What's New :

3rd March 2023

Russia-China derails joint statement


In the ongoing meeting of G20 countries for security discussions, India issues a chairman’s summary naming Russia and China for not joining the consensus on Ukraine from the Bali document.

  • India has mentioned due to "divergences" among G20 members on the question of the Russia-Ukraine war, a joint statement could not be issued after the meeting of foreign ministers.
  • This is the second ministerial-level meeting where Russia and China refused to countenance Western criticisms of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
  • The recently concluded G20 Finance Ministers meeting in Bangalore also saw similar tensions, with the attendant countries unable to agree on a joint communique after the meeting ended.

Western countries on Ukraine’s invasion:

  • The U.S. administration has formally concluded that Moscow had committed “crimes against humanity” during its year-long invasion of its neighbour.

February 24 will mark one year since Russia mounted a large-scale invasion of Ukraine, beginning a ground war in Europe that Putin still refers to as a “special military operation.”

  • NAFTA, a security alliance between North America and Europe, was formed in order to safeguard and defend democratic freedoms.
  • Signed on April 4, 1949, the treaty attempted to thwart any further Soviet incursion.
  • It formed a power balance in Europe and guaranteed the safety of all its members.
  • As a result, member nations pool their military resources and strengthen their defences.
  • As a result, NATO served as a democratic engine that promoted common ideals and interests while also indirectly rebuffing communism.

The USSR signed the Warsaw pact in 1955 because it considered NATO a danger.

  • If an attack was launched on a member of the Warsaw Pact or NATO, other members would protect that country as a whole.
  • As a result, two instruments with similar construction and intended use were put to the test (The North Atlantic Treaty, 1949).

Russia on Western countries:

  • To prevent NATO's "eastward expansion" and to deny alliance membership to the states of the former Soviet Union, Russia used the treaty as a vehicle to request that the United States refrain from deploying forces of international organisations and military coalitions in areas where they could be perceived as a threat to national security.
  • In addition, Russia demanded that the United States refrain from deploying missiles launched from the ground that may strike targets on the other party's national territory.
  • The deal was slammed as 'unreasonable' and rejected
  • Since NATO's behaviours and claims do not coincide, it looks that the organisation simply values diplomacy on paper.

Appointment of CEC and ECs


Supreme Court unanimously ruled that a high-power committee consisting of the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha and the Chief Justice of India must pick the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and Election Commissioners (ECs).

  • This made the selection process of CEC and ECs similar to what is followed in the case of the Director, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

How are the CEC and ECs currently appointed?

  • The Constitution does not lay down a specific legislative process for the appointment of the CEC and ECs.
  • The President makes the appointment on the advice of the Union Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister.

What are the powers of the Election Commission?

  • Article 324 of the Constitution vests the “superintendence, direction and control of elections” in an Election Commission
  • Supreme Court in 'Mohinder Singh Gill & Anr vs The Chief Election Commissioner, New Delhi and Ors' (1977) stated that Article 324 "operates in areas left unoccupied by legislation and the words 'superintendence, direction and control' as well as 'conduct of all elections' is the broadest terms".
  • The SC stated that Article 324 "is a plenary provision vesting the whole responsibility for national and State elections" in the ECI "and, consequently, the essential authorities to fulfil that function"

Expert panel against regulatory failure


In response to a report by Hindenburg Research, the Supreme Court established an expert committee to examine the causes and existence, if any, of regulatory failure that resulted in investors losing billions of dollars due to market volatility.

About the committee:
  • The committee's four broad mandates cover everything. Investigate whether there has been a regulatory failure in dealing with the alleged violation of laws protecting the securities market in relation to the Adani Group of companies;
  • Provide an overall assessment of the situation, including the pertinent causal factors that contributed to the volatility in the securities market in the recent past; suggest measures to strengthen Indian investor awareness;
  • Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), agencies connected with financial regulations, fiscal agencies, and law enforcement agencies should cooperate with the expert committee.

