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8th April 2024 (13 Topics)

8th April 2024

QUIZ - 8th April 2024

5 Questions

5 Minutes


The landmark judgment by the Supreme Court of India sheds light on the critical intersection between climate change and human rights. It emphasizes the constitutional guarantee of the right to life and the imperative for India to prioritize clean energy initiatives, particularly solar power, to mitigate the adverse effects of the climate crisis.

1: Dimension- Constitutional Right to Life and Health:

  • The Supreme Court underscores the impact of climate change on the fundamental right to life, stating that without a clean and stable environment, this right cannot be fully realized.
  • Factors such as air pollution, rising temperatures, and natural disasters like floods and droughts directly affect citizens' health and well-being. The judgment highlights the need for citizens to be free from the adverse effects of climate change to uphold their constitutional rights.
  • Case Study: The judgment references the petition to protect the critically endangered Great Indian Bustard (GIB), illustrating the tangible impact of climate change on wildlife conservation efforts.

2: Dimension- Impact on Tribal Rights and Equality

  • Climate change disproportionately affects indigenous communities, threatening their lands, forests, and cultural heritage.
  • The court acknowledges that the destruction of tribal lands and displacement from their homes can impact the constitutional guarantee of the right to equality.
  • Case Study: The court discusses the plight of tribals in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, highlighting how their relationship with nature is intertwined with their cultural and religious practices.
    • The right to health (which is a part of the right to life under Article 21) is impacted due to factors such as air pollution, shifts in vector-borne diseases, rising temperatures, droughts, shortages in food supplies due to crop failure, storms and flooding.
    • The inability of underserved communities to adapt to climate change or cope with its effects violates the right to life (Article 21) as well as the right to equality (Article 14).

3: Dimension- Unequal Energy Access

  • Despite the potential of clean energy initiatives to address energy inequality, challenges remain in terms of infrastructure, financing, and policy frameworks. Women spend an average of 1.4 hours a day collecting firewood and an average four hours cooking.
    • Unequal energy access disproportionately affects women and girls due to their gender roles and responsibilities such as through time spent on domestic chores and unpaid care work.
  • Case Study: The success of initiatives like the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (Saubhagya) in electrifying rural households demonstrates the effectiveness of targeted policies in expanding energy access to marginalized communities.

Fact Box:

India’s Renewable Energy

  • India’s goal to achieve 500 GW of non-fossil-based electricity generation capacity by 2030 aligns with its efforts to be net zero by 2070.
  • In 2023-24, out of the total generation capacity of 9,943 MW added, 8,269 was from non-fossil fuel sources.
  • According to the Renewable Energy Statistics 2023, India has the 4th largest installed capacity of renewables.

Great Indian Bustard

  • The GIB is listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
  • They are protected under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

Constitutional Provisions recognising Environmental rights

  • Article 48A of the Constitution provides that the State shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country.
  • Clause (g) of Article 51A stipulates that it shall be the duty of every citizen of India to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife, and to have compassion for living creatures.
  • Article 21 recognises the right to life and personal liberty while Article 14 indicates that all persons shall have equality before law and the equal protection of laws. These Articles are important sources of the right to a clean environment and the right against the adverse effects of climate change


Amidst the backdrop of economic uncertainty and volatility, daily wage workers continue to face myriad challenges. From meager wages to precarious employment opportunities, the plight of daily wagers underscores the urgent need for comprehensive interventions to address their vulnerabilities.

1: Dimension-Factor behind low wages

  • Low capital and skills: Since capital is scarce and labour abundant and less productive, wages are relatively lower in India.
  • Vicious cycle: The pervasive problem of low wages perpetuates cycles of poverty and deprivation among daily wage earners.
  • Persistence of informal set up: Informal economy suffers from long working hours, low pay and difficult conditions, low job security, inadequate social security regulation and others.
  • Extreme weather events remain a key factor as rural jobs are dependent on agriculture which is dependent on monsoon and rabi and kharif

Stark difference in India’s minimum wage



In India, minimum wages are not market clearing wages. They are regulatory wages to ensure that market wages do not fall below subsistence. They are expected to cover the essential current costs of accommodation, food and clothing (roti, kapada aur makaan) of a small family. It is inadequate for a dignified life.

