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Current Affairs 06 December 2023

  1. COP28 Summit: Tripling Nuclear Capacity by 2050
  2. NCRB 2022 Report on Crime in India
  3. Advocates (Amendment) Bill, 2023
  4. All India Judicial Service
  5. Exit Polls
  6. Monkeypox
  7. Methane Alert and Response System


At the COP28 climate meeting, more than 20 countries have pledged to triple the global nuclear installed capacity by 2050, in a bid to attain a net-zero emissions status. Just as in the case of the pledge tripling renewable energy, India is not a part of the nuclear energy commitment as well, in keeping with its position not to join alliances outside the COP process.


GS III: Environment and Ecology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. International Commitment to Enhance Nuclear Energy
  2. Imperative Expansion of Nuclear Energy
  3. Prospects of India’s Nuclear Energy Growth

International Commitment to Enhance Nuclear Energy

  • Global Nuclear Energy Expansion: Initiated by the United States, 22 nations including France, the UK, Japan, Canada, South Korea, and Ukraine have consented to collaborate to triple the nuclear energy output by the year 2050.
  • Recognition of Nuclear Energy: The agreement acknowledges:
    • Nuclear energy’s crucial contribution to the global net-zero greenhouse emission target.
    • The significance of nuclear science and tech in climate monitoring and mitigation.
    • The International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) vital role.
    • Nuclear power as a major clean energy source enhancing energy reliability.
  • Non-Participating Nations: Notably absent from the agreement were China and Russia, despite possessing rapidly expanding nuclear programs.
  • Future Developments:
    • The IAEA’s leader disclosed plans for an unprecedented Nuclear Energy Summit in Brussels to deliberate on nuclear energy’s influence on:
      • Decreasing fossil fuel dependency.
      • Strengthening energy autonomy.
      • Fostering economic growth.

Imperative Expansion of Nuclear Energy

Eco-friendly yet Finite Energy:
  • Nuclear power is acknowledged as an environmentally friendly, although finite, energy resource.
Current Global Nuclear Capacity:
  • Presently, the IAEA reports 370 GW of nuclear energy production across 31 nations, contributing to 10% of global electricity.
  • Projected increase to a minimum of 1,000 GW by 2050, a threefold rise.
Climate Change Mitigation:
  • Nuclear energy is pivotal in maintaining global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius.
  • Nuclear plants, by not emitting greenhouse gases, are integral to achieving a net-zero emission goal by 2050.
  • The International Energy Agency highlights that nuclear energy has circumvented roughly 70 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions over five decades.
  • Research supports that the target for a global net-zero carbon footprint necessitates immediate, continuous, and substantial investments in nuclear energy.
India’s Nuclear Energy Scenario:
  • Currently, India boasts an installed nuclear capacity of 6,780 MW.
  • With 8 new reactors under construction, anticipated to add another 6,800 MW, India’s nuclear capacity is expected to double soon.
  • Echoing Anil Kakodkar, former head of India’s Atomic Energy Commission, India is strategizing an extensive growth of its nuclear sector to meet its 2070 net-zero emission target.

Prospects of India’s Nuclear Energy Growth

  • Projected Expansion: By 2070, India’s nuclear energy infrastructure may require an expansion by a factor of 100 from its current levels to meet rising demands.
  • Renewables vs. Nuclear Debate: Although renewable energy sources are seen as a comprehensive solution, they may not suffice for India’s growing clean energy needs in the long term.
  • Nuclear Energy’s Role: To address its escalating demand for clean energy, India must substantially scale up its nuclear energy production.
  • International Collaboration: Participation in global forums like COP28 aligns with India’s energy strategy, even though India has yet to commit to specific nuclear energy targets.

-Source: Indian Express


The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) released its annual report on crime in India for the year 2022. The report is a compilation of data on reported crime from across the country, and provides the big picture of broad trends in crime registration.


