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May 2 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm



The Goldman Sachs report emphasizes India’s outpacing of the global average in services exports, underscoring the nation’s burgeoning success in the global services sector. 

Services Export Growth 

  • Professional consulting experienced fastest growth. 
  • Travel services showed slowest growth. 
  • Financial services poised to grow with initiatives like GIFT City. 

Export Growth Trends 

  • Intangible exports from India grew twice as fast as global average. 
  • India’s services outflows increased from under 2% in 2005 to 4.6% in 2023. 
  • Goods exports share increased from 1% to 1.8% during the same period. 

Impact on External Balances 

  • Services trade boom cushioned against shocks like expensive oil imports. 
  • Services exports projected to reach $800 billion by 2030, slightly below government’s $1 trillion target. 

Immediate Outlook 

  • IT services, India’s dominant export, facing uncertainties with some firms shedding employees. 
  • Growth guidance for the year not very optimistic. 

Challenges and Constraints 

  • Need for job-ready graduates and resource management. 
  • Protectionist measures in destination countries and domestic policy interventions could hinder growth. 

The top 5 export commodities from India are: 

  • Petroleum Products 
  • Pearl, Precious, Semiprecious Stones 
  • Drug Formulations, Biologicals 
  • Gold and Other Precious Metal Jewellery 
  • Iron and Steel 

The top 5 countries to which India exports the most are: 

  • United States of America (USA) 
  • United Arab Emirates (UAE) 
  • China (People’s Republic of China) 
  • Hong Kong 
  • Singapore 

The top 5 countries from which India imports the most are: 

  • China (People’s Republic of China) 
  • United States of America (USA) 
  • United Arab Emirates (UAE) 
  • Saudi Arabia 
  • Iraq 

Multiple choice question: 

  1. Regarding India’s current international trade scenario, which of the following statements are accurate?
  1. India’s merchandise exports are lower than its merchandise imports. 
  1. India has witnessed a decline in imports of iron and steel, chemicals, fertilizers, and machinery in recent years. 
  1. India’s service exports surpass its service imports. 
  1. India experiences an overall trade/current account deficit. 

Choose the correct code: 

  1. 1 and 2 only 
  1. 2 and 4 only 
  1. 3 only 
  1. 1, 3, and 4 only 



India’s merchandise exports have typically been lower than its merchandise imports, resulting in a trade deficit. So, statement 1 is incorrect. 

True. India has indeed witnessed a decline in imports of various commodities like iron and steel, chemicals, fertilizers, and machinery in recent years due to factors such as economic slowdown, policy changes, and fluctuations in global demand. So, statement 2 is correct. 

False. India’s service exports do not surpass its service imports. India has been experiencing a surplus in services trade, but it does not necessarily mean that service exports are higher than service imports. So, statement 3 is incorrect. 

True. India does experience an overall trade deficit, resulting in a current account deficit. This means that the value of imports (both merchandise and services) exceeds the value of exports, leading to a deficit in the country’s balance of payments. So, statement 4 is correct. 



India is significantly affected by phishing attacks, leading to substantial financial losses. Based on analysis of 30,458 security incidents and 10,626 confirmed breaches in 2023, marking a significant increase from 2022. 

  • Employees often fall prey to malicious links or attachments disguised as legitimate sources. 

Improvement in Reporting Practices: 

  • Reporting practices have enhanced in India, with 20% of users identifying and reporting phishing attempts during simulation tests. 
  • This signifies a positive step towards bolstering cybersecurity resilience. 

Espionage Attacks in APAC: 

  • Espionage attacks dominate the cybersecurity landscape in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, including India. 
  • Approximately 25% of cyberattacks in APAC are motivated by espionage, far surpassing rates in Europe and North America. 

Types of cyber crimes 

Malware Attacks: 

  • Definition: The installation of malicious software on a victim’s device. Malware can take many forms, including viruses, worms, ransomware, and spyware. 
  • Example: You download a free game from an untrusted website. The game secretly installs ransomware that encrypts your files and demands a ransom payment to decrypt them. 

