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Daily Current Affairs



Topic: GS3- Science and Tech


  • The first batch of photos from the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Euclid telescope, which was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, in July, have been made public.
  • Even though NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has previously studied these celestial landscapes, Euclid’s exceptional resolution and extensive field coverage make them stand out.

Euclid vs. JWST: Contrasting Missions

  • Unlike the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), which is limited to certain areas of the sky, Euclid is excellent in imaging large yet finely detailed parts of the universe.
  • While the JWST’s ethereal space imagery captivates viewers, Euclid seeks to accomplish a similar effect by offering an alternative viewpoint.
  • Because of its ability to image wide areas, the telescope is useful for jobs like finding elusive things, such free-floating worlds.

Unraveling the Universe’s ‘Dark’ Secrets

  • The main task of Euclid is to map one-third of the extragalactic sky.
  • Researchers hope that Euclid’s data may provide light on how dark matter—the enigmatic substance that holds the cosmos together—affects the motions and forms of space’s observable objects.
  • By helping to chart the distribution of galaxies over cosmic time, the telescope’s high-resolution imagery could also contribute to our understanding of dark energy, the force that is tearing the universe apart.
  • Early photos from the telescope have already shown a wide range of cosmic structures, such as the Perseus cluster, which may indicate the existence of dark matter.

Future Plans and Expectations

  • In 2025, scientists hope to publish Euclid’s initial universe maps.
  • More sky space is predicted to be covered by these maps than by all of the data that the Hubble Space Telescope has so far gathered.
  • Euclid is a vital instrument for deepening our grasp of the wide cosmos because of his contributions to solving the riddles of dark matter, comprehending cosmic structures, and figuring out the function of dark energy.


2) UNESCO declares Gwalior ‘city of music’: story of its melodious past

Topic: Prelims, Culture


  • Recently, Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, was granted membership in UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network, specifically being designated as the ‘City of Music.’
  • This acknowledgement highlights Gwalior’s steadfast dedication to utilizing creativity and culture.
  • In addition, Kozikodhe in Kerala was recognized as the ‘City of Literature.’

Royal Patronage and Musical Heritage in Gwalior

  • Gwalior has a long and illustrious history in Indian music, closely linked to royal patronage. Because many of the city’s leaders were also musicians, they helped to create an atmosphere that supported the arts.
  • Remarkably, Raja Man Singh Tomar fostered the growth of the Gwalior gharana, the earliest Hindustani classical music group, during the 15th century.
  • Man Singh was a king who loved music and is credited with creating the traditional form of dhrupad and popularizing Indian music by substituting songs in basic Hindi for Sanskrit melodies.

Evolution of the Gwalior Gharana and Contribution to Classical Music

  • Prior to the division of Hindustani classical music into different gharanas, Gwalior became the first legitimate gharana during the Mughal era.
  • With early ustads like Naththan Khan and Naththan Pir Baksh, the Gwalior gharana was crucial in the development of khayal singing, which included aspects of qawwali.
  • Persian terms were included into compositions, and artists such as Ustad Naththan Pir Baksh, who established the systematic method of presenting a raga called khayal, contributed to the gharana’s continued impact.

Tansen and the Gwalior Gharana’s Legacy

  • Gwalior’s protégé Mian Tansen developed the Gwalior gharana style while studying under Muhammad Ghous and Swami Haridas.
  • He gained prominence in King Ram Chandra Singh of Rewa’s court and, later, in Akbar’s court due to his musical prowess.
  • Tansen’s impact grew, and via the influential Gwalior-based musician Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan, the Bangash gharana was founded.

Notable Figures and Legacy of Gwalior’s Musical Heritage

  • Renowned artists like Bade Inayat Hussain Khan, Vasudeva Buwa Joshi, and Balakrishnabuwa Ichalkaranjikar are descended from Gwalior.
  • Gwalior’s musical history has endured over time thanks to the contributions of prominent figures from the following generation, including Pt Venkatesh Kumar, Malini Rajurkar, Veena Sahasrabuddhe, and Pt Kumar Gandharv.

3) New island emerges after undersea volcano erupts off Japan

Topic: Prelims


  • Three weeks ago, Ioto, a Japanese term for an underwater volcano situated about one kilometer off the southern shore of Iwo Jima, erupted, offering a rare view of the formation of a new island.
  • Volcanic ash and debris began to accumulate on the shallow seabed on October 21, and by early November, a new island roughly 100 meters in diameter and as high as 20 meters above sea level had been formed by the sequence of eruptions.

Significance of the New Island Formation

  • Experts from the volcano division of the Japan Meteorological Agency view the formation of a new island as a noteworthy event. Despite a decrease in volcanic activity, the island’s size has decreased because of how easily waves may erode its “crumbly” formation.
  • To learn more about the nature of the new island which might not last long unless it is made of more resilient materials like lava experts are now examining the deposits.

