Today's Headlines

Today's Headlines - 01 March 2023

National Science Day 2023

GS Paper - 3 (Science)

National Science Day in India is celebrated on 28th February every year to commemorate the discovery of the Raman Effect by Indian physicist Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman, also known as Sir C.V. Raman. The discovery was announced on 28th February 1928, and Raman won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1930, making him the first Indian to receive a Nobel Prize in a scientific field. This year’s edition is being celebrated under the theme of “Global Science for Global Wellbeing”, in light of India’s G20 presidency.

What is CV Raman Effect

  1. The Raman Effect is a phenomenon in which a photon interacts with a molecule, causing it to undergo a change in energy and momentum.
  2. Specifically, when a photon interacts with a molecule, it can transfer some of its energy and momentum to the molecule, causing it to vibrate or rotate.
  3. This change in the molecule's energy and momentum results in a shift in the wavelength of the scattered photon, which is known as Raman scattering.
  4. The Raman effect is used in Raman spectroscopy, which is a technique used to identify and analyze the chemical composition of materials.
  5. In Raman spectroscopy, a laser is used to excite the molecules in a sample, and the resulting Raman scattering is measured and analyzed to determine the vibrational and rotational modes of the molecules in the sample.

Objectives of National Science Day

  1. The idea of celebrating National Science Day was first proposed by the National Council for Science and Technology Communication (NCSTC) in 1986, and it was subsequently accepted by the Indian government.
  2. The first National Science Day was celebrated on 28th February 1987.
  3. The day is celebrated to recognize and appreciate the contributions of scientists and researchers to the field of science and to create awareness among the general public about the importance of science and its applications in everyday life.
  4. It is an opportunity to promote scientific temper and encourage young people to take up careers in science.

India’s proposed MIIRA to promote millets

GS Paper - 1 (Geography)

India has introduced a draft to launch a global initiative to encourage the consumption and production of millet. The draft of the proposed initiative — MIIRA — was placed during the first Agriculture Deputies Meeting under the Agriculture Working Group (AWG), G20 at Indore, Madhya Pradesh. During the meeting, Shubha Takur, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, introduced the MIIRA.

What is MIIRA?

  1. The acronym MIIRA stands for ‘Millet International Initiative for Research and Awareness’.
  2. According to Agriculture Ministry sources, the MIIRA will be aimed at coordinating millet research programmes at the international level.
  3. It is in line with the UN declaring 2023 as the International Year of Millets, the proposal for which was moved by India and supported by 72 countries.
  4. The International Year will see several events and activities such as conferencesissuing of stamps and coins etc. to raise awareness about millets, improve their production and quality, and attract investments. The Centre also plans to make India a global hub for millets.

What is the aim of MIIRA?

  1. According to the sources, MIIRA will aim to connect millet research organisations across the world while also supporting research on these crops.
  2. This is significant as issues like food security and nutrition are among the key priority areas in the agriculture sector during India’s G20 Presidency. India assumed the G20 Presidency on 1 December 2022.
  3. Besides setting up a web platform to connect researchers and holding international research conferences, the plan is also to raise awareness for promoting the consumption of millet.

Who will fund the MIIRA initiative?

  1. For MIIRA to take off, India will contribute the “seed money”, while each G20 member will later have to contribute to its budget in the form of a membership fee.
  2. The MIIRA secretariat will be in Delhi, the sources said, adding that with India being a major producer of millets, this will ensure a flow of investment from the country’s industry and research bodies.

Which food grains are called millets?

  1. Millets are small-grained cereals such as sorghum (jowar)pearl millet (bajra)foxtail millet (kangni/ Italian millet), little millet (kutki), kodo millet, finger millet (ragi/ mandua), proso millet (cheena/ common millet)barnyard millet (sawa/ sanwa/ jhangora), and brown top millet (korale).
  2. These crops require much less water than rice and wheat, and are mainly grown in rainfed areas.
  3. Gobally, jowar is the most widely grown millet crop; its major producers are the USChinaAustraliaIndiaArgentinaNigeria, and Sudan.

