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India-Egypt Relation: Latest Developments

In News

  • India has invited Egypt as a special guest to the G-20 summit, demonstrating the longstanding nature of our ties.
    • The main guest of the 74th Republic Day parade was Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the president of Egypt.

India-Egypt relations

    • Historical: India and Egypt, two of the oldest civilizations in the world, have a long history of close engagement.
    • Even prior to the Common Era, Ashoka’s edicts refer to his relations with Egypt under Ptolemy II.
  • In modern times, Mahatma Gandhi and the Egyptian rebel Saad Zaghloul shared a desire for freedom from British colonial authority. Three days after India gained her independence, the two countries jointly announced the formation of ambassadorial-level diplomatic ties.
  • The 75th anniversary of the two nations’ establishment of diplomatic relations is being commemorated.
  • In 1955, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and President Gamal Abdel Nasser signed a friendship pact.
  • • This connection naturally led to the Non-Aligned Movement.
  • Relationship since 2014: The year 2015 has seen more intense political cooperation between the two countries with regular interactions at the leadership and Ministerial levels. 
    • PM Shri Narendra Modi met President Sisi on the sidelines of UNGA, New York in September 2015. 
    • Their talks focussed on counter-terrorism, deepening economic engagement, and regional issues. 
  • The ties have been on an upswing in the recent past and both delegations supported reform of the UN Security Council, where Egypt was a non-permanent member during 2016-17 and India had a similar stint during 2021-22. 

Latest Developments 

  • Five Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) relating to public broadcasting, cyber security, youth collaboration, and IT were signed by Egypt and India.
  • They reaffirmed their adherence to multilateralism, international law, the basic principles of the Non-Aligned Movement, and respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all governments. They also reaffirmed their commitment to multilateralism.
  • They decided to “initiate new engagements to strengthen military-to-military engagements” and scheduled additional joint drills for the two nations’ armed services.
  • They agreed to further up coordination between their respective National Security Councils and combat terrorism in all its manifestations, “including cross-border terrorism.”
  • They indicated that they were looking into the prospect of giving Indian industries land in the Suez Canal Economic Zone.
    • The Red Sea and Mediterranean Sea are linked via the Suez Canal.
    • It is one of the busiest commerce routes in the world. Currently, the trade route is necessary to maintain the about 12% of daily global trade that travels through it.


  • Egypt, the most populous nation in West Asia, is a major actor in the area and holds a significant geostrategic position since the Suez Canal facilitates 12% of all international trade.
  • It can serve as a gateway to both Europe and Africa and is a significant market for India.
  • It also has bilateral trade agreements with significant African and West Asian countries.
  • Egypt’s pragmatism was also helpful to its relationship with India, particularly in the context of the Nupur Sharma incident in 2022, when Cairo remained silent while some Gulf nations were outspoken in their opposition to India.
  • The two nations’ cooperation will aid in the abolition of violence because the rise of extreme ideology, terrorism, and other forms of violence pose a severe threat to not only the two nations but also to all other nations in the globe.


  • Both India and Egypt are “concerned about the globalisation of terrorism” and “unanimous” in their assessment that terrorism is the “most significant security threat” to humanity.
  • Radicalization and the misuse of cyberspace to disseminate these ideologies pose an increasing threat.
  • Over the past few years, Egypt’s economy has been in complete disarray. It was severely damaged by the pandemic’s collapse in tourism, and the Russia-Ukraine war has hurt its foreign exchange reserves and affected its food supply (almost 80% of Egypt’s grain comes from these two nations).
  • India permitted shipments of 61,500 metric tonnes of wheat to Egypt last year despite limitations on wheat exports.
  • But the nation requires more.
  • In 2021–2022, China will trade with Egypt for $15 billion, double what India will do in that same period ($7.26 billion).
  • In the past eight years, Sisi has visited China up to seven times in an effort to attract Chinese investment.

Conclusion and Way Forward 

  • Concerted action is necessary to end cross-border terrorism” and they will have to together alert the international community.
  • More than six decades ago, the two countries founded the NAM. They now have an opportunity to forge a new path ahead, not just for their strategic and economic interests, but as the voice of the Global South.

Source: TH

Self- reliance in the Defence & Nari Shakti

In News

• During the Republic Day parade, India’s military self-reliance and the strength of its women shined out.

