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May 14 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm



The Mediation Act of 2023 marks a significant shift in India’s legal landscape. Recognizing the limitations of traditional litigation, this act actively promotes mediation as a key tool for resolving disputes.  

By establishing a framework for pre-litigation, court-annexed, online, and community mediation, the act aims to empower neutral mediators to facilitate amicable settlements and reduce court backlogs. 

About Mediation Act, 2023:

  • The Mediation Act, 2023, is a significant legal framework aimed at promoting alternative dispute resolution. 
  • It formalizes mediation and covers various forms such as pre-litigation, court-annexed mediation, online platforms, and community mediation. 
  • The Act emphasizes the role of neutral mediators in facilitating amicable settlements between disputing parties. 
  • It was notified on September 15, 2023, with the goal of reducing judicial backlog and promoting faster resolution of disputes. 

Role of Mediation in Legal Landscape: 

  • Mediation is increasingly recognized as a valuable alternative to prolonged litigation. 
  • It shifts the focus from adversarial confrontation to reconciling differences and healing relationships. 
  • Mediators create a democratic space for open dialogue, allowing parties to express emotions and grievances freely. 
  • The approach aligns with Mahatma Gandhi’s vision of lawyers as peacemakers, emphasizing reconciliation over confrontation. 

Barriers to Mediator Skill Development: 

  • Current guidelines require aspiring mediators to have 15 years of professional experience, which can be a barrier. 
  • Law students are trained to advocate strongly for their clients, contrasting with the mediator’s role of neutrality and impartiality. 
  • There’s a disconnect in legal education, with a need for continuous, integrated learning to switch between advocacy and mediation effectively. 

Strategies for Fostering Next Generation Mediators: 

  • Incorporating innovative training methods like co-mediation and shadow mediation for young lawyers. 
  • Co-mediation pairs novices with experienced mediators for dynamic learning. 
  • Shadow mediation allows observation of mediation sessions to gain insights into the process. 
  • Embedding mediation training modules within the law school curriculum to ignite interest and develop critical skills early on. 

Benefits of Mediation: 

  • Mediation offers confidentiality, flexibility, and autonomy to parties involved in resolving disputes. 
  • It often leads to faster resolutions and lower costs compared to traditional litigation. 
  • Mediation can preserve relationships between parties by focusing on mutual interests and collaborative problem-solving. 

Challenges in Mediation Implementation: 

  • Resistance to change within the legal community may hinder widespread adoption of mediation. 
  • Ensuring quality and consistency in mediation practices across different regions and jurisdictions can be challenging. 
  • Cultural attitudes towards dispute resolution and the perception of mediation as a “soft” approach may affect its acceptance. 

Role of Technology in Mediation: 

  • Online dispute resolution platforms can expand access to mediation services, especially in remote areas. 
  • Technology tools like video conferencing and document sharing streamline the mediation process and reduce logistical barriers. 
  • However, ensuring data security and maintaining the integrity of the mediation process are important considerations in adopting technology in mediation. 


Negotiation: This is the most informal method. You and the other party directly communicate to try and reach a solution yourselves. It’s like working out a deal. 

Mediation:  A neutral third party, called a mediator, guides you and the other party towards a solution. The mediator doesn’t impose a decision, but helps you find common ground. 

Arbitration: A neutral third party, called an arbitrator, listens to both sides and makes a binding decision. This is more formal than mediation and closer to a court case. 

Conciliation: Similar to mediation, a neutral conciliator facilitates discussion but may also suggest solutions. Conciliation can be less formal than mediation. 


  • Enhancements in mediation training and education will transform the Mediation Act, 2023, into a catalyst for growth and innovation in dispute resolution. 
  • Empowering the next generation of mediators will lead to a more harmonious, efficient, and just society. 

Multiple choice question: 

  1. Which of the following statements about the above dispute resolution methods are CORRECT?
  1. Negotiation and mediation are both informal methods where parties retain control over the outcome. 
  1. Arbitration is the most formal method, with a binding decision imposed by a third party. 
  1. Conciliation involves a third-party suggesting solution, but the decision is not enforceable. 
  1. All of the above statements are correct. 



