La Excellence IAS Academy

Dec. manufacturing slows to 18­month low, PMI survey shows

Syllabus: GS-III

Topic: Indian Economy

Issue: PMI.

Subject: Indian Economy and issues relating to Planning, Mobilization of Resources, Growth, Development and Employment.

Context: India’s manufacturing activity slipped to an 18-month low in December 2023, as per the HSBC India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index.


  • The reading for December stood at 54.9 compared to 56 in November. A reading of over 50 on the index indicates an expansion in activity.
  • Factories’ output grew at the slowest pace since October 2022, with demand for certain types of products fading.
  • The latest reading was above the long-run series trend, but contributed to the lowest quarterly average of 55.5 since the first quarter of fiscal year 2022-23.
Purchasing Managers’ Index:

·          leading economic indicator that tracks the health of a country’s manufacturing or service sector.

·          It’s based on monthly surveys of purchasing managers across various industries, who report on their perceptions of business                           conditions.

·          A value above 50 indicates expansion, while below 50 signifies contraction.

Source: The Hindu

Supreme Court upholds SEBI probe, turns focus on ‘conduct’ of Hindenburg

Syllabus: GS-II

Subject: Governance

Topic: Statutory, Regulatory and various Quasi-judicial Bodies.

Issue: SEBI.

Context: Supreme Court judgement on petitions to transfer investigations related to Adani from SEBI to SIT.


  • The Adani Group, facing allegations from U.S. short-seller Hindenburg Research, has been relieved by the Supreme Court, ruling out the need for additional investigation.
  • Hindenburg accused Adani of improper business dealings and tax haven use, causing a $150 billion selloff, but Adani denied the allegations.
  • Adani’s shares, though still below pre-allegation levels, have recovered partially, thanks to investor confidence and strategic partnerships.
  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is instructed by the court to conclude its investigation within three months.
  • Gautam Adani views the ruling as a victory for truth, while analysts predict increased confidence for global investors in Adani Group shares.
Hindenburg Research :

·          Founded in 2017 by Nathan Anderson. It is a forensic financial research firm that analyses equity, credit and derivatives.

·          It has a track record of finding corporate wrongdoings and placing bets against the companies.


·          Hindenburg disclosed last year it held short positions in Adani companies through U.S.-traded bonds and non-Indian-traded                     derivatives.

·          It released a report that alleged Adani improperly used tax havens and also flagged concerns about high debt levels at the                             company.

SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India)

•     constituted as a non-statutory body in 1988.

•     established as a statutory body in the year 1992 and the provisions of the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992

•     Objective: to protect the interests of investors in securities and to promote the development of, and to regulate the securities market

•     SEBI has three powers rolled into one body:

  • quasi-legislative- drafts regulations in its legislative capacity,
  • quasi-judicial- passes rulings and orders in its judicial capacity
  • quasi-executive- conducts investigation and enforcement action.


Source: The Hindu

55% of patients were prescribed antibiotics for preventive indications, 45% for therapeutic indications: NCDC survey

Syllabus: GS-III

Subject: Science and Technology

Topic: Health.

Issue: Anti-Microbial Resistance.

Context:   A recent survey by India’s NCDC reveals alarming antibiotic prescription trends, with over half given preventively. This misuse contributes to antimicrobial resistance, a serious global health concern.


Highlights of The Survey:

  • A recent survey by India’s National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) reveals concerning trends in antibiotic prescriptions:
  • 55% of patients received antibiotics for prevention, not treatment.
  • 94% were given antibiotics before a confirmed diagnosis.
  • Antibiotic misuse contributes to antimicrobial resistance (AMR), a major global health threat.
  • Significant variations (37% to 100%) in antibiotic prescription rates among surveyed hospitals.
  • 57% of prescriptions were for antibiotics prone to resistance (Watch group).
  • The survey emphasizes the need for responsible antibiotic use to curb AMR.
The National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC):

It is an institute under the Indian Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.


·          The nodal agency in the country for disease surveillance facilitating prevention and control of communicable diseases.

·          It also deals with antimicrobial resistance (AMR), an emerging area of concern with far-reaching consequences.

·          It also provides referral diagnostic support, capacity building and technical support to States/UTs in the country.

Conclusion: The survey underscores the urgency of addressing inappropriate antibiotic use to curb antimicrobial resistance. Effective strategies and awareness are crucial to preserving the efficacy of antibiotics for future healthcare.

Source: The Hindu

PM unveils projects worth Rs 1,150 cr in Lakshadweep: Page:

Syllabus: GS-II

Subject: Governance

Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors

Issue: Development Projects in Lakshadweep.

