Supreme Court on Legislative Privileges and Bribery (GS-2 Mains)

Overturned Verdict:

  • A 7-judge bench overruled the 1998 P.V. Narasimha Rao v. State case.
  • That case granted MPs/MLAs immunity from prosecution for bribery related to votes or speeches in the House.

New Ruling:

  • MPs/MLAs cannot claim immunity for bribery to influence votes or speeches.
  • Parliamentary privilege doesn’t shield legislators from criminal law.


  • Strengthens anti-corruption measures.
  • Opens doors for prosecuting legislators involved in bribery.
  • Promotes greater accountability and transparency in legislatures.

Parliamentary Immunity in India:

  • Article 105(2) and 194(2) grant immunity for actions/statements in official legislative duties.
  • Ensures uninterrupted representation and power balance in a democracy.


  • Parliamentary privilege is crucial, but doesn’t protect criminal acts.
  • This judgement upholds the rule of law and probity in public life.



India-EFTA Free Trade Agreement (FTA) (GS-2 Mains)

FTA Details:

  • EFTA to invest $100 billion in India (pharma, food processing, engineering, chemicals).
  • India to eliminate duties on various EFTA products (gold, machinery, pharmaceuticals).
  • Investment from EFTA provident funds.

Significance for India:

  • Diversifies imports away from China (pharmaceuticals, chemicals).
  • Access to better-standardized devices from Switzerland.
  • Estimated 1 million jobs created through investment.


  • Potential increase in trade deficit with Switzerland.
  • Limited access for Indian agricultural exports to EFTA.
  • Reduced benefits due to Switzerland’s overall import duty elimination.
  • Challenges in harmonizing regulatory standards.
  • Unresolved issues around intellectual property rights.

Way Forward:

  • Strong potential for increased trade and partnership.
  • Agreement should promote sustainable development and gender equality.

India Enters Second Stage of Nuclear Program with PFBR (GS-3 Mains)

The Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR):

  • Developed by Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Ltd (BHAVINI).
  • Breeder reactor: produces more fuel (Pu-239) than it consumes.
  • Uses MOX fuel (mixed oxide) initially, with a Uranium-238 blanket for transmutation.
  • Can also utilize Thorium-232 in the blanket to create fissile Uranium-233 for future use.

Significance of PFBR:

  • Key to India’s three-stage nuclear program for self-reliance in fuel.
  • Reduces nuclear waste by using spent fuel from the first stage.
  • Advanced safety features for emergency shutdown.
  • Makes India the second nation (after Russia) with a commercial fast breeder reactor.

India’s Three-Stage Nuclear Program:

Stage 1 (Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors – PHWRs):

  • Uses natural uranium (U-238) and heavy water.
  • Produces plutonium-239 (fissile material) as a byproduct.

Stage 2 (Fast Breeder Reactors – FBRs): (Current Stage)

  • Uses plutonium-239 and uranium-238 to produce energy, plutonium, and Uranium-233.
  • PFBR is a key part of this stage.

Stage 3 (Advanced Heavy Water Reactors – AHWRs): (Future Stage)

  • Uses plutonium-239 and thorium-232 to produce energy and Uranium-233.
  • Aims to utilize India’s abundant thorium reserves.


Critical Minerals: Essential for India’s Growth (GS-1 & 3 Mains)

What are Critical Minerals?

  • Minerals with high economic importance and supply risk (import dependence, low recycling, limited substitutes).
  • Crucial for renewable energy, defense, electronics, pharmaceuticals.

Significance for India:

  • Essential for economic development and national security.
  • Needed to meet ambitious clean energy goals (50% non-fossil power by 2030).
  • Supports renewable energy, defense, agriculture, electronics, and more.

Recent Developments:

  • Auction of 18 critical mineral blocks worth ₹30 lakh crore.
  • Amendment to MMDR Act (2023) designates 24 critical minerals.
  • Increased funding for research and innovation in mining.
  • Geological Survey of India finds potential lithium reserves in J&K.
  • Khanij Bidesh India Ltd. (KABIL) to acquire overseas critical mineral assets.
  • India joins the Mineral Security Partnership (MSP) for collaboration.

Way Forward:

  • This auction is crucial for India’s economy, security, and clean energy goals.
  • Diversify import sources to reduce reliance on single suppliers.
  • Form strategic partnerships with mineral-rich countries.
  • Collaborate on research and development with developed nations.


