Call Us Now

+91 9606900005 / 04

For Enquiry

Current Affairs 01 May 2024

  1. Decline in Solar Radiation Raises Concerns Amid Climate Change
  2. BJP Candidate Declared Elected Unopposed in Surat Lok Sabha Constituency
  3. Why are ‘Unclassed’ Forests Missing
  4. Lightning
  5. Kuchipudi
  6. Global Leaders Group on Antimicrobial Resistance
  7. Salmonella


As concerns about climate change mount, the significance of renewable energy sources such as solar power becomes increasingly evident. However, a recent study by scientists at the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has unveiled a troubling trend. It suggests that the quantity of solar radiation available for conversion into electricity by solar panels is decreasing in various locations across India.


GS III: Environment and Ecology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Key Highlights of the Study
  2. What are the Implications for India’s Solar Power Goals?
  3. Challenges and Impediments
  4. Path Forward

Key Highlights of the Study

Impact of Aerosols and Clouding on Solar Radiation:

  • Increased aerosol load from carbon emissions, fossil fuel burning, and dust, along with clouding, contribute to the decline in solar radiation.
  • Aerosols absorb sunlight and deflect it away from the ground, while also precipitating the formation of dense clouds that block sunlight.

Influence on Solar Panel Efficiency:

  • The efficiency of solar panels is significantly influenced by the amount of sunlight incident on them.
  • Decline in solar photovoltaic (SPV) potential is observed due to reduced solar radiation.

Decline in Solar Photovoltaic (SPV) Potential:

  • Analysis reveals a widespread decline in SPV potential across all monitored stations, including major cities like Ahmedabad, Chennai, and Mumbai.
  • SPV potential showed a general decline in all stations, including those located in India’s largest solar parks in Gujarat and Rajasthan.

Distribution of Global Solar Radiation (GR):

  • GR is maximum over northwest India and inland peninsular India, while minimum over extreme north and northeast India.
  • Reduction in GR is attributed to increased atmospheric turbidity and cloudiness, with monsoon clouds further reducing GR over most parts of India.

Variations in Diffuse Radiation (DR):

  • Diffuse radiation refers to solar radiation scattered by atmospheric particles, influenced by atmospheric conditions.
  • Significant increase in DR observed in more than 50% of stations, especially in northwest and some parts of peninsular India, attributed to increased atmospheric turbidity and cloudiness.

What are the Implications for India’s Solar Power Goals?

Current Status of India’s Solar Power Capacity:

  • India’s current installed solar power capacity stands at about 81 GW, which accounts for roughly 17% of the total installed electricity capacity.
  • Globally, India ranks 5th in solar power capacity, highlighting its significant contribution to renewable energy.

India’s Renewable Energy Goals:

  • India aims to source about 500 GW, nearly half of its electricity requirement, from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030.
  • This translates to a target of at least 280 GW of solar power capacity by 2030, requiring an addition of at least 40 GW annually until that year.

Challenges and Impediments:

  • Despite ambitious goals, India has struggled to meet its solar power targets, with annual additions barely crossing 13 GW in the last five years.
  • Hindrances such as the Covid-19 pandemic have impacted progress, although the country was on track to add between 25-40 GW annually in the coming years.
  • Other challenges include complexities in land acquisition, grid integration issues, slow growth of rooftop solar, limited availability of storage technology, and a need for more innovation in the sector.

Path Forward:

  • India needs to address these challenges effectively to accelerate the growth of its solar power sector and achieve its ambitious renewable energy targets.
  • This may involve streamlining regulatory processes, incentivizing investment in solar infrastructure, enhancing grid infrastructure, promoting research and development in storage technology, and fostering innovation in the sector.

-Source: The Hindu


Recently, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate from the Surat Lok Sabha constituency in Gujarat has been declared elected unopposed. This development comes after the rejection of nomination papers of other candidates and the withdrawal of nominations by other contestants.


GS II: Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Requirements for Valid Nomination
  2. Nomination Rejection in Surat Lok Sabha Constituency
  3. Concerns Regarding Declaring Results in Uncontested Elections
  4. Way Forward

Requirements for Valid Nomination:

Legal Basis:

  • Section 33 of the Representation of the People Act (RPA), 1951 outlines the requirements for a valid nomination.

