Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.


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



The Mullaperiyar dam, situated in Kerala but under the ownership and operation of Tamil Nadu, stands as a focal point of ongoing disputes between the two states. Despite repeated interventions by the courts, concerns regarding dam safety and maintenance remain unresolved. 

  • Tamil Nadu alleges Kerala’s obstruction of essential maintenance work while raising apprehensions about the dam’s safety. 
  • Despite the establishment of supervisory committees, these issues persist, resulting in prolonged legal battles. 

Legal Interventions: 

  • Judicial rulings have led to the adoption of operational rules for the dam, though Kerala disputes some decisions. 
  • Disputes also arise over non-dam-related matters, like a car parking project, adding to legal complexities. 


In 1886, a 999-year lease agreement was signed between the Maharaja of Travancore (present-day Kerala) and the British Raj (representing Madras Presidency, now Tamil Nadu). This agreement gave Tamil Nadu: 

  • Land: 8,000 acres for the reservoir and 100 acres for dam construction (leased for a small annual fee). 
  • Water Rights: Control of “all the waters” of the Mullaperiyar River and its catchment area. 
  • This agreement is the foundation of Tamil Nadu’s claim to the dam and its water resources. 

1895: The Mullaperiyar dam is built on the Periyar river in Kerala, but with an agreement to provide water to Tamil Nadu. 

Late 1970s: Concerns arise about the dam’s safety due to its age and location in a seismic zone. 

1979: Water level lowered to 136 feet for strengthening measures on the dam. 

2006: Supreme Court allows Tamil Nadu to raise the water level to 142 feet after dam is strengthened. 

2006: Kerala government declares the dam “endangered” and restricts water level through an amendment (later deemed unconstitutional). 

2014: Supreme Court upholds Tamil Nadu’s right to 142 feet water level and establishes a Supervisory Committee for dam safety. 

2021: UN report highlights dam’s structural issues and potential risks. 

Present: Dispute continues with allegations of delayed maintenance by Kerala and calls for a new dam by Kerala. Supreme Court orders strengthening of the Supervisory Committee in 2022. 

Why Dam Safety is Crucial in India 

  • Dam Failure Risks: Dam failure can cause loss of life, property damage, and environmental harm due to age, poor maintenance, or natural disasters. 
  • Interstate River Dams: Most dams in India lie on rivers shared by multiple states, meaning a dam failure can impact several regions. 
  • Limited Oversight: Currently, dam safety is managed by individual states with limited central oversight. 
  • Incomplete Data: There’s no central agency tracking dam failures, and safety analysis for existing dams is not mandatory. 
  • Structural Issues: Many dams in India suffer from structural deficiencies and inadequate maintenance. 

Regulatory Framework/Initiatives for Dam Safety in India: 

Dam Safety Act 2021: 

  • Applies to: Specified dams – those exceeding 15 meters tall or between 10-15 meters with specific design features. 
  • Focuses on: Surveillance, inspection, operation, and maintenance of dams for preventing dam failure disasters. 
  • Government:Ministry of Jal Shakti: Establishes National Dam Safety Authority for oversight. 
  • National Committee on Dam Safety: Provides technical expertise. 
  • National Committee on Dam Safety at national level. 
  • State Committee on Dam Safety at state level. 
  • Dam safety organizations responsible for pre-monsoon and post-monsoon inspections of dams. 

Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP): 

  • World Bank program aimed at enhancing safety and operational performance of selected dams. 
  • Includes institutional strengthening alongside infrastructure improvements. 

National Hydrology Project: 

  • Facilitates real-time gathering of Hydro-meteorological data. 
  • Establishment of National Water Informatics Centre (NWIC). 
  • Water Resources Operation and Management System. 
  • Water Resources Institutions and Capacity Building. 

Multiple choice question: 

  1. Consider the following statements about dams in India:
  1. The Bhakra Nangal Dam is located on the Sutlej River. 
  1. The Hirakud Dam is the longest dam in India. 

Which of the statements given above is/are correct? 