More about the news

  • Self-dependence in the military:
  • The army’s native 105-mm Indian Field Guns replaced the British-era 25-pounder guns, which had previously fired the ceremonial 21-gun salute (IFG).
  • The Arjun main battle tank, the NAG missile system, the K-9 Vajra-T gun system, the AKASH air defence system, and the Brahmos missile were among the other Made-in-India items on display by the Indian Army.
  • Women’s power:
  • The marching contingents of the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy were both led for the first time by female officers in a demonstration of women’s empowerment.
  • The Delhi Police had an all-female pipe band made up of 35 female constables, and the Central Reserve Police Force also had an all-female marching group during the parade.
  •  The concept of nari shakti, or female power, was present in the parade’s cultural tableaux in addition to the military contingents.


  • The Navy’s contingent also included three women and six men Agniveers, marking a first.
  • They are taking part in the new Agnipath scheme, which has been met with violent opposition from army hopefuls in several States, for short-term recruitment to the armed forces.

Major defence-related events in the recent period include

  • Defence equipments:
  • The INS Vikrant aircraft carrier, which was built and developed locally;
  • A submarine-launched ballistic missile was fired from the INS Arihant;
  • The radical selection of a significant private sector organisation to produce a military transport aircraft (C 295);
  • The introduction of the light combat helicopter, Prachand LCH, produced in India;
  • The conclusion of a deal with Russia for India to produce small arms and light weapons similar to Kalashnikovs.
  • Defence export:
    •  Over the past five years, India’s exports of defence products have increased eight-fold.
    •  India exports equipment and resources for the military to more than 75 nations worldwide.
    •  India’s defence exports were $1.59 billion in 2021–2022 (about Rs 13,000 crore).
Aatmanirbhar in defence production

  • Make-I Category:
    • About: 
      • The “Make” Category of the Defense Acquisition Procedure 2020 aims to increase Indian industry’s participation while also achieving self-reliance.
      • This category can be used for projects involving the design and development of key platforms, systems, equipment, or updates thereto by the industry.
    • Financial Support:
  • The Ministry of Defence will contribute money equal to up to 70% of the overall cost of developing the prototype.
  • Make-II Category:
    • It is funded by industry with assured procurement. The following platform has been listed –
  • Multiple Platform Anti-jamming Systems
  • Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) Model:
  • In accordance with this, the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and other organisations will work with private business to design and develop military systems and equipment.
  • The following two platforms fall into this category.
    • Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with a long range [High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE)]
    • India Multi-Purpose Helicopter (IMRH)
  • iDEX:
    • Projects of Start-ups, MSMEs etc. involving high-end innovation would be pursued under the iDEX category and the following platform has been selected under this category –
      • Low Orbit Pseudo Satellites.



Women’s participation in the India’s armed forces

  • Evolution:
    • o The military forces, historically regarded as a male stronghold, have successfully admitted women over the past 30 years, albeit the process has not been easy.
    • The military opened its doors to women in 1992 when the Air Force inducted its first batch.  
  • Limited combat roles:
    • In 2008, a permanent commission was extended to women in streams of Judge Advocate General (JAG) and Army Education Corps.
    • In 2015, India also opened new combat air force roles for women as fighter pilots. 
      • Women have been allowed in combat in the Air Force, but we are yet to see women in combat roles in the army and navy. 
      • Even though women have been in the forces since 1992 all roles and career options are not offered to them.
    • Women in NDA:
  • The first batch of 19 cadets has joined the tri-services academy in Khadakwasla, Pune, following the Supreme Court’s decision to let women to sit for the National Defence Academy (NDA) exam last year.
  • Significance of inducting women in defence forces in India:
  • Women officers will be given an equal chance to benefit the country.
  • The armed forces have a significant role to play and must advance gender equality inside the ranks.
  • Giving women access to more demanding and rewarding careers.
  • It would alter the “regressive attitude” that prevents women from serving in the military.
  • It will dispel a persistent myth that women are entirely responsible for taking care of the home.
Women in Police Force in India

  • About:
    • According to the data provided by the Bureau of Police Research and Development, women police personnel constitute 10.3% of the police force all across India.
  • State-wise data:
    • o The state of Bihar has the largest proportion of female police officers (25.30%), followed by Himachal Pradesh (19.15%) and Chandigarh (18.78%).
    • The highest number of women inspectors are in Tamil Nadu, 1055, followed by 425 in Maharashtra and 286 in Odisha.
  • Aim: 
    • The aim is that each police station should have at least 3 women sub-inspectors and 10 women police constables

Women in Central Armed Police Forces:

  • The total strength of women in the Central Armed Police Forces is 3.68%.



Source: TH

Autonomy at Panchayat Level


• Due to debt, the sarpanch of Telangana’s Jayashankar Bhupalpally district committed suicide.

What are the Challenges of PRI?

  • Problem of Autonomy at the Panchayati Level : Almost three decades have passed since the 73rd and 74th Amendment Acts, which granted municipal governments constitutional status.
  • State governments continue to have a significant amount of discretionary power and influence on panchayats through the local bureaucracy.
  • In India, the authority of locally elected authorities (like Telangana’s sarpanches) is still severely constrained, undermining the goal of constitutional reforms to strengthen local democracy.
    • Their own revenue streams, both tax and non-tax, account for a very small part of total panchayat funds. Gram panchayats continue to be financially reliant on handouts from the State and the Center for basic expenses.
    • Panchayats’ ability to get discretionary grants is still reliant on their network of political and administrative contacts. Sarpanches require assistance in receiving money that are given to local governments by higher levels of government.
  • Issues of Funding: Broadly, panchayats have three main sources of funds — their own sources of revenue (local taxes, revenue from common property resources, etc.), grants in aid from the Centre and State governments, and discretionary or scheme-based funds.

Delays in the disbursement of funds: By the local bureaucracy have led to pressure on sarpanches leading some to end their life. Sarpanchs are forced to use private funds for panchayat activities.

  • Double Authorisation for Spending: The sarpanch and the panchayat secretary, who reports to the Block Development Officer (BDO), must co-sign cheques issued for payments from panchayat funds.
    • State Control and Political Supervision: Gram Panchayat Acts in many States have empowered district-level bureaucrats, mostly District Collectors, to act against sarpanches for official misconduct. Sarpanches have been removed from office while still in office, unlike elected officials at other levels.
    • For Example, Section 37 of the Telangana Gram Panchayat Act allows District Collectors to suspend and dismiss incumbent sarpanches.
  • Less Discretionary power with Sarpanches: The ability of sarpanches to exercise administrative control over local employees is limited.
  • Sarpanches must enjoy the goodwill of local officials and bureaucrats in order to have access to discretionary funds, receive payments on schedule, and carry out any projects or programmes they have in mind for their community.
  • No Conceptual Clarity of Power distribution: While establishing Panchayati Raj bodies, no uniform pattern is adopted for creating units and identifying the units of planning and development.
    • The distribution of functions and powers:
  • among the institutions under the Panchayati Raj,
  • between the State government and the Panchayati Raj Institutions
  • between the Central Government and the Panchayati Raj Institutions have not been made on the basis of any morally upright principles.
  • There is a lot of overlap, confusion, and occasionally repetition in the function.
  • Structural Challenges: The expertise available to the Panchayati Raj Institutions is very limited, particularly in the field of planning, implementation, or monitoring of various developmental schemes.
    • Planning at the grassroots level remains on paper while there is a strong tendency towards centralization in the country.
  • Socio-Economic and Political Condition: The office holders and elected members of Panchayati Raj Institutions typically come from the wealthy and powerful segments of rural society.
  • They have a stake in maintaining the current system and would refrain from taking any action that might improve the situation of the oppressed in their communities.
  • The Panchayati Raj Institutions’ leadership occasionally acts as a gatekeeper to stop benefits from reaching the less fortunate members of the rural community.
  • Absence of Statutory Provisions: States may or may not constitute the Panchayati Raj Institutions. For Example, in Nagaland, Meghalaya, and Mizoram Panchayati Raj Institutions are not established. 
    • Similarly, in a number of states, elections have not been held regularly. The superseded bodies have not been revived and they are kept under the charge of special officers drawn from the civil service. 
    • The Panchayati Raj Institutions have been undermined by several constraints, particularly, the constitutional constraint which is a very serious matter. 