Negotiation and mediation are both informal methods where parties retain control over the outcome. Negotiation involves direct communication between parties, while mediation has a neutral facilitator, but in both cases, the parties decide the solution. Statement 1 is correct. 

Arbitration is the most formal method, with a binding decision imposed by a third party. This is also true, and the arbitrator’s decision is binding on both parties. Statement 2 is correct. 

Conciliation involves a third-party suggesting solution, but the decision is not enforceable. This statement is correct as well. Similar to mediation, a conciliator facilitates discussion and may suggest solutions, but the final decision rests with the parties, and it’s not legally binding. Statement 3 is correct. 



India lacks specific live-in relationship laws; the Supreme Court has recognized them as part of the right to life and not criminal offenses. In some judgments, courts have even extended rights typically associated with marriage to long-term, couple-like relationships. 

Recent Judgment by Allahabad High Court: 

  • The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court ruled that a Muslim individual cannot claim rights in a live-in relationship if they have a living spouse. 
  • Justices A.R. Masoodi and A.K. Srivastava stated that live-in relationships contradict Islamic tenets, especially when one of the partners is already married. 

Position of Islamic Tenets: 

  • The court emphasized that Islamic principles prohibit live-in relationships during an existing marriage. 
  • However, it noted that unmarried individuals who are major and choose to live together may have a different legal standing. 

Application of Constitutional Morality: 

  • While acknowledging constitutional protection under Article 21 (protection of life and personal liberty), the court stated that it would not unconditionally support live-in relationships in such cases. 
  • The court suggested that constitutional morality may override social norms in certain situations, but it didn’t apply in the case before them. 

Previous Court Orders: 

  • Previous court rulings have addressed various aspects of live-in relationships, including marital status, faith, children, and separation. 
  • The Supreme Court and other High Courts have encountered cases where both partners or one partner was married while engaging in a live-in relationship. 
  • In long-term relationships resembling marriage, with children involved, the judiciary presumes marriage and applies relevant laws accordingly. 

Recognition of Live-in Relationships: 

  • The concept of live-in relationships was acknowledged by the judiciary in cases like Payal Sharma versus Nari Niketan, where the Allahabad High Court affirmed that living together without marriage, while considered immoral by society, is not illegal. 
  • The distinction between legality and morality in such relationships was emphasized by the court. 


Legal Status of Live-in Relationships: 

  • India lacks specific laws addressing live-in partnerships directly. 
  • The Supreme Court has recognized the right to live together as part of the right to life. 
  • Not Illegal: The Supreme Court has clarified that living together without marriage isn’t a crime. 
  • Limited Rights: Unlike marriage, live-in relationships don’t grant automatic rights like inheritance or spousal maintenance. 
  • Protection under Domestic Violence Act: In a landmark case, the court recognized live-in relationships “in the nature of marriage” for protection under the Domestic Violence Act, allowing women to seek protection from abuse. 
  • Children’s Rights: Children born out of live-in relationships have inheritance and maintenance rights similar to children born in wedlock. 

Other Points to Consider: 

  • Clarity on Property Rights: Specific laws regarding shared property ownership during and after a live-in relationship are still evolving. 
  • Cohabitation Agreements: While not legally mandated, creating a cohabitation agreement can help couples define financial responsibilities, property division, and other aspects during the relationship and in case of separation. 
  • State-Specific Laws: Some states might have specific laws or rulings related to live-in relationships. Consulting a lawyer familiar with your state’s laws is advisable for a more comprehensive understanding of your rights. 

Multiple choice question: 

  1. Which of the following statements regarding live-in relationships in India is NOT true?
  1. The Supreme Court of India recognizes live-in relationships as part of the right to life. 
  1. Live-in relationships are considered illegal under Indian law. 
  1. Children born out of live-in relationships have inheritance and maintenance rights similar to children born in wedlock. 
  1. The Domestic Violence Act provides protection to individuals in live-in relationships “in the nature of marriage.” 



