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October 11, 2023 @ 7:30 am - 11:30 pm



The year 2023 is on a trajectory to become the warmest year ever recorded. Recent data reveals unprecedented increases in global temperatures, surpassing historical averages and pre-industrial levels. The consequences of this alarming trend are significant, especially in the context of climate change discussions leading up to COP28.

Record-Breaking Warmth in 2023:

Hottest September Ever: In September 2023, global temperatures reached record highs with an average surface air temperature of 16.38°C. This figure represents a 0.93°C increase compared to the September average between 1991 and 2020, marking a disturbing trend.

Yearlong Heat: From January to September 2023, the global surface air temperature remained 0.52°C above the 1991-2020 average, surpassing even the warmest year, 2016, by 0.05°C. The year 2023 stands at 1.40°C above the 1850-1900 baseline.

European Heatwave: The Copernicus Climate Bulletin reported significantly elevated temperatures in most of Europe in September 2023. A region spanning from France to north-western Russia experienced its hottest September ever, with Belgium and the U.K. facing unprecedented heatwaves.

Implications for Climate Change:

  1. Unprecedented Highs: The data highlights the increasing prevalence of extreme heat and global warming, raising concerns about the effects of climate change and the urgency to address it.
  2. Sea Ice Decline: Concurrently, the Antarctic and Arctic regions witnessed alarming declines in sea ice extent, further underscoring the environmental impact of rising temperatures.

The data from 2023 indicates that global warming is accelerating, making it crucial to prioritize climate action and emissions reduction efforts. The impending COP28 meeting takes on added significance as the world grapples with record-breaking temperatures and their far-reaching consequences.



Arunachal Pradesh, the northeastern gem of India, harbours unparalleled biodiversity within its lush forests, meandering river systems, and coveted tiger reserves. These natural riches have been meticulously catalogued and preserved, thanks to the unswerving commitment of local field assistants. These unsung heroes have joined hands with researchers, conservationists, and forest officers to chart and protect the ecological wealth of this region.

The Significance of Local Field Assistants:

  1. Indigenous Ecological Knowledge: Local field assistants bring to the table an innate understanding of their native ecosystems. Their wisdom encompasses the behavioural patterns of wildlife, subtleties of flora, and seasonal nuances.
  2. Navigating Challenging Terrain: Arunachal Pradesh’s diverse topography often poses challenges for scientific exploration. Local field assistants, adept at manoeuvring this rugged terrain, guide research teams through dense forests, treacherous rivers, and imposing mountains.
  3. Cultural Insights: These field assistants offer not only ecological acumen but also cultural context. They bridge the gap between researchers and the local community, facilitating knowledge exchange and building trust.

Documenting Biodiversity:

  • Tiger Reserves: Arunachal Pradesh boasts vital tiger reserves, providing refuge to this endangered species. Field assistants play a pivotal role in monitoring and conserving tiger populations.
  • River Systems: The intricate river systems of the state, including the Siang and Lohit rivers, hold immense ecological significance. Field assistants contribute to the study of aquatic biodiversity, water quality assessment, and the acknowledgment of these rivers’ importance to wildlife and local communities.
  • Migratory Birds: Arunachal Pradesh serves as a sanctuary for migratory birds. Local field assistants collaborate with researchers in monitoring these avian travellers, thereby advancing avifaunal conservation.

Preservation and Future Endeavours:

The field notes gathered in partnership with local field assistants stand as invaluable resources for researchers and conservationists. This synergy highlights the pivotal role of indigenous wisdom and community engagement in the conservation of biodiversity. In the days ahead, these partnerships can serve as a blueprint for sustainable conservation endeavours, ensuring the enduring protection of Arunachal Pradesh’s natural treasures for posterity.



India and Tanzania, in a significant development, have advanced their bilateral relations to a strategic partnership. This move, following discussions between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan, aims to boost cooperation and collaboration in various domains, including defence. The elevation in ties between these nations signifies a renewed commitment to strengthening their relationship and realizing common goals.