In America, the minimum wage captures the market value of food, accommodation, utilities, transportation, healthcare and social security at subsistence levels for small nuclear families.

2: Dimension- Impact on low wages on economy

  • Low contribution to aggregate demand: Despite the celebration of higher economic growth, declining incomes mean that people at large do not have sufficient buying power in their hands. These households contribute substantially to economic output, making up 44-45% of Gross Value Added (GVA).
  • Poor standard of living: Labors are forced to live in poor conditions with many sharing a small room in a slum. Water is scarce and drinking water more so. Access to clean toilets is limited and disease spreads. There is lack of civic amenities like sewage. Their children are often deprived of schools and playgrounds.
  • Lack of investment in education: The sporadic nature of employment opportunities and lack of job security not only undermines their financial stability but also impedes their ability to plan for the future and invest in skill development or education.
  • Increased vulnerability to economic shocks: The absence of adequate social protection mechanisms further exacerbates their financial insecurity, leaving them vulnerable to economic shocks and crises.

3: Dimension-Required measures

  • Efforts are needed to address the structural barriers that perpetuate the marginalization of daily wage workers.
  • This includes implementing measures to ensure fair wages, improve working conditions, and expand access to social protection schemes such as unemployment benefits and healthcare services.

Fact Box:

Gross Value Added 

Gross Value Added is the value of goods and services produced by an industry, sector, manufacturer, area or region in an economy.

Minimum Wage

  • The national floor level minimum wage (NFLMW) is the minimum wage below which no state government can fix the minimum wage. It was brought into effect from 1996 by the Centre. State governments can set their own minimum wages.
  • India is planning to replace its minimum wage system with a living wage by 2025 to lift millions out of poverty and ensure their well-being.
  • Government schemes/Acts for labourers
  • Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (ABPMJAY) provides health cover. 
  • Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-dhan (PM-SYM) Pension Scheme provide old age protection to unorganised sector workers
  • Others: One Nation One Ration Card Scheme under National Food Security Act, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gramin Kaushal Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, Gareeb Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyan, Mahatma Gandhi Bunkar Bima Yojana, Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana, PMSVANidhi, Pradhan Mantri Kaushal  Vikas Yojana etc.
    • Atmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana (ABRY, Unemployment benefit under Atal Beemit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana (ABVKY), Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyan (PMGKRA), National Social Assistance Program, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gramin Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY), Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyan (PM-GKRA), Pradhan Mantri Kisan Maan-Dhan Yojana (PM KMDY), Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi etc.


Q:‘Despite the implementation of various programmes for eradication of poverty by the government in India, poverty is still existing’. Explain by giving reasons. (UPSC 2018)
Q: While we found India’s demographic dividend, we ignore the dropping state of employability. What are we missing while doing so? Where will the jobs that India desperately needs come from? Explain (UPSC 2014)


The world is set to witness the first solar eclipse of 2024 that crossed North America, passing over Mexico, the United States, and Canada.


  • A solar eclipse occurs when the moon “eclipses” the sun.
  • This means that the moon, as it orbits the Earth, comes in between the sun and the Earth, thereby blocking the sun and preventing any sunlight from reaching Earth.
  • During the eclipse, the environment undergoes dramatic changes. Temperatures drop, wind pattern changes, stars appear, and diurnal animals may alter their behaviour in response to the sudden darkness.

There are four types of solar eclipses:

Partial solar eclipse:

The moon partially covers the sun, creating a crescent shape. In this case, observers will notice a reduction in sunlight. 

Annular solar eclipse

It occurs when the moon is too far away from the Earth to completely cover the sun's disk. This results in a ring of sunlight, or an annulus, around the dark silhouette of the moon. The unobscured and glowing ring, or “annulus,” around the sun is also popularly known as the “ring of fire.”

Total solar eclipse:

The moon totally blocks out the sun for a few minutes, leading to a period of darkness -- and the resulting eclipse is called a total solar eclipse. Solar corona can be witnessed during this.

Hybrid solar eclipse

A hybrid solar eclipse is when the type of eclipse changes between annular and total as the moon's shadow moves across the curved surface of the Earth.