Live-in relationships are not considered illegal under Indian law, as clarified by the Supreme Court. The right to live together is recognized as part of the right to life. Therefore, option B, stating that live-in relationships are illegal, is incorrect.  



After eight years of establishing the general framework of cooperation on the Chabahar port, India and Iran have signed a significant 10-year contract for its operation. 

 The agreement, signed between Indian Ports Global Ltd. (IPGL) and Iran’s Port and Maritime Organisation (PMO), facilitates the operation of the Shahid-Behesti terminal.  

India-Iran Chabahar Port Contract Highlights: 

  • Duration: India and Iran sign a 10-year contract for the operation of Chabahar port. 
  • Historical Context: Initial memorandum in May 2015; contract executed during PM Modi’s visit in May 2016. 
  • Trade and Cooperation: Agreement to boost trade, marine cooperation, and trilateral trade among India, Iran, and Afghanistan. 
  • Regional Connectivity: Chabahar port crucial for connecting India with Afghanistan and Central Asian countries. 

Overview of Chabahar Port: 

  • Location: Situated in Iran’s Sistan-Balochistan province, Chabahar Port is positioned along the Gulf of Oman, outside the Strait of Hormuz. 
  • Infrastructure: Comprising two distinct ports, Shahid Beheshti and Shahid Kalantari, Chabahar serves as Iran’s sole seaport. 
  • Geopolitical Significance: Its strategic location grants it direct access to the Indian Ocean and positions it as a key transit point along the International North-South Transport Corridor. 

Chabahar Project: 

  • Objectives: The project aims to develop the Shahid Beheshti Terminal and establish an International Transport and Transit Corridor. 
  • Key Components: Major aspects include the construction of Chabahar Port and the development of a railway line connecting it to Zahedan. 

Strategic Importance 

  • Alternative Route: Chabahar Port offers India an alternate pathway to bypass Pakistan and access Afghanistan and Central Asia. 
  • Trade Facilitation: It facilitates transit trade between India, Iran, and Afghanistan, presenting an alternative to the traditional Silk Road route via China. 

Significance for India in several ways: 

  • Countering China:  China’s presence in the Indian Ocean region has grown through ports like Gwadar in Pakistan.  A functional Chabahar port provides India an alternative route to Afghanistan and Central Asia, bypassing Pakistan and potentially weakening China’s influence. 
  • Strategic Advantage:  Developing Chabahar strengthens India’s strategic footprint in the region, promoting its security and economic interests. 
  • Trade Benefits:  Chabahar offers a shorter route for Indian goods to reach Afghanistan and Central Asia, boosting trade and economic ties. 
  • Cultural Connections:  Increased trade through Chabahar can foster cultural exchange and people-to-people interaction between India, Iran, and neighboring countries. 



  • Pakistan: Gwadar Port – This is a major deep-sea port on the Arabian Sea, considered a crucial part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). China has invested heavily in developing Gwadar as a strategic commercial hub. 
  • Sri Lanka: Hambantota Port – China acquired a 99-year lease on this port in 2017, raising concerns about potential military use. 
  • Bangladesh: Chittagong Port – China has been involved in expanding and upgrading this major Bangladeshi port. 
  • Myanmar: Kyaukpyu Port – This deep-sea port on Myanmar’s Bay of Bengal coast is another potential BRI project receiving Chinese investment. 
  • Kenya: Mombasa Port – China has funded significant expansion projects at this key East African port. 

Defense Projects: 

  • Djibouti: China has established its first overseas military base in Djibouti, strategically located at the entrance to the Red Sea. 
  • Seychelles: While not confirmed, there have been concerns about potential Chinese military access to facilities in the Seychelles. 

Other Investments: 

China has also invested in infrastructure projects and resource extraction across the Indian Ocean region, further strengthening its economic and potentially strategic influence. 