  1. 1 only 
  1. 2 only 
  1. Both 1 and 2 
  1. Neither 1 nor 2 



Statement 1: Correct. Bhakra Nangal Dam is located on the Sutlej River. 

Statement 2: Incorrect. Hirakud Dam is a large dam but not the longest. The longest dam in India is Nagarjuna Sagar Dam on the Krishna River. 



Carbon farming involves adopting regenerative agricultural practices to restore ecosystem health, enhance soil fertility, and mitigate climate change by storing carbon and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in agricultural landscapes. 

Carbon Farming Importance: 

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions: Carbon farming practices often involve techniques that reduce emissions associated with traditional agriculture. 
  • Combination of carbon sequestration practices with farming techniques. 
  • Includes rotational grazing, agroforestry, conservation agriculture, integrated nutrient management, livestock management, and land restoration. 
  • Practices aim to restore ecosystem health, improve soil fertility, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 
  • Boost productivity: Healthy soil fosters healthier and more productive crops. 
  • Mitigate climate change: By sequestering carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing it in the soil, carbon farming acts as a natural defense against climate change. 

Benefits of Carbon Farming: 

  • Enhances carbon storage in agricultural landscapes. 
  • Improves soil health, water retention, and biodiversity. 
  • Mitigates climate change impacts and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. 
  • Increases agricultural productivity and resilience to climate variability. 

Challenges to Carbon Farming: 

  • Effectiveness influenced by geographical location, soil type, water availability, and farm size. 
  • Limited water availability in hot and dry regions hinders plant growth and carbon sequestration potential. 
  • Financial assistance needed for small-scale farmers to overcome implementation costs. 
  • Awareness, policy support, and technological barriers hinder widespread adoption. 

Carbon Farming Schemes Worldwide: 

  • Carbon trading initiatives in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. 
  • Examples include the Chicago Climate Exchange and the Carbon Farming Initiative. 
  • Kenya’s Agricultural Carbon Project supported by the World Bank. 
  • ‘4 per 1000’ initiative launched during COP21 climate talks. 

Opportunities in India: 

  • Potential economic benefits of organic farming practices. 
  • Agro-ecological practices could generate significant value from arable land. 
  • Regions like Indo-Gangetic plains well-suited for carbon farming. 
  • Carbon credit systems can incentivize farmers and bridge emissions reductions gap. 
  • Challenges include limited awareness, policy support, and technological barriers. 

Where can it be applied? 

  • Vast agricultural regions like the Indo-Gangetic plains and the Deccan Plateau in India hold immense potential for adopting carbon farming practices due to their extensive land area. 
  •  However, mountainous terrains like the Himalayas might be less suited due to their unique topography. 

Multiple choice question: 

  1. Consider the following statements about carbon sequestration:
  1. Biochar is a type of biomass that can be used to capture and store atmospheric carbon dioxide. 
  1. Enhanced weathering involves spreading crushed rocks on soil to accelerate the natural process of CO2 removal from the atmosphere. 

Which of the statements given above is/are correct? 

  1. 1 only 
  1. 2 only 
  1. Both 1 and 2 
  1. Neither 1 nor 2 



Statement 1 is correct: Biochar is indeed a charcoal-like substance created by pyrolysis of biomass.  It has a high capacity to capture and store atmospheric carbon dioxide for a long time. 

Statement 2 is correct: Enhanced weathering involves spreading crushed silicate minerals, not necessarily rocks, on soil. These minerals react with atmospheric CO2 and store it as stable carbonates in the soil, accelerating the natural process of CO2 removal. 



The debate over reservation for Muslims reflects the complex intersection of social, legal, and constitutional considerations 

Despite various attempts by the state government to provide reservation, legal challenges have arisen due to issues of consultation, criteria for determining backwardness, and the recognition of the heterogeneous nature of the Muslim community. 

Constitutional background: 

  • Articles 15(4) and 16(4) enable the state to make reservations for socially and educationally backward classes. 
  • Article 16(4) of the Constitution permits reservation for the “backward class of citizens,” granting states the authority to define which communities are considered backward. 
  • Groups seeking reservations in educational institutions according to Article 15 must first prove their social and educational backwardness. Similarly, reservations in public employment under Article 16(4) require authorities to establish both the backwardness of the group and its insufficient representation in government jobs. 

