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[Newsbits] 24-30.01.2024: INSAT-3DS, European Ports Alliance & more

newsbits mindmap notes
/ Communalism
ASI's Gyanvapi Mosque Survey Report mind map
When
Report Published
January 2024
Why
Historical Origins
Controversy
Religious Site
What
ASI Report Findings
Hindu Temple Evidence
Sculptures
Architectural Members
Decorated Entrance
Inscriptions
Various Scripts
Devanagari
Telugu
Kannada
Where
Varanasi
Gyanvapi Mosque
Adjacent to Kashi Vishwanath Temple
Who
Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain
Representing Hindu Side
Aurangzeb
Mughal Emperor
Maharaja Man Singh
Amer's Ruler
Reconstructed Temple
How
Historical Analysis
Archaeological Evidence
Structural Analysis
Significance
Historical Clarification
Religious Significance
Cultural Heritage
Challenges
Potential Disputes
Religious Sentiments
Legal Challenges

The ASI’s Gyanvapi Mosque Survey Report, released in January 2024, has stirred significant interest, particularly in India. The report suggests that Varanasi’s Gyanvapi mosque is built on the ruins of a Hindu temple, as indicated by findings like Hindu deity sculptures, architectural elements, and various inscriptions in scripts such as Devanagari, Telugu, and Kannada. This conclusion has reignited debates about the historical origins of the site and its future. The mosque’s history, dating back over 800 years, includes periods of destruction and reconstruction, notably during Aurangzeb’s reign and under Maharaja Man Singh of Amer. The report presents both a historical clarification of the site’s past and potential challenges due to religious sensitivities and legal implications.

/ Israel-Palestine
ICJ Ruling on Israel Regarding Gaza mind map
Recent News
January 2024
Amnesty International Statement
When
ICJ Ruling Issued
January 2024
Why
Allegations of Genocide
South Africa's Accusation
What
Six Provisional Measures
Refrain from Genocidal Acts
Prevent Incitement to Genocide
Provide Humanitarian Assistance
Preserve Evidence of Genocide
Submit Compliance Report
One Month Deadline
ICJ's Role
Settles Legal Disputes
Interpret Genocide Convention
No Individual Criminal Responsibility
Where
Gaza Strip
The Hague
Who
Israel
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Palestinian Authority
Foreign Minister Riyadh Maliki
International Court of Justice
Judge Joan Donahue
Amnesty International
Secretary General Agnès Callamard
How
ICJ Ruling Process
South Africa's Filing
Hearings in January
84-Page Filing
Significance
Reminder of International Law
Pressure on Israel
Global Alliance Against Settler Colonialism
Challenges
No Enforcement Power
Israel's Non-Compliance Indication
Political Pressure on Allies
Way Forward
Global Pressure for Ceasefire
US and EU Role
Recognition of ICJ's Authority

In January 2024, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued a ruling regarding Israel’s actions in the Gaza Strip, in response to South Africa’s accusation of genocide. The ruling ordered Israel to take several provisional measures, including refraining from genocidal acts, preventing the incitement to genocide, providing humanitarian assistance, preserving evidence of genocide, and submitting a compliance report within a month. Although the ruling is significant in emphasizing the role of international law and applying pressure on Israel, it faces challenges due to the ICJ’s lack of enforcement power and Israel’s indications of non-compliance. The ruling has implications for global politics, particularly concerning the roles of the US and EU, and highlights the need for global efforts towards a ceasefire and the recognition of the ICJ’s authority.

/ Education
UGC Draft De-Reservation Guidelines mind map
Recent News
Draft Released
When
December 27, 2023
Public Feedback Deadline
January 28, 2024
Government Clarification
No Change in Policy
Education Ministry Statement
Maintaining Reserved Positions
UGC Chairman's Statement
Union Education Minister's Statement
What
General Ban
Direct Recruitment
Exceptional Cases
Public Interest Concerns
Proposal for De-Reservation
Process
Information Required
Post Details
Efforts Made
Justification
Approval
Group C and D
By University's Executive Council
Group A and B
By Ministry of Education
De-Reservation in Promotions
Approval Power
Delegated to UGC, Ministry of Education
Condition
Insufficient SC/ST Candidates
Where
Applicability
Central Universities
Deemed Universities
Other Autonomous Bodies
Who
Involved Parties
UGC
Ministry of Education
Central Educational Institutions
SC/ST/OBC Candidates
How
Implementation
Filling Backlog Positions
Ensuring Reservation Policy Compliance
Significance
Efficient Filling of Vacancies
Addressing Public Interest Concerns
Challenges
Backlash and Criticism
Allegations of Ending Reservations
Protests by Student Unions
Ambiguity in Criteria
Concerns by Teachers' Associations
Way Forward
Ensuring Transparency
Balancing Public Interest with Reservation Policy

