GS Paper III
Context:The most recent AI model, GPT-4 from OpenAI, is shocking people all around the world. Although technology has amazing powers, it also presents moral dilemmas and worries about possible abuse.
Capabilities of GPT-4:
- Improved conversational and creative abilities enable GPT-4 to comprehend and generate more relevant and entertaining information, making it a significant advance over GPT-3.5.
- Accept text and picture input simultaneously: This feature enables it to take into account numerous inputs while creating results, such as recommending recipes based on an image of the components.
- Versatile possibilities: GPT-4 has the ability to be used in a variety of different sectors, as seen by its remarkable performance in a variety of tests made for humans, including mock bar exams and advanced courses in several topics.
What is ChatGPT?
- ChatGPT is a chatbot that can provide replies to questions that resemble those of a human being. It is based on a large-scale transformer-based language model that has been trained on a variety of text datasets.
- Language that resembles human beings It is built on GPT-3.5, a language model that use deep learning to create writing that resembles that of a person.
- Details make it more interesting: ChatGPT is more interesting than the prior GPT-3 model, which just accepted text instructions and attempted to build on them with its own created text. It produces descriptive text far more effectively and may even produce poetry.
- keeps the discussions in memory: Memory is yet another distinctive quality. The bot may recapitulate past remarks made in a chat to the user by recalling them.
- Human- like resemblance: A conversation with ChatGPT is like talking to a computer, a smart one, which appears to have some semblance of human-like intelligence.
Limitations and Concerns of GPT-4:
- Hallucinations, or factual mistakes, are common in GPT-4, much like in its predecessor. These inaccuracies might lead to the creation of false or wrong information.
- OpenAI has not been open about the inner workings of GPT-4, including its architecture, hardware, and training techniques, claiming safety and competitive concerns in doing so, preventing unbiased evaluation of the model.
- Biased data: The model was trained using biassed internet data that had negative stereotypes and prejudices, which might provide negative results that reinforce these biases.
- GPT-4’s capabilities pose a danger to examination systems since students may utilise the AI-generated content to finish their essays and assignments, compromising the evaluation of their talents and knowledge.
- Possibility of being used inappropriately as a propaganda and disinformation engine: The potent language model has the potential to be utilised inappropriately as a propaganda and disinformation engine, disseminating incorrect or misleading information that may have far-reaching effects.
Ethical and Environmental Implications:
- Large language models like GPT-4 are being developed, which raises questions regarding the ethical implications of using them, particularly in light of biases and the potential for abuse.
- Energy use: The continuous discussion regarding the viability of AI development is influenced by the environmental costs associated with training these models, such as energy use and carbon emissions.
Although GPT-4 delivers remarkable AI improvements, it also raises significant concerns regarding the moral implications and potential abuse of such formidable technology. Building models that push the boundaries of what is possible has advantages and disadvantages, and society must carefully balance them in order to prioritise the creation of ethical AI systems.
Source: The Hindu
New India Literacy Program (NLIP)
GS Paper II
Context:By completing an assessment exam administered under the New India Literacy Program in 2022–2023, 22.7 lakh people from 10 states and union territories in India qualified as literate adults (NLIP).
What is New India Literacy Program (NLIP)?
- The NLIP/Nav Bharat Saksharta Abhiyan aims to teach nonliterates between the ages of 15 and above how to read and write.
- The programme is in place from FYs 2022–2023 through FYs 2026–2027 for a five-year term.
- The scheme has five main components, which are as follows:
- Foundational Literacy and Numeracy,
- Critical Life Skills,
- Vocational Skills Development,
- Basic Education, and
- Continuing Education
Beneficiaries of the scheme:
- Surveyors in the States/UTs use a mobile app to conduct door-to-door interviews to determine who the beneficiaries of the programme are.
- Non-literate people can also benefit from the programme by directly registering using a mobile app from any location.
- The basic foundation of the programme is volunteerism in education.
- For this, volunteers can also sign up via a mobile app.
