Online Quiz Test

GS Paper 1

Purple Fest

Context: The first-of-its-kind inclusive festival in India, ‘Purple Fest: Celebrating Diversity’ is set to begin tomorrow in Goa.

About Purple Fest Goa

It is first of its kind inclusive festival in India that embraces, expresses and celebrates persons with disabilities.

Aimed at furthering the spirit of inclusion, the Purple Fest will feature a variety of exciting live performances, sporting events, grand exhibitions, immersive experience zones, accessible movie screenings, & discussions on vital subjects like inclusive education, tourism, employment, & independent living.

In recent days, purple colour has been associated with disability and denotes the contribution of a wider community of disabled people workforce.

“Sanjana Tiwari, dost hai tumhari,”

Context: Sanjana Tiwari is a transwoman, HIV positive, former sex worker and an autorickshaw driver in Northwest Delhi. She is now a crusader for AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.

As a volunteer at an NGO, she is also committed to helping trans people be what they are: human beings who can bring value to society regardless of their sexuality.

From a very young age, Sanjana, now in her 40s, was born a boy, but she liked dressing up and dancing like a woman.

Her efforts have yielded results over the years. There are now free diagnostics and medicines available at government centres for those who test positive.

Issues faced by her:

The stigma of being a transgender

Living under the shadow of HIV

Adverse societal attitude towards sex workers

Poverty forced her into sex work

Values shown by her:

Helping her community: She helps gay men and transwomen who are at risk of getting HIV just like she once was.

She is campaigning for sexual and digital literacy among LGBTQ youth

Beating the biases: She creates awareness against societal stigmas for HIV people

Courage: By standing up to her identity and social pressures


GS Paper 2

98.7 per cent decline in Kala-azar cases since 2007 in India: Health Ministry

Context: There has been a 98.7 per cent decline in cases of Kala-azar from 44,533 in 2007 to 834 in 2022 in India

India is committed to eliminating Kalaa-Azar from the country by 2023

Eliminationis defined as reducing the annual incidence of Kala Azar (KA) to less than 1 case per 10,000 people at the sub-district level.

About Kala-azar

Visceral leishmaniasis (VL), also known as kala-azar, is the most severe form of leishmaniasis and, without proper diagnosis and treatment, is associated with high fatality.

It is also a neglected tropical disease (NTD)

Spread: Caused by protozoan parasites of the Leishmania genus (transmitted through the bite of Sand flies), migrates to the internal organs such as the liver, spleen (hence “visceral”), and bone marrow.

Signs and symptomsinclude fever, weight loss, fatigue, anaemia, and substantial swelling of the liver and spleen.

Kala-azar is considered the second deadliest parasitic killer in the world after Malaria

Kala-azar is endemic to the Indian subcontinentin 119 districts in four countries (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal)

It is endemic to four states Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and West Bengal

It is a treatable disease with anti-leishmanial medicines

Government steps: National Kala Azar Elimination Programme; National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP)

Eat Right Station

Context: Indian Railways’ Varanasi Cantt Railway Station has been awarded a 5- star ‘Eat Right Station’ certification for providing high-quality, nutritious food to passengers.

The ‘Eat Right Station’ certification is awarded by FSSAI to railway stations that set benchmarks in providing safe and wholesome food to passengers.

The apex food regulatory body comes under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

It has 240 parameters concerning food storage and hygiene, based on which the certification is accredited.

They are also rated on a scale of one to five–five being the highest level of compliance with the standards and regulations in place.

India has so far 34‘Eat Right’ certified stations, including Bhopal and Varanasi Cantt.

Facebook fined €390 mn for breaching EU privacy law: Why is the ruling significant?

Government Policies and Interventions for Development in various sectors


Meta has been slapped with fines totalling €390 million by the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) for breaching General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Meta’s profit forecasts for 2023 have dropped nearly 50%, indicating that both users and advertisers are abandoning the platforms (exception – of Instagram Reels and WhatsApp).


The company’s advertising and data handling practices have been accused of breaching the EU’s overarching privacy law – GDPR.

The legal permission that Meta sought from users to collect their data for personalised advertising, essentially forced them to accept personalised ads, in violation of the GDPR.

As per the GDPR, cross-border cases are handled by the data protection authority in the country where the company is based.

Significance of the ruling:

Strengthens the GDPR’s overarching theme – the individual’s right over her data and the need for a person to give explicit consent before their data can be processed.

The decision could imply that Meta would have to tweak its apps to ensure that they do not leverage personal data for advertising.

Impact of the ruling:

The likely ripple effect: With a focus on privacy and requiring individuals to give explicit consent, the GDPR has substantially influenced legislation in nearly 160 countries.

Broadening individual’s right over her data: A pair of sub-legislation of GDPR –

The Digital Services Act (DSA) focuses on issues such as regulating hate speech, etc.

The Digital Markets Act (DMA) defines a new category of “dominant gatekeeper” platforms and is focused on non-competitive practices and the abuse of dominance/monopoly by these players.

The possible impact of the ruling on India:

The Government of India is currently working on a policy framework for the tech sector, which includes –

The new Personal Data Protection bill

A comprehensive Digital India Act that would eventually replace the existing IT Act, and

The new Telecom Bill

Hence, the ruling could have resonance in India too.

Voluntary Vehicle-Fleet Modernization Program (V-VMP)

Government Policies

Context: As per the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH), 11 states and UTs have joined the National Single window system (NSWS) for the Voluntary Vehicle-Fleet Modernization Program (V-VMP).

It will encourage private investment in the ecosystem for car recycling

The National Single window system (NSWS) was created by DPIIT (Ministry of Commerce and Industry)

What is the vehicle scrapping policy?

The Vehicle Scrappage Policy is a government-funded programme to scrap old and unfit vehicles and replace them with modern and new vehicles on Indian roads. The primary goal of the policy is to create an ecosystem for phasing out unfit and polluting vehicles to achieve a lower carbon footprint in the country.

Related News

Over 75 thousand approvals were granted on National Single Window System Portal for various Central and State/UTs clearances

Various government schemes including Vehicle Scrapping Policy, Indian Footwear and Leather Development Policy (IFLDP), and Sugar and Ethanol Policy onboarded on NSWS

NSWS was launched in September 2021 (Ministry of Commerce and Industry)

Currently, Investors can apply for approvals from 27 Central Ministries/Departments and 19 States/UTs on the portal.

The portal is envisioned as a one-stop shop for investors for taking all the regulatory approvals and services related to investments.

NSWS initiative is an example of the ‘Whole of Government’ approach with different Central Ministries/Departments, States and UTs coming together to facilitate investor-related clearances on a single portal, with transparency and accountability, enhancing the ease of doing business exponentially.

What are the regulations govt has released to regulate online gaming in India?

Government Policies and Interventions

Context: The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has released draft amendments to the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, in relation to online gaming.


An inter-ministerial task force established by the MeitY to propose the contours of national-level legislation to regulate online gaming had previously made several recommendations.

The draft of the proposed amendments has been released based on these.

What changes are being proposed?

Defines an ‘online game’: A game that is offered on the internet and is accessible by a user through a computer resource if s/he makes a deposit with the expectation of earning winnings.

Companies offering such online games will be handled similarly to social media companies in terms of regulatory compliances and obligations.

A self-regulatory body: Online games would be required to register with a self-regulatory body, and only games approved by the authority will be permitted to function lawfully in India. MeitY can recognise and derecognise all self-regulated bodies.

Mandatory KYC norms: Online gaming companies would be compelled to follow the same rules as entities regulated by the RBI.

Banning bets on the outcome: Online gaming companies will not be permitted to accept bets on game outcomes.

Chief Compliance Officer: The platforms are expected to appoint a senior employee, who would coordinate with law enforcement agencies to ensure compliance with their orders.

Nodal Contact Person: To facilitate the necessary coordination at any point of the day. Grievance redressal: The platforms must have in place an appropriate mechanism for the receipt and resolution of grievances.

Significance of the proposed changes:

Safeguard the interests of users (especially women and children).

Addresses the discourse in the sector about the definitions of a ‘game of skill’ (used in the Public Gambling Act (1867) but had not been defined) and a ‘game of chance’. The term ‘game of skill’ had been.

Endeavours to provide for greater transparency. For example,

Operators would have to inform the user about the policy related to the withdrawal or refund of their deposit.

Addiction is to be combated using repeated warning messages while playing a certain game.

These rules will help curb the menace of anti-national and illegal offshore gambling platforms.

What are some of the concerns?

The rules group all gaming intermediaries together, regardless of size or risk.

They all require similar compliances, including the requirement for executives to be based in India.

