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InstaLinks :  help you think beyond the issue but relevant to the issue from UPSC prelims and Mains exam point of view. These linkages provided in this ‘hint’ format help you frame possible questions ina your mind that might arise(or an examiner might imagine) from each current event. InstaLinks also connect every issue to their static or theoretical background. This helps you study a topic holistically and add new dimensions to every current event to help you think analytically

Table of Contents:

GS Paper2:

  1. Lessons from COVID: Jharkhand’s 1st survey of migrants
  2. The Indus Waters Treaty, and why India has issued notice to Pakistan seeking changes


GS Paper 3:

  1. UNDP India launches campaign to drive an inclusive circular economy
  2. Fighting The Big G
  3. Cheetah project to bring in 12 big cats from South Africa


Content for Mains Enrichment (Ethics/Essay/ Governance)

  1. Quotes: Pariksha Pe Charcha 2023: PM Modi


Facts for Prelims

  1. ASI should come up with substantive criteria: EAC on national monuments
  2. Ramcharitmanas of Tulsidas
  3. Kashmir’s Pashmina shawls
  4. Bharat Parv 2023 inaugurated at Red Fort
  5. World Economic Situation and Prospectus 2023 report
  6. Genetically Engineered Trees
  7. Aditya L1: India’s first mission to study the Sun will be launched by June-July
  8. Kelp forests losing unique traits due to climate change
  9. Mapping


Lessons from COVID: Jharkhand’s 1st survey of migrants

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Governance, Indian Economy and issues relating to Planning, Mobilization of Resources, Growth, Development and Employment


Source: IE

 Direction: The article tries to give an overview of migration in India and the reasons for internal migration and the size of the migrant labour force, issues faced by them, etc.


Context: The first Jharkhand Migrant Survey (JMS) was recently conducted across 24 districts of the state.



  • Nearly 8.5 lakh migrant workers belonging to the state travelled back to Jharkhand during the Covid crisis.
  • The lessons from that journey have now prompted the state government to launch a key exercise for its migrant population,
    • To map the major sectors of engagement for migrant workers,
    • Find the social security benefits available to their families and
    • Identify the health hazards they face.
  • The initiative is part of the state’s Safe and Responsible Migration Initiative (SRMI), which was launched in 2021-end and includes the preparation of a database of migrant workers.
  • Jharkhand is not the only state to conduct migrant labour surveys. Kerala has been a pioneer in this field, followed by states like Tamil Nadu and Punjab.
  • But there is a basic difference in labour movement between Kerala and Jharkhand. In Kerala, workers mostly go abroad (mainly to Gulf countries). However, the issue is internal migration in Jharkhand.


Overview of Migration:

  • Migration is the movement of people away from their usual place of residence, across either internal (within the country) or international (across countries) borders.
  • As per the 2011 Census data, India had 6 crore migrants in 2011 (38% of the population) compared to 31.5 crore migrants in 2001 (31% of the population).
  • 99% of total migration was internal and immigrants (international migrants) comprised 1%.
  • Internal migrant flows can be classified on the basis of origin and destination.
    • One kind of classification is i) rural-rural (largest – 54%), ii) rural-urban, iii) urban-rural and iv) urban-urban
    • Another way to classify migration is (i) intra-state, and (ii) inter-state. In 2011, intra-state movement accounted for almost 88% of all internal migration (39.6 crore persons).
    • As of 2011, UP (83 lakh residents) and Bihar were the largest source of inter-state migrants while Maharashtra (60 lakh people) and Delhi were the largest receiver states.


Reasons for internal migration and size of the migrant labour force:

  • Overall, 8% of people moved within a state for work (21% of male migrants and 2% of female migrants).
  • Movement for work was higher among inter-state migrants – 50% of male and 5% of female interstate migrants.
  • As per the Census, there were 5 crore migrant workers in 2011, which, according to the Working Group Report on Migration, underestimates the migrant worker population.

Apart from this, one of the major reasons for inter-state or intra-state migration among women is Mairrage (Push factor).