Candidate Eligibility:

  • Any elector above 25 years of age can contest the Lok Sabha election from any constituency in India.


  • Proposers must be electors from the respective constituency where the nomination is being filed.
  • Recognized party candidates require one proposer, while candidates from unrecognised parties and independents need ten proposers.

Nomination Papers:

  • A candidate can file up to four nomination papers with different sets of proposers to ensure acceptance, even if one set is in order.

Scrutiny Process:

  • Section 36 of the RP Act governs the scrutiny of nomination papers by the Returning Officer (RO).
  • Nomination papers cannot be rejected for non-substantial defects, but genuine signature issues can lead to rejection.

Nomination Rejection in Surat Lok Sabha Constituency:

Incident Overview:

  • The Congress candidate for the Surat constituency submitted three sets of nomination papers.
  • A BJP worker objected, alleging the signatures of the proposers were not genuine.
  • Affidavits from the proposers claiming non-signature were received, but they couldn’t appear before the RO within the deadline, leading to rejection of all nomination papers.
  • The substitute candidate’s nomination was also rejected, leading to the BJP candidate’s uncontested victory.

Uncontested Elections

  • The ECI’s handbook for returning officers states that if only one candidate is contesting in a constituency, they should be declared elected immediately after the deadline for withdrawal of candidature, and a poll is not necessary in that case. This is called Uncontested Elections.
Legal Recourse:

Election Petition:

  • Article 329(b) of the Constitution along with the RPA, 1951 allows challenging election results through an election petition filed before the concerned High Court.
  • Improper rejection of nomination papers is one ground for filing such petitions.


  • Legal recourse entails filing an election petition in the Gujarat High Court.
  • High Courts should aim to conclude trials within six months, although this hasn’t always been the case.

Importance of Speedy Disposal:

  • Swift resolution of election petitions is crucial for ensuring justice and maintaining public confidence in the electoral process.

Concerns Regarding Declaring Results in Uncontested Elections:

Democratic Legitimacy:

  • Uncontested victories raise concerns about the legitimacy of declaring candidates elected without a competitive electoral process, potentially undermining the democratic principle of representation.

Limited Voter Engagement:

  • Uncontested elections limit voter engagement and choice, depriving constituents of the opportunity to express their preferences through the electoral process.

Lack of Opposition:

  • In uncontested elections, there is a victor but no “vanquished” party, denying others the chance to contest and limiting political diversity.

Inadequacy of NOTA:

  • The None of the Above (NOTA) option, while allowing voters to express dissatisfaction, has been criticized as ineffective and toothless, lacking meaningful impact on the election outcome.

Rule 49-O vs. NOTA:

  • There’s a difference between Rule 49-O, where voters refuse to vote, and NOTA, which lacks a substantial impact on the election process.
  •  There is a difference between an elector exercising Rule 49-O and one using the NOTA option.
  • In the case of the former, the likelihood of such an elector compromising his or her secrecy is high, as there is a procedure to be followed manually at a polling booth. However, in the case of the latter, there is no such issue.

Way Forward:

Reform Electoral System:

  • Consider introducing a minimum percentage of votes required for a winning candidate to ensure a more representative mandate.

Exploration of Alternatives:

  • Explore transferring uncontested seats to nominated individuals if no candidates offer themselves for elections, promoting political diversity.

Enhance NOTA Impact:

  • Explore ways to make the NOTA option more impactful, potentially by considering it as a valid vote and incorporating it into the electoral process meaningfully.

Expedite Resolution of Election Petitions:

  • Ensure prompt resolution of election petitions filed in cases of nomination rejections or electoral disputes, promoting timely justice delivery and accountability.

-Source: The Hindu


In accordance with a Supreme Court directive, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has uploaded various State Expert Committee (SEC) reports on its website. This interim measure was prompted by a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) challenging the constitutionality of the Forest (Conservation) Act Amendment (FCAA) 2023. A primary concern raised in the petition was the status of unclassed forests, which were to be identified by the state SEC reports.


GS III: Environment and Ecology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Unclassed Forests
  2. Reasons for Missing ‘Unclassed’ Forests
  3. Consequences of Missing Forests and Way Ahead

Unclassed Forests:


  • Unclassed or deemed forests are areas that may belong to various government entities, community forests, or private ownership but have not been officially notified as forests.

