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Bastille Day

GS Paper I

Context: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been asked by France to attend the annual Bastille Day parade in Paris in July as a guest.

Every year on July 14, France celebrates Bastille Day, its national holiday.

The day is commemorated with fireworks and a parade under the name La Fete Nationale, or Le 14 Juillet in French.

One of the most significant days in French history, it commemorates the collapse of the Bastille, a military stronghold and political jail that was formerly seen as a symbol of the monarchy and an arsenal.

French Revolution:

  • From 1789 and 1799, France experienced a huge era of social and political change during the French Revolution.
  • The revolution was characterized by a period of radical social and political change, which saw the-
  • Overthrow of the French monarchy
  • Establishment of a republic, and
  • Execution (Guillotine) of thousands of people, including King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette.

Fall of Bastille:

  • The French Revolution is generally seen as having started with the fall of the Bastille on July 14, 1789.
  • The Bastille was a fortress jail in the middle of Paris that had come to stand for royal oppression and tyranny.
  • King Louis XVI was the king in power at the time, and he was despised by the populace of Paris as a weak and incompetent leader.
  • A sizable crowd of Parisians assembled in front of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, calling for the release of political prisoners and the confiscation of the weapons and ammo in the stronghold.
  • A violent altercation broke out between the Bastille’s defenders and the citizens of Paris as a result of the Governor of the Bastille’s refusal to hand over the castle.
  • After several hours of intense fighting, the Bastille fell, and the people of Paris stormed the fortress.

Significance of the event:

  • An important turning point in the French Revolution was the fall of the Bastille, which represented the triumph of the people over the king and the overthrow of the previous government.
  • When the revolutionaries started to grab power and impose a new order, the event also signalled the start of a period of tremendous bloodshed and social unrest in France.

Global importance of this event:

  • The overbearing monarchy’s emblem, the Bastille, came down, reversing the tide of the French Revolution and inspiring other countries to strive for their independence and rights.
  • Feudalism was abolished as a result of the revolution, which also saw the adoption of the Declaration of Human and Citizen Rights and the founding of the First French Republic.
  • The French Revolution’s proclamation of the ideals of liberty, equality, and fraternity had a significant influence on the political and social climate of the whole world.
  • Several other revolutionary revolutions throughout history have been influenced by these ideals.

Source: The Hindu


India and Malaysia to settle trade in INR

GS Paper III

Context: India and Malaysia have decided to use Indian rupees rather than American dollars to settle their commerce.

What is the move?

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had permitted the settlement of foreign commerce in the Indian rupee in July 2022.
  • One of the 18 nations that were allowed to create Special Rupee Vostro Accounts (SRVAs) in order to settle payments in Indian rupees was Malaysia.

Volume of bilateral trade:

  • In 2021–2022, bilateral trade between India and Malaysia was $19.4 billion.
  • After Singapore and Indonesia, Malaysia is India’s third-largest commercial partner in the ASEAN region, with $30.1 billion and $26.1 billion in bilateral trade, respectively.

Nostro and Vostro Accounts:

  • To make foreign exchange transactions easier, nostro and vostro accounts are two types of accounts used in international trade and banking.
  • An account kept in foreign currency by a local bank is known as a Nostro account. It is used to keep foreign currency deposits as well as simplify international transactions like foreign currency payments. Nostro, which translates to “ours” in Italian, refers to the funds that the foreign bank is holding on the local bank’s behalf.
  • On the other hand, a Vostro account is a domestic bank account held in domestic currency by a foreign bank. The foreign bank uses it to retain deposits in local currency and to simplify local currency operations, such payments to local merchants. Vostro, which translates to “yours” in Italian, refers to the funds that the local bank is holding on the foreign bank’s behalf.

What are Special Rupee Vostro Accounts (SRVAs)?

  • The RBI established SRVAs as a mechanism to let banks from specific nations to open accounts in Indian rupees with Indian banks.
  • Instead of utilising other currencies, these accounts may be utilised to settle commercial transactions between the two nations in Indian rupees.
  • This project aims to support the interests of the international trading community in Indian rupees while facilitating the expansion of global commerce.
  • By launching an SRVA through its comparable bank in Malaysia, India International Bank of Malaysia, the Union Bank of India has become the first bank in India to operationalize this option.
  • The RBI has so far permitted banks from 18 different nations to create Special Rupee Vostro Accounts (SRVAs) in order to settle payments in Indian rupees.

