My Notes - 01-15 Dec 2023

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Article 370 abrogation upheld

  • The Supreme Court in a 5-0 unanimous ruling upheld the Centre’s abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution
  • The SC held that J&K did not retain any element of sovereignty after its accession to India in 1947.
  • The Supreme Court held that Article 370 is a temporary, transitional provision.
  • The Supreme Court upheld both the presidential proclamations of August 2019.

New Delhi declaration on AI

  • The Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI), an alliance of 29 members, has unanimously adopted the New Delhi declaration underscoring the need to mitigate risks arising from the development and deployment of artificial intelligence (AI) systems, and promoting equitable access to critical resources for AI innovation, including computing and high-quality diverse datasets.
  • The New Delhi declaration has attempted to find a balance between innovation and the risks associated with AI systems.

India is building its own ‘sovereign AI’

  • India has pitched itself as a country that has effectively used technology to develop and deliver governance solutions at a mass scale.
  • With sovereign AI and an AI compute infrastructure (the software and hardware needed to build AI-powered systems), the government is not looking to just compete with the generative AI type of model.
  • It also wants to focus on real-life use cases in healthcare, agriculture, governance, language translation, etc, to maximise economic development.

India not party to green pledge

  • India didn’t sign the Global Renewables and Energy Efficiency Pledge that aims to triple global renewable energy capacity and double the rate of energy efficiency by 2030.
  • The pledge is part of efforts to undertake measures that will help tackle climate change and accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy.

President Murmu advocates for All India Judicial Service

  • President Droupadi Murmu called for an “all-India judicial service” to recruit judges, saying this will help make the judiciary diverse by increasing representation from marginalised social groups.
  • Article 312 of the Constitution provides for the establishment of an All-India Judicial Service (AIJS), along the lines of the central civil services.
  • If the Rajya Sabha declares through a resolution, supported by at least two-thirds of its present and voting members, that it is necessary or expedient to create a service in “national interest”.

Revised criminal reform Bills in Parliament

  • The Centre introduced three revised criminal reform Bills in Lok Sabha, withdrawing the previous versions, introduced in August this year.
  • In August 2023, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had introduced three Bills in Lok Sabha to replace the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860; the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (originally enacted in 1898); and the Indian Evidence Act, 1872.
  • The new bills—Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS), 2023, to replace the IPC; Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS), 2023, for CrPC; and BharatiyaSakshya (BS) Bill, 2023, for the Indian Evidence Act—were subsequently referred to a standing committee the same day.

2001 Parliament attack

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on 13 December 2023, paid tributes to the security personnel martyred during the Parliament attack, exactly 22 years ago to this date.


Article 99 of the UN Charter

  • Amid Israel’s ongoing military attacks on the Gaza Strip, particularly in its southern region, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has invoked Article 99 of the UN Charter in a bid to establish a ceasefire.
  • The UN Charter is the founding document of the United Nations. Based on the powers conferred through it, the UN can take action on a wide variety of issues.
  • The Charter is considered an international treaty, meaning UN Member States are “bound by it”. However, in practice, there is little that member countries can be forced to do.

Green Credits scheme

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched an initiative focusing on generating Green Credits through plantation on degraded wasteland at COP28.
  • The Green Credits Programme, launched by the Environment Ministry in October this year, is an effort to create a market-based incentive for different kinds of environment-positive actions, not just for carbon emission reductions.
  • Unlike the carbon markets, which are more focused at industry and corporations, green credit programme can benefit individuals and communities as well.

Global Cooling Pledge at COP28

  • Sixty-three countries, including the US, Canada, and Kenya, signed up to the world’s first-ever pledge to drastically cut cooling emissions at the ongoing COP28 climate summit.
  • The Global Cooling Pledge commits the countries to reduce their cooling emissions by at least 68% by 2050 and outlines several strategies to tackle them.
  • Cooling emissions are essentially emissions generated from refrigerants, used in appliances like ACs and refrigerators, and the energy used for cooling.


