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Current Affairs for UPSC Civil Services Exam – March 10-11, 2024

{GS2 – IR – India-EU} Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement (TEPA)

  • Context (PIB |IE |ET|HT|TH|IE|IE): The India- EFTA, Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement (TEPA) was recently signed by the Minister of Commerce & Industry.
  • The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) consists of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.
  • The India-EFTA deal was concluded after ten years of disagreements and the abandonment of negotiations in 2013.
  • Talks were halted after 13 rounds of discussions, but recent geopolitical shifts and a mutual goal to decrease dependence on China influenced the renewal of negotiations.
  • The TEPA enhances market access and simplifies customs procedures, making it easier for Indian and EFTA businesses to expand operations in the respective markets.
    • EFTA is offering 92.2% of its tariff lines which covers 99.6% of India’s exports.
    • The EFTA’s market access offer covers 100% of non-agri products and tariff concession on Processed Agricultural Products (PAP).
    • India is offering 82.7% of its tariff lines which covers 95.3% of EFTA exports of which more than 80% import is Gold.
    • Sensitivity related to PLI in sectors such as pharma, medical devices & processed food etc. have been taken while extending offers.
    • Sectors such as dairy, soya, coal & sensitive agricultural products are kept on the exclusion list.

India and EFTA

  • In 2023, India ranked as the EFTA’s fifth-biggest trading partner, following the EU, the US, the UK, and China.
  • The total two-way trade between India and EFTA reached $25 billion, with Indian exports at $2.8 billion and imports at approximately $22 billion.
  • The EFTA nations, with a population of 13 million and a combined GDP exceeding $1 trillion, are the world’s ninth-largest merchandise trader and the fifth largest in commercial services.
  • More than 300 Swiss companies such as Nestle, Holcim, Sulzer, and Novartis, apart from banks such as UBS operate in India, while Indian IT majors TCS, Infosys and HCL work in Switzerland.

India’s key Imports & Exports from the four countries

  • Imports: Gold ($20.7 billion in 2021-22), silver, coal, pharmaceuticals, vegetable oil, dairy machinery, medical items, crude and scientific equipment.
  • Exports: Chemicals, iron and steel, gold, precious stones, yarns, sports goods, glassware and bulk drugs to these nations.

Significance of Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement

For India

  • FDI: The India-EFTA free trade agreement includes a binding commitment for EFTA countries to invest $100 billion in India.
    • $50 billion within the first 10 years of the agreement and an additional $50 billion in the subsequent five years.
    • The investment of $100 billion from EFTA countries will be from the private sector, not pension funds in the EFTA region.
    • India reserves the right to withdraw tariff concessions if the expected investment commitments are not met.
  • Employment: The agreement also aims to facilitate the creation of 1 million jobs in India within 15 years from the agreement’s entry into force, resulting from FDI from EFTA states.
  • Market access: EFTA is providing commitment to market access in audio-visual services. In terms of treatment, they have committed that they will not discriminate against Indian service providers with EFTA service providers.
    • India’s annual services exports are worth $5 billion to EFTA, which is over 4 times the goods exports.
    • About 85 per cent of our services exports goes to Switzerland and about 15 per cent to Norway.
  • Increased Labour Movement: EFTA has granted India three visa categories: intra-corporate transferee, independent professionals, and contractual service provider.
    • While there is no specific quota, EFTA reserves the right to decide on a numerical limit as per their constitution.
  • Model agreement for future FTA’s: EFTA, the first European group to make a deal with investment commitments, might become a model for agreements with developed nations.
    • Several trade agreements, like the RCEP and FTAs with the EU, UK, and Australia, have been under negotiation for years and are still not finalized.
  • Access to EU market: TEPA provides an opportunity to integrate into EU markets. Over 40% of Switzerland’s global services exports are to the EU. Indian companies can look to Switzerland as a base for extending its market reach to EU.
  • TEPA also facilitates technology collaboration and access to world leading technologies in precision engineering, health sciences, renewable energy, Innovation and R&D.
  • TEPA will give impetus to Make in India and Atmanirbhar Bharat by encouraging domestic manufacturing in sectors such as Infrastructure and Connectivity, Manufacturing, Machinery, Pharmaceuticals, Chemicals, Food Processing, Transport and Logistics, Banking and Financial Services and Insurance.