Significance of the move:

  • The action intends to improve prices for products and services supplied between the two nations and remove barriers to bilateral commerce caused by currency issues.
  • Its departure from the US currency represents India’s efforts to dedollarize.
  • The decision is also made in light of current government initiatives to protect Indian trade from the effects of the Ukrainian situation.

Broader implications:

  • Making payments to Russia in US dollars has been harder due to sanctions on the Russian economy and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
  • As the primary reserve currency for international commerce, the US dollar is being challenged by a number of other currencies.

Source: The Hindu


Bharat 6G project

GS Paper III

Context: The Indian government has its eyes set on 6G despite current attempts to roll out 5G networks and the fact that over 45,000 Indian villages lack 4G connection.

The Bharat 6G Vision Paper, which PM Modi launched on March 22, aims to prepare the industry and government for the upcoming generation of telecommunications.

What is 6G?

  • The sixth generation of wireless telecommunications, or 6G, is anticipated to provide 5G with a considerable performance boost in terms of data rates, capacity, and latency.
  • It is still in the development phase, and it won’t likely be on sale for a while.
  • Yet several nations, like India, are already attempting to create 6G technology and establish guidelines for its use.

Differences between 6G and 5G:

  • As every new generation of technology, 6G will provide quicker loading times, higher video quality, and faster downloads, but it is not yet known how much better.
  • The advantages of 6G will depend on how various parties plan to use the spectrum as latency on current networks is already approaching the speed of light.
  • Telecom towers and base stations will be joined by satellite constellations, consolidating networks and expanding them into rural regions.

Motivations for pursuing 6G:

  • Promote local industry: The Indian government aims to support Indian firms and engineers in global debates on standards and stimulate local production of telecom equipment.
  • Contrary to 5G, India wants to avoid the delays experienced by earlier generations of telecommunications technology, which were introduced in India years behind those in South Korea and the US.
  • Enhanced connectivity: In addition, as data consumption rises, 4G networks’ lower frequency may not be able to keep up with traffic demands, necessitating the use of 6G.

Government Plans for 6G:

For the purpose of advancing connectivity aims and creating a “apex body,” the Indian government intends to financially sponsor “research paths”.

India’s 6G goals include-

  • Guaranteeing every citizen a minimum bandwidth of 100Mbps
  • Ensuring every gram panchayat has half TB (terabyte) per second of connectivity, and
  • Providing over 50 million internet hotspots with thirteen per square kilometre.

Roadmap for 6G in India:

Government officials intend to roll out 6G in two stages.

  • Phase 1 will encourage novel concepts, uncertain routes, and proof-of-concept trials.
  • Phase 2 will encourage concepts and ideas that have the potential to gain widespread acceptance and become commercially viable.
  • It would establish an apex body to supervise the undertaking and deal with standardisation, spectrum identification, funding for research and development, and other issues.
  • The council would provide funding for universities, businesses, research organisations, and start-ups in India to conduct 6G technology development and research.
  • The council will place a major emphasis on cutting-edge technologies including artificial intelligence, radio interfaces, tactile internet, and terahertz communication.
  • Bharat 6G Mission aligns with the national vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat and aims to make India a leading supplier of advanced telecom technologies that are affordable and contribute to the global good.

Approaches to 6G in Other Countries:

  • With an emphasis on setting the groundwork for essential original technologies and local manufacture of core equipment and components, South Korea intends considerable expenditures in the development of 6G technology.
  • Also, nations are beginning to collaborate. For example, Japan and Germany intend to hold a meeting to discuss “basic technologies to demonstrations.”
  • The European counterpart to the Indian 6G Strategy Plan places an emphasis on creating safe and reliable access to critical technologies as well as leadership in strategic fields.

Source: Indian Express


IIT Mandi’s novel catalyst

GS Paper III

Context: IIT Mandi researchers have developed a novel carbon-based catalyst that can increase the productivity of water electrolysis to produce green hydrogen.