Identity Theft: 

  • Definition: The use of someone else’s personal information without their permission, often for financial gain. Cybercriminals can steal identities through phishing attacks, data breaches, or social engineering. 
  • Example: A hacker breaches a company’s database and steals customer information, including credit card numbers and Social Security numbers. The hacker then uses this information to make fraudulent purchases. 

Denial-of-Service (DoS) Attacks: 

  • Definition: An attempt to overwhelm a website or online service with traffic, making it unavailable to legitimate users. 
  • Example: A group of hackers coordinates an attack on a popular online store’s website on a major shopping day. The website becomes overloaded with traffic and crashes, preventing customers from making purchases. 

Cyber Espionage: 

  • Definition: The unauthorized access to a computer system or network to steal confidential information. This information can be used for industrial espionage, military purposes, or other malicious activities. 
  • Example: Hackers infiltrate the computer network of a defense contractor and steal classified information about a new weapon system. 

Cyberbullying and Cyberstalking: 

  • Definition: The use of electronic communication to bully or harass another person. Cyberbullying can involve sending threatening messages, spreading rumors, or posting embarrassing photos or videos online.  
  • Cyberstalking is the repeated use of electronic communication to harass or frighten someone. 
  • Example: A group of teenagers use social media to post cruel messages about a classmate, causing them emotional distress. 

How to avoid cyber crimes  

  • Vigilance & Scepticism (Criticality):  A well-informed citizenry is a cybercriminal’s deterrent 
  • Robust Cybersecurity Architecture:  The nation’s cyber defense requires a multi-pronged approach. 
  • Prioritize Data Protection Legislation:  A strong legal framework is crucial. 
  • Investing in Cybercrime Investigation:  Effective deterrence necessitates efficient investigation. 
  • Cybersecurity Education & Training:  Building capacity is paramount. 

Cybercrime instances specific to India: 

  • Jewel Ransomware Attack (2020): This large-scale ransomware attack targeted Maharashtra’s electricity distribution companies, causing power outages for several hours. The attackers demanded ransom in cryptocurrency, highlighting the vulnerability of critical infrastructure. 
  • Big basket Data Breach (2020):  A major Indian online grocery store, Bigbasket, experienced a data breach exposing customer information including names, phone numbers, email addresses, and hashed passwords. This incident underlines the importance of data security practices for e-commerce platform. 
  • COVID-19 Relief Fund Phishing Attacks (2020-2021):  As India grappled with the pandemic, phishing scams emerged targeting individuals donating to COVID-19 relief efforts.  These attacks exploited people’s desire to help during a crisis. 
  • Aadhaar Data Leaks: Concerns have been raised regarding potential leaks of personal information linked to Aadhaar, India’s unique identification program.  

Multiple choice question: 

  1. Which of the following statements is/are correct regarding the ‘Digital India’ programme?
  1. It aims to provide digital infrastructure as a utility to every citizen. 
  1. It aims to bring e-governance and e-services to the citizens. 
  1. It seeks to transform India into a cashless economy. 

Choose the correct code: 

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

Answer: B 


This statement is correct. One of the primary objectives of the Digital India programme is to provide digital infrastructure, such as high-speed internet connectivity, to every citizen, ensuring that digital services are accessible across the country. 

This statement is also correct. Another key goal of the Digital India programme is to enhance governance through the use of technology, making government services more accessible, efficient, and transparent to citizens through digital platforms. 

This statement is incorrect. While promoting digital payments and financial inclusion is part of the broader agenda of the Digital India programme, its primary focus is on digital infrastructure and e-governance rather than specifically aiming to transform India into a cashless economy.  



Indian state legislative assemblies’ activities in 2023 explores the potential drawbacks of fast-tracked bills and the use of ordinances, raising questions about proper legislative procedure and legislative effectiveness. 

Key Findings: 

  • The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) did not function effectively in many states. It failed to table reports in five states, and a significant portion of budgets (36% on average) were passed without proper discussion. 
  • Speedy Bill Passage: Many bills were passed quickly, with 44% being approved within two days of introduction. This raises concerns about the quality of legislative debate. 
  • Extensive Use of Ordinances: Twenty states promulgated a total of 84 ordinances in 2023. This indicates a potential bypass of the legislative process. 

