Current Affair



1. Context
Nearly half of all countries in the WHO African Region have committed to strengthening reporting on road crash fatalities, with an eye on meeting the global target of halving road crash deaths by 2030 as set out in the Global Plan for the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety, 2021-2030.  
2. Dakar Declaration
  • The ‘Dakar Declaration,’ adopted in principle by 21 African countries after the first African sub-regional conference on the implementing the Global Plan for Road Safety in Dakar, Senegal, includes actions to enhance data capture, analysis, sharing and coordination to shape better road safety policies.
  • During the three-day event in early March that was hosted the National Road Safety Agency of Senegal (ANASER) and co-sponsored by WHO
  • The conference brought representatives for 21 African governments, regional bodies and civil society organizations together to address key issues in implementing the Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030.

3.African Union Road Safety Charter:

  • The African Union (AU) Road Safety Charter is a continental initiative aimed at promoting road safety across African countries.
  • It was adopted by the African Union in 2006 and serves as a framework for African countries to develop and implement road safety policies and programs.
  • The charter outlines key principles and actions to be taken by African countries to improve road safety, including measures related to road design, vehicle safety, driver behavior, and post-crash care.
  • African Union member states that sign and ratify the charter commit to taking concrete steps to reduce road traffic accidents and fatalities on their roadways.
  • The charter aligns with global road safety efforts and the United Nations' Decade of Action for Road Safety, which aimed to reduce road traffic deaths and injuries worldwide
4. Safe Systems Approach to Road Safety in Dakar Declaration
  • The Safe Systems Approach to Road Safety is a comprehensive and innovative strategy aimed at reducing road traffic deaths and injuries by creating a road transport system that is inherently safe, even when road users make mistakes.
  • It emphasizes that human beings are vulnerable to injury, and therefore, the entire road network, vehicles, and traffic environment should be designed to minimize the severity of crashes when they do occur.
  • The Safe Systems Approach is closely related to the Dakar Declaration on Road Safety in Africa, which was adopted in Dakar, Senegal, in 2005.
  • While the Dakar Declaration does not explicitly mention the Safe Systems Approach by name, the principles of this approach align with the goals and commitments outlined in the declaration.
5. African Union (AU)
The African Union (AU) is a continental organization consisting of 55 member states from across the African continent. It was officially launched on July 26, 2001, in Durban, South Africa, and is headquartered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The AU replaced the Organization of African Unity (OAU), which was established in 1963.
Key objectives and functions:
  • The AU is dedicated to promoting peace, security, and stability in Africa. It plays a significant role in conflict prevention, conflict resolution, and peacekeeping missions on the continent. The AU's Peace and Security Council (PSC) is responsible for addressing security issues.
  • The AU works to promote political cooperation among African nations. It seeks to prevent unconstitutional changes of government and supports democratic governance and respect for human rights
  • The AU aims to promote economic integration and development in Africa. This includes initiatives like the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which seeks to create a single market for goods and services across the continent.
  • The AU is committed to improving the social and economic well-being of African citizens. It focuses on areas such as education, health, gender equality, and youth empowerment.
  • The AU supports the development of infrastructure and transportation networks to enhance connectivity and trade within Africa
  • The AU promotes and protects human rights on the continent and has established institutions like the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights.
 6. Way forward
The Dakar Declaration on Road Safety in Africa may not explicitly mention the Safe Systems Approach, but it aligns with the broader principles of creating safer road transport systems in Africa. The declaration calls for improved road safety legislation, infrastructure development, and enhanced road user behaviour—all of which are integral components of the Safe Systems Approach to Road Safety
Source: WHO


