Everything You Need To Know About 9 Dec 2023 : Daily Current Affairs

9 Dec 2023 : Daily Current Affairs

Daily Current Affairs


1. RBI keeps repo rate at 6.5%, raises GDP growth forecast.

Topic: GS3 – Indian economy


  • The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) decided unanimously to keep key interest rates unchanged.

Additional information on this news:

  • The GDP growth projection for 2023-24 was raised to 7% from 6.5%.
  • The average inflation forecast was retained at 5.4%, with a warning about potential spikes in inflation during November and December.
  • RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das highlighted progress in bringing inflation below 5% but emphasized the need to reach the 4% inflation target.
  • The key repo rate remained unchanged at 6.5%, providing no immediate relief for borrowers.
  • The MPC members focused on a policy stance of “withdrawal of accommodation,” with five out of six members supporting this approach.
  • There was no indication of when interest rates, specifically the key repo rate, might be trimmed. The rate has been paused over five successive reviews after a 250 basis points increase to 6.5%.

2. New climate draft seeks tripling of renewable energy capacity.

Topic: GS3 – climate action

Global Stocktake Draft at UN Climate Summit:

  • The latest draft of the Global Stocktake, a key document at the UN climate summit in Dubai, links tripling renewable energy capacity with a time-bound phase-out of fossil fuels.
  • The draft, though not final, indicates a strong push by COP-28 leaders towards ending the fossil fuel economy globally.

Key Points in the Draft:

  • An option proposes tripling renewable energy capacity by 2030 strategically to displace fossil fuel-based energy, reducing reliance on non-renewable and high-emission sources.
  • India, however, is unlikely to agree to this clause, considering it too prescriptive, and insists on further consultations.
  • The draft replaces the earlier call for a “just and orderly phase-out of fossil fuel” with four options, emphasizing a phased-out approach to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2100 and achieve fossil fuel-free energy companies by mid-century.
  • A clause on the rapid phase-out of unabated coal power remains unchanged from a previous version.

India’s Position and Concerns:

  • India objects to the prescriptive nature of the clause despite agreeing to tripling energy capacity, citing unacceptable riders.
  • The country had played a role in changing “phase out” to “phase down” regarding coal at COP-26 in Glasgow two years ago, supported by the US and China.

Focus on Climate Finance:

  • India highlights the lacuna in climate finance negotiations at COP-28, emphasizing the need for a clear definition of climate finance.
  • Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav asserts that a lack of definition leads to a lack of trust and transparency, hindering the clean energy transition.
  • Differing definitions result in discrepancies in reported climate finance amounts, ranging from $22 billion (Oxfam) to $83 billion (OECD) in 2020.
  • Yadav argues for climate finance to account for specific circumstances, providing grants, low-cost loans, and technology access for developing countries to meet Paris Agreement commitments.

3. Private Bill seeks power for Assemblies to remove Governors

Topic: GS2 – Indian polity.

Discussion in Rajya Sabha on Constitutional Amendment Bill:

  • Members in the Rajya Sabha engaged in a discussion on a private member’s Bill aimed at amending the Constitution to address concerns related to Governors’ accountability.

Private Members Bill Details:

  • The Bill was presented by CPI(M) MP V. Sivadasan, advocating for empowering State Assemblies to have the authority to remove Governors.
  • Sivadasan emphasized that the stature and dignity of the Governor’s office require the person to have legitimate support from the people and be accountable to them.

Arguments in Favor of Empowering State Assemblies to Remove Governors:

Democratic Legitimacy:

  • Supporters argue that having Governors elected by an electoral college, including State Assemblies and local representatives, ensures a more democratic process.
  • This approach aims to enhance the democratic legitimacy of the Governor’s position by securing support from elected representatives at various levels.

Accountability to the People:

  • Advocates contend that Governors should be directly accountable to the people they represent, and allowing State Assemblies to have a role in their removal strengthens this accountability.
  • The proposed changes align with the idea that public officials, even at the gubernatorial level, should be accountable to the citizens they serve.

Prevention of Executive Overreach:

  • Supporters argue that appointing Governors through executive orders might be prone to political considerations, and involving State Assemblies can help prevent executive overreach.
  • The move is seen as a check on the concentration of power and an effort to maintain a balance between the central and state governments.

Arguments Against Empowering State Assemblies to Remove Governors:

Preserving Constitutional Balance:

  • Opponents may argue that the existing system, where Governors are appointed by the President, maintains a constitutional balance between the central and state governments.
  • Shifting the power to remove Governors entirely to State Assemblies might be seen as upsetting this delicate balance.

