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Daily Current Affairs

27-March -2024- Top News of the Day

1. Employment scenario in India grim, says ILO report

Topic: GS3 – Indian Economy – Issues relating to development and employment.

Critical for understanding India’s employment dynamics, labor market challenges, and social inequalities, relevant for UPSC’s economy and society syllabus.

●   The news highlights the India Employment Report 2024, revealing a rise in unemployment among educated youth, challenges in labour market indicators, and persisting social inequalities.

 Additional information on this news:

  • The India Employment Report 2024 by ILO and IHD reveals a significant rise in unemployment among educated youth, reaching 65.7% in 2022.
  • Youth constitute almost 83% of the unemployed workforce in the country, indicating a critical challenge in employment generation.
  • While employment and underemployment of youth increased till 2019, there was a decline during the pandemic years, especially among educated youth.
  • Labour market indicators like LFPR, WPR, and UR deteriorated between 2000 and 2018 but showed improvement after 2019, coinciding with periods of economic distress.
  • Despite growth in non-farm employment, the non-farm sectors struggle to absorb workers from agriculture, contributing to widespread livelihood insecurities.
  • India faces challenges of informal employment, contractualisation, and inadequate social protection measures, particularly in the non-agriculture, organized sector.
  • The report highlights deficiencies in youth skills, gender gap in the labour market, and persisting social inequalities, especially among Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, despite affirmative action and targeted policies.
Reasons for high unemployment in India despite economic growth:

Reasons for High Unemployment:

●   Skill Mismatch: Lack of alignment between available skills and job market demands contributes to unemployment.

● Informal Sector Dominance: Dominance of the informal sector with low job security and wages perpetuates unemployment.

●   Slow Industrial Growth: Slow growth in industrial sectors fails to generate sufficient job opportunities.

●  Educational System Flaws: Education system inadequacies result in a mismatch between skills acquired and industry requirements.

●   Population Growth: Rapid population growth exacerbates job demand-supply imbalance.

●  Technological Displacement: Automation and technological advancements replace human labour, leading to job loss.

●   Underemployment: Many employed individuals are underutilised, contributing to disguised unemployment.

Way Forward:

●  Skill Development Initiatives: Enhance skill development programs to bridge the gap between education and industry needs.

●  Promotion of Formal Employment: Encourage formalisation of the informal sector to provide job security and benefits.

●  Industrial Diversification: Promote diversification and growth of industries to create more job opportunities.

●   Education Reform: Revamp education system to focus on practical skills and vocational training.

●   Population Management: Implement policies for effective population control to align with job market dynamics.

● Adaptation to Technology: Invest in retraining programs to adapt to technological changes and mitigate job displacement.

●   Job Creation Policies: Formulate and implement policies to promote entrepreneurship and create more employment opportunities.

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)
Practice Question:  Discuss the findings of the India Employment Report 2024 and its implications for India’s labour market policies. (150 Words /10 marks)

2. Sensing China threat, India joins Sri Lanka in race for seabed mining; applies for exploration rights

Topic: GS2 – International relations, GS3 –  Indian Economy

Important for understanding India’s strategic interests, maritime policies, and regional dynamics, relevant to UPSC’s international relations syllabus.

●   The news discusses India’s application to explore the Afanasy Nikitin Seamount in the Indian Ocean, driven by concerns over Chinese presence and resource exploration.


Additional information on this news:

  • India applied to the International Seabed Authority (ISBA) for rights to explore the Afanasy Nikitin Seamount (AN Seamount) in the Indian Ocean.
  • The AN Seamount, rich in cobalt, nickel, manganese, and copper deposits, is located in the Central Indian Basin.
  • China’s reported reconnaissance activities in the region prompted India’s application, despite Sri Lanka already claiming rights to the area.
  • Exploration licenses must be obtained from the ISBA for any extraction activities in the open ocean, where no country can claim sovereignty.
  • The Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, linked to UNCLOS, may affect India’s exploration plans, especially regarding continental shelf claims in the Bay of Bengal.
  • Sri Lanka has applied for an extended continental shelf claim up to 500 nautical miles, posing potential competition for India’s exploration interests.
  • India’s application aims to safeguard its interests in the face of increasing Chinese presence in the region and potential future consequences.
 What is Seabed Mining?  And it’s Importance for Modern Economies:


Seabed mining refers to the extraction of minerals and resources from the ocean floor, typically found in the form of polymetallic nodules, hydrothermal vents, and cobalt-rich crusts.

