La Excellence IAS Academy

States raise record ₹50,206 cr. in debt, push up bond yields

Syllabus: GS-III, Subject: Economy Topic: Fiscal policy and Budgeting, Issue: Borrowings by states

Context: India’s direct tax collections have exceeded 97% of the revised target for 2023-24.

  • Total borrowings for the fiscal year are expected to be lower than projected.


  1. Increased borrowing by states led to liquidity pressures, causing bond yields to rise.
  2. A bond yield is the return an investor expects to receive on a bond investment each year, expressed as a percentage
  3. The gap between central and State government bond yields widened.
  4. Rising bond yields are expected to increase borrowing costs for both central and State governments.

Israel may be using starvation as ‘weapon of war’: U.N.

Syllabus: GS-II, Subject: International Relations  Topic: Global issues, Issue: War crimes

Context: Palestinians in Gaza are facing crisis levels of hunger, particularly during the holy month of Ramadan.


  • United Nations human rights accused Israel of using starvation as a “weapon of war.”
  • Israel’s restrictions on aid to Gaza, coupled with its military offensive, could constitute a war crime.
War Crimes:

●   War crimes are violations of International Humanitarian Law (treaty or customary law) that incur individual criminal responsibility under international law.


●   Torture, rape, intentional killing of civilians and prisoners of war.

●   Withholding necessary items for the survival of captured individuals.

Geneva Conventions:

o   It guides in establishing humanitarian standards for treating those affected by war.

o   This includes laws for the protection of civilians during wartime, including relief workers.

27.6 million people engaged in forced labour in 2021: ILO

Syllabus: GS-II, Subject: Current Affairs Topic: Indices and reports, Issue: Forced Labour.

Context: A report titled “Profits and poverty: The economics of forced labour” released by ILO.

Highlights (Data for mains)

  • An estimated 27.6 million people engage in forced labour globally, with an increase of 2.7 million between 2016 and 2021.
  • Forced commercial sexual exploitation generates 73% of total illegal profits, despite only 27% of victims being involved.


  • Urgent international action is needed addressing the role of forced labour in perpetuating poverty and exploitation.
  • Investment in enforcement, legal frameworks, official training.
  • A comprehensive approach including tackling root causes, safeguarding victims, and promoting fair labor practices.

INCOIS unveils a coastal water quality monitoring system.

Syllabus: GS-III, Subject: Environment, Ecology and Disaster Management  Topic: Pollution, Issue: Coastal water monitoring system.

Context: INCOIS unveils the Water Quality Nowcast System (WQNS) for east and west sea coastlines.

Key Functions:

  • To monitor natural and industrial influences on coastal water quality in real time.
  • Uses moored buoys with sensors for 22 parameters like currents, pH, and nutrients.
  • Preliminary results show short-term changes during monsoon periods, such as
    • depleted oxygen off Kochi and
    • high carbon dioxide off Visakhapatnam.

Prelims Connect:(Institutions in news)

INCOIS:(Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services)

●   Established in 1999, it is an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES)

●   Located in Hyderabad.

●   Operates as a unit of the Earth System Science Organization (ESSO).

●   Mandated to provide top-quality ocean information and advisory services to society, industry, government agencies, and the scientific community.

Delhi tops list of world’s most polluted capital cities in 2023

Syllabus: GS-III ; Subject: Current affairs ; Topic: Indices and reports, Issue: Most polluted city.

Context: Delhi ranked as the most polluted capital city globally and the third most polluted city in India.


  • India ranked third globally in PM 2.5 levels, with over 66% of its cities reporting levels exceeding 35 µg/m3.
  • Prolonged exposure to PM 2.5 particles poses health risks such as cardiovascular and neurological diseases.

Prelims Connect(Terminology in news)

Particulate Matter 2.5

●     Refers to fine inhalable particles with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers or less.

●     Health Effects: Irritation, coughing, reduced lung function, increased mortality.

●     Outdoor Sources: Vehicle exhaust, industrial emissions, burning fuels, forest fires.

●     Indoor Sources: Tobacco smoke, cooking, burning candles, heaters/fireplaces.

FSSAI sets up lab network to test food for pathogens

Syllabus: GS-III; Subject: Current affairs, Topic: Schemes/Policies/Programmes, Issue: Lab Testing for finding pathogens.

Context:  FSSAI establishing 34 labs for pathogen testing.

Key points :

  • Aim:To tackle foodborne illnesses like diarrhoea and food poisoning.
  • Initiative targets enhanced food safety via targeted pathogen testing.
  • To address underreported food-related illnesses, safeguarding public health.

Prelims Connect(Institutions in news)

FSSAI(Food Safety and Standards Authority of India)

●  Statutory body established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 (FSS Act).

●  Under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare

2023 warmest year on record 2014-23 warmest decade: WMO.

Syllabus: GS-III Subject: Environment, Ecology and Disaster Management Topic: Global Warming and Climate Chang, Issue: Warmest year & decade on record.

Context: The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) confirms that 2023 was the warmest year on record, and the decade from 2014 to 2023 was the warmest ever.

