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[Newsbits] 15.12.2023 – Barracuda, Norovirus, COP28 Deal & More

newsbits mindmap notes
Barracuda: India's Fastest Solar-Electric Boat mind map
Launch Details
Navgathi Yard, Panavally, Alappuzha
Unspecified Wednesday
Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd
Navalt Eco-Marine Tech Company
Design Purpose
12 knots
7 hours on a single charge
14 meters
4.4 meters
Twin 50 kW electric motors
Marine-grade LFP battery
Solar Power
6 kW
Passenger Capacity
12 passengers
Wave Navigation
Up to 4 meters high
IRS (Indian Register of Shipping)
Pollution Impact
Zero pollution
Noise and Vibration
Planned Deployment
Mazagon Dock, Mumbai
Name for Mazagon Dock
Saur Shakthi
Eco-friendly maritime transportation
Testament to collaborative innovation
Won world's best start-up award
Mobility and Transportation
Berlin Start-up Energy Transition Awards 2023
Eco-Friendly Design
Operates on clean energy sources
Minimizes air pollution
Reduces noise and vibration
Versatility and Efficiency
Navigates rough seas
Carries passengers and cargo
Range and Durability
Suitable for various maritime purposes
Future Implications
Eco-Friendly Maritime Industry
Step towards sustainable alternatives
Paving way for similar sustainable vessels

Summary:- The Barracuda, India’s fastest solar-electric boat, represents a significant step towards sustainable maritime transportation. Jointly developed by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders and Navalt, the boat boasts a top speed of 12 knots and can operate for seven hours on a single charge. It is designed to be entirely eco-friendly, with zero pollution and no noise or vibration, thanks to its twin 50 kW electric motors, marine-grade LFP battery, and 6 kW solar power. The 14-meter long and 4.4-meter wide vessel can navigate through 4-meter high waves and accommodate 12 passengers. The Barracuda’s introduction, especially at Mazagon Dock in Mumbai, marks a move towards greener maritime practices and could inspire the development of more sustainable vessels in the future. Its recognition at the Berlin Start-up Energy Transition Awards 2023 underscores its importance in the global shift towards eco-friendly transportation.

This is a comprehensive mind map with below hierarchical information:-
World Bank’s Latest International Debt Report
December 2023 News
Release Date
December 13, 2023
Record Debt Service
$443.5 billion in 2022
50th Anniversary
International Debt Report
Report Period
Data as of end-2022
Global Interest Rate Surge
Biggest in four decades
Debt Vulnerabilities
Intensified in developing countries
Debt Service Payments
Include principal and interest
Debt Servicing Cost Increase
5% over previous year
IDA Eligible Countries
Paid $88.9 billion in 2022
Interest Payments Quadrupled
$23.6 billion in 2022
Debt Servicing Costs Projection
Expected to increase by 39%
Sovereign Defaults
18 in 10 countries over three years
Low-Income Countries
60% at high risk of debt distress
Variable Interest Rates Debt
More than a third of external debt
DSSI Accumulated Costs
Principal, interest, and fees
US Dollar Strength
Increases payment costs
Financing Options
Decreased in 2022
Private Creditors
Reduced involvement
World Bank Support
Provided significant low-cost financing
IDR 50th Edition
Expanded analytical framework
Indian Context
Resilient Growth
7.2% in FY22/23
Global Challenges
High interest rates, geopolitical tensions
GDP Forecast FY23/24
Expected to be 6.3%
Spiked to 7.8% in July
Fiscal Consolidation
Deficit projected to decline
External Account
Current deficit to narrow to 1.4%
Developing and Poor Countries
Global scope
Indermit Gill
World Bank Group Chief Economist
Haishan Fu
Chief Statistician, World Bank
Debt Transparency
Essential for management and sustainability
Data Role
Guides debt restructuring
Public Borrowing
Needs accountable, rules-based practices
Insight into Global Debt
Over 50 years of data
Economic Stability Promotion
Through data and management tools
High Debt Levels
Lead to economic crises
Investment in Critical Areas
Diverted due to debt servicing
Way Forward
Coordinated Action
By governments, creditors, and institutions
Debt Sustainability Tools
Need for improvement
Swift Restructuring Arrangements
To prevent economic downturns
Debt Management Transparency
Key to avoiding crises