The University Grants Commission (UGC) of India proposed draft guidelines in December 2023 concerning the de-reservation of teaching positions in higher education institutes (HEIs). These guidelines aim to open reserved vacancies (for SC, ST, and OBC candidates) to the general category under certain conditions, particularly in cases where no suitable reserved category candidates are available. The guidelines suggest a general ban on de-reservation for direct recruitment, except in rare and exceptional cases for Group A posts. For de-reservation, a detailed proposal process was outlined, with different approval requirements for various group posts. The guidelines also include provisions for de-reservation in promotions. These guidelines faced significant backlash and criticism for potentially undermining reservation policies. However, the Ministry of Education clarified that there was no change in the existing reservation policy and reaffirmed its commitment to maintaining reserved positions.

IAF's Major Exercises in 2024 mind map
When
February 17
April
August
Why
Showcasing jointness
Integration in warfare
What
Vayu Shakti
In Jaisalmer
Firepower demonstration
Major fighter aircrafts
Gagan Shakti
Pan-India level
Entire IAF activated
From Ladakh to Indian Ocean
Offensive and defensive missions
S-400 air defence system
Tarang Shakti
Multinational exercise
In Jodhpur
With foreign air forces
Where
Jaisalmer
Ladakh to Indian Ocean
Bhuj to Arunachal Pradesh
Jodhpur
Who
Indian Air Force
Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari
Chief of Defence Staff Gen Anil Chauhan
Participating foreign air forces
How
Activation of fleets
Firepower demonstrations
Offensive and defensive missions
International cooperation
Significance
Enhancing integration
Showcasing capabilities
Global military cooperation

The Indian Air Force (IAF) is set to conduct three major exercises in 2024, aiming to showcase jointness and integration in modern warfare. These exercises include Vayu Shakti, a major firepower demonstration in Jaisalmer; Gagan Shakti, a pan-India level activation involving various offensive and defensive missions; and Tarang Shakti, a multinational exercise in Jodhpur with participation from foreign air forces. These exercises, led by key figures such as Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari and Chief of Defence Staff Gen Anil Chauhan, emphasize the IAF’s commitment to enhancing integration and showcasing its capabilities on a global stage.

Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) mind map
Recent News
Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso Withdrawal
Announced immediate withdrawal
Accusations against ECOWAS
Influence of foreign powers
Betraying founding principles
Threat to member states
Failure to support in fighting terrorism
Imposed sanctions criticized
Described as illegal, illegitimate, inhumane
ECOWAS's response
Not notified of decision
Emphasizes negotiation for solution
Military power grabs
Mali in 2020 and 2021
Burkina Faso in 2022
Niger in 2023
Alliance of Sahel States formed
Focus on violent armed groups
Military ties cut with France
Concern over armed groups spreading south
Security concerns
Over 1,800 attacks in six months of 2023
When
Established in 1975
Treaty of Lagos
Revised treaty in 1993
Why
Promote economic integration
Collective self-sufficiency
Raise living standards
Promote economic development
What
ECOWAS Protocols and Plans
Free Movement of Persons
Ecotour Action Plan 2019-2029
Member States
Fifteen countries
Various language groups
Morocco's membership bid
Stalled due to economic concerns
Where
Headquarters
Abuja, Nigeria
Member States
Listed 15 countries
Who
Member States
Benin
Burkina Faso
Cape Verde
Côte d'Ivoire
The Gambia
Ghana
Guinea
Guinea-Bissau
Liberia
Mali
Niger
Nigeria
Senegal
Sierra Leone
Togo
Leadership
ECOWAS Commission President
Dr Omar Alieu Touray
How
Peacekeeping
ECOMOG operations
Multiple military interventions
Significance
Economic Cooperation
Single common currency goal
Large trading bloc creation
Conflict Resolution
Quelling military conflicts
Regional peacekeeping operation
Challenges
Human Rights Violations
Controversies in missions
Economic Stagnation
Member states not benefitting
Political Instability
Coups and military regimes
Way Forward
Negotiated Solutions
Addressing political impasses
Strengthening Economic Ties
Focus on development and trade

