Current Affair



1. Context

In its order on November 7, 2023, directing the Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan governments to ensure that the burning of crop stubble is “stopped forthwith”, the Supreme Court mentioned a “particular kind of paddy… grown mostly in Punjab”. This variety and “the time period in which it is grown” were seen as major causes of stubble burning and the resultant pollution problems in the National Capital Region.

2. About Pusa-44

Pusa-44 is a high-yielding rice variety developed by the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) in 1993. It is a non-aromatic variety that is suitable for combined harvesting and is widely grown in the northern Indian state of Punjab. Pusa-44 is a long-duration variety that takes around 120-130 days to mature.

3. About Pusa-2090

Pusa-2090 is a new short-duration rice variety developed by IARI in 2023. It is a semi-dwarf, non-lodging, and non-shattering variety that takes around 110-115 days to mature. Pusa-2090 has been developed as a replacement for Pusa-44 to address the problem of paddy stubble burning in Punjab. Stubble burning is a practice followed by farmers in Punjab after harvesting their paddy crop to prepare the fields for the next crop. However, stubble burning is a major source of air pollution and has been linked to various health problems.

4. Differences between Pusa-44 and Pusa-2090

Characteristic Pusa-44 Pusa-2090
Duration Long (135-140 days) Short (110-115 days)
Yield potential 7-8 tons per hectare 7-8 tons per hectare
Grain quality Good Good
Resistance to pests and diseases Resistant to most pests and diseases Resistant to most pests and diseases
Lodging resistance Moderate High
Shattering resistance Moderate High


5. When did Punjab farmers begin cultivating PUSA-44?

Punjab farmers began cultivating Pusa-44 in the early 1990s. It quickly became the most popular rice variety in the state, accounting for over 50% of the total paddy area. However, in recent years, there has been a growing concern about the environmental impact of Pusa-44 cultivation. The variety requires a lot of water and fertilizer, and it is also known to produce a lot of stubble, which is often burned by farmers after harvest. This stubble burning contributes to air pollution in the region.

The Indian government is now encouraging farmers to switch to short-duration rice varieties like Pusa-2090. These varieties require less water and fertilizer, and they produce less stubble. The government is also providing subsidies to farmers who switch to short-duration rice varieties.

6. About Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI)

  • ICAR is an autonomous organisation under the Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE), Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India.
  • It was established on 16 July 1929 as a registered society under the Societies Registration Act 1860 and It is headquartered in New Delhi.
  • It was formerly known as the Imperial Council of Agricultural Research.
  • At present, ICAR has 111 institutes and 71 agricultural universities spread across the country.
  • It is the apex body for coordinating, guiding and managing research and education in agriculture including horticulture, fisheries and animal sciences in the entire country.
  • The Union Minister of Agriculture is the ex-officio President of the ICAR Society.
  • ICAR Vision 2050 provides the strategic framework for innovation-led inclusive and sustainable agricultural growth in the country.

6.1. Initiatives by ICAR

  • It is all set to start a system to scientifically validate scale-up and propagate the innovations of progressive farmers.
  • A centre for innovation will be established in New Delhi where the innovations will be scientifically validated and farmers will be allowed to pursue research work.
  • The system intends to link farmers and farming with science and encourage farmers to continue their innovations.
  • It developing Nano Fertilizers and nano pesticides to promote organic farming and reduce the use of pesticides and fertilizers.
  • The council emphasises that agriculture is a science and application of principles of science helps boost agriculture.
  • It has created a link between 105 startups and farmers to encourage the use of technology in the farm sector.
  • It was inaugurated in 2020 for the first time in the 107 years of history of the Indian Science Congress highlighting the importance of farmer's innovations and their scientific validity.
  • The Theme of the Indian Science Congress in 2020 was "Science & Technology: Rural Development".
  • It has validated 51 integrated farming systems to help increase farm income and has developed 45 different organic farming models suitable for different agro-climatic regions.
  • The Attracting and Retaining Youth in Agriculture (Arya) programme is implemented to improve rural bio-economy and attract youth to agriculture.
For Prelims: Pusa-44, Pusa-2090, National Capital Region, Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), stubble burning, Nano Fertilizers, nano pesticides, Department of Agricultural Research and Education, Societies Registration Act 1860, Attracting and Retaining Youth in Agriculture (Arya) programme, 
For Mains: 
1. Critically analyze the role of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) in developing new crop varieties and agricultural technologies. (250 Words)
Previous Year Questions

1. Consider the following agricultural practices: (UPSC 2012)

  1. Contour bunding
  2. Relay cropping
  3. Zero tillage

In the context of global climate change, which of the above helps/help in carbon sequestration/storage in the soil?

