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June 5 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm



The 2024 general election marks a significant turning point in Indian politics, especially within the Hindi heartland. Echoing the historical shifts of 1977 and 1989, the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has experienced a notable decline, signalling the resurgence of “normal politics” in the region.  

BJP Seat Share: Dropped from around 80% in previous elections to about 60% in this election, indicating a return to traditional political dynamics. 

State-Specific Outcomes 

Uttar Pradesh: 

  • INDIA Bloc Victory: The INDIA bloc won 43 seats, surpassing the NDA’s 36 seats. 
  • Samajwadi Party (SP): Emerged as the largest party with 37 seats, utilizing a strategy to include Dalits in the Mandal coalition. 
  • BJP Performance: Strong in western UP due to alliance with Rashtriya Lok Dal. 
  • Congress: Best performance since 2009, winning six seats with SP support. 


  • JD(U) and BJP: Both won 12 seats each, with JD(U) performing well. 
  • INDIA Bloc: Improved performance, reducing vote-share gap with NDA, focusing on livelihood concerns. 

Rajasthan and Haryana: 

  • Congress Revival: Gained seats due to a return of Dalit voter base and focus on social justice and farmer distress. 
  • Rajasthan: Congress won eight seats. 
  • Haryana: Congress won five out of ten seats. 

BJP Strongholds 

Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh: 

  • Maintained strongholds, wiping out Congress in Madhya Pradesh and limiting it in Chhattisgarh. 
  • Voter Base: Stable support among tribal voters, despite Congress efforts. 



While reversing centuries of damage to the earth is unrealistic overnight, proactive and sustained efforts can restore the environment. 

Generational Commitment: One fully committed generation, followed by zealous subsequent generations, can make significant environmental improvements. 

Theme and Campaign 

  • Slogan: “Our land. Our future. We are #GenerationRestoration.” 
  • Focus: Addresses land degradation, environmental deterioration, and depletion of natural resources. 
  • Goal: Highlight the urgent need for global cooperation in land restoration. 

World Environment Day Overview 

  • Established by UNEP: Led by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and observed annually on June 5 since 1973. 
  • Global Platform: Brings together millions from over 150 nations to raise awareness and inspire action for environmental protection. 

2024 Celebrations 

  • Host: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 
  • Focus Areas: Land restoration, desertification, and drought resilience. 
  • Key Campaigns: Launch initiatives to address these issues, emphasizing the importance of restoring ecosystems. 

Environmental Challenges 

  • Land Degradation: 12 million hectares of land lost to drought annually, leading to food insecurity. 
  • Species Extinction: Land degradation disrupts natural processes, risking the extinction of 1 million species. 

Call to Action 

  • UNEP Leadership: Deputy Executive Director Elizabeth Mrema emphasizes the urgent need to act on commitments to prevent, halt, and reverse ecosystem degradation. 
  • Global Responsibility: Governments, individuals, and communities must collaborate to scale up successful initiatives and invest in innovative solutions for a sustainable future. 

Multiple Choice Question: 

  1. Consider the following statements about the Paris Agreement:
  1. It aims to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels. 
  1. Developed countries are obligated to provide financial assistance to developing countries for climate change mitigation and adaptation. 
  1. The Agreement sets binding emission reduction targets for all signatory nations. 

Which of the statements given above are correct?  

  1. 1 and 2 only 
  1. 2 and 3 only 
  1. 1 and 3 only 
  1. 1, 2 and 3 



The Paris Agreement’s central goal is to limit global warming as stated in option 1. It emphasizes keeping the increase in global average temperature well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and strives for efforts to limit it even further to 1.5°C. 

Developed countries are obligated to provide financial assistance to developing countries under the principle of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities (CBDR-RC). This principle acknowledges that developed nations have historically contributed more to greenhouse gas emissions and have greater resources to help developing countries transition to cleaner energy sources and adapt to climate change impacts  

While not setting absolutely binding emission targets for each nation, the Paris Agreement requires all signatory countries to set and regularly update their own goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). This emphasizes a collective effort towards emission reduction. 



India’s traditional reliance on fossil fuels is unsustainable, presenting significant challenges. However, hydrogen offers a promising alternative for the country’s energy needs. To address this, the government is actively expanding renewable capacity, easing climate financing, and aiming for net-zero emissions. 

Global Green Hydrogen Efforts 

  • Importance of Green Hydrogen: Essential for a future lower-carbon economy. 
  • Global Leadership: Europe leads in electrolyser capacity deployment with ambitious hydrogen strategies. 

Hydrogen Value Chain 

  • Integration of Systems: Involves renewable power, energy storage, grid systems, and power conversion systems. 
  • Roadmap Requirement: A clear roadmap is needed to accelerate green hydrogen supply, demand, and consumption. 

Decarbonising Power Generation 

  • Coal to Gas Transition: Natural gas power plants are less polluting than coal plants. 
  • Hydrogen Potential: Hydrogen, combined with carbon capture technologies, can further reduce emissions. 
  • Innovative Projects: Example of Duke Energy’s DeBary Hydrogen project producing green hydrogen from solar power. 