Legal Protection:

  • Unclassed forests gained legal protection following the landmark case of T.N. Godavarman Thirumalpad (1996). This case stipulated that all categories of forests, regardless of ownership and notification status, fall under the ambit of the Forest (Conservation) Act 1980.

Identification Process:

  • Special Environment Committees (SECs) were tasked with identifying unclassed forests across the country through available records and physical identification, irrespective of ownership.

Regulatory Stipulations:

  • The Forest (Conservation) Act Amendment (FCAA) makes prior approval of the Central Government necessary for dereservation of reserved forests, use of forest land for non-forest purposes, assigning forest land to private entities, or clearing naturally grown trees for reafforestation.

Applicability of FCAA:

  • The FCAA applies to land notified as forest under the Indian Forest Act, 1927, or in government records after the 1980 Act came into effect. However, it excludes certain land categories, including those recorded as forest before October 25, 1980, but not notified, and land that changed from forest-use to non-forest-use before December 12, 1996.


  • This provision may contradict the 1996 Supreme Court judgment aimed at preventing deforestation, potentially leading to the loss of protection for unclassed forests and their eventual diversion.

Reasons for Missing ‘Unclassed’ Forests:

Lack of Data Verification:

  • SEC reports on unclassed forests, as uploaded on the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) website, lack verifiable data on identification, status, and location of such forests.

Non-Constitution of SECs:

  • Several states and Union Territories (UTs), including Goa, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh, Lakshadweep, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal, appear not to have constituted SECs at all.

Reliance on Questionable Data Sources:

  • Many states have used existing forest and revenue department data, while some have quoted figures from the Forest Survey of India (FSI). However, the SEC reports question the accuracy of FSI data.

Discrepancies in Reported Data:

  • Discrepancies exist between SEC reports and FSI data, as seen in the case of Gujarat, where the reported area of unclassed forests differs significantly.

Lack of Geographic Location Specification:

  • Most states and UTs have not specified the geographic locations of forests in their SEC reports.

Consequences of Missing Forests and Way Ahead:

Environmental Degradation:

  • The absence of on-ground verification by SECs may have led to widespread destruction of forests that should have been identified and protected following the 1996 verdict.

Lack of Diligence by MoEFCC:

  • Promulgating the Forest (Conservation) Act Amendment (FCAA) without examining SEC reports reflects a lack of diligence on the part of MoEFCC, with potential detrimental consequences for India’s ecosystems and ecological security.

Accountability and Remedial Action:

  • Those responsible for the oversight need to be held accountable, and the national government should take action to re-identify, retrieve, and protect forest areas as per the 1996 judgment.

Missed Opportunity for Forest Cover Goals:

  • Failure to address this issue represents a lost opportunity to fulfill the goals of the Indian Forest Policy, which aims for 33.3% forest cover in plains and 66.6% in hills.

-Source: The Hindu


A new study of lightning-related deaths in Bihar has revealed that various districts of Bihar were vulnerable to this natural hazard, recording the highest casualty rate per million population. The study examined data from the 2017-2022 period and found that 1,624 people died and 286 were injured due to lightning.


GS I- Geography

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is Lightning?
  2. More about Clouds that generate lightning and how they are formed
  3. What happens when lightning strikes Earth’s Surface?
  4. Which areas are lightning-prone?
  5. How can the effects of lightning strikes be mitigated?

What is Lightning?

  • Lightning is a natural ‘electrical discharge of very short duration and high voltage between a cloud and the ground or within a cloud’, accompanied by a bright flash and sound, and sometimes thunderstorms.
  • In simple words, it is a very rapid and massive discharge of electricity in the atmosphere.
  • It happens as a result of the difference in electrical charge between the top and bottom of a cloud, or between 2 clouds or between clouds and the ground.
  • Inter cloud or intra cloud (IC) lightning are visible and harmless.
  • Cloud to ground (CG) lightning is harmful as the ‘high electric voltage and electric current’ leads to electrocution.
More about Clouds that generate lightning and how they are formed
  • The lightning-generating clouds are typically about 10-12 km in height, with their base about 1-2 km from the Earth’s surface. The temperatures at the top range from -35°C to -45°C.
  • As water vapour moves upwards in the cloud, it condenses into water due to decreasing temperatures. A huge amount of heat is generated in the process, pushing the water molecules further up.
  • As they move to temperatures below zero, droplets change into small ice crystals. As they continue upwards, they gather mass, until they become so heavy that they start descending.
  • It leads to a system where smaller ice crystals move upwards while larger ones come down. The resulting collisions trigger release of electrons, in a process very similar to the generation of electric sparks. The moving free electrons cause more collisions and more electrons leading to a chain reaction.
  • The process results in a situation in which the top layer of the cloud gets positively charged while the middle layer is negatively charged.
  • In little time, a huge current, of the order of lakhs to millions of amperes, starts to flow between the layers.

