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May 20 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm



The European Union has initiated a new investigation into Meta’s social media platforms, Facebook and Instagram, over concerns about child safety and compliance with the bloc’s Digital Service Act (DSA). This investigation centers on the potential exploitation of minors through the platforms’ recommendation engines and inadequate age verification mechanisms.

Reasons for Investigation

Child Protection Concerns: The EU is concerned that Meta’s recommendation engines might:

  • Be addictive for children.
  • Expose them to inappropriate content.

Age Verification: The investigation will examine how effectively Meta prevents children under 13 from accessing its platforms.

Digital Service Act (DSA) Compliance: The probe will check if Meta adheres to the DSA’s requirements for:

  • User privacy
  • User safety
  • User security, particularly for minors
  • Digital Service Act (DSA) Requirements

The DSA sets specific guidelines for online platforms:

  • Non-Profiling Recommendations: Platforms cannot personalize recommendations based on user profiles to protect children from potentially harmful content.
  • Data Sharing: Platforms must share data with the EU Commission and national authorities to enable oversight.
  • Minor Protection: Platforms must take measures to:
  • Protect minors from harmful content.
  • Verify user age.
  • Provide parental control tools.

Meta’s Protective Measures

Meta has implemented some safeguards for children:

  • Nudity Protection Tool: An AI tool that blurs nude images sent to minors on Messenger.
  • Enhanced Restrictions: Stronger content restrictions and improved parental supervision for users under 18.
  • Additional Investigations and Global Scrutiny

Meta faces broader investigations beyond child protection:

  • Deceptive Advertising and Disinformation: The EU is probing Meta for failing to prevent deceptive ads and disinformation, particularly from specific countries.
  • US Backlash: Reports revealed that Instagram facilitated underage sex content. Meta has responded with improved controls and account removals.

Here are some general tips to keep children safe online:

  • Parental Involvement:
  • Stay informed about online risks.
  • Set up parental controls.
  • Age-Appropriate Content:
  • Use kid-specific profiles where available.
  • Choose age-appropriate apps and platforms.
  • Block age-restricted content.


  • Spend time with your children online.
  • Teach them to report and block inappropriate content.



On May 15, the Supreme Court ordered the release of NewsClick’s founder, Prabir Purkayastha.

His arrest under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) was deemed invalid by court.

Reasons for Illegal Arrest

  • Lack of Written Grounds: Neither Mr. Purkayastha nor his lawyer received the grounds for arrest in writing.
  • Article 22(1) Violation: This violated the constitutional right to be informed of arrest grounds and consult a lawyer.

Arrest Context

  • Arrest Details: Mr. Purkayastha was arrested on October 3, 2023, under UAPA for allegedly receiving funds from Chinese firms to spread pro-China propaganda.
  • FIR Allegations: Included serious offences under UAPA and IPC sections related to terrorism, conspiracy, and promoting enmity.

Supreme Court Findings

  • Due Process Breach: The court emphasized adherence to proper procedure and due process, especially in UAPA cases.
  • Written Grounds Necessary: As per the Pankaj Bansal case, written grounds of arrest must be furnished, applying to both PMLA and UAPA.
  • Invalid Remand Order: The remand order was passed without Mr. Purkayastha’s lawyer being properly informed or present.

Legal Provisions

  • Article 22 of the Constitution: Requires informing arrested individuals of the grounds of arrest and allowing legal consultation.
  • UAPA and PMLA Provisions: Both laws mandate providing written grounds for arrest.

Delhi High Court Verdict

  • High Court Stance: Initially ruled that the Pankaj Bansal verdict applied only to PMLA, not UAPA.
  • National Security Concerns: The Delhi High Court noted the case’s national security implications.

Supreme Court Clarification

  • Consistency in Law: No significant difference between UAPA and PMLA regarding the requirement to provide written grounds of arrest.
  • Effective Defense: Written grounds are essential for the accused to effectively consult with their lawyer and seek bail.

Next Steps

  • Future Arrests: The police are not precluded from re-arresting Mr. Purkayastha, provided they adhere to legal requirements.
  • This case highlights the importance of checks and balances within the Indian legal system. The judgment protects individuals from arbitrary arrests and ensures their right to a fair trial.


Article 22(1) Protection: This article guarantees that anyone who is arrested must be informed of the reasons for their arrest “as soon as may be” and cannot be denied the right to consult and be defended by a lawyer of their choice.

Violation by Police: In Mr. Purkayastha’s case, the police violated his rights under Article 22(1) by:

  • Not providing him with the written grounds for arrest.
  • Not allowing him to consult with a lawyer properly.

How Supreme Court Upheld Article 22:

The court emphasized that following proper procedure (due process) is essential, especially in UAPA cases like this one.

