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G20: SUMups to Tackle Global Natural Disasters 


GS Paper III


Context: The idea of SUMups, a fictitious grouping of complimentary start-ups working on various aspects of managing natural catastrophes globally. These start-ups have created some cutting-edge technologies, and it is possible to combine them to create more potent disaster management solutions.

Background: The Rising Frequency and Impact of Natural Disasters Globally:

Natural catastrophes are occurring with increasing frequency and intensity on a global scale, and the severity of their effects is getting greater.

FAO Report: According to the FAO report, there were 360 natural disasters per year in the 2010s that resulted in at least 10 fatalities, impacted 100 or more people, caused injury or homelessness, and necessitated the declaration of a state of national emergency and an appeal for assistance from abroad.

Natural Disasters Compared: Compared to the 90 events recorded in the 1970s and the 100 events recorded in the 1980s, this figure is much greater.

Disasters associated with climate, weather, and hydrology: However, with the exception of Covid-19, catastrophes connected to the climate, the atmosphere, and the hydrology are occurring more frequently than geophysical and biological emergencies.

Natural disasters’ Global Effects Forest fires, heat waves, dust storms, and floods are just a few of the ways that these natural catastrophes have an international influence.

The necessity of strengthening disaster response and mitigation actions Natural catastrophes will continue to be a hazard to civilization, therefore we must strengthen our capacity to respond to them and lessen their consequences.

Luckily, steps are being done to address the problem of natural disasters, such as research into enhancing disaster response systems and the creation of new technology to help with disaster planning and relief activities.

Disaster Prevention Technologies:

CERD-AR: CERD-AR created an Augmented Reality (AR) application that gamifies disaster animations and offers exercises for disaster avoidance that help people be ready to evacuate and respond in incredibly lifelike situations.

A startup situated in Palo Alto One Concern: In order to forecast natural disasters, One Concern created a digital doppelganger of the whole planet. The platform integrates artificial intelligence, machine learning (AI/ML), and supercomputers to provide seismic and flood technologies for real-time flood prediction and risk assessment.

Emergency Response and Reconstruction Technologies:

Garuda Aerospace: To locate earthquake victims who were stranded, Garuda Aerospace sent drones to Turkey to monitor the devastated areas.

HW Design Laboratories: Using deep penetrating ground sensing radars, wireless connectivity solutions, enhanced tracking, and navigation services, HW Design Labs created IoT technologies that aid disaster response teams in properly planning their operations.

Emergency Communication Technologies:

MyResQR: This startup facilitates communication between victims and interested parties during an emergency. The intelligent QR code enables first responders like ambulance services, hospital employees, and other emergency response teams to organise information and activate SOS during emergencies.

Way Forward:

In order to fulfil the Sustainable Development Goals for the entire globe, such as creating resilient infrastructure and ending hunger, the SUMups provide a chance to unite breakthrough disaster management technology from start-ups throughout the world.


The G20 Startup20 Engagement Group can support a lot of SUMups of this nature in the future to help deal with the frequency, intensity, and complexity of natural catastrophes. Global collaboration and idea exchange can make us all more prepared and able to handle these situations. The article notes that the creation of SUMups is a step in the right way for enhancing disaster management globally and that sharing ideas may be a strong instrument for tackling complicated challenges.

Source: The Hindu


India -Sweden: Flourishing Partnership


GS Paper II


Context: There should be a celebration because this year celebrates 75 years of India and Sweden’s bilateral relations. In the last year, bilateral commerce has increased to previously unheard-of levels, with Swedish businesses making considerable inroads into the Indian market. The most recent Indian administration has demonstrated a strong interest in strengthening and expanding the bilateral relationship.

