27 Dec 2023 : Daily Current Affairs

Daily Current Affairs


1. INS Imphal inducted into the Navy: Its features, combat capabilities

Topic: GS3 – Indigenization of technology

This topic relevant for both Prelims and Mains in the context of India’s Maritime Security

  • INS Imphal, the third stealth guided missile destroyer of the INS Visakhapatnam class, was recently commissioned into the Indian Navy.
  • This marks a significant milestone in the completion of Project 15B, which aimed to build advanced variants of the Kolkata class guided missile destroyers.

Project 15B Overview:

  • Project 15B involved the construction of a series of guided missile destroyers, including INS Visakhapatnam (commissioned in November 2021), INS Mormugao (commissioned in December 2022), and the upcoming INS Surat.
  • These ships were built by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) and designed by the Warship Design Bureau of the Indian Navy.

Building INS Imphal:

  • Keel-laying, launching, commissioning, and decommissioning were the four major ceremonial events associated with the building of INS Imphal.
  • With the keel being cast in May 2017, the ship being launched in April 2019, and the trials being finished in six months, INS Imphal’s construction and testing took less time than any other indigenous destroyer.

Capabilities of the Visakhapatnam Class:

  • With a displacement of 7,400 tonnes, the destroyers of the Visakhapatnam class measure 163 metres in length and 17.4 metres in width.
  • With their current propulsion system, they can go 4,000 nautical miles at a maximum speed of 30 knots.
  • These ships have anti-submarine warfare capabilities, a 127mm main cannon, Barak-8 surface-to-air missiles, and BrahMos cruise missiles among other cutting-edge weapons.

Advanced Features and Systems:

  • A total atmospheric control system (TACS) protects the destroyers from nuclear, biological, and chemical threats.
  • Allocating resources, making tactical decisions, and assessing threats are all made possible by a cutting-edge combat management system.
  • The ability of the boats to pilot two multirole helicopters increases their adaptability to a range of naval activities.

Tribute to North-East:

  • The Ministry of Defence highlights that the launch of INS Imphal is a tribute to the Northeast, citing the historical significance of Manipur in particular.
  • INS Imphal is acknowledged as the biggest and most sophisticated destroyer named after a city in the Northeast, signifying the region’s involvement in historical occurrences like as the Anglo-Manipur War and the Battle of Imphal during World War II as well as its contributions to India’s liberation movement.

PYQ: Which one of the following is the best description of ‘INS Astradharini’, that was in the news recently? (2016)

  1. Amphibious warfare ship
  2. Nuclear-powered submarine
  3. Torpedo launch and recovery vessel
  4. Nuclear-powered aircraft carrier

Ans: (3)

Practice Question: Discuss the strategic significance of the commissioning of INS Imphal, the latest addition to the INS Visakhapatnam class destroyers, in the context of India’s naval capabilities. (250 words/15 m)

2. India, Russia sign pacts on future units of Kudankulam plant

Topic: GS3– Nuclear Technology 

GS2–International Relations-Bilateral Relations
This topic is not much relevant in the context of Prelims but more for Mains in the context of significance of nuclear energy.
  • Important agreements pertaining to the future building of power-generating units at the nuclear power plant Kudankulam have been inked by Russia and India.
  • This statement was released by External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar after a thorough discussion on bilateral economic cooperation with Deputy Prime Minister Denis Manturov.

Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant Background:

  • Since March 2002, Russia has provided technical help for the development of the nuclear power station Kudankulam, which is situated in Tamil Nadu.
  • Since February 2016, the first power unit has been running at its 1,000 MW design capacity.
  • By 2027, the facility should be operating at full capacity, according to Russian state media.
  • What is Nuclear Energy?


  • The process of breaking atoms in a reactor produces steam, which heats water and powers a turbine to produce electricity.
  • Nuclear reactors and related machinery in nuclear power plants confine and regulate chain processes that produce heat through fission. These reactions are typically powered by uranium-235.

Emissions from Nuclear Power Generation:

  • Nuclear energy produces no emissions.
  • There are no air pollutants or greenhouse gases in it.