  • By requiring written grounds of arrest, the court ensured Mr. Purkayastha could effectively exercise his right to legal counsel as guaranteed by Article 22(1).
  • This allows him to understand the charges against him and prepare a defense.

Previous Case Reference:

  • The Supreme Court cited the Pankaj Bansal judgment, which established that providing written grounds for arrest is mandatory under both PMLA and UAPA. This reinforces the court’s stance on upholding Article 22(1) protections.

Multiple choice question:

  1. Which of the following statements is/are CORRECT regarding the rights granted under Article 22 of the Indian Constitution?
  2. No person who is arrested shall be detained in custody without being informed of the grounds of arrest.
  3. Every person who is arrested has the right to consult and be defended by a legal practitioner of their choice.
  4. An arrested person must be produced before the nearest magistrate within a period of 72 hours of arrest.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

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

Answer: A


Article 22(1) of the Indian Constitution ensures that no person who is arrested shall be detained in custody without being informed of the grounds of arrest.

Article 22(1) also provides that every person who is arrested has the right to consult and be defended by a legal practitioner of their choice.

Article 22(2) stipulates that an arrested person must be produced before the nearest magistrate within 24 hours of arrest, not 72 hours.



The Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) is a crucial international trade mechanism that allows developed countries to offer lower tariffs to developing nations, promoting economic reform and growth. The United States’ GSP program, a significant part of this system, expired in 2020 and awaits renewal by Congress.


  • GSP is an international trade program where developed countries offer lower tariffs to developing countries to encourage economic reform.
  • Each developed country tailors its GSP program to specific economic reform criteria, ensuring no harm to domestic production.
  • History: GSP is one of the oldest “aid for trade” approaches in the World Trade Organization system.

Renewing GSP in the U.S.

  • Expiration and Renewal: The U.S. GSP program expired in 2020 and awaits Congressional renewal.
  • Challenges: Renewal is difficult in a polarized political environment despite bipartisan support.
  • Benefits: GSP supports small businesses and women-owned enterprises, offers alternatives to Chinese imports, and reduces tariff costs for American companies.

U.S.-India Trade Relationship

  • Potential for Growth: GSP renewal could enhance U.S.-India trade, potentially increasing bilateral trade significantly.
  • Past Negotiations: Prior to 2020, U.S. and India were close to a trade deal covering various sectors.
  • Current Situation: India is actively negotiating free trade agreements with other countries, while the U.S. currently avoids new FTAs.

Strategic Importance

  • Enhancing Trade Tools: GSP is a key tool to strengthen U.S.-India trade relations and achieve ambitious trade goals.
  • Bilateral Benefits: Negotiations on India’s GSP benefits could cover a wide range of trade and regulatory issues.
  • Broader Impact: Renewing GSP would demonstrate mutual commitment to strengthening the U.S.-India strategic partnership in the Indo-Pacific region.

Generalized System of Preferences (GSP):

Launched in 1976: The GSP program began in the US in 1976 to lend a hand to developing nations.

  • Lower Trade Barriers: It allows developing countries to export specific goods to developed countries with lower or zero import taxes (duties). This makes their products more attractive to buyers in developed nations.
  • Boosting Economies: The core goal is to accelerate economic growth in developing countries by giving them a leg up in exporting their goods.
  • Preferential Treatment: Under GSP, qualifying products get special treatment, like reduced tariffs or complete duty exemption, when entering developed countries that offer the program.
  • Non-reciprocal Assistance: Traditionally, GSP benefits were given freely, supporting development without requiring anything in return from developing countries. However, some recent changes might alter this approach.

Who’s Involved?

  • Several developed countries, including the US, EU, Japan, and Canada, have GSP programs.
  • Over 100 developing countries can benefit from these programs.

Conditions and Rules:

  • Not all products qualify for GSP benefits. Each donor country has its own list of eligible goods.
  • Beneficiary countries often need to meet certain criteria, like good labor practices and environmental standards.
  • There are usually rules about how much a country can export to qualify for benefits.

Criticisms of GSP:

  • Some argue GSP benefits are too limited and don’t significantly boost development.
  • Complex rules can make it difficult for developing countries to take full advantage of the program.
  • Overall, the GSP is a trade policy tool aimed at helping developing countries integrate more into the global market.
  • Benefits for Exporters: Indian businesses that export qualifying products enjoy indirect benefits from GSP. Reduced tariffs or duty-free entry make their goods more competitive in the US marke

Multiple choice question:

  1. Which of the following statements is/are CORRECT in the context of the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP)?
    1. This is a recent initiative by the US to promote trade with developing countries.
    2. The GSP program is entirely reciprocal, meaning the US also receives benefits from India.
    3. The primary objective of GSP is to grant duty-free access in the US market.
    4. The program aims to boost economic growth in developing countries by facilitating their exports.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

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



The GSP is not a recent initiative; it has been in place for nearly half a century.

