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Current Affairs 11 July 2023


  1. PCA Ruling on India-Pakistan Hydroelectric Projects
  2. Battery electric vehicles (BEVs)
  3. Majorana Zero Modes: Potential Breakthrough for Quantum Computing
  4. Impact of Microplastics and Nanoplastics on Human Health
  5. Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority
  6. New Wheat Variety (PBW RS1)
  7. Cluster bombs

PCA Ruling on India-Pakistan Hydroelectric Projects


The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) has ruled that it has jurisdiction to hear Pakistan’s objections to India’s Kishenganga and Ratle hydroelectric projects in Jammu and Kashmir. However, India rejects the establishment of the “Court of Arbitration,” arguing that it contravenes the provisions of the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT).


GS II: International  Relations

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Indus River Basin
  2. Indus Waters Treaty (IWT)
  3. Dispute Resolution Mechanisms under the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT):
  4. Hydroelectric Project Dispute between India and Pakistan
  5. Ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) on the Hydroelectric Project Dispute
  6. Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA)

Indus River Basin

  • The Indus River (also called the Sindhū) is one of the longest rivers in Asia and the longest river of Pakistan.
  • It flows through China (western Tibet), India (Ladakh) and Pakistan.
  • Its estimated annual flow is estimated to be twice that of the Nile River making it one of the largest rivers in the world in terms of annual flow.
  • The Zanskar river is its left bank tributary in Ladakh.
  • In the plains, its left bank tributary is the Panjnad which itself has five major tributaries, namely, the Chenab, Jhelum, the Ravi, the Beas, and the Sutlej.
  • Its principal right bank tributaries are the Shyok, the Gilgit, the Kabul, the Gomal, and the Kurram.

About the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT)

  • The Indus Waters Treaty is a water-distribution treaty between India and Pakistan, brokered by the World Bank, to use the water available in the Indus River and its tributaries.
  • The Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) was signed in Karachi in 1960.
  • The Treaty gives control over the waters of the three “eastern rivers” — the Beas, Ravi and Sutlej to India, while control over the waters of the three “western rivers” — the Indus, Chenab and Jhelum to Pakistan.
  • India was allocated about 16% of the total water carried by the Indus system while Pakistan was allocated the remainder.
  • The treaty allows India to use the Western River waters (the ones in Pakistan’s control) for limited irrigation use and unlimited non-consumptive use for such applications as power generation, navigation, floating of property, fish culture, etc.
  • It lays down detailed regulations for India in building projects over the western rivers.
  • The preamble of the treaty recognises the rights and obligations of each country in the optimum use of water from the Indus system in a spirit of goodwill, friendship and cooperation.

Dispute Resolution Mechanisms under the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT):

Communication via Permanent Indus Commission (PIC):

  • Each country appoints a commissioner to the PIC.
  • Parties notify each other about planned projects on the Indus River.
  • PIC facilitates the exchange of necessary information.
  • Aims to resolve differences and prevent escalation.

Neutral Expert:

  • If the PIC fails to resolve the issue, it proceeds to the next level.
  • The World Bank appoints a neutral expert.
  • The expert attempts to resolve the differences between the parties.

Court of Arbitration (CoA):

  • If the neutral expert process is unsuccessful, the dispute is referred to the CoA.
  • CoA resolves the dispute through arbitration.
  • The IWT specifies that the neutral expert and CoA steps are mutually exclusive, allowing only one mechanism to be used at a time for a given dispute.

Hydroelectric Project Dispute between India and Pakistan

  • The dispute involves the Kishenganga and Ratle hydroelectric projects in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • India and Pakistan have differing views on the technical design features of these projects in relation to the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT).
India’s Stance:

Opposition to the Court of Arbitration (CoA):

  • India argues that the constitution of the CoA goes against the provisions of the IWT.
  • It questions the jurisdiction and competence of the CoA, claiming it was not properly constituted as per the treaty.
  • India has not appointed arbitrators or participated in the court’s proceedings, advocating for a single dispute resolution process.