Detailed Observations: 

Public Accounts Committee (PAC): 

  • Average of 24 PAC meetings and 16 reports tabled across analyzed states. 
  • Five states (Bihar, Delhi, Goa, Maharashtra, Odisha) had no PAC reports. 
  • Tamil Nadu (95 reports) and Himachal Pradesh (75 reports) had the most active PACs. 

Budget Scrutiny: 

  • Data available for 10 states. 
  • On average, 36% of budget demands were passed without discussion. 
  • Madhya Pradesh had the highest percentage (85%) of undiscussed budget approvals. 

Time Taken to Pass Bills: 

  • 44% of bills were passed within two days of introduction, similar to previous years. 
  • Gujarat, Jharkhand, Mizoram, Puducherry, and Punjab passed all bills within two days. 
  • Kerala and Meghalaya had the most extensive debates (over 90% of bills taking more than five days). 

Ordinances Promulgated by States: 

  • 84 ordinances issued in 20 states on various topics. 
  • Uttar Pradesh (20), Andhra Pradesh (11), and Maharashtra (9) issued the most ordinances. 
  • Kerala significantly reduced ordinance use compared to previous years (4 in 2023 vs. 144 in 2021). 

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) 

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is a crucial parliamentary body in India, ensuring financial accountability of the government.  

  • Established in 1921 Under to the Government of India Act, 1919. 
  • Functions under the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha. 


  • Parliamentary committee with a maximum of 22 members. 
  • 15 members elected by the Lok Sabha Speaker. 
  • 7 members chosen by the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. 
  • One-year term for all members. 


  • Appointed by the Lok Sabha Speaker. 
  • Conventionally chosen from the opposition party to ensure independent oversight. 


  • Scrutinizes government accounts and reports submitted by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India. 
  • Examines issues like wasteful expenditure, irregularities, and inefficiencies. 
  • Makes recommendations for improving financial management and public spending. 


  • Acts as a vital watchdog, holding the executive accountable for financial decisions. 
  • Promotes transparency and good governance by identifying areas for improvement. 
  • Recommendations from PAC reports can lead to policy changes and reforms. 

Multiple choice question: 

  1. What is the primary function of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of India?
  1. To enact laws related to public finance and expenditure. 
  1. To examine the reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India. 
  1. To oversee the functioning of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). 
  1. To conduct inquiries into cases of corruption in government departments. 

Answer: B 


The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of India is a parliamentary committee tasked with the responsibility of scrutinizing the reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India.  

The CAG is the supreme audit institution of India, responsible for auditing the accounts of the central and state governments, as well as other public authorities and bodies.  

The PAC examines these audit reports to assess the financial management and accountability of the government, identifying instances of financial irregularities, inefficiencies, and mismanagement.  

While the PAC’s recommendations are not legally binding, they carry significant weight and influence, guiding the government towards greater transparency and accountability in financial matters. Therefore, option B is the correct answer. 



Study conducted by ISRO’s Space Applications Centre (SAC) observes sub-surface ice in lunar polar craters estimated to be five to eight times more abundant than surface ice. 

  • Northern polar region has double the amount of water ice compared to the southern polar region. 

Origin of Water Ice: 

  • Out-gassing during volcanism in the Imbrian period identified as primary source of sub-surface water ice. 
  • Distribution of water ice influenced by mare volcanism and preferential impact cratering. 

Implications for Future Missions: 

  • Crucial for future lunar missions and human presence. 
  • Drilling essential to sample or excavate sub-surface ice. 
  • Accurate knowledge aids in selecting landing and sampling sites for exploring lunar volatiles. 

Support for ISRO’s Future Exploration: 

  • Study supports ISRO’s plans for in-situ volatile exploration on the moon. 
  • Essential for advancing understanding of lunar resources and facilitating future lunar exploration missions. 