GS II: Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Overview of 2022 NCRB Report
  2. Shortcomings in NCRB’s Crime Data
  3. National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB)

Overview of 2022 NCRB Report:

  • Total Registered Crimes: The 2022 NCRB report indicates a total of 58,24,946 cognizable crimes, comprising 35,61,379 Indian Penal Code (IPC) crimes and 22,63,567 Special & Local Laws (SLL) crimes.
  • Comparison with 2021: This represents a decrease of 4.5% in the registration of cases compared to the previous year, which was the second year of the pandemic in 2021.
  • Crime Rate: The crime rate, calculated as crimes registered per lakh population, declined from 445.9 in 2021 to 422.2 in 2022. This measure is considered more informative as it accounts for population changes.
  • Crimes Against Women: In 2022, there were 4,45,256 cases of crimes against women, marking a 4% increase from the 2021 figures. The majority of these crimes under IPC sections included Cruelty by Husband or His Relatives (31.4%), Kidnapping & Abduction of Women (19.2%), and Assault on Women with Intent to Outrage her Modesty (18.7%).
  • Cybercrime Reporting: Reporting of cybercrime saw a significant increase of 24.4 percentage points compared to 2021, with 65,893 cases reported. Fraud accounted for around 64.8% of these cases, followed by extortion (5.5%) and sexual exploitation (5.2%).
  • Suicide Cases: There was a 4.2% increase in reported suicides in 2022, totaling 1,70,924 suicides. Leading causes included Family Problems (other than marriage-related problems) (31.7%), Marriage Related Problems (4.8%), and Illness (18.4%). The male-to-female ratio of suicide victims was 71.8 : 28.2.
  • Charge Sheeting Rate: States and Union Territories (UTs) reporting the highest charge sheeting rates under IPC crimes included Kerala (96.0%), Puducherry (91.3%), and West Bengal (90.6%). This rate signifies the percentage of cases where the police proceeded to frame charges against the accused out of the total true cases.

Shortcomings in NCRB’s Crime Data

  • Registered vs. Actual Crime Incidence:
    • The NCRB data only reflects crimes that have been reported, not all crimes that have occurred.
      • Example: The spike in reported crimes against women in Delhi post-2012 may mirror the growing awareness for crime reporting rather than an actual rise in crime rates.
  • Principal Offence Rule Application:
    • The most severe crime in an FIR dictates the classification.
    • Consequently, crimes like ‘Rape’ in a ‘Murder with Rape’ case are not individually counted, leading to potential statistical underrepresentation.
  • Local-Level Data Submission Issues:
    • Data submitted from the local level to NCRB can contain inaccuracies due to local recording practices.
    • For instance, the recorded motive for a suicide is subjective to the understanding of the officer on the scene.
  • Omission of Socio-Economic Crime Factors:
    • The NCRB acknowledges the exclusion of socio-economic factors influencing crime from its data.
  • Barriers to Crime Reporting:
    • Fear of negative police interaction may deter some from reporting crimes.
    • Additionally, police staff shortages and vacancies can further impede data collection efforts.

National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB)

Establishment and Affiliation:

  • Formed in 1986, the NCRB is a branch of India’s Ministry of Home Affairs, following recommendations from the 1977 National Police Commission and a 1985 Task Force.

Data Collection and Analysis:

  • The agency is tasked with gathering and scrutinizing crime statistics as outlined by the Indian Penal Code and various Special and Local Laws.

Functional Role:

  • The NCRB functions as a central archive supporting crime investigation.
  • It maintains a comprehensive database of fingerprints for both Indian and international offenders, aiding in the identification of criminals across state lines.
  • In 2009, it took on the role of overseeing the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems (CCTNS) initiative.
  • The 2017 inception of the National Digital Police Portal furthered its capabilities, facilitating police access to the CCTNS and providing public services like online complaint registration.