Land Usage:

  • Based on data from the US government, a 1,000-megawatt nuclear station requires 360 times less land than a wind farm with a similar capacity, and solar facilities require 75 times less land.

Significance for India:
Availability of Thorium:

  • India is at the forefront of a new nuclear fuel resource called thorium, which is seen as the fuel of the future.
  •  India may be the first country to achieve the goal of being fossil fuel-free thanks to the availability of thorium. 

Cuts Import Bills:

  • Additionally, the country will save almost $100 billion a year by using nuclear energy instead of importing coal and gasoline.

Stable and Reliable Source:

  • Without a doubt, solar and wind power are the greenest energy sources.
  • However, in spite of all its benefits, solar and wind power are unstable and overly reliant on daylight and weather.
  • On the other hand, nuclear power offers a high-density, dependable energy source that is globally present and somewhat clean.

How many Nuclear Power Plants does India have?
There are now 22 nuclear power reactors in operation in India, with a total installed capacity of 6780 MegaWatt electric (MWe). Several significant power plants include:

  • Kudankulam Nuclear Power Station (KKNPS), in Tamil Nadu
  • Narora Atomic Power Station (NAPS), in Uttar Pradesh
  • Kakrapar Atomic Power Station (KAPS), in Gujarat
  • Tarapur Atomic Power Station (TAPS), in Maharashtra
PYQ: With growing energy needs should India keep on expanding its nuclear energy programme? Discuss the facts and fears associated with nuclear energy. (UPSC CSE (M) GS-3 2018) (150 words/10 m)
Practice Question: Examine the recent developments in India-Russia bilateral relations, specifically focusing on the agreements signed related to the Kudankulam nuclear power plant. (150 words/10 m)

3. Turkey panel nod takes Sweden closer to NATO membership

Topic: GS2–International Relations – Regional and International Organizations and Summits

This topic is relevant for both Prelims and Mains in the context of bilateral groupings and agreements.
  • Sweden’s bid to join NATO has received approval from the Turkish parliament’s foreign affairs committee, which is a major step towards the Nordic nation’s eventual membership in the Western military alliance.

Sweden’s Intent to Join NATO:

  • Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Sweden and Finland, Nordic neighbors, applied to join NATO.
  • Sweden cited the changed security environment and the need to protect its security against Russian aggression as the primary motivation for seeking NATO membership.

Process for NATO Membership:

  • Interested countries must meet political and military standards, including having a functioning democratic system and the willingness to contribute to NATO operations.
  • Accession protocols require ratification by all NATO member states.

Turkey’s Objections:

  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan initially blocked Sweden’s fast-track application, citing concerns about terrorist organizations.
  • Turkey accused Sweden of harboring banned Kurdish organizations and demanded a tougher stance against them.

Tri-lateral Agreement and Ongoing Tensions:

  • In a NATO summit, Sweden and Finland reached an agreement with Turkey to intensify efforts to combat terrorism.
  • Turkey lifted its veto, and Sweden and Finland committed to extradition and deportation of suspected militants.
  • Tensions escalated between Sweden and Turkey after incidents like the hanging of an effigy of Erdogan and the burning of the Quran.
Objectives of NATO
  • NATO’s main goal is to defend its members against political and military attacks by non-members while also providing security.
  • NATO’s other goals include advancing democratic values and enabling members to voice their opinions on security and defense-related matters at regular intervals, which could help to avert protracted hostilities.
  • NATO offers a peaceful means of resolving disputes and guarantees the protection of its member nations. First things first, the issues need to be resolved diplomatically. In the future, military force may also be employed to resolve the issue if necessary.
  • These actions are carried out in accordance with the Washington Treaty’s Article 5 or the United Nations’ missions, either independently or in conjunction with other international organisations.
  • NATO only held a single vote on Article 5 in the wake of the 2001 World Trade Centre attacks.
Practice Question: Assess the diplomatic dynamics between Turkey and Sweden, particularly in relation to security concerns, and discuss the significance in the broader context of NATO’s expansion and regional geopolitics. (250 words/15 m)

4. ‘Fiscal deficit may breach 5.9% of GDP’

Topic: GS3 – Indian Economy

UPSC Significance: Understanding India’s fiscal deficit challenges crucial for aspirants, linking economic policies, parliamentary approvals, and budgetary implications.
  • India’s fiscal deficit may surpass the 5.9% GDP target, potentially reaching 6%, with buoyant tax collections compensating for a disinvestment shortfall.
  • A second supplementary demand is expected for increased spending.

