What's New :

28th January 2023

India to amend 1960 Indus Water Treaty with Pakistan


India has announced to reconsider its Indus Water Treaty (IWT) with Pakistan citing disputes over the Kishenganga and Ratle hydropower projects in Jammu & Kashmir.

About India’s stand on IWT:
  • India has called for modifications to the treaty under Article XII (3) of the IWT which deals with the “final provisions” of the treaty.
  • India also boycotted the Pakistani case at the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague in the Netherlands.
  • India mentioned that they were left with no choice but to demand that Pakistan come to the table to negotiate amendments to the treaty.
  • The clarification of the dispute mechanism was at the top of the agenda for renegotiation with that new inter-governmental negotiation on the IWT would be an opportunity to incorporate the “lessons learned” since 1960.


River Indus: Geographic Location

  • The Indus is a transboundary river of Asia and a trans-Himalayan river of South and Central Asia.  
  • The 3,120 km (1,940 mi) river rises in mountain springs northeast of Mount Kailash in Western Tibet, flows northwest through the disputed region of Kashmir, bends sharply to the left after the Nanga Parbat massif, and flows south-by-southwest through Pakistan, before emptying into the Arabian Sea near the port city of Karachi.
  • Significance:
    • The river has historically been important to many cultures of the region.
    • The 3rd millennium BC saw the rise of the Indus Valley civilization, a major urban civilization of the Bronze Age.
    • During the 2nd millennium BC, the Punjab region was mentioned in the Rigveda hymns as Sapta Sindhu and in the Avesta religious texts as Saptha Hindu (both terms meaning "seven rivers"). 

Indus Water Treaty (IWT), 1960:
  • The Indus system comprises of main Indus River, Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas, and Sutlej.
  • The basin is mainly shared by India and Pakistan with a small share of China and Afghanistan.
  • Under the treaty signed between India and Pakistan in 1960, all the waters of three rivers, namely Ravi, Sutlej, and Beas (Eastern Rivers) were allocated to India for exclusive use.
  • While, the waters of Western rivers - Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab were allocated to Pakistan except for specified domestic, non-consumptive, and agricultural use permitted to India as provided in the Treaty.
  • India has also been given the right to generate hydroelectricity through run-of-the-river (RoR) projects on the Western Rivers which, subject to specific criteria for design and operation is unrestricted.
What is the Dispute all about between India and Pakistan?
  • Both countries held different positions when Pakistan raised objections regarding the technical design features of the Kishanganga (330MW) and Ratle (850 MW) hydroelectric power plants located on the tributaries of the Jhelum and the Chenab, respectively, designated as “Western Rivers”.
  • However, under Articles III and VII of the treaty, India is permitted to construct hydroelectric power facilities on these rivers (subject to constraints specified in Annexures to the Treaty).
  • Differences were also discernible when Pakistan approached the World Bank to facilitate the setting up of a court of arbitration to address the concerns related to these two projects referred to in Article IX Clause 5 of the treaty, and when India requested the appointment of a Neutral Expert referent to Clause 2.1 of Article IX on the settlement of differences and dispute of the treaty, respectively.
  • Pakistan, invoking Article VII Clause 2 on future cooperation, raised objections on the construction and technical designs of the Pakal Dul and Lower Kalnai hydropower plants located on the Marusudar River, a tributary of the Chenab, in the Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • India has raised concerns on issues such as Pakistan’s blockade of the Fazilka drain, which resulted in water contamination in the border areas.

Tiger Count and efforts to conserve them


The Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati has mentioned in the Supreme Court answering a plea against the government’s efforts to conserve Wildlife that the Tiger population has increased by 6% since the last census.

About Tiger count in India:
  • India had about 2,967 tigers in its wildlife as per the last count in 2018, which shows their population was growing at an annual rate of 6 per cent.
  • Every 4 years the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) conducts a tiger census across
  • The first was conducted in 2006, followed by 2010 and in
  • The Census (2014) reported 2,226 tigers in the country, up from 1,706 in 2010.
India’s Tiger habitat:  

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.