The World Bank’s International Debt Report of December 2023 revealed a record high in debt service payments by developing countries, totaling $443.5 billion in 2022, influenced by the largest surge in global interest rates in four decades. This surge has significantly affected developing nations, with debt service payments increasing by 5% from the previous year. The report, marking its 50th edition, highlights the increasing vulnerabilities in developing countries, including an alarming number of sovereign defaults and the high risk of debt distress in low-income countries. It emphasizes the importance of debt transparency and management for economic stability and sustainable growth. In the context of India, despite global challenges, the country has shown resilient growth, with a 7.2% growth rate in FY22/23 and an expected GDP growth of 6.3% for FY23/24, albeit with concerns over inflation and fiscal consolidation challenges.

comprehensive mind map

The India-US AML/CFT Dialogue held in December 2023 was a significant event where officials from both countries gathered to discuss and share best practices in combating money laundering and terrorist financing. The dialogue focused on issues like the regulation of virtual assets, enhancing transparency in beneficial ownership, and challenges in implementing sanctions. The meeting was co-chaired by Brian Nelson from the U.S. Treasury and Sanjay Malhotra from the Indian Ministry of Finance. This dialogue highlighted the commitment of both nations to collaborate in addressing illicit finance risks in the international financial system, with plans to continue these discussions in the future and convene the dialogue again the following year.

/ Diseases
comprehensive mind map

The recent Norovirus outbreaks in December 2023 affected numerous individuals in North Carolina, USA, and in Kerala, India. Norovirus, known for causing stomach flu or winter vomiting bug, is highly contagious and spreads through contaminated food, water, and surfaces, as well as direct contact with infected individuals. Common symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and stomach pain. The virus is particularly dangerous for young children and the elderly with co-morbidities. While there is no specific treatment, managing symptoms and preventing dehydration are key. Preventive measures include thorough hand washing, disinfecting surfaces, and avoiding food preparation when sick. The outbreaks highlight the need for heightened awareness and public health measures to control the spread of this virus.

/ Indices/Reports, Species
'IUCN Red List Report on Extinction Threat to Freshwater Fish' Mindmap:-
Date of Release
11 December 2023
During COP28 UN Climate Conference
Climate Change Impact
Illegal Logging
Trade on Mahogany
Dams and Water Extraction
Invasive Species and Disease
Habitat Degradation
IUCN Red List Update
Total Species Assessed
Threatened with Extinction
Freshwater Fish Assessment
At Risk Species
25% of Freshwater Fish
Threatened by Climate Change
17% of Threatened Species
Specific Species Status
Atlantic Salmon
Moved from Least Concern to Near Threatened
Central South Pacific Green Turtle
East Pacific Green Turtle
Scimitar-Horned Oryx
From Extinct in the Wild to Endangered
Saiga Antelope
From Critically Endangered to Near Threatened
Big Leaf Mahogany
From Vulnerable to Endangered
India Specific
Freshwater Fish in Kerala
Newly Listed
Four Species
Endangered Status
Three Species
Vulnerable Status
One Species
Total Species in India on Red List
858 Freshwater Fish
Affected Regions
Northern Europe
North America
Sahel Region of Africa
Central and South America
Specific Locations
Lake Turkana, Kenya
Chalakkudy River and Thekkady Reservoir, India
Indian Context
Western Ghats
IUCN SSC Freshwater Fish Specialist Group
IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group
Botanic Gardens Conservation International
Nature Serve
IUCN Species Survival Commission
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Senckenberg Research Institute and Museum Frankfurt
Nick Measham, Chief Executive
Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies
Dr Rajeev Raghavan, Assistant Professor
Conservation Efforts
Scimitar-Horned Oryx Reintroduction
Saiga Antelope Population Recovery
Threat Mitigation
Protecting Freshwater Ecosystems
Managing Water Quality
Addressing Illegal Timber Trade
Public Awareness
Workshops and Classes
Education on Species Protection
Biodiversity Protection
Ecosystem Resilience
Food Security
Climate Resilience
Cultural and Economic Importance
Environmental Threats
Population Growth
River Engineering
Dam Construction
Climate Change
Rising Sea Levels
Temperature Fluctuations
Habitat Changes
Legal and Enforcement Challenges
Illegal Logging and Fishing
Lack of Awareness
Insufficient Legal Protection
Socioeconomic Factors
Food Insecurity
Way Forward
Freshwater Challenge at COP28
38 Countries Joined
Ambitious Protection and Restoration Initiative
Strategic Conservation Actions
Long-Term Commitment
Effective Conservation Approaches
Dedicated Species Recovery Actions
Enhancing Global Partnerships
International Collaborations
Involving Local Communities
Scaling Up Conservation Investments
Protecting and Restoring Ecosystems
Implementing Anti-Poaching Measures
Trade Controls