Global Warming’s Threat to India ( GS-1 & 3 Mains)

Study Highlights:

  • Pollination: Pollination in India reduced by half at 3-4°C global warming compared to a quarter reduction at 1.5°C.
  • Biodiversity: Limiting warming to 1.5°C allows half of India to act as a biodiversity refuge, compared to 6% at 3°C.
  • Agriculture: Over 50% of Indian agricultural land to face drought with 3°C warming, with severe droughts lasting over a year.
  • Sea-level rise: Economic damages from sea-level rise to increase more slowly if warming limited to 1.5°C.
  • Natural capital risk: Areas in India already at high risk at 1.5°C due to increasing human population.


  • Limit Warming to 1.5°C:Achieve Paris Agreement goals to reduce drought risk, heat stress, and flooding.
  • Enhanced Mitigation Efforts:Current policies are insufficient to prevent a 3°C rise.
  • Expand Protected Areas:Conserve biodiversity for climate resilience.
  • Prioritize Mitigation & Adaptation:Reduce emissions and adapt to unavoidable changes.
  • Restore Ecosystems:Improve natural carbon capture and resource resilience.



Hangul Deer Population Expected to Rise

  • The number of Hanguls in Kashmir is expected to cross 300 this spring for the first time in over 3 decades.

About Hangul

  • Subspecies of Asian Red Deer
  • State Animal of Jammu and Kashmir
  • High-altitude forest dwellers
  • Found in Dachigam National Park, Rajparian Wildlife Sanctuary, Overa Aru, Sind Valley, Kishtwar, and Bhaderwah forests

Conservation Efforts

  • Hangul population declined from 2000 in 1947 to 289 currently.
  • Listed as Critically Endangered on IUCN Red Data Book.
  • Project Hangul is a collaborative effort by the Jammu and Kashmir government, IUCN, and WWF to increase Hangul population.


Geographical Indication (GI) Tag for Tamil Nadu Agriculture

10 Products to Get GI Tag:

  • Sathayamangalam Red Banana (Erode)
  • Kolli Hills Pepper (Namakkal)
  • Meenambur Seeraga Samba Rice (Ranipet)
  • Ayyampalayam Nettai Thennai (Dindigul) – A type of coconut
  • Urigam Puli (Krishnagiri) – A type of tamarind
  • Bhuvanagiri Mithi Pagarkai (Cuddalore) – A type of bitter gourd
  • Sencholam (Salem, Karur) – A type of millet
  • Tirunelveli Senna Leaf (Tirunelveli)
  • Odaipatti Seedless Grapes (Theni)
  • Gloriosa Superba and Senganthal seed (Karur, Dindigul, Tiruppur) – Medicinal plants

What is a GI Tag?

  • Protects product names with a specific geographical origin and unique qualities.
  • Promotes exports and prevents unauthorized use.
  • Enhances economic benefits for producers in that region.


Cavum Clouds: Hole-Punch Wonders in the Sky

What are Cavum Clouds?

  • Also known as hole-punch clouds or fallstreak holes.
  • Appear as circular or elliptical holes in cloud cover with wispy trails in the center.


  • Occur in mid-level altocumulus clouds containing supercooled water droplets.
  • Airplanes passing through cause adiabatic expansion, freezing droplets into ice crystals.
  • Ice crystals grow heavy, fall out, leaving a hole and wispy trails (virga) of falling ice that don’t reach the ground.

Cloud Types (for Reference):

  • Cirrus: Wispy, high-altitude ice crystal clouds (fair weather).
  • Stratus: Layered, low-altitude clouds often associated with warm fronts.
  • Cumulus: Puffy, vertically-developed clouds caused by warm air updrafts.
  • Nimbostratus: Gray rain or snow clouds.
  • Stratocumulus: Patchy, low-altitude clouds with some separation.
  • Cumulonimbus: Towering thunderstorm clouds with flat anvil tops.


Venice Biennale: The Olympics of the Art World

What is it?

  • Founded in 1895, it’s one of the world’s biggest and most prestigious art exhibitions.
  • “Biennale” means “every other year” in Italian, but now refers to major international exhibitions every two years.
  • Features contemporary art from various countries, often with a central theme exploring social, economic, and political issues.

India’s Participation

  • Debuted in 1954 with works by M.F. Husain, S.H. Raza, and others.
  • Officially participated again in 2011, showcasing artists like Zarina Hashmi and Praneet Soi.
  • Collaborated with Ministry of Culture and other institutions for the 2019 Biennale.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *