121 tiger deaths in 2022 — 34 in Madhya Pradesh, 28 in Maharashtra and 19 in Karnataka. In 2021, 127 tiger deaths were recorded across the country, according to NTCA data.
  • State-wise tolls:
    • Madhya Pradesh has recorded the highest number of tiger deaths — 270 in total — in the last 10 years (2012-2022), followed by Maharashtra at 184 and Karnataka at 150.
    • Jharkhand, Haryana, Gujarat and Arunachal Pradesh have seen the lowest tiger deaths — one each.
  • Reasons for deaths:
    • The highest number of deaths has occurred due to natural causes, while poaching has been cited as the second biggest reason.
    • There were seven cases of poaching in 2020, 17 in 2019 and 34 in 2018.

Conservation Efforts:


  • Project Tiger was launched in 1973 for conserving our national animal
  • It is a Centrally sponsored scheme of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and climate change
  • The project is administered by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA)


  • It is a statutory
  • Established in 2005 following the recommendations of the Tiger Task
  • It was Established in 2005, following the recommendations of the Tiger Task
  • It was given statutory status by the 2006 amendment of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 for strengthening tiger conservation, as per powers and functions assigned to it.
  • Functions under the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change


  • The tiger relocation project was initiated in 2018 wherein two big cats, a male (Mahavir) from Kanha Tiger Reserve and a female (Sundari) from Bandhavgarh from Madhya Pradesh were relocated to Satkosia Tiger Reserve in Odisha, to shore up the tiger population in the
  • The relocation was meant to serve two purposes:
    • Reducing the tiger population in areas with excess tigers majorly reduces territorial
    • To reintroduce tigers in areas where the population has considerably reduced due to various reasons.


  • It will be effective in checking illegal human intrusion into the reserve through villages located on its fringes and serve as a second layer of protection for tigers
  • The decision is in line with Central Government’s guidelines for providing three-tier protection to tigers at reserves
  • Three-tier protection for tigers at reserves:
    • 1st layer of protection: It is provided in the inner range by beat-level forest guards through regular patrols.
    • 2nd layer of protection: It is provided by STPF.
    • 3rd layer of protection: it comes from intelligence-gathering mechanisms in which forest, police and central intelligence agency personnel work together to prevent crimes like the poaching of tigers.

Global Conservation Initiatives:

    • It aimed at promoting a global system to protect the natural habitat of tigers and raise awareness among people on white tiger conservation
    • This resolution was adopted In November 2010, by the leaders of 13 tiger range countries (TRCs) assembled at an International Tiger Forum in Petersburg, Russia
    • The resolution’s implementation mechanism is called the Global Tiger Recovery Program whose overarching goal was to double the number of wild tigers from about 3,200 to more than 7,000 by
    • 13 Tiger range countries are Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam.
    • Global Tiger Initiative (GTI) was launched in  2008  as a  global alliance of governments, international organizations, civil society, conservation, and scientific communities, and the private sector, with the aim of working together to save wild tigers.
    • In 2013, the scope was broadened to include Snow
    • The GTI’s founding partners included the World Bank, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the Smithsonian Institution, the Save the Tiger Fund, and International Tiger Coalition (representing more than 40 non-government organizations).
    • The initiative is led by the 13 tiger range countries (TRCs).

The Spillover effect


The current epidemic of avian influenza has killed over 58 million birds in the U.S. as of February 2023.



What does the Spillover mean?

  • The continuous large outbreaks of viruses like bird flu raise the spectre of another disease jumping from animals into humans. This is called the ‘Spillover effect’.
  • Spillover involves any type of disease-causing pathogen, be it a virus, parasite or bacteria, transferring to humans.
  • The pathogen can be something never before seen in people, such as a new Ebola virus carried by bats, or it could be something well-known and recurring, like Salmonella from farm animals.
  • The probability that spillover will occur depends on many biological and social factors, including the rate and severity of animal infections, environmental pressure on the disease to evolve and the amount of close contact between infected animals and people.

How spillovers are detected?

  • Spillover events can be hard to detect as sometimes a virus that transfers from animals to humans poses no risk to people if the virus is not well adapted to human biology.
  • But the more often this jump occurs, the higher the chances a dangerous pathogen will adapt and take off.