Implementation of the scheme:
- The plan is technologically driven and is primarily carried out online.
- In the NCERT DIKSHA platform, which may be accessible via mobile apps, are the teaching-learning materials and tools.
- The distribution of Foundational Literacy and Numeracy is also to be done through various media, such as TV, radio, Samajik Chetna Kendra, etc.
- An important step towards making India a literate nation is the New India Literacy Project (NILP).
- It will be simpler for those who lack literacy to access education thanks to the program’s technological implementation and utilisation of volunteers for teaching and learning.
Source: The Hindu
Quality Control Orders
GS Paper III
Context:For materials including cotton, polyester, and viscose, Quality Control Orders (QCO) have been issued in order to prevent the importation of inferior goods and to guarantee that consumers receive high-quality goods. For some, the QCOs are now required; for others, the details must yet be worked out.
What is the move?
- To makers of viscose staple fibre (VSF) who adhere to its norms, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) will award a certificate (IS17266: 2019).
- The hallmark becomes required.
Why are fibres covered under QCOs?
- Both domestic and foreign fibres and filaments are used in the Indian textile and apparel industry.
- The imports are made for a variety of reasons, including cost effectiveness, lack of availability on the domestic market, or to satisfy a specific need of an international customer.
- The major goals of the QCO are to prevent the importation of cheap, low-quality goods and to guarantee that clients receive high-quality goods.
- India’s decision to propose a draught of Quality Control Orders (QCO) intends to increase exports to western markets while reducing an increase in Chinese imports.
What challenges does the new mandate bring?
- Disruption of the supply chain: Every year, India imports 50,000–60,000 tonnes of viscose fibre and its variations, including Modal and Tencel LF, from close to 20 nations. In the case of polyester, 1.25 lakh tonnes of POY (Polyester Partly Oriented Yarn) and around 90,000 tonnes of polyester fibre are imported annually.
- Uncomfortable conducting business: While it costs money to obtain the certificate from the BIS, not everyone is interested in doing so.
- Disruption of the value chain: The Indian textile producers that depend on these suppliers for their raw materials would either need to hunt for alternative sources or risk losing business.
- Material shortage: When imported, many fibre kinds have distinct HS (Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System) codes and particular functional characteristics. Such fibres are imported in very tiny amounts by the textile industry, therefore limiting their supply will prevent Indian customers from purchasing specialised goods.
- Prospective price increase: Some textile facilities employ lower-grade fibres made from wastes and rejects that are not covered by the QCO.
Textile industry’s expectation:
- The industry believes that there should be no restrictions on the import of specialised fibres used in mixes with other fibres.
- Each foreign applicant for a BIS certificate should receive one right away following an inspection.
- MSME polyester-spun yarn factories want funding assistance to build up product testing facilities.
- According to the industry, the QCO shouldn’t be put into action until all ambiguities have been resolved and abnormalities have been corrected.
Source: Indian Express
GS Paper III
Context:For the first time, scientists have lately found proof of the piezoelectric effect in liquids. The last 143 years have seen this impact solely in solids. This new discovery refutes the hypothesis describing this effect and opens the door to hitherto unrecognised uses in mechanical and electrical systems.
What is Piezoelectric Effect?
- When a body is compressed, the piezoelectric effect happens, causing an electric current to flow through it.
- Quartz crystals (SiO2), which are used in wristwatches, clocks, and other devices that convert mechanical stress to a current, have shown this phenomenon.
- Pure 1-butyl-3-methyl imidazolium bis (trifluoromethylsulfonyl) imide and 1-hexyl-3-methyl imidazolium bis (trifluoromethylsulfonyl) imide both exhibit the piezoelectric action.
- Both of these liquids were discovered at room temperature and are ionic liquids, which implies that ions rather than molecules make them up.
Why is the effect in liquids surprising?
- As liquids lack the structured structure that solids have, the piezoelectric effect has hitherto only been anticipated in solids.