Hydrogen in Industry 

  • Diverse Applications: Hydrogen can reduce carbon emissions in steel, refineries, and fertilizer production. 
  • Growing Demand: India’s green hydrogen demand is expected to grow over fourfold by 2050. 
  • National Green Hydrogen Policy: Aims for 5 million metric tonnes of annual green hydrogen production and significant job creation. 

Innovations in Green Hydrogen 

  • High Temperature Electrolysis: Promises increased efficiency. 
  • Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting: Uses sunlight to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. 
  • Economies of Scale: Building a commercially viable green hydrogen supply ecosystem is crucial. 

way forward 

  • Early-Stage Adoption: Green hydrogen is essential for the global energy transition. 
  • Future Potential: Once production costs fall, hydrogen’s storage, transmission, and distribution potential will increase. 
  • Commitment to Innovation: On World Environment Day, India must recommit to innovation and collaboration for sustainable energy solutions like green hydrogen. 


Electrolysis:  The core process is electrolysis, which separates water (H2O) into hydrogen (H2) and oxygen (O2).  An electrolyzer filled with water acts like a giant battery. 

Electricity Source:  The key to “green” is the electricity powering the electrolysis.  Renewable sources like solar or wind farms generate this electricity. 

Splitting Water:  When electricity flows through the electrolyzer, it separates the hydrogen and oxygen atoms in water molecules.  Hydrogen collects at one electrode and oxygen at the other. 

Pure Hydrogen:  This process produces pure hydrogen gas with zero emissions, unlike methods using fossil fuels.  The oxygen is typically released harmlessly into the atmosphere. 

National Green Hydrogen Mission 

  • Launched in January 2023 with an initial outlay of ₹19,744 crore (US$2.4 billion) till 2029-30. 
  • Aims to make India a leading producer and exporter of green hydrogen. 

Focuses on various aspects: 

Strategic Interventions for Green Hydrogen Transition (SIGHT): This program offers financial incentives for: 

  • Manufacturing electrolyzers (devices for electrolysis) 
  • Production of green hydrogen itself 
  • Pilot Projects: Supports pilot projects to demonstrate green hydrogen applications in transportation and other sectors. 
  • Research & Development: Funds research into new and more efficient green hydrogen production methods. 
  • Other Mission Components: Includes initiatives for building infrastructure, skill development, and promoting a robust green hydrogen ecosystem in India. 

This mission aims to achieve multiple goals: 

  • Decarbonization: Reduce dependence on fossil fuels and achieve cleaner energy across industries. 
  • Self-Reliance (Aatma Nirbhar): Develop domestic manufacturing capabilities for green hydrogen technologies. 
  • Job Creation: Spur economic growth and create new employment opportunities. 
  • Global Leadership: Position India as a leader in green hydrogen production and technology. 

Multiple Choice Question: 

  1. Consider the following statements about India’s energy capabilities and renewable energy targets:
  1. India is currently the world’s 4th largest producer of renewable energy. 
  1. Solar energy accounts for the largest share of India’s total installed renewable energy capacity. 
  1. India aims to achieve 50% of its electricity generation from renewable sources by 2030. 

Which of the statements given above are correct? 

  1. 1 and 2 only 
  1. 2 and 3 only 
  1. 1 and 3 only 
  1. 1, 2 and 3 



India is indeed a global leader in renewable energy growth. As of December 2022, it ranks among the top 4 or 5 countries in the world for renewable energy production capacity. 

Solar energy is the dominant player in India’s renewable energy mix. It contributes the largest share of India’s total installed renewable energy capacity, exceeding 64 GW as of December 2022. 

The Indian government has set ambitious renewable energy targets. It aims for renewable energy to constitute 50% of the country’s installed electricity generation capacity by 2030. 



Direct Seeded Rice (DSR) is a modern cultivation technique where rice seeds are directly sown into the field, bypassing the traditional method of transplanting seedlings. Recently, ICAR has commercialised herbicide-tolerant (Ht) basmati rice varieties that can control weeds, offering several benefits. 

Key Points: 

Direct Seeded Rice (DSR): 

  • Seeds are directly sown into the field instead of transplanting seedlings. 
  • It is an efficient and sustainable method of rice cultivation. 
  • Provides significant benefits for farmers, the environment, and the economy. 

Herbicide-Tolerant Basmati Rice: 

  • ICAR developed non-genetically modified (non-GM) Ht basmati rice. 
  • These varieties can tolerate the herbicide Imazethapyr due to a mutated ALS gene. 

Scientific Debate: 

  • Research suggests hand weeding at 20 and 40 days after sowing in DSR is more effective and yield-enhancing than using Imazethapyr. 
  • ICAR’s research supports eco-friendly hand weeding over repeated herbicide applications for better weed control and higher seed yield. 

Weed Diversity and Risks: 

  • Imazethapyr targets specific broadleaf weeds (BLW), not all weed types. 
  • There is a risk of developing herbicide-resistant weeds, which can threaten rice production and food security, similar to issues seen with Bt-Cotton. 