  • The bureau is known for its “Crime in India” report, a significant and respected annual publication.
  • It also releases the “Prisons Statistics India Report” among others.

Report Compilation Process:

  • The data for NCRB reports are sourced from the police departments of 36 states and Union Territories in India.
  • Additionally, crime statistics for 53 cities, each with a population over 10 lakh according to the 2011 Census, are compiled by corresponding state-level crime record offices.

-Source: The Hindu


During a debate on the Advocates (Amendment) Bill, 2023 in the Lok Sabha, Law Minister said that the central government is open to a policy on transfer of high court judges. The Bill has been passed by the Lok Sabha.


GS II: Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Appointment and Transfer of High Court Judges in India
  2. Advocates (Amendment) Bill, 2023

Appointment and Transfer of High Court Judges in India

Government’s Stance on Judge Transfer:
  • Post-1993, with the Collegium system’s establishment, the Supreme Court Collegium oversees the transfer and appointment of high court judges.
Appointment Procedure:
  • As per Article 217, the President of India appoints High Court judges.
  • The appointment of a Chief Justice in a High Court involves the President consulting both the Chief Justice of India (CJI) and the state’s Governor.
  • Other judges are appointed with additional consultation from the High Court’s Chief Justice.
Third Judges Case (1998) Interpretation:
  • The CJI must confer with a collegium comprising the two senior-most Supreme Court judges.
  • Post-consultation, the CJI proposes candidates to the President.
  • If the President objects, the collegium must review the suggestions with written reasons.
  • Should the collegium reaffirm its choices, the President is obliged to proceed with the appointments.
Judicial Transfers:
  • The President has the authority to transfer High Court judges, subject to consultation with the CJI.

Advocates (Amendment) Bill, 2023

  • Initiation in Rajya Sabha: Presented in August 2023.
  • Objective: Modifies the Advocates Act of 1961, nullifies sections addressing touts in the Legal Practitioners Act of 1879.
Consolidation of Legal Practitioner Laws
  • Unification of Laws: Aims to regulate legal practitioners through a singular legislative framework.
  • Targeting Malpractice: Focuses on eliminating the malpractice of ‘touting’.
Detailed Provisions of the Amendment

Authority to Publish Lists of Touts

  • Empowered Entities: High Courts, judges, magistrates, and revenue officers authorized to list touts.

Definition of Touts

  • Activities Constituting Touting: Soliciting legal business for compensation or frequenting legal or administrative venues for such purposes.

Measures Against Touts

  • Exclusion from Court: Judges can banish individuals named as touts from court premises.

Inquiry and Due Process

  • Inquiry Requirement: Subordinate courts to investigate suspected tout conduct.
  • Inclusion in List: Proven touts to be officially listed, with due process rights upheld.

Penalties for Touting

  • Consequences: Imprisonment up to three months or a fine up to INR 500, or both, for convicted touts.

-Source: The Hindu


Recently, the President of India advocated for All India Judicial Service (AIJS) to enhance diversity in the judiciary by increasing representation from marginalized social groups.


GS II: Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. All India Judicial Service (AIJS)
  2. Necessity for AIJS
  3. Current Recruitment Process for District Judges
  4. Concerns Raised Against AIJS

All India Judicial Service (AIJS)