More information on this news:

  • Fiscal Deficit Projection: India Ratings and Research anticipate the fiscal deficit to surpass the 5.9% GDP target, possibly reaching 6% for the current year.
  • Buoyant Tax Collections: Despite buoyant tax collections, a substantial shortfall in disinvestment outcomes could contribute to the fiscal deficit
  • Parliamentary Approval: The Centre has obtained parliamentary approval for the first supplementary demand for grants, involving an additional cash outgo of ₹53,378 crore.
  • Total Spending Commitment: The approved supplementary demand raises the total spending commitment for 2023-24 to6 lakh crore, covering 35.6 lakh crore of revenue expenditure and 10.1 lakh crore of capital expenditure.
  • Priority Areas for Additional Funds: The first supplementary demand focused on priority areas such as food, fertilizer, and LPG subsidy, indicating targeted spending in critical sectors.
More about Fiscal Deficit
  • Definition: Fiscal deficit is the difference between a government’s total revenue and its total expenditure, excluding money from borrowings.
  • Calculation: Fiscal deficit = Total Expenditure – Total Revenue (excluding borrowings).
  • Significance: Indicates the extent to which a government needs to borrow to meet its spending obligations.
  • Implications: High fiscal deficit may lead to increased government borrowing, potentially causing inflation and economic instability.
  • Management: Governments aim to control and manage fiscal deficits through budgetary policies, expenditure control, and revenue enhancement measures.
  • Macroeconomic Impact: It affects a country’s overall economic health, influencing factors like interest rates, investment climate, and overall financial stability.
  • Global Comparisons: Used to assess and compare fiscal health among different countries.
PYQ: What are the reasons for introduction of Fiscal responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) act, 2003? Discuss critically its salient features and their effectiveness. (UPSC CSE (M) GS-3 2013) (200 words/10 m)
Practice Question: Examine the factors contributing to India’s potential fiscal deficit breach, considering economic policies, supplementary demands, and the impact on budgetary commitments. (250 words/15 m)


5. Are graduates facing unemployment?

Topic: GS3 – Indian Economy – Unemployment.

UPSC Significance: Analyzing historical trends in youth unemployment is crucial, revealing structural challenges and informing policy responses for aspirants.
  • Despite declining overall unemployment rates, highly educated youth in India face persistent challenges, with unemployment rates fluctuating over the years.
  • The situation necessitates focused policy interventions for effective solutions.

Youth Unemployment Trends: A Historical Perspective

  • Visvesvaraya’s Concern: In 1932, Visvesvaraya highlighted the issue of unemployment among the educated, a problem resurfacing in recent events involving the Parliament breach.
  • Contrasting Views: While opposition blames the current government for rising youth unemployment, official data indicates a decreasing trend in unemployment rates from 6.1% in 2017-18 to 3.2% in 2022-23.

Structural Challenges in Youth Unemployment

  • Disparities in Unemployment Experience: Despite overall declining unemployment rates, disparities persist, especially for highly educated young workers, reflecting structural challenges in India’s economy.
  • Long-term Analysis (1993-2023):
    1. Overall Unemployment Rates: Low in the early 1990s, peaked at 5.77% in 2017-18, and reduced to 3.15% in 2022-23 for individuals aged 18 to 65.
    2. Graduates’ Unemployment Rates: Graduates consistently faced higher unemployment rates (9% in the 1990s, 17% in 2017-18, and 13% in 2022-23), indicating a persistent challenge.
    3. Young Graduates (18-29): Increased from 20% in 2011-12 to 36% in 2017-18, gradually reducing to 27% in 2022-23, portraying a complex trend for this demographic.
    4. Increasing Share of Graduates: With higher education expansion, the share of graduates in the labour force rose from 5% in 1993-94 to approximately 15% in 2022-23.

