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February 17 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm



Farmers from Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh are once again mobilizing in the ‘Delhi Chalo’ protest, demanding legal assurances for the Minimum Support Price (MSP). This follows the 2020 protests that led to the repeal of three controversial farm laws in 2021. The key focus of the ongoing agitation is the guarantee of MSP for all crops, based on the Dr M S Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations.

Key Demands of Farmers:

MSP Guarantee:

  • Demand for a law ensuring MSP for all crops based on the Dr M S Swaminathan Commission’s report.
  • Calls for implementing the C2+ 50% formula, including imputed cost of capital and land rent in MSP calculations.

Other Demands Include:

  • Full debt waiver for farmers and laborers.
  • Implementation of the Land Acquisition Act of 2013, with written consent from farmers and compensation at four times the collector rate.
  • Justice for Lakhimpur Kheri killings’ perpetrators.
  • Withdrawal from WTO and freezing of FTAs.
  • Pensions for farmers and farm laborers.
  • Compensation and jobs for families of farmers who died during the 2020 Delhi protest.
  • Scrapping the Electricity Amendment Bill 2020.
  • Enhancement of MGNREGA employment to 200 days/year with a daily wage of Rs 700.
  • Strict penalties on companies producing fake seeds, pesticides, and fertilizers.
  • Establishment of a national commission for spices.

Government’s Response:

Committee on MSP:

  • Post the repeal of farm laws, the government announced the formation of a committee on MSP in November 2021.
  • The committee, formed in July 2022, is yet to produce a report.

New Committee Proposal:

  • In a recent meeting, the government proposed creating a new committee with representatives from relevant ministries.
  • The committee would address farmers’ demand for MSP and work within a specified timeframe.

Challenges with Legalizing MSP:

Forced Procurement:

  • Mandating government procurement at MSP may lead to overproduction, resource wastage, and storage challenges.
  • Distorted cropping patterns could impact biodiversity and soil health.

Discrimination Among Farmers:

  • A law favoring crops with MSP may create disparities, affecting market access and support for farmers growing unsupported crops.

Pressure from Traders:

  • Private traders resist legal assurance of MSP, benefiting from lower prices during peak harvest times.

Financial Burden:

  • Obligatory procurement at MSP might strain government finances, leading to payment arrears and fiscal challenges.

Societal Implications:

  • Distorted cropping patterns and excessive procurement could impact food security, environmental sustainability, and economic stability.

Alternatives to Legalizing MSP:

Direct Income Support:

  • Direct cash transfers to farmers for stable income, irrespective of market conditions.
  • Expand schemes like PM KISAN to provide higher payments to farmers.

Insurance Schemes:

  • Introduce insurance schemes compensating farmers for income losses due to factors like crop failure or price volatility.

Support for Agricultural Inputs:

  • Offer subsidies or grants for agricultural inputs, equipment, technology adoption, and diversification.

Price-Difference Payment:

  • Government paying the price difference between MSP and market rates, as attempted in states like Haryana and Madhya Pradesh.

Concerns Related to WTO and FTAs:

  • Market Access: Farmers fear increased competition from cheaper imports due to FTAs, potentially undercutting domestic prices.
  • Impact on Farming Practices: International agreements imposing regulations on farming practices may clash with traditional methods.
  • Sovereignty and Autonomy: Some farmers view withdrawal from WTO and freezing FTAs as reclaiming sovereignty over agricultural policies.

Current State of MSP and Farmers’ Demand:

MSP Formula Discrepancy:

  • MSP set by the government is based on the A2+FL formula, lower than C2+ 50% demanded by farmers.

CACP Recommendations:

  • Commission for Agricultural Costs & Prices recommends MSP based on A2+FL, considering only paid-out costs.
  • Farmers demand a fairer evaluation including additional factors like land rent and capital interest.



India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) recently inked eight pacts, reinforcing collaboration in crucial sectors such as investments, electricity trade, and digital payment platforms. The signed agreements encompass various domains, fostering economic, cultural, and infrastructural ties.

Key Highlights of the Pact:

Interlinking of Digital Payment Platforms:

  • UPI (India) and AANI (UAE):
  • Agreements signed for interlinking digital payment platforms.
  • UPI (India) and AANI (UAE) interlinked for seamless cross-border transactions, enhancing financial cooperation.
  • Domestic Debit/Credit Cards:
  • Pact signed to interlink domestic debit/credit cards — RuPay (India) with JAYWAN (UAE).
  • Enhances universal acceptance of RuPay in the UAE, boosting financial sector cooperation.

Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT):

  • Treaty signed to facilitate further investments in both countries.
  • UAE, a significant investor in India’s infrastructure, committed to investing USD 75 billion in India’s infrastructure sector.

India-Middle East Economic Corridor (IMEC):

  • Intergovernmental Framework Agreement signed to foster regional connectivity.
  • IMEC, announced during the G20 leaders’ summit, aims to enhance India-UAE cooperation.

Energy Cooperation:

  • Pacts signed for cooperation in electrical interconnection and trade.
  • Opens new avenues in energy collaboration, focusing on security and trade, given UAE’s role as a major source of crude and LPG.