Centralized System for Judicial Appointments
  • AIJS Concept: Suggested uniform system for appointing additional district and district judges across India.
  • Recruitment Model: Emulates the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) method for allocating judges to various states.
Historical and Constitutional Foundation
  • Law Commission Recommendations: Reports from 1958 and 1978 highlighted the need for AIJS to resolve disparities in pay and speed up recruitment.
  • Parliamentary Support: The concept was endorsed again in 2006 by a Parliamentary Committee.
  • Constitutional Provision: Article 312 advocates for AIJS creation, subject to Rajya Sabha’s two-thirds majority approval.
  • Roles Covered: Under Article 312 (2), AIJS positions are at or above the district judge level as outlined in Article 236.
Necessity for AIJS
  • Enhancing Judicial Standards
    • Uniformity in Selection: AIJS promises consistent selection criteria and training, boosting judicial performance.
  • Addressing Vacancies and Case Backlogs
    • Closing Judicial Gaps: Intends to fill over 5,400 lower court vacancies and manage the case backlog effectively.
  • Promoting Diverse Representation
    • Reflecting Societal Diversity: Aims to diversify the judiciary in line with India’s multifaceted social makeup.
  • Upholding Judicial Independence
    • Minimizing External Influence: Seeks to limit non-judicial interference, reinforcing judicial autonomy and responsibility.
  • Career Advancement Opportunities
    • Developing a Talent Pool: Envisions a system that enhances the mobility and career pathways for judges.

Current Recruitment Process for District Judges

Constitutional Provisions for Appointments
  • Articles 233 & 234: States are empowered to appoint district judges via these articles.
  • State Authority: State Public Service Commissions and High Courts manage the process.
  • High Court’s Role: HC panels interview and appoint candidates post-examination.
Article-Specific Details
  • Article 233: Focuses on appointing, posting, and promoting district judges through the State Governor and High Court.
  • Article 234: Concerns the recruitment of judicial officers below the rank of district judge.
  • PCS (J) Examinations: Lower judiciary judges up to district level are selected through the Provincial Civil Services (Judicial) exams.

Concerns Raised Against AIJS

  • Federal Structure and Autonomy
    • State Rights: AIJS is seen as potentially undermining state and High Court autonomy in judiciary administration.
  • Governance and Accountability
    • Dual Responsibility: Judges could face conflicting accountability to both state and central governments.
  • Local Considerations
    • Cultural Disregard: There’s a fear AIJS could ignore state-specific laws, languages, and customs crucial for judicial effectiveness.
  • Impact on Judicial Officers
    • Career Progression: Current judicial officers might lose motivation and opportunities for advancement under AIJS.

-Source: The Hindu


Recently, the exit polls results were released for five states Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram.


GS II: Polity and Governance (Representation of People’s Act)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What are exit polls?
  2. Issues with exit polls
  3. Rules governing exit polls in India

What are exit polls?

  • An exit poll asks voters which political party they are supporting after they have cast their votes in an election. In this, it differs from an opinion poll, which is held before the elections.
  • An exit poll is supposed to give an indication of which way the winds are blowing in an election, along with the issues, personalities, and loyalties that have influenced voters.
  • History of exit polls in India
  • In 1957, during the second Lok Sabha elections, the Indian Institute of Public Opinion had conducted such a poll.

Issues with exit polls

  • Some common parameters for a good, or accurate, opinion poll would be a sample size that is both large and diverse, and a clearly constructed questionnaire without an overt bias.
  • Political parties often allege that these polls are motivated, or financed by a rival party.
  • Critics also say that the results gathered in exit polls can be influenced by the choice, wording and timing of the questions, and by the nature of the sample drawn.

Rules governing exit polls in India

  • In India, results of exit polls for a particular election are not allowed to be published till the last vote has been cast.
  • The issue of when exit polls should be allowed to be published has gone to the Supreme Court thrice in various forms. 
  • Currently, exit polls can’t be telecast from before voting begins till the last phase concludes.

-Source: Indian Express


The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has witnessed a significant increase in Monkeypox(mpox) cases, with 12,569 suspected cases and 581 deaths reported from January to November 2023.


GS II-Health

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Monkeypox virus
  2. Zoonotic disease
  3. Symptoms and treatment

About Monkeypox virus

  • The monkeypox virus is an orthopoxvirus, which is a genus of viruses that also includes the variola virus, which causes smallpox, and vaccinia virus, which was used in the smallpox vaccine.
  • Monkeypox causes symptoms similar to smallpox, although they are less severe.
  • While vaccination eradicated smallpox worldwide in 1980, monkeypox continues to occur in a swathe of countries in Central and West Africa, and has on occasion showed up elsewhere.
  • According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), two distinct clade are identified: the West African clade and the Congo Basin clade, also known as the Central African clade.