Multiple choice question: 

  1. Why is the development of the Chabahar Port significant for India?
  1. India’s trade with African nations will witness a significant boost. 
  1. The relationship between India and oil-producing Arab countries will be enhanced. 
  1. India’s reliance on Pakistan for connectivity to Afghanistan and Central Asia will decrease. 
  1. Pakistan will support and safeguard the establishment of a gas pipeline between Iraq and India. 


Explanation: The development of Chabahar Port by India is significant because it provides an alternate route for India to access Afghanistan and Central Asia without relying on Pakistan. This reduces India’s dependence on Pakistan for trade and connectivity in the region, thereby enhancing India’s strategic autonomy and regional influence. Chabahar Port offers India a direct route to Afghanistan and Central Asia, bypassing Pakistan, which has often posed challenges and restrictions to India’s access through its territory. Therefore, the development of Chabahar Port is crucial for India’s regional connectivity and economic interests. Option C is correct. 



Xenotransplantation, the transplantation of animal organs into humans, offers a glimmer of hope for those desperately awaiting life-saving organ transplants. The severe shortage of donor organs creates a critical situation, and xenotransplantation presents a potential solution.  

What is it? 

  • Xenotransplantation is the use of animal organs and tissues to treat humans. 
  • This is done to address the critical shortage of donor organs for transplants. 

Why is it needed? 

  • There’s a vast gap between the number of people needing transplants and available organs. 
  • In the US alone, nearly 90,000 people wait for a kidney transplant, with thousands dying while waiting. 

How does it work? 

  • Xenotransplantation is similar to regular transplants, but with added complexities. 
  • Animal organs (often pig organs due to similarities with humans) undergo genetic modification to reduce rejection by the human body. 
  • This modification involves removing genes that trigger immune response and adding human genes for better compatibility. 
  • After surgery, close monitoring is needed to track the body’s response to the transplanted organ. 

Why pigs? 

  • Pig heart valves have been used in humans for decades. 
  • Their size and physiology are similar to humans, and they are readily available for breeding. 
  • Different pig breeds allow for organ size matching with the recipient’s needs. 

Xenotransplantation’s usefulness: 

  • Solves Organ Shortage: Xenotransplantation offers a vast pool of organs from animals, addressing the critical shortage of human donor organs. 
  • Shorter Wait Times: With more organs available, wait times for transplants could drastically decrease, improving patient outcomes. 
  • Treatment Expansion: Xenotransplantation might open doors to treat diseases like diabetes and neurodegenerative disorders using animal cells and tissues. 
  • Compatibility Advantage: It could overcome blood type incompatibility issues that limit traditional human-to-human transplants. 


  • Recent xenotransplantation attempts (like Mr. Slayman’s case) have shown promise, but challenges remain. 
  • The body’s immune response and potential transmission of animal viruses to humans are ongoing concerns. 

In Conclusion, xenotransplantation holds the potential to revolutionize organ transplantation by providing a more readily available source of organs and expanding treatment options. 



Mammoth Carbon Capture Plant, situated in Iceland, is the world’s largest facility designed to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. 


  • Developed by Climeworks, a Swiss company, in collaboration with Icelandic company Carbfix, it operates by drawing air and extracting carbon dioxide chemically. 
  • This cutting-edge technology, known as direct air capture (DAC), differs from traditional carbon capture methods by extracting CO2 directly from the atmosphere rather than at the point of emissions. 
  • Mammoth is significantly larger than Climeworks’ previous DAC facility, Orca, and is situated on a dormant volcano in Iceland. 
  • The captured carbon dioxide can be stored underground, converted into stone, or reused for various applications. 
  • Utilizing Iceland’s abundant geothermal energy, the captured carbon is planned to be sequestered by turning it into stone beneath the earth’s surface. 
  • Direct air capture offers the flexibility to capture CO2 emissions from any location, making it a versatile tool in the fight against climate change. 
  • Mammoth’s operations mark a significant milestone in carbon capture technology, showcasing the potential for scalable solutions to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. 