Uncertain Longevity and Historical Precedents

  • While historically new islands have been generated as a result of seismic activity and underwater volcanoes, the lifespan of these newly formed islands is yet unknown.
  • Past examples of the dynamic character of these formations include the Pacific Ocean eruption at Nishinoshima in 2013 and the creation of a small island following a 7-magnitude earthquake in Pakistan in the same year.
  • Japan, which is located on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” is home to around 111 of the 1,500 active volcanoes in the world.
  • The country’s volcanic environment has been further enhanced by recent volcanic activity near Iwo Jima.

Potential Short Lifespan and Geological Analysis

  • According to experts, the island’s ability to survive relies on its composition; if it is composed of lava or other strong elements, it may be able to withstand more damage over time.
  • But the island might not stay long, since volcanic rocks like pumice are easily broken. The goal of ongoing geological analysis is to shed more light on the composition and structure of the island.
  • The brief duration of these geological occurrences is highlighted by the historical setting of such structures.
  • In addition to its geological significance, Iwo Jima is historically significant as the location of fierce combat during World War II.

4) Bihar House passes Bill to raise quota cap from 50% to 65%

Topic: GS1- Society


  • A measure to raise the overall quota for Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs), Extremely Backward Classes (EBCs), and Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in government jobs and educational institutions from 50% to 65% was unanimously passed by the Bihar Assembly.
  • With the 10% quota now in place for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS), the effective quota is at 75%.
  • The projected increases in the quotas of the OBCs and EBCs, from 8% to 18% and 12% to 25%, respectively, will primarily benefit these groups.

Breakdown of Quota Changes

  • The state’s caste survey indicates that 13% of people are classed as OBCs and 36.01% of people belong to the EBC category.
  • The proposed new SC quota is 20%, which is an increase from the current 14%, taking into account the estimated 19.65% SC population.
  • But because there are less tribal people in Bihar than 2% of the total population, the projected quota for STs is only going to drop from 10% to 2%.

Historical Context and Supreme Court’s Reservation Ceiling

  • The decision to raise the reservation quota is consistent with the state’s objective of promoting inclusive growth and comes after the 1992 ruling in “Indra Sawhney v. Union of India” by the Supreme Court, which established a 50% reservation cap.
  • The suggested modifications demonstrate a proactive strategy to alleviate social inequalities in Bihar.

The Need for Increased Reservation

  • The decision to raise the reservation quota in Bihar to 65% comes as a response to the pressing need for social upliftment and inclusivity.
  • Historically marginalized communities, including ST, SC, and OBC groups, have faced systemic discrimination and limited access to resources, education, and opportunities.
  • By increasing reservation, the government aims to bridge the gap and provide a more equitable platform for these communities to thrive.

Challenges and Way Forward

  • While the increased reservation quota in Bihar is undoubtedly a positive step, it is essential to address a few challenges in its implementation.
  • Ensuring the availability of quality education, infrastructure, and training opportunities for students from underprivileged backgrounds will be crucial.
  • Additionally, promoting social harmony and eradicating caste-based prejudices through awareness campaigns and inclusive initiatives will help build a truly equitable society.


  • The Bihar Assembly’s decision to increase reservation for ST, SC, and OBC communities to 65% marks a remarkable leap towards social inclusivity and empowerment.
  • This progressive move has the potential to transform the lives of millions of individuals who have long been denied equal opportunities. It signifies the government’s commitment to fostering a more just and inclusive society.
  • By providing better access to education and employment, this decision can turn the tide for marginalized communities in Bihar and set a precedent for other states to follow.
  • Ultimately, the increased reservation quota paves the way for a brighter future, where every citizen can realize their full potential and contribute to the nation’s growth.

5) Understanding the Cash-for-Query Scam in Indian Parliament

Topic: GS2- Polity, GS4- Ethics

  • A “cash-for-query” complaint is an accusation that someone took money in exchange for asking questions in Parliament.
  • For example, in 2005, 11 former MPs were put on trial for a “cash-for-query” scam. The sting showed them taking cash to raise questions in Parliament

Evolution of Ethics Committee in Parliament:

  • Background: A resolution adopted at the Presiding Officers Conference held in October, 1996 which desired the legislatures to explore the possibility of constituting an Ethics Committee.
  • Rajya Sabha Committee: Ethics Committee, Rajya Sabha, the first such Committee by any legislature in India was constituted by the Chairman, Rajya Sabha on 4 March 1997, to oversee the moral and ethical conduct of the Members.
  • Application of Rules: It was provided that in all respects of procedure and other matters, the rules applicable to the Committee of Privileges shall apply to the Ethics Committee with such variations and modifications as the Chairman/Speaker from time to time makes.
  • Lok Sabha Committee: Speaker 13th Lok Sabha (Late Shri G.M.C. Balayogi) constituted the first Ethics Committee in Lok Sabha on 16 May, 2000.

