Current Affair



NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has spotted the earliest-known galaxy, one that is surprisingly bright and big considering it formed during the universe’s infancy — at only 2% its current age.

2. About James Webb Telescope

  • The James Webb Space Telescope took 30 years and $10 billion to build, has flown over 1.5 million kilometres away from Earth, and now, we will finally be seeing the first glimpse of its power with a collection of images.
  • NASA has promised the deepest image of our universe that has ever been taken, and these first sets of images are only the first step in a long job of expanding our view of the universe.
  • Webb inspires the world through discovery. The telescope will capture the highest resolution science images of the infrared universe on an unprecedented scale.
  • The Webb telescope can view stars, galaxies, and planets in the infrared light spectrum. Its cameras and spectrographs are built to operate at extremely cold temperatures to conduct infrared science. 
  • Webb is one of the great engineering feats of humanity. 
  • Engineers invented 10 new technologies to detect infrared light of distant astronomical objects that benefit us here on Earth – with applications in medicine, aerospace, and other fields. 
  • Innovative spinoff technology has produced advances in eye surgery and better diagnoses of eye diseases


3. Scientific Goals of James Webb

  • Webb will seek light from the first galaxies in the early universe, and it will explore our solar system, as well as nearby planets orbiting other stars. 
  • Themes highlighted in the first images and spectra include cutting-edge explorations of the early universe, the evolution of galaxies through time, the lifecycle of stars, and other worlds outside our solar system
  • Webb’s unprecedented sensitivity to infrared light will help astronomers understand how galaxies assemble over billions of years. 
  • Webb will see through dust clouds, where stars and planetary systems are born. 
  • In addition to learning about our solar system, Webb will study the atmospheres of planets orbiting other stars, called exoplanets. 
  • Webb will reveal new and unexpected discoveries to help us understand our cosmic origins, seeking to answer age-old questions: How did the universe begin? How do galaxies form and evolve? How do we fit in the cosmos?

4. Quick Facts about James Webb

  • Webb will orbit the Sun at the second Lagrange point, called L2, which is located one million miles from Earth. 
  • Webb’s sun shield is the size of a tennis court. 
  • It protects the sensitive equipment by creating a difference in temperature between the hot and cold sides of the spacecraft of almost 600 degrees Fahrenheit!
  • Using its infra-red telescope, the JWST observatory will examine objects over 13.6 billion light-years away.
  • Because of the time it takes light to travel across the Universe, this means that the JWST will effectively be looking at objects 13.6 billion years ago, an estimated 100 to 250 million years after the Big Bang. 
  • This is the furthest back in time ever observed by humanity.
  • After launching into space, the JWST will orbit the Sun, flying up to 1.5 million kilometres from Earth in temperatures reaching -223°C.
  • For comparison, the Moon is 384,400km away, while the Hubble Space Telescope flies only 570km above our planet. As the JWST will operate so far away from Earth, it will not be able to be serviced by astronauts if any faults arise.

4.1 About Lagrange Point

  • L2 is one of the so-called Lagrangian points, discovered by mathematician Joseph Louis Lagrange. 
  • Lagrangian points are locations in space where gravitational forces and the orbital motion of a body balance each other. 
  • Therefore, they can be used by spacecraft to 'hover'. 
  • L2 is located 1.5 million kilometres directly 'behind' the Earth as viewed from the Sun. 
  • It is about four times further away from the Earth than the Moon ever gets and orbits the Sun at the same rate as the Earth.
  • It is a great place from which to observe the larger Universe. A spacecraft would not have to make constant orbits of the Earth, which result in it passing in and out of the Earth's shadow and causing it to heat up and cool down, distorting its view. Free from this restriction and far away from the heat radiated by Earth, L2 provides a much more stable viewpoint.

5. Mission of James Webb telescope

  • As the JWST is a product of an international collaboration between NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), it has many mission goals.
  • These include:
    • Examine the first light in the Universe and the celestial objects which formed shortly after the Big Bang.
    • Investigate how galaxies form and evolve.
    • Study the atmospheres of distant exoplanets.
    • Capture images of planets in our solar system.
    • Locate evidence of dark matter.
  • The JWST is expected to operate for five years after its launch. However, NASA hopes the observatory will last longer than 10 years.
  • Unfortunately, the observatory won’t be able to operate forever: although mostly solar-powered, the JWST needs a small amount of finite fuel to maintain its orbit and instruments.

5. Images Captured by JAMES WEBB

The JWST team has now announced the list of objects it has targeted with its first round of images. There will be five areas that are shown in these images:


5.1.Carina Nebula

  • Both one of the largest and brightest nebulae in the sky, the Carina Nebula is roughly 7600 light-years away. 
  • The Carina Nebula houses some huge stars, several of which are much larger than the Sun.



  • WASP-96b is a giant planet that is found outside of our solar system. 
  • It is mostly composed of gas and is roughly 1150 light-years from Earth. It was discovered back in 2014.