Spillover and spread:

  • As development expands into new habitats, wild animals come into closer contact with people – and, importantly, the food supply.
  • The mixing of wildlife and farm animals greatly amplifies the risk that a disease will jump species and spread like wildfire among farm animals.

Poultry across the U.S. are experiencing the effects, as the avian flu spread through chicken farms mostly through migrating ducks.

Is avian influenza spread a spillover?

  • The new avian influenza virus is a distant descendant of the original H5N1 strain that has caused human epidemics of bird flu in the past.
  • Health officials are detecting cases of this new flu virus jumping from birds to other mammals – like foxes, skunks and bears.
  • The avian influenza virus has the potential to convert into a spillover but not yet the case for India.

Multilateral Exercise Desert Flag VIII


Five indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) along with a contingent of 110 Indian Air Force (IAF) personnel arrived at Al Dahfra airbase of United Arab Emirates (UAE) for participating in the multilateral Exercise Desert Flag VIII.

  • In 2021, the defence ministry awarded a ?48,000-crore contract to Hindustan Aeronautics Limited for 83 LCA Mk-1A jets for the IAF.
  • The first Mk-1A aircraft will be delivered in February 2024, with the rest slated to join the combat fleet by 2029.
  • The government gave its nod to developing the LCA Mk-2, a platform that will form an important element of future air combat.

About the exercise:

  • Exercise Desert Flag is a multilateral air exercise in which Air Forces from UAE, France, Kuwait, Australia, the UK, Bahrain, Morocco, Spain, the Republic of Korea, and the USA would also be participating.
  • The exercise is scheduled from February 27 to March 17.
  • Aim: To participate in diverse fighter engagements and learn from the best practices of various Air Forces.

This is the first occasion for the LCA Tejas to participate in an international flying exercise outside of India

Light Combat Aircraft:

  • The Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) programme was started by the Government of India in 1984 when they established the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) to manage the LCA programme.
  • It replaced the ageing Mig 21 fighter planes.
  • Designed by:
    • Aeronautical Development Agency under the Department of Defence Research and Development.
  • Manufactured by: State-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
  • Features:
    • The lightest, smallest and tailless multi-role supersonic fighter aircraft in its class.
    • Designed to carry a range of air-to-air, air-to-surface, precision-guided, weapons.
    • Air-to-air refuelling capability.
    • The maximum payload capacity of 4000 kg.
    • It can attend the maximum speed of Mach 1.8.
    • The range of the aircraft is 3,000km

Variants of Tejas:

  • Tejas Trainer: 2-seater operational conversion trainer for training air force pilots.
  • LCA Navy: Twin- and single-seat carrier-capable for the Indian Navy.
  • LCA Tejas Navy MK2: This is phase 2 of the LCA Navy variant.
  • LCA Tejas Mk-1A: This is an improvement over the LCA Tejas Mk1 with a higher thrust engine.

Atacama Large Millimetre Array (ALMA) telescope


According to a science journal, the Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array (ALMA) is set to get software and hardware upgrades that will help it collect much more data and produce sharper images than ever before.

  • ALMA is fully functional since 2013.
  • The radio telescope was designed, planned and constructed by the US’s National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) and the European Southern Observatory (ESO).
  • It has helped astronomers make ground-breaking discoveries, including that of starburst galaxies and the dust formation inside supernova 1987A.

 About ALMA:

  • ALMA is a state-of-the-art telescope that studies celestial objects at millimetre and submillimetre wavelengths — they can penetrate through dust clouds and help astronomers examine dim and distant galaxies and stars out there.
  • It also has extraordinary sensitivity, which allows it to detect even extremely faint radio signals.
  • Key features:
    • ALMA is a radio telescope comprising 66 antennas located in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile.
    • The most significant modernisation made to ALMA will be the replacement of its correlator, a supercomputer that combines the input from individual antennas and allows astronomers to produce highly detailed images of celestial objects.
    • ALMA is operated under a partnership among the United States, and 16 countries in Europe, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Chile.

ALMA’s correlators are among the world’s fastest supercomputers.

Why is ALMA located in Chile’s Atacama Desert?

  • ALMA is situated at an altitude of 16,570 feet (5,050 metres) above sea level on the Chajnantor plateau in Chile’s Atacama Desert as the millimetre and submillimetre waves observed by it are very susceptible to atmospheric water vapour absorption on Earth.
  • Moreover, the desert is the driest place in the world, meaning most of the nights here are clear of clouds and free of light-distorting moisture — making it a perfect location for examining the universe.