For EFTA countries

  • EFTA countries will experience a significant reduction in tariffs in India.
    • The agreement aims to eliminate duties on various industrial goods currently exported to India by EFTA companies.
    • Examples of goods include pharmaceutical products, machinery, watches, fertilizers, medicines, chemical products, minerals, and fish.
  • Swiss manufacturers of machinery, luxury items like watches and transport are expected to benefit.
  • The pact allows EFTA countries the opportunity to export processed food and beverages, electrical machinery, and other engineering products to a potential market of 1.4 billion people at lower tariffs.
  • Agricultural items were largely excluded from the deal, but meaningful tariff concessions are specified for both basic and processed agricultural products.


Tough competition by Indian Goods in the Swiss market

  • Switzerland, India’s top trade partner in the EFTA group, has removed import duties on all industrial goods from January 1, 2024.
  • This move raises concerns for India because 98% of its $1.3 billion exports to Switzerland in FY2023 are industrial products like chemicals, consumer goods, vehicles, and clothing.

Exclusion of pension and wealth funds

  • For example, Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest ‘pension’ fund with $1.6 trillion.

Data exclusivity

  • India earlier rejected the four nations demand for the pact to include provisions on data exclusivity.

Challenges in exporting farm produce to Switzerland

  • The difficulties stem from a complicated network of tariffs, quality standards, and approval requirements.

{GS2 – Polity – IC – Federalism} Tripartite Agreement in Tripura

  • Context (IE): The Centre recently signed a tripartite agreement with the Tripura government and the state’s main opposition party, the TIPRA Motha.
  • It committed a time-bound “honourable resolution” of the long-pending demands of the state’s tribal population.
  • A joint working group/committee will be constituted to implement the mutually agreed points on the mentioned issues in a time-bound manner.

Tipra Motha’s Demands

  • The Tipra Motha’s demands include-
    1. A “Greater Tipraland” — A separate state for Tripura’s tribals that seeks to include those living outside the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) area.
    2. More powers for the TTAADC,
    3. Direct funding to TTAADC from the Centre,
    4. TTAADC’s own police force, and
    5. Share of revenue from gas exploration in the state.
    6. Roman script to be declared as the official script for the indigenous Kokborok language.

Kokborok Language

  • Kokborok is a Sino-Tibetan language of the Bodo–Garo branch.
  • It is related to the Bodo and Dimasa languages of neighbouring Assam.
  • The Garo language is also a related language spoken in the state of Meghalaya and neighbouring Bangladesh.
  • Kókborok consists of several dialects spoken in Tripura.

Significance of the Agreement

  • It seeks to resolve all issues faced by Tripura’s indigenous people regarding history, land and political rights, economic development, identity, culture and language.
  • All stakeholders to refrain from protests or agitations, underscoring the importance of peace and dialogue in achieving a sustainable and inclusive solution.
Demand for ‘Greater Tipraland’
  • It is an extension of the ruling tribal partner Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura—IPFT’s demand of Tipraland, which sought a separate state for Tripura tribals.
  • The new demand is to include every tribal person living in an indigenous area or village outside the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) under the proposed model.
Regional extent
  • It includes the region under the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTADC) and 36 villages within the Tripura State boundaries.
    • According to the 2011 census, there are at least 5.92 lakh Tripuris in the state, followed by Bru or Reang (1.88 lakh) and Jamatias (83,000).
  • It extends to include the Tiprasa of Tripuris, which is spread across different states of India, such as Assam, Mizoram, etc.
  • It also includes those living in Bandarban, Chittagong, Khagrachari and other bordering areas of neighbouring Bangladesh.
Tipra Motha’s Demand
  • Tipra Motha demands that this area be carved out as a State or a Union Territory.
    • The objective is to carve out a new State for the 19 indigenous tribes of Tripura under Articles 2 and 3 of the IC.
      1. Article 2—Parliament may by law admit new States into the Union or establish them on such terms and conditions as it thinks fit.
      2. Article 3 comes into play in the case of the formation of new States and alteration of areas, boundaries or names of existing States by the Parliament.
Ethnic Conflict and Insurgency
  • The history of Tripura is marked by ethnic conflict and insurgency, particularly in the 1980s, as tensions between tribal and non-tribal communities escalated.
  • The demand for separate statehood emerged as a response to these challenges, reflecting the deep-seated grievances and aspirations of the indigenous tribes.
Rise of Ethnic Politics
  • Ethnic politics have been resurgent in Tripura, with TIPRA Motha seeking to unite tribal and non-tribal people behind a common ethnic identity.
  • It reflects a broader movement to reclaim and revitalise Tripura’s indigenous identity and heritage.
Alleged Discrimination faced by TTAADC
  • The alleged discrimination faced by the TTAADC, despite its constitutional mandate to protect tribal rights and heritage, highlights the broader challenges of governance and resource allocation.
  • The disparity between the budget allocation and the population share of the tribal communities underscores the need for greater empowerment and autonomy at the grassroots level.
Historical Background
  • Tripura was a kingdom ruled by the Manikya dynasty from the late 13th century until the signing of the Instrument of Accession with the Indian government in 1949.
  • The demand stems from the anxiety of the indigenous communities in connection with the change in the demographics of the state, which has reduced them to a minority.
  • It happened due to the displacement of Bengalis from the erstwhile East Pakistan between 1947 and 1971.
    • From 63.77% in 1881, the tribal population in Tripura was down to 31.80% by 2011.
  • In the intervening decades, ethnic conflict and insurgency gripped the state, which shares a nearly 860-km-long boundary with Bangladesh.
  • The indigenous people have not only been reduced to a minority but have also been dislodged from land reserved for them by the penultimate king of the Manikya dynasty.
Steps taken to address the grievances of Indigenous communities
  • The Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTADC) was formed in 1985 under the sixth schedule of the IC.
  • The TTADC, which has legislative and executive powers, covers nearly two-thirds of the state’s geographical area.
  • The council has 30 members, 28 of whom are elected, and the governor nominates two.
  • Also, out of the 60 Assembly seats in the state, 20 are reserved for Scheduled Tribes.
  • It also proposes dedicated bodies to secure the rights of the Tripuris and other aboriginal communities living outside Tripura.