Elevating India-Tanzania Ties:

  • Historic Milestone: Both leaders acknowledged the historic significance of this move, which transitions the long-standing friendship between India and Tanzania into a strategic partnership. This change marks a pivotal moment in their bilateral relations.
  • Defence Cooperation: India and Tanzania have laid out a comprehensive five-year roadmap for enhancing defence cooperation. This roadmap encompasses multiple facets of military engagement, including training, maritime activities, and defence industries.

Bolstering Regional Security:

Countering Terrorism: Prime Minister Modi emphasized that both nations concur that terrorism stands as one of the most pressing security threats to humanity. India and Tanzania have consequently resolved to expand their joint efforts in counter-terrorism.

Indo-Pacific Partnership: Narendra Modi recognized Tanzania’s role as an important partner in the Indo-Pacific region. This designation highlights the shared commitment to promoting regional stability and prosperity.

Expanding Cooperation:

Diverse Agreements: The two sides have endorsed six key agreements, spanning digital cooperation, cultural exchange, sports collaboration, maritime industries, and the sharing of white shipping information. These agreements underscore the breadth and depth of their cooperation.

Trade and Investment: India and Tanzania are actively exploring the possibility of increasing trade in local currencies. Both nations are vital trade and investment partners for each other, and this potential move can foster economic growth and mutual benefits.



The Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS), conducted by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), has unveiled encouraging findings, indicating a decline in India’s unemployment rate during the period between April and June 2023. This positive trend is coupled with improvements in critical labor market indicators, namely, the Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR) and the Worker-Population Ratio (WPR). These findings signify a significant shift in India’s labor market dynamics, reflecting positive developments.

Understanding Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS):

  • Objective: The PLFS aims to gather comprehensive labor market data in India.
  • Conducted by: The survey is carried out by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI), Government of India, replacing earlier employment-unemployment surveys by NSSO.
  • Frequency: It is conducted periodically, typically spanning a year.
  • Data Categories: PLFS collects data on various aspects, including employment status, unemployment rate, sector-wise employment, income, demographics, and more.
  • Policy Impact: The survey informs government policies related to

2022-23 Survey Overview: employment, labor market interventions, and economic planning.

  • Scope: The national survey covered data from 5,639 first-stage sampling units and encompassed 1,67,916 individuals in 44,190 urban households.
  • Age Group: The survey focused on individuals aged 15 years and above.

Improvements in Urban Labor Market:

LFPR Uptick: In urban areas, the LFPR exhibited growth, increasing from 47.5% in April-June 2022 to 48.8% in the corresponding months of 2023 for individuals aged 15 years and above.

Gender Disparities: While LFPR remained stable for males, there was a notable increase for females during this period, marking an improvement in female labour force participation.

Enhanced WPR: In urban areas, the WPR also saw an increase, further underscoring labour market improvements.

Decrease in Unemployment Rate:

Declining Unemployment: The PLFS reported a reduction in the Unemployment Rate (UR) for individuals aged 15 years and above in urban areas, dropping from 7.6% to 6.6% during the specified period.

Comparative Analysis:

The report highlights favourable trends compared to the pre-pandemic period, indicating a resilient labour market recovery.


The Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) results paint a positive picture of India’s labour market, characterized by decreasing unemployment, improved labour force participation, and enhanced worker-population ratios. These developments signal progress towards economic stability and job creation, underlining India’s resilience and recovery in the labour market.



Punjab has announced its intention to ban the cultivation of the PUSA-44 paddy variety, a decision that comes after this variety once covered a significant portion of the state’s paddy cultivation area, garnering praise for its high yield. This development has raised questions about why Punjab seeks to ban the PUSA-44 paddy variety.

Cultivation History of PUSA-44:

Development: PUSA-44 was developed in 1993 by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) based in Delhi. Initially, it was sown in specific areas of Punjab.

