Everything You Need To Know About 8 Dec 2023 : Daily Current Affairs

8 Dec 2023 : Daily Current Affairs

Daily Current Affairs


1. SC to give Article 370 verdict on Monday.

Topic: GS2 – Indian polity.


  • Constitution Bench, led by Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, to deliver judgment on the challenge to the abrogation of Article 370.

Additional information on this news:

  • Verdict scheduled for Monday, following a case reserved for judgment on September 5.
  • Government contended that abrogation aimed at complete integration of Jammu and Kashmir into the Union of India.
  • Government highlighted the prosperity in the Valley post the repeal of Article 370 and anticipated the return to full statehood after normalcy.
  • Elections in J&K expected, with the region reverting to statehood once the ground situation normalizes.


2. SC asks Centre to give details of inflow of ‘illegal’ migrants

Topic: GS2 – Indian polity.


  • Supreme Court acknowledges concerns over the “unlimited influx” of “illegal” migrants from Bangladesh.
  • Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud emphasizes the impact on demographics and strain on resources.

More information on the news:

  • Constitution Bench, led by Chief Justice Chandrachud, addresses petitions challenging Section 6A of the Citizenship Act, 1955.
  • Indigenous Assamese groups argue that Section 6A facilitates ‘illegal’ immigration, threatening local rights and cultural identity.
  • Section 6A categorizes migrants based on time periods, leading to debates on citizenship benefits.
  • Court orders the Home Secretary to submit an affidavit on estimated illegal migrant inflow post-March 25, 1971, steps taken, and border-fencing details.
  • CJI emphasizes India’s adherence to due process of law in dealing with illegal immigration concerns.
  • Kapil Sibal suggests that legislative policies like Section 6A create divisive dynamics.
  • Court questions the singling out of Assam in applying Section 6A and seeks clarification on why it wasn’t extended to West Bengal.
  • Chief Justice Chandrachud underscores the unique nature of inter-State migration within India, distinguishing it from concerns over external immigration.

3. Google Gemini: what is it, and is it better than ChatGPT 4?

Topic: GS3- Science and Tech


  • Google announced Google Gemini, a new multimodal general artificial intelligence model that it says is the most potent to date.
  • The model is now available to people worldwide on a number of platforms, such as developer platforms, Bard, and the most recent Google Pixel 8 Pro smartphones.

Gemini Overview:

  • Google presents Gemini as their answer to the industry-leading generative artificial intelligence platform ChatGPT.
  • The goal of Gemini is to represent an “expert helper or assistant,” offering a more user-friendly and practical AI experience.
  • It is a group project created from the ground up with the goal of working flawlessly with text, code, audio, images, and video.

Multimodal Capabilities:

  • One of Gemini’s unique selling points is its multimodal functionality, which enables it to function with a variety of data formats, including text, code, audio, images, and videos.
  • In comparison, ChatGPT does not presently have native capability for video.
  • The largest model, Gemini Ultra, is said by Google to produce high-quality code and surpass human specialists in vast multitask language understanding.

Three Sizes Catering to Different Needs:

  • Gemini is available in three sizes: Ultra, Pro, and Nano, each of which meets a distinct purpose.
  • Gemini Pro is accessible to regular users and developers through Bard, whereas Ultra is limited to complicated jobs and is currently available to a select few for early experimentation.

Impact on Google Products and Services:

  • Google intends to include Gemini into a number of its services and products, such as Duet AI, Chrome, Ads, and Search.
  • According to reports, the first trials of Gemini in Search resulted in a 40% decrease in latency in English in the US while maintaining quality.

Addressing Issues of Hallucination and Safety:

  • Although efforts have been made to increase factuality, Google notes that Gemini, like other language models, may still have hallucinations.
  • To improve response accuracy, other methods have been incorporated into products like Bard.
  • Google highlights its dedication to security by adding additional safeguards to take into consideration Gemini’s multimodal capabilities.
  • The company asserts that its safety evaluations are the most thorough to date, with tests for toxicity and bias included.

Gemini vs. ChatGPT 4:

  • Although it’s difficult to compare Gemini to ChatGPT 4 conclusively right now, Gemini seems more adaptable, especially when it comes to working with video and on devices without an internet connection.
  • Notably, ChatGPT 4 is only accessible to paying users, whereas Gemini is freely used.


Topic: Prelims


  • In the midst of Israel’s continuous attack on the Gaza Strip, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has invoked Article 99 of the UN Charter.
  • In addition to stressing the grave danger of a humanitarian disaster in Gaza, Guterres pushed the UN Security Council to issue a humanitarian ceasefire.

Article 99 of the UN Charter:

  • The Secretary-General is authorized by the UN Charter, the organization’s founding instrument, to bring issues endangering global peace and security to the Security Council’s notice.
  • When Article 99 is invoked, the president of the Security Council is required to call a meeting.

Historical Invocations:

  • Article 99 has been used in the past, such as in the Republic of the Congo’s 1960 uprising and Tunisia’s 1961 demand in response to an attack by France, the country’s previous colonial master.

Reasons for Invocation:

  • The horrific human suffering and devastation in Israel and the Occupied Palestine Territory were mentioned by Guterres.
  • He denounced the Hamas strikes of October 7 and emphasized the disastrous outcomes of Israel’s military action, which killed over 15,000 people, 40% of whom were children, and caused Gaza’s healthcare system to collapse.

Call for Urgent Action:

  • In order to prevent further harm to the civilian population, the Secretary-General emphasized the necessity of a humanitarian ceasefire.
  • He underlined the necessity of reestablishing means of subsistence, addressing issues with healthcare, and enabling secure and prompt humanitarian aid.

Next Steps:

  • Based on Guterres’ letter, the UAE brought a draft resolution to the UN Security Council requesting an urgent humanitarian ceasefire.
  • With no vetoes from the five permanent members and a minimum of nine votes in favor, the resolution is anticipated to be voted on this Friday.
  • It is improbable, nevertheless, that there will be unanimity given the US and UK’s support for Israel’s activities.

5. Mining for critical minerals: what is the auction process, why is it important?

Topic: GS3- Economics


  • The auction of twenty blocks rich in essential minerals, such as lithium, which is used in batteries and electric cars, has been started by the Indian government.

  • The anticipated overall value of the auction, which started on November 29 and will run until January 22, is Rs 45,000 crore.
  • This is the first time that private parties will be bidding for the mining rights to lithium ore.

Mineral Composition and Use:

  • These vital mineral blocks also include rare earth elements (REEs), copper, nickel, and molybdenum, which are crucial parts of supply chains for automobile batteries, energy storage devices, consumer electronics, and industrial operations.
  • These thirty minerals were deemed “critical” by the government in July.

Geographical Distribution:

  • The twenty blocks are distributed throughout eight states: four in Odisha, three in Bihar, two in Uttar Pradesh, one in Gujarat, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, and Jammu & Kashmir, and seven in Tamil Nadu.
  • Of the twenty blocks, sixteen are up for geological exploration and the remaining four are out for bidding for immediate mining.

Types of Licenses and Rights:

  • A Mining License (ML) is granted through an auction for four blocks, three of which are located in Odisha and have deposits of nickel, copper, graphite, manganese, and one in Tamil Nadu that has deposits of molybdenum.
  • This permits immediate mining.
  • A Composite License (CL), which permits geological investigation with the possibility of conversion to an ML, will be up for auction for the remaining sixteen blocks.

Clearances Required:

  • The licensee needs to get 15 approvals and clearances before starting operations, including Gram Sabha consent, environmental clearance, and forest clearance.
  • 1,234 hectares of forest land make up the 7,197 acre concession area in total.

Estimated Reserves:

  • The lithium blocks located in Chhattisgarh and Jammu & Kashmir that were put up for auction with a CL contain uncertain reserves and 5.9 million tonnes of inferred reserves, respectively.
  • The inferred reserves of other blocks having nickel ore resources in Bihar, Gujarat, and Odisha vary, and the Odisha block also has copper deposits.

Current Mineral Imports:

  • In FY23, India imported 2,145 tonnes of lithium carbonate and oxide, 32,000 tonnes of unwrought nickel, and 1.2 million tonnes of copper ore, demonstrating how heavily it depends on imports for essential minerals.
  • India depends entirely on imports for lithium and nickel, but only 93% for copper.

Future Auctions and Exploration:

  • A second tranche of crucial mineral blocks is anticipated following this auction round.
  • The government intends to create a Center of Excellence for Critical Minerals to develop regulations and incentives for a full value chain, and the Geological Survey of India is aggressively investigating critical mineral reserves.