Emphasis on a Single Dispute Resolution Process:

  • India highlights the need for a unified and mutually agreed-upon mechanism to resolve the dispute.
  • It emphasizes that the IWT does not empower the World Bank to determine the precedence of one procedure over the other.
The World Bank’s Role:
  • The World Bank has paused the process due to separate requests from both India and Pakistan.
  • It has urged the parties to resolve the dispute through the Permanent Indus Commission (PIC).
Pakistan’s Stance:
  • Pakistan retracted its request for a Neutral Expert and proposed the Court of Arbitration instead.
  • It has raised objections to the hydroelectric projects, citing treaty violations, concerns about reduced water flow, and environmental impact.
Current Status:
  • The dispute remains unresolved, with India opposing the CoA and advocating for a single dispute resolution process.
  • Regenerate response

Ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) on the Hydroelectric Project Dispute:

  • The PCA has ruled that the Court of Arbitration (CoA) has the authority to consider Pakistan’s objections to India’s hydroelectric projects in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The ruling was unanimous, binding on both parties, and cannot be appealed.
  • The PCA rejected India’s objections to the competence of the CoA as communicated through the World Bank.
India’s Response:
  • India has maintained that it will not participate in the PCA proceedings initiated by Pakistan.
  • India argues that the dispute is already being examined by a neutral expert under the framework of the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT).
  • The ruling by the PCA adds complexity and uncertainty to the ongoing dispute between India and Pakistan over the hydroelectric projects.
  • It challenges India’s stance and raises questions about the effectiveness and interpretation of the IWT.
  • The implications of the ruling extend beyond the specific dispute and may have an impact on bilateral relations between India and Pakistan, particularly concerning water-sharing and cooperation.

Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA):

  • The PCA was established in 1899 and is headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands.
  • Purpose: It is an intergovernmental organization that serves the international community in the field of dispute resolution, facilitating arbitration and other forms of dispute resolution between States.
  • Organizational Structure:
    • Administrative Council: Oversees policies and budgets of the PCA.
    • Members of the Court: A panel of independent potential arbitrators.
    • International Bureau: Acts as the Secretariat, led by the Secretary-General.
  • Financial Assistance Fund: The PCA has a fund aimed at assisting developing countries in meeting part of the costs involved in international arbitration or other means of dispute settlement provided by the PCA.

-Source: Indian Express

Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs)


India’s electric mobility plan is largely focussed on battery electric vehicles (BEVs) replacing internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, with Li-ion seen as the most viable battery option for now.


GS III: Indian Economy

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Electric Vehicles (EVs)
  2. Major Schemes/Initiatives for Promoting EVs in India
  3. Issues in BEV push
  4. Alternatives to BEVs

Electric Vehicles (EVs):

  • An electric vehicle uses one or more electric motors or traction motors for propulsion.
  • It can be powered by self-contained batteries, solar panels, or an electric generator.
Origin and Increasing Scope in India:
  • The push for EVs is driven by global climate agendas, such as the Paris Agreement, which aims to reduce carbon emissions and limit global warming.
  • The global adoption of EVs has been rapidly increasing.
  • In 2020, around 2.1 million EVs were sold worldwide, and the global EV fleet reached 8.0 million.
  • Falling battery costs and improved performance efficiency are contributing to the growing demand for EVs.
Types of EVs:
  • Hybrid EVs (HEVs): These vehicles combine a conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) with an electric propulsion system, resulting in lower fuel usage. Example: Toyota Hyryder in India.
  • Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles (PHEVs): PHEVs have a hybrid drivetrain that uses both an ICE and electric power. They can be charged by plugging into a power source. Example: Chevrolet Volt.
  • Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs): BEVs run solely on electric power and do not have an ICE or fuel tank. They are powered by rechargeable batteries. Example: Tata Nexon in India, Nissan Leaf, and Tesla Model S.
  • Fuel Cell Vehicles (FCVs): FCVs use hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity, with water being the only byproduct. Example: Toyota Mirai and Honda Clarity.
EV Sales in India:
  • Over the past three years, there has been a remarkable growth of over 2,218% in EV sales in India.
  • Currently, EVs make up around 5% of total vehicle sales in the country.
  • In the 2022-23 fiscal year, cumulative sales of EVs in India exceeded 1 million units for the first time.
  • Two-wheelers account for more than 60% of all EV sales in India.
  • The government has set ambitious targets for EV sales by 2030, aiming for 30% of private cars, 70% of commercial vehicles, and 80% of two and three-wheelers to be electric.
  • The promotion of e-mobility in India aligns with the objectives of reducing emissions and decreasing reliance on costly fuel imports.

