Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.


June 6 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm



The 18th Indian general election marks a significant turning point in the country’s political landscape. Despite the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) maintaining power, their loss of a parliamentary majority signals a shift. For the first time, Prime Minister must navigate coalition politics, potentially revitalizing democratic institutions and federalism. 

 This election sets the stage for a possible re-democratisation process after a decade of concentrated power and increased inequalities. 

De-democratisation to Re-democratisation 

  • Last 10 years saw concentration of power and resources in a few hands. 
  • This period witnessed increased inequalities and communal politics. 
  • Expected changes due to new balance of power and narrative shift. 

Institutional Impact 

  • Coalition politics might revive the autonomy of institutions like the Election Commission, judiciary, and media. 
  • Federalism might strengthen as the central government seeks support from state parties like TDP and JD(U). 
  • However, draconian laws from the last decade will likely remain. 

Narrative Shifts 

  • Modi’s national-populist identity politics might face challenges. 
  • Opposition, led by Rahul Gandhi, emphasizes social equality and justice. 
  • Gandhi’s popularity has risen due to his campaigns and defense of the Constitution. 

Possible Scenarios 

Modus Vivendi: 

  • Modi government makes substantial concessions to allies like TDP and JD(U) to maintain power. 

Power Struggle: 

  • Allies may push for significant power-sharing, potentially weakening BJP further. 
  • Opposition could gain strength and pressure the ruling coalition, leading to possible government collapse. 

Long-term Outlook 

  • Modi’s coalition management and potential internal BJP leadership changes will be critical. 
  • Civil society’s role in rejuvenating democracy is essential. 
  • A change in leadership alone won’t be enough; broader systemic reforms are necessary to counter the influence of RSS-related vigilantes. 



Tuberculosis (TB) remains a critical health crisis in India, causing an estimated 4,80,000 deaths annually. Despite long-standing efforts to control TB, the country’s goal of eliminating the disease by 2025 has stalled. 

Current Situation 

  • High Mortality: TB kills around 4,80,000 Indians every year, with over 1,400 deaths daily. 
  • ‘Missing’ Cases: Over a million TB cases annually are not notified, often due to inadequate diagnosis and treatment in the private sector. 

Government Efforts 

  • ICMR Initiative: The Indian Council of Medical Research is revising TB medication protocols and treatment duration to rejuvenate the TB-free initiative. 
  • Health Ministry’s Role: India has been involved in TB control for over 50 years but faces ongoing challenges. 

Advanced Interventions 

  • New Technologies: Enhanced early detection methods and advanced interventions for diagnosis, treatment, and care are now available. 
  • Improved Preparedness: The country is better equipped to tackle TB with these new technologies. 

About TB 

Tuberculosis (TB) is a major global health issue caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It affects various organs, predominantly the lungs. 

  • Cause: Bacterial infection by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. 
  • Affected Organs: Lungs, pleura, lymph nodes, intestines, spine, and brain. 


  • Mode: Airborne, spreading through close contact, especially in crowded, poorly ventilated areas. 
  • Common Symptoms: Persistent cough with sputum and blood, chest pain, weakness, weight loss, fever, and night sweats. 

Infection Prevalence 

  • Global Impact: 10 million people infected annually, with 1.5 million deaths. 
  • High-Risk Groups: Leading cause of death for people with HIV, significant in low- and middle-income countries. 
  • Major Countries: Half of TB cases in Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, and South Africa. 


  • Standard Treatment: 6-month course of 4 antimicrobial drugs. 
  • Drug Resistance: MDR-TB and XDR-TB are significant challenges, requiring second-line drugs like bedaquiline and delamanid. 

Drugs for TB 

  • Isoniazid (INH): Inhibits mycolic acid synthesis in the bacterial cell wall. 
  • Rifampicin (RIF): Inhibits bacterial RNA synthesis. 
  • Delamanid: Used for MDR-TB treatment. 

Initiatives to Combat TB 

  • Global Efforts: WHO’s “Find. Treat. All. #EndTB,” Global Tuberculosis Report, and Global Plan to End TB. 

India’s Efforts:  

  • Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyan, 
  •  National Strategic Plan for Tuberculosis Elimination, 
  •  TB Harega Desh Jeetega Campaign,  
  • Nikshay Poshan Yojna, and 
  •  RePORT India initiative. 