6. The melody in India-Italy ties

Topic: GS2- IR


  • Following a cordial conversation between Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the hashtag #Melodi became very popular on social media.
  • Using the hashtag #Melodi, a combination of their names, Meloni shared a selfie she took with Modi at the COP28 conference in Dubai.
  • The exchange illustrates how relations between Italy and India have improved after a difficult few years.

Historical Ties:

  • India and Italy have a shared history that dates back two millennia, forged by significant trading hubs along the spice route.
  • Italy has hosted visits by notable figures such as Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore, and during World War II, Indian troops were stationed there.
  • 1947 saw the establishment of post-independence political ties, which included frequent interactions at the official and political levels.

Setbacks and Diplomatic Challenges:

  • A major blow to the relationship came in 2012 when two Italian Marines were charged with killing Indian fishermen.
  • The AgustaWestland agreement corruption charges in 2011–12 presented another obstacle.
  • Relationships between Italy and India suffered for a considerable amount of time as a result of the contract cancellation and legal actions.

Diplomatic Repair:

  • When Sushma Swaraj headed an official trip to the Vatican for Mother Teresa’s canonization ceremony in 2018, efforts to mend relations got underway.
  • 2018 saw celebrations for the 70th anniversary of diplomatic ties, which were followed by a virtual summit in 2020 and Giorgia Meloni’s state visit in 2023.
  • During her visit, the connection was upgraded to a Strategic Partnership.

Recent Developments and Strategic Alignment:

  • The strategic component of the ties has been added by recent high-level interactions, such as visits by PM Modi and strategic talks during Giorgia Meloni’s state visit.
  • Regarding matters like the India-Middle East-Europe economic corridor, the two leaders are in agreement.
  • The strategic depth of the relationship is further enhanced by Italy’s decision to withdraw from China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

Trade and Economic Significance:

  • In 2021–2022, India and Italy’s bilateral commerce amounted to USD 13.229 billion, indicating a noteworthy rise.
  • India’s fourth-largest EU trading partner is Italy.
  • More than 600 sizable Italian businesses are active in several industries in India.
  • There will soon be defense-related strategic alliances.

Rethink on China:

  • Italy’s 2019 decision to join China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was reevaluated because it did not live up to expectations.
  • During her term, Meloni has stated that Italy’s stance toward Beijing is being reviewed and that joining the BRI was a mistake.
  • India and Italy have formed a strategic alliance as a result of their shared concerns over Beijing’s actions.


  • Although the recent warmth between leaders is captured by the hashtag #Melodi, improved India-Italy ties are the outcome of years of diplomatic efforts.
  • The recovery of the relationship is largely due to shared perspectives on China and agreement on strategic concerns, with the economic, political, and strategic components taking center stage.
  • The current improvement in diplomatic ties marks a turning point following a difficult time.

7. Govt bans use of sugarcane juice for ethanol making

Topic: GS2- Governance


  • During the Ethanol Supply Year (ESY) 2023–24, which runs from December 2023 to November 2024, the Indian government has issued a directive to all sugar mills and distilleries, asking them to immediately halt using sugarcane juice or sugar syrup for ethanol production.
  • Given the government’s emphasis on managing commodity prices especially those of sugar as part of its pre-election campaign for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, this decision is considered a major one.

Focus on Commodity Price Control:

  • In light of the impending Lok Sabha elections in 2024, the government’s decision is motivated by its emphasis on regulating and controlling commodities prices.
  • The action is intended to maintain market stability and avert possible sugar price rise.

Legal Basis for Directive:

  • The Department of Food and Public Distribution issued the directive, which is based on the authority granted by the Sugar (Control) Order 1966’s articles 4 and 5.
  • It clearly states that during ESY 2023–2024, sugar mills and distilleries are not permitted to use sugarcane juice or sugar syrup for the production of ethanol.
  • The instruction makes it clear that Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) will continue to receive ethanol from B-Heavy molasses as long as they are willing to offer it.

Significance of the Decision:

  • The government’s move to limit the amount of sugarcane juice that can be used to produce ethanol is another indication of how committed it is to keeping commodity prices stable, especially for necessities like sugar.
  • The government wants to guarantee a sufficient supply of sugar to meet domestic demand and avoid price volatility in the lead-up to the 2024 elections, therefore it is limiting the diversion of sugarcane juice for ethanol.

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