1. Context
The Gujarat government has banned the planting of ornamental Conocarpus trees “in forest or non-forest areas”, citing their “adverse impacts on environment and human health”.
Earlier, Telangana too had banned the plant species.
Work to remove vilayati kikar to start at Central Ridge | Delhi News - The  Indian Express
2. Conocarpus Plants
Conocarpus, a fast-growing exotic mangrove species, had been a popular choice for increasing the green cover in Gujarat in recent years
Conocarpus is a genus of flowering trees and shrubs within the family Combretaceae. These plants are commonly known as buttonwood or button mangrove. Conocarpus species are primarily found in tropical and subtropical regions, especially in coastal areas. They are known for their adaptability to saline or brackish water conditions, making them well-suited for coastal and mangrove ecosystems
Key Characteristics:
  • Conocarpus species are often found in coastal regions, along estuaries, and in brackish water areas. They are commonly associated with mangrove ecosystems and are considered a mangrove associate rather than a true mangrove species.
  • Conocarpus plants produce small, inconspicuous flowers that are often greenish in color. The flowers are arranged in spikes or clusters
  • One of the notable features of Conocarpus species is their ability to tolerate saline or brackish water conditions. This salt tolerance is an adaptation that allows them to thrive in coastal and estuarine environments
  • While Conocarpus is not considered a true mangrove species, it often grows alongside true mangroves and contributes to the stabilization of coastal areas. Its root systems help prevent erosion along shorelines
3. Conocarpus adverse impacts on the environment and human health
While Conocarpus species have some beneficial characteristics, they can also have adverse impacts on the environment and human health in certain situations.
Here are some of the potential negative effects associated with Conocarpus:
  • Conocarpus species can be invasive when introduced to non-native ecosystems. Their ability to adapt to a wide range of environmental conditions and their aggressive growth can allow them to outcompete native plant species. This can lead to a decrease in biodiversity and disrupt the balance of local ecosystems
  • In areas where Conocarpus becomes invasive, it can alter the natural hydrology of wetlands and coastal areas. Their dense root systems can reduce water flow, potentially leading to waterlogging and changes in the composition of the plant community
  • Conocarpus plants can alter the structure and composition of natural habitats. In coastal areas, they may displace or outcompete native mangrove species, which are critical for providing habitat and protecting shorelines
  • In regions with a fire-prone ecosystem, Conocarpus can serve as a potential fire hazard due to its dense growth and woody nature. In case of wildfires, Conocarpus can contribute to the spread of flames
4. Vilayati Kikar
In 2018, the Delhi government agreed to clear the capital’s green lungs, the Central Ridge, of the Vilayati Kikar after years of appeals and court cases by activists.
The Vilayati Kikar ( Prosopis juliflora) is not native to Delhi and was brought to the city in the 1930s by the British.
As the tree grows fast even in arid conditions, it can quickly increase the green cover of an area, and be used as firewood.
However, it also kills off competition. Thus, within a decade, it had taken over the Ridge, killing the native trees like acacia, dhak, kadamb, amaltas, flame-of-the-forest, etc.
Along with the trees disappeared the fauna — birds, butterflies, leopards, porcupines and jackals.
Source: indianexpress


1. Context 

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has recognized Iranian activist Narges Mohammadi with the prestigious 2023 Nobel Peace Prize. This honour acknowledges her relentless dedication to fighting against the oppression of women in Iran and her advocacy for universal human rights and freedom.

2. About Narges Mohammadi

  • Narges Mohammadi, born in Iran in 1972, currently finds herself in detention, facing charges of "spreading anti-state propaganda" and defamation.
  • Her journey into activism has deep roots, beginning with her family's involvement in political protests, notably during the Iranian Revolution of 1979, which marked the transition of Iran from a monarchy to an Islamic republic.
  • Mohammadi pursued her academic interests in nuclear physics in Qazvin, where she also met her future husband, Taghi Rahmani, a fellow political activist.
  • Rahmani endured a 14-year imprisonment in Iran and now resides in exile in France with their two children.
  • Mohammadi's activism commenced during her youth and has encompassed causes related to Iranian women's rights, opposition to the death penalty, and support for political protesters.
  • She has used her voice to raise awareness about these issues through contributions to local newspapers.

3. Challenges and Detention

  • Despite her engineering career in Tehran, Mohammadi was terminated from her job due to government directives.
  • In the 2000s, she aligned herself with the Center for Human Rights Defenders in Iran, an organization founded by the prominent Iranian lawyer Shirin Ebadi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate in 2003, dedicated to the abolition of the death penalty.
  • Mohammadi's activism has not come without personal sacrifices. Her first arrest occurred in 2011, leading to multiple convictions, 13 arrests, and a cumulative sentence of 31 years in prison along with 154 lashes.
  • Moreover, three additional judicial cases opened against her this year may result in further convictions.
  • Even within the confines of prison, Mohammadi continued her activism, organizing protests alongside fellow women prisoners.
  • In 2022, she penned 'White Torture,' a powerful account of her life under solitary confinement.
  • This book also featured interviews with other Iranian women who had endured similar ordeals.

4. International Recognition

  • Narges Mohammadi's unwavering commitment to human rights has garnered international acclaim.
  • She has been honoured with prestigious awards in the West, including the 2023 PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award and the 2023 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize.
  • In 2022, she earned a spot on the BBC's list of 100 inspiring and influential women worldwide.
Shirin Ebadi, the first Iranian woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, was recognized for her relentless efforts in advancing democracy and human rights. Ebadi, a pioneering female judge in Iran, courageously defended individuals persecuted by the authorities and endured imprisonment for her advocacy on behalf of women and children's rights.

5. Nobel Prize

  • The Nobel Prize is an international award administered by the Nobel Foundation in Stockholm, Sweden, and based on the fortune of Alfred Nobel, Swedish inventor and industrialist most famously known for the invention of dynamite.
  • The Nobel Prize is awarded in six categories: Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, Peace and Economics (known as the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel). 
  • Each prize consists of a medal, a diploma, and a monetary award. As of 2023, the Nobel Prize monetary award is 11 million SEK.
  • The Nobel Prizes are awarded annually on December 10, which is the anniversary of Alfred Nobel's death. The prizes are presented by the King of Sweden at a ceremony in Stockholm.
  • The Nobel Prize is one of the most prestigious awards in the world and is given to individuals or organizations that have made significant contributions to humanity.
  • The Nobel Prize is a symbol of hope and progress, and it is a reminder of the importance of peace, justice, and human rights.

6.  A Nobel Peace Prize for Diplomacy

  • The Nobel Committee's decision to award Shirin Ebadi in 2003 aimed to reduce tensions between the Islamic and Western worlds in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
  • This emphasis on diplomacy and global peace continues to be reflected in recent Nobel Peace Prize laureates, with the 2022 award going to human rights advocate Ales Bialiatski from Belarus, along with the Russian human rights organization Memorial, and the Ukrainian human rights organization Center for Civil Liberties, underscoring the prize's role in addressing geopolitical tensions.
For Prelims: Nobel Prize, Alfred Nobel, dynamite, Narges Mohammadi, Iranian Revolution, 
Previous Year Questions
1. Einstein got the Nobel Prize for (BPSC 64TH CCE 2018) 
A. relativity     
B.  Bose-Einstein condensation
C. mass-energy equivalence
D. photoelectric effect
E. None of the above/More than one of the above
Answer: D

2. Who among the following scientists shared the Nobel Prize in Physics with his son? (UPSC CSE 2008)

(a) Max Planck
(b) Albert Einstein
(c) William Henry Bragg
(d) Enrico Fermi

Answer: C

3. Nobel Prize winning scientist James D. Watson is known for his work in which area? (UPSC CSE 2008)

(a) Metallurgy
(b) Meteorology
(c) Environmental protection 
(d) Genetics

Answer: D

4. Nobel Prize for Economics was instituted in the year _______ (Punjab Patwari 2016)

A. 1984        B. 1962           C. 1948          D. 1968

Answer: D

5. The main constituent of dynamite is- (NPCIL SA/ST ME GJ 2019)

A. Sodium nitrate       B. Nitroglycerine        C. Sulphur        D. Potassium chloride

Answer: B

6. Which of the following decisions were taken with reference to Iranian Women in 2019? (MPSC 2020)

A. Right to watch football in stadium
B. Right to vote
C. Right to own family property
D. Right to Divorce

Answer: A

1. The Nobel Prize in Physics of 2014 was jointly awarded to Akasaki, Amano and Nakamura for the invention of Blue LEDs in the 1990s. How has this invention impacted the everyday life of human beings? (UPSC 2021)
2. Discuss the work of ‘Bose-Einstein Statistics’ done by Prof. Satyendra Nath Bose and show how it revolutionized the field of Physics. (UPSC 2018)
Source: The Indian Express 



1. Context:

A seven-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court on Thursday reserved its judgment on whether the immunity available to MPs and MLAs under Articles 105 (2) and 194 (2) of the Constitution from prosecution will also extend to cases of bribery.

2. What Articles 105(2) and 194(2) of the Constitution says?

Article 105(2) and Article 194(2) of the Indian Constitution pertaining to the powers, privileges, and immunities of members of Parliament (MPs) and members of State Legislatures (MLAs) in India, respectively. Here's what these articles say:

Article 105(2):

This article deals with the powers, privileges, and immunities of Members of Parliament (MPs) in India. It states:

"Subject to the provisions of this Constitution and to the rules and standing orders regulating the procedure of Parliament, there shall be freedom of speech in Parliament."

This provision ensures that MPs have the freedom to express their opinions, participate in debates, and discuss matters freely within the Parliament without fearing legal action or restraint.

Article 194(2):

This article deals with the powers, privileges, and immunities of Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) in the states of India. It is similar in intent to Article 105(2) but applies to state legislatures. Article 194(2) states:

"Subject to the provisions of this Constitution and to the rules and standing orders regulating the procedure of the Legislature, there shall be freedom of speech in the Legislature of every State."

Like Article 105(2), this provision ensures that MLAs in state legislatures have the freedom to express their views, participate in debates, and discuss matters without fear of legal repercussions within the confines of the legislature.

These articles are essential in upholding the principle of parliamentary democracy in India, where elected representatives have the freedom to express their opinions and represent the interests of their constituents without undue hindrance while functioning within the legislative bodies. However, it's important to note that this freedom of speech is subject to the rules and procedures of the respective legislatures and must be exercised responsibly.

3. What is Bribery and Corruption?

Bribery and corruption are unethical and often illegal practices that involve the abuse of power or influence for personal gain, typically through the exchange of money, goods, services, or favors. These practices undermine the integrity of individuals, organizations, and governments, and they have adverse social, economic, and political consequences. Here's a closer look at bribery and corruption:


Bribery refers to the act of offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting something of value, such as money, gifts, or favors, with the intent to influence the actions, decisions, or behavior of someone in a position of authority or trust, often for personal or illicit gain.
Key Elements:
  • The exchange of something valuable.
  • Intent to influence or manipulate.
  • Involvement of individuals in positions of authority or trust.
Bribing a government official to obtain a contract, offering money to a police officer to avoid a traffic ticket, or giving gifts to a public official to secure favorable treatment.


Corruption is a broader term encompassing a range of dishonest or fraudulent activities that involve the abuse of power, trust, or resources for personal, organizational, or political gain. It can manifest in various forms, including bribery.

Forms of Corruption:
Embezzlement: Misappropriating funds or assets for personal use.
Nepotism: Favoring relatives or friends in hiring or awarding contracts.
Extortion: Coercing someone into providing something of value.
Kickbacks: Receiving a portion of money from a contract or transaction.
Cronyism: Favoring close associates in decision-making.
Money Laundering: Concealing the origins of illegally obtained funds.
A government official siphoning off public funds for personal use, a company engaging in fraudulent accounting practices, or a police department covering up wrongdoing within its ranks.

Bribery is a specific act within the broader category of corruption. Both bribery and corruption are detrimental to society, as they erode trust in institutions, hinder economic development, promote inequality, and often lead to a culture of impunity. Many countries have laws and regulations in place to combat bribery and corruption, and international organizations like the United Nations and the World Bank actively work to address these issues on a global scale through initiatives, conventions, and anti-corruption measures.

4. What are the types of corruption?

Corruption can manifest in various forms, and it often exists along a spectrum, ranging from petty corruption to grand corruption. Here are some common types of corruption:

Petty Corruption:

  • Bribery: Individuals may engage in small-scale bribery to expedite routine services or to avoid minor inconveniences. For example, paying a bribe to a traffic police officer to avoid a ticket.
  • Extortion: Officials or individuals may use their authority to extract small sums of money or valuables from others through threats or intimidation.

Administrative or Bureaucratic Corruption:

  • Embezzlement: Public officials or employees misuse their access to funds or resources for personal gain, diverting money or assets away from their intended purposes.
  • Nepotism: Favoring relatives or friends in hiring, promotions, or awarding contracts, often at the expense of more qualified individuals.

Political Corruption:

  • Grand Corruption: High-ranking government officials or political leaders abuse their power and influence for significant personal or political gain. This can involve large-scale embezzlement, kickbacks, or the manipulation of government contracts.
  • Cronyism: Political leaders may show favoritism towards close associates or allies, leading to preferential treatment in government appointments or the allocation of resources.