Way Forward

  • The Panchayati Raj Institutions can function more efficiently and effectively with the implementation of the 6th report of the 2nd Administrative Reform Commission (ARC).
  •  A distinct division of duties between each level of government for each type of law. It will be wise to include a “local government memorandum” to clarify their responsibilities when adding new laws.
  •  Genuine Budgetary Federalism, which combines fiscal autonomy and responsibility, can offer a long-term answer.
  • Capacity Building for Self GovernanceLocal self-governing institutions in rural areas must take care of the needs for organisational development as well as the professional and skill upgrading of those connected to these bodies, whether they are elected or appointed.
  • Access to debt capital markets can provide them with the scope for planned infrastructure development. Local bodies need to substantially improve their overall administrative and technical capacities to access debt, particularly long-term bonds.
  • Training from diverse subject-specific training institutions should be given to Panchayat Members who need skills and resources.
  • Determining fair tax and fee rates, enhancing collection effectiveness, and increasing financing options to guarantee the stability of revenues over time.
  • The MPLADS (Members of Parliament Local Area Development Schemes) cash can be used wisely.
  • The State Finance Commission (SFC): States have to set up State Finance Commissions to synchronize with the Central Finance Commission. The Action Taken Report on the recommendations of the SFC must compulsorily be placed in the concerned State Legislature within six months of submission and followed with an annual statement on the devolution made and grants given to individual local bodies.

Source- The Hindu

Padma Awards 2023

In News

  • Every year, on the eve of Republic Day, the winners of the Padma awards are announced.
  • A total of 106 Padma Awards with six Padma Vibhushan, nine Padma Bhushan, and 91 Padma Shri conferred across various categories.
  • The Indian President gives out the prizes.

What are Padma Awards?

  • About:
    • After the Bharat Ratna, the Padma Awards are one of the highest civilian distinctions given out in India each year on the eve of Republic Day.
    • The Award aims to honour accomplishments across all disciplines or fields where a component of public service is present.
    • There shouldn’t be more than 120 prizes given out in a given year (this excludes posthumous honours and awards presented to NRIs, foreigners, and OCIs).
    •  The award is not equivalent to a title, and the awardee’s name cannot be prefixed or suffixed with the award.
  • Categories: The Awards are given in three categories: 
  • The Padma Vibhushan is given in recognition of “great and distinguished service;
  • The Padma Bhushan is given in recognition of “distinguished service of a high degree”; and
  • The Padma Shri honours “distinguished service.”
  • Eligibility: 
    • All persons without distinction of race, occupation, position or sex are eligible for these awards. However, Government servants including those working with PSUs, except doctors and scientists, are not eligible for these Awards.
    • The award is normally not conferred posthumously. However, in highly deserving cases, the Government could consider giving an award posthumously.
    • A higher category of Padma award can be conferred on a person only where a period of at least five years has elapsed since conferment of the earlier Padma award. However, in highly deserving cases, a relaxation can be made by the Awards Committee.
  • Nominations for the awards: 
  • o The Prime Minister annually appoints the Padma Awards Committee, which receives all nominations. The Home Secretary, the Secretary to the President, and four to six distinguished individuals serve as members of the committee, which is headed by the Cabinet Secretary. The Prime Minister and President of India are asked to approve the committee’s recommendations.
  • Background:
    • The Government of India instituted two civilian awards-Bharat Ratna & Padma Vibhushan in 1954. 
    • The Padma Vibhushan had three classes namely Pahela Varg, Dusra Varg and Tisra Varg. These were subsequently renamed as Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri in 1955.

List of Awardees in  2023

Padma Vibhushan (6)

  • Posthumous Shri Balkrishna Doshi (Others – Architecture)
  • Zakir Hussain, Shri (Art)
  • S M Krishna, Shri (Public Affairs)
  • Posthumous Shri Dilip Mahalanabis (Medicine)
  • Srinivas Varadhan (Science & Engineering)
  • Posthumous Shri Mulayam Singh Yadav (Public Affairs)

Padma Bhushan(9)

  • Shri S L Bhyrappa (Literature & Education)
  • Shri Kumar Mangalam Birla (Trade & Industry)
  • Shri Deepak Dhar (Science & Engineering)
  • Ms. Vani Jairam (Art)
  • Swami Chinna Jeeyar (Others – Spiritualism)
  • Ms. Suman Kalyanpur (Art)
  • Shri Kapil Kapoor (Literature & Education)
  • Ms. Sudha Murty (Social Work)
  • Shri Kamlesh D Patel (Others – Spiritualism)

And 91 Padma shri awards were conferred in different fields.

Unsung Heros who were Conferred Padma Awards

  • Dilip Mahalanabis (Padma Vibhushan): The 87-year-old paediatrician received a posthumous award for helping to popularise the use of oral rehydration solution (ORS), which has resulted in a 93 percent decrease in the number of deaths from diarrhoea, cholera, and dehydration, particularly in newborns.
  • Ratan Chandra Kar (Padma Shri): He is a retired government physician from the Andaman Islands who has been assisting the island’s Jarawa people. During the measles epidemic of 1999, he provided treatment for the locals and saved them from extinction.
  • Hirabai Lobi (Padma Shri): She is a tribal social worker who has been promoting women’s financial independence and trying to improve the Siddi community in Gujarat by educating the children in the tribe.
  • Munishwar Chander Dawar (Padma Shri): The doctor, a veteran of the Indo-Pak War in 1971, has been providing low-income patients with care for the past 50 years at a minimal cost of 20 pounds.
  • Ramkuiwangbe Newme (Padma Shri): The Naga social worker has dedicated his entire life for the conservation and preservation of Heraka religion.
  • VP Appukuttan Poduval (Padma Shri): The Gandhian and freedom fighter actively participated in the 1942 Quit India Movement. He has been honoured for his selfless work to uplift the lives of weaker sections of the society for the past eight decades.
  • Sankurathri Chandra Sekhar (Padma Shri): He is a social worker dedicated his life to provide free medical and education services to the needy. After losing his wife and two children in the Air India Kanishka bombing, he chose to channelise his grief into a lifelong commitment towards the betterment of the society.
  • Vadivel Gopal and Masi Sadaiyan (Padma Shri): The Irula tribe’s snake catchers are experts at capturing the most hazardous and deadly snakes. They belong to the tribe which has played an important role in the healthcare sector through antivenoms collected by them.
  • Tula Ram Upreti (Padma Shri): The 98-year-old organic farmer from Sikkim has been training and inspiring other farmers to adopt natural farming techniques. 
  • KC Runremsangi (Padma Shri): For nearly three decades, the Mizo folk singer from Aizawl has been recognised for preserving the Mizo cultural heritage. She received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2017 and is noted with recording various Mizo traditional tunes.


Immune Imprinting


  • According to recent research, immunological imprinting may reduce the efficiency of bivalent boosters.
  • The bivalent booster is the most recent version of the vaccine that develops better immunity against coronavirus.

Immune Imprinting

  • It is a tendency of the body to repeat its immune response based on the first variant it encountered through infection or vaccination.
  • The immune system benefits from imprinting by using it as a database to prepare a stronger defence against recurrent illnesses.
  • In 1947, the idea was initially noticed.

Issues with with Immune Imprinting

  • After our body is exposed to a virus for the first time, it produces memory B cells that circulate in the bloodstream and quickly produce antibodies.
  • When a similar or variant of virus enters the body,  the immune system, rather than generating new B cells, activates memory B cells, which in turn produce antibodies that bind to features found in both the old and new strains, known as cross-reactive antibodies.
  • Although these cross-reactive antibodies do offer some protection against the new strain, they aren’t as effective as the ones produced by the B cells when the body first came across the original virus.
Adaptive Immune System

• White blood cells termed lymphocytes are responsible for adaptive immune responses.

• These reactions fall into two main categories: antibody responses and cell-mediated immune responses. B cells and T cells, two different groups of lymphocytes, respectively, are responsible for these responses.

The bone marrow is where B cells develop, therefore the name “B cell.”

• From the bone marrow to the thymus, cells that will eventually develop into T cells pass through

  • our bloodstream where they mature (hence the name “T cell”). 
  • The thymus is located just above the heart behind the sternum, or breastbone.



Source: IE

Bharat Parv

In News

• From January 26 to January 31st, 2023, the Government of India will host the six-day “Bharat Parv” event in front of the Red Fort in Delhi as part of the Republic Day celebrations.

About Bharat Parv

Ministry of Tourism has been designated as the nodal Ministry for the event, the highlights of which will 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 with 65 handicraft stalls.

• Previous Bharat Parv events took place in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020. ( and virtual in the year 2021).

  • Major components: 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.


Short Selling

In News

• In its most recent investigative report, short seller Hindenburg Research disclosed short interests in Adani Group, citing stock manipulation and accounting fraud.

About Short selling 

  • It is a trading strategy based on the expectation that the price of the security will fall. 
  • It is an investment or trading strategy that speculates on the decline in a stock or other security’s price.
  • It occurs when an investor borrows a security and sells it on the open market, planning to buy it back later for less money.
  • Short sellers bet on, and profit from, a drop in a security’s price. This can be contrasted with long investors who want the price to go up.

• Short selling has a high risk/reward ratio because it can result in significant gains but also substantial losses owing to margin calls.

Source: IE

Halwa Ceremony

In news

  • The Halwa ceremony, marking the final stage of the Budget preparation process for Union Budget 2023-24, was held recently.
  • The Union Budget for 2023–24 will be unveiled on February 1st, 2023.


  •  It is a customary ceremony in which traditional dessert ‘halwa’ is prepared and served to officials and staff members of the finance ministry who were involved in the preparation of the Budget. It is carried out each year prior to the start of the budget preparation process known as “lock-in.”
  •  The practise has long been a part of Budget custom.
  • Lock in Period: All the officials involved in the Budget preparations will stay at the North Block. This is done to make sure that the secrecy of the Union Budget is maintained. The moment the Finance Minister tables the Union Budget in Parliament, the lock-in period will conclude.
Union Budget of India

  • The annual budget of the Republic of India is given by the Finance Minister each year and is referred to as the Union Budget of India or the Annual Financial Statement in Article 112 of the Indian Constitution.
  • The House must approve the budget before it can take effect on April 1, which is the beginning of the fiscal year in India.
  • According to customs from the British era, the Union Budget was delivered at 5 o’clock on the final business day of February until 1999. It began being exhibited on February 1 in 2017.
  • Nirmala Sitharaman presented the budget in 2019, becoming the second woman to do so after Indira Gandhi, who did it for the fiscal year 1970–1971
  • Up until 2017, the Union Budget and the Railway Budget were each presented separately. The Railway Budget was integrated into the Union Budget after being presented separately for 92 years.
  • Budget in 2017 and presented together.


M1 Abrams

In News

• The US President recently declared that M1 Abrams tanks would be sent to Ukraine.


  • The M1 is the world’s preeminent tank because it combines four crucial qualities:
    • Superior mobility – to reach the target while avoiding attack
    • Superior sensors and controls – to find and strike targets
    • Superior firepower – to destroy targets
    • Superior armour – to withstand attack
  • Naming:
  • The M1 Abrams is named after the late General Creighton W. Abrams, who served as Army Chief of Staff and commander of the 37th Armored Battalion. 
  • The M1’s powerful firepower and stealthy operation have earned it the nicknames “The Beast,” “Dracula,” and “Whispering Death.”
  • General Dynamics provided the U.S. Army with the first M1 Abrams combat tanks in 1980, but it wasn’t until 1991’s Operation Desert Storm that the world truly understood the potential of the weapon.
  • Delivery and first use: 
  • All but 18 of the almost 2,000 M1s that the US Army and Marine Corps sent to the Persian Gulf were recovered in operational shape.
  • The tanks drove across the arid terrain, through thick smoke from oil fires, and virtually destroyed the entire Soviet tank fleet of Iraq. The United States didn’t lose a single M1 crew during the whole mission.

Source: IE

New T+1 Settlement Cycle

In News

• The New T+1 settlement cycle recently went into effect.

What’s the T+1 settlement plan?

• It indicates that trade-related settlements must be completed a day, or 24 hours, after a transaction is completed.

• In the case of a customer purchasing shares under T+1, the shares would, for instance, be credited to the customer’s demat account on Thursday.

• As many as 256 large-cap and top mid-cap stocks, including Nifty and Sensex stocks, will come under the T+1 settlement.

• After China, India will commence the “trade-plus-one” (T+1) settlement cycle in top-listed equities.


  • Until 2001, stock markets had a weekly settlement system. 
  • The markets then moved to a rolling settlement system of T+3, and then to T+2 in 2003. T+1 is being implemented despite opposition from foreign investors. 
  • The United States, United Kingdom and Eurozone markets are yet to move to the T+1 system.


  • Share delivery: If an investor sells a share using the T+1 format, they will receive their money the next day, and the buyer will receive the shares in their demat account the following day as well.
  • Operational efficiency: From a liquidity standpoint, the upcoming shorter trade settlement cycle bodes good for the Indian equity markets. The speedier rolling of money and stocks will increase operational efficiency.
  • Faster fund remittances: This will also help investors in reducing the overall capital requirements with the margins getting released on T+1 day, and in getting the funds in the bank account within 24 hours of the sale of shares.
  • Safer markets: A T+1 settlement cycle not only reduces the timeframe but also reduces and frees up capital required to collateralise that risk.
  • Reduced unsettled trades: A shortened settlement cycle also reduces the number of outstanding unsettled trades at any point of time, and thus decreases the unsettled exposure to Clearing Corporation by 50 per cent. The narrower the settlement cycle, the narrower the time window for a counterparty insolvency/ bankruptcy to impact the settlement of a trade.
  • Systematic risks: The capital blocked in the system to cover the risk of trades will get proportionately reduced with the number of outstanding unsettled trades at any point of time. 
    • Systemic risk depends on the number of outstanding trades and concentration of risk at critical institutions such as CCPs, and becomes critical when this magnitude of outstanding transactions increases. 

Why is it being opposed?

  • There are operational issues faced by foreign investors, as they operate from different geographies. 
  • Other issues were: 
  • Time zone changes,
  • Processes for information flow, and
  • Currency exchange issues.
  • Foreign investors find it difficult to hedge their net India exposure in dollar terms at the end of the day under the T+1 system. 

Source: IE

Green Comet

In News

• The Green Comet, which was just identified, can be seen in about 50,000 years, and the following one is predicted to appear in the same number of years.


  • What is the ‘green comet’?
  • It made its closest approach to the sun in the middle of January 2023, and is now departing on its own orbit.
  • The comet’s orbit suggests that it originates from the Oort cloud, a collection of far-off comets.
  • The Oort cloud is believed to be a vast, spherical area of space that surrounds our sun and is made up of countless tiny particles, including comets and asteroids.
  • It is the most remote part of our solar system and the comets’ primary habitat.
  • Its closest approach to Earth will occur in early February 2023.
  • Why the colour Green?
    • Comets are frozen rocky or gas-filled objects that are remnants of the formation of the solar system. 
    • o They typically leave a light in their wake because of their make up, traits, and direction of travel.
    • Here, the comet itself is green (called the head of the comet) and emits a whitish light behind it (often called the tail of the comet).
    • The green glow is thought to arise from the presence of diatomic carbon – pairs of carbon atoms that are bound together – in the head of the comet. The molecule emits green light when excited by the ultraviolet rays in solar radiation.
  • Distance from Earth:
  • o The green comet may be only 27 million miles from Earth at a distance of 2.5 light minutes.
  • Naming: 
  • Termed the C/2022 E3 (ZTF), the comet was named to refer to those who first spotted it – astronomers at the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) in the US, in March 2022.
    • Just like other bodies in space, comets also have orbits. 
    • They are sometimes pulled in close to the sun because of the sun’s gravity acting on them. 
    • As they orbit near the Sun, they heat up and spew gases and dust into a glowing head that can be larger than a planet. 
    • The remains of dust following this burning up, from a distance, look like a trail of light to humans on Earth. 
    • Comets, therefore, have often been seen giving out blue or whitish light, or even green.
    • The green comet belongs to the category of long-period comets, which take longer than 200 years to orbit the Sun.
  • Visible: 
    • Comets could be visible with telescopes and binoculars, and might even be visible to the naked eye under a clear night sky.
    • Northern Hemisphere: In the month of January 2023, a comet will be seen in the early sky as it travels quickly to the northwest.
    • Southern Hemisphere: Beginning in early February 2023, it will become visible in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • Specifically in India: When looking northwest in Indian skies, it can be seen about 16° above the horizon in the Bootes constellation.
  • Gravity on Comets: 
  • Uniqueness of Green Comet:
  • The comet will return to the Oort cloud and surface again some 50,000 years from now due to its very eccentric orbit.