 Sebi proposes changes to rules for REITs

GS Paper -3 (Economy)

Sebi has proposed changes to rules governing REITs and InvITs whereby sponsors will be required to own a certain percentage of units in these investment vehicles.

More about the news:

  1. The markets regulator said the changes are being proposed keeping in mind the interest of unit holders and the structural vulnerabilities associated with absence of a sponsor for Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs).
  2. The watchdog has suggested that the sponsors of REITs/InvITs should hold 15 percent of the capital for a period of three years from the date of listing as there is no mandatory unit holding requirement after three years.
  3. It has also been proposed to mandate sponsors to hold 5 percent of the unit capital after 3-5 years, 3 percent from 5-10 years, 2 percent from 10-20 years and 1 percent after 20 years.
  4. It is done in order to ensure that there is some alignment of interest with the unit holder. Also, the REIT/InvIT industry is in a nascent stage and continuously evolving.
  5. Sebi noted that most of the sponsors have significant shareholding in managers of REITs/InvITs which gives them the right to appoint directors and also has a say in the financing related decisions of the investment managers especially in debt financing.
  6. According to the regulator, a sponsor of a REIT/InvIT whose units have been listed on the stock exchanges for a period of three years can be permitted to declassify as the sponsor subject to certain conditions, including that there has to be a new inducted sponsor in place of the existing sponsor getting declassified.
  7. At present, there are 5 REITs and 19 InvITs registered with Sebi. Out of them, 3 REITs and 15 InvITs have raised funds through initial offer and/or further offer.



  1. It refers to an entity created with the sole purpose of channelling investible funds into operating, owning or financing income-producing real estate.
  2. REITs are modelled on the lines of mutual funds and provide investors with an extremely liquid way to get a stake in real estate.
  3. It is a type of security that provides all types of investors, big or small, an outlet for regular income, portfolio diversification, and long-term capital appreciation. Like any other security, REITs can enlist themselves on a stock exchange. 
  4. In India, the Real Estate Investment Trusts were introduced by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) in 2007. In September, 2013, Sebi came out with revised regulations for REITs, which were approved on September 26, 2014. 


  1. An Infrastructure Investment Trust (InvITs) is like a mutual fund,which enables direct investment of small amounts of money from possible individual/institutional investors in infrastructure to earn a small portion of the income as return.
  2. InvITs work like mutual funds or real estate investment trusts (REITs) in features. InvITs can be treated as the modified version of REITs designed to suit the specific circumstances of the infrastructure sector. 
  3. Sebi notified the Sebi (Infrastructure Investment Trusts) Regulations, 2014 on September 26, 2014, providing for registration and regulation of InvITs in India.
  4. The objective of InvITs is to facilitate investment in the infrastructure sector. 

Constitutional Validity of Agni Path

GS Paper - 2 (Polity)

The Delhi High Court upheld the validity of the Agni path scheme for the temporary recruitment of youths into the armed forces. The Division Bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad dismissed a bunch of petitions challenging the Central Government’s scheme and maintained that it has been introduced in “national interest”.


  1. The Agnipath scheme was unveiled in June last year outlining rules for armed forces recruitment.
  2. Under the scheme, around 46,000 soldiers between the ages of 17.5 and 21 years who would be known as “Agniveers” will be recruited into the three services for a period of four years on a short-term contractual basis.
  3. Later, the government extended the upper age limit to 23 years for recruitment in 2022.
  4. After this period, only 25% of the selected candidates will be absorbed into permanent positions while the others will be retired.
  5. The scheme’s introduction triggered widespread protests across several parts of the country, particularly in the wake of rising unemployment and inflation.
  6. ballooning section of job aspirants complained that the scheme does not offer pensions and social security benefits for Agni veers who will be left unemployed after four years of service.