5.3.Southern Ring Nebula

  • An expanding cloud of gas surrounded by a dying star, the Southern Ring Nebula is the perfect opportunity to test the James Webb Space Telescope's infrared images. 
  • It is nearly half a light-year in diameter and is around 2000 light-years away from Earth.


5.4.Stephan's Quintet

  • Stephan's Quintet is located an amazing 290 million light-years away. 
  • It was the first compact galaxy group ever discovered back in 1877 and will be the furthest image taken by the JWST.


5.5.SMACS 0723

  • SMACS 0723 is a patch of sky in the southern constellation of Volans. It has a massive cluster of galaxies in the foreground which act like a massive magnifying glass. This is because their incredible mass causes a noticeable curvature of the space-time around them, magnifying light from distant objects.



  •  James Webb space, with the release of its first five stunning images, has demonstrated an acute observational capacity and revealed aspects of the cosmos hitherto hidden from other telescopes.
  • As light travels with a velocity of about 3, 00,000 km per second, light from a distant object will take time to reach earth. Hence when we see a distant stellar object, we see it as if it were far back in time. To collect more light we need giant infrared telescopes.JWST is the biggest infrared telescope ever built.
  • The spectroscopic observation of JWST reveals that there is a considerable amount of water vapour in the WASP-96 b’s atmosphere. However, due to the blistering heat, WASP-96 is unlikely to host life.
  • On November 30, 1609, Galileo turned his telescope towards the night sky. Until then, scholars held that celestial objects were without any kind of blemish. Galileo showed that the moon had raters and mountains
  • All celestial objects, including stars, were thought to go around the earth. The telescope, by observing phases of Venus firmly established that planets go around the sun and not the Earth.
  • The Milky Way, a haze in the night that teemed with hundreds of stars, established that the cosmos is immense and beyond our imagination.

8. JSWT Observations

  • The deep field image of the SMACS 0723 cluster of galaxies has images that date back to times when the first stars were born. The images from Carina Nebula vividly show the birth of new stars.
  • In contrast, the southern Ring Nebula image details a dying star.
  • In Stephan’s quintet, the JWST has captured the cataclysmic cosmic collision of galaxies.
  • By analyzing the spectrum of the radiation from WASP-96 b, an exoplanet, the telescope has shown conclusively the presence of water vapour in the atmosphere of this hot, puffy gas giant planet orbiting a distant sun-like star.
  • With its sharp vision, more light collecting area and ability to see in the invisible infrared regions, the JWST is sure to expand our understanding of the cosmos.

9. Peering back in Time

  • About 13.8 billion years ago, through the big bang, our Universe emerged. The first stars and galaxies were born around 300 million years after the Big Bang.
  • To know more about the formation of these stars and galaxies, we do not need a time machine or time travel.
  • As light travels with a velocity of about 3,00,000  km per second, light from a distant object will take time to reach us on Earth. Hence when we see a distant stellar object, we see it as if it were far back in time. Powerful telescopes are, therefore, like time machines.
  • However, since the objects far away are dim, we need giant telescopes to collect more light. Further light from distant objects is stretched out by the expansion of our universe, driving radiation from the visible range into the infrared.
  • Therefore to look deep back into the early phases of the universe we need a giant infrared telescope, JWST is the biggest infrared telescope ever built.

9. Cluster of Galaxies

  • The SMACS0723 is a noted cluster of galaxies around 5.12 light years away Situated in the direction of the southern constellation of Volans, the image is as it appeared 4.6 billion years ago, about the same time when the sun and earth evolved.
  • SMACS 0723 galaxy cluster is massive, which as Einstein’s general relativity theory predicts, distorts the fabric of space-time
  • Like the refraction of a ray of light passing through a lens, the light from behind bends through the massive cluster. Due to this’ gravitational lensing’ effect, we notice that some galaxies appear distorted in an arc shape, some are split into multiple images, and some are magnified.
  • The kaleidoscope of colours in the image captured by the JWST‘s Mid-infrared  Instrument (MIRI) is false colours (False colour refers to colour rendering methods used to display images which were recorded in the visible or non–visible parts of the electromagnetic spectrum, in colour)corresponding to a radiation wavelength.
  • Galaxies that appear blue in this image contain stars but very little dust. The cosmic objects enveloped by dust appear red. Objects rich in hydrocarbons and other chemical compounds are green.