(a) 1 and 2 only       (b) 3 only       (c) 1, 2 and 3           (d) None of them

Answer: B

2. The reference to National Capital Territory of Delhi is found in (MPSC 2017)
A. Article 239 A          B. Article 239 AA         C.  Article 239 AB       D.  Article 239 B
Answer: B

3. In the cities of our country, which among the following atmospheric gases are normally considered in calculating the value of Air Quality Index? ( UPSC 2016)

  1. Carbon dioxide
  2. Carbon monoxide
  3. Nitrogen dioxide
  4. Sulfur dioxide
  5. Methane

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1, 2 and 3 only    (b) 2, 3 and 4 only     (c) 1, 4 and 5 only         (d) 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

 Answer: B

4. Consider the following: (UPSC 2019) 

1. Carbon monooxide
2. Methane
3. Ozone
4. Sulphur dioxide

Which of the above are released into atmosphere due to the burning of crop/biomass residue? 

A. 1 and 2 only         B.  2, 3 and 4 only            C. 1 and 4 only         D.  1, 2, 3 and 4

Answer: D

5. What is Particulate matter? (BPSC 2016)

A. Solid residue      B. Air pollutant        C. Water pollutant   D. Soil pollutant

E.  None of the above/More than one of the above

Answer: B

6. With reference to chemical fertilizers in India, consider the following statements: (UPSC 2020)

  1. At present, the retail price of chemical fertilizers is market-driven and not administered by the Government.
  2. Ammonia, which is an input of urea, is produced from natural gas.
  3. Sulphur, which is a raw material for phosphoric acid fertilizer, is a by-product of oil refineries.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only         (b) 2 and 3 only          (c) 2 only          (d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: B

7. Consider the following statements: (UPSC 2022)

1. Other than those made by humans, nanoparticles do not exist in nature.
2. Nanoparticles of some metallic oxides are used in the manufacture of some cosmetics.
3. Nanoparticles of same commercial products which enter the environment are unsafe for humans.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct? 

A. 1 only        B. 3 only         C. 1 and 2          D.  2 and 3

Answer: D

8. The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) was first reorganized in: (MP Patwari 2017)

A. 1956   B. 1965         C.  1969           D. 1972

Answer: B

 Source: Indianexpress


Shedding the shackles of foreign domination, India awoke to “life and freedom” on August 15, 1947. On January 26, 1950, the Constitution of India came into effect. Thus ensued our democratic journey, emphasising the principles of individual rights, equality, accessibility, rule of law, separation of powers, universal suffrage and public participation
2. Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG)
  • The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India is a constitutional authority responsible for auditing and overseeing the financial operations of the Government of India and state governments. The role of the CAG is defined in the Constitution of India, primarily in Article 148
  • The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) plays a pivotal role within the democratic framework, ensuring transparency, accountability, and financial integrity in the government's operations.
  • It actively contributes to upholding the separation of powers between the legislature and executive by verifying that the government's financial activities align with legislative intentions.
  • Through its audit discoveries and recommendations, the CAG advocates for good governance practices, aiding governments in streamlining operations, minimizing inefficiencies, and adhering to financial discipline.
  • In the evolving landscape of India's democracy, the CAG's role becomes increasingly crucial, promoting good governance and safeguarding the interests of the people.
  • Notably, the 73rd and 74th Constitutional amendments represent a significant advancement in India's democratic structure, establishing tiers of self-governance below the state level.
  • The roots of organized local governance in India trace back to the historical "Janpadi and Pancha" system. Looking ahead to independent India, the recommendations of the 1958 Balwant Rai Mehta Committee laid the groundwork for a three-tier structure for rural self-governance, ultimately materializing in the 73rd and 74th amendments.
3. Appointment and Tenure of CAG
  • The President of India appoints the CAG.
  • The appointment is made based on the recommendation of the Prime Minister, who consults with other authorities
  • The President is required to consult with:
    • The Speaker of the Lok Sabha (House of the People).
    • The Vice President, who is also the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha (Council of States).
    • The Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha.
  • The qualifications for the appointment of the CAG are similar to those of a judge of the Supreme Court
  • The CAG holds office for a term of six years from the date they assume office or until they attain the age of 65, whichever is earlier.
  • The CAG can be removed from office only in the manner and on the grounds prescribed for the removal of a judge of the Supreme Court
  • The constitutional provisions related to the appointment of the CAG are primarily outlined in Article 148 of the Indian Constitution
4. Functions and Powers
  • The primary function of the CAG is to audit the accounts related to the revenue and expenditure of the Government of India and state governments
  • The CAG also audits the accounts of bodies and authorities substantially financed by the government
  • The CAG audits the accounts of public sector undertakings and other entities where the government has a substantial financial stake
  • The CAG audits the accounts of various statutory bodies and authorities to ensure compliance with financial regulations and legal requirements
  • The audit reports prepared by the CAG are submitted to the President of India in the case of the central government and to the Governors in the case of state governments.
  • These reports are then laid before each House of Parliament or the State Legislature.
  • The CAG operates independently and is not subject to the control or influence of the executive in the performance of their duties.
  • The CAG has the authority to access all records, books, and documents related to the accounts being audited
5. CAG of India vs CAG of the United Kingdom
Subject CAG of India CAG of the United Kingdom
Constitutional Status Constitutional authority Not a constitutional office, part of the National Audit Office (NAO)
Appointment Appointed by the President of India Appointed by the monarch on the advice of the Prime Minister
Independence Independent Emphasizes independence but appointment process may raise questions
Functions Audits government accounts, conducts performance audits Audits central government departments, agencies, and public bodies
Reports Submitted to the President/Governors, laid before Parliament/State Legislatures Reports directly to the UK Parliament
Legal Framework Outlined in the Constitution of India Based on various statutes, operates under the Public Audit Act 2001
Role in Public Accounts Committees (PACs) Plays a crucial role in assisting PACs at central and state levels Supports the UK Parliament's Public Accounts Committee