Cultural Cooperation:

  • Cooperation protocol signed between National Archives to restore and preserve archival material.
  • Support pledged for the Maritime Heritage Complex at Lothal, Gujarat.

BAPS Temple:

  • India expressed gratitude for UAE’s support in granting land for BAPS Temple construction.
  • Emphasized the temple’s significance in fostering UAE-India friendship and cultural bonds.

Port Infrastructure Development:

  • Agreements signed between RITES Limited, Gujarat Maritime Board, and Abu Dhabi Ports Company.
  • Aims to enhance port infrastructure and connectivity between India and the UAE.

Bharat Mart:

  • Foundation stone laid for Bharat Mart in Dubai’s Jebel Ali Free Trade Zone.
  • To combine retail, warehousing, and logistics facilities, promoting exports of India’s micro, small, and medium sectors.

About BAPS Temple:

  • Affiliation: BAPS (Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha).
  • Doctrine: Rooted in traditional Hindu scriptures, affiliated with the Swaminarayan Sampradaya.
  • Network: Around 1,550 temples globally, including Akshardham temples in Delhi and Gandhinagar.

Abu Dhabi Temple Features:

  • Traditional stone Hindu temple with seven shikhars.
  • Built in Nagar style, depicting universal values and stories of harmony.
  • Height: 108 ft, Length: 262 ft, Width: 180 ft, using pink sandstone and Italian marble.
  • Special ‘Pillar of Pillars’ with 1,400 small carved pillars.
  • Features deities from various corners of India and tales from global civilizations.



The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has introduced the ‘Sangam: Digital Twin’ initiative, marking a significant leap in infrastructure planning and design. The initiative is a Proof of Concept (PoC) conducted in two stages within a major Indian city.

Sangam: Digital Twin Initiative Details:

Two-Stage Approach:

First Stage: Focuses on exploratory activities to gain clarity and unleash creative potential.

Second Stage: Emphasizes practical demonstration of specific use cases, creating a future blueprint for scalable and replicable strategies in future infrastructure projects.

Aim of the Initiative:

  • Showcase practical implementation of innovative infrastructure planning solutions.
  • Develop a model framework for efficient collaboration.
  • Provide a roadmap for scaling successful strategies in upcoming infrastructure projects.

Digital Twin Technology:

  • Involves creating virtual replicas of physical assets.
  • Enables real-time monitoring, simulation, and analysis.
  • Facilitates experimental iterations and feedback loops for optimal outcomes.

Technological Integration:

  • Leverages 5G, IoT, AI, AR/VR, AI native 6G, Digital Twin, and next-gen computational technologies.
  • Encourages collaboration among public entities, infrastructure planners, tech giants, startups, and academia.

Whole-of-Nation Approach:

  • Symbolizes a collaborative effort to reshape infrastructure planning.
  • Aims to bridge the gap between conceptualization and realization.
  • Facilitates groundbreaking advancements in infrastructure through collective intelligence.


Sangam: Digital Twin stands as a testament to the collective strides in communication, computation, and sensing over the past decade. With a forward-looking vision for 2047, this initiative represents a convergence of technologies and stakeholders, fostering innovation, and paving the way for transformative infrastructure solutions.



The refurbishment of the Nohar irrigation project’s Ferozepur feeder in Punjab is set to increase water supply to agricultural fields in Rajasthan’s Hanumangarh district. This initiative aims to enhance the capacity and flow of water in the Nohar canal, thereby improving irrigation prospects for farmers in the region.

Key Points:

  • Increased Capacity: The repair work on the Ferozepur feeder will boost the canal’s capacity from 226 cusecs to 332 cusecs upon completion.
  • Central Intervention: The Central Water Commission intervened, prompting a technical committee to recommend the remodelling of the Nohar feeder due to inadequate water availability for Rajasthan.
  • Joint Effort: Both Rajasthan and Punjab governments have agreed to collaborate on enhancing water supply to the Nohar irrigation project.
  • Renovation Initiatives: Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat convened a meeting to discuss renovation work on the Baruwali distributary and Fatehabad branch.
  • Pre-feasibility Report: Rajasthan sent a pre-feasibility report to Haryana, estimating an expenditure of ₹139.51 crore for renovating the Baruwali distributary.
  • Progress Review: Officials from Rajasthan and Haryana, along with the Bhakra Beas Management Board, reviewed the progress of renovation work.
  • Detailed Project Report: The Central Water Commission instructed the Punjab government to prepare a detailed project report for the reconstruction of the Ferozepur feeder.



A recent scientific study has projected a potential timescale for the collapse of the Gulf Stream, estimating it to occur between 2025 and 2095, with a central estimate of 2050, if global carbon emissions remain unchecked.