10. Where Stars are born?

  • Stars and star clusters are formed inside giant gas clouds. Typically the massive interstellar clouds where new stars are formed are huge with diameters of about 100 light-years and holding nearly six million solar masses.
  • There is enough material for making hundreds of stars out of this.
  • Nonetheless, the density of these clouds is just 100 atoms per cubic centimetre. The visible light is obscured by the thick dust that goes into the making of these stars and renders it opaque. Shrouded in thick dust clouds, these star-forming regions remained hidden from even powerful telescopes, until now.
  • One such stellar nursery booming with new stars is a giant interstellar gas cloud in our galaxy called NG 3324, dubbed cosmic cliff, located approximately7600 light years from Earth, and is home to many massive and young stars than our sun.
  • With the giant gas cloud condensing into new stars, this is an active star-forming region. Hot gas and dust emit infrared light. By steering its NIRcam and MIRI instruments into the highly dense dust clouds, the JWST has revealed rich details of this star formation region.
  • The striking image shows many exciting features in the innards of the star-forming regions. Hundreds of baby stars, previously invisible to telescopes, shine through the dust cloud. Thin gas pervades the space between the stars called the interstellar medium.
  • When the infant star begins to shine, it below away the interstellar matter. The region devoid of gas appears in the image in the shape of bubbles and cavities.
  • The mountains and valleys in the interstellar medium shaped by the radiation from the bubbling stars are visible, while the stars located in the centre of the bubble are off the frame.
  • Other phenomena that one sees in the image include ionized gas and hot dust wafting away due to radiation from young stars, casing turbulence and eddy and dust swirling in the surrounding gas. What appears as a golden comet in this image is jet outflows from the newborn stars.
  • Two Indian astronomers are slated to use the JWST data to study star formation.
  • Manoj Puravankara will be using the data obtained from Near Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec) and MIRI instruments to study the earliest phases of star formation, that is the protoplanetary disks- the birthplaces of planetary systems.
  • Jessy Jose, Assistant professor from the Department of Physics, IISER Tirupati will be part of an international collaboration to study the very massive, dense molecular cloud within the central molecule zone of our Milky Way to understand  the young stellar objects within it
  • The NIRcam and MIRI instruments of JWST which broadly covers the wavelength range from 0.6 to 28 – micron meter will enable us to characterize the very early phase of star formation.

11. A Star on Deathbed

  • The Eight Burst Nebula, also known as the southern Ring Nebula or NG 132 is a well-known planetary nebula in the constellation Vela, located approximately 2500 light years from Earth.
  • Planetary nebulae are gas shells formed from the cast-off outer layers of a dying star
  • Intermediate mass stars with a mass of 0.8 to eight times the mass of the sun end their lives with drama. They do not die in one big explosion but go through a cycle of fits and starts.
  • The dying star will expel its outer layer and expand, while simultaneously, its core will contract.
  • The contracting centre will once again start to emit energy, and the star will have a lease of life. The expelled shell is pushed by this radiation and expands in space like a ring around the central star
  • After some time the central star again shed its outré layer while the remaining core contracts.
  • Over time successive waves of expelled outer shells surround the central star–like concentric rings.
  • The remaining core of the star ultimately becomes a faint glowing white dwarf.
  • After trillion years they cool down and no longer shine, ultimately becoming black dwarfs. The near-infrared light is false-coloured blue, and the mid-infrared light is red in this impressive image by the JWST.
  • The consecutive waves of expelled shells can be seen clearly. In the central region, a redder star shining next to a bright blue one can be seen.
  • Astronomers knew that the southern Ring Nebula was a binary star system. For the first time, we can see the second star hidden behind the dust clouds .out the sun, an intermediate-mass star will undergo a similar fate.

12. Cosmic Waltz

  • Situated in the direction of the constellation Pegasus, around 290 million light years away from Earth, is the clutch of five galaxies, each bound with the other called the Stephan’s Quintet.
  • Four of these close-knit galaxies are in a sort of dangerous waltz dance. Two of them are in process of merging.
  • Studying such cataclysmic galactic interactions will help us understand how these lead to star formation, evolution and central black holes in galaxies.     


  • The light from the central star will pass through the planet’s atmosphere when its edges are in the line of sight of the earth.The molecule present in the atmosphere will first absorb the light entering the atmosphere. Then it would be remitted
  • By comparing the star’s spectrum and the starlight passing through the planet’s atmosphere the astronomers can discern the molecular composition
  • Astronomers will use the same technique to examine other exoplanets, particularly those in the habitable zone of the central star

14. Important images released by NASA observed through James Web Telescope

James Web telescope pics, NASA Pics
James Web telescope Pics, NASA Pics
James Web Telescope Pics, NASA Pics of galaxy
James Web Telescope pics, NASA Pics
For Prelims:General Science
For Mains: GS-III: Science and Technology
Source: Indianexpress


1. Context
The researchers found that overall, OTR accounted for around 61% of tax revenues of states. Within the OTR, GST (Goods and Services Tax) collections made up the biggest chunk (almost 32%), followed by state excise and sales tax (22%) and stamp and registration (7%). A higher share of OTR helps a state to be more fiscally resilient.
2. What is the Goods and Services Tax (GST)?
  • The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a value-added tax levied on the supply of goods and services at each stage of the production and distribution chain. It is a comprehensive indirect tax that aims to replace multiple indirect taxes imposed by the central and state governments in India.
  • GST is designed to simplify the tax structure, eliminate the cascading effect of taxes, and create a unified national market. Under the GST system, both goods and services are taxed at multiple rates based on the nature of the product or service. The tax is collected at each stage of the supply chain, and businesses are allowed to claim a credit for the taxes paid on their inputs.
  • The GST system in India came into effect on July 1, 2017, replacing a complex tax structure that included central excise duty, service tax, and state-level taxes like VAT (Value Added Tax), among others. The GST Council, consisting of representatives from the central and state governments, is responsible for making decisions on various aspects of GST, including tax rates and rules.
  • GST is intended to create a more transparent and efficient tax system, reduce tax evasion, and promote economic growth by fostering a seamless flow of goods and services across the country. It has a significant impact on businesses, as they need to comply with the new tax regulations and maintain detailed records of their transactions for GST filing

3.Goods and Services Tax (GST) and 101st Amendment Act, 2016

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) in India was introduced through the 101st Amendment Act of 2016. This constitutional amendment was a crucial step in the implementation of GST, which aimed to create a unified and comprehensive indirect tax system across the country.