6.How Independently does the Office of CAG Function?

  • The office of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) is designed to function independently to ensure impartiality and integrity in auditing government expenditures. The independence of the CAG's office is crucial for maintaining transparency, accountability, and public trust in the financial management of the government
  • The CAG is a constitutional authority, and its independence is enshrined in the Constitution of India. This constitutional status provides a strong foundation for the CAG's autonomy.
  • The CAG is appointed by the President of India based on the recommendations of the Prime Minister in consultation with other authorities. The appointment process aims to ensure the CAG's impartiality and independence
  • The CAG holds office for a fixed term of six years or until the age of 65, whichever is earlier. This security of tenure helps insulate the CAG from external pressures
  • The conditions of service of the CAG, once appointed, cannot be varied to their disadvantage. This ensures that the CAG can perform their duties without fear of adverse changes in service conditions
  • The CAG operates independently and is not subject to the control or influence of the executive in the performance of their duties. This separation is crucial for conducting objective and unbiased audits.

7.What is the Public Accounts Committee (PAC)?

  • The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is a parliamentary committee that plays a crucial role in overseeing government expenditures and ensuring financial accountability.
  • Its primary function is to examine the audit reports prepared by the supreme audit institution (such as the Comptroller and Auditor General, CAG) and to scrutinize the government's financial transactions, policies, and programs.
  • Members of the PAC are typically drawn from the legislature and reflect the political composition of the parliament or legislative body
  • The PAC is headed by a Chairperson, who is usually a member of the opposition party to ensure impartiality.
  • The primary mandate of the PAC is to examine the audit reports produced by the supreme audit institution, which highlights instances of financial irregularities, inefficiencies, or non-compliance with laws and regulations.
  • The PAC scrutinizes government expenditures to ensure that public funds are used efficiently and effectively
  • The PAC often follows up on its recommendations to ensure that the government has taken appropriate actions in response to identified issues
  • The PAC enhances public accountability by holding the government accountable for its financial decisions and ensuring transparency in the use of public funds
  • The PAC plays a critical role in upholding democratic principles by ensuring that public funds are utilized in the best interest of the citizens and that the government is held accountable for its financial decisions


For Prelims: Indian Polity and Governance

For Mains: General Studies II: Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies

Source: indianexpress


1. Context
If raindrops fall in Delhi on November 20 and 21 2023, they could be ‘artificial’. The Delhi government said there is a possibility for a cloud seeding pilot in the city on these two dates to reduce pollution levels, if things go to plan.
2. What is Cloud Seeding?
Cloud seeding is a form of weather modification technology designed to induce artificial rainfall.
Its effectiveness relies on the presence of adequate pre-existing clouds in the atmosphere.
Rain occurs when atmospheric moisture reaches a saturation point, and cloud seeding aims to expedite this process by introducing chemical 'nuclei.'
These nuclei provide surfaces around which condensation can occur.
Examples of rain-inducing nuclei include silver or potassium iodides, solid carbon dioxide (dry ice), or liquid propane. Delivery methods for these seeding agents include aerial dispersal via aircraft or ground-based spraying.
3. Cloud Seeding Methods

Cloud seeding is a weather modification technique used to enhance precipitation by introducing seeding agents into clouds. Various methods are employed to disperse these agents, promoting the formation of precipitation. Here are some common cloud seeding methods:

Aerial Seeding:

    • Aircraft Dispersion: Cloud seeding agents, such as silver iodide or other materials, are released into the atmosphere from aircraft. Flares or canisters containing the seeding agents are ignited and dispersed at appropriate cloud levels. The aircraft may fly through clouds or release seeding agents from above, depending on the cloud characteristics.

Ground-Based Seeding:

    • Ground-Based Generators: These are stationed on the ground to release seeding agents into the atmosphere. These generators may use flares or other mechanisms to disperse the seeding agents vertically into the air. Ground-based seeding is often employed in areas where aircraft may not be practical or cost-effective.

    • Rocket Launches: Some cloud seeding programs use rockets equipped with seeding agents to reach specific altitudes in the atmosphere. The rockets are launched from the ground and disperse the seeding agents into the target clouds.

Hygroscopic Flares:

    • Hygroscopic Materials: Certain seeding agents, known as hygroscopic materials, have an affinity for water vapor. These materials can absorb moisture from the air, promoting the coalescence of water droplets and eventually precipitation. Calcium chloride is an example of a hygroscopic material used in cloud seeding.

Remote Sensing and Monitoring:

    • Weather Radar: Meteorologists use weather radar to monitor cloud development and precipitation patterns. This information helps identify suitable clouds for seeding and assess the effectiveness of cloud seeding operations.

    • Weather Balloons and Instruments: Instruments carried by weather balloons provide data on atmospheric conditions, helping meteorologists determine the feasibility of cloud seeding. These instruments measure factors such as temperature, humidity, and wind speed at different altitudes.

Natural Ice Nuclei:

    • Collecting Natural Ice Nuclei: In some cases, natural ice nuclei (particles that can initiate the freezing of water droplets) are collected and dispersed into clouds to encourage the formation of ice crystals. This method is less common than using artificial seeding agents.
4. Applications of Cloud Seeding

Cloud seeding is primarily employed to enhance precipitation in specific regions, and it has applications in various fields. Some notable applications of cloud seeding include:

Water Resource Management:

    • Increased Precipitation: Cloud seeding aims to boost rainfall or snowfall in targeted areas, contributing to increased water resources. This is particularly valuable in regions facing water scarcity or drought conditions.


    • Enhanced Crop Irrigation: Increased precipitation resulting from cloud seeding can benefit agriculture by providing additional water for crop irrigation. This is especially significant in arid or semi-arid regions where water availability is a limiting factor for agricultural productivity.

Water Supply Augmentation:

    • Reservoir Replenishment: Cloud seeding can help replenish reservoirs and aquifers, contributing to the augmentation of water supplies for domestic, industrial, and agricultural use.

Snowpack Augmentation:

    • Winter Sports Industry: In mountainous regions, cloud seeding is sometimes employed to enhance snowpack, particularly for ski resorts and winter sports areas. Increased snowfall can extend the winter season and improve conditions for skiing and other activities.

Forest Fire Prevention:

    • Reducing Fire Risk: In certain cases, cloud seeding is explored as a tool for reducing the risk of forest fires. By inducing precipitation, especially in dry and fire-prone areas, the moisture content of vegetation may increase, lowering the likelihood of wildfires.

Air Quality Improvement:

    • Particle Removal: Cloud seeding can contribute to the removal of particulate matter and pollutants from the atmosphere. The process of precipitation can capture particles and cleanse the air.

Research and Climate Studies:

    • Scientific Investigations: Cloud seeding is sometimes used in scientific research to study cloud dynamics, precipitation processes, and atmospheric interactions. These studies help improve our understanding of weather patterns and climate systems.