Recent discoveries:

  • In 2013 it discovered starburst galaxies earlier in the universe’s history than they were previously thought to have existed.
  • ALMA provided detailed images of the protoplanetary disc surrounding HL Tauri — a very young T Tauri star in the constellation Taurus, approximately 450 light years from Earth.
  • In 2015, the telescope helped scientists observe a phenomenon known as the Einstein ring, which occurs when light from a galaxy or star passes by a massive object en route to the Earth, in extraordinary detail.
  • As part of the Event Horizon Telescope project, a large telescope array consisting of a global network of radio telescopes, it provided the first image of the supermassive black hole at the centre of our own Milky Way galaxy.


Short News Articles

Art and Culture




The Union government has marked celebrations to commemorate the 284th birth anniversary of SanthSevalalMaharaj for the first time.


  • He was a spiritual and religious leader of the Banjara community, a nomadic community that has been declared a Scheduled Tribe (ST) in a few States of India.
  • The Samadhi Sthal of SantSevalalJi is situated in ManoraTaluka of Washim District of Maharashtra at Pohradevi which is also known as ‘BanjaraKashi’.
  • The jayanti was declared by Ministry of Culture.
  • Events organised:
  • The events consist of cultural and dance programmes, performed along with an exhibition of Banjara art for two days from February 26 and 27.
  • The celebrations are being organised under the aegis of the government’s AzadiKaAmritMahotsav campaign to celebrate 75 years of India’s independence.

The Banjara community:

  • The Banjara community have been declared as ST in five States (Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Bihar, Odisha, and Jharkhand),
  • Scheduled Caste in Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka, and Other Backward Class (OBC) in Chhattisgarh, Daman and Diu, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand.

Art and Culture

Sursingar, Karakattam


Addressing the Prime Minister’s Mann kiBaaton February 26, he spoke of several musical instruments and folk artists including Sursingar and Karakattam.


The Sursingar:

  • The Sursingar, a stringed musical instrument that is similar to the sarod, but which is older and produces deeper notes.
  • The instrument is made of wood and has a gourd attached to a hollow wooden handle with a metal fingerboard.
  • The strings of the instrument, usually four in number and made of brass or bronze, are plucked with a metal pick.
  • The Sursingar (along with the RudraVeena and the Surbahar) usually accompanies Dhrupad, the genre of Hindustani vocal music which has a low, deep, and thoughtful pitch.

The Karakattam:

  • Karakattam is an ancient folk dance of Tamil Nadu in which performers in colourful saris dance with a pot (karakam) on their head to invoke Mariamman, the goddess of rain.
  • The dance form became well known with the success of the Tamil film Karakattakkaran (1989), but has been criticised by purists for becoming allegedly low-brow and vulgar of late.
  • V Durga Devi of Salem is a well-known Karakattam dancer.

Polity and Governance

Marconi Prize 2023

MIT professor HariBalakrishnan wins 2023 Marconi Prize.


  • Dr.Balakrishnan is a professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
  • He has been cited “for fundamental contributions to wired and wireless networking, mobile sensing, and distributed systems”.

The Prize:

  • The Marconi Prize is a top honour for computer scientists and is awarded by the U.S.-based Marconi Foundation.
  • It is given to those who have made a significant contribution to increasing digital inclusivity through advanced information and communications technology.
  • Other awards:
  • Dr.Balakrishnan has previously won the Infosys Prize (2020) and the IEEE Koji Kobayashi Computers and Communications Award (2021).


Reducing pain: On menstrual leave


  • Recently, the menstrual pain leave discussion has taken pace both in Parliament and the Supreme Court in a bid to achieve gender equality and address several roadblocks.


Towards Gender Equality:

  • Amendment in Maternity Benefits: In India, the Maternity Benefit Act that was enacted by Parliament in 1961 has been amended from the earlier 12 weeks to 26 weeks.
  • Policy for Menstrual pain leave: India’s forward going society now seeks to frame rules for granting menstrual pain leave for students and working women.
  • Sensitising for women health: One of the aspect in recent times is women health and well-being, which is now more pronounced by women openly.
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