Here are some key points related to the 101st Amendment Act and GST:


  • The 101st Amendment Act was enacted to amend the Constitution of India to pave the way for the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax.
  • It added a new article, Article 246A, which confers concurrent powers to both the central and state governments to levy and collect GST
  • The amendment led to the creation of the GST Council, a constitutional body consisting of representatives from the central and state governments. The council is responsible for making recommendations on GST rates, exemptions, and other related issues
  • The amendment introduced a dual GST structure, where both the central government and the state governments have the power to levy and collect GST on the supply of goods and services
  • For inter-state transactions, the 101st Amendment Act provides that the central government would levy and collect the Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST), which would be a sum total of the central and state GST
  • The amendment also included a provision for compensating states for any revenue loss they might incur due to the implementation of GST for a period of five years
The 101st Amendment Act was a critical legislative step that provided the constitutional framework for the implementation of GST in India. It addressed the need for a unified tax system, simplifying the tax structure and promoting a common market across the country. The subsequent establishment of the GST Council has played a pivotal role in the ongoing management and evolution of the GST system in India
4. What are the different types of Goods and Services Tax (GST)?

In India, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is structured into different tax rates based on the nature of the goods and services. As of my last knowledge update in January 2022, the GST rates are divided into multiple slabs. It's important to note that tax rates may be subject to changes, and new amendments could have been introduced since then. As of my last update, the GST rates are as follows:

  • Nil Rate:

    • Some goods and services are categorized under the nil rate, meaning they attract a 0% GST. This implies that no tax is levied on the supply of these goods or services.
  • 5% Rate:

    • This is a lower rate, applicable to essential goods such as certain food items, medical supplies, and other basic necessities.
  • 12% Rate:

    • Goods and services falling in this category attract a 12% GST rate. Items such as mobile phones, processed foods, and certain services fall under this slab.
  • 18% Rate:

    • A higher rate of 18% is applicable to goods and services such as electronic items, capital goods, and various services.
  • 28% Rate:

    • The highest GST rate of 28% is applied to luxury items, automobiles, and certain goods and services that are considered non-essential or fall into the luxury category.
  • Compensation Cess:

    • In addition to the above rates, some specific goods attract a compensation cess, which is levied to compensate the states for any revenue loss during the transition to GST. This is often applied to items like tobacco and luxury cars.
  • Zero Rate:

    • Certain categories of goods and services may be specified as "zero-rated," which means they are effectively taxed at 0%. This is different from the nil rate, as it allows businesses to claim input tax credit on inputs, capital goods, and input services.
  • Exempt Supplies:

    • Some goods and services may be exempt from GST altogether. This means that they are not subject to any GST, and businesses cannot claim input tax credit on related inputs
5.Central GST (CGST), State GST (SGST), Union territory GST (UTGST) and Integrated GST (IGST)
Subject Central GST (CGST) State GST (SGST) Union Territory GST (UTGST) Integrated GST (IGST)
Levied by Central Government Respective State Governments Union Territory Administrations Central Government (on inter-state transactions)
Applicability On intra-state supplies (within the same state) On intra-state supplies (within the same state) On intra-union territory supplies (within the same union territory) On inter-state supplies (across states or union territories)
Rate Determination Determined by the Central Government Determined by the Respective State Government Determined by the Union Territory Administration IGST rate is a sum of CGST and SGST rates
Revenue Collection Collected by the Central Government Collected by the Respective State Government Collected by the Union Territory Administration Collected by the Central Government (on inter-state transactions)
Utilization of Revenue Shared between Central and State Governments Retained by the Respective State Government Retained by the Union Territory Administration Shared between Central and State Governments
Purpose Part of the dual GST structure, meant to cover central taxes Part of the dual GST structure, meant to cover state taxes Applicable in union territories for intra-territory supplies Applied to regulate and tax inter-state supplies
Input Tax Credit (ITC) ITC available for CGST paid on inputs and services ITC available for SGST paid on inputs and services ITC available for UTGST paid on inputs and services ITC available for both CGST and SGST paid on inputs
Tax Jurisdiction Applies within a particular state Applies within a particular state Applies within a particular union territory Applies to transactions across states and union territories
GSTN Portal for Filing Returns Central GSTN portal State-specific GSTN portals UTGSTN portal Integrated GSTN portal
6.What are the benefits of Goods and Services Tax (GST) in India?
The Goods and Services Tax (GST) in India was implemented with the aim of bringing about significant reforms in the indirect tax structure. Several benefits have been associated with the introduction of GST.
Here are some key advantages:
  • GST replaced multiple indirect taxes levied by the central and state governments, simplifying the tax structure. This streamlined system reduces the complexity of compliance for businesses
  • GST eliminates the cascading effect of taxes, where taxes are levied on top of other taxes. With a seamless credit mechanism, businesses can claim input tax credit on the taxes paid on their purchases, leading to a more transparent and efficient system
  • GST has facilitated the creation of a common national market by harmonizing tax rates and regulations across states. This has reduced trade barriers and promoted the free flow of goods and services throughout the country
  • The GST system has incorporated technology-driven processes, including electronic filing and real-time reporting, making it harder for businesses to evade taxes. This has contributed to increased tax compliance
  • The input tax credit mechanism under GST benefits manufacturers, as they can claim credits for taxes paid on raw materials and input services. This has a positive impact on the cost of production and enhances the competitiveness of Indian goods in the international market
  • GST brings transparency to the taxation system. The online filing of returns and the availability of transaction-level data make it easier for tax authorities to monitor and track transactions, reducing the scope for corruption
  • GST has replaced a complex system of filing multiple tax returns with a more straightforward mechanism. Businesses now need to file fewer returns, reducing the compliance burden
  • The implementation of GST has contributed to an improvement in the ease of doing business in India. The unified tax system has made it simpler for businesses to operate across states and has reduced the paperwork and bureaucratic hurdles associated with tax compliance
  • GST has led to the harmonization of tax rates across states and union territories, minimizing the tax rate disparities that existed earlier. This creates a more predictable tax environment for businesses
7.Goods and Services Tax (GST)-Issues and Challenge
  • Despite the intention to simplify the tax structure, the multi-tiered rate system (0%, 5%, 12%, 18%, and 28%) and the inclusion of cess on certain goods have introduced complexity. The classification of goods and services under different tax slabs can be challenging, leading to disputes and confusion
  • The successful implementation of GST relies heavily on technology. Issues such as technical glitches on the GSTN (Goods and Services Tax Network) portal, especially during the initial phases, have caused difficulties for businesses in filing returns and complying with regulations
  • The compliance requirements for businesses under GST, including multiple returns filing, have been perceived as burdensome. Smaller businesses, in particular, may find it challenging to adapt to the new system and comply with the various provisions
  • The transition from the previous tax regime to GST posed challenges, especially for businesses in terms of understanding the new tax structure, reconfiguring accounting systems, and ensuring a smooth transition of credits from the old tax system to the GST system
  • The classification of certain goods and services into specific tax slabs has been a source of contention. Ambiguities in classification have led to disputes and litigations, with businesses seeking clarity on the applicable tax rates
  • The implementation of GST has increased compliance costs for businesses due to the need for sophisticated IT infrastructure, the hiring of tax professionals, and efforts to ensure accurate reporting and filing
  • Challenges related to availing and matching input tax credits have been reported. Timely matching of credits and resolving discrepancies can be cumbersome, leading to concerns about the seamless flow of credit across the supply chain
  • The anti-profiteering provisions were introduced to ensure that businesses pass on the benefits of reduced tax rates to consumers. However, the implementation of anti-profiteering measures has been criticized for its complexity and potential for disputes
  • The periodic changes in the GST return filing system have created challenges for businesses in adapting their processes. Delays and complexities in return filing can affect working capital management
8.Goods and Services Tax Council (GST Council)
The Goods and Services Tax Council (GST Council) is a constitutional body in India that makes recommendations on the Goods and Services Tax (GST). It was established under the Constitution (122nd Amendment) Act, 2016, which introduced the GST in India

The GST Council consists of the following members:

  • The Union Finance Minister, who is the Chairperson of the Council.
  • The Union Minister of State in charge of revenue or any other Minister of State nominated by the Union Government.
  • One Minister from each state, nominated by the Governor of that state.
  • The Chief Secretary of each state, ex-officio.
  • If the President, on the recommendation of the Council, so directs, one representative of each Union territory which has a legislature, to be nominated by the Lieutenant Governor of that Union territory.
  • Three to seven members (other than Ministers) to be nominated by the Union Government, of whom at least one member shall be from the field of economics and another from the field of chartered accountancy, legal affairs or public finance
9. Way forward
It's important to note that the composition and structure of the GST Council may evolve over time, and there might have been changes since my last update in January 2022. To obtain the latest and most accurate information about the GST Council and its members, it is recommended to refer to official government sources or recent announcements by the relevant authorities


For Prelims: Economic and Social Development and Indian Polity and Governance
For Mains: General Studies II: Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein

General Studies III: Inclusive growth and issues arising from it

Previous Year Questions
1.Which of the following are true of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) introduced in India in recent times? (UGC Paper II 2020)
A. It is a destination tax
B. It benefits producing states more
C. It benefits consuming states more
D. It is a progressive taxation
E. It is an umbrella tax to improve ease of doing business
Choose the most appropriate answer from the options given below:
A.B, D and E only
B.A, C and D only
C.A, D and E only
D.A, C and E only
Answer (D)
Source: Indianexpress



1. Context

OPEC+ agreed on Sunday to extend most of its deep oil output cuts well into 2025 as the group seeks to shore up the market amid tepid demand growth, high interest rates and rising rival U.S. production.