Hydropower Generation:

    • Improved Reservoir Levels: Increased precipitation resulting from cloud seeding can contribute to higher water levels in reservoirs, positively impacting hydropower generation.
5. What are the Challenges involved in Cloud Seeding?

Cloud seeding, despite its potential benefits, is a practice that comes with several challenges and considerations. Some of the key challenges involved in cloud seeding include:

Effectiveness and Unpredictability:

    • The effectiveness of cloud seeding can be variable and is dependent on various factors such as cloud type, atmospheric conditions, and the presence of suitable seeding materials. Predicting the outcome of cloud seeding operations with certainty remains a challenge.

Ethical and Environmental Concerns:

    • Cloud seeding involves the intentional modification of weather patterns, raising ethical and environmental questions. Concerns include potential unintended consequences, ecological impacts, and the ethical considerations of altering natural precipitation processes.

Public Perception and Acceptance:

    • Cloud seeding initiatives may face public skepticism and opposition due to concerns about the unknown environmental impacts, the artificial manipulation of weather, and potential health effects of the seeding agents. Public acceptance is crucial for the success and continuation of cloud seeding programs.

Regulatory Approval:

    • Implementing cloud seeding programs often requires regulatory approval and adherence to environmental regulations. Obtaining permits and addressing regulatory concerns can be a time-consuming and complex process.

Scientific Uncertainty:

    • The scientific understanding of cloud seeding is still evolving, and uncertainties remain regarding its long-term effects, environmental impact, and overall effectiveness. Ongoing research is essential to address these uncertainties and improve the understanding of the practice.

Limited Scope and Scale:

    • Cloud seeding is generally effective within certain weather conditions and specific cloud types. Its applicability may be limited to certain regions and may not work in all meteorological conditions.

Weather Variability:

    • Natural weather variability can impact the success of cloud seeding. Unpredictable changes in atmospheric conditions, including wind patterns and temperature fluctuations, can influence the dispersion and effectiveness of seeding agents.

Technical Challenges:

    • The technology involved in cloud seeding, including the delivery of seeding agents, can face technical challenges. For example, the dispersion of seeding agents from aircraft or ground-based generators must be carefully calibrated for optimal results.


    • Implementing and maintaining cloud seeding programs can be expensive. The costs include aircraft operations, ground-based generators, and the purchase of seeding materials. Cost-effectiveness is a consideration in the decision to pursue cloud seeding initiatives.

Data Collection and Monitoring:

    • Adequate data collection and monitoring are essential for assessing the impact of cloud seeding. Establishing comprehensive monitoring systems to evaluate changes in precipitation patterns and environmental conditions requires significant resources and infrastructure
For Prelims: General issues on Environmental ecology
For Mains: General Studies III: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment
Previous Year Questions

1.In the context of which of the following do some scientists suggest the use of cirrus cloud thinning technique and the injection of sulphate aerosol into stratosphere? (UPSC CSE 2019)

(a) Creating the artificial rains in some regions
(b) Reducing the frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones
(c) Reducing the adverse effects of solar wind on the Earth
(d) Reducing the global warming

Answer (d)
Source: Indianexpress


1. Context
U.S Secretary of Defence Lloyd J.Austin arrived in India for a 2+2 Ministerial dialogue
2. What is 2+2 Ministerial dialogue?
  • The annual 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue, initiated in 2018, serves as a diplomatic summit aiming to address shared concerns and bolster the relationship between India and the United States.
  • This forum facilitates collaboration between key representatives, including India's Minister of External Affairs and Defence Minister, alongside their American counterparts, the Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense, to foster stronger ties between the two nations.
  • India engages in 2+2 dialogues with four significant strategic allies: the United States, Australia, Japan, and Russia, all of which are partners in the Quad. The discussions within these dialogues encompass a range of political and defence matters of shared interest.
  • For instance, in the fourth annual U.S.-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue, the agenda included discussions on arms control and international security, civilian security, democracy, and human rights, as well as topics related to economic growth, energy, environment, food security, clean energy, waste management, and infrastructure
3.Significance of 2+2 Ministerial dialogue
  • The annual 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue serves as a diplomatic event convening the foreign and defense ministers of two nations.
  • Its primary objective is to address shared concerns and fortify the relationship between the participating countries.
  • This platform facilitates high-level discussions on crucial bilateral and global issues, with a particular emphasis on developments in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • Through the dialogue, the partners gain a deeper understanding of each other's strategic concerns, considering political factors on both sides.
  • Remarkable progress in defense relations has resulted from the dialogue, including the establishment of a new tri-service military exercise, the deployment of liaison officers in regional commands, and the reduction of U.S. export barriers for military technologies.
  • Furthermore, the dialogue has contributed to various outcomes, such as ongoing close consultations on the crisis in Ukraine, including humanitarian assistance efforts.
  • It has also seen joint support for an independent investigation into the violence against civilians, along with the acknowledgment of significant events like the inaugural virtual Quad Leaders' Summit in March 2021, the in-person Quad Leaders' Summit in September 2021 in Washington, and the Quad Foreign Ministers' meeting in Melbourne in February 2022. The engagement has been strengthened on shared priorities, including food security, clean energy, waste management, and infrastructure
4. History of 2+2 Ministerial dialogue