While India has made progress, significant efforts are still required to drastically reduce TB incidence and achieve the goal of eliminating the disease by 2025. 

Multiple Choice Question: 

  1. Consider the following statements about Tuberculosis (TB) in India:
  1. India has the highest number of TB cases globally. 
  1. Drug-resistant TB is a significant challenge in managing the disease. 
  1. Early diagnosis and completion of treatment are crucial for controlling TB spread. 

Which of the statements given above is/are correct? 

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



India has the highest number of TB cases globally. – This statement is correct. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), India carries the highest burden of TB cases globally  

Drug-resistant TB is a significant challenge in managing the disease. – This statement is also correct. Drug-resistant TB strains pose a major challenge in treatment, requiring longer and more complex medication  

Early diagnosis and completion of treatment are crucial for controlling TB spread. – This statement is again true. Early detection and adherence to the complete course of medication are essential to prevent further transmission of TB and control the spread of the disease. 



  1. Chandrababu Naidu, president of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), has emerged as a significant player in national politics following his party’s victory in 16 Lok Sabha seats. His alliance with Jana Sena Party and the BJP in Andhra Pradesh gives him leverage to demand Special Category Status (SCS) for the state.

Special Category Status (SCS) 

  • Introduced in 1969 by the Fifth Finance Commission to aid states with economic or geographical disadvantages. 
  • Difficult terrain, low population density, tribal population, strategic borders, economic backwardness, and non-viable state finances. 

Andhra Pradesh’s Demand for SCS 

  • Historical Context: Post-bifurcation, the UPA promised SCS to compensate for revenue loss and Hyderabad’s separation. 
  • Financial Strain: AP’s post-devolution revenue deficit for 2015-20 was underestimated, with state debt rising significantly. 
  • Economic Disparities: AP inherited a larger population and debt but lesser revenue compared to Telangana. 

Benefits of SCS for AP 

  • Financial Aid: Higher grants-in-aid, industrial incentives, and tax exemptions. 
  • Development Boost: Encourages investments in various sectors, enhancing employment and overall development. 

Political Maneuvering 

  • Naidu’s Advocacy: Persistent efforts to secure SCS during his tenure from 2014-2019, including resignations from NDA positions. 
  • Jagan’s Challenge: Continued the demand for SCS but faced similar resistance. 
  • Current Scenario: With BJP needing Naidu’s support, there is an opportunity for negotiating SCS or other favorable terms. 


Special Category Status (SCS) is a classification given by the Indian government to assist states that face geographical and socio-economic challenges.  

  • These challenges include difficult terrain, low population density, a high percentage of tribal population, strategic location along international borders, economic and infrastructure backwardness, and non-viable state finances. 


  • Higher grants-in-aid from the central government 
  • Preferential treatment in federal assistance and tax breaks 
  • Enhanced central assistance for centrally sponsored schemes (90% central assistance as opposed to 70% for other states) 

NITI Aayog’s Position on SCS 


  • The 14th Finance Commission recommended discontinuing the SCS mechanism. Instead, it suggested increasing the share of states in central tax revenues from 32% to 42% to address their financial needs comprehensively. 


  • NITI Aayog supports this recommendation, emphasizing a more equitable and efficient distribution of resources. The rationale is that the increased tax devolution allows states to have more financial autonomy and flexibility to address their unique needs without the need for special categorization. 

Multiple Choice Question: 

  1. Consider the following factors for horizontal tax devolution by a Finance Commission in India:
  1. Population 
  1. Area 
  1. Income distance 
  1. Tax effort 
  1. Fiscal responsibility 

How many of the above factors are considered by the Finance Commission while recommending the devolution of shareable central taxes to the states? 

  1. Only two 
  1. Only three 
  1. Only four 
  1. All five 



The Finance Commission in India considers all five factors listed in the question while recommending the devolution of shareable central taxes to the states. 

Population: A larger population signifies a greater need for financial resources. 

Area: States with larger geographical areas might have higher administrative costs. 

Income distance: This refers to the gap between the national average income and a state’s average income. Poorer states receive a higher share to bridge this gap. 

Tax effort: States that collect taxes efficiently are rewarded with a larger share. 

Fiscal responsibility: States that manage their finances responsibly are given a weightage in the devolution process. 



On World Environment Day 2024, Sunita Narain, Director-General of the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), emphasized the need for a new approach to development in India. With a newly elected Lower House of Parliament, Narain urged the government to adopt an inclusive, affordable, and sustainable development agenda. 

