Today's Headlines

Today's Headlines - 17 September 2023

Ozone Day 2023

GS Paper - 3 (Environment)

The delicate ozone layer is a shield of gas that protects our planet from harmful parts of the Sun’s radiation, playing an important role in preserving life on Earth. 16 September this year is celebrated as Ozone Day under the theme “Montreal Protocol: Fixing the ozone layer and reducing climate change.”

What is the ozone layer?

  • Ozone is a molecule that is made up of three oxygen atoms. A layer of this gas sits in our planet’s stratosphere between 15 and 30 kilometres above the surface.
  • It absorbs a portion of the radiation from the Sun, preventing it from reaching the planet.
  • Importantly it prevents UVB radiation from reaching the Earth and harming humans and other living beings.
  • The ozone layer is on track to recover completely within the next four decades, thanks to the global phaseout of ozone-depleting chemicals.
  • A panel of experts backed by the United Nations confirmed this during research presented at the American Meteorological Society’s 103rd annual meeting in January.
  • According to the report, the ozone layer should recover to values before the appearance of the ozone hole by around 2066 over the Antarctic, 2025 over the Arctic and 2040 for the rest of the world if current conservation policies remain in place.

The ozone hole

  • Ozone molecules are constantly formed and destroyed in the stratosphere. If it were not for humans, the total amount of ozone in the layer would remain constant over time.
  • But the ozone molecules in the atmosphere get destroyed when they come in contact with bromine and chlorine atoms released by human-made chemicals.
  • Using these chemicals causes ozone molecules to be destroyed faster than they are created. Widespread use of such chemicals eventually caused the formation of a hole in the ozone layer.


  • The Montreal Protocol brought together world governments in a rampantly successful effort to protect the ozone layer by phasing out many ozone-depleting substances.
  • This resolution was so successful that in 2003, then-UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan referred to the Montreal Protocol as “perhaps the single most successful international agreement to date.”

SC onboarded data on National Judicial Data Grid

GS Paper - 2 (Polity)

The Supreme Court onboarded its case data on the National Judicial Data Grid. The NJDG portal is a national repository of data relating to cases institutedpending and disposed of by the courts across the country.

What is the National Judicial Data Grid?

  • NJDG ( is a database of ordersjudgments and case details of 18,735 District and subordinate Courts and High Courts created as an online platform under the eCourts Project.
  • Its key feature is that the data is updated in real-time and has granular data up to the Taluka level.

Who runs the NJDG?

  • The NJDG was built as part of Phase II of the e-Courts project, which is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme.
  • With over 18,735 courts computerised across the country, the data is integrated with the NJDG.
  • The platform has been developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) in close coordination with the in-house software development team of the Computer Cell, Registry of the Supreme Court with an interactive interface and analytics dashboard.
  • Currently, litigants can access case status information of 23.81 crore cases and more than 23.02 crore orders/judgments.

How does the data help?

  • NJDG works as a monitoring tool to identifymanage & reduce pendency of cases. Take, for instance, the Supreme Court data.
  • For the year 2023, the total pendency of registered cases in SC is 64,854. But the Cases instituted last month were 5,412 while cases disposed of in the last month were 5,033.
  • This shows that the pendency in SC is largely due to legacy cases since the Court is currently disposing of approximately the same number of cases filed on an annual basis.
  • It also helps identify specific bottlenecks in judicial processes. For example, if the number of land disputes in a particular state shoots up, it helps policymakers look into whether the law needs to be strengthened.
  • Referring to the data of year-wise pendency of cases, the CJI said the apex court has less than a hundred cases pending before 2000 and it gives data tools to the Chief Justice to re-organise work and dispose of the oldest cases.
  • It also helps generate inputs related to particular areas of law. For example, to track cases related to land disputes, Land Records data of 26 States have been linked with NJDG.

Apple abandoning Generative AI for Intuitive AI

GS Paper - 3 (Emerging Technology)

Apple has clearly opted for something known as Intuitive AI in place of generative AI. The main function of Intuitive AI is to offer some nuanced and subtle AI-backed changes to daily use cases such as photography and answering calls.

What is Intuitive AI?

  • The latest chip has been designed by the tech behemoth to add more power to its machine-learning algorithms.
  • The company has been evidently focussed on AI that is intuitive and not generative and this was evident with the features that it demonstrated during the event.
  • These subtle changes include smoothening glitches to predictions that are seemingly harmless.

How is Apple using Intuitive AI?

  • The most noteworthy feature is the use of machine learning for voice recognition of the user.
  • This enables the device to quieten the background noise on calls. Besides, the camera and computational photography also use AI features.
  • These include automatic detection of people and pets in a frame to offer insights that could enable a user to turn these images into portraits at a later stage.

AI and accessibility

  • Intuitive AI is just not constrained to the above-mentioned use cases; Apple has also introduced it in its new accessibility features.
  • The Point and Speak feature in the Magnifier app allows those with low vision to read labels on objects.
  • They simply need to point the phone in the direction of the object and the device will read out.
  • For users with speech issues, the latest OS from Apple can produce a synthetic voice similar to their voice. To do this, they simply need to read out 15 minutes of text inputs.

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