{GS2 – Social Sector – Health} Yaounde Declaration

  • Context (DTE): Health ministers from 11 African nations declared to eliminate malaria-related deaths. This is known as Yaounde Declaration (Yaounde is the capital of Cameroon).
  • The declaration, however, made no new commitments and was thin in clearly articulated targets.


  • Africa remains the epicentre of the malaria crisis, bearing an immense burden.
  • It accounts for 94% of all global malaria cases and 95 per cent of global malaria-related deaths, totalling an estimated 580,000 deaths in 2022.
  • Globally, the number of malaria cases in 2022 surged significantly compared to the pre-COVID-19 era. The total cases rose from 233 million in 2019 to a staggering 249 million.

A map of the world
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{GS2 – Vulnerable Sections – Children} ‘Zero-Food’ Children

  • Context (DH I TW I DTE ): India’s prevalence of “zero-food” children is comparable to the rates in the West African nations of Guinea, Benin, Liberia and Mali.
  • The research was published in JAMA Network Open, a peer-reviewed journal.
  • ‘Zero-food Children’: These are children between 6 and 23 months who have not consumed any animal milk, formula, solid, or semisolid food in the last 24 hours.

Findings of the Survey

  • South Asia has the highest prevalence of zero-food children, estimated at 8 million, with India alone accounting for over 6.7 million.
  • Latin America and the Caribbean had the lowest prevalence and number of zero-food children, at 1.9 per cent, or 120,000 children.
  • East Asia and the Pacific had the second-lowest prevalence, at 2.9 per cent.
  • The study estimated India’s prevalence of zero-food children at 19.3%, the third highest after Guinea’s 21.8% and Mali’s 20.5%.
    • The data for India was sourced from the National Family Health Survey 2019-2021.
  • The figures are much lower in Bangladesh (5.6%), Pakistan (9.2%), DR Congo (7.4%), Nigeria (8.8%) and Ethiopia (14.8%).
  • Nigeria ranked second in terms of the highest number of ‘zero-food’ children (9,62,000), followed by Pakistan (8,49,000).
  • The study was conducted using health surveys in 92 low-income and middle-income countries between 2010 and 2021.
  • More than 99 per cent of the children who experienced zero-food situations had been breastfed.
    • This suggests that nearly all these children received some calories even during the 24 hours when they did not receive other food sources.
  • There was also a noticeable pattern in the prevalence of children experiencing zero-food situations based on their age across different regions.
  • Highly populated countries such as Indonesia and the Philippines had relatively many zero-food children despite relatively lower prevalence rates.