  • It is an Inter-Governmental international body working exclusively for the conservation of
  • Established in 1994, the Global Tiger Forum (GTF) has its headquarters in New
  • The General Assembly of GTF meets every three
  • It is a global commitment to double the world's wild tigers by 2022
  • The base year is 2006
  • The goal has been set by the world wildlife Fund (WWF) through the Global Tiger Initiative, Global Tiger Forum, and other critical platforms
  • All 13 tiger range governments came together for the first time at the Petersburg Summit(Russia- 2010) where they committed to double the number of wild tigers by 2022
  • 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 from
  • 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).
  • ITHCP was launched in 2014. It is a strategic funding mechanism that aims to save tigers in the wild, and their habitats and to support human populations in key locations throughout
  • It has already facilitated 12 projects in six countries (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Nepal and Myanmar) to better manage Tiger Conservation Landscapes.
  • It is contributing to the Global Tiger Recovery Programme (GTRP), a global effort to double tiger numbers in the wild by 2022.
  • 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.

Although we are moving progressively towards conserving more and more tigers, a few threats are still there standing as a resistance in the conservation practices:

  • Three tiger reserves of India: Mizoram's Dampa reserve, West Bengal's Buxa reserve and Jharkhand's Palamau reserve have no tigers left.
  • The tiger reserves are having poor interconnectivity with each other due to which the gene exchange among the tiger population can barely take
  • There has occurred a human-tiger conflict as the tiger conservation practice has grown but their natural habitats are already shrinking and hence, they are seeking their habitat in human habitation.
  • Poaching of tigers is taken as pride and every part of a tiger has a market value therefore they are being hunted indiscriminately for personal as well as commercial
  • The constrained mentality of the local communities regarding tiger poaching as their only job is a major challenge to tiger conservation.
  • Linear developments such as that railways and roadways are critical issues in creating conservation.

Short News Article

Art and Culture

Kashmir’s pashmina shawls 

A French artist Maximilien Pellet turned the Pashmina fabric into a canvas for contemporary art forms at a Parisian exhibition.

About Pashmina Shawls:

  • Kashmiri Pashmina shawls are known for their warmth and soft fabric.
  • Its exquisite craftsmanship and reminiscent designs are beyond comparison.
  • The wool used comes from a special breed of goat found in the high-altitude regions of the Himalayas.
  • The Changthangi goat is a beautiful animal found in the cold, arid region surrounding Ladakh in Kashmir, India.
  • This cashmere wool is known as Pashmina once woven.

Pashmina’s legacy in Europe:

  • It was the 18th century French empress Josephine who gifted a Kashmiri Kani shawl by her husband, the Emperor Napoleon -- who helped revive a dying craft in Kashmir by becoming its style icon in Europe.
  • It remains to be seen if the new French touch proves to be another Josephine moment for the Kashmiri shawl industry.


Tamil is the oldest language











Prime Minister in his address to students at the sixth edition of the ‘Pariksha Pe Charcha’ event held in New Delhi urged to learn languages other than their mother tongue.


  • During the event, the Prime Minister has mentioned about the Tamil Language as an oldest language and every citizen should learn it and feel proud of.
  • The roots of Tamil, like those of the other Dravidian languages, are unclear, but unlike the majority of India's other recognized literary languages, it is independent of Sanskrit.
  • Tamil has the oldest literature among the Dravidian languages, however exactly dating the language and literature is challenging.
  • In India and Sri Lanka, literary works were kept either in palm leaf manuscripts (implying repetitive copying and recopying) or by oral transmission, making direct dating impossible.
  • External historical records and internal linguistic evidence, on the other hand, imply that the oldest existing writings were most likely written in the second century CE.
  • Tamil is a member of the southern branch of the Dravidian languages, a group of about 26 languages indigenous to the Indian subcontinent.
  • It is also classed as a member of the Tamil language family, which contains the languages of around 35 ethno-linguistic groups, including the Irula and Yerukula languages.
  • Malayalam is Tamil's closest significant cousin; the two began splitting during the 9th century AD.

Science and Technology

Kalpana Chawla's death marks 20 years

Recently, the US President Joe Biden has appointed SpaceX Crew-3 commander Raja Chari as Brigadier General, and the week also observed the Death Anniversary of NASA’s Indian Astronaut Kalpana Chawla.


  • Kalpana Chawla was born on 17th March 1962; she was an Indian-born American Astronaut.
  • She was the first woman of Indian origin to go to space.
  • She first flew on Space Shuttle Columbia in 1997 as a mission specialist and primary robotic arm operator.
  • On her first mission, Chawla traveled over 6.5 million miles in 252 orbits of the earth, logging more than 376 hours (15 days and 16 hours) in space.
  • Chawla was posthumously awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor; she is regarded as a national hero in India.

Science and Technology

National Child Science Congress

The 30th National Child Science Congress began at Science City in Ahmedabad.