Judicial Corruption:

  • Judicial Bribery: Judges or court officials may accept bribes to influence the outcome of legal cases, leading to miscarriages of justice.
  • Case Fixing: Corrupt practices within the legal system can include manipulating the scheduling or handling of cases to benefit certain parties.

Police Corruption:

  • Protection Rackets: Law enforcement officials may provide protection to illegal activities, such as organized crime or drug trafficking, in exchange for monetary compensation.
  • Evidence Tampering: Corruption within police departments may involve tampering with evidence or covering up misconduct.

Corporate Corruption:

  • Kickbacks: Companies may offer bribes or kickbacks to public officials or business partners to secure contracts or gain favorable treatment.
  • Accounting Fraud: Corporations may engage in fraudulent accounting practices to manipulate financial statements, hide losses, or inflate profits.

Media Corruption:

  • Censorship: Media outlets may engage in self-censorship or be coerced by political or corporate interests to suppress or distort information.
  • Paid News: Some media organizations may accept money or favors in exchange for favorable coverage or biased reporting.
Organized Crime and Money Laundering:
  • Money Laundering: Criminal organizations may launder money obtained through illegal activities to make it appear legitimate. This often involves complex financial transactions.
  • Corrupt Networks: Corrupt individuals within criminal networks can facilitate illegal activities, such as drug trafficking, through bribes and corruption.

Cyber Corruption:

  • Cybercrime: Corruption in the digital realm can involve hacking, identity theft, online fraud, and ransomware attacks, often for financial gain.
  • Corruption in Online Transactions: Online platforms and marketplaces may engage in corrupt practices, such as manipulating reviews or defrauding customers.

These are just a few examples of the types of corruption that can occur in various sectors of society. Combating corruption often requires a combination of legal and regulatory measures, transparency initiatives, and a strong commitment to ethical conduct at all levels of government and business.

5. What are the reasons for corruption in India?

Corruption in India is a complex and multifaceted issue with a range of contributing factors. It's important to note that corruption is not unique to India and exists in varying degrees in many countries. In the Indian Context, several reasons contribute to the prevalence of corruption:

  • Insufficient transparency in government processes, decision-making, and financial transactions can create opportunities for corruption. When actions and decisions are not open to public scrutiny, it becomes easier for individuals to engage in corrupt practices.
  • Excessive bureaucracy, lengthy and cumbersome administrative procedure, and a maze of regulations can provide opportunities for corrupt officials to demand bribes in exchange for expediting services or approvals.
  • Inadequate compensation for government officials, especially at lower levels of government, can push them toward corruption as a means to supplement their income. Low wages may lead to a sense of frustration and the temptation to accept bribes.
  • Weak enforcement of anti-corruption laws and a slow judicial process can create a culture of impunity. Corrupt individuals may believe they can escape punishment, which emboldens them to engage in corrupt activities.
  • The influence of money in politics, including campaign financing and political donations, can lead to favoritism and corruption. Politicians who rely on large sums of money to fund their campaigns may feel beholden to donors, potentially compromising their decision-making.
  • Insufficient protection for whistleblowers who report corruption can deter individuals from coming forward with information about corrupt practices, fearing retaliation.
  • Cultural norms and practices in some regions of India may tolerate or even encourage gift-giving and patronage networks, which can sometimes blur the line between legitimate social exchange and corruption.
  • A complicated taxation system can create opportunities for tax evasion and corruption, as individuals and businesses may seek ways to avoid paying taxes through illegal means.
  • A lack of awareness about the detrimental effects of corruption and the importance of ethical behavior can contribute to its persistence. Education and awareness programs are essential to combatting corruption.
  • Widespread economic disparities can foster corruption, as individuals and businesses may engage in corrupt practices to gain advantages in an unequal playing field.
  • Delays, inefficiency, and low-quality public services can lead to frustration among citizens, making them more willing to pay bribes to expedite processes.
  • Corruption can occur at various levels of government and society, from the grassroots level to high-ranking officials. It often involves a network of actors who enable and facilitate corrupt practices.

Efforts to combat corruption in India involve a combination of legal reforms, strengthening of anti-corruption agencies, promoting transparency and accountability, enhancing public awareness, and fostering a culture of ethical behavior. It is a challenging and ongoing process, but addressing corruption is crucial for the country's sustainable development and the well-being of its citizens.

For Prelims: Article 105(2) and Article 194(2) of the Indian Constitution, Corruption, Bribery, Member of Parliament (MP), Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA), and Nepotism.

For Mains: 1. Discuss the challenges and consequences of corruption among MLAs and MPs in India. What measures should be taken to enhance transparency and accountability in the political Sphere? (250 Words).

Source: The Indian Express


1. Context

A day after indicating that Russia might revoke its ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), President Vladimir Putin said on Friday (October 6, 2023) that the country would do so to be on level terms with the United States, and not to resume nuclear testing. 

2. Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT)

The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) is an international treaty aimed at banning all nuclear explosions for both civilian and military purposes. Its objectives is to prevent nuclear weapons development, limit the spread of nuclear weapons, and promote disarmament and non-proliferation efforts. The CTBT prohibits all nuclear explosions, whether for testing or any purpose, in any environment underground, in the atmosphere, underwater, or in outer space.

Key features and aspects of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Banreaty include:

  • The CTBT prohibits all signatory states from conducting any nuclear explosions, whether for peaceful or military purposes. It aims to prevent the testing of new nuclear weapons or the improvement of existing ones.
  • The treaty establishes a global monitoring system comprising a network of sensors, laboratories, and data analysis centers. This system is designed to detect and verify any nuclear explosions, ensuring compliance with the treaty.
  • The CTBT has not yet entered into force as of my last knowledge update in September 2021. For the treaty to enter into force, it requires ratification by 44 specific countries listed in Annex 2 of the treaty, which includes countries with nuclear capabilities at the time of negotiations. As of that time, eight Annex 2 countries had not ratified the treaty, preventing its entry into force.
  • The treaty includes a commitment to a "zero-yield" standard, meaning that even very low-yield nuclear explosions are prohibited. This standard is designed to leave no ambiguity about what constitutes a violation.
  • While the treaty bans nuclear explosions for any purpose, it does not restrict the use of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, such as nuclear energy generation, medical applications, or research.
  • The CTBT's verification regime includes a worldwide network of monitoring stations that detect seismic, hydroacoustic, infrasound, and radionuclide signals associated with nuclear explosions. Data from these stations are shared with the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) for analysis.
  • States that have ratified the CTBT meet annually to review the status of the treaty and its implementation.
  • While the CTBT aims to encourage all states to join, some nuclear-weapon states, including the United States, Russia, and China, have signed but not ratified the treaty. These countries have cited various reasons for not ratifying, including concerns about the effectiveness of the verification regime and the need for other nuclear-armed states to ratify.

The CTBT is seen as a critical element of the global nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation architecture. It represents a commitment by the international community to prevent the further development and testing of nuclear weapons. However, its effectiveness is contingent on its entry into force and universal adherence by all nuclear-capable states.

3. How did CTBT come into being? 

  • 1945: US conducts the world's first successful nuclear test.
  • 1949: Soviet Union tests its first nuclear weapon, triggering a Cold War arms race.
  • 1945-1996: Over 2,000 nuclear tests; 1,032 by the US, 715 by the Soviet Union, 45 by Britain, 210 by France, and 45 by China.
  • Concerns grow globally about the health and environmental effects of radioactive fallout.
  • 1963: Limited Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (LTBT) bans nuclear tests in the atmosphere, outer space, and underwater but allows underground tests.
  • 1968: No agreement on a comprehensive test ban during the negotiation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
  • 1974: The US and Soviet Union signed the Threshold Test Ban Treaty (TTBT) limiting tests to yields under 150 kilotons.
  • 1990s: Cold War ends, leading to a breakthrough.
  • 1996: The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) is adopted by the UN, banning all explosive nuclear weapon tests.
  • CTBT opened for signature on September 24, 1996.

4. Effectiveness of the CTBT in Curbing Nuclear Testing

  • CTBT hasn't completely halted nuclear testing.
  • After CTBT, 10 nuclear tests occurred. India conducted 2 tests in 1998. Pakistan conducted 2 tests in 1998.
  • North Korea conducted tests in 2006, 2009, 2013, 2016 (twice), and 2017. The US last tested in 1992.
  • China and France last tested in 1996. The Soviet Union last tested in 1990.
  • Russia, the inheritor of the Soviet nuclear arsenal, has never conducted a nuclear test.