Suggestions Highlighted in the Report

  • It highlights the importance of introducing solid or semisolid foods to a child’s diet.
    • The breastfeeding alone is not sufficient to provide children with nutrition, which, in turn, might hinder their growth and development.
  • It highlighted vital areas where policies and programmes can intervene to enhance the nutritional well-being of children who experience zero-food situations.
  • It is crucial to tackle the socioeconomic and environmental factors that contribute to food insecurity.
  • Strategies should include:
    1. Enhancing access to nutritious foods,
    2. Improving maternal and caregiver knowledge about appropriate feeding practices and
    3. Strengthening health systems to ensure the availability of necessary resources and support.
  • The design and implementation of interventions should be context-specific, accounting for cultural practices and local challenges.
  • It highlighted the importance of considering both prevalence and absolute numbers when designing interventions, even in countries with apparently lower risk.

{GS3 – Envi – Degradation} Methane leak in Mangistau region, Kazakhstan

  • Context (IE): Last year, a drilling mishap caused methane leaks in Mangistau region, southwestern Kazakhstan. Scientists say it might have been the second-largest man-made leak ever.
Kazakhstan map
Mangystau region
  • According to the International Energy Agency, methane is responsible for about 30% of the rise in global temperatures since the Industrial Revolution.
  • Notably, 2023 witnessed the highest levels of greenhouse gas concentrations ever in the atmosphere. Methane concentrations increased by 11 parts per billion (ppb).

{GS3 – Infra – Initiatives} Sela Tunnel

  • Context(IE I HT): PM Modi inaugurated the world’s longest twin-lane tunnel, ‘The Sela Tunnel’, in Tawang, ‘Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The PM was participating in the ‘Viksit Bharat Viksit North East’ program.
  • It is a crucial border infrastructure project as it connects Guwahati to the strategic Tawang sector round the year, aiding faster military movement to the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

The Sela Tunnel – Importance and the strategic edge it promises | Current  Affairs

Sela Tunnel Project

  • The Sela tunnel was announced by the government in 2018.
  • It is a part of the Balipara-Charduar-Tawang road, one of the key strategic projects near the Chinese border.
  • It cuts through the Sela–Charbela ridge, which separates the Tawang district from the West Kameng district.
  • It is located in the West Kameng and Tawang districts of Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The Border Roads Organisation is executing the tunnel under Project Vartak.
  • This will be the longest twin-lane tunnel above 13,000 feet in the world.
  • The project includes two tunnels and a link road.
    1. Tunnel 1 is 980m long;
    2. Tunnel 2, which is 1555m long, is a twin tube tunnel.
  • Tunnel 2 has one bi-lane tube for traffic and one escape tube for emergencies.
  • The link road between the two tunnels will be 1,200 metres.
  • The total length of the project, including tunnels, approach and the link roads, will be around 12 km.
  • The Sela Tunnel has been constructed using the new Austrian tunnelling method and incorporates safety features of the highest standards.

Border Road Organisation

  • The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) is an Indian road construction executive force that provides support to the Indian Armed Forces.
  • BRO develops and maintains road networks in India’s border areas and friendly neighbouring countries.

PM Modi opens Sela tunnel, puts military mobility in fast lane to counter  China | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Significance of the Tunnel

  • It provides all-weather connectivity to Tawang across Sela Pass on the Balipara-Chariduar-Tawang (BCT) Road, which connects Tezpur in Assam to Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh.
    • Tezpur is home to the Indian Army’s IV Corps, which manages Assam and western Arunachal Pradesh.
  • It boosts India’s operational preparedness along the LAC and aids in quick military mobilisation to the bordering Tawang sector.
    • It saves nearly 10 km of road distance, translating into nearly almost an hour of travel time for convoys.
  • Heavy artillery guns can also be transported through the tunnel.
    • With China seeking to claim Tawang as part of larger Tibet while calling Arunachal Pradesh southern Tibet, India has always kept the region militarily fortified.
  • The tunnel will add to Tawang’s tourist potential and attract more tourists, making Tawang a more popular destination in the Northeast region.
Some related Facts
  • The Tezpur to Tawang route has three major passesNechiphu, Bomdila and Sela.
  • The Nechiphu tunnel was inaugurated by the Defence Minister in 2023.
  • The Indian railway has undertaken the final location survey of a strategically important railway project to bring Tawang to the railway map through the Bhalukpong-Tawang railway.
About Tawang
  • During the 1962 India-China war, Beijing captured Tawang within the first few days.
  • Tawang is the birthplace of the sixth Dalai Lama, making it an essential seat of Tibetan Buddhism after Lhasa.
  • From the military and strategic point of view, Tawang provides geographical access up to the Brahmaputra plains and provides the shortest axis to Tezpur in Assam.
  • The lines of communication from Tawang stretch to Guwahati and the extended Siliguri corridor, amplifying its military importance.
About Sela Pass
  • Sela pass is located at 4,200 metres.
  • It is a high-altitude mountain pass located on the border between the Tawang and West Kameng districts in the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Sela Pass is a sacred site in Tibetan Buddhism.
  • Buddhists believe that there are about 101 sacred lakes in and around the pass.
  • Sela Lake is a large lake located on the north side of the pass.