La Cumbre volcano, situated on Fernandina Island in the Galápagos Islands, recently erupted, causing destruction to the habitat of rare Galápagos land iguanas. 

About La Cumbre volcano: 

  • Fernandina Island is the third largest island in the Galápagos archipelago, located about 1,125 kilometers off the coast of mainland Ecuador. 
  • La Cumbre volcano lies directly above the mantle plume responsible for the formation of all the Galápagos Islands and erupted for the first time since 2020. 
  • The volcano features a large crater, or caldera, at its summit, which houses a permanent crater lake attracting various animals, including tens of thousands of Galápagos land iguanas. 
  • Galápagos land iguanas, such as the Conolophus subcristatus species, are one of three land iguana species endemic to the Galápagos Islands. 
  • These large lizards, primarily herbivores, have a symbiotic relationship with finches, who help clean them of ticks. 
  • Galápagos land iguanas are active during the day, foraging and basking in the sun, and sleep in burrows at night. 
  • Despite their unique adaptations, Galápagos land iguanas are classified as Vulnerable by the IUCN due to various threats. 



First-generation women patachitra artists from the village of Naya in West Bengal are gaining recognition globally for their online sales, encouraging future generations to continue in the profession. 

About Patachitra: 

  • Patachitra, also known as Pattachitra, is a traditional scroll painting form originating from the eastern Indian states of Odisha and West Bengal, believed to date back to the 12th century. 
  • The term “Patta” means “cloth” and “Chitra” means “picture” in Sanskrit, reflecting the art form’s cloth-based nature. 
  • Patachitra paintings are renowned for their intricate details and often depict mythological narratives and folktales, particularly stories of Hindu deities. 
  • Originally, Pattachitra served ritual and souvenir purposes for pilgrims visiting temples in Odisha, while in Bengal, it was used as a visual aid during song performances. 
  • Creating Pattachitra involves layering cotton sarees with tamarind paste and clay powder to create a sturdy canvas. Both cotton and silk canvases are now used, with colors derived from natural sources like lamp soot and powdered conch shells. 
  • Each painting can take weeks or months to complete, with artists often starting by outlining the borders before filling in colors directly without initial sketches. 



A Daryapur-based arachnologist recently identified a new species of green lynx spider named Peucetia chhaparajnirvin, discovered in the Tal Chhapar Wildlife Sanctuary in Rajasthan’s Churu district. 

About Peucetia chhaparajnirvin 

  • Peucetia chhaparajnirvin is named after its discovery location, Tal Chhapar, and is found on the green leaves of the Vachellia nilotica (babul) tree. 
  • The spider’s green coloration helps it blend with its surroundings, aiding in ambushing prey, while its long legs enable swift movement. 
  • As nocturnal hunters, these spiders feed on small insects, making them valuable predators in their ecosystem. 
  • Lynx spiders, belonging to the family Oxyopidae, are known for their active hunting behavior, eschewing web-building in favor of pouncing on prey. 
  • They are significant insect predators, commonly found in low shrubs and herbaceous vegetation, where they hunt for prey. 
  • Lynx spiders typically have hexagonally arranged eyes and abdomens that taper to a point, with some species exhibiting colorful striped abdomens and spiky legs. 



The Supreme Court recently restored a compensation of Rs 5 lakhs awarded by the district consumer forum in a medical negligence case, citing incorrect application of the ‘eggshell skull’ legal principle by state and central consumer courts. 


  • The eggshell skull rule is a common law principle applied in civil litigation to ensure full compensation for victims, even if they are more susceptible to injury due to a preexisting condition. 
  • Named after a hypothetical situation where a person with a fragile skull suffers a head injury, the rule mandates that defendants are fully liable for all resulting damages, regardless of the victim’s unusual vulnerability. 
  • This principle applies to all types of injuries, including physical, emotional, and psychological harm, and is used to claim enhanced compensation for damage beyond what could be anticipated. 
  • Originating from the 1891 Vosburg v. Putney case in Wisconsin, US, the eggshell skull rule is also known as the ‘thin skull rule’ in many legal contexts. 


May 2
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