Reservation for Muslims: 

  • Muslims have been granted reservation based on their social and educational backwardness, not solely because of their religion. 
  • in some cases, Muslim castes were included within the OBC category, leading to reservation without reducing quotas for SCs, STs, or OBCs. 
  • states like Kerala, Karnataka, Tamilnadan, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana have implemented reservation for Muslims within the OBC quota. 

Challenges and legal controversies: 

  • The issue of reservation for Muslims has faced legal challenges regarding the identification of social backwardness. 
  • However, implementation of such proposals has been hindered by legal and constitutional constraints, including the 50% cap on reservation mandated by the supreme court. 

States attempt to provide reservation: 

  • In 2004, the Andhra Pradesh government provided 5% reservation for Muslims based on a report on their social, economic, and educational backwardness. 
  • The high court struck down the quota, citing lack of consultation with the backward classes commission and absence of criteria for determining backwardness in the minority welfare report. 
  • The court emphasized that reservations for Muslims do not contradict secularism and can be provided under articles 15(4) and 16(4) of the constitution. 
  • In subsequent attempts, the state declared the entire Muslim community as backward and provided a 5% quota, but this was also struck down by the high court. 
  • The rejection was based on the failure to properly identify the social backwardness of muslims and recognize their heterogeneity. 
  • In 2007, a law was enacted granting reservation to 14 specific Muslim castes, but this too was struck down by the high court. 



  • Central reservation: decided by the central government and applies to central government jobs, public sector undertakings (PSU) controlled by the centre, and central educational institutions (like IITs, aims’). 
  • State reservation: determined by each individual state government. Applies to state government jobs, universities, and colleges under their jurisdiction. 

Key difference: 

  • Percentage: – central reservation: the base quota is 27% for other backward classes (OBC), 7.5% for scheduled tribes (ST), and 15% for scheduled castes (SC). This can vary slightly for specific categories. 
  • State reservation: states can increase the reservation percentage for these categories beyond the central quota. Some states also have reservations for other backward classes – economically weaker sections (OBC-EWS) and even specific castes/tribes within the state. 

Caste and religion reservation: 

  • Constitutionally mandated: reservation in India is enshrined in the constitution (articles 15(4) & 16(4)) for SCs, STs to address historical disadvantages. 
  • Beyond caste: the 103rd amendment introduced reservation for economically weaker sections (EWS) irrespective of caste. 
  • Religion not a factor: religion itself isn’t a criterion for reservation under the current system. However, some states might have reservations for specific religious minorities. 

The state of madras v. Smt. Champakam dorairajan case, 1951: 

  • Invalidated educational institution reservations based solely on caste. 
  • Resulted in the first constitutional amendment. 

Indra sawhney v. Union of india case, 1992: 

  • Established limitations on reservations: 
  • Exclusion of the creamy layer. 
  • Imposition of a 50% quota limit. 
  • Prohibition of reservations in promotions except for SC/ST communities. 
  1. Nagaraj v. Union of India case, 2006:
  • Upheld article 16(4a) allowing reservations for SC/ST in promotions. 
  • Established conditions for such policies: 
  • Social and educational backwardness. 
  • Inadequate representation. 
  • Maintenance of efficiency. 

Janhit abhiyan vs. Union of India, 2022: 

  • Upheld the validity of the 103rd constitutional amendment. 
  • Provides 10% reservation for economically weaker sections (EWS) among forward castes in government jobs and colleges nationwide. 

Arguments against religion-based reservations  

  • Violation of Secularism: Critics contend that religion-based reservations contradict the secular principle in India’s Constitution, which promotes equal treatment of all religions by the state. 
  • Threat to National Unity: Reservation based on religion may jeopardize national unity by fostering resentment and division among various religious communities. 
  • Administrative Hurdles: Introducing religion-based reservations could present administrative challenges, including defining eligibility criteria and preventing misuse of the system, thus complicating implementation. 