Key points:

  • Global mean surface temperature in 2023 was 45°C higher than pre-industrial levels.
  • Greenhouse gas concentrations reached new records in 2022.
  • Extreme weather events caused socio-economic losses worldwide.

Prelims Connect(Institutions in news)

World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

✔  It is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN), established in 1950.

✔  It serves as the authoritative voice on Earth’s atmosphere, climate, and water resources.

✔  Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland.

Govt plans coking coal washery policy.

Syllabus: GS-III; Subject: Economy; Topic: Industry and Industrial policies, Issue: Coal washery policy.

Context: The central government plans to introduce a policy to encourage private steelmakers to use domestic coking coal.

Coal washing is a process of cleaning raw coal to remove impurities like rock, sand at a coal preparation plant (called a washery) to improve the quality of the coal.

 Greenfield Washery Development Policy:

  • Aim:Decrease reliance on coking coal imports, and promote domestic coal usage.
  • Monetization of abandoned washeries to boost coal washing capacity.
  • Incentives:
    • Long-term lease on land for setting up washeries.
    • Assured supply of coking coal.

Prelims Connect (Terminology in news)

Coking coal:

✔  Specific type of coal with ideal properties for producing coke,a crucial ingredient in steelmaking.


✔  High carbon and Low sulphur content.

✔  Good coking properties when heated without air.

✔  Role in Steelmaking: Acts as fuel and reducing agent in blast furnaces.

Daily Editorials

Time for a tech manifesto

Syllabus: GS-II, Subject: Polity, Topic: Elections and RPA, Issue: Technology Manifesto

Key issues in the digital ecosystem:

  • India has 904.54 million broadband subscribers, but growth is uneven, favouring urban, male, and upper-income groups.
  • Despite the Telecommunications Act of 2023, internet shutdowns persist, affecting lower-income Indians heavily reliant on smartphones.
  • Lack of political focus on digital issues hampers democratic representation and separates digital society development from public discourse.

 The way ahead:

  • Political discourse should address the inequitable distribution of internet connectivity and propose solutions for social justice through digitization.
  • Policy debates on internet access, surveillance, data breaches, and digital rights need mainstream attention and careful regulation.
  • Digital technologies, essential for employment, health, and modern living, should be prioritised in party manifestos.
  • Political parties should offer an alternate digital vision to engage voters.

Source: Indian Express

Does retweeting allegedly defamatory content amount to defamation?

Syllabus: GS-II, Subject: Polity, Topic: Rights Issues, Issue: Defamation and Freedom of speech and expression


  • Defamation involves damaging one’s reputation publicly and communicating defamatory statements to others.
  • Civil defamation encompasses libel (written) or slander (spoken), as per tort law.
  • In criminal cases, defamation must be proven beyond reasonable doubt, as per Section 499 and 500 of IPC.

Relevant case laws:

  • In ‘Subramanian Swamy vs. Union of India’, SC upheld IPC Sections 499 and 500, citing protection of reputation under Article 21.
  • ‘Kaushal Kishore vs Union of India’ emphasised restrictions on free speech must align with Article 19(2).
  • Section 66A of The IT Act, 2000 was invalidated in ‘Shreya Singhal vs. Union of India’ due to ambiguity and violation of Article 19(1)(a).

Retweeting and defamation:

  • Retweets can amplify online abuse, leading to significant harm due to rapid spread.

The Delhi High Court held that retweeting defamatory content can be liable under Section 499 IPC.

Source: Indian Express

Ties that epitomise India’s neighbourhood first policy

Syllabus: GS II, Subject: International Relations, Topic: India and its neighbourhood, Issue: India-Bhutan relations

Basis of India Bhutan relationship:

  • Mutual respect and sovereignty recognition are fundamental.
  • India respects Bhutan’s identity and supports its economic development.
  • Bhutan trusts India without sovereignty
  • This trust lead to a unique level of mutual understanding and cooperation.


  • The Gelephu project of Bhutan is an ambitious plan to build a massive new city on India’s border with significant involvement from India.
  • India’s contribution of ₹5,000 crore to Bhutan’s 12th Five Year Plan.
  • Hydropower cooperation is fundamental to India-Bhutan relations providing clean electricity to India and revenue to Bhutan.

The way ahead:

  • Start direct flights between Mumbai/Delhi and Gelephu for improved connectivity.
  • Provide Indian technology and expertise for building infrastructure in Gelephu.
  • Promote visits by high-end Indian tourists and business persons to Gelephu.

Source: The Hindu

Selection and election: On the appointment of Election Commissioners

Syllabus: GS- II, Subject: Polity, Topic: Institutions, Issue: Appointment of Election Commissioners

Context: Appointment of two election commissioners.

Key issues in the appointment process

  • The process fell short of the independence mandated by the Supreme court in Anoop Baranwal judgement.
  • An interim arrangement was implemented with the Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition, and Chief Justice of India until Parliament enacted a law.
  • The government’s law replaced CJI with a Union Minister with potential executive dominance, raising concerns about independence.


The Court is currently deliberating whether an executive-majority committee can uphold ECI’s independence effectively.

Source: The Hindu