What happens when lightning strikes Earth’s Surface?

  • The Earth is a good conductor of electricity. While electrically neutral, it is relatively positively charged compared to the middle layer of the cloud. As a result, an estimated 20-25% of the current flow is directed towards the Earth. It is this current flow that results in damage to life and property.
  • Lightning has a greater probability of striking raised objects on the ground, such as trees or buildings.
  • Lightning Conductor is a device used to protect buildings from the effect of lightning. A metallic rod, taller than the building, is installed in the walls of the building during its construction.
  • The most lightning activity on Earth is seen on the shore of Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela.

Which areas are lightning-prone?

  • A recently released annual report on lightning by the Climate Resilient Observing Systems Promotion Council (CROPC), which works closely with government agencies like the India Meteorological Department, includes a lightning atlas which maps vulnerability at the district level.
  • According to the report, Madhya Pradesh has reported the largest number of cloud to ground lighting strikes, followed by Chhatisgarh, Maharashtra, Odisha and West Bengal.
  • Other states with high strike rate include Bihar, UP, Karnataka, Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu.
  • Lightning is fairly common, though it is not often realised in the urban centres.
  • In India, well over one crore lightning strikes have been recorded in recent years. It is only over the last few years that lightning records have begun to be maintained, thanks to the efforts of CROPC and India Meteorological Department.

How can the effects of lightning strikes be mitigated?

  • Lightning is not classified as a natural disaster in India.
  • But recent efforts have resulted in the setting up of an early warning system, that is already saving many lives. More than 96% of lightning deaths happen in rural areas.
  • As such, most of the mitigation and public awareness programmes need to focus on these communities.
  • Lightning protection devices are fairly unsophisticated and low-cost. Yet, their deployment in the rural areas, as of now, is extremely low.
  • States are being encouraged to prepare and implement lightning action plans, on the lines of heat action plans.
  • An international centre for excellence on lightning research to boost detection and early warning systems is also in the process of being set up.

-Source: Indian Express


Kuchipudi, one of the oldest dance forms of India, is now becoming obsolete among the younger generation.


GS I: Culture

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Introduction to Kuchipudi
  2. Conclusion

Introduction to Kuchipudi:

  • Kuchipudi, a classical Indian dance form, originates from the state of Andhra Pradesh, specifically from the village of Kuchipudi after which it is named.
  • It is a unique art form that seamlessly blends elements of dance, drama, and music, captivating audiences with its grace, expression, and rhythm.
  • The roots of Kuchipudi can be traced back to the 17th century, where it emerged as a traditional dance-drama art form in the temples of Andhra Pradesh.
  • Initially, Kuchipudi was predominantly performed by men, known as Bhagavathalu, who enacted various roles, including female characters.
  • Over time, women also began embracing the art form, enriching its repertoire and expression.
  • Kuchipudi is characterized by its dynamic footwork (Tatkar), which is intricate and rhythmic, creating mesmerizing patterns on the stage.
  • The movements are fluid and graceful, complemented by intricate hand gestures (Mudras) and facial expressions (Abhinaya), which convey a range of emotions and narratives.
  • The dancers adorn elaborate costumes, often featuring vibrant colors and intricate designs, along with traditional jewelry and accessories, enhancing the visual appeal of the performance.
Costumes and Makeup:
  • The traditional attire for female Kuchipudi dancers typically includes brightly colored sarees adorned with embellishments and jewelry, while male dancers don dhotis along with traditional headgear.
  • Makeup plays a crucial role in Kuchipudi, as it accentuates the facial expressions of the dancers.
  • Bold eye makeup, defined eyebrows, and expressive lip colors enhance the emotive storytelling aspect of the performance.
Music and Instruments:
  • Kuchipudi performances are accompanied by classical Carnatic music, featuring a rich ensemble of instruments such as the mridangam (percussion), flute, veena, and violin.
  • The musical compositions, sung by vocalists in languages like Telugu and Sanskrit, provide the melodic and rhythmic framework for the dancers to interpret and express through their movements.
Global Recognition:
  • Kuchipudi has gained recognition on the global stage, with performances and workshops held worldwide, introducing audiences to the beauty and intricacy of this classical art form.
  • In 2008, UNESCO recognized Kuchipudi as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity, acknowledging its significance in preserving and promoting India’s cultural heritage on the world stage.