This might place an undue burden on young start-ups and make it difficult for global players to launch services in India.

Global practices:

China has placed strict limits on the time young people may spend playing online games and an online game must obtain approval before its launch.

In the U.S., Internet casino gaming remains illegal in every state that doesn’t explicitly legalise the games.

Germany’s “Youth Protection” laws aimed at regulating violent games require developers to replace realistic red blood with a green version.

Australia has sought to ban games for including depictions of everything from assault to marijuana use.

Conclusion: On the one hand, the proposed rules seek to expand the online gaming market and stimulate innovation, while on the other, they seek to regulate the online gaming market in India in order to protect users’ interests.

New UGC Norms: Foreign universities can set up a campus

Issues relating to the development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources

Context: The University Grants Commission (UGC) released the draft UGC (Setting up and Operation of Campuses of Foreign Higher Educational Institutions in India) Regulations 2023.

Background: The National Education Policy, 2020, envisages a legislative framework to allow top global universities to operate in India.

Highlights of the draft:

It seeks to allow foreign universities –

To set up their campuses in India.

Decide their admission process, fee structure (to be reasonable), etc.

To repatriate funds (to be governed by the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999) to their parent campuses.

The operation of Foreign Higher Educational Institutions shall not be contrary to the –

Sovereignty and integrity of India

Security of the State

Friendly relations with foreign States

Public order, decency, morality

Standards of higher education in India

Top 500 global rankings or “reputed” universities are eligible to apply and will be granted approval to operate for 10 years.

The regulations provide foreign institutions complete autonomy to hire faculty and other staff members either from abroad or in India.

The UGC will have the right to inspect the campuses at any time and such campuses will not be outside the purview of anti-ragging and other criminal laws.

The application process:

A web-based portal maintained by the UGC will receive proposals → A committee formed by the UGC will evaluate the applications and make recommendations within 45 days → The selected applicants will be given about 2 years to set up campuses.

They will have to mandatorily impart education in offline mode.

Significance of the draft:

Allowing foreign universities will ensure diverse courses, such as in the fields of urban design and fashion design.

Reduce forex reserve depletion. In 2022 over 5 lahks (four point five) of Indian students went abroad to study, leading to an outflow of an estimated $28-30 billion.

Around 40 million students in India, currently pursuing higher education, will have access to global quality education.


The national security clause is too restrictive in nature. However, any aggrieved party will have the right to approach the judiciary.

Campuses in Gujarat’s GIFT will remain outside the purview of the UGC regulations.

GS Paper 3

How do some animals become transparent?

Context:  Recently scientists gleaned insight into how glass frogs –a species known for this ability – are able to achieve such transparency.

About Glass frogs:

Glass frogs live in the American tropics and are nocturnal amphibians that spend their days sleeping upside down on translucent leaves that match the colour of their backs — a common camouflage tactic. Their translucent skin and muscle allow their bones and organs to be visible.

How Glassfrog become transparent:

Resting glass frogs increase transparency two- to threefold by removing nearly 90 per cent of their red blood cells from circulation and packing them within their liver, which contains reflective guanine crystals.

Whenever the frogs need to become active again, they bring the red blood cells back into the blood, which gives the frogs the ability to move around — at which point, light absorption from these cells breaks transparency.

In most vertebrates, aggregating red blood cells can lead to potentially dangerous blood clots in veins and arteries. However, glass frogs don’t experience clotting.

Asian Elephants

Context: A recent study has found that the endangered Asian elephants which earlier used to roam freely across South-East Asia, all the way to China, but “anthropogenic pressures” have restricted them to mountain chains

How do Anthropogenic activities fragment Elephant Habitat?

Enclosing reserves without looking at how the terrain is distributed leads to fragmentation. If elephants cannot move from one valley to the next on relatively flat terrain, then population connectivity gets severed

The Palghat Gap (in the Kerela Western Ghats) is a break in the Ghats that is “relatively flat and consequently easily negotiable by elephants”. However, human settlements and crop cultivation have hindered the movement of the elephants, keeping them confined to the hilly areas, considered sub-optimal habitats.

Impact of fragmentation:

Loss of Habitatg., Indian Elephant has lost most of its optimal habitat in Nilgiris Reserve

On genetic diversity: If movement is restricted and gene flow reduced, there is more in-breeding, and low genetic diversity, pushing up chances of disease and lowering fertility rates.

About Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve (NBR)

Name Origin: From the blue flower-clad mountains of the Nilgiris plateau (TN)

It was the first biosphere reserve in India established in the year 1986.

It is located in the Western Ghatsand encompasses parts of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka.

The confluence of Biotic zones:It is at the confluence of Afro-tropical and Indo-Malayan biotic zones of the world.

It is a Biodiversity Hotspot.

Fauna and Flora: Nilgiri tahr, Nilgiri langur, and Freshwater fishes such as Nilgiri danio, Nilgiri barb and Bowany barb are endemic to this Biosphere Reserve.

The river that originates from Nilgiri: Bhavani, Moyar, Kabini (tributaries of the river Cauvery) and other rivers like Chaliyar, Punampuzha, etc., have their source and catchment areas within the reserve boundary.

Tribal: Todas, Kotas, Irullas, Kurumbas, Paniyas, Adiyans, Edanadan Chettis, Cholanaickens, Allar, Malayan, etc., are native to the reserve.

Protected Areas in NBR: Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, Bandipur National Park, Nagarhole National Park, Mukurthi National Park and Silent Valley are the protected areas present within this reserve.

New electrolytes found can help better ammonia synthesis

Context: A team of Indian scientists has developed a new aqueous electrolyte that can help make electrochemical ammonia synthesis more efficient.

It will useful for industries producing green energy or hydrogen.

The inefficiency of the present process:

The electrochemical ammonia synthesis is largely limited by the poor solubility of nitrogen (N2) in the aqueous electrolyte environment as well as the competitive hydrogen evolution reaction. The obstacle faced was that reduction of N2 has actually occurred in the aqueous medium.

How new electrolyte works:

Scientists from the Institute of Nano Science and Technology (INST) Mohali, an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), have introduced a new electrolyte called (NaBF4),

This electrolyte not only acts as an N2-carrier in the medium but also works as a full-fledged “co-catalyst” along with active material transition metal-doped nanocarbon (MnN4) to deliver a high yield of ammonia (NH3) at absolutely ambient experimental conditions.

India now has 212 indigenous livestock breeds

Context: The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has registered 10 new breeds of livestock species, including cattle, buffalo, goat and pig. This has taken the total number of indigenous breeds to 212.

The 10 new breeds included three new cattle breeds (Kathani, Sanchori, Masilum), one buffalo breed (Purnathadi), three goat breeds (Sojat, Karauli, Gujari) and three pig breeds (Banda, Manipuri Black, Wak Chambil)


Purnathadi buffalo – Vidarbha region of Maharashtra.

Kathani, a dual-purpose cattle, is also distributed in the region. It possesses the good draft ability and is suited to marshy land for paddy cultivation.

Masilum is a small-sized but well-built and sturdy cattle of Meghalaya. Well adapted to the hill ecosystem, it is reared by the Khasi and Jaintia communities for sports, manure and socio-cultural festivals.

Sanchori is found in the Jalore district of Rajasthan.

Among goats, all three new breeds are from different regions of Rajasthan.

Of the new pig breeds, Manipuri Black is a native of Manipur, Banda is from Jharkhand and Wak Chambil is from the Garo hills of Meghalaya.

Biodiversity of the bee population critical for ecosystems

Food processing and related industries in India

Context: A report highlighted, that the biodiversity of the bee population is essential to preserving the ecosystem function of crop pollination, which is crucial to the availability of food for humans.

About Bee Cultivation/Apiculture:

Apiculture is the science and culture of honeybees and their management.

As per the FAO, India ranked eighth in 2017-18 in the world in terms of honey production.

National Beekeeping and Honey mission was launched to achieve the goal of Sweet Revolution.

Opportunities in the Beekeeping sector

Low investment and highly skilled enterprise model.

The demand for good-quality honey has grown

Role in pollination

Scaling up beekeeping will double farmers’ income.

Challenges faced by the Beekeeping sector

Indigenous method of beekeeping: This is the primitive and unplanned method of apiculture.

Using the Correct Species for Beekeeping

Lack of Technical Knowledge for Efficient Management of Colonies for High Honey Yields

Lack of Infrastructure at the Grass Roots and National Level for Beekeeping

Poor Quality Control for the Production of Honey: contaminated not only by the use of sugar syrup in processing but also through pesticide and antibiotics use.

