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Current Affairs 26 June 2023


  1. Chandrayaan-3
  2. Lab-Grown Meat
  3. Assisted Reproductive Technology Regulations 2023
  4. Mineral Security Partnership
  5. What are Auroras?
  6. Chiral Bose-Liquid State



The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) plans to retain the names of the Chandrayaan-2 lander (Vikram) and rover (Pragyan) for their Chandrayaan-3 equivalents as well.


GS III: Science and Technology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Chandrayaan-3 Mission
  2. Objective and Composition
  3. Implementation Plan for the Mission

Chandrayaan-3 Mission:

  • Chandrayaan-3 is the third lunar exploration mission by ISRO.
  • It aims to demonstrate capabilities in safe landing and roving on the lunar surface.
    • Safe landing (through the lander Vikram – after Vikram Sarabhai, the father of the Indian space programme) and
    • Roving (through the rover Pragyan) on the lunar surface.
  • Unlike Chandrayaan-2, it will not have an orbiter and the propulsion module will act as a communications relay satellite.

Mission Modules:

Propulsion Module:
  • Includes the  Spectro-polarimetry of Habitable Planet Earth (SHAPE) payload for studying Earth from lunar orbit using spectro-polarimetry.
Lander Module:

Consists of four payloads:

  • Radio Anatomy of Moon Bound Hypersensitive ionosphere and Atmosphere (RAMBHA) for studying the temporal evolution of electron density in the Lunar ionosphere.
  • Chandra’s Surface Thermophysical Experiment (ChaSTE) for measuring thermal conductivity and temperature on the lunar surface.
  • Instrument for Lunar Seismic Activity (ILSA) for measuring seismic activity around the landing site.
  • Langmuir Probe (LP) for estimating plasma density and variations.
Rover Module:
  • Equipped with the  Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) and Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscope (LIBS) payloads to analyze elemental composition near the landing site.

Launch and Rocket:

  • ISRO plans to launch Chandrayaan-3 in mid-July.
  • It will be launched aboard the LVM3 (formerly GSLV Mk-III) rocket from Sriharikota.

Objective and Composition:

  • Objective: Chandrayaan-3 is an ambitious mission by ISRO aimed at demonstrating critical technologies required for successful spacecraft landing on the moon’s south pole.
  • Composite Structure: The Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft is composed of three modules: propulsion, lander, and rover.
  • Scientific Instruments: The mission carries scientific instruments to study various aspects of the lunar environment, including the thermo-physical properties of the lunar regolith (surface material), lunar seismicity, lunar surface plasma environment, and elemental composition near the landing site.

Implementation Plan for the Mission:

Propulsion Module Deployment:

  • The mission will commence with the deployment of a propulsion module, which will transport the lander-rover configuration to a lunar orbit situated 100 kilometers above the lunar surface.

Lander Module Arrival:

  • Following a successful journey, the dedicated lander module named ‘Vikram’ will safely reach the moon’s surface.

Rover Deployment:

  • Once the lander module has achieved a secure landing, it will initiate the deployment of the rover module called ‘Pragyan’ onto the lunar surface.

In-Situ Chemical Analysis:

  • The rover, Pragyan, will undertake comprehensive in-situ chemical analysis of the lunar surface throughout its mobility phase.
  • It will conduct detailed examinations and investigations to gather valuable data and insights.

-Source: The Hindu

Lab-Grown Meat


Two U.S. companies, Good Meat and Upside Foods, have received the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval to make and sell their cell-cultivated chicken.

  • The first country to approve the sale of alternative meat was Singapore in 2020.


GS III: Science and Technology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Cultivated meat
  2. Need for Cell-Cultivated Meat Creation
  3. Challenges with Cell-Cultivated Meat

About Cultivated meat

Cultivated meat, also known as cell-cultured meat or lab-grown meat, is a form of meat produced by isolating and culturing animal cells rather than raising and slaughtering animals.