The Indian Ocean basin-wide (IOBW) index, representing sea-surface temperature variations in the tropical Indian Ocean, is closely associated with dengue outbreaks in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres. 

  • It serves as a crucial indicator for predicting the magnitude and timing of dengue epidemics in affected countries. 
  • The IOBW index has a stronger correlation with dengue outbreaks in the Southern Hemisphere compared to the Northern Hemisphere, particularly impacting tropical regions like Brazil. 
  • Dengue epidemics peak at different times in each hemisphere, with the Northern Hemisphere experiencing outbreaks between July and October, and the Southern Hemisphere between February and April, coinciding with the respective summers. 
  • Higher incidences of dengue are observed when the IOBW index is positive, indicating warmer sea-surface temperatures, while lower incidences occur when the index is negative. 
  • The link between Indian Ocean temperatures and dengue incidence is attributed to teleconnections, which are large-scale atmospheric patterns facilitating the transfer of heat and moisture across vast distances. 

Dengue fever, caused by the dengue virus transmitted through infected mosquitoes, primarily Aedes aegypti, is more prevalent in tropical and subtropical climates, with symptoms including high fever, headache, body aches, nausea, and rash. 



The Vibrant Village Programme is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme aimed at comprehensive development of villages and blocks along the northern border of India. 

  • Implemented from the financial years 2022-23 to 2025-26, its objective is to enhance the quality of life for residents in identified border villages. 
  • By improving infrastructure and creating livelihood opportunities, the program aims to encourage people to remain in their native villages, thereby addressing outmigration and bolstering border security. 
  • It covers 2967 villages in 19 districts and 46 border blocks across Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, and the UT of Ladakh. 
  • Key interventions include promoting tourism and cultural heritage, skill development, entrepreneurship, and cooperative societies such as agriculture and horticulture. 
  • Infrastructure development includes road connectivity, housing, energy (including renewable energy), television, and telecom connectivity. 
  • Vibrant Village Action Plans will be developed by district administrations with the involvement of Gram Panchayats, ensuring 100% saturation of Central and state schemes while avoiding overlap with the Border Area Development Programme. 



Project Raptor Watch (PRW) by the Madras Naturalist’s Society focuses on documenting, studying, and monitoring raptor species in select districts of Tamil Nadu, including the Peregrine Falcon. 

About Peregrine Falcon 

  • The Peregrine Falcon is a globally widespread bird found on all continents except Antarctica and many oceanic islands. 
  • It prefers open habitats like grasslands, tundra, and meadows, with nesting sites often located on cliff faces and crevices, particularly in tundra and coastal areas. 
  • Peregrine falcons are diurnal birds, primarily solitary outside of breeding season, and establish territories which they defend. 
  • Ecologically, they serve as high-level predators, helping regulate populations of prey species, notably pigeons and doves. 
  • Despite facing threats such as habitat loss and pesticide contamination in the past, the Peregrine Falcon is currently listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List, indicating a relatively stable population status. 



Caenorhabditis elegans, commonly known as C. elegans, is a nematode worm, characterized by its small size, simple structure, and rapid growth from fertilized egg to adult within 3-5 days. 

  • Widely used in research, C. elegans has provided valuable insights into neuronal and molecular biology, serving as a model organism for various studies. 
  • Notably, it was the first multicellular organism to have its complete genome sequenced and neural wiring mapped. 
  • C. elegans exhibits two sexes: hermaphrodite and male. The hermaphrodite can reproduce via self-fertilization or cross-fertilization after mating with a male. 

Nematodes, including C. elegans, are among the most abundant animals on Earth, found in diverse habitats ranging from soil and freshwater to marine environments. 

  • They can exist as parasites in animals and plants or as free-living organisms. Nematodes are bilaterally symmetrical, elongated, and often possess a fluid-filled body cavity called a pseudocoel. 
  • Parasitic nematodes commonly inhabit various organs within animal hosts, with the alimentary, circulatory, and respiratory systems being frequent sites of infestation. 


May 14
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
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