Issues faced by migrant labour:

  • Article 19(1)(e) of the Constitution, guarantees all Indian citizens the right to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India, subject to reasonable restrictions in the interest of the general public or protection of any scheduled tribe.
  • However, people migrating for work face key challenges including:
    • Lack of social security and health benefits and poor implementation of minimum safety standards law,
    • Lack of portability of state-provided benefits especially food provided through the public distribution system (PDS) and
    • Lack of access to affordable housing and basic amenities in urban areas.


Steps taken by the government with regard to migrant labour:


Way ahead: Four labour codes – Code on Wages 2020, Industrial Relations Code 2020, Social Security Code 2020 and Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code 2020 – needs to be notified soon.


  • In India, the Concurrent List includes the subject of labour. Therefore, it is necessary for the central and state governments to work together to develop a plan for the welfare of migrant workers.
  • Before executing such a plan, an accurate estimation of migrant workers is required.


Insta Links:

 Remote voting for migrant workers

The Indus Waters Treaty, and why India has issued notice to Pakistan seeking changes

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: International Relations


Source: IE

 Direction: The article covers the Indus Waters Treaty and why it is a bone of contention between India and Pakistan.  It also briefly covers the current state of India-Pak relations.


Context: New Delhi has issued a notice to Islamabad seeking modification of the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT).



  • The notice follows Pakistan’s continued “intransigence” in implementing the treaty, by raising repeated objections to the construction of hydel projects on the Indian side.
  • India is invoking Article XII (3) of the treaty to bring changes to the 1960 pact.


IWT and its dispute redressal mechanism:

  • IWT is a water-distribution treaty between India and Pakistan, brokered by the World Bank (WB), to use the water available in the Indus River and its tributaries. It is often cited as an example of the possibilities of peaceful coexistence despite the troubled relationship.
  • It was signed in Karachi in 1960 by then-Indian PM Jawaharlal Nehru and then-Pakistani president Ayub Khan.
  • The Treaty gives control over the waters of the three “eastern rivers” – the Beas, Ravi and Sutlej (BRS)- to India, while control over the waters of the three “western rivers” – the Indus, Chenab and Jhelum -has been given to Pakistan.
  • India has about 20% of the total water carried by the Indus system while Pakistan has 80%.
  • The treaty allows India to use the western river waters for limited irrigation use and unlimited non-consumptive use for such applications as power generation.
  • India has 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.
  • The dispute redressal mechanism provided under the IWT is a graded 3-level mechanism.
  • Under the IWT, whenever India plans to start a project, it has to inform Pakistan. The concerns have to be cleared at the levels of the Indus Commissioners → Neutral Expert → Court of Arbitration, in a graded manner.


The history of the dispute over the hydel projects:

  • There has been a longstanding dispute over two hydroelectric power projects – one on the Kishanganga river (a tributary of Jhelum) and the other on the Chenab (Ratle).
  • Pakistan has raised objections to these projects, and dispute resolution mechanisms under the Treaty have been invoked multiple times. But a resolution has not been reached.
  • In 2022, the WB announced to concurrently appoint a Neutral Expert and a Chair of the Court of Arbitration to resolve the dispute, which as per India poses practical and legal challenges.
    • Pakistan had demanded the constitution of a Court of Arbitration, while India demanded a Neutral Expert to resolve the dispute.


What conclusions can be drawn from India’s most recent decisions?

  • India has not fully utilised its rights over the waters of the Indus system.
  • Over the last few years, especially since the Uri attack, there has been a growing demand in India to use the IWT as a strategic tool, considering that India has a natural advantage being the upper riparian state. In the aftermath of the Uri attack, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said, ‘blood & water can’t flow together at the same time.’
  • Accordingly, India has been working to start several big and small hydroelectric projects that had either been stalled or were in the planning stages.


The treaty has remained “uninterrupted” because India respects its signatory and values transboundary rivers as an important connector in the region in terms of both diplomacy and economic prosperity.


India-Pakistan relations:

The current state:

●        Prior to 2016: Characterised by intense engagement, terror attacks, Indian responses, a breakdown of talks and eventual resumption of talks.