2. Introduction

  • The organization of petroleum exporting countries (OPEC) is a permanent, intergovernmental organization, created at the Baghdad conference in 1960, by Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela. OPEC now has 13 member states. Iran, Iraq, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Libya, Nigeria, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, the Republic of Congo, Angola, and Venezuela are members of OPEC.
  • It aims to manage the supply of oil to set the price of oil in the world market, to avoid fluctuations that might affect the economies of both producing and purchasing countries. The stated mission of the organization is to “coordinate and unify the petroleum policies of its member’s countries and ensure the stabilization of oil markets, to secure an efficient, economic and regular supply of petroleum to consumers, a steady income to producers, and a fair return on capital for those investing in the petroleum industry.”
  • The headquarters are in Vienna, Austria. OPEC membership is open to any country that is a substantial exporter of oil and which shares the ideals of the organization.
  • Former OPEC members are Ecuador, Indonesia, and Qatar. Qatar terminated its membership on 1 January 2019.
  • With the addition of another 11 allied major oil-producing countries that include Russia, the grouping is known as OPEC+.
OPEC+ is an amalgamation of OPEC and high oil-exporting non-OPEC nations like Russia and Kazakhstan. In other words, it refers to OPEC’s cooperation with non-OPEC oil producers to affect production cuts. It came into effect around 2016 and includes countries like Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Brunei, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Oman, Russia, South Sudan, and Sudan.

3. Reasons for slashing production

  • Today’s cut is the biggest of its kind since 2000 when OPEC+ members cut outputs by 10 million BPD during the covid-19 pandemic, The reduction would increase prices and be extremely beneficial for the Middle Eastern member states, to whom Europe has turned for oil after leveling sanctions against Russia since it invaded Ukraine.
  • Oil prices increased after Russia invades Ukraine in February, and have since begun to soften over the past few months, before dropping sharply to under $90 in September due to fears of a recession in Europe and reduced demands from China because of its lockdown measures.

4. Who opposes this decision?

  • Within the group, some are opposed to such significant cuts in oil production. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Kuwait, in particular, are said to be concerned that extended cuts would interfere with their plans to increase oil output capacity.
  • Slashes in reduction and subsequently increased oil prices can be a potential threat to the US because the US government is trying to reduce the inflation rates before the mid-term elections in November. The US has not publicly accepted these attempts.

India decision-makers suggestions for the uncertain future of the international petroleum market:

  1. It should fill the oil caverns with strategic reserves. Prices may fall further but rather than bottom fish, it should leverage the availability of capacity to secure discounted supplies.
  2. Gas is economically competitive these days. It should increase its imports of gas (LNG) from Australia, Africa, and the US. This will reduce the political risks of dependency on oil supplies from the Middle East.
  3. It should create an institutional basis for an integrated energy policy. If there is one message we must internalize from COVID, it is the importance of collaboration and coordination.

5. India's strategic petroleum reserves

  • India’s strategic reserves are the effort of a border plan to build an emergency stockpile with millions of barrels of crude oil.
  • Under the first stage of the strategic petroleum reserves project, underground rock caverns with a total storage of 5.33 MMT, or about 38 million barrels of crude oil, have been commissioned at three locations-
  1.    Vishakapatnam (1.33 MMT)
  2.    Mangalore (1.5MMT)
  3.    Karnataka (2.5 MMT)
  • The International Energy Agency (IEA) recommends that all countries hold crude oil stocks worth 90 days of imports. India imports about 85 percent of its crude oil requirements.
  • India decided to release 5 million barrels of oil from its strategic reserves as part of a coordinated challenge led by the US against the OPEC+ producer's cartel move to curb output, was the first time that New Delhi dipped into its reserves to leverage it's as a geopolitical tool.

6. International energy agency(IEA)

  • The international energy agency (IEA) is an autonomous organization that works to ensure reliable, affordable, and clean energy, it was established in the wake of the 1973 (set up in 1974) Oil crisis after the OPEC cartel had shocked the world with a steep increase in oil prices.
  • It is headquartered in Paris, France.

The IEA has four main areas of focus, they are

  1. Energy security
  2. Economic development
  3. Environmental awareness
  4. Engagement worldwide.

India became an associate member of the International Energy Agency in 2017.

For Prelims and Mains

For Prelims: The international energy agency (IEA), OPEC, OPEC+,
For Mains: 1.What are OPEC and OPEC+?Explain why OPEC+ is slashing production and how it affects the major developing countries. (250 words)

Source: Indianexpress


1. Context
India’s GDP data was keenly awaited.., with a growth of 8.2 per cent in 2023-24 as against 7 per cent in 2022-23. It is to be noted that the growth in 2023-24 is much higher than MOSPI’s second advance estimate of 7.6 per cent released in February 2024
2. Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
Gross domestic product (GDP) is the total monetary or market value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country's borders in a specific time period. It is often used as a measure of a country's economic health
GDP provides insight into the overall economic health of a nation and is often used for comparing the economic output of different countries.