Rapid Adoption: Due to its high crop yield, farmers in Punjab increasingly embraced PUSA-44 during the late 2010s, eventually covering 70% to 80% of the paddy cultivation area.

Government’s Stand: The Agriculture Department and Punjab Agricultural University initially discouraged its cultivation due to concerns over declining groundwater levels.

Fluctuating Area: Despite discouragement, the cultivation area of PUSA-44 fluctuated, rising from 18% to 22% in recent years.

Yield Comparison:

Farmers claim that PUSA-44 yields significantly more than other paddy varieties, with some achieving 36 to 40 quintals per acre compared to 28 to 30 quintals with other varieties. Given the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of paddy, this translates to higher income for farmers.

Reasons Behind the Ban:

Long Duration: PUSA-44 is a long-duration variety, taking around 160 days to mature, 35 to 40 days more than short-duration varieties. This extended cultivation period necessitates additional irrigation cycles, contributing to groundwater depletion.

Groundwater Crisis: Punjab faces severe groundwater depletion, with many areas declared as ‘dark zones.’ Here, the rate of groundwater depletion exceeds the rate of recharge, necessitating the use of deep tube wells.

Stubble Burning: The long maturity period of PUSA-44 leads to a limited timeframe for stubble disposal, increasing instances of stubble burning. This variety generates more stubble than shorter-duration ones.

Stubble Burning Impact:

Due to PUSA-44’s extended maturity period, it is harvested just before wheat sowing season, leaving a limited window for stubble management. This exacerbates stubble burning, a major contributor to air pollution in north India during winter.


The decision to ban the cultivation of PUSA-44 in Punjab is driven by the need to address the critical issues of groundwater depletion and stubble burning. While this variety offers higher yields, its long cultivation period and stubble generation have environmental and water resource implications, prompting the state government to take action.



Kudumbashree, the largest self-help group network in India, celebrated its silver jubilee, reflecting on its transformative journey in empowering women and fighting poverty. President Droupadi Murmu inaugurated the celebrations, underscoring the organization’s critical role during crises like floods and the pandemic.

  • Back to school” campaign was launched under Kudumbashree by Kerala govt.
  • Under this, 46 lakh women will attend classes on adapting to the digital age, and training in financial transactions and entrepreneurship.
  • This will enable moving from poverty alleviation to enhancing the income of households.

Evolution of Kudumbashree:

  1. From Poverty Alleviation to Women’s Empowerment: Kudumbashree started as a microcredit program but has transformed women from lower-income families into change agents, playing crucial roles during crises.
  2. Political Empowerment: Women from Kudumbashree have become leaders in Kerala’s local bodies, reinforcing the state’s commitment to women’s participation in governance.
  3. Social Capital: Kudumbashree has become Kerala’s largest social capital, addressing issues of poverty, gender empowerment, and grassroots development.

Challenges Ahead:

Gender Paradox: Kerala grapples with gender-based violence and mental health issues. Kudumbashree must evolve as a strong counter-culture force to combat these challenges.


Kudumbashree’s 25-year journey reflects its remarkable contributions to women’s empowerment and poverty reduction. As it faces the ‘gender paradox,’ it’s poised to emerge as a formidable force for social change in Kerala.



Scientists are conducting research on watermeal, the world’s smallest flowering plant, to explore its potential as a source of nutrition and oxygen for astronauts.

Watermeal, known for its tiny size and floating habit on water bodies, offers a unique subject for this research due to its simplicity and rapid growth rate. It lacks roots, stems, or leaves, making it an ideal candidate for studying the effects of altered gravity on plant development.

Watermeal is not only scientifically intriguing but also has practical benefits. It is a prolific producer of oxygen through photosynthesis and a rich source of protein. In Thailand, it has been part of the local diet for generations.


October 11, 2023
7:30 am - 11:30 pm
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