●        Post-2016The Pathankot airbase attack followed by a terror attack in Uri, prompted India to respond via ‘Surgical Strikes” and practical ‘Freezing of Relations’.

●        Pulwama Terror Attack (2019): India retaliated through the Balakot airstrike.

●        Abrogation of Article 370: further deepened the divide.

●        Age of Cold peace:  on the Line of Control, inside Kashmir and in the verbal exchanges between the two sides.

○        A state of relative peace between two countries characterised by mistrust and hostile internal policies between the two governments and citizens is referred to as cold peace.

●        Indications of improved relations: thanks to cricket diplomacy, India may visit Pakistan in 2023 following a 15-year gap.

●        Pakistan’s PM wish to offer a white flag to India in a recent interview for the betterment of the Pakistani economy and its people.

●        India’s invitation to Pak PM after 12 years to attend a high-level SCO meet being hosted by India at Goa.


 Key challenges ahead for India-Pak relations:

●        The China-Pakistan axis in Asian geopolitics: Pakistan and Chinese leaders describe their ties using metaphors such as “higher than the mountains” and “deeper than the oceans”. Pakistan’s economic dependence on Beijing has increased in recent years. Due to Pakistan’s current economic crisis as a result of declining foreign exchange reserves and mounting debt, India may face growing Chinese influence in South Asia as a whole and Pakistan in particular (CPEC).

●        Terror atmosphere: brooded by Pakistan is hampering India’s efforts to peace.


Multilateral settings are often viewed as opportunities for countries with problematic relations to find a way forward. India should utilise this opportunity to iron out differences with Pakistan.



Insta Links:

Indo-Pakistan relations


Mains Links:

Q. “Increasing cross-border terrorist attacks in India and growing interference in the internal affairs of member-states by Pakistan are not conducive for the future of SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation).” Explain with suitable examples. (UPSC 2016)

UNDP India launches campaign to drive an inclusive circular economy

GS Paper 2

Source: ET


Context: The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) launched a campaign to drive an inclusive circular economy as part of its initiative to promote sustainability.


Key features of the campaign:

  • The project is a scale-up of existing partnership under UNDP’s flagship Plastic Waste Management Programme to develop a sustainable model for plastic waste management in India
  • End-to-end management of plastic waste by promoting:
    • Segregation of waste at the source
    • Collection of the segregated waste
    • Setting up Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs) for recycling all kinds of plastic waste
  • Partnership with the Private sector:g. Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) will also help build the capacities of Urban Local Bodies for adopting the MRFs or Swachhata Kendra
  • Collaborations: The project is a collaboration between municipal corporations, corporates, Safai Saathis, and people to work together for cleaner and greener cities.
  • Reach out: The project will reach out to 100,000 households for segregation at the source



7 Pillars of Circular Economy:



Initiatives towards Circular Economy:

  • Global:
    • Germany and Japan have made the ‘Circular Economy’ part of their economic planning
    • China’s Circular Economy Promotion Law
  • India:
    • Recognition of the circular economy concept in the 2022-23 Budget
    • Vehicle Scrappage Policy 2022: Private vehicles older than 20 years will be deregistered from June 1, 2024, if they fail the fitness test or their registration certificate is not renewed.
    • Niti Aayog along with the EU has prepared a strategy paper on ‘Resource Efficiency’
    • Battery Waste Management Rules 2022
    • Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules 2022
    • e-Waste Management Rules 2022
    • Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) certificates


Inst Curious:

The Kabadiwala (a startup) was founded in 2014 and offered free doorstep scrap collection services to households, retailers, and industries in Bhopal.

Want to know about “How can you do your bit to fight climate change?” read these three innovative stories in today’s CME below.


Insta Links:

Clean energy should use the battery of a circular economy


Mains Links:

Q. Explain the concept of the circular economy. Giving examples, discuss its utility in India. (250 Words)

Fighting The Big G

GS Paper 3

Syllabus: Indian Economy

Source: TOI

Context: Google this week began to change the business model used in India to push its Android operating system (OS) and the Google Play Store.

  • The change was triggered by the Supreme Court setting January 26 as the deadline for Google to comply with the Competition Commission of India’s rulings.


The Changes made by Google:

  • In the new model, instead of creating a bouquet of apps, smartphone makers can license individual apps from Google.
  • Google’s search engine will not necessarily be the default setting


What is the ‘walled garden approach’ adopted by Google:

Android’s dominance (under-walled garden approach) is based on a complex model of cross-subsidies. Google offers free services such as a search engine and email, thereby making a huge user base. This user base is then monetised for advertising revenue. Even third-party apps cannot all wish away Google. Google controls both sides of this advertising ecosystem- the users as well as third-party app developers, making it a walled garden.


Other initiatives taken to break Google’s monopoly:

  • South Korea: It imposed curbs on the proprietary billing system of Google and Apple.
  • EU’s upcoming Digital Markets Act: It will prevent “gatekeepers” from engaging in anti-competitive behaviour. It will no longer be business as usual for the Android OS ecosystem


Previously, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) had imposed a penalty ( and upheld by the supreme court) on Alphabet-owned Google for “abusing its dominant position” in markets related to the Android mobile device ecosystem.

  • The CCI stated that Google contravened competition law due to mandatory pre-installation of the entire Google Mobile Suite (GMS)and there was no option to uninstall the same.


What are anti-trust laws? 

Antitrust laws are regulations that encourage competition by limiting the market power of any particular firm. Essentially, these laws prohibit business practices that unreasonably deprive consumers of the benefits of competition, resulting in higher prices for products and services. In India, The Competition Act, 2002 regulates such activities.


About CCI

The Competition Commission of India (CCI, constituted in 2009) is a statutory body of the Government of India responsible for enforcing the Competition Act, 2002. The Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969 (MRTP Act) was repealed and replaced by the Competition Act, 2002, on the recommendations of the Raghavan committee.

  • It consists of one Chairperson and six Memberswho shall be appointed by the Central Government.
  • The Competition Act, 2002 (amended in 2007) prohibits anti-competitive agreements, and abuse of dominant position by enterprises and regulates combinations (acquisition, acquiring of control and M&A), which cause or are likely to cause an appreciable adverse effect on competition within India.

Insta Links

Apple faces antitrust case in India over apps issue


Prelims link

  1. What is an anti-trust case?
  2. CCI- roles, responsibilities and functions
  3. Important anti-trust-related cases
  4. Competition Commission Act

Mains link

Q. Ensuring fair competition in the Indian digital market is in the best interest of every stakeholder involved. Comment. (10M)

Cheetah project to bring in 12 big cats from South Africa

GS Paper 3

Syllabus: Environment, Conservation


Source: TH

 Direction: The article highlights the significance of cheetah reintroduction in India.

 Context: India has signed an agreement with South Africa to translocate 12 cheetahs (seven male and five female) to the Kuno Palpur National Park (KNP) in Madhya Pradesh.



  • ‘Cheetah’ (Acinonyx Jubatus Venaticus) originates from Sanskrit and means ‘the spotted one’.
  • The Cheetah is the fastest land animal in the world.
  • Its historical range includes the majority of Sub-Saharan Africa and extends eastward to India.
  • It is the only large carnivore that went ‘Extinct’ in India due to overhunting and habitat loss.
  • The last cheetah died in the Koriya district of present-day Chhattisgarh in 1947 and the species was declared extinct in 1952.
  • According to the Wildlife Institute of India’s (WII) “Action Plan for Reintroduction of Cheetah in India,” 50 wild cheetahs that are ideal for starting a new cheetah population would be imported as a founder stock over five years initially.
  • The PM of India released the first batch of eight cheetahs (five females and three males) from Namibia into a quarantine enclosure at Kuno last year.
  • Some modifications have been made to the current bomas (wildlife cages constructed often for the treatment or quarantine of animals).


Significance of reintroducing cheetahs:

  • In- situ Conservation of species.
  • Beneficial to the entire ecosystem → save its prey base comprising certain threatened species and endangered species of the grasslands and open forest ecosystems.
  • They pose no danger to humans or large livestock.