About the event:

  • It is a five-day congress which will conclude on 31st January 2023.
  • The Secretary of Gujarat Science and Technology department Vijay Nahera inaugurated the Congress in the virtual presence of Education minister Kuber Dindor.
  • Hosts: Gujarat Council on Science and Technology (GUJCOST), Gujarat Council of Science City, and SAL Education.
  • Participants: More than 1400 delegates including child scientists, escort teachers, evaluators, and government officials will attend the congress.
  • As many as 850 students from across the country will showcase their unique projects in Congress.


Founding Ideals

  • The first speech by the honourable President Draupadi Murmu reiterated the founding ideals of the Republic on the eve of the 74th anniversary of the adoption of its Constitution.
Ideals of Democracy:
  • Transcended by ancient civilisation: The values of fraternity and democracy that its founding leaders etched into the genetic makeup of the modern nation were derived from the learnings of an ancient civilisation.
  • For empowerment of weaker section: The Republican fabric of Indian Constitution continuing journey of democracy, pluralism and empowerment of the weaker sections.
  • Rediscovering own ideals: The adoption of a republic framework for Indian democracy, was not after the British legacy but the revival of our own ancient culture followed for ages.
Republic still in formation:
  • Gaining global order: India’s successes in various fields, particularly the economy. While noting India’s emergence as an influential leader in global affairs, she underscored the principles of Sarvodaya and Atmanirbhar Bharat, uplift of all, and self-reliance which are guiding the government as they have the earlier ones. 
  • Hurdles in the path: Challenges to the ideals of the Constitution and the national movement arose in the form of political authoritarianism, sectarian extremism, and separatism making India’s movement slow, but recoverable.
  • Conserve constitutional sanctity: The Constitution is also part of the democracy it establishes; adherence to its basic principles is what unifies the people of India and that must be conserved.
You must be logged in to get greater insights.

Consequences of El Niño returning in 2023

Recently, the world has experienced a rare three consecutive La Nina event since 2020 and it has been predicted that the coming El Nino can have consequences across the globe, including India.

  • So, let us see its possible implications.
The upcoming El Nino:
  • The change in sea surface temperature associated with El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) might seem marginal but is enough to disrupt weather patterns globally.
  • It can affect even the large-scale circulation of air in the polar stratosphere i.e. 8km above the Earth.
  • The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has reported that the equatorial Pacific Ocean will return to its neutral state between March and May of 2023, and it is likely that El Niño conditions will develop during the northern hemisphere’s autumn and winter.
How El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Operates?
  • The combined phases of La Nina and El Nino are termed El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO).
  • The phenomenon affects rainfall patterns, global atmospheric circulation, and atmospheric pressure across the planet.
  • In the neutral state, (neither El Niño nor La Niña) trade winds blow east to west across the surface of the tropical Pacific Ocean, bringing warm moist air and warmer surface waters towards the western Pacific and keeping the central Pacific Ocean relatively cool.

Possible Consequences:
  • Likely to exceed 5°C above the target of the Paris agreement:
    • During the process of ENSO, the rise and cooling process of seawater is simultaneous, however, the rise for a prolonged period can make significant changes in the upper atmosphere.
    • El Niño adds some extra heat to the atmosphere and is estimated can exceed to the 1.5°C threshold of the Paris agreement.
  • On the Australian coast:
    • During El Niño, scientists expect less rain, higher temperatures and increased fire risk, especially during winter and spring in the southern hemisphere.
    • As the globe heats up, some regions are warming faster than others. Australia can become 1.4°C hotter now than in the early 20th century.
  • In South America:
    • South American weather is significantly disrupted every time an El Niño event occurs;
    • flooding on the west coasts of Peru and Ecuador and
    • Drought in the Amazon and northeast, where the consequences of crop failures can reverberate across the continent.
  • Disease outbreak: During El Niño events, due to fall in precipitation and rise in temperature in Colombia, is linked to outbreaks of diseases spread by insects, such as malaria and dengue fever.
    • Higher temperatures during El Niño boost the rates at which mosquitoes breed and bite.
  • Less carbon intake: Later on, the Amazon rainforest dries and vegetation growth slows so that less CO? is absorbed from the atmosphere, a trend repeated in the tropical forests of Africa, India and Australia.
  • In Northern Europe:
    • The balance between high pressure over the Azores and low pressure over Iceland determines where the rain goes in Europe during winter by pushing the jet stream.
    • During El Niño winters, both pressure centres lose strength, and the jet stream brings wetter conditions to southern Europe.



QUIZ - 28th January 2023

Verifying, please be patient.

Enquire Now