Water electrolysis and its Challenges:

  • The process of dividing water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen inside of an electrolyser is known as water electrolysis.
  • Unfortunately, a lot of electrical energy is used in this process.
  • Using a catalyst to cause the water molecules to split at a considerably lower energy is a well-known solution.
  • The better catalysts are frequently made of the costly, highly sought-after in other industries, and inconsistently stable as the reaction develops metals iridium and ruthenium.

Development of Laser Carbon:

  • Researchers have created a porous carbon substance that contains nitrogen and serves as both an anode and a catalyst in electrolyser units.
  • By exposing a sheet of the polymer polyimide to a laser beam, which carbonised the exposed parts and left the remaining material rich in nitrogen, “laser carbon” was created.

How does laser carbon work?

  • The nitrogen atoms in laser carbon pull electron clouds in their direction, causing the carbon atoms adjacent to interact with other atoms or molecules that have electron pairs.
  • The position of these atoms then becomes one of the active locations for the oxygen evolution process (OER).
  • OER reduces the overall reaction efficiency by moving slowly and requiring several intermediary stages, which makes it a bottleneck in this ideal reaction process.
  • By lowering the OER overpotential, laser carbon offers a solution that causes the reaction to begin more quickly and vigorously.

Advantages of laser carbon:

  • Compared to other carbon-based catalysts, laser carbon provides a number of benefits.
  • It can be “batch-manufactured with a laser,” is “very power efficient,” less expensive to make, has a simpler synthesis process, and is “extremely power efficient.”
  • The production method is also eco-friendly because no waste is produced and no wet chemicals need to be disposed of.
  • Moreover, it does not need a substrate because it is a self-supporting film that serves as both an electrode and an electrocatalyst.


  • Laser carbon has comparable, if not quite as great, catalytic activity as certain metals.
  • This problem may be solved by making more advancements in the manufacturing process and using other polymers.

Source: Indian Express


Autism Spectrum Disorders

GS Paper II

Context: Due to a lack of reliable numbers, the incidence of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in India is a hotly contested topic. The majority of estimations, which indicate that over one crore Indians may be on the autism spectrum, are based on studies of schoolchildren. The necessity to evaluate the incidence of autism spectrum disorders especially in the Indian setting is highlighted by the fact that there are significant cultural disparities in the diagnosis of autism between nations.

What is Autism?

  • Autism, sometimes referred to as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), is a neurological condition that impairs behaviour, social interaction, and communication. Since the intensity of the symptoms and their variability between people give rise to the term “spectrum disorder,”
  • Typical signs and symptoms of autism include repetitive activities, sensory sensitivity, delayed speech and language development, and trouble maintaining eye contact or comprehending nonverbal messages.
  • Cause: Although the precise aetiology of autism is still not entirely known, it is thought that a mix of genetic and environmental factors are responsible.
  • Autism has no known cure as of yet, but early treatments and therapies can help those with autism life happy, self-sufficient lives.

Prevalence of Autism in India:

  • Absence of systematic estimates: Autism is a worldwide problem that affects people from various cultures, ages, and socioeconomic levels. There aren’t any comprehensive estimates of the prevalence of autism in India, though.
  • Researchers’ attempts to assess prevalence through public hospitals were unsuccessful since there were no central medical registries.
  • reasonable estimates: As a consequence, prevalence was calculated using tests conducted in schools. Conservative estimates place the number of autistic Indians at well over one crore. This emphasises the demand for more study and focus on the issue of ASD prevalence in India.

Cultural Differences and Diagnosis of Autism:

  • Autism spectrum disease diagnosis varies significantly among cultures. The majority of children in the US and the UK who have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders are talkative, intelligent, and enrolled in regular schools.
  • However a sizable proportion of kids in India with a clinical diagnosis of autism also have intellectual handicap and poor linguistic skills. Sociological elements, such as accessibility to the right clinical competence, provisions for inclusion in public schools, and the availability of health insurance coverage, are what cause this disparity.

Challenges in Assessing Autism:

  • Tools for evaluation: The most common autism assessment methods are not accessible in Indian languages. Autism spectrum disorder is generally assessed behaviorally.
  • Challenges with indigenous techniques for autism assessment: Native autism evaluation techniques are being developed more often. Despite the development of these tools, comparing across many evaluation metrics can be difficult.