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is a regional political and economic union of fifteen countries in West Africa, established in 1975 to promote economic integration, collective self-sufficiency, and raise living standards. Recently, Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso announced their immediate withdrawal from ECOWAS, citing its failure to support their fight against terrorism and accusing it of betraying its founding principles. ECOWAS responded by emphasizing the need for negotiated solutions and maintaining its commitment to finding a resolution. The organization has faced challenges such as human rights violations during peacekeeping missions, economic stagnation, and political instability marked by military coups. Despite these challenges, ECOWAS continues to strive towards its goals of economic cooperation, conflict resolution, and creating a single large trading bloc, including efforts towards a single common currency. The organization’s future focus includes addressing political impasses and strengthening economic ties among member states.

National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources (NBFGR) mind map
Recent News
January 2024
Eel Species Discovery
Tamil Nadu and Kerala
Species Names
Ariosoma kannani
Prof L Kannan Tribute
Ariosoma gracile
Morphological Features
Significance
Marine Biodiversity
India's Eel Species
When
Discovery Time
January 2024
Why
Research Purpose
Biodiversity Understanding
Marine Life Study
What
NBFGR Role
Research
Species Discovery
Eel Species
New Discoveries
Ariosoma kannani
Ariosoma gracile
Where
Discovery Locations
Gulf of Mannar
Kochi, Kerala
Who
Involved Entities
NBFGR
Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Affiliate
Researchers
Dr. TT Ajith Kumar
Principal Scientist
Centre for Peninsular Aquatic Genetic Resources
Honored Individuals
Prof L Kannan
Former Director
Marine Biology, Annamalai University
How
Discovery Methods
Exploration Surveys
Morphological Analysis
Skeleton Radiography
Molecular Markers
Computational Techniques
Significance
Scientific Contributions
Marine Bio-diversity Insights
Eel Species Understanding
Public Benefits
Potential Consumption Recommendation
Challenges
Research Challenges
Limited Eel Research in India
Way Forward
Further Studies
Comprehensive Analysis
Evolution Understanding
Protein Profiling
Specimen Registration
National Fish Museum
Repository, ICAR-NBFGR, Lucknow
ZooBank Registration

The National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources (NBFGR) in India, a unit of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), recently discovered two new eel species along the coasts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. These species, named ‘Ariosoma kannani’ and ‘Ariosoma gracile’, contribute to the understanding of marine biodiversity and eel species in India. The discovery, made in January 2024, was a result of extensive research and analysis by NBFGR researchers. This discovery is significant as it enhances the knowledge of marine life and contributes to potential future studies and public benefits.

/ Space
INSAT-3DS mind map
Recent News
Sent to Satish Dhawan Space Centre
Scheduled launch
February 2024
GSLV-F14 rocket
When
January 25, 2024
Flagged off
February 2024
Launch date
Why
Enhance meteorological monitoring
Improve INSAT system capabilities
What
Successor to INSAT-3D and INSAT-3DR
Indian National Satellite System
Telecommunications
Broadcasting
Meteorology
Search and rescue
Specifications
Lift-off mass
2,275 kg
I-2k bus platform
Payloads
6-channel Imager
19-channel Sounder
Data Relay Transponder
Satellite Aided Search and Rescue Transponder
Where
Satish Dhawan Space Centre
Sriharikota
Who
Indian Space Research Organisation
Ministry of Earth Sciences
User-funded project
Indian Industries
Significant contributions
How
Assembly, Integration, Testing
U R Rao Satellite Centre, Bengaluru
Pre-Shipment Review
January 25, 2024
Significance
Accurate weather forecasting
Early warning systems
Natural disasters
Enhanced communication
Data collection
Search and rescue