Why is KNP given the highest priority for reintroduction?

  • Suitable habitat and adequate prey base.
  • Assessed to be capable of supporting 21 cheetahs.
  • Devoid of human settlements: Villages have been completely relocated from within the park.
  • Enables the coexistence of the four big cats found in India – the tiger, lion, leopard, and cheetah, as they have in the past.


Why are cheetahs coming from Africa?

  • Asiatic cheetahs found in Iran are categorised as critically endangered.
  • The highest genetic variation, which is essential for a founding population stock, is found in African cheetahs.
  • African cheetahs have been determined to be the ancestors of all other Cheetah




The other sites recommended for holding and conservation breeding of cheetahs in India, in controlled wild conditions are:

  1. Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary, Madhya Pradesh
  2. Gandhi Sagar Wildlife Sanctuary – Bhainsrorgarh Wildlife Sanctuary complex, Madhya Pradesh
  3. Shahgarh bulge in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan
  4. Mukundara Tiger Reserve as the fenced enclosure, Rajasthan


Inta Links:

Cheetah reintroduction project


Prelims Links: (UPSC 2020)

Which one of the following protected areas is well-known for the conservation of a sub-species of the Indian swamp deer (Barasingha) that thrives well on hard ground and is exclusively graminivorous?

    1. Kanha National Park
    2. Manas National Park
    3. Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary
    4. Tal Chhapar Wildlife Sanctuary


Ans: 1


Content for Mains Enrichment (Ethics/Essay/ Governance)


 Pariksha Pe Charcha 2023: PM Modi

Source: Financial express

  • On technology de-addiction: Use technology but don’t let technology use you
    • Adopt “digital fasting” once a week
    • Create a ‘no technology’ zone in their homes
    • Consider yourself smarter than the gadgets
  • On learning from criticism: Criticism is an integral part of India’s democracy and students should learn from it to avoid getting affected by negative comments.
  • On languages: Knowing a different language helps you give a sense of familiarity to the other person


Facts for Prelims

ASI should come up with substantive criteria: EAC on national monuments

 Source: BS

Context: The Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) has suggested that the government should come up with a detailed procedure for declaring ‘Monuments of National Importance’ (MNI)

 Key points from the report titled ‘Monuments of National Importance – Urgent Need for Rationalisation’:

  • Absence of definition of term ‘National Importance’
  • Allocation of funds for the protection of MNI should be increased
  • ASI should publish a book of notifications for all MNI
  • Remove unimportant ones:g. around 75 British cemeteries/graves are considered as MNI currently.
  • 24 monuments of national importance are untraceable, but still considered as MNI
  • Minor monuments and antiquities should be denotified as MNI and monuments with local importance should be transferred to respective states for protection
  • Over 60 per cent of MNI are located in just 5 states – Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. While the city of Delhi alone has 173 MNI

India currently has 3,695 MNI that are under the protection of ASI. The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act (AMASR Act), 1958, (amended in 2010) provides for the declaration and conservation of ancient and historical monuments and archaeological sites and remains of national importance. The Central Government is authorised to maintain, protect and promote the monuments.


Criteria for declaration of the monument as national importance

  • Ancient monument or archaeological site is not less than 100 years old
  • It has a special historical, archaeological or artistic interest
  • No objection from interested public


Ramcharitmanas of Tulsidas

Source: IE

 Context: In news due to a recent controversial statement made by a state minister against Ramcharitmanas.


The Ramcharitmanas:

  • The poem was written in the 16th century in the Awadhi
  • It is divided into seven chapters (Kand) that tell the story of Lord Ram from birth to his becoming King of Ayodhya.
  • The Ramcharitmanas is based on the Ramayana – sage Valmiki’s great epic.