Major Schemes/Initiatives for Promoting EVs in India:

  • National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMPP) 2020: Launched in 2013 with targets for electric vehicle adoption and reduction of oil imports and CO2 emissions.
  • Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric and Hybrid Vehicles in India (FAME India) scheme: Launched in 2015 to promote the manufacturing and adoption of electric and hybrid vehicle technology through subsidies.
  • Production-linked incentive (PLI) Scheme – National Programme on Advanced Chemistry Cell (ACC) Battery Storage: Aims to boost the domestic manufacturing of advanced chemistry cell batteries for electric vehicles.
  • Go Electric Campaign: Launched to raise awareness about the benefits of electric mobility and inform potential EV owners about government incentives.

Issues in BEV push:

  • Subsidies and Tax Breaks: Electric vehicle adoption is often driven by state subsidies and tax breaks. However, these incentives tend to benefit the middle and upper-middle classes, who are typically the buyers of battery electric 4-wheelers, leaving out other sections of society.
  • Charging Infrastructure: Investing in charging infrastructure is crucial for electric vehicle adoption. A World Bank analysis has shown that it is more effective in promoting EV adoption than providing upfront purchase subsidies. In India, the number of public charging stations is still limited, with only about 2,000 operational across the country.
  • Dominance of Two- and Three-Wheelers: The vehicle mix in India is dominated by two- and three-wheelers. Unlike cars and buses, most electric two-wheelers and three-wheelers are suited to slow charging. Battery-swapping is emerging as an alternative for cases where fast charging is required.
  • Electricity Source: In countries that have successfully promoted EVs, a significant portion of electricity is generated from renewable sources. For example, Norway relies heavily on hydroelectric power. In India, the grid is still largely powered by coal-fired thermal plants, which raises concerns about the environmental impact of charging electric vehicles.
  • Lithium Supply: More than 90% of global lithium production is concentrated in a few countries, including Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Australia, and China. This concentration poses a risk for India, as it would be heavily dependent on imports from a limited pool of countries to meet its lithium demand.

Alternatives to BEVs:

  • Hybrid Vehicles: Hybrid technology combines an internal combustion engine (ICE) with an electric motor. It serves as an intermediate step towards achieving all-electric goals. However, hybrids still rely on Li-ion batteries, which present similar challenges as BEVs in terms of resource dependency.
  • Flexible/Flex Fuel Vehicles: Flex fuel vehicles have an ICE but can run on different types of fuel or a mixture of fuels such as petrol and ethanol. They offer flexibility in fuel choice and can help reduce dependence on fossil fuels.
  • Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs): FCEVs use hydrogen to generate electricity through a chemical reaction with oxygen, producing water vapor as the only emission. However, the adoption of FCEVs has been limited due to challenges related to fueling infrastructure and safety concerns associated with handling pressurized hydrogen.
  • Synthetic Fuels: Some manufacturers, such as Porsche, are developing synthetic fuels that can be used in internal combustion engines. These fuels are designed to reduce carbon emissions and make ICE vehicles cleaner, bridging the gap between conventional vehicles and EVs.

-Source: Indian Express

Majorana Zero Modes: Potential Breakthrough for Quantum Computing


Recently, researchers at Microsoft announced that they had figured out a way to create an elusive kind of particle that could potentially revolutionise quantum computing.

  • The claim pertains to particles called Majorana zero modes, whose unique properties could help build quantum computers that are much less fragile than they are today, making them computationally superior.