Source: IE

Mission Aditya-L1

In News

• The ISRO chairman has declared that India’s first mission to study the Sun will launch by the middle of 2023.

Key Takeaways

• The Indian Institute of Astrophysics has handed over to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) the primary payload Visible Line Emission Coronagraph (VELC) for Aditya-L1 (IIA).

• ISRO will launch the Aditya-L1 mission to place the satellite in the L1 orbit for solar research.

• Of the seven payloads/telescopes that will be launched on Aditya-L1, the VELC is both the largest and one of the most technically difficult.

• One of the most important unanswered issues in the study of solar physics is the temperature differential between the Sun’s lower atmosphere’s temperature of 6,000 K and its higher atmosphere’s temperature of 1,000,000 K.

• The VELC payload is anticipated to transform solar astronomy globally, and the data is anticipated to provide solutions to many open questions in the discipline.

• Aditya-L1 will be India’s second space-based project after the successful launch of AstroSat in 2015.

• In 2015, AstroSat, the first dedicated Indian astronomy mission, was launched by ISRO with the goal of simultaneously studying celestial sources in the X-ray, optical, and UV spectral bands.

What is Aditya L1?

  •  Aditya-L1 is the first space-based Indian mission to study the sun from the sun-earth system’s Lagrangian point 1 (L1), which is around 1.5 million kilometres away from Earth.
  • Aditya-1, a 400 kg class satellite with a single payload called the Visible Emission Line Coronagraph, was the project’s original intended name (VELC).
  • The mission, however, was dubbed “Aditya-L1 mission” because the satellite was in the revered orbit of the Lagrangian point 1 of the Sun-Earth system (L1).
  •  The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle will carry the satellite Aditya, which is named after one of the many Sanskrit names for the Sun, into orbit from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh (PSLV-XL).
  • The mission’s seven payloads, which are designed to observe the sun’s photosphere, chromosphere, and outermost layers, include
    • Visible Line Emission Coronagraph (VELC), 
    • Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope,
    • Aditya Solar Wind Particle Experiment, 
    • Plasma Analyser Package for Aditya, 
    • Solar Low Energy X-ray Spectrometer, 
    • High Energy L1 Orbiting X-ray Spectrometer,
    • Magnetometer.
  • • The mission will take nearly simultaneous images of the Sun’s atmosphere’s various layers, illuminating the flow of energy from one layer to the next.
What are Lagrangian points?

  • The gravitational pull of two massive entities, such as the Earth and the Moon or the Earth and the Sun, balances the centrifugal force experienced by a smaller object, such as a satellite, at these particular points in space.
  • In the three-dimensional space surrounding two massive entities in orbit around one another, there are five Lagrangian points, denoted by the letters L1 through L5.
  • L1, L2, and L3 are unstable equilibrium points, which means that an object placed there won’t stay there without ongoing propulsion. They are situated on a line that connects the two enormous bodies.
  • L4 and L5, on the other hand, are stable equilibrium points, which means an object placed there will remain in that position without propulsion. They are situated at the third corners of a tetrahedron formed by the two massive bodies and their barycenter.

• The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), which orbits the Sun-Earth L1 point and has a continuous view of the Sun, is one space project that has utilised these locations.



Why is the mission important for India?

• The payload data, particularly when looking at the patterns and effects of solar flares, will aid in understanding how the Sun affects the Earth and its environs.

• The satellite’s scientific investigations will improve our understanding of the Solar Corona and supply crucial information for studies of space weather.

• VELC will aid in continuous corona observation, and the data it produces is anticipated to bring solutions to many open questions in the field of solar astronomy.

• The VELC solar coronagraph is the only one in space that can image the solar corona at a distance up to 1.05 times the solar radius from the solar disc.

• It is also capable of doing imaging, spectroscopy, and polarimetry simultaneously, as well as taking observations at a high resolution (level of detail) and repeatedly per second.

Other Missions to the Sun

  • NASA’s Parker Solar Probe: Its goal is to track the flow of heat and energy across the solar corona and investigate what causes the solar wind to speed up.
  • Helios 2 solar probe: In 1976, a cooperative mission between NASA and the former West German space agency came within 43 million kilometres of the Sun’s surface.
  • Source: TH