Importance for Modern Economies:

● Resource Availability: Seabed mining offers access to vast untapped mineral resources, including manganese, copper, cobalt, nickel, and rare earth elements, essential for modern industries like electronics, renewable energy, and manufacturing.

●  Diversification of Resource Supply: It provides an alternative source of critical minerals, reducing dependency on terrestrial mining and mitigating supply chain vulnerabilities.

● Technological Advancements: Advances in deep-sea exploration and extraction technologies have made seabed mining increasingly feasible and economically viable.

●  Economic Growth: Seabed mining activities contribute to economic growth by creating employment opportunities, fostering technological innovation, and generating revenue for participating countries.

● Energy Transition: Minerals extracted from the seabed, such as cobalt for battery production, play a crucial role in facilitating the global transition towards renewable energy sources and electric vehicles.


● Environmental Impact: Seabed mining can cause irreversible damage to marine ecosystems, disrupting fragile habitats, and endangering marine biodiversity.

●  Regulatory Framework: There is a lack of comprehensive international regulations governing seabed mining, leading to concerns regarding resource exploitation, environmental protection, and equitable distribution of benefits.

Technological Limitations: Deep-sea mining operations face technical challenges, including extreme pressure, corrosive seawater, and complex geological conditions, requiring sophisticated equipment and infrastructure.

●  Legal and Governance Issues: Disputes over jurisdiction, resource ownership, and conflicting interests among nations pose significant legal and governance challenges in regulating seabed mining activities.

●  Social and Cultural Impacts: Seabed mining can impact indigenous communities and traditional fishing practices, leading to social unrest and cultural disruptions in coastal regions.

●  Economic Viability: Despite technological advancements, the high costs associated with deep-sea exploration and extraction remain a barrier to the commercial viability of seabed mining projects.

Practice Question:  Discuss the importance, challenges, and environmental concerns associated with seabed mining in the context of modern economies. (250 Words /15 marks)

3. SC raises concern over the rich gagging media

Topic: GS2 – Indian Polity – Judiciary.

The topic holds significance for UPSC as it relates to fundamental rights, media freedom, and judicial discretion in India.

●     The news pertains to the Supreme Court’s concern over affluent individuals obtaining pre-trial injunctions against media and civil society, stifling free speech.


Additional information on this news:

  • The Supreme Court highlights the issue of affluent individuals obtaining pre-trial injunctions against media and civil society, restricting free speech and the public’s right to information.
  • Such injunctions, granted without hearing the defendant’s side, severely limit journalistic expression and can hinder the dissemination of important news.
  • The court acknowledges the rise of ‘SLAPP suits’ or Strategic Litigation against Public Participation, where powerful entities use litigation to silence media and civil society.
  • Ex-parte injunctions often lead to prolonged trials, essentially acting as a ‘death sentence’ to the material sought to be published.
  • The court urges judges to grant pre-trial injunctions only in exceptional cases, following a three-fold test and considering the balance of convenience and irreparable harm.
  • It emphasises the importance of unfettered free speech and urges caution in granting interim injunctions to protect journalistic expression.
Issues with affluent individuals obtaining pre-trial injunctions against media:

Issues with Affluent Individuals Obtaining Pre-trial Injunctions Against Media:

● Threat to Freedom of Press: Affluent individuals can abuse their financial power to suppress unfavourable media coverage, limiting the freedom of the press.

●   Inequality in Access to Justice: Pre-trial injunctions favour the wealthy, creating a disparity in access to justice where affluent individuals can silence media outlets with legal threats.

●  Chilling Effect on Investigative Journalism: Fear of expensive legal battles and injunctions can deter journalists from pursuing investigative reporting on powerful figures, undermining the public’s right to information.

●  Undermining Public Interest: Pre-trial injunctions may prevent the exposure of wrongdoing or issues of public interest, shielding affluent individuals from accountability.

Way Forward:

●  Legal Reforms: Implement regulations to prevent misuse of pre-trial injunctions, ensuring they are used judiciously and in the public interest.

●  Legal Aid: Provide support for media organisations facing legal challenges, ensuring they can defend themselves against injunctions.

● Transparency: Require greater transparency in legal proceedings involving injunctions, allowing the public to scrutinise decisions and hold both the judiciary and wealthy individuals accountable.

● Public Awareness: Educate the public about the importance of press freedom and the potential consequences of allowing affluent individuals to silence media outlets.

Practice Question:  Discuss the implications of pre-trial injunctions on media freedom and the public’s right to information, as highlighted by the Supreme Court. (150 Words /10 marks)

4. Inaccessibility and cost cripple efforts to treat sickle cell disease

Topic: GS2 – Social Justice – Health

Understanding healthcare challenges and advancements like CRISPR in addressing diseases aids in comprehending societal issues and scientific progress.

●  The article discusses challenges faced by marginalised communities in accessing healthcare, focusing on sickle cell disease (SCD) treatment, and explores the potential of gene-editing technology like CRISPR while highlighting concerns regarding equity and access.

 Additional information on this news:

  • Access to basic healthcare and diagnostics, especially for diseases like sickle cell disease (SCD), remains a challenge for marginalised tribal communities in India.
  • Despite India’s efforts to address SCD through programs like the National Sickle Cell Anaemia Elimination Mission, treatment and care remain inadequate and inaccessible, particularly in states with high prevalence among marginalized populations.
  • Availability of essential medications like hydroxyurea and access to therapies like bone marrow transplantation (BMT) are limited, exacerbating the burden on affected individuals and families.
  • The advent of gene-editing technologies like CRISPR offers potential breakthroughs in SCD treatment, but high costs and ethical considerations pose challenges for equitable access.
  • While India has initiated projects to develop CRISPR-based therapies for SCD, regulatory frameworks need strengthening to address health inequities and ensure access for underserved populations.
  • Investments in advanced therapies should be preceded by efforts to improve access to basic treatments like hydroxyurea, and regulatory policies should involve inputs from civil society and advocacy groups.
  • Comprehensive approaches integrating access to diagnostics, drugs, health information, and community support are crucial for addressing health disparities and ensuring equitable healthcare access for all.
Sickle Cell Anaemia:

● Sickle Cell Anaemia is a genetic disorder characterised by abnormal haemoglobin, causing red blood cells to become rigid and sickle-shaped.

●  It is inherited when a child receives two sickle cell genes, one from each parent, leading to the production of abnormal haemoglobin.

●  Individuals with sickle cell anaemia experience chronic anaemia, fatigue, and episodes of pain known as “crises.”

●  Sickle-shaped red blood cells can block blood flow, leading to organ damage, pain, and complications such as stroke and organ failure.

● Symptoms may vary from mild to severe, with some individuals requiring frequent hospitalizations and medical interventions.

● The disease primarily affects tribal people of India and also African, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and South Asian descent.

● Early diagnosis through newborn screening programs enables prompt management and intervention to alleviate symptoms.

●  Treatment options include pain management, blood transfusions, and medications to prevent complications.

● Bone marrow or stem cell transplantation may offer a potential cure for select patients with severe sickle cell disease.

● Education, genetic counselling, and community support play crucial roles in managing sickle cell anaemia and improving quality of life.

Practice Question:  Discuss the healthcare challenges faced by marginalised communities in accessing treatments like sickle cell disease management, and evaluate the potential impact of gene-editing technologies. (150 Words /10 marks)

5. The need to curb black carbon emissions.

Topic: GS3 – Environment – Environmental Pollution and Degradation

Understanding black carbon reduction strategies is crucial for India’s public health and climate change mitigation efforts, relevant for UPSC.

●   This news discusses India’s efforts to mitigate black carbon emissions, primarily through the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY), addressing challenges in LPG adoption, and emphasizing the importance of reducing indoor air pollution for public health and climate goals.



  • India pledged to achieve net-zero emissions by 2070 at COP26, emphasizing carbon neutrality.
  • Efforts in carbon mitigation must address both long-term benefits and short-term relief, with black carbon emissions being crucial.

Relevance of Black Carbon:

  • Black carbon, emitted from incomplete combustion of biomass and fossil fuels, contributes to global warming and poses health risks.
  • Exposure to black carbon is linked to heart disease, birth complications, and premature death, primarily from traditional cookstoves in India.

Sources of Black Carbon Emissions:

  • Residential sector contributes 47%, industries 22%, diesel vehicles 17%, open burning 12%, and others 2%.
  • Industry and transport sectors have seen reductions, but residential emissions persist as a challenge.

Impact of Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY):

  • PMUY aims to provide free LPG connections to below-poverty-line households, reducing reliance on traditional fuels.
  • Over 10 crore households benefitted, but data shows 25% still rely on biomass due to low LPG refill rates.

Challenges and Issues:

  • Many PMUY beneficiaries consume only 3.5-4 LPG cylinders annually, half the amount of non-PMUY households.
  • High LPG prices and availability issues hinder full adoption, impacting women and children’s health disproportionately.

Government’s Role and Initiatives:

  • Government increased LPG subsidy, but prices remain a concern, prompting temporary price reductions.
  • Subsidies are necessary but not sufficient; addressing availability and last-mile connectivity issues is crucial.

Local Solutions and Innovations:

  • Local production of coal-bed methane (CBM) gas from biomass composting offers a cleaner alternative.
  • Panchayats can lead CBM gas production initiatives at the village level, ensuring universal access to clean cooking fuel.

Global Significance and Responsibility:

  • Prioritizing black carbon reduction aligns with India’s global climate goals and contributes to regional health improvements.
  • Addressing residential emissions can prevent over 6.1 lakh deaths annually from indoor air pollution.


  • India’s efforts to tackle black carbon emissions, particularly through initiatives like PMUY, are crucial for achieving sustainability goals and global climate mitigation.
  • Balancing short-term relief with long-term sustainability measures is imperative for India’s transition to a carbon-neutral economy.

PYQ: Consider the following statements:

1. Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) to Reduce Short Lived Climate Pollutants is a unique initiative of G20 group of countries.

2. The CCAC focuses on methane, black carbon and hydro fluorocarbons.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a)1 only

b)2 only

c)Both 1 and 2

d)Neither 1 nor 2

Correct answer – option ‘B’ (UPSC Prelims 2017)

Practice Question:  How can India’s Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana be optimise to effectively reduce black carbon emissions and improve public health? (150 Words /10 marks)

6. India Employment Report 2024: Mixed Progress and Persistent Challenges in Employment Conditions

Topic: GS3 – Indian Economy – Issues relating to development and employment.

This topic is relevant for both Prelims and Mains in the context of understanding recent trends and challenges in employment.


  • The ‘India Employment Report 2024’ released by the Institute for Human Development (IHD) and International Labour Organisation (ILO) reveals a mixed picture of India’s employment landscape.
  • While overall labour force participation, workforce participation, and employment rates have shown improvement in recent years after a long-term deterioration from 2000 to 2019, the report indicates persistent challenges in employment conditions.
More about the news:

Concerns Highlighted in the Report:

  • The report underscores several concerning trends in employment conditions.
  • It notes that the slow transition to non-farm employment has reversed, with women largely contributing to the increase in self-employment and unpaid family work.
  • Moreover, youth employment is characterized by poorer quality compared to employment for adults, marked by a higher proportion of unpaid family work among youth and stagnant or declining wages and earnings.

Government Intervention and Commercial Sector Responsibility:

  • Chief Economic Adviser V Anantha Nageswaran emphasizes the need to shift away from the mindset that every social or economic problem necessitates government intervention.
  • He asserts that it is primarily the responsibility of the commercial sector engaged in for-profit activities to drive hiring.
  • Nageswaran advocates for industry to take a more proactive role in job creation.

Government Initiatives and Challenges:

  • While acknowledging government efforts in employment facilitation, including skill development initiatives and the National Education Policy (NEP), Nageswaran calls for these policies not to be held hostage to political considerations.
  • He highlights measures such as the Atmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana and the new tax regime aimed at incentivizing employment generation over capital accumulation.
  • However, he also acknowledges areas for improvement, particularly in enhancing the effectiveness of skill development programs.

Youth Employment Dynamics and Policy Recommendations:

  • The report sheds light on the dynamics of youth employment, indicating an increase in youth employment and underemployment between 2000 and 2019, which declined during the pandemic years.
  • However, unemployment among educated youth, especially those with secondary level education or higher, has intensified over time.
  • The report emphasizes the need for targeted policy interventions across five key areas:
    • promoting job creation,
    • improving employment quality,
    • addressing labour market inequalities,
    • strengthening skills and
    • active labour market policies, and
    • bridging knowledge deficits on labour market patterns and youth employment.


  • The ‘India Employment Report 2024’ highlights both progress and challenges in India’s employment scenario.
  • While improvements have been observed in certain indicators, persistent issues such as poor employment quality and youth unemployment require targeted policy interventions and concerted efforts from both the government and the commercial sector to foster inclusive and sustainable job creation.
What are the Major Issues Related to Unemployment in Urban Areas?


  • Structural Unemployment: Urban areas often face a disparity between the skills possessed by the workforce and the skills demanded by industries.
  • The education system does not align with the needs of the job market, leading to a surplus of unskilled or under-skilled workers.
  • Rapid technological advancements and changes in the economy have led to the decline of traditional industries, resulting in job losses for many urban workers who lack the necessary skills for emerging sectors.
  • Informal Sector Dominance: A significant portion of the urban population is employed in the informal sector, characterized by low pay, job insecurity, and lack of social security benefits.
  • This sector often experiences seasonal fluctuations, leading to inconsistent employment opportunities.
  • Many workers are forced to accept jobs that are below their skill levels due to the scarcity of formal employment opportunities, leading to underutilization of human resources.
  • According to IMF, In India in terms of employment share the unorganized sector employs 83% of the workforce.
  • Also, there are 92.4% informal workers (with no written contract, paid leave and other benefits) in the economy.
  • Demographic Challenges: Rapid urbanization and population influx into cities have outpaced job creation, causing a strain on the job market and resulting in higher unemployment rates.
  • Rural-to-urban migration often leads to an oversupply of labour in cities, contributing to higher unemployment rates among migrant populations, further exacerbating urban poverty.
  • Credential Inflation: Overemphasis on educational qualifications can lead to situations where individuals are overqualified for available jobs, leading to underemployment or unemployment.


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)
Practice Question:  What are some of the key challenges highlighted in the ‘India Employment Report 2024’, and what measures can be taken to address them effectively? (150 words/10 m)

7. Unveiling the New Collective Quantitative Goal (NCQG): A Paradigm Shift in Global Climate Finance

Topic: GS3 – Environment – Environmental impact assessment

This topic is relevant for both Prelims and Mains in the context of understanding the mechanisms for financing climate action, such as the NCQG.


  • The 2022 climate change conference in Sharm el-Sheikh decided to set up a Loss and Damage Fund aimed at aiding developing nations in recovering from climate-related disasters.
  • The subsequent conference in Dubai emphasized the necessity of transitioning away from fossil fuels and pledged to triple global renewable energy capacity by 2030.
More about the news:

Focus on Finance: Introducing NCQG:

  • The upcoming COP29, scheduled for November in Baku, Azerbaijan, will center its discussions on finance, particularly around the New Collective Quantitative Goal (NCQG).
  • NCQG pertains to the mobilization of funds by developed countries annually starting from 2025 to finance climate action in developing nations.
  • This goal emerges as a response to the failure to fulfill the $100 billion annual commitment made by developed nations from 2020 onwards.

Addressing Financial Needs for Climate Action:

  • The insufficiency of funds has long been identified as a significant obstacle to effective climate action, especially in developing countries.
  • Current estimates suggest that trillions of dollars annually are required to implement climate action plans effectively.
  • The recent Sharm el-Sheikh agreement underscores the necessity of trillions of dollars annually until 2050 to transition to a low-carbon economy, with additional costs for achieving renewable energy targets.

Prospects for a Realistic Financial Target:

  • While the exact figures for the NCQG remain undisclosed, it is unlikely that developed nations will commit to an amount close to assessed requirements, given their historical challenges in mobilizing funds.
  • India has advocated for an NCQG of at least $1 trillion per year, emphasizing the need for grants and concessional finance.
  • Experts from UN Climate Change have stressed the urgency of increasing climate finance substantially.