Role and Function of Ethics Committee:

  • Ensure Good Conduct: To oversee the moral and ethical conduct of the Members;
  • Adjudicating Disputes: To examine the cases referred to with reference to ethical and other misconduct of the Members.
  • In-Depth Examination: Examine every complaint relating to the unethical conduct of a member of Lok Sabha referred to it by the Speaker and make such recommendations as it may deem fit.
  • Suggestions and Reforms: Formulate a Code of Conduct for members and suggest amendments or additions to the Code of Conduct from time to time.

Challenges Faced by the Ethics Committee in Parliament

  • Overlapping Responsibilities: The Ethics Committee and the Privileges Committee occasionally deal with similar cases. More serious allegations typically go to the Privileges Committee.
  • Conflict with constitutional principles: Parliamentary privileges may sometimes conflict with other constitutional principles, such as equality before the law. Example: the privilege of immunity from arrest and legal process may be seen as giving members of parliament special privileges that are not available to other citizens.
  • Short Tenure: Members of the Committee of Ethics are appointed for a one-year tenure. This provides very less time for in-depth examination of the Code of Conduct and long-term policy making.
  • Advisory Opinion: Decisions of the Committee on Ethics are advisory and not binding on the Speaker. This can lead to political influence in decision-making.

Upholding Morality in Indian Politics: Challenges and Imperatives

  • Hallmark of Public Life: Ethics and morality have been the hallmark of public life in India since ancient times.
  • Importance in Freedom Struggle: This ethical and moral legacy was inherited by its national leaders, who demonstrated a high degree of probity and honesty in public life during the freedom struggle led by Mahatma Gandhi.
  • Morality in Practicality: He not only preached morality in public life but also practised it. He believed that politics without morality is a thing to be avoided.             
  • Recent Issues: However, in recent years there is a general feeling that all is not well with the Indian political system which is functioning under great strain. Concerns are being expressed over the general decline of values in public life.
  • Preventing Abuse of Power: Morality and ethics serve as a check on the abuse of power by political leaders.When politicians act unethically, it can lead to corruption, authoritarianism, and the erosion of democratic institutions.
  • Distinguishing Roles: Ethics Committee and Privileges Committee in Parliament
  • Overlapping Functions: The work of the Ethics Committee and the Privileges Committee often overlap. An allegation of corruption against an MP can be sent to either body, but usually, more serious accusations go to the Privileges Committee.
  • Jurisdiction: A non-MP too can be interrogated by the privilege committee for actions that attack the authority and dignity of the House. The Ethics Committee can take up only cases of misconduct that involve MPs.

6) Nagaland passes Bill retaining 33% women’s reservation for ULB polls

Topic: GS2- Polity


  • The Nagaland Assembly unanimously approved the Nagaland Municipal Bill 2023 at a special session, keeping the contentious 33% reservation for women in urban local bodies.
  • For almost 20 years, this reservation has been an ongoing issue that has impeded civic polls throughout the state.
  • The action attempts to solve issues with women’s representation in local government.

Exclusion of Women’s Reservation for Chairperson Post

  • The new Bill eliminates the provision for women to hold the position of chairperson in municipal bodies, even though it keeps the 33% quota for women.
  • This big move coincides with the State Election Commission’s (SEC) impending announcement of local polling dates.
  • The decision to deviate from the previous Act is to exclude reservations for the position of chairperson.

Repealing the Nagaland Municipal Act 2001

  • The Nagaland Assembly decided to repeal the Nagaland Municipal Act 2001 in March of this year in response to protests and boycott demands from tribal and civil society organizations.
  • The long-standing issue of municipal elections, which were last conducted in the state in 2004, prompted the repeal.

Acceptance by Apex Tribal Bodies and Changes in the Bill

  • The top tribal bodies, which had earlier opposed women’s reservation, have now expressed their acceptance of it, according to Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio.
  • The new Bill tackles the reservation issue as well as doing away with clauses that would have taxed immovable property, which is in line with the Nagas’ historical resistance to taxation.

Historical Significance and Past Opposition

  • In the past, the problems of women’s reservations and municipal votes have had serious repercussions, even toppling administrations.
  • Then-Chief Minister TR Zeliang resigned in 2017 as a result of violent protests against plans to enforce the 33% reservation and hold urban local body elections.
  • Zeliang, the deputy chief minister in place at the moment, expressed excitement over the Bill’s approval, noting that it represents a major shift in Nagaland’s political climate.


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