Naming of the Sela Pass

  • During the 1962 War, Maha Vir Chakra awardee Jaswant Singh Rawat held the Chinese Army off at this mountain pass with the help of two local girls named Sela and Noora.
  • Rawat held off the enemy for 72 hours, all alone, until the Chinese knew that they were facing only one fighter.
  • The Chinese then stormed Rawat’s position, and Rawat was killed. The Indian army built the Jaswant Garh war memorial for Jaswant Singh.
  • Sela was killed, and Noora was captured.
  • The pass, tunnel, and lake were named after Sela for her sacrifice.

{GS3 – S&T – Defence} Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA)

  • Context (IE): The government approved a development project of the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA), India’s indigenous fifth-generation multirole fighter jet.
  • Nodal Agencies: Aeronautical Development Agency under Defence Research and Development Organisation will lead the design, while Hindustan Aeronautics Limited will handle manufacturing.
  • AMCA will place India among select nations with indigenous fifth-generation fighter capabilities, joining the US, China, and Russia.

Stealth Features

  • The AMCA will be a 25-tonne twin-engine aircraft designed to avoid detection by enemy radar.
  • It will be on par or even superior to other fifth-generation stealth fighter aircraft globally.

Fuel and Weapons

  • It will also feature an internal weapons bay where a range of weapons, including indigenous ones, can be stored.
  • This internal configuration enhances aerodynamics and reduces radar cross-section.

Engine Development

  • The AMCA Mk1 variant will use the US-built GE414 engine (90-kilonewton class).
  • The more advanced AMCA Mk2 will fly with a 110kN engine, developed indigenously by DRDO’s Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) in collaboration with a foreign defence major.

Differentiation from Fourth-Gen Aircraft

  • It aims to have a low electromagnetic signature while carrying powerful sensors and new weapons.
  • AMCA will incorporate an Integrated Vehicle Health Management (IVHM) system to monitor aircraft components in real-time, ensuring higher utilisation and shorter maintenance periods.

{GS3 – S&T –Tech} Proposed New toll Collection System

  • Context (TH): In February, Road Transport and Highways Minister announced that government aims to introduce a new highway toll collection system using the global navigation satellite system.
  • The upcoming tolling system will operate alongside the existing FASTag-based toll collection as the government has not finalised whether On-Board Units (OBUs) will be mandatory for all vehicles or solely for new ones.

Implementation of the GPS based tolling system

  • On-Board Unit (OBU): A tracking device, fitted inside vehicles. This device uses GAGAN, India’s satellite navigation system, with an accuracy of around 10 meters.
  • Digital mapping the entire national highway coordinates will be logged through digital image processing.
  • Software will assign toll rates, calculate amounts based on distance, and deduct them from an OBU-linked wallet.
  • Gantries with CCTV cameras to enforce rules, capturing images of vehicles’ high-security plates and checking for attempts to trick the system by removing the tracking device or travelling without an OBU.


Lack of gantry-mounted Automatic Number-Plate Recognition (ANPR) systems

  • Toll recovery is a challenge when road users fail to pay, especially if their digital wallet is empty.
  • The lack of barriers also allows non-compliant vehicles, leading to issues like travelling without an OBU or intentionally turning it off to avoid payment.
  • Instances of misuse such as installing a car’s OBU on a truck for reduced tolls can also occur.
  • Presence of ANPR systems nationwide can aid in violation monitoring. However, such infrastructure is currently lacking.

Data privacy

  • There were concerns regarding increased state surveillance as the system tracks the precise location of vehicles. However, the government has responded that,
    • To ensure privacy in the toll collection system, the government has opted for the GAGAN satellite system over GPS (U.S.-owned).
    • Also, the Digital Personal Data Protection Act, passed in Parliament last year, is expected to address privacy concerns.

