Shenzhou-16 (Tiangong Space Station)

Syllabus: Science & tech.

Why in News?

  • China launched spacecraft to Tiangong with first civilian astronaut.
  • Three astronauts, including first civilian, sent to China’s space station.
  • Chinese mission includes historic first civilian astronaut to Tiangong station.


  • China breaks tradition, includes civilian astronaut in space mission.
  • China joins USA and Russia as third country to send humans to orbit.
  • Shenzhou-16 spacecraft launched from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in Gobi Desert.

Tiangong space station

  • Tiangong: China’s manned space station, operated by China Manned Space Agency (CMSA).
  • Orbit: Low Earth orbit, 340-450 km above surface.
  • Modules: First launched in 2021, two more added later.
  • Future: Expected to be primary research outpost after ISS operations end in 2030.


 Syllabus: Goverance

Why in News?

  • Union Cabinet approves City Investments to Innovate, Integrate and Sustain 2.0 (CITIIS 2.0) for city investments and sustainability.


  • Objective: CITIIS 2.0 supports circular economy, waste management, climate reforms.
  • Funding:1760 crore loan from AFD and KfW (EUR 100 million each), Rs.106 crore grant from EU.
  • Agencies: Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) , AFD, KfW, EU, National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) collaborate for CITIIS 2.0.
  • Duration: Program spans 2023-2027, four-year initiative promoting sustainable cities.

CITIIS 2.0 has three major components:

  • Component 1: Support for climate resilience projects in 18 smart cities.
  • Component 2: State support for climate centers, data observatories, planning, and capacity building.
  • Component 3: Strengthening climate governance at Centre, State, and City levels.


  • CITIIS 2.0 complements existing national programs on sustainable habitat, urban development, and cleanliness.
  • CITIIS 2.0 aligns with India’s INDCs and COP26 commitments for climate action.

 Lightweight Payments System

Syllabus: GS3/Indian Economy & Related Issues

Why in News ?

  • RBI introduces lightweight payment system as a “bunker” equivalent for digital payments.

About the Lightweight Payments System

  • Portable system can be operated with minimal staff during emergencies.
  • Infrastructure independent of existing payment systems like UPI, NEFT, RTGS.
  • Launch timeline for the new system not yet specified by the central bank.

How it is different from UPI

  • Conventional payment systems (RTGS, NEFT, UPI) rely on wired networks and advanced IT infrastructure.
  • Lightweight payment system operates on minimalistic hardware and software, activated as needed.
UPI and National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI)

  • UPI: Mobile app system merging multiple bank accounts, developed by NPCI in 2016.
  • NPCI: Umbrella organization for retail payments, established by RBI and Indian Banks’ Association (IBA)  in 2008.
  • Not-for-profit company providing infrastructure for physical and electronic payment and settlement systems in India.


  • Lightweight, portable payment system minimizes downtime, ensures liquidity in the economy.
  • Processes critical transactions for stability, including government and market-related transactions.
  • Resilient system boosts public confidence in digital payments, even during extreme conditions.



Yuri Olefirenko

Syllabus: GS 3/Defence

Why in News ?

  • Russia claims destruction of Ukrainian warship ‘Yuri Olefirenko’ in Odesa.
  • Last major warship of Ukrainian navy allegedly targeted and destroyed by Russia.


  • Yuri Olefirenko: Medium-sized landing ship for troops and vehicles.
  • Originally named “Kirovograd,” renamed in 2016 to honor fallen Ukrainian marine.
  • Crew of Yuri Olefirenko decorated by President Zelensky in June 2022.


 Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) 

Syllabus: GS 2/3/International /Defence

Why in News ?

  • The United Arab Emirates has withdrawn from the Combined Maritime Forces.

About Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) 

  • CMF: Multinational maritime partnership upholding the International Rules-Based Order (IRBO).
  • Established in 2001 with 12 nations, headquartered in Bahrain.
  • Focus areas: Counter-narcotics, counter-smuggling, piracy suppression, regional cooperation, and response to environmental and humanitarian crises.



Syllabus: GS 1/2/Social Issues/Governance 

Why in News ?

  • Karnataka High Court rules that raping a dead woman does not fall under rape or unnatural offences as per Sections 377 and 376 of IPC.

About Necrophilia 

  • Necrophilia: Sexual attraction or relations with corpses and dead bodies.
  • Not defined as illegal by law in many countries, but considered unnatural and psychologically disordered.
  • Necrophilia is an offence in the UK, Canada, New Zealand, and South Africa.
  • In India, no specific legislation or provision in IPC addresses necrophilia.