About the Gulf Stream:


  • Origin: Begins in the Gulf of Mexico, flowing northward along the eastern coast of the United States before crossing the Atlantic Ocean towards Europe.
  • Sources: Formed by the convergence of the North Equatorial Current (NEC) and the South Equatorial Current (SEC) along with waters from the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Warmth: Transports warm water from the tropics (around 25 to 28°C) to higher latitudes.
  • Width and Speed: Several hundred kilometers wide, with an average speed of about four miles per hour (6.4 kilometers per hour).
  • Depth: Extends to depths of up to 1,000 meters.

Importance and Impact:

  • Climate Regulation: Modulates temperatures along the eastern coast of North America and Western Europe, influencing regional climates.
  • Weather Patterns: Contributes to the formation of low-pressure systems and may lead to storms or hurricanes.
  • Maritime Navigation: Facilitates efficient maritime routes between North America and Europe, aiding in faster travel times.
  • Ocean Circulation: Integral to the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), which redistributes heat globally and regulates climate patterns.

Significance of the Study:

Environmental Concerns:

  • Highlighting the potential collapse of the Gulf Stream underscores the urgency of mitigating carbon emissions to prevent catastrophic climate change.
  • Emphasizes the interconnectedness of oceanic currents with global climate systems and the need for concerted efforts to preserve them.

Policy Implications:

  • Provides policymakers with critical insights into the consequences of unchecked carbon emissions on oceanic circulation and climate regulation.
  • Urges for immediate action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the risks associated with disruptions to vital ocean currents.



The Ministry of Coal, Government of India, is organizing an Industry Interaction event in Hyderabad to facilitate the advancement and expansion of coal/lignite gasification initiatives nationwide.

About Coal Gasification:

Process Overview:

  • Coal gasification involves converting coal and water, air, or oxygen into syngas, comprising primarily carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen (H2), carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and water vapor (H2O).
  • Gasification occurs in a high-temperature and pressure vessel called a gasifier, where coal or other feed materials undergo chemical reactions with oxygen and steam.

Utilization of Syngas:

  • Syngas generated from coal gasification can be used for electricity generation, fueling energy-efficient fuel cell technology, or as chemical precursors for industrial applications.
  • Hydrogen extracted from syngas can fuel the development of a hydrogen economy, offering additional energy storage and transportation solutions.

Benefits of Coal Gasification:

Environmental Advantages:

  • Helps mitigate local pollution issues by offering a cleaner alternative to direct coal combustion.
  • Reduces carbon emissions, contributing to environmental sustainability and climate change mitigation efforts.

Energy Security and Self-sufficiency:

  • Decreases reliance on imported natural gas, methanol, ammonia, and other essential products, enhancing India’s energy security and self-sufficiency.
  • Fosters domestic production of crucial energy resources, bolstering economic stability and resilience.



In a surprising revelation in the Western Ghats foothills of India, scientists uncovered a unique occurrence — a Bonnet mushroom thriving on the side of the Golden-backed Frog (Hylarana intermedia).

About Golden-backed Frog:

Endemic Habitat:

  • Exclusive to the Western Ghats, particularly above the Palghat Gap in Karnataka and Kerala.
  • Flourishes abundantly in evergreen and semi-evergreen forests.

Physical Characteristics:

  • Compact in size, comparable to a human thumb.
  • Features a distinctive golden back, contributing to its nomenclature.

Habitat and Diet:

  • Prefers habitats near streams and ponds for egg-laying and food sourcing.
  • Primarily insectivorous, consuming small insects and arthropods like ants, beetles, and crickets.

Threats to Survival:

  • Faces survival challenges due to habitat loss and fragmentation.
  • Pollution of water bodies poses a threat, along with the introduction of non-native species.

What is Bonnet Mushroom?


  • Belongs to the saprotrophic Mycena genus, thriving on decaying wood.
  • Recognized as a Bonnet mushroom due to its distinctive cap shape.

Identification Challenges:

  • Mycenas are challenging to identify to the species level, often requiring microscopic analysis.
  • Certain species are edible, while others contain toxins.



A male tiger from the renowned Kanha Tiger Reserve has been relocated to Mukundpur Safari in Satna, marking a significant conservation effort.

About Kanha Tiger Reserve:

Location and Establishment:

  • Situated in Madhya Pradesh, spanning across Mandla and Balaghat districts.
  • Nestled in the Maikal range of Satpuras, forming the central Indian highlands.
  • Established on June 1, 1955, initially as Kanha National Park, later designated as Kanha Tiger Reserve in 1973.

Geographical Features:

  • Encompasses an extensive area of 940 square kilometres.
  • Characterized by forested shallow undulations, hills, plateaus, and valleys.
  • Inspiration for Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book” due to its lush jungles.

Flora and Fauna:

  • Dominated by moist Sal and mixed deciduous forests, fostering Bamboo, Tendu, Sal, and other species.
  • Rich biodiversity includes Royal Bengal Tigers, leopards, sloth bears, and Indian wild dogs.
  • Globally acclaimed for rescuing the Barasingha deer from near extinction.

Conservation Initiatives:

  • Recognized for introducing the mascot “Bhoorsingh the Barasingha,” symbolizing conservation efforts.
  • Pioneering in wildlife conservation, particularly in saving endangered species like the Barasingha.


February 17
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
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