Historical Context: 

  • DSR has been used for growing Basmati rice in the North Western Plains (e.g., Punjab, Haryana). 
  • The Green Revolution promoted water-intensive transplanted rice, causing ecological issues. 

Innovations in DSR: 

  • From 2014 to 2017, IARI Karnal developed TAR-VATTAR technology, which uses climate factors and effective herbicides like Pendimethalin to reduce costs and save water. 

Recent Adoption and Impact: 

  • The COVID-19 pandemic led to a labour shortage, increasing DSR adoption in Punjab. 
  • Haryana conserved significant water resources (e.g., 31,500 crore litres in 2022) by adopting DSR on a large scale. 



The inaugural United Nations Global Supply Chain Forum was organized by UN Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the Government of Barbados. Held from May 21 to 24, 2024, in Barbados, it addressed global trade challenges. 

Key Points: 

Event Overview: 

  • The forum was the first of its kind, held in Barbados. 
  • Hosted by UNCTAD in collaboration with the Government of Barbados. 
  • Over 1,000 participants attended, including trade and transport ministers from small island developing states (SIDS). 

Main Themes and Discussions: 

  • Addressed global disruptions, geopolitical tensions, climate change, and the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Focused on decarbonizing global shipping and the role of developing countries with renewable energy resources. 

Key Outcomes: 

  • Launch of the “Manifesto for Intermodal, Low-Carbon, Efficient and Resilient Freight Transport and Logistics.” 
  • The manifesto calls for transforming freight transport to meet climate targets and improve socio-economic resilience. 
  • Emphasis on transitioning to zero-emission fuels, optimized logistics, and sustainable value chains. 

Technological and Financial Support: 

  • Highlighted the importance of digital technologies for enhancing supply chain resilience. 
  • SIDS ministers advocated for international financial support for green technologies to boost energy efficiency and reduce marine pollution. 

Significant Launches: 

  • Introduction of the UN Trade and Development Trade-and-Transport Dataset, developed with the World Bank. 
  • This dataset provides comprehensive global data on over 100 commodities and various transport modes. 



Ahilya Bai Holkar, the Holkar Queen of the Maratha Malwa kingdom (31 May 1725 – 13 August 1795), is celebrated for her visionary leadership, wisdom, and spiritual inclination. Her 300th birth anniversary was recently commemorated. 


Key Points: 

Early Life and Ascension: 

  • Ahilyabai’s husband, Khanderao Holkar, died in the battle of Kumbher in 1754. 
  • Her father-in-law, Malhar Rao Holkar, passed away in 1766. 
  • She was crowned queen of Malwa in 1767 and ruled for 28 years. 

Administration and Governance: 

  • Renowned for her wisdom, courage, and administrative skills. 
  • Brought peace, prosperity, and stability to Malwa. 
  • Transformed her capital, Maheshwar, into a hub of culture and industry. 

Cultural and Industrial Contributions: 

  • Invited poets and scholars like Moropant, Shahir Ananta Gandhi, and Khushali Ram to her court. 
  • Promoted dharma and industrialization. 
  • Established the textile industry in Maheshwar, famous for Maheshwari sarees. 

Military Leadership: 

  • Military-trained and led armies into battle. 
  • Appointed Tukojirao Holkar as Chief of Army. 

Justice and Social Reforms: 

  • Known for fair administration of justice. 
  • Sentenced her own son to death for a capital offense. 
  • Made progressive decisions like removing the law confiscating the property of childless widows. 
  • Held daily public audiences to address common people’s problems. 

Religious and Architectural Contributions: 

  • Built hundreds of temples and dharmashalas across India. 
  • Notably renovated the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in 1780. 


  • John Keay, a British historian, titled her ‘The Philosopher Queen’. 
  • Her nephew, Tukojirao Holkar, succeeded her after her death on August 13, 1795. 



The National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) in Bengaluru has been awarded the prestigious Nelson Mandela Award for Health Promotion by the World Health Organization (WHO) for 2024, highlighting India’s commitment to mental health. 


Key Points: 


  • A multidisciplinary institute focusing on mental health and neuroscience through clinical care, education, and research. 
  • Established in 1974 and declared a Deemed University in 1994. 
  • Governed by the NIMHANS Act of 2012. 
  • Declared an Institute of National Importance in 2012. 

India’s Progress in Mental Health: 

  • Established a tele-mental health helpline (Tele MANAS). 
  • Set up Mental Health Units in almost all districts through the National Health Mission. 

WHO Nelson Mandela Award for Health Promotion: 

  • Established in 2019 by the initiative of African Region Health Ministers. 
  • Awarded to individuals, institutions, or NGOs making significant contributions to health promotion. 
  • Recognizes efforts to improve health access and address mental health challenges. 


  • The award showcases India’s progress and dedication to accessible mental health services. 
  • Reflects the global recognition of NIMHANS’s efforts in promoting mental health. 


June 5
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
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