Online Quiz Test

Venus Has an Active Volcano

GS1 Physical Geography

In Context

  • A new analysis of archival radar images taken around three decades ago has found direct geological evidence of recent volcanic activity on the surface of Venus.


  • Scientists made the new discovery by pouring over images of Venus taken by NASA’s Magellan spacecraft between 1990 and 1992.
  • During their examination, they looked at the planet’s Atla Regio area, where two of the biggest volcanoes of Venus, Ozza Mons and Maat Mons, are located.


What are the findings?

  • A vent situated on the north side of a domed shield volcano that is part of the larger Maat Mons volcano that changed significantly in shape and size between February and October 1991.

The “computer models of the vent in various configurations to test different geological-event scenarios concluded that only an eruption could have caused the change.


Significance of Findings

  • The volcanoes act like windows to provide information about a planet’s interior, the new findings take scientists a step further to understand the geological conditions of not just Venus but also other exoplanets.
    • An exoplanet is a planet outside our own Solar System, sometimes referred to as an extrasolar planet.

The findings give a glimpse of what more is to come regarding Venus as in the next decade, three new Venus missions would be launched, including the European EnVision orbiter and NASA’s DAVINCI and VERITAS missions.


What is a Volcano?

  • A volcano is a vent or fissure in Earth’s crust through which lava, ash, rocks, and gases erupt.
  • A volcano can be active, dormant or extinct. An eruption takes place when magma (a thick flowing substance), formed when the earth’s mantle melts, rises to the surface.
  • The magma is lighter than solid rock, it is able to rise through vents and fissures on the surface of the earth. After it has erupted, it is called lava.
  • Not all volcanic eruptions are explosive since explosivity depends on the composition of the magma.
  • When the magma is runny and thin, gases can easily escape it, in which case, the magma will flow out towards the surface and if the magma is thick and dense, gases cannot escape it, which builds up pressure inside until the gases escape in a violent explosion.


Venus Has an Active Volcano


About Planet Venus

  • Earth’s Twin: Venus is Earth’s closest planetary neighbour which is similar in structure but slightly smaller than Earth, it is the second planet from the sun. Therefore, Venus has been called Earth’s twin.
  • Thick & Toxic Atmosphere: Venus has an atmosphere 50 times denser than Earth’s. Venus is wrapped in a thick, toxic atmosphere filled with carbon dioxide that traps in heat.
  • Inhabitable:  Venus is the hottest planet in the solar system. The temperature of Venus is too high, and its atmosphere is highly acidic, just two of the things that would make life impossible. Surface temperatures reach a scorching 880 degrees Fahrenheit (471 degrees Celsius), hot enough to melt lead.
  • Other Features: It has no moons and no rings. Venus’ solid surface is a volcanic landscape covered with extensive plains featuring high volcanic mountains and vast ridges. It spins from east to west, the opposite direction from all other planets in our solar system but the same as Uranus.

Source: IE

Theory of Zoonoses for SARS-COVID-2

GS 2 Health GS 3 Science & Technology

In News

  • Recently, new evidence supporting the zoonotic origin of COVID has emerged.



  • A zoonotic disease is an infectious disease that is spread from animals to humans (or from humans to animals).
  • Viral zoonotic diseases include rabies, marburg disease, MERS, monkeypox, and nipah. Bacterial zoonoses cause diseases such as anthrax, brucellosis, plague, leptospirosis, salmonellosis, and lyme disease. There are two prevalent explanations for the origin of the covid.
  • One is that the virus was already present in animals, with the first human infection occurring in Wuhan’s meat market. The alternative theory proposes that the virus originated in a parasitic laboratory and spread from there.
  • In accordance with the evidence presented to the Scientific Advisory Group for the Origins of Novel Pathogens, samples from the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market contained the virus and human genetic material.


Increasing Incidence

  • Ecological changes: Due to the unchecked exploitation of ecosystems, humans have come into contact with unaccustomed ecosystems containing potential pathogens.
  •  Increased trade in animal products: Increased trade in Wool, bone meal, meat, etc. has facilitated the spread of disease into new territories.
  • Climate Change: Due to increase in temperature places which were inhospitable  for micro organisms have become more hospitable.



  • Zoonotic diseases are more difficult to predict and manage as a result. They divert valuable state resources and have the greatest impact on vulnerable groups.
  • The mortality rate rises as comorbidities that were manageable prior to the pandemic become fatal as the body becomes weakened fighting zoonotics.
  • The increased use of antibiotics to treat zoonotic diseases leads to the emergence of antimicrobial resistance, which makes it more difficult to combat infections.
  • Isolation protocols are required for the control of zoonotic pathogens due to the ease with which they spread.