Potential for Political Manipulation:

  • Critics may express concerns that allowing State Assemblies to remove Governors could lead to political manipulation, with Governors being subject to removal based on political considerations rather than merit.
  • The fear is that this process might be used to target Governors based on party lines rather than their performance.

Efficiency and Stability:

  • Some opponents may argue that the current appointment system through executive orders ensures efficiency and stability in the gubernatorial positions.
  • Introducing a more complex election process involving multiple levels of representation might be viewed as cumbersome and potentially disruptive.

Constitutional Amendments:

  • Skeptics may highlight the challenges and potential complexities associated with amending the Constitution, suggesting that the existing framework is tried and tested.

Question: Assess the implications of empowering State Assemblies to remove Governors for democratic accountability and constitutional balance.

4. ‘India to move to same-day settlement before March 31’

Topic: GS3 – Indian economy.


  • India plans to implement same-day market settlement, transitioning from “T+1” to “T+0” before March 2024, and subsequently achieving instantaneous settlement a year later.

Additional information:

  • Following China, India aims to operate on a short settlement cycle of one day, enhancing market efficiency.
  • Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Chairperson Madhabi Puri Buch stated that the move to “T+0” settlement will happen before the end of the fiscal year.
  • To safeguard investor funds, an Application Supported by Blocked Amount (ASBA)-like facility for secondary market trading will be available from January or February, ensuring fund movement only upon completion of allotment.

5. Lanka to set up panel to work for unity with Tamils

Topic: GS2- IR


  • By announcing the creation of an independent commission, the Sri Lankan government has made a ground-breaking announcement toward transitional justice and post-conflict reconciliation.
  • This action is specifically intended to improve national cohesion, demonstrate a commitment to redressing historical grievances, and promote harmony with the minority Tamil population.
  • Under the direction of President Ranil Wickremesinghe, the idea is expected to come to pass through the establishment of the “Commission for Truth, Unity, and Reconciliation,” which will be passed through legislative processes.

Consultative Drafting Process in Progress

  • The government has placed a strong emphasis on how inclusive it was in creating this important panel.
  • Currently, active participation and interaction with pertinent stakeholders are taking place during the development stage of a concept paper.
  • This iterative procedure emphasizes the dedication to assembling varied viewpoints and guaranteeing an all-encompassing structure for truth and reconciliation.

Commission’s Mandate and Objectives

  • The proposed commission recognizes that finding the truth is essential to helping both individuals and the nation move past previous conflicts and would work to protect this fundamental right for all Sri Lankans.
  • Promoting national unity, peace, the rule of law, coexistence, equality, tolerance, respect for diversity, and reconciliation among Sri Lankans are among the stated goals.
  • The ethos of the commission is characterized as victim-centric, with a primary emphasis on regaining dignity, acknowledging sorrow, and creating a safe environment for voices to be heard. It is anticipated that this victim-centric strategy will foster social cohesiveness and national unity.

Towards a Sanctuary for Healing and Reconciliation

  • The commission sees itself as a safe haven where people can come to find justice and comfort.
  • The proposed body prioritizes victims’ needs and experiences in order to heal historical wounds and create a receptive atmosphere for reconciliation.
  • By adopting a victim-centric perspective, the commission hopes to be a key player in the larger effort to create a more respectful, cooperative, and united Sri Lankan community that is dedicated to a just and inclusive society.

6. State of geopolitics: signals from Putin visit to Saudi, UAE

Topic: GS2- IR


  • Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, started an important diplomatic tour, stopping in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi before welcoming Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi to Moscow.
  • Putin had only been to China and Iran before this past week, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
  • Given the geopolitical context and the issues facing Ukraine and Gaza, Russia has been able to take the upper hand in the continuing battle.

Show of Strength Ahead of Elections

  • The high-profile visits are a power play for Putin, carefully timed to coincide with the March 17 Russian elections.
  • Putin may hold office until 2036 since he is qualified for two more six-year terms.
  • The conversations with MBS and UAE authorities also demonstrate Russia’s ambition for international alliances, defying the Western sanctions’ narrative of isolation.

Strategic Alliances and Economic Impact

  • Putin’s meetings with leaders of MBS and the UAE highlight Russia’s strategic partnerships with powerful nations.
  • Together, Saudi Arabia and Russia account for a sizable share of the world’s oil production, which supports Saudi Arabia’s economy and helps Russia’s military effort in Ukraine.
  • Furthermore, the UAE provides a means of evading Western sanctions, making it a vital global hub for Russian enterprises.

Geopolitical Predictions and U.S. Response

  • Putin’s actions are consistent with forecasts made by Russian espionage head Sergei Naryshkin, who believes that the war in Ukraine would turn into a “second Vietnam” for the United States and need substantial resources.
  • There are obstacles to the West’s financial assistance to Ukraine since Republicans in Congress are obstructing a $111 billion emergency spending bill. President Joe Biden stresses the possibility for escalation beyond the current conflict in his warning against underestimating the ramifications of a Russian triumph in Ukraine.


Topic: GS3- Science and tech


  • An ambitious initiative to bring back the dodo, an endangered bird that vanished from Mauritius in the late 17th century, is being undertaken by scientists in association with the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation, a conservation non-governmental organization, and Colossal Biosciences, a Texas-based genetic engineering company.
  • The program intends to reintroduce the iconic dodo to the little island in the western Indian Ocean. The dodo is a symbol of the extinction caused by humans.

Dodo: A Symbol of Extinction

  • The dodo, which was renowned for being flightless and tubby, disappeared from Mauritius about 80 years after Dutch settlers arrived there in 1598.
  • Their extinction was caused in part by the Dutch poaching of the birds and the introduction of invading animals like rats, dogs, and cats.
  • The dodo’s extinction is considered a result of human contact with nature, and it is viewed as a canary in the coalmine of anthropogenic destruction.

De-extinction Process: Genetic Engineering Challenges

  • The entire genetic makeup, or genome, of the extinct species is needed for the de-extinction process. The chief paleo-geneticist at Colossal, Beth Shapiro, has successfully sequenced the entire genome of the dodo and is comparing it to the genome of the closest extinct relative of the dodo, the Rodrigues solitaire.
  • Furthermore, the genome of the closest living relative of the dodo, the Nicobar pigeon, has been sequenced.
  • Massive plans call for altering the primordial germ cells of Nicobar pigeons to exhibit dodo physical characteristics, which will thereafter be injected into sterile chicken and rooster embryos to serve as “interspecies surrogates.”
  • But there are a lot of obstacles in the way of the dodo’s successful reintroduction to Mauritius, including the intricacy of genetic technology.

Challenges in Re-wilding and Ecosystem Restoration

  • Restoring the dodo to its natural habitat in Mauritius is a challenging undertaking.
  • The necessity to manage the drastically altered ecosystem of today, which includes invasive animals like rats, feral cats, pigs, dogs, monkeys, mongooses, and crows, leads to complications.
  • For the dodo to survive, it is imperative that these invasive species be kept out of the area, rehomed, or controlled, according to Vikash Tatayah, the founder of the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation.

Project’s Significance and Conservation Optimism

  • The project’s supporters think that returning the dodo can help restore Mauritius’ delicate ecosystem, despite the obstacles.
  • The dodo is considered an important member of the ecosystem because of its huge beak, which indicates that it consumes large-seeded fruits and helps spread seeds.
  • The technology created for the dodo revival could help with other bird populations’ conservation and restoration in addition to the restoration efforts.
  • The CEO and co-founder of Colossal, Ben Lamm, highlights the project’s symbolic significance, saying that by bringing back an animal strongly linked to extinction due to human activity, “conservation optimism” can be achieved.

8. Expulsion of Mahua Moitra: Legal Perspectives and Potential Challenges
Topic: Polity


  • Mahua Moitra, a member of the Trinamool Congress, was dismissed from the Lok Sabha after the Ethics Committee recommended her dismissal for “unethical conduct” Moitra’s expulsion raises concerns about her legal options, even with her party’s support, especially in light of the parliamentary processes’ constitutional immunity.

Constitutional Immunity and Judicial Review:

  • The Constitution’s Article 122 shields parliamentary sessions against complaints based on irregularities in procedure.
  • This clause, according to former Lok Sabha secretary general PDT Achary, protects proceedings against judicial intervention.
  • But Moitra has the right, as demonstrated by the Raja Ram Pal case from 2007, to appeal her expulsion before the Supreme Court.

Precedent: Raja Ram Pal Case:

  • Twelve MPs, including one from the Rajya Sabha, were expelled in the Raja Ram Pal case because to their alleged involvement in the 2005 cash-for-query controversy.
  • Their expulsion was maintained by the Supreme Court in a 4-1 majority decision, highlighting the importance of judicial examination in situations involving substantive illegality or unconstitutionality.

Article 105(3) and Judicial Scrutiny:

  • The Constitution’s Article 105(3) addresses the privileges and powers of Parliament.
  • The Supreme Court made it clear that parliamentary proceedings are not completely immune from scrutiny under this clause.
  • The court recognized parliamentary privilege but also affirmed that, subject to constitutional limitations, it had the right to examine conduct for substantive or egregious illegality.

Potential Grounds for Legal Challenge:

  • Moitra has the right to contest her expulsion despite constitutional immunity on the basis of procedural flaws and a breach of privilege.
  • The roles of the Ethics and Privileges Committees, which look into misbehavior, differ from those of other parliamentary committees, and their protocols could not match.
  • Another potential obstacle is added by Moitra’s assertion that she was denied natural justice, specifically the opportunity to cross-examine those who are making accusations against her.

Lack of Specific Rules and Legal Violations:

  • In order to use disciplinary measures, an act must meet certain criteria to be considered offensive.
  • Although Moitra is accused of revealing the Parliament login password, the validity of the accusation is called into question because there is no matching infraction in the Lok Sabha Rules.
  • But receiving payment in exchange for raising issues is considered a violation of privilege, which calls for a Privileges Committee investigation.

Way Forward:

  • Mahua Moitra may choose to appeal her expulsion to the Supreme Court, citing earlier rulings such as the Raja Ram Pal case and highlighting possible parliamentary rules violations, procedural flaws, and breaches of privilege.
  • Examining the intricacies of the constitution and making sure that the investigation is conducted fairly may be part of the legal road ahead.

9. How Google DeepMind’s AI breakthrough could revolutionise chip, battery development

Topic: GS3- Science and Tech


  • A South Korean laboratory made news in July when it unveiled a polycrystalline substance known as LK-99, claiming to have achieved significant progress in electric efficiency.
  • There were claims that the compound could be a room-temperature superconductor, which could solve the energy dilemma. Subsequent investigation, however, disproved the assertions, and no proof of room-temperature superconductivity has been found.
  • Nevertheless, the anticipation surrounding the potentially ground-breaking information created the conditions for a momentous revelation from Google’s DeepMind AI unit.

DeepMind’s AI Tool GNoME: Predicting Structures of 2 Million New Materials

  • DeepMind disclosed the usage of an AI technology called Graph Networks for Materials Exploration (GNoME) in a late-month statement.
  • Utilizing artificial intelligence, the tool forecasted the compositions of more than two million novel materials, holding promise for use in the fields of renewable energy, battery science, semiconductor engineering, and computational efficiency.

Significance of the Breakthrough: Tenfold Increase in Stable Materials

  • With this discovery, the number of known “stable materials” has increased by ten times, according to DeepMind.
  • These materials serve as the basis for a wide range of contemporary technology, including batteries and computer chips.
  • An important step forward is the release of a list that includes 381,000 of the expected stable crystal structures.

Applications and Implications: Advancements in Various Sectors

  • The found materials may have an effect on a number of industries, including computing efficiency, battery technology, semiconductor design, and renewable energy.
  • This discovery, for example, may help in the search for stable, non-toxic, and non-radioactive solid electrolytes for Li-ion batteries.
  • The current research into novel layered compounds that resemble graphene may also pick up speed as DeepMind’s AI-led discovery makes it easier to find materials that fit particular criteria.

How GNoME Works: A State-of-the-Art Graph Neural Network Model

  • GNoME from DeepMind functions as a cutting-edge graph neural network (GNN) model.
  • Using active learning, the computational model, which is intended to predict material structures, increases its accuracy rate from 50% to approximately 80%.
  • Using input data as a graph of atom-to-atom connections, GNoME makes it easier to find patterns in the dataset that were not there before.
  • GNoME was first trained using crystal structure data from The Materials Project.
  • Its prediction ability has been verified through the use of well-established computational methods like Density Functional Theory.

Equating to 800 Years of Knowledge: DeepMind’s Impressive Results

  • With 380,000 solid forecasts available to the public, DeepMind believes that its present research is comparable to roughly 800 years of knowledge.
  • This claim is based on the observation that 28,000 stable compounds have only been found via conventional computational approaches, requiring lengthy and resource-intensive procedures.
  • GNoME is a potent tool for researchers searching for novel materials because of its capacity to produce unique candidate crystals and forecast their stability.

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