Bilateral Relations between India and Sweden:
  • In the past century, Sweden and India have made significant progress.
  • Through industry and manufacturing, both nations have increased their national wealth, going from having little to no interaction to a thriving alliance. Key players in both fields have been Swedish businesses, and as a result of their efforts, Sweden and India have developed friendly relations.
  • Sweden will commemorate the anniversaries of important Swedish businesses with operations in India, including Ericsson, SKF, Alfa Laval, and Volvo in 2023.
Celebrating 75 Years of Friendship:
  • Record-breaking bilateral commerce: 2022 was a banner year for trade between Sweden and India, with Swedish businesses seeing rapid expansion there.
  • Partnership flourishing: Both nations are dedicated to deepening their ties and working together on projects related to innovation, the green transition, energy, health, industrial policy, and other areas.
Emphasizing the Importance of Industry and Manufacturing:
  • Important sectors: Sweden and India have selected industry and manufacturing as significant areas of partnership. These sectors are essential to constructing long-term economic growth.
  • Key contributors have been Swedish businesses: Swedish corporations have been major forces in industry and manufacturing in India for several decades, and an active industrial strategy involves alliances and adopting risky actions.
Prioritizing Green and Sustainable Practices:
  • Commitment to a sustainable supply chain: Sweden and India are both dedicated to using socially and ecologically sustainable methods across the whole supply chain. The future belongs to green and sustainable practises.
  • Green transition and digitalization: Governments and companies alike have made it plain that they support this vision, which focuses on digitalization, the green transition, and the future of industry.
Way Forward:
  • Opportunities exist for even deeper links between Sweden and India, including a potential EU-India free trade agreement.
  • This idea can be investigated during the EU presidency, which would be beneficial for trade and industry, especially in places like Pune where Sweden firms are well-represented.

Throughout the past 75 years, the relationship between Sweden and India has advanced significantly. Industry and manufacturing have been highlighted as essential to fostering long-term economic growth in both countries, and efforts to adopt socially and ecologically responsible methods must be intensified.

Source: The Hindu


Government amends KYC to add Non-profit Organisations, ‘Politically exposed Persons’


GS Paper III


Context: The Finance Ministry has amended the Prevention of Money Laundering (Maintenance of Records) Rules to expand the application of the Know Your Customer (KYC) standards and include those who deal in virtual digital assets (VDA), non-profit organisations, and politically exposed persons (PEPs) as reporting entities.

Who are Politically Exposed Persons (PEP)?
  • PEPs are described by the Finance Ministry as those who have been given important public roles by a foreign government, in accordance with the updated PML Regulations.
  • comprised of major political party figures, senior politicians, senior government, judicial, or military personnel, heads of states or governments, and top CEOs of state-owned companies.
  • Banks and other financial institutions are required to keep track of PEPs’ financial transactions and provide such information to the Enforcement Directorate upon request.
Other key changes introduced:
  • The information on the NGO customers of the financial institutions must be entered into the NitiAayog’sDarpan site.
  • When the client and reporting entity’s commercial connection has terminated or the account has been closed, whichever comes first, they are obligated to keep the record for five years.
  • The concept of beneficial owners as used in the anti-money laundering statute has been narrowed as part of the PMLA regulations revision.
  • According to the revisions, as opposed to the prior ownership requirement of 25%, any individual or organisation having 10% ownership in a “reporting entity’s” client would now be regarded as a beneficial owner.
  • The businesses subject to reporting include banks and other financial institutions, companies active in the real estate and jewellery industries, middlemen in the gaming industry, and crypto or virtual digital assets.
  • According to the anti-money laundering statute, reporting companies like banks and cryptocurrency platforms are required to gather information from their customers.
  • Before now, these organisations had to keep track of KYC information or records of documents proving the clients’ identities, as well as client account data and commercial communication.
  • Now they must additionally gather information about the registered office and major place of business of their customers.
  • Moreover, they must keep track of all transactions, especially those involving cash that total more than Rs 10 lakh.
Why such move?

Prior to India’s scheduled FATF evaluation, which is anticipated to be conducted later this year, the revisions gain relevance.

Risk-management: The FATF suggests that financial institutions establish risk-management systems to recognise both local and foreign PEPs in one of its 40 recommendations.

Clarify the law: The overarching goal is to make the law more consistent and clear up any misunderstandings before the FATF evaluation.