- The researchers’ discovery of the effect in pure ionic liquids at ambient temperature, nevertheless, casts doubt on how the effect is currently understood.
- In the first liquid, the magnitude of the piezoelectric effect was 16 millivolt per newton (mV/N), and in the second, it was 17 mV/N, both within a margin of 1 mV/N.
What is the strength of the effect?
- In the experiment, the researchers discovered that the two ionic liquids they examined had a piezoelectric effect strength that was ten times less than quartz.
- This finding still qualifies as noteworthy since it allows for new uses.
- With fewer environmental drawbacks than many commonly employed piezoelectric materials, the discovery of the piezoelectric effect in liquids opens the door to hitherto unreachable applications.
- These liquids also exhibited the inverse piezoelectric effect, which allowed for the creation of lenses with dynamic focusing capabilities by allowing varying currents to be sent through them to alter how the liquids bent light travelling through them.
Source: Indian Express
Climate Justice and Accountability
GS Paper I
Context:Reflecting the dissatisfaction of the international community with global climate agencies and the need for more effective climate action, the UN General Assembly has asked the International Court of Justice to weigh in on whether countries can be sued under international law for failing to avert climate emergencies.
- Resolution from Vanuatu: The unanimous adoption of the resolution, sponsored by the tiny Pacific island nation of Vanuatu, demonstrates the existence of a worldwide agreement about the climate problem.
- Delay climate action: The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), in particular, is criticised for its processes, which frequently result in concessions that postpone climate action.
- The Hague-based court’s ruling will not be legally enforceable, but it has moral weight and may pave the way for other nations to include climate justice in their legal systems.
Role of ICJ and its jurisdiction:
Contentious jurisdiction: The power of the ICJ to settle legal disputes between parties who have given their assent. Controversial jurisdiction decisions are legally binding.
- The UN General Assembly (UNGA), Security Council (SC), and other specialised organisations of the organisation are able to request the ICJ’s opinion on a legal issue under advisory jurisdiction.
- The advisory judgements of the ICJ have no legal force. Yet, they have a strong normative impact and help to define pertinent international legal principles.
- The advisory opinion of the ICJ on climate change may be helpful in national climate-related litigation.
Previous attempts to address climate change in non-environmental forums:
- Since 2007, the UN Security Council has had global warming on its agenda. The UNSC has made an effort to approach the issue in terms of security rather than just from a developmental or environmental viewpoint.
- Climate change securitization: Developing nations have rightfully opposed it, with China and India leading the charge, claiming that doing so might result in the imposition of sanctions and other coercive measures.
- Rights and justice: The proposal supported by Vanuatu has gained more traction and acceptance internationally because to the usage of rights and justice jargon.
Rights and justice vocabulary and recent developments:
- Climate justice: The plan supported by Vanuatu stresses the significance of climate justice in resolving the issue.
- Right to reparations: Following severe weather events brought on by climate change, several nations have begun claiming this right. Examples include Pakistan during the terrible floods in 2020 and the current talks on loss and damage at the COP26 meeting in Glasgow.
- Globally increasing climate litigation cases The increase in global climate lawsuit suits, in which individuals and groups accuse governments and businesses of failing to address climate change, underlines the rising need for climate justice.
Challenges in holding countries accountable:
- Accountability of individuals: In previous climate meetings, holding particular nations or governments responsible for their climate inaction has proven to be a serious roadblock.
- Issue of compensation: After pressure from US officials, a language stating that the Paris Agreement does not entail or provide a foundation for any obligation or compensation was put into the agreement.
- US reluctance to endorse the UNGA resolution suggests that wealthy nations may be resistant to being held accountable for their climate inaction.
The goal of amending the UNFCCC should not be distracted by the UNGA’s action. The overarching climate agency’s institutions need to be more fair and responsive to inequalities. The ICJ might move it in that direction, but wealthier UNFCCC members must take greater action. The need of tackling the issue in a reasonable and equitable manner is highlighted by the rising demand for climate justice and the growing number of climate lawsuit cases.