Before the 18th Lok Sabha, the major concerns of discerning voters are about the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and whether their vote is recorded as cast. This concern can be best addressed by a simple solution and that is to present voters a proof of their vote (VVPAT slip), so that it becomes a second source of truth of the election process, after the Electronic Voting Machine.

About Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail

  • Introduced first time in India in the 2014, Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) is basically a ballot-less vote verification system connected with the EVM.
  • It is a machine that prints a paper slip of the candidate’s name, serial number and the party’s symbol after a voter has cast their vote.
  • To avoid election fraud, it displays the paper slip for seven seconds for the voters to check if their vote has been cast for their chosen candidate.
  • The paper slip then drops down to a locked compartment that only the polling agent can access.
  • The slips are not handed over to the voters. The collected slips can be used to audit voting data stored electronically.


The number of women candidates grew 16-fold from 1957 to 2019, as per latest ECI data.

Key-highlights of the Data
  • In 1957, there were just 45 women candidates contesting the Lok Sabha election; by 2019, this figure had risen to 726.
  • The percentage of women in Parliament has increased from 4.5% in 1957 to 14.4% in 2019.
  • The number of male candidates has grown from 1,474 in 1957 to 7,322 in 2019.
  • This means that the number of men contesting has multiplied by five times; for women, the growth has been 16-fold.
  • In 1957, a mere 2.9% of candidates were women; in 2019, they make up around 9% of the total pool of candidates.
  • However, the number of women candidates has never yet crossed 1,000.


Semiconductor chip manufacturing capabilities are currently limited to very few regions in the world. Due to limited manufacturing and threat of supply chain disruptions, India has realised the importance of investing in chip manufacturing infrastructure.

What is a semiconductor?

  • Semiconductors are materials that possess properties between those of conductors (such as metals) and insulators (such as glass or plastic).
    • The most commonly used semiconductor material is silicon (Si).
  • The conductivity component of semiconductors can be altered by introducing impurities through a process called "doping." By adding specific impurities, the semiconductor's electrical properties can be controlled.
  • Application: Microprocessors, memory chips, commodity integrated circuits, microcontrollers, transistors and others.

How is semiconductor chip manufactured?

  • A semiconductor chip is manufactured much like a postage stamp.
  • A sheet of stamps is printed on a piece of paper and then each individual stamp is cut out.
  • Similarly, an array (typically 300-400) of chips are printed on a circular piece of semiconductor (called a wafer in industry parlance).
  • This is then diced to create individual chips.

Fact Box: Recent Government Initiatives

  • Semicon India Programme was approved in 2021 for the development of semiconductors and display manufacturing ecosystems over the next six years.
  • India Semiconductor Mission (ISM) was set up within Digital India Corporation to drive India’s strategies for developing semiconductors and display ecosystem.
  • Plant: The TATA group has partnered with Taiwan’s Powerchip Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (PSMC) to set-up a 300mm wafer fabrication plant in Gujarat
  • Two assembly and test plants in Gujarat and Assam have also been recently approved by the Government of India.


On April 8, 1911, Dutch physicist Heike Kamerlingh Onnes discovered the phenomena of superconductivity.

What is superconductivity?

  • Superconductivity is the ability of certain materials to conduct a direct electric current(DC) with practically zero resistance.
  • This capacity produces interesting and potentially useful effects. For a material to behave as a superconductor, low temperatures are required.
  • Application: They are used in creating powerful electromagnets in MRI scanners, particle accelerators, generators, transportation, computing, electric motors, medical, power transmission, etc.

Fact Box:

  • Superconductivity was discovered in 1911 by Heike Kamerlingh-Onnes. For this discovery, the liquefaction of helium, and other achievements, he won the 1913 Nobel Prize in Physics.
  • Five Nobel Prizes in Physics have been awarded for research in superconductivity (1913, 1972, 1973, 1987, and 2003).


In a new report, the Health of Nation Report by Apollo Hospitals unveiled a concerning surge in non-communicable diseases (NCDs) across India, with the nation witnessing an alarming rise in cancer cases.  India's trajectory in cancer cases, surpassing global rates, has earned it the dubious title of the "cancer capital of the world."

Key-highlights of the Report

  • The most common cancers in order of occurrence in India are breast cancer, cervix cancer and ovarian cancer among women.
  • The median age for cancer diagnosis in India is lower than in other countries:
    • 52 years: Average age of breast cancer diagnosis in India versus 63 in the US and Europe
    • 59 years: Average age of lung cancer diagnosis versus 70 years in the West
    • 30%: Share of colon cancer patients aged less than 50 years
  • Despite these trends, cancer screening rates in India remain very low:
    • 9%: Breast cancer screening in India compared to 82% in the US, 70% in the UK, and 23% in China
    • 9%: Cervical cancer screening in India compared to 73% in the US, 70% in the UK, and 43% in China

Fact Box: About Cancer

  • Cancer is a disease in which abnormal cells divide uncontrollably and destroy body tissue.
  • It can start almost anywhere in the human body, which is made up of trillions of cells.
  • Normally, human cells grow and divide to form new cells as the body needs them. When cells grow old or become damaged, they die and new cells take their place.
  • When cancer develops, this orderly process breaks down. As cells become more and more abnormal, old or damaged cells survive when they should die and new cells form when they are not needed.
  • These extra cells can divide without stopping and forms tumors, which can spread through the blood or the lymph system and form new tumors far from the original tumor.
  • Causes of Cancer:
    • Biological or internal factors, such as age, gender, inherited genetic defects and skin type
    • Environmental exposure, to UV radiation, and fine particulate matter
    • Occupational risk factors, like carcinogens such as chemicals, radioactive materials
    • Lifestyle-related factors


An AI program known as “Lavender” has been used by the Israeli Defense Force to identify targets in Gaza since the start of the war. Though Israel has rejected the claims.


  • According to the investigation, Lavender used broad parameters to identify potential targets, designating about 37,000 people for potential air strikes.
  • It reportedly used machine learning to identify characteristics of militants and assigned people a score of 1-100, based on factors including association with suspected militants and frequently changing their phone.
  • Lavender marks people — and puts them on a kill list.
  • The program was developed, as per the joint investigation, by Israel Defense Forces’ elite intelligence division, Unit 8200. This is similar to America’s National Security Agency or UK’s GCHQ.





Conductor and Semiconductor

  • Conductors: Materials that easily conduct electricity (i.e., materials with high electrical conductivity and low electrical resistivity)
  • Semiconductors: Materials with an electrical conductivity value that falls between that of a conductor and that of an insulator.


Direct current (DC)

Direct current (DC) is an electric current that is uni-directional, so the flow of charge is always in the same direction. 


Electronic voting machine (EVM)

  • An electronic voting machine (EVM) is a portable instrument for the purpose of conducting elections to the parliament, legislature and local bodies like panchayats and municipalities.
  • EVM is a microcontroller-based instrument designed to modernise the election procedure and there is no scope for invalid votes and total secrecy of voting data is maintained and it also facilitates quick and accurate counting


Non-communicable diseases (NCDs)

NCDs refers to a group of conditions that are not mainly caused by an acute infection, result in long-term health consequences and often create a need for long-term treatment and care. These conditions include cancers, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic lung illnesses.


Myanmar has been embroiled in internal conflict since the military coup in February 2021, resulting in a de facto division between the military government and the Resistance. The situation has escalated, posing serious risks to civilians and prompting concern from the UN Secretary-General and other experts.

Ground Reality and Humanitarian Crisis:

  • Escalating Conflict: The expansion of conflict in Rakhine State and the forcible recruitment of youth into the military is worrying. Furthermore, there is a significant increase in air strikes by the military and estimated millions displaced, with dire humanitarian needs.
  • Challenges in Aid Distribution: Despite vast humanitarian needs, the flow of aid remains minimal due to logistical challenges. Myanmar's internal stakeholders, including the SAC and the Resistance, are unable to de-escalate violence or facilitate humanitarian assistance, necessitating external help from regional partners like ASEAN, China, India, and Bangladesh.
  • Need for External Assistance and Dialogue: Myanmar's friends must push for an early cessation of fighting and suggest pathways for the nation's return to normalcy. ASEAN's efforts, like the Five Point Consensus, have fallen short, underscoring the need for innovative dialogue mechanisms.