There are three primary ways to calculate GDP:

  1. Production Approach (GDP by Production): This approach calculates GDP by adding up the value-added at each stage of production. It involves summing up the value of all final goods and services produced in an economy.

  2. Income Approach (GDP by Income): This approach calculates GDP by summing up all the incomes earned in an economy, including wages, rents, interests, and profits. The idea is that all the income generated in an economy must ultimately be spent on purchasing goods and services.

  3. Expenditure Approach (GDP by Expenditure): This approach calculates GDP by summing up all the expenditures made on final goods and services. It includes consumption by households, investments by businesses, government spending, and net exports (exports minus imports).

3. Measuring GDP

GDP can be measured in three different ways:

  1. Nominal GDP: This is the raw GDP figure without adjusting for inflation. It reflects the total value of goods and services produced at current prices.

  2. Real GDP: Real GDP adjusts the nominal GDP for inflation, allowing for a more accurate comparison of economic performance over time. It represents the value of goods and services produced using constant prices from a specific base year.

  3. GDP per capita: This is the GDP divided by the population of a country. It provides a per-person measure of economic output and can be useful for comparing the relative economic well-being of different countries.

The GDP growth rate is the percentage change in the GDP from one year to the next. A positive GDP growth rate indicates that the economy is growing, while a negative GDP growth rate indicates that the economy is shrinking

The GDP is a useful measure of economic health, but it has some limitations. For example, it does not take into account the distribution of income in an economy. It also does not take into account the quality of goods and services produced.

Despite its limitations, the GDP is a widely used measure of economic health. It is used by economists, policymakers, and businesses to track the performance of an economy and to make decisions about economic policy

4. Gross Value Added (GVA)


Gross Value Added (GVA) is a closely related concept to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and is used to measure the economic value generated by various economic activities within a country. GVA represents the value of goods and services produced in an economy minus the value of inputs (such as raw materials and intermediate goods) used in production. It's a way to measure the contribution of each individual sector or industry to the overall economy.

GVA can be calculated using the production approach, similar to one of the methods used to calculate GDP. The formula for calculating GVA is as follows:

GVA = Output Value - Intermediate Consumption


  • Output Value: The total value of goods and services produced by an industry or sector.
  • Intermediate Consumption: The value of inputs used in the production process, including raw materials, energy, and other intermediate goods.
5. GDP vs GNP

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Gross National Product (GNP) are both important economic indicators used to measure the size and health of an economy, but they focus on slightly different aspects of economic activity and include different factors. Here are the key differences between GDP and GNP:

  1. Definition and Scope:

    • GDP: GDP measures the total value of all goods and services produced within a country's borders, regardless of whether the production is done by domestic or foreign entities. It only considers economic activities that take place within the country.
    • GNP: GNP measures the total value of all goods and services produced by a country's residents, whether they are located within the country's borders or abroad. It takes into account the production of residents, both domestically and internationally.
  2. Foreign Income and Payments:

    • GDP: GDP does not consider the income earned by residents of a country from their economic activities abroad, nor does it account for payments made to foreigners working within the country.
    • GNP: GNP includes the income earned by a country's residents from their investments and activities abroad, minus the income earned by foreign residents from their investments within the country.
  3. Net Factor Income from Abroad:

    • GDP: GDP does not account for net factor income from abroad, which is the difference between income earned by domestic residents abroad and income earned by foreign residents domestically.
    • GNP: GNP includes net factor income from abroad as part of its calculation.
  4. Foreign Direct Investment:

    • GDP: GDP does not directly consider foreign direct investment (FDI) flowing into or out of a country.
    • GNP: GNP considers the impact of FDI on the income of a country's residents, both from investments made within the country and from investments made by residents abroad.
  5. Measurement Approach:

    • GDP: GDP can be calculated using three different approaches: production, income, and expenditure approaches.
    • GNP: GNP is primarily calculated using the income approach, as it focuses on the income earned by residents from their economic activities.
For Prelims: GDP, GVA, FDI, GNP
For Mains: 1.Discuss the recent trends and challenges in India's GDP growth
2.Examine the role of the service sector in India's GDP growth
3.Compare and contrast the growth trajectories of India's GDP and GNP
Previous Year Questions
1.With reference to Indian economy, consider the following statements: (UPSC CSE, 2015)
1. The rate of growth of Real Gross Domestic Product has steadily increased in the last decade.
2. The Gross Domestic Product at market prices (in rupees) has steadily increased in the last decade.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
Answer (b)
2.A decrease in tax to GDP ratio of a country indicates which of the following? (UPSC CSE, 2015)
1. Slowing economic growth rate
2. Less equitable distribution of national income
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
Answer (a)
Previous year UPSC Mains Question Covering similar theme:
Define potential GDP and explain its determinants. What are the factors that have been inhibiting India from realizing its potential GDP? (UPSC CSE GS3, 2020)
Explain the difference between computing methodology of India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) before the year 2015 and after the year 2015. (UPSC CSE GS3, 2021)
Source: indianexpress



1. Context

June 2 is Telangana Formation Day and this year marks a decade since India’s youngest state was carved out of Andhra Pradesh. The ruling Congress government in Telangana celebrated the event while emphasising the party’s role in the state formation process.

