Prelims Exam


International Organisation / Defence

1.Global Military Expenditure on the Rise (2023)


  • A recent report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) analyzes global military spending.

Global Military Expenditure:

  • Reached a record high of $2443 billion in 2023 (6.8% increase).
  • Increased in all regions for the first time since 2009.
  • Accounts for 2.3% of global GDP.

Top Spenders (2023):

  1. United States
  2. China
  3. Russia
  4. India ($83.6 billion)
  5. Saudi Arabia

India’s Military Spending:

  • Increased by 4.2% from 2022 and 44% from 2014.
  • Driven by personnel and operational costs (80% of budget).
  • Reflects focus on strengthening armed forces amid regional tensions.

About SIPRI:


  • Founded in 1966 by the Swedish parliament.
  • Conducts research on international peace and security.
  • Funded by government grants, private donations, and project funding.
  • Publishes the SIPRI Yearbook on global military expenditure and arms transfers.
  • Maintains a database of military spending data accessible on its website.
  • Located in Stockholm, Sweden, with global influence.




2.NABARD Steps Up for Green Financing

In News:

  • National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) launched its Climate Strategy 2030 to address India’s green financing needs.

What is Green Financing?

  • Financing activities promoting environmentally friendly practices and sustainable development.
  • Aims to increase funding for renewable energy, clean technologies, and resource conservation from public, private, and non-profit sectors.
  • Key aspects include managing environmental risks, maximizing both financial returns and environmental benefits, and ensuring accountability.

Importance of Green Financing:

  • Regulatory changes, harmonized public incentives, and increased green investments from diverse sectors are crucial for its promotion.
  • Aligning public funding with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and boosting clean technologies are essential.
  • Green financing supports sustainable natural resource management and climate-smart blue economies.
  • Green bonds, financing instruments for green projects, play a significant role.

Green Financing Scenario in India:

  • India received only $49 billion in green financing in 2019-20, far short of the actual need.
  • The country requires an estimated $170 billion annually to reach a cumulative total of $2.5 trillion by 2030, highlighting the critical shortfall in current inflows.

NABARD’s Climate Strategy 2030:

  • This strategy focuses on four key pillars:
    • Accelerating green lending across various sectors.
    • Playing a broader market-making role.
    • Implementing internal green transformation within NABARD.
    • Strategic resource mobilization.


  • Apex regulatory agency for Regional Rural Banks and Cooperative Banks under the Ministry of Finance.
  • Established in 1982 based on the recommendations of the B.Sivaraman Committee.
  • Replaced the Agricultural Credit Department (ACD), Rural Planning and Credit Cell (RPCC), and Agricultural Refinance and Development Corporation (ARDC) of the Reserve Bank of India.
  • Promotes agriculture and rural development through financial and non-financial interventions, innovations, technology, and institutional development.


3.Golden Trevally: A Fish with Golden Potential

In News

  • ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi has developed seed production technology for Golden Trevally.

About Golden Trevally (Gnathanodon speciosus)

  • Also known as the golden kingfish, it is a high-value marine fish.
  • Physical Characteristics:
    • Silver-grey fish with a yellow belly.
    • Scattered black patches and yellow fins.
    • Black tail.
    • Juveniles are more golden with black bands, making them popular in aquariums.
  • Distribution:Indo-West Pacific region.
    • Found in reef areas of Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Kerala, Karnataka, and Gujarat.
  • Importance:
    • Promising marine aquaculture species due to:
      • Rapid growth rate
      • High meat quality
      • Market demand for consumption and ornamental purposes.
    • IUCN Red List Status:Least Concern.



4.Expanding Glacial Lakes in the Himalayas: A Satellite-Based Study


Key Facts and Figures:

  • 27% of glacial lakesin the Himalayas are expanding (based on satellite monitoring).
  • Third Pole:Refers to the Himalayas due to extensive glaciers and snow cover, sensitive to climate change.
  • Glacial lakes:Formed by melting glaciers, crucial freshwater sources in the Himalayas.
    • Categories: Moraine-dammed (most common), Ice-dammed, Erosion, Others.
  • Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs):Risks associated with expanding lakes.
    • Caused by dam failures (avalanches, extreme weather) leading to sudden floods.
  • ISRO study (1984-2023):Analyzed changes in glacial lakes using satellite imagery.
    • 676 out of 2,431 lakes(>10 hectares) have expanded significantly.
    • 130 lakes in India:65 (Indus), 7 (Ganga), 58 (Brahmaputra) river basins.
    • Expansion rate:601 lakes (>2x), 10 lakes (1.5-2x), 65 lakes (1.5x).

Importance of the Study:

  • Satellite remote sensing:Effective tool for monitoring glacial lakes due to wide coverage.
  • Understanding glacier retreat:Helps assess GLOF risks and climate change impacts.
  • Glacial lake dynamics:Crucial for environmental impact assessment and GLOF risk management.
  • Climate change adaptation:Informs strategies for glacial environments.





5.INSV Tarini Creates History


  • INSV Tarini, with two women officers onboard, returned to Goa after a successful “historic transoceanic expedition.”

A Milestone Achieved:

  • First-ever transoceanic sailing by Indian women in a double-handed mode (INSV Tarini & Indian Naval Sailing Association – INSA).
  • Training for a future circumnavigation of the globe (Sagar Parikrama – IV expedition) on INSV Tarini.
  • Scheduled for September 2024.


  • Showcases India’s growing importance in global maritime activities.
  • Promotes gender equality on the high seas.



Science and Technology

6.Understanding Psychoanalysis


  • Recent passing of Sudhir Kakar, a prominent Indian psychoanalyst.

Psychoanalysis Explained:

  • Founded by Sigmund Freud, an Austrian neurologist.
  • Theory & Therapy for mental health.
  • Focuses on unconscious mind’s influence on thoughts & behaviors.
  • Unconscious conflicts (rooted in childhood) shape personality.



Social Issues

7.Law on Abortion in India

Context: Supreme Court allowed a 14-year-old sexual assault victim to terminate her 30-week pregnancy.

Abortion Law in India:

  • Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, 1971:Regulates abortion in India.
    • Historical Background:
      • Shantilal Shah Committee (1960s) – Deliberated legalizing abortion.
      • MTP Act passed in 1971 to reduce maternal mortality from unsafe abortions.
      • Exception to Indian Penal Code (IPC) Sections 312 & 313.
    • Key Provisions:
      • Up to 20 weeks: Termination allowed with one doctor’s advice.
      • 20-24 weeks: Termination for special categories (rape, incest, vulnerable women) with two doctors’ approval.
      • After 24 weeks: Medical board decides termination based on fetal abnormality.
    • IPC and Abortion:
      • Section 312 (IPC): Punishment for causing miscarriage (except to save woman’s life).
      • Section 313 (IPC): Punishment for causing miscarriage without woman’s consent.

Amendments to MTP Act (2021):

  • Increased gestational limit to 24 weeks for special categories.
  • Confidentiality clause for women seeking abortion.
  • Extended MTP services to unmarried women for contraceptive failure.

Current Scenario and Challenges:

  • Cases of women seeking late-stage abortions suggest a legislative gap.
  • Supreme Court rulings:
    • All women (married/unmarried) have equal access to abortion up to 24 weeks (MTP Act).
    • Allowed 14-year-old rape victim to terminate 30-week pregnancy (considering her well-being).


  • Recent court rulings highlight the complexities of abortion, especially for minors and assault victims.
  • The MTP Act, despite being pro-choice, might have gaps.
  • Ongoing discussions and potential revisions are needed to ensure women’s rights are protected.



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