Multiple choice question: 

  1. Consider the following statements regarding Mandal Commission in India:
  1. It was set up to identify Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBCs). 
  1. It recommended 27% reservation for SEBCs in government jobs. 
  1. Its recommendations were implemented without any controversy. 

Which of the statements given above is/are correct? 

  1. 1 only 
  1. 2 and 3 only 
  1. 1 and 2 only 
  1. All of the above 

Answer: C 


  • The Mandal Commission, officially known as the Second Backward Classes Commission, was established in 1978 to identify Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBCs) in India Statement 1 is correct. 
  • The commission recommended 27% reservation for SEBCs in government jobs. Statement 2 is correct. 
  • The implementation of the Mandal Commission’s recommendations led to significant controversy and widespread protests, particularly by upper-caste groups who opposed the introduction of reservation quotas for OBCs. Statement 3 is incorrect. 



NBFCs are raising their fixed deposit (FD) rates to gather funds, compensating for reduced bank borrowings. 

About NBFCs: 

Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) are registered companies involved in various financial activities like lending, investment, leasing, and insurance, but they don’t have a banking license. 

  • Scope of Activities: NBFCs engage in diverse financial services such as providing loans, buying stocks, bonds, or securities, leasing assets, and offering insurance and chit fund services. However, they can’t deal with activities like agriculture, industrial work, or real estate transactions. 
  • Deposit Taking: While NBFCs can’t accept traditional demand deposits like banks, they can accept fixed deposits (FDs) from the public for a specific period, typically ranging from 12 to 60 months. 
  • Interest Rates: NBFCs cannot offer interest rates higher than the ceiling rate set by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), which presently stands at 12.5% per annum. 
  • Regulatory Oversight: Both the Ministry of Corporate Affairs and the RBI regulate NBFCs. The RBI issues licenses, monitors operations, and ensures compliance with regulations to safeguard financial stability. 
  • Systemically Important NBFCs: NBFCs with assets worth ₹500 crore or more are classified as systemically important. This classification is because their operations can significantly impact the overall economy’s financial stability. 
  • Examples: NBFCs include a wide range of institutions such as investment banks, mortgage lenders, insurance companies, hedge funds, and peer-to-peer (P2P) lenders. These entities play crucial roles in the financial sector by providing diverse financial services. 



Goldene is the first-ever free-standing 2D metal, composed of a single atom-thick layer of gold. 

  • Creation Process:  
  • Scientists developed Goldene by sandwiching a monolayer of silicon between layers of titanium carbide.  
  • They then deposited gold on top, causing the gold atoms to replace silicon atoms, forming a trapped monolayer.  
  • By etching away the titanium carbide layers, they achieved a standalone, one-atom-thick sheet of gold, using a traditional Japanese technique employing Murakami’s reagent. 


  • Thickness and Comparison: Goldene sheets measure approximately 100 nanometers in thickness, which is roughly 400 times thinner than the thinnest commercially available gold leaf. 
  • Applications in Electronics: Goldene holds potential applications in the electronics industry due to its unique properties. 
  • Catalytic Potential: Goldene can be utilized in various catalytic processes, including carbon dioxide conversion, hydrogen generation, selective chemical production, and water purification. 
  • Economic Viability: Its ultra-thin structure makes Goldene more economically viable as a catalyst compared to thicker, three-dimensional gold materials. 
  • Significance: Goldene’s development marks a significant advancement in materials science, offering new possibilities for catalysis and other industrial applications, thanks to its unprecedented thinness and unique properties. 



The Maharashtra Forest department is preparing to relocate some tigers from the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) in Chandrapur to the Sahyadri Tiger Reserve. 

About Sahyadri Tiger Reserve: 

  • Sahyadri Tiger Reserve is situated in the Sahyadri Ranges of the Western Ghats in Maharashtra. 
  • Sahyadri Tiger Reserve was established in 2010.  
  • It was formed by merging the Chandoli National Park and Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary. 