The INSAT-3DS is an advanced meteorological satellite developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). It is scheduled for launch in February 2024 aboard the GSLV-F14 rocket. As a successor to the INSAT-3D and INSAT-3DR satellites, INSAT-3DS aims to enhance meteorological monitoring capabilities in India. The satellite, with a lift-off mass of 2,275 kg, includes state-of-the-art payloads such as a 6-channel Imager, a 19-channel Sounder, a Data Relay Transponder (DRT), and a Satellite Aided Search and Rescue (SAS&R) transponder. These instruments will improve weather forecasting and provide early warnings for natural disasters, thereby bolstering disaster management in India. The development and launch of INSAT-3DS mark a significant step forward in India’s meteorological observation capabilities.

/ etc), Europe (UK, France
India-France Defence Industrial Roadmap mind map
Recent News
Macron's Visit to India
Date
January 2024
Collaboration Focus
Defence Industrial Sector
High-tech fields
Robotics
AI
Cyber Defence
Key Agreements
Defence Industrial Roadmap
Defence-Space Partnership
Space Situational Awareness
Satellite Launch Coordination
Multi-mission Helicopter Production
Safran's Technology Transfer
Fighter Jet Engines
Other Agreements
Energy
Digital Health
Agriculture
Education
Notable Announcements
India France Year of Innovation 2026
Young Professional Scheme
Age Group
18-35 years
Schengen Visa Extension
Duration
Five years for students
When
January 2024
Why
Strengthen Strategic Cooperation
Boost Technology Collaboration
What
Joint Development
Military Hardware
Platforms
Technology Transfer
Safran's Fighter Jet Engines
Co-Design, Co-Development, Co-Production
Advanced Defence Technologies
Who
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
President Emmanuel Macron
Safran
Airbus Helicopters
Tata Group
New Space India Ltd
Arianespace
How
Strategic Partnership
Industrial Partnership
MoUs
Technology Collaboration
Significance
Enhanced Defence Capabilities
Technology Advancement
Strategic Independence
Challenges
Complexity of Technology Transfer
Specification Compliance
Long-Term Commitment
Way Forward
Implementation of Agreements
Continued Collaboration

The India-France Defence Industrial Roadmap, reinforced during French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to India in January 2024, focuses on enhancing collaborative efforts in the defence-industrial sector, particularly in high-tech fields like robotics, AI, and cyber defence. This roadmap includes joint development and production of vital military hardware and platforms, with a significant push towards technology transfer, notably from Safran for fighter jet engines. Other key aspects of this partnership include a defence-space partnership for space situational awareness, satellite launch coordination, and production of a multi-mission helicopter in India. Beyond defence, the agreement spans energy, digital health, agriculture, and education sectors, marking a comprehensive approach to the strategic partnership between the two nations.

Uttarakhand Uniform Civil Code (UCC) Bill mind map
Recent News
Uttarakhand to implement UCC
Chief Minister
Pushkar Singh Dhami
Draft bill submission
February 2, 2024
Assembly session
February 5-8, 2024
Other states
Observing Uttarakhand's move
When
Submission of draft
February 2, 2024
Assembly session
February 5-8, 2024
Why
Ensure uniformity
In personal laws
Enhance social harmony
End gender-based discrimination
What
Covers various aspects
Marriage, Divorce
Inheritance, Adoption
Live-in relationships
Polygamy
Parents' maintenance
Women's property rights
Where
State of Uttarakhand
Who
Chief Minister
Pushkar Singh Dhami
UCC Committee
Headed by
Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai
How
Draft bill preparation
By UCC Committee
Legislative process
In Uttarakhand Assembly
Significance
Gender equality
Uniform personal laws
Reduced religious discrimination
Challenges
Potential opposition
From various groups
Implementation complexities
Way Forward
Observing implementation
In Uttarakhand
Possible adoption
By other states

The Uttarakhand Uniform Civil Code (UCC) Bill is a legislative initiative in Uttarakhand, led by Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, aiming to implement a uniform set of personal laws for all citizens, irrespective of their religion. The bill covers various personal matters like marriage, divorce, inheritance, and adoption, aiming to ensure gender equality and social harmony. The draft bill, prepared by a committee led by Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai, is set to be submitted on February 2, 2024, with the Uttarakhand Assembly session scheduled from February 5 to 8, 2024. This move is closely watched by other states and the union government, as it could set a precedent for the implementation of UCC in other regions.