Securities and Exchange Board of India:

  • SEBI is a statutory body established on April 12, 1992, in accordance with the provisions of the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992.
    • The regulatory body prior to the establishment of SEBI was the Controller of Capital Issues, which received its jurisdiction from the 1947 Capital Issues (Control) Act.
  • Powers & Functions:
    • It is a quasi-legislative and quasi-judicial body which can draft regulations, conduct inquiries, pass rulings and impose penalties.
    • To safeguard Indian investors' interests in the securities industry.
    • To encourage the growth and smooth operation of the securities market.
    • To control the securities market's commercial activities.
    • Providing a platform for individuals such as portfolio managers, bankers, stockbrokers, investment advisers, merchant bankers, registrars, and share transfer agents.
    • To oversee the duties assigned to participants, including foreign portfolio investors, credit rating companies, custodians of assets, and depositors

Ornamental fish aquaculture


Using local resources, community-based ornamental fish farming is anticipated to assist women in the Lakshadweep islands in taking the initial step towards independence through coordinated activities.

  • ICAR-National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources provided technical assistance as women organised groups for ornamental fish aquaculture (NBFGR).

About ICAR-National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources (NBFGR)

  • Its mandate is to undertake research related to the conservation of fish germplasm resources in the country. 
  • The Institute's mission is to evaluate and conserve fish genetic resources for the protection of intellectual property, sustainable use, and future generations.

About aquaculture:

  • Aquaculture is the breeding, rearing, and harvesting of fish, shellfish, algae, and other organisms in all types of water environments.

  • Aquaculture is a method used to produce food and other commercial products, restore habitat and replenish wild stocks, and rebuild populations of threatened and endangered species.
  • There are two main types of aquaculture—marine and freshwater. 
  • Aquaculture is an approximate aquatic equivalent to agriculture—that is, the rearing of certain marine and freshwater organisms to supplement the natural supply.

Coral reefs


Coral reefs are continuously damaged due to increases in ocean temperature and Climate Change.

What are coral reefs?

  • Coral reefs are essentially just big limestone structures built by thousands of tiny coral creatures called polyps.
  • Coral reefs are colonies of tiny living creatures that are found in oceans.
  • They are underwater structures that are formed of coral polyps that are held together by calcium carbonate.
  • Coral reefs are also regarded as the tropical rainforest of the sea and occupy just 0.1% of the ocean’s surface but are home to 25% of marine species.
  • They are usually found in shallow areas at a depth of fewer than 150 feet. However, some coral reefs extend even deeper, up to about 450 feet

Types of Coral reefs in India:

India has three major prevailing types of coral reefs:

  • Fringing reefs:  Fringing reefs evolve and develop near the continent and remain close to the coastline. These reefs are separated from the coastline by small, shallow lagoons. They are the most commonly found reefs in the world.
  • Barrier reefs: Barrier reefs are found offshore on the continental shelf. They usually run parallel to the coastline at some distance. A deep and wide lagoon is located between the coastline and the barrier reef.
  • Atolls: Atolls are formed on mid-oceanic ridges. They are shaped circularly or elliptically and are surrounded by seas on all four sides and have shallow waters in the centre called a lagoon.

Factors affecting Coral Reefs:

  • Extreme climate conditions: High temperature of water leads to the decline of these corals as they cannot survive in high temperatures. As estimated by scientists, most of the coral reefs of the world will soon decline with the increasing rates of ocean warming.
  • Overfishing: It is another major concern as it is leading to an ecological imbalance of the coral reefs.
  • Coastal development: The development of coastal infrastructure and tourist resorts on or close to these coral reefs causes significant damage.
  • Pollution: The toxic pollutants which are dumped directly into the ocean can lead to the poisoning of the coral reefs as it increases the nitrogen level of the seawater leading to an overgrowth of algae.
  • Sedimentation: Construction along the coasts and islands leads to soil erosion increasing the sediments in the river. As a result, it can smother corals by depriving them of the light needed to survive.

Importance of Coral Reefs:

Coral Reefs play an important role in the following ways.