Court’s recommendations 

  • High Court of Karnataka recommends adding necrophilia as an offence in IPC.
  • Directs State government to install CCTV cameras, maintain mortuaries, sensitize staff within six months to prevent offences against the dead, especially women.


 Mandatory Tobacco related Warning for OTT Platforms

Syllabus: GS2/ Health

Why in News ?

  • Union Health Ministry: Mandated OTT platforms to display tobacco-related health warnings.
  • Amendment: Made under the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2004.
  • Announced: On World No Tobacco Day (May 31).

What are the new rules?

  • OTT platforms: Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, etc., must include anti-tobacco health spots and audio-visual disclaimers about tobacco’s ill-effects at the beginning and middle of programs.
  • Prohibited content: Online content should not feature cigarette or tobacco product brands.
  • Non-compliance: Violators may face action from an inter-ministerial committee authorized to enforce the guidelines.
World No Tobacco Day

  • World No Tobacco Day: Established by WHO Member States in 1987 to raise awareness about the global tobacco epidemic.
  • Resolution WHA 42.19: Passed in 1988, designating May 31 as World No Tobacco Day.
  • Theme for 2023: “We Need Food, Not Tobacco” emphasizes promoting healthier lifestyles, tobacco cessation, and policies that prioritize food security and nutrition alongside combating tobacco use.

Tobacco Production & Consumption in India

  • Tobacco production in India: Major producer and exporter, with Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh as key cultivation states. Supports livelihoods of 36 million people.
  • Tobacco consumption in India: Over 120 million smokers, accounting for a fifth of global smokers. Approximately 1.4 million tobacco-related deaths in India annually.

Consequences of  Tobacco Consumption

  • Health effects: Increased risk of diseases, including cancer and heart disease. Vulnerability to severe COVID-19. Harmful to non-smokers.
  • Environmental effects: Deforestation, CO2 emissions, water consumption. Hazardous substances in cigarette butts.
  • Negative social consequences: Impacts social interactions and relationships.
  • Financial burden: Personal costs and medical expenses.
  • Child labor and farmer exploitation: Risks to farmers’ health and involvement of child labor.

Efforts Taken in this regard

Global Efforts:

  • WHO FCTC: Global response to tobacco epidemic, supported by MPOWER technical package for implementation.
  • Director General’s Special Recognition Awards: Recognizes achievements in tobacco control, Meghalaya and Jharkhand awarded in 2023 and 2022 respectively.
  • Smoke-free UN Premises: UN Resolution in 2008 for smoke-free environments.
  • System-wide coherence: UN Economic and Social Council calls for consistency in tobacco control measures.

Efforts by India:

  • Cigarettes Act, 1975: Mandates health warnings on tobacco packaging and advertisements.
  • COTPA 2003: Prohibits smoking in public places, advertising tobacco products, sale to minors, and restricts sales near educational institutions.
  • National Health Policy 2017: Aims to reduce tobacco use by 30% by 2025 to combat non-communicable diseases.
  • NTCP: Ministry of Health’s program for tobacco awareness and control, covering all states and UTs.
  • Tax on Tobacco: Attracts the highest GST slab and additional cess.
  • Crop diversification: Encourages farmers to replace tobacco crops with water-saving alternatives for environmental conservation.


Pre- Mauryan Era Finds in Purana Qila

Syllabus: GS-1/Culture

Why in News?

  • Fresh excavations at Purana Qila.
  • Uncovered evidence of continuous history.
  • Dates back to pre-Mauryan era.

Excavations of new site

  • Third round of excavations: Conducted from January.
  • Nine cultural levels: Representing various historical periods from pre-Mauryan to Mughal, including Mauryan, Gupta, Rajput, Sultanate, and more.
  • Earlier excavations: Carried out in 2013-14 and 2017-18.

The Findings of new excavations include:

  • Painted Gray Ware pottery shards: Dating back to 1200 BC to 600 BC.
  • Vaikuntha Vishnu remains: 900-year-old sculpture from the Rajput period.
  • Terracotta plaque of Goddess Gaja Lakshmi: Gupta period artifact.
  • Terracotta ring well: 2,500-year-old structure from the Mauryan period.
  • Four-room complex: Sunga-Kushan period complex dating back 2,300 years.

Purana Qila

  • Purana Qila (Old Fort): One of the oldest forts in Delhi.
  • Traces from 3rd century BC: Believed to be the site of Indraprastha.
  • Rebuilt under Humayun and Sher Shah Suri: Present fort built during their reigns.
  • Inner citadel of Din Panah: Used during Humayun’s rule.
  • Sher Shah Suri’s additions: Renamed as Shergarh, added structures during his reign.

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