{Prelims – Awards} Pritzker Prize

  • Context (IE): Riken Yamamoto, a Japanese architect, was awarded the 2024 Pritzker Architecture Prize, often referred to as the “Architecture Nobel.
  • Pritzker Prize was founded in 1979 by Jay A Pritzker and his wife, Cindy.
  • It is considered one of the world’s premier architecture prizes and is often referred to as the Nobel Prize for architecture.
  • It aims to honour living architects who demonstrate talent, vision, and commitment in their built work and contribute significantly to humanity and the built environment.
  • It celebrates their ability to blend creativity, innovation, and social impact in their architectural designs.
  • The recipients receive US$100,000, a citation certificate, and, since 1987, a bronze medallion.
  • The only Indian laureate to be awarded the Pritzker Prize is the late Balkrishna Doshi (2018).

{Prelims – In News} International Cooperative Museum in Kozhikode

  • Context (TH): India’s first museum dedicated to cooperatives is coming up in Kozhikode.
  • The International Cooperative Museum (ICM) is a project of the Karassery Service Cooperative Bank.
  • The museum will be the first of its kind in India and the second globally, after one in Toad Lane, U.K., established in 1844.
  • The 14-story building will house the International Cooperative Museum along with a wax museum and an art gallery.
  • It aims to showcase the history and achievements of India’s cooperative movement and inspire and educate future generations about the principles and values of cooperation.

{Prelims – In News} Mahatari Vandana Yojana

  • Context (PIB): PM launched the Mahatari Vandana Yojana in Chhattisgarh.
  • The scheme aims to provide Rs 1000 per month in financial assistance to eligible married women of the State through direct benefit transfer (DBT).
  • The scheme is open to all eligible married women who are over 21 years of age as of January 1, 2024.
  • Widows, divorced, and deserted women are also eligible.
  • It aims to ensure economic empowerment and financial security, promote gender equality, and strengthen women’s decisive role in the family.

{Prelims – PIN} Lachit Borphukan

  • Context (IE): PM unveiled a 125-foot bronze ‘Statue of Valour’ of Lachit Borphukan at his burial site in Assam.

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  • Lachit Borphukan was a revered army commander of the Ahom kingdom (1228-1826).
  • He is famously known for his leadership in the 1671 Battle of Saraighat, where he defeated the Mughal forces led by Raja Ramsingh-I and prevented the Mughals from recapturing Assam.
  • Renowned sculptor Ram Vanji Sutar, a Padma Bhushan awardee known for crafting the Statue of Unity in Gujarat, built the statue of Lachit Borphukan.

{Prelims – S&T – AI} Inflection 2.5

  • Context (IE): Inflection AI recently launched Inflection 2.5, an upgraded version of its language model powering Pi.
  • Inflection-2.5 achieves competitive performance with GPT-4 while using 40% less computing power for training.
  • It excels in IQ-oriented tasks, outperforming its predecessors and achieving significant milestones in areas like the Massive Multitask Language Understanding (MMLU) benchmark and Physics GRE.

Pi Chatbot

  • Pi Chatbot is an AI chatbot developed by Inflection AI, designed to engage in deep and meaningful conversations with users.
  • It aims to be empathetic, helpful, and safe, offering a unique persona compared to other chatbots like ChatGPT and Gemini.

{Prelims – S&T – Defence} Exercise Bharat Shakti

  • Context (TH): ‘Exercise Bharat Shakti’ is a firepower demonstration scheduled at the Pokhran firing range in Rajasthan.
  • The demonstration aims to showcase the indigenous defence equipment and capabilities of the Indian Army, Navy, and Air Force, with a focus on jointness and synergy.
  • The demonstration will highlight aspects of Tri-Service integration, including communications, Indigenous Geographical Information System for Tri-Services (IGIST), and eTarang for defence spectrum management.

{Prelims – S&T – Defence} Exercise Sea Defenders-2024

  • Context (PIB): The US Coast Guard Ship (USCGS) Bertholf visited Port Blair for the joint exerciseSea Defenders-2024” with the Indian Coast Guard.
  • It is a joint exercise between the Indian Coast Guard and the United States Coast Guard.
  • Location: Off the coast of Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
  • The exercise will focus on simulating various scenarios relevant to maritime piracy and asymmetric threats.
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