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Tamil Sangamam of Saurashtra

Tags: GS1 Art and Culture

In News

  • The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, spoke via video conferencing at the conclusion ceremony of Saurashtra Tamil Sangamam.

About Saurashtra Tamil Sangamam

  • • With this in mind, the Kashi Tamil Sangamam was held previously, and the Saurashtra Tamil Sangamam continues this vision by celebrating the shared culture and heritage of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu.
  •  The finalized plans include bringing prospective visitors from Tamil Nadu to see the Statue of Unity, the largest statue of Sardar Sahib in the world, as well as Somnath-Dwarka.


  • Importance:  From the Saurashtra region, many people migrated to Tamil Nadu centuries ago.
  • The Saurashtra Tamil Sangamam gave Saurashtra Tamils the opportunity to reconnect with their roots and commemorate their shared traditions and values.
  • During the 10-day confluence, more than 3,000 Tamils from Saurashtra traveled to Somnath on a special train.
Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat programme

  •  In 2015, on the occasion of the 140th birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who played a significant role in the post-independence unification of the country, the esteemed prime minister launched it.
  •  It is a one-of-a-kind initiative by the government to promote the spirit of national integration and to strengthen the emotional ties between the people of our nation.

Source: TH


Policy for the Sector of Medical Devices

Tags: GS 2 Government Policies & Interventions Health

In News

  • The Union Cabinet has approved the policy for the medical devices sector, and six implementation strategies have been devised to maximize the sector’s potential.

Medical Device Sector in India

  • The current market size of the medical devices industry in India is estimated to be $11 billion (approximately? 90,000 crores) in 2020, with a 1.65% share of the global market.
  • India is the fourth largest medical device market in Asia, after Japan, China, and South Korea, and one of the top 20 globally.
  • The medical devices industry in India is comprised of both large multinational corporations and expanding small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs).
  • Under the Make in India Campaign of 2014, it was designated as a Sector of India’s Future.

Need for the Policy

  • Sunrise Sector: The medical devices industry in India is an emerging market that is expanding rapidly. On the basis of these measures, a comprehensive policy framework is required to accelerate this growth and realize the sector’s potential.
  • Universal Healthcare: The Indian medical devices industry is on the rise and has enormous potential to achieve self-sufficiency and contribute to the attainment of universal health care.
  •  The contribution of the Indian medical devices sector to the domestic and international fight against the COVID-19 pandemic has become even more notable as a result of India’s massive production of medical devices and diagnostic instruments.
  • Orderly Growth: The National Medical Devices Policy, 2023 is anticipated to facilitate the orderly growth of the medical device sector in order to achieve the public health goals of access, affordability, quality, and innovation.
  • While various government departments have implemented programmatic interventions to encourage the sector, the current policy seeks to implement a comprehensive set of focal areas for the coordinated growth of the sector.
  • Promoting indigenous investment and production of medical devices complements the government’s ‘Make in India’ and ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiatives.
  • Salient Features of National Medical Devices Policy, 2023
  • Vision: To provide an accelerated development path with a patient-centric approach and to emerge as the global leader in the manufacturing and innovation of medical devices by achieving a 10 to 12 percent share of the expanding global market within the next 25 years.
  • It is anticipated that the Medical Devices Sector will grow from its current $11 billion to $50 billion by 2030 as a result of policy.
  • Mission: Access & Universality, Affordability, Quality, Patient-Centred & Quality Care, Preventive & Promotive Health, Security, Research & Innovation, and Skilled Manpower are the missions for which the policy maps out a roadmap for accelerated growth of the medical devices sector.
  • Strategies to Promote Medical Device Sector: Strategies that will encompass the following six broad policy intervention areas:
  • Regulatory Streamlining: To facilitate research and business, a ‘Single Window Clearance System’ for Licensing of Medical Devices will be implemented, co-opting all stakeholder departments/organizations, enhancing the role of Indian standards, and devising a coherent pricing regulation.
  • Enabling Infrastructure: For improved convergence and backward integration with the medical device industry, State Governments and Industry will pursue the establishment and strengthening of large medical device parks and clusters equipped with world-class common infrastructure facilities in close proximity to economic zones.
  • Facilitating R&D and Innovation: The policy intends to advance R&D in India and supplement the Department’s proposed National Policy on R&D and Innovation in the Pharma-MedTech Sector. In addition, it seeks to establish Centres of Excellence in academic and research institutions, innovation centers, plug-and-play infrastructures, and startup support.
  • Attracting Investments in the Sector: In addition to recent programs and initiatives such as Make in India, Ayushman Bharat, Heal-in-India, and Start-up mission, the policy encourages private investments, a succession of funding from Venture Capitalists, and Public-Private Partnership(PPP).
  • Human Resources Development: Leverage the available resources in the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship for skilling, reskilling, and upskilling of professionals in the medical device sector;
  • The policy will support dedicated multidisciplinary courses for medical devices in existing institutions and to meet the evolving needs of the Sector;
  • To develop partnerships with foreign academic/industry organizations to develop medical technologies in order to be in a position to compete in the global marketplace; and
  • Brand Positioning and Awareness Creation: Creation of a sector-specific Export Promotion Council within the Department, which will allow for the resolution of various market access issues:
  • Initiate studies and initiatives to learn from the best global practices of manufacturing and skilling systems in order to investigate the viability of adopting such successful models in India.
  • Promote more forums that bring together diverse stakeholders for knowledge sharing and the development of robust sector-wide networks.
  • Steps Taken by Government of India to ensure the growth of the sector
  • Production Linked Incentives: To increase domestic production, the government has launched Production Linked Incentive Schemes for medical devices with financial incentives totaling $456 million.
  • Development of Medical Devices Parks: New Medical Devices Parks will soon be established in Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu in order to establish a robust ecosystem for medical device manufacturing.
  • Policy Support: National Medical Devices Policy to facilitate strong collaborations for enhancing the medical devices ecosystem, and National Research and Development Policy to foster interdisciplinary collaborations for the development of translational skills and the startup ecosystem.
  • Source: PIB