India's Role and Regional Implications:

  • India's Potential Contribution: India, as a major neighbor, possesses the capacity to aid Myanmar's resolution process. Indian experts should develop practical proposals considering power dynamics and regional geopolitics to advise policymakers and shape the regional approach.
  • Threat to Regional Peace: The crisis in Myanmar not only affects its internal stability but also poses a threat to regional peace and progress. India's engagement is crucial to prevent further escalation and ensure stability in its eastern neighborhood.
  • Call for Pragmatic Solutions: Indian experts can play a vital role in crafting pragmatic solutions that address Myanmar's complex dynamics, considering historical context and regional implications. India's proactive involvement can mitigate the risk of regional destabilization stemming from Myanmar's prolonged crisis.
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World Health Day, observed annually on April 7, focuses on health equity, emphasizing its importance in global health and justice. The World Health Organization (WHO) highlights health as a fundamental human right under the theme "My Health, My Right."

Health Equity and its Significance:

  • Defining Health Equity: Health equity ensures equal opportunity for individuals to achieve their highest health potential, irrespective of their circumstances. It addresses social, economic, and environmental factors impacting health outcomes, aiming to eliminate preventable disparities.
  • Challenges and Root Causes: Root causes of health inequities include poverty, discrimination, limited access to education, clean water, and healthcare. Pandemics, climate change, and sociopolitical unrest exacerbate these disparities, particularly in diverse countries like India.
  • Global Efforts and Challenges: The fight for health equity faces global challenges, including pandemics, climate change, and conflicts, requiring collective international action. COVID-19 has highlighted the disproportionate impact on marginalized groups, widening the health equity gap.

India's Health Equity Challenges and Initiatives:

  • Persistent Obstacles: India faces challenges in health equity, with notable differences in healthcare outcomes and access, especially in rural areas and urban slums. Disparities across caste, gender, and economic status contribute to varied health outcomes.
  • Need for Comprehensive Approach: Addressing health equity in India requires a comprehensive strategy beyond healthcare facility improvements. Initiatives like Ayushman Bharat and National Health Mission aim to reduce disparities by expanding access and strengthening infrastructure.
  • Role of Stakeholders: Governments, civil society, healthcare providers, and communities must collaborate to address socioeconomic determinants of health. Health literacy, community-driven initiatives, NGO involvement, and international support play crucial roles in achieving health equity.
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Recent discussions among AI commentators highlighted the limitations of Dall-E, OpenAI's image generation technology, in generating certain imaginative scenarios, sparking reflections on the differences between machine and human cognition.

Dall-E's Limitations:

  • Difficulty with Bizarre Prompts: Dall-E struggles to generate images for prompts that involve outlandish scenarios, such as a horse riding an astronaut. Instead, it tends to default to more familiar or easily interpretable images, raising questions about its capacity for understanding and imagination.
  • Comparison with Human Cognition: Unlike human minds, which can navigate through the abstraction of bizarre prompts and construct imaginative images, Dall-E's process appears mechanistic and utilitarian. It lacks the nuanced understanding and imaginative leaps characteristic of human cognition.
  • Impact on Artistic Creation: The limitations of generative AIs like Dall-E have implications for artistic creation, particularly in literature and cinema. While some may find solace in AI's lack of understanding and imagination, it poses a threat to the economies of artistic creation by flooding the market with unoriginal or near-plagiarised content.

Implications for Artistic Economy:

  • Shift in Artistic Economy: The rise of generative AIs challenges the existing economy of artistic creation, where a few works garner the majority of revenue. As AI technology advances and production costs approach zero, human-created literature and cinema risk becoming luxury items, exacerbating winner-takes-all dynamics.
  • Threat to Artistic Autonomy: OpenAI's legal battles and the organization's response suggest a looming threat to artistic autonomy. AI algorithms like Dall-E depend on existing human-created content but may not offer fair compensation or recognition to artists. This poses a significant challenge to sustaining artistic livelihoods.
  • Call to Action for Artists: Artists, including those who currently use AI to aid their work, must heed the warning signs and advocate for their rights. As AI technology continues to evolve, it is essential to protect the integrity of artistic creation and ensure fair compensation for creators in the face of changing economic landscapes.
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