Zoonotic disease

  • Monkeypox is a zoonosis, that is, a disease that is transmitted from infected animals to humans.
  • According to the WHO, cases occur close to tropical rainforests inhabited by animals that carry the virus.
  • Monkeypox virus infection has been detected in squirrels, Gambian poached rats, dormice, and some species of monkeys.
  • Human-to-human transmission is, however, limited — the longest documented chain of transmission is six generations, meaning the last person to be infected in this chain was six links away from the original sick person, the WHO says.
  • Transmission, when it occurs, can be through contact with bodily fluids, lesions on the skin or on internal mucosal surfaces, such as in the mouth or throat, respiratory droplets and contaminated objects.

Symptoms and treatment

  • According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), monkeypox begins with a fever, headache, muscle aches, back ache, and exhaustion.
  • It also causes the lymph nodes to swell (lymphadenopathy), which smallpox does not.
  • The WHO underlines that it is important to not confuse monkeypox with chickenpox, measles, bacterial skin infections, scabies, syphilis and medication-associated allergies.
  • The incubation period (time from infection to symptoms) for monkeypox is usually 7-14 days but can range from 5-21 days.
  • Usually within a day to 3 days of the onset of fever, the patient develops a rash that begins on the face and spreads to other parts of the body.
  • The skin eruption stage can last between 2 and 4 weeks, during which the lesions harden and become painful, fill up first with a clear fluid and then pus, and then develop scabs or crusts.
  • According to the WHO, the proportion of patients who die has varied between 0 and 11% in documented cases, and has been higher among young children.
  • There is no safe, proven treatment for monkeypox yet.
  • The WHO recommends supportive treatment depending on the symptoms.
  • Awareness is important for prevention and control of the infection.

-Source: Indian Express


Recently, the Methane Alert and Response System (MARS) notified governments of 127 plumes spanning four continents and identified 1,500 plumes in its pilot stage.


GS III: Environment and Ecology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Methane Alert and Response System
  2. International Methane Emissions Observatory (IMEO)

Methane Alert and Response System:

  • The Methane Alert and Response System (MARS) is a program designed to enable data-driven actions to lower methane emissions.
  • Revealed at COP 27 in November 2022, MARS commenced a preliminary phase in January 2023.
  • This phase allowed the UNEP’s International Methane Emissions Observatory to collaborate with stakeholders for refining the system before publicizing data.
  • MARS employs satellite technology to identify significant emission sources worldwide, prompting nations and firms to undertake methane mitigation measures in line with the Paris Agreement and Global Methane Pledge.
  • The initiative collaborates with entities like the Climate and Clean Air Coalition and the International Energy Agency.
  • MARS integrates four essential elements to foster transparency and cut emissions:
    • Pinpointing substantial human-related methane emission sources.
    • Alerting pertinent nations and corporations of these emissions.
    • Soliciting actions from these stakeholders to manage the emissions.
    • Monitoring the efficacy of actions implemented to curb emissions and fostering collaborative efforts to avert future methane release.

International Methane Emissions Observatory (IMEO):

  • Unveiled at the G20 Leaders’ Summit in 2021, IMEO primarily targets methane emissions from the fossil fuel industry.
  • IMEO integrates methane data from scientific studies, satellite observations via the Methane Alert and Response System (MARS), thorough reporting by the industry under the Oil and Gas Methane Partnership 2.0 (OGMP 2.0), and national emissions inventories.
  • The OGMP 2.0 acts as UNEP’s leading programme, forming alliances with corporations to enhance the precision and openness of methane emission data within the oil and gas industry, supported by a dedicated framework.

-Source: Indian Express

February 2024