Goswami Tulsidas:

  • Tulsidas, a Brahmin whose original name was Ram Bola Dubey, composed the Ramcharitmanas on the bank of the Ganga in Varanasi.
  • Tulsidas was a contemporary of Emperor Akbar, and it is believed that he was in touch with Abdurrahim Khan-e-Khanan, the son of Akbar’s commander Bairam Khan.
  • Tulsidas made the story of Lord Ram popular among the masses because he wrote in the regional dialect that most people understood.
  • This attracted the wrath of ancient Sanskrit scholars, and Tulsidas recorded his pain in his Kavitawali.


Kashmir’s Pashmina shawls

 Source: TH

Context: It is a fabric that is adored and respected all around the world as pashmina or cashmere.

Background: The French empress Josephine, who was given a Kashmiri Kani shawl by her husband, Emperor Napoleon, in the 18th century, was instrumental in reviving a dying craft in Kashmir by popularizing it in Europe.



  • The term ‘Pashmina’ has been derived from the Persian word “Pashm” meaning wool.
  • It is a GI-certified wool that has its origin in the Kashmir region of India.
  • Due to the high quality of the wool used and the labour-intensive process required to make each individual piece, pashmina shawls are quite expensive.
  • The Changthangi goats (Capra Hircus), domesticated in Ladakh, are the source of the wool used to weave Pashmina Shawls.
  • The Changpa tribes of Ladakh who herd the Changthangi goats harvest the raw Pashm.


Shahtoosh: It is the name given to the wool of the Tibetan chiru (Endangered in the IUCN Red List) antelopes.


Bharat Parv 2023 inaugurated at Red Fort

Source: PIB

 Context: The six-day mega event “Bharat Parv” is being organized by the Government of India, as part of the Republic Day Celebrations.


About Bharat Parv:

  • Bharat Parv was previously held from 2016 and virtually in the year 2021
  • The physical event is being organized after a gap of 2 years.
  • The event would have a Food Festival, Handicraft mela, folk and tribal dance performances, performances by cultural troupes, a Display of Republic Day Tableaux, illumination of Red Fort etc.
  • Branding and promotion of Dekho Apna Desh, Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat, G20 and Mission LIFE would be undertaken during the event.
  • Ministry of Tourism has been designated as the nodal Ministry for the event, the highlights of which include showcasing of the best Republic Day Parade tableaux at the venue, cultural performances by the Zonal Cultural Centres as well as cultural troupes from States/ UTs, a pan – India Food Court and a pan – India Crafts Bazaar.


Significance Of Bharat Parv:

  • To Promote the Spirit Of Freedom
  • To celebrate independence and the history of India.
  • Extension Of Republic Day Events.
  • Promoting India’s Food Diversity
  • Promoting Vocals for Local


World Economic Situation and Prospectus 2023 report

Source: ET

Context: UNDESA (in partnership with UNCTAD and five regional UN commission) have produced this report.


Key observations:

  • The world economy was much affected by COVID-19 lockdowns and the war in Ukraine in 2022
  • World output growth will decelerate to 1.9% in 2023 (from 3% in 2022)
  • On South Asia: The economic outlook has “significantly deteriorated due to high food and energy prices, monetary tightening and fiscal vulnerabilities” with average GDP growth projected to moderate to 4.8% in 2023 from 5.6% in 2022
  • On India: Economic growth in India is projected to moderate in 2023, with higher interest rates weighing on investment and slower global growth weakening exports

It recommends Reprioritization of public expenditures esp. in education, health and digital infrastructure;  more social protection,



The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) (est. 1948; HQ: New York) is part of the UN Secretariat and assists countries around the world in agenda-setting and decision-making with the goal of meeting their economic, social and environmental challenges (including SDG Goals)



The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (est. 1964; HQ: Geneva, Switzerland) is an intergovernmental organization within the United Nations Secretariat that promotes the interests of developing countries in world trade.


Genetically Engineered Trees

Source: DTE

 Context: USA is debating whether to allow a genetically engineered (GE) version of the American chestnut tree (currently functionally extinct) to spread in the wild.

  • The US has already developed and field tested the GE version, known as Darling 58, and is now awaiting clearance from government agencies to grow them in the wild.
  • The population of the American chestnut, a deciduous tree native to North America, dwindled in the first half of the 20th century when a fungal blight, Cryphonectria parasitica, killed over four billion trees.