Integrated Industrial Township mind map
Recent News
January 2024
Inaugurated by PM Modi
Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh
Projects worth Rs 19,100 crore
When
January 2024
Why
Integrated planning
Coordinated infrastructure implementation
What
Cost Rs 1,714 crore
Area
747 acres
Location
Eastern & Western Dedicated Freight Corridors
Delhi-Howrah railway line
Eastern Peripheral Expressway
Proximity to
Noida-Greater Noida Expressway
Yamuna Expressway
Delhi Airport
Jewar Airport
Ajaibpur Railway Station
New Dadri DFCC Station
Where
Greater Noida
Uttar Pradesh
Who
Indian Government
PM Narendra Modi
PM-GatiShakti Initiative
How
Multi-modal connectivity
Accessibility for industries and businesses
Significance
Strategic advantages
Enhanced accessibility
Promotes industrial growth

The Integrated Industrial Township in Greater Noida, inaugurated in January 2024 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is a landmark development in India’s urban and industrial infrastructure. Costing Rs 1,714 crore and covering 747 acres, it’s strategically placed at key infrastructural junctions, including the Eastern and Western Dedicated Freight Corridors and the Delhi-Howrah railway line. This township, developed under the PM-GatiShakti initiative, aims to provide enhanced multi-modal connectivity, fostering accessible and efficient industrial growth.

/ Judiciary/Justice
Article 131 of Indian Constitution mind map
Recent News
Kerala and Tamil Nadu
Lawsuits in Supreme Court
Kerala's Lawsuit
Challenges Centre's Actions
Injunction Against Borrowing Limit
Amount: ₹26,000 Crore
Tamil Nadu's Petition
Constitutional Validity
NEET
When
Article 131 Origin
Adopted: 26th January 1950
Why
Adjudicate Disputes
Between Centre and States
Between States
What
Original Jurisdiction
Supreme Court of India
Dispute Types
Centre vs State(s)
Centre and State(s) vs Other State(s)
State vs State
Legal Right Questions
Excludes
Treaty or Agreement Disputes
Pre-constitution Commencement
Where
Jurisdiction
Supreme Court
Who
Involved Parties
Government of India
State Governments
How
Filing and Adjudication
Supreme Court Procedure
Significance
Maintains Federal Structure
Addresses Constitutional Questions
Challenges
Complex Legal Processes
Potential for Political Conflicts
Way Forward
Strengthening Legal Framework
Clearer Guidelines
Efficient Resolution Mechanisms

Article 131 of the Indian Constitution is a legal provision that gives the Supreme Court of India the original jurisdiction to adjudicate disputes between the central government and one or more states, between different states, and between the central government and a group of states. This article has been a pivotal tool for addressing conflicts and maintaining the federal structure of India. It was recently invoked by the state governments of Kerala and Tamil Nadu to file lawsuits against the central government, highlighting its ongoing relevance and utility in resolving key constitutional and legal disputes in the country.

European Ports Alliance mind map
Recent News
Launched January 24, 2024
Why
Combat drug trafficking
Address organized crime
What
200 million EUR funding
Modern equipment for customs
Enhanced cooperation
Member states
European Commission
Europol
Eurojust
European Public Prosecutors Office (EPPO)
European Multidisciplinary Platform Against Criminal Threats (EMPACT)
Public-Private Partnership
Protect logistics, information, staff, processes
Where
European Union ports
Who
European Commission
Belgian Presidency of Council of EU
Ylva Johansson
EU Home Affairs Commissioner
Revenue Commissioners
Law enforcement agencies
Customs officials
Private sector
How
Annual meetings at Ministerial level
Strategic priorities setting
Progress tracking
Significance
Strengthened port security
Reduced drug trafficking
Challenges
Organized crime adaptation
Internal security weaknesses
Way Forward
Regular review and strategy update
Enhanced international collaboration

The European Ports Alliance, launched on January 24, 2024, by the European Commission in collaboration with the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the EU, is a significant initiative aimed at combating drug trafficking and organized crime in European ports. This response is prompted by the alarming increase in drug seizures in European ports. The Alliance involves an investment of 200 million EUR for state-of-the-art equipment to assist customs officials and fosters cooperation between various European entities. It also includes a Public-Private Partnership to safeguard logistics and operations in ports. This strategic move is crucial for enhancing the security of Europe’s logistics hubs and curtailing the activities of criminal groups exploiting port vulnerabilities.