Availability of Genetically Superior Queens for Increased Honey Production

Lack of sufficient financial help from government and lending institutions for the development of beekeeping.

No Control on the Use of Pesticides by Farmers Leading to Death of Bee Colonies in Field Locations.

Recommendations made by Beekeeping Development Committee under Bibek Debroy:

Plantation of bee-friendly flora at appropriate places and engaging women SHG in managing such plantations.

Institutionalizing the National Bee Board and rechristening it as the Honey and Pollinators Board of India under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare.

Recognition of apiculture as a subject for advanced research under the aegis of ICAR.

Training and development of beekeepers by state governments.

Development of national and regional infrastructure

Simplifying procedures and specifying clear standards for ease of exporting honey Hi-tech apiaries for commercial bee-farming

Research in the fields of beekeeping, bee-behaviour

Related News:

World’s first vaccine for honeybees gets the conditional nod in the US

Context: The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has granted a conditional license for a vaccine for honeybees to curb American foulbrood (AFB), a fatal bacterial disease for the insect.

About American foulbrood:

AFB is caused by the spore-forming bacterium Paenibacillus larvae.

Infected broods usually die at the pre-pupal or pupal stage.

The disease cannot be cured, meaning that the destruction of infected colonies and hives or irradiation of infected material is the only way to manage AFB.

How the vaccine will work:

The vaccine technology exposes queen bees to inactive (i.e., “dead”) bacteria, which enables the larvae hatched in the hive to resist infection

The vaccine is mixed in queen candy — the primary food source for both the queen bees and the attendant bees living in cages.

Worker bees consume the vaccine with the queen candy, which is then digested and transferred to the glands that produce the royal jelly. Worker bees then feed the royal jelly containing the vaccine to the queen bee.

The queen digests the royal jelly and the vaccine is transferred to her ovaries. She is then released into the hive. The vaccine gets transferred to the developing eggs. The developing larvae get vaccinated and are more immune to infection as they hatch.

About National Beekeeping & Honey Mission (NBHM)

NBHM is a Central Sector Scheme, approved under the Aatma Nirbhar Bharat announcement, and implemented through National Bee Board (NBB).

NBHM aims for the overall promotion & development of scientific beekeeping in the country to achieve the goal of ‘Sweet Revolution’ which is being implemented through NBB.

Under the scheme, the main thrust is given on awareness, capacity building/training, focus on women empowerment through beekeeping and setting up of requisite infrastructural facilities.

The new industrial policy aims to focus on One Nation-One Standard

Effects of Liberalisation on the Economy, Changes in Industrial Policy and their Effects on Industrial Growth


The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce & Industry, is working on a new industrial policy.

This will be the third industrial policy (after 1956 and 1991), which is likely to replace the 1991 policy, which was prepared against the backdrop of the balance of payment crisis.

Objectives of the New Industrial Policy:

In order to address issues and challenges of the industry, the policy has identified the following objectives –

Focus on competitiveness and capability;

Economic integration and moving up the global value chain;

Promoting India as an attractive investment destination;

Nurturing innovation and entrepreneurship; and

Achieving global scale and standards.

The proposals of the New Industrial Policy:

It seeks to achieve –

One Nation-One Standard,

Promote startups in every district,

Create startup innovation zones at the level of urban local bodies,

Formulation of a national capacity development program, and

Incentivise Indian speciality products by creating premium international brands.

To increase financing sources, promote the Made in India brand, enhance local value addition and the country’s credibility as a source of quality products.

It has suggested various ways for wider access to finance for the industry such as setting up the following:

A development finance institution to provide finance at competitive rates and

Considering using some part of forex reserves for such funding.

An integrated investment promotion strategy involving district, state, national and international market synergies.

Creating a national digital grid, developing a robust data protection regime, setting up a technology fund, and creating a task force to continuously identify skill gaps.

Strengthening of the export finance systems for enhancing export competitiveness.

Other suggestions in the proposed policy:

Providing performance-based loans and incentives for innovation and green growth;

Leveraging fintech;

Encouraging MSMEs to choose the corporate bond market;

Accepting intellectual property rights as collaterals for loans;

Enabling supply chain financing;

Encouraging microfinance institutions to form cooperative groups and finance micro-enterprises at affordable rates.

Rolling out social security schemes for women workers

Inclusion of labour-intensive industries under the production-linked incentive scheme.