Implications and Recommendations

  • Worrying Feature: Youth unemployment is not an aberration but a concerning feature of the Indian labour market, necessitating a deeper analysis of its root causes.
  • Areas of Concern: Challenges could stem from the education system’s failure to impart necessary skills or the economy’s struggle to generate adequate jobs for the increasing number of educated job-seekers.
  • Policy Intervention: Urgent measures are required to address youth unemployment, ensuring that educational aspirations align with market demands and tapping into the potential of the demographic dividend.


  • Understanding the historical trajectory of youth unemployment, especially among highly educated individuals, provides insights into persistent challenges and underscores the need for targeted policy interventions.
PYQ: Most of the unemployment in India is structural in nature. Examine the methodology adopted to compute unemployment in the country and suggest improvements. (250 words/15m) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-3 2023)

6. Confusion over implementation of newly enacted criminal laws.

Topic: GS3 – Governance – Government Policies.

UPSC Significance: Understanding challenges in implementing new criminal laws in India reflects the need for systemic improvements and legal clarity for aspirants.
  • The implementation of three new criminal laws in India faces confusion as required infrastructure and police training are lacking, causing delays and uncertainties at police stations and courts nationwide.

 More information on this news:

  • Confusion prevails at police stations and courts after three new criminal laws replace British-era laws in India.
  • Required infrastructure and police training are lacking, delaying effective implementation for several months.
  • Union Home Minister Amit Shah aims to complete infrastructure, software, and training by December 2024 for Union Territories.
  • Simultaneous implementation in States and Union Territories is expected, replacing the Indian Penal Code, Indian Evidence Act, and Code of Criminal Procedure.
  • Existing software for FIR registration under CCTNS needs modification, causing confusion and lack of clarity regarding supplementary chargesheets.


  • The delay and confusion surrounding the implementation of new criminal laws in India highlight the crucial need for infrastructure, software updates, and comprehensive police training to ensure a seamless transition.

7. India, Russia ink ‘key’ pacts related to Kudankulam nuclear power plant.

Topic: GS2 – International Relations, GS3 – Energy Security

India-Russia agreements on Kudankulam enhance nuclear cooperation, critical for energy security and diplomatic ties, impacting UPSC global relations and energy security questions.
  • India and Russia signed significant agreements for the Kudankulam nuclear power plant during External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar’s visit.
  • The collaboration focuses on the construction of future power-generating units.

Additional information on the news:

  • India and Russia signed crucial agreements related to the construction of future power-generating units at the Kudankulam nuclear power plant.
  • External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Deputy Prime Minister Denis Manturov oversaw the signing during their comprehensive meeting.
  • The Kudankulam nuclear power plant, India’s largest, receives technical assistance from Russia, and the agreements signify further collaboration in the nuclear domain.
  • The plant’s first unit has been operational since February 2016, and it is expected to reach full capacity by 2027.
PYQ: Give an account of the growth and development of nuclear science and technology in India. What is the advantage of fast breeder reactor programme in India? (250 words/15m) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-3 2017)

8. Renewable energy investments to surge 83% to $16.5 billion in 2024

Topic: GS3 – Energy – Renewable Energy

Critical for UPSC: India’s push for $16.5 billion renewable energy investments aligns with ambitious 500 GW target by 2030, crucial for sustainability.
  • India aims for an 83% increase in renewable energy investments to $16.5 billion in 2024, aligning with the target of 500 GW renewable energy by 2030 and reducing carbon emissions.

Additional information on the news:

  • India to witness over 83% increase in renewable energy (RE) investments to $16.5 billion in 2024.
  • Aligned with the goal of achieving 500 GW of renewable energy by 2030.
  • Focus on reducing carbon emissions and transitioning to non-fossil fuel power generation.
  • Anticipated 25 GW of renewable energy capacity addition in 2024, higher than the 13.5 GW in 2023.
  • Emphasis on green hydrogen to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, particularly diesel.
  • Union Cabinet approved the National Green Hydrogen Mission with a ₹19,744 crore outlay in January.
PYQ: Do you think India will meet 50 percent of its energy needs from renewable energy by 2030? Justify your answer. How will the shift of subsidies from fossil fuels to renewables help achieve the above objective? Explain.
(250 words/15m) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-3 2022)


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