The GSP program is not entirely reciprocal; it is designed to benefit developing countries, not necessarily providing reciprocal benefits to the US.

The primary objective of GSP is not to grant duty-free access to all Indian products, but to support economic growth in developing countries by facilitating their exports.

The program aims to boost economic growth in developing countries by facilitating their exports.



Punjab and Haryana are pivotal to India’s food security, especially in times of climate-induced agricultural challenges. These states have consistently been major contributors to the Central foodgrain pool, ensuring stable food supplies despite environmental fluctuations.

Their role in wheat and rice procurement underscores their importance in the national food distribution system, highlighting their resilience and productivity in the face of adverse conditions.

Key Role in Food Security

  • Punjab and Haryana play a crucial role in India’s food security, especially during climate-induced agricultural downturns.
  • Wheat Procurement: Together, these states accounted for 75.5% of the total wheat procured for the Central pool in 2023-24.
  • Climate Resilience: Their resilience to climate shocks has been vital, as seen in their consistent contributions during recent challenging years.

Wheat Procurement Trends

  • Historical Contribution: Historically, Punjab and Haryana contributed over 90% of wheat for the public distribution system (PDS) till the mid-2000s.
  • Recent Shifts: The share decreased to around 65% by the early 2010s but rebounded to 75.5% in 2023-24 due to adverse climate impacts in other states.

Rice Procurement Trends

  • Diversification: The share of Punjab and Haryana in rice procurement fell from 43-44% in the early 2000s to 28.8% in recent years.
  • Current Scenario: The share increased to 32.9% in 2023-24 due to assured irrigation and better production compared to states like Telangana.

Policy Implications

  • National Food Security Act (NFSA): Provides 813.5 million people with 5 kg of wheat or rice per month at subsidized prices.
  • Procurement Needs: Annual procurement requirement is 60-65 million tonnes, comfortably met in most years.
  • Future Outlook: Despite shifts in cropping patterns, Punjab and Haryana’s high yields ensure their continued importance for food security.

Food Grain Production:

  • Average Yield: Punjab and Haryana boast significantly higher average yields per hectare compared to the national average:
  • Punjab: 8 tonnes/hectare (wheat) and 6.5 tonnes/hectare (paddy)
  • Haryana: Similar or slightly lower yields compared to Punjab
  • India:5 tonnes/hectare (wheat) and 4.1 tonnes/hectare (paddy) (Source: Department of Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare, Government of India)
  • Total Production: Though not the top producers in terms of total output, Punjab and Haryana contribute significantly:
  • Top Producers: Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan (wheat) & Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Telangana (paddy)
  • Punjab & Haryana: Play a vital role by consistently exceeding national averages and contributing a substantial share to the central pool for public distribution.

Other Farming-related Data:

  • Area Sown: Punjab and Haryana have a relatively smaller land area dedicated to agriculture compared to larger states. However, their focus on high-yielding varieties and efficient irrigation systems optimizes production.
  • Fertilizer Use: These states are known for their intensive use of fertilizers, which has raised concerns about long-term soil health. Sustainable practices are being encouraged.

Comparison with Other States:

While several states have increased food grain production, Punjab and Haryana remain notable for:

  • Higher Productivity: Their consistent high yields ensure a surplus for the PDS and buffer against potential shortfalls.
  • Developed Infrastructure: Strong irrigation networks, storage facilities, and a connected agricultural market contribute to their efficiency.

Challenges and Considerations:

  • Water Scarcity: Overdependence on groundwater resources for irrigation is a growing concern for both states.
  • Crop Diversification: Encouraging diversification beyond wheat and paddy can improve soil health and farmer income.
  • Resilience and Productivity: Punjab and Haryana’s high productivity and resilience to climate variations make them indispensable to India’s food security strategy.

Overall, Punjab and Haryana play an indispensable role in India’s food security strategy. Despite changing dynamics, their contribution through high productivity and efficient systems remains significant.

Multiple choice question:

  1. Consider the following statements regarding the Green Revolution in India:
  2. The Green Revolution primarily focused on the use of high-yielding variety (HYV) seeds, fertilizers, and irrigation to increase agricultural productivity.
  3. Punjab and Haryana were the leading states in adopting Green Revolution technologies.
  4. The Green Revolution led to an equitable distribution of income among Indian farmers.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

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



The Green Revolution involved the use of high-yielding variety (HYV) seeds, fertilizers, and improved irrigation techniques to boost agricultural productivity.