The 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue has become a significant diplomatic mechanism for several countries, bringing together their foreign and defense ministers to discuss strategic and security-related issues. While specific details may have evolved since then, here is a general overview of the history of the 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue:

India-U.S. 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue (Initiated in 2018):

    • The concept of a 2+2 dialogue involving the foreign and defense ministers of India and the United States was formalized in 2018.
    • The inaugural U.S.-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue took place in September 2018 in New Delhi, India.
    • The dialogue aimed to enhance diplomatic and defense cooperation between the two countries, covering a range of issues from regional security to defense trade.

Japan-U.S. 2+2 Ministerial (Ongoing):

    • The Japan-U.S. 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue involves the foreign and defense ministers of Japan and the United States.
    • This format is designed to strengthen the strategic alliance between Japan and the U.S., addressing regional security challenges and fostering defense collaboration.

Australia-U.S. 2+2 Ministerial (Ongoing):

    • Australia and the United States hold a 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue involving their foreign and defense ministers.
    • The discussions typically encompass a wide range of issues, including defense cooperation, regional security, and shared strategic interests.

India-Japan 2+2 Ministerial (Ongoing):

    • Apart from the India-U.S. dialogue, India also engages in a 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue with Japan, involving their foreign and defense ministers.
    • This platform allows both countries to discuss bilateral and regional security matters, promoting closer diplomatic and defense ties.

India-Australia 2+2 Ministerial (Ongoing):

    • Similar to its engagements with the U.S. and Japan, India also conducts a 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue with Australia.
    • The dialogue aims to strengthen the strategic partnership, addressing common concerns and fostering cooperation in various domains.

COMCASA (Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement) is an agreement between the United States and other countries, primarily aimed at enhancing defense and security cooperation. The agreement focuses on enabling secure and interoperable communication systems between the armed forces of the participating nations. Please note that developments might have occurred since my last update.

Key points about the COMCASA Pact:


    • The primary purpose of COMCASA is to facilitate secure communication and data sharing between the armed forces of the participating countries, particularly in the context of joint military exercises, operations, and interoperability.


    • COMCASA aims to enhance interoperability by ensuring that the communication systems of the signatory nations can work seamlessly with each other. This is crucial for effective coordination during joint military activities.

Secure Communication:

    • The agreement includes provisions for secure communication systems to protect sensitive information and ensure that the communication channels are not vulnerable to unauthorized access or interference.

Technological Integration:

    • COMCASA involves the integration of specific technologies and communication equipment to meet the agreed-upon standards, allowing for the secure exchange of military information.

India-U.S. COMCASA Agreement:

    • India and the United States signed the COMCASA agreement in September 2018. This agreement marked a significant step in the defense and strategic partnership between the two countries.

Implications for India:

    • For India, the COMCASA agreement with the U.S. has implications for its defense capabilities and interoperability with U.S. military systems. It allows India to access advanced communication technology and equipment, fostering closer collaboration between the two nations' armed forces.
6.Way forward
The 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue is a diplomatic summit that has been held every year since 2018. The dialogue initially involved the Minister of External Affairs or Foreign Minister, and Defence Minister of India with the Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense of the United State
Source: The Hindu


1. Context

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Network Open (JAMA) reveals concerning trends among older Americans facing dementia or mild cognitive decline. One in four of these individuals live alone, exposing them to various risks such as unsafe driving, wandering, medication confusion, and missed medical appointments.