Permanent Forum of the United Nations on Indigenous Issues

Tags: GS 2 Government Policies & Interventions Important International Institutions

In News

  • During its 22nd session, the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) called for the full participation of indigenous people in their socio-economic development and the preservation of their culture, dialects, and environment.
  • Additionally, the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is celebrated annually on August 9.

About the Session

  • The representative urged member states to guarantee the full participation of indigenous peoples at the diplomatic conference of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on a draft genetic resources and associated knowledge instrument.
  • The UNESCO representative stated that Article 16 of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People recognizes the right of indigenous peoples to establish their own media. Media is essential for providing accurate information, raising awareness, and motivating action in response to global issues.
  • The representative of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework emphasized that the framework acknowledged the full participation of indigenous peoples and local communities.


  • The framework provides a road map for addressing environmental challenges through biodiversity, conservation, and sustainable use, as these elements are crucial for a more just and sustainable future for everyone.

Indigenous Peoples & Issues of Them

  • Under international law and policy, there is no authoritative definition of indigenous peoples, and the Indigenous Declaration does not provide a definition.
  • Indigenous peoples are marginalized and discriminated against in the legal systems of many nations, making them even more susceptible to violence and abuse.
  • There are 476 million indigenous people in the globe, living in over 90 countries. Seventy percent of them are located in Asia.
  • China has the largest indigenous population in terms of absolute numbers. More than 125 million indigenous people, including Tibetans, Uyghurs, Zhuang, and 52 other recognized groups, make up 8.9% of China’s population. India has 104 million indigenous people (8.6 percent of the population). They suffer from higher rates of landlessness, malnutrition, and internal exile than other groups due to colonialism.

Significance of indigenous peoples

  • Long before the emergence of modern science, which is relatively recent, indigenous peoples developed their knowledge of how to survive as well as their concepts of meanings, purposes, and values.
  • Additionally, the term “scientific knowledge” is used to emphasize that traditional knowledge is modern, dynamic, and of equal value to other types of knowledge.


United Nations Permanent Forum On Indigenous Issues (UNPFII)

  • About: Economic and Social Council’s (ECOSOC) highest advisory body is the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII).
  •  The Forum was established by resolution 2000/22 on 28 July 2000.
  •  The Permanent Forum is one of three UN entities charged with addressing indigenous peoples’ issues. The Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples are the others.
  • Mandate: To address issues pertaining to indigenous economic and social development, culture, the environment, education, health, and human rights.
  • Functions:
  •  To promote the integration and coordination of activities pertaining to Indigenous Peoples’ issues within the UN system; and to promote respect for and complete application of the provisions of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, as well as to monitor its effectiveness.
  • Headquarter:  New York City.

Source: DTE

Modified Decision on Eco-sensitive Zones by the SC

Tags: GS 3 Conservation

In News

  • The Supreme Court recently modified its ruling to require eco-sensitive zones (ESZ) surrounding protected forests.