Geographical Features:  

  • The reserve encompasses the region around the Koyna Dam, the Warna River, and various small rivers and streams originating from the Western Ghats and flowing eastward.  
  • It features undulating terrain with steep escarpments along the western boundary. 


Distinctive Landscapes:  

  • One notable aspect of the reserve is the presence of barren rocky and lateritic plateaus called “Sadas,” characterized by sparse vegetation and overhanging cliffs.  
  • These plateaus also contain dense thorny bushes and fallen boulders. 

Vegetation and Flora:  

  • Sahyadri Tiger Reserve boasts diverse forest cover, including moist evergreen, semi-evergreen, and moist and dry deciduous vegetation.  
  • It harbors numerous medicinal and fruit-bearing trees, along with commercially valuable hardwood species. 

Fauna: The reserve is home to various wildlife species, including tigers, leopards, lesser cats, wolves, jackals, and wild dogs. 

Conservation Significance: Sahyadri Tiger Reserve stands out as a haven for climax and near-climax vegetation, with minimal threats from human activities in the future. 

Other Tiger Reserves in Maharashtra: Maharashtra is home to several other tiger reserves, including Melghat, Bor, Nawegaon-Nagzira, Pench, and Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserves, each contributing to the conservation of the majestic tiger species.  



Hopen Island is a small and isolated island located in the far southeast of the Svalbard archipelago 

  • It forms a part of the Southeast Svalbard Nature Reserve and is characterized by rocky terrain and continuous permafrost.  
  • The island features a narrow beach, with the landscape rising sharply from it. 

Natural Features:  

  • The northern part of Hopen Island boasts steep cliffs with horizontal shelves, providing an ideal breeding ground for seabirds, including the globally vulnerable Atlantic puffin.  
  • The island’s massive seabird colonies, which include species like Brunich’s Guillemots, Kittywakes, and Fulmars, contribute to its significance as one of the most important seabird islands in the Barents Sea region.


Walrus Detection: The first case of a walrus succumbing to bird flu was detected on Hopen Island, marking a concerning development in the region’s wildlife health. 

About Walrus:  

  • Walruses are large, fin-footed mammals closely related to seals and sea lions. They possess distinctive tusks and play a crucial role as a keystone species in Arctic marine ecosystems. 
  • Habitat and Diet: Walruses inhabit Arctic and sub-Arctic regions near the North Pole, where they feed primarily on mollusks but also consume various other marine organisms. 

Threats and Conservation:  

  • While commercial hunting poses a historical threat to walrus populations, climate change emerges as the most significant danger today.  
  • As a result, walruses are classified as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List, emphasizing the urgent need for conservation efforts to safeguard their populations. 



Catatumbo Lightning is a captivating natural spectacle that occurs over the Catatumbo River in Venezuela, where lightning strikes almost incessantly. This phenomenon primarily unfolds at the convergence of the Catatumbo River and Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela’s largest lake. 

Formation Process:  

  • Catatumbo Lightning arises from a convergence of atmospheric conditions.  
  • Warm, moist air from the Caribbean Sea clashes with cooler air descending from the Andes mountains.  
  • This collision triggers rapid upward movement of the warmer air, leading to its cooling and condensation into towering cumulonimbus clouds.  
  • Concurrently, strong winds and temperature variations generate electrical charges within these clouds. 

Unique Characteristics:  

  • The cumulonimbus clouds, often exceeding 5 km in height, accumulate static electricity. When the electrical potential reaches a critical level, it discharges in the form of lightning.  
  • Catatumbo Lightning is renowned for its frequency and persistence, with lightning strikes occurring for about 160 nights annually, averaging 28 strikes per minute at its peak.  
  • Consequently, the region has gained recognition as “the lightning capital of the world.” 

About Lake Maracaibo:  

  • Lake Maracaibo, situated in Venezuela, is the largest lake in Latin America and one of the oldest water bodies globally.  
  • Its geographical proximity to the Andes Mountains and the Caribbean Sea plays a pivotal role in fostering the unique atmospheric conditions conducive to the frequent occurrence of lightning in the region. 


May 7
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
Event Category:
error: Content is protected !!