2. Early Struggles for Separation (1955-1972)

  • The seeds of the Telangana statehood movement were sown as early as 1955 when the States Reorganisation Commission proposed keeping Hyderabad as a separate state, a suggestion that was ultimately ignored.
  • Telangana was merged with Andhra Pradesh on November 1, 1956, creating a united state for Telugu-speaking people.
  • However, political leaders from Telangana accused Andhra Pradesh of neglecting their region, resulting in land and job disputes.

3. The 1969 and 1972 Protests

  • In 1969, Telangana witnessed a violent protest for a separate state, led by various social groups, student unions, and government employees.
  • This movement prompted Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to formulate a six-point formula to address the region's development and employment concerns.

4. Political Support and Formation of TRS (1997-2001)

  • The demand for a separate Telangana state gained political momentum when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) backed it in 1997.
  • In 2001, K Chandrasekara Rao founded the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), further advancing the cause.
  • Additionally, the formation of states like Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, and Chhattisgarh inspired Telangana's demand for statehood.

5. KCR's Fast-Unto-Death (2009)

  • During the 2004 Lok Sabha polls, Congress President Sonia Gandhi pledged to honour the sentiments of those demanding a separate Telangana state.
  • The movement intensified in 2009 when K Chandrasekara Rao began a fast-unto-death in Karimnagar.
  • This prompted the UPA government to announce the formation of Telangana on December 9, 2009, only to backtrack two weeks later, sparking protests.

6. Justice Srikrishna Committee and CWC Resolution (2010-2013)

  • To find a permanent solution, a panel led by Justice (Retd.) B.N. Srikrishna was formed on February 3, 2010.
  • Despite extensive consultations, the panel did not favour bifurcation.
  • However, in July 2013, the Congress Working Committee (CWC) recommended Telangana's formation.
  • The Union Cabinet approved this decision based on a report from a ministerial group in December 2013.
  • The Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill was introduced in Parliament and passed in 2014, leading to the official formation of Telangana. Hyderabad was envisioned as the common capital during the transition.
Image Source: Hyderabad News

7. Significance of Telangana Formation

  • The establishment of Telangana on June 2, 2014, signifies the triumphant culmination of the Telangana Movement, which spanned over 57 years.
  • This movement not only granted a distinct identity to the people of Telangana but also reshaped India's map by redefining state boundaries.

8. Conclusion

  • Telangana Formation Day is a day to celebrate the culture, heritage, and achievements of the Telangana people.
  • It is also a day to reflect on the sacrifices made by the Telangana martyrs and to reaffirm the commitment to building a better future for Telangana.
For Prelims: States Reorganisation Commission, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Justice Srikrishna Committee, Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill
For Mains: 
1. Explain the role of Hyderabad as the common capital during the transition period after Telangana's formation. What challenges and opportunities did this arrangement present for both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh? (250 Words)
Previous Year Questions
1. With reference to Madanapalle of Andhra Pradesh, which one of the following statements is correct? (UPSC 2021)
A. Pingali Venkayya designed the tricolour Indian Nation Flag here.
B. Pattabhi Sitaramaiah led the Quit India Movement of Andhra region from here. C. Rabindranath Tagore Translated the National Anthem from Bengali to English here.
D. Madame Blavatsky and Colonel Olcott set up headquartes of Theosophical Society first here.
Answer: C
2. Match the following: (TS Panchayat Secretary 2018)
A. Submission of Srikrishna Committee Report              i. 31st December, 2010
B. Appointment of Antony Committee                             ii. 6th August, 2013
C. Appointment of Sushil Kumar Shinde Committee      iii. 8th October, 2013
D. AP State's Reorganisation Bill was introduced
in the Lok Sabha                                                               iv. 13th February, 2014
A.   A-i, B-ii, C-iii, D-iv
B. A-iii, B-i, C-iv, D-ii
C. A-ii, B-iv, C-i, D-iii
D. A-iv, B-iii, C-ii, D-i
Answer: A
3. Under which Section of the AP Reorganization Act, did the Central Government provide special financial support for the creation of essential facilities? ( APPSC Panchayat Secretary 2018)
A. Section 6         B. Section 9      C.  Section 48         D.  Section 94
Answer: D

4. The power of the Supreme Court of India to decide disputes between the Centre and the States falls under its (UPSC 2014)

A. advisory jurisdiction
B. appellate jurisdiction
C. original jurisdiction
D. writ jurisdiction

Answer: C

Source: Financial Express

Share to Social