Loss and damage fund approved

  • On the COP28 climate conference in Dubai, a loss and damage fund to help vulnerable countries cope with the impact of climate change has been officially launched.
  • The loss and damage fundis a global financial package to ensure the rescue and rehabilitation of countries facing the cascading effects of climate change.

Climate finance

  • The United Arab Emirates, which is hosting the ongoing COP28 climate summit, announced on 1 December 2023 that it would contribute $30 billion to a new fund aiming to divert private sector capital towards climate investments and improve financing for the Global South.
  • Climate finance refers to large-scale investments required for actions aiming to mitigate or adapt to the consequences of climate change.

Science and technology

Center notifies guidelines against ‘dark patterns’

  • The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA), the country’s top consumer watchdog, has notified guidelines for the “prevention and regulation” of dark patterns.
  • Dark patterns are tactics used by online platforms to mislead customers and prevent them from making right choices.
  • The Guidelines for Prevention and Regulation of Dark Patterns, 2023, issued under section 18 of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, have been notified by the CCPA in the Official Gazette on 30 November 2023.

Chandrayaan-3’s propulsion module back

  • The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has successfully brought the propulsion module (PM) from the Chandrayaan-3 mission back to Earth’s orbit.
  • The main function of PM is to carry the LM (lander module) from launch vehicle injection till final lunar 100 km circular polar orbit and separate the LM from PM.

Carbon capture

  • Lots of industrial facilities like coal-fired power plants and ethanol plants produce carbon dioxide.
  • To stop those planet-warming emissions from reaching the atmosphere, businesses can install equipment to separate that gas from all the other gases coming out of the smokestack, and transport it to where it can be permanently stored underground.
  • And even for industries trying to reduce emissions, some are likely to always produce some carbon, like cement manufacturers that use a chemical process that releases CO2.

Google Gemini

  • Google Gemini, a new multimodal general AI model that the tech giant calls its most powerful yet, is now available to users across the world through Bard, some developer platforms and even the new Google Pixel 8 Pro devices.

World’s first law on regulating AI

  • The EU reached a provisional deal on the world’s first set of comprehensive laws to regulate the use of artificial intelligence (AI) between the European Parliament and the EU member states.
  • The legislation includes safeguards on the use of AI within the EU, including clear guardrails on its adoption by law enforcement agencies, and consumers have been empowered to launch complaints against any perceived violations.


NCRB 2022 report

  • The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) released its annual report on crime in India for the year 2022 on 3 December 2023.
  • 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.
  • In 2022, 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 were registered”.

‘Cash for kidney’ racket

  • Apollo Hospitals chain is allegedly involved in an internationalcash for kidney’ racket, in which impoverished people from Myanmar are lured to sell their kidneys for profit, an investigation carried out by the UK’s Telegraph newspaper has revealed.

Mining for critical minerals

  • Twenty blocks of critical minerals are currently on auction for commercial mining by the private sector.
  • The mineral blocks contain lithium ore, which has use in batteries and electric vehicles, and another 10 of the 30 minerals that the government declared as “critical” in July.

India’s first Pompe disease patient passes away

  • Nidhi Shirol, India’s first Pompe disease patient, passed away at the age of 24 years after battling the disease. She spent the last six years in a semi-comatose state.
  • Pompe disease is also known as Glycogen Storage Disease Type II, Pompe disease is a rare genetic disorder caused by a deficiency of the enzymeacid alpha-glucosidase (GAA).
  • This enzyme is crucial for breaking down glycogen into glucose within the lysosomes of cells.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

  • Seventy-five years ago on 10 December, the UN General Assembly approved the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at a meeting in Paris – laying one of the foundation stones of the international order that emerged following the horrors of World War II.
  • A relatively compact document, the declaration consists of a preamble and 30 articles setting out fundamental rights and freedoms.

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