More about the news

  • The previous judgment of SC: 
  •  On June 3, 2022, the supreme court mandated that the one-kilometer buffer zone surrounding protected areas serve as a “shock absorber.”
  • Its decision was to implement mandatory eco-sensitive zones (ESZ) of at least one kilometer around protected forests, national parks, and wildlife refuges nationwide.
  • Issue:
  • Nonetheless, the Centre and several states, including Kerala, had returned to the apex court to seek a modification of the June 2022 judgment, arguing that the judicial directive affected hundreds of villages on the forest fringes.
  • Apex court’s opinion:
  •  The court agreed, stating, “The purpose of declaring ESZs is not to impede the citizens’ day-to-day activities.” The day-to-day activities of citizens residing in ESZs would be significantly hindered if the current directive is maintained. Consequently, we believe that the trajectory must be altered.”
  • Modified judgment: 
  • The Supreme Court reasoned that ESZ cannot be uniform across the nation and must be “protected area-specifically.”
  • The court stated that strict adherence to the verdict from June 2022 would do more harm than good. First, man-animal conflict would intensify rather than diminish.

Eco Sensitive Zone (ESZ)

  • The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Government of India has designated the Eco-Sensitive Zone (ESZ) around protected areas, national parks, and wildlife sanctuaries in India.
  • Range:
  •  Declare as ecologically vulnerable under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, all identified areas surrounding Protected Areas and wildlife corridors (National Wildlife Action Plan, 2002-2016).
  •  Eco-sensitive zones could extend up to 10 kilometers around Protected Areas. • In cases where sensitive corridors, connectivity, and ecologically significant areas, which are essential for landscape connectivity, are wider than 10 kilometers.
  •  Furthermore, eco-sensitive zones may not be homogeneous throughout and may vary in width and size.
  • Prohibited activities: 
  • Polluting industries and other activities Prohibited activities include commercial mining, sawmills, establishment of significant hydroelectric projects (HEP), commercial use of wood, tourism, discharge of effluents or solid waste, and production of hazardous substances.
  • Regulated activities:
  •  Activities such as the felling of trees, the establishment of hotels and resorts, the commercial use of natural water, the installation of electrical cables, the radical transformation of the agricultural system, such as the adoption of heavy technology and pesticides, and the expansion of roads.
  • Permitted activities:
  • All activities are permitted, including ongoing agricultural or horticultural practices, rainwater harvesting, organic farming, use of renewable energy sources, and incorporation of green technology.

Significance of Eco Sensitive Zone (ESZ)

  • Conservation:
  • ESZs aid in in-situ conservation, which involves preserving an endangered species in its natural habitat.
  • For instance, the conservation of the One-horned Rhino in Kaziranga National Park, Assam, is facilitated by ESZs.
  • They reduce deforestation and human-animal conflict.
  • Buffer zone:
  • The protected areas are based on the core and buffer model of management, which also protects and benefits local communities.
  • ESZs serve as “shock absorbers” for protected areas, mitigating the negative effects of adjacent human activities on “fragile ecosystems”
  • These locations are intended to serve as a transition zone between areas requiring greater protection and those requiring less.
  • Mitigating climate change:
  •  Biodiversity and global warming are interrelated. The establishment of SEZs may aid in mitigating the rise in temperature.
  • Significance of Recent Judgment:
  • It can contribute to more sustainable development.
  • The recent ruling will also protect tribal rights, preserving their culture, diversity, etc.



  • Doubts on the methods used:
  •  The declaration in the decree is criticized for lacking a scientific basis.
  • According to experts, an ESZ should not be proclaimed evolved without first undergoing participatory planning.
  • Settlements around protected areas:
  • A one-kilometer area surrounding protected areas is likely to contain low-income housing colonies, historical monuments, and areas used for subsistence, such as river floodplains.
  •   In the case of Kerala, there is a high population density near notified protected areas.
  • Topographical differences:
  • Numerous habitat varieties exist, including mountains, grasslands, forests, and oceans. However, the order makes no mention of this.
  • The entire Sundarbans region is ecologically sensitive. It is challenging to enforce a 1 km boundary in interconnected marine space.
  • We cannot allow the destruction of nature in the name of development to persist.

Way Ahead

  • Declaring protected locations should involve a collaborative planning process.
  • The Center must devise a plan to reward producers for adhering to environmentally friendly practices in Eco-Sensitive Zones (ESZ).
  • Communities surrounding Protected Areas in a number of states should advocate for the preservation of Eco-Sensitive Zones (ESZ).


Protected Areas of India

•      Protected areas are those in which human occupation or at least the exploitation of resources is restricted.

•      The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) provides the widely accepted definition of protected areas in its categorization guidelines for protected areas.