Source: Indian Express


ISRO releases Landslide Atlas of India


GS Paper I & III


Context: In order to pinpoint the locations where landslides are most likely to occur, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has published the Landslide Atlas of India.

What are Landslides?
  • Natural disasters called landslides happen in mountainous areas when the slope, rock, soil, and geology are favourable.
  • The unexpected sliding down of rock, boulders, dirt, or debris is known as a landslide.
  • Natural events including intense rainfall, earthquakes, snowmelt, and the undercutting of slopes owing to flooding can cause them.
  • They are exceedingly dangerous and can endanger both human and animal life as well as cause property, road, and bridge damage, interfere with communication, and snap electrical lines.
  • Based on the types of materials involved, the types of movement, and the types of flow, landslides may be widely categorised.
Why do they occur?
  • Due to the favourable circumstances of the soil, rock, geology, and slope, landslides are natural disasters that mostly occur in mountainous terrains.
  • Landslides can be caused by heavy rain, earthquakes, melting snow, undercutting of slopes by floods, and heavy rains.
  • Landslides can also be brought on by anthropogenic activity like livestock overgrazing, excavation, cutting down of hills and trees, and excessive infrastructure development.
Factors contributing:
  • Lithology, geological features such faults, hill slopes, drainage, geomorphology, land use and land cover, soil texture and depth, and rock weathering are the key determinants of landslides.
  • The Himalayas and the Western Ghats continue to be particularly susceptible, and rainfall variability patterns is by far the major contributor to landslides in India.
India’s vulnerability to landslides:
  • India is regarded as one of the top five landslide-prone nations in the world, with at least one landslide-related fatality reported annually per 100 square kilometres.
  • Landslides constitute a risk for around 12.6% of the country’s land area (0.42 million sq km), with the North-Western Himalayas reporting 66.5% of landslides, the North-Eastern Himalayas 18.8%, and the Western Ghats 14.7%.
Risks in specific states:
  • With 12,385 instances, Mizoram has the most landslide occurrences during the last 25 years, 8,926 of which occurred in 2017.
  • A significant number of landslide incidents were also recorded in Nagaland and Manipur during the 2017 monsoon season.
  • The two states with the most landslides were Uttarakhand and Kerala, with Uttarakhand reporting 11,219 occurrences since 1998, and Kerala rendering residents substantially more susceptible to mortality despite fewer events.
Classification and Mapping of Landslides:
  • Based on the types of materials used, the types of movement, the types of flow, and whether they extend laterally, slides are generally categorised.
  • The primary factors used to map landslides in the Indian Landslide Atlas are occasions and seasons.
  • A landslide database developed from 1998 to 2022 utilising aerial and high-resolution satellite pictures was used by the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC).

Source: Indian Express


Megha Tropiques Satellite


GS Paper III


Context: To lower the orbit and lessen space debris, ISRO attempted a controlled re-entry of the Megha Tropiques-1 satellite.

MeghaTropiques Satellite:
  • Megha Tropiques-1, a weather satellite, was created as a collaborative project by the French and Indian space agencies.
  • In 2011, the space agency launched it on a PSLV.
  • Although though the satellite’s mission life was only supposed to last three years, it continued to collect information on the tropical water cycle and energy exchanges for almost ten years.
How was the satellite brought down?
  • Even after being deactivated, the satellite still had almost 120 kg of fuel.
  • According to ISRO, there was sufficient fuel to try a controlled re-entry.
  • The friction from the re-entry of the satellites causes the atmosphere to heat up to extremely high temperatures of hundreds of degrees Celsius.
  • Both a controlled and an uncontrolled re-entry will result in 99% of a satellite being destroyed if it doesn’t have a heat shield.
Significance of the move:
  • Despite the fact that the satellite was not designed to do so, this was the first time ISRO tried such a manoeuvre to remove space trash.
  • Typically, satellites are left in orbit, where the earth’s gravitational attraction causes them to slowly descend into the atmosphere over several years.
Why did ISRO attempt a controlled re-entry?
  • ISRO tried the control re-entry to illustrate and comprehend how it works.
  • With several space-faring countries and business organisations launching satellites, maintaining space cleanliness is essential.
  • In low earth orbits, thousands of objects—including retired satellites, spare components, and rocket stages—are circling.
  • Because to their rapid speeds, even little debris can damage operating satellites.
  • Kessler syndrome is a terrifying situation in which collisions between space junk produce additional debris.
What happens to satellites usually?
  • Only satellites in the low-earth orbit, which is 1,000 km or less above the surface of the planet, can perform a controlled re-entry like the one Isro tried earlier this week.
  • However because fuel reserves must be kept in the satellite after the mission is finished, these manoeuvres are often not performed.
  • Moreover, this is not possible for satellites in geostationary or geosynchronous orbit, when the satellite’s orbital period coincides with the Earth’s rotation.
  • These satellites are located at an altitude of around 36,000 km.
  • There would need to be a significant fuel reserve to attempt to bring a satellite down from such an orbit. The satellite will only become heavier and more expensive to launch as a result.