GS III: Science and Technology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Majorana Fermions and Majorana Zero Modes
  2. Advantages of Majorana Zero Modes in Computing:
  3. Topological Degeneracy
  4. Advantages of Topological Quantum Computing:
  5. Quantum Computing

Majorana Fermions and Majorana Zero Modes

Majorana Fermions:
  • All subatomic particles that make up matter are called fermions.
  • The Dirac equation, formulated in 1928, described the behavior of subatomic particles moving at near the speed of light.
  • The equation predicted the existence of antiparticles for each particle, leading to the discovery of the positron in 1932.
  • In 1937, Ettore Majorana found that particles satisfying certain conditions could be their own antiparticles, known as Majorana fermions.
  • Neutrinos are believed to be potential Majorana fermions, but experimental proof is still lacking.
Majorana Zero Modes:
  • All particles have four quantum numbers, including the quantum spin, which has half-integer values for fermions.
  • Fermions can form bound states, and their total quantum spin must have a half-integer value.
  • Bound states that are their own antiparticles are called Majorana fermions.
  • When these bound states exist at zero energy, they are known as Majorana zero modes.
  • Physicists have been searching for Majorana zero modes for over two decades.

Advantages of Majorana Zero Modes in Computing:

  • Majorana zero modes are of great interest for their potential application in topological quantum computing, a more powerful form of quantum computing.
  • Quantum computers utilize individual electrons as qubits, the fundamental units of information, by encoding information in properties such as spin.
  • Quantum computers can access computational techniques and pathways not available to classical computers due to the quirky rules of quantum mechanics.
  • Quantum superposition allows qubits to hold multiple values simultaneously, unlike classical bits that can only hold one value at a time.
  • However, quantum computers are fragile and susceptible to decoherence, losing their quantum abilities with even slight disturbances.
  • Majorana zero modes, which consist of an electron and a hole, offer a solution. They can be used as qubits in a quantum computer.
  • Physicists have found that when the entities of a Majorana zero mode are separated, even if one entity is disturbed, the overall qubit remains protected and does not decohere.
  • This protection of encoded information makes Majorana zero modes more robust and less prone to errors.
  • In topological quantum computing, if there is no overlap between the two half-particles, a qubit based on Majorana zero modes can potentially exist indefinitely.

Topological Degeneracy:

  • In topological systems, there can be multiple states or configurations at the lowest energy level, known as the ground state energy.
  • This is different from typical systems where the ground state exists in a single configuration.
  • Topological degeneracy refers to the presence of multiple possible states at the ground state energy level.
  • Topology, the study of properties that remain unchanged under continuous deformations, plays a role in determining the topological properties of matter.
  • For example, a rubber band that undergoes continuous deformation will always have one hole, while a pair of shorts will always have three holes.
  • If two states, such as the rubber band and the shorts, are topologically different and exhibit topological degeneracy, they can represent two possible states of the same system in its ground state.
  • The information can be stored in the different topological properties of these states, such as the number of holes.
  • Majorana zero modes can serve as qubits in quantum computing and are less susceptible to information loss, making
  • them valuable for building robust quantum computers.

Advantages of Topological Quantum Computing:

  • Quantum computers based on Majorana zero modes can take advantage of non-Abelian statistics, a peculiar mathematical property that governs their behavior.
  • Non-Abelian statistics means that the order in which tasks are performed can affect the outcomes.
  • Algorithms running on a quantum computer using Majorana zero modes and following non-Abelian statistics can have an additional degree of freedom.
  • This flexibility allows for new possibilities in computation, where rearranging the order of steps can lead to different results.
  • Quantum computers with topological features can offer enhanced computational capabilities and novel approaches to solving problems.