/ Elections & Democracy
SC Concern Over ED-States Disputes mind map
Recent News
January 2024
Indian context
When
Recent development
Why
Concerns over federalism
Impact on democracy
What
ED's powers upheld
Under Prevention of Money Laundering Act
Powers include
Arrest
Property attachment
Search and seizure
Where
Across India
Who
Supreme Court
Enforcement Directorate
State governments
Politicians under scrutiny
Congress leaders
Other opposition leaders
How
Legal proceedings
Supreme Court judgement
Significance
Financial system protection
Combat money laundering
Challenges
Political vendetta concerns
Federalism impact
Way Forward
Need for impartial mechanism

The Supreme Court of India recently raised concerns about the escalating disputes between the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and various state governments. These disputes stem from the ED’s enhanced powers under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, including arrest, property attachment, and search and seizure, which have been upheld by the Supreme Court. This situation poses significant implications for federalism and democracy in India, particularly with accusations of these powers being used for political vendetta. The resolution of these disputes is critical for maintaining a balance between combating financial crimes and protecting democratic values and federal structures.

/ Education, Indices/Reports
All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) 2021-2022 mind map
Recent News
Released by Ministry of Education
Date: January 2024
When
For the year 2021-2022
Why
Portray status of higher education
What
Survey Includes
Teachers
Student enrolment
Programmes
Examination results
Education finance
Infrastructure
Data Collected
Institution Density
Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER)
Pupil-teacher ratio
Gender Parity Index
Per Student Expenditure
Definition
Post 12 years of schooling
Where
Across India
Who
Ministry of Education
Government of India
How
Web-based annual survey
Report Highlights
Increased Enrolment
Total: 4.33 crore in 2021-22
Female: 2.07 crore in 2021-22
Improved GER
Overall: 28.4%
Female: 28.5%
SC, ST, OBC Enrolment Rise
SC: 44% increase
ST: 65.2% increase
OBC: 45% increase
Ph.D. Enrolment Growth
Total: 81.2% increase
Female: Doubled
Faculty Growth
Total: 15.98 lakh
Female: 43.4%

The AISHE 2021-2022 report, released by India’s Ministry of Education, provides a detailed analysis of the higher education sector in the country. It covers data on student enrolment, faculty, academic programs, and educational infrastructure. Key highlights include an increase in overall student enrolment to 4.33 crore, with significant growth in the enrolment of female, SC, ST, and OBC students. The report also notes an improvement in the Gross Enrolment Ratio and an increase in female faculty members in higher education institutions.

/ Awards & Honors
2024 Padma Awards mind map
Recent News
Announced January 2024
When
Ceremony usually in March or April
Why
Recognize outstanding achievements
What
Padma Vibhushan
Exceptional service
Padma Bhushan
High-order distinguished service
Padma Shri
Distinguished service in any field
Where
Rashtrapati Bhawan
Who
Awardees
132 total
30 women
8 Foreigners/NRI/PIO/OCI
9 Posthumous
Categories
Art, Social Work, Public Affairs, etc.
How
Approved by President of India
Significance
National recognition
Encourages excellence

The 2024 Padma Awards are a prestigious set of Indian civilian honors awarded annually in three categories: Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, and Padma Shri. These awards recognize achievements in various fields such as art, social work, public affairs, science, trade, and more. This year, 132 awards were announced, including notable awardees across diverse fields and regions, both from India and internationally. The awards are a significant acknowledgment of contributions to society and national development.