Process of Cultivated Meat Production:
  • Isolation: Companies isolate the cells responsible for the meat we consume from a living animal through a biopsy.
  • Cultivation: The isolated cells are placed in a bioreactor, a specialized container that provides the necessary resources for cell growth, such as nutrients, fats, carbohydrates, amino acids, and controlled temperature.
  • Cellular Agriculture: This method of meat production is also known as cellular agriculture, as it utilizes cell cultures to generate meat.
Transformation into Meat Products:
  • Cell Proliferation: Over time, the cells multiply and form a mass resembling minced meat.
  • Collection and Processing: The cultivated tissue is collected and undergoes processing, including the addition of additives to enhance texture and appearance.
  • Utilization: Processed cultivated meat is then used as an ingredient in various recipes, offering a sustainable alternative to conventionally sourced meat.
Types of Cell-Cultivated Meat:
  • Chicken Focus: Companies like Good Meat and Upside Foods have primarily concentrated on developing cell-cultivated chicken meat due to its high global consumption.
  • Expansion Plans: These companies aim to broaden their offerings to include other types of meat in the future.
  • Diverse Research: Researchers are actively working on creating cell-cultivated versions of sea bass, tuna, shrimp, and pork.
Market Potential and Outlook:
  • Growing Market: The global alternative meat market, including cultivated meat, is projected to reach $20-25 billion in sales by 2030, according to McKinsey.
  • Environmental Benefits: Cultivated meat has the potential to reduce the environmental impact associated with traditional animal agriculture, including greenhouse gas emissions, land usage, and water consumption.
  • Ethical Considerations: Cultivated meat presents a more humane approach to meat production by eliminating the need for raising and slaughtering animals.

Need for Cell-Cultivated Meat Creation

Emissions Reduction:

  • Livestock production contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions, with beef being a major contributor. Lab-grown meat has the potential to reduce emissions associated with conventional meat production.
  • According to the FAO, global livestock is responsible for 14.5% of all anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, with beef accounting for 41% and chicken meat and eggs accounting for 8%.

Land Use Efficiency:

  • Conventional meat production requires vast amounts of land for animal rearing and feed production. Lab-cultivated meat has the potential to utilize land more efficiently.
  • Studies suggest that lab-grown meat could use significantly less land compared to traditional meat production, with estimated reductions of 63% for chicken and 72% for pork.

Animal Slaughter Prevention:

  • One of the ethical concerns regarding traditional meat production is the slaughter of animals. Cell-cultivated meat offers a way to produce meat without the need for animal slaughter, aligning with ethical considerations and animal welfare concerns.

Food Security:

  • Lab-grown meat has the potential to address food security challenges by providing a more efficient and sustainable method of meat production.
  • With the global population projected to increase, lab-cultivated meat can help meet the growing demand for protein while minimizing the strain on natural resources.

Customization and Health Benefits:

  • Cultivated meat can be customized to offer specific nutritional profiles and healthier attributes compared to conventionally produced meat.
  • By reducing fat content or enhancing nutritional components, lab-grown meat can contribute to public health initiatives and cater to specific dietary preferences.

Challenges with Cell-Cultivated Meat:

Taste, Texture, and Appearance:

  • A significant challenge in the development of cell-cultivated meat is to match the taste, texture, and appearance of animal meat.
  • Consumers expect alternative meat to be comparable to traditional meat in sensory attributes.


  • The cost of producing cell-cultivated meat is currently high compared to conventional meat.
  • The production process involves complex technologies and expensive inputs, making it economically challenging to make lab-grown meat commercially viable and affordable for mass consumption.

Quality and Resources:

  • Researchers require high-quality cells to initiate the cultivation process. Ensuring a consistent and reliable source of high-quality cells can be a challenge.
  • The growth medium used for cell culture and the resources needed to maintain the quality of the final product, such as nutrients and environmental conditions, need to be carefully optimized.

Environmental Impact:

  • While cell-cultivated meat has the potential to reduce environmental impact compared to traditional meat production, there are concerns about the environmental footprint of the cultivation process itself.
  • A study highlighted that if the production of cultured meat requires specialized and purified liquids similar to those used in the pharmaceutical industry, the environmental impact could be worse than conventional beef production.

-Source: Indian express

Assisted Reproductive Technology Regulations 2023


The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) notified the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulations) Amendment Rules 2023 (under the ART Act 2021) to provide donors and patients with better medical care and security.


GS II: Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)?
  2. Salient Provisions of the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Act 2021
  3. Significance of the Law on ART
  4. Concerns Regarding the above Provisions

What is Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)?

Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) refers to a range of techniques used to achieve pregnancy by manipulating sperm or egg cells outside the human body and transferring the resulting embryo into a woman’s reproductive tract. It includes procedures like sperm donation, in-vitro fertilization (IVF), and gestational surrogacy.

Salient Provisions of the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Act 2021:

Registration and Database:

  • All ART clinics and banks are required to be registered under the National Registry of Banks and Clinics of India, which maintains a central database containing details of these institutions.
  • The registration is valid for five years and can be renewed for another five years. It can be cancelled or suspended if the institution violates the provisions of the Act.

Screening and Storage:

  • Registered ART banks can screen, collect, and store semen from men aged between 21 and 55 years. They can also store eggs from women aged between 23 and 35 years.

Donor Criteria:

  • Female donors must be married and have at least one child of their own, who is at least three years old.

Parental Rights:

  • A child born through an ART procedure is legally considered the biological child of the couple undergoing the procedure and is entitled to all the rights associated with that status.
  • The donor does not retain any parental rights over the child.

Informed Consent and Insurance:

  • Both the couple and the donor must provide written informed consent for the ART procedure.
  • The couple seeking an ART procedure is required to provide insurance coverage for the female donor in the event of loss, damage, or death of the donor.
Regulation of ART processes:
  • The Surrogacy Act 2021 establishes National and State Boards that are responsible for regulating ART services in addition to surrogacy.
  • These boards have various functions, including advising the government on policy matters, monitoring the implementation of the law, and formulating a code of conduct for ART clinics and banks.
  • The Act identifies several offences related to ART procedures.
  • These include abandoning or exploiting children born through ART, sale, purchase, or trade of embryos, exploitation of couples or donors, and transferring an embryo into a male or an animal.
  • Committing such offences can result in imprisonment ranging from 8 to 12 years and a fine ranging from Rs 10 to 20 lakhs.
Restrictions and Prohibitions:
  • ART clinics and banks are prohibited from advertising or offering sex-selective ART procedures.
  • Engaging in such activities is punishable by imprisonment ranging from 5 to 10 years and/or a fine of Rs 10 to 25 lakhs.

Significance of the Law on ART:

  • The implementation of this law is significant as it helps prevent congenital abnormalities and addresses the exploitation of donors.
  • By regulating the sector, the law aims to ensure the safety and well-being of individuals involved in ART procedures. It also aims to eliminate the presence of unregulated practices and untrained individuals in the field of ART.
  • Overall, the law is a step towards protecting the interests of individuals seeking ART services and promoting ethical practices in the field.

Concerns Regarding the above Provisions:

While the regulations aim to ensure the safety and ethical practices in ART procedures, there are concerns regarding the potential impact on accessibility and cost. Some of the concerns include:

  • Limited availability of donors: The restrictions on age and eligibility criteria for donors may limit the pool of available donors. This can create challenges as the demand for donor eggs and sperm may exceed the supply, leading to longer waiting times and reduced options for couples seeking ART services.
  • Increased costs: With a limited pool of donors, the cost of ART cycles may increase. Couples may face higher expenses for procedures such as egg or sperm donation, as additional investments such as insurance coverage for donors may be required. The increased costs can pose financial challenges for couples relying on ARTs, especially considering that multiple cycles are often needed for a higher chance of success.
  • Extended treatment duration: The requirement for multiple cycles is common in ART procedures, as individuals may require more than one attempt to achieve a successful pregnancy. By restricting the number of donation attempts or imposing stringent regulations, the treatment duration may be prolonged, leading to additional costs and emotional stress for couples.
  • Impact on fertility rates: Fertility rates in India and globally are declining. The limitations on available donors may further exacerbate this issue, as access to donor eggs or sperm plays a crucial role in assisting individuals or couples with fertility challenges. It may result in a decrease in the success rates of ART procedures and limit the options available to individuals seeking alternative paths to parenthood.

-Source: The Hindu

Mineral Security Partnership


India was recently inducted into the Mineral Security Partnership (MSP).