•      There are various types of protected areas, which vary in level of protection based on the enabling legislation of each nation or the regulations of the international organizations involved.

•      The term “protected area” also encompasses:

·         Marine Protected Areas, the boundaries of which include a portion of the ocean, and o Transboundary Protected Areas that span multiple countries and eliminate internal borders for conservation and economic reasons.

Source: IE


Tags: GS 3 Science & Technology Space

In News

  • According to a new study published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, the collision of two galaxies initiates quasars.
  • Using deep imaging observations from the Isaac Newton Telescope on La Palma, researchers were able to detect the collisions.

What are Quasars?

  • A quasar (also known as a QSO or quasi-stellar object) is an active galactic nucleus (AGN) that emits a tremendous amount of light.
  • Quasars were first identified sixty years ago. They reside in the supermassive black holes that reside at the center of galaxies.
  • As a supermassive black hole consumes gas and particles, it emits enormous quantities of energy in the form of radiation, producing a quasar.
  • A black hole is a region in space where matter is so densely packed that it generates a gravitational field from which even light cannot escape.

What does the study say about Quasars?

  • Quasars are a consequence of galaxies crashing together: The majority of galaxies contain supermassive black holes in their centers. They also contain substantial quantities of gas, but this gas is typically orbiting at great distances from galaxy centers, beyond the reach of black holes.
  •  Collisions between galaxies propel the gas toward the black hole at the center of the galaxy; just before the gas is consumed by the black hole, it emits extraordinary quantities of energy in the form of radiation, resulting in the quasar’s characteristic brilliance.
  • Future Prospects of Galaxies: The ignition of a quasar can have profound effects on entire galaxies; it can expel the galaxy’s remaining gas, preventing it from forming new stars for billions of years in the future.
  •  In approximately five billion years, when our Milky Way galaxy collides with the Andromeda galaxy, it will likely represent our galaxy’s future.
  • Significance of quasars
  • Quasars play a crucial role in our understanding of the universe’s history and potentially the Milky Way’s future.
  • Quasars serve as “cosmic lighthouses,” enabling scientists to observe the universe’s farthest reaches.
  • The James Webb Space Telescope will investigate the universe’s primordial galaxies. The telescope can detect light from even the most distant quasars, which were emitted approximately 13 billion years ago.

Source: DTE

Situation of Left Wing Extremism (LWE) in India

Tags: GS 3 Internal Security

In News 

  • Ten members of the District Reserve Guard (DRG) of the Chhattisgarh Police were reportedly slain in an IED attack by Maoists in the state’s Dantewada district.

Reasons for recent attacks 

  • The timing of the assault is consistent with the Maoist strategy of increased military activity and increased attacks on security forces during the summer months.
  • Between February and June of each year, the CPI(Maoist) conducts Tactical Counter Offensive Campaigns (TCOCs) in which its military wing seeks to inflict casualties on security forces.
  • This period is chosen because it becomes difficult to conduct offensive operations in the jungles when the monsoon begins in July.
  • There are impassable, overflowing nullahs.
  • There is tall vegetation and shrubbery everywhere, reducing visibility.
  • As the monsoon begins, both Maoists and security forces return to their respective camps.

LWE situation in the country

  • Background: Since the 1960s, left-wing extremists, also known as Maoists worldwide and Naxalites/Naxalism in India, have posed a significant threat to India.
  •  The term Naxalism derives from the West Bengal village of Naxalbari, where a 1967 peasant revolt against local landlords over a land dispute took place.
  • Ideology:  The Maoist insurgency doctrine exalts violence as the primary means to overthrow extant socioeconomic and political structures.
  •  The CPI (Maoist) Party is the primary Left-Wing Extremist organization responsible for the majority of violent incidents and deaths of civilians and security personnel.
  • The principal LWE organization in India seeks to overthrow the existing democratic state structure using violence as their primary weapon, as well as mass mobilization and strategic united fronts as complementary components, and to usher in the so-called ‘New Democratic Revolution’ in India.
  •  Affected Areas 
  • It is believed that the Naxal presence in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha, Jharkhand, and Bihar, which were once their strongholds, is minimal to nonexistent.
  • Chhattisgarh is the only state in India where Maoists maintain a significant presence and the capacity to launch large-scale attacks.
  • Present Status 
  •  The influence of Maoists and associated violence has been steadily declining in the country due to multiple factors, including a stronger push by security forces in Maoist strongholds, roads and civic amenities reaching the interiors to a greater extent than in the past, and a general disillusionment with Maoist ideology among the youth, which has deprived the insurgent movement of new leadership.
  • Data Analysis: Since 2010, the government reports that Maoist violence in the country has decreased by 77%.
  •  The number of resulting fatalities (security forces and civilians) has decreased by 90%, from 1,005 in 2010 to 98 in 2022.
  • Issues and Concerns 
  • Security forces are large and well-trained, but lack local knowledge and intelligence.
  • Consequently, they lack lethal combat capabilities
  • Inadequate infrastructure development: there are no appropriate roads, schools, or hospitals.
  • Infrastructural issues, such as the fact that some villages are not yet adequately connected to any communication network. o Different terrain and demographics.
  • The minimal presence of the administration in the interiors of some regions has insured that Maoists continue to wield influence in the region and enjoy a mix of local support based on fear and goodwill.