/ Industries/Sectors
Coal Gasification in India mind map
Recent News
January 2024
Indian Government Incentives
85 billion rupees
Breakdown
40.5 billion rupees
Public Sector Undertakings
38.5 billion rupees
Private sector
Government PSUs
6 billion rupees
Indigenous technology
Small-scale product-based plants
Projects
Coal-to-SNG Project
Joint Venture
Coal India Limited
GAIL
Location
Eastern Coalfields
Bengal
Coal-to-Ammonium Nitrate Project
Joint Venture
Coal India Limited
Bhel
Location
Mahanadi Coalfields
Odisha
Goals
100MT coal gasification by 2030
Reducing import dependency

In January 2024, the Indian government announced significant financial incentives totaling 85 billion rupees to support coal gasification projects. This initiative includes two major projects: a coal-to-SNG project in Bengal, and a coal-to-ammonium nitrate project in Odisha, both involving partnerships with major corporations like GAIL and Bhel. The goal is to achieve 100MT of coal gasification by 2030, aiming to reduce India’s dependency on imports.

/ Investment Models
Viability Gap Funding mind map
Recent News
India's Cabinet Approval
January 24, 2024
Rs 8,500 Crore Allocation
When
January 2024
Why
Energy Independence
Reduce Coal Imports
What
Fund Allocation
Rs 8,500 Crore
Target
Gasify 100 Million Tonnes
By 2030
Products
Methanol
Di-Methyl Ether
Ammonia
Ammonium Nitrate
Synthetic Natural Gas
Where
India
Who
Indian Government
Coal Gasification Industry
How
Financial Support
Capital Cost Coverage
Significance
Economic Savings
Reduce Import Bill
Industry Benefits
Diverse Products
Challenges
Environmental Impact
Coal-Based Emissions
Way Forward
Technological Advancements
Environmental Safeguards

The Indian government recently approved Viability Gap Funding (VGF) of Rs 8,500 crore for coal gasification, aiming to gasify 100 million tonnes of coal by 2030. This strategic move, announced on January 24, 2024, is part of India’s effort to achieve energy independence and reduce its coal import bill. The funding will support the production of various products, such as methanol, Di-Methyl Ether, ammonia, and Synthetic Natural Gas, benefiting multiple industries. While offering economic benefits, the initiative also faces environmental challenges due to coal-based emissions.

/ Diseases
New 3-Drug Regimen for Leprosy in India mind map
Recent News
January 2024
When
Starting April 1, 2025
Why
Eradicate leprosy
Ahead of UN Sustainable Development Goals
What
Shift from 2-drug to 3-drug regimen
For Pauci-Bacillary cases
Includes dapsone, rifampicin, clofazimine
Known as Multi-Drug Therapy
WHO endorsed
Where
Across India
Who
Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
World Health Organization
National Leprosy Eradication Programme
Indian states and Union Territories
How
Advanced requisitions
Yearly submission for drugs
Unified implementation date
Significance
Accelerate leprosy eradication by 2027
Stops transmission at sub-national level
Simplifies administration and manufacturing
Challenges
Debate over necessity
Side effects like skin discoloration
Adequacy of 2-drug regimen
Way Forward
Monitor implementation
Address side effects
Ensure drug availability

In January 2024, the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare announced the approval of a new 3-drug regimen for the treatment of Pauci-Bacillary (PB) leprosy, set to start on April 1, 2025. This initiative replaces the existing 2-drug regimen and includes dapsone, rifampicin, and clofazimine. Endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO), it is part of India’s commitment to eradicate leprosy by 2027, aligning with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. While this transition is expected to accelerate the eradication of leprosy and simplify treatment processes, there are concerns about its necessity and potential side effects, such as skin discoloration.

Central Building Research Institute (CBRI) mind map
Recent News
14 High-Risk Zones Identified
In Joshimath
Subsidence Hit Areas
Recommendations
Relocation
Compensation
Areas Affected
Marwari
Sunil
Upper Bazar
Lower Bazar
Singhdhar
Manohar Bagh
Survey Findings
1,000 Structures
Residential and Commercial
Cracks Not Worsened
Over Six Months
When
January 2024
Why
Land Subsidence
Serious Threat
Three Zones
Severe
Medium
Low Risk
What
Detailed Survey
Identification of Unsafe Zones
Building Analysis
Where
Joshimath, India
Who
CBRI
Central Building Research Institute
Ajay Chaurasia
CBRI Scientist
Ranjeet Sinha
State Disaster Management Secretary
Atul Sati
Joshimath Bachao Sangharsh Samiti Convenor
How
Geotechnical Survey
By CBRI
Collaboration with State Government
Public Hearings
Discussion with Central Government
Significance
Safety Measures
Preventing Further Harm
Government Support
Model Village Development
Challenges
Relocation Issues
Resistance from Locals
Preferred Relocation Within Town
Distance of Relocation Site
Gauchar, 90 km Away
Way Forward
Final Report Awaited
Government Decisions
Based on CBRI Recommendations
Continued Monitoring
Structural Integrity