Summary: On December 11, 2023, during the COP28 UN Climate Conference, the IUCN released a concerning report about the extinction threat to freshwater fish. The update highlighted that out of 157,190 species assessed, 44,016 are threatened with extinction. Specifically, 25% of freshwater fish are at risk, with climate change affecting 17% of these threatened species. The report noted changes in the status of several species: the Atlantic Salmon moved to ‘Near Threatened’, the Central South Pacific Green Turtle is now ‘Endangered’, while the Saiga Antelope improved from ‘Critically Endangered’ to ‘Near Threatened’. In India, particularly Kerala and the Western Ghats, new assessments listed four freshwater fish species, with three categorized as ‘Endangered’ and one as ‘Vulnerable’. Various organizations are involved in conservation efforts, including reintroduction and recovery programs, and addressing threats like illegal logging, overfishing, and pollution. The report emphasizes the need for global partnerships, increased conservation investments, and strategic actions for biodiversity protection, ecosystem resilience, and tackling climate change and environmental threats.

mind map

The Delhi High Court recently granted interim compensation of over Rs 5 lakh to the widow of a truck driver who died while aiding a road accident victim. The case came into the limelight when the widow filed a plea against the claims commissioner’s denial. The court’s stance was clear and firm. It emphasized the protection of Good Samaritans and critiqued the so-called Bad Samaritan laws. The court highlighted the duty of citizens to aid on public roads and referred to laws protecting rescuers, unless there is evidence of gross negligence or recklessness involved. The court also directed a reassessment of the compensation within two months, with an interim payment that includes a 12% interest.

This topic of “Good Samaritan Law in India: Provisions, Pros, Challenges” is important from the perspective of the UPSC IAS Examination, which falls under General Studies Portion.

What is the Good Samaritan Law?

The Good Samaritan Law in India provides protection for helpers of accident victims from legal interventions. The law has a territorial extent that covers the whole of India and was enacted by the Supreme Court of India. As of now, the law is in force.

Key provisions of the law include:

  • Police non-involvement in the investigation
  • Hospitals must treat without charge for First Aid
  • Protection from civil and criminal liability
  • No identity disclosure required
  • Choice to be an eyewitness

Why was the Good Samaritan Law Enacted?

India’s road accident statistics are alarming, with the country having the second-highest number of road accidents in the world. Daily, there are 1317 crashes and 413 deaths. Over 50% of these deaths occur due to a lack of timely medical attention.

One of the main reasons for the enactment of the Good Samaritan Law was the reluctance of bystanders to help accident victims due to fear of legal issues.

Where does the Good Samaritan Law Apply?

The Good Samaritan Law applies to all states and Union Territories of India.

When was the Good Samaritan Law Enacted and Amended?

The Good Samaritan Law was enacted on March 30, 2016. It was later amended in the Motor Vehicles Act 2019.

Who are the Samaritans?

In the context of the Good Samaritan Law, Samaritans are individuals who aid victims of road accidents.

How was the Good Samaritan Law Implemented?

The Good Samaritan Law was implemented through the issuance of operating procedures and guidelines by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. The Supreme Court gave force of law to these guidelines.