2. About Dementia

  • Dementia is a broad term used to describe a set of cognitive impairments that significantly interfere with an individual’s ability to perform daily activities and maintain independence.
  • It is not a specific disease, but rather a syndrome caused by various underlying conditions, the most common being Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Dementia progresses gradually making it tough for people to recall information and complete tasks they used to manage effortlessly.
  • It often requires increasing support and care from loved ones or caregivers.
  • Globally, dementia affects over 55 million people, ranking as the seventh leading cause of death and a major cause of disability among the elderly.

3. Problems faced by people living with dementia

  • Researchers from UC San Francisco emphasize that older adults with cognitive impairment living alone often slip through gaps in a healthcare system heavily reliant on unpaid caregivers and limited access to home-care aides.
  • This predicament stems from social factors, contributing to negative health consequences for this demographic.
  • Living alone deprives the brain of essential sensory input, impacting language, emotions, social adaptability, and memory.
  • Reduced social interactions, limited language use, and diminished participation in social events contribute to cognitive decline.
  • Social isolation is just one risk factor for dementia. Increasing age, diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, obesity, smoking, vascular diseases, and physical inactivity also contribute to the development of dementia.
  • Dementia presents various challenges, including memory loss, confusion, trouble concentrating, personality shifts, withdrawal from loved ones, depression, anxiety, communication difficulties, and mobility issues.
  • Caregivers play a crucial role, in facing frustration, anger, and burnout.

4. Tips for Caregivers

  • Learn about the specific type of dementia and its progression.
  • Maintain a calm demeanour, listen attentively, and validate emotions.
  • Foster autonomy and respect personal preferences.
  • Establish predictable routines to reduce confusion.
  • Keep cherished items for comfort and familiarity.
  • Implement reminders for medication schedules.
  • Create a safe environment to prevent accidents.
  • Use sturdy equipment and communicate each step during bathing.
  • Prioritize caregiver well-being to avoid burnout.
  • Seek support from healthcare professionals for medical and psychological needs.

5. Conclusion

Dementia is a challenging condition for both the person affected and their loved ones. However, there are ways to manage the symptoms and improve the quality of life for people living with dementia. By following the tips above, caregivers can provide better support for their loved ones and help them live their lives to the fullest.

For Prelims: Dementia, Journal of the American Medical Association, cognitive decline, Alzheimer's, diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, obesity, smoking, vascular diseases, 
For Mains: 
1. Define dementia and explain its causes and symptoms. Explain the challenges faced by people living with dementia and their caregivers. (250 Words)
Previous Year Questions 
1. The most important type of dementia is- (UPPSC Staff Nurse 2017)
A. Pick's disease       B.  Parkinson's disease     C. Alzheimer's disease   D. Tick's disease Answer: C
2. ‘Diabetes’ is related to ‘Blood Sugar’ in the same way as ‘Hypertension’ is related to ‘______’. (SSC CGL 2020)
A. Red Blood Cells         B. Heart          C.  Blood Pressure   D. Body Cells
Answer: C
3. All are risk factors for Hypertension except (MP NHM CHO 2019)
A. Obesity          B.  Family History        C. Contaminated water         D. Smoking
Answer: C
4. What is not true about Hypertension (MP NHM CHO 2019)
A. Occurs in urban population
B. Normally affects people above 30 years of age
C. Cannot be cured permanently by antihypertensive drugs
D. 90-150 is not the correct range for systolic BP
Answer: A
Instruction for passage: Read the passage carefully and choose the correct answer from the given alternatives.
Smoking is the single largest preventable cause of death worldwide. It is killing about 2200 people in India every day which means one every forty seconds. It is alarming that in spite of this smoking is increasing among the youth of India. According to a World Bank study India, Indonesia and China are the only countries in the world where the incidence of smoking is going up. It is increasing not only in cities but also in towns and villages. Higher education groups are also taking to smoking more readily. Since smoking enjoys social acceptance. It is easy to get cigarettes. What starts as an experiment, soon turns into a habit. It is difficult to give up smoking because, unlike other drugs, the craving for it is immediate. Nicotine in cigarettes brings structural changes to the brain. Its non-availability can cause symptoms of agitation. Smoking also has a strong associational aspect. People smoke while reading, after meals, or with a cup of coffee.
It is difficult to give up smoking because: (Soldier Clerk 2021)
A. It can't be remedied
B. Craving for a cigarette is immediate
C. Its lust does not spare one
D. It is a tough job
Answer: B
Source: The Hindu

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