With isolation, all economic activity ceases.


Way Forward

  • Rather than separate protocols, our health system should incorporate the concept of one health, which leads to collaboration between local, national, and global experts in public health, health care, forestry, veterinary, environmental, and other related fields to achieve optimal health for humans, animals, and the environment.

Source: TH

Convention on Diplomatic Relations of Vienna

GS 2 India & Foreign Relations

In News

  • India has lodged a strong protest against the United Kingdom over the vandalism at the Indian High Commission in London.
  • The Deputy High Commissioner was reminded of the UK’s basic obligations under the Vienna Convention.”


Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 

  • About:
  •  It provides a comprehensive framework for the establishment, maintenance, and termination of diplomatic relations between independent sovereign states on the basis of consent.
  • It entered into force in 1964 and is nearly universally ratified, with the exceptions of Palau and South Sudan.
  • It codifies the time-honored practise of diplomatic immunity, in which diplomatic missions are granted privileges that allow diplomats to carry out their duties without fear of coercion or harassment by the host country.


Key Provisions: 

  • Article 22 confirms the inviolability of mission premises, prohibiting any right of entry by law enforcement officers of the receiving State and imposing on the receiving State a special obligation to protect the premises from intrusion, damage, disturbance of the peace, or violation of dignity.
  • Even in response to a violation of this inviolability or an emergency, the premises may not be entered without the permission of the mission chief.
    • According to the Vienna Convention, a “receiving State” is the host nation of a diplomatic mission.
  • The security of any High Commission or Embassy is primarily the responsibility of the host country. While diplomatic missions may also employ their own security, the ultimate responsibility for security rests with the host nation.
  • Article 24 ensures the inviolability of mission archives and documents, even outside of mission premises, so that the receiving state cannot seize, inspect, or use them in legal proceedings.
  • Article 27 guarantees free communication between a mission and its sending state by all appropriate means and prohibits the opening or detention of diplomatic bags containing such communications on the suspicion of abuse.
  • Article 29 provides inviolability for the person of diplomats, while article 31 establishes their immunity from civil and criminal jurisdiction – with specific exceptions to civil immunity where previous State practise varied.
  • Article 34 specifies the tax exemption accorded to diplomats, as well as exceptions for matters unrelated to their official duties or daily life in the receiving state.
  • Article 36 exempts diplomatic imports from customs duties for the duration of a diplomat’s posting.
  • Article 38 denies nationals and permanent residents of the receiving State all privileges and immunities, with the exception of immunity for official acts.


Vienna Conventions

• The term “Vienna Convention” can refer to any of a number of treaties signed in Vienna, the majority of which concern the harmonisation or formalisation of international diplomatic procedures.

Various Vienna Conventions

·         Convention of Vienna on Diplomatic Relations (1961)

·         Convention of Vienna on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage (1963) o Convention of Vienna on Consular Relations (1963)

·         Convention of Vienna on Road Traffic (1968)

·         Convention of Vienna on the Law of Treaties (1969)

·         Convention on the Protection of the Ozone Layer in Vienna (1985)

·         Convention of Vienna on the Law of Treaties between States and International Organizations or between International Organizations (1986)

·         Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of the United Nations (1988)


Source: TH

Prisma Mantra Sampada Yojana

GS 2 Government Policies & Interventions

In Context

  • Recently, the Prime Minister lauded the efforts of Sirsa’s farmers to demonstrate the benefits of the PM Matasya Sampada Yojana.


Fish Farming of Haryana

  • Through crop diversification, farmers in Haryana have begun to earn more money from shrimp fisheries than other crops.
  • Fish farming is conducted on a total of 785 acres of land in the state, of which 400 acres are in Sirsa. o Sirsa district, located at the southwestern end of Haryana, has the highest number of cultivators in the state.


Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY)


  • As part of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat package, it is a flagship scheme for the targeted and sustainable development of the country’s fisheries sector, with an estimated investment of 20,050 crores for its implementation from 2020-21 to 2024-25.


  • Fishing, Animal Husbandry, and Dairy Production


  • Bring about a blue revolution through the responsible and sustainable development of India’s fisheries sector.
  • To double the incomes of fishers and fish farmers, reduce post-harvest losses from 20 to 25 percent to about 10 percent, and create gainful employment in the sector.


  • It is implemented as a scheme umbrella with two distinct components: Central Sector Scheme:
  • The cost of the project will be covered by the federal government. The Government of India (GoI) will fund the entire project/unit cost (i.e., 100% GoI Funding).