5. Which key countries haven’t ratified CTBT? 

  • Eight key countries haven't ratified the CTBT.
  • They are China, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, and the United States.
  • The CTBT requires ratification by 44 specific nuclear technology holder countries to enter into force.
  • In 2021, UN Secretary-General António Guterres urged these countries to ratify the CTBT.
For Prelims: Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), Non-Proliferation Treaty, Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), Limited Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (LTBT), and Threshold Test Ban Treaty (TTBT).
For Mains: 1. Discuss the historical context and significance of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) in the global effort to curb nuclear proliferation. What are the challenges to its full implementation? (250 Words).
Source: The Indian Express


1. Context

As the International Day of Rural Women approaches, it is disheartening to note that India not only recorded one of the lowest female labour force participation rates (LFPR) in the world but that it was also lower than other South Asian countries except Afghanistan and Pakistan.

2. About the gender wage gap

  • The gender wage gap is the difference between the average earnings of men and women, typically calculated as a percentage of men's earnings.
  • For example, if women earn 80 cents for every dollar that men earn, then the gender wage gap is 20%.
  • The gender wage gap exists all over the world, and it persists even when controlling for factors such as education, experience, and occupation.

3. The gender wage gap in India

  • The gender wage gap in India is one of the highest in the world. According to the World Inequality Report 2022, men in India earn 82% of the labour income while the share of women's earnings stands at a mere 18%.
  • This means that for every ₹100 that a man earns in India, a woman earns just ₹18.
  • This is a significant disparity, and it has several negative consequences for women and girls. 

4. The causes gender wage gap

The following are some of the causes of the gender wage gap

  • Women are more likely to work in lower-paying occupations than men. For example, women are more likely to work in teaching, nursing, and social work, while men are more likely to work in engineering, construction, and finance.
  • Women are often penalized for being mothers, both in terms of their pay and their career advancement.
  • For example, women may be less likely to be hired for jobs that require long hours or travel, and they may be more likely to take time off from work to care for their children.
  • Women may face discrimination in the workplace, both explicit and implicit.
  • For example, women may be paid less than men for doing the same job, or they may be less likely to be promoted into leadership positions.
  • Women may be more likely to leave the workforce or take on part-time jobs due to a lack of access to quality childcare. This can lead to a decline in their earnings over time.
  • Unconscious bias can lead to women being paid less than men for doing the same job or being less likely to be promoted into leadership positions.
  • Women may be less likely to negotiate their salaries than men. This can lead to them being paid less than men for doing the same job.

5. Minimum Wage 

  • The minimum wage is the lowest wage that employers are legally allowed to pay their employees.
  • It is typically set by the government, but can also be negotiated through collective bargaining agreements.
  • The purpose of the minimum wage is to protect workers from being paid unfairly low wages.
  • It also helps to ensure that workers can earn a living wage, which is defined as a wage that is sufficient to meet the basic needs of a worker and their family.
  • The minimum wage in India is set by the central government and the state governments. =
  • The central government sets the minimum wage for scheduled employment, which is a list of occupations that are considered to be essential or hazardous. The state governments set the minimum wage for all other employees.
  • The minimum wage varies depending on the state and the type of employment. For example, the minimum wage for unskilled workers in Delhi is INR 584 per day, while the minimum wage for skilled workers in Maharashtra is INR 1,300 per day.
  • The minimum wage is an important tool for protecting workers and ensuring that they are paid fairly.
  • However, it is important to note that the minimum wage is not always enough to support a family.
  • In many parts of the world, workers must work multiple jobs or rely on government assistance to make ends meet.
For Prelims: Minimum wage, Gender wage gap
For Mains: 
1. Discuss the gender wage gap in India and its implications for women and girls. What factors contribute to the persistently high gender wage gap in the country? (250 Words)
Previous Year Questions
1. The Minimum Wages Act (CTET  2014)
A. specifies that minimum wages should be given to labourers
B. specifies that the wages should not below a specific minimum
C. allows employers to decide minimum wages of their employees
D. covers only government employees under the organized sector
Answer: B
 Source: indianexpress

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