Quantum Computing:

  • Quantum computing is a field of computer science that utilizes the principles of quantum theory to process and manipulate information.
  • Quantum theory describes the behavior of energy and matter at the atomic and subatomic levels.
  • Quantum computers have the potential to solve complex problems by exploring and analyzing a vast number of possibilities simultaneously.
Working Principle:
  • Quantum computers use qubits (quantum bits) instead of classical bits.
  • While classical bits can only represent either a 0 or a 1, qubits can exist in a superposition, representing both 0 and 1 simultaneously until measured.
  • Multiple qubits can also be entangled, meaning their states become interconnected and quantum mechanically linked.
  • Qubits can be implemented using various physical systems, such as manipulating atoms, ions, electrons, or artificial atoms created through nanoengineering techniques like superconducting qubits.
  • These physical systems allow for the control and manipulation of quantum states to perform computations.
  • Quantum computers rely on principles like superposition, entanglement, and quantum interference to perform complex calculations efficiently.

-Source: The Hindu

Impact of Microplastics and Nanoplastics on Human Health


Recently, the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) in its report “Impact of Microplastics and Nanoplastics on Human Health” highlighted that the Microplastics and nano plastics considerably impact human and animal gut microbiomes as well as the environment.


GS III: Environment and Ecology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Key Highlights of the Report “Impact of Microplastics and Nanoplastics on Human Health”
  2. Significance of the findings
  3. About gut microbiome
  4. About Microplastics

Key Highlights of the Report “Impact of Microplastics and Nanoplastics on Human Health”:

  • Exposure to microplastics and nanoplastics can lead to intestinal inflammation and gut dysbiosis, causing changes in the gut microbiome and microbiota.
  • Microplastics act as stressors and trigger inflammatory responses, affecting specific microorganisms and leading to microbial dysbiosis.
  • Microplastics found in water bottles and food items can accumulate in human lung tissue, placenta, stool, blood, and meconium.
  • Hydrophobic plastics can adsorb harmful chemicals and persistent organic pollutants from the environment.
  • Accumulation of microplastics in the gut can result in changes in the mucus layer, gut permeability, mucosal structure, oxidative stress, and immune response.
  • Physical abrasion and accumulation of microplastics in the gut can cause satiety, reduced food consumption, weight loss, metabolic changes, and impact liver function and metabolism.
  • The severity of the impact depends on the concentration and shape of microplastic particles.

Significance of the findings

  • Human Health Concerns: The report highlights the potential health risks associated with exposure to microplastics and nanoplastics. These particles can cause gut inflammation, dysbiosis, and metabolic changes, which may have long-term implications for human health.
  • Environmental Impact: The presence of microplastics and nanoplastics in various food items and the environment raises concerns about their accumulation and potential transfer through the food chain. This highlights the need for measures to reduce plastic pollution and protect ecosystems.
  • Policy Implications: The findings underscore the importance of incorporating measures to mitigate plastic pollution in policies and regulations. This includes promoting sustainable practices, reducing plastic waste, and developing methods for safe disposal or recycling of plastic materials.
  • Research and Awareness: The report emphasizes the need for further research to better understand the impacts of microplastics and nanoplastics on human health and the environment. It also highlights the importance of raising awareness among the general public, industries, and policymakers about the risks associated with plastic pollution.

About gut microbiome:

The gut microbiome refers to the diverse community of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microbes, that reside in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT). These microorganisms have a symbiotic relationship with the human body and play a crucial role in maintaining overall health and well-being. Here are some key points about the gut microbiome:


  • The gut microbiome consists of trillions of microorganisms from hundreds of different species.
  • The composition and diversity of the microbiome can vary between individuals based on factors such as diet, lifestyle, genetics, and environmental influences.


  • The gut microbiota performs various important functions.
  • It aids in the digestion and absorption of nutrients, helps in the synthesis of vitamins and enzymes, and plays a role in the metabolism of dietary compounds.
  • It also influences the immune system, helps protect against pathogens, and plays a role in maintaining the integrity of the gut barrier.

Health Implications:

  • The gut microbiome has been linked to numerous aspects of human health, including digestive health, immune function, metabolism, mental health, and even chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Imbalances or disruptions in the gut microbiome, known as dysbiosis, have been associated with various health conditions.