Challenges and Considerations:

  • Despite the potential increase in funding through NCQG, challenges persist in ensuring effective delivery and utilization of funds.
  • The distribution of funds across mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage, and other areas will be critical.
  • Developing countries seek a more equitable distribution to prioritize adaptation efforts, highlighting the need for transparent monitoring and compliance mechanisms.


  • The discussions surrounding NCQG represent a pivotal moment in global climate governance, signaling the need for more ambitious and equitable financial commitments.
  • As nations prepare for COP29, the focus on finance underscores the urgency of addressing the vast financial needs associated with climate action, while ensuring transparency, inclusivity, and accountability in the allocation and utilization of funds.
                           India Led Initiatives at COP28:


Global River Cities Alliance (GRCA):

  • It was launched at COP 28, led by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) under the Ministry of Jal Shakti, Government of India.
  • The GRCA is a unique alliance covering 275+ global river-cities in 11 countries.
  • Partner countries include Egypt, Netherlands, Denmark, Ghana, Australia, Bhutan, Cambodia, Japan and river-cities of The Hague (Den Haag) from the Netherlands, Adelaide from Australia, and Szolnok of Hungary.
  • GRCA highlights India’s role in sustainable river-centric development and climate resilience.
  • The GRCA platform will facilitate knowledge exchange, river-city twinning, and dissemination of best practices
  • Green Credit Initiative:
  •  India launched the Green Credit Initiative here at COP28, to create a participatory global platform for exchange of innovative environmental programs and instruments.
  • There are two main priorities of the initiative are water conservation and afforestation.
  • The main purpose of this initiative is to boost voluntary environmental activities like tree plantation, water conservation, sustainable agriculture, and waste management by incentivizing it for big corporations and private companies, bringing about a change in the climate issues faced by the country 


PYQ: Describe the major outcomes of the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). What are the commitments made by India in this conference? (250 words/15m) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-3 2021)
Practice Question:  Discuss the significance and implications of the New Collective Quantitative Goal (NCQG) in the context of climate finance, as highlighted in the recent climate change conferences. What challenges and opportunities does the NCQG pose for both developed and developing countries, and how can effective implementation be ensured? (250 words/15 m)

8. Early Human Migration Hub Discovered in the Persian Plateau: Study Reveals Insights into Hunter-Gatherer Lifestyle and Cultural Evolution

Topic: Important topics for Prelims
  • A recent study sheds light on the migration patterns of early Homo sapiens, suggesting that after emerging in Africa over 300,000 years ago, our ancestors migrated out of the continent approximately 60,000 to 70,000 years ago.
  • These pioneering groups of hunter-gatherers are believed to have congregated in a geographical hub encompassing Iran, southeast Iraq, and northeast Saudi Arabia before further spreading into Asia and Europe around 45,000 years ago.
More about the news:

Ideal Habitat in the Persian Plateau

  • According to the study, this region, referred to as the Persian Plateau, provided an ideal habitat for these early humans.
  • The researchers characterized it as a hub due to its diverse ecological settings, ranging from forests to grasslands and savannahs, which fluctuated over time between arid and wet conditions.
  • This geographic area likely offered ample resources for sustenance, including wild game such as gazelle, sheep, and goat, as well as edible plants.

Lifestyle of Hunter-Gatherer Bands

  • The inhabitants of this hub were believed to have lived in small, mobile bands of hunter-gatherers, practicing a seasonal lifestyle.
  • During cooler months, they resided in lowlands, while in warmer months, they moved to mountainous regions.
  • Their diet consisted of a variety of edible plants and game animals, reflecting their adaptation to different ecological niches within the region.

Cultural Significance and Physical Characteristics

  • Remarkably, cave art emerged simultaneously with the departure of these early humans from the hub, suggesting that cultural achievements might have been cultivated during their time there.
  • The inhabitants of the hub likely had dark skin and hair, resembling certain present-day populations in East Africa.
  • This eventual dispersal from the hub laid the foundation for genetic divergence between present-day East Asians and Europeans.

Methodology and Data Utilization

  • The study utilized modern and ancient genomic data from European and Asian populations, particularly focusing on the oldest genomes dating from 45,000 to 35,000 years ago.
  • By analyzing these genetic datasets, researchers were able to reconstruct the migratory patterns and lifestyle adaptations of early Homo sapiens, providing valuable insights into the colonization of Eurasia.