The Central Building Research Institute (CBRI), in January 2024, identified 14 high-risk zones in Joshimath, India, due to severe land subsidence. This situation has rendered approximately 1,000 residential and commercial structures unsafe. CBRI’s detailed survey revealed three risk zones (severe, medium, and low) and advised the relocation or compensation of affected residents. The regions most impacted include Marwari, Sunil, Upper Bazar, Lower Bazar, Singhdhar, and Manohar Bagh. Despite this recommendation, there is resistance from locals who prefer relocation within the town itself, as opposed to distant areas like Gauchar, which is 90 km away. The government, along with CBRI, is working to find a feasible solution, considering the safety and socio-economic aspects of the affected population.

Investment Forum for Advancing Climate Resilient Agrifood Systems mind map
Launched
Organizers
NITI Aayog
Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
Date
January 18-19, 2024
Location
India International Centre
New Delhi
Recent News
Two-day multistakeholder meet
Purpose
Develop investment strategy
Create exchange platform
Stakeholders
Government
Private sector
Civil society organizations
Financial institutions
International agencies
Academia
Discussion Themes
Climate resilient agriculture
Digital infrastructure
Financing systems
Resilient value chains
Production practices
Gender mainstreaming
Why
Climate change impacts
On India
Vulnerable rural population
Agriculture risks
Extreme temperatures
Droughts
Floods
Cyclones
Soil salinity
What
Strategy Creation
For climate-resilient Agrifood systems
Partnership among
Government
Private sectors
Farmers’ organizations
Financial institutions
Key Areas
Climate-resilient agriculture
Digital infrastructure
Financing systems
Resilient value chains
Production practices
Gender mainstreaming
Who
Key Speakers
Prof Ramesh Chand
Member, NITI Aayog
Manoj Ahuja
Secretary, MoA&FW
Shombi Sharp
UN Resident Coordinator in India
Attendees
Senior government representatives
NABARD
ICAR
ICRISAT
MANAGE
World Bank
IFPRI
European Union delegation
International Finance Cooperation
UN agencies
How
Awareness Raising
Agriculture's role in climate change
Emphasis
Multi-stakeholder approach
Focus on small and marginal farmers
Localized responses to climate patterns
Financial Crisis
Food demand increase prediction
Investment scaling up in climate resilience
Significance
Addressing climate challenges
In agriculture
For economically vulnerable populations
Potential for carbon sequestration
Through tree plantation
Challenges
Need for larger investments
From
Global climate finance
Domestic budgets
Private sector
Way Forward
Continued collaboration
Among various sectors
Focus on
Sustainable agricultural practices
Climate resilience
Economic impact evaluation beyond financial metrics

The Investment Forum for Advancing Climate Resilient Agrifood Systems in India, launched by NITI Aayog, the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), aims to develop strategies for enhancing climate-resilient agrifood systems in India. This initiative, inaugurated in January 2024, focuses on creating an investment and partnership strategy by involving various stakeholders from the government, private sectors, farmers’ organizations, and financial institutions. Discussions at the forum centered around climate-resilient agriculture, digital infrastructure, financing systems, value chains, production practices, and gender mainstreaming in the context of climate resilience. The forum highlighted the significant impact of climate change on India, especially on its rural population dependent on climate-sensitive agriculture, emphasizing the need for larger investments from various sources to address these challenges. Key speakers at the event stressed the importance of a multi-stakeholder approach, focusing on small and marginal farmers, and the need for local solutions to climate patterns, as well as raising awareness about agriculture’s role in climate change and the potential for carbon sequestration through tree plantation on farmland. The forum sets a direction for future collaboration among different sectors, focusing on sustainable agricultural practices, climate resilience, and evaluating the economic impact of agricultural activities beyond financial metrics​​​​​​​​​​.

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