  • They protect coastlines from the damaging effects of wave action and tropical storms.
  • They provide habitats and shelter for many marine organisms. 
  • They are the source of nitrogen and other essential nutrients for marine food chains. 
  • They assist in carbon and nitrogen-fixing. 
  • They help with nutrient recycling.
  • The study of coral reefs is essential for scientifically testable records of climatic events over the past million years.
  • The fishing industry depends also on coral reefs. Many fish spawn there, and juvenile fish spend time there before making their way to the open sea. The Great Barrier Reef generates more than 1.5 billion dollars annually for the Australian economy from fishing and tourism. 
  • Coral reefs are also key indicators of global ecosystem health. They serve as an early warning sign of what may happen to other less sensitive systems, such as river deltas if climate change is not urgently addressed.

Supernova and effects


A team of researchers has unveiled new light on the explosion of a star in a supernova more than 450 years ago using equipment by the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  • The blast was visible to people on our planet way back in 1572.

Details of the study:

  • The shock wave from the blast is still propagating through the cosmos from the initial explosion, meaning it can be observed from Earth even now.
  • The team used NASA’s Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) to study polarised X-rays from the supernova remnant.
  • Agencies involved: IXPE is a collaboration between NASA and the Italian Space Agency with partners and science collaborators in 12 countries.
  • Key findings:
    • The blast from the supernova named Tycho released as much energy as the Sun would emit over ten billion years.
    • The explosion blasted particles out into space near the speed of light.
    • Researchers used IXPE to reveal the geometry of the magnetic fields close to Tycho’s shock wave.
    • Understanding the magnetic field geometry allows scientists to investigate further how particles are accelerated there.
    • The overall direction of the magnetic fields in supernova remnants appears to be radial, stretched out along a path extending outward.

Tycho Supernova (Death of a Star):

  • In 1572, Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe was among those who noticed a new bright object in the constellation Cassiopeia.
  • Tycho showed this “new star” was far beyond the Moon, and that it was possible for the universe beyond the Sun and planets to change.
  • Rather it signalled the death of a star in a supernova, an explosion so bright that it can outshine the light from an entire galaxy.
  • This particular supernova was a Type Ia, which occurs when a white dwarf star pulls material from or merges with, a nearby companion star until a violent explosion is triggered. The white dwarf star is obliterated, sending its debris hurtling into space.

What does a Supernova mean?

  • A supernova is the explosion of a star. It is the largest explosion that takes place in space.

Where Do Supernovas takes place?

  • Supernovas are often seen in other galaxies. But supernovas are difficult to see in our own Milky Way galaxy because dust blocks our view.
  • In 1604, Johannes Kepler discovered the last observed supernova in the Milky Way.
  • NASA’s Chandra telescope discovered the remains of a more recent supernova.
  • It exploded in the Milky Way more than a hundred years ago.

What Causes a Supernova?

  • A supernova happens when there is a change in the core, or centre, of a star.
  • A change can occur in two different ways, with both resulting in a supernova.
  • The first type of supernova happens in binary star systems.
    • Binary stars are two stars that orbit the same point. One of the stars, a carbon-oxygen white dwarf, steals matter from its companion star.
    • Eventually, the white dwarf accumulates too much matter. Having too much matter causes the star to explode, resulting in a supernova.
  • The second type of supernova occurs at the end of a single star’s lifetime.
    • As the star runs out of nuclear fuel, some of its mass flows into its core. Eventually, the core is so heavy that it cannot withstand its own gravitational force.
    • The core collapses, which results in the giant explosion of a supernova.
    • The sun is a single star, but it does not have enough mass to become a supernova.


  • One kind of supernova has shown scientists that we live in an expanding universe, one that is growing at an ever-increasing rate.
  • Scientists also have determined that supernova play a key role in distributing elements throughout the universe.
  • When the star explodes, it shoots elements and debris into space. Many of the elements we find here on Earth are made in the core of stars.
  • These elements travel on to form new stars, planets and everything else in the universe.


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