  • By elucidating the pivotal role of the Persian Plateau as a geographic hub for early human migration, this study contributes to our understanding of the dispersal of Homo sapiens and the subsequent genetic and cultural developments that shaped the modern human population.


PYQ: 2019 UPSC CSE Prelims:

The word ‘Denisovan’ is sometimes mentioned in media in reference to:

(a) fossil of a kind of dinosaur.

(b) an early human species.

(c) a cave system found in North-East India.

(d) a geological period in the history of the Indian subcontinent.

Answer: (b) an early human species.

9. ASI Delists 18 Monuments Deemed Untraceable: Challenges in Preserving India's Cultural Heritage

Topic: GS1 – History – Indian Culture

This topic is relevant for both Prelims and Mains in the context of understanding the challenges faced by organizations like the ASI in safeguarding monuments.


  • The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has decided to delist 18 centrally protected monuments that it has assessed as not being of national importance.
  • These monuments were earlier labeled as “untraceable,” including significant sites like medieval highway milestones, cemeteries, and Buddhist ruins.
  • The ASI’s decision means these sites will no longer receive conservation and protection under relevant acts, allowing construction-related activities in their vicinity.
More about the news:

Implications of Delisting

  • Delisting effectively means that the ASI will cease conserving and protecting these monuments, allowing regular construction and urbanization activities in their vicinity.
  • This is a departure from the protection provided under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958, which prohibits construction-related activities near protected sites.
  • With this delisting exercise, the ASI’s purview will reduce from 3,693 to 3,675 monuments, marking a significant change in its conservation efforts.

Untraceable Monuments and Challenges

  • The “untraceable” status of these monuments reflects challenges in maintaining and protecting India’s cultural heritage.
  • Many historical sites have been lost to activities such as urbanization, encroachments, and neglect over the years.
  • Despite the ASI’s mandate to regularly inspect protected monuments and take action against encroachments, uniform effectiveness has been lacking. Budgetary constraints and competing priorities have limited the ASI’s ability to protect heritage sites effectively.

Loss of Historical Monuments and Government Response:

  • The disappearance of historical monuments is not a new issue. In December 2022, the Ministry of Culture reported to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism, and Culture that 50 of India’s centrally protected monuments were missing.
  • Factors contributing to their loss include rapid urbanization and submersion by reservoirs/dams.
  • The lack of security personnel and budgetary constraints further exacerbate the problem, as evidenced by the government’s inability to provide adequate protection for monuments.

Past Reports and Efforts:

  • Past reports, including one by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India in 2013, highlighted the issue of missing monuments and the ASI’s lack of reliable data on protected sites.
  • The CAG recommended periodic inspections of monuments to prevent their disappearance, a proposal accepted by the Culture Ministry.
  • However, efforts to locate missing monuments have been limited, with only a fraction identified or traced back to their original locations.


  • The delisting of 18 centrally protected monuments and the larger issue of missing historical sites underscores the challenges in preserving India’s cultural heritage.
  • Despite legislative protections and periodic reports highlighting the problem, effective conservation efforts remain elusive. Addressing these challenges requires enhanced resources, better coordination among stakeholders, and a renewed commitment to safeguarding India’s rich archaeological legacy.
About Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)


  • ASI, under the Ministry of Culture, is the premier organization for the archaeological research and protection of the cultural heritage of the nation.
  • It administers more than 3650 ancient monuments, archaeological sites and remains of national importance.
  • Its activities include carrying out surveys of antiquarian remains, exploration and excavation of archaeological sites, conservation and maintenance of protected monuments etc.
  • It was founded in 1861 by Alexander Cunningham- the first Director-General of ASI. Alexander Cunningham is also known as the “Father of Indian Archaeology”.
  • It oversees all archaeological undertakings within the nation by the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, of 1958.


PYQ: Safeguarding the Indian art heritage is the need of the moment. Discuss.  (150 words/10m) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-1 2018)
Practice Question:  Discuss the significance of the Archaeological Survey of India’s decision to delist 18 centrally protected monuments and the broader issue of missing historical sites in India. Evaluate the implications of this decision on heritage conservation efforts and analyze the challenges faced by government agencies in safeguarding cultural heritage. (250 words/15 m)

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