Initiatives by other countries for GE Trees:

  • China allows commercial plantation of GE Poplar Tree (insect-resistant)
  • India experimenting with GE Rubber tree( extreme climatic stress-tolerant): This is made possible by inserting MnSOD gene (manganese-containing Superoxide Dimutase)


What are GE Trees?

A genetically modified tree (GMt, GM tree, genetically engineered tree, GE tree or transgenic tree) is a tree whose DNA has been modified using genetic engineering techniques. It can help in fighting climate change by sequestering more carbon; boost biofuel production;  help in growing more timber, pulp etc.


Concerns: GE Trees may contaminate other trees along with animals; also not many scientific studies done on the long-term impact of GE trees


Aditya L1: India’s first mission to study the Sun will be launched by June-July

Source: TH

 Context:  The Aditya-L1 mission will be launched by ISRO to the L1 orbit (which is the first Lagrangian point of the Sun-Earth system)

  • Aditya-L1 is the first Indian space mission to observe the Sun and the solar corona
  • L1 orbit allows Aditya-L1 to look at the Sun continuously
  • It will be launched aboard a PSLV-XL launch vehicle


The objective of the mission:

To study solar upper atmospheric (chromosphere and corona) dynamics and understand the physics of the solar corona and its heating mechanism.



Aditya-L1 has seven payloads in total, of which the primary payload is the Visible Emission Line Coronagraph(VELC).

  • VELC is a solar coronagraph capable of simultaneous imaging, spectroscopy and spectro-polarimetry
  • Significance: No other solar coronagraph in space has the ability to image the solar corona as close to the solar disk as VELC can. It can image it as close to 1.05 times the solar radius.


About Lagrange points:

The Lagrange points are points of equilibrium for small-mass objects under the influence of two massive orbiting bodies. At Lagrange points, the gravitational pull of two large masses precisely equals the centripetal force required for a small object to move with them. These points in space can be used by spacecraft to reduce fuel consumption needed to remain in position.


Kelp forests losing unique traits due to climate change

Source: DTE


  • According to a new study, Kelp forests (large brown algae seaweeds) are declining because of climate change.


What is a Kelp Forest?

  • They are underwater ecosystems formed in shallow water by the dense growth of several different species.
  • Kelp can also persist at lower latitudes, aided by cool water upwelling or in deep-water refugia where they are protected by thermocline (transition layer between the warmer surface water and the cooler deep water).
  • Keystone Species: They provide underwater habitats to hundreds of species and thus have great ecological and economic value.
  • Provide Ecosystem Services: such as coastal protection and carbon sequestration.
  • They also provide recreational and tourism value for scuba diving, snorkelling, and kayaking.
  • Their loss will lead to a decline in the unique biodiversity that they support.

Findings of the study:

  • Kelp populations at equatorward-range edges are most vulnerable to climate change as these locations are undergoing warming beyond thermal tolerance thresholds.
  • The unique adaptive genetic diversity that the rear-edge populations (populations in warm, low-latitudes) may contain is also under threat due to rapid warming.


What is the thermal tolerance threshold?

The ability of an organism to withstand high temperatures after prior exposure to moderate temperatures. For example, Ecklonia radiata, the dominant and most widely distributed Laminarian kelp in the southern hemisphere, rapidly succumb to warmer temperatures in spring and summer when temperatures exceed 27 degrees Celsius.


Way ahead: Kelp forests are incredibly important ecosystems that are worth protecting and preserving for their ecological, economic, and social benefits. To ensure that genetic diversity is protected, it is essential to identify refuge areas, which are places that support a lone or extinct population of a once more common species.



Kelp forests are often referred to as “underwater rainforests” because of their high biodiversity and productivity.






Philosophy/Sociology: IE: In Good Faith: Pranam vs Pramana — why faith and science must co-exist

Agriculture/Geography: TH: India’s groundwater governance is in better shape (also see today’s editorial article)

Economy: TH: The Moral and intellectual crises in economic policies (also see today’s editorial article)

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