Demand and Supply in India:

  • Lack of qualified mental health experts: Only trained mental health professionals should use the majority of autism evaluation methods. Less than 10,000 psychiatrists, the bulk of whom are located in large cities, make up the country’s severe lack of mental health specialists.
  • Intervention delays can be expensive for neurodevelopmental diseases like autism.
  • The demand and supply gap must be closed. As experts cannot directly close this gap, concurrent initiatives to increase the accessibility of diagnostic and intervention services by enlisting non-specialists are necessary. The viability of incorporating non-specialists in autism detection and intervention using digital technologies and training programmes is being supported by emerging research.

Way Forward:

  • Development of a nationwide autism programme in India that connects researchers, physicians, and service providers with the community’s end users is urgently required.
  • Assessment, intervention, and awareness are the three interconnected fundamental components that this programme must contain.
  • To provide suitable evaluations and create effective implementation paths, research is required.
  • Intervention: In order to successfully implement a stepped-care model across the country, the clinical and support service personnel must be enlarged via the training of non-specialists.
  • Large-scale campaigns must be started to raise public knowledge in order to lessen the stigma attached to autism and related illnesses.


India faces difficulties in the diagnosis and evaluation of autism, which emphasises the necessity for a thorough and well-coordinated response to these issues. India can enhance outcomes for people with autism spectrum disorders and lessen the stigma attached to the illness by increasing the clinical and support service personnel, educating non-specialists, and establishing appropriate evaluations and therapies. With a major focus on end-users within the Indian autism community, collaboration with many stakeholders is required to shape this national initiative.

Source: Indian Express


Facts for Prelims

International Court of Justice (ICJ):

  • The main court of the UN is the International Court of Justice (ICJ) (UN).
  • The United Nations Charter created it in June 1945, and it officially began going in April 1946.
  • The Permanent Court of International Justice (PCIJ), which was established by the League of Nations, was replaced by the court.
  • In February 1922, it conducted its first meeting in the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands.
  • The League of Nations and PCIJ were superseded, respectively, by the United Nations and ICJ, following World War II.
  • Judge José Gustavo Guerrero of El Salvador, the PCIJ’s penultimate president, was appointed as the first head of the ICJ when the PCIJ was formally disbanded in April 1946.
  • The ICJ currently has four members from India.
  • The ICJ has employed Judge Dalveer Bhandari, a former Supreme Court justice, since 2012.

Deep Sea Mining:

  • The process of removing minerals from the deep ocean floor is known as deep-sea mining.
  • Rare earth metals, which are utilised in high-tech products like smartphones, computers, and electric cars, may be found in the minerals that are mined, along with precious metals like copper, gold, nickel, and manganese.
  • The minerals are discovered on the ocean floor at depths of around 4 to 6 kilometres in the form of polymetallic nodules.
  • Equipment that is particularly made to resist the harsh pressure and temperature conditions prevalent at these depths is used in deep-sea mining.
  • A Jamaica-based company called the International Seabed Authority was created in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
  • The authority holds jurisdiction over the ocean floors outside of the Exclusive Economic Zones of its 167 member states.

Kala Azar:

  • The protozoan parasites of the genus Leishmania cause the neglected tropical illness Kala-Azar, which is spread by sandflies.
  • In more than 90 nations in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Central and South America, it affects the world’s poorest populations.
  • Kala-yearly azar’s production is currently estimated to be 100,000.
  • In India and other tropical nations, more than 95% of cases that are reported to the WHO involve co-infection with HIV, which results in an immunocompromised condition.
  • The topoisomerase 1 enzyme is effectively inhibited by the quinoline derivative (LdTop1).
  • This enzyme, which is different from the one present in humans, is crucial for the preservation of the DNA architecture in parasites.
  • Poisoning Leishmania parasites of both the wild type and the antimony-resistant isolates, as well as those found in infected people (amastigotes) in the gut of sandfly vectors (promastigotes), are significantly cytotoxic when exposed to LdTop1.
  • This is accomplished without causing host cells from mice or humans to become deadly.

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