Governance and Implementation: 

  • India’s vast size and governance deficit impact scheme implementation. 
  • Climate change exacerbates issues with unseasonal weather causing droughts, floods, and livelihood losses. 

Development Strategy: 

  • Scale and Speed: Future development must be rapid and imaginative. 
  • Clean Water: Cities should recycle wastewater and redesign sewage systems to be affordable and sustainable. 
  • Clean Air: Reduce pollution from coal plants, shift to cleaner fuels, and control motorization in cities. 
  • Public Transport: Enhance public transport, integrate walking and cycling, and reimagine urban mobility. 

Sector-Specific Vision 


  • Scale up clean energy investments, particularly solar mini-grids and targeted subsidies. 
  • Increase the renewable energy share from the current 9-11% to meet electricity demands. 

Food and Nutrition: 

  • Invest in nutritious food production without degrading land and water. 
  • Focus on sustainable farming practices that benefit farmers and the environment. 

Institutional Reforms 

  • Strengthen Local Governance: 
  • Empower local institutions for better participation and governance. 
  • Enhance feedback and accountability mechanisms. 
  • Promote tolerance for diverse voices to improve governance through alternative information. 


Narain’s vision for sustainable development calls for innovative and inclusive approaches, emphasizing the need for robust local governance and a commitment to addressing climate change and resource management challenges. 



India’s 2024 Lok Sabha elections saw the election of 74 women MPs, reflecting a gradual increase in women’s political representation over the decades, though still short of the 33% reservation target. 

Representation Trends 

Historical Context: 

  • 1952: Women constituted 4.41% of Lok Sabha. 
  • 2019: Women’s representation peaked at 14.36%. 
  • 2024: Women MPs make up 13.63%. 

Global Comparison: 

  • South Africa: 46% 
  • UK: 35% 
  • US: 29% 

Party-wise Representation 

  • BJP: 31 women MPs 
  • Congress: 13 women MPs 
  • TMC: 11 women MPs (highest proportion at 37.93%) 

Candidate Composition 

  • Women Candidates: 
  • 2024: 10% of total candidates 
  • BJP: 16% 
  • Congress: 13% 

Women’s Reservation Act, 2023:  

The Women’s Reservation Act, 2023 (Constitution 106th Amendment Act) aims to improve gender parity by reserving one-third of seats for women in Lok Sabha, State legislative assemblies, and the Delhi Legislative Assembly. 

Key Provisions: 

  • Reservation Percentage: The bill likely reserves 33% of seats in the Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies for women. 
  • Gradual Implementation: There might be a delay in enforcing the reservation until after the 2024 census data is finalized. 
  • Reservation Scope: Includes seats reserved for SCs and STs. 
  • Implementation Timeline: Effective post the next census, valid for 15 years, extendable by Parliament. 
  • Rotation of Seats: Determined by parliamentary legislation post each delimitation. 

Historical Context: 

  • Early Efforts: Bills introduced in 1996, 1998, 1999, and 2008 lapsed due to Lok Sabha dissolutions. 
  • International Commitment: Aligned with the 1979 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, aiming to eradicate gender-based political discrimination. 

Current Status: 

  • Women in Politics: Women constitute about 15% of the 17th Lok Sabha and 9% in state legislative assemblies. 
  • Global Perspective: According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2023, women’s political representation in India stands at 15.1%, showing significant progress. 


The Women’s Reservation Act, 2023 is a significant step towards a more inclusive and participative democracy in India, aiming to bridge the gender gap in political representation. 

Multiple Choice Question: 

  1. Among the following women reformers of 19th century India, who is best known for advocating for widow remarriage?
  1. Begum Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain 
  1. Sarojini Naidu 
  1. Savitribai Phule 
  1. Annie Besant 



Begum Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain: A prominent Bengali Muslim writer and reformer from the early 20th century. While she advocated for women’s education, she is not primarily known for widow remarriage. 

Sarojini Naidu: A renowned poet and political activist from the early 20th century. Her focus was on Indian independence and women’s suffrage, not specifically widow remarriage. 

Savitribai Phule: A pioneering social reformer from Maharashtra in the 19th century. She, along with her husband Jyotirao Phule, is best known for advocating for girls’ education and widow remarriage. They faced strong opposition but established schools for girls from marginalized communities and campaigned tirelessly against social evils like child marriage and sati. 