Source: Indian Express
Facts for Prelims
CSE-DTE release 2023 State of India’s Environment report:
- The Status of India’s Environment report 2023 was published by the Center for Science and the Environment (CSE) and DTE (Down to Earth) magazine.
- Water body encroachment: The nation has seen the encroachment of over 30,000 water bodies, and India generates 150,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste (MSW) per day, of which more than half is either disposed of in landfills or goes unmanaged.
- Air Pollution: In India, the average life lost to air pollution lasts four years and eleven months. Health problems brought on by air pollution cause more years to be lost in rural India than in the urban core.
- Environmental Crimes: To clear the backlog, courts must make decisions on 245 cases every day. Environmental crimes continue unabatedly.
- Severe weather events: India had extreme weather conditions for 271 days between January and October 2022. Around 2,900 people died as a result of these severe weather disasters.
- Natural disasters: In 2021, India saw the fourth-worst natural catastrophe damage, displacing 49 lakh people inside.
- Forest Cover: The analysis of the India State of Forest Report, published in 2022 by the Forest Survey of India, revealed that between 2017 and 2021, the amount of forest cover had grown by 0.5%. Nevertheless, the open forest category, which includes commercial plantings, has seen the most of the growth. The fairly dense forest, which is often the region closest to habitations, has suffered as a result of this. At the same time, just 3% of the world’s woods are highly thick, which absorb the most carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
- SDGs: Over the previous five years, India has fallen nine places in the worldwide rankings for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations, ranking 121 in 2022. India is in last place, below Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and Nepal in South Asia.
- Himalayas: According to a research by the Himachal Pradesh Council for Science, Technology, and the Environment, the amount of snow in Himachal Pradesh decreased from 23,542 sq km to 19,183 sq km during 2019–2020 and 2020–21. The majority of river basins in the state also suffered losses, with the Sutlej basin bearing the most burden because it makes up 45% of the whole geographical area.
India’s first cloned desi Gir female calf, Ganga produced at NDRI:
- The National Dairy Research Institute, located in Karnal, Haryana, has created the first-ever clone of a Gir cow breed calf. The calf’s name is Ganga.
- It is the first cloned female Gir calf from India.
- Three animals were employed by the researchers to create this calf: an oocyte from a Sahiwal breed animal, a somatic cell from a Gir breed animal, and a surrogate animal that was a crossbreed.
- Notably, the expansion and milk production of the Indian dairy sector depend on the cow breeds Gir, Sahiwal, Tharparkar, and Red Sindhi.
- Cloning is the practise of creating genetically identical duplicates of a biological organism through a variety of different techniques. A clone is a copy of a substance that shares the same genetic make-up as the original.
- The Vaikom Satyagraha was started on March 30, 1924.
- One of Vaikom’s four main thoroughfares that led to the Shiva Temple served as the starting venue for the Satyagraha.
- Admission restrictions for untouchables, members of depressed castes, and marginalised groups were in place in these sanctuaries.
- The procession was headed by the main Satyagrahis, Kunjappy, Venniyll Govinda Panicker, and Bahuleyan, as they made their way towards the Shiva shrine.
- The pavement (road) there was marked as being off-limits to Ezhavas, other lower castes, and the society’s oppressed groups.
- On April 7, 1924, TK Madhavan and KP Kesava Menon were also detained.
- More volunteers were inspired by this occasion to travel from Tamil-speaking areas and join the Satyagraha.
- Moreover, Sree Narayana Guru offered his assistance and support to the Satyagraha.
- He disagreed with Hindu society’s pervasive caste structure and traditional prejudice.
- The Satyagrahis’ administrative centre was Vellore Mutt, which is adjacent to Vaikom.
- He assigned Swami Sathyavrathan and Kottukoikal Velayudhan, two of his most cherished pupils, the responsibility of overseeing the Satyagraha campaign.