GS II: International Relations

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Mineral Security Partnership
  2. What are Critical Minerals?
  3. Rare Earth Elements (REE)

Mineral Security Partnership:

  • The Mineral Security Partnership is an initiative launched by the United States and key partner countries in June 2022.
  • Its primary objective is to strengthen critical mineral supply chains.
  • The partnership aims to ensure that critical minerals, including cobalt, nickel, lithium, and the 17 “rare earth” minerals, are produced, processed, and recycled in a way that maximizes the economic development benefits for participating countries.
  • By focusing on these specific minerals, the partnership aims to address the challenges and risks associated with their supply chains, which are crucial for various industries and technologies.
  • The initiative seeks to enhance the resilience, sustainability, and security of critical mineral supply chains, promoting cooperation and collaboration among partner countries.

What are Critical Minerals?

  • Critical minerals are elements that are the building blocks of essential modern-day technologies, and are at risk of supply chain disruptions.
  • These minerals are now used everywhere from making mobile phones, computers to batteries, electric vehicles and green technologies like solar panels and wind turbines.
  • Based on their individual needs and strategic considerations, different countries create their own lists.
  • However, such lists mostly include graphite, lithium and cobalt, which are used for making EV batteries; rare earths that are used for making magnets and silicon which is a key mineral for making computer chips and solar panels.
  • Aerospace, communications and defence industries also rely on several such minerals as they are used in manufacturing fighter jets, drones, radio sets and other critical equipment.
Major Critical Minerals:
  • The major critical minerals are graphite, lithium, and cobalt.
  • These minerals are essential for the production of electric vehicle (EV) batteries, semiconductors, and high-end electronics.
  • They are also used in the manufacturing of fighter jets, drones, radio sets, and other critical equipment.
Top Producers of Critical Minerals:
  • The top producers of critical minerals globally are Chile, Indonesia, Congo, China, Australia, and South Africa.
  • These countries have significant reserves and production capacities for critical minerals.

Rare Earth Elements (REE):

  • Rare earth elements are a group of 17 elements in the periodic table.
  • They include the 15 lanthanides from lanthanum (atomic number 57) to lutetium (atomic number 71), as well as scandium (atomic number 21) and yttrium (atomic number 39).
  • Rare earth elements are important for various high-tech applications, including electronics, magnets, catalysts, batteries, and advanced technology products.

-Source: Indian express

What are Auroras?


Recently, an international team of researchers revealed global observations of auroras associated with carbon dioxide using satellites.


GS I: Geography

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Formation of Auroras
  2. Carbon Dioxide Aurora

Formation of Auroras:

  • Auroras are formed when charged particles ejected from the sun’s corona create solar wind, which interacts with Earth’s ionosphere.
  • In the Northern Hemisphere, they are called the northern lights or aurora borealis, while in the Southern Hemisphere, they are known as the southern lights or aurora australis.
  • The asymmetry of auroras between hemispheres is influenced by the interference between the sun’s magnetic field and Earth’s magnetic field.
  • The commonly observed green and red auroras occur between 100 to 250 kilometers above the planet’s surface due to the excited state of atomic oxygen.

Carbon Dioxide Aurora:

  • When charged particles collide with Earth’s atmosphere, they interact with various atoms and molecules, including carbon dioxide.
  • Carbon dioxide, known for its role as a greenhouse gas in the lower atmosphere, also exists in trace amounts in the upper atmosphere.
  • Around 90 kilometers above Earth, carbon dioxide molecules become excited during an aurora, leading to the emission of infrared radiation.
  • This results in a higher presence of infrared radiation in the atmosphere compared to typical levels.

-Source: Indian express

Chiral Bose-Liquid State


According to recent research, the chiral Bose-liquid state may be an entirely new state of matter.


GS III: Science and Technology

Formation of Chiral Bose-Liquid State:

  • The chiral Bose-liquid state is a unique state of matter that exists at temperatures approaching absolute zero or in the quantum realm.
  • Matter in this state behaves differently from solids, liquids, and gases.
  • Researchers achieved this state using a bi-layer semiconducting device.
  • The top layer of the device contains freely moving electrons, while the bottom layer is filled with “holes” that can be occupied by electrons.
  • By bringing the two layers very close together and creating a local imbalance, electrons are left with insufficient holes to fill, resulting in the formation of the chiral Bose-liquid state.
  • In this state, electrons exhibit predictable patterns and become resistant to changes in spin, a characteristic of subatomic particles.
  • The synchronized movements of electrons in this state hold potential for applications such as novel digital encryption systems.
  • Creating and controlling such states of matter is challenging but offers exciting possibilities for future technological advancements.

-Source: Indian express

July 2024