  • Kuchipudi stands as a testament to the rich cultural heritage of India, embodying centuries of tradition, artistry, and expression.
  • With its dynamic movements, emotive storytelling, and rhythmic precision, Kuchipudi continues to enchant audiences around the world, bridging cultural divides and fostering appreciation for the performing arts.
  • As it evolves and adapts to contemporary influences, Kuchipudi remains a vibrant and cherished art form, ensuring its legacy for generations to come.

-Source: The Hindu


Recently, the European Society for Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases and the Global Leaders Group (GLG) on AMR jointly organised a high-level event, ‘Forging partnerships between science and policy’, in Barcelona, Spain.


GS II: International Relations

About Global Leaders Group on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR):


  • Comprises world leaders and experts from various sectors collaborating to accelerate political action on antimicrobial resistance (AMR).


  • Performs an independent global advisory and advocacy role.
  • Aims to maintain urgency, public support, political momentum, and visibility of the AMR challenge on the global health and development agenda.


  • Established in November 2020 based on the recommendation of the Interagency Coordination Group (IACG) on Antimicrobial Resistance.
  • The inaugural meeting occurred in January 2021, marking the commencement of collaborative efforts.


  • Supported by the Quadripartite Joint Secretariat (QJS) on Antimicrobial Resistance.
  • The QJS comprises the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), providing secretariat assistance for the Group’s activities.

What is Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)?

  • Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is the ability of microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites to remain unaffected or survive antimicrobial drugs such as antibiotics, antivirals and antimalarials.
  • AMR occurs when microorganisms exposed to antimicrobial drugs develop antimicrobial resistance resulting in standard treatments becoming ineffective leading to persistence of infections and spreading of infections.
  • Microorganisms that develop antimicrobial resistance are sometimes referred to as “superbugs”.
  • The misuse of antimicrobials in medicine and inappropriate use in agriculture is one of the major causes of spread of Antimicrobial Resistance.
  • Contamination around pharmaceutical manufacturing sites where untreated waste releases large amounts of active antimicrobials into the environment also leads to spread of AMR.
Basis of Antimicrobial Resistance
  • Some bacteria due to the presence of resistance genes are intrinsically resistant and therefore survive on being exposed to antibiotics.
  • Bacteria can also acquire resistance by sharing and transferring resistance genes present in the rest of the population, or by genetic mutations that help the bacteria survive antibiotic exposure.

-Source: Down To Earth


The United States has reportedly refused almost a third of shipments from Mahashian Di Hatti Pvt Ltd (MDH) since October 2023 due to salmonella contamination.


Facts for Prelims

About Salmonella:

Bacterial Group:

  • Salmonella is a group of bacteria known for causing gastrointestinal illness and fever, a condition called salmonellosis.

Natural Habitat:

  • These bacteria naturally reside in the intestines of animals and are commonly found in their feces (excrement).

Transmission to Humans:

  • Salmonella can spread to humans through contact with infected animals or contaminated items in their environment.


  • Salmonella is a resilient bacterium capable of surviving for several weeks in dry environments and several months in water.

Associated Risks:

  • Symptoms: Infection with Salmonella may lead to symptoms such as diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps.
  • Severity: Certain individuals, particularly children under 5 years old, adults over 65 years old, and those with weakened immune systems, are at higher risk of experiencing more severe illness that may necessitate medical intervention or hospitalization.

-Source: The Hindu

May 2024