Centrally Sponsored Scheme: 

  • All subcomponents/activities will be carried out by the States/UTs, and the costs will be split between the Centre and the State.
  • North Eastern & Himalayan States: 90% Central, 10% State.
  • Other States: 60% of the central portion and 40% of the state portion.
  • Effective planning and implementation of PMMSY would be supported by a well-structured implementation framework.
  • For optimal results, a “cluster or area-based approach” with the necessary forward and backward links and end-to-end solutions would be implemented.


  • “Cluster or Area-based approaches and numerous new interventions, including fishing vessel insurance, aquaculture in saline/alkaline areas, Sagar Mitras, FFPOs, and Nucleus Breeding Centres, etc.


  • From 2019–20 to 2021–2022, the Fisheries industry grew by an astounding 14.3%.
  • Fish production increased from 141.64 million tonnes in 2019-20 to a projected 161.87 million tonnes in 2021-22.
  • The sector’s exports reached an all-time high of 13,64 lakh tonnes, or Rs 57,587 crores ($7.76 billion), led by shrimp exports.

Example of Sirsa

  • Original agricultural prctice & issue of salinity:
  •  Since the beginning, farmers in this district have primarily cultivated narma, cotton, guar, paddy, and wheat.
  •  Thousands of acres of land have become salty as a result of the adoption of traditional farming in this region, where the groundwater level has dropped significantly in some areas.
  •  As the water level decreased, agricultural production ceased on these lands, causing them to become barren.
  •  The farmers’ economic condition was also adversely affected by the lack of fertile land.

Introduction of Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana:

  • Keeping in mind the condition of farmers across the nation, the central government implemented the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana to promote the Blue Revolution.
  • Sirsa has the highest concentration of fish farmers in Haryana.


  • Fish is exported from Sirsa to multiple countries, including China.
  • Its seeds and feed are brought from Andhra Pradesh by fisheries merchants. Additionally, buyers hail from Telangana and West Bengal.

Status of Fisheries Sector & way ahead

  • The fisheries sector has been recognised as a powerful income and employment generator because it stimulates the growth of a number of subsidiary industries and is a source of cheap and nutritious food;
  • at the same time, it is an instrument of livelihood for a large portion of the economically backward population of the country.
  • The fisheries sector plays an important role in the socio-economic development of the country.
  • The Blue Revolution in India demonstrated the significance of the Fisheries and Aquaculture sector.
  • The sector is regarded as a sunrise sector and is expected to play an important role in the Indian economy in the near future.
The National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB)

• NFDB was founded in 2006 as an independent organisation under the administrative control of the Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Government of India.

• It was created to increase fish production and productivity in the nation and to coordinate fishery development in an integrated and comprehensive manner.

·         A diverse array of fishery development activities, including intensive aquaculture in ponds and tanks, culture-based capture fisheries in reservoirs, coastal aquaculture, mariculture, seaweed cultivation, establishment of infrastructure, fishing harbours and fish landing centres, fishing dressing centres and solar drying of fish, domestic marketing, deep sea fishing and tuna processing, ornamental fisheries, trout culture, artificial reefs, technology upgradation and capacity building.


Source: BusinessToday

In Public Sector Banks, Women

GS 2 Governance

In News

  • Recent government data indicate an increase in the proportion of women employed by public sector banks.


  • According to data shared by the Minister of State for Finance in the Lok Sabha, the proportion of women employed in the majority of public sector banks has increased over the past year.
  • In three public sector banks, women make up at least 30 percent of the workforce.
  • Indian Overseas Bank had the highest proportion of female employees at 36% of their total workforce.
  • In its fourth report (16th Lok Sabha), the Cabinet Committee on the Empowerment of Women examined the working conditions of women in public sector banks. It offered the following recommendations:
  • It found the proportion of women in senior positions to be low and urged the government to make it a top priority.
  • It urged the government to reconsider its policies regarding the posting or transfer of women to remote locations.
  • Few female employees were aware of the resources available to them for preventing sexual harassment in the workplace.

Women’s Labour force participation 

  • According to data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), India’s Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR) has dropped from an already low 47% in 2016 to just 40%.

In Public Sector Banks, Women

  • The main reason for India’s LFPR being low is the abysmally low level of female LFPR. According to CMIE data, as of December 2021, while the male LFPR was 67.4%, the female LFPR was as low as 9.4%.


  • India ranks 135 among a total of 146 countries in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index 2022, which slipped from 112th position in 2020.
  • According to the World Bank.From 30.7% in 2006, the proportion of working age women taking part in paid work dropped to 19.2% in 2021,

Reasons for Low Participation

  • Lack of opportunities: Rural distress has affected women the most as income-generating opportunities have disappeared. The lack of suitable employment opportunities for women in rural India is severe.
  • Women education: India is among the most climate-vulnerable regions. All the improvements made over the course of decades could be wiped out in an instant by a natural disaster; the poor public infrastructure and limited state capacity make the task challenging.
  • Rising income among urban population: It has eliminated women’s economic incentive to work.
  • Unpaid work: The majority of Indian women are heavily involved in household management, which is unpaid and therefore does not qualify as participation in the labour force.
  • Demand-supply gap in employment: The country has not created enough jobs and the demand-supply gap in employment opportunities results in women deciding to stay at home.
  • Working Conditions: The non-availability of white collar jobs, disproportionate long hours and lesser job security restricts the job opportunities for educated women in India.

Government Initiatives

  • The Maternity Benefit Act entitles organised sector employees to 26 weeks of paid maternity leave. Concerning child care, the Act stipulates that all businesses with 50 or more employees must provide crèche facilities.
  • The Protection of Women from Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Act defines sexual harassment in the workplace and establishes a complaint-handling mechanism.
  • Additionally, the Equal Remuneration Act of 1976 and the Factories (Amendment) Act of 1948 seek to ensure equality and fairness in women’s working conditions.

Way Forward

  • Government policies should also begin targeting women in the unorganised sector, which employs the greatest number of women but has minimal scheme penetration.
  • In addition to this, the provision of amenities and basic infrastructure, such as childcare facilities, will go a long way towards encouraging women to enter the workforce.


Summary Report for IPCC AR6

GS 3 Conservation Environmental Pollution & Degradation

In Context

  • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has released the sixth assessment report’s fourth and final installment.


  • The report emphasised that climate change poses a threat to human and planetary health and that the window of opportunity to secure a livable and sustainable future for all is rapidly closing.
  • Despite advancements in climate mitigation policies and legislation, the report finds that it is likely that warming will exceed 1.5°C during the 21st century.
  • The report also emphasises the economic imperative for action, finding that the global economic benefit of limiting global warming to 2°C exceeds the cost of mitigation in the vast majority of the literature evaluated.
  • The report demonstrates an irrefutable scientific consensus regarding the urgency of the climate crisis and the irreversible damage that will result if warming exceeds 1.5°C even temporarily.
  • The report assesses the physical science underpinnings of climate change, its effects, adaptation and vulnerability, and the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The IPCC is a United Nations intergovernmental body charged with advancing scientific understanding of anthropogenic climate change.

Key Takeaways from the Report

  • In the near future, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions will lead to a rise in global temperature, which is likely to reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2035.
  • Current climate policies are projected to increase global warming by 3.2°C by 2100. The current global temperature rise is approximately 1.1°C.
  • The IPCC has “very high confidence” that the risks and negative effects of climate change will increase as global warming increases.
  • To remain within the 1.5°C limit, emissions must be reduced by at least 43 percent by 2030 compared to 2019 levels, and by at least 60 percent by 2035.
  • Losses and damages will disproportionately affect the poorest and most vulnerable populations, especially in Africa and the least developed nations, thereby aggravating poverty.
  • Tracked climate finance for mitigation falls short of the levels required across all sectors and regions to limit warming to below 2°C or to 1.5°C.
  • Public and private capital flows for fossil fuels continue to exceed those for climate adaptation and mitigation.
  • By prioritising equity, social justice, inclusion, and just transition processes, ambitious climate mitigation actions and climate-resilient development would be made possible.

By prioritising equity, social justice, inclusion, and just transition processes, ambitious climate mitigation actions and climate-resilient development would be made possible.

What is a Climate emergency?

  • Climate emergency refers to the urgent and immediate need to address the escalating threats posed by climate change.
  • This is based on overwhelming scientific evidence that human activities, particularly the burning of fossil fuels, are driving global temperatures to unprecedented levels.
  • These have resulted in catastrophic consequences, including extreme weather events, sea level rise, biodiversity loss, and widespread human suffering.

Urgent climate action is required as the window of opportunity to limit global warming to 1.5°C and avert the most catastrophic effects of climate change is rapidly closing.

Need for Climate Change strategies:

  • Avoiding Catastrophic Climate Change Impacts: Implementing climate change strategies is critical to avoiding catastrophic impacts, such as mass extinctions, widespread crop failures, and irreversible damage to ecosystems.
  • Protecting Public Health: Public health can be protected by climate change strategies such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting clean energy.
  • Economic Benefits: Implementing climate change strategies can also have substantial economic benefits, such as job creation, improved energy efficiency, and decreased energy costs.
  • Mitigating Social Inequities: Climate change disproportionately affects vulnerable populations and so change strategies can help to mitigate social inequities and ensure access to a safe and healthy environment.
  • International Cooperation: Addressing climate change requires international cooperation and collaboration to build stronger relationships between countries, promote innovation and technology transfer, and build a more sustainable and resilient global economy.

key challenges:

  • Political Will:  Major nations have failed to implement climate policies, particularly those that rely heavily on fossil fuels or have powerful, change-resistant industries.
  • Technological Innovation: To combat climate change will require substantial innovation in technology, clean energy, and carbon capture and storage, as well as substantial investment and research and development.
  • Financing: Implementing climate change solutions will require significant financial resources, both in terms of public and private sector investment which can make it difficult to implement effective policies.
  • Public Awareness: Raising public awareness and building support for climate action is critical to creating the political will needed to implement effective policies.
  • International Cooperation: Getting countries to agree on common goals and strategies can be challenging, particularly when countries have different priorities and interests.

Way ahead:

  • The IPCC report emphasises the urgency of taking more aggressive action to ensure a sustainable future for all.
  • The report warns that it may be impossible to prevent the earth from warming by 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels after 2030 if significant action is not taken to reduce emissions.
  • Globally, immediate and decisive action on the climate emergency is essential for ensuring a livable future for all and preventing irreversible and catastrophic consequences for the planet and future generations. Consequently, implementing climate change strategies is essential for protecting the environment, public health, and economic prosperity, requiring a concerted effort from governments, businesses, and individuals to ensure a sustainable future for future generations.

Source: TH

Day of the Sparrow

GS 3 Conservation Biodiversity and Environment

In News

  • World Sparrow Day is celebrated annually on March 20.


  • The Nature Forever Society of India, in collaboration with the Eco-Sys Action Foundation of France, established World Sparrow Day.
  • On March 20, 2010, the first World Sparrow Day was observed to raise awareness about the sparrow population decline and the need for their conservation.

Theme for World Sparrow Day 2023

  • The theme for World Sparrow Day 2023 will be “I Love Sparrows,” which emphasises the role of individuals and communities in sparrow conservation and is a continuation of the theme from the previous year.


  • About:
  •  The sparrow belongs to the genus Passer. They are small passerine birds belonging to the Passeridae family.
  •  The genus contains approximately 30 species worldwide. The most well-known of these species is Passer domesticus, the house sparrow.
  • House Sparrow
    • Scientific Name: Passer domesticus.
    • Characteristics: It is a small brown bird, roughly the size of a tennis ball, with black streaks on its back.
  • Habitat: It is a social species that gathers in groups of eight to ten people and uses chirping and chattering to communicate.
  • It is known for building nests in cracks and holes in walls, or at the very least, using birdhouses and nest boxes that people have placed in their gardens.
  • Distribution: Almost every continent, with the exception of Antarctica, China, and Japan, is home to it. It is indigenous to North Africa and Eurasia.
  • Threats: Habitat destruction, pollution caused by microwave towers and pesticides.
  • Conservation Status: The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List classifies the house sparrow as Least Concern (IUCN).
  • In 2012, as part of a significant effort to save and educate people about the species, the house sparrow was named the state bird of New Delhi.


Enzyme Laccase

GS 3 Science & Technology

In News

  • It has been discovered that a fungi-produced enzyme called laccase can break down a variety of dangerous organic dye molecules that are frequently dumped into water bodies after being used to dye textiles.


  • This observed trait, which the researchers named substrate promiscuity, may have significant implications for the design of enzyme-coated cassettes for the environmentally friendly treatment of highly dye-polluted water.
  • The ability of laccase to break down different organic molecules was well known. The researchers saw potential in using it to create a technology to handle or degrade the dye effluents coming from the textile industry.

Source: DST

An array of sand

GS 3 Science & Technology

In News

  • Finland has installed the first sand battery capable of storing renewable energy heat for months.

What is a Sand Battery?

  • A “sand battery” is a thermal energy storage device that uses sand or sand-like materials as its storage medium. It stores energy as heat in sand. Its primary function is to serve as a high-capacity and high-power storage facility for excess wind and solar energy.

An array of sand


  • According to the International Energy Agency, heat alone accounts for fifty percent of global energy consumption, followed by transportation (30 percent) and electricity (20 percent) (IEA). 80% of the world’s energy is currently derived from polluting fossil fuels.
  • The energy is stored as heat, which can be used to heat homes or to provide hot steam and high temperature process heat to fossil fuel-dependent industries.

Currently, lithium constitutes the majority of industrial batteries used to store electricity from intermittent renewable energy sources. They are cumbersome, expensive, and cannot handle large amounts of excess power.

Source: DTE