Punjab and Haryana were at the forefront of adopting Green Revolution technologies, significantly increasing their agricultural output.

The Green Revolution led to increased productivity, but it also resulted in regional disparities and unequal income distribution among farmers, with larger farmers benefiting more than smaller ones.



Astronomers detected a new Earth-sized planet named SPECULOOS-3b. It is located 55 light-years away, orbiting an ultra-cool red dwarf star.

  • Star Characteristics: The red dwarf is similar in size to Jupiter, but emits light 100 times dimmer than the Sun and has half the Sun’s temperature.
  • Planet Characteristics: SPECULOOS-3b is only the second Earth-sized planet found orbiting this type of star.
  • Radiation and Atmosphere: The planet receives high radiation levels from its star, likely stripping away any atmosphere. It gets nearly 16 times more energy per second than Earth receives from the Sun.
  • Orbit: SPECULOOS-3b completes an orbit around its star in about 17 hours.
  • Tidal Locking: The planet is tidally locked, meaning the same side always faces the star, creating a permanent day side and a permanent night side.
  • Discovery Team: The discovery was made by the SPECULOOS project, led by the University of Liège, with partners from the Universities of Birmingham, Cambridge, Bern, and MIT.
  • Observatory: The observatory is in the Atacama Desert, Chile.
  • Project Goal: SPECULOOS aims to find exoplanets orbiting ultra-cool dwarf stars using a global network of robotic telescopes.



India’s Role: India is the world’s second-largest producer of lab-grown diamonds, creating over three million annually and accounting for 15% of global production.

Lab-Grown Diamonds:

These diamonds have the same chemical, optical, and physical properties and crystal structure as natural diamonds, made of tightly bonded carbon atoms. They respond to light and are as hard as natural diamonds.

  • Origin Difference: The primary difference between lab-grown and natural diamonds is their origin. Lab-grown diamonds are produced using technology that mimics natural geological processes.
  • Simulants: Diamond simulants like Moissanite, Cubic Zirconia (CZ), White Sapphire, and YAG are used to create the appearance of natural diamonds.

Production Methods:

High Pressure, High Temperature (HPHT):

  • This common and cost-effective method mimics the earth’s conditions for forming natural diamonds.
  • Carbon materials are crushed under pressures of over 870,000 lbs. per square inch and heated between 1300-1600°C.
  • HPHT can also improve or change the color of lower-quality diamonds.

Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD):

  • This technique uses moderate temperatures (700°C to 1300°C) and lower pressures.
  • A carbon-containing gas is pumped into a vacuum chamber, depositing onto a diamond seed and crystallizing into a lab-grown diamond.
  • The diamond’s size depends on the growth duration.


  • Industrial Use: Lab-grown diamonds are used in machines and tools due to their hardness and strength, making them ideal for cutting tools.
  • Electronics: Pure synthetic diamonds are used as heat spreaders in high-power laser diodes, laser arrays, and high-power transistors.



Phtheirospermum lushaiorum, a rare hemi-parasitic terrestrial plant, has been discovered in Phawngpui National Park, Mizoram.

Hemi-Parasitic Nature:

  • These plants have chlorophyll and can produce their own food through photosynthesis.
  • They lack a fully developed root system and form connections with host plants to obtain water and minerals.
  • They use specialized structures called haustoria to tap into the host plant’s sap-conducting tissue.

Growth and Appearance:

  • Phtheirospermum lushaiorum attaches to the roots of its host and appears like a normal plant growing in soil.
  • It can grow to a limited extent even without the host plant.

Flowering and Fruiting:

  • The plant flowers between July and September.
  • Fruits are produced from August to October.

Etymology: The species name “lushaiorum” honors the Lushai tribe of Mizoram.



Government has passed a circular was released warning employees about a sophisticated cybercrime called vishing.

Vishing is a combination of “voice” and “phishing,” involving phone calls on mobile or landlines.


  • Attackers call the victim and trick them into clicking on malicious files or emails, leading to fake websites that ask for personal information.
  • Attackers may also directly solicit sensitive information.
  • The caller might pose as a manager or colleague, often using urgency to get the victim to share information.

How to Spot a Vishing Scam:

  • Pre-recorded Messages: Scams often start with an automated call claiming urgent issues related to finances or other matters, asking you to click numbers or take actions.
  • Posing as Government Officials: It’s unlikely a government official would call directly. If someone claims to be a government official, it’s probably a scam.
  • Using Fear and Urgency: Scammers often create a sense of urgency or fear to prompt immediate action.
  • Poor Audio Quality: Pay attention to the call’s audio quality and background noises. Robotic voices can indicate a robocall.


May 20
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