Governments Response

  • For nearly twenty years, the federal government has maintained a large CRPF presence in the affected states.
  • In Chhattisgarh, the CRPF has been steadily expanding its footprint by opening new camps deeper into the jungles of South Bastar.
  • The CRPF raised a Bastariya Battalion comprised of recruits from the local population who were familiar with the language, terrain, and could provide intelligence.
  • The center is advocating for the installation of mobile sites in the interiors, which would help locals connect to the mainstream and also generate technical knowledge.


  • As many as 2,343 mobile towers have been erected in LWE zones since 2014.
  • The Centre has also deployed the Counter-terrorism National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Enforcement Directorate against cadres, leaders, and sympathizers of the CPI(Maoist) in an effort to stifle their financing.
  • In 2015, the government of India (GoI) authorized a ‘National Policy and Action Plan to address LWE’ to combat the Left-Wing Extremism (LWE) threat comprehensively.
  • Security-Related Expenditures (SRE) are primarily used to equip security forces to combat Maoists.
  • The Special Infrastructure Scheme (SIS) seeks to bolster local police and intelligence organizations.
  • Central Assistance for the Construction of Infrastructure, Including Roads, in LWE Districts
  • Over the past year, the Border Security Force’s air wing has been bolstered with the addition of new pilots and engineers to assist in anti-LWE operations, and the Ministry of Home Affairs has also taken steps to choke off funding to proscribed organizations.
  • States such as Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha, and Jharkhand were able to end their Maoist problem as a result of the active participation of their local police in a leading role.
  • Each of these states created specialized police divisions comprised of personnel and officers from within the state, provided them with specialized training, and won the war through concerted security and development efforts.
  • S. Vyas, an IPS officer, established the Greyhounds force in 1989 to combat the growing Maoist menace in Andhra Pradesh.

Other steps 


  • It is a widely acknowledged tenet of counter-Maoist strategy that the war against left-wing extremism can be won by the state police and not the federal government.
  • This is due to the fact that the state police have local knowledge, understand the language, and have local networks that are essential for the generation of intelligence.
  • The Maoists must be forced to give up their armed struggle, and this can only occur if the tribal people and peace-promoting civil society activists are also empowered.
  • Civil society and the media must exert pressure on Left Wing Extremists to abandon violence and join the mainstream.
  • The Government of India believes that the LWE problem can be effectively addressed through a holistic approach focusing on development and security-related interventions.

Source: IE

Mahila Samman Saving Certificate Account

Tags: GS 3, Indian Economy & Related Issues Inclusive Growth & Related Issues

In News

  • The Mahila Samman Savings Certificate (MSSC) account was opened by the Union Minister for Women and Child Development and Minority Affairs.

About Mahila Samman Savings Certificate Scheme

  • It is a new small savings program introduced exclusively for female investors and announced in the Budget 2023 to encourage investment among women.
  • Accounts opened under this scheme will be single-holder accounts that can be opened at any registered bank or the Post Office.
  • Who can open a Mahila Samman Savings account? Any woman can open a Mahila Samman account for herself or a young girl.
  • There must be a three-month gap between the existing account and the establishment of a new account.
  • Limit on minimum and maximum investment: The minimum permitted investment is Rs 1,000, and the maximum permitted investment is Rs 2 lakh.
  • Interest rate: 7.5% annually
  • Payment on maturity:  After two years from the date of account opening, the depositor will receive their eligible balance.
  • Withdrawal from account: After one year from the date of account inception, but before the account matures, the account holder may withdraw up to forty percent of the balance.
  • Premature closure of account: The account shall not be closed prior to maturity except in the following instances:

 Upon the account holder’s demise

  • On the basis of extreme compassion (i) life-threatening illness of the account holder (ii) death of the account holder’s guardian upon production of relevant documents.
  • Interest on the principal amount is payable at the rate applicable to the Scheme for which the account was held when an account is closed prematurely.

Source: PIB