Modifiable Factors:

  • The gut microbiome is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors.
  • While certain aspects of the microbiome are determined by genetics, it is also highly responsive to changes in diet, lifestyle, medications, stress, and other environmental factors.
  • This means that it can be modulated and influenced through interventions such as dietary changes, probiotics, prebiotics, and fecal microbiota transplantation.

About Microplastics

Microplastics are small plastic particles that are less than five millimeters in diameter, smaller than the standard pearl used in jewelry. They are a type of plastic pollution that poses environmental and health concerns. Here are some key points about microplastics:


  • Microplastics are formed through the fragmentation and degradation of larger plastic items under the influence of natural factors such as sunlight, wind, and water currents.
  • Over time, larger plastics break down into smaller particles, resulting in microplastics.

Size Classification:

  • Microplastics are generally categorized into two size ranges: microplastics (particles smaller than 5 mm) and nanoplastics (particles smaller than 100 nm).
  • Nanoplastics are even smaller and often result from the further breakdown of microplastics.

Primary Microplastics:

  • These are small plastic particles that are intentionally manufactured for commercial purposes.
  • Examples include microbeads used in personal care products, plastic pellets used in manufacturing, and plastic fibers released from clothing and textiles.

Secondary Microplastics:

  • These are microplastics that are formed from the breakdown and fragmentation of larger plastic items such as water bottles, packaging materials, and other plastic waste.
  • Exposure to environmental factors like sunlight and ocean waves leads to the degradation of these plastics, resulting in secondary microplastics.

-Source: Down To Earth

Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority


The Delhi High Court recently upheld an order by the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority (PPVFRA), revoking the intellectual property protection granted to PepsiCo India Holdings Pvt. Ltd with respect to a potato variety developed by it.


GS III: Agriculture

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority (PPV&FRA)
  2. Objective of the PPV&FR Act, 2001
  3. Functions of the Authority

Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority (PPV&FRA)

  • Created as a Statutory body by an act of Parliament
  • Works under the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare
  • The Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority was established on 11 November 2005 to implement the provisions of the PPV&FR Act, 2001.

Objective of the PPV&FR Act, 2001:

  • Establish an effective system for the protection of plant varieties
  • Recognize the rights of farmers and plant breeders
  • Encourage the development of new plant varieties
Key Features of the Legislation:
  • Adoption of a sui generis system for plant variety protection
  • Recognizes the contributions of commercial plant breeders and farmers in plant breeding activity
  • Implements Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) in a manner that supports socio-economic interests of all stakeholders
  • Includes provisions to benefit private and public sectors, research institutions, and resource-constrained farmers
Composition of the Authority:
  • Chairperson as the Chief Executive
  • 15 members, including ex-officio members from various Departments/Ministries, representatives from State Agricultural Universities (SAUs), State Governments, farmers, tribal organizations, seed industry, and women organizations associated with agriculture
  • Registrar General as the ex-officio Member Secretary

Functions of the Authority:

  • Registration of new plant varieties, essentially derived varieties (EDV), and extant varieties
  • Development of Distinctiveness, Uniformity, and Stability (DUS) test guidelines for new plant species
  • Characterization and documentation of registered varieties
  • Compulsory cataloguing facilities for all plant varieties
  • Documentation, indexing, and cataloguing of farmers’ varieties
  • Recognition and rewarding of farmers and communities engaged in conservation and improvement
  • Preservation of plant genetic resources and maintenance of the National Gene Bank
  • Maintenance of the National Register of Plant Varieties

-Source: Indian Express

New Wheat Variety (PBW RS1)


Recently, the Ludhiana-based institution has developed a new variety of wheat called PBW RS1.


GS III: Science

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. PBW RS1
  2. Type 2 Diabetes
  3. Glycemic Index


PBW RS1 is a variety of wheat known for its high amylose starch content, which contributes to its unique properties.