Context: PM Modi’s visit to Lakshadweep signifies BJP’s strategic focus on the UT amid rising Chinese interest, proximity to Kerala, and symbolism for ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’, despite local controversies.


Visits Strategic Significance

  • Lakshadweep gains importance due to increased Chinese engagement in neighboring Sri Lanka and Maldives.
  • Considered strategically vital, plans for an Air Force station and airport for defense purposes are in discussion and focus on ‘Strong Borders’.
  • PM Modi emphasizes prioritizing border areas and sea edges.
  • Lakshadweep is seen as a crucial gateway to Kerala, BJP’s electoral target.
  • Close social and cultural links with Kerala; Malayalam is the most common language spoken.

Key Projects Announced

  • Inauguration of Kochi-Lakshadweep Submarine Optical Fibre Project to provide high-speed internet.
  • PM inaugurates projects worth Rs 1,150 crore, including optical fiber project, Jal Jeevan Mission, and more.
  • Plans for a Low Temperature Thermal Desalination plant at Kadmat to produce clean drinking water.

Lakshadweep Island

  • India’s smallest Union Territory, Lakshadweep is an archipelago consisting of 36 islands with an area of 32 sq km.
  • There are three main group of islands:
    • Amindivi Islands
    • Laccadive Islands
    • Minicoy Island.

All are tiny islands of coral origin (Atoll) and are surrounded by fringing reefs.

Source: Indian Express

Tiger zinda hai: In Bengal’s Buxa reserve, big cat’s return brings fresh hope

Syllabus: GS-III

Subject: Environment

Topic:  Species Conservation.

Issue: Tiger Conservation.

Context: Tiger missing for 23 years in Buxa National Park, West Bengal, captured on camera, raising hopes for permanent return. Conservation efforts, increased prey, and reduced human interaction contribute to this positive development.Top of Form


Factors Behind Comeback:

  • Increase in prey base, expansion of grasslands, Reduced human interference, introduction of prey like spotted deer, and creation of an ideal habitat contribute to the positive development.
  • Plans are underway to relocate villages from the core area to minimize human presence and support conservation efforts.
  • “Tiger augmentation and monitoring project” launched in 2018 to enhance tiger population and habitat, in collaboration with the Wildlife Institute of India and National Tiger Conservation Authority.
  • Tigers in neighboring areas like Assam’s Manas Tiger Reserve and Bhutan’s forests contribute to the tiger’s return to Buxa.


Buxa Tiger Reserve:

  • located in Alipurduar Sub-division, Jalpaiguri District, West Bengal, was established in 1983 as India’s 15th tiger reserve.
  • It attained National Park status in January 1992.
  • Positioned along the Bhutan border to the north, it is bordered by the Sinchula hill range and Assam to the east.

Buxa serves as a vital tiger corridor, connecting with Bhutan to the north, Kochugaon forests and Manas Tiger Reserve to the east, and Jaldapara National Park to the west.

The Sankosh, Raidak, Jayanti, and other rivers flow through the reserve.

The tiger’s return, underscores the success of collaborative conservation efforts. The controlled human disturbance and ongoing initiatives provide hope for the potential establishment of Buxa as a habitat for more tigers in the future.

Source: Indian Express

India to use SpaceX rocket to launch communications satellite

Syllabus: GS-III

Subject: Science & Technology

Topic: Achievements of Indians in science & technology

Issue: SpaceX Launching GSAT.

Context:  Utilising the services of SpaceX for the first time, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will deploy its heavy communication satellite GSAT-20 through the Falcon-9 rocket of the private space.


Why SpaceX?

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will use SpaceX’s Falcon-9 rocket to deploy GSAT-20, a heavy communication satellite, addressing the satellite’s weight challenge
  • The collaboration with SpaceX, facilitated by NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), aims to enhance high-speed internet services across India, including rural areas and islands. SpaceX chosen due to availability and cost competitiveness.
  • GSAT-20, weighing 4,700 kg, surpasses ISRO’s rocket capacity, making Falcon-9’s 8,300 kg capability crucial.
  • NSIL’s strategic launch agreement with SpaceX signals India’s reliance on private partnerships for satellite launches.


·          GSAT-20:

·          4,700-kilo communication satellite by ISRO’s NSIL.

·          Planned launch on Falcon 9 in Q2 2024.

·          Aims to meet India’s broadband needs, offering 48Gbps capacity.

·          Facilitates connectivity in remote regions, including islands.

·          Falcon 9:

·          SpaceX’s reusable, two-stage rocket.

·          World’s first orbital-class reusable rocket.

·          Payload capacity: 22,800 kg to Low-Earth Orbit, 8,300 kg to Geostationary Transfer Orbit.

·          Reusability drives down space access costs.


Source: Indian Express