Source: Indian Express


Facts for Prelims


MSME Competitive(LEAN) Scheme:

  • The programme is a comprehensive effort to educate MSMEs about LEAN Manufacturing techniques, inspire and reward them to achieve LEAN levels, and support them in becoming MSME Champions.
  • In order to achieve LEAN levels such as basic, intermediate, and advanced, MSMEs will adopt LEAN manufacturing technologies such as 5S, Kaizen, KANBAN, visual workplace, and PokaYoka under the capable leadership of qualified and competent LEAN consultants.
  • 90% of the implementation costs for consulting and handholding will be covered by the government.
  • For MSMEs in the Northeast Area that are owned by women, SC, or ST and are a member of SFURTI clusters, there will be an extra contribution of 5%. (NER).
  • With the help of the scheme, MSMEs can reduce wastage substantially, increase productivity, improve quality, work safely, expand their markets, and finally become competitive and profitable.


India-Australia audio-visual Co-production Agreement:

  • This agreement allows commercial, quasi-governmental, or governmental organisations from the two nations to contract with one another to make movies.
  • The agreement aims to provide financial incentives to filmmakers in the amount of up to 30% of the costs expended in the respective nations.
  • According to the restrictions and requirements outlined under the legislation in place between the party nations, a third country may also take part in the co-production as a multilateral project.
  • India has a co-production agreement in place for audiovisual content with 16 nations, including Australia.
  • These agreements for audio-visual co-production between India and other countries include Brazil, France, China, Bangladesh, the United Kingdom, and Italy.
  • India is quickly becoming a significant centre for content for filmmakers searching for new projects.
  • India has established a Film Facilitation Office (FFO) to ease the process of film shooting in India. The FFO acts as a single-window platform for coordination with various states as well as bodies such as the Indian Railways and the Archaeological Survey of India among others.


H3N2 Virus:

  • The four varieties of influenza viruses that produce the contagious illness known as the flu are A, B, C, and D.
  • H3N2 is one of several influenza A subtypes that have been further categorised.
  • The 1968 flu pandemic, which claimed 100,000 lives in the US and approximately one million worldwide, was caused by H3N2, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US.
  • Similar to other flu symptoms, it has some of the same ones. They consist of a runny or stuffy nose, runny or feverish nose, body discomfort, headache, sore throat, and excessive exhaustion. In extremely few instances, nauseousness, vomiting, and diarrhoea have been seen.
  • Droplets emitted by an infected person when they cough, sneeze, or talk can spread the H3N2 influenza virus from one person to another. If someone touches their mouth or nose after coming in contact with a surface that has the virus on it, the infection may also spread.
  • The risk of complications from the flu is increased among pregnant women, young children, older individuals, and people with underlying medical conditions.
  • Treatment for H3N2 influenza includes getting enough rest, drinking lots of water, and reducing fever with over-the-counter pain relievers such acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
  • Antiviral medications like oseltamivir and zanamivir may also be suggested by a doctor if a patient has severe symptoms or is at a high risk of complications.

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