Benefits of PBW RS1:
  • High Amylose Starch: PBW RS1 contains a higher amount of amylose, a type of starch that is resistant to digestion. This results in slower release of glucose into the bloodstream after consumption, which can be beneficial for managing blood sugar levels.
  • Resistant Starch: The resistant starch present in PBW RS1 does not cause a rapid increase in glucose levels and provides a more gradual release of glucose, promoting better glycemic control.
  • Reduced Risk of Type 2 Diabetes and Cardiovascular Diseases: The high amylose content in PBW RS1 is known to have potential health benefits, including reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
  • Lower Glycemic Index: Foods prepared from whole grain flour of PBW RS1 have a lower glycemic index, indicating that they have a lesser impact on blood sugar levels compared to foods with higher glycemic index values.

Type 2 Diabetes:

  • Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition in which the body is unable to properly use insulin or maintain normal blood sugar levels.
  • It typically develops over time and is commonly diagnosed in adults, although there is an increasing prevalence among children, teens, and young adults.

Glycemic Index:

  • The glycemic index is a rating system that measures how quickly carbohydrates in food affect blood sugar levels when consumed alone.
  • Foods with a higher glycemic index value cause a more rapid increase in blood glucose levels, while those with a lower glycemic index value result in a slower and more controlled rise in blood sugar levels.

-Source: Indian Express

Cluster Bombs


Recently, the decision by the United States to supply Ukraine with cluster bombs has caused concern among key US allies.


Facts for Prelims

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Cluster bombs
  2. About the Convention on Cluster Munitions

About Cluster bombs

Cluster bombs, also known as cluster munitions, are weapons designed to scatter smaller bomblets over a wide area. Here are some key points about cluster bombs:

  • Function: Cluster bombs are designed to disperse multiple smaller bomblets over a large geographic area, targeting a wide range of targets simultaneously.
  • Submunitions/Bomblets: The smaller bombs contained within cluster bombs are called submunitions or bomblets. They are designed to explode upon impact or after a set time delay.
  • Delivery Methods: Cluster bombs can be deployed through aerial bombardment, such as being dropped from aircraft, or fired from ground or sea-based systems.
  • Humanitarian Impact: Cluster bombs pose a significant threat to civilians and can cause death or severe injuries. The widespread dispersal of bomblets can result in unintended harm to non-combatants, including children and civilians.
  • Unexploded Ordnance: One of the most concerning aspects of cluster bombs is the presence of unexploded bomblets. These submunitions may fail to detonate upon impact and can remain dangerous for years, posing a threat to civilians long after conflicts have ended.
  • International Condemnation: The use of cluster bombs has been widely criticized and condemned by the international community due to their indiscriminate nature and significant humanitarian consequences.
  • Convention on Cluster Munitions: The Convention on Cluster Munitions is an international treaty that aims to eliminate the use, production, transfer, and stockpiling of cluster munitions. Over 100 countries have ratified this convention to uphold the humanitarian principles and prevent the harm caused by cluster bombs.

About the Convention on Cluster Munitions:

  • Adoption and Signature: The Convention on Cluster Munitions was adopted in Dublin, Ireland, on 30 May 2008. It was opened for signature in Oslo, Norway, on 3 December 2008.
  • Prohibition: The convention prohibits all use, stockpiling, production, and transfer of cluster munitions. Its main objective is to eliminate the use and impact of cluster munitions worldwide.
  • Articles: The convention contains separate articles that address various aspects, including the destruction of stockpiles, clearance of contaminated areas, assistance to victims, submission of transparency reports, and adoption of domestic legislation.
  • Entry into Force: The convention became binding international law when it entered into force on 1 August 2010. This means that the provisions of the convention are legally binding on the states that have ratified or acceded to it.
  • State Participation: As of now, a total of 123 states have joined the convention. This includes 111 States Parties, which have ratified or acceded to the convention, and 12 Signatories, which have signed but not yet ratified it.
  • India’s Status: India is not a signatory to the Convention on Cluster Munitions. This means that India has not formally expressed its consent to be bound by the provisions of the convention.

-Source: Indian Express

December 2023