Annie Besant: An Irish theosophist, writer, and political activist who came to India in the late 19th century. Though a supporter of women’s education and social reform, her primary focus wasn’t widow remarriage. 



The imminent eruption of “Blaze Star” (T Coronae Borealis), an infrequent cosmic occurrence, will be observable without the aid of telescopes, a phenomenon unseen since 1946. This occurrence underscores the ever-changing character of the cosmos and the intricate mechanisms dictating the progression of stars. 

Blaze Star (T Coronae Borealis): 

  • Located 3,000 light-years away in the Corona Borealis constellation. 
  • Recurrent nova, erupting once every 80 years, making it rare and significant. 
  • Consists of a binary star system with a white dwarf and a red giant. 
  • Explosions occur when the white dwarf accumulates material from the red giant, igniting a thermonuclear explosion. 
  • Past notable eruptions recorded in 1946, 1866, 1787, and 1217. 

Frequency and Impact: 

  • Novae like T CrB occur every few decades to a century, differing from supernovae in scale and consequences. 
  • Unlike supernovae, novae do not destroy the star system but allow it to reset and repeat the cycle. 


  • Provides insight into the life cycle of stars and the mechanisms driving stellar explosions. 
  • Offers scientists and astronomers an opportunity to study the phenomena associated with recurrent novae. 
  • Captures public interest and fascination with celestial events, fostering a deeper appreciation for the wonders of the universe. 



The discovery of Tmesipteris oblanceolata’s genome size sheds light on the diversity and complexity of plant genomes. 

Offers insights into the evolutionary history and adaptation of fern species, enriching our understanding of plant biology and evolution. 

Tmesipteris oblanceolata: 

  • Rare fern species found primarily in New Caledonia and neighboring islands like Vanuatu. 
  • Typically grows on the ground or on fallen tree trunks, reaching heights of 10-15 centimeters. 
  • Boasts a genome size of 160.45 billion base pairs, making it 7% larger than the previous record-holder, Paris japonica. 
  • The length of DNA in each cell of this fern, if stretched out, would span nearly 350 feet, in contrast to the human genome’s 6-1/2 feet. 
  • Belongs to the Tmesipteris genus, with ancestors dating back approximately 350 million years. 

Characteristics and Habitat: 

  • Mainly epiphytic, meaning it grows on the trunks and branches of trees, with a restricted distribution in Oceania and Pacific Islands. 
  • Adapted to thrive in diverse environmental conditions, contributing to its resilience and survival. 

Significance of Ferns: 

  • Ferns are non-flowering plants possessing roots, stems, and leaves, but lacking flowers and seeds. 
  • Reproduction primarily occurs through spores or vegetative methods, distinguishing them from flowering plants. 
  • Play a vital role in ecosystems by providing habitat, stabilizing soil, and contributing to biodiversity. 



The recent test launch of an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) from the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California highlights the ongoing importance of the U.S. nuclear deterrent capability. The Minuteman III, a stalwart of America’s nuclear arsenal, has played a critical role in maintaining national security since its deployment in the 1960s. 


Minuteman III Overview: 

  • Solid-fuelled ICBM developed by the United States Air Force (USAF) in the 1960s. 
  • Sole land-based component of the U.S. nuclear triad, alongside sea-based and air-based systems. 
  • Manufactured by Boeing Corporation, it was initially intended for a limited service life but has been modernized over the years. 


  • Three-stage, solid-fuel missile design. 
  • Dimensions: 18.2 meters in length, 1.85 meters in diameter, with a launch weight of 34,467 kilograms. 
  • Capable of reaching a maximum range of 13,000 kilometers and carrying up to three reentry vehicles. 
  • Currently configured to carry a single nuclear warhead in compliance with arms control agreements. 


  • The Minuteman III serves as a crucial component of the U.S. nuclear deterrence strategy, deterring potential adversaries from engaging in hostile actions. 
  • Its fast launch time, high testing reliability, and backup launch controllers ensure the preservation of retaliatory capabilities, enhancing national security. 

Modernization and Replacement: 

  • Despite its age, the Minuteman III continues to undergo modernization efforts to maintain its effectiveness until its replacement, the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD), becomes operational in 2029. 
  • The GBSD program aims to enhance the reliability and capability of the U.S. land-based nuclear deterrent for the decades to come. 


June 6
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
Event Category:
error: Content is protected !!