The Significance of the Good Samaritan Law

The Good Samaritan Law encourages the public to assist in accidents, thereby reducing bystander apathy. The law aims to save lives during the golden hour, which is the first hour after a traumatic injury when emergency treatment is most likely to be successful.

Challenges of the Good Samaritan Law

Despite its significance, the Good Samaritan Law faces several challenges. Approximately 84% of Indian citizens are unaware of the law. Medical practitioners often do not take action against violators, and Good Samaritans still face detention and legal paperwork.

The Way Forward

To overcome these challenges, it is crucial to increase public awareness through campaigns, workshops, and seminars. A central law for Good Samaritan protection should be established, and a grievance redressal system should be set up. Additionally, road safety and designs should be improved.


The Good Samaritan Law in India is a significant step towards encouraging public participation in saving lives during road accidents. Despite the challenges, with increased awareness and legal support, the law holds the potential to bring about a significant change in the country’s road safety scenario.

comprehensive mind map

The National Road Safety Policy in India is a comprehensive approach aimed at reducing the high rate of road accidents, fatalities, and injuries in the country. It encompasses a variety of initiatives like raising awareness, ensuring safer road infrastructure, enforcing safety laws, and emergency medical services for road accidents. The policy also includes the establishment of a National Road Safety Board and Fund for strategy implementation. Challenges such as a high fatality rate, shortage of skilled engineers, and unavailability of accurate accident data persist. The way forward involves regular road safety audits, ranking road projects based on safety, developing emergency care services, and implementing strict laws to enhance road safety.

/ Crimes/Deaths, Road
comprehensive mind map

The Integrated Road Accident Database (IRAD), developed by IIT Madras and implemented by the National Informatics Centre, is a comprehensive web-based IT solution aimed at controlling and reducing road accidents in India. It enables police and other agencies to record and analyze road accident data from various perspectives, leading to better-informed corrective measures and future action plans for road safety.

comprehensive mind map

In December 2023, COP28 concluded in Dubai with a historic agreement to begin transitioning away from fossil fuels, marking a significant step in the global effort to combat climate change. The deal, reached after extended negotiations, emphasized the inevitable phaseout of coal, oil, and gas, aiming to limit global heating to 1.5°C in alignment with the Paris Agreement. The conference also witnessed progress in adaptation and finance, including the establishment of a Loss and Damage Fund to support climate-vulnerable nations. However, the deal faced criticism for its lack of ambitious language and sufficient financial commitments from wealthy nations. The COP28 outcome sets a foundation for future climate action, with an emphasis on renewable energy expansion and improved climate finance mechanisms, while acknowledging the challenges ahead in policy implementation and technological development.

comprehensive mind map

The main issue here is the implementation of the “Jammu and Kashmir Anand Marriage Registration Rules, 2023,” which allows Sikh couples in Jammu and Kashmir to register their marriages under the Anand Marriage Act. This development provides statutory recognition to Sikh marriage rituals, separating them from the Hindu Marriage Act. It addresses the long-standing demand of the Sikh community for recognition and respect of their marriage customs and further legalizes their traditional marriage ceremonies, which date back to 1909. The rules require Sikh couples to register their marriages within three months of solemnization, with a late fee for late registrations, and designate tehsildars as registrars for these marriages. This significant step by the Jammu and Kashmir administration is a gesture of respect towards the Sikh community’s customs and traditions.

comprehensive mind map

The WHO’s Global Status Report on Road Safety 2023 is an extensive analysis of road traffic deaths worldwide, detailing progress and challenges in improving road safety between 2010 and 2021. The report highlights a slight decrease in road traffic deaths to 1.19 million per year and underscores the efforts to enhance road safety globally. It provides a baseline for the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030, which aims to halve road traffic deaths and injuries by 2030. The report notes significant regional and country-specific trends, including a notable increase in road fatalities in India and substantial reductions in countries like Belarus, Denmark, Japan, and the UAE. The challenges include addressing the safety needs of vulnerable road users, implementing effective legislation, and coping with the expected growth in global motor-vehicle fleets. The report calls for more evidence-based interventions, better resource allocation, and a rethinking of mobility to prioritize safer, more sustainable transport options.

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